Monday, October 19, 2015

In Life or in Death --A Christian WINS!!!

I know there are many who will not read this entire post--but to those who will--thank you in advance.  For those of you who may not know it---I am an Ordained Minister--(licensed)--and have been in ministry since 2003. I have served (without pay) as an Associate Minister at two different churches while earning two degrees from Seminary.  After much prayer, I stepped down from full-time Ministry in December 2009.  In Aug. 2012, I began a Prayerline--held each week day morning from 6-6:30 a.m.  I decided to make myself available anyone who had a phone line from where ever they were. During the call we pray and then have devotion from Scripture. I share all of this to say--TODAY during our Devotion that God made it clear to me that every decision that I have made with His guidance was a blessing and for His purpose!!  For many years I have been saying that there are too many people claiming Christianity and have never MET Christ.  For to claim to be a Christian is the MOST important thing you can claim. 

Here is the Scripture that we were read then the Testimony. Phil. 1:21-24 -- For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 

Now the Testimony---As I was studying this text of Scripture I reflected on those around me who have never understood my walk.  They have asked me--what do you do for money?  They sometimes say "I couldn't do what you do".  Let me tell you what I understand this text to say.  A Christian lives his or her life understanding that every day we must be so thankful to God that we are purposeful in all that we do.  We should understand that when a Christian dies---we gain because we will be with Christ.  Christ being with us/in us--In life or being with Christ after death--A Christian WINS. There is no loss. During the last 7 years of my life since I quit my job and decided to TRUST in God--all of my needs have been met and many of my wants. Here is my observation--MONEY has a way of corrupting good people. They spend every day thinking of ways to make money.  They buy into to ideas such as "you must have multiple streams of income" to be successful.  Some have gotten success and riches only to discover that they have no peace. Some may say--"but you have a husband who works so you can afford to quit your job".  Did you know that my husband is an independent Autobody repairman?  He goes to work everyday at 6:30 a.m. not knowing if he will make a dollar--he is not on salary.  Our secret is that we pray together everyday and ask God to meet our needs and every week HE has and DOES!!!  So, I chose and still choose to live with what I have---which is so much more than MONEY. I chose and still choose to LABOR for the Lord and to be totally convinced that when I die, my gain will be--to be with CHRIST.  I will continue to look for opportunities to bless those who have less than I do.  I choose to surrender my body as a living sacrifice.  I thank God for my daily bread and I have no plans to stress about tomorrow.  What I also know for sure today is that IN CHRIST and CHRIST alone that my today is sure and my future is certain----no matter what the future holds and in death I get to be with CHRIST.  I hope that if you are a Christian this blessed you and if you are not a Christian---today is a great day to become one.  If you would like to join us as we daily thank God for our lives each morning call 805-399-1000. 147947# Be blessed.  In His Service, Koralee Nisbett

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Socially Connected???

Apparently, being "socially connected" has taken on a new meaning!!  We have many who sit next to people that they have no interaction with, yet they connect to others all over the world.  How is this seen as being socially connected? Is this the way we want to continue going forward?  I had a few thoughts about this when I was on vacation in Florida recently and witnessed a father and son sitting next to each other and for over twenty minutes they both were on their phones and never said a word to each other.  How sad!! They could have been "socially connected" with each other had they put down their phones!!  I am sure that they both would be shocked to know that they were being observed---but the real issue is when will we wake up and realize that we are really not "socially connected" to those right next to us.

I was driving several years ago with my young adult son when I realized that he had his ear phones on.  I asked him to take them off so that we could talk.  At first he was reluctant--but relented when I asserted that as his mother--it was my car and he needed to obey!!  Who would have thought that I would have to beg him to talk to me.  It became apparent to me then that he lacked the social skills to interact with me because he only knew how to communicate with his hundreds of friends on social media.  He had been doing that for years.  On those "outlets" he had time to think of his answers.  On those "outlets" he could be who ever he wanted to be. On those outlets he never had to talk.  In a conversation with me one on one---he had to think on his feet and actually verbalize his thoughts out loud.  Many have forgotten that God gave us a voice for a reason.  We should talk to each other and allow them to hear the intonation of our words.  We all know that it not what you say/type--its how you say it is what really matters!!  Can you give a hug through a text? Can someone see your smile?  It is necessary to be "socially connected"---but the definition of qualifies as being connected has changed and not for the better.  It is up to us to define it for ourselves before we end up "socially disconnected" with those we say we love.  Are you "socially connected"?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Tell Him What you Want?"

The Word of God was written by men inspired by God, to tell His people what He wanted for them.  We don't get to tell God what we want.  There has always been those who have rebelled against God, but today we have thousands rebelling against God to the point of wanting God's Word to change to reflect their choices.  Jesus said, " I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.   "for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."  2 Pet. 1:21 God's Word has not changed--it is the depravity of men's hearts that has gotten so hardened and they want God to bow down to them so that He will accept their sinful ways.   Praise God that He already told us this DAY would come.  He is not amazed because He created freewill and there is nothing new under Heaven.  We all have to either choose to accept God or deny Him.  We must know that every knee will bow down and worship God--whether willingly now or in the DAY of Judgement.  God is merciful, graceful, slow to anger and abounding in love.  Trust in His goodness and do not lean on your own understanding.  Jesus died and paid the cost for redeeming us from SIN---It was NOT so that we could continue to practice SIN.  He died to that we could be forgiven---Repent, Accept Him as Lord and Be Baptized today.

Monday, June 22, 2015

What is Prayer?

I pray that all is well with YOU.

As I address this topic of Prayer, I have to put a disclaimer of sorts---I have struggled for years regarding this.  I knew from a very young age that prayer was something I should do every night before I laid down to sleep at night. I knew that it was also something I did to thank God for my food before I ate.  Finally, I understood that my prayers were usually something that was rehearsed or memorized and they never changed from day to day.  My bedtime pray was "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen"---that is what I said night after night.  As I got older I would visit churches of different denominations and I would hear prayers being offered to God with requests of all sorts.  Some would be for the healing of Cancer, deliverance from depression, asking for a financial blessing etc.  I was surprised because the most I had ever done in church was recite "The Lords Prayer" that is found in Matthew 6.  Never had I realized that I could ask God for anything!!  My "ignorance" about prayer continued until I was invited to church one day in 1991, and heard the Pastor say that we all needed to have a personal relationship with Jesus so that God could hear our prayers!!!  Talk about surprised---I not only wanted to have a personal relationship with Jesus----I also wanted Him to hear my prayers!!! I wondered for minute "Just who was I praying to for all those years?  Was I just wasting my time?  Is that why when I committed offenses I did not have any regrets?   Is that why sometimes I felt so sad that life was being unfair to me?" 

So lets begin the investigation of "What is Prayer" as defined by the Holy Bible.  The first prayer started in Genesis in the days of Enoch--"when men called upon the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26) Ever since then--prayer has always been an expression of faith and worship of God. In the beginning prayer was all about "atonement" and "thanksgiving".  Many prayed for forgiveness while offering sacrifices, while others thanked God in prayer for everything.  There was always a morning prayer as well as evening prayer---sometime later a mid-day prayer time was started.  So three times a day many prayed to God.  Prayer was usually done while standing with arms uplifted towards Heaven, then later some began to kneel and some would even lay face down in an act of humbling themselves before God. 

In the New Testament the disciples of Christ asked Jesus to teach them to pray in Matthew 6. This may have been because they saw that their prayers were different to what they were observing Jesus doing.  It was not that they didn't pray because that is assumed because they were Jews, it had to be that the new something was different when Jesus prayed.  So they asked Him and He taught them how to pray.  Please note, that the prayer found in Matthew was for the disciples---it was never meant for all believers to continue reciting this same prayer.  Jesus was still alive when He taught them how to pray to God the Father.  He later taught them that whatever they would ask His Father for--in HIS NAME after He departed that He would hear and do it. (John 14) Although there is no "certain" format for our prayers now---other than praying in Jesus name--we have no access to the Father except through Jesus---and knowing Him as Savior is the only way to pray to God.  The first time prayer for anyone is to ask Jesus for His forgiveness of sin--Repent.  Second, tell Him that you believe that He is who He said He was---the Son of God--Believe.  Thirdly, welcome Him as Lord of your life---RECEIVE.  It is my belief that after this is done---a "prayer" relationship with God through Jesus His SON is established. 

The next important thing we must understand--is that our prayers to God are a form of worship!! We must be clear in our understanding that all communication to God is worship and prayer is the highest form.  We are taking our "petitions" to the all knowing, all powerful, ever present Almighty God.  I do not believe that this is taught enough today----we must respect who God is when we pray.  Prayer can be the best thing we do each day or the worst---if we don't respect God.  Our prayers can bring us closer to walking in the light of God or it can cause us to walk in despair.  Our prayers should always contain a word of thanks and praise for what God has already done---and for who He is.  Our prayers should always have an acknowledgment of the sacrifice that Christ bore on the cross.  I know most people have gotten away from this as well---but without the sacrifice on the CROSS there would be to HOPE for our prayers to be answered.  Our prayers should always have a moment of pause---reflection or inflection--take your time---the Bible says sometimes the Holy Spirit tells us what to pray for.  And finally, we must always pray for God's will to be done.  If you are one who only prays for your will to be done---then STOP praying and repent.  If we had "our will" about everything this world would be in chaos.  Think about it--we would all be rich Kings and Queens with large Kingdoms.  What's wrong with that you ask---well for certain, we wouldn't need God for anything if that happened. 

I thank God every day for taking me from a being a person who repeated the same prayers every day out of habit----to the person who now has a personal relationship with Him.  I now understand that I can pray anytime of day.  I know that Jesus is the only person who can get me to God.  There is no other way!!!  Prayer is available to anyone today as long as we understand how awesome it is and the Awesome God that we are praying to---and that without a relationship with Jesus our prayers are not being heard.  Taste and see that the Lord is GOOD---start with a prayer of repentance. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Make up your Mind

Hello Friends:

I have not posted since last September!!!  I made up my mind, that if I didn't have anything "worthy" to say---that I wouldn't say anything at all.  Now I have made up my mind not to be quiet any more.  This does not mean that I will have to comment on any and everything, but there is so much to talk about and write about.  I have made up my mind that the "job" that I have been looking for is NOT out there--it is within me!!!  The WORD of God has been implanted in me and I can't help but share it.  My "job" is to proclaim HIS Word in any and every forum available to me.  There is no other job out there that could possibly leave me fulfilled and at the same time give encouragement to others.  I praise God for the time that I took to be quiet and to hear from HIM.   

Is there anything that you have "MADE UP YOU MIND" to do?  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

COMPARTMENTALIZE!!!!!!!!

Compartmentalize is a big word with a deep meaning.  There are many who choose each day to segment their lives into compartments.  They say to themselves, "God I love you and I need you, but only in certain areas of my life.  For the areas that I believe I have under control--stand down God." This may sound harsh, and you may not have verbalized these exact words, but in your actions you have demonstrated this.  Either God is the HEAD of your life or HE isn't, but what does that mean?  Either we will be obedient to HIS WORD or we won't!!  If we choose to compartmentalize our lives, we are deciding that God is only for our convenience, instead of trusting Him to guide and direct our footsteps in every way everyday.  How does someone decide that they do not need God in any area of their life?  Do we understand that it is unfair to ignore God's guidance then when there is a problem, we ask Him to fix it?  Why should HE?  No parent reading this would feel respected if our child ignored our teaching only to fall on hard times before seeking our help.  God want us all to be obedient children.  Are there things that you do that would cause God to wink?  Things that would (if it were possible) make God be ashamed that we are HIS children and that HE is our father.  When we compartmentalize, it is easy to habitually sin and not have any remorse.  All believers do still sin, but those who compartmentalize their lives can justify sin in one area of their life and yet believe they are in a right relationship with God. We demonstrate our belief in God when we do our best NOT TO SIN, but if we do--we repent daily and ask HIM to help us not to commit that same sin tomorrow or ever again.  Please consider every area of your life and decide what areas you are leaving God out of.  God deserves our total commitment and devotion.  He is forgiving, merciful and loving.  Choose today to open up every compartment of your life and allow His WORD TO GUIDE YOU IN ALL THINGS.  GOD IS LOVE.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We have all come from different backgrounds

We all have come from different backgrounds.  Some have been raised by both of their parents.  Some have had their parents present, but neither were actively involved in their "parenting."  Some were raised by a step-parent.  Some were raised by a single mother or father who did all they could to play the role of both parents.  Some were raised by a grand-parent, aunt, uncle or neighbor.  Some were raised to honor God.  Some were never taken to church.  Some have decided-there is no God. Some were given everything money could buy--but never felt the love of either parent.  Some went without--but felt the love from those who raised them.  Some were abused by a parent.  Some were abandoned by their parents.  Whatever kind of upbringing we received, it is apparent that none of us are the same.  When we comment on subjects and give our opinions we must remember this.  Depending on our background, we "see" things from our point of view.  We must think before we react or respond to things people say or do.  Before we share "news" that is not ours we should think---"Is this something I would want others to share if it were me?"  We may not ever agree with the perspective of others, but that is okay.  This is where "diversity" plays a significant role.  We are all a diverse group of people.  The more we listen, talk, and relate to each other in different ways--we will learn how to "see" each other deeper.  Although we have had different experiences, we are all in need of someone to hear us without trying to fix us or make us change our minds--only God can do that.  Then there are times we need to be open to listening to others who have wisdom and knowledge that can help us. Let's learn to take a deep breath before we HURT others with our words and actions.  We are more than the matter that comes out of our mouth--or the words that we type.  We are so much MORE.  Speaking from my heart--Koralee