Stay Salty And Burn Bright…

 

SALT & LIGHT..

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Jesus spoke these words when he was teaching a Sermon on the Mount, it was one of his main teachings on morality and discipleship. The general theme written in Matthew 5 is Jesus’ expectations for his disciples.

The Sermon on the Mount is the longest continuous section of Jesus himself speaking found in the New Testament. That is the reason those areas of the Bible are written in red.

Those written words were spoken by Jesus himself.

Disciple means “follower” and we are all called to be disciples of Christ.

God has given each of us the ability to learn about the things of faith, to be disciples and he has given us instructions on how to lead others to Christ.

So the same words Jesus spoke to his disciples still apply to us today.

When we break down the scripture in Matthew we first see that we are called to be SALT.

What exactly is Jesus meaning by salt?

Salt is used to season food and it enhances the flavor of the food we eat. It was also used back in the day to keep food fresh when there was not any refrigeration.

So the way I take that statement is that just like Salt “seasons” food and enhances the flavor, the followers of Christ stand out as those who “enhance” the flavor of life in this world.

Christians, living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ, will influence the world for good, as salt has a positive influence on the flavor of the food it seasons.

You and I, as Christians, are to be like the salt of the earth because our lives enhance and give meaning to this existence we call life.

Salt stops corruption and decay….

Salt stimulates thirst…

People will thirst for the word of God when they realize that they can not get by in this world without it.

Just like salt makes us thirsty…we should be thirsty to share God’s word with others.

The question Jesus asked, however, is “What good is salt if it has lost its flavor?”

Jesus is saying that if a Christian has lost his or her passion or enjoyment, then what’s the difference between them now and who they once were?

The answer is… little to no difference.

Secondly, we are called to be LIGHT.

Light is the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

My first thought while studying these verses on light made me think about a “lighthouse.”

I know that the purpose of a lighthouse is to guide ships in the dark or to alert ships of dangerous waters.

Just as “lighthouses” lead and guide by shining their lights, we are called to do the same.

WE HAVE A LIGHT INSIDE OF US THAT SHOULD BURN SO BRIGHT FOR JESUS!!

That light should lead and guide you and others through dark places and through dangerous waters.

Jesus is the light that is inside of us. His marvelous light will shine in and through us if we are true disciples that long to live for him.

Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16).

He explained that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket. A lamp is meant to be placed on a stand to give light to everything around it.

YOU ARE CALLED TO SHINE!!!!!

Do not dim your light or be ashamed of the light that burns so brightly inside of you. Share it with the WORLD!!

KEY QUESTIONS I LEAVE YOU WITH TODAY…

Is anyone thirsty for Christ because of your words?

Are you showing HIS light to a dying world? 

Always remember…

Stay Salty & Burn bright!

Be blessed!

K.D. RUSSELL

Encouragement For Today..

Just offering some encouragement today!

Isaiah 40:31~

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Psalms 91~

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

 Psalms 121~

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Be blessed!

K.D. RUSSELL

I Will Praise Him In This Storm….

Have you ever felt barricaded and trapped in a storm going on in your life? 

As the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes, you may begin to grow weary in believing that God is even there when you cry out to him.

Today you are going to read a testimonial very dear to my heart…

My nephew was born on August 31, 2017, at 4:00 pm via emergency c-section. He was delivered within 24 seconds due to a condition called SVT. (Supraventricular Tachycardia) His little heart rate jumped as high as 280 bpm(beats per minute) and was spiking higher at a very fast rate. He had to be delivered promptly.

Since being born my nephew has had many tests and is currently taking 3 different medications. He has been diagnosed with Wolf-Parkinson White Syndrome and is nearly 2 weeks old. My Sister and Brother-in-law have not left his side in the NICU. He has been in two different hospitals, one of which he had to take a helicopter ride to get to. My sister and brother-in-law are first time parents and this road has been a difficult one to travel on.

Below you will read my brother-in-law’s testimonial of his perspective on this storm our family is dealing with.

I Will Praise Him In This Storm

Guest Post By Cody Byers

First of all, I ‘d like to apologize to everyone for not being vocal about my appreciation of everyone’s thoughts and prayers. But I assure you that they are much appreciated.

I am by no means perfect; nor do I try to be.

Throughout my first 12 days of being a parent, I’ve felt every kind of feeling imaginable. All of these turning me into one big emotional roller coaster. Some of these emotions I am not proud to feel but I accept they’re part of being human and part of the process of growing as a spiritual man.

I FEEL ANGER…

I feel angry entering a NICU full of babies, watching them fill up and leave one by one, while our family stayed at the same cubicle. I feel angry that my wife hasn’t been home or seen her bed in 2 weeks. That my son doesn’t know what it feels like to be held without an IV and 5 leads strapped to his chest to monitor his every heartbeat.

I FEEL ENVY…

Envious of other parents (most of which I’ve known growing up) that have had kids around the same time as me, all getting to bring their kids home and begin their parenting lives together. Envious that these babies could get their newborn pictures and meet their grandparents and other people that cared for him while others had to drive 3 hours to put on hospital gowns and see him two at a time.

I FEEL BITTER…

Bitter that my family has had to go through this. Bitter that I have to leave my son every night to stay in a hotel and call every two hours to make sure he’s ok. I feel bitterness towards families that take how precious a babies life can be for granted. That some people never realize just how much of a miracle the birth of a child really is.

BUT AS I LOOK BACK WITH THESE NEGATIVE FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS, ONE PERSON COMES TO MY MIND; JOB OF THE BIBLE.

Image result for job from the bible

JOB was a devout godly man whom God found favor in. A man that after losing his wealth, livestock, servants, and ten children in one day, never let his FAITH shake.

He was a man that GOD himself had unwavering trust in his faith, so much that he allowed the devil to attack him twice just to prove how powerful his LOVE for the LORD was. Even after his wife and multiple friends suggested otherwise, he stood his ground and stuck to the one that granted him PROSPERITY in the first place.

SO WHO AM I TO LET MY FAITH FALTER??

God has abundantly blessed me for 27 years now and now I’m enduring my first part of many storms as a parent. So how could I give up on the only one that’s never let me down? And how could I expect prosperity when I can’t learn to praise him in the storm?

Even the holiest of men in the Bible went through trials and tribulations, so why should I expect to be exempt from any?

PSALMS 59:17~ O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me, steadfast love. “

I long to be a godly man like JOB, who can sing God’s praises in the middle of the storm just as loud as David did with Goliath at his feet. I want to return that steadfast love that God shows me every day, whose faith is FEARLESS and will be tested repeatedly…but never tremble.

Image result for hands lifted high

So now I look back on everything, I feel FAITHFUL...

Faithful in a God that has FAVORED me with abounding blessings throughout my life, some of which I take for granted every day. 

I feel faithful in my walk through this storm because my God is my fortress who I find solitude in.

I feel an overwhelming sense of FAITH that this storm will pass and we will look back on this as a constant reminder of GOD’S love for me and my family. 

Image result for i will praise you in this storm

I have an amazing wife and a beautiful baby boy that God has promised to protect and I hold my faith firm in that. Even through the worst of times, I will fearlessly and faithfully shout HIS name in praise. 

I will walk through the storm without hesitation because I already know the outcome of my situation.

There is a reason God specifically chose you for your trial….

BECAUSE…..HE HAS FAITH IN YOU!!!!!

And for those of who have welcomed or are welcoming a little one into this world, please don’t forget how blessed you really are and how easy it can be to take it for granted.

I pray that your families will have an abundance of faith through the hard times so that you can sing his praises in the good times.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sleeping, baby and closeup

Beckham has been a fighter since the day we found out that we were pregnant. He has fought and prevailed over every obstacle that has come his way, and we expect him to continue to do more of the same.

Please if you would join me in prayer for my precious nephew, Becks, God is working and creating miracles through this little guy and our family every day.

I will leave you with this question to ask yourself …

Where does your help come from?

 “Sing Praises” to the maker of heaven and earth and Praise him in this storm…..

 

K.D. RUSSELL

Can I Pray For You Today?

Ephesians 6:18 NIV ~And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Mark 11:24 NIV~ Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 Matthew 18:20 (NIV)

 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Can I Pray For You Today?

Prayer is powerful and sometimes we just need someone to agree with us in prayer. Well, today I am opening up that door for you. I promise that everything is strictly confidential! You can even send “unspoken” if you feel more comfortable with that as well. My only wish is for you all to have your prayers answered and our God is able!!

Many Blessings!

K.D. RUSSELL

Power Is Made In Perfect Weakness…

 Everything changes when you realize that your deficiencies put you in good company.

You may be looking at your life today and all you can focus on is your weaknesses.

Comparing yourself to others only steals your JOY!

For some reason, it is so hard for us to see anything positive. We tend to look at everything negatively and let that consume our entire lives.

What makes us this way?

There could be one hundred people in a room telling you how beautiful you are and one person telling you that you are ugly and you would focus on the one.  Instead of holding your head up high and walking in who you are supposed to be, you are comparing your journey to everyone else around you, wanting to be just like them.  

You may think all of these negative things about yourself found in the picture above….

BUT YOU ARE CALLED FOR SO MUCH MORE!

THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!!

What we have to understand is that God loves our weaknesses!

 For when we are weak, he is our strength.

Our weaknesses are not by accident, God purposely uses each one of them to demonstrate his power through us.

God is not impressed by self-sufficiency, he draws to the weak because they admit they need him.

If every single person had the exact same strengths and weaknesses, we wouldn’t get anywhere in life.

Can I get an AMEN?

That is why God has a plan for each of us, a purpose that only we can conquer with our weaknesses.

So today I challenge you to write down each of your strengths and weaknesses and thank God for making you the way that he did.

Even when you do not see the path, he is making one. 

2 Corinthians 12:9-11~  But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Be confident in who God has created YOU to be! Your destiny is not your best friends destiny! Your purpose is your own!

Embrace the beautiful….strong….brave…..woman of God that you are……

Always Remember:

Your weaknesses are actually your hidden strengths

K.D. RUSSELL

The Walking Dead

They are among us walking freely

They are in our neighborhoods

They are in our grocery stores

They are even in our Churches

THEY ARE….THE WALKING DEAD

I am not talking about actual zombies being here in the physical sense, I am talking about those that walk beside us each day who are “spiritually walking dead.” 

They look like us, they talk like us, but something is obviously missing in their lives.

You may even live with someone who you know that may fall into this category, walk beside them each day or this person may even be you!

We all know that there are two obvious ways to be considered “dead.” (Physically & Spiritually)

Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God.

John 11 speaks about the physical death of a man named Lazarus. Lazarus was sick and his two sisters Martha & Mary sent word to Jesus to come and heal their brother. Jesus was with his disciples when he heard the news.

Read the passage below:

John 11 (NIV)~The Death of Lazarus

11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,and then he said to his disciples, Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake, I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem,19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31

 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Lazarus’ tomb was now empty!

As we read and study this passage, our eyes are opened to see just how powerful our God truly is!!

Do you not think that if he can raise someone from the dead in the Physical, that he can also do this in the spiritual? 

Are you alive or are you decaying slowly spiritually?

Here are a few signs and signals that you may be “walking dead.”

  • You are slowly drowning in unrepented sin
  • You are not producing fruit
  • You have lost your passion for Christ
  • You only want to serve yourself
  • Your mind only focuses on your past and not the future
  • You no longer desire to win others to Christ
  • You focus only on your needs and not the needs of others
  • You no longer read the word of God, pray or seek him.

DO ANY OF THESE SOUND FAMILIAR?

WHAT IS THE CURE FOR THE WALKING DEAD?

To be cured of spiritual death, we need only to recognize our sinful state and call on the One who is capable to save us….

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

The Lord will rescue you from spiritual death if you only ask him to. Confess your sins to him through repentance and turn away from the life that you have been living. 

God does not want to see you suffer through this life walking among the dead. He has come to give you life and for you to live it abundantly waking with him (John 10:10)

How amazing is it to know that God is our RESCUER, our REDEEMER, our HEALER and our DELIVERER?

IF GOD CAN RAISE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD…HE CAN ALSO DO THE SAME FOR YOU!!!!!

Believe it and receive it…

K.D. RUSSELL

The Devil Can’t Keep A Godly Woman Down!

 

The devil whispered in my ear, “You are not strong enough to handle this storm”, I replied….”I AM THE STORM!”

A mighty woman of God is a force to be reckoned with!

Daughter of God, use the gifts that you have been given in order to defeat the storm you are facing in your life today!

YOU HAVE THE POWER TO TELL THE DEVIL TO FLEE!

The devil has no authority over you in Jesus name! All you have to simply do is use these 3 major weapons against him…

  • SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD AGAINST HIM!
  • PRAISE GOD INSPITE OF THE STORM THAT IS RAGING AROUND YOU!
  • PRAY, PRAY, AND PRAY SOME MORE!

~The word is a weapon

~Your praise is a weapon 

~Your prayer is a weapon

You are stronger than you think….walk BOLDLY with the LORD!

Pray bold prayers!

Sing at the top of your lungs about God’s goodness!

Speak the word of God over your circumstance and situation!

James 4:7 (NIV)

 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Let your inner “LIONESS” out and defeat the devil yourself!!

You are a mighty woman of God….ROAR LIKE THE LIONESS THAT YOU ARE!

Woman of God…do not fear, the Lord our God is always with you. 

 

Always remember…..

THE DEVIL CAN’T KEEP A GODLY WOMAN DOWN

 

~Be blessed~

K.D. RUSSELL

30 Questions you need to ask your Sons & Daughters…

 

I am all about connecting with my kiddos. I love to snuggle them up, along with our dog, and ask them all kinds of questions. These questions range from all things silly to deep and intentional. It is good to conversate with your kiddos at any age really in order to find out what all goes on in their little minds.

I hope and pray that these questions that I have provided bring you all closer together. I know that by asking my own kiddos we have bonded on a much deeper level.

 I have made a list of “30” questions to ask along with a free printable for you to share and use. 

  1. What encourages you to be kind each and every day?
  2. What kind of spiritual gifts do you feel God has given you?
  3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  4. What is the best thing about being part of our little family?
  5. What do you love most about your church?
  6. What are your top 3 movies and why?
  7. What is your favorite song?
  8. What is your favorite season of the year?
  9. What is your favorite color?
  10. What is your favorite verse in the Bible?
  11. What is your favorite Bible story?
  12. If you could pick your favorite meal of all time, what would it be?
  13. What is your favorite dessert?
  14. What is your favorite family activity?
  15. What is your favorite vacation destination?
  16. What do you love about your Mom, Dad, and sibling(s)
  17. What qualities do you admire in a friend?
  18. What is something that scares you?
  19. Have you ever seen your guardian angel?
  20. What is the hardest part about being the only child, middle child, or last child?
  21. What is something you feel you are good at?
  22. What is something you feel you are bad at?
  23. Who is your hero?
  24. Do you know how much God loves you?
  25. Do you know how much I love you?
  26. How do you know that you are loved?
  27. What activity do you want us to do more of?
  28. What do you like about your school?
  29. What is your favorite stuffed animal and why?
  30. Is there anything bothering you that we need to talk about?

 

Copy of 30 Questions you need to ask your sons daughters

Let us Pray:

Dear heavenly Father, help us to grow closer to our kiddos. Lead, guide and direct their every step. Protect them, watch over them and always bring them safely home to us. Help me to be the Mom I need to be for them each individually. I thank you, God, for my children. In Jesus name, I pray…AMEN

K.D. RUSSELL

My God is ABLE!!!!

My GOD IS FAITHFUL!!!!!

IF MY GOD IS FOR US, THEN WHO SHALL BE AGAINST US!!!

MY SOUL SAYS YES TO YOUR PROMISES GOD!

Ephesians 3:20~ NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

Philippians 4:19~ NIV

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

I do not care what you may be facing in your life right now…right in this moment, my God is able to do a mighty work in your life. You need only to ask him, he will make a way.

Lift your eyes to the one that loves you!

My God is alive and he is working and moving in your midst…..

Things might seem impossible and hopeless, but God has overcome everything in this world.

Your strongholds will be broken in his name!

For every fear, God has his hands on you. 

LOOK TOWARD HEAVEN….OUR FATHER IS THE WAY MAKER!

My God is able….

Let us Pray..

Dear heavenly father, we come to you today asking for you to move in each of our lives, we thank you for what you are doing in our midst. We may not be able to see what you are doing, but we know that you are making a way. Help us to trust in you Lord. We love you and thank you for this victory over our lives. Forgive us when we fail you..In Jesus name, we pray…AMEN.

Be Blessed!

 

K.D. RUSSELL