As always, I hope all is well with you and your family, and that your week is off to a great start. Remember we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Stay encouraged and let everything you say and do be for the Glory of our Heavenly Father <3
To God be all the Glory, what don't kill you makes you stronger, lol. My first school year as a bus driver is coming to a close. Me and Grace (the name of my school bus) made it by the Grace of God, there were a few times I didn't think I was going to make it... but God.
In November, things began to shift for me, it became one of those SUDDENLY moments... suddenly, being a school bus driver was not so bad, there are still challenges... but our Lord has been faithful. Prior to that I was ready to quit (I know a thing or two about quitting), I didn't need all that stress and aggravation from kids that aren't even mine. CONFESSION, I was even looking for someone to take my place for when I quit... I know, I know, you don't have to say it. When I told my Pastor about my trying to leave that job, he asked me one question, "has God released you from that job?" Me: Nooooo, Ugh! He was right though, my Father had not released me and I knew it.
It took a minute, but once I wholeheartedly submitted my will to HIS WILL, everything was peachy keen, just glorious, the kids became perfect angels... NOT. What I did get from my submission was His Peace, guidance and wisdom in how to minister to these kids. Everyday, I must be mindful of His presence in order for Him to accomplish the thing He wants to accomplish through me and in them.
You may find this hard to believe but my problem kids are not middle school or high school kids, but it's those elementary school kids (K-5), the spirit of anger and selfishness is heavy on them. Whenever they didn't agree with what I had to say about something; I would say, "I don't care", one of the little boys said, "you don't care about anything", that was a habit that I had to break quickly, because I do care... now I take the time to tell them why there actions are unacceptable and for them to think about why they did or said what they did and to constantly remind them that their actions have consequences... either good or bad. They must be held accountable for their actions now or a judge will make them accountable later.
The one thing that really burns me up, is when these children call one another names. Oh, my Lord, the names they call each other, it's just awful. Revelation came by way of Holy Spirit, He told me to teach them that when they call one another ugly names, it is a CURSE, they are speaking cursing's against one another. So, when the next incident occurred, I told the young girl that her language was a curse, of course she was like... "no Ms. Carolyn, I didn't cuss him". I went on to explain to her, what Holy Spirit had shared with me, it's going to takes some time but nothing is impossible with God.
What about you, is your speech a BLESSING or a CURSE?
Hope all is well with you and your family.... I'm just counting down the school weeks, 4 more to go until summer break :) Next time I will share some of my school bus stories with you, these kids have me SMH and rolling my eyes (never at them of course) and laughing on the inside. I love them <3
Well.... on April 17th opening week for "Heaven is for Real" my good friend Angela Dorsey and I went to see this movie, she's such a wonderful lady, I can always count on her to be honest with me, so grateful for the Godly wisdom and advice she gives. Everyone should be this blessed, I'm blessed to have many friends like her. I've heard it said, that you will only have or need one true friend in life, I think that is so sad, it definitely shouldn't be that way in the family of Christ, the more the merrier I say. We, Christians know that we are called to love one another, share one another's burdens, help one another, be a reliable confidant... LIFT, INSPIRE, and ENCOURAGE one another in the FAITH of Christ Jesus.
Some of my friends are married, divorced, widowed, no children, small children, adult children, grandparents, self-employed, retired, working class...just a melting pot of individuality and they all have something that I can draw from (and I'm always drawing) I hope they can say the same about me.
About the movie, it was amazing; the little guy in the film-Connor Corum is so adorable and genuine. I watched an interview with the author Todd Burpo and the films director Randall Wallace on Joni Table Talk on the Daystar Network, the director talked about how Connor had never acted before and how he was the ideal child for the role of Colton Burpo, the people on the set started calling him "Elvis" whenever he entered the room, because he got all the attention. When you get a moment go to the links and check out the interviews.
The film is based on the book and true story of 4 year old Colton Burpo who visited heaven, his stories are so vivid and full of hope or should I say hope in what we can expect to see when we go to heaven. It's so comforting to know that our loved ones in Christ will be waiting to see us again, I can only imagine what it will be like to be in the presence of our Lord and God.
The film raises a lot of questions concerning faith, pride, unforgiveness, heaven and how we can be blinded to the things of God, spiritual blindness is having it's way with Christians, that's just the way Satan would have it and it will continue to happen if we don't commit ourselves to Christ. It's not enough to be Saved, we must become Disciples of Christ... meaning we learn about the One we are following, YEP....I'm going to say it again, Bible Study, Sunday School and Worship Service is vital in the Christian life, a bible based church home is important, but we can't stop there, in our own private time we gotta get in the word daily and then apply what we've learned. It does us absolutely no good to know what to do and not do it. That is all :)
If you haven't already seen this film, I hope you will; our support of Christian films is important. Oh yeah, if you haven't read the book, it's a must read---you'll enjoy it. God Bless... Be Loving... Be Joyful... Be Peaceful... Be Patient... Be Gentle... Be Good... Be Faithful... Be Humble... Be Self-Controlled.
Hope you had a wonderful Resurrection Weekend, I know I did... not that I did anything special, this time of year is always exciting to me. Who else do we know that saved our souls from Hell and reconciled our relationship back to a Holy Father and then on top of that, He sealed us with His Holy Spirit.... exciting right! That will make you want to shout, Hallelujah.... go ahead, shout Hallelujah!!! Get your praise on for Jesus. "It is finished".
This past week I was blessed to have a conversation with Audrey Peek, we were talking about the final words of Jesus as He hung on the cross, when he said, "It is finished". So much was compressed into those three words... Salvation would be extended to whosoever wanted to receive it, so therefore; death lost it's power over us, the grave can't hold us and Hell can't have us. "It is finished".
To me, it also means that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us through Holy Spirit, we are sealed with the promises of a loving Father that is for right now and for what is to come... and that same Holy Spirit prays for us when we don't know what to pray for and you know what else.... Jesus is in Heaven at the right hand of our Father, interceding for us. And you know what else, He gave us the authority to use His name and ask for whatever we want... now seeing as how He is a loving Father, we know He's not going to give us anything that would bring harm to us. Oh, I can't believe I almost forgot this, every one of our sins have been forgiven... past, present and future. Jesus was forsaken, so that we would no longer be forsaken.... He said that nothing could ever separate us from His love. "It is finished".
The Cross is offensive because it demands a new lifestyle out of us and it is a confrontation that all of us must face.
On Good Friday, the Lord had impressed upon my heart to reach out to one of my FB friends. This person had been on my mind earlier in the week, I pondered whether or not he was Born-Again, in my heart I felt the answer was... no. He is a TV personality and I kinda get tickled because my sister always says, "you'll send a message to anyone" and I'll say, they're people just like us, famous or not. Well, I sent him a message with the question, "are you a Christian", the next day he sent his response, "I am not", my response, "I want you to know that Jesus loves you and I am still a fan". You might be thinking, I understand you telling him Jesus loves him, but why did you tell him you are still a fan? That was my way of letting him know that I didn't dislike or condemn him for not being a Christian. So far, he hasn't un-friended me, lol. I'm hoping that there will be more dialogue to come, but until then I know that I am to pray for him, there are others that I am praying for as well. I'm telling you this to show the importance of staying in close fellowship with Jesus, I need to know what it is, He wants me to do, I could have missed a God-Given opportunity to be used by Him....Yeah, He could of used someone else, but I'm glad He chose me.
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time
-Zig Ziglar Luke 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
As He hung on the cross for all of humanity... taking every sin upon Himself for our sake, He said, "It Is Finished". The Son of God and the Son of Man, had just gone through the most horrific beating and crucifixion imaginable, we could never fully comprehend what He endured for us; a whip with shards of metal and bone ripped open His flesh (that alone would have killed a man), a crown of thorns were pressed into his head, they spit on him and hit Him with the palm of their hands, Jesus was mocked and ridiculed by the very ones He came to save from their sins. He was made to carry His own cross, until Simon of Cyren helped Him. The spiked nails that were driven into His hands and feet would have made the strongest of men cry out for mercy... He is our MERCY.
The Savior of the world, hanging between two thieves; one repentant and the other unrepentant... the mocking continues as they gamble for His garment, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross" "He saved others, himself he cannot save". In that moment of time, Jesus promised Paradise to the repentant thief and He made intercession for the multitude, "Father, forgive them; for they know not, what they do." We would have wanted judgement... He offered GRACE.
In those three remaining hours, Jesus struggled to breathe and hold His dying body up on that cross. He looked upon His mother Mary... the one we called "blessed among all women", handpicked by our Heavenly Father, to be the mother of the one who came from above. "Woman behold thy son", and He said to John, "Behold thy mother". Her soul was pierced that day, just as Simeon prophesied, in a few days she will understand what it all means.... He showed COMPASSION.
Darkness came upon the land, our Jesus was in pain and He was rejected, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?".... "I thirst", the sun was darkened and the veil in the temple was torn. Jesus cried out again, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" "It is finished", He hung His head and died, the earth shook, He was pierced in His side.... He is the LAMB OF GOD and a RISEN SAVIOUR.!
Jesus lived the life I couldn't live and He died the death I should have died. -LeCrea
Mark 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, He said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
I've often wondered who that centurion was. How was it that He was able to see Jesus as the Son of God? Was he the one who sent an Elder to Jesus and pleaded for the healing of his beloved servant? (Luke 7:1-10) Maybe, like so many he heard about Jesus and all the miraculous things He had done or perhaps he actually listened to the teachings of Jesus as he was ordered to watch HIm. Maybe, those words spoken from the cross was enough to make him believe and confess, that Jesus is who He says He is... I don't know, but God was Glorified. Many Christians say, they are going to Heaven, but they are not enjoying the journey. -Joyce Meyers
You know that song, "I need just a little more Jesus", it's a nice song, I like it; but do we really need a little more Jesus. I mean... What more can He do? He has done it all, paid it all, made Himself accessible to us, empowered us to be over-comers. Could it be that we need to give Jesus more of us? Why are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ still in bondage; slaves to the very thing that wants to destroy us? Are we so hard-hearted, stubborn-minded and full of pride that we will not submit our will to His Will... which we know is better for us.
I know I sound like a scratched record but...Jesus said "I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me." He gave Himself, so we could be FREE. We are going to have struggles and trials in this life, but didn't he say, "whom the Son sets free is free indeed" and He said, "I have overcome the world". Our Lord will never force Himself on anyone, that is not His way, but He did say, "come boldly to the throne of Grace", humility precedes Grace. Perhaps we should get alone with God and confess our struggles and make the necessary changes, He will help us, He wants to help us, we only need to BELIEVE that He will do what He says He will do, lets keep our Faith in JESUS. If anyone of us should stumble or fall, may we be counted as worthy to help restore that person with Mercy, Grace, and Love. Hurt people... hurt people but, Free people...FREE PEOPLE.
If you don't have a personal relationship with Christ I invite you to give Him a try, you've tried everything else. He loves you and me so much that He gave His life for us, He makes us brand new. Just say, Lord, my life is a mess, I'm lost and I'm confused; I've sinned against you and I'm sorry. I need you to help me. Be Lord of my life, clean me up and make me brand new.
Beyonce has her Bey Hive... Lady Gaga has her Monsters... Miley Cyrus has her Wrecking Crew... Jay-Z has his Kingdom.... and Kanye calls himself Yeezus??? All these people have a tremendous, tremendous amount of influence in the world; key word being-WORLD. If you don't believe me, stir the hive and see what happens. For us who follow after Jesus, we are not of the World and our lifestyle and choices should reflect that we are of the Kingdom of God. Satan uses worldly influences and devices as a weapon against Christ followers, remember Satan is the Prince of this world.
Hoping all is well with you and your family. This is a continuation of "Who Are We Influencing", there was so much that I wanted to say, I dare not try to say it all at once; so here is Part 2, "Who's Influencing Us?" Some may see this post as trivial or frivolous or maybe even find it offensive or debatable, THE MAIN OBJECTIVE is for us to take a closer look at ourselves; OUR lives and OUR relationship with the one we call our Saviour, Lord and King, our Creator and Redeemer, the one who is supposedly our First Love. What I share with you is not just my opinion, it's my experience... we must become more aware of the spirits we invite into our spirit and into our homes as well. The quickest and easiest mode of entrance is through entertainment; television, music, books, magazines, and social media. The things we watch and listen to will become engraved upon our heart and mind; have you ever had a song get stuck in your head, and have you ever watched a show that was so disturbing you couldn't sleep at night, perhaps you tried to sit through a movie, but the sexual content, violence or strong language made you feel uncomfortable. LET US BE AWARE OF WHAT WE TAKE INTO OUR SPIRIT. (Be sure to check out my story on the Jesus Girl page "The Other Realm". Our new born-again spirit man wants to express Himself, but we won't let Him. -Bill Winston A relationship with Christ empowers us to live the NEW LIFE He has given us. -Joyce Meyers
We follow and are being followed, on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and let us not forget our extended Facebook family and friends. I heard a statistic that says, Facebook is THE largest nation now, over a Billion and a half people are on Facebook. During my teen years all we had was Oprah Winfrey and our slogan was "well, Oprah said..." following after Oprah, feeding into her very thoughts and opinions about this and that as if she was God of Heaven and Earth; not that, that is how she perceived herself, but that is how we perceived her... unknowingly.
In a world of social media and pop culture "Keeping up with the Kardashians" isn't that difficult, we can even weight in on the "Braxton Family Values" or know what it means to be "The REAL Housewives of you fill in the blank" and find out that "Being Mary Jane or "MARY MARY" isn't all sugar and spice and everything nice. "R&B DIVAS" or "Total DIVAS" or a member of "The Bad Girls Club"?... "The Preacher's of LA" and these "Preacher's Daughters", WELL...
"Orange Is The New Black" really? "50 Shades of Grey" and "Grey's Anatomy"; "Scandal" is scandalous, "Two and a Half Men", "Big Bang Theory" when has it ever been okay to be a "Pretty Little Liar" or to take "REVENGE" into our own hands. Let us not forget 'the man of the hour, Kevin Hart... OUCH!! These days, calling someone a B**** has become some kind of term of endearment; it's just as bad as the "N" word; what's really going on? Who's the best... LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant.??? Favorite Football/Baseball Player/Team. My dad use to call this guy DALLAS, because he is such a fanatic follower of the Dallas Cowboys, I don't even know his real name.
Throughout the 90's, ABC was proud to produce family oriented programming, they targeted the family and its moral values and lessons learned in 30 minutes or less. Forget about Friday Night Movie Night, they encouraged us to gather around the TV to watch those programs that brought parents and children together; there catch phrase was "ABC-Family"; don't know if you've noticed, but sometimes it says, "ABC - Family - A New Kind Of Family" Hmmm??? The safest place to be... is in the WILL OF GOD.
- Bishop T.D. Jakes
There was a gentleman on the "Praise the Lord" program on TBN, he works in Hollywood, I think he was or perhaps still is a screenwriter, anyway he was told that if he wanted to have a successful television show, he had to break at least three of the ten commandments: shocking, right...not really. Let's see... In most programming, God is dishonored, parents are dishonored, lying,stealing, murder, sexual sins, adultery, fornication, covetousness, envy and so on and so on, the pattern has been set for future TV programming, but we don't have to succumb to any of it. We shouldn't compromise our spiritual growth when God has so much more for us. I heard someone say, that most of these shows are train wrecks: you are uncomfortable watching, but you can't look away.
One generations compromise becomes the next generations bondage. -Mark Casto
So...am I telling you not to watch these shows... NO, that's between you and your Heavenly Father, but what I am saying is... does any of the things they say and do, come into agreement with what our Father says. In no way am I against television, sports, music, books, etc., what I am against is the sinful acts associated with it. If God isn't Glorified in it, then it's all for naught/nothing and our spirit does not benefit from it, as believers, we know how our Father feels about the things we allow to come into our lives, if we don't know this---we need to read His Word, Holy Spirit guides us into all truth concerning our Father. Am I pointing a finger at these celebrities? NOPE... many of them confess or profess to be Christians. Am I pointing a finger at you... NOT AT ALL...but I am challenging us all to think about, the amount of influence; all of this has in our lives, and ask ourselves... Who are they following? and Who is influencing me? The World or Jesus.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled (NIV) Right Believing Produces Right Living - Joseph Prince
Well, I know you're probably thinking, 'It's just entertainment... I'm not going to do any of the stuff they are doing in these shows or what they sing about, talk about, or they're just keeping it real, that's the reality of life; maybe... maybe not. But sometimes we are more invested in these shows, artists, athletes, etc; than we realize. My question is this, when we gather in the lounge or at our own table are we talking about how good Olivia Pope looked in that white coat or the goodness of Jesus? Are we talking about how the Kardashian's are keeping it real or how Jesus is keeping us? Do the Braxton's values line-up with what Christ values? Drunk in love or drunk in the Holy Spirit, which do we prefer? Hours spent on FB and none spent in THE BOOK. These are just questions that I ask you as well as myself, in no way am I excused because I'm writing this post, my struggle in this area is the same as yours, this is just a CHARGE for us to GUARD OUR HEART AND MIND against the things that are contrary to our Father. Remember, what we consume... will CONSUME us; it's like this, If I consume fried chicken and biscuits everyday from week to week, it is going to eventually consume me, with high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, weight gain, headaches, and other complications, it's the same with what we take into our heart and mind. it will produce spiritual life or spiritual death. Let us all invest more in the Kingdom of God---Attend Bible Study, and Sunday School, and Worship Service, we should seek out His Will for our lives.
I've told this story before, when I was 23, I chose to live with my boyfriend, well shack, I was definitely under the influence of TV programming. Every show that I watched showed couples living together, unmarried and in my mind I thought that was okay, that it was fine, no big deal, everybody is doing it; this is the world we live in and that it was better to live with someone before marriage, anyway... right. That is what I based my decision on; little did I know, that everything I thought within myself was nothing but an excuse and a lie; and it was completely unacceptable before our Father...it was an offense to My Father. Two children were born out of that union, so I don't condemn myself for it, I repented/changed my thinking; no longer leaning to my own understanding but yielding to what His Word says about it.
Romans 8:1-2 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. (NLT)
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His Will in all you do and He will direct your paths. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead fear the Lord and turn your back on evil. Then you will regain renewed health and vitality. (NLT)
Romans 5 Romans 6 "Well... Carolyn, I'm a Grown Woman/Man, I can do whatever I want..." Satan wants us to keep telling ourselves that, TRUE...the choice is ours and so are the consequences. "But Carolyn... we are under Grace, not the law". And THANK GOD for GRACE, it's because of Grace, we are without excuse for our actions. The consequences still remain, good or bad. The Grace of Jesus is what stirs us to live a life of honor and respect to our Father; it is because of that Grace, sin's power has been broken in our lives. We no longer follow after the things of the world and what it calls right. At some point we've all gotten inclinations from Holy Spirit about our choices of entertainment and ignored Him, if we never feel Holy Spirit's nudges, convictions, or feel Him trying to get us to go another way, we may not be BORN-AGAIN. Please, don't be put off by this statement, a lot of people attend church and may have even been baptized, but not truly converted or discipled. If we don't see the evidence in our own lives, we may have to do some self-examination/soul-searching. Heaven or Hell is at stake; I'm not saying that watching the Kardashian's is going to send any of us to HELL, not being Born-Again, does that, I'm not saying that Saved people will lose their Salvation, because they choose to watch "Scandal", that's not possible, but we must live our lives aware of the presence of Christ, in our life and know what He is saying to us about certain forms of entertainment, well not just entertainment, but everything.
You know, how it is when we walk into a dark room and after a moment or two, our eyes will adjust to the darkness. Sometimes, that's the way it is living in this world, we adjust, we conform, we stray away from Our Father's truth and we don't see clearly. Christians don't have to be in darkness, the Light of Christ is in every believer/follower and Jesus has given us His authority, so let us shine for His Glory; let us move from Glory to Glory, the World is watching The Church; the World is watching US!
Some of us Pastors and Leaders have failed the church by making more so-called converts than we have true disciples. -Pastor Andrew Wommack
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world.
Isaiah 5:20 Doom to you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness in place of light and light in place of darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (The Message)
James 4:17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. (NLT)
It was not my intent to harp on television programming, music, book/magazines or social media; but we know that these outlets take up a lot of our time, so therefore has a lot of influence in our lives. We can't continue to ignore God's truth, what may seem insignificant right now may become a big deal later. Satan is sneaky and deceitful, he's been at this thing a long time. A snake doesn't have to enter a home through a door opened wide, a small crack will do.
Be provoked to good works that bring Glory and Honor to Christ Jesus; in order to do that we must surround ourselves with positive Christian Influences, programming, filtering Facebook news feeds and music and books/magazines, and other social media, so that Holy Spirit can produce the work that has already been placed inside of us to do. We must open our eyes, ears, mind, heart and spirit to the things that are important to our Father. I would rather you offend me with the Word of God so that I might be brought to repentance than to allow me to continue in my sinful ways. Yes... it may be a hard pill to swallow, but I'll be alright. Believe me, try as we may, we can not twist, dilute, or manipulate God's word to suit our own fleshly desires or reasoning, it's impossible... I've tried to and you have tried to...too. We Christians have a voice in this world and it's time for us to sound the alarm and be heard and taken seriously, but it must always be done in a loving spirit and manner. It's time for us to be true disciples of Christ, and stand on what His word says about us. Jesus told us to count the cost, there will be losses and gains for His sake. People are more afraid of offending others than they are of offending GOD. -Dr. Billy Graham
"God's Not Dead" had a box office weekend of $8M and "Divergent" had a box office weekend of over $50M. Where are all the Christians? We say, we want good Christian programming and movies, but are we supporting those voices that are going into the world to proclaim the message of the Cross of Jesus, those that are putting it all on the line for Christ, the Hope of Glory. And yes...we must have discernment over some so-called films that target Christians. WATCH... what you're watching. HEAR... what you're hearing... DO... what you're doing and KNOW what you're consuming.
We are all born sinners... it's easier to do wrong than it is to do right, but once we are converted... the war between the two natures begin. It is the hope within that we will yield to Holy Spirit in order to bring Glory and Honor to our Heavenly Father.
-Dr. R.T. Kendell
You and I are loved by God, so much so that He sent His only Son to die for our sins, He was raised from the dead and He gave us His Spirit to live in us. SALVATION is a gift, and what a wonderful gift it is, but it's up to us what we do with it. We can live our lives as a monument to our own selfish desires, choosing not to acknowledge His presence, ignoring His loving correction, letting our flesh rule us; or we could live as a reflection of Christ, embracing His Way, His Truth, His Life, which is eternal. Jesus is the Standard by which we live our lives, JESUS SHOULD BE OUR GREATEST INFLUENCE, when it's all said and done, Jesus is the one we will all bow down before.
God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you the way you are. - Dr. Billy Graham