DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD…USE YOUR HEAD!

Have you ever taken the bait and entered an argument in which there was no possibility of success because the other party showed little or no possibility of actually hearing your point of view? Well, the next time that occurs, refuse to ‘lose your head’ and enter into an argument; use your head.

For example, Karl Benz drove his automotive invention through the streets of Munich, Germany in 1886. He had named his car the Mercedes Benz in honor of his daughter, Mercedes. However, his automobile angered the citizens because it was quite noisy and scared the children and horses. Pressured by the citizens, local officials established a speed limit for “horseless carriages” of 3.5 miles per hour within the city limits and 7 miles an hour outside.

Benz knew he could never develop a market for his car and compete against horses if he had to creep along at such slow speeds, so he invited the mayor of the town for a ride. The mayor accepted. Benz had arranged for a milkman to park his horse and wagon on a certain street and, as Benz and the mayor drove by, he would whip up his horse and pass by with a mocking laughter. The plan worked perfectly because the mayor became quite furious and demanded that Benz overtake the milk wagon. Benz apologized but said he was not permitted to go any faster because of the speed law. Very soon afterwards that law was changed.

My friends, don’t be confrontational or argumentative; instead use your head.

Thanks, Wayne M. Bass

Have a blessed day!

🗣 A GREAT #LECTURE. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY & PRAYERFULLY.

👉BATHROOM A BIG 👉LESSON TO LEARN

HMMMMM🤔 EVERYTHING IN LIFE TEACHES. GO TO THE #BATHROOM AND LEARN THE INTEGRITY OF THE BATHROOM.*
Have you ever thought of INTEGRITY and CHARACTER of the BATHROOM?

🗣WHAT IS A BATHROOM?

👉1. A BATHROOM IS AN ENCLOSED ROOM.
The BATHROOM is a separate Part of the House that is PURPOSELY DESIGNED for Bathing.
Is A small Apartment #CARVED OUT TO SEE OUR NAKEDNESS, FAULT and ACCOMMODATE OUR DIRT.
🗣Beloved, Are You A BATHROOM?
Do YOU COVER PEOPLE or YOU EXPOSE THEM? 🗣 Are YOU A DEFENDER or AN OFFENDER?

👉2. BATHROOM REFRESHES..
Everyone of Us Comes out of the BATHROOM Better than we Entered. THE BATHROOM is a place of RELIEF and REFRESH.
🗣Beloved, Are You sure That People get Better anytime they COME IN CONTACT WITH YOU or they GET BITTERED? Learn from Your #BATHROOM*.

👉3. BATHROOM IS A SECRET KEEPER.
I have Never come Across Any BATHROOM That SHOUT and MAKE NOISE or EXPOSE Anyone’s SECRET or #NAKEDNESS To others. Once You move out of the Bathroom, no one knows what had Happened. In fact let one Thousand people Take Bath in the same BATHROOM,* I can Guarantee You, It will never DIVULGE Your Secret, Figure or Nakedness to another Person. The SCARS which others Cannot See, BATHROOM Sees and knows It.
🗣Beloved, Are You TRUST WORTHY, RESPONSIBLE or #DEPENDABLE? Learn from Your BATHROOM*.

👉4. BATHROOM TOLERATES OUR EXCESSES.
Do you know that the BATHROOM is VERY Tolerant? It doesn’t matter how DIRTY and SMELLY YOU ARE in the *BATHROOM, it will never take ADVANTAGE OF YOUR CARELESSNESS.
🗣Beloved, Do You FLARE UP at the SLIGHTEST MISTAKES and ERRORS from OTHERS?
🗣Are You Patient Enough to BEAR and #TOLERATE THE WEAKNESS OF OTHERS? Learn from the *BATHROOM.*

👉5. BATHROOM IS ACCOMMODATING.
Do You notice that we only RUN to the TOILET, only when we Need it? Yet, it will never BLOCK YOU from ACCESSING IT. The BATHROOM *will never IGNORE or REJECT YOU. If you like Abandon it for Years any Day YOU FEEL LIKE GOING BACK TO USE IT, it will Accept, and Accommodate You.Your place and space will be RESERVED for YOU.
🗣Beloved, How often do You #FORGIVE?
🗣How QUICK do You FORGET OFFENCE?
🗣How LARGE is your HEART❤?
🗣Do YOU CORRECT IN LOVE or IN ANGER?
*Learn from the BATHROOM.

👉6. BATHROOM FIX AND FIRM.
The Fact that we have MOBILE TOILETS does not change the INTEGRITY of the BATHROOM. #BATHROOM will never Beg anyone to Use it. It will Never Shift Ground for any Reason. If You are ready to Come, It will Accept You, but for HER to RUN after YOU is not POSSIBLE. Learn from the BATHROOM..

👉7. BATHROOM HAS ENTRY AND EXIT. Bathroom will never Retain any Rubbish and Trash You give to it. The Entrance to the Bathroom is always Wide, while the #Channel of Transferring YOUR DIRT is small. The BATHROOM has A LARGE HEART and will Never keep RECORD of WRONGS.
🗣Beloved, How LARGE Is YOUR HEART❤?
🗣Do You have Integrity at All?
🗣Can We TRUST YOUR WORDS?
🗣Why are You Easily INFLUENCED?
🗣Are You not COMPROMISING in the face of TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS, Especially when people IGNORE YOU? Learn from the *BATHROOM.

👉Lastly, You Cannot Provoke BATHROOM, as You can do in the LIVING ROOM. If you like MAKE NOISE, SING, SHOUT, KEEP SILENT, SPLASH WATER in the BATHROOM, it will never Complain.*

🗣Do You also know that #BATHROOM Without any Complaints Whatsoever Command Respect? When You use it You take Good Care of It. If YOU do Your part in the LIFE of others You will be CLEANED and SPRAYED with GOOD PERFUME and DEODORANTS.

🤔Hmmmmmmm…..Do YOU see the CORRELATION between the BATHROOM and HUMAN LIFE? Let us learn from the BATHROOM…*

🗣May God Almighty Help Us and Give Us SPIRIT Of Patience and ACCOMMODATING Like The #BATHROOM In Jesus Name🙏🙏😀😀

Have a great day!

My mom had a lot of problems.

She did not sleep and she felt exhausted. She was irritable, grumpy, and bitter. She was always sick, until one day, suddenly, she changed.

One day my dad said to her:

  • I’ve been looking for a job for three months and I haven’t found anything, I’m going to have a few beers with friends.

My mom replied:

  • It’s okay.

My brother said to her:

  • Mom, I’m doing poorly in all subjects at the University …

My mom replied:

  • Okay, you will recover, and if you don’t, well, you repeat the semester, but you pay the tuition.

My sister said to her:

  • Mom, I smashed the car.

My mom replied:

  • Okay daughter, take it to the workshop, find how to pay and while they fix it, get around by bus or subway.

Her daughter-in-law said to her:

  • Mother-in-law, I come to spend a few months with you.

My mom replied:

  • Okay, settle in the living room couch and look for some blankets in the closet.

All of us gathered worried to see these reactions coming from Mom

We suspected that she had gone to the doctor and that she was prescribe some pills called “I don’t care anymore, about 1000 mg.”

Perhaps she was overdosing on these!

We then proposed to do an “intervention” to my mother to remove her from any possible addiction she had towards some anti-tantrum medication.

But we all were surprise, when we all gathered around her and my mom explained:

“It took me a long time to realize that each person is responsible for their life, it took me years to discover that my anguish, my mortification, my depression, my courage, my insomnia and my stress, did not solve their problems but aggravated mine.

I am not responsible for the actions of others, but I am responsible for the reactions I express to that.

Therefore, I came to the conclusion that my duty to myself is to remain calm and let each one solve what corresponds to them.

I have taken courses in yoga, meditation, miracles, human development, mental hygiene, vibration and neurolinguistic programming, and in all of them, I found a common denominator: finally they all lead to the same point.

And, it is that I can only interfere with myself, you all have the necessary resources to solve your own lives problems.

I can only give you my advice if you ask me. Then it depends on you to follow it or not.

So, from now on, I cease to be: the receptacle of your responsibilities, the sack of your guilt, the laundress of your remorse, the advocate of your faults, the wall of your lamentations, the depositary of your duties, who should solve your problems or a spare tire every time to fulfill your responsibilities.
From now on, I declare all independent and self-sufficient adults.

Everyone at my mom’s house was speechless.

From that day on, the family began to function better, because everyone in the house knows exactly what it is that they need to do.

For some of us this is hard, because we’ve grown up being the caregivers feeling reasonable for others, when really we are only responsible for ourselves.
Have a blessed day!

So I was having this conversation with God moments ago. We began to cover a difficult subject matter. In my mind I was thinking, the obedience required to comply with his request is not going to be easy.

Then all of a sudden, this fully grown moth flies towards me and lands on my desk. I kill it with my bible. Then I think, how did this survive the winter we’ve been having?

Here comes God, “if the moth can live out of season, don’t tell me what you can’t do! Bend your nature to my Will.”

Then I get this image in my head of me running.

As I run, there’s no floor under my feet. And God is like, “you don’t have time to look down or to check every step. You’re going to have to trust me to support your feet while you run this race with the speed to execute.”

“It’s not natural, it’s spiritual.”

This is me telling you, it’s 2023 and you’ll need to run faster now. Pray for more Grace.

Thanks Peter Griffin

Have a blessed day!

A New Year to Live For God!

As this past year seems to have “come and gone…”
I wonder where in life, do I belong?

It seems like yesterday
that I was a young man…
“I had the world in the palm of my hand.”

I had goals, ambitions and dreams.
I wanted to enjoy life and do a lot of things.

As this year has quickly went “goodbye..”.
I gaze up into the beauty of the stars in the sky.

Another new year and
another “resolution.”
I find myself with another problem
with no “solution.”

I think about a God… Who made
all of this a possibility!
He’s offered to me love, hope
and tranquility!

I’m making a new commitment,
to God, January 1st.
No matter if things get better…
Or things get worse…

I’m giving my life and everything to God above.
And ask him to bless our home
with mercy and love.

I’m going to try to live for him the best way I know.
And seek his blessings wherever I go!

I’m going to give to God a love
and a commitment.
It’s only in him where I’ll find true fulfillment!

There’s something important,
that I’ll remember…
God is with me, January
thru December!

Have a blessed year!

Thanks, Jim Pemberton

OUR AMAZING GIFT

Long ago, in Persia there ruled a wise and good king who sincerely loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived and wanted to know about their hardships. So often he would dress in the clothes of a working man or beggar and visit the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler. One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar and he ate the coarse food that the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful and kind words to him, then he left. Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, “I am your king!” The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the course food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts, but to me you have given yourself!” -Source Unknown.

We shall forever treasure and worship the wonderful King of glory, our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself freely and fully for you and me. What a marvelous and miraculous Savior! That’s why the Word reveals Him as “the indescribable gift.” (II Corinthians 9:15)

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU?

The sage, King Solomon, penned something that sounds entirely pessimistic: “Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2) Solomon’s statement suggests that at its core, life can feel rather hollow, laborious and unfulfilling. The tone of Ecclesiastes seemed to be so focused on negativity that it nearly failed to make into the canonized volume of The Holy Writ.

Although life can be a truly positive and productive experience, Solomon was merely stating the obvious fact that the frantic pursuit of temporal success, the passionate embrace of all things material, can only result in frustration, disappointment, and in some cases deep despair.

For example, Boris Becker was at the very top of the tennis world, yet he was on the brink of suicide. At the pinnacle of success, he remarked, “I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed. It’s the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string.”

Unfortunately Becker is not the only one to experience that deep sense of emptiness. The emotional ripples of a superficial and unsatisfying life seem to pervade our society. Jack Higgens, acclaimed author of “The Eagle Has Landed,” was asked what he would like to have known as a little boy. His response was striking and informative: “That when you get to the top, there’s nothing there.”

My friend, if you are in the frenetic pursuit of acquiring more-and-more in life, perhaps you should redirect your thinking and give serious consideration to the things that are eternal. Consider the words of the Apostle James: “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14) Therefore, according to the Apostle Paul, it is advisable to “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) FOCUS.

Have a blessed day!

WHAT ARE YOU MAKING OF YOURSELF?

Years ago, I became acquainted with Henri Nouwen, a former professor at Yale Divinity. He penned a classic theological treatise entitled, “The Wounded Healer.” In it he recalls a tale from ancient India about four royal brothers who decided each would master a special and unique ability. Time went by, and the brothers met to reveal what they had learned and accomplished.

“I have mastered science,” said the first, “by which I can take but a bone of some creature and create the flesh that goes with it.”

“I,” said the second, “know how to grow that creature’s skin and hair if there is flesh on its bones.”

The third said, “I am able to create its limbs if I have the flesh, skin, and hair.”

“And I,” boasted the fourth, “know how to give life to that creature when its form is complete.”

Thereupon the brothers went into the jungle to find a bone so they could demonstrate their extraordinary skills. As fate would have it, they found a lion’s bone. One added flesh to the bone; the second grew hide and hair; the third completed it with powerful limbs; and the fourth gave the lion life. Shaking its mane vigorously, that ferocious beast arose and jumped on his creators. He killed them all and vanished contentedly into the jungle.

The lesson in this fictional tale? We, too, have the capacity to create what can ultimately devour us. Goals and dreams can consume us. Possessions and property can turn and destroy us–unless we first seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, allowing Him to breathe into what we are making out of this life. Think, as I ask again.

WHAT ARE YOU MAKING OF YOURSELF?

Have a blessed day!

Depending on who you talk to, construction zones are not the places of peace and contentment. They are chaotic and dangerous. Most people will say that they are messed up places, dangerous places, and oftentimes unsightly places to look at. I may not look like much to 👉You, But God isn’t finished. You may look in the mirror of your soul and not like what you see, “But God isn’t finished with you yet. When I say construction, God wants to fashion our lives according to his image, power, and purpose. You will never be who you are purposed to be without Christ. Some say: “I’m who I am because of hard work, dedication, education, dedication, & experience.” Truth is, Jesus can use these things in our life, but He is the one that molds us, and shapes us. Family, friends, & others say you can’t do it, and never can. Thank God, He says you can. He created us, He should have the final say! Praise him for his mighty acts (The construction work He is doing in me and in you right now): .Praise him according to his excellent greatness (He is ElHaGadol, the Great God).Tell somebody Please be patient with me God is not through with me yet, but when God gets through with me I shall come forth in His image and likeness. But in the mean-time you are looking at me, but it doth not yet appear what I shall be because right now I AM UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

Written by: Patricia Simmons

Have a blessed day!

ENCOURAGING IS A GIFT

You may never know the seed blessings you have planted in someone’s life, just by deciding to be an on-purpose encourager. Consider the following true story.

Forty thousand fans were on hand in the Oakland stadium when Rickey Henderson tied Lou Brock’s career record of stolen bases. According to USA Today, Lou Brock, who left baseball in 1979, had actively followed Henderson’s baseball career and was extremely excited about his success. Realizing that Rickey would set a new record, Brock said, “I’ll be there. Do you think I’m going to miss it? Rickey did in 12 years what took me 19 to do. He’s amazing!”

The greatest success stories in life are actually the people who can rejoice in the successes of others. What Lou Brock did in cheering on Rickey Henderson should be a way of life, both in our natural families and in the family of God. Few circumstances give us a better opportunity to exhibit God’s grace than when someone succeeds and surpasses us in an area of our own strength and achievement.

My friend, be an encourager. It’s a marvelous blessing to others – in ways you may never know.

Have a great Holiday!

SPIRITUAL WARFARE!

STRATEGIES OF SATAN: THE BATTLE OVER THE WALLS
When Nehemiah determined to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, he met powerful opposition
from his enemies. When your determine to rebuild spiritual walls, you will face similar
opposition from your enemy, Satan. The strategies of the enemies of Nehemiah are identical to
the strategies Satan uses to attack spiritual walls. The attacks are divided into two main
categories: External attacks and internal attacks.
EXTERNAL ATTACKS:
These are attacks the enemy launches from without through others who are not part of the body
of Christ. Such attacks include:

  1. Direct criticism: Nehemiah 2:19-23.

The enemies criticized, “What do you think you are doing?” They were against the
reconstruction project and tried in every way to prevent it.

  1. Mocking and scorn: Nehemiah 4:1-3

Nehemiah became a “target for tongues.” The enemy tried to defeat him through the mocking
and scorn of others. Satan will use the tongue of others to discourage and defeat you.

  1. False accusations: Nehemiah 6:5-7
    The enemy attacked Nehemiah personally with false accusations. They accused him of being a
    rebel. Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren.” He will use others to accuse you as well as
    putting accusing thoughts in your mind.
  2. Diversion: Nehemiah 6:2
    The enemy tried to get Nehemiah to join them for a meeting. This meeting was a diversion tactic
    to call Nehemiah away from the work of rebuilding the wall. Diversion from the things of God
    and the work He has given you to do is still a chief strategy of Satan.
  3. Popular influence: Nehemiah 6:2
    The enemy said let “us” meet together, trying to influence Nehemiah with popular opinion.
    Popular opinion said Nehemiah was a rebel and the wall could not be built. Trying to get
    believers to conform to popular opinion, majority rule, and the principles of the world is a key
    strategy of Satan. A false prophet claiming to be of God was even used by the enemy to attack
    Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:10-13). Popular opinion would say to listen to a “prophet of God.” We
    are warned of false prophets who would divert us from God.
  4. Compromise: Nehemiah 5:14-19
    Nehemiah refused to compromise. He did not conform to wrong life styles and principles around
    him. His motto was, “So did not I, because of the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5:15). Satan
    promotes compromise. He tries to convince believers that something is all right because others
    are doing it or that such things really are not wrong.
  5. Threats and fear: Nehemiah 6:5-9
    The enemy made fearful threats against Nehemiah and his workers. Satan knows that fear
    paralyzes but faith energizes believers to be effective for God. When Nehemiah was offered a
    way to escape from the enemy, he refused to be fearful and retreat (Nehemiah 6:10-13). He did
    not take the easy way out. Satan tries to make believers flee in the face of opposition. When
    you are running you are retreating, and when you retreat you do not gain or hold spiritual
    ground.
    When you walk by faith you will encounter opposition of those who walk by sight.2:24
  6. Fighting and hindering: Nehemiah 4:8
    Open tactics of fighting and hindering were also used. The enemy is not always subtle in his
    attacks. Sometimes he comes right out in the open to fight and hinder.
  7. Conspiracy: Nehemiah 4:8; 6:2
    A conspiracy or plot was made against Nehemiah by the enemy. The enemy plots against your
    life also:
    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…
    (John 10:10)
  8. Attacks at vulnerable times: Nehemiah 4:6
    The greatest attack of the enemy came when the wall was half finished because this was a
    strategic (important) time. The enemy invades at strategic times when you are vulnerable (most
    open and affected by his attacks).
    • The Prophet Jonah became despondent after the greatest revival ever experienced
    (Jonah 3-4).
    • David fell into sin at a time of great victory in his life. Up until that time he had
    not known military defeat.
    • Samson fell into sin when he “began” to deliver Israel from the hands of the
    Philistines.
    When you are being effective for God, you are vulnerable to enemy attack. Satan is concerned
    most with those who are advancing in the spirit world.
    INTERNAL ATTACKS:
    Internal attacks of Satan are those made from within the Body of Christ. They include:
  9. Discouragement: Nehemiah 4:10-11
    The workers became discouraged which resulted in:
    • Loss of strength.
    • Loss of vision because of “too much rubbish.”
    • Loss of confidence
  10. Dissension: Nehemiah 5, and
    Nehemiah 5, opens with dissension among God’s people. If Satan divides the Body of Christ, he makes us ineffective. We are busy battling each other instead of building. Wrong motives are always behind dissension. In Nehemiah chapter 5, the wrong motive was greed.
  11. Weak believers: Nehemiah 4:12
    The enemy used weak workers (symbolic of weak believers in the Body of Christ) to try to
    defeat
    the construction project.

SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES: VICTORY AT THE WALL
The following strategies were used by Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. You can use
the same strategies to assure victory at your spiritual walls:

EXAMINE THE WALLS:
As Nehemiah did in the natural world, examine the walls of your spiritual life. (Nehemiah 2)
Has the enemy crept into your personal life, your home, church fellowship, business, etc.?
But let a man examine himself… (I Corinthians 11:28)
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…
(II Corinthians 13:5)
Remember that self-examination is one of the symbolic gates of your wall in the spirit world.
Satan will try to prevent you from self-examination because it will result in recognition of areas
in your life where you have let him destroy the walls and invade.

CONFESS YOUR SIN:
As Nehemiah, recognize that the reason walls are destroyed is because of sin. Then like he did
(Nehemiah 1:5-7), confess your sin and ask forgiveness:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:8-9)

RECOGNIZE THAT YOU CANNOT BUILD ALONE:
When Nehemiah’s workers said, “We ourselves are unable to build the wall,” it was a true
statement. By themselves they were unable. They needed the power of God to equip them for
the task…So will you!

ARISE AND BUILD:

As Nehemiah, determine to rise and rebuild your spiritual walls:
Then answered I them, and said unto them, the God of Heaven, He will
prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build: but ye have no
portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2:20)
Be prepared…You will face opposition from the enemy.
DO NOT BE DIVERTED:
Nehemiah refused to be diverted by enemy tactics (Nehemiah 6:2-3). Do not let the enemy divert
or distract you from rebuilding your spiritual walls.

DO NOT BE SWAYED BY “POPULAR OPINION”:

Popular opinion was that Nehemiah was a rebel (Nehemiah 2:19). Popular opinion held that the
walls could not be properly rebuilt (Nehemiah 4:3). Nehemiah was not swayed by popular
opinion. Rather than conform to popular opinion, Nehemiah set an example. He said, “So did
not I, because of the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5:14-19. Become an example in spiritual warfare.
Do not become part of the crowd that says victory is impossible.

IDENTIFY THE ENEMY AND HIS STRATEGIES:

Nehemiah identified the enemy and his strategies. He discovered that the enemy planned a
surprise attack (Nehemiah 4:8 and 11). You must identify your spiritual enemy and his strategies
in order to be effective in spiritual warfare. This will help you be prepared for surprise attacks.
Recognize that the enemy has conspired against you to kill, steal, and destroy but realize God
has
greater power and wants to give you life more abundantly (John 10:10).

DEVELOP SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES:

Nehemiah developed a counter strategy when he heard the enemy planned to attack. He set some
workers as a guard to watch for the enemy. Every worker built the wall but also had his sword
and was prepared to fight (Nehemiah 4:13-18). A signal was arranged (a trumpet blast) to alert
the warriors of an invasion. Because they were prepared to fight and knew the strategy of the
enemy, they prevented an invasion. They knew if they had to war with the enemy, God would
fight for them:
…our God shall fight for us. (Nehemiah 4:20)
If you develop proper spiritual counter strategies, you can prevent many invasions of the enemy
into your life. When Satan does break through and invade, be assured that God will fight for
you!

FACE THE ENEMY:

When Nehemiah was offered refuge from the enemy, he refused. He said, “Should such a man
as I flee?” (Nehemiah 6:11). Nehemiah faced the enemy in God’s power. When the enemy
threatens you, do not flee or take the easy way out or your spiritual walls will never be secure.
When internal dissension and discouragement arose and the enemy worked through weak
believers, Nehemiah did not ignore the attacks. He confronted and conquered them.

PROTECT YOUR WALL AT VULNERABLE TIMES:

In the story of Nehemiah, the greatest attack of the enemy came when the wall was half finished.
When you start building in the spirit world, when you enter the arena of effective spiritual
warfare, be prepared. It is a vulnerable time. You are a target for an attacks of Satan.

BUILD THE WALL:

Nehemiah’s response to direct criticism, mocking, scorn, false accusations, threats, and fear, was
simply to continue building the wall:
So we labored in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising
of the morning till the stars appeared. (Nehemiah 4:21)
Nehemiah stayed with the task. He did not stop building:
So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month of Elul, in
fifty and two days. (Nehemiah 6:15)
Nehemiah did in a short time what the enemy said could not be done.
If the walls are down around your life, the enemy may tell you the task is hopeless. But, with
God’s help, you can rebuild the wall. With His strength you do not have to take a long time to do
so:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
(Philippians 4:13)
When the enemy attacks your spiritual reconstruction project do not quit! Just keep building
your spiritual walls.

SET A WATCH:

When Nehemiah completed rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem, he set a guard to watch over
the walls and gates of the city (Nehemiah 7:1-3). Set a watch over your spiritual walls. Always
be alert for attacks of the enemy.

INSPECTION

  1. Write the Key Verse from the Articles Of War.


  1. What is meant by our spiritual walls?


  1. Why had the walls of Jerusalem been destroyed (the same reason spiritual walls are
    destroyed)?


  1. List strategies Satan uses in the battle over spiritual walls.


2


  1. List spiritual counter strategies which assure victory at the wall.



(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)
TACTICAL MANEUVERS

  1. Are there spiritual walls in your life which have been destroyed by the enemy? Examine
    your “spiritual walls” which include…
    • Walls of salvation, gates of praise
    • Work of the cross in your life
    • Christian witness
    • The old nature changed to the new nature
    • Suffering and testing
    • Elimination of works of the flesh
    • Work of the Holy Spirit
    • The Word of God
    • Spiritual warfare
    • The hope of the return of Jesus
    • Self-examination
  2. Believers are often defeated in spiritual warfare because of lack of proper spiritual
    preparation. Study how Nehemiah prepared himself before rebuilding the wall and
    confronting the enemy:
    • He saw conditions as they were: Chapter l-2
    • He recognized the root problem as sin and confessed his part in it: Nehemiah 1:5-
    7
    • He fasted, wept, mourned, and prayed: Nehemiah 1:4
    • He prepared properly before starting the task and facing the enemy: Chapters l
    and 2
    • He had a strategy for rebuilding: Chapter 3
  3. Ready to rebuild your spiritual walls? Review and apply the strategies learned in this
    lesson.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
BATTLES OVER STRATEGIC TERRITORY
OBJECTIVES:
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
• Write the Key Verse from memory.
• Identify Satan’s strategies against the physical body.
• Summarize spiritual counter strategies for victory in the physical body.
• Explain Satan’s strategies of using human personalities to war against believers.
• Summarize counter strategies for victory over human personalities which war against
believers.
• Identify Satan’s strategies against the family.
• Summarize spiritual counter strategies for victory in the family.
• Identify Satan’s strategies in the financial and material realm.
• Summarize spiritual counter strategies for victory in the financial and material realm.
KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come
that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
(John 10:10)
INTRODUCTION
Previous chapters focused on major attacks of the enemy on the mind, the tongue, your spiritual
walls, and the combat zone of the world and the flesh. This chapter continues the study of
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specific targets of the enemy focusing on the strategic territories of the physical body, the family,
finances, and attacks through human personalities.
STRATEGIES OF SATAN: PHYSICAL ATTACKS
Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost:
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of
God is holy, which temple ye are. (I Corinthians 3:16-17)
Because your body is the temple of God’s Spirit, it will be attacked by Satan through:
SICKNESS:
Sickness is in the world because of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Although all sickness is in
the world because of sin, it does not mean everyone who is suffering is sick because of their own
sin.
The Bible reveals various reasons for sickness. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is illness
caused by Satan. Satan attempts to afflict the body just as he attempts to afflict the soul and
spirit. Your body is no more immune to his attacks than your spirit is to discouragement,
condemnation, etc. But illness can also be used as chastisement to deal with sin. For an example
see the story of Miriam in Numbers 12.
In one healing Jesus performed during His earthly ministry He said to the recipient:
…Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto
thee. (John 5:14)
The illness of this man was apparently a result of sin. In another case, Jesus made it clear that the
illness was not the result of sin but for the glory of God:
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his
parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the
works of God should be made manifest in him. (John 9:1-3)
An illness for the glory of God is one caused by Satan but which God uses for His glory when
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physical healing comes through prayer. This type of illness is a direct physical attack by Satan.
When counter strategies for victory are applied, this physical attack can actually bring glory to
God.
All illness is not caused by sin or Satan or as chastisement. Illness may result from the breaking
of natural laws. For example, you may become ill because you do not eat properly or you
probably will break your leg if you jump from the top of a coconut tree. Tempting you to break
natural laws is an indirect attack of Satan on your body. He tempts you to eat improperly and not
take care of your body because he knows that it can result in an illness which will hinder your
effectiveness for God.
EXHAUSTION:
Satan also attacks the body through exhaustion which results from being too busy or working too
hard. When you are extremely tired physically, Satan takes advantage and launches spiritual
attacks. Satan came to Jesus when He was exhausted from 40 days of fasting (Matthew 4:2).
When Elijah was tired from great spiritual exploits he became so discouraged that he wanted to
die (I Kings 19:4).
DEATH:
Although physical death must come to all men until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan
attempts to cause premature death. He will tempt people to commit suicide. He will also make
you fearful of illness or accidents which could result in death.
ABUSE:
Satan also tempts people to abuse their physical bodies by putting toxic substances into them
such as drugs and alcoholic beverages. He knows such toxic substances can result in illness,
mental damage, and death.
SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES:
VICTORY OVER PHYSICAL ATTACKS
When you are ill, seek the Lord to determine the cause of your illness. Have you violated a
natural law which resulted in your illness? For example, have you been eating improperly or
drinking bad water? Have you been abusing your body by putting toxic substances such as
cigarette smoke into your system?
If you have violated natural laws, God can still heal you. But you should use more wisdom in the
future. Remember that your body is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit. Stop breaking natural laws
and take better care of your body. This is also important to remember in case of exhaustion.
Jesus called His disciples to rest when they were exhausted from their busy ministry (Mark
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6:31).
When Elijah was tired and depressed he rested under a tree and God sent an angel to him with
physical food. Elijah waited until he received a new touch from God and his physical strength
had been renewed before going on to new challenges of ministry (I Kings 19:4-8).
When illness results as chastisement for sin it is not caused by Satan and binding the power of
the enemy will do no good. Only repentance and return to God will bring relief:
Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us;
He hath smitten and he will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1)
For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds…
(Jeremiah 30:17)
…If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do
that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and
keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have
brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
(Exodus 15:26)
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.
(Psalms 103:3)
In regards to physical attacks caused by Satan it is important to remember that as a believer, God
is in control of your life. Satan cannot touch you physically nor take your life without the
knowledge of God. Read Job chapters one and two which verify these facts. The power of God
is greater than that of Satan. The God who made the human body has the power to heal that
body. Claim these promises for healing when you experience physical attacks from Satan:
But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with
healing in His wings… (Malachi 4:2)
Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being
dead to sins should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
(I Peter 2:24)
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes
we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health,
even as thy soul prospereth. (III John 1:2)
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When Satan attacks you physically, call for the prayers of other believers, including elders in the
church and those with the spiritual gift of healing:
…to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. (I Corinthians 12:9)
And God hath set some in the church…then gifts of healings…
(I Corinthians 12:28)
Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let
them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;
and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:14-15)
Physical death is part of the process of life until the end of time as we know it. It should not be
feared by believers, for we have the promise of eternal life:
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
(I Corinthians 15:55)
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to
be present with the Lord. (II Corinthians 5:8)
Satan cannot take the life of a believer before the set time for his death, as illustrated by the story
of Job. God does not overrule the human will, however. If a person is tempted by Satan to
commit suicide and yields to that temptation, God will not overrule the act of his will.
STRATEGIES OF SATAN: ATTACKS THROUGH HUMAN PERSONALITIES
Another way Satan attacks you is through human personalities. Satan can use people around you
to attack you spiritually. The attack may come from family, friends, enemies, business
associates, or even strangers. Human personalities can be disguised as “angels of light,” apostles,
and ministers of righteousness. But Satan is actually working through them:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into
the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the
ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
(II Corinthians 11:13-16)
The strategy of transference of spirits has already been covered in a previous chapter. But Satan
also has other ways of using human personalities. Satan will use people to give you wrong
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counsel. Read the book of Job and note the wrong counsel given by his friends and his wife.
Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but Satan also has his prophets. Personal
prophecies through human personalities are not always God-inspired. Study the tragic example
of this in I Kings 13. Attacks of Satan will come through trusted friends as well as enemies or
unbelievers:
For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it;
neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I
would have hid myself from him;
But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in
company. (Psalms 55:12-14)
Satan uses human personalities to exalt you and tempt you to take God’s glory for yourself:
And the people gave a shout, saying, it is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God
the glory and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. (Acts 12:22-23)
People are used by Satan to get you to stray from the plan of God for your life. Read how Peter
was used of Satan to attack Jesus in this way (Mark 8:31-33). Satan will try to get your eyes on
others instead of God. Peter was distracted from God’s plan by concern with what He had
planned for John (John 21:20-23).
Satan will tempt you to “emulation” which is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).
Emulations is trying to imitate, equal, or excel others, to copy, rival, or compete with them. As
long as you are busy doing this, you will not follow the pattern of ministry God has for your own
life.
Satan will use people to deceive you. Read how this happened to Joshua (Joshua 9). People
will desert you (II Timothy 4:16-17; Acts 15:37- 38; John 6:66). Satan will try to hinder your
spiritual objectives in relation to others (I Thessalonians 2:18), and will cause confusion and
disharmony (I Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16). Satan also will use others to affect the
circumstances in your life Read how this happened to Joseph in Genesis chapters 37 and 39.
SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES:
VICTORY OVER HUMAN PERSONALITIES
In a previous chapter on transference of spirits the importance of carefully selecting friends and
associates was stressed. This is an important counter strategy in gaining victory over attacks of
Satan launched through others. Choosing close associates carefully will eliminate much
deception, desertion, disagreement, wrong counsel, and hindering of spiritual progress. But two
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other important counter strategies bring victory over human personalities.
First: Obey God rather than man.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God
rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Second: Follow others only as they follow God.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1)
Be ye therefore followers of God… (Ephesians 5:1)
Do not accept counsel or prophecies from anyone when they do not agree with God’s written
Word. Do not admire or follow the leadership of those whose lives do not line up with God’s
Word. Recognize you will only be successful as long as you follow God’s plan for your life.
You will not be successful in emulating others. You must not be diverted by those around you.
You must rely on revelation, not imitation.
Although those around you may manipulate circumstances that affect you, remember that God is
still in control. Although Joseph experienced such an attack through human personalities, God
turned it for his good:
So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God… (Genesis 45:8)
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to
bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20)

STRATEGIES OF SATAN: ATTACKS ON THE FAMILY
The family is the basic unit of society established by God in the beginning of the world when He
first created man. God has always emphasized the family. He raised up a nation of chosen
people from the family of one man, Abraham. He selected the physical union of a man and his
wife to describe the spiritual union between Christ and the church. Throughout the Scriptures,
God stressed the importance of the family in His plan of the ages.
The family is the basic structure from which all other structures stem. Government and religious
leaders are raised in families. Communities and nations consist of many families grouped
together. Because of the importance of this basic unit of society, the family is a target for attack
by Satan.
Satan attacks the union between a man and his wife. He tries to cause improper sexual
relationships which will result in sin (I Corinthians 7:5). He leads men and women into the sin
of adultery (Galatians 5:19). He tries to get one partner to influence the other to turn away from
God (Job 2). Satan promotes division in the home. This can range from arguments through
divorce. Satan tries to bring division because he knows….
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…Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every
city or house divided against itself shall not stand. (Matthew 12:25)
If Satan can bring division and destroy the homes of a nation, he can eventually destroy the
nation itself.
God established a chain of command in the home. The man is to be the head of the home and
love his wife. The wife is to follow his leadership and the children are to be in submission to
their parents (I Corinthians 7; Ephesians 5:1-6:1). Satan targets the man of the home and tempts
him to act in unloving ways. This results in a loss of respect and obedience from the wife and
children. Satan tempts the wife to act in rebellion against the husband. Satan targets the children
in a home. He creates an atmosphere of lack of discipline which results in rebellion. Read the
story of Eli’s sons in I Samuel 2 and of David’s son, Absalom, in II Samuel 13-19.
Jesus warned of the attacks of the enemy in the home:
For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against
two, and two against three.
The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father;
the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the
mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against
her mother in law. (Luke 12:52-53)

SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES: VICTORY IN THE FAMILY
Many problems in the family unit can be avoided if believers choose their mate properly. The
Bible warns that believers are not to marry unbelievers:
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light
with darkness? (II Corinthians 6:14)
When a family unit is composed of believers and unbelievers, spiritual division exists. This
division is not a conflict between flesh and blood. It is a spiritual conflict. It cannot be won by
harsh words or through debate and argument.
Satan fights the unity of the family because it is a natural parallel of the unity between Christ and
the church. Believers must recognize this and declare:
…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
As heir of the promise of Abraham, you can also claim the promise “In thee shall all the families
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of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Because you are a spiritual heir of Abraham, your family
will be blessed.
To protect against attacks of Satan, the family must grow together spiritually. Prayer and study
of
God’s Word will bind the family together:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of
them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as
frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
The family must be in proper order before you assume leadership in ministry. New Testament
requirements for leadership are that the home of leaders be in order. (See Titus l and I Timothy
3). Wrong emphasis on ministry has resulted in division in many Christian homes. To defeat
Satan’s strategy in this area, the home must be in scriptural order before a believer engages in
ministry leadership positions.
Parents have a responsibility to discipline their children. The home problems of Eli and David
resulted because of lack of discipline. The Bible instructs believers regarding this responsibility:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not
depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth
him betimes (early). (Proverbs 13:24)

STRATEGIES OF SATAN: FINANCIAL ATTACKS
Finances and material possessions of believers are another area Satan targets for attack. His
attacks are launched in two major areas:
One: Financial loss through no fault of the believer. This is a direct attack of
Satan on the finances or material possessions of believers.
Two: Attacks on finances or material possessions through violation of Scriptural
guidelines.
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The first type of attack is illustrated by the example of Job in chapters l and 2. Satan attacked
Job’s finances by destroying his herds (which was his business) and his home. The roof literally
fell in! The Bible declares Job was a righteous man, so we know he was not in violation of
Scriptural principles.
The second type of attack is illustrated by any violation of Scriptural guidelines. Satan knows if
he can lead believers to violate Biblical principles, their finances will not be blessed. Without
material possessions and finances they will not be able to support the spread of the Gospel to the
nations of the world.
Study the following references to discover how Satan attacks in our finances:
• Improper business partnerships with unbelievers: II Corinthians 6:14-18 (This verse is
often only applied to the marriage relationship, when in fact it is applicable to any union
of believers with non-believers).
• Debt: Romans 13:8
• Co-signing for debts of others: Proverbs 6:1-2
• Withholding payment when funds are readily available: Proverbs 3:27-28
• Withholding tithes and offerings: Malachi 3:1-12; Proverbs 11:24
• Dishonesty: Proverbs 16:8; Acts 5:3-4
• Fraud: James 5:3-4
• Unfair wages: Jeremiah 22:13
• Greed: Proverbs 28:22
• Intemperance: Proverbs 23:21
• Violation of government laws regarding money: Romans 13:6-7
• Laziness which results in poverty: Proverbs 20:13
• “Get-rich-quick” schemes: Proverbs 20:21; 28:22
• Love of money: I Timothy 6:10
• Business and financial situations creating “weights”: II Timothy 2:4.
• Regarding offerings lightly and receiving inordinate funds for personal gain: I Samuel
2:29

A Moment like this

Looking up in the night sky
And pondering creation and how it behaves
My eyes reflect on shooting stars burning bright
That disappear just as fast as they came
A vapor of a life born fast that gets wisked away

In these moments when God catches me staring
His Glory always has something to say
Shared thoughts between us deep
Showing just how much I was thoughtfully made

As I drift away and fall into my sleep
I leave this place of the earth
All for the glory of emotional release
And to catch a glimpse of what He keeps

Darkness is not there it’s not anywhere
There’s is nothing
That conceals or is hidden from sight
Once exposed to His everlasting light

The breath of God
Like a warm summers breeze moving in me
His Spirit fills me with wonder and surprise
As He washes me clean and I get to see Him
Face to face for the very first time

What I see takes my breath away
I fall to my knees as though I just died
He catches me and lifts me upright
His touch is of such comfort
I can hardly believe my now opened eyes
He wipes away every tear
So gentle and so kind

“I will have no more of that my son
That was for the very last time”

He put His arm on my shoulder
And we walked side by side

“I want to show you something
It was finally finished a long moment ago
One starry night
Designed from my heart to yours
With my very own hands in a blink of my eye”

That’s when I noticed his scars
I stepped back to see a subtle change
His gray hair and his wrinkles
We’re suddenly replaced
The Father and the Son were one
With the same but differant face

I thrust myself at Him so hard for a hug
It made him step back just enough
To catch my heart and hold my embrace

He held my gratefulness and praise
For an eternity….. came three of His heartbeats
Forever and a mere moment entirely the same

Again we walked together
Hand in hand, but at a faster pace
I was starting to feel a little tugged
He looked back and smiled

“What do you say we have ourselves a little race”

I said My Lord are you just kidding with me
Then He got all serious looking for a moment

“I have plenty of given names
Let’s say for now you call me Ya’Shua”

Then He reached into a fold in His robe
And pulled out a glowing white stone
Placed it my hand and a revelation came

“Known only between us, It’s your true name”
“We gave you before you were made”

I turned it over so I could see
It was an affirmation from them
I never knew until then
Just how much He really felt about me
An overwhelming transforming epiphany

Then He said “yes”

Yes? I replied with wide open eyes

“Yes I was serious about having a race
I’m getting anxious to show you
How to travel in this place beyond no borders
In my infinite space”

“Especailly, the place I made for you
Way back when………
I’m excited with joy for you to see it again”

So am I, but I don’t understand
And do I even have a chance to win
He smiled and winked at me

“Just try to keep up….Are your ready to begin?

“It will become clear, now that you are here
You can run even faster than all four of my winds”

It felt like my imagination was exposed
To the speed of instance as I exploded forward

Beyond anything I ever perceived or dreamed
Here I was running as best friends
Even faster than light, behind my Hero and King
In a race chasing laughter ever after Him
While he was showing me His everything

We were almost there when He stopped
Just up a head and around a bend
He pointed to the most amazing design
All surrounded by a wall of calm water
And a shore that was beckoning me in

“You have to walk thru that water
With me by your side”

Then He took me in His arms
And looked deep into my eyes
His half of smile said it’s not yet your time
“Your ready but you haven’t actually died”

“I caught you staring again last night
So I planned this for you as a little surprise”

“I wanted you to see this”
Then He gave me a Saviors kiss
“It’s gonna get a little rough for you
Just for awhile, back on the other side

“Don’t let it break your courage
Like it tried to break mine
The desires of your heart
Won’t ever be denied
Your obedience blessed
Confirmation for relief”

“Now you have seen”

“You’ve learned to stand firm
And have overcome your flesh
Steadfast with me and content with less
More will be sent soon, even while you rest”

“Keep working hard for My Kingdom
I will be with you always to the end
Before and after your very last breath”

“As you can see the war is already won”

Then He gave me a warriors hug
With one last kiss…….

“I just wanted you to know and to show you
That when I return for all my children, my son”

“It will be even better than a moment like this”

Thanks, TC

Have a blessed day!

Dear future , husband I’m not sure where you are in the world …or even how soon till God will align our path..i’ve been waiting for your arrival for sometime now ..I know they say patience is a virtue but believe me I’ve been waiting lol .. I can’t help myself but to visualize the Empire we will build ,I’ve been working on continuously to heal and grow so that I can become a even better version of myself not only for you, but ultimately for me because if I am not whole and happy all by my self..

you’re going to get A woman who is content and confident within herself ..so you wouldn’t have to spend a lifetime feeding my insecurities and lack of self-esteem ..you’re going to get a woman how is hold within herself.. a woman who is self-aware and knows who she is and what her purpose is.. so I am not out here searching for myself and my identity because I already know who I am …I realize more and more that a healthy relationships truly starts with your relationship and the most high…

I know I pray for you every day I pray that you are wise enough to lead me and our family one day, humble enough to submit to God.. Loving enough to make me fall deeply in love with you ..over and over again vulnerable enough to open up every part of your mind ,body and soul to me.. I pray that we don’t have to spend a lifetime trying to figure out each other’s love language ..I pray we don’t have to ever go to bed wondering if we are valued and appreciated..I pray we don’t have to figure out how to effectively communicate our feelings to each other..

I just want to let you know that I know we both have experience heartbreak and relationship that had us
questioning if the right love truly exist or if it was fairytale ,that only a select few got the pleasure to enjoy.. I believe we both have given our all to a person who didn’t deserve to even be in our presence… But we try to love them anyways…. I know we both have cry tears from broken heart that we felt would never heal but yet .. we are still two beautifully made children of God preparing our hearts, soul ,body and mind for the day we both cross paths despite our fail relationship..

I just want you to know I’m here to love you for a lifetime and I’ll never leave your side..: I’m here to love you the right way ..I’m here to add vision to your dreams.. I’m here to help you elevate mentally ,physically and emotionally ..I am here to turn all those pass hurt into raging fire of love …that we both will put out together …I can’t wait to see how beautiful you are and to let you know you are loved every time we cross each other path..

I’m here to build a family with you ..who is raised on love and not dysfunction because I Sushana was raised on love and not survival.. I want you to know that my parents did an amazing job raising me .. my dad adores my mom and their love story is one that I crave with you ..I’m here to love you through thick and thin..

I’m here to show you what true loyalty and support looks like … anyways, I know l’m saying a lot … but just be patient and continue to put God first … i want you to always put your relationship with God before me or even yourself because that’s the only way we will truly be able to love each other correctly anyways… wherever you are in the world … I can’t wait for us to add more value and changes to each others life for the better, see you soon…my love❤️🙏🏾❤️🌹🙏🏾🌹Have a Blessed night and may God’s Angels be with you always!!!!!

GOD’S GIFT OF GRACEGod’s Grace is unmerited or undeserved favor offered freely to humankind. The following true story powerfully illustrates the blessing and benefit of grace. During the Spanish-American War, Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, was overseeing aid to Cuba. One day Colonel Theodore Roosevelt (who would later become President Teddy Roosevelt) came to Clara Barton intending to buy food for his sick and wounded soldiers, the historically famous Rough Riders. When she refused to sell him food, Roosevelt became quite distressed and perplexed. His men desperately needed help and he was quite willing to pay for it out of his own funds. When he asked someone why he could not buy those desperately needed supplies, he was told, “Colonel Roosevelt, just ASK for it!”A smile broke out on Roosevelt’s face. For now he understood that the provisions were not for sale. All he had to do was simply ASK, and they would be given freely and fully. The Word of God similarly admonishes us: “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2) God’s grace is always sufficient and God’s grace is always offered without our payment or work. We must simply ask for it.

Have A Blessed Day

But Did You Survive?

The mornings waking up not remembering what happened, what you said to people, what you did.
The days that were a struggle to make it through.
The nights you wished you weren’t alive.
The dark thoughts that would seep into your head every night.
The times you looked into the mirror with tears streaming down your face wishing you were anyone but you.
The moments you felt less than everyone else around you… not belonging.
The torment that swirled within you on a daily basis.
The cuts you made just to feel something other than being you.
The drugs you took to escape your very existence.
The alcohol you drank to lose yourself completely.
The times that shattered you into a million pieces.

But did you survive?

Yes, you did. You’re still here. You made it through all of those times you felt deep in your core you would not. You did that. Honor that. Respect that. Remember that every time those thoughts come creeping back in wanting to tear you down and break you. Struggle is inevitable. Pain is necessary. It’s how we learn; how we grow; how we change.

Whenever you are feeling on the brink of fight or flight, remember you have survived everything that’s been thrown your way. Hold tight to that notion because what is on the other side of the ugly, are some pretty beautiful things that teach us profound lessons.

The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. Life is all of that. Look back at the whole of it and ask yourself, but did you survive?

I did. And I am grateful.

Have a blessed day!

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:2

“We operate by laws in life. When we drop something, the law of gravity sends it to the ground. However, the law of aerodynamics overcomes the law of gravity allowing flight. But if a passenger on a plane decided to step outside for a while … well, let’s just say the law of gravity would take over again. The same is true spiritually.

When we are in Christ, the law of the Spirit sets us free from the law of sin and death. But when we step outside the law of the Spirit and follow our own desires and plans, the law of sin and death takes over again. So let’s make sure we operate in the law of the Spirit and live in the freedom Christ provides for us through the Cross.”

Thought for the day: Operate in the law of the spirit, and experience true freedom in the freedom that Christ provides for us.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace, which has set me free from the curse of the law and the power of sin in my life. Thank You for sending Christ Jesus Whose death procured my freedom from the power of sin and death. I pray that I may walk in spirit and truth as I submit to the Holy Spirit so that my old sin nature is kept in the place of death. Help me to walk in spirit and truth and not to revert back to the law or engage in fleshly carnality, knowing that I have been set FREE and am enabled to stand fast in that liberty, as I submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.

Have a blessed day!

COMPREHENSIVE COMMITMENT!I’m not sure what to think about Christians who say they’re Christian but aren’t living a Christ-like lifestyle. Did they simply misunderstand, were they misled, or possibly just acting deceptively in their complete surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Many of these people only have a vague understanding of who Jesus is and what He did, causing them to develop a general comprehensive belief that allows them a precarious faith in God that is controlled by circumstances and feelings. As is written in James 1:8 (NLT), Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. We see and believe that one has been born to the flesh because they’re alive. However, when it comes to one’s spiritual birth it may not be immediately discernible because of the lifestyle one chooses to live. Our lifestyle is the best measuring post for monitoring one’s loyalty to Jesus. Take a look at what your lifestyle is reflecting.Many people have adopted a comprehensive view of Jesus and the commitment they may have made to Him. Dictionary.com defines comprehensive – of large scope; covering or involving much; inclusive: Many take the shotgun approach, to where they live a hit or miss life for Jesus. Their commitment to Jesus is weak, shaky, and unstable at best, that is if it exists at all. Dictionary.com defines commitment – as the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself. To carry the title a little deeper, dictionary.com describes comprehending – thoroughly understanding with one’s mind; having an extensive mental range or grasp, as of a particular subject or many subjects. Whereas dictionary.com defines commitment – as a pledge or promise; obligation: Looking at life through this frame of mind we each need to examine ourselves to determine the state of our spiritual engagement versus our obligation to Jesus our Lord and Savior. We are told in James 1:22-24 (NLT), 22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.This is true of many Christians today; their commitment to Jesus is weak and the world is working to consume us all! We as individuals need to speak with Jesus as to how we can rekindle or gain that spark. Several years ago, I read this quote (author unknown), “You go back to fundamentals when things start to go awry.” I applied this to my spiritual life returning to where I was when my relationship with Jesus was at its closest and using it as a starting point to recover my Christian walk and strengthen my relationship with Jesus. You see, I’ve learned over the years that my faith can only grow through my belief and my belief through my relationship with Jesus. The quote wasn’t very spiritual, but it is highly effective! As is James 1:25 (NLT), 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. It’s time to stop taking the comprehensive approach that only complicates our spiritual understanding and start living what we know about a Christ-like lifestyle. Look at Luke 10:27 (NLT) The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Don’t overthink that which Jesus has made simple.The point to be made here follows the reason for titling this blog Sunday’s Monday. Ask yourself: Are my actions Monday through Saturday the same as they appear on Sunday? Is my lifestyle producing that which Jesus desires of me, so the world around me may witness and desire Jesus? If not, what am I willing to sacrifice to get my belief, faith, and trust in Jesus to where Jesus expects it? A one-on-one relationship with Jesus through prayer, study, and fellowship is the way!Lord, I pray that we follow the instructions in Hebrews 12:2 NLT), We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. May we find our way to your way of loving, with mercy, and grace for all. Help us to strengthen a one-on-one relationship with You enhances our lifestyle and increase our faith to believe You have a plan for this old world, and You are in charge of every second that passes. Father help us to overcome any fear, confusion, or anxiety toward what is going on and totally focus on You. May we cast every care and concern on You as we walk through this life in preparation for the New Earth mentioned in 2 Peter 3:13. Amen

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

JOHN 14:26-27 “BUT THE COMFORTER, WHICH IS THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, AND BRING ALL THINGS TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE, WHATSOEVER I HAVE SAID UNTO YOU.”
The phrase, “But the Comforter, Which is the Holy Spirit,” proclaims the Third Person of the Godhead. As stated, He is a “Parakletos,” or “One called alongside to help.” The Personality of the Holy Spirit appears in this farewell in the terms: “teaching,” “reminding,” “testifying,” “coming,” “convincing,” “guiding,” “speaking,” “hearing,” “prophesying,” “taking,” and “bringing” (Williams). The phrase, “Whom the Father will send in My Name,” expresses authority and character. For the Father to send the Holy Spirit in the “Name of Jesus,” refers to the fact that Jesus Alone paid the price in removing the sin debt, in order that the Holy Spirit could abide within the hearts and lives of Believers.

It was His Blood which was shed in order to pay the price; consequently, the Holy Spirit, by rights, is sent in “His Name!” The phrase, “He shall teach you all things,” proclaims the Holy Spirit as the Great Teacher of the Word of God, which is the only way one can learn the Word. That does not mean that Believers are not in need of Bible Teachers, but that the Holy Spirit will anoint the Believer to know if what he is being taught is Scriptural (I Jn. 2:27). It is actually the Holy Spirit Who uses “Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, Pastors, and Teachers” (Eph.4:11).

So, even though men and women are used by God in the capacity of preaching and teaching, still, it is “The Spirit of Truth” Who is the Final Authority, Who actually, gave the world the Word of God, and is responsible for its contents. The phrase, “And bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you,” refers to all of these things said by Jesus during His three and one half years of public Ministry. As one reads the Four Gospels, it becomes obvious that the Disciples understood very little of what Christ was saying.

It seems His Parables were a mystery to them, as well as His Teaching concerning Himself and the Kingdom of God. Forever, after the Holy Spirit was sent, with His abiding in the hearts and lives of Believers, it is also very obvious in the Book of Acts and the Epistles, that the Disciples then understood perfectly what Jesus was saying. In short order the Holy Spirit made real the Words of Christ to their hearts and lives. In fact, immediately after receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter preached as some have said, the Inaugural Message of the Church, Even though his Message was delivered only minutes, or an hour or two at the most after the infilling of the Holy Spirit, it becomes quickly obvious that Peter is a changed man.

His knowledge and more perfectly, his understanding of the Word of God, even in this short time, stands out to such an extent that it cannot be denied. All of this is the Work of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus stated, before Calvary, the Holy Spirit was with those in the Covenant, but not in them. As valuable as that was, however, it could not compare with Him being in a Believer, which takes place at Salvation. So, the point I am attempting to make, concerns the great difference in the First Covenant and the Second.

That difference is very obvious here. As well, and which is also obvious, the fact that the Believer can also be Baptized in the Holy Spirit, adds greatly to this of which He already does in the life of the Believer. In fact, being Baptized in the Holy Spirit is such a given in the Book of Acts, that it becomes very clear that this is the intention, and greatly so, of the Spirit of God. Consequently, the large segment of the Christianity community which teaches that everything is received at Salvation, and that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4, while maybe valid for the Earily Church, is not valid presently is totally wrong!

Such is not only unscriptural, but constitutes a tremendous denial of the Power of God, which enables Believers to continue the great move of the Early Church, which is intended by the Spirit of God. Such teaching greatly short-changes that which Christ made possible at Calvary, denying the Believer so much of what Christ paid for with His Own Life.

  1. “PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU, MY PEACE I GIVE UNTO YOU: NOT AS THE WORLD GIVETH, GIVE I UNTO YOU. LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED, NEITHER LET IT BE AFRAID.” The phrase, “Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you,” has to do with “Sanctifying Peace!” There are two types of “Peace” proclaimed in the Word of God:
  2. “Peace with God,” which comes at Salvation, as a result of the enmity being removed due to the sinner coming to terms with his Maker, in accepting the provision of Christ paid for at Calvary (Eph. 2:14-17). In other words, every Believer has Peace with God, which comes automatically with the Salvation experience.
  3. However, there is a vast difference in “Peace with God” than “The Peace of God,” of which Jesus here speaks. Whereas every Believer has “Peace with God,” many do not have “The Peace of God,” even though Jesus plainly tells us it is ours. “The Peace of God” is a “Fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). Not having “The Peace of God” is brought about by a lack of trust and dependency on the Lord. The Believer allows fear to enter in, which destroys his “Peace.” Many Believers erroneously think that such “Peace” speaks of a placidity with no problems or difficulties. However, it is the very opposite! This speaks “Peace in the midst of difficulties, problems, circumstances, and even extremely debilitating situations. The 16th Chapter of Acts portrays Paul and Silas being beaten and thrown into prison. Even though they were in extremely hurtful circumstances, and I might-quickly add not because of a lack of Faith, but rather because of their Faith, still, their “Peace” remained. This is proclaimed in them “praying and singing praises unto God” even in the midst of these perilous circumstances. (Acts 16:23-26). Another example is the Children of Israel. When God passed through the Land of Egypt that particular night, all who did not have the Blood on the doorposts, would suffer the loss of their firstborn. There could have been well up to one half million, or even one million houses occupied by Israelites at that time. When the instructions were given by Moses, and the Blood was applied to every single house occupied by Israelites, this was to be a night to remember. Actually, this was the one act by God which delivered Israel, and is the same act which delivers men from sin presently, the Shed Blood of the Lamb. No doubt, there were hundreds of thousands of Israelites who obeyed the instructions in applying the Blood, and then went to bed and slept soundly. Due to the applied Blood, they had “Peace with God.” And because of Trust in God, they had “The Peace of God.”

However, knowing human nature, there were, no doubt, some, even many, who, while having obeyed the Word of the Lord, did not sleep a wink all night long, concerned that their first-born might not be safe as promised. When it came to security, both, the peaceful and the perturbed, were equally secure, consternation, as long as they stayed in the house under the protection of the Blood, they were safe and secure.

However, despite the guaranteed security, a tremendously disconcerting night, no doubt, was spent by those who did not have “The Peace of God,’ and because of a lack of Trust. Such was totally unnecessary! It is the same presently. Jesus did not promise a life free of difficulties, hardships, and circumstances. But He did promise that He would give us “Peace” in the midst of all of these problems.

As simple Faith gave us “Peace with God,” simple Faith will also give us “The Peace of God!” (Ex. 12:12-14). The phrase, “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you,” merely refers to the way and manner of the world, which is fleeting, hypocritical, and lacking substance. Actually, one could use this phrase about anything in the world, considering that its system is not of God, and therefore Satanic.

What God gives is sure, secure, eternal, of substance, and will stand any test. In fact, most of humanity, and for all time, attempts to find solace, comfort, and help in the world, i.e., sources in the world, but never receive anything worthwhile. Men have peace societies, temples, and plans, such as the United Nations, whose very premise is supposed to be peace, but in truth has little effect. Men talk peace but arm for war all the while. They killed the Prince of Peace (Acts 4:27) and ignore Him still, so they will have no peace until He comes to reign (Ps. Chpt. 2;1 Cor. 15:24-28; I Thess. 5:3).

The phrase, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” proclaims by its very structure, that this life, even for the Christian, and especially the Christian, is not to be trouble free. However, even though the Lord does not promise a trouble free existence as some claim, He does promise “Peace” in the midst of that trouble, whatever it might be. The word “afraid” actually means “terrified,” which is the only time that word is used in this manner in the New Testament. So, this means that some problems will be of an extremely severe nature. Irrespective, the Lord is saying that our trust in Him must not waiver, because He has promised to see us through, and as well, as stated, to give Peace in the midst of whatever problem may arise. His legacy of Peace was not only the Peace for heart and conscience secured by the “Blood of His Cross” (Col. 1:20), but His Own Peace in which He lived when on earth as a Man.

That was a “Peace” that the world could neither touch nor reach nor destroy. In that Peace, He Himself walked as a Man in fellowship with the Father. Earthly legacies are limited and frequently do not materialize, but this legacy is unlimited and real. So He speaks of “My Peace” (vs.27), “My Love” (Jn. 15:9), “My Joy” (Jn. 15:11), and “My Glory” (Jn. 17:22), and these are in the bequest (Williams).

“God’s abiding Peace is in my heart today.
“And i feel it now, I feel it now,
“He has taken all my doubts and fears away, “Through I cannot tell you how.”
“It is mine, mine, Blessed be His Name,
“He has given Peace, Perfect Peace to me. “It is mine, Blessed be His Name, “Mine for all eternity!”

Have a blessed day!
Thanks,Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart

SURVIVING GETHSEMANE

Interestingly enough, the Garden of Gethsemane is not actually a garden; it is an orchard. Olive trees still grow there today. During the years of Jesus’ ministry, an olive press there produced oil for the entire region. In fact, the word “Gethsemane” stems from this. In the Hebrew tongue, a “gat” is a press, a huge five-foot-high stone, and a “semane” is oil. In order to extract the oil, the olives must first be crushed.

On the evening before Jesus’ crucifixion he went to the orchard of that olive press to pray with his disciples and to experience the ‘crush’ of submission to the Father’s will. It was a time of emotional and spiritual agony, but Christ ultimately prevailed. “Remove this cup…nevertheless thy will be done.”

Every believer has a personal Gethsemane to walk through. But we are never alone. Jesus Christ, our High Priest, has prayed earnestly for us. (John, chapter 17) And by faith, we overcome.

Have a blessed day!

A breakthrough requires a trial to break through.
It would be nice to simply wake up one day and suddenly be a mature Christian, but in order to grow up in God, we will have to go through trials. There is no other way to grow strong spiritually than to go through trials.

1 Peter 5:10 says, And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. You may not like trials, but this verse says that when you are going through trials after you have suffered a little while, you will grow to be firmly rooted and grounded (strong, firm and steadfast) in God.

Similarly, James 1:12 says, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. Here again, you don’t get the rewards (the crown of life) until you have persevered under trial and stood the test.

So, learn to be thankful in your trials, because in order to get your breakthrough, you need a trial to break through.

Therefore, don’t be discouraged during times of suffering. Know that after you have suffered a little while, God himself will make you strong firm and steadfast.

Have a blessed day!

THE SAFEST PLACE The Clark Sisters of gospel music fame recorded a song which proclaims emphatically that “the safest place in the whole wide world is in the will of God.” In my own ministry, I have consistently taught that “the center of God’s will is the place of His promise, power, protection and provision.”Of course, it isn’t always easy to accept or adhere to the divine will. For sometimes God says “no” to our heartfelt requests, when we would obviously welcome an affirmative response. Remember that His “no” is rendered in the service of present or future good, whether we can readily discern it, or not. It has been said that when God bolts the door, one should never attempt to gain entrance through the window. Amen to that! Because the will of God will never ever lead us where the love of God is not powerfully present and the grace of God will not promote, protect and provide for us.I love how Pastor Chuck Swindoll frames it: “God doesn’t work on our timetable. He has a plan that He will execute perfectly and for the highest, greatest good of all, and for His ultimate glory.”My friends, we do trust HIM, don’t we? Yes, and we have every expectation that He is and shall be a present and powerful source of hope and help – every day and every way. That’s why the very safest place in the whole wide world is (absolutely and indisputably) inside the will of God. Have a blessed day!

TRANSITIONING!

Transition is the process that leads to progress. During the process of transition, actions are taken to reach goals that can change or preserve circumstance. Once the process phase has been completed, progress advances forward. Where process may require back and forth movement, progress only allows onward movement towards destination or purpose. In other words, process will get you ready, whereas progress will ensure you get to what you were getting ready for. Since actions, behavior, and attitude create circumstance, it is important to understand all circumstance transitions to opportunity. Therefore, transition is constant, the process to get to progress is daunting, but progress is inevitable.

Transition is the bridge between where we are and where we want or need to be. We transition to align with change. So, change is not the same as transition. No. Change is an event that leads to and results from transition. Transition is about adapting to change. It is likened to the gestation period between conception and birth, or winter between fall and spring. Since “To every thing there is a season,” transition works to ensure all the seasons change.

Transition can be ugly, intense, and uncomfortable. It may cause you to question your efforts. You may become bitter or disinterested. Although it may feel like you are declining, know that you are inclining to progress. However, you cannot get to your progress without going through the process. Unfortunately, chaos is part of the process to progress. Pain is part of the process to progress. The broken family, the loss, the heartbreak; it is all part of the process to progress.

Transitioning from perception to reality can make a person lose their mind. Nonetheless, insanity is the process to the progress of sanity. You cannot find a mind you have not lost. One cannot be insane in the right mind. Insanity is a result of being in the wrong mind. Therefore, one must transition from one mind or way of thinking to another. Thus, you are encouraged to, “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” You cannot have transformation without transition, and you cannot transition without change.

We gain insight and perspective in the process of transition. Process is about going through and going through can be tiring. Imagine going through a valley to get a mountain only to realize you must now climb it. Yes. Transition will usher your tired into another level of tired. However, we only think about making lasting progress when we get tired. Especially, when we get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. To transition from process to progress we must: solve problems, overcome obstacles, take opportunities, and suffer long enough to accept change.

Sacrifices are made for the sake of progress. Progress in transition initiates abundance, nourishment, restoration, and stability. For that reason, what you lost in your process, you will find better in your progress. Yes. You are going to get it all back with interest. Maybe in another form, but you’ll get it back. You must not be counterproductive to your progress. Transition may feel like delay, but it is not denial. You may feel stagnant because things are not moving fast enough for you; but they are moving for you. In the process, things are shifting and adjusting; but you will arrive at renewal and restoration in your progress.

Blessed overcomer, the transition you are experiencing is not to make you bitter. No. It is to make you and your circumstances better. Be patient and use the opportunity of transition to reflect, rest, plan, prepare, and pamper yourself. Take inventory of what remains. Focus on who you are and what you desire or need at this time. Do not expect everyone to understand the process you go through to get to your progress. It is not for them to understand. No. It is for you to go through, come out of, and arrive.

Have a blessed day!

WHEN GOD “SHIFTS YOU”At your appointed time when all is going well, God will shift you back into alignment of his purpose. God didn’t intend for you to be broke, lonely, divorced, unhappy, bitter, miserable, depressed, worried, so at an appointed time of destiny, God will shift you back to the place he ordained for you before the foundation of the world began. When God shift you, you don’t know what you will be when God shifts you, nor what you can now do.When God shifts you, you don’t know how anointed you will be. You don’t know what God has in store for you, but your shifting is a sign that God is getting ready to use you and position you to prosper, he’s getting ready to bless you. Your shift is proof that its your season. You’re getting ready to move in the power of God. New dimensions of favor are about to be released over your life and ministry. New blessing attract new enemies, so don’t run from them because God said that he will prepare a table for you IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ENEMIES. There is nothing your enemies can do to you, because when God shifts you, he’s going to elevate you above people who cannot appreciate the new level of glory you’re about to step into, so get ready for the shift.

Have a blessed day!

BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew quite tired of royal court life and the constant pressures of being a monarch. So he applied to Prior Richard at the local monastery, asking to be accepted as a monk and to spend his remaining days in the monastery. “Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be very difficult because you have been a king.” His response was, “I do understand. For the rest of my life I will be obedient to you, just as Christ leads you.” Prior Richard smiled knowingly and said, “Then I will tell you what to do. Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where GOD has put you.”

When King Henry died, a royal proclamation was penned: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.” Should we become exhausted or bored with our roles and responsibilities, it will help to remember that God has planted us in a certain place. He admonishes us to be a good accountant, or teacher, or carpenter, or laborer, or mother, or father, or whatever. Undoubtedly, Jesus Christ expects us to be faithful stewards wherever He has placed us. At His return, shall be commended for fulfilling our part in His master plan, and we’ll spend eternity with Him.

My friend, bloom where you are planted…even if it occasionally feels like a desert!

Have a blessed day!

PEOPLE PLEASING!

People pleasing is a manifestation of rejection. It is LETHAL. It will kill your destiny because you will be so bound to pleasing others you will sabotage every area God wants to bless you in. E very decision you make will be based on how people perceive you instead of how God sees you. It will literally cause you to draw back from prosperity because you minimize what God has done because you are afraid people will think you are prideful even when you are giving God the glory. It causes people to live lies and present illusions to impress others at the expense of their own happiness. It has poverty attached to it . Its an open invitation for narcissist. It brings a curse because its idolatry. You cannot be led by 2 lords. I can speak on this because this is an area I had to get delivered from. Joyce Meyer wrote a book called WHEN PLEASING OTHERS HURTS YOU. It blessed me. Stop minimizing what God is doing in your life. Obey God unapologitically. Be led by Holy Spirit and not the fear of man and fear of rejection. The bible says the fear of man brings a snare. A snare is used to entrap animals with a noose or wire cord. It means you are prey and the predator controls your ability to move . Your proximity is limited. You can only go or advance as far as the person that controls the cord or wire will loosen the grip. Break it NOW in Jesus Name.

Have a blessed day!

NEVER LET A DAY PASS BY WITHOUT SETTLING MISUNDERSTANDINGS WITH YOUR SPOUSE.

One of the first decisions you should make is that no matter what you should never let a day pass by without settling the disputes in relationship, no matter who is at fault, the most important thing is that there should be room for discussion.

No matter how offended you are, always give room to your partner to explain themselves, understand where the misunderstanding is coming from and fix it. But when you don’t give your spouse listening ears, it would be very difficult to know where the misunderstanding is coming from and fix it.

After a misunderstanding, stop avoid picking your spouse’s call, stop ignoring their messages, stop avoid their messages on social media, give room for dialogue, speak to them and hear them out, avoiding them only makes matter worst for both parties.

Create room to always listen to your spouse after a misunderstanding, it helps prevent more misunderstandings, it helps you solve misunderstandings, it helps you know yourselves better.

One day you will meet someone and they’ll naturally be All about you.. Effortlessly. Endlessly. No extras. They ain’t gonna play about you. Will hurt anyone before they hurt you. Won’t ever put you in a position to be laughed at, ridiculed or embarrassed. Help you heal. Help you grow Mentally, physically, financially and spiritually. Won’t entertain a soul that dislikes you. Won’t allow anyone to disrespect you. Selfish with themselves. Allowing only you into their most sacred intimate spaces. Your protector, your safe space. Your peace in the midst of chaos. Speak it. Claim it. Manifest the life you want. Heal yourself. Prepare for a love unknown 🤍🧿

Have a blessed day!

An Abused Woman’s Prayer:

Romans 12:19, Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place into wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

My prayer:
Thank you Lord for this day. Lord please help all women that are being abused and are going through depression. Comfort them in a way that only you can. Control their thoughts, and take their mind’s back. Place them under subjection of the Holy Ghost. Lord you said; revenge is yours. So Lord we as abused Women are trusting you to revenge us your children.
Give us your strenght to walk away from the abuse, for we have none of our own. For if we did we would have been out of this situation. And Lord let someone hear our cry and defend us here on earth, as you defend us in heaven.
Please Lord strenghten our faith in you and lead and guide us through this tragic time.
Help people to understand the sincereity of abuse and depression, naturally and Spiritually. Lord please open doors on our behalf so that we may get away. And Lord for this and more we will forever give you the praise and tell of your goodness.
Thank you for answering this prayer.
F.E.A

Happy Father’s Day!!!!!

Well, this Sunday, June 19, 2022, is the second Sunday after Pentecost, even more importantly, IT’S FATHER’S DAY!!

As we honor our Heavenly Father, but also as we recognize, what many believe is a rare commodity today; real, traditional faithful Fathers, and those who serve in the role of Father.

Where did Father’s Day originate?

In 1909 in Spokane, Wash. MS Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Her father had raised six children alone. MS Dodd felt moved to honor her father, and fathers everywhere, with a special day just like Mother’s Day.

When newspapers across the country carried the story about Spokane’s observance, the popularity of Father’s Day spread. Several presidents declared it a holiday, and in 1972, Richard Nixon established it as the third Sunday in June.

Now, the Hebrew word for “father” is “pa-ter.” It is defined as:

“One who imparts life and is committed to it; it’s a “person or thing.” from which a person is descended or originates; (an ancestor or parent); one who brings into being and passes on the potential for likeness in an intimate connection and relationship.”

Did you catch that?…. “One who imparts life and is committed to it….one who brings into being and “passes on the potential for likeness” in an intimate connection and relationship.”

That is where the phrase, “you act just like your father’ comes from!!

In other words, in the Biblical sense, a “pa-ter” or father…. OFTEN BIOLOGICALLY AND/OR SOCIALLY, PASSES ONTO THE CHILD, THE “POTENTIAL FOR LIKENESS,” …. THE POTENTIAL FOR BEING JUST LIKE THEIR FATHER!!

GOODNESS!!

SO CLEARLY IT’S IMPORTANT…FOR THE LIFE AND THE FUTURE OF THE CHILD….”WHO THE FATHER IS!?!?”

Every man that helps produce a child, does NOT meet this definition of “pa-ter” or father!

In John Chapter 8, Christ is talking to the Pharisees, about HIS Heavenly Father AND they asked the Lord, “Where is your Father?”

Jesus responded, “YOU don’t know me, and YOU don’t know my Father, BECAUSE if you knew me, YOU would also KNOW my Father.
The Pharisees said, “Abraham is OUR father!

Jesus replied, “NOT SO! I knew your Father Abraham, AND YOU’RE NOT ACTING LIKE ANY OF ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN….BECAUSE ABRAHAM LOVED GOD, AND GOD IS MY FATHER…AND IF ABRAHAM WAS YOUR FATHER, YOU WOULD LOVE ME TOO!…..BUT INSTEAD, HERE YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL ME!”

In other Words, Jesus told the Pharisees “You are not acting like the children of my father. I knew my father before you did, and you say my father is your father, “BUT YOU ARE NOT ACTING LIKE ANY OF HIS CHILDREN….”

SO, JESUS THEN ASKED A QUESTION HE ALREADY KNEW THE ANSWER TO WHEN HE ASKED, “SO WHO IS YOUR FATHER?’

Our Lord would tell them WHO their father REALLY was….in spite of WHO they claimed HE was!

So I asked you today, in the spiritual sense, “Who’s YOUR Daddy?”

Have a blessed day!

MOTIVATING YOURSELF

In the words of Jesus Christ, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b) The Apostle John stated, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” (III John 1:2) Since it is (apparently) the will of Our Father that we (winner-believers) live well-rounded, abundant, productive, healthy and joyful lives, I have reprinted “Seven Self-Motivators” by Brian Tracy for your prayerful consideration.

1 – GET SERIOUS. Make a decision to go all the way to the top and reach your personal goals. Up to now you’ve just thought about it. Others have made the decision to go all the way to the top, and their lives have taken off. It’s the most extraordinary thing. Your life is in shadows and in darkness until the moment you decide that “I’m going to be the best at what I do.” And suddenly you rise into the sunshine, and your life is forever after different – simply wonderful. Get serious…and don’t fool around anymore.

2 – IDENTIFY YOUR LIMITING STEP TO SUCCESS. What’s your limiting step? What’s the one skill area that’s holding you back? What skill, quality, attitude or action do you need? Find out what you need to become good at…what’s holding you back. What is the critical limiting step that’s limiting your success today?

3 – GET AROUND THE RIGHT PEOPLE. Get around winners. Get around positive people. Get around people with goals and plans, people who are going somewhere with their lives and have high aspirations. Get around eagles. ‘You can’t scratch with the turkeys if you want to fly with the eagles.’ Get away from negative and toxic people.

4 – TAKE EXCELLENT CARE OF YOUR HEALTH. Take care of your physical and emotional health. That means a good diet and good exercise. Get a good night’s sleep so you can be fully rested and ready every morning.

5 – USE POSITIVE VISUALIZATION. See yourself as the very best in your field. Remember, any improvement in your life will begin with a change in your mental pictures. Visualize yourself…and continually see yourself as the best.

6 – USE POSITIVE SELF-TALK. Talk to yourself positively all the time. Control your inner dialogue. What do you say to yourself? Say, “I’m the best.” You’re not lying to yourself. You’re telling the truth in advance. Because it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from – all that matters is where you’re going. Talk to yourself the way you want to be, not the way you happen to be at this moment. Remember, you may have gotten where you are today largely by accident, but where you’re going in the future is purely by design.

7 – TAKE POSITIVE ACTION. Get up and get going. Develop a real sense of urgency. A sense of urgency is the one thing you can develop that separates you from everyone else in your field. Be proactive. When you get a good idea, DO IT NOW. Only 2% of people in our society actually apply themselves enough to do this. You can move yourself into the top 2% by resolving that whenever you have an idea or something, DO IT NOW. And the faster you start to move, the better you get. And the better you get, the more you like yourself. And the more you like yourself, the higher your self-esteem is. And the higher your self-esteem is, the greater your self-discipline. And as you persist in self-discipline, you will ultimately become unstoppable.

To Mr. Tracy’s positive and proactive action plan, I must add three MISSION-CRITICAL SELF-MOTIVATORS: 1) PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD, 2) MEDITATING ON THE WORD OF GOD, AND 3) DECREEING/DECLARING WHAT THE WORD SAYS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR SITUATION. [Please read the following scriptures for confirmation and inspiration: I Chronicles 16:27 – Psalm 16:11 – Joshua 1:8 – Job 22:28 – Mark 11:23 – Romans 4:17]. And as my daughter, Kim, so often says, “Keep it moving!”

Have a blessed day!

SELFLESS SERVICE TRUMPS AMBITION

In the spring of 1883 two young men graduated from medical school. The two differed from one another in both appearance and ambition. Ben was short and stocky. Will was tall and thin. Ben dreamed of practicing medicine on the East Coast. Will wanted to work in a rural community. Ben begged his friend to go to New York where they could both make a fortune. Will refused. His friend called him foolish for wanting to practice medicine in the Midwest. “But,” Will said, “I want first of all to be a effective surgeon, the very best, if I have the ability.” Years later, the wealthy and powerful come from around the world to be treated by Will at his medical clinic…the Mayo Clinic.

To offer genuine service to others is a priority for every Christian disciple. Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline” contrasts self-righteous service with sacrificial service: Self-righteous service comes through human effort. True service comes from a relationship with God.

Self-righteous service is impressed with the “big deal.” True service finds it almost impossible to distinguish the small service from the large one.
Self-righteous service requires external rewards. True service rests contentedly in hiddenness.
Self-righteous service is overly concerned about results. True service is free of the need to calculate.
Self-righteous service picks and chooses whom to serve. True service is indiscriminate in its ministry.
Self-righteous service is affected by moods and whims. True service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need.
Self-righteous service is transactional and temporary. True service is a life-style.
Self-righteous service is without sensitivity. True service is based on genuine compassion.

What kind of service do you and I offer and how will it be evaluated by God?

Have a blessed day!

Before you call yourself a prophet do you know that the prophet Isaiah was cut in half for the GOSPEL we are enjoying today…

Before you call yourself a apostle, do you know that Apostles John was thrown into a pot of boiling oil, for the same GOSPEL Apostle Peter was crucified upside down and that is how the early Christian had died…

They died without building a big church but they won souls for JESUS…

Today there are many who make themselves apostles, prophet, bishop, pastor but do not know the value of that name.

Nobody wants to die for the GOSPEL today. I keep asking, are these people really servants of God or of themselves?

So never think your calling is a way to make money. Remember your calling is for GOD is winning souls, not just making money or to get wealth that many people do nowadays!!!

Have a blessed day!

A SURE FORMULA FOR FAILURE

I must confess that I do not possess any readily available or sure-fire formula for life-success. But I do know of one indisputable guarantee of failure. It’s simply this: Try to please everyone.

Live freely and confidently – under the all-wise authority of Jesus Christ. He alone is Lord.

Have a blessed day!

Let your life be pleasing unto God!

This morning, I was meditating and pondering about my own fruit and what my lifestyle is producing. Is my lifestyle pleasing unto God or vexing the Holy Spirit? Apostle Paul writes in Ephesian 4, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not grieve God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Whew, I thank Jesus for the finshed work on the cross. 1 Peter 2:9 refers to believers as peculiar people, we are not our own. We are ambassador for Jesus Christ. Ambassadors must be respectful to those receiving their message, be aware that they are being observed by others that may-not yet be saved, comprehend that their primary allegiance is to God, and stand solid in their faith. All and all, represent our Lord and Savior well…Like it or not, there should be an distinction between you and the world. 🥰

Have a blessed day!

Know your history.Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.Thanks to all of the brave men and women in our nation’s armed services#HappyMemorialDay #KnowledgeisPower

Have a blessed day!

WHY DO FOLKS LIE SO MUCH?

It has well been said that a lie has no legs. Indeed, once a lie is put forth, it becomes necessary to produce additional lies to support it. Bottom-line: One lie told results in other lies to back it up.

America is currently experiencing a major crisis, i.e. a cultural conflict between truth and falsity. It seems that lying has become a centerpiece of our national identity and discourse. If you find that to be implausible, just watch the evening news; or alternatively, tune in to various cable news networks and observe the pontification of politicians and talking-heads. It has become a national disgrace.

Augustine wrote, “When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened, all things will remain doubtful.” Now, ain’t that the truth? [It’s a grammatically flawed but an accurate query]. President Abraham Lincoln argued that “no man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” Now, ain’t that the truth? There’s something so universally telling about lying. Psychologically speaking, we humans have been designed by God to be truth-tellers. Evidence? Truth is relatively easy for us to remember; lies not so much. Think about it.

Lying is Satan’s home turf, not yours or mine. And it may well be that liars do not carefully consider the weight of profound disappointment they could engender in the emotions of family and friends. Friedrich Nietzsche once remarked to an associate: “What upsets me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you.” My friends, whenever we are tempted to lie (and we will be), we should reflect prayerfully and remember that.

Have A Blessed Day!

Gods Positioning System (GPS)☝🏽☝🏽


There is a way that seems right unto a man, but that way is the way of destruction. Sometime our natural gps can be outdated, off course, and just plain out of wack, most of the time it happens just when we need to get somewhere important . This is why we cannot trust the worlds systems, we are in this world, but not of this world. One system that we can most surely trust is Gods system, he will never fail you, failure is not even in his programming. All we must do is trust him with all of our hearts, and acknowledge that we need him in every aspect of our lives, he will be there when we need him. Be encouraged on today and as you go on your way, connect to Gods gps for exact, precise directions.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Have a blessed day on purpose!!!

TO OBEY GOD, OR NOT?

We all should be spiritually instructed by the teachings of Alexander Maclaren, regarding the relationship of faith and unbelief to one’s choice of obedience or disobedience. He writes, “Disobedience is the root of unbelief. Unbelief is the mother of further disobedience. Faith is voluntary submission within a person’s own power. If faith is not exercised, the true cause lies deeper than all intellectual reasons. It lies in the moral aversion of human will and in the pride of independence, which says, ‘Who is Lord over us? Why should we have to depend on Jesus Christ?’ As faith involves submission, so faith breeds obedience, but unbelief leads to high-handed rebellion. The less one trusts, the more one disobeys; the more one disobeys, the less one trusts.”

Think…then do.

The lyrics of an apropos old hymn wisely admonish: “Trust and obey…for there’s no other way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey.”

Have a blessed day!

WHAT WILL YOU MAKE OF YOUR LIFE?

The noted Yale theologian, the late Henri Nouwen, recounted in “The Wounded Healer” the story of four fictional royal brothers in ancient India. Each brother decided to master a special ability. Time went by, and the brothers met to reveal what they had learned.

“I have mastered science,” said the first, “by which I can take but a bone of some creature and create the flesh that goes with it.”

“I,” said the second, “know how to grow that creature’s skin and hair if there is flesh on its bones.”

The third said, “I am able to create its limbs if I have the flesh, skin and hair.”

“And I,” concluded the fourth, “know how to give life to that creature if its form is complete.”

Thereupon the brothers went into the jungle to find a bone so they could demonstrate their particular specialties. As fate would have it, it was a lion’s bone. One brother added flesh to the bone, the second grew hide and hair, the third completed it with matching limbs, and the fourth gave the lion life. Shaking its mane, that ferocious beast quickly rose up and leaped on his creators. He killed them all instantly, then vanished contentedly into the jungle.

Lesson learned. It seem that we, too, have the capacity to create that which can somehow devour us. Goals and dreams can consume us. Possessions and property can turn and destroy us–unless we first seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, allowing Him to breathe wisdom and truth into what we make of this life. (Matthew 6:33)

Have a blessed day!

OUR STRUGGLE TO LISTEN AND HEAR (Part III)

I love how Robert W. Herron frames our communication issues in his book entitled “Homemade.” Herron writes, “Good listening is like tuning in a radio station. For good results, you can listen to only one station at a time. Trying to listen to my wife while looking over an office report is like trying to receive two radio stations at the same time. I end up with distortion and frustration. Listening requires a choice of where I place my attention. To tune into my partner, I must first choose to put away all that will divide my attention. That might mean laying down the newspaper, moving away from the dishes in the sink, putting down the book I’m reading, setting aside my projects.”

Amen, Mr. Herron, Amen! With the help of the Lord, we shall do our best to comply. Active listening and actual hearing require full presence.

Have a blessed day!

OUR STRUGGLE TO LISTEN AND HEAR (Part II)

Wow! I must confess that the following story caused me to start some self-examination and adjustment of my own listening habits.

In Pastor Charles Swindoll’s book, “Stress Fractures,” he confesses a tendency to embrace too many commitments in too short a time frame. He admits to getting quite nervous and tense. “I was snapping at my wife and our children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions through the day. Before long, things around our home started reflecting the pattern of my hurry-up style. It was becoming unbearable.”

“I distinctly remember after supper one evening, the words of our younger daughter, Colleen. She wanted to tell me something important that had happened to her at school that day. She began hurriedly, ‘Daddy, I wanna tell you somethin’ and I’ll tell you really fast.’ ”

“Suddenly realizing her frustration, I answered, ‘Honey, you can tell me — and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly.’ “And I’ll never forget her answer: ‘Then listen slowly.’ “

Lesson learned. It’s important to take time (quality time) to really listen and hear the heart of others.

Have a blessed day!

OUR STRUGGLE TO LISTEN AND HEAR (Part I)

Since our Creator wisely designed us with one mouth and two ears, the implicit lesson is that listening is considerably more valuable and impactful than speaking. However, the human tendency is to satisfy ego by doing exactly the opposite. I came across a relevant evaluation tool on listening habits, reprinted below for your prayerful consideration.

HOW GOOD A LISTENER ARE YOU?
1) Since you think about four times faster than a person usually talks, do you use this time to think about other things while you’re keeping track of the conversation?
2) Do you listen primarily for facts rather than ideas when someone is speaking?
3) Do you avoid listening to things you feel will be too difficult to understand?
4) Can you tell from someone’s appearance and delivery that nothing worthwhile will be said?
5) When someone is talking to you do you appear to be paying attention when you’re not?
6) Do certain words and phrases prejudice you and cancel your objectivity?
7) While listening do you tend to be distracted by outside sights and sounds?

Think. Evaluate. Adjust. Improve and elevate communication.

Have a blessed day!

NEVER BET AGAINST ALMIGHTY GOD

While crossing the Atlantic on an oceanliner, F.B. Meyer was asked to address the first-class passengers. At the captain’s request he delivered a sermon on “Answered Prayer.” An agnostic who was present at the service was asked by his friends, “What did you think of Dr. Meyer’s sermon?” He answered, “I didn’t believe a word of it!” That afternoon Meyer went to speak to the passengers in the ship’s lower compartments. Many of the listeners at his morning address also went along, including the agnostic who claimed he just wanted to “hear what the babbler had to say.”

Before starting out for the service, the agnostic put two oranges in his pocket. On his way he passed an elderly woman sitting in her deck chair fast asleep. Her hands were open. In the spirit of fun, the agnostic put the two oranges in her outstretched palms. After the meeting, he saw the old lady happily eating one of the pieces of fruit. “You seem to be enjoying that orange,” he remarked with a cynical smile. “Yes, sir,” she replied, “My Father is very good to me.” “Your father?” he asked. “Surely your father can’t be still alive!” “Praise God,” she replied enthusiastically, “He is very much alive.” ‘What do you mean?” pressed the agnostic. She explained, “I’ll tell you, sir. I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I suppose I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had not only sent me one orange but two!” The agnostic was speechless. Later, he was converted to Christ. Praying in God’s will certainly produce answers.

Whenever you think you’ve got God all figured out, go back to the drawing board because you don’t (and never will). His awesome ways are incomprehensible – simply “past finding out.” (Job 9:10 – Romans 11:33)

Have a blessed day!

NEVER DEBATE NITWITS

C.K. Johnson, president of the International Flat Earth Research Society, rails against proven and verifiable fact. He writes, “Forget what you learned in elementary school–the earth is flat as a pancake. All that stuff about the earth being round and the sun being the center of the solar system is a big joke.” Johnson leads an organization of more than 1,400 members who take great pleasure in poking fun at people like you and me, whom they describe as “globites.”

Nevertheless, Johnson claims that their society is largely comprised of doctors, lawyers, engineers and architects. These Flat-Earthers dismiss modern science as a conspiratorial club for sun worshippers, and they write off all space programs as multi-billion-dollar hoaxes. According to them, “The moon walk was done on a Hollywood set. All faked!” Johnson and his followers also insist that our sun is a gigantic spotlight measuring 32 miles across and moving in an ellipse 3000 miles above the equator. Furthermore, they believe that the stars are mere holes poked in a huge canopy covering the Earth.

There is an old and apt saying that simply says, “When ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.” To be transparent, there was a time earlier in life when I was prone to engage in serious debate with those whose worldviews are totally out of touch with reality. FYI, I no longer participate in such wastes of time and energy.

My advice: For your peace of mind, never debate people who have long since surrendered logic, facts, balance, sensibility and wisdom. You will seldom succeed. Sometimes, the best response is silence.

Have a blessed day!

THE BLACK SHEEP

The BLACK SHEEP gets done WRONG most of their lives, but are always the one needed later in life that’s because the BLACK SHEEP are really the CHOSEN ONES . People couldn’t accept YOU even as a kid, let alone an Adult and I never knew why! But I lived and learned Now I UNDERSTAND why .. We CARRY the BLESSED SPIRIT, the HEALING SPIRIT, the MANIFESTING SPIRIT, and WE can WALK in a ROOM, HOUSE, etc and SHIFT the ENTIRE ATMOSPHERE. Miserable spirits will NEVER accept the CHOSEN ONES until, THEY NEED THEM for personal gain 😏, but WE HAVE a JOB to do. GOD CHOSE US Our LIVES aren’t easy, but we live a BLESSED ONE. We can’t be STOPPED & I’m NOT SURE if YOU’VE NOTICED but NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US EVER PROSPERS 💜💜💜

Have a blessed day!!!

CHRISTIANITY WAS NEVER ABOUT PROSPERITY

One of the most tragic occurrences in contemporary church culture is the undue emphasis on securing wealth in this present world. It is marketed and packaged deceptively in the bright-colored and distracting ribbons of God’s will for an ‘end-time redistribution of wealth’ or ‘the need to demonstrate the truth of the gospel by the success of believers’ or ‘financing the Kingdom of God,’ etc.

It’s nonsense. And it’s a demonic distraction and deception.

Many would even have us believe (implicitly) that the least among us may not be true Christians, because those who are closest to Christ are either benefactors or beneficiaries of fiscal blessing. Well, I have an important suggestion. Instead of bending a listening ear to the self-serving teachings and testimonials of those who would manipulate us, why not attend to the words of the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ? Here’s what our Lord has to say on this matter: “A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things that he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) And, according to Jesus, “You have the poor with you always.” (Mark 14:7 – Matthew 26:11) In fact, believe it or not, Jesus Christ was actually homeless! “And Jesus said unto him, foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no where to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58) Stop trying to be rich; start trying to be right.

Prosperity teaching contradicts and cheapens the atoning work of Christ’s cross. Furthermore, it manipulates the masses. And importantly, it is a stumbling-block and turn-off to those who might otherwise hear, receive and live – if they received unvarnished, uncommercialized, gospel truth.

This problematic situation reminds me of a true story set forth by Clarence Jordan, the author of the “Cotton Patch” translation of the New Testament and founder of the interracial Koinonia farm in Americus, Georgia. It seems that he was getting a red-carpet tour of another minister’s church. With overflowing pride the pastor pointed to their lavish imported pews and luxurious décor. As they stepped outside in the twilight, a spotlight shone on a huge cross atop the magnificent church steeple. “That cross alone cost us ten thousand dollars,” the minister proclaimed with a self-satisfied smile. “You got cheated,” replied Jordan. “Times were when Christians could get them for free.” Think.

Here’s something we should always remember. If the gospel is true anywhere, it is true everywhere. It is virtually impossible for those who occupy the bottom rungs of the economic ladder in so-called ‘third-world-nations’ to attain opportunities for wealth that are present in more industrialized nations. Are they thus less eligible recipients of the grace of God? And is their inability to acquire riches an indicator of the lack of true faith, or a lower quality of faith? My friend, if the specifics of the gospel aren’t just as valid and attainable in the impoverished slums of Africa or Asia – as they are in the wealthy enclaves of America – then none of the message is true. That reality (in and of itself) nullifies prosperity preaching. Poor people may never reside in magnificent homes or attain worldly possessions that neighbors admire or envy, but they can surely lay claim on eternal life.

Bottom-line: God does not want us to be rich; God wants us to be whole.

Have a blessed day!

GOD’S PRESENCE IS EVERYTHING

After attending church one Sunday evening, an innocent little boy knelt at his bedside and prayed, “Dear God, we had a good time at church today–but I wish you had been there!” Hmm…

While the young boy likely meant that literally, there is a lesson here for all of us. Sometimes, it seems like what goes on in many church services is more of a ritual, a customary and habitual behavior, than an edifying entrance into the presence of the Lord. To wit, worship should always be a powerful spiritual togetherness, a corporate passage-by-faith into the inner sanctum of Heaven’s throne room. In a real sense, true worshippers kneel before their Creator fully disrobed, stripped of self and selfishness, naked and unashamed, surrendering agendas, plans, ideas and emotions in exchange for an intimate encounter with the King of Kings.

Allow me to frame it another way: Just as the Word commands me to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, it is only reasonable that worship should also emerge from deep within my heart, resounding through my soul, mind and physical being. (Mark 12:30)

Bottom-line: If God does not occupy the center of our worship, if we not spiritually and fully engaged, it just becomes a hollow, routine, shallow, empty and lonely experience. For only in God’s presence is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11) Therefore, the church sanctuary must and shall be a supremely sacred space where all may sense the very essence of Christ, as revealed through His Holy Spirit. After all, He alone is the personification of our joy, peace, comfort, security and love. His presence is everything.

Have a blessed day!

FREE TO ALL

During the 1900s, Dwight L. Moody was a highly successful businessman who gave it all up to pursue the ministry. He became a well-known and profoundly influential evangelist. One of my favorite Moody quotes is this: “All you have got to do is to prove that you are a sinner, and I will prove that you have got a Savior.”

What is GRACE? Grace is the unmerited and undeserved favor of God. None of us deserve it, and no one could possibly earn it. It’s simply God’s gift. “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

John Newton’s famous hymn, entitled “Amazing Grace,” describes it far mor eloquently and succinctly than I:

1 Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

2 ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

3 The Lord hath promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

4 Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
T’was grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

5 When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

My friend, no matter where you are in this life, no matter what you have done, you are an eligible recipient of the grace of God, who loves us far more that we could possibly imagine. Trust Him.
Have a Blessed Day!

POST-RESURRECTION APPEARANCES OF JESUS CHRIST

“The New Unger’s Bible Handbook” documents the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ. These witnessed appearances validate the certainty that He arose with absolute victory over death, hell and the grave. Because He is “the firstborn among many brethren,” we too shall conquer death and live eternally in the presence of our Redeemer. (Romans 8:29)

Jesus Christ Appeared…

…to Mary Magdalene (Jn. 20:14-18; Mk. 16:9)
…to the women returning from the tomb (Mt. 28:8-10)
…to Peter later in the day (Lk. 24:34; I Cor. 15:5)
…to the disciples going to Emmaus in the evening (Lk. 24:13-31)
…to the apostles (except Thomas) (Lk. 24:36-45; Jn. 20-19-24)
…to the apostles a week later (Thomas present) (Jn. 20:24-29)
…in Galilee to the seven by the Lake of Tiberias (Jn. 21:1-23)
…in Galilee on a mountain to the apostles and 500 believers (I Cor. 15:6)
…at Jerusalem and Bethany again to James (I Cor. 15:7)
…at Olivet and the ascension (Acts 1:3-12)
…to Paul near Damascus (Acts 9:3-6; I Cor. 15:8)
…to Stephen outside Jerusalem (Acts 7:55)
…to Paul in the temple (Acts 22:17-21; 23:11)
…to John on Patmos (Rev. 1:10-19)

Hence, our Lord and Savior “ever liveth…” (Hebrews 7:25)

JESUS LIVES!

Have a blessed day!

THE AGONY OF CRUCIFIXION

What is crucifixion, one might ask? C. Truman David, M.D. provides an apt physical description:

The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. The nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet.

As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over–the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level–the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues–the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues. Finally he can allow his body to die.

The Bible records all of this with the simple words, “And they crucified Him.” (Mark 15:24). What an awesome and unfathomable love for us – that the Savior surrendered his body to this unspeakable torture while bearing the collective sin of humanity on Calvary’s cross. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Have a blessed day!

GOD’S FILLING STATION
This is a place where everyone is welcome to come as a friend, either as an old one or a brand new one.
The filling station where you can plug in and reclaim your life, renew your spirits and elevate your faith with God.
Everyone who travels this road and along the path of God, will some day require the services of the filling station,
This is a place to relax, purchase for yourself, on your knees, a bag of faith, fill your mind with a greater desire for the spirits and meet the grace of God.
The filling station is designed from the cross, where praying is healing.
The filling station is where you can repair and maintain your hopes and dreams for the gift of salvation.
The station where you can recreate yourself. God’s station is an isle of contentment.
Here at the filling station, you can become the infrastructure and management system for God.
The station where you can become a model for the world, the station is where you will meet men like Peter, denying Christ and a non-believer, turned believer and began spreading the gospel as one of God’s favorite individual.
This station is where you can wash dust and remove evil from your soul, where you can discover and explore the goodness of Jesus Christ. where you can polish your mind, be blessed and bless be his glorious name and, the whole earth will be filled with his glory. You may hunger and thirst after righteousness, but you will be filled with the love of God and the holy ghost.
This station is where you can become filled with the fruit of righteousness and understand the glory and praises for his name. Now that your soul is prepared, warm with love, and filled with the goodness of Jesus Christ, notwithstanding what you give to this world and not those things which are needful to the body. So ask yourself after you have been to God’s filling station:
WHAT DOES IT PROFIT?

Have a blessed day!

HE HAS RISEN! TOMB THOU SHALT NOT HOLD HIM NO LONGER; DEATH IS STRONG, BUT LIFE IS STRONGER; FAITH AND HOPE TRIUMPHANT SAY; CHRIST WILL RISE ON EASTER DAY. (“PHILLIP BROOKS")

WORD FOR TODAY!
“He is not here for He is Risen as He said come, see the place where The Lord Lay” (Matthews 28:06)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY!
Where is the miracle of Easter? Dare we look for one miracle among so many? Angels appearing? The rolled back stone? Earthquake mighty and fearful?
All of these had occurred before Easter, and they have happened since.

Not even the restoring of life to a dead body is a first. No, the uniqueness of Christ’s ressurection lies in it’s accomplishments.

The Miracle of Easter is the conquering of sin. Jesus took all our sins on Himself, but He emerged the victor, freeig us sin’s power and penalty.

The Miracle of Easter is the conquering of Hell. Satan’s forces had thught to win, but the empty tomb testifies to their utter defeat. Hell has now no claim on us.

The Miracle of Easter is the conquerig of death, Christ came forth triumphant-for Himself and for us who trust Him.

SEE HIM NOW!!!!!

The key to death’s vauth dangles from His belt, the chain of sins dominion hangs broken in His hand; the gate of hell is borne under His arm.

HE HAS RISEN!!!!
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth. (Matthews 26:16)

Genuine believers in Christ’s burial andd resurrection will help carry out His mandate to spread the Gospel. He lived, died, and was resurrected, and now we must live in resurrection power and tell the good news.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!
F.E.A

UNTHANKFULNESS

Ingratitude is actually a picture of immaturity. For example, infants do not always appreciate what parents do for them. They have short memories. Their concern is not what you did yesterday, but what are you doing today? For them, the past is meaningless and so is the future. They live for the moment.

On the other hand, those who are mature are deeply appreciative of the attention and labor of others. I read a legal article that critiqued the clients of Samuel Leibowitz, a criminal lawyer and judge who saved 78 men from the electric chair. Not one of them ever bothered to thank him. Wow!

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, had a similar experience, as recorded in Luke 17:12-18…

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ And when he saw them, he said unto them, ‘Go shew yourselves unto the priests.’ And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’

Throughout life, remember this: The giving of thanks invariably makes room for more.

Have a blessed day!

SPIRITUAL WARFARE!

STRATEGIES OF SATAN: THE BATTLE OVER THE WALLS
When Nehemiah determined to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, he met powerful opposition
from his enemies. When your determine to rebuild spiritual walls, you will face similar
opposition from your enemy, Satan. The strategies of the enemies of Nehemiah are identical to
the strategies Satan uses to attack spiritual walls. The attacks are divided into two main
categories: External attacks and internal attacks.
EXTERNAL ATTACKS:
These are attacks the enemy launches from without through others who are not part of the body
of Christ. Such attacks include:

  1. Direct criticism: Nehemiah 2:19-23.

The enemies criticized, “What do you think you are doing?” They were against the
reconstruction project and tried in every way to prevent it.

  1. Mocking and scorn: Nehemiah 4:1-3

Nehemiah became a “target for tongues.” The enemy tried to defeat him through the mocking
and scorn of others. Satan will use the tongue of others to discourage and defeat you.

  1. False accusations: Nehemiah 6:5-7
    The enemy attacked Nehemiah personally with false accusations. They accused him of being a
    rebel. Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren.” He will use others to accuse you as well as
    putting accusing thoughts in your mind.
  2. Diversion: Nehemiah 6:2
    The enemy tried to get Nehemiah to join them for a meeting. This meeting was a diversion tactic
    to call Nehemiah away from the work of rebuilding the wall. Diversion from the things of God
    and the work He has given you to do is still a chief strategy of Satan.
  3. Popular influence: Nehemiah 6:2
    The enemy said let “us” meet together, trying to influence Nehemiah with popular opinion.
    Popular opinion said Nehemiah was a rebel and the wall could not be built. Trying to get
    believers to conform to popular opinion, majority rule, and the principles of the world is a key
    strategy of Satan. A false prophet claiming to be of God was even used by the enemy to attack
    Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:10-13). Popular opinion would say to listen to a “prophet of God.” We
    are warned of false prophets who would divert us from God.
  4. Compromise: Nehemiah 5:14-19
    Nehemiah refused to compromise. He did not conform to wrong life styles and principles around
    him. His motto was, “So did not I, because of the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5:15). Satan
    promotes compromise. He tries to convince believers that something is all right because others
    are doing it or that such things really are not wrong.
  5. Threats and fear: Nehemiah 6:5-9
    The enemy made fearful threats against Nehemiah and his workers. Satan knows that fear
    paralyzes but faith energizes believers to be effective for God. When Nehemiah was offered a
    way to escape from the enemy, he refused to be fearful and retreat (Nehemiah 6:10-13). He did
    not take the easy way out. Satan tries to make believers flee in the face of opposition. When
    you are running you are retreating, and when you retreat you do not gain or hold spiritual
    ground.
    When you walk by faith you will encounter opposition of those who walk by sight.2:24
  6. Fighting and hindering: Nehemiah 4:8
    Open tactics of fighting and hindering were also used. The enemy is not always subtle in his
    attacks. Sometimes he comes right out in the open to fight and hinder.
  7. Conspiracy: Nehemiah 4:8; 6:2
    A conspiracy or plot was made against Nehemiah by the enemy. The enemy plots against your
    life also:
    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…
    (John 10:10)
  8. Attacks at vulnerable times: Nehemiah 4:6
    The greatest attack of the enemy came when the wall was half finished because this was a
    strategic (important) time. The enemy invades at strategic times when you are vulnerable (most
    open and affected by his attacks).
    • The Prophet Jonah became despondent after the greatest revival ever experienced
    (Jonah 3-4).
    • David fell into sin at a time of great victory in his life. Up until that time he had
    not known military defeat.
    • Samson fell into sin when he “began” to deliver Israel from the hands of the
    Philistines.
    When you are being effective for God, you are vulnerable to enemy attack. Satan is concerned
    most with those who are advancing in the spirit world.
    INTERNAL ATTACKS:
    Internal attacks of Satan are those made from within the Body of Christ. They include:
  9. Discouragement: Nehemiah 4:10-11
    The workers became discouraged which resulted in:
    • Loss of strength.
    • Loss of vision because of “too much rubbish.”
    • Loss of confidence
  10. Dissension: Nehemiah 5, and
    Nehemiah 5, opens with dissension among God’s people. If Satan divides the Body of Christ, he makes us ineffective. We are busy battling each other instead of building. Wrong motives are always behind dissension. In Nehemiah chapter 5, the wrong motive was greed.
  11. Weak believers: Nehemiah 4:12
    The enemy used weak workers (symbolic of weak believers in the Body of Christ) to try to
    defeat
    the construction project.

SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES: VICTORY AT THE WALL
The following strategies were used by Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. You can use
the same strategies to assure victory at your spiritual walls:

EXAMINE THE WALLS:
As Nehemiah did in the natural world, examine the walls of your spiritual life. (Nehemiah 2)
Has the enemy crept into your personal life, your home, church fellowship, business, etc.?
But let a man examine himself… (I Corinthians 11:28)
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…
(II Corinthians 13:5)
Remember that self-examination is one of the symbolic gates of your wall in the spirit world.
Satan will try to prevent you from self-examination because it will result in recognition of areas
in your life where you have let him destroy the walls and invade.

CONFESS YOUR SIN:
As Nehemiah, recognize that the reason walls are destroyed is because of sin. Then like he did
(Nehemiah 1:5-7), confess your sin and ask forgiveness:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:8-9)

RECOGNIZE THAT YOU CANNOT BUILD ALONE:
When Nehemiah’s workers said, “We ourselves are unable to build the wall,” it was a true
statement. By themselves they were unable. They needed the power of God to equip them for
the task…So will you!

ARISE AND BUILD:

As Nehemiah, determine to rise and rebuild your spiritual walls:
Then answered I them, and said unto them, the God of Heaven, He will
prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build: but ye have no
portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2:20)
Be prepared…You will face opposition from the enemy.
DO NOT BE DIVERTED:
Nehemiah refused to be diverted by enemy tactics (Nehemiah 6:2-3). Do not let the enemy divert
or distract you from rebuilding your spiritual walls.

DO NOT BE SWAYED BY “POPULAR OPINION”:

Popular opinion was that Nehemiah was a rebel (Nehemiah 2:19). Popular opinion held that the
walls could not be properly rebuilt (Nehemiah 4:3). Nehemiah was not swayed by popular
opinion. Rather than conform to popular opinion, Nehemiah set an example. He said, “So did
not I, because of the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5:14-19. Become an example in spiritual warfare.
Do not become part of the crowd that says victory is impossible.

IDENTIFY THE ENEMY AND HIS STRATEGIES:

Nehemiah identified the enemy and his strategies. He discovered that the enemy planned a
surprise attack (Nehemiah 4:8 and 11). You must identify your spiritual enemy and his strategies
in order to be effective in spiritual warfare. This will help you be prepared for surprise attacks.
Recognize that the enemy has conspired against you to kill, steal, and destroy but realize God
has
greater power and wants to give you life more abundantly (John 10:10).

DEVELOP SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES:

Nehemiah developed a counter strategy when he heard the enemy planned to attack. He set some
workers as a guard to watch for the enemy. Every worker built the wall but also had his sword
and was prepared to fight (Nehemiah 4:13-18). A signal was arranged (a trumpet blast) to alert
the warriors of an invasion. Because they were prepared to fight and knew the strategy of the
enemy, they prevented an invasion. They knew if they had to war with the enemy, God would
fight for them:
…our God shall fight for us. (Nehemiah 4:20)
If you develop proper spiritual counter strategies, you can prevent many invasions of the enemy
into your life. When Satan does break through and invade, be assured that God will fight for
you!

FACE THE ENEMY:

When Nehemiah was offered refuge from the enemy, he refused. He said, “Should such a man
as I flee?” (Nehemiah 6:11). Nehemiah faced the enemy in God’s power. When the enemy
threatens you, do not flee or take the easy way out or your spiritual walls will never be secure.
When internal dissension and discouragement arose and the enemy worked through weak
believers, Nehemiah did not ignore the attacks. He confronted and conquered them.

PROTECT YOUR WALL AT VULNERABLE TIMES:

In the story of Nehemiah, the greatest attack of the enemy came when the wall was half finished.
When you start building in the spirit world, when you enter the arena of effective spiritual
warfare, be prepared. It is a vulnerable time. You are a target for an attacks of Satan.

BUILD THE WALL:

Nehemiah’s response to direct criticism, mocking, scorn, false accusations, threats, and fear, was
simply to continue building the wall:
So we labored in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising
of the morning till the stars appeared. (Nehemiah 4:21)
Nehemiah stayed with the task. He did not stop building:
So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month of Elul, in
fifty and two days. (Nehemiah 6:15)
Nehemiah did in a short time what the enemy said could not be done.
If the walls are down around your life, the enemy may tell you the task is hopeless. But, with
God’s help, you can rebuild the wall. With His strength you do not have to take a long time to do
so:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
(Philippians 4:13)
When the enemy attacks your spiritual reconstruction project do not quit! Just keep building
your spiritual walls.

SET A WATCH:

When Nehemiah completed rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem, he set a guard to watch over
the walls and gates of the city (Nehemiah 7:1-3). Set a watch over your spiritual walls. Always
be alert for attacks of the enemy.

INSPECTION

  1. Write the Key Verse from the Articles Of War.


  1. What is meant by our spiritual walls?


  1. Why had the walls of Jerusalem been destroyed (the same reason spiritual walls are
    destroyed)?


  1. List strategies Satan uses in the battle over spiritual walls.


2


  1. List spiritual counter strategies which assure victory at the wall.



(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)
TACTICAL MANEUVERS

  1. Are there spiritual walls in your life which have been destroyed by the enemy? Examine
    your “spiritual walls” which include…
    • Walls of salvation, gates of praise
    • Work of the cross in your life
    • Christian witness
    • The old nature changed to the new nature
    • Suffering and testing
    • Elimination of works of the flesh
    • Work of the Holy Spirit
    • The Word of God
    • Spiritual warfare
    • The hope of the return of Jesus
    • Self-examination
  2. Believers are often defeated in spiritual warfare because of lack of proper spiritual
    preparation. Study how Nehemiah prepared himself before rebuilding the wall and
    confronting the enemy:
    • He saw conditions as they were: Chapter l-2
    • He recognized the root problem as sin and confessed his part in it: Nehemiah 1:5-
    7
    • He fasted, wept, mourned, and prayed: Nehemiah 1:4
    • He prepared properly before starting the task and facing the enemy: Chapters l
    and 2
    • He had a strategy for rebuilding: Chapter 3
  3. Ready to rebuild your spiritual walls? Review and apply the strategies learned in this
    lesson.
    CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
    BATTLES OVER STRATEGIC TERRITORY
    OBJECTIVES:
    Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
    • Write the Key Verse from memory.
    • Identify Satan’s strategies against the physical body.
    • Summarize spiritual counter strategies for victory in the physical body.
    • Explain Satan’s strategies of using human personalities to war against believers.
    • Summarize counter strategies for victory over human personalities which war against
    believers.
    • Identify Satan’s strategies against the family.
    • Summarize spiritual counter strategies for victory in the family.
    • Identify Satan’s strategies in the financial and material realm.
    • Summarize spiritual counter strategies for victory in the financial and material realm.
    KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:
    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come
    that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
    (John 10:10)
    INTRODUCTION
    Previous chapters focused on major attacks of the enemy on the mind, the tongue, your spiritual
    walls, and the combat zone of the world and the flesh. This chapter continues the study of
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    specific targets of the enemy focusing on the strategic territories of the physical body, the family,
    finances, and attacks through human personalities.
    STRATEGIES OF SATAN: PHYSICAL ATTACKS
    Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost:
    Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
    dwelleth in you?
    If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of
    God is holy, which temple ye are. (I Corinthians 3:16-17)
    Because your body is the temple of God’s Spirit, it will be attacked by Satan through:
    SICKNESS:
    Sickness is in the world because of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Although all sickness is in
    the world because of sin, it does not mean everyone who is suffering is sick because of their own
    sin.
    The Bible reveals various reasons for sickness. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is illness
    caused by Satan. Satan attempts to afflict the body just as he attempts to afflict the soul and
    spirit. Your body is no more immune to his attacks than your spirit is to discouragement,
    condemnation, etc. But illness can also be used as chastisement to deal with sin. For an example
    see the story of Miriam in Numbers 12.
    In one healing Jesus performed during His earthly ministry He said to the recipient:
    …Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto
    thee. (John 5:14)
    The illness of this man was apparently a result of sin. In another case, Jesus made it clear that the
    illness was not the result of sin but for the glory of God:
    And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth.
    And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his
    parents, that he was born blind?
    Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the
    works of God should be made manifest in him. (John 9:1-3)
    An illness for the glory of God is one caused by Satan but which God uses for His glory when
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    physical healing comes through prayer. This type of illness is a direct physical attack by Satan.
    When counter strategies for victory are applied, this physical attack can actually bring glory to
    God.
    All illness is not caused by sin or Satan or as chastisement. Illness may result from the breaking
    of natural laws. For example, you may become ill because you do not eat properly or you
    probably will break your leg if you jump from the top of a coconut tree. Tempting you to break
    natural laws is an indirect attack of Satan on your body. He tempts you to eat improperly and not
    take care of your body because he knows that it can result in an illness which will hinder your
    effectiveness for God.
    EXHAUSTION:
    Satan also attacks the body through exhaustion which results from being too busy or working too
    hard. When you are extremely tired physically, Satan takes advantage and launches spiritual
    attacks. Satan came to Jesus when He was exhausted from 40 days of fasting (Matthew 4:2).
    When Elijah was tired from great spiritual exploits he became so discouraged that he wanted to
    die (I Kings 19:4).
    DEATH:
    Although physical death must come to all men until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan
    attempts to cause premature death. He will tempt people to commit suicide. He will also make
    you fearful of illness or accidents which could result in death.
    ABUSE:
    Satan also tempts people to abuse their physical bodies by putting toxic substances into them
    such as drugs and alcoholic beverages. He knows such toxic substances can result in illness,
    mental damage, and death.
    SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES:
    VICTORY OVER PHYSICAL ATTACKS
    When you are ill, seek the Lord to determine the cause of your illness. Have you violated a
    natural law which resulted in your illness? For example, have you been eating improperly or
    drinking bad water? Have you been abusing your body by putting toxic substances such as
    cigarette smoke into your system?
    If you have violated natural laws, God can still heal you. But you should use more wisdom in the
    future. Remember that your body is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit. Stop breaking natural laws
    and take better care of your body. This is also important to remember in case of exhaustion.
    Jesus called His disciples to rest when they were exhausted from their busy ministry (Mark
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    6:31).
    When Elijah was tired and depressed he rested under a tree and God sent an angel to him with
    physical food. Elijah waited until he received a new touch from God and his physical strength
    had been renewed before going on to new challenges of ministry (I Kings 19:4-8).
    When illness results as chastisement for sin it is not caused by Satan and binding the power of
    the enemy will do no good. Only repentance and return to God will bring relief:
    Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us;
    He hath smitten and he will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1)
    For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds…
    (Jeremiah 30:17)
    …If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do
    that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and
    keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have
    brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
    (Exodus 15:26)
    Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.
    (Psalms 103:3)
    In regards to physical attacks caused by Satan it is important to remember that as a believer, God
    is in control of your life. Satan cannot touch you physically nor take your life without the
    knowledge of God. Read Job chapters one and two which verify these facts. The power of God
    is greater than that of Satan. The God who made the human body has the power to heal that
    body. Claim these promises for healing when you experience physical attacks from Satan:
    But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with
    healing in His wings… (Malachi 4:2)
    Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being
    dead to sins should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
    (I Peter 2:24)
    But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
    iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes
    we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
    Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health,
    even as thy soul prospereth. (III John 1:2)
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    When Satan attacks you physically, call for the prayers of other believers, including elders in the
    church and those with the spiritual gift of healing:
    …to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. (I Corinthians 12:9)
    And God hath set some in the church…then gifts of healings…
    (I Corinthians 12:28)
    Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let
    them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
    And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;
    and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (James 5:14-15)
    Physical death is part of the process of life until the end of time as we know it. It should not be
    feared by believers, for we have the promise of eternal life:
    O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
    (I Corinthians 15:55)
    We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to
    be present with the Lord. (II Corinthians 5:8)
    Satan cannot take the life of a believer before the set time for his death, as illustrated by the story
    of Job. God does not overrule the human will, however. If a person is tempted by Satan to
    commit suicide and yields to that temptation, God will not overrule the act of his will.
    STRATEGIES OF SATAN: ATTACKS THROUGH HUMAN PERSONALITIES
    Another way Satan attacks you is through human personalities. Satan can use people around you
    to attack you spiritually. The attack may come from family, friends, enemies, business
    associates, or even strangers. Human personalities can be disguised as “angels of light,” apostles,
    and ministers of righteousness. But Satan is actually working through them:
    For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into
    the apostles of Christ.
    And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the
    ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    (II Corinthians 11:13-16)
    The strategy of transference of spirits has already been covered in a previous chapter. But Satan
    also has other ways of using human personalities. Satan will use people to give you wrong
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    counsel. Read the book of Job and note the wrong counsel given by his friends and his wife.
    Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but Satan also has his prophets. Personal
    prophecies through human personalities are not always God-inspired. Study the tragic example
    of this in I Kings 13. Attacks of Satan will come through trusted friends as well as enemies or
    unbelievers:
    For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it;
    neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I
    would have hid myself from him;
    But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
    We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in
    company. (Psalms 55:12-14)
    Satan uses human personalities to exalt you and tempt you to take God’s glory for yourself:
    And the people gave a shout, saying, it is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
    And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God
    the glory and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. (Acts 12:22-23)
    People are used by Satan to get you to stray from the plan of God for your life. Read how Peter
    was used of Satan to attack Jesus in this way (Mark 8:31-33). Satan will try to get your eyes on
    others instead of God. Peter was distracted from God’s plan by concern with what He had
    planned for John (John 21:20-23).
    Satan will tempt you to “emulation” which is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).
    Emulations is trying to imitate, equal, or excel others, to copy, rival, or compete with them. As
    long as you are busy doing this, you will not follow the pattern of ministry God has for your own
    life.
    Satan will use people to deceive you. Read how this happened to Joshua (Joshua 9). People
    will desert you (II Timothy 4:16-17; Acts 15:37- 38; John 6:66). Satan will try to hinder your
    spiritual objectives in relation to others (I Thessalonians 2:18), and will cause confusion and
    disharmony (I Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16). Satan also will use others to affect the
    circumstances in your life Read how this happened to Joseph in Genesis chapters 37 and 39.
    SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES:
    VICTORY OVER HUMAN PERSONALITIES
    In a previous chapter on transference of spirits the importance of carefully selecting friends and
    associates was stressed. This is an important counter strategy in gaining victory over attacks of
    Satan launched through others. Choosing close associates carefully will eliminate much
    deception, desertion, disagreement, wrong counsel, and hindering of spiritual progress. But two
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    other important counter strategies bring victory over human personalities.
    First: Obey God rather than man.
    Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God
    rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
    Second: Follow others only as they follow God.
    Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1)
    Be ye therefore followers of God… (Ephesians 5:1)
    Do not accept counsel or prophecies from anyone when they do not agree with God’s written
    Word. Do not admire or follow the leadership of those whose lives do not line up with God’s
    Word. Recognize you will only be successful as long as you follow God’s plan for your life.
    You will not be successful in emulating others. You must not be diverted by those around you.
    You must rely on revelation, not imitation.
    Although those around you may manipulate circumstances that affect you, remember that God is
    still in control. Although Joseph experienced such an attack through human personalities, God
    turned it for his good:
    So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God… (Genesis 45:8)
    But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to
    bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20)

STRATEGIES OF SATAN: ATTACKS ON THE FAMILY
The family is the basic unit of society established by God in the beginning of the world when He
first created man. God has always emphasized the family. He raised up a nation of chosen
people from the family of one man, Abraham. He selected the physical union of a man and his
wife to describe the spiritual union between Christ and the church. Throughout the Scriptures,
God stressed the importance of the family in His plan of the ages.
The family is the basic structure from which all other structures stem. Government and religious
leaders are raised in families. Communities and nations consist of many families grouped
together. Because of the importance of this basic unit of society, the family is a target for attack
by Satan.
Satan attacks the union between a man and his wife. He tries to cause improper sexual
relationships which will result in sin (I Corinthians 7:5). He leads men and women into the sin
of adultery (Galatians 5:19). He tries to get one partner to influence the other to turn away from
God (Job 2). Satan promotes division in the home. This can range from arguments through
divorce. Satan tries to bring division because he knows….
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…Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every
city or house divided against itself shall not stand. (Matthew 12:25)
If Satan can bring division and destroy the homes of a nation, he can eventually destroy the
nation itself.
God established a chain of command in the home. The man is to be the head of the home and
love his wife. The wife is to follow his leadership and the children are to be in submission to
their parents (I Corinthians 7; Ephesians 5:1-6:1). Satan targets the man of the home and tempts
him to act in unloving ways. This results in a loss of respect and obedience from the wife and
children. Satan tempts the wife to act in rebellion against the husband. Satan targets the children
in a home. He creates an atmosphere of lack of discipline which results in rebellion. Read the
story of Eli’s sons in I Samuel 2 and of David’s son, Absalom, in II Samuel 13-19.
Jesus warned of the attacks of the enemy in the home:
For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against
two, and two against three.
The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father;
the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the
mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against
her mother in law. (Luke 12:52-53)

SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES: VICTORY IN THE FAMILY
Many problems in the family unit can be avoided if believers choose their mate properly. The
Bible warns that believers are not to marry unbelievers:
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light
with darkness? (II Corinthians 6:14)
When a family unit is composed of believers and unbelievers, spiritual division exists. This
division is not a conflict between flesh and blood. It is a spiritual conflict. It cannot be won by
harsh words or through debate and argument.
Satan fights the unity of the family because it is a natural parallel of the unity between Christ and
the church. Believers must recognize this and declare:
…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
As heir of the promise of Abraham, you can also claim the promise “In thee shall all the families
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of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Because you are a spiritual heir of Abraham, your family
will be blessed.
To protect against attacks of Satan, the family must grow together spiritually. Prayer and study
of
God’s Word will bind the family together:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of
them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as
frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
The family must be in proper order before you assume leadership in ministry. New Testament
requirements for leadership are that the home of leaders be in order. (See Titus l and I Timothy
3). Wrong emphasis on ministry has resulted in division in many Christian homes. To defeat
Satan’s strategy in this area, the home must be in scriptural order before a believer engages in
ministry leadership positions.
Parents have a responsibility to discipline their children. The home problems of Eli and David
resulted because of lack of discipline. The Bible instructs believers regarding this responsibility:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not
depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth
him betimes (early). (Proverbs 13:24)

STRATEGIES OF SATAN: FINANCIAL ATTACKS
Finances and material possessions of believers are another area Satan targets for attack. His
attacks are launched in two major areas:
One: Financial loss through no fault of the believer. This is a direct attack of
Satan on the finances or material possessions of believers.
Two: Attacks on finances or material possessions through violation of Scriptural
guidelines.
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The first type of attack is illustrated by the example of Job in chapters l and 2. Satan attacked
Job’s finances by destroying his herds (which was his business) and his home. The roof literally
fell in! The Bible declares Job was a righteous man, so we know he was not in violation of
Scriptural principles.
The second type of attack is illustrated by any violation of Scriptural guidelines. Satan knows if
he can lead believers to violate Biblical principles, their finances will not be blessed. Without
material possessions and finances they will not be able to support the spread of the Gospel to the
nations of the world.
Study the following references to discover how Satan attacks in our finances:
• Improper business partnerships with unbelievers: II Corinthians 6:14-18 (This verse is
often only applied to the marriage relationship, when in fact it is applicable to any union
of believers with non-believers).
• Debt: Romans 13:8
• Co-signing for debts of others: Proverbs 6:1-2
• Withholding payment when funds are readily available: Proverbs 3:27-28
• Withholding tithes and offerings: Malachi 3:1-12; Proverbs 11:24
• Dishonesty: Proverbs 16:8; Acts 5:3-4
• Fraud: James 5:3-4
• Unfair wages: Jeremiah 22:13
• Greed: Proverbs 28:22
• Intemperance: Proverbs 23:21
• Violation of government laws regarding money: Romans 13:6-7
• Laziness which results in poverty: Proverbs 20:13
• “Get-rich-quick” schemes: Proverbs 20:21; 28:22
• Love of money: I Timothy 6:10
• Business and financial situations creating “weights”: II Timothy 2:4.
• Regarding offerings lightly and receiving inordinate funds for personal gain: I Samuel
2:29

SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES: VICTORY IN FINANCES
Satan can attack the finances and material possessions of believers through no fault of their own.
You read about this in the example of Job. But remember, Satan did not touch the finances or
possessions of Job without the permission of God. This was an attack permitted by God to try
Job’s faith. Because Job was faithful, God blessed him with more than he had in the beginning.
When you experience financial difficulties through no fault of your own, you can be assured it is
an attack launched by the enemy. If faith in God is maintained and you continue to govern their
financial affairs according to Scriptural principles, God’s blessing of restoration will follow this
temporary trial:
So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…
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(Job 42:12)
If you are experiencing financial difficulties because of the violation of Scriptural principles then
you must repent and correct the violation. You must dissolve partnerships with unbelievers
(II Corinthians 6:14-18). You must correct dishonesty (Proverbs 16:8, Acts 5:3-4) and violation
of government laws (Romans 13:6-7). To counteract the strategies of Satan you must refrain
from fraud (James 5:3-4), unfair wages (Jeremiah 22:13), greed (Proverbs 28:22), intemperance
(Proverbs 23:21), and laziness (Proverbs 20:13).
You should remove yourself from business and financial transactions which entangle and
prevent
you from being a good spiritual warrior (II Timothy 2:4). You should refuse “get-rich-quick”
schemes (Proverbs 20:21; 28:22) which are motivated by the love of money (I Timothy 6:10).
You must trust in God rather than wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18-19; Psalms 49:6). You should
refuse to co-sign debts for others (Proverbs 6:1-2) and get out of debt yourself (Romans 13:8;
Proverbs 3:27-28).
If you are withholding offerings and tithes, you must correct this omission (Proverbs 11:24;
Malachi 3:1-12). If you are in positions where you receive offerings, you must not use them for
personal gain or regard them lightly (I Samuel 2:29). When you give to God, you must give your
tithes and offerings:
• Willingly: Exodus 35:5; I Chronicles 29:9
• With A Perfect Heart: I Chronicles 29:9
• Freely: Matthew 6:38
• Secretly: Matthew 6:3
• Regularly: I Corinthians 16:2
• Cheerfully: II Corinthians 9:7
• With Simplicity: Romans 12:8
• According To Your Income: Matthew 5:42
• According To Your Ability: Ezra 2:69
• By Percentage Of Income: Genesis 14:20; 28:22; Leviticus 27:30; II Chronicles
31:5; Malachi 3:10
It is only by correcting these Scriptural violations that you can overcome the attacks of Satan in
the area of finances.
Have A Blessed Day!

THE SUFFICIENCY OF GOD’S GRACE

The British writer and lay theologian, C. S. Lewis, penned these memorable words: “He who has God and many other things has no more than he who has God alone.” Amen, Brother Lewis, Amen!

A beloved praise chorus echoes the faith-filled Lewis perspective: “Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider – You are more than enough for me. Jehovah-Rapha, You’re my Healer – by Your stripes, I’ve been set free. Jehovah-Shammah, You are with me – to supply all my need. You are more than enough, more than enough, more than enough for me.”

My friend, no matter what you are presently experiencing, meditate prayerfully on God’s response to Paul’s repeated prayers for an undisclosed situation that he described as a thorn in the flesh: “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9)

Whether it seems apparent at this moment, or not, Christ is all. His presence and power are far more than sufficient for any circumstances that confront you and me. Therefore, we will “let the peace of God rule in our hearts…and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)

Have a blessed day!

FILTERING MY WORDS THROUGH HIS

I have Old and New Testament life-verses, both of which focus my spiritual journey. Today I’ll cite the first of these, Psalm 19:14. It’s a heartfelt petition to our Savior: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” David’s sincere prayer serves as a reliable spiritual compass along life’s journey.

Psalm 19:14 also calls to mind the creative admonishments of Frank Outlaw:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

My friend, it’s a bountiful blessing when you allowthe mind of the Master to be the master of your mind. Why? Because God’s Word is immutable; it never changes and never fails.

Have a blessed day!

THE UNREPENTANT WILL NOT AVOID JUDGMENT

In November of 1975, 75 inmates secretly started digging a tunnel that was intended to bring them up at the other side of the wall of Saltillo Prison in northern Mexico. On April 18, 1976, they made a fateful error by completing their tunnel into the nearby courtroom in which most of them had been sentenced. The surprised judge forthwith returned all 75 to jail.

Lately, Satan is busy mobilizing many to dig ‘false tunnels,’ that is, they are spreading the lie that a loving God would not judge sinners for the willful refusal to accept Christ’s atoning sacrifice and to follow His Word. Although God is indeed merciful (beyond our ability to comprehend), His justice requires that all be accountable for stubborn persistence in a life that dishonors ourselves and our Creator. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (II Corinthians 5:10)

My friend, are you ready? Are you sure? If not, please fall to your knees and surrender to Him right now. Ask the Savior to come into your heart and be Lord of your life. Repeat this simple prayer:

“Father, I confess that I am a sinner, and I need You in my life. I believe that Christ died for my sins on the cross of Calvary. And I believe that He rose from the dead. Jesus, come into my heart. Be the Lord of my life. I will follow You for the rest of my days. Amen.”

If you are sincere about this, you are now a new-born believer, a brand-new creation in Christ. And if you are uncertain about what to do next, feel free to inbox me. And make sure that you are connected to other faithful believers in a full gospel church. Pray. Read God’s Word. And hang in there while the Holy Spirit works to complete everything that He has started. (Philippians 1:6)

Have a blessed day!

BE STILLThese days, it’s rather easy to be carried away by a troubled and restless spirit. After all, our world is full of situations that breed anxiety and worry. We must be still.

Consider the curious story of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went to the army surplus store and bought forty-five used weather balloons. Then he strapped himself to a lawn chair while several of his friends attached the helium-filled balloons. Larry took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and a BB gun, figuring he would shoot the balloons one at a time when he wanted to land.

Larry wrongly assumed that the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, and was totally shocked when his chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky – smack dab in the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, which forced the airport to shut down its runways and caused lengthy flight delays across the country.

Soon after he landed and was cited by the authorities, reporters asked him three questions:

“Were you scared?”
“Yes.”

“Would you do it again?”
“No.”

“Why did you do it?”
“Because,” he said, “you can’t just sit there.”

Wow!

During the past year, Belinda and I struggled with major anxiety over custody issues involving our granddaughter. But in the middle of our stress, we sensed the still, small, inner-voice of the Lord, which restored our confidence and peace: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted…” (Psalm 46:10) Our hope is no longer focused on any person or institution, but solely on God.

My friends, don’t stress. Believe His Word. Jesus never fails.

Have a blessed day!

HOW YOU SAY IT IMPACTS RESULTS

Some scratch their heads in wonder as a familiar friend seems to garner all the goodies and perks of life. It just seems that they have favor with every person they meet, no matter who, no matter what. But a closer and more objective observation would reveal that they actually know how to frame things, i.e. how to say whatever they are saying in more positive and productive ways.

Consider this. A young psychology student serving in the Army decided to test this theory. Drawing kitchen duty, he was given the job of passing out apricots at the end of the chow line. He asked the first few soldiers that came by, “You don’t want any apricots, do you?” Ninety percent said “No.” Then he tried a more positive approach: “You do want apricots, don’t you?” About half answered, “Uh, yeah. I’ll take some.” Then he tried a third test, based on assuming their consent, sort of a faith technique. This time he asked, “One dish of apricots, or two?” And in spite of the fact that soldiers don’t really like Army apricots, 40 percent took two dishes and 50 percent took one!

If you always seem to be striking out, change how you approach others and the way you communicate your ideas. Positive trumps negative, each and every time.

Have a blessed day!!

YOUR JOURNEY

Certainly “a journey” describes life in this broken world. On the way we encounter mountains and valleys, rivers and plains, crowded highways and lonely roads–highs and lows, joys and sorrows, conflict and loss, heartache and solitude. We can’t see the road ahead, so we must take it as it comes, not as we wish it would be.

The follower of Christ, however, never faces this journey alone. The Scriptures remind us of the constant presence of God (John 14 verses 15-21). There is nowhere we can go that He is not there. He will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus, after promising to send the Holy Spirit, told His disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

The challenges and opportunities we face on our journey can be met confidently, for God has promised us His never-failing presence.

Have a blessed day!

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
“We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.
If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am fifty three years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn fifty four. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what they did, but rather for things they didn’t do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give. Amen 🙏🏾💞

John 10:10
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

John 5:8
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Have a blessed day!

WHAT IS JOY?

True joy is simply this: Lasting assurance that Christ is at the center of one’s life and circumstances. Thus, joy makes abundant life available, satisfying and sustainable.

An unknown author penned the following truths about joy:

“Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found.

Not in Unbelief — Voltaire was a consummate infidel. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”

Not in Pleasure — Lord Byron lived a life devoted to pleasure. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”

Not in Money — Jay Gould, an American millionaire, had untold wealth. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”

Not in Position and Fame — Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share fortune and fame. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”

Not in Military Glory — Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world. Having done so, he wept in his tent, realizing that “There are no more worlds to conquer.”

My friends, where is true joy to be found? The answer is quite simple: in Christ alone.

Have a blessed day!

OBEYING GOD: OUR BENEFIT AND BLESSING

It’s not only a logical response to the grace and mercy of God, it’s always in our self-interest to submit to Heaven’s will and way.

Consider this. Conscientious parents recognize how challenging it is to consistently exercise God-given authority over our children. That delicate balance between being tough and tender can be quite elusive, never easy to maintain. Some parents intensify spirits of rebellion by being overly harsh and dictatorial. Others easily yield their authority in the face of resistance and disapproval.

When a strong-willed child resists our wisdom, the pressure to cave for the sake of peace and harmony can be overpowering and overwhelming. I am reminded of the mother who wanted to have the last word but couldn’t handle the hassle that resulted whenever she said “no” to her young son. After an especially trying day, she finally flung up her hands and shouted, “All right, Billy, do whatever you want! Now let me see you disobey THAT!” I’m quite honored and happy that GOD does not take that approach with His children.

Jesus Christ taught us ‘The Disciple’s Prayer,’ which asks that the Creator’s will be done on earth, just as it is in Heaven. We owe it to ourselves, to our health, to our happiness and to “the heritage of the Lord” (our children) to meticulously follow the leading of the Lord in every aspect of daily life. (Psalm 127:3) In doing so, we will make our way prosperous and guarantee long-term success. (Joshua 1:8)

Have a blessed day!

FAITH IT INTO BEING!

We just finished an anointed time of prayer with our extended family, and I believe God! After all, faith is moving forward through dim and dismal places while trusting that the invisible God is present, holding our hands, leading us on.

The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and in a single leap cover a distance greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be secured in a zoo enclosure with a 3-foot wall. You see, the impala will not jump without first seeing where its feet will land.

That’s leaping by sight, and it’s an extremely limiting life experience. On the other hand, faith is the ability to trust in what we cannot see. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7) Jesus declared that just a little faith, the size of a miniscule mustard seed, is sufficient to free us from any things that life brings to enclose us, paralyze us, or stop us from reaching our purpose and destiny. (Matthew 17:20)

My friends, don’t you dare doubt. Pray about it. Trust God’s Word. And ‘faith’ whatever it is into existence. Because faith is much more than a noun; it is a verb, a dynamic and liberating action word.

I believe God!

Have a blessed day!

TUNE IN TO GOD TO TUNE IN TO OTHERS

The whole world seems to be engaged in a never-ending quest for that elusive reality called unity. We seek for it in the United Nations general assembly; it isn’t there. We seek for it in the enacting of new or more rigorous laws; it isn’t there. We seek for it by way of our natural impulses to draw relationally closer to family and friends; it isn’t there. Indeed, no human situation or circumstance is a sure and steadfast portal to unity.

However, A. W. Tozer describes its true and singular Source in his classic book, “The Pursuit of God.” Pay prayerful attention to his insightful revelation, reprinted below:

“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”

My friend, if you’re looking to grow genuinely closer to others in any significant or sustained sense, draw purposefully closer to God, as revealed in His Word. The heart of God transforms the hearts of men.

Have a blessed day!

GENEROSITY

One day a roadside beggar asked for alms from Alexander the Great as he passed by. The man was quite poor and had no claim upon the ruler or the right to ask for anything. Yet the Emperor threw him several gold coins. A courtier was very astonished at his generosity and commented, “Sir, copper coins would adequately meet that beggar’s need. Why give him gold?” Alexander responded in royal fashion: “Copper coins would suit the beggar’s need, but gold coins suit Alexander’s giving.” Indeed!

The widow’s two mites were extremely significant to Christ, both because of her apparent willingness to give and the fact that her small offering was such a large percentage of her possessions. (Mark 12:42-44) We should likewise be generous participants in total stewardship, i.e. sharing our time, talent and treasure. After all, ‘our possessions’ already belong to The Creator, and He freely rewards any who liberally assist others who are in need. (Psalm 24:1 – Proverbs 19:17 – Luke 6:38)

Have a blessed day!

GRACE

Years ago, Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town when he was stopped by a police officer and charged with speeding. Graham readily admitted his guilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court.

The judge asked, “Guilty, or not guilty?” When Graham pleaded guilty, the judge replied, “That’ll be ten dollars–a dollar for every mile you went over the limit.” But suddenly the judge recognized the world-famous minister. “You have violated the law,” he said, “and the fine must be paid–but I am going to pay it for you.” He took a ten-dollar bill from his own wallet, attached it to the ticket, and then took Graham out and bought him a steak dinner! “That,” said Billy Graham, “is how God treats repentant sinners.” Amen!

The lyrics of a beloved praise chorus proclaim the wondrous grace of Almighty God:
Grace, grace, God’s grace…
Grace that can pardon and cleanse within…
Grace, grace, God’s grace…
Grace that is greater than all my sins.

Our loving and merciful Savior freely forgives all who bow at Calvary’s cross. It’s unmerited favor. It’s grace.

Have a blessed day!

SAFE IN HIS ARMS

Some things appear dangerous but are actually less hazardous than safer-looking alternatives. For example, commercial air travel is 30 times safer than transportation by automobile. It may not seem so to the person who prefers navigating ground traffic over riding a Boeing 747 at 35,000 feet. But being carried by tons of metal being thrust through the air by huge jet engines is actually far safer than being pulled along in a 6-cylinder vehicle that never leaves the earth.

Similarly, it is an indisputable truth that you and I are safer – much safer – in the loving and sovereign arms of the Lord than we are while depending upon ourselves or any other. The lyrics of a favorite gospel song resonate deep within my spirit:

Because the Lord is my shepherd
I have everything I need;
He lets me rest in the meadow’s grass
And He leads me beside the quiet streams;
He restores my failing health
And He helps me do what honors Him the most;
That’s why I’m safe,
That’s why I’m safe,
That’s why I’m safe –
Safe in His arms.

When the storms of life are raging
And the billows roll,
I’m glad He shall hide me…

So glad He shall hide me…

Safe in his arms.

My friend, it really doesn’t matter what things ‘look like’ – you are absolutely SAFE IN HIS ARMS!

Have a blessed day!

CONFORMITY AT ANY COST?

We have an overwhelming challenge in the USA, one which must be confronted if we are to survive and thrive as a nation. It is the uncanny influence of group-think, i.e. the tendency of many to override their upbringing, education, values and instincts and to embrace a herd mentality. True freedom is the capacity for independent and critical thinking, not going along just to get along.

In Chuck Swindoll’s book, “Living Above the Level of Mediocrity,” he cites a study that aptly describes this curious group phenomenon: “A few years ago psychologist Ruth W. Berenda and her associates carried out an interesting experiment designed to show how people handle group pressure. The plan was simple. They brought groups of ten adolescents into a room for a test. Subsequently, each group of ten was instructed to raise their hands when the teacher pointed to the longest line on three separate charts. What one person in the group did not know was that nine of the others in the room had been instructed ahead of time to vote for the second-longest line.”

Pastor Swindoll continues, “Regardless of the verbal instructions they would later receive, once they were all together in the group, the nine were not to vote for the longest line, but rather vote for the second-longest line. The experiment began with nine teen-agers voting for the wrong line. The one differing person would typically glance around, frown in confusion, and slip his hand up with the group. The instructions were repeated and the next card was raised. Time after time, the self-conscious individual (who was actually right) would ultimately agree that a short line is longer than a long line, simply because he lacked the courage to challenge the group. This remarkable conformity occurred in about 75% of the cases, and was true of all ages of students. Humorously, Berenda concluded that, ‘Some people had rather be president than right’ – which is certainly an accurate assessment.”

My friend, think for yourself. Even better, strive to discern God’s perspective on any issue; you can discover it in the Word. Our ministry motto is “Loving, learning and living from God’s point of view.”

Have a blessed day!

THE PROPHET’S ANOINTING:
The prophet’s words are anointed and carry power. When prophets speak, things happen. When prophets speak, things change. When prophets speak, God moves. The word of a prophet is like a fire that burns and a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces. Open your mouth, prophet, and speak. God will back you up. He will confirm the words of His servants.

Is not My word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?-Jerimiah 23:29

Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers. -Isaiah 44:26

Have a blessed day!

WHY WORRY? GOD’S GOT A PLAN!In one of my favorite movies, “300: Rise of an Empire,” the completely outmanned army of Sparta’s King Leonidas held off the overwhelming force of a multitude of Persian troops led by King Xerxes. His strategy was to fight them one at a time as they came through an extremely narrow mountain pass.Commenting on that historic military strategy, the world-famous clergyman, C.H. Spurgeon, wrote, “Suppose Leonidas and his handful of men had gone out into the wide-open plain and attacked the Persian army–they would have died at once, even though they might have fought like lions.” Spurgeon continued by concluding that Christians stand in the narrow pass called today. If they choose to battle every difficulty at once, they’re sure to suffer defeat. But if they trust God and take their troubles one by one, they will find that their strength (His strength) is more than sufficient.I love the way Mary C. Crowley frames this truth in her book, Be Somebody: “Every evening I turn worries over to God,” she writes. “He’s going to be up all night anyway!”It has been said that worry is just like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere at all. Why worry when you can trust? After all, Sovereign God is in control.Sisters and brothers, be continually blessed, and please (above all else) MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY TO MEET OUR SOON COMING KING. Maranatha!

A friend of mine reminded me of this, and I thought I would share it with you because it’s so true!

Mental health is REAL!!!

It takes just a few minutes to listen to someone. We all get caught up in our own affairs and if things do not benefit us we sometimes walk away. It’s so sad that we don’t take time for others like we should until they die. It won’t hurt anyone to pick up the phone to say,”I love you and am here for you!!” Just because someone is smiling on Fb we never know what people are dealing with. People maybe right under our noses hurting, depressed or suicidal. We are so stuck in our old ways and selfish that we stroll right past them. They may need a ear and prayer but we are never available. We can’t serve the world but we can save a soul. Just one!!! Therapists, church leaders and doctors have no appointments and mental health crisis centers are not answering or simply unavailable. We are our community!!! ##reach one..So, many people are depressed and suicidal. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

If you are a community leader, therapist, or doctor, please take time out to listen. It costs you. People just want to be heard and loved! Looking on my FB time line I see several people that have taken their lives this week. This hits everyone Pastors, Doctors, Lawyers—no ethnic background—- depression and suicide has no class!!

Support others that need you!!!❤️🙏🏽 I am sad because we don’t support each other when one is in crisis. Everyone is busy but we all make time for what we want. Help us Lord!!! Be a better servant!!!❤️🙏🏽 Take the time to save a life!!!

let God use you to save a life.

Have a blessed day!

STALENESS ‘AIN’T’ GOOD FOR MARRIAGE

In “Homemade,” Grady Nutt describes the importance of keeping things fresh in marital relationships. “Openness is essentially the willingness to grow, a distaste for ruts, eagerly standing on tip-toe for a better view of what tomorrow brings. A man once bought a new radio, brought it home, placed it on the refrigerator, plugged it in, turned it to WSM in Nashville (home of the Grand Ole Opry), and then pulled all the knobs off! He had already tuned in to all he ever wanted or expected to hear. Some marriages are ‘rutted’ like that – rather dreary because either or both partners have yielded to the tyranny of the inevitable, concluding that what has been will be. Stay open to newness. Stay open to change.”

My friend, marriage is not for the lazy or faint-hearted. No matter who is involved, it takes diligent effort to sustain the initial fire of that mission-critical life relationship. Anyone who says the opposite is being less than candid, perhaps less than truthful. What will YOU do (today) to keep things fresh, to make things better, not worse, in your covenant relationship? Ask God about it. Think. Act. Today!

Have a blessed day!

THE MAKING OF A PROPHET:

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, and they will present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. – Malachi 3:3

GOD PUTS A prophet through a process of refinement. God purges the prophet and develops their character. The prophet has to respond to the dealings of God in their own life before they can effectively deal with the problems in the lives of others. Sometimes as a prophet you will feel as if you are in a furnace. You may find yourself saying, “God, why are You dealing so strongly with me? Why don’t You deal with everyone else like this?” Don’t give up, prophet. Go through the process!

Have a blessed day!

SORT, SIFT, FOCUS!

A personal daily mantra I’ve adopted over the years is, “Sort, Sift, Focus!” Sort through the tasks; sift out the excess; focus on the target assignment. It’s the recognition that there are one-hundred-and-one things that I can do with my daily allotment of time, but far fewer things (perhaps one thing) that I should do. This perspective must be seen through a Kingdom lens to grasp the Kingdom mentality. It is my conviction that the Creator has deposited unique and productive gifts within each of us. This is the divine signature of our Sovereign Craftsman. To wit, Heaven’s intent was never for us to become ‘jacks-or-jills’ of all trades, but to identify and master our particular life purpose. Whenever we slow and still ourselves, we are more apt to discern The Master Architect’s plan.

Henry Ford wrote, “A weakness of all human beings is trying to do too many things at once. That scatters effort and destroys direction. It makes for haste, and haste makes waste. So we do things all the wrong ways possible before we come to the right one. Then we think it is the best way because it works, and it was the only way left that we could see. Every now and then I wake up in the morning headed toward that finality, with a dozen things I want to do. And I know I can’t do them all at once.” When asked what he would do about that, Ford replied, “I go out and trot around the house. While I’m running off the excess energy that wants to do too much, my mind clears and I see what can and should be done.”

Prayer, Scripture and Meditation are the only reliable factors in the “Sort, Sift, Focus” process. They enable us to follow our Creator’s all-wise mandate: “Be still…and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) In truth, any barriers or errors are merely restraints and reminders of our pressing need to do so.

Have a blessed day!

A JUST WAR!

We are eyewitnesses to the fulfillment of Christ’s end-time prophecy issued in The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24),that the last days would be characterized by “wars and rumors of wars.” Mortal conflict reflects the sordid history of our collective rebellion against God and man’s inhumanity to man. Our collective costs, in terms of both human and economic capital, are staggering indeed.

A group of academics and historians compiled the following information: Since 3600 B.C., the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars (large and small) in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed and money spent is equal to a golden belt around the world 97 miles wide and 33 feet thick. Since 650 B.C., there have also been 1,656 arms races, only 16 of which have not ended in war. The remainder were the beginning or ending of the economic collapse of the nations involved.

In the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas penned the “just war” theology that attempts to reconcile three things: that taking human life is wrong, that states have a duty to defend their citizens and justice, and that protecting life and moral values sometimes requires force.

The modern-day definition of a just war has evolved to include the following: The war must be for a just cause. It must be lawfully declared by a lawful authority. The intention behind the war must be good. All other ways of resolving the problem should have been tried first. There is a reasonable chance of success. The means used must be in proportion to the ends war seeks to achieve.

Using these criteria, are the wars we typically wage or support just? Think. You decide.

Have a blessed day!

RESOLVE ISSUES EXPEDITIOUSLY

Procrastination is not only the thief of time, it tends to nullify both progress and peace. In Marabel Morgan’s book, “Homemade,” she addresses the importance of tending to smaller matters before they become expansive and problematic:

Don Shula, coach of the Miami Dolphins, was talking to a reporter about a player’s mistake in practice. He said, “We never let an error go unchallenged. Uncorrected errors multiply.” Then the reporter said, “Isn’t there benefit in overlooking one small flaw?” Shula responded, “What is a small flaw?” I think about that all day long. What is a small flaw? I see that with my children. I’ve let a lot of things slide by because I was too tired. I didn’t want another confrontation. But uncorrected errors do multiply. You’ve got to face them some day. You might as well face them on the spot. If I could do it over again with my children, I’d face the errors on the spot. It’s easier on them and on you. That works in relationships with anyone. If there’s something under the surface, something you sense, you might as well just bring it right out. Face it right then. Success lies in the details. Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your life work with excellence.”

Too much elapsed time following transgressions often tends to multiply their impact. The Word of God issues a related pronouncement, which simply says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:6) This simply means that a true friend speaks truth at all times – lovingly, compassionately, but consistently – to become that proactive partner that King Solomon had in mind when he wrote, “iron sharpens iron.” (Proverbs 27:17) My friends, in every relationship, beware, be fair…and BE THERE.

Have a blessed day!

WATCH YOUR WORDS!

Growing up, we had a rather childish saying about slander: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!” Life would be wonderful indeed if that saying was the whole truth. In fact, our words are extremely powerful. Thus, they can cause unnecessary and incessant pain when deployed in a cavalier, unthinking, or uncompassionate manner.

I read a fascinating article from the February 1992 issue of “American Demographics,” that highlighted the potential impact of words on various audiences. While humorous, it reveals serious lessons on this human issue of communication:

Communicating with a target market means more than tossing out catchy slogans. A few companies learned this the hard way when they tried to translate their catchy English slogans directly into Spanish. Braniff beckoned its passengers to “Fly in Leather,” and Eastern Airlines proclaimed that “We Earn Our Wings Daily.” Both of these now-defunct airlines were terribly mistaken. A Spanish speaker would think Braniff was asking its riders to “Fly Naked,” and a Spanish translation of the Eastern slogan evoked a final destination in heaven, following death. A few additional classic marketing blunders: General Motors discovered too late that “Nova” sounds like “Doesn’t go” in Spanish. Coors encouraged its English-speaking customers to “Turn It Loose,” but the phrase in Spanish meant “Suffer from Diarrhea.” Budweiser’s “King of Beers” becomes “Queen of Beers” in Spanish because the Spanish word for beer, “cerveza,” has a feminine ending. And when Frank Perdue said, “It Takes a Tough Man to Make a Tender Chicken,” Spanish speakers heard “It Takes a Sexually Stimulated Man to Make a Chicken Affectionate.” Wow! In the words of Arsenio Hall: “Things that make you say, hmmm!”

Lesson learned. We must be keenly aware of the impact of whatever we intend to say.

Have a blessed day!

INTEGRITY

It is said that integrity is what one does in the dark, distant from the glaring light of witnesses. In short, integrity involves scores of ethical decisions, large or small, along life’s journey. But Solomon contends that it is actually “the little foxes that spoil the vines.” (Song of Solomon 2:15) This means that our so-called ‘mini-transgressions’ can gradually result in massive erosions in conscience, judgment and behavior.

Consider this. While popular theories held that the Titanic was the victim of a huge gash caused by an iceberg, an international team of divers and scientists used sound waves to probe the sunken wreckage buried in mud under two-and-a-half miles of ocean water. They discovered that the damage footprint was surprisingly small in size. Instead of one large gash, they found six relatively narrow slits across the six watertight ship chambers. It would seem that the small damage, invisible to most, is not only capable of sinking a world-class ocean liner, but also able to destroy our character and reputation.

My friends, we must not allow satanic deception to shipwreck our lives and abort our destinies. The archenemy of our souls wants us to view what Heaven classifies as “sin” as small and harmless stuff. So we must maintain laser sharp focus on the Word, always embracing the admonition of our Savior, which simply insists, “Watch…and pray.” (Matthew 26:41) By so doing, we will nurture and sustain integrity.

Have a blessed day!

ANXIETY NEVER HELPS

The vast majority of our human anxiety moments are unnecessary; all are non-productive. One study suggests that the average person’s anxiety is based 40% on things that will never happen, 30% on things about the past that cannot be changed, 12% on the unsubstantiated criticisms of others, 10% on health issues (which only makes things worse), and 8% on real problems that must be faced.

Consider the sage admonition of Jesus Christ, recorded in Matthew 6:26-27, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” The Apostle Paul heartily agrees. He writes, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

It has well been said that the beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.

So why worry, winner-believer? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Have a blessed day!

“One More Bite”

SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022
Prayer: Force or Foolishness

Prayer, for some, is a force that enables them to approach God in worship and wonder or in times of need for the necessities of life. For others, prayer is utter and complete foolishness because they believe it is foolish and a waste of time.

In the life of David, it was a dominant force. Whenever harmful words hurt him, or he received a wound from a battle or had a need that was beyond his limitations, he turned to God in prayer. Listen carefully to his words: “I am a man of prayer.”

It is always interesting to listen carefully to someone introduce themselves: “I am a doctor…I am the CEO of…I am a sales representative at…I work for…I am the one who…I set a record by…I am the owner of.” We seem to want others to recognize us for what we are doing, what we have done, and not who we are.

But with all his power and prestige, wealth and wisdom, David wanted others to recognize him as someone who was entirely dependent on God: “I am a man of prayer.”

Prayer was a force in the life of David. As we read his prayer in the Psalms, we discover that he had no definite time of prayer, no specific place to pray, no particular position he assumed when he prayed, and it seems as though most of the time when he prayed, he was alone.

David realized that prayer was a force in his life. It brought forgiveness when he sinned, peace when he was anxious, victory when he was embattled and constant joy.

Prayer: Father, help us see the need for prayer in our lives when we look at the results of prayer in the life of others. We need You, and we do need prayer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: – Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. Psalm 108:12

Thanks, Larry Guido Ministries

Have a blessed day!

Life Is A Gift

Life can change quickly. We can be happy and on top of the world one day and empty and broken the next. If we have learned anything in the last two years, I hope it is to value the moments, treasure the memories and hold on to what counts. Make time everyday to realize how fleeting life is and to thank God for every blessing. Maybe it has taught us to slow down, appreciate what we have and how quickly it can be gone. My prayer is that it will. Life is a gift…

Have a blessed day!

LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF FIRST, INSTEAD OF LOVING THE IDEA OF OTHER’S LOVING YOU.

“I’ve chosen to love and honor myself, instead of convincing others to do it for me everyday.”

The greatest struggle in life is the struggle to accept, embrace and love ourselves, with all of our imperfections.

To be 100% honest about who we are, how we feel and what we need. To stop discrediting ourselves for everything we aren’t and start giving ourselves credit for everything we are. And to be aware that not everyone we love will agree with us every step of the way, and to be OK with it.

We have to learn to be our own best friends, because sometimes we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies. We love the idea of others loving us, and we forget to love ourselves.

What we must realize is that our greatest task is not about discovering self-love; it’s about breaking down the walls we have built against it. When we have the courage to push through these walls-to know and embrace ourselves, despite our humanness, our flaws, and our rejections-we also open the door to connecting in more caring, empathic and intimate ways with others who are truly worth loving.

There are 16 ways to loving yourself again. I study them daily so that I will always remember what it took to get me to this point of loving myself and how hard it was to get here, so that I will never stop loving myself again. So let me share them with you.

16 STEPS TO LOVING YOURSELF:

1. Start telling yourself what you love about yourself:

In your own life it’s important to know how spectacular you are. You really have to look in the mirror and be kind. Because what we see in the mirror is often what we see in the world. Our disappointment in others often reflects our disappointment in ourselves. Our ability to see potential in others often reflects our ability to see potential in ourselves. Our patience with others often reflects our patience with ourselves. You get the idea. You’ve got to show yourself some love first and foremost.

2. Be one with what is:

Something that’s really difficult, but totally worth it, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the journey of becoming your true self. The most beautiful part of this journey is simply returning to the peaceful feeling of being. This peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.

3. Focus less on winning the approval of others:

Remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. And you don’t have to get permission to do it differently either. Your time on this planet is precious. As the saying goes, “what you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.” Don’t wait around for someone else to give you permission to live.

4. Distance yourself from those who bring you down:

Being in no relationship is better than being in a wrong one. Don’t worry too much about folks who don’t worry about you. Know your worth! When you give yourself to those who disrespect you, you lose. Your friends in life should motivate, inspire and respect you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive. Keep it tight. Quality over quantity. Always!

5. Forgive your past self:

when you confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with the light of your forgiveness, your willingness to wrestle with your demons in this way will cause your angles to sing. It’s just a matter of accepting that sometimes good people like you make bad choices. It doesn’t mean you’re bad; it means you’re human. Get bored with your past; it’s over. Forgive yourself for what you think you did or didn’t do, and focus on what you will do starting now.

6. Start making the changes you know you need to make:

Just because something made you happy in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever. If you want to see changes in your life today, you’ll have to do things that you’ve never done before. Different input=different output. Move away from the things that drain you and move toward the thoughts and activities that empower and fulfill you.

7. Embrace the mistakes you haven’t even made yet:

To be successful in the long run, you must fail sometimes. So don’t let the fear of making the wrong decision prevent you from making any decisions at all.

8. Show gratitude for who you are and what you have right now:

No you won’t always get what you want. And no, you won’t always be exactly where you want to be. But remember this: there are lots of people who will never have what you have right now. So use pain, frustration and inconvenience to motivate you rather than annoy you. You are in control of the way you look at life.

9. Do something everyday that makes you happy:

There’s a big difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion. Life is too short. Invest in the activities you deeply care about. A good life is about making a good decision every day to do somethings that moves you-caring for yourself by doing things you care about. It’s a matter of realizing that there’s nothing selfish about self-care. Because we can’t give what we don’t have. You have to experience life on your terms before you can be life-giving to others.

10. Give yourself a fair chance to explore new ideas and opportunities:

Don’t let not knowing how it’ll end keep you from beginning. When we act, uncertainty chases us out into the open where opportunity awaits.

11. Listen to your intuition and be honest with yourself about everything:

We cannot speak with integrity about a life style we are not living. We don’t need more dazzling storytellers; we need more genuine ones. Listen to that inner voice. Confidence comes from knowing that what you’re doing is right, and that what you’re doing is right for YOU.

12. Believe in your abilities:

All things are possible! The key is to identify what you want, claim it as part of who you are, and believe that you are worthy to have it.

Focus on writing your story, instead of reading, watching and hearing about everyone else’s: And when you catch yourself comparing your life to someone else’s, remember that people often only show their highlight reel-especially online-not their reality.

13. Pay close attention to your life as you’re living it:

One of the greatest presents you can give yourself (and your love ones), is to be present, every chance you get. Your life is not between the moments of your birth and death; your life is between now and your next breath. Distractions are in the palms of our hands these days, but we need to remember to look up more often. So much is lost when we don’t.

14. Loosen up and be a little less serious about it all:

All self-misery has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in taking life too seriously. If you take everything too seriously, especially yourself, you’ll wind up fearing every new step you take. Loosen up and laugh it off when you can- especially when things don’t go as planned. People with a good sense of humor have a better sense of life. You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself and your circumstances.

15. Go out of your way to be loving and kind to others too: Almost everything comes full circle. People who love themselves come across as very caring, generous and kind to others too; they express their self-confidence through humility, forgiveness and inclusiveness. So seek to understand others before you attempt to judge. And be thankful for rude, difficult people too-they serve as great reminders of how not to be.

16. Closing Thoughts:

Always remember that, People will come and go. Events will come and go. Day and night will come and go. But a true love for yourself will always remain with you, if you nurture it. So spend time doing things that help you love yourself more.

Have A Blessed Day!

Journey Through The Wilderness
Walking the Perpendicular Line

Doing it on purpose!

Sometimes in our journey we begin to pick things up that God never intended for us and then it seems difficult to let go. I’ve done this myself the last few months. In some things I was disobedient and wanted it “my way” and God was ordering my steps in one direction while I was trying to choose another.

I found myself consumed in everyone else’s visions and dreams while waiting for mine to come to life. There is NOTHING wrong in being supportive of others because I truly believe in supporting the TRUE body of believers and the Kingdom Entrepreneurs.

Your vision, your PURPOSE is like a baby (seed planted within). If you are ignoring what God has planted in you because you are so consumed with everyone else’s baby (vision, PURPOSE) yours will begin to die.

Fear will also bring death to our vision, our PURPOSE because we begin to believe it’s something we can’t accomplish. We will even begin to talk ourselves out of taking the steps needed to bring our vision, our PURPOSE to life.

I’m sharing this today in hopes that it will encourage you to take the steps needed and know that NOBODY can “steal your idea” and you ask Why? It’s not possible for anyone to steal your PURPOSE.

Don’t allow fear to control you from WALKING in your PURPOSE. When God has given you a vision, a PURPOSE, He has also given YOU the grace to achieve it. Nobody else can fulfill your vision, your PURPOSE.

When they wonder how it came to fruition, brought to life, and they ask how are you doing that?

The answer is quite simple you tell them I’m DOING IT ON PURPOSE!

Have a blessed day!

WORD FOR TODAY:

2 Chr. 5:13-14,

  1. It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voices with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;
  2. So that the priest could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the Glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

The Glory of God: A visible manifestation of God’s presence and splendor.

How does the Glory of God apply to the believers?

  1.  regarding God’s majestic heavenly Glory, it is still true that no one can see that Glory of God, and live.  We know it is there, but we do not see it.  Because God dwells in unapproachable light and Glory, no mortal man can behold Him face to face. (1 Tim. 6:16)
  2. God’s Shekinah Glory, however, was experienced by God’s people in Bible times.   The experience of God’s Glory, however, is something that all believers will have at the consummation, when we behold Jesus face to face.  We will be brought into the presence of God’s glory, share in Christ’s Glory, and be given a crown of Glory.  Even our resurrection bodies will bear the glory of the risen Christ.
  3. On a more immediate basis.   Sincere believers experience the spiritual presence of God.  The Holy Spirit brings the presence of God and the Lord Jesus near to us.  When the Spirit becomes powerfully active in the Church through His Supernatural manifestations, believers experience the Glory of God in their midst, i.e., and awesome feeling of the presence of God.  Similar to what the shepherds felt in the fields of Bethlehem.
  4. Believers who forsake sin and shun idolatry may be filled with both Christ’s Glory and Spirit of Glory; indeed.  One reason Jesus came into the world was to fill believers with Glory.  As believers, we must conduct our entire lives to the Glory of God, so that He is glorified in us.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF HOPELESSNESS

The past two years constitute a collective time of tempest and trouble in our society and world. The Covid pandemic has cost the loss of over 837 thousand in America and nearly 5.5 million worldwide. Sadly, that number is trending upward daily, and many of us have lost scores of family members, friends, co-workers, professionals and fellow clergy. Just today, I was informed of the premature death of a wonderful pastoral colleague in South Africa who is years younger than myself.

Domestically, millions of young students are caught up in a dangerous vortex of confusion, fear and despair due to the increasing threat of school violence and the disconcerting social disconnect in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. To wit, depression is escalating at a monumental rate that is totally challenging for mental health professionals.

Nevertheless, in the middle of such overwhelming obstacles, there is hope. May I offer ‘Exhibit A,’ the following true story, as a rational basis for my optimistic belief:

Many years ago a young Midwestern lawyer suffered from such deep depression that his friends thought it best to keep all knives and razors out of reach. He seriously questioned his life’s calling and wondered whether it would be sensible or prudent to follow it through. During that terribly depressing time, he wrote, “I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I have an awful foreboding that I shall not.” But somehow, from somewhere, Abraham Lincoln received the encouragement and hope that he so desperately needed. He got back on track and the historic achievements of his life are remarkable indeed.

My friend, if you or your loved ones are experiencing a sense of hopelessness or clinical depression, please know that there is no stigma or shame in pursuing counseling and therapy. Get help, and keep looking up; brighter days are coming. It’s too soon to quit. Our God has a mysterious and miraculous way of showing up just on time. He did it for Abraham Lincoln, and since He loves us all in equal proportions, surely He will do the same for you. There is hope. Hang in there…and believe.

Have a blessed day!

NOEL: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SEASON

The French word “NOEL” is derived from the Latin root, “natalis,” which means BIRTHDAY. When capitalized, it is synonymous with the angelic heralding of yuletide or CHRISTMAS. This term came into popular usage when “The First Noel” was penned during the 18th century by an unknown English composer. Its joyous lyrics are perennially familiar:

The first Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel!

Nevertheless, as we reflect upon the contemporary celebration of Christmas, the central message of the miraculous Incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ seems noticeably absent.

Our focus feels mostly on the festivities, food, parties, gatherings with family and friends and the exchanging of gifts. The result is a time of tremendous emotional upheaval and widespread depression (even suicide), especially among those who lack sufficient resources to fulfill the more mundane and material expectations of the season. The gospel of Jesus Christ becomes virtually sidelined by our cultural and customary traditions. True believers silently ask: “Should this be?”

Another question is begged: “Is it logical (or even possible) to remove CHRIST from Christmas?” I think not. After all, HE IS THE ONE who voluntarily disrobed Himself of the eternal splendors of Heaven and entered into a fallen and finite world system that is dominated by an insidious quest for fortune, fame, prestige and power. Jesus Christ, alone, is the Savior of our world. The scriptures testify of His matchless and miraculous gift to humankind:

Psalm 40:6-8
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, LO, I COME: IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Isaiah 9:6
FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, and THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

John 1:11-12
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, even to them that believe on HIS NAME:

Because of Jesus Christ’s victorious life, vicarious suffering and vital atonement, we are freed forever from the power, practice, penalty and guilt of sin. HALLELUJAH…WHAT A SAVIOR!

Romans 8:1-4
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in CHRIST JESUS, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. FOR THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS HATH MADE ME FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, GOD SENDING HIS OWN SON in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Bottom-line: JESUS PAID IT ALL! So in this season (and always) we thank you, JESUS, for your timely birth, your sinless life, your substitutionary death, your victorious resurrection and your gracious legacy of spiritual power, life and peace that is eternally bequeathed to us. We pledge to remember the real reason for this season as we collectively celebrate OUR GREATEST GIFT with overflowing joy.

Merry Christmas! And may you experience the highest of peace, prosperity, health and happiness in the coming year.

Have a blessed Holiday!

LIGHTS NEEDED

One cold day in December, a Christian gentleman was walking down a Chicago street. He noticed that someone had thrown a handful of bird seed on the ground to nourish the sparrows who were now experiencing the cruel cold of winter. Dozens and dozens of sparrows had come (seemingly out of nowhere) to enjoy their unexpected feast.

This man edged closer to enjoy the satisfying sight of God’s creatures being fed. But as he approached, the birds became anxious. Another step forward, and they prepared to flee. Two more steps, and they all flew away, leaving their winter banquet behind.

The man stopped and considered what had happened. Why had the sparrows scattered when he had no evil intentions toward them? Then it dawned on him. It was not his intentions, but his bodily presence that had so frightened them. He was so big in comparison to the tiny sparrows, and the only way he could have walked among those birds without scaring them would be to somehow assume their own characteristics.

If only he could become a sparrow for a while, the man thought. He could be so close and he would be able to communicate.

Isn’t this a clear picture of THE INCARNATION? God’s righteousness loomed so large and humankind’s sins and shortcomings caused us to seem so very small. Nevertheless, “God SO loved the world” that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, i.e. to become “Emmanuel,” God with us, and ultimately to endure our shame, our sin, our pain and our judgment. (John 3:16 – Matthew 1:23 – Romans 5:19)
We existed in absolute darkness until “the light of the world” drew near to us and forever redeemed us from the curse of sin and death. (John 8:12) The gospel writer, John, explains it this way: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Now, it is our turn; it is our task to BECOME THE LIGHT and to shine brightly in the darkness of this world system, especially into the lives of those persons whom God has positioned in close proximity to us. (Philippians 2:15 – Matthew 5:16)

SHINE and reflect God’s glory.

Have a blessed day!

ONE NEVER KNOWS

If any among you are tempted to feel sad or depressed during this Christmas season due to a lack of resources or the loss of a loved one, you must read and share the following story written by an unknown author. It will surely inspire and bless you.

A pastor and his wife were given their first assignment, to reopen a church in Brooklyn, New York. They arrived in early October, thrilled beyond measure to be entering an exciting new phase of ministry. However, as they entered the church, their enthusiasm faded when they found the building to be run down and in dire need of restoration and repair. But right then and there, they set a goal to have all the necessary work done in time to have their first worship service on Christmas Eve.

They worked diligently, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on December 18th they were well ahead of schedule, just about finished. Nevertheless, on December 19th a terrible winter storm hit the area and lasted two days.

On the 21st of December, the pastor went over to inspect the church edifice. His heart sank when he found that the roof had leaked, which caused a large area of plaster to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary behind the pulpit. The pastor swept up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do, he headed homeward, planning to postpone their first service. On the way home he noticed a local business sponsoring a flea market for charity, so he decided to stop by.

One of the items on sale was a beautiful, hand-made, ivory colored, crochet table cloth. It was truly an exquisite work of art, with striking colors and an ornate cross embroidered at the center. The new pastor thought, ‘It’s just the right size to cover up that hole in the front wall of the sanctuary!’ So he bought it and quickly headed back to church.

By that time it had started to snow. An older woman hurried from the opposite direction, trying to catch a passing bus, but she missed it. The pastor invited her to wait inside the warm sanctuary for the next bus, which was due to arrive 45 minutes later. The grateful woman sat in a pew and paid little attention to the pastor while he gathered a ladder and wall hangers to mount the gorgeous tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and how perfectly it covered the entire problem area. Just then, he noticed the woman walking slowly down the center aisle, wearing a shocked facial expression.

“Pastor,” she inquired, “Where…where…did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor related the story of his recent purchase. Then the woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials “EBG” were present there, and they were. These were actually the initials of that very woman, who had made the tablecloth herself, 35 years previously while living in Austria.

The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do citizens of Austria. When the Nazis arrived, her husband sent her to safety, and planned to follow the next week. Unfortunately, she was captured, detained in a camp, and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor offered to give her the tablecloth, but she insisted that he keep it for the church. He said, “Then I will drive you home; that is the least I can do.” The woman lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day doing a housecleaning job.

Christmas Eve arrived, and what a wonderful service they had! The church was practically full, and the Holy Spirit moved upon the hearts of all who attended. At the close of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many people promised to return often.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews with a blank stare on his face, and the pastor wondered why he did not leave with all the rest. The man asked, “Where did you get the tablecloth on the front wall? It’s identical to one my wife made years ago when we lived in Austria before the war. Could there be two tablecloths so much alike?” He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for safety with plans to follow her, but then he was arrested and placed in a concentration camp. He never saw his wife or his home again for all the 35 years in between.

The pastor smiled inwardly and asked the gentleman if he would accompany him on a ride. They drove to Staten Island, to the same building where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the elderly man climb three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and saw the greatest Christmas reunion one could ever imagine! What a miraculous story of the matchless grace and marvelous love of our God!

Consider this. None of this heartwarming story would have been possible without that terrible winter storm and the resultant hole in the church sanctuary! My friends, very often our apparent ‘storms’ are divine appointments in disguise that ultimately bless us and others.

In truth, ONE NEVER KNOWS WHAT GOD HAS IN STORE. So…please…do not surrender to doubt or despair. It is my prayer that your Christmas will be endowed with the fullness of peace and joy that is the life and legacy of OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.

Have a blessed day!

THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT

Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler.

One day he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful and kind words to him. Then he left. Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, “I am your king!” The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the course food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!”

The King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave so freely and lovingly of Himself to you and me. The Bible calls Him, “the indescribable gift!” (II Corinthians 9:15 – NKJV) A line of lyrics from a hymn learned during my youth declares, “Out of the ivory palaces into a world of woe – only His great eternal love made my Savior go.” Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Never forget: The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.

Have a blessed day!

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

Christmas is not really about the traditional giving and receiving of gifts; it is all about the giving and receiving of The Greatest Gift. E. B. White wrote that our cultural “tendency to perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year.” Somehow Jesus is relegated to the backdrop of our festive celebrations. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with colorful decorations, with beautiful gifts, or the shared fellowship of sumptuous meals, the true meaning of Christmas can be lost in the sauce of secular activity.

Its actual significance is simple, yet vitally important for all to remember: The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.

To wit, Jesus Christ is the world’s panacea, our situational cure-all, the only reliable answer for all life’s questions and issues. HE is precisely what fallen humanity requires – past, present and future. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But the greatest human need is forgiveness and salvation, so God sent to us a Savior.

Christ IS Christmas.

Have a blessed day!

THIS SEASON OF HOPE

Every Advent season motivates me to seriously consider the meaning of Christmas. As students of history, we are well aware that the chosen date for this festive celebration was first authorized by Pope Julius I, who in 353 A.D. designated December 25th as Christmas Day. Who would have thought it would become what it is today? And in 1832, when Professor Charles Follen lit candles on the first Christmas tree in America, who would have thought it would become the festive season that it is today?

Every passing century somehow distances fallen humanity from that miraculous and awesome night when the angelic host sang joyously, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:14) We try to envision the shepherds who witnessed God’s heavenly light-bearers suspended in the air. We strive to imagine the magi, that wise and faith-filled trio who sojourned from the East to bring majestic gifts to the Christ-child. And we seek to mentally conceive of the joy and wonder of Mary and Joseph when they first beheld their infant son, whose destiny was to become the King of Kings.

Now the question for this hour is this: What will WE do with these powerful-but-fading impressions? What will OUR response be to this Lamb of God, who graciously takes away the sin of the world? The answer is simple indeed. We, too, must bow before Him. We, too, must honor Him. And beyond that we, too, must worship, adore and covenant with Him, not only in this special season, but for all the days of our lives. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Have a blessed day!

TRUE REPENTANCE

Contemporary believers must be ever mindful to avoid embracing what Dietrich Bonhoeffer labeled as “cheap grace.” He described it as “the grace that we bestow on ourselves…the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline…grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

In modern society, far too many tend to equate membership on church rolls with genuine Christian discipleship. That is, many operate under the mistaken notion that we can mystically add Christ to our lives without the personal commitment to subtract sin. Cheap grace simply means a superficial adjustment in our intellectual beliefs without an accompanying change in our behaviors. According to the book of Revelation, this is tantamount to having a name [a reputation] that we are spiritually alive while we are actually spiritually dead. (Revelation 3:1)

Let’s strive be absolutely authentic, i.e. real in our relationships with Jesus Christ. For only Jesus Christ can inscribe our names on “The Book of Life.” (Philippians 4:3 – Revelation 3:5 – Revelation 13:18 – Revelation 17:8 – Revelation 20:12;15 – Revelation 21:27 – Revelation 22:19) Our names cannot be signed there by our family, our friends, our ministers, or any others – only Christ. It is mission critical that we live right for Him, not for the affirmation or approval of others.

All that we need is available at the foot of the cross of Calvary. Bow before Him.

Have a blessed day!

NEVER ALLOW LONG-TERM ABUSE

Our society has become increasingly violent within the family setting. According to a survey by the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in seven American couples has experienced some form of physical abuse during domestic arguments.

Not only is this problematic for the partners involved, but it has long-term poisonous implications for the next generation. The fact is that children who either witness or experience abuse are six times more likely to abuse their spouses when they eventually marry.

A related University of New Hampshire study reports that 15% to 34% of female children experience abuse, while 3% to 9% of young boys have these destructive experiences. Admittedly, I don’t have all the answers to this tragic social dilemma, but it is mission critical that the church be proactively engaged in highlighting this corrosive issue, while ministering compassionately to those who suffer such life-changing experiences.

The question is begged: ‘Should any of us grant passive permission to another by remaining in situations in which we are physically or emotionally abused?’ In your heart, you already know the answer. It is God’s will that “you prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (III John 1:2) If any relationship produces constant pain or danger, seriously consider, seek help, faithfully pray and take appropriate action.

Bottom-line: Let wisdom reign in your family affairs, and live a healthy and happy life.

Have a blessed day!

RITUALISTIC TRADITION VS. SPIRITUAL INTIMACY

Although traditions are often noteworthy, even commendable, it is important for believers to avoid becoming paralyzed in the robotic implementation of rituals that others have embraced in the past. In “The Vindication of Tradition,” Jaroslav Pelikan writes: “Tradition is the living faith of those now dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of those still living.” We must wisely discern the difference between the two. While there is much to be gleaned from traditions that were established out of strong conviction and sincere faith in God, embracing them in the absence of a similarly strong faith is merely establishing rituals that are hollow and void of spiritual intimacy and communion with Christ.

The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the TRADITION OF MEN, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

The singular spiritual guidepost for us, the disciples of Christ, is God’s eternal Word, not our finite and customary practices. His Word never fails since it was designed in the halls of eternity to exalt The Living Lord, not dying men. Therefore, any ritual that the church embraces should solely and positively pursue the glory of Almighty God. We love and worship God with our body, mind and spirit–with all that we are–FOR ALL THAT HE IS.

Have a blessed day!

SELF-CONTROL: A HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCT

There is no upside whatsoever in wallowing in the throes of pointless anger. However, sometimes anger is justifiable. For example, when Jesus became distressed over the sinful money-exchanging practices that were practiced regularly in The Temple, he overturned the tables of those ‘church thieves’ and expelled them. (Mark 11:15-17) And undoubtedly, believers reserve the right to become angry over social injustices or societal sins. Indeed, the scriptures do allow us to experience anger, but they require that we “sin not” whenever we become emotionally distraught. (Ephesians 4:26)

Self-control (a.k.a. “temperance”) is one of the life-changing “fruit of the Spirit” outlined in Galatians 5:22-24. A consistent prayer life, coupled with Word study and meditation, enables Spirit-filled believers to become sensitive to the Father’s will during any upsetting moment in time.

Never allow anger to control you. Rather, allow it to become a productive agent to display divine order. In my youth, during an NBA playoff game between the Knicks and the Bullets, one of the Bullets came up from behind the legendary Walt Frazier and punched him in the face. Strangely, the referee called a personal foul on Frazier, who make a deliberate decision to avoid complaining and just focus on the game. Neither his facial expression or attitude changed. Frazier simply went to work and put in seven straight shots to win the game. It was an amazing display of productive anger.

So if you become angry about something, never allow it to possess you, i.e. to control your attitude, harm your health, or impact your future. Think. Pray. If possible, resolve the issue. Then move on. It may not feel very comfortable for us to consider God’s perspective on our anger issues, but here it is: “Anger rests in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9) I know that’s not who we are!

Have a blessed day!

CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST

Have you ever become frustrated at the seemingly slow pace of change in your life? In this era of ‘microwave mentality,’ it is somewhat challenging to wrap our minds around the fact that GOD WORKS THROUGH PROCESSES. In other words, the changes HE implements in our lives are often implemented over extended periods of time, through a wide array of life experiences. Bottom-line: We cannot always trace God’s hand, but we must trust His heart and plan.

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa rose early and sat at the kitchen table reading his old worn-out Bible. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him any way he could. One day the grandson said, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you, but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. So what good does reading the Bible do for me?”

The grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.” The boy did just as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back home.

The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man insisted, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he watched from the window as his grandson attempted to please him again.

But at that point, the boy knew it was impossible, and he just wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got very far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was once again empty. Out of breath, he wheezed, “See Papa, I told you it’s useless!”

“So, you think it’s useless?” the old man queried. “Look down at the basket!” The young lad examined the basket and for the first time realized that it looked quite different. Instead of the dirty old coal basket he had first received, the one he held in his hands was now completely clean.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything right away, but if you keep on reading, IT WILL SURELY CHANGE YOU…FROM THE INSIDE OUT.”

That grandfather’s wisdom summarizes the work of THE FATHER in our lives. He changes us from the inside out, gradually transforming us into the image of HIS SON. (Romans 8:29) Therefore, we must resist the temptation to become frustrated or exasperated by the cadence and content of change. Ultimately, we are in the hands of THE MASTER POTTER and we will be fashioned into a finished product that pleases Him and edifies His Kingdom. (Jeremiah 18:1-6)

The Apostle Paul sums it up succinctly: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

My friends, let THE CHANGE begin…and let THE CHANGER have HIS WAY in THE PROCESS!

Have a blessed Thanksgivings Everyone!

THANKFULNESS IS REQUIRED OF ALL

Today I read the fascinating Bible story of lepers healed by Jesus Christ, as recorded in Luke chapter 17 and re-interpreted by Pastor Charles L. Brown. Here are the reasons he imagined that only 9 out of 10 lepers returned to say “thank you.”

One waited to see if the cure was for real.
One waited to see if it would actually last.
One said he would be sure to see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the Jewish priests.
One said Jesus didn’t really do anything.
One said any rabbi could have done it.
One said my health was already improving.

Never come up with any artificial reasons to believe you might have made it on your own or solely by human agency.

Shout it along with me, loud and strong: “THANK YOU, JESUS!”

Have a blessed day!

NEVER LIVE IN THE PAST

Years ago, the Holy Spirit breathed into my troubled mind a life-changing Rhema that was dispatched from the throne of grace. It was a simple yet profound message of hope: “Your flow is in your future, not in your past, so get out of the rearview mirror.” These are sage words for all of us to live by.

The prolific author, Warren Wiersbe, strongly agrees. He writes, “Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better or worse than these?’ You do not move ahead by constantly looking backward. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past.” Amen, Dr. Wiersbe, Amen!

Arguably, the most potent satanic strategy is to attack one’s mind (the arena of spiritual warfare) with deep feelings of regret, shame, anger, despair, or condemnation, centered around past experiences. My friend, if you messed up, get up and allow our loving GOD to recreate, renew and restore. And since you are now seated in Christ, the Word decrees that “there is therefore now no condemnation.” (Romans 8:1) For good measure, your Heavenly Father affirms this liberating truth pertaining to all of His spiritual sons and daughters: “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:17)

So let go, and let God…

Have a blessed day!

GOD NEVER FAVORS THE UPPER-CRUST

Some feel that they should have an ‘in’ with God and man because of their family pedigree or their socio-economic status. Nevertheless, I am thrilled to report that, while our Creator does not disdain family heritage or wealth, He looks upon everyone from the same vantage point, unconditional love.

It reminds me of the story about a Chicago bank that requested a professional reference on a young Bostonian being screened for employment. His Boston investment house could not say enough about the young man. They reported that his father was a Cabot and his mother was a Lowell. Farther back in his family lineage was a prominent blend of Saltonstalls, Peabodys, and other distinguished Boston families. This very positive recommendation was dispatched without any hesitation whatsoever.

Several days later, however, the Chicago bank sent their response, which stated that the information supplied was altogether inadequate. Their letter read in part: “We are not contemplating using the young man for breeding purposes. Just for work.” 😊

I like that bank’s style, don’t you? Neither is God a respecter of persons, but He accepts those from every nation, family, race and ethnicity who fear Him and diligently strive to establish His kingdom.

Having gained Heaven’s perspective on the divisive issues of partiality and prejudice, the Apostle Peter related the following testimony to Cornelius and his non-Jewish family. “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35) Friends, if you and I truly love, honor and obey our Creator, we shall ever be card-carrying members of what I have taken the liberty to label as ‘The Favor-Rite Tribe’ of Heaven.

Have a blessed day!

THE ZEAL THAT KILLS

Zeal is a wonderful thing when enacted appropriately because it rejects procrastination and releases energy. But the more practical tone of scripture is the application of moderation in all things. The Apostle Paul left us this sage advice: “Let your moderation be known unto all men.” (Philippians 4:5)

I thought some of you could possibly use a smile-break today, so I’ll share a true but humorous story about ZEAL, adapted from Warren Wiersbe’s “Handbook of Preaching and Preachers.”

When he was pastor at the Methodist church in Scarborough, William Sangster had a somewhat eccentric member who tried his best to be a zealous Christian. However, this man was overly aggressive in his witness and usually took the wrong approach. This Christian barber was lathering his customer for a close shave. But as he approached him with a very sharp razor, he remembered his evangelical duties and suddenly blurted out, “Are you prepared to meet your God?” That terrified gentleman fled the shop with lather on his face and never returned! 😊

Remember: You never have to ‘scare’ people into making a decision for Christ, whether you are doing it inadvertently or purposefully. Just let CHRIST shine through in your attitude and actions. That’s all folks!

Have a blessed day!

What are you praying for?

How many of you pray for God to rebuke you for anything not of him and change your mind heart and appetite for the wrong things? Holy Spirit convicts and corrects! It’s no way you should be walking around harboring ill feelings toward a sister or brother in Christ!! How many of you ask God to deliver you from the hidden things unseen and unclean? How many ask God to continually purify you and your heart and spirit even when you catch yourself in wrong thoughts or actions such as gossip hate envy or contention privately? Do you cry out to God to help you strip pride and anger and give you strength to overcome the secret battles you deal with? Do you ask God to help you help others and what can you do to keep pure hands and heart to do his work in purity? How many times do you ask God to strip you from greed anxiousness and bondage even comparison? If you not holding yourself accountable or accepting correction in error stop asking God for things and being unclean! He turns a deaf ear to those not living upright but coming in his name or asking in his name but not defined by the Biblical principles laid to build the foundation he has set!! These are things I see going on in the body of Christ and I pray before this year end many deal with themselves in the mirror ministry before trying to walk in God ministry bleeding on others! You can’t be double minded or living a double life walking in Spirit and truth! God wants to make you whole!! Allow him in fully with no restraints or constraints of the past! Behold I do a new thing!! You are a new creation in Christ if you walking fully aligned with His Will and plan over your life!! May God tear down every stronghold and spirit of confusion as he walks you into this next level!! God chastise his own and rebellion is a form of witchcraft! Be encouraged yet ask God and allow God to deal with you!! I love you guys!!🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽❤️❤️❤️❤️

Have a blessed day!

He Has the Last WordWhen you go through difficulties you don’t understand, remind yourself that God is your heavenly Father. If you have children, you know how much you love them and do your best to watch after and protect them. God is that way, but billions of times more. You are His prized possession. There’s nothing He cares more about than you. He has your best interest at heart.You may have been knocked down, but be encouraged that our generous God is about to put you back on your feet. Sicknesses, betrayals, and disappointments don’t get the last word. God does. The difficulty is simply a setup for God to launch you to something greater than you’ve ever imagined. The process may be painful, but the purpose is well worth it. One day you’re going to look back and see how God worked it all for your good. Stay in faith. You’re going to come out promoted, vindicated, stronger, healthier, and to a new level of your destiny.

Have a blessed day!

IMAGINATION

Because we have been designed in the image of God, our Creator has graciously endowed us with a very fertile and productive imagination. Imagination is the first cousin of faith since it envisions, anticipates and actualizes the promises of God. On the other hand, fear should be understood as the erroneous use of our imagination because fear consistently believes for the worst, not the best.

God-given imagination is an extremely powerful and effective weapon. Deploy it wisely.

Consider the story of a frustrated salesman, who while driving on a country road one dark and rainy night, had a flat tire. He opened the trunk, only to discover that there was no lug wrench. The light from a nearby farmhouse could be seen dimly down the road. He set out on foot through the driving rain. Surely the farmer would have a lug wrench he could borrow, he thought. Of course, it was late at night and the farmer would likely be sound asleep in his warm, dry bed. Maybe he wouldn’t even answer the door. And if he did, he’d be angry at being awakened in the middle of the night.

Picking his way blindly through the dark, the salesman stumbled on. By now his shoes and clothing were soaked through and through. Even if the farmer did answer his knock, he would probably shout something like, “What’s the big idea waking me up at this hour!” The very thought of this made the salesman quite angry. What right would that farmer have to refuse him the loan of a lug wrench? After all, here he was stranded in the middle of nowhere, soaking wet in the pouring rain. This farmer was a very selfish clod indeed–no doubt about it! The salesman finally reached the house and banged loudly on the door. A light went on inside, and a window opened above. “Who is it?” a voice called out. “You know darn well who it is,” yelled the exasperated salesman, his face red with anger. “It’s me! You can keep your blasted lug wrench. I wouldn’t borrow it now if you had the last one on earth!” Making a guttural scream, he jogged off in the rain toward his dysfunctional vehicle.

This stranded and hapless salesman had allowed the worst part of his imagination to get the best of him. Had he only assumed a more positive perspective as he approached the farmhouse, his results would certainly have been remarkably different.

The Apostle Paul suggests a spiritual strategy that allows every winner-believer the ability to keep an affirmative spirit and a firm grip on life-victory. Recorded in II Corinthians 10:4-6, Paul writes:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. CASTING DOWN [UNPRODUCTIVE] IMAGINATIONS, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:4-6)

As we allow ourselves to embrace crystal-clear IMAGES of the promises of God, revealed through the Word of God, we are empowered to walk in divine truth, fulfilling promised blessings in and around our lives. I love how Joshua frames it: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth; but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8, NKJV)

My friend, what are you imagining (imaging) concerning your divine purpose and destiny?

Have a blessed day!

EVERYONE COUNTS

In a world where most of us seek to stand out and garner accolades from the crowd, feelings of insecurity, fragility and low self-worth have become an emotional pandemic. They absolutely abound and they always abase. As a result, we are psychologically diminished, feeling ‘less’ than we actually are because we have been brainwashed into thinking (and thus living) so.

Today, it is my intention to reclaim or renew your God-given significance. Whether you seem to have arrived, or not; whether you are deemed to be accomplished, or not – you have unquestionable value. You matter. Indeed, every single one of God’s creations eternally counts.

For further enlightenment, consider this dialogue between the participants/parts of a child’s kite:

Who flies the kite? “I,” said the boy, “it is my joy that flies the kite.”
Who flies the kite? “I,” said the wind, “it is my whim that flies the kite.”
Who flies the kite? “I,” said the string, “it is my connection that flies the kite.”
Who flies the kite? “I,” said the tail, “it is my balance that flies the kite.”
Who flies the kite? All are wrong because all are right. No one just flies the kite. ALL fly the kite!

As a young child, I recall my father-pastor expounding on the importance of individual commitment and team participation. He cited Isaiah 41:6-7 as the scripture reference:

“Everyone helped his neighbor, and said to his brother, “Be of good courage!” So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith; he who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil, saying, “It is ready for the soldering.” Then he fastened it with pegs, that it might not totter.”

Without the realization of your necessary part in the process, the building would be incomplete.

You see, it matters not whether you are the engine or the caboose, the captain or the crewman, the CEO or the janitor. In God’s divine economy, EVERYONE COUNTS. Never forget that principle, and you will have taken a mission-critical first step on the road to lasting peace and security in this life.

Have A Blessed Day!!!

IT’S ONLY THE STIRRING OF YOUR NEST!

A necessary precursor and prerequisite of growth is change. However, it is absolutely challenging to be compelled to exit our comfort zones. That’s why the newborn baby cries after a sudden departure from the warm, insulated womb. That’s why the five-year-old child cries profusely when s/he enters kindergarten in what likely feels like a forced exile from the family home. Various ages and stages of life require major emotional adjustment as we stretch ourselves to navigate the uncertainty of unfamiliar ground.

Let’s contemplate the eagle’s development as a mirror of our own. We’ve all seen pictures of the eagle’s majestic nest, perched high in the branches of a lofty tree or in the crag of a cliff. But most are not privy to the brilliant craftsmanship of the nest construction process. When a mother eagle builds her nest, she first lays a foundation of thorns, sticks and sharp rocks – materials that seem entirely unsuitable to provide a safe habitat for her young. But then she lines the top of the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers and fur, making it extremely soft, safe and comfortable for her eggs and hatchlings. By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them rather reluctant to leave.

That’s precisely when the mother eagle “stirs up the nest.” (Deuteronomy 32:11) With her strong talons, she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp thorns, rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the soft bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes extremely uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this prompts the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move forward in flight, which represents greater risk but more maturity.

My friend, stop cursing the thorns. Perhaps, Heaven is simply stirring your familiar nest to precipitate an empowering movement of growth and development. In this next phase of life, you will discern more of the image and power of Christ, and thus more of your true purpose and destiny. Change becomes you; and you will fly!

Have a blessed day!

ASSUMPTIONS ARE DANGEROUS

Making assumptions can be rather risky business. Even though that is definitely the case, would you kindly allow me a bit of humor to make my point?

The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene hampered him and he asked his home office to hire a plane. Arrangements were made and he was told to go at once to a nearby airport where the plane would be waiting. When he arrived at the airport, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind and they were soon in the air. “Fly over the north side of the fire,” yelled the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.” “Why?” asked the pilot. “Because I’m going to take pictures!” cried the exasperated photographer. “I’m a photographer and photographers take pictures!” After a pause the pilot said, “You mean you’re not the instructor?” No happy ending for this assumptive tale!

A violinist noticed that his playing had a profoundly hypnotic effect on his audiences. They sat motionless, as though they were in a trance. He found he had the same effect on his friends’ pets. Dogs and cats would sit spellbound while he played. Wondering if he could cast the same spell over wild beasts, he travelled to a jungle clearing in Africa, took out his violin and began to play. A lion, a gorilla and an elephant charged into the clearing, stopped to listen, and sat mesmerized by the music. Soon the clearing was filled with every kind of ferocious animal, each one listening ever so intently. Suddenly another lion charged out of the jungle, pounced on the violinist, and killed him instantly. The first lion, bewildered, asked, “Why did you do that?” The second lion cupped his paw behind his ear. “What?” Lesson learned, the hard way!

Careful listening is not only an indispensable communication tool, it can be a matter of life or death. So listen. And in relationships of any kind, NEVER EVER ASSUME that you automatically know where other people are coming from…unless and until you DO know exactly where they are coming from!

Have a blessed day!

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY!

FALLEN ANGELS 101:

After the fallen angels had sex with the beautiful women and got them pregnant, God became displeased and regretted creating man…God said to Noah according to Genesis 6:13, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold I will destroy them with the earth.”

Fallen angels can take on human form, look like a “fine” man or woman. Have all physical features and body parts of a human. These fallen angels will lure, seduce or entice you to have sex with you. All along it’s a fallen angel/demon by the name of Azael (evil/fallen angel who cohabited with women). Another name of a fallen angel/demon is Zepar (fallen angel who makes women love men)…

Word to the wise, don’t be so quick to have sex without knowing who you are giving yourself and your emotions too. Soul ties are REAL and you could be sexing it with a fallen angel/demon.

Talk to them, get to know them and if you wait long enough, you will know if the person/fallen angel is a right fit for you. This is NOT the time to be afraid to ask hard and uncomfortable questions. Those questions could save your life…IJS! Pay attention, I can’t express this enough…Pay attention to the warning signs, their actions, their inability to commit, their body language, your own body language, your energy and their energy…Energy will NOT lie!

Have a blessed day!

Everything I have in my life….I’ve PRAYED for. I waited MY turn. I TRUSTED God. In my storms and in my valleys all I had and will forever is my FAITH. Every tear I cried I knew my JOY was coming. I never prayed to receive more than I deserved I always pray for what God has for me. I never compare my desires or wants to what others around me have received. I never want to come off as bragging I just want everyone to know all I did was PRAY…WAITED MY SEASON…I RECEIVED.For whatever you desire…ASK GOD. Do not get discouraged when you feel things are not coming as fast as you desire. Life isn’t a race. Life is a journey. In this journey some roads you must travel alone.Always remember: obedience is better than sacrifice. Some times to get where God needs you it takes true obedience.You will get there just trust your journey. Embrace every part of it even during the storm, drought, & valley. I promise you….The victory will be AWESOME.

Have a blessed day!

BEAUTIFIED BY GOD

We were purposefully created in the image and likeness of an awesome and majestic God. Throughout our lives, we are touched and transformed by His grace and mercy – as we surrender to the restoring power of His redemptive love. Although there are moments when we appear to be rather ‘ugly’ and radically different from the Creator’s original design, God has a definite plan and process in mind. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

In many ways, we have profound similarities to the scarab beetle. While most people deem beetles and bugs to be somewhat creepy, the jewel scarab just might turn you into a beetle lover. They live in the jungles of Honduras and their colors are so amazing that they have great value, selling for up to $500 each. Scarabs are magnificently adorned in flaming red, radiant gold and a bright shade of silver that resembles luminous chrome. Even beetle haters find jewel scarabs to be absolutely dazzling and beautiful!

But their origins are radically different from their latter lives. That is, the jewel scarab’s beauty does not come automatically. They have rather modest, unsightly beginnings – emerging as soft, mushy, grey-white grubs growing inside rotting tree stumps. They remain in place for a year or so. During the rainy season, the adult scarabs emerge from their trees, with that soft body and pale appearance. However, within hours their bodies harden and their splendid colors start to show. Jewel scarabs only live for another three months or so, but what a glorious and noteworthy existence. They are among God’s most gorgeous creations!

We humans are much like scarab beetles. There are moments when we may not feel (or appear) to be beautiful or attractive. I’m not referring to our bodies, but our characters, thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions. Nevertheless, if we willingly embrace the ongoing creative process of God, eventually we will emerge, with purposeful effort and submission, as beautiful, dazzling, illuminating creatures, bearing the spiritual image of our Creator.

It’s a process. It’s a process. It’s a process.

In case you didn’t hear me, IT’S A PROCESS.

So hang in there while the Divine Architect completes His work in you. The finished product that God strategically formulates in the body/mind/spirit of every believer is reminiscent of my life-verse, Philippians 1:6. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Never be afraid to offer this candid and transparent testimony to any person you may encounter along this journey called life: “Please be patient with me…God is not through with me yet.” Indeed, much like the jewel scarab beetle, your Creator is gradually configuring and conforming you to the image of Christ.

YOU WILL SHINE!

Have a blessed day!

THEY’LL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE

The world will never be converted by superficial spiritual-hype. Unquestionably, it is THE LIVING WORD that penetrates the soul and transforms the spirit. This Word is the living and loving embodiment of God’s grace, mercy and truth. In the final analysis, it is how all of us miraculously arrive at the foot of Calvary’s cross.

The world will never be drawn (authentically) to the faith because of our accumulated possessions or our clever promotions. The monetary value of the houses we own, the vehicles we drive, or the investments we accrue will never be the persuasive factor in bringing lost souls to Christ. There is only one indispensable component of evangelism; it is THE GOSPEL OF LOVE. The following true and heart-touching story clearly illustrates this point.

It was one of the most extraordinary birthday parties ever held. No, it did not take place in the plush ballroom of a grand hotel. No, there weren’t any famous celebrities present. The rich and powerful did not attend. In fact, it was held at 3:30 a.m. inside a small seedy cafe in Honolulu. The guest of honor was a prostitute. The party guests were prostitutes. And the man who threw the party was a Christian minister.

The idea came to Pastor Tony Campolo early one morning as he sat in the café. He was drinking coffee at the counter, when a group of prostitutes walked in and sat at nearby stools. One of the girls named Agnes lamented the fact that tomorrow would be her birthday, but she never had a birthday party.

So Tony thought it would be a great idea to surprise Agnes with a birthday party. Learning from the café owner that the girls came in every morning around 3:30 a.m., Tony planned with him to set up the café for a surprise party. Somehow, word got out on the streets, so by 3:15 the next morning the place was packed with prostitutes, along with the cafe owner, his wife and Pastor Tony.

Agnes walked in and saw the streamers, balloons and birthday cake, as everyone shouted, “Happy Birthday!” Agnes was totally overwhelmed. Tears poured down her face as the crowd sang “Happy Birthday to You.” When Agnes was called to cut the cake, she paused. She had never had a birthday cake and asked if she could take it home to show her mother. After Agnes left there was a reverential silence as Tony led the café owner, his wife and a roomful of prostitutes in a moment of prayer, both for Agnes and for themselves.

It was truly a magnificent birthday party – one rarely seen – thrown by a Christian minister for a 39-year-old prostitute who had never experienced anyone going out of their way to do something so special, while expecting absolutely nothing in return. Indeed, so surprising was this turn of events that the café owner found it hard to believe that there were churches that would actually do this sort of thing. “But if there are,” he remarked, “then that is the sort of church I would be ready to join.” Wow!

There is no life-giving efficacy in religious pomp and pageantry. What the world needs now-and-always is authentic LOVE. Neither our church edifices, nor our religious rites, nor our ecclesiastical robes and rings will draw men, women and children to the cross. There is one simple ingredient in evangelical success; it is the ‘Secret Recipe’ of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have LOVE to one another.” (John 13:35) Amen! Amen! Amen!

Have a blessed day!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE…..She’ll work her fingers to the bone to make a house into a home. A mother is there to teach and guide, and she will stay right by your side.She’ll be there through your pain and strife, she’ll stay constant in your life. A mother will lend a helping hand until you have the strength to stand. She’ll pick you up when you are down, when you need a friend she’ll stick around. A mother is one who listens well, will keep her word; will never tell. A mother never pokes or pries but stands quietly by your side,giving you the strength you need, encouraging you to succeed. A mother is one who can be strong when you need someone to lean on.You’re more than a mother to me; you’re a reflection of Him in your face I see, a love that knows no boundaries. A mother is a intercessor for she will lay before the throne of grace pleading and interceding on your behalf. She is a doctor in the sick room and a lawyer in the courtroon of heaven. I’m glad that you chose to be all this and more to me. You share a love that knows no end, you’re more than a mother, you are my friend.

Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day!

Continue reading “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE…..She’ll work her fingers to the bone to make a house into a home. A mother is there to teach and guide, and she will stay right by your side.She’ll be there through your pain and strife, she’ll stay constant in your life. A mother will lend a helping hand until you have the strength to stand. She’ll pick you up when you are down, when you need a friend she’ll stick around. A mother is one who listens well, will keep her word; will never tell. A mother never pokes or pries but stands quietly by your side,giving you the strength you need, encouraging you to succeed. A mother is one who can be strong when you need someone to lean on.You’re more than a mother to me; you’re a reflection of Him in your face I see, a love that knows no boundaries. A mother is a intercessor for she will lay before the throne of grace pleading and interceding on your behalf. She is a doctor in the sick room and a lawyer in the courtroon of heaven. I’m glad that you chose to be all this and more to me. You share a love that knows no end, you’re more than a mother, you are my friend.”

Got Flowers Today I got flowers today. It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night. He said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know he was sorry and didn’t mean the things he said. Because I got flowers today. I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day. Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn’t believe it was real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry Because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today. It wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day. Last night, he beat me up again. And it was much worse than all other times. If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I’ m afraid of him and scared to leave. But I know he must be sorry Because he sent me flowers today. I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral. Last night he finally killed me. He beat me to death. If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him, I would not have gotten flowers today. This poem is dedicated to all the victims and survivors of Domestic Violence. You ask, why didn’t she leave? I ask, why did he hit? Author: Paulette Kelly

Have a blessed day!

Where you go matters

WORD FOR TODAY:
Mark 5: 22-23,
Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

“Where You Go Matters”

I want to point out that certain situations will make your position irrelevant.

In certain situations, it won’t matter that they call you a CEO. When there’s no peace in your home, there’s no position that can make you feel good about your life. What was happening in Jairus’ home brought him to a low place, even though he occupied a high position.

A synagogue ruler was someone who had influence. Yet he finds himself at the feet of Jesus, powerless. And he wants to know: “Will you help me with this issue?”

Some of us have gone through times where our peace was upended in an instant. And when that happens, we’ve got to remember that it doesn’t matter what we do, or what we’ve accomplished, or what we’ve been through.

All that matters is that we go where Jairus went: to the feet of Jesus
Have a blessed day!

Think on These Things

Philippians 4:8 (KJV) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Sometimes we catch ourselves wondering what we should think about. It seems like our minds can go off in so many directions. The Bible tells us what to think about, and we find it in this verse. I have found that our minds seem to want to go to the negative, so when we see here the different things to think on, it helps us to correct our “stinking thinking.”
The Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, says that we should think on things that are TRUE, HONEST, JUST, PURE, LOVELY, OF GOOD REPORT, VIRTUOUS, AND FULL OF PRAISE. Now, for many of us, this will take an adjustment, but the Bible would never tell us to do something unless God has put within us the ability to do it. It does take effort, but the rewards are so great. Instead of being down and out, you will have joy and peace.
Making decisions in our lives to do it God’s way, and not ours, can really bring us from the lows to the highs in our lives. Many wonder why they are down, or seem to be so bummed. I would venture to say that many times it is what we are thinking about. We have to make a decision to look at bad thoughts, or even just down thoughts, like garbage. I do not know about you, but when there is garbage in the house, I take it out.
So today, if you have garbage thoughts, go ahead and take them out, and fill your house (your mind) with the thoughts found here. Think thoughts that are TRUE, HONEST, JUST, PURE, LOVELY, OF GOOD REPORT, VIRTUOUS, AND FULL OF PRAISE!

Have a blessed day!

HARDCORE TRUTH ABOUT MARRIAGE! !!!!

  1. There is nothing that threatens the security of a wife than the thought of another woman competing for the attention and affection of her husband. Nothing is more painful. Nothing is more disrespecting. Nothing is more insulting. Nothing is more belittling and degrading.
  2. Marriage flourishes when the couple works together as a team; when both husband and wife decide that winning together is more important than keeping score.
    Good marriages don’t just happen. They are a product of hard work.
  3. Your children are watching you and forming lasting opinions on love, commitment, and marriage based on what they see in you. Give them hope. Make them look forward to marriage.
  4. Husbands: The reason why other women look attractive is because someone is taking good care of them. Grass is always green where it is watered. Instead of drooling over the green grass on the other side of the fence, work on yours and water it regularly. Any man can admire a beautiful woman, but it takes a true gentleman to make a woman admirable and beautiful.
  5. When a husband puts his wife first above everyone and everything except God, it gives his wife the sense of security and honor that every wife hungers for.
  6. A successful marriage doesn’t require a big house, a prefect spouse, a million dollars or an expensive car. You can have all the above and still have a miserable marriage. A successful marriage requires honesty, undying commitment and selfless love and Jesus at the center of it all.
  7. Pray for your spouse every day; in the morning, in the afternoon and at evening. Don’t wait until there is a problem. Don’t wait until there is an affair. Don’t wait until something bad happens. Don’t wait until your spouse is tempted. Shield your spouse with prayer and cover your marriage with the fence of prayer.
  8. The people you surround yourself with have a lot of influence on your marriage. Friends can build or break your marriage; choose them wisely.
  9. One spouse cannot build a marriage alone when the other spouse is committed to destroying it. Marriage works when both husband and wife work together as a team to build their marriage.
  10. Don’t take your spouse for granted. Don’t take advantage of your spouse’s meekness and goodness. Don’t mistake your spouse’s loyalty for desperation. Don’t misuse or abuse yours spouse’s trust. You may end up regretting after losing someone that meant so much to you.
  11. Beware of marital advice from single people. Regardless of how sincere their advice may be, most of it is theoretical and not derived from real life experiences. If you really need Godly advice, seek it from God-fearing, impartial and prayerful mature couples whose resolve has been tested by time and shaped by trials.
  12. Dear wife, Don’t underestimate the power of the tongue on your marriage. The tongue has the power to crush your marriage or build it up. Don’t let the Devil use your tongue to kill your spouse’s image, self-confidence and aspirations. Let God use your tongue to build up your marriage and bless and praise your spouse.
    Have a blessed day!

WAIT

Financial pressures abound in our world. We not only feel pressure to survive, but to thrive. Indeed, many times we are evaluated somewhat superficially by others, that is, by the degree of prosperity we achieve, and we find ourselves either accepted or rejected as a direct result. But money isn’t everything, is it?

Consider the following story of a rich man whose priorities were distorted and misplaced. Worse yet, he lacked PATIENCE. Jesus Christ admonishes us, “In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19) Remember: God works exclusively through His divine timetable (kairos), not our human calendar (chronos), so stop obsessing over your watch. Don’t rush your process! WAIT ON HIM. (Isaiah 40:31 – Psalm 40:1)

Once there was a rich man who was doing quite well in life until he fell seriously ill. He was forced to sell all his belongings to cure his illness. After he became healthy, he realized that he had nothing left of any tangible value. The once wealthy man now had difficulty feeding himself, but he thought that in time things would return to normal and he would be wealthy again.

He waited a very long time, but nothing happened to change his circumstances. He felt that his daily existence was so dreadful and unbearable that he decided to take his own life. And he did.

While on his way to perdition, this man met two angels who were hauling a rather heavy load. He asked them where they were going. After their long explanations, the man realized that the two angels had been dispatched on earth for him – to radically change and improve his life situation. The heavy load the angels were dragging was actually a bag loaded with money. But since he was no longer alive, he would not be able to receive it. Far worse, he was now consigned to eternal punishment and exiled permanently from the presence of his Creator.

Now hear this: Never ever make radical, ridiculous, irreversible choices. The answer you need could be just right around the corner. I love how the Psalmist David frames it: “WAIT ON THE LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14, NKJV)

Have a blessed day!

HONESTY PAYS

Sometimes we are tempted to compare ourselves with the progress and advances of others, some of whom might have opted for sinful shortcuts to arrive at the top. This somewhat self-absorbed thought process is a sure path to discouragement and disenchantment. Since the mind is the arena of spiritual warfare, Satan seeks to strategically plant such tormenting thoughts within any person who does not diligently “watch and pray.” (Mark 14:38) However, Christ calls believers to a higher order of thinking, which avoids overly competitive spirits and anxiety-stricken hearts. Prayerfully ponder the words of David:

Psalm 37:1-4 (NKJV)
Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Bottom-line: A life of integrity and honesty eventually produces and sustains quality fruit. So, don’t obsess over current circumstances; keep your eyes focused on THE MASTER. Do HIS will. Integrity is its own reward, and HONESTY INVARIABLY PAYS.

A general manager in India wanted to test his people concerning their values of life. In everyone’s seminar folder there was a plastic pouch containing one small seed. After they returned to their homes, they were to plant the seed in a pot with good soil and look after it faithfully. The manager promised to hold a competition in the following year and the person with the best plant would be generously rewarded.

Everyone was eager to participate, and the year passed by quickly. The subsequent seminar was held in a huge hall, and there was quite a scene, with hundreds of pots and a great variety of plants, all except for one person. In his pot was soil, but no plant. The owner of that pot sat quietly, apparently ashamed of himself.

The general manager summoned him to the stage. He asked what happened and the man responded with the truth. He planted the seed as instructed and did his absolute best to nurture it, but nothing happened.

The general manager declared that man to be the winner!

Everyone was totally shocked. The manager announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, the seeds I gave you were boiled seeds. You planted them, and nothing at all happened. Most of you chose to act unwisely and deceptively, using other seeds. This man was completely honest. Therefore, he did not cheat me or himself. He wins the prize!”

My friend, before you conclude that the individual who “brings wicked devises to pass” is a blessed person, consider GOD’S description and prescription for being blessed. (Psalm 37:7)

Psalms 1:1-3 (NKJV)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

When we do things God’s way, we win.

Have a blessed day!

OUR FREE AND FOREVER GIFT

According to the apostle of love, John, our HEAVENLY FATHER is so invested in us that He willingly “gave His only begotten SON” that we, believing on Him, will have eternal and abundant life. (John 3:16 and John 10:10)

Centuries before Christ’s advent, Prophet Isaiah foretold His coming:

Isaiah 9:6 (New King James Version)
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

As the CHILD that was BORN, he was FULLY MAN. As the SON that was GIVEN, he was FULLY GOD.

As the CHILD that was born, he experienced hunger, thirst, pain, loneliness, isolation, indifference, rejection, sorrow, suffering and even death.

As the SON that was given, HE IS…The Way to Salvation, The Living Bread, The Water of Life, The Great Physician, The Burden Bearer, The Friend of Sinners, The Comforter, The Resurrection and The Life.

During this Christmas, let us celebrate the CHILD and the SON by fully embracing and sharing the good news about THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL…JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD and SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. Rejoice for He belongs to us and we belong to Him – henceforth, now and evermore. Amen!

Have a blessed day!

FOR HE SENT US WHAT WE NEEDED!

If our need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
So God sent us a Savior.

Merry Christmas!

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT

Please stop stressing about buying the most unique or costly Christmas gifts you can imagine or discover. Fact is, you already have them. As you check out the following story by Joseph Rebecky, you will consciously embrace the spirit of gratitude and the wonderful fulfillment that is found in the most precious of life’s gifts.

As a young child I remember running down the steps on Christmas morning and looking around the tree for the biggest box. I always believed that within the biggest box lay the most expensive and best gift.

But as time worked its wonders on my mind and soul, I realized that each gift was special, unique and meaningful. In fact, the presents that I remember most are the gifts that came directly from the heart, such as one of my mother’s handmade sweaters or scarves. Ultimately, Christmas is not about the gifts themselves, but rather the expressions of love behind the gifts.

This Christmas I have already been blessed to receive the most beautiful and amazing presents in the world, the love of the special people in and around my life. However, I know the true meaning of Christmas is found in the word “giving.” So, this Christmas, I pledged to search and search until I find the most incredible gifts for some phenomenal people.

I spent many days in crowded stores and scanned numerous holiday catalogs, but nothing seemed to stand out. As Christmas approached, I wondered if I would ever find those “perfect” gifts. I decided to try the local mall one last time. Perhaps I had missed an amazing store or some awesome merchandize that had just hit the racks and shelves.

But as I passed from one store to the next, nothing caught my eye. Feeling somewhat defeated, I slowly made my way toward the mall exit. But before I could reach the doors, I suddenly found my “perfect” gift.

No, this gift was not found in a fancy and expensive department store. It could not be wrapped in colorful Christmas paper and adorned with bright ribbons and bows. Actually, this gift doesn’t have a receipt and it could never be returned or exchanged.

So, where did I find this “perfect” gift – and more importantly, what is it? I found it in the eyes of an elderly couple holding hands. I heard it in the playful words between a grandfather and grandson. I glimpsed it in a proud new mother’s caress of her infant daughter.

Yes, my “perfect” gift is LOVE. So this Christmas, I offer the gift of LOVE and believe with all my heart that its recipients will treasure and keep it always.

Well said, Joseph Rebecky, well said. We shall also make a conscientious effort to truly treasure our loved ones – and all of us will be supremely grateful for our priceless and precious gift: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Indeed, HE is the perfect Christmas gift! Merry Christmas!

Thanks, Wayne M. Bass

Have a blessed day!

GOD’S PROPERTY

Difficult moments should never take believers by surprise. Consider the sage advice of the Apostle Peter. “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (I Peter 4:12-13)

My friend, you will surely survive since you walk in covenant connectivity with Christ. The all-wise Savior has invested so much in processing and protecting your lifelong growth and development, and He will certainly see you through. My life-verse is a reassuring reminder: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

WINNER-BELIEVER, refuse to reside in fear, frustration, disappointment, doubt, grief, or sorrow. Never allow unexpected enemy incursions to blindside, derail, or destroy you. Do not grant the enemy access to your mind or permission to deflate your dreams. For in the final analysis, YOU ARE GOD’S PROPERTY and possession, and unquestionably, HE HAS YOUR BACK.

Have a blessed day!

I AM THAT I AM

When Jehovah (Yahweh) revealed Himself to Moses and commissioned him to liberate the Israelites from four centuries of Egyptian bondage, Moses had an intriguing conversation with God.

Exodus 3:13-14

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

The ancient Israelites had such high regard and reverence for the name of God that they refused to pronounce it while reading the sacred scriptures, substituting for it the name “Adonai.”

Under the New Covenant, the dispensation of grace and truth, Jesus Christ becomes the manifestation of Jehovah, “the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9) The gospel writer, John, correctly identifies Jesus as the great I AM. In the anointed words of JESUS, THE CHRIST…:

  • I AM the Bread of Life. (John 6:35)
  • I AM the Light of the World. (John 8:12)
  • I AM the Door. (John 10:9)
  • I AM the Good Shepherd. (John 10:11)
  • I AM the Resurrection and the Life. (John 11:25)
  • I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:6)
  • I AM the True Vine. (John 15:1,5)
  • I AM…I AM. (John 4:26; 8:58; 18:5,6,8)

In other words, JESUS CHRIST is ALLwe will ever need, “for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) Indeed, HE is the great I AM. Trust Him. Even when you cannot trace His hand, trust His plan.

Have a blessed day!

WHAT IS YOUR STORY?

Marianne Wiggins, an American author, wrote the novel “Almost Heaven.” One of her central characters is a middle-aged woman named Melanie John. We first meet her in the psychiatric unit of the Medical College of Virginia, after experiencing hysterical amnesia. Shortly before that, she was a happily married mother of four living in the Richmond suburbs.

Five weeks earlier, she and Jason, her husband and the love of her life, were headed down the highway with their four kids seated in the back. Melanie had been writing during their drive, when a gust of wind carried her paper out the window.

When Jason pulled the car over to the side of the road, Melanie got out and headed into a nearby field to recover her writing. That’s when she heard the terrifying screech of skidding tires. She turned just in time to witness another vehicle slamming into the rear of her family car. The car exploded, and her husband and children were killed instantaneously.

Melanie’s emotional system coped by shutting down completely – blocking out the memory of that day and, sadly, all recollections of her entire family life as well. The last two decades were totally erased from her conscious memory. The very last memory Melanie could recall was her graduation from law school, 20 years earlier. But her most precious memories, of meeting Jason and falling in love, of her wedding day, of the births of her children, of the building of their new home, were absolutely lost.

Although her amnesia acted as an emotional anesthetic, Melanie was totally robbed of herself and had no real sense of the most meaningful parts of her identity. Powerful unanswered questions filled her room. Inside this shell of a body, who is Melanie John? What is her life? Where does she fit? What’s her place and purpose in this world? Without the stories of the last 20 years, she had no easy way of knowing. Without the stories of her past, there was no meaningful present, and quite possibly no meaningful future.

The novel recounts Melanie’s painful journey to recover her memories and regain her sense of self. One of the things this story clearly reminds us about is that OUR LIVES ARE MADE UP OF OUR STORIES. Our sense of self, who we are, why we are here, where we fit in and where we are headed are roadmaps by which we make sense of our lives. Indeed, our lives are fundamentally shaped by our family and cultural stories, times of gain and loss, times of weeping and rejoicing, stories that tell us who we are, stories that reveal our priorities and values.

Nevertheless, FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE STORY. It is a faith-saga that transcends family, culture, time, space and happenstance – providing us with meaning, balance, wisdom and direction.

My personal journey has a multiplicity of chapters, scenes, settings and life-events – some saturated with joy and fulfilment, some not so much. But I do have ONE PRIMARY OVERARCHING STORY that colors all and affects all. Do you want to know what it is?

The late Fanny J. Crosby, a blind yet gifted Christian composer from Bridgeport, Connecticut, captures it so well in the lyrics of her beautiful classic hymn, “Blessed Assurance.”

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

THIS IS MY STORY, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

My friend, WHAT IS YOUR STORY?

Have a blessed day!

MOTHER, MAY I?

As young children, we occasionally played a game centering around a rather genteel question: “MOTHER, MAY I?” In hindsight, I suppose this game was invented by a skillful and creative parent who sought to teach her children two important life skills: 1) being polite, and 2) observing boundaries.

Here’s how the game is played. One child (regardless of gender) volunteers to serve as ‘MOTHER’ and the others position themselves in a horizontal line, about 20 feet (6 meters) from the game leader. The MOTHER then chooses one of her playmates and says something like this: “Tony, take three giant-steps forward.” Before doing so, the child-player MUST respond, “MOTHER, MAY I?”

The MOTHER tries to make the game more interesting by varying both the NUMBER and KIND of steps that might be taken, e.g. “Wesley, you may take two scissors-steps,” (or) “Doris, you may take four baby-steps” (or) “Lois, you may take three kangaroo-steps.” Indeed, there seems to be an unlimited variety of forward movements one could be called upon to take, e.g. twirly-steps, turtle-steps, umbrella-steps, jumping jack-steps, even side-steps.

While this game sounds somewhat simplistic, it has rather intriguing possibilities. Of course, the child who successfully reaches and touches MOTHER wins and is given the opportunity to serve as leader in the next round. But here’s what makes the game truly interesting. In the excitement of the moment, the playing children sometimes forget to respond before moving by asking “MOTHER, MAY I?” This oversight causes them to be sent all the way back to the starting point. For example, a child could be just about in position to reach out and touch MOTHER and win, but the thrill of that moment occasionally generates a memory lapse, with the result of starting all over from square one.

This game is not only fun for children, it’s loaded with spiritual significance. Because as believers in the Kingdom of God, our success is intrinsically tied to our willingness and consistency in ASKING (not necessarily our Mother), but THE FATHER, for purity, purpose, permission and power. Only under the constant direction and wise governance of THE FATHER may we successfully “live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) It’s a challenging lesson to learn for those of us who consider ourselves ‘independent thinkers.’ Americans should take special note of both the rewards and risks of freedom.

Here is our practical dilemma. In life’s various and sundry moments of excitement, we sometimes forget or simply fail to ask, “FATHER, MAY I?” As a result, we suffer substantial delays or reversals. Sometimes, it ‘feels’ like we are pushed way back at the beginning to start our journey all over again. But GOD is in the midst of it all. (Romans 8:28)

The Apostle James provides important insight. He writes, “You HAVE NOT because you ASK NOT.” (James 4:2) James was not referring to ASKING FOR THINGS, as many might imagine, but he was referring to seeking and securing the perfect WILL OF GOD. James was advising us to proactively receive GOD’S INTENTIONAL DESIGN FOR LIFE FULFILLMENT, which is only derived from seeking HIM, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and HIS KINGDOM. (Psalm 27:8 – Philippians 3:10 – Matthew 6:33)

My friends, before you make your next move, ask HIM for wisdom, direction and timing. “FATHER, MAY I?” Winner-believers, our Father will surely make life more interesting by varying both the NUMBER and KIND of steps we may take. And if we approach Him with heart-sincerity, i.e. a genuine desire to apprehend and actualize His perfect will, sooner or later (invariably and inevitably) we will be in such close proximity that we may easily REACH out and TOUCH Him.

Have a blessed day!

I AM THE SPIRIT WITHIN
When you look in a mirror, the reflection you see, is not really me,
It is merely the human form you see,
I am the spirit within, the essence of thee,
Please find and treasure me.
When you find me I can help you be all that you can be,
I am love, I am perfect and whole, for I am Divine you see,
And that is how you too can be,
When you find and treasure me.
I have been with you for all time and when you acknowledge me,
You will know your purpose and at one be,
United we’ll shine and reflect the source Divine,
So when you look in the mirror of life you will see me. AMEN 🙏🏾🙌🏾🔥

YOUR WORD IS A LAMP TO MY FEET 🦶🏽

Exodus 3:14
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”

Have a blessed day!

MUST I ALWAYS LISTEN?

Life is a series of important lessons, either revealed through random experiences, or channeled through advising voices that occupy two categories: those we should carefully attend to and those we should totally ignore. Consider the following story to discern details of this truth.

Once upon a time there was a group of tiny frogs that arranged an athletic competition. Their goal was to see who would be the first to reach the apex of an extremely high tower. A huge crowd gathered around the tower to observe the race and cheer on contestants.

However, this race commenced under a pall of corporate doubt. That is, no one in the crowd believed the tiny frogs would ever reach the top of tower. No one. Negative statements abounded: “They will never make it!” “Fat chance even one will succeed!” “That tower is way too high!”

True to the predictions of the crowd, the tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one, except for a relative few who in fresh tempo were climbing higher and higher.

Intermittently, the crowd still yelled, “It’s too difficult! You won’t make it!”

More and more tiny frogs became discouraged, exhausted, or simply gave up. Nevertheless, one frog continued to climb higher and higher and higher. It seemed this unlikely climber just wouldn’t quit, despite skeptics and naysayers.

In the end, everyone else had given up, except that one tiny frog. After a monumental and heroic effort, she was the only one who persevered and reached the top! Naturally, all the other frogs (both those who competed and those who observed) wanted to know how this one little frog could scale that seemingly insurmountable height.

When a fellow contestant inquired as to how she had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal, the victorious frog seemed to ignore her questioner. After a long pause, the whole crowd had a light bulb moment. It turned out that the winner of the competition was TOTALLY DEAF! Her very being exemplified her seemingly staunch refusal to tune-in to trash.

Bottom-line: Never ever listen to other people who are negative or pessimistic because they may nullify your most precious dream, the one you hold closest to your heart!

My friend, all through life, you must keep on dreaming and daring. And while you are climbing, focus solely on the voice of THE PARACLETE, THE ONE WHO WALKS ALONGSIDE, for your edification, direction and comfort. (John 14:26 – John 15:26 – John 16:13-14) Remember the words of Jesus Christ: “My sheep HEAR MY VOICE, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

Incidentally, you may also wisely attend to the encouraging whispers of like-minded believers whom HE sends and anoints as covenant partners in life. To all others, turn a deaf ear, and keep on scaling your mountain. You can (and you will) make it!

Have a blessed day!

Transformational Thought: Imperial Christianity

Much of what Jesus said seems to have been understood and taken to heart during the first several hundred years after his death and resurrection. Before the imperial edict of 313 that pushed Christians to the top and the center of the Roman Empire, values like nonparticipation in war, simple living, and love of enemies were common within the faithful community. The church at that point was still countercultural and non-imperial—a social movement for the reign of God. After 313 we lost that free position. Christianity increasingly accepted, and even defended, the dominant social order, especially concerning war, money, and authority.

If we look at texts in the hundred years preceding Emperor Constantine’s edict, it was unthinkable that a Christian would fight in the army. The army was killing believers. Christians were on the bottom but, by the year 400, the entire army had become Christian, and was now killing the pagans. In a two-hundred-year period, Christians went from being complete outsiders to directing the inside! Once Christians joined the inside group, they had to defend their power. There’s not much room for any talk of the cross or powerlessness anymore.

Official Christianity slowly lost its free and alternative vantage point, which is probably why what we now call the movements of “religious life” began and flourished in the desert after 313. People went to the edges of the church and took vows of poverty, living in satellites that became “little churches,” without ever formally leaving the big Church.

People, like Francis of Assisi, formed their own “social movement” through a foundational agenda for justice. They lived in humility and simplicity outside the dominant social, political, and religious systems. For the Franciscans who followed in his footsteps, the first priority was living the spiritual life in a visible way that shouted Gospel love! Their life, close to the bottom, was where they hoped to learn the science of love. Their small communities were to be patterns for living and disseminating the transformative power of the Gospel.

Here’s the bottom line! When Christianity became part of the system under Constantine, imperialism then required that you protect the system as part of Christian responsibility. (This is historical fact). ++RLD ❤️

HOLD ON TO YOUR FAITH

The news media bombards us daily with troubling images of global, national and local tragedies. Because of this, it is relatively easy for many to embrace a pessimistic or skeptical worldview. We witness far too many distressing and disastrous examples of man’s inhumanity to man. And now, these terrible incidents occur in what have always been deemed ‘safe spaces’: schools, malls, theaters, offices and even places of worship. Undoubtedly, these are prophetic signs of the end-time season in which we live. (Matthew 24)

Nevertheless, my singular goal for today is to encourage you to hold tenaciously to your faith. Despite what you see or hear, have faith in God. Our God is sovereign. Our God is still on the throne.

During life’s most puzzling and perplexing moments, it behooves us to reflect on the profound wisdom that Jesus shared with his disciples pertaining to every aspect of this earthly journey: “Jesus answering said unto them, HAVE FAITH IN GOD.” (Mark 11:22)

Regardless of your present circumstance, know that GOD has your back! So be encouraged. Be joyful. And remember this: JOY is the simple assurance that CHRIST is always at the center of all your circumstances.

HAVE FAITH IN THE ALMIGHTY, THE ALL-WISE AND THE SOVEREIGN GOD, because with His help and His strength, you certainly can and will make it.

Have a blessed day!

JOY IS AN INSIDE JOB

Hopefully, you have discovered that true contentment does not emerge from external circumstances. Simply put, no person, thing, or situation in life can fully enact or sustain personal fulfillment for another human being. The reason is rather obvious. Any person, any condition, or any thing we encounter and experience with our five senses is temporary and transitory. Eventually, all will die, depart, or simply fade away.

What, then, is the optimal source of our JOIE DE VIVRE? [Editor’s Note: “Joie de vivre” is a French term meaning joy of life]. Our response to this question must begin with the understanding that happiness and joy are not synonymous. Happiness is temporary and conditional, based upon prevailing conditions and our emotional response to the same. Joy, on the other hand, is enduring and existential. That is, it comes from within. To wit, JOY IS AN INSIDE JOB.

When we opt to invest precious time and energy in random or superficial quests for happiness, we merely reap disappointment or emptiness. However, when we make the wise choice to embrace the true source of joy, which is unwavering faith in the person and power of JESUS CHRIST, we reap a fulfilling harvest of peace, power, pleasure, productivity and prosperity.

JOY IS THE ASSURANCE THAT CHRIST IS AT THE CENTER OF OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

Therefore, joy sustains itself (and us) unconditionally. As such, joy will not and cannot be based on external matters such as money, clothing, cars, or the homes in which we reside. As believers, we endeavor to make sound decisions that embrace legitimate and lasting joie de vivre. It is important to note that this path does not offer immunity to problems or pain, but it does manifest the bright light of joy, which provides divine perspective as we travel through unexpected challenging spaces.

JOY IS AN INSIDE JOB! So, first of all, we must establish the fact that JESUS CHRIST LIVES ON THE INSIDE via our sincere prayers for salvation, which grant Him access and authority to be Savior and Lord. Then, we must read His Word daily and commune with Him constantly in prayer. Only then, will we walk forward with blessed assurance and absolute confidence, knowing that GOD HAS OUR BACKS. And HE never ever fails!

Have a blessed day!

THE FREE AND FEARLESS SNOWFLAKE

As a long-time Connecticut resident, I have a definite ‘love-hate’ relationship with winter weather. I am particularly averse to those biting blasts of chilly Arctic air that frequently invade our borders from December through February, and beyond. However, I do love to lounge in front of a cozy fireplace, totally mesmerized by its warmth, its glow, and the crackling of burning embers.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am no fan of shoveling mountains of snow, especially in the volume and frequency of some recent winters. Admittedly, we are getting a much-needed break so far this season. Whenever we get our ‘fair share,’ the snow blower ably assists my efforts, but never increases my likability for wintry storms. Nevertheless, I love to stand at the window and gaze at the awesome beauty and tranquility of fallen snow.

Bottom-line: I am emotionally ambivalent about those downpours of winter snow, but I have a deep-seated and abiding admiration for their basic building-blocks, a.k.a. THE SNOWFLAKES. Why? BECAUSE SNOWFLAKES ARE SURVIVORS.

Their birthplace is high in the stratosphere, where they form amid violent blasts of frosty wind, conditions totally unimaginable and unendurable for us. Along their gravity-driven journey, they collide forcefully with one another. And they are continually shaped (and reshaped) by treacherous winds, changing temperatures and violent collisions with fellow flakes.

In fact, before reaching the ground, their transitions and transformations are far too numerous to number. However, the difficulty of their journey produces miraculous results. Every snowflake achieves the rare beauty of individuality and uniqueness. No two are alike. This is amazing, even astounding, in light of the multiplied millions of flakes that comprise any-and-every beautiful blanket of fallen snow.

I have a deep-seated and abiding admiration for these wintry friends…BECAUSE WE, TOO, ARE SNOWFLAKES.

The circumstantial winds of life constantly shape us; the powerful gravity of life continually transports us. We transported…changed…developed…and formed through the power of Christ. Predictably, along life’s journey, we rise; we fall; we rise again. (Proverbs 24:16) Indeed, we are in the process of becoming free and fearless, despite collisions, conflict, pressure, or pain. Because the All-Wise GOD shapes our human situations into divine appointments that develop distinctiveness and destiny.

As we allow OUR CREATOR to define and refine our journey (and ourselves), we become beautifully crafted, truly awesome, BEINGS-OF-PURPOSE who were conceived in THE DIVINE MIND long before the foundation of the world.

IT IS HIS PLAN, HIS PROCESS – OUR PROMISE, OUR PRIVILEGE.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

GLIDE FEARLESSLY, SNOWFLAKE, for divine meaning and mission reside within all of your wintry storms.

Have a blessed day!