Focus on the Eternal!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As time goes on, I observe my hair turning gray and wrinkles appearing deeper and more pronounced. My eyesight has dimmed and my body has changed. Yes, outwardly there is a “wasting away.” Time does indeed affect our physical bodies.

BUT, we are told to not “lose heart” – to not get discouraged. Even as our physical bodies may let us down, our spirit is not getting weaker, it is getting stronger as we are being renewed day by day! Hallelujah!!

As we go through challenges and troubles, the Lord reminds us that in and through them we are receiving an eternal glory that outweighs them all!

So, I won’t focus on the changes of getting older. I won’t focus on COVID-19. I won’t focus on all the turmoil that is raging around us. I will remind myself that all that I see is temporary.

Brothers & Sisters! May we not focus on the problems, but focus on the SOLUTIONS. When we pray, may we not bring a list of everything that is wrong to the Lord, but may we seek His vision, plan, and purpose and join Him in praying that!! God knows what we need in our lives. God knows what we need in the world. As we seek Him, and move our focus from the seen to that which is unseen – we will be focusing on the eternal!!

Oh God!! We join You in speaking Your will, plan, and vision for our lives, our church, and our world. Help us, Lord, to get our eyes off of the problems and onto YOU! We join You in the midst of it all! We want to be a part of the solution that You want to bring to a hurting world. Speak to us, Lord! We are ready to be Your hands, feet, and mouth. Pour through us and touch this world for Your glory! In Jesus’ Name. Amen! ~Tina K. Roach

Acceptable Words & Thoughts!

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalms‬ ‭19:14‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I have been thinking alot about my words lately.  I have to admit that with everything that has been going on during the last 3 ½ months, sometimes my words may not be acceptable to the LORD.  I have allowed words of negativity and complaining to flow from my mouth. Forgive me, LORD!  

As I look at the meditation of my heart, I see the same problem. My words are connected to what I am thinking – to what is in my heart. God’s Word tells us that out of the heart the mouth speaks. 

What words do we find ourselves speaking to others and even to ourselves?  Are they words of life…words of encouragement?  Or are they words of discouragement and discontent?  What do we meditate on during the day?  What do we allow our thoughts to dwell on?

LORD, may Your Holy Spirit help us to filter our words and our thoughts. May we lift up and encourage all who we come into contact with. May we take every thought captive and bring our thoughts into alignment with You and Your life-giving truth. May we be vessels of reconciliation and peace. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. AMEN!

~Tina K. Roach

O MY SOUL

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭42:11 ‭ESV‬‬

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my soul does get “downcast.”  Other words that describe this state are – dejected, sad, depressed, discouraged, and disappointed. 

I think we all have those days. How do we rise above those feelings?  How do we get our soul (mind, will, and emotions) to leave the position of being “cast down” to one of being “uplifted?”

Have you ever thought about speaking to your soul?  This is what is happening in this passage of scripture. If you are someone who has ever engaged in “talking to yourself” – you now know that it is scriptural!!  😃

As we read this verse, we see that the solution to the soul’s downcast state is to hope in God, praise Him, and to remember who He is – our salvation and God!

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves (speak to our souls) of God’s goodness and how we should respond to Him. As we move our attention from ourselves to God Almighty, our feelings of depression and discouragement begin to fall away. 

Oh my soul, why are you discouraged? Jesus is my salvation and Lord! The Lord loves me. He is faithful, strong, and true! He is my Rock and my Redeemer! Oh my soul, why are you cast down within me? By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me! Oh my soul! Hope in God! Even in my discouragement, yet will I praise Him!

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God… Psalm 42:1-2

~~Tina Roach

PERFECT PEACE

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”      ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

How can we continue to be at peace in our lives with so much going on?  One way that God will keep us in perfect peace is if we will have our minds “stayed” on Him.  As we all continue to abide by the “stay at home” directive during this COVID-19 quarantine, we see that as our bodies stay at home – our minds should be stayed on the Lord! 

We may be constricted in our movements right now…but our minds are not!  We should not let our minds be constricted with all of the fears, predictions, and negativity going on around us.  We are to keep our minds focused on the Lord!

And why do we choose to keep our minds stayed/focused on the Lord?  Because we trust in Him! The Lord is faithful and loving. He is above every disease, every virus, every problem, every challenge.  He already knows the answer and solution to every question we have. He will never leave or forsake us. He is our everlasting rock on which we can stand with both feet planted and know that we are safe.  The “storm” may rage around us…but we are held on a firm foundation! HALLELUJAH!! 

TRUST IN THE LORD FOREVER! KEEP YOUR MIND STAYED ON HIM! BE IN HIS PERFECT PEACE!

May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.  The Lord be with you all!  

2 Thessalonians 3:16  NASB  

~Tina K. Roach

RESURRECTION SUNDAY

I wasn’t really planning on doing a written post today.  To be honest, I woke up a little depressed. If it were a “normal” day, I would be getting dressed in a beautiful, colorful outfit and looking forward to joining my friends at church to celebrate this special day.  Of course, I know this day isn’t about me…I know that it is a day of focusing on our precious Jesus…I know this and yet I still find my thoughts drifting towards my isolation. Am I the only one?

So!  At this point, I CHOOSE to refocus my thoughts…I CHOOSE to trade in my depression for the oil of gladness!  I CHOOSE to celebrate the awesome resurrection of our precious Lord!

As I said, I really wasn’t planning on writing a post this morning – but the Lord had other plans. Thoughts of resurrection have been floating around in my mind and spirit. And I know I am to put it to “paper.”  

When we receive God’s Truth we are expected to react to it.  We know that the resurrection of Jesus is true! So what should our reaction be?  Hopefully, foremost our reaction should be to accept the NEW LIFE that Jesus offers to us through His death and resurrection.  If anyone who reads this has not made that salvation step – I would encourage you to stop…seek the Lord…and CHOOSE to accept what Jesus did for you. 

Again, what do we do with this Truth of the Resurrection of Jesus? We must DO something! I am reminded that “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26). We have faith that Jesus was indeed resurrected from the dead. What are we going to do with this knowledge? How will our lives be changed with this knowledge? How do we “walk out” this Truth?

Resurrection Power is within us! Through the Holy Spirit living within us, we walk in the same power that Jesus walked in on this earth. Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around that Truth. But, Jesus confirms this Himself!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” ‭‭John‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭NASB‬‬

CHURCH!  Are we walking this out in our ministries and lives?  Jesus is our example. Are we seeing the works that Jesus did being manifested in our families, in our church, in our communities?  

I believe that on this Resurrection Sunday, as we celebrate our risen Lord, He is calling us to be the expression of His Life on earth!!  BE the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mouth of Jesus! HE IS ALIVE and HE LIVES IN AND THROUGH US!!

Oh Jesus! We thank You for dying on the cross for us. We thank You for the resurrected life we have in You. When we accepted You as our Lord and Savior – You brought us from death in our sins to eternal life in You!! We celebrate Your resurrection on this most high and holy day! WE CELEBRATE YOU!! Amen!

~Tina K. Roach

GOOD FRIDAY

Good Friday…so why is the day that Jesus was tortured and crucified called “good?”

As we look at how Jesus was treated, I think we definitely can say that what He endured was not good. 

So again…why is this day called Good Friday?

There is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. There is no Resurrection without the Cross.

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand that what we consider a “bad” thing could actually end up achieving good results.

Jesus chose to suffer the Cross to bring about our redemption…to reinstate our position with God that was lost in the Garden.  There are consequences to sin. What an awesome Love that Jesus chose to bear the consequence of our sin on the Cross.  No, the suffering of Jesus wasn’t a “good” thing – but it was necessary to bring about our good standing with God once again. The result of the Cross was definitely good!

Because Jesus understands the importance of being willing to lay down our lives for a new life, He instructs us to take up OUR cross and follow Him. 

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:24-25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No, we don’t have to be nailed to a physical cross to be a disciple of Jesus – but, He does call us to be willing to exchange our old life for a new life in Him. And this can be a difficult thing indeed!

Are we willing to let go of our plans, our desires, our way and allow Jesus to place His life in us? If we want to have life eternal with God – then we must embrace the cross – His and our own.

Good Friday – a day to remember the GOOD that was accomplished through the absolute LOVE of JESUS!! He took our sins upon Himself so we could have eternal life with Him. And that was indeed a “good” thing!!

Ahhh, Jesus! I am overwhelmed with the revelation of what You were willing to endure for us. You chose the Cross. You chose the Cross for us so we wouldn’t have to pay the price/penalty for our sin. Lord, help me to choose to pick up my cross and follow You. May I place all of my selfish desires and my self-focus on the cross and follow in Your footsteps of humility and love. May I join You on this Day of the Cross and follow You to the Day of Resurrection! Amen!

~Tina K. Roach

Think About These Things

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”‭‭ Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬⁣

Well, the days of quarantine and staying at home continue. As we are separated from others physically and separated from participating in some things that give us pleasure, it is easy to dwell on those things that make us frustrated or angry or sad. ⁣

We are instructed in God’s Word to take control over our thoughts! We are not to let our thoughts control us – to control how we feel – but we are to control what thoughts we allow to “hang around.” [2 Corinthians 10:5]⁣

If we allow God to guide and direct our thoughts – we will discover that we can change our focus from thoughts of doubt, negativity, blame, frustration, and hopelessness to thoughts that focus on those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. ⁣

In other words, what are things that we are THANKFUL for? May we take each day and write down those things/people/circumstances that are commendable and deserve our praise. ⁣
Let’s not just write them down once a day, but let’s have a running list that continues throughout the day as we are proactive in bringing our thought life into alignment with God’s thoughts. ⁣

LORD! We are so thankful that You are with us 24/7 as we journey through this quarantine season. Help us, Lord, to take control of our thought life. May our thoughts and our words be full of life and love and praise. Help us to see others through Your eyes and may we be vessels of honor and truth and love. Oh LORD!! YOU are the One at the top of our list who is worthy of our praise!! And we praise You each and every day! HALLELUJAH!!⁣

~Tina K. Roach ⁣

Fill Your Lamps!

Fill Your Lamps!

What a time we are experiencing in the world! The Coronavirus is causing us to be quarantined from our “normal” day-to-day lives. I know many are experiencing financial hardship as they are not able to return to work. Some that are working are having to find child care for their children because of school closings. We are praying for you!

I am hearing a lot of negative talk going around on social media and from people that I have encountered on my short trips to pick up supplies. I hear you…I understand the frustration and the fear that is trying to surround us. In the midst of this “storm” I am reminded that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

I do not speak against those that are having fear, but encourage you to look to God to help you overcome it. I have to admit that I have moved from the initial feelings of fear and frustration to seeing the spiritual implications of what’s going on spreading out before me.

I do not believe that the enemy of our souls, Satan, has caused this virus. However, I do believe that Satan is taking the opportunity to release a spirit of fear to paralyze the church and world. He is trying to separate and shut down God’s people and cause anxiety and depression.

I come against that right now, in the mighty Name of Jesus! I rebuke and root out the spirit of fear. I command it to GO and I release God’s POWER and LOVE to rise up within God’s people! I thank You, LORD, that we have the mind of Christ, a SOUND MIND…a mind that is not filled with what the world says, but with YOUR TRUTH, O God!! I thank You, LORD, that out of our sound mind we make decisions and choices based on Your Guidance and Your Word. May we honor and heed the guidance and directions of those that are positioned to stop the spread of this virus. May we look past ourselves to those that are vulnerable and need to be protected. Help us, LORD, to be on the front line of defense – through our actions and through our prayers.

I also believe that God has not caused this virus. However, I do believe that He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I see God using this time to wake up His Church!! What are we turning to in reaction to what’s going on? Are we comforting ourselves through things of the flesh or are we turning to God? Where does our hope come from?

What are we doing now that we are forced to be at home? Oh Brothers & Sisters!! What an opportunity we have to connect more deeply with the Lord! I hear the Lord calling us to DRAW NEAR!! How can we journey through this time and come out on the other side stronger?

I would encourage you (and me) to dig deeper into God’s Word. I would encourage us to spend quiet time just resting in His presence – feeling His love and expressing our love to Him. Take this time to LISTEN. God wants to speak to you. I believe that as we press into the Lord, really press in, we will begin to receive answers to questions we have had unanswered. We will receive deeper revelation of what God wants us to do during this time of separating ourselves from the world and abiding in Him.

God is calling us to HOLINESS! I see this time as a time of “cleaning house.” May we physically clean house and get things in order…but even more importantly…may we spiritually go through our homes and get rid of those things that God says to remove. Get out the anointing oil and (re)dedicate our homes as places of spiritual safety, health, love, and rest.

We also need to “clean house” in our own lives. What has God been calling us to stop doing or to begin doing? What things are causing us to move away from God instead of drawing near? Brothers & Sisters, the time is NOW! No more putting it off until later…

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. (Matthew 25:1-4). *I invite you to read through verse 13*

WE ARE THE CHURCH!! We are just as much the church even when we are not physically able to meet in the church building. May we focus on the LORD during this time. May we position ourselves to become the Church He has called us to be. May we use this time to be wise and “fill our oil lamps!” Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing! May we burn brighter and brighter as we are filled more and more with the oil of the Holy Spirit!! When we are released from this quarantine may we be LIGHTHOUSES shining brightly for the LORD!!! GLORY!!

We are in this journey together!! You, me, and Almighty God!! Trust and KNOW that He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

HALLELUJAH!!