- SHEILA RHODES
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Tag Archives: God
THE LINES OF PURPOSE IN YOUR LIVES NEVER GROW SLACK, TIGHTLY TIED AS THEY ARE TO YOUR FUTURE IN HEAVEN, KEPT TAUT BY HOPE. (COLOSSIANS 1:5 MSG)
Have you ever asked yourself this question, “What on earth does God intend for me to do with my life?” I honestly think that one time or another in life we all have asked this question. It’s an easy question to ask, but for many of us, a difficult question to answer. Why? Because God’s purposes aren’t always clear to us. Sometimes we wander aimlessly in a wilderness of our own making. And sometimes, we struggle mightily against God in an unsuccessful attempt to find success and happiness through our own means, not His.
Almost six years ago, my husband and I knew our thirty year season of pastoral care, ministering, counseling and teaching at the local church we had given our lives to was coming to a close. The Lord was leading and directing our ministry and life down an entirely different path. However; little did we know at the time what kind of direction that path would take or look like. Talk about a scary place to find yourself when you’re in your sixties. It was a journey led completely by the Holy Spirit. It was a journey of many doors being “slammed shut” and a few being opened. It has been a journey of knowing that they are called to us and us to them. And, one that has taught us some pretty valuable lessons. Oh yes, I asked the question many times to myself…”What do you want for me and for us to do in this life for you Dear God?” It was a very tender, sweet and yet humbling time as my husband and I sought the Lord daily and almost hourly for direction. This journey has been one of priceless learning lessons and tremendous growth and understanding of the ways of God and His leading. We’ve learned how to completely trust Him and to lean not on our own understanding. His ways certainly are not the ways of man. As you draw near to Him, He will help to get you into the “NEW SEASON.” We are living proof of this.
I learned through the days, weeks and months we endured the “not knowing” for our future that suffering reveals character. As my husband and I searched for God’s will for our lives, those words have become even more evident to us. I learned that suffering in the “not knowing” didn’t produce character but was revealing character. Amazing isn’t it? I am so grateful that God is still in the business of reaching down and lifting people out of difficult situations. I learned that you REALLY CAN always write a “NEW CHAPTER” to your life – don’t remain in the chapter you’re now in when God is moving you forward into a brand new chapter and season. Take His hand and let Him lead you! We have taken this experience in our own life and come through it as Gold. Our ministry, Destiny Navigators (www.DestinyNavigators.org), is now to other churches, leaders and people and we are seeing the hand of a mighty God at work. We have experienced FREEDOM as God leads us ~ a Freedom like none other. This FREEDOM has produced some pretty awesome life changing experiences and encounters in a Spirit Led life and ministry for us.
Only God’s chosen task will ultimately satisfy. Do not wait until it is too late to realize the privilege of serving Him in His chosen position for you. In the very place where God has put us, whatever its limitations, whatever kind of work it may be, we may indeed serve Christ. How do I love God? By doing beautifully the work I have been given to do, by doing simply that which he entrusted to me, in whatever form it may take. His life is our light … our purpose and meaning and reason for living! Psalm 32: 8 – “I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you. I will give counsel.”
Sometimes, God’s intentions will be clear to you; other times, God’s plan will seem uncertain at best. But even on those difficult days when you are unsure which way to turn, you must never lose sight of these overriding facts: God created you for a reason; He has important work for you to do; and He’s waiting patiently for you to do it. And the next step is up to you. Get involved in your own life!
MY PRAYER THIS DAY ~ Dear Lord, You are the Creator of the universe, and I know that Your plan for my life is grander than I can imagine. Let Your purposes be my purposes, and let me trust in the assurance of Your promises. Amen!
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Love is in the air!
I wanted to know the “real” definition of Love, so I looked it up in the good ol’ Webster’s dictionary. And to my surprise, there were over 10 definitions of the word love, but the best one, out of all of them, was: “Holding your opponent at a score of zero in the game of tennis.” Well, that’s not right!
The one that truly stuck out to me the most was: “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, like a father loves his children”. Then, the Holy Spirit brought this scripture to mind: “And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”(2 Corinthians 6:18)
Speaking of scripture…Did you know that Love is mentioned in the bible nearly 700 times? And why do you think that is ~ Because it’s important!
The Greek defines Love in two ways:
Phileo: A brotherly type of love. Not just saying “I love you brother”, but, loving others with a “Christ-like” love. 1John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”
Agape: This love is represented by God’s love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love probably best exemplified by God’s provision for our rebellion: “For God so loved (agape) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The gift of God’s son as a provision for sin, was given to all humans, regardless of who we are. God’s love is unconditional.
“I will love you unconditionally!”
Following in my parents footsteps… I would like to share with you a little story about unconditional love:
Jt liked at all. Johnny loved Valentines Day and every year he looked forward to it. He would start early and make his list. He would look for special valentines for each schoolmate on his list. But, it seems that all of these efforts were useless because he never received a valentine from anyone. Another valentines day rolled around and he had his special cards ready to go.
Off he went to school protecting his cards so they would be spotless upon his arrival. As he boarded the bus and was out of his mother’s sight, tears filled her eyes and soon they were cascading down her cheeks. Oh, how she dreaded his coming home after school, knowing he probably would not get a single valentine. She prayed for him all day long and soon the bus rounded the curve and came to a stop in front of their house. Johnny came out of the bus and she heard him say, as he came up the path, “not a one”. Her heart broke. Then again she heard him say, “not a single one.” She didn’t know what she was going to say to him. As he approached her his expression changed to a great big smile and he shouted these words… “not a one, I didn’t forget a valentine for a single one.
Love is not about what we receive, but what we choose to give.
The boy in that story gave regardless of what others give. This is the exact kind of love that God shows each and every one of us.
He loves us unconditionally. To say God’s love is illogical is an understatement! Let me explain… Apostle Paul says God’s love “is so great that you will never see the end of it, or fully know or understand it.” Let me ask you a question, and answer honestly… Is there any good reason why—based upon your talents, family background, good works and deeds, personal magnetism, status or anything else—is there any good reason why God should love you? Tell me how it makes sense, based upon who you really are, why God should love you? Yah, I can’t think of any reasons either.
Remember, our love isn’t like God’s love at all. We are only human! The people that we choose to love are people who will love us back! The way we love is not the way He loves. Did you love Him before He loved you? Did you pursue Him before He pursued you? Did you seek Him before He sought you? I think not! ~It simply does not make sense! That’s the point! An example of this is God’s love to Israel. It didn’t make sense either. The big question is, “Why would God commit himself to a group of people He knew would not be faithful to Him?” Would you go into a relationship knowing the other person won’t be faithful to you, will betray your love, and leave you for others? Would you choose someone you know won’t be thankful for what you do and will not give the love and support you show? According to our way of thinking, God’s love is irrational. It doesn’t make sense. And to be honest, I am kind of glad it doesn’t make sense, because if He loved the way us humans love, we would be abandoned after the first time we sinned. And I don’t know about you, but I fall short quite often. In fact, the bible says that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. There is not one of us in this room that is sinless. And that’s what is so great about God’s unconditional love, he loves us in the good times and the bad.
God’s love is unconditional. It doesn’t have disclaimers hidden in the fine print! It doesn’t have rules and regulations. God doesn’t say: “Thou must go to church for at least 2 years and read ye Bible 50 times then I will love you” His love is not a love we earn, it is a love we already have.
You have always been the focus of God’s unconditional love. The focus has been you, because sin separates us from God.
Romans 8: 35-39 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written, for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s unconditional love forgives, heals, mends, restores, and brings us back into full relationship with Him. A major purpose of God’s love for us is to show that we are never alone; we are never unloved. Now that we are approaching Valentine’s Day, when many of us realize we don’t have a Valentine or perhaps we celebrate “Single Awareness Day” ~We must remember that we have a Valentine every February 14th and every day after that, for the rest of our lives. And that valentine is our Heavenly Father! He loves us more than any Valentine in the world!
Now I want to give you the opportunity to tell God how much you love him and how you want to be His Valentine. We are going to pass out a piece of paper, so you can write a love letter to God. I encourage you to thank Him for his unconditional love and tell him why you love Him right back!
**Hannah is the lovely daughter of Pastor Chris and Minister Vicki Fisher from Willoughby, Ohio. Hannah attends Malone University and recently wrote this insightful Bible Study teaching for her school dorm and presented it in her home church, Community of the Holy Spirit, last Sunday. I am so impressed (in the best kind of way) with the depth of Hannah’s Spiritual and Heart insight about “LOVE.” Hannah so beautifully stated~ “Unconditional Love from our Heavenly Father is THE BEST VALENTINE any of us could ever receive!” Thank You Hannah for sharing this wonderful heartfelt teaching with all of us on “Sheila’s Heart.”
I love you Great Big! 🙂
*My husband, Pastor Dan Rhodes, was asked the following question by a pastor…”Can Women Serve God In Significant Leadership And Pastoral Roles?” He beautifully addresses the question according to the character of God and His Word with tremendous wisdom and insight.
TOUGH QUESTION Asked By A Pastor:
“Most will concede that there is ample evidence for women, under the covering of male leadership, to teach other women and children, to evangelize, witness for Christ, use any spiritual gifts, prophesy and help serve in many other capacities. But, is there any clear scriptural support for Christian women to be in governmental positions over men in the church (e.g., pastors, elders, bishops, or apostles)?”
Downloading God’s Answer…Discovered In His Word
What Are the Objections to Women Serving as Leaders in the Church?
1. Eve Disqualified Both Herself and ALL Women. Men point to Gen. 3:16 indicating that they should rule over women. But that wasn’t a command of God. He simply stated the tragic result of sin. Yet Adam’s sin was just as bad. He caved in to temptation, bringing sin upon the entire human race! (Rom. 5:12-14)
2. The Apostle Paul Refused to Allow Women to Teach or Have Authority Over Men (1 Tim. 2:9-15). Keep in mind that Paul was addressing a very prejudiced cultural world in which women held low social positions and were prohibited from training in the scriptures. Knowing that redeemed attitudes between men and women could not happen overnight, Paul set a godly structure over the authority struggles between men and women, bringing stability to both the Church and the home (1 Cor. 11:3–16; 14:34–35). He directed women to LEARN rather than try to exercise authority in the church (1 Tim. 2:11). Had Paul tried to abruptly reverse that social order, it would have caused utter chaos (1 Cori. 3:1-3).
What Did God Say in His Word About the Relationship Between Men and Women?
1. Before Sin Entered Humankind, Men and Women Were Equal in Authority. God commissioned BOTH Adam and Eve to rule together (Gen. 1:28). In their pre-fall relationship, they had equal access to God without competition, power struggles or abuse of authority. Created uniquely in God’s image, they ruled Eden with interdependence…inseparably committed to one another (Gen. 2:23-24).
2. In Redemption, God Removed ALL Barriers…Including Gender Prejudice (Gal. 3:28). Sin is the basis of quarrels, envy and striving for superiority (James 4:1-3). In redemption, both men and women submit to one another according to the gifting of God in them (Eph. 5:21-33). Through redemption, men and women are reunited to their original mission as co-rulers over the earth.
3. Are There Biblical Examples of Women in Leadership Roles? This was rare because of social prejudices. However, Deborah was a Prophetess called by God to Judge Israel (Judg. 4:4-10). Priscilla (whose name was mentioned before her husband’s) brought Doctrinal Correction to Apollos (Acts 18:18, 24-26). And the early church had Women Prophets (Acts 21:9) and Deaconesses (Tim. 3:8-11; Rom. 16:1-2).
What Then Shall We Do?
1. Return to the Pre-Fall Biblical Model with Redeemed Attitudes. Both men and women must lay aside fallen attitudes (Eph. 4:22-25) and allow their paradigm to be renewed according to God’s original design. God does not show partiality (Acts 10:34). He does not discriminate against women!
2. Evaluate Leadership Gifts Based on the Righteous Fruit of God’s Call. God redeems, calls, anoints and distributes gifts to whom He decides (1 Cor. 12:11-27), not according to male or female gender. Submission is not on the basis of “inferior” or “superior.” We submit to the Gifts and Calling in people, regardless of whether they are men or women.
Copyright © Destiny Navigators 2013 www.DestinyNavigators.org
“God has promised that He will never leave you or forsake you. No matter what you go through in life, you don’t have to go through it alone.” ~ Joyce Meyer
It’s a perfect day for coffee in the garden…
Please join me ♥♥
….…)… …((* ✿ Good Morning , wishing ALL✿
……((….…♥) a beautiful day!✿
_ر██ __ ██Ɔ_
♥As you begin your day….
Look around, and focus on
the small blessings that you
may take for granted each day!
We all have so much to be thankful for!
`*.¸.*✻ღϠ₡ღ¸Love, from the ♥
*Psalms 119:11 – Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Where hope grows, miracles blossom.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
~ Colossians 3:2
Nothing satisfies like Jesus !…♥
♥ Faith Full ~ If YOU could view yourself through the eyes of Jesus, YOU would know how precious you truly are ♥
I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize the Lord is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He gives me His grace, and in the most difficult, His grace is suffice ~(Artist: Sam Timm)~
Always TRUST in the Lord! He has wonderful plans for your life if you allow Him room to be top priority as Lord of your life. He desires to prosper you in ways that you can not even comprehend. He wants to give you hope and a future that will be fulfilling…TRUST HIM!
“Prayer is the risen Jesus coming in with His resurrection power, given free rein in our lives, and then using His authority to enter any situation and change things.”
~ (Ole Kristian O. Hallesby)
♥ Hope you have enjoyed your time at the table with me drinking some coffee, or tea on this gorgeous
“Say good-bye to the things that are stealing your peace and joy and get on with God’s plan for your life!”