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Posts tagged ‘photographs’

PHOTO CHALLENGE CAPTURING THE BEAUTY OF GOD’S WINTER WONDERLAND

PHOTO CHALLENGE CAPTURING THE BEAUTY OF GOD’S WINTER WONDERLAND

Top of the Summit (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Top of the Summit (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The pictures you are viewing here were taken while I was traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast during the heart of the winter storms a few years ago.  What I was able to see and capture through the lens of my camera is breath taking.  The Rocky Mountains are so utterly beautiful during the winter as well as summer.  But to view the white caps of the mountain tops in the winter as they disappear into the clouds in the sky is truly an amazing site to behold.  So I share with you this day what God shared with me. He is truly an amazing God and He has created an amazing Universe for us to live in and to explore.

Eishenhower Memorial Tunnel (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Eisenhower Tunnel, officially the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel, is a dual bore, four lane vehicular tunnel approximately 50 miles west of Denver, Colorado.  It is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world and it lies entirely within the Arapaho National Forest. The elevation of this great tunnel is 14,439 feet, and a total length of 8,957 feet.

Interstate 70 leading into the Eishenhower Memorial Tunnel (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Interstate 70 leading into the Eishenhower Memorial Tunnel (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States.

Top of the Summit Colorado's Playground (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Top of the Summit Colorado’s Playground (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Snow Capped Rocky Mountain (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Snow Capped Rocky Mountain (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Frozen Water Fall Near Vail Colorado (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Frozen Water Fall Near Vail Colorado (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The long mountain climb near Salt Lake City Utah (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The long mountain climb near Salt Lake City Utah (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The great Rocky Mountains (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The great Rocky Mountains (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Deep Snow in Montana (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Deep Snow in Montana (Photo by Pastor Davis)

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OUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS ARE IN CHRIST

OUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS ARE IN CHRIST

OUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS ARE IN CHRIST (Ephesians 1:3-14)

THE STAR OF DAVID (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE STAR OF DAVID (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

OUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS ARE IN CHRIST (Ephesians 1:3-14)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

WE ARE CREATED TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP

  1. God along is worthy of praise and worship
  2. He is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ
  3. Because we are believers of Jesus Christ, God has blessed us

WE ARE BLESSED (HOW)

  1. Receive benefits of Christ Redemption
  2. Through Christ death on the cross on our behalf
  3. By faith we belong to Christ therefore we have every spiritual blessing.
  4. These blessings are spiritual not material
  5. We have everything we need to grow spiritually
  6. We don’t have to ask for them just accept them and apply them to our daily lives.
  7. We have an intimate relationship with Christ we can enjoy these blessings now and through eternity.

THE PLACE WHERE OUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS ORIGINATE FROM:

  1. From Heaven where Christ now lives.
  2. Christ gift of the Holy Spirit is the source of all spiritual blessings.
  3. They came as a result of His accession into heaven.

Paul’s final point in this lesson was that these blessings are Spiritual and not material, and thus they are eternal and not temporal.

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

he predestined us[b] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ

10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

14 who is the guarantee[d]of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory.

THE BLESSINGS OF THANKSGIVING IS YOURS TO ENJOY

THE BLESSINGS OF THANKSGIVING IS YOURS TO ENJOY

Today, we begin our week long celebration of our THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.  It is truly a joyful time of the year to be blessed and bless others as God has purposed us to do.  So come on in and share with us each day as we share with you God’s word for His Blessings over your life and the lives of all His Children of the World.  The World is in turmoil and it needs all of us to do our part in helping our brothers and sisters to be lifted up and stand tall in the world that we share as one in Jesus.

Counting our Blessings (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Together we will celebrate this thanksgiving in a special way, seeking God‘s blessing for all he has done to allow us this opportunity to share with each other our abundance from the feast of the harvest.  Remember, we are our brothers keeper, therefore we must reach out to those that are in need of food and shelter, offer them a helping hand and then watch how God will add to our blessings.

LISTED BELOW ARE SOME WAYS FOR YOU TO THANK AND PRAISE GOD

The Bible is filled with ways for you to give thanks and praise God from cover to cover.  The choice is yours to take the time to study and understand, the many reason why you should always be giving thanks. The Psalms provide us with a rich history of how we can do it.  Take some time and study these Psalms and use them this thanksgiving with your family and friends as you share a thanksgiving meal with them.

Do it with your mouth, not just your mind – Psalm 51:1563:566:8,66:1771:81524105:2109:30119:171-172145:21

Seek God, thirst for Him – Psalm 22:2642:263:8105:4

Thank God continuously – Psalm 71:6814-1575:979:1392:1-2,115:18145:2

Tell people about God’s wondrous works – Psalm 26:796:3

Thank and praise God in front of your brothers and sisters in the congregation, among many people- Psalm 22:222526:1235:18,68:26111:1116:19

Among the unsaved of all nations, thank and praise God – Psalm 18:4957:996:10108:3

Praise God to the next and all generations – 79:13102:18145:4

Sing praises to God, sing with understanding, and make it glorious -Psalm 7:1747:766:266:49:227:628:757:961:863:768:4,3269:3071:22-2392:196:2101:1104:33105:2135:3146:2

Even sing for joy in your bed Psalm 149:5

Do it with all your heart – Psalm 9:186:12111:1138:1

Be glad and rejoice in God – Psalm 9:2

Fear God, honor Him, glorify Him, revere Him – Psalm 22:23

Love and respect God’s house – Psalm 26:8138:2

Don’t sin, seek righteousness – Psalm 33:1

Play musical instruments to praise God, and do it skillfully – Psalm 33:2-343:471:2292:3149:3150:3-5

Shout for joy, rejoice – Psalm 33:3

Be creative in your praise (write or sing God a NEW song, not always the same old one) – Psalm 33:3149:1

Stand in awe of Him – Psalm 33:8

Remember and praise God’s names – Psalm 44:845:1754:6

Lift up your hands to Him – Psalm 63:4

Think about God at night – Psalm 63:6

Encourage other to praise and thank God – Psalm 67:3-5

Praise him with dancing – Psalm 150:330:11149:3

After reading the Psalmists’ instruction, it would be wise to ask ourselves: Do our lives truly express thankfulness to God? Or are we numbered among those are living a life of ingratitude, failing to act like we understand who God really is and what he has done?

VINE AND BRANCH PHOTO CHALLENGE COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE

VINE AND BRANCH PHOTO CHALLENGE COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE

While I was visiting in the thumb area of Northern Michigan, I came across this beautiful well traveled covered bridge located in the city of Frakenmuth, Mi. Although the sky was a very dull gray, it presented a real challenge to get some really good photos with all that was going on at the time.

COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

This photo was featured in our post titled, ‘BUILT LIKE A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS!” The name of this beautiful bridge is, ZEHNDER’S HOLZ BRUCKE COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE, located in the beautiful city of Frankenmuth, Mi.

COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE– CENTER SPAN– (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

This beautiful COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE was constructed in 1979, set in place on January 29, 1980 and dedicated on September 9, 1980. This bridge is a three Span Town Lattice. Length 239 feet, Height 14’4″, Wood 163.288 Board feet. Douglas Firect Width 28′. Traffic Lanes 2 vehicles.

COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE CAP (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

This is the cap of this beautiful COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE flying the American Flag, near the Canadian Border.

COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE MODES OF TRANSPORTATION (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

The bridge is a two lane well traveled bridge traveled by horse and carriage, as well as automobiles going North and South. It also has a walk way for people on both sides, separated from the traffic lanes making it safe for both autos and people.

COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE– NIGHT SCENE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

This photo is a night shot of this beautiful COVERED WOODEN BRIDGE. It shows the magic of lights and the fog as it rose from the troubled waters flowing beneath the bridge.

 

 

 

 

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART ONE)

TEACHING KIDS TO RESPECT AUTHORITY (PART ONE)

TEACHING OUR CHILDREN (SHANIA A. BYARS) PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS

What happens when kids grow up disrespecting authority figures? We see the prison system all over the country is over crowded with young children who grew up not knowing what it meant to obey authority.  The grave yards are quickly becoming a place where young children are been sent because people have become so fed up with children robbing, beating, threaten and even murdering their parents and other adults that the public is fighting back and shooting and killing these children when their own lives are threaten.  Here in my city of Detroit, just two weeks ago a sixteen year old boy attempted a carjack, the man he attempted to carjack was armed and after ordering the kid to get out of his car and the kid refused, the man shot and killed the young boy.  This is a tragedy and failure on the parent’s part to teach their son that they must respect authority and not be out robbing, stealing and killing other people.  Prosecutors around the country are putting kids on trial from the age of 10 and up as adults.

Respect for authority begins in the home, if your children are not taught to show respect for their parents are other adults in their home and community, they will most certainly not show respect for the government, such as police, teachers, the courts, all other authority figures and the churchRespect for authority comes through the realization that it is set up to help us and not to control us.  It must begin when the children are young and can understand that they are loved and what is being taught to them is that we love them and how to love others by the love and respect that they are shown.

This does not mean that children obey all adults; they only have to obey those to whom their parents have delegated that authority, such as teachers, coaches, etc. However, there should be a deference given to adults by children because of their age and experience.

Respecting authority is something our children should do without any hesitations; however, before they can do this, they have to be taught the meaning of respect and how and why it has to be a key ingredient in all of our lives. All authority is from God (Romans 13:1). Learning to respect an authority, no matter who the particular authority figure is, is respecting God, and is foundational for our children’s future.

As a young person growing up in my community, we all were taught to refer to all adults by saying “Mr. and Mrs., yes Sir and yes Maim,” this was a sign of respect, and immediately set the adult apart from the child’s friends.  Not understanding the principle involved, many adults will say, “Call me (their first name).” A parent can then explain that using “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and the last name is being done for the child’s sake, to help him to learn to show respect for adults.

Since a baby has no concept of respect, and feels only its own needs when it is first born, I believe that the only successful way to teach a child what respect is is to earn the respect of the child as they slowly grow into a thinking human being.

The way this is done is first of all by attending to the child’s natural needs, such as to be fed and nurtured. As the child grows, his needs change. He has increasingly sophisticated psychological needs. He begins to express his own views, his own preferences, and he has an increasing need for freedom, autonomy and independence. This is when the adults in his life can treat him with increasing respect and thereby earn his respect in return.

Let us understand a very important thing as to respect, and that is age affects children’s respect. Both Children and adults deserve respect at every age. Here is a guideline based on age:

Babies – They are too young to show respect but when you meet their needs, they learn to trust you. This helps as they get older because respect for authority is based on trust.

Toddlers – They are old enough to learn to say “please” and “thank you”.

Preschoolers – This is a good time to teach rules and consequences.

Elementary age – They show the most respect for adults who make fair rules. It helps to let them have a say in the rules that they are expected to follow.

Middle and High Schoolers – Allow them to show independence, such as clothing or hairstyles, but make sure you have guidelines. They will appreciate the respect you are showing them. We respect you and the incredible job that you have, being a parent.

As parents, it’s our responsibility to equip our children to function well in the world, and if we

Picture of me showing love for my Grand Children

neglect that responsibility our children could easily wind up in prison are the graves.  No parent wants this for their child, therefore it is important that we address the needs of our children when they are born and stay with it no matter how difficult the task may become into their adult lives.

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect. Keep in mind that respect is not the same as obedience. Children might obey because they are afraid. If they respect you, they will obey because they know you want what’s best for them, and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is. Keep in mind the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.  Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.  Although you may not realize it, your child must also respect herself or himself.
This concludes part one of a two part message.  Please read and study this as the first session of many to come on this message.  I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

FREE YOUR MIND AND BE FREE INDEED

FREE YOUR MIND AND BE FREE INDEED

GOD’S WILD AND BEAUTIFUL FLOWER GARDEN (Photo by Pastor Davis)

In the world today we find that people are filled with anxious desires to overcome their present lot in life. Anxieties are running deep in their veins, being faced with much lack of everything that this world has to offer and in their heart of hearts not being able to have the basics necessaries that GOD has promised to them that love and believe in the LORD.  Nevertheless, I say to all the people, know that God never makes a promise that he will not fulfill.  Just hold onto God’s unchanging hands and your storehouse will never be bare.  You see, God has provided the world with all the necessary things for man’s survival in this world.  Remember, there are three basics things that we need for our survival and they are; the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.  These three basics necessities, God provides them in great abundances’ and they are FREE and without germs are diseases.  FREE YOUR MIND AND BE FREE INDEED

But now I can just here you saying, “I need a job, and without a job how can I have food on my table for me and my family to eat, clothes for my children to wear, money to pay my mortgage and car note, money to keep the lights and gas on in my house, money to send my kids to college.  I will grant you these are important things to consider in helping offset some of these burdens that you are now facing, but are they really the most important things you need to do in order to have a healthy and prosper life style? Think deeply on this for a moment before you continue reading the rest of the story!

Now I say to you, listen carefully to what the word has to say about all of this, it says’ “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, and do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.  (Matthew 6:25-34 MSG)

You see, in this passage Jesus is trying to bring you into the realization that you are important to Him and you are free of all yokes and bondage of man’s rule over you.  It is not man that is going to provide you with the necessities of this life, but it is God who provides all of those who believe. DO YOU BELIEVE?

The first prerequisite of having the great abundances of this life is to be set FREE.  Your mind has to be FREE of the bondage that is keeping you from having all the things that you desire in this world.  It is not that man is not providing you with a job to meet your basics needs that is hindering you from having.  It is your own thought process that is keeping you from having; your dependences upon another man to provide you with a job, when God has already told you to use your own thought process and you can have anything that you may desire.  Free your mind and be free indeed.  If the Son of God Sets You FREE, you must realize the greatest news of all and that is, “You are truly FREE.”  At a time when Jesus was speaking truth to power, this is what he said to the Jews and what he is saying to you and I right here and now, “Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will FREE you.” (John 8:31-32 MSG)

These are the words of truth that were birthed in you from the beginning of time.  They are the words that will allow you to create that job that you are concern about in order to be in a position to meet your basic worldly needs.  They are the words that will bring about that change from the old man to the new.  They are the words that you can take to the cashier at your bank, present them with a check with whatever amount you desire at the time and be guaranteed it will be cashed with no questions asked.  You are the ruler of your life, the power given to you by the maker and creator of this world.  No man holds power over you but the one you give to hold such power.  And when you are ready to make the change and your determination is so great that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to be the true ruler of your life, the new person in you will show up and nothing can stop you from rising to take your place in this world of great abundance.  The time is now for you to, FREE YOUR MIND AND BE FREE INDEED!”

 

FAITH AND DOUBT CANNOT DWELL IN THE SAME HOUSE (PART 2 of 2)

FAITH AND DOUBT CANNOT DWELL IN THE SAME HOUSE (PART 2 of 2)

Pilot Mountain, N.C. (Photo by Pastor Davis)

As we begin lesson two we begin with precept two on doing the ABSOLUTE IMPOSSIBLE.  Now listen to how Jesus teaches us to overcome the IMPOSSIBLE.  He says, “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  (Mark 11:23-24 ESV)

Jesus then moved swiftly in teaching them a lesson about answers to prayer.  Jesus had cursed the fig tree; the fig tree had died; the disciples had expressed surprise.  Then Jesus explained that they could ask anything of God and receive an answer.  This mountain (referring to the Mount of Olives on which they stood) could be sent into the sea (the Dead Sea that could be seen from the Mount).  Jesus point was that in their petitions to God they must believe and not doubt (that is, without wavering in their confidence in God).  Remember, “FAITH AND DOUBT CANNOT DWELL IN THE SAME HOUSE.”  The kind of prayer Jesus meant was not the arbitrary wish to move a mountain; instead, he was referring to prayers that the disciples would need to endlessly pray as they faced mountains of opposition to their gospel message in the years to come.  Their prayers for the advancement of God’s Kingdom would always be answered positively in God’s timing.

However, as we look at the straight forward teaching of Jesus concerning the character of God and that God’s character never changes, Jesus told them that there was no guarantee that simply by asking him anything they wanted and believing they could get it.  Now don’t you become discourage in what Jesus is saying to the disciples, but listen how he instructs them on the moral high ground of God.  He says to them, “God does not grant request that violate his own nature or will.  Jesus statement was not a blank check.  To be fulfilled, requests made to God in prayer must be in harmony with the principles of God’s Kingdom.  They must be made in Jesus name.

Now turn with me for a moment in your Bibles to (John 14:13-14).  Listen to what it says, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. The stronger our faith, the more likely our prayers will be in union with Christ and in line with God’s will; then God would be happy to grant them.  God can accomplish anything, even if it seems humanly impossible.

Impossibility is not a word that should be used in our lexicon.  In understanding this text we should be moved into action.  Know that in our minds we can do anything in the name of Jesus.  There is no mountain to high that we cannot climb, no valley to low that we cannot walk through.

We should not become like the motions of the ocean.  Always going back and forth, but we should be so rooted and grounded in our faith that no matter what comes after us we will always be able to with stand it.  We are built of strong timber, the timber of Jesus Christ.  When God says that nothing is impossible, we must learn to trust God in his word.  Knowing that God can never tell a lie, if he does he will deny himself.  God never makes a promise that he does not fulfill.  Our faith must be rooted and grounded in the word of God.  Our spirit must be one of can do.  Having a can do spirit will remove the mountains of impossibility from your life.

When the doctors says to you that you only have six months to live, and there is nothing else they can do for you.  Your attitude must be one of faith.  Faith in Jesus, Faith that if Jesus said it, it is a done deal; Jesus said that if you believe in God without doubt in your mind, nothing is impossible.

Change your thinking and you will change your life.  Tell the doctor that my God said not until he says it is time for me to go, that I will leave this world.  I can overcome this, I will overcome this because I am leaning and depending on my God.  I am an over comer, I am born in the Spirit of the living God.  For me nothing is impossible.  Today not only do I talk the talk, but I am walking the walk.  I am walking out my faith in the name of Jesus.  I know that my God did not bring me this far to leave me.  He promised me that He would never put on me more than I could bear.  I am standing on that promise, because I know that this check that my God has given to me, I can deposit it into my bank account and it will never bounce.  Faith, Faith, Faith, it is my faith that will always see me through.  Come on now let’s walk it out, talk it out.  Let’s tell the devil, devil get thee behind me, because I am holding onto My God’s unchanging hands.

Faith, Faith, Faith, there is nothing that is impossible in my world.  Step by step I am moving closer to where My God is trying to take me. It was nothing but Grace that brought me through the tribulations of this life.  It was nothing but God’s grace that brought me up on the rough side of the mountain and planted my feet right here where I am standing today.

Now sing this hymn with me, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!  I once was lost but now I am found, I was blind but now I see.  Taws grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!”

It was God’s grace that gave me the opportunity to change my thinking, It is my faith that has sustained me, it is my faith that has healed me, and I know that it is my faith that will move any mountain in my life, because I believe in the true and living God and I know without a doubt that “FAITH AND DOUBT CANNOT DWELL IN THE SAME HOUSE.” What about you?

 

LIVING IN THE WORLD AS LIGHT FOR THE WORLD

LIVING IN THE WORLD AS LIGHT FOR THE WORLD

God‘s Marvelous Light (Photo by Pastor Davis)

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  (John 1:4-5 ESV)

We are either living in the light are we are living in darkness.  The life that we live today reflect the light that shines within us, which telegraphs to the world the condition of our spirit.  It will say that our spirit is either good or it is evil.  For those people who hate the light are those who want to sin in the darkness.  Evil deeds are revealed by the light, so people who want to do evil must do it in the dark so they cannot be exposed and caught in the act.

Light means understanding and moral insight, spiritual vision.  But more than just shinning or reflecting, the light of Jesus penetrates and enlightens our hearts and minds.  Everyone who comes into contact with Christ can be enlightened.  When Christ’s light shines, we see our sin and his glory, Therefore, we can refuse to see the light and remain in darkness.  But whoever responds will be enlightened by Christ.  He will fill our minds with God’s thoughts.  He will guide our path, give us God’s perspective, and drive out the darkness of sin.

Now as you read and listen to the truth, know that the timeless light has invaded our time, and we can see it in our darkness.  As the light shines, it drives away the darkness, for the unsaved world is blinded by the prince of this world.  Christ’s light shined to a hardened, darkened humanity and he continues to shine.  But the darkness can never extinguish it.  This statement indicates the struggle between the darkness and the light.  Unregenerate humanity under the influence of Satan, the prince of darkness, has not accepted the light and even resists the light.  Thus, “darkness” indicated ignorance and sin, active rejection of God’s will.  Those in darkness reject Christ, his light, and his followers.  But no matter how deep the darkness, even a small light can drive it back.  The power of Christ’s light overcomes any darkness in the world.

Therefore, brothers and sisters we encourage you to live in the light as the light that shines and reflects your true spirit that will help bring salvation to the world.  We leave you with our peace that you will become a disciple of Jesus and carry his message into darkness of this world.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

However, as we depart for the moment, let me leave you with my prayer blessing for you this day. Take a moment listen and meditate on what is presented to you here and now.

 

WHY DOES A HUMAN BEING EVER DECIDE TO GO TO WORK?

THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEAL OF WORK IS STEWARDSHIP  

A child grows up ready for work (Photo by Pastor Davis)

What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 ESV)   So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him? (Ecclesiastes 3:22 ESV)

Now that the scriptures have spoken, let us begin this study this morning by describing the reason for work.  Work is something we all do day in and day out.  But if I ask you, do you really know what work is and why we are all called to the task of doing it?  You would automatically answer the question by saying in the affirmative; “of course I know what work is.”  Do you think that I am that stupid, when I have to get up every day and do it?   To begin with, please indulge me for a moment and allow me to provide you with a few basic facts about this word work.   “Work is a means by which we glorify God by fulfilling our calling; work is a means to love God by loving our neighbor; work is a means by which we learn and understand our need for God; work provides for our needs and benefits the community.

For at least eight hours a day, forty hours a week, two thousand hours a year, and one hundred thousand hours a lifetime, nearly every one of us works.  By comparison, even death and taxes seem less certain.  So why do we spend so much time working when it seems in today’s technology world there is so much more to do than to spend all our time working.  But if we didn’t work, what would we call the things we do to get what we want?  What would it all be about?  In order to clarify this, let us understand how work came into existence.

Work first begins when God created the heavens and the earth.  He worked for six days, with light and atoms and dirt and fire and water, the elemental, and he was satisfied.   He worked and, stepping back from the results saw that it was good.  To drive home the point, he repeated himself.  Other than the work itself, God did not need to manufacture a reason for working.

In his image and after his model, God created man, in part, to work:  “The lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  (Genesis 2:15).  God’s first assignment to mankind was this: “work.”  Uncorrupted by the perversions of sin and death, work had to be good—very good.  An ideal as high as God is wide, work was no less than the sharing of divine privilege.  God asked that we work as he did so that his work, creation, would be cared for.

Robert R. Ellis, writing in the Southwestern Journal of Theology, summarized three simple and magnificent truths from (Genesis 1:26-30):

  1. God created, and therefore he owns.
  2. We manage resources that God owns.
  3. We were created in God’s image, and therefore we are expected to manage resources the way God would manage them.

The fundamental idea of work is stewardship—the task of protecting and adding value to all the assets God has put under our care.  Through our work, God asks us to care for his creation.  Because we are created in his image, work is in fact one of the defining activities that separate us from other creatures.  Bees, bears, and beavers work to survive, we as people work to manage God’s assets.

Work, then, is a big idea and no small matter.  In the name of the King, we serve as steward of all we see.  Therefore, let us understand that when it comes to our work, stewardship offers us a brand new perspective.  We no longer work “under the sun,” but view life from above the sun—from God’s perspective.

From this vantage point, we now come to know that God calls each one of us to our jobs, in order that we may now do His work.  That is, we are to take care of His creation.  We must manage His resources as He would.  We possess His power of attorney for management decision making.  When someone requests references, we can drop the name of the Creator and Sustainer of the cosmos.  When money is an issue, we can sharpen our pencils in the light of eternity.

More than correct theology, stewardship is a powerful philosophy that permeates all of life and work.  “Stewardship is not a subcategory of the Christian life.” “Stewardship is the Christian life.”  Stewardship is first an internal reality, affecting the way a person thinks, sees, and feels.  Stewardship anchors motivation.  Once inside our heart and mind, stewardship eventually and inevitably works its way out.

Now in conclusion, it is clearly understood that in our day-to-day living, stewardship knows no limits.  There is no blank in which we check off “DONE.” Therefore, we leave you with this final thought, “THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEAL OF WORK IS STEWARDSHIP!”  I have ministered this message to you this day from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity, and I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

 

WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE LOCAL CHURCH PLAY IN HELPING TO CURTAIN VIOLENCE IN THE COMMUNITIES

WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE LOCAL CHURCHPLAY IN HELPING TO CURTAIN VIOLENCE IN THE

Church Carson City Nv. (Photo by Pastor Davis)

COMMUNITIES

I submit to you my brothers and sisters that our churches, pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers and church leaders can and must play a pivotal role in helping to curtail the violence that our youth are perpetuating upon society as a whole.  As I write this I know I am going to get a lot of negative feedback from some of our church leaders who have sit on the side line while the violence run rapid within our schools, and communities. Now I ask you, before you make a quick judgment about this article and condemn it out of hand, use the power of your own thought process, that God has blessed you with, and become a deep thinker.  Allow your mind to think deep on what is happening within your own church and surrounding communities, and what you can do to bring about a change that will help our youth to become productive citizen of the world community.  You are truly the great leaders within your community and building strong leadership teams that can help root out crime, bring stability to the community, rebuild the community, and help to develop strong characters and new leaders from those that are now destroying the community should be a goal worthy of Godly leaders.

As I see it, to a great degree, our churches are leading the way the youth are perpetuating violence upon society, and here is the reason why I can make such a bold statement. Many of the local churches have closed their doors, locked them and placed iron bars on the doors and windows to keep the youth out.  They have an invisible sign outside that reads, no young people are welcome.  No gang bangers, no drug are alcoholic addicts, no prostitutes, no homeless person.  If you are truly not one of us, please do not enter these doors.  Now I ask you, “Is this the way Jesus would want us to treat the youth among us, for us to live in fear of what they might do?”

You as leaders, say that the youth are breaking into the churches, disrupting the flow of activities, stealing and destroying church property.  I know this to be true in some areas of the country, because I have seen it first hand for myself.  However, what I am talking about here is the turning away of our children from having a safe place to go.  The local churches should be a sanctuary for our youth.  You should not be fearful of them, but instead be and example of what and who they could become with some encouragement and proper leadership training.  I know that I am placing a lot of responsibility on our churches and church leadership, but we must remember, this is the price we pay for being a disciple of Jesus.  Jesus never ran from his leadership role and responsibilities and neither should we.  Our churches should be a place that our youth can go any time of the day or evening to play games, study and what a wonderful opportunity you now have to teach them the word of God and the right way of handling their problems and keeping them out of the jaws of Satan.

The church doors should be open all the time not just on Sunday for a Sunday morning worship service and then locked up until the next Sunday. When there is nothing for a lot of you as church leaders to do all day long, but sit at home and watch the trash on television, gossip on the phone about who is sleeping with who; then you should be more than willing to take turns, keeping the church doors open.  Now is a perfect time to train the young people in conducting Bible Study, learning to pray and preparing activities for the kids.  If you would do this, you would not have to put iron bars on the doors to keep the youth out.  The doors would be open and the youth would want to come in.  That would have a powerful positive effect on the youth as well as the community as a whole, and what a great opportunity to begin a true leadership training course for your entire leadership team as well as the community.

We Christians have to stop being afraid of our youth.  We have to take a stand exerting leadership within our church and community.  I can assure you where there is a weak leadership within the church and community; there is a concentration of drugs, gangs and violence.  The people in the community live every day in fear of their own life.  I submit to you, if you are living locked away in your home and church, afraid some kids are going to rob you or kill you, what is your purpose for living?  Take a stand, be strong, exert leadership, open the doors of your church, invite the young gang bangers to come in, teach them how to rap for the Lord, how to be gang bangers for the lost soul.  I guarantee you will begin to experience a difference in your own life as well as the life of the community.

I know what I am stating here is difficult for most churches and the church leadership as a whole.  Now let me tell you why.  I have had the good fortune to have traveled to many different parts of the world as well as travel all over America.  I attended many different churches across America as well as speak to many different church organizations and other groups.  One thing that I have come to realize is that more than 70% of all churches in America are small churches with membership of less than a 100 people and on any given Sunday morning, there will be less than 60 people in each church.

Moreover, out of those that attend, less than 5% will be young children.  Now you ask where all the children from the community are.  Come Sunday morning, the bus stops will be filled with children to attend school.  If this is the case, why are they not lined up to attend church on Sunday morning?  The reason for this is it is easier to join a large church congregation than a small church.  Where there is a church congregation of 500 or more in attendance, you will find about 35% of those is young people and the larger the congregation, the larger the youth are in attendance and active within the church.

Small churches in America have become private social clubs for the elite of the community where they are located.  If you are a member of that social elite club, you are welcome within that church.  Oh sure, they will tell you that their doors are open and all are welcome, but to become a member without first embracing yourself to the social elite and then submitting yourselves to their beliefs and you will see how fast you will get the cold shoulder.  Now I remind you that these people proclaim themselves Christian, and who am I to judge them for the bible teaches me to judge not.  In addition, most of them are lead by a preacher of their own choosing.  For the Bible tells us that some of these people and not all small churches are this way, it says, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  For they are ignorant of God’s righteousness of God.” (Roman 10:2-3).

These churches that are proclaiming the word of God without submitting themselves unto the righteousness of God are the very ones I am talking about that are contributing to the violence within our schools and communities.  They are turning away the children as well as the parents of these children.  The way they turn them away, is by the actions they take in the church and carry out within the community.

The people in the community are watching and waiting.  They are hungry for the gospel, but no one within the church is taken the gospel to them.  The preacher is afraid of losing his job that he only dares to tell the people what they want to hear instead of thus said the Lord.  The temptation is so great within a lot of these small churches to do wrong, that the preachers are leading the congregation astray by not proclaiming God’s word.  Listen to what God commands his preachers to do, he says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; Reprove, rebuke, exhort with long suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fiction (II Timothy 4:2-4).” In Jesus name we pray that a change will come. Amen

I encourage all church leaders everywhere, to think deeply on the teachings of Jesus and how he would handle the many difficult problems our young people are experiencing in this world today. Become that example that you want them to live by and put your true leadership skills on display within your community for the world to see.  When you save the life of one soul you are saving the lives of many.  I minister to you this day from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity in the name of Jesus Christ; I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

 

 

FINDING CALMNESS IN OUR MINDS AND PEACE IN OUR SOULS

FINDING CALMNESS IN OUR MINDS AND PEACE IN OUR SOULS

SHANIA A. BYARS DISPLAYS CALMNESS OF MIND (Photo by Pastor Davis)

In the lessons we are presenting this week, they are all about discovering inner peace, what is inner peace, how do you achieve inner peace, what are the benefits of inner peace.  These are just a few of the questions that we wrestle with in our lives every day.  If you could just pause your many thoughts for just a moment and think about all the anger, resentment, unhappiness, physical and mental tension, nervousness, strife and the waste of time and energy that results from lack of inner peace, then you will start to appreciate the importance of discovering what real peace of mind is all about.

Now listen to what the bible tells us about finding inner peace, it says, “If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.”  (Ecclesiastes 10:4 ESV)  In other words, we are to calm our thoughts from the tension that has come over us and allow real peace to surround us.  If someone are something else has angered us, do not leave that place of calmness that God has brought you to.  That statement of mind of calmness is your home.  Now remain at peace there.  The devil wants you to get angry, he wants you to yell and scream, throw  things, break things, curse others out and blame them for all the wrong that is taking place in your life.  When you lose control, you lose your self-respect and then you enter into the pits of hell.  That is where the devil resides and just where he wants you to be as well.  Stay calm, stay focus and stay in control.   The bible tells us that when we find ourselves in this position, this is what we should do, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV).

Let us understand this fact, when your mind is calm, it is at peace, and when it is at peace it is being strengthen in every direction.  When you are at peace, you are then put in a higher level of thought and when you are there you will soon discover you are finding deeper levels of peace and concentration unlike anything you have ever experienced before.

In addition, when you are at this level of concentration, it provides you with an increased level of energy, the power of your mental factors are greatly increased; you will begin to experience a greater memory level, and your ability to study and learn complicated topic’s will greatly be improved, and finally as you go about your daily affairs in life, you will soon discover that you are much more able to handle with greater efficiently the stressful and difficult situations that life throws at you.

Now is the time to make some changes in your life to have that peace and calmness that we all seek to enjoy.  You can do this by beginning daily to practice calming your mind.  When you begin to do so, the calmness that you experience will influence your inner being, your body, your circumstances and the people you meet.  You can now begin to live a fruitful life that will provide you with much joy.  Read and study the many lessons that we teach here daily on this subject and many others and your life will begin to change.

Now listen to God’s last word on this subject.  “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV)

Please return for our next lesson which is title, “CALMNESS OF MIND.”  This lesson is from the book of James Allen.

 

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THE LESSON OF FORGIVENESS

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THE LESSON OF FORGIVENESS

A Mother’s Arms (Photo by Pastor Davis)

MY MOTHER was truly an inspiration to my soul.  Whenever I felt someone had hurt me, she would simply say, “Son, don’t hold a grudge against them, you must find in your heart the words to forgive them.”  I would say, “but Mom, it hurts, how can I forgive them, they hurt me.”  Son, if you truly want to stop the pain, you must release it and let it go, forgiveness is the only way to your personal peace.

MY MOTHER was a godly woman, she loved and feared the Lord, and she made sure that I understood what she meant when she said I must forgive those who would seek to do harm to me. Now let me share with you the lesson MY MOTHER taught me on FORGIVENESS.  She begin by saying, “Son if the LORD can forgive us of our sins, why do we have such a difficult time of forgiving others when we perceive them to have done us wrong?  Getting rid of our heart aches and pains begins with us.  We must learn to free ourselves of all the negative baggage we carry around each and every day with our unforgiving spirit.

FORGIVENESS works the miracle of change.  When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies, he replied:  “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”  When you forgive you change others and you change yourself.  You change discord to harmony.

FORGIVENESS should span the years.  You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made.  Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.  Thus you release others and you release yourself.  You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you.  You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

FORGIVENESS works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  “He who cannot forgive others,” wrote Edward Herbert, “breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.”

FORGIVENESS should become a habit.  When THE MASTER was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: “Until SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

FORGIVENESS should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

FORGIVENESS is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in yourself, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.

Then with her big beautiful brown eyes, looking and penetrating deep into my soul, the softness of her voice changing, she said, “you may not understand all that I am telling you at this moment, but when the time is right it will all come to you and you will get it and use it to help your own children and others to understand that we all must learn the art of forgiveness.

So on this Mother’s Day weekend, I salute My Beloved Mother for teaching me the art of forgiveness.

TODAY IS YOUR DAY TO PRAISE GOD!

TODAY IS YOUR DAY TO PRAISE GOD!

God's Marvelous Light (Photo by Pastor Davis)

In the context of the above statement, there are some of you who might have the odyssey to ask the question, why?  Then I will respond in kind with these words, because your life today is a blessing to be cherished, although you might not see it this way.  However, just being alive is a humbling experience that most of us take for granted.  Nothing in this life is guaranteed, even our awaken this day.  Therefore, if we learn to look on our lives as a blessing and the opportunity to praise God for all he has done for us, then we should be able to shout Hallelujah, God is good, and I am going to praise him no matter how difficult things may seem at this moment in my life.  No one are no circumstances are beyond my ability to give God all my praises, for he has truly been good to me.

Now listen to how the Bible teaches us how we should praise God.  It says,“ Hallelujah! You, who serve God, praise God! Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing— now and tomorrow and always.  From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to God!

God is higher than anything and anyone, outshining everything you can see in the skies. Who can compare with God, our God, so majestically enthroned, Surveying his magnificent heavens and earth?  He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash, Seats them among the honored guests, a place of honor among the brightest and best.  He gives childless couples a family, gives them joy as the parents of childrenHallelujah(Psalm 113:1-9 MSG).

Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worshippraise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of powerpraise him for his magnificent greatness; Praise with a blast on the trumpetpraise by strumming soft stringsPraise him with castanets and dancepraise him with banjo and flutePraise him with cymbals and a big bass drumpraise him with fiddles and mandolin. Let every living, breathing creature praise GodHallelujah(Psalm 150 MSG).

Now if you are one of those people who are wondering why your life and the life of your family is in such poor condition, think on this message of praise, and if you are not giving God all your praises day by day then the answer should be quite simple, and the solution to being able to get God to bless your life and lift you up out of poverty is to begin praising God for whatsoever condition you might find yourself in.  Just open your mouth and praise him even if you are facing eviction from your home are apartment, no food to eat, no job to go to, your marriage are relationship has fallen apart, you have been stricken with a crippling decease, you ought to look towards heaven and say, thank you Jesus for this opportunity to praise you, because I know that the conditions that I find myself in today, shall be no more.  Thank you for allowing me to experience your marvelous light of this day.  From this moment forward, I am going to praise you, HALLELUJAH!

MY MAXIMIZE PRAYER FOR YOU TODAY:

Today, heavenly father, I lift you up with all praises and thanksgiving as I give you all the glory for all that you have done in my life and the lives of the people that you have allowed the words of this ministry to touch throughout the world.  For you are God and there is no other greater than you. I thank you Father for the supernatural power that is working in the lives of your children throughout the world. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!  My brothers and sisters, I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity.  I reamin your brother in CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE AND PRAYER

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE AND PRAYER

The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.  (John 3:8 AMP)

The Illusion of Reality (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, marked off the heavens with a [nine-inch] span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?

Nature creates her own Reality (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?

With whom did He take counsel, that instruction might be given Him? Who taught Him the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and showed Him the way of understanding?

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are counted as small dust on the scales; behold He takes up the isles like a very little thing.  (Isaiah 40:12-15 AMP)

We bless this scripture and prayer to you this day in the name of Jesus, who has shown us the way to eternal life.  Now the choice to have, serve and be all we can be is up to us.  Thank you for serving with us this day.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE (ARISE)

ARISE FROM YOUR DEPRESSION FOR DARKNESS SHALL COVER THE EARTH

The Black Timeless Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you--rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and dense darkness [all] peoples, but the Lord shall arise upon you [O Jerusalem], and His glory shall be seen on you.

And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3AMP)

HOW YOU CAN ENJOY ETERNAL LIFE, REWARDS AND JUDGMENT

The word “eternal” means without beginning and without end, denoting a continual existence including

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS

past, present, and future. As applied to human existence, the Bible indicates that the spirit or soul is indestructible and eventually returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7). This thought is expressed by Paul who attests to God’s overall plan whereby God is “all in all” (I Cor. 15:24-28). Thus, one might well say that eternal life includes the present, or “Today is the first day of the rest of your eternal life.”

Just as there are rewards for followers of Christ, there are judgments of the works of both believers and nonbelievers. Jesus said that all authority to judge the living and the dead is his (John 5:22;17:2; Acts 10:42;I Peter 4:5). In a sense, failure to receive blessings because of failure to ask, asking wrongly, or continued anxiety and fear by not heeding the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount are all indicative of a present judgment. As the proverbs say, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1) and “the way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov. 4:16). As we have seen, Jesus assured his listeners that a follower of his and a doer of his words is assured of having his or her needs met and eternal life, including the glories of the resurrection-life (Mk. 10:28-30).

The New Testament sets out a concept of a gradation of regard for believers based upon their Christian good works (Matt. 16:27), their works being tested as by fire (I Cor. 3:13-15). In this respect, the epistles frequently warn believers against backsliding and the loss of reward.  [Note the six warnings in the book of Hebrews 3:7-13;4:1-11; 5:11-14; 6:1-9; 10:26-39; 12; also II Peter 2:20-22] A righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward (Matt. 10:41), and one who shows compassion in Jesus’ name will not lose his or her reward (Matt. 10:42;Mk. 9:41). Those who reject the Father and the Son will be judged, and punishment will be meted out for the wrongs which they have committed (Col. 3:25). They are as “cast into outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13;24:51; 25:30).   Those who seek after the plaudits of men have their reward (Matt. 6:2). One should enter in by the “narrow gate” to life, for “broad is the way which leads to destruction” (Matt. 7:13-14). Therefore, one should not lay up for himself or herself material treasures on earth, but should lay up treasures in heaven, for “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

God is merciful, and Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears his voice and opens the door, he will enter and they shall dine together. But there is a reckoning, and the son of man will separate the “sheep” from the “goats. “Those who have helped the less fortunate and have done it for Jesus shall inherit the kingdom. Those who have not helped others have failed Jesus and will receive punishment (Matt. 25:31-46). The meting out of judgment is portrayed in Revelation depicting God as sitting on a great white throne judging the dead according to their works. The books are opened including the book of life. Anyone whose name is not found in the book of life is subject to punishment. It is decreed that the enemies of God and mankind be cast into the “lake of fire.” These include Satan, the false prophet, and the beast who has opposed God, death, Hades, and “whoever was not found written in the book of life” (Rev. 20:10-15). There is also described a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem in which there reside only those who are over comers and those who are “athirst of the fountain.” These are given the water of life freely (Rev. 21:1-27). “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:12-13).

THE LESSONS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME

MOM AND DAD GOD'S SERVANTS

 My Mother played the most important role in shaping my life from the day I was born until the day God called her back home.  Today, I honor my Mother for who she was, for who I am and for who we both are in God, and I salute and honor all Mothers because God created you and gave you a special place of honor in this world to never be taken away by man.

God never meant that every woman should be a Mother, however, He did command that women should be fruitful and multiply.  The Bible tells us that whom the Lord blesses to be Mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleasant task. Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, and just as a mother feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encouragement a mother gives should never cease.

To me, the greatest thing we have is life.  In addition, where there is life as the old adage goes there is hope.  So maybe, if we can get into choosing life, it will not be as difficult as we might imagine.

One of the greatest lessons my Mother taught me was that I must take responsibility for choosing and defining my own life.  When I do, “she said, God will lift you up on the wings of an eagle and you can fly away to that place of peace and tranquility that nothing can stop you from living the life you desire.”  I took my Mother’s advice and it changed my entire life.

Today I believe most people are afraid of life.  I do not know why it is.  We are afraid to be what we are!  We get marvelous, insane feelings and we do not act on them.  As you see someone really attractive and you think, “I am going to tell her she’s really beautiful.”  Then you think, “Oh, I cannot do that.”  Then she goes all of her life not knowing she is beautiful!  It is a shame because if we really do not live fully we keep other people from living fully!

We are afraid of living life, therefore, we do not experience, we do not see.  We do not feel.  We do not risk!  We do not care!  Therefore we do not live, because life means being actively involved.  Life means getting your hands dirty.  Life means jumping in the middle of it all.  Life means falling flat on your face.  Life means going beyond yourself into the stars!

Nevertheless, you must decide yourself, for yourself.  “What does life mean to me?”  I am convinced if we spent as much time—no, one quarter as much time each day thinking about life, living, and loving as we do planning a meal, we will be incredible!

Nevertheless, life has a wonderful way of solving this problem.  It is always very fascinating to me because when life is not being lived, it explodes in us.  It is like trying to hold the lid on when the steam is ready to blow.  Something will happen I am convinced of it.  You will either turn to extremes of fear, pain, loneliness, paranoia, or apathy.  All signs that you are not alive, you are not living!  So if you are feeling any of these things, roll up your sleeves and say, “Let me live.”  The minute you start getting involved in life, the steam lets off, and you are safe.  It is easy, but life lets us know that it must be led.  How wonderful!

My Mother experienced this in her own way, and she used her knowledge of living and loving to teach me how to reach for the moon, and if for some reason I could not grab hold of it, I would truly be among the stars.  Because God provided all His children with the power to choose life and to live it to the fullness of all there is.

Now I truly know that there is a thing called joy, because I have felt it.  In addition, there is such a thing as marvelous madness because I have lived it.  Moreover, I know there is such a thing as loving because I have loved.  And I know there is such a thing as ecstasy because I have known ecstasy.  And I also know, because I have known people who have experienced it, and you can too.  Now think back about some of the lessons your Mother taught you, grab hold of them and begin to experience the joy of this life.  It is yours now enjoy it.

THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP CARRY THE CROSS

THE CROSS-CULTURAL NATURE OF GOD’S WORD AND WORK WAS DIVINE DESTINY

THE BLACK MAN WHO HELPED JESUS

Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name.  Him they compelled to bear His cross.  (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was a black man from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, a black man from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

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