Tidbits from Life
Pastor's Corner tidbits are put into our weekly bulletin. We hope you enjoy them!
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!