Friday, January 21, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, January 21, 2022

Through God Let’s Defeat COVID in 2022

For those who were expecting a quick turnaround in 2022 in COVID-19, we are noticing upticks in hospitalizations, cases, and deaths despite over 63.0% of the United States being fully vaccinated.  This is occurring despite having a less deadly variant dominating the cases. Truly, this has not had the expected effect of putting this virus in our past.

 

What should we do as children of God? First, we should say that this virus is going away. The Bible says that we should say those things that are not as if they were (Romans 4:17).  Our life is a result of what we are continuing to say (Proverbs 18:21) so we should speak that our God is greater than any virus (1 John 4:4). The God that lives inside of us is greater than any force in the world.

 

Next, we should pray that God will protect us from its deadly effects because sincere and fervent prayers are very effective (James 5:16). The Bible says that man ought to always pray (Luke 18:1). Lastly, we should believe that our society will emerge victoriously having defeated a horrible adversary (Mark 9:23).  This is not a magical formula for success, but what we believe greatly influences victory.

 

Therefore, let’s not say this virus will win.  Let us not skip our prayers against the virus,  and we should not accept the belief that this plague will triumph over the world.  God has got the whole world in His hands despite how things look.  Let us let Him work through us (Philippians 2:13)

 

Romans 4:17

Amplified Bible

17 (as it is written [in Scripture], “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the sight of Him in whom he believed, that is, God who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

 

Proverbs 18:21

New International Version

21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

1 John 4:4

New International Version

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

 

James 5:16

New International Version

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

 

Luke 18:1

New International Version

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

 

Mark 9:23

New International Version

23 “’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”


Philippians 2:13

New International Version

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Pastor's Poderings, January 11, 2022

Let’s Do God’s Will in 2022 

What will we do in 2022?  It is a new day, a new time, and a new opportunity to see what amazing things that God has for us.  Old pain, challenges, mistakes, and failures can be put in the past while we contemplate our future. In the political realm, many are predicting a march towards a fascist state.  In the educational realm, many want to scrub history of anything that may be upsetting for some.  Our medical front line warriors and researchers are burning out because of COVID-19 while others argue it is all a myth, false flag, or big lie.  We really need to hear an answer from the Lord.

 

What should those who love the Lord do in 2022?  The Bible tells us that we must take this opportunity to seek the Lord while He can be found and call Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6). We must tell everyone that God wants us to change our thoughts and actions to what He would want us to do (Isaiah 55:7).  

 

We have a mission to tell a sick and dying world that God wants everyone to turn around and come to Him (Acts 17:30) because He has a place for us in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).  This year, we can use His scriptures when we fear, have doubt, are anxious, worry, or disobey God (Corinthians 10:4).  He gives us the answer. 

 

We must decide that this year we will obey His commandments, pray, study the Bible, and meditate His scriptures. We can ask God for His wisdom since man’s wisdom is what got us into the world’s horrific mess in the first place (James 1:5).   Everyone, let us seek God, listen for His voice, and do His will so that 2022 can be the best year that we have ever had.

 

Isaiah 55:6, 7

New International Version

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

 

Acts 17:30 

New International Version

30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

 

Ephesians 2:6 

New International Version

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

 

Corinthians 10:4 

New International Version

4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

 

1 Timothy 6:12

New International Version

12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

 

James 1:5

New International Version

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Pastor's Ponderings, January 3, 2022

Faith In The New Year


Then he who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”  And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelations 21:5)

 

God makes all things new. We have finally arrived at this New Year during a global pandemic. We may feel hopeless at times, but God has given us a new day in a new year to bear witness to his glory. The only way we can combat this hopelessness is to have faith that God will move us beyond the most insurmountable roadblocks that we can imagine. It may not be popular to say, but even for believers, we often lack faith that God will truly take care of us. 

 

I am going to let you in on my personal testimony. This testimony includes many blessings, curses, and obstacles where God’s words proved repeatedly to be faithful and true. I grew up believing God but wasn’t a regular church goer. My grandmother, Helen V. Fair, prayed for me, ministered to me, and taught me to always have faith in God. 

 

When I decided to have my child at the age of twenty-two, I held on to what I had been taught and had faith that God had plans for me even though I didn’t know how we would be okay. Having a child as a college student with six credits left to graduate was a difficult decision.  Many times, I felt stupid and that I had let everyone down, but God gave me the strength to press forward, and I gave birth to my first-born son on a Saturday in 1992.

 

As a parent, I now understand how my own parents felt when I had my son, but God was with me anyway. I returned to my mother’s home (much to her disappointment) and pushed forward. Over the next five years, I suffered heart breaking setbacks including experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, and poverty. Some days, I cried out to God asking how I went from a student at a top tier university to an impoverished woman. Other days, I was grateful for another opportunity to live in that moment, on that day and appreciate the gift of life for myself and my son. 

 

However, most of all I KNEW as I do today that God had more for me. I did not even know Jeremiah 29:11 at the time, but I knew that God had PLANS FOR ME!!!  I was often weary and broken because I felt like a failure, but I would tell God – whatever challenge You allow in my life, I will face it head on withYou by my side. I promise. 

 

With God providing me strength, good health, and supernatural energy, I jumped at opportunities to do better. I would work extra jobs and step through doors whenever they opened even if it they appeared “small.” I trusted that God was moving me one step forward every time. I knew for sure that God would not bring me through the valleys of life without me learning and growing from it.

 

By the time my son was six, I started working at an internet company where I would eventually become a manager and be able to provide for my family beyond my greatest imagination. My childhood dream was to become an attorney, but despite everything that happened God had a different plan for me, and I was walking in my purpose. God qualifies the called and I am a witness and have fruit from it.

 

Now my story did not end there.  Nearly 30 years after leaving school to start my family, 2022 is the year that I will receive my bachelor’s degree in just a few months. God knew the desire of my heart all along and He is making it happen. I have no idea where God is going to take me, but I have faith.

 

I am standing in awe of how God has blessed me when I didn’t see how He could turn a situation around. God blessed me with a husband of over 20 years and counting, a college graduate for a son and another son currently attending college, and a granddaughter who will be a star. Most importantly, through it all I have faith in God.

 

I have asked people who have been in church all of their lives, “Where is your faith? How can you think so small when God has shown you how enormous, powerful, and mighty the Lord is?” 

 

In this New Year – believe that God will make all things new, get your devotional and write about what the Lord is telling you, and BELIEVE in the manifestation of the fruit that your life WILL bear. Take the small opportunity with growth potential. Share your gifts by volunteering. Tell yourself that you are God’s child, and don’t believe what other people say. This is a New Year, and each blessing and opportunity is God making all things new – receive it.

 

Revelation 21:5

King James Version

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 

Jeremiah 29:11

King James Version

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

 


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, December 28, 2021

Our Father Will Protect Us

 

This will be the last blog of 2021.  So many things have happened in this year beginning with the January 6, 2021, siege of the U.S. Congress all the way to a brand new COVID-19 variant that is projected to reach one million new cases per day in the United States.  Most never expected these traumatic events to occur but we know that God is still in charge.

 

The Bible declares we cannot allow the challenges that we faced in 2021 or will face in 2022 to make us lose heart, be anxious, or act in fear.  We must walk by faith in God and not by our natural feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7).  There may be political turmoil, but the Bible declares that the heart of our ruler is in the hands of God (Proverbs 21:1).  They don’t become leaders by their own efforts, but God will raise one leader up and put down another (Psalm 75:6-7).  Plagues will come and go but God’s word stands assured, and He knows whom His children are (2 Timothy 2:19a).  

 

Climate changes, energy shortages, increasing worldwide inequality leading to displacement and death, and wars must not worry us because God owns the entire earth (Psalm 24:1); we are His and are privileged to sit in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2:6). Storms may come and winds may blow but God said that He would be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20).  Let us comfort ourselves knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is our protection and is always walking alongside of us no matter what happens.

 

2 Corinthians 5:7 

New International Version

7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

 

Proverbs 21:1

New International Version

In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.

 

Psalm 75:6-7

New International Version

No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves.

It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

 

2 Timothy 2:19a

New International Version

19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his….”

 

Psalm 24:1

New International Version

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

 

Ephesians 2:6

New International Version

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

 

Matthew 28:20

New International Version
20 …. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


 

 

 

 

 

  

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, December 23, 2021

Jesus Is Our Advocate When We Sin 

Nina Golgowski wrote an article in the December 20, 2021, Huffington Post about an official investigation into former president Donald Trump’s business practices. The article was entitled, Trump Sues New York Attorney General Over Business Investigation.  The article went on to say that “The former president's lawsuit accuses Letitia James (the New York Attorney General) of violating his constitutional rights.”  

 

Despite what we may feel about the former president’s tactics, this article reminds us that everyone will go before the eternal court of God the Father.  We have an advocate who can plead our case (1 John 2:1-2). The devil is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10b).  No matter how we protest our innocence, all of us have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).  

 

No one can say that they are more holy than someone else. The Bible says that all we have to do is to confess our sins and that God is faithful and just to forgive us for our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  We can come boldly into God’s throne and mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

 

While we may have different opinions about our former president’s using his constitutional rights in court, we can remember that all unrighteousness is sin including our own (1 John 5:17).  However, we can thank God that we don’t need to rely on legal maneuvering; all that we need is Jesus. He makes us righteous in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).  When we are disobedient, let us remember that we have an Advocate who will speak for us before God the Father.

 

Hebrews 4:16

New International Version

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

 

1 John 2:1-2

New International Version

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

 

Revelation 12:10b

New International Version

10…For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

 

Romans 3:23

New International Version

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

1 John 1:9

New International Version

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

1 John 5:17

New International Version

17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21

New International Version

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Our Heavenly Father Wants To Protect His Children

Morgan Winsor and Bill Hutchinson wrote an article in the December 13, 2021, ABCNews entitled, “Deadly tornadoes in South and Midwest: Biden declares state of emergency in Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee”. The article went on to report that the weekend destruction produced at least 88 dead. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who has two relatives among the dead, fought back tears as he revealed the age range of the known victims. He said 18 bodies have yet to be identified.  Truly this was a terrible and troubling time for this region of our nation.

 

The Bible says that we can turn to the Lord who is a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).  He is a protector for those who depend upon Him (Psalm 23:4). Destruction may come to us, but it will not be successful (Isaiah 54:17).  We must not be afraid of the terror by night or the destruction that wastes at noonday (Psalm 91:5-6). This is not to say that one may avoid all suffering in life and that we will not have pain, death, or destruction but God promises that though we go through a place where death threatens, we don’t have to fear evil and that He would be with us even until the end of time (Psalm 23:4, Matthew 28:20).

 

God wants us to know that we can comfort ourselves in His protection.  As we go through life, it is crucial that we ask God where we should go, where we should stay, and what we should do since He is omniscient and wants to protect us (James 1:5).  He says that if we delight ourselves in Him that He would give us our heart’s desire such as protection, prosperity, promotion and perception (Psalm 37:4). Let us ask Him for what we need; He delights in protecting us.

 

Psalm 91:5-6

New International Version

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

 

Psalm 46:1

New International Version

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

 

Psalm 23:4

New International Version

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 

Matthew 28:20 

New International Version

20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

 

Isaiah 54:17 

New International Version

17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.

 

James 1:5

New International Version

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

 

Psalm 37:4

New International Version

4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Pastor's Ponderings, December 9, 2021

Will I hear “Well Done?”

During a time of great loss in our world, many of us are reflecting on when our time will come. If it is tomorrow, did I fulfill my purpose in life? Did I help those I was supposed to help? Did I learn what I was supposed to learn? What does God think about my life so far?

 

In the parable of the talents, Matthew records Jesus telling a story about three people who took different approaches to investing their talents while their master was away. For two of them he was pleased with their choices and said “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together” (Matthew 25:21 NLT).

 

I remember asking my late husband what his next career goals were and he responded with, “Maybe my purpose isn’t limited to my job. Maybe I am supposed to be a good husband, friend, neighbor and hopefully a father.” A few weeks later these words echoed through his memorial service in the comments of his family, friends, and neighbors.

 

This month is the 16th anniversary of my parent’s church, Sanctuary Gospel Center Church. On the surface we congratulate them for staying the course, their commitment and dedication to over 800 weekly services, hundreds of counseling sessions, and services at a local skilled nursing facility, and 428 weekly blog posts. But I think when my parents get to Heaven (hopefully a long time from now) those numbers won’t be mentioned-it will be the lives they touched, the people that met Christ through them and that had a deeper and fuller relationship with God because of their sacrifice, and the people that others didn’t have the time for, but they invested in them anyway. I’m blessed to know and appreciate their impact on my walk with God. 

 

It’s easy for this season to be focused on what we can buy, how we can impress others with the gifts we receive or how perfect our holiday photos are.  But let’s remember to think about what really matters and that is to be a good and faithful servant and if we are doing a job deserving of “Well Done.”