Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Zero or Hero?

1 Chronicles 4:10 "Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request."

Who in the world is this Jabez person?  What is he doing in only two verses of the bible?  What is so special about Jabez that a man would be inspired to write a book about him?  Further more, the book became a best seller and has sold over 15 million copies?  I mean, the man is only mentioned in two verses in the bible?  What is so special about him and what can we learn from him?

My friend, there is such a profound word to receive from the this man known as Jabez!  Jabez is not known for some heroic action but he is known for his heroic prayer!  Jabez was no zero; He most certainly was a hero!  I have often heard people say that you should not pray for yourself, but only for others.  For some reason, we have the perception that praying for ourselves makes us selfish.  But Jabez displays a different picture in 1 Chronicles 4:10.

Jabez prayed for God to enlarge his territory!  He prayed for God to keep His hand on him at all times to protect him from harm and free of pain!  Jabez desired to more than just the average Christian.  He didn't want to be ordinary, he wanted to be extraordinary!  He didn't want to sit the bench, he wanted his coach to use him in the game wherever and as much as He needed him!  And God granted his request!

So, do you think Jabez was being selfish for his prayer?  Absolutely not!  I believe Jabez was being as sincere and humbled as he could be in his mighty prayer to the Lord.  What a confident and bold prayer request he made! 

I have been seeking God in prayer to be more confident and bold in Him.  Being confident and bold in Christ is more than standing up for Him in this is receiving His spirit and running just as hard as you can after Him continuously!  Jabez said a confident and bold prayer, and God granted his request.  What if we all exercised the 'Jabez mentality'?  Wow!  The blessings that would flow, the territories that would be enlarged, and the abilities that would be bestowed in reaching people that we think are unreachable!

Are you up for the challenge of requesting a sincere-heroic prayer such as Jabez?  For someone that is scarcely mentioned in the bible, his short prayer was (is) an abundant blessing!  

Lord, bless me and enlarge my territory for Your glory!  Keep your hand on me at all times guiding and keeping me free from harm and pain.  God, hear my cry and grant my request!   Amen.

Your sister in Christ,



Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Week-End!

Whew! Happy Week-End! I must say this has been one of the busiest yet most relaxing week in Jesus's arms that I have had in a long time! I have loved spending time and sharing with each of my iStudy Bible ladies and just soaking up God's word this week! If you haven't visited Melissa's blog this morning, cruise on over there and check out her 'gotta get down' Friday video. It will certainly lighten up your morning and put a smile on your face!

Today, let's reflect back on what we have read this week and what God has spoken to each of us through His word, and pray that God will help us to apply it to our lives faithfully. This doesn't just apply to our iStudy Bible group. This is for you too my blogger friend! What have you been talking to God about this week in your quiet time with Him? What has He revealed to you? Has He answered yes or no to your prayers? Just receive whatever He has been saying to you and share your joy in Him with someone!

iStudy ladies, have you been working on your memory verse for this week? Can you fill in the blanks today? Can you recite it without any help? Give it a try and if you feel confident enough, do a short video of yourself reciting the verse and share it on facebook on Melissa's Online Study page! This task may take a little more encouragement and prayer for me...videos of myself scare me! But lookout youtube world...I'm coming soon! Ladies, we will take the weekend off, but I look forward to meeting up with you via the internet world on Monday!

So __ not ___ ____ your _______; it will be _____ _______. You _____ to ________ so that _____ you ____ ____ the ___ of ___, you will ______ what __ ___ _____.
~ _______ 10:35-36

Have a great weekend! Spend time with your family at a football game, hunting, shopping, or whatever you like to do with your loved ones!

Striving to hold onto confidence,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bible "iStudy" Group

Do you have a quiet time in the morning with just you and the Lord? I can honestly say that on the days that I rise earlier and start my day with Jesus before anything else, it makes for a more confident and stable day in my life. What about you? Can you tell a difference between starting your day with God and starting one without Him? Now, I know that there are days that we awake very tired and would rather get that extra 30 minutes of sleep instead of rising to read the word of life. I have these kinds of days just like anyone else and I desperately need a sister or someone to hold me accountable and encourage me in my moments of weakness. That is exactly why I started what we call an “iStudy” bible group. This study group doesn’t meet once a week at someone’s house or at the local coffee shop (where I live that would be the Chevron Gas Station), or at the church. We all have busy schedules and really didn’t have time to add another morning or evening meeting to our calendars and thought that an approach with the new technology would be more convenient. So, we meet via phone, text, email, facebook, blog, etc. We will share something that God spoke to us during our quiet time to encourage each other and it will serve as a great way of using different technologies to hold each other accountable in spending time with God daily.

Our group consists of five to six women. If this sounds like something that you think you would like to participate in, give it a thought and pray for God to lead you with whom to share in your group. I would encourage you to keep your study group small (3-7 people) so that you are not overloaded with trying to communicate 20 or so emails, phone calls, texts, etc. each day. Also, keep in mind that you probably will have someone to drop out of your group at some point in time. That’s ok. Your group will change from time to time. Just look at it as God moving and adjusting for His will!

Today, I am blogging about my quiet time in my effort of sharing with my ‘iStudy’ sister group as well as you, my blogger friend.

My quiet time this morning was in 1 John 1:2. "The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us."

God came into this world as human. The disciples seen and testified of Him.  They still testify of Him today thru the living word of God.  The disciples were so blessed to have been able to physically walk and talk with Jesus! They witnessed firsthand Jesus' life and work on this earth. As I began meditating and praying over this scripture, I realized I was becoming somewhat jealous of the disciples.

At the time of John writing the book of 1 John, he was the last disciple living that had an eye witness account of Jesus. Although John had been exiled to the island of Patmos, he continued his letters of testimony and leading Christians.

John was considered the one whom Jesus loved. Can you imagine being the last person alive that had witnessed God walking the earth in human form or being known as the one whom God loved? Well, let’s give it a try. Fill in the blank with your name. _________ is the one whom Jesus loves. ________ is the one whom I wait for daily to spend time with.

When I felt that sense of jealousy creeping up inside of me this morning as I was praying, this is exactly what I heard God say to me. “Tonya, I consider you whom I love very much! Although you may not have witnessed with your eyes my life of walking the earth in human form, I am still there with you and you have witnessed my miracles and work many times. I wait for you daily to talk with me. I appear before you in ways that you often overlook, because at times you are so busy that you miss the sight of me. I am so delighted to call you my daughter and I am very thankful you spent time with me this morning. I love you, my child!”

My friend, we are a lot like John and the other disciples. We witness and hear from God daily. We are called to share our story about Jesus just like the disciples did! I pray that you slow down enough today to see Jesus and to look for ways to share Him with someone.



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Faith over Feelings

Have you ever seen the movie, Facing the Giants?  There is a scene in this movie where a football player participates in an exercise called "The Death Crawl."  The player expresses his 'feelings' of not being able to complete the task, but his coach has more 'faith' in him and encourages him not to give up.  His original goal was doing the crawl for 30 yards, his coach believed he could do 50 yards, and he finishes in the end zone!  Watch the clip from the movie.       

Last night, my family watched this movie again for like the 100th time.  Every time I watch it, God speaks a new message to me!  Recently, I have allowed feelings of fear, uncertainty, opposition and discouragement from others to consume me.  I had began to allow these feelings to overcome my faith. 

In this scene of the movie, I became overwhelmed.  I began to picture the coach as God.  I began to hear the words from the coach as words from God.  I began hearing Jesus spur me on in a time where I didn't know how much more I could do.  I began to choose and receive faith over my feelings.

Whatever troubles you may have today;  Whatever opposition you may be facing;  Whatever lies satan may be whispering in your ear; How ever beaten down you may be feeling from the ways of the world; DON'T GIVE UP!  The Lord is our strength!  He is right there beside you, encouraging and coaching you for the entire race!    

Lord, I will give you my best!  I will be the leader you have called me to be!  When I hurt and find myself in the wilderness alone, I will not give up!  Who am I?  Lord, I am yours!    

Choosing Faith over Feelings,

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