Waiting on God…..

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Waiting on God…..

Isaiah 40:31 “Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Sometimes, when God does not answer our prayers, it is not in His timing, or we are not ready or at a place to receive, or He is saying ‘No’ to our request. God is working behind the scenes in each moment and He sees the entire picture with all the players as His plan and intentions go forth in our lives.

Remaining Faithful to Him during the waiting times builds our spiritual character as He continues to do the Transforming work necessary within our human hearts, inhabiting those spaces with His divine nature, birthing the beauty of spiritual fruits in our mortal bodies.

We also learn about walking in Faith, maturing and growing in our ability to Trust in His good will for our lives, as He provides His Grace sustaining us, through All Times. We as His children learn to walk by Faith and not by Sight, for He works in the unseen realm, where often, results are not visible. This is where Faith and Trust come in.

Our Trust grows through these times of waiting and as we look back through our journey remembering the mountains He has moved in our lives, and the valleys we have walked in, these remembrances of His Grace that helped us during these moments, are monuments we have built as a tribute to His work in our lives. We know our hearts can fully Trust in Him to give full provision, providing guidance and direction, as He encourages us to continue on the path forward. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Remembering those things He has done in our past and writing these down for aid to walk in the tough times, helps us in Knowing God remains Faithful and True to us, and we can Know in our Hearts it is He that has promised to never leave nor forsake us.

Remembering His goodness and those times He brought us through difficulties brings encouragement and strength in the times of not knowing, or in the midst of uncertainties, for we know He never changes.

“I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” (Psalm 77:11)

During each season of difficulty in our lives, during the times of waiting on Him, it is He that draws us deeper into Him, into His Grace, sifting through our fleshly layers of habits changing us more and more into His likeness.

As we develop spiritual habits in living a disciplined life in Faith, we learn this process is a life-long journey in becoming more like Christ, who is our true model of servanthood, and we can anticipate the time we join with Him in Glory for all Eternity!

We learn it is not about us, this life of Faith is All about Christ living in and through us to bring Glory to our Father in Heaven. Let us walk in this Truth so we can fulfill those intentions He has chosen to bring to completion in and through us.
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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Christ’s Bride

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When we do God’s work, it is not our work; our ministry, it is His work; His ministry. When we surrender to His Will, His Ways, and His plans for us, it is He that does the work in and through us.

We are God’s vessels, needing to be always filled and walking in God’s Holy Spirit who empowers us to fulfill His purposes in and through us in the places we walk. We have a mission to pursue in Him. We have a Holy Calling, purposes that are beyond sight, to go forth, preaching and teaching His Word, making disciples of All people groups and entering into participation with and in Him to do the works of the Father.

It is not we that do the work, otherwise, it will all be rubbish, no matter how successful one looks, or how many people are in the church. For it is a man that looks on the outward appearances, but it is God that sees the heart of a person, and it is He that knows the deep inner workings of a person.

There is no one who can hide anything from God, for he knows All of what is hidden in our hearts. He sees our motivations. He sees our intentions. He sees the secret things in our hearts.

It is not about numbers, it is not about revival, nor is it about seeking signs, wonders, or miracles.   It is not about having a title. It is not about having charisma. It is not about our personalities. It is not about us at all.

This life in Faith is All about Living, Breathing and Being Christ!

The life of Faith is about dying to ourselves in the deepest core of our being. It is about wanting the best in and for others. It is about giving from the overflow of the Love of Christ in our hearts to others. It is about walking the narrow path.

This does require a cost, for He calls us to live to a higher calling, a higher purpose, a higher realm, and that is only found in allowing Him to transform us completely at every level of our souls.

It is about living a life of Obedience to what He has called and chosen us to accomplish in His Power, not our own devices.

The life of Faith is ALL about JESUS! It is about people! It is about service. It is about Holiness. It is about Righteousness. It is about doing the right thing that we know in our hearts to do, then doing it.

Living the life of Faith is about servant hood to Christ and to others, following the paths He directs, guides and leads us in.

If it is not Him directing, it is of ourselves, and it is of vanity and self-directed motives.

This Faith Life is not about living in the greatest city. It is not about transferring a move of God from one part of the world into our part of the world.  It is not about being the greatest preacher, teacher, or having the largest church.

It is about allowing God to be God.  Faith is that we become All in Him.  In living this life called Faith, we desire to do so in all sincerity; with honor, integrity, honesty, and truth.  Yet most of all, that we have a pure Love motivated in a Holy desire to Be all of Whom God has called us to be and to have our entire Identity be formed in Christ’s Righteousness!

We live to Glorify our Father in heaven in bearing the fruits of the spirit that are the signs of Christianity, the signs of a Faithful servant, the signs of Him living in and through us. It is about a total and complete surrender of our ways to His Ways of Being. It is a Death to who we are, and a living a life to Whose we are.

We are not our own. We are not of this world. We have been set apart and consecrated in His Holy pursuit of a Transformed Lifestyle.

Let us RISE UP and Not Grow Weary, for the times are Now to do His Work in and through us.   We are the Righteousness of Christ!

God is searching for His people to become His Holy and Consecrated Bride.  God is calling to us to BE His People.   We are the Bride of Christ!

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

 

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Learning the art of letting go

100_1108In order for churches to raise up the leaders needed to carry on the mission and work God has called us to accomplish, there needs to be an understanding of exactly what role we are to fulfill in regards to equipping the body of believers.

Leaders must come to the place they not only realize, but understand it is they who must carry out this necessary work in training, equipping and raising up a generation of new leaders.  In order to fulfill the Godly roles and responsibilities, this vision of how to do this must be imparted and directed by the Holy Spirit.  God’s vision is the only one that will be successful.

It is only in pursuing God’s vision within a body of believers where His fruit will come forth. It is only in working towards God’s Kingdom desires that people will come into our midst, for they will see real people showing genuineness.

It is only by allowing Christ to shine in and through us that others will be drawn to Him. It is when the Body lives in this unity in Christ, they can live in unity with one another.

It is in having an experiential understanding of God’s call to living in the community as a body of believers, joining in a Holy union with the Father, and joining into life with one another, in praying, supporting, encouraging, lifting up, edifying, singing spiritual psalms, reading scriptures, and gathering together.

When we are willing to lay aside our own plans and methods and learn to seek the heart of our Father’s desires, learning to let go of what we want, seeking His ways with all our minds, souls and heart, is when God will Manifest All of who He is in and through this body.

It will be when the members of a body walk in Obedience to Him, clothing themselves with His Righteousness and Holiness, that He will Be in and with them and do great works through their service.

It is only in and by His Love that others will Know Him. It is only when this Love, pure and unadulterated is manifested within a community of believers, that Christ will be known.

The Christian lifestyle is all about Christ and not a person’s agenda. When we fully submit as a people, as a body, and truly understand how we build and maintain this Love and unity, putting into practice Godly Principles, Christ will manifest Himself in Powerful ways, with signs, wonders, and miracles.

When we become God Hearts of Love, in actions, words, deeds, behaviors, and our inner attitudes manifest His Love, He will pour out the rivers of life into a fellowship, which will overflow into the wider community, where His mission can be accomplished.

We must become the spiritual beings in Christ to exemplify His life to all we encounter as this is the great commission we are called to go forth and purposed to accomplish in His Power.  When Christ takes preeminence in every area of our lives, and He becomes our Everything and our very reason for existence, then He will Be visible in our midst, and we will Be His Holy Priesthood, His Bride.

It is when we let go of what we want, and move towards the place of accepting what Christ wants, allowing His Spirit to be whom embodies our fellowship, He will have the freedom and liberty to Be in us as a body.

We must let go of selfish man-made ways of being. We must let go of being exclusive or a closed group. We must let go of walling off others from entering our fellowships.  We must let go of ourselves.  We must nail our ways to the cross.

We must let go of All that is Us so that He can be ALL in Us.

 

Living Intentionally

Lorraine 

Choose this day whom you will serve

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“Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you are so wise!  We are weak, but you are so powerful!  You are well thought of, but we are laughed at.  To this very hour, we go hungry and thirsty, without enough clothes to keep us warm.  We have endured many beatings, and we have no homes of our own.  We have worked wearily with our own hands to earn our living.  We bless those who curse us.  We are patient with those who abuse us.  We respond gently when evil things are said about us.  Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash – right up to the present moment.”  1 Corinthians 4:10-14

As I read these words, what I am going through, or have journeyed in, is nothing compared to what the apostles endured in these early days in spreading the gospel.

This scripture passage is written for encouragement and the furthering of the gospel for Christ name, that in all things, we become thankful for the Grace of God at work in our lives.  It becomes our desire to worship the one True Christ who has come to set us free from any bondage we were part of before being in Him.

In our lives, we are faced with choices. As Christians, we need to monitor our spiritual progress and to do an internal inventory in checking ourselves to see whether we are aligning with the Truth of God’s Word.   We need to measure whether our hearts are seeking Godly attributes.  In so doing, we can ask ourselves the following questions.

Are we living true to God’s Word? Are we desiring to be continually filled with God’s Spirit? Do we consider praying before making decisions? Are we taking time alone to spend with God? Are we reading and meditating on the Holy Scriptures?

Do we include God in our daily walk? Do we treat others as we would want to be treated? Are we living to exemplify Christ? Are we living in Obedience in fulfilling our God-given Destiny and walking in our authenticity in Christ in being His love?

All in all, no one is perfect, there is not one who has not made a mistake. There is not one who has not thrown the first stone. There is not one that has forgiven all easily. There is not one who has not had to apologize. There is not one who is perfect.

We come to understand we are always on the path in arriving but never having arrived until our final passage from this earth when we are ushered into His Heavenly Realm and we are welcomed home from our long journey walking as spiritual beings in our human frame.

Let us this day, make it our choice to choose to follow the narrow way, Christ Righteousness. Let us steer ourselves towards the truth in God and adhere to the entire teaching of the gospel, not just the convenient parts.

The gospel is not a Western, White American Gospel, it is an inclusionary Gospel for All people groups, including those Christians ostracize or choose to exclude from the fellowship of believers.  We also are to minister to ALL people groups and not be selective based on our own judgmental attitudes.   Christ came to offer salvation to everyone, and we should do so also.

Let us desire to be the Holy and consecrated people that have set ourselves apart from this world, that our inner hearts take on the character traits of a Holy nature. Let us continue in this goal by renewing our minds in bathing ourselves in His Word and being in union with Christ as our Righteousness.

If we call ourselves Christians, Christ becomes a necessary person in our everyday life. We seek to commune with him, praying, praising, and welcoming His Holy Spirit into the deepest regions of our inner being in continually changing us to  become more like Him, responding lovingly.

Our desire is to strive in fully becoming the men and women God has chosen and called us to be in all manners. We desire to invite the Holy Spirit to continue transforming us into spiritual beings clothing ourselves in Godly attributes of which the greatest is love.

We desire to fellowship with believers of kindred hearts to walk in Love with one another in all our ways.

Most of all, we desire that God becomes everything to us, in every area of our lives, as we realize our spiritual walk is to daily give of ourselves to Him.   We allow Him room in our hearts and remain open to His leading and learn to listen and respond to His voice.

We realize our need for Christ in our daily journey to be great. We realize we cannot do Kingdom work without Him moving in and through us to accomplish those acts He has purposed for us to do in this life.

It is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit, we live and move and have our being.

We come to an understanding that it is He that is perfecting us on every level and in every area of our lives.  We remain a humble people submitting our lives, before our Father God and before our fellow man.

We desire to live towards the highest calling on our lives, to daily communion in the Godhead in whose fellowship is love in the union with our Father God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and to live from the overflow of this love.

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister to the Body of Christ

 

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Daughters of Zion, our Identity is in Christ

100_1053Daughters of Zion, we are the handmaidens of the Lord, servants going forth to accomplish those purposes He has designed for us before the foundations of the earth were laid. Our Identity is found in Him as He completes Who we are and Whose we are.

He has called us, chosen us, and set us apart as Holy vessels, that in All we do, may we Glorify our Father in Heaven. We have a purposed mission and a Holy Calling to pursue in Him.

In leadership, as with anything in serving the Lord, when we commit to doing God’s will, we Know our steps have been ordered by Him.  He uses all the experiences we have learned throughout all the seasons in our lives and the responsible roles we have fulfilled (teaching, instructing, speaking, writing, training) as stepping-stones for furthering the work He has placed into our hearts.

We gain experience and exposure in ministering as God adds to our Faith, expanding our capabilities during each season of our lives, as He gradually increases levels of responsibilities for us to assume, when we remain Faithful to Him and to those He has charged us in the care of, in remaining focused in accomplishing those tasks He has set before us.

God sees the whole plan but we only know it in part.  He uses each ministry assignment for what we have contributed to the Kingdom during that time as well as for preparation for what He will call us to do next.

Each season in our life will be fully used for His work and to fulfill His purposes in us. There are no wasted years, no regrets He cannot turn around, and no mistakes we cannot learn from, for He will take all of it and use it for His Glory if we walk in Obedience to His Will in our lives.

Let us then, continue on the path of Righteousness, focusing on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, in moving forward in Him, in the Empowerment granted us by the Holy Spirit to accomplish those works He has chosen, set us apart for, and anointed us to fulfil in and by His Grace.

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

 

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The Path of Acceptance

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There have been times in my life, I have tried to lie to myself, tried to fool myself, tried to pretend to myself, things were not as they seemed. I attempted to live in this denial, in not wanting my circumstances to be as I saw them.

Life has a way of throwing wrenches in our paths, blindsiding us, distracting us, causing us to falter and fail in many ways. These wrenches could be the loss of a loved one, the end of a career, the betrayal of a friend, the rejection from others, failed expectations in relationships, or the inability in living up to our own standards. (You fill in the blanks, we all have them.)

Many times, in my humanity, I found myself struggling against the ways of God, feeling this tug of war in my heart, ripping and tearing at the very fabric I had carefully woven into a tapestry called ‘My Life’.

I have discovered, that during those times, it was only when I ceased all struggles, when I learned the process of letting go of all resistance, when I released my hold onto the tattered threads I found myself clinging to, was when I became aware of a deeper sense of myself, a self, desiring something more.

I discovered an inner awareness of what the truth was in my circumstances. I knew I had to let go, let go of wanting, desiring, or pleading for things to be different. I knew I had to let go of what I wanted it to be, of what I tried to make it be, of what I tried to control it to be.

It was then I became aware of needing to live in the Truth of what was. This Truth became a deep place of knowing, a place of realizing, a place of accepting, a place of my entering into the honest reality of the situation I found myself in and learning to live there.

It was in those moments, in the facing of Truth, in the knowing, I could feel the facade fading away, the pretending being dissolved and I was able to melt into the world of acceptance of what was.

It was in those moments, I found myself able to reach out from the depth of my soul, crying out to the God I knew, the One Who Holds all Life, the one who could lift me up to walk in the midst of any difficult road I found myself in, the One who would Provide me His Grace that would Sustain me in living out this acceptance, that I could enter into His Rest of what was.

It was in those moments I found refuge in His Holy Presence and I came to an inner awareness things would be alright. It was then, I knew, He would walk with me, as I Centered myself in Him, and it was then I learned He remained Faithful and True in all His ways.  It was then, I felt with all assurance, it would be in Him, I would find the ability to walk in this Truth, sustained by a supernatural source, His Holy Spirt.

It was then I discovered a Liberty and Freedom in letting go and walking in Honesty and Truth before myself, and before my God.  It was then I learned to walk in my Full Identity and Authenticity in who I was created to be, by my creator God.

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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Embracing those Living with Long-Term Chronic Conditions

100_0817Embracing others who suffer adversity is about caring enough to take the time needed in being a true friend to another.  Embracing those living with long term disabling conditions is how we include others into our presence, regardless of disability, and it is about showing forth the Love God has filled us with. It is about being present with one another in the midst of adversity, bearing one another’s burdens. It is about listening and not pushing one’s own agenda onto someone already suffering.  It is about thinking of how another feels and what they may be experiencing in the midst of living in the daily grind of their illness.  It is about being a consistent presence by the giving of ourselves to another, if it is only in sitting beside them quietly, listening intentionally to their struggles, and discovering ways we can enter into their world.

In our purpose to connect to others, having a sensitivity in attempting to understand is key to how we can center ourselves in reaching out to these persons, letting them know, they are valuable, and that they also have gifts to offer the world, along with the fellowship they may be part of.  All persons have intrinsic worth and it is up to us to allow their voices to not only be heard, but to allow them to be themselves within a group of believers.

It not about getting them ‘healed’ or having to ‘fix’ them, or requiring them to bow to our dogma. It is not having them as our ‘ministry’.  It is certainly not about excluding them, rejecting them, or making them feel on the ‘outside’. Yet this is often the response persons enduring long term chronic conditions (mental or physical) receive from good intentions of Christians.   They often feel as though others are silencing them to a tomb of suffering, when they hear callous statements such as, ‘do not glorify your afflictions’, or ‘do not dwell in your misery’, or they hear clichés or platitudes being thrown at them, as if these can bring a foundation where they can gain strength.

Like all of us, children and adults with disabilities have a great need to belong. A caring friend can be a lifeline to those who often feel isolated and alone. Support and encouragement can make a huge difference in the life of one who must endure on-going difficult symptoms, limiting them in ways one never takes into consideration.   Validating not only their feelings, but also them as a person is necessary.   We as human beings gain a much needed internal strength from one another when we center our lives having Love as our internal measure in which to respond to one another.

We walk a thin line in not wanting to enable dysfunctional living, so setting up boundaries are important in how we go about addressing persons dealing with chronic conditions.  We can be empathetic in the way we approach others and in the ‘how’ of our interactions, along with modifying the ‘tone’ of our words.  

We can strengthen them in both their Faith and determination in the ways we do or don’t respond to them as persons.   We can lift another up without further enabling any sort of cycle they may be in.   God does Heal, but we must not make this the primary goal whenever we come into contact with a person living with a chronic condition.   Relying on Godly Wisdom is vital as He can lead us in these paths of questioning, doubting, and wondering when we come face to face with someone who must endure great suffering.   We must quietly listen to God’s voice and then follow His leading regarding any response we may give towards praying healing with a person, and do so making sure we have the person’s full permission.  

Let us consider one another and think of ways we can be kinder, nicer, more tolerant and accepting of those whose life is one of struggles.  “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24  Whether it is a warm meal, a card mailed, an encouraging scripture, a kind word, flowers given, a sincere prayer, or just being with them in silence, we are sharing in our humanity and the need to bond in connecting to one another, when we do acts of kindness.

In Luke 14, Jesus taught the religious leaders of his day that in the kingdom of God we should embrace and befriend those with whom we would not normally associate in our social settings.

In fact, He gave us a new guest list for dinner parties: “the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind” (Luke: 14-13). These are people that society has marginalized or relegated to places of lower social status.

Jesus specifically indicates in this passage that one sign of true spiritual maturity is welcoming the marginalized. May we all step out of the box of what has become acceptable in the ‘church’ and walk into the lives of those kept on the ‘outside’ of Christian circles through biased and prejudicial attitudes. (Luke: 14-14).   We need to be careful to not judge harshly as this ostracizes persons, causes divisions, and only builds towards strife, further making one feel not included.

Jesus told us in the Scriptures, “You must Love the Lord your God, with ALL our Heart, with ALL your Soul, and with ALL your Mind. This is the first and Greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your Neighbors as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39   

Love seems to be a priority with Jesus, and should it not be so with us too? Let our hearts mirror this Love that Jesus came to earth to manifest. That in All our relationships with others, that our Love would be the internal drive, motivating our responses, in both actions and words. May this Love Reign Supreme in our hearts, for then we are fulfilling the Greatest commandment given by God, that we should show this Love as the Priority in All our relationships, and through All our interactions with one another.

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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Let us be motivated by Sincere Love towards others

100_0868The more we get out-of-the-way and let God move, the more powerful the results will be manifested in our lives, and in the lives of those we intercede, praying on behalf of.

The simpler our prayers the more the Father can see that we are totally reliant upon him and not our religious rituals and traditions that form or attempts at twisting His arm…He doesn’t need arm twisting, He is good. He needs belief and faith…and that faith is the perfect faith of Jesus, not our manufactured faith.

The more we learn to Love one another, as He has Loved us, the greater He will manifest Himself in unmeasurable ways. It is through this Love that He rises in our midst. It is in His Love, Healings of all kinds will take place. It is in His Love, they will know we are His disciples.

Whatever He does or does not do in our lives, should not weaken or affect our Faith. Faith is believing in what is unseen as we walk by Faith, not by sight.

Those who continually seek the outward manifestations of God in signs and wonders, will tend to deny necessary teachings on the inner workings that bear the fruits of the spirit, especially Love.

There will then be a tendency to emphasize these outward signs as meaning Jesus is in our midst, versus the inner life of the believer. We can greatly miss God’s intention in living the Christian Life within the body and community of believers as it needs to be balanced with the whole gospel, not just the parts that tickle people’s ears.

The tough parts of the gospel include suffering, pain, trials, difficulties, unanswered prayers and how we are to live with one another in the midst of these occurrences. The body life should exemplify how Christ manifests Himself in Real Ways. Our interactions with each other should manifest Jesus. Our treatment of each other should show Jesus. How we minister to others should exemplify Jesus.

Of course, we do not always see Jesus in our midst, or in our interactions as Christians in the body as there are some Christians who are acting and behaving like children. They become dismissive, judgmental, cause division, lie, accuse, gossip, cheat, act prejudicial and go about in all manners of ungodliness.

The bible is full of ways the early church Christians were not exemplifying or embodying Christ. So we find these same behaviors and attitudes today within the lives of those calling themselves Christians. Paul addresses this and also addresses how we must continue in the path growing in our Spiritual Maturity that in all manners our lives would show forth the fruits of the spirit.

We can do all things, but if we fail to have the right attitude of sincere Love in what we do, then whatever we do, is rubbish. We all fail, we all make mistakes, but in them, we all learn how to continue in steadfastness towards having an inner being that seeks Godliness in working to spread His Love in all we do.

We can only take responsibility for our own lives. We need to align ourselves and our own hearts with God, the Holy Scriptures, abiding and living in the Spirit, practicing the disciplines of our Faith: individual and corporate; prayer, worship, reading Scriptures, and Loving the Lord our God with All our Hearts, All our Minds, and All our Strength, and our Neighbors as Ourselves. For this is the greatest commandment Jesus gave to us.

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

 

We learn Obedience by the things we suffer

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Biblical Teaching that puts an emphasis on certain parts of the bible over others creates a toxic environment and a group mob mentality that causes division, strife, conflict, as all others find themselves having to adopt to this in balanced teaching, as being the authoritarian doctrine of God, or they are not true believers, and there is something wrong with them. Much of the time, it is the authoritarian doctrine that is man-made, misconstruing sound biblical teaching.

This creates a closed group, shutting down the body from using All the gifts, of which Love is the greatest! When biblical teaching emphasizes a must do of adopting certain off the mark principles such as ‘healing’ where persons are supposed to just believe in Faith they are healed, it creates a narrow and myopic perspective of what God intended for the body.

Although instructors can be selective about which parts of the bible to be particular about, I chose the topic of healing as this seems to be a common one that is often misrepresented by those who seek after these manifestations, instead of admonishing believers to maintain a balanced perspective incorporating All biblical principles into one’s life generating a Faith based lifestyle.

Jesus never taught that All persons are to be healed or relieved of their suffering. For if we have no suffering and no one is ever sick, then wouldn’t we be in our perfected state, out of our bodies, and be living in our eternal realm, heaven?

Also, the shed blood of Jesus, was not done so for our physical/mental healing. His shed blood was to reconcile us to God, healing our spiritual state. Persons who ‘claim’ by ‘His stripes I am healed’, are putting a demand onto God, that was never intended.

This sort of emphasis on healing also reeks of ‘works’ or getting healing by building up our own belief that we are healed, where one has to repeat this to themselves over and over to convince themselves they are healed, but not yet healed, but it is coming.

Search the original meaning of this text from the original language for yourself.

Persons have been horrifically hurt due to this belief ‘that everyone should be healed’ by many Christians and many leaders who are adopting to forcing this onto their congregations and not aligning themselves to the entire gospel. This places shame, guilt, judgement, and dismisses the teaching that Jesus told to Paul as he suffered greatly from some physical ailment, “My Grace is Sufficient for you.”

For when persons having this mentality approaches those with long term, or chronic conditions, they tend to demand they believe they are healed, and when they do not become healed then comes the assaults as to why they are not healed; you do not have enough Faith, you have unconfessed sin, you are not listening to God, you are being rebellious, etc.

This sounds more judgemental than walking in the midst of adversity with one another by Lovingly supporting, encouraging, and doing what we can to comfort. Persons suffering long term ailments or conditions find themselves at the brunt end of these callous statements and find themselves not accepted, not heard, and dismissed by the body of Christ.

Persons who emphasize the works in regards to healing manifestations over walking in the midst of difficulties whether physical/mental, in His Strength, skew the meaning of Grace. Why would God give His Grace other than to apply it, and use it to walk in the midst of adversity.

This teaching of ‘healing’ needs to be balanced within the scope of the entire scriptures and put into how it was meant to be. Yes, God heals, but He does not, nor has He ever stated in the bible that healing is to be meant for everyone who suffers.

When we lack compassion by demanding others bow to our belief they must ‘walk in their healing’ whether they feel it or not, is spreading the teaching that we must deny our circumstances, and not be real about what we are experiencing.

This emphasis on healing over other biblical principles that often becomes lopsided also dismisses Love and how we as a body are to ‘bear one anthers burdens’, not simply pray them away.

This over emphasis dismisses the Fact that the bible states Jesus learned Obedience through the things He suffered and so do we. Suffering will always be part of life as long as we live in the death of our bodies. It is in the midst of suffering we are to turn our eyes on Jesus, asking His Holy Spirit to fill by equipping us with His Strength and Grace to walk in any adversity, Trusting in Him to get us through it.

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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They will know you are my disciples by your Love for one another

100_0802

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the Truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses Faith, is always Hopeful, and Endures through every circumstance.”        1 Corinthians 13:8-10

“There are three things that will endure-Faith, Hope, and Love-and the Greatest of these …is Love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us mirror this description of Love in our Hearts towards one another, and let us ask Christ to be this Love in our Hearts. Let us meditate on these words and allow them and its fruit to sink deeply inside our interior beings, taking root in our Hearts that we might be All in Him!

For there is no greater Love than a man lay down his life for others. Jesus came to earth, suffered and died, shed His blood that we may be Spiritually Healed and brought into union with Him.

This Love He has, is in us. This Love we have, may it flow in ever increasing measures from us, having Patient Compassion towards one another, that we may seek to edify, encourage, lift up, strengthen, and give Hope to all in the midst of difficulties, trials, and sufferings.

It is this Love that others will see in us, that will draw them to the Father, that will bring them into the fellowship of believers. It is spreading this Love that others will Know Him, and in Knowing Him, Have Life and Life Abundant!

Let us who live in Union with Christ be vessels filled with the Spirit, that All the fruits will be evident, but more so Love. May we abound in Love for ourselves and for each other.

It is living in the Fullness of His Love, that we can Love others. For He is the author of Love. He is the giver of Love for all who seek Him. Let us come to the Father and ask Him to wash us, bathing us in His everlasting Love.

Let us walk being motivated by this Pure Love. Let our intentions be set forth in the clothing of Love. May our feet spread the Good News of this Love. May our hands find good works to do showing forth this Love. May our mouths speak words that exhibit Love.

When Brothers and Sisters show sincere Love for one another, God is seen in the midst of the fellowship of believers. This Love is a beacon of light that heals a multitude of wounds. Let us continue in the union in Christ that we may be united together in His Love towards all.

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going you cannot go. A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:33-35)

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

Renewed Grace

100_0805She sat on the edge

of the creek’s bed

digging her hiking boot

into soft soil,

almost a mud like mixture

smelling of decomposed leaves and wood.

 

She sat thinking of her life

as it now remained

somehow stained

in dirt of renewed Grace.

 

She sat remembering

her deceased son as the water’s

surface glistened.

 

She sat knowing

life is not a given

nor is it free from sorrow

or pained living.

 

She sat

hearing the trickle

of water refreshing her mind.

 

She sat alone

in the woods

serene, nothing but

tall Pines.

 

She sat

hearing the wind

move water

downstream.

 

She sat taking

it all in –

giving her strength

to go on living

at the creek’s edge.

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

 

 

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Our Suffering as a Catalyst for Growth

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When God answers by not healing, by not providing some material thing, by not giving the job, by not giving instant ‘fixes’, or delivering from (emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual struggles) but instead, provides His Power, which is at work within you, enabling you to live in the midst of trying times, that, is His answer.

He encourages us in making us aware, that He provides: “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (1 Corinthians 12:9)

“When we keep listening attentively to the voice calling us the Beloved, it becomes possible to live in our brokenness, not as a confirmation of our fear that we are worthless, but as an opportunity to purify and deepen the blessing that rests upon us.” Henri Nouwen (The only Necessary Thing)

Often when our situations stretch us to our utter most limits of endurance, and we sometimes find ourselves dealing with unbearable pressure, grief, anxiousness, or unknown direction, it is then, we find ourselves crying out for mercy, to our loving Father.

In our suffering and humanity we can identify with David’s prayer: “Give ear to my words Lord, consider my sighing, listen to my cry for help, my King and God, for to you I pray…But, I by your mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness…make straight your way before me.” (Psalms 5:1-2, 7-8)

Then, our sufferings, become the catalyst for hope, and God’s healing Spirit is experienced fully, in the midst of our present circumstances.

 

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

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