About Belinda Williams

Thursday, February 26, 2015

They Just Didn't Get It - Do We?

“Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.  Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

These were the words of Peter (paraphrased from Matthew 26:31-35) when the Lord told His disciples they would falter in their faith in Him that night.  Peter was not alone.  All of the disciples said the same thing and I have no doubt in my heart they meant it.  Jesus then takes the inner circle with Him to pray in the Garden.  He asks them to come along and watch/be alert as He prayed.  Jesus knew it was near the time of the betrayal and His death.  He knew.  The disciples didn't know.  They didn't get it.  They kept falling off to sleep.  And sure enough, when taken by the soldiers, the disciples scattered. The only one that followed to see what happened (Peter), vehemently denied relationship with Him when questioned.

I wonder if it would have made a difference if they knew in advance all that would happen.  Maybe if they had known that Jesus would be interrogated, spit on, ridiculed, beaten and humiliated, they would have been more cautious with their declarations of standing with Him.  Perhaps if they understood that He was going to be unjustly convicted and crucified, they would have made more of an effort to be awake with Him in the Garden.  Maybe if they understood the repercussions throughout eternity, they would have made different choices.

They just didn't get it.  They didn't see the big picture.  Do we?

Jesus told us, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.  Be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (paraphrased Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8). 

As Jesus spoke these words,  He was preparing to return to His Father.  After He rose from the dead, I am sure His disciples felt like He, and they, were unstoppable.  It was the ultimate miracle and I am sure they were hyped.  Pretty much the way we feel when we confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  You know the way we feel when we are reminded that Jesus chooses to use us for His glory.  It's the fearsome elation we feel when we accept His call upon our lives.  Our hearts scream, we are all in.  But have we faltered?

Jesus told us to go.  He told us to be His witnesses.  Yet many of us choose the life of comfort in a safe job, comfortable home and welcoming spiritual gathering place.  We read together, study together, pray together, sing together and give together.  We worship our King , but at the same time are we falling asleep on what He asked us to do?  Are we seeing the big picture?  What if we knew more?

Will it make a difference to you to know that there are over 7 billion people in the world and over 2/3rds of them have never heard the Gospel?  Does it matter that approximately 155,000 people die each day in the world without knowing Christ (and many not having heard the Gospel)?  Are you surprised to know 8 out 10 people in the world and 20% of Americans say they don't know a Christian?  Do you realize that more than 90% of Christian Outreach targets Christians and not non-Christians?  Does it matter that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of our behavior?

2 Corinthians 5:10(NKJV)
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 

Are we going to fall asleep like the early disciples in the garden instead of doing what Jesus asks?  Are we going to deny Him by disobedience?  What we do now, in these moments,  impacts eternity. 

In those moments, the early disciples just didn't get it.  Do we?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Praises and Prayer Requests

Praise Reports
  • Amanda - cancer free after prayer
  • ROLCC Healing Service went Well
  • APS - survived near death medical emergency

Prayer Requests:
  • Ulis - addiction and depression
  • Marilyn - healing from severe burns
  • Ronald - cancer (given 6 months)
  • CB - peace
  • Wayne - heart issues
  • Johnathan - desire to live, depression
  • Belinda - Trip to Germany
  • Rodney - healing - COPD

  • Population: 7.1 million
  • 2.1% Christian (3% Evangelical)
  • Ammon, Edom and Moab were the ancient kingdoms in the Jordan region.
  •  It is believed that Moses is buried on Mount Nebo of Jordan.
  • It is said that John the Baptist was imprisoned at Mukawir, a palace situated to the south of Madaba.

Jordan is bordered by Syria in the north, Iraq in the north-east, Israel and the West Bank in the west, and Saudi Arabia in the east and south. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Really, Don't Take It Personally

"Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you."  Many of us heard this idiom as kids.  And though the heart of it is to encourage you to not let negative words get you down, it is just not true.  Words hurt.  As a matter of fact, Proverbs 18:21 tells us we carry the power of life and death in our tongue.  As Christians, we know (or should know) better.  But, not everyone is a Christian.

Narrow Minded. Judgmental. Hypocrites. Haters. Bigots. Have you ever been called any of these names?  These are just some of the names directed toward Christians today.  Yes, there are worse expressions of disapproval of our faith out there also.  The more we move on mission for the Gospel of the Kingdom, the more likely it is that we will hear such words and experience bad treatment .  As it happens, you should keep two things in mind.

1.  You are not the first.  Followers of Jesus Have been insulted and humiliated since the days of Jesus.  Jesus Himself was scandalized, taunted and ridiculed.  Jesus told us,

John 15:18-19(NKJV)
18“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 

No one really cheers for the opposing team.   We should have no expectation of agreement with those who don't believe in our faith.  Light and darkness just aren't compatible.  We should have an expectation of opposition - even mean-spirited opposition.

2.  It's not about you.  In Exodus 16, the people are complaining and whining against Moses and Aaron.  After chatting with God, Moses tells them they have no complaint against them.  He informs them there complaints are against God.  Many years later, the people of God come to Samuel and declare they want a king.  Like Moses, Samuel turns to God for an answer.  God assures Samuel  that he is not the object of their rejection.  They were rejecting the rule and leadership of the Almighty God.

Exodus 16:8(NKJV)
8Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.”  

1 Samuel 8:7(NKJV)
7And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 

Remember, you may be the person they see, but it is God (and the God in you) they are rejecting.  As Christians, we must keep a simple truth at the forefront of our hearts - we can't take it personally.    We may be the ones they are directing their anger, hurt, pain and rejection towards, but it is really against the One we serve. 

Take on each day and the mission contained within it fully clothed in the armor of God.  When we are dressed properly, the assault may hurt, but it will not discourage, incapacitate or stop us.  We have a mandate from God that must be fulfilled.

And just so you know, it is estimated that 200 million Christians are persecuted each year and approximately 100 million are killed for their faith.  I think we can handle some name calling directed against God - don't you?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Praise Reports and Prayer Requests

Psalms 145:18-19(NKJV)
18    The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  19  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;  He also will hear their cry and save them.

Praise Reports
Stephanie received a job
Kaitlin is better

Prayer Requests:
ROLCC Healing and Miracle Service
Steve - safe travels
Umeka - bereavement (step father)
Cloughs - open communication and strengthened relationship
Rodney - healing
Debbie - peace and joy in the trials and tribulations
CB - employment, wisdom
Ptree City Sleep # - prosper
Europe and the attacks on people of Jewish descent
Ulis - alcoholism, depression
Ronald Hanible - cancer (given 6 months)

One of the poorest countries in Asia.
6.9 million people
3.1% Christian (1.9 evangelical)
Landlocked country in Southeast Asia, sharing its borders with Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Sign Reads: Eat Fresh Hot Bread

As part of our human experience, we have learned to look for signs to validate our thoughts, dreams and beliefs.  Signs help us to understand we are headed in the right direction or down an available path.  For instance, when a man is trying to see if a young lady is interested in him, he makes a move and waits for a sign from her to indicate his advances are welcomed.  Leaders will often look for signs from those they lead indicating they are ready to take on more responsibilities.  Even when we are traveling to places we don't often frequent, we look for familiar signs or scenery to indicate we are going the right way. In social situations, signs are also a plus.  We all have signs or cues we look for when we walk in to new or unfamiliar social situations that indicate we are indeed welcome.

It seems reasonable to seek a sign.  They can help lead, direct and/or confirm things for you.  Yet Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and teachers of the Law for seeking a sign from Him.  He took a different approach when the crowd following Him asked for a sign.  Instead of rebuking them, Jesus converted it into a teaching moment.  What could have possibly made Jesus respond differently to similar inquiries?  The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were asking with a heart to discredit and undermine Jesus' purposes in the earth.  Their questioning reflected the hardness of their hearts.   The crowd following Him, on the other hand, were hungry for truth.  They had already enjoyed many miracles including the multiplying of the bread and loaves.  Jesus was able to the speak into their hunger and produce a greater hunger for God. 

32Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  3For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:32-35(NKJV) 

How many times have you hungered to see a sign from God to validate a decision you are making or as a blessing or confirmation on something you are doing?  Many have put out "fleeces" like Gideon did to try and guarantee they are hearing God correctly.  We all will have times of insecurity as we pursue the deeper things of the Lord.  Out of those insecurities, we will seek a sign from God to know He is with us.  Many times we feel or sense His presence.  Other times we see, read or hear something that soothes are spirits.  Those times are validating and precious to us, but are not really needed.  What we need to do is eat some fresh baked Bread of the Lord.

We are complete in Christ.  We are led by the Spirit of God and we have the Word of God.  Like God's love, His word Never fails. When we begin to eat the Bread of Life (the word of God and remember Jesus is the Word), we are comforted and reminded of where to place our faith.
11    So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;     It shall not return to Me void,     But it shall accomplish what I please,     And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11(NKJV)

 The Word of God is infallible.  It is always fresh, hot, relevant and nourishing.   It is where we place our trust.  If the Lord said it, that settles it.  His promise to us is that He will never leave us or forsake us.  Emmanuel is always with us.  That is our sign - His faithfulness to watch over His word and perform it.

Enjoy His Fresh Hot Bread!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Praise, Prayers and Petitions

Praise Reports!
Dr. Dave out of hospital
Stephanie - 2 job interviews scheduled
Elena safely home from Ghana

Prayer Requests:
Continue to Pray for Dr. Dave's healing
Kaitlyn - viral infection
USA Measles outbreak
Veronica and family - bereavement
Fiona and Family bereavement
Efren's salvation
ROLCC healing and miracle service
Marilyn - healing from burns

Nation of Indonesia
253 Million People
9.8% Christian
Located in SE Asia and contains 17000 islands

Constitution provides for freedom of religion - nation 90% Muslim

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Your Avatar Should be the Only Fake Thing About you

I recently created an avatar to use when texting on my mobile phone.  It was interesting to create an electronic image of myself based on my view of me.  I made decisions ranging from body shape, jaw structure and lip size.  It was actually more difficult than I anticipated.  I had to decide if I wanted a true reflection of myself or something that just came a bit close.  As I made more and more decisions, I was amused by the experience and decided I wanted my avatar to be a hybrid of the real me and a different version of me.  I made choice after choice.   If I didn't like a particular feature, I simply went back and chose a different look.  I decided the image I would project through this avatar and didn't care if it was based in reality or not. 

It seems that many of us are living this way now, but not through an avatar, but in real life.  Many are making decisions in an attempt to create a desired look or image to the world. From Botox to butt implants, people are having things nipped, tucked, stretched and clipped.  Even with clothing, we rarely see true individuality in the selections of most people.  Acceptability seems to have replaced authenticity, no matter how raunchy, risqué or revealing.  When a musician expresses individuality through their attire, they usually look like a living avatar on hallucinogenic drugs.  Instead of appearing genuine, it seems they just want to make headlines or sell product. 

Even in the faith, we have allowed things to impact our authenticity.   It seems that we are more concerned about fitting in with the "church" culture than impacting world culture.  I have watched new Christians slowly transform into the blueprint model member of the ministry with which they are affiliated.  The leaders tend to adapt themselves around the training they have received and the modeling of their mentors.  This results in preachers who sound the same, shout the same and even lay hands the same way.  Christ-likeness is lost to culture, tradition conformity.

Psalms 139:14(NKJV)
14    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     Marvelous are Your works,     And that my soul knows very well.

Each one of us is handcrafted by God.  We are uniquely designed to serve Him and bring glory to His name.  It is in the authenticity of our creation we release the greatest expression of His heart.   The genuine love of God never fails.  An avatar is fake.  You are real.  I urge you to really be YOU - authentically YOU.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Praise Reports and Prayer Requests

Psalms 17:6(NKJV)
6 I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;      Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.

Praise Reports:
Breena - doing better
Kingston - healthy

Prayer Requests:
Dr. Dave - God's plan for his life prevails
Daisy - healing for 3 bulging discs
Marilyn - healing; burned over 33% of her body
Berly - wisdom and healing
Steve B. - healing
Stephanie - funding for school, employment
CB - employment

Nation of Kosovo
Formerly apart of Serbia
Population: 1.8 million
Christian:  7% Less than 3% Evangelical
Current political and economical unrest

Located between the Mediterranean Sea and mountainous regions of Southeast Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula.