St. James UMC Beaumont Texas

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Hope As a Stepping Stone of Live

Posted on July 27, 2016 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (591)

“Hope as a Stepping Stone of Life”

 

In the midst of all of the confusion, conflict, violence, panic and fear, I believe God hasn’t left us without hope. I mean, if God is dead, we are all doomed. Looking at looming disasters around us makes it easy to forfeit hope. Hearing of tragedy day after day and hour after hour, it’s no wonder folk are losing hope while surrendering their peace and dreams? I’ve even been hearing the “last rights” of the church across the land. Let’s not forget the media, one of the most dramatic channels inciting fear and an ethical erosion at maximum levels. Hollywood plays its role by generating an exponential capital of wealth while using targeted television series to perpetuate further immorality as our culture rapidly spirals downward. Nevertheless, in spite of these occurrences, my spirit bears witness with the spirit of truth (Holy Spirit) that God is still at work. I still have hope.

As Maya Angelo so eloquently denotes, “Still I rise”. I rise because greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I rise because I know and understand who holds my future. I rise because of the working of the Holy Spirit that energizes the very depth of my soul.

I believe hope is the essential factor that holds our faith together. It is the place of renewal and refreshment if we don’t throw it away (Hebrews 10:35). Hope is the awakening of a shifted perspective based in who and what we say we are. It offers fresh perspectives which allows us to see our situations through the lenses of God’s promises instead of current circumstances. We must be careful that the lack of hope doesn’t sabotage our transition into the wonderful plan God has ordained for each of us. Yes, God still has a plan in this unrelenting tapestry of conflict and unrest. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). You see, if we only look or see through our current situation, it would be enough to immobilize us leaving us in a state of paralysis. We all have some ideas of what it looks and feels like to be in a state of paralysis caused by some shock to our humanness. But somehow and some way through reclaiming hope through the promises of God, our perspective is shifted in a way that jolts our minds and heart causing a peripheral view of our current situation. Then voila! Hope arises and our trust in who and what we say we believe comes alive. Hope not only shifts our perspectives, but settles our hearts so that we are able to move through the transitions of this journey called life. Without hope, we can sabotage our own destiny without realizing it. In other words “Hope” keeps us going.

I was reading an article by Lance Wallnau, “How to Keep from Sabotaging Your Own Transition”, and he poses some very pertinent questions that I think is really focusing in on hope. He says, “There are 3 powerfully clarifying questions that he has learned to use in times of transition.

1. “Who will I need to be now, that’s I’ve never been before?”

2. “What will I need to do now that I’ve never done before?”

3. “Who will God be for me now that He has never been before?

This last question is one that I’ve often ask in fellowship communities. The reason being is that we can get so bogged down in the past that we don’t see the future. Hope gives us a future and we are able to stand in time of transition.

The above questions have a lot to do with hope being positioned in our lives in such a way that we don’t lose sight that God is still at work in times of transition.

Another aspect of hope is learning to stand on the promises that are revealed through scripture and maintaining your God-given Identity. The two, I believe, are crucial for hope because we can’t stand for what we don’t believe in. In the words of the Psalmist, “our hearts must be fix and our minds made up”. In my own book; “Spiritual Stolen Identity”, I reflect on what it means to have an identity in Christ and learning how to reclaim and maintain this identity. It is in difficult moments that our identity is challenged. We are tempted to stop and throw in the towel when we don’t see or experience the outcome we expected or even see what we didn’t expect; especially when people begin with the lines, “I thought you were___ or You can’t do ___”. You can fill in the blanks.

Identity can play a major role in stepping into hope. Hope is a place where our identity in God has to supersede what it looks and feels like. This comes from an inward witness where hope comes alive. Some of us have heard the slogan “Keep Hope Alive.” Our identity in Christ gives us permission to step into “hope.” This renewed vision of being in Christ keeps us steadfast. We step into Hope knowing who God is for us right now. We step into hope knowing whose we are and who we are in Christ.

Hope is a wonderful grace that helps our transition from and into. I encourage you to use hope as your stepping stone as you are in transition.

 

Energy

Posted on May 4, 2016 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (6285)

Today's word is "energy". Energy is a force that propels us to move or act with purposeful passion and intentionality. It's fuel generated from a place of quality resources or from a guided inward perspective so to speak. Let me ask you this; "Do you have the energy to keep moving forward"? Are you getting the necessary fuel needed? Are you tired with no stamina? Is everything and everybody tiring you out? Sooooo! Let me ask you this. What are you eating? What are you reading? Who and what are you aligning yourself with? That's your answer! You see the lack of proper fuel naturally and spiritually will prevent and deplete your energy. Whew! Some things and some people can just drain you! The word of God tells us; "if you abide in Me and My word abide in you. You can,,,,,,,(fill in the blank) Have a great day. Pastor Janice

Choices

Posted on April 25, 2016 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (483)

It’s a great day in the kingdom

This weeks word is “Choices”

The word for this week is “Choices” Whether our choices are limitless or limited we are given choices. Choices that impact our right now as well as the future. My friend the choices we make right now can and will set the course of our lives. This may mean that you need to make some right not choices. Perhaps a choice of eating healthier and exercise,caring for your relationships, following up on specific plans and goals for your life, spending time on your spiritual development. And yes making a choice to let some things go. You have choices! Don’t let the choices you make today be your downfall tomorrow. God has equipped you so that you can move forward with making better choices for your life right now!

Remember this scripture; John 15:7, if you remain in me any my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

 

Pastor Janice


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