NEW YEAR ENCOURAGEMENT

New Year Encouragement – Sermon Notes by Pastor Danny Leavitt

Paul Appears before Felix

24 Five days later Ananias, the high priest, arrived with some of the Jewish elders and the lawyer Tertullus, to present their case against Paul to the governor. 2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented the charges against Paul in the following address to the governor:

“You have provided a long period of peace for us Jews and with foresight have enacted reforms for us. 3 For all of this, Your Excellency, we are very grateful to you. 4 But I don’t want to bore you, so please give me your attention for only a moment. 5 We have found this man to be a troublemaker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the cult known as the Nazarenes. 6 Furthermore, he was trying to desecrate the Temple when we arrested him. 8 You can find out the truth of our accusations by examining him yourself.” 9 Then the other Jews chimed in, declaring that everything Tertullus said was true.

10 The governor then motioned for Paul to speak. Paul said, “I know, sir, that you have been a judge of Jewish affairs for many years, so I gladly present my defense before you. 11 You can quickly discover that I arrived in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago to worship at the Temple. 12 My accusers never found me arguing with anyone in the Temple, nor stirring up a riot in any synagogue or on the streets of the city. 13 These men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing.

14 “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.

17 “After several years away, I returned to Jerusalem with money to aid my people and to offer sacrifices to God. 18 My accusers saw me in the Temple as I was completing a purification ceremony. There was no crowd around me and no rioting. 19 But some Jews from the province of Asia were there—and they ought to be here to bring charges if they have anything against me! 20 Ask these men here what crime the Jewish high council found me guilty of, 21 except for the one time I shouted out, ‘I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!’”

24 A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” 26 He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.

27 After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.

Acts 26:24

At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.

Acts 28:17

Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors,

Three Encouragements for 2018

1. Be a light in the night

Philippians 2  (MSG)

14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night

 

2. Your Spiritual Gifts are to encourage those around you

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

(MSG)

All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

wise counsel

clear understanding

simple trust

healing the sick

miraculous acts

proclamation

distinguishing between spirits

tongues

interpretation of tongues.

All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.

1 Peter 4:10-11 (NLT)

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

3. Nothing can separate you from God’s love.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dear ____________,

 

Philippians 3 (MSG)

And that’s about it, friends. Be glad in God!

I don’t mind repeating what I have written in earlier letters, and I hope you don’t mind hearing it again. Better safe than sorry—so here goes.

2-6 Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.

7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

Focused on the Goal

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

Everything is Transformed

Revelation 21T ree of Life Version (TLV)

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

2 I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying,

“Behold, the dwelling of God is among men,

    and He shall tabernacle among them.

They shall be His people,

    and God Himself shall be among them

    and be their God.

4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes,

    and death shall be no more.

Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer,

    for the former things have passed away.”

-Pastor Daniel Leavitt

HE TRULY UNDERSTANDS!

I’ve often questioned “Why?” Jesus would leave heaven’s glory, a place where time is irrelevant,  take on the form of a man, and live in the limited confines of the human body for 33 years.

Well…I went to my Promise Box this morning, and drew this.  It completely explains my question of “Why?”  Take a look…

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

The word behoove is not used very often anymore, so I looked it up.  Here’s what Google had to say…

be·hoove
bəˈho͞ov/
verb

formal
verb: behoove
  1. it is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something; it is incumbent on.
    “it behooves any coach to study his predecessors”
    synonyms: be incumbent on, be obligatory for, be required of, be expected of, be appropriate forMore

    • it is appropriate or suitable; it befits.
      it ill behooves the opposition constantly to decry the sale of arms to friendly countries”
 So…Did you get that?  Jesus thought it was His duty, His responsibility to become like us so that He could understand us better.  No wonder He’s so merciful to us!
Here’s the little poem that accompanied the promise…
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
Take heart!  Jesus KNOWS what you’re going through today…every moment, of your life.  He KNOWS, and He understands!
anita

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SKY!

I love to watch the sky!  It’s the best time of the day when I rise early and watch God pull back the curtain of night, and see His finger paint a beautiful sunrise…just for me!  Then again in the late afternoon, as the sun falls behind the mountains, spreading his colors of orange and gold across the horizon.  If you wait a little while, you can see the silver moon rise in all her glory, as the stars sprinkle the sky in clusters, like barnacles on a ship.  During the day, the clouds float by in all their different shapes; if you have any imagination at all, you will see angles, dinosaurs, castles…almost anything.

It’s beautiful…relaxing.

Then…you come inside and watch the News.  The world is in turmoil, nothing but chaos everywhere you turn!  That’s when I’m reminded of the passage in Luke 21.

They asked him, “Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it’s about to take place?”

8-9 He said, “Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One,’ or, ‘The end is near.’ Don’t fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.”

10-11 He went on, “Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You’ll think at times that the very sky is falling.

12-15 “But before any of this happens, they’ll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’ll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.

16-19 “You’ll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul—even the hairs of your head!—is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. Staying with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.

Vengeance Day

20-24 “When you see soldiers camped all around Jerusalem, then you’ll know that she is about to be devastated. If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills. If you’re in the city, get out quickly. If you’re out in the fields, don’t go home to get your coat. This is Vengeance Day—everything written about it will come to a head. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Incredible misery! Torrential rage! People dropping like flies; people dragged off to prisons; Jerusalem under the boot of barbarians until the nations finish what was given them to do.

25-26 “It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.

27-28 “And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!” -Luke 21: 1-28 MSG

 In the KJV the last verses read like this:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SKY! ….  IT WON’T BE LONG NOW UNTIL OUR SAVIOR APPEARS!  Hallelujah!  
anita

STOP LABELING!!

Has there ever been a time in your life that you’ve felt you’re “too far gone” for God’s love to reach you?  Perhaps you’ve committed a heinous crime against society…rape, murder, theft, or the like, and now you’re in prison.  Maybe it was a sin against your spouse…an affair.  Perhaps you’re an addict of drugs or alcohol.  Maybe you belong to God, you’re saved, born-again…a Believer, but you’ve strayed far from home, wallowed in the sinful life you lived before you come to know the Savior, and now you wonder if God’s mercy and grace will stoop to hear your prayers asking for forgiveness.

When God looks at us, it’s through eyes of love.  He doesn’t label us.

We’ve all grown up with at least one label that stuck to us because we believed it, and allowed it to define us.  We’ve all been labeled before, and we’ve most likely done some labeling ourselves.   We sometimes make snap judgments on people’s appearance.  You see a homeless person, and right away, you decide he/she is a drug user, an alcoholic, or a no-good lazy bum.  But you know nothing about that person, nor the circumstances that brought them to the place they are today.

We call people stupid, loser, failure, hypocrite, cheater, moron…and the list goes on; but we have no idea who they really are or why they act the way they do!  BUT GOD DOES!  He knows us all.  In Romans chapter 5, it says this:  “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, (haters of God) Christ Jesus died for us!”

That’s one of the best verses in the Bible!  It shows the mercy, grace, and love that God has for every one of us!  And, He extends that mercy to us as long as we’re breathing.  He stands, arms open wide to receive anyone that will come to Him!

Remember the little saying we used when we were kids?  When other kids called us names, we’d say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones…but words will never hurt me.”  Remember that?  But the truth is, mean words DO hurt us, and if we allow them to stay in our hearts, they will in later years define who we become.

Let’s start the New Year out right.  Let’s try to see others through God’s eyes.  Choose your words wisely.  Stop making snap judgments…or judgment of any kind on those we meet.  It’s not for us to judge…but God only.  Quit labeling folks.  Just love them to Jesus!

anita

BEST DEAL EVER!

Well…here it is!  That time of year again.  The time when commercials flood the main stream media like never before!

Car commercials showing ‘End of the year’ best deals for 2017…Gym memberships offering low prices if you join before 2018…the housing market boasting low-interest rates, urging folks to BUY NOW! while low rates are still holding.  Everyone in marketing putting across the idea that ‘these present good times of prosperity won’t last forever…so do it now…get in on the best deal ever!’

I want to tell you about a “Deal” that has been available for over 2,000 years.  It’s absolutely FREE to you!  It has a life time guarantee, and an eternal guarantee!  It’s called, Salvation.  If life were a Monopoly game, Salvation would be your “get out of jail (hell) free card.

I don’t mean to sound trite or demean the importance of Salvation.  I’m trying to put it in the simplest language so that all can understand!  Salvation IS your life-line…now, and in the hereafter!

You see, Jesus died on the Cross to save us from our sins.  He paid our debt in full!  All we must do is accept His gift, and we will be saved from eternal damnation.  He will also give us an abundant life while we are here on earth.  We will have peace, joy, and hope…even in our darkest times.  He will provide for us.  He will protect us.  We can give all our cares to Him, and He will see us through!

Salvation is FREE to us, if we will just accept Him as our Savior; and…we get all of the above ‘perks’ as well!  There is no time limit…as long as you’re breathing, there is time to accept His gift.  But, why wait?  Why not accept His gift now?

Now I’d say that’s the BEST DEAL EVER!!

anita

THE PERFECT GIFT

Have you ever had a friend, or someone who you loved and cared about so much?  Someone that was so important in your life…someone that was on your mind constantly?

You think about them every waking moment…and sometimes in your dreams.  You can’t wait for their birthday, or the holidays to come…just so you can give them a special gift!

You know this person well; you know their deepest desires, and recognize their needs.  So, you start your search for the ‘perfect gift’.  Maybe, you don’t wait until you see that special day approaching to look for the gift; perhaps you know from the very beginning just what you will give them!

You watch them as they go from day-to-day, looking for something to satisfy their deepest longing.  When they call or stop by to see you, you can hear things in their speech…things that tell you what they are hoping for…searching for…yearning for.   And as you listen, you KNOW in your heart that the gift you chose for them is exactly what they are wanting and needing!  Your own excitement grows as you listen.  Now you are as hopeful for that day to arrive as they are!

That’s what occurred in a land far away, long before time ever was.

Our Father in heaven saw what mankind wanted…needed to fulfill all their hopes and dreams.  He loved and cared about you so much, that he gave His “Perfect Gift”.  He knew you while you were still in your mother’s womb.  He knows and understands your deepest desires, and recognizes your needs.  He KNEW from the very beginning just what He would freely give you!

He watches you from day-to-day as you search for something to satisfy your longings.  When things get really bad in your life, and troubles seem to be heaped upon you…when you finally call on Him in prayer, or stop by a church to see Him, He listens to your heart utter the words that your mouth can’t seem to find.  He knows you’re hoping, searching, yearning…hungry for something to satisfy your needs.  He KNOWS that the gift He chose for you from the beginning is exactly what you need!  His excitement grows as He listens.  He can’t wait for that day to arrive when you finally accept that Wonderful Gift He has for you!

You may ask…”What IS the gift that God has for me?”

This is it….

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, (Jesus)  that whosoever (anyone) that  believes in Him (Jesus)  will have eternal life. -John 3:16

Eternal life in heaven…a place where there is no sadness, no tears, no troubles!

God sent you His gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a manger box.  The wrapping wasn’t shiny and beautiful…but the Gift inside the box was PERFECT!  That little baby named Jesus, came to die for your sins!  Accept Him!  Hold Him close to your breast!  Let Him enter your heart!  He WILL satisfy all your desires!  Let Him in…

anita

WHEN YOU FIND LOVE…

There were so many good things said at church yesterday!  I will just share a few highlights that I received from the message, and the song service.

Love’s accomplishments

It is BELIEF that produces love!

Where God’s life is, His love will be…you can’t be a Believer and have hate in your heart!

Y.O.L.O.  …You only live once…so do what you want…when you want!  That’s the belief of today; but when our life is over, we will stand before God and be judged.

The love that God gives, causes us to have confidence in the day of judgement.  That just means that if Jesus sees the activity of Himself in us, we will have no fear of punishment at the Judgement Day; for love casts out fear! 

God is invisible…we can’t see him, but if His love is in us, we make Him visible to those around us. When His love is perfected in us…it will be expressed!  We all express ourselves, either in a good way, or a bad way.  Remember that old song…”EXPRESS YOURSELF!” ?    How many of us “express ourselves” when someone cuts us off on the highway?  ….Or maybe when they jump in front of us at the store?  You can feel the anger, and hear the expletives expressed then!  But Jesus wants the activity of Himself to be seen in us!  If we love God, we MUST love our neighbors as well!

In the Bible we read of a time when God was silent for 400 years.  The people of Israel were in bondage, and God was silent to their pleas…their prayers.  Sometimes, we feel when we are going through something, that He is silent, and does not hear us….  Silence…only crickets!  But in that song, O Holy Night!,  it says, “A thrill of hope…the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a New and glorious morn…”  WHY was there hope?  Because God sent His Only Son, in love to save mankind!  God’s silence didn’t last forever.  He hears you when you pray!

Hate?  There is no room for hate if Jesus lives inside you!  Show love to those around you…”let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven…” -Matthew 5:16  BE A LIGHT OF GOD’S LOVE TODAY…SHARE JESUS

MAY YOU ALL HAVE A BLESSED, AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TODAY!

Wm. Rodriguez, Israel Herrera, anita

MARY’S LITTLE LAMB

One day, I was watching my grand-daughter, Audrey.  She came to me in the kitchen, and tugged on my dress…”Grandma…will you read me some nursery rhymes?”  I told her to go get the book; she crawled up in my lap and I began to read:  “Mary had a little lamb…”  At that very moment, God’s voice  was almost audible, as I heard Him say to me… “Yes…she did, and HE was the Son of God!”  After she left, Jesus and I sat down and wrote this poem together.  Hope you enjoy, and A Very Merry Christmas to you all!-anita

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Mary had a little lamb.

He was the Son of God.

That Christmas night He came to earth,

The angels did applaud!

They KNEW He would for sin atone,

And die upon a tree…

And by His blood, WASH all men clean,

And set their spirits free!

A light shined bright outside the door,

Where naught but darkness was before;

To light the way…to show the path

Of incarnate love, that would quell God’s wrath.

In stable low, while shepherds watched,

And cattle were a lowing…

The King, lay sleeping in the hay

Even though a child, yet knowing;

His PURPOSE for mankind was clear…

It was the REASON He appeared!

He went from sitting on a throne,

To lying in a manger.

From being worshipped and adored…

To being but a stranger.

From hearing angel voices singing,

Holy!  Holy!  Holy!

To hearing sounds of sheep and cattle,

In this stable, lowly.

From eyes of adoration

From redeemed, in eons past…

To shepherds, staring on in awe…

Bewildered…amazed…aghast!

From having Heaven as His domain…

To finding no place at the Inn.

Long before that night, He’d flung the stars,

And put them in their place;

Now, from that lowly bed of straw…

He gazed into his mother’s face.

When they looked down…

They saw a babe, lying in the hay;

When He looked up,

He saw a race, lost…and gone astray!

They saw Him helpless…meek and mild;

He saw them lost…undone…defiled.

They saw the manger where he lay.

He saw the CROSS…crucifixion day!

They gave thanks for the fruit of the womb…

He praised God, for the empty tomb!

They were excited to tell the story…

He was content to give God ALL the glory!

Yes!  Mary had a Little Lamb

Born on Christmas day;

The Sacrificial Lamb of GOD…

The Truth, The Life, The way!

From Heaven’s glory, to manger low…

Finally, dying on the cross…

He came that night for ONE reason only…

To SEEK, and to SAVE that which is lost!

ARE YOU LOST?

Then, He’s seeking for YOU!

But the question is:

What will you do,

With this wonderful gift,

Sent from God’s own hand…

With this little babe…

Mary’s Little Lamb?

By:  Anita Mondragon  December 2007

 

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Lee sent this in the other day.  Please forgive me for not posting it sooner!  This is something we all need to investigate within ourselves, for…we all fear something!  BUT GOD…if we give our fears to Him, He will take care of us!  This is great!  Take a look… -anita

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I would posit that there’s something in the course of life of which you’re fearful. Maybe it’s financial, health-related, maybe fear of failure at your job, or in your marriage…whatever. I was thinking about that this morning as I was reading in one of my devotionals.

When I was a child growing up, I was so afraid of being poor. And I guess I still am. My father never was around, literally, in fact I never ever lived with my father in his home and I barely knew him. My mom was a single parent with just a high school education. She often worked two jobs to keep a roof over our heads. I remember on at least one occasion when she had to pawn her rings to have enough money to pay the bills that month. She was in tears, of course, and that really hit me hard. I grew up knowing we were pretty poor and I resolved to do what I could to help. I started carrying newspapers when I was about 10 or 11, and worked at various jobs all through middle school and high school to help out.

These fears continue to play out in my life as an adult. I suppose that’s why I’m ardent about everyone in the house turning off lights when they leave a room. And why I stock up extra cans of food in the pantry (many extra cans I’m afraid) to help make sure we don’t go hungry. Little things like that just are part of who I am and are driven out of fear that we will be poor and will go hungry.

To put this in perspective, I’ve never been actually homeless, living on the streets (although I’ve come close a few times). The Bible talks about trusting God in countless places throughout Scripture and counsels us to not be anxious about anything [Phil 4:6 for example]. As I was reading on this topic this morning, I was driven to tears as it came to mind (I’m convinced the thought was a reassurance from God) that God has allowed me to earn adequate money as an adult and to enjoy the comfort of feeling “well taken care of.” We’re certainly not rich, as the world would define it, but my family and I are comfortable. As I pondered this, God reminded me that He knows poverty is a great fear of mine and that He has always provided for us. Even though I turned away from God for several years, I believe with all my heart that He was there looking out for me & taking care of me despite my faithlessness. All the while making sure my great fear didn’t overwhelm me and lead me into despondency.

How about you? Is there something which lurks ominously in your life, causing you to be fearful and afraid? Can you look back over the years to see ways in which that fear never was allowed to come debilitating in your life? If so, take the time to praise our great God, who cares for us and protects us in countless ways. And, if a great fear has in fact gripped you, take Paul’s advice in that passage in Philippians : “…in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests (your needs) to God.”  And what will be the outcome of that effort? Paul tells us. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” [Phil 4:7]. One thing I take away from this wonderful passage is that God won’t necessarily remove that thing which piques your fear. But He will surround you with a sense of peace that everything will be alright in the end, because He cares for you and loves you.

God give us a strong faith to always trust in You and Your provision, however that plays out. To quote President FDR: “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We have a God bigger and stronger than anything that terrifies us in this world or this life. When all else fails, run to the shelter of His wings!

Lee Pierce

SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER…

I’ve been thumbing through one of my dad’s old books that I inherited.  This one is called, Transforming Your Prayer Life -A Seven-week Strategy to a more meaningful relationship with God.  It was written by Dr. Bob Beltz.

Here’s a couple of things to consider as you read the following quotes from Dr. Beltz.  Enjoy…and apply these suggestions! -anita

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“Men and women on planet Earth have been given an incredible opportunity.  Through the gift of prayer, these men and women have been invited to appropriate unseen kingdom realities and bring them to bear on earthly situations.”

“We have the privilege and responsibility to pray that heavenly kingdom realities will intervene and influence earthly affairs.”

“Like it or not, you and I are in an epic and lifelong war that affects every area of our lives.  For many, the motto of this war could be ‘What if you were in a war and didn’t even know it?’ “

“The first law of spiritual warfare is that Satan hates you and has a diabolical plan for your life!”

“Building a physical discipline of exercising five days a week will strengthen your heart and prolong your life.  But building a discipline of praying significantly five days a week will actually change your heart and transform the quality of your life!”

Dr. Bob Beltz