Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Friday

When You're Hanging on by a Thread
Micca Campbell
"The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all." Psalm 34:19 (NIV)
I have a dear friend whose husband didn't want to be married anymore. Sure, she knew there were problems in their relationship, but this devastating news blindsided her. We prayed together. She sought counseling and even invited her husband along. Still, no matter her attempts to save her marriage, it was falling apart.
I've never seen her so helpless, so troubled, so lost. She was hanging on by a thread. I understand the darkness she was in and know the weakness and heart-wrenching pain because I've been there. Most of us have experienced terrible news that took us by surprise and left us hanging on by a thread.
Perhaps you're there now. You may be experiencing a broken relationship. Maybe you need to be saved from some addiction or financial trouble. Whatever the case, you feel alone, scared and weak. Your situation is hard, wrenching and painful. You're losing your grip on faith.
I could tell that my friend was losing her grip on her spiritual foundation. In her deep despair, all she had was a thread of hope to hang on to. What was that hope? It is the promise of God found in Psalm 34:19, "The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all."
Such was the case of Rahab, a prostitute whose story is told in the Bible. Rahab owned an inn near the city gate of Jericho, the city soon to be conquered by the Israelites.
Rahab had heard about God's greatness and had come to believe He was the one true God. So she hid the two Israeli spies that Joshua, the commander of the Israelite army, had sent on a scouting mission into Jericho.
The king of Jericho heard that the spies had been at Rahab's home, so he sent orders for her to turn them over. When the king's soldiers questioned her of the whereabouts of the spies, Rahab misguided the soldiers and sent them on a wild goose chase after the spies whom she had actually hidden on her roof.
Once the soldiers were gone, Rahab asked the spies to save her and her household. She promised to keep silent about their mission if they would spare her family when the Israelites invaded the city of Jericho. The spies told her to hang a scarlet cord from her window as a sign to the Jews to protect her.
Rahab obeyed and when the walls of Jericho fell, Rahab's life, and all those in her household, hung by the thread of hope that the spies would keep their word.
They did, and she and her family were spared from the destruction when the walls of Jericho crumbled. Her household was passed over. Protected. Delivered.
Like Rahab, the only thing my friend had between herself and total destruction was a thin thread of hope. It proved to be enough. Although her marriage came tumbling down, she was saved from total destruction. When all was said and done, she still had the love of God, the hope He offers and the peace He gives.
Each of us needs a thread of hope—a reminder that just as Joshua saved Rahab, God can save each of us. He may or may not change our circumstances, but He can protect us from being taken under the falling rubble that surrounds us.
He is there when we're hanging on by a thread. Even at our weakest point, a simple cry such as, "Lord, help me" invites the hand of God to take hold of our situation. And deliver us.
Dear Lord, thank You that Your salvation is far reaching. It not only takes away my sin and provides eternal life, but also it helps me for today. Help me, Lord, as I throw to You a thin thread of hope. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Thursday

By the late Pastor Bob Hanna

Scripture Reading: Revelation 20:15

The fundamental principle of the requirement for salvation has always, in every dispensation, been belief in God - on His terms. "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Galatians 3:6). "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (I Corinthians 1:21). "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever-lasting life" (John 3:16).

But there is a dark side: "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). Christ warned of the day that He will return in judgment and vengeance. "HE shall set the sheep [the saved] on His right hand, but the goats [the lost] on the left. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:33,41,46).

True to His promise, when the Lord returns, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thessalonians I:8). He will seal the doom of the wicked. They will finally appear before the Great White Throne, and be judged and "cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Wednesday

“Behold, I am pressed under you and I will press you down in your place as a cart presses that is full of sheaves” (Amos 2:13 AMP).
Historically, God was so gracious to the people of Israel. A handful of people that went down to sojourn in Egypt became a great threatening nation to their hosts. God raised leaders in Moses, Aaron, Miriam and other prophets for the Israelites and brought them out of Egypt with many signs and wonders against the Egyptians. He led them in the wilderness for forty years providing for them and protecting them from all dangers. He drove powerful nations out of Canaan so that the Israelites could inherit the Promised Land. He settled them down in that land flowing with milk and honey. In spite of these, the Israelites were not grateful. They did all kinds of wrong things against God. They insulted the prophets sent to them by God. In fact, they abandoned their God for other gods. God was so depressed by their actions that He promised to depress them by their enemies (see Amos 2:6-16). The sin of the world during the time of Noah had also made God to be sad that He destroyed the then world (see Genesis 6:6-7).
Today, many people are like the ungrateful Israelites. In spite of God’s goodness to them, they continue to wallow in sins that make God sad. Most of such people are only religious, they are not spiritual. In spite of the teachings of the Bible to live rightly with God and other people, they prefer to live sinfully. They, indeed, sadden God by their behaviours. If these people refuse to repent, God will not hesitate to bring His judgment on them, but “He is patient with [them], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). 
Are you like those ungrateful Israelites? Do you do things that sadden God? Repent now before it too late. God will indeed bring His fierce judgment against all those that are doing contrary to His will. Do not sadden God this year by your actions. 
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not do things that will sadden God this year.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy Tuesday

Jesus Wept

John 11:30-37 (HCSB)
30 Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where Martha had met Him.
31 The Jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw that Mary got up quickly and went out. So they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to cry there.
32 When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and told Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!”
33 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was angry in His spirit and deeply moved.
34 “Where have you put him?” He asked. “Lord,” they told Him, “come and see.”
35 Jesus wept.
36 So the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Couldn’t He who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept this man from dying?”

Lazarus died and Jesus waited for three days before going to his home. He was very good friends with Lazarus, Mary and Martha. They had seen the miracles that Jesus had performed. Mary and Martha knew that if Jesus had been there he could have healed Lazarus so he would not have died. I don’t know if they were around for some of the miracles Jesus did long distance. They probably were not or they might have believed that Jesus would have healed Lazarus without actually being there.

Jesus might have been sorrowful for the death of Lazarus and that would have shown His human side. But if He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead why would He be so sorrowful as to weep? The verses above tell us that He was angry in spirit and deeply moved. Why is this? Why would He be angry in this case? This can be answered with one word:


These people did not fully believe in what Jesus could do. This at first made Him angry then made Him so sad that He wept.

Near the time of Jesus’ crucifixion He wept over Jerusalem because of the unbelief in that city. Many people there had seen Him and seen what He had done but did not believe He was the Messiah.

Could Jesus be weeping now as he sees what is going on in this world at this time? Does he weep; when we say, “I know the Lord can do thus and so.” But don’t believe he will do it for us? Does he weep when he hears us say that you have to follow certain steps to have him do a miracle for you? We need to believe that Jesus Christ can work and does work in His time and in His way.

May we say, like the father of the demoniac:

Mark 9:24 (HCSB)
24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”

By Dean W. Masters

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Monday

The divine art of sympathy

(J.R. Miller)

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are" Hebrews

No books nor universities can teach us the divine art of sympathy.

We must be strongly tempted ourselves--before we can understand what others suffer in their temptations.

We must have deep sorrow ourselves--before we can be true comforters of others in their times of sorrow.

We must walk through the deep valley ourselves--before we can be guides to others in the same shadowy valleys.

We must feel the strain, and carry the burden, and endure the struggle ourselves--and only then can we be touched with the feeling of sympathy, or can give help to others in life's stresses and overwhelming needs. So we see one compensation of suffering--it prepares us for being helpers to others.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." 1 Peter 3:8

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Sunday

He Loves to Hear

Acts 9:11

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. When our hearts are broken and we bow in prayer, we are often only able to employ the language of sighs and tears; still our groaning has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music.

That tear has been caught by God and treasured in the receptacle of heaven. "Put my tears in your bottle"1 implies that they are caught as they flow. The petitioner, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High. He may only look up with misty eye; but "prayer is the falling of a tear."

Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah's court and are numbered with "the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high." Do not think that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded.

Jacob's ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and so climb its starry rounds.

Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it.

He does not forget the cry of the humble. True, He does not regard high looks and lofty words; He does not care for the pomp and pageantry of kings; He does not listen to the drums of war; He does not regard the triumph and pride of man.

But wherever there is a heart enlarged with sorrow or a lip quivering with agony or a deep groan or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open.

He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when at last the volume is opened, there will be a precious fragrance springing from it.

Faith asks no signal from the skies,
To show that prayers accepted rise.
Our Priest is in His holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Happy Saturday

Forgive Our Trespasses 
by Charles R. Swindoll

"Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets." ---Daniel 9:8-10 block quote end

Forgive us, our Father, for being attracted to the pleasures of sin . . . to what appears to be full of ecstasy and satisfaction but is, in fact, empty and stupid. Thank You for bringing conviction, for pointing out our rebellion. We need that reminder every day, so that we might invest ourselves in that which endures. We want to pursue the things of God, the things You consider important and valuable---a righteous walk, a pure heart, a committed lifestyle. We long to place family above fortune and purpose above fame and righteousness above riches.

Our Father, You instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. Thank You for that. You shine a bright light on our path from Your Word. Thank You for the relief that comes with being forgiven and the peace of mind that accompanies a clean heart. Finally, thank You for Your mercies, new every morning, and Your grace, needed every day.

We thank You in the dear name of Jesus. Amen.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy Friday

Good News, Everyone’s Invited
By Jonathan Parnell

Not everyone will believe the gospel, but everyone should be invited.

We know from Scripture, and experience, that not everyone will trust in Jesus and be saved. In fact, many will not. Many today sitting in churches across this country are cold to Christ, harboring impenitent hearts, deceived into thinking their works will get them to heaven. And even more not in churches. They will refuse Jesus, so why should we invite them to trust him?

Why should the gospel go to everyone? Here are three reasons.

1. We don’t know who will or won’t believe.

This relates to God’s two ways of willing. There is God’s “will of command” and his “will of decree” — that is, what God desires generally (his published will) and what he sovereignty effects (his mostly hidden resolve).

We know two things: 1) that God desires all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and 2) that God has mercy on whomever he wills and hardens whomever he wills (Romans 9:18).

The latter truth is a secret to us. We cannot look at someone and know whether his or her heart will be hardened. Indeed, the gospel — with its knock-Saul-off-his-horse power — demands we never presume to know that. God desires for all to be saved, and that’s what we are about. J.I. Packer writes, “We are to order our lives by the light of his law [his will of command], not by our guesses about his plan [his will of decree]” ( Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, 96).

We offer the gospel universally because as far as we can discern, every person we encounter could believe. God knows whom he will draw (John 6:44). Jesus knows who will hear his voice (John 10:27). We don’t, so we just preach.

2. Jesus really can save anybody.

The invitation to believe the gospel, writes Packer, “is God’s summons to mankind generally to come to the Savior and find life” (92). And anybody who does that — who comes to the Savior — will find life.

“Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). This verse tells us two things about “everyone.” First, it is not simply everyone, but everyone who calls. Everyone will not be saved, but everyone who calls on the name of Lord will certainly be saved. Second, part of the “everyone who calls” can be anyone at all. It doesn’t matter how messed up your life is, or what mistakes you’ve made, or how dismal you see your tomorrow. If you — hardened criminal, zealous abortionist, reckless teen — if you call on the name of the Lord, you will be saved. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, or what color of skin you have, or how much money is in your bank account, if you turn from your sins and trust in Jesus, you will be saved.

And therefore, since Jesus can save anybody, we offer this message to everybody.

3. Everyone can afford free.

This point is another angle on the previous one. The focus there is on the whosoever-ness of faith. The present point is the free-ness of grace.

If grace is free, then it is the market for everyone who can’t pay, and everyone cannot pay. Every human being fits that bill. And therefore, because every human owns the criterion of emptiness, every human is in the condition to hear the offer of free grace. Every soul is thirsty, every soul is broke, and so it goes for every soul when God says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).

Grace, in this sense, is the great equalizer. It is the only way that anyone can be reconciled to God. The kid who grows up in church, nourished by a gospel-centered stay-at-home mom, and the strung-out crack addict downtown — if they will belong to God, it will happen by the same way: grace, grace, grace.

We Invite Everyone

These three reasons explain why we invite everyone to believe the gospel. But the root of these reasons is in what Jesus did. We offer this news to everyone because of the foundational certainty that Jesus accomplished. John Piper captures it well:

By his death and resurrection, Jesus has acted out God’s discriminating, definite electing, regenerating, faith-creating, every-promise-guaranteeing, new-covenant love, and thus has purchased and secured irreversibly for his elect everything needed to bring them from deadness in sin to everlasting, glorified life and joy in the presence of God. ( Does God Desire All to Be Saved? 54)Because we don’t know who will or won’t believe, because Jesus can save anybody, because everyone can afford free, today this gospel goes to everyone.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Thursday

Bible Promise for Today: God’s Grace 
 Rebecca Barlow Jordan
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV ) 

Bible Promise: God’s Grace

Do you ever feel like you’ve hit an immoveable wall? Like change will never come?

Just when we think we’ve had enough, God appears on the scene–but not with condemnation, silence, or sarcasm. Instead, He’s there holding out strong arms to encourage us. God’s grace covers every limitation.

God’s Grace Is Enough

God’s grace is more than enough for all our weaknesses. If we think we’re strong enough without Him, His grace is useless to us. He already knows our faults. But it was His grace that made us His child in the beginning. And it will be God’s grace that will always lead us back home to Him.

Remember duty demands. God’s grace frees.

My Prayer for You

Lord, Your grace is more than enough for every weakness and every need of our lives. Forgive us for taking the reins and trying to do things in our own strength. You didn’t design us for failure. Help us to live in the freedom and joy of your grace. As Your children, why would we keep trying to right the wrongs of our lives when You already paid for them on the cross? Thank You for the promise of grace You gave us in the Bible. You put the “want-to” back in our hearts again. We “want-to” be like Jesus !

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Wednesday

II Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
During World War II, there were colorful posters displayed in prominent places with this slogan: LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS. The intended message was to beware of unguarded talk because the enemy may be listening, and it could lead to disaster for our fighting men.
In our daily walk, we are exposed to loose lips. Another name for it is gossip. That is a horrible word. It implies spreading lies or half-truths about another person. An easy way to determine if gossip is involved is to ask if the words being spoken about a person would ever be spoken directly to that person.
Born-again believers that hold true to the faith, and have high standards of morality about many things, are sometimes guilty of having loose lips.  It is certainly nothing to take lightly. I once worked for an obstinate boss and was guilty of gossiping about his actions.
The Lord convicted me of my sin and I quickly confessed it. The hard part was going to that man and asking for his forgiveness. I assured him that from that moment on I would confront him directly when I disagreed with his actions. I was promoted soon after that because he knew he could trust me. Do you have loose lips?
May God richly bless you as you bless others by your words and actions!
- - - Pastor Cecil

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Tuesday


Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

At the early age of eleven, Sam was living a pious Muslim life in the southern Philippines. He prayed at mosques on Fridays and fasted during Ramadan. Sam was the only one of his siblings sent to school where he excelled both in classroom and sports. He was everybody’s favourite, popular and well-loved.

But everything changed one afternoon. After school, Sam passed by his grandfather’s house who happened to be a Christian. He saw a maroon book with ‘Kitab Injil’ (The Gospel) written on the cover. He opened it and started reading. “I was drawn to Jesus because his teachings were so different...Help the needy, obey and respect parents, do not be a false witness...they were not taught in Islam. Before that, I only knew to repay evil with evil.”

So Sam committed his life to following Jesus and His teachings in the Bible. He was just a fifth grader then. Although he was the only Christian in his family, Sam’s parents and siblings respected his new faith. But outside his home, among his friends, it was a different story. “You’re a kafir
(infidel)! You are not my friend anymore.”

It was very painful for Sam to be deserted by his friend. His classmates at grade school kept a good distance from him. Some mocked him, calling him kafir. There were times during classes when kids would throw their shoes at him. They bullied him by writing stuffs on his uniform, filling his bag with sand, and even punching him.

One day, a friend-turned-enemy yelled at him. “You Christians are filthy! Christians are garbage!” Sam cried and ran home. There were times when he was tempted to fight back, but he remembered the words of Jesus to love the enemies, to bless and not curse. In his heart, he prayed for those who bullied him and repaid them with a kind smile instead.

Sam, now seventeen, has endured physical harassment, insults, and discrimination from friends and school mates for boldly telling them that he is a Christian.

After Sam joined the Open Doors’ discipleship program for MBB youths, he has become even bolder in seizing every opportunity to share his faith in Jesus. Sam knows that doing so might cost him his life someday.

“When I think of my friends, my heart breaks. I lost them, and though they turned out to be my enemies, I don’t hate them. Instead, I pray for them that one day they will meet my Lord Jesus and be changed.”

RESPONSE: Jesus wants me to not repay evil with evil but rather love, bless and pray for those who are my enemies.

PRAYER: Help me Lord to live among those who oppose me with the character of Jesus and respond to them with love and not hate.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS) A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. 

Tuesday Morning - 5:25AM
It is with a very heavy heart I write this morning, Yesterday when I wrote of the valleys in life devotional below and discerned a valley ahead that appeared to be long came to pass last night... My youngest son Michael ended his life at the end of a lonely stretch of road facing Lock 3 in Sun, LA...
GOD had a plan for Michael, unfortunately he was not listening... Please pray for his mother, wife and children... As for me except for an ever climbing blood pressure, I pray I will be ok...

Last Minute post from yesterday and felt the need to share:

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Good Morning & Happy Monday,
__Sometimes the circumstances of our daily lives seem so uncertain... Over the years, I have walked many valleys... Some were tolerable (slight distractions) while others made me wonder WHY should I continue on
(End-of-the-world situations)...

 __satan is ALWAYS ready to attack when we are in one of these valleys with Words to discourage us, fill our emotions with anger and bitterness, even try to convince us that there is NO HOPE LEFT in our lives and that DEATH is the only path to take... 

__Whether it was a discouraging word from a well meaning friend or the end of the world situation that makes us cry "WHY ME LORD"!!! It's NOT the END of The WORLD... For the Born Againto be in GOD's Presence for all eternity, We couldn't be that LUCKY... REMEMBER! GOD has a PLAN... It will get better, it always does... 

p.s. So far my Monday has been better than my Friday or Saturday, I have thrown myself into my work, focus is better, but still not 100% on the LORD as the occasional distraction pops up... Continued prayers, for the Spurlock Family and their unspoken prayer request, are appreciated as this may be a longer valley than usual...

Have a Blessed Day,


Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Monday

Get the very desires of your heart

 One time, at the height of persecutions, I was downtown in a communist country by myself, don’t ask me how come? I went into a beautiful store full of cut glass vases. I bought one to bring to my wife and gave the sales lady a gospel tract. She tucked it away in her pocket very quickly. When I asked if she knew for sure she was going to heaven one day she said she did not but she wished she did. I told her how God loved her and sent the Lord Jesus to suffer and die for her sins and mine. He paid the debt of hers and my sins in full, was buried, rose again. And was seen alive by multitudes of people. I asked if that made sense to her. She said ,” Yes it did.” Could you believe what the Lord Jesus did to get her to heaven and trust Him right now as her Savior? She said, “Yes, I would like to do that.” I led her in a very brief prayer, for she was very fidgety. God gave her assurance she was saved and I left quickly. I told someone to follow up and left to come home the next day. That is absolutely one of the greatest joys of my whole life.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy Sunday

Look for Divine Interruptions

 One of the most favorite churches in America to preached in was the Canton Baptist Church in Canton Ohio. Dr. Harold Henninger, the most gracious pastor you could ever meet was the pastor. At one time, I believe it was the largest independent Baptist Church in America. Dr. Henninger was in the hospital when he heard about the football "hall of fame." The Lord put in his heart to start the Christian hall of fame. I think it has well over 100 pastors with life size paintings of Godly pastors in it. I had the joy of preaching there a number of Sundays. One Saturday I got out to the airport and stopped to get a newspaper. As usual I gave the lady a gospel tract. On my back home, When I got to the gate I found the flight was cancelled. I was terribly disappointed. Then I went back and there was no one at the news stand except the lady I gave the tract to. With plenty of time, I shared the gospel with her. Her heart was well prepared and she prayed from her heart to receive the Lord Jesus as her personal Savior and was glorious saved. I got her name and address and sent it to Dr. Henniger to follow up. One of his ladies went to see her. She had been to the Canton Baptist Church before. She confessed Christ publicly and joined the church and became a faithful Christian at the Canton Baptist Church. Romans 8:28 is so wonderfully true. I could have been upset at my flight being cancelled and missed leading this lady to Christ. God is so good. The harvest is plenteous. I do hope you are "fishing for men and women. It is so much joy.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Happy Saturday

Walk in the Spirit
"Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts (desires, urges) of the flesh" Galatians 5:16.  Please notice very carefully. God did not say you won’t have any desires of the flesh but you will not fulfill the desires or urges of the flesh. There have been all kinds of movements, plans, methods to overcome temptations and live a victorious Christian life. People talk about being sanctified wholly. God says very simply "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts (desires) of the flesh.
We all need to learn to the Spirit. First, every believer, every Christian has the Holy Spirit . "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his" Romans 8:9. The question is does the Holy Spirit have you. The first step is to "present your body a living sacrifice holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" Romans 12:1,2. This must be a genuine act of your will.
As a new baby does when it starts walking, they stumble from time to time and have to get back up and keep walking. As we must do. Begin right now. Present your body, soul, and spirit to the Lord. Ask Him to take control and run your life. "Be still and know He is God."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Friday

Thought for Today
"A wise old owl, sat on an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Lord help me be like that wise old bird!"

Don't Give Them Vinegar!
(Author Unknown)

The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit.

He quoted 1 Samuel 16:7 'The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

"These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different," he explained. Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilled out.

"When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference was within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed. Until we are upset we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for 'out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.'" (Luke 6:45)

What if someone tipped you over today??

What would flow out??

Would you reveal the "honey" of grace and patience, or the "vinegar" of anger and sarcasm?

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1Peter 4:8)

Have a terrific day knowing that the one who upsets you may be just looking for some honey - Don't give them vinegar!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happy Thursday

On doubt

As far as you (and I) are concerned I have no doubt that the fear you mention is simply a temptation of the devil, an effort to keep us away from God by despair. It is often the devil working through some defect in our health, and in extreme cases it needs a medical as well as a spiritual cure. So don’t listen to these fears and doubts any more than you would to any obviously impure or uncharitable thoughts. . . . 

Of course, like other evil temptations, they will not be silenced at once. You will think you have got rid of them and then they will come back again—and again. But, with all our temptations of all sorts, we must just endure this. Keep on, do your duty, say your prayers, make your communions, and take no notice of the tempter. He goes away in the end. Remember I John iii, 20 “If (=though) our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart.”

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy Wednesday

Troubling Questions
            During the course of nearly four decades of being in the Gospel Ministry I have seen more than a few instances of people being in severe distress over something they read in Scripture. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It can mean the Spirit of God is working on them about something in their lives. There is an old saying that has an element of truth to it. That is that the Word of God will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Word of God.
            There is another side of the coin and that has to do with the work of the Evil One in his role as the accuser of men. He can use the Scripture as a tool to attack the believer and cause them to falter by becoming overly concerned about one matter or another. He is the greatest distorter of the Holy Writ in the world. That is why it is appropriate to acknowledge false preachers and teachers get their inspiration from him.
            One of the great burdens that afflict people is the fear they have gone too far and have reached a point where they cannot be forgiven and renewed unto the Lord. One of the things said to people in distress with such an idea is that if they are concerned about having done something unpardonable, that is proof they have not. This has an element of truth but it is not absolutely so. In Hebrews an example is made of Esau who sold his birthright for the desire of the moment. The Scripture says “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” (Hebrews 12:17)
            There are two powerful things a believer can do in order to avoid being vexed by fears concerning his relationship with God, The first of these is to live a holy life, avoiding the things he knows to be wrong while filling his life with prayer, study, and meditation upon the things of God. The second is related to the first. That is, learning to rightly divide the Word of God, so one can understand the things in it. When a person is busily engaged in doing these things he will find springing up within himself a great peace.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy Tuesday


Failure and Success: Paralysis From Past Mistakes

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.— Psalm 103:11-12

Do not let any of the things of the world or past mistakes paralyze your hearts. I believe there are Christians who have allowed some of their past mistakes to paralyze them. You were so bright and cheerful in your spiritual life once, and then you made some tragic mistake or had something happen to you. You got out of it somehow, and prayed and wept your way out of it. But it did something to you, and now you cannot lick it. Past wrongs that have been done to you, past failures, times you thought you were going to win and did not, or present sins or discouragement-these things are not mental at all. They are deeper than that; they are subconscious, and they prevent us from believing.

I most urgently exhort you, and I trust God Almighty to deliver you; to sponge that out of your spirit; to sponge that out of your heart so you are not hindered by unbelief. Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church, pp. 162-163

"Lord, I'm surely not the only one who desperately needs this reminder this morning. So many of us struggle with past sins, failures, or hurts. I pray for all of my fellow-servants who need deliverance, who need to have the past sponged out of their spirits and hearts. Amen."

Good Morning Readers,
     Prayers are appreciated as I under go a few test this week... Last test I had were about two years ago... I have procrastinated on all test until now... 
     A lot of Blood work this AM... Wednesday AM - Arterial Ultrasound... 
     Scheduled to see a Heart Specialist in about 3½ weeks... 
     Deadline for The StarLight News in next week... Not really happy about the distractions... Praying that I can avoid any hospital test or treatments so I can continue The StarLight Ministry...
Have a Blessed Day and Thanks,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy Monday

God & His Attributes
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness– Romans 1:18

Everyone, even many non-Christians, enjoy talking about the love of God. But here we are reminded that the wrath of God is also revealed. The holy anger of God is just as much a part of His divine perfection as His love or mercy.

And notice where the revelation of God’s wrath comes from: it is revealed from heaven. Heaven is not ashamed of the wrath of God, but rather puts it on display, throughout Scripture, as one of His many and beautiful attributes. If heaven is not embarrassed of God’s anger against ungodliness, why would we be?

The further declaration is made that God’s wrath is against, not just some wickedness or injustice, but all ungodliness and unrighteousness. We are not left in comfort to decry the debauchery or dishonesty of others. We must recognize that God will punish every sinful thought and act.

There is no such thing, then, as a little sin — a sin that goes unnoticed and without offense to God. Every sin is an affront to the holiness, the thorough goodness, of God.

While there are some who seek to “hold,” or suppress, this truth because of their skewed sense of right and wrong, there are others who flee for refuge in the mercy and love of this same wrathful God. They see God’s punishment of their sins in Christ, on the cross, to be their shelter from the wrath they deserve.

How do you respond to the wrath of God? Do you hold the truth down, as best you can, or do you hold up the cross as best you can?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy Sunday

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.—Anonymous

Be Happy...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Saturday

I Asked the Lord to Bless You:

I asked the Lord to bless you
As I prayed for you today
to guide you and protect you
as you go along the way...

His love is always with you
His promises are true
and when we give him all of our cares
you know He will see us through

So when the road you are traveling on
seems difficult at best
just remember I am here praying
and God will do the rest.

Author Unknown

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Friday

The Broad Way

"Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction." Matthew 7:13, NIV

I wonder how often we read these familiar words and think that they refer only to those who are trying to enter the Kingdom of God for the first time? It’s hard for people to find their way to the Lord in a world of many broad deceptions. I had an amusing illustration of that recently, when my wife and I were on a journey one dark evening recently. The weather was very bad, and the road we were on was undergoing resurfacing work. This work entailed one half of the dual carriageway being closed to traffic, which was diverted on to a single way on the other carriageway.

As we went round a roundabout on to the road the signage was not very clear. In addition the road contractors’ vehicles were not blocking off the road under repair as they should have done, and there was a large gap in the barriers that looked like the road we should take. Accordingly I drove up the otherwise empty road, and soon noticed that something wasn’t right, as there was a very rough surface and no other traffic, even though it was a busy time in the evening! A workman appeared who soon directed me on to the straight and narrow (and correct) way.

Broad wrong ways seem so attractive. On a number of occasions I have heard mature believers express their amazement that there could be anything wrong with engaging in alternative therapies and ways of achieving healing which may have very ungodly roots. The enemy is blatantly promoting such things these days. As the Scripture says, ‘Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction’ (Matthew 7:13). Now we must be careful not to speak doom and gloom to all who avail themselves of paths to healing with ungodly roots, but it’s clear from the Scriptures that there’s only one Healer, the Lord God Almighty and believers need to take care which path they pursue.

A bumpy road lies ahead of us when we follow the wrong path. The journey may be delayed, or we may be completely distracted from God’s purpose for our lives. Let’s make sure we pay proper attention to the signposts God puts before us, and avoid those tempting broad ways, preferring to stick to the narrow road of Jesus, even if, at times, it seems more obscure to us.

Prayer: Father, in a world which offers us so many apparently helpful paths for us to travel, please help us to discern the real way and truth of Your Son, Jesus, so that we may fulfil Your purposes for our lives. Amen.

Today's Writer : John Berry

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy Late Wednesday - Happy Thursday

I thought I did, but tonight I found out I didn't... I might have too many irons in the fire... 
Have a Blessed Day,

Come Just As You Are!
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." - Matthew 11:28-29  

Today's passage in Esther is a study in contrasts.  And it all centers around a contrast in kingdoms. The Scriptures go to great lengths to describe the riches of the king's palace at Shushan.  There were hangings of white, green, and blue fastened to silver rings with cords of fine linen and purple.  The beds were of gold and silver on a pavement of red, blue, white, and black marble.  It must have been something!  But one day, every child of God will see something that will make the palace at Shushan look like a doghouse.  We have no concept of what the glories of heaven will be like except that they will be beyond our wildest imaginings.
The second contrast emerges when Mordecai challenged Queen Esther to approach the king.  Everyone knew the dangers involved.  If she came to the inner court without being called by the king,--  she could be put to death if the king did not hold out his golden scepter.
What a contrast to the King of kings, whose word is, "Call unto me and I will answer thee. " What a contrast to the urging of Scripture to come boldly to the throne of God, where we can find mercy and grace.

We can see it in the life of Jesus as well.  He was the most inclusive person who ever lived.  He welcomed people others turned away -- little children, lepers, tax collectors, sinners, -- anyone who came to Him in simple faith and need.  And today, without special invitation, the Lord of glory is waiting to reveal more and more of Himself to you and me in His Word.  Thank you, Lord Jesus!


"Lord, I am awed that Jesus died for me so that I could be Your child and have access before Your throne.  Amen.

God wants us to come into His
throne room unbidden, to "interrupt" Him with our prayers. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy Tuesday

Are you yearning for the Christ's return?
By Dr. David R Reagan

At the beginning of each new year, I always find myself experiencing a refreshed sense of yearning for the Lord's return. The prayer of my heart each New Year's Eve is, "Lord, let this be the year You will send Your Son for His Church!"

How about you? Do you ever find yourself yearning for the return of Jesus? Really yearning with all your heart? Yearning with a passion beyond words? Yearning like a lost man in the desert yearns for a sip of water?

I fear that most Christians have little, if any, desire for the Lord's return. It is a concept that has been shoved to the back of their consciousness - one they will claim to believe in, but one that has no impact on their daily living.

And this can be easily proved, for the fact of the matter is that if you truly believe in the return of Jesus, and if you believe this is an event that could occur any moment - as the Bible teaches - then you will be motivated to holy living and to evangelism. So, let me ask you: Are you making Jesus the Lord of every aspect of your life and are you sharing Him with as many people as possible?

Or, are you like most Christians - are you simply apathetic?

Which brings us to another crucial question: Why are so many professing Christians so apathetic about the Lord's return? For many, I'm sure it is due to ignorance. They simply have no idea what is going to happen when Jesus returns. Ignorance breeds apathy. You cannot get excited about an event you know nothing about.

But for others, if not most, I fear that the root of their apathy is that they are in love with the world. And that is very sad, for this world is corrupt to the core and is crying out for God's wrath. Furthermore, the Word of God specifically warns us about falling in love with this world:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.(1 John 2:15-16)

Think of it this way: When you love someone, you want to be with them. I love my wife, and when I have to be away from her, I call her daily, and I yearn to return to her.

I love Jesus. I love to fellowship with Him in prayer, in the Word, and in worship. But it is no substitute for being with Him. I want to dwell in His presence. I want to look into His eyes and tell Him how much I love Him. I want to kiss His nail-printed hands. I want to thank Him personally for going to the Cross for me.

And I want to see this corrupt and perverted world transformed under His rule. I yearn for a world flooded with peace, righteousness and justice.

One other thing. Did you know the Bible promises a special reward for those who live yearning for the Lord's return? In 2 Timothy 4:8 the Apostle Paul states that there is a "crown of righteousness" that will be awarded "unto all them also who that love His appearing."

Are you a candidate?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Monday

Each New Day

Greet each new year
Without any fear.
Jesus will guide you,
Walking beside you.

Greet each new day
In the joyful way.
Jesus is dearer
And one day nearer.

Greet each new face
Full of God's free grace.
Tell them that Jesus
Yearns to receive us.

So greet each new day,
The victory way.
You keep abiding;
God keeps providing.

-author unknown
and this will end the New Year's stash of related poems and articles... I pray Your New Year will be better than all the previous years you have walked... Richard

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy Sunday

New Year's Wishes

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastro-enterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber and the I.R.S.

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise.

May New Year's Eve find you seated around the table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends. May you find the food better, the environment quieter, the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure much more fulfilling than anything else you might ordinarily do that night.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them. May someone love you enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues.

May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, may the commercials on TV not be louder than the program you have been watching, and may your check book and your budget balance - and include generous amounts for charity.

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to your spouse, your child, your parent, your siblings; but not to your secretary, your nurse, your masseuse, your hairdresser or your tennis instructor.

And may we live in a world at peace and with the awareness of God's love in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss, and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.
Author Unknown

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy Saturday

A New Beginning
Michael J Night
During the course of the past year, many of us have faced some sort of trial, test, setback, or disappointment. Some of us have even experienced failure. But in spite of all of that, God has prepared this year, this moment in time for you to have a new beginning.

The enemy's objective is to keep you locked in yesterday, the place where the pain originates from. God has a different plan for your life. He knows all about the things that have gone wrong. He's not surprised at some of the questionable decisions that you have made. He's knows that you have let Him down. He is not shocked at all.

The good news is that He also knows your future. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away and all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17)

When you have life in Christ, you have the ability to experience new possibilities in life.There is a season of new opportunities that await you and you must be willing to pursue it. Victory in this new year takes some understanding.

You were not created by accident. You were made by God himself. God is the creator of the heavens and the earth. He designed you to live for a unique reason. When He made you, He pulled out all the stops. You are His prized creation.

You were made to overcome obstacles. You were made for victory. He didn't create you to blend in with the scenery. Out of over six billion people in the world, there is only one like you. So, don't be shut off or boxed in by traditions or customs. Don't be held back by someone else's expectations. You were created for brilliance and excellence. You were made for success.

Before planting seeds, the ground must first be prepared. The ground must first be dug up and turned over in order to receive seeds. In the same way, we must cultivate our lives so that we will be able to yield a successful harvest. We must do some work in order for our lives to be ready for a new beginning. We have to make choices and not yield to the power of sin. As we choose God's way, the Holy Spirit will strengthen us even more.

There are some spiritual disciplines that we must develop to cultivate our lives:

* Prayer--Not just asking God for things but communing with Him.

* Giving--We must change our perspective on our possessions.

* Studying the Word--We must take in His promises daily.

* Serving--We should always look for ways to improve someone else's life.

There is a lot of noise in this world. There are people shouting from every angle, trying to get your attention. To be able to distinguish between the voices, you need to be able to listen very closely. God is always speaking; we just have to listen for Him. The time is come to get your hearing in order. The alarm has sounded.

What is the sign that you are waiting for? The light has already turned green and you are clear to begin your journey. Step away from the crowd. Separate yourself from the average people who don't want anything other than what they have always had. You have been called out to make a difference. You have been called out reclaim territory for God and live out your destiny.

It's time for your New Beginning.