What's the temperature in your house?

Today, I was walking back and forth on the second floor of my condo listening to worship, trying to be still before the Lord. When I looked out of the north side window, it was foggy. But when I turned and looked out of the south side window, it was sunny. The Lord was speaking to me in this. Here are a few verses that will be covered and can be referenced in His word:

"David said, 'How pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity'." - Psalm 133:1

"The disciples were arguing and asked Jesus, 'Who is the greatest among us'?" - Luke 9:46, Luke 22:24

"Jesus said, 'The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted'." - Matthew 23:11-12


During services and our weeks, the house we belong to should be walking within the same weather patterns. This If we are not, there is something wrong and I believe we need to address this. Not everyone is an extroverted freelance dancer who jumps and shouts at the sound of every guitar strung in worship. However, it is at times, the stillest of beings, whose heart is so still before the Lord, crying out in the loudest whisper, "Lord, I need you! Lord, I desire you!" 

What if the front of the house of the Lord would be overwhelmed with joy, while the back of the house is in despair and discouragement? It is such a weird idea but just as the mere 50 feet from the north side to the south side windows showed different weather, so to, can the house and family we are connected with daily and weekly. 

Just think about any great storm, battle, difficulty that has been experienced by a group of people. At the time, it seems to be one of the hardest things to be going through. Yet, in the end, all of the people are closer then they ever were before. Look at the NBA for example. Last season, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors were in the Championship battle against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both teams pushed with all that they had. After a grueling season of games, they were down to the Final 7 Games, to clinch the Championship. Both teams fought. But only one team won. However, even though the Cavaliers won, on a grand scheme, the Warriors won as well. Yes, the trophy was not theres, but without going as far as the did, and facing such an amazing team, they would never have their weaknesses and strengths revealed. Both teams were able to see what they were striving in and what they were failing or weaker in. 

As we walk through life, we are not going to be receiving the Final trophy on this Earth. We will receive that in Heaven when we get to stand before Our Loving Father, walk the Golden Streets of Heaven with Jesus our Savior and Dwell with the Holy Spirit in a great measure then ever! But that does not mean we do not receive victories and trophy in this world. Before LeBron and Stephen ever had the opportunity to see, know or possibly win the NBA trophy finals, they won plastic trophy's that read "You're A winner!" and everyone received them. And then they may have received a bigger one come high school and maybe a ring in college. But before they would get to the NBA Finals Trophy, their paths were paved with smaller trophy's, not one of which were insignificant. 

Imagine, if we were so well connected, that changes in weather patterns would affect us as a whole. Now many people probably look at the negative storms and think, "I have seen what this storm has done to their life, I don't want to have to deal with that too!" But many, myself included, look at the blessings and we say, "I'll have what they're having!" Blessings are amazing but it is the storms that show us our weakness and our need to rely upon Jesus Christ for everything!

The Lord said to Paul, (in reference his asking for the removal of a weight on his life), " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness!" - 2 Corinthians 12:9

May we walk every single day in communion with our Lord and Savior, to know Him better and to commune with each other better. Jesus calls us to love the Lord our God and the love one another with all we have. I pray that we would surrender to the idea of mass meetings and gatherings and we would instead seek to bring our house and families and hearts into humble surrender before Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and the One Who Is Worth of It All! 

aTimeforChangeMovement
New Year, New Heart: Your Brokenness Is Welcome Here

The anticipation of a new year is quickly filling up social media news feeds and the majority of us are finding ourselves jotting down resolutions and wondering how 2016 flew by so quickly.

While some resolutions may include diets, financial savings, or just a healthier lifestyle in general, I want to be really honest and share what 2017 will look like for me. The past year has seen struggles, blessings, closed doors, and opened windows, but through all of this it has made me realize that my heart has only been partially open for God to come in. While I’ve seen God working in my life, I’ve also had to admit to myself that I’m still a broken human being.

Our flesh tries to tell us that we can heal our brokenness on our own, if we can make our lives perfect in every other area than we can eventually mend whats broken inside. The enemy tries to force us into believing that we will never overcome our pain, that we will be held in bondage. He tricks us into believing that “it is what it is” and the captivity we’re being held in is all we will ever know. The enemy also scares us into thinking that the world won’t accept us as the mess we are with all of our flaws.

But Paul tells us “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1).

He didn’t say WILL set us free, He said HAS set us free. It’s already been done, we’ve already been set free from the bondage of brokenness, shame, guilt, confusion, anxiety, worry, fear, loneliness, and whatever other lie the enemy is trying to convince you of.

As I begin to think of what 2017 will bring for me, all I want to do is run towards God and His purpose for my life. Not walk, but RUN. You see, my moment of realization came from a bathroom stall in a nightclub. Standing on the dance floor surrounded by tons of people, I felt lonely. I knew tears were about to come crashing down so I bolted for the bathroom. Once I got into the stall I let the first tear come down.. and I couldn’t stop. I was heartbroken because all of these things that I had tried to do MY way left me empty and broken. There I was in a room full of people who were dancing and laughing and I was bolting for the bathroom.

Brokenness doesn’t discriminate and no matter what our hearts and souls have broken from, the pain weighs the same. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those “how did I get here?” moments, but it can sometimes be a pretty harsh truth that you’ve been running from God and trying to do life on your own. I would pray for God to remove people that were blocking me from completely surrendering to Him and when He would try to shut the door I would pry it back open. You see, I claimed to have wanted God’s will for my life, but I wasn’t completely surrendering my all to Him. I was compromising; giving Him the pieces I chose to.

I’m far from perfect, to be honest even on my best days I’m still a bit of a mess. I’m the clumsiest and most accident prone person you’ll ever meet, I may have a tendency to get antsy in drive thru’s and my sarcasm is sometimes a second language. But God found me in that bathroom stall, when I was a total and complete mess with mascara rolling down my face and He chose to love me just the same. He called my name, He let me have my moment, He picked me up, and He CHOSE to love me all the same.

So for 2017 my only resolution is to love God with every single fiber of my being. To chase after Him and His perfect love. To be so overwhelmed with His goodness and faithfulness that I make a Monday look like a Friday at 5:00 PM! My heart needs a bit of healing and who better to heal this heart than the one who created it’s rhythm. No matter what your brokenness may look like, no matter how alone you think you are in the pain, I pray that this year you will choose to trust that Christ has already set you free and that you walk in that truth with me.

 

By Kaitlin Pridgen Kaitlin is a small town girl with a big faith and an even bigger appetite for God. She loves serving others and trying to make a difference no matter where God plants her. Kaitlin's mission in life is to show others the love and grace that's been given so freely to herself and encouraging others through her writing.

aTimeforChangeMovement
Finding God In Every Season

Recently, I was asked to house-sit for my friends and one of the days, I peered out of the window and saw a tree with beautiful, different colored leaves. "Wow, I guess the fall season does happen in Florida. It just happens in November," I thought to myself. Where I was raised, up in Long Beach, New York, we have fall in September and October, not usually the end of November.

Despite the fact that I have been at this house probably fifty times plus, I had never realized the leaves on the tree. And as this was going on, I felt the Lord speaking to me about the beauty in finding Him in all seasons. Sometimes, the times and seasons we were so used to, change. And we have to learn to realize where He is, even though the sunrises, sunsets, days and months change, for each season. People often talk about seasons and for a while, I thought they were the cause for ups-and-downs in the Christian walk. But in this moment, I realized, that is not the truth. Ups-and-Downs occur because we take our eyes off of God, for one reason or another, and usually focus on something that is not life-giving at all.

"Jesus said, 'I am the vine and you are the branches, whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." - John 15:5

For me, summer is my favorite season. The weather is warm, the ocean is warm, people seem friendlier and life is just more apparent. But on a dietary scale, there some amazing fruits. My favorite is cantaloupe; grapes, watermelon, blueberries and raspberries are not too far behind. But that is only for the summer season. If I was to try and grow and eat any of those fruits in the winter, they would A) not grow B) taste horrible. This is due to the temperatures, the richness of the soil and the amount of sunlight needed to create this fruit. But after summer, comes fall. And in the fall, we have apples, sweet potatoes and pears. 

What I am trying to get at, is different fruits come in different seasons. When we go into these seasons, instead of walking into them with fear, based on how we have dealt with times in the past, we can think, "Where in this season, did I see God last time?" I believe that as we sing songs calling for the presence of the Lord, we would stay open to His presence. His Spirit is not always gonna feel like a cool breeze, it could be warm. It may not always be uncontrollable laughter, it may be feeling like we are about to die because we are in the presence of the Holy Holy Holy King. It may not be loud feelings, it may be found in the stillness and quiet.

Our God has been called the Creator, the Redeemer, a Lion, a Lamb, the King of Kings, a Consuming Fire. I am sure there are more in the Bible but I can only think of a few. But this whole reality is taking me to a new realization. King David writes Psalm 23 and seems to be in the midst of seasons, experiencing different personalities of God, all which are always good and right.

"He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters." - Psalm 23:2

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." - Psalm 23:4

For ultimate successes in this life and walk following after Jesus, I pray, that we all learn to find Him in all seasons. As Paul says, rejoice always! Honestly, my perspective is, Paul found God is everything. Which gave him the ability to rejoice always. He knew life in Jesus and was not leaving His life-source. May we all move forward and find the Lord in all seasons.

Jesus,
We ask for your presence to be known in all of our seasons. Whether dark or light, we pray and ask, with faith and trust, that you will never leave us. I thank you for realizations and I ask for more awareness of your love, life and presence in my life during all storms, trials, and seasons. It is in your Holy, Saving name, I pray.
                                                                                    Amen

aTimeforChangeMovement
The Lords Blessings

Today, I was reading the Bible while listening to some of Misty Edwards worship (this is a big suggestion when studying). Recently, a few of us have started using Strong's Concordance when reading the Bible. What the Concordance does, is it takes a word in English and says what Hebrew or Greek word it was translated from. Today, I was jumping around in Psalms and I ended up backtracking to 1 Chronicles. 

 "And the Ark of God remained with the household of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the household of Oded-edom and all that he had."  - 1 Chronicles 13:14   

The word I want to highlight is "bless." According to Strong's, this word in Hebrew is barak. We would stop at the translation but the definition is not always the same as we would say in English. Barak, does mean "to bless" but it also means "to kneel".  Last year, Housefires and Pat Barrett wrote a song called Good Good Father. They express how our Father is so good! Well in this word Greek word "barak's" meaning, I can see our God getting down on a knee to be beside us in all times. 

Growing up, when I wasn't six feet tall, my dad would sometimes come and kneel down besides me. Sometimes, he brought food or snacks or gifts brought back from a business trip. Sometimes, it was to help me tie my shoe. Sometimes it was to hug me when I was scared at night of the Witches I thought were outside my window. Sometimes it was to assure me I am going to be okay even when I physically did not feel so good.

What I am basically trying to get across, is that our Father wants to bless us. And I believe, because of Jesus, we are receiving blessings all day, everyday. However, its not always in the physical gifts that the world is so often used to calling "a blessing." It may be to comfort in time of loss. Strengthen in times of battle and despair. Encourage when depressed or shameful. To lift up when the world has torn us down. 

No matter what it is, Our Father gets down on His knee, to bless us, His children. Where is He blessing you today? I pray today and everyday, we seek to be more aware of all that our Father is doing. He gave us Jesus which was the greatest blessing and we must never forget that. But do not think the next blessing to your life only comes when you pass and go to Heaven. Let your Spirit become awakened to all that the Father is doing in your life today. Right now!

aTimeforChangeMovement
The Power of Thanksgiving

Last night I was talking to God (praying) and He was speaking about the importance of Thanksgiving and the importance of walking out the Opposites in Negatives. He said, "When you are lacking energy, go do something that requires energy. When you are feeling selfish, go serve someone. When you are bitter, jealous or angry, go love that person." But in regards to thanksgiving, I felt the Lord speaking about the fact that in this world, thanksgiving is the response of receiving something. But in the Supernatural, spiritual nature, Thanksgiving can be the realization that all is under control and the trust that it is all working to the good of those who love God.

This morning, as I sat there, eating breakfast, I was thinking about the amazing food I had last night, but how many people didn't get to eat last night. I am so blessed to have my family, friends, work, food, shelter. But sometimes I find it hard to appreciate being blind in one of my eyes, having a brain trauma injury, losing friends and family members I love and care about dearly. However, even in the midst of our lives being in turmoil, if we can create the discipline of always being in Thanksgiving, we can turn this life around. I want to encourage you, just like Paul, to REJOICE ALWAYS!

When it is difficult, cry out to Jesus. Not the Jesus who the world says is a killjoy, a loser, a list of rules. But the Jesus who heals the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. The Jesus who healed the blind man. The Jesus who gave bread to the man who was stortly to betray Him. And the Jesus who went to the Cross to die for our sins, to come back and give us the life and strength and love we do not deserve but have been given freely, because of His amazing Love! Praise Jesus. Let us give thanks to Him for all! And let us follow Him into the light of heavenly realms and eternal life.

aTimeforChangeMovement
Peace Among All Men (Who Surf)

One of the greatest opportunities we have to shine the light in this world occurs during the times of indifference with someone. Well recently, I was in a bit of an indifference while surfing in a spot I have been going to for years. Just so happened I cut someone off, similar to cutting someone off in traffic. This guy was pissed!

Before we both got back out to the lineup, there were obscenities flying my direction and to be honest, was not sure whether or not a physical altercation was going to happen (not my plan). Hearing all of the words being yelled in anger, I decided to approach the surfer and asked him what was wrong. He explained what I had done.

NOW, in these sorts of situations, we have really two ways of reacting. We either fuel the flame of anger with more anger (from me) OR we apologize and seek to make this situation a peaceful one.

All praises to Jesus, I decided to go the peaceful route. I apologized and told him my plans were not to cause any hostility or make anyone uncomfortable or unwelcome to this surf spot. He said that an apology was all he wanted. We continued surfing and right before he got out, he paddled up to me and said, "Hey man, I just wanted to apologize for overreacting earlier."  This was such an amazing thing!

Honestly, it blows my mind that someone tried to fight me, seeing as I seek to be a peaceful and genuine person. But to see a once angry and frustrated person reminds me that in this world, we are not called to change peoples hearts. Jesus does that. But what we are called to do, is to walk according to how Jesus walked; this is, in part what it means to follow someone. To love God and to love one another.

All glory and praise to Jesus for this desire to bring peace into the situation! Go out and LOVEONEHEARTATATIME!

aTimeforChangeMovement
Psalm 33

 I wanted to just encourage you this afternoon with a little Psalmage (Psalms+age=Psalmage).

“The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of men; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes their deeds.” (Psalm 33:13-15)

Not sure what is going on in your lives but you have all done and gone through some amazing things. Some hard, some easy, but they all brought you to who you are today and for that, I thank Jesus! He has helped us through so much so no matter what you may face or are facing today, the Lord sees you and He is aware of it all! How much amazingness does he have? Well in Psalm 33:7 (a few verses before), it reads,

“He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.”

Wow! God takes the seas and just puts them in storehouses? Just like that? Yes! And He is going to take your difficulties and not just crush them and give you grace and strength but He is going to make room for the storehouses He has prepared for you to be opened and flow into your life. For some, it is going to be promotions, relationships, financial blessing, restored relationships, renewal in parts of your mind you never thought possible and so much more. This is long, I know but I am not sorry. May it be an encouragement to you and your heart!

aTimeforChangeMovement
PB&J Day Take 1 - Hemming Park, Jacksonville, Florida

This past Tuesday, we collaborated with a local Community to go out and feed the homeless in Jacksonville, Florida. We had two cars and six people. For about an hour, we prepared and left the house of preparation with:

> 40 hard boiled eggs
> 50 chocolate chip cookies (homemade) 
> 50 Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches
> 60 water bottles

As we parked in the downtown Jacksonville Area, we walked by a few construction workers and many business people. Yet, in the midst of all of this business, there were fifty, if not more, homeless people gathered in the middle of Hemming Park. From young kids all the way up to older men and women, there was many mouths to feed and many hearts to lift up. Joel, one of the leaders of this Community, would administer prayers for healing to the hurting. One woman was healed of neck pain and another of jaw pain. Praise God!

We had the chance to talk with and hear stories. One great one, was from a man named Ned. Talking with Ned, he explained that he was well aware of the love of God. He would quote Bible verses left and right. But when asked why he was out in the park, his mom, who was right next to him, said, "Alcohol." What a sad fact. However, this is something that consumes many lives in this world. One from our group ended up praying with Ned and before we left, gave him a pair of Polarized sunglasses, as his eyes were very glossy (possibly glaucoma). Continue to pray for Ned's addiction to alcohol and for him to lean upon Jesus for all the strength and wisdom to leave this situation.

We Are Heading to El Salvador!

Well, I can't make the title any more self explanatory. We are heading to Mizata, El Salvador with a group of physical therapists, a doctor of osteopathy, a spine surgeon, pre-med students, nurses, assistances, surfers and a videographer. This is the first time that some of us will be going on this medical mission trip but for others this is an yearly occurrence that excites all! From Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador and more, a good friend Dr. Todd Bourgeois has been planning and putting on these trips for years. It is with pleasure to be able to collaborate with them this year, to go love and serve the needy in a third world country.

Many countries in this world are not fortunate enough to have the most basic of medical attention. When a child is sick or person of older age is in need of assistance to be mobile, they just have to work with what they've got. Sometimes it is enough but not always. We will be traveling with over ten physical therapy tables, food, clothes, hygiene products, vitamins and more. Jesus said, “When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” This is a verse often leading us with aTimeForChangeMovement to go out and do missions and outreach. Typically, we are within the United States but are excited to step out across borders. This is an opportunity to love those who are in need but we believe that God is going to do so much more within the hearts and mind of each person going on this trip. For healings of brokenness and restorations of peoples identity, to see who God has intended each of them to be. Jesus will be proclaimed and He is already there, moving greatly! We are excited to ask for and we are expecting more. He is the way, the truth and the life and the foundation of this movement. This week, many are going to come to know and surrender to the love of King Jesus!!

This morning, during prayer, God spoke the word “pergi.” Upon searching for its meaning, it came up that it is an Indonesian word meaning “Go.” Jesus sends us out into the world to make disciples of the nations. Sometimes we get to do this with our words but in this case, we are excited to shine the light of Christ by actions of service, as well as words (for those of us who speak Spanish). We are calling on the Holy Spirit to move greatly within out group and we ask you all for prayers for our journey. For health, protection, encouragement, boldness and compassion for all those we meet.

The heart of God is stirring in people and we are excited to go out to El Salvador with love.

In the words of the beautiful Indonesian people, “Bisa pergi ke El Salvador,” meaning “Take me to El Salvador, please.”

 

aTimeforChangeMovement
A Modern Day Abraham From Kentucky

One morning I was at work and a man walked in named Joe. Joe was from Kentucky. I could only understand a few words that he said but when He spoke, it was profound and from God. He told me how he was on vacation and how he wanted to get some information about surfing for his kids. Right off the bat, I knew this man was a family man. He was up early working to entertain the family. Joe told me how he worked in the coal mines and explained there have been some tough times where had lost his job and how he thought he was going to lose his job recently. But he said that when he did lose his job, he had to give it all to God. And this is where the inspiration started.

We started talking more about the need to surrender everything up to God, especially when things get tough. He told me how when his son was younger, he had chronic pancreatitis and no one could figure out why it was happening. "We went to doctors all over but no one was able to help my son." As Joe watched his child live in agonizing pain, he said it broke his heart. "I couldn't do anything. I remember sitting beside him and all I could do was lift him up to God; I felt like Abraham lifting Isaac up on the mountain. I said, 'God, if your will is to take him, Let Your will be done. Just please take this pain away'." Within a few days, he received a call from a long haired doctor (sounded like he may have been a hippie) with some news about someone who would do a surgery to heal him. The surgery taught his kidneys how to produce insulin because his pancreas was not. I do not understand nor claim to understand how this works but with God, ALL things are possible. Joe said his son is now in his teens and he is healthy and completely fine. His son gets yearly check up but everything is good.

Sometimes I try to figure out what God is doing. Okay I lied. Most of the time I try to figure out what God is doing. But He doesn't always let me in on what surprises are around the corner. Joe was such an encouragement because in the midst of trials and temptations to fall away or lose his faith, he stood his ground and he stayed firmly planted in trusting Jesus for all! When a difficulty comes, I pray that we all stay rooted and grounded in the everlasting, never ending love of Jesus. Believe me, I am talking to myself in this too (why I write these things down). He is all we need. He says, "Come to me you heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Man, this is so beautiful. If you are in the midst of a difficult time, lean onto Jesus. Look to Him for strength. Look to Him for hope. Look to Him for love. And remember, GOD IS IN CONTROL!

aTimeforChangeMovement
4th of July Freedom Run

On this 4th of July I had the privilege of running up and down the beach in search of Allan, a 10-year-old child who was missing. I was able to locate him a few miles down and get him back safely to his family. The mom and aunt were running towards me crying because they thought their child was lost but was found. As I was leaving the family, the Lord brought to my attention His heart and how it hurts because He sees many of His children wandering throughout this world, confused, lost and fearful. Caught up in so many things that are so trivial in comparison to eternity and His plan for our lives.

We are most certainly blessed to be living in the United States, a country where we have freedom. But just as we shouldn’t ever take our physical, humanitarian freedoms for granted, I pray we don’t ever take the spiritual freedoms found in the Cross of Jesus Christ for granted either. Life was meant to be lived in Spiritual freedom and in close Communion with The Lord; renewed minds, restored hearts, healed bodies, freed souls. I pray that if you feel like your life is going in circles and you don’t know where to go, look up to the Heavens, believe and ask Jesus to forgive, direct and set you free. He loves you and He wants to bring you back home!

“If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” - John 8:36

aTimeforChangeMovement
Anna: The Homeless Pastor

The other day I was praying and God told me that I would meet someone today and I was to pray for them. Okay! Arriving upon one of my jobs, there was a woman sitting outside. “I am just resting for a moment,” she said nervously. I said it was fine if she wanted to stay. After walking into the shop I work at, I felt I was to welcome her in. She respectfully declined but I sat down with her and we spoke about our faith; for SEVEN HOURS! This woman was homeless but if I had not known that, my thoughts would have been that she was a pastor or the wife of a pastor; theologically sound and experienced much within her relationship with the Lord. But something happened to her, and among the 95% of the amazing things she was talking about, 5% were just of utter despair. It broke my heart and even caused me to cry for a bit. She told me that she had been in just a great confusion and she was struggling to come back to the Lord. Wow, what a sad thing. But we got to talk about amazing things that God has done and is doing. The beautiful sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the need of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “It is vital that you have a relationship with God, this is the most important thing. He is all about having a relationship with us.” What a beautiful thing.

God is a Father. This is truth. And He is an amazing Father. So what Father, wouldn't want to have a relationship with His Sons and Daughters? The answer is no father. As we are called to new places in life, I pray that we all learn to spend time with God the Father. Thank Jesus Christ for His death and resurrection to new life. And walk according to the Holy Spirits leading. There is a beautiful unity within the Holy Trinity. I pray we all spend time in the Word of God (the Bible) and we walk where He leads. This is the time to change this world. To bring Heaven to Earth. Jesus, when teaching how to pray said, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Let us be this reality of God's love today and all days. We can and will change this world! God bless you all!  

aTimeforChangeMovement
SMILE: ITS TIME FOR YOU TO PUT ON YOUR SMILE

A few days ago, I was driving through the downtown area and I passed a woman wearing a sweatshirt that read “Smile.” I was on my way to church and for some reason, this really struck me. I started to think: How often are we smiling? Do we make sure we are smiling? Do we realize how much our smile speaks to others and changes the situations we are in?

My brother told me he once read something about how when you are depressed or sad, to bite on a pencil. The reason for this is that it forces you to smile. Within a few seconds, your whole focus can change because of your smiling. The reason I want to write about this is because I do not believe that God has created us to live upset or with sadness. Don't get me wrong, it is alright to grieve at times, but to be sad is not okay with God our Father.

In the Old Testament, the Jewish people were given things to do to try and atone (pay for) their sins; animal sacrifices, fasting, lighting of incense. But in the end, people came up short. We could never meet the perfection that God requires us to meet as His children. This is why, I believe, He sent Jesus. Jesus came down to live the perfection God requires and then, He willingly gave His life up to be a sacrifice for us; to be the atoning sacrifice, or the perfect sacrifice. Because of this act, we can be forgiven of our sins and receive back our true rights, inheritance, potential, sonship and daughtership with our Father and Creator.

THIS should cause us to Smile! THIS should immediately and always bring us joy. When we receive and remember the love of the Omniscient, Omnipresent God, the difficulty in smiling and having joy will become an impossibility.

 

I want to lift you all up and encourage you to know that God loves you and is with you always (Biblical). His Holy Sprit is speaking to you, sometimes you just have to listen and quiet the rest of the world around you. And the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is your free ticket to freedom, joy and a life greater than you could ever imagine.

 

It is not okay to not smile

It is not okay to be sad

It is not your destiny

It is okay to love

It is okay to be free

It is okay to change environments

It is okay to change this world

Lets change this world

Lets love together

Lets pray together

Lets worship together

LETS ALL SMILE TOGETHER!!!!

aTimeforChangeMovement
Quit Focusing on The Circumstances: God's in Control

Some people go to church and are spoken to by their leaders about how bad the world is getting. Where is the hope? Where is the trust in God? Why aren't they realizing the Heaven inside of them instead of the circumstances around them?

I think this comes back to a much needed look into the heart and intent of a father for His children. Why would he send His Son (Jesus Christ) who then sent His Spirit (Holy Spirit) to dwell inside of us to just stay like most people of the world; in fear, worry, anxiety and doubt.

No, this should not be so. Jesus said I come to give life and life to the fullest; while the enemy (the devil) comes to seek, kill and destroy. I think our words and homilies and sermons for some churches need to change.

We are to be fountains of living water, not vessels of destruction. You are to be lifted up and encouraged by your brothers and sisters, not torn down in despair and fear and uncertainty.

God has a plan for your life! It is good. It is beautiful and amazing. While some assume the world is going to hell, I am seeing more celebrities, friends and family members coming to follow Jesus Christ.

I don't know about you, but I am pretty stoked for what God is about to do in this world!

aTimeforChangeMovement
1 John 2:6

Never would I have guessed I would be hanging out with ex-gang members on a Sunday morning. Sometimes we are led to uncomfortable situations but if we are to be the light in this world, trusting and walking in Gods leading is vital. "... whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked."

So the other day I got to hang with two homeless guys; one an ex-Latin King and the other an ex-Hells Angel. We got to talk about love, forgiveness and friendship, over three cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Let us step out today and love somebody!

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Theres Always Enough Room In The Kingdom

God is an amazing God and Father. He knows our hearts and our desires because He created us in His own image! Throughout all of our lives, I believe, that He wants us to come to know His love for us, to grow in relationship with Him and to carry heaven wherever we go.

When we are called or moved by the Holy Spirit, it is for reason, not coincidence. God has set up a will for each and every one of ours lives so every path we are called to, He has already paved out and visited. Grace and mercy have been laid out in front of us. The difficulty, is being led to move by the Spirit, can sometimes be different and out of our comfort zone. But this move will help grow us in many ways.

TRUST|FAITH|HOPE: When we move out of our comfort zone, we are taking a leap; to know that what God is leading us into, is not for nothing. We also are not called to go on this journey alone. Sometimes, I feel, when we step out, that is when we come to meet the reality of how close God truly is.

FAITH: Circumstances play a HUGE role in affecting what we are called into. The way we have been raised in this world, is that we look at what we have, and base what we can do on that. With God, we need to look at His inventory, and know that ALL THINGS, He created. ALL THINGS, belong to Him. So that when we we look at our circumstances, bank accounts, material possessions, we can know that if its a God calling, He will take care of you!

HOPE: What I love about being called and led, is knowing that God has the best plans for our lives and that He is showing us those plans! It is not about what we think will be best for us, it is about knowing that He knows what is best for us.  It is a different way of thinking but I believe that when we begin to align our minds and our hearts with heaven and the heart of God, that we will see dreams become realities, miracles like no other and mountains moving in all of our lives!

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Never Alone

Sometimes in life we find ourself either on the wrong path, or on the right path yet feeling alone. In my life, I sometimes forget to acknowledge the very one who created the path (God). He is always with you/us no matter what. God said in Deuteronomy, "NEVER will I leave you, NEVER will I forsake you." God does not lie!

If there are any feelings that you are alone, remember that you are loved and never will be alone. Take into account the beauty around you on the path, remember who created that all and never forget the light of Jesus, whether it be ahead or in front of you. You are the light of this world and this path, if your following Him, is Gods will for your life. You may be lighting up the darkness of someones life and are unaware. 
YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE LIVING GOD AND HE SEEKS ONLY TO BE WITH YOU. You are never Alone!!

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Gives Thanks for His Love and Creation

If God didn't love us there would be: 

No beautiful sunrises and sunsets, just yellow skies.
No cool breezes at the perfect time during a long day in the heat, just more heat.
No relaxing crisp ocean scent and sound, just the every present smell of low tide.
No singing of the birds in the morning, just the loud disruption of lawn mowers and garbage trucks.

But because of Gods beauty we do have all things. These are some of the simplest treasures we experience each day. But may we never forget the One Beauty that combines all of those things and is above all.

The Cross. On the Cross, Jesus Christ came as a sign of Gods love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, compassion, gentleness (and more) for us all. Of course God wants you to enjoy His creations, but what if there is more beauties to this life? 
There is, it's found in a relationship with God made available through believing in Jesus Christ as your Savior and friend.

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Taking Refuge

"Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed are all who take refuge in Him." - Psalm 34:8

Man what a beautiful time it was seeing the first lights of the day. Was able to worship the Creator while enjoying His creations. God is such a rad God and Father. I realized this morning that so much of the world tells us lies and tries to deceive us. From diets to fashion to gossip. But how important it is to know the true worth and value of who you are. Seek God and take refuge in Him; not just in the bad times but the good. Remember He sent His Son to die for you, and allows Holy Spirit to indwell inside of you! Seeking God through Jesus Christ puts you in a whole new definition of value. Know that you are valued. You are loved. And you are now ready for whatever the day brings your way!

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There Is Beauty In People

I often look back at where my life used to be, and how radical my life was and how I didn’t care about anyone but myself. If it didn’t involve Marcus, I wanted no part of it. I always knew about God because my family was really involved in church, but Jesus was never really my own. I never really knew Him, but I was very familiar with what others thought of Him. Life to me was about hurting others, getting girls, being rebellious, and partying. But then, there was a night I went to a youth conference and got really encouraged, but didn’t experience change. Once I got back, maybe a week later, I had band practice. After practice in the church parking lot, my team and I just started worshiping, and it lasted for about 2-3 hours. As I began to see God touch people, I decided to give it a try, and not long after I was in tears and all I could say was, “ Jesus if you can do anything with my life, please just take it. I surrender my whole life to You, and I want You to make my heart Your home.” After that moment, I was totally set free.

Some of you may be wondering what does this have to do with loving one heart at a time, and I would like to propose to you it has everything to do with loving people. You can’t give what you don’t have, and if you haven’t first experienced the Fathers love you wont be able to show His true love to others. I said His TRUE love, because a lot of us once lived like I did, and just heard the word on the street that Jesus Loves us, and we share His love out of what we’ve heard out of gossip, and not out of what we’ve experienced in our own lives. We are the light of the world, therefore, don’t be surprised if you’re in dark places and people see your light and are drawn to you. It would be a tragedy if these people see your light and they come to the Fathers love account, and you have nothing for them to withdraw from, because you haven’t first allowed Him to make deposits in your own life. I have only known God to be a Father, and I’ve heard so much about Him, yet when I met the glorious Jesus, I met Him not just as someone that gives gifts, not even as someone to just talk to, NOT EVEN as a person that just died to get me to heaven. But when we met, I realized He died to get heaven into me. Ultimately, the first thing I noticed was just that He was a Father that picked me up even when my back was to Him.

When we think of this Christian life, we think of traveling the world, being on a stage, or having some type of fame, MAYBE even preaching to thousands, but I have come to the conclusion that it’s simply about seeing Jesus in the eyes of the person in front of you. For some reason in the Church, we have a culture that says ministry starts when we get on stage, or when someone can recognize us, or when thousands hear our voice. What if this thing wasn’t about ministry at all, and it was simply about Jesus? I promise you, if you begin to keep your eyes on Jesus and began to see people through His lens, there will be this burning conviction that when God said, “ He sent his Son for the world”, you’ll begin to see he meant the whole world, NOT just the people you were comfortable around, not just people in the Church, but every person you walk by on the streets that you think doesn’t have as much value as the people you see on stages, or with all the fame because Jesus likes to make what we think are zeroes into radical heroes for His glory.

So I encourage you, as you finish reading this, begin to remember how Jesus saved you. Begin to remember that one person that stopped for you when you were down, but most off all, begin to get a grasp of what Jesus is to you. As you do these things, allow the fear of what people may say about you fall. Allow all of your insecurities to fall, and lets make our lives bigger then us, and actually live this Christian life with the simplicity of stopping for that one in front of you, looking in their eyes, and seeing the person of Jesus in them. If we see soul instead of bodies, how different would our idea of beauty be…?

 

By Marcus Marshall October 9, 2015 Marcus is 20 years old and is a graduate of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM). He had led different outreaches and ministry teams around the USA and Canada. He is passionate about seeing the fear of man broken off of people's lives and seeing people live out what God intended them to be on this earth. As an evangelist, he trains the church to reach out and seek the lost, broken and hurting come to know their Heavenly Father. Currently, Marcus is serving as an Assistant Outreach Pastor in Tampa, Florida at Legacy Church,.

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