I gave this message today at Kansas City Christian Fellowship, The Barn, for Mothers Day service.  As always, comments are welcome.

It is Mothers Day! Happy Mothers Day to all the moms! Blessings over all of you.

I have a confession to make…. For the most part I am not a big fan of the Mothers Day messages I have heard at most churches. They come across as patronizing to women who have given birth in the physical, neglectful of woman who have not given birth in the natural BUT still have “mothered” many through discipleship or mentoring ( spiritual moms, teachers, close friends) and many times insensitive to women who want to have children but have been unable to conceive for various reasons. So it is a bit ironic that I am giving a message on Mothers Day.

I want to take time to recognize and honor several groups of women:
Women who have not given physical birth but have “mothered’ others.
Women who want to be physical mothers but have not been able to have children.
So, of course, my message will not be a “typical” Mothers Day message but instead a focus on the compassionate, nurturing heart of God and show how His Divine Character is shown through each one of us, men and women, so that we can better walk in a culture of honor toward each other.

Gen. 1:26-27 & Gen. 5:1 – See the picture! Men AND Women reflect God’s image. (God is so vast, His character so awesome that He can be seen in the emotional and physical differences of men and women without compromising who He is!) Men – the physical strength and power. Leadership through physical presence and might under girded in humility. Women – Compassion and Nurturing. Leadership through love and encouragement. EACH VITALLY IMPORTANT!

Very important to remember the God is not a man BUT the scriptures are clear…God is a He! God is not a woman BUT He does have what we may think of as feminine qualities.
NUMBERS 23:19 – NKJ = “God is not a man, that He should lie,nor a son of man,the He should repent. Has He said and He will not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE= “God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes His mind. When He says something, He will do it, when He makes a promise, He will fulfill it.”
I am emphasize this point of God not being a human because I think we forget He doesn’t think like we think, He doesn’t process like we do nor function like us. BUT He chooses to inhabit us in our male and female form in order to demonstrate His full characteristics of Shepherd, Compassion (Mothers), Fathers (Strength), Divine Healer, Great Counselor and All Knowing One, etc through our human frame.
He has not problem showing His Mothering side:
NURTURER:
John 15:26 – His Spirit is called The Comforter. – not The Supreme High ONE.
Isa. 49:15-16 – God compares Himself to a nursing mother in reference to His devotion to us.
2Chron.36:15 – God sent messenger (prophets) because He had compassion on His people and didn’t want to have to judge them.
Luke 13:34 – Jesus comparing Himself to a mother hen looking after her young.
Or His Strong Warrior Side:
Exodus 15:3 – The Lord is a Warrior
Psalm 24:7-9 – The Lord strong & Mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.
Rev. 19:11- The victorious Warrior returns!

In closing I want to say that we serve and love a God that honors women and men. (He showed his heart toward women in that Jesus was born of a virgin…meaning that the only human DNA that Jesus had was that of a woman and He showed Himself first to a woman when He was resurrected from the dead.)
He chose to manifest Himself in the form of both sexes. We are to show each other the honor that He shows us in how we serve, encourage, and minister to & with each other.

Women are to be honored because they are made in the image of God, First! Then because they of the roles they play in our lives, second.

May we truly see the importance of honoring each other every day of the year and not give token homage on day of the year.  Honoring mothers is great!  I am both a spiritual mom and have given birth in the natural so totally on board for Mothers Day  but also see the greater significance of honoring all members of the body of Christ as a lifestyle in order to further the Kingdom of God and see others come to know Christ.

MAY WE TRULY HONOR EACH OTHER AS JESUS SO HONORS US EACH DAY WITH HIS GREAT MERCY, LOVE AND CONTINUAL GRACE.  AMEN.

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THE CHALLENGE OF FRIENDSHIPS
Eccl.4:9-10;Prov.17:17

It doesn’t take a any discernment or great wisdom to come to the realization that relationships are both wonderful and difficult at the same time. As human beings we are all hard wired to need others. This is how the Father created us..to both need and be needed in a the content of earthly relationships that He puts us into.
True, you don’t have to have any connection to Jesus in order to have a connection with others on earth. BUT in order to experience the true expression and fulfillment of any earthly relationship we must first be walking in the one relationship that brings both clarity and definition to any other earthly union. That is, of course, our relationship with Jesus Christ. For in response to our love and connection to Him He is then able to bring other friendships, according to His plans and purpose for us, that will bring joy, meaning and yes, challenges to us.

Yes, you read right. Jesus will bring relationships into our lives that will challenge us. They can come in the form or family members, marriage, close friendships or even business partners just to name few. He will put us in contact with those who will be both a blessings and at times, an irritation to us. This is because He loves us and wants us to grow up into the fullness of all He is.
He knows we can only grow when we are rightly related to Him first THEN rightly related to others second. We can only effectively deal with our heart issues and other challenges when we are in right relationship to others He places in our lives. We receive healing in order to heal others. We receive truth in order to pass on that truth to others. We are restored and made whole so we can help bring restoration to others.

Jesus was our great example for this. (Heb.2:17-18) He suffered everything we will ever have to go through in this life so that He can not only be our Great High Priest but also so be our Great example of what we are to be to each other. None of us suffer in a “vacuum” or “for no reason”. Just like with Joseph, what the enemy meant for our total destruction, Jesus will turn around and use for great purposes not only in our lives but also in the lives of others. HE IS THE RESTORER and will use us to restore in the relationships He brings into our lives.

Seems the human heart cannot work through the issues of life very well outside of relationship. I really feel this is one of the reasons Jesus desires to put the “solitary into families”.(Ps.68:6) It is both for our joy and the emotional stability of our hearts that He does this.

Like many of you reading this, I have precious people that Jesus has put in my life. Each relationship is a joy and comes with some challenges. Each one comes with both and requires love, commitment and perseverance to keep each one intact and on the right track.

Let me encourage you to thank our Lord, Jesus,for each person He has placed in your life. Yes, even those that are challenging. For each one serves a purpose and is part of His plan to keep your heart in tone with Him.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY OF LIFE WITH CHRIST LEADING THE WAY !

Venetia Carpenter
Founder/ Ecclesia Int’l Ministries
http://www.ecclesiainternationalministries.org.

THE VIOLENCE OF WAITING

April 23, 2013

THE VIOLENCE OF WAITING

Isa. 40:31 “But those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not get weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Apparently our Father in Heaven places a lot of importance on the activity of waiting. Waiting on Him. I must confess, I do not naturally take joy in this activity. It seems too much like wasting time to me and being a high energy person, I do not like to waste time! Too many things to do to just be sitting around waiting for something to happen is my way of thinking. If I can see the benefit or necessity of something I am much more comfortable with it and will willing participate in it, even if it is for a short term. So recently Jesus gave me some of His perspective of what waiting accomplishes in the life of the Believer.
As I mentioned, I have never been good with waiting. I want to feel I am accomplishing something with my time. I am probably like many who have not put a great value on waiting due to the seemingly inactivity that can take place in the physical realm but, of course, the Lord sees it differently. I feel many times He purposely puts us in situations where we have no other recourse but to wait on Him. He says those that will wait will actually gain. Gain new strength, new insight, new perspective, new wisdom, and new vigor for the seasons ahead. Therefore, He places us in positions to gain! To gain more from Him and move in new strength that is gained from cooperating with Him.
Even though I have never been good at this activity of waiting I find myself in this place again. This season of waiting is different than previous ones in that it involves some significant heart issues therefore is more challenging. I am finding that violence is required in waiting well. I am convinced that waiting on the Lord is something that must be learned and regularly submitted to in order to really benefit from it. I am learning this in a new way.
This time around, I am finding that as I wait in the Lord’s presence He is able to accomplish major breakthroughs in my heart and to calm my emotions. My soul is being taught to submit to the will of my spirit as I sit in the instructions of Holy Spirit. As waiting in Christ is not a passive action but a place of warfare as there seems to be any number of ‘immediate things’ that constantly shout for my attention.

Our souls are hard wired to have stimulation. Being a ‘high energy’ person I am more comfortable being physically busy. In waiting, my soul is being taught to take a back seat to the things of the Holy Spirit in order to actually find new strength. This place of allowing my spirit man to lead is also a strategic place of war against the forces of darkness. Remember eagles see from a very high place and I am being positioned to pray, minister and govern my life from this high place in Jesus. No wonder that warfare surrounds waiting! We must press through. Press through the distractions in our own souls in order to gain the benefits of waiting on the Lord.
I want this new strength. I desperately need it! Truly, only Jesus knows what awaits each one of us in the seasons of our life. Only He has the vantage to see what we are headed into and what we will have to encounter so it is wisdom to follow His lead into places of hiddenness and waiting. When this season has accomplished its work we will emerge with the ability to move with new agility in the spirit, new wings to fly, new perspective and new insight.
As we wait, we gain. When the Lord brings you into your season of waiting I encourage you to embrace it, lean into it and allow the presence of Jesus to renew and refresh you in ways you are not able to see until the violence of waiting gives way to the place of new equipping in Jesus.

Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

FAITH STEPS –…

June 4, 2012

FAITH STEPS – Part 2

Sabbath rest of the Lord” – As we listen and obey the instructions of the Lord this brings us into a ceasing from our works. A ceasing from our striving, our acts of the flesh and a beginning or ability to rest in the Sabbath rest of God.  The Sabbath rest is not a ceasing from all physical labor but involves an ability to flow in the works of Holy Spirit.  We die to our works and “rest” in the works of Holy Spirit. Out of this appointed rest of flows the kingdom works of Christ. The type of works that moves heaven on earth. These are not works of human striving but works of resting in Christ. There are many benefits to choosing to walk in the rest of Christ, many blessings that will never be realized unless you make the choice to walk out the invitation to rest in Him. One tangible benefit could be our physical health. I sometimes wonder how many current health problems we have in this country are a result our disobedience to Christ therefore our bodies are stressed by pressures we were never meant to carry (Prov. 3: 5-6).  These pressures affect our spirit man as well as our physical man. By the same token, as we learn to enter into the rest of Christ, ceasing from our own efforts high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety disorders and other stress related illnesses will find not place in us.  We must remember that we are spirit beings living in a physical body. What affects our sprit man will affect our physical bodies..either for good or bad.

We need only take a look at scripture to see some of the consequences of choosing not to enter into the Sabbath rest.  We see from the lives of the people of Israel that unbelief and lack of trust shut the door to entering in. (Heb. 3:7-11) They were denied the rest of the Lord due to their denial of who God is even after He had shown Himself mighty to them for over 40 years while they wandered in the wilderness.  We see from their example that not entering in the rest of the Lord affects your destiny. Indeed, it was only after Moses and all the unbelievers had died that Israel go to come into the land that had been promised. (Num.14) So what does this say to us? How many promises have we missed due to unbelief in Christ and what He tells us to do?

The reality is that we are called to obey an invisible God and allow Him to manifest Himself to us and others in a visible world. We are called to live the supernatural life of faith and trust in while remaining in a physical, natural world.  We are told that the life that pleases Christ is based on our trust in Him. This is to be a lifestyle. Day by day. Moment by moment and it should become as common to us as breathing.  Recently the Lord has given me this invitation to enter into His Sabbath rest. It involves taking a 30 day sabbatical, including some significant lifestyle changes.  I would be lying if I said I knew exactly where this invitation was going to take me as I don’t. I do know I have determined to not walk in fear, trust Him and His care of me and lean into the truth that He knows the destination of the journey and will reveal it to me at His timing.