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ANOINTED WORDS
Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Anointed Words book with Anointed Words lesson. This Anointed Words book and Anointed Words study with Anointed Words meaning looks into the Anointed Words message and asks what does Anointed Words mean, who has Anointed Words, why are Anointed Words important, what is the Anointed Words message and how does the Anointed Words message affect you. Understanding the Anointed Words message is very important and knowing what the Anointed Words message means can help you to understand many things more clearly. Let us delve into this Anointed Words book and find what this author has to share on the subject of the Anointed Words message in this Anointed Words book, shall we?


 

 

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By Holly J. Porchea
 

 

Ps 34:11 ďCome, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.Ē

I thank God for all of you. I give honor to the best Pastor and First Lady that we know. They do a lot for us, yíall. We need to appreciate them for all that they do. Some things are seen and unseen. I know that they do not do service for recognition, but they do it for God. We were called to this earth to be servants of Christ. Amen? Amen. I thank God for Minister Hoskins. I thank God for him, yíall. He is so kind and he always goes out of his way to say hello to me. I appreciate this. I thank God for his beautiful wife, Miss Hoskins. This lady is a virtuous woman. I give honor to Miss Cruz, a warrior of Christ, she is just led by Christ and works for Christ. I give honor to Miss Garrett. She is a beautiful woman of God. I give honor to the coolest Deacon Towns and the tallest Deacon Harris. *S* I give honor to all of you. But most of all, I thank God for God. Without Him, I would not be here. I live for Him and I will die for Him. He is so good!

I wonít be up here very long. I find it a privilege and an honor to serve before you. There is nothing I would rather do than the work of God. Amen? Amen! We will be looking at Ps 34:11. The first part of this verse is so powerful to me. It says listen to me! Sometimes we talk too much and tell God all that we want Him to do for us, we complain, we tell God all that we want Him to hear from us, but sometimes we need to be quiet. Sometimes we need to hear from God. We need to hear what God wants us to do. Sometimes we need to get rid of some things before we are blessed. We need to listen to God for our deliverance, our healing, our change.

The second part is that ďI will teach you the fear of the Lord.Ē I used to think ďfearĒ meant being afraid of God. But later found out that ďfearĒ meant to reverence, give respect, honor God. It is amazing to me that God sends anyone who he wants to allow us to give us a message. I remember I was waiting for my husband to come home and I started to worry because it was starting to be a few hours after what time he was expected to be home. I couldnít get a hold of him on the phone either and normally I would have been able to get a hold of him. I sent the kids to sleep and I went to sleep on the couch just waiting for him to come home. I prayed. Destini came into the family room and said, ďHave peace. He will be home soon.Ē I knew it was nobody but God. I thank God for using my children for His purpose. Even in Sunday School, I am astonished sometimes with what the children know, what they teach me and how their mind works for God.

Jesus came to this Earth as a child, lived like a child, for us. He did this only to be crucified at Calvary. Only so our sins could be forgiven and we can have a relationship with God. Oh, I thank God! Never take Jesus crucifixion for granted! While Jesus was here on Earth, he performed miracles, healed diseases, teaching the Word of God even though He would be crucified and knew He would be crucified. Oh my God!

How many of us would want to know what our future holds for us? Some of us could not handle what our future holds. Many people would say that they would want to know their future so they can be prepared for what is about to come, to know if they will be wealthy, or to know the situations that are about to come. God does not allow us to know everything that our future holds because if we knew everything, there would be no purpose for God. There would be no purpose for Jesusí death.

Some of us think we can just come to God any old kind of way. When we were in the world, we would spend hours on getting prepared and ready. I remember I used to change my outfit 5 times and wear shoes that I could not walk in, but I thought they looked good. I remember this one time when I first came into Abundant Harvest and I wore a dress that had no sleeves to church and I sat in the front row. I was told later by a friend that I shouldnít wear shirts or dresses that have no sleeves sitting in the front row. I was grateful for that person. She had told me that she was not sure how to come to me and talk to me about it. I see it as a learning process. I thank God that she did come to me because if she didnít, I would sit in the front row with no sleeves Sunday after Sunday thinking it was okay and there was nothing wrong with it.

Thereís order in the church, yíall. I remember even saying to her during this conversation that if I do anything else that is not right to bring it to my attention. I want to be right with God. I want to reverence God in His house. God blesses order, yíall.

I looked up order in the dictionary and some of the definitions caught my attention. There were about 50 different definitions in the dictionary about order.

Order is a command given by a superior. For example, if Pastor asked us to bring him water. That would be considered an order. We need to do everything that God asks us to do. We cannot pick and choose what we want to do for God. What if God told us, ďWell, Iím not going to allow you to wake up or have feeling in your feet because Iím tired or I just donít want to.Ē What if God told us that? We cannot expect to be blessed by God if we have an attitude like that. In fact, God uses what we have to bless us. SoÖ if we donít have anything God can use, our blessings will not come. Donít wonder why God isnít doing what you asked Him to do if you are not doing for Him. Many say that we cannot treat other Pastors that come into our church better than we treat our own Pastor, but I say to you today that we cannot continue to treat others better than we treat our own God.

Order is giving instructions to or directing somebody to do something with authority. This means that when the Devil comes your way, you need to stand up and rebuke the Devil for what he is and what he is trying to do. Devil, you will NOT take my family, my home, my church, my health, whatever it may be. In the Name of Jesus! In the blood of Jesus! We have to stand up to the Devil and not be afraid! Listen, yíall we need to stomp on the Devilís head. Sometimes I donít understand why it is so hard for some people to shout and dance. Donít let what others may think about you or what others see you doing from getting your praise, your healing, and your deliverance. I say to you today that today is your day! Your day to take back what the Devil has stolen from you! No more chains, no more shackles! Today is the day yokes will be broken! Every yoke, every yoke! I say today is the day that there will be peace in your homes, change in your situations and mending of the hearts. I know you might be dealing with sickness, and other situations but I dare you to stop worrying about what others will think, say or see and stomp on the Devilís head! Donít play with the Devil! We donít have time saints! God said that He will come in the night like a thief, what makes you think that the Devil wonít come just as fast and steal your joy, steal your children, your spouse, your finances! In the Name of Jesus!

Order is a body of rules followed by an assembly and a request for something to be made, supplied, or served. When we enter into the church, we are handed a church program and in it is the order of service. We abide by it unless the Holy Spirit comes in and alters the service. But if we did not have order in service, we would be in confusion. We have a Pastor, a First Lady, Ministers and Missionaries, Deacons; that help us to keep order in church so that there is no confusion. God has given us spiritual gifts in the church to use so that we can have order. I cannot stress how important order is. We must keep order in our homes. Our children must know and understand who the parents are and know and understand that they are the children. Sometimes you will get an attitude or a child that grunts when asked to do the dishes, or yells calling the parent unfair. Children need order in the house. If there is no order in the house, then the children will have control of the house. I like to watchĒ Nanny 911Ē and I always see that the parents are afraid to punish their children or donít know how to properly control their household so then it ends up the children rule the house and do whatever they want. The one thing I like the Nanny doing is writing specific rules that the family needs to abide by so there can be order in the house. By enforcing the rules, the family knows what is tolerated and what is not tolerated. They all know what the rules are and what consequences will be taken if the rules are not followed.

Itís the same way with God, we have a set of rules with God. It is called the Bible and more specifically, the 10 Commandments. We already know what rules we need to abide to keep order in our own spiritual lives. We know what God tolerates and what He does not tolerate. We know that if we donít follow the rules, we will need to take a time-out and if we do follow the rules then we will be rewarded.

He will reward you for the good that you do. He said in His Word that He will give us the desires of our heart.

 

1/26/08

Proverbs 3:5-6, ďTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.Ē

Lord, I pray that You will bless me with the understanding and wisdom of this very familiar Scripture. That You will lead me in what to write and what I should understand and learn about these verses. I pray this lesson would come back to me when I need it to encourage others or myself. In Jesusí Name I pray, Amen.

Man, when I think of this Scripture I believe that it is one of the hardest things for Christians to do because we always want to do things our own way. We donít have patience and we want to see results right away. A prophet might come up to us and tell us that something may happen in a certain number of days and if it doesnít happen, then we take it upon ourselves to act on it.

But we are to trust in God in all things, in all times. When things arenít going our way, we need to believe that God is about to bring us out of our situation. When it doesnít happen in a certain timeframe, we have to realize that God does not work on our time schedule. How dare we even say to God that He must do it in a certain number of days, hours, weeks, whatever the case may be. He didnít and doesnít have to bless us with anything if He doesnít want to. We cannot put time limits on God. God cannot and should not be tested. In the Bible, there were a number of times when the Devil tried to test Jesus, but Jesus never gave in. In fact, I believe it was 40 days and nights that Jesus was tempted. But Jesus never gave in, He never sinned. If Jesus wonít give in to the tests of the Devil what makes you think that Jesus will give in to us? He is the Almighty! He is our ALL in ALL! I donít think we would be here praising and worshipping God if He wasnít somebody!

We should not try to do things on our own. There was a time in my life that I was scared to pick up my Bible because every time I started to read it, something bad would happen. So I decided I just wouldnít read my Bible. How silly of me to think that bad things wouldnít happen if I didnít read my Bible! Now that I look back, I see that it was only a test of faith, it was a test to see how committed I really was to God. I wasnít ready yíall! For someone to put down there Bible because of bad things happening is not trusting God. I thought I could put things into my own hands and take care of the situation.

However, my situation was not taken care of until I became committed to God and decided not to go back even when trials and tribulations came. I thank God for Abundant Harvest. God knew what He was doing when He brought me here. Even if I wanted to, I could not turn back. I had two beautiful virtuous women at my workplace at the time who just helped me to just stay committed, to know that God is bigger than my problems. I thank them today, Miss Garrett and Sis Courtney. I had two other awesome people who taught me to never throw in the towel because God will throw it back to You, they are the best Pastor and First Lady that I know. I owe you two in a big way. My love and appreciation to these people will never replace what they have taught me and the lifetime commitment that they have told me to stick with.

Sometimes God will take us to place that we could never have comprehended if we had taken care of the situation on our own. He might say to go right where the blessing is but we might go left into Hell. He might tell you something you may think is crazy or silly to do and you donít know why He led you this way, but do it anyways. You have to be obedient to Him. What happens if you donít do it, you may never know what He had in store for you. I remember I had a friend who God had told to go to Walmart and give a blue basket to a lady in aisle 6. She had no idea why God had told her this. She thought it was silly, but did it out of obedience anyways. She gave the basket to the lady that was standing there and the lady began to weep. She told my friend that she had asked God to send someone with a basket to her in aisle 6. She said that this was confirmation of the love she needed so much. She was to the point of suicide. But because my friend was faithful, this lady had a new hope. The purpose of telling you this is you might not know why God asks you to do something but the effect it has on you might not be as much of an impact it is on someone else. You donít know who you are going to bless with just being faithful to God. Do the work of God and He will abundantly bless you. What greater work is there then doing the work of God?

I think about the work we do for Pastor Appreciation Day or the day we recently had to celebrate First Lady and how much work it is. When you are doing the work, you are tired and it does seem a little bit stressful. But when it is all said and done, it is so worth it. I feel so good after I do work in the church, or for members. There is no other work I would rather do than the work of the people of God.

 

1/27/09

Heb 11:1, ďNow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.Ē

The early Christians faith was being tested. They were being persecuted and wavering in their decision for Christ. Some us are guilty of doubt and unbelief when we donít always see the promises of God come to pass. We donít always understand why God makes us wait so long for our blessings. Sometimes when it takes so long for our blessing, we take it upon ourselves to solve the issue. But instead of solving the issue, the issue becomes even bigger than it was to start out with. Sometimes God just wants us to wait, to see what we are going to do while we are waiting. Are we going to pray, fast, study our Word and attend church or are we going to doing something else? I remember a year ago when my husband lost his job and for about a year he was looking for work. I was working but it wasnít bringing enough money to support all of the financial debts we had. So we waited, and prayed, waited, waited, prayed some more, waited, and prayed some more. It seemed like his blessing was never going to come. We would receive revelations and prophetic words at church and we were obedient to what was said and what to do in those messages. We were fasting, reading our Word, moving in the church, but nothing was happening. But God. Then one day my husband said he received a job offer and there was hope. He went to work and he was let go the same day! I started losing hope and I remember even telling First Lady that I was ready to throw in the towel. I believe at that time I would cry myself to sleep every night because I was so stressed out and worried about the situation. Because while he was looking for work, our bills kept getting higher and higher. To the point, that our electricity and gas were turned off for two weeks. I couldnít take it. But just when God isnít there, He showed His face. And now my husband is working at the company that God has for him right now. I will not say the position God has for Him because I believe God is about to bless him with a promotion. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus! God is so good because He has done a complete 360 degree turn in our lives. Now I am not working but my husband is. I believe that is the way God has planned it way back in the Genesis times and it should still stand today.

Iím not saying the woman shouldnít work, but they are to be a help mate unto the man of the house. The man of the house should be the headmaster and take on the responsibility of being the forerunner, but the woman should support and help the man in their familyís needs.

The book of Hebrews was written about the elders in faith who we can look to as heroines. I know when we lived in Rochester, how my Pastor was an older man probably in his 60s. I treated him with respect and with love, but when I came to Buffalo and Abundant Harvest, it was hard for me at first to acknowledge and accept that Pastor and First Lady were the same ages of my husband and I. I really had a harder time accepting First Ladyís age then I did Pastor. She just has a Spirit about her. She has a older Spirit within her. I am not saying she looks old in anyway because she looks beautiful and young, but the Spirit within her. But nonetheless, they are still my Pastor and First Lady and I still treat them with respect them with dignity and love. At least I hope I do *S* And now I am so glad that they are the leaders of this church because I have learned so much from them. I learned more from them in one year then I learned in 5 years being in Rochester. I thank God that I have a Pastor and First Lady who I can talk to and they can relate or give me advice that is according to the Bible. I thank God for people in this church, like the Hoskins, the Jacksons, the Harris, the Garretts, the Cruzs, all of You who are in Your Word who have taught me and helped me to instill the Word into my own soul, mind, and spirit.

When I think of heroines, I think of Spiderman, He-man, Wonder Woman. Some of you younger kids might think of The Imagination Movers, Dora the Explorer, Wonder Pets, or whoever it may be. But no matter who you think of, it cannot take the place of that one heroine in this church, in the Bible. That is Jesus. I have never seen Spiderman die for anyone. He always has another sequel and is still longing after Mary Jane. Jesus was first betrayed by Judas Iscariot. Then He is denied by Peter. Jesus is arrested in Gethsemane and handed over to Pontius Pilate. Letís read Matt 27:27-31. If you continue to read on until Matt 27:50 you will read about the many things Jesus went through after the ripping of the clothes, the crown of thorns, mocking Him, beaten and nailed. He is our heroine. There are many others in the Bible who have great faith but none as great as Jesus himself.

If you read Heb 11: 4-40, you read about those people in the Bible who had faith in God. Some of them had to go through somethings despite. Some shut the mouth of lions, others were tortured, mocked, slain with the sword. But they never gave up. They understood that no matter what others did to them would never be as big as the reward they would receive in Heaven. I know when I die, I would rather die knowing that I died because I believed and did not let go of my beliefs then to reject my beliefs to spare my life. I would rather believing in Christ than denying my own Savior like Peter did. I once lived there. I once denied reading, studying, knowing, seeking God. I have made a promise to God when I realized how much I was hurting Him that I will live for Him and I will die for Him.

It only hurts me to see those during praise and worship who neither praise nor sing during that part of service. God once told me that praise and worship is the time to thank Him for all He has done, to praise Him for what He is about to do and to show Him how much we really love Him. Sometimes when I come into the church, I am not always in the right mind. This is the time to repent and ask God for forgiveness so that it does not hinder you during the rest of service and especially so you can hear, understand, and instill the Word of God. There is no better time to show God how much you love and adore Him, but through praise and worship.

I will take a look out in the crowd to see who is praising and worshipping and I will talk from my own childrenís point of view because I donít know anyone elseís heart and I cannot judge what others do. Sometimes I will see my children sitting and playing while praise and worship is going on and I get a little upset. I can even get to the point of being offended because I know what God has done in my family and some of the things that God has done for my children. And you are sitting there acting like you havenít been blessed all week? Like God hasnít done anything for you? I know and understand that my children are young, but no one is too young to know and thank God for all He has done.

We need to live our lives in faith so that we can be in Godís hall of fame. Living a life of righteousness and holiness is not just about living a life so you can be a missionary or hold a title. Living a life of righteousness and holiness is so you can make it to the final reward, the grand prize. In Revelation 21: 4, talking about Heaven, ďAnd God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.Ē And from there it continues to speak of the New Jerusalem. By a show of hands, how many of us want to see the Glory of the New Jerusalem? If we want to see it, we have to act upon it. We have to start doing what is right. If God tells us to do something, then we have to do it. If God tells us to stop doing something, we need to stop. We cannot continue to do the things that we want to do. We were brought on this earth to serve a purpose, to serve a purpose that is bigger than you and I. We came to serve others and not we ourselves. SoÖ yes, we may be busy in the church, we be busy praying, reading, studying, fasting, teaching, pastoring, visiting the sick and imprisoned, working in the shelters. But I would rather be doing Godís work than being out on the streets, being imprisoned, drug addicted, in the hospital. Amen? Amen!

Being in this world is not about us, but itís about who we serve.   

I was studying last week in Ezekiel 4:9-11. I started to think about how much time the people before Jesus spent on preparing and laying before God their offerings. I am astonished at the detail and instructions that needed to be followed even before they could burn the offerings up to God. Would we today take the same time to prepare these offerings if we had to? We think that an hour of prayer a day or studying the Word once a day, or praying before meals or even going to church more than one day a week is sufficient. God spoke a word to me and said, ďWould we want God to spend as much time on us as we do for Him?Ē Would we? Think about how much time we spend on God a day, a week, a month. What if He told us He was too busy or He didnít feel like it. When we give in to our flesh and say that we would rather go out to dinner, watch television, play a game than spend time with God. What if you asked God for something you desperately needed, and He said He would rather bless someone else instead of you? How would you feel? I am going to be completely real and say that it is impossible to spend ALL of our time with God especially when we have other responsibilities like our families, school, jobs, and house. But, when we do have the time to spend with God, we need to spend it with Him. We cannot consume our everything into something that we want to do, but not take the time to spend with God. This is the time we need to be fasting, praying, studying our Word, ministering to others. We have not come into this world to serve ourselves, but we have come into this world to serve Him. Have you read the news lately? Have you not read Ezekiel 7 where God has said the end has come? We donít have time to repent and act foolish. We donít have time to decide whether we want to serve God or man. You need to make a choice right now. God said that He will come like a thief in the night. There will be no warning. Itís time now to stop playing with God and do what is right. 

Listen, I donít care what you have been through, what you are going through or what you think you might go through. I donít care! It doesnít matter to God where youíve been or where you are or where youíre going. He is a God that does not care about how much money you have, or what kind of clothes you wear. He doesnít care about what kind of car you drive in or whether you live in a mansion or a shack. If you ask me, I would rather live in the mansion in Heaven than any mansion here on Earth. Come to God. Come to Him with your pain, your hurt, your sorrow, your sin. Jesus asked in His own Word, who needs Him more? The saved or the unsaved? The truth is we ALL need Jesus but the unsaved need Him more because they have not made up their mind to serve Him. We need to be like Jesus in image and in likeness. God is love. Therefore, we as Christians, need to reach out to our loved ones who are unsaved so that they too may experience Heaven one day. 

Life is about living a holy and righteous life before God. Itís about reading your Word and how you apply it to your life. Itís about how you use the Word to bring Jesus in other peoplesí lives. Itís not about your retirement plan, how successful you have become, how many trips you have been on or how much money you have accumulated in the bank. I have one question to ask you, would you be able to give these things up in order to follow Jesus? In Matthew 19: 16-30, the rich young man asked Jesus what he needed to do in order to get eternal life. Jesus said to leave everything he owned and to come follow Him. The man could not do it. What would you do? Would you be able to give up your family, your home, your job, your friends to follow Jesus or would you do what the rich young man did?  

 

Genesis 10:5, ďFrom these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.Ē

Before I entered into Abundant Harvest, my family and I would go into churches and the members would just stare at me. They were in shock that an Asian women walked into the sanctuary with a black man and biracial children. It not only made me feel uncomfortable and not want to come back again, but I was thinking donít these people realize that there are people all over the world praising God, not just black people. Itís not a ďblack thingĒ. itís not a ďwhite thingĒ. Itís a God thing. We are all working towards the same goal. What are these people going to do when they reach Heaven and see Asians, or whites, or Hispanic? Are they just going to stare at them?  

It is so important to welcome someone new into your church with love. You want to make sure your visitors feel welcomed and embraced. If you just stare at them and watch their every move, they may not want to come back again. Therefore, you may have failed to do Godís work. I remember when my husband went to visit a church and he parked in the wrong spot. Instead of asking him to move the car nicely, the ushers were mean to him and abruptly told him to move the car. Mind you, this was the first time we were ever at this church. He said it was awful, he felt awful and he felt like he didnít even want to return back into the church. Itís shocking because this church might be one of the largest churches in Buffalo. Nevertheless, my husband never returned. Thank God my husband has been in the church for most of his life, that even after that incident, he was persistent to find a church that would be a good match for him and his family. Like my Pastor says, the church with the highest anointing. 

What if this incident happened to a person who has never been to church before? Donít you think they would have a preconceived notion towards the church? The church would not be highly thought of by that person, it would not be comfortable for the person to be there and the visitor might think twice of even wanting to know God if the members have an attitude. In Matthew 22: 37-39, ďJesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.Ē You could potentially be responsible for that personís salvation just by your attitude or actions in the church.

God has not chosen one race or nationality to be greater than the other, we are all great in Godís eyesight.  

 

Ps 37:40, ďAnd the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in HimĒ

This verse goes with some of the times when people of God were in war and it looked like they were about to be defeated. In I Chr 5:20, it was the Hagrites who were delivered into the hands of the Gadites. In 2 Chron 14, it was Asa reigning in Judah. I am sure there are many more times that the people of God have come against others in war. But how many of you know that when the people of God fight in battle, it is not their battle to fight but Godís.

Listen, nowadays, we donít fight physical battles, we fight spiritual battles. We fight the Devil on a daily basis, even on a moment-to-moment basis. We canít live for tomorrow until tomorrow comes. Living saved is hard for some of us, we have to really think about what Jesus would do in a situation before we act. It is extremely wise of us to even go in our Bibles and read what Jesus has done to confront particular situations we are in. I cannot stress how important it is for us to read our Word and to study our Word so that when situations arise, we will know what to do in situations we face. When I say situations, I donít mean just trials and tribulations but I am talking about everything. Some of the things you can learn from the Bible are how to control and manage money, to how to be a better person, how to work diligently in all that you do, and how to handle criticism. I use the Bible on a daily basis, and I even try to read at least one Scripture before I start my day. It is very difficult to study the Word when my family is at home because they are needing me to do something and wonít give me the time I need to study the Word so I have to do it while they are away at work and school.

If you are living your life for God and giving God all that You have, He will in turn bless You. He blesses you when you have something to give Him. He uses what you have to turn it into a blessing. Think about the lady that had a little bit of oil and some meal just enough for her and her son, but Jesus came in and told her to make a meal for Him. Jesus used what she had to bless her family with more than what they started out with. Think about Noah. God told Noah to build an ark and to put his family and two animals of each kind on the ark. Think about the animals they had back then and the animals and people that are walking this earth now. We are in abundance.

God will help you when you are in need. There are some things you need to be doing while you are waiting for God to bless you. You cannot be living in the world and think God will bless you in disobedience, He will bless you when you are waiting in anticipation and expecting his blessing to come. You have to be in your Word, you have to be fasting, praying and seeking God out for yourself. You cannot just praise God when things are going right, you need to praise God at all times. Ps 150 says, ďLet everything that has breath praise the Lord.Ē It doesnít mean, when you feel like it, or when things are going right, it says that if we have breath we should praise Him. In Ps 71:6, ďMy praise shall be continually of You.Ē This too lets us know that God wants us to praise at all times, when things are going bad, when things are going good, in the grocery store, in the bank, in the mall and in your car. I remember I used to work at Citigroup and as I would drive to work I would just begin to pray but then the Spirit would just take over. I was scared to close my eyes while driving, but I thanked God that at anytime, anywhere I had praise in my mouth perpetually.

If you just begin to think about all that God has done for you, you will begin to possess true praise and worship on your heart and in your mouth.

I remember when I wasnít living right. I remember when I didnít want to go to church when I was saved. I remember getting an attitude just yesterday. These things need to be changed. We need to go to God and ask Him what we need to live right. We cannot live the same day in and day out. At some point in your life you have to make a decision that you are not going to live the same way everyday, that you are going to make a change. You want to live righteous and holy. I used to tell people that even if there was no God, at least I was living right. Listen, yíll when I was living in the world, I was living in the world to the extreme. When I live for Christ, I want to live for Christ to the extreme and some. I want to live a life more in Christ than I ever lived in the world. I thank God for my salvation because I truly needed it, because I believe that if I wasnít saved, Iíd be living a life straight to Hell.

Trust. Why is trust so hard for saints to comprehend? I remember when Pastor would call me up to the altar and tell me I needed to trust in God. To lift the burden off of me and to give it to God and some to my husband. But when I got back home, I was the same person worrying about the same situations. We need to come out of that. We need to realize that we cannot take care of our own situations. Why do we even serve God if we donít trust Him? When we came in to 2009, it was the first time that I experience anticipation and expectation in God. I trust God that my 2009 will not be like my 2008. I told God that 2009 was my year! It started kind of rocky when I didnít come to church for a few weeks because of my dental surgery but I thank God that He gave me enough strength and courage to tell the Devil, ďEnough is enough.Ē I wonít hinder my praise anymore. God has been way too good for me to just shrug my shoulders at Him. I wasnít worried about what you would all say about my mouth but it was a personal thing for me. I struggled but once revival came, Oh my God! God worked in my life and in my situation! The revival was confirmation to me that this year will be different, I wonít be going through the same trials, I wonít be dealing with the same situations, I wonít be the same person that I once was. I sat down and asked God to grow within me, to do some changes in me, to allow me to have a deeper relationship with Him.

 

Gen 1:1 and 1:31, ďIn the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Ē And ďThen God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very goodÖĒ

The verse is pretty much self-explanatory. Then for the next 6 days God began to create the earth step-by-step. On the seventh day, God created rest. God looked at the earth and said it was good. But the earth needed a little something to boost it up, something to upkeep the land that God created. He created man and woman, Adam and Eve.

I get so upset when people litter on the ground. First, because itís bad for the economy but second, because God created this earth for us and we should be responsible for taking care of it. My husband knows that I detest when people litter because sometimes I have to put a little bug in his ear. However, I donít recycle and do a lot of other things I know I could do to take care of this land that God has blessed us with, but I do something.

I love the way that the Bible says that God looks at all that He has made and says that it is very good. I can just picture God being pleased with his work. Maybe putting his hands in His pocket and taking a deep breath of utter happiness. The other thing it says is that God said it was very good. It was just not okay, but it was very good.

Sometimes we have to be the same way. We need to be pleased with what we do. We donít have to brag about it, but we have to work diligently acting as if we are doing it for the Lord, whether it is homework, house chores, or church ministry. We have to be pleased with it. We cannot just throw something together. We have to be proud of what we do. I used to not know what to say when people would give my children compliments for being pretty or as Isaiah would put it, handsome. But now I say it loud and clear, ďThank You.Ē Because I know it was the hands of God who created my children and I am well pleased with the work He has done and I thank God that He has blessed me with such beautiful children to take care of for a little while.

Lord, knows my children have great potential and time and time again I speak life into their lives because I know the things that God has brought them out of. Jasmine and I almost died during the birthing process because of her heartbeat. We were in a car accident and another car hit the side that Destini was sitting on. Listen, God is so good that she was sleeping while it happened and probably doesnít remember it and she wasnít even touched. There was no scrape or bruise on her from the accident. Thank You, Lord! Isaiah had pneumonia at 2 years old and was in the ICU for a month. They didnít know what was going to happen. Each day it was a battle. He was sedated, paralyzed and all these other machines were hooked up to him. Then a year later, he went back into the hospital Christmas Day for a week. Since then, he has not had any problems and has not been in the hospital. Thank You, Lord! Hallelujah! For those of you who have had children in the hospital, you know the detrimental effect it has on you. I thank God because it was nothing but the blood of Jesus that kept my children.

What a wonderful thing it is to know that God loves you and that you can love someone who is as great and mighty as Him. In I John 4: 16, ďAnd we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.Ē

Basically  what this Scripture is telling us is that if we want to know what love is and how to love others, look to God. Seek God, and He will show you the answer. God is so easy to love. You see, sometimes we make it hard to love Him because we will put things in front of Him and then we cannot reach Him. But God is the same now, today and forever. He does not change. We need to be careful what we put in front of God. Some of us might put our family in the front line, others their job, and even still some might put a hobby like basketball in front. But donít you know that God is a jealous God. He will take these things away from you so that you can concentrate on Him?

We need to have a balance in our life. Balance in life is so important because if you donít have it the Devil will try to use your imbalance and make it look good, make it look like itís okay. Think of a scale. Letís say we put family on one side and on the other side we put our job. If we start working overtime, working nights, traveling and neglecting our family because we are so worried about our bills and who is going to pay them if you stop working then your family will suffer.

I was watching this movie by Tyler Perry called, ďThe Marriage CounselorĒ. I donít know if I agree that he is saved or not because some things he says and does makes me question it, but I am not the Judge. The moral of the play was solely based on balance in life. The husband worked all the time because he was so stressed about the bills that the wife started to look at someone else who did give her the attention and love she was longing for from her husband. Donít let the Devil try to steal your family, your children, your job, your church responsibilities. In fact, I believe Pastor had previously given us a word on this. He was specifically speaking to the husbands of this house. Pastor said that we need to take care of our responsibilities at home because if the husbands donít, the Devil will try to come in and steal that marriage.

I remember when I was going to school full-time and I had two part-time jobs. Isaiah wasnít going to school yet, so I left him with a friend from 9 in the morning to 9 at night, almost 10 because I was taking the bus. The time I missed being with my child so I could take on my other responsibilities was way too long. Who knew what my son was exposed to while I was gone? It was way too much for me to handle and I finally burned out. I tried to take the finances and my education into my own hands and not into Godís. I know this wasnít Godís will for me because if it was, God would never give me more than what I could handle.

I thank God that I have come to my senses and realized a school plan that would work for me. I am not working so it gives me time to spend with my children and take on other responsibilities. I am not stressed with the balance I have in my life anymore.

It is so important to be direct and guided by Godís loving hands because if we take it upon ourselves, we might burnout. I thank God that I look to Him for everything. I sometimes get on my husbandís nerves because I wonít make a decision without first knowing that he prayed, I prayed or we prayed together over things. If I know I have not prayed over something, I will immediately ask him if he prayed over it. Sometimes he says yes but sometimes he wonít. I want to make sure, especially a big decision like a car or something, it has got to be in Godís will. I have already tried my way and it doesnít work. I do not want to be someone who takes it upon themselves to do something and then ask God why it didnít work. By doing that, it hinders your blessing and slows the process of God blessing you.

There is no other love than that of Jesus Christ. If you just think of the things He has done for you. I did this in a Sunday School class before. I asked the kids to name 10 things that God has done for you during the week. Some of the kids even went further then 10. Then I asked them to think of 10 things that you have done for God. Some named 9, 5, it was all less than 10. I am not here to embarrass them, but to prove a point. Some of us sitting here might not even be able to name 10 things. Now, which is more? The things God has done for you or the things you have done for Him? I donít care if you have a trillion things he has done for you and you have done a billion things for him. My point is this, no matter how many things you come up with, God will always do more for you than you do for him. Thank God! If you think of the things, He has done for you!

He has blessed the Pastorís family with a child when they thought they were baren and couldnít have any. God touched First Ladyís belly, healed her and then blessed with a miracle child. I believe baby Jackson has been, is and will be prayed over many, many times. Baby Jackson already has potential and life has been spoken into her. Amen? Amen!

 

ďHere I Am, LordĒ

Letís look at Exodus 3: 4, ďSo when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ďMoses, Moses!Ē And he said, ďHere I am.Ē If you continue to read this passage of Scripture, you will find out that God has called Moses to lead the people out of Egypt.

When Moses heard God calling him, he said ďHere I amĒ. He didnít run and hide, he didnít go get someone else, he inquired of the bush that was burning. He wasnít scared of the sight, he said it was a ďgreat sightĒ.

We have to be the same way. When God calls us, we have to say, ďHere I am, Lord.Ē To me, itís almost the same as saying, ďUse me, Lord!Ē When Moses said ďHere I amĒ, he did not know the task that God had set before him. He did not know that God wanted him to lead the people out of Egypt. In fact, when he heard what God wanted him to do, he had great concern. Moses thought he was not a good candidate for this position. Moses thought he was not a good speaker and that he wouldnít have much influence over Pharoah. In Ex 4:10, Moses says that he is slow of speech and slow of tongue. But God replies back to him, that He is the creator and author of us and that we dare not question His authority. God says that he will be with Moses and teach him what to say. Then God started to get angry when Moses didnít show faith in God at first because he continued to ask God to send someone else.

You see, before I became a missionary I was questioning God too. I would try to figure God out. I would say things to myself like, ďBut no one has given me a prophetic message to become a missionary.Ē Or ďI donít speak or study the Word as eloquently as the other missionaries in the churchĒ. But how many of You know that God will use whomever He wants at anytime? We just have to say, ďHere I am, LordĒ We donít do the work anyways, He just uses us to relate a message. He does the work and we are His messengers.

You see, there is one thing that Moses didnít understand when he said this. He lacked reasoning. He lacked the concept of God saying, ďI Am Who I Am.Ē It wasnít Moses who was going to lead the people out of Egypt, but if Moses just stayed obedient to Godís Word and His direction then God would lead the people out of Egypt. God was just using Moses for purpose. God didnít need Moses to do His work for Him, but He used Him because Pharoah is part of Moses family. God uses Moses for many reasons, many reasons that are beyond my comprehension. Moses and Aaron both went to Egypt.

Many times, Moses and Aaron went to Pharoah to seek the freedom of the Hebrew slaves but Pharoah would not release them. If you continue to read in Exodus, you find out that God had placed 10 plagues over Egypt before the Hebrew slaves were freed. But even after the the children of Israel were freed, Moses and Aaron both went through some things before leading the people into land flowing with milk and honey.

However, during this experience, Moses and the Hebrew people had suffered through some things, they went through some things, had to struggle, and some lost hope. Do you think when Moses took on this task and said, ďHere I amĒ that he realized all of the trials and tribulations he would be going through?

Some of us need to pick up our bags and start walking. I dare you to say, ďHere I am, Lord.Ē We need to trust in God. Pick up our own belongings and follow God to the land of milk and honey. Because we will be going through some things, we cannot lose hope and we cannot give up on God. If we study the story of Moses and how he lead the people into the different camp sites, when they needed something like food or water, God was there. He provided for them. He gave them the strength they needed to keep walking. He gave them the necessities of life.

I know some of us struggle to put food on our own table, sometimes we need to eat the oodles and noodles. We cannot always eat steak and potatoes. But thank God that you have something to put on your table.

I remember when Chris and I lost our house. We didnít know where we were going to stay. We had three children to take care of. But somehow, someway, God made a way for us. He saw fit to bless us in our deepest needs. He allowed us to have money to eat at Bob Evans and to stay in a hotel. Then it was only through God that we found the apartment we live in now.

I think of it as a building, you start with the foundation and work your way up. You need the foundation of the salvation of God in your life. Then after you have the foundation, then you have the tools to build on the rest of the building. After you have your tools then the other things will be added on such as the floor levels, windows, decorations, elevators and anything else that make up a building. The tools are reading Your Word, doing ministry, praying, seeking, fasting, learning, doing all that God has for you to do. The floor levels and the many extras are the things you need to sustain life, the cars, houses, job, whatever it maybe. But if your foundation is not balanced, your building will fall and collapse. But if your foundation is good then your building will stand tall and it will be strong, it will be able to withstand strong winds, storms and other forces.

SoÖmy question to you is, the next time God calls you, will you say, ďHere I amĒ or will you run and hide?

 

2/3/09

Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-20

ďGoing Into Your CallingĒ

I recently went to Pastor to let him know that I believe I was called by God to do ministry as a missionary in the church. I was extremely nervous to tell Pastor because I knew that as soon as I told him, that I would begin to move forward in my calling as soon as confirmation was received. I asked God what to study today and He told me to go into my Tuesday night Bible study lesson. At first, I could not find it but I looked in the back of the Bible and there it was. I flipped to the lesson and the lesson fit like a glove into what I have been working with God on. The title of the lesson said, ďProgressively Pursuing Your Spiritual GoalsĒ My God! Immediately I thought of the calling I believe that is on my life. When God had told me to go to this lesson, I wasnít sure why. I knew the reason as soon as I read the lesson title. Itís funny because I am so busy looking for confirmation for my calling through Pastor and other members, but time and time again God has reassured me that it is my calling by giving me sign after sign that this calling is over my life.

How many of you know that you donít need a word from a Prophet or Pastor as long as God gives you the word? Last year, I was praying to be a missionary. Not because I wanted a title but so I can go to prisons, and hospitals. It has been on my heart to reach out to the homeless and to youth. I believe that a missionary, Pastor, minister or other titled entity is much more received than a brother or sister in the church. My goal in life is to reach as many people as I can to let them know about the Gospel and the wonderful things that God does in each personís life.

As soon as God had given me the okay, I started to get scared. I donít think I realized what I was praying myself into when I first wanted to become a missionary. I wanted to run, but pursuing your spiritual goals means to run after, to chase. No matter how hard, how difficult, how impossible a situation may seem, that you continue to go after it.

When I started to get scared, God had given me the story of Moses and how when he was called, he said at the burning bush, ďHere I am.Ē He made himself available to God. After he found out what God wanted him to do, he tried to compromise with God. He told God that he was not a good speaker or leader. He doubted himself, but God didnít doubt him. God said that he would be with him all the way, He would tell him what to say and what to do. Moses only needed to be obedient to God and do exactly what God told him. God never said that Moses wouldnít go through some things on his way to leading the people out of Egypt, because if you read the story, you will see that Moses went through some things. But each time Moses and the children of Israel needed something, God was there to take care of them. What an awesome God we have! He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Destini drew me a thank you card the other day and in it, it read, ďThank you for taking care of me and providing me for food and buying stuff I donít even need and for loving me I just thank you for everything.Ē I laughed when I read it because I thought it was so cute, as most adults do, but then I really thought about what she said. We need to be the same way with God. We need to write a thank you note to Him to tell Him how thankful we are for all that He has done. He even blesses us with things that we donít even need, but things that we want. Hallelujah! He sees fit to bless us even when we sin, turn our backs on Him, and do our own thing! Thank You Jesus! Thank God for His grace and mercy!

If I think about all the things that I have done in my life, I shouldnít even be alive right now! I was once a liar, a cheater, a stealer, but God! Sometimes I get upset during praise and worship because I see my kids, I am not talking about anyone else or anyothersí children, but mine. I see them just sitting on their chair and not even acknowledging that God is even in the room. It bothers me because I know what God has done for my children from the time they were born up to the praise and worship time. God did not have to bless them, but He does! I was once in praise and worship and God told me what praise and worship was and why we do it. He said that praise and worship is the time you show God how much you love Him and thank Him, itís a time that we might not have during our week to just show Him how much we adore Him and are grateful for all that He does! I know that I pray, I seek, I study my Word, but I donít spend 30 minutes at home just worshipping and praising Him. I might sing a song but I donít just concentrate on Him while I do it, I might be doing the dishes or doing homework. My mind is on something else as well but at church praise and worship, you are able to put your mind on just God. Ever since God has shown me what praise and worship means to Him, my praise and worship has never been the same.

I think it is so important to reach out to others when they come into our church. We need to show love and to really reach out to our visitors. If we want our church to grow, then we need to show our visitors and new members that we are concerned and love them. Picking up the phone and calling them or inviting them to Bible study or even offering them a ride home, is considered showing love and kindness. We have to get out of our ďcomfort zonesĒ and reach out. We cannot just talk with our friends after service when there are visitors and new members here that need us. Sometimes it is not Godís will for us to take the easy route, but to get out of our comfortableness. We need to stop being content with everything too. I know that I know that I know that God has a purpose and plan for Abundant Harvest to grow, but it takes the members to bring the members in. It takes us to increase the church size.

I used to be so afraid of telling others of my salvation and living for Jesus in fear that I messed up in my salvation and then them questioning my faith. I donít care anymore what others think. They can either hate me or love me. I have dealt with ridicule all of my life because of my Korean ethnicity but living for Jesus is my destination and if people want to judge it or rebuke me for it, then I didnít need them in the first place. My first goal is to always live a life that is righteous, holy and pleasing to God. I live for nothing else. I live for Christ and I will die for Christ!

If we go back to what I was originally talking about, pursuing your spiritual goals and the calling God has on your life, then you have to know that the first thing you need to do before you make any moves, is to pray. If you heard my story, before I became a missionary, I prayed before all things and asked God to bring this to pass for me. I once remember telling Missionary Garrett that if I ever became a missionary I didnít want to speak in front of the church. I wanted to just speak in small groups and with individuals. Notice I said, I wanted, not God wanted. Hmmm. Our plan might not always be what God has planned for us. That is why it is so important to pray.

When I pray, I pray about everything. Every morning I have a prayer journal that I write in and just write to God. I pray about the kind of car God wants us to buy to praying about Isaiah getting home quickly off the bus so I donít have to stand in the cold very long. I pray about it all and that is exactly what God wants. Proverbs 3:1 it says, ďTrust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.Ē I remember in January, First Lady spoke and she said the same thing. She prays about everything from the potato bread to the chicken hot dogs, we need to be exactly the same way. Amen? Amen!     

 

2/4/09

ďThe Power of IllusionĒ

Gen 11: 9, ďTherefore its name is called Babel because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.Ē

I was watching a movie today in my Development Psychology class that was pretty interesting. I have always detested when people I donít even know would come up to me and ask me where Iím from. My flesh wants to get an attitude and say, ďBuffalo.Ē, but I always say, ďKorea.Ē I always wanted to know why that was the first thing people say to me. This video that I was watching said that race is the first thing you see when you look at someone. You think you see race, but itís only an illusion. You may see my husband and tell right away, that heís African-American because of his skin color or hair texture. I hope he doesnít mind me using him. But thatís all you see. But he could be mixed with Latino or Korean or another ethnicity. He isnít, but Iím trying to make a point. Itís blended within our skin and features.

The United States is highly racialized. Between the years of 1880-1920, immigrants were mainly from European countries. They came here for economic opportunity, a future and freedom. Itís so interesting to me that blacks, Mexicans and Chinese were here before Europeans, but itís their culture that in history, has tried to get rid of the minorities and try to send them back to where we came from but we were here first. Iím not trying to make this a racial battle, but just trying to make a few points and say as God leads.

In America, we are categorized into abilities based on our intelligence, athleticism, music talent and more. You have people like Dean Cromwell, Jesse Owens or the 2008 Olympian, Michael Phelps. Somebody say widely shared assumptions. But race has never been proven through biology. It has been tested over the past 200 years, but no one has ever been able to prove the correlation between race and biology. The most interesting intellect I received from this video was that it stated what is considered ďblackĒ in one country, might be categorized differently in another country.

I truly think it was an awesome thing that God did when he scattered the people and placed different languages and cultures in all of us. We all come from different backgrounds. We may all be black, we may all be white, but that doesnít make up all that we are. Being an African American or in my case Asian, is a talent but itís not all of our potential.

I say itís a talent because if you have had a life like I did with ridicule, and prejudice all of your life, it is a talent to ignore the ignorance, not say anything and keep on moving. To know that no matter what anyone else says, you are beautiful and God loves you for it. It doesnít matter what anyone else says, but what God says. In the beginning, I said that it bothered me a lot when people asked me what race I was when they first see me, but it doesnít bother me like it used to. I had to go through some things to get to that point and that is talent, to handle yourself in a Godly, holy and righteous manner.

How awesome is it to know that people all over the world like you and I are worshipping, praising, seeking a God like you. I remember before I came to Abundant Harvest how we were searching for a church home in Buffalo. Everytime I walked into the church, all of the people would just stare at me. They mine as well had just stopped the service and hung their crosses encircled around me. I was embarrassed, and sometimes annoyed. It even made me not even want to come to church anymore. Then my husband told me that he wanted me to come to Abundant Harvest with him. I didnít want to come because I didnít feel like being stared at and being embarrassed. But I came anyway. I met First Lady and Pastor during a dinner and didnít get to talk to them very much. I thought it was a place that I would never see again because we did it many times before. We would meet the Pastor and First Lady and then never see them again.

I was curious because I saw some ladies that I had seen before at work. There was something about Abundant Harvest that I couldnít put my finger on but I knew that something was right about 318 Broadway. The thing that really stood out to me is for the very first time I felt comfortable in the church and no one stared at me. I was amazed! I was shocked! I even remember telling Chris that no one stared at me. I was so excited! Then we went back to Abundant Harvest, and I wanted to join right then and there. God knew what he was doing. He allowed Nadia Hoskins to come over to our house and invite us to church. I thank God for her because if she would have never invited us, we might still be looking for a church.

I remember having a conversation with someone on how this is the first church that I have been to where what was preached is lived on a daily basis in Buffalo. I remember a friend had invited me to her church and we went but the next day at work, she was swearing and gossiping. I didnít know much about God at the time, but I did know that there was something wrong with cursing and saying ďJesusĒ name in the same sentence. Amen?

I am a stickler for practicing what you preach. If you tell someone to do something, but then you donít do it, you are a hypocrite! The dictionary defines hypocrite as a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion and the second definition, a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. In the Bible, Isa 9: 17, ďTherefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, And every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.Ē We are all sinners and come short of the glory of God. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Some of us have backslid, turned our backs on God, sinned even though we knew it was wrong, but God is still there for us. And His main purpose for His Sonís crucifixion was not for the saved, but for the lost to become saved.

Some of us have burdens that we are carrying around with us. Itís almost like our luggage bag when we go on vacation. When we go on vacation, what is the first thing we pack? We pack our suitcase! We have to make sure we have enough shoes, clothes, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc. When you pack your suitcase, is your suitcase heavy or light? If you pack like me, it will be heavy! Some of us just need to forget about our suitcase, we need to put it down and just go on vacation. We cannot be weighted down anymore! God said to cast our cares on to Him and He will make our burden light. We cannot carry our suitcase everywhere we go. Iím a student at ECC and I know that when I go to school my backpack is heavy. It has a notebook, math, English, Psychology books in there and a binder. When I get home, I just drop it to the floor and it makes a big bang noise. Today, we need to leave our suitcases, our burdens on the altar and not pick them up anymore. We need to cast our cares on to God. He wants to know all about you; what your concerns are, what your worried about, what you are excited about, what you are thankful for. He wants to know it all! Thank God!

 

2/6/09

Isaiah 26:3-4, ďYou will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.Ē

The first word that struck me when I read this Scripture was the word perfect. Perfect has four meanings; the first one is being entirely without fault or defect: FLAWLESS. The second meaning is meeting all requirements : ACCURATE, EXACT <a perfect circle> <a perfect copy> Other meanings are PURE 3, total <perfect stillness> and COMPLETE , whole.

Now God said, in His Word, that He will keep us in His perfect peace if we just stay our minds on Him. God is so simple. We make Him so complicated and complex. All He asks is that we donít turn our backs on Him, backslide, and donít give in. Some situations will be difficult. Some situations we will have to go through. My father-in-law used to sing a song that said, ďNobody told me that the road would be easy. I donít believe He brought me this far to leave me.Ē Some situations God puts you through to see how you will react. Will you run and hide or will you fight the Devil head on?

There have been times when I just felt stressed. I was going through school and I was about to get a job. But it seemed like I didnít have enough time at home to do school work or clean the house. It seemed to me like my family just left me to clean the house while they just messed up. I not only felt stressed but I felt alone. I did not want to ask my husband for help because he already was going to school and work full-time and by the time he got home, it was 9:30 at night. I knew he was tired! I didnít really want to ask the girls to help because I either received attitude back or by the time they were done having their tantrum, I could have done the work and had it finished myself. It seemed like everything that I was trying to get done was not getting done. I had stress and I put it into my hands. I was afraid to ask for help because I didnít want to add to others stresses. But on top of all the stresses that I had laid upon myself, I also was asked to do things by my own family and that was the icing on the cake. I just wanted to scream on the top of my lungs, ďEnough!Ē but at the time, I also had a cold. LOL

I was stressed, I had burdens laid upon me that I just could not bear any longer. I needed God and I thank God that there was about to be a shut-in at Abundant Harvest because I needed to be the first one to walk through the church. I needed God. I needed God to show me how to handle the things that were going on in my life. I didnít want to run from the situation because you will always have things going on in your life, but I needed perfect peace. I kept in Godís Word, in prayer and in fasting. But I tell you, that when you stay under Godís feet, He will give you the strength that you need. I was finding ways to get things done and it seemed like I had enough time to get the housework, schoolwork, helping the kids and my husband with what they needed, making dinner, and the such. But it took some sacrifice for me. It took me to wake up earlier, to not watch television when I wanted, not to use the computer when I wanted, to sometimes ask my kids for help but pray before I asked them to make sure there would be no tantrum, completely and utterly making decisions that would help me to get the tasks done I needed to for the day. I would even make lists of to-dos for the day.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is go to my Word. I need a Word that will get me through the day and just in case, I donít get to study my Word again throughout the day, I can meditate on what I already read. I use to wait to study my Word throughout the day for a convenient time to study, but there was no convenient time to study. The Devil is a liar! Iím sure I could have turned the television off or the computer, but I wasnít as committed as I am today to God. I thank God that I even have things like school and family that keep me busy. I was once told by a friend, ĒThat when you become a Christian, you will never get bored.Ē I see truth to that now.

Not only do we need to be staying committed to God, but we need to trust in Him. Trust is easier said than done for some people because we want to take it upon ourselves to get everything done and not look to God or anyone else for help. Who knows, God could use my husband to wake up early and clean the dishes. Or I could wake up to find Jasmine cleaning her room. Whatever the case maybe, God can use anybody. And please, when people do help you, be grateful for it. Donít yell at them for doing something wrong, but use constructive criticism. Itís a learning experience. If you yell and tell them they didnít do it right, they may not want to do it again and possibly avoid doing it again. Especially because you didnít appreciate what they did. I have been known to do that, so I am guilty of it. Jasmine knows, right Jasmine? *S*

But we have to be encouraging and let others know that we do appreciate what they have done for us. Sometimes I find a great deal at a store or something and I will leave a little something with a note of love on my childís bed just to let them know I do appreciate them. I even buy things like doughnuts or something that my husband needs to show that I not only love him, but that I appreciate what he does. You donít even have to go out and buy anything. When my husband and I first got married, I saw how hard my husband worked and so I put stick-it notes everywhere saying of appreciation and love. I put the notes on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, doors, walls, light switches, etc.

It is so important to me that we show others love. In Matthew, it says to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and then to love your neighbor as yourself. He said this is the first and greatest commandment. If we truly want to be like Jesus, then we need to show love. For some of us, maybe it isnít in our nature, to say that you appreciate or are grateful for someone, but you can show it through your actions. By not having an attitude when someone asks you to do something, or if you are expected to be at the church at a certain time, you are here. God will always give you opportunities to show love unto others, by praying for others or fasting for others. You donít even have to tell them, you can just do it. Like the Nike commercial says. LOL

 

Proverbs 31:10-31

ďIs There a Virtuous Woman In Me?Ē

The first time that I ever read this Scripture, I wanted to be just like this woman but the only thing is that I didnít understand it. I was taking it into context and missing the point of who this woman really is. The first thing, I find out is that it is hopeful for me to be like this woman. If you look at v.10 it reads in the present tense. It doesnít talk about a woman in the past tense who has already been found as virtuous but that we are still searching for virtuous woman of this generation.

The second thing that I get out of this is in v.11 when it talks about her husband being able to trust her. Even if you look at v.23. She boosts her husband up and doesnít say anything hurtful to his reputation. If you are married to a man, and you talk about his reputation in a bad way, but you are the one married to him, then in turn, it will hurt your reputation as well. Your friends will think you are weak for putting up with him or even staying with him. Even in the church, we tend to put our own thoughts on others and wonder why a couple is still together.  Itís even harder in the church because you will be so curious to know what the husband is doing or saying that you canít receive your blessing.  She doesnít do anything that hurts the reputation of her husband. He doesnít have to keep a short leash on her and she upholds him. Every man in the church and in the world want to hold the strong, manly, beastly nature and want to be a man of excellence, wisdom, stature, and reputation. I remember when I first heard Pastor tell us that we should not talk about our husbands to others or even the problems we are having. That statement he had made, really hit me. In the past, I have been known to do that. I realized in so doing it, others have agreed with me and did not understand his viewpoint. They only heard one side of the story. Because I kept talking about him, his reputation was bruised. With my family, co-workers, whoever I talked to or considered to be my friend.

I have learned through these experiences that if we have a problem with our spouse, we need to go to them and work it out. You can talk to your friends about the situation but it wonít fix it. You need to go to the main source and cut off the roots before they turn into weeds. My husband had this thing about not allowing me to have time to myself after we had a disagreement. I liked to go in my bedroom and just meditate on what was said. You see, some people are able to agree on the issue after they had a few minutes to themselves, but not me. I liked to meditate on what he said and got even angrier at him. So instead of coming back to him and working on the situation, I just had time to think about more negative things I wanted to say to him. But how many of you know that when a problem arises you need to rebuke the devil from division and take care of the problem before the devil sneaks another one of his evil attacks.

It is so important to communicate with our spouses and not go to our friends, but to our spouses and talk with them. Come up with a solution that works best for the two of you. I am not saying that you will always agree or even come up with a solution but that is the time you get on your knees and pray with one another. It is time we start praying for our spouse and allowing God to use our marriage, our spouse for His purpose. Our foundation in marriage needs to be of God and for God. We cannot build a successful marriage on anything else.

V.13 reminds me that the wife is the husbandís partner. That they work together. It used to be where the husband worked while the wife stayed home and took care of the children. It some households it still is like that, but many are not. We have jobs, school, children, church work, and many other tasks. We need to build one another up, encourage one another. When one is weak, the other one is their strength and vice versa. Sometimes you will have situations that are so stressful that you donít think you can bear it. I remember in my marriage when there was a point where I was so burdened down with stress that I didnít go to anyone not even my husband to talk about it. I didnít want to stress him out with what I was going through because I already knew he had a lot on his mind. But do you know that once we started talking to one another, our marriage became so much stronger. A lot of times I tried to avoid talking to my husband about certain things because it would just start us in a squabble and I know he did the same. But sometimes we need to sacrifice what we want to say and just pray with them. Let them know that we are sorry and actually change our ourselves. I want to be able to talk to my husband about anything and everything and I want him to be able to do the same thing. One day I was so upset with myself because I found out Chris had told Pastor something and I didnít even know it yet. He didnít come to talk to me. I donít want to say negative or the wrong thing to my husband when he tells me something. I know that for men, it is hard for them to even start talking about their feelings or how they feel. It is much harder for a man to communicate than a woman to. For a man he might not state 10 things wrong with you, but a woman might be able to name 5 in a quick second. We want to set the atmosphere in the house where you and your spouse can talk and really listen to one another. Donít let it be a competition to see how many words you can say or how many buttons you can press, but let mentor yourselves. You donít need a marriage counselor, but seek out the help of God.

v.17 summarizes that the wife has to be the strength for her husband. I remember First Lady providing us with a message and she said that sometimes your husband will come home and be bogged down with the things at work that you donít want to tell him right away how the kids broke his favorite mug or how you had to punish Sally. You want to give him some time to relax, feed him, ask him how his day was, sit down and watch television with him. I remember when my husband went to a TD Jakes Conference in Washington DC and when he came home, he washed my feet. I did the same for him. We donít do that anymore. If you donít want to wash his feet, you can start a hot bath for him. Women have to be strong so we can keep our husbands strong. We need to be the ďWind Beneath My WingsĒ like Bette Midler says.

v.20 Women, we have got to be more concerned with the visitors and new members in our church. We need to be calling them, checking up on them and making visits. We cannot leave it up to First Lady and we cannot leave it up to one ministry to do. We need to be ready to get out of our ďcomfort zonesĒ and see who needs help. I know that for myself I have always been one who wanted to help in the hospitals, homeless shelters, prisons, etc. to reach others. It has always been on my heart. I thought I needed to be a missionary to do these things, but you can ask a missionary to go with you. In Feb, Pastor had referred me to a Jurisdiction committee called we-12. It is a group of ladies that go out and minister to people in the hospital, prison and a shelter that houses battered women and children. This world in which we live in is not about our comfortableness and our ownselves, but it is about sacrificing and servicing others.

Letís go to v.21. Now I remember when my brother had come to me and told me that my kids would regret Chris and I when they got older because we didnít have the financial means to allow our kids to wear clothes that came from the mall or get them all that they wanted. I was hurt by what he said, but then I really thought about what he said. No, I donít always buy clothes at the mall, but I do have the Word of God that clothes me. He is my shield, my protection and my hope. I donít let my kids all that they want when we go to the store, but my kids have all that they need in Jesus. I would rather have my kids live a life that is saved then to live a life that is artificial and believing that expensive worldly things will make you happy. Amen? Amen!

This takes me to v.23. What greater reward is there then a woman, mother, wife who praises and lives her life for Christ. I thank God that my children are saved. One night, Isaiah came to me and said he wanted to be saved. I donít know if he knew what it meant or if he heard about it and was curious but that he said a prayer that committed his life to Christ.

 

2/12/09

Prov 19: 27, ďCease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.Ē

Criticism has always been a big thing for me. It was probably harder for me to listen to criticism when I was younger than to listen to it as an adult. But letís be honest, even as an adult Iíve had my moments. As I look back, I always perceived criticism as I was doing something wrong. Now that I am much older, I view criticism as being helpful. It depends on the way criticism is given to you and the way the person gives it to you. There are many ways criticism can be given. It can be given in a negative way or a positive way. If you look at the Scripture we are talking about, this type of listening to instruction is also called constructive criticism. Constructive comments reinforce good behavior or motivate us to make positive changes.

Did you know that at times God will even give us constructive criticism? He wonít hurt you by the words he says, but he will let you know that some things in your life need to change. Isnít that the reason why we became saved anyways? We want to live a life that is pleasing to God. Ephesians 5:8-10 says, ďWalk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.Ē We live a righteous and holy life not because we want to but because of Phil 3: 7-11. God will tell us that we need to change our attitude, or that we need to go to our brother or sister and apologize for what we have said or done. It might not even have to do with anyone else, but He might tell us that we need to trust more in Him, spend less money, whatever it may be.

We need to be willing to hear constructive criticism from others and God. We need to get out of the mode that any criticism is negative. I thank God that there are people in this church who have helped me along the way and to teach me when I wasnít doing so great. If they hadnít said anything, I might be doing the same things the same way thinking it was okay to do. Through criticism, you learn how to do better and to be a better person. I can say that my time here at Abundant Harvest has truly been a learning experience.

I remember when Pastor and First Lady picked me up every morning when we didnít have a car and they also watched my kids for Chris and I. I thank God for their generosity and sacrifice and I am indebted to them. Every time I would get in the car, I had a new question for them whether it be about the church itself or about the Bible. First lady used to joke with me that she was going to start charging me like Lucy in Peanuts, 25 cents a question. Honestly, I loved asking them questions because I wanted to learn and grow in my experience. I didnít want to stay the same person but I wanted to grow in my faith. I wanted God to use me in the church, I wanted Him to use me for His purpose. There have been many times when members have come up to me and asked me to do things for the church. I would let them know that I didnít know how to do something, but I trusted God that if He laid my name on their heart, that He wouldnít fail me. I knew that the only way to grow in the church and in my faith, was to say yes and learn how to do different things.

At one point, I did feel a little stressed with all that I felt like I was doing in the church. I thank God for that stress because at least I was doing something good and I wasnít on the streets, or involved in drugs or anything else. I would rather serve God and His people than anything else. It has always been on my heart to do more for others and I thank God that I am getting my chance. Thank God!

 

2/14/09

Matthew 9: 20-22, ďAnd suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, ďIf only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.Ē But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ďbe of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well from that hour.Ē

Why did Jesus take the time to ask who had touched His cloak? The disciples thought this was strange because there were many people in the crowd that day and so apparently, many had touched Jesusí cloak. But He knew that there was one specific one who had touched His cloak at a certain moment, a certain time and a certain way.

Jesus took the time to ask this question because He wanted to reassure the woman that it was not by His cloak that made her well, but by her faith. He has the healing power to make people well, it was not His cloak that contained the healing power.

This is an awesome story because this woman had been bleeding for twelve years. She went to every doctor and spent all of her money to receive a healing but no doctor, no medicine, no amount of money could heal her or make her well. It was only by the power of Jesus who healed her! Thank You Jesus!

So I say to you today that you may go to every doctor, every healing place, every church, every Pastor, but it is only by Jesusí healing power that will heal you! He can heal you from many diseases. If you are sick, He can give you healing. If you are dealing with sin, He can give you deliverance. If you are fighting with the Devil, He can help you put on your armor. For there is nothing impossible for God. He can be your shield, your protection, your light and your darkness. He is not afraid of anything and He already has the victory. It is not Him when we doubt, but when we doubt it is called sin. If we are disobedient, it is called sin. We must trust in God for all things. We must not only have faith but be doers of the Word. God says in His Word that the just walk by faith. We must be willing to stand and believe that when you touch His cloak, when you knock on His door, when you seek Him out, you will be delivered and only then will you be healed. I am thankful for a God who is great and merciful! I would be swimming in my sins if it had not been for the blood.

God is an almighty and all-powerful God! He is our Creator and our Maker! For Him I live and for Him I die! I cannot live my life without Him! I thank Him for orchestrating and directing my steps! Now you ask, well Sis. Holly, that is all fine and dandy that we can believe in a God that can heal! Iíve known that for years! But what can I get out of this message? All I have to say is that sometimes we look to other things to get us out of our present situation. Sometimes we donít go to God until we have tried to pull ourselves out of trial and tribulation, but instead of getting ourselves out of trouble, we just dig a deeper hole for ourselves. Some of us, this is the time we call on Jesus! But I am here to tell you today, that before you spend all of your money, before you waste your time, before you hinder your blessing, seek Jesus out first. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! If you look to Him, He will direct your path in the way that you should go!

Let Him steer the wheel, let Him be the support, let Him be the foundation, let Him be the arms that lift you up! Oh my God! God is here right now! I can feel Him in the presence! He is here! Thank God for God! He needs to be your life support, not when you are digging yourself out of a grave, but you need Him all the time. You should be in His Word, praying, fasting, seeking. You should ask Him to use you, search you, find you, seek you. There is no other greater than our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the same now and forever! We might change, but He will never change! We ask only that He change us for the better! And when you are not in your Word, praying, seeking, fasting, then you still need to maintain a life that is righteous and holy. If you want God to use you, then you must be in the right state of mind. He will not use those who are wavering in their faith. Donít you know that the Bible says that you must make a decision. You must either live for the world or live for Him. Greater that is in Him than he that is in the world! Oh, thank you Jesus!

This woman had bleeding for 12 years. Some of us cannot even stand bleeding for 7 days. But one thing that this woman had was determination. She wasnít willing to give up. She did everything and anything to get healed. Although, she tried Jesus last, she still had faith that this condition wasnít going to wear her down, make her weak, make her lame, but she was going to get healed! We need determination to get out of our situations. We need to believe that we will come out of our situations. No matter what it looks like now, we will have the victory. Our victory is our ďYesĒ and ďAmen!Ē Can I hear someone say ďAmen!Ē Donít get discouraged, no matter what it looks like, no matter what the situation is, no matter what others are saying, stand! Even when it seems like everything around you is crumbling and falling apart, stand! You will not be here for long and you will not give up! Encourage yourself! Sometimes you wonít have your friends around to help you out, sometimes you wonít have your Pastor to talk to, sometimes your spouse may not be picking up his phone, but you can call on the One Name that is Above All Names, Jesus! Say it with me, Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!

You canít go right and you canít go left, but you must go straight through that situation! You canít go under, you canít go above, and you canít wish it to go away, but you must go through it. Thank God for your situation because once you come out of it, you will be stronger, you will be closer to God! You wonít be the same person! You will change!

 

2/16/09

Rom 5:7-8,ĒFor scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Ē

In a book that I was reading stated two significant statements that I think fit perfect for this Scripture. The first statement is ďWe deserved divine punishment, not divine sacrifice.Ē And the other is ,ĒOur debt is so great, only a divine sacrifice could pay it.ĒHallelujah! Thank Jesus for Your ultimate sacrifice on Calvary! A death that we, as sinners, did not even deserve!

As I began to think about debt, I thought about the recent stimulus bill that was passed in the House and Congress. I believe it was for approx. $700 billion. The problem with passing this bill, was that it was so large and so complex that it was impossible for the Senators and Congressman to read the bill adequately to pass the bill. The result was only the Democrats passed the bill. It was considered a partisan bill because only one political party believed in the bill. Now the other party might have passed it, but did not pass it because they didnít know all that the bill contained. How are you going to spend $700 billion but not know what you are spending it on? I know I wonít give my children money for school unless I know exactly what it is for.

I remember one time when Jasmine had come home with a letter stating that she needed $10 for a red t-shirt for a production her and her class were putting on. I hesitated giving her the money when I could have bought a red shirt at Walmart for $4. I needed to know exactly what I was paying $10 for. For me, I donít care if it is $1, or $100, I need to know what I am investing in. Amen? Amen!

But how many of you know that when Christ went to the cross, He knew what He was investing in. He made a choice. He could have chose to not go through the pain and suffering at Calvary or He could have chosen to go through with it. But we all know, that He did go through with it. Hallehajuh! Thank You Jesus! You are worthy!

He was a man that lived this life as sinless. He didnít die for His sins. He was already clean and free from wrongdoings because He didnít have any. But He did it for you and me. Heb 5:8 says, ďAlthough he was a son, he learned obedience through what He suffered.Ē It doesnít mean that He had sin in Him, but that with each new trial he learned in practice and in pain what it meant to obey.

Jesus lived as a man like you and me. He went through the same temptations, physical ailments, hunger, anger, grief, and pain that we go through in todayís society. In Matthew 4, it states that Jesus was led into the wilderness and was tempted by the Devil 40 days and nights. I know that Abundant Harvest has gone through 21 days but not the same way Jesus did. Amen? Amen! We werenít asked to leave our homes, our comfortable beds, our families, but if we were, I guarantee it would be worth it. Jesus is all I serve, there is no other like Him and there never will be! He is the God of mercy and grace! In Him will I trust! All the days of my life! I lay my burdens upon You!

I could stand before you and tell you of how great sinners we are but I have not come here to rebuke you but to encourage you in the Word. In the first four books of the New Testament, we understand that Jesus knew He was going to die even before it happened. He had spoken revelation about what was going to happen. Jesus died for many reasons, but one of the greatest reasons is the act of submission and obedience to the will of the Father.

We are the only living beings on this Earth that Jesus died for. He didnít die for animals. Animals donít sin. They donít turn their backs on God, curse, drink, act wicked or commit evil acts. People do. People are the only living beings that are able to enter into the kingdom too.

I was talking to a few friends the other day about how it is different from the way we grew up to the way our children are growing up. Itís almost as if parents are giving up much too quickly and easily as compared to our childhood. I was only spanked once in my life. I was sent to my room a lot but I didnít care because I spent most of my time in my room anyways because thatís where my stereo and toys were. But my raising was different from my husband. His parents did spank as a source of punishment. When we first married, I didnít believe in spanking and I said I would never do it. Little did I know, how much my patience would be shortened by my children.

My children have a tendency to get an attitude when they are asked to do something. They even have the nerve to say no. I think it ironic that the punishment in our house is different because I didnít grow up with such heavy punishments but I dared not to say no or catch an attitude with my parents.

God has not given up on us and we need to be the same way with our children. If God does not give up on us, we cannot give up on our children. We need to pray, fast, encourage, read the Word, and be an example for our own children. One thing that I thank God for is that my children are saved. They could be running the streets, in prison or in the hospital but yet God still allows them to live saved lives. At home, I will be humming a song or sing a song with partial words to the song and my children know exactly what I am singing and start singing with me. I thank God for that.

My husband once said that there will be no more compromises in this family and we need to say the same about the Devil! There will be no compromises! A lot of times I will try to compromise with my children about doing their chores, homework, and other things. I tend to want to talk to my children about why they did what they did instead of punishing them for their wrong behavior. You have to learn from your mistakes and even God will punish or let us know when we are not doing right. However, we have to be willing to listen and to change our ways. We cannot be living the same way day in and day out. Itís the same way with our children, they cannot get an attitude every time we ask them to do something. If God asks you to do something, do you do it or do you hesitate? Do you tell God that He has given you too much? God will never give you more than what you can handle.

We are forever indebted to God for the cross that He beared on Calvary. We cannot be the same person, cop the same attitude, do the same things and expect God to bless us. We need to change! Change means to not do the same things you once were doing! You have to know what you are investing in with money, but with God you can jump right in, both feet in and trust Him to do what is best for you. Rom 8: 28 says, ďAnd we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.Ē

We must know and realize that God only wants the best for us. We are the only living creatures on the Earth that God has destined to be in Heaven with Him. How do we know we are special? Because He created us in His image. By knowing this, we should respect and acknowledge the authority, purpose and relationship God has on our life and the responsibility He has put on us as humans. I thank God that on this Earth we are not all created equal, by living organism and classification! I thank God that He created this world! Be encouraged saints, and know that God knows what He is doing when it comes to your life! Amen? Amen!

 

2/17/09

Job 42: 10, ďAnd the Lord restored Jobís losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.Ē

In the beginning of the story of Job, you realize that Job was pretty well off. He had many descendants, possessions, a beautiful wife and many wonderful blessings for his faithfulness  unto God. Job in 1:8 was a blameless, upright man, who feared God and shunned evil.  As you continue to study the story of Job, you see that Satan attacked every part of Jobís life; his property, children, and health. But through it all, Job still remains faithful to God. Jobís friends try to understand the reason why they believe, God, has done this. They believe that Job must have sinned or did some type of wrongdoing for God to punish him the way he did. They believe that Job now needs to repent, but Job disagrees and states that if it is Godís will for his life to live this way, then it shall be done. In many ways, Jobís trial is much like when Jesus died on the cross but many ways it is different. They both suffered out of obedience. Job was not being punished by God. He was being cursed by the Devil.

Isnít it something that God chose Job out of all of the people in the world for this task? I know none of us would want to go through all that Job has gone through, but God hand- picked him for the job. Job stood above all as a righteous and holy man and God saw it and was pleased by it. He knew Job would be able to handle this situation.

We, too, go through many trials like Job. We may lose our home, death of children, hunger, health issues, and discouragement of friends. God has hand-picked us for this job. He knows that we can handle these situations. I know that as you are going through the situation, it is difficult. Even Job said that he curses the day he was born. Job had a choice. He had a choice to throw in the towel or to continue to seek God for strength and comfort.

I once heard someone say that when you throw in the towel, God will throw it back at you. The only way to get closer to God is to go through trials where you trust and believe in God that He will bring you out of your situation. There is no one above God and Job understands this in chapter 9.

Sometimes God does allow us to go through things because of the poor choices we have made, but other times God uses us for His purpose. It is an awesome thing to know that God picks us out of millions of others to go through a specific situation. As He does this, He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He will let us have the victory over these situations, we just need to trust in Him, wait on Him and let Him do the work He needs to do in us to allow us to grow.

I remember a time in my life where it seemed like everything was going wrong in my life. It was maybe like five or six years ago. Chris and I both lost our job, we were about to lose our home, our car was repossessed, and our childrenís child care center notified Child Protection Services. I felt like Job. It seemed to me as though every time I started to read my Bible, things would go completely wrong. I really felt like the people of Israel who circled the land for 40 years going through the same trials and tribulations. I was tired and I blamed it on reading the Bible. I didnít know what I know now about God. He will use You for His purpose and allow You to go through some things in order to be closer and stronger in Him. I truly believe that if I went through the situation as a faithful servant I would probably be called Pastor Holly right now. Amen? Amen! I went through some things at that time and it was not easy! LOL

For a long time, I held a lot of anger inside of me because I blamed my husband for the things we went through. If we only had enough money, if we were only more financially responsible, if we only did this or that, then we wouldnít have gone through the things that we went through. I held a lot of anger. It was not right to blame my husband because it was both of us who were responsible for the things of the household. I didnít see any good in what happened during that time. I see now how God had sustained us. Chris and I both received new jobs, we ended up in a quaint, quiet, beautiful Kenmore townhome. The lady from Child Protective  Services came over to our house to check things out and she told us she didnít even understand why she was over there. She didnít even check the upstairs and said that it was really not necessary to check the rest of the house. I could have lost my kids that night! I could have been going through courts to fight for the custody of them! But I thank God that He did not let it happen! Thank You Jesus!

It wasnít until we committed our lives to Christ and decided to not turn back that Chris and I started to change and live holy and righteous lives. I love being in a church that is growing because I am learning how to live my life and just the wisdom of Pastor and First Lady have blessed us so much. Even the guidance and help of Mssny and Minister Hoskins have taught us so much. Itís amazing God will use two people as sweet as them to teach us about our marriage. They, too, have gone through some of the same things my husband and I have gone through and just talking to them and relating to their situation has helped me to understand that you donít always have to stay in the same place. God will allow you to grow, to learn. You have potential and more potential than you know. The Hoskins were and are a great inspiration to me and my husband and I thank God for them.

When I first came to AH to now, I would never have imagined that I would be growing as rapidly as I am in my faith. I feel like itís been 10 years in the church, not 2. Sometimes when things seem longer, itís a bad thing. This is a good thing. You have truly welcomed us, and took us under your wing to learn, to grow, to seek, to be used by God. You saw the potential in us even before we saw the potential ourselves. I thank God for all of you.

God has really been pushing me to do so many different things and I have been honored to learn so many ministries. I am grateful that I am able to even do ministry in the church and to help the church. I really thank God that I can help the church anyway I can and I am excited when someone ask me for my help. I love it when they say God has put me on their heart. I love it! It just makes me think that God who knows so many people, who is so busy and all of the people who live holier and more righteous lives than I do, that He would take the time to bless me. Little Ďole me. To place my name on someoneís heart is so special and endearing to me. I can never say no to someone who says that God has placed my name on their heart to do something.

I just feel like it is our duty and responsibility to help and serve others. In the Word, it says I have not come into the world to be served, but I have come to serve. I have this constantly on my mind and think of different ways I can do things for others. I would never want God to come down and shut me out of Heaven for not feeding the poor, clothing the naked, ministering to the imprisoned, or taking the time out to bless others. I would hate it if God decided not to bless me because He was too tired, too sick, too busy.

A lot of people need to let go of things of the past. It has recently been said that 2009 is our year. For me and mine, we are claiming 2009 as ours! If we want to change, live more holier and righteous lives, to do the things of God, then we need to let go of our past. I remember when Pastor would say this and I would ask myself, ďHow do I let go?Ē I was thinking of the physical sense. It wasnít like it was a suitcase that I could just put down, but it comes through praying, fasting, reading the Word, and seeking God. Ask God on ways He needs you to change and to be a better person. I didnít realize that I have let go of things until they didnít make me mad, or upset anymore. I didnít act the same way when the same situation arised. I know that when I would talk about certain things my blood pressure wouldnít rise and my adrenaline wasnít so high. I knew that I had let go of some thing s when I didnít think about them anymore. I knew then that I had let go.

 

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