GODSPIRATION

 

Godspiration is an arts outreach organization dedicated to bringing high quality and culturally diverse performances, workkshops, and prodjects to schools, seniors, communities, and special needs populations throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. GODSPIRATION Ministry - We believe that we are each called to respond to God's love by serving God's people.

BROKEN to LIVE

Lord, my heart feels broken. Life hasn’t turned out the way I expected, and I feel worn and overwhelmed. I’m trying to be joyful in the hope I have in You. It is the having patience in affliction that is hard. When I hurt, I want the pain to stop immediately, not after I’ve learned the lesson I need to learn.

You are rebuilding my life, Lord, though I have been through great sadness. Thank you Jesus, for watching over me, for directing me, even when I was so confused I didn’t know where I was going. My life has been permanently changed but not destroyed. Once, I could not believe life would be worth living again, but You have renewed my joy and purpose.

 

Something that is critical in understanding Sarcoidosis is that it can relapse, much like a cancer. The Sarcoidosis is back.  This time instead of my lungs, it’s attacking my liver. This is having an impact on many different parts of my body; affecting my overall health and causing pain. If a broken spirit dries the bones, Lord, about now mine should be dust. I am not content with my situation, and my heart is down in the dumps. Turn my spirit toward You again, where I can find joy and contentment.

Sarcoidosis is only going to be a chapter in my life and not my whole story. It took me several years to come to terms with this new part of my identity. I quickly realized that while I couldn't choose my diagnosis, I still had a choice: I could fight or I could surrender. I choose every day to fight! Sarcoidosis has helped me to truly prioritize my life. As I have learned that my Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference in my life during this battle. When I don’t know where to turn, the Lord remind me that He is my refuge and my strength. I am determined to be the best fighting warrior and advocate I can be, in this war against Sarcoidosis.

One important thing I know about myself is that I am a fighter and I am not ever going to give up. Not even on the tough days of treatment and its effects. Not even on days when I can't handle the flare-ups and the debilitating pain and I want to give up. I am going to build from the tough days to make me strong the next day. I am going to everyday stand strong and help give strength, encouragement, inspiration, motivation, positivity, courage, hope and support to others. I am going to find humor, laughter, joy, peace and happiness even in my darkest moments because if I do, I am the one who is in control. I choose the positive route because if I choose the negative route, Sarcoidosis scores. I will always stand together united by adversity but bonded by my strength, courage and determination. I choose to fight because it’s the only choice I have against the war on Sarcoidosis.

My openness about my disease and honesty about what I am enduring daily, is a huge learning experience for myself as well as many others who are fighting this battle. The exchange and flow of information and emotions keeps us all strong, so if gives me the courage to continue to fight. On my own, I am rarely as strong as I need to be, but the Lord promise that I will be able to continue in His way as long as I have faith, and I trust is His promises.

 

** If you are interested in forming a Sarcoidosis support group in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia area please email me at : MinisterT@Godspiration.org, or Tawaunna@hotmail.com. You can also write Godspiration, P.O. Box 76921, Washington, D.C. 20013 or call (202) 421-8255

 

 

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Are You Living for a Well Done?

                by Pastor Jeff Schreve

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”  Matthew 25:23

 

I love basketball.  When I was in junior high and high school, basketball was my sport.  Although far from outstanding, I was a solid player for the Cypress Creek Cougars, helping us win 29 games (amid 6 losses) my senior year (1979-80). 
 
My basketball coach throughout my Cy-Creek days was Norman Pasche, an Al Pacino look-alike.  (I loved Coach Pasche, and he is a special friend to this day.)  As a player, I still remember the wonderful feeling of hearing him praise me for a good game or great hustle.  Truth be told, hearing a “well done” from the coach motivated me to give my all on the court. 
 
MEETING WITH THE COACH
 
The Bible makes it clear that we all have a date with deity.  Unbelievers will stand before Him one day at the Great White Throne Judgment.  This is a terrible judgment of horror.  All those who appear before that throne have rejected God and His provision for their sin.  All those at this judgment have spit on God’s mercy.  Thus, all that is left is God’s pure and perfect justice.  (See Revelation 20:11-15). 
 
For the Christian, we meet the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  This is not a judgment to determine heaven or hell – that decision is made in this life, not the next.  All those who stand at this judgment are people who put their faith and trust in God’s provision for their sin.  Old Testament saints looked forward to the cross, and New Testament saints look backward to the cross.  Both groups are saved the same way: by grace through faith, apart from works. 
 
It is at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where the Lord, the Coach of the universe, talks to His own, one-on-one.  At this judgment, your service for Christ will be evaluated.  If you served poorly because you were more focused on self than the Savior, on the kingdom of earth than the kingdom of heaven, you will “suffer loss” (1 Cor. 3:15).  How tragic to have no reward for all your years as a believer. 
 
If, however, you served Him faithfully, sincerely, and obediently, you will be rewarded by the King.  You will hear your Coach say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Can there be a greater reward than that?  To know that you pleased the King and garnered His praise makes every trial and every tear worth it all. 
 
YOU WON’T BE SORRY
 
In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Jesus said, “I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12).  Let this truth motivate you to live each day for Jesus Christ.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry!  

This article was used with permission from Pastor Jeff Schreve's ministry, From His Heart.

 

 

 

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                        Tragedy in the Church

Do you know why churches are dying?  Evangelism is dying in many churches today.

No, that’s not an overstatement. I am not speaking hyperbolically. Evangelism is dying!

Look at the data. Measure almost any group of churches today versus 30 years ago. You’ll likely find only one person is being reached with the Gospel for every 40 to 60 church members. You will find that conversions have declined precipitously. And where you find numerical growth, you are more likely to find the growth is transfer of Christians from one church to another.

That’s not evangelism. That’s sheep shuffling!

 

Pastors and other leaders must fall on their faces before God and ask Him to reignite their congregations with an evangelistic passion. When evangelism dies as a priority in the church, the church has already begun to die.

 

So why should evangelism be one of the highest priorities in your church?

Though the reasons are many, allow me to share seven of them.

 

1. Because Christ commanded it.

We typically refer to the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 as our evangelistic and disciple-making command. But there are many other places in the New Testament where the priority of evangelism is clearly evident. Christ commanded it. We must do it.

 

2. Because Christ is the only way of salvation.

There is no way around it. Salvation is exclusive. There is only one way. Jesus could not have made it clearer in John 14:6: “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” Jesus had an urgent message. He had an exclusive message. We must be conveyors of that narrowly defined hope.

 

3. Because Christ died for the world.

There is a reason John 3:16 is the most familiar and most quoted verse in the history of humanity. Jesus died for the world. He is the only way, but He has provided a way for everyone. That is a message that is urgent and worth telling. Indeed it’s the greatest message ever.

 

4. Because churches that are not intentional about evangelism typically are weak in evangelism.

Many pastors and church leaders will affirm this article. They will give mental assent to the priority of evangelism. But they do not practice the priority of evangelism in their churches. What are you doing today to make certain evangelism is a priority in your church?

 

5. Because churches tend to obsess inwardly when they fail to move outwardly.

Where has a lot of your church’s energy been expended lately? Rancorous business meetings? Expressions of petty church preferences? Worship wars? Power struggles? Those are inward obsessions. Lead your church to an evangelistic priority and watch the focus shift for the better.

 

6. Because churches become content and complacent with transfer growth.

Some churches are growing. Others are adding members without significant numerical growth. But many in both categories are growing at the expense of other churches. Some may be reaching un-churched Christians. That’s good, but that’s not evangelism. We can fool ourselves into thinking we are evangelistic when we are simply recirculating the saints.

 

7. Because evangelistic Christians actually grow stronger as better disciple Christians.

Those who are evangelistic are obedient to Christ. Being obedient to Christ means we are following His teachings and becoming a better fruit-bearing disciple.

 

Most churches are busy with activities, programs and ministries. Few churches are truly sending out their members to evangelize those in their communities. The Great Commission has fast become the Great Omission.

 

Evangelism is dying.

 

What are you doing to lead your church to become more evangelistic?

 

 

 

           

Strong Leaders Are Broken Leaders          by Frank Damazio 

“Transparency, an authentic openness to others about one’s feelings, beliefs, and actions, allows integrity, or the sense that a leader can be trusted.” –Daniel Goleman

We all desire to be leaders of strong churches that will impact culture, change atmosphere in the city, transform lives and win the lost. This is a heavenly calling and it is the right pursuit. The strong leader raises the passion level among the church and leadership team for building a world-impacting church.

Strength in ministry is not optional. Ministry today is a complex and difficult profession and it is always changing. It demands a continual pouring out of virtue, and herein is the difference between being a pastor and a professional. Spiritual leadership must have a spiritual flow, a virtue that is ever-present.

That virtue flows from a relationship with Jesus and the empowering energy of the Holy Spirit to lead with the all-important and necessary quality called brokenness. Looking through the lives of the leaders that God has highly honored and blessed beyond anything they could have achieved on their own, we can see that their secret to success and their leadership strength is brokenness.

Brokenness can be defined as the right response to God when life’s mysteries and unfair circumstances arise, destroying those things in us that hinder the working of God’s will and purpose. Brokenness in the life of leaders is desired by God. Leaders of influence and leaders of the future are those who are broken.

Here are some signs of a broken leader.

Broken leaders know that they must decrease and God must increase.
Like John the Baptist, they choose not to exploit people for their own goals, they are not competitive and driven by comparisons and they do not treat people according to how society ranks them.

Broken leaders do not take themselves too seriously.
They live a life of wonder that God is using them at all. They have a sense of humor and can laugh at themselves. Because they don’t take themselves too seriously, they can handle criticism instead of blame-shifting and they don’t try to “outsmart” others by taking shortcuts.

Broken leaders have the reputation of approachability.
They are easy to talk to and they listen and care deeply. They serve without a motive of moving up and moving on, not serving themselves and their own interests but rather serving the interests of others.
Broken leaders are leaders of strength! Let us be such leaders.