Monday, June 1, 2009

Let's Celebrate our Girlfriends!!

Throughout the month of May I was holding a celebration event to honor the women in our lives.  Thank you to my special guests that shared wisdom and hope to encourage us!
  
The month was so busy with end of the school year activities and schedules that I did not get to finish posting all my celebrations!!

I am going to continue today by Celebrating My Girlfriends!

Good girlfriends that are faithful and true are hard to find.
When you do find them - they are even harder to leave...and impossible to forget!!

In my life I have been very blessed to have had so many amazing women come into my life!
Some for short seasons...other's for long journeys.  
Some I have lost touch with...other's I have crossed paths again.
Some I have learned from up close and personal...other's from a distance.

Celebrating our Girlfriends is like pouring out colorful confetti that adds a special touch our day!!

Their lifestyles challenge us to change.
Their faith leads us to hope.
Their encouragement gives us guidance to move forward.
Their courage inspires our strength.
Their humor changes our countenance. 
They bring reality to our dreams and wisdom to our wondering...and our wandering!!  

Nicole Johnson from Women of Faith wrote -
"Encouragement is to a friendship what confetti is to a party!  
It's a bunch of little pieces that are festive-refreshing and fun...and you always end up finding little pieces of it stuck on you later!"

Have you noticed the confetti that is sprinkled on and around you?

Today I would like to say a Big THANK YOU to every girlfriend throughout my life that has ever SpRiNkLeD  - Prayers, Love, Compassion, Wisdom, Gentleness, Joy, Hope, Strength, Laughter, Patience, Hospitality, Mercy, Truth, Creativity, Inspiration, Friendship and Forgiveness!!

I am grateful not just for the duration that you have been in my life but for the decoration you have left in my view...You have colored my world!!

Be Inspired to take the time to intentionally appreciate, celebrate and pray for all the girlfriend's, sisters, mom's, daughter's and mentors in your lives today and enjoy watching this music video from Amy Grant...click here.

I dedicate this blog to my friend Connie Campbell...who's friendship confetti still lingers in my life today...I miss you girl!


Much love to you all!!

Vern








  



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hear My Cry! The Gift of Hope

Day two with Special Guest Author: Tish Hagee Tucker!


The Gift of Hope

Romans 5:1-4 says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope."

Everyone wants to have hope, but how do you get it? Hope, like everything else, has a price tag. Sometimes the price is too high (as in the parable with the Pearl of Great Price), and sometimes it is priceless. First, we have to remember to go to the source of great hope. If we hope in anything other than God, our efforts are in vain. And it is only through trials that we can develop this great hope. Hope is something anyone can obtain, and with hope comes great peace.

When I was 37 years old, I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive strain of cancer, leiomyosarcoma. I had great hope that God could heal me. I knew that I would need much perseverance to make it through the journey, as my patience was already wearing thin just waiting endless hours in doctor's offices. Each time I started wondering how my story would turn out (though I always believed God would heal me), I found encouragement in the most unlikely places.

Here is an excerpt from my book, "Hear my Cry: How Grace Conquered Cancer:"

*****

It is not at all unusual for complete strangers to approach me and call me by name. Many times they have seen me at church or watch my dad on TV, and occasionally they have attended school with one of my siblings or attended a conference with my mother. So when a blonde lady I had never met before approached me in the middle of my neighborhood Target, I thought nothing of it.

She said, “You don’t know me, but God told me to stop here and talk to you.” She had my attention. Normally when people tell me, “You don’t know me,” it is followed by them calling me by name and saying, “I have known you since you were this big,” as they hold their hand at their knee cap. But this obvious stranger hadn’t given any of the usual responses, which further intrigued me.

I knew the woman standing in front of me was either a total nut case having a manic moment, or this was absolute divine intervention in my life. I was looking for the store security guard just in case, and holding on tightly to my new purse.

She looked me straight in the eye and said, “I want you to know that you are totally healed. The Lion of Judah is roaring for you, and when the Lion of Judah speaks, everyone listens. I should not be here this morning, but God told me to come to this Target, completely out of my way, and talk to the first lady that came up on my right. I am late for work, but I felt this word was too important not to deliver. I don’t know you or your situation, but whatever you are going through, you must know that God is on your side.” And with that, she turned on her heels and went right out into the parking lot.

You could have knocked me over with a feather as cold chills began to spiral through my body. God had sent a total stranger to find me and deliver a healing message at Target (Matthew 28:20). I wasn’t in church or at a prayer meeting. I was at Target! God had sent his messenger to find me right where I was. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as I stood there in total shock, staring into space. My feet were made of stone, and I couldn’t move in any direction as the joy of the Lord flooded my soul (Psalm 67).

That morning gave whole new meaning to shopping being a religious experience. No specialist had even defined the scope of my illness, much less confirmed my healing; yet God used a total stranger to reiterate that he was totally in control. God had shown up, completely unexpected, and let me know that he was going to be the fourth man in my fire. In case I wasn’t listening when my friends and family told me, he grabbed an extra stranger off the highway to swing by Target and run the message by me one more time.

*****

Hope is a way of life. If you would like to read about more miracles and how God held my hand through cancer treatments, surgeries and ultimate healing, check out my book at: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-60799-070-3

Blessings,

Tish


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank You Tish for sharing with us a glimpse into your journey!
That was such an amazing story regarding your divine encounter!
I am so grateful for people who walk in obedience - they become messengers of His love and word!

You in fact are one of those messenger's that many will be grateful for. Lives will be changed because of your obedience to speak and testify about the greatness and hope you have through Christ! May your testimony continue to inspire others to strengthen their grip and hope in God!

To those that are visiting the blog - I thank you for stopping by and for sharing this celebration with us!

We would be honored to pray for you or a loved one. Please click below on the word "Comment" and leave your request or comments. At the end of the week we will announce two winners that will receive a copy of Tish's book - "Hear My Cry": How Grace Conquered Cancer. (click on book title)

In closing I want to encourage you with this...

HOPE ~ a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life.

For Christian's hope is a spiritual truth. It is one of the three theological virtues - Faith, Hope, and Love.

These truths are scattered throughout the Bible.
They give us strength, wisdom and light on our pathways.

When we hope - we desire and expect to receive a provision from our Lord.
When we hope - we do not hope like the world does and place selfish desires before the Lord.
When we hope - we do so knowing that in fact God is our hope and he is our desire.

Seeking Him and hoping in Him sustains us through trials, tragedies and overwhelming difficulties that would otherwise defeat us.

He is our salvation.
Romans 8:24
For in this hope we were saved.

He is our grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.

Spiritual grace gives us "unmerited favour" that is often described by theologians as "enabling power sufficient for progression".
Without it there are certain faults, weaknesses and situations we cannot overcome.

He is our anchor.
Hebrew 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

He is our strength.
Psalm 31:24
Be strong and take heart, all who you hope in the Lord.

Isaiah 40:31
...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

He is our rest.
Psalm 62:5
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Be Inspired to be a messenger of hope!

Vern


Monday, May 18, 2009

Hear My Cry! The Power of Prayer

Today and tomorrow I have the sweet honor to share with you a friend that will testify and share with us a powerful message of hope!

Her vibrant heart is of one that lives in remembrance of what the Lord has done for her.

I encourage you to invite others to share in this special blog moment...especially those that need a healing touch from Him.

Prayer knitted me closer together with the heart and life of my friend and I joyfully introduce her to you today...Please welcome ~ Tish Hagee Tucker!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HEAR MY CRY!

The power of prayer is a tool that we completely underestimate. We use it as a last-ditch effort when everything else has failed, and we cannot come up with a better solution derived from our own ingenuity.

Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

"Matthew 6:33-34 says, "But seek ye FIRST the kindgom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

"I was a 37-year-old mother of two precious girls with perfect health when out of the blue I was diagnosed over the phone with leiomyosarcoma, a cancer that affects four out of every one million sarcoma patients. I would find out shortly that I had the most aggressive strain, and that there were very few survivors that lived to tell their story.

I lived to tell mine in my new book, "Hear My Cry: How Grace Conquered Cancer." Here is an excerpt from my book telling of my first prayer, asking God to Hear my Cry (Psalm 61) right after I had been diagnosed.


*****


I wanted to knock very, very loudly that night so God would know he had my full attention. I wanted him to know I was not like Moses; I wanted to learn whatever he was trying to tell me the very first time. I did not want to be wandering in this cancer wilderness for forty years. I did not even want to be Samuel, who had to be called by God three times before he realized who was talking. I got it! I was ready. I wanted to be “all ears” like H. Ross Perot. Whatever God was telling me, I wanted to catch the full meaning on the first lap around the mountain. I did not want to die searching for the Promised Land.

I got down on my knees with my head and ankle throbbing and said, “God, thank you for this opportunity. I don’t know what you want me to do right now or how this will turn out, but I know that you knew the answer before I knew there was a problem. Thank you for trusting me with this cancer. Thank you for allowing me to grow in you. I know you must trust me a lot to give me such a great assignment, so I want you to know that I am listening. I want to hear you the very first time. I don’t know how long or difficult this road will be, but I ask that you give me strength for the journey. I’m not asking you to make my journey easier or the road shorter; I’m just asking for you to be with me, to guide me, and to give me your strength, because I simply cannot do this on my own. And I am begging you to please let me live, if this be your will, because I would love to be able to spend the rest of my long life with my two precious little girls whom you gave me. Please don’t let them watch their mommy die. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

*****

And that was it. The peace of God surrounded me like a warm blanket throughout my cancer journey, and led me to a completely miraculous healing just four short months later. The journey was not easy, but the support that surrounded me at every turn was overwhelming.

If you or someone you know needs a miracle, read my story and realize that God is still in the miracle business.

Tish



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you or someone you know needs prayer - please leave us a comment with your prayer request...we would love to join with you in calling out to Jesus!

Your comments or prayer request's will qualify you for the giveaway of Tish's book ~ "Hear My Cry: How Grace Conquered Cancer".

For more information regarding Tish's book please click on the book title above or on this link -
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-60799-070-3

Come back tomorrow for another inspiring excerpt!

Don't Stop Believing!

Vern

Friday, May 15, 2009

Celebrating My Sisters!

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS!!

Earlier in the week I had a special guest blogger - Dondi Scumaci.
Today we are giving away two of her books!
Congratulations to the following winners!!

1. Belles Blog ~ You Win Dondi's Book- Designed for Success.
2. Danette ~ You Win - Read, Set...Grow!

Please email me your address information so we can get your prize out to you!
Thank you for comments and participation!

AND NOW...

Continuing with this month's theme of CELEBRATING, HONORING AND ENCOURAGING the women in our lives...I want to take the time today to CELEBRATE Mi Hermana's!!

In previous blogs I have mentioned that I come from a family of 7 children.
There are 5 girls and 2 boys in our clan.

With my mom being a military wife and then a widow...the older girls had the great joy of helping take care of us little ones (my brother's and I)...especially me since I was the precious baby!

My sisters were my babysitter's, my playmate's and later in life two of them took on the sudden role of becoming my place of shelter and protection.

Because of my sister's...

* I know all about Disco! I remember often watching some of my sisters get all fixed up to go out dancing...oh how I would beg for them to take me with them...ha, ha...I was in elementary school and could not understand why they would not let me join them!!

Because of my sister's...

* I have a love for a variety of music because of my exposure to musicians like Carole King, The Beatles, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, Doobie Brothers, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Moody Blues, Gino Vanelli, The Bee Gee's, Donna Summer, The Commodores and lets not forget The Osmond's and Bobby Sherman!! LOL!

Because of my sister's...

I have discovered some great recipes and tasted some wonderful treats! They are all great cooks and bakers!!

Because of a sister...

* I got a job at a clothing boutique...had the opportunity to meet and work with some pretty amazing women - each of them poured into my life so much kindness, and wisdom!! The whole experience was a provision of God!

Because of a sister...

* I had the opportunity during my high school years to attend an amazing Church and go to Christian concerts. I had never heard worship and the message of Christ presented like that. The message and the music gave me hope and is where I began my journey with Christ!

Growing up with these gals was always an educational and learning experience.
Sometimes I learned from their personal choices and difficult journeys...other times I learned from their unselfish giving and provision.

I am grateful for my sister's, our family and our birth order.

If I had been the first born in my family - my name today would be - Delia Irma Ibarra Smith!
What about being born second?
Today you would be reading something written by:
Herminia (Mini) Ibarra Benavides!!

Love those sister's of mine!!

Take the time this weekend to CELEBRATE your sister's...leave them a tribute on my blog, send them a card or go visit them and tell them in person how much they are loved!!

And remember...if your sister is in a hurry and leaves without saying good-bye...then girl she is wearing your jewelry!!

Live Inspired,

Vern



This blog story is an excerpt from my CELEBRATION Message...for more information on booking me for a ladies event go to my Topics page to read more and the Contact page for booking information. Thank You!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Break Some Glass!

Welcome to our second day with my special guest -
Author and Speaker: DONDI SCUMACI!


My latest book Ready, Set…Grow invites you to pull from your life what doesn’t work, plant into it what does, so you can produce something extraordinary. The journey begins with what you believe. We all have self-limiting beliefs. They hold us back, and keep us from realizing our possibility. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of “Grow.” I hope you enjoy it.

A root-bound plant has run out of room to grow. The life-giving root system becomes so confined and twisted that it cannot bring nutrients to the vine. The same can happen with our roots, which are the beliefs that bind us to our current condition and shape our future.

A story that illustrates this is of a farmer who plants a large field of pumpkins. Early in the season, he walks through the rows inspecting the new crop. The pumpkins are just beginning to appear on the vine.

Thrown off to the side of the rows is a glass jar. As an experiment, he places one of the tiny pumpkins (still on the vine) inside the jar. When he returns a few weeks later, the crop is flourishing! The pumpkins have grown so much . . . with the exception of one. The pumpkin inside the jar has grown to fill the glass. It has completely conformed to this prison and simply run out of room to grow.

What happened to that pumpkin also happens to people. What we believe about ourselves, others, our future, and even our past will shape our growth and influence our results. If we want to grow, we must learn to break the glass of self-limiting beliefs.

If what we believe about ourselves and what we believe about our future possibility are contained in a vessel that will not allow us to stretch and grow, we become root-bound.

Picture yourself holding a glass jar containing your current life—a life conformed within that glass jar of your own beliefs about . . .

Yourself and your abilities
Your future and your possibilities
Other people
Life situations and events

As you continue reading you will learn to break the jar of self-limiting beliefs and free the roots of your potential.

It is easy for the roots of belief to become twisted and tangled. When they do, our relationships and results suffer. Unbinding the roots is a four-step process:

1. Identify the beliefs that limit you.
2. Understand how those beliefs are impacting your results and relationships.
(Understanding the impact will motivate you to make the changes necessary.)
3. Exchange self-limiting beliefs for empowering ones.
4. Identify beliefs you want to add to yourself. These are possibilities you may not have considered until now, but they are possibilities. (And they can be yours.)

I encourage you to break some glass today, because you were Designed for Success and built to Grow!

Dondi


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THANK YOU Dondi for being my guest this week and for sharing with us words and wisdom that can radically change a person's lifestyle!

It is my prayer that everyone who reads this blog - as well as those that hear you speak or read your book - will think upon these things and make necessary changes to break the very thing that confines and limits them!

These are words of knowledge that we should never stop strengthening and growing in our lives!

I am so excited to announce that today we are giving away a copy of Dondi's book -
READY, SET...GROW!
Leave your comments or questions on the blog by clicking on the "comment" word below...you can post as annonymous if you do not have a blog name.

Come back here tomorrow when we will announce the winner!

Visit Dondi's blog for more great reading!!
www.dondiscumaci.com/blog

Dondi will be speaking this Thursday in the San Antonio area.
May 14th, 2009
7:00 pm
Cornerstone Church in the Chapel

Hope you can join us!

Live Inspired,

Vern


Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them!
Ephesians 5:11


WINNERS UPDATE
I will combine the comments from this weeks posts and facebook responses to select the Winner's of Dondi's books...Come back on Saturday to see who won!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Put Your Own Mask On First!

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, over the next few weeks we are going to specifically take the time to Encourage, Honor and Celebrate the women in our lives!!

I have special friends and guests lined up to share wisdom, hope and love. It is all of our desires that The Word, the testimonies and the stories will strengthen your faith, your relationships, your homes and your journeys.

Several years ago at a ladies conference, I had the wonderful privilege to meet and work alongside an amazing speaker and author named Dondi Scumaci. Besides being drawn to her unique name, I was impressed with her captivating confidence and her passion that is full of His power and might!

Dondi Scumaci, is an international speaker, author, and an expert in professional and personal development. She is well known for her high energy on the platform and for the dramatic results that her seminars and ladies events inspire!

Her seminars and events have made a positive and lasting impact on many...including myself!

We are so glad you stopped by today and hope you will encourage your Mother's, Daughter's, Sister's, Girlfriend's and Mentor's to join us over the next several weeks as we Celebrate all of them in our lives!!

Leave us a comment or question and be entered for a chance to win a copy of one of Dondi's books!!

Be Inspired,

Vern

It is with great joy that I introduce to you today my guest & friend ~ Dondi Scumaci!!


Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First!


With Special Blogging Guest:
Dondi Scumaci, Author of Designed for Success and Ready, Set…Grow

Women can be very good at taking care of others. Many of us have a nurturing gene hardwired right into our DNA. And women are strong. When you combine these two elements, the result is both beautiful and heartbreaking. Beautiful because of the difference we can make in the lives of others. Heartbreaking when we forget to take care of ourselves in the process.

But selflessness is a good thing, right? Yes and no. Like anything, if it is overdone or under managed it will begin to undo us. If we do not include ourselves in the list of people we take care of, we will soon be running on empty.

Empty includes energy, clarity, creativity….and what the heck, we might just as well insert all the gifts of the spirit here. Empty. Poured out. Dry. That is heartbreaking. (Trust me, I've been there, and I'm betting you can relate.)

Empty is not attractive (or heroic). It looks tired and worn. Empty sounds impatient and resentful. No, empty is not pretty or dynamic or effective.

To illustrate "empty," I often use the airline safety demonstration. (I travel a great deal and I've memorized that little speech.) The flight attendant goes through a list of do's and don'ts and "in case of emergencies" at the beginning of each flight. Pointing here and there, the exits are highlighted and we learn how to buckle our seat belts. Then she comes to the part about "sudden cabin pressure changes". We try not to imagine what that might be like as she demonstrates "putting your own oxygen mask on first." For the longest time I got stuck right there.

Put my own mask on first? (Sounds pretty selfish to me.)

I'd like think of myself as the person slapping masks on others before taking care of myself. I'm good in a crisis. (I imagined myself running through the cabin securing masks on young and old alike.) It bothered me enough to ask about it, and this is what I learned. If I don't put my own mask on first, I WILL PASS OUT IN 30 SECONDS. If that happens I can't help others and I am now in the way! Then I understood these ground rules:

I cannot give what I do not have and that means I must take time to restore.

I must give my permission to take care of myself and I must not call that selfish.

I must set boundaries and learn how to say, "No" without feeling guilty.

If I fail to set boundaries and others take advantage of me, I am responsible for the damage.

I must be careful about what I "put in" and "take on," because these are things that will shape my life and my ability to serve.

I encourage you to "put on your own mask" today. Give yourself permission to take care of you, so that you can pour yourself into the life of others and never run dry.

You were Designed for Success and Built to Grow!

Dondi


For more information or to check out Dondi's blog visit her website at -
http://www.dondiscumaci.com/

We would also like to invite you to join us at this upcoming event!

MAY 14, 2009
7:00 pm
Cornerstone Church
Dondi will be speaking and signing books in the Church Chapel.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Month of Celebration and Honor!

CELEBRATION ~ A time to honor by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business.

HONOR ~ Showing of a usually merited respect.

I am going to take time this month to concentrate on the expressions of Celebrating and Honoring. This will specifically include paying tribute to those ladies in our lives that we have profound gratefulness, love & respect for.

Throughout the rest of this month I have invited some special friends and guests to share precious jewels of wisdom, joy and love to encourage you in your own personal journey. Intertwined with their messages we will share stories to celebrate women who have inspired us personally.

I cannot wait to introduce them to you as we CELEBRATE our Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Girlfriends and Mentors!!

Let the Celebrations Begin!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is something that all of us have in common...We all have a mom.

Today I would like to Celebrate and Honor the one who brought me into this world...My Momma!

My mom gave birth to 7 children. Guess which number I am?
She was a military wife that became a widow when I was 4 years old.
Her strength and endurance is what I want to honor today.

She came from a large family herself.
She experienced a hard life with much heartache, suffering and struggles.
She was determined to provide for us and had to overcome much to accomplish that.

About 11 years ago my mom completed her journey here on earth after experiencing a difficult battle with cancer. My final days with her were some of the most precious memories that I will forever cherish!

I would sit by her hospital bedside and read The Word of God (The Bible) to her and sing songs over her...she thanked me as she squeezed my hand and smiled.

Little did she know that I had prayed many years for that day when we would share the joys of Christ together.

Today - I rejoice knowing that the Lord has rescued her and that she is now completely whole and full of joy! She is free from pain, heartache and despair and as my husband has said several times..."She would not return here for nothing"!

I miss her and her tortillas!!


I would also like to take this time to Celebrate and send a greeting to my mother -in law this Mothers Day.

Nonni, THANK YOU for extending much mercy and love to this favorite Daughter -in - law of yours! You will never know how much your compassion and prayers have affected my life...I love you!

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance!"
George Bernard Shaw


HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Could Have Missed This!

This past weekend I was in the Houston, Texas area speaking at Crosspoint Fellowship in Pearland.  HELLOOO to all my new friends in that area and the awesome team that organized and put their special touches into that wonderful day!!!  The Lord was magnified through you!
I took a few pictures that I will have to post later due to computer problems...so come back and check them out later in the week!

After each event I like to pause and spend time with God and thank Him for His provision's and review with Him the details of the ministry event.   At times the review of it all can be so overwhelming!!  Especially when I realize - I could have missed meeting these wonderful ladies...I could have missed this time in His presence...I could have missed the words He speaks to me in the midst of all the preparation and delivery...I could have missed watching Him transform lives...I could have missed all of this and more!!  

This particular weekend was huge on the scale of thanking God for what He did in arranging this event on my calendar, as well as what He allowed me to witness with my eyes and soak in my soul...and to think...

If I had not believed...I could have missed it!
If I had not surrendered...I could have missed it!
I I had not opened & studied His Word...I could have missed it!
If I had not trusted...I could be have missed it!
If I had not prayed...I could have missed it!
If I had not prepared...I could have missed it!


I praise Him for His revelation in my life and His endurance with me!
I sing for Joy because of the Freedom I am experiencing in Christ and the Peace he provides in the steps I take along the journey.  

May we all walk in greater knowledge and awareness of His purpose for us each day.  
Not filling it with meaningless - time consuming excursions and thoughts.
And especially not missing out on what He wants us to see, hear, experience and live out!!

I pray these words over you today.

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 1:16-22 



He Inspires Me,

Vern






Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 5 ~ What Christians Believe...

"He Descended Into Hell..."

My favorite icon (those ancient pictures which Christians in the Orthodox East use as instruments of worship) is called “The Harrowing of Hell”.  It depicts Jesus coming out of the tomb - not gently, but leaping, his robe fluttering behind him in the wind almost like a kind of Superman’s cape! Scattered all around him are the broken down doors, the shattered wood, and the broken locks and hinges of hell itself.  With one hand he is grasping Adam and with another he is holding on to Eve, and a whole crew of people are scurrying out behind him. He has just conquered hell and freed its captives.

When the Apostle John was in exile on the Isle of Patmos he had a vision of the risen Lord who told him, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1.18).  From whence did he get those keys? Well, he got them from death and hell and the grave - when he descended there in his own death.   While he was in hell he not only experienced the depths of human death, he not only preached to those who were there, he also conquered the evil powers!  Paul writes, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2.15).

The early Church Fathers have seen this descent into hell as a fulfillment of Job 40.1, where God asks Job, “Who can capture with a hook the great sea monster Leviathan [the Dragon]?”  In his descent into hell, as a human, Jesus “tricked” the trickster, the devil, that old serpent, the dragon. Saint Cyprian wrote, “The divine power of God’s son was a kind of fishhook hidden by the covering of human flesh”. Saint Gregory of Nyssa wrote, “...the deceiver reaps the harvest of the seeds he sowed with his own free will.  For he who first deceived man by the bait of pleasure is himself deceived by the camouflage of human nature...”! John of Damascus explained it like this: “Wherefore death approaches, and swallowing up the body as a bait is transfixed on the hook of divinity, and after tasting of the sinless and life-giving body, perishes, and brings up again all whom of old he swallowed up.  For just as darkness disappears on the introduction of light, so is death repulsed before the assault of life, and brings life to all, but death to the destroyer”.

Do you see the brilliance of this strategic move?  Satan rejoices in the death of Jesus, and the demons of hell celebrate his descent into their territory!  But the shouts of joy soon turn to howls of terror when they realize that the One among them is himself Life and Light that cannot be extinguished! To put it another way, hells gates are broken down from the inside out! The great reversal has begun.

(From Chapter Five, What Christians Believe by Kenneth N. Myers)

To order Bishop Kenneth's book go to his website - www.kennethmyers.net

Thank you all for joining us on this blog journey!
Stay in touch and come back to visit our sites so that you can be kept updated on future releases and events.

It is my prayer that you will be rooted and established deeply in the love of Christ and will come to grasp even greater how wide - how long - how high and deep His love is for you!  To Him be all the glory  forever and ever!  Amen!
(Ephesians 3:14-21)

May we never be the same!

Blessings,
Vern



Lyrics to The Glory Of It All  ~ By David Crowder
At the start
He was there
He was there
In the end
He’ll be there
He’ll be there
And after all
Our hands have wrought
He forgives

Oh, the glory of it all
Is He came here
For the rescue of us all
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh, the glory of it all

All is lost
Find Him there
Find Him there
After night
Dawn is there
Dawn is there
And after all
Falls apart
He repairs
He repairs

Oh, He is here
With redemption from the fall
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh, the glory of it all

After night
Comes a light
Dawn is here
Dawn is here
It’s a new day, a new day
Oh, everything will change
Things will never be the same
We will never be the same

Oh, everything will change
Things will never be the same
We will never be same

 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 4 ~ What Christians Believe. Jesus Christ...Born of the Virgin Mary

"Who For Us And For Our Salvation Came Down From Heaven"

We now come to the central truth of Christianity: “Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven”. God the Son, the very manifestation of the invisible God himself, the one who is the Word of God and brought all things into existence, the one who revealed himself to Moses and Joshua and the Prophets, “came down from heaven”. And his coming from the heavenly dimension into our realm of the physical was not just for a visit, but for an eternal union with what he had made, and in particular with humanity. But it must be emphasized that this wonderful act was not for himself - he didn’t “need” to join himself to us - he did it for “us and for our salvation”. The very act of the incarnation (“enfleshing”) was to save creation and restore mankind to himself. It was an act of love.

How he came down from heaven was that he became “incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary”. In the third and final clause of the creeds we will learn more of the Holy Spirit, but here we see the Spirit of God is referenced as that life, that energy, that “flow” between the Father and the Son, and it was by the Spirit that the Son became flesh. The angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1.35).

And thus, for us, was God “made man”. In the womb of the Virgin Mary God joined himself to his creation. He took the flesh of Mary - her egg, and joined himself to her flesh and the child born was without human father but was of human mother. “The Word became flesh” (John 1.14). In the early Church the Virgin was given the title, “Mary, Mother of God”. Some people have been thrown off by this title, feeling that it elevated Mary to too high an honor. Laying aside for a moment that the Bible actually says that all generations will call her Blessed and that she is blessed among all women (Luke 1.42, 48), the title is not about Mary, but about Jesus. The title is not a marian statement, but a christological statement. It is saying that what was in the womb of Mary was really and truly God, “true God of true God”! In the inner chamber of humanity, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, God became man. He did not simply put on a human costume. He became man. Never again to not be man! God elevated the stuff of our nature to the place of Divinity eternally! Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man and the two shall nevermore be divided or separated. A man - one of us - sits enthroned in the heavenlies forever and is God Almighty! And it was all an act of love, a reuniting, a reconciling: “God was in Christ Jesus, reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5.19)!

(From Chapter Three, What Christians Believe by Kenneth N. Myers)

To order Bishop Kenneth's Book - www.kennethmyers.net.

Even though we are not in the middle of Christmas season - today is a great day to give thanks to our Lord for the gift of Jesus...the One who saves and rescues us! Do you know my Savior?

If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Praise Yahweh for the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus!
Give thanks for His saving power and his continued provision of forgiveness and deliverance!

Praise the Lord (Yahweh), O my soul;
all my innermost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord (Yahweh), O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord (Yahweh) has compassion on those who fear him.

Psalm 103:1-5, 11-13


He has done great things!

Vern

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 3 ~ What Christians Believe. In One God...

"I Believe In One God..."

Christians have looked for a single verse to capsulize the entire Gospel, and many have settled on John 3.16. This is the verse that many little Christian boys and girls memorize before they learn any other. In the Hebrew world of the Old Testament, every little Jewish boy and girl also had a first verse to memorize. It was understood to capsulize the whole of their faith, and it was the most important verse in the Bible. In fact, the context of the verse is a command from God through Moses that its content should be memorized, written down, posted on the walls, said before rising from bed and before closing the eyes to sleep. This verse is the epitome of what it means to be Jewish, as opposed to the pagans in the surrounding nations: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6.4-5)

When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment in the Bible, being a good and faithful Jew, he immediately quoted the verse he had memorized since his childhood: “Hear O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one...” (Mark 12.29). He went on to say that this verse was the fundamental basis for everything else in the Law and the Prophets. So the verse, called in Hebrew the Schema, is foundational not only for the Old Testament faith, but also for the Christian faith.

This idea of one God stands over against two pagan ideas, and you should remember that Judaism was an island of monotheism (“one God”) in a sea of polytheism (“many gods”).

The first pagan idea which belief in one God stands over against is polytheism, the idea that there is a plurality of gods. Idolaters, both ancient and modern, hold that there is a plethora of deities to which we pray and make petition. One god controls the rain, another orders the seasons, another gives strength in battle, another brings fertility to women. There were literally hundreds of gods, all requiring a sacrifice in order to answer a prayer. Often times (as in Greek and Roman mythology) these gods were somewhat scandalous beings epitomizing all the more base characteristics of humans themselves. Sometimes the gods were tricksters and deceivers; sometimes they were drunken sexual predators taking on human form and raping women; sometimes they were fierce in unjust battle and slaughtered innocent people. Almost always they carried some sense of arrogance and had to be appeased in various ways - including the extreme appeasement of human sacrifice. One neighboring nation of Israel worshipped a god named Molech whose chief sacrifice was newborn babies.

In contrast to this Israel stood up and proclaimed, “God is One”! There weren’t a multitude of gods to be petitioned for various favors and appeased with various sacrifices; there was only one and he was unique, holy, and other. He was the God who had made everything and who was himself unlike everyone and everything else.

The second pagan idea that the Schema stands over against is pantheism - the idea that God is the same as creation. In other words, some pagans believed that all things are, in some way, God. The trees are God, the rivers are God, the animals are God, other people are God. Not, mind you, a multitude of gods, but that all things are part of God. There was, among these pagans, no distinction between the Creator and the created. In contrast, the Jews declared that God was wholly other. That everything else, and I mean everything, was made by him, but he was himself unmade. That everything else was finite - had a beginning and an end, but he was himself infinite. That everything else depended on him for its very existence, but he himself depended on no one or nothing. He simply was. He simply is. When Moses encountered God and asked him his name he simply said, “I AM” (Exodus 3.14).

(from Chapter Two, What Christians Believe by Kenneth N. Myers)

To order Bishop Kenneth's book - What Christians Believe go to - www.kennethmyers.net


He is truly the "I AM"...The God, Elohim, The Mighty Creator, The ONE!!

ELOHIM ~ Hebrew word for God.
He made everything out of nothing, gave birth to beauty, and called it good!
He is reliable and trustworthy...He is the answer to your needs!

When I called out to Him in my darkness and pain. He delivered me and touched my life with His love, mercy and peace!

Be encouraged with these words and know the One who is Lord of all never changes...He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
May He steady your world today and be your peace.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

We appreciate your comments and would love for you to take the time to share with us any prayer needs or testimonies of praise!

Thank you for your visit today and congratulations to our first winner - Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam! Contact me and I will send you a copy of Bishop Kenneth's book!!

We will have another giveaway on Friday...leave your comments on today or tomorrows post and be qualified for something special!!

Live Inspired!

Vern





Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 2 ~ I Believe...

Today we come to the question of the week...WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

Believe -
a: To have a firm religious faith.
b: to accept as true, genuine or real.

Think about it right now - How would you answer that question if someone approached you with it today? How do you think your children would answer that question? Would we all know how to answer with more than just I believe in God...or Jesus?

Todays topic begins the journey of digging into and exploring segments of the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds. Inside Bishop Kenneth's book - "What Christians Believe" - you will find a more extensive exploration of these Creeds side by side. It is what I call - GOOD STUFF!!


It is my prayer that this information will come as new revelation to some readers and for others it will remind and speak to us in a new fresh way. For all - I pray it strengthen's and expand's our desire for greater knowledge of the Bible and the heritage of our faith.

Whatever stage you are at it does not matter. What matters is if you have discovered the wonderful truth that brings you to God.
Belief is necessary for salvation...Do you believe?


"I Believe..."
Taking it Personally


Being a Christian is a personal thing. I should point out that by personal I don’t mean individual. Being a Christian is not an individual thing. When we become believers in Christ we also become members of his family, his Body, the Church. But as someone has said, “God has no grandchildren”. Our relationship with him isn’t mediated through some other channel so that we are in Christ but don’t know Christ; real faith has a personal dimension to it. You can personally know God. You can personally pray to him. You can personally encounter his presence. You can personally obey him or disobey him. So, when the Creeds begin with “I believe” they mean just that. By personally affirming what the Church believes you are joining together with untold millions of Christians who throughout the ages have also embraced the truth of the Christian faith.

But - and this is a big but - what follows after the words “I believe” is not up to us. Although the Christian faith is personal, it isn’t individualistic. You can’t just make up your own creed (though heaven knows enough people have tried to). “I believe in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches” is not an accurate statement of what it means to be Christian! Our personal faith, our “I believe” joins with the whole of the Church in embracing the faith once delivered to the Apostles by Jesus himself.

How many times have you heard people say, when speaking of some text in the Bible, “Well, what it means to me is...”? Hop efully what they intend to say is, “Well, this is the application the text has for me.” Application is one thing, interpretation is another. We approach the Bible, and the Christian faith, together. We don’t believe whatever we want to believe. We believe what we have received from those who have gone before us. Saint Paul, writing the church in Corinth said, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread...” (1 Corinthians 11.23). The words that Paul used for received and passed on are technical words for the passing on of tradition. As Christians, we do the same. Like the Christians in Corinth, we receive the teachings of the Apostles, and we pass them on to those after us. So when we come to the words “I believe” in the Creeds, we should understand that we aren’t making this stuff up as we go. We are standing at the end of a long line of men and women who have defended and protected the precious faith, some with their very lives, in order to pass it on to others. We believe the faith that has been delivered to us from the Prophets (the Old Testament), from Jesus, and from the Apostles (the New Testament), and which has been guarded and kept from their day until ours. What “I believe...” is of necessity what we believe.

(from Chapter One, What Christians Believe by Kenneth N. Myers)
To order a copy of the book by Bishop Myers go to http://www.kennethmyers.net/.

Enjoy this video of the group Third Day singing Rich Mullins Creed Song.
May it sing in your soul throughout the day and days to come!




 

Blog Series Begins! Deep Roots ~ What Christians Believe

Greetings Blog Friends!

Recently I have had the wonderful honor to be reunited with an old friend.
He has long been an inspiration to me with his example, his strong quest for the Lord and his passion for the Word of God.

When I heard he was in the midst of writing a four volume set on the basics of Christianity I was ecstatic! I was even more pumped to discover the first volume of that series is now available!!

This week I have invited him to be my special guest. Beginning today through Friday we will join hearts and efforts together to bring you a chest full of treasures. It is our prayer that these words will awaken, strengthen and stir your understanding and belief in Christ!

You will not want to miss out each day as we share excerpts from his new book and have a sweet time experiencing God together...and enjoy some fun giveaways in the midst of it!

We would love to hear from you!
So leave us a comment or question on the post by clicking on the word "Comment".
This will automatically qualify you for one of several giveaways this week...which include a copy of Bishop Ken's book, a music cd, and other surprises to encourage you!

I am so excited to introduce to you my friend and special guest, Bishop Kenneth Myers, of Christ Church Cathedral in Sherman, Texas!

Be Inspired!

Vern



Deep Roots

Man, I love Hill Country peaches. If you're not from Texas, you don't know what you've missed in being able to have fresh Hill Country peaches chopped up and mixed in with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream! We all enjoy good fruit - it's not only healthy, it tastes delicious! But good fruit comes from good trees, and good trees come from good roots. Everyone knows that a healthy tree has deep roots. And everyone has heard the analogy of believers being like trees. The Psalmist said that a righteous man is "like a tree planted by streams of water" (Psalm 1.3), and the last book in the Bible describes the people of God as "trees, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations" (Revelation 22.2). Can we talk?

Too much of modern day Christianity produces barely tolerable fruit because it hasn't given much attention to the root system. In the early church (I'm talking about the first 1000 years, when there weren't Methodists and Baptists and Roman Catholics and Presbyterians and Pentecostals and Non-Denominationalists and - well, you get the picture - but when there was simply "the Church")...I got a little carried away there; where were we? Oh, yes: in the early church there were four things that made up the "root system" for growing Christians. I would suggest that we modern followers of Jesus would do well to recover these four things, not just in theory, but in practice. Here they are:

The Creeds
The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creeds are succinct statements of what it means to believe like a Christian. I'm not going to go into detail here as to what they said (you can Google them, or you can order my new book and explore them in detail!), but suffice it to say that before there was ever a New Testament (which was canonized in A.D. 431) there were these "symbols" of Christian faith which clearly lined out what it meant to think like a believer. In our day of pop-psychology passing for biblical sermons and polls showing that many Christians have no idea what they really believe, we need to rediscover, understand, and embrace these core statements of faith.

The Ten Commandments
These ten "words" are directives from God that show us what it means to behave as Christians. "But that's Old Testament!", someone might cry. And so it is. Of course, it might matter that Jesus himself repeats them (so that makes them New Testament, doesn't it?). The Commandments are not harsh, nor are they burdensome. Ten simple rules that God gives us to direct our lives and which bring a life, not of legalism, but of true liberty.

The Lord's Prayer
This short prayer models how to pray as Christians. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he gave them an outline to follow (Matthew 6). To this day no one has written or prayed a better prayer (but to be fair, competing with God himself on writing a prayer is a pretty tough challenge)! We ought to pray it everyday. We should study it and understand it.
A serious study of the Lord's Prayer will spiritually form us, and the regular and intentional praying of it will order all the rest of our praying.

Worship
Finally, early Christians were rooted in how to worship.
One of the mistakes we make today is thinking that worship is for us. It isn't. It is for God. So instead of worshiping in a way that I like, maybe I should figure out what God himself says about worship and do it that way. Fortunately, I don't have to work too hard at figuring it out, because it's already been figured out before me. Worship is for an audience of One: God himself. And it involves the people of God (not, mind you, a gathering of individuals, but this single entity called "the Church") gathering in his name, thanking him for his amazing grace, growing in his Word, and feeding on him in the sacraments. Obviously there isn't space here to fully develop all these things (that's what books are for), but we can at least maybe see the importance of focusing on the roots instead of just on the fruit. In the coming articles, I'm going to pull a few ideas from my new book, What Christians Believe, and share just a taste of the power of the Creeds.

Here's to your roots going deeper than you know!

God Bless,
+ Bishop Kenneth

Website to order the book: http://www.kennethmyers.net/kennethmyers/Welcome.html and click on "Books I've Written"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

HolyThursday ~ Maundy Thursday

Maundy ~ comes from the Latin word mandatum or command.

At the Last Supper Jesus did more that just share a meal with his followers.
He shared symbolic teachings and gestures to nourish them in ways they could not understand.

When he took the bread he blessed it, broke it and distributed it - explaining that this was his body. Then he passed them a cup, telling them that this was his blood that would be poured out for the forgiveness of sins.

He then gave his followers a commandment. (Maundy)

JOHN 13:34-35

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Before he was arrested Jesus washed the disciples feet and illustrated the kind of love he spoke of. His words and actions illustrate to us amazing humility and the spirit of servanthood.

I give thanks for these examples and pray I live, love and serve with greater faithfulness...oh that I would love him with my life!


I LOVE YOU WITH MY LIFE

Written and Sung By: Bryan Duncan


Jesus here I pray - On my knees before You.
I live for you today because I do adore you.

I will not be afraid - Only watch and pray to see your glad return.
I'll put my trust in you until my life is completed.
To all as unto you - believing what all You have stated.
I want to live in peace - in spite of tribulation - until You come again.

Please know that I love You and I will stay by Your side.
Worship You in spirit - Dear Lord be my guide.
Don't let me suffer long - cause You have suffered for me.

I love you with my life.


ROMANS 12:9 - 12
Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking zeal, but keep your spiritual fevor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God's people who are in need.
Practice hospitality.
v. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why Jesus Came To Die

Here are a few excerpts from a book by John Piper called -
FIFTY REASONS WHY JESUS CAME TO DIE (click on title)

Plus Scripture from the Holy Word of God!!

Soak it in and meditate on His Great Grace and Love for us!!

Remembering that Holy Week is the most amazing wonderful week ever...and it always ends with a Resurrection!!


WHY JESUS CAME TO DIE

1. To Take Away Our Condemnation

The great conclusion to the suffering and death of Christ is this;
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

To be "in Christ" means to be in relationship to him by faith. Faith in Christ unites us to Christ so that his death becomes our death and his perfection becomes our perfection.

Who is to condemn?
Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34

The death of Christ secures our freedom from condemnation.

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

2. To Give Eternal Life To All Who Believe On Him

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

Heaven is real...and so is hell!!

3. To Give Marriage It's Deepest Meaning

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Ephesians 5:25

God's design for marriage in the Bible pictures the husband loving his wife the way Christ loves his people, and the wife responding to her husband the way Christ's people should respond to Him.

4. To Unleash The Power of God In The Gospel

The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

May we embrace the Gospel of Christ and walk in it's power!

5. For The Forgiveness Of Our Sins

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.
Ephesians 1:7

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 26:28


For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21


Have you received the Fathers love for you?
We all have sinned and all need a Savior...I pray you know Him this way?

The Bible says in Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord", and you believe in your heart that God was raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Here is a simple prayer to pray to accept the Lord into your life.

Lord Jesus,

I acknowledge that you are the Son of God.
I confess to you that I am a sinner. Please forgive me and give me strength to overcome.
I receive your amazing your love for me through the demonstration of your suffering, death and resurrection. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins!
Thank you for the gift of eternal life that I now have in you!

Amen!

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation ( born again). Old things have passed away and all things are made brand new!
2 Corinthians 5:21


I rejoice in knowing that the Lord saves and transforms lives...He has rescued me and continues to guide me along the journey.

If you surrendered to him today...I am here for you and would love to pray for you as you begin this new beginning!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Holy Week

This week always transports me back to my childhood and the memory of a cross that was assembled out of palm leaves and posted above of the door at the entry of our home.

Back then I did not understand or appreciate all the sacred meanings of that week. But now I can look back and see the significance and power of all it's detail.

This week on my blog I want to dig into the word and capture the moments and steps that led Christ closer to his crucifixion.

You will discover that the Lord finds this week so important that he designs all 4 Gospels to include the details of this victorious week! Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all tell of the Christ's Last Supper, Crucifixion and his Ressurection. I find that very interesting!

The journey begins with Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday) as Christ enter's into Jerusalem, where a segment of the roads were covered with cloaks and palm branches for him.


They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

"Hosanna!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the King of Israel!"
John 12:13


Palm branches have been used by nations as an emblem of joy and victory over the enemy.

May this week remind us to hold onto what we know to be true and the victory we have through the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Praise and Honor to Him!!

"Choose a suitable time for reflection and frequently consider the loving-kindness of God."
Thomas `a Kempis



Be Inspired,

Vern

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not my will...

What began years ago as a a nudge that I tried to ignore and push away...has turned into an ache and a burden that I have begun to organize my life around!!

For over 16 years I fought God on the calling to go into ministry. Pitiful I know.

I tried to communicate back to Him that He had the wrong person.
I reminded Him of all my wrong choices...where I had been and what I had done and thought...I explained to Him that I had nothing to offer! I gave Him a list of allllll my inadequacies...my weaknesses and so much more!

He responded by taking me on a journey.

After each excuse I gave Him, He took me through a season that taught me so much about His character. My understanding of His love & kindness has expanded to a capacity that makes me weak in my knees!

I am not saying it was an easy thing to discover that this calling is not about me but I am grateful for His patience with me...sometimes I am a little slow!

He continued by teaching me so much through His word.

Mark 8:34
If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself and...cleave steadfastly to Me.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith not by sight.

Psalm 119:105
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.

I came to the point that I did not just hear and learn the following things but I began to acknowledge and truly make application to live it out.

I had to stop believing the lies that played in my head...
Forget my past...
Ignore the reminders of guilt...
Forgive many...
Love and pray for all...even those that are difficult and cause you undeserved pain.
I had to lose sight of my wordly interests and instead invest in things of eternal value.
Live a life of thanks and praise.

As I began to really grow in the knowledge of the word of God I noticed the burden in my heart began to lead me to change.

My appetite changed.
My lifestyle changed.
My interests changed.
My will changed.
My discipline changed.


The next thing that took place was my burden turned into a vision...a strong knowing came over me that I could no longer ignore it!!

In the past my ignorance had kept me wandering and wondering.
It kept me distracted with busyness and delayed with fear and hesitation.

Not any longer!!

Philippians 3:13
...I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of for me.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind me and straining toward what is ahead.

In 2006 the Lord provided in miraculous ways the opportunity to attend the Proverbs 31 Ministries, She Speaks Conference. It was there that I began a relationship with an amazing ministry and an amazing group of women who are the real deal. Through my experiences with them I have caught and been taught invaluable knowledge in moving forward with this passion that has begun to expand my heart and vision.

Recently I invited my friend, Lysa Terkeurst, of Proverbs 31, to come be my special guest for a special evening of ministry and kingdom purpose.

This evening was the result of an amazing journey with the Lord and a life that has truly begun to say "YES" to the Lord and His Will.


JANUARY 23, 2009

A Night of Inspired Hope!


Lysa Terkeurst ~ Vern ~ Holly Good

"YES" GIRLS!



My wonderful Husband praying over the team before the event begins.




Lysa praying and commissioning me into ministry...gulp!
There was an amazing presence in the room...I cried like a baby!!




Those in attendance joined with me in prayer for the women of the San Antonio area.
This is one of my passions...reaching the women of our area.


Stephen and Sarah...Worship Warriors!
To have great friends join efforts with me in ministry was the BEST!



New Friend ~ Chuck...He was awesome!



My dear friend Mark...being Mark...he be jammin for Jesus!

Preparing for this event was one of the greatest and most challenging times of my life.
It was evident that this experience was bigger than me and what I could do in my own ability.
Obviously God was at work and it was through His great power and provision that I experienced victory over personalities and road blocks that came across my pathway.

I dedicate this blog post to all those that somewhere along the way joined me on this journey.

To my family...Thank you for your reflection of His love and grace in the midst of it all! You inspire me! Rick...I will never forget the day you spoke prophetically to me that "It was time to get out of the incubator!"
Dear friends...near & far and new & old...Thank you for taking risks! Thank you for your spiritual muscles! And especially for sharing your abilities unselfishly!
Your wisdom, prayers and dedication to the things of the Lord have had a huge affect on my life!!

Thank you all for your testimonies, your witness and love!

The Lord has a vision and plan for us all.
I hope that you are confidently walking in obedience with His plan right now in your life. Do not let anything stand in the way of the dream and vision he birthed in you!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him - but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9 -10

Believe and Be Inspired By Him!!

Vern

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years Everyone!

The kids are back in school and everything is starting to get back to normal...Right?

NO!

I still have my indoor Christmas decorations up...and I am still unpacking from our Christmas trip. As I drive around my area I feel a little better because there are still people that have Christmas lights and lawn decorations out at their houses. I wish I could be like some of my friends that get their stuff put up right after Christmas...it just doesn't happen that way with me.
Especially since we have been out of town and still getting over the yucky cold and cough that we passed around our household.

OH Well ~ Life and the New Year have moved into motion and great things are ahead of us!
Time once again for ending the past and beginning a new.

For me I have already been amazed at the New Year.

This New Year is full of great change for me.

I have recently stepped down from serving with our Womens Ministry and confidently stepping out with the calling and vision the Lord has been stirring in me for sometime.

In great measures the Lord is stretching me but at the same time He is confirming things and bringing things to fruition.

What about you?

Is there something you should be doing? (Serving, Ministering, Trusting,Giving, Loving, Living on Purpose!)
Is there something you should not be doing? (Cheating, Lying, Worrying, Disobeying, Not Completing, Overcommiting)

I will share some of my heart and discoveries over the next few weeks as I study for myself and dig into the word for guidance into His plan this year for me. I pray you will do the same for your life.

This year I pray we see a great harvest of people coming to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and peoples lives displaying a great bundle of fruit!

May it begin with me!

Be Inspired,

Vern

PS ~ OH an Check out the new additions to my blog! Thanks to my blog designers Stephanie and Stacy at Blogalicious I will be able to add some great new items and information!

There is also the button with information about my upcoming event on January 23 ~ Check it out!

PINK Hope & Love T-Shirt

PINK Hope & Love T-Shirt
T-shirt sales help with PINK Hope & Love cancer ministry efforts - Thank you for your continued support!
Adult sizes 100% cotton
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