CAF ARTICLE: More Than Head Knowledge

Our youngest son, Matthew, was baptized in May. What an exciting choice for a young man to make for his life. How proud we are to see him decide on his own when he was ready to make a public declaration to follow Jesus. He has a great relationship with his Children’s Pastor. His Pastor shared a little about Matthew before he gave him the ol dunkeroo. One of the things He said was that Matthew knew the bible inside and out. At the time I thought that was really cool. It’s still cool, but today I thought about it differently. I felt like the Holy Spirit was cautioning that it is a must to know the word of God, but the word of God should change us and be evident in our life. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11. To simply know the word of God without applying it to our life is ineffective. Our choices, behavior, speach and thinking should all reflect God’s word. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22. These thoughts reminded me as a parent to make sure the word of God is developing godly character in my son. That he is humble before his God. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10. That he puts others needs before his own. not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippeans 2:4. That he is generous and willing to share. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:18. Many, many other godly character traits are discussed in the bible and as a parent I need to make sure that we’re not only memorizing scriptures to hide them in our heart, but we are using those scriptures as tools in our everyday journey. Then we will taste and see that the LORD is good. Psalm 34:8 . Jen

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CAF Article: I Want To Be An Overcomer

I’ve been reading “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope lately. I’m about half way through. I’ve reached a section that is talking about overcoming the fear of failure. She discusses that many of us hear accusations of failure from our enemy Satan, but encourages us to not fear failure. She further encourages the process of failing forward. Through this book I’m learning that there will be times that I will fall short of my own expectations or someone else’s expectations. When I fail, I don’t want to be stuck in condemnation, but in conviction to learn how I could have done things differently or maybe how I need to remedy the situation. Renee discusses the difference between condemnation and conviction which I thought was mind opening. She explains that condemnation comes in the form of accusation, ie (you are such a bad mother, you are so selfish, ect…). However, conviction from the Holy Spirit will remind you of a failing situation, but give instruction as to how to right the wrong. I think of this as condemnation pushes you further in the pit of despair, but conviction gives you a hand of how to get out of the pit. There is such a battlefield going on in our minds that I felt that information for me was really freeing to be able to discern those thoughts more clearly. To kick out the thoughts of condemnation, but embrace the thoughts of conviction that will help me right the wrongs I get myself into.

Then last Sunday’s message in church was about break through and I had the overwhelming feeling that God was pursuing me to encourage me to be an overcomer in some issues in my life. Then Monday in my bible reading I was reading Revelation chapter 2. Here in this chapter Jesus addresses the seven churches. To each church he says something positive he sees in them and then encourages them in some areas he wants them to do better. Specifically he says to overcome. To each church he ends with “to him who overcomes” and then gives a promise that will happen when they overcome. All these experiences reminded me that God wants me to be an overcomer. It brought to mind the scripture, “If God is for us, who can be against us” Romans 8:31. I was also reminded of the scripture “Come near to God and He will come near to you” James 4:8. This last week really hit home that God is for me and as I spend time with him in prayer and his word earnestly opening my heart and soul to him He will guide, direct and bring healing to my circumstances. How precious it is that the God of the whole universe would take time out for me and be so patient and kind with me. How exciting it is to see God use several different areas in my life to bring home one major point He wants me to understand. God is good! Jen

CAF ARTICLE: There’s Power in the Good News!

Now that the polling offices are closed my phone will stop ringing! Political calls have been irritating me with all the mud slinging. Mud slinging against your political opponent does not help me make an informed decision of who to vote for. Don’t call me with how bad your opponent is. Tell me how you have voted and will continue to vote on vital issues. Why should I trust you to be a leader in this nation under God.

As I was grousing about these calls, I remembered a pastor’s statement that “everyone knows what Christians hate, but do we show them what Jesus loves”. I continued to think about how I don’t like hearing what polititions hate. As a Christian do those around me hear what Jesus hates or what Jesus loves. Jesus hates sin, but his love for his brothers and sisters endures forever. Satan is our opponent and the battle is the Lord’s and Jesus already won the battle. Am I walking this journey with power and confidence that Jesus has already overcome everything I will ever face. The joy in the Lord is our strength Psalm 28:7. It should be evident in my walk that Jesus is the Lord of my life and that I know Jesus already won the battle. This is exciting news to share with others that Jesus has already won the battle against sin and the father of sin, Satan. This is great news! That I can walk this journey in boldness. The same scriptures Jesus battled Satan with I can use too. And so can other believers in Jesus Christ! Jesus has already overcome any sin you or I will battle with. We too can overcome the temptation of sin and live as overcomers because of Jesus’ power within us. That is the great news of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we want everyone to know about so they too can experience the joy in the Lord. Jen