The following is from our own, Jon Roark.  Get a cup of coffee, and get comfortable when you read this.  These are great truths to be reminded of, first thing in the morning!  They will make your day go a lot easier!  Enjoy!-anita


“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7


I’m struck by something in this verse. It is that God cares for me. I’m thinking about Psalm 8 when I say that:

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,     human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels     and crowned them with glory and honor.  You made them rulers over the works of your hands;     you put everything under their feet.”

What am I, that He cares for me? What are any of us, wayward, wicked and willful as we are, that God would stoop from Heaven and deign to notice? I am amazed at all the little ways in which God shows himself in my life. This past week I had a certification test that I really needed to pass; it was important to my employer and to me. I felt unprepared as I took it and before I started I said a little prayer – “Lord, I don’t feel prepared and I don’t deserve your intervention on my behalf but I really need to pass this test and I’d appreciate it if you would help.” As it so happened, I did pass. I got a 70 (passing is 67) so I couldn’t brag but I passed. I could  recount other examples too – people that have come to the Lord, a tank of gas on a lonely New Mexico highway that lasted about fifty miles more than it had any right to, a wedding ring that was found under the seat of a truck, the day before the truck was sold.

The answer to ‘why’ He cares for us is ‘because we trust in Him.’ If I didn’t know God then I wouldn’t even think to pray – with predictable results. I have run out of gas on that same stretch of highway in New Mexico, at 9PM, with the nearest town ten miles away. That’s a long way to walk (but God still intervened – ask me about it sometime). The point is that the unbeliever has his own resources and that is it. When he runs out run out then he is left with nothing. However, the believer has all of God’s resources (“All that belongs to the Father is mine.” John 16:15 Since we are adopted children we get the same things) and, not only that, but he actually has more the weaker he gets! (“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9) So, the weaker I am, in any situation, the more ready God is to flex his muscle on my behalf.

The keystone to this is trust. Trust implies relationship; the better you know someone, the more you trust them. As I grow in my knowledge of God, my relationship with him, I find myself doing less and trusting more. Doing less useless stuff like worrying, brooding, beating myself up for being dumb, plotting, playing the ‘what if’ game. Instead I try to hand those things to God so I can get on with what in front of me which is usually all I can handle; I let God figure out tomorrow (‘Each day has enough trouble of its own’ Matthew 6:34). Somehow God always gets it done. It’s in that place of trust and caring that I find refuge and experience the goodness of God. Of course, I still worry, brood, beat myself up and so on but I often just stop and remember that God handles that stuff so much better than I can. He does and I see it and each time I do, we go a little deeper.

By:  Jon Roark



When I reached in the Promise Box this morning, I guess God thought I needed a double whammy…I picked up two promises, instead of one.  I had a pretty sleepless night.  Went to bed at 10:30, and was still awake at 3:00.  I laid there trying to figure out if it was something I had eaten, watched on TV, or was just plain worried about; nothing came to mind.  I was just WIDE AWAKE.  I guess that’s why God gave me two promises this morning.  They reassured me…hope they do the same for you! -anita



“…Behold, I am with you, and will keep you in all places where ever you go.”   Gen. 28:15

“Yesterday He helped me, today I’ll praise His name; because I know tomorrow, He’ll help me just the same.” -Unknown

“The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom.”  II Tim. 4:18

“My way in life which Thou shalt choose, I know will be the best; and through the trust I have in Thee, my heart will find its rest.” -Unknown




Here is the promise I drew for today.  When I read it, it was both a relief, and a slight worry.  See…I always pray before I draw a promise, asking God to give me just what I need for today.  Notice the three “I WILL” statements given in the verse!

It’s a blessing to know He will be with me, strengthen me, and help me.  But, the first part of the verse says, “Fear not…”, which tells me I may be in for a ride today!

Truth is…everyday brings both good and bad…that’s the nature of life.  But, we must remember the first words of the verse…


Then look at the end… “I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.”  God is with us!  The ONE that holds the universe in the palm of His hand says he will uphold us.  Wow!  What a blessing to know we are secure in God’s hand!

Here’s the promise:

Isaiah 41:10King James Version (KJV)

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

“God has given you His promise, that He hears and answers prayer: 

He will heed your supplication, If you cast on Him your care!” -Unknown





Galatians 5:22-23New King James Version (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.


Let’s talk for a moment about the fruit of kindness.

Have you ever known someone who is kind?  Not just kind at times…but their heart is kind and gentle…ALWAYS!

They are always thinking of others and their well-being.

In traffic, if someone cuts in front of them, there are no expletives.  They don’t mind.

They forgive easily; they keep no record of wrong doings.  When apologies are made to them, they don’t ask for all the details…the date of the indiscretion…they only hear the “sorry” and see the repentant heart.

They recognize the plight of others.

In the grocery store, they offer the elderly gentleman their space in the checkout lane, realizing his frailness.

They don’t pry into the business of others…they don’t gossip…they pray.

When they pick up their trash can from the street on trash day, they also pick up their neighbor’s.

They check on their neighbor’s welfare.

They offer their seat to a pregnant women on the bus.

Their heart breaks when they see the homeless…the drug addicts…the alcoholics…the prostitutes.

They don’t pass judgment…they remember their own failings.

Their heart is quietly kind.

They expect nothing in return for their kindness.

Kindness is a picture of Jesus.  How many times has He forgiven our transgressions?  When He sees us struggle…He intercedes to the Father for us…He prays for us.  He put us first.  Max Lucado puts it this way: “Your place in heaven was more important to Christ than His place in heaven, so He gave up His so you could have yours.”

If we KNOW HIM…we are to be like Him.  Who could you treat with kindness today?




“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for US ALL, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things””  Romans 8:32


I love the above verse!  JESUS DIED FOR THE WHOLE WORLD!  He is not willing that any should perish.  He said, “Whosoever will, may come and drink of the Water of Life”…His salvation is free to ALL!

There are verses in the Bible that talk about being chosen by God…but you must read them in the context in which they are written!  God DID predestinate certain folks to come to Him, but it was done through foreknowledge.  It says in Romans 8:29-31New King James Version (NKJV):

29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

So, what those verses say in plain English is this:  God never said, who could and who couldn’t come to Him. In fact, He said, “Whosoever will, (anyone who wants to be saved, CAN be saved); but He KNEW who would and who wouldn’t…so He could choose according to His foreknowledge.


He’s standing with arms opened wide…waiting for you to come.  Don’t ignore Him…He wants to save you!




“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7  also read John 7:53-8:11


I have heard my dad preach on this passage many times.  It made an impact on my way of looking at folks.  The way my dad preached it showed me that I need to take a deeper look into what is going on.  Ask the “Why?” question as to what causes folks to do what they do…what made them into what they are?

Last night, I was looking at one of My Daily Bread booklets.  This story was in there.  Randy Kilgore, the writer of this particular piece, put it this way, and I quote: “As a group of religious leaders herded an adulterous woman toward Jesus, they couldn’t know they were carrying her within a stone’s throw of grace.  WOW!  what an awesome picture!

My dad used to say, “When Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground…was He perhaps writing the names of her accusers…reminding them that they had visited her in the middle of the night, and committed acts of adultery with her under the cover of darkness?”  Or did they only “think it in their heart”?  But Jesus said if you look at a woman and lust after her, you are guilty of adultery, for you have committed the deed in your heart and mind already!  Was that His way of letting them know that if they continued to accuse her…He would reveal their sins as well?  This question for me comes to mind as I read this:  “When the leaders continued to question Him, He invited any of them who had never sinned to throw the first stone, and then He started writing on the ground AGAIN.”  WHAT WAS HE WRITING?  The next time He looked up, they were gone.

Let’s put that into a more personal perspective.  How many times have you accused or judged someone for the sin they were in only to hear God speak your name and remind you that you too had been there once, and were guilty of the same thing?  I know I’ve heard God speak my name on many occasions when I had the audacity to judge someone for their sin!

Let’s sweep our own doorstep first…ask Jesus to clean up our own sin, before we try to clean someone else up.  When you’re praying about and for the sins of others…pray about and for your own sin first!  Remember the saying…“But for the grace of God, there go I!”  I don’t know about you…but I have no business throwing stones at anyone!


Rebellion and Restoration: sermon Notes by Pastor Daniel Leavitt

A Letter To The Gathering

1 Corinthians 10The Message (MSG)

10 1-5 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

6-10 The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.


14 So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.

15-18 I assume I’m addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That’s basically what happened even in old Israel—those who ate the sacrifices offered on God’s altar entered into God’s action at the altar.

19-22 Do you see the difference? Sacrifices offered to idols are offered to nothing, for what’s the idol but a nothing? Or worse than nothing, a minus, a demon! I don’t want you to become part of something that reduces you to less than yourself. And you can’t have it both ways, banqueting with the Master one day and slumming with demons the next. Besides, the Master won’t put up with it. He wants us—all or nothing. Do you think you can get off with anything less?

23-24 Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.

25-28 With that as a base to work from, common sense can take you the rest of the way. Eat anything sold at the butcher shop, for instance; you don’t have to run an “idolatry test” on every item. “The earth,” after all, “is God’s, and everything in it.” That “everything” certainly includes the leg of lamb in the butcher shop. If a nonbeliever invites you to dinner and you feel like going, go ahead and enjoy yourself; eat everything placed before you. It would be both bad manners and bad spirituality to cross-examine your host on the ethical purity of each course as it is served. On the other hand, if he goes out of his way to tell you that this or that was sacrificed to god or goddess so-and-so, you should pass. Even though you may be indifferent as to where it came from, he isn’t, and you don’t want to send mixed messages to him about who you are worshiping.


29-30 But, except for these special cases, I’m not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I’m going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large-minded Master has already said. If I eat what is served to me, grateful to God for what is on the table, how can I worry about what someone will say? I thanked God for it and he blessed it!

31-33 So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you’re eating to God’s glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory. At the same time, don’t be callous in your exercise of freedom, thoughtlessly stepping on the toes of those who aren’t as free as you are. I try my best to be considerate of everyone’s feelings in all these matters; I hope you will be, too.


Let’s Go Back

Judges (Shoftim)


After Joshua

The Death of Joshua

6 After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them. 7 And the Israelites served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.

8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110. 9 They buried him in the land he had been allocated, at Timnath-serah[b] in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

Israel Disobeys the Lord

10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

11 The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. 12 They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord. 13 They abandoned the Lord to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth. 14 This made the Lord burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions. He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them. 15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the Lord fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great distress.


Judges 2:18-19The Message (MSG)

When God was setting up judges for them, he would be right there with the judge: He would save them from their enemies’ oppression as long as the judge was alive, for God was moved to compassion when he heard their groaning because of those who afflicted and beat them. But when the judge died, the people went right back to their old ways—but even worse than their parents!—running after other gods, serving and worshiping them. Stubborn as mules, they didn’t drop a single evil practice.


Judges 3:7


Judges 3:7

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

False Gods in Judges


Also called Astarte, or Ashtoroth (plural), this goddess of the Canaanites was connected with fertility and maternity.

Worship of Ashtoreth was strong at Sidon.  She was sometimes called a consort or companion of Baal.  King Solomon, influenced by his foreign wives, fell into Ashtoreth worship, which led to his downfall.


The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and as the storm god—he is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt—who defeated enemies and produced crops. They also worshiped him as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). The priests of Baal appealed to their god in rites of wild abandon which included loud, ecstatic cries and self-inflicted injury (1 Kings 18:28).


This god of the Philistines had the body of a fish and a human head and hands in its statues.  Dagon was a god of water and grain.  Samson, the Hebrew judge, met his death at the temple of Dagon.

In 1 Samuel 5:1-5, after the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant, they placed it in their temple next to Dagon.  The next day Dagon’s statue was toppled to the floor.  They set it upright, and the next morning it was again on the floor, with the head and hands broken off.  Later, the Philistines put King Saul‘s armor in their temple and hung his severed head in the temple of Dagon.

Put Off Old Practices

Colossians 3:9 New International Version

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

The Ammonites Oppress Israel

6 Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. They served the images of Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. They abandoned the Lord and no longer served him at all. 7 So the Lord burned with anger against Israel, and he turned them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8 who began to oppress them that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites east of the Jordan River in the land of the Amorites (that is, in Gilead). 9 The Ammonites also crossed to the west side of the Jordan and attacked Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim.

The Israelites were in great distress. 10 Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, saying, “We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.”

11 The Lord replied, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. 13 Yet you have abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!”

15 But the Israelites pleaded with the Lord and said, “We have sinned. Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies.” 16 Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the Lord. And he was grieved by their misery.


The 12 Judges

Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson

Hebrews 11:32-38The Message (MSG)

32-38 I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.



Mark 14:22-25New International Version (NIV)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”


PAUL the “Nazirite”

Acts 18:18Contemporary English Version (CEV)

18 After Paul had stayed for a while with the Lord’s followers in Corinth, he told them good-by and sailed on to Syria with Aquila and Priscilla. But before he left, he had his head shaved at Cenchreae because he had made a promise to God.




2 Corinthians 7:9-10New Living Translation (NLT)

9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.



Judges 21:25: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.”


Isaiah 53:6    New Living Translation

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.



The following is a selection from one of my books called, “The Greatest of these is Love.”  It was given to me by one of my good friends that has since gone on to be with the Lord.  She was my boss to begin with, and we had a pretty rocky start…we were both very out-spoken and had no problem expressing ourselves to each other.  This did not make for a good beginning…but God showed both of us that love and forgiveness was what He wanted.  We ended up being the best of friends.  She gave me this book shortly before she passed on to Glory.-anita


For Others:  Luke 4:18

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”


Once in a while someone lives a beautiful and totally unselfish life–“Just for Others”.  As if their only prayers were “Lord, let me live for others.  Let me knock on every door and mend every troubled heart”.

To them every individual in their life, regardless of relationship or compatibility, is a friend from God.  They feel, if they fail to love and serve them, they hurt the GIVER first.

Our Savior gave HIS ALL upon a rugged cross tor OTHERS!


By:  The Bible/ Hazel Hoffman/ and Audrey McDaniel


Today, when I woke up, my heart was heavy.  I have been praying about, and for many things from God.  I’ve seen a ‘move’ but nothing significant…nothing is resolved as yet.  Some of these things are for me, some for friends, some for folks I don’t even know; but my spirit was tired…low.  Then, I drew the following promise from my box.  This really put things into perspective for me…hope it does the same for you!

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”  WHY?  “For YOU (oh Lord) are with me!” Psalm 23

Here is a little poem that was attached:

“When the woes of life o’er take me,

Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross forsake me;

Lo!  It glows with peace and joy.” -Unknown




Yesterday, after reading my blog post, one of my friends sent me an email saying:  “What an incredible experience to be a part of!”    I’m sure he was speaking of the part where I told about hearing wings, and knowing the angels had come to take my grandfather away to Heaven. That statement of his, jarred my memory;  I began to remember many ‘mysteries’ that God has let me see a glimpse of and take part in.  In I Corinthians 15:51-53, we see that God imparted a glimpse…a mystery to the apostle Paul.  It was concerning us, the saved, being changed in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye; it was God showing him that death would be swallowed up in victory  through Christ Jesus!

I remember one time in particular.  Let me preface the following by saying, I was brought up in a Baptist home.  My dad was a Baptist preacher for over 40 years.  So I learned a lot about the Bible, its doctrines, etc.  Baptists acknowledge the Holy Spirit, and even accredit Him to being able to “seal us unto the day of redemption.”  However, many of them believe that the out-pouring, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit has ceased in this present time.

My husband and I began to attend a Pentecostal church in our early years of marriage.  There, my eyes were opened to the Holy Spirit, and I was convinced on many occasions, that He was still at work here…NOW.  I want to relate one experience I had that convinced me of this early on.

Shortly after we begin attending this Pentecostal church, I was driving down the street one day right there by the college–Denver University.  There was a car in front of me with bumper stickers plastered all over the back stating things about “The Goddess”.  I felt so sad in my spirit for this person who undoubtedly knew nothing of Jesus and His salvation, so I began to pray for the person driving the car.  It was Summer time, so my window was down.  We were at a stop-light, so I put my hand out the window, and began to pray.  I prayed that the Holy Spirit would reveal Himself to this person and bring her out of darkness.  All of a sudden, she stuck her head out the window and screamed at me, “Stop it!  YOU!  Stop praying for me!”  WOW!  That made me a believer!  There was no way she could have heard me praying for her.  It WAS the Holy Spirit dealing with her.  I was so excited, when the light turned green, I stayed on her tail for a few blocks and kept praying for her.  I remember I said out loud: “Sic her Lord!”

Is the Holy Spirit done here?  I don’t think so.  Every time we see a soul come to Jesus…that is His (the Holy Spirit) convicting power at work.

Thank you Lord for letting me be a part of one of your many mysteries!

By:  Anita Mondragon 2016