Plentiful

 

harvest field

 

Matthew 9: 36-38  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Eastside Mission had it’s kick-off community block party outreach yesterday.  I must say it was absolutely amazing to be back on the streets after 8 months of “being still” and waiting on God.  During the 8 months God was growing, stretching and preparing us as He was about to expand our borders.  After 4 years of inner city street ministry on Main Street in Hamilton we thought God had really given us a HUGE mission field.  Now, reflecting back we realize that was our time of preparation.  

Back to yesterday, we had all kinds of fun activities for our introduction into the neighborhood. Pastor Felix and I spent the time by getting to know our neighbors, meeting their families and talking about their needs and the community needs.  At one point, I remember standing a midst all the busyness of serving and lovin’ on people I had a count of 175 people that we were blessed to serve this day.  We have approximately 1700 people within immediate radius, we passed out 560 total flyers and served 175 men, women and children.   As I’m standing there and process all of the conversations I was having, watching the kids playing I am feeling overwhelmed with all the needs.  Trust me, the needs in this area are many!  As we suspected there is a lot of heroin and addicted mommies and daddies.  Many generations living together in small houses and not being able to make the ends meet.  

For some time leading up to the kick-off and even more today we have been posting pictures, sharing needs, asking for volunteers and I’m starting to feel myself getting stressed about how in the world are we going to accomplish this.  This is 4x what we did and served over on Main Street.  God what in the world are you thinking?  So as I’m starting into that familiar tailspin I pick up my bible and I start reading about Jesus going into a city and Him telling the disciples that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.  Man God is so awesome 2,000 years ago He knew that there would be a great need for workers in the harvest field.  God knows we are facing many needs financial, volunteers, supplies, etc. but God ALSO knows that the laborers are few; therefore, as He is guiding me in His word to ask Him to send out workers into His harvest field.  Because bottom line – He has given Pastor Felix and I the charge of stewardship over this mission and building His church among these un-reached people and whether He sends us 2 or 20 we are going to praise Him, serve others and glorify our God as we pray for God to send the laborers.  Won’t you take a minute and join us in praying for this harvest field and the workers to serve in it!!  God might also be calling you to take a step out, he may be calling you to step outside of the church you are comfortable in with the friends and family you love and do some water walking!

Praise Him!!

Strongholds – The devil never wins unless you don’t fight!

 

I grew up in an independent Baptist church, I learned all the Sunday School Characters, the children’s choir songs and shame.  Yes, I said shame.  Although, I was in church from the time I was 5 years old throughout my life I was testing the waters of the world.  I felt the rules and regulations that were being expected of me were way too much for me to ever obtain so I thought, why bother.

 

I remember sitting in the hallway at my childhood home and fighting with my dad insistently saying I don’t want to go to church tonight.  It’s too cold to put on a dress; I’ve got homework, etc. etc.  The excuses were numerous.

 

At the age of 16 I decided that I knew what was best for my life and I ran away from home and got married.  Oh yeah, wow, there is freedom in that statement for me.  You see, I lived so many years of my life chasing the pleasures of this world only to be left with guilt and shame.  So over the course of my young life I learned how to hide many things in secret places so that no one would know about my sins.  No one would know about all of the partying; drinking and drugging and must I add the many men.

 

Later in years when I married a good man and came to Christ and I learned to hide and pretend that I had this wonderful perfect life so I hid this secret shameful life that no one must know about.  After all, my new husband was a preacher and if people really knew what kind of life his wife had years before who knew what kind of damage that could do to him and damage it did do.  To make a long painful story short, my amazing God lovin’ husband was told that because of my past that He could never be in ministry other than driving the church Sunday school bus.  Wow!  I did that to him.  I ruined his life, or so I thought.

 

Many many years down the road I was growing closer to my Jesus and falling deeply in love with His heart and learning what He is really all about.   Here’s one lesson I have learned from this time in my life.  In Matthew 12:43-45 we read about satan seeking a stronghold.  I was allowing the enemy to come into my Jesus cleaned life by keeping my past a secret because of all of the guilt and shame that I felt and I allowed the enemy to gain a foothold into my life.  I learned that whatever you hide in the dark Satan will use it to harm you; however, you must expose it to the light to allow God to heal it and remove it.

 

I learned the impactful meaning of John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  Listen friends what strongholds does the enemy have hanging over your head?  I encourage you to take some alone time with our wonderful merciful creator and sustainer and take him into those secret places that have become a stronghold that if left alone the enemy will destroy us with.

 

Two and a half years ago, I stood in our café with a packed house and with God’s voice saying in my ear; it’s time my child.  I have come to set you free.  I grabbed that microphone and gave my testimony.  And one link at a time the chains that had held me for over 20 years came clanging to the ground.  That day I learned that Jesus’ blood is enough!  His precious blood that He shed for me is enough to cover absolutely anything I have ever done.  There is power in the blood, there is freedom in the blood, and there is salvation in HIS blood!

 

Sisters, let me encourage you today that if you have anything holding you back from becoming the woman God created you to be, I encourage you at this time to take it to the cross and allow those chains to be broken.  It’s time to deal with the things that are in our lives that keeps the river of living waters from flowing in and out of our life!  Be encouraged.

 

Praise Him!

fervent-prayer

Abide in Jesus

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I pray that as you read this blog that the Holy Spirit will make truth real to your heart. I have heard and seen many Christians struggle with the perception of negative, defeated, useless, helpless lives.  I can recognize it quickly in someone because for a very long time I lived that way.  I walked in what I thought was the way; however, I never really seemed to grasp the truth.

If we are a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ He dwells inside of us via the Holy Spirit.  Our part is active, we are not only to recognize this power within us but we are to abide in it.  Abiding is active; abiding is our daily choice and responsibility.  Abiding means to endure without yielding, withstand, bear patiently, tolerate, and ACCEPT WITHOUT OBJECTION.  That one seems to be the toughest one when it comes to abiding.  It means we give up our wants, our desires and taken on His.  We lay the “I” down and become “in Him”.

When Jesus ascended back to Heaven He left us here to not only tell people about Him but to show people Him by allowing God to conform us into His image.  This is not an easy process and quite frankly I don’t know who jumps for joy when going through trials, tribulations and temptations; however, this is how God chooses to purify us and mold us into the image of Jesus Christ.  God takes us into ourselves through these times of testing and trials to reveal and confront the condition of our heart to rid us of ourselves.  

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we die to our “old” self and put on the “new”, Jesus Christ.  We leave our old life, habits, people, places & playgrounds behind to take on our new life and our relationships with God.  John said, “I must decrease so that He must increase”. This is still true for us today.  We have got to empty ourselves of us.  Check this friends, the same Holy Spirit that led Jesus Christ to the cross will lead us to our cross being the everyday sufferings and rejections. Submit yourself to God, allow Him to perfect His will in your life, to accomplish the purpose for which you were created.

We have to understand the truth in the holy scriptures.  God wrote us a book, we have got to pick it up, pour ourselves into it and allow Him to work in us.  When we are attacked we need to understand that Jesus Christ serves as a hedge of protection around us and in order for Satan to get at us he’s got to go through Jesus Christ, just read the 1st two chapters of Job.  

1 Corinthians 10:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

What does this verse say to you?  It tells me that God always ALWAYS provides us with an escape.  Get that, know that truth.  Also, know that any attack on us is also on Jesus and He protects, defends and supplies all of our needs.

Next, check out Ephesians 1:20-22 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.

So we see that Jesus Christ is exalted above ALL spiritual realms.  

Ephesians 2:6 New Living Translation (NLT) 

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

This portion of scripture tells us that we are united with Christ, we are in Jesus Christ and as believers we are positioned spiritually higher than our enemy, Satan.  So when we come against these attacks we fight with more superiority than the enemy does.  We have the advantage and we always have a way of escape.  So no more self-pity, no more saying the devil made me do it.  We have a choice.  A choice to abide in Jesus Christ.  A choice for escape.  A choice to claim the victory that Jesus Christ has already won.  Wow!  What hope!!!

Live today with the hope of what Jesus’ shed blood means to us and how important the blood is and how important we are to God because of it.  Recognize it, stand on it, claim it and realize that we are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ.

Praise Him!!