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SATURDAY/SUNDAY MORNING DEVOTIONAL SERVICE OF PRAYER AND PRAISE 71 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

SATURDAY/SUNDAY MORNING DEVOTIONAL SERVICE OF PRAYER AND PRAISE 71 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Good Morning to all God’s Children and especially to all the Beautiful Mothers of the World, today is your day to be honored and praised for God has designed it that way.  So as we enter into our VIRTUAL CHURCH Service this morning, we do so with the unique blessings of our Lord and Savior.  We give Him the glory for He has provided us the opportunity this day to bring honor to our Mothers who He has

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES IN PRAYER

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES

given to us as a Special Gift by Design.

LET US PRAY:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for this very special day, and we honor you this morning for our unique gift of life and the opportunity to lift up all our Mothers and honor them with our blessings of praise, thanking them for all they have done and the many sacrifices and hardships they have had to endure for being a Mother.  But through it all, you provided them with a unique way of experiencing pure love, joy and happiness for being a Mother.  Today, we lift you up Heavenly Father, in our Prayers, Praises and Thanksgiving for this honor that you have bestowed upon our Mothers and all that you do day in and day out to make our lives richer, more loving, joyful and prospers while we live on this earth.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Now let us honor all Mothers’ everywhere by giving her flowers that expresses her true beauty while we have the opportunity to do so.  Click on this short video clip, it is for you and all Mothers’

HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY TO ALL YOU BEAUTIFUL MOTHERS,  

YOU ARE TRULY GOD’S GIFT BY DESIGN!

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES GOD'S SERVANT AND MESSENGER

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES GOD’S SERVANT AND MESSENGER

I AM SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES GOD’S MESSENGER FOR THE DAY 

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE OF PRAISE GENESIS 17:15-17

And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.  I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”  Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

LET US PRAY:  Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessings of Abraham, thank you for my blessing as your Servant and Messenger for this day. Use me to bless the lives of all the people that take the time to partake of this message, in Jesus name, Amen!

Today I just want to take a few minutes of your valuable time as a Mother that understands what it is like to be a Mother and raise her Children in these very difficult times that we live in.  I speak to you on the subject, “Mother is God’s Gift by Design!”  When we study the scriptures, starting with Eve the Mother of all living, we quickly discover that a Mother is a gift that often goes unseen, a chosen vessel of service, created  with tenderness of heart, a loving spirit, filled with dignity, instilled with wisdom, firmly rooted in faith and love, and is known by her attributes  of strength, patience and endurance that enables her to carry out her assigned mission. Many words can be used to describe Mother, because she is a gift from God. A gift: to be honored, respected, loved and cherished, through admiration of character.

When a baby is born the first instinct of a Mother is to inspect, touch and hold the baby close, she often will shed tears of joy. Throughout biblical history there are stories of Mothers and their sacrifice; Mothers who gave birth to kings and queens, royal linage passed down through-out generations.

THE LOVE OF A MOTHER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE LOVE OF A MOTHER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS) MY GRAND DAUGHTER MAXINE ALEXANDER BYARS

Consider Moses’ Mother Jochebed, who, when the order came from Pharaoh to kill all male infants, hid him for three months, but, was then forced to abandon him in a basket of bulrushes among the reeds beside the banks of the Nile, only to be the one to nurse him as belonging to someone else.  Elizabeth,  Mother of John, known as the precursor of Jesus who was later beheaded  and Mary the Mother of Jesus, who was hung on a cross, were all women of distinction, a Mother, God’s Gift by Design.

A mother is chosen to carry the baby in her womb and through that process a bond occurs that nothing or no one can take away. Mothers may give their child up for adoption or may choose to not be an active participant in their lives through circumstance or choice, but that does not remove their status as Mother.

Gods’ design for Mothers is to be models of goodness by setting examples as the keeper of home, to be virtuous and pure, loving and kind always encouraging others.

A Mother is a model of discipline and strong character and she reverence God in her teachings. A Mother avoids idleness, gossip, always setting an example and helping to guide others she may encounter.

A Mother is many women; teachers, doctors, lawyers, business executives, stay-at-home moms; the list is endless as to her capabilities. The role of Mother follows many paths and is done so in such a way that she is able to understand the needs of others. Strength, dignity, and grace are her badge of honor; she is adored by her family. Gods’ design for Mother is not determined by labels of who she is because he has created her for his purpose.  As she grow in wisdom and grace her beauty shines through as a tower of hope and strength for those who may not have as of yet mastered the skill.

Remember it’s Mothers’ Day, take a moment to pick up the telephone and call, stop by for a visit and take her something special, sit and talk for “a spell, ”you never know where you will be next Mothers’ Day. Make the moment magical and watch her smile, you’ll be glad you did, because she is your Mother, Gods’ Gift by Design.

Thank you for your attention and comprehension of this message, may God bless you throughout this Mother’s Day. As you attend your local church this day, take the time to hug a Mother and tell them that they are special and that you love them.  May the grace of God watch over you and keep you ever so strong, in Jesus name, Amen!

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HOW DO WE DETERMINE THE BEGINNING

HOW DO WE DETERMINE THE BEGINNING

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

MOTHER EARTH

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

The Darkness of the Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)

God spoke light into existence (Photo by Pastor Davis)

How do we determine the beginning of anything in this world of ours?  Have you discovered the vast importance of any beginnings?  Do you really know what is involved in a beginning?  Do you know the number of beginnings you are continuously been making, and do you realize their full importance?  If not, come and journey with me for a short time into the depths of your mind and let us thoughtfully explore some ignored beginnings by-way of blessedness; for blessed it is when it is wisely resorted to, and much strength and comfort it holds for the understanding of our mind.

Let us begin with this moment for each of us; it is our beginning at the greatest blessing God has given to each one of us.  It is the first day of the rest of our lives, a brand new beginning for you to take a chance, and learn to live out the rest of your brand new life.

Now here is how Jesus describes it, Jesus said, “I am alpha and omega”, the beginning and the end. Now pause your thoughts for a moment and watch this short video clip before continuing to read the rest of the story and we will meet on the other side with Jesus as alpha and omega.

By making this bold statement, Jesus opened our minds up and showed us the beginning of all life as we know it.  Therefore, when we think deeply on this and pause our thoughts and consider how in the spiritual world, the greatest things proceed from the smallest beginnings.  A light fancy may be the inception of a wonderful invention or an immortal work of art; a spoken sentence may turn the tide of history; a pure thought entertained may lead to the exercise of a world-wide regenerative power.

Then we look deeply into the material world, and as we do so, we discover that everything also, proceeds from a very small beginning.  The mightiest river is at first a rivulet over which the grasshopper could leap; the great flood commences with a few drops of rain; the sturdy oak, that has endured the storms of a thousand winters, was once an acorn.

A beginning is a cause, and as such it must be followed by an effect or a train of effects and the effect will be of the same nature as the cause.  The nature of an initial impulse determines the body of its results.  A beginning also presupposes an ending, a consummations, achievements, or goal.  A gate leads to a path and the path to some particular destination; so a beginning leads to results, and results lead to a completion.

In aiming at the life of Blessedness one of the simplest beginnings to be considered and rightly made is that which we all make everyday—the beginning of each day’s life.  How do you begin each day?  At what hour do you rise?  How do you begin your work in what frame of mind do you enter upon the sacred life of a new day?  What answer can you give your heart to these important questions?  You will find that much happiness or unhappiness follows upon the right or wrong beginning of the day, and that, when every day is wisely begun, happy and harmonious sequences will mark its course, and life in its totality will not fall far short of the ideal blessedness.

The Sun Rise upon the Cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

It is a right and strong beginning of the day to rise at an early hour.  Even if your worldly work does not demand it, it is wise to make of it a habit, and begin the day strongly by shaking off indolence and by putting on vigor and energy.  How are you to develop strength of will and mind and body if you begin every day by yielding to weakness?  Self-indulgence is followed by unhappiness.  Those who lie in bed till late, are not necessarily bright and cheerful and fresh, but often the prey of irritabilities, depressions, debilities, nervous disorders, abnormal fancies, and all unhappy moods.

This is the heavy price they have to pay for their daily indulgence.  Yet, so blinding is the pandering to self that, like the man taking his daily dram in the belief that it is bracing the nerves which it is all the time shattering, so the lie-in-bed is convinced that long hours of ease are necessary for him as possible remedy for those very moods and weaknesses and disorders of which his indulgence is the cause.  Men and women are unaware of the losses that they entail upon themselves by this common indulgence: loss of strength both of mind and body, loss of prosperity, loss of knowledge, and loss of happiness.

Begin the day by rising early.  If you have no object in doing so, never mind; arise, go for a gentle walk among

Nature exposed in the beauty of the trees and sunlight (Photo by Shirley Rhodes)

the beauties of nature, and you will experience buoyancy, freshness, and a delight, not to say a peace of mind, that will reward you for your effort.  One good effort is followed by another; and when a man begins the day by rising early, even though with no other purpose in view, he will find the silent early hour so conducive to clearness of mind and calmness of thought, his early morning walk so profitable in enabling him to become a consecutive thinker and so to see life and its problems, as well as himself and his affairs, in a clearer light; that in time he will rise early for the express purpose of preparing and harmonizing his mind to meet any and every difficulty with wisdom and calm strength.

There is, indeed, so spiritual an influence in the early morning hour, so divine a silence and inexpressible

The Early Morning Sunrise (Photo by Pastor Davis)

repose, that he who, purposeful and strong, throws off the mantle of ease and climbs the hills to greet the morning sun will thereby climb no inconsiderable distance up the hills of blessedness and truth. 

The right beginning of the day will be followed by cheerfulness at the first meal, permeating the household with a sunny influence; and the work of the day will be undertaken in a strong and confident spirit, and the whole day will be well live.

There is also a sense in which every day is to be regarded as the beginning of a new life, in which one can think, act, and live newly, and in a wiser and better spirit.  This day is truly the first day of the rest of your life. It is my birthday and I thank God for allowing me to experience another one.  “To be continued”

NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO EXAMINE YOUR THOUGHT LIFE

THE THINKER

NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO EXAMINE YOUR THOUGHT LIFE

We encourage you today to examine your thought life and be encouraged.  Know that this day you are a child of the King, and as such you are precious in His sight. Nothing in life is ever promised to be easy, but the joy of it all is being able to experience the pain without feeling the hurt. No pain, no gain. What we come to understand about this life is that God will never put on us more than we can bear. He also promised that He would never leave us are forsake us, and that is one check you can take to the bank and it will forever pay you more than enough dividends to live on for the rest of your earthy life.

I have been there. I have experienced some of what you are now experiencing in your thought life, but today I am encouraging you to remain strong, the devil wants to destroy your mind by taking you down the road of negativity, and if you give him half a chance he will defeat you.

Let me share with you some thoughts I hope that can encourage you and lift you up and fill your heart with peace and joy.

Years ago, I learned an invaluable lesson; whatever we focus on, we become. That simple statement taught me a great deal. Wherever we put our energies or our attention, those things will develop. Another way I like to say it is, “Where the mind goes, the mind follows!”

If I begin to think about ice cream, I will soon find myself in my car pursuing ice cream.  My thought will stir my desires and emotions, and I will make the decision to follow them.

If we focus only on the negative things in our lives, we become negative people. Everything, including our conversation, becomes negative. We soon lose our joy and live miserable lives and it all started with our own thinking.

You might be experiencing some problems in life not realizing that you are creating them yourself by what you’re choosing to think about. I challenge you to think about what you’re thinking about!

You might be discouraged and even depressed and wonder what caused it. Yet if you will examine your thought life, you will find that you are feeding the negative emotions you are feeling. Negative thoughts are fuel for discouragement, depression, and many other unpleasant emotions.

We should choose our thoughts carefully. We can think about what is wrong with our lives or about what is right with them. We can think about what is wrong with all the people we are in relationship with or we see the good and meditate on that. The Bible teaches us to always believe the best. When we do that, it makes our own lives happier and more peaceful.

I have a great life; I have wonderful children and many beautiful loving grand children. I have been blessed and am privileged to be used by God to bless millions of people around the world through the wonderful ministry He has given me. But life isn’t perfect, and if I had allowed the devil to fill my mind with negative thoughts as he once did long ago, I would have been defeated.

I want to focus on God’s grace and give thanks for all the good things in my life. I don’t want to focus on what I don’t have.

An old friend used to quote this saying: “As you wander on through life, brother, whatever may be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.” Too many people focus on what’s not here and what’s not right.

All of this is to say that our thoughts largely determine our destiny. Our thoughts also determine our happiness. Proverbs 23:7 is one of my favorite verses. Thoughts are powerful. They aren’t just words that flow through our minds. So it is very important for us to decide what we will allow to rest inside our minds.

We must not forget that your mind is a battlefield. We must always remember that our adversary will use it in any way he possibly can to trap us. To put it another way, we can’t have a positive life and a negative mind. Our thoughts, our focus are what determine where we end up.

Jesus, our friend and Savior, wants our minds to be filled with positive, beautiful, and healthy thoughts. The more we focus on those things, the more readily we defeat Satan’s attacks.

My Maximized Prayer for you today is this; our heavenly Father, the most high, ever loving and patient God, I ask you to forgive me for focusing my thoughts on things that are not pleasing to you. I pray that you will help me fill my mind with thoughts that are clean and pure and uplifting. Strengthen me in my time of weakness; lift me up so that I may continue to see the beauty in all things that are before me, In Jesus name, Amen.

We have ministered this message to you this day from a position of Peace, power, purpose and prosperity, and it is our hope that it will fill your heart with many great thoughts and much joy.  We bless this to you in the name of Jesus and hope that you will know in your heart that; NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO EXAMINE YOUR THOUGHT LIFE.

THE LESSONS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME

MOM AND DAD GOD'S SERVANTS

 My Mother played the most important role in shaping my life from the day I was born until the day God called her back home.  Today, I honor my Mother for who she was, for who I am and for who we both are in God, and I salute and honor all Mothers because God created you and gave you a special place of honor in this world to never be taken away by man.

God never meant that every woman should be a Mother, however, He did command that women should be fruitful and multiply.  The Bible tells us that whom the Lord blesses to be Mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleasant task. Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, and just as a mother feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encouragement a mother gives should never cease.

To me, the greatest thing we have is life.  In addition, where there is life as the old adage goes there is hope.  So maybe, if we can get into choosing life, it will not be as difficult as we might imagine.

One of the greatest lessons my Mother taught me was that I must take responsibility for choosing and defining my own life.  When I do, “she said, God will lift you up on the wings of an eagle and you can fly away to that place of peace and tranquility that nothing can stop you from living the life you desire.”  I took my Mother’s advice and it changed my entire life.

Today I believe most people are afraid of life.  I do not know why it is.  We are afraid to be what we are!  We get marvelous, insane feelings and we do not act on them.  As you see someone really attractive and you think, “I am going to tell her she’s really beautiful.”  Then you think, “Oh, I cannot do that.”  Then she goes all of her life not knowing she is beautiful!  It is a shame because if we really do not live fully we keep other people from living fully!

We are afraid of living life, therefore, we do not experience, we do not see.  We do not feel.  We do not risk!  We do not care!  Therefore we do not live, because life means being actively involved.  Life means getting your hands dirty.  Life means jumping in the middle of it all.  Life means falling flat on your face.  Life means going beyond yourself into the stars!

Nevertheless, you must decide yourself, for yourself.  “What does life mean to me?”  I am convinced if we spent as much time—no, one quarter as much time each day thinking about life, living, and loving as we do planning a meal, we will be incredible!

Nevertheless, life has a wonderful way of solving this problem.  It is always very fascinating to me because when life is not being lived, it explodes in us.  It is like trying to hold the lid on when the steam is ready to blow.  Something will happen I am convinced of it.  You will either turn to extremes of fear, pain, loneliness, paranoia, or apathy.  All signs that you are not alive, you are not living!  So if you are feeling any of these things, roll up your sleeves and say, “Let me live.”  The minute you start getting involved in life, the steam lets off, and you are safe.  It is easy, but life lets us know that it must be led.  How wonderful!

My Mother experienced this in her own way, and she used her knowledge of living and loving to teach me how to reach for the moon, and if for some reason I could not grab hold of it, I would truly be among the stars.  Because God provided all His children with the power to choose life and to live it to the fullness of all there is.

Now I truly know that there is a thing called joy, because I have felt it.  In addition, there is such a thing as marvelous madness because I have lived it.  Moreover, I know there is such a thing as loving because I have loved.  And I know there is such a thing as ecstasy because I have known ecstasy.  And I also know, because I have known people who have experienced it, and you can too.  Now think back about some of the lessons your Mother taught you, grab hold of them and begin to experience the joy of this life.  It is yours now enjoy it.

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY (PART 11)

PUT A ZIPPER ON YOUR MOUTH AND LEARN TO LISTEN

Learning to listen to others requires much discipline, and discipline requires patience.  We have gotten so use to babbling that we forgot how to listen and understand what others are saying.  Now if you understood anything about those first two sentences, and are ready to listen to the words that are being spoken to you today, you might be able to walk in the newest of life and find much more joy, peace, contentment and happiness in your relationships.

Our mouth and that little thing called our tongue gets us into a world of trouble at times.  If we would put a zipper on our mouth and be swift to listen and slow to speak, we can transform our lives in ways unimaginable at other times.  For believers, this is a lesson you must practice daily.  For non-believers, you must seek the Lord for guidance and salvation in order to begin the process, because God‘s perfect law must be put into practice in our speech.  Why? Because God’s law is truth, and the law sets people free.  It is only in obeying God that true freedom can be found.  As Christians, we are saved by God’s grace, and salvation frees us from sin ‘s control, speaking and not listen.  As believers we are free to live as God created us to live.  Of course, this does not mean that we are free to do as we please.

Now let us clearly understand this one truth, and that is, we must be swift to listen and slow to speak.  The expression be quick to listen is a beautiful way of capturing the idea of active listening as it is taught in (James 1:19).  James explains to us that we are not simply to refrain from speaking, we are to be ready and willing to listen.  This “quick” listening is obviously to be done with discernment.  We are to check what we hear with God’s word.  If we don’t listen both carefully and quickly, we are liable to be led into all kinds of false teaching and error.

Quick to listen and slow to speak should be taken togeter as sides of the same coin.  Slowness in speaking means speaking with humility and patience, not with hasty words or nonstop gabbing.  Constrant talking keeps a person from being able to hear.  Wisdom is not always having something to say, it involves listening carefully, considering prayerfully, and speaking quietly.  When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs.  James wisely advises us to reverse this process.  We need to put a mental stopwatch on our conversations and keep track of how much we talk and how much we listen.  When people talk to us, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value?

Putting a zipper on one’s mouth and learning to listen requires the same set of skills as an athlete.  In order for an athlete to achieve greatest he must persevere in training in order to improve their abilities and endurance for competition, so do we persevere in spiritual training our senses to be swift to listen and slow to speak as we patiently endure testing that will bring maturity and completeness.

We must come to a point in our lives where we know that God’s long term goal for us is maturity and completeness, but his eternal goal for us is the crown of life, a rich expression of hope.  We can only arrive at this point we learn to be obedient to the word of God.  Know the truth and the truth will set you free.  Be swift to listen and slow to speak.

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