New Year, Really?

GM Monday.

Is 2013 timing up? Technically, yes. Usually at this time of year, we start taking inventory of ourselves and whip out the Steno pad to list what we resolve to do more or less of. have you ever wondered why we do this year after year? Is it fruitful? Does it really matter? “Is it working for you”? Hmm, let’s get into this. 

Where are You?

Social media is so prominent in our culture. When coupled with our willingness to literally share every thought, opinion, and preference, I’ll bet you could look back and find your posts and tweets from December 2012.
If you can, compare them to what you were about to jot down. Are you still on the hamster wheel of good intentions that vow to be healthier, more available, more generous/less stingy, etc? Do yourself a favor, dear ones, stop running in place and break out of the cycle that over promises and under delivers. Be cautious with what you vow to do.

Are You in the Same Place?

Take some time to locate yourself. I mean, really, really look. I’ll bet you have made progress in certain areas of your life. Progress is black and white–it’s either there or it’s not. Regardless of how much there is, praise God for that morsel of consistency that you didn’t have last year. Thank Him for helping you to maintain the deliverance you have freely received and the grace to continue to grow.

No Resolutions Now What?!

Okay, since I’ve jerked the security blanket of good intentions from you, allow me to replace it with the Comforter that can actually keep you warm. Don’t lose your vision to want to do better.  It’s good that you don’t want to stay where you are. However, why don’t we do something different? Let’s choose to look for the Lord’s guidance regarding the areas of our life that displease us and really believe that He will guide you clearly. More than likely, those particular areas displease Him too; let Him work on those areas. Let’s allow the Word of God to seep in to our spirit and change us from the inside out.

God doesn’t measure eternity in years; so with the new year coming up, keep moving forward. Time is not up yet, keep working on your test.

Proverbs 8:8-36 NLT

My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it. My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge. Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it. “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the L ord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine. Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees. Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments. “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice. My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver! I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice. Those who love me inherit wealth. I will fill their treasuries. “The L ord formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else. I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began. I was born before the oceans were created, before the springs bubbled forth their waters. Before the mountains were formed, before the hills, I was born— before he had made the earth and fields and the first handfuls of soil. I was there when he established the heavens, when he drew the horizon on the oceans. I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth. I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth’s foundations, I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence. And how happy I was with the world he created; how I rejoiced with the human family! “And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the L ord . But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.”

~KP

It’s Christmas

Merry Christmas good people! This is my favorite time of year! Christmas time is the best time, hands down. This time last year, I was preparing to take the GRE and finishing up my application for my internship (which I am ace-ing  btw, praise the Lord!).  Also, I was terribly sick and let me tell you, taking a computer-based standardized test with a head cold is no bowl of grapes.

Anyway, enough about that; let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this post.  Get ready to smile.

This Year and Beyond…

I can say with confident faith that I am working out the plan that the Lord has given to me.  Honestly, it feels great to say that. I am moving forward in the process of perfection and that’s a good thing.  Please don’t misunderstand– I don’t intend to sound arrogant or prideful, but you need to know that your words either carry faith or fear.  You must learn to confidently speak faith statements with boldness regardless of your current perception of yourself, your ability (or lack thereof), or past mistakes.  You have to speak your destination before you get there.  The choice is yours.  Furthermore, learn how to celebrate yourself.  When others around you (especially those who you consider closest to you) refuse to give you that well-deserved pat on the back; give it to yourself.  Or, better yet, believe the Lord to surround you with people who will give you that pat on the back when you need it.  Trust and believe, He will do just that; He’s done it for me.

I suppose it’s the sense of completion that accompanies the end of the year which causes us to take an inventory of ourselves.  To do so is perfectly fine and good; however, don’t paint yourself into the proverbial corner with a brush dipped in comparison.  As long as your rubric of success and value is drafted according to your perception of those around you, you will always be disappointed, sad, and even discouraged.

Believe it or not, we all decide what we want others to see.  I don’t know anyone that excitedly runs to the phone to call 50 people to yak about their latest epic failure nor can I think of anyone who chooses to fill their twitter feed or Facebook profile with tweets and posts about their deepest fears and shortcomings.  We each have our own brag box filled with successes and triumphs.  Usually, that is what we willingly share with others.  I can almost guarantee you that for every 10 brag boxes on the living room coffee table, there is at least one old, busted, dilapidated, shoebox shoved in the back of a closet somewhere filled with our past heartaches and disappointments and most of the time, we avoid showcasing it when company stops by.

Moving Forward

With all of that being said, this Christmas, let us take time to enjoy this holiday for what it really is; a celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Take time to refocus and clear your vision for the budding new year.  Start some new traditions! Whether you are by yourself or with family, remember you are never alone.

Get excited about your future, it looks awesome! I love you all; Merry Christmas!

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On the Matter of a Mate

Excellent excerpt from the book, Ministering to Your Family (Chapter 1, © 1986), by Kenneth E. Hagin and Kenneth Hagin Jr. Reprinted by permission of Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc.


On the Matter of a Mate

In what areas can you exercise faith? What can you believe for?

First, you can believe for everything the Word of God promises you or provides for you. But you can’t believe beyond the Word. Why not? Because “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Faith is based on what God’s Word says, and you cannot believe beyond your knowledge of God’s Word. If people try to do this, they will get in trouble.

For example, years ago I met a denominational pastor who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues and was kicked out of his denomination.

With no church to pastor, he had gone into business for himself in a large city, and he started attending the largest Full Gospel church in that city. This man was unmarried and was probably between 35 and 40.

He told me that a beautiful woman sang in the church choir, and because “you can have what you say” and “whatever you desire, just pray and believe you receive,” he was going to pray and believe he was going to get her for a wife.

However, I can’t find where the Bible says, “I promise John that he can have Mary for a wife.” Mary may not want to be his wife—and John may be just as well off without her anyway!

So I asked the man, “Have you ever talked to this woman? Have you ever had a date with her?”

“No,” he replied.

Sitting out there in the congregation while the choir sang on Sunday mornings, this man had seen the woman, was attracted to her, and thought because “you can have what you say,” he could just say they would be married and it would come to pass.

But under what conditions will it come to pass?

“Well, if I believe it strongly enough,” some will argue.

No, faith must be based on God’s Word. As we have seen, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word. And the Word of God says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).

“Whoso findeth a wife” implies that you have a part to play, all right, but you must be open to the Lord’s direction, and you must realize that you cannot go against another person’s free will.

The Lord will lead and guide you. You have a right to claim His guidance because He has promised to guide you. But just to pick somebody out and say, “I’m going to believe God and she’s going to be my wife,” won’t work.

Another’s Will Is Involved

The woman you want to marry may not want to be your wife. That would work the other way around for women: The man you want to marry may not want be your husband.

Friends, you’re not going to be able to override another person’s will in the matter, so you may as well settle that once and for all.

God Himself does not exercise authority over human spirits. If He did, He’d make everybody in the world get saved today, and then we could enter into the Millennium.

We only have authority over evil spirits; not over human spirits. God has granted mankind free will to choose for themselves.

In the first meeting I held after leaving my last pastorate, an unmarried woman in her thirties asked me, “Brother Hagin, do I have the right to believe for a husband?”

“I believe you do,” I replied, “because the Bible says, ‘Whoso findeth a WIFE findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord’—and it would be a poor rule that wouldn’t work both ways.”

Will faith work here?

I told the young woman, “You can’t just pick out somebody and say, ‘That one’s mine.’ But you can ask God to lead you. You can claim a mate by faith and let God work out the details because you believe Him.”

Standing in Faith

For many months, it didn’t look like things were going to work for this young woman: No young man came into her life. Every time I saw her, I encouraged her to stand in faith. She would say, “I’m standing in faith. It’s going to work. I know it is!” She had certain ideals in mind. She said, “I’m not a minister myself, but I have been in the work of the Lord for many years, and I want to marry a minister.”

In the process of time, I saw her, and she had married a fine man—a minister. Her faith had worked.

I also remember two beautiful young women who attended a revival meeting I once conducted in Oklahoma. They had just graduated from high school with the highest grades in their class. Both were saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit in my meeting. Some months later, when I returned to that church for another meeting, the Lord led me to minister a word of wisdom to one of the girls.

Afterwards, the pastor said, “Brother Hagin, I’m so glad you did that. You didn’t know this, I’m sure, but that young woman is engaged to be married, and we’re concerned about it. The young man has attended church here, but I’ll just be honest with you—I’m sure he pretended he got saved so he could marry her.”

Something Better

I hadn’t known these details the night the Lord had me minister to the young woman. She was sitting on the front row that night. I asked the congregation to sing because I didn’t want everyone to hear what I told her. I said to her, “The Lord told me to tell you this: ‘I’ve got something better for you. Don’t marry right now. I’ve got something better for you.’”

Two years later I was out in California in a campmeeting when a fine-looking young couple came up to me. The woman said, “Brother Hagin, do you remember me?”

“No,” I said, “but your face looks familiar.”

She told me her name, but I still couldn’t remember who she was.

“Well,” she said, “you’ll remember this: You called me up while the congregation was singing and you told me the Lord said not to marry then because He had something better for me.”

“Oh,” I said. “I remember that.”

“Well,” she said happily, “here he is!”

Then, she told me she and her husband were in Bible college preparing for the ministry. “Oh, I’m so glad the Lord arrested me and ministered to me,” she said. “I would have made a fatal mistake. We’re so happy. And we’re working for God.”

God did have something better for her. God can lead and guide us. We need to be open to the leading of God.

You see, we can believe God and exercise faith for anything that is promised in the Bible. But we must base our faith upon what God’s Word says. If we get into areas beyond the Word, we will get into gray areas—into dark areas. As long as we’re in the Word, we’re in the light. Then we’re on safe ground—sure ground.

Some may say, “I don’t know just what direction to take in life, so what shall I believe for?”

Well, trust God for guidance, because He has promised to guide you. Claim His guidance by faith. Say, “The Lord is guiding me. He is leading me. I may not see it this moment. I may not even know what to do at the moment; but, He is my Guide and I trust Him.”

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). God will guide you. But remember that He leads you just one step at a time.

Reprinted from the book, Ministering to Your Family (Chapter 1, © 1986), by Kenneth E. Hagin and Kenneth Hagin Jr. Reprinted by permission of Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc.


Sing a Thanksgiving Song

Happy Thanksgiving, dear ones!  Celebrate by living a grateful life, stop and take note of the changing season, and love on those around you.  You never know who’s love tank is approaching “E”. Why don’t you get to them first before the warning light comes on ♥

Ten Things to Be Thankful For

10.  Life and freedom.  It’s a privilege, never take it for granted.

9.  My car.  Lord knows I loved my Sebring and all 160K of its miles, but when it’s time to change, it’s time to change.

8. Work experience.  Okay, this is random, I didn’t understand the process at the time but those previous jobs (although challenging at times) were moving me right along to my true purpose.  #Dietetics

7.  Nutritious food to eat and a nice, warm, safe place to call home.  This time of year when it’s cold and the weather is bad, my heart is on those who don’t have enough food or shelter.

6.  Grace, favor, and mercy.  It would have been a different story if these weren’t in my life.

5. Every gift that God has graced me with; even the small ones. My warm spirit and ability to make others smile and feel at ease; these gifts are straight from my Father.  I just have the joy of walking in them.

4. My friends.  You may be few and far between, but each of you has a special place in my life.  You probably don’t know how often you cross my mind, but you need to know that I think of you often and smile.

3. My family.  Whether  we are blood-related or not, you have enriched and supplemented my life to make it great. Thanks for the love.

2.  Social support.  Big dreamers like me sometimes (more often than not) need a boost of confidence and reassurance that our ideas are not crazy.  Thank you for understanding my vision.

1. My Heavenly Father.  He’s everything to me.  He’s heard my every thought, captured every tear, and continues to love me everyday.  Thank God for Jesus.

Don’t Be Fooled

http://bible.com/97/1SA16.7.MSG But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

Ladies, ladies, ladies. This post is a short and sweet nugget of wisdom just for you. This is a reminder for you to trust the Lord to manage your relationships. He’s your Father. He’s the Father of all fathers and like any good father, He protects His girls.

He can see further and deeper into the recesses of the hearts of those around you. Welcome His guidance. Silence from Him is not approval. Take that young man that you are interested in before the Lord in prayer. The Lord will give you clear feedback. He will not confuse you or contradict His Word.
Wolves may look fine in church suits; do not be fooled. Ask your Father. Let Him protect you.

Love you ladies!