Do You Have Fruit?

Matthew 7: 15-20  True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Bible Gateway – NIV)

As we go through life, it’s easy to become complacent or satisfied with where we’re at in our walk with God and the gifts that He has given us.  We allow our “radar” to become a little rusty and begin seeing things through clouded vision/judgement.  Though we never want to be judgmental or critical of others, it’s important that we learn to discern – not only the fruit that others bear but our own fruit as well.

The old saying, “If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” is a funny but true reminder of what the Scripture says in Matthew 7:15-20.  Learning to recognize the true character of a person is done by examining the fruit that they bear.  If the fruit is rotten, the teaching and the ministry of that person will be also.  If the fruit is good and lines up with the Word of God, the teaching and the ministry of that person will be trustworthy.

I encourage you today, start first with your own fruit.  Examine yourself to be certain that you are bearing good fruit that brings honor and glory to God.  Then ask God to give you wisdom to discern the fruit of others.

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‘Tis The Season!

GIVE and you’ll receive a greater blessing than anygift you’ve ever received!

We have several outreaches coming up in the following weeks. Here’s how YOU can get involved and MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

(1) Police Officers Outreach – Thanksgiving Day at 11AM – Cook a large side dish item and bring it to the WHPD as an appreciation for the work that our police officers do on a daily basis.

(2) Christmas Family Sponsorship – Join with us to purchase items for children in our local area that we have sponsored or give a monetary gift to SBS Step by Step Ministries.

(3) Snively Elementary Holiday Relief – Purchase food items for children during the Christmas break as many of these children do not have food during the break. Items needed are: canned meats, beef jerky, fruit cups, pudding cups, cereal, snacks, and other items that do not need to be cooked or refrigerated.

(4) Firemen’s Outreach – Christmas Eve (Time TBD) – Cook large side items and bring them to the WHFD on Christmas Eve as an appreciation for the work that our firemen do on a daily basis.

(5) Mom-To-Be Outreach – Help provide Christmas and other needs to a young woman who is unwed and pregnant with twins.

To participate in any or all of these outreaches, please email. We will have a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss details.

We need $850 to do all of these outreaches. If you prefer to make a financial gift to help fund any or all of these outreaches, please do so at http://www.brigettewagner.com/donate. Your gift is tax deductible.

Thank you in advance!!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thank You!

Dear Friends,  since we began Step by Step Ministries (Brigette Wagner Ministries, Inc. in 1997, we have walked a faith-walk and have used most of the ministry income (and 100% of monies raised for outreaches) to help others in our community. We have stepped out on faith year after year and God has always provided.

With that being said, however, we are going into our heaviest outreach season with less resources and greater need than we’ve ever had before.

Last year for our Thanksgiving outreach, we made 160 bags of food which fed close to 1000 people. This one outreach costs $2000. Last year, we received a grant that helped us achieve success with this large expenditure but are not eligible to receive another grant of this nature again until 2016.

Additionally, every year we sponsor 5-7 children at Christmas, help a local elementary school by providing food during the Christmas break to families of poverty, provide dinner for the local firemen and police officers, and assist with other needs as they arise.

Today, I’m asking you to pray about helping us help others. If God lays it on your heart to give, please know that your gift will be used wisely and frugally and will help hundreds of people to experience God’s love in a real and tangible way.

Thank you so much for making this a matter of prayer. You can send your gift to SBS, PO Box 2232, Winter Haven, FL 33883 or go to http://www.brigettewagner.com/donate.

Many blessings to you and your family!

Brigette and Dave

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How’s Your Fruit?

Luke 6:44

For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from bramble bush.

Most of us, if asked whether we serve God or man, would be quick to respond, “I serve God”.  However, I believe that it’s important to meditate on that question before answering.  Certainly, if we’ve received Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we want to believe that we put Him first in our lives and serve Him alone. But do we?

In order to truly answer this question, we must first be willing to take a long, honest look at ourselves.  Often, however, we choose to blame others for our failures or justify our actions.  Sometimes, we even wrap our sin in a religious spirit and convince ourselves that we are “walking the walk”.

The Word says that we are known by our fruit.  Have you ever had a basket of fruit in your kitchen that you neglected to eat? After sitting for too long, it begins to rot.  Once the rotting process begins, bugs begin to be attracted to the fruit; and ALL of the fruit – not just the spoiled fruit – begins to be affected by the process.  Just as is true with produce, the fruit in our lives can easily rot and be of no use for the Kingdom of God.  We must constantly check ourselves to be certain that our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions line up with the Word of God.

Friends, I encourage you today to “check your fruit.”

 

 

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In The Shadow of Your Wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Psalm 17:8-9 “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings.”

One of my most favorite worship songs that is popular right now is “Shadow of Your Wings” by Lydia Stanley.  (Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b12zPPwQoNU)  I listen to this song over and over and over.  I sit at the keyboard and play it and sing it again and again and again.  It is a song that not only describes my heart’s desire to just simply be in the presence of God, but it also is a song that proclaims God as my Rock, my Refuge, my Protector, and my most trusted Friend.

All throughout the Book of Psalm, David cries out to God to be in His shadow, under His mighty hand.  When I think about David and all of the challenges he faced, I am thankful that the God he called upon Who rescued him, protected him, guided him, strengthened him, encouraged him, corrected him, and loved him is still the God who does all of those things for you and me.    Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  He never changes.  His Spirit is always true, faithful, dependable, merciful, gracious, and ever present.

You may be at a place in your life where you have been wondering if God has forgotten you.  Maybe you have been walking through a time of ‘attack’ or betrayal.  Maybe you have been facing rejection or feelings of inadequacy.  Friend, no matter where we are or what our circumstances may be, our God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Begin to praise Him right where you are.  Seek His face and His presence above all things and all relationships and you will find that His shadow will cover you, protect you, give you peace, comfort and strength, and His presence will change your life.  

Remember this:  You may still have your circumstance, but your circumstance will not have you – for you are in the shadow of His wings!

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Power-packed! Fun-filled!

Ladies:

Come join us as we learn to laugh at our imperfections, learn from our mistakes, and see ourselves as God sees us! This fun-filled day is packed with a punch and will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what God is going to do next.

Register by February 18 at http://www.brigettewagner.com/contact.  Registration is free.  A love offering will be taken.

Free To Be Me Flyer (New Hope)

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Who Directs Your Path?

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My son [and daughter], do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.

Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.  ~Proverbs 3:1-6

As we begin 2014, it is a perfect time to examine our lives and filter our commitments, relationships, motives, decisions, and plans through the Word of God to ensure that we are on the path that HE has directed.

Have you ever found yourself so busy with ‘life’ that you cannot remember which commitments, relationships, decisions, and plans were made because you heard His voice and which ones were made simply out of happenstance, circumstance, or obligation?  I must admit that there have been times in my life when I have had to look at myself in the mirror and make an honest evaluation of just that.  If you have not experienced this yet in your life, maybe today is the perfect time for you to take a few moments to filter everything in your life through the Word to be certain that you are walking in the perfect will of God.

Proverbs 3 is filled with many promises…. if you do this or that, then you will receive a promise.  For example – to paraphrase the above mentioned verses of Proverbs 3 – if you keep God’s commands, then you will have long life and peace; if you live your life with mercy and truth, then you will find favor with God and man; if you trust in the Lord above all else and maintain an intimate relationship with Him, then He will make straight the crooked (uncertain) paths of your life.

Often, we like to hold onto the promise without acknowledging the requirement.  Please do not misunderstand me: God’s grace is abundant and salvation is freely given.  However, I believe that we choose daily whether or not to walk in His abundance or simply slide by because of His grace.  To walk in His abundance, we must live by His Word – and His Word is filled with commands that we must embrace.  When we embrace His Word, we will obey His voice.  When we obey His voice, we will submit to His will.  When we submit to His will, we will make decisions based upon His guidance.

I have heard others talk of networking and making connections with the “right” people in order to advance in their careers – even ministry.  Sadly, many times people with this type of thought process make relationships based upon how they can benefit from those relationships instead of whether or not those relationships are ordained by God.

 

Friends, let me shout this message as loudly as I can:  

If the door is not opened by God, you do not want what is on the other side of it.  

If the relationship is not ordained by God, you do not want the results it will bring.  

Many years ago, I promised God that I would never put myself in a position where any person could take credit or glory for the opportunities that He places in my life.  I must admit that there have been numerous times when I could have walked through doors that were opened by ‘connections,’ but I heard the voice of God say, “no” and I obeyed.   You see friends, God opens unexpected doors that do not require our manipulation.  Yes, He often uses people to help, but He does it in a way that brings glory and honor to HIS Name only.

 I encourage you today:  Do not compromise who God is in your life.  No opportunity is worth walking in disobedience. Trust him without having to know all of the answers.  He always has your best interest in mind!

 

 

 

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Can You Help?

Dear Friends:

As you know, our 5th Annual Community Thanksgiving Outreach will be held on Sunday, November 24. Unfortunately, our food donations have not met the amount needed to complete the baskets that we’ve already committed to.  We need your help!

Below is a list of items that we still need and the number needed of each item:

  • Jiffy Mix (100)
  • Cranberry Sauce (135)
  • Stuffing Mix (110)
  • Mac N Cheese (100)
  • Brownie Mix (100)
  • Boxed Potatoes (100)

Items can be dropped off in the parking lot of Life Church in Auburndale, FL, on Wednesday at 6:30 pm or in the gym at Life Church on Saturday, 10 am-12 pm.

Monetary gifts can be given through our website by clicking on the link below, or you may mail your check to: SBS, PO Box 2232, Winter Haven, FL 33882-2232. http://www.brigettewagner.com/donate

100% of all gifts received will be given to people in need.  If the gifts received exceed the amount needed to purchase all of the items for the Thanksgiving outreach, they will be used to help families during the Christmas season.

Thank you for praying about this opportunity to be blessed by blessing others!

You are appreciated,

Brigette & the Step By Step Outreach Team

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Be Blessed: Bless Others!

Dear Friends:

As we move into the holiday season, the needs of others around us may or may not become evident.  You may be thinking of your own need and wondering how God is going to supply your need.  Friends, I want to encourage you today:  God knows where you are and what you need.  I also want to encourage you to think of ways that you can be a blessing to those around you, because we are blessed when we bless others.  Whether a phone call, a note of encouragement, a meal provided for someone who is struggling, or anything else that God places in your heart to do, you will be blessed when you reach out to others in a real and tangible way.

With that in mind, we are in the process of collecting items for our 5th Annual Community Thanksgiving Basket Outreach.  Please review the information below and click on the link to see a complete list of items needed for this outreach. http://www.brigettewagner.com/events

In the coming days, may you experience God’s peace and provision like never before!

Thanksgiving Outreach 2013

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Free To Be Me Women’s Event

Ladies:

“Free To Be Me” Women’s Event is going to Virginia!  Join us for an exciting time of discovering who you are in Christ and who He is in you.  You’ll find refreshing and inspiration as you learn to see yourself as Christ sees you.  With lots of laughter – and maybe some tears –  you can take this journey with us and never be the same again!

REGISTER TODAY!

 

Free To Be Me Flyer (VA)

“Free To Be Me” Women’s Event

Saturday, September 28, 2013

9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Triangle Assembly of God, 4212 Inn Street, Triangle, VA

FREE REGISTRATION:  RSVP by Sept. 24 to Brigette@BrigetteWagner.com

For more information, call:  703.221.3911.

 

 

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