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Lot's WifeI remember when I was a child our family would have a traditional saying after we blessed our food.  Back then I was taught this one little phrase, “Memberlockswife.”  At the time that’s just how I would say it, not truly understanding what I was saying.  But it was a family ritual, so it became a part of my mealtime prayer.  It was not until I was much older that I realized that what my grandmother and mother were saying was, “Remember Lot’s Wife.”  The relevance of salt at the dinner table was used to instill a principle in my life.  This Old Testament Story is found in Genesis 19.  God tired of the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah and decided to destroy it and all it’s inhabitants.  Obviously this was a pretty evil and corrupt place.  One which was so void of spiritual life that God set out to destroy it.  But because of his love for Abraham, the Lord allowed Lot and his family to escape this judgment and flee to safety.  His only request was that they not look back, but go straight to their destination.  All of Lot’s family fled and followed the Lord’s instructions, except for Lot’s wife.

In Luke 17: 32-33, Jesus speaks of the last days and takes the time to call to remembrance Lot’s wife.  She loved her life so much that she turned back to it on her way to a greater destiny.  There at that very instant she was turned into a pillar of salt which has become a memorial for all of those who cherish their past lives.  Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife!  Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”  This was not the only time that the call to a divine destiny was overshadowed by the desire for the familiarity of the past.  Israel also went through moments where they complained about their present state.  In their complaining they glorified their days of bondage.  In Numbers 20:5, they asked Moses, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place?”  Even though they are now free, some would have preferred the bondage of Egypt.  They would have traded walking freely in blind faith, to being enslaved by the Egyptians who hated them and tried to destroy them.

We also have those times where our past lives seem more attractive than pressing through the call God has on our lives.  This call is no joke, it is serious!  You will have wilderness moments where you have to trust God to see you through.  At times you may hear the enemy’s whispers  of, “Wasn’t it easier when you just did what you wanted?”  But when you’re honest with yourself, the answer is NO!  How can slavery have ever been better?  As a slave you work for the gain of others who don’t have your interest at heart.  But as a free child of God, you are promised an inheritance and a protection like no other.  Too many times we forget what being a slave who was in bondage to sin actually felt like.  We recreate a glorified picture of that past life.  But remember the helplessness and hopelessness of those times when you had no direction and no peace of mind.  Do you truly want to go back to that life?  Do you want to turn around and go your own way and experience the loss of fellowship and the loss of protection from the Savior?

Have you had moments when your “Egypt” looked more attractive than the future promises of God?   Don’t get so frustrated in the wilderness moments that you turn around.  Don’t allow the enemy to deceive you into returning to bondage.  It is in our pressing that we see the promise.  All God has for you is ahead of you!  Just continue taking the steps towards your destiny today.

Scriptures for Meditation:

Luke 9:62      Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5: 1            It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 

2 Peter 2: 20-22

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

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Discontentment

What is discontentment?  The dictionary states it is to be dissatisfied, to have a restless desire or craving for something one does not have. It is synonymous with uneasiness, restlessness, displeasure, and a longing for something better than the present situation. 

If you are like most, I am sure that you have experienced moments of discontentment in your life.  But what happens when the discontentment with your present situation becomes so overwhelming that it begins to affect everything.  This is when you start questioning why?  Why am I in this marriage? Why can’t I be rich? Why can’t I have children? When will my happiness come? As you ask these questions, you become increasingly unhappy with what you have and begin to long for something more, something different.  It becomes harder for you to fathom or accept that God has you on this path for a reason.

Although discontentment can spur a person to action to change their situation, it can also be a dangerous place in which to dwell.  Every coin has two sides and there are always two extremes. What can discontentment lead to? Depression, seeking one’s own will over God’s direction, falling prey to temptation, cessation of one’s personal progress, it can be a doorway to the influence of other spirits, and lead one to ignore the Lord.

The bible is filled with people who became so displeased with their present situation that they strayed from the path God set them on.  We see these examples in Eve (she dwelled and fellowshipped with God, but was not content with mere humanity, she wanted to know as much as God), David (could have anything he wanted, but chose another man’s wife and end up committing murder for his sin),  and Jezebel (It was the covetous spirit of her husband Ahab that propelled Jezebel to murder Naboth for his vineyard).

Even when you don’t understand why, take time to seek God for answers.  But you must be prepared that this may be part of your process.  It may be a place of trial to test your faith and strengthen you spiritually. Isaiah 55:8 states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”  It is in this place that you will learn to have faith in God’s plan, learn patience to endure the trials, and learn the humility as one of God’s sheep.  We can learn a lesson from Paul who states in Phil 4: 11-13, “ ..for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Scriptures for Meditation:

Phil 4: 6-7, 1 Tim 6:6, 2 Cor 12: 9-10

charlottes-web1

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.  – Eccl 3:1-8

 One day as I was doing my daughter’s hair, we were watching Charlotte’s Web.  It was at the point in the movie when Wilbur first met Charlotte, the spider.  She was explaining to him about her unusual feeding habits of eating insects, which grossed Wilbur out.  Charlotte explained to him that if she didn’t eat the insects the world would be overrun with them.  Wow, I had never thought of that!  That spider has a purpose.

A Natural Lesson

When I thought about that, I had to pause the movie for a moment to teach my daughter a lesson.  Everything that God has made, perfectly works together.  Not only that, but everything has purpose.  Even something as gross and annoying as a spider has a purpose.

A Spiritual Lesson

In our lives we will face hard and rough times and they too have purpose.  We may not understand why and we may not understand God’s plan, but there is a purpose.  God uses these storms, trials, times of lack to grow our faith.  Sometimes He wants to break strongholds off of our lives or for our tests to be a witness to others about His grace and power.  No matter the reason, the Word says that there is a time for everything.   Just as we thank God for the times that are good, we must learn to also thank Him for the times that try our faith.

Prayer

Lord help me to trust in You.  Help me to have faith in the process no matter how hard it seems.  Your word says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)  Because I understand Your ways are higher than mine, help me to humble myself and trust that there is purpose in all I go through.

People often confuse loneliness and solitude.            

  • Loneliness:  the feeling of being detached, isolated
  • Solitude: the choice to be alone

 

Examples: 

 

The purpose of solitude:

1. To spend time alone in fellowship with God and letting God fellowship with you.

2. We are the only part of creation capable of interacting with God.

3. We were created for the purpose of God loving us. (2 Corinthians 5:16-20)

The results of solitude:

  • More productivity
  • Save time
  • Divine energy
  • Protective knowledge
  • He will surprise you with His promises

 

How do you turn loneliness into solitude?

  • Look at it as a gift from God
  • See it as a wonderful opportunity to get to know God.

    – E. Smith

    Thank you for the opportunity to share as well. 

    As I shared during vacation bible school last month, there is the 1% reality which is connected to this physical realm of what we can see, touch, taste, smell, and see, and then there is the 99% reality which is hidden often times from what we physically experience but is connected to the spiritual realm.  One produces darkness and one produces light.

    Loneliness is connected to the 1% reality which is often times associated with darkness.  This is were we find depression, suicidal tendencies, and the place where we are most vunerable to the attacks of the enemy.

    Solitude is connected to the 99% reality.  In Mark, and Luke with the examples of Jesus, Moses, and Paul, these were conscious decisions made to seek the light.  To seek the voice  of the Creator.  They all chose to go away.  Their motivation was not to leave and find a place where all their focus and attention was on themselves (darkness), but they went away to reconnect to the Light that they may gain wisdom, knowledge, and insight to continue to lead God’s people, heal God’s people, restore God’s people.

    So, as we move along this journey, step by step, our focus should be how can I have more of you, Jesus.  How can I have more light in my life that I might share with others?  How can I look more like God, be more like God?  Because in choosing solitude, it draws us closer to the light, closer to the Creator, that he may impart more wisdom, more knowledge, more insight into how to share more with His people that they will look to Him to meet their every need and not we ourselves.

    Amen!  Be Blessed!!!!

    – L. Dillard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 6:55-58

 

55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.

 

When looking at this scripture I realize that Jesus is the reason for our lives and without Him we have no life.  Just like we get our nutrition from physical food, our spiritual nutrition comes from Jesus.  How does He supply our spiritual nutrition?  His word is our protein, His love is our vitamins, and His mercy is our minerals.

 

People who choose to live off of unhealthy junk food face the consequence of an early death.  There are people who make the same bad spiritual choices.  They choose to live by the world’s rules and mirror their lives by the way the world works.  Sadly, their consequence is not only having a less than wonderful life, but they also can die and end up in hell.

 

In the same manner, there are people who decide to live physically healthy lives who eat healthy foods and workout.  They have a healthier life and are able to do so much more than those who live the opposite way.  Just like we need healthy food for our survival, we also need Jesus to survive.  If you depend on Jesus for your spiritual nourishment you will have a good life and end up in heaven.  Who would not like that, right?

 

As I apply this scripture to my life I will eat off the Lord daily by doing my soap, praying, and paying attention in teen church.  I will also always try to do my best to grow closer to the Lord every day. 

 

Lord, I thank you and praise you for this day and I thank you for being my daily spiritual nutrition.  In your name I pray, Amen   

 

-Vanessa Reed  

Ruth 1:8

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

Ruth 1:14

Then they wept aloud again; and Orpah  kissed her mother-in-law [good-bye], but Ruth clung to her.

Ruth 1:15

And Naomi said, See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.

Ruth 1:16

And Ruth said, Urge me not to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God.

Ruth 1:17

Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts me from you.

Ruth 1:18

When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said no more.

 

Sometimes as leaders, we dismiss those in our congregation, who have the spirit of Orpah.  However, we must remember that the Orpah’s in our ministries have a very important place in the Kingdom of God . Does that mean that we give them the same types of responsibilities as we give those who serve with the spirit of Ruth? Certainly not! Instead we must remember what the Apostle Paul said when he realized the mistake he made in judging John Mark to harshly. He said:

2Tim. 4:11

“Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”

So the Apostle Paul, as he neared death realized that although John Mark was weakened in his earlier state of ministry, he was still “helpful in ministry”

 

Like Paul it is important for us as leaders to remember not to despise the variety of gifts in our fellowship. Instead let us disciple the people of God, and lead them to the place where they can serve with the spirit of either Orpah or Ruth.

Orpah vs. Ruth in Your Leadership

Orpah

Ruth

1.

Faithful in familiarity, as long as they are kept inside the confines of the familiar they will remain consistent and faithful.

 

1.

  Faithful in the Foreign Land, they are able to go   wherever the vision or visionary is called to go.

 

2.

 Called to help assist, the vision on a temporary level, to a very local assembly.

 

 

 

2.

 Called to walk along side the vision, and to participate in making it happen, on both the local and national level.

3.

 They CAN  (if not careful) Place a spirit of doubt amongst other leaders because of their desire to go back to what is familiar.                      

 

3.

 Will inspire other leaders and believers, to come outside of their comfort zones to service the vision.

Welcome Leaders

This site is to encourage and uplift leaders in both Sacred and the Secular realms with the Word of God.  The pressures of leadership have resulted in the falling away of both spiritual and political leaders.  This site is intended to help relieve at least some of those pressures.  As you read the articles on this site, please feel free to add any comments, insights, or concerns.  We hope that this site can be a measure of peace and encouragement for you as you venture to complete your task of leadership for the vision you have been given.