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FATHERS ROLE AS LEADERS IN THE AMERICAN FAMILY

FATHERS ROLE AS LEADERS IN THE AMERICAN FAMILY

WHY ARE FAMILIES BREAKING DOWN? 

TRAVIS CHAPEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH CLEVELAND, GA. (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

TRAVIS CHAPEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH CLEVELAND, GA. (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

WRITTEN BY PASTOR TERRY COOMER                                                                                                 Elwood Bible Baptist Church, Elwood, Indiana 46036

THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE HOME IS FATHERS NOT FULFILLING THEIR BIBLICAL ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE HOME. This is the most important reason for unhappy families.

God says, worship is to be led by the father. “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:9).

Most fathers I know could care less. This is a wicked thing. There is more to being a father than just producing children. The lack of leadership by the father today in every area is the most important factor in the breakdown of the American home. I pray the Lord will give us more men like Joshua.

Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.”

There has to be a consecration by dad. There is more to a marriage than just living together in a physical relationship.

Lack of godly male leadership brings about the disastrous consequences of rebellion, delinquency, and sexual promiscuity. Divorce is usually caused by a father not taking his Biblical responsibilities and is something God hates, (See Malachi 2:12-17. Matthew 19:5-6.)

The most important cause of divorce in America is the lack of proper, godly leadership by the father and husband. It is also the most frequent cause of children’s feelings of rejection, behavioral problems, and anxieties.  Ephesians 6:1-4. Notice in verse 4, “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” The word “wrath” means a strong desire to avenge. How does a father provoke a child to wrath? By not bringing him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; Nurture means training with structure. Most fathers have no desire for the Word of God and they are raising angry vengeful children because they are not committed to training their children in spiritual principles as God commands. Of course, they cannot train the child if they are ignorant of God’s principles themselves. That is a picture of the American father.

David Blankenhorn in his 1995 book, Fatherless America,” says “the culture change from a stable, two parent home to the father’s abandonment of his responsibilities of marriage and parenting is America’s most urgent social problem. The father’s absence is the main reason for unhappy homes, many current social problems, and is a national crisis of our time.”

According to the National Fatherhood Institute, 40% of the children in the United States have not seen their father for a year! In the last 15 years “fatherless” children jumped from 10.2 million to 15.6 million. 70% of juveniles in detention centers and reformatories are children of fatherless homes. Statistics indicate that “violent criminals” are overwhelmingly males who grew up without a father’s leadership. This includes 60% of America’s rapists, 72% of adolescent murders, and 70% of long-term prison inmates. One out of every four high school seniors graduate functionally illiterate. It is more than a physical presence. There are many homes where a father is there, but that is all. They want all their needs fulfilled, but do not want to take the spiritual, godly, or normal leadership that God intended. Instead children grow up listening to their parents fight, cuss, yell, scream, spend money on all kinds of entertainment and material possessions trying to be happy.

The father’s failure to take responsibility and leadership in the home has created a valueless, unhappy, fractured home and society. This failure has had a devastating effect on our children and has spawned a multitude of wicked societal problems including delinquency, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and violence.

The family is in trouble in America because men fail to be the leaders God wants them to be. We desperately need to pray for the men of this country to do as God has commanded. The results of the men not obeying God have been disastrous. The great need is for men to repent of their sins, to really come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and then to be obedient to the commands of God from His Word. Men must be the leaders God desires them to be. May God help us to pray for the men of America.

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A BETRAYER AT THE DINNER TABLE

A BETRAYER AT THE DINNER TABLE (MARK 14:17-20 AMP)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

My brothers and sisters, this week allows us to go deep within ourselves and reflect upon that awesome moment in history that Jesus took upon His shoulders the agony of being beaten, humiliated in every way possible, suffering while being nailed and hanged upon a cross for all of our sins in order that we may have the opportunity to enjoy eternal life that God the father promised and sent His Son Jesus to die for.

Now use your imagination and image yourselves sitting down at the dinner table with family and friends and eating a well prepared meal as you discuss the family problems and current events which are suppose to be a very enjoyable moment.  Then image yourself not having the benefit of spiritual insight to know that one of your family members have been plotting behind your back to kill the head of your family, what would be your immediate reaction?  In the case of Jesus and His twelve disciples this is exactly what happen.

On that evening (Wednesday or Thursday), Jesus arrived in Jerusalem with the twelve disciples.  The meal was not to be eaten until after sunset and was supposed to be finished by midnight.

However, as Jesus and His Disciples were eating, Jesus spoke the stunning words, that quickly got the attention of everyone sitting around the dinner table that evening.  Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.”  The betrayer was one of his own chosen twelve disciples, a member of his own family, one with whom the meal was being shared.  Jesus words caused quite a stir among the disciples.  They had heard Jesus tell them three different times that he would soon die, but that one of them would actually betray Jesus saddened them greatly.

Although the other disciples were confused by Jesus words, Judas knew what he meant.  Apparently, Judas was not the obvious betrayer.  After all, he was the one the disciples trusted to keep the money.  Therefore, the disciples asked Jesus who the betrayer was; “I’m not the one, am I?” each one asked in turn.  Matthew records that even Judas asked the same question (Matthew 26:25).  Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, and he also knew that Judas would not repent.

In our studies we find that Luke wrote this about Satan, he said Satan entered into Judas Iscariot before he went to the religious leaders.  However, Satan’s part in the betrayal of Jesus does not remove any of the responsibility from Judas.  In God’s sovereign will and according  to his timetable, he uses sinful men.  But that doesn’t excuse their sin.  All people will be held accountable for their choices and actions.  Whatever Judas thought, Satan assumed that Jesus death would end Jesus mission and thwart God’s plan.  Like Judas, Satan did not know that Jesus death and resurrection were the most important parts of God’s plan all along.

All I can say in conclusion, is that this had to be one hellish feeling in the gut of each family member sitting around the dinner table that night knowing that one of them would betray the head of their family in such an evil way.

THE PEOPLE CHOOSES A MURDER OVER A POPULAR TEACHER

THE PEOPLE CHOOSES A MURDER OVER A POPULAR TEACHER

PILATE WASHED HIS HANDS OF THE SITUATION (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Today as we  think on all the good things Jesus has done for each one of us, and if you were one of those people in the crowd more than 2000 years ago would you make the same choice as they did.  How can you be certain that you would or would not?  On what basics are you making your decision?

Now let us look at how scripture records that event.  We know from our studies that the Jewish leaders clamored for Jesus’ death, while a Gentile woman believed that Jesus was truly innocent.

People of these times placed a great deal of importance on dreams.  God was sending a warning to Pilate through his wife, but he did not heed it.  Pilate’ fear of losing his very prestige job made him not listen to his wife with the warning God had given to her to give to her husband.  Listen to the message she sent to her husband, 19Also, while he was seated on the judgment bench, his wife sent him a message, saying, Have nothing to do with that just and upright Man, for I have had a painful experience today in a dream because of Him.”  (Matthew 27:19 AMP).

Now Pilate is caught up in a situation is regardless to how he truly feels about it and the fact that his wife is pressing upon him not to go through with it, if he wants to keep his job and prevent a riot from taking place, he must complete the task.  All the religious leaders went among the crowd, persuading the people to call for Barabbas to be released.  This is how the Bible describes the situation; 20But the chief priests and the elders prevailed on the people to ask for Barabbas, and put Jesus to death.  21Again the governor said to them, which of the two do you wish me to release for you? And they said, Barabbas!  Matthew 27:20-21)

The people knew that Barabbas was a revolutionary and a murderer, yet they still chose him over the Son of God, one who had done so much for them.  Faced with the same choice today, people are still choosing “Barabbas.”  They would rather have the tangible force of human power than the salvation offered by the Son of God.  Now think on this for a moment and look at your own life.

The crowd has really been wiped into frenzy and Pilate is caught in one big mess, so he says this to the crowd, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?  23They all replied, Let Him be crucified! And he said, Why? What has He done that is evil? But they shouted all the louder, Let Him be crucified!” 

24So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was about to break out, he took water and washed his hands in the presence of the crowd, saying, I am not guilty of nor responsible for this righteous Man’s blood; see to it yourselves. (Matthew 27:22-23 AMP)

This hand washing was performed as a gesture of innocence to show that one had nothing to do with a murder, was a Jewish custom, not a Roman one (Deuteronomy 21:6-9).  In trying to excuse himself and place the responsibility for an innocent man’s death on them, he followed the path already taken by the religious leaders as they dealt with Judas in 27:4, saying, “The responsibility is yours!”  In making no decision, Pilate made the decision to let the crowds crucify Jesus.  Although he washed his hands, the guilt remained.  How do you feel after you physically wash your hands, of a situation that you have been heavily involved in that you know was wrong?

 

BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND

BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND

IT’S TIME TO GET A NEW ATTITUDE

PASTOR DAVIS TEACHES ON THE BIBLE BEING OUR INSTRUCTION MANUAL

PASTOR DAVIS TEACHES ON THE BIBLE BEING OUR INSTRUCTION MANUAL

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].  (Romans 12:2 AMP)

Every day we live provides us with an opportunity to improve ourselves in every way by simply committing to work on ourselves daily in the process of renewing our minds.  The bible teaches us to study to show ourselves approved.  If we would only take the time to follow these few simple guide lines we can overcome many of the difficulties we face in this world daily.  The bible is truly our instruction manual, giving us a complete outline on how we can live and enjoy a healthy life style by simply renewing our minds.  Now listen to how this instruction manual teaches us on the renewing of our minds:

Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him],

Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old un-renewed self], which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;

And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],

And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.  (Ephesians 4:21-24 AMP)

To have a renewed mind is to function in accordance with a new value and belief system.  The conscience houses the values and beliefs that govern our lives.  It is like stacking or storing information on top of information: The more we learn the more is stored.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. (3 John 1:2 AMP)

Instead let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. (Ephesians 4:23 NLT)

It is clear from the Scriptures that you, as a Believer, are responsible for participating in the transformation process and ongoing maintenance of your thought life.  This is obligatory not optional.

Most people believe that renewing the mind is memorizing Scriptures.  And, thus, they spend hours memorizing verse after verse so that the Bible is always on ready recall.  However, memorizing Scripture and having Scripture govern our thought lives are two different things.  When the Bible speaks of renewing the mind, it is talking about a transformation in our decision making process.  This means changing the fundamental thought patterns and beliefs that are programmed into you.  Yes, programmed into you!

With that said, let me leave you with the most important scripture that we begin this study with, and it says clearly these words to you, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”  (Romans 12:2 AMP)

I thank you for reading and studying with us this day.  May God add a blessing to your life as you work to share in His Ministry to help others come to Him and discover their eternal life.

 

 

OUR PRAYER FOR PEACE CALMNESS AND HEALING IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY

OUR PRAYER FOR PEACE CALMNESS AND HEALING IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY

FLOWERS OF PEACE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

FLOWERS OF PEACE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

ETERNAL GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, we enter into your present this day seeking your blessings over our Nation and all its Citizens, because once again the enemy of darkness has risen up against your people, trying to devour and destroy your Kingdom.  But Father, we know that you are a God of Love, and a God of Peace, so in the midst of tragedy, death, and pain and suffering, we seek your peace over our Nation and all its inhabitants.  Bring a sense of Calmness into the hearts and minds of your people who have been struck in the heart with arrows of fear by terror, when the enemy of darkness decided to shoot and kill innocence people and injuring many more.

For we know Heavenly Father, that you are our light and our salvation, and in you, there is no darkness.  The enemy will not find peace and comfort among your children, because he represents darkness and the light will expose him and all his evil doings and evil workers.

Father God, for the families of those that were killed  and now grieving over the lost of their love ones, let us as a Nation remain in prayer for them that they may be comforted by a nation that will shower them with love and a caring heart.  For those that are lying in hospital beds suffering from wounds sustained in the shooting, let our prayers reach deep into their hearts and bring about the healing they need and are seeking at this very moment.  Because we heard your voice Heavenly Father, when you spoke these words in Jeremiah 33:6 and you said, “Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.”

OUR PRAYER FOR PEACE CALMNESS AND HEALING is for our Nation and all your Children; we ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen, Amen and Amen!

THE SECRET TO RELEASING AND LETTING GO

THE SECRET TO RELEASING AND LETTING GO

THE FREEDOM OF A BIRD When you love something you must release it, [set it free] if it returns back to you it was meant for you, if it does not return it was not meant for you in the first place. BY PASTOR DAVIS

THE FREEDOM OF A BIRD When you love something you must release it, [set it free] if it returns back to you it was meant for you, if it does not return it was not meant for you in the first place. BY PASTOR DAVIS

Release is an aspect of circulation. Release things or people that you no longer need or desire in your life. When you give material things away that you no longer use or want, you make room for what you want to come into your life. Sell or give those things away to people who find better value in them. Release friends and people who no longer serve in your best interest because of their limited mindset or negativity, to make room for new and better ones that do. When you release or leave the lesser, you’ll find that the better thing or person you’ve been waiting for will be able to show up.

Let go of negative emotions due to loss so that you can allow positive restoration to enter. When you hold a grudge, essentially you are denying your connection to creation. You somehow think that you can be made a lesser person, or that your wealth can be taken away, or even that someone can do irreparable harm to you. All those things are impossible. You have as part of your basic nature all you need to be whole. You have that because you are made of the substance that makes everything.

If someone steals from you, or if your property is damaged, you can easily replenish it, provided you are in the flow. If someone hurts your body, miracles can heal it, provided you are in the flow. If someone belittles you, the knowledge of who you are and what your potential is, casts off the remarks like water on a duck’s back, provided you are in the flow.

Unresolved grudges deny who you are. They seem to give truth to your limitations and vulnerability. Then by your invitation, the flow appears to be cut off. Since the flow can’t actually stop, what is happening? Well, the flow is simply creating what you’re expecting. When you think you can be irreparably injured, that is what manifests. When you think someone can take away your abundance, or a part of it, that is what manifests.

Let go of disappointments and failures because they are just part of the journey to achieving success. You are not remembered by the number of failures you make, but by the number of successes you make. People, who have achieved immense success in life, always encounter lots of failures and made lots of mistakes along the way. They still make mistakes as they achieve further success, but they are willing to let go of it all because they know the secret is to keep moving and not be stuck.

Have the attitude of detachment and testing, and having another action to take. Having something else better to be occupied with if you can’t do what you want at the moment. Have the mindset of taking action and seeing if it succeeds, but still persisting as far as you can go anyway. Be persistent yet able to detach. Have the power to hold on to and let go when you want to, and as you wish. Decide and act only according to your wisdom and not anyone’s idea of what you should or should not do.

Your desires can manifest faster when you are detached because of two reasons. The first is that you do not give off negative vibrations with feelings of worry, fear, anxiety, disappointment and regret, because you are able to let go of all negative experiences and keep going on with the fulfillment of your intention in mind. The second is that you keep yourself open to a range of other possibilities and pathways by which your desires can manifest.

Always allow the possibility that you are guided towards something better. Remember that the universe is not limited. If you miss one opportunity to manifest your intention, another one will open up. Another and another. The string of opportunity never runs out. You are able to notice and take the next one if you will let go of the previous one and be free to observe. The universe brings forth everything you desire and nothing is being withheld from you.

Abundance is a flow. You will always have abundance if you are able to let go and remain in the flow. When something is taken away, something else will replace it. Otherwise what was taken from you will come back to you with even more than before. Knowing that this is how the universe and God works, you can be free from fear and worry about losing anything. Let go and you can remain happy, and what you want will flow to you.

My Dear Friends, let me encourage you to keep your eyes on the prize, and that is Jesus Christ.  He is the author and finisher of your faith.  When you do this, you can remain in the flow, run with patience as you let go of all the negative weights that are holding you back from receiving your blessings.  What better time than right now to release them so God can take you to that high place of prosperity that He has waiting for you.

This message is not complete, we encourage you to come into our SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER, PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE, which is title: RELEASE YOUR CHAINS AND RUN WITH PATIENCE THE RACE OF FAITH.  It is truly an exciting lesson so please join us beginning at 0700 every Sunday Morning.  May you have a blessed and prospers weekend in the name of Jesus.

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HOW DEATH PRODUCES REAL LIFE

HOW DEATH PRODUCES REAL LIFE

JESUS SAID IF I BE LIFTED UP I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME. (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

JESUS SAID IF I BE LIFTED UP I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME. (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

“DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY”

Jesus leaves us with a very profound message on just how one grain of wheat can produce a bountiful harvest.  Listen to what He says, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.” (John 12:24 AMP) 

A GRAIN OF WHEAT DIES AND PRODUCES A RICH HARVEST (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

A GRAIN OF WHEAT DIES AND PRODUCES A RICH HARVEST (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

 

This picture that Jesus paints for us illustrates not only Jesus artistic abilities, but He illustrates it in such a manner that it leaves no doubt as to the meaning of His words and the impact that they could have on the whole human race if only we would take the time to conceptualize them.

Now meditate on this for a moment, when a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, it actually dies before becoming a mature blade producing many new kernels.  In the same way, Jesus, by his death, produced more fruit than could have been gained had he become the king of Israel on an earthly throne.  Indeed, by being lifted up on the cross, Jesus would draw all people to himself.  In this picture of the dying grain, Jesus spoke directly about his own life.  He does not necessarily require us to literally give up our lives in sacrificial death as the only way to be fruitful.  God does call some believers to die for him.  However, he calls many more to stay alive for fruitful service.

THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO STUDY TO SHOW OURSELVES APPROVED. (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO STUDY TO SHOW OURSELVES APPROVED. (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Now let us turn to (Romans 12:1-2) and see what is meant by His call for many more to stay alive for fruitful service.   I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Jesus makes a direct appeal to us, He even begs us in view of God’s mercies for us to give up the old way of life, and delicate our entire bodies as a living sacrifice, well pleasing to God, which is only our reasonable service.  He furthers employs us to be transformed, that is, changed by the renewing of our minds.  Spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart.  A mind dedicated to the world and its concerns will produce a life tossed back and forth by the currents of culture.  But a mind dedicated to God’s truth will produce a life that can stand the test of time.  We can resist the temptations of our culture by meditating on God’s truth and letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behaviors.

Now let me tell you this one truth, if anyone wishes to become a true follower of Jesus, you must get your priorities in order and this verse makes it perfectly clear why this must be.  Listen up,  Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.]

If you choose to love your life more than your Master’s, you will lose the very life that you seek to maintain.  True disciples must be willing to suffer and experience rejection, even unto death if need be.  To serve and follow Jesus means making radical lifestyle changes.  To follow Jesus means going the way he went, not the way of earthly power and honor, but the way of humility and death.  Everything Jesus did was for God’s glory.  When we choose to follow him, we must live for God’s glory alone.  This does not mean we have no fun, no joy, no security.  Rather, it simply means we live to honor God and then the Father will honor us.

We must live to honor God, but in order to do so the old must die off in order for new fruit to reproduce it’s self.  You see, when a seed dies, it produces fruit.  Life comes by death.  This principle is true not only in nature, but it is also true spiritually.  Jesus was speaking first, and foremost of Himself.  He is the grain of wheat.  His death would produce much fruit and would result in many living for God.  When you live for God, you honor God.

 

 

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE MYSTERIOUS TRUTHS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE?

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE MYSTERIOUS TRUTHS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE?

THE SUNFLOWER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SUNFLOWER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Growing up into Christ (YOU ARE TRULY DIVINE)

The change of heart by which we become children of God is in the Bible spoken of as birth. Again, it is compared to the germination of the good seed sown by the husbandman. In like manner those who are just converted to Christ are,” as newborn babies,” to grow up” to the stature of the men and women in Christ Jesus1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 4:15. Or like the good seed sown in the field, they ought to grow up and bring forth fruit. Isaiah says that they shall” be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3. Therefore, from natural life, illustrations are drawn, to help us better understand the mysterious truths of spiritual life.

Not all the wisdom and skill of command can produce life in the smallest object in nature. It is only through the life which God himself has imparted, that either plant or animal can live. Therefore, it is only through the life from God that spiritual life is begotten in the hearts of man. Unless a man is “born from above,” he cannot become a partaker of the life, which Christ came to give. John 3:3.

As with life, so it is with growth. It is God, who brings the bud to bloom and the flower to fruit. It is by his power that the seed develops,” first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Mark 4:28. Moreover, the prophet Hosea says to Israel, that “he shall grow as the Lily.”  “They shall revise as the corn, and grow as the vine.” Hosea 14:5, 7.  And Jesus bids us” consider the lilies how they grow.” Luke 12:27. The plants and flowers grow not by their own care, anxiety, or effort, but by receiving that which God has furnished to minister to their life. The child cannot by any anxiety or power of its own, add to its own stature. No more can you, by anxiety or effort of yourself, secure spiritual growth. The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life – air, sunshine, and food. What these gifts of nature are to animal and plant, such is Christ to those who trust in him. He is there” everlasting light,”  “a sun and shield.”  Isaiah 60:19; Psalms 84:11, he shall be as ” the dew unto Israel.” “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.” Hosea 14:5; it Psalms 72:6. He is the living water,” the bread of God… Which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” John 6:33.

Now in the Maecenas give of his son, God has in store call the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life given atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.

As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams of may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of righteousness, that heavens light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ.

Jesus teaches the same thing when he says, “abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abides in the vine; no more can ye, except he abide in me… Without me you can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5. You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart From Him, you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water.

Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ’s for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. However, every such effort must fail. Jesus says,” Without me ye can do nothing.” Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness, all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with him, daily, hourly, by abiding in him, that we are to grow in grace. He is not only the author, but the finisher of our faith. It is Christ’s first, last, and always. He is to be with us, not only at the beginning and the end of our course, but at every step of the way.” I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalms 16:8.

Do you ask,” how is I to abide in Christ?” In the same way as you received him at first.” As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him.”  ” The just shall live by faith.” Colossians 2:6; Hebrews 10:38. You gave yourself to God, to be his holy, to serve and obey him, and you took Christ as your Savior. You could not yourself atone for your sins are changing your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ sake did all this for you.

By faith, you became Christ’s, and by faith, you are to grow up in him, by giving and taking. You are to give all, your heart, you will, your service, give yourself to him to obey all his requirements; and you must take all, Christ, the fullness of all blessings, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper, to give you power to obey.

HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE?

HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE?

The Calm and Beauty of Fall (Photo by Shirley Rhodes)

As believers we are all called to live our lives as Christ would have us to do so.  Learning to have a spirit of humility, leaving our selfish ambition and conceit behind, while selfish ambition and conceit can ruin unity, genuine humility can build it.  Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves in relation to God, which in turn gives us a correct perspective on our relationships with others.  Being humble does not mean that we should put ourselves down.   Instead humility is a healthy respect for who God is, and then a healthy respect for ourselves because of what God did on our behalf.  Thinking of others as better than ourselves means that we are aware of our own failings and are thus willing to accept failings in others without looking down on them.  Therefore, the question still remains, “HOW DO YOU LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE?”

James 5:16 ESV Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.Listen to what Paul tells us in Philippians, he says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  (Philippians 2:4 ESV).  As we read this, let us understand that we as believers should not be completely absorbed in his or her own affairs, but should also be interested in others, nothing their good points and qualities.  A sure cure for selfish ambition is appreciative recognition of others’ good qualities and their walk with the Lord.  It is easy to get caught up in competition, aggressive acquiring and vying for our own rights and needs.  But compared to knowing Christ, those interests seem shallow.  We need Christ’s attitude of self-sacrifice to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others. Now read and listen to how the scriptures teach us HOW TO LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE! Matthew 5:6 ESV “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

James 5:15 ESV And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 4:10 ESV Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James 4:8 ESV Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:7 ESV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:3 ESV You asks and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

James 4:1 ESV What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this that your passions are at war within you?

Romans 12:10 ESV Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

John 13:34 ESV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 John 4:10 ESV In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 2:1-5 ESV My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: …and by obeying the word of God we can truly learn HOW TO LIVE AN UNSELFISH LIFE.

ARE YOU WILLING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE STYLE IN ORDER TO EXPERIENCE GROWTH?

ARE YOU WILLING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE STYLE IN ORDER TO EXPERIENCE GROWTH?

THE LESSONS WE LEARN FROM THE GROWTH OF THE PLANTS (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

THE LESSONS WE LEARN FROM THE GROWTH OF THE PLANTS (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

In Romans 12:2, the Bible tells us this fact, when it says to us, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  Our mind is the soil in which we must cultivate and plant the seeds that will eventually germinate and bring about the change in our life that will provide the growth that is necessary to make us strong and prosper.

Let us understand this basic fact, anything that grows will change; therefore, change is unavoidable because life is full of change.  Everything and everyone comes from a seed stage and eventually grows to adult-stage under ideal conditions. “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven; and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall  My Word be that goes forth from my mouth. It shall not return to me void, but shall accomplish what I please; it shall prosper in the “thing” for which I sent it” (Gods’ words from Isaiah 55:10-11, NKJV).

GOD CREATED THE FLOWERS TO GROW AND EXPRESS THEMSELVES AS A WAY THAT WE MAY LEARN TO DO THE SAME (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

GOD CREATED THE FLOWERS TO GROW AND EXPRESS THEMSELVES AS A WAY THAT WE MAY LEARN TO DO THE SAME (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

Growth means Change, to increase; as children of God we learn to live in anticipation of increase. Anchored in Christ, armed and equipped to stand any opposition that threatens what He has established, we come to believe and accept the fact that there will be good times as well as bad times. Even in the “bad times” we are refueled for the battle, because we know that Jesus endured hardship and reminded us that we too will experience the same. Resistance to change can affect how we grow and prepare for what is purposed; awareness brings us in line for the next blessing, one you are not always able to see or comprehend. Change is good, when we accept change; fire of the Holy Spirit stirs our hearts and gives us strength to move forth with purpose.

GOD'S PURPOSE

Since God has let us in on what he is doing why should we accept the spirit of defeat? Even though it may look like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, his grace covers us every moment. Established in faith we are creatures destined to grow in grace, learn of the master while adapting to his plan for our lives, not the worlds’ way. We are working to reach out to others by spreading the good news; the Holy Spirit brings us into the awesome presence of God where we are able to grasp what it is he has purposed as we live our lives, seeking and accepting guidance in all we do. As we embrace the teachings of Jesus we are able to witness transformation of lives before our very eyes. Take time to look around your environment and observe change in nature, which is now experiencing growth, full foliage is bursting with blooms and produce. We too must at some point accept the challenge to move forward because in order to experience growth, we must be willing to change.

GOD'S LOVE

 

We pray this lesson has been a blessing to your soul and encouraged you in some small way to make the necessary changes in your life patterns for growth and development into that hardy plant that God has purposed you to become.  Now use it to encourage and bless someone else today.  Do this in the name of Jesus and know that your blessings are waiting for you.

A WORD OF ADVICE FROM FATHER TO SON BE WISE AS A SERPENT

A WORD OF ADVICE FROM FATHER TO SON BE WISE AS A SERPENT 

Oh listen, dear child—become wise; point your life in the right direction. Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk; don’t eat too much food and get fat. Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags.

PASTOR DAVIS ADVISES HIS SON MAXIMILLION TO BE WISE AS A SERPENT

PASTOR DAVIS ADVICES HIS SON MAXIMILLION TO BE WISE AS A SERPENT

BUY WISDOM, EDUCATION, AND INSIGHT

 Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her. Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well; wise children become proud parents.
So make your father happy!  Make your mother proud!

 Dear child, I want your full attention; please do what I show you. A whore is a bottomless pit; a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast. She’ll take you for all you’ve got; she’s worse than a pack of thieves.

Who are the people who are always crying the blues? Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all? Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot? It’s those who spend the night with a bottle, for whom drinking is serious business. Don’t judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—the splitting headache, the queasy stomach. Do you really prefer seeing double, with your speech all slurred, Reeling and seasick, drunk as a sailor? “They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt; they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing. When I’m sober enough to manage it, bring me another drink!” Proverb 23:19-35 MSG

 

GOD WANTS YOU TO BE AN ENCOURAGER

GOD WANTS YOU TO BE AN ENCOURAGER

BY SHIRLEY RHODES

“Be Encouraged troubles don’t last always” (Photo by Shirley Rhodes) There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.  “Katherine Butler Hathaway”

Good Morning everyone, this is a new day that God has shared with each one of us to live in His peace, love and joy.  All he asks of us is to LISTEN, PAY ATTENTION, WAKE UP and be OBEDIENT to His Holy Word.  Now listen and learn from what God has given to me to give to you.

THE MASTER GOD has given me a well taught TONGUE, so I know how to ENCOURAGE tired people. He wakes me up in the morning, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders. I don’t go back to sleep, didn’t pull the covers back over my head, I’ll follow orders. Therefore, I set my face like flint, confident I’ll never have any regrets.

Who out there fears God, actually listens to the voice of his servant?

For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, here’s what: Trust in God, lean on God! But if all you’re after is making trouble, playing with fire, go ahead and see where it gets you. Set your fires, stir people up, blow on the flames; but don’t expect me to just stand here and watch. I’ll hold your feet to the flames. (Isaiah 50 and 52)

FEAR NOT, EARTH! Be glad and celebrate! God has done great things. God has given you a teacher to train you how to live right—teachings like rain out of heaven, showers out of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do.

GOD REASSURES, I’ll make up for the years the locust, and canker-worm, caterpillar and palmer-worm have destroyed. I’ll pour out my Spirit on every kind of people. And it shall come to pass that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.  (Joel 2:21-32)

SEEK GOD while he’s here to be found, pray to him while he’s close at hand. Let the wicked abandon their way of life and the evil ways of thinking. Let them come back to God who is merciful and lavished with forgiveness. (Isaiah 55:6-7)

“LOVING OBEDIENCE is the key to every blessing, God is worthy of total commitment.”

We pray that this lesson has been a blessing to your soul, and if it has why not become an encourager and share it with others.

We encourage you to visit our home page as well as our youtube teaching channel. Just click on one of the links below:

VABWM HOME PAGE:  http://wp.me/Pf75v-Uu

VABWM YOUTUBE CHANNELhttp://www.youtube.com/davistheteacher/

PASTOR DAVIS EMAIL:  pastordavismasterteacher@gmail.com

YOUR ENEMY MAY DO YOU HARM BUT LOVE HIM ANYWAY

YOUR ENEMY MAY DO YOU HARM BUT LOVE HIM ANYWAY

THE ROSE OF LOVE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

THE ROSE OF LOVE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

The lesson I write and teach here today will be hard for a lot of people to understand in light of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman trial.  However, we must understand and learn to obey the teaching of Jesus when He tells us to love our Enemies.  So let us look closely at what Jesus wants us to know about loving our enemies.  We will begin with Paul’s teaching to the Church of Corinth as he spoke passionately on the meaning of love.

Paul says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  (1 Corinthians 13:1-8 ESV)

Now listen carefully, open your spiritual mind, and understand this message: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want, remember these words written in Psalm 23:1, allow this to be your focus when intervening in prayer on behalf of those who may have sought to lay a stumbling block in your pathway or do bodily harm to you. He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies, anoints my head with oil and my cup overflows (5) with goodness from the Lord.  Develop and Understand as a Rule, Love your Enemies.

Jesus was an advocate of love and his teachings were centered on this key ingredient which is the key to living life in the fullness of his joy. He says, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you…Just as you want men to do to you, you do to them likewise (Luke 6:27-31 NKJV). Love your enemies, do good and lend, hoping for nothing in return (35), judge not, condemn not, and forgive those who wrong you.” When you are able to develop and understand as a rule, love your enemies, your blessings will flow from the heavenly realm because Jesus has said so.

Love, as Jesus instructed and set an example to follow. Through many encounters he demonstrated patience, kindness, and concern for others. It is not his will or desire that anyone should be lost or have an attitude of harm and indifference towards one another. Through his teachings we gain strength and knowledge to help us to understand behavior, what to expect from others and how to handle those events in life through a genuine heart of love and kindness; even toward those who seek to cause us harm. When we are connected from the spiritual realm we understand how we are to respond through spiritual kindness; and when we do, he sets the rest in proper order. When you are able to develop and understand as a rule, love your enemies, your reward will be one of inner peace.

Christ in God is our life; chosen by God our new life become a life of love, along with that love we acquire compassion, kindness, humility, strength, discipline. We become content with second place, quick to forgive offense. The greatest of all attribute is love, something we should never be without; every detail in our lives focused on Jesus with praise and thanksgiving to God the Father always (Colossians 3:3-17, MGS). When you are able to develop and understand as a rule, love your enemies, you’re being obedient to God’s will.

However the stream flows, it never forgets its source (African Proverb).

We encourage you to visit our home page as well as our youtube teaching channel. Just click on one of the links below:

VABWM HOME PAGE:  http://wp.me/Pf75v-Uu

VABWM YOUTUBE CHANNEL:  http://www.youtube.com/davistheteacher/

PASTOR DAVIS EMAIL:  pastordavismasterteacher@gmail.com

ARE WE DESTROYING OUR VERY OWN EXISTENCE THAT GOD GAVE US TO PROTECT?

ARE WE DESTROYING OUR VERY OWN EXISTENCE THAT GOD GAVE US TO PROTECT?

ARE WE DESTROYING OUR VERY OWN EXISTENCE THAT GOD GAVE US TO PROTECT?

ARE WE DESTROYING OUR VERY OWN EXISTENCE THAT GOD GAVE US TO PROTECT?                      (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

NOW IS THE TIME TO REACH OUT AND EMBRACE THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

 Light seeds are planted in the souls of Gods people; Joy-seeds are planted in good heart soil (Psalm: 97:10).

Often people voice the idea or thought that the world has changed so much. Has the world really changed or have we changed the world we live in?  Environmental changes, chaos, anger, hatred the list seems endless, so far from the original plan of God.

God planned the world and set it on its foundation; everything was in order, not a speck out of place. Take a moment and look around, focus your thoughts on the many events you’ve witnessed in a life time and see how human-kind has gradually contributed to the destruction of what surrounds us at any given moment.  Are we thankful for what God has provided for our enjoyment or have we carelessly and aimlessly, taken it all for-granted without considering the consequence of our behavior?

As we are given the opportunity to EMBRACE THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS, how can we but be thankful to share in what God has given for our enjoyment? We pollute the air, throw trash along roadways, empty garbage into our water-ways and yet we wonder and complain about the effects of global warming. You know, that is not the way it has always been. All we have to do is to stop for a moment, pick up the Word of God, read “The Beginning” and evaluate where we are today.  What is happening around us we consider advancement; yet, that does not alter the fact that what we are privileged to enjoy is not a blessing to be cherished.

Where did it all start, when did it all start? Is what we are experiencing today a result of disobedience, unthank fullness or simply a lack of knowledge. Imagine a time when the whole earth was watered by underground springs or when God placed man in charge of all he had created, a relationship built on love and trust. Now that we see so many of our natural resources disappearing before our eyes, what are we willing to give or do to make it right?

If we should continue along at the present rate will life as it was designed ever return to a point where the air we breathe no longer pollute our lungs, the water we drink is no longer a threat to our health, the food we eat is no longer poison our systems, or will love ever find the way back into our hearts that seem to have grown cold and distant among many?

Scripture reminds us that there is hope for a better day, a brighter tomorrow, but there is work we must do, we must be about our Fathers’ business making every effort to correct what is wrong. Jesus came, taught and left directions for us, how to live godly lives by being thankful in all things. Although this world is not our home, it is what we have been blessed with to inhabit until God’s kingdom is fully restored. So, let’s be caretakers by sharing in the responsibility of keeping it all together according to the plan of God. He does not require that we seek our own way; remember, that he is the head as we look to him for guidance.

Take a look around, the world has not changed, we have changed the environment blessed to us from the very beginning of time. What are we willing to do to make it right?

This video clip captures the beauty and essence of God’s glory and what He has provided to us for our enjoyment.  We are the stewards over Mother Earth.  Our task is preserve her for future generations.  I pray that this lesson and the video has been a blessing to your soul.  May God bless each one of you and the work you are doing to help make this world a better place for all of us to live, work and enjoy.  In Jesus name, Amen!

IS LONELINESS KEEPING YOU IN A PRISON OF DARKNESS?

IS LONELINESS KEEPING YOU IN A PRISON OF DARKNESS?

LOCKED IN A PRISON OF DARKNESS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

LOCKED IN A PRISON OF DARKNESS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FEEL AS IF YOU ARE ALL ALONE?

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

Let us begin this day by understanding that we are never alone when we learn to lean and depend on Jesus.  Now think deeply on this, when you are feeling loneliness in your life, because learning to lean and depend on Jesus requires you to turn away from the things of this world, which include your worldly thoughts.  Now listen to how Jesus teaches us to lean and depend on Him, He says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 ESV)”

What happens when you feel as if you are all alone?

What happened to those friends who walked by your side and interacted with you, saying they have your back? Through-out a life time you are apt to encounter such friends as these. As you grow and mature you are likely to experience situations where you’ll have moments of joy as well as disappointment.

It is a time of reflection and a  reminder as to how God is able to lift you  above moments of disappointment  and encourage your heart to let you know that all is not lost, for in him is where your strength lies.

When you feel as if you are all alone?  God says, “If you will hold on to me for dear life, I’ll get you out of trouble. I’ll give you the best care if you only get to know me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times. I’ll rescue you, I’ll give you long life, give you a long drink of salvation.” (Psalm 91: 1-16, MGS)

When you realize that the very people you considered to be friends will go to any level to cause you harm or pain you must have a spirit of forgiveness even when you are alone.

It is when you are alone that you ask God to help you understand why things happen the way they do and don’t carry the burden of heaviness alone. Unforgiveness can destroy friendships, take away your joy in life and can even damage your health. So, the best thing you can do is release those feelings and repeat to yourself, “I am choosing to forgive those who have stolen from me, broken my heart or caused any physical or emotional damage.  Lord thank you for giving me the ability to release, and for peace and joy to journey on in faith. Fill my heart with love greater than I’ve ever had for all of my friends, you are my peace. Thank you.”

What happens when you feel as if you are all alone, you’re at a crossroad in life? There comes a point in time when you must choose, you must make decisions, those type things that guide you towards your assigned destination. Those friends you once thought you could not do with-out is no longer a part of what or who you seek to be, that only means that you are coming into your  own, beginning to realize the value of life. Many go through life never reaching this point, but when you connect to the source, you’ve connected to the One that will always be there, no matter the season.

What happens when you feel as if you are alone?  Once you’ve tapped into the source you have gained a friend for life. For Jesus says, “I will never leave, nor forsake you,” those words reassures us that beyond our worldly thoughts, our spiritual connection brings us into a whole new dimension of life, we are now new creatures in Christ Jesus, who is our friend and provider, always watching over us and listening to our cry for help. He is not like man; he hears and will acknowledge our requests at the time appointed. So, rest assured my friends, you are never alone.

We pray that this message has been a blessing to your soul, and you will begin your daily walk with God lifting Him up as He picks you up and takes you to that high place that He desires for all Him Children to be.

HOW BLESSED ARE YOU?

HOW BLESSED ARE YOU?

God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes,
When you avoid sin’s highway,
when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse.
 For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness.
It is your focus—from dusk to dawn.

HOW BLESSED ARE YOU?

THE TRUNK OF THE TREE STANDS STRONG (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE TRUNK OF THE TREE STANDS STRONG (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

You are like a tree;
planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.

Your fruit ripens in its time;
your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.

   For those who focus on sin, the story is different.
They are like the fallen husk of wheat, tossed by an open wind, left deserted and alone.
  In the end, the wicked will fall in judgment;
the guilty will be separated from the innocent.
  Their road suddenly will end in death,
yet the journey of the righteous has been charted by the Eternal.  (Psalms 1 MSG)

Now may the eternal blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon each one of you this day, and your journey through this day and the rest of this week will be a peaceful, and prospers one. We pray this over your life in Jesus name.  Amen!

HAVE YOU TRAINED FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE YOU?

HAVE YOU TRAINED FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE YOU?

PASTOR DAVIS IN TRAINING FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE

PASTOR DAVIS IN TRAINING FOR THE SPIRITUAL RACE

It is no accident that Paul used an athletic metaphor to describe the pursuit of godliness.  Paul knows there was the potential for victory or loss, so to assure our victory in this spiritual contest, he warned us to exercise.  In 1Timothy 4:7 he used the verb train, which is the Greek word gumnazo, which is where we get our word gymnasium.  The word speaks of not just training, but of “the focused discipline behind the training.”  Discipline demands commitment and consistency.  You will never become godly by accident-an attitude of discipline must precede the pursuit of godliness.

The attitude of one, who would be godly, is first and foremost, one of focus.  Satan has any number of distractions waiting in the wings to keep us off the track toward godliness.  Some of them are even good things–but not better than becoming like God.  The way to keep our focus is to, as the book of Hebrews encouraged us, “fix our eyes on Jesus” (12:2NIV).

Put simply having a goal and focus is not enough.  Physical exercise requires sustained, rigorous effort.  It is not easy.  Spiritual exercise is no different.  Displaying the character of Christ is work.  It is the result of making a conscious decision to live your life based on who you are in Christ.  Godliness is an act of volition.  You must choose to walk, live, and act godly demands personal responsibility and commitment, which grow out of knowing who God is and knowing how committed He is to you.  Once you understand that, then Paul said exercise.

But be aware that exercise is never done in the actual competition.  It only prepares you for the competition.  Once the contest starts, it’s too late to get into shape.  When the bell rings or the first gun goes off, it’s too late to try and get in fifty crunches or a set of leg lifts.  After the coin is tossed and positions are taken, this is not the time for skipping rope or jumping jacks.  You have to be in shape before the game starts to have a chance at winning.

Spiritual exercise begins with Bible study, prayer, meditation, and fasting.  It continues when we practice instant obedience to God’s will.  We expand that exercise by allowing God to reign in our lives.  Spiritual exercise is to be woven into the very fabric and foundation of our lives.  That requires commitment, discipline, perseverance, and long suffering.  We only grow to be the people God wants us to be when we allow our exercise to secure our foundations and stretch our abilities.

HOW DO YOU DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN AND TEACH THEM RESPECT PART 2

HOW DO YOU DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN AND TEACH THEM RESPECT PART 2

PARENT’S HAVE THE GREATER RESPONSIBILITY

THE JOY OF WATCHING MY GRAND CHILDREN GROW UP (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

THE JOY OF WATCHING MY GRAND CHILDREN GROW UP (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

In part one of this four part series we talked about the role parents play in raising loving and respectable children.  We asked you to share your thoughts on what you would do to raise your children up in the right way that would make them a more responsible and productive adult in this society.  Several of you responded and I will share a couple of your response here.

One of our own Ministers, Sister Shirley wrote, “What we as adults, leaders, and parents must understand is that children are a gift from God, one to be cherished. They are our future leaders, doctors, teachers, etc., therefore our responsibility should be to teach and guide them now or pay the price in the future. Life is about choice and chance.”  

When I was a youth living in a small town, everyone knew everyone and no one was ever afraid to correct us if they saw us doing something wrong.  Today, if you correct a child when you see them doing wrong, you will have the parents knocking at your door for chastising their child.  You might even have the police come calling on you, if you are lucky that the child has not shot and killed you.  There is something badly wrong with this picture, but it is a true one today.

I can recall a time when I was in a vacation bible school; my wife at the time was teaching a Bible Study class with one of our Associate Ministers.  I had been called outside to break up a disturbance.  When I came back into the church, this young man’s sister was standing in the middle of the church cursing my wife and the pastor out using all sorts of foul language.  I escorted her outside and attempted to talk with her to no avail.  She left and within a few minutes, just after things had gotten back to normal within the church class, the doors swung open with a loud bang and a loud voice began to roar from the rear of the church.  It was the mother of the two teenagers yelling and screaming at me with language worst than her children had used, telling me what she was going to do to me if I ever put my hands on her children again.

Now this mother was the chairman of the usher board within the church.  Not only were her children wrong, but she was wrong for the way she handled the situation.  Her children went home and lied to her about what had taken place at the church.  She was willing to believe the worst from them, and instead of coming to find out what was going on, she came in accusing me and others of striking her children when no such thing had taken place.  If this had happened when I was a youth, I would have gotten my butt whipped before I left the church, then I would have been taken home to my parents and they would have whipped my butt again.  But you see, in today’s political correctness society, there are too many parents who refuse to correct their own children and will not allow anyone in the churches, schools or the community to do so.  Therefore, the youth’s attitude is you are not my parents and you can’t tell me what to do.  This is a sad commentary for our youth and it is a factor that is contributing to the youth violence in America today.

Another part of this problem of correcting children is some of the abuse that some parents have perpetuated upon their children that has caused the government to get more involved in our daily lives.  We parents are responsible for our children and we must shoulder that responsibility with love, understanding and patience.  Children can be a problem.  There is much peer pressure on them.  They want to fit in with their friends, therefore as a parent, we must try to understand their changing life style, and the growth hormones as they experienced adulthood.  We must treat them with respect, try and understand that they too do have problems and they may not always share those problems with us.  But we must always be willing to put our arms around them and daily tell them that we love them, even though we may not be having the kind of conversation we would like to have with them.  But I tell you that there is power in love.  When our youth can feel within themselves that they are loved, it brings a much different kind of respect from them.

Another one of our readers wrote and shared her story with us as to how she as a single parent is raising her daughter and preparing her for adulthood and to become a creative and productive member of this society.  Here is what she had to say; “I am trying to be here during my daughter’s childhood and teen years. I have chosen to sacrifice a more materialistic living in favor of being a stay at home mom. I’m available to my child when she comes home from school and stay available until she’s in bed at night. I find this helps immensely in our communication and the trust being built between us. We still have immense challenges, as I’m a single mom, but I’m so glad I made the decision to put her before materialism in our lives.”  (The Warrioress  Life of a female Blogger)  We encourage you to go by and read her writings.  You can reach her by clicking on this link:  http://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/

We also encourage you to share your story with us and we will include it in Part 3 of this series which we will post next week on Tuesday June 25, 2013.  Your story just might be the one that helps to encourage another parent to become a better parent or perhaps improve their parenting skills and even save a child’s life.

 

 

 

PORTRAIT OF A FATHER

PORTRAIT OF A FATHER

Pastor Davis with Father Deacon Davis Byars Sr. Age 95 and still going strong

BY  SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES

The PORTRAIT OF A FATHER is one of a special gift, because God has chosen them and placed them in charge of the family as a nurturer and provider.  FATHERS’ are seen as the strong tower, the leader and diligently goes about seeking how to provide the many necessities essential to the family’s growth. Throughout time FATHERS’ have always sheltered their inner emotions simply because that is how society dictates. Life now paints a different picture for today’s FATHER.

When we think of a FATHER we think of the beginning (the creation) and know that he was created for a purpose and that purpose was for God’s enjoyment. God formed Man out of the dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man became a living soul! Genesis 2:7. God made a covenant with Abraham when he was ninety-nine years old, he said, “This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the FATHER of many nations, I’ll make nations from you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. (Genesis 17:3-8 Mgs)

Today’s FATHER displays a sense of humor and honesty. They are diligently seeking how to be better at their assignment as a Father.  As fathers’ they should strive to build and maintain strong bonds with those entrusted to their care. THE PORTRAIT OF A FATHER should be seen as one of showing honor, humor, honesty, caring, courage, character, grace, guidance while setting boundaries for appropriate behavior within the family. He should be one whom children look-up to as a role model as he follow the rule to love every-one.  Now let us watch together this short video clip of Pastor Davis, Portrait of a Father:

The Bible tells us that, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24 KJV).  Therefore, let us understand that a FATHER can and will make mistakes as he seeks to lead his family in the path that God has set out for him to do so.

Now listen to the words of Thomas More, he says, “Family life is full of major and minor crises—the ups and downs of health, success and failure—and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It’s difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul.”

The PORTRAIT OF A FATHER is one that none of us should take lightly.  Let us lift up our eyes towards heaven and thank God, our HEAVENLY FATHER who has given us this opportunity to be a part of this earthly celebration this weekend to salute and honor all FATHERS who have stood the test of time and given of themselves to be FATHERS in spite of the many trials and tribulations they have had to endure.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL FATHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND MAY THE PEACE, LOVE AND JOY OF GOD OUR FATHER FILL YOUR HEARTS WITH MUCH JOY AND PEACE ON THIS SPECIAL FATHER’S DAY!

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 23 (HAPPY FATHER’S DAY)

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 23 (HAPPY FATHER’S DAY)

FATHERS DAY SERVICE

Good Morning to all God’s Children, the believers as well as the non-believers.  If it is Sunday, it is time for our VIRTUAL CHURCH SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICEToday is a very special day that God has created in the life of His Children.  A Day for all of us to Honor and Celebrate all the Fathers’ who will stand up and be Fathers, for you are truly a blessing to God, because He created you in His own image, likes and gave you His Character.  Today, we Honor you, each and every one of you, because you are truly a blessing to your children, your family, your church, your community and your nation.  Now Fathers, stand up in your HONOR, and be recognized as the WORLD honors you this day.  “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, We love you and appreciate each one of you!”

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING:Joshua 24:14-15 MSG

 “So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.

“If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.”

LET US PRAY: Most Holy God, our Heavenly Father; we honor you in worship this day with our prayers and praises for blessing us with Fathers of our Children, and providing a special day to lift them up in high honor.  Father glorify them here on earth in such a way that each one of them may become the chosen leader of their family as a godly father, leading them in the path of righteousness and giving you honor for their chosen role as fathers in their own right.  Bless each person that has taken the time to sit at the Spiritual Table of blessings this day in honor of this Father’s Day.  We seek your blessings over all our leaders throughout the world this day Heavenly Father that you will guide each of them in such a way that they will become the godly leaders that you have chosen them to be over this Nation and all the Nations of the World.  Let them lead the world into a position where peace stands stronger and the drums of peace beat louder than the drums of war.  In Jesus name, AMEN!

OUR PRAISE SONG FOR TODAY FEATURES THE REX BAND:  Click an enjoy this awesome video as you prepare your hearts and minds for this great message that God has given to His Servant, a truly mighty woman of the gospel who simply wants to be known as SISTER SHIRLEY.

OUR MESSENGER FOR THIS DAY IS:  SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES (SELF PORTRAIT) DAILY i LIVE TO SERVE

SISTER SHIRLEY RHODES (SELF PORTRAIT) DAILY i LIVE TO SERVE

SUBJECT: GOD SHOWERS HIS LOVE UPON ALL FATHERS

Today is FATHER’S DAY, and I want to speak directly to the hearts of all the real Fathers out there.  You know who you are and in your heart of hearts, you also know that you are loved and appreciated for being a true and Godly Father.  But there are also a great number of you out there who have become just sperm makers, you call yourselves a Father but in reality you have never accepted the role in which God created you for.  You have stepped away from your responsibilities and neglected your children and your family.  God is not pleased with you and I cannot see how you can be pleased with yourself.

Therefore, let us get one thing perfectly straight, we Mothers’ want you to take responsibility for your role as a Father and as the head of your family which God created you to be; we say to you today, Fathers, lift your head up, pull your shoulders back, stick your chest out and stand tall. You have been given an assignment and you are needed now more than ever in the lives of children every-where you journey make a difference in some-ones’ life that is you’re calling.

As FATHERS’ you wear labels and expectations from the family as well as society. You are given the task of being able to rule, guide, teach and make wise decisions and choices. In all of this you must remember your creator and look to him for instructions to apply to your lives.

We as Mother’s have had to step up to the plate, and take on the role of both Mother and Father, and that is not a role any Mother desires to play.  Our desire is for you as the Father of our Children to become their role models, and lead them as God has directed you to do.  We are tired of burying our Children because they have not been able to find their way in this life, but have chosen other unworldly people as their role models and become lawless, some committing crimes and others just hanging out and being gunned down for no other reason, other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Fathers you are needed to love nurture and guide your Children to that high place God has chosen for them to be.

Now listen to how Jesus encourages your hearts with these words: “He says, As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: abide in my love. If you keep my commandments you shall abide in my love: Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love (John 15:9-10).  Therefore, we encourage you father’s to learn to live as Jesus did, be obedient to the word, keep the commandments that Jesus has given to you and you will be showered with many blessings from on high.

This is my commandment; Love one another as I have loved you (12).

Today is truly Fathers’ Day, let it be a day we all pause and give thanks for their patience, love and guidance.  And when we learn to do this, we can speak truth to power and say out loud “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”

God bless all Fathers’ this special day, and FATHERS’ use your unique gift of love to bless others and together we can make the world a better place.  HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY TO ALL FATHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD! In the name of JESUS, AMEN!

LET US PRAY:  Father we thank you for the opportunity to have ministered your word to the many people you have sent into this class room of higher learning this day.  We pray that the seeds of truth that were sown will sprout and manifest in joy, peace and love everlasting, and all the fathers will experience a rebirth and be regenerated as fathers of a new generation that will help to bring forth fully armed godly children.  In Jesus name, AMEN!

Let us close this chapter of our Sunday Prayer Praise and Worship Service with, “YOU ARE MY HERO!” Click and watch, then share all that you have learned today by blessing another with this message.

PLEASE RETURN FOR OUR SUNDAY AFTERNOON FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL

PORTRAIT OF A FATHER

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