“Change your life, not just your clothes.  Come back to God, your God.  And here’s why:  God is kind and merciful.  He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot; This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe.”  Joel 2:13-14 (MSG)  The (NIV) puts it this way:  “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding  in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”  Joel 2:14



This was the sermon we heard yesterday from Pastor Danny.  It really hit home to me!  As I shared with some of you yesterday morning, I woke up very frustrated.  My anger, was “kindled” against my dog Teddy.  For those of you reading this and not knowing the story, let me explain.

Teddy wants to eat ALL OF THE TIME!  I only feed him twice a day.  Once in the morning, and once in the late afternoon.  He thinks he needs a bedtime snack.  To make a long story short, when I put him out to do his business right before we go up to bed, he invariably sneaks over, in the dark,to the place where I put bread crumbs out for the birds…and eats his fill.  He did this Saturday night.  We went to bed, and in the wee hours of the morning, I heard him gagging.  I was exhausted, and fell back to sleep.  Suddenly, around 5 a.m., I awoke to a unpleasant situation…Teddy had thrown up on the bed!  Needless to say…I was more than frustrated.  I was completely “ticked off!”  So here I am, on an early Sunday morning, when I could have slept in for a bit, but instead…stripping the bed, and having to wash everything…even the blankets!

When we got to church, we all stood in a circle, holding hands and were praying for the morning service.  I prayed for peace in my own spirit.  I asked God to let me lay down my frustration of the morning, and let me come before Him in a quiet spirit so that I could receive what He had for me.  It worked!  After hearing the sermon, my eyes were opened, and  I had to ask myself, “How many times do I frustrated a Holy God with my disobedience?”  “How many times do I sneak off in the dark, and do my own thing…go my own way, and never give a thought to His commands?”

We all have unsatisfiable appetites due to our fleshly nature.  I’m sure God’s anger was kindled against Adam and Eve when they partook from the very thing God told them to leave alone!  They not only sickened, and brought death to themselves…they brought the sickness of sin and death to the whole human race.

The thing God showed me from the message was this:  Teddy’s no different from me.  I want God’s favor and love.  I want His mercy.  But I also want to do what I want to do.  It doesn’t work that way!  It says in the above verse, if I want God to be gracious and compassionate, kind and merciful, and put up with a lot from me…then I NEED to “Come back to Him; change my life…not just my clothes!”  In another place in Scripture, it talks about the Pharisees only cleaning the outside of the cup, but leaving the inside still dirty.

Changing your clothes…self reformation…”looking” Holy, will not satisfy God.  He wants us to change our life…let Him come in and reform our hearts…become Holy through the blood of Jesus.  When we have been changed on the inside…it shows on the outside!

Teddy is forgiven, for I see my own self in his actions.  I will be kind and merciful…take a deep breath and put up with all of his messes just as I want God to do for me.  But Teddy’s a dog…he can’t change his life, or his clothes; but I can.  I can allow God to change me from the inside out, and let Him clothe me with the robes of righteousness that I so desperately need!


The Big Comeback: sermon notes for Oct. 30 2016 – Pastor Danny

You cannot have a comeback without ever having a set back

Setbacks motivate me.  – Lindsey Vonn
2 Kings 23:25The Message (MSG)

There was no king to compare with Josiah—neither before nor after—a king who turned in total and repentant obedience to God, heart and mind and strength, following the instructions revealed to and written by Moses. The world would never again see a king like Josiah.

2 Kings 22:19-20The Message (MSG)

“And also tell the king of Judah, since he sent you to ask God for direction; tell him this, God’s comment on what he read in the book: ‘Because you took seriously the doom of judgment I spoke against this place and people, and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I’m taking you seriously. God’s word: I’ll take care of you.


Proverbs 24:16 (NLT)

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.

But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.



2 Chronicles 34-35The Message (MSG)

34 1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He behaved well before God. He kept straight on the path blazed by his ancestor David, not one step to the left or right.

3-7 When he had been king for eight years—he was still only a teenager—he began to seek the God of David his ancestor. Four years later, the twelfth year of his reign, he set out to cleanse the neighborhood of sex-and-religion shrines, and get rid of the sacred Asherah groves and the god and goddess figurines, whether carved or cast, from Judah. He wrecked the Baal shrines, tore down the altars connected with them, and scattered the debris and ashes over the graves of those who had worshiped at them. He burned the bones of the priests on the same altars they had used when alive. He scrubbed the place clean, Judah and Jerusalem, clean inside and out. The cleanup campaign ranged outward to the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and the surrounding neighborhoods—as far north as Naphtali. Throughout Israel he demolished the altars and Asherah groves, pulverized the god and goddess figures, chopped up the neighborhood shrines into firewood. With Israel once more intact, he returned to Jerusalem.

8-13 One day in the eighteenth year of his kingship, with the cleanup of country and Temple complete, King Josiah sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the mayor of the city, and Joah son of Joahaz the historian to renovate The Temple of God. First they turned over to Hilkiah the high priest all the money collected by the Levitical security guards from Manasseh and Ephraim and the rest of Israel, and from Judah and Benjamin and the citizens of Jerusalem. It was then put into the hands of the foremen managing the work on The Temple of God who then passed it on to the workers repairing God’s Temple—the carpenters, construction workers, and masons—so they could buy the lumber and dressed stone for rebuilding the foundations the kings of Judah had allowed to fall to pieces. The workmen were honest and diligent. Their foremen were Jahath and Obadiah, the Merarite Levites, and Zechariah and Meshullam from the Kohathites—these managed the project. The Levites—they were all skilled musicians—were in charge of the common laborers and supervised the workers as they went from job to job. The Levites also served as accountants, managers, and security guards.

14-17 While the money that had been given for The Temple of God was being received and dispersed, Hilkiah the high priest found a copy of The Revelation of Moses. He reported to Shaphan the royal secretary, “I’ve just found the Book of God’s Revelation, instructing us in God’s way—found it in The Temple!” He gave it to Shaphan, who then gave it to the king. And along with the book, he gave this report: “The job is complete—everything you ordered done is done. They took all the money that was collected in The Temple of God and handed it over to the managers and workers.”

18 And then Shaphan told the king, “Hilkiah the priest gave me a book.” Shaphan proceeded to read it out to the king.

19-21 When the king heard what was written in the book, God’s Revelation, he ripped his robes in dismay. And then he called for Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the royal secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal aide. He ordered them all: “Go and pray to God for me and what’s left of Israel and Judah. Find out what we must do in response to what is written in this book that has just been found! God’s anger must be burning furiously against us—our ancestors haven’t obeyed a thing written in this book of God, followed none of the instructions directed to us.”

22-25 Hilkiah and those picked by the king went straight to Huldah the prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, who was in charge of the palace wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter. The men consulted with her. In response to them she said, “God’s word, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you here, ‘God has spoken, I’m on my way to bring the doom of judgment on this place and this people. Every word written in the book read by the king of Judah will happen. And why? Because they’ve deserted me and taken up with other gods; they’ve made me thoroughly angry by setting up their god-making businesses. My anger is raging white-hot against this place and nobody is going to put it out.’

26-28 “And also tell the king of Judah, since he sent you to ask God for direction, God’s comment on what he read in the book: ‘Because you took seriously the doom of judgment I spoke against this place and people, and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I’m taking you seriously. God’s word. I’ll take care of you; you’ll have a quiet death and be buried in peace. You won’t be around to see the doom that I’m going to bring upon this place and people.’”

The men took her message back to the king.

29-31 The king acted immediately, assembling all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem, and then proceeding to The Temple of God bringing everyone in his train—priests and prophets and people ranging from the least to the greatest. Then he read out publicly everything written in the Book of the Covenant that was found in The Temple of God. The king stood by his pillar and before God solemnly committed himself to the covenant: to follow God believingly and obediently; to follow his instructions, heart and soul, on what to believe and do; to confirm with his life the entire covenant, all that was written in the book.

32 Then he made everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin commit themselves. And they did it. They committed themselves to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.

33 Josiah did a thorough job of cleaning up the pollution that had spread throughout Israelite territory and got everyone started fresh again, serving and worshiping their God. All through Josiah’s life the people kept to the straight and narrow, obediently following God, the God of their ancestors.



Zechariah 12:10 (NKJV)

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

Matthew 24:30Living Bible (TLB)

30 “And then at last the signal of my coming[a] will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning all around the earth. And the nations of the world will see me arrive in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.


Revelation 1:7

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.


Joel 2:13New International Version (NIV)

Rend your heart

and not your garments.

Return to the Lord your God,

for he is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in love,

and he relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:13-14The Message (MSG)

Change your life, not just your clothes.

Come back to God, your God.

And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.

He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,

This most patient God, extravagant in love,

always ready to cancel catastrophe.

Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now,

maybe he’ll turn around and show pity.

Maybe, when all’s said and done,

there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God!


This morning, I want to share a real eye-opener with you.  It’s very disturbing to see it all written down in black and white, for unfortunately…it is all true!  It’s time for all of us Believers to, “WAKE UP!”  and do what God has called us to do, while we still can!-anita

What if we lived in a world where God—His presence, His word, His truth—was expunged, even disallowed, from the daily discourse of human conduct and conversation? Where all the self-serving tenets of humanistic conduct and belief held sway at every turn in our daily lives? Well, unfortunately, that, in fact, is the very world in which we now live.

I’ve been reading extensively on this topic and find myself quite amazed at the foolishness and utter naiveté of society as it rushes headlong into a worldview it finds liberating! And liberation from what? God, truth, accountability, any absolutes, possible punishment for our behavior?

And what does a secularized society expect to find on the other side of that liberating phenomena? Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky , is a Christian thinker I very much respect. His take on the outcome of this great “liberation”: “This new worldview was based on the idea that final reality was impersonal matter or energy shaped into its present form by impersonal chance.” Further, “…the postmodern age [liberated society] from the great secular authorities of reason and rationality.” So, not only are we told to give up God, but let’s walk away from reason while we’re at it!

I’ve written on this topic before and am ceaselessly amazed that mankind is willing to ignore the clear signs of God-design all around us and chalk it all up to chance.  Dr. Mohler has quoted Dr. Carl F.H. Henry, the first editor of the Christian evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, as saying, “If modern culture is to escape the oblivion that has engulfed the earlier civilizations of man, the recovery of the self-revealed God … is crucially imperative.” Henry further states that, as mankind “returns to pagan misconceptions of [divine] rulers, or a divinized cosmos…[it] will bring inevitable disillusionment.” And  governments and leaders will seek to aggrandize themselves by taking credit for all manner of human rights and welfare, thus “eagerly preempting the role of [God}.”

What I find so curious is that mankind has such a short memory. We have reams of pages of history books that document the rise and fall of powerful governments, even governments that were “godly” in the sense that they were attendant to one or more gods recognized in their societies. From the Aztecs, to the Mayans, the Romans, the Greeks, the Zhou dynasty in China, the Magadha dynasty in India, and many others, all failed. And for individuals who portrayed themselves as omnipotent, almost divine, we have to look no further than Hitler, Pol Pot, Mussolini, or Hirohito in the last century to see failed leaders responsible for intense suffering for their own followers, not to mention millions of others.

So, I muse, what makes people believe that any new iteration of government or starry-eyed leader is going to effect society with a different outcome? In my opinion, a society without God is a society without limits. If we try to live without a God-based, moral order, without a clear right and wrong or good and bad, we sink into a world were right is defined only by might. Forget “love thy neighbor.” If my neighbor has something I want, then I take it. Sounds like regression to a very primitive form of society to me!

For those relying on the world to meet their deepest needs, it’s also a society without hope. This ungodly vortex of self-first is hellish at best. All the teachings of our Lord are set aside: love, service, care, trust, all die at the altar of self. But wait, didn’t our Lord say that this would happen (read Romans 1 or John 15:18-19). That He and his followers will be despised and even persecuted. That the things of God will be set aside. Yet to know Him is the very basis of hope. No matter what foolishness the world decides to adopt—what self-serving leader the world may choose to follow blindly—God is still on His throne. His truth never changes. So I am not without hope.

What saddens me though, is that so many people hear and believe the false hope promoted by those of the world. So many fail to hear and believe the words of Him who is the essence of hope.  All the more reason that we, who know His truth, should continue in earnest telling His story. Because they for sure will never hear that story from the world.

By:  Lee Pierce


I’m reading one of the books my dad left me.  It’s called, Pilgrim’s Progress -written by John Bunyan.

The part I was reading this morning was talking about one of the characters in the book named, Christian.  Funny his name should be that, for he is not yet a follower of Christ … but he is very close to making that decision.  Here is a small excerpt from the chapter entitled, The Third Stage.

“Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. (Isaiah 26:1)  Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.

He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulcher.  So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulcher, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.  …Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on, singing,  …

“Thus far did I come laden with my sin,

Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,

Till I came hither.  What a place is this!

Must here be the beginning of my bliss?

Must here the burden fall from off my back?

Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?

Blest cross!  blest sepulcher!  blest Father be!

The man that there was put to shame for me!”



After I read that, it reminded me of my day of Salvation.  I was so burdened with sin.  My baggage was heavy, and I found it hard to come to Jesus.  I thought I was “too bad”…that I had gone “too far” in my sin…that mercy could not be found, nor granted to someone like me.  But then I called on Jesus’ name, and my burden fell off, and was buried in the death and resurrection of His power!  And, like the poem above states, it WAS the beginning of my bliss!

I shared this with you in case you didn’t know the power of the Cross of Jesus.  If you come to Him, and call on His name, He’ll save you from your sin!  He’ll do whatever it takes to rescue you from the “hell” you’re in.  You haven’t gone too far…you’re not too bad…He stands in mercy, waiting to grant you peace and life everlasting!   Just call on Him.  He’s listening and will answer.




I woke up this morning feeling a little “heavy” in my spirit.  I’m not sure why I felt that way, for in my head I had been singing the song by Phil Wickham all night long!

“This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me…”

I went straight for my Promise Box, as I often do when my heart is heavy.  God gave me two promises.  I share them now with you.


“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest.” -Hebrews 2:17

(He became flesh and dwelt among us…and then died for our sins to save us!)

“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” -Romans 6:23

(His gift of eternal life came  through his death, burial, and resurrection.)

After reading these two promises, I turned them over, and saw poems on each one.  One of these promises had a note scrawled on top.  It simply read: From Mom Whitson 2/28/64  Mom Whitson was one of the ladies that helped my parents when my dad was attending Bible college.  We were very poor back then, and she brought food over all the time so we wouldn’t starve!  Here is the poem that I read:

“Lift up our hearts, lift up our minds, let Thy dear grave be given, That while we wander here below, our treasure be in heaven.”-Unknown

The other poem said this:

“When gathering clouds around I view and days are dark and friends are few, On Him I lean who not in vain, experienced every human pain.”-Unknown

Jesus experienced many days filled with a heavy heart…I’m sure when He sees the state of the world, he experiences it still; but He KNOWS what we are feeling, and He cares for us!





This morning, I woke up thinking about the state of our country, and the politicians running for President.  I went straight to my Promise Box and drew Isaiah 59:1 which says:

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear…”

I decided to open my Bible and read the whole chapter.  This chapter is a picture of our world today.  No one wants justice or truth anymore.  There is NO PEACE in our world!  We wait for light…but we walk in darkness.  But fear not!  Read verse 1 again, and then read verses 15 and 16.  I printed out the whole chapter below.  God has sent us salvation in Jesus.  All we have to do is trust in Him, and He will carry us through!  Like the old hymn, Yield Not To Temptaion says:

“Ask the Saviour to help you, comfort, strengthen, and keep you; He is willing to aid you.  He will carry you through.”  -Horatio R. Palmer 1868


1Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

None call for justice, nor any pleade for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eats of their eggs dies, and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper.

Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

 7Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goes therein shall not know peace.

Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.

 10We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.

11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;

13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

15 Yea, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.

21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever. (KJV)


“Light is sown for the righteous, gladness for the upright in heart.” -Psalm 97:11


Do you ever look at your children and wish you had the same stamina and resilience they have?  I remember a time, even in my twenties, I was strong and could stay awake for hours; now I find my husband gently shaking my arm at 9:45 p.m. and saying, “Neat… go to bed!  You’ve been sleeping for the last hour in this chair…go to bed!”

Wow!  I hate feeling old and despise being unable to do the things I used to do and took for granted at the time!

I look at my eight year old in amazement.  I put him to bed at 9:30, and many times he is still awake and talking at midnight.  Last Friday night, I let him watch a movie when he went to bed.  It was only to last for an hour or so.  I woke up at 4:20 a.m., and went in his room to check on him and turn things off only to find him sitting up in bed, playing with his toys!  AWWW!  To be young again!

Kids don’t stay sad for very long either…have you noticed that?  One minute, they are crying because they weren’t able to do something they had their heart set on, and a few minutes later, they have forgotten all about their anxiety and sadness and have moved on to a new adventure.

This is how we as Christians are to be.  When the trials of life seem to get us down, our crying and sadness should soon stop, for we KNOW that God will make a way…it’s time to move on to a new adventure.  But sometimes we get “old and crotchty”, we get bitter at the things life has dished out to us.  But I want you to remember this quote from Max Lucado: “Play hard, laugh hard, and leave the worries to your Father.”  That’s how we need to live!  Our Heavenly “Daddy” will take care of everything!



 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” -Matthew 18:20


Yesterday, our Sunday service held a few surprises.  We were to meet in the park for one last time before going indoors.  When those that set up got to the park, they realized it was way too chilly to have church; so at the last-minute, we ended up meeting at the Pastor’s house.

Many of our congregants were not present for various reasons.  Some were out-of-town, others were sick, and so on.  We were SMALL in attendance…only fourteen ended up being there; but let me tell you…we were BIG in our hearts of worship to the Lord!  It was amazing!  We were all gathered together in a small living room.  Anna, the Pastor’s wife had her cello, Michael had his base, Lee was playing the guitar, and my husband Mike, was playing the cajon .  The fourteen voices that were present almost blew the roof off of the house with their praise to God.  YOU COULD FEEL HIS PRESENCE!  It was almost tangible.

Then the message was brought.  It was more of a testimony time, for the Pastor, and a few in the congregation shared blessings, past and present, that had taken place in their lives.  All of this went along with the sermon about Naaman the leper, and how God cured his disease when he was obedient to the word of the prophet; the word which came from the Lord.  Afterwards, we had communion.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here, is this:  You don’t have to meet in a cathedral, have a huge choir, or all the pomp and splendor most churches have. Don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with having a beautiful church to meet in, or a choir the size of the Mormon Tabernacle; the problem is that we believe this is the only way to meet with God.  God wants us to meet Him…where we are.  We could be in a small group, a huge conference meeting, or all by our self…alone…and God will meet with us if we ask for His presence.   All I’m saying is, don’t miss out on the blessing God has for you.  You can meet with Him anywhere.  Or like it says in Psalm 139:

Psalm 139:7-12New King James Version (NKJV)

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

Be Blessed today, and KNOW that God is with you!


Sermon Notes for Oct. 23, 2016

2 Kings 5 (MSG)

Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. 2 And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. 3 Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” 4 And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.”


5 Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”


So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said,


Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.


7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”


8 So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”


9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.


15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”


16 But he said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.


17 So Naaman said, “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord. 18 Yet in this thing may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord please pardon your servant in this thing.”


19 Then he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a short distance.


Gehazi’s Greed

20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” 21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “Is all well?”


22 And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’”


23 So Naaman said, “Please, take two talents.” And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and handed them to two of his servants; and they carried them on ahead of him. 24 When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed. 25 Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, “Where did you go, Gehazi?”


And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere.”


26 Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? 27 Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.


To Set the Burdened Free

Luke 4:14-15

Jesus returned to Galilee powerful in the Spirit. News that he was back spread through the countryside. He taught in their meeting places to everyone’s acclaim and pleasure.


16-21 He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,


God’s Spirit is on me;

he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,

Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and

recovery of sight to the blind,

To set the burdened and battered free,

to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”


22 All who were there, watching and listening, were surprised at how well he spoke. But they also said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son, the one we’ve known since he was a youngster?”


23-27 He answered, “I suppose you’re going to quote the proverb, ‘Doctor, go heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we heard you did in Capernaum.’ Well, let me tell you something: No prophet is ever welcomed in his hometown. Isn’t it a fact that there were many widows in Israel at the time of Elijah during that three and a half years of drought when famine devastated the land, but the only widow to whom Elijah was sent was in Sarepta in Sidon? And there were many lepers in Israel at the time of the prophet Elisha but the only one cleansed was Naaman the Syrian.”


28-30 That set everyone in the meeting place seething with anger. They threw him out, banishing him from the village, then took him to a mountain cliff at the edge of the village to throw him to his doom, but he gave them the slip and was on his way.


31-32 He went down to Capernaum, a village in Galilee. He was teaching the people on the Sabbath. They were surprised and impressed—his teaching was so forthright, so confident, so authoritative, not the quibbling and quoting they were used to.


33-34 In the meeting place that day there was a man demonically disturbed. He screamed, “Ho! What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to. You’re the Holy One of God and you’ve come to destroy us!”


35 Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The demonic spirit threw the man down in front of them all and left. The demon didn’t hurt him.


36-37 That set everyone back on their heels, whispering and wondering, “What’s going on here? Someone whose words make things happen? Someone who orders demonic spirits to get out and they go?” Jesus was the talk of the town.


He Healed Them All

38-39 He left the meeting place and went to Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was running a high fever and they asked him to do something for her. He stood over her, told the fever to leave—and it left. Before they knew it, she was up getting dinner for them.


40-41 When the sun went down, everyone who had anyone sick with some ailment or other brought them to him. One by one he placed his hands on them and healed them. Demons left in droves, screaming, “Son of God! You’re the Son of God!” But he shut them up, refusing to let them speak because they knew too much, knew him to be the Messiah.


42-44 He left the next day for open country. But the crowds went looking and, when they found him, clung to him so he couldn’t go on. He told them, “Don’t you realize that there are yet other villages where I have to tell the Message of God’s kingdom, that this is the work God sent me to do?” Meanwhile he continued preaching in the meeting places of Galilee.


2 Corinthians 12:9-10  (MSG)

7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then HE told me,


My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.



After Jesus had risen, He ascended into Heaven…but He said, “I’LL BE BACK!”  He left us here to fulfill the Great Commission of spreading the Gospel.

Read John chapter 14.  You will be blessed!  Jesus told us in that passage, “Let not your hearts be troubled: You believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

I was thinking about these verses the other day as I watched the glorious sunrise from my front window.  The thought crossed my mind…if God made all of this beauty that surrounds me in six days time…what will Heaven be like?  He’s been gone over two thousand years, “preparing” a place for ME and for YOU if you KNOW Him.  If He did all of this in six days…I can’t even imagine what beauty Heaven holds!

We read in the book of Revelation, that the city of Heaven has twelve gates made of pearls, streets of gold, walls studded with precious stones…WOW!  I can’t wait to see it; but the best part of all…I will see Jesus…face to face!

So when things down here get hard to cope with, remember what Jesus said:  “Let NOT your heart be troubled…You believe in God…believe also in ME!…I WILL BE BACK AND TAKE YOU WITH ME!”