See it, Believe it, Receive it!

Have you ever had a feeling like something big is going to happen even though there was no official word or confirmation it was taking place? You just felt it down in your soul. I feel that now. I am sensing something BIG is about to take place. I don’t write very many notes like this. I’m believing God is going to reveal remarkable secrets of things yet to come. He is going to show signs & wonders that He is with us. Long awaited dreams are finally coming to pass. He’s placing us in the right fit, an unprecedented opportunity, because we’ve been faithful with little He is pouring out much. God is taking us thru a new open door. Its going to swing wide. Don’t look at how impossible it seems. BIG doors swing on little hinges. See it, Believe it, Receive it!

Declare this over your life… I AM filled with mountain-moving faith. I’m not afraid of how big or how impossible a difficult situation may look because I know God is bigger. Setbacks, strongholds and defeat have no power over me. In faith, I say to those mountains, “Be removed because God has already given me the victory.” This is my declaration of who I am. Amen!
Scripture: Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:18-19 NLT
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For He Is Faithful

When all is well and seems to go your way, From God’s path do not stray…For He is Faithful

When life’s circumstances cloud your sight, Give them to God, He will fight…For He is Faithful

When you are overcome by constant fear, the Peace of God is ever near…For He is Faithful

When your heart is full of life-size dreams, know God is the Director of your visionary team…For He is Faithful

When you are ill and feel there is no cure, know God is the Healer, of this be sure…For He Is Faithful

When love and understanding just can’t be found, feel God’s unconditional love all around…For He is Faithful

When you feel yourself dying deep inside. He will resurrect you. He hears your cries…For He is Faithful

When the Blessings abound, doors open wide, know God walks with you at your side…For He is Faithful

When you are confused and can’t make up your mind, only in God the solution you’ll find…For He is Faithful

When you stray from God’s path, it’s not the end, Humbled at His Throne you find Forgiveness, a Friend…For He is Faithful

If you need anything, anywhere at any hour, know He will do everything in His Loving Power…For He is Faithful

 

Post by Susanna Moses

 

 

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Courageous. Inspiring. Ambitious.

Courageous. Inspiring. Ambitious.  These three words describe the remarkable people our Circle of Hope team met at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston. About a dozen seriously ill teens took some time out of their Friday night to get to know our team, as we stuffed our faces with pizza and participated in some extremely ridiculous games J

 

The more I laughed with these teens and learned about their dreams, the bigger my heart became! Some were noticeably fatigued, probably due to their chemo treatments, but their desire for a few more minutes of social time seemed to keep them going. As I watched their smiles light up the room I realized how much I take my own comfort and health for granite.

 

Although I may never understand why these kids are sick, by the end of the evening it was clear to me that they ALL are people of purpose and destiny.  Honestly, our Circle of Hope team’s agenda for the evening was to encourage and boost these kids’ confidence and help them feel valued, loved, and significant…and hopefully we did just that. But in turn, I walked away from that night inspired by their attitudes and love for life. In just two hours, these teenagers taught me more about the meaning of life than the smartest academic professor ever could!

 

The Circle of Hope ministry desires to reach out and offer hope to our local children and families with unique circumstances and special needs by providing encouragement, support and mentorship. Our main focus groups are foster children, terminal or medically fragile individuals, as well as our special needs children and their families.

 

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about our ministry at roxanne@lakewood.cc

Post by Roxanne Traughber

 

 

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The Gift of Sacraficial Love

Chuck Colson who recently passed away started Prison Fellowship from his own experience. He went from being a former U.S. Marine captain to becoming a lawyer which led him to be a main player in the Nixon White House which ultimately brought him to the place God would use him to have the greatest impact. Prison Fellowship ministries currently has programs in some 1,300 correctional facilities in all 50 states in the United States. The ministry partners with some 7,700 churches and has some 14,000 volunteers nationwide. Globally, Prison Fellowship’s programs reach prisoners and their families in 110 countries.
Though Chuck Colson loved bringing hope & encouragement to thousands of prisoners across the world, he would learn the true meaning of sacrificial love when his daughter Emily had her son Max. Max, who would be diagnosed with Autism would prove to be the greatest example of sacrificial love in Chuck Colson’s life. As he watched his daughter Emily’s commitment to her son never realizing that she would go through so many struggles & pain, he begin to see through her what sacrificial love was truly about. She would see hope even when no one else could. A close friend wrote Chuck Colson a note after finding out his grandson Max was diagnosed with Autism saying in effect, now you have been given the greatest gift. You will truly understand what it means to sacrificially love another.
God allows things to happen in our lives not as burdens but as gifts. There is always a price to be paid for the greatest gifts. When your going through the struggle it’s hard to see the benefits, yet, when you keep moving forward & keep looking up you see things no one else could ever see. I’ve found our son Connor’s life is the telescope through which we see miracles most people miss. You can’t see the wonders of the galaxy with the naked eye just like you can’t see the wonders of God’s creation without a lens to see it through. When you sacrificially love a child with special needs, an orphan who has no home, a child who is sick, you see things through a different lens. You see things through the eyes of God.
The greatest example of sacrificial love ever given came though immense struggle and pain. Yet, it produced the greatest gift known to mankind. The gift of salvation through the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. When we allow ourselves to see the miracle being birthed from the struggle we understand the meaning of an awakening. When you got that diagnosis it may have felt like something died but when you trusted God He turned what was dying inside of you into a resurrection. A re-birth. With new eyes of grace. You received the greatest gift. Now you understand what it means to sacrificially love. You are now looking through the eyes of a different lens. You see things through the eyes of God. Not everyone gets this privilege in life. To see what no else see’s through the experiences that only God could trust YOU with. The gift of sacrificial love.

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The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die? Let’s live a life where at the end we say NO REGRETS!

From “The Guardian”

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What Cancer Cannot Do

What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendships
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit
-Anonymous

God has given you a courageous spirit that cancer cannot touch.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of Power, Love, & a sound mind.

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Keep Looking Up!

Jason’s friend was different from the other kids on the block. He rarely came out to play, and when he did, instead of join- ing in the basketball game, he ran in circles, jumping up and down. His parents watched, hoping their son would connect with the group, only to see that the other children really didn’t understand him at all.
When Jason asked his dad why his friend was so different, his father told him about autism, which makes it hard for some kids to communicate and form relationships. Jason was puzzled, and said, “I don’t get it.”
“Well,” his dad replied, “do you ever try to talk to your friend, and he doesn’t pay attention?”
“Yes,” Jason said.
“Well, that’s because he hasn’t figured out how to communicate with you. Has he ever repeated things you were saying?”
“Yeah,” Jason said, “I thought he was making fun of me.” “No, he is parroting you, trying to figure out how to talk to you.” “Is there a cure for autism?” Jason asked.
“Not yet, but I’m sure people are trying to find one.”
Just then, Jason noticed his friend’s parents take their son back
inside because the other kids were laughing at him. Jason decided right then to help his friend in any way that he could. “Could I find a cure, Daddy?” he said.
Surprised, his dad replied, “Well, it’s like I always tell you: keep looking up, because you never know when God is going to drop something amazing in your lap.” A big smile came across Jason’s face as he realized that anything is possible with God.
Jason collected newspapers and aluminum cans to recycle for profit, and he set up a lemonade stand. When his friends said that he would never make enough money, he just kept looking up. With his parents’ help, he planned a walk-a-thon and went door to door asking for donations and telling others of his dream to find a cure for autism. When a door closed without a donation he just kept looking up.
On the day of the walk-a-thon, there were only 10 people signed up to walk (and half of them were his family), but Jason walked proudly around the block, confident that he was making a difference. When a man asked him why he was looking up, Jason told him that God was going to drop something in his lap.
“Right now?” the man replied.
“I don’t know,” Jason said,” but you’d better duck, just in case!” He was on a mission, and he knew that God was going to come through.
Jason called his family and neighbors and even the local news stations over to hear the announcement of the money he had raised. He was so excited that he woke up at 6:00 A.M. and checked every 15 minutes to see if people were lining up to experience the miracle.
At 9:55, he ran outside to find his mom and dad, a few neigh- bors, some kids who wanted to see if he actually raised any money, and a local radio station that thought it would make a cute story for their lifestyles segment. Jason began to speak: “Ladies and gentleman, members of the press, thank you for coming out today to help find the cure for autism. The money we raised will help my friend be cured so that he can play basketball whenever he wants to. Let the change begin!”
At that moment, Jason unscrewed the back of his piggy bank and poured out the money he had raised during the past three months. As his mom and dad counted the money, he began to wonder why his friend with autism had not shown up. Then Jason’s dad called out, “$435.” With great confidence Jason shouted, “YES! We have done it!” In his mind, $435 was the equivalent to $4,000,000. Kids started laughing, saying, “$435 wouldn’t cure a frog.” A neighbor gave him a pat on the head, saying, “You did your best son; that’s all you can do.”
For the first time in three months, Jason dropped his head in embarrassment. “I did my best, Daddy,” he said. “I guess it just wasn’t good enough.” His father smiled and said, “Son, when you give your little, God will take care of the rest. Keep your head up; you never know when God is going to drop something amazing in your lap.”
Later that day, Jason’s friend and his parents returned home. Jason ran over to knock on their door and ask why they had missed the big announcement about the money he raised. The parents explained that they had been visiting a developmental school that could help their son, but were discouraged because the school cost $35,936 per year. “There’s no way we can afford a school like that.”
Jason replied, “Guess what? I raised $435 for your son, so we only have a little over $35,000 more to go.” They thanked him, but were still discouraged, so Jason said the only thing he knew to say: “Keep your head up. You never know when God may drop some- thing amazing in your lap.”
Just then, Jason’s dad came in with an envelope, which he dropped into the parents’ laps. “A courier just delivered this to our house,” he said. The couple opened the envelope and began to read the note:
We just heard on the radio about the little boy who wants to find a cure for his autistic friend. Our son was born with
autism years ago, and at the time there was very little known about how to help him. We have always wished we could do for someone else what we couldn’t do for our son. We recently sold some property, and when we heard about Jason’s desire to help his friend, we knew we were meant to help in some way. Enclosed is a check for the amount we received in the sale of our property, $430,917. Thank you for letting us help your son.
The parents began to dance around with their little boy. Pulling his calculator out, the father confirmed that the check would pay for 12 years of school.
No one can foresee all the obstacles he or she will face person- ally, in business or in ministry. It wasn’t a lack of challenges, but rather his response to them that helped Jason succeed. In other words, his response determined his experience of providence. He experienced God’s best because he saw the world from God’s perspective: He kept looking up!

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