Category Archives: God is Faithful

Love Gives Birth In A Stable

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I just finished reading, and teaching, in our adult Sunday school, at Atwater Community Church, from a book by Assembly of God Pastor Michael H. Clarensau, author of

A Spirit – Empowered Life: 

Discover The World-Changing Journey God Has Designed For You

(with foreword by Scott Wilson), Copyright 2015, Published by Vital Resources)

He says, “The goal of worship is to give ourselves fully to God and His purposes.  It’s called wholehearted LOVE.  Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, & strength means prizing nothing but that relationship and yielding all else to His greater wisdom.  It’s a level of sacrifice we can’t explain.  It’s “Wholehearted Love.”

Loving with our whole heart, because that’s how God loves us!

It’s stepping up every day, fearlessly risking rejection to speak up and act on behalf of the One God, Savior, and Spirit that we love.  Taking a stand in whatever situation we find ourselves.  Because God loves us so deeply.  For the Spirit-Empowered, love comes from our heart.  Whether we’re singing a song, ministering, or serving, we praise God from our life because God lives with us every day.  In worship, everything comes together for the Spirit-Empowered.  We love God by loving others.  Serving them provides a way to serve our God.  It develops, reshapes, and changes our old selfish heart into one that displays the Heart of Christ.

Love is the Heart of Christ

Obedience marks our heart.  When God’s ways don’t comfortably mesh with our ways, when He asks us difficult things, & He does, and we must surrender all.  That’s wholehearted love at work.  That same love is demonstrated in sacrificial service by giving of our time, efforts, and resources beyond the point of comfort to bring comfort to others as Jesus would.  Unconcerned with comparing ourselves with what God asks others to do; we go the extra mile without reservation.  We know God gives His love to us and will continue to provide everything we need.  He can be trusted.  Always.

That love also runs through open doors, without dwelling on our inadequacy, because we know that the God who has equipped us before will equip us again, and will keep equipping us as we say, ‘Yes!’  And as we keep going and running through the open doors, we trust God completely.  Active faith means, we, ‘Go!’ and move forward.  It’s more than our own determination, or our own discipline.  It’s the Holy Spirit of God that helps us worship the Father and Son as we must, because without His help, we can’t do it on our own.

Worship is intimate relationship with God.  Love for God motivates true disciples, because this is what we can offer God.  Our LOVE, and that love expressed more and more in a wholehearted way, opens the way for God to pour His power through us.”

 Let’s listen to some of the lyrics to “Giants Fall” by Francesca Battistelli

 “Everyone’s telling you to let go of what you’re holding to…
It’s too late, too far  You’re too small, it’s too hard
Throwing water on that spark living deep inside your heart
With oceans of reasons  The things you’re not seeing
But oh, maybe they don’t  Know what you know That you’re not alone

So, don’t you be afraid  Of giants in your way  With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight  He’s right there by your side

The stones inside your hand might be small  But watch the giants fall

We could really live like this  Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave  With childlike faith
Miracles could happen  Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face

Ask & believe  You’re gonna see   The Hand of God in every little thing

Miracles can happen  Anything is possible Watch the giants fall.”

 The Hand of God.  Powerful. 

It may not be Christmastime right now, but I want to talk to you today about how even in small beginnings you can give birth in a stable, because LOVE gives birth even in a stable, to a new beginning.

“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means, least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.” 

Matthew 2:6

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”

Isaiah 43:18-19

Young or old, new baby Christian, or long-time foot-stomping Pentecostal saint, God wants to work miracles in our lives.  Here’s a great promise from our God.

“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.” 

I Peter 5:10

So, let’s just sop a moment and let that sink in.  Let’s change “you” to “ME & I” and read it again.

“And the God of all grace, who called ME to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself RESTORE ME and make ME strong, firm, and steadfast.” 

I Peter 5:10

Oh, yes, that’s powerful.  Let’s remember, that part of the glorious Christmas Story involves living in a stable.  So, how do we go from “Living in a Stable” to “Sitting in the Heavenly Throne Room with Christ?”  How do we get from the hardship of the stable to the glory of the throne?  We trust and wait.

What do we do when there’s no room in the Inn?  We give birth in a stable.  Love gives birth right there in the stable, because our wholehearted love for Christ will sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed.

Here’s my definition of what a “Stable experience” is like:  A “Stable experience” is a place we find ourselves physically, emotionally, or spiritually, where we don’t want to be.  Do you have any of those experiences in your life?  I do.  I’m not talking about “stable” as in “steadfast,” like “this table is so stable, I could stand on it.”  No, I mean you’re in a dark, smelly, chaotic place in your life, because there’s nowhere else for you to go.

Mary & Joseph wanted to be back in their home in Nazareth in Galilee, or at least in the Inn in Bethlehem, especially when Mary was ready to give birth, but, they found themselves in the smelly stable.

Many times in life, we find ourselves in a “Stable experience or situation,” especially when giving birth to something from God.  Really?  Yes, especially when giving birth to something from God.

And, often a gradual process of circumstances got us there.  I know my All-Powerful God could have delivered Jesus, Mary, amd Joseph out of the stable, kept them in Nazareth in Galilee, and not sent them to Bethlehem in Judea.  But there was a purpose and a promise that Jesus had to fulfill.  Yes, God always has a purpose and a promise.

We just read that promise in Scripture, “To Restore us and make us strong, firm, and steadfast.”  So, in our stable experiences, let’s ask ourselves, “Is there a purpose and a promise from God for us and our family that needs to be fulfilled by God, because we’re in this “Stable experience” right now?”  Let’s stop right now and ask ourselves, “Are we like Jesus, headed for the throne room?  Yes, we are when we know Christ.

How did baby Jesus get from the stable to the throne?  Through suffering and trials until He went back to the Father.  This is true for us, too.  Life includes suffering and trials, because it’s not true when people of the world say, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”

People say that all the time, but that’s not Scriptural.  They’re misquoting 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

God gives us plenty we can’t handle “on our own,” but, with Him, there will always be a totally different outcome.  God’s given us “Life.”  More “Life” than we can handle without Him.  We all have many examples in our lives of more “Life” than we can handle on our own.

Let’s name some:  A spouse, a family, babies, toddlers, teens, school, jobs, ministries, our health, etc.  In the 2nd book I’m in the process of writing, called, Let God Build It, there’s a chapter called “Life…And More Abundantly,” and a chapter called, “There’s Always Something.”  That’s “Life.”  That’s the Life God gave us, but He didn’t plan for us to do it alone.  It’s important that we get this.  God wants us to trust Him, lean on Him, and not on our own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Even in our “Stable experiences.” Especially in our “Stable experiences.”

James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

 Yes, we all want that promise, for God to come near to us.  We also want that promise for our friends, our families, and for those we’re ministering to. The Bible tells us to come near to God and He will come near to us.  But, it’s important to know that we can’t lean on our own understanding and still come near to God. 

We must trust in the Lord with all our heart.  With our whole-hearted love and not lean on our own understanding, thinking we can, or should, do everything on our own.  It’s important to remember, also, that He helps us handle what He gives us with His power and strength, until we return to our Father in Heaven.

If it’s health issues, let’s remember, “By His stripes we are healed…”  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­If you have a splinter in your finger and you get it out, ­­­­­­­­you don’t need to pick at it and pick at it, like there’s still a splinter in it.  Believe it’s a done deal.  Let it heal.  Same with our healing.  Jesus closed that deal for us.  Don’t keep picking at the wound.  You are healed.  Believe, accept, receive.

So, let’s obey and bless our Father through our trials, through our sufferings, through our “Stable experiences,” and with our entire lives.

Jesus did.

Let’s take a moment to look more closely at our Savior’s actual “Stable experiences.”  How long did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph stay in the stable?  One day?  Two days?  They stayed awhile.  What were the conditions?  Stables are smelly.  Loud with animal sounds.  Uncomfortable.  Lacking the simplest comforts.  Lacking any family support, and it’s a lifestyle that is at the mercy of strangers.

Let’s think back for a moment. Have we ever found ourselves in a “Stable experience?”  Somewhere in life we never meant to be.  Stop and think a moment and recall the situation.  Was there stress?  Yes, lots.  How did we handle it?  Kicking and screaming?  Blaming everyone else?  Dumping our problems on others?  Giving up on God? 

Help us be truthful, Lord.  Because this is important.  Mary glorified God, even after submitting to a pregnancy she could never explain, with months of village criticism, and all God’s requirements for bearing the Son of God.

Let’s remember that our belief and our obedience are what magnifies God.  From my Fruit Of The Spirit Bible, I read:  “It is always the heaviness of the burden that teaches us the best song.”  Amen.

I want to sing the best song for the Lord.

Mary was faithful, which I define as:  “Always doing what God tells us to do exactly how and when He tells us to do it.”  Amen.  Is this always easy?  Not a bit.  But, let’s sing the new song God gave us.

In this season I’m going through right now, of deadlines and back and forth e-mails with my editor, publisher, graphic designer, illustrator, typesetter, and printer in order to “birth” the 3 books the Holy Spirit told me to write, I complained.

Yes, I have been known to complain, or to vent, as I like to call it, because it sounds much less horrible.  As I complained, the Holy Spirit recently said something so profound to me: 

“The aggravation is NOT the mission!” 

In other words, the difficult experience of being in the “Stable Experience of hardships, frustrations, sufferings, and trials, is not the mission.  It’s not the purpose.

Let’s listen to some of the lyrics for “Move (Keep Walking)” by tobymac

 Another heartbreak day    Feels like you’re miles away
Too many passin’ dreams  It’s hard to keep believin’  When they pass you by and by

I know your heart been broke again   I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left   Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin,’ soldier keep movin’ on, until the mornin’ comes, it ain’t over yet

You’re feelin’ like you can’t buy a break, I can hold your hand, but I can’t turn your eyes to freedom 

Hold on, the Lord ain’t finished yet   Hold on, He’ll get you through this

These are the promises I never will forget 

Let’s read the devotional for July 14th  on Pg. 205 in:

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

(Copyright 2004, Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

“Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you.  Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart.  I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but, that is not My way for you.  Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain.  The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak.  Someday you will dance lightfooted on the high peaks; but for now, your walk is often plodding and heavy.  All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction.  Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you.  It is truly the path of life.”

Psalm 37:23-24

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 16:11 NKJV

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The path may be difficult, but keep walking.

 I’m sure there was aggravation in that smelly stable in Bethlehem for Mary & Joseph, also.

We must focus on the mission.  God’s mission.  NOT our mission.  God’s mission for us, which is His mission, or, we can take a detour and focus on the aggravation and lose sight of the mission completely.

The world thinks the aggravation is not worth it at all.  So they quit, or they never start, and they never do anything for the Lord.  Listen to the Holy Spirit and keep going.  He will give you peace in the storm.  Keep focused on God’s Plan for you and He will give you power through the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I have had many moments like this in my life, maybe you have, too.  Also, from my Fruit Of The Spirit Bible, I read:  “Patience never argues with God, and it has a habit of praising God while it waits for miracles to take place.”

I’m waiting for miracles to take place in my life, perhaps, you are, too.  Who has time to argue with God?  Let’s pray to find out what God wants us to do and do it.  Let’s find His mission and make His mission our mission.

There’s never any reason to hurry God. This always amazes me, that Mary prayed, “May it be to me as God has said.”  Then she sang as she waited.  Praise God, can we do the same?

What was it like in that stable?  Was it a 5 Star hotel?  Were they given a seven-course banquet while there?  Why do we think that our lives are going to be any easier than Mary’s, the Mother of Jesus?  Who was there with them in the stable?  For sure, no friends or family to support them, but God knew where they were and He blessed Mary and Joseph with birth.  With the birth of their son, Jesus, The Savior of the World.

God blessed them with birth in a stable, right there in that smelly stable, and He will bless us, too.  Then, when God blessed them, worship and support came to the stable from everywhere.  Even shepherds need a Savior.

God knows where we are, too, even if we’re in a “Stable experience,” right now, He will bless us with birth, too.  Perhaps, with the birth of a healed body, the birth of a godly relationship, the birth of a child, the birth of a needed job, the birth of a home of our own, the birth of a long-held dream, the birth of a vision, the birth of a promise, and the birth of a purpose.

What was the result of Mary and Joseph’s stable experience?  Christmas!  Jesus’ birth in a stable, brought joy, brought faith, brought hope, brought vision, and brought a promise for us.  It got the attention of angels, Kings, Magi, and shepherds

When we find ourselves in our own “Stable experience” of course, we can’t discount the enemy at work, but let’s not give him any glory, either.  We know that satan is a liar.

It’s not easy being a spouse, a parent, a worker, a care-giver, a teacher, a student, a business owner, a leader, a pastor, or whatever…(fill-in-the-blank), but, we shouldn’t be asking, “Why are we here in this stable, Lord?”  We need to ask, “What are You trying to birth in us, Lord right here in this stable?”  We must be confident that God plans to take us from the stable to the throne, from Christmas to Easter, from Birth to Resurrection. 

We must have birth before we can experience resurrection just as God did for His Son, Jesus.  But, we’ve got to let Him birth something in us, and when we get to that “Stable experience,” are we going to give birth, or are we going to bail out?

Hope came down to us when Jesus came to earth.  We’re now children of the Most High God and He constantly reminds us of His Love.  God wants to show us that His purpose is to bring us out of the stable, through trials and suffering to His throne.  Let’s always want everything He wants for us.

We need to be faithful.  God’s favor and guidance is with us always even in the “Stable experiences” of small beginnings to get us to the glorious throne in eternity worshiping our Lord forever.  Even if we’re in a “Stable experience” right now, no matter who we are, we must accept the gift of Jesus, because even in the stable, God’s right there with us and knows where we are.  His Son was born there.  Once we’re out of our “Stable experience,” let’s not look back.  Let’s shut down immediately any voice from the enemy.  Let’s not even let satan speak at all.  Let’s not argue with him.  Let’s just look up to where God’s throne is and talk to Jesus. 

 Sometimes, to be obedient to the Voice of God for our miracle to happen, we may need to go through a “Stable experience,” like Mary and Joseph.  We may need to carry our “Cross,” like Jesus did, before we get to the glory of Heaven.  When we receive a vision or a promise from God, we need to hold onto it and be patient.  Stay strong in the Lord.  Our vision from God is not meant to be a one-man show.  God is talking to other people at the same time giving them a hunger to serve Him in many different ways to fulfill His Plan. 

 He brings all our gifts and talents together in perfect harmony to complete His vision.  When it’s His vision, it’s a beautiful thing, completely orchestrated by Him.  It’s no longer just your vision from Him, it’s His vision for all of us.  A vision for His Kingdom work.

Now, it can LIVE.  Dry bones come forth and it moves as He gives it breath, and as He puts His life into it.  The dry bones will have flesh and come together and walk, as He puts into motion something that was dead, and something lifeless, becomes ALIVE.  He creates something from nothing.  So, let Jesus live in you.  He’s the focus of our lives.

He changes chaos into focus.  He changes foolish people into wise people.  Remember both foolish and wise build, they both face the same storms, but the foolish build on sand and perish.  While the wise build on Jesus the ROCK and stand.

Stop foolishly trying to do it all by yourself and start trusting in the God who knows all.

So, I challenge you to:  Dream your vision.  Obey His command.  Ask for guidance.  Listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Give it all back to Him.  Then, Praise Him, because He dwells in the Praises of His people.  Listen, Obey, Praise.

Let God’s vision for you fly where it will.  Let God take it to the heights where you couldn’t take it on your own. As it rises, trust God.  Let it soar and watch what God can do with it, with you, and with the team God has placed around you for His glory.

He’s given people to you to work with.  Help them catch God’s vision, too.  Encourage them.  Pray for them and let them soar, along with the vision of God.  By handing it all back to God, He’ll entrust it back to you.  Be His servant.  He’ll be your God.  Be His hands and feet in this world. 

Then, you are no longer a one-man show.  You’re reaching out with the power of the God of the Universe leading you and cheering you on.  Then, you can rest in His Plans.

Recently, I’ve also read these powerful words by T.D. Jakes in his book, which I highly recommend, called…

Instinct:  The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive

(Copyright 2014, by TDJ Enterprises, LLP)

 “God has moved on, and you can’t plan your future if you’re hanging around the tomb.”

Jesus is NOT in the stable any longer.  He is not in the tomb.  He’s on the throne.  We need to be focused there.  Pray about moving into different dimensions where you’ll grow.  Learn new things and be challenged again.  It’s time to move to the next level. 

“Your ceiling on this level becomes your floor on the next level.”

 A new beginning can be a little sprout of something God is birthing in your heart, a thought, a prayer, a vision, a passion, or a compassion for others that God has placed in you.  It’s a hope that grows inside you.  Pray.  Water that little bud.  If it has been planted in good soil, it will grow and spread into a full-grown ministry for God.  Listen to the direction from the Holy Spirit.  He will help you sow that seed properly.  Protect it and nurture that little sprout until it advances and grows into a beautiful flower to show others God’s love.

Turn that seed you’ve sown into something edible, delicious, and nourishing to feed someone what they need to hear from your testimony about the Word of God.  Ask the Holy Spirit questions, listen for His answers, and keep listening.  I challenge you today.

Let’s pray.  “Gracious Heavenly Father, please don’t allow us to get stuck in hard seasons, in trials, or in difficult ‘Stable experiences.’  Help us to focus on the Heart of Christ and on all our promises from You.  Help us to obey the voice of Your Holy Spirit in everything we do.  We know that whatever we need today is found in Jesus.  Thank you.  Amen.”

“Christianity” by Reinhard Bonnke

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By Reinhard Bonnke

“Christianity…

Has an unconditional…

‘WELCOME’

Above its doors…

For the storm tossed…

The broken in spirit…

And the inadequate….

It is the arm of God’s love…

Thrown around those…

 Who have given up on themselves…

Or been given up by the world…

And don’t have what it takes….

If you would believe…

You would see the glory of God…

 John 11:40

Christ causes us to make it…

We, who otherwise would never make it on our own…

In the Gospels…

We see Him coming open-faced and with open‑arms…

To Him…

There were no nobodies…

Nor riffraff…

No social rejects…

He came for lost sheep…

Plus, to women…

Who were treated as sub-species in some eastern countries…

Even as they are now…

Christ gave honor…

Jesus said,

‘I always do those things that please Him [the Father].’

John 8:29

What had He seen the Father do?

He had seen Him stoop over the wretched tribes in Egypt…

Those Israelite‑nobodies…

Expendables…

God picked them up…

And made them great!

Jesus did the same…

He chose fishermen…

Not princes…

To be His ambassadors…

The Gospels again and again…

Show Him meeting the unwanted…

And giving them a place…

His outreach to the discarded…

Is a moving part of the Gospel story!

Jesus is with the ‘lost’ and the ‘last’…

The lost He finds…

And to the last He says…

‘The last will be first.’

Matthew 20:16″

Amen!

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Every Praise Is To Our God!!! Oh, Yeah!

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What else needs to be said???

Our God deserves it…

So…

Get to Praisin’

Amen!!!!!

1 Chronicles 16:8

“Give praise to the LORD,

proclaim His name;

make known among the  nations

what He has done.”

Revelation 7:12

“Amen!

Praise and glory

and 

wisdom and thanks

and

honor and power

and

strength

be to our God

for ever and ever.

Amen!”

Lessons From Noah’s Ark!

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“Everything I Need To Know…I Learned From Noah’s Ark!”

(I saw this on e-mail today, author unknown, I added the Scriptures)

Genesis 5:32-10:1

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1.  Don’t miss the boat!  Find favor with the Lord! 

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

2.  Remember that we’re all in the same boat!  We need to walk faithfully with our Lord! 

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time,

and he walked faithfully with God.”

3.  Plan ahead!  Pay attention to God!  It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. 

So God said to Noah,

‘I am going to put an end to all people,

for the earth is filled with violence because of them.

I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth…. 

Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights,

and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.’”

4.  Stay fit and healthy! When you’re 60+ years old,  God may ask you to do something really big, too! 

So make yourself an ark of cypress wood...

I am going to bring flood waters on the earth

to destroy all life under the heavens,

every creature that has the breath of life in it. 

Everything on earth will perish.

5.  Don’t listen to critics!  Obey God!  Just get on with the job that He says needs to be done. 

Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

6.  Build your future on the higher ground of the Lord! 

“But I will establish My covenant with you,

and you will enter the ark—

you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you…” 

The Lord then said to Noah,

“Go into the ark,

you and your whole family,

because I have found you righteous in this generation.”

7.  For safety’s sake, travel in pairs. 

You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures,

male and female,

to keep them alive with you. 

Two of every kind of bird,

of every kind of animal

and of every kind of creature

that moves along the ground

will come to you to be kept alive.”

8.  Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

“Pairs of clean and unclean animals,

of birds and of all creatures

that move along the ground,

male and female,

came to Noah and entered the ark,

as God had commanded Noah.”

9.  When you’re stressed, float awhile. 

For forty days

the flood kept coming on the earth,

and as the waters increased

they lifted the ark high above the earth. 

The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth,

and the ark floated on the surface of the water.”

10.  Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.  Build your life according to God’s Plan! 

This is how you are to build it: 

The ark is to be three hundred cubits long,

fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 

Make a roof for it,

leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. 

Put a door in the side of the ark

and make lower, middle and upper decks.”

11.  No matter the storm, when you’re with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting. 

And God said,

‘This is the sign of the covenant

I am making between Me and you

and every living creature with you,

a covenant for all generations to come: 

I have set my rainbow in the clouds,

and it will be the sign of the covenant

between Me and the earth.

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth

and the rainbow appears in the clouds,

I will remember My covenant between Me and you

and all living creatures of every kind. 

Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds,

I will see it

and remember the everlasting covenant

between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth…'”

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“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and,

taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds,

he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma

and said in His heart:

‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans,

even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.

And never again will I destroy all living creatures,

as I have done.

As long as the earth endures…'”

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Amen!

Thank You, Lord!!

When The Golf Course Is Closed To People…The Critters Come Out To Play!!

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Because God is watching over them!!

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High   

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

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I will say of the Lord,

“He is my refuge and my fortress,   

my God, in whom I trust.”

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Surely He will save you   

from the fowler’s snare   

and from the deadly pestilence.

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He will cover you with His feathers,   

and under His wings you will find refuge;   

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

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You will not fear the terror of night,   

nor the arrow that flies by day,

 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,   

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

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A thousand may fall at your side,   

ten thousand at your right hand, 

but it will not come near you.

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You will only observe with your eyes   

and see the punishment of the wicked.

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If you say,

“The Lord is my refuge,”  

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and you make the Most High your dwelling,

no harm will overtake you,   

no disaster will come near your tent.

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For He will command His angels concerning you   

to guard you in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands, 

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so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread on the lion and the cobra;   

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

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“Because he loves me,”

says the Lord,

“I will rescue him;  

I will protect him,

for he acknowledges My Name.

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He will call on Me, and I will answer him;   

I will be with him in trouble,   

I will deliver him and honor him.

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With long life I will satisfy him   

and show him My Salvation.”

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Amen!

See how well He watches over us, too!!

My Soul Pants For You, My God!!

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Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water,   

so my soul pants for You, my God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God.   

When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night,

while people say to me all day long,   

“Where is your God?”

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These things I remember   

as I pour out my soul:

how I used to go to the house of God   

under the protection of the Mighty One

with shouts of joy and praise   

among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? 

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Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,   

for I will yet praise Him,   

my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;   

therefore I will remember You

from the land of the Jordan,   

the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

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 Deep calls to deep   

in the roar of Your waterfalls;

all Your waves and breakers   

have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs His love,   

at night His song is with me—   

a prayer to the God of my life.

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I say to God my Rock,   

“Why have You forgotten me?

Why must I go about mourning,   

oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony   

as my foes taunt me,

saying to me all day long,   

“Where is your God?”

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Why, my soul, are you downcast?   

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,  

for I will yet praise Him,   

my Savior and my God.

Amen!

(P.S.  You’d think these photos might have been taken in NJ, but actually they were taken while we were visiting friends in the Keys.  Our friend, Billy Butler, grabbed my camera while we all quietly watched from the car, and took these beautiful photographs!!!)

“Tis The Season!!! Oh, I Need A Silent Night! Badly!!

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Luke 2:4-7

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee,

out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David,

which is called Bethlehem;

(because he was of the house and lineage of David.)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there,

the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son,

and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;

because there was no room for them in the inn.”

I’ve made the same mistake before
Too many malls, too many stores
December traffic, Christmas rush
It breaks me ’til I push and shove

Children are crying while mothers are trying
To photograph Santa and sleigh
The shopping and buying and standing forever in line
What can I say?

I need a Silent Night, a Holy Night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a Silent Night

December comes then disappears
Faster and faster every year
Did my own mother keep this pace
Or was the world a different place?

Where people stayed home wishing for snow
Watching three channels on their TV
Look at us now rushing around
Trying to buy Christmas peace

I need a Silent night, a Holy Night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a Silent Night

What was it like back there in Bethlehem
With Peace on earth, good will toward men?

“There were shepherds out in the field
Keeping watch over their flock by night
And the glory of the Lord shone around them
And they were so afraid

And the angels said, ‘Fear not, for behold
I bring you Good News of a great joy that shall be for all people
For unto you is born this day, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’

…And His Name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace.” 

(Luke 2:8-11, Isaiah 9:6)

I need a Silent Night, a Holy Night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a Silent Night
To end this crazy day with a Silent Night

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

“Silent Night” was written by a Catholic priest, Joseph Mohr, pastor in the Austrian Alps in a little town of Oberndorf.

It was Christmas Eve, 1815, when he meditated on the wonderful story of the birth of Christ and wrote the sweet, simple verses of this song.

The next day he took them to the village schoolmaster, an organist, Franz Gruber, who prayerfully put them to music that fits them so quietly and so well.

And that night they had the choir sing it for the first time with only guitar accompaniment, since the organ had broken down .

Through the years this sweet song drifted out to the world and now millions of people rejoice as they sing.

Read the entire post at:

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Books,%20Tracts%20&%20Preaching/Printed%20Sermons/Dr%20John%20Rice/silent_night.htm

Call on Jesus…

To find your Silent Night…

This Christmas!!

Amen!

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Here’s Looking At You, “Kidd!” – In Memory Of Justin Kidd…

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I sat outside on my lanai…

With my cup of coffee on a bright sunny day last week…

Reading through some old Pentecostal Evangel magazines…

I have ready outside for just such an opportunity to sit and relax!

I came across an article about “Dave and Robin Kidd, who pastor True North Church (Assemblies of God) in Minerva, Ohio, and offer marriage seminars through their Binding Hearts Marriage and Family Ministries.  The Kidd family suffered the destruction of their home to a fire on the night of April 27, 2013.   Their son, Justin, 20, was unable to get out of his basement bedroom, and perished in the fire. The Kidds have continued in ministry during the months following Justin’s death, and reflect this Thanksgiving on the blessing of his life.”

To read the entire interview with

Scott Harrup, Pentecostal Evangel managing editor…

Go to:

http://www.pe.ag.org/archives/connections.cfm

Oh, my heart broke for them…

I have a 23 year-old son…

  I can’t even begin to imagine such a thing…

I prayed, Lord, please comfort them…

Then, I noticed that his parents mentioned…

 He had a blog on WordPress…

And that it was very popular with his youth group…

As I read his posts…

I, first of all, felt the love he had as a youth pastor…

And I was so amazed at the spiritual maturity of this 20 year-old!

(Please check out his entire blog and pray for his family)

http://justinkidder.wordpress.com/

For instance…

I reblogged an awesome post by Reality of Christ last June…

Debunking the lie that God won’t give us more than we can handle!

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/debunked-god-wont-give-us-more-than-we-can-handle/?preview=true&preview_id=7942&preview_nonce=2bf23c0624&post_format=standard

And Justin had posted the same topic to his youth group!

It caught my attention, because…

I had just counseled one of our young adults on the same subject!

God gives us more than we can handle…

God asks us to do difficult things…

But, we aren’t expected to do them alone…

We’re expected to depend on Him and not on our own understanding!!

Here’s

Justin’s Post of Apr. 18, 2013

Can You Handle?

One of the most common things you will hear people say is simply this: “God Will Not Give You More Than You Can Handle.” Seriously…I have lost count of how many times I have heard this said. Not only have I heard it numerous times, I am also guilty of saying this myself over the years…But here is the thing..It actually is another one of the lies that we buy..Before I started studying the word of god, and actually getting to know him better over the last year I have learned that this is actually in fact false.

This Statement, is actually misquoted scripture coming from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says simply this:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be TEMPTED beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Saying that God will not give you more than you can handle, and saying he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, IS NOT THE SAME! Temptation is not circumstances..they are separate. You will be tempted and Tested in life, but as it says with the temptation will come a way out so you can endure the temptation, but he didn’t say he wouldn’t give us problems we couldn’t handle. This is why so many people misquote this scripture.

I in fact now believe the opposite. God does in fact give us more than we can handle. This is for the sole purpose of our need for his divine intervention. We alone can not handle..but with his help we can. That is why he allows test/trials.

Yes the saying God won’t give you more than you can handle sounds good..but here is the catch…just because something sounds good…doesn’t mean its true or biblical. There are plenty of things out there in the world that people will tell you that sounds great, but as I said, that doesn’t mean it is true.

I in fact now believe the opposite. God does in fact give us more than we can handle. This is for the sole purpose of our need for his divine intervention. We alone can not handle..but with his help we can. That is why he allows test/trials.

So what is my challenge to my readers this week?

Before believing anything you hear, go to gods word first. As I already said, just because it sounds good, that doesn’t mean it is true. CHECK IT!

This is a new thing that is new to my youth, since this is what I preached last night, but I have been doubting myself and this message since last night, and just now my Aunt turned on a movie, and it just had a scene that I caught and in the scene this message was just taught by the pastor in the movie, so to me this was a confirmation that this is what was to be shared. And for that I thank god for. I needed that myself.

I just loved his passion for God…

 For God’s Word…

And for the youth he worked with!

Here’s another one of his posts…

Perfectly Broken

An excerpt from Justin’s post on March 28th, 2013:

1.) If we think we are perfect, we simply are not real and we are empty.

2.) We are perfect at one thing…..being broken!

3.) We are imperfect and broken people being brought back together by the Perfect God!

4.) The sooner we stop trying to achieve the perfect life, the sooner we can start focusing on things that matter more, and do greater and better things!

Rest in God’s Peace, Justin…

You truly left a legacy of trust in God’s Word!

Amen!