John 2:1-11 is the narrative recounting the first recorded miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Galilee.
“Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.”
John 2:7 (NIV)
Everyone has a designated time and place when they are to connect with their God-given purpose and the plan God has for them. There are times when we try to advance too soon and other times, we sit back waiting and possibly missing the proper time. Based upon the scripture, someone miscalculated and the wine supply ran short, to which, Mary, the mother of Jesus looked to her son for a solution. He replied to her, “My time has not yet come.”
Mary, didn’t let that stop her, she issued a directive to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” What was he to do, his mother had now placed him on front street, guess what, whether he wanted to believe it or not, it was show time, his time had arrived.
During these days, weddings were carried out over a week-long period and conducted as festivals with everyone around being invited. So, running out of anything during these times of elaborate celebrations would be considered, highly embarrassing and violated the laws of hospitality.
Mary saw a potential heartfelt problem for the hosts and looked to her heart, her son, who she knew was more than a mere human man to find a resolve. Jesus’ mission is/was to save mankind by entering into a personal relationship, so by stepping up outside of his perceived time indicated how he would go about in his assignment – helping others, speaking with true authority, and being relational with those around him.
As servants of Christ, we should follow the command given in John 2:7, to fill the jars with water and fill them to the brim. It should be our goal to be obedient to Christ as we do our part to the best of our abilities, while trusting and believing in Him, to reveal His glory through our obedience.
We should believe He can do more with what we offer to Him than what we ourselves can. When He does it, He produces the best, choice miracles that defy the odds. What He produced was fresh and new, it had never been done before. It was impressive and abundant for all to enjoy.
At that wedding, He launched His miraculous ministry his time of preparation time was over.
What He did that day confirmed the belief in the hearts of His disciples and it should confirm in yours. I want to encourage you today to fill your pots and fill them to the brim and then take an evaluation of those things God has placed within your heart and pray about the timing of His plan for your life.
I admonish you to align yourselves with Him and follow His commands and don’t wait until you’re close to running out or being on empty or even saving the best for last. Do what He says now, trust and believe Him, and watch what will happen next…it will be nothing short of a miracle!
“ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES”
She is the founder of Believer’s Choice Media, an inspirational content company dedicated to encouraging believers to live the life they were created to live on earth and beyond.
She has recently launched her debut novel, “High Noon Justice,” a series based upon Psalms 37 to a loving and accepting audience. These days, Shakira now believes she is living her life according to Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (KJV)
With a renewed sense of purpose, Shakira is ready and prepared to not only find the plan of God for her life but also fulfill it. Shakira is a proud Alumni of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida where she holds a B.S in Business Administration as well as an M.B.A. with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.
Join me celebrate with my author friend Renea Winchester in her launch of her new book Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches by Mercer University Press.
If you are in the Atlanta area on September 6th, please come to the book launch (See attached invitation). Bring the family, bring your friends. If you are out of town on that date, the City of Roswell is hosting an event September 13th from 1-3 pm.
Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches is filled with stories about neighbors, friends, and visitors from as far away as Puerto Rico, Farming captures the small-town community feel that was once prevalent and is rapidly vanishing. Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches is chocked full of easy-to-follow recipes and tips that will benefit both the inexperienced and veteran gardener. In short, it is a love letter, a Southern-Style “Thank You” to the people who make the South one of the best places in the world to call home.
About the Author Renea Winchester is the daughter of Appalachia who is passionate about literacy and growing heritage flowers and vegetables. She rescues flowers from development and distributes them throughout the community. She grows her great-grandfather’s heritage corn and personally grinds it into cornmeal. Recently she raised money to help preserve the historic Monteith Farmhouse in Dillsboro NC. Her writing has won many awards including the Wilma Dykeman Appalachian Heritage, and the Denny Plattner award. Her first book, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes earned a nomination for the prestigious Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance Award. Contact her for an interview at firstname.lastname@example.org Where to Buy?: Purchase Copies at Amazon, B&N, or have your local Independent Bookseller reserve a copy for you. All Bookstores can order copies for you. Mercer University Press offers a 20% Discount and FREE shipping when you ask for the Facebook discount. Their number is 866-895-1742. E-copies will release late fall. If you haven’t read my first book about Billy, download it here
Before becoming closer to Christ I use to have this image that it was the world against me and I needed to be strong for me and for everyone around me. Once I understood what it says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I understood then that I had to give all my troubles to the Lord and that if I was feeling burdened was because there was something I was holding on to. I had learned that his yoke is easy and if he trusted me with things, he always made a way for things to get done while I kept my peace.
I also learned what says in Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” So when the first bullet hit, I rounded up my accountability team, fought my battle on my knees and although I was wounded I was still up and kicking.
Then a grenade came over, it’s OK. I went back to my prayer warriors to start covering me. I was still on my knees fighting the good fight. I reached out, pulled all those resources that I’ve learned in my walk. I was bleeding, but I was fighting.
While this was going on, and on one of my personal times with God the scripture for study that night was Numbers 11:11-17
He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”
The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.”
As a leader, the scripture caught my attention, but it really went over my head. I was still standing in faith that the bleeding and the pain would get better and I would be able to move forward. The enemy saw my determination and that God still trusted more on me, so he decided to send a missile. It’s not that I was caught off guard, it was that I was already wounded, so I fell down holding on to everything that had been entrusted to me. I continued to pray, but there was so much smoke that I couldn’t see. I kept crying out for help, but I couldn’t even hear my own voice. I trusted God in this “valley of the shadow of death” but I felt like I was drowning. I kept hearing voices coming for help but I couldn’t see their hands. I didn’t know what to give them from everything I was holding on.
Last night when I finally did what I should have done and had done the first two times, I surrendered and everything fell off my hands. The fog lifted and the Lord showed me the image of Moses holding his arms up during the war against the Amelekites. When his arms were tired and Aaron and Hur held his hands up and even placed stones under his arms so that he could remain with his arms up. Then I understood. I had been surrounded by angels who were just waiting for me to see them. I was not on the floor as I thought. I had been surrounded all this time and I just couldn’t see it. It was very humbling to hear that I had been held, that I was being supported and surrounded by love all along. All I needed to do was allow God to open my eyes.
If you’re struggling right now, allow me to pay forward what has been given to me. You can comment on the blog or send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll be standing behind you in prayer as many have been standing for me through this storm.
Until next time, be blessed.
“Promises of the heart” is the first book of author’s Scarlett Rains Sister’s of the Heart Series. The book setting is in London England and it’s a historical fiction. I’m not a fan of historical fiction, but this book was able to capture my attention. To me it was ironic to have the main character to be a sweet precocious child, when in my own books I chose that name for an adult serial killer. So the first thing was that I was interested in seeing how this Amelia would react to her surroundings.
Amelia’s behaviors are way advanced for her age and the time in which she was living, which got her in trouble with the adults in charge of her. The loss of her parents creates a grand distress in her life as she now is not sure of who would take care of her. She ends up being assigned Rachel as a governess. As she grows she starts receiving unwanted attention from the opposite sex, which confuses her. She wonders about the real intentions of her cousins and her own feelings for them.
I don’t want to reveal more, but the end leaves you looking for the second book immediately. It’s a nice read cuddled up in the sofa in front of the fireplace.
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Being trapped at home snowed in, I had the opportunity to watch the Michael Dunn’s trial. I had promised myself that after Jodi Arias I was done with trials, but this one caught my attention because of the circumstances around it.
The media and social media have compared this trial to the George Zimmerman trial, and although there are many similarities, there a huge differences in my opinion. I’ll try to stay as objective as possible and try stay within the lines of facts because I know there are a lot of people being affected by this tragedy.
- These two cases came out of Florida and caught media attention
- An adult shot an unarmed teenager.
- The shooter and the victim were from different races.
- In both cases the shooter claimed self defense.
- In both cases the shooter alleged that the victim had a weapon.
- In both cases the shooter alleged that he was threatened.
- In both cases no weapon was found on the teenagers.
- Racism was an important part of the cases.
- Gun control has been part of the discussion.
- George Zimmerman called 911, in fact more than once before the incident, so he knew police was on their way. Michael Dunn never called 911. I know I’m trying to stay to the facts, but this part was hard for me to understand. I can understand that he didn’t call 911 from the gas station because he claimed to be afraid. He said he didn’t do anything wrong. I can even understand his perception, but if he was attacked why wouldn’t he call the police to catch his alleged attackers?
- George Zimmerman stayed at the scene and immediately told the police that he had been the shooter. Michael Dunn fled the scene and although he didn’t deny being the shooter, he waited for the police to find him.
- The incident between Zimmerman and Martin was in a dark kind of alley under the rain. The incident involving Dunn and Davis was in a well lit parking lot.
- In the Zimmerman case there was very few witnesses, mostly what people were able to hear in the rain. With Dunn there were multiple witnesses and even some videos.
- Zimmerman had physical evidence of an altercation. Dunn had no physical evidence of being attacked.
- Zimmerman was granted out on bond to await trial. Dunn had to remain in jail throughout the process.
- In the Zimmerman case there was a loud, high level of interest and outrage from the community and certain important leaders. Although the Dunn case has been classified as a high profile case and the local community has reacted to the case, it has not reached the levels that the other case did.
In terms of the results, a jury has decided that George Zimmerman was not guilty and acted in self defense. In the Michael Dunn case, the jury is deliberating as I type this article.
Keep both the Martins and the Davis in your prayers. Both families lost their child in a very tragic manner. They will not able to see their kids get a career, get married, or have children. I lost a sister when I was very young and it wasn’t a tragic death. I know from watching my mother that there’s not a single day where she doesn’t think about my sister and that although time does make things easier, that pain is always there.
Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
As a society we need to look at ourselves and how we are living. We are in a place of intolerance and violence. Let’s go back to what Jesus asked us to do:
“’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
…and remember that your neighbor is ANY human being around you regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, lifestyle, belief, political affiliation, socio-economical status.
Until next time, be blessed
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Kimberley, welcome to The Rising Muse. Tell us about yourself
I am an award-winning author and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network.I combine my teaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for mothers and children about family, fitness, science and faith.
And I know you just published a new book. What can you tell us about the book?
My latest project is “Adam’s Animals”, a children’s activity book that features over 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It is the second book in the Science and Faith Matters series. The first book, “Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation”, is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.
So tell me what audience did you had in mind when you wrote this book?
“Adam’s Animals” is ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life.
What was your inspiration for this book?
Years ago, my daughter wrote a little book called, “Did you know…fascinating and fun facts about animals around the world” as a fundraiser to go to camp. I helped her with it and loved discovering new things about God’s creation.
Do you have a favorite animal and why that one?
I loved learning about the leopard. This big cat can climb trees, run fast, and swim. He’s powerful and smart. My kind of creature!
Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?
There was a ton of research. Not only did I have to dig through the Bible to discover the animals mentioned, but then I had to research each individually to uncover five unusual facts.
What do you hope this book accomplishes?
I hope that “Adam’s Animals” will fuel the desire for children to read the Bible and to also learn more about the animals that God created.
Where can we find you?
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KimberleyPayne.Author
This is the exciting part! The book is still in manuscript form. I am hoping to bring the project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family.
As the book creator, I have set a funding goal of $3500, with a deadline of February 28th, 2014. If you like my book idea, you can pledge any amount of money to make it happen.
As the book backer, you choose from a number of rewards based on the amount of financial support you pledge. For example, backers who pledge a minimum of $5, will receive a choice of one of two of my e-books: 1) Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, OR 2) Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and physical health. Backers who pledge a minium of $15 will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”. Backers who pledge a minimum of $175 will be listed on the “Dedication” page at the back of the book PLUS will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”.
Backing “Adam’s Animals” is more than just giving money. Writers need encouragement and you would be supporting my dream of creating a valuable resource for children and parents.
To support the creation of “Adam’s Animals” please visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book
Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6
Thank you Kimberley for your visit and much success with Adam’s Animals
Until next time, be blessed.
I had a beautiful learning experience the other day. I was leaving the church lobby in a rush to go to my ministry obligations. It was a very cold day. A mother was in the lobby with her little girl. She could not have been more than three years old. She had a cute character hat. I told the girl how cute her hat was, if she would let me have it. Without thinking it twice she took the hat off her head and gave it to me. Then I said that since she was so generous, if she would like to come with me to keep me company as I didn’t have any little girls. Again without hesitation she walked towards me with a smile.
Now, my adult mind was freaked out thinking someone needs to teach this little girl to not be so open to strangers. I crouched next to her and gave her the hat back telling her that my head was too big for it and that it would look better on her. I also told her to go back to her mom, that I was glad she was willing to come with me but that he mommy would miss her. The little girl just smiled. I asked her one last thing, if before she left she would give me a hug. Immediately she opened her little arms and wrapped them around my neck. Her innocence and sweetness really made an impact on me.
When I walked out of the church lobby I could hear the Lord speaking to my heart. He was saying that’s what he means when he said in Matthew 18:3 “”Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. We may have to discerning with each other because of the world we live in, but we have to totally abandon ourselves to Him.
As I was driving to the next building where I was expected for the night and I was still meditating on the event. The Lord showed me the image of a little child at the edge of a pool jumping into his father’s arms. I know that the absence of an earthly father have made it a challenge for me to be able to jump blindly into my Heavenly Father’s arms in total abandonment. I feel blessed for Him using that little girl to show me how it feels to be loved unconditionally, without fear into his welcoming arms.
Have you experienced that? If so, share your experience with us. I would love to hear it. If not and you’re struggling with it; let us know as well and allow us to include you in our prayers.
Until next time,
Starting Tuesday afternoon the south was hit with a winter storm. There are many approaches to this story. We can either complaint or see how God worked through this crisis. At the time I’m writing this there are still people stranded on the roads or at temporary shelters. I’ve heard of five deaths, a baby was born who was named “Grace” and many cars are still on the side of the roads from people who had to leave them and walk to a safe place.
I can rant about a lot of things that have upset me about this situation. The authorities have not accepted responsibility, not for the snow, I think we are smarter than that. We are not blaming anyone for snowing but for how some things were handled. There has been no sense of accountability, partial truths and some total untruths. Which reminds me of Psalms 146:3 “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.”
But there’s another side to this story where we saw not only the southern hospitality, but the spirit of community and the Good Samaritan spirit in full action.
Chick- fil- A decided to serve food to stranded drivers. Drivers were sharing any food, water and blankets they had. Some people walked around their streets passing food and water to the stranded motorists. Supermarkets, gas stations and hardware stores (Home Depot)became shelters. Schools had to keep children while their teachers and employees made every effort to make them feel comfortable, ensure that they were fed and kept them safe.
On a routine day we have people whom we like more than others. I experienced the coming together of people whose personalities I see clashing every day. They were checking on each other, praying for each other. The differences disappeared and they focused on what was important, thy neighbor.
So yes, it was a difficult time and it’s not over yet, but I’ve been able to see that there’s still hope, that although the flesh has a tendency to evil, goodness shows up when the rubber meets the road.
My prayers are with those who lost loved ones and with those who have not made it home. Know that this is not just one of those we are praying for you cliché. We Are Praying for YOU! I invite anyone who reads this and it’s home safe to join me in praying, not only for those who are still struggling, but also a prayer of gratitude for the fact that you are home safe and warm.
Matthew 18:19 – Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
If you have been part of this experience and need to vent, have a special prayer request or a praise report, feel free to share it with us. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it publicly, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay warm. Stay safe. God Bless.
Do you guys remember the movie Jerry McGuire, when Jerry declares his love for his wife and she tells him “you had me at hello” That’s the best way to describe this book. As a crime mysteries lover, this book just sucked me in. I dare you to read the prologue and not read the rest of the book. A little spoiler if you allow me. In that prologue there’s a scene and the author says something like…and she saw her mother’s head explode in front of her eyes. I was sold. I know, it sounds morbid, but it is that good.
I sat patiently for hours at a doctor’s appointment without complaining because I was so into the book that I was in no rush to be called in. I think has been a long time since I have been upset that a book ended, but the good news is that it’s a series so I’m definitely going for book 2, because I need to know what happens. So I take this opportunity to tell the author to hurry up and write it…LOL!
In a nutshell, this is the story of a woman who watches her parent’s being killed as a child. She’s protected by family members who adopt her for a while. She grows to become a private investigator, which sometimes gets her in trouble. The people who killed her parents are after her and now she needs to use her skills to protect herself, but also to protect her current investigation and the investigation of her new partner.
I give this one five stars with no hesitation. I’ll keep you posted when I read the next one.