Monthly Archives: March 2010

Faith in action

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(I know I’ve posted this before-but I love Nicole Mullen’s version of this song!)

What is faith?

Hebrews  11:1 says that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 

What does that mean?

Well, we are sure that when we go to bed everynight that we will wake to a new day, a new sunrise and a brand new day full of opportunity.  Right?  What makes us believe this?  Our faith in God.  See, believe it or not, God is in our face everyday.  Some of us don’t even recognize Him.  He is in the sunset, the sunrise, the dewy grass, the birds chirping,  and the air we breathe.  He is everywhere- proclaiming His glorious greatness!  He is constantly serving us with His generosity and goodness.  If you don’t believe it-look outside.  God could wreck this world in a second, but he doesn’t. Why?  Because he loves us.   HE LOVES US.  It’s about HIM, not us!   He wants us to “get Him” in our lives.  He desires our worship, our diligence, our very lives.  He doesn’t want a little bit- He wants a LOT a bit!  All of it!  Now, some may say that’s impossible- but you know what? Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing. 

For years I have witnessed God at work in the persistence and faith of many who are feeling called to serve the Lord with  all of thier being.  What I have seen there has impacted me to go and do likewise.   My heart is being melted and molded into what GOD wants, not what Donna wants.  Because you know what? What I want is no good!  I cannot live this life without God and if I try to do that I will end up on death row.  Now that sounds harsh and it is, but it’s the truth.   A life without God leads to death.  It’s just no good and why do we want that anyway?  I mean God has given us the best of the best and that’s what he wants in return.  We don’t have to pay for it, we don’t have to do anything to get it, all we have to do is love HIM with all our being and accept Jesus as our Savior.  That’s it!

I have been on this journey for a long time and I have taken many roads to get here.  I am finally on the right road and I am going to do whatever Ican to stay on it and that means putting my faith in action.  I don’t want to sit on my hands anymore.  Someone referred to “people sitting on thier hands” recently and how frustrating that is for the Church.   Isn’t that really what we do?  We sit and let other people do the work that God has called us to do. I’m not perfect and I have done this too.  I have also had  many people tell me ” I think this is what YOU should do Donna…Don’t you think you should do this or that … get that ball rolling, etc.,etc..”  Well, I’ve got news for you folks-it takes many hands to accomplish God’s work and we cannot do this by sitting on them.    If God is telling you to tell someone to do something- then maybe that someone is really you! We all have two hands and it is when we put those hands together for Christ that we accomplish His Will!  Our Pastors and Church Leaders cannot do it alone.  They aren’t meant to.  We, the Body of Christ, are placed there by God, to help, encourage and minister to the sick, needy and poor right alongside our Pastors.  We are ONE BODY serving ONE LORD. 

I am doing the Experiencing God bible study and it is teaching me to meet God where HE is and join Him there.  God knows the plans and He will reveal them to me when I am faithful and diligent in seeking Him.  If I try to do things on my own, then I will fail miserably.  I recently had to decide whether I was going to believe in God or in myself.  A friend said, ” I hear you saying that you can’t do it and you can’t- however nothing is impossible WITH God.”  She is right.  NOTHING is impossible WITH God.  If it is truly God’s willing way for your life, then he WILL make it happen.  When we jump out of our comfort zone and into the depths of the unknown, aren’t we really jumping the arms of our loving father and letting him carry us?    Remember being a kid and jumping into the arms of your parents? You knew they would catch you!  God’s going to catch you too!  He will scoop you up and fold you into his big Daddy arms and love you the whole way.  When you reach your destination you will come to a deeper and fuller understanding of WHO God is and WHAT he does!

For me, I’ve discovered that I tend to keep God compartmentalized in my brain.  It’s like a box with little compartments marked love, faith, hope, etc..  The box has dimensions and therefore has boundaries.  But you know what I have personally discovered is that the God I serve has NO boundaries and he will NOT be limited to to my minute understanding of who He is and what He does.  I am learning that when he says DO I must obey and not question.  I must forge ahead-despite myself.  I must call in the prayer warriors as my support team and feed on God’s word as I seek His Holy and Glorious face.  I can’t go wrong.  God will NEVER steer me down the wrong path-nor will He you!  All of God’s roads lead to goodness! 

Can’t wait to see you there!

May God’s Blessings rain upon you,

d.

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From Pastor Ronnie…

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50 Golden Days begins Sunday April 4th “Easter Sunday to Pentecost”

I am winding up a 40 Day Fast and my only purpose has been to ask God to hear our prayers and give us 3000 souls for Pentecost Sunday. God has answered and His spirit has spoken to my spirit and here is what He says. “If this is to be done, the people of Holston will have to pay the price”.

What is the price? Simply inviting them.

Getting outside our churches and our homes and knocking on doors, meeting people in the community and just simply inviting them. God says the Harvest is ready but the workers are so few. There are those who are skeptical, those who are critical, and those who just flat-out have not taken any interest at all in this call to Holston Conference to “Offer Them Christ.”

God has done the hard part of Eternal Life for all who come to Him, He paid the price more than 2000 years ago. Will you pay the price of going to invite them. The party is ready, heaven is ready to celebrate, but, if people do not get an invitation they will not come.

Lets get past out theological squabbles over who is right and wrong on health care, who is right and wrong over this and that, lets agree that Jesus came to seek and save the lost and we live in the midst of a lost world and this is our NUMBER 1 Business in the world, to seek and to save the lost.

There is no excuse for a United Methodist Church not to win even one person to Jesus Christ in the course of a year. None. It is not just the job description of the pastor, every member of the Body of Christ is charged with the winning of souls!

If you don’t have a pastor to teach you how to win people then call on the conference and we will help. The Witness Team has a group of leaders who will come and support you in the work of Evangelism but we won’t come unless you ask us.

Will you pay the price? If not, it won’t be very long there will not be anyone to fight with about all these issues that tend to divide us rather than bring us together. We will have to join with another group and take up the fight somewhere else.

We have an opportunity before us. The fasting is almost done, the feasting is about to begin. On Saturday evening April 3rd I will break my fast with the evening meal and at that time the feasting will begin. I don’t just mean the food feast, I mean the feasting of the Holy Spirit’s work in these 50 Golden Days. I believe with all of my heart God has 3000 waiting for us Holston. All we have to do is go out and intentionally invite them. They are not just going to walk into our churches, our places of worship. Pray but then get up and go to them, they are simply waiting.

I know this sounds too easy and too good to be true but it is true. Trust God and Act. Even if you haven’t done anything with the 40 Days of prayer and preparation, do something with the 50 Golden Days. Many people across Holston Conference have joined me in the 40 Days of praying and Fasting in many different ways, the praying is done, I DARE YOU to go invite them and watch them pour into our churches to hear the Greatest Story Ever Told about The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived, Jesus Christ.

Ronnie

PS, On Easter Sunday I will place as my facebook profile picture the 40-50-90 Logo and I am asking all of you to do the same for the remainder of the 50 Days. It doesn’t matter if you live in Holston or not. If you are working with us to make this a reality, lets rally. It’s time, God is working!

Calling out to God- Isaiah 58

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Isaiah 58

Your Prayers Won’t Get Off the Ground

 1-3 “Shout! A full-throated shout! Hold nothing back—a trumpet-blast shout!
Tell my people what’s wrong with their lives,
   face my family Jacob with their sins!
They’re busy, busy, busy at worship,
   and love studying all about me.
To all appearances they’re a nation of right-living people—
   law-abiding, God-honoring.
They ask me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’
   and love having me on their side.
But they also complain,
   ‘Why do we fast and you don’t look our way?
   Why do we humble ourselves and you don’t even notice?’
3-5“Well, here’s why:

  “The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit.
   You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
   You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
   won’t get your prayers off the ground.
Do you think this is the kind of fast day I’m after:
   a day to show off humility?
To put on a pious long face
   and parade around solemnly in black?
Do you call that fasting,
   a fast day that I, God, would like?

 6-9“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
   to break the chains of injustice,
   get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
   free the oppressed,
   cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
   sharing your food with the hungry,
   inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
   putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
   being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
   and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
   The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
   You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’

 

Living Water

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This post is simply here for you to meditate on our Lord and Savior- THE Living Water.  I want to drink from the well of life and never thirst again.  I want to dive into the depths of the heart of God and stay there forever and ever.  I can’t get enough.  I can’t do enough.  I can’t love enough.  I want to drown in His Living Water.  Cover me, wash me, fill me, never leave me…

Psalm 42: 1-2  ( The Message)

 A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek;
   I want to drink God,
      deep draughts of God.
   I’m thirsty for God-alive.

  John 7:37-39

  37-39On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.

 Revelation 7:17 ( NLT)

 17 For the Lamb on the throne
      will be their Shepherd.
   He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
      And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

 

    

God’s presence

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Good Morning!

Today is day 32 of Pastor Ronnie’s 40 day fast.  In watching, reading, and talking to Ronnie about his fast over these past 32 days I have witnessed the ominiscient power and strength of God through prayer and fasting.    If I had not been here to witness God’s mighty hand on Ronnie I probably would have been in unbelief too.  Many people still cannot believe that he is actually doing this and that he is still alive after 32 days of no food.  God has proven his power through Ronnie’s fast and obedience.  Ronnie isn’t doing this for attention- he is doing it to reach the lost.  God has given him a vision and he is living it out.  I believe that God is already doing a mighty work in all who are witnesses to this humble act of obedience by His servant, Ronnie. 

For myself, I can sense the presence of the Lord in, on and around Ronnie.  I see it, smell it, feel it and hear it.  It overwhelms me to tears…these tears are from God.  Everytime I am around him I want to weep, and I often do.  I wonder if this is how it will be when I finally get to meet Jesus face to face.  You know, God is so present in our lives-He is in every aspect of it, especially when we least expect it!  Yesterday I was at the Dr’s office with Betsy and we met this man there who was obviously in love with the Lord.  Our conversation was divine and it was no accident that we were there at the same time.  One of the things this man shared with me was that our tears come from the Lord and there is nothing wrong with those tears.  At times, he was teary eyed himself, as he spoke of God’s mighty presence in his own life.  God blessed me through this gentleman and we had “church” in the waiting room.  Through our conversation we were able to witness to about 6 or 8 people who were coming and going.  Each time someone would come in- this gentleman would rise and open the door for them.  One woman, sitting nearby, commented that he was the “doorkeeper.”    God was in that comment and in that waiting room because this 75 year old gentleman unknowingly left a mark on my heart and I pray that I too am a doorkeeper.  Not a doorkeeper in the worldly sense, but a “Doorkeeper” for Christ.  Christ is the door to eternity and we can only enter through Him.  I pray that I am always at the ready, just like this man was, to gently and kindly open the door for the next person who appears there.  Say a kind word, give a handshake, smile and a word of encouragement.  Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?  Well, it is!

So, what does this have to do with Ronnie?  Well, Ronnie is being the Doorkeeper too, with every prayer, every word, every event, everything this man does is for God.  I have never, ever met anyone like him.  There aren’t many Ronnie Collins in the world and I am so blessed and humbled to be under his care as a member of our church.  I have watched God take this big, bold, brawny man of God and melt him into this tender, gentle, warm and compassionate child of God. I am a very visual person and for me it has been like watching Michelangelo hammer David out of marble-and even then that is not accurate.  Have you ever watched wax or crayons melt?  It’s like taking a box of 96 crayons ( every color) and watching them melt over a flame that is just the right temperature.  They melt into this beautiful mixture of every color, like a rainbow.  This is what I see in Ronnie.  Except there aren’t enough colors on earth to describe what I see and I can’t wait to see the colors of heaven! 

 

Ronnie Collins- you have blessed my heart, my life and my soul.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.  I am the fruit of your labor and God helping us- that fruit will be multiplied.  I thank God for your obedience and fiery passion for Him, for your servant attitude, for your family and especially for Misty.  May the Holy Spirit fall upon you, like a pounding March rain, as you complete this work that God has given you to do. 

May God continue to raise you up…I am always praying and seeking His face.  Thank you Brother. 

( all pictures from internet- except Ronnie)

God’s Desires

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Our Hearts’ Desires  

by  Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade International

 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”

(Mark 11:24, KJV).

 Jesus, assuming that our lives are pure and we are Spirit-filled, declares that our heartfelt desires will be God-given. When God gives us those desires, He then gives us the power to fulfill them (Philippians 2:13). Sometimes when God gives you a desire that is based upon Scripture, one that springs from pure motives and a desire to glorify Him, that desire may continue over a period of time as you continue in the spirit of prayer and seek counsel of other godly people who also walk in the Spirit,

but you can be assured that whatever God has placed in your heart, He will do.

 

 Philippians 2:13 (The Message)

Rejoicing Together

 12-13What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. 

 Father God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Lover of Souls,

 May I live in responsive obedience to the desires that you place in my heart.  May my desires be fully yours and yours alone.  Grant me energy, reverence and sensitivity to live out your call, everyday for the rest of my life.  Father, forgive me for I have sinned.  I am sorrowful and repentant and I seek your mercy and grace over my sinful life and bad habits and I thank you for the forgiveness that is already waiting for me there.   I know that you live deep within me, I feel you… and I yearn to clasp hands with you there ,in that sacred deepness, so I may love more deeply and passionately for you.    I can only do this in your will and by your strength.  Prepare the way Lord…take my life and let it be…consecrated all for Thee.

 Amen

 d.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angels Among Us…The angels of Nica

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May God pierce your heart with the beautiful Words of His mouth and in these photos of His beautiful children living in the dumps of  Nicaragua.   

He wants to gather all into His loving fold…   

He yearns to embrace each life in love, compassion, mercy and grace.   

Our God is so beautiful…look at these faces…each created in His image…to love and be loved…   

mmmmm….   

“When statistics have a face and poverty becomes personal, that’s what messes with you. It’s a beautiful thing when people in poverty are no longer just a missions project, but become genuine friends and family with whom we laugh, cry, dream and struggle”- LEH   

    

   

Matthew 18:2-5   

 2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  5“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.   

    

Psalm 139 ( Message)   

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother’s womb.   

   

   

 I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

   

 I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.   

   

  Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I’d even lived one day.   

   

Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
      God, I’ll never comprehend them!
   I couldn’t even begin to count them—
      any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
   Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!   

   

    

Jeremiah 29:11   

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   

   

Matthew 18:10   

10“Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly.   

 You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?   

Matthew 18: 12-14   

Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.   

This includes YOU!   

Will you join hands with Christ today…will you enter His beautiful fold and hold onto His promises of eternal life…   

please…don’t wait…time is short…   

 

Sunday School

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 I am so thankful for the wisdom and knowledge of Linda White and Katie Carter.  I have watched God transform this SS class into this amazing place of worship for our children!  This week they learned about Passover and Communion.

Katie and Linda went to the max to teach them everything. 

Check out the photos!

 I think the really neat thing is that God has been speaking to me about ” how I set my table” and “what’s on it.”  I am not speaking about my kitchen table. but my spiritual table.  I’ve been dreaming up a drawing about it and Linda and Katie didn’t know that!  What they did here, will help me put my drawing to paper.

 This is the most beautiful table I have ever seen.  It is beautiful because it all points to Christ.  He is the Beautiful One!

 Everything about this represent holiness and reverence for Our Lord.

 Purity

Sacrifice

 Love

What’s on YOUR table?

Lord Jesus, Abba, Father, thank you for the obedience and commitment of Linda and Katie! WOW!  What servants they are!