Fast Wednesdays, February 20, 2014 – “Is it Well with Your Soul?”

Greetings Beloved!

Apologies for being a day late this week but its been crazy. I thank GOD he made me available today versus missing this week! FYI, the topic of our sermon this past Sunday was “Am I Generous?”

We watched a video from “The Blessed Life” and the pastor in the video stated that he titled the sermon like that, “Am I Generous”, in case someone was out of church and they asked you what the sermon’s title was, you would not say “Are You Generous” which would put the person on the spot. By the way, “Are You Generous?” While that’s between you and God I suggest you ask yourself from time to time and put the spotlight on yourself.

It was a very clever play on words used by the pastor, so then I thought, what a tremendous amount of planning, etc. has to go in with sermon preparation and we only get to see the end results, and sometimes barely appreciate the efforts as we might be thinking where am I going for lunch afterwards, did I lock the front door, where did I put my keys, and all the other distracts that get sent our way during service (I see some of you smiling right now and adding to the list)!

I also thought, I believe we are all familiar with the song “It is Well with My Soul? My question today: “Is it Well with your Soul,” and I’m stating it like that so if someone asks you our topic for this week you can tell them “Is it Well with Your Soul”…you asking them just might be the catalyst they need to get things right for whatever reason. Then they will be rewarded by getting it right and obtaining peace and you will be rewarded for your bold, fearless encouragement.

I have included a link below which gives us the background for the song so we could all understand the history, for those who are unaware:
SCRIPTURE: James 1:2-4 (MSG) 2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
When it is well with your soul you have “Faith Under Pressure.” Following excerpts comes from the Life Application Bible on this scripture above and are not mine — “James wrote this “letter/chapter” to believers as a concerned leader, to encourage them in their faith during their difficult time. He doesn’t say IF we face trails, but when we face them. He assumes we will have trials and that it is possible to profit from them. We are not required to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook because of the results trials will bring. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Rough times can teach us patience. For other passages dealing with patience (also called perseverance and steadfastness), see Romans 2:7, 5:3-5, 8:24, 25; 2 Corinthians 6:3-7; 2 Peter 1:2-9.
We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask him to help you solve your problems or give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient. God will not leave you alone with your problems; he will stay close and help you grow.”
In closing, I am dedicating today’s Fast Wednesday to my friend, Melissa Hauser. She has just experienced going through breast cancer (from Thanksgiving until now). She has a radical testimony of what all God did for her and her family. She shared it last night as we study on the topic of fear. She explained how when we let fear in our lives, it brings along lots of companion spirits such as anger, resentment, bitterness, and all the others you can imagine. However, by bounding that fear and casting it over to God, it never takes roots and you can say “It is Well with my Soul” like she does!

(Bell just went off, guess I had to hear Melissa’s testimony last night to complete Fast Wednesday this week :-)!

PRAYER:
Father, we humbly come to you, on this beautiful, glorious day you have made to say Thank You. Oh how excellent is your name in all the earth. Angels bow before you, heaven and earth adore you, what a mighty God we serve. You take our lemons and make lemonade. You take a widow’s mite and make us millionaires. You take our problems, give us victory and make us more than conquerors. We pray that we will continue to grow and please you in fulfilling our purposes, stirring up our gifts and being there for each other, because YES, we are our Sisters (and Brothers) Keepers. We give you all GLORY, HONOR and PRAISE, in your name, AMEN!
SONG:
Now go out there and knock them out with your smile…in spite of what you are going through…today is a new day!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8SPwT3nQZ8

Love, Joy and Peace, 

Debra J. Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press:  https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com/

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