Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back To The Basics By Tymothy Longoria

     Within the body of Christ, we need to sharpen each other in our walk to allow growth.  As a writer, a Wonderfully Made Edifer, and brother in Christ, I have been blessed to fellowship and minister beside him.  His heart for Christ, dedication to service, and love is truly expressed in his writings, his calling.  Tymothy Longoria is married to Jennifer who shares his passion for the love and service of Christ.  Also, he has two precious children who are a blessing to him.  Soon, he will have his first fantasy novel, “The Stories”, published for all to read.  Personally, I can’t wait.  We may have the next C.S. Lewis, I pray for the anointing to continue to flow.  So, please welcome my friend and brother in Christ to this challenge your heart.   

     I wrote a study for the youth group at my church…some 14 years ago-because I felt they, (myself included) needed to be reminded of what I like to call the basics of salvation. Of Christ. Now do not get me wrong, there is no basic when it comes to God and His Word and His mercy but for semantics and the purpose of this quick study it applies.

What are the basics of being a Christian?
What are the things that we associate with our walk?

Well, of course there is love your neighbor and do unto others…but I’m meaning the tenets of our faith.  There is so many. Here are a few. We must remember that in these simple basic steps there is power and wisdom that follows. The message of salvation is a simple one. Yet, so, powerful.

What is perhaps the most known scripture of all?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.–John 3:16

That is the basic foundation of well, everything. It is. So now what?
Ask for forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.–1 John 1:9
It’s so simple. But because His mercy is so overwhelmingly perfect and good…doing that, He says this is all it takes.

Embrace it.
Accept His forgiveness. After you ask, He expects you to, well, embrace it. Let it come over
And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.–1 John 2:3

Read the Word. Study.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.–Hebrews 4:12
For me—growing up from the age of 15, it was ingrained into my brain. I heard it every day, multiple times a day…that’s well and good. Knowledge of the Word is fine. But as you read and study the Word, listen with your heart. Seek His truth in every word with your heart.

Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.–119:11
That’s also the first scripture I memorized.

Pray…without ceasing.
Pray without ceasing.–1 Thessalonians 5:17
See? Twice. When we pray we ask God for His hand. We speak to Him. We cry out to Him…and then we listen. We listen and allow Him to speak.

Allow the Spirit to move.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, and temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.Galatians 5:22-25

 “When the Spirit of God comes into your life, It will uplift you and give understanding into the problems and joys of your daily life. It gives direction, and for many this is the first time they have found it.” Harold Klemp, Touching the Face of God, p. 7

Talk to God. Read. Study. Breathe….and always, always put on the full armor of God.

Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God–Ephesians 6:13-17

Getting back to basics.
Oh, one more thing!
If you would like to contact Tymothy Longoria or read other writings please visits the following links:





  • Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    A License of Approval

         When I was fifteen years old, I couldn’t wait to start the course Driver’s Education.  This course was probably the most enjoyed class among my peers; it was a sign of getting OUR independence.  Although my parents knew my whereabouts, it was awesome to be able to go to my best friend’s house, school events, or to the mall without my parents.  At some point, teenagers refuse to be seen with their parents, we want to “look” mature.
    At the time, I didn’t think driving a car would be all that difficult until I heard my mother’s heart wrenching screams.  If I wasn’t nervous enough about driving, my mother didn’t make it any easier.  Since we lived out in the middle of nowhere, my family was able to teach me the basics of driving.  My mother obviously didn’t have the stomach for it, so I was very gracious for the patience of my older brother, Todd.  With each experience, I gained confidence with being a responsible driver: to wear my seatbelt, look both ways, and learning how to maneuver a car.  With my school’s program, I was able to learn the important laws, the proper driving methods, and safety precautions.  In the state of Maryland at the time, we could get a learners permit at the age of fifteen.  In order to receive this license, we had to pass a state’s test.  I bet it’s the only test teenagers actually study for.  Upon passing the test, we would receive a learner’s permit.  With this permit we could drive but a responsible adult always had to be present.  After a year with the learner’s permit, we could take the physical driver’s test to obtain our driver's license.  Well, I passed the written test with flying colors, I got a 100 percent.  On the driver’s test, I didn't do so well.  I will not admit how many times but I did eventually pass it.  It’s a precious feeling of independence to receive your driver’s license but it’s also a major responsibility to abide by the law.  Once we accept the driver’s license, we are accepting OUR responsibility to uphold them.
         Although it’s a precious moment for me, I receive my ministerial license in the mail today.  On paper it’s finally official but it’s also a major responsibility to obtain.  Since the very day of my calling, I have accepted it with reverence but with a holy fear.  My Heavenly Father is entrusting me with the care of His Word, to lead the flock, and to live a life of holiness.  It’s a precious calling but a tremendous responsibility.  Yet, what is astonishing to me, so Christian’s don’t see their lives or what they teach as anyone’s responsibility.  One of the greatest preachers said, "watch your life and doctrine closely."
                Sadly, in our nation we have come to tolerate anyone’s behaviors, views, or lifestyles to not offend others.  We want everyone to be “accepted” or respected for their lives but it’s costing their souls.  Is it really worth it?  Eternal choices will lead to eternal consequences; there is still a Heaven and Hell.Also, the daily choices we make will reap lasting consequences for all to see.   We need to be careful how we conduct our lives, our speech, and our doctrine.  Do we take responsibility for our actions?  Anymore, I don’t know if we do, we would rather blame others or make excuses for our actions.  We don't want "to train" ourselves to be godly. 
         According to the Word, the older saints were to train the young ones on how to conduct their lives. (Titus 2:1-6)  Regardless of whom you study in the Word: Elijah train Elisha, Moses trained Joshua, Jesus trained the disciples, and Paul trained Timothy.  We are to train ourselves for godliness, to be accountable, and except rebuke or correction. 
         Titus 2:7 says, "IN EVERYTHING set them as an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrty, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they nothing bad to say about us." 
         Our pride is misleading us to a life of holiness because we refuse to be corrected.  According to Proverbs 9:8-9, “Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.  Instruct a wise man and he will wiser still; teach a righteous man and he add to his learning.”
         Understandably, some people have abused the teaching of godly correction to misguide or blind the body into incorrect theology.  Jesus rebuked the Pharisee’s and the Scribes for their incorrect theology, the misuse of Scripture, and for blinding the lives of others.  If Christ took this very seriously, so should we.  Also, Paul and the disciples had to deal with false prophets, teachers, and incorrect doctrine.  If the early church dwelt with it, so should we.
         We all should still be learning and growing in the grace of Christ, we never stop maturing.  It’s important who we allow to speak into our lives; we must watch someone’s life.  There are two godly women who I respect greatly - Christ is reflected in their walk, through the wisdom they shine and how they conduct themselves.  These two precious women are still my heroes who I will seek counsel on occasion or assistance with a verse of scripture I can’t find.  My mother and Aunt Elaine nurtured my faith but taught me to fear the Lord and His Word.  As I grew in the Lord, I made mistakes or needed guidance for the proper teachings of the Word.  If I was rebuked by either woman or someone who I respected, I knew they truly loved me.  Never was it done without love or spoken with condemnation into my life.  A rebuke only shows our mistakes, so we don’t do it again or take the correct steps to prevent it.  Also, if I was rebuked, I took it to the throne to ask God to show the truth.  If it was truth, I accepted from the Lord.  If it wasn’t, I didn’t heed to it. 
         What allowed me to grow in Christ was a complete hunger for the Word, a consistent prayer life, and fellowship of other believers.  We are called to make “disciples” of Christ, we are to invest in others, pray with others, and teach them.  If we need to correct, we must do it with love.  We must be ministers of reconciliation unless the person is unwilling to heed to Word.  If the person is unwilling, we must walk away.  Paul advised the church who to avoid for their misleading of scripture or unwillingness to accept rebuke. 
         Do we understand the responsibility we have as Christians?  Are we willing to speak against sin? Are we willing to open a hand to those who stumble? If our child would reach for something dangerous, wouldn't we stop them?  When we start a new job, don't we get trained? 
    James 5:19 says, “My brothers if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins.
         As Christian’s we have accepted the mandate of Christ to make disciples. (Mark 16:15-18)  A disciple was someone who followed the teachings of Christ.  On one certain occasion, the disciples were even recognized for being with the Jesus, the Teacher who taught them.  As these loving disciples spoke (although they were fisherman) were recognized for the spiritual knowledge, even when they were uneducated.  (Acts 4:13)
         Our responsibility isn’t just leading others to a simple prayer of salvation; it’s a lifestyle choice to follow Christ.  It’s not a responsibility to take lightly, it’s God’s Word.  Our Heavenly Father was allowed us to be co-workers with Him.  Only those who teach/follow the whole truth of the Word of God will be great in Heaven.  (Matthew 5:19)
           Regardless of who is teaching or preaching, test everything to see if it’s of the Spirit.  (1 John 4:1) We must be students of the Word of God, allow the Spirit to convict or correct us, and willing to learn.  Within the body of Christ, we are going to see different maturity levels.  As Paul trained Timothy who was a new believer, so should we. 

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Anointed Manna: Over Cheesy Fries

    Anointed Manna: Over Cheesy Fries: " On occasions I get to escape from my family to have “grown up” conversations with my best friends.It’s those cherished moments to e..."

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Over Cheesy Fries

           On occasions I get to escape from my family to have “grown up” conversations with my best friends.It’s those cherished moments to escape from the daily chores of laundry, dirty dishes, and sibling rivalry.  Or honey, “I can’t find my socks.”  Although I don’t go out often, I enjoy having a girl’s night out.  It’s great to enjoy a cup of coffee or cheesy fries to catch up with my friends.  Yet, sometimes we just need a friend to listen or vent our frustrations.  Life doesn’t always give us a bed of roses, sometimes we have to dig through the thorns. 
         As I was heading home from helping a family, I received a call from my best friend.  She is going through a deep valley in her life, she needed me.  During the conversation, we decided to meet at our favorite place to talk.  So, I called my husband to make dinner arrangements for our family, so I could be there for her. 
         After we place our order, she starts pouring her heart out to me.  As the mountain of golden, crispy, cheese fries sits upon a plate between best friends, she pours out her heart.  As we share the fries, I continue to listen to this horrible nightmare my friend’s enduring.  Honestly, I didn’t know what to say, I was at a loss for words.  As I listened, my heart was grieved over the circumstances; I didn’t know how to fix it.  I was trying to be sensitive to the situation but waiting for God to speak.  As the conversation continued, so did my silence.  As the plate was almost finished, she said, “Tina, “What do you think I should do?”  “You have the direct line with God.” “He always talks to you.”
         Yes, He talks to me but at this moment He was silent.  Silence can be golden but it’s unsettling during moments of crisis.  As our hearts panic, we lose sight of the truth.  Fear grips our hearts with panic, millions of questions, and the inability to clearly think.  Although the truth hasn’t moved, we can’t find our way through the dark.  It’s all the uncertainties or the “what if” questions that plague our minds with anxiety.  Anxiety is a deadly poison that quickly attacks our reasoning, weights our spirits down, and distorts the truth. What are we to do?  Well, as bizarre as it may sound, we should pray.  Yes, we should pray until the peace of Christ rules our hearts and mind. 
         When Christ rules, so does His peace.  It blankets our soul with gentleness of rest, so we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  Although we may travel through unexpected waters, Jesus still calms the storms.  He doesn’t leave us during the difficult times, He is our present help. 
          May I remind you dear child, help is on the way.  Can I be sure of this?  Yes, I can.  With all my heart, I encourage you with God’s Word.  It has NEVER FAILED me.  Also, HE WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!!!
    “I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?  My help comes the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip-he who watches over you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:1-3
         Although the cheesy fries were very satisfying to eat, it only “numbed” the pain for a brief moment.  Sometimes, we run to what will numb the pain instead of what will solve the problem.  Oh, I admit I have a few pain relievers: chocolate, coffee, and cookies.  Christ is the only "C" for the cure.  Nevertheless, I am grateful to be a friend who could be present during a crisis.  It allowed us to communicate to bring clarity, understanding, and precious reminders of truth.   As my best friend waited for my wisdom, my counsel was quite simple: pray until peace comes.  Do not make any decisions unless the peace of Christ rules your heart. 
         A wise man once said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

    So, if it’s too late to call your best friend.  May I be your friend this evening, God is there.  Although the circumstances seem uncertain, the pain is unbearable; God’s power is no match.  Jesus took the strips upon His back not just for your healing but your peace.  Peace will guard your heart through this difficult time but it’s only through the Master.  Jesus, the Prince of Peace, longs to nestle you spirit, comfort through the Spirit, and preserve your heart with His Word.  It’s time to cast your cares on Him because He does care for you.  (I Peter 5:7)

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    My Treasure Box

      Beautiful Burl Box     When I get really down about my life or about myself, I have a precious little box in my desk drawer.  It is a little treasure box of cards, letters, and love notes from my husband during our courting days.  As I re-read them, I am reminded how precious love is, how encouragement empowers, and the joy of true friendship.  It’s profound the depth of God’s grace to change my life to uplift someone.  If I can just touch one heart to ignite a passion for God, I can change the world.  A fire starts from a light; I desire to be so bright it’s contagious. 
         Although my collection is very small, I am very excited about my newest addition.  Just recently, I received a letter from my dad.  Always as a child, I craved to be the sparkle in his eye.  During my recent trip home, I was able to minister to my father with God’s love.  As I prayed for my father’s healing, (he is battling cancer) the power of God was very present.  As I prayed for my father’s healing, my hands became very hot.  So, hot in fact my father noticed.  As he looked into my eyes, he said, “Daughter, you have got the gift.”  “What you are doing is what God desires for you to do.”  “You are blessed with a gift from God.”  As he spoke, I was totally shocked.  During my adolescence, I was the only saved person within my household.  As I grew in the Lord, my father fought against my calling to be a minister.  Without his blessings, I attended Bible College to pursue the Lord’s calling.  Although it broke my heart, I am grateful to followed God’s desire. 
         After praying for my father’s healing, I was overjoyed.  Nevertheless, the greatest miracle was leading my father to the Lord.  Since my salvation, I have dreamt of this day and earnestly prayed for it.  Honestly, I remember asking the Lord if I could lead him.  What an answer of prayer to be a part of the miracle of God’s love!  As I left his house, an old hymn entered my mind, “There’s a new name written down in glory and it’s mine.” “Oh, yes it’s mine.”  All I could do was worship the Lord for His loving grace and for answering my prayer. 
    I didn’t realize God wanted to bless me back with a love letter from my dad. As I read the letter, I was so filled with peace and love.  All of the affection, the words of affirmation as a child I wanted, the sparkle in his eye was real.  As I read the words, I felt the scars were healed with love. 
    Keep in mind, the Word of God, the Bible is God’s love letter to us.  Yes, the Word of God is sharper than any two edge sword, it will reveal one’s heart; nevertheless God is longing to express His love.  Our hearts need to be healed, so many refuse to listen to the truth.  It’s only in the truth will we receive life and health.  It’s time to allow God’s Word to enter the scars, give opportunity to heal it, and allow the scars to be healed as we read God’s love letter to us. 
         So, tonight I am placing a love letter from my father into my treasure box.  It’s one I have desperately wanted and waited for.  So, the next time I am down, I have a word from my father directly from his heart.  He wrote it, so I could read it.  Maybe it’s time to re-think how we see the Bible, it’s more than a book, it’s a letter from my Heavenly Father. 

         love letter

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Little Ears Heard A Big Call

         In the eyes of children, we can see a future.  It’s the innocent eyes, the simple faith, and the unconditional love of a child that captivates one’s hearts.  Their joyful laugh is so contagious, it lightens the atmosphere.  Also, trying to keep their energy contained in one room.  Well, let’s just say, “I need an energy drink or a long nap to keep up.” 
         Right now, I am temporarily ministering to children at our church.  Although my husband and my children enjoy this, I find children’s ministry very challenging. How do I relate to a child?   Although a child’s faith is so simple, it’s still very complex to me.  Yet, I am discovering it’s a profound mystery, so precious to watch unfold.  Sometimes, I believe people should just minister to children to get another perspective of life.  Sadly it’s probably the most neglected ministry in the church but it should be the most precious investment we make.  Children are worth investing our time, money, and energy into.  If Jesus desired their presence, so should we.  As the children came, He welcomed them with loving affection, taught the Word, and blessed them.
              Jesus will speak to anyone who is willing to listen.  Everyone is capable to hear the voice of the Lord; it’s just allowing God to speak.  One of the most powerful callings in Scripture was received to a young boy named Samuel.  As Samuel sleeps in the temple, the voice of God calls him.  Although he didn’t know the Lord, he was being instructed about God through Eli, the priest.  Astonishing to me, Samuel wore the linen ephod and ministering to God as a child. (1 Samuel 2:18) He wasn’t a grown man before God used him, he was a boy.  As he grew in the knowledge of God, he became a profound prophet, priest, and judge who grew up in the presence of God. (1 Samuel 2:21) 
         According to 1 Samuel 3:1 “the word of God was rare: there were not many visions”.  Although Eli was a Levite, (a priest through the bloodline) he neglected the law within his own house.  Both of his sons disrespected the Lord’s offerings with contempt, slept with various women, and had no regard for the Lord.  Yes, Eli gave godly instruction or rebuke but neglected to enforce godly discipline.  As a result, God killed his two sons and Eli died from a broken neck.  Eli’s family wouldn’t have an heir; the head of the priests was removed, so godly discipline is important.      
         Instruction, discipline, and prayer are important to guide the heart unto godliness.  Samuel’s heart ran after the voice of God, so he was favored.  God desired a high priest who would be faithful to what He desired.  This faithful priest would follow God’s heart and mind, so God would establish him.  As he ministered, it wouldn’t be just for the people but an anointing before God.  Wow!  Who wouldn’t desire this ministry?  Anyone can follow the footsteps of Samuel to have a powerful ministry such as: following the voice of God, grew in the presence of God, and allow God to reveal himself in the Word.  Samuel was a prophet for God; the people trembled as he walked.  Prophets don’t always have the popular message but they have “the Word from God.”  Samuel impacted a nation for the truth of God, he is remembered for it.  What a story!  Who knows what God will do with the children we minister too?  Maybe they will be a prophet/prophetess who changes the world in our Sunday School class or our youth group.
              Children are an investment to our future.  Anyone can know God; we must be willing to pour into them. Samuel was a child who walked with God from his youth through the dedication of his mother, instruction from Eli, and favor with God.  Samuel was so anointed by the Lord; none of his words fell to the ground.  (1 Samuel 3:19)  Who say's parents don't have an influence? So,to all parents, if you take your children to church, read the Bible, and pray together, it's impacting them for the good.  Children are precious to Jesus, so bring them to Him.     

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Against All Hope

    What’s so wonderful about God’s Word, it preserves us during difficult times.  Difficult times will come to us, life can be very challenging.  Usually during those moments, we begin to question if we are going in the right direction.  Although we heard God clearly, we walked according to His direction but its looks like a dead end.   As we stand in the midst of the wilderness our hearts grow faint, we can’t see the vision as clearly.  Regardless of what direction we turn, we hit a dead end with no signs pointing which direction to take.  It seems hope is losing her light, so start to listen to the voice of the night, “The promise will never come” or “You failed too many times; God’s not going to fulfill it.” As we look around us, it does seem everything is against us.  We being to question, “Will God ever fulfill His promise to me?”
     Our faith in God is what will steady us or bring us to the fulfillment of the promise.  “Without faith it is impossible to please God, we must believe that he exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)  What kind of faith pleases God?  Jesus is looking for faith on the earth; do we have what He is searching for?  Faith is more than “believing” God exists, it’s a confidence in the person of God.  Abraham was credit for righteousness for simply his faith in God.  Yet, we need to understand the power of faith, so we can receive what God has promised. 
         Abraham received a promise from God, “He would be the father of many nations” but it wasn’t fulfilled until very late in life.  In fact, Abraham was over 100 years old before this promise was fulfilled.  According to Romans 4:18-22, Abraham considered the facts of the situation: it was against all hope for the promise to come.  Would this child come to him?  In the physical: Abraham was too old, his body was dead.  As Abraham looked at Sarah for hope, it was lost because her womb was closed.  The facts didn’t look very promising but Abraham didn’t allow it to weaken His faith, he believed in God.   We can consider the facts but we need to be confident in the Lord.  Abraham was a friend of God, so he was confident in the person of God. 
         Satan desires for us to grow weak in our faith, so we will give up.  He will whisper doubt into your heart but resist him by shouting the promise of God.  Write the promise on the tablet of your heart, so faith will arise.  Faith comes only by hearing and hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)  If we are to move the mountains, we have to be confident in the Rock.  A relationship with God will sustain us in the pilgrimage.  God’s is still our present help, His power will deliver us.  When all hope seems bleak, God has the greatest opportunity to perform the miracle.  We can’t fulfill His promise; we have to allow God to do it.  Our hearts may grow weary; strengthen it by nourishing it with the Word.  Although Abraham didn't have the written Word, he received a spoken Word from God.  In either case, God will complete it even if we failed the test.  Abraham obeyed God’s direction but he failed God during the waiting period.  Abraham and Sarah became very impatient, so they decided to have a child with another woman, Hagar.  When the child was born, it brought heartache and discord into the house.  So much in fact, Sara removed Hagar and Ishmael out of the house.   Also, it split a nation.  So, it’s worth waiting for God’s hand to bring it to fulfillment.    Yet, he didn't stop believing God's spoken promise to his life.
         The power of God hasn't changed, we can rest assured God will supply everything we need.  Although we haven’t seen the promised fulfilled in the physical, glorify God that it’s coming.  If we want to move the hand of God, we have to move the heart of God.  Our confidence in His power and His promise will get God’s attention.  Our faith is what He is looking for.  It’s a faith unwilling to yield to doubt or unbelief, it believes although it’s against all hope.