Monday, May 16, 2011

Yesterday, Today and Forever

We are at a time in our lives that things seem to be rapidly changing.  Our oldest son is about to transfer to an out of state college in the fall.  Our middle son is turning 17 Wednesday.  Our youngest son has began to minister on his own while playing the guitar and singing.  My sister-in-law and her husband have divorced after 13 years.  They were our "best couple friends".  We spent most holidays together along with camping trips. My only living grandparent has just moved into a care center with dementia. Our very good friends and next door neighbors are moving in July. Change after change after change...

In the midst of all this change, Peace floods my soul when I think of the One that never changes.  His name is Jesus.  The bible tells us in Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  We know, also in Hebrews 13 that God will never leave nor forsake us.  Kids grow up, spouses sometimes leave or die, friends move....but Jesus is the same.  He is faithful, holy,  loving, righteous, our Healer, our Savior,  a Shelter,  our Comforter, full of wisdom, our Strength when we are weak and the list goes on!  There is no one or thing that can take His place.  Even though change is hard, especially on moms....we can receive peace and comfort when we put our faith and trust in the ONE that never changes, Jesus! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Resurrection Day

Tomorrow we will celebrate Resurrection Day! Resurrection Day was the day that Jesus rose from the dead and walked out of the tomb.  As Christians, we know that this means that Jesus won the victory over death and sin.  He took OUR sins upon himself and died in OUR place, then He rose from the dead in order that we could have a new life full of His power. Ephesians 1:18-20 says:   I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, 19 and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.  When you are born again, Christ lives You by His Holy Spirit!  1 Corinthians 1:22-23 tells us that "It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us,  and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.What does this mean to you personally?   To me, knowing that the SAME power that brought Christ from the dead is IN me and available to help me do HIS will and live as HE wants me to, is AWESOME!  I truly can "do all things through Christ who gives me the strength". (Phillipians 4:13) When we are born again, we receive the fullness of Christ and as we "die to self" and choose HIS control over our life, then ALL things are truly possible. 
So, as we celebrate Resurrection Day tomorrow, let us remember that we can experience the Resurrection and Power of Christ NOW personally in our lives.  We don't have to wait until we get to heaven!  In John 10:10, Jesus says, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [a]overflows).
I pray you have a Blessed and Victorious Resurrection Day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rebellion Vs. Obedience

As children of God, we should have an attitude of obedience.  "Obedience" is not a popular word in our world....ranks right about where "Submission" ranks!   Webster tells us that Obedience is "the quality or state of being willing to obey".  In today's culture, obedience is often replaced by rebellion. Christian or not, God IS the authority of all creation. However, if we claim to be a Child of the King, then we have responsibility to "trust and obey"! When we replace trust and obedience with fear and rebellion, we will not have peace, joy, self-control or any other of the fruits of His Spirit.  When we focus on pleasing ourselves and get our eyes off of the Lord, we soon find ourselves defeated.  As Children of the Most High King, we need to be aware that the Lord has designated an order of Authority.  As wives, we are to submit to the Lordship of Christ and the leadership position of our husband.  Sometimes it is hard to "submit" to a person, but the Bible tells us in Romans 13:1-2: Everyone must submit to governing authorities,  for all authority comes from God and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.  So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what GOD has instituted, and they will be punished.  Colossians 3:23 tells us that "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."  So, when you submit to your authorities on earth, you are actually submitting to the Lordship of Christ and obeying His Word.   Isaiah 1:19-20 tells us "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel you will be devoured by the sword," For the mouth of the Lord has spoken!  Psalms 106:43 tells us that "many times He delivered them, but there were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin."

Satan knows the blessings we can receive if only we will be obedient to Christ.  He wants to deter us from trusting the Lord enough to obey Him. We all have hurts in our past and our enemy wants us to use these as an excuse not to trust the Lord.  Some of us let the hurts of yesterday keep us from trusting and obeying the Lord today.  We let bitterness and unforgiveness build up in our heart and stifle out the Holy Spirit.  The Lord has given us a choice today.  We can obey the Lord, and trust the results to Him, or we can take things in our own hands, do it OUR way and rebel.  The glorious thing is, that if we choose obedience, Christ will do the work through us.  We just need to submit and obey Him and He will give us the grace we need. Rebellion is the opposite of obedience.  I want to encourage you to submit to the Lord in every area of your life.  Trusting the Lord and being in the very center of His will for your life is the safest place you can be.  As you give Him your hurts and confusion, He will replace them with His spiritual fruit.  Choose life today....Trust Jesus enough to do things HIS way and let HIM have full control of your life.  He is faithful!! 
  

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm going to trust YOU, Lord!

Trusting Jesus should come easy to us as children of God.  However, we often doubt His Word, look at the circumstances, listen to "Pharisees" or the devil, and find ourselves doubting our Savior.  God's Word tells us over and over how we should trust in the Lord such as;  TRUST in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,because they TRUST in you. (Isaiah 26:3), Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.(Psalms 9:10), May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13) and many more scriptures!  We can trust Jesus with our Salvation but have trouble trusting Him for a few dollars or other needs.  Deborah Smith Pegues says in her book, "Taming the Tongue", that "when we make a choice not to trust Him to handle a situation, we in essence, decide He is a liar and will renege on His promise to meet every need."  We serve the Only True Living God and if we have accepted Him as our Lord, we are his child! 
Matthew 7:11 says If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Romans 8:28 says that "we know that in ALL things God works FOR the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose!  He loves us SO much!  How can we not trust Him?
    However, sometimes life will throw you a curve ball. The last few months our family has walked through a valley.  A close family member has been going through a divorce. About six months ago, her husband suddenly announced he wanted out after many years of marriage.  On Friday the divorce was final.  We have all experienced an array of emotions during this time.  As hard as this valley has been, however, we all see how the Lord has drawn us closer and closer to Him.  During this time of deep hurt, the Lord has ministered so sweetly to us as we have cried out to Him.  Have we gotten everything we hoped and prayed for?  Did everything turn out perfect?  The answer is no!    Even though things did not turn out they way we hoped....God is in control.  We trust HIM with our whole lives.  He is Sovereign and Holy and has a plan for our family.  During this valley, I have personally grown in the Lord.  I can also trust that even though satan meant evil, our God will turn this pain into good.  Another friend shared with us, yesterday, about a very painful valley they have went through recently.  He reminded us that although the "mountain top" times are wonderful, that the REAL growth happens in the "valleys".  Oh, God is SO good and faithful.  Won't you give Him your hurting heart, your disappointments, your rebellious teen, your wayward spouse, your checkbook, your health, your reputation, your past, present and future....your everything!  He is trustworthy and He promises as you trust and obey, He will cover you with perfect peace!(Isaiah 26:3)  If you are going through one of these times, I encourage you to go to our website: 
www.chadandmelaina.com and listen to "Trust You".  Let this be your prayer to our Father!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Half-Hearted or Whole Hearted?

I keep a prayer journal when I have my quiet time.  Many times I like to read back in the past weeks and months to refresh my mind on what the Lord has spoken to me.  Recently, I found in my writings that the Lord had "put his finger on" my half-hearted attitude about some things He had called me to do.  On the outside, I looked as committed as ever.....homeschooling my son, going church to church ministering in song....but on the inside I was wavering.  When things got hard pressed, I would find myself thinking of "ways out".....like "well, we could always look for a job", or "well, if gets too hard, I guess I could put Zach back in public school".  I really thought since I was obeying on the "outside" that these thoughts were harmless.  I WAS WRONG.  It wasn't long until I felt a discontent and a restlessness.  I soon found myself actually reading the want-ads for jobs.  One day, as I read the newspaper, my eyes fell upon what seemed to be a "perfect" job for me, one in which I was well-qualified too. I mentioned it to Chad and his response jolted me.  "Did God tell you we were not to do evangelism anymore?"  I couldn't say yes.  A couple weeks after that, we went to Arkansas to minister.  We had the blessing to stay in a beautiful cabin on a hillside.  One morning, I got up before Chad and the boys and went out on the front deck.  It was beautiful and I could feel God's peace blanket me.  I started praying and reading my Bible.  Every place I read was speaking about "whole-heartedness".  I read in several different books of the bible, yet the word "whole-heartedly" or "whole-heartedness" kept jumping out at me.  The Lord revealed to me that my "half-hearted" attitude about our calling was a sin.  I basically was saying in my mind that I would obey BUT if things didn't work out....I would always have a back-up plan.  I was NOT living by faith. I had a divided heart and I was sinning.  1 Kings 8:61 says "But your hearts must be FULLY COMMITTED to the Lord our God, to live by HIS decress and OBEY His commands as  at this time.   1 Kings 11:4 tells us "As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and HIS HEART WAS NOT FULLY DEVOTED to the Lord, His God, as the heart of David, his father had done.  1 Kings 18:21 tells us that "Elijah went before the people and said "How long will you waver between two opinions?  It the Lord is God...FOLLOW Him...but if Baal is God, follow Him.  Needless to say, I repented!  I didn't realize how this attitude was affecting my walk with the Lord.  When I confessed it as sin then the Lord could move powerfully in our behalf and move mountains that before then could not be moved! Instead of nervousness and anxiety, I felt joy, peace, and the other fruits of His Spirit.
 I just want to encourage you today to keep your eyes on the Lord.  You may be in a ministry that seems to be not effective or not turning out like you thought, BUT if the Lord told you to do this ministry, be obedient.  He will tell us clearly when He wants us to turn another direction.  Don't let satan tempt you and lead you astray by your unfaithful thoughts and emotions.  TRUST Jesus!  Believe me, there have been times I can not understand what in the world is going on but God reminds me in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, delcares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Turn your heart WHOLE-HEARTEDLY to Him today and His peace that passes all understanding will be yours!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday Mornings

 Being in the ministry often means that Sunday is NOT your "rest day".  Sometimes we do up to three services on Sunday while out on the road.  Many Minister's wives not only assist their husband in preparing for their Sundays, but have a list of their own ministry duties as well. It is SO important that you mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare for your Sunday.  Often, Saturday is that day for me. Saturday is one time at the Ferrell Home things are usually not scheduled.  However, Saturday mornings pass by in a blink of an eye!  Where do Saturday mornings go? This morning I woke up coughing, blowing my nose, and eating cough drops:) As I prepared to have my quiet time with the Lord, I made my cup of hot tea.  As I was brewing the tea my mind started listing off all the things I need to do today:  write out bills, wash MORE clothes, wash my van before one of the kids writes "wash me" on the window, wash the dishes stacked in the sink, plan my meals for today and lunch for Sunday, send out any thank yous, grade Zach's homeschool and write out lesson plans.....the list grew and grew.  As I thought about all these things I felt myself getting anxious.  I wondered if I really had time to sit down and write in my prayer journal and read God's word....I mean I could always do it later.  It was as if the Lord gave me a tug in my heart.  The truth is I NEED this time with Jesus more than I need my next breath.  I need to minister to my family but ONLY through God's Spirit and Power could I do it effectively anyway.  As I sat down and begin to talk to the Lord, I felt a peace wash over me. When we put Jesus first in EVERYTHING and lay down our will for His, then He can move and work in our lives like never before.  Funny, just as I was typing this, my son runs in announcing that a friend of ours is going around the neighborhood washing vehicles!  I told him to sign our van up!!  Isn't the Lord good?  I put my time with Him first and  He took one of my "chores" off my list!! Praise the Lord.  I hope you all take the time today to love on Jesus and let Him love on you.  In reality, we can not do anything with eternal value if we don't. Matthew 6 reminds us not to worry and be anxious but to SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God and HIS righteousness!  Have a blessed Saturday!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Renewing Your Strength

We have just gotten home from a week-long trip through the Panhandle of Texas and Oklahoma.  We had a wonderful time of ministry and meeting sweet people in the Lord.  However, today, fatigue has set in.  We are back home...back to the laundry....back to the housework....back to the trials of dealing with teens, bills, outside family stress, etc.  On top of that, I have a cold and can barely speak.  So, when I try to talk I "squeak".  My boys find my "squeaking" humorous.  I am SO glad to be home yet feel like I have nothing left to give.  As I spent the day catching up on emails, laundry, paying bills, unpacking....my heart has been crying out to the Lord.  I know that I can't always "feel" great, but I can count on God's Word.  Isaiah 41, verses 28-31, came to my heart., "Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives STRENGTH TO WEARY, and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint!   THANK YOU LORD, that even though my body is tired....my Spirit in encouraged and my hope is in YOU, Lord!