Blog Archives - Pearls of Promise

The Whole is Important by Dr. Lynnette Simm

Aristotle said, “The whole is more greater than the sum of its parts.”

A whole person’s life is more important than the individual moments. Redemption. Forgiveness. Grace. Wisdom. Love. All are learned over time. Anything worth learning takes time and inevitably mistakes, big and small, will be made. A monument to a person’s life should be seen as a culmination of moments—what was done wrong, how one learned from those mistakes, and then changed direction. The past cannot be erased. It is impossible to turn back the clock. 

God doesn’t erase your sins. He forgives them. 

God doesn’t weigh which sins are worse. He forgives them all. 

God doesn’t look back at who you were, He sees who you will become. 

I, personally, regret many things I have done. Even today, I make mistakes and cringe because I so desperately want to be better. Some things I am really good at learning and doing better—others—well, I’m only human. I know my heart is full of love, but I also know my flesh disappoints me. Jealousy. Envy. Fear. Weakness. Insecurity. Selfishness. Pride. All stifle me at times and hold me captive, but I’m fighting against them everyday. 

I pray that when people look back on my life they see a broken girl who turned into a broken woman YET she spent her life trying to heal herself. She also tried to help heal her family and friends. I hope that grace will be given once people hear of the horrible sins I have committed. I wonder if people will see how the Lord changed my life and with His forgiveness I was able to forgive myself and others?

But most importantly, I hope and pray that when my life is done that the mistakes I have made will be seen as stepping stones to the woman I became. Beloved Wife.

Mother of three.

Sister, Daughter.

And Friend. 

I know in my heart that my Lord and Savior loves me and will welcome me home. He sees my true heart and has allowed my mistakes to draw me closer to Him. Thank you Father for all the parts of my life, good and bad parts, that brought me home to YOU! Thank you for seeing ALL OF ME AND NOT JUST MY PARTS. 

I pray for you all. May you see and be seen, not merely for the parts of you life, but for the whole of who you became, just as God sees you. 

Who are the Mamas in Your Life? By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

On Friday, I was invited to listen to a live prayer event on YouTube involving both Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. Once enemies, these believers in Yeshua (Jesus), Jew and Gentile, are now joining together as “one new man” in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2 talks about this one new man:

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”

But what was most touching about this call, is that they began the gathering with both Jew and Arab women sharing their hearts. The women, are now good friends because of their common faith and call each other “mamas.” It was endearing and I wanted to be one of the mamas! You could feel their closeness. And then my mind wandered to all the “mamas” I’ve known over the years, both friends and adopted moms, many of whom I have remained close to despite physical distance.

What “mamas” come to your mind? Mother figures. Close friends who have survived the years—no matter where you’ve lived, no matter how you’ve changed.

One mama I’d like to highlight is turning 80 soon. Her name is Joyce. This past week I heard from Mama Joyce’s son, who invited me to his mother’s birthday party in Chattanooga, Tennessee in a couple of weeks. Because of my schedule, it requires leaving on one day and returning the next, but this is one special “mama,” so I’ve bought my ticket.

Back when I was in my early twenties and really needing a mom, because my own mother struggled, I met Joyce while working in my first television job in Chattanooga, TN. She happened to be my boyfriend’s mother, and on weekends she and I would chat like school girls most of the day while my boyfriend was off doing something else (In retrospect, that wasn’t so wise). When he and I broke up, Mama Joyce and I decided that did not mean we needed to break up, so we didn’t. Even though I moved away, I was there for her when she went through a painful divorce, and was by her side after the loss of her son, my former beau. She was around for me as well through heartache and joys. And to keep this mama–daughter relationship alive, I’ve made it a point to visit her periodically over the past 30+ years. We always pick up where we left off.

These kinds of lifelong friendships don’t come around every day so if you haven’t reached out to the mamas in your life lately, maybe today is a good day to tell them how much you care.

To close, I want to wish Mama Joyce an early Happy Birthday. You have been one of the constants in my life. I love you, I am thankful for you and I can’t wait to hug you in person.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

The Gift of Peace by Rosemary Legrand

Are you struggling to maintain Peace?

 THE PEACE OF GOD IS A GIFT.

With all the turmoil we are encountering right now, everything may seem uncertain so it’s easy to slip into the spirit of fear, anxiety, and depression. It’s like a bad-fitting shoe that rubs a painful blister on our heel. We find it difficult to maintain the peace that we once had, the peace that the Scripture speaks about in Philippians.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus(Philippians 6–7).

I love that passage.

The word for “peace” in Hebrew is “Shalom.” The connotation is positive. When someone says, “Shalom,” or, “Peace unto you,” it doesn’t mean, “I hope you don’t get into any trouble.” It means, “I hope you have all the highest good coming your way.”

Someone wrote. “God is like Coke. He’s the real thing.”

“God is like General Electric. He lights your path.”

“God is like Hallmark Cards. He cares enough to give His best.”

“God is like VO5 Hair Spray. He holds through all kinds of weather.”

In spite of all of the clichés, He is a God like no other, it is my desire that we get to know Him better and understand the peace that only He provides. I want to us to learn more about who He is, so we can obtain a better understanding of what He can be to us as His children in the midst of this crisis. He is the Prince of Peace. 

Did you notice that the apostle Paul said, “The Peace of God“— not our peace, Why? Because our peace fluctuates. It is only the Peace of God that will sustain us.

I was an example of someone lacking peace. Many years ago, I suffered from a nervous breakdown, and now I am totally healed thanks to the mercy of God. So I can differentiate between when I am walking in the peace that fluctuates, and when I am walking in the Peace of God. I can wholeheartedly tell you I prefer the peace of God.  That’s why I have a personal saying that I now use daily: “I refuse to worry.”

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When we speak about peace, we are talking about a subject that is largely unknown in the world. All we have to do is turn on the evening news to discover that peace is a stranger in many parts of the world. However, it doesn’t have to be that way for us. We can receive the “Peace of God,” a fruit of the Holy Spirit that is ours if we ask for it. No matter what is going on in our lives we can be confident that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and is always with us, He promises that he cannot and will not fail us. He is the source of our peace. It’s a gift from our heavenly Father.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Trust Him in the midst of this Pandemic.

Shalom!

May God richly bless you.

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Don’t miss our next POP Chat, this Wednesday, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

The Pandemic Prayer by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Image by cromaconceptovisual from Pixabay

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the globe, the state of our world can leave us feeling helpless. But that’s why we need to step up our prayers like never before. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” So if we believe the Bible, we have to believe that our intercession make a difference. We can win this battle through prayer.

This week, the Holy Spirit gave me a three-fold prayer that we can lift up every day. It’s easy to remember because everything starts with the letter “S.”

Pray for Strength- Isaiah 40:29 says in the New Living Translation that God “gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Then in Isaiah 41:10 the LORD encourages us again, “Don’t be afraid; for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Many of us might think we’re strong, but when we get broadsided by life, with the undercurrent stress of COVID-19 already present, whatever additionally attacks us can take us down. We have to have God’s strength already running through our veins. In 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 the Apostle Paul said that in the midst of the insults, distresses, persecutions and the difficulties he endured, when he was weak, Christ made him strong.

Pray for StrategyDespite this dramatic change in the way we function, let’s ask God for a strategy to come through what’s going on, so we’ll still be standing when it ends. Our ministry has changed the way we do just about everything, and because I’ve asked the Lord for His strategy, he has also shifted my personal life in many ways, which includes a move into an additional area of expertise that will require more schooling. I would not have chosen this if I was living according to my plan, but I surrendered my plans to God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Isaiah 55:8–9 tells us that God may have a plan for our lives that is not even on our radar. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

Listen in the SilenceThis is when we ask, “What do you want to say to me during this Pandemic, Lord? What should I learn?” In Luke 5:16, it says that Jesus would often withdraw to desolate places to pray. He removed the noise so He could hear His Father’s voice more clearly. How do we hear God’s voice in the silence? It could be in the form of an impression on your spirit. It may be a gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit,, or possibly an audible whisper like the one that the prophet Elijah heard at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 19:11–13). Try it! God still speaks today.

Ultimately, by praying and leaving this Pandemic in God’s hands, we tell Him that we trust Him—no matter what happens. When everything around us seems like it is crumbling, He provides an inexplicable stable foundation. Prayer is the answer to surviving the Pandemic.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:10).

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Don’t miss our next POP Chat, this Wednesday, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Walk in the Spirit of Gentleness by Rosemary Legrand

The word of God taught us that we are saved by grace and that is a gift. In order for us to affectively embrace all that we are taught, I believe we must also operate in the “fruit of the Spirit.”

Today I chose one of the fruits of the Spirit and that is “gentleness.” But before I begin I would like to lay a foundation with the passage about the fruit of the Spirit found in the Bible. Galatians 5:22–23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Colossians 3:12 provides an addendum: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

First, I must say that many people have branded me as gentle and soft spoken, but as I was preparing this blog to encourage you in the Spirit of Gentleness. I realize there is more to being gentle and soft spoken. So I looked up the meaning of “gentleness’ and found there are a lot of different ways to dissect the word “gentleness.” Gentleness is “the quality of being considerate or kind in disposition, being friendly and tender, mild and soft, refined and polite.” And the opposite of gentleness is “harsh or severe.” As I pondered the definition, I considered Jesus, He is all powerful, but never misuses his power. He is gentle with his unruly children (us) He is the perfect father who never reacts in anger. Someone who is walking by the Spirit is going to be a gentle person.  No matter what the circumstances, they will remain gentle. Not because of weakness but because of the strength that Jesus provides. “We can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” (Philippians 4:13).

Jesus gave us the perfect picture of gentleness in Matthew 21:5: “See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey.” And now He offers us His gentleness as a gift. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with all of the fruit of the Spirit and will be gentle like Jesus.

When we are filled with the Spirit’s fruit of gentleness, we will correct others with calmness instead of arguing in resentment and anger, we will forgive readily, because any offense toward us is nothing compared to our offenses against God. When we are filled with the spirit of gentleness, competition and hatred will disappear, as the goal becomes less about ourselves and more about people seeing the Christ in us. The word of God says; “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:6). As we walk in the fruit “gentleness,” our behavior must be genuine and consistent because people are constantly watching us.

I told you before, people think I am gentle and soft spoken. Why? That is because they have been watching me. Gentleness also means giving up the right to judge what is best for us and others. You see, God is not as concerned with our comfort as He is concerned with our spiritual growth. That is why he wants our lives to depict the fruit of the Spirit. He knows how to grow us far better than we do, and offers us His gentleness as a gift.

Remember the value that God places on the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Gentleness also means “putting up with stuff.” So, brand the image of Jesus and His suffering onto your mind and your heart. Clothe yourself in the fruit of the Spirit. And as you “put up with stuff” you will cultivate the fruit of God’s gentleness.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

If you are still struggling to implement any aspect of the fruit, take time to read Gal 5: 22-23 and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. He will because He cannot and will not fail you. 

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Don’t miss our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

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