Friday, August 2, 2019

Friday's Inspiration

Good morning! This is another day that the Lord has made and it is another wonderful opportunity to offer our praise to God. I attended a Community Revival on Tuesday evening and the Minister reminded us of the need to be THANKFUL. I was reminded of the importance of celebrating God for who He is rather than just celebrating the blessings that He provides for each of us on a daily basis.

I have sensed the presence of God reminding me of the provisions that He has prepared for each of us. Someone in our church family felt led to share with me the song Nothing But The Blood. I listened to the song several times as well as other songs that talked about the blood of Jesus being shed for my sins as well as the sins of every human being. I was overwhelmed by the presence of God as He reminded me of the PRICE that was paid for my spiritual freedom. We need to remember that our salvation cost Jesus His life and now we are able to be included in the family of God because He was willing to pay the price for EACH OF US!! Isn’t that an AMAZING FACT?

We live in a culture that tries to lure us away from the presence of God. The enemy seeks to draw us away from God and in doing so we begin to look at other options to meet the needs of our life. The words of this song were dropped into my spirit this morning. Some of you may remember this song while others may not. Let these words sink deep into your heart today as you reflect on the mercy and love of God.

“The world will try to satisfy that longing in your soul, You may search the wide world over but you'll be just as before. You'll never find true satisfaction until you've found the Lord, For only Jesus can satisfy your soul. Only Jesus can satisfy your soul And only He can change your heart And make you whole; He'll give you peace you never knew Sweet love and joy and Heaven too, For only Jesus can satisfy your soul.” (Lanny Wolfe) 

JUST REMEMBER that ONLY JESUS CAN SATISFY YOUR SOUL!!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday Thought's

Good morning! I trust that your journey with God is full of the richness of the presence of God. His Word reveals that He will never leave or forsake us! Isn’t that a powerful promise that goes with us through every moment of our lives? I am learning to depend on that promise even more as I continue my journey of life. I am learning to depend on this promise even more as I see the continuing changes in our culture. I shared this thought last Sunday and I still believe it today!! “God has a Word for this generation.” Each of us needs to take heed to the Word of God and allow it to do its work in our lives!!

I read Psalm 100 this morning. Take time to read it and recognize the commands of God as well as the promises of God. The Spirit through David reminds us to shout, sing, serve and be glad in the first few words. The Spirit reminds us that we are the “sheep of His pasture” and that “He has made us.” Verse 5 spoke to me this morning. This verse reveals the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God, the mercy of God as well as the truth of God. Psalm 100:5, For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

If you grew up in a Christian home, you may have been taught this childhood prayer: “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food. Amen.” While simplistic, that prayer covers one key characteristic of God: His goodness. It can be hard to believe in God’s goodness for many reasons, including when we’re in pain. We forget it when we’re in conflict. We think it’s for everyone else except us when we’re depressed. And when we’re worried or stressed out, we can’t seem to find—much less think about—God’s goodness, even when it’s right in front of us.

Focusing on God’s goodness is so important to your life because it gives you perspective on your darkest days, when you need it the most. Each of us has encountered and more than likely we will encounter more dark days on our journey of life. But we cannot ever afford to forget God’s goodness. This decision can cause each of us all kinds of difficulties. Our enemy can use these difficulties as a weapon to work against our relationship with God.

Each of us can remember those moments in which the goodness of God was revealed to us when life was providing us with various challenges and difficulties. At those moments we must choose to look to God and His Word for strength, guidance and direction. The goodness of God will not fail us if we will place our complete trust and confidence in Him. I understand the challenge of making the decision to trust God but I have also personally seen the reward of trusting God and placing my confidence in Him.

I truly believe that God wants to give us a life of spiritual confidence, even on our most difficult days. He wants to give us the assurance we need that is found in the Word of God. He will provide the protection we need regardless of the situation that we may be facing. He wants to give each of us a life of spiritual influence and spiritual abundance. He will provide the guidance, direction and strength to meet the challenges of life head on and come out victorious in our walk with Christ!!

These are challenging days to say the least. The headlines on the various information sources reveal strife, stress, anxiety, difficulties, etc. in every continent in the world. We can run from these challenges and we can choose to ignore these challenges.  Or we can face these challenges and walk in the strength and faithfulness of God’s goodness.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Good morning on a day that appears it will be full of warmth and heat as the day moves forward. Life brings to us those moments in which we feel the “heat of reality.” But we have the privilege of taking those “moments” into the presence of God and we have been afforded the opportunity of asking Abba Father for His assistance!! I feel like declaring the words of the song that says “I will raise a Hallelujah!!” It is a blessing to know that God is not only interested in our daily journey but He is also interested in directing our steps of life.

Psalm 37:23,The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path].” (AMP)

The words “divine alignment” was shared in one of my recent devotionals. Those words have been “burning” in my spirit since the moment that I read them. We can certainly recognize and identify the fact that the powers of darkness are aligning themselves against the Good News of the Bible. We see the Truth of God being discarded and replaced with the opinions of men and women. The Truth of God is being placed on the “back burner” of life and our society is choosing to follow their own plan of life rather than seeking the plan of God for their life. We even see the pressure from society for the “church” to change her opinion of Truth to fit more easily into the world view of what is right and what is wrong.

But I also see another alignment that is taking place in our world. It is revealed in the passage found in Psalm 37. I truly believe that God will align our steps and order our path IF WE will follow His leadership. We can see examples throughout the Bible in which God ordered the path of various individuals as well as ordered the path of His people. The Spirit of God led Moses back to Egypt at just the right time to speak to Pharaoh. The Spirit of God led Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus to Egypt BUT He also brought them back to Nazareth at the right time. The man named Saul who would later be referenced as The Apostle Paul was born into the family of God at the timing of God. Each of us can remember times in our lives in which God placed us at the right place at the right time.

I think that I will raise ANOTHER HALLELUJAH when I reflect on the ability of God to order our steps on our journey of life. I also believe that God is at work among His people around the world. There is a “spirit of awakening” that is taking place in the lives of various individuals. I personally know some of these individuals as well as I read about this “awakening” happening in various locations both near as well as far away.

I feel the need to remind each of us that we are people of free will. God has given us the option of following His guidance or choosing to follow our own set of plans. This choice is a very serious one to make. Our eternal destination depends on us making the correct choice when it comes to the path of life that we choose. I am asking God to give me the courage and strength I need to follow His guidance and apply His Truth to my life. This may not be the most popular route to take BUT I do believe that it will be the most profitable route to choose.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Good morning on this bright and sunny day! The past few weeks have presented us with many cloudy, dreary, rainy and stormy days. But even on those days the Sun was still shining but we were unable to see it due to the clouds that surrounded us. It is the same way with the Son of God. He is with us even when we are surrounded by the clouds of fear, doubt, worry, frustration, hurt, disappointment, struggles, battles, etc. But we need to remember today that Jesus Christ is still present and He will shine on our lives as we continue to look for Him!!

Luke 5:3-7,Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.” (NKJV)
For the past 13 plus years I have carried what I believe to be a word from God. And I do not use those words lightly. I truly believe that God deposited in me a call to look for, pray for and participate in a spiritual awakening in my life as well as the lives of others that I would encounter. I was captured by this during a prayer encounter with God and I am still captured by this encounter with God. I was so convinced of this call that I felt led to resign the Pastorate in Louisville and begin a journey of an Iterant Evangelist. Our obedience produced many wonderful encounters with the Holy Spirit in various congregations and Conventions around the nation. Our obedience to God played a major role in the church plant in Radcliff, KY.

I am sharing this with you today because I am still convinced that God desires to awaken His people. The AWAKENING of the PEOPLE OF GOD will propel us and lead us into the deeper things of God. I believe that the deeper things of God will propel us as well as lead us into the harvest field that is ripe. I was praying about the need for a deeper move of God this morning. I have prayed about the need for a deeper move of God for many mornings over the past 13 plus years.

We have participated in some “spiritual rain showers” but I have not seen the “flood” of the Spirit that is being released in various parts of the world. I can either chose to give up on what I believe is the inspiration of the Spirit or I can choose to press on and press in. There are moments in which I think about backing off and backing away from the “call” from God. But I can’t stop believing and stop encouraging people to draw closer to God when I look at the condition of the world and see the struggles in the church world that people are facing. The words of this old song ring in my ears today as I am typing these words; “Where could I go but to the Lord?” 

I do not have time to do an exegesis of the scripture passage that I have shared today. But I would like to ask us to ponder these questions. “Why are we hesitant to launch out into the deep? What are we afraid of when it comes to drawing closer to God? Why do we resist drawing closer to God? Why do we think that we do not need to have more of God in our lives? What will it take for me to receive the call and challenge from God and put it into full action in my life?” Feel free to ask your own questions to these that I shared.

Each of us needs to realize that our world is being flooded with evil, sin and wickedness. We are going to need the flood of the Holy Spirit in our lives to counteract these attempts of satan to destroy our walk with God!!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Memorial Day

I trust that each of us realizes that the presence of God’s love, care, concern and interest is “fresh and new” each and every day of our lives. This knowledge reminds me of the song, “Oh, What a Savior.” We are blessed to know that God loves us unconditionally and He does not abandon us regardless of the situations of life!!

I offer God praise, appreciation and thanksgiving for this past weekend’s services. The presence of God was very identifiable and His ministering presence was received by many of those who participated in those services. I truly believe that God desires to reveal His presence among us as we gather as His family in our times of worship whether private or public. We must be willing to identify His presence and then obediently respond to His presence. We have to expand our thinking from just knowing “that we need God”. We must BOLDLY DECLARE THAT WE WANT HIM TO PERFORM HIS WORK IN OUR LIVES!! I continue to seek for guidance as I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is a critical time for Christians in America. I have been praying and will continue to pray for a SPIRITUAL AWAKENING in our personal lives, our families, our churches, our communities as well as our nation!!

I am sure that each of us knows that this coming weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. I would like to ask you to take a moment and realize that Memorial Day is more than cookouts, mini vacations, the opening of swimming pools, etc. I do not believe that any of these events are evil or sinful if they are conducted in the right manner. I am not writing this to condemn anyone as much as I feel challenged to remind us of what this weekend should represent. I was awakened with a “spirit of heaviness” which I believe came from the Holy Spirit as I began to reflect on the memories of those who sacrificed their lives on a battlefield in America or around the world.

It seems to me that the people of America have a tendency to take “moments of remembrance” and turn them into opportunities to celebrate ourselves rather than focusing on the true purpose of the Holiday. I am quite sure that there are families across our nation who still lives with the daily loss of a loved one on a battlefield in some far away land. And let us also not forget those families whose loved one has the letters MIA or POW attached to their name!! There are still men and women being deployed to BATTLE FIELDS today or to areas of unrest and trouble. We must continue to pray for these brave men and women who are serving our nation. They are protecting our FREEDOM and we need to cover them in prayer!!

I found this information concerning Memorial Day and I would like to share it with you. Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to get the year's first sunburn. It's a time to remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country. MEMORIAL DAY BEGAN AS A RESPONSE TO THE CIVIL WAR. Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which a total of some 620,000 soldiers died between both sides. The loss of life and its effect on communities throughout the country led to several spontaneous commemorations of the dead.

In 1864, women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, put flowers on the graves of their fallen soldiers from the just-fought Battle of Gettysburg. The next year, a group of women decorated the graves of soldiers buried in a Vicksburg, Mississippi Cemetery. In April 1866, women from Columbus, Mississippi, laid flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. In the same month, in Carbondale, Illinois, 219 Civil War veterans marched through town in memory of the fallen to Woodlawn Cemetery, where Union hero Major General John A. Logan delivered the principal address. The ceremony gave Carbondale its claim to the first organized, community-wide Memorial Day observance. 

Each of us needs to remember our personal opportunity to take some time and reflect on those "who gave it all" as we are enjoying OUR FREEDOM TODAY!!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday's Reflections

I would like to take a moment and look back at a recent Wednesday night Bible Study. The video teacher made a statement that challenged me that evening and still challenges me today. He said, “Our goal as Christians should be to get into the presence of God.” I believe that this should be a personal desire as well as a corporate desire. Listen to David’s words in Psalm 84:1-2, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”  WOW!! Isn’t that an awesome challenge but also a wonderful opportunity for each believer?

Have you heard the term “name dropper?” Human beings enjoy letting their family and friends know “who they know.” We enjoy dropping their names at just the right time in the conversation so that it will garner the most attention. Even preachers have been known to do this in their preaching. LOL We enjoy people knowing that we know someone of importance, fame, fortune, or a “star” in either sports or entertainment. There is certainly no sin being committed when we put that practice into action. BUT DO YOU REALIZE that believers know the One whom EVERYONE will bow before one day? (Philippians 2:10) Are we sure that we want to limit famous and powerful to this world only? REALLY?

In 1 Samuel 17:34-37 we see a glimpse into the impact of David meeting with God early in his life. Scripture says, But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David“Go, and the Lord be with you!” It was during David’s time in the fields that He learned of God’s power and desire for deliverance. He learned what it was to meet with God in the daily walk and work of life. And he carried that knowledge with him into every battle, trial, and failure. Yes, there is much more to learn from being in the presence of God as an individual BUT ALSO AS A CORPORATE BODY OF BELIEVERS!!!

I want to make being in the presence of God a priority in my life. I understand that we are all busy people with responsibilities. We are unable to spend each waking hour of our lives in some secluded place in our home. But doesn’t the Bible teach us to “pray without ceasing?” We know that there are physical limitations to that action BUT WE CAN LIVE WITH AN ATTITUDE OF PRAYER!! I believe that we can also live with an attitude of being in the presence of God throughout the day. That simply means that we can live with an “open heart” always looking for an encounter with God as well as always listening for Him to speak to us in some shape, form or manner!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thursday's Reflections

Good morning! This week’s weather reminds us that we are in a stage of transition when it comes to our weather forecast. HOLY WEEK reveals a time of transition in the earthly life of Jesus Christ. He went from being celebrated (Palm Sunday) to being crucified (Good Friday) in the period of one short week. BUT aren’t you glad that the story does not end at the grave? We can fast forward to the FIRST DAY of a new week. The new week brought the RESURRECTION OF OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST!! Let me add these words, I am thankful for the NEW DAYS in my life in which I see Christ in a fresh revelation!!

It is during my times of prayer and meditation that I continue to hear the words "fresh and new." We declare that the story of the cross is an "old, old story" YET it is still powerful, relevant, life-changing as well as VERY IMPORTANT to share in this present time and era of life. The Gospel message may be considered "old news" YET it is still fresh and new!! How can that statement be true? It is true because the disciples found the grave empty and they found JESUS CHRIST ALIVE!! We look back and remember that He died! We look up and remember that HE IS ALIVE!!

Let me share some words from Anne Graham Lotz. “He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit (John 19:30, NKJV). After nine hours of standing on His feet, after being scourged, slapped, and manhandled, after six hours of hanging on the Cross, the average person would have barely had enough life and breath left to even whisper. But Jesus, the Lamb of God, with life still fully flowing through His body, shouted out in a clear, ringing, triumphant voice, “It is finished.” The price for our redemption had been paid! The sacrifice for our sin had been made! Sin was forgiven! Guilt was atoned for! Eternal life was now offered! Heaven has been opened! It is finished!

Now let me share the words from the Apostle John recorded in John 20:1-8, “Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.(NKJV)