Tag Archive | God’s love

A word from God

Are you experiencing famine? Many are! Yes, we see the obvious..price hikes in the supermarkets, price hikes at the gas pumps and people who genuinely struggle daily to eat and provide for their families. 

However, we may be less aware of a more dangerous famine..that the word of God and the hearing/heeding to His word is absent.  

Instead we see another law at work. “I gotta look out for me!” The hustle is real and there are those, from all walks of life, who will do whatever it takes to survive.  

Those of us who know Christ, let us not keep the Word just hidden inside of our hearts, or keep it in the four walls of our churches. People are starving for God’s word. They may not know it..but they are starving. The real famine is a famine for the word of God. 

Matthew‬ ‭10:27‬ ‭NIV What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

Help bring healing, direction, salvation and deliverance. Speak the word of God into someone’s life today. Pray the word of God over them. Give godly advice according to God’s word. While helping to meet felt needs, let us help meet the spiritual needs of a starving world. Only the word.. living and active, brings life!! 

Have a blessed day my sisters.

Worship for today: Jeremy Camp – Word of Life 

Carol-angel Jackson

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Who Are You???

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“God is not calling you to an uncertain future. Let the discovery of your identity be an adventure.”

If you were to try and imagine a stranger, someone that you had never met, you would not be able to do it. Too many unknown variables. Sounds strange right.

The person that God is calling you to be is someone that you have never met. Thus you have no frame of reference for imagining this person.

When you meet someone for the first time, more than likely, you put your best foot forward because you expect an amicable meeting. As you do not know the person, you are unable to judge them on an unknown past. It is a clean slate. You cannot form opinions based on who they are now or what they may have done in the past because you do not know.

For the new person that God wants us to become, we must also do just that. We tend to let past experiences or current actions taint the image of a future self. This results in the attitude of “Nope. Not me. I can’t do that.” or “Are you sure?”

Paul wrote that we are to forget the past and be drawn forward by the new future (Phil 3:13 -14); that higher calling.  Christ says that in Him we are a NEW creation (2 Cor 5:17): recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. (ALL WOW and ALL YOU!!!)

Let discovery of the new with God be an adventure. You CAN be what He wants you to be and do what He asks of you.

This new person is unveiled over time. It’s not like going from inside to outside. One minute here and the next, there. It is a journey. It may not happen as quickly as you might like. There will be struggles and tests and victories and the peace of God to over shadow it all.

Our cooperation is a determining factor in the length of the journey.

You may have heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, or have a strong sense from the Word or have been given a prophetic word regarding the plans that God has for you.

You may even have set out on this journey all bright eyed and bushy tailed only to face falls, failures, disappointments, and you have to believe that God still loves you and wants the best for you.

The thing is, God has already seen that new person. He knows what they look like. He sees the strength that has been built and the faith that has been cultivated and the gifts that have been discovered. He also sees where the chains were broken and where deliverance came and where burdens fell away.

So He is not calling you to an uncertain future. He is certain that you will be that person as long as you put your trust in and walk with Him. No matter how much like a fantasy it seems.

Remember, stop trying to picture this new person and giving definitions of what they are to resemble. You have NO frame of reference. You have no idea what God will do and how he will lovingly form and shape you, once you are in His hands.

Jump in!!! Feet first!!! You know He will catch you!!! Or fly with you. Or keep you afloat.

Ok God, so what now? Where do we go? What do we do next?

He is calling you forward but in all things be sure to count the cost. God wants all of you.

So be excited; not scared.

Don’t  imagine all the ways things could go wrong cause you are not God. There is no way that you could possibly know that.

I recently learned this saying: Stop borrowing trouble; which basically means stop worrying about something that you have no idea how it will turn out.

We can be quick with our ‘what ifs’. Just trust Him and be lead.

You are not your past. Your definition comes from your future. God’s future for you. His purpose for you.

Remember :

Don’t doubt Him. God knows the plans He has for you –  Jer 29:11

Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from moving. You may fall 7 times – Prov 24:16, Psa 37:23-24

Don’t think you know it all. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him – Isa 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9

Don’t set limits. He is able to do far more abundantly beyond what we ask or thinkEph 3:20, Isa 55:8-9

Don’t try to do it in your own strength. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and in due time He will lift you up – 1 Pet 5:6-7

 

My prayer for all of us, is that we believe the infallible Word of God. The Word that speaks of who we are to God and who God has called us to be in Him. That we know that He cannot lie and that if He says something about us, then it is so. That we know that His Words are meant to comfort and not condemn, to lift us up and not pull us down; to cause us to see the truth and to desire His truth in our lives. That I know and that you know, undoubtedly, unashamedly, that He loves us beyond all measure and will reach out to us and draw us to Him. Let God – not this world, ourselves, other people – define us.

By Marisse Cropper

New Year; Same God

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Hebrew 13:8 (KJV) http://biblia.com/verseoftheday/image/Heb13.8

Yesterday was Thursday. Today is Friday. As it was last week  and the weeks prior. The great difference being that today, Friday, marks the start of a new calendar year.

And while January first brings with it no magical powers to transform all things, it does bring with it something very important: HOPE.

Hope that things will change, will get better, can be re-built.  That the start of something new means that we can move past and forget the old.

We know a God that exists outside of time and in eternity.  Who, year in and year out, is faithful, dependable, unmovable, consistent; His word, nature and character do not change and it is in Him that we place our hope.

This is why:

  • Psa 16:9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
    My flesh also will rest in hope
  •  Psa 31:24  Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart,
    All you who hope in the Lord
  • Psa 39:7  And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
  • Psa 42:11  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope  in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

Similar verses litter the bible; all pointing to the same fact. That there is only one focus for that which we hope: The Almighty God.

Let 2016 bring us to a sense of renewed hope where ours may have waned because of trials faced in the past and prayers unanswered; may we look forward knowing that each day means fulfillment of purpose in Him and that is what keeps us pressing onward; may we know that He is a keeper of promises and that His timing is never wrong; may we encourage and exhort each other in the Lord and with His because that is the only accurate measure; may we stand for Him as He stands for us to walk in and be obedient to His call.

Be strong in the Lord ladies.

Remember our lives are HIs.

by Marisse Cropper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Out and Reach Out

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Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

We live  in a world where the news is a our fingertips. Where it has become easier to find out what is happening in Saudi Arabia than it is sometimes, to talk to someone and find out what is going on with them.  It is possible to become desensitized to the tragedies around us because they happen often and do not directly affect us. Yes, there may be sorrow  and the shaking of our heads over another situation but eventually we move on because that is what happens with life.

Recently, a former classmate of mine passed away after an ongoing battle with cancer, leaving behind her four children. She was 39 years old. Her passing was a shock but hopefully also a wakeup call. You see, we tend not to pay attention to what is not right up in our faces and tend to ignore that which may not seem pressing.   The loss of Marie Blunte has made me take the time to step back and look at my family and reevaluate my relationships. This is real. This is close to me. None of us is invincible and we only have one time around on this earth.

Life is too short to hold on to bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, hatred, judgmental attitudes and selfishness.

When Christ died for us, it was not after having been on earth one day. What if He had said “Father, I don’t think so. These people are too stubborn and hard hearted. I want to preserve my life. It’s not worth it.” He saw all human shortcomings. He experienced hatred and the close-minded nature of man. He was accused and beaten. People wanted Him dead and they succeeded.  Yet, He still put His life on the line for us. He considered us, imperfect humans, worth it. Even after all that He knew we were and had the potential to be.

Often times we can become closed off, afraid of rejection and not wanting to interact with others in order to preserve ourselves and our feelings. We can decide that a person is not worth the effort when a constant smile or polite greeting may be all that it takes to impact someone else.

News flash people : None of us is perfect!

No one has it all together but if we are willing to be there for each other, to step out of our comfort zones and reach out,  to give love where it may not be returned, to show mercy when it may not be warranted, to allow the Holy Spirit to lead our hearts – then we are on the right path.

Lord, I pray for Marie’s children and family, that they may know Your love and peace and have love from those around them for the rest of their lives. That they will remember clearly her joy and strength and not the memories her illness.

May we remember each day to give love and to be patient. May we try to see past a person’s  exterior to realise that they need a kind word and understanding just as we do.

Marisse Cropper

Rejoice In The Now

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Before – The Mess

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After – The End Product

Recently I was looking at pictures my husband and I had taken when we were doing some construction at our house. The same rooms that we now sit in and enjoy, once did not exist. More so, I was reminded of the process to get from nothing to something. There was the preparation and the first brick. There was mess, unpainted walls, no ceiling, no windows and it seemed as though the construction would never end. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine that there is life outside of the mess. Even when the physical building was finished, it had to be cleaned out, tiled and painted.  Now it is just a part of life. Every time I open the door, I don’t think back to when it was just a former shell and a mess. I know that it was but it does not occupy my thoughts. I simply marvel at what exists now.

“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake
and will never think of them again.

Isaiah 43:25 (NLT)

 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 43:25 (NIV)

How is it possible for God to remember no more when it seems our messes and processes are always before us? How do we get to a place where we understand that God marvels at what exists in us now and He does not dwell on what it took to get us here? This applies to life before salvation and also to the  mistake we made yesterday. Life does not happen in a straight, smooth line and we will make mistakes along the way but His forgiveness is given freely and it is complete. Even when we do not forgive ourselves.

Peter denied Christ. Three times. After declaring his allegiance. Even after he had foreknowledge of the situation and was sure it would not happen. Peter was ashamed and in tears. (Matt 28:27)

I don’t know if on the day of Pentecost as Peter stood and addressed thousands, if he was thinking back on his previous mistakes and wondering why he was now in this position.  You see, God did not base his future on what had happened in the past. Peter’s purpose could have been circumvented had he decided that his mistake was too great to recover from and that he would no longer try.  Peter was a mainstay in the early church.  (Matt 16:18)

Hands up if you have EVER been in the midst of a self-made mess. Have you given it to God to clean it out, fix it up and marvel at what exists now?

and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

Live in the beauty that is God’s restoration.  Regrets can blind us and cause us not to appreciate what has been given to us. If all I thought about the new construction was how it used to be, I would not be able to appreciate what it is now.

Leave the past where it is. It cannot be changed and it was a part of the process.

Know Him as a forgiving God, whether you are looking at your mess or someone else’s

Have a great week sisters. Bask in His love and live in His joy.

Marisse Cropper

You Can Do It!

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1 Th 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)

The ability to lift someone’s spirit by the power of our words can be overlooked as we go about our lives. We use words to ask, to greet, to tease, to command, to advise, to compliment, to correct or even to question.  Let us remember also to encourage.

Don’t underestimate the effect of the words “Good job” or “You can do it”. Even something as simple as “Thank you” can make a difference. It is not a case of working for the praise of men but feeling appreciated and supported can go a long way when there are tasks to accomplish. Whether a seasoned veteran or a novice, in life or in skill, it is good to know that efforts are not in vain and that there are fruits from our labour.

When Joshua was leading the Israelites into the promised land, God told him to be of good courage and when Moses addressed the people he told them to encourage Joshua. There was a challenge ahead that none of them had faced before, and they needed a confident leader before them.

It is easy to see when a person has reached a mountain top, and then to celebrate the heights which have been achieved. By all means, celebrate! What may go unnoticed is the time spent in the trenches trying to climb out.  There may be those whose hearts are broken, who feel alone or their hope is waning; those who may be slowly taking one step at a time closer to their goals or are pushing and pressing forward with their eyes on the prize.

Find someone and speak a word of encouragement. Ask God for guidance. An encouraging word may pick someone up off the floor or keep them moving.  A hug or a smile can show compassion.

Rom 12: 6&8    6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith… 8  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (NIV)

1 Th 5:12-13    12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. (NIV)

Heb 3:13   But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (NIV)

 

Marisse Cropper

 

 

The Mordecai Project – Reaching Out to Women

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And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.

Esther 2:7

 

It is encouraging to see people reaching out to each other. Going beyond their own bubbles to take the time to impact the lives of others.

The Mordecai Project is a Christian ministry founded by J. Lee Grady, a journalist, ordained minister and author of the groundbreaking book 10 Lies the Church Tells Women. The purpose of this ministry is to (1) confront the global oppression of women; (2) empower women to discover their God-given spiritual gifts and ministries; and (3) equip Christian men, including church leaders, to recognize, value, protect and train the women in their lives. This mission is accomplished through books, preaching, mentoring, leadership conferences, ministerial retreats and television programs in various languages.

Lee is confronting all forms of abuse including domestic violence, female infanticide, denial of education to girls, forced prostitution and sex trafficking, female genital mutilation, mistreatment of widows and honor killings.  He also calls for the full participation of trained women in church leadership, and he challenges the global church to reject unbiblical religious traditions that encourage gender discrimination.

When asked about this ministry, this is what Mr. Grady had to say:

Q. Why is your ministry called The Mordecai Project?

A. Mainly because I did not want to call it the Lee Grady Evangelistic Association. In our culture, religious-sounding names can be a turn-off to people who have had bad experiences with the church. So I picked something a bit more mysterious.

Mordecai was a godly man who played a major role in the book of Esther in the Old Testament. He lived in ancient Persia (modern Iran) during the time that the Jews were living there as exiles. Mordecai discovered that the wicked bureaucrat Haman had convinced the king to kill all the Jews living in the country.

Meanwhile, Mordecai’s young cousin Esther had been abducted by the king and was in line to become part of his royal harem. Mordecai realized that God had allowed this so that Esther could expose Haman’s plot and stop the planned genocide. So Mordecai went to Esther and commissioned her to act courageously.

I identify with Mordecai more than any other character in the Bible. I believe God has called me to prod many Esthers into bold action. Christian women have been destined and positioned to make a huge impact on the world, yet the church has told them that they don’t really have a significant role to play. Not true!

I believe my divine assignment is to rally God’s women and to commission them for service. That is the primary purpose of the Mordecai Project.

To find out more about this ministry that is touching the corners of the globe, please visit http://www.themordecaiproject.org/welcome/about

 

Continue to walk in the joy of the Lord, grow in Him and rest in Him.

Have a wonderful weekend.