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Friday, January 25, 2013

Whose Fault Is It?

Whose Fault Is It?
(One: A Marriage Devotional by Jimmy Evans)

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)

Adam and Eve were the first married couple. They were created in a place called Eden, which means “pleasure and delight.” God intended for them to live in an environment of peace, abundance, and love.

So, how did things change from paradise to the pain and failure we see today? To understand the answer we must first realize that when Adam and Eve sinned, they caused the fall of mankind. Even though that is true, it isn't the complete reason for the problems we see today. The fuller reason is blame transfer.

You see, when God confronted Adam and Eve about their sin, they refused to accept responsibility for it. You can read the account yourself in the third chapter of Genesis. The short version is this: Adam blamed Eve for his sin and Eve blamed the devil. They were both unwilling to admit their faults and take responsibility for their actions.

Even though Adam and Eve’s failure was thousands of years ago, their sin lives on today in the lives of many couples. I have counseled a great number of husbands and wives who just would not take responsibility for their own problems. In most cases, they were convinced that if their spouses would change, all of their problems would be solved. Of course, their spouses had the opposite opinion.

So how do you break this dangerous cycle of blame transfer?

Here are three simple steps:

1. Stop focusing on your spouse’s problems. You can’t change him or her, but you can change yourself; once you change, the marriage changes.

2. Don’t make it about your spouse; make it about God. Be willing to deal honestly with God about your own issues, and you will experience a new level of grace, peace, and power in your life.

3. Be humble. James chapter four tells us that God resists proud people, but gives grace to humble people. Humility is attractive and contagious. Pride is repulsive, but unfortunately it is also contagious.

To have a functional and successful marriage and family, we must be willing to be honest and humble people who take responsibility for our own issues. Rather than living as victims of other people’s mistakes, we can live as victors if we will take responsibility for our own problems and trust God to deal with the faults of our spouse and others.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Carry the water until in becomes wine

1The next daya there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.b 7Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
Heard this story from Dr. Kevin Elko, the most requested inspirational and motivational speaker in America. He uses the story of Jesus turning water into wine to illustrate a point of persistence. Jesus instructs the servants to fill each of the six waterpots to the brim. We would have to agree that these stone waterpots would be heavy when empty, and even heavier yet when full (the weight of the water alone in a full pot would be about 200 pounds). It does not appear Jesus intended for the servants to carry these pots away, dump them, refill them, and then carry them back. They are far too heavy for this, especially when filled with water. The disciples were puzzled.  Mary told them, "Do whatever he tells you."  They did as he instructed and low and behold, the barrels were full of the best wine.  Dr Elko's moral of this story, "just carry the water until it becomes wine!"  We can all apply this simple story to things in our lives, especially in our prayer life.  Just because you pray and God doesn't immediately answer. It doesn't mean the answer is "NO".  The answer may be "WAIT ON ME"..."carry the water until it becomes wine!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Share the Gospel by Meeting Practical Needs

Share the Gospel by Meeting Practical Needs
(by Joyce Meyer - Promises for Your Everyday Life)

I once heard a story about an evangelist in Russia, who was walking around telling people, "Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you." He was handing out Gospel tracts, and one lady said, "You know what? Your sermon and Gospel tract isn't going to fill my belly." See, sometimes we need to show people God's love by meeting their physical needs and then we can share the Gospel of Christ.

Jesus spoke about the importance of meeting people's physical needs. In Matthew, He said that when we feed the hungry, or give water to the thirsty, or clothe the needy, or care for the sick, it's like we're doing those things for Him. He showed us how helping someone in a practical way can create a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with someone.

When someone can see God's love in action in a real way in their own life, it is much easier for them to believe our message that God loves them.

So what does this look like practically? It could start with something small, like giving a hug to someone nearby who feels unloved. From there, you could go on to support ministries that help the sick, thirsty and hungry. Maybe you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or outreach in your community or take a mission trip to serve the needy in another country. The possibilities are endless when you make a decision to serve others not only through words, but also through practical action.

Pray this prayer: Lord, I want to put action behind my words. Show me how I can practically help the people You bring across my path so they can experience the power of Your love.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


(by Perry Noble)

#1 - A leader cannot effectively lead people that he does not love.  

#2 - A leader cannot effectively lead people that he does not listen to.  

#3 - A leader cannot effectively lead people that he does not always assume the best about.  

#4 - A leader cannot effectively lead people that he secretly hopes that they fear him.  

#5 - A leader cannot effectively lead people that he does not take the time to explain things to.  

#6 - A leader cannot effectively lead people when he assumes that he is the smartest person in the room.  

#7 - A leader cannot effectively lead people when his goal is to use people rather than help them.  

#8 - A leader cannot effectively lead people when he secretly wishes he wasn't a part of the organization he is leading!  

#9 - A leader cannot effectively lead people when he is not dedicated to increasing his own capacity.  

#10 - A leader cannot effectively lead people when he isn't willing to be honest about his own limitations and struggles.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Living a Life of Blessing

Living a Life of Blessing
(Promises for Your Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer)
I believe that one of the greatest opportunities we have as Christians is to make a profound difference in the lives of others. Throughout my life of ministry, God has given me the opportunity to help many people who need guidance.

But I don't believe this is a special opportunity that God made just for me. Everyone, you included, has the ability to influence someone. When you take the time to reach out to others and invest in someone's life, you are impacting the world...yours and theirs.

Galatians 6:10 tells us to "be mindful to be a blessing" to everyone God brings across our path. We are called to be a blessing and build up others in their faith, to not be afraid to reach out and to speak the truth in love.

I don't believe God wants us to be mere spectators in life. He wants us to be people who really love others and care enough to be willing to pour into their lives. We need to build up others in Jesus' name so they can grow and reach even more people.

Whether you know it or not, someone's watching and looking up to you. People are influenced by the way you live and they need to see God's love in your everyday actions.

At times we'll make mistakes, and when we do we can thank God for His forgiveness, but we also have to realize that many times we may be the only evidence of God some people see.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Dignity of Man

The Dignity of Man
(Two Minute Drills: Game Plan for Life by Coach Joe Gibbs)

Do you ever go through seasons when you just don't feel like your life counts for very much? Everything seems about as pointless as a first-quarter NBA score in November. People treat you with less interest than a flight attendant's lecture on oxygen masks and exit doors.

But what's easy to forget at times like these is that your value is not something other people can assign to you. They don't get to grade this. You have been given great worth by your Creator. Your significance is inborn.
Think of the dignity you possess, merely by being a product of God's design. You're able to reason and make choices. You can appreciate beauty and feel emotion. You have the ability within your reach to bless others, to extend your influence and impact into another person's life.

You have even been given the privilege of communicating with your heavenly Father—a right he wasn't obligated to offer you, but one he freely extends because of his rich, abiding love for you. Everything about you has been "woven together" in his all-wise mind and heart. Each day of your life has been "written" down by the one who made you. (Psalm 139:15-16). That's how valuable you are to him.

Instead of being bombarded by all the ways life has mistreated you or what a mess you've made, make this a day to celebrate what God has invested in you. You are worth far more than you realize.
Pray this prayer: I do get down on myself a lot, Lord. I have a hard time imagining that you love me. Would you remind me today? I could really use that. 

Listen To Mom

 The group known as "Worldwide Mom's National Day of Prayer" is holding their Blanketing Our Nation In Prayer event on January 19th, 2013.

 Led by founder Kathy J. Coleman, mothers will gather together on the East Capitol Grounds of the nation's capitol from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to pray for the leaders, families and children of all 50 U.S. states. 

 This will be the first time WMNDP has held an event in Washington, DC.

Attendance for "Blanketing Our Nation in Prayer" is limited due to Capitol Grounds and National Parks regulations. Women interested in participating should contact Worldwide Mom's Day of Prayer for reservations, (479) 452-6215

Thursday, January 10, 2013

When It's OK To Say "No"

When It's OK To Say "No"
(Joyce Meyer - Promises for Your Everyday Life)

In Numbers 11, Moses gives us an example of what we can do when we're under stress. Talk about pressure, he was leading the Israelites through the wilderness on what should have been an eleven-day trip and instead ended up taking forty years!

The people were depressed and weeping over their situation. In verse 14, Moses tells God, "I am not able to carry all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me."

Like Moses, it's okay for us to say, "I've reached my limit." Yes, scripture says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13 NKJV), but that's really referring to times when we face various trials and situations that God will help us through.

It doesn't mean we should take on so many responsibilities that we completely burn out, like the woman who is raising five kids, works full-time, serves on the church board, etc.

Sometimes, it's all just too much...and it's okay to admit that. It's also okay to say "no" to some things so you can really enjoy life the way God intended.

Here's a newsflash: You and I don't have to be like everyone else or keep up with anyone else. God created some people to handle large amounts of work, but many people aren't made this way.

Each of us needs to be who God created us to be, and we don't have to apologize for it. We each need to individually find the balance of responsibility God has established for us to live in so we can enjoy our life, instead of making ourselves sick with an overload of stress and pressure.

When you reach your limit, go to God, just like Moses did. He will help you find a saner, healthier lifestyle.

(Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors? 

Prayer Starter: God, sometimes it's hard for me to slow down and say no to more responsibility. Help me to live with the balance of responsibility You created for me, so I can live with Your peace and enjoy life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

MOTION Night Tonight

WHAT: Motion Students Night (8th grade - College)


WHERE: Church of the Highlands - Main Campus - Birmingham, AL

- Pre-Service Connect: 6:00pm
- Doors Open: 6:50pm
- Service: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
- Leader’s Reception (Optional): 8:30pm – 9:00pm
- Featuring speaker Mark Pettus of Church of the Highlands, Har Megiddo, Highlands Worship, & more!
mark pettus

(In Montgomery, call (334) 262-1806 for more info on times or call the main campus in Birmingham at (205) 980-5577)
 In a story reported by way back in August of 2010, a lone gunman had left his home with two loaded handguns, drove to a school where his brother is a janitor, and waited for an opportunity to be buzzed inside. 

 The actions of an armed black female officer certainly saved many young lives, and others as well. Below is a few parts of the article which can be seen HERE.  

 -Cowan trained a .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol at Riden’s face, said Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson. Carolyn Gudger, the school resource officer, drew her gun, then shielded the principal’s body with her own.

 -Sullivan County dispatch sent out a chilling alert: “Man with a gun at Central High School.”

 -With the announcement, teachers sprang into action – locking doors and papering over windows, turning off the lights and closing window blinds. Students huddled in the corners of classrooms, sitting in the darkness and searching for information with a storm of text messages.

The questions I have are these. 
Why has this story never made the national headlines? 
Why wasn't this example set by a brave lady used as a model for the safety of our children? 
Could the adoption of having trained armed personnel guarding our schools prevented the atrocity of Sandy Hook?  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Boundaries Have a Purpose!

Boundaries Have a Purpose!
(Joyce Meyer - Promises For Your Everyday Life)

Exercising self-control and self-discipline, and establishing boundaries and borders in our life are some of the most important things we can do. A life that has no discipline is one that's filled with carelessness.

The Word of God establishes the necessary boundaries to keep us in God's safety zone. It tells us what we can do, and what we better not do, to be safe.

As Christians we can think it's kind of exciting to live life on the edge. We like the image of "Yeah! That's me! Living on the edge!" It's become a popular way of looking at life. But to be honest, God doesn't want us living on the edge, because if we're living on the edge, then we have no margin for error.

Highways have lines, one on each side and one in the center. These lines provide margins for our safety while we're driving. If we go over the line on one side, we'll go into the ditch. If we cross over the line in the middle, we could get killed. We like those lines because they help keep us safe.

It's like that in our personal lives, too. When we have boundaries, borders, and margins, we feel much better and experience God's peace.

The key is to go to God's Word, where He has laid out all the boundaries we need to live by. Let God direct your path every day.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just Pray No!

 If you know of someone who needs help, but has not reached out to you for that help, here is something you can do. The "Just Pray No" group is having a prayer and fasting weekend for all of those who need help, and the ones who want to help.

 The weekend of April 6 - 7, 2013 has been designated as the 23rd Annual "Just Pray NO!" to drugs Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting. Since April 7th, 1991 "Just Pray NO!" has united millions of Christians from 150 nations and territories around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families.

Contact: Steven L. Sherman, 727-647-6467,

 You can read the entire article by clicking HERE.

Brandon Heath - I'm Not Who I Was

Josh Wilson - Savior, Please

Newsboys - God's Not Dead

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Students Making a Difference

 On January 3rd, 2013 Christian News Wire reported the release of the new book titled Courageous: Students Abolishing Abortion in This Lifetime. You can read the entire report HERE.

"It is the stories of this pro-life generation that will make Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry shake in their boots," said Kristan Hawkins, author of Courageous and President of Students for Life. "Yet their stories, which are real and messy, won't make the news headlines. However, they must be told because it will be their stories that inspire and encourage others to join the cause of abolish abortion in this lifetime."

 We urge you to read the book, or watch the webcast, especially if you are a young single adult.

GOD Bless.