“Legacy of Stewardship – What are You Leaving Behind?”

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In my daily Bible reading, I’m in 1 Chronicles 29. I always struggle reading through the genealogies, but I recently found this “gem” of a verse in the midst of names I can not pronounce. It is speaking of the descendants of Simeon…

“And they found rich, good pasture, and the land was wide, quiet, and peaceful, because the people of Ham had dwelt there of old [and had left it a better place for those who came after them]. 

Wow, what a great legacy and reputation the descendants of Ham had! They left the land better for those who would come after them — that is stewardship! Stewardship always thinks of those who will come after you, it is always future-minded. It is sad that so many people, nowadays, have no regard for the future, they are all about consuming all they can for themselves!

Darryl and I, were both raised with the conviction that if you rented a home, or any type of building, you should always leave it better than when you went into it. We have always strived to do that and to live by Luke 16:12…

“And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”

This applies both in life and ministry! I’m so thankful we had parents who instilled godly morals and beliefs in us both as we were growing up! We should all live with an attitude of stewardship in every area of our lives — where we live, where we work, and most importantly where we worship! Are we leaving the atmosphere and the places we occupy, while here on earth, better or worse for those who will come after us?

After all (as Christians), this is not our permanent home, we are only sojourners here on this earth, we are citizens of Heaven! The shepherd (and later King of Israel) David, knew this fact well. He declares in Psalm 24:1…

“A psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it”

David was a good steward over the sheep that were entrusted to his care, and later became the King of Israel. As we also walk in this attitude of stewardship, it will bring blessing and favor in our lives as well!

Until next time, may the Lord bless & keep you!

Your Sister in Christ,

Kathy Jo

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“Shake It Off”

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It seems like, for awhile there, you couldn’t get on social media without hearing or seeing that phrase. Although, I don’t endorse the song or the artist, that phrase did strike a chord in me. In life, there will always be those who oppose you, your dreams, your calling, or just flat-out don’t like you! It is a lifetime challenge not to let what people say about you or think about you, get to you!

We all have the deep need to be loved and accepted, I believe it is God-given. However, we equally also have the ability to “shake off” the negative words or actions that have been targeted against us, along with the negative emotions that result from those actions. We are created in the “image and likeness” of God, He is the “master” at loving people, who don’t love HIm. He doesn’t allow their words or actions to dictate His response or change His love for them. In other words, He doesn’t let it get to Him or harm Him.

That phrase also reminded me of the story, in Acts 28, where the Apostle Paul was warming himself by a fire and a serpent came out from the fire and struck him on the hand. It goes on to say in verse 5, “…he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.” It is possible, when the enemy strikes at you with negative words & actions through others, that you can merely “shake it off” and suffer no harm from it. That can only be done through knowing the great love and acceptance you have from your Heavenly Father! He gave us that need to be loved, because He is the only one that can completely fill it! His main purpose for creating mankind, in the first place, was to have someone He could lavish His love on.

So, no matter what you have had said or done to you, you like Paul, can “shake it off” and not let it harm your life, as you draw on the immeasurable love from the One who created you, your loving Heavenly Father!

“No weapon will prosper, because, God’s Word WILL Prosper”

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The greatest strength in my life, is the Bible, God’s Word! I will never forget one certain morning when I was praying and speaking scriptures over myself. I was following Jesus’ example and saying…”It is written..” (Matt. 4:4). As I was speaking, I heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit inside me say…”It is written because it was first spoken.” That lit a fire in me! I said…”That’s right, these are not just words on paper, this is the spoken word (Rhema) from God’s mouth, recorded for me to read, speak, & believe! I began to speak His Word over myself with such passion, knowing, this is what God has spoken about me and according to Psalm 119:89 – “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.”

That is the basis for which I will share the following scriptures with you – because God’s Word is forever settled in heaven, it can change things on this temporal earth. As the 13th Anniversary of September 11th, 2001 approaches, I have felt an urgent need to speak His Word over myself, my family and my church family all the more! I’m not saying that there will be an attack on 9/11/14, but I know our enemy’s plans & desires for America have not changed. It has been predicted by “true” prophets of God, that there will be more attacks. Even more reason, to be prepared “daily”, by speaking God’s Word of protection over ourselves. Every child of God has the right, because He has made us righteous, to speak what God’s Word (which is His Will) says concerning protection, over our lives!

If you haven’t made Jesus your Savior & Lord, you can change that right now! 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT) says… “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow…” Repent of your sin, turn away from it and turn to Jesus and receive salvation (Acts 3:19). We then work “out” our salvation (Phil.2:12), practicing righteousness or right living (1 John 3:7), and we stay faithful to Jesus to the end. Jesus said, in Matt. 24:13…”..he who endures to the end will be saved.”

Now that was a whole other message…but, the most important! If you receive Jesus from reading this, please let me know. I want to celebrate with you and help you get started on your glorious walk with God. Jesus will be your best friend. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5). You can now start confessing God’s Word over your life and expect good things to happen. One of my favorite passages of scripture (that I speak regularly) is, Isaiah 55:10 & 11 (Amp.) – “For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” You can know that what you are speaking will produce and will prosper!

I always follow that passage with, Isaiah 54:14-17 (Amp.)

“You shall establish yourself in righteousness (rightness, in conformity with God’s will and order): you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife, but it is not from Me. Whoever stirs up strife against you shall fall and surrender to you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals and who produces a weapon for it’s purpose; and I have created the devastator to destroy. But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgement you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.”

Hallelujah!!! God’s Word will prosper, but the weapons formed against us, will not prosper! That’s somethin’ to shout about! I then declare, the “Granddaddy of them all” (so to speak) of protection scriptures, and that’s Psalm 91. I will give you the Amplified version, with some of the definitions put in, by me (how I confess it). It doesn’t change the meaning, it just amps it up a little, and makes it easier to understand.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge (shelter from danger) and my Fortress (fortified city around me), my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence (plagues: malignant and contagious or infectious epidemic diseases which are deadly and devastating – Luke 21:11). [Then] He will cover you with His pinions (feathers), and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent (dwelling). For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot. Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love and kindness — trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no never]. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.”

I would say that covers it all!! No need to fear!! Chemical warfare, biological warfare, whatever the weapon may be, He gave us a way (a Word) to defeat it! I will leave you with these 8 things to help you live victoriously in the “last days”, as taught by my Spiritual Mom, Vickie Barclay. 1) Stay in the Ark (the church is the Ark for the “last days” believer). 2) Stay in the Word (read it, speak it, study it). 3) Stay in prayer (individually & corporate prayer). 4) Stay with your Pastor (Jer. 3:15). 5) Stay steady (don’t be moved by what you see). 6) Watch your mouth (what are you saying about yourself and others). 7) Watch your attitude (stay humble and teachable). 8) Watch who you are listening to (whoever has your ear, has your life in their hand). 9) Watch what you are watching (keep sin & fear out)!

Until next time, may the Lord keep you and guard you from all harm!

Your Sister in Christ – Kathy Jo

Mothers – A Love Like No Other

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“Happy Mother’s Day” — I pray that all the mothers who are reading this know how special they are! We don’t always let our mothers know how much we appreciate them, it’s easy to take them for granted. After all, they have been with us from our beginning, they are as familiar to us as breathing — but, just like our breath, where would we be without them?

From the beginning we depended upon them for our every need. To feed us, change us, bathe us, clothe us, comfort us, make sure we were kept warm when it was cold and there to shade us from the heat. Oh, and we can’t forget, she was there to clean our dirty faces, with just a handkerchief and a little spit when needed! How would we have ever made it through our “school days” without our mothers? She was our chauffeur, hair stylist and fashion consultant. She made sure we looked good on “picture day”, it wasn’t her fault if we looked like we had just rolled down a hill when it came time for the pictures to be taken (most of us probably had) , we looked good when she dropped us off for school! Who can count the sacrifices she made through the years so we could play sports, cheerlead, play in the band or whatever your “thing” was! She got by with little, so we could have much!

As we age, we begin to realize just how wise she was, and how foolish we were! I have made many phone calls to my Mom, apologizing for my arrogance & lack of respect I treated her with as a teenager! You know, back when we knew everything and she knew nothing — God forgive us!! She loved us through it all, our response to her didn’t dictate how she cared for us! She just continued to love us unconditionally, and I’m sure she said to herself….”They’ll understand someday!” After all, she was once that smart-mouth kid talking to her Mom!

So Mom’s, if your children are still in that “stage”, hang in there they will wise up someday! As I have gotten older and faced struggles in my life, I can only imagine what struggles she may have gone through that I never knew about! As I have increased in years, my respect for her has only increased as well! If you still have your Mom with you or if she has passed on to her reward, the love she gave never leaves us! It is engrafted in our thinking & our actions, how you respond to your children, or if you are like me and have no children, it still comes through in how you respond to others!

This Mother’s Day Eve, I am so thankful to have an earthly Mother who has loved me & does love me unconditionally, just like my Heavenly Father! I will continue to do my best to show her how much I appreciate her and the sacrifices she made for me! I know I will fail but I hope she now knows that I love her with the same love she instilled in me! The greatest gift we can give our mothers is to keep that legacy of love, she showed us, going! So I salute all the mothers, past, present and future that have and will shape this world! Mothers, never underestimate the contributions you are making, you are shaping the world not only today but also for tomorrow! God Bless You All!!!