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Pray Always

Monday Moment

Pray Always

Paul Foslien, Senior Pastor, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL

February 13, 2017

Ephesians 6:18 “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (NKJV)

Prayer must continue in our lives regardless of our current circumstances and situation. We need to realize and accept that every person has ups and downs – we all have good days and bad days. It is easy to pray on the up days, but it is not so easily done on the down days. Oddly enough, we often ‘forget’ to pray on the good days when those prayers are exactly the ones we need to prepare us and help us through tough times. Let’s make the decision to grow in our prayer lives this year.

Regarding prayer, here are some lessons from King David:

1 Samuel 30:6 “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (NKJV)

Keep on reading!

Place a Priority on Prayer

Monday Moment

Place a Priority on Prayer

Paul Foslien, Senior Pastor, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL

January 30, 2017

Prayer is a very important aspect of a Christian’s life and should be a part of your every day. However, many people have questions about prayer and do not understand when, where, or how to pray. We can find the answers to these concerns easily – simply open up your Bible and read the Word of God. Sometimes we go far and wide in search of answers in our lives when the answers are revealed to us in the Word of God if we would read it and go the Lord. So, what does the Bible say about prayer? In Nehemiah, who was an Old Testament prophet, the Bible teaches us to place a priority on prayer.

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Prayer 101

Monday Moment

Prayer 101

Maria Foslien, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL

January 23, 2017

I John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions we have asked of Him.” (NKJV)

As we begin to look at prayer from a biblical perspective, we, first and foremost, must pray according to HIS will! Unfortunately, many Christians are unskilled ‘prayers’; their prayer lives consist of phrases such as, “Lord, I need such-and-such,” or “help so-and-so.” While this simple prayer is better than no prayer at all, it is not very effective especially if we have been a Christian for any length of time. Throughout the Bible, the Lord has always been very gracious and loving as He looks to the heart of men and women in their actions and prayers. If you are a new believer, do not worry that your prayers may go unanswered or unheard because you are doing it incorrectly. Instead, focus on seeking God and coming to Him with an open heart, and He will meet you where you are at in life.

But, this does not mean we should not learn to pray powerfully, effectively, and correctly. God could do so much more here on the earth if we, the body of Christ, would give Him the legal right by asking in accordance with His Word. Now, prayer cannot take the place of obedience, and obedience cannot take the place of prayer as both are important in the life of a Christian. But, when we combine the two together, we open the door for God to move in our lives and on this earth in a powerful way.

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In Months Past, Part 4

MONDAY MOMENT

In Month’s Past
Part 4

Paul Foslien, Senior Pastor, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL

September 12, 2016

This week we are taking a moment to wrap up our series, In Month’s Past. We have been focusing on the importance of emotional health so that we can grow and move forward spiritually.

A windshield is always bigger than the rearview mirror. We should be directing our thoughts and actions on the things that are in front of us rather than on the things that have already happened.

Actions for Achieving Emotional Health

1. Self-regulation: being in control of our actions and emotions

Proverbs 16:32 reads,
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (NKJV)

Proverbs 25:28 reads,
A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. (NLT)

2. Peace with your past: Groundhog Day was only a movie – it shouldn’t be your life.

Philippians 3:13 reads,
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead (NLT)

Remember: The devil is the whisperer of lies, flaws, and mistakes. Don’t buy his lies!

3. Focus Thoughts on God’s Word: God’s Word is the answer to all things negative.

Hebrews 4:12 states,
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)

Emotional health will not happen until our thoughts are consistent with God’s.

4. Receive the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is our guide and internal compass.

Galatians 5:16-24 reads,
(16) If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. (22) God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, (23) gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. (24) And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. (CEV)

5. Commit to being Healthy: Spirit, Soul, and Body.

Being healthy requires on-going attention and adjustment:

•  Eat well and maintain good physical health
•  Stay in church, go to counseling, and read a book about emotional health every year
•  Identify an accountability partner who will tell you the truth
•  Grow spiritually and get involved in the community
•  Step away from negative relationships and make new, positive ones

What you feed grows, and what you starve dies. Lay down the things that are preventing you from becoming all that God has intended.

Focus on Him, His Word, and your path forward.

Christ-centered for Life,

Pastor Paul

In Months Past, Part 3

MONDAY MOMENT

In Month’s Past
Part 3

Paul Foslien, Senior Pastor, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL

September 05, 2016

As we continue our series, In Month’s Past, I want to spend a few moments focusing on the importance of healing and restoration. God has designed a personalized plan for each of us. His plan is greater than anything that we might imagine; however, we can get lost in our own grief, hurt, anger, and disappointment. Until we let go and work through these issues, we will not be able to fulfill or even see God’s plan.

Job 29:1-5 reads,
Job further continued his discourse, and said: “Oh, that I were as in months past, As in the days when God watched over me; When His lamp shone upon my head, And when by His light I walked through darkness; Just as I was in the days of my prime, When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; When the Almighty was yet with me, When my children were around me… (NKJV)

Four Areas of Chronic Unhealthiness

1. Trauma: divorce, abuse, abortion, failure, adultery, etc.

Are you carrying any of these burdens? Are you among the walking wounded? Face them because hurting people hurt people.

2. Blame: people who won’t take responsibility for their actions.

Adam and Eve – blame others, deflect, defensive, unapproachable, hide, etc. Are you willing to accept your own responsibilities and actions? Envy, Jealousy, Anger, Bitterness, and Fear are unhealthy emotions the devil uses to do incredible damage in the body of Christ.

All of us experience negative emotions at times, but emotionally healthy people recognize them as wrong and overcome them.

3. Unhealthy relationships: allowing unhealthy people to influence us.

Sampson – Delilah had her own agenda and manipulated him to get what she wanted: his outcome was not a good one. Do your friends challenge or support your choices? Are those choices healthy ones?

4. Manipulation and Control: using every trick possible to avoid confrontation about bad behavior.

Jezebel – she works hard to make sure that no one could confront her. Do you have friends/family who will say NO to you? Do you have accountability partners?

Your first step to emotional and spiritual health may be in recognizing elements of these things in your life. If God is speaking to you, spend some time with Him in prayer and reflection. Allow Him to show you areas that need to be faced.

He loves you and wants the best for your life.

Christ-centered for Life,

Pastor Paul

In Months Past, Part 2

MONDAY MOMENT

In Month’s Past
Part 2

Paul Foslien, Senior Pastor, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL

August 29, 2016

We’re continuing our series, In Month’s Past. This is our reminder that God does not want us to focus on the rearview mirror. His desire is that we train our eyes on what He has set before us.

Matthew 11:28-30 reads,
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (NKJV)

This passage contains three very important messages to each of us:

  1. Come to Me
  2. Learn from Me
  3. Partner with Me

We are designed to have both a sound heart and mind – not distracted by fear, defeat, and discouragement.

2 Timothy 1:7 states,
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind(NKJV)

SOUND means that our minds are balanced and focused on the right things, our priorities are in the right place, and we use good discretion.

Unhealthy Leaders in the Bible

  1. Adam, a blame-shifter who could not handle peer pressure.
  2. Eve, the first eating disorder (okay, so maybe not).
  3. Cain, murdered his brother.
  4. Abraham, let others walk away with his wife, twice!
  5. Sarah, told her husband to sleep with another woman and then hated her for it.
  6. Samson, had a problem with a girl and killed himself.
  7. Eli, a failure as a father who lost his sons to immorality and died an early death.
  8. Saul, Israel’s first king, was prone to anger, depression, and paranoia.

While we may try to hide certain parts of ourselves, those things cannot be hidden for long. Life’s challenges and pressures typically push those things to the surface. Facing those issues is the only way to move past them. This also allows us to refocus on the path in front of us rather than on the things in the rearview mirror.

God will not promote us beyond our level of emotional health and functionality. Once we begin healing emotionally, we are ready for the MORE that God has planned for each of us.

Christ-centered for Life,

Pastor Paul