From the Quiet Place…

God wants to live among His people.  He wants to protect them.  That has always been His desire since the beginning of time.  He desires to commune and have that fellowship with His children.  However, His people have rejected Him as their Lord and their God.  Those who have claimed God as their own have defiled their own bodies and have exchanged the Most High God for other gods, the creation created by God Himself and the things created by man.

GNBThe Church has exchanged what is holy for what is evil and exchanged the truth of God for lies.  Rather than seeking the God Who Provides her with all her needs, she seeks after that which is temporal such as power, prestige, wealth, popularity, and the like.

God is not welcomed in most places of worship, and His Word has been dissected and chopped up to the point it is unrecognizable.  The Word has been made to suit the lifestyles of the people instead of the people seeing themselves in light of the Word of God, repenting, turning from their evil ways, and humbling themselves before God.

God desires a relationship with His people, but they have kicked Him out of their lives and their hearts.  They have kicked God out of their homes and places of worship.

ROMANSThe consequences of their sin are falling on their own heads, and they are blaming God for their suffering.  Their choices have them on the broad road to destruction.  They are headed to Hell.  Their consciences are seared and their hearts calloused.

The anger of God is set against all sinful and wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.  They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them.  The creation clearly shows the invisible qualities of God and so they have no excuse for not knowing God.

HEBREWSEverything is exposed before the eyes of God.  He sees all and yet His children don’t believe He sees all they do and hears all they say.  They are clever at doing wrong, but they are stupid when it comes to doing what is right.  They have chosen death instead of life.  They have chosen to be cursed rather than blessed.

To all those who have believed Him and accepted Him, to them, He gave the right to become children of God.  Those who do His will and walk uprightly before Him, they belong to Him.

“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?  Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor has sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who see Your face.”

 

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For His Glory, Not Your Own.

ELDERLY WOMAN


“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 6:1(NLT)



This Bible verse is very clear:  We are to do good for His glory, not our own.

What we do in the way of good deeds, we do out of our love for God and out of our lives lived out in faith to God.  “Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others” simply means we are not to do good deeds to receive the applause and approval of men. If we do good deeds to be seen, to receive the applause and approval of men, that is the only reward we will receive, and then, we lose the reward from God.  Knowing this, let us resolve to do everything for the glory of God to be seen of Him, to seek His approval.  In pleasing God and bringing glory to Him, you will receive the blessing He has for you.

The Word of God, in Galatians 6:14(NLT), states, “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.”  If our boast is to be in anything, then our boast should be in the cross, not in what we do.



PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are my God, and I will put my hope and my trust in You.  My faith is in You alone.  You are the only One whose approval I need to seek and the only One I need to please.  Father, help me to always remember that my boast is to be in the cross of Jesus Christ, not in anything I do, and when I do good deeds, I am to do those good works for Your glory.  I ask that You let me be a blessing to others and to continue using me for Your glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Will Cost You Everything

32335-06122016-cc-Isaiah-46-9-social



“‘I have not troubled Israel,’ Elijah replied, ‘but you and your father’s house have, for you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals.'” 1 Kings 18:18(BSB)



Will serving and loving God cost you anything?  Yes, it will cost you everything (Luke 14:25-34), but the results are so worth it.  It is not enough to call yourself a believer.  It is not enough to be exposed to the Word of God.  You must be loving the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.  You must be applying His Word to your life and obeying God and His Word out of that love for Him.  It really does come down to choosing whom you will serve.

When leaders choose to worship other gods, it causes problems for the nation or church or organization or households.  Why?  Because whatever the leader’s spirit is will be what the leader will be ministering with.  Don’t get me wrong.  God used a donkey to get His point across to Balaam the prophet in Numbers 22:28.  After all, nothing is too difficult for God. 

Either a leader will lead with the guidance of the Holy Spirit or a leader will be leading by the flesh.  When one leads with his/her flesh, there will always be major issues and problems.

With that being said…

There is one God, but Ahab and Jezebel worshiped Baal (most popular of the Canaanite gods).  However, Elijah was in the midst of the people, and eventually, Elijah challenged the people to take a stand. Either they would choose God or remain Baal worshipers.

When people have to give up their sinful pleasures in order to serve God, you can see their reluctance and walking away because they are not willing to surrender to God.  Their actions will make it quite clear whether they served God or not.  If you take a stand for God, you cannot live the way you want to.

You may be thinking, “I’m not a leader.”  Yes, you are.  All of us lead someone at some point.  Even if you think you are not a leader, you are being watched by someone (children, spouse, professors, teachers, supervisors, co-workers, list goes on).  How you act, what you say, and whether or not you stand for truth matters to whoever watches how you are living your life.  There are those who will watch to see if your walk and your talk line up with each other.  Make sure you keep yourself in right relationship with God, keeping Him first in all things.



 

Just like Elijah had challenged the people so did Joshua.  The Word of God gives this account in Joshua 24:24-27(BSB):  

“Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; cast aside the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if it is unpleasing in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!”

The people replied, ‘Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods!  For the LORD our God brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and performed these great signs before our eyes. He also protected us all throughout our journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because He is our God!’

But Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your rebellion or your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and consume you, even after He has been good to you.’

‘No!’ replied the people. ‘We will serve the LORD!’

Then Joshua told them, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.’

‘We are witnesses!’ they said.

‘Now, therefore,’ he said, ‘get rid of the foreign gods among you and incline your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.’

So the people said to Joshua, ‘We will serve the LORD our God and obey His voice.’

On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem, he established for them a statute and ordinance. Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was near the sanctuary of the LORD.  And Joshua said to all the people, ‘You see this stone. It will be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words the LORD has spoken to us, and it will be a witness against you if you ever deny your God.'”

 



Taking a stand is never easy.  However, either you will choose to serve God and live for Him, or you will reject Him.  When it comes to living for God, there is NO neutral ground.  This is not the time to be backing down.  It is time to rise up and move forward doing whatever task God has called you to do.  You may be in this world, but you are not of this world.  Be a godly influence in this world, but do NOT let the world influence you. 



Linda A. Knowles



“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.  Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.  And I know that I will not be put to shame.” –Isaiah 50:7(NLT)

 

 

 

You Rescue Me

psalm 113



YOU RESCUE ME

Written By Linda A. Knowles



I will praise You in the morning,

And I will praise You in the night,

even when it seems there is no hope in sight;

For You, O God, are my Deliverer,

And You are my Strength;

And You, O Lord, are the One Who Rescues Me

from the hands of my enemies.



I will praise the Lord at all times.  I will constantly speak his praises.  I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.  Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.  I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.  Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.  In my desperation, I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.  For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.” –(Psalm 34:1-7NLT)


 

Sometimes I Wonder…

JOB



“Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful?”

-Job 21:7 NLT


“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; Do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

-Psalm 37:7-9 NLT


“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.”

-Isaiah 48:10 NLT



Sometimes I wonder why it always looks like the wicked succeed, then I’m reminded that the wicked are not succeeding because they are perishing. One can be wealthy and successful by every worldly standard and yet be spiritually bankrupt. Success in the eyes of God is vastly different from how the world sees it. God takes you to heights unknown when you are following Him and He blesses those who are walking in obedience to Him.

There may be trials along the way to get to the destination God has for you, but those trials teach you endurance and perseverance. You are not refined in the times of good, but you are refined in the furnace of suffering. God is the one who will make you come out as gold. Just remember to keep your eyes and your mind fixed on the Author and Finisher of your faith, and He will be the One who gives you perfect peace as you keep trusting in Him.



REFLECTIVE PRAYER Heavenly Father, You, O God, are the Author and the Finisher of my faith.  I will continue to keep my eyes and my mind fixed on You because in You alone there is hope and peace.  You are the True Joy Giver.  You are the One who upholds me with Your victorious right hand, and You have made me more than a conqueror.  Lord, help me to always remember that no matter what comes my way, no matter what circumstances I find myself in, You will be the One who shapes and refines me and brings me forth like gold.  Guide me as I walk along this narrow way for Your grace is the wall of protection around me, the netting that catches me when I’m falling, and Your grace is my covering.  Lead me to the destination You have for me.  Help me to carry out the tasks You have assigned me, and may my spirit always yield to You alone.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Much love to you all,

Linda A. Knowles

Let God Handle Your Enemies

EXODUS



“Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!” -Isaiah 8:9-10


Your enemies can devise all the schemes and plans they want to try to take you down. They have one major problem; they have to get through the blood of Christ in order to get to you. They can come up with clever word games and other manipulative tactics, but they can never thwart the plans of God for your life. The Word of God is not chained, and when the Word of God goes out, the Word of God will accomplish the purposes for which it was sent. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies cannot be stopped by any mortal. Immanuel (God With Us) is a declarative name, and because God is with you, you are made victorious. The Lord Your God is your Immanuel, and God being with you rescues you from the clutches of the enemy.  “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?  If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”  Keep standing on the promises of God and obeying His commandments as He is fighting your battles and as He is taking care of your enemies.  Always remember the battle belongs to the Lord.



REFLECTION:  “If you love me, obey my commandments,” (John 14:15) Christ said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.”  In dealing with your enemies, you do not deal with them as the world does.  You don’t pray for their demise or for something bad to happen to them.  Vengeance belongs to God alone.  As a child of the Most High God, you are to continue walking in obedience to the teaching of Christ and to know, as well as to keep at the front of your mind, that your responsibility is to love your enemies and do good to those that hate you.  If you love the Lord, you will obey Him and His teachings and keep trusting in Him to take care of those who are against you.  Let God be God, and you remain blessed by loving your enemies, praying for them, and doing good to those who hate you.



PRAYER Heavenly Father, to You be all the glory.  You alone are God, and You said vengeance belongs to You.  Bless my enemies by meeting their deepest need to know You and who You are.  Lord, teach me how to do good to my enemies and show me ways to bless them.  Forgive me for the times, I have desired revenge, and help me to remember Your ways are not my ways.  Help me to remember you work all things out for good.  Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me as I continue to do Your will and obey Your teachings.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7

Linda A. Knowles

Jealousy And Selfish Ambition Bring Disorder.

JEALOUS 1

“For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” -James 5:16 (NLT)

Jealousy comes about when you don’t appreciate what you have.  When you lack gratitude for what you already have and allow yourself to covet what your fellow brother or sister in Christ have, you are being ungrateful and selfish, and you are sinning against God.  When jealousy takes root and you covet what others have, you put yourself in competition with others who aren’t even competing with you, others who may not even know you’re jealous of them.  When you allow yourself to be jealous of someone else’s talents and abilities, you are comparing yourself to another.  Instead of allowing yourself to be jealous, focus on being grateful for what God has given you and how He designed you.  Use what He gave you to bless others, and allow your talents and abilities to progress in growth by using them for His glory and for the furtherance of His Kingdom…  If you allow yourself to be jealous and covet what another has, you will not have peace of mind, and you will end up miserable, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones,” (Proverbs 14:30 NLT).  

Godliness with contentment is great gain, and when you mix godliness and contentment with thanksgiving for what you have, jealousy will be squashed.  Don’t even give it a little room.  Like any other sin, jealousy needs to be confessed and repented of to God.  Renew your mind by the reading of His Word, and apply the Word when jealousy arises.

Remember you were designed to be unique, created with purpose and design by God.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made complex.  Be thankful for what you have which has been given to you by God -talents, abilities, food, shelter, and the like.  See yourself as God sees you -worthy and valuable and costly, all because of what Christ did for you at Calvary. 

Don’t give the devil a foothold.

Linda A. Knowles 

The Problem With Masks & Costumes

MASK 3Every Halloween, it’s a mad dash to get out of the house as fast as possible by exactly 4:30 p.m. to avoid Trick or Treaters.  I am one who absolutely loathes Halloween as does my husband.  We don’t celebrate Halloween, and the idea of passing out candy every two minutes for four and a half hours doesn’t sound appealing at all… EVER.

The first year we were at our current residence, we were leaving the house, and I caught a glimpse of a parent with his child in his arms.  Something about seeing a child dressed as a vampire was highly disturbing, and the fake blood on the fangs just made it worse until I saw a newborn dressed as an ax murderer and found myself shuddering.

Figuratively speaking, people wear masks and costumes all the time.  The masks conceal what the person’s face actually looks like versus how the person shows him/herself to others.  For instance, when someone is wearing a mask/costume, he can portray himself as if he is an angel.   When in actuality, he lacks compassion, has the intrusive nature of a cockroach, and has the character of a shark and alligator combined.  If someone is shy, she may not be shy when wearing a mask.  She can feel free to be outgoing and speak her mind because no one knows it’s her, allowing her not to fear rejection, and being able to share her thoughts and ideas without anyone trying to stop her from talking, and there’s no one to stop her from meeting other people who are wearing masks and costumes just like her.

WOLF 2HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM WITH MASKS AND COSTUMES is eventually they have to be taken off.  When masks and costumes are stripped off, be careful because you may find the person was a wolf for the entire time you knew them.  At that point, you have to decide what you will do.  You will either stick around and be devoured by the wolf until there is nothing left of you except a skeleton, or you will run and get away from the ravenous wolf who is staring at you like you are dinner with its fangs exposed and ready to pounce on you.

If you choose the second option, you, at least, have a chance of survival.

 

Linda A. Knowles

 

 

 

Fallen Redwood & Ash

FALLEN REDWOOD & MOUNTAIN ASH

By Linda A. Knowles

March 2018

REDWOOD 1

O Mighty Redwood and Mountain Ash,

whose girth of trunk and superlative height none

could, at one time, compare!

Nevertheless, you have fallen!

And Jezebel and Ahab suffocate you;

and the vultures fly overhead, 

to seek out where the carcass lies,

as the Ara Macaos,

perched upon your branches,

cackle and call out,

and they shriek wildly,

sending out their cries

and flailing their wings all about.

ARA MACAOS 1

 

 

 

 

 

Let God Fight Your Battles For You

LION 1That’s right:  Let GOD fight your battles for you.  Our GOD is THE GOD of JUSTICE, and it is difficult to let go of whatever is going on around us that we’re facing.  However, letting go and letting GOD do what HE has to do is something we won’t regret.  I learned many years ago, never to repay evil with evil because the WORD OF GOD states, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,” (1 Peter 1:17 ESV).  We conduct ourselves as GOD would have us to conduct ourselves.  GOD has set the standards of morality and ethics.  GOD has set the standard of holiness, and therefore, we need to conduct ourselves knowing GOD sees all we do and hears all we say.  Eventually, we will have to give an account to HIM for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36) and everything we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10).  “And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'” (2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV)

We simply need to take our position and stand our ground, fix our eyes on GOD, giving HIM glory and honor and obeying whatever command HE gives us.

DO NOT DEBATE your enemies and DO NOT ENGAGE your enemies.  The WORD OF GOD states clearly, “Not defending yourselves, dearly beloved; but rather give place unto the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” (Jubilee Bible 2000).  The wicked will perish, and GOD scoffs at the wicked (Proverbs 1:26);  and “However, the one who receives instruction in the word must share in all good things with his instructor.  Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked.  Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life,” (Galatians 6:6-8 BSB)

ALWAYS REMEMBER:  THE LORD is your SHIELD and your DEFENSE, and He is the GOD WHO UPHOLDS YOU.  It is better to be a friend of GOD than to be HIS enemy (James 4:4), and GOD always takes care of HIS own children (Psalm 16:5).

“The LORD is my strength and my shield, In Him hath my heart trusted, And I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, And with my song will I praise Him,” (Psalm 28:7 JPS Tanakh 1917).  “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust,” (Psalm 91:2 KJV).

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

TELL YOUR UNTOLD STORY

ANGELOU 3

Remember This:  Your story is just that -your story.  Tell your UNTOLD Story -the story you have kept silent for months or even years, the other side of the story that has made those you once respected separate themselves from you.

Let their jaws drop open to the floor, and let them realize they were wrong about you.  Let them realize you have a mind of your own, that you know more than you say, that you observe more than you let on, that you don’t need their approval, and that they cannot imprison you by what they say about you or by what actions they take against you.  Let them realize they are not the reason for your success or for the better choices you have made for you and for your life.

BROKEN 2


If no one is encouraging you, then let me encourage you today; Free yourself up, and let it all hang out.

Much Love To You All, L.A. Knowles


Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” -King David

Living Life Out Loud & Not Behind A Mask

LIVE 1

I have found it better to live life out loud because I have found when you conceal everything about yourself rather than letting others get to know you, you will never allow yourself to be held accountable.  Accountability and taking responsibility are part of life.  Concealing your struggles and pretending you’re a picture-perfect person will never allow you to heal.  When wounds are exposed, those wounds can be cleansed and then can heal… and in this life, I have quickly learned one thing:  There are only very few I will allow myself to be accountable to and allow myself to receive Godly counsel from.  I don’t just let anyone speak into my life.

MASK 1*Remember thisIf you decide to wear a mask, you will only be able to wear it so long before (1) your mask begins to fall off, (2) before your mask shows who you are little by little slowly slipping off(3) before your mask completely falls off, or (4) before someone strips the mask off your face for you.  Free yourself up, and take off the mask.  At least if you take off the mask, you won’t have to worry about someone stripping it off for you.  When you strip the mask yourself, it’s on your terms, not on someone else’s terms.  Be genuine because it’s okay for you to be yourself.  The right people will come along who will accept you just as you are, flaws and all…

 

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

ZACCHAEUS DID WHAT HE HAD TO

“He entered Jericho and was passing through.  And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.  And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’  So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all grumbled, ‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.’  And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'” (Luke 19:1-10)

REPENTANCE 8

Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, and he did whatever he had to in order to see Jesus.  In his case, he ran ahead and climbed a tree because Jesus was soon to pass by that way.  Jesus took notice of Zacchaeus and his heart because Jesus knew the heart of man. 

WHY DID JESUS WANT TO GO TO ZACCHAEUS’ HOME?

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.  But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” (John 2:23-25)

No one had to tell Jesus what the heart of men was like.  He knew their thoughts and their ways.  While no one else sees the heart of another, Jesus did and still does.  Our Savior didn’t need to be told, and even in Jeremiah, the prophet noted what the heart of man is like: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”  BUT Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ heart, and Jesus called out to Zacchaeus who was in the tree.  Zacchaeus HEARD JESUS CALL HIS NAMEPROMPTLY OBEYED JESUS, QUICKLY CAME DOWN FROM THE TREE and RECEIVED JESUS JOYFULLY because Jesus was coming to his house.  Zacchaeus wanted to hear what Jesus had to say and responded to Jesus’ message.  Note these words of the passage, So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.”  Zacchaeus RECEIVED Jesus joyfully.  Because the message of Jesus made a difference in Zacchaeus’ life, we can see the result of Zacchaeus’ changed life and his repentance.  It took an act of genuine repentance on Zacchaeus’ part.  Zacchaeus not only received Jesus, he also turned from his wicked ways, made restitution giving back more than he took in cheating people, and had a change of thinking.  In that act of repentance and in the act of Zacchaeus changing his wicked ways, Jesus brought salvation to Zacchaeus and his household.  The evidence of Zacchaeus being saved was demonstrated.  How you live before God matters.

REPENTANCE 7Claiming to have a relationship with Christ is more than words.  Having a relationship with Christ means daily communing with Him, and loving Christ means obeying His commands, being faithful and loyal to Him no matter what the cost.  Having a relationship with Christ means having a heart of contrition and repentance, receiving Jesus and His message, turning from your wicked ways, and changing the way you think so that your thoughts are aligned with God’s thoughts.  Having a relationship with Christ is about laying down your will and your ways and walking in the ways of God, following the example Christ has set for you.  Having a relationship with Christ means laying down your life for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, concerning yourself with mercy and justice and faithfulness, and walking humbly before Him.  Saying you follow Christ without your life matching your words means nothing.

While you have breath there is a chance for repentance, changing your ways, and changing the way you think.  Take an example from Zacchaeus and his attitude before Jesus.  Zacchaeus didn’t just speak words of contrition.  His words of contrition were backed up by his actions, changing his ways and turning from his wickedness, gladly receiving the message of Christ.

“Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples, and He told them, ‘If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it.  What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.’” (Mark 8:34-38)

REPENTANCE 2One day each individual will have to stand before the God the Creator of all things, and each will be called into account for every idle word spoken and every action taken.   So what will you do with what you know about Jesus?  Who do you say Jesus is?  Will you accept or reject Him?  What you do with Christ is a matter of spiritual life and death, and what you do with Christ will determine where you will spend life after death.  Don’t miss out on eternity with God by rejecting the only means of salvation God provided through His Son Jesus Christ.  Choose life with Christ.  Living a life truly sold out in devotion to Christ is worth it.

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

 

 

 

Legend In Your Own Mind

VULTURE 1



LEGEND IN YOUR OWN MIND

Written By Linda A. Knowles



You are a legend

in your own mind

and you can’t

even seem to find

a little

not even a drop

of the dirt you threw at

the one

who dared escape

your vicious claws

and all this time

you believed

that one would continue

to drag behind.

 

 

A vulture-

That you are

and your conscience

seared

and the one

who escaped

your talons

flies high and free

above the trees

to mountain heights

having mounted up with wings

like an eagle

and soaring

through the air

upheld by His powerful hands.

 

 

Worth It All

HEBREWS 2

It was that moment I knew I would be standing alone, but I didn’t see where I had a choice if I wanted a deeper walk with the Lord, if I was to do the task He called me to do.  So with every ounce of strength He gave to me, I stepped out in faith and obeyed.  It was like jumping off a cliff, but when it was done, when it was finally done, I felt like I was able to breathe for the first time in a long time, and freedom came rushing in.

It didn’t matter if those around me understood what I was doing.  The only thing that mattered was doing what God wanted me to do, what He told me to do, and simply following the leading of the Holy Spirit.  It didn’t matter if the words I spoke would be received or not.  I simply had to let go and let God, and then I had to get out of the way in full surrender and say, “It’s all yours, God.  I did what you wanted.  You take care of the rest, and I’ll stay out of the way.”

…because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is GOD’S APPROVAL, not man’s …because when all has been said and done, it is knowing and understanding GOD’S GRACE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH to sustain us …because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts …because of what Christ did on the cross and because of His resurrection, we are able to live a life of victory.


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” -Hebrews 12:1-2


You do NOT have to explain your relationship with God to anyone nor do you have to explain how God speaks to you.  Just keep following God, leaning on Him, and relying on Him alone for strength.  His grace is more than enough.

CHAIN 2Whatever God has told you to do, just obey.  Yes, it’s worth it all.  It may not be easy and the road may be rocky, but it’s worth it all.  What influences you?  What is stopping you from obeying God?  Who are you listening to?  What are you allowing your eyes to take in? What do you have to lay down in order to have a deeper walk with God, for Him to take you where He wants to take you?  What will you give up?  Do you care more about the approval of God or the approval of man?  Where does your heart lie?

Lay it all down before the Lord.

Nothing short of full surrender will do

Let Him break the chains.

Much love to all,

L.A. Knowles

MY ETHNICITY DNA TEST

Southern Europe 2

I grew up in an Italian/Sicilian family, and as far as my family knew, they could trace our ethnicity to Italy and Sicily; however, thanks to my parents’ genetic makeup and my receiving whatever they had, I found out my ethnicity, my family’s ethnicity is not just Italian/Sicilian.

ASIA MINORBack a few months ago, my husband and I received two Ethnicity DNA kits as a gift.  I made sure I followed the instructions to the letter with the help of my husband so I didn’t miss a beat, and he completed his kit; we sent both DNA kits off to the center.

It took awhile, but in the last two weeks, I FINALLY got my results.  And while it was not surprising based on Italy’s history, it was most definitely an eye opener.


HERE ARE THE RESULTS OF MY ETHNICITY DNA TEST

Eastern Middle East61% SOUTHERN EUROPEAN

39% MIDDLE EASTERN (Breakdown):

19% Asia Minor

16% Eastern Middle East

4% North African

*

DNA is absolutely amazing!

North Africa

We Will Not Back Down



WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN

Written By Linda A. Knowles



ARMOR 1

We pledge allegiance to God Almighty,

Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

Representing Him who holds our citizenship in Heaven,

we will strap on the full armor of God

so our loyalty will not waver as we stand firm

in the face of opposition.

We will be strong and courageous,

without fear,

without dismay.

Leaving everything behind,

we offer our lives as a living sacrifice

unto Him who spared no expense to rescue us.

As we are striving to serve Him wholeheartedly,

we know the battle is not ours, but God’s.

With a steadfast determination and the strength He gives,

we will not back down.

One of these sheep is not like the other….

MASK 6

“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

*

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.   A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” –Matthew 7:15-20

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

Get Ready To Throw & Then Do So

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” -Maya Angelou

 

When we give of ourselves to help those around us, we demonstrate the love of Christ; and in the Gospels, when we see our Savior being moved with compassion, we also should be moved with compassion as we follow His example and help those around us.

May we always remember to be His hands extended.

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

_______________________

BLESS 1

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” -Luke 6:38

“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.” -Hebrews 6:10

“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” -Hebrews 13:16

 

 

 

An Attitude of Gratitude Goes A Long Way So Don’t Be Like Eeyore The Donkey.

eeyoreDo you have a roof over your head?  Do you have clothes on your back?  Food on the table? Do you have family… friends?  Did you wake up this morning?

IF YOU HAVE ANSWERED YES TO ANY OR ALL OF THOSE QUESTIONS, YOU ARE BLESSED.

Put a smile on your face.  Count your blessings.  You have been given another day, a fresh start, another chance.  Rather than focusing on yourself or all things negative, DO SOMETHING nice for someone else.  Look for opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS.  Believe it or not, those opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS happen quite frequently.  Extending yourself to help someone else will help begin the mending of a broken heart or a crushed spirit.

The most miserable people are those who have not learned to be content with what they have and not learned to be grateful.  Develop an attitude of gratitude; it will carry you through good and bad times

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” -1 Timothy 6:6

 

Is Anyone Else Tired?

anger

 

Life is too short to be angry all the time, and hatred takes way too much time and effort.

Current news, violent protesters, division, name calling… they don’t seem to end.

It’s downright exhausting.

Let it go.

maya

 

HAPPY 2017!

happy-new-year

*

MAY YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED

& PROSPEROUS

& HAPPY NEW YEAR!

PLEASE BE SAFE DRIVING

AND IN ALL YOUR CELEBRATING!

*

MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL,

L.A. KNOWLES

Just Mangia!

Saying the word “diet” in an Italian Home is like saying the “F” word.  It will NEVER go over well.  “Have you considered baking the veal cutlets in the oven, Mama?”  “I cook the veal cutlets in the fry pan with olive oil.  It’s healthy.”

frying-pan-1

You sit down at the table and see it’s covered with food already but more is coming.  Right now it’s simply covered with the antipasto, cold cuts, soup, and salad for appetizers… Italian rolls, Italian bread (pre-sliced of course)…

Any attempt to mention the word “diet” will never go over very well.  “You too thin!  Mangia!”  But Mama…..  You might as well stop.  Don’t try to convince Mama.  She’ll give you the look.  You know the look, the look that sends a million icicles piercing through you as she puts an overfilled plate in front of you.  “Be quiet!  Mangia!”

Great!  Let’s eat!  So you eat, but wait, there are several other entrees coming out.  You need to make room in your stomach for the other food.   Bring out the Eggplant Parmigiana, Pasta Alfredo, Chicken Cacciatore!  Chicken Marsala, Anyone?!  And let’s not forget the lasagna.  Bring out the pasta with clams and clam sauce!  Bring out every fat-filled, extravagantly tasty food!  “We got tiramisu for dessert.”  Don’t forget the Italian pastry, but isn’t there enough food?  “Got to make sure we got enough food for everyone.  We’ll send people home with food.  Don’t you worry.  Now go get the cannoli out of the refrigerator  and put it on the table.”  Wait!  We haven’t finished dinner!  “DO WHAT I SAID!”  No arguing with Mama.  Just get the cannoli out of the refrigerator.

wrecking-ball-1And by the time you leave the house to do whatever you have to do, you’ll have to be rolled out, or it may feel as if you are going to explode.

However, there is a bright side to all of this:    Even though you may have to roll yourself out the door or break down a wall to get out of your house,  AT LEAST YOU WON’T STARVE.