Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A Tiny Seed a Tiny Deed


We have just comr through the rush of Christmas and should be sitting contemplating the New year....yet so many of us feel inadequate , feel unable to offer something...yet as you read this devotional by Max Lucado one of my FAVOURITE authors please place his words in your heart and let the New Year be the time that you stretch your faith and stir your self to do.

A Tiny Seed, A Tiny Deed

Posted: 27 Dec 2009 10:01 PM PST

“Do not despise…small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT

Against a towering giant, a brook pebble seems futile. But God used it to topple Goliath. Compared to the tithes of the wealthy, a widow’s coins seem puny. But Jesus used them to inspire us…

Moses had a staff. David had a sling. Samson had a jawbone. Rahab had a string.
Mary had some ointment. Dorcas had a needle. All were used by God.

What do you have?

God inhabits the tiny seed, empowers the tiny deed…Don’t discount the smallness of your deeds.

Remember God and I love you

:)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

I Know


I Know
Mike DeVries

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

There are perhaps no two more powerful words than the words "I know."

I know what you're going through.

I know what it is like.

I know how you are feeling.

I know.

We all long to hear those words, do we not? We all long to believe that there is someone, anyone, who knows what it is like - who knows what we are going through. When you find that certain someone who does know what it is like, doesn't it seem to change everything?

Some two thousand years ago, in a sleepy town in Judea, God did something revolutionary. Rather than offering a voice of concern to a weary world, God did something beyond what anyone could have ever dreamed or imagined.

In Jesus, the Word, the voice, comes to dwell among us.

In the incarnation, we celebrate the reality that God knows and cares enough about people that He chose to dwell among us in a very physical and present sort of way. The unseen God of Israelite history was now the seen God. The invisible made visible.

We are told in the Scriptures that in Jesus "we saw the glory of the one and only." In other words, Jesus was putting God on display. You want to see what God is like? You want to see how to live in harmony with the Creator? Look at Jesus. He is the way and the truth and the life.

In the incarnation is found a large message from God to you and me: I know.

I know what you're going through.

I know what it is like.

I know how you are feeling.

I know.

So wherever you find yourself this day, no matter what circumstances you may find yourself in, know that there is a God who knows. Feeling alone? He knows. Feeling overwhelmed? He knows. Feeling as if you just cannot go on? He knows. Feeling like there is no one who understands? He knows. He's been there too. In Jesus, He knows.

He knows. He knows. He knows.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas


The True Meaning of Christmas
Dr. Frederick K.C. Price
Christmas is one of the most important days among Christians. This day commemorates and celebrates the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas is more than just a holiday. It is the remembrance of the fact that God so loved the world that He have His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus' birthday - Christmas is about God's love. It is about God's love for you and me. It is God expressing His great love for mankind, through the giving of the greatest gift, the Lord Jesus Christ. He loves us not because of what we are, but He loves us because of what He knows we can become, if we'll allow Him to get involved in our lives.

John 1:1-3, 14:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

This passage from the Book of John tells us what Christmas is all about. It is about Jesus coming into the world. It is about the Word of God, the Living Word; Jesus is called the Logos, or the Word of God, and it says, "In the beginning was the Word."

Notice that verse 1 says "the Word was with God." This verse shows Jesus' separate and distinct personality. Then it says "the Word was God." Now, I can't explain this to you. I can't explain it in a rational way so that you can understand it intellectually, but that's what the Bible says, it says that the Word was with God and then it says that the Word was God. Praise God that He doesn't require us to understand it mentally in order to gain the benefits from it; all we have to do is simply believe it.

Romans 8:1-3:

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

This is the purpose of Jesus' coming. His purpose was to come and take away our sin. To come and pay the penalty that all of us should have rightfully paid as a result of Adam's sin in the garden of Eden. Jesus came to do it for us; that's what this season is all about. That's the true meaning of Christmas, that Jesus came to do what the flesh could not do and that is to bring us back into fellowship and communion with the Heavenly Father.

Hebrews 2:10-15:

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."
13 And again: "I will put My trust in Him." And again: "Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Jesus came to set us free from the ravages of death. Praise the Lord! The real meaning of Christmas is Jesus Christ: crucified, dead, risen, ascended, and coming again!

Hello


Dear Friends

It has been some time since we last spoke! My dear friends I never thought that I would have been so busy (being under satans yoke) so exhausted and then so sick. Just imagine the anticipation as I discovered that all my HOPE was answered and God has saved me for another day.

Sometimes the jouney just seems too great.

I wonder what your journey has been like, I would welcome your testimonies and prayer requests!

God is doing something extraordinary! We have a brother in our church who has 250 recorded miracles that have happened to people in the last nine weeks!

God bless you all

Hugs
Sharmaine

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

HALLOWEEN AND THE CHRISTIAN


Halloween Origins and Customs

History traces Halloween back to the ancient religion of the Celtics in Ireland. The Celtic people were very conscious of the spiritual world and had their own ideas of how they could gain access to it - such as by helping their over 300 gods to defeat their enemies in battle, or by imitating the gods in showing cleverness and cunning.
Their two main feasts were Beltane at the beginning of summer (May 1), and Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween) at the end of summer (Nov. 1). They believed Samhain was a time when the division between the two worlds became very thin, when hostile supernatural forces were active and ghosts and spirits were free to wander as they wished.
"During this interval the normal order of the universe is suspended, the barriers between the natural and the supernatural are temporarily removed, the sidh lies open and all divine beings and the spirits of the dead move freely among men and interfere sometimes violently, in their affairs"
(Celtic Mythology, p. 127).

The Celtic priests who carried out the rituals in the open air were called Druids, members of pagan orders in Britain, Ireland and Gaul, who generally performed their rituals by offering sacrifices, usually of crops and animals, but sometimes of humans, in order to placate the gods; ensuring that the sun would return after the winter; and frightening away evil spirits.

To the Celtics, the bonfire represented the sun and was used to aid the Druid in his fight with dark powers. The term bonfire comes from the words "bone fire," literally meaning the bones of sacrificed animals, sometimes human, were piled in a field with timber and set ablaze. All fires except those of the Druids were extinguished on Samhain and householders were levied a fee to relight their holy fire which burned at their altars. During the Festival of Samhain, fires would be lit which would burn all through the winter and sacrifices would be offered to the gods on the fires. This practice of burning humans was stopped around 1600, and an effigy was sometimes burned instead.

This Jeremiah Project web site is my response to the situation in America today, a "famine in our land of hearing the words of the Lord" - Amos 8:11
Halloween Origins and Customs
Download Printable .txt version of this article - no graphics

The Origins of Halloween
Read More about The Origins of Halloween
History Of Halloween
The origin of Halloween is fascinating and anyone interested in finding out about the history of Halloween and where this American tradition was founded, will find the information in this article to be eye-opening.
An Ancient Celebration
October 31, Halloween, is one of the more popular holidays for children. What child wouldn't want to dress up as a monster or fairy and score a bag of candy in the process?

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Blending of Paganism with Christianity

When Christianity spread to parts of Europe, instead of trying to abolish these pagan customs, people tried to introduce ideas which reflected a more Christian world-view. Halloween has since become a confusing mixture of traditions and practices from pagan cultures and Christian tradition.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. During their rule of the Celtic lands, Roman festivals were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The Romans observed the holiday of Feralia, intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made sacrifices in honor of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them. Another festival was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

As the influence of Christianity spread into Celtic lands, in the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs, to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It was observed on May 13. In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint's Day from May 13 to Nov. 1 and for Christians, this became an opportunity for remembering before God all the saints who had died and all the dead in the Christian community. Oct. 31 thus became All Hallows' Eve ('hallow' means 'saint').

Sadly, though, many of the customs survived and were blended in with Christianity. Numerous folk customs connected with the pagan observances for the dead have survived to the present.

In 1517, a monk named Martin Luther honored the faithful saints of the past by choosing All Saints Day (November 1) as the day to publicly charge the Church heirarchy with abandoning biblical faith. This became known as "Reformation Day," a fitting celebration of the restoration the same biblical faith held by the saints throughout church history. [What about Halloween?]


Trick-or-Treat?
Some trace the origins of present day "trick-or-treat" to Samhain, which was the supreme night of demonic jubilation. Spirits of the dead would rise out of their graves and wander the countryside, trying to return to the homes where they formerly lived. Frightened villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering them gifts of fruit and nuts. They began the tradition of placing plates of the finest food and bits of treats that the household had to offer on their doorsteps, as gifts, to appease the hunger of the ghostly wanderers. If not placated, villagers feared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroy their property.

The problem was... if the souls of dead loved ones could return that night, so could anything else,human or not, nice or not-so-nice. The only thing the superstitious people knew to do to protect themselves on such an occasion was to masquerade as one of the demonic hoard, and hopefully blend in unnoticed among them. Wearing masks and other disguises and blackening the face with soot were originally ways of hiding oneself from the spirits of the dead who might be roaming around. This is the origin of Halloween masquerading as devils, imps, ogres, and other demonic creatures.
Others trace "trick-or-treat" to a European custom called "souling".

Beggars would go from village to village begging for "soul cakes" made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers could guarantee a soul's passage to heaven.

In many parts of Britain and Ireland this night used to be known as 'Mischief Night', which meant that people were free to go around the village playing pranks and getting up to any kind of mischief without fear of being punished. Many of the different customs were taken to the United States by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the nineteenth century, and they developed into 'trick or treat'.

Halloween Comes to America
Traditional Halloween symbols (witches, black cats, pumpkins, candles, masks, parties and pranks) appeared in the U.S. during the late 1800's. In 1848, millions of Irish emigrants poured into America as a result of the potato famine. With this sudden influx of people, the holiday of Druidism found its new home on alien shores. "Proudly Celtic, they called Halloween Oidche Shamhna (`Night of Samhain'), as their ancestors had, and kept the traditional observances" [Common Boundary, Sep./Oct. 1993, p. 31].

The Jack-o-lantern is the festival light for Halloween and is the ancient symbol of a damned soul. Originally the Irish would carve out turnips or beets as lanterns as representations of the souls of the dead or goblins freed from the dead.

When the Irish emigrated to America they could not find many turnips to carve into Jack O'Lanterns but they did find an abundance of pumpkins. Pumpkins seemed to be a suitable substitute for the turnips and pumpkins have been an essential part of Halloween celebrations ever since.

Pumpkins were cut with faces representing demons and was originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. It was said that if a demon or such were to encounter something as fiendish looking as themselves that they'd run away in terror,thus sparing the houses dwellers from the ravages of dark entities. They would have been carried around the village boundaries or left outside the home to burn through the night.

Bats, owls and other nocturanal animals, also popular symbols of Halloween, were originally feared because people believed that these creatures could communicate with the spirits of the dead.
Black cats have religious origins as well. Black cats were considered to be reincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future. During the Middle Ages it was believed that witches could turn themselves into black cats. Thus when such a cat was seen, it was considered to be a witch in disguise.

Witches and witchcraft are dominant themes of the holiday. Witches generally believe themselves to be followers of an ancient religion, which goes back far beyond Christianity, and which is properly called 'wicca'. Witches are really just one side of a modern revival of paganism - the following of pre-Christian nature religions, the attempt to return to worshipping ancient Norse, Greek or Celtic gods and goddesses.

To witches, Halloween is a festival of the dead, and represents the "end and the beginning of the witches year. It marks the beginning of the death and destruction associated with winter. At this time the power of the underworld is unleashed, and spirits are supposedly freed to roam about the earth; it is considered the best time to contact spirits" (Halloween and Satanism, P. Phillips and J.H. Robie, 1987, p. 146).

The apostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts of the sinful nature and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21; see also Revelation 22:15).
Divination
The various activities traditional to Halloween are mostly associated with the idea of obtaining good fortune and foretelling the future. Samhain was a time when it was customary for the pagans to use the occult practice of divination to determine the weather for the coming year, the crop expectations, and even who in the community would marry whom and in what order.

• The idea behind ducking, dooking or bobbing for apples seems to have been that snatching a bite from the apple enables the person to grasp good fortune. Unmarried people would attempt to take a bite out of an apple bobbing in a pail of water, or suspended on a string. The first person to do so was believed to be the next to marry.
• Samhain is a time for getting rid of weakness, as pagans once slaughtered weak animals which were unlikely to survive the winter. A common ritual calls for writing down weaknesses on a piece of paper or parchment, and tossing it into the fire.
• There used to be a custom of placing a stone in the hot ashes of the bonfire. If in the morning a person found that the stone had been removed or had cracked, it was a sign of bad fortune. Nuts have been used for divination: whether they burned quietly or exploded indicated good or bad luck.
• Peeling an apple and throwing the peel over one's shoulder was supposed to reveal the initial of one's future spouse.
• One way of looking for omens of death was for people to visit churchyards, because the spirits of those who were going to die during the coming year were thought to walk around the churchyard during this night.
Should Christians adopt such practices?
Can we borrow pagan customs and superstitions of ancient peoples and "Christianize" them?

As believers, we are called to "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. [1 Thesalonians 5:21-22] Who can deny that virtually all of the symbols of Halloween are evil? Witches, monsters, ogres, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, devils and demons all portray evil. Christians are to "... have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." [Ephesians 5:11]

Is Halloween just another innocent holiday that doesn't harm anyone? Is it really just childish fun? Vandalism and wanton disregard for the property of others is common on Halloween night. Even normally well-behaved children are driven by unseen forces to destructive behavior. Police officials everywhere report a great increase in such activities on Halloween.

Worse yet are the horrifying accounts of poisoned candy and fruits booby-trapped with razor blades and needles. Such threats are so real that many hospitals offer free X-rays of Halloween treats in order to prevent children from being harmed. Who but Satan could inspire such monstrous actions?

Should the church be compromised by accommodating itself to the culture?
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." [Romans 12:2]
"For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?" [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15]

When America and the world celebrates the Festival of Samhain and the powers of darkness by masquerading as evil creatures or decorating our homes, schools, businesses and churches with occult symbols, Satanic power is glorified.

The sort of practices celebrated on Halloween are what defiled the ancient nations [see Leviticus 18:24-30]. The Israelites were warned against such practices when they entered the Promised Land, "When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations." [Deuteronomy 18:9]

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. [Deuteronomy 18:10-14]

As an alternative to the celebration of evil and death, Christians should rather do what Christians are supposed to do every day and that is shine the light of Jesus Christ. We should emphasize the Christian influences and strive to make Hallow's Eve a celebration of the acts of God through his people the saints. We should make it a day when acts of charity instead of vandalism and hatred abound. A day that emphasizes the light of Christ instead of the darkness of evil. A day when people meditate on the acts of Godly people instead of ghosts and goblins.

While you may have participated "all in fun," be assured, Halloween is serious business for Satanists and witches. Those who oppose Christ are known to organize on Halloween to observe satanic rituals, to cast spells, to oppose churches and families, to perform sacrilegious acts, and to even offer blood sacrifices to Satan.

While some may say, "But we only do this in fun...we don't practice witchcraft," those things that represent Satan and his domain cannot be handled or emulated "for fun". Such participation places you in enemy and forbidden territory and that is dangerous ground.

Tom Sanguinet, former high priest in the Celtic tradition of Wicca (witchcraft) said "The modern holiday we call Halloween has its origins in the full moon closest to November 1, the witches’ New Year. It was a time when the "spirits" (demons) were supposed to be at their peak power and revisiting the earth planet." He went on to say, "Halloween is purely and absolutely evil, and there is nothing we ever have or will do that would make it acceptable to the Lord Jesus." [The Dark Side Of Halloween]

As evil prevails, Americans have embraced an evil day of Satan, with the pranks of 'would be' hoodlums, combined with 'demon faces' on pumpkins, clothing of 'death' being worn, and calling it fun. When Christians participate in Halloween, it sends a message to children that witchcraft, demonism, Satanism, and the occult are something fun, entertaining and harmless.

Many years ago, C.S. Lewis wrote that one of Satan's most deceptive tactics is to convince people that he doesn't exist. Apparently he has done a good job in his deception. Sadly, many people think of the devil as no more than a symbol of evil: like Santa Claus, he is just a fictional symbol. Many people today also do not think of witches as real people who practice magic, but simply as imaginary figures who represent the supernatural world and everything that is 'spooky.'

Recognizing this pagan holiday gives the false impression that what is actually lethal is innocuous. Some children develop a fascination with the supernatural which leads them later into more sinister occult practices. It's the spiritual equivalent of painting a loaded gun to look like a toy and giving it to child to play with.

It is the kind of celebration that encourages kids like the 16-year-old in Pearl, Mississippi who stabbed his mother to death in her sleep and then opened fire at his high school, killing two students and wounding seven. Authorities found this student along with at least six others involved in a small, avowedly satanic clique that calls itself "Kroth."

How some people can defend this kind of activity as just another innocent holiday that doesn't harm anyone is beyond me.
Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19-20)

Acceptance of the Supernatural
Central to Satan's goals is the widespread acceptance of the supernatural, including the occult, on the part of North Americans, accompanied by a great revival of spiritism all over the world.

Over the last 30 or so years, the occult has moved into the mainstream of America - in television, movies, magazines, business, and various aspects of daily life. Movies, books, magazines and encyclopedias of the supernatural have abounded. Turn on your TV and hear from the ever-present "Psychic Friends" hotline, or see lead characters in TV shows meet their "spirit guide." Entire bookstores devoted to the occult have become common. Universities regularly offer courses on witchcraft and magic - usually the so-called "white" variety. Myriads of mystical Eastern religions, bizarre and often demonic, have invaded North America and found in most cases an amazing responsiveness.

Indeed, Halloween has taken root in America. Americans spend $21 million on Halloween candies yearly second only to Christmas in total sales. Halloween is the Number 1 season for selling humorous greeting cards. In North America, some 25 million cards are sold annually. (Peter Smith, "By the Numbers," The Toronto Star, 2002-OCT-27.) Halloween is the third-largest party occasion next to Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Increasingly the curriculum in many public schools is becoming a primer in occultism.

Impressions, a curriculum used in many school districts instructs teachers and students in how to cast spells. One teacher's manual reads, "Tell the children that a magician has cast a spell on some children. Have them work in pairs to write the magic spell the magician used. Have each pair write another spell to reverse the first spell. Have them chant their spells."

About 16,000 school districts use the Pumsey the Dragon curriculum, by Jill Anderson. Many of the relaxation techniques used are identical to those used in hypnosis. Another curriculum called Duso the Dolphin employs relaxation techniques and sends hypnotized youngsters off on guided fantasies to a place called Aquatron.
Satanism has become a phenomena that crosses the city limit into the rural areas of our nation.

It is reported there are some 6000 witches, and approximately 10 million people are involved in the occult. However, it is very difficult to establish how many actually participate. These individuals are involved in a wide variety of activities from simply casting spells to human sacrifice. The news wires carry story after story about young children being kidnapped, only to be found later as victims of some bizarre ritualistic crime.

As satantic involvement among our youth increases, we begin to see the primary goal of such activity. According to Scripture (2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 12:9), Satan's goal is to deceive man by blinding him to the truth of the gospel and to receive worship for himself (Matt. 4:9; Isa. 14:12-14).

It has become clear that the primary goal is to alter an individual's values and turn him against himself, his beliefs, family, God and society.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
Young satanists believe the strong will rule with Satan. Once an individual becomes involved, they often make a pact with Satan. They commit themselves to a future date when they will take their own lives by suicide. They believe if they submit themselves to Satan in death, they will come back in another life as a stronger being and rule with him forever. According to recent statistics, fourteen young people a day take their own lives.

What's wrong with Halloween?
It does not have even one single redeeming virtue. It is custom born out of pagan superstition. It is a demon-inspired, devil-glorifying, occult festival. It is an evening holy unto evil, death, and divination. The Scriptures tells us to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." [1Thess. 5:22]
Wake up Christian! This is the night of evil and those who love the Lord Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with it.

We are all accountable for our choices and decisions. Ignorance is no excuse. The choice is up to you. Have you been involved in this satanic holiday? Do you struggle with giving it up because "it's just fun" and an innocent opportunity for children to dress up and collect candy? Don't take my word for it. Let God show you what he would have you do. You might begin by praying the following:

Father in heaven I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ to confess that I'm a sinner. I'm sorry! Please forgive me. I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ is Your Son and that You raised him from the dead. I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that I might be saved. Each and everyday Father I turn my will and my life over to Your care, and may Your Holy Spirit lead and guide me in all the things I think , do and say. I'm Yours and You are mine. Father, please use me that I might help others come to know and love Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for saving me. Amen

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Faith


I do not know how you view faith, to me faith is a very important part of my relationship with God.

Without faith in all the years gone by I am quite sure I would have been lost.

Let me share with you. I was an adopted child, adopted into a family where the mother never really wanted me but had me for the sake of her husband. Alas he died when I was 5 so since then I had to endure the ministrations of a woman saddled with a child she never ever really wanted. (Praise God she gave her life to Christ just before she died!)

I searched for my "real" family all over the world imagining 1 000 000 ways that our initial greeting would take place. Would we float into each others arms, weeping tears of reconciliation....or would I meet my mother and she would wrap her arms around me and tell me she was young and foolish and how much she has prayed for me all her life......etc etc etc. (MY mother and father were dead by the time I traced my family)

Well I found my 2 sisters the one was terribly embarrassed and made sure I understood there was no "inheritance " due to me, the other tried but....

I then found my brother after much searching. A big gentle giant of a man, but because I got a lift with someone else could only see him for half an hour.

After a while I tried to contact him again but he had moved to Cape Town and so...there I was again asking my heavely Father 100's of questions.

About 2 weeks or so ago the Lord I truly believe it was HIM, reminded me of my search so I got up, very, very early and emailed all the addresses I could find in a small village where I believed my brother to be.

Guess what friends I got a reply from a very special Christian Lady who passed my message to my brother and he sent one back saying he loved me and wanted contact.

Today I received an email from my brother, it began with:

My darling Charmaine
You were unfortunately the lost child of our family I have often thought of you in my life and as you know I have always been a fisherman.

Well I am still very overcome with emotion, friends today I want to share with you that for the second time SHE THAT WAS LOST NOW IS FOUND!

And not only that, but my brother is a fisherman, he loves the Lord and while he fishes for fish I fish for souls!!!!

I am totally overwhelmed at my Heavenly Fathers favour, He promises us the desires of our hearts and if we will only believe..........

Having stood in faith for many years I have a brother.!

If you have something that you are trusting God for NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!!!

God is faithful and if you will stand and let your faith touch Him, you my friends will be amazed at what will happen.

So on this special day, from my heart to yours

Sharmaine

Monday, 12 October 2009

Holy Alphabet


Hi Everyone
For those who are fighting their own personal battles.

whatever it may be. NEVER GIVE UP!

The Holy Alphabet... This is Beautiful

Whoever came up with this one must have had some

Divine Guidance!


Although things are not perfect

Because of trial or pain

Continue in thanksgiving

Do not begin to blame

Even when the times are hard

Fierce winds are bound to blow

God is forever able

Hold on to what you know

Imagine life without His love

Joy would cease to be

Keep thanking Him for all the things

Love imparts to thee

Move out of "Camp Complaining"

No weapon that is known

On earth can yield the power

Praise can do alone

Quit looking at the future

Redeem the time at hand

Start every day with worship

To "thank" is a command

Until we see Him coming

Victorious in the sky

We'll run the race with gratitude

X-alting God most high

Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...

Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

Hugs always

Sharmaine

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Seed Scatterers


Hi Everyone
You know how I continue to preach JESUS IS COMING SOON? Well I want to thank my friend Judith for forwarding this article by Ron Graham to me, it touched my heart in its simplicity and truth.

Seed Scatterers - Ron Graham
“Behold,
a sower went forth to sow;” Matthew 13:3b. Farmers are by definition
seed scatterers, and they usually have stacks and stacks of gunny sacks
practically bursting at the seams with seeds just before planting
season, all stored up nice and secure in their big old barns. Here’s a
“what if” scenario. What if farmers choose to keep their seeds in their
barns instead of planting their fields? I’ve seen fields in my area
where I can only assume some adverse situation happened to a family and
the fields didn’t get cultivated or planted; the fields just turned
into big weed patches. But a farmer who purposely neglects his field to
hold onto his seed is not only unwise, but deliberately neglectful. His
fields would remain barren. Come harvest time what would he have?
Seeds. That’s it; all he would have is a barn full of seeds.

Youand I read and study our Bibles, and some even do so faithfully every
day. As we study God’s word we grow in our knowledge of Him and His
word and over time we acquire a wealth of understanding. But what good
is all that knowledge if we keep it stored up in our personal little
barns? Just like the farmer, we too store up, but in our case it’s
knowledge. When our storage shelves are full of this extremely
important information, which determines the difference between eternal
life in Heaven or Hell, we should freely spread that knowledge around
to all with an appetite to learn.

Oncewe’ve stored up all that knowledge it’s time to ready ourselves for
getting it to the masses. What kind of believer would we be if we just
kept all that knowledge to ourselves? We would be like the farmer who
refused to plant his seeds, deliberately neglectful and very foolish.
You see, the knowledge we’ve received from studying God’s word doesn’t
actually belong to us, at least not to us alone. We can obtain a mass
of knowledge through studying His word but we must remember it’s His
word and it was meant to be shared. Simply put, God’s word is public
domain.

Untilthe farmer sows his seeds into the ground he can’t hope to reap any
kind of bountiful harvest. Once he sows the seeds they begin to grow
and the foliage of the plants begins to spread across his entire field.
Of course the farmer isn’t finished when he sows those seeds, not by
any means. That’s only the beginning. He waters and cultivates his
plants and applies pest and weed deterrent which results in healthy
crops. He cares for the plants while they grow and they thrive through
his diligence of care giving. When his field is ready he can harvest
the crop and reap the fruits of his labors and enjoy the rewards of
such diligence.

Believersare not so very different than farmers. We also spread seeds; it’s just
that our seeds are the word of God. As we learn more and more through
our careful study of His word we are then able to “water and cultivate”
those seeds. The folks we teach are then empowered by God to sow what
they’ve learned and as they grow in knowledge and discernment they pass
that knowledge on to others. At first as people pick up biblical
knowledge they pass it on slowly, almost timidly. In time, and as their
study habits get more involved and become a pleasure not a chore, they
are empowered to seed larger fields and do so with clarity and
frequency.

Whatwe’ve learned of God and His will for our lives is a benefit that we
can pass on to others, and like the farmer who plows and seeds his
fields and benefits from the result we to benefit from our due
diligence. People profit from the farmers efforts by taking advantage
of the end result. Likewise, many people can benefit through our seed
spreading efforts by absorbing the truth of God’s word. And really,
studying the word of God is all about knowledge, understanding, and
wisdom, storing up seeds for planting, and then proceeding with
planting them. God’s word was always meant to be shared and
distributed. Many use it to argue with other believers or to prove to
others how smart they are. This should never be our motivation in
spreading God’s word.

There’ssomething I’ve neglected to mention thus far. I’m not sure everyone
understands that there are rewards that will be distributed at the end
of our Christ-centered travels. When we are through here on earth God
will remove us from the world and there will be a point after that
removal when we will stand before the Bema Seat of Christ and He will
reward us with crowns that are specifically created for each type of
work we did for His Kingdom.

Oneof those crowns will be rewarded for our many efforts of advancing His
Kingdom here on earth. Similarly, little work will result in few
crowns. If we will travel about unabashedly standing up for Jesus and
spreading the good news of His Gospel, and teaching others the truth of
His word, then of course, our rewards will be great. “And he that
reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that
both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” John
4:36. There’s an old adage that goes something like this “You can’t
take it with you”. But on the other side of that phrase is “You can
send it up ahead”. That’s what we are doing by teaching and preaching
and everything else we do for Gods Kingdom while we reside in these
bodies on this planet.

Itshould be understood that basically all believers are ministers and
teachers. We will all be confronted sooner or later with a question
about the Bible and if we answer that question “correctly” we’ve then
taught that person something from God’s word. All Bible teachers are
responsible for teaching God’s word correctly. What that means is we
aren’t to substitute our own ideas and precepts for the truth of God’s
word. That’s why studying God’s word is an ongoing process. We may
never fully grasp it all but we should strive to be correct in all the
interpretation we pass on to others. We believers, as teachers must
understand there will be severe consequences for passing along bad
seed. In other words if we’ve changed our Master’s seed, mixed it up
with some bad seeds, and then sowed it in place of the whole truth we
must be prepared for the consequences of our erroneous actions. There
will be a high cost to pay by those who teach a false Gospel.

It’sa given that Satan hates all people, but especially he hates those
believers who are out there spreading the seeds of truth, preaching and
teaching God’s word to those who are still lost. The lost belong to
Satan and he hates giving up even one soul to God. Satan will do
anything to keep the seed that we believers sow from ever taking root.
He’s subtle in his chicanery. His road blocks are not immediately
observed. Some people have very hard hearts and as such they thoroughly
reject the word of God, but others may have very willing hearts that
accept the word of God quite easily. But then those hearts may be so
fertile that they accept every teaching out there as truth. These last
folks are just as deceived as the previous because they just can’t
discern between the truth of God and the lies of Satan.

Clearlythere are challenges to spreading the Gospel, but if it were impossible
God would never have told us to do so. Sometimes the ground just needs
some extra tilling and fertilization mixed in to reactivate all the
nutrients in the soil. “For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and
Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.”
Jeremiah 4:3. Some hearts are like thorny ground and the thorns need to
be removed first. It might take a little work on our part and it might
even be painful.

“The religion that is born of mere excitement will die when the excitementis over” Charles Spurgeon.

People are all different and there are many approaches to reaching the lost. Now and then, as we meet and get acquainted with new friends or neighbors there may be a small time lapse between meeting them and getting to a point where we actually
feel the Holy Spirit leading us to speak to them about Jesus. Through
our study of the Bible we will become much more in tune with God’s Holy
Spirit. He will guide us to see the perfect time for witnessing. Even
just our daily living routines can be a witness and proof as to Whom we
follow.

The knowledge we possess after we’ve made learning God’s word a priority in
our lives is always to be shared.
It’s as though a light comes on the
more we study. It’s too bright of a light to merely place under a
basket somewhere. Instead we should be spreading that light around.
Jesus tells us that we believers are the light of the world. But if no
one can see your light what good is it? Those who are going astray
because of the darkness must be shown the light of Christ. “Let your
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

God’s word is very powerful. If we don’t take His word seriously or if we try
to water His word down to keep from offending someone, then we’ve done
exactly what the enemy would have us do. If he can’t get us to abandon
God’s word altogether, then perhaps he can get us to see that in some
instances it will offend, and so we should be more feeling and caring
and keep the whole truth from being brought out. If we were to follow
the evil ones suggestions, sooner or later, the whole word of God would
become of non-effect.

This concept of watered down seed spreading is especially prevalent acrossAmerica. “What do you mean Ron?” Well, what would happen to the farmer’s crops if he sowed his seeds sparingly? He would have a pretty
sparse looking field which would be rather unhealthy because of all the
weeds that would take over. Many men have gone to great lengths to
study God’s word only to concentrate their preaching and teaching on a
small section of scriptures instead of teaching the full council of
God, which is contrary to God’s own word. “Whom shall he teach
knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are
weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be
upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line;
here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:9-10.

God is very frank when it comes to training up His children. Many believe
that to be so blunt can be hurtful. They’ve perceived the Bible to be
outdated and in need of an overhaul. They are sure that God never meant
to chide those individuals who live a lifestyle that’s completely
contrary to His word; it just cannot be what God intended. They put
their own precepts over God’s. They may change His word, or instead of
teaching the whole council of God they ignore many parts as irrelevant,
even though those scriptures might mean the difference between life and
death.

Here’s an example, you’re watching a family out enjoying a Saturday picnic
together, joyfully singing songs and dancing and playing on the grass
and it gives you a warm feeling inside to witness such love. But you
realize they’ve set up their picnic table on a train track and they are
completely unaware of any approaching train, but you know that a train
will be coming down that track at precisely 12:00 noon. It’s now 11:55
and the family is sitting down at the picnic table as they begin to
enjoy their meal together. Are you helping them by keeping silent about
their approaching doom? Or have you just condemned them all to death by
keeping silent?

Sowing and feeding the flock are parables Jesus used as He taught the
disciples about His Kingdom. It’s interesting that Jesus never once
told His disciples that seeding those fields would be a bed of roses.
He never told them to avoid painful subject matter if they perceived it
might make someone uncomfortable. Plainly we see quite the opposite
when it comes to sharing the Gospel of Christ. Difficulties arise as we
go about spreading God’s word and sometimes we’re confronted with
uncomfortable situations that might make even our loved ones turn away
from us, but nothing should deter us from getting those fields sown.

Cultivating,seeding, watering, harvesting–Jesus tells us that the rewards for such
diligence done for the purpose of increasing the flock for His Kingdom
will bring awesome rewards. Have you prepared your fields? And if so,
have you scattered His seeds?


So friend let us scatter seeds,
Hugs always
Sharmaine

Unexpected Extraordinary Kindness

Thank you Claire Pienaar from the Whale Watchers Inn in Witsand South Africa. God sends special people like you across our paths everynow and again.
May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and may there always be peace in your home! Peace being the fulness of the Word, nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing lost!!!
This is Ministers appreciation month and what a gift you gave me, the gift of family!!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Food For Thought



I was moved when this was forwarded to me on email.

ONCE IN A WHILE, I AM REMINDED OF HOPE

Five (5) lessons about the way we treat people
1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady. During my second month of college, our professor

Gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student
And had breezed through the questions until I read

The last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the

Cleaning woman several times. She was tall,

Dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question

Blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if

The last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers,

You will meet many people. All are significant.. They

Deserve your attention and care, even if all you do

Is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson.. I also learned her

Name was Dorothy.


2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American

Woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway

Trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had

Broken down and she desperately needed a ride.

Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.

A young white man stopped to help her, generally

Unheard of in those conflict-filled 19 60's. The man

Took her to safety, helped her get assistance and

Put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his

Address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a

Knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a

Giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A

Special note was attached.

It read:

"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway

The other night. The rain drenched not only my

Clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along.

Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying

Husband's' bedside just before he passed away... God

Bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving

Others."

Sincerely,

Mrs. Nat King Cole.



3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those

Who serve.


In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less,

A 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and

Sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in

Front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and

Studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the

Waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put t he bill on

The table and walked away The boy finished the ice

Cream, paid the cashier and left.. When the waitress

Came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the

Table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish,

Were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had
To have enough le ft to leave her a tip.


4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a

Roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if

Anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the

King's' wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by

And simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the

King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did

Anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of

Vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the

peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the

stone to the side of the road. After much pushing

and straining, he finally succeeded. After the

peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed

a purse lying in the road where the boulder had

been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note

from the King indicating that the gold was for the

person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The

peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve

our condition.


5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts... Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a

hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who

was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only

chance of recovery appeared to be a blood

transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had

miraculously survived the same disease and had

developed the antibodies needed to combat the

illness. The doctor explained the situation to her

little brother, and asked the little boy if he would

be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a

deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save

her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed

next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing

the color returning to her cheek. Then his face

grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a

trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the

doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his

sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Hugs

Sharmaine

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Angie's Marriage Coumn


Angie’s Marriage Column ~ August 26, 2006
A Husband’s Porn Addiction





Ask Angie: My husband and I have been married for four and a half years and have been together for nearly seven. I was drawn to him initially because of his love for Christ. I had fallen away from God and was trying desperately to get my life back on track when I met him. We have one child together who is two and a half. When my daughter was about six months old I found out that he had been looking at pornography. It broke my heart. I hated that he had brought that garbage into our Christian home. He begged me not to leave him and promised he would not do it again. About six months later I found out he had been continuing to do it. I told him if this did not stop I would have to leave. Some time passed without either of us mentioning it, but our marriage began to crumble. He became distant and indifferent towards me and our daughter. I thought constantly about leaving him, but never had the courage to do it.



And now I have found out that he has not only been continuing to look at the pornography, and has been "using" it, instead of coming to me, but that he has been lying about it. I had been asking him directly if he had been looking at it, and he always told me no. I am so heart broken not only that he has been looking at and "using" it for his "needs," but mostly now that this addiction has made him start being untruthful with me. I told him yesterday I felt like I had to leave. He cried and begged me to stay. I still love him very much, and I am committed to our family. But I am concerned that if I stay, I am condoning this addiction and he will just do it again. I want him to know that I am serious. That it HAS to be me or the porn. Any advice? ~ Lost & Heart Broken





Marriage Guidance: I am truly sad for your situation. Porn addiction is not just something that only affects the person involved but it also affects the whole family and those who love them. Children are affected by a dad’s indifference and a wife is affected by the shame, rejection, and loss of intimacy with her husband. And the addict is affected by the shame, guilt, low self-esteem and lack of Christ in his life.



I encourage wives who are having similar issues in their marriage to print out this marriage column and read/study it with their husband’s. You can conquer addiction with God at the center of your life and marriage. Please click on all of the links within the article, which will offer more encouragement and help for pornography addiction.



Porn addiction is becoming more and more prevalent in marriage today. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the marriage is a supposed Christian marriage or not. The truth is if a Christ One is having trouble with porn addiction then my first thought to that person would be to rethink and review your Christian faith because a Christian should NOT be a slave to any sin, whether it is greed, anger or porn addiction.



God loves us and does not allow His children to become trapped within the insidiousness of addiction. When a person becomes addicted and controlled by something it will literally keep him or her further away from Jesus. And that’s exactly what addiction does. This is why the addict says they will never look again or use again but until they actually “give” their lives over to their source, Jesus Christ they will continue to lead their life controlled by whatever it is they are addicted to.



When an addict says they will never look again, drink again, or shoot up again, they are in denial. Only a person in denial would say such a thing because they will do it again! A person is powerless on their own to stop an addiction unless they get down on their knees in sincere sorrow and repent. They need God to overcome sexual addiction!



The addict may even believe they “do” want to quit the addiction. But the problem with that is they think they can quit on their own free will—just simply walk away from it. I’m here to tell you that without God we are nothing! Without the power of Christ working in our lives, it is impossible to quit an addiction or at the very least be happy and content person without it.



So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Galatians 5:16-17)



What does this scripture mean, “live by the Spirit?” If you live each day controlled and led by the Holy Spirit (Jesus Christ) studying His words and praying for freedom against temptation, then the words of Christ will be in your heart and mind. And the love of Christ will be behind your actions, and the power of Christ will help you with your selfish desires. Do you see how that works? Live by the Spirit.



But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who BELONG to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with it passions and desires.
(Galatians 22-24)



If we profess to be followers of Christ, why then are we not following Him? The minute we take our eyes off of Jesus, stuff happens and our Christ-like character changes drastically. Have you taken your eyes off of Jesus? Is stuff happening in your Christian life that shouldn’t? If you aren’t following the example of Christ then whose example are you following?



Porn addiction is a delicate issue that takes a great deal of understanding before most people can even begin to get a firm grip on it. Some people take porn addiction with a lackadaisical attitude. They believe that as long as they aren’t involved in the physical act that it is not adultery. But looking at porn is adultery of the mind!



“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28)



Jesus lets us know that when a man allows himself to be captivated by a woman’s beauty it will bring on lustful thoughts. If your mind is controlled by lust you will act out in lustful ways. You have now become prey each and every time you go back and view pornography. She (porn) now has control of your body and your mind and your spirit. You are being controlled by desires and lust. (Proverbs 6: 25-29).



Scripture tells us that the prostitute (women of porn) will reduce the man to a loaf of bread. It’s sad but true. Porn addiction is playing with fire.



A man absolutely needs to keep his eyes on Jesus! He has to continually pray about his feelings and ask Jesus to free him from lustful thoughts and temptations. But even more than that he has to give his whole life to Christ and in return Christ will free the porn addict from being enslaved to sin.



…And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it! (1 Corinthians 10:13)



But if a man is only half-heartedly giving his life to the Lord and being lackadaisical about his relationship with Christ then temptation will be more difficult to bear. In this culture that is filled with so much depravity you cannot let down your guard. Understand that strong temptations and desires happen to everyone, but not everyone succumbs to those desires. Why is that?



Because they run from temptation when it gets in front of them! They instantly ask God to help them in that moment of temptation and god helps them! Run from immorality and pray for God’s help with lust EVERY SINGLE DAY. Going to church once a week is not enough. You have to be the church, be the man of God that God wants you to be. Choose Christ’s love over the darkness in the world. Run from tempting situations.



Sometimes we’ll need to run from tempting situations so we’ll not be persuaded to sin. Running from sinful situations is a virtue of character. When we avoid those areas where satan has set his enticing traps we are using self-control, which is THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT –Christ is working in us!!



Flee from sexual immorality. (1 Corinthians 6:18)



Birds of a Feather Flock Together


If you hang around those types of people who rebel against God’s message of truth then stop being friends with them. It’s really that simple. It’s like an alcoholic who still keeps friends with drinking alcoholics. Don’t you think they will be tempted to drink by hanging around those who drink and have a “don’t care” attitude? If a person has quit drinking and they are trying to remain sober they certainly wouldn’t go visit old friends who are drinking, right? It’s the same way with porn addiction. You may have to lose some friends. But were they really that good of friends to begin with?



Run from temptation and any other situations that are tempting such as being on the computer, going to bars, sleazy magazines, or late night cable channels. Why allow these tempting areas to come between you and God? Get rid of them. Stow computers away for a while. Stay away from feeding grounds that advocate sexual immorality. Get rid of cable. Do what you need to do to help you with being tempted.



Choose new friends that you know love God and walk a righteous path. Choose friends who have had trouble with addiction in the past and have overcome it through Christ. They can help you on your spiritual journey towards love and happiness.


Addiction is an Emotional and Spiritual Sickness


Addiction is a sickness and God is our healer. When we take our life problems into our own hands and never humble ourselves to our source, Jesus Christ we remain sick and spiritually bankrupt. Pride deceives us into believing we can conquer addiction on our own, but pride gives us a false sense of security that keeps many people trapped in their addiction and past baggage. Don’t let pride do that to you. Get down on your knees today and ask God to free you of your afflictions.



God has the power to renew your spirit and will give you a renewed attitude full of new thoughts and new love—real love! Addiction is only a hurdle in your life. It is not something that is with your forever unless you allow it to be so. All addictions can be completely eradicated forever through the workings of Christ.



God wants you to choose. He wants you to choose Him over the desires of the world. God wants all of your life, not just those parts that you are willing to give to Him. Give Him ALL of your life, today! So now it is time for you to choose. Christ or addiction?



Close the door to temptation today! Download our free eBook Closing The Door To Temptation. Save it on your desktop and go back to it whenever you need encouragement and to hear God’s words of wisdom. Remember without Him we are nothing. With Him we become the people God meant for us to become.



God Bless!

Frank and Angie Lewis

Thursday, 13 August 2009

FOR HELEN

Although this is for everyone it is especially for Helen!!!

The new job is going well, with a great team to support me! But I was thinking about what "well" meant.....

"Well" is thankfulness and "well" is having the ability to never ever give up."Well" is standing in the place of perfect peace, peace meaning nothing missing nothing broken and nothing lost!

So for today I will be thankful for challenges and opportunities and thankful for things that drive me crazy and thankful for things that I do not particulary enjoy doing!

I read this delightful prayer some time ago and want to share it with you:-

Thankful Prayer

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.
Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; it has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today. It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing, the lawn that needs raking; we all enjoy the yard.

Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

Amen

PROUD STRONG WOMEN!!!


Hi Everyone
I received this on email and just thought it was wonderful! So with apologies to all the guys who follow this blog......

What makes me weak? My fears.....

What makes me whole? My God.

What keeps me Standing? My faith.

What makes me compassionate? My selflessness.

What makes me honest? My integrity.

What sustains my mind? My quest for knowledge.

What teaches me all lessons? My mistakes.

What lift's my head high? My pride, not arrogance.

What if I can't go on? Not an option.

What makes me victorious? My courage to climb.

What makes me competent? My confidence .

What makes me sensual? My insatiable essence.

What makes me beautiful? My everything.

What makes me a woman? My heart .

Who says I need love? I do.

What empowers me? My God & Me.

Who am I?

I AM A PROUD STRONG WOMAN!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

I wonder



I wonder what Abraham felt when he was told to sacrifice his son.....I have wondered what it would feel like to sacrifice a child......

Imagine God, He gave His ONLY not one of, but His ONLY begotton Son.....how very privledged we are....

I do not know about you, but no one else would have died on the cross for me, BUT HE did, willingly......
No greater love than calvary my friends

So to those today who wonder and sit in the valley of decision, to those who complain about their lives, never satisfied, top those who feel unloived, to those who believe no-one can ever love them......

REMEMBER......

He gave and gave and gave and gave...His ONLY......

Trust Him today with the faith of Abraham....trust Him today, the One who gave us Jesus!!!

Remember God and I love you

Sharmaine

Free to love like Jesus

Free to Love Like JesusAlan Riley

In the day in which we live, it takes a lot to shock us. We see so much sorrow, death and destruction each night on the news that after a while we become desensitized to it.
Something I saw around this time last year shocked, sickened and saddened me.I'll never forget it. Maybe you remember seeing it too.

A 49 year old woman named Esmin Green was admitted to the emergency room of King's County Hospital Center in New York for psychiatric evaluation, and she was left in the waiting room for over 24 hours. At 5:32 am, the security camera shows her collapsing on the floor. For the next 30 minutes, Ms. Green lay on the floor convulsing, moving and at one point appearing to try to get up. Hospital workers and employees came in, looked at the woman and then left. One even appeared to be looking at the television while completely ignoring the stricken woman. She stopped moving at 6:07 am.

One hour and three minutes after she collapsed, a hospital worker came into the room and nudged Ms. Green with her foot. When she got no response, the worker waited a few minutes more and then summonded help. But it was too late. Esmin Green was dead.
How could someone collapse in a hospital's waiting room and lay there for an hour until she died? How could hospital workers and perhaps other people waiting for treatment in the waiting room ignore someone who was obviously in need of help? How could people be so uncaring and heartless toward another human being?

We later heard that six workers at King's County had been fired for their failure to help Ms. Green and for their attempts to cover it up. Obviously, they should have been. But as I thought about this story, I can't help but think that to one extent or another, you and I are in some ways as guilty of neglect as those hospital workers.

Now to be sure, if someone collapsed in the hall outside my office or in the parking deck as I was walking to my car, I would no doubt act decisively to assist them and to summon help. I am sure you would do the same. But how many times recently have I crossed paths with someone who was in great need spiritually or emotionally and I ignored them just as those hospital workers ignored Esmin Green?

Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan to expose the racism and elitism of the Pharisees. He also wanted to point out their lack of compassion for those in need. You remember the story... a man is attacked, beat up, and left for dead. Several religious leaders pass by the injured man before a Samaritan - a group of people hated by the Jews - stopped to help.

In those moments when we are being really honest with ourselves and with God, we know in our hearts that left to our own devices we tend to be like the Pharisees. It is when we are being like Jesus that we reach out in love and compassion to help and to share the gospel with all we come in contact with. Our culture teaches us to withdraw from and distrust those who we don't know and those who are not like us. Jesus has set us free to love like He loves.
And He reminds us that when we touch the least of these we are touching Him. When we refuse them, we are refusing Him.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Have you seen?

Have you seen a dead man talking;
Witnessed yet, a lame man walking,
A man with blind eyes sees again,
A leprous man… now void of pain.

Have you seen water turned to wine,
Witnessed demons cast into swine;
Young girls raised now from the dead,
A mother cured …on her death bed.

Have you seen Him walk on water,
Feed nine thousand and not falter,
Stopping a storm with one raised hand,
Restoring sight with spit and sand,

Have you seen Him nailed to a cross,
Mankind’s gain, but Satan’s loss,
He bled and died for you and me,
Bearing the sins of humanity;

Have you seen my precious Lord,
Holding fast salvations sword;
Beckoning you “Come trust in Me,
From this time until… eternity”

Have you seen…Jesus my Lord?

With thanks to Louise for forwarding this to me!

Hugs Sharmaine

AT LAST


Dear Friends


What a wild ride!!!


Thank you to all of you that have chastised me :) for no new comments and those of you who have asked me to write and others that have patiently sat beside me while I had many things to sort out!!


Firstly from May to present 2 months my grandson has been very ill, Praise God he is on the mend even though his Mum rushed him to the 24 hour clinic last night;


Secondly my computer and cell phone both decided to break irreperairably;


I started working in a formalised situation and suffered 2 health set backs...


BUT...


PRAISE HIM WHO IS FAITHFUL!!!


I want to encourage you tonight/today when the world is crashing down around you look up...the salvation of the Lord is nigh!!!


Lots of hugs and love in HIm


Sharmaine


PS and THANK YOUhb

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Musings

Dear Friends

There is something about another birthday that causes one to be introspective and muse...

So here are some of my ramblings, join yours in and lets talk...

I felt that today is a new day a gift from my Abba, He has given me this day to do with as I wish. I can choose to grow in it or waste it, either way what I do with it is important because I have exchanged a day of my life for it.

You see when tomorrow comes today will be swept away on the river of rememberences and therefore I pray that I will not in any way regret any of the price I have paid for it.

Another thing that was so upmost in my thought today was Tommy Tenny's statement that, " Favour is what happens whe PREPERATION meets opportunity and success is what happens when PREPERATION meets poetntial.

Lots of chewing on that statement.

What are you chewing on...what things are directing your pathways?

Last but not least...NEVER FORGET:-

GREAT CAPTAINS ARE NOT MADER ON CALM SEAS BUT IN STORMS!

I SALUTE YOU MY FRIENDS, GREAT CAPTAINS AROUND THE WORLD!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

My Father


I love my Abba, He is everything to me. We watched God the Perfect Father...this was with some trepidation...my experience with earthly fathers was not one that I would ascribe to...but with the gentleness of God my Father over a number of years I learnt His gentleness, strength and commitment to me.


I learnt to run into His Presence, just like a child, to entreat Him as a daughter and to dance and be a little wild. I learnt His indulgence and I learnt His strength...I love Him.


How have you learnt to know Him, how do you know Him.... He is my...


Elohim-God the Creator

Jehova-The Great I Am

El Shaddai-Almighty God who is more than enough

Adonai-Thae Lord and Master

Jehova Jireh- our Provider

Jehovah Rapha-Our Healer

Jehova Nissi-His Banner over us

Jehovah Mekaddesh-Our Sanctifier

Jehovah Shalom-God our Peace

Jehovah Tsidkenu-Our Righteousness

Jehovah Raah-The Lord our Shepherd

Jehovah Shammah- our ever Present Lord


Seek Him, Reach Him He wants to hear your voice hear your dreams and your aspirations(even though He knows them) He cares so much about you that even the very hairs on your head are numbered and He knows every time you loose 1.


Remember God and I love you today and always


Sharmaine

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Do You Know?

I wonder if you have ever truely felt like this......shattered to say the least!!!! What do you do when a loved one turns against you ......and accuses you for the sake of the gospel.....how do you cope when you are acused of "always talking church!"

Rejoice I say rejoice.....Words kill...words also become self fulfiling prophecies...............

What a testimony to be accused of loving the Lord too much.....what a testimony when people revile you and despise you for the sake of the gospel. Yes it hurts, yes, you shatter, BUT GOD....say in Psalm 23, "Yea though I walk through "yes through"the valley.... you will pass through...

No matter what your circumstances today...no matter what report you have received.....no matter what the world may say, remember Jesus chose YOU, yes you, before the begining of time........."They said.... let us create" The ruler of the universe chose you...........

So today whose report will you believe.............I BELIEVE THE REPORT OF THE LORD, AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.

Beloved friend, look to the Son and the shadows will stay behind you.........

Remember we love you and pray for you

Today and always

Sharmaine

1Cor.13



Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Think on this


I have been so very burdened by the cross. I know, I know I have discussed it and posted it, but my heart was particularly burdened this morning that our Lord was taken and beaten so severely and mocked, His beard plucked out........stripped of His clothing............a scarlet robe placed on His weary bloodied body............a crown of thorns pushed down on His head...............silent, looking past His pain into the future, "Whose future you may ask" Yours and Mine!!!!


Looking into the sins I would step willingly step into, knowing that at the depths of my despair I would need a Saviour, The Saviour, I would need my God, I would need HIM!!


Then as if that was not enough they must have shoved His clothes back on and made Him start His journey to Calvery......


At Calvery they stripped Him naked again, cast lots for His clothes, nailed Him to the cross and lifted Him for all to see.


My King.....hanging on the cross naked, beaten, worn, YET, still concerned for those whose frailties He knew so well...............


Then grace darkened the sun and they could no longer look on His body jeeringly..........the curtain TORE, and in three days He was Alive.........VICTORIOUS..........


Take a moment today to think of the cross and the victory, take a moment to think of what this means to you, take a moment to realise you are NOT DEFEATED, no matter what the circumstances are you ARE VICTORIOUS through HIM...........


Take time to thank Him...............Take time to bless Him.......take time , take time


You are truely beloved


Always


Sharmaine

video

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Re-Establishing Trust in Marriage

Angie’s Marriage Column - April 8, 2009

Ask Angie: I am finding it hard to trust my husband again. We've been married for 31 years. this Valentine's day and in year 28 I found out he was heavily into drugs, which he now claims to be free of, but I still have a hard time believing him because of the extent he wants to hide his use. All the lies, deceit, and now the unwillingness to discuss it with me, leaves me with many unanswered questions.

He denies that other women were a factor in the drug use, but I do not believe that is true, because our intimacy is non-existent, and has been for some time. He claims to be unable to perform. I don't buy it. So here we are, I don't trust him and I constantly look for clues to make sure he's not using. I hate living this way, I am a born-again Christian, and I pray for God to guide me and help me to truly once and for all forgive, and I will think I have, and then he'll be late or not acting like he normally does and I find myself watching him.

Marriage Guidance: Your situation is very typical for married couples when one is addicted to a substance. You are so emotionally and mentally attached to the actions, feelings, and behaviors of your addicted husband that it is driving you crazy…the not knowing and the fear of being “out of control”.

Although it is sad to see anyone waist away their life in addiction, the truth is you cannot control what the addict says or does – it is impossible. The first thing you must understand is that you cannot “be in control” of what your husband does, which means, who he sees, where he goes, when he comes home, what he says, and how he treats you.

You can’t overpower addiction…the more you try, the more it will swallow you up with it. And that is what’s happening to you. Your husband’s addiction is literally taking you down with him. I’m going to throw you a life preserver, grab onto it and allow God to pull you into the shore. Neither I, nor anyone else can pull you into safety…you have to have the willingness to do so and to trust in Jesus to pull you into safety. OK?

God Grant Me The Serenity To Accept The Things I Cannot Change

Ask God to give you the strength to accept, that which is out of your control. God grant me the serenity to accept that my husband’s addiction is something I cannot change. How does a wife accept that she can’t stop her husband from using drugs or drinking? By backing off and giving every aspect of addiction over to God. It can be difficult to do at times, especially when the addict is abusing you in some way, which happens often in homes where addiction is present.

Most loved ones of addicts want to throw out the booze, throw the drugs down the toilet, Take the car keys, scream and yell for the addict to stop in their addiction. But none of these efforts will do any good whatsoever. Addiction is more powerful than anything a mere man can try to do to stop it. Overcoming addiction and the affects of what addiction can do to a family can only be overcome through the power of God working in our lives.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am God, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

The problem is we’re trying to rescue our loved ones instead of handing that responsibility over to God. Only God has the power to save us from the temptations of this life and only God can save us. Without God we are nothing. Wives and husband's who try to rescue their spouses from addiction become so entangled within the insidiousness of the addiction that they become mentally, emotionally and spiritually sick with the addict.

When a wife is spiritually sick how can she even begin to see clearly enough to help herself. Don’t allow yourself to get pulled into addiction one more second. You are finding it hard to trust your husband again because you can’t trust your husband. As long as he is wrapped up within the web of addiction there is no trust. The reality is you can’t trust addiction so how can you trust the person who is addicted?

I realize it hurts to think that the man you married has been with other woman. Addiction makes us do crazy things. So knowing that should we blame immoral behavior on addiction. Yes, we should! Does it mean that once the user quits using their substance of choice they will not behave immorally? Of course not – that would be ridiculous to say it would. But it means that being addiction free he can now make proper and right choices for his life. It is at this time that a wife can support, encourage, and influence her husband and help him to turn his life around and stay addiction free!

Courage To Change The Things I Can

So now that you know you cannot change one iota about your husband or the addiction, lets take a look at what you can change. You can stop looking for clues that he has stopped using. This is not going to change anything. You can stop worrying about his inability to perform. This is not going to change anything. You can stop living for the addiction and start living for Christ. This WILL change your attitude. Ask Christ to give you the courage to change those things that you can.

…I can do everything through Him who gives me strength! Philippians 4:12-13

When we begin to find positive things that we can change in our life, it will make us feel better. You cannot change what your husband does, but you can change what you do about what he does. You can change your reaction towards what your husband does or doesn’t do. Learn to detach from his miserable behavior. You can change the way you think about your husband. You can change your attitude about addiction and know from the bottom of your heart that addiction is something you have no power over, whatsoever.

You can choose to forgive, even though you will have to continue to forgive his addictive actions every single day. By forgiving you will be freeing your heart and mind of pent up resentment. You can start to take better care of your spiritual, mental and emotional self by detaching from the addiction. You can choose to allow Christ to pull you into safety and trust that He will keep you safe from addiction.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

These changes are changes that you have the power, through Him, to change. You can do everything, through Him. They are all things that involve you and your attitude toward your situation and toward your husband. Once you make these small, but sometimes-difficult changes you will discover a sense of peace within yourself that will actually be supportive to your husband. Whether or not you see that now or not doesn’t really matter. What matters is having hope that your husband can become free for good from addiction.

Understand that once you stop trying to be responsible for your husband’s actions you will feel a big burden lifted from your shoulders. Jesus Christ has lifted that burden from you and gave you a sense of peace in the midst of turmoil. You allowed that burden to be gone from your heart and mind. Now that you are on the shore and out of danger of drowning with your husband you can help him.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us. (Romans 8:35 –37)

And The Wisdom To Know The Difference

Do you now understand what you cannot change and what you can? If it has anything to do with your husband and the addiction you cannot control it or change it. Give it to God and let Him change it. Give up the burden of responsibility and all aspects of addiction. Let your husband know that you love HIM, but you do not love the addiction.

Change your attitude and begin to take better care of you, through Him. Change what you can about yourself and that will make a big difference in your husband coming out of denial and getting help for his addiction. Only after you help yourself, through Him, will you be able to help your husband. Let God pull you into safety.

May God Bless,
Angie

“Thought the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

BetweenYou and Me

BetweenYou and Me