The Kimberly Joy Blog

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Tag: faith (Page 1 of 2)

They Are BL3SSED!

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: BL3SSED Through Perseverance)

THEY ARE BL3SSED
The year…..2012. The place…..Cincinnati, Ohio. Three twenty-something year old African-American men, with a passion for music, had a vision of one day singing on stages and in front of cameras all over the world.

Inspired by Gospel greats like The Clark Sisters, 21:03, Mary Mary, The Walls Group, and Kirk Franklin, these three young men Davosk Lavizzo, Ke’Vaughn McDowell and Jamaal McMullen agreed they wanted to form a Gospel trio. After much discussion, they convinced their mentor Aunt Syl to sign on as their manager and their godfather Mel Rob to be their assistant manager and vocal coach. Soon after, the group was born, and they are now BL3SSED!

WHAT DOES PERSEVERANCE LOOK LIKE?
I have known Davosk, Ke’Vaughn and Jamaal for a number of years from the time they each stepped foot inside our beloved church Power and Faith Ministries, and have had the pleasure of watching them grow into men. The past six years for BL3SSED as a singing group have not always been a bed of roses. With three different personalities, they occasionally butted heads. There were even moments when they wanted to throw up their hands and walk away. Why did they want to quit? Like you and me, they are human, and, as human beings, we become weary—physically, mentally and emotionally—especially when achieving our dreams seems to be a never-ending battle.

Discouragement is like a bad cut. You think that giving up is the best option because you just want the bleeding to stop! Nevertheless, despite the disagreements and struggles, BL3SSED persevered! They sang through their frustrations. They wrote even in their pain. They prayed in the midst of hopelessness. They believed God’s promises when there was no light at the end of the tunnel. They fought tirelessly for their dreams!

DO YOU HAVE A SOLID SUPPORT SYSTEM?
BL3SSED was inspired to persevere thanks to having a solid support system in place. A support system is a network of people who provide an individual or group with practical, emotional and spiritual support. Like BL3SSED, as you pursue your dreams, such as producing music, writing a book, starting a business, or earning a college degree, it’s imperative you have a solid support system to help you on your journey.

Allow God, who should be the first on your list, to select the right people. For instance, in addition to your pastors, you want those in your network to be trustworthy, supportive, knowledgeable, helpful, encouraging and prayerful.

BL3SSED THROUGH PERSEVERANCE
As a result of their perseverance, in December 2016, Davosk, Ke’Vaughn and Jamaal were each licensed as ministers of the Gospel. This past June, they were one of the finalists in the Path to Fame competition in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Most recently, they released two singles “Hold Me Back” and “Amazing Love” for purchase on all music outlets, including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify.

After much discipline and vocal training, this trio can sing anything from quartet style to hip hop style music, which allows them to appeal to a large audience. BL3SSED is where they are now and reaping the rewards because they PERSEVERED. Galatians 6:9 says:

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

KEEP PERSEVERING
God says, “You are doing a good work. I see your sacrifices and labor. You’ve asked, ‘How much longer God?’ Don’t worry about the time frame. Your time is not the same as My time. I know what I’m doing. I’m preparing you and putting more of Myself in you, so that when you begin to reap the rewards, you won’t walk away from Me. Rather, you will be steadfast in your commitment to Me and the special work I’ve called you to do!”

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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A Man of Many Talents: The Steve Harvey Story

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: Black History Month Tribute to Steve Harvey)

A MAN OF MANY TALENTS
Steve Harvey, a man of many talents, is a comedian, actor, author, talk show host, game show host, radio personality…..just to name a few! Born Broderick Steven Harvey on January 17, 1957, in Welch, West Virginia, he is the youngest of five children to Jesse and Eloise Harvey. When Harvey was young, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1974, he graduated from Glenville High School and enrolled in college where he became a lifetime member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, a historically black fraternity founded in 1911 at Howard University.

HIS TRUE PASSION
After leaving college, Harvey worked a number of jobs, mainly as a salesman. As a matter of fact, he was selling insurance when he finally decided to pursue his true passion of being a stand up comedian after winning an amateur night contest at a local comedy club in 1985. For the next several years, Harvey performed in small clubs to hone his craft as a comedian. This time in his life was going to either make him or break him. Harvey told People Magazine, that after splitting from his wife and sending the majority of his paychecks home to his children, “one or two gigs fell through, and suddenly I was homeless.”

While working a gig, he had the luxury of staying in a hotel, but once that particular gig was over, he was back to sleeping in his 1976 Ford Tempo. He kept an Igloo cooler in the backseat to use as his refrigerator and washed up in hotel bathrooms, gas stations or swimming pool showers. This went on for three years! Some probably wondered, “Why would he go through all that for a dream?!” He was finally doing something he loved and believed he was created by God to do.

Because Harvey persevered, even when he sometimes felt like giving up, he received the break he had been waiting for. He was invited to perform at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Fortunately, that wasn’t the last time he was going to hit the Apollo stage. In 1993, he took over as host of Showtime at the Apollo.

That was the first time I remember laying eyes on Steve Harvey. My first thought was, “That man looks like Richard Pryor!” As a stand-up comic, Harvey also made television appearances on the Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search and on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam.

OTHER VENTURES
Harvey soon ventured into acting. He starred in his first sitcom entitled Me and the Boys, in which he played a widower and father of three sons. Though the show won high ratings, it only lasted one season. However, being the fighter and hustler he is, Harvey didn’t let that discourage him. In 1996, he was given another opportunity to star in a TV series The Steve Harvey Show which attracted a large audience.

When I discovered the show, I immediately fell in love with the characters. Even now I enjoy watching the reruns. On the show, Harvey portrayed a former professional musician who becomes a music teacher at a Chicago high school. The series also starred Cedric the Entertainer who is one of Harvey’s real life close friends.

Harvey has also performed on the big screen in movies like The Fighting Temptations, You Got Served, and Johnson Family Vacation. His most popular movie is Spike Lee’s documentary, The Original Kings of Comedy, which captured the highlights of a two-night comedy show in North Carolina. The documentary, which included Harvey as the emcee, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, and Bernie Mac, earned more than $38 million at the box office. In fact, The Kings of Comedy Tour, which inspired Lee’s documentary, became the highest-grossing comedy tour ever to date in the United States.

Today, Harvey is host of such shows as Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, Steve, which is his own TV talk-show based in Los Angeles, and The Steve Harvey Morning Show, which is his nationally syndicated daily talk radio show. Harvey is also a best-selling author of the books Act like a Lady, Think like a Man; Straight Talk, No Chaser; Act like a Success, Think like a Success and his most recent book entitled Jump.

THE FOUNDATION
In 2010, Harvey and his wife Marjorie founded the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation. Through the foundation, they have developed mentoring camps for boys and girls. The Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp for Young Men is “an interactive program that includes a host of workshops which focus on manhood, personal responsibility, dream building and the importance of nutrition and physical fitness.

In addition, the participants are introduced to positive male role models who are leaders in various areas, including business, their communities, entertainment and the military.”

The Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Camp is “an interactive program that includes leadership comprised of trusted business women and community leaders who provide wisdom & resources that will help guide girls through the importance of financial literacy, balanced nutrition, proper etiquette, positive self-esteem and professional and educational development.”

A family man, as well, Harvery is married to Marjorie Bridges Harvey. Together they have a blended family of seven children: daughters, Brandi, Karli, Morgan and Lori and sons Broderick Jr., Jason and Wynton.

WHAT IS PERSEVERANCE?
I share the story of Steve Harvey because it speaks to the importance of perseverance. What is perseverance? Perseverance is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” When God gives you a dream, you don’t stop and give up just because things look bleak. Understand that in the process, God is preparing you for success. Habakkuk 2:3 (The Living Bible) says:

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient…..”

To learn more about Steve Harvey, you may go to:
biography.com
britannica.com
harveyfoundation.com.
people.com

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

DREAMS

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: Live YOUR Dreams Part 4)

DREAMS: WHAT MUST YOU DO TO SEE THEM COME TO PASS?
God has instilled dreams in each of us. In other words, we each have a purpose. I have a purpose. You have a purpose. In order for you to know your purpose, you must have a relationship with God. As you walk with God, your purpose becomes more and more clear to you. You learn and grow as you go!

Now even as you come to realize your purpose, it doesn’t mean everything will fall into place. More than likely, there will be some obstacles along the way. You’ll feel discouraged. Things and people will come along to distract you. Some people may say:

“No!”

“I’m not interested.”

“You’re wasting your time!”

“Why do you want to do that?”

Nevertheless, you have to have faith in God and know that everything He has promised you will indeed come to pass, if you don’t give up! Galatians 6:9 (New Living Translation) says:

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

You can’t get tired of working towards your dreams. You have to stay focused and committed to seeing them through.

Let’s consider Joseph, the son of Jacob. The Bible says that Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because he was born to him in his old age. I don’t know too many parents who would openly admit to favoring one child over the other. However, in Jacob’s case, it was evident, especially to his other sons. Consequently, they hated Joseph. Fortunately, their jealousy and hate didn’t stop God’s plan for Joseph’s life. What was God’s plan? In Genesis 37, God revealed His plan to Joseph in two different dreams.

In the first dream, Joseph and his brothers were in the field tying up bundles of grain when all of a sudden his bundle stood up while his brothers’ bundles all gathered around his bundle and bowed down. Joseph later shared this dream with his brothers who, of course, only got angry. They exclaimed, “Ohhhh….so you think you’re going to be our king, huh?! Do you really think you’re going to reign over us?!!”

Soon after, Joseph had another dream. In the dream, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed before him.

This time he told the dream to his father and again to his brothers. Jacob seemed to be offended by the dream, but he still loved Joseph very much. On the other hand, his other sons just grew to hate Joseph even more.

WITH WHOM CAN YOU SHARE YOUR DREAMS?
I don’t know exactly why Joseph chose to share his dreams with his father and brothers. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t share your dreams with just anyone, even if they are the people closest to you and the ones who are supposed to love you the most. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t want to see you succeed. If they think they can, they’ll try to sabotage your chances of being successful which is exactly what Joseph’s brothers tried to do. At first, they were going to kill Joseph, just like Cain had killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4). But, then they decided to sell him into slavery and make a profit.

They later convinced their father Jacob that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. They hated their brother so much and were so determined to kill his dreams, that they were willing to let their aging father believe this terrible lie, knowing it would break his heart.

As a slave, Joseph was taken to Egypt. However, instead of being treated like the average slave, God gave him favor and he was put in charge of his master’s household and property. His dreams seemed to be coming true, until the day he was thrown in prison.

His master’s wife tried to have sex with him. When he refused her, out of spite, she falsely accused him of trying to rape her. Fortunately, God granted him favor with the warden of the prison who selected Joseph to be in charge of all the prisoners. After a couple of years had passed, God once again gave Joseph favor, this time with the most powerful man in Egypt—–Pharoah. With that favor, Joseph was put in charge of everyone in Egypt.

WHAT WILL STOP YOUR DREAMKILLERS?
Remember the dreams Joseph had shared with his father and brothers? When a famine hit the region, guess who had to come to Joseph in search of food? That’s right! His brothers!

And what’s so great about this story is Joseph forgave them, embraced them and made sure his entire family was well taken care of. It didn’t matter that his brothers had tried to kill him and his dreams. Even during the moments when Joseph lived as a slave and as a prisoner, I believe He held onto the promises of God and his convictions. Even when he was tempted to have sex with his master’s wife, he didn’t allow her to distract him. Rather, he remained focused.

Just like Joseph, as you move forward this year, I encourage you to:

If you follow these guidelines, in due time, every dream God has given you will become a reality!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Have More and Thrive!

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: Live YOUR Dreams Part 3)

HAVE MORE AND THRIVE! WHAT DO YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF DOING?
God wants us to pursue those desires HE has placed in each of our hearts. What do you often imagine yourself doing? What is your passion? God says, “That’s not happenstance. It’s not a pipe dream. Your fantasy can become a reality if you believe Me, step out on faith and do what I’ve instructed you to do. Stop sitting on your gifts. I gave them to you, not only so you can bless others, but so that you can be blessed!”

Let me ask you: What do you do for a living? Is it something you’ve dreamed of doing all your life, or is it just a job? Is it just something to compensate you so you can pay your bills, and is that all you do? If so, then you’re not fulfilling your purpose. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not faulting you for working. You have to work to survive. However, God wants you to know that you don’t have to settle for just surviving. Rather, you can have more and thrive!

Now having more does not always equate to having more money. You may currently have a job which pays you well, but you work long hours. You’re always exhausted and stressed out.

When you go home, all you want to do is sleep. You barely have time for your family. Your job keeps you away from the house of God. Although you have the money, you’re still unfulfilled because you’re not walking in your purpose. So, why aren’t you walking in your purpose? What are you afraid of? If God has ordained you to do a special work and granted you certain gifts, then there’s no need to be afraid.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO STEP OUT ON FAITH?
In order to live your dreams, you must believe God and step out on faith. Bishop TD Jakes says stepping out on faith means stepping out of your comfort zone. In fact, because Bishop Jakes chose to step outside his comfort zone and trust God, he is now pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas. He is an author of many books including, Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits, Maximize the Moment: God’s Action Plan for Your Life, and his book Soar! Build Your Vision from the Ground Up , which was just released in October 2017.

Bishop Jakes has also produced films like Not Easily Broken, Jumping the Broom and Sparkle. His faith in God has also motivated him to host numerous conferences which have gained worldwide popularity. Some of these conferences include Woman Thou Art Loosed, ManPower, and MegaFest. I had the pleasure of attending MegaFest in Atlanta over ten years ago. Christians from all over the world took over the city of Atlanta that week. People of various races and from all walks of life were eagerly filing into the Georgia Dome. It reminded me of my first visit to Manhattan, New York. People were literally walking shoulder to shoulder. Needless to say, when you choose to follow faith like Bishop Jakes, instead of fear, God will do amazing things in your life and enable you to be a blessing to many people.

Before you step out on faith and take action towards your dreams, you must pray for God’s guidance. Proverbs 3:6 (New Living Translation) says:

“Seek [God’s] will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”

Consider Noah in the Bible. In Genesis 6, God was disgusted with the wickedness on the earth and decided to destroy it with a flood and start over. So, He instructed Noah to build an ark, which was like a cruise ship, that would keep himself, his family and two of every kind of animal safe. Noah did exactly as God told him. He didn’t just build an ark, but he built it according to God’s instructions. He didn’t take any shortcuts or listen to the opinions of others. Instead, he allowed God to guide Him.

Simply fulfilling his purpose by building the ark wasn’t enough. He had to build it on God’s terms. If Noah had deviated from God’s construction plan, he, his family and all the animals would more than likely have been destroyed in that flood along with the rest of the population. Like Noah, God’s purpose for your life is designed to bless you and those around you, only if it’s done His way!

SHOULD YOU BEGIN BIG OR SMALL?
James 2:26 lets us know that our faith in God must be accompanied by action. So as you step forward in faith and take action, God may have you begin small. For instance, if you’re currently working a full-time job, but you have a dream of owning your own business, God may instruct you to begin your business on the side.

I want to give a shout out to my sister-in-law Tamika Thomas. Just a few months ago, Tamika began her own online business. It’s called Designs on a Dime, and she sells custom design t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs and water bottles. Even though she works as a Behavior Intervention Specialist for Clayton County Schools in Georgia, she desires more.


(Tamika and Me at the family reunion)

I’ve known Tamika for twenty years, and I can say that this business venture is perfect for her. She has an eye for good quality and fashion. She’s reliable and friendly. Moreover, she knows how to manage money. Although it’s currently a side business, I believe that as long as she remains focused and committed and keeps God first, Designs on a Dime will grow tremendously.

If you are in need of custom design t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs or water bottles, you can follow Designs on a Dime on Facebook and Instagram. You can also visit her website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/designsonadimebyme.

It’s time to walk in your purpose and live your dreams! Don’t be afraid! Don’t settle for less! Rather, trust God, step out on faith and allow Him to fulfill His divine purpose in your life!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

A Praise Report: The Healing and Resurrecting Power of God

A PRAISE REPORT: THE HEALING AND RESURRECTING POWER OF GOD
By: Melvyne and Benita Florence

Early last week, my husband Melvyne and I received a phone call stating that a family member had just had a severe heart attack. As a result, the doctors concluded there was no brain wave activity noted. The plan was to cool the individual’s body temperature for 24 hours to give the heart a rest and then warm the body to assess brain activity. Of course, the individual had numerous medical tubes in place and was in the intensive care unit (ICU). Throughout the night, Melvyne and I took turns praying intensely. It was decided that we would drive to the hospital the next morning and pray for this individual.

Our church Power and Faith Ministries is a deliverance church. Thus, we are accustomed to people being healed physically and set free spiritually in the name of Jesus! We have also had experiences with praying and calling people back from the dead, one being my very own mother. The doctors had concluded and declared my mother brain dead. They, therefore, asked me to consider pulling the plug to allow her to expire. One doctor even threw his hands up in the air and stated, “There is nothing more we can do! She is brain dead!” However, when you are weak, God is strong (II Corinthians 12:10)!! Melvyne (who was my fiance at the time) came to the hospital and prayed for my mother. He began calling her name and called her spirit back into her body. To the doctor’s amazement, my mother woke up the next morning and lived for many more weeks! After this experience, I knew there was nothing impossible for God, if we believe!!

Believing in the power of God, we drove to the hospital the next morning to pray for our family member. Once we entered the hospital room, our sole purpose was to bombard Heaven in prayer. We weren’t discouraged by all the medical devices in the room. Immediately we started praying and calling the individual back into her body. In addition, my husband anointed the hospital room with oil. Believing God had completed the work, we left and went home.

A couple of days later, we received the news that our family member was now fully awake, disconnected from most of the medical devices and asking questions! To God be the Glory for the wonderful works He has done!!! Jesus declared in John 14:12 that we, the believers, will do greater works!! We praise God for our pastors Apostle Ron and Pastor Gerri Banks and for their faithfulness over the years. Through their ministry, God has healed, saved and delivered many out of the hands of Satan. As a result, we, their spiritual children, are operating in the same power. Hallelujah!! Amen!!!


Melvyne and Benita Florence are the assistant pastors of Power & Faith Ministries in Fairfield, Ohio.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of the article.

Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Ordinary Is Just Not Good Enough

WHY IS ORDINARY JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
According to II Corinthians 5:17, once you accept Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior, He forgives you of your sins, purifies your heart, and makes you brand new!

Thus, you’re no longer defined by your past sins, by your past mistakes, by your present circumstances, by your surroundings, or by the negative things people still try to say about you. You are now a child of GOD! And I’m not just talking about any god, but THEE GOD!

“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth…..” Psalms 8:1

“Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.” Psalms 24:8

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised…..” Psalms 145:3

As the Bible declares, no one and nothing can ever compare to God for He is EXTRAORDINARY! Since we are made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), we too are far from ordinary! Therefore, God expects us to follow His ways and represent Him appropriately (Ephesians 5:1).

Legendary Gospel group Commissioned, which introduced artists like Fred Hammond and Pastor Marvin Sapp to the world, recorded back in 1989 a song that has become one of my favorites entitled “Ordinary Just Won’t Do.”

“Have you ever needed someone,
A shoulder just to cry on,
To ease the agony
And find tranquility,
Or just have
A sweet and gentle touch
That speaks of words,
Speaks of words of love that mean so much?
Ordinary just won’t do,
I need someone, my Lord, I need someone,
That someone is You, that someone is You!”

As the song so beautifully explains, the ordinary is just not good enough! Rather, we need the EXTRAORDINARY God who loves us unconditionally, saves us, delivers us, heals us and empowers us to do great things!

Recently on my radio broadcast The Kimberly Joy Show, I had the privilege of interviewing Elder Benita Florence. Benita, a woman I’ve known for over fifteen years, shared her personal testimony. Growing up in the projects, at a young age Benita recognized that she is indeed extraordinary in God!

KJ: Welcome Elder Benita to The Kimberly Joy Show!

BF: Hello Kimberly Joy! How are you?

KJ: Oh I am great! I am awesome! I’m so glad to have you here! Elder Benita will you please take a moment to share with us your personal testimony of how you came to recognize that you are indeed extraordinary in God?

BF: Amen, I’m honored to share part of my story with the listening audience Evangelist Kim. You know, I thank God every day for the journey and where He brought me from. And I love Him so much. I’ll start off by saying I am a proud product of the West End. I am a West End kid.

I grew up in the Laurel Holmes Housing Projects, even though I spent a lot of my time in the Lincoln Courts Projects because that’s where most of my friends lived.

BF: But, being extraordinary and daring to be different started early on in my life, and I thank God that I know now that He had been with me even as a child. I am a proud graduate of the great George Hays Elementary in the West End and also of Jennie D. Porter Junior High School. I graduated from the Robert A. Taft High School down in the West End.

BF: Because of growing up in the inner city, you are exposed to various elements, whether good or bad. But most of my experiences I can honestly say were all good, and I am grateful for my humble beginnings. I do believe and now know for sure that God’s grace and mercy were with me even as a young girl. His unmerited favor, His compassion, His love for me. Even as we (me and my friends) faced several challenges, God was there for us, and I’m grateful for everything He has done in my life. I’m grateful He heard my cry, and He granted my requests even at a young age.

BF: I was baptized and introduced to God and Jesus Christ at an early age. My family went to Zion Baptist Church in Avondale. The late great Reverend Booth baptized me, and I had an awareness about Jesus and His Father God. Even though our family didn’t attend church every Sunday, the awareness was there.

BF: I knew who Jesus was, and I spoke with Him as a child growing up in the projects because sometimes people can have preconceived notions about children who might grow up in challenging situations or poverty or might not have a lot of material type things.

But I thank God that at an early age He gave me a spirit of tenacity. He gave me the determination and will to overcome things. And I don’t take it for granted. I am so grateful. I am so grateful to God for that.

BF: God has strategically placed individuals and situations in my life to help propel me forward to be successful in my life. I’m grateful for teachers. I’m grateful for school employees who took the time to encourage and just love on me. And if I really had to pick someone out, Judith Moore, if you’re out there, God bless you! I love you! I appreciate all the time and energy you put into me to make sure I got where I needed to go. Ms. Judith Moore, she was over the Career Development at Porter, and she later took over Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates at Taft High School. This lady took an interest in me and made sure I got specific things I needed to be successful in my life. And I just wanted to thank her.

(Benita, far right, and friends at Taft)

BF: As I journeyed on and graduated from Taft High School, I had the opportunity to move forward and go to college.

I entered into The Ohio State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s in Nursing Science, and that was with challenges, as well. For the entry Math and English tests I took, I didn’t score at a freshman level, so I had to take some remedial classes. But to God be the glory because it set a foundation for me, and it set a support system up for me, and I was able to transition through the five years and get my bachelor’s degree.

BF: As I moved forward (and we all have issues, trials, tribulations and tests), my family was facing some issues. I was one of those who might have clubbed and done things that were contrary to the Word and that weren’t helping me. They weren’t balancing or managing my thoughts, my life decisions. So, I sought the Lord, and I’m glad I sought the Lord! It was the best thing I could have done because I got the road map for my life, which is the Bible. I realized God is a God even in our suffering. And even as issues, trials, tribulations and tests came about, I was able to balance things and know that God is our peace, and we can rest even in the midst of the storm. We can quote the Word to ourselves and say:

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them [Satan and your enemies]: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee,” Deuteronomy 31:6.

BF: I thank God even in my journeys as a Christian. As I studied to learn the Word of God, I wanted to get to know the Word deeper. An opportunity came available for me to attend Liberty University, and I received a master’s degree in Theological Studies. That was another answered prayer. I just wanted some personal time with Him and some personal knowledge to help deepen my relationship with the Lord. So, I’m grateful that I graduated in 2014 with my master’s.

And I’ll say I won’t take anything for my journey now. Everything me and my family went through, it makes you stronger. It’s good to know you can survive a storm and to know that a project kid, like myself, can make it!

BF: I just want to encourage the listeners, just keep yourself rooted and grounded in the Word of God. No matter what the people say about you, it’s all about what God’s Word says. Whatever God says about you, it’s true! We’re more than conquerors! We are victorious! We are somebody in Him, and it’s good to know that our self-esteem and confidence are rooted in the Lord. The enemy will try to steal, kill and destroy, but we have power over the enemy in Jesus’ name!

KJ: Elder Benita, thank you for that awesome testimony and encouraging word!

Benita Florence, a registered nurse with The University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and her husband Melvyne Florence serve as the assistant pastors of our church Power and Faith Ministries in Fairfield, Ohio.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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God Created You To Be Extraordinary

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW-“Extraordinary: Dare to be Different Part 2”)

GOD CREATED YOU TO BE EXTRAORDINARY

Psalms 139:14 (New International Version):

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

I appreciate the above verse because it reassures me that God didn’t create any junk when He created me. Rather, He delicately crafted me in His loving, yet powerful hands. Also, as it says in Genesis chapter one, everything God created was good. I’m good! You’re good! I’ll take it a step further and say we are extraordinary!

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY MEAN?
According to the dictionary, extraordinary is “going beyond (superior to; more than; over and above) what is usual, ordinary, regular, customary, the norm; exceptional in character (moral quality–honest, courageous, disciplined, hard-working); noteworthy (worthy of being noticed or recognized due to some special excellence, standing out in the crowd); remarkable; having a special task or responsibility.” When we break down the word, we get EXTRA-ordinary.

II Corinthians 5:17 (King James Version):

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

People of God, when Jesus came into your lives to save you, He made you brand new! Therefore, what you thought you couldn’t do before, through Him now you can! Matthew 19:26 and Luke 1:37 state that with God all things are possible. The key is GOD!! We must keep GOD number one! He’s the one who empowers us to be extraordinary.

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY LOOK LIKE?
Let me tell you about an extraordinary woman I know. This woman happens to be my longtime friend and sister in Christ. I’ve changed her name to protect her identity.

Victoria grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she went to college where she ran track and majored in Exercise Science. While in college, she became a lifetime member of the sisterhood of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. The sorority was founded in 1920 by a group of African-American women. After graduating from college, Victoria decided to enlist in the army where she served this country for six years. She later returned to Cincinnati where she got a job working with heart patients who were going through rehabilitation. Soon after that, she purchased her own home and went back to school for her masters degree.

When I first met Victoria, I can remember admiring her drive and determination to strive for the best! Although she wasn’t surrounded by many college graduates in her family, she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her dream of earning a college degree. In fact, her story of success doesn’t stop there! Just a few years ago, Victoria decided to enroll in college for a third time. However, it wasn’t to earn her Ph.D. Instead, Victoria decided to think outside the box, step out on faith and pursue her desire of becoming an actress. Yes, an actress! She auditioned for the school she wanted to attend, was accepted into the program, and four years later, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Performance. Today, Victoria is living in New York. A dream come true!

When people first discovered that Victoria had decided to become a full-time drama student, I can just imagine some of the conversations:

“Did you hear about Victoria?”

“No. What happened?”

“She decided to go back to college to become an ACTRESS!”

“An ACTRESS?!!! Girl, you’re kidding!!”

“No, I’m not! She told me herself!”

“But, isn’t she in her 30s? She’s a little old for that!”

“You mean her LATE 30s!!! Yeah, she’s too old! I don’t know what she’s thinking! She has a good job already! Owns her own home!”

“Shoot! I know some women who would give anything to have her life!”

“THANK YOU! She needs to let go of that pipe dream and just be happy with what she’s got!”

Oh yes, I can just imagine!

Nevertheless, one thing I know about Victoria is that she has never been a person to live in fear. She’s never been one to allow others to dictate how she’s going to live her life. I believe at an early age she recognized that God had made her extraordinary. So despite the naysayers, Victoria decided to listen to the voice of God and trust He would continue taking care of her. And that He did! While she was a full-time drama student, God provided her with everything she needed. She was able to pay her tuition, her bills and her mortgage!

ARE YOU PASSIONATE OR PRACTICAL?
What are you passionate about? Are you pursuing your dreams or are you settling for what is easy and practical? Do you have those questions of “WHAT IF?” swarming around in your head? Do you want to look back over your life one day and wish you had taken a chance, stepped out on faith and pursued your passion? I know I don’t! I’ve had enough regrets from allowing fear to stifle me, which is why I’m now writing blog posts, books, and plays and sharing inspirational messages on my own radio broadcast.

I can truly say I am most happy when I’m doing what I love! How about you? Oh yeah, you too? Do you know why? It’s simply because God put those passions in our hearts. God made you and me extraordinary. So, I encourage you, like Victoria, to step out on faith and pursue your dreams! Don’t believe the notion that you’re too old. God’s not saying that! Why do you think He’s still nudging you to go back to school, to write a book, to write songs, to start your business, to start your own clothing line, etc.? Even if you are older, do you not believe that God can make up the time you may have lost? Oh yes He can! He’s GOD!!!

There are people out there who need you! Yes, YOU! They need to hear YOUR testimony! They need to hear YOUR music! God has a people waiting for YOU who will gladly support YOUR business and buy YOUR products. Like Victoria, you just have to trust God to order your footsteps, to bring the right people your way, and to provide you with what you need. Remember this, an extraordinary person settling for an ordinary life will never be fully content!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Be Set FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 3)

HOW CAN YOU BE SET FREE?
God wants you to KNOW who you are in Him. He wants you to BE true to the person He has created you to be, and He wants you to LOVE yourself wholeheartedly. However, before any of that can happen, you have to be set free from your sins and made new. I John 1:9 (King James Version) says:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Once you are cleansed, II Corinthians 5:17 says you become a new person. Inwardly you are not the same. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, whether you were a liar, a cheater, an adulterer, a fornicator, a thief, or even a murderer! Once you confess your sins and receive Jesus into your heart, He forgives you, and God now sees you as His child.

Although you may have to suffer some consequences for your past sins, while doing so, you can still develop a strong relationship with the Lord and allow Him to get the glory out of your life. For example, if you committed murder before you got saved, you will still have to pay for that crime. After all, someone lost his or her life at your hands. Nevertheless, while serving your sentence, you can be a beacon of light to others, especially other prisoners. Consider the apostle Paul in the Bible. Before he surrendered to Jesus, he was responsible for the deaths of some who had professed the name of Jesus Christ. Despite all that, God was still willing to forgive, save, and use him. And God did just that. Paul was set free and, as a result, many souls were saved!

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HEALING?
If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are free. You are now free from sin, and as I discussed in my previous article, “Child of God, You Are FREE!!!”, you are also free from sickness and disease. In fact, as a child of God, you don’t have to settle for being sick. You don’t have to view the doctor’s report or even how you feel in your body as the final outcome. Whose report will you believe? God’s report or man’s report? I hope your answer is God’s report!

Throughout the Bible, God lets us know that healing is ours.

Psalms 103:2-3 (KJV), “2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”

Jeremiah 17:14 (KJV), “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise.”

I Peter 2:24 (New Living Translation), “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.”

That’s the Word of God! We only need to believe what GOD says!

I’m reminded of my uncle and his wife. Several years ago, they each were dealing with life-threatening illnesses. First, my aunt flat-lined three times. In other words, her heart stopped beating. Then later my uncle wound up in a coma on life support. Nonetheless, despite their conditions and what the doctors were saying, their daughters never gave up! They prayed and prayed and prayed some more! They even had a conference call line so friends and family from all over could come together and pray for their healing. I was even blessed to be a part of that prayer line. As a result of their constant prayers and never-ending faith, their parents are both alive and well today!!!


(Uncle James and Aunt Polly enjoying life!)

WHAT DO MEDICAL EXPERTS SAY ABOUT HEALING?
Medical experts say there is a correlation between positive thinking (faith) and healing. According to author Donald Cole of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, Canada, “Across a wide range of clinical conditions, from lower back pain to heart surgery, patients who felt they would do well in recovery did. Patients who were scared or pessimistic (who lacked faith) about their recovery did not recover as quickly as the optimists or as well,” (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117317&page=1). If people in the secular arena understand that a person must BELIEVE in order to be healed, then we as children of God should definitely have faith. We should serve as prime examples of what it means to have faith.

If we were to be honest, unfortunately, sometimes we as believers walk in fear, instead of in faith. Although we claim to believe God, we yet worry and stress. However, faith and fear can’t co-exist. I can’t say I have faith in God, but still live in terror. I can’t pray to God about a particular situation and then, after I say “AMEN!”, continue worrying about the very thing I had just prayed about. Prayer and worry can’t co-exist. I either believe God or I don’t! Personally speaking, I’ve discovered that the prayers which tend to get answered more quickly are the ones I don’t ponder over once I’ve prayed. I don’t think about those particular issues anymore. I give it to God and move on!

Did you know that fear, worry, and stress can make you ill? I wouldn’t be surprised if many of our illnesses are directly related to our thoughts, emotions and words. For instance, you may notice you have a sore throat. Instead of praying against that soreness and declaring your healing, you say, “Uh oh! I hear the flu is going around! I must have the flu!” Consequently, you wind up with the flu. Now, it could have gone the other way. However, you chose to believe the worst instead of the best.

As believers, God doesn’t want us entertaining such thoughts. He wants us to know we are saved, healed and delivered! So, I encourage you to change the way you think and speak, and move forward in God. Live your life knowing you are free in Christ Jesus!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Child of God, You Are FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 2)

CHILD OF GOD, YOU ARE FREE
Knowing who you and I are in God, being who we are with no apologies, and loving who we are wholeheartedly involves recognizing that we were set free the moment we accepted Jesus into our hearts! As I discussed in the previous article, “You Are FREE!!!”, God recently reminded me that every child of God is free!

When we lack knowledge and understanding of this truth, it makes it easier for Satan to fool us into thinking we are still under his control. He’s able to convince us that we are still messed up. Thus, we worry that we’ll never get beyond our past. We continue to believe the negative things people have said and may still say about us. Essentially, we still feel bound!

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
When we believe such lies over God’s Truth, we are more inclined to surrender to the devil’s suggestions. Therefore, we need the Bible, which is the Word of God or God’s Voice. The scriptures tell us who we are in Him. What does GOD say?

Romans 8:37 (King James Version) says:

“…We are more than conquerors…”

Philippians 4:13 (New King James Version) says:

“[We] can do all things through Christ…”

Why?

“…[He] strengthens [us].”

John 8:36 (New International Version) assures us that:

“…If [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Indeed means “without any question, truly, undeniably”. So, once we surrender to Jesus, He sets us free from sin and everything attached to it. It’s settled…..a done deal! We can move forward in Him and not look back.

Consider ex-convicts. Although many are released from prison once they serve their time, some eventually return. Why? Mentally they are still in prison! In other words, they still view themselves as criminals and convicts. They have difficulty seeing themselves as people who are now free to live as productive citizens in society. So, does this mean they can’t learn? Absolutely not! They CAN learn! They can develop new mindsets with the right guidance, education, and tools. Basically, their minds have to be changed!

HOW ARE SOME BELIEVERS STILL HELD CAPTIVE?
As believers in Christ, I believe much of our “captivity” is mental! It’s only in the mind! We often give Satan more credit than he deserves. What do I mean? The devil plays mind games. When we’re not sure about who we really are in Christ, we fall for his lies. John 8:44 (New Living Translation) says:

“[Satan] has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan and his demons are liars. They’re incapable of telling the truth. For instance, in Genesis 3, the serpent, who was Satan in disguise, deceived Adam and Eve into disobeying God. In Genesis 3:1 (NLT), the serpent approached Eve and said:

“Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

The serpent asked Eve this particular question to plant a seed of doubt in her mind. Then he said in verses 4-5:

“4 You won’t die…..5 God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

Despite the fact that the serpent told a blatant lie, Eve was still convinced and ate the fruit, along with her husband Adam, who was also present. They may not have expired that day, but they did eventually lose their lives, although they were originally created to live forever. The only reason the serpent was able to deceive Adam and Eve is because they doubted God. They doubted what they had been told and what had already been placed inside of them.

As believers, we are deceived or Satan is able to play mind games with us when we doubt what God has told us OR when we don’t know what God has said—–when we don’t know His Word. Consider Jesus! After fasting in the wilderness for forty days and nights, Jesus was presented with temptations from Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, the devil was trying to play with His MIND. However, because Jesus knew who He was—–a man free from sin—–He didn’t yield to the devil’s suggestions. Nor did he run away and hide. Instead, He stood on God’s Word with undeniable confidence! Matthew 4:8-11 (NLT) say:

“8 Next the devil took [Jesus] to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

9 ‘I will give it all to you,’ the devil said, ‘if you will kneel down and worship me.’

10 Jesus then said, ‘Get out of here, Satan! For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’

11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”

Satan left Jesus alone because he realized he couldn’t play with His MIND.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO A BELIEVER BEING HEALED?

It’s so important that we as believers know we are free! Not only has Jesus set us free from sin, but He has set us free from sickness and disease. There are stories in the Bible, particularly the ones involving Jesus and the apostles, about people who were healed. Those stories weren’t included to serve as fairy tales, but to let us know that we can and should experience the same. Truth be told, we should all be healed!

IMAGINE……….

What if we were never sick?

What if the illnesses and diseases, which tried to attack our bodies, left as quickly as they came by us just speaking a word of healing?

What if we saw healings and miracles in every church all around the globe?

What if the hospitals were virtually empty and the pharmaceutical companies went out of business all because of our faith?

I want to see that! How about you?

I believe there will be an increase in healings and miracles as we grow in our faith recognizing that we are free. Furthermore, Jesus said it’s going to happen. In John 14:12 (NLT), He said:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…”

The key word in the above verse is BELIEVE! You have to believe. I have to believe. We have to believe that Jesus has set us free and live like people who are free from sin, sickness, and disease. We are now free to be what God has called each of us to be as He orders our footsteps and gets the glory out of our lives.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Experience Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “Rest in Me and Enjoy Your Life”)

HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE REST IN GOD?
In order to rest in God, we have to have total faith in Him. When we choose to believe God above everything and everyone else, we experience rest. Philippians 4:7 says we experience a peace that is beyond human comprehension. It’s something that can’t be explained. For example, you may be going through something really difficult, yet you appear to be very calm. As a result, those around you, who don’t know about resting in God, think something is seriously wrong with you! Due to your current situation, they expect you to be upset, angry or depressed. Because you’re not, they assume you’re in denial about your situation. But, you’re not in denial! You’ve just chosen to put all your faith in God!

Personally speaking, I know resting in God is not always easy. Just because I have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean I will automatically handle every situation, good or bad, as God would expect. I have to work at it every day! Why? I’m still in this flesh. I’m not perfect. However, I do serve a perfect God, and I have to make a decision to pursue the perfect God every day!

God has provided us with His Word to show us what to do, how to behave, how to think and what to avoid. God doesn’t just TELL us to rest in Him, but He shows us how. Throughout the Bible are examples we can emulate. In my article “Resting in God,” I shared the story of Paul and Silas when they were in jail (Acts 16). While they were in jail, they worshipped God! They could have gotten mad or been depressed. Perhaps they were experiencing some of those emotions. However, instead of yielding to those negative emotions, they pursued God’s peace. They chose to still believe God. Consequently, they were set free from jail because of their faith. James 2:26 (King James Version) says:

“…..faith without works is dead…..”

Paul and Silas didn’t just claim to have faith in God, but they proved it by praying instead of complaining and by singing praises to God instead of worrying or crying. They did this all while locked in chains behind a prison wall.

Another individual from the Bible, who demonstrated how to rest in God, was King David. Anyone who is familiar with David’s story knows he made some serious mistakes during his life. Nevertheless, even when he fell down, he found rest in God through his repentance. In Psalms 51:10-12 (KJV), David prayed to God:

“10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.”

King David prayed this particular prayer after God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him about a sinful act he had tried to cover up
(II Samuel 12). Although God could have easily struck David down for his wickedness, He chose not to. Instead, He extended His love, mercy, and grace to David. Recognizing that God was giving him another chance, David repented—–he SINCERELY repented.

WHO IS CONDEMNING YOU?
Like David, you may have done something you’re not proud of or once lived a life you wish you could forget. Even though you have asked God to forgive you, you still feel guilty. Why do you feel guilty? Is God condemning you? NO!!! The eighth chapter of Romans lets us know that those of us who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer condemned. We have been set free!

So, if you still feel guilty, even after you have sincerely repented, perhaps it’s because those around you like to remind you of your past or because you haven’t forgiven yourself.

Either way, Satan is behind it! But, he’s a LIAR! God doesn’t want you holding onto that guilt. He wants you to let it go and rest in Him. Trust in His power of forgiveness and salvation.

While you may have to suffer some consequences for your past wrongdoing, it still doesn’t mean God hasn’t forgiven you and changed you on the inside. For instance, if you have sex with someone to whom you’re not married, you may wind up with an unwanted pregnancy or with an STD. If that’s the case, it’s not a sign that God hasn’t forgiven you. It’s a sign that you’re reaping what you sowed. However, as you move forward in God and strive to live holy, He can bless that baby in a special way or completely heal your body.

Recently, a young lady contacted me requesting prayer. She admitted to doing something she knew was wrong and was feeling bad about it. I assured her I would pray for her. I then encouraged her to not beat herself up and reminded her of God’s love and forgiveness. I also explained to her that her feeling of guilt was a good sign. Why? It proves she has a conscience and that she is still God’s daughter. Finally, I encouraged her to avoid going down that road again.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONTENT?
I’ve shared before that you can find rest in God through worship, prayer, and obedience. You can also find rest in God by simply enjoying your life. Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer says, “Learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” In other words, smile often and laugh as much as possible. Just enjoy the stage at which you are in your life. You may not be where you want to be or have certain things you would like right now. Nonetheless, that’s no reason to be down in the dumps. Trust me, someone somewhere wishes he or she had YOUR life. Paul says in Philippians 4:11:

“…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

To be content with where you currently are in life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t desire more because God has more for you. It just means your desires shouldn’t cause you anxiety and stress. Your desires shouldn’t be more important than you being grateful and giving God the glory. God doesn’t want to hear our murmuring and complaining. Rather, He wants to hear our praise and see our smiling faces. He wants us to extend a helping hand to someone in need. When we focus on the Lord and do what pleases Him, Psalms 37:4 says He is guaranteed to give us what we desire.

Resting in God takes away the pressure Satan and the world try to place on us. When we give everything to God, He gives us His peace, and then things can be done His way….the RIGHT way. So, make it a point every day to rest in God and gratefully enjoy this life He has so graciously given you!

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