WELCOME!

Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at http://www.dawnfoss.tateauthor.com and http://www.dawnfoss.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What makes up a good church?

Hebrews 10:25

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Do you ever think you should be going to church more?  Have you thought that it's possibly a waste of time, filled with a bunch of hypocrites, and that you won't get much from it anyway?  Do you feel confused when you go, and feel like you aren't learning anything?  Does the preaching go way over your head, or does it seem too basic?  Do you like the music?  Do you have the attitude that they just want your money?  Are you afraid people might be weird and invade your personal bubble as they welcome you?  Do you get caught up in the way the church looks on the inside or out, and demand it meet your expectations?

Church.  What has it become today?  Are all churches alike?  No, they are not.  So how do you know what is a good church or a bad church?  Can you just look up in the yellow pages under a certain denomination and pick that one, and you'll be fine?  No, they're not all the same, even if under the same name or denomination.  Which Bible do they use, and is it a "version confusion" when you go there?  What type of music do they use to worship?  Are they honest?  You hope they are!  Is it important to even go?  Why can't I go to the beach or stay in bed all morning - it's my day off, after all.  Can't I worship God in my heart anywhere I am?

Well, first of all, the church is very important to Jesus Christ and is not to be made a mockery of, as demonstrated by the events and activities that occur during a worship service. 
1 Corinthians 14:40: "Let all things be done decently and in order."
Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."  Jesus loves the church.  Hebrews 10:25 above shows how important it is for us to assemble together and encourage each other in the Lord, especially as the world becomes more and more evil and the coming of the Lord draws near.  

In my opinion and experience, these are the basic things that make up a winning church.  You should go to a church for at least 4 services before you can get an honest impression of the church. 

A FAMILY-FRIENDLY CHURCH: As you search for a good church, you should be made to feel welcome when you arrive. There should be plenty of smiling faces and warm handshakes. Your children should be treated with respect, have Sunday School, there should be a clean, safe nursery, and Sunday evening services should be a service when the whole family worships together in the sanctuary.  It should be an inviting place, full of peace so you can hear God's still small voice speaking to you.  It doesn't have to be pretentious and stuffy, but reverent.  Activities are great, but that is not what makes a winning church.  Your purpose for going to church is to learn from God's Word and worship God together.  Search for a Savior-sensitive church, which focuses on GOD.  A Seeker-sensitive church is all about entertaining YOU.  You have all week to find entertainment.  That is not the purpose of church, but rather it is a place for spiritual growth, an educational experience that will help you as you live your daily life for God and serve others.

PREACHING THAT CHANGES YOUR LIFE: A good church will have a congregation opening their Bibles and following along with the preaching.  The messages should dig into the Scriptures so you learn and grow, and have a practical application.  There should be an opportunity to hear the plan of salvation, and an altar call at the end so that you can do personal business with God at the altar.  Yes, many people say they can do just as well from their seats, but I believe there is something extra special that says to God you mean serious business when you step out of your seat and pray at the front of the church.  Matthew 10:32-33: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."  Pick a side - are you following the Lord or not?  Don't be ashamed to seek the help you need, any more than you would seek a health care professional for your medical needs.  God can take care of any need, including medical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, relational, circumstantial and physical needs - just ask Him...with some respect and patience.  He may need to do a work in you first.

MUSIC THAT UPLIFTS YOUR SOUL: Does the music cause you to reflect on God?  Does it prepare your heart for the preaching?  Can you listen to it without needing earplugs or else your ears will be ringing all week?  Do you feel edified and drawn closer to the Lord by the words of the music?  Can you even hear the words, or is it drowned out by the instruments or background accompaniment track?  Do you get an opportunity to sing with the others in the congregation, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord?  Ephesians 5:19: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."


SUPPORTING MISSIONARIES: Does the church focus on missionaries and outreach?  Does it go out and tell others about Christ, or just lay stagnant, waiting for people to darken the doorways of the church?  Do they have a heart for souls?  Do they have regular missionaries and church planters that they support around the world?  Matthew 28:19-20: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."  See, it says "all" nations!  It doesn't matter what race, religion, color, language, ethnicity, location, gender, job status, wealth, age, health condition - we are all in the same boat, all sinners in need of a Savior, who is available to wondrously and gloriously save us and use us as precious vessels for Him - what an honor, what a relief that He wants to use you and me!  I'm so glad!


OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE: Does the church give you ample opportunities to serve?  Whether it is singing in the choir, working in the nursery, helping out in Sunday School or Jr. Church, being an usher, cleaning the church, mowing the lawn, painting, decorating, going on visitation to visit people who have visited the church or giving out literature, you should be able to do something to serve the Lord in the church.  Even praying for others is a great ministry!  Are you good at cooking or writing out cards to people who are sick? Another way you serve and worship the Lord is in your giving of tithes and offerings.  1 Corinthians 16:2: "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come ."

That's a good start.  Listen - church is where we need to be on the Lord's Day (Sunday).  Together, let's commit to make God a priority on His special day.  Go with a tender heart and an open mind to hear what God would teach you, and allow His Holy Spirit to indwell you as you worship Him and praise His precious name!
 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The greatest and lasting rewards



1 John 5:4: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
 
Romans 8:37: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
 
 
Had a great evening Friday 6/21 with Teen Challenge in New Haven!  Teen Challenge is a Christian, faith-based organization that helps teens and adults with addictions.  What a blessing it was to be there and have the opportunity to share my testimony, tell them about my book, I Will Stand, and offer some encouragement.  There are great people there who truly love the Lord.  
http://www.tcnewengland.org/

We truly don't need addictive agents to feel good - just put yourself aside, get out there and tell others about Christ, and you'll be on a good high for a couple days!  No guilt, full memory intact, pleasing to God, you can tell others about it without feeling guilty or ashamed, you aren't harming your body - I highly recommend it!!!  

If you're battling with an addiction, please remember this: you can be an overcomer in Christ!  Don't focus just on being healed, but be the HEALER to others - allow God to use you in a great and mighty way so that once you are victorious over this, you can show others through your testimony how it's done.  God uses people, that is how He chooses to run things. You can be a blessing, and people will listen to you because you've been there, and you know what it's like, and what God did in your life - for REAL.  

I'm going to go a step further, tho, and to you who have not dabbled in addictive agents, let me say this: the best testimony is the one where your lips have never touched drugs or alcohol.  Your lips have not let a curse word slip through it.  You have not put a cigarette to your lips.  The best way to quit a bad habit is to never start it.  Don't think you have a "boring" testimony if you have not dabbled in life altering sins.  I used to think my testimony was boring when I was a teen.  I have never touched the stuff, but have been a victim of those who have.  Live a pure life before God, and show others that it is possible to be pure.  My life is a testament, and yours can be, too.  You CAN make choices that are good for you.  You ARE capable to say no to sex before marriage, wrongful sex acts, alcohol, drugs, smoking, angry and mean abusive words, gossip, bullying.  Use the power of your tongue to do good instead; share a little kindness - it goes a long way!  Pass it forward!

Making a difference, using your voice, standing for truth and righteousness and love - that's what life's all about and gives the greatest and lasting rewards.  God bless you!

Romans 12:21

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

There's a lot of power in that verse - think how it can change the world!  I will be the one - how about you?  Will you join with me and do something kind for someone today?  Share it in the comments - I'd love to hear from you!  We can encourage each other. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Devotional: Be Steadfast

1 Corinthians 15:58:

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Booksignings have not gone so well lately, and it has been discouraging.  How many times do you take on a project, and things don't go quite as expected or hoped?  Rejection sets in, and it's easy to throw in the towel, thinking it's not worth your time or efforts or expense.  Who needs to feel this way, anyway?  This is for the birds!  I must be honest, that is how I have felt lately.  A little sad, alone, discouraged.

But as I think through my feelings, I remember my promise to God.  I told him that if He wants me to do something, then as long as He gives me the power and ability to do the task at hand, then I'm His girl.  I will do it.  Does this mean "throwing in the towel" when things get tough?  Of course not.  I love Him so much, and I am doing this for Him.  He is precious to me, and that relationship means more to me than a failed booksigning.  I don't want Him to feel like I am a "fair-weather" friend, only around when everything is going well. 

This book, I Will Stand, is an outreach ministry.  There is truth in this book that people need to hear and live by in order to have a successful life.  This is reinforcement for those who are already learning these principles and facts from God's Word, and it is new insight for those who have not studied the Word of God, or are not being taught it at home or at school.  

You will not get this from public schools.  They reject anything that has to do with the Word of God, so you have to get it yourself, or give it to the young people in your life.  Believe me - I tried to get this into public schools, and they refused it, even for an after-school program.  "It's religious."  Sure, the schools might promote some concepts about good character, but they leave out the moral authority.  The moral authority has to be greater than humans because we are all fallen in our nature - in other words, we all sin.  God does not sin, and as He created us, He has the authority to show us what is right and wrong, and only desires the best for us.  Let's give Him our undivided attention and obey.

On a side note, you know what I think?  I think there are people in the public school system, even principals and teachers, who want children to learn about Jesus.  Their hands are tied because the government is tying them.  But they want these things taught to the children at home and in church.  It is up to families and churches to step up to the plate.  We can do it!  We are not legally bound.  They want school to be religiously neutral so no one is offended in their beliefs.  

Those same children can have their beliefs, but we have to develop faith and teach truth to them outside of the public school system.  "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).  If you can send your child to a Christian school or home school, then that is an extra place to enforce those beliefs, and that is important as it is all integrated together in their biblical world view.  If you cannot do that, then make sure they are at least getting this teaching from you. They will need strength and encouragement as well as they increasingly have to defend their faith in order to shine as a light in this dark world. You will develop kids of strong character, and the schools will be so grateful!  Fewer problems in the school will be the result!

Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, older brother or sister, friend: are you setting the example of how to live to those who are younger than you?  Show them how it's done!  If you're not sure yourself, please buy a copy of I Will Stand, and it will show you from God's Word how you yourself can be a Champion of Character.  We cannot control all that goes on around us, but we can control who we are in the midst of it.  The younger generation desperately needs good moral examples to look up to in order to cope with this world and have good success.  How do I know this?  The Bible tells me so.

Joshua 1:8:

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

This is why I do what I do, and remain faithful.  This is why I keep putting one foot in front of the other.  God doesn't need fence dwellers. He needs those who will choose their side, and I choose to serve my Lord faithfully and wholeheartedly.  Will you join me today?  Let's make a difference in our world for God.  The children need us.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Portland Library booksigning

I'm excited about tomorrow night's booksigning and book presentation at the Portland Library.  I hope to see you there!

Also, there will be t-shirts made about my book with a challenging and inspiring message.  More to come!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book trailer and web page

Book trailer and web page for I Will Stand will be forthcoming!  Keep your eyes out for it! It will be on national television in about a month or so, and then I will post it here, on facebook, and on YouTube.  This is definitely a fun and exciting part of the production process!  Don't forget - I Will Stand will be released to bookstores and websites like amazon, CBD, Barnesandnoble.com, etc. on 7/2/13!  I can't wait!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A COMMENT FROM A LOCAL CHRISTIAN DOCTOR REGARDING MY BOOK, I WILL STAND:



"One of the major challenges facing young people in America today is staying grounded. In schools and work places, young people are restless. Though several factors come into play, none is as key as a weak family structure. Unreasonable expectations to succeed, economic pressures and technological advancement, with all its benefits, have all contributed to the erosion of core values of our society. It is in this context that I welcome Dawn's book, I Will Stand. It offers not only a purpose, but a goal in the lives of young people. Upon reading this book, they will have a basis for the belief that love is the most valuable tool in their journey. I have enjoyed reading this book and should be a must read for all growing adults."

Dr. Maille


This book is worth reading.  It makes a GREAT graduation gift!  I trust you, too, will get a blessing from it.