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Jasmine Murray of American Idol and Miss America Finalist at The Net this week!
More about Jasmine...
Before the age of 22, Jasmine Murray had curated quite a resume. By anyone’s standards, she made it to the top. But the bright lights of success can cast a long, dark shadow. For Jasmine, that shadow hid anxiety that became difficult at times. In the dark, fear whispered she was not good enough. But with a supportive family, a divine songwriting appointment and help from God, she began pushing back and using her platform to show others they are not alone.
“We all have chinks in our armor,” says Jasmine. “Some are clearly seen from the outside. Mine were on the inside; I secretly battled fear and anxiety. I know it looks like I had it all together, but I didn’t.
Best known for her powerhouse vocals as a finalist in season eight of “American Idol,” Jasmine has worked hard to overcome and achieve so much at a young age. Named Miss Mississippi and placing in the top 10 in Miss America 2015, she paid for college entirely with her contest earnings. Now she’s inspiring audiences with a fresh pop sound and a profound message of hope as an artist and songwriter with Fair Trade Services.
Now at age 25, Jasmine’s experience contributes to the wisdom and poise she carries. She’s on a mission, and she’s just getting started. “I feel like I’m on a journey, and it’s a privilege to be able to share that with people,” she says. “I know this is my purpose. I’m where I’m supposed to be. I want to reach people with the message God’s given me."
The Best Book I Ever Read!
I thought I understood love before I read it. No, I didn't. My eyes were opened as if God himself had pulled up a chair and said, "Let me tell you about the greatest thing in the world". As I read this little book, page after page spoke volumes to me about why God has narrowed all the commandments down to one word, "Love". John said, He is Love! There is no law against love. You will never make a mistake by loving. It will never send you in the wrong direction. It is the North Star for our souls. If we ever find ourselves lost in the wilderness, all we need to do is look up. Love is sure to point the way.
We decided a few weeks ago, to make this week a standalone message between our "NetFlix" series and the next one called "FaceTime." Sounds like we are ripping off names for our message series lately. We are. I would love to do a whole series on this little book but you do what God leads you to. And I believe He would speak to us this week through Henry Drummond about love. So, I will follow His lead. I promise you will not be disappointed. Drummond speaks about love in a way you will not forget. You will walk away thinking, I've never seen love in this light before.
If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going
Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going". If you follow Christ, you will go through hell. But, keep going. Jesus will make sure you know what it is to be His disciple. He will make sure you know what it means to be dependent on Him and what it means to be victorious even in the most hopeless situations. My faith is strong because I have seen what happens when you keep going. Don't ever think about giving up. The mind of Christ is to surrender to only one thing, the will of the Father. That means you keep moving ahead. If it rains, you move. If the sun shines on you, you still move.
The enemy wants you to stop and negotiate with him. If you do, you will lose. There is no negotiating in this fight. There is only surrender. The only question is who will you surrender to? Your Lord or your enemy? To the one who would do nothing but good for you or the one who wants to destroy you? It's a choice we face every day.
If you find yourself in hell, look for Jesus. He is your only way out. If you are following Jesus through hell, keep following. He is still your only way out. And in all your following, be sure of this. Victory is imminent!
A Father's #1 Job!
My father and I have disagreed on many things. I have made many mistakes that I would not have made if I had just listened to my dad. I have also been right about a few things that he never thought would work. But I never doubted, not even once, whether he loved me. That doubt doesn’t exist. It’s the best thing he ever did for my brother and me. Now, I see the same scenario playing out with my own children. The relationship between a father and his child shouldn’t be founded on who is right or wrong but on the unconditional love that a father has for his son or daughter and the unalterable knowledge that no matter what the circumstance, the father’s love is constant.
Why is this so important? Because fathers, whether they are aware of it or not, model for their sons and daughters this most important trait of God. His love for us is faithful and unchangeable! It’s at the heart of His character. It defines who He is. John said He is love! How can Love not love? It’s impossible. A father should never allow anything to separate him from the love he has for his child. It’s a gift that nothing else can be compared to. The scripture says Love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres". No amount of wisdom or guidance can compare to that.
Lynnae’s dad passed away over two years ago, but the love that he deposited in her heart is as real today as ever and she is constantly reminding me that it's the most important thing. It even lasts beyond the grave! Wow!
If you haven’t had the privilege of a loving father, I would love to introduce you to one. That’s what this Sunday (Father’s Day) is all about. The love of our Father! The movie theme this week is “I Can Only Imagine”. The movie is amazing and I recommend seeing it!
It's Never Too Late
Jesus said, "I am the way" and He really is. There is one constant for every single person living in the world today. Jesus stands by, ready to step in at the very moment that we call His name. That doesn't mean we get the exact outcome we want every time, but He has our very best interest at heart. Where we think we know best, He really does know what's best for us. He wants to lead us into a life of freedom, joy, and peace. It can start at any time. It can start today, next week, or next year. Why wait?
The sooner you start your journey with God, the further you will go and the more blessed you'll be. So, the best time to start or restart is now. Don't let anything keep you from the future that God offers in a world that is constantly trying to draw us down a dead-end road. If you've gotten off track, the best time to re-engage is now. Most of us have to constantly correct our course and when we get out of bounds, we have to admit it and get back on course. Whatever it takes, our goal should be to possess every gift, every friendship and every blessing that God has purposed to give us.
We welcome everyone and you'll never be put on the spot. See you Sunday!