A Gated Community

“Praise ye the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto My GOD while I have My being…” Psalm 146

I recently heard a sermon where the speaker spoke in a negative way about people who live in gated communities. That sermon motivated me to write this article, as I want to point out some things about gated communities, why people desire to live within the confines of a gated community, and why ultimately we all should want to live in a gated community. However, before I expound on the gated community statement, I want to share what I believe is an over-arching issue, that causes statements such as these to be made, and the impact they have on a church congregation.

The picture that is painted is that these un-named individuals think they are “better” than everyone else. So, they are scrutinized and criticized because they have been prosperous. Unfortunately, what this does more often than not is cause those who may not be as prosperous to have “distorted thinking” about those who may have more, causing them to view these individuals in a wrong light. Distorted thinking is when you think things about an individual based on what someone else has caused you to believe, and not based on your own personal interactions with those individuals.

The  “gated community” statement is really systemic of a larger issue. This is a pretty typical but sad thing that happens in many congregations, where a Pastor/Preacher has an issue with someone in the congregation who may have acquired wealth, or a certain degree of success.  They insert statements in their sermon that have nothing to do with the Word of God, but are designed to place focus on certain individuals in a negative way. I’m sure you’ve heard a many sermons where a pastor/preacher talks about the people who have the fancy cars, a big house on the hill, college education, etc.  Sprinkled into the sermon are also statements such as “when you see people who ….…”, which causes some to look around to see if they can identify those individuals within the congregation.

The men/women of God who deliver such messages may not realize it, but they are actually sowing discord among  the  brethren, causing  division in the body, and causing the saints to be judgmental in a wrong kind of way. Usually when this happens in congregations the speaker normally has specific people in the congregation in mind, and there are others in the congregation who also know exactly who they are talking about.  You may ask, how do I know this happens?  Well I know because we  have been in the church continuously (never left) for over 60 years, and have been the target of many such sermons.

It’s really a shame that this occurs, particularly in the church from people who claim to have been called by God to deliver HIS message to HIS people.   In spite of all the encouragement and opportunity that is given to people to make something of themselves, and to utilize God given talents, gifts, and abilities, when it actually happens for some, there are those who seem to have an issue with them for succeeding and achieving .

I know these people are not speaking for God because they are making statements that are contrary to His written word. The real problem is not the ones who have succeeded, but the ones who have an issue with others achieving more than themselves.  They might have an “inferiority complex”, or are struggling with envy or jealousy.  It shouldn’t be an issue, for we all should know that God has told us in His word, that HE is the one that gives man the ability to acquire wealth and to become prosperous, and has provided in His word the prescription to be blessed.  Take a look at these scriptures as this is what God has said:

Deuteronomy 8:18

“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Psalm 1: 1-3

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Joshua 1:7-8

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

For the past 26 years we have lived in a gated community, which we have thoroughly enjoyed. These communities require a special access code for entry, and if you don’t know the code you can’t get in. Typically there are higher end homes, often have private security patrolling the community, video recording of all who enter and exit, and are normally located in some of the most desirable and prestigious areas.  The homes typically have a higher price tag because of the location, and as many know, real estate value is really dependent on location, location, location.

Many believe that those who live in gated communities, are snobbish, think they’re better than others, etc.    However,  this thinking is normally created in their mind by someone who doesn’t live in a gated community, and for all the reasons I mentioned above.   If you actually got to know some who live in those communities up close and personal, you will find that’s not what they think at all.   They’ve just been fortunate enough in life to afford that type of living. 

We chose to move to these communities because the homes we desired happened to be located in gated communities. Yes it is nice to have all of the amenities mentioned above, but it certainly doesn’t make us think we’re better than others. Just like anybody else, we looked for places to live that we felt we could enjoy and would be conducive in raising our family to be well-rounded, and able to engage with anyone in this world. We also wanted them to be color-blind, and experience that the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness  thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. It all belongs to HIM, and as his children, we can go and live anyplace in HIS world.  We are entitled.

We enjoy our gated community and all the surroundings.  I like the fact that the roads are paved and maintained, there is someone watching out for our well-being, the homes and properties are well maintained.

The more I think about gated communities it makes me think about Heaven.  In fact, those of us who profess to be Christians, we should desire and look forward to living in a gated community.  Why? If you want to go to Heaven, you will be living forever in a gated community. Heaven is the ultimate gated community.   In fact, it has more gates than any gated community I know. My Bible tells me that Heaven has twelve gates. As John the revelator said in Revelations 21:

 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates:

Oh, and by the way, it has paved roads that are made out of gold. 

Wouldn’t you like to live in this gated community, forever?    Well you can, but you will need to know the Access Code.

 To get in you have to know Jesus, up close and personal.

 If you don’t know the Savior, you can’t get in.

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Spiritual Food For Thought & Spiritual Growth 10

~ Spiritual Food For Thought & Spiritual Growth! ~

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of The GOSPEL of CHRIST. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you STAND firm in one SPIRIT, contending as one man for the FAITH of The GOSPEL without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be SAVED! ~ and that by GOD! For it has been granted to you on behalf of CHRIST not only to BELIEVE on HIM, but also to suffer for HIM, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” Philippians 1 ~ WORD FOR TODAY ~

~ THOUGHT FOR TODAY ~

The Apostle Paul continues to encourage the believers to TRUST GOD and STAND upon HIS WORD! It was not his intent to allow them to become dependent upon him but to be ever mindful of the LORD’S presence in their daily  life wherever they were. Accepting JESUS CHRIST into your heart does not mean that life will be “A bed of roses without thorns.” It is clear that Paul’s goal was to strengthen them in their walk with the LORD and encourage ALL believers to STAND firm upon the WORD of GOD if alone or together wherever they were.

” Latter Day Spiritual Warfare”

There is much dissension within the CHURCH today in these “Latter days” over denominational differences and practices. The Spiritual Warfare has heightened.  Many embrace a liberal and somewhat lax approach to The WORD of GOD others are dogmatic, quite controlling and or legalistic. Some comical and saturated with worldliness, Some congregations have a somewhat cult like environment that encourages “group think” and exclusivity. Unconditional acceptance is given to those who comply… Some just want to impress others to join and increase membership, attendance, tithes & offerings. LORD HELP US!

The majority, however, are very inviting to all yet still STAND firm on THE WORD… Therefore, one must be discerning & prayerful whenever or wherever in attendance. Be cognizant of what is going on around you. Study fervently and daily apply and embrace the Truth of God’s Word. Be attentive whenever the Word is going forth. Yet, have an “exit ear” to the things that are contrary to sound doctrine. “PRAY without ceasing” ALL throughout worship and invite the presence of the LORD for ALL to benefit. KEEP YOUR FOCUS on the LORD!

“PREACH THE WORD; be prepared in every season and out of season; correct rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the TRUTH and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist …” II Tmothy 2

THE CHURCH BELONGS TO GOD. THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST. GOD IS PREPARING & CLEANSING HIS CHURCH TO PREPARE HER FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST JESUS!

CHRIST GAVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS CHURCH; “…THAT HE MIGHT PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING; BUT THAT IT SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH…”EPHESIANS 5

We serve and all knowing omniscient God!

GOD is absolutely and totally aware of everything that has happened within HIS CHURCH. He knows ALL that is happening and ALL that will happen within HIS CHURCH as well as within ALL of our everyone lives throughout this world. It is important to STAND upon the WORD of GOD. Yes, there are times when we will be misunderstood… But so was CHRIST JESUS! Suffering is part of being a Believer. When you STAND for what is RIGHT the LORD STANDS with You! “The gates of hell WILL NOT PREVAIL ” against the LORD’S CHURCH! Keep in mind that we the people are GOD’S TRUE CHURCH! True unity in The SPIRIT is based upon our desire to share and daily live out the infallible GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST! ~ LIVE EVERY DAY EVERYWHERE: “ TO GOD BE THE GLORY! ” ~

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Book Release – The Enchanting Legends of Shiloh Mansion: The Big Catch!

This is the second book in The Enchanting Legends of Shiloh Mansion series.

Eliza, Faith, and Daniel, the time traveling smart teens are off on another adventure to the Enchanting Legends. In Book 1 they visited “The Young King”. This time they visit a runaway prophet who decided to disobey God’s direction and plans for his life. He soon realizes there is no place you can go to hide or get away from God.

The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and them that dwell therein. God will use whomever and whatever he wants to accomplish His plan.

Here in “The Big Catch!” Cousin Eva also goes on an adventure of her own. But Eva was not aware of the imps who were waiting to capture her. All she knew was that she was not to ever go into or even near the forest.

The smart teens continue to witness the truths and principles from the Book of I AM as they unfold before their very eyes.

Click Here to get your copy of “The Enchanting Legends of Shiloh Mansion:The Big Catch!”

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Healing Begins In Your Heart and In Your Home! Part 1

~ Healing Begins in Your Heart and Your Home! ~

Part 1

CHRIST CAME TO SET US FREE!

“It is for FREEDOM that CHRIST has set us FREE. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened with a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5

 

Seven IF’s to healing your heart and home!

 

IF You really want healing to begin seek the LORD above ALL else. You cannot change what has been, but YOU CAN start afresh TODAY.

 

IF You want to start healing this next generation think about what you do and say in front of them. Apologize for what has been and help them get to a better place. It’s never too late to start anew.

 

IF You raised, or are raising your children by yelling, screaming and cussing at them guess what? They will probably do the same thing. They will seek to dominate and control others…

 

IF You hit them upside the head and slap them in the mouth; guess what? You are instilling anger within them. You are making them a slave to sin.

 

IF You are beating them to death; guess what? You are really, actually beating the natural life out of them. You are replacing it will stress, anger, hate, insecurity, and rage. You are actually shutting them down and causing them to become violent and pushing them towards seeking physical hitting and abusive ways that create even more inner conflict.  This further serves to give them poor coping skills  which makes them feel unloved.  It sets up an inner  unhealthy emotional environment that welcomes addictions and very little self control.   To name a few; Alcohol, Drugs, Overeating, Undereating, Promiscuity, Homosexuality, Adultery, Fornication, Unfaithfulness, Stealing, Lying, Fighting and Violence. These  are just a few of the results… Their way is now leaning to dominate and control rather than exercise Self-Control and become FREE!

 

IF You are calling them out of their name, talking bad about everyone else and constantly  putting them down: guess what? You are helping them have an identity crisis as well as low  self-esteem… They will see themselves as you express yourself to them. They will have poor opinions of others as well. They also will feel  lesser than,  rather than equal too. Children are NOT your slaves  or possessions and should not be treated as so regardless of race, creed or color…

 

The Good News is;

You can become FREE! You can begin to heal your heart and home!

 

IF You have done none of the above; guess what? There is still room for self improvement.  When  you are truly  willing to make some changes there are unlimited possibilities… 

 

There IS ALWAYS HOPE in the LORD! Together you can move  forward towards healing.

“Greater IS HE that is within you than he that is in the world…”

http://alpha7.org/2018/07/20/healing-begins-in-your-heart-and-your-home-part-2/

 

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Healing Begins In Your Heart and In Your Home Part 2

~ Healing Begins In Your Heart and In Your Home! ~

Part 2

STOP THE MADNESS

GOD really does have a better way.

Should children be corrected. Yes indeed! But think before your buttons are pushed like a remote control. Learn to control yourself before you try to control them. If not don’t expect them to do any differently. For they will simply model your behavior. Do you treat them the way you want to be treated? Think about how You would feel if it were you, being treated the way you treat them… To break a cycle you must do something differently.

IF you don’t have self-control yourself; simply remove yourself momentarily from their presence unto you can discipline them properly! Begin to set yourself and them free at the same time. You become what you practice. Correct them and correct yourself. REPENT!

LET’S STOP the VIOLENCE! Violence begats violence. Get BETTER, not more bitter. Get real, this does not have to be. Many have lived wrong for so long this is all that they know. Get aware and make it a point to lessen the frequency of emotional, mental & physical, abuse and really EMBRACE LOVE! Not the distorted love but GOD’S LOVE that corrects, protects, makes, awakes, shapes and molds us in HIS IMAGE! GOD’S LOVE allows the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT to flourish and abound. GOD’S LOVE lasts through ETERNITY!

FRUIT OF HIS SPIRIT

“But the FRUIT of the SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTORL. Against such is NO LAW. Those who BELONG to CHRIST JESUS have CRUCIFIED the sinful nature with its passions and desires, Since WE LIVE BY THE SPIRIT, let us KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT. Let us become NOT conceited, provoking and envying one another…”
GALATIANS 5

WORKS OF THE FLESH
“THE ACTS OF THE sinful nature are obvious sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealously, fits of rage, self-ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn You, as I did before, that those who live like this WILL NOT INHERIT the KINGDOM of GOD…”
GALATIANS 5

Live to Please the LORD in all that You do. DON’T just go to CHURCH. BE HIS CHURCH EVERYDAY… “DO NOT CONFORM to this world! “Therefore, I urge You, brothers, in view of GOD’S mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, HOLY and pleasing to GOD ~ this is your spiritual act of worship. DO NOT CONFORM any longer to the pattern of this world, BUT BE TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your mind. Then you WILL BE ABLE to TEST & APPROVE what GOD’S WILL IS! HIS GOOD, PLEASING & PERFECT WILL.” ROMANS 12 (NIV) Be led by the Spirit of God!

God does not ask us to do something that is not possible. It is through HIM we are able to do what seems impossible to man. Whenever we solicit HIS HELP we should first desire that whatever we are asking is in His Will! God always knows what is best for us!

WALK IN THE LIGHT

It is very important to KNOW the difference between; THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT & The works of the flesh. To every problem GOD has a solution. We just need to seek HIS WILL & HIS WAY above the ways of man. Look all around you and see with your spiritual eyes. Things have gotten out of hand. Think globally and look universally; See what is happening to families, marriages, relationships, governments, cities, nations, countries, life, within the Church and living life as a whole… Things have gone too far… The “Latter Days” are upon us.

God is speaking we must get better at listening. Therefore, we ALL need CHRIST JESUS as our personal SAVIOR and LORD and HIS HOLY SPIRIT; HIS COMFORTER. HIS HOLY SPIRIT WILL LEAD US to ALL TRUTH! As we walk in TRUTH we allow the LORD to bring healing to our hearts, minds, bodies, souls as well as our homes… GOD IS THE GOD OF ALL COMFORTS! Begin to really TRUST GOD & HIS WORD and “WALK IN THE LIGHT!”

Healing Begins In Your Heart and In Your Home Part 3

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WHY AM I “CUTTING MYSELF” ?

We are living within a pressure driven society. There is a myriad of social pressures that are imposed on one to make them feel the need to fit in. This can at times cause undue stress and result in unfavorable behavior. These behaviors are not readily discussed but are becoming more prevalent.

Fitting in is not easy and makes it harder to transition through the stages of youth and early adulthood development. For some it is much more difficult than others. As a matter of fact we have a growing number of individuals that are self mutilating themselves in order to relieve intense inner pressure. Self injury is on the rise.

What? Yes, they harm themselves; they are a part of the growing number that leans towards cutting themselves. Growing up can be painful and difficult. Did you know that not being like everyone else really is okay!  Only you can be the “Best You!” Once you accept this you won’t have to cut yourself to feel okay. Everyone still on this side of Heaven is here to learn and grow… You are like a beautiful flower waiting to bloom!

What is cutting?

Cutting is when someone takes a blunt object, pin, paper clip, scissors or a razor blade and proceeds to make cuts on their wrists, arms, legs, thighs or torso to the point that they bleed. Some will even burn themselves or harm themselves in some other way. This is usually done in a place that is less noticeable. It is becoming an increasing reoccurring behavior that can become addicting. It often goes unnoticed because the self mutilator will make excuses for the cuts and bruises or try very hard to keep them hidden by making excuses. Oh the cat scratched me, or I fell in the bushes, I slipped, or I scraped myself on the whatever… Cutting is considered an impulse – control behavior reaction.

Who cuts themselves?

Cutting is something that is done by both genders. It appears that female teens and younger women are primarily the predominate participators. However there are a growing number of guys who cut themselves as well. There are a number of reasons why they result to such drastic measures. Some cut because they know that their friends cut themselves. One viable cause that jumps out is the need for inner, “relief!” They are tormented and driven by their deep inner pain. These individuals feel and enormous amount of  increasing inner pressure.

Books on “Cutting”

Someone who is cutting can’t always freely express themselves and they often feel as though they are emotionally knotted up. The inner pressures makes them feel like they are about to explode The need for a release is gravely great. This is why they begin cutting. It brings a momentary yet very unhealthy relief. Some like the way the cuts look and when they begin to heal will reopen the cuts. They have a distorted view of themselves. Unknowingly they are  inflicting a harmful  abusive self injury.   This can  becomes increasingly  dangerous if it persists.   So do not ignore  this once you find out it is happening.  It is a plea for HELP!

You can’t really force someone to stop cutting. Know that they will go to great measures to conceal the fact that they are cutting themselves.

So what do you do? Lend a listening ear and let them know that you care! Continue to encourage safe boundaries and discipline. Yelling at someone who is cutting is not very helpful. Approaching them with patience and concern is a much better method if you really want to help them. Be firm in letting them know that they need to get some relief; but in a healthier way. Allow them some time to vent…

Encourage them to seek help!

Signs of Cutting

There are a few signs that you might notice such as …………Continue Reading

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Contending For The Faith

Salvation
If you ever want a powerful defense for the Christian Faith Jude is an excellent book to refer to. Defending the Faith is not something new. Jude teaches the importance of not compromising the Word of God. The Word of God is priceless! You cannot manipulate God nor His Word no matter who you are. There are a lot of worldly influences that from the very beginning have tried to twist the Bible and its teachings. Many have been deceived, this is still the case today. Many worldly ways, concepts and methods have been embraced and embedded into the organized church system that are not of God. This is why it is important to know God and know His Word; of Him you can be certain and sure!!!

Jude is am actual  flesh born  brother of Christ Jesus and James who wrote the Book of James. He writes to us from the perspective of  deep faith.  He not only walked with Jesus but lived with Him as a biological brother born of the same mother, who loved Jesus.  He knows the importance of having an up close personal relationship  with the Lord. It is here that our peace can be multiplied.

Jude tells us to “Contend for the Faith!” What does this mean? Contend means to strive against difficulties, to be persistent and assert yourself. Faith means believe without seeing. “FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at GOD’S command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible…” Hebrews 11 The Bible gives us the real facts! It is was not comprised of misconstrued circumstantial evidence. Many today attempt to use the Word to control others, justify their behavior and lifestyles but are really only promoting sin.

God is powerful as a matter of fact He is OMNIPOTENT meaning He is ALL POWER! He is SUPERIOR and SUPREME! Think about it with all the millions of organized church assemblies opened in the name of God, what is going on in this world should not be! It certainly is not because of GOD all these terrible things persist. It is because there are so many wolves in sheep clothing. “They are godless men who change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” Saints are supposed to be believers! Not followers of the world. But, followers of Jesus Christ!

 

Too many want to be leaders that are served, rather than Servants of God! All too often you now find that some in the church instead follow the latest trends and adopt the ways of the world. No need to be jealous! Disengage from the messiness and focus on GOD! ALL you will ever need you can discover in the LORD! “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…” Psalm 24. Want what GOD wants for you! When you “STAND” on GOD’S WORD you never have to stand alone! “GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES” Take some time and think about it? Who are you really following?

 

We must TRUST GOD! When you know that there is a lot of false teaching going on what do you do? When you know that you have helped those that no one else would help, and they turn on you, what do you do? When you know that you have been mistreated and maligned and falsely accused what do you do? PRAISE GOD!!! Know that you are in good company because this is what happened to Jesus! When you know that manipulation and deception is present you still must remain faithful to God and His Word! Don’t let anyone pull you so low that you hate them… Don’t settle or compromise your godly principles to get access or support by the majority… Christianity is really not a popularity contest nor is God’s Church just a mere social club.  Your body is the Temple where God resides. Everyone will have to answer to the Lord at some point! So get right with GOD!

God knows what you have or have not done. Don’t become bitter. Become BETTER! Learn to better guard your heart.  If you are depressed allow the Lord His place within your life.   He can lift any  of your burdens as you yoke up with Him.   Go and Seek God first before everything else. Truly the Lord is more than able in any situation. You can with the help of the Lord rise above any circumstance. God is more powerful than what any man or woman can EVER do to you!  Exercising your faith will make you peculiar in a good way.  Let Him direct you upon your path to  healing when seeking resources or those to help you.  You must draw closer to God and TRUST HIM for yourself! This is how you build a “Solid Rock Foundation.” Seek Him above all else and put your FAITH into action.  HAVE FAITH IN GOD!  God will give you a strong sound mind. He CAN KEEP you from falling! “Do not be conformed to this world. But TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind!” Your true security and significance can only be found in the LORD. “If GOD is for us who can be against us!” THANK YOU LORD! & PRAISE GOD!

The Word is often used today to justify lifestyles and wrong behavior that are not sanctioned by God. Minimizing sin and embracing tolerance. Often justified under the guise of unconditional love.  Sin is anything that separates us from God. God never intended for Christianity to become a legalistic doctrinal concept of rules and regulations. The House of God is supposed to be the PILLAR of TRUTH! Focus more on the Lord than your issues. Be mindful of what is going on and remember  it is supposed to be a place where many gather to worship, thank  and praise GOD.  It is written!

Christ died so we could have an abundant spiritual life in every way. Yet today many make their issues the theme of life and ministry. Jesus did not come to build hospitals or mausoleums. He came to give us a better way of life!   He came to overcome sin in the flesh and show us how to live victorious in the Lord!  Notice what happened in His Word how he always stood for what was right. Yet he was terribly misunderstood by those who should have known better.  As a matter of fact it was the religious leaders that conspired to discredit JESUS and secretly sought to destroy Him. How ironic they called Him evil. Does any of this sound familiar?

 

No things will not always go your way. But the Lord can bring you through any situation with his peace. For; “Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life!” The Bible is the inspired Word of God! “It is a Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path…”

The gift of Salvation and Eternal Life is one of the most precious gifts one can ever receive! Along with that gift comes the promise of His Holy Spirit. The Comforter and ultimate internal Teacher. Jude extends to us Mercy, Peace and Love in abundance through Christ Jesus.  When Jesus ascended to heaven He promised that the Holy Spirit would come. Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure. He told them “Nevertheless I tell you the TRUTH. It is to your advantage that I go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart , I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me, of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, BUT you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of TRUTH, has come, He will guide you into All truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come…” JOHN 16

Jude known as the brother of Jesus Christ tells us that we have a duty to fight for God’s TRUTH! Not in a physical carnal way. Our weapons are not carnal! We must daily stay adorned with the spiritual armor.  Nor do our lives belong to us for we belong to God.  “PRAY also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the GOSPEL, for which I am an Ambassador in chains. PRAY that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” See Ephesians 6 Without doubt we are in the last days and the Word of God is being fulfilled! We need not be afraid but prayerful! It is important to persevere knowing that God is with you. Jude says: “But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times, there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you. Who follow mere natural instincts and DO NOT have the SPIRIT. But you, dear friends build yourself up in your most HOLY FAITH and pray in the HOLY SPIRIT. Keep yourselves up in God’s LOVE as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh…

One only must watch the news, read the newspaper or search online to see that time is near! “Anything goes!” There is was not only a Economic Recession but a “SPIRITUAL RECESSION” as well. Many of our churches are sometimes allowing carnal worldly teachings… Bible study on some occasions have turned to group think and mind conditioning. God never intended for us to give up our individuality.  Uniformity is not the same thing as unity. 

 

Respect for God and His Word are  all too often laid aside; carnality takes the forefront because somebody says; “I’m human” The time of increased Apostasy is definitely here! Meaning the abandoning of Faith! LORD HELP US! Anyone can be subject to error. This is why we all need His Holy Spirit to convict the heart of sin and point us to righteousness. What is righteousness? It is right living in the eyes of God! Sin is anything that separates us from God! Jude says: Remember Sodom and Gomorrah?  God has not changed. This is why Jesus left us His Holy Spirit!

Live or begin to live each day; “To GOD be the GLORY!” Having an encounter with God regularly will bring you closer to Him.  Take time throughout your day to “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!” Shift your mind to the Lord.  This is how you stay connected to the Lord.  Remember God is omniscient he wants to open your understanding and make you even more aware. He can and  will open your “spiritual eyes.” This is also why we must contend for the Faith, know His Word and stand firm!  Thank You Holy Father for making us your Ministers/Elders and Ambassadors.

 

If you have grown slack in your commitment to God; He can speak renewal and strength into your heart! He can lift you up and take you to wherever you need to be.  We must humbly and diligently pursue TRUTH! God can bring a plan and a purpose into your life like no other! This what Jude leaves us with;  “To HIM who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great JOY to the only GOD and SAVIOR be GLORY, MAJESTY, POWER and AUTHORITY, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD, before all ages, now and forevermore! AMEN!!!”

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Yes, God Is Real

Sometimes it seems our world is trying very hard to erase God. Some people are becoming more and more bold, twisting his word, abandoning biblical teachings, and outright questioning the existance of God. But, when I reflect on His Word, we shouldn’t be surprised for He has already told us this day was coming. Many times God is speaking but we’re not listening.

I was reflecting on the goodness of God today as I received news about a miraculous healing that occurred with a family member. Just a reminder that doctors “practice”, but God “heals!” It’s mind boggling to me that people actually believe there is no Creator. They actually believe, or pretend to believe that creation happened without a Creator. Even though they see in their own daily lives that nothing just happens! Then I’m reminded of the scripture that says “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Psalm 14:1.

As I reflect on the existence of God, I’m reminded of another scripture that states “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19: 1-4 Then, words from the song “How Great Thou Art” come to mind.

“Oh Lord My God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the world thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout, the universe displayed
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee. How Great Thou Art. How Great Thou Art”

Well I am so thankful that I am not in the foolish group, for I firmy believe that God Is Real, that He exists, and that HE is a rewarder of those that diligently seek HIM. And this reminds me of another song I use to hear often in our church worship services. I believe we need to start singing it again. That song is “Yes, God Is Real!” Who wants to sing with me ?

“Yes God Is Real!”

There are some things, I may not know
There are some places, That I can’t go
But I am sure, Of this one thing
Yes, God is Real, For I can feel
Him In my soul

Some folks may doubt, Some folks may scorn
All can desert, And leave me alone
But as for me, I’ll take God’s part
For God is real ,and I can feel
Him in my heart

I cannot tell, Just how you felt
When Jesus took , All your sins away
But since that day, Yes, since that hour
God has been real, For I can feel
His Holy Power

Yes, God Is Real. He’s real in my soul
Yes, God Is Real, For He has washed,
And made me whole
His love for me, It’s like pure gold
Yes God is Real, For I can feel
Him in MY soul

Or how about this one?

Jesus is Real To Me

Real
Real
Jesus is Real to Me
So many people doubt Him
But I can’t live without Him
That is why I love Him so
He’s so real to me

Yes, GOD IS REAL!


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Where Does God Dwell ?


GOD Dwells In The Hearts of HIS People!

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We in America have a freedom that you just don’t find in the rest of the world. We have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to live and go where and when we please. But most importantly we have the freedom to worship. There are many types of worship services but there is only one true God. The only way to worship Him is in Spirit and Truth. On our many journeys throughout the world the LORD has allowed us to see many marvelous things. On them all the presence of the LORD has been apparent.

On our trip to Athens Greece and Istanbul Turkey I was able to see some of the world’s most exquisite architecture. Turkey is a country that is 95% Moslem. In Turkey there is the renowned Hagia Sophia Cathedral. It was built for the Christian community to reflect the beauty that Solomon’s Temple once beheld. In spite of its elaborate intricate handiwork full of gold mosaic tiles, marble and brick walls, it is now a museum. Lord Help us! It also contains various artifacts derived from Greek mythology and its continence is a shadow of it’s once intended purpose. Ironically across from it is the beautifully kept Sultanahmet mosque. Its known as the Blue mosque due to an extravagant array of blue mosaic tiles. Adorned with its intricate splendor and stately statueous marble columns and stained glass windows. It is scrupulously maintained and it is a place of worship for the Moslem community. Turkey is full of ornately designed mosques and Mohammed is whom they worship.

Words cannot express my gratitude to God for the things my eyes have beheld. The scriptures continuously came to my mind as I/we walked through the Hagia Sophia. “God does not dwell in a temple made by hand’s” In His time; “God is coming back for a CHURCH without spot or wrinkle.” “It is in HIM we live & move and have our being…” Acts 17 “Where the SPIRIT of the LORD is there is liberty…” We can not confine GOD & HIS majestic magnificent omnipresence to the confines of a structure made by human hands no matter how large.

Yes we can worship the Lord within the walls… There is nothing I enjoy more than a Spirt-filled Worship & Praise Service. But GOD’S CHURCH consists of HIS people from ALL over this world. God lives within the hearts of HIS people that have accepted HIS SON JESUS CHRIST into their hearts as SAVIOR & LORD!!! Our bodies are the Temple of the living God. We must ask continuously for the infilling presence of HIS HOLY SPIRIT! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind to the unmerited grace the Lord has bestowed upon all of us. Truly the Lord Is patient, loving & kind.

We had a most interesting journey. The one thing the tour guide who was of Moslem decent (in Turkey along with our guide we were required to have a Turkish guide as well) said that stuck with me was “why would a powerful God allow His Temple to turn into a museum?” I could not help but respond and say; GOD IS AWESOME! HE IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD! “God does not live in a Temple made by the hands of man…” My point is and was God is so gracious and kind that He allows us so much freedom. He even gives us the freedom to choose who or what we want to worship. God wants HIS true worshipers to Worship HIM everyday; “In SPIRIT & in TRUTH!” Whenever or wherever I lift up Holy Hands, to Him and Him only my heart is eternally grateful. It is by His Grace and His Grace alone are we saved. We are not SAVED by our works… God is truly worthy of all the PRAISE! Above GOD is no other. Our GOD IS OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT & OMNIPRESENT!

In Turkey is the city of Ephesus. There are miles and miles of ruins. Original artifacts, columns etc. and remains to testify to the fact Ephesus existed. To this day approximately only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is still currently under excavation. Primitive hand tools are used in order to preserve whatever archeological finds are uncovered. This was such a memorable experience to see and witness. The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. Just look at God! Despite the fact Turkey is a Moslem country Ephesus remains a monument to Christians of God’s eternal presence, grace and mercy.

Some of my most invigorating spiritual enlightening moments were spent in Athens Greece. Here I hold dear to heart many cherished memories. We together walked up the steep incline to the Acropolis saturated with aged columns made of marble. The Parthenon and majestic ruins were filled with slippery marble laden paths. The highlight was when I observed my husband humbly climb on his hands & knees up “Mars Hill!” The infamous hill that the Apostle Paul speaks about in the book of Acts. How interesting when we approached Mars Hill there was a woman preaching to a congregation out in the open, under the beautiful canopy of the blue skies. Once my husband determined it was safe I too climbed up on my hands and knees to meet him and we together Worshiped, Praised & Thanked the Lord for ALL HE has done, for ALL HE is doing and for ALL HE WILL DO!

The Book of Acts teaches us; “And it will come to pass in the last days saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Paul spoke concerning an altar with an inscription representing the unknown god on Mars Hill. That unknown God happens to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I love, worship and adore. The only true and living God. He is truly the Great “I AM!” The Lord is Jehovah Raah meaning; My Shepherd! Mars Hill today is in a magnificent open place. High above Athens for all to see. (I will forever cherish what it felt like sitting there and praising God for all He has done!!!) I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL! It’s walls and canopy are the blue firmament that God Himself spoke into existence through the Living Word. That Word is Jesus Christ wrapped in pure sinless flesh. Who sacrificed His life for the sins of the entire world!!!

It is amazing to see since our visit all the things that have come upon Greece. We all have an absolutely marvelous time. One would never have imagined that such a pleasant, warm, robust inviting place could suffer and experience such a decline. We should never take for granted the freedom we have here in America. Lord Help them… I am thankful that America has been founded upon Christian Principles. I pray that America embraces those principles more and more… May we not take that for granted… Yes please; “God Bless America!”

The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God. Glory! Glory! Halllelllujah! HIS TRUTH is marching on!!!

“The earth truly is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” There is not a place that can be built that can contain the fullness of God’s majestic awesomeness. The earth is His mere footstool. The early church had no building they met in homes. We have dedicated our home to be a place where God’s way prevails. It is important to keep God as the Center of your marriage, family and life. The heart of each of His Children is where His true Church abides. There is nothing wrong with a church made by hands. But the focal point should not be a hierarchy laden with cliques, clichés, how do we pay our bills programs and solemn auxiliaries; a mere shadow of what God originally intended. It is so very important to know GOD and HIS WORD for yourself. There is only One Worldwide International Christian Church in the eyes of the Lord!

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” We should praise Him in song, WORD and deeds. No, we are not saved by works. But our works do display our faith. We are SAVED by HIS MARVELOUS GRACE! Our main focus should be to cultivate an environment where God receives the preeminence in everything. Whenever or wherever we worship & Praise the Lord we should leave with a desire to want to grow even closer to HIM!

Christianity is supposed to be our daily lifestyle. We as believers can continue to grow in His Grace & Knowledge as we embrace and implement His principles within our lives until the day He calls us home. Then we get to live with Him through Eternity! Halllelllujah Amen!!! It is God’s Word and His power that will draw men, women, boys and girls from all cultures, creeds and colors worldwide. His Holy Spirit can and will change their lives when we sincerely spread this Awesome Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether it be via TV, radio, internet; on Face Book, Instagram, Twitter or in song. As well as in person, taught, proclaimed or preached inclusively by the Spoken Word.

GOD dwells in the hearts & souls of HIS people HIS CHURCH! Thank You Lord! BLESS & PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME! “THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!!!”

Everyday we are to live; “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”

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What Does It Mean to “Love” ? Part 1

What does it mean to love someone? Does it mean you give them everything they want? Does it mean letting someone run over you? Does it mean you tell them what they want to hear? Does it mean you never make them angry? Does love ever end?

Webster defines love in this way; strong affection for another based on kinship ties.

Example: maternal love for a child. Attraction based on sexual desire. Admiration or benevolence. Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. A beloved person: Darling. Brotherly concern for others. To hold dear. To feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness. An unselfish concern of God for man.

The scriptures tell us that “God is Love.” Tell me can you really truly love someone and not know God? Or better yet to the degree you know God; does it help you love in a profound way? According to I Corinthians 13 LOVE…….is PATIENT…….is KIND…….does not ENVY……. does not BOAST……. Is not PROUD…..is not SELFISH. Keeps no record of wrong doings…….does not DELIGHT in EVIL….but REJOICES in TRUTH. Always protects. Always TRUSTS. Always HOPES. Always PERSEVERES.

Does your definition of love encompass Biblical principles? Guess what? Well, whenever the above are not in operation it is not love. We all should seek to improve how we respond in love. Guard the Love the Lord Blesses you with!

I have found that love is a term that many people use loosely. If you listen clearly they usually base love on doing or not doing something for them. Love is not giving someone what they want. Love is not letting people run over you. Love is not telling people what they want to hear. If you love them you will speak the truth in love. Just know when you truly love people they will get angry with you sometimes! Learn to be “angry and sin not!”


I am eternally grateful that the LORD has bestowed His Love upon our lives and our marriage. I can say we genuinely love one another as husband and wife. It is not something we take for granted. We both are able to stand firm as individuals in what and who we believe in. Together we have faithfully allowed the Lord Center Place within our marriage. We are thankful for His Holy Spirit His Comforter. There is never question as to His Divine intervention in bringing us together. This was confirmed by our late Pastor/mentor. He told us it was important to not let anything come between the “circle” of love. We have held his godly wisdom dear to our hearts… It has helped us to weather the storms of life as well as the plethora of mountaintop experiences. We enjoy, genuinely love, respect, trust without doubt and care for another.

I am most thankful for God given coping skills. There is a Joy and an unexplainable Peace that is present even in the midst of sickness, sorrow, contention or spiritual warfare. The HOLY SPIRIT is a SPIRITUAL COUNSELOR! GOD’S TRUTH is POWERFUL. It will not allow you to freely move in denial but rather seek TRUTH. (ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ANYWHERE IS HIDDEN TO THE LORD) A lie will keep you in bondage. There is no place in truth for delusional illusions to persists. I/we Thank the LORD for “Sound Minds!” And an undoubtable constant awareness of GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE everywhere you are. Always seek the TRUTH above all else… I fully realize without the Lord I am nothing but walking breathing formed dust. Yet in Him I am confident knowing that within me His Holy Spirit resides.

As we submit to the “WILL & WAY” of the LORD HIS HOLY SPIRIT leads us to ALL TRUTH!

It is important to readily strive to resolve conflict. It only serves to limit your own “Walking in the Spirit! Feelings need to be validated. Discipline needs to be embraced when responding or not responding. Confrontation exercised from the perspective; “this is how you feel” Be willing to “REPENT” whenever in error. Move forward allowing the Lord to build your character. Don’t let life make you Bitter Always strive to “BECOME BETTER!” Life is so very precious and you do not want to spend the majority of your marriage and your relationships in “much ado!” You get stronger in this as you practice it.

There are those who have lived with much turmoil. Rather than seek to resolve their inner turmoil they tend to continue to create it. They will often project how they are feeling upon you. Pray for Discernment!

Whenever you are dealing with someone who does not really understand love they will often misinterpret your intentions. Their perspective of you will fluctuate. They base everything on their feelings. Not usually looking at what they have done or said to make the relationship go south. Yet, you suddenly are no longer the kind wonderful person that they thought you were? All of a sudden you will be perceived as being cold, uncaring, and selfish. But yesterday you were the greatest… But now since you won’t let them have something or do something you are cold. Yet they have done little or nothing. Go figure? Watch the double mindedness. They will accuse you of not really loving them when you don’t give them what they want. Know they are hurting and want you to hurt too. This is not usually the case in a healthy marriage or relationship. You know one another and don’t try to reduce one another to a lower standard. You can disagree respectfully. Patience is key!

Don’t fret! God knows your heart. Pray for them. (In a trusting relationship you don’t go here…) Stand fast. Be patient and allow the Lord to bring what is really happening to the forefront. Don’t manipulate or don’t allow anyone to manipulate you. Seek the Lord fervently for direction. In the meantime pray for them. Begin to practice healthy boundaries with them. Or you will engage in a continuous cycle of dysfunction.

There are many angry people who will chew you out at the drop of a hat. They have oodles of pent up unresolved anger. Cancer, high blood pressure, eating disorders, temper tantrums and depression are just a few results of stored anger and or unresolved conflict. It’s okay for them to have a tantrum. Its okay for them to vent and rant. Its okay for them to do very little. Like a spoiled child they want what they want right now. Usually at your expense. But you are expected to appease them.

Anger is natural. It takes discipline to combat anger. Encourage them to learn to be patient and find healthy ways to express their anger. Suppressing anger is unhealthy. Just know it takes more control to not respond than to throw a fit. Did you know you can be angry and sin not?

By the way you must let go of some people you love. I am not talking about letting go like in divorce. Divorce occurs because two adults are not able to work through whatever problems they are experiencing. They are not able to keep the commitment they made to each other for whatever reason. Often this is because they really didn’t think things through first. The responsibility to nurture the marriage is not mutual.

Many couples are unaware of the necessary tenacity for building an enduring marriage. There are also those who come to marriage to get rather than to give. They have been so hurt that they remain insulated from learning how to really love and keep the vows that they made. Sometimes living behind a wall of shame… (But that’s another column/sermonette). When I say letting go I mean putting them in hands of the Lord. Allow Him to intervene.

There are those who just enjoy a habitat of tension and confusion. They will often go the mile with a coworker or a friend and their spouse receives the leftovers. Or as a friend you will have to carry the load the majority of the time. They tend to participate in just about everything at their place of worship, or work related activities, yet their home life suffers and takes secondary place. Their need for acceptance is the priority. This should not be. It is clear that they don’t perceive God’s Omnipresence.

Anger and dysfunction need to be confronted. Avoiding conflict is not healthy. Did you know you could break unhealthy cycles by employing better ways to resolve conflict? Allowing a cooling off period before discussing the problem may be helpful. Always seek direction from the Lord He will never lead you wrong. He will help you to humble yourself. Learn to walk in meekness. Which is power under disciplined control.

Sharing a one sided account of what has happened to your friends will not help your relationship. It may get you some momentary support. But it won’t help you to grow spiritually. Words spoken in a fit of anger can be very damaging. Taking responsibility for your actions is always a step in the right direction. Letting go and allowing them space to feel the consequences for their actions can be beneficial to their spiritual maturity.

The world is a very inconsistent place. God’s standards are not often respected nor appreciated by many. God must be the central focus of your life for true successful living as a believer. Life will present challenges. But with the help of the Lord; He can and will deliver you through it all. The prophets pleaded over and over with God’s people to return to His principles. But many still preferred to do their own thing. Knowing the WORD of GOD for yourself is important. God wants to be first in your life. Remember after all you claim you belong to Him?

As believers we have been grafted into His family. He wants us to know Him through His Word. God has instructed us to; “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thine might. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children and talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest……. (Deuteronomy 6) God loves us and is faithful. ALL HIS WORD IS TRUE.

‘”GOD IS LOVE!” Love will help you weather the storms of life. Love must be balanced. The term “unconditional love” is often used today. I often hear SOME SAY; “I can do without your kind of love.” Well, “your kind or my kind of love” is not love at all. This is really more about how you are feeling in the moment. Remember, God sets the standard for love, for “God is Love” Unless we measure it by His standards it’s merely subjective opinion. For example; the more I don’t rock your boat you love me. Once you rock my boat I tell you to get out. Now all of a sudden you cry, “You don’t love me anymore.” As long as I let you rock my boat it’s thought of as love. This does not have to be. WRONG! This is immaturity. How can something as important as Love be reduced to such insignificant terms. This is what I call “intoxicating affections.” It mimics love and doesn’t last.

Don’t get love confused with how you feel in the moment. You can not like what someone does and still love them. It is love that actually helps you to respond properly or not respond to them despite the way you feel. Remember God’s love rejoices in the truth! Although it can be painful shift through what someone says to you and see if there is any truth in it. Make an adjustment whenever necessary. This is how you shape your character. Beware of counterfeit love. When you have been truly loved you will know the difference.

In a healthy marriage or relationship you do not seek to reduce the love you have for one another. You take responsibility for your actions and how you are feeling.

There are only a few that find genuine love. But God really wants this for all of us. Love is precious! It is never too late to seek GOD’S LOVE! This is true if you are married or single. “Be ye perfect because I AM Perfect” God really does wants us to become perfect in HIM. Which means to become complete in HIM who IS LOVE! No one is flawless but JESUS. This is why we all need HIM as SAVIOR & LORD! HE says; we ALL CAN BECOME PERFECT in HIM! Scriptures tells us that love covers a multitude of faults. This does not mean we ignore or condone sinful habits. Don’t be deceived. There are consequences for sin. This is why it is so very important to know His Word for yourself!

Growing your love in a healthy marriage or genuine relationship should be a mutual priority!

We are living in some interesting times when some of everything is happening all over the world. The Spiritual Warfare has heightened. The devil’s agenda is to reek extreme havoc upon the children of God as well as those in the world. He will use whoever he can. He knows that time is winding UP!

Now is a good time to seek the Lord above all else. In the Word, God says; “Is anyone of you in trouble! He should PRAY!” James 5 Humble yourself before the Lord. Be encouraged for GOD always has a way to HIM 24/7…

See Part 2


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