All Things are Possible to Those who Believe

In the weeks to come, I am going to keep you posted on what is taking place with our daughter Jo-an. I am thrilled to see how far she has come. God gives me the strength to care for her and the faith to expect great things. With Him, all things are possible (Matt 19:26).

Yesterday, my assistant Ali and I took Jo-an for her voice lesson. Remember the angel that I met at Staples? Well, she is amazing at what she does.  Vic plays the piano, plays  other instruments and teaches voice lessons. It was wonderful to hear  Jo-an sing “Amazing Grace.”

This song reminds me that it is by God’s grace that you and I are saved, through faith(Eph 2:8-10). God knew that we needed a Savior, His Son Jesus, to die on the cross to pay our sin debt in full. Grace is a gift from God; it is God’s unconditional love for us-His unmerited favor given to us not because we are deserving of it or because of works we have done.We have been justified by faith and have peace with God and now, we have access to God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1-2).

Since we have this access, why are we living below our blessings? Have you been praying for healing for your loved one like I have, or been praying to receive something from the Lord? Apply your faith. Keep believing; keep expecting. The Bible says: Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you (Matt7:7). Remember, all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23).

 

Wait until Your Change Comes

Hello friends:

I want to encourage everyone who is going through a test in his/her life, to trust God. He does not lie (Numb 23:19). Wait on him regardless of how long it takes, for God is faithful (Deut 7:9). He promises never to leave or forsake you (Deut 31:8). Wait until your change comes.God has given me patience to wait on Him and I am so grateful that I have come to this point.

Now, I want to encourage you not to give up. God loves you and me and in the process of our difficulties, He is doing a makeover. Even when our problems are still unsolved, He is drawing us to himself, building our character, our faith, our patience, our love for one another and producing the fruit of the Spirit  (Gal 5:22-23) in our lives.

May God be praised.

In His Service,
Joan M. Blake

 

Understanding why we should pray

We should pray because prayer is approaching God in a spirit of worship, magnifying and exalting Him for who He is. Rev 4:11 states that God is worthy to receive honor, glory and power, for he created all things and by His will they exist and were created. He is Holy (Ps 99:5), the mighty God and the God of all Gods (Deut.10:17). He is faithful and just (Deut 7:9), the forgiver of our sins (Matt 9:6), our deliverer (Ps 18:1), and our sustainer (Ps 121:5), the one who opens doors that no one can shut (John10:9), our provider (2 Co 9:8), our healer (Ps103:3), and to Jesus our supreme authority, monarch of the universe, the giver of eternal life (John 17:2), to all who would believe in Him. You and I pray because God listens to our prayers (1Pet 3:12); He delights in our praises (Ps 22:3); He answers prayers according to His will; and change occurs. We recognize that we can do nothing without God and our earthly existence is dependent on Him.

Hope in the Midst of Despair

In the past months and prior, there has been tension in the USA and abroad over the killings of innocent people. You are wondering where is God in all of this? Do we still have hope?

My dear friends, God is still supreme in the midst of disaster; the plans He has for people and nations never change. We can go back in history and we notice that God’s plans for his people Israel didn’t fail. It started with Joseph, Jacob’s younger son, who was sold by his older brothers to the Ishmaelites, and who became a leader to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s captain of the guard. Joseph was put in charge of Potiphar’s household but Potiphar’s wife saw that as an opportunity to get close to Joseph and when Joseph didn’t respond to her advances, she had him put in jail.

But God gave Joseph favor in prison and the warden put Joseph in charge of the prisoners, and he interpreted dreams for the cupbearer and the baker who were previously employed by Pharaoh. The cupbearer was reinstated to his position while the baker was hanged. Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him, but two years past and nothing happened until Pharaohhad a dream and no one can interpret it. Joseph told him that there would be seven years of harvest followed by seven years of draught.

Joseph was placed as Governor of the whole region to oversee the food storage. Eventually, his brothers came from Canaan to purchase grain and recognized who he was and reconciled with Joseph. The entire family and other Canaanites moved to Egypt because of the economy, but Joseph had died and a new king was placed who did not spare anyone. When the Israelites had no livestock to barter for grain, they were forced to work as slaves. God heard their cry when they cried to God for help and this was the basis for the long road from Egypt back to Canaan.

God used Moses, with the rod, someone who couldn’t speak well, to speak to Pharaoh and tell him “Let my people go.” All the perils the Israelites experienced, including hunger and thirst, God provided with manna and water in the desert. The rod was used to bring about plagues in Egypt as well as to part the seas so that the Israelites could walk on dry land as well as bring the seas to its original place so that Pharaoh’s armies could be destroyed.

The Israelites were not a perfect people. They sinned by being angry, doubting God, and worshiping idols. Some died and never made it to the promised land. God has always given them as well as you and I, a second chance. His words were and still are: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and move from their wicked ways, I will hear their cries and heal their land.” God is saying this to us today. Will we hear his voice and turn from our wicked ways? If we do, He will heal our land. Prayer is the hope we have in God.

Prayer to Know and Walk with Purpose

God had a plan for you before the foundation of the world. That plan was made exclusively for you to walk in. Sometimes, struggles come to deter us from walking in God’s divine plan. Please read the following prayer and answer the question: “What is holding you from attaining your purpose?”

To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under
the heaven(Eccl 3:1kjv)

Father,
Creator of all things
And Master of everything,
I have been wandering for a long time,
Not knowing my purpose in this life.
I rebuke distractions that come my way,
In the name of Jesus.
I am determined to seek Your face, God,
To know my purpose,
And to walk in my destiny.
I pray that you will teach me
To submit to Your authority
And to walk with purpose,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer was taken from Prayer and Meditation: Finding Comfort, Hope, and Purpose in the Midst of Your Storm, by Joan M. Blake copyright 2011 key to Life Publishing Company, Boston MA.

Living by Faith

Good afternoon friends: My name is Joan M. Blake and today, I will be presenting the second of a series of six messages taken from the book of Galatians.

In our previous podcast, I discussed how to abide by the spirit. Today I am going to discuss living by faith and what it means to take up our crosses and follow Christ. Following Christ is never easy especially for those of us who are dealing with troubling life-issues. But in our difficult experiences, God is doing something unique in our lives. He is using our troubles to develop our perseverance and character (Rom 5:3-4). Moreover, we can entrust our problems to our Lord Jesus Christ who is our burden-bearer (Matt 11:28-30), the One who gives us hope.

The Bible states that hope does not disappoint us because of the love that is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). When we confess our sins, accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives and believe that He died on the cross and rose again for our justification, we receive salvation and eternal life. The Holy Spirit dwells in us and we become the family of God living a life of faith.

Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1 NASB). You and I believe the things God has promised although we cannot see them. God expects us to exercise faith for He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a re-warder of those who seek Him (Heb 11:6). Just as Abraham believed in God, and received the promises, through faith, and it was counted to Him as righteousness (Gal 3:6), we who believe, have that right relationship with God and will receive the blessings of Abraham through faith in Christ (Gal 3:14).  While our life-issues are troubling, exercising  faith will produce peace, as we look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2), who knows the beginning and the ending and has a plan for each of our lives (Jer 29:11).   

 

 

 

 

Rise Up

 

Are you feeling lost, confused, lonely, broken, and can’t seem to find your way out of the struggles of life? You have come to the right place.  I am Joan M. Blake, author, speaker, and spiritual-life coach and I have written a book entitled, Rise Up: How to Overcome Your Battles Utilizing Faith and Belief in God.

Rise up can be used for personal devotions as well as for group study; it is filled with examples of biblical and every-day stories that you can identify with and which show God’s abundant provisions. You would acquire tools to help you on your life-journey; you would receive peace and joy as you understand who you are in Christ; you would be able to maintain freedom at every level of your life and rise  from situations that hinder you from moving forward.

For example, in chapter 3, which is entitled, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,”  hear what the Lord Jesus is saying to you and me today: You are tried by fire, the same way that gold is tried (1 Peter 1:7); A servant is not greater than his Lord (John 13:16); If I have gone through trials, you will too (John 15:20); I died and rose again so that you might have life and have it abundantly( John 10:10 KJV); “Be of good cheer;  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

 

Again, I am Joan M. Blake. Thank you for listening to this podcast.

To purchase Rise Up: How to Overcome Your Battles Utilizing Faith and Belief in God, go to www.keytolifepublishingcompany.com

Email me at admin@keytolifepublishingcompany.com if you are in need of a speaker, spiritual life coaching or prayer. I look forward to working with you. 

Until we meet again,

May God bless and keep you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do not give up

How are you holding up? The storm is over, but traces of the storm lie dormant waiting for the rain or the sun to melt  them  away. We can’t give up although we are experiencing just a shadow of spring.

Life goes on regardless of our disappointments, our grief, our setbacks, our shattered hopes and dreams. We live life with one thing in mind. We will run this race looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

We sense the pain and grief that families and friends feel as they realize that they would never see their loved ones, who died from the recent plane crash on the French alps. Some families want to visit the site, not because they can recover the bodies of their loved ones, but because they want to bring closure to the issue.

When we look at what others are going through, our life-issues, grief, setbacks, shattered hopes and dreams seem insignificant. You might be laid off from your job, separated or divorced, sick, experiencing a prison sentence, hungry and homeless, but you have life and hope. God has not forgotten you.

During the months of February and early March, I went through some difficulties, including some challenges with my daughter Jo-an. When that period ended, I was struggling with allergies. I coughed constantly at night and still do not have a clear speaking voice, but I am alive and well. I continued experiencing car and computer difficulties, but those will soon come to an end. When you and I go through struggles, we must remember that God is our refuge, and a present help in the time of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

God’s plan is to give us hope and a future (Jer.29:11) regardless of what we face. We should not give up or fear even in the midst of the most difficult phases of our lives, for our deliverance is near.

 

My Makeover

Many of you think that my makeover is a result of a new hairdo, change in hair color, weight-loss, new dress code or new makeup. It doesn’t include any of the above. Rather, I am giving my kitchen a makeover without remodeling the entire kitchen.

Because I cook constantly, I decided that I needed a granite countertop that will last longer and at the same time, give my kitchen a face-lift. I placed an order with an in-store designer who then arranged for someone to come to my house to create a template of the countertop.

In preparation for the template, my contractor removed the old countertop, the faucet and the cook-top and installed a 3/8 inch layer of plywood to level the area around the cabinet. Cooking without my cook-top and running water in my kitchen has been difficult, but I manage by using my oven and a portable two-burner stove.

While I am looking forward to this makeover, it has brought discomfort and inconvenience in my life. We often have similar experiences when God does makeovers. You may have had a makeover because of a past relationship, because of emotions that kept you from experiencing life to the fullest, or because of a previous job or business venture.

As we uproot the past, we may become disappointed or discouraged, but we should remember that God is in control. He is renewing our minds (Romans 12:2) and doing a new thing in our lives (Isaiah 43:19). When God renews our minds, we will be able to test and approve his perfect will for our lives. God does a new thing in our lives by closing the doors of our past and opening exciting doors to our future.