Tag Archives: Jesus

WISHING YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

An Encouraged Heart

I pray that this Christmas season for each of you will be one that is shared with family, old friends, new friends, and even strangers. Let’s remember those whose hearts are a bit broken, and those of us who may not truly be in the “Christmas spirit”. I pray that each one of us will remember the hope that we have because we are followers of Christ…and share that hope with others. The hope of Christ reminds me of the Apostle Paul‘s prayer to the saints in Ephesus (Ephesians 1:17-18).

17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to…

View original post 279 more words

HE IS IN CONTROL

A friend had the chance recently to tell an incredible story of how God provided for her, far beyond her expectations. This story like many others can be found in the recently released book, Kernels of Hope. The website advertising this book (by the same name), highlights the fact that these are testimonies of real, very ordinary people who chose to put their faith in God despite what they could see physically.

Her story, “Opportunity Knocks”, tells about her allegiance to God, but more importantly, it is once again evidence that God is ultimately in control. Be reminded…the Apostle Paul prayed this for the saints. And, may we have that same confidence in Him as children of God.

Philippians 1:6 I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNFmy6VHIKk

Thanks for visiting AnEncouragedHeart. Signing off…God Bless! Cynthia

STIR OUR HEARTS, LORD

        “Lord, awake my soul.

                                   Let Your will be done in me.”

The above lyrics, which I consider to be more of a prayer, appears repeatedly in the worship song “Awakening“.  This “calling out” to God is what we often do, spoken or unspoken. He knows our hearts. This desire for a stirring of our hearts that is truly all-satisfying only comes from one source — God alone.

I had an interesting conversation with someone this week who admitted to an emptiness, a boredom in her life. Trying to be as sensitive as possible, a mutual friend and I told her that her heart was longing for something that would truly give her peace and contentment — another college degree, another “feather in her cap”, just wouldn’t do it. We encouraged her to seek Him — in prayer and in His word.

At times, all of us (myself included) have looked for external pleasures, goals and dreams to give us joy. And yes, there is some joy and contentment. But that joy is always fleeting…especially when those things we chase after draw us farther away from God.

So, you see this conversation not only gave us an opportunity to share our testimony, but also to recount the blessing of having a relationship with Him.

Psalms 42:1 

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you,

my God.

My prayer today is simply that we are in a place where His perfect will, can be done in our lives. Talk to God as you listen to this song.

 “Awakening”  Performed by Chris Tomlin

In our hearts, Lord, in this nation
Awakening
Holy Spirit, we desire
Awakening

For You and You alone Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, let Your will be done in me

In Your presence, in Your power
Awakening
For this moment, for this hour
Awakening

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, let Your will be done in me

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, let Your will be done in me

Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness comes a light
I hear Your voice and this is my
Awakening

Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness comes a light
I hear Your voice and this is my
Awakening

Like the rising sun that shines
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
From the darkness comes a light
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing

Like the rising sun that shines
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
Only You can raise a life
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing

Written by Chris Tomlin, Daniel Carson and Nathan Nockels

Thanks for visiting AnEncouragedHeart. Signing off…God Bless! Cynthia

 

EXTENDING GOD’S MERCY INTO HAITI

I would like to introduce you to my guest blogger, my husband, Maurice.  I invited him to share his experience on his first mission trip to Haiti –actually, his first mission trip ever.

In Maurice’s Words…

Cynthia recently wrote on legendary missionaries that made huge impacts on many souls.  She has made a couple of mission trips to Central America, herself!  Hopefully she will share her experiences with you very soon.  But in the meantime, Cynthia wanted me to report on my recent experience, so here goes!

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

I had the incredible opportunity to join a local church team on their recent training mission to Cap-Haitien, a small city on the north coast of Haiti.  We spent six days training Haitian pastors and lay leaders how to serve their own churches.  This program, Bible Training Centre for Pastors that is based here in Georgia, provides class-based training to (foreign) national church leaders.

                                         Teaching the Book of Zephaniah

I also spent a couple of days performing minor construction repairs on the missionary house and the Abundant Life Orphanage, there in Cap-Haitien. Rather than just sending money to support these very worthy causes, I was led by the Holy Spirit to go there instead.  I discussed my heartfelt intentions with several missionary friends who also confirmed that GOING — to actually shake someone else’s hand, to look in their eyes and feel their warm and grateful smiles, rather than sending dollars, was rewarding to them and would especially be to me.

Just as important as these leaders received my help, I changed and grew because of this brief, relief mission.  This shared experience proved far more beneficial to my spiritual growth than I anticipated; much more than collecting funds and giving to an international program.

Repairing Abundant Life Orphanage

Believe me, this was no vacation; I worked with the people.  There was no beach time on this once-tropical island.  The sight-seeing that I experienced was not awe-inspiring, but more revealing of the people’s great need. There is much poverty.

Downtown Cap-Haitien

Cathedral of Cap-Haitien

 

God is at work and He wants us to join Him.  I’ve come to learn that He desires a fulfilling working relationship, as well as an intimate fellowship with each one of us.  He calls me, and you, to go and serve Him, in our neighborhoods and in far-away lands that need His help.  I am ready to go again and I sincerely hope that you will considering going, too!

Thanks for visiting AnEncouragedHeart. Signing off…God Bless! Cynthia

A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES

Continuing with the theme of my most recent blog, I would like to share  “When the Saints” by Sara Groves.  This song celebrates men and women of God who chose to follow Him and make Him known at all cost. Included in the line-up are:  Paul & Silas, Moses, Harriet Tubman, Jim Elliot along with his team of missionaries, and the missionaries’ families who ministered to the Waodoni people in Ecuador — with much forgiveness and unconditional love.  And, we must never forget Mother Teresa who labored faithfully in Calcutta.

Hebrews 12: 1-3 (Easy-to-Read Version)

1 We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall.

2 We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.

3 Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.

We have many saints to admire — those who have gone on before us and those who are alongside of us.  Remember what The Apostle Paul said … follow me as I follow Christ (I Corinthians 11:1).

Thanks for visiting AnEncouragedHeart. Signing off…God Bless! Cynthia

LAY DOWN YOUR BURDENS!

As we participate in special services and activities during this Easter weekend, let’s remember those who have not yet come to Christ and those of us in the body who are weary. Yes, burdened down by stress and worry and the like. The apostle Peter reminded church elders to cast their cares, all of their anxieties on the Lord because He cares for them (1 Peter 5:7). In Hebrews 4:15-16, we are encouraged to go boldly to God so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.

And if you (we) have an opportunity to share the good news, let our talk be “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6). Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church puts it this way:

Paul is saying here let your talk, specifically about the Lord, let your talk be seasoned with salt. As you serve the dish of the gospel of Jesus Christ, may your mouth testify of his goodness and glory and grace. The best thing you could do in regards to your relationship is to speak beautifully of the God who has saved you.” (Slowing the Pendulum Swing, August 10, 2010).

Please share this song with someone who needs to rest in Him.

Carry You“, by Amy Grant

Thanks for visiting AnEncouragedHeart. Signing off…God Bless! Cynthia

BY HIS WOUNDS, WE ARE HEALED!

As we take time as a body to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, I searched this week for a contemporary song about Christ’s sacrifice. “By His Wounds” which is based on the fifth verse of Isaiah 53, so clearly describes the coming Messiah and the suffering He would endure in order to pay for our sins. In His sovereignty, God orchestrated every detail of the crucifixion to fulfill every prophecy of this chapter, as well as all other prophecies of the Old Testament  (http://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Isaiah.html).

Isaiah 53:5 reads — But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. (NIV)

I encourage you to take time to mediate on the words of this song, and give thanks for the privilege of walking with Christ.

BY HIS WOUNDS

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

We are healed by Your sacrifice
And the life that You gave
We are healed for You paid the price
By Your grace we are saved
We are saved

He was pierced for our transgressions
And crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

We are healed by Your sacrifice
And the life that You gave
We are healed for You paid the price
By Your grace we are saved
We are saved

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed
And by His wounds, by His wounds

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

(Sung by Mac Powell, Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman and  Brian Littrell)

Thanks for visiting AnEncouragedHeart. Signing off…God Bless! Cynthia