The Kimberly Joy Blog

Know Yourself…Be Yourself…Love Yourself – THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW Fridays at 4:15PM & Saturdays at 6PM on Inspiration 1050 AM & 103.1 FM WGRI (Cincinnati)

Author: Kimberly Joy (Page 2 of 5)

Dad Never Divorced Us

DAD NEVER DIVORCED US

I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, especially my father William Lee Thomas, Sr.! My dad has been there for my brother BJ and me since DAY ONE! Although our parents divorced when we were young, Dad NEVER divorced us. He was committed wholeheartedly to being in our lives.

Unfortunately, at one point in my life, I took his love for granted. I had friends and relatives who didn’t know what it was like to have a strong male presence in their lives. However, here I was with a loving father who attended parent/teacher conferences, came to my track meets, helped me with my homework, and made sure my brother and I had everything we needed….and I took him for granted!

The Bible tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, but I wasn’t always doing that. In my young, immature, ignorant mind, I didn’t think I had to give my father the same level of respect as my mother because he wasn’t a regular church-goer or professed Christian. Wow! Just knowing I used to THINK that way makes me CRINGE!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong! My dad didn’t allow me to just say ANYTHING to him! Nevertheless, there were occasions when I would display behavior I KNEW my mother wouldn’t tolerate. And I thought it was perfectly okay. But man, was I wrong!

I remember the day the Holy Spirit checked me about my behavior. I was in high school and attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio. One night at Bible study, the teacher quoted Ephesians 6:1-2, which say:

“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise…”

As she was teaching, I felt like she was talking DIRECTLY to me. I knew I was guilty! As I sat in that church pew, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had no excuse for not fully honoring my father. The scripture doesn’t say, “Honor thy father and mother if they are saved……if they are devout church goers……if they are perfect.” It SAYS honor thy father and mother…..PERIOD!

In that moment, I felt terrible, but I needed to feel terrible. I needed to be convicted so I could change. Here I was professing to be a Christian, but I wasn’t always displaying Christ-like behavior. Just because I was disappointed that my parents’ marriage had ended, didn’t give me the right to be disrespectful. My dad didn’t deserve my funky attitude!

DADDY STILL LOVED ME

What I learned that day is that, “No, my father isn’t perfect! But he’s perfect for ME!” Dad once told me that he sometimes allowed me to get away with certain behaviors because he knew I was coming from a place of hurt and disappointment. Although I sometimes rolled my eyes, talked back, or huffed and puffed, Daddy STILL loved me!

For Father’s Day last year, I decided to dedicate one of my blog posts entitled “Dear Daddy” to my Dad. This is what it says:

“Dear Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day! Instead of the average Hallmark Greeting Card from the ‘Mahogany Collection,’ this letter is written to show you MY appreciation.

From the moment I came into the world, you have always been there for me. You once told me that before I was born you were hoping for a boy —– which is probably what most fathers wish for —– someone to teach how to catch a ball, to shave, to fix cars, to date girls……….to be a man . However, you said that once you laid eyes on me, none of that even mattered. I was your first born, your baby girl, your Daughter-Child (your special name for me). I can even recall Mommy stating that you were sooo crazy about me!

How is LOVE defined? Is it an emotion or a simple word? Well, I’m inclined to agree with the saying that ‘LOVE is an ACTION word’! In the Bible, Psalms 103:13 states:

‘Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.’

A TRUE father has compassion or love for his children, and Daddy, you are the epitome of fatherly love! You have worked so hard all your adult life to insure that BJ and I had everything we needed. Because of your diligence and determination, we were both able to attend college and receive our degrees. You weren’t going to allow a lack of money to stop us from reaching our goals. In fact, I wanted to go to college because you instilled that desire in me at an early age. ‘I’m saving for your college education,’ is what you used to always tell me, even when I was only in the first grade.

Daddy, you were the first man to tell me that you love me. You loved me before I knew how to love myself. You were the first man to hug and kiss me with pure affection. You believed in me before I believed in myself. You called me beautiful when I thought I was ugly. You bought me my first gold necklace and my first pair of diamond earrings. You have always taking excellent care of me! Although I am now an adult, I know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for me because your love is just that vast! You have shown me how a man should love and take care of me. Last, but not least, you gave me my good looks!!! After all, I am YOUR TWIN!!!!

I LOVE YOU DADDY! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!

Sincerely,

Daughter-Child”

(The Kimberly Joy Show: A Special Father’s Day Tribute to My Dad)

YOU ARE APPRECIATED
Again, I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to ALL fathers. You are appreciated! Even if you feel like your own children don’t appreciate you, I’m telling you that you are appreciated. GOD appreciates you! GOD sees you! He sees your heart. He sees the love and commitment you have for your family. God sees how you care for even those children who are not biologically yours.

God sees your sweat. He sees how hard you work to make sure they are well taken care of.

God sees your tears. He sees those tears you do your best to hide from those around you.

God SEES you!

God APPRECIATES you!

God LOVES you!

So, I encourage you fathers to keep doing what you’re doing! Your work is not in vain! Just like me, in time, your children’s eyes will be opened, and they will gain a newfound appreciation, respect and love for you!

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A Man of Honor: Apostle Ron Banks

A MAN OF HONOR: APOSTLE RON BANKS

In honor of Father’s Day (June 18), I am pleased to recognize Apostle Ron Banks. Apostle Banks has not only been my pastor for the past twenty years, but he became my second father the day he married my mother on June 25, 1994. Initially when he became a member of our family, I wasn’t very receptive, and not because of anything he did wrong.

Let me explain……

For several years, it had just been the three of us: Mom, my brother BJ and me. Prior to that, our dad was married to our mother. So, seeing Mom get remarried and share her life with a different man was not an easy adjustment for me.

Nevertheless, Apostle (as I like to call him) demonstrated nothing but patience and understanding. When I was cold and distant, he remained the same—-kind and loving. He didn’t stoop to my young, immature level. Instead, he took the high road and allowed me time to come around. I now love and appreciate him for that. Apostle is a good example for anyone who plans to marry someone with children. Demonstrating love and patience is vital.

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO
Apostle was born the third of seven children, to Lorin and Bertha Banks in Avonmore, Pennsylvania, where he also grew up. If you’re not familiar with Avonmore, it’s a small town outside of Pittsburgh. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the army.

Although Apostle was raised in church, he acknowledges that he ran from Christianity and the call of God on his life for over twenty years. During that period in his life, he spent a lot of time in the streets and became addicted to alcohol and drugs. Fortunately, he had a praying mother who NEVER gave up on him.

Proverbs 22:6 says:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

In the early 1990s, Apostle surrendered his life to the Lord when he began attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio, where several of our family members also attended. Once Apostle gave His life back to Jesus, he began growing by leaps and bounds. I know this to be true because I saw it with my own eyes. He said GOODBYE to the streets, the alcohol and the drugs! He was now driven to learn all he could about God and to be used for His glory. He was in every Sunday school class, every church service, and every Bible study. He became an armor bearer for the pastor, a minister, and a member of the deliverance team. He was a willing worker, even if it meant cleaning the toilets, laying down carpet or driving the church van. It was evident that he had a passion for God and people. Apostle’s heart had truly been changed, and he was now dedicated to doing the work of the Lord.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring Apostle Ron Banks)

POWER AND FAITH MINISTRIES
With unwavering faith and passion, Apostle and my mother established Power and Faith Ministries in 1997. Apostle had then, and still has now, a burning desire to follow the example of Jesus, including healing the sick and casting out demons. Through Power and Faith Ministries, many individuals have been saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, delivered, and healed from cancer and other diseases. Apostle has openly declared that Power and Faith Ministries is a “cancer-free zone”. As a matter of fact, an individual doesn’t have to be in a church service or even in the city, to receive healing. God has anointed and assigned Apostle to bless those who are in need of healing and deliverance with prayer cloths that he personally anoints with oil and prays over.

I have personally mailed and delivered in person some of these prayer cloths. The testimonies are astounding! For example, two of my former high school students were healed after they each received a prayer cloth. One was healed from cancer, while the other was healed from near-blindness. Today, I follow both of them on Facebook and am happy to say that they are STILL doing well!

As a team, Apostle and my mother “address concerns, tackle problems, build character, bring management back to those who have been mismanaged and, through God’s guidance, perform whatever tasks necessary to positively affect people, as they touch and change the world, one family at a time.”

A GREAT FATHER
God has and continues to do so much through Apostle, not because he’s superman or perfect, but because he’s a willing vessel who has a heart for people. It’s that same heart that makes him a great father. A great father prays for and with His children, leads them, provides for them, protects them, teaches them, gives them sound advice, listens to them, and, most importantly, loves them. Apostle encompasses all those attributes, which is what also makes him a great pastor.

If and when any of his spiritual children walk away from the ministry or from God, like the father in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), Apostle welcomes them back with open arms. I have witnessed Apostle offer unconditional love, even when the love wasn’t always returned.

Apostle often testifies about how God never gave up on Him, even when he was out in the streets doing anything and everything he felt he was big and bad enough to do. Despite all that, God honored his mother’s prayers and kept His hands on him. Parents, it’s important that you continue to pray for your children, no matter the circumstances!

STOP RUNNING AND SURRENDER TO GOD
When Apostle finally made the decision to stop running and surrender to God, without hesitation God welcomed him home. And God is ready to do the same for you! Aren’t you tired of running? Aren’t you tired of fighting? Then I encourage you to stop and surrender to God.

Once Apostle accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was the beginning of a brand new and better life for him. You, too, can experience the same! Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you’re ready to experience a brand new life like Apostle Ron Banks, all you have to do is pray the following prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!”

I NOW WELCOME YOU TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!

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When You Look At Me, What Do YOU See?

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
The following excerpt is a spoken word I wrote and presented a couple of years ago at a women’s conference. As you read it, you may recognize the story.

“When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a scared little orphan girl who has just lost both Mommy and Daddy?

Tossed from this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..
She’s looking for that love that awaited her every morning with a smile on her face,
That love that held her tightly in his arms when she awoke from a bad dream,
That nurturing love that taught her how to knead dough in the kitchen,
That strong love that gave her a lesson on how to fish.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a young lady who is now in search of the love she lost so long ago when it was buried in the grave?
With a fragile heart, she’s now willing to do anything for anyone in hopes of feeling that someone cares.
Craving warmth and affection, she yields herself to the abuse and misuse of men.

Sad and lonely, she jumps from this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage,
Finally settling for a man who doesn’t find her worthy of a ring.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who is tired and ashamed?
Her mistakes replay in her mind over…..and over…..and over…..and over…..and over again,
Mistakes made all in the name of love.

On a warm afternoon, she approaches Jacob’s well where she finds a strange man sitting nearby.
She’s amazed when he parts His lips to speak, let alone ask her for a drink.
After all, she’s a Samaritan; he’s a Jew.
She’s nothing!
Or at least that’s what she’s believed ever since that nurturing, strong love she once knew was buried deep in the ground.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who, in spite of life’s hardships, still has a gleam of hope?

A hope that is ignited when the man at the well offers her the love she’s been searching, for so long,
A love that won’t abuse her, misuse her and then throw her away,
A love that endures forever…..and ever…..and ever…..and ever…..and evermore,
A love that, once received, must be shared with everyone she meets,
A love that draws others to the well where they also receive salvation and healing.

So, again I ask the question…..when you look at me, what do YOU see?”

The spoken word “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?” was inspired by a well-known story in the Bible.

Recognize it?

It’s the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus met one day at a well in Samaria. This story can be found in John 4.

WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Like the woman at the well, we each have a story. Granted, I don’t know her full story, because we’re only offered a glimpse into her life. However, God gave me an imagination, and I can imagine what life might’ve been like for her. I can picture what might’ve happened to cause her to make certain decisions. There’s a story behind her decisions.

Gospel singer Vashawn Mitchell wrote a song that says, “You don’t know my story, all the things that I’ve been through. You can’t feel my pain, what I had to go through to get here.” Like Mitchell states in the song, we each have endured hardships. Perhaps those hardships include abuse, molestation, poverty, prejudice, illness or death. As a result, we may be angry, confused, and even depressed.

What is the root cause of such pain?

SIN!

Sin is defined as “rebellion against God; wickedness, evil”. According to Genesis 3, sin first entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This truth is reiterated in Romans 5:12 which says:

“Consider this: sin entered our world through one man Adam; and through sin, death followed in hot pursuit. Death spread rapidly to infect all people on the earth as they engaged in sin.”

Nevertheless, Romans 5:19 assures us that:

“Just as through one man’s disobedience every one of us were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one man [Jesus], many of us will be made right.”

WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM JESUS?
When Jesus met this woman at the well, I don’t believe it was by accident. As He and His disciples were traveling, they could’ve stopped anywhere at any time to rest. However, Jesus knew He needed to be at this particular well at this particular time on this particular day to meet this particular woman.

Why?

She NEEDED Him!

She was in need of salvation and healing—–not necessarily physical healing, but mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

When Jesus initially spoke to the woman, she was surprised. Jews didn’t normally affiliate with Samaritans.

Why not?

At this time in history, the Jews viewed the Samaritan people as inferior. For one, the Samaritans had a history of worshipping idols. Plus, they were labeled half-breeds because they were the products of intermarriages with foreigners. The act of marrying and having children with foreigners was greatly frowned upon. So, given their history, it’s no wonder she questioned why Jesus was speaking to her.

During their encounter, Jesus inquired about the woman’s husband, which brought to light all of her baggage. This woman had been married FIVE times, and the man she was currently with wasn’t even her husband.

Did Jesus have to ask about her relationship status in order to save her and set her free?

Yes, He did! After all, that was a serious problem for her! She needed to be healed from whatever issues she was carrying that had prompted her to have multiple marriages. Being married several times was proof that a man was not going to give this Samaritan woman what she was TRULY looking for.

According to the Bible, having a husband is a good thing. However, as women, we can’t expect men to do for us what only JESUS can do. God didn’t equip any man to do so. It doesn’t matter how nice, intelligent, strong and even rich he may be. This was a truth the Samaritan woman came to realize that day. Jesus said to the woman, “Receive Me and I will set you free, and you will no longer need to look for love in all the wrong places.” Essentially, only JESUS can provide true fulfillment (love, peace, joy, healing, etc.). Man is flawed, but Jesus is not!

Moreover, in John 4:24 Jesus said to her:

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

In order to worship God the Father sincerely, we must have a relationship with Him, which comes by accepting His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Personally speaking, I can worship God from my spirit because I’m connected to Him. I can hear God’s voice, sense His presence, and know what steps I should take because I’m connected to Him. I have confidence and a more positive self-image because I’m connected to Him. No man can wreak havoc in my life because I’m connected to GOD.

Just like the Samaritan woman, no matter what you’ve done in your past and regardless of your background, where you come from, your family’s reputation or your own reputation, Jesus LOVES you, and He’s here for you! All you have to do is believe and surrender to Him. When you do, like the woman at the well, He will change you and make your life BRAND NEW!

Part I – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

Part II – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

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A Tribute to Mom

A TRIBUTE TO MOM
Let me begin by wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to ALL mothers, including those who are like mothers to someone! I honor YOU today, as well! I believe it takes a heart of selflessness to take someone else’s child under your wing to encourage them, teach them, coach them, help them and, especially, love them. I want to also honor the women who have chosen to raise someone else’s child…..or children. Your act of love is so greatly appreciated!

I want to now pay tribute to my own mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, also known as “Gerri”.

Over the years, I’ve seen my mom endure some difficult situations. However, through it all and in spite of it all, she has maintained her integrity and relationship with the Lord.

THE YOUNG BELIEVER
The youngest of seven children, my mom was born to Jeremiah and Eunice Ealey in Collins, Georgia, where she was also raised. If you’ve never heard of Collins, it’s a small town located in Southern Georgia, not that far from the city of Savannah. My grandparents were prayer warriors and ministers, and they taught their children to live for God. Mom accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit at the tender age of 16.

Because of the teachings my mother received at a young age, she learned the importance and necessity of being devoted to God.

Do you realize that it’s NECESSARY to be devoted to God—-God, our Creator, the one who knows all and sees all? In the midst of a corrupt world, it is NECESSARY to know Him. It is NECESSARY to know Jesus because through Him our lives are made right! My mom and her siblings were taught those valuable, life-changing lessons, and I thank God every day that they instilled those lessons in us—-their children. I am who I am because of my mother’s teachings. I am who I am because of my mother’s prayers. I am who I am because of my mother’s LIFE!

THE SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVER
As a child, my mother excelled in school. She was even honored as the salutatorian of her senior class and graduated from high school at the age of 16. Soon after, she relocated with her mother and siblings to Cincinnati. Mom went on to receive her Business Management education from Southern Ohio College. She then received certified Accounting training from Cincinnati Technical College (now Cincinnati State). Moreover, she received computer training from Scarlet Oaks.

While a student at Southern Ohio, Mom was hired by General Electric Company, where she worked for 34 years before retiring. During her time at GE, she witnessed co-workers and close friends lose their jobs due to layoffs and cutbacks. However, instead of losing her job too, God always blessed her to get moved to a different position. In John 15:7 Jesus says:

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Although Mom has been retired from GE for a number of years now, she still works seasonally as a Tax Professional for H&R Block. As one of her devoted clients, I can say that she is excellent at what she does!

THE PRAYER WARRIOR
As I stated before, my mother has endured some difficult situations. One incident was when my brother BJ almost died when he was just a baby. Although his health seemed to be failing, my mother didn’t give up! She called on my grandmother, aunts and people at the church to pray for his healing. Today, she even talks about the time she sat up with him all night rocking him and praying for him. James 5:16 assures us that:

“…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) availeth much.”

Because of the constant prayers of the believers, God healed my baby brother! Now at the age of 39, he is a successful husband, father, teacher and varsity basketball coach.


(Mom, BJ, Me)

THE OVERCOMER
Another difficult time in my mother’s life was when her marriage to our father ended in divorce. I love my dad very much, but as a woman myself, I can acknowledge that my mom was devastated by the break up. Her marriage was supposed to last forever! NEVERTHELESS, she never walked away from God or the church. Through the pain and, even the embarrassment, each day she continued to get up! She put on her good clothes, high heeled shoes, and make up, and she pressed forward!

Mom continued being a devoted mother, sister, cousin, niece, and friend. She continued shopping at the mall, getting her hair done at the beauty salon, going out to eat with family and friends, and taking trips to places, like Florida and the Bahamas. My mother continued living her life! Most importantly, she maintained her relationship with Jesus Christ. She continued lending her beautiful voice to the choir, ministering the Gospel at church and on the radio, and winning souls for the kingdom of God.

THE EVANGELIST
Mom has some awesome testimonies of how God has used her throughout the years. For example, during the late 1980’s while working at GE, she led one of the CEOs to the Lord while sitting in his office. This particular man was secretly dying from the AIDS virus, and through Mom, he came to know Jesus Christ. On another occasion while at work, she noticed her manager slipping away at his desk. In other words, he was dying right before her very eyes, and she called LIFE back into his body! Some years later, she also called LIFE back into the body of a complete stranger while we were at Kings Island Amusement Park. In John 11:25 Jesus says:

“…I am the RESURRECTION, and the LIFE: he that BELIEVETH in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he LIVE…”

Had life totally turned out the way my mother planned? No, not at all! Nevertheless, she was determined to persevere anyway! In fact, she looked past her disappointments and her pain and pursued God even more!

She completed a two-year course in Theology with a focus in Evangelism at Cincinnati Christian College and received certificates in Catechism and other Christian courses. Mom wasn’t going to allow anything or anyone to deter her from her God-given purpose!

THE FAITHFUL
In my previous blog post “Relax! God Is Doing It Now For You! Just Continue in His Work!”, I share the story of Ruth from the Bible. Ruth didn’t worry about what or whom she had lost. She didn’t concern herself with the family and country she had left behind. Instead, she focused on the mission God had assigned her—to take care of her mother-in-law Naomi. As a result of her obedience and faithfulness, God blessed her abundantly.

Just like Ruth, Mom stayed focused. While she was busy working, taking care of my brother and me, and ministering to others, God blessed her with another husband. My mother married Apostle Ron Banks on June 25, 1994. Three years later they founded Power and Faith Ministries.

Through Power and Faith Ministries, many souls have been saved, bodies have been healed from life-threatening diseases like cancer and AIDS, and people have been delivered from the bondage of satan. As they adhere to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is their mission to touch and change the world one family at a time.

Ladies…..my sisters…..women of God, I know that everything has not turned out the way you had hoped or planned. But, don’t give up on God and don’t give up on you! People, including your own relatives, will let you down. They’re not perfect. Only God is perfect, and He will NEVER let you down! So, just like my mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, stay FAITHFUL to God and TRUST that He has an even BETTER plan for your life.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: A Tribute to Mom)

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Relax! God Is Doing It Now For You! Just Continue In His Work!

RELAX! GOD IS DOING IT NOW FOR YOU! JUST CONTINUE IN HIS WORK!
Sunday, May 14th is Mother’s Day, the time of year when mothers everywhere are to be celebrated. Although I personally am not a mother, I truly appreciate Mother’s Day because of my own mother. Throughout my life she has proven how much she loves my brother and me. So, I try to express my appreciation for her as often as possible.

According to Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:2, God expects us to honor our fathers AND mothers. If we’re not careful, we can get so caught up in our own affairs, that we neglect to do so. However, a mother’s role should be appreciated and cherished. And I’m not just talking about birth mothers, but ALL mothers God has placed in our lives—–adoptive mothers, foster mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, aunts, big sisters, cousins, teachers, coaches, mentors, the mothers in the neighborhood who always looked out for us while we were growing up, and spiritual mothers who have prayed for us, encouraged us and taught us valuable life lessons.

Mothers have a rewarding, but tough job, and, therefore, need our prayers, support, and encouragement. So, I personally want to extend a word of encouragement to all mothers to RELAX because God is doing it now for you! In the meantime, He wants you to continue in His work.

DON’T WORRY
Philippians 4:6-7 say:

“6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Verse 6 says to “be careful for nothing”. In other words, just relax! Just rest in God! Don’t be anxious about ANYTHING! You’re not to have any worries or concerns. Although that may seem easier said than done, God doesn’t want you worrying or being concerned about things that are out of your control. To “worry” is to feel uneasy or troubled. Basically, you’re overthinking about what MIGHT happen.

In my honest opinion, as women, we THINK we’re supposed to worry, especially when it comes to our families. If we don’t worry, or if we’re not constantly thinking about a particular issue, then that means we don’t care. But, that’s not true! Don’t allow satan to trick you into thinking that if you’re not stressing out about something, even your own children, then you don’t care. A caring woman understands that she can’t do anything without God. If she doesn’t take care of herself, too, then she won’t be any good for anyone.

According to physicians, worrying can have negative effects on your health. For example, it can cause headaches (I know that first-hand).

It can cause ulcers or other stomach problems. Worrying can cause you to overeat or under-eat. It can cause you to lose sleep. It can lead to the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Worrying can also affect your blood pressure and even your heart.

GIVE IT TO GOD AND MOVE ON
God doesn’t intend for you to be weighed down by ANYTHING! I Peter 5:7 says:

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”

God wants you to give ALL your worries and concerns to Him because He loves you. God knows that things happen. He is aware that situations arise that may overwhelm you. However, that’s what He’s there for. God is available to be your guide, comforter, listening ear, and support.

How do you give a concern or worry to God? After you go to God in prayer about a particular situation or person, praise Him in advance for the victory and move on! Yes, MOVE ON!

God will either handle the situation for you, or He will give you instructions on how to proceed. You can’t pray and then continue worrying! You can’t keep thinking about it…..and thinking about it…..and thinking…..and thinking…..and thinking! Those anxious thoughts you continue to entertain may very well prevent you from truly hearing God’s voice. In essence, you may wind up following your own mind instead of following God, which is the last thing you want to do! II Samuel 22:31a assures us that God’s way is PERFECT. God’s way is complete and flawless, nothing missing, nothing broken.

FOCUS ON THE WORK
Again, women of God, just relax! God is doing it NOW for you! God has that situation worked out! In the meantime, just continue in His work!

Let me tell you a story about a woman named Ruth. Perhaps, you’re familiar with her story.

Following the death of her husband and brother-in-law, Ruth recognized that her next purpose in life was to care for her mother-in-law Naomi. She willingly walked away from everything and everyone she knew, to answer God’s call. Even though Naomi tried to persuade Ruth to go back to her mother’s house like her other daughter-in-law Orpah had done, Ruth said:

“Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” (Ruth 1:16-17, NIV)

Ruth knew within herself that there was a greater purpose with Naomi, and that is what she focused on. She didn’t worry about her husband being dead. She didn’t worry about not yet having children. She didn’t worry about the family and country she had left behind. Instead, she focused on the work God had given her to do, which was to care for Naomi.

Women of God, I want to encourage you to focus on what God has instructed you to do. People are in need of what God has given you to give them. Whatever God has blessed and enabled you to do, DO IT!!! Don’t lose focus with worries and concerns. Remember that there is a greater purpose at hand. God is holding you (and me) responsible. In John 15:16a, Jesus says:

“Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…”

God has given you a special work to do that will help others and bring glory to Himself. What is that special work? Is it teaching, preaching, singing, writing, dancing, acting, or having a business? What is it?

And are you fulfilling your God-given purpose? Or are you allowing things and people, you have no control over anyway, to distract you?

Ruth didn’t allow herself to be distracted. Rather, she focused on Naomi. As a result, in due time, God blessed her with everything she needed and desired. He blessed her with a new husband named Boaz, with wealth, and with a son they called Obed. As a matter of fact, Obed later became the grandfather of King David. This is the same lineage through which Jesus was born.

Women of God, I encourage you to rest in God. He knows your wants and needs, and as Matthew 6:33 tells us, He’s going to meet them. All He asks is that you continue in HIS work. Your blessings are on the other side of your obedience.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Relax! God Is Doing It Now For You! Just Continue In His Work!)

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What Would Jesus Do?

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
“What Would JESUS Do?” Recognize that question? “What Would Jesus Do” is a phrase that first emerged in the 1990s. The purpose of the question is to inspire those of us, who are believers in Christ Jesus, to evaluate our everyday attitudes and behaviors. It is to encourage us to really consider the characteristics of Jesus that are laid out in the Bible, and to decide whether or not we are following His example.

At the height of its popularity, “What Would Jesus Do?” or WWJD, could be seen everywhere—-on bracelets,
t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, etc.

The whole idea was to remind us that we are to be more like Jesus. Personally, I think WWJD was and still is an excellent idea! We live in a world where we are surrounded by evil and corruption every day. So, as believers, we have to remember that, although we live in the world, we are not to be like the world, look like the world, or act like the world.

Worldly ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, are the opposite of what pleases God. James 4:4 (NLT) says:

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”

In the verse, James referred to these early Christians as adulterers. Why? To be unfaithful to God is to commit spiritual adultery. We are unfaithful to God when we choose to disobey Him. Anything that goes against God’s commandments or expectations is considered worldly. One example is sexual immorality. I use this particular example because sex is promoted almost everywhere——on television, in movies, in music, in books, and on the internet.

According to the world or worldly standards, pre-marital sex is acceptable. In some instances, adultery or infidelity is acceptable. Have you ever heard the term “open marriage”? In an “open marriage”, the husband and wife agree that it’s perfectly okay to have sex with other people. Basically, they are inviting adultery into their marriage. Furthermore, homosexuality and bisexuality are also acceptable now, according to WORLDLY standards. However, according to God’s Word, none of these behaviors are acceptable.

Regardless of our personal views or how good certain sexual encounters make our flesh feel, God still does not approve. For example, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is one of the ten commandments we can find in Exodus 20. Even though it is a commandment of God, many still engage in it. Nevertheless, just because they engage in it, doesn’t make it all right.

DOES GOD CHANGE?

Anything that is popular in today’s society isn’t necessarily popular with God. God doesn’t change, and His Word doesn’t change. Therefore, we believers have to read and STUDY the Bible. I emphasize the word “study” because it’s important that we meditate on the scriptures and apply them to our everyday lives. Simply READING the Bible is not enough.

We have to obey it. When we fail to do so, we can be easily fooled into confusing worldly standards with God’s standards. Psalm 119:11 says:

“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”

God has provided His Word to help us live right. We are to, thus, hold His Word in our hearts. When you hold something in your heart, you cherish it, right? We are to hold God’s Word in our hearts like a treasure. Psalm 119:105 says:

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

God’s Word is available to guide us in the right direction—–the direction God would have us to go. When we apply the scriptures to our everyday lives, we will find ourselves doing what JESUS would do. In other words, we will find ourselves obeying and pleasing God.

To be a Christian is to be Christ-like or like Jesus Christ. Want to know HOW to be like Jesus? Read the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. All four books give accounts of Jesus’ time as a man on earth. When we read about Jesus, we learn about His characteristics, which are the characteristics we should strive daily to emulate.

WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?
While Jesus lived as a man on earth, He showed LOVE. First, He loved God the Father and spoke highly of Him. He always honored and obeyed God. He also spent quality time with God in prayer. In addition to loving the Father, Jesus loved people, INCLUDING His enemies. For instance, while He was hanging on the cross, Jesus asked God to forgive those who were persecuting Him.

Jesus also showed love by taking time to teach everyone who wanted to hear and receive from Him. When crowds followed Him, He didn’t turn them away. He even fed those who were hungry, like the 4,000 and 5,000.

He healed those who were sick. He showed compassion to those who had been ostracized by other people, like the Samaritan woman He met at the well, and the woman who was brought to Him for committing adultery.

Possessing genuine love, Jesus had no problem being humble. As a matter of fact, He didn’t get into shouting matches with the religious leaders who would publicly oppose Him. He wasn’t concerned about trying to defend or prove Himself to anyone. He didn’t brag about how powerful and wise He was. Instead, He continued giving all the glory to God. All He cared about was doing the will of His Father. In John 6:38, Jesus said:

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him [God] who sent Me.”

IS LOVE YOUR MOTIVATION?
Something that is important for us as believers to realize and always remember, is that, although Jesus demonstrated power through healing the sick, casting out demons, resurrecting the dead and other miracles, like turning water into wine, LOVE was always the motivation.

Yes, we believers can and should demonstrate power like Jesus did. In fact, in John 14:12, Jesus said:

“….He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…”

So, Jesus said that we’re to do more than even what He did. However, if love is NOT the motivation, I Corinthians 13 lets us know that God will not be pleased.

It’s imperative that we do, what I like to call, self-examinations. What do I mean? Periodically, we need to exam our hearts, using the Word of God as the criteria. For instance, you can ask yourself the following questions:

“Am I lining up with God’s Word?”

“Am I doing what God expects or approves of?”

“Am I following the examples of Jesus?”

Once you ask yourself these questions, if you find yourself falling short, then repent and ask God to help you in those areas.

I want to encourage you to take some time and study the four Gospels. When you do, pay close attention to how Jesus conducted Himself in every situation. Then strive to follow His example in your own situations. Christianity is a lifestyle, and you and I are responsible for doing our part. As we do our part, God will do the rest. Philippians 2:12b-13 (NLT) say:

“12b…..Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”

(The Kimberly Joy Show: What Would Jesus Do?)

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Who Is Jesus?

WHO IS JESUS?
There’s a song that says:
“Jesus Jesus Jesus, there’s just
something about that name.
Master, Saviour, Jesus, like the
fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and
earth proclaim.
Kings and kingdoms will pass away,
But there’s something about that Name!”

Another song says:
“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord!’
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!”

JESUS! There’s something about His Name…when I speak His Name…when I call His Name…when I pray in His Name……….

Why?

Who IS Jesus?

Isaiah 9:6 calls Him “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”

John 11:25 says He is “the Resurrection and the Life”

John 14:6 refers to Jesus as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”

I Timothy 6:15 says He is “the King of kings, and Lord of lords”

Titus 2:13 calls Him “Savior”

Hebrews 12:2 describes Jesus as “the Author and Finisher of our faith”

Revelation 22:13 says He is “Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last”


JESUS IS HEALER

Another word that describes Jesus is HEALER!

While Jesus lived as a man here on earth, many people, who came into His presence, were healed. According to Matthew 4:23 and Matthew 9:35, He healed every type of sickness and disease. It didn’t matter what it was! When Jesus laid hands on those individuals, they were healed and made whole! Even those, who weren’t in Jesus’ presence, were healed.

Let me tell you a story (Taken from John 4:46-54):

One day while Jesus was in Cana in Galilee, a government official from Capernaum asked Him to come to his home to heal his son. In fact, the man begged Jesus to come because his son was dying. However, Jesus wouldn’t go with the official. Instead, He healed the boy from a distance. Jesus said, “Go back home. Your son will live!” In that moment, Jesus spoke LIFE back into the boy’s body, and the man believed what Jesus spoke.

Before the official had a chance to return home, some of his servants met him along the way to inform him that his son was alive and well. He then learned that his son began getting better at the exact time when Jesus had declared he was healed. Due to that experience, the government official and his household believed in Jesus.

Let me tell you another story (Taken from Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10).

One day while Jesus was in Capernaum, a Roman officer came to Him with a request. He said, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the Roman officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

Jesus was amazed at the officer’s faith. He even said that He had not seen faith like that in all Israel (amongst God’s chosen people)! Then Jesus said to the officer, “Go back home! Because you BELIEVED, it has happened!” The young servant was, therefore, healed that same hour.


FAITH IN JESUS

Of the two stories, what stands out the most about the government official and the Roman officer?

Their FAITH!!!

Although the official wanted Jesus to come to his home, he trusted Him when He just spoke healing for his son. The officer, on the other hand, demonstrated his faith in Jesus when he asked Him to only speak a word of healing for his servant. He didn’t feel worthy to have Jesus come into His home because he respected His holiness. Full of compassion, more than likely, Jesus wouldn’t have had a problem visiting the man’s home. Nevertheless, He appreciated the man’s faith and honored his request.

One of my favorite healing stories involves the woman with the issue of blood (Taken from Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:24-34 and Luke 8:43–48).

One day while Jesus was on His way to heal a little girl, a crowd of people, as usual, were following Him. In the crowd, there was a particular woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. Although I can’t even imagine what she was going through, I’m sure she was weak from losing so much blood. She tried getting help from several doctors. Unfortunately, instead of being cured, she just became worse and wound up penniless. However, despite her weakness, she found her way to Jesus.

When she got to Jesus, she didn’t ask Him to heal her. Instead, she touched the hem of the garment He was wearing.

As soon as she touched the hem, the bleeding stopped and she knew then that her body was healed.

YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL

Why didn’t the woman just ask Jesus to heal her like so many others had?

Maybe it was so crowded that she thought Jesus wouldn’t hear her?

Maybe she thought He would be too busy to notice her?

Maybe she was too ashamed?

Whatever the reason, she still had enough faith to believe that if she just touched the hem of His garment, she would be healed.

Jesus then noticed the woman, and she told Him what had just happened to her.

Jesus replied, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

Jesus healed so many people, more than what’s even discussed in the Bible. He healed every kind of disease and illness, regardless of the severity.

He healed those who were blind, deaf, crippled, paralyzed and demon-possessed. He even raised the dead back to life.

HE IS STILL THE HEALER

Even though, Jesus’ assignment on earth ended long ago, He is still the HEALER! Isaiah 53:5 says:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world. Along with sin came death. Romans 6:23 tells us that the result of sin is death. And what leads to death? Sickness and disease! Nevertheless, when Jesus was crucified on the cross, He took on the sins of all humanity and everything attached to sin, including sickness and disease. So, when we repent of our sins and believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, He then sets us free.

Therefore, as believers we have the privilege of experiencing healing and wholeness. We just have to believe!
As Romans 1:17 says:

“The just (righteous people) shall live by faith.

If you’re suffering today in your body, call on Jesus the Healer, with no doubt, and watch Him move greatly in your life!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Jesus Is Healer”)

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JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!!

JESUS IS ALIVE
Jesus is alive! Contrary to what some people believe, Jesus lives! Yes, He was beaten! He was nailed to the cross! He was pierced in His side! He wore a crown of thorns on His head! He died on that cross! His body was placed in a tomb!

BUT, three days later, He was resurrected! The tomb was found empty!

And He now lives forevermore!!!

I am saved today because of Jesus! Therefore, I never get tired of hearing the story of His crucifixion and resurrection. In fact, we, as believers, should remember and meditate on the story more than just once a year on Easter Sunday, because it serves as a reminder of His love for us.

HE SUFFERED FOR US

Have you ever considered what Jesus truly went through for us? Have you thought about the pain He endured so that we could be set free from our sins? Can you fathom the agony He suffered so that we won’t have to experience hell and eternal damnation? Can you?

What Jesus endured, no human being would have been able to go through that! As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that Jesus was tortured before He even got to the cross. He was spit on! He was punched in His face repeatedly! Moreover, He was scourged or flogged! I use those particular words in place of words, like beaten or whipped, because the brutality they inflicted upon Jesus surpasses anything we could ever comprehend.

What is scourging/flogging? Just before Jesus was taken to the cross, they removed His clothes and scourged him. In scourging, a soldier used a whip which was made of leather straps that were embedded with metal and glass fragments with small metal balls sewn into the end of each strap. Each time this particular whip hit Jesus on His bare back, it tore His skin off, exposing muscle, maybe even His very bones.

We can only imagine the amount of blood He lost, as a result! And this happened BEFORE He was even crucified. Bible scholars say that the average person would have, more than likely, been dead from just the scourging.

So, again, NO ONE could have done for mankind what Jesus did! In fact, how many people would have been willing to die for ALL humanity, to take on the sins of the WORLD? I know from history that individuals have sacrificed their lives for their family, for their race, for their religion, for their country, but not for ALL mankind.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
Jesus is the ONLY one who has made the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His life for those who knew Him and had spent time with Him, like His disciples, and for those who didn’t yet know Him, like you and me. He sacrificed His life on that cross for those who loved Him and for those who hated Him. Can you imagine giving up your life for people you KNOW hate your guts? Think about it! I can’t imagine doing that! That’s why I’m not Jesus.

Jesus paid the price because He LOVES us! In fact, Jesus demonstrated nothing but love during the whole ordeal. He showed love when one of His own disciples Judas Iscariot betrayed him right into the hands of His enemies for thirty pieces of silver.

Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you? How did you respond? In Jesus’ case, He didn’t fight back and had no intentions of fighting back. Luke 22:49-51 (NLT) say:

49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!”
50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.
51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And He touched the man’s ear and healed him.

That’s how Jesus reacted, and He willingly went with them.

As Jesus was being interrogated and ridiculed, He remained calm. He didn’t retaliate. He didn’t even use His words to curse them. When Isaiah prophesied about Jesus’ crucifixion, he said in Isaiah 53:7 (NLT):

“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth.”

During the ridicule, the beatings, and the crucifixion, Jesus never complained. He never spewed words of hate.

FATHER FORGIVE THEM

Furthermore, as Jesus was hanging on the cross, according to Luke 23:34 (KJV), He said to God the Father:

“Father forgive them; for they know not what they do…”

Can you believe it? In the midst of all the evil being done to Him, He asked God to forgive them! Jesus was pleading with God on behalf of His enemies, on behalf of the ones who had zero respect for Him, on behalf of the ones who despised Him. He was pleading with God to neither be angry with them, nor hold their actions against them. Talk about LOVE!

There’s a song that the worship leaders at our church sing sometimes. It says:

“Jesus went to Calvary
to save a wretch,
like you and me;
that’s love, that’s love.

They hung Him high,
they stretched Him wide.
He hung His head, for me He died;
that’s love, that’s love.

That’s not how the story ends,
three days later He rose again;
that’s love, that’s love.”

That final verse of the song is the most important piece of this whole story. Jesus rose again! Jesus lives! He’s alive! Because Jesus rose again, those of us who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, now have new lives. I Corinthians 15:20-22 (NLT) say:

“20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man (Adam), now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man (Jesus).
22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

For those of us who have repented of our sins and believed and confessed that Jesus is Lord, we are new. Therefore, when we leave this earth, we will gain everlasting life.

Now, for those who are not yet saved, you can receive Jesus right now! All you have to do is pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

I now welcome you to the family of God!

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Easter: A Joyous Occasion

A JOYOUS OCCASION
Our family has always viewed Easter as a joyous occasion. Each year, for as long as I can remember, I would get a brand new dress, shoes and purse. My brother BJ would get a brand new suit, tie and shoes. My mom, who has always been a very classy and well-dressed woman, would get a brand new outfit, as well.

The church I grew up in was Mt. Olive Holy Temple in Lincoln Heights, a suburb of Cincinnati. Most of us members were related to each other. In fact, my great uncle was the pastor, the late Bishop Timothy Smith. We had such a good time praising God in that little church. Every Easter, we would put on a special program. Each child in the Sunshine Band would recite his or her Easter speech and the adult choir would sing and maybe perform a skit. Even my dad, who was not a regular church goer, would write a skit for my brother and me to perform. The BEST part, however, was when each child received an Easter basket. Those are some fond memories I will always cherish.

Although my brother and I enjoyed dressing up and getting our Easter baskets, our mother made sure we knew WHY we were celebrating Easter—–because of JESUS—–our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer.

I Corinthians 15:3-4 say:

“3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures…”

THE DAY I ACCEPTED JESUS INTO MY HEART
I get emotional whenever I think about the day I accepted Jesus into my heart. I was young, only in the second grade.

I was going to Landmark Christian School (which is now closed) in Glendale, Ohio. Even though I had been in church from the time I was born and had even been baptized, I hadn’t accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

I remember the day I got saved, as if it were yesterday. Some older students from another school came to Landmark to perform a play for us. I don’t know if they were high school or college students. I just knew that they were much older.

The play they presented took place on an airplane. Some of the passengers were Christians and some were not. During the flight, those who were Christians witnessed to those who weren’t. Some believed and received Jesus, while the others rejected Him. I especially remember in the play a little girl and her mother. After they both heard about Jesus, the girl accepted Him into her heart, but the mother refused.

Later in the play, the airplane started having problems. I don’t remember if there were mechanical problems or if there was a storm. I just knew at the time that the situation didn’t look good. Everyone on the plane started panicking, and eventually, the plane crashed, killing everyone. At the end of the play, those same passengers were either sent to Heaven or Hell. The little girl in the play went to Heaven, and her mother went to Hell.

Once the play was over, there was an altar call for any of us who wanted to give our lives to Jesus. Immediately, kids began going up to the altar. Some were even crying. I didn’t move right away, not because I didn’t want to, but because, at that age, I had a tendency to be shy. However, I could feel Jesus pulling on my heart. So, I eventually made my way to the altar, knelt down and just cried. Then my second grade teacher Mrs. Pope knelt down beside me, put her arm around me and prayed with me.

It was such a beautiful moment that I will NEVER forget! I knew then that Mrs. Pope loved me because she was crying right along with me. Like Mrs. Pope, that’s the kind of heart we, as christians, should have. We should want to see everyone saved.

Some who may hear that story may accuse the school of trying to scare us into salvation. However, that wasn’t my experience. I don’t believe they were trying to scare us to death! Rather, they wanted us to understand why we need Jesus.

As James 4:14 tells us, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Every day, people from all walks of life are dying. Fortunately, we, who know Jesus and are saved, don’t have to fear death. We are promised eternal life.

One of the first verses I learned as a child was John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

THE LOVE OF JESUS
When I saw the play, I didn’t just learn that a person will either go to Heaven or Hell when he or she dies, but I learned about the love of Jesus. In fact, it was His love that pulled me to the altar. I felt His love as I knelt down to pray. I felt His love through Mrs. Pope as she prayed with me. I felt His love when I got home that afternoon and told Mom my good news. I have felt His love throughout my life, even during the difficult moments. Moreover, I feel His love now.

I enjoy reading the stories about Jesus in the Bible because of the LOVE He constantly demonstrated—–His love for God the Father and His love for people. When we read about Jesus, we see that everything He did was out of love. It reminds me of the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery in John 8:1-11.

Early one morning Jesus was in the Temple teaching when the scribes and Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery.

These religious leaders questioned if Jesus was going to follow the law of Moses by stoning her to death (Leviticus 20:10).
Needless to say, they weren’t concerned about keeping the law of Moses. They were attempting to trick Jesus into saying something they could use against Him.

So, how did Jesus respond? At first, He ignored them. Then He announced that anyone who had not sinned could throw the first stone. Instead of throwing stones, each of those religious leaders left one by one. When Jesus asked the woman if anyone had condemned her, she said no. Jesus then said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

THAT is who Jesus is! He’s LOVE. Yes, the woman had sinned. Nevertheless, Jesus gave her another chance. Jesus gave ME another chance. In fact, He has given me more chances than I can count. And He’s ready to give YOU a chance.

YOU CAN ACCEPT JESUS NOW
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

All you have to do is pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

I now welcome you to the family of God!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Jesus Is Love”)

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P.U.S.H. Chapter Five

P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. As believers in Christ Jesus, we are to be prayerful, all day, every day. When we pray, it should always be in FAITH. To pray in faith means we know God is going to answer those prayers. We don’t concern ourselves with how He will answer, or even when; we just know He will!

Why is faith so important? Hebrews 11:6 assures us that having faith in God pleases Him and moves Him to action. We see it in the stories we read about Jesus. Jesus healed anyone and everyone because of their faith. Having complete faith in God motivates us to pray UNTIL something happens. That SOMETHING is WHATEVER we’re believing God for.

As we continue to pray and serve God, He will answer. Even if God’s answer is no, He will still answer. In some instances, God may choose to not give us what we’re asking for or at the time we want it. In those situations, we really have to trust that God knows what’s best for us. Isaiah 55:8-9 say:

“8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

IS IT YOUR TIME?
I have prayed and asked God to bless me with some things I wanted right away. However, God said, “No…..Not now….. It’s not time…..You’re not quite ready.”

I’ll give you an example.

All my adult life, I have desired to be married. From the time I was very young, it was instilled in me that every little girl grows up to become a wife and mother. I saw the theme of love and marriage in almost every TV show and movie I watched. I even became a fan of romantic comedies or chick flicks. I assumed that once I graduated from college, I would have my own Cinderella experience: meet my Prince Charming, get married, move into a beautiful house with a white picket fence, have a couple of children and, live happily ever after!

Nonetheless, after living long enough, I now laugh at that idea! I don’t laugh because it’s impossible. I laugh because it wasn’t MY reality. Once upon a time, I thought that was every little girl’s dream and reality. However, I now know better. I now know that not every blessing comes how or when we expect. I also now know that everyone is not meant to take the same path in life. In fact, I’m still waiting to become a wife. It has taken a long time for me to accept the fact that I didn’t get married when I thought I would or when others expected me to. Honestly, there was a time when I questioned if God was even going to answer that particular prayer. I wondered if it was even meant for me to be a wife. I told God that if it wasn’t in the cards for me to be married, then I needed Him to take away the desire. Needless to say, God reassured me that it is still His will for me to be married.

FATHER GOD KNOWS BEST

Second guessing God is a mistake we sometimes make. If He doesn’t answer according to our timeline, then we want to, either give up on the promise, or go outside His will and take matters into our own hands. However, the last thing we need to do is go outside the will of God. He knows what’s best for us. He knows what we don’t know. He sees what we don’t see.

A well-known Gospel singer, whose name I won’t mention, has shared over the years how her first marriage almost resulted in her death. God had told her not to marry her fiance. Even the day of her wedding, God was warning her not to walk down the aisle. She told God, however, that she couldn’t cancel the wedding. “We spent all this money! All the guests are here! How would it look for me to walk away?!”

She, unfortunately, learned the hard way the importance of obeying the voice of God.

Her husband beat her during their marriage. The abuse got so bad that she eventually drove away in her car with only the clothes on her back. She was afraid he was going to kill her!

I am grateful that God didn’t allow me to get into a situation I would have regretted later. I’m also thankful He gave me time to learn and to grow. My time as a single woman has helped build my confidence. More importantly, I’ve learned how to love myself.

Once upon a time, I didn’t truly love me. I depended on relationships and friendships to validate me as a person. In response to my negative thinking, God said, “NO!!! You only need Me to validate you! If no one loves you, you love you!” So, ladies—and gentlemen—we have to love God and ourselves first before we can expect to love anyone else.

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
Moreover, don’t believe the notion that you have to be married by a certain age. It’s not about what people think or say. It’s about what GOD knows and says. If you’re concerned about having children, remember that with God, nothing is impossible! If He could do it for people in the Bible like Abraham and Sarah and Zachariah and Elizabeth, He can do it for you, too! God can still enable you to have a healthy child.

Also, I want you to consider another possibility. You have a desire to be a parent, right? Have you ever considered that God may have called you to raise children you didn’t birth? Perhaps you’re to be someone’s mentor, godparent, foster parent, or adoptive parent. So many children are in need of love, support, and a home to call their own. You may just be the person to provide that.

I personally know single women of God who have chosen to raise children they didn’t birth. They didn’t give up on their desires to be mothers, but they opened their hearts and minds to the possibility that God had other plans. One of the mothers, whom I’ve known for years, has done an excellent job raising her daughter to be hard-working, kind and respectful. In fact, her daughter is a senior in high school and will be a college freshman in the fall. Although this young lady’s birth parents were unable to raise her, God had a ram in the bush. Perhaps YOU are someone’s ram in the bush.

Whether you’re believing God for marriage, children or something else of great significance, I urge you to not give up praying and believing. God hasn’t forgotten your prayers. You have to trust He knows what He’s doing. Fighting the process will only further delay the blessing. So, allow God to prepare you for the greater that is coming in your life and continue to P.U.S.H.!!!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens Part 5”)

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