Search my Heart Oh Lord

100_0868In poverty, in illness, in adversity, we are the compassion of Christ, holding hands, sitting beside our sisters and brothers, comforting, encouraging, being present as God’s Grace in the form of humanity’s frame.

We seek not to ‘fix’, but to be a balm of healing, an ear open to listen, a place where we do not judge, but offer space for another to just ‘be’, and we reach out from our God Hearts, touching those places with the Holiest of care.

In difficulties, in grief, in loss, in loneliness, in confusion, in doubts, we are the servants of Christ who surround those in our midst, showing forth the tender Mercies of Christ’s Love, as we gather those hurting, bringing them into a sanctuary where God’s Grace reaches out to All, allowing safety and rest to be discovered.

We enter into those sacred spaces of vulnerability where suffering is seen, when others express their responses to the cruelty found by how they are being mistreated, and we offer ourselves as the Living Waters that give sustenance to all who will come and drink from the deep reserved well that will never run dry, given from the Resurrected Christ who is alive in us.

We pour ourselves out as vessels of Christ, as people who Know Mercy to offer Mercy to all those in need. We pour ourselves out as vessels of Christ’s Forgiveness, to Be His caring compassion in this world.
We enter into those fragile spaces where sorrow and pain exist, offering those who endure ongoing suffering, a place of calm waters, a place of respite, a place of acceptance, a place where they are able to just rest in who they are.

We enter into those tattered worn torn tears, where suffering remains, allowing one to fully express themselves, where they do not have to hide their feelings, where they do not have to deny their emotions, where they do not have to live behind a façade, but offering them a home where they discover a deep place of resting in the realization, it is Ok to just be and experience what one experiences in those places within our humanity where God is found.

Are we offering others such a place of respite, in the sanctuary of our hearts, where they can find safety, acceptance and a Love that remains and stands the test of time?
Are we offering others the Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness and Compassionate Caring of the Christ we profess to serve?

Are we allowing space within our relationships, where we walk in the truth and humility discovered as servants of the Most High God?

Are we Being Christ to All, not discriminating, not judging, not biased by our own expectations of how we think they need to be, but allowing The Christ to be All to them, in and through us?

How do we best become these humble servants, putting aside our own ways, and truly become in every way, the compassionate, caring, Love of God Hearts to everyone we encounter?

How do we best put aside our own measures of a person’s worth, giving value and attention to everyone, not based on what they do or do not do?
God’s gift of Salvation is given freely of no merit from anything we have done, but offered solely based on His perceptions of our worth and value in His eyes, in His Holy

Love that pursues us to the end of all time. His love has no conditions we must meet, no hoops we must jump through and no test we must pass.
How can we allow others this same Grace in being the called and chosen people of God, who are known for embracing everyone with the same passionate acceptance and love that Christ has given to us and fills us with in each moment of our existence?

How can we be such loving, forgiving, embracing people, that others will Know Christ is alive in us through the way we treat others?

Love is an action to be seen, not words to be spoken. Love is something we do, not something we say. Love is seen in the practicality of our humanness as expressed in relationships and this is where God manifests His greatest Love of who He is, in the midst of our lives lived in community with one another.

Let us allow space for God to be who He is to All, regardless of their spirituality, regardless of their socioeconomic status, regardless of their ability to conform to our expectations.

Let us discover how to Love as The Christ has so loved us, offering us a hand of Mercy, a touch of Compassion, His unmerited Forgiveness and an understanding of Love Graced in the mess of our own lives, so we can be so caring in the mess of others’ lives.

 

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

 

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Jesus asks us, “What have you done for the least of mine?”

100_0681At the end of our lives, Jesus will ask, ‘What have you done for the least of mine?”

The least of His are the poor, the widowed, the ill, the lost, those in need, those without, those disenfranchised, those isolated, those alone, all of those we find ourselves walking among. To be present with them, to be Christ with them is our call.

Our purpose is to die to ourselves, our own human ways, our fleshly tendencies, and all the ways we in our own hearts reject others.

Let us be a people who Love not only by words, but in deeds, embracing those in our midst, those we walk among, those we connect with, those who rub us the wrong way, those who are being rejected by the world.

Let us not find ourselves among those who reject people who truly are the needy among us. Let us ask God to search our hearts and see if we have any idols we are serving that are hindering Him from working His Fullness in and through us, showing His Mercy to everyone.

The gospel is not an all white, Western American gospel. The Gospel is for All peoples, from All nations, from All countries, regardless of where they live, what they have, or who they are.

The gospel is Christ, it is Showing Compassion and Mercy, not trying to ‘fix’ or to Americanize other countries. Let us remember Christ sat with ‘sinners’, those who the religious sects discounted as being worthy of fellowshipping with, those rejected by the religious institutions, those seen as less than human.

May we in our shared humanity, not dismiss, not discount, not reject those God has brought into our lives to administer His Mercies, His Grace and His Forgiveness.

We are not our own, we are His, and He calls us to a higher standard and conduct of being by His Spirit, who empowers us to Be all of Whom He is creating us to Be, Authentic and Real. His call is for us to be clothed in His Holiness in our inner beings, taking on His attributes and character traits, serving others in all humility and with sincere hearts submitted to His Will, His Ways.

Let us remember, it is God who sees our hearts, there is nothing we do that is hidden from Him. He calls us to Please Him, not our own selves. He calls us to be different, living Kingdom values, honoring one another gives honor to Him.

Let us remember we are His representatives while we walk on this earth. We are being watched by those who call themselves Christians, by those who do not know Him, by all those we walk among.

May our testimonies be seen as Real and Authentic, desiring to be honorable of our calling, to live worthy in the lives we have been gifted, to Glorify our Father in Heaven in All of whom we are becoming in Him.

We are the flesh of Christ, who embraces All, Showing in All of whom we are, Care and True Love to everyone, which we can only do in remaining full of His Spirit, clothed in His Holiness, making Him Preeminent in everything we do, having no false relgion or idols in our hearts, but serving Him in Complete submmissive consecration and dedication!

 

 

Lay Minister – Lorraine Taylor

Emotional Intelligence

img_1317Emotional intelligence is not about never experiencing negative emotions, but learning how to channel them in positive and constructive ways. When we learn adaptive responses, we become healthier people. As we grow and mature as adults, we realize life is full of ups and downs, sorrows and joys, disappointments and achievements, failures and successes.

In all the flux of this process called life, we acquire coping skills while being challenged with the necessity of remaining flexible towards change, learning to give and take in our relationships.

Hopefully, in this journey, we will gain in our ability to listen to both the unspoken and spoken words of one another, we will heed the call to honor, respect, and serve one another with kindness in all our interactions.

As we begin 2017, a new year, Let us all commit ourselves, to working together towards becoming a more unified people, a more peaceful people, a more accepting people, a more loving people.

When we live to this higher calling towards love, individuals will gradually come out of their shells and their once dying sparks will fire into hearts where God’s light will shine forth.

These hearts of fire will light our service to one another with a Godly desire, a Godly thirsting, a Godly hunger. Let us surrender to this calling upon our lives to reach out and Be Present in each other’s lives; helping, assisting, encouraging, supporting as we walk each other home to an eternal Land of Glory, with streets sparkling with the finest of colors.

Let us spread this love to the lonely, the poor, the oppressed, the suffering, the widows and all the children in our midst. Let us walk in our communities with hearts upheld with gratitude and thankfulness that we have been gifted with each other, and the preciousness of life.

Let us be patient and serve our God, and one another, in all humility, remaining Obedient to His call: “Love the Lord your God with All your Heart, All your Soul, and All your Strength.”    Deuteronomy 6:5
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

 

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Waiting on God…..

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Waiting on God…..

Isaiah 40:31 “Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Sometimes, when God does not answer our prayers, it is not in His timing, or we are not ready or at a place to receive, or He is saying ‘No’ to our request. God is working behind the scenes in each moment and He sees the entire picture with all the players as His plan and intentions go forth in our lives.

Remaining Faithful to Him during the waiting times builds our spiritual character as He continues to do the Transforming work necessary within our human hearts.

We also learn about walking in Faith, maturing and growing in our ability to Trust in His good will for our lives, as He provides His Grace sustaining us, through All Times. We as His children learn to walk by Faith and not by Sight, for He works in the unseen realm, where often, results are not visible. This is where Faith and Trust come in.

Our Trust grows through these times of waiting and as we look back through our journey remembering the mountains He has moved in our lives, and the valleys we have walked in, these remembrances of His Grace that helped us during these moments, are monuments we have built as a tribute to His work in our lives. We know our hearts can fully Trust in Him to give full provision, providing guidance and direction, as He encourages us to continue on the path forward.

Remembering those things He has done in our past and writing these down for aid to walk in the tough times, helps us in Knowing God remains Faithful and True to us, and we can Know in our Hearts it is He that has promised to never leave nor forsake us.

Remembering His goodness and those times He brought us through difficulties brings encouragement and strength in the times of not knowing, or in the midst of uncertainties, for we know He never changes.

“I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” (Psalm 77:11)

During each season of difficulty in our lives, during the times of waiting on Him, it is He that draws us deeper into Him, into His Grace, sifting through our fleshly layers of habits changing us more and more into His likeness.

As we develop spiritual habits in living a disciplined life in Faith, we learn this process is a life-long journey in becoming more like Christ, who is our true model of servanthood, and we can anticipate the time we join with Him in Glory for all Eternity!

We learn it is not about us, this life of Faith is All about Christ living in and through us to bring Glory to our Father in Heaven. Let us walk in this Truth so we can fulfill those intentions He has chosen to bring to completion in and through us.
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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Christ’s Bride

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When we do God’s work, it is not our work; our ministry, it is His work; His ministry. When we surrender to His Will, His Ways, and His plans for us, it is He that does the work in and through us.

We are God’s vessels, needing to be always filled and walking in God’s Holy Spirit who empowers us to fulfill His purposes in and through us in the places we walk. We have a mission to pursue in Him. We have a Holy Calling, purposes that are beyond sight, to go forth, preaching and teaching His Word, making disciples of All people groups and entering into participation with and in Him to do the works of the Father.

It is not we that do the work, otherwise, it will all be rubbish, no matter how successful one looks, or how many people are in the church. For it is a man that looks on the outward appearances, but it is God that sees the heart of a person, and it is He that knows the deep inner workings of a person.

There is no one who can hide anything from God, for he knows All of what is hidden in our hearts. He sees our motivations. He sees our intentions. He sees the secret things in our hearts.

It is not about numbers, it is not about revival, nor is it about seeking signs, wonders, or miracles.   It is not about having a title. It is not about having charisma. It is not about our personalities. It is not about us at all.

This life in Faith is All about Living, Breathing and Being Christ!

The life of Faith is about dying to ourselves in the deepest core of our being. It is about wanting the best in and for others. It is about giving from the overflow of the Love of Christ in our hearts to others. It is about walking the narrow path.

This does require a cost, for He calls us to live to a higher calling, a higher purpose, a higher realm, and that is only found in allowing Him to transform us completely at every level of our souls.

It is about living a life of Obedience to what He has called and chosen us to accomplish in His Power, not our own devices.

The life of Faith is ALL about JESUS! It is about people! It is about service. It is about Holiness. It is about Righteousness. It is about doing the right thing that we know in our hearts to do, then doing it.

Living the life of Faith is about servant hood to Christ and to others, following the paths He directs, guides and leads us in.

If it is not Him directing, it is of ourselves, and it is of vanity and self-directed motives.

This Faith Life is not about living in the greatest city. It is not about transferring a move of God from one part of the world into our part of the world.  It is not about being the greatest preacher, teacher, or having the largest church.

It is about allowing God to be God.  Faith is that we become All in Him.  In living this life called Faith, we desire to do so in all sincerity; with honor, integrity, honesty, and truth.  Yet most of all, that we have a pure Love motivated in a Holy desire to Be all of Whom God has called us to be and to have our entire Identity be formed in Christ’s Righteousness!

We live to Glorify our Father in heaven in bearing the fruits of the spirit that are the signs of Christianity, the signs of a Faithful servant, the signs of Him living in and through us. It is about a total and complete surrender of our ways to His Ways of Being. It is a Death to who we are, and a living a life to Whose we are.

We are not our own. We are not of this world. We have been set apart and consecrated in His Holy pursuit of a Transformed Lifestyle.

Let us RISE UP and Not Grow Weary, for the times are Now to do His Work in and through us.   We are the Righteousness of Christ!

God is searching for His people to become His Holy and Consecrated Bride.  God is calling to us to BE His People.   We are the Bride of Christ!

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

 

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We must Let Go of all that is us, so Christ can be ALL in Us!

100_1108The state of the church today is like a sinking ship. When leaders and their team refuse to learn that it is God who must speak vision into their hearts and not themselves, they grieve the Holy Spirit and hinder the work the Father desires to carry out.

Leaders must come to the place they not only realize, but understand it is they who must carry out this vision Empowered in the Holy Spirit and do so by fully equipping the body of believers under their charge.

Man’s vision does not bear fruit or increase in the Kingdom. Man’s vision brings death. Man’s vision limits. Man’s vision limits God’s Calling and God’s Purposes and God’s Intentions. Man’s vision allows persons within a fellowship to remain stubborn, harboring hardened hearts, selfish, and the attitudes in their hearts towards gossip tearing down, rejecting, and slaying others by words, will be what is manifested, instead of the open Love of God being manifested within a fellowship, where others are warmly welcomed and invited to participate.

When a man or body put themselves first, Christ cannot enter into the work, for He remains shut out. Man’s vision allows people within a fellowship to maintain doing things as usual. Man’s vision holds God’s vision in prison. Man’s vision brings bondage. Man’s vision limits all of what God desires to accomplish in and through a body of believers.  Man’s vision brings strife, hatred, rejection, and does great harm and damage to the believers.

It is only in pursuing God’s vision that fruit will come forth. It is only in working towards God’s Kingdom desires that people will come. It is only by allowing Christ to shine in and through us that others will be drawn to Him.  It is when the Body lives in this unity in Christ, they can live in unity with one another.

It is in having an experiential understanding of God’s call to living in the community as a body of believers, joining in a Holy union with the Father, and joining into life with one another, in praying, supporting, encouraging, lifting up, edifying, singing spiritual psalms, reading scriptures, and gathering together in seeking Christ and all of who He is, and letting go of all our man-made designs, where He will Manifest All of who He is in and through this body.

It will be when the members of a body walk in Obedience to Him, clothing themselves with His Righteousness and Holiness, that He will Be in and with them and do great works through their service.

It is only in and by His Love that others will Know Him. It is only when this Love, pure and unadulterated is manifested within a community of believers, that Christ will be known.

The Christian lifestyle is all about Christ and not a person’s agenda. When we fully submit as a people, as a body, and truly understand how we build and maintain this Love and unity, putting into practice Godly Principles, Christ will manifest Himself in Powerful ways, with signs, wonders, and miracles manifesting.

When we become God Hearts of Love, in actions, words, deeds, behaviors, and our inner attitudes manifest His Love, He will pour out the rivers of life into a fellowship, which will overflow into the wider community, where His mission can be accomplished.

We must become the spiritual beings in Christ to exemplify His life to all we encounter as this is the great commission we are called to go forth and purposed to accomplish in His Power.  When Christ takes preeminence in every area of our lives, and He becomes our Everything and our very reason for existence, then He will Be visible in our midst, and we will Be His Holy Priesthood, His Bride.

It is when we let go of what we want, and move towards the place of accepting what Christ wants, He will have the freedom and liberty to Be in us as a body. We must let go of selfish man made ways of being. We must let go of being a closed group, a clique. We must let go of walling off others from entering our fellowship.  We must let go of ourselves.  We must nail our ways to the cross.

We must let go of All that is Us so that He can be ALL in Us.

 

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister

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Choose this day whom you will serve

100_07191 Corinthians 4: 10-14
“Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you are so wise!  We are weak, but you are so powerful!  You are well thought of, but we are laughed at.  To this very hour, we go hungry and thirsty, without enough clothes to keep us warm.  We have endured many beatings, and we have no homes of our own.  We have worked wearily with our own hands to earn our living.  We bless those who curse us.  We are patient with those who abuse us.  We respond gently when evil things are said about us.  Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash – right up to the present moment.”

As I read these words, what I am going through, or have journeyed in, is nothing compared to what the apostles endured in these early days in spreading the gospel.

This scripture passage is written for encouragement and the furthering of the gospel for Christ name, that in all things, we become thankful for the Grace of God at work in our lives.  It becomes our desire to worship the one True Christ who has come to set us free from any bondage we were part of before being in Him.

In our lives, we are faced with choices. As Christians, we need to monitor our spiritual progress and to do an internal inventory in checking ourselves to see whether we are aligning with the Truth of God’s Word.   We need to measure whether our hearts are seeking Godly attributes.  In so doing, we can ask ourselves the following questions.

Are we living true to God’s Word? Are we desiring to be continually filled with God’s Spirit? Do we consider praying before making decisions? Are we taking time alone to spend with God? Are we reading and meditating on the Holy Scriptures? Do we include God in our daily walk? Do we treat others as we would want to be treated? Are we living to exemplify Christ? Are we living in Obedience in fulfilling our God-given Destiny and walking in our authenticity in Christ?

All in all, no one is perfect, there is not one who has not made a mistake. There is not one who has not thrown the first stone. There is not one that has forgiven all easily. There is not one who has not had to apologize. There is not one who is perfect.

We come to understand we are always on the path in arriving but never having arrived until our final passage from this earth when we are ushered into His Heavenly Realm and we are welcomed home from our long journey walking as spiritual beings in our human frame.

Let us this day, make it our choice to choose to follow the narrow way, Christ Righteousness. Let us steer ourselves towards the truth in God and adhere to the entire teaching of the gospel, not just the convenient parts.

The gospel is not a Western, White American Gospel, it is an inclusionary Gospel for All people groups, including those Christians ostracize or choose to exclude from the fellowship of believers.  We also are to minister to ALL people groups and not be selective based on our own judgmental attitudes.   Christ came to offer salvation to everyone, and we should do so also.

Let us desire to be the Holy and consecrated people that have set ourselves apart from this world, that our inner hearts take on the character traits of a Holy nature. Let us continue in this goal by renewing our minds in bathing ourselves in His Word and being in union with Christ as our Righteousness.

If we call ourselves Christians, Christ becomes a necessary person in our everyday life. We seek to commune with him, praying, praising, and welcoming him into the deepest regions of our inner being.

Our desire is to strive in fully becoming the men and women God has chosen and called us to be in all manners. We desire to invite the Holy Spirit to continue transforming us into spiritual beings clothing ourselves in Godly attributes.

We desire to fellowship with believers of kindred hearts to walk in Love with one another in all our ways.

Most of all, we desire that God becomes everything to us, in every area of our lives, as we realize our spiritual walk is to daily give of ourselves to Him.   We allow Him room in our hearts and remain open to His leading and learn to listen and respond to His voice.

We realize our need for Christ in our daily journey to be great. We realize we cannot do Kingdom work without Him moving in and through us to accomplish those acts He has purposed for us to do in this life.

It is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit, we live and move and have our being.

We come to an understanding that it is He that is perfecting us on every level and in every area of our lives.  We remain a humble people submitting our lives, before our Father God and before our fellow man.

We desire the highest calling on our lives, to please our Father God above all else.

Lay Minister – Lorraine Taylor

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