Sunday, May 26, 2013

DONATING: TRUTH OR FRAUD??

THINK BEFORE YOU DONATE
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS:
As you open your pockets to do a good thing and make yourself feel good, please keep the following facts in mind:
The American Red Cross
President and CEO Marsha J. Evans'
salary for the year was $651,957 plus expenses
MARCH OF DIMES
It is called the March of Dimes because
only a dime for every 1 dollar is given to the needy.
The United Way
President Brian Gallagher
receives a $375,000 base salary along with numerous expense benefits.
UNICEF
CEO Caryl M. Stern receives
$1,200,000 per year (100k per month) plus all expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE.
Less than 5 cents of your donated dollar goes to the cause.
GOODWILLCEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year.
Goodwill is a very catchy name for his business.
You donate to his business and then he sells the items for PROFIT. 
He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage! Nice Guy. 
$0.00 goes to help anyone!
Stop giving to this man.
Instead, give it to ANY OF THE FOLLOWING
GO "GREEN" AND PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE IT WILL DO SOME GOOD:
The Salvation Army
Commissioner, Todd Bassett receives a small salary of only
$13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.
96 percent of donated dollars go to the cause.
The American Legion
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
The Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
The Disabled American Veterans
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
The Military Order of Purple Hearts
National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
The Vietnam Veterans Association National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!
Make a Wish:  For children's last wishes.
100% goes to funding trips or special wishes for a dying child.
St. Jude Research Hospital
100% goes towards funding and helping Children with Cancer who have no insurance and cannot afford to pay.
Ronald McDonald Houses
All monies go to running the houses for parents who have critical Children in the hospital.
100% goes to housing, and feeding the families.
Lions Club International
100% OF DONATIONS GO TO HELP THE BLIND,BUY HEARING AIDES, SUPPORT MEDICAL MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD. THEIR LATEST UNDERTAKING
IS MEASLES VACCINATIONS (ONLY $1.00 PER SHOT).

Please share this with everyone you can.
 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

There are too many instances, I believe, when we as individuals for whatever our reasons may be, look to someone else to direct us, someone else to validate us, someone else to tell us what is the right thing to do. And there are some very few times when that is exactly the right thing to do - seek counsel from others, and yet to not make our own choices, our own decisions gives us a false sense of freedom.  I say a false sense of freedom, because we ultimately have the idea that we are not accountable since we followed someone else's dictates and I say false, because we each will give an account of ourselves before the Lord one day and no matter where the decision came from we will be held accountable for our actions.

With that in mind, and since we must in fact live with the consequences of every decision and action we take, it makes far more sense to actually hold ourselves accountable to think through and then make as wise a decision in all instances as our hearts can manage.  Right or even if it turns out wrong, God will be pleased that we have held ourselves in account - AS LONG AS OUR INTENTION HAS NOT BEEN EVIL.

This is a hard thought and concept for most to grasp, for we cannot help but look at the actual behavior of the flesh.  Intentions are difficult to discern due to our own set of experiences and emotions and thoughts.  God looks on the heart, not the flesh.  God is the discerner of our hearts, and the bible tells us that even if our own hearts condemn us God is greater than our hearts!

For this very reason we are warned NOT TO JUDGE OTHERS.  The criteria which we utilize to judge is so flawed that any and all judgments we make will of course, be terribly flawed, especially as we judge according to the flesh and not the intentions of the heart.  FRUIT in a life we are to look at and consider, but not to judge the individual actions on their own merits because there is so much we do not know, so much we do not understand and so much more we are simply ignorant of!

We must each, however, judge our own hearts, examine them and assure ourselves that we are obedient to our Lord.  For this reason, the Apostle Paul exhorts us all in II Timothy 2:15 to "Study to show yourself approved before God, a workman who needs NOT be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth!"

Careful reading and study of Gods word for OURSELVES and not just accepting any and everything others say about Gods Word is an action we will be held accountable for, as our understanding of Gods word will influence all our decisions and actions.  Pick up that book of all books TODAY, ask God for wisdom and begin reading.  May I suggest beginning in the Book of Acts, as it so wonderfully portrays the First Century Church in all its glory prior to any interference of mans rules and religiosity?

Blessings as you walk your walk of Fellowship with the Heavenly Father this week.  Our prayer for each of you is that you will recognize how much God loves you and fulfill your role in the Body of Christ!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The peace that passes all understanding.  We write about it.  We pray about it.  We read about it.  We dream about it.  We yearn for it.  We talk about it.  We attempt to encourage one another with thoughts and admonitions concerning it, but do we really HAVE IT?

We can and do.  When you experience its affects you will never doubt or question it again.  It is a peace that passes all understanding.  It is inexplicable.  But it is not unattainable.  It isn't earned, bought or bargained for.  The Lord just gives it, and one day you are sitting in a quiet place perhaps, or in the midst of incredible crisis and you suddenly realize that although by all natural laws and reasoning you should be panicked, you should be upset - you aren't.  YOU ARE NOT IN THE LEAST BIT CONCERNED ABOUT CIRCUMSTANCES BUT INSTEAD YOU HAVE A QUIET SENSE OF PEACE AND HOPE AND ASSURANCE DEEP WITHIN YOU.

I cannot tell you the how or why, but I will share this with you.  I am in the midst of what would "normally" be a very difficult emotional and upsetting time with one of my children.  Heap onto that the stresses and strains of moving, major life changes occurring, major ministry changes coming and the natural order of life changes for a woman in her early 50's.

I should be a mess!  I sat down this morning and prayed, calmly, firmly and with faith.  And then it hit me in the most wonderful way:

I AM COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY AT PEACE IN MY HEART.

Thank you Lord!  I praise Your Holy Name and give you all the glory.  Thank you for the total peace that passes all my understanding but which I so desperately had need of.

I can only tell you this and pray it encourages you - Abandon yourself to the Lord.  It is a bit unnerving, taking that first step and sticking to that decision.  You will be thankful.  For He is Faithful.

And how is your week coming along?  I would LOVE to hear from you - leave a comment, send a prayer request or just say "hi!"

and may the God of all peace be gracious to you now and in every time of your need.
Pastor Marie

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Apostles Doctrine

The book of Acts is exciting and full of new adventure.  It is the story of the first century church told in the first person by those who actually lived it.  It also lays out the pattern for Christianity.

In Acts 2:42 we read:
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.  
43: then fear came upon every soul and many signs and wonders were done through the apostles.

We need to stop right here and ask the question "what is the apostles doctrine?" In the verses preceding we are provided with that answer in Peters sermon.

Jesus is Lord, raised from the dead by God for our redemption
Repent of sin and be baptized as a symbol of new life
Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

It all begins with an act of God (GOD, in the beginning created the Heavens and the earth)  which has direct consequences upon us, His creation.  We respond to this action, because God created us specifically for His pleasure and to respond to His actions (God said Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness, let THEM have dominion over...).  Dependent on our response there is then the receiving of Gods blessings (for by grace you've been saved, not of works lest any man should boast).

As you read through the bible you will find this pattern established and we are encouraged to follow it, for by doing so we reap the many blessings and benefits God intends for His creation, stolen by that serpent the devil, satan our enemy who because of PRIDE fell and pulled and continues to pull many down with him.

Awe and wonder of the Lord God opens the eyes of our hearts, allowing us to see the miracles of God.  It isn't that OUR faith brings about miracles - this has been an error taught too long in our churches.  As if healing or miracles would occur IF we believe enough, or have faith enough.  This makes God dependent upon us - not so!  The truth is that God is always moving, always blessing and caring for and tending to His sheep, but our eyes are darkened, unable to see those miracles and blessings and joys.

Receiving His gift of Eternal Life through Christ Jesus our Lord, by confessing the truth that Jesus is the Lord, responding to that truth by believing in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead after He gave Himself as the substitute sacrifice for OUR sins and by the GRACE of God being filled with the Holy Spirit gives us the sight to see those miracles, see those blessings and live in the JOY that God the Creator and Master of all the Heavens, Earth and Creatures He created intended us to live in.  Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!

I encourage you to pick up the Bible, open to the Book of Acts and begin to read.  I pray God will give you new insight and then the courage to LIVE as He intended you to live - VICTORIOUS through Christ Jesus our Lord!  Sure, you are weak and your flesh is selfish and sinful.  Certainly you don't have all the right thoughts and feelings all the time toward everyone.  None of us does.  BUT, as we submit to the Holy Spirit, somehow God grants the grace we need to overcome, to speak in ways that bless, to act in ways that honor Him and many wonders and signs will be done through His born again Sons and Daughters!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

PRAYER K.I.S.S.E.S.

PRAYER:  
Keep It Spiritually Sound Even Simple!

In the same spirit of keeping is super simple, I won't write a whole lot, just enough for you to meditate on and grow from.

There's a lot that gets said about prayer.  Some feel it should be formal, fancy words, written out, repeated the same each time.  Some feel it should be from the heart, spontaneous, different each time.

Jesus prayed regularly, communing with the Father, and so should we.  But don't obsess about the words, the structure of your prayers.  

Because God doesn't consider our flesh, but instead, He looks at the heart of every person.

Prayer is less about the sounds we utter from our lips and more about THE TRUTH GOD HEARS FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEARTS.

Proverbs 4:23  Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.

HAVE A BLESSED WEEK! WE'RE PRAYING FOR YOU.