Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Clean Up for Heart and Soul

As spring approaches we develop that urge to make everything in our house clean and in order. The winter months have been long and we begin itching to revive our houses and acquire that freshness that we want to invade us as the first signs of spring arrive. Everything outside is singing with new life. The buds are coming out on the trees, birds are chirping, and the daffodils are beginning to bloom. We long to bring that newness into our homes so we begin, most of us by turning our homes upside down as we clean out closets, take things apart, clean and scour. We reach into every dark corner of our homes in order to make it presentable, fresh, and new.

Sometimes we need to do the same thing with our spiritual houses. We need to take stock and clean up and give them a good strong scrubbing. All of us grow stale sometimes and need a spiritual freshening up. Remember as Christians, Who is living in our spiritual houses. The Bible says, "What know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost..." I Corinthians 6:19.

Things always get tucked back in the recesses of our spiritual closets that aren't needed. We accumulate grime and dirt on our spiritual floors and walls. From time to time we need to turn our spiritual homes upside down and clean them inside and out in order to present our bodies "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." as it says in Romans 12:1. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!

  1. Evaluate.
    What needs done in order to clean up our spiritual homes? Only you know the areas that need worked on in your own individual life. What needs to be improved? Evaluate everything you do and say and think. Is it pleasing to the Lord?

    "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus..."   Colossians. 3:17  
  2. Get rid of junk.
    Are there things in your life that are just junk and cluttering up your life? Are there things getting in your way of serving Christ to your greatest potential? Are things like worry, anger, gossip, and bad habits cluttering up your life? If it's something you should keep in your life it will pass the following guidelines of Philippians 4:8.

    "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
  3. Gather cleaning tools.
    When you clean your house you gather together your cleaning tools, such as scrub brushes, mops, and brooms. All you need to clean your spiritual house is one thing - the Word of God. It is your all-purpose cleaning tool and contains everything you'll need.

    "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."   Hebrews 4:12
  4. Gather cleaners.
    Cleaning our homes usually takes all kinds of cleaners--window cleaners, waxes, floor cleaners, bleaches, and disinfectants. When it comes to cleaning our spiritual house, all we need is one all-purpose cleaning agent - the forgiveness of God. It is guaranteed to cleanse all grime and dirt, which embodies itself as sin buildup.

    "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."   1 John 1:9
  5. Get to work!
    If we gathered all of our cleaning tools and supplies to clean our homes, and even if we had evaluated what work needed to be done and did nothing it would not help us. We have to use the supplies and actually do some work! The same is true with our spiritual homes. God gives us His Word and His precious forgiveness but we have to use them to keep our lives clean.

    "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin
    against thee."   Psalm 119:11
  6. Determine to keep it clean.
    Usually when we finish cleaning our own homes, we look around and say that we'll never let the clutter pile up that high again and we determine not to let it. We should do the same for our spiritual house. Determine not to let it get dirty again. The only way to accomplish this is to keep it up daily by feasting on God's Word and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.

    "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."   Galatians 5:16
So, are you caught up on your spring cleaning?

Copyright ©2001-2010 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Have No Fear

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
— 1 John 4:18 KJV

Have you ever started to step out in faith and, even at the thought of it, felt fear rising up in you? It happens to everyone, but it is important to realize that the source of fear is Satan.

Satan doesn’t want you to do what God wants you to do and receive all God has for you, so he sends fear to try to torment you into being doubtful and miserable. Fear is an evil spirit that hinders progress.

But you can live without fear by building your faith on what God has said in His Word. There is great power in confessing the Word of God.

So when Satan attempts to torment you with fear, confess what the Word says—that the Lord is with you and “will not fail you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Take steps of faith even if you have to “do it afraid.”

From the book Ending Your Day Right: Devotions for Each Evening of the Year by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2004 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NorthStar News.........Announcements for the week of 3/27

  • Extraordinary Women’s Conference, April 29-30th, Freedom Hall in Johnson City TN. Information sheets at Connection Point or at
  • Event dates moved: Marriage Enrichment 8 week course led by Rev. David Holt, Senior Life Coach for CrossVine Coaching. Now...Thursday April 14th-June 2nd, Carmichael Campus, 6pm-7:30pm. Signups located at Connection Point.
  • NorthStar is partnering with Serving Knoxville As One and we need 400 volunteers as well as project leaders for Saturday, April 9th. Team leaders are in the lobby to help get your questions answered and get you signed up today! You’ll find the registration table near the back exit doors.
  • The Nicaragua Mission Team is having a rummage sale April 16th and needs donations of everything. Bring it to the church April 3rd and 10th. Email for arrangements to pick it up!
  • Sermon Notebooks are in! Come by Connection Point to get yours today.

Hope this catches you up on NorthStar News Today!!!  Have a blessed week!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday's With Beth.........New Series

Happy Friday to you!!  I hope this week has gone well!!  Today, we are going to kick-off and wrap-up a short series from Beth Moore called Physical Health Part 1 and 2.  I hope today's video devotion encourages you in your walk with the Lord. 

Part 1 - Physical Health

Part 2 - Physical Health

Have a blessed weekend!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stand With Us in Prayer...

As ‘The Esther Experience’ begins this weekend with Living Vessels Ministries in NC, ladies from Northstar will be there. And they join many others who have answered the call by God to come meet Him for such a time as this. They are coming from many different places. Not just geographically speaking, but from many different places that are their very lives at the moment - they stand in the midst of hurt, loss, confusion, excitement, anxiousness, elation, sorrow, numbness, and any other emotion you can think of.

Will you join us in prayer for them? Pray that they will find a safe harbor there, where they hear only the Voice of Truth. Pray that they realize no matter where they are now, good or bad, that it's just one moment on the journey. It does not identify the journey or them. Pray that they learn it is a place that ebbs, flows, and is changing with each moment that ticks past because HE is ever working all things together for their good! None of us ever journey alone. Might we even ask you to read through the book of Esther this weekend?

There is an African proverb that says “It’s not what you call me, but what I answer too”… May we all as women of God only answer to the King of Kings, and only accept His good and perfect plan for our lives!

Chick Chat with Marisa

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Worshipful Wednesday

Good Wednesday Morning.  I am thrilled the new Hillsong United CD has been released, Aftermath!!  Enjoy listening to new songs, and may we praise His Holy Name!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Acquire wisdom!  Acquire understanding!  Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth."  ~ Proverbs 4:5 (NASB)

God desires for us to wait until we hear from Him before we act.  He wants us to listen and to "get it."  He wants us to receive His revelation, His instruction and His understanding.  Sometimes He speaks to us quickly, and sometimes God takes His time.  But no matter how long He takes, we are to "not . . . turn away from the words of My mouth," (Prov. 4:5).  We are to "get understanding" (Prov. 4:7).  The alternative is to miss God's finest, to be foolish, to do it quick and cheap—our way (Eph. 5:17, Prov. 3:5-6, 18:2).

Early last week, I found myself engaged in a long conversation with a ministry leader concerning many topics.  As I listened to him speak, I could easily see that he had acquired a great deal of knowledge, wisdom and understanding over the years.  The presence and the peace of the Lord in the room was profound, and the Lord showed me that this man was very anointed by God. 

One testimony he shared with me particularly stood out:  When I asked him how he knew and understood so much about the Bible—revelation wisdom I had never heard from any other source—he accredited seeking the understanding of the Lord.  He said that years ago, he and his cousin would pore over the Bible, maps, commentaries and other resources and would seek the Lord for hours to help them receive a deep understanding of the Lord's messages.   As always, the Lord was faithful to deliver.

I understood that the key here is the time factor.  God speaks to us in many ways, but sometimes, it is necessary to "press in," to fervently seek Him over time in order to gain deeper levels of understanding.
The issue is: Are we willing to spend the time?  It is our heart's desire to sincerely know Him better?  His ways?  His messages?  His revelation understanding that will change our lives?

If we read further in Proverbs chapter 4, we see that if we walk in divine wisdom and understanding, the Lord will reward us.  He will exalt us and honor us (vs. 8), He will crown us with His grace and beauty (vs. 9), He will give us a long life (vs. 10), He will cause our paths to be clear (vs. 12-13).  Essentially, He will promote us.

Surely, spending intimate time with the Lord is a treasure that brings treasures.  It is a double blessing not to be missed.  It is a divine gift.

In the times when I have felt like I do not have time to spend with the Lord, and I have chosen to do it anyway, I have felt anxiety and pressures give way to the Lord's peace and grace.  And in that time, He always reminds me that had I not spent that time, I would not have received His greater intimacy, His greater understanding of who He is and what He wants me to know.  I realize this is so precious, so important, so critical to the heart of God.

If you are experiencing spiritual dryness where you feel distant from the Lord's presence and you cannot even hear God's voice clearly, I encourage you to submit to spending more intimate time with Him.  There, you will be refreshed; you will come into His peace; you will receive revelation instructions, strategies and understanding that will propel you forward in your divine destiny.  There is no shortcut.  There is no cheap substitute.

Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thursday Night Bible Study - Begins THIS WEEK!!!

Just a quick reminder that Ladies Thursday Night Bible Study Begins THIS Thursday!!! Details listed below:

Ladies Thursday night Bible study starting March 24th
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Carmichael Campus. 
This is a 7 week study on Pricilla Shirer’s Jonah. 
Childcare will be provided. 

What is this bible study about:  Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer
What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! In this Bible study, Priscilla redefines interruption and shows that interruption is actually God's invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. When Jonah was willing to allow God to interrupt his life, the result was revival in an entire city. 

Study Intro - Video: 

See you Thursday!!!! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Good Friday Ladies!!!  Just a quick reminder, tomorrow is our bi-monthly Conversations women's event at NorthStar.  Please see previous post for more details.   

Today we finish our current Beth Moore series, Pressing Past Our Fears.   As we conclude, please let us know if you've enjoyed this lesson and any prayer request you may have.  Have a great weekend!!! 

Part 5

Part 6

Thursday, March 17, 2011

NorthStar Women's Conversations - This Saturday!!

This Saturday, March 19, the women of NorthStar Church will get together for our bi-monthly get-together, Conversations.  

Below are details for the event.  We hope you can plan to attend!     

What:  Conversations

When: Saturday, March 19 from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Details: Ladies get together with light breakfast, devotional and fellowship.  Bring a mug to exchange.  Childcare provided; however, you need to reserve a spot by calling the office at 539-2222.

Have a blessed week, and we can't wait to see you at Conversations!!! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Reminder for Today (or Tomorrow)

Someone will always be prettier.
Someone will always be smarter.
Some of their houses will be bigger.
Some will drive a better car.
Their children will do better in school.
And their husband will fix more things around the house.
So let it go, and love youself and your circumstances.
Think about it!
The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.
The most highly favored woman at your job may be unable to have children.
And the richest woman you know, with the car, the house, and the clothes might be more lonely than you can imagine.
God’s word says, "If I have not Love, I am nothing."
So again, love yourself.
Love who you are.
Look in the mirror in the morning, smile and say,
"I am Blessed”
Author Unknown

But you are precious and created to be the only you there is.
Embrace and seek HIS purpose for you.
Your destiny is yours alone, no one else’s – it’s not a competition.
Pray today for what’s supposed to be your blessing, not someone else’s.
He’s prepared one just for you
Find your happiness in His perfect design of you, and for you... in every season

Chick Chat

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pressing Past Our Fears - Part 3 & 4

TGIF!!!  I don't know about you, but I am so glad ITS FRIDAY!!!  This week has been a blessing, yet with lots of challenges.  However, I stand firm in the Word that says: 

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Cor 12:9)  

Sometimes all we can do is know that the Lord's grace and mercy is all we need to sustain us through tough days and weeks.  

Today, we continue with Part 3 & 4 of Pressing Past Our Fears in our Friday's with Beth.  I pray you can open your heart and allow the Lord to meet you right where you are today, no matter what you are facing.  Please send the Women's Leadership Team an email if you have a prayer request.  The address is listed on the sidebar.  

Have a blessed weekend!

Part 3

Part 4

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We Even Ignore Rising Water

The water rushing by my kitchen door picked up depth and speed with each half hour that passed.

It's only happened a couple times in the 10 years we've lived in this particluar house. That's why it's so unsettling. Behind us is just a gently sloped back yard that leads up to a ridge line between us and property belonging to Ijams Nature Center. Not anywhere you would expect to see water rising.

But it had been raining steady and hard for several hours and when I saw my local news begin breaking in with pictures and videos of what their reporters were witnessing I decided that it was probably a good idea for me to check my own yard.

After all they said they hadn't seen this much rain at one time in years.

First I saw our garbage can lid. But it wasn't on the garbage can as it whipped past down the driveway. And then our outdoor broom floated by.

My miniature dachshund Mr Pickles wouldn't even venture out onto the porch to look, let alone attempt to get to the usual places he goes when he has to 'take a break'.

As I settled back in front of the TV to watch the constant coverage now, I was dumbfounded. As more areas were flooding, our local reporters and meteorologists were warning people that it was an extremely dangerous situation. As we were told to stay put whether at work or home, to avoid even puddles, and as they gave the not very commonly used "turn around - don't drown" warning I noticed something.

Our 'eye-in-the-sky traffic' guys, and other media folk who listen to emergency scanners began letting us know people were having to be rescued from cars, trucks, and suv's. I was amazed at the rescue efforts and miracles taking place - but I begin noticing vast amount of people were still determined to continue driving through the ever growing bodies of water. People were insisting on still moving their cars through water that was picking up speed, rushing faster and faster! Some crossroads and low lying areas had already seen water rescues this very day and yet here these people were, still driving on purpose straight into the water threatening their very lives.

What were they thinking?! As I sat there wondering aloud at the very levels of stupidity they were exhibiting, willing to put their very lives at risk just to get somewhere on time, I couldn't believe it.

Parents with children in the car were pulled to safety - some from the rushing waters as they overtook their car. I saw two separate videos of teen and a man each standing on the roof of their vehicles as they were physically saved by municipal workers with ropes tied to them. These brave men had jumped to action because every firetruck, anbulance, and rescue squad vehicle in our county were attending to other rescues all over town.

After several hours the rain slowed, some of water began to recede. The threat was over. But so many had made bad choices. So many made decisions that not only put others they loved at risk, but in some cases those they didnt even know - some rescuers almost lost their own lives trying to be a needed miracle.
As I sat contemplating those who had made such obvious bad choices that familiar tickle at the edge of my mind began. Ah yes. Memories began "flooding' back, as they always do when I get up on my high horse. I began to think about myself. How many times did I do the same thing?

Romans 7:14-15
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

Maybe I didn't drive into actual swollen creeks in a literal rain storm, but for sure many times in my life I have entered dangerous waters. I've rushed into a relationship, then let it deepen when red flags were clearly visible. I certainly remember deciding that chancing another night of reckless behavior wasn't one too many. I recall diving straight into crashing waves taking others with me. I have taken stupid risks when I knew better. Even when others tried warning me. When people who genuinely cared tried to tell me to 'turn around - don't drown'.

As we travel this earth in our risky and futile attempts to be so independent, thinking we dont sometimes know whats best, we not only are at risk but we often put others in danger to. We can be so selfish.

God always provides red flags though. Here's praying next time that we will heed His warning signs. And here's to hoping we'll immediately thank God for providing both the gentle stirrings of the Holy Spirit, the floating garbage can lids, and the shouts from friends on the banks of rising waters yelling for us to stop!

And let's pray that we dont too harshly judge others each day for their mistakes. We only need remember how easily and foolishly we have made our own.

Phil 1:9-11
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God.

Chick Chat

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Root of My Rot

Hello Season Sisters!!   I hope your week is going well.  For today's devotion, I wanted to share a message I read last week from Lysa TerKeurst's Blog. Lysa is with Proverb's 31 Ministries, and this devotion really blessed me and stepped ALL OVER MY TOES!!  Ha!  Isn't it ironic that sometimes we need a little "toe stepping" to keep us focused on the Lord and that life is not just about "me". 

Last week I got all twisted up and bent out of shape.  And honey, everyone in my house knew mama wasn’t happy.  I tried everything to usher gentleness back into my tone and my temper. 

I quoted verses. 

I rebuked Satan.

I bossed my feelings around with truth.

I even tried to take a nap.

But none of these activities soothed me. 

Another of my people had done something crazy that ushered a smell into my home that not even 3 Yankee candles would mask. 

And I am super sensitive to smells.  Like hyper crazy sensitive. 
I had already dealt with the melted microwave smell  and the little prizes from an untrained puppy smell.  Now, there was this third mysterious, awful smell wafting through my home assaulting my nasal passages.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was or where it was coming from.

I lit candles, I sprayed stuff, I even covered my nose with the edge of my shirt… but I still smelled it. Finally, I realized my daughter had pulled out a bathroom trashcan with a flip up lid into the middle of my bedroom floor.  She propped the lid open so she could throw away scraps of paper as she worked on a school project.  Something had obviously been thrown away in that forgotten trashcan that was way past gross and into the final stages of rot.

Or, something had crawled up into that can and died.

I didn’t have the heart to find out what it was; I just knew the can had to go.  Immediately. The smell was an outside indication of an internal situation. And the trashcan wasn’t the only thing that stunk that night.  So did my attitude. My reaction was an outside indication of an internal situation.

The reason I couldn’t be soothed with Scripture verses, bossing my feelings, rebuking Satan or even a nap is because God wanted me to be aware of my stink… something inside of me that was gross… a place starting to rot. 

He didn’t want me to temporarily mask the situation by feeling better in the moment. He wanted me to address the root of my rot.

God wanted me to see it- admit it- expose it- bring it out- let Him clean it up and shut it down.  Immediately.
A little rot can spread fast and furious if not dealt with swiftly and seriously. 

That’s why it’s so crucial to pay attention to our reactions today.  How we react is such a crucial gauge on what’s really going on inside us.  When people or issues or situations bump into our happy it’s not wrong to feel annoyed.  But if that annoyance leads to a reaction out of proportion to the issue at hand… we can bank on the fact this eruption has a root of rot.

Here are some tell tale signs of roots of rot:
  • I throw out statements like, “You always…  You never… Why can’t we ever…”
  • I start gathering ammunition from past situations to build my case.
  • I use words and a tone outside my normal character. 
  • I justify my reaction by illuminating how hard my life is right now.
  • I demand an apology all the while knowing I should be giving one.
These are not fun to admit, but here’s the beauty of the situation.  The quicker we see a root of rot, the quicker we can get rid of the stink and move forward. 

I’m challenging myself to keep a pulse on my level of spiritual maturity right now, not on how many Bible verses I’ve memorized or how many times I’ve done my quiet time this week.  Rather, how I’m reacting… how quickly I’m apologizing… and how readily I admit and take ownership of my own stink.

Blog Today by:  Lysa TerKeurst, who is a New York Times Best Selling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday's With Beth..........

Good Friday Morning Season Sisters,   Its Friday, and we are excited to begin Fridays with Beth Moore again!  This series is called "Pressing Out Our Fears".   Each Friday for the next three weeks we will be watching two videos on this series.  After watching the videos if you have a prayer request please feel free to send us an email at

Have a blessed weekend, and Enjoy Fridays with Beth:

Part One

Part Two

Be Blessed Season Sisters!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

There’s no need to “put on your makeup” before you approach God.

There is not a word in my tongue [still unuttered], but, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 
 — Psalm 139:4

Because we relate to God as individuals—and that’s the way He wants it—we also pray as individuals. Even when we pray corporately with others, we are still individuals; we simply join our hearts with others as one voice. During these corporate prayer times, I believe God wants our hearts to be in unity much more than He wants our methods to be the same.

When we say, “Lord, teach me to pray,” we are asking Him to teach us to pray in a distinctly personal way and to enable our prayers to be easy, natural expressions of who we are. We are not supposed to check our individuality at the door of the prayer closet. We need to go to God just the way we are and give Him the pleasure of enjoying the company of the “original” He has made each of us to be. We need to approach God with our strengths, weaknesses, uniqueness, and everything else that so wonderfully distinguishes us from all the other people in the world. God enjoys meeting us where we are, developing a personal relationship with us, and helping us grow to become everything He wants us to be. It is refreshing to realize that we can come to God just as we are and be relaxed in His presence. 

From the book Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.