Matthew 7:15-17 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.... Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
As I live my day to day life, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a war on religion like never before in the history of our nation... Initially it was a war on Islam which was only a disguise, a smoke screen and a lie... The truth is that the enemy had to first present himself as an aid, someone or something that could help us protect ourselves from the enemy... But now, the truth has come forward, and we see the attacks on all who would believe in One God Above All...
Now, we see the Catholics are being attacked because of their stance on birth control and other hot topics... Then the "conservative"Christian base has been attacked because of their literal interpretation of the Bible... More "liberal" Christians are being forced to choose between their political party and their own beliefs at the risk of being outcast from their own party if they disagree with the way the party as a whole is voting on any given policy...
On television, we see shows like Amish mafia, snake salvation, and now preachers of LA, these shows are designed to minimize and diminish the faith of those on the fringes of the Christian Faith while portraying all Christians as crazy or extreme... The Bible told us this day would come, but the sad thing is so many of us have missed it... It just snuck up on us, and before we knew what hit us, Christianity is under attack and we find ourselves with our backs against the wall...
The time is now to rise up, the time is now to unify, the time is now to kneel down in prayer... The wolves are at the door and the smell of blood is in the air... The time for Prayer and Fasting is now, not tomorrow, not next week, but now...
I John 4:1-5 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
As a child of God, we must not fear, we have nothing to fear... However, we must continue to share the Gospel with those around us, we must continue to pray, and as always... We must keep the Faith... God Bless... Amen...
Friday, May 10, 2013
After I gave my life to Christ, and I don't mean when I began going to church regularly, but when I truly decided it was going to be God's way or no way, I came to the realization that I had to change my misguided and sinful ways.Although at this point, I had more faults then I have time to proclaim, there was one area in particular that I needed to address, my unfair judgment of others. In my new found Righteousness, I had forgotten that I was once lost in the same world I had begun to despise, the truth was that I had forgotten that before I was Fred from the PromiseLand, before I was invited here and there, and everywhere, I was a pawn of the enemy and a lost soul on my way to an eternity without God.
Romans 2:1-4 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Romans 2:4 (ERV) God has been kind to you. He has been very patient, waiting for you to change. But you think nothing of his kindness. Maybe you don’t understand that God is kind to you so that you will decide to change your lives.
Although I prefer to read the King James Version of the Bible, I have used the Easy to Read Version to better clarify the last verse of the scripture reading, God is kind to us, causing it to rain on the just and the unjust so that we may know His love and change our lives.
In my new Christian life, I had become very judgmental; unfortunately, my "I am righteous and you are not attitude" had caused me to forget one of the major principles of Christianity, Judge not lest ye be Judged. It's not my job to judge or condemn anyone, and it is not your job either; however, as followers of Christ, it is our job to share His Love with others, to extol and lift them up when they are feeling low and to comfort and embrace them when they are facing loss or in mourning. As Christians, our job is to instruct the people and push them in the right direction when they are facing tough decisions, and to address the issues of sin in their lives without making them feel condemned or judged. This can be difficult if we do not address these issues with love and understanding; therefore, it is important to show love to the individual, while encouraging them to repent and turn away from there sinful or misguided ways.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
As the word of God teaches us here in Hebrews, the Word of God is sharper than a surgeon’s scalpel, or an iron workers acetylene torch. Although while in the hands of a surgeon, the scalpel can be used to cut away damaged or dying tissue or it can be used to cut away the bandages that once covered a wound which has now healed. The torch in the hands of an iron worker can cut away the scraps and waste or it can be used to join together that which was torn apart; however, in the hands of the unskilled worker or those who wish to cause harm, both of these devices can be dangerous or even deadly. As a man skilled in several areas, I feel that there are not many things I cannot accomplish if I set my mind to it; however, the delicate hands of a brain surgeon or the "know how" of a skilled welder I do not have; therefore, a surgeon’s scalpel or cutting torch in my hands would certainly result in a questionable result. Clearly, I would not intend to cause harm to anyone or anything; unfortunately, the fact that I do not possess the necessary skills to operate these devices could cause serious harm, just as using the word of God as a tool of judgment and condemnation rather than Love, Reproof, and encouragement will cause spiritual, emotional, and perhaps even physical death.
II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
As a believer of the Holy Word of God, and a follower of The Lord Jesus Christ, it is up to me to study the Word of God, to understand the Word of God, and then properly apply the Word of God to my life. By studying the Word of God and focusing on Him, my life will become less of "me" and more of God, which enables me to live the life Christ has planned for me to live. When our eyes are focused on God, we have the ability to remove our own judgmental and biased opinions from our relationship with others, it becomes a "what does God want me to do?" Or "who does God see in this individual?" Instead of what do I want or who is this guy. When our issues become God's issues, we become free to share the Gospel with everyone and anyone because our biases and opinions have been removed from the equation and the Love of Christ can now Shine Through us to its intended destination.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
John 10:9-11 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
When we judge others, we build up walls, and when we build up walls, we minimize the effectiveness of our testimonies, or in many cases, we completely destroy any effect at all, this shouldn't be the case; unfortunately, all to often it is. As I mentioned in the opening, I had fallen into this "judgmental" attitude and I had forgotten from where I had come; thankfully, in that moment, God began to move. Only a few blocks from the PromiseLand, there is a men's transitional living home; living in this home are a wide variety of men, some old, some young, some down on their luck, and some convicted of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and for this reason, I had to make a change. Because of my own misconceptions and assumptions, I felt that some of these men did not deserve to hear the Word of God, they did not deserve forgiveness, and they definitely did not deserve my time; fortunately, God reminded me that I too was a sinner. God reminded me that I too had committed crimes both against man's law and scripture, and that someone felt that I was important enough to save, wow, what a sobering realization. We must never forget the importance of reaching out to those on the outside of the "norm", we must never forget that our churches are not to be museums for the holy, but hospitals for the sick, a place of refuge for the lost, and a source of comfort for the hurting, this is what we are called to do, just as Christ has clearly instructed us, we are to be the Hands and Feet of God. One thing we all must remember is this, in due time we shall all see the Son shine, and on that Glorious day, we shall be rewarded, not for who we judged, but by what we did for God, who we have brought with us into the Kingdom, and how we treated the least of God's people.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
A Christmas Prayer
Christmas Time is here, and I believe it would be easy to say it's our favorite time of the year! But for me, it's not the gifts, the parties, or the festivities as one may guess; although I truly enjoy these special events, but because it is the season that we celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus, the Savior of the World. In all likelihood, Jesus Christ was probably not born in December; however, that isn't very important when we look at the broad spectrum of what the Christmas season represents. The Christmas season represents a New Beginning, Restoration, Life, and it further encourages us to believe the Promises of God, because just as He Promised the Israelites a Messiah, and delivered upon that promise, All of the Promises He has made to us He shall deliver unto us...
Isaiah 7:14-15 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
Matthew 1:20-21 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins....
Just as Joseph faced a situation that seemed insurmountable, his young wife to be was pregnant, and he wasn't the father and how was young Mary to explain this situation, to Joseph, can you imagine that conversation? Joseph I am pregnant by God... But just look at what was birthed from that situation... Jesus Christ the Savior of the world... think about some of the situations we find ourselves in, instead of thinking about the negatives, let us see how we can turn these situations around for the good of the world You see God is Beautiful for situations...
Micah 5:2-4 But thou, Beth–lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
Luke 2:8-14 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
From the tiny town of Bethlehem, came the greatest man to ever walk the earth, time it's-self is measured from the time He walked the earth, His name is Jesus.... Christ Jesus was born in a tiny manger; although some may equate a manger with a barn, in all actuality, a manger is much smaller than a barn, and a manger is usually open to the environment in at least one side, and in some instances, three sides. Jesus Christ, Savior of the world was born in a lowly manger; what does that mean for you and me... Well that means a lot... On one side, Jesus was born, and would walk the earth teaching, preaching, and healing, thus becoming the example we should live by; however, this story also teaches us that no matter where we begin in life, we still have a chance in life. God's Promises never fell, and His Mercies begin anew every morning.
As this Christmas season approaches, I pray that you will take time to experience the true meaning of Christmas, not just the hustle and bustle of the shopping centers and holiday parties, but the Birth of Christ Jesus our Lord, and the sacrifice He made so that we may have Life more Abundantly... Amen... and may God Bless The Hearers and the Readers of His Holy Word....
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The Importance of Fatherhood and Family to God
Throughout the Bible, we can see and identify several examples of just how important the familial relationship is to God. Since the beginnings of time, God has made it known to man that we and our families are important to Him. One of the first examples of this can be found in the book of Genesis; also known as the Book of Generations.
Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Why did God create man in His image? Because He wanted to see Himself in us as we see ourselves in our own family members. God is all powerful, He created the Heavens, the Earth, and the stars, He created everything that ever was or ever will be, so why did He create man in His own image while He created other beast that appear so differently?; so it would be clear to us that He is our Father, and we are His children. Although it would be both difficult and time consuming to point out each every example of the family structure displayed in the bible, I will attempt to lay out a few examples so that we can clearly see and understand God's intentions for us as family members. The story of Abram, also known as Abraham, is one of the greatest stories ever told, it is a story of promise and of family, and it is one of the premier examples of just how important the family is to God.
The story of Abraham actually begins in the 12th chapter of Genesis, and continues throughout the entirety of the bible itself, including the New Testament. The story of Abram is preceded by a genealogical timeline of Abraham's family tree, which is found in chapter 11; here once again we see the importance of the family to God. In an attempt to explore the story of Abraham without turning this simple essay into an entire case study, we will only go over certain key examples and events; however, it is important that you, the reader, read through and study the various verses and chapters listed within this essay as well as the surrounding verses in order to further understand the importance of family in the bible.
Genesis 12:7 (KJV) the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
Genesis 13:7-8 (KJV) And there was strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Genesis 17:4 (KJV) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
As mentioned before, it would be nearly impossible to condense the story of Abraham or the importance of the family into a few short paragraphs; however, in an attempt to lay the ground work of God's love for the family, we will look at the three specific examples listed above.
The Lord appeared before Abraham and made him a promise, that his children would be heirs to the land which was controlled by the Canaanites. At this point, it is imperative that we understand that Abraham is now 75 years of age and had no children; however, God had a plan for Abraham's life, a plan that would establish His family here on earth. Although there was no reason for Abraham to believe this promise, he built an alter and prayed to God our heavenly Father, this is one of the best examples of how we are supposed to react when we receive direction from God, we are to pray and give God glory, too many times we as families do not pray together, worship together, or in any way acknowledge God in our homes and families. As we continue to read, we can begin to see a pattern, God gives Abraham direction, and as the leader and priest of his family, Abraham continues to trust God and follow the lead of the heavenly Father, as a result of Abraham's dedication, multitudes of Christians, Jews, and Muslims refer to him as Father Abraham.
As we continue to read through the book of Genesis we find, in chapter 13, that a conflict of some sort arises between Abraham and his nephew Lot. One thing we need to remember, is that at this point, Abraham is a very powerful man, and it would be very easy for him to simply destroy Lot and his men; however, he does not, he calls on God in prayer and makes peace with Lot and his men, stating that "we be brethren". Once again we see the importance of family to God; although Lot is his nephew, and in all probability Abraham isn't related to Lot's men in any way, Abraham does not destroy them because he understands that they are all God's creation, therefore they are all brothers through God the creator. In chapter 17 verse 4, we can see that once again God establishes that Abraham will be the Father of many nations and that from his family lineage, kings would be born. The book of Matthew is the first book of what Christians call the New Testament, as we begin to read through this book, we can again see the importance of the family unit to God, the very first verse of the book of Matthew establishes the genealogy of Jesus Christ and directly links Him to Abraham, the Father of many nations and many kings.
Matthew 1:1 (KJV) The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew 1:17-18 (KJV) So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
The importance of fatherhood and family is a reoccurring theme that can be found throughout the bible, as we read here in the book of Matthew, we can see how from Abraham flowed many generations of great men, kings, and priest; however, the most important of these is Jesus Christ of Nazareth who would become our Lord, our Savior, and our High Priest. After reading through the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we can begin to see the many examples of family and fatherhood that Jesus himself left for us.
Matthew 5:9 (KJV) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:44-45 (KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; hat ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
In chapter five of the book of Matthew, Jesus refers to God's people as His children; once again we can see the Fatherhood of God to us, His children. Although there are many more instances in which God's love for us is described, one of the best examples of God's love for us can be found in Matthew chapter seven in which Jesus instructs us to ask God for anything. in Matthew chapter seven, Jesus states that just as a parent would give his own child whatever he or she desires, so shall our Father in heaven above, in my humble opinion, God is showing us how to be good fathers and parents to our own children, once again establishing the importance of fatherhood and families. This account of Fatherhood is also found in Luke chapter 11; however, God has also shown us the importance of not being fathers to our own biological children, but to all those in need of a father.
Romans 8:14-17 (KJV) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bearish witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Fatherhood isn't reserved for the biological children, or Israelites, it is freely given to all who have a need and who have accepted the fatherhood of God, including the Gentiles. The bible clearly instructs us in how to be good fathers, not only to those who are like us, but to those who may be different. Jesus came to the Israelites first and then to the Gentiles, as fathers in today's world, we are to be fathers to our own children, but also to the fatherless, those lacking direction, and to anyone else who crosses our path. Just as God has adopted us into His family, we as men and fathers must follow that example and step up to be fathers to those lost in this world. The issue of family is also addressed in I Corinthians chapter seven, here we can see how the love of a father, mother, husband, or wife, can sanctify the other, again the family unit is the glue that binds and the substance that saves.
Ephesians 6:1-4 (KJV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Colossians 3:18-21 (KJV) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
The simple truth is that after studying the importance of fatherhood and family in the bible, I have found that it is nearly impossible to contain all the information in just a few pages, it is my hope and prayer that all who read this document will be touched by God the Father and encouraged to read and study for themselves just how important it is to have a father, and how important it is to be a father to the fatherless. The bible tells us in I Corinthians that although we may have 10,000 instructors, there are very few true fathers. Wow, what an astonishing statement; sadly enough, it is also a very true statement that can be taken both literally and spiritually. In today's tough economic environment, and disturbingly liberal climate, it would seem that anything goes, and the ones who are hurt most by this horrendous environment are the children. Young men and women are growing up with little direction, and virtually no spiritual guidance, it is up to us to say we will become the father to the fatherless and the guide to those who have no guidance. We must pray and stand fast on the ordinances of God, and we must submit ourselves to the Authority of the Creator of the Universe, our Heavenly Father above, He will guide us as we help guide one another through this existence called life.
I Corinthians 4:14-15 (KJV) I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Dedicated to Bishop Kenneth Phillips, Pastor PromiseLand Church Austin, TX
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Matthew 17:20 .....for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.... Faith is the key that opens the door... Before we can experience the true Power of God, we must first believe... we must First have Faith.... Looking back on my life, I can see the just how God moved in my life... I actually used to believe I was bullet proof; however, I now know that God had His hands of protection over me so that when the time was right, I could answer the call and be about my Father's Business... Faith, one word that can change not only our lives, but the lives of those around us... God Bless...
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Fire on the Altar
The weekend of March 2-4, 2012 was a very busy weekend for both me and my church family; however, the weekend actually began February 29, 2012 with the Phillips, Craig, and Dean 21st anniversary and cd release concert on Wednesday evening. With the release of their new album, Breathe In, PCD has proven once again that they have what it takes to wow the crowds and pack the house for Jesus; however, there was more to this weekend than simply enjoying great music, something was broken and the atmosphere shifted.
Thursday morning March 1, 2012, PromiseLand Church hosted a meeting which proved to be one of the best meetings of its kind that I had ever attended, the speaker, Dr. Larson, spoke about the upcoming transfer of wealth from the world to the Body of Christ. The wealth that he spoke of was not just economic, it was a wealth of information and ideas; however, he also stated that we as believers have to truly accept and act upon the gifts and ideas that God has given us, a great idea is worth nothing if it only remains a great idea. We as the Body of Christ must begin to act as one, united for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must remove the walls of separation, and begin to share the Word and the Love of Christ to the Utter Most Parts of the World as Jesus himself has commanded, and we must learn to step out on Faith knowing and believing that God will provide that which we need.
Thursday continued with the International Night of Praise, a night in which individuals and groups from around the world came together to sing, dance, speak, and pray together as one. Although there was at times a lack of understanding, there was never a failure to communicate our Love for God and His Love for us. The presence of God was there in the building and just seeing how others worship and praise God, albeit sometimes very different, was a Blessing to everyone who was present that evening. Throughout the week’s events leading up the Fire on the Altar and Fifty Hours of Praise weekend, the Spirit of Unity was quite evident as people; followers of Christ set aside whatever differences between them to worship the one true God.
Heading into Friday, the atmosphere began to change, there was a charge of anticipation and excitement about what was about to happen, Fire on the Alter and the Temple of David resurrected in one weekend here on Earth.
I Chronicles 16:4 And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:
I Chronicles 21:26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering
I Chronicles 23:5 Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.
I Kings 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
I Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
I Kings 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
Fire on the Altar, Fifty Hours of Praise, what a wonderful experience, the Power of God was present, lives were changed and miracles where witnessed. Hour after hour, band after band, and prayer after prayer, God moved upon His people; however, that was only the beginning. Throughout the FOA event, there were many people coming in and out of the church, there were visitors from all around Texas, the US, and the world. Pastor Rocha flew in from Brazil, Pastor Wilson came in from Italy, and Pastor Hersch traversed from the desserts of Arizona. There were many groups from other areas as well, and in order to meet the needs of so many visitors, the church body had to come together as one, young and old alike. The success of the FOA was a testament of just how the members of PromiseLand Church came together to ensure that everything worked smoothly. New members worked with more established members to patrol the campus, clean the restrooms, and make sure the atmosphere was just right, while others spent their own money to make sure that everyone involved had lunch, dinner, and breakfast, the Body of Christ really came together, this is what I have been feeling all year, Unity in the Body, not just at my church, but throughout Christianity as a whole, if you ask me what was the best moment, I would have to say that looking across the crowd and seeing so many different people from different backgrounds, denominations, and economic conditions praising God together, that is what is all about; One Christ, One Body, One Baptism, all together.
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
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Monday, January 16, 2012
On Monday January 16, 2012, I had the honor and privilege of speaking at an MLK Jr. Day celebration, at a local nursing home and convalescent center, the invitation was extended, and I accepted, it was an event that seemed simple enough: after all, I have spoken in public on other occasions, how different could this be? The plan was simple, no major studying involved, just read a few excerpts from the famous “ I Have a Dream” speech, read a few bible verses, say a couple of words, and have a seat; however, my assumption of how things would go and how they actually went were separated by miles and miles. The event was scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm and I arrived a little early to get settled, pray, and prepare for the speaking engagement; however, as I observed the “goings on” of the nursing home, I began to realize that I was not there to speak to the employees or residents, I was there to learn from them what dedication really and truly means.
After arriving at the nursing home and meeting with the event organizer, I learned that the employees at the convalescent center agreed to cut their hours worked, which then cuts their pay checks, they have attempted to cut all extra expenses, to delay or eliminate pay raises all together in an effort to help alleviate the added pressures of cuts in Medicare and Medicaid that pay many of the expenses of the center’s residents, one employee even came in on her day off to assist with today’s event, that is dedication. Although I was invited as the guest speaker, the prayer, the singing, and the first speaker were all residents of the center. The opening prayer was given by an elderly gentleman who looked as though he may have been around when Jesus walked the earth, but his words were so strong and encouraging as he talked about what God had done in his life and how important it is to never give up, at this point, the tears were on the edge of release; however, it only gets better. After the prayer, the wheel chair bound wife of the gentleman sang an acapella solo and her voice was as smooth as gold while her husband stared at her with a smile on his face as big as the horizon.
As the afternoon continued, I was filled with joy, elation, and amazement as I watched these wonderful individuals well past their golden years praise the living God, and as the time had come for me to speak, I realized that God had brought me here so that I could see that HE will remain faithful to us until the very end, just as HE had promised, and that we are to never give up on HIM because HE never gives up on us. The presentation went off without a hitch; I shared portions of Dr. King’s speech as planned, mixed in the story of creation from Genesis, and tied it in with John chapter 1, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, All things were made by HIM and without HIM there was not anything made that was made. God created man in HIS own image, and we are to Love one another as HE Loves us that was the message I delivered; however, God’s message of faithfulness, integrity, and Love was the message of the day.
Matthew 28:20 ….lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the earth….
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