SOAP Entry: A Message of Authority

S – Scripture Luke 4:32  They were amazed at His teaching because His message had authority. v. 36 All of the people were amazed and said… “what is this teaching? With authority and power He gives orders to evil spirits and they come out! v. 39.. he bent over her and rebuked the fever and it left her.

O – Observation Jesus knew who He was and what He could do (v. 18-19) So He spoke and acted with authority. His words carried power. His actions did too. Jesus spoke to demonic spirits and they obeyed. He spoke to fevers and they listened too. Dead folk came back to life. Jesus had power and wasn’t afraid to use it when He saw situations that demanded its use.

A – Application John 14:12 says that anyone who has faith in Jesus will do what He has done and EVEN GREATER! Why, then, do my own words so often seem to lack power and authority? And how do I fully tap into that which is my birthright as a joint-heir with Christ?  Moreover, why does the Christian community think that it is acceptable to operate with so little authority and power? Why don’t we see the connection between the state of our world and the lack of power and authority in the Church?

P – Prayer Lord, I want to exercise every gift you’ve given to me. I want my teaching and acts to be filled with your authority. Use me, Lord. There is so much that needs to be called out. There is so much that needs to be called into being. Help your people to lay claim to the authority you’ve given us! Help us to make a difference in the lives of the people in our homes, communities and in this world!

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SOAP Entry: All That Glitters Aint Gold

S—[scripture] Genesis 13:10-12   Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley. The whole area was well-watered…. Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the east…. Abram settled in the land of Canaan and Lot moved his ten to a place near Sodom……

O — [observation] Lot made a decision that would greatly impact his life (and that of his family) by sight and supposition. He chose what looked beauiful, what looked like the best choice. Then he pitched his tent near Sodom. Abram chose Canaan. The contrast is striking – Sodom (unholy) and Canaan (holy); there’s a message in the contrast too!!!

A— [application]  It is critical that I make quality decisions – not just for me but for my family and anyone who looks to me for leadership – based on all of the available information and not just on what looks good or seems right. All that glitters ain’t gold. Then, I must be careful not to pitch my tent near Sodom. This reminds me of Adam and Eve hanging out at the tree. Nothing good ever comes from hanging out at Sodom or near the forbidden fruit.

P— [prayer]   Lord, help me to learn to see beyond the physical, the surface, the obvious. I want spiritual vision that will alert me to hidden dangers or the problems that come from with being too close to forbidden fruit. Lord, help me not to take the easy way out. Help me to make decisions that are fully informed and that take everyone into consideration – especially the Abrams in my life.

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Life Journals

We invite you to join us on a journey through the Bible.

Scripture is filled with information to help us live victorious, rich lives. However,  this is only possible if we dig deeply, pray for new revelation and begin to apply the Word.

What:   Scripture Reading & Personal Journaling

How:    Think SOAP

(information taken from http://www.enewhope.org/firststeps/journaling/)

S for Scripture

O for Observation

A for Application

P for Prayer


It’s easy to follow the plan online. Visit http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/life-journal-reading-plan to read the daily passages on your computer or smart phone.

Need more help?


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I’m Tired!

I’m tired!  I’m tired of watching family and friends constantly struggle in all areas of their lives. I’m especially tired of watching people who trust in the Lord struggle. Lest anyone think I’ve set myself up as a paragon of ‘got it all together’ I want to say at the outset that I’m also tired of myself!  This issue was especially heavy on my heart this morning as I  had ‘a little talk with Jesus’ and told Him about it. What follows is part of my dialogue with God and what He impressed upon my heart.

It’s simply too much – too much lack, too much undisciplined behavior, too much ignorance, too much inability to envision life without struggle! We serve the God of more than enough so why are we so content to live in the valley of too little?  Not once did God ever give people just enough. God always provided more than what the person needed. What makes me tired is the knowledge that most people aren’t renting space in the valley of too little.  They’ve built permanent residences there. They’ve built the family home in this valley and seem content to pass down the keys to their children. They have checkbook empty, credit cards maxed out, house filthy, driving a hoopty, kids raising themselves, eyes vacant, dreams nothing more than a pile of dust in the corner, and hope not just deferred but totally forgotten. And most people live in this place because of personal choices, actions, and decisions. Underneath, if they look honestly and closely, they will discover that they live in the valley of too little back to an unwillingness to move when, where and how God said move!  They have too much debt so they can’t go back to school; too little education because they blew the opportunities they had; too little love because they’ve disrespected ourselves and let the wrong person in or chased off the ones who would have loved them the way God intended. They have too little faith because they choose to look at their situations instead of God’s promises and provision. Yes, some people have had bad things dumped on them by others. Some people start life already an hour late because of someone else’s bad decisions. I get that because it’s been my life as well. And this is not about blaming the victim. This is about pointing people out of the valley.  Christ didn’t die so we could accept victim status. We are victors through Christ and that’s an entirely different mindset.

Aren’t we tired of wearing sackcloth and ashes? When will we get tired of beating our head against the same brick walls?  When will we get tired of living as paupers when our God says we are royalty? When will we say ‘ENOUGH! I’ve got to make a shift?’  This deeply bothers me. I’m tired of watching people struggle and accept it as their lot in life. Wrong!!!  I’m tired of people constantly making excuses for why they are always a day late and a dollar short. We have the power to make a difference in our own lives and in those of our family members. We can do all things through Christ but we are the ones who have to want it badly enough to try a different way. It’s time to look in the mirror and tell the person staring back that you are tired of her. Examine your actions. The old adage is true: if you keep doing the same thing you’ll keep getting what you’ve got. So is the other one: to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity.  Listen my friends. Christ came so that you can have and enjoy your life. Christ came so that you could have an abundant life, full to overflowing. God is your parent and it breaks God’s heart to see you struggle.  To borrow the words from Michael Jackson If you want to make [your] world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change! When you get tired of being tired you will be at the point when you can pack your belongings, call for a U-haul and get out of the valley of not enough! Your life depends on it.

I’m tired! Are you?

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You Need A Time Out!

Hezekiah ReadingParents understand the concept of time out as a way to help children get a handle on unruly behaviors. However, scientific evidence, which is really support for Biblical imperatives, states that both children and adults need time outs. We need time out, not because our behavior is necessarily unruly, but because we are losing ourselves, our relationships with others and with God in the frenzy of day-to-day life.

We live in a world where we are constantly wired. There is a trinity controlling our lives and in most cases it is not the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This trinity is the three screens: television, computer and handhelds. They are rapidly eroding our ability to communicate, contemplate and rest. Researchers note the devastating impact on the development of children’s brains when they have no technology restrictions. “There’s no downtime, no alone time… for them to develop their own sense of self.” Take a look at the typical family in a restaurant and you will rarely see total engagement with the humans around them. In most instances, one or all of them will have some kind of device in their hands.

We need to (re)institute time outs, starting with parents who both model and set parameters for their children. We used to have a rule in our home – no video games on school nights (before the age of personal cell phones) and computer time was limited – bless aol for parental guidelines. We encouraged (strongly) reading (real books),  games, family Bible study, creative expressions and family walks through the neighborhood after dinner. These things weren’t optional. They were expectations for being part of the family. There was white space in all of our lives. By the time our children were late teenagers, even though their schedules were busy, certain of these were ingrained in them. The word ‘bored’ was not allowed in our home and young people were expected to find entertainment that wasn’t powered by electricity or batteries.  As long as there are books, papers, crayon, paint, pencils, balls to toss or kick, blankets to transform into forts or backdrops for stages, a mind that works, boredom is impossible – but that’s a topic for another day! The point of this is to reinstate time outs:

personal time outs so one learns to sit with his/her own thoughts, digest the overload of information floating in the air, pray, rest, re-create, time to learn to be comfortable with silence for it is in this space where one can find themselves, where God speaks and ideas flow. We all need to hear from God but God will not compete for time and space. On the other hand, God will show up when invited. Time out can be an open invitation for God to visit.

family time outs where parents and children play games (the more low tech the better), have picnics on the family room floor, go for walks, pray, worship, and get to know each other, where they can develop a sense of home as a safe harbor.

Do yourself a favor and put yourself and everyone in your house in a much-needed time out!

Pastor Donna

Interesting links:

Brain Development In a Hyper-tech World

Developing the Child Brain

Cedarville University Torch

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Near and Deep

“In our tech-dominated world we have extended our reach but diminished our depth.” [Dr. William Brown]

I don’t know about you but those words resonate deeply in my work-weary soul.  The very things that were supposed to make life simpler have, in fact, made it more complicated and full to overflowing. And, as a result, we have many ‘friends’ and few FRIENDS.  We know facts about people, even our family members, but don’t know their deep thoughts, fears, concerns or even their joys. And it’s not just individuals who are suffering from this technological malady. The church,  the body of Christ, is guilty of having extended its reach to the various ends of the world while the depth of relationships among the brothers and sisters is superficial.

We sing the lyrics of the Fannie Crosby’s famous hymn, Draw Me Nearer, with gusto: Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to the cross where thou hast died. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to thy precious bleeding side. There is great benefit to being drawn closer to the Lord. But that alone is not enough. Near is good but it’s not enough. We need deeper!  Think about it this way. We can set seeds on top of the soil – that’s as close as they can get – but there’s little protection on top of the soil. In order for the seed to do what it needs to do (die so it can sprout, grow roots and bear fruit) it must go deeper into the soil. You can argue that there are seeds which sprout laying on top of soil and you’d be correct – at least about those that aren’t blown away or eaten by birds. But the seeds that grow close to the surface rarely have roots deep enough to sustain them through the sun, rain, wind or predators.

We are like those seeds. In order for us to die daily, grow strong roots and bear fruit, we must go deeper in the things of the Lord. Near is good but not good enough. Life throws some hard stuff our way and in order to flourish, we need depth! God wants us to have healthy relationships, with God and with those in our lives. Healthy relationships are deep, they take time and are, first and foremost, connected to the quality of our relationship with God. It’s okay to have 1500 ‘friends’ on Facebook but don’t be naive enough to think those are real relationships. Technology is an awesome tool for reaching people but it will never substitute for the kind of relationship that only comes from being near and deep.

I don’t want to live a shallow life characterized by surface relationships. So, I’m singing, Lord draw me nearer and take me deeper! And, I’m stepping away from the computer a bit more often so I can have the necessary white space in my life to go deeper with the people I love and those I want to reach with the Gospel of Christ.

How about you?

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Welcome to Doxology Ministries International Inc

a non-denominational ministry

with a PASSION for the Gospel of Christ and

a deep desire to see people move


Join us on the journey!

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