The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness

Today, let us reflect on the profound beauty of forgiveness. In our journey as Christians, forgiveness stands as one of the cornerstone teachings of our faith. It’s a theme woven throughout the scriptures, a central message echoing from the lips of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus teaches us, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” These words are not merely a suggestion but a powerful mandate for us to embrace forgiveness in our lives.

Yet, we acknowledge that forgiveness can be one of the most challenging acts we undertake. When we’ve been wronged, hurt, or betrayed, extending forgiveness can feel like an impossible task. But herein lies the transformative power of our faith.

As we look to the life of Jesus, we see the ultimate example of forgiveness. From the cross, in the midst of unimaginable suffering, Jesus uttered the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). In this moment, Jesus not only forgave those who crucified Him but also extended forgiveness to all humanity, past, present, and future.

Through forgiveness, we experience liberation – liberation from the burden of bitterness, resentment, and anger that weigh heavy on our hearts. It doesn’t mean that the pain magically disappears, but it means that we refuse to let that pain define us or dictate our actions. Forgiveness allows us to break free from the chains of hurt and step into the abundant life that Christ promised us.

Moreover, forgiveness is not just a gift we offer to others but also a gift we receive from our Heavenly Father. As we extend forgiveness to those who have wronged us, we open ourselves to receive the boundless grace and mercy of God. It is through forgiveness that we experience the transformative power of God’s love working within us, healing our wounds and restoring our souls.

So today, let us embrace the radical act of forgiveness. Let us choose to release the grip of unforgiveness and extend grace to those who have hurt us. In doing so, we not only reflect the love of Christ but also participate in the profound miracle of redemption. May our hearts be filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding as we walk in the footsteps of our Savior, forgiving as we have been forgiven.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of forgiveness. Help us to extend grace to those who have wronged us, just as you have extended grace to us. Fill our hearts with your love and compassion, that we may be agents of reconciliation in a broken world. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Harvesting Gratitude: A Thankful Reflection on Our Summer Worship Music Festival

Harvesting Gratitude: A Thankful Reflection on Our Summer Worship Music Festival

As the autumn leaves paint a canvas of warm hues and the air carries the crisp scent of change, we find ourselves in the season of Thanksgiving. It’s a time to reflect, appreciate, and express gratitude for the blessings that have enriched our lives. In the spirit of this season, let’s take a moment to extend our heartfelt thanks to the amazing people who joined us at Replenish Festival this past summer.

A Symphony of Gratitude

This summer, our hearts were lifted, and our spirits soared as we gathered under the open sky to celebrate faith through the universal language of music. Replenish Festival was not just an event; it was a journey of praise and thanksgiving. Each note, each lyric, and each voice contributed to a symphony of gratitude that resonated throughout the festival grounds.

The Gift of Unity

One of the most beautiful aspects of Replenish Festival was the sense of unity that permeated the atmosphere. Christians from diverse backgrounds, coming together as one community, unified in their devotion and love for Christ. We are immensely grateful for the connections forged, friendships made, and the collective worship experience that transcended individual differences.

Melodies of Reflection

The music played at the festival wasn’t just entertainment; it was a catalyst for reflection. The lyrics echoed truths that stirred our souls, encouraging us to contemplate our faith, our purpose, and our gratitude. Each song became a vessel for introspection, a moment to express thanks for the blessings we often take for granted.

Shared Testimonies

The festival was not only a platform for musical expression but also a space for shared testimonies. Gratitude flowed through the stories of transformation, healing, and renewed faith that were shared during those sacred days. It was a reminder that our journeys are interconnected, and we have much to be thankful for in our collective walk of faith.

A Tapestry of Memories

As we scroll through the photos and videos captured during the festival, we’re reminded of the vibrant tapestry of memories woven during those summer days. Each image is a snapshot of a moment filled with joy, worship, and thanksgiving. We express our deepest gratitude to everyone who contributed to making those moments unforgettable.

In this season of Thanksgiving, we extend our sincerest gratitude to each and everyone who attended Replenish Festival this past summer. Your presence, your worship, and your spirit contributed to an experience that goes beyond a mere event; it’s a tapestry of shared gratitude and faith.

As we gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, let’s carry the spirit of worship and gratitude into our celebrations. Share your favorite festival memories, express your thanks for the blessings in your life, and let the melodies of gratitude continue to resound in our hearts.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with the warmth of love, the joy of fellowship, and the harmonies of gratitude.

National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer

Guest Post by Richard Rogers.  Richard writes daily posts via his Facebook page.  Follow him on Facebook here.

Today is the National Day of Prayer! I encourage you to join me in lifting for our country. and for our leaders in prayer. Let’s ask God to bless America and to send a wave of revival across this great nation that we may return to the godly values and principles of the Bible upon which this country was founded.

Dear God, please forgive our national transgressions and bless the United States of America again. The Lord has promised that: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14)Richard Rogers

The Calling of Preacher…

The Calling of Preacher…

Guest Post by Lenny Hall of Sons of Thunder Ministries

1 John 2:27 NKJV —    27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you willa] abide in Him.

The Calling of Preacher, More Than Seminary

An Oracle of Almighty God who speaks words that are more often than not inspired by the Holy Spirit in a rhythmic fluid style.

The art of preaching is not a learned behavior, rather an anointed function that carries weight and power that breaks negative and false paradigms off of the listener. Seminaries and Homiletics can not produce a preacher, as the “art of the preacher” is reserved only for those the hand of God has anointed and empowered. Preaching has the unique ability to bypass the conscious mind and penetrate and even impregnate the very spirit of its audience. Often the preacher is not speaking to stimulate the mind rather they speak words of deep wisdom as they understand that deep calls out to deep. They bend the bow of their tongue and aim the fiery arrows of God’s blazing words into the spirit of man.

A preacher in and of itself is a calling not a profession, for one can not choose to be a preacher, rather God calls the preacher through a holy interruption somewhere in their life’s journey, arresting them by the heavenly calling, at this point, the calling empowers and ignites a fire within him/her that burns deep with in their heart with passion and zeal.

The Word and Prayer is the fuel of the preacher, as these two are the hammer and chisel that enables them to penetrate even the hardest of hearts. The illumination of revelation that comes from deep study and prayer is the cadence that the preacher marches and moves to. Very seldom will a preacher be moved by the will of man, but they bend ever so easily at the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit, for the Lenny Hall, Sons of Thunder Ministriespreacher knows at the end of the day, that as an oracle, it is not their word that they must steward and deliver to the people, rather it is the word of the Lord. It is when the preacher lies their head on his pillow at night that his heart must be at peace with the heavenly calling, knowing that they have been faithful to preach the word with power under the holy anointing in the Spirit of Love.

 

— Lenny Hall

#MondayWordForMen 

 

Every Woman Needs Encouragement

Every Woman Needs Encouragement

This guest post was first publicized on the blog at frazzledazzlemama.com; written by Teresa Martin.

Is it selfish of me to want someone to encourage me?  As I am a mom, I am often found in the role of the encourager.  Through the years, I’ve encouraged little ones to try a new food, to try to ride their bike without training wheels, to try a new skill, a new sport or activity.  A mama’s “well” can get pretty low sometimes.  Every mom needs a chance to get filled back up so she can pour back out.

So how do you get filled up?  It’s different for everyone.  One of the things that I am thankful for has been a supportive group of women whom I met through a MOPS group at the church I previously attended.  I joined MOPS when my oldest was just 2 years old and I’ve never regretted it.  MOPS grew friendships that I might not have ever had; it grew friendships that continue to this day.

With our culture warping our thinking, I was a young woman who thought I had to be the one to conquer all.  I vividly remember a Enjoli Perfume commercial (circa 1980) when I was growing up where the woman sang about “bringing home the bacon”.  It was a commercial that set in my brain that women can do it all!  I grew up with Barbie and she could be anything she wanted to be.  And yes, my favorite super-hero was Wonder Woman.  So, when I had my first child, in my mind, I was supposed to be a woman who worked my full-time job, came home, cooked a good nutritious meal, kept my house clean:  dishes washed, clothes clean and put away, and kids fed, washed and cared for, kept the hubby happy and cared for him, kept the bills paid and on and on.    I had this naive idea that somehow I could do it ALL and do it well.  After all, I am a Gen X’er and that commercial told me women could do it all and with ease.

When I struggled with babies who were fussy… my “well” got depleted quickly.  I felt like a failure.  My MOPS group provided support to me that assured me I was “normal”, that I was NOT failing and just like them, was doing the very best each of us could.  It was REFRESHING to find other women just like me.  It was a loving environment where women helped each other and prayed for one another.  When one mom’s dad passed away, we rallied around her and provided meals for her for a few days as she dealt with funeral arrangements and details.

As I said, those friendships started back then continue to this day.  When I had a scary phone call from my doctor, I went to those women to seek prayer and they came through for me.  Through the years, they’ve offered support.  They’ve offered encouragement.  Sometimes that encouragement comes in the form of a hand-written note, a text or a phone call.  Sometimes it comes as a silent, but “be there” presence.  One thing is for certain, there’s not a woman I know that doesn’t need encouragement in one way or another.

My environment cultivated me to believe I could do anything and everything.  And yes, I STILL believe that you can do just about anything you set your mind to… BUT… with each year comes more knowledge and maturity, and I now know that you CAN’T do it ALL BY YOURSELF!  You need encouragement and support, and yes, help from gracious friends and family.  You also need to have a relationship with our Savior, because in the quiet, and in the stillness, you can receive encouragement and support from our Heavenly Father.  Dedicating time to reading the scripture and mediating on it allows Him to bring peace over a frazzled soul.

I hope that this post encourages you today, and I also hope that you might take a moment and think about those around you. I’m sure if you think for just a moment, there is a likely a woman who will pop into your mind that could use some encouragement.  Why don’t you Seize the Moment?  Think about them, say a quick prayer, and ask God for the words to say.  Then text them or call them.  I guarantee that you will MAKE.HER.DAY!

Obeying God in the Grocery Store

Obeying God in the Grocery Store

Guest Blog Post from Lauren Holmes who blogs at The Naturally Inspired Life

I was waiting in line at the grocery store, and the girl in front of me checking out said to the cashier, “you’re gonna hate me…I forgot all my cards at home.” I watched her go through her wallet twice, (no cash or cards in there,) and was on the verge of tears.

Trust me when I say I had no intention of helping, lol, just being honest. ?

I’m thinking, “God, I can’t step in….I am on a strict budget and saving for my Caribbean trip…plus I only brought $60 to cover what I need for myself.” …still, I felt I was supposed to help.

I told her and the cashier that I’d pay for her groceries, and she rushed over and surprised me with a huge bear hug in the middle of Krogers, which gave me just enough time to whisper to her that God loves her, and that I was happy to help.

When the cashier finished ringing up everything (hers and my groceries), it was of course more than I’d wanted to spend. I reached in my wallet to pull out the $60 cash I’d brought, and in the next pocket, there was a random extra $20, and I have NO idea where it had come from!  It covered the girl’s extra groceries which had come to $16.84 extra, and then some. ??

After she left, the cashier asked me if I even knew her, to which I replied, “No; sometimes I just feel like God wants me to help people in certain situations”. The cashier told me that we need more people like me in the world, and I had to be honest – it’s not that I’m so great, I’m just trying my best to do the right thing and to be obedient to God.

I am not sharing this story because I’m so wonderful…I’m not…in fact, my first instinct was honestly to turn my face away… to ignore the person right in front of me who needed help. But, what if instead of turning our faces away to those in need, we opened our arms, helped those in the grocery stores and in the streets, and really tried to BE the hands and feet of Jesus??

What if instead of just throwing a $20 in the offering plate here and there, we set aside $20 to be intentional about buying someone’s groceries, or paying a bill for a single mom or widow? Lauren - Naturally Inspired Life…I’m sure that girl at the store is thankful for what I did, but I am even MORE thankful for the reminder of what I need to be doing to help others. ☺️?

I don’t share this story to make myself look good, but as a reminder of how we can turn our eyes to those around us who may need our help. ☺️ (I’ll post this on my blog when I get more time, but wanted to share via Facebook also.) ?