PRISM MINISTRIES

Born to Shine

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." -Matthew 5:16 When I was in color guard in high school, (you know, the people who come out with the band waving flags), they used to always tell us to 'shine'. That meant, 'stand up straight, head held high, and always remember to SMILE.' Some days weren't as easy as others wearing spandex leotards in the hot summer sun, or being so cold you could barely feel your toes with just sneakers and light stockings to cover your feet. But, although some people wondered what our purpose was besides taking up space on the field during halftime, it was a huge part of the main objective. We were

Get Up!

"Knowing their thoughts, (the Pharisees) Jesus said, 'Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up and walk"? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....' Then he said to the paralytic, 'Get up, take your mat and go home.' And the man got up and went home." -Matthew 9:4-8 There are times in life when we feel like giving up. We don't want to try again; we stop even caring. We feel hopeless and inadequate, as if there was nothing we could do to reconcile our pain or help our circumstance. But, in spite of our feelings, God has a different view. Like the man who had been ly

Built on Jesus

"They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built." -Luke 6:48 What does it mean to have a life built on Jesus? I heard someone say once, "Many people build their lives around Jesus. But that's very different from building your life upon Jesus. When the storm comes, everything that's not built on a solid foundation won't be able to stand. But, if our lives are built on Jesus, our faith will remain." Everything in this world will fall away that's not built on Jesus. That is why He said, "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermi

Overcoming the Stress Disease

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" -Matthew 6:27 We have a problem with stress in our culture. Coupled by the fact that we work a lot, and have many distractions, we juggle all our plates on sticks hoping to make something of ourselves, overcome our problems, and make it look easy. But is it really easy? According to the American Institute of Stress, Time Magazine's June 6, 1983 cover story was called "The Epidemic of the Eighties" and cited stress as our leading health problem. Since then, it has only gotten worse. In 1996, Prevention magazine asked respondents if they had "great stress." Seventy-five percent said they did, while just 55% of those queried in

Generosity is a Key to the Kingdom

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." -2 Corinthians 9:6 Have you ever experienced extraordinary blessing in your life? Or, have you had the opportunity to be a conduit for blessing in someone else's life? Generosity is a huge key that unlocks the door of God's kingdom into our lives. I had just received a very large gift from someone that was rather unexpected. So large, in fact, that the gift was very difficult to accept! But, I realized this gift was as much for me as it was for the giver. After speaking with several trusted people about the gift, we joyfully received it. It was an unexpected bless

Understanding Covenant

"David asked the men standing near him, '...Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?'" -1 Samuel 17:26 Most of us know the story of David and Goliath. But what we may not know is the reason behind David's courage. David was young, probably around 17. The Israelites were all afraid of Goliath because he was so big. No one had yet had the courage to challenge him, and when the Israelites saw him, "They all fled in great fear." (v.24) "Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, 'Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able

God's Refining Fire

"I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, "These are my people," and they will say, "The Lord is our God.'" -Zechariah 13:9 Did you know that God tests us? He doesn't do it to be mean or to play a joke on us, but He does it to see where our heart is. He does this because this is the most important thing to him - our heart. As children of His, He wants us to experience life as it was meant to be, full of purpose, meaning, and great relationships. In order for us to experience those things, he puts us through the "refining fire". This is the place of t

Begin Again

"But though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity." -Proverbs 24:16 Have people ever let you down? If you're dealing with human beings, in ministry or in business, or anywhere for that matter, it's likely they will! But what do we do when people mess up? Do we tell them there's no hope, that God is angry with them, or do we tell them that God is a God of second chances, waiting with open arms for us to run back to Him when we repent? The second picture is the more accurate one. Peter was in the garden with Jesus. Jesus told him he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter didn't believe he would do it. 'I wil

Casting Out Fear

"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear." -1 John 4:18 Once at our Toastmaster's meeting, there was a man who was the Toastmaster (or host for the meeting), who ended the meeting very unusually. He said, "Along with our theme of 'out with the old, in with the new', I want you to take out a piece of paper, and write your biggest fear on it." We did so, and awaited the next instruction. Next, he unveiled a box that had the word FEAR printed on it in big, bold letters. "Now," he said, "I have this box, and we're going to collect everyone's fears and put them here in the box." So, he went around the room collecting the papers that represented everyone's fears. "No

The Kingdom of God

"Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, 'The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, "Here it is," or "There it is," because the kingdom of God is within you.'" -Luke 17:20 & 21 The late Dr. Myles Munroe, former senior pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International, wrote a book called Kingdom Principles: Preparing for Kingdom Experience and Expansion. In the book he describes the difference between religion (do's and don'ts) and the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught in the Bible. He calls the Kingdom of God "the foundation of God's plan for mankind." (p. 81) Jesus mentions the "kingdom of

The Cost of the Call

"Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." -Philippians 2:3&4 When asked by a rich man how to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus replied, "You must sell all you own and come and follow Me." (Luke 19:21) The rich man, in response, was visibly dejected. He realized he did not want to let go of his wealth in order to follow Jesus. The same is true in pursuing our calling. It's often not what we think. There will be things that we won't want to give up, freedoms that we enjoy - but when God comes calling we have to put our selfishness aside in o

Weapons of Warfare

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." -2 Corinthians 10:4 My dad turned to me one day and said something I had never really thought about before. "You know," he said, "you have so much at your age that I never had. It's like you have a tool belt full of weapons against the enemy." He was referring to the preparation I had been undergoing through a series of trainings, and the healing work that God had been doing in my life. "I guess you're right!

Embracing His Lordship

"Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -Philippians 2:9-12 Each of us comes from a different spiritual background, with perhaps a different idea of who Jesus is. Some of us have only known God as our all powerful God, a God to be reverently feared, while some say that through Jesus we can be friends of God. Both are true, however sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that because we are God's friend everything (including our sin), is accepted by H

Only God

"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 Have you ever done something you've regretted? Have you ever said something, and wished you could have captured your words before they entered the atmosphere? We've all done things we're not proud of. Regret is a part of being human. When we do things we regret, what should we do? How do we make things right? We can apologize, we can be sorry, we can go above and beyond the call of duty to try and "pay-back" the people we've wronged. But in the end, what's said has been said, what's done has been done, and there is no way to erase the damage it may have caused. When we do things we regret, there is no possible way

Signs & Wonders

"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth"- Genesis 9:13 Has God ever given you a sign? Something that meant something to you, that only you could comprehend? Or, have you ever put out a "fleece", so to speak, as Gideon did, to determine or confirm the direction of His leading, and God came through? (Judges 6:37-40) I remember the first time I really felt God reach out to me. I knew He had been there all along, but amidst all my feelings of depression and hopelessness He felt so far away. It was the evening of my 17th birthday, and my mom was taking me to a restaurant to celebrate. I was feeling very downhearted and discouraged,

Seeing What Others Can't See

"And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around." -2 Kings 6:17 There are times we may look at someone and think they're crazy, or see a situation and see no solution. We think to ourselves, "There is no possible way to make this happen," or, "She is definitely a out of her mind!" This is human. But to look past the circumstance or reality and see God's potential, this is supernatural. It takes a lot to see potential sometimes. It definitely requires imagination. But when people's lives are so messed up that they can't see out of their situations, we need to

A Spirit-Fueled Life

"...and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.'" -Luke 3:22 Pastor Dean Sweetman, former pastor of Christian City Church Atlanta, wrote a book called Direct Connect: Understanding and Getting to Know the Holy Spirit. In this book he describes the "most misunderstood" person of the Trinity: The Holy Spirit. He says of the Holy Spirit, "A vital relationship with the Holy Spirit is, without doubt, the most potent weapon any believer can have today." (p. 7) Many in the body of Christ believe that the infilling power of the Holy Spirit was just for New Testament times, for the purp

Glimpses of Heaven

"Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty - the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.'" -Revelation 4:8 Have you ever wondered what heaven is like? I definitely have. I've heard there are streets of gold, houses made of fine gemstones, and angels that are greater than twenty feet tall. Could you imagine creatures that were covered in eyes? That would be so intense! "The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with

Forgiveness Means Freedom

"Forgive people when they do wrong things to you. If you forgive them, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive them, your Father will not forgive you." -Matthew 6:14-15 Forgiveness can be so hard sometimes. Someone you think should know better, someone you thought you could trust, someone you depended on who let you down - abuse, mistreatment, betrayal - we will all experience hurts, disappointments, and frustrations in life. Although we may know better, sometimes it feels better in the moment to hold on. Parents, teachers, peers, friends, neighbors, bosses, companies, churches, government officials, ourselves, God - the list could go on and on. "It serves t

Unconditional

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34 What does it mean to have unconditional love and acceptance for others? The world seems to do a good job. The song "Born This Way", a statement of unconditional acceptance by Lady Gaga rose to the top of the Billboard Music Chart's #1 spot for several weeks. But as Christians, even though we are called to love others, we seem to have failed miserably. This is evident in the world's view of us as hypocritical and judgmental, nothing more than a political action group trying to push our agenda. But Jesus is no respecter of persons, and He is no respecter of sins. He modeled uncondi

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