Our Help Comes From the Lord

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” 2 Corinthians 12:9.                                                 

 This seems to be my life verse as of late. I am feeling the heaviness of the load that I’m carrying. Have you ever needed a break so badly and you sincerely cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel? I am weak!!! I’m screaming it because I need the power of Christ to rest upon me.  
The greatest part is it’s the truth. The load that you are carrying is not yours to keep. Psalms 55:22 says “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” His power will sustain us – we can do nothing within our own strength that will in any way enable us to walk away from what it accomplishes without it depleting us of our “own” strength or peace.  Our help comes from the Lord. 

I think the evidence of this truth is the ease with which we accomplish anything. If your accomplishments flows out with ease, I’d say you are going with God – if an internal fight ensues, maybe there’s a bit of you left in the fight. The battle belongs to the Lord. We rest in Him and go with the flow of the Holy Spirit and His will is accomplished- peace and rest wins!  

Forgiven Much-Love Much

To whom has been forgiven much- loves much. 

The account of the sinful woman in Luke 7 who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears is the example I hold fast to when the enemy tries to tell me that I’ve sinned too much to fulfill the call on my life. I have ran from God at times in my life and made mistakes and really I have screwed up royally in ways. It’s the truth. I have hurt people both knowingly and unknowingly. But I can also say that my heart was never to maliciously harm another. However, God always held me accountable and I have truly repented of my sins. Repent defined as “turning from my sins-never returning”. 

People are a harder sell. I have encountered those who do not intend to ever let me forget my sins. Thankfully they are not Jesus. I don’t believe they understand that they hold no power and really their actions are a slap in the face of Christ who died for me. I am fully aware of these things and make it an effort to love and forgive those who cannot move forward in forgiveness or even acknowledge their own sinful ways. What I won’t allow is for it to hold me back. 
I’ve been called for longer than I can remember. I do not take lightly the office with which I now stand and I most definitely do not forget the depth which I have been forgiven. 
I now have the ability to love on a gargantuan level. Spit at me-I love you. Gossip about me-I love you. Flip me the bird-I love you. Dirty look me-I love you. Think higher of yourself than me-I love you and that’s even cool with me because I would prefer to live the example found in Philippians 2:3-4 that says “3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the other.”
Not only am I alright with it, I also remember being you. I will never forget how much I have been forgiven or where I came from. Humility is never forgetting and always remembering you’re a sinner who needs a Savior. 
Luke 7:47 “47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

I’ll Fix It 

It’s the most difficult feeling when you desperately want to fix “it” and you know you cannot. Today was that kind of day. Last semester I took my first unit of CPE. (Clinical Pastoral Education). My supervisor narrowed down my learning goals into one specific learning goal that hinged around a question. “Why do I think I must be the one to fix it?”                       
When any person deems themselves the “fix it” person, they leave themselves unbridled in their ability to discern boundaries thus might possibly loose sight of what is actually theirs to fix. What a set up for a let down when that happens. Errors are sure to happen when boundaries are crossed and then you cannot be of proper support or help because your out of balance by making promises you cannot keep. 
It’s in our nature to want to help others not hurt and to take away their pain (fix it). However, no one learns from something they don’t put their own effort into. A person must choose for themselves to make change. Once they do, there is a green light to walk with them through there effort to make the change. Your role would be more of a calming wise presence that translates into strength. A representative of Christ who is the fixer. 
I still have days that I want to “fix it”. Today was one of those days. It’s painful. I have learned deep valuable lessons in making room for others to err, fall down and get up. As they learn from their mistakes, I am there to brush them off and walk along there journey. It’s an honor you know!  
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Photo courtesy of Tom Rice

More important others!

We are given a gift from God in the honor of standing with someone in all seasons of their lives.  Each of us were given great responsibility by the Father in caring for others. Each of us are the caretaker of someone. We are each important to someone else and there are those whom are important to us.  If you think about it, it’s a constant forward flow of positive reinforcement of being people builders. 

In reading Romans 12:9-21, I think my favorite part of the passage is verse 15. “To rejoice with those who rejoice.”      The best part of being a loving Christian is celebrating with our important people in their blessings, triumphs and victories. It’s awesome to watch others grow and be thankful for them and with them. Part of loving someone in Christ’s pure love is our genuine expression of being happy for others as they are successfully being blessed in their lives through Christ. It is evidence of one of my favorite things to strive to do- show honor. No one is perfect, certainly not me, but it sure is my hearts desire to live a lifestyle that Romans 12:9-21 exhibits. 

Blessings, Pastor Mel

Romans 12:9-21 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Ask questions and Listen


Just because you think you are right about something does not mean that you are right. Just because you think someone else is wrong does not mean you are right. The number one thing I have learned in the past 6 months is that you cannot assume or perceive that you have all of the info or the whole story or even the correct answer to a situation or about another person -AND- the only way you will have all the info about any situation or any person is to stop passing judgement- stop making assumptions – stop talking long enough to listen. How can anyone learn anything if they won’t ask questions and listen. I’m not necessarily talking about listening with your ears- but rather listening with your heart.  
I personally have been making great strides to not judge and not perceive without getting all the info. Doing this removes all opportunity for the enemy to conjure up untruths and lies that cause frustration and division. I am personally tired of this happening to me – which sadly has been all to often and I am striving to do my best to not do this to another.  
Nobody is always right. Nobody. It’s time to get rid of a contentious spirit and be teachable, be pliable and adaptable. If you are a Christian, the word is full of text about passing judgment-assumption-contention and the division that it causes. Even if you aren’t a Christian, it’s still a good moral code to follow.  
Simply- shut off the path to judgement and assumption-ask for more info and listen. You WILL often discover that things are not as though they appear. Most always there are things going on behind the scenes of people circumstances and lives that you are not privy to and you are only witnessing a reaction to those circumstances.  

Proverbs 18:2 ESV “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Instead 1 Corinthians 13:7 (ESV) says that “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 
“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”
Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

New Years Resolution 


How is your New year beginning?  I know that it is our tradition to set New Years resolutions and set goals that will change our lives for the better. I didn’t do that this year. Actually I haven’t set a New Years resolution for some time now.  Any resolution (change) I might ever embrace comes through my confidence in Christ as He works out the details of my life. 

I think that change happens when we are honest with ourselves and recognize that we are a people who needs a Savior. Life can be tough sometimes and having Jesus there to help us through will change our ability to cope and our perspective to see the good in life instead of focusing on what might be tough. 

I am personally grateful for positive thoughts and I have many things to be grateful for. So I will simply say that I am counting each tiny blessing in my life. There are truly so many. I have a peaceful spirit and a happy heart. I am confident in who I am in Christ and how He feels about me.  

When I struggle in my humanness, it’s never for long because He (Jesus) is quick to remind me of His complete love for me period. Romans 8:37 reads “No in all these things we are made more than conquerors through HIM who LOVES us.” It’s always been that way for me. Listen! God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) so having this kind of confidence and peace is not exclusively mine – It’s for everyone who wants it and trusts in Jesus.  

The scripture found in Psalms 34:1 reads “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise is continuously in my mouth” Because my dry seasons are never long, He quickly brings provision into my life and I know it! Always. Remember that in Philippians 4:19 it says “God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus”. Supply is PROVISION!  

My scriptural advice to anyone who will listen is to remember that God is for you, never against you. (Romans 8:31) Romans 8:28 reads “God works all things for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” – That is YOU! Take ownership of it and praise Him in all things – Continuously!!  
~ Pastor Mel

Pleasing Who?

Sometimes we can do our very best and it will not matter to certain people. They do not have the capability to see past themselves and definitely cannot see through the eyes of Christ. 

I know from HUGE experience that it hurts. But let that hurt drive you to compassionately hurt for those who live in such a small world where only they exist. 

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

One must remember that you cannot please everyone. Sometimes it matters not what you say or do, judgement has already been passed. In those moments you can choose to not receive condemnation but rather know that ultimately God is who you strive to please. In the larger picture God is the ultimate authority. Your attitude now will dictate the outcome. Choose peace. Have compassion for those you know you cannot please for it is likely they have no peace at all.

Matthew 5:44- But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

It’s a New Year! 


I remain thankful for a life to live. Regardless of the condition of my season of life, I will remain thankful. 2016 was a season of challenge and painful testing. I had a success despite the condition of my season of life in that I would, in the face of any challenge and test, give thanks for a life to live. 2017 I pray is full of life – we are not promised a tomorrow nor are we promised a life without tribulation. As a matter of a fact, we will face tribulation. 

In James 1:2 it reads that we should “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” Counting it all joy is a way of giving thanks for the life we are given. In each trial we face we are made stronger. The Holy Spirit is with us every step of the way and Paul says in Romans 8:35 that “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” We have hope – as Paul also said in “Romans 12:12 -Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Giving thanks is also a form of prayer. It is rejoicing and remaining thankful in every season of life. And finally we are assured through Jesus himself as He said in John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL – I REMAIN THANKFUL FOR MY SEASONS OF LIFE. MAY YOU ALSO. Happy New Year 2017 🎉

Encouraging yourself

Eewwwwwwweeeeee wow!! Talk about encouraging yourself in the Lord!! You know King David did that. When he was faced with impending trouble, he got alone with God and praised and stayed thankful for God who goes faithfully before us to make our way! David came out from Gods presence celebrating in the joy he had received from God. 2 Samuel 6:21-22 says David proclaimed “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” David knew God and he knew Gods love was everlasting. We have a choice in how we approach everything. We can be consumed by our troubles or we can celebrate with all of Heaven that we serve our Savior who is always present in every season!! 

I shall celebrate and rejoice in God always!! Won’t you join me?

Lenses. 

Ever given any thought as to how we view other people? For the most part we see others through lenses that are formulated out of our observations of peoples past and behaviors. We view people based on where they grow up, financial status, “extra-curricular” activity and attitudes all of which often = mistakes. 

 The element that is missing is the fact that Jesus views us through a lense that is crimson red. Through His lense people are whole, renewed, saved, sanctified, set free and set-apart. I often am reminded that Jesus sees everyone this way and if we’re saved, we all should be operating under the spirit of adoption. Romans 8:15-17 reads “(15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (17) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

 Since this is so, how then can we not clean our lenses to see others around us as Joint-heirs with Christ? We are in the same family yet we allow peoples pasts to mold the way we see them. I say we should see through a Crimson lense. How about you?