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You Are Much To Old! 

You Are Much Too Old by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush, Founder of the Refreshing Life

Recently I was reminded of The 2nd Annual Called to Sing Retreat that occurred in 2011.  It was an amazing gathering of artists who came from as far away as Maryland and the mighty Midwest of Illinois.  Artists eager to do a great work for the Lord, seeking direction, encouragement and a community of like minded psalmists who understood their special needs. 

As I reflect back, the most interesting thing about the group was all of the artists in attendance except one were over the age of 30.  That’s like being a senior citizen in the world of contemporary Christian music.  I remember my first experience with a major Christian Artist organization when I left my day job to pursue this God given dream fulltime.  I was told in no uncertain terms at the rip age of 32 that I was much too old to expect a record deal or have a viable career as an artist.  I left that conference feeling discouraged – in their opinion, and they were the gatekeepers, I was too old to be worthwhile to mainstream Christian music. 

After drowning my sorrows in cake, I decided that I wouldn’t let anyone tell me what Jesus could and could not do.  If He wanted me to have a record deal, dog gone it, I’d have it.  Since then, I’ve started my own label seen and done some incredible things in ministry and have been able to sustain myself as an artist for almost 20 years.  Am I rich, nope, do I have national exposure – nope.  But I am happier then I ever was working in an office confined to the limits of other people’s faith.  And I believe, I’ve made a difference and touched a few lives in the process. 

A friend and fellow artist Katie Peltier once said that Christian music seemed to be one of the only industries that closed the door on your entry after a certain age, which is completely contradictory to what the Bible says about age.  The Bible says in Proverbs 16 verse 31 that, Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.  And I gotta a few gray poking through this blonde wig.  Or in Job 12 Verse 12, Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. 

What I know now, what I have experienced and learned in my early 40’s can in no way compare to what I knew when I was in my 20’s or even 30’s.  I’m a better artist because I know about struggle, loneliness, extreme joy, Godly love and loss – in multiple ways and from multiple perspectives.  I’m not saying young whipper snappers don’t have anything to say – I could be my current producer’s mother if I’d had a baby at 17!  I’m saying that a multitude of life experiences make for a richer artist so don’t count me out cause I’m older then what a record label thinks is marketable. 

So I want to encourage someone if you are an artist or not… someone told you it’s to late, you’re to old, it will never happen for you.  Don’t believe the lie of the devil.  Get moving on that dream, that desire, that goal.  You have much to share with the world and as long as there is breath in you, it’s never to late!  

As for me, I’m leaning on Psalm 92 Verse 14, 

And you know what, I’ve only just begun, sit back and watch me burn… I got things to do and places to go for the Lord.  I’m on a great adventure, will you join me? 

I'd love to know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and let me know! If you are looking to launch your ministry or God given dream and you'd like a little help, pick up a copy of Dr. Nay's Guide To Achieving Your God Given Dream - get it on www.amazon.com today!

Domestic Violence In The Church!? 

Domestic Violence In The Church - A Video Blog with LJ and Novica Olinger, Jr. of Marriage Matters

 

Did you know that domestic violence occurs more frequently in Christian marriages then in secular marriages? In this video blog, Elders LJ and Novica Olinger share the stats, stories and vital information about this growing problem in the church today. Watch the video below for more information and an engaging insight on this troublesome topic.

 

 

Elders Larry and Novica Olinger are powerful and anointed marriage mentors - for more information about their work or to seek assistance on marital issues, contact them here: www.marriagematterstoday.com

I'm Dying Here... 

I’m Dying Here… 

One of the problems with reading a lot of books, watching educational videos, listening to good preaching sermons and enjoying podcasts, is that you often hear a nugget of wisdom that profoundly shakes your world.  I jot those little scraps of wisdom down and they exist on napkins, in my phone notes, on church bulletins, my desk top and on random pieces of paper scattered around my home. 

I pull them out often and review them.  Sometimes they spark a song or lead me to do a more in-depth study of the topic. Classes have been created from these gems, presentations and sermons birthed from the little notes to Naima that I keep in a system that only makes sense to me.  I write these notes and quotes because they resonate with me, they challenge me or change me.  Sometimes I write these notes and quotes because I totally disagree with the premise of what has been said and want to examine it from all angles. 

I can’t remember where I got this one from, but there it was was tucked away in my phone notes with no attribution. 

It said, “You don’t win wars by giving up your life.” 

And I can totally understand how that makes sense… when you are perceiving things in the natural.  But the spiritual realm is a whole different story.  As a matter of fact, the way to win the war, the path to achieve great victory, is in fact, giving up your life. 

Jesus illustrates this point when He won the greatest war ever, the one that made Him champion over death, hell and the grave.  He got up on the cross and gave His life and He won the war – and we are always expected to follow His example. 

I am at a cross roads right now, a place where I have to decide what is my number one priority, what am I willing to give my life up for? It’s a difficult, gut wrenching decision, one that has caused me to re-evaluate, reconstruct and listen more closely then ever for the voice of the Father. 

This battle that we fight is unseen, subtle and can make us a casualty of war for the wrong side if we are not paying attention to life.   We can get easily sidetracked when we begin to think about what we want, and not what the Lord wants.  And often what He wants requires us to give up our lives for His glory and purpose.  I don’t mean to physical death of course, but it may mean dying to our own selfish desires, our own plans and dreams. 

How do you reconcile that? Well, I’m thinking that giving my life up to Jesus is much better then trying to hold on to it and finding at the end I’ve been a dead woman walking all along.  I’m going to die in this war – die to myself so I can live for Jesus. 

For whoever would save his life,  will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.  Mark 8:35 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, shoot me a note or leave a comment on my FB page at www.facebook.com/ministryofnaima

 

#dyingtoself #spiritualwarfare

#thepowerofprayer #layingdownmylife #naimajohnstonbush

A Great Hope 

A Great Hope, Guest Post by Beth Jones 

Has something great happened in your life, when all of a sudden everything turned totally upside down and you're like, "What?!" 

As of this writing, it is Palm Sunday--the time of year when Christian believers celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey and the people waved palm branches shouting, "Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" (John 12:13-13) 

By the time you read this blog post, it may be past Palm Sunday, but this post's message is still relevant, no matter what day or month it is. 

One minute the people are making such a happy brouhaha, and next thing you now they're crucifying the guy. Typical human behavior. Man is fickle. None of this took Jesus by surprise; He came to earth for such a time as this. He knows what is in man's heart and mind. (John 2:24) 

But wait, hold on a minute! When you're going through a dark storm, all is not lost. You don't need to despair. Easter is on its way! Jesus, after being tortured, dying on the Cross, and buried in a borrowed tomb, rose from the grave three days later, just as He said He would to His disciples! (Mark 9:31) 

We can read this true and powerful story with a great hope. Life can be so busy, hectic, and challenging. It can hurt deeply. You and I can get hit by Satan and his minions suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere. The devil often uses those closest to us or other believers to cause us the most pain, confusion, and doubt about God and ourselves.  

While I've experienced Satan's demonic attacks my entire life, the last few years the attacks have been coming against me more frequently and are much more intense than ever before. You wonder what in the world is going on here? 

Personally, I believe we are living in the end times and that is why. Satan knows his time is short. While many people have been saying for hundreds of years that Jesus is coming back soon and nobody knows the day or hour but God (Matthew 24;36), Jesus said we will know that His coming is near by the signs. (Luke 21:5-31) Today's headline news are the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. We see Revelation coming to pass before our eyes.  

So Satan is increasing his attacks on Christian believers, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) If he can't kill us, he'll do everything he can to distract, discourage, and derail us from our faith in Christ. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) 

But there is GOOD NEWS! We know that Easter is not about cute little bunnies or candy (although as a child, I always enjoyed my Easter basket and chocolate is good any time!). Easter is about Jesus dying for your sin and mine, and Him resurrecting from the grave so we'd be forgiven and live with God in Heaven forever.  

Easter is about the power of the Living, One and True God, the great 

I AM, the King of Kings, to whom all glory and praise and honor is due, forever and ever, amen! 

Jesus died so that you and I would live His abundant life. In our family, health, church, business, ministry, job, at the movies, on the road or in a plane, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. In church and in the marketplace. In the nations where God says, "Go," and sends us. (Isaiah 6:8) 

Are you living that abundant life right now? Are you fully using the spiritual gifts God has given you for His glory? Are you fulfilling your great purpose? 

Selah. Take a pause. Reflect and think on these things today. 

"The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over, no matter what my circumstances."--Robert Flatt

Answered Prayer Awaits You 

 

Answered Prayers Await You By Ramelle T. Lee ©2012 

Meditation Scripture: (Psalm 138:3 NLT).  "When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need." 

                       

What does it take for God to answer your prayer?  What are you afraid of?  Do you think He will not listen to your plea?  Do you think that when you cry out to Him that He will not come to your rescue?  Do you think that you are so self-sufficient that you can do it by yourself?  Do you have a crystal ball that can give you the answer without seeking God first? 

Well, it's time that you awaken from your sleep.  It's time you face the truth and understand that God is standing at attention to hear you pray.  You don't need a crystal ball.  You need to rely on God, for your very existence in this world.  You have been sitting there in your unresolved situation, and not believing that you can get a prayer through to God. 

The enemy has clouded your vision and you are far off track.  The enemy has caused you to revert back to your old ways and not believe that you must rely on God for your answers to life's issues.  Prayer changes things.  Prayer is the key to the kingdom of God. When you realize that God holds the world in the palm of His hands you can shake off the weight, and stand firmly, believing that your situation can be fixed. 

Your heavenly Father has the right course of action for you to take.  He has the right answer to your prayers.  Will you yield to the Voice of the Holy Spirit and relinquish the control to resolve your problems by yourself?  You have been given a wide open window into the heavenlies.  But it's up to you to take up your cross and follow the Master of the Universe.

God will deliver you from the hands of the enemy.  He will deliver you from the storms of your situation.  He will cause you to be strengthened in your inner man daily, as you walk by faith and not by sight.  Can you believe God for your breakthrough?  Can you believe that God will turn your situation around?  Can you believe that God will give you the ability to face the giants in your life? Can you believe that God will provide you with blessed hope to defeat those battles in your life that cause you to mistrust? 

God wants you to be strong in the power of His might. He desires you to believe that you can have mountain moving faith. However, you must firmly stand on His Word and rely on Him to help you conquer fear, that attempts to defeat your spirit and keep you from having victory in your life. Pray for guidance daily and seek the Lord to deliver you from a spirit of selfishness.  Release your cares to your Heavenly Father and allow Him to show you the way to truth.  God will show you how to resolve your issues that have come to defeat your spirit.  God answers prayer!  Believe it and walk daily in the revelation knowledge that you are given everlasting hope. 

Walk in the assurance that God will be there to guide you every step of the way.  You will not fail. You will not fear!  You can climb that mountain of hope and believe that God will hear you when you pray.  God will deliver you and give you the liberty to walk in total victory. Follow His leading one step at a time. Stretch your faith and move towards the promise that has already been established in heaven just for you. 

Thank God for answered prayer and stand in obedience with your head held high.  Watch God show up and rescue you. Give your appointed heavenly angels their chosen assignment to deliver your soul from trouble.  You will receive miraculous blessings, as you believe God for your breakthrough.  Stand and see the salvation of the Lord this day, says the Spirit of God. 

 

Ramelle Lee is a poet, author, radio host and the founder of Touching Your Heart Ministries. Her first book, Step Into His Greatness is filled with 35 refreshing meditations to encourage and transform.  You can contact her at: ramelleskip@aol.com. 

 

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