Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Anticipation of Expectation

Acts 9:36-41 says, “in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.  About that same time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.  Lydda was near Joppa. When the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “please come at once!” 
Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room.  All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
Peter sent them all out of the room. Then, he got down on his knees and prayed.  Turning towards the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.”  She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter sat up.  He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet.  Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.
After reading the story of Tabitha, aka Dorca, I noticed a couple of interesting facts.  The first incident I noticed was as soon as Dorcas had died the disciples sent two men for Peter.  Why would they send for Peter after Dorcas was pronounced dead?  Because, they remembered what happen in Acts 5 when the people who passed within Peter’s shadow were healed, not by the shadow, but by God’s power illuminating within Peter. A lot of unspoken words were spoken in the request for Peter that day. The faith of the disciples was grand.   The disciples were expecting a miracle, they were expecting a resurrection.  How different would your life be, if you could believed just because it has never happened before, doesn’t mean it can’t happen?  The disciples believed for something uncommon, for something unlikely, and for something out of the ordinary. Even how the body was prepared, Dorcas’s body was an act of faith, after she was pronounced dead.  She was washed, but not anointed with oil. She was placed in an upstairs room in anticipation, of something miraculous happening amongst them.  They believed for a new kind of miracle.  Why do we fix state on the crucifixion, and not on the resurrection?
 My family and I were in Joplin all day on Sunday the attitude was amazing they were not fixated on the damage but on the resurrection, the new possibilities, the promise of life, the promise of new beginnings. My husband met a man who was in his house trying to get to the basement when the Tornado hit. John Allen, about 75 years of age, was rushing down the stairs when the debris landed on him when he tried to keep moving he noticed his foot was trapped. As he sat there bordered by the violent wind everything around him was collapsing.  After what seemed an eternity, saidJohn, it all stopped. He glanced down to see what had trapped his foot, to his surprise after digging around the debris he pulled out a gallon water bottle, it was the plastic water bottle that held John’s foot captive that day.  Wow! Talk about God using the uncommon, out of the ordinary, and the most unlikely thing to save a man’s life. I don’t know if a gallon water jug has ever saved a man’s life before but what I do know is we can never limit God because of our lack of anticipation.   There was silence in Joplin that cannot be explain, but in the silence there was an act of hope in the restoring of the city, the promise of new beginnings, brighter days ahead, and  an anticipation for God’s provision.
The second incident I noticed in the Tabitha story was, all  of the widows who were standing around crying and giving Peter a fashion show of all the robes and clothing that Dorcas had made. It seemed to me they were morning her sewing ability rather than her life.   The disciples believed for a miracle while the widows were preparing for a funeral.  Watch what happened after Peter arrives. The first thing he does is clear the room of all the Nay Sayers, and of all the doubters. It was as if Peter was saying, “Okay everyone who cannot stand in faith, get out if you can’t catch the vision leave.”  Then Peter got on his knees and prayed, turning towards the dead women, he said, “Dorcas get up.”  She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up.  We to as believer need to turn towards that dead situation and speak life changing words into the atmosphere. 
How many times have you shared a dream, a vision, or a desire with someone and like a tornado their words formed the winds that destroyed every positive thought you had with their doubt and unbelief?  Peter demanded for the miracle to come forth, to rise up, and to take notice.  Peter gave the miracle feet.  Some of us need to give our dreams, visions, and desires feet again. You have let the Nay Sayers crucify your dreams while leaving them nailed to a cross with a crown of fear.  Clear the room; get on your knees, and turn your attention towards your miracle.     
Choices are for the living.
Casting my net for Jesus…  Michele Davenport
For prayer or questions please go to fbministries@comcast.net
To order my book, “Ripened on the Vine” a true testimony about my life go to www.fbministries.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Choices are for the Living....No one knows the day or hour

Matthew 24:36-44, “No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was n the day of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marring and giving into marriage, up to the day Noah entered into the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.  This is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken one will be left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day the Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known of what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
With all the talk about Jesus return in the news lately it has struck a chord in me. I am writing my column on the morning of Saturday May 21, 2011 the exact day a man whom I will not mention by name has claimed Jesus’ return.  He has not only pronounced the day but the hour as well. Listen Readers, there is a reason were not suppose to know the day or hour of our Lord and Saviors return. I believe the reason is; we too would try to sell everything, give all our money away, in an attempt to pay alms to God. Listen; please hear my heart, if you’re not willing to live a life that matters for Christ now when no one is watching and there is no speculation of Jesus’ return then I must question the authenticity of your action. I am perplexed on how easily it is for people to believe a false prophetic but have such difficulty believing the Word of God. In the scripture above it plainly explains that no man, angel, or even Jesus himself will know the day or hour but many have chosen to believe a simple man than the infallible Word of God.    “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known of what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
In other words; Jesus is coming back when we don’t have time to sell everything and give it to the church or the poor. Sowing a tangible seed is awesome, but your motive should be considered. What is the driving force behind the thought? Our lives should always leave a paper trail that leads people to heaven not confusion. Readers, we need to be serving Him with pure abandonment of self, we need to love others enough to give our talents, resources, and time not because we have listen to a man with false calculations but because we are sold out, on fire, and crazy in love with our Jesus.  In the scripture above the Word said, if the man knew of the hour the thief was going to break in his house he would keep watch. We also must be ready, because Jesus will come back in a day and hour we do not expect.  The word, “watch” is the Greek word; tereo, which means to guard, the Greek tense means to consistently guard, or to consistently, be on the watch. Believers, we need to be in a continual state of living like Jesus is coming back on this day in this hour if we are going to live a relevant life that matters in the next. Although, I don’t agree with the man who is trying to predict Jesus’ return, I do believe he believes in his truth, it just isn’t God’s truth.  God’s Word says in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Well there it is folks; God can draw men to Him through this atrocity. If only one comes to Christ during this time then something good has been accomplish. If anything, maybe for the ones who sold and gave everything away realized what they should have known all along, maybe hearts were exposed and motives were investigated, maybe they have taken inventory of what they really believe, and what conviction are worth following. There is one thing I know for sure and that is; Jesus’ return will be unknown to any man, angel, or the Son of God and knowing this truth makes me want to live out loud for Jesus because this is for sure He is coming back and when he does no matter what the day or hour I want Him to find me doing what He has called me to do, not because I had time to orgastrated a pre-remanufactured response but because I am trying to live an authentic life for Him. Choices are for the Living
 Grinding with a hand mill until His return… Michele Davenport
For prayer or questions please feel free to e-mail me at fbministries@comcast.net
To order my book, “Ripened on the Vine”, with a free down load Study Guide go to www.fbministries.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

choices are for the living.....Jesus agonizes in the garden

Choices are for the Living
Jesus Agonizes in the Garden
Mark 14:32-38, “They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.  My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible that the hour might pass from him. Abba, Father, he said, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.”  Then he turned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon, he said to Peter, “are you asleep?  Could you not keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Readers, I noticed something very interesting about this scripture there had to be a day before this night. This night brought about such agony, such distress, and such trouble within the soul of Jesus. Do you think Jesus ever dreaded the “next day?” Have you ever known that something was going to happen the “next day” and dreaded the process of living out that day out? Many times in my life I have known the “next day” was going to bring about such pain in my life, for an example; after my mom died there was a “next day” to endure, same goes for the day after my brother died, and again when my dad died. I have dreaded many “next days” in my life but I know how I chose to handle the next day in my life depends on how I chose to handle the day before. Jesus did something amazing that evening in the garden he tried to teach three of his disciples how to go through the evening before the “next day.” Remember, Jesus told eight of his disciples to wait while he went to pray but Jesus told Peter, James, and John to watch and pray. Jesus told them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” “Stay here and keep watch.” Jesus walked off in the distance but within ear shot of the three disciples and he began to ask his Father to let the hour (the appointed time) pass him by.  Jesus also asked that the cup (God’s wrath) be lifted away from his lips, but yet not my will but your will be done. Then Jesus returned to his disciples to find them asleep, taking a cat nap, if you will while Jesus was agonizing in the garden. What was the question Jesus asked them? “ARE YOU ASLEEP?” If you read on in scriptures the disciples fell asleep three times and the last time Jesus said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
photo credit gcaptain.com

Readers, there is a great lesson to gleam from the question Jesus asked them, Are you still sleeping? Many times we are sleeping spiritually when Jesus is trying to teach us a life lesson. Jesus was showing the disciples how to handle the “next day” in their lives but they were too concerned with their napping than learning a lesson of a life time. There will always be a “next day” in your life until your finale day here on earth, the question is; are you sleeping when you should be praying?  Could you not keep watch for an hour?  I think as believers we don’t take praying seriously enough. Jesus said, “Watch and pray so you don’t fall into temptation.” The “next day,” in our lives can cause temptations just ask any reformed drug addict, or compulsive eater, shopper, someone trying to walk in love, or someone addicted to pornography? I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard people blame God for things that He didn’t do but only allowed. People are tempted to accuse God for their choices.  My brother died in a car accident under the influence of drugs and alcohol, many questioned God, I would hear them say, “Why did God kill Richard?” but we have choices to make and consequences for our choices God did not kill my brother but he allowed the consequence of his choice. My dad whom I mention earlier,  also died in a car wreck under the influence of alcohol, again God allowed the consequences for his choice.  Many have turned away from God because of misplaced blame…The next time you’re tempted to blame God for what’s happening in your life ask yourself one question, is this happening because of a choice I made? Everything that happens is a choice; it happens because of a choice you made, or a choice someone else has made. CHOICES ARE FOR THE LIVING ONCE YOUR DEAD THE CHOICE IS OVER. What was Jesus lesson that evening in the garden? Watch, pray and stay awake in the spirit so that you don’t fall into temptation, but once again this is your choice to make, your life to live, your purpose to discover because there will be a “next day” until it’s your last.
Choices are for the Living…dipping my toe in the Jordan expecting a miracle.
For prayer or questions please feel free to email me at fbministries@comcast.net
To order my books, “Ripened on the Vine,” a true story about my life, or “From My heart to Yours Devotional,” or if you would like to listen to my teachings on audio go to fbministries.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

Choices are for the Living....Its not about me!!! REALLY?????

Choices are for the Living

Do you ever feel like there is something more you should be doing with your life?  What is holding you back?  The opposite of faith is fear.  Are you afraid to step out and do something radical for God?  I have done many things that have not turned out for God, but I will never stop trying to reach the lost, minister to the sick, comfort the hurting, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and clothe the naked. 
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “For the love of God controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised".
My question to you is, “Who controls you?”  With the world we live in today I could easily ask, “What controls you?”  Whatever controls you is what you are living for.
photo credit - pichaus.com

I recently read an article written by Joshua Davis called, “The Perfect Human”, the article was about a man named Karnazes, who is an extraordinary marathon runner.   Karnazes did not train all of his life to become a marathon runner, nor was this a dream of his. He stumbled across this talent by accident literally stumbled out of a bar into a pair of sneakers.  Let me elaborate on what I gleamed from the article.   Karnazes was a drunk.  It was his 30th birthday and he was at a local bar near his home in San Francisco.  Karnazes was sitting at the bar drinking beer and tequila shots. He was a corporate business man, living the corporate life.  As he was sitting there on the bar stool, a women came onto him. Karnazes decided to head out the back door rather than put himself in a position he would regret later.  Karnazes walked home which was only a couple of blocks from the bar.  As he was sitting on his back porch, he looked over and saw an old pair of sneakers.  He stripped down to his t-shirt and underwear, laced up his shoes and began running.  Karnazes ended up in Dala City, which was about fifteen miles from where he had begun. It was about four in the morning and Karnazes felt ridiculous, but this experience brought a huge smile to his face. So he kept running. When the sun started peeking out, he realized he was near Santa Cruz. He had covered thirty miles.  Karnazes had a rebirth moment in his life; he had metamorphosed into a long distant runner.  He stopped and called his wife. He then passed out in the car on the way home. 
This occurred on August 1992.  For the next 14 years, Karnazes challenged almost every known running endurance limit.  He covered 350 miles without sleeping.  He ran the first and only marathon to the North Pole (which he finishing second) at the age of 44. He completed 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days, one in each of the 50 states, (The last one was held in New York City, after that, he ran home to San Francisco).
photo credit faithvillage.com
The moral of this story is that some of us need to just put on our running shoes and run the race for Jesus and not for ourselves.  I don’t know how many times over the last several years I have heard the statement, “It’s not about me”. However, if we would be brutally honest with ourselves it really has been.  What would you do if it wasn’t about you?  Would you give more?  I imagine you would if it didn’t affect your standard of living.  Would you pray for the person in the grocery store?  You would if you could get past being embarrassed.  Would you feed the hungry on the side of the road?  You would if it was convenient, or if you thought they really deserved it. Would you go to the ends of the world to spread the gospel if God told you to?  You might, but you might not.  Why?  Because reality is, it has always been all about you, me, and our level of comfort. I am not willing to live like that any longer.  I have made a decision to walk my walk with Jesus in a walk worth walking, in the most radical, nontraditional way.  Have you? 
 We need to start being controlled by love, not our emotions, our past experiences, on how others treat us, our bank accounts or certainly not how we feel from day to day.  2 Corinthians 5:15 says, “And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised”.
Karnazes looked at his life and thought, “I just need to do something different”.  Some of the readers today just need to do something different. Put on your running shoes and run for Jesus! Choices are for the living. What shoes are you wearing?
  Walking a life worth repeating…..Michele Davenport   
For prayer, questions, or comments please e-mail me at fbministries@comcast.net
To order my books, “Ripened on the Vine,” my testimony or my book  “From My Heart to Yours Devotional,” go to fbministries.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Choices are for the Living" Stacking your stones

Choices are for the Living          

Joshua 4:1-7, “When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan.  Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you.  In the future, when your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?”  Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.  When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
photo credit tommyimages.com
Deuteronomy 6:12, “Be careful not to forget your God who brought you out of Egypt.”  It’s interesting to me what the word, “memorial” means in Hebrew. It means to remember. Stacking your stones is not to mark a place of burial or temple, but a memorial to some sort of battle, a memorial reminds us of a place or time in our lives, it triggers a memory good or bad.  The Israelites were always forgetting about the Lord’s goodness. I know many people who visit their past only to be tormented by the actions and reactions of others but the Lord is saying, “Be careful not to forget your God who brought you out of Egypt.”  Egypt represented bondage and slavery and the Lord was saying remember me, your Lord. What has been your Egypt? Has the Lord brought you through of a drug addiction? Has He brought you through being molested as a child, or being raped? Or maybe God has brought you through of a pornography habit, a cigarette habit, or an ugly divorce. Or perhaps the Lord has brought you through cancer, eating disorder, fear, stroke, or suicidal thoughts.  Be careful Readers, not to forget the Lord who brought you out of your Egypt. When I look back on my own life I have a choice to make, I can remember how God brought me through or I can remember Egypt.  I can remember slavery or I can remember being set free.  I can remember the bondage I endure or I can remember my deliverance. Oh Readers, how our memories remind us of God’s faithfulness; it is a sign post to a lost world. The Apostle Paul says, “I forget about the past so I can press on to the future.”  Each stone represented a person, a tribe if you will and how God brought them through the Jordan to get to the other side. Many of you are still waiting on the wrong side of the Jordan you are pining for Egypt because it’s far better to remain in the pain of your past than to pick up your stone and carry it across, but you must pick up your stone and carry it across and lay it at the feet of Jesus. I believe the stone was a type and shadow of their previous bondage, despair, and suffering, it represented God’s ability to bring them through the trails of the promise of long ago according to Exodus 3:8, “So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Another interesting fact; in Hebrew milk represents spiritual and honey represents the best. So in essence the Lord was saying I have come down to deliver you from your oppression into a land filled with my spiritual best.
 In Deuteronomy 1:6-7, “The Lord your God has said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.  Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites…Readers, for many of you God is saying, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain break camp and advance you have stood too long in front of a mountain that I have removed. I have offered you a land flowing with my spiritual best pick up your stone and carry it across because one day your children will ask, “What do these stones mean?” Each battle you’ve had in your life is another opportunity to stack a victory stone as your sign post of faith.  Choices are for the Living……
 Stacking my stones for Jesus…Michele Davenport
For prayer or questions please email me at fbministries@comcast.net
To order my books or listen to my messages on audio on subjects like, Faith First, Armor of God part 1 &2, Vertical faith part 1 &2 go to fbministries.com

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Choices are for the Living

If your words were used as directions where are they leading you?

Proverbs 16:23, "A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instructions." Whatever is laying dormant in the heart eventually gives birth to your words.
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