Isaiah 9:6 KJV
Posted 1/29/2016
I’ve never seen this verse like I saw it today. After talking to a dear family friend (an elderly prayer warrior, Mary Clements), I was able to glean something from God’s Word that really blessed my soul. It was found using the King James Version of the Bible. While looking at the birth of Christ, this verse attempts to describe everything He is and will be! The latter part of the verse says He shall be called: “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” As you’ve read this, you might have missed it as I did. Look at it again. He/Jesus is called: Wonderful (comma), Counselor (comma)… etc. I usually ran those words together. But pausing to say each of those of God to myself means something to me. I pray this reflection blesses you as well. He is God and the pronouncing of His birth says it all… Blessings, MB

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I’ve CHANGED My Mind

Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus begins this parable using a common question asked of teachers – What do you think?
It’s important that you think for yourself and at times be a critical thinker. In this text we see a father posing a question to his two sons. There’s nothing special about the question and they were both asked to do the same thing.

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The Solitude of God

Exodus 24:12
Posted 2/17/2016
Henry Nouwen, a Roman Catholic priest and psycologist, taught at several prestigious universitites, including Yale, Harvard, and Notre Dame. Nouwne’s spirirtual sensitiviy was both refreshing and prophetic. Nouwen said, “Jesus tells us to set our hearts on the kingdom. Setting our hearts on something involoves not only serious aspiration but also strong determination. He goes on the say this about solitude with God; Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does not mean that we immediately shut out all inner doubts, anxieties, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings, and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed outer distractions, we often find that our inner distractions manifest themselves to us in full force… We often use these outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noise.”

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Habakkuk 3:17-18
Posted 4/7/2016
Many times we find ourselves here in V. 17, empty, in solitude or alone thinking (have you ever been around many people and felt NO one knows your story completely), tired and fruitless. It is when you are here that the Lord is paying close attention… not when things are thriving, and favor is upon you. In the midst of emptiness, we must have a “YET” attitude about us! God wants to develop Yet Christians. In our opening text the destructive results of the Babylonian invasion will be felt throughout the land, but the prophet finds the source of his joy in God and not in his circumstances.
Someone said: “It is easy to praise in the midst of plenty, but praise in the midst of poverty is true believer stuff.”
Be careful when the majority of your religion is the result of comfortable praise, a full stomach, a cozy life of convenience and a life of careless whispers (remember the song…oh, my), God is more than a good friend! When God sends a Babylon to strip me, remember, He is still worthy of “ Yet I will rejoice”

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Do Your Part

2 Peter1:5 (ESV)
Posted 5/11/2016
To supplement something means to add to it! When it comes to our faith walk, we must understand God’s role and our role. God will do what He does and you must do what you can do. I believe He wants to partner with us this way in relationship.
It is a fact that you cannot bring about your own salvation as if you had infinite power (God does that, giving us glory and excellence). You cannot lengthen your days, regardless how healthy you become (God does that). But God will not give you integrity and good character. He will not force you into a habitual healthy moral living. Nope, that’s on you!

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But Now!

Job 42:1-6 NLT
Posted 9/21/2016
There’s a misinterpretation about grieving. Good grieving is not just letting go… But letting it bless!
Today we find Job in awe of God’s power after an experience with Him! I wonder how many of us only know God through second-hand information? That’s never adequate. You must know Him for yourself!
Now, Job believed in God’s sufficiency (He could do anything), and His success (no one could stop Him! In other words, His purpose for your life couldn’t be frustrated).
But now… now, represents the present time, this moment!
We are only as good as we are, NOW!
It doesn’t matter what you believed then, if you don’t walk in it NOW!!!!
No matter what I achieved in the past, faith is always… NOW!!!
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance…” The Greek use here is confidence. Scripture proves Scripture: Heb 3:14 “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”

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Love Has A Need

1 John 4:16
Posted 1/12/2017
This year it’s my prayer that as a church… ReIGNITE, would develop a love for God that others see in each of us.
Maybe you have goals for this year or maybe not. But would you consider together as a family, not allowing yourself to become a novice of love? It’s important that you consider this…
The Bible teaches us that God is self-sufficient, but if God had a need, it would be for love. 1 John 4:16 tells us that “God is love” and since that is true, God also has a need. Because love must always have an object. Don’t get me wrong. That need is also fulfilled in Himself. God is a Trinity and each Person of the Trinity is loved by the others (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). And yet, the Bible says that God loves the world/humanity and gave to it an indispensable gift (John 3:16).
I’m going to walk a thin line here but hear me out… If God loves me, He needs me. Because the object of one’s love is a necessity to the happiness of the lover (in this case God). If Satan is the “Enemy of our Souls,” then God would be known as the “Lover of our Souls.” Isn’t that good? Lol.
How do you respond to God’s love? V. 16 “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.” As a believer, we are called to know God’s love, grace and believe it!

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Ready to Receive, Ready to Give

Acts 3:1-10 (ESV)
Posted 3/28/2017
I was just pondering on this story of the man who was so insignificant that he was known only by his condition (lame from birth). At first I thought, how sad to be known like that and dependent on others. But we ALL are born with a lameness called sin. Because of it, we are known by our condition “sinners” in God’s sight.
But when Peter and John come upon this insignificant man…notice I didn’t call him unknown? Because he was known, daily he was laid out in front of the temple. He was just insignificant, people helped him get his beg on. How many people do you give attention to or splurge the precious commodity of your time on, and yet not share what they really stand in need of?
People will always stand ready of need. So we should stand ready to give (not of only your resources, but the Good News of God’s salvation)! I’m not suggesting that Christians are to go around healing people literally. But through God’s grace, you are a healer of their souls!
Perhaps you know someone whom you pass daily or weekly on your way to work but they are so insignificant that you overlook their real need. Is it even on your radar? My friend, such as you have…freely give!

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How I KNOW God is Faithful

Luke 16:10 (ESV)
Posted 4/18/2017
Your faithfulness in the little things, will show how faithful you will be with the big stuff. EVERYONE wants or needs God to do big stuff in their lives. But as I am reflecting on this passage. I can’t help but think about this past Easter weekend…
When you sacrifice your time, energy, finances and love of others for God, He rewards your faithfulness as if it was done towards God Himself (Matthew 25:34-40). God rewards those who are faithful. This Sunday we had additional guests because we served the community…that was not the intent, but we thank God for our guests. Additionally, someone donated online because they were moved by it!
God rewards those who are faithful. But did you know that God seeks to grow your faith throughout your life? Yes, He continually uses times which call for us individually to trust Him. He loves you like that! And each time you are able to trust God at a higher level, God reveals even more of Himself.

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Seek the Kingdom First!

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
Posted 4/25/2017
Even as Christians there are times when we worry. What can I do to fix this, who can I call on for help, I just can’t get this off my mind. Some even feel guilty for having these thoughts, but Jesus recognized that “worry” as a part of the human condition. Our text encourages us to seek God in all things, and leave the results of everything to Him. Could it be that simple, give God our full attention and not look for righteousness in the law (rule following) but in our faith in Him?
He says you can continue to worry but by worrying you can’t add a single hour to your life. He talks about how people that don’t have a relationship with Him worry about everything. What they’re going to eat, drink, and wear. That people who hold non-christian beliefs are concerned about those things. As believers we go to God not just in crisis but every moment of everyday. Why can we believe that seeking Him first and His righteousness is what’s best? Because He loves us and He knows what’s best for us. If your heavenly Father provides for the birds of the air, are you not MORE VALUABLE than them? How much more will He provide for us! By faith, we don’t worry.
*Pastor Jason Shaw (who’s currently stationed in Fl.) has provided this week’s devotional thought.
Thank you Jason for this helpful reminder…

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