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SHOVEL FULL OF GRACE

Ok, so first off, if any of you reading this and you know me personally then you probably know my struggle with rage and anger against other drivers USED to be a huge issue for me. Mainly because in my mind, back then, most people drove like complete idiots. Except for me…  (Praise God He change my perspective..)

That being said, when the story I’m about to tell you took place, I was in the process of TRYING to be much better, let God be in control while driving, and not yell, scream, swear, and tell people to pull over so much anymore.

So, at Church there was an illustration where the speaker had a shovel in his hands and was showing us how when God gives, and shows us grace, that’s how He does it. He shovels it all over us all the time!  Then he took a spoon and said,  but this is how we distribute grace to others. God gives us so much, but in return we don’t give to others anywhere near the same as it is given to us.

This was huge to me! I literally thought about, and reminded myself of this illustration, daily since I heard it. Then. that same week, someone in my life showed me a HUGE amount of grace. They blessed me in such a huge way, and I didn’t even deserve it. It was amazing.

Then, the very next day, as I was working at a trade show, I needed to come out to my truck to move it to another side of the building. And this is what I saw when I got outside….

I was instantly filled with a rage and anger that I can’t even express into words! Furious is a walk in the park compared to what I was feeling! I couldn’t decide if I was going to shatter this guy’s window, or key his entire car. (both, regrettably, I had done in the past.) I finally settled on keying his car. I got a key ready that I wasn’t to worried about destroying, and I walked to the side of his car.

Then I felt God all over me. 

It was like I heard Him say directly to me,  “Man… Kelly,  you’re not even going to use a spoon?”

And I just froze. In my mind I thought, BUT GOD!!!  PLEASE!?!  LOOK WHAT THIS JERK DID!?!  

He said, “But look what I did…” 
 
So…  I fought for a few moreseconds in my mind, then I walked to the passenger side of my car. I was about to climb over the seat to get in my side and I said to God, I can’t let him off without AT LEAST knowing about this… So I found some paper and I wrote this note to leave on his windshield.

Now, I’m not saying leaving the note was right.  In fact, it probably wasn’t. But I didn’t damage his car. I took the time to listen to God and reflect on what he taught me.

It felt good.

So as I still struggle to show grace and love to people on a daily basis, who I may feel don’t deserve it… I’m still trying. I’m making the effort to use the shovel instead of the spoon.

I want to encourage youall to do the same. Everyday you’re going to have an opportunity to show someone grace…

Will you use a shovel, or a spoon?
 
KELLY K

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TALKING TO MOUNTAINS

I want to talk to you about prayer today. Jesus taught us many things about prayer and I want to focus on one powerful aspect of His teaching. This is how Jesus prayed and how He wants us to pray also.

Matthew 17:20b

17 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can
say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.””  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.17.20

What kind of mountain is Jesus talking about right here?

A mountain is a problem, addiction, sin, sickness, bad habit, an issue, drama in your life, or a circumstance that is keeping you from being everything that Jesus wants you to be. A mountain is anything that is slowing down your progress in your relationship with God. A mountain is anything in your life that is in the way. It is anything standing between you and God’s promises in your life.

Let me set this all up with a story right from the the Bible, David and Goliath.

1Samuel 17:2,3

2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.  NIV
 
Goliath starts talking smack to the nation of Israel and they are so terrified they say nothing back.  Goliath did this every morning and evening for forty days.  So for forty days the strongest military men in the nation of Israel were so scared that they wouldn’t even talk TO Goliath, (pause for effect) but they talked ABOUT him.

In fact, I bet they really talked him up…

O my, Look how tall he is… OMG he is a beast… I bet I couldn’t even pick up his sword… How much do you think he can benchpress? Can you imagine getting punched by him? He has never lost a battle and he’s been fighting since he was a kid… Good Lord, look at the size of his sword… I wonder how sharp it is…  I don’t know but I’m not gonna find out.

Every time they talked ABOUT Goliath it seemed more and more impossible to defeat him.  This is a picture of how many Christians deal with mountains…  They talk ABOUT their mountains but never TO them.

Don’t talk ABOUT your mountain; Talk TO it!  

Everything changed the day that David showed up to bring his brothers some food.  David heard Goliath talking smack and said this is not right and did something about it. Check it out…

1 Samuel 17:45-48

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 
47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves;
for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. NIV

David talked to his mountain…

We talk to so many people ABOUT our problems. We talk to God, our family, and our friends about our problems.  Jesus NEVER talked ABOUT his mountains, He ALWAYS talked TO them. That is how Jesus teaches us to deal with mountains. What mountain are you facing right now in your life?  Are you talking ABOUT it or TO it?

Don’t talk ABOUT your mountain; Talk TO it!  

Matthew 17:20b (WOW1)

17 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.””  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.17.20

It doesn’t take huge faith to be a mountain mover according to Jesus’ own words. Faith the size of the smallest mustard seed can move the biggest mountain in your world.  This is a strong statement from Jesus right here…”Nothing will be impossible for you.” Jesus is giving us some priceless advice about prayer…

Don’t talk ABOUT your mountain; Talk TO it!  

I’m not saying, that we can’t ever talk about an area of our life that we are struggling with. THAT IS NOT WHAT I’M SAYING.  It can be healthy to talk about it.  However, our problem will never change if that is all we do.  Find someone that loves Jesus and loves you and get some help. There is strength in unity when we pray together.  This is a really good thing.  Don’t stop when you are finished taking about your mountain; Talk TO it.

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus uses mountains to describe problems? Why is that? Mountains are tall.  I mean they are not hills right… Am I right? Mountains are huge. Mountains are immovable. Mountains can be intimidating.  Mountains are overwhelming and bigger than life. Over 240 people have died trying to climb Mount Everest. Avalanches, rockslides, blizzards, falls, altitude sickness, freezing temperatures, exhaustion and combinations of these have all proven fatal, particularly in the so-called “death zone” above 26,000 feet. Since getting them down is grueling and dangerous, most of the corpses remain up there. They are well preserved in the snow and apparently serve as trail markers for climbers who pass by. We must stop trying to climb the mountains in our life and start speaking to them.

Jesus looks at mountains much differently than we do…

Nahum 1:5

5 “The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.”  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/NAM.1.5

Jesus is not intimidated by your mountains!  

Mark 11:22-24 (WOW2,3,4)

22 ““Have faith in God,”Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say
will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you,
whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  NIV

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/MRK.11.22-24

How to overcome the mountains in your life through prayer…

  1. Trust Jesus With Everything

“Have faith in God.”  Trust is the foundation of our prayer life.  Without faith or trust in Jesus our prayers won’t work and eventually we will stop praying altogether.  When we talk about and focus on the mountains in our lives the mountains becomes bigger and bigger.  The problem might only be a speed bump but because I have talked it up it looks like Mount Everest.

  1. Speak Out Loud TO Your Mountain

There is only one way to move the mountains in your life.  It’s not to be talking ABOUT IT, It’s talking TO it.  Jesus doesn’t want you to ignore your mountains either.  He wants you to talk to them…  OUT LOUD.  Silence does not move mountains, your voice does.  It’s not about the size of your faith or your mountain. It’s the size our your God!

  1. Tell Your Mountain Where To Go

Always remember that Jesus gave you the authority when dealing with mountains.

Matthew 17:20b…you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  NIV

Mark 11:23b…if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea…

You are telling your mountain to move from one place to another place so that you can move forward. You have authority to move mountains.  Jesus has ALL authority (Matthew 28:11),  and He has given you authority to move the mountains in your life.  Let me give you an example…  On the football field there are three teams.  Two of them are the home team and the away team and these teams are in conflict with each other because they have different goals. There is also another team made up of seven referees that don’t belong to the home or away teams.

On a football field the players are younger, stronger and faster than the referees. The referees are older and slower than the players. The players can knock you down to the ground but the referees can throw you out of the game. The players have power but the referees have authority! We as Christians have the power and authority to move mountains because Jesus told us to.

  1. Believe It’s Already Yours

Before you see it in the natural believe that it is already yours.  That’s real faith.

  1. Nothing will be impossible for you

This sentence sums up the power of prayer.  When we talk about our mountains they become impossible to deal with, but when we talk to them the impossible becomes possible.

It’s time to stop telling God how big our mountains are and start telling our mountains how big our God is.  Jesus has given us the right, power and authority to move mountains.  We are mountain movers!!  Start today! Just TALK TO IT! Jesus did and so can we because He lives in us.
 
PASTOR RANDY HENDERSON

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LOVE PEOPLE TO JESUS

I took this picture a few weeks ago while ministering in downtown Los Angeles with the Dream Center. Of all the people I saw that week, this one picture I took spoke to me the most. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this picture says so much more to me than that. I see a sad, strung-out homeless woman, a barefoot, shirtless guitar player in his own world, and a young man enjoying his music and eating his lunch just two feet away. It breaks my heart to see the sadness in this woman’s eyes. I wonder what she is thinking about all that is going on around her.

I think sometimes we forget that everyone has a story. As we run our errands, fill up our gas tanks and wait in traffic, we dismiss nameless faces who carry stories just like ours. There is a common thread among all of us…we all need Jesus. We all have stuff going on in our lives. My big ‘stuff’ doesn’t really matter when someone needs to feel the love of Jesus. We all need to feel love.  

I John 4:7 says, “Let us continue to love on another, for love comes from God. Any who loves is a child of God and knows God.”

In the natural, I don’t love everyone. But when I became a child of God that love became part of my nature. If you know me at all or have spent any time around me, you know that a big part of who I am and what I do is spent just loving people. Loving people to Jesus. That’s what I love doing!
 
Our whole lifestyle should tell people, “If you come around me, I’m going to love you. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, how you look, smell or behave, I’m going to love you.”
 
This is agape love.  Agape love first exists, THEN it affects the emotions. Agape involves the kind of love that cannot be compensated. This is foreign to us and to our culture. The mentality of this world leads us to love and give only when there is a reason to assume that our love will be reciprocated.
 
In 
John 3:16 
we see that HE gave for us when we didn’t deserve it and had nothing to give back. Love means accepting people the way they are. We should be loving people to Jesus. We can’t worry about what people are going to say or think. 
 
I want to encourage you to take a minute this week to stop and look at the world around you. Put the music on pause, let the traffic continue on and let the errands wait. Who do you see? What is their story? Maybe God wants to use you to love someone to Jesus.
 
PASTOR SHARON ANDERSON

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