Posts Tagged With: religion

Trust The Process!

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Good News Thursday!!!

To listen to this weeks song for meditation, Click on My Everything (Instrumental) by Todd Dulaney

The atmosphere is changing now, For the Spirit of the Lord is here. The evidence is all around, That the Spirit of the Lord is here. -Elevation Worship

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NLT

God has a plan for your life, and it’s unique and purposeful.

So rest in it!

You can trust it!

Continue reading

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Pray with Power!

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On Thursday’s Surrender Morning Prayer (we were on Day 18 of the Global Surrender Fast) I shared several prayers that the Lord gave me that speak life into my situations and not death. So often our prayers are just complaints or us informing God. But if we pray the Word of God we have the ability to change not just our situations, but leave a legacy of prayer that will never die!

View the Day 18 Periscope

Sample prayers by category: Continue reading

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No (Wo)Man is an Island: You Need Partnerships to Reach BIG Goals

Welcome to Week 4 of Cycle 4 of Surrender 2013!!! Theme: Enough is Enough!

*This week we are focusing on relationships not just any old relationships, but those ordained by God.

Do you know that there are people in your life that are inextricably tied to your destiny? According to Freedictionary.com inextricable means – so intricate or entangled as to make escape impossible.

That can be good or bad news. I guess it depends on the quality of your relationships. For those people you are in good relationship with you are all for entanglement. But when it comes to the more challenging relationships–you want out and you want out now!

However, there are some relationships, for better or for worse, you will need to stick with because they are crucial to the successful completion of your life’s call. Continue reading

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No Weapon Shall Prosper…What Does That Mean?

I’m just thinking out loud.

You know the scripture in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper?” What does that mean to you? It’s an important question because some lose faith in God when things don’t go as they had planned.

In the past, I have interpreted that scripture as such: no matter how someone attempts to harm me, it won’t work. But that can’t be the case.

Yesterday I was reading the story of Stephen (Acts 6:8 – 8:1) the first martyr of the early church. The Bible describes Him as “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.” Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen who began to argue with Stephen, but they were no match for his God-given wisdom. Therefore, they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” And it worked; Stephen was arrested and subsequently stoned.

So if my interpretation of Isaiah 54:17 holds any weight Stephen should have been exonerated of any wrong doing and freed, but he wasn’t. Obeying God can carry a high cost.

That reality is unsettling and it’s a tough pill to swallow, but if we are to live surrendered before the Lord we have to trust Him; even with our lives. Jesus, Paul, Peter, and Martin Luther King Jr. did and what a legacy they left! I am learning that those who live without fear of death become great in life and God gets all the glory.

If you are struggling in your faith today remember that God is sovereign and His Word does not return to Him void. Although everything works out for your good (Romans 8:28) that doesn’t mean that everything works out the way you would like.

So what does Isaiah 54:17 mean to me now?

When a weapon is formed against me, it may harm me (personally) but ultimately God gets the glory and we (the Christian believers) win. Good always wins over evil; love always conquers hate.

What do you think? How have you come to understand Isaiah 54:17? I would love to hear from you.

With God all things are possible,
Dr. Celeste

ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!

1. Don’t forget to register for the First Annual Surrender Fast Family Reunion and Surrender 2013 Kickoff! You can register from the Surrender Fast website.

2. The 40-Day Surrender Fast is on sale for $10. until 11.27.2012. Purchase your copies now so you are ready for the Pre-Fast Preparation which starts 12.24.12

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Surrender the Replacement

I am on Day 21 of a corporate 21-Day Fast sponsored by Fusions Ministries. I am  designated their “scribe” which requires me to keep a log of all the written testimonies received during the fast. One testimony in particular left a lasting impression on me. The Faster wrote:

The Lord delivered me over 20 years ago from sexual lusts. However while feeling prideful and smug, God revealed that I had just transferred the sexual lusts to other things: eating, shopping, watching unholy programs, and movies. Even to the point of recording programs while attending Bible Study. I thank Him for this revelation and repent by abstaining and deleting programs from my DVR.”

Wow, that bold testimony started me thinking about all I had “surrendered” and if I had indeed surrendered those things or replaced them with other affections. Sadly some things have been replaced.

For example, I stopped watching TV in 2011. I have been so proud of myself and quite judgmental, at least in my mind, of those who are victim to television’s pull. But since doing this 21-day fast I realize TV was simply replaced with more time on the internet, particularly social media.

However, even that outlet was unavailable to me during our 21-day fast. So instead of spending more time with God (outside of my 1 hour in the morning) I replaced my loss of TV and social media with snacking.  Yes, I am the queen of mindless distractions but I need to stop because when these activities are engaged in inappropriately they become idols.

But God said, “You shall have no other god before me” (Exodus 20:3). Rhonda Hughey writes, “Anything that competes with our love for Jesus can become a substitute for our affections and worship…The church is in danger of continuing to give token devotion to God on Sundays, while assimilating to our culture’s idolatry during the week.” (Day 20 – Loss of Our First Love?)

Where do you spend most of your time? What things do you treasure? The Bible reminds us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

This may all seem like “too much” or “over-kill”. You may be thinking, Doesn’t God want me to enjoy life? Of course He does. He told us, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).

But His idea of abundant living is the polar opposite of what the world tells us is abundant living. Case in point, Eve had it all: joy, peace, a wonderful husband, the Garden of Eden…she had it all. Yet she readily traded it all in for what seemed better, but in the end it led to death.

Today the enemy is out to trick us too. He knows that if we surrender it all to God that our lives will be far more than we ever imagined: joy overflowing, peace that surpasses all understanding, wholeness, and victory over our every circumstance. So he keeps tempting us with lifeless substitutes so that we reject the abundant life that God has promised.

God has so much more for us if we would just give up our idols and seek Him without distraction. Like Donald Lawrence sang, “Let’s get back to Eden and live on top of the world!”

My pray today is that I surrender and not replace.

How about you?

With God all things are possible,

Celeste Owens

P.S. Sign up today for Surrender Fast 2013. Forty days and a surrendered heart will change your life!

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The Lord Will Make a Way Some-HOW

I’ve been reading the story of Nehemiah who was instrumental in rebuilding the dilapidated wall of Jerusalem in just 52 days! It was a monumental task but God somehow worked a miracle. I am so encouraged by his story and others like it.

My friend Michelle Ruth Jones of The Time to Fly Foundation, a non-profit that helps women, is also a trailblazer. About a month ago her organization was the recipient of a $25K media grant. She said of the grant, “Only God and my prayer buddies know the tears I’ve shed from the weight of the growing work…yet the Holy Spirit has repeatedly said ‘Daughter, hold on TRUST Me’”.

Pastor Mark Batterson wrote on his blog these profound words, “When God gives a vision, He makes provision!” Both Nehemiah and Michelle were burdened with tasks that were bigger than them, but they succeeded because they believed that God would make a way somehow. They also prayed and moved into action when God provided the means. Michelle didn’t hear about the grant until 48 hours before the final decision was to be made. God doesn’t need a lot of time, He just needs willing vessels to do His work.

What huge task(s) has God laid at your feet? Will you pick it up? Don’t concern yourself with HOW it will get done; in faith do ALL God is instructing and He will work out the how.

If you are in a season of transition or need to refocus on the plan that God has for your life, join us for Cycle 4 of the Surrender Fast to begin December 31. There is an introductory video on the Home page. Please encourage your family, friends, and church congregations to join us for this life-changing experience!

With God all things are possible,
Dr. Celeste

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Testimony from 12-year-old Ayana

Chartese (mom of Ayana) writes:My 12-year-old daughter wrote this in her journal on day 40…

“The 40-Day Surrender Fast helped me be closer to my family.”

I have noticed a huge difference in the way that she interacts with her brothers. She is more patient with them. That is a blessing. Thanks for EVERYTHING that you all do for us. We really appreciate the time that you take to deliver the Word.

Peace & Blessings,

Chartese Richardson
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Life After Surrender 2012

How’s life after the Surrender Fast?!!

Rather you did 1 or all 3 cycles this year I pray your life will never be the same.

I also pray that your time with the Lord was fruitful. That you regained your focused, renewed your passion for His agenda, restored some relationships, found peace, got some rest and received all God intended to bestow on you.

It has become abundantly clear, at least for me, that surrendering is not simply for a moment but a lifetime. For that reason, I seek to remain in a constant posture of surrender. What does that look like for me on a daily basis? It involves carving out personal time with God, humbling myself before God and men, releasing my will in the areas of diet and exercise…In other words, seeking and submitting to God’s will in every area of my life. Continue reading

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Testimony from Tanesha (Cycle 3)

When I started this fast, I was at my wits end as it pertains to my marriage.  I had survived five years of hell and I was done!However, with less than a mustard seed of faith, I decided that I would give my talk with God one last effort because up to this point I felt he was certainly not listening to my cries; He was definetely letting down one of his biggest fans and I was DONE!

With that and in my absolute frustration, anger and bitterness, I pushed myself to commit my all to the Surrender Fast and Book 3 of my DDS (Divine Discipleship for Sisters) Class – Spiritual Warfare/The Disciples Victory.  As hard as it was, I could do nothing else but lay it all down and let go of my biggest defense mechanism CONTROL. Continue reading

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Testimony from Wilma (Surrender Fast – Cycle 3)

This was my first 40 day Surrender Fast.  In my life it has been hard for me to do a fast, I never finish it and for the first time in my life I finished! I did the whole thing and I’m so grateful to you and God for being there for me.

Because of the fast I was feeling the need to go back to church.  So I decide to go back to  church, posted it on Facebook and to my Surprise my daughter emailed me and told me “not to go back to that church were they humiliate me and treat me bad”.   I was amazed and confused until she express her good feelings about the church that I use to go to The Montgomery Church of Christ (MCOC).  When I first move to Maryland I attended that church and liked it. But I lost myself when my baby died.  I was going through so much and I became depressed.  But the church was wonderful. One of the ex-members of that church invited me to go to a Spanish church because I am Hispanic and I never felt the same again. My daughter never liked any church just MCOC and she told me that if I go back to MCOC that  she will go with me once in a while.  I started to praise God and cry I was amazed, happy and excited. OMG! Too many emotions because every time I talk about God she has an attitude and look at her now, she wants to go.

And that’s not all. Last night I was doing my Surrender Fast Journal and my granddaughter said, “Nana I want to be like you. She ask me for a notebook and she started reading her Kid’s Bible that I had gotten her and writing down what she was feeling.  I give the glory to God. Things are happening all because I decided to follow Jesus.  I love him so  much and I thank God first  and then you and Maria White who introduced me to the 40 Day Surrender Fast.  God Bless you.

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