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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Defining Moments: Taking up Your Cross


Sundays sermon began with Pastor Jerry reading from Matthew 16:21-28,  He then explained it is good to check what happened prior to the reading.  Jesus had asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”  And then, “Who do YOU say that I am.” 

Peter quickly acknowledged, “You are the Messiah the Son of the Living God.  We might wonder what Jesus thought about Peter’s confession.  Jesus called him a rock and they he would have the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 

Peter misunderstood all that Jesus was trying to tell them of his impending suffering, crucifixion, death and resurrection. 

Again Peter quickly reprimanded Jesus and said this can’t be true. 

Jesus scolded Peter and told him that he was thinking as a mere human man and was not mindful of the things of God. 

Jesus said there would be much suffering and trials ahead.  He knew the sequence of events would take time in passing. 

The disciples could not conceive spiritual revelation and thought Jesus meant he would be run out of town again. 

Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Peter made his great confession, but then the rock crumbled.  As we look at Peter we are reminded that we too are human and often skim over spiritual truth. 
The deep things of God must be longed for and sought after.  As we read God’s Word, we often glide over and read quickly all that God offers us as believers. 

Pastor suggested that we as Christians may have suffering ahead of us here in the United States, that at present we cannot fathom.   

Jesus calls us to follow Him and to take the risk of obedience. 

How will we respond to changes in our church and in our lives?  To put aside our traditions and comforts and be willing to become a “Transformed Church.” 

Dreams and imaginations are required and we must realize that WE are the “rocks” upon which Jesus Christ is building His church.   

All of us are holding the keys to the Kingdom, and what a responsibility is ours.
May we all be followers of Jesus Christ and be willing to take up our cross.


Friday, August 29, 2014



 I recently read an E-Book, Simple Keys to Heal Loneliness by Dennis and Dr Jen Clark.  I gleaned some thoughts from this easy to read book and present them for your consideration.

Many suffer from loneliness, and perceive that they are not accepted and not part of the group.  It is true that we need to connect and be with people, but the fact remains we can be lonely in a crowd.  Why are we lonely?  That is the big question. 

Dr Jen declares that loneliness is a Spiritual problem and then she gives keys to receive healing.

Often spiritual bondages occur in childhood, and we must understand that there was a set time when loneliness took its hold.  Sadness and self pity are friends to loneliness.

Throughout a person's life the lonely spirit is welcomed because it is a "familiar spirit."

Breaking free is accomplished when you allow Christ to do the work in your heart.

Do this.  Close your eyes and in an attitude of prayer, picture the first person or situation that comes to mind. Let yourself feel any sadness or loneliness momentarily. Present this memory to Jesus.  

Christ will heal what you present to Him, but you must first acknowledge that you have the pain.  You are simply bringing what was hidden out into the light.

Receive forgiveness from Christ in you and welcome the presence of God into that area. Let Him fill any emptiness in you. You should instantly feel the change inside you. You should have “know-so” assurance. You may want to pray through several other issues in the same way.

Barbara gives a review of the book Simple Keys to Heal Loneliness by Dennis and Dr. Jen Clark 
The healing process for issues of the heart may vary for each one of us. For me, understanding was not only a key, but it opened my heart to greater freedom. I encourage you to consider taking the first step with this easy to read eBook, which will not only bring understanding of the pain inside the lonely heart, but an opportunity to break free forever. I once was lost and alone even in a crowd, but now my heart can connect to God and others in a way I never thought was possible.
Be long as there's life - there's HOPE.

Says The revelations that Dr. Jen shares in this book transformed my life!  Knowing that what I was experiencing was spiritual, and not a malfunction of my personality, or a part of my personality, brought tremendous encouragement and hope in what had felt like a hopeless situation.
The E-book is available at 


Monday, August 25, 2014



Psalms 90:12  KJV 
So teach us to Number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom

Ten Years ago, where I worked they were downsizing the staff and their plan was to offer a “Golden Handshake;” if enough employees would retire as a group.  Their proposal appealed to me as I was ready to quit, but retiring sounded even better. 

Papers were filled out and we were called to a meeting to describe how the “Golden Handshake” would be applied to each person.  They explained that an annuity was to be set up with an Insurance company, for each retiree, and would be dispensed monthly separate from our pension.  

The life expectancy of each employee was taken into consideration, and I was told that their prediction for me was; my life continuance to be fourteen years. 

Ten years has gone by and with aging comes body changes and my thoughts are to count my days wisely. 

According to their projection, I have FOUR years left to live.  That does not worry me, but it does cause serious thinking to make some preparations besides those already made. 

The Bible states that God uses math and He counts with numbers.  He knows the number of hairs on our heads, and also takes notice when one of his sparrows fall. 

God knows the number of days on this earth that he has allotted to each one of us and those days fly by more quickly the older we get. 

Not one of us has the promise of tomorrow, let alone four years or ten or twenty years.  Every single day must be lived to glorify our Lord.  

My prayer is that our fleeting days will be renewed and quickened with strength and energy to live out our life with joy serving Jesus Christ our Messiah.

Psalms 39:4  New Living Translation
"LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered--how fleeting my life is.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Confession is Good for the Soul

Who Do Men Say That I Am?
Gleaning from Sunday's sermon as Pastor Jerry read from Matthew 16:13:20, and began to recount how Peter and his brother Andrew were in the fishing business with their father. 
One day Jesus passed by and said, “Follow Me and I will make you Fishers of Men.”

Without hesitation they dropped everything leaving their parents, home and their business to abide with Jesus as He gathered others to make up his twelve disciples.

Matthew 16: 13-16 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter was always slow to understand and quick to speak.  This time Jesus was pleased with Peter’s answer but He urged them all not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah.

Jesus was accepted by the people but not the religious leaders.  He did not back down when the leaders accused him of being a false prophet and working with the devil. 

Jesus was quick to tell them that their hands were clean from their many rituals, but their hearts were dark.

The question Jesus asked his disciples is still an important one today. No matter what your denomination, or your position in leadership, the question remains;  Who do YOU say Jesus is?

1. What does your worship mean to you, both private and in a group setting?

2. Is your service to God a ritual or does your service come from your heart?

3. Does your giving in time and money measure up to your answer to the question?

Jesus told Peter  verse 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Did Jesus mean the keys were only given to one person?  No, He was speaking of keys that would unlock truth and authority regarding heaven and earth. 

Often we get tied up in social pot-luck gatherings and bazaars which have their place, but we must realize that WE hold the keys to the Kingdom and we can use them to reach out and become fishers of men. 

God is still speaking and he will speak through us as we share with others the wonderful answer to the question that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.

This post is shared at Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays


Twelve Things God is to Me Guest Post Roy Lessin

Twelve Things God is to Me… Courtesy of  Roy Lessin

God is…
My Tower that never crumbles,

My Light that never flickers,

My Hiding Place that never closes,
My Shield that has no flaws or weaknesses,

My Guide who never gets lost on the trail,
My Guardian who doesn’t take naps,

My Eternal King whose banner I joyously wave,

My Ocean of Love that never has a low tide,

My Provider whose shelves are never empty,

My Physician who still makes house calls,

My Father who is never too busy to be with His child,

My Creator who knew what He was doing when He made me.

O God, Your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as You?
You are the God of great wonders! Psalm 77:13-14 NLT

Tuesday, August 19, 2014



Enjoy these few words by Pastor Jeff Jones

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV
Did you know that it's possible, and even biblical, to live a carefree life...a life devoid of worry and anxiety, a life of absolute peace and joy in every situation you face. It is possible, but only by faith. You have to believe these two verses, and put them into practice, and that's where faith comes in.

The Amplified Bible translates that verse this way: "Do not fret or have anxiety about anything….”

God wouldn't tell us not to worry or fret unless it was possible. First He tells us it's possible, and then He gives us the four things necessary to live this carefree life.

Do you see them? They are right there in the verse—prayer, supplication, thanksgiving, and requests.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

~ ~ ~


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jesus Changes His Mind

The Canaanite Woman

After reading from  Matthew 15:21-28 New International Version, Pastor Jerry began his sermon with the illustration of a determined mother, Joyce Milgaard. 

She was a gritty strong-minded mother who fought for 20 years to secure her son David’s release from prison after he was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder.  After so long a time, new technology and DNA proved that her son, David was not guilty and he was eventually set free. 

Today we consider a woman in the Bible who loved her demon possessed daughter unconditionally and with persistence she cried to Jesus for help.

Jesus spent a good deal of his ministry in Galilee, but he was tired and needed to get away where he hoped he was not so well known.  Jesus knew his time was drawing close so He and his disciples ventured into Canaan where no respecting Jew would go. 

There he was recognized by a Gentile mother who shouted and screamed for mercy, because she needed a miracle for her demon possessed daughter.  

Jesus ignored the woman and would not answer her.  Finally Jesus almost rudely stated that he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.

In desperation the woman came and knelt before him, “Lord help me, because my daughter suffers terribly,” she cried.

Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Pastor asked, “What are we make of this?”

1.     The woman symbolizes missions endeavor because God desires the entire world to be saved.

2.     This was a TEST.  A test of faith in the face of a hopeless situation.

3.     There was a refusal to give up and to NOT "let be what will be."

4.     It was a time of awakening and a time to receive answers.

Jesus changed his mind and became open to consider the women and heal her daughter.

God still does the impossible and the Holy Spirit supports us with His presence.

Jesus changed His mind and wonderful things happened.

We may be set in our ways and perhaps we should consider our future and what is God asking of us as a people.  Perhaps we should change our mindset and reach out in new areas and new ways.

Is God asking us to consider others who may not be like us, or even smell like us?

When our minds become transformed (changed) then Jesus can do marvelous things as He works and moves along side us.