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Tolerance Exists: Let’s Be Prayer Warriors for Meriam Ibrahim

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We keep seeing her beautiful wedding picture but in reality right now she is chained in prison. It’s hard to grasp such a drastic change in one’s life all because she refuses to denounce her Christian faith. It’s sad the lack of tolerance for religion these days.

Yesterday I was going to the store. As I was pulling into a parking spot a woman, in the car next to the spot, suddenly opens her car door to get out. I quickly stopped so I could give her room to get out before I pulled in completely. She looked up, noticed this, and smiled at me. She was a Muslim woman. Little did she know, with my cross earrings on that day, she was smiling at a Christian. I honestly don’t think she would have reacted any different.

Not all believers are murderers and intolerant. While we may not agree on each other’s beliefs, and even secretly pray for one another, we should continue to show love and compassion.

I pray that the government of Sudan releases Meriam, her new precious baby girl, and her little boy. We have to learn that attempting to force someone to convert, is not true conversion. Forcing someone into any religion, will not get them to truly accept that religion as truth, thus it will not “save” them. Christians can take a lesson on that as well.

I look back on the times when I was not right with God, I didn’t care if He existed and down in the deepest layer of my soul, I hated Him.

My bitterness did not lead me anywhere but in a downward spiral. All of this time, I remember the seeds. A select few people in my life came along and planted seeds in my life. Some people planted and left and some people stayed.These are the seeds we need to be focusing on. Kind of like little “Jesus impressions” on the hearts of people.

God bless Meriam for her courage, bravery, and planting seeds in every single unsaved soul of the world who reads this story. I’m sure she had no idea God would use her in this way, that her life would be threatened, the life of her children at risk, all for the purpose of reaching others. Cold-hearted humans placed her in jail but I feel like her rich and authentic faith has spoken volumes across the world and God is using this experience to plant seeds in the lives of millions.

Let’s keep praying for her and her entire family. Let’s be prayer warriors for Meriam as she is a warrior for Jesus.

 

 

 

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My Sunday Sermon Journal: The End of it All

My Sunday Sermon Journal

A collection of thoughts, ideas, and notes taken from a Sunday Worship Service.

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This week was FULL of blessings! This sermon raised so much awareness within me. My notes were scribbled all over the page! The overall message is to not to take advantage of Christ. Sometimes we use Jesus and our relationship with Him to achieve our goals and to ultimately reach what we want…But Jesus should be the END GOAL. HE should be the goal.

We took a look at Johns disciples in John 3:22-31. They didn’t have a relationship with Jesus as almost viewed Him as “competition” when Jesus began baptizing. Now, Jesus sis personally affecting John. What we do is always compare ourselves to others. But God gives the orders and John’s response in John 3:27-30 is amazing!

“I can only be faithful with what I’ve been given.”
“I am not the Savior of the World.” He repeats this numerous times to people, to ensure they don’t follow HIM but Christ.
“My joy is to hear of Jesus’ success.” His goal was JESUS! He sought to please Jesus, bring people to Jesus, and put Jesus ahead of himself in everything he did.
“Jesus is greater than me.”

Whatever we have, we need to have a relationship with Christ. There are “side effects” to not seeking Him. He IS the Heights- Don’t use Him!

I love Johns response! He knew his role. He’s the VOICE from which Jesus can be heard. God used John to bring people to Jesus, not to John himself. The goal was always Jesus.

The speaker used a great analogy here. He said as though the church is the bride of God, John was the “best man”. He was about the “marriage” of us to Jesus.

All we can do is use the time He’s given us, and we should be asking Christ not “When?” but “How?”

The problem for Us is that we easily make Jesus the means to an end, instead of the end itself. Using Jesus to help us get what we want…instead of seeing Jesus as the goal. I realized I do this in my own life. It really provoked lots of self-evaluation as far as what I’m doing to put Christ as my goal, instead of my own goals in life. This message is so profound.

“The most humble person in the room is usually the most interesting.” Lift HIM up. Jesus should inspire you, He’s our safety net but He’s not simple any of these. He is everything.

Watch the sermon The End of it All

Pastor: Geoff Horn
Sermon: The End of it All

Aired 01/05/2014

Sermon Outline: Follow Along!

My Sunday Sermon Journal: Hark, Mary!

My Sunday Sermon Journal

A collection of thoughts, ideas, and notes taken from a Sunday Worship Service.

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Another great sermon by Pastor Kyle this Sunday. This time to highlight the significance of Mary’s obedience to God and when an angel came to visit her to tell her about her pregnancy…and the baby that would change the world.

I truly admire Marys’ obedience to God, and can you imagine the ridicule she must’ve received from skeptics of the town? And still, she remains faithful, OBEDIENT, and in Luke 1:28-30 the angel, Gabriel, says that Mary is “favored” by God. How amazing! To be FAVORED!

Please continue the “Hark” Series with Hark, Mary!

****Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series if you’ve missed anything!

Watch the sermon HARK, Mary!

Pastor: Doug Kyle
Sermon: Hark, Mary!

  Series: Hark! Angelic Instructions worth Heeding

Aired 12/22/2013

Follow along: Message Notes

My Sunday Sermon Journal: Hark, Zechariah!

My Sunday Sermon Journal

A collection of thoughts, ideas, and notes taken from a Sunday Worship Service.

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We’re truly blessed by this church! With every sermon we learn something new about the Bible and a great lesson to apply to our lives today.

It’s amazing how Zechariah and his wife endured years and years, into their 70s, anxiously praying for a child. Then one day, so much later in their lives than they had ever anticipated, God blessed them with a baby boy. This boy would become John the Baptist. What a significant person, “voice” of God, John would become, arriving all in perfect timing. Not OUR timing but His.

We learn here that patience is never easy and we may become frustrated not knowing Gods plan through everything we’re going through but…The thing God is doing in your life is always BIGGER than the thing God is doing in your life.

So pray over Gods will to be done, and await God’s timing.

Watch the sermon HARK, Zechariah!

Pastor: Doug Kyle
Sermon: Hark, Zechariah!

  Series: Hark! Angelic Instructions worth Heeding

Aired 12/15/2013

Sermon Outline: Follow Along!

Daily Prayer: Relationship Choices

Today’s Prayer Topic: Relationship Choices

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Lord, I pray that You give me the tools to make good choices in the people I associate with. Sometimes I’m unsure of certain people, if I should be spending time with them or if You put me in their path solely to witness to them. I want to know whether You want me to build a relationship with certain people, or whether I’m supposed to be an example to them at a distance. I know what Your Word says about associating with foolish people and I don’t want to disobey You, yet I feel as though I should at the very least influence them towards You. Father, help me in doing this so that I may not become influenced by ungodly behavior. Thank You for your guidance and wisdom, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.



The purpose of our Daily Prayer:
-For new believers coming to know Christ who are new to prayer.
-The daily topics can highlight on issues that you’re currently struggling with.
-While there is no “perfect way to pray”, these prayers are great to be added to your own prayers each day.

Your Relationship With God: How-to

Your Relationship With God: How-to

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The human race has always longed to have a spiritual connection with a higher entity. It started with Adam and Eve each having a relationship with God, before given the ultimate test of true love and faith. In the end, they were not faithful; they did not trust God and they didn’t obey Him. All of these things impaired their relationship with God and sin entered the world. Ever since, we’ve had a deep yearning to fellowship with Him.

Now how can we, imperfect sinful creatures, ever have fellowship with God, who is holy and perfect? Through Jesus Christ. God sent His son to die on the cross, paying our debts and allowing us the gift of eternal life. Not only did God give us this opportunity in the beginning with Adam and Eve, He decided that His love for us was so great, He sacrificed His son to die so that we may be forgiven of our sins and so that we may have a relationship with Him.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)

Having a strong relationship with God is crucial to being receptive and emotionally available to all of God’s Blessings, Lessons and Love. Like any relationship we cherish, we must make the efforts necessary to not only grow in the relationship but in maintaining it. A relationship with God is truly a gift and a blessing in itself. You’ll find that to begin and develop a strong relationship with The Lord, you’ll need to do a few things:

Repent:

First, we must ask for forgiveness of our sins.

“I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3)

Many will argue that receiving the Holy Spirit should come before repentance, but there are scriptures in the Bible which support otherwise. Sometimes people must accept Christ and accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God, to feel convicted of any sins. But in reality, it’s always the CONVICTION of your sins which brings you to God in the first place… But that’s a different topic.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)

Receive the Holy Spirit:

This may seem like an obvious point but when you want a relationship with God, you have to accept and genuinely believe that He is eternally existent in three persons: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You must also accept that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and forgive us of our sins.Only through Christ can you receive this gift, thus, allowing you to be close to Him.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…” (John 14:6)

Prayer:

Another tip that may seem obvious to some of you is to pray. What I mean by “to pray”, I’m not talking about a quick “hello” and “please do this for me”. I’m talking about long, in depth, personal conversations with God. Talking is essential to any relationship, so how would that be different from God? All of this shows your love for Him.

The great thing about prayer is that there is no script.

There is not necessarily any “right way to pray.” But there are a few verses of the Bible which guides us in prayer. Check out this article on Prayer. It’s important to always be thankful to Him, for anything past and present and future. Other than that, let your heart pour. He wants honesty, trust, obedience and sincerity. He wants that special bond with you.

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

One thing you have to understand about prayers is that God ALWAYS ANSWERS THEM, but it may not be in the way you desired. You have to understand that God is all-knowing which means when He has control over your life and You pray for His Will, things will change that you may not understand.

“Pray without ceasing. “(1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV)

Obey God:

Obedience starts with listening to God. Listen to Him through the Bible, His commandments and listen to Him when He speaks to you. Check out the Sunday Sermon Journal on listening to god to determine God’s voice. Once we start listening to Him, we start drawing ourselves closer to Him. There is no gray area of right and wrong in the Bible.

“If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15 NIV)

Read the rest of this entry

Daily Prayer: Worry

Today’s Prayer Topic: Worry

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Note by Crossing Paths Daily: Today’s Prayer original link: http://www.marydemuth.com



The purpose of our Daily Prayer:
-For new believers coming to know Christ who are new to prayer.
-The daily topics can highlight on issues that you’re currently struggling with.
-While there is no “perfect way to pray”, these prayers are great to be added to your own prayers each day.

Daily Prayer:

Today’s Prayer Topic: Communication

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Lord, give me better communication at home, in the workplace and in all of my relationships. Sometimes I feel misunderstood and people become frustrated with me, as I get frustrated with myself. Father, give me the right words and speak through me so that I may not offend anyone or be misunderstood in any way. I want there to be love in my tone of voice and to never be perceived differently. Thank You for Your gifts and blessings and in helping me through this challenge. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.



The purpose of our Daily Prayer:
-For new believers coming to know Christ who are new to prayer.
-The daily topics can highlight on issues that you’re currently struggling with.
-While there is no “perfect way to pray”, these prayers are great to be added to your own prayers each day.

How To Be A Better Christian: 10 Ways

HOW TO BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN: 10 Ways

Explore other avenues of expressing your faith

  • worship praise

  • journalism

  • Bible study

  • make something (pottery, painting, crochet)

  • Read your Bible

  • seek answers only in the bible

  • give only scriptural answers

  • be knowledgeable in the Bible

  • Take yourself into nature

  • be in a quiet place

  • appreciate Gods creations

  • separate yourself from technology

  • Take care of your body

  • discipline yourself to an exercise regime

  • eat healthy

  • be mindful of excessive sun exposure

  • stay clean and attractive to your spouse

  • Donate

  • monetary donations through tithing to your church and/or charity

  • your time to church groups, community outreach and christian organizations

  • recycle unused furniture, clothes, non perishable items, etc.

  • Prayer

  • be comfortable with long conversations with God

  • commit a designated lot of time to spend talking with God

  • pray aloud with your spouse and family

  • your first reaction to the positive and negative of your life should be to pray

  • Be open-hearted

  • be open to new Christian ideas

  • be open to everything in the Bible

  • be open to wisdom, to be rebuked, and to the commands by God that may be uncomfortable.

  • Always be humble

  • don’t boast or brag

  • admit to your faults

  • never pray selfishly

  • don’t become a sanctimonious Christian

  • Always be thankful

  • be thankful of everything and everyone in your life

  • be able to notice your blessings

  • see positive and see God, not your problems

  • Be devoted

  • commit everything you do to The Lord, glorify Him

  • be the example to non-believers

  • understand that religion is man-made, faith is God-made



  • Prayer: How-to Pray According to Scripture

    Prayer: How-to Pray According to Scripture

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    Although there is no “right way to pray”, there are a few tips that the Bible gives us which helps God to hear us. Yes, it’s true that harboring sin can hinder your prayers.
    God commands us to not harbor-or- cherish sin:

    “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;” (Psalm 66:16 NIV)

    When we hold sin in our hearts, sit on unforgiveness, and most importantly ignore repenting to God, He will not feel inclined to listen to your prayers. It may seem a bit harsh, but would you continue to listen to someone who never takes your advice? God instructs us to repent of our sins, let go of a sinful lifestyle or behavior, and in doing that we are heeding His commandments. In turn, God won’t be thinking “Wait a minute. You’re asking me for this when you haven’t even done what I asked?”

    “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2 NIV)

    God detests the prayers coming from those who deliberately ignore Him:

    ”If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.” (Proverbs 28:9 NIV)

    Remember, God knows your heart, if you’re coming to Him based on a tradition your family instilled in you, you should pull back and re-evaluate how you truly feel. God says your heart is far from Him, and this will not get your prayers heard.

    The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught…” (Isaiah 29:13 NIV)

    “By offering defiled food on my altar. But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1:7-9 NIV)

    This verse can easily be taken to another level. Who are you to offer yourself to me when you haven’t even made an effort to obey My commandments? This is unacceptable- I need more from you than words.

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NIV)

    Do not be hypocritical or public in your prayer. Often times when someone prays publicly they are seeking outward attention, with no eye on The Heavenly Father. If you’re tempted to pray in a room full of people, and your motives are for personal gain in any way, your prayer will not be heard.

    “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14 NIV)

    This is probably my favorite verse of this message. It speaks volumes of a topic which I feel is so important. Those who “exalt themselves will be humbled,” which means that those who applaud themselves will be humbled. And those who humble themselves, will be applauded. It speaks to the truth of being humbled in everything you do and say. And prayer counts.

    “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NIV)

    Again, the Bible tells us here that your motives should never be selfish.

    “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6 NIV)

    Many Christians forget this verse and admittedly, I do too. Sometimes when we pray, we pray earnestly and we’re humbled, yet we forget the confidence in knowing that our prayer will be answered. This ties in to trusting the Lord to carrying out your prayers according to His Will.

    I hope this clears up some things with regard to Prayer. Often times, we may be so focused on praying about one person or one thing, that we forget to stop and say Thank You to The Lord who has blessed us in so many ways. No matter your circumstance, the Bible commands to ask all things, in thanksgiving. (Colossians 1:12 NIV)

    Additionally, we may be focused on praying for one person and their faults and wrong-doings, when God wants you to change.

    Try focusing on being thankful, humble, ask for His Will, and be confident it is done.

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