It was never supposed to Happen that way

I saw this, and decided to post it on our site.  Enjoy! -anita

Hard Times Ministries

Isn’t this more or less the story of our lives?  Didn’t things turn out unexpectantly, different than how it was supposed to?

Some of us got deterred by work, others by war.  Some by marriage and than a family.  Some of us went by the wayside and were distracted. Some got sick or disillusioned. By and by whatever future envisioned for us then turned out differently in reality.

This appears to be the norm.  I remember a study I read some years ago demonstrated that in excess of 80% of the valedictorians in high schools—-twenty years later, these premium elitists were unemployed.

Somehow man has a way of side-stepping our true future.  It simply seldom works out the way we expect.

Apparently God’s destiny permeates our lives in mysterious routes that are unforeseeable to the naked eye.

I know many who believed they missed great opportunities to be excelled athletes…

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Should I? Or…Shouldn’t I?

Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story– those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…” -Psalm 107:2

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Sometimes we’re fearful to share the Lord, and His Salvation.  We don’t want to be ridiculed, or labeled a “Bible thumper.”  But…today, I’d like to talk to you about a very unpopular subject.  I don’t do it to offend anyone, but the Bible calls Believers to be Watchmen.  I am prompted to share this reminder with you, my readers because of a conversation I had with my son last night.

We were getting ready to retire for the night.  It was time to say his bed-time prayers.  I usually lead, and then he follows.  In my prayer, I asked the Lord to make us all better witnesses in 2018.  When we finished, he said, “Mom…what is a witness?”  I explained that we are called to warn folks that they are going down the wrong path, and share Jesus with them who IS The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  He was still having a hard time grasping the idea.

I said, “If we were taking a walk, and you saw a house on fire…what would you do?”  He said, “I’d run to the door, bang on it, and kick it down if I needed to so that I could get the people out of there!”

I explained that we as Believers are to do the very same thing to those around us that are lost and without Christ, for they are on the road to hell.

I believe that sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the mundane things of this world, that even  we as Believers, forget that Hell is a real place.  It’s a place where “the worm dies not…and the fire is not quenched.”  -Mark 9:44  “There will be weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth”–(from the torment they are in). -Luke 12:28  and Matthew 13:42  “Those whose names were not found written in the Book of Life  will be cast into the Lake of Fire…” -Revelation 20:15

Let me just add this…

There may be some of you reading this that don’t believe in hell…or heaven for that matter.  But we all know there are ABSOLUTES.   The Truth cannot be changed.  Some may say they don’t believe in the law of gravity, but if you jump out of a 10 story building, you WILL believe in that law before you hit the ground…but it will be too late for you.

I remember a woman telling my dad after church service one time, that she didn’t believe in a literal burning hell.  She thought it was a dark place away from God…but no fire, no literal pain.  He told her to go home, turn on the burner to her stove, put her hand over the flame, and tell herself the fire wasn’t real until her flesh fell from the bones.  That seemed a little harsh…but he was trying to make her understand that just because we do not believe in something…it doesn’t change the truth!

There are many scriptures in the Bible regarding Hell…and they all say the same thing.  “And in hell, he lifted up his eyes, being in torments…” -Luke 16:23  There are numerous verses that declare the truth about Hell.  Look them up.

This message is primarily for  those that already know Jesus as their Savior.  It is up to Believers to warn the lost, because if we fail to do so, their blood will be required at our hand.  We are responsible to tell them!  In Ezekiel 3:18, it says this:

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

However, if you are lost, and someone tells you about Jesus , but you decide you don’t want any part of Him, the Bible says this in Ezekiel 3:19…

“Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

If you don’t know Jesus…call on Him!  He wants to save you…not only in the life to come, but in this life.  He wants to give you an abundant life!

If you are a Believer, it’s time to get up off of your blessed assurance, and start sharing the message of Salvation!  Remember Ezekiel 3:18!  I don’t know about any of you…but I don’t want anyone’s blood on my hands because of my failure to witness!

Anita

BELIEVE!

T. F. Thompson of Hard Times Ministries,  had a post on his blog entitled, Bring in the bad guys (the dark forces of the earth)  There, he spoke about the ‘hidden’…’subtle’ things of this world that are evil and not of God.  Things like, disease, germs, microbial parasites, and the like.  His post made me recall a poem I wrote a few years back called, “Believe!”  

Sometimes, we allow the beliefs we have about ourselves to influence us.  Many of these beliefs come from what we’ve been told all our lives; ….”You’re worthless!”  “Loser!”  “No good…never will amount to anything!”  If these words are allowed to grow in our hearts, they will bear fruit that is evil!  Take a look at the following poem.

BELIEVE!

They saw me down, and out.  They knew my state of mind.

So they charged me like a pack of wolves,  My way, I could not find.

They whispered things to me,  Their words were quiet, but clear;

I heard Confusion, Madness, Suicide, ring loud inside my ear!

They came to me one by one, and sometimes in a group;

But they were one in purpose, there to beguile, destroy, and dupe.

Anger was the first to come, with Hatred close behind,

Bitterness was at his heels, seeking entrance to my mind.

Then Jealously came on the scene, along with Loneliness…

They made me feel Inferior, as they whispered, “Worthless!”

Then Addiction raised his ugly head, and offered me a fix…

While Deceit stood by and whispered, “There isn’t any risk!”

Then our of nowhere,  Lust showed up to offer sympathy!

Why!  He was so enchanting!  He even brought his friends along…

Their names were Aids, and STD.

Disease stood outside the door, waiting for his chance;

The thought of taking up new residence, made him begin to dance!

They rallied all around me, as they saw me growing weak,

Then Fear showed up, and with persuasion, he began to speak.

His words were strong,  His voice was clear, as he spoke Doubt into my ear!

The longer I listened, the more I believed…and seeds of Despair were then conceived!

I fell to my knees, and began to weep, but the heaven’s were silent, while God seemed to sleep!

Then Condemnation rushed right in, and began to remind me of all my Sin.

He laughed out loud as he said to me,  “You’ll always be bound!  HA!  You’ll NEVER be free!”

Then Fret and Worry saw their chance, so into the room, they began to prance.

They ran in haste, and pounced on me, while they spread their gloom, and laughed with glee!

I wept in despair, as I groped in the dark, needing guidance from the Lord, My God;

But His back was turned, and His face was hidden and there was no sound…only silence from God.

Intimidation thought he’d found his place, and with boastful arrogance, made his case.

He pointed his long accusing finger at me, as I cowered in Shame, and he made his decree.

I laid there Broken, almost Lifeless… and the only sound heard, was the deafening quietness!

I was at the end!  I could fight no more!  ….  That’s when Defeat walked through the door.

I cried out again…but in FAITH this time, as I knelt on bended knee.

That was when I realized, Defeat had no effect on me!

But all the demons in the room, were as terrified as he!

Shrieks and wails were on the rise as Defeat began to tell them of their soon-to-be demise!

She’s called in FAITH…so we can’t stay!  We have to leave!  HE”S on His way!

The room was cleared in a flash and a flurry….  They all seemed to be in a real big hurry!

And once again, I was left alone…but it seemed different this time;

The Peace and Quiet inside that room was almost tangible, surreal, sublime!

Then, soft and quiet, I heard a voice, call through the foggy haze.

It brought me to my senses, I was no longer dazed.

He said, “Come to Me, and I will give you rest!”

Then my trembling hand reached out to receive this lovely Guest.

Yes!  He saw me down and out, and knew my state of mind,

So He picked me up, and healed me…this Deliverer, Oh, so kind!

Now, as for that pack of hungry wolves….  I’ve learned how to make them leave;

See…I call out to God in FAITH…and then, I just BELIEVE!!

-Anita Mondragon published 2009

GOD’S GREAT MERCY…

“But God’s mercy is great, and He loved us very much..  Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, He gave us new life with Christ.  You have been saved by God’s grace!” -Ephesians 2:4-5

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Today’s the second day of the New Year, and as I rose this morning to greet another day, I was reminded of God’s great mercy to us…to me.  I briefly looked back over the last year, and  recalled all the times I fell…but His Grace and Mercy was there to catch me.

I read this short devotional from Max Lucado in his book called, God’s Inspirational Promise Book.  I share it now with you….  Enjoy! -anita

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“God does not save us because of what we’ve done.  Only a puny god could be bought with tithes.  Only an egotistical god would be impressed with our pain.  Only a temperamental god could be satisfied by sacrifices.  Only a heartless god would sell salvation to the highest bidders.

And only a great God does for his children what they can’t do for themselves.

God’s delight is received upon surrender, not awarded upon conquest.  The first step to joy is a plea for help, and acknowledgment of moral destitution, an admission of inward paucity.  Those who taste God’s presence have declared spiritual bankruptcy and are aware of their spiritual crisis….Their pockets are empty.  Their options are gone.  They have long since stopped demanding justice; they are pleading for mercy.

-Max Lucado

DO YOU WANT TO BE A WELL-TRAINED BELIEVER?

HAPPY NEW YEAR, to all our readers!  We pray you have a blessed year ahead of you!

Yesterday at church, we had a sermon about “The well – trained Believer”  and how to become that kind of Christian in 2018.  It is based on the following passage.

Hebrews 12:1-13The Message (MSG)

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race

12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
    but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
    the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

12-13 So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

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Here are a few highlights, and the things I gleaned from this study….  Take a look.

The Well-Trained Believer:

  1.  is willing commit
  2.  is willing to compete
  3. is willing to contemplate (consider)
  4. is willing to correct
  5. is willing to complete

obstacles in our race, afford opportunities for our growth.  Resistance and trials in our life cause us to grow in our Faith!  Recollections, and memories of our past mistakes cause us not to repeat them, and we may finally ‘forget’ them and not let them define us; but, we will still have numerous folks that love to remind us of those mistakes!  However,  if we want to reach our goal, we must remember…there is NO ROOM FOR RETREAT…NO ROOM FOR RETIREMENT!  Our motto should be, “Keep on keeping on ’till Jesus comes and takes us home!

To achieve your goal, you need these three things; Purpose in your life, A goal you strive to reach, and direction to finally arrive.

  1.  Self denial that is willing to give up everything that hinders that growth
  2.  A decision that is made with your whole heart to reach your goal
  3.  Patience…persistence to pursue your goal until it is reached

“You must be willing to receive the discipline of God, to be a dynamic witness for God in 2018!

The time is at hand!  Jesus will be returning soon.  Let’s be well-trained Believers and dynamic witnesses for God in these last days!

-Pastor William  Rodriguez

 

 

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