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Sandi's Blog

A Merry Heart

7.15.16           A Merry Heart

"A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit dries up the bones."      Proverb 17:22

Attitude of life is what creates over-comers and designs victories. What sort of attitude do you have today? Take a look at yourself. You are the sum total of all your life choices and decisions today, right where you are, right now.
I have good news!  If you would like to add to or change circumstances in your life, today is the day! You have the power in Christ Jesus to make a new choice today and to move in a new direction with a new purpose and focus. Every day brings new opportunities and new choices, developing a new and positive attitude.
A merry heart: a heart that is centered IN Christ, devoted to Him completely; a heart filled with confidence that He is in control and has only good for you; a heart filled up and bursting with expectations of goodness no matter what the drama or trauma or disappointment. This is a heart filled with faith and music, praise and worship, and a mouth filled with thanksgiving.  A merry heart that defies reason and logic but trusts and has faith. Who can explain it???
Medicine makes us feel good, restores us and builds us up. Medicine is soothing and healing.  A broken spirit is wounded, hurt, disappointed, confused. A broken spirit creates a dryness in our heart, creates pains and illnesses, fatigue, a drawing back and away from, a separation.
A merry heart. A gift from our God, functional and needful in times of trials and testings..
The most interesting thing is that we have a choice of having a merry heart. It is completely up to you. It is not dependent upon your "feelings' but your actions, your decisions. it is a Spiritual discipline that is easily attainable with a little perseverance and determination.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

A merry heart really does do good like a medicine! Our spirit responds, our body responds, our mind responds. A wounded spirit causes us to dry up and wither away. We become ineffective for our self and others, and for God's Kingdom. Which one will you choose?

- Pastor Sandi



Do the Right Thing

7.29.16
Do the Right Thing.

Simply do the right thing. Easy to say but not always easy to do. How do we know what the right thing to do is? So many opinions, so many voices, emotional tugs, so much pressure!
The right thing to do is whatever the Word of God says to do on any subject known to man. The Bible is the final authority. Yes, I know, there are cultural issues and customs to deal with, the thoughts of who wrote what and when. Listen, The Word of God is right and true and will flow throughout the entire Book, from cover to cover. The principals and precepts of life. Relationships. Right and wrong. Truth and lies. Hope and despair.
The Word tells us that God has written the Word upon the heart of man, his conscience:

(They {Gentiles}show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

So we have no excuses; we know what is right and what is wrong deep within our hearts.  In this time and season doing the right thing can be blurred and choices become difficult. God pays attention to the choices we make, indicating to state of the condition of our heart/belief. We are at a point of decision right now, here in the United States, determining right or wrong, good or evil, the right choice for a leader of our nation. Both sides are passionate and persistent, strong in rhetoric and opinion. But which one lines up with the Word of God? So much said about personal rights, abortion, immigration, deception, truth, etc. We must look at the integrity, honesty, "fruit" of the person's life. Goodness. What would our God be pleased with?

For a true Christian it is all about what God says is right and true and not what our flesh wants. It is not about the easy way out of anything. It is time to determine taking a risk or maintaining the status quo; continuing on with things as they are or doing a new thing.

Isaiah 43:18-19  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

Take time and pray, think, look into what the Word says is right and what is wrong. Let's get our opinions and feelings out of it and let's do this right. God will hold us accountable; God will hold our nation accountable.  Remember, we will get what we vote for. Do not be deceived.

There is a Trump-Pence on the wall. A watchman on the wall. A Jonathan for Israel's David.  Now is the time.  

- Pastor Sandi

Weary

4.11.16

Do you ever get just plain weary? Weary of things that need to be done, places that need to be gone to, people that need to be contacted or taken care of? We live in a very fast paced world now and it seems to me that every day brings another challenge on top of yesterday's! There is a good weariness in doing good and serving others, that's true. Not all things are arduous by any means. However, we seem to have an expectation of quick changes, quick resolutions, an end to something. Sometimes it all works that way but most of the time, no.
How many circumstances or situations are you continually praying for? How many people/loved ones do you pray for every day with no apparent changes in sight?
Even in ministries for Christ there are demands and expectations and unexpected pitfalls - as well as amazing and wonderful results that will catapult you into a new arena in serving. This brings more demands on your time and energy.  How did Jesus do it?? We can say that He was able to do it all because He was God in the flesh. Actually, He was every bit man and became the example to us humans on how to serve Father God and continue in restoring oneself every day. Many scriptures tell us that Jesus departed from the crowds and His disciples to spend time alone with the Father. He knew He needed energized in order to give out more energy to those around Him.
Do you take time out for yourself? Do you go off to be with Heavenly Father, to have one on one with Him? Do you give your mind and body rest and good care?
The enemy of our faith is in even our service to God if we are not wise enough to spend time with Him.  "Be still and know that I AM God; I will be honored among the nations, I will be honored in all the earth."Psalms 46:10
"And let us not grow weary while doing good (righteousness), for in due time season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."  Galatians 6:9

Be at peace. You cannot do all in your own flesh, all in your own understanding. Our Lord Jesus Christ will give you the strength and the wisdom to do all that He desires for you to do. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Take time with Him and renew your spirit IN Him each day. 
The answers will come and situations/circumstances will be resolved.
Amen.


"Trust in the Lord  with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (or strength); in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (the way you should go or do).  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (be in awe of) the Lord and depart from evil (unrighteousness). It will be health to your flesh (body) and strength to your bones. "  Proverb 3:5-8



Beauty

3.17.16

It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood! It's a beautiful day in my home and in my yard. The sun is out, some energetic plants are trying to push up through the soil, and my trees are in various arrays of color and bloom. It is beautiful.
And, in the middle of this beautiful day, place, and yard, there is much work to be done. It takes time and muscle to maintain this beauty and this value around me, and seems to never be totally completed. Each day brings its labor.
It's hard to see beauty sometimes, in the midst of this required labor. It takes work and energy to maintain a loving and kind marriage through all the pains, disappointments, and unmeant expectations - and even in the amazing and wonderful times of a marriage. It takes labor to maintain order and upkeep to a beautiful yard. It takes work and time to do a job, to seek out a job. And it takes time and energy to cultivate and maintain beauty in family and friendships, if we want them.
Grace and beauty, favor and blessings, are all 'free' in Christ Jesus, but it is up to us to walk these out and to 'see' and to 'hear' what the Father instructs within them. We are lazy by our human nature and want entitlements that really are not ours to want. These wonderful things that bring about the beauty of our lives requires walking through our fears and leaving 'self' behind. We are way to quick to become mad at God and entertain the lies the enemy is whispering in our ear as 'truth'. Why are we doing this?
 
1 Peter 4:12-13 tells us this:  "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His Glory is revealed (through you, your words, actions, your perseverance) you may also be glad with exceeding joy."

Remember, God has not forgotten you. He knows you by name. God creates great wonders and beauty within darkness, confusion and chaos. He has beauty for you to see and to receive into your life. Do not give up! He is trying to move you into abundant Life - and most likely not the way you perceive it!
Try to 'see' through God's eyes and 'see' His beauty...........
- Pastor Sandi
www.olivebranchdiscipleshipministries. com


The Day

02.03.16
 
"This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it", Psalms 118:24

So, if you believe that this IS THE DAY the Lord has made, are you purposing to rejoice in it today - all day long? Are you purposing to be glad in it? So often we just parrot the Word with no purposeful thought and then forget it, going about our day as best we can. Why not change that? Why not stop and consider: If this is the day the Lord has made then it is full of Him and creative things, opportunities, and open doors. It means we, as Believers, should see blessings and favor even in the middle of our daily stresses. God never creates or establishes a thing unless it is full of Life and Possibilities. Stop for a moment and change your day, what the devil means for harm God means for your good and for your growth. Let's grow in Him today; let's be full of purpose and creative possibilities. Do not allow the stresses and challenges to draw you away to negative; reach out and up for great possibilities! Only YOU are the limitation of your possibilities and favor. Our God has no limits! Praise and worship Him all day long today, and see what happens within you!

- Pastor Sandra Matheson

New Year

01.01.16

As I listened to the fireworks last night and watched some of the celebrations going on around the world to usher in a new year, I wondered what that meant
to people. So much excitement seemed to be being generated and I wonder what the hopes and expectations really were. Our world is becoming quite small and very, very intense. So much uncertainty and fears of what is and what is not. Did you know that a majority of our fears never happen and yet they rule supreme over our life?
What are your specific hopes for this New Year? What is your accountability and responsibility for your part to initiate their manifestation into your life? Do you know that they will require changes in you? And these changes often come hidden in pressures and trials? First of all, determine what your hopes are; what the changes are you desire; and purpose a plan of action. Realize you will have opposition and must stay the course of your plan. Seek the wisdom of the Word of God, which has all the answers and direction you need. Realize that The Lord has a perfect plan for you so don't fear you are left out. Be specific in your prayers and see that your heart lines up with His Word. Also know that there is a preparation to take place to receive your answer and the fullness of your plan.
You cannot buy a doctor's coat and stethoscope, and then walk into a hospital declaring your self a surgeon with any reasonable support or evidence. The Word of God tells us to count the cost of our dream, our plan, and prepare for it.  So, what are your plans, your dreams, specifically for your new year? What is it that you really desire? Give it thought. God does. - And so does the devil.
- Pastor Sandi

Jeremiah 29:11 (12-13)  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

People of the Book


12.22.15

I am thinking about my level of faith this morning. I have great faith in some things and little faith in others. I think we all do.

 In James 1:20 we are told "But do you want to know, O foolish man. that faith without works is dead?"

 We are foolish because we are impatient and give up way too soon. This verse means that faith without legs - action - is dead and stagnant and goes no where. It carries no Life and no LIght. Faith grows as we dare to step out, with wobbly legs and all - and heart in hand. Put some action to what you are asking the Lord for and believing Him for. Get up and move! He has already done it all for you, your supply kit is full and ready.
As you begin to take a step of faith and learn what balance is in faith, your faith will grow and become strong and occupy in you solidly until He comes back again.
 
Luke 18:8b "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

 Let's be people of the Book, people of active and living faith; faith is the muscle of heaven! No, it is not easy to persevere, but it is possible and the rewards are amazing! Make your decision today and don't turn back!

Pastor Sandi

Pass it on



The kindness of a gentle word when I am hurting or discouraged; the brilliance of a heart-felt smile to me when my world seems quiet, still, a little narrow; a hand reaching over to shake mine and holding it for just a few seconds, the warmth of that touch when I feel separated, isolated, unvalued; a direct look straight into my eyes when I feel that no one notices me, if I am here or not; all these wonderful human things are extensions of God the Father to us to say, "Yes, I know you are here and Yes, I really do care that you are."
I wonder, do you ever have days or seasons like that? I think, if we are honest, we would all say, "Yes!"
The mercy and the kindness of our Lord Jesus is a wonder to behold. He always knows and He always extends Himself to us.  I hear people say quite often, "God never does those things for me."  And yet, He does. You just choose not to see.
God uses people all around us to minister to us if we would only take the time to notice. Christian people are extensions of our God and are to be sure to do so.
Do you extend yourself to others for His sake? Are you filled with His compassion and mercy for others?  Are you aware of the assignments God has for you each and every day, or are you missing it all?  One of the laws of the Kingdom of God is to love your neighbor as yourself. We must do so. We all need encouragement, touch, love, compassion, and understanding. Pass it on so that when you need it, God will send someone to you to "pass it on!"  
- Pastor Sandi

Mark 12:31  ........"The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'.  There is no commandment greater than these."
John 14:21    "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
Ephesians 4:32   "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."



Home

Home.  Home can mean many things to different people, and bring up various emotions. Home becomes our 'root base' in life and should and be a warm and safe place to be.
I have just completed my last major trip for this year. Traveling is amazing
and educating to be sure, but there is no place like home and I am very glad to be home!  My home is where my roots re - mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Home is my place to be me and to relax, safe. Home is filled with wonderful family, amazing friends, a welcoming church to belong to.
What is your home like? Do you need to change something or overcome something to make it a place for you? There was a time when home was dismal for me, depressing, stressful and uncertain.  It took me awhile to change things and to overcome issues that prevented my peace and my life from prospering, but I did manage it.  Now, this doesn't mean that home will not contain conflicts, disagreements, stresses, forced changes, and maximum growth, because it will. Even living alone will require some growth and changes in your home and in your life. Sometimes these things do not seem to make sense and the growth is painful. Still, there is no place like home.
Did you know that someday you will obtain a perfect home, free of conflicts, pain, disappointments, and challenging issues? Well, it is just around the corner!

This particular home requires membership into the Family that provides it.
 
You must know Jesus as your Savior and your Lord first. Romans 10:9  "That if
you confess with your mouth that, "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
John 14:2-3  Jesus has said, "My Father's house has many rooms If that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you,? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with me that you also may be where I am."
And 2 Corinthians 5:1  "For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven not built by human hands."

We have a perfect future home to just be ourselves, to be safe and loved and accepted.  In the meantime we have an earthly home to take care of and be good stewards in. If your home s out of order, ask the Lord to show you what to do and how to do it to get order back.  One key is for you yourself to be in order with God the Father first, through Jesus Christ and under the power of Holy Spirit. 
Home is a good place to be. The Lord will help you if you but ask:
Psalm 34:4  "I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears."
I am thankful to be home and to have an abundant life in Christ Jesus!
Acts 17:26  "From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."

Pastor Sandi


Stresses of Life

10.3.15   Stresses of Life

O, this thing called stress!  No one is exempt from it.  Every day of your life stress presents itself to you.  You must learn how to recognize this and how to manage it - or it will manage you!
Stress can either be good or it can be bad. This is dependent on your perspective in how you choose to perceive it. Stress is constant in our lives here on this earth, it will always be with us in some situation and in some circumstance.
In the observation of stress in my life this last week, I have given it a great deal of thought. This is not new, I have been through many stressful issues of life and have always found - looking back - that I have survived and rallied on. I will admit, though, that there have been many times I was not sure that I would!
What makes stress good or bad? Good stress can simply be a change in your circumstance or situation - a new job, more money, change in relationships, new opportunities of life, and so on.  Even good stress creates stress!  Now you have to adapt and move through it all, with expectations and new players in your life.  Some of these opportunities, or new players, may seem to be hard to get through, difficult and oppositional. There is great learning and new perception that are involved in good new stresses. You must be able to discern what is good and right and true, what is the direction you must go in to fulfill this new opportunity.  Now, bad stress is what we are all most familiar with, or we think we are! Generally you will feel that you are out of control, something or someone is changing your life and you don't want your life changed. Some of this is true.
You can choose to fight against all this, you can grumble and complain, you can resist with all your might - and you may even succeed in some ways.  But what if there were another understanding to all these stresses? What if there were a design to all these stresses in your life? What if there is a marvelous and supernatural plan in all of it? Well there is.  Stress of any kind causes you to move, to grow, to expand the areas of your life.  If you always remain where you are, doing what you do, narrow in all your relationships, and indifferent in expanding your expectations, you will miss out on multitudes of blessings, favors, and wonders in your life. You will never savor the greatness that God has for you, or the sweetness of His presence with you. Water cannot remain stagnant and continue to sustain life, nor create new life along its path.  The choice is yours. Become stagnate and devoid of life through resistance to change and challenges of life through anger and bitterness, or fears and unbelief.  God has your back, if you will only turn to Him, for He knows and He has a plan. He will work it out in you if you will allow Him to. God must bring changes and challenges into your life to grow you up, to change the direction you are going in to accomplish His plan for your life.  Trust Him, He loves you more than you know.  YOU have an amazingly bright future, YOU are meant to carry life - His Life - within you.  YOU are meant to create new life all around you - His New Life.  YOU are meant to carry within you living, moving water.  Jesus.

- Pastor Sandi

Jeremiah 29:11-13   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18   "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."