FACTS Vs Mar 11-17/12

Published on 11 March 2012 by in Encouragement, English, Weekly FACTS

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FOCUS

1 Peter 1:8-9, NIV: Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

ADORATION

Psalm 145:3-5, NIV: Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

CONFESSION

Psalm 142:7, NIV: Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

THANKSGIVING

Psalm 145:11-13, NIV: They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

SUPPLICATION

Philipians 3:20-21, NLT: But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Saviour. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

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I Don’t Like Spiders

Published on 09 March 2012 by in Encouragement

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I Don’t Like Spiders

I dont like spiders!!!

I shrink back whenever I see the creepy crawly things. That aversion, however, is not enough to stop me from removing them from our living space. My preference to live without spider webs is greater then my dislike of spiders.

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Heb11:29

  • What makes you flinch or recoil?
  • Do you have second thoughts about hardship and discipline?
  • What is your greater belief?

Holiness is like whatever it takes to clean the house

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Heb 12:5b

But God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Heb 12:10b, 11, NIV

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” Heb 10:35-38, NIV

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom 5:1, NIV

Your initial response may be to draw back when you face the creepy crawly’s in your life.

As long as you choose to have them removed and move forward in believing, you will be saved!

Father, thank you that knowing you gives us perspective! You can be trusted implicitly. You understand exactly what makes each one of us hesitate and falter. Thank you that we can share in your holiness as we cooperate with you and your way of holiness. And yes Lord, thank you even for spiders who keep various populations of insects in check and provide sustenance by becoming food themselves to insectivores. Even though I still don’t like spiders, I know you love me and are perfect in all your ways.

Karen Braun, 2012

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FACTS Vs Mar 4-10/12

Published on 05 March 2012 by in English, Weekly FACTS

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FOCUS

2 Peter 1:3-4, NLT: By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

ADORATION

Nehemiah 9:5-6, NIV: Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

CONFESSION

Jeremiah 13:15-16, NLT: Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before it is too late. Acknowledge him before he brings darkness upon you, causing you to stumble and fall on the darkening mountains. For then, when you look for light, you will find only terrible darkness and gloom.

THANKSGIVING

Psalm 31:21-22, NLT: Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.

SUPPLICATION

2 Peter 1:4, NLT: And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

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Asking the Right Question

Published on 02 March 2012 by in Encouragement

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Asking the Right Question

How do you know if you are asking the right questions?

There is no question off-limit with God. He will guide the sincere inquiry.

There was a group of people who believed that there is no resurrection from the dead. Their belief system shaped the kind of questions they asked Jesus. You can read about it in Matthew 22 or Mark 12.

Do you think they were prepared for Jesus answer?

Your mistake is that you dont know the Scriptures, and you dont know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven. Mk 12:24, 25

Jesus response cuts to the chase.

  • How do we differ?
  • Is it possible that our belief system causes us to ask the wrong questions?
  • How many of our questions would change if we were more familiar with the Ancient Words and their power?

Scripture teaches:

  • Issiah 8:20, NLT: Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark.
  • Hosea 8:12-14, NLT: Even though I gave them all my laws, they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.
  • John 5:39-40, NLT: You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
  • John 20:8-10, NLT: Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.
  • Acts 17:11-12, NLT: And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
  • Romans 15:4, NLT: Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17, NLT: You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Ideal Questions:

  • What are you doing every day to know the Scriptures more?
  • How do you position your faith to experience Gods power at work?
  • How has Gods Word powerfully changed your life?

Are you prepared to hear Gods answers to your sincere questions?

Thank you Father for giving us your Word. Jesus is the Word who became flesh. Thank you You for caring about what we believe, enough to confront us with truth. Help us understand how believing in Jesus death and resurrection serves to shape the questions we MUST ask. We long to KNOW you more. Increase our hunger to feast more on your Words, as they are LIFE. If we lack desire, grant desire, if we lack discipline, grant discipline, if we lack delight, grant delight. Unleash your power. Amen

Karen Braun, 2012

 

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FACTS Vs Feb 26-Mar 3/12

Published on 26 February 2012 by in Encouragement, English, Weekly FACTS

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FOCUS

Psalm 119:146-147, NIV: I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.

ADORATION

Zechariah 9:13-15, NIV: I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword. Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, and the Lord Almighty will shield them.

CONFESSION

Proverbs 13:12, NIV: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

THANKSGIVING

Hosea 2:14-15, NIV: Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

SUPPLICATION

2 Corinthians 10:15-18, NIV: Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others.Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory. But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

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Guard Your MOUTH!!!

Published on 24 February 2012 by in Encouragement

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Guard Your MOUTH!!!

I hate the repercussion of uncontrolled words of gossip! It dishonors, drives wedges, and destroys. It can devastate relationships, demolish families and friendships, defeat leaders, dismantle organizations, and divide churches, while decaying the individuals who carelessly practice unrestrained declarations.

I love Jesus’ words, “It is finished!” which made way for His undeserved mercy and grace to break and replace the ugly chains of sin.

“Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod. Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster. ” ( Proverbs 10:13 NLT, also see Eph 6:12-13)

I have experienced the upsetting and inappropriate receiving end of this kind of deception. Sadly, I also know the horrifying and humiliating shame from contributing to the same barrage! Both awakened my need for my Helper and Savior Jesus!

Pressure will always expose the mirrored condition of our heart like a tire with a slow leak or sudden explosion due to any lack of integrity. No one is exempt!

  • Is there a healthy way to prepare and manage the integrity of your mouth?
  • How can your words declare grace and mercy instead of deception and death?
  • What governs your heart attitudes, thoughts, and words?
  • Have you been subtly ensnared by the evil schemes of the Satan?

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:23-24, NIV

It is soooooo easy in the midst of authentic hurt and pain to be sloppy with words, to not listen, and to make assumptions we believe justify how we manage uncertain, unfamiliar, and messy situations. Mismanagement of pain, however, is corrupt and gives Satan a foothold, that soon crushes and wounds one’s self and those closest; setting off a domino effect to shut out the presence of God. Unless the heart condition is accounted for with truth!

WORDS WORTH REPEATING

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust, is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV)

To humble ourselves and take responsibility for our words is to open our heart to the wellspring of life (Jesus) for restoration, by shutting down our sinful nature and the demolition tactics of the evil one.

Accountability washed over by forgiveness, mercy and grace, is the ONLY hopeful solution to restore, heal, bring honor, reunite and renew brokenness brought on by foolish words. This opportunity is worth thinking and talking about!

EXTRA NOTE OF CAUTION TO WOMEN we can be the worst offenders, especially when our loved ones have been wounded or attacked! Beware how easy it is to assume a position of judgment that, in fact, ensnares. Remember the rule that every time you point a finger, there are always three pointing back at you.

In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” (1 Tim 3:11, NIV)

Heavenly Father how grieved you must be by the mess we make with our uncontrolled words. Our righteous pride and stiff necked resistance causes more grief then we realize. We override your order and then wonder why there is so much devastation around us. Father, we want our hearts to be filled with thoughts and desires that are from you. As we spend more time in your presence and Word, to focus on you alone, we know that our hearts will change for the better, affecting the rest of our lives in godly ways. May the words of our mouths and meditations of our heart be pleasing to you. Thank you that the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all the unrighteous words I have ever spoken or have been spoken over me!

“May all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, The LORD is great! As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my Savior.” (Psalm 40:15-17, NLT)

Karen Braun, 2012

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FACTS Vs Feb 19-25/12

Published on 19 February 2012 by in English, Weekly FACTS

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FOCUS

Psalm 119:114, NIV: You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

ADORATION

Lamentations 3:31-33, NIV: For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.

CONFESSION

Job 30:26, NIV: Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.

THANKSGIVING

Jeremiah 29:11-14, NIV: 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

SUPPLICATION

Zechariah 9:11-15, NIV: As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

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Muscles of Joy

Published on 17 February 2012 by in Encouragement

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Muscles of Joy

AN EXERCISE FOR YOU…

  • How long can you smile at someone before looking away?
  • How many muscles are at work in a smiling face?

Today I used all 80 muscles and cant stop smiling from the heart because; our son came home for the weekend. There is nothing quite like that mutual glance and genuine embrace, which speak volumes without even saying a word; or the ongoing interaction, yet to be experienced. Im still grinning from ear to ear. 🙂

It is worthy to note that some very deep, long, and genuine conversations over the past weeks and months, contribute to this joy that is deep and delightful now. Gods direct provision and answers to our shared prayers of care, when it was hard to smile, clearly source that resonance of mutual pleasure and satisfaction!

‘The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing’ (Zeph 3:17, NIV).

TRIVIA

  • Just because someone smiles at you doesn’t mean that they are pleased to see you, or even happy. People have a large repertoire of smiles that indicate and communicate many powerful messages.
  • Genuine, happy smiles tend to broaden out from a minor facial movement to a broad expression that encompasses the whole face.
  • Smiles arent always happy. There are smiles of fear, misery, or even contempt. Sometimes smiling has nothing to do with underlying thoughts and emotions. People smile because it is what is expected of them.

FACT

  • Most often, genuine smiles breed genuine smiles.

SO…

  • What brings you joy?
  • What robs your joy?
  • What really brings you joy, as opposed to what you think brings you joy?
  • What conversations do you have with God that lead to that deepest satisfaction and pleasure?

“Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah” (Acts 3:19-21, NLT).

 

Heavenly Father, its kind of amazing to think that we give you joy! Your smile makes us smile. Your Word indicates that you take pleasure and satisfaction in us when we share life with you, learn from you, and choose to follow your way of love. Thank you for creating us with the capacity to exercise smiles from the heart, and for giving us the reason for joy Jesus! Increase our joy and genuine smile, that others may smile again or for the very first time. Amen.

Karen Braun

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FACTS VS Feb12-18/12

Published on 12 February 2012 by in English, Weekly FACTS

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FOCUS

Psalm 119:81, NIV: My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.

ADORATION

Lamentations 3:25-26, NIV: The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

CONFESSION

Lamentations 4:12-13, NIV: The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the world’s people, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous.

THANKSGIVING

Jeremiah 14:22, NIV: Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.

SUPPLICATION

Psalm 39:7-11, NIV: “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools. I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this. Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand. You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth; each man is but a breath.

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FACTS Vs Feb 5-11/12

Published on 05 February 2012 by in English, Weekly FACTS

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FOCUS

Psalm 119:74, NIV: May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.

ADORATION

Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

CONFESSION

Lamentations 3:7-9, NIV: He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.

THANKSGIVING

Lamentations 3:19-21, NIV: I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.

SUPPLICATION

Lamentations 5:19-22, NIV: You, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.

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