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February contains the special day when we celebrate Love – specifically the people we love the most. It’s a day of cards, meals out, gifts and trinkets. It’s a time when we make special plans to celebrate that special someone.
And that’s wonderful!
But what about the other 364 days in the year?
Do we practice random acts of kindness on an everyday basis? Luke 6:32 says, “If you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Verse 35 gets to the heart of the issue expounding us to: “love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Now that’s a tough Word!
And one we can practice every day of the year! It will cause us to grow in patience for others and compassion for them. As we exercise these traits, we begin to represent Jesus to those who by their actions don’t know Him. And being a Christ-like example is the first step towards winning the lost.
So, purpose this year to increase daily in the fruit of the Spirit. And Corinthians 13 reminds us that “the greatest of these is love.” Remember the declaration of the hymn, they’ll know we are Christians by our Love? Peter Scholtes penned these familiar lyrics in 1966 as a parish priest in Chicago’s South Side. And the words ring true today. So, take up the challenge! Display your Christianity. Love others as Jesus loves you! See what a difference You can make!
From my heart to yours,
We live in such a busy world. Everything is moving at high-tech speeds. There’s never enough time in the day to get all your tasks completed. Not enough money to attain all your desires. There are problems all around the globe – especially here in the US. – health care, border patrol, employment issues, nuclear threats, world chaos. We’re living life in the fast lane, and spinning out of control. But before we slide too far into the negative arena, let’s remember to take the time to look up! Remember, “Our redemption draws nigh” according to Luke 21:28. It’s at precisely this time that we need to keep our focus on the One who “Holds the keys”. When we take the time to acknowledge the Giver of our lives and seek Him for the answers to the difficult questions that plague us, we find Him waiting with open arms to comfort and direct us.
So now is the time to remember the One who first Resurrected. He rose from death to give us life! He can resurrect your dormant dreams, turn your challenges into testimonies and your dismal failings into triumphant victories. He has conquered every situation that disturbs our peace and promises to be with us always. He’s by our side, and let’s not forget when we don’t see Him and can’t feel Him, He’s the One who is carrying us! So carry your challenges to His feet, and leave them there! He will make your life a shining example of His grace for all to see!
This season, let those difficult troubles fall behind you. We sit far above, in heavenly places, where nothing can by any means hurt you! God bless you this month, and always!
Orphaned Oliver Twist lamented this question in Charles Dickens novel of the same name. But I’m sure he was not the first to ponder love. I believe God Himself spoke it out when His beloved couple willfully wandered down the dastardly path of sin. I believe everyone has posed this question at one time or another. Love so often seems so elusive. Everyone yearns for love. To love and be loved is our heart’s desire, so why is it so difficult to find and keep?
I believe that God has been declaring love since He began contemplating creation. The Bible says, “All of the creation shows forth the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1). Part of His glory is found in His love for us. Scripture tells us, “I can love because He first loved me”, (1 John 4:19). Love is the foundation of our being. He “knew us before He formed us in our mother’s womb” (Jer. 1:5). In our busy, hectic lives I think we “look for love in all the wrong places” like Johnny Lee crooned about back in the 80’s. We become stuck in wrong patterns until we look to God, Our Father, Abba Daddy and find there a reflection of His love in us. As we understand who we are, who we are created to be and ask the Creator to come into our hearts, He births in us, a love we never before experienced. We find ourselves cherishing that kind of love in increasing levels. This becomes the catalyst for us to live the zone (God-kind) of life, which includes valuing people over things and investing in them with our time, energy and resources. This yields dividends that banks can’t match.
This month, purpose to read 1 Cor. 13, “the Love chapter”, and become a doer of the Word. Be a blessing to your loved ones, but also make a decision to enlarge your circle, and find someone to show love to a needy person, a lonely person, a sick person – There are opportunities all around! When you open your eyes, you’ll find the answer to the question “Where is Love?”
It’s all around us! Be blessed this month, and be a blessing!
Love to All!
P.S. I want to leave you with this:
He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
By Edwin Markham
Shift, shift, shift!
We are in a season of shifting!
Shifting is defined as a change from one place, position or frequency to another. To replace or exchange something. By its very meaning, it stirs us to alter where we are. We seek to ascend. To move up higher. Closer to our creator. Closer to our eternal home. Closer to the birthplace of our life journey. The place where God breathed into us life, and birthed in us destinies to be discovered. And then we arrive like strangers in a foreign land – each seeking to leave our unique carving on the tree of life, and better society for all mankind.
Often we find ourselves at a disadvantage. However, as we seek a closer walk with our eldest brother, the Holy Spirit whispers truth into our hearts and we are emboldened to step out in faith, anxious to do our parts to facilitate this change, and we realize we are in just such a shifting moment. Again.
Joshua is an excellent example, and one we can glean much from studying. As Moses minister, he was privy to all the special companionship that Moses enjoyed with God. Then, Moses’ life becomes history, and someone is required to lead this mass of wayward vagabonds. Joshua recognizes that it’s time for him to shift, and gingerly steps up to the plate, armed with Gods promise of victory in his conquests. Battle by battle, the Israelites gain lands and fame, until finally all of the promised Canaan land is secured and divided between the twelve tribes. Joshua reflects a long and successful reign in leadership, confident in the ability of the God of Israel, and demonstrating his submission to Gods headship. The result is the God of Israel is revered by not only the tribes, but every surrounding nation of the time. Joshua’s life shines out as a brilliant example of what God is able to accomplish through one willing servant.
And now we fast forward to current times. Troubles and problems seem to escalate, true peace is illusive, challenges abound and the future is very uncertain. And we must ask the Holy Spirit, “What is it that You would have me do?” Then listen carefully, and do all God is revealing to you. If we each are faithful to do that, our future will be breathtaking, our lives will be examples, and we will see the Kingdom of God advancing like Joshua’s warriors over Canaan. One thing they didn’t battle was fear, because they knew the Holy One, and trusted in Him. Let’s learn the lesson, and follow Joshua’s example, and boldly go out and win the lost. The shift is not for us alone, but for every life we are able to touch!
Let God Arise! And our enemies be scattered!
Onward to Victory! Keep gaining ground!
If God is for us, who can stand against us? No one! So be fearless!
God Bless you! Linda
Beginning with the advent of 2016, the key words seem to be “Manifest”, and “Transformation”. I agree with what Keith Duncan of Throne Zone and His Call Ministries fame, who recently wrote; “we have more Worship than we have ever experienced within the church, and yet we have the least amount of Transformation than ever.” This should not be. When we truly experience time in God’s presence, it should change us. We need this. Our nation needs this.
God is wanting to manifest Himself, in waves of His infinite Glory, and it’s just like Joel 2:28 says: “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh”. As His Spirit intersects with our mortal flesh, there is change that must take place. Our weaknesses give way to His strength, and the world should begin to see the outward transformation revealed in our lives. We are the army of the Lord, and as we move in tandem with Him, He will empower us to be carriers of His glory, for all the world to witness. God will truly manifest His glory through us, and our churches in this season. This will bring about the Transformation that everyone has been longing to see: Our transformation into His image and likeness. It has been so lacking in both individuals and churches. Thankfully, that is about to change! I believe that as we seek God with our whole heart, and purpose to spend more time transparently in His presence, He will begin what we are unable to do without His intervention. When we have the heart of John the Baptist, who boldly stated: “He must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3:30), that’s an attitude that God can work with to bring the change to us as individuals and our nation as a whole. It’s not too late for America! God is great at doing things that seem impossible!
Banners of Worship would like to highlight the ministry of an exceptional visionary, dancer, educator and choreographer of diversified dance: my longtime friend, Amanda Standard. She has captured the hearts and directed the dance of numerous youth, and has a sold out, passionate group of worshippers who are gripping the hearts and stirring the passions of their spell-bound audiences. These photos are from her recent event – Angels: The Real Avengers.
Her contact info is: Divine Dance Institute 505 Hampton Park Blvd. Capitol Heights, MD 20743. Phone (301)333-2623
Be sure to contact her concerning your young dance enthusiasts. You’ll be glad you did! And keep a lookout for her next performance. It’s something I’m sure you won’t want to miss! Thanks for all your selfless hard work. We are seeing great results!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m not talking about cold weather, traffic and crowded malls. It’s about celebrating this most incredible season, centered around the birth of Jesus – God’s most precious gift to us. And He is truly the gift that keeps on loving and blessing each of us! As an extension of His love, we find ourselves actively contemplating ways to bless and favor those special people we love. Countless hours are spent writing Christmas card greetings, attending holiday celebrations, displaying colorful lights and decorations, carefully selecting just the right gifts and then meticulously wrapping them. It’s a wonderful feeling to bless those who are close to us and those who enhance our lives.
However, when you look over your extensive, exasperating, exhausting schedule for this month, remember the forgotten ones – those we sometimes tend to overlook. Remember those who are alone, the sick, ones with no family close by and those who are struggling. Don’t forget to encourage them with a smile, a gift or a warm meal, because that’s what Jesus would want us to do. As we let our light shine before men, may others be drawn to the true light of this season, and life itself – JESUS – the true reason for this unique season!
Let us share the hope we have in Jesus, and let that be the joy in your heart this Christmas season. May God give you the desires of your heart, and may He bless you abundantly during this incomparable season! And may He reveal more of Himself to each of us, especially in the little things!
Keep looking up!
We are excited and overwhelmed by your response to our request for testimonials! We are delighted to see the impact Banners of Worship is having on you – the worshippers! So many wonderful reports, so many heart-felt stories and snippets of your lives and how they have intertwined with us! You all deserve to win! It was very difficult to narrow it down, but we do have two of you that popped to the top! We are happy to announce the winners of this year’s small Christmas banner of your choice! They were given to: Tammi Abernethy and Evangelist Judy Martin-Davis, read there testimonials here.
If you sent in an entry and did not win, realize it was a very close call! Remember throughout this year to capture your immortal worship moments on video, and be ready for the next contest. I promise there will be another one!
In the meantime, be blessed and enjoy this wonderful Christmas season! We are living in exciting times, and a New Year is right around the corner, promising more potential for blessing and favor than ever before!
God bless us every one!
It was our 4th consecutive trip to the “Gateway to the West” otherwise known as St. Louis, MO. Just look at the view from our room, just across the Mississippi River in Illinois. It was incredible!
We made our 14 hour trek each way to be exhibitors for COGIC’s Holy Convocation. This years assembly brought an estimated 35,000 to the Edward Jones Dome, and or banners graced the interior of that as a converted sanctuary. It was a wonderful time of fellowship as we met many for the first time, and greeted returning members with joy. What a blessing to be in the midst of what God is doing within an entire denomination. It was sincerely a delight to be a part of it. God is alive and moving everywhere and we must be alert to what a unique role each of us walks out as He is lifted higher, and His Kingdom is expanding!
In 3 words, what were we doing in St. Louis?
Advancing the Kingdom!
God bless each of you!
We are so excited to be able to showcase our new website for your enjoyment! It has taken us a very long time to find just the right person to do our site, someone with our vision who also understands the key elements of worship and has a heart for the things of God. We met Erica about a year ago, and we all had to align our schedules to complete all the work! It was a massive undertaking, but she stepped right up and handled everything with ease and grace. She has been a God-send and an answer to our prayers! We pray that as you peruse the new site, you will see lots more items than we’ve previously featured, and the ease of navigation is incredible. We look forward to hearing from you, and believe you will have no trouble finding something you need or want from our expanded site. Remember Christmas is coming!!! Tell all your friends to check us out, and like us on facebook and twitter. We have a great sale to launch the new website, on Cyber Monday. Take advantage of the lowest prices we’ve ever offered. Once Cyber Week is over, so is the sale, so shop early, keep your Christmas list close by, and happy shopping! We look forward to serving you. May God richly bless you during this incredible Christ-centered season, where we find our hearts centered on God’s most beloved gift: Himself, wrapped in flesh! May we learn to love others as He so perfectly loves each of us!