Thursday, September 24, 2009

God works in wonderous ways

I would love to share my Tuesday evening out with my sweet friend Bobbie. She had put our names in a contest to win front row seats to hear Pastor Paul Sheppard preach. After she had told me that I really forgot all about it. See, I never win anything! So Monday I am writing and I receive a phone call. It was an unidentified number. If I don't know the number I don't pick up my phone. This time something said, pick it up girl. So after picking up, I was listening intently, and I hear the words, "You' ve won front row seats to see Pastor Paul!" I said, "Oh, wow thats great." She told me where to pick up the tickets, but in all the excitement I forgot to ask her how many tickets, what day and time. After reaching her we just knew this was a God moment. Well, that next day, things began to happen and were for sure we weren't going to get to attend. You know how satan works when God has something planned for you! As it turned out we put ourselves together and said, "We are going!" Bobbie had heard him preach before, and told me I was in store for a blessing, so I wasn't quite sure of what I was getting myself into. We had a wonderful drive there, and as I get out my tickets, we are told, "Follow me, please." We were even ushered to our seats, that had our names upon them. We sat next to two young men who were just as excited as us. As we sat down, the radio host, came and told us we needed to get our picture taken with the Pastor for the website. He was so humble, so generous, and just a nice person. He not only took pictures with those who won, but with everyone in the church. He took the time to speak to all in the church. This was a large church, a church with many hungry souls, wanting to be fed. Before he began preaching we held hands together and prayed. It was a wonderful moment to hold the hand of a stranger, but know he was my brother in Christ. His message was titled Outlasting Your Challenges, and he was preaching from Hebrews 10:35-39. In all our excitement we forgot to bring our bibles! He gave a message of truth, of freedom, and many points that just seem to stick with you. He shared that reading God's word is quick and powerful and will reach us where we are. We can't call ourselves victors if we are not going through challenges. We can have victory through our trials and challenges. He told us that we will outlast our challenges if we follow God's word. Through our sufferings we will gain rewards from Christ. We shouldn't have confidence in ourselves, only God. We cannot place our confidence in any other person, and if we could help ourselves, Jesus would have stayed in heaven. We aren't on a self-help trip, only Christ blesses us. Without Him we have no hope. When we choose to stay in the darkness, our eyes begin to adjust and it doesn't seem as dark anymore. We get used to the dark, but Christ can light up that room with His presence and its at that moment we see just how dark the place was where we were at. Satan petisions heaven to shake us up. Sometimes we can't get to where God is taking us until we do get shaken, its then that we draw closer to God. We want our faith strengthened, not seperated from Christ and our faith. Sometimes we can choose to move away from Christ when tragedy strikes, but Christ never moves away from us. One of the points he made that really touched us was that we should never count people out because they have made mistakes and failed. We need to turn and look at those in our churches. We are full of failures and people who make mistakes daily. That is why we are in need of a Savior. I have to have the confidence that God can take me from where I am to where He wants me to be. God can make a way through no way, and if there isn't a door, He can make one. God is a finisher, we have to stop putting time limits for God to work. We have to give Him time, and stop putting limitations on Him. We must have cheerful perseverance! God will bring about what He has promised, we just have to wait cheerfully. We can't give God deadlines, who do we really think we are? God knows just what we need and when we need it. He sees the whole picture. Another one that really spoke to me was that we need to stop trying to change our circumstances and change our attitude in those circumstances. He might just be working on me through those trials and circumstances that I am facing. When we want change in those circumstances we must let God work in His way and in His time. God will keep giving us grace to make it through each day. We are not of those who shrink back, but of those who believe! I have to say, it was one of most powerful messages I have ever heard. It was a real blessing to sit with so many christian brothers and sisters. To hear people shout out glory, and praise Jesus. No one sat quiet, you could feel the spirit moving. You could hear it in songs we sang, in the message, in the voices of those who spoke out, and in those who would repeat the scripture from from their heart. Everyone was so pleasant, so kind, and you could of just stayed, wanting to know more about them, about their lives and their struggles, and just how they overcame with Christ. Pastor Paul Sheppard can be heard on the Bott Radio programs across the country, and his home church is in California. My sweet friend stood and held her hands high as she was praising God through the songs, you could simply feel the Lord moving in each person. There was humor, there was kinship between one another, and the Word was spoken to reach our hearts and to bring us to our knees. I am not quite sure what I was expecting, but God showed me so many lessons, so many places in my life that I need to change and work on. I can say without a doubt, we had CHURCH Tuesday night, and it is a night that I know God ordained, with His blessings. He knew just what we needed to hear, and the message was to reach out to everyone. When we choose to let go and to let God, He will move in wonderous ways. He is definitely taking me from where I am today and placing me just where He wants me. What an awesome night my sweet friend and I shared with the Lord. He touched our hearts, minds and souls with His word, and with His love. It was a night I will forever remember in my heart. Thank you Jesus, for putting Tuesday all together for your daughters who love You and praise Your name.
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