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Sunday, January 15, 2017

An Act of Worship


An Act of Worship
 
From my notes I present an edited post about our Sunday morning service at Open Door church.

Before we began the worship portion at Open Door Church, our Sister Linda shared; 
 
"For many years Abraham and his wife Sarah desired a son.  God gave them a promise, but it took 25 years until their son arrived.  By this time both Abraham and his wife were very old; yet they were excited to have their beloved son with them at last.  One day, God required Abraham to give up his son on the Mount.  But God provided a substitute sacrifice.  It was on this same mountain that Jesus became the sacrifice as our substitute.

We must honor God with our very life.  Today we share our weaknesses, and they actually become our strengths.

We don’t have to do these things, but we do them willingly.  How much like Abraham you are, as you model Christ.

(The praise and worship portion of the service began - - God was in this place.)

Pastor Allan took the microphone and was speaking;

"God desires to come into the clutter of your heart, however you must give Him access and allow Him to come in.  Don’t slam the door of your closet, but give him all of your heart.  Even the deep corners where are hidden things you know you need to let go. 

The Word say, “Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.”

The designer knows the working parts that need adjustment and replacement.  Let God do the work.  We often want to be in control and fix it ourselves, but we need to turn it over to God."

Pastor turned the service over to Associate Pastor Rodney, for the morning message:

“God is taking us through a process so can understand the Living Word.  Ask God questions while you study your Bible.  Let God speak to you from the printed pages.

Mark 14:1 It was festival time, and although the Chief priests and the scribes desired to kill Jesus by a treacherous way, they waited because the timing was not right during a celebration.

Mark 14:3. And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as Jesus sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head and feet. The fragrance of the precious balm filled the house.

Some had indignation and criticized the woman for wasting a years wages on Jesus; when in their opinion, the ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor.

Mark 14:8  Jesus told them to leave her alone because  she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

You might have some questions about our church and why do we raise our hands, or stand while we worship?  You may not know all the story.  Mary knew who Jesus was.  She had seen him raise her brother from the dead.  He was the Resurrection and the Life, and she loved Jesus with all her heart.  Her gift was a small sacrifice compared to all that Jesus had done.

We may not understand all the theology, but when God touches your heart, He can change your life.  Mary knew who was at that table on that day.  He was real to her. 
 
As we read the Bible stories, they become live actors.   The culture in that day was different than ours, but she knew she must do this anointing as an act of worship and she was not afraid.

We have a lot of plans we want to do as a church body, and we no apology is necessary as we worship.  Do your friends and family know you are a Christian?  

We are called to sacrifice as Jesus was willing to be the sacrifice for us.  He has given us new life, a new purpose and a new direction .  May we come to Him with a willing heart.  Thank you God that we can be a part of the revival of our city."

 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Selecting A Small Area and Saturate It.


The Small area highlighted with a yellow marker
is the target area we plan to soon walk door to door.
The Green Dot is Open Door Church

 


Each Wednesday we meet at our church to pray over our city and over the Nation.

A week ago, Pastor asked all who could walk, to march around a chosen block of streets leaving from our church and returning again.  Associate Pastor Rodney, and Rev John, let the way as about 15 of us prayed as we walked.  John blew the Jewish Shofar rams horn, at the 4 corners of the blocked area.  This is the area we intend to be our first attempt at knocking on doors. 

Fast forward to last Wednesday.  Some of those in attendance were new, and Pastor asked that we not walk today, until we have at lease one experienced person with those who are new.  The young men, who were from Jordan’s Crossings, will need their Pastor to help us decide who is prepared to go door to door. 

I had brought some sets of 10 pages for “How to evangelize Door to Door,” so these were passed out and I asked them to study this to help them be prepared.

I had copied a hand out about using the Lord’s Prayer as a Pattern and add your own words as you pray.  I will end this post with a copy of using the Lords Prayer. 

After going over how to pray using scriptures by adding your own words; I showed everyone a cut out of the first area we will walk very soon. (see above map portion) 
 
I asked them to be observant of street signs and to pray for people who live on that street.  Calling the names of the streets on our designated area, I prayed aloud, for homes to be reconciled, hearts to become tender and receptive, and for God to stir our city to desire to receive Jesus.

We dismissed with that prayer, and everyone was receptive today.
~ ~ ~
 
Praying the Lord’s Prayer as a Pattern: 
(This is an excerpt from Don Nori’s book Hope for the Praying Nation: Petitioning Heaven for Change in Your Country) 

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father, I praise You, God, that you are my loving Father. You are more than my Creator— You are Dad. You are the One and only Protector of my soul. I love You, Father.  

I worship You in heaven, Isaiah 55: 9 says the heavens are above the earth, and so are God’s ways higher than ours. Lord, I seek guidance from Heaven’s perspective. Jesus set the example by doing only what He saw His Father doing. I, too, know not what to do without Your loving Presence leading me. I cannot do this myself. I need the help that only comes from Heaven. 

Hallowed be Your name. You have revealed Yourself to us through Your name. I call upon You by the names through which You have revealed Yourself to humankind, Your children. Lord, You are everything I need and want. By Your name, all the demons on earth and in hell tremble. By Your name, nature comes under Your Lordship and people are healed. But most wonderfully, by Your name, average people like me can come to know You as Savior and Lord. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name, for forgiving me and loving me.  

Your Kingdom come. Your will be done…. This is not a passive prayer! To pray this prayer means to stomp my foot and mean business. Every person has a will to surrender— for God to have His will, I must surrender my will. To yield my will is to humble myself. I can be humiliated by others, but only I can humble myself.
 (See James 4: 10).  

Give us this day our daily bread… Jesus, You said Your source of food was to do the will of Your Father (see John 4: 34). What satisfies me is to know that I satisfy Your purpose. You are my necessary Bread (see John 6: 35). You are the Bread of Heaven, and You also want me to look to You for my daily natural provision.  

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…. It is necessary to forgive if I expect to be heard when I pray, so Lord, I choose to forgive. (See Matthew 18: 21-35.) 

Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Jesus, You were driven into the wilderness of temptation. It was there that the enemy attempted to cause You to forget who You are, saying, “If You are the Son of God…” (Luke 4: 3).

If the enemy can get me to forget who I am, he can get me to do whatever he wants me to do. Who am I? I will declare who I am in Christ. (See Galatians 3: 26; Romans 8: 37; Revelation 1: 6.) Ephesians 4: 27 says not to “give place” to the devil. This means do not give the enemy a legal right to be in your life. Areas where the enemy can enter are fear, hate, witchcraft, and sexual immorality.  

For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory…. Psalm 108: 5 says that Your glory is over all the earth. The glory of God is over my family, my friends, my loved ones, those with whom I worship. I pray that You will spread Your wings over them and protect them.

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Familiar Food at the Pot Luck

This True Story was posted 3 years ago - -
 Face-Book reminded me that perhaps some haven't seen it and a redo would be good. 
 
 

The church pot luck was always a good time of fellowship with lots of good food.   

Families were asked to bring three dishes; a main dish, a salad and a desert, while single people could bring potato chips rolls and butter or perhaps a side dish. 

Coffee and punch were provided and the blessing over the food had been invoked.  The people began to line up; Pastor and his wife were first and also the elderly. 

Our children were hungry and they came to me with a question; “Which food is ours?” 

I tried to explain that the entire spread of delicious food was there for them to partake of, yet they wanted the familiar and were not ready to experiment with food that seemed different to them.

This caused me to consider how we as Christians often react when we are exposed to portions of the Scriptures that are considered off limits by some who fear the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of the supernatural. 

We are happy to nibble on our common everyday Bible stories that we are accustomed to. 

Yes, we are willing to acknowledge that Jesus did miracles and healed the sick, but when we come to scriptures that indicate that even today it is God’s will that we prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers, we often balk like a mule. 

Paul indicated that although some spiritual gifts are to bless the church, they must be tempered and used wisely.  Then he said, "Do NOT forbid to speak in tongues." 

Paul also stated that He personally prayed in tongues more than you all.  Apparently if we are not using our prayer language, we are missing a powerful tool to fight and win spiritual battles.   

Jude exhorted us to pray in tongues as this will build us up in our most Holy Faith. 

As we view the table that God has spread and consider it all as eatable food, we must realize that to leave out what is provided is doing ourselves and our families an injustice. 

Jesus asked us the question; “If you as fathers (and mothers) have hungry children, would you give them a stone or a serpent instead of bread?  How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask?” 

Get ready because the dinner bell is ringing and the table is spread !!

 


 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Give God Time


Give God Time
 

Today was Church, but due to the Storm and the flooding roads, my husband suggested that I stay home.  From my friend Donald, I requested the sermon title, and the scriptures. From his notes I am presenting a message that I pray will speak to your heart. 

As humans, we often do not like to wait.  “I want it now,” is often our cry and also the demand from others.  God’s timing is not like ours.  His plans often interfere with our way of doing things.

Looking into the book of Exodus we find the story of Moses, born at a time when the King had proclaimed that all the boy babies be killed.  God protected Moses and eventually after 40 years, Moses became the one to bring the Children of Israel out of Egypt.  God appeared to Moses on the mountain with a cloud of glory that included fire and thundering.  The presence of God frightened the people and they requested Moses to be the one to speak to God on their behalf.  
 
God’s presence guided them on their journey in the form of a cloud by day and a fiery cloud by night.  Because of the people’s rebellion, murmuring and disobedience, another 40 years of wandering became their lot before they could enter the Promised Land.  God took His time, and “If only” – was a sad regret for the people.

God has ordained the seasons and times:  Ecclesiastes 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

God has chosen us to be fruitful and to fulfill His plans on earth.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Allow God time to do the work in your heart as you bring yourself into His presence and into His glory.  God has a plan for your life and He desires that you walk with Him as He shows you His direction.

There is no need to rush and hurry because it takes time to become like Jesus.

John 15:1-2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit

Although we are born again when we come to Christ, there are things in our lives that God will reveal to us that need to be disposed of; such as attitudes and habits that may need to change or be let go.  Our thoughts and desires often need to change.  Allow your mind to become renewed as you read and study God’s Word.

Slow down and don’t freak out, because God has got this.  Be practical and understand that God loves you and desires you to be all you can be for Him.

Wait on God; Attend church regularly and your meetings as they will bring you closer to Jesus.  It is in the body of Christ where we can find accountability.  It brings us strength to be a part of a fellowship.

It is a good thing to be accountable to another person, whether it is a friend, your Bible Teacher, or a sponsor in a program.

All in all - - Be patient and give God time - - to perfect you into His image.
 
 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Blessing – A Hedge


 

Our Bible Study teacher was taking us back to the Alter of Incense.  The sweet fragrance of the incense would drift over the congregation, and then the Priest would lift his hands and bless the people.  From my notes I present an edited message.

The Priest himself must be a holy man of God before he could administrate the blessing.  Titus 2:7 For a bishop (or minister) must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, not violent, not given to dishonest gain;

Melchizedek a Priest of the Most High shared communion with Abraham, and blessed him and his household.

Hebrews 7:7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.

We are reminded that God is the greater and He delights to bless his people.

Bless means to show graciousness, protection, and God’s delight in the person or people.

Numbers 6:24-25   The LORD bless you, and keep you: The LORD make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you:

As believers, we can pray this blessing on those we love and on others.

Jesus made the statement “Before Abraham was, “I AM.”  Jesus was saying that He is God.  God revealed Himself to Moses by saying He was “I AM.”

John 10:1-3 The shepherd protected his sheep with a hedge of protection.  Protected from what?  from the enemy or evil wanting to harm the sheep. The porter knows the voice of the shepherd.  No enemy can climb in another way because to enter the sheep fold there is only one door.  Jesus told us that He is the door.

How can we walk in forgiveness?

Hosea chapter 2, God told Hosea to marry a prostitute as a picture of God’s love over us even while we were deep in sin.  He was to protect her from her past and to provide and care for her.

Job chapter 1:9-11 tells how God had blessed Job and put a hedge of protection around him.  Satan told God, if you stop that blessing, and remove his protection, he will not worship you.  Satan’s plan failed, and although Job suffered, he did not curse or turn away from God.  God rewarded Job with a double blessing.

We can pray that God will surround us and our Nation with a hedge of protection.  May our Nation turn to God in gratitude?

The Lord holds us in His arms as a Father holds a child.  A Home offers protection for children; the Church offers protection for the Saints.

II Chronicles 26:9-11  Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the corner buttress and fortified them. Moreover, Uzziah had an army ready for battle,

King Uzziah dug wells to provide water, and invented cunning weapons to use in war.  He fortified and protected his people.

Coming back to the Temple and the sacrifice was done, and the incense was burning, the fragrance going forth and the verbal blessing for prosperity, protection, and health.

As Christians, we carry His Name and have a heavy responsibility to share the Gospel.  It is our duty to bless and not curse.  Keep the words of your mouth pure and kind.  Feed those you minister to with holy leadership.  Life and death is in the power of the Tongue. 

Keep praying for the weak ones that they become strong.

Understand that your prayers of blessing are building a hedge around you, your family and your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

EXPECT - EXPECT by Guest Kathy Watson


EXPECT the BEST for 2017

Expectation by Kathy Watson, Rockland, California

Expect! Expect! Don't expect the worst, expect the best! The best is yet to come. The best wine is saved for the last day. Don't wait for the other shoe to fall. But get up on your feet and put on your new shoes of the Gospel of peace that your feet are covered in. Expect a miracle, expect answers to your prayers, and expect the best in you and see the best in others.

1.) Expectation

Romans 8:19-21, "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

Philippians 1:20, "According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death."
Psalm 84:12, "O Lord of hosts, how blessed and greatly favored is the man who trusts in You [believing in You, relying on You, and committing himself to You with confident hope and expectation]."

1 Corinthians 13:13, "And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God's love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love."

2 Corinthians 3:12, "Since we have such a [glorious] hope and confident expectation, we speak with great courage."

2.) Exceedingly and Abundantly

In Ephesians 3:20, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." So in and through Christ Jesus we have this abundance that goes exceedingly above our thoughts, our circumstances, the abundance in Christ goes beyond our human comprehension. We will be exceedingly glad and rejoice. Joy will overcome sorrow.

Psalm 21:6, "For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence." This will come from His presence and us abiding in His presence.

Matthew 5:12, "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Then I heard, "Be courageous, take courage." Like in Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Look in the mirror and see the image of the one who created you in His image. The one who loves you with an everlasting love, the one who has drawn you by His loving kindness. You are His beloved and He is yours. Let old things pass away and behold all things are becoming new.

Let it be today that today is a new day. Let faith arise, encourage yourself in Him today, stir your spirit and arise! This is your time to shine, you were born to shine. Don't settle for anything less. You are His best and you have first place in His heart. You have won His heart with just one look of your eyes. It has been this way for Him before the foundations of the world as you were purposed in His heart for such a time as this in such an hour.

This is your time! You are His dream come true a chosen one; chosen by God who is your Father. So arise and shine. This is your time, the glory of the Lord has already risen on you. Take it today! Dream His dream! Take courage today! Expect today!

So let go! Let it all go! Don't enter in the New Year with old leftovers and stale bread, trying to pick up the crumbs from the floor. Don't enter the New Year with dread, regrets, bitterness or an unforgiving heart. Don't enter the New Year with any disappoint you may have felt in this last year, but drink the new wine of Him.

Shed off the old wineskins and expect that new wineskin to take shape in His image! He will meet you in that place—in that secret place. Embrace a fresh touch from His presence, a fresh awakening of the power of His love for you. Just an ember can become a burning flame when stirred with His love for you. Let first love be renewed. Be confident of this very thing—that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it to the end...expect it!

Kathy Watson and her husband Michael; oversee Ephesians 4 Equippers School in Roseville, California.
Kathy founded W.I.R.E.D. (Women in Revival Equipping Disciples) in 1999 and CHOSEN Women's Ministry; she has held conferences in her hometown and helped facilitate conferences in other cities and countries for the past 16 years. Kathy is ordained with Christian International. They have planted churches and oversee many ministries in the U.S. and the U.K. and Central America. She has two grown children and three grandchildren.
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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pick Up the Baton


Don't Drop it - - Do your Part
 
Pastor Allan was preaching and from my notes I present his edited message.

We are in a season of preparation.  Each one of us is being encouraged to stand in the role and ministry gift you have been given.  No longer can any of us sit on the sidelines, but we must all be involved in the work of the ministry.  Everyone has a part to play and it is time occupy your place in the body of Christ. 

Allow God to change your Theology; realizing serving Christ is not about “rules,” regulations and programs, but finding your place.  Serving Christ with our hands and feet is worship.

Each of us is different, and the work of the ministry will also be different for each person.  Some are called to be greeters, or cheer leaders, while others will be teachers, and intercessors. 
 
God also needs encouragers, and people willing to visit the sick and use the phone to encourage those missing.  Some will be able to clean, and help set up chairs and tables.  Others will pray for those at the altar.  When you see a need, are you willing to step up and fill it?  How about volunteering to enroll in the door to door visitation?

God is calling us to be active.  God qualifies you by the blood of Jesus, to pick up the baton and enter the race.

Many are watching our walk and our talk; and we must be the examples for the next generation.

Jesus gave his disciples authority to share the gospel and to heal the sick. He said it is harvest time.  We have been praying for our city, and here in our city it is harvest time.

Luke 10:1-2 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  

Pray for laborers to work in the harvest.  Realize there is fruit in the garden and also fruit in the orchard. (Needs here in our local body, and needs in our neighborhoods.)

Let us be strong and understand on Sunday we are lifted up and encouraged, but during the week, some of us fall into the cracks.  Workers get tired and discouraged, and desire for others to step up and help.  There is a time to work and a time to rest.

All of us can use more study in God’s Word.  We need to set up programs so we can all grow and also enjoy fellowship.  May I encourage each of you to come to the special meetings being set up for men, as well as the ladies’ meetings?  Let us work together side by side.

Nehemiah had a wall that needed to be built.  Everyone had a job.  Some were workers, and others encouraged, while some stood guard and watched for the enemy.

Be willing to have a teachable spirit and to learn to do new types of ministry.  Learn how to live, how to be led by the Holy Spirit, but keep moving and keep gaining knowledge of our God. 

Identify what your purpose is and step in to fill that place.  Ask what can I do for the church? Not what can the church do for me?  Some things that seem small are really big.  A smile goes a long way.  A pat on the back encourages a friend.  Be willing to pray with those who come forward.  Love as Jesus loved, and by example - - show others the way.

Watch for opportunities and recognize open doors to walk through.  Be consistent to do your part and stay connected to the body of Christ. 

Get ready for this New Year, for there will be many new opportunities to serve Jesus.