More Than You Can Imagine!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, 21).

I think I have a pretty good imagination. At least I did when I was younger. I love playing with children who are still young enough to think up entire worlds out of thin air. It seems that as we get older, it becomes harder to remember how to imagine things that we can’t see or touch.

Hebrews tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith isn’t about playing games with adorable children. Faith is about trusting that the God “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think” is still at work today.

Can you imagine a request or problem too big for God’s power? No! In fact, I would challenge you to ask Him to expand your imagination of what He can do in your life. We do not need to resign to the limitations of this world. There is nothing that God cannot do! Ask Him for a miracle! Ask Him to move a mountain! Ask Him to increase your heart’s expectation of what He can do through His powerful work in you!

You may not be able to see it now, but He is working. He is more than able to carry you through whatever struggle you are facing. Give Him an opportunity to show you that He is worthy of all praise and all of our faith!

“To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, Forever and ever. Amen. ”

~PASTOR SUSAN B.

Finding Faith in the Dark

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”’ (John 20:29).

Lately, I have been walking through what I am going to call, a spiritual growth spurt. This spiritual growth spurt consisted of a darkness and a very tight, narrow passage. This squeezing came with a lot of pain. I always thought that faith was taking steps consistently forward to accomplish what God would have for us. What is this? I was going backward and not forward. Did I miss something? I felt many times that I wanted to curl up into a fetal position and just weep. I had very little courage to move forward. I wanted out of this situation fast.

That narrow passage acted like an extrusion process which forces materials through a die or mold, and it is comes out a different shape. That dark, narrow, tight passage was there for a reason. It was to force me through that perfect mold and to allow me to come out cleaner with a new perspective on the other side, which would involve forgiveness.

My pain came from my own sin of unforgiveness which I was holding on to pretty tightly. I am currently finding out that faith is at its best in the darkness. God has me right where I am supposed to be at this time, so I need to take courage and move on with the extrusion process. This is all part of God’s purpose.

I am choosing faith in God’s wisdom that He loves me enough to squeeze that things out of me.

~KYLA FRAUTSCHY

What Is Your Mountain?

Every year, the first two weeks in January are a little hard for me. As an accountant, the first four months are consumed with properly recording and concluding what happened financially in 2016 so everyone can file their income taxes and close and report on 2016. At the same time new projections are needed because the calendar says we are already four months into 2017.

What an intersection of information on the front end of each year which I look at with a grimacing face! Like a runner, waiting for the gun to start the race, I get apprehensive about the pace and the time demands that will be needed to finish the work before each deadline.

Something that I don’t want to face turns into a mountain of concern. I realize that each one of us has mountains or obstacles that are as big or bigger than the one I spoke of. What I want to present to you is a united answer to all those mountains out there that have been pushed up by struggles with things like health, financial, and relational frustrations.

God is like a best friend who already knows our struggles and our weaknesses. So you do not have to inform Him about what is going on within your thoughts because He already is aware and understands. However, we are all given a choice to die to our human nature and surrender our hearts to Christ. Out of obedience we must include Christ in our lives through daily prayer and reading the Scripture.

After learning about God’s promises through reading, and your own life experiences, you begin to start to lean on His ways. Even if you have to scale that mountain, God can fill you with strength, determination and a desire to climb to new heights. I have found that if you do take steps to scale that mountain, that with God’s help and a second look, the height won’t seem so unsurmountable.

Remember to pick up some memory stones along the way to place a marker at the top of your mountain. Then you can declare the Lord’s goodness and the awe of a deeper relationship that you have developed along the way.

~KYLA FRAUTSCHY

No Greater Love

It’s helpful at times to list all the things that are troubling you. As long as you treat it like a prayer list, and not a “oh, woe is me” list. And you check off the ‘drama’ as God answers. Sometimes His answer might not be clear, but other times it is.
 
Just recently during s particular rough patch, I made a list. Less than 24 hours later, nearly half of the situations were resolved! It was crazy! I was talking with a friend and she wanted to know all the things bothering me and then “BEEP” . . . I had a call waiting and I had to go. We didn’t make connections until the next day and we realized something amazing! My list of concerns had drastically decreased! Isn’t that just like our God? He loves us so much that He really wants to make us happy and relieved of some of the difficulties that we face.
 
There is a great song on Christian contemporary radio called “How Great”. The lyrics are so uplifting, and it just pushed me into thinking about how great my Father truly is! Let me share a part of this song in hopes that you receive a blessing from God as I did.
 
How great! How great is God’s amazing grace.
That we should be called the children of God.
How great! How great! That we believe our faith
And we should be called the children of God
How great is the love of the Father
That He sent His only Son
That we could be called the children of God
We will never perish if we believe in Him
And we can be called the children of God
That is what we are sons and daughters of God
Oh by this we know love
That He laid down His life for us
No greater love
 
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
 
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? (1 John 3:16-17)
 
 
No greater love. Need I say more?
~Julie Schultz

Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)

I love when in Genesis when Sarah laughs about getting pregnant, the Lord simply says, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” Think about it. Sarah’s argument was completely valid and rational. She was ninety years old. Her body no longer had the natural ability to have a baby. That season of her life was over. Adam and Sarah’s ability to Have a child the “old fashion way” had dried up…

Hope was gone.

When Sarah overheard the Lord talking to her husband by pregnancy coming your near future, she laughs. She is every rational argument in the world did doubt argue with God’s promise. It simply wasn’t possible.

That’s the problem, isn’t it? We, like Sarah, are still expecting that logic, rational thinking, and possibility I constraints that God must work within. God is bigger than the laws of physics, nature, and the wisdom of man. He is the One who created everything out of nothing.

He is the One who said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).

Jesus doesn’t play by the rules and limitations of this world. He calms the storm. He heals the sick. He brings the dead to life. We don’t always see miracles, but we shouldn’t be surprised when He shows up. The Bible tells us that Jesus hasn’t changed. His name is still above all names (Philippians 2:9). He still holds everything together (Colossians 1:17). Jesus is still working in our lives.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

The answer is, NO!

~PASTOR SUSAN B.~

Unleash Your Spiritual Powers with Prayer

“Peter was kept in prison: but prayer (instant in earnest prayer) was made for him” (Acts 12:5).

Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, persistent prayer. God sent his angel who aroused Peter from sleep and let him out through the first and second wards of the prison. When they came to the iron gate, it opened it to them of its own accord, and Peter was free.

There may be some iron gate in your life that has blocked your way. Like a caged bird, you have often beaten against the bars; but instead of helping, you have only had to fall back tired, exhausted and sore at heart. There was a secret for you to learn and that is believing prayer; and when you come to the iron gate, it will open up of it’s own accord.

How much wasted energy and sore disappointment will be saved if you learn to pray as did the church in the upper room?

Insurmountable difficulties will disappear; adverse circumstances will prove favorable if you learn to pray, not with your own faith, but with the faith of God.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, go throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatsoever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:22).

Souls in prison have been waiting for years for the gate to open; loved ones out of Christ bound by Satan, will be set free when you pray till you definitely believe God.

Emergencies call for intense prayer. When the man becomes the prayer, nothing can resist its touch. Elijah on Carmel, bowed down on the ground, with his face between his knees. That was prayer – the man himself.

“Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused”. – C.H. Spurgeon

Go see what Irongate you can open this week!
(From the devotional, “Streams in the Desert”.)
~Kyla Frautschy

Trusting In Our Authentic Faith

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV).

Lately in our youth Sunday school class we have been learning about what it means to have authentic faith. Authentic faith is a faith that is rooted and strong. It does not depend on circumstances or feelings to be real.

Many people have what is called a shallow faith. This kind of faith is rooted in convenience instead of conviction. Think about it. Many people say they “used to believe” are simply people who didn’t count the cost and have given up on their faith. All it took was a little inconvenience to keep them from following Jesus. Others have a circumstantial faith. This kind of faith is based on what’s going on around them, instead of on who God is. This kind of faith can be summarized in this way: What’s happening now and how I’m feeling now, determine what I believe now.

When desiring to have an authentic faith, here is something to remember…

God’s faithfulness and character are never defined by circumstances.

Many Christians make the mistake of looking to what’s happening around them to define God, or basing what they believe on how they’re feeling. Instead, we must look to God to define our circumstances and speak truth to our emotions.

No matter how spiritual, or how strong your faith is, you will face difficult times. All of us will have days when we feel at our worst. These are the moments where we must choose to look at the truth of the situation and not the circumstances.

Jesus is always the truth of every situation.

Because He died for us we don’t need to doubt His love… even when times are hard.

Because He has promised to come back for us, we know He has our best interests in the mind…even when things don’t make sense.

Authentic faith is not promise for easy times and warm fuzzy feelings. Authentic faith is a promise that God does not change and His love for you is unfailing. What ever it is you are facing today, know that though things may feel shaky, your faith is rooted in an unshakable God.

~PASTOR SUSAN B.

Set Your Eyes on Jesus and Step Out

PAZ-EN-TORMENTASo He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matt 14:29-30

In this passage sight was a hindrance. The waves were none of Peter’s business when once he had set out. All Peter had any concern with, was the pathway of light that came gleaming across the darkness from where Christ stood. If it was tenfold Egypt beyond that, he had no call to look and see.

When the Lord shall call to you over the water “Come,” step gladly forth. Look not for a moment away from Him.

Not by measuring the waves can you prevail; not by gauging the wind you grow strong; to scan the danger may be to fall before it; to pause at the difficulties,is to have them break above your head. Lift up your eyes unto the hills, and go forward there is no other way.

“Dost thou fear to launch away?
Faith lets go to swim;
Never will He let thee go;
‘Tis by trusting thou shalt know
Fellowship with Him.”

Streams in the Desert
KYLA FRAUTSCHY