Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pentecost Sunday

This past weekend was unique in two different ways.  Not only did we celebrate Memorial Day but it was also the celebration and remembrance of Pentecost.  We are able to rejoice in the fact that the power of the Holy Ghost is still being released and revealed in this generation of believers.  I for one am glad to declare that I am Spirit filled and I still declare that other believers are and still can be Spirit filled.  The family of God has many rich blessings to receive from God and one of these is the baptism of the Spirit.  We face an onslaught of people who try to deny the influence and activity of the Spirit in our modern day but many of you are like myself you are eyewitnesses of the activity of the Spirit in the lives of others as well as your personal life.  The revival meeting in which I participated last night was led, directed, guided, and influenced through the power and presence of the Holy Ghost.  I believe in the power of God and the release of the gifts of the Spirit in our daily walk with Christ.  I sense in my spirit that there is a fresh hunger and thirst for all that God has promised to release to His people.  I am preparing my heart to seek the face of God and allow Him to complete what He has started in my life.

I also believe that the Spirit encouraged me to remind you that the power that was released at Pentecost was not just a “reactionary” weapon.   The power of God was not given to us just so that we could react to what the devil was doing to us as well as against us.   No, the power of God was given to the church that we might be pro-active, on the advance against the enemy rather than just taking our lumps and limping through life.   We must learn to recognize and identify our standing in Christ and realize that we are called to live victoriously.  The enemy seeks to intimidate and discourage us.  The enemy wants us living in the gloom and doom of defeat and despair.  But God has called us to a higher calling and the Baptism of the Spirit will assist us in reaching that destination.  Seek for a deeper walk with Christ if you are a believer.  Ask Christ to forgive you of your sins if you have never accepted Christ as your Savior.  The modern day church must become "pro-active" in our desire to follow after God.  We can no longer afford to go through the motions of religion; no, and a thousand times no, we must hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God. 

Be blessed as you continue your exciting journey with Christ.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

There will be many Memorial day "celebrations" today.  Some of these will focus on food, family events, parties, and social events.  But is that the true purpose behind this day of remembrance and recognition?  WE MUST NEVER FORGET THE FALLEN HEROES THAT GAVE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR THE PRESERVATION OF OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS IN AMERICA!  After all we are only able to celebrate this day because they were willing to serve.  We also need to take time and offer respect to those veterans who returned home with serious injuries both physically as well as emotionally.  Many of them will bear the marks of their injuries until they pass into eternity.  They deserve honor and praise for the sacrifice they made and in some cases are still making due to the severity of their injuries.  We also need to offer sincere respect and appreciation for those soldiers who are serving at this present time.  Our nation is represented by brave and valiant soldiers who stand in the face of harms way day after day.  To each of these groups of veterans we offer our salute of thanks and gratitude.

My Dad is not part of this computer generation and he may not have an opportunity to read these words but I want him to know that his family appreciates his service to our nation during WWII.  He served as an infantry soldier in the European theatre and was involved in some of the major battles toward the end of the war.  Dad, your life has been and continues to be a blessing not only to your family but also to many others.  You and Mom have served your family as well as the family of God with a servants heart for many years and we want you to know that you are loved and appreciated.  We will never forget your kindness toward others and your example will live on in our lives for as long as we live on this earth..  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hope, Part 4

I truly believe that we are living in a time of hopelessness.  People are looking for someone or something in which they can place their trust.  Our last Presidential election revolved around the word "change."  Change was promoted as the method in which America could be brought out of the economic swoon in which our nation was caught.  According to the views of many people this "change" has not brought the intended results that our nation desired or even needed.  Where do we look when our human abilities does not have the answer to which we are searching?  Where do we look when we find the "rug" of life pulled out from under us?  Will we possess the faith to make "lemonade out of the lemons" that the trials and challenges of life have brought into our personal lives?  I could continue these scenarios but I think that you can comprehend the point that I am trying to make.  Our hope in times like these must be found in the power and promises of Jesus Christ.  I recently read these words from Chuck Swindoll.  He puts into perspective our need to lay hold to the promises of God that are revealed through the person of Jesus Christ.

The anchor of stability holds firm when your navigation system fails. It's easy to lose your bearings in the storm. You can't find your way through the circumstances you face. Life rolls along fairly smoothly until suddenly the seas grow rough. Unseen problems occur. They were not in the forecast. In Luke's words (Acts 27), "All hope of our being saved" is abandoned.  Those are treacherous moments when we reach the point of abandoning hope. At that difficult, gut-wrenching moment, God says, "Don't be afraid, I have a plan."

People facing intense adversity find it difficult to focus on anything other than the towering waves and stinging winds. In Acts 27, Paul firmly announces, "Be of good cheer . . . we've heard from the Lord that none will be lost."  We find stability in storms through what God has said. Your tendency will be to turn to another source for strength rather than the Word of God.  Don't go there! The only anchor of stability that will hold you firm, no matter how intense the gale-force winds, is God's written Word.

All this reminds me of a statement made by one of the ancient Jewish prophets, which supports the reliability of God and His Word. The following words flow from the seasoned hand of Isaiah: "But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you'" (Isaiah 43:1–2). What encouraging words! "Do not fear, I have called you by name." What a great thought!  Isaiah was not writing of literal waters or actual rivers. His figure of speech emphasized encroaching circumstances that threatened the stability of one's faith. When the waters rise to dangerous depths, when difficulties reach maximum proportion, when your ship seems to be disintegrating board by board and starting to sink by life's inevitable storms, God is faithful. He promises, "I will be with you." He is your anchor.

We can be of "good cheer" today because we know that Jesus Christ is alive and that His Words of promise still ring true today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hope, Part 3

Each of us face situations or challenges in which our hope needs to be strengthened.  Life can present us with some daunting circumstances in which we have to take a deep breath and refocus our attention on God and His wonderful promises found in His Word.  This morning I felt that the Spirit led me to share His Word rather than my words.  The words that I may write or speak are limited and they do not possess the ability to provide the miracle that you need but the WORDS of our Heavenly Father are unlimited in their ability to provide what we need.  This morning I will share some passages of scripture that I sensed the Lord place in my heart.

Psalm 39:7, "But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you." (NIV)

Psalm 71:5-6, "For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb.  I will ever praise you." (NIV)

Psalm 119:145-149, "I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord, and I will obey your decrees.  I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.  I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.  My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.  Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws." (NIV)

Romans 5:5, "And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (NIV)

Ephesians 1:17-18, "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spiritt of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people," (NIV)

I Timothy 1:1, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope," (NIV)

Hebrews 6:18-19, "God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." (NIV)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hope, Part 2

Psalm 33:20-22, "Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.  Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee." (KJV)

Each of us need someone in which we can place our trust.  Trust is one of the benefits or characteristics of friendships that we develop throughout our life.  Our trust in God is developed as we continue looking to Him during our good times as well as bad times.  It is easy to look for hope in a difficult time but do we offer praise to our Hope as the source of our good times?  I desire for my relationship with God to be one that continues to develop during both the good as well as bad times.  I want God to be the first place that I look as I begin each and every day of my life.  I want God to know that I am making the decision as well as commitment to look to no one else or anywhere else to place my trust and confidence.  I am not implying that we do not need to develop relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  That idea would run contrary to one of the purposes of the body of Christ.  We are called to encourage and strengthen one another and God will use those personal relationships as a means to remind each other to remember that our TRUE HOPE is in God and not in man.

Do you know anyone who immediately heads for the coffee pot when they first get out of the bed in the morning?  Although these individuals may not be completely awake and thinking clearly they believe that the cup(s) of coffee will assist them in getting their day started.  NOTE: I am not using this example in any condemning manner; each of us may have other routines that assist us in getting our day started.  Isn't that what God does for us as we are awakened to some difficult news, difficult events, or difficult situations that we are encountering?  It is during those moments that we turn our eyes toward Heaven and remember that God is "our help and shield."  God will provide strength and covering during those times of struggle.  The effects of a cup of coffee are limited and will eventually pass through our body but the strength and help from God will lead us into eternity.  We can confidently place our trust in God.  His Word reveals a wonderful track record of His work in the lives of past generations.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Psalm 33:20-22
"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." (NIV)

We are unsure of all that we will encounter as we enter this new week of our lives.  I do not mean to express any fear or doubt but I do confess and recognize my need to trust in God who is aware of all of the things that I will face both good and bad.  Each one of us will face things that are greater than our abilities to solve them.  Some of these could be significant or insignificant in the view of others but to us they can be very important.  It is during those moments that we may ask ourselves this question, "Where will I look?"  It is comforting to know that we can find hope in the Lord and recognize that He is our help and shield.  We can place our trust and confidence in God as we continue on our journey through life.

Our daily lives can face a multitude of unique situations.  Have you ever awakened from sleep and your process of thinking is somewhat muddled or confused?  There have been times when I awakened and I was confused about my location.  I took a quick look around the room and realized that I was at home and then the feeling of security and comfort began to come back to my thought process.  That feeling of security and comfort renewed my confidence that all was well and that I was in the safe place called home.  Each of us have faced those same feelings in our emotional, spiritual, physical, or financial areas of our lives.  We are startled when certain things take place in our lives and our confidence in shakened at that very moment and we have to regroup so that we can focus on what is taking place.   It is during those moments that David declares that we can "wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield..."  Your fear and doubt can be changed to courage and faith once you realize that you are not alone. 

Rejoice today in the knowledge that you are not alone but the Lord God Almighty is with you!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Service to God

Adrian Rogers shares this short story. A certain minister served a church for many years, then one day the church asked him to leave. He was talking to another preacher friend and said, “What they did to me was dirty. After all I did for them, and they treat me this way.” The preacher friend listening to him thought to himself, “It’s a shame he didn’t do it for God.” It is easy to get confused about whom we are serving. We will find ourselves disappointed if we only serve to impress people or if we serve only to gain the favor of man. Serving to impress others can only bring a limited amount of satisfaction but true service to God can bring a release of contentment and spiritual accomplishment. This can only happen as we offer our service to God as an act of Worship and not an act of works that draws more attention to the individual than it does to God. If you’re serving God in any way, don’t do it for people; do it for the Lord. I can attest to this fact in my life; some of the greatest blessings that I have received have come when I served people outside the limelight of public recognition. Serving others when people are unaware of your activity proves to be rewarding, renewing, and refreshing to our spirits. God will reward our obedience and our humility in serving. Look for ways to serve others and you will see your walk with Christ growing stronger and more fulfilling.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Those of you who read this blog on a consistent basis know that I have written about the importance of prayer on many previous occasions.  This morning I sensed that the Spirit wanted to remind all of us about the power and strength of Praise.  It is easy for praise and thanksgiving to get lost in all of the daily challenges that we face.  There have been times in my life in which I found it easier to pray than I did to praise.  I could see all that I needed and failed to see all that God had provided.  It is easy to forget  the great blessings and providence of God that He has shared with us throughout our life.  That is why the praise we offer to God for what he has done for us is so important.  Praise is a time when we rehearse and remember the great things God has done and remember the great God he has been in the past and has promised to be in our future.  It helps us acknowledge that God is and was and will be the great Provider and Shepherd for his sheep.  Praise should always play an integral role in our times of communication with God.  We can not afford to overlook that wonderful principle which will make a difference in our walk with God.  Psalm 34:1, "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (NKJV)  Take a few moments out of your daily schedule and offer God heartfelt praise, adoration, and thanksgiving.  I truly believe that you will notice a change in your attitude toward God as well as your attitude toward life.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Heb 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (KJV)

I am sure that this passage is familiar to many of you who read this blog but I sincerely believe that we need to be reminded of the promise that is revealed to each of us.  It is impossible to please God without faith; we must believe regardless of the events and circumstances of our lives.  We all realize that there are times that trusting God is very challenging.  There are those moments of life in which we can not see the end results of the challenge that we are facing yet our heart encourages us to trust God.  Now that is faith in the truest sense.

During prayer yesterday the Spirit reminded me about this passage.  Our attitude to prayer must be one of diligence.  The Greek word for "diligently" reveals these thoughts; "investigate, crave, enquire, seek after carefully."  That definition of "diligently" talks about more than something that is sporadic or hit and miss.  Is it possible that some of us would be having problems with our physical health if we ate like we prayed?  Is it possible that we would be sleep deprived if we slept like we prayed?  I know that these may be extreme examples but we need to recognize the important role that prayer must take in our lives.  Was it not Jesus who said to us; "ask, seek, and knock?"  Our diligent response will open the door for God to be our rewarder (renumerator, or bring proper recompense).  Is it possible that much of prayer is based on sharing our list of needs with God rather that just seeking to know Him in a deeper manner?  I believe that God encourages us bring to Him our needs but He also encourages us to "diligently seek HIM" (emphasis added).  Will you pray today?

Monday, May 14, 2012


I trust that each Mother in America was properly recognized and affirmed on Sunday.  Affirmation is not identified because you spend an extravagant amount of money on your Mother or your spouse but affirmation is released when you are able to recognize and identify the character of your Mother or spouse.  It has become popular in America to think that the price of a gift reflects our true appreciation for the person whom the gift was purchased.  I personally do not buy into that perspective but I believe that true appreciation is reflected in the respect, appreciation, and admiration that we possess for that particular individual.  Don't take that statement in the wrong way; I am not saying that expensive gifts are wrong but I am saying that expensive gifts will never take the place of sincere love, care, and concern for that person.  People, both children, youth and adults, are looking for someone to genuinely care for them and demonstrate a real sincere interest in them as a person and not just the service that they can provide for us.  Some writers are identifying this society as a "throw away" society.  We use things until we become tired or bored with them and then we discard them and these things are replaced with other things.  We can not afford to take this approach to our relationships with our family, friends, or even acquaintances.  People are not "things", they are human beings that God has placed in our lives for a purpose.  Some of these individuals only make a slight impact on our life while others are destined to make a life-changing impact on us.  We must take the time to show love, care, and concern for those marvelous people who daily make a difference in our life.  Do not overlook the opportunity to encourage someone today.  Let them know that they are making a difference in your life and that you appreciate the investment of their love that they share with you. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

This is a weekend in which special attention is given to our Mothers as well as our wives.  Children and husbands look for ways to share their love with those special ladies that God has placed in their lives.  But we need to remember that those ladies are "special and unique" every day of our lives and not just on some holiday.  Each of these ladies have played an unique role in our development and in many cases they continue to make a daily difference.  They deserve honor and recognition for their valuable commitment to the welfare and care for their families.  In a time when the media reminds us of all the people who fail in fulfilling their parental skills it is refreshing to identify those precious ladies who have served their families faithfully.  I encourage you to share your respect, appreciation, and love with those ladies who have made a difference in your life.

I want to express my respect, appreciation, and love to my Mother, my wife, and my Mother-in-law who went to her eternal reward over 38 years ago but she made a difference in the short time that I knew her.  I also want to share my respect, appreciation, and love to my daughter-in-laws who are such an important part of our lives and an integral part of the lives of their families.  I also want to share my respect, appreciation, and love to my sisters and sister-in-laws who hold a special place in my heart and for their commitment to their individual families.  I also offer a special recognition to our "adopted daughter" who has brought much joy and happiness to our lives.  We are also blessed to have an "adopted granddaughter" who is very much loved by Papa Mike and Nonna; she is also making a difference in the lives of her family. I also want to recognize and share my respect, appreciation, and love for the wonderful Mother's of New River Worship Center.  Each of you are an excellent example to our local church body as well as the community at large.  Finally, I offer a special THANK YOU to all of the "Spiritual Mothers" who have made an impact in my life down through the years.  Each of you are respected, appreciated, and loved. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Value of Your Mother

We are approaching the celebration of Mother's Day.  Over the next few days I want you to reflect on the valuable influence that your Mother has been to your life.  Some of you have witnessed the transition of your Mother to her eternal reward while others of us are blessed to still have the presence of our Mother's in our lives.  Regardless of your circumstances take a moment and remind yourself about this special woman who has assisted in the shaping of your character.  We have been blessed with women who possessed and still possesses a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.

Take a moment and read this note of thankfulness.  I am unsure of the author.

Dear Mom:

As I walk through my museum of memories,

I owe you...for your TIME. You gave me constantly day and night.

I owe you...for your EXAMPLE.  You lived a life that was consistent and dependable.

I owe you...for your SUPPORT. You always were there encouraging and challenging
I owe you...for your HUMOR.  It was perfectly quick and lifting the moment.

I owe you...for your COUNSEL. It was so wise and quiet.

I owe you...for your HUMILITY. You were always genuine and gracious.

I owe you...for your HOSPITALITY. Your home and table were smiling and warm.

I owe you...for your INSIGHT. Your thoughts were so keen and honest.

I owe you...for your FLEXIBILITY. Your life was always patient and joyful.

I owe you...for your SACRIFICES. The countless times you gave of yourself that were so quickly forgotten.

I owe you...for your FAITH. Your relationship to the Lord was so solid and sure
I owe you...for your HOPE. You always radiated a ceaseless and indestructible confidence.

I owe you...for your LOVE. It was so devoted and deep.

We thank God for our Godly Mothers!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

God is Watching

Psalm 33:20-22:"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." (NIV)

It is truly challenging to understand that God is aware of everything that takes place in our lives both good and bad.  His presence is always with us as we navigate our way through the days of our lives.  The understanding of this principle can be a spirit of concern as well as a spirit of humility.  God has the power and ability to read our thoughts and make a perfect assessment of the situation that we are facing.  I am not writing this to place you in a spirit of fear or overwhelming embarrassment as much as I am writing this to remind you of the "unfailing love" of God.  God chooses to remain connected with our lives rather than disassociate Himself from us as we face our difficult times.  You can see this revealed in the dealings of Jesus with the Apostle Peter on the verge of his denial; Christ could have chosen to discard this man but he made the commitment to pray for Him.  We must never forget the blessing of walking in the unfailing love of God as God covers us with His presence and provision. 

Each of us know the feeling of having our minds full of so many thoughts that we feel as though we are enduring "brain drain."  Out thought process can be on overload as we are trying to deal with these thoughts one by one.  Have you ever been awakened in the middle of the night and your mind been full of things to do and decisions that need to be made?  Have you ever faced the difficulty of going to sleep because your mind was racing from one concern to another concern?  Have you ever felt overwhelmed because you understood that you lacked the ability to make the right choice in the decisions that needed to be made?  I am sure that all of us can answer yes to these questions as well as many more that I do not have time to identify.  But the Word of God does not leave us without hope.  The Spirit declared through David that we have the opportunity to wait in hope because the Lord is our help and our shield. 

Remember that the eyes of the Lord are upon you today and that you are not alone in this world!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Reflections from Sunday

Yesterday was unique in which I felt a strong unction from God to challenge the people to recognize the role that we fill in this world.  Each of us need to recognize the fact that we needed a Savior to deliver us from the power of sin.  We were living in the bondage to sin and sin was directing the course of our lives but the divine intervention of Christ brought the freedom that we needed.  I rejoice in the fact that the Spirit convicted me of my sins and brought the revelation of Christ into my heart.  We are approaching Mother's Day but yesterday I felt an unction to challenge the men to accept their place of responsibility in the midst of this sinful world.  God is calling the men of our nation to walk in truth and become a godly example to their wife, their children, their church family, and to the community in which they live.  I truly believe that there are men who will answer that call and surrender their life to Christ.  I want to share with you a portion of a devotional that confirmed that unction that I felt in my heart and spirit.  I read this devotional this morning (Monday).

Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. Titus 2:2

Worthy of respect! What a goal for our lives whether we are men or women! Don't you want your life to reflect the character of God because our faith expresses itself in a life of self-control and godliness? This work of the Spirit in our lives happens only as we dedicate ourselves to being what He is at work trying to accomplish in us.

Father, please strengthen me through your Spirit so that I may gain better control of my passions, my speech, my example, and my habits. Help me put to death the things that would rob me of my spiritual passion and my influence for good to those who do not know Jesus. Make my faith stronger as I try to lovingly treat others and persevere in faith through difficult times. 
Let me add a hearty AMEN to these words from Ron Allen.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thoughts From Yesterday

It was a wonderful privilege to be able to come into agreement with other believers around our nation during the celebration of National Prayer Day.  I don't think that we fully comprehend the power of "agreement in prayer."  Look at the results of the 120 believers who gathered in the Upper Room to seek for the outpouring of the Spirit.  God heard their corporate prayers as well as their individual prayers.  I pray the blessings of God upon each individual who took time to call on the name of the Lord on Thursday.  The powerful passage of 2 Chronicles 7:14 was placed upon my heart as I prepared for the prayer time at New River Worship Center.  The Spirit led me to declare that passage at the beginning of the prayer time as well as during other moments of the two hour prayer meeting.  I concluded the prayer time by declaring that passage one more time.  I am truly convinced that God is calling the church out of our pride and arrogance.  We can never fully reach our spiritual potential if we live in the power of the flesh.  WE ARE IN NEED OF A STRONGER AND DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!  We are being called back to true humility and dependence on God.  I for one want to answer that call from Heaven.

The Spirit reminded me of many things during prayer yesterday.  I would like to share a few of them with you.  1)  A time of intercession allows you to see your personal needs.  During a time of intercession our hearts are drawn to the needs of others.  But true intercession allows you to not only pray for others but the Spirit calls each of us into an attitude of accountability to ourselves as well as to God.  2)  A time of intercession reveals those "things" that God desires to remove from our life.  We can not afford to run from these moments with God.  We are deceiving ourselves when we think that we are fooling God by ignoring what His Spirit has uncovered in our lives.  We must not be afraid of coming "clean" with God and asking for forgiveness for those actions and attitudes that are sinful.  3)  A time of intercession reveals those "things" that God desires to add to our lives.  These additions will provide the strength and courage that we need.  4)  A time of intercession will reveal those "things" that God desires to change/transform in our lives.  We must resist the temptation to refuse the adjustments that the Spirit desires to bring into our life.  God desires to develop us into the person who is prepared to walk in the fullness of our destiny.

Feel free to share your comments regarding your time of intercession on Thursday.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

National Day of Prayer

Today has been designated as a National Day of Prayer.  I trust that each of you will make a special effort to connect with the heart of God in a time of intercessory prayer for the needs that we are facing as individuals as well as the needs of our nation.  In my opinion America is in desperate need of a "spiritual awakening."  This can come to fruition if the people of God will humble themselves and sincerely seek the face of God (2 Chronicles 7:14).  I also believe that this awakening will begin in the heart of individuals who recognize the need for the presence of God in their daily lives.  This individual awakening will spread though our family and then the family will help spread this awakening into the local fellowships that they attend.  I will make this statement one more time, "I refuse to give up on the church in America.  I am convinced that God desires to bring a wonderful and powerful move of the Holy Spirit into our lives."  Will you join this Prayer Effort?  Prayer is still effective today (James 5:16).

I read the following devotional this morning concerning prayer for our families.  I wanted to share it with you.

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of  him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given  over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

A parent’s prayers for their child produce the best results: both in the short-term and the long-term. Smart prayers include their salvation, future spouse, and a sensitive heart to the Spirit’s leading. Faith-focused prayers penetrate pride, dissolve selfishness, and give wisdom. Satan flees in the face of just prayers. Spiritual battles rage for the family’s soul and wise are the parents who engage in a prayer offensive.

Indeed, when we pray with our spouse our own hearts are strangely warmed to God, our children, and to each other. There is a mutually compounding benefit when you make prayer an investment priority for your progeny. A child who knows they are prayed for by their mom and dad is confident they are cared about. We build our son or daughter’s self-esteem when we petition heaven on their behalf. Prayer produces confidence.

“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” Acts 14:23

How would your heavenly Father have you pray for your children? Perhaps you begin by praying with and for them at meal times and when you tuck them in at night. Obligatory and rote prayers lack spiritual intensity—they even tempt the Lord—but your fervent and righteous prayers rock the worlds of their recipients. Pray boldly for your child to live boldly within a culture of unbelief. Pray they will stand alone when others forsake the faith.

Have you given your child over to the Lord in a simple and trusting prayer? You cannot control your child, but you can entrust them to Christ who is all controlling. You must not seek to manipulate your son or daughter, but ask the Holy Spirit to lead them away from temptation and into His path of peace and wisdom. Pray for godly mentors to come into their lives and reinforce what you have taught and modeled for years. Be hopeful and persevere, as your parental prayers offer wisdom and revelation of God!

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesians 1:16-17

Blessing on you and your family today!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Wonderful Knowledge of God

I want to share a verse that was read by our Call to Worship leader this past Sunday morning at New River Worship Center.  Psalm 139:1-2, "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar." (NIV)  WOW!  This passage is a powerful reminder of the all knowing ability of our God as He observes and intervenes in our lives.

This passage reminds me of my need to take time and look at the interest that God has in my life.  In taking time to take a fresh look at God it allows me to understand that God is watching over me.  I am truly overwhelmed to recognize the fact that the Lord God Almighty is truly aware of my daily walk through life.  He is always awake and I know this because according to the Bible He never sleeps.  My wife and I have a designated time that we arise in the morning and God is aware of that time before the alarm ever sounds.  The time in which we retire for the evening is more fluid; our time of going to bed depends on our schedule and activities of the day.  Yet God possesses enough flexibility to make that adjustment without ever missing one moment of our lives.  These two examples are given to us so that we can identify the sincere and true love, care, and concern that God has for each of us.  This passage of scripture allow us to reflect on the greatness of God as it compares to the busyness of our daily lives.  Our daily lives can be very hectic and busy yet in the midst of all that activity stands God watching over us.  God is the ultimate sentry who stands watch over us and I offer praise and glory to Him today for that wonderful and life-changing promise.  Walk in the strength of that promise as you face this day which will undoubtedly be full of various activities.  The words of a song declares "...His eyes are on the sparrow and I know He watches over me..."  We can trust in the promises of Psalm 139!

National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 3rd!  Will you participate?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Recognition of our Failure

When will we identify the fact that mankind has failed in his attempt to make himself good?  My view of the world (and I am not seeking to be a cynic) leads me to believe that in many areas of society we are moving away from the Light and traveling the road toward darkness.  When will we give up ceasing to work in the power of the flesh and turn completely to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins?  There is a line from a song that comes to my mind as I am writing these thoughts; "...Only Jesus can satisfy my soul..."  Will we ever accept the full truth of that statement and completely surrender our lives to Christ so that He can lead us into the path of righteousness?  I know that many people who read this blog have confessed Christ as their Savior but we face the daunting task to keep the message of the Gospel alive in the midst of this evil and perverse world.  I know that the Spirit is challenging me to bring these thoughts to the people that I serve as a family leader, Pastor, Minister, friend, mentor, and encourager.  We must be awakened to the seriousness of the time in which we are living.

The enemy of our soul seeks to cause us to be ashamed of the message that we believe and accept the actions of sin in this world as "people will be people."  Can people who truly believe the Bible as the Word of God accept that attitude and not reply that there is a Savior who still makes a difference in the actions of His family members?  We should never find ourselves ashamed of Christ rather we should lift our hearts in praise and adoration to the One who came and delivered us from the power of sin.  I read these following words this week and I wanted to share them with you.  "We are to be ashamed of sin and its deplorable outcome, while embracing wise living. Shame enslaves us in our selfish behavior, but we are emancipated by our selfless service to others. Our Savior Jesus does not seek to motivate us out of disgrace; rather He infuses His grace into our inner being for bold initiatives. The good news of salvation in Christ gives us the confidence to love all people. God’s power is shameless."

Remember that Thursday, May 3rd is National Prayer Day!  Will you make time to pray that day for America and the needs that we are facing?