Posted by: Angela | August 5, 2016

FAITH BRINGS JOY

Dear Sister,

1Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

6When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.  –Romans 5:1-11 (NLT)

Encourage yourself in the Lord and encourage each other,

angela

 

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Posted by: Angela | July 11, 2016

HEART CONDITION

Dear Sister,

There are women who come to this blog site from various points in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia,  Africa, and South America.  I don’t’ know who you are and will probably never meet you.  But, we are connected by the spirit of the living God via technology.  So, it is with this technological tool that I will make a simple request of you from here in the United States of America.

The past few days here have brought to center stage once again the ever-recurring revival of public   bloodshed and anguish that is based in the color of a person’s skin.  Before reading on, take a moment and allow the depravity and sadness of that sink in.

This is something that has been historically and ever-present in America ever since there has been an America. I believe it is a vile, destructive and evil spirit that lurks in the shadows feeding itself like a bottom dweller in the waters of the fallen human condition.  To kill it, it has to be unapologetically exposed in the public square and stripped naked under the light of truth – not human knowledge, not more data and studies – truth.   We first have to be wise enough to grasp the understanding of what truth is or we will be forever duck paddling on the surface of the water instead of launching into the deep where the heart of the problem lies.  Scripture tells us that “wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” We fail to ask for divine wisdom and continue to function in failing human knowledge and limited  understanding.

I believe it is the lack of wisdom that keeps us marching in protest.  We have done that for years and the matter is yet to be resolved.  I also believe we are devoid of understanding, so we continue to look to legislative policy.  There are laws on the books and we still stumble in the darkness of what we call the racial problem.  We keep doing the same thing repeatedly.  In the secular vernacular, it’s called insanity – doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  So, how do we get wisdom? We simply ask for it.  The Bible says:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5 (KJV)

I believe the root of the problem lies in the condition of the heart and there is no amount of marching in protest or any laws that can be written on paper that can legislate the human heart.  Something supernaturally dynamic has to be written on the heart of man.  The changing of the heart is the only thing that can do what existing and new man-made laws and strategies do not have the power to do – – that is to change the human heart.  Going forward, if we are to navigate these dark and murky waters with any hope for change, we are going to have to let “let Jesus take the wheel and relinquish our licenses as backseat drivers.  God does not need anything from us except that we simply ask.

So finally, this is my request to you.  I ask you to come into agreement with me that we here in America have the presence of mind, if but for a fleeting moment, to seek the wisdom and guidance of God.  It is godly wisdom that we need to elevate us to that place of understanding where we can then beat the contentious swords of cultural, economic, and racial warfare into transformative ploughshares of respect and love for each other.  I realize that this is not unique to America.  But, I am starting where I am right now, will you join me?

Encourage yourself in the Lord and encourage each other,

angela

Posted by: Angela | June 4, 2016

Be A Blessing Today

Dear Sister,

All week long the same words have dominated my thoughts.  This morning when I opened my eyes they were right there to greet me.  So, I am sharing them – short and simple.

  • Life is a shared journey – not a competition.
  • Blessings are for sharing – not flaunting.  We are blessed to be a blessing.  Go out and bless somebody today.

“And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?’ And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” –Luke 3:10-12

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? –John 3:17

Encourage yourself in the Lord and encourage each other

angela

Posted by: Angela | May 16, 2016

IT IS IN FRONT OF YOU

Dear Sister,

It is God who breathes new life into dead dreams.  You may get discouraged, walk away and forget your dreams.  But, God does not forget.  Be encouraged today and draw strength from The One who planted those dreams in your heart.  He had the plan and resources to bring them to pass even before He gave them to you.

My prayer today is that you don’t lose heart and that you recognize that even now God is breathing new life into your dreams.  Just put one foot in front of the other knowing each step brings you closer to the fulfillment of what has been deposited in you.  The path is never straight or short.  It’s long, winding, and full of roadblocks and detours.  Just stay the course, in faith, walk it out and DON’T LOOK BACK. You cannot afford to look back at the length of time that has passed,the failed attempts, the broken promises or anything behind you. The new thing, the thing you are looking for, the fulfillment of the dream is in front of you.

“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present.  I’m about to do something brand new.  It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”  –Isaiah 43:18,19

Encourage yourself in the Lord and encourage each other,

angela

Posted by: Angela | April 26, 2016

SEEING WITH THE EYES OF YOUR HEART

Dear Sister,

I work for a nonprofit organization that works to help people lift themselves out of poverty through asset building.   I have been doing this work for almost four years and thought I understood the plight of the people we work to serve.  Last month we hosted a poverty simulation called A Day In Their Shoes – a role-playing exercise that allowed us to walk through 4-15 minute weeks of what people in poverty have to deal with daily – constantly maneuvering to make “not enough” of anything  work to “be enough” for everything.  The simulation allowed me to see the continuous juggling to maintain housing, transportation, food, clothing, self-respect in the disrespectful environment of social services and the capacity to put an armor of dignity to cover the shame of poverty.  I learned that I knew nothing about living in poverty.  The experience was “role play” for me, but the frustration was real as I tried to navigate the maze of endless anxiety from being late to pay the mortgage, finding food money in an already taxed budget, child care, to a never-ending onslaught of disappointing outcomes throughout the exercise.

This experience started me to thinking about how I look at people who are walking this life’s journey on a path that is different from mine. It made me realize that when we look at people through our natural eyes, we more often than not, misread or wrongly judge what we see.  But, when we choose, and it is a choice, to see people with the eyes of our heart, we see the person behind the circumstances, actions, motives, or words. Unless we can put ourselves in their shoes, we can only see from our perspective and fail to understand what is really unfolding in the life of the person who stands in front of us.

We simply do not “see” each other.  What we do, is look at each other through the lens of our personal experiences and that becomes our standard of measure for all things and all people.  Until we really “see” each other with the eyes of our hearts, there is no true ministry in us. We cannot speak the gospel message with authority or execute the kingdom mission with power if we are operating with judgmental hearts of stone that dishonor, damage and destroy. We are called to invite individuals to discipleship and influence and impel people to lay down their weapons of war – wars of economic entitlement, intolerance, classism, religion, racism and cultural differences.  But, we cannot accomplish our mission with stony hearts. We need heart transplants – we really do. (I’m talking about myself too)

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.   –Ezekiel 36:26, NIV

 Encourage yourself in the Lord and encourage each other,

angela

Posted by: Angela | April 14, 2016

IN THE END

Dear Sister,

For each of us eventually, whether we are ready or not, some day it will come to an end.  There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.  All of the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.  Your wealth, fame, temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or owed.  Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.  So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and “to do” lists will expire.  The wins and losses that once seemed so important will  fade.  It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.  It won’t matter if you’re beautiful or brilliant.  Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.  So, what will matter?  How will the value of your days be measured?  What will matter is not what you bought, but what you build; not what you got, but what you gave.  What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.  What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, encouraged others to emulate your example.  What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone.  What will matter is not your memories, but the memory that live in those who loved you.  A life lived that matters is not of circumstance, but of choice.         –Steve Kroshel

Encourage yourself in the Lord, encourage each other,

Angela

Posted by: Angela | June 24, 2013

THE REASON IS DIVINE

Every trial, every test, every difficulty and seemingly wrong experience through which you may have to pass, is only another opportunity granted to you of conquering an evil thing and bringing out of it something to the lasting praise and glory of God. — Hannah Hurnard, Mountain of Spices

Posted by: Angela | June 16, 2013

LOSING HEART

“We do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an internal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. –2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NASB)

Posted by: Angela | September 2, 2011

ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR A MIRCLE

“The Lord is not slow about fulfilling His promises” (2 Peter 3:9).
What may seem like forever to you is not a even a moment to God who  is infinite and eternal.  Peter’s amazing release  came at just the right time — in the middle of the night.  when life appears the darkest, the light of God’s hope will find you.  Your Savior is working on your behalf, and He will answer your prayer.
If Satan has hemmed you in on all sides, if he has handcuffed you and you see no way out, then you are a good candidate for a miracle! –Dr. Tony Evans, The Urban Alternative
Posted by: Angela | July 15, 2011

GOD IS NEVER IN A HURRY

Dear Sister,

God sees the whole picture and is never pressed by timlines or deadlines.  We may feel we are but He is not.  Satan always pushes us into a state of urgency.  He wants us to act rashly without considering consequences.  If you “feel” pressed, know that is not God.

When you feel God is not acting quickly enough – don’t act – stop and wait for further instructions.  You don’t know the whole plan.  Wait for revelation as he rolls it it out one step at a time.  His perfect plan will unfold “in the fullness of time” –His time, not yours.

Encourage yourself in the Lord, encourage each other.

angela

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