Monday, December 22, 2008
"Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!" (Luke 1:30-33 NLT).
An angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21 NLT).
And so our infinite God stepped out of the perfect peace and pure joy of heaven into a single cell in the womb of a girl--a girl that He had knit together in her mother's womb. For nine months baby God grew. He grew a heart, lungs, and eyelashes--all part of His ingenious design. Then, in a stable with animals that He had created, baby God was born. The One who had dreamed up the earth moved nearer to place His feet on it. God didn't come as a grown man--that would have been marvelous enough--He came as a wobbly-necked newborn.
It was His plan.
. . . From heavenly crown to earthly cradle . . .
. . . From throne to womb . . . and then to a stumbling toddler . . . to a curious child . . . to a young adult . . . to a grown man . . . to die on a cross.
All to rescue us.
It's just too much. Yet it's not a mere story, it's not just a fairy tale. It's an event that actually happened. It's historically true. At a point in time, the brilliant Master of the Universe left the perfect love of heaven to step down to earth and rescue us.
What kind of God does that? What kind of God leaves His overwhelmingly magnificent home, a home that's more marvelous than we can ever imagine because we've only lived in fallenland? What motivated You to come here, God? To submit Yourself and all of Your infinite glory to the confines of a womb of one of Your creations? And then, years later, to die for those creations--some whom would never even turn and acknowledge what You did for them?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son . . ." (John 3:16).
Christmas morning was a declaration of the heart of God. Jesus' baby cries proclaimed for all the world, "This is who I am. I am Your God, the God who came to earth to find and rescue you. I am the God of goodness, justice, peace, mercy, hope, and wholeness. I love you deeply--can you see just how much? So do not worry, I am here. Do not fear, I have come."
Our God didn't just say "I love you." He lived "I love you." And He lived His "I love you" all the way from the womb to the cross.
God, The King of the Universe, loves you. So much that it's almost inconceivable. So much that it's hard to believe. But do believe it. It is overwhelmingly, wonderfully true.
In the birth of the Baby in a manger, may your soul find its worth this Christmas.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Below is the part I was adding in.You will see in the NOTE: about looking up the word brilliance. Brilliance not a word I normally use everyday, but it just flowed with my Christmas thought. Then when I looked up the word (to spellcheck it actually), it showed main entry: fire
................hmmmmmmmm never thought of brilliance as fire. Then the definition further intrigued me. So, I went to the Word to see what I could learn.
I went to the concordance to look up words like clarity, burn, purify. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what I needed to discover! As I searched through the Bible, I hit upon several cross references. This sent me in to a studying extreme as I had Bible open, computer on Biblegateway.com, and several papers everywhere with scripture verse addresses written down to look up for further review.
What is my point..........my point is--have you ever lost yourself in the Bible? Don't know where to start? Pray for revelation, guidance, and His teaching. Then go to the concordance for a word that is laying on your heart. Then watch out!!! You will find yourself flipping from verse to verse as He cross references you through His Word!
WHEWWWWWW....what a morning! Thank You Father for your teaching and leaving us Your Word. Praise Your name Jesus!!! Glory, glory, glory..........
The "brilliance" of Christmas
This is our third Christmas since asking Christ into our lives. The expression of being Born Again has such brilliance to it during the Christmas season.
I watch as others are in a Christmas panic. Yet, since coming to know the Lord, I have great peace. A simple peace that the true blessing of the Christmas season is the gift that God gave to all of us- His son, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for our multitude of sins.
Because of His grace, I cannot get caught up in the frenzy. The Holy Spirit doesn't let me "go there". It's like my brain doesn't even recognize any fleshly fears of getting the right gift, do we have enough money, cookies, cards...on and on and on.
Nope, it is now reborn into me to love this season of Christmas. To love God's gifts of Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
(Note: I quickly looked up the word brilliance. The synonym listed:
Main Entry: fire
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: Exceptional brightness and clarity, as of a cut and polished stone.
Synonyms: brilliancy, luminosity, radiance
Thank you Holy Spirit for the thought of using the word brilliance! )
"John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Luke 3:16
Cross reference Acts 11:15,16
"And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" Zechariah 13:9
Cross reference: Is 48:10, Mal 3:3
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
Cross reference: Gal 6:14
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The stage was set as Stephanie (a 16 year old that attends public school) presented a skit where she gave a beautifully wrapped "gift" to a young man. Together they opened it, and then he leaves. Stephanie is left to piece back together the "gift". Another young man then takes the "gift" from her and rips it, then walks away abruptly. Stephanie is left with a badly torn "gift". She then turns away to place a veil on her head. She takes the "gift" all torn, tattered, and used and holds it up. This is what she is left with to present to her new husband.
Tony then spoke about STDs, where God wants you near the line of "what is considered ok", and gave scripture regarding Guard Your Heart. They had us create a list of what qualities we want in a husband/wife, and to settle for nothing less on that list.
John Deckard of LiveAbove.com showed a brief DVD of a new network that will pair up Believers as they head off to college- as a potential roommate.
It was an evening so well received. Parents commented how perfectly presented and Teens said it really spoke to them. We asked them for a repeat performance in the new church---so, if you saw it...tell others when they return. It is worth watching---even twice!
Praise God for delivering this message to the Youth of Pompey Community Church and their community.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Sorry about the late email for this event. But I promise you that this will be a yearly event, now that we are aware of it.
It was cool. Very cool.
There were just 6 of us there on Wednesday morning 9/24/08. It was cold but the sun was coming up, making the morning air warm. We said good morning and quietly walked to the flag pole. We all closed our eyes for prayer. Even with eyes closed you could sense the sun's shine. As prayer started, you could sense Him. In a beautiful, Fall morning we prayed for our teachers, our community, the administrators, the students, our government. We prayed that each Believing student would walk His Light throughout the halls. We prayed that others would come to know Him. We prayed for all to take time out of the day and busy schedules, to get into His Word and to tell God that we love Him.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday September 23rd, 2009. It is next years SYATP.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The trip to NYC was full of amazing events:
Saturday we arrived in New Jersey, checked into our hotel, and took the transit to NYC. The transit takes you through the Lincoln Tunnel which is actually underwater. Very smooth, comfortable ride...but could freak you out if you really thought about it! As we exited the Port Authority onto the streets of New York....whoa!!!! You are immediately immersed into what feels like a movie. The tall buildings, the cabs, so many people--we wanted to see everything. We spent Saturday walking and site seeing: Rockefeller center, Central Park (acres and acres of green, peaceful beauty), F.A.O. Schwartz, St. Patricks cathedral, Tiffany and Co., Time Square, and so much more.
Sunday we took the subway to Brooklyn. We actually liked riding the subway. Not scary at all! We were about to experience the whole purpose for our trip-THE BROOKLYN TABERNACLE!!!! We got there an hour early and the church was already 1/2 full! Then the choir entered--285 people that swayed, and sang, and worshipped Our Lord. Oh, the Holy Spirit was so present!!! Pastor Jim Cymballa gave his sermon on John 3:22-29. and spoke of "more thoughts on Jesus, less on me". The "AMEN!"s and "HALLELUJAH"s were repeatedly uttered throughout the church. When service was over, we slowly exited and hugged our way out the door. We then walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhatten, to see Ground Zero. There is now a large fence around the base of where the WTC was, but you could peer in and see the huge whole. We left there, got the subway, and headed back to Time Square. It was now close to 5:00 and we headed to the TIME SQUARE CHURCH for 6:00 service. As we sat in our seats waiting for service to begin...we looked around at all the nationalities that were under one roof. Even a women in a beautiful ceremonial dress (maybe from Nigeria???). Lucy commented, "Perhaps this is what Heaven will be like". After another amazing worship from the choir, The Pastor gave a message on Matthew 17:24-27. He shared "do not look to man-only God." AMEN! After a full day of walking and worshipping we headed to Tony DiNapali's for a wonderful Italian dinner and great conversation about our day.
Monday morning arrives: One last trip into the city. Lucy needed to pick up some wire for the jewelry she makes.......so we go to the "Diamond district". Yep! That's what was there store after store of diamond jewelry. I stopped at one window to admire a gorgeous ring, the store owner quickly invited me in to try it on. I just smiled and shook my head no............... I know where my treasures are--there is nothing here on earth that can compare what lies ahead in Heaven. Praise God for His gift of Jesus Christ and our Comforter.
Friday, September 12, 2008
We have been reading the book FRESH WIND, FRESH FIRE by Pastor Jim Cymbal who is Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle ....definantly a must read--great book. They have a prayer team who prays 24/7 - 365 days a year. We are so humbled by that thought and will be thinking of that when entering His house.
So, will share more of our trip and spiritual time with you later.
God Bless Pompey Community Church. We will see you all soon :)
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Something to think about before we meet on September 12th. Kingdom Bound is an absolute crazy, growing, learning experience!!!! Do we do it again? Or would you want to do something quieter--like stay at Shiloh???
Think about it....Pray on it....watch over the next few weeks as the Lord works on your heart of what we should do.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The Kingdom Bound experience reminds me of that new Orange County Chopper motorcycle/roller coaster ride at Darien Lake. The year's preparation is like the start of the ride---you move forward and wait, with this pit of excitement for the ride to shoot you out and begin. Whooooooooshshshhshshhhhhh.........you lunge forward as the ride begins and you're not sure what to expect--just like arriving at Kingdom Bound. Then as you relax and begin to enjoy the experience, you feel so free. Your arms lift up as you enjoy all the graceful turns, surrendering yourself to the roller coaster's glide. So much like at the concerts or morning worship--where you can relax, enjoy the music, and feel His presence. And before you know it, your arms are lifting up to our Father, surrendering to Him! Yet, as quick as the ride ends, so does Kingdom Bound.
But do we have to let the surrendering feeling end???? NO!
I pray that each and everyone of you continues surrendering to Our Redeemer.
- When you are at church on Sunday and everyone is singing...if you are not a singer; just read the words, feel what they mean. Praise Him with that.
- When you are alone in your room....pray out loud or quietly to yourself--either is fine with Him; and lift your arms as you pray. Praise Him with that.
- When you are listening to your favorite Christian artist...dance like a child; jump and move. Praise Him with that.
Keep that graceful glide going for the next 51 weeks. Praise Him, pray to Him.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Over the next few days, pray for God to use this time to really work on you. Pray for a moment that He gives you a "whoa!" or "ahaaa" feeling. Let the Holy Spirit work in you to freely worship and give praise to Our Savior. Raise your arms, jump, and yell out.
We are looking forward to REFLECTION time also. We have some things planned out, but are really going to give the time to God and let Him run it. Let Him use the time to work on us all!
It's going to be great. We are excited!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sorry guys, forgot the camera---thus no pics :(
But, we had a BLAST with the Progressive BBQ= from hotdogs, to toss salad, to macaroni salad, to cookies and watermelon. We had a BLAST!
Then we had a final meeting for Kingdom Bound 2008. It was requested and decided on two more tshirts...so each day we will have group tshirts! Just ordered them in the requested tyedye and brite blue colors. Together, we also figured out the transportation and sleeping arrangements.
AND the next BIIIIIGGGGGG thing after KB '08! Campout at the Kolb's house on DeRuyter Lake on 8/22/08. To say goodbye to the graduates going to college and say hello to the new Vertical Connection'ers'. More details to follow on all this.
Friday, July 11, 2008
What a great reminder. He IS merciful, forgiving, and compassionate. Our NLT Bible lists MERCY 24 times. His love is completely incredible and so hard to comprehend sometimes. We are sinners, we fall short, and we stumble through life. Yet unconditionally Our Redeemer has mercy.
I am so thankful for this week's Book study and this blessed reminder of His mercy.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance-
1 Peter 1:3-4
Friday, July 4, 2008
WHEN YOUR HUTS ON FIRE
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?' Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.
The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
Todd and I were on that island, built a hut, and by God's mercy He burnt it to the ground! We have had recent spiritual growth.
AAAAHHHHHGGGGGHHHHH.....when going through it...aaaggggghhhhhh..... we wondered when is it ever going to end (Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut). Then we started to pray and give praise for this trial and tribulation (One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home). During the leeeennnnnngggggtttttthhhhhhh of this trial and thinking we can't go on ONE MORE DAY ....more "stuff" happens...(little hut in flames). Feeling defeated (ooohhhh that nasty Satan) we started to give up, (and Satan was thinking hahahahah) then we prayed again (smoke rolling up to the sky).
VICTORY!!!! He claimed VICTORY!!!! (Remember: Revelations=we win!!!) He sent us (the sound of a ship ) a good, clear message through friends, and Pastors, and Teens, and emails, and books, and strangers.
Is Satan trying to trick your head with defeat???? Is Satan giving you "stinkin thinkin" that there is no ship for you??? CLAIM VICTORY!!! God gives us all a ship. And the Comfort of our Helper sails us in His peace.
For everyone that is feeling defeated by something: Hi Father! Beautiful day and beautiful ways You have given to us! Oh Father, you know what lies so heavy on my heart right now at this very, very moment. And Father, I know that You are in control and I pray for clarity to this message You are giving to me. I hurt, Father, You know that I hurt. Father God, I give it all to You! My smoke signal is going UP! UP! UP! Do You see it Daddy???? I am ready for the sound of the ship. I am ready for VICTORY that will bring Honor and Glory to You. In the name of the Son that You gave us, I pray this today. Amen.
Friday, June 27, 2008
/prəˈvaɪd/ Pronunciation Key - –verb (used with object)
to make available; furnish
to supply or equip
to afford or yield.
Law. to arrange for or stipulate beforehand, as by a provision or proviso.
Archaic. to prepare or procure beforehand. –verb (used without object)
to take measures with due foresight (usually fol. by for or against).
to make arrangements for supplying means of support, money, etc.
to supply means of support (often fol. by for):
Praise!!!! Thank you Father!!! He is consistant, He is faithful, He is our constant, He left us His Comforter!!!
Vertical Connection has been blessed in sooooooooo soooooooo soooooo many ways lately. Blessed with great help for the Rummage Sale fundraiser; blessed financially by the Rummage Sale; blessed with the Holy Spirit working on the hearts of the Teens to remind them of what is important (PTL!!!); blessed with a gift of a donation of 2 loads of sand delivered for FREE for the new volleyball court; and blessed with each other for support. The Lord is so incredible with the way He PROVIDES. Really, truly, it is a matter of surrendering to Him and saying- "ok, here I am. You created me for something. Go ahead use me for Your will". And he PROVIDES. He gives you things in abundance, when you are doing His work. Sometimes Todd and I just stand in awe at what He does for us. Shake our heads, giggling, praising Him awe!!!
2 Corinthians9:8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
So as the year quickly moves on, we prepare for Kingdom Bound 2008. Still many fun events are planned till August--so even if you won't be joining us for KB '08, still join us for the fun and fellowship.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for this special friend who is reading this blog right now. Father, I pray that you bless this person so fully that they feel Your Love. Father, I pray that this person is a Light of Your Power and they Joyfully go forward with their day. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
We were blessed on Friday, Feb 8th with guest speaker Damon Gagnier. Damon taught from the book of Luke and held a captive audience with his stories of "everyday miracles", his conversations with his athiest co-worker, Bible history, how exponentially impossible evolution is, and so much more. He also explained with a water/ice/steam example the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We are excited to have Damon speak to the Teen Group again in the future!!! THANK YOU DAMON!!!
Friday, January 25, 2008
<= "Awkward Turtle"
<= Our sheep.........