Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Heart Cry-Revival for America

"There is nothing wrong with America that the Faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

     While sitting at my desk, I was reading our monthly newsletter about all of the new changes with in my department. It was nothing unusually, however the quote from our past president capture my attention and caused me to reflect upon our nation’s current condition. As an American, preacher, wife and mother, I am very concerned about our nation’s current condition spiritually, financially, and our future. We don’t have to look very far to see the effects of our conditions. Many families are unemployed, losing their homes, and struggling to find any assistance within their reach. We desperately need to assist each other to overcome these difficult times. Nevertheless, I have many questions plaguing my heart: could this have been prevented, where do we go from here, and will my children’s future be in jeopardy? To many people, I may be considered “old fashioned” for my belief’s but I would rather be considered “old fashioned” then a hypocrite. The word of God is infallible (completely true), so I choose to govern my life with each anointed word.

   Understandably, many American’s do not agree with my choice, however, they can’t deny our history was founded on the Word of God. Sadly, throughout my lifetime, I have seen a dramatic rejection of God, His name, or anything pertaining to the Bible. We can’t change our foundation of this nation, however; many people are trying too, making the foundation crumble.
      As a child, I remember praying for my classmates, my school, staff, and my meal before entering the lunchroom. My teacher, Mrs. Whatley, encourage each child daily to pray if they were the head of the line. She was a wonderful role model of compassion, integrity, and dedication to her school. Teachers will always impact the children they teach, hopefully for the good.
 Nevertheless, our nation decided to challenge and change their decision. Many classmates or teachers would advise, we can’t pray in school or read the Bible. Many will scream that there is a “separation of church and state” but don’t truly understanding the purpose of those words. It was never to separate the morals or beliefs within our communities, governments, and homes. There is no where in the constitution or our Bill of Rights to state we can’t pray or worship God. Now, many people are trying to take the name of God out of our Pledge of Allegiance or off our currency. Our nation was founded upon prayer, the Bible, and conviction to do right to others.
      John Adams said, "The Constitution was written for a moral and religious people." These men desired to have the freedom to love God, equality for everyone, and instill a government to honor their God. Sadly, our children don’t know truths or it is hardly mentioned anymore in school. Parents must teach these truths, so they will not depart from them.
     During my adolescence, I was challenged by my English teacher for my beliefs as she taught mythology. After the first lesson, I was upset about her right to teach this to us and it was wrong for me to have my Bible. If I wanted to talk about God or pray in school, it seems this was always challenged, so I couldn’t understand why she was permitted to do this. So, I was very angry about this, I entered the next class period with a quiet but bothersome persona. My Music History teacher immediately noticed this, so he questioned me about it. He asked me, “What is wrong?” I responded, “If I am allowed to be completely honest, I will tell you.” So, I explained this as quickly as possible before the class began. Instead of doing his class lesson, he decided to share my concerns with my classmates to find out their concerns and opinions. Much to my surprise, this discussion continued after the bell rang unto the next class session. However, my music teacher decided to share my concerns with my English teacher. The following day, my English teacher (who was also my homeroom teacher) asked if she could talk to me. She said, "I heard you weren't happy about my lesson." I advised I don't agree with the fact you can teach this but I can't share my faith.

bible-studying-pen-papger.jpg image by twetor77 I am so grateful for God’s Holy Word, as I studied it during my teenage years; I would read usually seven chapters a night before going to bed. I spent my hours each night in prayer; I would always wake my mother up, and so she would tell me pray with all our heart but quietly. I didn’t come from a Christian home if anything as far from it. When I accepted Christ, my life really changed. The love of Jesus Christ totally captivated my heart because someone accepted me. I wasn’t ashamed of God or His word but grateful I was studying it. He will anoint us with the words to say before we realize what is taking place.
     Anyway, looking back I realized my steps were ordered by the Lord who anointed my words.  As the class started, my teacher said, “I want to have a debate about Adam and Eve, Abraham, Noah, and Jesus from the Bible, does anyone want to challenge me?” At first, there was a deathly, cold, and long silence in class but all eyes were on me. In high school, everyone knew I had a strong relationship with God, stood for what I believed in, and didn’t really do the “party” scene as some of the others. So, I immediately accepted my teacher’s debate, as she looked at me. So, we went through the history of scripture through the Old Testament but she wasn’t really interested but a confrontation with me. One part of the debate, I remember very well was about who ate the fruit from the Garden of Eden, Adam or Eve. She keep saying, Adam ate the fruit first. I advised, “You are mistaken, it was Eve.” She keeps trying to press the issue until I advised my Bible was in my locker. I commented, I will be happy to show you the truth.

     Sadly, I see a dramatic decline in our morals, our beliefs, and the tragic effects upon our nation. Our nation is currently facing very economic troubles, almost close to the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The financial crisis is effecting every family, business, or charity. No one can escape the financial crisis but everyone has an opinion or comment on who to blame. It is obvious; we are frightened, scared, and worried about our future. If we listen carefully, we can hear the weary cries of the desperate, hurting, and lonely hearts. On television, many charities will display the hurting, hungry, or abused to pull upon our heart strings to get our attention. Nevertheless, we must understand the hurting come from different places, ethnic backgrounds, or social statuses. The hurting live amount us, they walk down the street, work at your job, or shares the same pew at your church. We don’t have to travel the world to see this. Instead of trying to solve our problems, we are blaming everyone and everything. Some will advise the financial institutions are to blame, the governments lack of involvement, or consumers spending over their budget, or the current or past presidents.

     Understandably, our financial crisis is the “hot” topic of discussion at work, church, or anywhere we go. Our government is trying to assist our nation with monies to spend, lowering interest rates, or other programs to relieve some of the pressure. Although the pressure isn’t stopping if anything it seems to be mounting more and more. Naturally, life will moments of the “hard times” and the “good times” for us to go through. This goes with out saying “This too shall pass,” but I firmly believe we are reaping what we have sown.  Before the financial crisis, we desired to fulfill “the American dream” to place prosperity in our pockets, instead of prosperity in our souls. We have neglected our heritage, our faith, and our future by walking away from God. Now we are paying the price for our prideful decisions. We desire to “God bless America ”, one of our national songs, but we don’t want to bless Him in return. As the old saying, “We can’t have our cake and eat it too.”

    If the quote from Eisenhower is accurate, we have the ability to choose to change our present state. We need to work together as a nation but “One nation under God” in order to correct these issues. We must come back to the foundation, the Word of God, so we can walk in truth, in love, and in freedom. I choose to stand for the God I love, the country I cherish, and the children who need truth to guide their future. If we choose to ignore the issue, we forfeit our future.

     Only "if" my people who are called by God's name will seek His face and turn from their wicked ways.  It's time to make a stand, who are you following?  American needs to follow God with not just her lips but her heart.  2 Chronicles 7:14 "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cute As A Button

On September 1, 1997, Labor Day, I gave birth to a beautiful 6lbs, 5 oz. baby girl.   Although I was only in labor for eight hours, I was overjoyed the pregnancy is over.  But the journey of becoming a good mother would be a challenge for me; I wasn’t raised in a Christian home.  Words cannot express the love of holding your child for the first time; it’s just a breath taking moment.  As I held Leah, I wept with joy as I dedicated her to the Lord.  As I kissed her little face, I was just overwhelmed with her beauty, how delicate, and so tiny she was.  After praying for her, I told God, “How beautiful she is!”  “She is so pure in heart, she has never tasted sin.”  The Lord spoke to my heart and said, “This is how I see you.
    Wow!  God’s comment truly touched my heart, I am pure to Him.  If you asked Jesus to forgive your sins, you are pure.   He doesn’t see the sin; He sees the blood of Christ.  May this truth enter your heart to give you a true revelation of who you are, a child of God.  The completed work of the cross and resurrection of Christ allowed this opportunity to anyone who believes.  Everyone is capable to coming to the saving knowledge of Christ.  God desires to send no one to Hell; it’s a personal choice of an individual.  God’s passion for man has always been the salvation of our souls, so we can dwell with Him.  Although our sinful state is very messy, God’s grace and mercy can make a sinner spotless.
     The best visual illustration in scripture is found in Zechariah 3:1-8 of what transpires as we pray.  All three parties are present before God: Joshua, Satan, and the Lord.  As we stand before the Lord, Satan is ready to accuse us before God.  Although Satan’s accusations are true, we are sinners.  We are guilty of punishment before God but the justice of God prevails because of the blood of Christ, we are guiltless.  Jesus stands in our defense and rebukes Satan and his  charges.  The One who chose us, redeemed us, and justified us completes the work. 
     As Joshua stands in filthy clothes, the Lord removes the all the evidence of the sin, it’s completely removed.  He removed the filthy clothes and replaces it with evidence of His forgiveness, rich garments.   The filthy garments are replaced with a clean turban and new clothes.  We are purified completely in mind and heart, we are a new creature.  Although Joshua stands purified by the redemption of God, he is instructed to walk in the ways of God.  Only through obedience to the Word, keeping His instructions, and do what He desires will we receive the reward, the salvation of our souls.  We are promised to dwell with God for eternity; Jesus is preparing a place for us.  We are symbolic to this world of the redeeming power of God; we need to declare to all men so they can have the opportunity.  We can’t force someone to serve God, He present the offer to them. 
     Right now, someone is feeling guilty of their past sins and feeling unworthy of God’s love.  You are not with hope, promise, or love.  We are all sinners, there is no denying this.  But although we were sinners, Christ still loved us enough to die for us.  You are wanted by God.  He is ready to do the work; it’s only if you are willing to come.      

Thursday, January 27, 2011


 If you listen, you can hear the outcry of the effects of a disease that is easily spreading around.  No matter where you travel this disease can find you whether at home, work, or heaven forbid even the church.  It can affect anyone, no one is exempt from experiencing its contagious virus but there is a vaccine.  It doesn't matter if you wash your hands with ant-bacteria soap or scrub your cuticles for 20 seconds, this disease can catch you.  This disease doesn't come from touching others, sneezing on others, or coughing without your mouth covered; it doesn't come from human touch to spread.  It can spread without daily human contact but it's easily detected.  Also, it’s easily preventable.  Have you guessed what I am talking about?  I bet you don't have any idea of what I am talking about.  Well, a deadly contagious disease of complaining has been spreading since the beginning of time.  Sadly, it seems no one wants to admit their capture of its deadly poison but we like to spread it around.  We all love to share about our issues with friends, co-workers, or family.      
      Understandable, we need to share our cares with God and our family at times, it's important to be honest about the issues within our hearts.  Nevertheless, it seems we talk more about the issue instead of dealing with it.  How many of us have complained about our spouse to close friends, our bosses to co-workers, or gossiped about someone at church?  It seems we can talk easily to those involved in the situation instead of confronting the party who offended us or God himself.  We would rather spread wild fire to burn a brother’s reputation instead of making amends with them.  Why?  We have to humble ourselves to confront them.  Most conflicts in the family, the church, and at work would be resolved if the wounded person would confront the other party.  It seems it's easier to complain about the issue instead of dealing with it.  I guess it's no wonder why people are burden with a load of care in their lives.  The burdens are weighing heavy on their hearts, so it causes our mouths to complain. Doesn't scripture say, "From the abundance of the mouth the heart speaks?"  If you truly want to find out what a person believes or doesn't believe about something, closely listen to their words.  Sometimes it's almost funny; they will hang themselves with their own words.
     We all can find something to complain about if we want to.  Honestly, it doesn't take long for some of us to find something negative to share whether it's the weather, sports, politics, family, or work.  We all can find something to complain about in our lives, but what's the point of spread this contagious disease?  Does it really uplift anyone's heart or does it cause it to weight it down more?  What does scripture have to say about this contagious disease?
  "Do ALL THINGS without murmuring and disputing’s: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain."
Philippians 2:14-16   
      Let's be completely honest, who isn't convicted about this issue after reading this passage? Obviously, everyone has expressed a spirit of complaining at one time or another.  Also, we need to learn how to prevent this attitude from spreading to someone else's life.  The root of complaining stems from a covetous heart, a doubtful heart, and unstable heart with God and His Word.  If you truly want to find out the effects of this don't look any further then the children of Israel.  Besides wandering in the desert for forty years, the children of Israel became ungrateful for their deliverance from bondage, disobedient to authority (Moses, Aaron, and God), and rejecting the hand of God's provision.  Later on, the children of Israel cried out for quail for they were unsatisfied with God's daily manna.  Do you know what happened?  God struck the children of Israel with a serve plague for their complaining heart.  He didn't delay but stuck as they placed the quail in their mouth.  (Exodus 16:1-36) So, it's easy to see complaining is a serious offense to God.  Also, this diseased caused the children of Israel to be in the desert for forty years before getting to the Promised Land.  The interesting fact about this journey, it should have only taken seven days to get there.  I don't know about you but I truly don't want to have to go forty years to get God's promises fulfilled in my life.
     So, how do we prevent this contagious disease from spreading deep to others?  First, we must be content with what we have.  The downfall of Eve wasn't her biting the fruit or sharing it with Adam but desiring something other than God's provision.  The Garden of Eden was beautiful beyond description, all of her physical needs were provided without working, she had someone who loved her, and she daily communicated with God.  However, the Devil convinced her of a hellish lie, God was withholding something from her.  Instead of looking at her environment as evidence, she craves something she shouldn't have.  It's interesting how we make Eve to look so weak for her sin but we all have done it.  We have bought things we shouldn't have on a credit card because we "have to have it."  We believe our neighbor's wealth is better than our own.  So, we try to compete with them and place a noose around our neck.  We don't rely on God's Word. 
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me."  
-Philippians 4:12-13 

      Many people cherish the promise of the verse but neglect to understand the circumstances of it.  Paul's life wasn't any easy lifestyle to obtain, sometimes his needs got neglected.  Paul was shipwrecked, beaten nearly to death on several occasions, and placed in prison for his faith.  
     Another way to prevent complaining is to quit doubting God and His Word.  God has willing shared His word so we can know Him.  His complete character has been revealed through His written word, so we can see what type of character He has.  If you don't remember what it says about Him, let me remind you.  He is loving, holy, peaceful, creator, peacemaker, Lion of Judah, Prince of Peace, merciful, just, and forgiving to name a few.  
   And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) He longs to provide for our needs, He is the good Shepherd. He is forgiving and willing for no one to perish.  He is holy and just.  No matter where you read in scripture, His character will be revealed.  He wants you to be content in His love.  He longs to be with you.  We have to quit doubting His Word and who He is.  If we doubt the promises of God, we will receive nothing.  We will be unstable in all our ways; we won't be able to hold the anchor of our souls. 
      Next, we need to have a thankful heart to resist the complaining spirit to arise.  Thankfulness will cause our hearts to be satisfied with our daily bread.  If we can thank God for what we have, won't be focused on what we don't have.  As Madam Blueberry said, in Veggie Tales, "An ungrateful heart is an unhappy heart."  So many people lives are filled with unhappiness because of their unwillingness to be thankful for God's provision.  God will never fail you nor forsake you
    Finally, the best way to stop complaining is simply just shut up!   As my mother used to say, "If you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothing at all."  Our words have the ability to bring life or death into someone's life.  If anyone knows this, it's me.  If you haven't ready my testimony, I encourage you to do so.  Words are very powerful tools but they must be used properly.  As stated before, we all have heard someone complain about something to us.  We need to advise, "Why don't we pray about this?"  Or just walk away from the situation.  It's not worth getting your soul contaminated with the disease.  As believers, if we hold our tongue, we are wise, blameless, and harmless.  It's very important to understand our lives will affect someone but for the Christian it can be an eternal effect.  We are the sons and daughters of God who shine the light amidst the darkness for we hold within us the Word of Life.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's in a Name?

On television, we will see ads to encourage us to see who was in our family tree, maybe someone famous, an inventor, or a rascal.  Although all the members of our family are diverse in personality, abilities, and callings we still belong by blood.  We don’t get to pick out our families; many of us probably wish we could.  I admit my family tree has a few rotten apples in the bunch but who doesn’t.  They have the ability to keep the chaos going, so it’s never a boring day.  Nevertheless, do they ever think about the impact of their lives upon the family name? 
     One of the greatest disadvantages of growing up in a small hometown, everybody knows everyone.  Although, my adolescence was probably boring in comparison to my peers, my mother still got a daily report of my whereabouts the night before.  My life was so exciting.  I worked a part-time job, played volleyball, went to school, and participate in church activities.  If I got ice cream at the town's malt shop, my mother would find out.  Somebody would always find out.  Since my mother works for a credit union in town, she daily hears the town’s gossip.  News travels faster than the speed of light where I grew up.  Sadly, many people’s lives have been destroyed with horrible gossip.  Forget if you were innocent, the town’s gossip could plow your name into the mud.  It’s a tragedy to think about how many lives have been destroyed with the tongue.  Some of these people’s lives have been spread through the fire, leaving nothing but ash.
      On the other hand, some of the information can be true.  My parents would always advise me to avoid this family, they were nothing but trouble.  People will always associate your family’s heritage by your name.  It’s a sad statement but true.  Although our lives our just a breath on this earth, our names will be always remain.  Your life will have a paper trail somewhere in the government, even if you did nothing illegal.  Someone will look down the family tree to discover you, what do you hope they find?  Or don’t find?  It can be a challenge to overcome a heritage of a bad name but don’t let it get you down.  Choose to make a good name for yourself; someone might follow  your lead.
Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”
     Have you ever thought what you would want on your tombstone?  Or what do you hope people will say about you at your viewing?  Please don’t worry, I am not planning to die tomorrow or have a deadly illness.  But this thought is challenging me to evaluate how I live my life.  All I what to be said about me, “Tina Wetor was a preacher who preached the whole truth of God’s Word and she lived her faith before God and man.”  “She was a loving wife and mother who lived the Gospel before them.”   If these statements are spoken about me, I will be blessed. 
     A few years ago, I read a wonderful book about a woman preacher in the 1800’s.  One of her great-great-great grandchildren decided to look up his family tree.  Much to his surprise, he learned about his wonderful grandmother who was a healing evangelist in her era.  She impacted so many people with the Word of God and the miraculous healings within her ministry.  The grandchild discovered the church she planted was still active, so he went to visit.  The pastor of the church was healed through the anointing of his great-great-great grandmother. The pastor shared with him all the details of his miracle but what happened next is astonishing.  The pastor, who was healed by this woman of God, led her great-great-great grandson to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The story touched me so it made me cry.   That's what I desire, may my name be discovered so if someone doesn’t know Christ, they can find eternal life. 
     Since I am the first generation Christian on my father’s side, I am challenged to start a new legacy-a godly one.  Although my family and I have made committed sins, it’s only in Christ we can stand forgiven.  My past has some blemishes, painful scars, and horrible deeds but it has been washed away through the nail scared hand of Christ.  There is a new name written down in glory and it’s mine.  Oh, yes.  It is mine.  Is yours?  Don’t allow your family’s heritage to scar your life but challenge yourself to live a legacy behind.  Someone needs to take the lead, why not you?        

Monday, January 24, 2011

From Darkness to Light

     On my father’s side of the family, I have been the only Christian until two years ago.  My sister just recently gave her life to Christ two years ago; it was one of the greatest blessings in life.  Although most of my childhood memories are very painful, I didn’t want the rest of my life to carry those scars.  The scars of the past are healed but still visible to show their lessons, life is too precious to waste.  Nevertheless, the past has to be dealt with before the future can show its light.  Satan desires to keep us bond with guilt, shame, and whispers proof of our errors.  He longs to keep us down, so the power within us will stay there.  But as we realize the truth of our salvation, our worth, and the power of God’s Word we will break his grasp.  It’s only in the truth, we obtain the victory.   
     The body of Christ is suffering from an identity crisis; they don’t know who they are.  So, many believers are walking wounded of the past, they can’t accept the promises of God.  Feeling of unworthiness, self-hatred, and shame keep their faith from walking in confidence.  People have a distorted image of God who only punishes us; He doesn’t have compassion towards us.  So, many Christians don’t enjoy their intimate prayer time with God for this reason.  We bow our heads and expect God to bring a rod of correction upon us.  We see His hand uplifted instead of reaching out towards us.  May I remind you, we have a faithful, loving, and caring High Priest who can sympathize with us.  Jesus Christ was tempted in all ways, but without sin.  Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way,  just as we are-yet was without sin.”.
     God doesn’t look down upon you with angry eyes or unwilling to reach out to you.  God has compassion towards all He made, YOU WERE MADE BY HIM.  What are you refusing to give to God?  Why are you holding unto all of the pain?  Within your heart, you may feel so weak.  So weak, you don’t know if you can reach Him. He is already there, He is waiting for you.  It’s time to allow Christ to heal the brokenness in your heart. 
     Matthew 12:20 says, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.”
     Christ came to heal the broken-hearted and to bind up their wounds.  God doesn’t want you walking around with a downcast spirit, He longs to uplift you.  How do you get out of a spirit of being downcast?  Put your hope in God, remember His promises, and praise Him.  (Psalm 42:1-11; Psalm 43:5) In other words, build yourself by knowing who He is-God.
     With all of the verbal abuse I suffered as a child, I had to re-program my brain, my heart, and my emotions to accept God’s truth.  Before I went to college, I never walked with my head held up.  I would always walk with my head down; I didn’t want to make eye contact to show the pain within.  Besides, I would always tell myself, it’s just not worth it.  If people really got to know me, they would laugh and walk away.  Satan will whisper doubts into your heart about your worth, your calling, and God’s truth about you.  Precious child, realize God knows everything about you: the hairs on your head, your thoughts, when you sit or rise and the deepest desire of your heart.  Also, He knows the pain you are carrying but He came to heal you.  Reach out to Him, the darkness does have an end but only in the Light.

From Darkness to Light
By Tina Wetor

In the midst of darkness, my soul aches.
My heart is gasping and reaching for healing.
Gasping for breath to find a moment to escape,
My voice screams to the voice for relief to the ceiling.

Can anyone hear my pain?
Look deep into my eyes,
Here is where the story lies.
A sinful life covered in stains.

Among the crowded people, I walk.
No one sees the pain or the dark scars.
Everyone is busy with all their talk,
Passing me by or driving away in their car.

Walking painfully down the lonely street, I seek.
Searching for peace in the lives of these faces
It's hard not to try to stare,
My hope is getting so bleak.
In the midst of life, I lurk.
Alone, broken, and a mere shadow,
Only love is what I thirst
But all I find is emptiness and shallow.
Pain, rejected, and alone tonight.
The mirror displays my reflection of fright.
The guilt weighs deep within my soul.

May the truth be told.
Is there good in me?
This simple questions is plaguing me,
My sinful soul years to know,
If there is truth to hold.

The tear fall quickly to the ground,
It’s the only sound my soul can make.
The aches can't speak aloud
Or show that my memories are not fake.
Someone please rescue me!

Please don't let me be.
My soul cries for protection,
I am pleading for some direction.
In the midst of darkness, I kneel.

A small gentle voice calls to me,
  "Come here to me."
Assurance, grace, and peace are around me.
A sweet and gentle presence is here,
 Hope within my soul is born.

A light shines dispelling all the fear,
To see Jesus-the truth revealed.
Grace has erased the stains,
 Mercy has pleaded my case,
As his nailed scared hands lift my face.

No more heavy guilty chains.
In the midst of darkness, I stand.
All of the tears are gone.
With my Savior hand in hand,
My life is reborn to praise His name all day long.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

With New Eyes

     Just recently, I had a conversation with someone who deeply wounded me many years ago.  Before our encounter, I was contemplating whether I should contact him or just let the situation rest.  He is a member of my family-my own flesh and blood who desperately needs a miracle from God to survive.  I wasn't sure what to say to him or if he would talk to me.  Before our latest conversation, we haven't talked to each other in over 15 years due to the tragic event.  We lost contact with each other because I moved away.  During my early childhood, we had a very close relationship but the relationship never healed.  I was intimated to approach him or allow the pain to re-surface.  Nevertheless, I heard some awful news from other members of the family about him.  His present circumstances caused me to look at him with new eyes, I felt compelled to reach out to him.  Until two years ago, I was the only Christian within my family circle who served the Lord.  So, I felt it was my responsibility to reach out to him before he dies.  He is suffering from a massive tumor in his heart and lungs without any hope of improvement, the doctors have done all they can.  Radiation was able to reduce the tumor in the lungs to allow him to breathe better but that's all.  I felt unsure of what to say but I had to make amends with him.  So many questions were plaguing my mind; I couldn't find any sense of peace or rest within my soul.  What if I never got another chance to talk to him?  What if he never had an opportunity to hear the Gospel message? What if I was the only person who shared Christ with him? Maybe this could be God's chance to perform a miracle of healing to draw other members of the family to Christ.  It felt like eternity was weighing in the balance for his soul, so I had to call him.  I could never forgive myself if I didn't reach out to him or allow Satan the opportunity to take him to Hell.  
      For several days before I called, I was re-living the negative experience that tore our relationshipapart.  I was a child who witnessed a very tragic event but as an adult I started to realize his pain.  All of the hurt, anger, and emotions were playing vivid memories, I wanted to forget.  Sadly, I started to realize a truth a college professor said, "Hurting people will hurt others." Unfortunately, I realized how true this statement was.  In my family tree it isn't surprising to find some members addicted to alcohol.  Children of alcoholic parents have a great chance of repeating the same deadly addiction. The only reason I didn't repeat this curse, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  As I grew in Christ, I did forgive him but my gift was hidden from him.  Until this night, he never was unable to untie the love of forgiveness from my heart.
     Before I dialed the number, I prayed for the Lord's guidance and wisdom.  Much to my surprise, he was so delighted to hear my voice and talk to me.  We discussed his medical condition, our family's current events, and our families’ bitter spirits.  It seems no one wants to take the step of love to bring healing to all their lives.  Their own pride has blinded them of the greatest gift we possess, the ability to love and be loved.  Even as a walking dead man, some of the members of the family are unwilling to reach out to him.  It just broke my heart to see how Satan has destroyed them.  We discussed this situation but he spoke some important truths, life is too short to be bitter.  Also, it’s time to let go of the past and find a way to heal from it.  At the close of the conversation, I was able to pray for him to receive a physical healing, a closer walk with God, and peace of mind.  After praying for him, I received a surprised blessing from God, the healing of a broken heart.  
      As Christians, we are anointed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted.  We are providing the spiritual bandages to help people to become whole.  We can't help the drug addict, the alcoholic, or the prostitute until we realize their spirits are broken.  The prisoners are in jail not for an act of crime but an act of broken spirits.  Please don't get me wrong, it was an act of their freewill to choose to perform those crimes.  The punishment is a consequence of their choices but they deserve another option.  No one deserves to live with guilt, shame, and condemnation in their lives.  Many people suffer an emotional prison due to their lack of knowledge of the greatest option-Jesus Christ.  We have to stop knocking people down further into their pit of shame; we need to lift them out.  
     Have you ever read the story of the great Samaritan?  It's a beautiful story told by Jesus himself. Before Jesus teaches the parable, an expert of the law confronts Jesus with a question, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus was asked this question to be tested for His knowledge.  However, Jesus turned the question back to him, "What does the law say?"  The man replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with your entire mind.  And to love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus advised he answered it correctly.  But the man asked Jesus the question, "Who is my neighbor?" 

      Now before we continue the lesson, we need to understand some important facts.  The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was a very dangerous place to travel because of the robbers and bandits.  It was an extremely narrow road and the only means to the temple.  Jesus starts the parable about a man traveling this dangerous road to be discovered by some robbers.  Obviously, the robbers stole his goods but nearly beat him half to death.  As the man lies near his death, people are walking by without much concern.  Even the holy officials (priest, Levite) walk by without lifting a finger to assist the man.  
    In the Old Testament, if a priest walked by a dead man, he was to perform certain duties to become clean again.  Also, he wasn't allowed to be in their midst until all the stages of this cleansing was finished.  Both the priests and Levites had particular roles with the tabernacle and the sacrifices.  Only the priests were able to perform the sacrifices for sin, grain offerings, and duties inside the Holy of Holies.  The Levites mainly took care of the moving of the ark, the tabernacle, and its furnishings.  Nevertheless, both of these men were called by God to reach out to the hurting, sadly both parties didn't lift a finger.   
     The only man who didn't walk by was a Samaritan who was considered the enemy. As the Samaritan walked by, he had compassion upon the wounded man.  Jesus gives great detail of how this Samaritan treats the wounded man.  First, he bandaged up all of the wounds and pours oil and wine upon him.  The Samaritan traveled on foot to the inn why the wounded man rode upon his donkey. Next, he provided shelter for the sick man during his recovery period.  He paid with his own money and advised the innkeeper if there were extra expenses, he would take care of it.  
     This parable is not only powerful but a true example of true compassion for another person.  It's easy to offer words to someone who is hurting but words can't feed, clothe, or cure the physical wounds.   We are called to care for the complete person’s wellbeing, so obviously it will cost us time and money to help the needy.  Just food for thought, who do you think the wounded man would have wanted to follow?  I don't believe he would have followed the leaders of the house of God?  They missed the opportunity to truly minister to someone in need.  Let’s be honest, who hasn't missed the opportunity?  Yes, we need to repent for missing the opportunity but I still believe God will provide another chance.  Just keep in mind, the hurting are not only in the street but sometimes across your dining room table.  We don't have to travel to a foreign country to find the hungry, abused, or needy.  We just have to walk down the street, go to the grocery store, work, or to church.  The hurting are not traveling far from us, we just have to open our eyes with compassion to see them.
 I just want to challenge you to allow the Holy Spirit to lead your steps this week.  God has a divine appointment assigned for you, just be available and willing to serve.

 JOHN 3:16-17
ISAIAH 61:1-11
LUKE 10:25-37

Friday, January 21, 2011

Comfy Pajamas

        Just this past Christmas, I bought myself a present: new comfy, soft, purple pajamas.  With this new sleepwear, I purchased new slippers, new nail polish, and stuff to do a facial.  It was going to be a wonderful night to give myself a makeover.  Sometimes, we need those precious moments to ourselves and learn to value ourselves.  But my problem, I didn’t just like my new pajamas, I live in them. 
     My college friends and my family would be completely shocked to discover, I live most of my days in my comfy pajamas or my jogging outfits.  My beautiful wardrobe doesn’t get touched anymore and I rarely buy anything for myself.  Well, I have changed so much in this area, my husband made a comment, “What happened to my beautiful?”  (My husband’s nickname for me is Beautiful)  I responded, “What do you mean?”  He answered, “Do you remember how you dressed during our college days?”  I laughed and said, “Yes, I do.” “I never left the dorm without my makeup, my hair fixed right, or a nice outfit.”  “You use to get so mad at me because I wouldn’t wear blue jeans and a t-shirt.”  My husband said, “I miss my girl.”
     Ouch! His words cut right to my heart but it really only scratched the surface of the problem-my weakness.  Although, I don’t have the athletic figure I had in college, my weakness isn’t food.  Weakness, oh how I hate you!  No matter whom you are, where you live, or your age we all have a weakness.  My weakness has always been my self-esteem.  Since I came to Christ, my self-esteem has improved but it’s a daily struggle to maintain it.  It’s a daily mental battle for me, so I have to keep myself nourished with the truth of God’s word.  In Christ, I have gained the ability to see myself as God does.  It wasn’t an overnight process; it has taken years to abolish the enemies damning lies.  Nevertheless, the enemy will attack my mind, so I have to keep my mind saturated with the Word.  It’s my only defense and my greatest weapon.
     If someone placed a bottle of Jack Daniels on my kitchen counter, it wouldn’t tempt me at all.  Even if I wasn’t a Christian, I wouldn’t touch alcohol because it destroyed my childhood.  Being raised in a home of an alcoholic has brought so much pain to my life, I just can’t desire it.   If this is your weakness, I don’t condemn you.  We all have a “secret scar” or struggle we don’t like to share with others. 
     Right now, I want to encourage those who suffer from a low self-esteem.  If anything, I want you to gain strength so you can overcome it.  Whatever our weakness, we can OVERCOME IT THROUGH THE GRACE AND STRENGTH OF CHRIST.  What really woke me up was a rebuke from a close friend about this issue.  He said, “So your opinion of yourself is greater than God’s truth.”  “What do you mean?” I said.  He answered, “According to the Word of God if we confess of our sins with remorse, we are forgiven, correct?”  “Yes, that’s true.”  I said.  He answered, “How you view yourself, is saying God is a liar?” “So, what are you going to do, walk in your lies or God’s truth?”
     After this conversation, I really started thinking about what my friend said.  In silence, I just cried before the Lord and sought His forgiveness.  In my life, I was defeating myself with my own words.  Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy. 
     Proverbs 23:7 says, “FOR AS HE THINKETH IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE: Eat and drink, saith he to thee: but his heart is not with thee.”
So, what are you telling yourself?  Oh, I can’t overcome this; I am just a born failure.  Or no one really likes me, I am just a loser.  It’s time to accept the truth of what God says about us.  We need to be careful with the words we speak to ourselves and to others.  According to the Word, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21.  Also, Jesus said, “From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  So, our thought life and the words we speak are very important for our spiritual health.
     What does God’s word say about you?  I have a list below to help you, please feel free to print this and keep in your Bible.
·         You are fearfully and wonderfully made (PSALM 139:14)
·         He has peaceful thoughts towards you (Jeremiah 29:11)
·         You are the apple of His eye (Deut. 32:10)
·         Created in His likeness, You are good (Genesis 1:27)
·         Holy (I Peter 1:16)
·         Friend of God (John 15:15)
·         Heir of the promise  (Gal. 3:29)
·         Forgiven (Acts 10:43)
·         Loved (John 3:16)
     It’s time to quit speaking hurtful lies to you or allow the adversary to say anything.  Just because the Devil speaks, doesn’t mean you have to listen.  The Lord has provided the truth to combat every lie; it’s time to accept God’s truth.  God doesn’t hate you.  He isn’t disgusted with you or given up on you.  Sometimes, we sit in our comfy pajamas because it feels safe, warm, and we don’t “feel” it’s important.  It is very important to see yourself in the proper light.  It’s time to clothe ourselves in Christ and remove the comfy pajamas. 
     What every your weakness, God has the ability to help you overcome it.  You are not the only one facing it, we all do.  Even the patriarchs had weaknesses; don’t believe me read Hebrews 11:34.  If they can overcome it, so can you.


Anointed Manna: The Power of Godly Friendship

Anointed Manna: The Power of Godly Friendship: " Since this is my first blog, I would like to dedicate it to a special friend whose encouragement, prayers, and supp..."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Encouragement Resurrects Life

We all have dreams but sweet words of encouragement can bring them to life.   Who doesn’t need a dose of encouragement these days?  Our nation’s current state of affairs has so many people with downcast spirits.  Many people have lost their homes, currently unemployed, and fearful of our future.  If you look deep within their eyes, hope is almost gone.   Although it was recommended in college to watch the news once a day, I honestly can’t do it.  I completely understood his reasoning behind it, so you were aware of the events in the community.  But it’s just too sad to watch, my spirit gets so depressed.  How do people daily read the newspapers or watch hours of news without it poisoning your spirit?  It’s no wonder so many people are so sad, depressed, and fearful.  It’s hard to see a glimmer of light if your eyes are staring at your ground; it’s time to look up.  Way UP to the Heavens!  God is still on the throne.
     Although for the Christian our faith is what keeps our life in perspective but what if you don’t know Christ?  Sadly, it’s a different story for the unsaved, they don’t have the knowledge or relationship we cherish.  So, what are we going to do?  Right now, we need to rise up with the light of hope-Jesus Christ.  No one is exempt of facing difficult times in life.  The rain falls on the just and the unjust.  So, if everyone is facing difficult times, we could all use some encouragement.   What an opportunity or blessing we can be to someone with just a simple word of encouragement. 
     As I was preparing this blog tonight, I starting meditating on who was impacted with words of encouragement in scripture.  The Lord sweetly reminded me of Joshua who was greatly encouraged by God himself.  What a stressful situation to be in?  Moses has just died and the children of Israel still haven’t entered the Promised Land.  Can I be honest with you?  Who wouldn’t be intimated to lead these people after such a great leader dies?  By the hand of God, Moses led the children of Israel out of the hand of Pharaoh.  All of the miraculous signs were powerful, confirmed Moses’s calling, and to displayed the wonders of God.  What’s so beautiful about this story Moses invested in Joshua’s life about the things of God.
      In Joshua 1:-9, scripture records three times God’s encouragement to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” So, if we want to learn how to encourage others, we must follow God’s example.  First, we must make people aware of God’s omniscient power, He is all knowing.  God KNEW of Joshua’s situation first-hand because He told him. (Joshua 1:1)  So, we must comfort others by advising them, God is completely aware of their situation.  Second, God has a plan for the situation; He may use us to solve it.  (Joshua 1:2)  God completely shares His vision for Joshua’s life, He wants Joshua to take the people to the Promise Land, and so he must be prepared.  Although, we may not see what the future holds for someone, we can advise God has a plan. (Joshua 1:2-4) Third, God shares His blessings with Joshua and the children of Israel.  God was fulfilling the promise He gave to His people. (Joshua 1:3-4)  So, we can share the promise of God’s Word with someone, it will hold them.  Next, God encourages Joshua by advising He was with him, just like Moses.  We are never alone in our circumstances; this will bring peace to a troubled heart.  Lastly, God advised Joshua to obey His Word and keep it close to his heart.  Only through His word would Joshua have knowledge, be encouraged, and successful.  If anyone lacks wisdom, God will supply in great measure but without doubt.
     Life isn’t always a pleasant journey but it’s peaceful with a friend who walks with you.  As Christians, we are to light the way so others can inherit our faith.  It’s the best life insurance policy with no money to buy.  My friends, someone needs to hear the words, God cares.  Maybe this person is you.  God cares for you deeply.  He is completely aware of the situation.  He isn’t surprised or unaware but ready to act.  Tonight, I want you to rest in God’s promise, “AS I WAS WITH MOSES, I WILL BE WITH YOU.”