Tidbits from Life
Pastor's Corner tidbits are put into our weekly bulletin. We hope you enjoy them!
September 7, 2019
Change is often painful, but necessary. I like to grow avocados. I have had great success in planting them in water and watching them grow. They always start with the root going down before a sprout goes up. When the sprout first bursts through the seed it is always a thrill to see that tiny sprout. They don’t all sprout, and that is disappointing. Their water becomes cloudy and the seed becomes slimy and dead. They are unfruitful and have to be thrown away. For those that do sprout, it takes time for them to grow upwards. . I allow them to get about 18 inches tall and then planted into a pot or the ground grow larger and larger. One plant that I had sprouted grew to about three feet tall, and had become kind of spindly. I watered it, but it just wasn’t growing fuller. One day as I was looking at it I heard Holy Spirit speak and tell me to cut it back to nothing but a twig. My first reaction was, “it wouldn’t like to be cut back”. Yet, the tug of Holy Spirit convinced me that it was the right thing to do. I cut off the spindly branches and all that remained was a pencil sized barren twig growing out of the pot. It didn’t look like a bit like it had when it first had been planted. There weren’t any leaves on it, and it appeared to be dead. Over time, I watched it to see what lesson I would learn. Slowly over a few weeks’ time, little sprouts of leaves started to come back on the “twig”. They started growing and before I realized it, my avocado plant was growing and becoming full again. It became quite a plant. I gave many away in this condition, because I was the “seed planter”, and not the “seed harvester”. One day, several years later, a friend brought me a beautiful large avocado. It was so big! She said it was the “first fruit” from a tree that I had started and given her. She, in turn, had given it to her brother who had planted it in his yard and it became a large tree full of fruit. I was shocked to say the least! I would have to say that the avocado was delicious. What would have happened to that spindly avocado plant if it hadn’t been cut back? Chances are that it would never have produced any fruit. It would have eventually become useless and would have died. Our lives are like this my friends. We often find ourselves planted somewhere that worked once but now it appears that things have dried up. We often don’t understand why things that once were fruitful aren’t working now. It is then that we have a choice - we give everything in our lives totally to God, and allow Him to “cut us back” or choose to remain where we are and become” unfruitful”. Things will only change through pruning. It is painful to go through the cutting back season, but it is absolutely necessary if our lives are to become fruitful again. Many are going through this process right now. You are feeling abandoned, hopeless, helpless, and discouraged. Don’t give up! The Master is working in your life, and you will see change coming as you yield yourselves totally to the cutting back! I can attest to it! I have been there, and also am going through the cutting back, but in the end we will see that it was worth it all to be fruitful for the Kingdom of God. Be blessed to be a blessing!
August 25, 2016
Did you know that forgiveness is not an option for a Christian? We must forgive if we are to be forgiven. Actually there is power in forgiving. It sets others free but also sets you free. It is one of the greatest gifts that you can ever give a person. Not a single one of us is void of sin. Each of us needs a Savior that forgives us. Jesus spoke a lot about forgiving. He even said that if we don’t forgive we are eventually turned over to the tormentors. Is your life full of torment? Are you constantly upset over things that don’t “go away”? Perhaps it is time to examine your heart to see if there is anyone that you have something against. Perhaps it is the person that cut ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Maybe it is your Mother or Dad that treated you terribly as a child. Perhaps it is your child that has treated you with disrespect. Maybe you are mad at the government because you don’t think they are doing things right. Maybe it is your neighbor, or maybe even your Pastor. We cannot hold on to un-forgiveness. Eventually, we will turn bitter, and then comes torment. I have met people that are full of bitterness. Nothing anyone says or does is right or good enough for people like this. Then there are those that have gone beyond bitterness to a reprobate mind, where all they think about is evil all of the time. This process doesn’t happen overnight my friends. It starts with a small offense that isn’t forgiven and builds and builds until the heart of the person is so calloused that it is almost impossible for God to get through to them. Sometimes they are turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. That sounds pretty serious to me. If you have un-forgiveness or bitterness in your life that needs to be dealt with I suggest that you don’t put it off. There comes a point of no return. Ask God to forgive you of this sin. Let the love of God penetrate your heart and give you the freedom to forgive. You will, without a doubt, find peace that you never experienced, and the person that you forgive will find that peace too. Don’t put it off until it is too late. Do it now while it is a fresh thought. Always remember that un-forgiveness is a poison we take hoping it will destroy someone else. Selah (pause and think about it). Be blessed to be a blessing!
August 18, 2019
Many folks lives are controlled by their happiness. Happiness is based on external circumstances. Christians must rely upon the joy of the Lord to be at peace. The joy of the Lord is our strength. What we focus on determines what we become. The scripture says that as a man thinks in his heart so is he. What is it that you think on my friends? Some might become a chocolate éclair because that is what they think about. Yet seriously, we must control our thought lives. Satan works in the mind. He will pepper us with thoughts continuously, and if we aren’t strong in casting down the thoughts he puts into our minds we will fail every time. What we think about is a choice. We can focus on the events around us, the newscasts, the environment, the weather, sicknesses, the relationships we are in and all of these aren’t necessarily bad, but they will not give us the peace that we need to live day to day without stress. Newscasts bring the negatives. The place you live in may be depressing. The weather is uncertain, and relationships often fail. Sicknesses come and go. These are only temporary things my friends. The word of God is full of uplifting promises and hope. As we choose to read it instead of the other things, we fill our minds with hope. The scriptures tell us that hope deferred (put off) makes the heart sick. Hope comes through faith in God and His word. As we invest time in things that are Godly, it will come back to us in peace. We are given the freedom to make the choice. God will nudge us when we are on the wrong path, but does not force us to do right. He speaks in a still small voice to let us know when we need to “re-route”. Are you sick in your body? Then find the healing scriptures that will bring life to you. For every situation that comes up there is an answer in the Bible. Many are in relationships that need to stop. Hanging around the wrong person can bring much unneeded pain to our lives. Choose your friends wisely. Find friends that encourage you and not discourage you. If you don’t have someone like that, then always remember that Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than any brother. We can find the peace we need when we keep focused on Jesus. When we walk in fear and doubt it simply means that we don’t trust God. Have you been in that place? Then ask God to forgive you, and start believing that He has a good plan for your life. Remember, He loves you more than anyone and always wants the best for you. Let His joy rise up in you. It is your strength! Be blessed to be a blessing!
Be blessed to be a blessing!
August 11, 2019
In the book of Hebrews, it tells us that God rewards those that diligently seek him. Jeremiah also says you will find God if you search for Him with your whole heart. Many don’t believe in God, and until they search for Him they won’t find Him. Diligence is defined as careful and persistent work or effort. These scriptures simply mean you keep seeking until you find the one that has the answers. It means conscientious, thoroughness, steadfastness. It means that you don’t quit. Life is full of tests and trials my friends. It has been that way since the beginning. God could have come into the garden when Satan tempted Eve, and driven him out of the garden but God doesn’t work that way. He does not want to pull our strings like puppets and make us jump as he pulls. He wants us to learn his will through studying His word. It doesn’t come easy, and many don’t know where to begin. Reading the scriptures feeds your spirit being, and causes it to become stronger. Prayer is also important. Prayer is simply talking to God and letting Him know what is on your mind. He wants this more than you can imagine. He wants to communicate with his children. God wants to reward us when we purposely take time to seek Him. If you have ever been in love, you will remember that you wanted to spend time with that person. You wanted to study their face and expressions. You wanted to know everything about them. You desired to be with them more than anyone else. This is how it is with God. He loves us more than anyone else could. He wants to spend time with us, lavishing his love on us. Many have been taught that God has a big stick and will beat us up for failing. That is not the God of the Bible. Yes, there is discipline when we sin, but it is always given to bring us back to him—not push us away from Him. I guarantee the more you spend time with God, the more you will want to spend time with him. He is the only one that will never leave you. He is the only one that will never forsake you. If he has a refrigerator, your picture would be there. He has a great plan for you, but you will have to spend time with Him to find out what it is. If you haven’t been doing this, don’t put it off. Life is so much sweeter when you spend time with the one that loves you. Be blessed to be a blessing!
July 28, 2019
Recently we closed our Church thrift shop, that had been a part of our ministry for over 14 years. As we sorted through things we found so much stuff of little value that had accumulated over a period of many years. Our time to move was limited, so a lot of things couldn’t get sorted before we closed, and we had to pack them up. Now we find the task to go through these “things”, and decide what is worth keeping, selling, or pitching out. There were probably a thousand pens and pencils and markers. Many didn’t work but had not been thrown away. There were papers that had been saved for years, that had little to no value that also had to be pitched out. Then there were tools. Some of them we didn’t even know what they were used for. (you can smile at that one). It actually became fun for me to throw a lot of things away. There was a time that I would not have done it, but this was the time to do it. As I sit here tonight writing this, I am reminded how often in our lives we hold on to something that we think has little or no value, but we just can’t let it go. Many times those things are “little” sins. You know, like a little anger, or a little unforgiveness, or a little bitterness, or maybe even a little greed. We tuck these things away in our heart, but there is a day that comes that they have to be dealt with. You see my friends, these things build up, and eventually you can’t even reach the heart because it is so full of those little things. We may not think about the things that bring us defeat, but sin becomes the clutter in our lives that keeps us from putting the good things into our heart. Have you done a “house cleaning” lately? Perhaps you hadn’t thought about it, but it should be done daily, and not be put off. It is a lot harder to clean up our lives when it is “overloaded” with useless “junk”. Some things take time to put into order, but you have to start somewhere. How? Ask God what needs to go. Ask Him to show you the areas of your soul that are full of the little things that cause you to fail. I can tell you from experience, that it is a good feeling to let go of the garbage and have a clean heart. Perhaps you haven’t thought of those things as garbage, but they are. You can’t imagine carrying garbage on your back, but sin is like that. It eventually causes everything around it to stink. So, I suggest you take a “house” inventory. Your life is God’s house to live in. Make it a place that you can be sure He will be at home in. Don’t put it off. Decide now to get things right, and I guarantee you won’t regret it! Be blessed to be a blessing!
July 14, 2019
The scriptures tell us that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. What is it that you think about? Are you consumed with thinking on things that draw you to God, or pull you away? There are so many different kind of addictions my friends. We talk about the drug addict or the one addicted to alcohol or maybe even pornography, but addictions come in many forms. Some are addicted to their work. They think it, eat it, and dream it. It controls their lives. Others are addicted to food. I had a friend that weighed over 400 pounds. He had broken his leg as a young boy, and was confined to bed for several months and all he did was eat sweets. He put on a lot of weight. As an adult he was extremely obese. When he sat on my sofa it creaked. He was addicted to food, and blamed his problem on the broken leg as a child. He only thought about the next meal. He was addicted to food! Then there are those that are addicted to the mirror. They constantly are preening themselves and concerned that they have a flaw in their skin or makeup. They wouldn’t dream leaving the house without spending hours getting ready. Then there are those addicted to clothing. They aren’t happy unless they have the latest clothing, and sometimes spending money like it was growing on trees. So, you see, there are many addictions. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. What is it that fires you up? If it is anything other than God, then you have an idol in your life. God must always be first. He desires for you to have a close intimate relationship with Him. Are you putting your time into getting to know Him better? Are you desiring to have a closer walk with him? He wants that for you. It begins with spending time with Him in prayer and just listening to him speak to you, and reading His word to learn more about Him. He has every provision that you will need. He doesn’t mind that you have things, but He does mind when things have you. He must be first. If you aren’t putting Him first already, then determine to change. Your life will never be the same. Remember, as we seek Him first, and his Kingdom, and His righteousness, the things will come. Be blessed to be a blessing!
One of the hardest places to be is in the hallway, waiting for a door to open but the other door has shut. Oftentimes it is a very lonely place. You often may not even feel the Lord is there with you. God uses these times to draw us closer to him, even if we don’t feel his presence. It is in these hours that our faith is stretched and we become totally dependent upon Him. We feel stripped of everything that matters. Oftentimes, we have suffered great loss when we are in this place. Perhaps you are there this very moment. Maybe a loved one has died and you don’t know what to do, and you question if you have the strength to go forward. Perhaps you have lost a job and you are waiting for another job to come. Finances can be gone and this can lead to depression. Whatever the situation may be in your life, I do know this: Jesus said he would never leave us or forsake us. He alone is provider. He alone brings joy. He alone brings peace. He alone is the source of love. Perhaps you are in this place because you have depended upon yourself instead of God. If that is the case, then I suggest that you ask God to forgive you. He is as close as the mention of his name. In this transition place one often wants to quit on life. This is exactly what Satan wants you to do. He will tell you that you are a failure, and that no one would care if you ceased to exist. He may even tempt you to “end it all” and be out of your misery. No, my friend, this is not the time to quit. God is allowing this time for you to come to Him, and receive your strength from Him. He has a plan, and knows exactly what you need, when you need it, and where it will lead. The Apostle Paul tried to go in several directions thinking it was the right way, but the Holy Spirit stopped him each time. There was a plan, but God had to put all of the pieces together, in his timing for it to all come together. Think about Jesus, he had to wait until the right time for his ministry to start, but it started with another preacher named John. Then there was the wilderness experience where he hungered and was tempted by Satan. All of this had to take place so he could understand the suffering we go through! He knows what it is like to be in the place you are in, and will safely help you through this season of your life. So, just breathe and say the name “Jesus”, and let Him help you through this period of time. He is as close as the mention of his name! Be blessed to be a blessing.
Many people are going through trying times. Some are experiencing severe health problems. Others are stretched financially and many are experiencing depression. Families are in crisis with relationships deteriorating and homes are broken apart every day. There is much jealousy and hatred through the world. Even within the Church there is much dissent. People are addicted to so many things and often make excuses for their wrong behavior. Many are at their wits’ end. Their souls are melted because of troubles. The Psalms talks about this. This kind of thing has been going on since the Garden of Eden. Sin comes in many forms and so do the excuses for sin. We must realize that all those that make the decision to follow Christ will be persecuted. If you aren’t being persecuted for your faith, then perhaps you aren’t letting anyone know about it. We are in a spiritual war my friends. Satan is the one that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He doesn’t play fair. Unlike Satan that attacks us in the natural realm, our weapons of defense are not fleshly. They are mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds. What is a stronghold? It is anything that you can’t get the victory in. It keeps happening. The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay that way. We have the answers through the promises of God. God does have a good plan for each of us, but it takes a surrendered life to fulfill it. Yes, there will always be problems, but there is also a solution to each one. Faith is not a quick fix. Faith takes work! It must be developed like a muscle, and used regularly to work. Without faith it is impossible to please God, so I recommend developing it. When we focus on the problem, it will only get bigger. We must retrain our minds to focus on the promises that God gives us. He wants us to succeed. He knows what is necessary for us to grow, and strengthen our faith, so trust him! Don’t let the problems that look like giants intimidate you. Take the Word of God and sling it at the problem, and watch God take that giant down. God has a plan for health, finances, and every other issue we face. We must seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness then the other things will come together. Don’t give up! God is a know it all, and He will help you through the trials to bring you the victory! Be blessed to be a blessing!
CliJJune 2, 2019
Every day we prepare for something. Even if you are retired, you prepare. You might prepare food or even prepare to take a nap. Life is full of preparation. We seem to take a great deal of time when it comes to preparing what we eat. We go to the grocery story with lists, and check the things off that we find and purchase. Then we take time to prepare the food that we bought so that it will meet our particular tastes. Many spend hours in the kitchen preparing for a meal. We often set the table with plates, cups and silverware, and have everything ready and prepared to sit down and enjoy the results of our preparation. There are other preparations too, such as preparing yourself with education in the field that you may choose to pursue. You may prepare in boot camp if you are in the military, so when you go to your place of assignment you are prepared to do your job. There really is not a day that we don’t prepare for something. Yet, there is a preparation that is more important than any of these. Have you prepared yourself for the second coming of Jesus Christ? He is coming back soon, for a bride without spot or blemish. Have you prepared yourself for that day? If we take the time to prepare for the things of the spirit that we do in the things of the natural, we would all be better prepared. Often we put the spiritual things off thinking that we will do them some day. We let the cares of the world and the daily grind of life take priority over the things that truly count. Most of us don’t like to face the fact that one day we will leave this earthly body and stand before God. What we do before we get there will determine what happens when we stand in that place. When we stand before God , He will not ask us what kind of food we ate, or what kind of house we live in our what kind of college degree or work we did. He will ask us one simple question. What did you do with the life He gave to us through Jesus Christ. It will not be a place of excuses such as “I wish I had”. It will be too late then. We must choose this day who we will serve, self or God. A half-hearted preparation will not cut it on that day. Make a determination today, if you haven’t already done so, to prepare yourself. Start with salvation. That is the beginning. Then prepare daily by studying the Bible. Eternity is a long time! Don’t delay, for tomorrow may be too late. Be blessed to be a blessing!
May 26, 2019
I come from a family of patriots. My great grandfather, Melancthan Rozell fought in the Civil War. My father was in World War 1. He enlisted under age and was only in a short time, but wanted to do his part . My two brothers were career Navy men, and were in the Viet Nam war. My husband and his brother are both Navy veterans. I have a brother-in-law that was career Air Force. My granddaughter served time in Afghanistan, and I have several great nephews that are currently in the military. As a young girl, the town I grew up in had a Memorial Day parade, and it always included the veterans from World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War, the Viet Nam war, and it always brought tears to my eyes when the honor guards carried the flag. We were taught in school the pledge of allegiance and to salute the flag when it was presented. There was a certain feeling of respect that came when I honored the country of my birth. Many take the freedoms in the country for granted. There have been those that came against our soldiers for doing their “duty”. They mocked them and spit on them. My friends, soldiers follow orders, and obey those that are their superiors. They were doing the job they were called to do, and we must honor them even if we disagree with the war. Many lost lives and limbs and gave their all for the freedom of the United States, and freedom of our allies. There is another war that is still raging. It is the war of good vs. evil. It is the war of darkness vs. light. It is God against Satan. Satan has a goal, and it is to steal, kill and destroy. His plans and purposes are never good. He represents evil. He made his choice, and was given the verdict of separation from God. We are also in a war for our own soul. We have to make the choice who our “commander in chief” will be. We each are given the choice to choose with no puppet strings attached. Unlike the military, we can advance fast in whichever kingdom we choose. We can be in the army of light and see God move mountains for us, or we can be in the opposing evil empire that only wants to destroy us and others. Whichever one we choose we will reap the results. Many are weary from the battles, and we must encourage those on the frontline to stay strong for the sake of those they are in charge of us. It isn’t a battle to be taken lightly. Which army are you in? Are you sold out or have you gone AWOL? Choose wisely!
May 19, 2019
I recently bought some flowers with my husband to put into our yard. They were in the trays waiting to be transplanted. When we bought them they were full of blooms, but it has been several days between the purchase and the time of transplanting them. During that time they were watered, but many of the blooms fell off, and just the greenery was visible. It reminded me of how people get rooted in Jesus, and they begin to bloom, but they don’t get separated unto God to grow. The crowdedness of life causes their growth to be choked out and the excitement and “color” of the new birth fades. They may have good intentions, just like we did when we purchased the flowers, but a plant must be maintained to give it room to grow. Life is like this my friends. We must water those we love so they will bloom and become flowerful. We must be watered ourselves by those that love us so we can become flowerful. How do we water each other? We must do it with care. Like these plants, it takes time. They must be taken from the original little small container carefully, and transplanted into a larger container so they can be allowed to grow. My husband had purchased some other plants earlier this year, just like these, and transplanted them early. They have become so beautiful, and have grown into a glorious garden of color. They had been given the chance to become what they were intended to become. Many of us choose to stay in a small pot, which limits what God has for us. In saying this I don’t mean leaving your church. I mean that you don’t allow God to grow you and mature you right where you are at. Many want to stick with their old “sin” habits, and are content to be “comfortable”. Being comfortable is not what will bring growth and change. Change only comes from growth. If that is where you are at, I would ask you to consider asking God to help you to desire change. Change will bring a greater life than you can imagine. And to the leaders, in the Church—during the process of change, we must take care as leaders so that the person doesn’t get discouraged during the change. We must love them and water them so they can become their full potential, yet help them stretch their faith and grow! Remember, God says one plants, one waters but God brings the increase. Be a planter and a waterer for Jesus! Be blessed to be a blessing!
May 12, 2019 a tribute to Mothers
As we give honor to Mother’s today, I want to honor my Mother. As a little girl I was always taken to Church and Sunday School. There was never any discussion about it, because that was the right thing to do. I never questioned her, I went with her, and am thankful that this was something I was trained to do. My Mother did not become a Christian to much later, but she knew that going to God’s house was the right thing to do to train a child. We got cleaned up on Saturday night, and so did our shoes and clothing. We never went to Church casually. We wore our best clothing to honor the God that we would learn about in Church. I am very thankful for this training. It introduced me to so much more than just a casual commitment. When I had my own family, I had gotten out of the habit of going to Church, but one day I realized that my children would never know about God if I didn’t teach them and take them to Church. I was not setting the example that my Mother had set for me. I made the choice to do the right thing, like my Mother did, to take them to Church, and never stopped doing that. I want to salute all of the Godly Mothers that sacrifice their time and energy to raise their children the right way. Children do not naturally evolve into Christians. There must be training and nurturing done to show them the path. Even though my Mother did not have salvation until later, she did the right thing. I had the privilege to pray with my Mother later in her life and lead her to Christ. I will always be thankful for that honor. She got me on the right path, and then I showed her the way later. Are you nurturing those that you love? Are you teaching your children the right way? If not it is never too late. Make a decision today to be the one to guide your children and grandchildren in the ways of the Lord so they too will find the right path. Be blessed to be a blessing!
May 5, 2019
I rarely read any newspapers, or listen to the news on television. I recently added an app to my phone for local news and weather, and it sends updates. As I opened this app up I was horrified to see headlines of what is going on around this area. Murders, children molested, missing persons, plagues, diseases out of control, and terrorism. If this doesn’t show us the time that we are living in, we are blind. I choose not read or listen to this stuff, because it can “infect” my spirit. No I don’t put my head in the sand and ignore the times we live in. I know the times we live in by listening to Holy Spirit and reading the word of God. How do we handle the stoning and killing of Christians, the destruction of Churches and so much more evil? The only answer is a close walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The last days were prophesied to be full of violence like it never has been. The last days were prophesied to be like Sodom and Gomorrah, and like the days that Noah lived in. We are there my friends, and the only way to live through the evil is to walk in the knowledge of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. We must not allow our minds to be saturated with the evil. We must saturate it with good. We must tune in to praise and worship. We must make the choice to walk in love and resist all temptations to hate. The only thing that changes sin is grace. The Word tells us where sin abounds that grace more than abounds. We must be light in the darkness. Many have lost their lives for Jesus Christ. They are being martyred every day in countries where it is illegal to be a Christian. We can make a difference in our little corner of the world. Make a choice to spread the good news instead of the bad news. Make a choice to witness every chance you can, and know that there will be those that receive and their lives will change. This is the only thing that will change evil. Choose to tune out the things of the world and spend time in the presence of God worshipping your creator, and you will see the peace come. The choice is yours. Be blessed to be a blessing!
April 28, 2019
The early followers of Jesus were called Disciples. What is a Disciple? A disciple is a person that is disciplined. We are made up of spirit, soul, and body. Discipline is necessary for all of “us” to become the very best in each of these three parts of who we are. First of all we deal with the spirit of man/woman. How do you discipline your spirit? The first step is for your spirit to be born again. Then, your spirit is disciplined by following the Spirit of God. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth. So, how do you know what truth is? You know truth by reading and studying the Word. Jesus wants us to crucify the flesh daily and be led by our spirit. When our spirits are in control, led by the Holy Spirit, we cannot fail. We do this by opening the ears of our spirit to listen to the guiding of Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth. Sounds simple, right? Well, it isn’t that simple, because we have to deal with the rest of “us”. The second part is our body. Our body likes to tell us what to do. It tells us where to go, what to eat, what to wear, and what to do with our senses—taste, touch, and feel. Our body, also, must come under control of the Holy Spirit if it is to be set apart, or disciplined by Jesus. We are to deny our body (flesh) the things that are not good for it, and the temptations that will always be there. How do we do that? Once again we do it by studying the Word and realizing what is good for us. Then we have to deal with the rest of “us”, the soul. That one is the hardest, because it is made up of the mind, the will, and the emotions. The mind always wants to figure things out, the will wants to do things its way, and the emotions get upset when things don’t go its way. How do we control the soul? The same way as the body and the spirit. We have to put it under the discipline of the Holy Spirit in order to walk the right way. This takes discipline, which is not a bad word. It is a word that is necessary to become the person led by the Holy Spirit and controlled by God’s leading. Easy? No, but it is possible or Jesus would not have said to do it. Any child that is not disciplined becomes out of control, and any disciple of God’s that does not discipline itself (in spirit, soul, and body) is also out of control. Learn discipline, and you learn how to live the victorious life of being Spirit led and not self led. Be blessed to be a blessing!
April 21, Resurrection Day
As we come together today we remember once again the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. Knowing the glory that lay ahead of him, he endured the suffering of the cross. He knew that on the third day he would rise from the dead and would be victorious. His death was not in vain. His suffering was not in vain. His torture and ridicule was not in vain. All that he went through was for you and I. The early Church saw his sufferings, but they also saw his resurrection. This is what kept them going in the cause for Christ. The power of his resurrection affected each of the early disciples. They knew that no matter what they would go through, even death, that there was something much better for them in the life beyond. They suffered stoning. They suffered crucifixion, they suffered beatings and most gave all of their earthly possessions for “the cause”. There was unity in the early Church because they had seen this resurrection power with their own eyes that gave them hope. How many of us truly have gone through anything like they did? I haven’t met anyone that could say they have, unless they were missionaries in third world countries that have endured imprisonment, and death for the gospel’s sake. Yes, my friends, we are a very soft example of true suffering. Most complain when the air conditioning doesn’t work. Many complain because the “Church” they go to doesn’t have everything for everyone from the toddler to the retiree. What is Church really all about? I would say it is a place you come to get equipped so you can face your assignment each and every day beyond the four walls. Today isn’t about Easter bunnies, or Easter clothing, Easter Eggs or candy. We have gone the way of the world with this day that we celebrate. Let us never forget what the resurrection is truly about. It is about a Savior that gave his life for our sin, but rose from the dead! Because he lives, we too can live. Let’s get back to the true purpose of the Church, which is to spread the good news of the gospel to a lost and dying world, not just on a holiday, but every day of the week. Let us be “the Church” instead of just going to Church then we will see a move of God. Be blessed to be a blessing!
April 14, 2019
Have you ever had a bad week? Perhaps everything you tried to do just didn’t go the way that you wanted it to. Everyone goes through these kind of weeks. You can be guaranteed if Jesus is in your life that Satan will try to mess your life up. John 10:10 says that Satan’s assignment is to steal, kill, and destroy. He will never give up until you take your last breath. He will try to steal your thoughts on God and replace them with fear, doubt, and unbelief. Then after you entertain those thoughts, he will tell you that you aren’t worthy to be a Christian because you have fear and unbelief. He comes at us from every angle. Then, he will try to steal your money. If he doesn’t have a thief take it personally then he will see to it that you spend it wrong, or lose your job and won’t have any to spend! He will try to destroy everything good in your lives my friends. Then, when he has destroyed everything he seeks to kill you. It will be a continual battle until you know how to defeat him. How? Is it easy? No, it isn’t easy. You must immerse yourself into the Word of God and find the promises for every situation that you are dealing with, then you must fight the fight of faith to make those promises yours. He may try to defeat you, but he cannot when you know your authority as a believer. In the same verse that says that the thief comes to do his dirty work, it also says that God came to give you life, and that life more abundantly. God is not going to withhold anything to the believer that seeks after him first. Things should never be your first priority. God is who we must seek after and then he takes care of all of the things we need. God wants us to be strong and courageous, never doubting his promises. He wants good for you and me, and wants to give you your hearts desires. The key is to delight yourself in him, find the promises in the scriptures, then stand on those promises until they manifest. It may take a while, but God never withholds from those that truly seek him with their whole heart. Be blessed to be a blessing!
April 7, 2019
We are commanded by God to be fruitful. There are two kinds of fruit. One is of the spiritual nature and one is of the natural nature. The fruit of the Spirit is what we do personally that reflects what is on the inside. They include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. These are the things that every Christian should strive to have in their lives. Yet, the fruit of a Christian is more than just these nine. The fruit of a Christian is another Christian. When God spoke to Adam and Eve he told them to be fruitful and multiply. That mean to have children and repopulate the Earth. A Christian should be repopulating the kingdom of God. In Matthew 28 we are given a commission to go ye therefore into all the world and make disciples. It is not a suggestion, it is a mandate from Jesus. If every person that claims to be a Christian reproduced themselves each year, this world would be entirely different. We would see so many lives transformed because of this. Sad to say, most Christians have never shared the love of Jesus with anyone. How about you? Are you fruitful for Jesus? Do you take his mandate seriously, or do you shrug it off and say well I don’t know how, or maybe some other excuse? If you know the Lord then someone, somewhere, prayed for you to become a child of God. Are you asking God to use you in his Kingdom? Are you equipped to reproduce? If not, you lack knowing what is truly God’s heart. With all of the bibles and books that are available, we are without excuse. I challenge you today to get to know the Lord in a more intimate way, and be determined to make a difference for him. I am not talking about being religious. It is about relationship. If you say you love someone then you introduce them to your friends. If you love God start by introducing your friends to the one that saved your soul. Don’t say I wish I had before it is too late. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. We must work in the field for Jesus while we still have the freedom to do it. Let’s all become determined to make a difference and take back souls from the kingdom of darkness and see them translated into the Kingdom of God’s light, one soul at a time! Be blessed to be a blessing!
March 31, 2019
Guilt is something many deal with because of the things they have done wrong in life. Guilt can cause people to turn to many sources other than the one source that can truly help them. Many turn away from God believing that He could never forgive them for their “sin”. Many drown their guilt in alcohol and drugs. Some become workaholics, thinking that if they work harder perhaps God would care for them. Some become hateful over what has happened and withdraw from everything that represents God. Many even say they hate God because he didn’t keep them from doing what caused the guilt. The truth of the matter is when we fail in life we should run to God immediately. He is always waiting for us with open arms to forgive us for our failures, which is sin. God does not want you to live in guilt and be bound by what has happened to you in the past. In fact, when you ask him to forgive you, the sin is washed away. It is as if he went back to where it happened and blotted it out. The scriptures tell us that he blots out all of our iniquities. What an awesome thing to realize that God takes it out of the record book to never be remembered any more. If God forgives and wipes it away then the guilt comes from the one that hates you—Satan. He will always try to torment you with your past. He wants you to dwell on your failures and stay bound up by them. God, on the other hand tells us that he sets us free. We once were on the auction block of sin, sold out to Satan, with no hope. When we asked Jesus into our lives, he paid for our sin, and bought us back from the sin slave market. We now can walk in truth and grace. The Apostle Paul instructs us to forget those things that are behind and press on. If anyone could have felt guilt, he did. He had Christians murdered and destroyed because of their faith. When he received Christ as Savior everything changed. He realized like you and I that he had to let the past go. Using his example is a great lesson for us. If he could let go and be used by God in spite of his past, you and I can also. So let the past be buried and don’t go grave digging! Walk in the newness of forgiveness that God so freely offers you, free of guilt, and share it with someone else! Be blessed to be a blessing!
March 24, 2019
What is your passion? Have you ever taken up a cause? Some are involved with politics, some are involved with helping the homeless. Some are involved with helping the school system, while some are involved with local government, or civic organizations. Some are involved with their Church. Whatever your passion is, this is what you are controlled by. Some people wake up angry every day, mad about everything and spout off about it to everyone they come in contact with. Rarely do they ever do anything to change things because anger is their passion, and if they aren’t angry they seem to think that they have no purpose. The scriptures tell us to be angry but not to sin. There are things that God hates my friends and Proverbs 6: 16-19 lists them. God hates false witnesses and he that sows discord among the brethren. Another thing is feet running to do mischief. When we get a passion for the things of God, and study his word, our lives will change. The bible is like a road map, taking us from one revelation to another. It will guide us and direct us into all truth. It will light our way when we are in darkness. It will direct our steps and give us insight. It doesn’t come easily. Passion is birthed through determination to press through to the promises of God. A spirit-controlled life is the life of passion and success. When we direct our passion through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will be fulfilled. We must make a determination to be all that God wants us to be. We must be passionately in love with the Lord and his holy scriptures, and study them to know our purpose. God leads us one breath at a time. He is never early and he is never late when it comes to direction. Whatever it is that you believe that God is calling you to do, take the time to seek first God’s Kingdom and righteousness and then apply his principles to the passion he has given you! You can never fail being led by God. Be blessed to be a blessing!
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!