Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God's Motives

God's Motives TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Wednesday, May 30 2012 "He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me." - 2 Samuel 22:20 Questioning someone's motives for their activities can become an overriding response to those to whom we relate. Wrong motives can result in broken relationships, poor business decisions, and falling out of God's will. Sometimes we do not know the motive of another person. It is wrong for us to assume what their motive is until we have confidence that we know their intentions. When we respond or react prematurely, we become judge and jury over them. God has a motive for every one of His children. His desire is to bring us into a spacious place. He wants us to go beyond our borders of safety and security so that we might experience life at a level that goes beyond ourselves. What do you think of when you think of a "spacious place"? No limitations? A large, grassy field? Open air? These are positive images. Sometimes these spacious places encourage us to step out in faith into areas where we've never ventured. Sometimes we need to be rescued by the Lord. When Peter walked on the water, God was inviting him to a spacious place. He went beyond the borders of his boat and ventured into a whole new world. He didn't have complete success in his venturing out, but it was a process that would lead him to the next victory in his faith walk with Jesus. Sometimes failure is what is needed in order to move us to the next level of faith with God. However, we must be willing to fail and let God rescue us. The Lord delights in this process. His motive for His children is always love. It is always to bring us to a new level of trust and dependence on Him

Monday, May 28, 2012

Today we celebrate the brave men and woman that serve and protect this great nation. May we all take a second and give thanks to them and pray that God protects them where ever they are in the world fighting so that we can continue to live under the flag of freedom that they provide. Here is a collection of some quotes to honor our troups: Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion. Calvin Coolidge Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves. Carol Lynn Pearson Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. Billy Graham Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave. Muhammad The flag still floats unblotted with defeat! But ah the blood that keeps its ripples red, the starry lives that keep its field alight. Rupert Hughes Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes. And those having it in one test never know for sure if they will have it when the next test comes. Napoleon Bonaparte

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Prayer Request

We have all seen on the news and heard the story of Aimee Copeland in Georgia who is fighting for her life and we continue to pray and lift her up. There is someone here locally that is fighting a not so uncommon battle with Cancer and a the over the past few years I have sent out a prayer requests for her and I want to thank you for all of your prayers. Some of you may know Tom and Erilda Waters but may not have known about their battle. They are 2 of the best people I have ever had the privilege of knowing and Erilda is the strongest woman I have ever known and her trust and love of God is inspirational. For the past 8 ½ years Erilda has been battling cancer and right now she is fighting for her life, the cancer has come back with a vengeance and none of the treatments are really making a difference. The prognosis is not good but there is a treatment in Mexico that they have looked into and after praying about it they have decided to give it a try. Tomorrow Tom, Erilda and their 18 year old daughter Tiffany are leaving for Mexico to start the treatments. Please continue to lift them up in your prayers and specifically for favor financially, because this treatment is expensive and not covered by insurance. You can also visit the Facebook page Pray for a Miracle Erilda Waters and give them encouragement. I know that this is a tough time for all of us financially, but we have set up a PayPal account for those who would like to make a donation of any amount to help cover the costs. Please continue to lift them up in your prayers as they start this new journey, we serve a God of miracles and I know that he hears our prayers. You can go to and send donations to Kathryn Waters c/o this is a PayPal account that has been established for the Victory Fund. Thank you and may God Bless you and your family,

get back on track

Do Whatever Brings You Back to Your Heart and the Heart of God Against the flesh, the traitor within, a warrior uses discipline. We have a two-dimensional version of this now, which we call a "quiet time." But most men have a hard time sustaining any sort of devotional life because it has no vital connection to recovering and protecting their strength; it feels about as important as flossing. But if you saw your life as a great battle and you knew you needed time with God for your very survival, you would do it. Maybe not perfectly-nobody ever does and that's not the point anyway-but you would have a reason to seek him. We give a halfhearted attempt at the spiritual disciplines when the only reason we have is that we "ought" to. But we'll find a way to make it work when we are convinced we're history if we don't. Time with God each day is not about academic study or getting through a certain amount of Scripture or any of that. It's about connecting with God. We've got to keep those lines of communication open, so use whatever helps. Sometimes I'll listen to music; other times I'll read Scripture or a passage from a book; often I will journal; maybe I'll go for a run; then there are days when all I need is silence and solitude and the rising sun. The point is simply to do whatever brings me back to my heart and the heart of God. The discipline, by the way, is never the point. The whole point of a "devotional life" is connecting with God. This is our primary antidote to the counterfeits the world holds out to us.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Warning about Dan Savage

Today I saw and scary video on youtube of a man named Dan Savage and he was talking to high school students about gay marriage and he was radical. Please take time to talk to your children about the issue because there are people like him that will twist the word of God and attack Christians and what is most alarming is that he was allowed a platform to talk to students. I pray that God touches his heart and that he is led to see the truth, and that our school officials will have discernment and not allow false teachers influence our young.

when things get tought

Thank God for being able to see all that you have not yet been. You have had the vision, but you are not yet to the reality of it by any means. It is when we are in the valley, where we prove whether we will be the choice ones, that most of us turn back. We are not quite prepared for the bumps and bruises that must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to be battered into the shape of the vision to be used by God? The beatings will always come in the most common, everyday ways and through common, everyday people. There are times when we do know what God’s purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends on us, not on God. If we prefer to relax on the mountaintop and live in the memory of the vision, then we will be of no real use in the ordinary things of which human life is made. We have to learn to live in reliance upon what we saw in the vision, not simply live in ecstatic delight and conscious reflection upon God. This means living the realities of our lives in the light of the vision until the truth of the vision is actually realized in us. Every bit of our training is in that direction. Learn to thank God for making His demands known. Our little “I am” always sulks and pouts when God says do. Let your little “I am” be shriveled up in God’s wrath and indignation–”I AM WHO I AM . . . has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). He must dominate. Isn’t it piercing to realize that God not only knows where we live, but also knows the gutters into which we crawl! He will hunt us down as fast as a flash of lightning. No human being knows human beings as God does.

Friday, May 18, 2012

from Mark

Dear Friends, This weekend is set aside for the men of a young church, River Oaks Community Church, St. Augustine, FL. The men will go through Epic. Each man attending needs your prayer support. This young church (ROCC) has already impacted the oldest historical U.S. city and one of the most spiritually embattled communities in America, St. Augustine, FL. Talk about strong-holds. There are many different nations and cultures that have flown their flag over St. Augustine. The ROCC church is literally an outpost. It is a privilege to have this weekend to encourage each man as together the men of ROCC seek to have their "Band of Brothers" raise God's banner in St. Augustine once again. The ROCC men need your prayers as God prepares their hearts for so much more then they could dream or imagine. The men are seeking God about how they individualy and as a church should move, lead, serve and further the Kingdom of God at home and in their community. They seek clarity and light ! We ask for your prayer to stand with us and with the men from the River Oaks Community Church in St. Augustine as we gather outside of Gainesville, FL at Tom's House to listen carefully to Jesus Christ and see the Larger Story that God is inviting men into. But there are distractions and spirits attempting to dissuade men from arriving at this strategic beach head of forgiveness where men will land Friday evening through Saturday evening. And yes there are strong-holds to bind, thank you for confronting them with us. We are taking several passes on this before the men arrive. After writing this email to you, men here in Largo, FL are meeting at local International House of Prayer (iHop) to pray. Thank you for joining us where ever you are located. This mission is orientation to the gospel, to listening carefully and to our larger story. So the men together would see The Road Before Them. My heart is stirred by a noble theme, as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1 Please remember that their are families and a church outpost to pray for too. In 1 Thessalonians chp 2 Paul wanted to go and do more but was prevented by Satan. We too (this weekend's team is Jan, Brian, Tom and I) want to do all that God intends. So as you pray please stand against anything that would prevent us from serving and bringing everything for the ROCC men. Father, we bring the work of Jesus Christ and his shed blood over this Epic event, over the ROCC men, over the Wildmen Team, over Tom's House and over the teaching. May men listen carefully to Jesus has he comes, and minister thru your Holy Spirit. For the ROCC men, I pray too that; God has been preparing them for their whole life for this weekend". May everyone this weekend have eyes to see and ears to hear what God has written on their hearts. And for each of our dear praying friends, for you, May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts! Love Always, Mark Woods PS please also continue to cover in prayer the Ransomed Heart team through Monday specifically against the enemy's retaliation for their excellent Kingdom work last weekend - Thank you !
False Reverence This motive—reverence for God—is a slippery one. This lets in a great deal of the clutter that gets between us and God, because it seems like the proper thing to do. “Papa, I come to you this morning” has a totally different feel than “Almighty God and Everlasting Father.” Even if you do not start out that way, addressing God with a coat-and-tie formality you would never have wanted between you and your dad will end up starching the relationship. “Papa” is what Jesus gave us. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ . . . Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). The point is not the words; the point is the fruit, their effect. Stained-glass language reflects a view of what Jesus is like; it shapes our perceptions of him and, therefore, our experience of him. Whatever the term may be, just ask yourself: Does this sound like his actual personality? Does this capture his playfulness, infuriating the Pharisees; his humanity, generosity, and scandalous freedom? Does this sound like the Jesus at Cana, at dinner with “sinners,” on the beach with the boys? These ways of speaking about Jesus perpetuate distorted views of his personality and keep Jesus at a distance, the polar opposite of the intimacy his entire life was committed to. It makes it hard to love him. This stuff actually gets in the way of loving Jesus. Listen—you can honor him, respect him, insist that others do, and never actually love Jesus. This is not what he wanted. False reverence is a choice veil of the religious fog. It will bring a shroud between your heart and his.

Let's Major in God

Let's Major in God David just showed up this morning. He clocked out of sheep watching to deliver bread and cheese to his brothers on the battle-front. That’s where David hears Goliath defying God,. . . . Read the ?rst words he spoke, not just in the battle, but in the Bible: “David asked the men standing near him, ‘What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?’” (1 Sam. 17:26 niv). David shows up discussing God. The soldiers mentioned nothing about him, the brothers never spoke his name, but David takes one step onto the stage and raises the subject of the living God. . . . No one else discusses God. David discusses no one else but God. . . . David sees what others don’t and refuses to see what others do. All eyes, except David’s, fall on the brutal, hate-breathing hulk. . . . The people know his taunts, demands, size, and strut. They have majored in Goliath. David majors in God. He sees the giant, mind you; he just sees God more so. Look carefully at David’s battle cry: “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Sam. 17:45). — origiginally printed in Facing Your Giants Lord God, train us to walk on your path. Teach us to see you in situations that are dangerous and difficult. Like David, when we are surrounded by overwhelming challenges may our thoughts and words turn first to you. Rather than discuss the problem, remind us to discuss you. May our first thought in the morning and our last thought at night be centered on you. Rather than worry about the impossibilities, let us major in your mighty power. When we am tempted to look at the giants in our lives, we will choose to look at you, amen. Let the God of my salvation be exalted! Psalm 18:46 We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7


Hebrews 12:11 How happy are tested Christians, later. There is no deeper calm than that which follows the storm. Who has not rejoiced in clear shinings after rain? Victorious banquets are for well-accomplished soldiers. After killing the lion we eat the honey; after climbing the Hill Difficulty,1 we sit down in the arbor to rest; after traversing the Valley of Humiliation, after fighting with Apollyon, the shining one appears, with the healing branch from the tree of life. Our sorrows, like the passing hulls of the ships upon the sea, leave a silver line of holy light behind them "later." It is peace, sweet, deep peace, that follows the horrible turmoil that once reigned in our tormented, guilty souls. Consider, then, the happy condition of a Christian! He has his best things last, and therefore in this world he receives his worst things first. But even his worst things are "later" good things, hard plowings yielding joyful harvests. Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he lives by dying, and he becomes full by being emptied; if, then, his grievous afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit in this life, what will be the full vintage of joy "later" in heaven? If his dark nights are as bright as the world's days, what shall his days be? If even his starlight is more splendid than the sun, what must his sunlight be? If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven! If he can praise the Lord in the fires, how will he extol Him before the eternal throne! If evil be good to him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then? Oh, blessed "later"! Who would not be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross for the crown that comes afterwards? But here is work for patience, for the rest is not for today, nor the triumph for the present, but "later." Wait, my soul, and let patience have her perfect work. 1Pilgrim's Progress

Friday, May 11, 2012

What do you want

What Do You Want?
05-11-2012 10:22:30 AM

Sit with that question just a minute; did you immediately dismiss it as not being important? I am sure some of my more materialistic readers might have said a boat or a car, but I think it boils down to one thing, most of us desire to be loved. So how do we solve the problem of not feeling worthy of love itself. Imagination and dreaming are two of the best elixirs in learning how to love you. Without them self-pity and codependency reign in your life. We must have dreams. Attaching yourself to someone else's dreams only deepen the roots of unhappiness and unworthiness. We have to dig deeper into the question, "what do you want?"

Music is a huge part of my life and one of the things that helps open my mind to dreaming and desires. One day while listening to the song Watch Over You by Alterbridge, a haunting lyric caught me off guard. The lyric goes like this, "How can you love someone, and not yourself?" You can't!

So what are the answers to these questions for you?

What do you want from your spouse?
What do you want from your children? Your family?
What do you want from your career?
What is the meaning of your life?
Is your life turning out like you hoped?
What do you want from God?

Quit asking everyone what they need from you. This may sound selfish, but I promise if you are running on an empty tank, and only loving others from a heart of obligation, then you are not really loving them at all.
To truly begin to receive from life you must take the time to wrestle with these questions. You see love is an action, and the best show of love you can do for yourself is to act on your dreams and desires. There will be times this will feel really tough, and you will hit roadblocks and failures, but they are just a part of the process of loving yourself. If you can love yourself through failure you can love yourself through anything.

So, what do you want?

Recent Blogs:
What is the Value of Time?

We still need your help with our cause to build a water well in Africa for Paul. If you haven't heard the story read the link below.
Water for Paul-The Power of Story

Prayer Request from news story

This morning on the radio I heard this story and as a parent my heart went out to Andy. He is a brother that needs our prayers here is his story:

Tuesday afternoon my 24-year old daughter Aimee suffered a laceration to her calf when a zip-line broke near Carrollton, GA. The ER at Tanner Medical treated and released her with 22 staples in her calf. Aimee is a student at West Georgia University, where she is in the process of completing her Master’s Degree. She remained in Carrollton, despite my efforts to get her to return to Snellville where her mother and I could supervise her recovery.

Wednesday, Aimee complained of severe pain (the doctors only advised her to take Motrin and Tylenol) so she went back to the ER to get a prescription for Darvocett. This alleviated her symptoms until she complained of additional pain on Thursday. Aimee went to the doctor and received a prescription for antibiotics and posted a clean MRI report. Again, she was treated and released.

Friday morning Aimee was pale and weak, so a friend carried her to Tanner Medical immediately. Upon arrival, the ER physician diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis in her damaged leg. The fasciitis had spread beyond the injured area to her hip and thigh. The surgeons advised me that they wanted to try to save her leg, but at this point saving her life took precedence. They removed all of the infected tissue and advised that she would have limited, if any use of her leg. They also called for a life flight to the JMS Burn Center in Augusta, which has the most advanced infection care unit in the state.

Upon arrival at JMS, Aimee was once again rushed into surgery and the doctors completed a high-hip amputation of her left leg. They were also forced to remove tissue from her abdomen. As if this wasn’t enough, Aimee arrested when they moved her from the operating table, but they were able to successfully resuscitate her. The doctors say that Aimee’s probability of surviving the night is bleak. All we can do and all we have done is pray.

I type this factual progression of Aimee’s condition as a way to better cope with what is without a doubt the most horrific situation that a parent can possibly imagine. We take so much for granted in life, but I never imagined that one of my daughters would face this most unlikely of situations. I hope and pray that when you read this that the news we receive at sunrise will be positive. At this point, no news is good news, but all I know to do is hope and pray for the best. I only ask that you all do the same.

God bless.


please visit his facebook page: Believe and pray for a miracle to happen for Aimee Copeland


Monday, May 7, 2012

what is your portion

Like many others, this impotent man had been waiting for a wonder to be performed and a sign to be given. He grew tired watching the pool, but no angel came, or at least not for him; still considering it to be his only chance, he kept waiting, not knowing that there was One near him whose word could heal him in a moment. Many are in the same condition. They are waiting for some singular emotion, remarkable impression, or celestial vision; but they wait and watch in vain. Even supposing that, in a few cases, remarkable signs are seen, yet these are rare, and no man has a right to look for them in his own case—especially not the man who feels his inability to take advantage of the moving of the water even if it came.

It is sad to think of how many tens of thousands are waiting on the use of means and ordinances and vows and resolutions and have been waiting for so long and completely in vain. Meanwhile these poor souls forget that Jesus is near, and He bids them look to Him and be saved. He could heal them at once, but they prefer to wait for an angel and a wonder. To trust Him is the sure way to every blessing, and He is worthy of the most implicit confidence; but unbelief makes them prefer to wait for the water to stir than to embrace the warm welcome of His love.

May the Lord turn His eye upon the multitudes who are in that position tonight; may He forgive their lack of faith in His divine power and call them by His sweet constraining voice to rise from the bed of despair and in the energy of faith take up their bed and walk. O Lord, hear our prayer for such as these in the sunset hour, and before a new dawn may they look and live.

Thankful reader, is there anything in this portion for you?

this is one of the best tips I have seen

Changing Besetting Habits-The $10 Challenge
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Monday, May 07 2012

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." - John 8:34
"I hate being late," my friend lamented. "It has been a problem for me all my life."

"Do you really want to change that?" I asked.

"Yes, I do."

"All right. Every time you are late to work or anywhere else where you have committed to be at a particular time you must give me $25."

"No way!" my friend responded. "I would go broke! But I will do $10."

"All right, $10 it is. It has to be a large enough amount of money for it to hurt your pocketbook."

"Believe me, that will hurt," my friend said. About a month later my friend found great motivation to be on time to every place she had to be. In the first week, I got only $10 from my friend. The next week, $20. The third week, nothing. By the fifth week, my friend had changed a lifelong habit that had hindered her all her life. In order for my friend not to be resentful of me for the money she had to give, we put it in a jar to be given to some other Christian cause. This ensured my motive was only for her best interest.

Some might be reading this now and say it is legalism. For my friend it was freedom. For the first time she had some means of changing a behavior that had caused her problems in relationships and her own work habits. Psychologists tell us that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So, if you need to change some habit, you need to be actively engaged in that new behavior at least 21 days. My friend needed help to change a habit she didn't like about herself. It took another individual to hold her accountable, and it took a potential loss of something to provide the added incentive.

A successful businessman was experiencing a difficult marriage. When counseling the couple over dinner one night, a friend of mine noticed that the man often criticized his wife. After further counsel it was determined the man simply could not love his wife. My friend asked him if he truly wanted to see change in his marriage. When the man said he did, my friend said, "Every time you criticize your wife you must agree to give me $100." This man was well-off and needed substantial incentive to change his behavior. After the man rebelled and retorted, he agreed in front of his wife. A few weeks later a report came back that things were changing. This man did not want to write any checks to my friend. Although it was a competitive game to the man, it was also yielding some positive changes in his marriage. He began to acquire the habit of avoiding criticism of his wife, which was killing her spirit.

What are the habits that keep you from becoming all that God may want you to become? Do you desire change enough to be accountable in a way that it costs you something when you fail? Ask a friend to hold you accountable in an area that needs change. You will find new freedom as you conquer old besetting habits.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Son Reflectors

Son Reflectors
What does the moon do? She generates no light. Contrary to the lyrics of the song, this harvest moon cannot shine on. Apart from the sun, the moon is nothing more than a pitch-black, pockmarked rock. But properly positioned, the moon beams. Let her do what she was made to do, and a clod of dirt becomes a source of inspiration, yea, verily, romance. The moon reflects the greater light.

And she’s happy to do so! You never hear the moon complaining. She makes no waves about making waves. Let the cow jump over her or astronauts step on her; she never objects. Even though sunning is accepted while mooning is the butt of bad jokes, you won’t hear ol’ Cheeseface grumble. The moon is at peace in her place. And because she is, soft light touches a dark earth.

What would happen if we accepted our place as Son reflectors?

Such a shift comes so stubbornly, however. We’ve been demanding our way and stamping our feet since infancy. Aren’t we all born with a default drive set on selfishness? I want a spouse who makes me happy and coworkers who always ask my opinion. I want weather that suits me and traffic that helps me and a government that serves me. It is all about me. . . .

How can we be bumped off self-center? . . . We move from me-focus to God-focus by pondering him. Witnessing him. Following the counsel of the apostle Paul: “Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [we] are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18 KJV).

Beholding him changes us.

—originally from It’s Not About Me

O Lord, change our focus from a me-focus to a God-focus. Work your will in our lives that we might be instruments to do your work and to tell others of your great love. Let our lives reflect your holiness through thick and thin. Help us live in pursuit of what you want rather than what we want. May we keep a firm grip on our faith no matter what hard times come our way. In all we do, may we honor you, amen.

Sing praise to the Lord, . . . and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
Psalm 30:4

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

pray for our troops

'Lord hold our troops in your loving hands Protect them as they protect us Bless them & their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. In Jesus name,