Monday, December 4, 2017

A Shout Out to the Sisterhood

We've all seen this. Little plants growing out of concrete sidewalks and driveways. Right?

I don't know how many of us stop and stare and wonder how this tiny, fully alive plant broke through the concrete? And the beautiful living growing!!! What? How is this possible?

But hey, many of us are probably too busy with being busy to stop, breathe, and praise the wonder of God all around us. Ain't nobody got time for dat, right? Well, actually we do have time. We seem to find time for what we WANT to do.

God shows us who He is through His Word, through music, conversations, and our circumstances. Yep. God also speaks to us through His creation.

"...He is to be feared above all gods...strength and glory are in His sanctuary...Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy...".  (Psalm 96:4, 11, 12)

God shows us who He is in all things ...and again, through seeing tiny plants burst forth through concrete! That beautiful fragile-looking plant has to be deeply rooted to burst through and thrive through concrete.  

Sisters, this is an awesome visual of God's promises to His children. We are the flourishing, fully alive plants rooted and abiding in Jesus, and this world is the concrete. 

I'll prove it.

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (I John 4:4)

"If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples." (John 15:7-8)

"The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10) 

[Jesus said,] "...I will build my church and the gates of hell will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:18.)

"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  (Romans 4:20-21)

[The disciples asked Jesus why they couldn't cast out a demon. Jesus replied,] "Because you have such little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:22) 

Sisters, this SHOUT OUT is for all of us! With faith in Jesus and embracing His powerful, loving promises, let us continue to believe so we can "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever! Amen." (2 Peter 3:18).

Polly XOXO
"Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt HIS name together!"
Psalm 34:3

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

a totally victorious weapon

Why do we keep freaking out in difficult situations instead of listening to the powerful Holy Spirit inside us? Why don't we grab our Bible like it's the fiercely powerful Sword of the Spirit that God says it is (Hebrews 4:12)?

I don't know why we seem to be quick to believe the devil's lies when Jesus has told us, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6).

Here's a few of the countless weapons of our warfare:
Exodus 14:14                                                 
Deuteronomy 3:22                                             
Joshua 1:9
Joshua 23:9-10
Nehemiah 4:20
Psalm 23:4
Psalm 46:1-2
Isaiah 41:9-14
Isaiah 43:1-3
Matthew 6:25-33
John 8:44
John 14:27
Ephesians 6:10-18
Hebrews 4:12
James 4:7-8
James 5:16
1 John 4:4
1 John 4:18
Almighty God has given each of His children this totally victorious weapon for our spiritual battles. But we have to take this mighty double-edged sword  (Hebrews 4:12) out of its sheath first! Then in God's strength, God's Word, and fervent prayers...we will overcome battles in Jesus Name!

For His glory,
Psalm 34:3

Saturday, November 11, 2017

We're Called to Be Doorkeepers. No Identity Crisis Here, Baby!

We won't know who we are until we know who God is.

He is the Almighty God. No one created God. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). He always was, always is and always will be. "I Am the Alpha and Omega, "says the Lord God, "who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8).  

He is the Creator of all things. God created every one of us in our mother's womb (Psalm 139:13-14), with a sovereign purpose! His "eyes saw [our] unformed body; and all the days ordained for [us] were written in His Book [of Life] before one of them came to be" (v.16). 

He has prepared the way for us. "He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else...and marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they [we] would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him though He is not far from us. For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:25-28).

He called us and chose us to become members of the family of God --which includes phenomenal privileges and the responsibilities of faithful stewardship. "You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you" (John 15:16).

"I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 16:18-19

When we deny ourselves and "take up our cross and follow Jesus" (Matthew 16:24) we will be walking in His steps. He denied Himself and gave up His life to the Father so we can be forgiven for our sins. 

Jesus, the light of the world, then tells us, "You are the light of the world...a light on the stand gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16-17).

With our God-given talents, gifts, personalities and abilities, we should be shining brightly using them to serve the Church - locally and globally - and share the gospel with the world...for the glory of GOD!

We have Kingdom work to do. This is the part where we need to take our predestined seat and serve the Church (the people not the building) and the world as doorkeepers with the radiance of Christ inside us! 

"...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:26-28). 

Let's be brave, Sisters, take our God-appointed seats and passionately love and serve Christ and His Church!

Always for HIS glory,
Psalm 34:3

Friday, November 3, 2017

Christ Followers Live a Supernatural Life on Earth

Women (and men, too, of course!) who follow Jesus live a supernatural life on earth because we each have the Holy Spirit of God living in us. It's the same Holy Spirit power that raised Jesus from the dead!  

To glorify God and enjoy Him we must "walk by faith and not by sight"  (2 Corinthians 5:7), because we can't see God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. But we do see the effects of their presence in our lives and in the world. Oh, yes!!! But it is spiritual, supernatural. 

The Apostle Paul wrote, "I pray the eyes of your heart may be opened that you may know the hope to which He has called you...and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead..." (Ephesians 1:18-20).

By faith we believe He loves us...unconditionally! Oh, how He loves us! "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him" (1 John 3:1).

By His Spirit He teaches us truth and wisdom in His word when we read it. "Do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity" (Proverbs 3:1-2).

By faith we trust He is always watching over us! "He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield..." (Psalm 91:4).

By constantly calling on His name and praising Him, He helps us in every way! He's given us the unstoppable gift of prayer as we journey through this life of painful valleys and exhilarating mountaintop experiences.

Our prayers operate through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit tugs at our hearts to pray for someone or a family or even an entire city or country. So we pray as we are led and faithfully persevere because we know our God is "able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..." (Ephesians 3:20). 

There's that invisible power, again! Awesome, isn't it?Supernatural! We wait in faith for the answers because we know God is always working behind the scenes. Look, when we're in Atlanta praying for people in China and Chicago, God will show up in those places through our prayers. Supernatural. Prayer to Almighty God is real and very powerful...but you can't see Him as He changes the atmosphere. God tells us, "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).

When God woos our hearts to become His child -- He knew we were ready to leave our old lives behind! It happened to me. Everything changes...for the better! Priorities. Choices. Habits. Lifestyles. Different. "Therefore if any one be in Christ; the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself...not counting people's sins against them"  (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

Hallelujah! Now get ready for an ongoing spiritual battle, Sisters. Jesus said "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first" (John 15:18).  We're not to be alarmed, we're to shine! God's got us covered with the full spiritual armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) for overcoming all things! 
But don't back down for a moment! The perseverance of "standing firm to the end" is a sure indication of salvation (NIV Commentary).

It's time to tell others about His Royal Awesomeness, Sisters.  To know Him is to LOVE Him.

Psalm 34:3

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

we've always had the maybe it's a lack of faith?

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 
2 Corinthians 10:4-5

If we haven't come to the place where we've prayerfully asked God to help us set personal lifestyle boundaries then we're going to be overwhelmed most of the time. 

In other words, do we pray daily asking God what He wants us to do with our time, talent, and treasures? Or are we constantly busy and caught up with the worldly way of living by going into debt and addicted to the social media frenzy trying to impress people we don't even like???? Wazzup with that? Worldliness. Materialism. Idolatry. Unbelief.

We would find peace if we lived according to God's Way:

"Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed
 by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to 
test and approve what God's will is--His good, 
pleasing and perfect will." 
Romans 12:2

If we're not being good stewards of what God has put in our lives, we're going to be serving something other than God and our lives will be full of anxiety. We will believe every lie that enters our minds. Count on it.

When our car breaks down, our home needs a new roof, a child rebels, a job is lost, or there's a hurtful family squabble, we shouldn't be shocked when frantic thoughts enter our minds. The enemy of our souls prowls looking for a place to lead us astray. Since God does not send us fearful, anxious thoughts (2 Timothy 1:7) they must be from another source. Uh-huh.  

I heard Pastor TD Jakes say recently, "The devil doesn't drive, so he doesn't want your car! He isn't a daddy so he doesn't want your kids. He doesn't need money so he doesn't want your finances! He doesn't want your stuff, he wants your mind!" Hello! 

Self-control is the fruit of the Spirit inside us. And God will never give His children a command that we are not capable of obeying! He lovingly commands us to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

(Frankly, I'm in the middle of a very difficult lesson right now. Am I allowing my circumstances control my thoughts and behavior or have I continually been turning to God and His Word as my Anchor in this storm?) He always supplies a way to overcome. All we have to do is ask.

The mind is our control tower, right?  We need to wake up, don't we? Stop blaming the devil for our laziness in our thought life -- stop believing everything we think! 

We need to spiritually fight back when those thoughts come! And we will be prepared for this warfare if we've already been in the Word daily to  "Seek first the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness, everything we need will be provided  (Matthew 6:33). It's His promise! God will be instructing us how to live the abundant life His Son came to give us.

He never leaves us alone.
He has given us DIVINE POWER.
He is always fighting for us.
But you know what, Sister?

We have to learn it for ourselves by seeking the face and heart of GOD. We must daily meet with God on our own to discover His awesome ways...and then believe. It is called faith. :)

For HIS glory,
Polly XOXO
Psalm 34:3

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Friday Girls

Don't be fooled by the packaging. Females of every age are still girls...on the inside.

The woman in her 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80s, who follows Jesus still has the heart and thoughts of a girl! She is a treasure and a warrior in God's Kingdom here on earth because she has endured. She is an overcomer! Her heart's treasures overflow with the abundance of godly wisdom, discernment, pain, heartache, inexpressible joys, and countless valuable life experiences that can enrich a younger girl/generation! 

Do you know her, my beloved millennial sisters? Are you looking for a mentor to encourage you in your  journey with God, you know, a godly influence to come alongside you? What about you girls in your 30s, 40s, and 50s? Are you mentoring or have a woman in your life who is teaching you God's ways of womanhood? If anyone approached an older girl you can be sure she would be thrilled to pray with and for you and bless your life with her decades of experiences and knowledge of God's word.

As I just mentioned, don't judge by the wrinkles and gray hair, outwardly aging Christ followers are still girls who love to laugh boisterously, enjoy time with their families, cherish friendships, make dates to have lunch or coffee, love good food, crave giving and receiving hugs, love to listen to and move to music, go for long walks, ride bikes, shop, cook, read and study, look for adventures and are still hungry for God...even after following Him for decades. Yep.

God gave me a divine appointment when I was pleasantly surprised to walk into a roomful of silver-haired girls after I signed up for a Bible study at a neighboring church. At the first gathering we purchased our study books and filtered into this large room where chairs and tables were set up. I stopped at the threshold and saw 40 girls, with the median age of 65, in lively conversations as they waited for the study to begin.

My first thought was, "I struck gold! Wow! A roomful of spiritual mentors! I've got to let others know!" I'm serious, that's what I thought to myself because personally, God has already richly enhanced my life with two powerful, humble spiritual mentors. Evelyn Green and I had hearts knit together until she went to heaven at the age of 104; and now for the past five years, 94-year-old Frances Farley and I are sharing prayers and hearts! 

I've said before that God must think I need a lot of help because He sent me two spiritual mentors when others I know have never had one! I want to be teachable and the LORD knows it. :) That's why it's so funny to me for God to send me to a Bible study like this one! Wow, I must need more guidance than I realized! And I've got to share this with our surrounding community. We can become a growing catalyst for a REVIVAL!

 Anita Gatlin and Betty Johnson, both in their mid-70s, passionately co-lead the Friday Bible study at Antioch. These beautiful, energetic souls are hungry for God and they each have their own personal, fervent prayer lives so they lead the group with the same passion to pray. Countless mountains have been moved by the prayers of this group!

I was compelled to sneak a paparazzi shot with my phone in my lap during the study. Just look at the beautiful silver-haired girls still teachable and hungry for God after all these years of knowing and loving Him! They're digging into their Bibles for the nuggets of gold! Glory to GOD!

These girls have the favor of God all over them. They've been leading the community-wide gathering for almost five years. It's grown from 7 to 48, so far, and God continues to grow the group made up of young-in-the-faith believers to well-seasoned Christ followers. All girls of all ages are invited to join them at any time! 

In fact, Betty told me she and Anita used to workout at Curves in the Hickory Flat area until it closed down. They consistently invited Curves ladies to the study, who in turn said they'd bring their mothers, too. The moms stopped coming but the daughters kept attending. Hilarious. Love it!

These co-leaders have their confidence in God. It's working just fine, too. They're encouraging the new believers and seasoned ones in the group to do the same! Betty told me, "The whole point to being there and inviting others is to learn about the Bible!"

Blessed is the [girl] who does not walk in step with the 
wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on His law day and night. 
She is like a tree planted by streams of water which 
yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither--whatever she does prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3

If you would like to know more about the this dynamic ministry hosted at  Antioch Christian Church:

I hope to see you there to feed on the word of God in a delightful and highly-favored, community-wide ministry! Let's do this!

Polly xoxo
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt HIS name together.
Psalm 34:3

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Fruit That Never Rots

Why, as professing followers of the LORD Jesus Christ, do we believe we can't be influenced by worldliness? Why do we think we know better and can handle it when we read, watch, and spend considerable amount of time consuming trashy influences? If you're answering that you can handle it, then you are a stronger person than I am!

I discovered I can be easily influenced in a negative way if I don't listen to the Holy Spirit warning me to stop listening, reading, watching, or spending time with who or whatever it is trying to negatively worm (sorry not sorry for the apple pun) its way into my heart and mind! Okay, so maybe that's just me. But I know what God says about it: 

"Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free from perversity; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."
 Proverbs 4:23-26

It's the same as saying if one of your friends in your circle lives according to this Proverb and the others are not...well, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." OK, so it's not a Bible verse, but it's true! Here's the truth to back me up:

The Bible isn't written to punish and make us miserable, it is written so we can live within God's healthy boundaries that will give us the "abundant life"  (John 10:10) His Son Jesus came to earth to give us!

God is all wise and all knowing and He shares His wisdom with everyone who seeks it. "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm" (Proverbs 13:20)

Hey, ask any wise, loving, attentive parent what they do if they notice a change in their child's behavior -- lying, foul language, becoming rude, and disrespectful. A really attentive parent will discover who their child has been playing with, or what they've been watching or reading, and will put a stop to that ASAP. Right? Who or what is influencing them?

We all will reveal the truth about ourselves, often unwittingly, because we can only fake it for so long. And I've learned this in my journey -- when someone shows us who they really are we need to believe them! Gossip. Lying. Jealousy. Fake. Unreliable. Controlling. Full of Self. Yep. Run, Forrest, Run!

Yes, we have free will to choose the company we keep. No problem. The invitation to choose wisely is there for everyone. But not everyone will say, "Yes, Lord." But...

...if we want to live a fruitful life filled with the kind of fruit that will last we should seek Jesus as our LORD and the Master Gardener of our life! The fruit Jesus provides never rots! 

We will never find ourselves in better Company with Jesus as our Constant Companion! Never. 

"Glorify the LORD with me: let us exalt His Name together."
Psalm 34:3 

I pray God will truly Open Our Eyes to the truth of His Word that we might bear much fruit for His Glory. 
In the video link below is our daughter, Grace Balint, a worship leader in CA, singing and playing an original copyrighted song, (lyrics and music) by Craig Pitman. 
Open My Eyes by Craig Pitman. Sung and played by Grace Balint

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sew 'n Sow Something!

Our loving Father in heaven is fully aware of our frailties. All of them. Yep. It's true. 

He knows we can be easily distracted from being His faithful followers growing in His love and truth. But He is patient and kind as our Shepherd, He consistently, faithfully shows us He never changes and neither does the truth, because He is Truth! ("I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me" John 14:6).

His teaching is simple because He wants us to get IT. He wants us to get HIM. He wants our hearts to embrace His heart by learning His ways; the high and lofty wisdom of the Bible. It's basically an invitation to receive true treasures of an abundant life!

"For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the ways of His faithful ones." 
Proverbs 2:6-8.

"Listen my child, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity." 
Proverbs 3:1-2.

So just like Jesus, God the Father gives us word pictures and life applications in His teachings to help us understand.

Like this one:
"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us know grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." 
Galatians 6:7-10.

Sew here we go....(another pun sorry not sorry) ... Here is boldly striped material, scissors, needles, thread, measuring tape, what? Leave it on the table or stuff it in a closet and accomplish absolutely nothing OR choose to get busy sewing something; by getting out the sewing machine, measuring and cutting the material for chair pads for our deck! 

Uh-huh! I chose to sew and sew and sew... and I reaped what is in the following photo below! Whoo hoo! Imagine that!

No dogs were injured during this sewing and reaping process! 

I know! I know! This passage of Scripture is not specifically about SEWING materials...but it is truly applicable. Life applications, remember? I could have photos of gardens or ripped personal fitness trainers, or willowy dancers, or fierce prayer warriors who regularly see mountains move through their prayers because God promises,  "The fervent prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective!" (James 5:17). 

It takes time, faith, fervent prayers and the favor of God to reap a harvest!
"A wicked person earns deceptive wages but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward" (Proverbs 11:18).

We have to sow something. Do something!
It's like what happened to "the man with the shriveled hand" in Mark 3:3-5, he had to do something! He had to sow obedience. He was in the synagogue and Jesus was there, too. Men were watching to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath. Jesus told the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone." Jesus saw the stubborn hearts of the Pharisees and was "deeply distressed and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored."   Wow! Jesus gave Him instruction. He obeyed. Reaped a miraculous healing. Wow.

What do you want? What do you need? We have to do something! Sow something! Rise up! Get up and move! Make a meal for someone! Practice! Practice! Practice! Make that phone call! Write that encouraging note! Exercise! Pray! Study the Scriptures! Hug someone right now! Update that resume! Register for classes! Join a ministry already on-fire with God activity and make the flame brighter with your gifts!

When we learn to live like this we become radiant souls shining HOPE to the world! Just realize we have to sow something. He'll take care of the rest. And when He is glorified the JOY of being HIS will burn in our hearts because we have obeyed the call. :)

love and blessings,
"glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together."
psalm 34:3