Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our Grace and Peace

1The first thing that you need to do is take an honest look at where you are and what you're going through. A lot of times when you're in the middle of a hard situation, the emotions of it can impact your ability to think clearly. This is a time where you may need other people who can be objective and help you see things from an outside perspective. Be careful however about who you go to for support in these situations--you want someone who will encourage you and lift you up as opposed to dwell on the negative situation along with you and make you feel worse.

Step 2) Focus on what you can control and don't fear or worry about what you can't. In most situations, fear and worry will drag out a situation longer because they paralyze you from taking any action against problems.

Step 3) Turn to God at the beginning of the situation if possible instead of making Him the "if all else fails" choice. I've learned over the years that if you pray about a hard situation at its onset, things seem to work out for the better a lot faster. He makes it possible to have peace through situations that otherwise it would not make logical sense by someone looking from the outside.

I think in many situations it's not that God doesn't want to help us but that people push Him out of their lives in favor of doing things their own way--which has an tendency of not working out like they expect...I've been there, too.

There is also a lot of solutions to life's problems already in the Bible--you just have to be willing to look. The Internet makes that easier now than ever to look up a situation by topic.

Step 4Pay attention to what you're saying both to yourself and other people. If you focus on talking about problems and difficulties all they time, not only do they not go away but they tend to compound. If you focus on the good--no matter how small in the beginning--it will increase in your life.

Step 5Lastly, remember that time is going to impact the situation. Many of us have had times in our life where we didn't know how things were going to go, and now they are nothing but a distant memory despite how intense the situation felt at the time. Time and experience will give you perspective, and you can learn over time how to navigate good times and difficult times. Best wishes to you!

Today Is Only One Day From Being The Past...

Today is only one day from being the past... look forward to tomorrow. Looking back at yesterday too much will only hinder your tomorrow. If you can never get 'past the past,' tomorrow will never be tomorrow, you will just keep reliving yesterday. In Philippians 3:13 Paul wrote in his letter to Jesus’ followers, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward, in Christ Jesus.” If we could just break away from our yesterday's our tomorrow's could be so amazing.

People and situations from our past just seem to have a way of coming up again and again. Ask yourself why? Is it Love? Hatred? Happiness? Sadness? pain? Why? Sometimes, pondering the past can be a good thing, it is always said that hindsight is 20/20, and it truly is. You just can't dwell in it. Look at it, learn from it, let it go, and look forward. If God can forgive you the past, why can't you? You really should just move on with this realization: Your life does not need to be this way. If you trust in God, to lead you forward, you will never have to look behind you again.

Our lives were meant to be lived to glorify God. Not to be reviewed time and time again by satan. Satan will use every decision that you have ever made that lacked judgment, all of your anger, your deepest fears, and every second of your past to keep you in his grip. If you just have the courage to look to God, to ask him to forgive you, and to deliver you from it, he will. You can always trust him, he will not let you down. Jesus tells you in John 14:1 that you should “trust in God, and trust also in me.” God is good, he is faithful, and he will never break a promise. You are assured his forgiveness in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” To be purified from all unrighteousness, to have the slate wiped clean... the sins of the past made irrelevant to your future. Incredible!

So many times, we ask God for forgiveness, and he grants our prayers giving us peace, and new found joy... yet we still hold on. We can't let go of it... He washes it away, but we cling to it like a life preserver. It's familiar, it feels safe. You know that place... but, it's not safe to be in the middle of the ocean clinging to a life preserver, just barely hanging on, with sharks circling, getting closer and closer, just waiting to attack… now is it? You are not safe there! It’s just a disaster waiting to happen! Yet, you know how you feel, and what you need to do to just get through the day. Let God be your life preserver, God can give you so much more than just a way to get through the day. He can give you a new life. He can make you a completely new person. The past can be resolved, and you can have a fresh start!

When God takes control, when he starts giving you guidance, you may not always like what he has to say, but you will have him by your side for every step you take. You are promised this in Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

He will provide you with wisdom and guidance. “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11) He will provide you with guidance... but will you obey him? Or will you talk yourself out of hearing what he has to say to you... that's crazy! I could never do that on my own.... It's impossible! Good news! You don't have to do it on your own, and it's not crazy or impossible... Be assured that God is of sound mind, and you won't be doing it yourself. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells you to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” God will find a way to enable you to do his will. So often it will be so far outside of your comfort zone that it seems impossible, but it’s not. With God, impossibility does not exist. He doesn't just say “do it,” and then walk away. He will never leave you. He will always be there with continual guidance and encouragement.

However, Jesus does not offer you a free pass from struggles, but he does give assurance that you will find a way to get through your struggles. Nothing is so horrible that God can’t bring you through it. “Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God. Not only so but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.” (Romans 5:2-4) He won’t just bring you through it either, he will make tons of good out of every ounce of your pain. He will bring you unimaginable hope, in the most painful moment imaginable. You just need to have a little faith... Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” That is really all it takes, just a little faith... a little faith goes a long way when your faith is in Jesus Christ, the Lord and savior.


Grace of the Cross

All my writings deal with the internal--the heart and soul of man. It seems to me that most messages and sermons today are dealing with the external--church unity, government, finances, relationships, marriage, etc. They are preaching a right heart toward God and man without taking the necessary measures to have a right heart toward God and man.

The church leaders of our day are trying to motivate people to walk in love, faith, and unity so that the impending hard times won’t hit them so hard. That sounds good--very good, but if the problem is a faulty call to salvation whereby hearts are not completely won over to God’s point of view, the called for results are not possible. For God made it all not only possible, but doable, through the work of the cross.

When one comes to God to receive salvation, the work of the cross crucifies their old man and resurrects the recipient to new life--he or she becomes a brand new man or woman in which God has created a heart to please Him. Thus, if that work is faulty the whole work is faulty. The faith, love, and unity needed to overcome these difficult days can only come about through the work of the cross.

Since I think Daniel’s prophesies for the latter days, well describes the church, I also believe the prayer he prayed in Daniel chapter 9 is the prayer and focus of the hour.

He prayed, acknowledging that God is a God who keeps His covenants and that we--God’s chosen people--are in derision and confusion due to our own sin and he then goes on to pray that God would bring us to a place of repentance where we can have truth and understanding again.

The way to receive this new heart that the church needs is to call the solemn assembly--gather the whole church and cry out together for restoration and the latter rain as described in Joel chapter 2.

Credit: © Sylvia Huffnagle

Do You Act Like A Christian

Do You Act Like A Christian?

This article is not about what most Christians would think by reading the title. I’m not addressing being nice to others. I’m talking about some other very important Christian activities.

A man asked, “Why doesn’t my wife believe that I’m a Christian? I mean, she doesn’t treat me as if she believes I’m a godly man.”

I say, “I don’t know. Let’s try to get to the bottom of this. First, what kind of company do you keep?”

Well..., I like to chat with the neighbors, but none of them are living for the Lord. And it’s true that most of my hunting buddies are ungodly. The phone calls I get are from worldly people and we usually have quite a lot to talk about, but she should see that I’m not like them.”

I ask him, “Why?”

“Because I’m a really nice guy, anybody will tell you that.”

“Yeah, but she may be remembering what the Bible says about the company we keep. For instance, Ps: 1 describes how a man of God will act, do you fit?”

Ps: 1:1-6: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4: The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5: Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6: For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The man appeared to be embarrassed.

Then I say, “And then there is Ps: 119:63 which tells you who you should be hanging out with. It says, “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.”

And there’s Prov: 13:20: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

And Proverbs 28:7: Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.

How about 1Cor: 5:9-11: I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11: But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Jesus said, ‘You shall know them by their fruits.’

And Prov: 20:11 says, Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”

What do you watch on TV, etc.?”

“Well, I don’t watch the bad stuff. I watch sports, commercials, old movies, some other clean shows.

“Well, the scriptures say, Prov: 4:23: 3: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life

Ezek: 14:1 teaches about what we feast our eyes on: Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. 2: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 3: Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

And then there’s Rom: 13:14: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Gal: 6:7: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8: For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Eph: 5:11: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Does she see you pursuing God?”

“No. I’m a private person.”

“Does she see you praying?”

“No. Same reason--I’m a private person.”

“You don’t pray together?”

“No. She did suggest it once, but I wasn’t comfortable with it.”

“When you talk, does your talk tell her that you are concerned about pleasing God?”

“Probably not. What does a person say about that?”

“Does her talk give you the idea that she wants to please God and do right?”


“That’s what a person who is godly sounds like. What does she see and hear that should convince her of your devotion to God and godly things?”

“Well, I don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. And I don’t go drinking or running around with women. I help the neighbors and treat people good.”

“Well, all that is good, but it does not tell your wife that you belong to God, therefore, don’t fault her for wondering how saved you are when you don’t heed the word of God which can save your soul.

Jas: 1:21-27: Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23: For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25: But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The world is a snare, Mr. And the Bible teaches us to protect ourselves from all its subtleties by putting on the full armor of God. One of those pieces of armor is to have your lions--vulnerable parts--girt about with the truth. God’s word is truth. It’s the truth that will protect you from the wisdom of the world. 1Cor: 3:19: For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Prov: 1:20-33 has this to say about God’s wisdom: Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22: How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23: Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24: Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25: But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27: When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28: Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31: Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32: For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33: But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”

“How did we get on wisdom? I was talking about my wife trusting me to be a godly man.”

“My guess is that she sees your enjoyment of worldly activities and people, but she does not see your involvement with God and she is unsure of your relationship with Him.”

Credit: © Sylvia Huffnagle

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Smiling Criple


If this doesn't touch you and move you, I don't know what will. The power of the human spirit is shown at its mightiest by this one little girl.
I salute her.Qian HongYan lost her legs in an accidentHer family in China are poor and couldn't afford prosthetic legs, so she uses a basketball to help her move. - Qian uses two wooden props to drag herself, and never complain, even though she has worn out six basketballs. -She attends her class- She always smilesAlways cheerful
Be gratefull with what you have

The smiling crippled girl
Qian HongYan lost her legs in an accident

Qian uses two wooden props to drag herself, and never complains, even though she has worn through six basketballs.
She always smiles

Always cheerful


always positive
With your help she is now able to afford a pair of prosthetic legs.

Smile always
Be grateful with what you have.

Growing Phenomenon of Homeschooling

Home schooling is defined simply as the "education of school-aged children at home rather than at a school. Home schools, according to those who have observed or created them, are as diverse as the individuals who choose that educational method.

The victory of home schooled 13-year-old Rebecca Sealfon in the 1997 National Spelling Bee brought new attention to the growing phenomenon of home schooling. Dissatisfied with the performance of government-run schools, more and more American families have begun teaching their children at home. Estimates of the number of home schooled children vary widely; the best estimate is 500,000 to 750,000, but some estimates range up to 1.23 million. All observers agree that the number has grown rapidly over the past 15 years.

There are two historical strains of home schooling, a religious-right thread inspired by author Raymond Moore and a countercultural-left thread inspired by John Holt. Their differences illustrate the various concerns that cause people to choose home schooling: some want religious values in education, some worry about the crime and lack of discipline in the government schools, some object to the conformity and bureaucracy in the schools, others are concerned with the declining quality of education, and still others just feel that children are best educated by their parents.

A recent boom in the number of home schooled students winning admission to selective colleges demonstrates both the growth and the effectiveness of home schooling. The lesson for educational reformers is that home schooling, with minimal government interference, has produced literate students at a fraction of the cost of any government program. Home schooling has been largely deregulated, but further deregulation would make parents' task easier.

Growing phenomenon of home schooling

Thirteen-year-old Rebecca Sealfon of Brooklyn, New York, brought new attention to the growing phenomenon of home schooling when she became the first home schooled child to win the National Spelling Bee. She was one of 17 home schooled students among 245 competitors in the 70th annual bee, held in May 1997

The rise of home schooling, of course, reflects broadening dissatisfaction with formal education in the United States. From its modest beginnings in one-room schoolhouses, American education has grown into a gargantuan government enterprise. Today, about 50 million students attend more than 85,000 public schools and more than 26,000 private schools. Education is the largest line item in most state budgets. The average per pupil expenditure in America's public schools is $6,993.

Ironically, given the amount of money expended on teaching young people, public dissatisfaction with America's schools is high. In a Gallup Poll, "The Public's Attitudes toward the Public Schools," 45 percent of the respondents gave America's schools low grades--C, D, or F.

Dissatisfaction is high for two reasons. First, American public schools are turning out a poor product--illiterate and unprepared graduates. For example, American 13-year-olds have been documented as having math skills that rank below those of 13-year-olds in 14 other developed countries. One survey noted that only one in three high school juniors could place the Civil War in the right half century. Not coincidentally, American companies are spending billions of dollars a year on remedial education for their employees.

Equally troubling, public schools have become crime scenes where drugs are sold, teachers are robbed, and homemade bombs are found in lockers. A Metropolitan Life study released in 1993 reported that over 10 percent of teachers and 25 percent of students had been victims of violence at or near their public schools.

To compound the problem, teachers' unions, school officials, and many politicians adamantly oppose the use of public monies for innovative solutions, such as vouchers and charter schools. Those alternatives, although not a panacea for all the present problems, are at least promising vehicles that could help poor and middle-income parents to find better schools for their children and break up the monopoly of a "one-size-fits-all" philosophy of education.

In light of the educational quagmire the United States finds itself in toward the end of the 20th century, many parents, impatient for reform, are taking matters into their own hands. One alternative that is gaining growing public acceptance is the educational option known as home schooling.

Homeschoolers like to say that the world is their classroom. Or, as John Lyon, writing for the Rockford Institute, has observed,

Schooling, rather obviously, is what goes on in schools; education takes place wherever and whenever the nature with which we are born is nurtured so as to draw out of those capacities which conduce to true humanity. The home, the church, the neighborhood, the peer group, the media, the shopping mall . . . are all educational institutions.

Modern learning theories aside, homeschoolers believe that the student who receives his instruction simultaneously from the home and the community at large will be a more culturally sophisticated child than the one the bulk of whose learning experiences is confined to a school. The historical record offers noteworthy examples of the "world is my teacher" model. Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Andrew Wyeth, Pearl Buck, and the Founding Fathers were all taught at home. Those famous Americans' parents were pioneers.

Symptoms of the caged soul

The Scriptures reveal that man is a tripartite being, that is, he is made up of a soul and a spirit, both of which live in a body.God, the wonderful creator, wishes that man prospers in these three departments of his being especially the soul which is the spiritual part of his life.The enemy knows this, therefore, he attacks and cages man’s soul thus rendering him weakened, and unfulfilled in his earthly and heavenly pursuits.

The question now is:
1) How can a caged soul be delivered and made to prosper?
2) How can you know when a soul is caged?

Ezekiel 13:18-20
The creation of man is a wonderful process. The Bible says:” I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14).The creation of man took place in three stages:1. God Himself sat down, took dust, molded it and formed man. (Next times, when you feel like boasting, remember that you are ordinary dust); whenever you feel like broadcasting yourself, it is Mr. Dust that you are broadcasting.At burial ceremonies, it is said, “Dust unto dust ashes unto ashes.” That is, the person came from dust and is going back to be dust as it is put in the ground. That is why all the chemicals that make up the human body can also be found in the ground.

2. God breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, so that the Spirit of God moved into it to create the spirit of man which went straight into the blood.3. Man became a living soul, a distinct individual, a distinct personality.
The body of man is world-conscious. The soul of a man is the seat of his intellect, will and emotions; it is self- conscious. It is through the soul that a man knows that he is bold, weak, strong, and intelligent and that he is different from any other person.
The spirit of man is God - conscious, it is through it that he realizes that there is God and recognizes His Lordship. It is also through the spirit that man denies the existence of God and refuses to serve Him. Man is fearfully and wonderfully made.When the body is caged, it cannot move. It is limited and cannot do what it wishes to do. It has a problem.A person in Nsawam prison, for example, is limited. He is been watched and control, he cannot go about as he would have desired.

If a parrot is put in a cage, it is limited, it cannot fly. It can only hop within the confines of the cage.
When the spirit - man is caged; it means it is possessed and controlled by demonic spirits. They dictate what the spirit man should do and should not do. All witches, wizards and familiar spirits are possessed and controlled by the demon - spirits. It is amazing to know that these dark powers can summon a person out of his body.

The experiences that some people regard as dreams are not so; they are actual happenings in the spirit world.When you see yourself in the dream in your village or old secondary or primary school, or a house you lived before, it means that an evil covenant had been formed with your spirit at that location or that something went wrong there or that your placenta was buried there.

Sometimes, these powers make sure a tree is planted where the placenta is buried and the life of that child now depends on the growth of the tree. If the witches now decide to make that tree their meeting place, it means the child will be in their cage forever.One man went abroad to study. He always had a dream that he was carrying an old woman. Each time he tried to look at the face of the old woman, to know who she was, he got a slap and he woke up feeling the pains on his face. When he went to see a doctor, he was told that he was hallucinating.

One day, a woman came into his room with a gun, accusing him of debarring him from having her boy-friend. He told her that he did not know her; neither did he know the man she was talking about. Before he knew what was going on, he received gun-shots and he eventually died. The powers that were pursuing him for 13 years, caught up with him because he did not know what to do.
Take this prayer point:

Every power pursuing my destiny, die, in the name of Jesus.