Where Is Your Focus?

There have been so many times I’ve said, ‘Thank you, God!’ when things seem to not be going so good mainly because I know Jesus is coming soon. Well, the other night my sister was watching some program on TV and I overheard a comment that shot straight to my heart.  This was the comment;

 I’m sick and tired of Christians rejoicing of Jesus’ return because we should be more sorrowful for the lost that will be left behind rather than celebrating for ourselves.

 Instantly, I’m like whoa, wait a minute why can’t I be happy about Jesus’ return? I am a child of God why shouldn’t I be excited about the return of my Lord and Savior especially since we are living in the end-times, right?  Getting to meet Jesus face to face will be so amazing and wonderful somehow rejoicing just doesn’t seem to be enough! No way was I going to let the enemy still my joy!

While pondering on the latter part of the comment my heart was succumbed by such sadness at the thought of how many souls are lost in this world.  I started questioning my own heart, am I showing enough of God’s love to others?  Am I speaking the gospel as much as I should or could be? Could I be just a little bit, too, focused on going Home to be with Jesus instead of reaching the lost?

I guess when I think of it from God’s point of view I really need to be showing more of God’s love because it is His will that none should perish.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

As a Christian I’m in a win, win situation. I mean if I died today I would be with Jesus and if I remain living I still have Jesus so you see I win no matter what.  So I got to thinking do I really act, too excited when someone talks about Jesus’ return, well, maybe just a little bit?  I mean really, how can you not be excited if you are a born-again Christian?  It’s not that I don’t have deep sorrow in my heart for the lost because I do especially for the lost loved ones in my family.  But, maybe I need to be a little more excited about being God’s hands and feet in spreading the gospel and sharing His love to the lost rather than going Home to be with Him because no matter what I win.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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Shining Through Brokenness

I have always had a burden for the lost and more recently there is this heaviness weighing on my heart of just knowing that if they do not choose the light they will forever be in darkness.  Some days I feel His pain so deeply, my heart aches with such sorrow and tears begin to flow.  There are so many broken souls out there that need Him. Sometimes its in our brokenness that God shines the brightest.  God can and will use your brokenness  to reach the Lost.

   We had such a great start to our missions convention this past Sunday the house was on fire! This missionary told us how broken he was when he found the Lord and I believe it is through that brokenness that God birthed such a great passion for the Lost. The fire in this man’s soul was absolutely, AMAZING!  If everyone was on fire for the Lord like he was and had a burden for the lost like him we all would be going home with Jesus right now. Honestly, there would be no more lost souls to save because they all would have been reached by now.

As the body of Christ we need to pray that God burdens our hearts for the Lost.  The Lost are not just nameless people but they are our co-workers, friends, and family members as well.  His desire is that none should perish.

John 3:16,17   16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

   The days ahead of us are not getting any better, only worse and so many people don’t want to hear those words.  If we don’t think about it, it might not happen.  We need to have the passion this missionary had and it needs to be contagious and I mean now.

Dear Father in Heaven, hear me as I pray today.  Lord, show me Your heart for the Lost and burden my heart.  Jesus, use my brokenness to reach the Lost and let Your light shine brighter today than ever before. Let me be Your beacon of Light to the Lost.   Lord, I know nothing can compare to the sorrow of losing Your Son but to lose the ones He died for would be, unbearable!  Shine through me and help me to become contagious like this missionary.   Amen and Amen!

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Blessed Beyond Blessed!

Disclaimer: I, Deb Maciorowski, am the Vice President to the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter and the postings on this site are my own and don’t represent Special Touch Ministry’s positions, strategies or opinions in any way.

 Blessed Beyond Blessed!

My son (Tom) and I, as well as my niece and twin sister had the pleasure of being part of this year’s Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in the first part of this month.  For those who do not know what Special Touch Ministry, Inc. is about it is a non-profit, faith-based organization that strives  to ease and enrich the lives of people impacted by disability.”

When the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter started last December my son absolutely did not want to go to the meeting.  Tom and I made a deal that he had to try at least one meeting and if he didn’t like it, well then, that would be that.

He was fine right up until we had to go in, in fact, he cried and was quite angry with me.  Yes, I admit it I resorted to bribing in order to get him in the door.  He so did not want to go in; it took him about 20-30 minutes to get in the door.  As soon as he was in he was under the table playing his iPod with his green lawnmower headphones to help block the noise around him.   I prayed that God would bring some other kids to the meeting so Tom could have someone to play with.   I just knew in my heart of hearts if he could just make this transition into the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter meeting he would be accepted for who he is.   God is oh, so good!   Guess what happened?  Yup, you guessed it there were two other children at the meeting that day and Tom really connected with one of them . Hallelujah!  On the way home Tom told me;

“I’m only going to one more meeting, Mom, and then that’s it.  I mean it, no more!”  After a brief pause he continued, “Only one more, Mom I mean it.”

Then I asked what about the bowl-a-thon?

“Okay, then I’ll stop right after I bowl with my friends.  Did you hear me, Mom?” (Special Touch has their annual National Special Touch Bowl Across America fundraiser every March)

I told him I heard him meanwhile my insides were doing a “Hallelujah, dance”!

Float -the -Boat fundraiser for the Northeast Region Get Away.

He was given the Captain's wheel!
He was given the Captain’s wheel!
Tom's cousin Janee our little "spider girl"!

Tom’s cousin Janee our little “spider girl”!

Tom made it to just about 35 feet.

Tom made it to just about 35 feet.

IMG_20140314_160107

Mom and Tom enjoying morning chapel service.

Mom and Tom enjoying morning chapel service.

REACH NE Chapter Bowling event March 15, 2014

REACH NE Chapter Bowling event March 15, 2014

That one meeting really made an impression on his heart as well as on mine! I tell you all of this because the transformation I saw in my son at the Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away  truly blessed me and I mean for a lifetime.  I have been blessed beyond blessed!  My son has never entered a room and started talking never mind talking to strangers. The first day at the Get Away the atmosphere was so anointed with the Holy Spirit it felt like the very first time I walked into Cornerstone Church, I knew I  had finally found my church family.  I personally did not know a lot of the people but somehow it felt like I knew them already.  The most important thing is Tom felt comfortable.  When you are accepted just as you are; you are then free to be who God made you to be!

Normally, Tom is a very picky eater so I was worried that he would lose even more weight and he really could not afford to lose any more weight.  We have been trying for several months to get Tom to eat more so he could gain back some of the 10 pounds he lost over the past year.  The chef at Eisner’s Camp was absolutely wonderful!  When people ask Tom what he liked most about the Get Away he says,

“The food! The Chef was awesome.”

So a great big THANK YOU! to Chef Paul out at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA.

I joke and say Tom is the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter’s ambassador.  In essence, he is because no matter where we go people are hearing about the Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away. He tells everyone how wonderful it was and he is 100% right!

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Joke or Judgment?

Joke or Judgment?

Is your joke really a judgment?  What is the fine line between a joke and a judgment?  In my opinion, I would say it is when someone gets hurt at the cost of your laughter.  The issue may appear very funny on the surface but in actuality when uncovered it really is not funny at all.

How do you get people to stop judging even after the person has made a desperate cry for help?  Sometimes the underlying cause has nothing to do with what your eyes compute to be the problem.  There is only one judge and He is the Great I AM!

God’s word says;

 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“ ‘As surely as I live, ’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ”

 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

19  Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  Romans 14:10-13, 19 (FB-NIV)

 A joke in your mind may be funny at the time but it may be a judgment in another’s mind.  I admit, I am then guilty of judging because what I thought seemed to be kind of funny was actually a much more serious issue than I ever thought.  Thankfully, by the grace of God my loved one has forgiven me.  God is so gracious.

Knowing what I know now makes it quite difficult to watch this loved one walk through this storm that only they can clear up.  We don’t always know the reason behind the storm, nor do we really need to; but what we do need is to remember that God makes good of all things for those that love Him! And this person most certainly loves Him.  God can and will always use you if you are a willing vessel.  You can listen to, and pray for that person throughout the storm, right?

I just read a blog post from Oh So Simple Truth and I recommend that you read, Satan wants you in church…, it is quite powerful.  I mention it because the only way I can possibly help this loved one is through prayer and by listening non-judgmentally.  Oh, how the enemy hates it when we use prayer to fight him because there is such great power in prayer. Amen!

I close with this, so what may appear to be quite funny could be extremely hurtful to someone else.  You just never know exactly what someone else is walking through, do you?

Father, help me to have discernment to others’ issues and help me to be sensitive to their needs.  Please Lord, help me to always think before I speak and speak with love through my words as well as in my tone.   Remind me of WWJD or in this case WWJS-what would Jesus say!  Amen and Amen!!!

 

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People’s Choice Contest Entry: Better Eyes by Deb Maciorowski

debbestillandlisten:

It’s about seeing with “Better Eyes”.

Originally posted on Rose Hall Media Company:

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 1.43.44 PM

Each Friday for 5 weeks we are posting the top 5 entries in our “Vision Contest.” Readers can cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award from August 29th – September 4, 2014. These week’s entry is called Better Eyes by Deb Maciorowski (to visit Deb’s blog, click here). 

View original 287 more words

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Consistency

We must always be on guard!  The moment we lighten up on our daily devotions and shorten our prayer time with the Lord, boy, the enemy is right there to jump in to help out in any way that he can.  This past week has been just that for me and let me say my thought life has been filled with all sorts of doubts and lies from the enemy.

I knew what I should have been doing but in my mind I rationalized that I was “too busy” or “too tired” to read the Word never mind time to meditate on the Word.  Sometimes it is hard to get out of a rut even when you know exactly what you need to do in order to feel better.  I don’t mean feel better emotionally either I mean feel better spiritually.  And don’t you know I was plagued with a tremendous amount of fatigue this whole past week as well.  It has to have been the worst fatigue I have ever had in my entire life thus far.  What I have to remember is when I DO recognize I am falling into a rut I need to turn to the Word even more so;

Romans 12:2 (FB-NIV) says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Boy, do I serve a great God!  He gives me so many mercies each and every day that I don’t even deserve.  He is so patient with me and I thank God for my son who through all of this has been very consistent and solid in his faith. 

I allowed worry to set in somewhat over my finances and so what does my son say to me this morning, “Mom don’t worry.  Don’t you remember, God provides everything just ask Him and He will give us what we need.”  So he prayed, “God please put fuel in my momma’s car.  There you go, Mom it’s done, God will take care of it.” 

Praise God for the faith of a child, my child!  Hallelujah!  I have been on the same ¼ of tank of gas all week-long, AMAZING!!!   My son has taught me so much about faith and this week of course, in hindsight I see now I need to be on guard at all times filled with His word.

John 15:7 (FB-NIV) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

I can’t waiver not even for a moment because the enemy is anxiously waiting to steal my confidence I have in our Lord and King!

Being consistent in my prayer life even when the week is crazy busy is vital to the peace and protection needed to keep the enemy at bay. Taking the time to spend with the Lord first and taking every thought captive needs to be fully functioning in order for me to combat the enemy. The only way that can happen is if I remain in the word.  Lord, I need You now and forever, Amen!

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A Heart Burdened

 

 What burdens your heart?  Is it godly or worldly things or is it the God things of this world?  Last week I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Another Red Letter Day by Ben Nelson which  led me to his article “Is A Holocaust on the Horizon?” on Comments on Christianity.  I told my son about what was happening over in the middle-east and I read most of Ben’s post to him and the first thing he said was,

“That is just like what happened in WWII except they had to wear the Star of David.”  I said he was absolutely right.  He then asked, “Why would someone do that now because we’re not in WWll, right, Mom?”

What you have to understand is that my son is autistic and he takes everything literally, especially every word.  I explained that he was right, we are not in WWll but, unfortunately, there are people who do not believe in Jesus and some of those people don’t think anyone else should either.

Then he said, “Mom, we should pray for them now.”

I said, “Your right, Tom we should.”  Normally, I would have to do the praying while he would add amen and amen at the end of my prayer.  This time was different Tom took the lead, something he has never done before.

Tom started, “Jesus, don’t let these bad people do what Hitler did. Help them now, Jesus! Send Your Army of Angels to protect them. Amen and Amen!!!”

God is speaking through my son to show me that my prayers don’t have to be long ones God still hears my prayer as long as my heart has the right motive.

My son wants me to tell everyone that they need to pray for, “You know the people over in Iraq and Afghanistan and you know where?  Where Jesus was killed!”

Maybe if we all looked through the eyes of a child more often our hearts might become burdened like my son’s heart was and is.

Will you let your heart become burdened for Him today?

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Who’s It About?

I have been trying to work through a certain situation in my life and I have to say it has been painstakingly slow and difficult to make any forward progress.   Honestly, I feel like I am getting nowhere real fast and my patience is wearing thin?  I literally could scream out of frustration and I mean really, really loud, but I don’t want to hurt your ears so I won’t.  I can’t tell you how many times I have brought this very issue to prayer and there still is no resolution.

So, I thought God and I had to have a heart to heart.

“I’m like okay, God it is really okay with me if you step in and do something, NOW!!! ”

Then I heard this small little voice deep in my spirit say,

“Maybe this storm is about you, Deb?”

Ooo, Ouch!  I have been so caught up in how I want God to fix the other person that I can’t hear Him whispering the things I am supposed to be doing.  The funny thing is when I stopped worrying about how God was going to deal with the other person that’s when I received the revelation He had for me which was “sanctification”.

How many times have I asked, I want more of You, Lord?  Mm,  for those that don’t know me, the answer would have to be A LOT!  Can I tell you when you ask for, more of You, Lord it doesn’t always come in a sweet little package like I naively thought.  I realize now that if I want more of Him I have to be willing to be stretched spiritually, no matter what the cost.

In my opinion, the lesson God is trying to teach me is will I depend on Him in every aspect of my life? Will I allow myself to be sanctified? Ultimately, God wants to know will I trust and depend on Him in the storm or will I revert back to my worldly ways of trying to work through the storm in my own strength.

Galatians 3:3 (NIV)  Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal in human effort?

According to The New American Webster Dictionary sanctify means 1. make holy; purify. 2. consecrate.

The Fire bible defines sanctification as the process of being set apart for God’s possession and purposes; the ongoing process of spiritual growth, development and maturity by which God refines people spiritually, prepares them for his purposes and involves them in his plans.

1 Peter 1:13 (NLT)

13 So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

God is calling for me to be sanctified on a daily basis so I can grow to depend on Him no matter the circumstance and to be able to grow to the spiritual maturity level I have been asking for.

Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

It amazes me how God uses the not so good times in our lives to grow us spiritually. Amen!

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We Were Given More!

 

Did you know we were given more?  More than I ever knew, up until the other day when I had read one of my devotions and the following passage jumped off the page at me.

“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19 NLT

 

The phrase “….over all the power of the enemy” is what caught my attention.  That phrase, “….over all the power of the enemy” has repeated over and over in my head. As I wrote this post I was amazed at how much more power we were given, that is if we choose to take it.  It is so great when the wattage suddenly gets bumped up a bit, don’t you think?  The more I meditated on “….over all the power of the enemy” the brighter the light became.  You know when you have an epiphany about something and it’s the only thing you can think about, right?  Well, for me that’s how it works.

 

What an awesome teachable moment I had with my son, Tom.  I was able to explain to him that when we get attacked by the enemy we have more power than he does; of course, our power comes from the Holy Spirit, thank God.  Tom was absolutely blown away that we have more power than the enemy!  I told him the enemy will never win, ever!  He can’t win because we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and we have a promise from God of VICTORY! Is that not great or what, can I hear an Amen, people?!  Not only do we have all the power over the enemy but we have the promises of God’s Word to stand on in order to fight and resist the enemy so he only has one choice, he must flee.  Hallelujah!

 

As a mother, the opportunity to explain and teach my son how we don’t have to be afraid to fight the enemy was such a blessing.  When I was a child I was never told about the enemy and boy I wish I had been because I certainly have no doubt now as I look back that he was and is real.  Personally, I think the ones who don’t believe in the enemy are truly and deeply scared to admit he is real and lets face it he is good at deceiving people.  What better way than to have them think he is not real.   I’d rather equip my son now at eleven years old with the tools and knowledge of how the Holy Spirit helps us fight the enemy versus him growing up wondering what is going on in his life.  Never mind not knowing what he is fighting against?

 

So rejoice with me and my son that we were given more power than the enemy! Amen!

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“Tough Love” For Whom?

“Tough Love” For Whom?

We all could probably guess at how “tough love” got its name, right?  Nobody likes to receive “tough love” I mean I sure don’t like it when it is being delivered to me, how about you?  So many times the response of “tough love” is not taken well, if at all.  Personally, I have found some of the recipients of my “tough love” feel attacked as well as feel I just don’t understand the whole situation or issues they’re going through.  Sometimes my constructive criticism is misconstrued as a personal attack on their character.  Honestly, it was not meant to be that at all but sometimes I don’t even get a chance to explain.

Proverbs 15:31 NLT

   If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.

 

What it really comes down to, I think, is how the words get interpreted or perceived.  Not to mention boy, does the enemy just like to wait and  pounce when the opportune time arises so he can take full advantage of the situation.  We all know the enemy came to lie, steal, and destroy and any chance he gets to slither his way in he will.  He not only likes to rub our faces in it but oh, how our ears sometimes only hear his twisted half truths in the matter.

Proverbs 8:6-8 NLT

   Listen to me!  For I have important things to tell you.  Everything I say is right, for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception.

 

It is important for any of us to step back and give God a chance to work on us when someone delivers “tough love”.  I know, I know easier said than done Deb but really if I don’t let God work in me then how can I expect Him to work in the other person.  I am having a hard time getting someone to understand well, I guess take action in working through a particular issue they are having.  So here I am in my frustration writing this post.

 

Let me ask you this, how do you speak the truth in love without the person feeling attacked?  Oh, yeah and how do you deliver it when it is someone extremely close to your heart?  Sometimes I am concerned that I might offend them.

 Proverbs 18:19 NLT

   An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.  Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

 

It is very uncomfortable having to tell someone I love very much that hey, you have an issue here that we really need to address because it is getting way out of hand.  I am so grateful to have a God that loves me so much that He reminds me of His scriptures.  Thank God, He stops me in my tracks before I let my tongue dig a hole that I won’t be able to step out of.

Proverbs 15:4 NLT

   Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

 

 Proverbs 16:24 NLT

    Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

 

What about when the mere mention of the “taboo” topic immediately changes their facial expression instantly, I think oh, oh that could have been delivered better.  I’m at the point where a tone of frustration seeps in and that is soooo not what I wanted to happen.  Sometimes it is hard to know how to approach the issue so that it is completely spoken and understood in love.  Unfortunately, I do not always succeed in the delivery department.

 

Guess what?  I bet you probably guessed what came my way, yup “tough love” via the Almighty!  Ooo, ouch!  I felt God say in my spirit, “Deb, the tone of your voice could have been a little sweeter and less accusatory.  You asked Me to help so why not let Me do what I need to do in her first.”  This was exactly what I have been praying for and there I was going ahead of God so that we, well I could get through this issue quicker.

 

What I have to remember is that God is working in both of us through these circumstances and I have to be patient to wait and see the good that will come of it.  Amen!

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