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Return America, Return

Return America, Return

America.  Land of the Free, Because of the Brave!   Return to your Roots! Return to the One who gave us this great land we call America!  Return America, Return.

Red, White and True RED WHITE AND TRUE BLUE, Return America, Return!Blue is a musical play by some local artists.  It was held at the Artisan Theater in Hurst, Texas.  I was invited to attend with my brother and sister-in-law last night.  It was absolutely wonderful!  The local talent was impressive.  Ages from 10 (Jonathan – who made his debut last night) to around 70ish?  It was so heartwarming and such a wonderful reminder that we live in a fantastic, phenomenal and special land.  We need to remember – those of us that can – and those that cannot, need to read and study how it was and why it was.  So many younger folks just don’t “get it”.  How it used to be… not that I want to go back to every way of living in the 50’s but the attitude and the standards and the state of mind was so different than it is now.  Women were modest, men were gentlemen, and businesses had integrity and government … well, for the most part, was better.

This play was a mix of young men and women and a few students and some older men and women.  Many different walks of life and very excited to tell us, the audience, how excited they were to live in America!  Reminding us through narration and song that God Blessed America and shed His Grace on us.  We were so blessed with many things and now… well, now, it seems that many of those blessings are waning.  A lot of the reason is because some folks in America have chosen to turn a blind eye to things happening in America.  Others have just stuck their head in the sand and have no clue … and furthermore … don’t want to have a clue.  They just want the world to drift by and they can stay in their little bubble with their head in the sand.  WAKE UP AMERICA!   Wake up and Return To Your Roots!  Our Roots!  Our Roots being God.  The founders of our nation were rooted in God!  God will not always bless us if we don’t bless Him.  I found this scripture reference and comments on Timberline Baptist Church homepage.  I think this states it quite clearly.

Jeremiah 18:7-10

“- Our opening text from Jeremiah 18 teaches us there is hope for backslidden America.  Look at verses 7-10, “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”

– Notice what these verses said in that God says “at what instant” a nation decides to repent, that nation can be restored by God.

– This is a very powerful passage, and it shows that God’s grace and blessings can be poured out on a wicked nation that returns to Him.  A nation, who has denied God and murdered her innocent unborn and promoted Godlessness and immorality, can be restored in an instant if only that nation will repent and return to God.”

However, if …

2 Chronicles 7:14

“14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I could say a lot about the play last night.  I could elaborate on all of the messages and songs that they brought to us.  However, that is really not what I want to tell you.  My brother has a blog also and his blog said it so good and his words were quite on target.  I feel led to refer you to his blog.  It is a fantastic bunch of information that a lot of you may not know.  I didn’t know some of it either.

Please read his blog and learn about the “Roots” of America.  Return America!  Return!  So if you will allow me… this is my brother’s post from yesterday.  I know you will love it too!

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Independence Day

By John Adams

Flag, Return America, Return!“Independence Day is the day that America sets aside to remember its beginning; the beginning of the greatest experiment in personal freedom that history has ever known. “Give me liberty, or give me death,” was the heart-felt cry of the forefathers that secured that freedom. With that tenacious attitude, they would affix their names to the Declaration of Independence; the document that affirmed their steadfastness and unity in mission. This action placed them, their families and their very subsistence in jeopardy in the face of the ruling nation, England.

Ben Franklin said it best at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Theirs was a resolve to break from tyrannical bonds and provide life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness for every citizen, no matter the cost. They understood that to take this stand for truth and demand fairness and equity in government meant the possibility of paying for their decision with their lives and well-being. Their decision would take its toll on the signers.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!As a result of signing the Declaration, there was a heavy price exacted on these fifty-six men of freedom:

. 7 lost their lives

. 2 lost their health

. 5 were taken prisoners of war

. 4 lost their wives

. 17 lost entire fortunes

. 5 experienced huge debt resulting from financing the war effort

. 4 lost children

The Crown sent twenty-five thousand troops to track down and kill these fifty-six rebels. Abraham Clarke, a lawyer and surveyor, could not be found. The British found and captured his two sons and put them on the prison ship Jersey, referred to as the “Hell Hole Jersey”, a death camp from which no one ever returned alive. Then the offer came to Clarke that his sons would be released if he would surrender and recant his signature. Abraham Clarke refused to go back on his words of pledge to the cause of freedom alongside his companions.

These brave men were not professional politicians, but representatives from the thirteen colonies from every walk of life. This body was made up of two of the wealthiest men in America, Charles Carrolton (merchant and plantation owner) and Robert Morris (plantation owner) as well as one of the poorest, Samuel Adams, a merchant from Boston. (When Sam Adams was elected to Congress he did not own a suit. His neighbors took up a collection to purchase a suit of clothes for him to wear to Congress.) These were land owners, lawyers, physicians, ministers and merchants of every sort.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!You will predominantly hear that all these men were deists, atheists or agnostics in their religious beliefs. Jefferson, Franklin and James Wilson, a Pennsylvania lawyer, are the only ones that are known to be deists.

The truth is, however, that the majority were men committed to the Christian faith. A few examples and facts include:

. 29 of them held seminary or Bible school degrees

. Dr John Witherspoon was one of the best known Gospel evangelists of that day, was a long time member of Congress, serving on 100 committees.

. Sam Adams, known as the Father of the American Revolution – “I rely on the merits of Jesus Christ for the pardon of all my sins.”

. Dr Benjamin Rush, physician, Presbyterian – considered 1 of 3 most notable of the Founding Fathers, started the first Sunday school and Bible society in America.

. Roger Sherman, lawyer, Congregationalist – He was the only one of the signers to sign all 4 founding documents – Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Articles of Federation, Anti-Federalist Papers.

“God has promised to bestow eternal blessings on all those who are willing to accept Him on the terms of the Gospel that is in the way of free grace in the Atonement,” Sherman declared.

. John Adams was well known as a strong Christian leader. He wrote to Abigail of the first meeting of the Continental Congress and explained how powerful it was to begin with a three-hour prayer service and Bible study from Psalm 35.

. Lyman Hall was a minister from Georgia.

John Adams would relate to his wife that all the prayers of these leaders were being answered after a fifteen-day time of prayer and fasting. He said they were witnessing the “direct intervention of God.”

Of course, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the odds heavily favored the British, especially on the water. The largest naval deployment to that date in New York Harbor was in 1776, when the British war ships’ masts were reported to “look like a forest in the harbor.” This was the most powerful navy in the world. The British Man-O-War was feared by rival navies on the high seas. They were undefeated for 300 years.

Inpendence Day, Return America, Return!Enter the fledgling US Patriot Navy armed with small gunboats and the prayers of righteous men, pleading for their country. These small ships were no physical match for these powerful ships and experienced crews. But as the Congress worked and prayed they would realize the capture of 600 British ships. The US Navy began to take control and in 1778 John Paul Jones became a well-known naval hero as he captured the HMS Drake. The hand of God was with these dedicated patriots.

Sadly, how far we have drifted, as a nation, from our earliest moorings. We have weighed anchor and left the harbor of security and guidance from The Almighty and are attempting to prove that we can go it alone now. “Thanks for your help, God, but we can handle it from here.” This is a dangerous, dreadful and disastrous path to travel.

President Woodrow Wilson said, “The nation that does not remember what is was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do.” It seems that we are adrift now and we are told that we must trust people, who we know that we cannot trust, to guide us into the future.

In our current malaise of uncertainty, immorality and violence it is only logical to encourage our nation, leaders and citizens, to return to our safe harbor before all is lost and the death knell sounds for freedom and goodness. As President George Washington made his farewell address, September 17, 1796, he explained the foundations of America’s greatness. Thirty percent of his speech was laden with strong Christian admonition. He said, “Of all the habits and dispositions that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” We must return to our foundations and make them strong again.

Independence Day, Return America, ReturnHow long can all the madness continue? How long can the freedoms we have enjoyed all our lives continue? Will the next generation understand what we are saying and why we are sounding alarms? Alexander Solzhenitsyn, writer, activist and critic of the Soviet Union, was imprisoned from 1945 to 1953 for speaking against the Russian government. Later in life, he spoke at Harvard University to the student body. He remembered the days of his youth under Communist control and oppression and he recounted hearing his grandfather and father speak of why the great Russian society had come to this dreariness. He remembered his grandfather commenting that it was because they had forgotten God. Solzhenitsyn then compared our situation and made the statement that we are experiencing these times because, “we have forgotten God.” He was promptly booed in masse by the Harvard student body.

America was founded on sound principles of freedom and righteousness and it has prospered for over 200 years as the greatest nation in history. The American experiment has been a success and it certainly could continue to succeed. All indications are that it will not. The alarm is sounding and the general attitude is to hit the snooze button and roll over, back in a deep slumber of apathy and self-indulgence.

But if the Church, the true people of God wake up and decide to pray and get serious again about what is true and important, America can return to the safe harbor and continue to stand as the light of freedom the world desperately needs. People still are risking everything to come to America to escape oppression and misery because of its open arms and promise of liberty and safe haven. If this ideal is lost, it will not be because God is unfaithful, but because America will have forgotten its moorings and safety in the God of blessing.

Independence Day, Return America, Return!Are we ready, as our forefathers were, to take a stand for truth and our American way of life and freedom? I pray that we are and that a new army of rebels will be raised up to sound the alarm louder and encourage this country to return to the God of our fathers.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is The Lord.” Psalm 33:12″

 

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GOD MOVES

Have you ever seen how God Moves in your life?  I have recently and I have to share again!

It has been a very long time since I wrote anything for my blog. As much as I miss writing, I just have not felt led to write anything. In the back of my mind and heart there is a burning desire to get back to writing regularly. I think … maybe at least one a week. I remember when I was writing every day. God would actually give me topics either every day or I worked off of a list that I had made from Him speaking to my heart over many days. It was an exciting time. However, I was not working in a job that required so much of my brain and energy. It was a very good “growing” time for me. The more I wrote, the more I learned and in turn grew closer to God and wanted to write more and more.large

It actually all began when I was reading one of the daily devotionals that I get every morning and then I began commenting on it and began to share it with one and then three, then eight and more ladies. When it was all said and done, I had 75 ladies on my email list that I would forward the emails (daily devos) that I had added a paragraph or so worth of comments about it. I usually commented on how the devotional touched or spoke to my heart and soul. I had a few ladies that would reply back to my email with very uplifting and encouraging comments. It kept me going for quite a while. I even solicited for others to join my little group if they would like. I approached three Sunday School ladies from church and asked them. I got 3 different answers from them. It was quite funny. One said she already did enough devotionals and just couldn’t join another. I told her that it was not a problem at all and I totally understood… and I did. The next one said “Yes, that sounds good, but you have to know… I don’t check my email very often.” Again, I answered … that it was not a problem at all and I totally understood… and I did. The third one said “Yes, I would love to be on your emailing list.” So 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, huh?

I was quite happy doing just what I was doing… forwarding the emails after I commented on them, to my growing list of ladies. Then one Sunday, one of my Sunday School teachers asked me something that I had not thought of. She asked me if I had ever thought about going out on myGOD IS YOUR REFUGE own and writing a devotional instead of using another devotional to launch off of. I told her no, I hadn’t thought of that at all. I was quite happy doing what I was doing. However, I felt that “tug” on my heart that had become pretty familiar. I knew this conversation was NOT just “coincidence”. You see… I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe God crosses the paths of people on purpose. For a specific purpose and that purpose is usually something that will give you the opportunity to grow in your spiritual walk and bring glory to Him. I believe God Moves like that.

So, I prayed about it, talked to my family about it, talked to my pastor about it and I came to the conclusion that yes, it was time. Each person I visited with about it gave me good ideas and advice. I began to research and find out about blogging. I was off 3-4 days in a row and on April 14, 2014 God and I sat down at my computer and began to build my blogsite. I actually felt His guiding me in the entire process.  I checked into hosting fees from GoDaddy and they were something I thought I could afford. Then when I checked to see if the domain name was available, I was shocked to find out that it was. I should have known that it was waiting just for me. I believe God Moves like that.

The reason I wanted GoDaddy to host it, or someone to host it, is because by doing that I could have an “owned” domain name instead of using just the free WordPress site. My email is leah@abidinginthevine.net instead of leah@wordpress.abidinginthevine.net or something like that. I wanted it to reflect only the name of the site.GOD MOVES FOR THOSE WHO WAIT

How I chose the name … well, I have thought about this scripture for a long time and years ago, I had the privilege to be in a recording studio and I recorded 3 tracks. It was an experience of a lifetime. The brochures I created, at that time, to market myself to places to sing were reflective of this scripture:

John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. NKJV

So I was finally going to be able to use my idea on a website/blogsite. I was pretty excited!

By the way, I will add that it was about 6 months down the road, after I got my blogsite up and running, the 1st lady from my Sunday School that I had asked about joining my email list for devotionals … she approached me one Sunday morning in Sunday School and asked me for my blogsite address. She’s been hooked ever since… lol.  So, finally, three out of three. I was pretty excited and I believe God Moves like that! I now have several ladies that read my blog from my Sunday School class. That is so cool to me!

I love how God Moves. It always amazes me to see all the pieces fall into place when I allow God to work, that is when I step back and allow Him to work in my life instead of me trying to “fix” things. I don’t know why it amazes me… I know that is how God Moves.  The older I get, the more I learn this and actually try not to “fix” it myself.  I wish I could just finally learn it. However, every time I have had to learn this lesson over and over, I grow. I grow in God and His Spirit and I like that! A lot! I believe that is how God Moves in my life.

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I started writing this post on Wednesday of last week (March 2, 2016) and there have been so many things that have happened to add to this post. One very BIG one is such an obvious example of how God Moves I just have to share it!TRUST

Along with a list of great things I have begun, I started driving for Uber a few weeks ago. I try to stay close to home and that means usually around Grapevine, Texas and the D/FW Airport. Sometimes the calls get me a little out from there but usually I do not drive into Dallas because I pick up a rider usually right close to where I drop off a rider. Well, this particular night (Friday, March 5th) I had a call to go to the Gaylord Texan Resort which is in Grapevine. I picked up a very nice, young couple and they wanted to go to the Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas. They were interested in Chip Foose who is a guy that does a lot of “Overhaulin’” of vehicles in dire straits. He was supposed to be making a show there the next day, I think. I feel certain most or at least some of you have heard of him. Anyway, I digress…

I dropped them off and went off line so I would not get another call because I had to make a pit stop of my own. As I was coming out of McDonald’s with an order of fries (I just can’t resist them!) I got another call from Uber for a rider just a few miles away from where I was, down Forest Ave. I thought I was off line and not able to receive calls, but oh well… So, I accepted the call and headed that direction. When I arrived at the destination that the GPS told me, there was NO RIDER and no Comet Cleaners, where he said he was. I texted the rider and asked him about his location. He said he was almost to Hiway 75… Central Expressway! Oh My Goodness!!! I was just at Marsh Lane! The GPS was way off! He was about 8 miles further… so, I finally found him and took him a ways down Central Expressway to his humble abode. Then before I got out of the driveway, I got another call for another rider. Man! Another call and I am on the EAST SIDE OF DALLAS AT THIS POINT! CENTRALThe time is 6:00 pm and I have never liked being on the East side or West side or any side of Dallas at 6:00 pm! If there are any readers out there that know what I mean, raise your hands!

While I am driving down Central Expressway with all the “TRAFFIC” I began to settle back and talk to God. I realized – finally – that this had to be a God thing! If I found myself that far from home, in that location, at that time of the night, there had to be a reason! THERE WAS! Read on.

The next rider was a very pretty and sweet young lady. She seemed a little distressed as she looked up at me with her big, kind eyes and said “Thank you.” as I closed the door after she got settled. As soon as we were on our way… to Downtown Dallas… she got on the phone and called what apparently was a very good girlfriend of hers. The first thing out of her mouth was … “Well, we just got out of marriage counseling.” Then she said “No, it was horrible!” Well, I won’t go into the entire conversation, but I will tell you that this young lady was distressed and God placed her right in my path. As she unveiled many things in that conversation that I was a little uncomfortable hearing… she spared no words or feelings. She laid it all out there as if I was not there or at least like there was one of those Plexiglas windows between her and me. But there was not and she didn’t really seem to care. She was just bent on telling her girlfriend the sordid details and … well, anyway. She was in need of a good prayer time and understanding and someone that could relate to her dilemma. As we pulled into the very upscale, downtown apartment building garage, she hung up the phone and very boldly, I spoke up. I told her how I could relate to her overheard story. I asked her if I could pray with her, because listening to her conversation, I picked up that she was a Christian and did pray and believe how I believed, at least somewhat. She almost cried! She said “Really!? YES, of course!” We began talking and I told her a little of my story and she asked if we could pray. I said yes, we held hands and prayed. She was not nervous or uncomfortable. This was a 30-year-old young lady that had only been married a short time and found herself married to someone she didn’t really know like she thought she did. They both needed help with various things but she was distressed and needed to hear from God. I had to get going and so did she. She was headed out of town to her girlfriend’s house and it was getting later and later. So we got out of my vehicle and as I am helping her out of the back, she said … “I prayed for God to send me an Angel and He sent me you!” I PRAYED FOR AN ANGELWe hugged and said our good byes. She got my card with my contact info. I may never hear from her again, but I know she heard from God that night! I just love it when I recognize how God Moves because sometimes, I am afraid I miss those priceless moments in time that should get my attention and make me Praise His Holy Name!

God Moves in your life, too! You have to just listen for that still, small voice and hear Him speaking to your heart. Sometimes, His voice comes through another person too. If you be still and just listen and know that He is God, He will speak to your heart. Let God Move in your life and allow Him to use you or allow someone else to be used by Him to bless you.

Well, I tell you one thing! I was thanking Him for that Close THANK YOU LORDEncounter of the Third Kind (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit)! (Excuse the little play on words there… if anyone has ever seen or heard of the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” you will understand that. If not, just keep reading and … never mind.) I praised Him and thanked Him for allowing me to experience that unforgettable night and His love for that young lady. I was pretty much in awe the entire trip home.

Well, this has been quite a long post after such a long time of not writing. I just had to share this with you all! I hope to be back on a regular writing basis now. I love sharing how God Moves in my life with you. I do hope it blesses you in some way. God Moves in your life too! Do you recognize Him? Do you thank Him for using you or being blessed by someone that He uses?  Write me and let me know how God has used you or how you have been blessed by someone He has used.

God loves you so much! After all, He calls you His beloved!

The Song/Video – God Moves
Sovereign Grace Music

Here is the music to this beautiful song!

SHEET MUSICIf you would like to contact me from this post, please fill out the Contact Form below.  If you just want to comment on the post, scroll down to “Leave A Reply” area.  Thank you so very much!  May God Bless and Keep you in His tender care.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

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BEING FED BY OTHERS

Hello everyone.  It has been so long since I have been able to just sit down for a couple of hours… maybe three… and just write what God has laid on my heart. I have had a lot laid on my heart lately but not things to share with the world – at least not yet. Just stuff that has happened to me in my personal life that has been … well, let’s just say not your normal, run of the mill stuff.

The title of this post is BEING FED BY OTHERS because I truly have been. Whether it is through my church and Sunday School – Life Groups is what they call it now… I have trouble not saying Sunday School though. I have called it that for many, many years… anyway, I digress. So, whether it has been through church, or friends or family. It has been a wonderful time of learning… and let me add work has provided some of that feeding as well. 0e1274645_merciful

Work is awesome but consuming and my manager is more awesome and so gracious and forgiving. She is one special lady. Now, don’t get me wrong. You walk on the wrong side and disrupt the good flow of things, she will let you know it. She has it in her to say things that cut to the core. However, that is … that it “cuts to the core” because it’s true and you know it. On the other hand, she is the most gracious and merciful manager I have ever encountered and, well, that is pretty awesome to me. So there are some things at work that have happened that have been less than perfect and then there have been things that have been perfect. I know… sounds contradictory. It is but it’s all good! I am learning and trying to be the biggest sponge you have ever seen. My limits are being stretched every day and I like that.. sometimes… I Love that! Then there are days that I just want to scream! But I keep going because I don’t like to quit. I like to learn and I like doing what I do. You see I am an Applications Instructor. That means that I learn EVERY DAY! Yep, I have to “know it” but I also learn it.. meaning “stuff” … over and over again. From my students, from myself and others. It’s a pretty cool thing. However, that is not what I wanted to write about, necessarily.mercy-grace

I wanted to say how much I have experienced grace, mercy and kindness. Today it was from a wonderful bunch of students in my class that kinda had some technical issues. Now usually when there are tech issues, the scores that the students give are usually low. Today, not so. They totally surprised me! I think this is the first time that I have experienced, since being at my current job, that the scores were up there even with MAJOR tech issues. I think it was a combination of things… but I don’t want to analyze it too deep right now. That will come later with my manager… which will be a good thing. However, I do want to acknowledge that the students in this class (10 of them) were a very interactive and happy class. They enjoyed learning and were most forgiving of the circumstances that we encountered today! Yep, it was a refreshing outcome… and one that I am so appreciative of. Gracious and merciful students. Nice!

The other thing I want to recognize is actually from a pastor in San Antonio. I received a message from my website the other day. It was from this pastor in San Antonio and he was asking about one of the pictures I used some time back on a post. He was just asking if he could use the picture for theirencounter “new” church’s logo. The picture is just one I got off of the internet when I Googled a topic. The post was ENCOUNTERING GOD ALMIGHTY. The picture is quite good and he believes it would be a perfect logo for the new church that he is wanting to start on October 24, 2015. Of course I told him I had just Googled it also, same as him, and he could certainly use it and I attached it to the email.

One of the things I wanted to do with this post is include one of his posts. You see he writes a blog also. He has held this blog for 12 years, he says, and it is quite good. Please give him the graciousness to read his blog post on THE BLESSING OF MERCY.

I mainly wanted to introduce you to him and ask you to read his post on The Blessing of Mercy. It is truly a blessing to encounter Mercy from any source. The best is the Mercy that our Savior gave us. Please read on and comment, if you want, on any encounters with mercy and grace you have had lately or ever. Here is his post:

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God morning, beloved.  It is written.  "It is more blessed to give than to receive."  (Acts 20:35)  Jesus lived and died by that truth.  He "gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age."  (Galatians 1:4).  "In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope."  (1 Peter 1:3).

Mercy is love expressed.  When Christians practice mercy, they place the needs of others above their own, in much the same way that Jesus placed our need for forgiveness and salvation first, allowing Himself to be insulted, abused, and finally crucified in order to procure that salvation for us.  God so loved that He gave.  Calvary is the proof of God's mercy.

To be merciful is to act out of love and compassion for others, to try to see with their eyes, think with their minds, and feel with their hearts.  God's Son did just that when he took on human flesh and blood to experience life's struggles just as we do, though without sin.  He offered His life in our place as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.

As we display mercy in Christ's name, we become more like our Lord.  By His grace we will obtain the ultimate mercy:  entrance into God's heavenly sanctuary, to abide with Him forever. Amen.

Worship with me.  Lord Have Mercy.

Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.<a href="https://youtu.be/eDpp_YdXnqs" target="_blank">
https://youtu.be/eDpp_YdXnqs</a>

Remember to be in prayer for Encountering GOD church…We launch this church plant on Saturday October 24th 2015.  You are invited to our home for a night of worship and hear what God and Jesus have to say about His church.  Email me for more details or send me a Facebook message.  oxox

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing
Pastor Eric Hughes
Lead Pastor Encountering GOD Church &
Behavioral Health Specialist

A Behavioral Health Specialist is a person that covers the needs of individuals, couples and families dealing with challenges in their everyday lives. I work with people of all ages to find productive solutions for their problems.

Isaiah 61:1 – The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

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Thank you for reading my blog and his too.  May God richly bless and keep each of you in His tender care.  God loves you so much, after all, He calls you His beloved!

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BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE

I am so blessed beyond measure!

I haven’t written in a couple of days because I have been inundated with many new things – with starting my new job. I have crammed much information in this brain and still more to come. I will be leaving this evening to go to Washington state for my first trip with the company. I am a traveling Trainer and will be “shadowing” one of the other Trainers for this first trip and the second one as well. I received my first paycheck stub in email yesterday and I opened it and just sat there staring at it. Tears welled up in my eyes and all I could do was sit there and stare at the thing. This will not fund until Friday, but I was so taken aback by the amount of this check. No, it wasn’t a million dollars but it was more money for two weeks than I had made in a month in my last job. I was astounded and instantly felt so blessed by my Father in Heaven for giving me this job.THANKFUL GRATEFUL BLESSED  Please do not misunderstand me here… I am not blessed necessarily by money.  No!  By No Means… (if i can borrow a phrase that dear Paul used many times in his letters to the early Christians….lol)  No, I am not blessed just because it is money.  You see, I was laid off from a very good job 5 years ago and this job is almost like what I used to do. The job, the company, the people and yes the paycheck is a HUGE blessing.  God has provided for me and my parents along the way though!  He has been faithful to His promise to never leave us or forsake us.  This paycheck just blew me away.  He is good and His mercy endure forever!

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

and

Psalm 136:1-3

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
    For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
    For His mercy endures forever

Now let me say that my last job may have been low pay but it had many more blessings than a paycheck. I met some really good friends there. One of them, I consider a very dear friend and one that I believe God had a big part in bringing us together. She is a wonderful friend, daughter, mother, wife and Christian. I love her and pray for her and her sweet family daily. I miss seeing and talking with her a lot. She is one of the bright spots of working at that job for 2 + years. There are several others as well. I made some very good, life -long friends and will be forever grateful and blessed by those friendships.friendship-and-love-quotes-wallpapers

There are so many other things I could say about how blessed I am. My life seems to be an overflow of blessings from Heaven. Every trial has turned into a blessing and I am grateful for this heart that God has given me that I can recognize the blessings from His Hand. My brother also writes weekly. He has a blog named Written4U. His post today was about blessings. I would like to include a link to his post as well. Please click this link to read more about “Count Your Blessings”. He has a lot of good stuff to say about that as well.

Look around your life today and see how God has blessed you. If nothing else, if you are a Christian, God has given you Jesus.

John 3:16-17

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

This day brings many blessings… count them one by one!  Tell God how grateful you are for His blessings.  God loves you so much and He calls you His beloved and that is a blessing as well.

The Video – Count Your Blessings – St. John’s Children’s Choir

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GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS GOOD

I am taking a short break from the Prayer series.  The next folks that I will be sharing with you is Isaac and Rachael and their twins sons, Esau and Jacob.  This will also be an interesting path to go down.  For this post though, I am going to share a short one this time about a prayer that a lot of us have heard most of our life.  I wrote this last year sometime and thought it appropriate for now.  Enjoy!


Remember when you were a child and you were learning to pray?  Maybe you didn’t learn when you were young.  Maybe you have heard a little child pray this prayer at meal time though.  “God is Great, God is Good, Let us thank Him for our food.  Amen.”  What is that really saying?  Let’s break it down a bit. god-is-great-god-is-good-blue-600

First, God is Great.   If we speak this as a child we have no idea how great until we have a little experience under our belt.  God is great and we know this because we have experienced His Greatness!  In the power of the storms, in the beauty of a tiny flower and the majesty of all of His creation.  How wonderful it is to serve a Great God!

Psalm 145:1-3

I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.

Second, God is Good.  God is so good.  He is a righteous and just God.  He is Love!  He runs after us to bring us to Him!  He never lets us go.  He wants to spend eternity with us so He went so far as to send His only Perfect Son to earth to live amongil_340x270.359545488_4b8b us so we could relate to Him better.  And then His Son – Jesus – went so far as to die on a cruel cross and went to hell and overcame death so we would not have to die and be separated from Him.  Oh My… what a Savior!

Psalm 136:1

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Thirdly, Let us thank Him for our food.  He provides our every need.  We must have faitjehovajirehh and trust His provision and His timing.  He is!  He will provide.  I love the names of God.  The one I can relate to in the last 4 years is Jehovah Jireh.  Lord our Provider!

Philippians 4:19

19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Lastly, Amen.  This is the definition of Amen… “so be it!: a term used at the end of a prayer or religious statement, is a dAmen_Arabic_by_Dangeloeclaration of affirmation”

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  1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) the use of the word amen, as at the end of a prayer

say amen to express strong approval of or support for (an assertion, hope, etc.)

So now you know…

The Song – Jesus What A Savior – Singing Men of North Central Texas

The Video – Jesus What A Savior You Are – Christ for the Nations

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RUNNING FOR THE PRIZE

Have you ever seen a dachshund race?  Oh My Goodness!  It is the funniest thing I have ever seen!  I follow a little dachshund on Facebook and he is quite the celebrity!  His name is Crusoe and he is from Canada. CRUSOE He was in a “wiener dog race” and he finished 3rd and the prize was a squeaky ball!  (see it here and if you still want more see his blog… here)  It is so much fun and the funniest thing to watch!  If you know me at all you know I L-O-V-E love dachshunds and everything about them!  These races are so funny because these little guys are so excited at the starting line.  They are so wound up to get going on that race and for what?  To get a squeaky ball!?  Not much of a prize as far as you and I are concerned… (or Zuckie – one of my dachshunds – for that matter.  He does WIENER DOG RACE 2not like anything that squeaks!  He doesn’t like noise… loud trucks, loud anything and especially sirens).

But let’s focus on how the dachshunds begin the race.  These little guys are so excited and so ready to get going!  Excitement, anticipation and readiness are the traits you see in them!  They are full of joy and life!  You know we run a race too!  Every day!  And we run the race for a far greater prize than any squeaky ball.  We are running for the prize of an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).  We should be running for the prize daily!  So shouldn’t we begin our daily race the way these little dachshunds begin their race?  RUN FOR THE PRIZEWith excitement, anticipation and readiness?  We as Christians, in our walk with the Lord, should be filled with excitement, anticipation and readiness.  If we meet every day with that frame of mind we cannot loose!  Jesus left us a Helper which is the Holy Spirit, our closest friend!  That means He can help us throughout each day!  I have a friend at work that when she gets there and walks to her desk we speak the “Good Mornings” and then we ask one another the usual “how are you doing?”  We usually say…”Blessed and Highly Favored!”  and yesterday I added “…because I am a child of the King!”  If we truly believe this we can meet each day with an attitude of excitement for what God will do in our lives that day, anticipation of how it will change us or someone around us and readiness to be used for the Kingdom of Christ.

Try it out!  When you first wake up in the morning, focus your mind on God and how He has blessed you by giving you another day to tell someone about Him.  I love this scripture:

James 1:12  Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

BLESSINGS

 He has blessed you with another day to breathe the air of freedom we have here in America – that is so precious and hard to come by to others throughout the world.  You can thank Him for all the blessings you have whether it be a little heartbeat at your feet (human or animal) or a job, or a vehicle to drive, or a nice soft (or firm) bed to sleep in, or food on your table or any number of things!  You choose!  Focus on what blessings God has bestowed on you in your life and not the worries, problems and trials you face each day and THANK HIM FOR THOSE BLESSINGS!  I know… I KNOW if you do this you will feel better and you will be ready to run the race for the day!

Psalm 95:2-3 tells us

“2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.”

The Song – Hezekiah Walker – Every Praise!

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