Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Olive Branch Discipleship Ministries

Moving In His Power and Might

A Faith-based,Non-profit Corporation

Sandi's Blog

Blog

view:  full / summary

The Big Picture

Posted on September 24, 2016 at 10:24 PM Comments comments (23)
9.24.16

The Big Picture:

I am looking over my yard. At the moment it is dry and only beginning to come back to life after the abundance of summer sun. I can see spurts of green and the promise of a lush, green yard again. However, at the moment, what I see is a yard that is dry and brittle, it looks like straw to me; no life and no promise. I feel that this is like our lives sometimes; dry and seemingly without promise. It is hard to maintain the faith of good things to come when all we feel is being surrounded with dryness and no sign of life. It is hard to hold onto promises given and the hope that they will come true, manifesting in our lives.  The transition from death and dryness to life and promise is a tedious one, one that takes persistence and patience. I am looking over my yard and trying to envision what I am hoping for, what I am expecting it to be. I have a concept, I have a dream, I  have a vision within my spirit. I also realize that I must be proactive in the initiation of this vision, this expectation. What must I do? I must water the grass, pray for rain, weed and cultivate, plant, trim my trees and bushes for the promise of new growth and beautiful fruit to come. I must DO.
I think so much of the time we, as Christians, beg and pled with the Lord to bring about something He has already done. We must believe and appropriate and do our part. We must have faith that what we currently 'see' is not what will always 'be'. We see narrowly. We only see what is in front of us, what is tangible, what is in the natural. We do not use our spiritual eyes to see The Big Picture as the Lord does! He looks down and sees all the affairs of men and sees the outcome if we persevere, and if we do not persevere. I am purposing to see The Big Picture and to believe and appropriate the promises of God into my life.
We stand at the threshold of a new year, new beginnings, new changes, new opportunities, new promises.  Let's take time to determine what our promises are concerning the cares of our hearts; let's determine what we must participate in to initiate the kind of change we desire; let's determine to lay down old heavy baggage; let's determine to be blessed and receive favor. Let's determine what we want as new growth and new fruit to come.
Our Lord has done all He can do for us on the Cross. It is up to us to appropriate and use the tools He has provided. Do not be fearful of changes to come, they are necessary if we want any growth in our lives. The Lord has a wonderful plan for each of us; let us embrace this plan in faith and expectation. Let us not be people of fear and hesitancy!
DETERMINE TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE.
Amen.
- Pastor Sandi

Psalms 33:12-14  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven; He sees all the sons of men;  from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,…
Job 34:21  For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his ways
Hebrews 10:23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.                          
Revelation 21:5  And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Salt and Light

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 8:23 PM Comments comments (22)
8.26.16                 Salt and Light

How much is too much light? It is very hot at my house today and the sun is in full splendor. Every thing is bathed in sun and bright light and the heat of it is in full force. It is so bright that I need to shield my eyes to be able to see anything, or put on my sunglasses.
This concept made me ponder on the directive from Jesus for us to be the salt and light of world and what that means to me. We know that light dispels darkness and darkness is the absence of light. We know this. We know that salt is a preservative and a seasoning and can make us thirsty; and it can also lose it's flavor if left to sit and become hard. When it becomes hard, it is useless and is thrown out into the street to clean the street - it becomes abrasive and tasteless.
We need enough light to see clearly and to be aware of our surroundings, for hidden things to be revealed. We need enough salt to add flavor or to preserve our food. We need to be careful of how we use our salt and be the proper kind of container that keeps it fresh and not allow it to harden and become tasteless. Wisdom dictates we know this and can judge accordingly.
I have seen well meaning Christians becoming so dominant and so aggressive in trying to share Jesus that they literally block Him out and blast others with their own counterfeit light. It's like some of those halogen headlights that we randomly encounter at night on the roads. It is startling to me and I have to look away because they are so bright I cannot see anything else - and it concerns me that I don't hit something or run off the road. And, I am sure we have all tasted food that has been so generously salted we cannot eat it and must spit it out, or food that has no flavor to the salt at all, or salt that is hardened in the container because it has not been taken care of and we cannot use it.  We should share our faith in Christ softly and gently, giving light on ignorance and salt on flavorless life. Kindly and with purpose. Slowly so it can be digested and acclimated. We should not ignore that the Gospel of Christ shared is to be 'salty' enough to make the hearer thirsty for more. We also need to be mindful that we are to be a good container that God can use and not be abrasive. No one wants to be beaten over the head with a big Bible!
Light and salt/flavor are essential to life and most people will receive it gladly, without being forced, when it is given freely and gently.  You are the example. You are the container for this salt and light and you are required to be mindful of it and to care for it.
Let us be about our Father's business by sharing His Good News about His Son.
Let us learn how to be the Light and Salt in the darkness, the flavorlessness and hardness of this world, in a manner that will draw people in and make them want more - to feel loved and welcomed.  Let us remember that we cannot deal with too much brilliant light all at once or too much salt all at once. Others can't either.
So, how do you give out this light and salt to those around you? Are you demanding and aggressive? Are you hard and set in your religious ways? Are you judgmental or critical? Or are you careless and uninterested, just letting your light go out or go dim and your salt to go hard and useless?
God is good. God is kind and gentle and generous. God is the same for everyone, He has no favorites. God desires that all come to Him and receive His goodness and His Life. YOU are the Jesus that most people will ever see. They will judge HIM by how YOU represent Him, once they know you are Christian.  Remember. people 'hear' body language and actions more than they 'hear' words.
Let us serve Him well!
- Pastor Sandi
 
[ Believers Are SaltandLight ] “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
- Amen


Living in "Son-shine"

Posted on August 9, 2016 at 12:56 PM Comments comments (14)
8.9.16   "Son-shine"

Sitting, relaxing, thinking and pondering. I notice the sky and how gray it is, looks like a storm coming. Our forecast is stating rain and thunder, and sure does look like that is what is to be.
Suddenly, without warning, a bright and brilliant burst of sunshine pops through my window and absolutely floods my room with light and brightness. My spirit immediately rises up to greet this sun. This "Son-shine" is flooding my soul.
Everything in my room looks brighter and softer, warmer and much more welcoming.  God is good!
Do you realize how many times during your day that you step into conflict, words are said that hinder or hurt, darkness seems to prevail? Do you recognize how your spirit drops within in and your mind steps up into negativity? Do you know that you are an over-comer and can be in "Son-shine" whenever you please?
These horrific and painful storms come without warning into our life. They push in and intrude without invitation. Suddenly everything seems dark and hopeless and very overwhelming. What to do!!
You have choices, even in the midst of trauma and pain, disappointment and anger. You can turn into the storm and embrace all of it and bear the fruit of that decision. OR, you can turn into the "Son-shine" and realize God has promised a way through the storm and there are blessings waiting on the other side. It really doesn't matter what the storm is, nothing is new, but it does matter how you address it and how you purposefully walk through it. If you stop, if you stay in your pain or disappointment, you will not reach the destination God has for you.  Realize that you will not have all the answers, all the understanding that you ask for or feel you need. Life happens. Life is not fair. Life can be hard in the darkness.
However, as you turn into the issue and give it over to Christ, "Son-shine" will flood in and change your perspective, your perceiving of the circumstance. This "Son-shine" will bring you revelation, understanding, hope, victory, and power to your testimony. Please do not give up! Please stay the course. Tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning and our understanding will expand more.
Dear Christian, allow the "Son-shine" to flood your life and dissipate the darkness that wants to stop you and lie to you.
Father God is a good, good God with your benefit always on His heart. Allow Him to refine you so you attain the prize at the end of your race!

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this daywhom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Romans 8: 37-37  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 
 
Psalm 84:11
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.
1 John 1:7 
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
Psalms 31:19  Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!

- Pastor Sandi


A Merry Heart

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 7:37 PM Comments comments (32)
7.15.16           A Merry Heart

"A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit dries up the bones."      Proverb 17:22

Attitude of life is what creates over-comers and designs victories. What sort of attitude do you have today? Take a look at yourself. You are the sum total of all your life choices and decisions today, right where you are, right now.
I have good news!  If you would like to add to or change circumstances in your life, today is the day! You have the power in Christ Jesus to make a new choice today and to move in a new direction with a new purpose and focus. Every day brings new opportunities and new choices, developing a new and positive attitude.
A merry heart: a heart that is centered IN Christ, devoted to Him completely; a heart filled with confidence that He is in control and has only good for you; a heart filled up and bursting with expectations of goodness no matter what the drama or trauma or disappointment. This is a heart filled with faith and music, praise and worship, and a mouth filled with thanksgiving.  A merry heart that defies reason and logic but trusts and has faith. Who can explain it???
Medicine makes us feel good, restores us and builds us up. Medicine is soothing and healing.  A broken spirit is wounded, hurt, disappointed, confused. A broken spirit creates a dryness in our heart, creates pains and illnesses, fatigue, a drawing back and away from, a separation.
A merry heart. A gift from our God, functional and needful in times of trials and testings..
The most interesting thing is that we have a choice of having a merry heart. It is completely up to you. It is not dependent upon your "feelings' but your actions, your decisions. it is a Spiritual discipline that is easily attainable with a little perseverance and determination.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

A merry heart really does do good like a medicine! Our spirit responds, our body responds, our mind responds. A wounded spirit causes us to dry up and wither away. We become ineffective for our self and others, and for God's Kingdom. Which one will you choose?

- Pastor Sandi



Do the Right Thing

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 7:06 PM Comments comments (17)
7.29.16
Do the Right Thing.

Simply do the right thing. Easy to say but not always easy to do. How do we know what the right thing to do is? So many opinions, so many voices, emotional tugs, so much pressure!
The right thing to do is whatever the Word of God says to do on any subject known to man. The Bible is the final authority. Yes, I know, there are cultural issues and customs to deal with, the thoughts of who wrote what and when. Listen, The Word of God is right and true and will flow throughout the entire Book, from cover to cover. The principals and precepts of life. Relationships. Right and wrong. Truth and lies. Hope and despair.
The Word tells us that God has written the Word upon the heart of man, his conscience:

(They {Gentiles}show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

So we have no excuses; we know what is right and what is wrong deep within our hearts.  In this time and season doing the right thing can be blurred and choices become difficult. God pays attention to the choices we make, indicating to state of the condition of our heart/belief. We are at a point of decision right now, here in the United States, determining right or wrong, good or evil, the right choice for a leader of our nation. Both sides are passionate and persistent, strong in rhetoric and opinion. But which one lines up with the Word of God? So much said about personal rights, abortion, immigration, deception, truth, etc. We must look at the integrity, honesty, "fruit" of the person's life. Goodness. What would our God be pleased with?

For a true Christian it is all about what God says is right and true and not what our flesh wants. It is not about the easy way out of anything. It is time to determine taking a risk or maintaining the status quo; continuing on with things as they are or doing a new thing.

Isaiah 43:18-19  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

Take time and pray, think, look into what the Word says is right and what is wrong. Let's get our opinions and feelings out of it and let's do this right. God will hold us accountable; God will hold our nation accountable.  Remember, we will get what we vote for. Do not be deceived.

There is a Trump-Pence on the wall. A watchman on the wall. A Jonathan for Israel's David.  Now is the time.  

- Pastor Sandi

Weary

Posted on April 11, 2016 at 7:37 PM Comments comments (11)
4.11.16

Do you ever get just plain weary? Weary of things that need to be done, places that need to be gone to, people that need to be contacted or taken care of? We live in a very fast paced world now and it seems to me that every day brings another challenge on top of yesterday's! There is a good weariness in doing good and serving others, that's true. Not all things are arduous by any means. However, we seem to have an expectation of quick changes, quick resolutions, an end to something. Sometimes it all works that way but most of the time, no.
How many circumstances or situations are you continually praying for? How many people/loved ones do you pray for every day with no apparent changes in sight?
Even in ministries for Christ there are demands and expectations and unexpected pitfalls - as well as amazing and wonderful results that will catapult you into a new arena in serving. This brings more demands on your time and energy.  How did Jesus do it?? We can say that He was able to do it all because He was God in the flesh. Actually, He was every bit man and became the example to us humans on how to serve Father God and continue in restoring oneself every day. Many scriptures tell us that Jesus departed from the crowds and His disciples to spend time alone with the Father. He knew He needed energized in order to give out more energy to those around Him.
Do you take time out for yourself? Do you go off to be with Heavenly Father, to have one on one with Him? Do you give your mind and body rest and good care?
The enemy of our faith is in even our service to God if we are not wise enough to spend time with Him.  "Be still and know that I AM God; I will be honored among the nations, I will be honored in all the earth."Psalms 46:10
"And let us not grow weary while doing good (righteousness), for in due time season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."  Galatians 6:9

Be at peace. You cannot do all in your own flesh, all in your own understanding. Our Lord Jesus Christ will give you the strength and the wisdom to do all that He desires for you to do. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Take time with Him and renew your spirit IN Him each day. 
The answers will come and situations/circumstances will be resolved.
Amen.


"Trust in the Lord  with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (or strength); in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (the way you should go or do).  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear (be in awe of) the Lord and depart from evil (unrighteousness). It will be health to your flesh (body) and strength to your bones. "  Proverb 3:5-8



Beauty

Posted on March 17, 2016 at 5:36 PM Comments comments (36)
3.17.16

It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood! It's a beautiful day in my home and in my yard. The sun is out, some energetic plants are trying to push up through the soil, and my trees are in various arrays of color and bloom. It is beautiful.
And, in the middle of this beautiful day, place, and yard, there is much work to be done. It takes time and muscle to maintain this beauty and this value around me, and seems to never be totally completed. Each day brings its labor.
It's hard to see beauty sometimes, in the midst of this required labor. It takes work and energy to maintain a loving and kind marriage through all the pains, disappointments, and unmeant expectations - and even in the amazing and wonderful times of a marriage. It takes labor to maintain order and upkeep to a beautiful yard. It takes work and time to do a job, to seek out a job. And it takes time and energy to cultivate and maintain beauty in family and friendships, if we want them.
Grace and beauty, favor and blessings, are all 'free' in Christ Jesus, but it is up to us to walk these out and to 'see' and to 'hear' what the Father instructs within them. We are lazy by our human nature and want entitlements that really are not ours to want. These wonderful things that bring about the beauty of our lives requires walking through our fears and leaving 'self' behind. We are way to quick to become mad at God and entertain the lies the enemy is whispering in our ear as 'truth'. Why are we doing this?
 
1 Peter 4:12-13 tells us this:  "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His Glory is revealed (through you, your words, actions, your perseverance) you may also be glad with exceeding joy."

Remember, God has not forgotten you. He knows you by name. God creates great wonders and beauty within darkness, confusion and chaos. He has beauty for you to see and to receive into your life. Do not give up! He is trying to move you into abundant Life - and most likely not the way you perceive it!
Try to 'see' through God's eyes and 'see' His beauty...........
- Pastor Sandi
www.olivebranchdiscipleshipministries. com


The Day

Posted on February 6, 2016 at 4:23 PM Comments comments (42)
02.03.16
 
"This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it", Psalms 118:24

So, if you believe that this IS THE DAY the Lord has made, are you purposing to rejoice in it today - all day long? Are you purposing to be glad in it? So often we just parrot the Word with no purposeful thought and then forget it, going about our day as best we can. Why not change that? Why not stop and consider: If this is the day the Lord has made then it is full of Him and creative things, opportunities, and open doors. It means we, as Believers, should see blessings and favor even in the middle of our daily stresses. God never creates or establishes a thing unless it is full of Life and Possibilities. Stop for a moment and change your day, what the devil means for harm God means for your good and for your growth. Let's grow in Him today; let's be full of purpose and creative possibilities. Do not allow the stresses and challenges to draw you away to negative; reach out and up for great possibilities! Only YOU are the limitation of your possibilities and favor. Our God has no limits! Praise and worship Him all day long today, and see what happens within you!

- Pastor Sandra Matheson

New Year

Posted on January 1, 2016 at 10:47 AM Comments comments (125)
01.01.16

As I listened to the fireworks last night and watched some of the celebrations going on around the world to usher in a new year, I wondered what that meant
to people. So much excitement seemed to be being generated and I wonder what the hopes and expectations really were. Our world is becoming quite small and very, very intense. So much uncertainty and fears of what is and what is not. Did you know that a majority of our fears never happen and yet they rule supreme over our life?
What are your specific hopes for this New Year? What is your accountability and responsibility for your part to initiate their manifestation into your life? Do you know that they will require changes in you? And these changes often come hidden in pressures and trials? First of all, determine what your hopes are; what the changes are you desire; and purpose a plan of action. Realize you will have opposition and must stay the course of your plan. Seek the wisdom of the Word of God, which has all the answers and direction you need. Realize that The Lord has a perfect plan for you so don't fear you are left out. Be specific in your prayers and see that your heart lines up with His Word. Also know that there is a preparation to take place to receive your answer and the fullness of your plan.
You cannot buy a doctor's coat and stethoscope, and then walk into a hospital declaring your self a surgeon with any reasonable support or evidence. The Word of God tells us to count the cost of our dream, our plan, and prepare for it.  So, what are your plans, your dreams, specifically for your new year? What is it that you really desire? Give it thought. God does. - And so does the devil.
- Pastor Sandi

Jeremiah 29:11 (12-13)  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

People of the Book

Posted on December 22, 2015 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (26)

12.22.15

I am thinking about my level of faith this morning. I have great faith in some things and little faith in others. I think we all do.

 In James 1:20 we are told "But do you want to know, O foolish man. that faith without works is dead?"

 We are foolish because we are impatient and give up way too soon. This verse means that faith without legs - action - is dead and stagnant and goes no where. It carries no Life and no LIght. Faith grows as we dare to step out, with wobbly legs and all - and heart in hand. Put some action to what you are asking the Lord for and believing Him for. Get up and move! He has already done it all for you, your supply kit is full and ready.
As you begin to take a step of faith and learn what balance is in faith, your faith will grow and become strong and occupy in you solidly until He comes back again.
 
Luke 18:8b "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

 Let's be people of the Book, people of active and living faith; faith is the muscle of heaven! No, it is not easy to persevere, but it is possible and the rewards are amazing! Make your decision today and don't turn back!

Pastor Sandi


Rss_feed