My sweet friend Alicia Williamson Garcia has been using her amazing voice to minister to people for many years. She has this unique ability to transport you into the throne room of God through music and the Word. Years ago she wrote a song called Healing which has brought to so many people comfort and clarity in the midst of life’s trials. She has taken this song and created a little book highlighting the lyrics as poetry with beautiful photographs and relevant verses of Scripture. In the back of the book is a cd of the song. It is a wonderful gift for someone in your life who needs to feel the the presence of Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals.
Click here for more information or to order.
I have been to a lot of conferences in my day – youth, women’s, couples’, mixed. You name it. I’ve been to it. However, I can say without a doubt that the conferences done by the ministry of In Worship have been the most God-led, Spirit-filled, Christ-exalting events I have ever attended. And I’m not talking about mountaintop experiences that fade with time. I’m talking about life-changing, faith-building teaching from the Word of God that stays with you forever.
And the music. . . What can I say about the music? If you have never experienced praise and worship led by Alicia Williamson Garcia, then you truly do not know what you have missed. Through music and the Word of God, Alicia ushers you directly into the throne room of God. He has given her an amazing gift, and she uses it for His glory.
I want to encourage you to go to this conference. Get your ticket here. I promise you won’t regret it. I’ll be there and I hope you will, too!
Every single day over 100 million Christians are persecuted for their faith around the world. Sometimes the enormity of the situation can be so overwhelming that we think, “What can I possibly do to have a real impact on the lives of these people?” A simple but very effective way that you can help is by taking the 5-5-5 Challenge. Click here for more info. It is so easy but can have such a powerful impact that produces real, eternal results. Take the 5-5-5 Challenge today and make a difference!
The international ministry Open Doors has released the 2014 World Watch List. Each year Open Doors releases this detailed analysis of Christian persecution worldwide. Countries are evaluated and ranked according to the severity of persecution that occurred in the past year. The World Watch List is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. The list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons. The World Watch List is part of the mission at Open Doors to inform and inspire others with the message of the persecuted. Join the cause of the persecuted and share the World Watch List with your friends and family. (This information was taken from various materials supplied by Open Doors.)
The 12th chapter of the book 1 Corinthians tells us that individual Christians are like the individual members of a body. We make up the body of Christ. And when one member of that body suffers, we should all suffer with it. We have brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering acutely all over the world simply because they are Christians. We have not just the responsibility but also the deep privilege of upholding them in prayer, giving them encouragement, and bringing their situation to light through whatever means we can.
One way you can do that is by taking part in the 5-5-5 Challenge. According to Open Doors, the 5-5-5 Challenge “is a three part challenge designed to inspire prayer, awareness, and financial support to impact the lives of persecuted Christians around the world.” Click here for more information on how you can sign up to take the challenge!
Use the 2014 World Watch List to make yourself and others aware of what is happening around the globe as well as to take action on behalf of those who are suffering.
Have you ever purposed to read through the Bible in a year and somewhere around the month of February or the book of Leviticus you just…well…stopped? I have. MANY times. I don’t want to discourage you from reading through the Bible in 2014; I want to encourage you! You can do it. You really can. And if you miss a few days (or even months), don’t stop! Keep going!
I actually began my Bible-reading plan for 2013 somewhere around mid-February. Even though I got behind at times, I kept going. Here it is December 31 and, yes, I have 7 selections to read today in order to finish for the year, but I’ve already read 4 this morning and there’s plenty of time left til midnight.
Here are some ways you can read through the Bible in 2014:
The Daily Bible - I have used this one before. The readings are arranged chronologically and it’s a great way to get a sense of the timeline of Scripture.
The One Year Bible – I have used this one off and on for several years, and I think it’s my favorite. It has 3 categories of daily readings: one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and one from one of the books of wisdom such as Psalms, Proverbs, or Job.
Bible App – Of course, don’t forget about the option of taking your reading plan with you everywhere you and your digital devices go! The Bible App has probably the most options available with start/end dates, translations, methods, etc., and is compatible with practically every operating system out there.
Whatever method you choose to read through the Bible in 2014, my best advice is JUST DO IT! And keep doing it! When you falter or fail, just get back to it. December 31, 2014, will be here before you know it and you will be able to look back at everything that you DID read instead of what you didn’t!
One of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating my house with the many nativities that I have collected for the past several years. At last count, I have about 30. On a recent trip to Japan I searched for a nativity to bring home as a souvenir. I saw only one – a handmade Kokeshi-style set for sale at a USO sale on the US Navy base in Yokosuka. As much as I loved it, I couldn’t bring myself to pay 300 yen (about $300) for it. It was beautiful, hand-carved and lovely, but I just couldn’t do it.
When I came home from my trip, I searched the internet for something similar. I found the wonderful website kokeshidesigns.com. I am almost positive that the nativity pictured above from Kokeshi Designs is the same one that I saw at the USO sale on the Navy base in Japan. I opted to buy just the Holy Family set, and I absolutely love it. This nativity will not get packed away with the other Christmas decorations. I want to enjoy it every single day.
Whether you collect nativities or not, I hope that you remember the Christ child that was born 2,000 years ago and placed in that manger was God Himself. And He came for YOU. Blessings to you this Christmas season!