Everything here is designed to make you feel good.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How Do You Define Prosperity?

How Do You Define Prosperity?
by: Michael A. Verdicchio

The United States of America is often described as a “land of opportunity and prosperity.” Many businesses and companies in the USA have documented a “prosperous year.” In fact, over the centuries, many individuals from the United States of America have been called, “very prosperous.”

But the question I have for you is, “When you hear the word, ‘prosperity,’ what does that mean to you?” When you hear that word, what do you think of? Perhaps a better question might be, “Are you a prosperous person?”

Most people equate the word “prosperity” and the phrase "being prosperous" with money. In other words, the more money you have, the more prosperous you are. If you are lacking money, then you are lacking prosperity. But what is the standard?

The dictionary definition of “prosperous” is, “having success, flourishing, well off, favorable.” And, biblically, to prosper simply means to have success.

But what exactly is the standard? Who decides what is or isn’t prosperity? How do you know if you are a prosperous person? You are the only one who can define prosperity for you. The fact is, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about your life. What matters is what you think. It really is totally up to you to determine what being prosperous means for you.

There are two major downfalls in defining prosperity. The first is the most common. It is called “denial.” That’s when people know that they are not prospering like they want to, but, they see no way to get there. So, they decide to just settle for what they have now, and try to convince themselves, and everyone else, that they are content.

You hear phrases like, “Oh, I don’t really need this or that. I can get by without it. I’m really happy with what we have and where we’re at.”

I am not talking about being grateful for the things that you have, neither am I in any way judging anyone. Being grateful for what you have is important. But, at the same time, this doesn’t mean you can't be grateful, and still set your sights higher, too.

Every person really needs to determine what prosperity is for them. A lot of people who would like to see more prosperity in their life have decided to just settle for what they have now, and then call that prosperity. That’s just not honest. That is denial.

The other downfall in defining prosperity is the total opposite. It is called, “greed.” These are people who think that prosperity means acquiring everything that they can possibly get their hands on. In other words, no matter what they have, it is never enough. They have a, “whoever gets the most, wins” attitude. That is greed.

I do not pass judgment on people who have a lot of wealth. No one has the right to judge the rich or the poor. As I said, each person needs to define what prosperity means for them. But isn’t it interesting that for the most part, society hates those who have a lot, and feels sorry for those with lack?

Those who have read the Bible know that there are many promises of prosperity in the Scriptures. Time and time again you can read promises of abundance. And, there are also warnings to watch out for greed. But too often, the Christian world has focused only on the warnings about greed and ignored the promises about prosperity and abundance.

Good, sincere, God loving people have been taught that to want any more than what they have right now is just being greedy. If that is true, then who are all those promises of abundance from God intended for?

When it comes to your prosperity, you are the only one who can define it. You simply decide what you want in your life. And, if along the way, you decide to change and redefine it, then go ahead and redefine it. It is your prosperity!

Since God has promised us prosperity, I really believe that it is something that is between you and God. Don’t pay attention to those who judge you. It is none of their business!

Just stay honest with God, and avoid both downfalls: greed and denial. Remember that He wants you to prosper. His supply is endless, and so is His love for you.
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Michael A. Verdicchio has inspirational and motivational “Pep Talks” on audio CD, at http://www.MikesPepTalks.com . Michael has a free newsletter called, THE PEP LETTER, at http://www.christianinspirationalgifts.com/pepletter.html . Michael is a husband, father, minister, author, and broadcaster. He has been the voice on numerous productions over the years.

Prophetic - The Power of the Prophetic Seer

Prophetic - The Power of the Prophetic Seer
By Keith A. Paul

Most of us are familiar somewhat with the term spectrum. It is used to describe on a linear scale measurements of time, sound and light. Humans function in a narrow segment of that total spectrum comprised of time, sound and light. We can only hear certain sound frequencies and see a certain range of light within the larger spectrum. Our time here in earths dimension is also a narrow slice of the time spectrum in contrast to eternity forever. I want to present some thoughts to you today about the light and visual spectrum. Understanding it will help you to see beyond the physical limitations of natural eyesight into the fascinating realm of prophetic revelation. It is there the prophet and prophetess go, so to speak to receive supernatural downloads.

I want to describe a significant dream the Lord gave me three years ago. I awakened into this dream fully alert and saw in the distance Jesus. He was clothed in radiant atmosphere. The distance at that point between us was rapidly closing. I am not sure if He was moving towards me or I towards Him. As this distance closed He increasingly became brighter and more radiant. Power, energy and light was flowing out of Him. His Presence became so radiant that all I could see was a diffused image within His countenance. Then when we were within ten or so feet of each other He suddenly disappeared. However, He spoke to me and said " I Am still with you. I have merely stepped out of your visual spectrum. This is what I did in the room when I first met with the disciples after My resurrection. I stepped into their visual spectrum, ate with them, instructed them and then I stepped out of their visual spectrum. They thought I left but I merely was out of their visual spectrum. This is how I operate in My Kingdom beyond the natural spectrum of human sight and sound. But I never leave My people. I Am always close at hand. In this form I Am able to also live within them in My Holy Spirit."

My dream contained a few other details. Perhaps I will share those another time. What I want to emphasize here is that the spiritual realms are outside the natural visual, time and sound spectrum. The human spirit has the capability in a smaller measure to engage the larger spectrum through the help given to us by the Holy Spirit. Thankfully God the Holy Spirit does step into our natural visual, sound and time spectrum to engage us in God encounters. He however, gives us the invitation to come into His realm to also engage Him in spiritual intimacy and worship. To engage Him with dialog, revelation and relationship. It is into this realm that prophet and prophetess receive their insight and prophetic ministry.

How then can you or I activate the ability to see with the prophetic eyes of the seer? We simply need to ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our understanding so that we can see into that realm. He will sensitize us to His realm so that we can gaze into His realm at will. He will activate the inner eyes of the spirit within us to receive visual images, pictures, storyboards and scenes. He will also open the inner ears of the spirit to hear what He is saying to us and to others that we are to speak to on His behalf. Begin to pray the Ephesian 1:18, 19 prayer found in the scriptures for God wants us to have the eyes of the seer prophet so we are equipped to see His destiny fulfilled in our life.
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Keith A. Paul has many years of Minstry experience and is an Author. He is used in the gift of prophecy, dream interpretation and words of knowledge which are gifts of the Holy Spirit. He currently lives in Abbotsford B.C. Canada. He has traveled internationally promoting the supernatural teachings and works of the Holy Spirit. To learn more, and to receive Keith's free Prophetic Words, please visit http://www.restorationplaceministries.com

When All Else Fails, Try Faith!

When All Else Fails, Try Faith!
By Josh Liteky

What is both your greatest asset and greatest liability at the same time? Consider this for a moment. Give up? Your MIND! Think about it, what is the thing that is either constantly praising you or pushing you down? Don't you wish sometimes you could take that voice in your head and just strangle it once and for all?

If we ever stop and take a look at what is really stopping us from achieving the greatness we feel inside of us, it's that damn voice in our heads going on about how we are not good enough, we don't deserve it, it's too hard, we don't have enough...BLA BLA BLA! Overcoming this can be a challenge and a half! And it's the same mind that gives us all the inspiration and ability to make those great achievements...what gives? It must just be part of how we are designed, we all have our own mountains to climb and demons to overcome, yet they will always be there I believe. So, why bring this up, you ask? Well, in climbing my own mountains, judging by the roller coaster ride I am on, I figure everyone has their own as well, and if we can learn from one another what works and what doesn't, we all come out ahead.

You want to know a secret? The Mountain of LIFE has no summit! Imagine climbing a mountain without a top!! You don't even have to imagine, that's what you are already doing! Grab a hold of this reality and see how your perspective changes. There are ALWAYS going to be problems, obstacles, challenges. No magic fairly la-la land...it wasn't designed that way...this is it! So what choice do we have other than to enjoy the never-ending process! Of course, it is a choice.

There is so much information and knowledge out there, on everything imaginable. How do we know what to listen to, what to follow? It all comes down to how we feel. If we listen and learn to trust our own gut intuition about something, whatever it is, we will be ok. Sounds simple enough, but most of us don't do this. Many of us follow along blindly without ever thinking for ourselves. Learning to trust our own feelings is huge!

For those of us who are into personal development and living successfully, we are constantly working to improve ourselves. I had a pretty interesting realization recently, that undoubtedly many others have had too, that we are already perfect just the way we are. Sure, we all have aspects of our lives that we would like to improve: health, finances, relationships, and the like. For me, I felt like I was chasing something that I didn't have already, just running after a dream as if I lacked something I didn't have right now.

What it all really comes down to is feeling good inside, and this can be a different experience for all of us. Obviously what feels good to one person may not to another. This is why it is important that we are totally in tune with ourselves and do things that make us feel good, whatever they may be.

There are infinite definitions of success. To me, success is being happy and feeling good inside all of the time, regardless of what my outside circumstances are. I believe this is the ultimate destination for this eternal train of life we are all riding. Embrace and enjoy the ride, because this is it!

What's our greatest challenge in this game of life? Hands down, it's this battle of mind. The longer we stay in the game, the better we get at playing it. What makes the winners? Persistence and perseverance alone rule. This is the way it has always been, and the way it will always be. Everyone has significant challenges, duh I know, not telling you anything new and profound here. The ones who make their dreams come true, whatever they are, are the ones who stick it out, no matter what.

We all go through times and moments where we just want to say screw this, and throw in the towel, and sometimes we do. Other times, no matter how bleak things look, or how tough things get, we can still feel the tiniest glimmer of faith, a sliver so small and faint that it is barely there...and in some moments that is all we have to hold on to. When it comes right down to it, back to the wall and nothing we see gives us any hope, we have to grab onto this faith as our way through. If you have that, you have something of greater value than any amount of money or thing outside yourself could ever bring you. Sometimes our experiences happen the way they do so we can find this faith.

If you have that faith inside that you are going to be ok, no matter what happens in your life and no matter how tough things get, then you have accomplished something significant and you are truly successful.

Only you can find this in yourself, no one can do it for you. Certainly, your life experience will direct you to it, but it is always up to you to see it and accept it for yourself, and this is a very personal experience. May you find it because often times it is the only thing that will allow you to overcome some situation that is otherwise impossible.

What challenges are you facing?

Josh Liteky is a lifestyle consultant that assists people live extraordinary lives.
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Visit his websites: http://www.youramazinglife.net and http://www.createyourfreedom.com
email: createyourfreedom1@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All of Life is Spiritual Life

All of Life is Spiritual Life
By Mashubi Rochell

Your life as you know it, even now is a spiritual life. Even if you spend not one second thinking about God, your existence as a soul is a living testimony to God's love and goodness. You came from the spiritual realms, to exist here on the Earth in a body, for a specific and sacred purpose that is an integral part of the larger purpose that God has for souls on the Earth at this time.

You are beloved in God's eyes, even if you have no awareness of God or spiritual life. God's love formed the very DNA of your cells, and created you with purity, love and goodness in your heart. In God's infinite goodness, all souls are given free will and choice, to make their way in life and choose from among a multiplicity of directions and options. Your free will may have taken you closer to or further away from the love and goodness that you were created with, but at all times you remain a sacred child of God.

This one realization could change humanity in an instant, if it were understood that all life is sacred, all life is spiritual life, and that God who created the Earth is actively participating in each life at all times, even in times of great difficulty when it appears that the presence of negativity and darkness is all around.

Dearest ones, your beautiful hearts and souls have been living constricted in limitation, only partially awake to the magnificent potentials that you embody. This current time you are living in marks the beginning of a new era for humanity, which will open all eyes to the experience and embodied reality of God's love. Even now the stirrings of awakening are happening in your dreams, in your daily life and interactions with others, and in the transformations that are happening to your world.

It may appear to your eyes that there are only bad things happening in the world. With worldwide crises in many areas, and for the planet as a whole, this reality may color your perception so that you miss seeing the goodness that is also happening among these very difficult events. It is possible to begin experience the blessing that is happening by attuning to your heart in prayer, meditation, or by walking quietly in nature.

By asking and praying to feel God's presence more in your life, you will begin to have experiences of this as your prayers are answered. As God's presence is revealed, your seemingly ordinary life will take on a new dimension of understanding and experience. Daily life reveals itself to be in essence, spiritual life. God is not separated from your body, mind, spirit, or from your daily thoughts and actions. All is One within the magnificence of the holy creation that is Earth. Your presence and participation is an essential pat of the whole. Your life is blessed beyond measure, as the reality of God's love and goodness becomes your reality in the sacred dance of One.
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Mashubi Rochell is a spiritual counselor and the founder of World Blessings, an online spiritual gathering place for people of all faiths. For more article on spiritual life, please visit WorldBlessings.com.

Prophecy - The Nights Before and After Halloween

Prophecy - The Nights Before and After Halloween
By Keith A. Paul

We are approaching the annual spook night. The event is prominently advertised in the marketing strategies of many retail outlets. Costumes abound and sweets there are a plenty. But the morning after nothing substantial remains other than maybe hyperactivity and an occasional upset stomach because of excessive sugar intake. In this article I want to show parents how to lead their sons and daughters in supernatural prophetic encounters with God. Your child will have been introduced to supernatural concepts and perhaps realities through their exposure to DVDs, videos and television. Many churches are now moving forward into the realms of the Holy Spirit as well and that is impacting the younger generation. Some kids may have already had some experiences with the occult and the dark side. Others may have experienced visions and angelic visitations. This is not uncommon in todays world. Parents can take the initiative in leading their children into the supernatural. Although sometimes the kids are better equipped to lead the parents because of their receptivity and untarnished faith capabilities.

Let me preface what I share in this article by saying that I am speaking about encounters with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We find salvation through faith in the shed blood of Jesus personally and become hosts of the Holy Spirit who comes to live within us. This starting place being clarified let me address how parents of like faith and commitment can lead their kids into supernatural encounters with God. I am also directing my comments to parents with children between 5 and 12 years of age. Be flexible and do the following:

*Set aside a quiet time where you as parent can have some one on one dialog with your son or daughter.

*Talk to them about supernatural experiences with God. Use Biblical stories as reference and your own personal encounters as well.

*Ask them if they can share any of their own experiences with you.

*Ask them if they would like to experience more of the Holy Spirit, more of Jesus or more of God in their lives. Kids can be really honest so be prepared for a "No" or "I don't Know."

*If they indicate an interest in receiving more from Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit then precede.

*Explain: that you will pray and invite the Holy Spirit to touch them, that you will then play some soft worship music in the background and that we will wait for ten to fifteen minutes and that will be all.

*Stay with the child (children) and lead them in individual worship softly. Role model yourself before them. Yield to the Holy Spirit. Sing to the Lord softly. Sing or pray in other languages as the Holy Spirit leads or enables you. Be sensitive to distractions and try to be preventative here. Kids will be kids so encourage them to talk to Jesus. Be sensitive to their needs. Make bathroom trips before you start etc. Don't leave the T.V. Running in the next room.

*Cultivate these times by doing it often. The Holy Spirit will reveal Himself to them and yourself. These times could be followed up with dialog on what they experienced and what you experienced. Remember to keep these special times within the time frame suggested above. If they are able to keep focused for longer then that is fine. Watch their body language for limitations.

You as a parent will see many benefits surfacing within your children as you take time with them. Don't wait for Halloween with all its scary occult stuff to sweep them away. The Lord has a better plan. Start His plan before Halloween and continue after. Make it a regular parent/child event in your home. God will honor you for doing it.
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Keith A. Paul has many years of Ministry experience and is an Author. He is used in the gift of prophecy, dream interpretation and words of knowledge which are gifts of the Holy Spirit. He currently lives in Abbotsford B.C. Canada. He has traveled internationally promoting the supernatural teachings and works of the Holy Spirit. To learn more, and to receive Keith's free Prophetic Words, please visit http://www.restorationplaceministries.com

The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness
By Dr Bob Wilkerson

Forgiveness brings with it the power to face life, love, and live in liberty and peace. When one makes a decision to hold onto to the deadly, immoral pains of un-forgiveness they suffer from the consequences. However, sadly enough the person who does not forgive affects everyone involved in their life.

A phenomenal connection exists between the ability to forgive another person's failures, attacks or injustices and your own forgiveness. Individuals who do not know the art of pure forgiveness take their darkness into every relationship they encounter. The power of forgiveness is incredible and in most cases divine. In fact, forgiveness is crucial in a civilized social society. Without forgiveness, the result is murder, rape and other violent acts, including war.

According to Charles Stanley, a leading theological leader un-forgiveness results in self-hate, a diversion towards certain people, a desire to strike out at people when certain subjects are discussed, a struggle with guilt and hating the ones you love the most. The solution seems simple, just forgive others, yet forgiveness can be complicated.

In order to understand the power of forgiveness you must experience the unique and unconditional forgiveness offered by God through Jesus Christ. When an infraction occurs, there is always a debt, to be paid. From the perspective of humankind, we all own a price for our sin. In order to balance the account and make payment for your own failures God provided His son to pay your debt. I know this is simplistic but God's plans are simple, you are the one who complicates the matter. In order to receive the forgiveness of God all you have to do is accept, trust, believe Jesus was the payment for your sins.

When you receive forgiveness, the reality of Jesus' gift, you will offer forgiveness to others based on how you are forgiven. The power of forgiveness includes the liberty and courage needed to approach life and relationships in a new light, the light of love and grace of God.
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Dr Bob Wilkerson is author of the book, "I Will Not Be Defeated Anymore". He is dedicated to helping others recover from life altering circumstances. Dr. Bob is a motivational speaker/singer with a true life story of God's power to change any individuals life. If your Church or organization is looking for a dynamic speaker/singer please email him today. challenger7777@gmail.com

Wherever There Are Sheep There Are Wolves

Wherever There Are Sheep There Are Wolves
By Sandy Shaw

There are particular passages in the Bible from which it is very difficult to depart while writing articles. Acts Chapter 20, in the New Testament, is one such passage, because the emotion is rich and real and content is substantial.

Paul the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ is addressing his final words to the elders and leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ in Ephesus, and a man's final words are vitally important.

I know this - after I depart - wolves will infiltrate the flock and seek to devour the sheep, and also from among you, some shall arise and speak false and dangerous things. They will persist in this, and they will draw away disciples after them.

One group of elders in a town can prevent that happening.

Wherever there are sheep there are wolves.

That is a spiritual theorem - a spiritual truth - a spiritual reality.

Watch - pay attention - be on your guard. Remember that I warned you of those things. Look out for these two elements - vicious savage wolves attacking you from the outside, and people on the inside speaking things that are dangerous and false. For three years I warned you about this - attacks from outside - and undermining from within - and I did this with tears.

I commend you to God - to the word of His grace - to His gracious Word which can build you up. Be built up so that you can build up others. His word will keep you and preserve you and you will have your place and your reward among all those who are holy and godly.

Paul is so concerned about quality when teaching on leadership. The church of Jesus Christ requires leaders with integrity, wisdom and character.

Among his final words he says - I have set you an example - I coveted nothing - I did not try to line my pockets with silver and gold and fancy clothes.

I worked hard the whole time I was with you, and I have shown you how we must help the weak. If you want to be blessed by God this is how to receive God's Blessing.

Then there is this emotional farewell scene - so beautiful - not out of hand - and not hysterical. Here is emotion at its richest, and it is real. It is not manufactured. The scene on the beach as they finally part is highly charged - but not out of control. God is at the heart of all of this.

These leaders were upset. They were sorrowing because Paul had said they would not see him again. Here is love - real love. These are real men of God - with real tears streaming down real faces.

Now, they had to make their way back to Ephesus from Miletus, where they had been meeting, and get on with leading and pastoring the Church, over which the Holy Spirit had made them elders - feeding and teaching all the young disciples.

Get on and do whatever God has called you to do.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
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He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Sandy Shaw sandyshaw63@yahoo.com

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why Are We Here?

Why Are We Here?
by Helene Rothschild

Why are we here? Have we come to play the role of husband, wife, parent, teacher, healer, etc.? Are we here to love, play, and experience life to the fullest? What is our primary mission on this planet?

I have pondered that question many times. I used to believe that I came here to "save the world" from its frightful destruction. With world peace as my vision, I was driven to reach as many people as possible through teaching, counseling, books, tapes, lectures, workshops, and the media. I was determined to help people love themselves and feel their inner peace-their greatest contribution to world peace.

My logical mind told me that I was succeeding in my life mission. But my low energy and chronic physical pain caused me to have some doubts. I felt miserable! All the stress I put myself through resulted in tight muscles, spinal misalignment, and troubled organs and glands. I suffered with many allergic reactions from foods and toxic environments.

Even though I hated giving up cheesecake and coffee, pizza and other favorites, deep down I knew it was all perfect. I realized that in order for me to accomplish my primary mission, I had to "clean up my act." If I wanted to play in the big leagues, I needed to play by their rules. My spiritual part reminded me that I chose to walk in the light.

During my morning meditations, I surrendered to my service and asked my guides and God, "What would you like me to do today?" The answer was always the same, "Beloved one, be in peace."

Noticing all the pain and misery in the world and myself, I realized that earth is like a remedial class. We all flunked self-love and we came back to get it! And only when we feel that self-love, can we experience inner peace.

Now I am clear that my divine purpose for being here is for My soul growth. My cosmic mission is to live on this third-dimensional (fear-based) planet with a fifth-dimensional (love-based) consciousness. My mission is to transcend my will and to allow the all-loving God to work through me.

My mind knew that concept before but now my soul experiences it. Now I am focusing on the essence and not on the form. And the essence is unconditional love and joy. My lesson here is to "love myself to peace", to be in that love space no matter what I or others are doing or not doing. It is to transcend what my mind thinks or understands, to remain centered and totally accept whatever happens as divine.

This is my most difficult challenge. I know that I am succeeding when I maintain a love space or return to it quickly even after a personal disappointment or upset. I feel such joy and peace when I overcome my fears and return to my faith. Since I have totally surrendered to living my life from love and light, I am so much happier and healthier. I need much less from the outside world to feel good. No longer do I drive myself to be so goal oriented. I still have the same vision of world peace, and I am still committed to reaching as many people as I can in my lifetime. But now I am coming from love and not fear. Now I am doing it God's way.

The focus of my accomplishments each day is not what I do but how much I feel love, joy, and inner peace. It feels wonderful to be crystal clear of why I am here-of my cosmic mission.
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Copyright 2007 by Helene Rothschild, MS, MA, MFT, a Marriage, Family Therapist, intuitive counselor, speaker, and author. Her newest book is, "ALL YOU NEED IS HART! Create Love, Joy and Abundance~NOW." A Unique Guide to Holistic And Rapid Transformation. Free newsletter, MP3 audio, and e-book. Special generous offer on November 14, 2007! http://www.lovetopeace.com , 1-888-639-6390.

The Power of the 7 Spirits in Prayer – Life and Holiness

The Power of the 7 Spirits in Prayer – Life and Holiness
By: Jon Straumfjord

Simply having Faith and trusting in the Love of the Lord is NOT going to guarantee that we will receive anything other than the offer of the gift of salvation. Unless we approach the Father from a position of Life and Holiness, the Lord will only accept one request: salvation.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6, NKJV)

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:4, NKJV)

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. (Mark 12:27, NKJV)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. ... we are children of God, and ... heirs ... of God and joint heirs with Christ, (Romans 8:14-17, NKJV)

... He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (Ephesians 1:4, NKJV)

If we ever expect to receive good things from the Father, we must come into His presence through the sacrifice of His Son. Only the Living can come before the Lord and expect good things; the "dead" (those seeking their own righteousness before God without regard to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) can only expect eternal death, unless they repent. Those who claim to be alive must demonstrate freedom from death by being Holy. That doesn't mean that we exert considerable effort on our part to perform holy acts in an effort to appear holy, when in fact we aren't, but rather we become holy through the in-working of the Holy Spirit through the acceptance of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ (James 2:14-24; 1 John 5:3).

We don't need our own righteousness, because we have been given the righteousness of Christ, however, we do need to demonstrate agreement with the Lord by continually seeking to live holy lives before both God and men. Remember, the Lord wants to transform us into the image of Jesus, otherwise we have no rights before the Father: our lives are literally encased in Christ Jesus.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:1-5, NKJV)

Many people think they can simply come to the Lord to receive anything they desire, similar to Santa Claus, but the Lord God has definite standards for us to meet first: we absolutely must come in by way of Jesus Christ, who is the purchase price for our salvation (1 John 2:1-2, 4:9-10). If we choose to ignore the holiness of God and the sacrifice for our salvation, then we would need to be absolutely perfect in every thought and action throughout our entire lives (James 2:10; Matthew 5:27), which is probably impossible (Romans 3:9-19; Galatians 3:22).

But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6, NKJV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NKJV)

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24, NKJV)
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Copyright (c) 2007 Jon Straumfjord

Jon Straumfjord is the author of numerous articles about the Seven Spirits of God and the God of the Bible. He is also the creator of the website http://www.7-spirits.com , and is the author of the book "The Seven Spirits of God."

14 Love Quotes to Celebrate the Season of Fall

14 Love Quotes to Celebrate the Season of Fall
by Noel Jameson

Fall really is a romantic time of year and it's a great time to sit back and enjoy a few love quotes. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler... Grab a cup of hot apple cider, curl up next to the fire and enjoy these 14 love quotes with that special someone in your life.

1. “The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham

2. “A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults.” ~ Charles Kingsley

3. “Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love - and to put its trust in life.” ~ Joseph Conrad

4. “Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” ~ Mother Theresa

5. “What greater thing is there for two human souls that to feel that they are joined... to strengthen each other... to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” ~ George Eliot

6. “If you have love in your life it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you don't have it, no matter what else there is, it's not enough.” ~ Ann Landers

7. “Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.” ~ Emma Goldman

8. “Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense.” ~ Helen Rowland

9. “Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law.” ~ Boethius

10. “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

11. “To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever.” ~ Henry Drummond

12. “The Eskimo has fifty-two names for snow because it is important to them; there ought to be as many for love.” ~ Margaret Atwood

13. “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas

14. “Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

As warm as an October fire maybe, true love burns brighter. In today's hectic world, make sure you take the time to share these 14 love quotes with the person you love most.
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For more love quotes, check out the popular love quotes section at Famous-Quotes-And-Quotations.com, a website that specializes in 'Top 10' lists of quotations in dozens of categories.

What To Do When You Don't Feel Like Studying the Bible

What To Do When You Don't Feel Like Studying the Bible
by Glenn Brooke

Isn't it wonderful when we have passion for the Word, looking forward to getting into the Scriptures?

I wish this were true all the time, but it's not.

Here is my reality: I'm interested in getting into the Bible about two mornings out of seven. I lack the desire the other five mornings a week. How do I know that I lack the desire? Just about every other distraction -- right down to defragmenting my computer hard drive -- is more interesting in that moment than opening the Bible.

I tell you this to encourage you. Satan gets a lot of mileage trying to persuade people that they are the only person who [whatever]. It's not the truth.

But I do read and study in my Bible daily. Even the days I don't feel like it. *Especially* the days I don't feel like it.

Consider Paul's words to the Corinthians about self- discipline so that he would be ready to serve others:

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (1 Cor 9:26-28, NIV)

Bible teachers need to be self-disciplined to study the Word because it's training and preparation for helping others learn, and for whatever service our Lord calls you to.

Years ago I studied martial arts. I can still remember the fury of my sensei when I showed up for practice and told him I didn't feel like practice. "Feeling is not important. Doing is only thing." And then he pushed me harder that day than ever before.

No one asks the soldiers in boot camp if they feel like doing more pushups. It's irrelevant.

The safe thing to assume is that you won't feel like studying the Word, and go ahead anyway.

I'm not going to mollycoddle you and tell you it will be ok, and suggest you pray that Jesus gives you more desire tomorrow or the day after that. If you know what to do, do it.

Welcome to spiritual maturity!

But I will assure you about two things:

1. If you just get started, it will get easier and more enjoyable. Whenever I start to exercise (or even think about exercising), the committee of whiners in my head starts complaining. (Some people say that they have an inner voice; I have a whole committee up there, and half of them are whiners.) Just keep going, and the whining quits.

2. Acting on what you know, apart from how you feel, will strengthen your character -- this yields fruit in the crisis moment. You're increasing your capacity to do what is right, no matter what.

It will help enormously to have specific study goals and objectives. At a minimum, get a Bible reading plan and decide to follow it. If you miss a day, forget it and start right up wherever the plan is (don't fall into the trap of trying to get caught up).

Lives are at stake here, beginning with your own!
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Glenn Brooke has been working on self-discipline in Bible reading for almost 24 years. When he's not teaching Bible lesssons, he's coaching other teachers. Go to http://www.teachtochangelives.com/gift for a free package of helps for teachers.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What is the most important teaching of the Bible?

Why You Should Have Faith

Why You Should Have Faith

No matter how devoted to God you are, and how much you pray, to truly feel the power of God you must have faith. Without faith, you cannot give the unconditional love and belief that God requires.

There may be times in your life when you have questioned how much faith you have. It may be when you are watching the news and feeling powerless against the might of mother nature and human failings.

You may lose faith when you see someone you love affected by tragedy and inflicted by pain.

You could quite easily lose faith in human nature if you contemplate the things that human beings are capable of doing to each other.

Incidents that make us question our faith merely are a reflection of our powerlessness in this world. No matter how smart we are, no matter how rich, beautiful or successful we are still subject to the same variables in our life that everyone else is, the unexpected the unwanted and the tragedies that touch our lives.

There may be times when your ability to feel in control of your destiny will affect how you cope with all the problems that life throws our way. You may end up doubting your ability to cope with difficulties and be overwhelmed causing you to lose your faith in God.

Sometimes it's hard to have faith when you feel that life is dragging you down and things are spiralling out of control but this is the time that you need to keep your faith in God more than ever. When you believe in God you have faith in the future and a strength to cope with the present knowing that he is in your life.

A belief in God gives people struck by tragedy the strength to carry on and improve their future with the lessons that they have learnt and the strength they have gained. Having faith in God is what gives us strength to cope in this life and believe in a life beyond.
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By: Leanne King

If you are interested in the power of prayer visit www.prayernook.com and post your prayer on the prayer board

Discovering the King James Bible

Discovering the King James Bible
Author: Susan Slobac

We all know that Bible study is an important part of the Christian faith, but in these turbulent and busy days it can be challenging to find the time for proper Bible study. One method that many have found to be helpful in this regard is to utilize the audio Bible for this purpose. The King James audio Bible has become one of the several well-loved versions of the audio Bible available. It has become clear that audio Bible study has never been easier, because you can listen to a CD containing the audio Bible or you can listen to an audio Bible mp3 version that will fit on a tiny mp3 player, so you can take your Bible study with you wherever you go. The King James version of the Bible that we have come to know and love has a fascinating history.

The King James version of the Bible uses the Hebrew texts as the basis for its Old Testament translation, and the Greek texts for the New Testament translations. It does also refer in a secondary sense to the Latin Vulgate text as well. The translation work took place in England between 1603 and 1611, and the text was translated by 47 scholars from the respected Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as Westminster, working in different committees, which were assigned with translating certain portions of the Bible. The Apocrypha was included in this translation; some groups accept these books as part of scripture, while others do not.

King James himself started his political life as King James the Sixth of Scotland. His mother was the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots and his aunt was Queen Elizabeth the First. James became the King of England in 1603 and was known as King James the First. Before King James came to power in England, there were many competing versions of the Bible, most with footnotes favoring certain political or ecclesiastical positions of the authors.

In light of this situation, it was decided by King James that there should be a new English translation of the Bible that would settle all the controversies surrounding the many other versions, and this new version should follow the doctrine as put forth by the Church of England. He wanted a version where there was a minimum of marginal notes, except for the few needed to help better explain the meaning of certain Hebrew and Greek terms in words that English readers could understand. King James asked them to revise what was known as the Bishop's Bible, and to compare this version to several of the other competing versions to come up with the translation that best fit the King's parameters. The translation was completed in 1611, and hit the printing presses that year as well. Intense rivalries developed among the printers chosen to print the Bible; the rights for printing this version of the Bible were eventually purchased in the 1900s by the Cambridge University Press.
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Susan Slobac has had a fascination with the King James Bible since early her youth. More recently she has come to enjoy the audio Bible for her personal study. She hosts an audio Bible study at her church where she shares passages from the King James audio Bible. Susan downloads sermon podcasts and other audio Bible MP3 recordings to share as well.

Hindered Prayer - Prophecy Ignored

Hindered Prayer - Prophecy Ignored

Even though the Enemy continually seeks to discredit legitimate prophecy, the Lord has provided us the means to discern the truth. But do we really need any more words from the Lord other than what we find in the Bible? Remember:

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. (Mark 12:27, NKJV)

And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14, NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV)

For the word (logos) of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)

The words (rhema) that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63, NKJV)

The Lord communicates to us through both His written word (the Bible), and His spoken word. This has always been God's plan. Even before there was a "written word," there were stories that were passed down through the generations, and the Lord also continually spoke to His people. But do we really need a current spoken word from God? Absolutely! You couldn't possibly maintain a relationship with your finance through letters that were written to her mother long before she was born.

God is the "God of the living," and the eternal God of the present. God is continually speaking, but we are NOT listening:

For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. (Isaiah 64:4-5, NKJV)

"Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them but they have not heard, and I have called to them but they have not answered.'" (Jeremiah 35:17, NKJV)

The Lord is continually speaking. If we are really listening, we will hear, just like the magi (Matthew 2:1-12) who were in Babylon several thousand miles away, but read about the birth of Jesus in the stars. On the other hand, neither Belshazzar nor his "wise men" (also magi) were paying attention, even when an angel wrote a message on the wall (Daniel 5:1-30). The only reason the wise men were unable to interpret the writing was that they absolutely refused to listen to the Lord, but Daniel was listening, and was able to deliver the message.

Or consider all the messages the Lord gave to Ezekiel for people of foreign lands who would probably never hear them (Ezekiel 25:1-7, 28:1-19, 32:17-32). The Lord was actually speaking to them, but they wouldn't have heard under any circumstances anyway, even if Ezekiel were to speak to them directly, face to face. The Lord is continually speaking, but people are only rarely listening.

The question is, are you listening? Have you made a legitimate request to the Lord which He has answered, but you have missed because you weren't listening? Did He try to speak through a stranger, or a friend, or a child, or did He reveal something to you when you were reading His word, but you simply chose to ignore it? The Lord will answer your prayers, but you must be listening. Remember Balaam (Numbers 22:1-24:25). He was told definitely what the Lord wanted, but He chose to disobey and almost lost his life until the Lord spoke audibly to him through his donkey.

Are you listening, or are you waiting for a donkey to speak to you?
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Copyright (c) 2007 Jon Straumfjord

Jon Straumfjord is the author of numerous articles about the Seven Spirits of God and the God of the Bible. He is also the creator of the website www.7-spirits.com , and is the author of the book "The Seven Spirits of God."

The Way Of Being Led

The Way Of Being Led
Author: Julie Redstone

So many, today, are desiring to be led by Divine guidance and intention, and seek to bring their lives into conformity with what God desires. These acts of love and surrender are offered from a heart that is increasingly open to love, both human and Divine, and that seeks to create a life that serves the earth and the upliftment of humanity.

And yet even with a pure motivation, there are many times when it is not clear that one is being led, many times when there are no markers or signs to pay attention to and no clear path forward. At such times, the soul may fall into doubt or even despair, for life continues on, and decisions must be made, often of a very practical nature, and without guidance, the embodied soul may feel left entirely to its own devices.

This predicament is common, for the way of being led is not often continuous in its exterior manifestations, but may offer clear insight and inspiration at points along the way, with the heart needing to traverse and guide the path through the intermediary zone between the clearer markers. What the mind does not know, often the heart must discern, not through any conceptual knowledge, but through its own aversion or attraction toward particular goals or directions. Thus, in the absence of clear directives, and even in their presence, the heart's resonance with a particular goal, person, situation, or plan can be a sure guide to the emerging path of the soul.

Nevertheless, in circumstances where the heart's intuition must be relied upon exclusively, it is easy for doubt to arise about acting correctly or about making mistakes. In such instances, it is essential to remember that God is aware of all movements that are made, and creates a steering effect through the pattern of the heart's resonance, as much as through any other principle for action or non-action. Also, there are areas of movement within life where the choice of which direction to go in can be one of several possibilities, that is, in which there is no 'best' choice. At such times, the soul must travel according to its own preferences, and continue on its way until a defining moment occurs in which Divine intention swoops in with a clear motion which then determines subsequent steps that will be taken.

The soul that out of devotion and love aspires to a life that is led, must learn how to override issues of doubt and of fear, including the fear of making a mistake. Both attitudes often arise out of the soul's past history, rather than being relevant in the present. The soul, having set aside these encumbrances, then moves forward in trust, allowing the heart to determine the choices along the way, until something else that is unforeseen and unexpected, appears.

This is the way of being led for many. It is a way of partnership and of grace whose foundation is trust. Trust must underlie the movement forward so that it is assumed that all is well and all is being watched over, and that if one were in error, it would be made known to the surrendered self. The embodied soul, feeling often of little importance due to attitudes of separation arising out of past conditioning, and unaware of its own Divine being and core, can be vulnerable to doubt and to thinking it is alone, based on the idea that it is not important enough to be watched over. However, this is not the truth of a guided life. In response to the request to be led comes the attribute of blessing. And while blessing may not appear as a clear action from a Divine source during certain phases of life, it always includes the attribute of being watched over so that one moves in a direction that is constructive and fulfilling of one's soul purpose and of Divine intention.

While it is also true that sometimes guidance appears and the cues are missed or ignored, this happens less frequently than one might think for hearts that are genuinely seeking guidance. Such a heart is ever listening for the clues that are whispered on the wind of Divine breath, and is not likely to turn aside from something that is breathed through the consciousness more than momentarily.

It is a matter, therefore, of asking to be led, of praying to have a pure heart and clear understanding so that one can know the road ahead, and of trusting that one will be responded to at all times, even when no overt external direction may be seen. This is the blessing of leading a grace-filled and Divinely-inspired life, and it is the birthright and Divine heritage of every child of God.
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Julie Redstone is a teacher, writer, and founder of Light Omega, a center for spiritual teaching and healing whose purpose is to create an understanding of the sacred transition into light that the earth is presently going through.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Being Present at Worship is an Indicator of our Committed Discipleship

Being Present at Worship is an Indicator of our Committed Discipleship
By Sandy Shaw

This is such an important issue. It lets the world know and it also lets Almighty God know about how serious we are in our commitment and discipleship.

In the New Testament book of Luke at Chapter 4 and verse 14, we read that Jesus returns from this testing time in the wilderness. He emerges victorious, but the struggle had been real and the battle fierce. We should not be overly surprised when we are confronted with similar situations. This is why we need the Word of God - to teach us what to expect and to provide us with the weaponry necessary to overcome.

Here comes JESUS! He returns north to Nazareth and Galilee. As he taught, the news spread. The word soon got around.

As HIS CUSTOM WAS, on the SABBATH, Jesus Christ was at worship in the locally synagogue. We know the church of that day was full of faults and hypocrisy. It was dry, empty, and powerless. Jesus did not use that as an excuse to stay away.

He was going to be with all the others. He was setting the example - praising, worshipping, and reading the Scriptures. Do I have to go to Church to be a Christian? NO. But if you are a disciple of Jesus, you will be with all the others when they gather for Worship and Fellowship.

Settle that one today. Will I go - won't I go? Some people spend years wrestling with this one, when it can be dealt with in a few minutes. Then we are ready to face the issues which are really important. Some people battle with this for years. It can be like pushing a wheelbarrow that has no wheel!

Friends arrive - family comes - what are we to do - invite them. They need to see that being at worship is important to you. They need to see your testimony and witness. If you were going to a Wedding or Funeral? - or Garden Party? - or golf - bowls - bridge - football - or some other social event - would you suddenly decide to stay at home if someone called and visited - but Worship? - that is different!

It is so interesting to see how people react. Being present at worship wherever possible is an indicator and measure of our commitment - and of the reality of our discipleship.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
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He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org/ entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.


His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.
Sandy Shawsandyshaw63@yahoo.com

Being Present at Worship is an Indicator of our Committed Discipleship

Being Present at Worship is an Indicator of our Committed Discipleship
By Sandy Shaw

This is such an important issue. It lets the world know and it also lets Almighty God know about how serious we are in our commitment and discipleship.

In the New Testament book of Luke at Chapter 4 and verse 14, we read that Jesus returns from this testing time in the wilderness. He emerges victorious, but the struggle had been real and the battle fierce. We should not be overly surprised when we are confronted with similar situations. This is why we need the Word of God - to teach us what to expect and to provide us with the weaponry necessary to overcome.

Here comes JESUS! He returns north to Nazareth and Galilee. As he taught, the news spread. The word soon got around.

As HIS CUSTOM WAS, on the SABBATH, Jesus Christ was at worship in the locally synagogue. We know the church of that day was full of faults and hypocrisy. It was dry, empty, and powerless. Jesus did not use that as an excuse to stay away.

He was going to be with all the others. He was setting the example - praising, worshipping, and reading the Scriptures. Do I have to go to Church to be a Christian? NO. But if you are a disciple of Jesus, you will be with all the others when they gather for Worship and Fellowship.

Settle that one today. Will I go - won't I go? Some people spend years wrestling with this one, when it can be dealt with in a few minutes. Then we are ready to face the issues which are really important. Some people battle with this for years. It can be like pushing a wheelbarrow that has no wheel!

Friends arrive - family comes - what are we to do - invite them. They need to see that being at worship is important to you. They need to see your testimony and witness. If you were going to a Wedding or Funeral? - or Garden Party? - or golf - bowls - bridge - football - or some other social event - would you suddenly decide to stay at home if someone called and visited - but Worship? - that is different!

It is so interesting to see how people react. Being present at worship wherever possible is an indicator and measure of our commitment - and of the reality of our discipleship.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
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He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.
Sandy Shawsandyshaw63@yahoo.com

Be Prepared To Accept Unfair and Unjust Treatment

Be Prepared To Accept Unfair and Unjust Treatment
By Sandy Shaw

Are you prepared to face unjust and unfair treatment? This is never nice but it is more real than you think, and more common than we are sometimes aware, and when we are confronted with such behaviour we can be slow to confess and admit that such a thing actually happened to one of us. Being open to speak of what people said and did can be a necessary part of the healing process.

Turn with me to the New Testament book of Acts and Chapter 18. This quite dynamic and powerful man of God, Paul, is in the seaport of Corinth. The situation has become potentially explosive. When Paul preached Jesus Christ in the Jewish synagogue, there arose a strong reaction and violent opposition. Some, who came to believe in Jesus Christ, leave the synagogue, and they begin to fellowship right next door.

Here we have religion in the flesh - and a group of Holy Spirit filled believers. That can give rise to riot battle and uproar.

Paul has wondered about his future - what was he to do? He considers his position - and Jesus Christ visited him - speaks to him - encourages him - guides him and reassures him regarding the decision, which he has to make.

Paul is led by Jesus to remain in Corinth, and for 18 months he is teaching the Word of God in the seaport of Corinth, with all the sin around him that is normally associated with such a place. He has received very specific guidance. Yet, trouble is never far away. There is a united attack as the Jews begin again to accuse Paul. They took him to court - verse 13 - saying - "This man is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law." This was quite true - but not the whole truth.

Paul was just about to speak when the Governor Gallio said - "If you were accusing this man of some serious crime - if he were a wicked villain - it would be only reasonable for me to listen to you and bear with you and hear your case. But as it is an internal question of words and names and your law - then, you deal with it. Settle this sort of thing among yourselves. I will not judge in these matters." And, he put them all out of the courtroom.

Sosthenes the ruler of synagogue received a beating and we are not told exactly why. Gallio actually ignores it and shrugs his shoulders, as if to say that this is none of my business! The Jews were accusing Paul of doing something illegal, but they do not mind behaving in such a way when it suits them.

Have you noticed that with religious people, who have never been born again? They will accuse you of the least little thing, whilst perhaps acting in a most unjust and unfair manner. Be aware of that as you serve Jesus Christ. The book of Acts is highly relevant in these present times, when so very many people around the world are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Yes - this is real - very real - and at times, very painful. It is called, carrying the Cross.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
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He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.
Sandy Shawsandyshaw63@yahoo.com

How Hungry Are You For God and His Word?

How Hungry Are You For God and His Word?
By Sandy Shaw

What is your appetite like for the Word of God? Do you read the Bible or is the Bible a closed book?

There are truths in the Bible, and light for our lives, and love which we so need in this cruel cold harsh world - which can be found nowhere else. If there is I would like you to point me in that direction.

I have just been reading and writing about the details of what has been called the great second missionary journey. We can read all about it in Acts chapters 16 to 18. The record of what happened is exciting and most moving.

With that second missionary journey completed, this powerful man of God, Paul, rests at his home base of Antioch, but not for long. Soon he is off again, visiting the fellowships of disciples in Asia. Concern and compassion and care for these new believers flow from this man.

He wants only to do one thing - strengthen them - encourage them - and build them up in the faith.

There is a pattern here. Paul always went back to his home church, reporting how he got on, and giving something of what he and the team had experienced - greeting the church - thanking them for their prayers - and all that comes over in the letters he was later to write.

He has this desire - this longing - to visit the people he has led to faith in Jesus Christ - to see how they are doing - and how they are growing. His aim is to help them and look after them, and, he wants to feed them with the Word of God, which will enable them to grow. He wants their knowledge of the Word to become firmer and fuller. It is good that we return to this time and time again. We need to see what built up these young disciples of Jesus Christ.

Paul teaches. He does not seek to impress - nor entertain - nor amuse - nor does he accommodate certain tastes giving people what they might like to hear - and all that comes over so vividly in his letters.

God does not want us to be ignorant of the Scriptures. This is a living Word - a challenging Word - a healing Word - a saving Word - a satisfying Word - and as we feed upon nourishing spiritual food we will become healthy - which in turn will create an appetite for more and more.

There is nothing like the Word of God to enable us to grow and mature in every area of life. If you have not been reading it give it a real try. Try it and see for yourself if you have not been a Bible reader. At the end of one month you will be aware of a tremendous difference. At the end of two months the people around you will be aware of amazing changes in you. This is how we mature spiritually.

Meanwhile, God was working away in another area, preparing another situation for Paul to become involved in, but that must be for another article.

But what is God preparing for you in these present days? Do you know? Are you aware of how and where God would have you serve profitably and prophetically? If you ask Him, He may reveal something of what He has in store for you - but usually it is only one step at a time. Very few of us could cope with more!

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
----
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Keeping Divine Order To Get Divine Results

Keeping Divine Order To Get Divine Results
By: Kenneth Uptegrove

Why haven’t we seen a great move of God in the past 20 years? Why aren’t we seeing a great harvest of souls today?

Too often we do not “see” God moving because of the confusing array of “out of focus teachings” in Christendom.

When we do not know how to keep divine things in divine order, we produce more Ishmaels and more obstacles to the very thing we wish to see accomplished.

We want church growth seminars and Bible based programs—things we can understand— instead of the Christ centered simplicity of being “in the Spirit.”

When Jesus—the creator of all—speaks, He always reveals what He is going to do, not what He wants us to do for Him (ref: John 1:1-3).

The center of Evangelical thought is based on the Great Commission, but this is diminished when other great commandments are not kept in their proper order.

Here are two of these major truths!

Jesus gave us the greatest of all commandments in Matthew 22.

“…Which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
37 He (Jesus) said…, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the greatest and most important commandment.
39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments." (Matthew 22)

In John 14: 15 Jesus said: "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Loving the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind is the greatest commandment, yet we Evangelicals treat the Great Commission as the greatest commandment.

18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28)

In the Great Commission passage Jesus commanded us to use His authority to make disciples of all nations, and to teach converts to observe all that He has commanded us to do. And the greatest of His commandments tells us to love Him with our whole being. Please notice that fulfilling the greatest commandment facilitates fulfilling the Great Commission.

We can never fulfill the Great Commission until we go beyond making converts. Our job is to transform converts into disciples who are taught to observe all the Lord has commanded us.

To obey what we consider The Great Commission, and thereby excuse ourselves from obeying what we consider lesser commands is still disobedience. Because of our disobedience, we fail miserably at fulfilling the Great Commission because the “lesser commands” are part and parcel of fulfilling the Great Commission.

Here is the other truth: The ministry of Christ in us. Being a Christian is more about who Christ is in us than who we are in Christ, as this passage in Galatians says:

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me …" (Galatians 2:20)

The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of Jesus Christ” in Philippians 1:19, and Acts 16:7. And Galatians 2:20 says Christ lives in us.

If Christ lives in you and me, does He indwell us passively or does He manifest Himself through us? This verse makes it clear that the indwelling Christ will continue to do the things He did on Earth.

Jesus said: "I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

If you believe in Jesus, then you are “the one who believes” in this verse. It is this aspect of “Jesus in us” that will do the works that He did, and even greater, when He walked on the earth.
Jesus prophesied this promise over you…if you believe in Him! But you may be wondering how you can apply this seemingly impossible prophecy to your life? As you read this verse, keep saying to yourself over and over:

“It is Christ alone who lives in me that can do what Jesus did, and even greater, and not of myself lest I have something to boast about.”

Because divinity indwells us, we can do divine things. Rather, the Divine can manifest Himself through us, the Divine being the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus is in us —collectively— continuing His ministry, and doing (as always) what He sees the Father doing (John 5:19-21). Since there are millions of us, His accumulative work through us certainly can exceed what He did in person.

As with all Spiritual truths, if anything is of God, it is God who did it, with or without our involvement. It takes a sovereign act of God to accomplish what only God can do, whether it be salvation or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or a healing, it is because God did it — in us and through us! It never is ours, it is always God in us. Because this is a divine truth we do not need to strive to do the things that Jesus did, because Jesus is in us to do the things that He did through us!

The presence of God is what makes the Great Commission work. The presence of God that He wants to pour out on His people will convict others of their sin and draw them to Him. Only those who truly encounter God can teach others how to encounter Him.

In the same way Jesus Christ was conceived within Mary, He was also conceived within every born again believer at the moment of salvation. Because He indwells us we now have a move of God living within us. I believe that this will be the greatest move of God the world has ever seen, and will usher in the Bride Groom!
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www.arkhaven.org/divine_order.htm To see this article on the authors website. www.arkhaven.org/ To see the author’s book and other literature www.arkhaven.org/thought_for_today.htm To see other articles by author

Faith and Throwing in the Towel

Faith and Throwing in the Towel
by Josh Liteky

What is both your greatest asset and greatest liability at the same time? Consider this for a moment. Give up? Your MIND! Think about it, what is the thing that is either constantly praising you or pushing you down? Don’t you wish sometimes you could take that voice in your head and just strangle it once and for all?

If we ever stop and take a look at what is really stopping us from achieving the greatness we feel inside of us, it’s that damn voice in our heads going on about how we are not good enough, we don’t deserve it, it’s too hard, we don’t have enough…BLA BLA BLA! Overcoming this can be a challenge and a half! And it’s the same mind that gives us all the inspiration and ability to make those great achievements…what gives? It must just be part of how we are designed, we all have our own mountains to climb and demons to overcome, yet they will always be there I believe. So, why bring this up, you ask? Well, in climbing my own mountains, judging by the roller coaster ride I am on, I figure everyone has their own as well, and if we can learn from one another what works and what doesn’t, we all come out ahead.

You want to know a secret? There is no summit to the mountain of LIFE, ever! Imagine climbing a mountain without a top!! You don’t even have to imagine, that’s what you are already doing! Grab a hold of this reality and see how your perspective changes. There are ALWAYS going to be problems, obstacles, challenges. No magic fairly la-la land…it wasn’t designed that way…this is it! So what choice do we have other than to enjoy the never-ending process! Of course, it is a choice.

There is so much information and knowledge out there, on everything imaginable. How do we know what to listen to, what to follow? It all comes down to how we feel. If we listen and learn to trust our own gut intuition about something, whatever it is, we will be ok. Sounds simple enough, but most of us don’t do this. We often follow along blindly without really thinking for ourselves. Learning to trust our own feelings is huge!

For those of us who are into personal development and living successfully, we are constantly working to improve ourselves. I had a pretty interesting realization recently, that undoubtedly many others have had too, that we are already perfect just the way we are. Sure, we all have aspects of our lives that we would like to improve: health, finances, relationships, and the like. For me, I felt like I was chasing something that I didn’t have already, just running after a dream as if I lacked something I didn’t have right now.

What it all really comes down to is feeling good inside, and this can be a different experience for all of us. Obviously what feels good to one person may not to another. This is why it is important that we are totally in tune with ourselves and do things that make us feel good, whatever they may be.

There are so many different definitions of success. To me, success is being happy and feeling good inside all of the time, regardless of what my outside circumstances are. I believe this is the ultimate destination for this eternal train of life we are all riding. Enjoy the ride, because this is it!

What’s our biggest challenge in this game of life? Hands down, it’s this battle of mind. The longer we stay in the game, the better we get at playing it. What makes the winners? Persistence and perseverance alone rule. This is the way it has always been, and the way it will always be. Everyone has significant challenges, duh I know, not telling you anything new and profound here. The ones who make their dreams come true, whatever they are, are the ones who stick it out, no matter what.

We all go through times and moments where we just want to say screw this, and throw in the towel, and sometimes we do. Other times, no matter how bleak things look, or how tough things get, we can still feel the tiniest glimmer of faith, a sliver so small and faint that it is barely there…and in some moments that is all we have to hold on to. When it comes right down to it, back to the wall and nothing we see gives us any hope, we have to grab onto this faith as our way through. If you have that, you have something of greater value than any amount of money or thing outside yourself could ever bring you. Sometimes our experiences happen the way they do so we can find this faith.

If you have that faith inside that you are going to be ok, no matter what happens in your life and no matter how tough things get, then you have accomplished something significant and you are truly successful.

Only you can find this in yourself, no one can do it for you. Certainly, your life experience will direct you to it, but it is always up to you to see it and accept it for yourself, and this is a very personal experience. May you find it because many times it is the only thing that allows you to overcome something otherwise completely impossible.

What challenges are you facing?
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Josh Liteky is a lifestyle consultant who assists people to live the lives they really want to live. Visit his websites: http://www.youramazinglife.net and http://www.createyourfreedom.com email: createyourfreedom1@gmail.com

The Art of the Storyteller - the Oral Tradition

The Art of the Storyteller - the Oral Tradition

Since before history began, storytelling has been a way of passing on a soceity's traditions and beliefs from one generation to the next - both in written and oral format. Indeed, storytelling is one of the oldest art forms still in existence. It is practised all over the world and in almost every known language there is a word or phrase which means "storyteller."

An ancient Egyptian papyrus contains the first known reference to storytelling, although early Greek writings also refer to the telling of stories, but without going into details about how the art was practised. Greek and Roman writers are responsible for the word "bard" entering the English language. The term was used to describe someone who related events or told stories and is still current in Ireland and Wales today.

Indian storytellers wandered between villages carrying a large picture cloth called a kalamkari which they spread out to illustrate the story they were telling. In China travelling storytellers visited the homes of the wealthy to entertain them with stories.

There is a rich tradition of storytelling across the continent of Africa, many cultures having a history of long story-poems recited by several hereditary storytellers in each village. In the same way the tribes of North America and the Australian Aborigines have a rich oral tradition with storiees, poems, religious and tribal knowledge, making up a complex culture, all handed down throught the generation by the spoken word.

Storytelling has always been an important means of communicating traditions and maintaining social harmony. The storyteller can vividly convey religious beliefs, "explain" the mysteries of the natural world or transport their listeners into an inner world of fantasy. You may wonder why storytelling continues to be so important in today's digital society ....

We should continue to tell stories in order to:

- help children learn to listen
- enlarge their vocabularies
- extend their knowledge and understanding of the difference between fact and fantasy
- stimulate their imagination
- inspire them to reach for a book to experience more stories for themselves
- introduce storytelling as a shared, interactive experience between the author, or storyteller, and their audience.

Unlike TV, video, DVD or other electronic media, storytellers are a direct interface between the story and the audience. They can change pace, alter or explain a difficult concept and emphasise, play down, or omit entirely, a particular event, depending upon the needs of those listening.

The storyteller therefore is as important to a largely literate, electronic world as he or she was to a largely illiterate one in times gone by. But if you have been asked to tell a story to a group of youngsters you may be asking yourself ... Where do I start? How do I know my story will be interesting and fun?

You may be a nursery or kindergarten teacher, or perhaps be involved with a Playgroup, Bible or other Faith School. Maybe you want some quality personal time with your own children or grandchildren. It's a rainy afternoon and you're faced with little expectant faces waiting to be entertained. How do you keep them all enthralled by your tale?

I've been there and I know how hard it can be! That's why I've put together a new downloadable book called "How to Tell Stories to Children" together with five books full of great stories to tell. Click here to learn more.
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Ellie Dixon lives in deepest rural Devon, England with her husband and two very large Newfoundland dogs. She is passionate about vintage illustrated children's books and loves to restore and edit them for today's kids to rediscover. Visit her website, Scruffy's Bookshop, to download some great books for pre-schoolers and older children, and while you're there sign up for her free monthly newsletter

Friday, October 26, 2007

Christianity Is A Continual Learning Experience

Christianity Is A Continual Learning Experience
Author: Jim Brown

Many people think that once they have the basics of Christianity learned that they no longer have to learn all of the aspects of the religion. What they may not realize is that Christianity is a continual learning experience that will require a great amount of attention throughout a lifetime. Knowing the basics only solidifies the need for learning about Christianity and life will demand more knowledge of the basics everyday.

Many people believe that they are safe after they accept Christ as their personal Savior. Through all sorts of instruction, they have come to the realization that they are lost and that Christ will help them find their way. The exposure to the continual learning experiences displayed in the Bible, they will be able to realize when they have lost their way.

When they fail to continue their studies about Christianity they might not know what to do when they stray away from their religion in some way. Life is full of experiences that are not all in tune with the teachings in the Bible. The positive reinforcement of Biblical principles will help many stay on the straight and narrow throughout their life and they will be happier because they chose that route.

Every person will take the experiences of life and be able to apply them to the teachings in the Bible. The Christian beliefs provide a solid foundation for many people to stand on, and be comforted in when the experiences of life are cruel or sorrowful. Some people guide their experiences on Earth by following the strict guidelines written in the Ten Commandments.

The heartfelt teachings of Christianity will allow people to take the time to notice someone's existence on this Earth and realize that their life has value too. Through the continual learning experiences at Church people can see their value in the eyes of the congregation and how God values all of us in a very special way. Through all that transpires in our daily lives, the teachings hold true and Christians know that God's love does not waiver one iota by the things that we do.

By using Christianity as a continual learning experience, people are apt to think differently, and act differently and it does not matter if they are thinking about others or themselves. The rules of Christianity apply to anyone and everyone and are not strictly for a chosen few. The people that apply these principles of Christianity in the daily lives are the ones that prosper and seem more content and secure in their own world that they created with God as a focal point.
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James Brown writes about eCampus.com discounts, Belford High School bargains and Monster Learning coupon

Prophecy - Embraced by Father God

Prophecy - Embraced by Father God
By Keith A. Paul

Prophecy released by the Holy Spirit is the voice of Father God. He is definitely speaking into today's world. His voice can be observed through creation, read in the scriptures, echoed through His people and heard by the ears of the human spirit. Clearly, we are in a time when anyone who wants to hear can hear what the Spirit of God is saying. The question arises "What is Father God saying and how does the message relate to me?" I will address this in this article.

Individual prophet and prophetess are unique in their style, format and means of delivering a prophetic message. The uniqueness of their specific role blends an interesting variety into the prophetic platform. The variety however, should not distract the listener from the central message of these God sent communiques. You will find that the core theme being spoken prophetically today comes from the heart of the Father in Heaven.

His words are laden with invitation. He is reaching out with tenderness and love. In wrath He is remembering mercy. There is compassion and love flowing from His heart towards all who will listen and receive. His arms are open wide to those journeying on this planet. He wants to embrace the broken hearted, heal the wounded, restore strength to the weak and uplift those that are under heavy burdens. He is speaking out with a willingness to forgive our trespasses, our sins and our failures. There is a sense of urgency and intensity in what is being spoken through the prophetic voice of the Holy Spirit. It is not only about our needs and cares but about the longing of His heart. The longing of His heart is to restore relationship with all those who respond to Him. He is inviting us to come into His embrace, into spiritual intimacy with Him. A place unseen with natural eye but very very real. A relationship where we walk with Him and He walks with us. A place of knowing His love, His words, His touch and Presence in tangible ways.

You see, He loves you deeply. Enough to look beyond your failures and still call you to move forward into your destiny. He is willing to forgive your sins because of the blood of Jesus given on the cross. If you confess those sins, He is willing to forgive and cleanse you. Then He invites you into the deep chambers of His heart and to know Him.

I personally have experienced His power coming on me many many times. Sometimes His power feels like electricity but not destructive. Sometimes His Presence feels like liquid love flowing through every cell of my being. I have felt the fire of His Presence burning so intensely that I thought I would melt away. I have cried in His Presence, laughed with Him, felt a small measure of His sorrow and pain as He looked over the earth and together we listened to the cries of agony and suffering. At other times I have experienced deep deep joy and peace. He is living, intense, awesome, Holy but not far off.

The prophets are inviting you into His embrace. It is there that you will find your resting place and your destiny. There you find fulfillment, completion and purpose. There you will find favor and provision. He is still coming with good news and doing supernatural works for those who will embrace Him and believe. Enter into your destiny. Allow Him to embrace you. Rise to the place you were called to be in.
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Keith A. Paul has many years of experience and is an Author. He is used in the gift of prophecy, dream interpretation and words of knowledge which are gifts of the Holy Spirit. He currently lives in Abbotsford B.C. Canada. He has traveled internationally promoting the supernatural teachings and works of the Holy Spirit. To learn more, and to receive Keith's free Prophetic Words, please visit http://www.restorationplaceministries.com

The New Planetary Consciousness

The New Planetary Consciousness
By Mashubi Rochell

The momentum towards a new planetary consciousness has clearly begun in 2007. The many events that have transpired both for individuals, and for humanity as a whole this year, have left a mark of truth imprinted upon the collective consciousness. It is now clear to all who have eyes to see, that our individual actions as well as our collective actions are needed in order to avert the current planetary crises.

Humanity's consciousness is beginning to transform, and you may be experiencing shifts in your own awareness as well. These individual and planetary movements forward are happening at an accelerated rate, and you may find yourself at times feeling overwhelmed by the new sensations, experiences and changes that are occurring. At the same time, you may also be feeling an upsurge of old emotional, physical or mental patterns from the past that may have appeared seemingly out of nowhere, causing great distress and discomfort.

These difficulties are the result of greater spiritual light which has been infusing the Earth and accelerating her development. The light acts in two distinct ways, opening and revealing the presence of God's love and illuminating our innate divine connection with Spirit ... and also by bringing to the surface our inner pain and illuminating the parts of us that have become separated from God's love.

This action of God's light creates healing, but in the process of this healing, there can be much pain and suffering that is brought to the surface of consciousness. We are seeing this on a planetary scale as well as an individual one. The many ways that humanity has become separated from love and goodness are being revealed, in sometimes shocking and traumatic ways.

Throughout this process, God's love continues to be present, and is beginning to awaken individuals to their divine spiritual purpose. Many individuals now are moving in the direction of finding solutions to the many crises the Earth faces.

"How can I make a difference" you may ask. It might seem that you as one individual can have little effect on the larger course of humanity's evolution, but this is not true. Each single soul that awakens to a larger understanding of the sacredness of life, and who understands the effect that their consciousness, thoughts and actions have on the environment, creates a center of God's light within themselves.

This divine center of light begins to infuse your physical body, your living space, the Earth that you live upon, and your neighbors and those in your community. The light also has an impact on those that you love who are not nearby, but that you hold in your consciousness and communicate with from a distance. The light acts to bless, heal and support others. Like ripples in a pond, the light radiates out and interacts with others whose centers of light begin to expand from the contact with light.

As more and more ripples flow outward from the centers of light, they become intertwined, interconnected, and begin to resonate at a more conscious frequency. Soon even those who are not conscious of the light begin to be affected by it, and their lives begin to transform. The Earth herself benefits greatly from this expansion of consciousness, which helps her own divine spiritual evolution.

And so dearest ones, what appears to be a small, humble choice on your part to follow a spiritual life, to seek harmony, peace and goodness, and to help in whatever way you can to make the world a better place ... this choice has a massive impact on you, your loved ones, your community and your world.

Each soul is created with a divine spiritual blueprint. and unique gifts which are given both to further the expansion of the soul and to bless other. Seek this divine blueprint within your own being, and follow your hearts call which will lead you to the fulfillment of your highest purpose.

This sacred process is not simply for your own healing, but for the healing of all. Your consciousness is one with the larger collective consciousness of the Earth and all embodied beings. Seek to follow your own inner guidance and in doing so, you will bless all of life.
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Mashubi Rochell is a spiritual counselor and the founder of World Blessings, and online spiritual gathering place for people of all faiths, dedicated to the unity of souls and the creation of a sacred earth. To share your own story and experience of helping to change the world please visit our site at http://www.WorldBlessings.com