Divine Protection

We are living in a dangerous world, but God doesn’t want us living in fear. Whether it’s being picked on at school, negative media influence, crazy shooters, or even things like car accidents, what can we do to help prevent these things from harming or derailing us or our family from God’s plan for our life? Are we all just helpless and at the mercy of whatever happens in life?
 
No, there are things we can do to help prevent these things from taking us out of the good plans God has for us. 1 Peter 5:8 says “…the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Notice the key words in this are “seeking whom he may…” This means that not everyone is an open target that the devil can devour. So what causes some people to be open prey, while others have more protection? I believe there are multiple things, but today, let’s talk about one of the biggest ones.  
 
Lamentations 2:19 says “Pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children.” In other words, “It’s OUR JOB to pray for our kids (as well as ourselves, spouse or family) so they don’t become the devil’s prey.”
 
Pray daily for your family! I’d highly recommend that you pray protection over your entire family first thing every morning. We don’t want any open doors to the enemy. 
 
Some of the best prayers to pray are from the Bible. Ever since our oldest child was born 17 years ago, we decided we wanted to speak like over her daily, so every night before bed, we have always said Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 over our kids. We all have it memorized, and it’s part of our bedtime ritual, even to this day we never miss it. We have fun with it! Sometimes, we will even do sit ups and push ups while saying our scriptures.
 
I also love using Colossians for praying over our family. Especially Colossians 1:9-12 NLT. 
 
Sometimes I add prayers from the heart like “Thank you Lord for helping our kids to desire and pursue You above all else. Thank you for  protecting our family from all plans of the enemy that we don’t even know about. Lord, you are stronger than anything and anyone. I praise you for protecting us from all evil and deception. I pray a border of protection around our family. Surround us with Your love and faith everywhere we go, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
 
We all have different challenges to work through at different stages in life. Instead of getting discouraged when we encounter obstacles, thank God for the opportunity to get to pray and learn more. Seek counsel from more experienced prayers who have had success, and most importantly, pray and praise daily!
 
When we come up against a challenge, we remember Philippians 4:6 that says “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for ALL He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace…
 
So we go to God and tell Him what we are concerned about and we start praying the solution rather than the problem. We pray for God’s love, faith, protection, grace, and mercy to come on the scene on behalf of our family or whoever we are praying for. Praise God for the right people coming into your loved ones lives that will influence them for good at just the right times. When we focus on God’s ability to help when we pray and that God is able and willing, we will see God doing amazing things that show us His love from heaven. 
 
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.Psalm 84:11
 
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Pastor Amy

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Love Better

What is your love language? I’m sure many of you have heard about Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. Have you ever gone on his website to find out what your top love languages are? If not, I’d encourage you and your spouse, kids, friends, or whoever you are closest with, to go on their website and take the short test! It’s simply 5lovelanguages.com
 
This is a great eye opener! When Shaun and I do premarital counseling with couples, we always have them take this test. If a couple doesn’t get the concept of showing love in the way their spouse understands love, or showing love with their kids in the way they understand love, it can make relationships difficult. The five love languages Dr. Chapman shares are touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, and acts of service. I personally believe dessert is a love language, but I suppose that fits under gifts. 
 
If you have a spouse whose top love language is acts of service, you can tell them “I love you” until you are blue in the face, give them gifts every week, and invest time with them, but if you aren’t physically helping them with acts of service, maybe laundry, cooking or fixing something in the house, then they still won’t feel loved. 
 
Think of each love language like a different human language. If I only speak English and you only speak French, we are going to have some communication barriers. In the same way, if we try to show our kids, our spouse, or anyone else love in the way that makes us feel loved, we aren’t going to be very successful in that relationship. We have to speak their language. I have seen kids who were being rebellious completely turn around when their parents figured out what their love language was and set a reminder for themselves to meet that love language on a consistent basis.
 
A friend of ours had a preteen daughter who had not been acting like herself and had started being very irritable with her family and especially her siblings. When our friend prayed about it, she had the thought that she should take her daughter, just the two of them, to a specific fun place that she knew her daughter really liked, and that along with play time there, she should let her daughter pick out some souvenir type gifts and buy them for her. Our friend said that day changed her daughter’s whole attitude at home. She started being nice again to all of her family. My guess is that her daughter has a love language of gifts and quality time and probably had a love bank that had somehow gotten very low with mom and dad’s busy life. This day with just the two of them got her daughter’s love bank replenished and she was able to love others from a full tank again. 
 
Often kids and even adults don’t know why they aren’t feeling as satisfied in a relationship, and it’s often just that we have stopped doing the things we used to do together (because of the busyness of life) and need to get our priorities back in order. Sometimes we need a day like this mother and daughter for a big overhaul if things have been lacking for a while. 
 
I believe God’s top love language is giving, because John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He GAVE Jesus, that whoever believes in Him won’t perish, but will have everlasting life! It may be giving someone else a gift on God’s behalf, giving towards His kingdom, or giving God thanks, but remember to give Him honor and respect this month and always too!
 
I’d encourage you to have all of your family members take the love languages test this week and find out what makes each one of you feel the most loved. Take time to discuss everyone’s love language as a family or even with your friends if you aren’t married. It will help you develop your people skills and improve your relationships in ways you never dreamed possible!
 
I’ll leave you with the words of Mother Teresa to ponder this week: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
 
Believing God’s best for you! 
 
Pastors Shaun & Amy

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2021 Vision

Having great relationships in our media-driven culture is like trying to swim upstream. We have to cultivate our relationships on purpose. If we just coast through each day, we will veer towards the flow of disrespect and dishonor that we take in on television and media.
 
One of the best ways to build intentionality in your home life is to have a vision out in front of yourself and your family. If you have young children, talk with them about your family vision enthusiastically each day. The vision we have in our home for our relationships is “Honor God and Honor Each Other!” I realize that is very simple, but a good vision should be simple! It needs to be something that the 3 or 4 year old in the family can understand and remember as well as everyone else.
 
We decided to implement this after we moved to Rochester and met some new neighbors. They had two amazing teenage daughters who were extremely polite to their parents and others. They had impeccable people skills, but even more important than this, they had very genuine and sincere hearts of love. Both of the girls babysat for our children and they were amazing. Our kids would beg us to go on dates because their babysitters were so fun!
 
When we asked our neighbors how they had raised such sweet, kind kids, they told us that in addition to leading a Christian parenting study yearly for the neighborhood to stay refreshed, they also had a family vision and regular family meetings. At these meetings they would talk with the kids about what events were coming up with their family in the next few months and would always talk about the family vision, such as, “How have we succeeded at showing honor to God and each other this month?”
 
We adopted this idea ourselves and started having occasional family meetings. We talk about things coming up in the future and also about how we have succeeded in honoring God or honoring each other lately.
 
I would encourage you to put the family vision up in your house somewhere that everyone will see it several times a day, like the front of your fridge.
 
If you were going to have a family vision like “Honor God, Honor Each Other”, or “Love God, Love Each Other”, I’d encourage you to also put a scripture up with it. One possibility is Romans 12:10, which says, “Be kindly affectionate to one another, with brotherly love; prefer one another in HONOR.”
 
When we have a relationship vision, it helps to keep our home life on course for success! We keep going back to the vision and it eventually really gets in everyone in the families hearts; even in parents who maybe didn’t come from a respect-filled or loving home.
 
Our loved ones are God’s gift to us, and with this gift, we have a wonderful opportunity from God to value and nurture them the way God would.
 
Be blessed!
Pastors Shaun & Amy

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A New Habit

As we celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year, I am reminded that Jesus, through His love, came to give us life and life more abundantly! His goodness allows us to overflow His life and love into the lives of those around us. This time of year also reminds me of the importance of declaring God’s promises through Jesus over our life and family.

I was a little frustrated at the beginning of 2020. I glanced back at my list of ten goals from 2017, 2018 and 2019 that I had hand-written and saved. Each list had some goals with a check mark in front announcing “Victory!” and yet some had an empty box in front, as if wondering why they weren’t one of the winners that year.

To my dismay, four of the ten goals written on all of my prior lists were the same for the past three years — and still had not happened! Did God forget about those? Were they my idea and not God’s? Did I not work hard enough or pray hard enough? Most of them were big goals, but it wasn’t like I was asking for a trip to Mars.

I’ve been told insanity is doing the same thing day in and day out, yet expecting different results. So I knew I had to do something different! Answer: Job 22:28“You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways.”

In 2020, I started a new habit. Instead of just writing down my goals at the beginning of the year like usual, I also voice recorded them on my phone, along with some of my favorite Scriptures and some confessions from Terri Foy’s book Pep Talk. I wasn’t going to simply write them down and read them occasionally this time. I was going to declare them over my life this year and listen to the recording often! (Make sure to look below. I’ve included the Scriptures and declarations from my list if you’d like to use them with your goals!)

I had high hopes of listening to them every morning starting in January. I succeeded at this for about a month, but it quickly became only a couple times a week (except in the summer, when I didn’t listen at all for three or four months). To my amazement, when I picked up my goals again this fall, I noticed that four previously unaccomplished goals (which had not budged an inch in four years) actually manifested this year! Even during a pandemic, national shut down and bad economy! Isn’t it fun to see that God is still God and He is still all about doing the impossible, even when it looks most impossible!

As 2021 approaches, I am definitely going to voice record my goals again for the new year, along with favorite Scriptures and some personal declarations. However, I’m also going to make a couple changes to help insure I follow through with daily listening this time around because I am confident this will bring them about even faster. I am going to make sure my recording is eight minutes or less so I have time each morning to listen to it. Additionally, I’m going to put a little sign on the bathroom mirror that says “Play your goals, Amy!”

Shaun and I are excited to celebrate this beautiful Christmas season with you in December! We feel so very honored to be your pastors and thank God for each of you continually. We pray that your month and year ahead is filled with God’s peace, protection, provision, and perfect plan manifesting in your life! God bless you!
 
Pastor Amy 
 

My 2021 Goals Received and Achieved!

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10 BENEFITS OF THE FAVOR OF GOD

  1. God’s favor produces supernatural increase and promotion for me. Genesis 39:21
  2. God’s favor produces restoration of everything that the enemy has stolen from me. Exodus 3:21
  3. God’s favor produces honor in the midst of my adversaries. Exodus 11:3
  4. God’s favor produces increased assets for me, especially in the area of real estate. Deuteronomy 33:23
  5. God’s favor produces great victories for me in the midst of great impossibilities. Joshua 11:20
  6. God’s favor produces recognition, even when I seem the least likely to receive it. I Samuel 16:22
  7. God’s favor produces prominence and preferential treatment for me. Esther 2:17
  8. God’s favor produces petitions granted for me, even by ungodly civil authorities. Esther 5:8
  9. God’s favor causes policies, rules, regulations and laws to be changed and reversed to my advantage. Esther 8:5
  10. God’s favor produces battles won which I won’t even fight because God will fight them for me. Psalm 44:3
 

Psalm 92 NLT (personalized) It is good for me to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good for me to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.

O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever. Your enemies, Lord, will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered.

But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. But I, the godly, will flourish like palm trees and I will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For we are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. I will flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age I will still produce fruit; I will remain vital and green. I will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!

Psalm 112:1-9 NLT Praise the Lord! How joyful am I who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. My children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. We ourselves will be wealthy, and our good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. I am generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. That’s me! I will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. I do not fear bad news; I confidently trust the Lord to care for me. I am confident and fearless and can face my foes triumphantly. I share freely and give generously to those in need. My good deeds will be remembered forever. I will have influence and honor.

Isaiah 11:2-3 & Romans 8:14 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. My delight is in the fear of the Lord, and I shall not judge by the sight of my eyes, nor decide by the hearing of my ears. Instead, I am led by the Spirit of God because I am a child of God.

1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!

Proverbs 31:26 I open my mouth with wisdom, and on my tongue is the law of kindness.

Psalm 56:3-4 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

Malachi 4:2 AMP For you who fear My name [with awe-filled reverence] the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go forward and leap [joyfully] like calves [released] from the stall.

Matthew 6:33 (Personalized) I daily seek the Lord and His way of doing things, I live righteously, and He gives me everything I need.

2 Timothy 1:7 The Lord has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.

Psalm 35:27 Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.

Psalm 65:11-13 NLT You crown our year with a BOUNTIFUL HARVEST; EVEN THE HARD PATHWAYS OVERFLOW WITH ABUNDANCE. The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. We all shout and sing for joy!

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2 Tim. 2:21-22 NLT Keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Colossians 4:12b NLT I pray earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect (mature), fully confident that you are following the whole will of God.

Psalm 133:1&3 CEB Look at how good and pleasing it is when families live together as one! …because it is there that the Lord has commanded the blessing: everlasting life.

PROVERBS 3:13-14 NLT Joyful is the person (me) who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.

  1. I am worthy of love because Jesus made me worthy.
  2. I am a child of God.
  3. I am valuable to God.
  4. Jesus loves me.
  5. I am chosen and anointed by God.
  6. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
  7. I love myself with God’s love.
  8. I respect myself.
  9. I respect others and I am treated with respect and dignity.
  10. I have healthy, fulfilling relationships.
  11. I am committed to God and my family.
  12. I am an encourager.
  13. I treat others the way I want to be treated.
  14. I am quick to listen and slow to speak.
  15. I walk in love and avoid strife at all times.
  16. I am peaceful and I have the peace of God.
  17. I follow the peace of God in my decision making.
  18. I am positive with my words and expressions.
  19. My smile is radiant and touches the hearts of others.
  20. I am merciful and I receive mercy.
  21. I operate in godly wisdom and discernment because I fear the Lord.
  22. I am forgiven and I forgive myself.
  23. I have the courage and wisdom to step out and pursue my dreams.
  24. I think positive thoughts towards myself and others.
  25. The Holy Spirit brings all things to my remembrance.
  26. I am sensitive to God’s voice.
  27. I am highly organized.
  28. I am fearless and confident.
  29. I am beautiful inside and out.
  30. I am healthy and strong.
  31. I am full of energy and enthusiasm.
  32. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
  33. I daily fill my mouth with good things and my youth is renewed like the eagles.
  34. I am in the best shape of my life.
  35. I am fit, firm and muscular.
  36. I am bold and courageous.
  37. I am funny and fun to be around.
  38. I am creative and thoughtful.
  39. I am proactive and plan ahead.
  40. I stay focused on my priorities.
  41. I easily complete and delegate tasks.
  42. I maximize my resources daily.
  43. I work smart, on the right things at the right times.
  44. I am fulfilling 100% of God’s calling on my life.
  45. I confidently walk out my calling day by day.
  46. I dream big dreams and believe that nothing is impossible with God’s help.
  47. I am highly favored with God and man.
  48. I stand before great men and women because of the gifts God has given me.
  49. I have fun doing what God has called me to do.
  50. I am in God’s perfect timing in everything I do.
  51. I am impacting this entire world for Jesus in a unique way.
  52. I am prosperous.
  53. I am divinely protected by God.
  54. I am enjoying a debt-free life.
  55. I am generous.
  56. I am a great problem solver.
  57. I am a genius and the world needs what I have to offer.
  58. I give praise to God daily and I have strong faith.
  59. I easily express gratitude to others.
  60. I am getting better and better, every day in every way.

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Healing Scriptures

As a supplement to our Miracles series, Pastors compiled a list of healing scriptures for you to confess and proclaim over yourself or loved ones daily. We know that when we speak these in Jesus’ name, it will build our faith and strengthen our spirit! 
 
You shall serve the Lord your God; He shall bless your bread and water, and I will take sickness from your midst. (Exodus 23:25 AMP)
 
With long life will I satisfy him (you) and show him (you) My salvation. (Psalm 91:16 AMP)
 
Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases. (Psalm 103:3 AMP)
 
He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. (Psalm 105:37 KJV)
 
He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. (Psalm 107:20 AMP)
 
I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord. (Psalm 118:17 AMP)
 
Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth. (Proverbs 3:5-6 GWT)
 
My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:20-23 AMP)
 
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! (Isaiah 41:10, 13 AMP)
 
Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. (Isaiah 53:4-5 AMP)
 
For I will restore health to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:17 AMP)
 
Let the weak say, I am strong [a warrior]! (Joel 3:10b AMP)
 
And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases. (Matthew 8:17 AMP)
 
“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:18-20 NLT)
 
Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]. (Mark 11:23-24 AMP)
 

We know that God does not listen to sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and a worshiper of Him and does His will, He listens to him.

(John 9:31 AMP)
 
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (John 10:10 AMP)
 
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11 NLT) 
 
Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us. (Galatians 3:13 AMP)
 
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
 
Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 AMP)
 
Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:14-15 AMP)
 
He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24 AMP)
 

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.

(3 John 1:2 AMP)


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