Tidbits from Life
Pastor's Corner tidbits are put into our weekly bulletin. We hope you enjoy them!
March 17, 2019
The world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. According to his own writings he was kidnapped as a child and taken to Ireland, where he eventually found salvation. He left Ireland and studied to become a priest, and went back to Ireland to bring them the gospel. Ireland thinks of him as their patron saint. So what do Christians have to do with this holiday? First of all we are to worship God, and not saints. Many people have been revered because religious organizations have tested them by their works and nominated them for sainthood. This is not scriptural, because anyone that is born again is called a saint, which means morally blameless or consecrated to the Lord. No one obtains sainthood through their “works”. We are saved by grace, which is totally different than works. Works follow salvation, but do not bring us salvation. Salvation comes only through the receiving of Jesus Christ as Savior, and through repenting of your sin. Then, you are part of the body of Christ, and considered a saint. This day as a holiday, will bring rivers full of beer, and streets painted green. There will be much raucous behavior, and plenty of people drunk. What does this kind of behavior have to do with being a man or woman of God? Absolutely nothing. I personally think if Saint Patrick knew how people were behaving in his honor he would be very disappointed. Why would anyone that was called out of darkness want to revert back to this behavior? It happens for two reasons. Either they are ignorant of what the word says or they are deliberately choosing to live a carnal-Christian life. Let us be examples to a lost world that there is something better to offer them than the ways of the world. If we are to remember St. Patrick, then let’s remember he went to Ireland to tell them about salvation, and bring them out of darkness. There are souls still in darkness waiting to hear this everywhere. Let us be the saints that God has called us to be and be about the Father’s business, and bring those lost and in darkness into the family of God while we still can!
March 10, 2019
Has God spoken to you about an assignment that you don’t want to do? Perhaps he has asked you to share your faith with someone that you think will reject you. Or, maybe he has asked you to go speak to someone about their lifestyle that is not pleasing to God. Maybe he has asked you to share an encouraging word with a stranger. Any one of these things can make us feel uncomfortable, but God isn’t looking for ones that want to be comfortable. He is looking for those that are willing and obedient to do what He asks. When we give our lives to Jesus, they no longer belong to us. We have been bought with a price and we are no longer to be “self” controlled. God doesn’t rule us with an iron fist. He leads us like a shepherd. He knows what is good for us, and knows what is not good. He wants us to learn how to hear his voice and be guided by his Holy Spirit. He will never ask us to do something that we are not capable of doing. God will allow us to be put into positions and places that will stretch our faith. This is the way we grow. If a child in school never takes a test you can be sure the teacher won’t know what they have learned. The wonderful thing about God, is that every test has an answer in the Word—for it will guide us into all truth, if we study it. Remember, to whom much is given much is required. God wants us to mature, and grow, and be led by his Spirit so we can be used in his kingdom. It takes every person doing their part to bring a lost and dying world to Jesus Christ. Most fail to listen and fail to follow. Why not decide today that you will be a doer of the word, and not just a hearer only. Your life will be better and so will the kingdom of God! Be blessed to be a blessing!
MARCH 3, 2019
Will revival come to America? There are so many conflicting prophecies about this. Some say no, that judgment is going to come and America will be destroyed. Others say yes, that there is going to be a great end time revival and masses will receive salvation. The truth is that both may happen. When we study the scriptures we see that Israel was sent prophet after prophet to warn them to repent of their sin, yet they would not listen. They were warned that God would send them into captivity, yet they would not repent. So which “camp” is right? I believe, and it is my own opinion, based on scripture, that there is a great falling away happening now. Hearts are cold, and ears are dull to hear. Many don’t want to hear things that are “negative”, and if you warn people you are immediately criticized. Churches are not training their people in Evangelism, there are few altar calls, and most Church goers know little or nothing about the Bible. There is a “feel good” message being taught. Emphasis has been on worship instead of on the preaching of the Word of God. So many run to meetings looking for a healing or a prophetic word, but their own faith is weak. There is excuse after excuse to stay away from Church, and some are legitimate if there is nothing being taught. Can this change? Only with repentance. How does repentance come? Through Godly sorrow over sin. Not a quick “I am sorry” will work. Many are just sorry that that they were caught in their sin. There must be genuine repentance my friends, and it may only come through harsh discipline. Israel was taken into captivity by their ungodly neighbors after warning after warning. Perhaps that will happen here. Many have had visions of invasions and horrible destruction coming to America. I believe that is soon to happen. Out of the ashes of destruction and chaos God brings people back to him. There is a remnant that are standing strong, but in Israel’s case, the righteous ones also went into captivity, but were used there by God. Are you prepared for this? If not, you need to be. Don’t put off getting things right with God before it is too late. Be blessed to be a blessing.
February 24, 2019
You can be sure if you have learned a spiritual truth that you will be put to a test to see if you truly have learned it. If you are studying faith you will have your faith tested in many ways. Whatever we have learned always will be tested. Many children in school do very well in the classroom setting but fail when they take a test. They freeze up and cannot put into writing what they have learned. Others do poorly in the classroom setting but have high scores on written tests. Every person reacts to testing differently. Some despise them. Some study and study so they can pass the test. For others it comes easily and they pass without a lot of studying. Everyone will be tested, and tested again if we don’t pass the classroom of life. Spiritually speaking, if a message is taught on patience, you can be sure we will be put into a position that will require patience. If your Pastor teaches on tithing and how it rebukes the devourer and opens the windows of Heaven, you can be sure that Satan will set up circumstances that make you believe you can’t give because you won’t be able to pay your bills. Yes, there will always be tests. As students in elementary school, we had to learn our numbers. Then we learned how to add numbers together. Then we learned subtraction, multiplication and division. Each of these required the foundation of the former level to advance. So it is with things of faith. We have to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God to pass spiritual tests. Many think they need to move into advanced areas without the foundation, but eventually, they will see it was a mistake. You must be spiritually grown from faith to faith. We can’t kill giants like David did if we have never learned how to use a sling shot. Don’t get upset when tests come. Learn to handle each test with promise from God. As you grow stronger in the promises, you will see that the tests become easier. Be blessed to be a blessing!
February 17, 2019
Did you know that God still speaks to us? Most of the time we aren’t listening. He speaks through the preached word, and he also speaks through the written word. He can also speak to us audibly. As a child the prophet Samuel heard God speak but had not been trained to know his voice. He went to a very backslidden priest that didn’t realize what was happening. Finally it dawned on Eli, the priest, that maybe God had something to say to this “child”. Yes, he was only a child. God wants to speak to us from childhood upward. Many have never been trained to read the Bible or perhaps don’t even go to Church. The Bible tells us that there will be great deception in the last days. I believe with all of my being that we are there. If Satan twisted scripture with Jesus when he was in the wilderness, do you not think he will do the same with us? We absolutely must study the Word to know truth, and know who is speaking to us. God never contradicts his written Word, so if you are hearing something preached or being taught that contradicts the written Word, throw it out. There are end time conferences and many come door to door to give literature and information. Many people are lulled into the false teachings because they don’t know the real truth. Years ago a police officer was giving advice to me on counterfeit twenty dollar bills. He said the best way to know the counterfeit was to be so aware of the legitimate that you can’t be fooled. Do you know the legitimate Word of God? Do you take time to study it and know truth? It takes much daily study to thoroughly know God’s Word from the counterfeit being offered at your front door. Don’t be fooled by advertisements and a person at your door that “wants to be a help” to you. Get to know the voice of God through his Word, and you can’t fail. Yes my friends, we are in the last of the last days. We must know the enemy is doing everything to bring deception and destruction. Arm yourself with the Word of God and you can’t fail! Be blessed to be a blessing!
February 10, 2019
This week many people will buy gifts and flowers to give to that special person as an act of love. Valentine’s day is this Thursday, and stores will be selling candy, cards, flowers and gifts that show love. It is a great way to show someone that you care for them. Yet, what is this day all about? The real “Valentine” was a man of God that ministered to the persecuted Christians that lived in Rome . This eventually caused his death. His love for those that loved God was demonstrated by his actions. It was a selfless love. In the day that we live in it seems people want to always receive instead of being the ones that give. I Corinthians 13 tells us what love is really all about. It is patient, kind, doesn’t think of itself, isn’t prideful and many more things. This kind of love is impossible without the love of God inside of us. Our fleshly love is selfish. It wants more and more and demands. Godly love is truly the only kind of love that is worthwhile. It has to be developed, and it has to be each Christian’s goal. Three things will remain on earth when the Lord returns— faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love. We can show our love to others in so many little ways. Just a smile, or a word of encouragement let’s others know that you love them. As we grow more intimate with God and experience more of his love, we have more love to give others. You can’t give Godly love without being in love with God. His love is way beyond comprehension my friends. How can you describe love? You can’t describe it, you can only give it. As you think about those you love this week, don’t just give a gift, be the gift. Give your time, your patience, your encouragement, and yourself. That is the greatest gift you can give. If you haven’t given your heart totally to God, you are truly missing out on the best love you can ever receive. Why don’t you do that today? Be blessed to be a blessing!
February 3, 2019
More and more we are seeing that we are living in the last days. Sin is so rampant in our nation, resulting in the murder of the innocents in the womb, and now they are saying in Virginia that after a baby is born the Mother or the Doctor can still kill it. People are asking how can anyone do this. The only answer is they have been turned over to a reprobate mind. When sin no longer bothers a person you know that they are in this condition. It is so important to daily go before God and have your sins washed away. If you don’t they will form a spiritual callous and eventually cause a hardened heart. We must not allow that to happen to us as Christians. The world cannot understand the ways of God because they are spiritually blind. When the Church takes on the same sin as the world and says people have a right to choose, there is something wrong! I have seen “religious” people stand for abortion, and homosexuality, and every other kind of sin. They will often say “you shouldn’t judge”, but that is not what the Bible teaches. We are to judge sin and we are to deal with it. Can you imagine a child that has never been disciplined? Can you imagine a parent letting that child do anything they want and never be held accountable? I have seen just that. I remember two young boys that came to Church years ago. Their Mother had lost an older child in a tragic death. She did not discipline the two younger boys at all. She only wanted to “love” them. They never listened to anything that she said. In High School one of these boys got in trouble and was expelled. He had to do community service for his crime. He wanted the easy way out, and eventually, sad to say he became homeless and deep into drugs. The last time I saw him was on a bench asking to sleep in front of the Church. He knew that he had gone too far, and there was no way back. Even after speaking to him, and telling him there was a better plan for his life, he was still making excuses. Don’t let yourself fall into Satan’s trap, thinking there is no way out. There is a way for the wayward soul. It is called repentance. Repentance is sorrow for the sin, and then making the choice to not ever do it again. If this nation doesn’t repent for its’ sins, I see destruction on the horizon. Just as a parent must discipline a child, to train it properly, God has to do the same with rebellious nations. America needs to be disciplined, and it may be costly, but it will turn many back to God. Be blessed this week to be a blessing!
January 20, 2019
IIf you are alert in the spirit, then you will know that many pieces to the end times puzzle are being put together. Jesus said there would be signs in the heavens and there would be signs in the earth just before his return. Many just shrug off the blood moon that will take place January 21, and say it is no big deal. There was a tetrad a few years ago, and they occurred on Jewish feast days. Is this just a coincidence, or is there something to this? Jesus warns us that if we knew when the strong man was coming that we would not have our homes broken into. Who is this strong man? Who is coming that we need to know about? It is the spirit of Antichrist —and it is alive and well my friends. It has raised its head up and has been like a snake striking everything that gets in its way. Hatred is at an all time level through the entire world. There have always been wars, but it seems at this point in time there is no peace anywhere on earth outside of the peace that we find in Jesus Christ. Even Christians are walking in fear, not knowing their authority in the name of Jesus. Do we need to fear what is coming? No, we don’t need to fear, but we need to fear (reverence) God. Many churches have become just like the world. They bring in worldly music and worldly attire hoping to attract the younger generation. Since when do we have to attract anyone? We need to witness to others about sin in their lives and let them know that there is a way out of it, and it comes through knowing Jesus as their Savior. God has been removed from schools, and there are two generations now that have not heard anything in the public schools about God. Abortions, rapes, murders, homosexuality and any other sin is running rampant throughout our country and the entire world. The only solution is Jesus Christ. He brings the only peace that is lasting, and with that peace comes the confidence that we will make it through hard times ahead when we trust him. There is a great shaking going on in the lives of all believers. Many are stretched to the limits, and yet like Job, they know, “though he slay me yet shall I serve him”. When our confidence is in God and his Word we cannot fail even if we lose our lives for his sake. Yes there are many signs indicating that chaos and trouble are on the horizon, and the question is, are you prepared? Have you chosen Jesus as your anchor to hold you fast through the storms that are coming? If not, then today is the day of salvation and repentance. Don’t put it off before it is too late. He is waiting to hear from you! Be blessed to be a blessing!
January 6, 2019
Have you ever tried to start a fire in a fireplace? You get some wood and try to light it, but it doesn’t want to start, so you add some small pieces called kindling and try to light that. It doesn’t want to start so easy either. Then you add a few pieces of paper that light up immediately, and then the kindling catches fire and so after a while it reaches the log. It reminds me of people. Some catch fire quickly , like the paper and get all excited about Jesus sharing that new fire with everyone. They may dance and sing and lift their hands in Church, but they burn out quickly. The one like the kindling is the one that catches fire a little slower, but keeps burning for a while. They may even attract others and help them catch fire too, but slowly they fade away. Then there are the logs. They don’t catch fire right away, but when they do they burn brightly for a long time. They keep the logs around them going and even feed fire to the new logs that come into their “fireplace”. All of these are necessary to keep the fire glowing hot. The paper is wood that has been processed and pressed until it doesn’t even look like wood anymore. The kindling is truly a chip off the old block of wood, and the log is the one in the rough that says take me like I am and I will stay fired up. Yes, we need to keep the fire going for the Lord. We need to stay hot. If the paper wasn’t there then chances are the kindling wouldn’t ignite as fast. If the kindling wasn’t there the log might never catch fire, and there would be no lasting fire . The body of Christ is made up of many different parts. Some light the fire and burn out quickly. Others kindle others and cause the greater body to receive fire. Whatever one you are, be determined to keep the fire going. It takes all of us to get the job done. Those that burned out early can get regenerated by the Lord and get fired up again. Those that kindled others and feel like their life is nothing but ashes—know that God wants to continue using you and will transform you from the ash pile to once again burn and ignite others. And the steady burning logs—well, just keep burning until Jesus comes again! Working together, we will keep his fire going! Be blessed to be a blessing!
December 20, 2018
As we close out the old year and bring in the new year, many will be making resolutions. This may sound like a good thing, but resolving to do something and actually doing it are not the same thing. We must pray and ask God what “his plan” is for this coming year. Many need to make adjustments in their physical life, like exercising, change of diet, etc., but the most important thing is a change in our spiritual lives. We have to put the flesh under the subjection of the Spirit. How do we do that? Well first of all you must have the Holy Spirit in you. That part happens when you accept Jesus Christ as your savior. The Holy Spirit comes and dwells within you. Then you need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. This allows your inner man to be able to flow with the Spirit, and then it will flow out of you. Yes, there is a difference. Yes, it is indeed a necessary thing to have. If we want to be led by Holy Spirit, we must allow him complete freedom inside and out. So many fail in their walk because they have not surrendered their lives totally to Jesus. They have made him savior, but have not made him LORD! This is a daily process. Daily we must crucify or put to death the things of the flesh and soul, and allow Holy Spirit complete control. It has to be done to walk in the spirit and not walk in the flesh. Our soul and body want to control our spirit, but if we want an intimate walk with God, we have to be controlled by Holy Spirit. He resides in our spirit, and our spirit grows as we study scripture, pray, and think on the things of God (meditate). This is how we walk in the spirit and not the flesh. We should never resist the disciplining hand of God that wants to bring us up and not down. Let’s determine that this New Year will be the one that changes us from the inside out to be all that God wants us to be. Be blessed to be a blessing. Happy New Year!
December 16, 2018
When December comes along there is a Christmas spirit in the air. People are thinking about family and friends and past memories that brought them joy. Many people at this time of year struggle with the memories of those that are no longer with them. It becomes a sad tim for them We can make a difference in their lives. Let’s take this time to be the gift to others. Being a gift is simple. We wrap ourselves up in the love of God and share that gift with all that we meet. A smile, a hug, a word of encouragement goes a long way to someone that is hurting or depressed. Maybe this is the year to invite someone to your home to share in a meal, and your love of God. It is not carrying a ten pound Bible and blaring through a microphone that makes someone a witness for Jesus. It is the everyday things that make the difference. As you go about your daily lives, look for someone to be kind to, to smile at, and just say hello to. One of the greatest gifts we can give is to be a good listener. So often we are superficial in our conversations. We don’t really hear what someone is saying. Truly listen and give them time to speak. Open your ears to really hear what they have to say. God is a great listener, but he also wants to speak to us. We often spend time talking to him, or even complaining to him without taking the time to listen. We need to just be quiet and seek his direction in everything. Many have lost their way, and God may use you to bring them back. Each day Jesus got alone with the Father and prayed. His humanity needed this time to get his assignment and be refreshed. If it was necessary for him, it certainly is necessary for us. Then, we can go forth and be light to those in darkness. We can make a difference my friends. Let us be the gift to others this year, and bring joy into those lives that desperately
December 2, 2018
Earthquakes, wars, pestilences, household rebellion, heresies, terrorism, hatred, division, Father against Son, Mother against daughter. These are in the headlines and on the news daily. If we didn’t read the Bible and know that this is a sign of the end times, we might be consumed with fear. No, my friends, we cannot live in fear. God’s timetable has to come to pass to fulfill the scriptures. What we do with this knowledge will determine how we live. I have often said that the safest place to be is in the will of God, and this is absolutely true. When we are in the secret place with the great I AM, peace comes. We tend to think of it as a cliché, but it is the only place that we will find peace. We look for contentment and joy from others. We look for love and peace from others, but it is not there that we will find it. Jesus alone is the prince of peace. Being in his presence should always bring peace, yet we often are like a little child that cannot sit still. We want answers without listening, we want direction without listening. We will never find any of these without being guided by God. He tells in Proverbs 3 that we must trust in HIM with all our heart and not lean unto our own understanding. Our heart is the inner person, our spirit. When we are led by the Holy Spirit in our spirit there will always be peace. If you have no peace in your life perhaps it is time to sit quietly and just listen. Don’t try to figure it out. Let God speak to you and the peace will come. A sign of growing up is the ability to get quiet and just sit still long enough for you to hear. It may take a few minutes. It may take a few hours. It might even take days or weeks. God is not a fast food, drive in restaurant. We must wait and listen to hear. Don’t get ahead of God my friends. And don’t delay when he speaks. Listen, listen, listen, then obey. Be blessed to be a blessing.
November 24, 2018
his Week we celebrated Thanksgiving and then came what is known as “black Friday”. I am not one that wants to fight traffic and mobs in the stores, but I had to run an errand. The highway was jammed, the parking lots were jammed and people were intent on getting that “one in a million” special-priced item. The internet shows pictures of people waiting for hours just to get into a store. Frenzied crowds intent on getting the few items that are specially priced. It definitely is a mob scene. People become rude and say and do things that they might not otherwise say. I was thinking of what it would be like if people rushed and couldn’t wait to get to Church. Can you image thousands in the parking lot waiting so they could hear what God had to say on any given Sunday or Bible study night? How it must break God’s heart that we put so much emphasis on “the creation” instead of “the creator”. We have become a greedy people both in the church and outside of the Church. We want more and more and we give less and less. We get offended when someone asks us to do a small task, and we get offended when we don’t have control! It is time for us to get out of the Church door and into the fields that are white unto harvest. It is time to repent of our selfishness and truly seek after God. It is time to be the Church and not just go to Church. Am I angry? No, I am disgusted with those that call themselves Christians yet do nothing for God. There is a great shaking going on and it is so evident as you look around. Many think they are Christians, but they only have a form of Godliness. They are fake and full of themselves. It is time to get off the throne and put God back where he belongs. Let’s be the ones that take back what Satan has stolen, and do all we can for God in our little corner of the world. Let’s truly seek after him and put Christ back into our lives. We can if we choose to. The choice is ours. Be blessed my friends so you in turn can be a blessing!
With Thanksgiving upon us there are many thoughts that spring up. Families travel miles to “come home” and spend time with their loved ones. Turkeys by the thousands are purchased and the grocery stores are full of holiday goodies. This is the American tradition. We are taught the story of the Pilgrims and how they spent the first Thanksgiving with the Indians, and everyone thinks it was a wonderful time. Yet, the first Thanksgiving was more than this. The pilgrims had come to America to escape religious persecution. They found that it was not an easy place to live. There were very harsh weather conditions that caused many lives to be lost. They practically starved that winter before the summer crop came in. In spite of all their loss they were thankful for what God had done. God was the center of their lives and the center of their reason for living. God got them through, and they weathered the storms of life. What about us? Many of us are going through very difficult times. Lives have been shattered by hurricanes, fires, loss of life and loss of jobs. Many are at the point where they may be homeless. Yet in all of this God is there to see us through. He makes a way where there is no way. He opens new doors and closes old ones. As we take time this week to celebrate a holiday, let us remember who is the center of our lives and thank HIM for getting us through each day. Many people will be alone this year, maybe this is your opportunity to reach out a loving hand to those that have little of nothing. Make a difference in someone’s lives my friends. You will be thankful you did. Happy Thanksgiving. Be blessed to be a blessing!
Who or what are you putting your confidence in? If it’s any man, job, child, Church, or anything else, I can tell you from experience they will all fail you. We so often look to a person to solve our problems instead of looking to the creator. In a sense, it is idolatry. When we trust anyone or anything more than we trust God, it becomes a crutch or idol in our lives. Many people chase after persons that have an anointing just to receive a word from God. Others go after persons that have been used by God in the gift of healings. We place people far higher than we should ever place them. Human beings make mistakes my friend, and eventually you will find that out for yourselves. God never makes mistakes. He didn’t make a mistake when he created you in your mother’s womb, and he doesn’t make mistakes in your life now. It is us, that fail. We must diligently seek after God not after the gifts. Gifting is amazing, but it will never take the place of a one on one relationship with God. We look to others for resources. We look to others for love. We look and look and when they fail us we become emotionally down. We must make a decision to be led by our spirits and not be led by our emotions. Man is made up a spirit, soul, and body. The Christian must be led by his/her spirit in order to hear from God. We have to feed our spirit by studying God’s word. It is food to our spirit. Perhaps it is time to take a break from the food that feeds our soul and body, and concentrate on real food—spiritual food. God has a plan for each of us, and He only reveals it through your spirit. Yes, circumstances can get our attention, but He speaks by his Holy Spirit to your spirit. Don’t settle for “soul” food when you can be eating the manna of the Spirit. Refocus and you will see how satisfied your life will be. Be blessed to be a blessing.
October 21, 2018
The world is filled with hatred, violence, terrorism, homosexuality, abortion, murder, Brother against Brother, Mother against Daughter, Father against Son. Many are wondering what is going on. We read scripture and see that it was prophesied that this would happen, but so many are in amazement. My friends, we are living in the last days. When Israel became a nation, Jesus said that a generation would not pass before his return. He also told us that when he returns it would be like the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. Why are we surprised? Because we haven’t been taught. We have been deceived into thinking we are not going to go through these things. It would be great if we didn’t, but I am sure if you ask Christians in any third world country they would tell you that this has been happening there for a long time. The atrocities are everywhere, and many think we can legislate righteousness and change it. That will never happen. Sin will never be changed by man’s laws and legislation. The only thing that can change a sinful person is God. His transformation of a sinful heart into a blood washed heart is what will change things. Taking a knee, rioting, staging protests and more will not change anything, it only lights the fire of chaos. We need to be light to a lost and dying world. We need to share Christ with those that do not know him. Then and only then will things change. It starts with us. Let’s be determined to share the gospel with everyone we meet and not worry if we are hated for it. Paul, Peter, John, Stephen and all the disciples were hated and killed for their witness, but we have the proof it wasn’t in vain —the Bible. It is not a lost cause unless we quit. So, soldiers of the cross go forth and do what you are called to do! Be blessed to be a blessing!
Diamonds are such beautiful gifts from God. To form a diamond scientists tell us that temperatures about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit are needed and pressure of more than 725,000 pounds per square inch are necessary to produce them. This precious jewel rarely is found above ground. People have mined diamonds for centuries. Their beauty is desired and their value is high. Large ones are very rare, and treasured. When diamonds are found they don’t look like the finished ones that we see and wear. They need to be cut. It takes an expert to cut the diamond precisely so that it isn’t destroyed. The expert’s hands and eyes change the rough piece into a piece of great beauty and value through the cutting process. We are much like diamonds. Many times we have been underneath pressure in the mud of life and have had the heat put to us. We don’t like that pressure. We tend to resist it, and we certainly don’t like the heat that is administered to us either. Yet, both of these things are necessary for us to become beautiful like a diamond. There also must be some cutting away. We come to the master’s hand in the rough stages of life, and he slowly and precisely uses his hands to change us into something beautiful. Many flee from the pressure and the heat and the cutting away, and never become the beautiful diamond that God wants us to be. They are often bitter and resentful of the things of life that could bring change to them. Without allowing the master to change us, we stay in the rough and are not as useful as the finished ones are. Yet, when we come back to the master through repentance, and allow him to continue his work in us he brings the changes necessary to become beautiful. Don’t resist the master’s hand my friends. He will never put anything on us that we can’t bear. Let him do the work in your life and make you into that precious diamond. He longs for you to be all he intended you to be. Let him dig you out of the mud and ashes of life and make you into the beautiful person that only he can see with his eyes. When you do this, you will shine forth like a diamond and all around you will be touched by the change. Be blessed to be a blessing!
There are many promises in the Bible, some are unconditional and others are conditional. For every problem there is a promise. Promises are like gold. They rarely are found on the surface. You must dig for them. I was given a Bible when I joined the Church at age 12. I had no idea where to begin. I didn’t even know that I was supposed to read it. When I did read it, it didn’t make sense because I had no one to guide me. Once I realized that the Bible was my source of life after being saved, I decided I should read it. It was still difficult. I then found a Bible with references and study helps. This was the best investment I ever made as a young Christian. The bible is full of words that are archaic, and I needed those words interpreted. I thank God for being led to Bible studies so I could learn more about the Lord. So many Christians never grow because they don’t know how to be fed. Our spirits literally starve without feeding on the Word of God. I didn’t know that Jesus died for my sin AND my diseases. When I discovered that truth everything changed. I prayed for my children, and they were healthier than they had ever been. Then I learned about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and how it gave me the power to be a witness. After receiving this impartation, I became bold, but still lacked knowledge. My journey and yours begins by reading and studying the scriptures. You have to dig into them. Some of the spiritual digging tools are a Strong’s Concordance, a Greek Interlinear Bible, and tapes of people that have already gone down the path and found truths. There is no lack for a Christian that determines to dig and find the promises. It starts by opening the cover of your Bible, and digging! Be blessed in your quest!
There isn’t a soul alive that hasn’t had a problem of one type or another. How we deal with the problem will determine the outcome. When I was a young girl there was a song entitled “Que Sera, Sera” which is French for “whatever will be will be”. It was a catchy tune. I sang it and so did a lot of my friends. This song taught a generation that whatever happens, happens, and live with it. Yet, as I recently thought on this song, I found that this is contrary to the scriptures. Prayer changes our circumstances! We don’t have to stay in a rut, or be sick or be broke. Prayer changes things! Faith needs to rise up in each of us and say NO to the devil when he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. God says that he wants us to have an abundant life. He wants us to have more than enough, and his word contains thousands of promises. We may have to fight the fight of faith to receive these promises. We can’t just sit back and let “whatever will be, will be” be our lifestyle. God expects more out of us than that. There is a modern saying that says “it is what it is”. This is another statement that is contrary to scripture. We must watch our words my friends, because they will become actions and then habits. We can change! We are taught to be abased and taught to abound, and we are told we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Wow. All things! No que sera sera there! God doesn’t want us to be ignorant of his promises. We must make a diligent effort to read his word and learn what the promises are. You cannot blame God when something goes wrong and you do nothing about it. Make a decision today to study the Bible and find out what belongs to you! I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed! Be blessed to be a blessing!
Have you ever said “I need a change”? When we speak things like this we need to be prepared for it to happen. We might be frustrated in our work, and say we need a change, and then we lose our job and wonder what happened. Words are very powerful my friends. We must filter what we say through the Spirit of God before we speak for each word is bringing life or death. Have I ever spoken without thinking? Yes, many times, and many times I quickly regretted it and had to repent. What do we do when change comes? Most of us want things different but don’t want the change to get there. I am reminded of Jonah. God gave him an assignment and he didn’t want to do it, and ran from God. He ended up in the belly of a whale! Sound farfetched? Well when we don’t go with what God wants for us, we end up in a mess too. It may not be a belly of a whale, but I can assure you it will not be a place we want to be. The pressure of that place will cause us to run again, or to be broken. Being broken will hurt, but out of brokenness comes new beginnings. So often we are led out of our emotions instead of by our spirit. God speaks to our spirit, and Satan speaks to our mind. We have to sort out who is talking, then determine to listen to God. Many times what God requires of us will not make any sense. It didn’t make any sense to the disciples that Jesus would be crucified. They did not understand it. They wanted it to be different! Yet if it hadn’t happened there would not be any way to be reconciled with God. Change is not always a bad thing. Change can bring new beginnings, new insights and new revelation that would not come without change. I remember when we moved years ago. My daughter did not like it at all, but if we hadn’t moved she would never have met her future husband! The nation of Israel was on their way to the promised land. The trip should have taken less than a month but it ended up taking 40 years because they resisted God’s leading. Oh we can say that would never happen to us, but we too resist God’s leading when it doesn’t make sense or seem fair. I pray that as you read this you can spend some time asking God what needs to change in your life before you go through hard times. Most problems can be avoided if we take the time to listen to God’s plan, even it if is different than our own plan. Change can be a good thing! Be blessed to be a blessing.
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Have you ever been emotionally drained and just want to quit? I have. I have been there just like you. I remember after the three hurricanes hit us in 2004 and damaged the building that my business was in that I wanted to quit. I was tired. I felt like I “couldn’t take any more”. The Lord spoke to me, and said “that it would be okay if I did something else, but then added, you won’t have the freedom to share Jesus in another job.” Financially I was broke. My business was broke. My hope was broke. My faith was broke. But, when I heard him speak those words, I knew that I couldn’t quit. I had to go on. I had to trust that God had a plan, and he did. Later I made changes, but I was doing what he wanted at that time. In this season of time that we are in there are so many demonic pressures coming at all those that love God. They come in many forms. Family Relationships. Business relationships. Financial problems. Sickness. Death of a loved one. I could go on and on. Yet, I have found if I focus on the problems instead of the promises that I sink deeper into despair. Yes, I have been where you are at, and recently can honestly say have been there again, but we cannot just quit my friends. There is nothing to go back to. We cannot stop doing what God has called us to do. Yes, our faith is stretched to a point that we think we will break. And brokenness is what God is looking for. He wants us to become broken so that he can mold us and transform us. If we do not yield willingly to the breaking it will come in a way that could destroy us. So, when the things come, fasten your spiritual seat belts and be ready to ride out the storm. Remember, God is with you in the storm. Be blessed to be a blessing
MAY 6, 2018
Do you remember being in school and the teacher gave you an assignment? You were studying a certain subject, but you had to do your “homework”. It meant studying and reading to complete the task. Some of us shirked our responsibility, and neglected to study, and the results showed up when we didn’t have anything to turn in the next day. We could not blame the teacher, for the assignment was clear. We could not blame the textbook because the information was there. We could not blame our parents for they were unaware that we had an assignment. We had to face the results of our choices, and often those results ended up with a poor grade. A good teacher always wants their students to learn the subject and be able to do their very best. They refresh the student by giving information. We all have to learn from what we did right and wrong. When it comes to things of the Spirit, we also will be given opportunity to see what we know. Paul admonishes Timothy to study the scriptures so he would be approved. This is a good lesson for each of us. Those of us living in the United States have so much opportunity to have the Word of God, either in print, on tape, or CD, DVD, or by googling it on the internet. There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing the scriptures. We also have many teachers and Pastors that help us and guide us. Even with these wonderful gifts God holds us individually accountable. The Book of Romans in Chapter 1 verse 20 says we are without excuse. A rebellious student will always make excuses for not being prepared. They don’t take their “blame”. We must not be like that. We are to mature and become lovers of God’s word. It will be our strong tower when we need it. It will be our provision when we lack. It will be our hope when we despair. Studying is never easy. Not for a child, and not for an adult, but I am here to say that studying God’s word will bring the best rewards ever. Do you read it? Do you study it? We are commanded to do that. So, if you are not, tell God you want to change. Tell him you are wrong, repent, and make a determination to be the best student ever. You can never know a lie if you haven’t learned what truth is. The word of God is truth, because Jesus is the Word, and the Word and Jesus will always agree. I pray that your study brings much fruit! Be blessed!
April 29, 2018
Have you ever anticipated the arrival of something special? Sure, you have. Maybe a friend coming to visit, maybe a gift for a birthday, or maybe a package of something special that you ordered. I remember as a little girl how I could hardly wait for Christmas morning. Of course like most children we were taught that Santa brought gifts. On Christmas eve I would go to bed looking out the window at the head of my bed, wondering if I would see him come. I always fell asleep, and in the morning the gifts were there. I tried and tried to stay awake, but I couldn’t. I don’t remember how old I was when I learned that there was no Santa Claus, but I still awaited Christmas with much anticipation. I am still like that about the arrival of special things. There is still that “little girl” inside of me that gets excited. Perhaps it is my personality type that just gets excited about things, but I would hope it is because I still have childlike faith. You see my friend we have to become like little children in anticipation of the good things that God has for us. We have to expect his promises to come to pass. Faith simply means that we trust God to come through on his promises. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is. As we grow from children into adulthood we all are faced with persons that let us down and it causes us not to trust. You can be certain that people will let you down, but God cannot lie. If his promises are in the Word of God then they are for you! We acquire them by faith. They don’t just show up like presents under a tree though. We have to earnestly contend for faith, and not let anything steal it from us. Satan is after our faith, and will do whatever he can to destroy it. Yes, we learn that Santa Claus is not real, but God is real, and His promises are real too. We don’t get them by hoping they are real. We receive them by believing they are for us. If Satan can convince you that a promise is not for you then you will not receive it. Childlike faith trusts and expects with great anticipation. It may not come in the timing we would like it to, but God’s promises will come. We have to simply believe they will. Don’t be discouraged when it doesn’t happen when you expect it. That is just a temporary delay. God wants us to have every good and perfect gift. Repent of unbelief my friends and trust God with all your heart and don’t try to figure things out. Unwrap each promise daily and expect them to be for you. Your name is written on each one. Open them up and know they are good! Be blessed in your faith walk, and be a blessing to others
Have you ever had a garden? I remember the year I planted a large garden. There was okra, cucumbers, peas, butter beans, corn, watermelon, tomatoes, and much more. I had never had a garden before but our neighbor plowed up an acre of land and my husband was the “expert”. He planted everything so carefully, and we expected to get a lot of mouth watering fruit and vegetables. I found out it was not as easy as the pictures look. First off, deer came and ate a lot of the seeds before they had a chance to grow. Then there was the weed problem. There were just as many weeds coming up as there were seeds coming up. Then the rain came, and things were growing great. The problem was it didn’t stop raining, and the ground became thick with mud. You couldn’t walk without getting stuck, and we couldn’t get to the okra. They grew to be 18 inches long, and looked like swords. We had so many butter beans and peas that we couldn’t harvest them all, and living in the country everyone else had a garden and didn’t want any extras. Then came the shelling of these “beautiful” peas and beans. I had never shelled anything before, and learned quite quickly how sore your fingers could get. After shelling for two hours there was only enough shelled for one meal. I immediately thought how much easier it was to buy it in the frozen food section at the local grocery store. The ground where the corn grew had been sprayed with insecticide years earlier, and the corn was all malformed. I wasn’t sure if it was even edible. We never got cucumbers or watermelons because the blooms mildewed and died before they had a chance to grow. It was quite an experience, and it was the last garden that I planted. I learned a lot from that garden. I learned you can plant into people’s lives the same way. Some receive the words as seeds and grow, and some reject the seed and it dies before it produces. I also learned about my life, that I needed to keep the weeds out such as anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and put in things like love, joy, peace, patience, and forgiveness. Jesus taught people that were farmers and fishermen, and his stories helped them relate to real life. Perhaps I should have tried another garden and not have given up. We are like that in life too. We fail and quit when we really should have just learned a lesson and did it better the next time. I pray that your lives are fruitful gardens ready to receive good seed and grow into something beautiful. Don’t quit if you had a failed crop. God will help you until it produces something lasting! Be blessed!
Our words bring life or death. The scriptures say that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Now, come on, really? Since God cannot lie, it has to be true. Death may not come instantly but words start the process. We often say words without much thought, but those words are seeds. Perhaps you have said “my feet are killing me”, or “so and so drives me crazy”. How about “you’re just like your father”, or “if you keep it up you will end up in trouble”. We are literally speaking these things into existence. Yes, every idle word we speak , we will be held accountable for. So we must watch what we say. The scriptures say to set a guard or watch over my mouth. This means to literally protect or put a hedge about our mouths with thorns. Ouch. Perhaps that is the best illustration because if what we speak hurts we should have thorns that prevent us from speaking those deadly things. James tells us we are to be slow to speak, quick to hear and slow to wrath. That is the goal to aim for, but often we are quick to speak, slow to hear and quick to wrath. It takes effort to change this. It starts with the mouth, and the choice to keep the mouth shut and guarded so we don’t speak death. We must literally take time to think before we speak thinking whether life comes or death. Many things done in anger are often regretted. Picture each word that hurts like a nail going into a fence. You may repent and take it out, but there is still a hole there. The process to change is called dying to the flesh. When we purposely decide not to speak anything that brings death, we change our words, then our words change us. I had an experience once with seeds. I watered some and left some others without any water. I talked to the seeds that I watered and praised them. They began to grow. The other seeds just didn’t sprout. When we speak life then life comes forth. When we choose not to speak life we encourage things to die. Remember you may not see the results of a sinful tongue right away because death starts on the inside and then progresses to the surface. Choose words of life my friends . Repent of the words that are bringing death . You may not see instant results, but that seed will produce in time. Be blessed!