This is our Daughter, Isabella Divine Shelley, and she is going on Mission this summer to the country of Belize with her youth group. We have raised her to love and serve others, and she exemplifies what Christ has called us to do, to Love God and Love people. This will be her 4th official missions trip to another country, not counting home mission trips to different cities here in the United States. She is such a hard worker, earning money babysitting, chores around the house, and any other odd jobs people might give her, to go on these mission trips.
Isabella is looking forward to going with the High School Ministry of Community Bible Church on this summer's Missions Trip to Belize. They partner with a ministry called Thirst Missions in Belize. She came back home last summer and told us her heart was there and had to go back and work with the kids again. She told her Mom she felt so lonesome for them while naming some of the kids she had the privilege of ministering to. Then her Mom told her that it's kind of like us, that God know our name and He loves us by name.
This has all started while she was young. My wife reminded me about a time 10 years ago when we brought our California youth group to an Orphanage in Mexico. We had 3 young kids, and Bella was a 1st grader. We saw first hand her love for other kids and a love for telling them about Jesus. God is faithful, and He continues blessing us today with the promise of our children continuing the call on our family.
The team she will be a part of will help out a ministry in Belize called Thirst Missions. It is Thirst Missions pleasure and passion to try to make a difference throughout the country by bringing groups from around North America to serve, encourage, and share Jesus Christ’s message and love. Belize is a country with great physical and spiritual needs. Belize is the most ethnically and culturally diverse nation in Central America. 41% of the Belizean people live below the poverty line and many who find work, have to do so outside the country due to lack of opportunity. On this mission trip, Bella's team will work with a Belizean church in a variety of activities to further their ministry goals. Some of these activities include service projects, mercy ministry, outreach events, sports ministry, evangelism, children’s or youth ministry, etc.
This is where you come in. Bella is working hard to earn money to pay for this trip, and you can have a hand in providing a way for her to go minister to the least of these. If you would like to give toward sending her to Belize, you can do so by clicking the button below. Every gift is tax deductible and goes directly into her account to pay for the trip. She needs $2000 dollars by May. Please consider giving today so she can be the hands and feet of Jesus to people that are in need. And please pray for her and the team, that God protects and anoints them on this journey.
Click the button below to go to the missions website to give your tax deductible gift toward Bella's Mission Trip:
I love history. If I were to teach a class at a school, I would teach history. The element I love about history is learning and finding out how places, people, communities, and creations were formed to make what we have and see today. You can learn so much of how people thought, or how a group came into existence and fought to establish it's greatness among despair. The dangerous thing about history though, is sometimes we are destined to repeat it if we don't learn from it.
I also like learning about the creators, or inventors as we call them. People like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Washington Carver, or Lonnie George Johnson who invented the first Super Soaker water gun. We can even talk about the creators/inventors of today. People we might have heard about in the news like Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), and Mark Zukerberg (Facebook). The most popular and successful inventions today are not the handy work of one or two people, but rather a whole team.
One of the similarities of these inventors and their inventions, are they all built upon something that was already there. All they had to do was look for it and use their talents to bring it out. A lot of their work was original, and their hard work payed off so we can build upon them today. Did you know that the Originator of the Original has put gifts and talents in you. All you have to do is look for them and bring them out. It will take work, but your efforts will bring forth a masterpiece that will bless generations to come.
The Originator is the only one that has created something out of nothing. And from what I've seen so far in this life, He never creates junk. He has made you Original, Unique, Awesome. He formed you from the dust and has made you into a masterpiece. You Originally were made for Greatness. Start searching for it inside of you. Because that's where the Originator started.
Transcribed from the Ready Set Go Podcast:
Forgiveness in the Family
Intro: Welcome to the Family Second Program
Through our 4 Shells Connection and our Equip, Encounter, and Activate Network we want to welcome you, along with my beautiful wife, my Diva Divine, Divina, and the 4 Shells themselves, Isabella, Everette, Eva, and Dallas. We love you lots. And want to encourage you today through this program and network. So please share with everyone you know. You can also be encouraged through my blog at philipshelley.org. So, check that out after you listen. The reason I do this is to lift, build, and encourage the family unit God has created you for a reason. I believe it’s through the Family we will begin and continue to heal this world. I know there is dysfunction, strife, unforgiveness, a whole slew of things that the devil wants to destroy you and your family with, but we must fight back. Start fighting back. It’s not easy. It’s hard. But your family is worth it.
One of these things the devil uses to destroy the family that I just mentioned is Unforgiveness. Through the program today we are going to learn first what Forgiveness is and who forgives us, and second, what are the bonds of unforgiveness that can destroy, not just families, but whole communities. So, with that in mind lets dive in today.
The Bible says in Colossians 3:13, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, and you MUST forgive others.” We need to think of Forgiveness in terms of Reconciliation. So, we want to Reconcile not seek Revenge. Throw Revenge out the window. When you forgive, you are reconciling with that person. We also need to know that Forgiveness is made possible through Christ, who the Bible says Forgave us. Colossians 1:14 says, “He purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Forgiveness is a true act where one person releases another from an offense. Now let me explain. When you do this, you’re doing 3 things. Listen carefully so you know what you’re doing when you forgive. 1. You’re refusing to enact whatever penalty is due him or her. 2. You’re refusing to continue attention of the cause of whatever the offense was. 3. And you’re refusing to allow that offense to affect your relationship. Now, some of you might be saying, “2 out of 3 isn’t bad.” But we need to accomplish these if we want true forgiveness to happen. Because without true forgiveness Unity will never be accomplished. And that is where God wants to lead us. That is our goal as a family, and as the family of God.
What does this forgiveness do? It releases us from a sense of unresolved guilt, restores a clear conscience, and restores relationship. That’s what we need in our families today. Now, when we forgive we are not condoning the sin as acceptable. Nor are we saying it made no difference in our lives. And to forgive is not a license to repeat the offense. Forgiveness is a choice! It’s a decision made to no longer hold the offense against another person or group.
Now, what happens when we embrace unforgiveness, because when we do, we allow bonds to hold us captive. So, there is another word I want to associate with Forgiveness. That word is Deliverance. We need to be delivered, or released from oppression and captivity, if we are to see our Families restored. There is a passage I want you to read this week in Acts 8:4-25 that tells us about Philip preaching in Samaria and seeing many miracles happen. Well, a sorcerer named Simon was watching, and it says that he himself believed and was baptized. So, he began to follow Philip everywhere. Well, Peter and John heard what was going on and came to pray with the new believers for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Once Simon the Sorcerer saw them lay their hands on the people and receive the Holy Spirit, he wanted to purchase this power that he saw. Peter went on to rebuke him and asked him to repent. Please go back and read this passage and listen again so you can get everything God has for you.
Peter identified the basis of Simon’s sorcery. It was bitterness. Bitterness is the deepening effect of unforgiveness. It’s like poison. If we tolerate or embrace it, it may spread throughout and bind the soul, which will ultimately corrupt everything around it. In Simon’s case, his bitterness shaped his passion to control others, which motivated his quest to purchase the ability to impart the gift of the Holy Spirit. And here is the thing. I hope this speaks to some of you. He believed and was water baptized. But he allowed the residue of his past bondage to surface as he unworthily sought power to manipulate others for self-exalting purposes. How many of us are out there, even in the church, know the bible, repented, and are still in bondage of unforgiveness because of bitterness or wanting to seek revenge? This episode points to one of the keys to deliverance from a bondage that is rooted in a believer’s soul, and that act is Forgiveness! Forgiving others from your heart flushes out the poison with the power of the cross. On the other hand, Unforgiveness can lead down paths we would never have imagined we would travel. Just read God’s Word. It tells you plainly that unforgiveness will destroy your life. And isn’t that what the devil wants to do? To destroy you and your family. Let us realize today he wants to destroy it through bitterness, which is gained through unforgiveness. Spend time with God today, in that relationship one on one, and ask yourself the tough question. Am I holding on to something? Am I not forgiving, and through my unforgiveness, is bitterness destroying me from within. You need to be set free today, not just for your sake, but for your family’s sake and the generations to come. I love what I heard in church the other day. “Forgiveness is not difficult, It’s Impossible. That is why we need a loving Savior who nothing is impossible for to help us forgive.”
PRAY for the weight of unforgiveness to be lifted off family’s. Reconcile and Deliver Family’s, bringing Unity as we strive to reach our full potential.
1. Sit down with God and ask Him if you are holding on and not Forgiving.
2. Sit down with your Family and as a family see if any of you are not forgiving one another.
3. Receive God’s supernatural grace, power, Love through your forgiveness towards one another. It will be like a heavy weight being lifted off you.
Thanks for listening
This is a listener supported Podcast, so if you would like to give toward our Equip, Encounter, Activate Network, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to be inspired go to my Devo at philipshelley.org and read some of those. We love all of you and our desire here at EEA Network is to see the weight of Unforgiveness be lifted off you and your family. It will truly set your family up for success when you learn about the power of Forgiveness. Let it set you free and set you up for greatness.
Throw your hands up!
This has been a Pshells, Diva Divine, 4 Shells Connection and remember that Connection is Key! Live to Give and Live to Connect! Peace!
“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22
“You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.” Song of Songs 4:12
“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.” Song of Songs 4:9
It's Wifey Wednesday and this is my love, my wife of 21 years. She is my treasure, and that treasure grows more valuable and beautiful everyday. When you invest money in the bank or stock market, it grows over time if the economy or what you invested in does well. When we invest in people and help the treasures within them grow, that investment that's poured out overflows onto others and eventually creates more treasures.
There might be things we see in others that are flaws we don't like or could do without. Are you focusing on all that, or is your focus on what makes them a treasure to God? More than likely, what makes them a treasure to God is what makes them a treasure to you also. God has created them, and you, to show His true beauty of Love and Faithfulness to the world. It's like God literally painted a picture to show the world what He looks like. Treasure the people and moments around you, and pretty soon you will see your treasure Grow!
If you're wondering about the title, or if not, let me tell you what it means. This week we are going to break irresponsibility. There is a word I get this meaning from. It's a word that if you look around the world today, a lot of us have missed. A word, that if we grab ahold of it, can change our families, thus change the world around us. That word is COMMITMENT.
As a communicator, teacher, team builder and motivator I get to travel and see some of the irresponsibility that has plagued our communities, not just today, but for years. Now, I'm going to say something that you might disagree with, but give it a chance. I believe it's not what you have, it's who you have. It is through your Family that we will begin to heal this world. God created Family, your Family, for a purpose!
You might be saying "my family is so messed up, how are we going to begin to heal our communities and eventually the world". Believe me, my family has issues too, from extended family drama to my own faults in sometimes not stepping up as the spiritual leader and protector of my own house. Hopefully you agree with me when I say, "He's still working on me". I hope that applies to you too.
The breakdown of the family is the single greatest cultural crisis that we face and probably the single greatest institutional breakdown because everything in society is counting on it. From the economy, to crime, to other social elements, they are all impacted when the family breaks down and is redefined. I believe that As The Family Goes, So Goes The Nation!
There are 5 areas of COMMITMENT we need to know and grow in. Please, take this and discuss them with your spouse and your children. If it's just you, grow in these so when the time comes, you can spread them to a world desperate for answers.
1. COMMITMENT is about Conviction not feelings!
2. COMMITMENT is not passive, but Active! Be COMMITTED with what's in your hand.
3. COMMITMENT needs to be Spoken!
4. COMMITMENT Swallows up the options!
5. COMMITMENT always bears Fruit! Build on COMMITMENT!
“Mixed motives twist life into tangles; pure motives take you straight down the road.” Proverbs 21:8 MSG
“We justify our actions by appearances; GOD examines our motives.” Proverbs 21:2 MSG
“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:2,3
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7-8
Some of you probably thought I forgot to use the whole word "Motivation" in the title. But today I just want to use Motive. The Word Motive means "something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, an incentive to do something". It also means "the goal or object of a person's actions". I've watched enough crime drama's to know that if your going to prove a person guilty, you must have a Motive. What is Your Motive today? Believe me, I've been there when it comes to being unmotivated to face the beginning of the week. So if you do not have the Motivation to move today and start this week off with a bang, than lets shorten the word. Lets deal with your Motive.
Is there anything out there that causes you to act, to go after your goals? A person, a thing, a place that you picture in your mind that helps you strive or go further today. If you’re having a hard time being motivated today, find a Motive that pushes you past your situation. Find your Passion and use that to push you today. Always remember, “Real Passion Defeats Completely!” Let your Passion defeat your non-motivation. Let your Passion be your Motive! Than you can see Motivation take over!
I don't have cable TV. So, to watch local channels I have an antenna. Some people call them rabbit ears. I know some of you might say, "What is that?". If the channel is not clear or I'm not catching the certain channel I want, I have to adjust the (usually) two metal sticks that sit atop my TV.
At the beginning of this week we started off by Tackling negativity and fear. We found out that negativity has power but no authority. You have the authority to say I will be great today. Later this week we learned that normal is an illusion. You were made with Purpose! You were called to be Unique! Live that Calling! (If you need to go back and read the past blogs for encouragement, please do)
As you go forth this week I have one thing to say to you. If you're not getting the message, Adjust Your Antenna! Start realizing today you have the authority to overcome negativity, fear, and doubt in your life. Speak and live the Purpose and Uniqueness you have inside you! And in the process, other people will fall in line. Family, friends, and even strangers will see your greatness and be encouraged. Adjust Your Antenna and start winning in life! #knowthetruth
This Devo is transcribed from the Ready Set Go Podcast.
Encouragement for Single Parents
Welcome to the Family Second Program
My family welcomes you Divina, Isabella, Everette, Eva, and Dallas
Thanks for listening today or whenever you turn this on. So grateful.
It’s our desire to create a culture of strong biblical families, to see them blessed and flourish in the things that God has for them. The breakdown of the family is the single greatest cultural crisis that we face and probably the single greatest institutional breakdown because everything in society is counting on it. From the economy, to crime, to other social elements, they are all impacted when the family breaks down and is redefined. Through this program, we want to encourage and strengthen families one individual at a time. As the family goes, so goes the nation.
Today I want to bring encouragement to single parents. Sometimes we forget about those individuals that are serving in both the mother and father roles. I talk a lot on this program about the two together in the family unit. But we can never forget those that are raising children on their own. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, God still has a plan for you and your children. He still sees you, He knows you, and He cares. I’m truly amazed to see single mothers rise above their circumstances and do all they can do for their children. I personally know of 3 single Moms right now as I just reflect on what God can do, that through different circumstances of maybe the dad not standing up or leaving and not taking responsibility, these Moms just purchased a house on their own so the children can have their own place to live. And it’s that determination that God can give you to say to whatever mountain that stands in the way, MOVE!
There is a story in the Bible that has some real-life lessons for single parents, and that is the story of Hagar. We first meet Hagar in Genesis 16. Here she is a servant of Sarai who has a husband named Abram, and Sarai is unable to have children.
Now the custom of their day was that barren women in this situation would bring in another woman who would have the child and act as a surrogate. Hagar became a surrogate for Sarai. The story gets crazy here because when Hagar got pregnant, Sarai became jealous and drove Hagar out of the house. Now, Hagar was pregnant and alone. She had no Abram, no other male to support and protect her, and she found herself wandering in the wilderness. I hope that speaks to someone today. You might be wandering in the wilderness so to speak because he or she left or is no longer here. And Hagar was about to become a single parent all because she got caught up in someone else’s plan. Let that just marinate in your mind for a second.
But the Bible says that an Angel went out to the wilderness for the benefit of this single mother-to-be, which in other words, God showed up. And that was good news for Hagar. If you are a single parent, this is good news for you too, because when you have been rejected, when a spouse or help mate is nowhere to be found, God knows the situation you are in, and He knows where to find you. He has compassion for you and Loves you so much. He knows your stigma, loneliness, and pain. When you hurt, He feels it, because He experienced the fullness of all three on the cross.
The story goes on and God told Hagar to name the boy Ishmael which means “God hears and God knows”. Every time she used that name, she remembered something about God. That’s the beauty of grace for a single parent. Hagar is out on her own with no help, but God says, “I Know”. We also see that Hagar gave God the name El Roi which declares “Thou art a God who sees”. Do you know that God sees you? That He sees the circumstances you are in, out in the desert all alone with no one to provide for you, give you spiritual or emotional covering and protection. No matter what you are going through, God says, “I see. I hear. I know.”
The Saga of Hagar didn’t end there. It picks up again in chapter 21 of Genesis and we see Hagar went back as the Lord instructed. Now Sarah has Isaac, which is the son God had promised her and Abraham. One day, Ishmael was making fun of Isaac and Sarah had Abraham send them away. Hagar and her son were homeless. She is now a bona fide single mother. This is a classic single-parent scenario that could be easily repeated today. Hagar lost her home, she had a teenage son, and she was on the streets with no money. She was thirsty and probably hungry. She had fear her boy would die, so in her despair she sat down and cried. Here is where God showed up again and asked Hagar “What is a matter with you?” What He was saying was “Hagar, have you forgotten what I did for you earlier? How I found you in the wilderness. Do you think I am going to remember you one minute and forget you the next? You yourself said I am the God who sees. Do you think that now I have gone blind?”
Single parent, God has not gone blind. He sees, He hears, and He knows. You may be in a far-from-ideal situation, but you have an ideal God. Single mother, the greatest thing you can do is have a passion for God. When you have a passion for God, you have Someone who will be a Father to your child and a Husband and protector to you. Single father, when you know God, you have Someone to lean on who understands a father’s heart and desires for his children. As He was with Hagar, He is also with you. The God who sees and knows and cares.
1. Make sure your first passion is for Christ. It’s easy for make your first passion your kids, but truly make Jesus your first passion.
2. Surround yourself with a family that supports you with love and encouragement.
3. Wake up every day knowing you have a purpose. You might not be in an ideal situation, but remember God sees you, and you and your children have purpose.
Thank you so much for listening. It is a true privilege to speak into your life and elevate people with the hope that Christ gives. It’s because of Him I can sit here today. Always know that You are Loved.
If you have loved ones that need to hear this please share it with them.
This has been a pshells, Diva Divine, 4Shells production, and remember that God sees you, hears you, and knows you. Peace.
Negativity and fear is like a gun that is not loaded. They can't hurt you once you've realized the authority you have over them. But a lot of us haven't realized it yet, so we walk around wallowing in self doubt and the pain someone else has placed on us. I am here today to announce, you no longer have to walk this way. You have the Authority over negativity, fear, and doubt.
One of the ways we allow these to overcome us in life is we receive them as normal. They have plagued us for so long we see it as the norm. You were made with a Purpose! Normal should be an illusion! You were called to be Unique! Live that Calling!
It's kind of like hitting the snooze button in the morning. You either think you have time, or it's just something you've always done. It's normal. Every time you allow negativity and fear to rule, you are hitting the snooze button in your life. Stop hitting the snooze button. Let Joy be your alarm clock and wake up knowing you can change things.
Walk in Authority! Walk in Joy! Learn to even skip in them! Stop believing the illusion! Live Your Calling!
John 13:34 says “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
We are called to Love as we are Loved. I don’t know about you, but I believe Jesus is using this moment to call us to Unity. The issue of Unity is love—Christ’s love for us and our willingness to love others as the Lord loved us. Jesus uses this as a New Commandment, and it presses us beyond our natural, human tendencies to the need for Christ’s inspiration. Christ’s love for us is not dependent on any quality you and I have that makes us lovable. He Loves because He is love. Regardless of our strengths or weaknesses, He still loves us.
That thought might be humbling to some of us. The some of us who want to be chosen, called, and cherished because of our talent, or our personality, or our achievements. Christ’s love is not motivated by any of these human qualities. But, it is motivated by Grace.
If we are to love in His way, we have to take seriously what He says in John 14:14 and ask for it. Then, do what it says in 14:16 and allow the Holy Spirit to give us power to do it. In a world of distractions of love, people’s manipulations of love, and a false love that many can interpret as lust, Unity is not possible without His commandment. Also, it isn’t possible without me and you being willing to receive His love for others. Let us remember that the servant like, selfless love that Christians (need to) display toward one another witnesses to the world that they are His true disciples.
Listen to my Podcast on the Podcast page episode "Commit to Love" to learn more.
Copyright 2018 © Philip Shelley. All rights reserved.