Monday, June 18, 2012

WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR US TO COMMIT?

Greetings, friends!

Lately, several people, friends and acquaintances, even strangers have asked,
"Therese, how do you do it?" One asked, "where do you find the time to do the work you are doing when you have a full time job?" "How can you do all this work when you are a single mom?" The questions keep coming because people want to know how I can do so much, despite my circumstances. My simple answer to everyone's questions,
"commitment". It seems to me that some of us find it comforting to straddle the fence while peeping to see what I am doing; some of us only want to work our 40 hours at the job and throw in the towel for the weekend; some of us find all kinds of excuses; some of us want to do only what is necessary to get by; some of us only want to serve our own families; while some of us only want to go to church on Sundays and think that is enough to please God, that we are some hot-shot Christians. Well, I stop by with breaking news to let you know that there has to be 100% commitment from you to serve God with your whole heart, mind and soul.

As I reviewed the latest statistics on Christian marriages from Barna Research, I am reminded that there is a 42% divorce rate. (Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service, 2011) I know there are a number of factors that play a role in divorce among Christians, but I guarantee you, that unfaithfulness is one of the major factors in divorce in Christian marriages because for whatever reason that man or that woman did not faithfully commit to his/her spouse. We just seem to have a problem committing to Christ and everything that HE has anointed.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Commitment as:
1) an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially: an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date;
2) something pledged;
3) the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled (driven, pushed).

So, we are back to the question, why is it so hard for us to commit? I venture to say that commitment takes hard work, it take time, honesty, and trust. For many of us, we are too impatient, we are too absorbed with the flesh that we do not concentrate on what Christ would have us to do. Commitment to Christ, I believe, is an operation of trust in God and working for God. Faithful commitment to Christ is hard to achieve, yes, I know because we just do not want to make that sacrifice, we prefer to do just the minimum to get by. It is easier to have one foot in the door and one out of the door. However, my friends, if we can only commit to Christ, we will reap the harvest that God has promised us.

Joshua 24:17-18 tells us, “For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.” (KJV) Bondages are broken when we commit to Christ. I was in bondage of guilt and shame, misery, and abuse. You name it, I was in it and because I have hung in there, trusting and relying on Christ, HE has set me free, and who the SON sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).

Commitment to God will bring blessing to us and our children. Psalm 128:1-6, “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.” (KJV)

Friends, I urge you to commit yourself today, commit your all to Christ, the ONE who gave HIS life for us so we can be saved.


I am committed,
Therese from Belize

Saturday, June 2, 2012

WHEN UNDER STRESS, WHERE DO YOU GO?

As I continue in my prayer and praise to God, I declared, "I am too blessed to be stressed." I wonder though how many followers of Christ truly declare such, and not only declare but believe that we are indeed too blessed to be stressed? Dr. Shelley E. Taylor, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology at UCLA, in Chapter Six of Health Psychology, 6th Edition (2009) indicated that stress is a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical changes, physiological changes, cognitive changes, and behavioral changes that are directed either toward altering the stressful event or accommodating to its effects. Stressors, indicated Dr. Taylor, are stressful events such as noise, crowding, bad relationships, job interviews, commuting to work. She said that each of these might be stressful to some people but not to others and how the event is perceived substantially determines whether it is a stressor. Well, at the women's conference, "Too Blessed To Be Stressed" at Keas Tabernacle CME Church of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, I told the women that we all experience stress at some time or the other in our lives. However, as God's women, we must know what to do and where to go when we are under stress. We cannot let the stressors of life get us in a rut. So, what do God's women do and where do they go when under stress?
1) GOD'S WOMEN GO TO GOD IN PRAYER. We should pray each and every day. When under stress, prayer is what we need to do. Psalm 121:1-8, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." (KJV) Paul in Philippians 4:6-7 assures us that when we pray the peace of God which passeth all understanding will keep our hearts and minds on Christ Jesus. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (KJV) 2) GOD'S WOMEN ARE PRAYER PARTNERS. A prayer partner prays for her partner and petitions God on her partner's behalf. A prayer partner keeps us encouraged in this walk. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (KJV) 3) GOD'S WOMEN GO TO THEIR HUSBANDS. When under stress, the husband being in charge of the household must know about the things affecting his wife and mother of his children because what affects the wife, affects the children and the entire household. A God's woman must be best friend with her husband. He is the one that should know every problem, every ache, and every pain that she is experiencing. Instead of calling a girlfriend who has no idea of taking care of a household, or a girlfriend who is not walking in the path of the Lord, a God's woman should know that her husband is her protector and her encourager. 1 Peter 3, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives." (KJV) 4) GOD'S WOMEN GO TO THIER CLERGY. A God's woman must have that relationship with the clergy of her church to know that she can speak to him/her in confidence; get encouragement from the clergy and that the clergy prays for her and her family. A God's woman must know that she can go for pastoral counseling without feeling ashamed or degraded. James 5:14-16, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (KJV) Oh what a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear. We just have to take everything to God in prayer because we are too blessed to be stressed.
Blessed, Therese from Belize

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