Pastor's Blog
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July 2, 2015, 10:30 AM

Control your thoughts


In prayer this a.m., God reminded me that the enemy can't know my thoughts; Satan is not omniscient, nor omnipresent — he can put a thought in my mind, but it is up to me to determine what I do with that thought. Some of his seeds are depression, negativism, bitterness, oppression, hatred, low self-esteem, lack of commitment, and frustration. When we allow those thoughts to marinate in our spirit, they control our actions. We start looking horizontally, instead of vertically. We must keep our focus on Christ and not the crisis. Hebrews 12:1-2 says:

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Instead of being faithful, we become faithless; instead of being positive, we become negative; instead of being submitted, we become dissented; instead of being a witness, we become wavering — tossed about, up and down, with every wind of opposition that comes against our mind. It is vitally important that we listen to His Word: Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

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

You can't control how Satan attacks you or what he places in your mind; you can control how you react or respond. If I am up one day and down the next, it isn't a God problem, it is a “me” problem. Circumstances change daily, but my commitment to my walk with Jess must never be impacted negatively by my trials and test. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) reminds us:

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

He doesn't expect me to understand everything (I wouldn't need faith); He just expects me to trust Him and He will direct my paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Today, purpose in your heart to not only be a hearer, but a doer of His Word and let it start with your attitude, which determines your altitude. Now, go and have a God day, instead of you day.




April 26, 2015, 6:04 PM

Something to gossip about!


As Senior Pastor, I unfortunately have to deal with the negative effects of the common, unchristian practice of gossip. I have even had folks to bring this habit against me, as I am sure you have as well. Webster defines gossip as:

  • The casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true:
  • Proverbs 16:28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.

One of the things that can destroy any church or ministry is gossip. Other terms in the Bible for gossip include:  backbiter, busybody, slanderer, secrets, talebearer and whisperers. 

  • So then, a Biblical definition of gossip would be to spread rumors or secrets, speak about someone maliciously behind their back, or repeat something about someone else that you have no right to repeat.

The Bible warns and teaches us about this destructive behavior known as gossip. Here are fifteen Bible verses and helpful quotes about gossip (Secrets, Slanderers & Talebearers):

  • Leviticus 19:16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
  • Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
  • Proverbs 20:19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
  • Proverbs 26:20-22 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.  As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
  • Jeremiah 6:28 They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron; all of them act corruptly.
  • Jeremiah 9:4 Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, or every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
  • Deceit, Backbiting, Busybodies, Malicious Gossips & Whisperers
  • Psalms 41:7 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.
  • Proverbs 25:23 The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
  • Romans 1:28-32 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.
  • 1 Timothy 3:9-11 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.
  • 1 Timothy 5:13-14 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
  • Titus 2:2-3 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,

How Can You Avoid Gossip? Consider these simple steps to be sure you are not involved in gossip:

  • Do not associate yourself with one who is a known gossip
  • When someone starts to gossip — change the subject
  • If you are not part of the problem or part of the solution, stay out of it
  • If you have fallen into the bad habit of gossiping — ask God to change your heart
  • Realize there are three sides to the story — side A, side B, and the whole story.
  • Don’t take one side and determine it as the gospel.
  • When you have been the victim of gossip — confront the parties that spread the rumor

God help me to spread the Word of God and not the gossip of man. What does God know you to be?




March 17, 2015, 4:16 AM

Prayer


If we propose to walk in His purpose, we must be willing to go to war on our knees. Nothing replaces disciplined prayer. Prayer conditions our hearts to be receptive to the preached Word of God, as well as causes us to be submitted to God, His man, and His Word. Without prayer, we may hear the Word, but not heed the Word (the bible says to be doers of His Word and not hearers only). Without prayer, we may talk the talk but not walk the walk. Without prayer, we may be busy but not productive. Without prayer, we may profess but not possess. Without prayer, we may have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. Without prayer, we will confuse God's voice with our choice. Prayer is God's way of connecting His children to His power. So, pray so you won't stray; His will, His purpose, His plan — nothing more and nothing less. Otherwise the journey will not be fruitful. The risk/reward is heavenly. ‪#‎PrayerStillWorks‬ ‪#‎PrayerCreatesSubmission‬




March 14, 2015, 10:18 AM

Faith Without Works...


Sometimes things happen in life that we don't understand; other times they happen and we completely understand — that is what walking by faith is all about, putting your trust in the One who sees all, when you can't. However, it is in the process where faith meets action! Sometimes my action (or inaction, reaction) is what causes the process to be longer than necessary or even create side journeys that could have been avoided. That is why it is extremely important that I daily seek His plan, purpose, and course for my life. If I am off target, I can quickly correct my direction, because His work will not override my will — therefore, I must daily submit to Him. To be effective in His kingdom, there must daily be less of me; not my will, but Thine be done. My attitude, feelings, and thoughts must succumb to Him. So, take time every day to make sure you are walking in His purpose and not your problem, pain, or pride!  




February 6, 2015, 8:00 AM

...ye shall be witnesses unto Me



Romans 14:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 Do not therefore let what seems good to you be considered an evil thing [by someone else]. [In other words, do not give occasion for others to criticize that which is justifiable for you.]

 

What a powerful Scripture for us to live by. Unfortunately, most of us don’t. I am so trouble by the “junk” that is constantly put out on Facebook…so much so, that I am afraid our testimony is ruined before we ever “attempt” to share Jesus with those around us. Our “friends” hear our negative opinion, read how bad church is, perceive how unchristian THAT Christian is, and how terrible our life is — all from the slanted view of one person. How do we ever expect them to want to encounter Christ? The fact is, they will run from it…and we will be accountable!

I pondered in prayer this morning, what kind of a witness am I? How will Christ look at my efforts? Is He pleased with my actions? Facebook can be a great tool to witness, to connect with family and friends far and near, and to share great things; BUT, we have allowed it to become a powerful soap box that tears down others, causes the church to look unscrupulous, amplifies the destructive, and gives “praise” to the devil. I have seen more unconstructive, unenthusiastic, unhelpful, unchristian, and unnecessary comments lately that it makes me wish Facebook had never been created. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” couldn’t be more of a lie! When you write something on Facebook (yes, I know it is YOUR page and YOU can write whatever YOU want, and if I don’t like it, I can unfriend YOU), the person reading it can only take the words at face value — no expression, no voice modulation, no twinkle of the eye, no kidding — just the words to be interpreted anyway a person feels. Whatever happened to going to someone privately and dealing with a matter, instead of putting the junk (especially church junk) out there for everyone to see (which includes the backslider, bitter, hurting, helpless, and hopeless)? I think that is how Christ would have us deal with issues, not seeing how many “likes” we can get, while tearing down others — and destroying any chance we have of being a positive influence on them. No matter how “right” I am, I can be wrong.

 

Romans 14:13 Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.

 

Everything that goes through my mind doesn’t have to be typed on my page. Some of us come across as bitter, battered, blasting, and backslidden — and no one will want what we have! I know I am not perfect and have so much growing to do in the Lord; but I don’t want to be a stumbling block to one person. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone going to hell. I want to see the world saved, I can do that by saving a few things for the prayer room. 

 

Colossians 3:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

17 And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

 

Dear Lord, help us to show you in everything we do. Not only are You watching us, but they are watching as well.

 

1 Corinthians 9:27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

27 But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].

 

If we would spend more time in prayer and His Book and less time on Facebook, we might be the witness He has called us to be (see Acts 1:8). I love all my friends far and near…God bless!


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