No Compromise

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I read an article in CBN News and I have to share it with you, as a warning, and for encouragement to finish the race that is laid out before us.

A United Methodist Church pastor has caused controversy after stating that Christians can support the marital union of homosexuals without betraying the word of God.”

All of the alarm bells are going off! Wake up, wake up, wake up!

Choose this day who you will serve (Joshua 25:15). You can not, as Christians, support something that is clearly against Gods Word without betraying the Word of God. It is NOT possible!

Hamilton believes United Methodist churches must come together now and rediscover the faith that unites them. He does, however, believe that individual church parishes should be allowed to determine where they stand on this most sensitive theological issue. So, he helped set up the group “Uniting Methodists” to encourage local churches to claim autonomy over these pastoral matters.” Let us not fool ourselves, as Hamilton is greatly deceived, the autonomy he seeks is a separation from Truth.

Bottom line… you are for God or you are not. There is no middle ground and no compromise. All or Nothing, Hot or Cold, Life or Death, For or Against… 

We are to be a light in the world; not bring the world into the church. It is love to speak truth and  it is love to care for souls; even to the point of death. The world is lost, they are dying and facing eternal death, and we will be held accountable if we withhold truth.

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I was compelled to write to you [urgently] appealing that you fight strenuously for [the defense of] the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith that is the sum of Christian belief that was given verbally to believers]. For certain people have crept in unnoticed [just as if they were sneaking in by a side door]. They are ungodly persons whose condemnation was predicted long ago, for they distort the grace of our God into decadence and immoral freedom [viewing it as an opportunity to do whatever they want], and deny and disown our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 3-4)

Jesus said, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error] For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many.” And He also said, “At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold.” See Matthew 24)

And the Lord said, “The outcry [of the sin] of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see whether they have acted [as vilely and wickedly] as the outcry which has come to Me [indicates]; and if not, I will know.” (See Genesis 18)

I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that city [since it rejected the Messiah’s messenger]. (Matthew 10:15)

Stay alert! Stay awake! Do not be deceived!

Be Free & Stay Free

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2018/august/megachurch-pastor-claims-christians-can-support-gay-marriage-without-betraying-god

When God Says GO!

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Have you ever argued with God about something He asked you to do? I mean, has God ever asked you to do something that would require complete trust and faith in Him, and you were afraid because you felt insignificant, so you question if He was really speaking to you?

Yea, I think anyone who has asked God to use them is surprised when He does, especially the first time. I know I was.

Years ago, I had a dear friend who had a ministry for people just out of prison. She loved the Lord and she wanted to love people into His Kingdom.

One day I get a call from her. “Stacey, I got this guy and he is going to be going back to his hometown soon and he needs to get saved. Come over here and get him saved!”

I love this woman. Her and I are very much alike. It’s all about Jesus! Nothing else matters.

So I throw on my super hero evangelist cape, hop in my car, and bee-line right over. Oh, the zeal!

I met them in one of her houses she was renovating for ministry. Inside was covered with drop cloths, paint, and ladders. She made the introductions and it didn’t take long for me to realize he wasn’t expecting me. Yes, my friend put us both on the spot (or was it God?).

I break the ice with him and talk about the things in the natural, asked him questions about himself, like how did he end up in prison, you know, the obvious ice breakers.

Poor guy, there was no escaping this encounter; he was blocked in by two women who were determined that this was the day of his salvation.

Transitioning from the natural, I questioned him about his beliefs in God. Then I shared my testimony with him and how I met Jesus and He changed my life.

Pause here for a moment. I want you to know something. You know all the stuff (sin) you have done before you met Jesus? All the injuries and the shame that came with it? My friend, you no longer have to be ashamed. When you accepted Jesus you became a new creation. While we are no longer the same person we were, the experience of our past can be a treasure chest for souls. There are parts of my story that I only share on a “need to know” basis. We need to be real and honest when we share Christ. If He saved me, He can save you. No one is beyond His reach.

People need to know Christ died for us while we were still sinners, to reconcile us to the Father, and only through Him are we free from the bondage of our past.

Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].  For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2

As I was sharing the Gospel with him, I could feel God’s love for him, and I knew this was a Holy Spirit orchestrated meeting.

The guy asked me how he can be saved. I told him to confess, repent, and receive Jesus.

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I asked him if he was ready to receive Jesus.

“Yes!” He answered.

The reverent simplicity of a prayer from a contrite heart reaches the ear and heart of God. We celebrate with hugs and tears, then after giving him instructions on his first steps in his new life, I say my good byes.

But God wasn’t done yet!

As I am preparing to leave Holy Spirit speaks to me.

“He needs the Baptism of Holy Spirit.”

Now, I have never laid hands on anyone to receive the Baptism of Holy Spirit before. Although I have wanted to, I was too afraid. What if God didn’t show up? It would be a big let down. To be honest, I didn’t think God would use someone like me, there were far more qualified people.

So there I am, in my mind, arguing with God and He didn’t budge.

Do you know what courage is? It is being afraid and stepping out anyway. Thank God for His courage in us.

I turn around and say, “Look, you are about to go home a new man and you will be faced with old temptations. You need power to be a witness of Gods grace to your wife, family, and friends. You are not the same man they used to know. Do you want this power?”

“Yes!” He said.

“I’m going to pray for you.” I said. “His Holy Spirit is going to come upon you and fill you. I want you to lift your hands, open your mouth and begin to speak.”

I barely had my hand on his shoulder and I don’t think more than a sentence came out of my mouth, when the Holy Spirit fell on him so mighty, he began to praise God in baptismHOLYSPIRIT2heavenly tongue.

As this was happening, him praising God, my friend praising God, me standing there with my mouth hanging open in complete awe, a certain male minister came in the door. This minister comes from a denomination that does not believe God can use women in ministry, especially to men. Let me tell ya, this minister walked in the door just in time to catch the guy falling out under the power of the Holy Spirit.

There were some lessons to be learned that day.

A man out of prison learned about God’s great love and met Jesus.

Another man learned God can use anyone He chooses.

And me? I learned it’s not about me. It’s all about Him. And when He say’s go, then go! Because He is already there.

Be Free & Stay Free

Count it all JOY

Does it ever feel like things are not going the way you think they should? I mean, you are trying to do everything right and be a person of integrity, but it seems the Godless people are flourishing?

Yea, I had a few minutes pity party for myself today.

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It only took a minute for me to remember…

“If the world hates you [and it does], know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you belonged to the world, the world would love [you as] its own and would treat you with affection. But you are not of the world [you no longer belong to it], but I have chosen you out of the world. And because of this the world hates you.” John 15:18-19

Thank You, Holy Spirit, for the reminder.

 

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Be Free & Stay Free 

It’s a mission field out there!

I wish I had something profound or witty to write.

I sit at my laptop and stare…

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…and still nothing.

  It is not that I don’t have thoughts, but I am finding it difficult to convey them. Perhaps the thoughts are meant for me alone? Maybe God is showing me something and I need to wait for Him to take me deeper than the surface.

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I have prayed for God to give me a burden for prayer. You know, for intercession, to actually desire to enter into His throne room and intercede for people, our nation, my children, and my neighborhood. I am in need of revival.

Thoughts are just thoughts until we put them into action. I realize my thoughts have become quite selfish and they are spilling over into my prayers. It has somehow become all about me. How did that happen?

We are living in a time when we can no longer afford to slumber or wait until “the time is right.”  Our world is imploding. People are eating each other with hatred, fear, cynicism, and paranoia.  You only have to look at your FaceBook feed to know this is true.

Young girls are crying out for validation; selfie after selfie, screaming look at me, notice me, love me! Women are more focused on finding a man than knowing Jesus. Our men are falling, becoming hard, confused, and distant. The youth are running amuck and undisciplined. The church is remaining silent on issues of the heart. Yes, it is a heart issue.  black heart

Yesterday I saw an upsetting display of hatred coming from neighborhood children no older than 10 years of age. One of the little boys was yelling racial slurs to two young guys walking down the opposite side of the street. The little boy chased down the street yelling at them and picked something up to throw at them.  I put on my mothers best voice and yelled across the street from our balcony to the little boy  that he better knock it off and go home before I tell his mother.  Thankfully his mother heard the commotion and yelled for him to get his “you know what” home.  Children are not born with this hatred. It is a learned disease, from home or school.

Now, tell me we don’t have a mission field right outside our back yard!

We kid ourselves if we think this is not a spiritual battle. Hostility, hatred and fear fill our streets, airwaves, social media, and homes.

We can speak as eloquent as we want, give the best motivational speech and fill our altars and pack our pews, but if we are not making disciples of Christ we are only creating false converts. We can be 100% PC, never offend anyone, and have friends and likes by the thousands, but if we are not speaking His truth and loving, then we are nothing more than salt to be thrown on a dung hill.

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Sigh, there are so many distractions and attacks. That ol’ devil has us believing we can’t do anything. But God says…

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Philippians 4:13

So, no, I don’t have anything witty or profound to say, just some thoughts that have been weighing on me.

Will you please agree with me in prayer.

God, You have entrusted me with the pen. Help me to write what You say.  My creativity is running low and so is my energy. You have planted me in the center of a mission field, though it is uncomfortable, Holy Spirit I am willing to be outside of my comfort zone if the Father be glorified.

Holy Spirit, stir us to a place of repentance and action so we will rise up and be Your church. Give courage to the fearful, strength to the weak, and a Holy boldness to the introverts. Take control of our mouths and let only Your words come from our lips. Give us new eyes and a new heart so we can see the lost as You see them, someone worth dying for.

Forgive us for our apathy, let us be broken before You so You will build us up. We call Your remanent to come forth, we ask for a fresh infilling of Your Spirit, we speak to things that are not and we know they are, because You said so. We call Your sons and daughters home. Let us not be comfortable where we are, but to be content in where You have placed us, knowing it is for purpose and for Your glory.

Pour out Your Spirit of intercession so we can be Your church, Your body, Your voice. We want to see the lame walk, the blind see, and the dry bones come alive. Let Your love shine through us so we may pierce the darkness that engulfs our nation(s). Revive us, God!

We can do this only through and with You. Lead us and we will follow.

In Jesus Name, the Name above ALL names!

Amen. So be it!

Be Free & Stay Free 

Secure in Father’s House

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I do not live in Mayberry or Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, but I still like my neighborhood. I have only lived here for a short while, but I have gotten to know some of the neighbors and people and businesses close by.  As an extrovert I tend to say hello, good morning, or good evening to nearly everyone I come in contact with.

stick girl and dogBecause I have a little dog who loves to be walked I get the opportunity to be out and about the neighborhood several times a day. My little buddy is a people person and he loves to meet new people, too. Actually, I think he just enjoys all the extra attention, In fact, because of him I have made new friends with other women who walk their dogs.  Dog people are friendly people… just sayin’

Everyone knows JJ (that’s my lil’ buddy’s name). Most of the people I meet are friendly and harmless. Some are lonely and just need to talk to someone. For some reason a little dog helps to break barriers and people are more inclined to open up and tell you all about themselves. I like people, so I will smile and listen and try to leave them with an encouraging word.

But then there are people who are not good people. I am sure I do not have to draw a word picture for you to understand what I am saying. We have to use wisdom and practice boundaries for our own safety. Sometimes it is best to just cross the street and walk in the opposite direction.

I grew up in a big city, but I now live in a smaller city. Being a city dweller I am well aware of precautions and safety measures we have to take. For example, while it may be fine to say “good morning” to a neighbor, it is not wise to bring a stranger into your home.  While I do not live in fear and paranoia, I do lock my doors. If someone knocks on my door I will not just open the door without first knowing who it is. There are some people that I do know and I still would not just open my door or invite them in.

I may share the same zip code as my neighbors, but I do not share the same address.

When my children were small I was even more careful. I took great care to be sure they were safe. I allowed no one into my home who could harm them, be a bad influence on them, or steal from us. As a parent it was my responsibility to be sure my children were safe. And I am just a mere woman. No matter how good of a parent I am, God is a greater Father.  Which brings me to the point of this post…

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If you try to enter a home uninvited… you are a trespasser.

If you do not know the owner of the home… you are a stranger.

If you mean harm against the family in the home… you are a criminal.

If the Judge finds you guilty and throws you in prison… He is just.

There is a half truth circulating that is meant to deceive and to kill you. We all know what a half truth is… it is a lie.  This is how the deceiver tricks you. He tells you a half truth and because you do not know the full truth you will believe it, because it sounds familiar.

Does this sound familiar to you?

“God is love, we are all His children and He would never send anyone to hell. If you believe in God you will go to heaven. It doesn’t matter how you live, He understands.”

This is a very dangerous deception!

Here is the truth…

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Yes! God loves you. He loves all of us, saint and sinner.  If you believe in God then good, even Satan believes in God, but Satan isn’t going to heaven. Satan was thrown down from heaven and a place called hell was created just for him and his followers.

And it does matter how you live! If it didn’t matter then He would not have told us to repent. Of course He understands, that is why He died on the cross for us. Just as He gave His life for us so we may live, we must give our life so we can be born again and live for Him. It is through rebirth we become heirs with Jesus and we are adopted into His family as sons and daughters. His death and resurrection has reconciled us back to the Father and now all that He has is ours. We share in the inheritance of eternal life.

It is only through faith in Jesus Christ we are saved. It is not by being a really good person. There are many “good” people and old grandmothers going to hell. Not because God doesn’t love them or because He is unfair. But because they have chosen to deny Jesus and refuse the free gift of salvation. They are guilty and the penalty for their guilt (sin) is death (hell) and this is a just judgement.

There are many people in prison right now, maybe even on death row, and ex-cons, drop-outs, wash-ups, thieves, unwed mothers, you know… people who would clear a sidewalk; who will be accepted into heaven.  Don’t believe me? Remember the thief on the cross?

No matter how much you think you know… you better know Jesus.

I don’t write this to condemn anyone. Rather, I hope this challenges you to pause and ask yourself, do I know Him? Does He know me?

We all have our struggles. Trust me… no, don’t take my word for it, take His word for it.

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me[following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

No matter where you are, you do not have to stay there. You want peace of mind? Then know you can’t save yourself, no one else can save you either, only He can. No matter how far you have fallen, you can still come home to Jesus.

He is a place of refuge for those who call on Him. He is a good Father and He is preparing a place for you and He will come back and collect His children.

Home with Him is a safe place to be. You have no need to fear. Just as a good father here on earth will not let anything in the home to cause his children harm, you better believe God is even greater!

The next time you hear someone preach salvation without repentance… run from them!

Your best life is not now, your choices do matter, you matter,

If you are truly His then your character will become like His, the fruit of His Spirit in you will be evident. The things you used to do will no longer be appealing to you, because quite simply…. you are dead to the old you and alive in Christ.  With God this is possible.

Listen! We are all HIs creation, but we are not all His children. Many are called, but few are chosen.

If you want to know peace, then you better know Jesus.

Call on Him now while He may still be found.

If you have any questions, or if you want to follow Jesus and just don’t know what the next step is, then contact me or leave a comment and I will be happy to introduce you to Him.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

 

Safe in the Storm

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I cling to the cross when the storms roll in and the dark clouds try to distort my vision. The work Christ did and completed on the cross is my anchor.

When the waves tempt me to row in the opposite direction, Jesus calls me to the stern and He tells me to rest.

I have no need to fear when the One who created heaven and earth and speaks to every storm (even the waves obey Him) holds me in the palm of His hand.

My eyes do not have to see what my faith believes.

He is andI find my being.

Be Free & Stay Free 

 

 

Higher Calling

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This morning I was challenged through a devotional by Oswald Chambers. The title of this day’s devotion was: Is He Really My Lord? How is that for a point blank question? It is definitely a call for introspection, isn’t it?

Oswald goes on to say; “Have you received a ministry from the Lord? If so, you must be faithful to it- to consider your life valuable only for the purpose of fulfilling that ministry. Knowing that you have done what Jesus sent you to do, think how satisfying it will be to hear Him say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” … He is not offering us a choice of how we can serve Him; He is asking for absolute loyalty to His commission, a faithfulness to what we discern when we are in the closest possible fellowship with God. If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is not the same as the call- the need is the opportunity to exercise the call. The call is to be faithful to the ministry you received when you were in true fellowship with Him.”

Did you read what I read? Do you hear what I heard?

This is a challenge to quit with the excuses, whatever that excuse may be; and sometimes the excuses can seem so innocent and legit… but they are just excuses.

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In these final hours, the devil knows his time is short. He is an expert at what he does, he has been doing it for thousands of years. 1 Peter says it like this, that ENEMY of yours, the devil, prowls around LIKE a roaring lion, fiercely hungry, seeking someone to devour. How do we defeat him?

Be sober minded,well balanced,self disciplined,be alert and cautious at ALL times

But, how do we do this? I mean really? We can’t do it on our own. This is how: we STAY close to Him! We cast all our cares, our worries, our anxieties, once and for all on Him, because He cares about us with deepest affection and watches over us very carefully.

It is easy to get side tracked, distracted, remember… the devil is a master con-artist.

We look at the world and it is easy to see how the devil is moving. Just 2 minutes going through your facebook newsfeed will show you the devil’s handi-work. But, in your personal lives, do you see it? Do you recognize the attacks? The subtle roadblocks he sets up?

You may think you are just one person and what does it really matter in the whole scheme of things. But, let me tell you, you matter! God has called you for a purpose. You heard the saying a chain is only as strong as the weakest link? My friend, you are not weak! God has given you an arsenal to defeat the enemy and to make an impact for His Kingdom. You may have got off the path, you lost sight of the vision, the enemy has filled you with doubt, fear, and unbelief; he has hit you in your finances, your relationships, your health, and your mind. He has you believing that you are a failure and unworthy and you look in the mirror and you see a hypocrite. STOP IT! This is not how God sees you! Humble yourself, because it is not about you, it is what Jesus has already done.

What has God called you to do? What dream has He given you?

Does it seem too big? Then good! Because He is big and He has called you for a greater purpose and He promised to never leave you and that He will finish what He has started in you. He said to not be afraid, so to be afraid is to align yourself with the enemy. Partner with God. Be of courage. Be of faith. Believe!

To know what you should be doing and not do it, is sin. Repent! Turn to Him and believe. Trust Him! One step at a time, in faith, will move a mountain. To sit still in fear is to be dinner for the “lion wannabe.”

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Finish your race with joy, and the ministry which you received from the Lord Jesus.. Acts 20:24