You Are Mine

Psalm 139“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine.”   Isaiah 43:1b

You Are Mine

Loneliness can be a very difficult hole to dig out of. That feeling that nobody loves me, nobody cares, is a strong tool of Satan. The devil loves it when we accuse ourselves of being “un-loveable”, telling us that we are not good enough to be loved or even liked. The truth is even in our loneliest moments, God knows us and loves us.  In the Bible David spent many days on the run, trying to get away from King Saul. He lived alone in caves trying to hide from everyone. His life was on the line should anyone see him. In his most desperate and lonely time here is what David wrote (read this slowly and intentionally)
Psalm 139  (NLT)

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.

You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

(read that one again)

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me!

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!

If I go up to heaven, you are there, if I go down to the grave, you are there.

If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—

but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

(again) You knit ME together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up,  you are still with me!

O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!  Get out of my life, you murderers!

They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.

O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?  Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?

Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

God made you just the way he intended

He knows all about your life and struggles

He holds on to you in times of trouble

He will lead you on your life’s journey so hold fast to his instructions. 

Stay blessed,

Pastor Danny

Holy Spirit Power

Peter is one of my favorite Bible personages. We all know the story of how he denied knowing Jesus 3 times. He even ran from a little girl who was accusing him of being a follower of Jesus. BUT, a few months later, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church (Acts 2) we see a man who takes the lead in proclaiming publicly that Jesus Christ is Lord. He stepped up before the crowd of unbelievers and gave such a great sermon that thousands came to know Jesus as savior. What happened to this total coward? Simply put, it was Holy Spirit Power!  We often think that those amazing stories in the Bible can’t happen today but they do! All over the world there are testimonies of The Holy Spirit Power enabling people to do all kinds of amazing things as part of God’s plan. In fact I would say that apart from the Holy Spirit we really can’t do anything for God’s kingdom. Without the Holy Spirit we may preach, teach, pray for healing and do all kinds of cool religious actions but are we really operating according to God’s plan? I don’t think so. We need to yield our spirit to the Holy Spirit of God and prepare for our own “Pentecost” today!

“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”  Luke 24:49  (NLT)

Stay blessed,

Pastor Danny

A PRAYER OF AFFIRMATION July 20, 2015

“I rise in the hope of your glory to be transformed in the strength of your love.”  Psalms 103:6-8

Sorry!  I know this post is late today…I’ve been in the ER with my husband since 5 o’ clock p.m. yesterday; we just arrived home about an hour ago.

We are both exhausted, confused, and unsure of why this attack came; but we KNOW who it came from.  Our arch-enemy is up to his old tricks, trying to dissuade and destroy every Christian I know, including us.

I needed some encouragement, so picked up a poem written by one of my old friends.  Wouldn’t you know…it was just what I needed, so, I share it now with you! – anita

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Dear Lord, you are my God who has demonstrated immeasurable blessings in my life.  In spite of distractions, and set-backs, you have proven to be faithful!

There were unexplained mishaps, wrong choices, and snares that lay to entrap me; but your righteous hand upheld me and sustained me in the midst of trouble.

You hid me in the cloak of your garment.  There were times I felt you left me, but you led me through the valley of the shadows of death, and told me not to fear any evil.

You lifted your rod and staff against my enemies.  When you uncovered me, there was a table set before them that you prepared for ME, now my cup runs over!

Thank you Lord for working righteousness and justice for the oppressed!  You are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love!

By:  Pam Patterson

Glorious Day – Sermon Notes for Sunday, July 19

Glorious Day Pt. 2

Our Small Perspective

Ecclesiastes 3:11,

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

1 Corinthians 2:9

No eye has seen, no ears have heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those that love Him.

If we  ignore Bible prophecy, we are ignoring a large portion of God’s Word.

 

Shadows of the Real

Colassians 2:16-23 MSG

So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

18-19 Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

20-23 So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? “Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!” Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

The Rapture – Immanent

The Tribulation – not for Christians

The Second Coming –  the hope and the proof that God is in control

 

New Heaven and New Earth

Rev. 21 (Read all)

Revelation 1:3 NLT

God blesses the one who reads this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says. For the time is near when these things will happen.

3 Things that prophecy does for you.

1) Authentication of the Bible

Isaiah 46:9-11, NLT

“And do not forget the things I have done throughout history. For I am God. I alone! I am God, and there is no one else like me. Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish”

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God” (2 Peter 1:20, NLT).

2) Assistance in Spreading the Gospel

2 Peter 1:16-19, NLT

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes. And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God’s glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him.’ We ourselves heard the voice when we were there with him on the holy mountain. Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts.

1 Peter 1:10-12, NLT

This salvation was something the prophets wanted to know more about. They prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you, even though they had many questions as to what it all could mean. They wondered what the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They wondered when and to whom all this would happen. They were told that these things would not happen during their lifetime, but many years later, during yours. And now this Good News has been announced by those who preached to you in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

3) Encouragement of Holy Living

Titus 2:11-13, NLT

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed”

Romans 13:11-14The Message (MSG)

11-14 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

1 Peter 1:13-15 (NLT)

So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you to be his children is holy.”

James 5:7-8, NLT

Dear brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who eagerly look for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They patiently wait for the precious harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

It is always too early to give up hope!

And now the prize awaits me the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return. 2 Timothy 4:8, NLT

First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: ‘Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.  2 Peter 3:3, NLT

Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process? If a person is ashamed of me and my message, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in my glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26, NLT

APPENDAGE…OR PROSTHETIC?

Read:  I Corinthians 12:12-31

“For the body is not one member, but many…God has set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased Him…YOU ARE the body of Christ, and members in particular.”      1 Corinthians 12:14, 18, and 27

EVERY believer is a member of Christ’s body and as such has a definite ministry!

I was talking to my neighbor about this passage, and I had to admit that I’ve been guilty of being a ‘prosthetic’ at times; so please do not take offense at the following…I am preaching to myself! -anita

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As we see in the above passage, we as believers are called ‘The Body of Christ.’

In the physical sense, each organ, each appendage, each cell, is VITAL to our very existence.

The same holds true for the body of Christ.  We are to be the arms, legs, mouths, hearts, etc. that show forth God’s love to the world!  In other words…we are to act like Jesus.  We are supposed to BE ‘Jesus with skin on’!

The problem is, today, is most believers don’t consider themselves to be part of ‘the body’.  We are too busy living our lives, taking care of our own agendas.  We have little thought of God and His Kingdom on a daily basis.

If most of us make it to church on Sunday morning, we think we have done God a service, and we owe Him nothing more until next Sunday rolls around.  We believe it’s OK to sit on our blessed assurance all week-long and thank God for OUR salvation, but never feel compelled to tell others of His saving grace!

Since most of us don’t use our arms and legs for Jesus all week long…we function more like prosthetics on Sunday, when we DO show up to do ‘our reasonable service’!  Yes…we can get a job done…seemingly fulfill our role as Deacon, Sunday School teacher, or Prayer Warrior with those that come to the altar…but it doesn’t seem “REAL” to those around us, because it’s artificial at best!

The world is looking for “REAL” men and women of God!  They’ve had enough of Bible thumping, Sunday morning, judgmental Christians that talk the talk…but never walk the walk!  They are searching for believers that PRACTICE what they preach – 24/7.

Let’s be the arms of Jesus that console those in pain, the legs and feet that carry the Good News, the heart that breaks for the addict, the mouth piece that tells of God’s marvelous love and mercy!  Let’s function like a “REAL” body…not a prosthetic we don on Sunday morning to complete a façade of Christianity to the world.

We may think we’re pulling the wool over their eyes…but it’s 99% cotton!  They see right through us!

Let’s LET THEM SEE JESUS!

By:  Anita Mondragon July 2015

KNOW THAT I AM GOD! jULY 17, 2015

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalms 46:10

I come aside from the world of strife, with its burdens, trials and the cares of life, to a beautiful, quiet, restful place, where I commune with my Jesus…face to face. – Brandt

to avoid a breakdown, take a break for rest and prayer. – Unknown

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We are surrounded by distractions.  No wonder we sometimes have difficulty hearing God’s voice!  We need to go to a quiet place regularly and ask Him to restore our soul!

By:  Terry Shapiro

FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE US…July 16, 2015

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Father.”  Hebrews 12:2

Oh soul, are you weary and troubled?  No light in the darkness you see?  There’s light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free!  Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace!” – Helen H. Lemmel, 1922            

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Are you facing a difficult time?  Remember in Matthew 12:22-23, when Peter was TRYING to walk on the water, then looked away from Jesus and began to sink?

When you feel like you are sinking, ask yourself…”In difficult times…where are my eyes?  Am I looking at my troubles…or at Jesus?”

By:  Terry Shapiro

“SIC ‘EM!” …July 15, 2015

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

The old gentleman stared at his wayward grandson with sad eyes.  This kid was in trouble all of the time!  His folks were tired of ‘bailing’ him out, so this time he had called his grandpa.  It seems that he had been picked up for shoplifting.

Although grandpa’s eyes were stern…they were still full of love for the boy.  “Son!  You’ve got to stop doing these things!  Why would you steal and become a shoplifter?  You have plenty of money in your pocket…”  His voice trailed off as he saw the hurt and anger in the kid’s eyes.

This wasn’t working, so he decided to approach him differently.  “Son…you have two dogs that live inside of you…we all do.  One dog wants you to do what is right…the other wants you to do what is wrong.  What I’m trying to say is:  One wants to protect you…but the other one wants to destroy you!”  He paused for a moment, so that the boy could think about his words.  Then he went on, “These two dogs are constantly at war, fighting inside of you. …Do you understand what I’m saying son?”  The kid nodded, and said, “Well…which one wins?”

The old man shook his head, remembering his own experiences…the follies of his youth, and said, “Son…the one that wins, is the one you say ‘SIC ‘EM!’ to.”

We all have a war going on inside of us on a daily basis; God’s voice…or the enemy’s voice…Our protector…or our potential destroyer.  It’s up to us to choose.  Do we want Peace in our lives…or constant chaos and turmoil?

When the devil comes knocking…who are YOU going to say “SIC ‘EM!” to?

By:  Anita Mondragon  January 2000

CHANGE YOUR FOCUS! July 14, 2015

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be any PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS!”     Philippians 4:8

In this passage, Paul reminds us that we can change our perspective.

I might have an unpleasant encounter one day with someone…it’s inevitable!  But, I can choose to dwell on that moment, and ruin my entire day…OR I can choose to change my focus, and dwell on something that is true, good, lovely, etc.

I have the power to alter my perspective, and my mood!

The choice is mine…The choice is yours!

By:  Terry Shapiro

REARRANGED…July 13, 2015

“Search me, O God, and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Psalms 139:23, 24

I was SO proud!

Things looked so great!

My life was finally

In an even state.

No more problems…

Life was all together;

Like a spotless thoroughbred,

Tied with a tether!

Why!  I had it all!

The possibilities were limitless!

I felt so holy…

So sanctified…so blessed!

But then, it happened;

Things just fell apart.

See…Jesus wanted

To rearrange my heart!

Now, on the outside of me…

Things looked so neat.

But, Jesus saw a tare,

NOT a stock of wheat!

On the outside, I was a mansion,

With lovely furniture set in place;

But when He started moving things…

Oh My!  What a disgrace!

I thought I’d cleaned

That room so well;

But He swept up things

From the pits of hell!

That “gorgeous” furniture

Was ragged, and torn;

But He said that was fine,

For HE, my life would adorn!

See…I never noticed…

For things were pushed against the wall;

But He brought things out into the open…

He was cleaning everything…baseboards and all!

I was so embarrassed,

At all the junk He’d found!

But…He told me not to worry,

For His grace did much more abound!

He just kept on cleaning,

And throwing things away.

He replaced the ‘old’ with ‘new’…

He washed things white…no longer gray.

So, when He comes to your house,

And turns things upside down…

Don’t get an attitude

Or put on a great big frown!

For when He’s finished cleaning,

And rearranging you…

Your heart will shine like gold,

And you’ll feel fresh as morning dew!

By:  Anita Mondragon February 2008