Blessing In Receiving, by Jesi Shiffer

Life Lessons, Spiritual Growth

As Christians we are taught to give.  Give to that person, give to that missions trip, and give everything and follow Him.  Learning to give like this is amazing because we are blessing people with God’s never-ending love in the process.  In learning how to give, however, we don’t really learn how to receive or to accept the idea of receiving. Receiving is just as important as giving.  When we accept someone else’s gift to us we not only receive God’s love through that gift but we are allowing that person to give God’s blessing. When we deny someone’s gift we are robbing them of their ability to bless others and you are robbing yourself of being blessed.

A few weeks ago Pastor Bob said, “one of the most difficult things we will ever do is give and receive the love of God.” As Christians, not only do we need to give but we need to be able to receive as well.  How are we supposed to give the Father’s love when we are not receiving it ourselves? We can try our hardest to give that love, but we will be giving out of an empty cup. To truly give the Father’s blessing and love we must allow that blessing and love to enter our lives.  We can’t give what we don’t have.

Sometimes we aren’t as fast to accept someone else’s blessing because it will make us vulnerable.  Vulnerability is a terrifying thing. If we get vulnerable people will see that we really aren’t these perfect Christians.  This thought stems from the fear of rejection. If we aren’t perfect then people might reject us. As Mike Lankford said a few weeks ago “We, as humans, have a desire for approval and a fear of rejection.” Rather than concerning ourselves with the approval of those around us, we should be concerning ourselves with God’s approval.  When this fear keeps us from accepting someone’s gift we disqualify ourselves from what blessings God does have. If we disqualify ourselves, we limit how much love we receive from the Father. Pastor Bob said, “God sends you 100% of His love, how much you receive is up to you.” When we disqualify ourselves, we are limiting God’s love for us.

Despite what season you are either starting or walking through I pray that you fully allow God to love you and that you are allowing God to use you for his blessings.

A Qualified Opinion, by Paul McGuire

Recently, while recording Papa's words to me, He remarked,"Before Me, none are qualified to have an opinion."  (Papa’s Listening Book, 3/18)

"Ooo! Harsh!" No. True. Giving an accurate opinion requires a proper perspective, good information, some foresight and a dose of Wisdom. Man, in his natural state, draws up short in all these qualifications

The Way of Trust, by Greg Fischer

I recently came across a story about the brilliant ethicist, John Kavanaugh. While he was at a point in his life where he was trying to decide how to spend the rest of it, he took a trip to Calcutta to visit Mother Teresa. During one of their times talking together, he asked the aging nun if she would pray for him, that he would have clarity to make this decision. Her answer surprised him when she said it and surprised me when I read it.

Too Tired To Fight, by Charissa Barnett

One minute everything can feel in control and in an instant all inner calm can be gone. My 2-year-old really tests the strength of my inner calm. One very early morning, I was feeding my infant while my toddler was playing independently. All was fine and everyone was in a good headspace that morning. Then silence…

Can't Order God, by Jacob Barnett

“I’ll just order it online…”
“Let’s order some coffee from Amazon…”
“If I don’t like it, I can always send it back…”

I’m willing to bet that we’ve all said something along these lines recently when we want/need something. At one point, we just had the world at our fingertips with our smartphones, but now we can have to world delivered straight to our door!

The Sweetness of Suffering, by Kylie Machacek

If you are old enough to read this post, it is no news to you that trials are inevitable in our lives on this side of heaven.  Although we will encounter much distress and discomfort during our earthly lives, throughout the Bible we see God painting a picture of hope with broad brushstrokes of bright pigment. 

The Secret, by Karen Neu

Have you ever had someone in your life that you loved, BUT you just didn't feel like you could quite jive with them? You really genuinely wanted to get along and live peaceably with them, but there were just these certain things about them, these certain little (or maybe even big) annoyances that just about drove you up a wall, or maybe even began to BUILD a wall between the two of you. . .

Therefore I Intercede

I have been thinking about my original experience of becoming a Christian lately. Especially on the days when my heart is squeezing with painful yearning to see the people I love delivered from the destructive paths they seem determined to walk. Those times make me think there is a lone howling wolf caged inside of me. The longing, the yearning, the desperate cry for their lives to be spared comes out in this keening, mournful cry from the very depths of my soul.

Warrior Stance: Fighting with Worship, by Jennifer Braddy

Too often, we as believers feel the weight of attack and fear on our spirits, and assume that it’s just the way it is. We’ve been told that there’s a war going on in the spiritual realms, and we as followers of Christ are simply called to withstand it—take blow after blow in the fight against evil.

We are taught that being in a constant state of attack is expected, even inevitable.

And that’s a lie.

2018: What is God Saying to You?, by Jennifer Bevan

I want to share some of what the Lord has spoken to me during 2017 and the beginning of 2018 for this coming year. Some of these points have not completely unfolded and that is the beauty of discovery, that throughout the year, God will expound upon the words He has given you or even confirm, clarify, or reveal greater understanding.  Enjoy the journey!!

Home for the Holidays, by Gaye Howell

I love Christmas.   For me, one of the best parts of Christmas is the time I get to spend with family...Christmas has always been about family and being at “home” with God.  The first Christmas was about just that—God’s plan to restore us to His family where we could live at “home” with Him.

A Few Signs and Wonders, by Kim Farr

Holy Spirit speaks in many different ways and is always drawing us closer and deeper, revealing­­­ more of the Father and Jesus and their great love for us! If I am open to His infinite and creative ways, He speaks to me. Let me share some different ways I have experienced some signs and wonders.