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THIS WEEK'S BLOG:

Jesus, I Belong to You

  Jesus, I Belong to You It is becoming more obvious that Satan is being less subtle, more open and aggressive with his plans of trying to destroy us, our faith, the church and the message of the Gospel. May we never forget the sobering reminder of 1 Peter 3:18 , to “stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. We must never let our guard down. We must never get so accustomed to our life-routines that we become complacent and begin “easing off” on our commitments to grow in our faith, deepen our relationship with God our Father, and represent Jesus to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20). It is my hope, by sharing this prayer of commitment with you, that you will consider the statements being made. The goal is to strive and commit to being able to pray each segment with all sincerity and to covenant with God to align your life to its truths. Will you at least read it now ….pray, and consider how to incorp
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Accepting Martyrdom

We are still in the season of Easter as we await its culmination in what is known as Pentecost . There is another event in the Church which we commemorate at the forty-day mark of the Easter season where many denominations recall the “ Ascension ” of Jesus Christ. Mark 16:19-20 , “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” This event marked by the Church is also stated in the Apostles’ Creed: “…He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” When Jesus ascended to Heaven after rising from the dead, He promised us that we would never be left all alone here on earth to “fend for ourselves.” We have the Holy Spirit of God always with us. John 14:16 , “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever….” We w

Real Joy

  One of the devotionals that I was reading this week expressed the meaning of the word “ joy ” in a way that I had never heard before. The writing was so powerful that it made me wish I had known to “say it this way” long ago when I preached this very subject. Philippians 3:1 says, “Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord!” What most readers don’t understand about this statement is that the Writer (Paul) was currently in prison! Probably not the most pleasant of circumstances to think about rejoicing. Paul transposes between “rejoice” and “joy” about sixteen times throughout this letter. He is stressing a very important concept for believers which is to live purposely in the joy of the Lord. Paul knew, first hand, that it was clearly possible regardless of any circumstance he found himself experiencing. The “Seedbed Daily Text” devotional, written by J.D. Walt had this to say about joy :   “We learn something very important about joy here. Joy is not happiness

Sheep Can Shepherd, Too!

There is a powerful situation that takes place in the book of Acts.  It says in Acts 6:3-6 , “Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.” Did you notice that the leaders of the early Church placed the responsibility for finding leadership on the “community of the disciples”? (Acts 6:2) That’s you! That’s us! We need to be on the lookout for those who would make good leaders in the Church. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Well, in fairness, this task was new for the early Christians, too. Before they were Christians, most were

An Opportune Time

  This past year has been one of deeper spiritual quests and discoveries. I think the pandemic and long-standing guidelines have many digging deeper for spiritual truth. I am intrigued by many who have asked me some very profound questions. One such inquiry involved the Disciple Judas and the meaning behind Luke 22:3 , “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.” They want to know if Satan literally entered Judas or if this is simply a figurative statement. Most scholars I’ve studied believed it wasn’t just a random satanic demon, but Satan, himself, who literally possessed Judas in order to use him for his dastardly plans. We need to remember how desperate Satan was in stopping Jesus from going to the cross. Think back to the very beginning when Jesus started his ministry by spending forty days and nights in the desert. Why? The answer is in Matthew 4:1 , “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Satan threw every

The Victories of Holy Week

  The week of March 28 – April 4, 2021 is known as Holy Week. These eight days are the most solemn and glorious week in all of Christianity…and the world. There are several key events that take place that commemorate the final days of Jesus’ life. We’ll see before us the New Covenant, supreme sacrifice, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Messiah, and Son of God.  Let’s take a look at the events of the week following Palm Sunday : PALM SUNDAY : This great day of proclamation known as the “Triumphal Entry” is Jesus revealing himself, once and for all, to the world that He is the Messiah, Savior and Lord. Jesus is strategically riding on a donkey instead of a horse as a sign. We read in 1 Kings 1:33 and Zachariah 9:9-10 that Kings rode donkey to symbolize that they come in peace and not to wage war. The same is true for Palm trees as the branches were seen as symbols of victory and triumph. People begin to lay down their cloaks and strip palm branches off the trees to

More Than Sunday

  Romans 14:5-6: “In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. How to honor the “Sabbath” and what it means to “keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8-11) is being challenged more than ever before. The Church has struggled to provide a “right time” on Sunday morning to conduct worship services. Many Churches are simply losing people to the fact that Sunday has evolved into more like another Saturday. One of the ways to combat the “Sunday challenge” as a military Chaplain was to visit the Training Office each week to look over the “quarterly events calendar” to plan services and events for the Soldiers at various times throughout the coming three months. Why? Because I already knew that Sunday had become “just another day” and may not be the most suitable time for everyone to attend worship se

People of Ephesians 4:32

In our Church, I wonder how many people take the time to look on the back of the Worship Bulletin each Sunday to read the short story presented there. One recent bulletin had an interesting article entitled “Fable of the Porcupine.” I would like to share this article that was attributed to an Anonymous author. Here it is : “It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves.” But the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: Either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the earth. Wisely they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came f

Kingdom Focused!

  Our country and even our churches are being challenged by the friction emanating from various strong emotions that are splintering us into factions and dismantling us into taking sides. The trends over the last year with the Coronavirus, isolation, masking, social distancing, election fraud theories, and events surrounding the US Presidency have us on edge, fearful, angry and confused. Who can we trust? Who can we believe? What should we do? The best place to start to answer those questions is to remember, Romans 12:1 , “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” First , we must get our heads out of the world and stop conforming our beliefs, thoughts and perspectives on progressive world views. The world has an agenda and it will never include God and will always lead us astray. We must stop following. We must stop listening to that message. Secondly , we must place our faith and trust squarely

Consider!

  Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle.” Sharing. Mentorship. Encouragement. Caring. Giving. Supporting. Like a candle lighting another candle, these words can be used to describe the Christian who cultivates and enriches the lives of another and empowers their local church. This is why 1 Corinthians 13:7-8 becomes so powerful for us, as it states, “[love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. love never fails.” The phrase “all things,” can mean “all-encompassing” to emphasize that love covers “everything” and does not discriminate. Love is never removed, withheld, or adjusted to fit our emotions or how we feel at the time. Love is always active. Love will always involve someone else because love isn’t independent. love is not something we keep to ourselves. Love is given away freely and generously. Love has been and always will be about expressing it towards others and within the church body.