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.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Are You Afraid this Plane Will Crash 2

Today I am sharing a chapter from my Book,
Rescue the Stories Book Three.

Many years ago, we had moved to Oklahoma to attend Bible School, and it was necessary for me to fly back to California to attend a court hearing.  One of our customers did not want to pay their bill for their new roof so it was necessary to take them to court.   
I made my reservation and off I went.

“Are you scared that this plane might go down?” asked the young lady sitting beside me.

“Oh, there is nothing to worry about. This plane will arrive safely at its destination,” I told her. 
“Why do you say that?” she asked. 
I replied, “I am on this plane and I have prayed for a safe trip, and God hears and answers (most of) my prayers.  We might have a few bumps, but just like on a highway there are ruts in the road at times.  Don’t worry!  We will get there on time, and all in one piece.”

I did not try to convert her, or quote scriptures or use the “Roman Road” technique because many times we are only led to speak a few sentences, and that is all that God requires.

It has been my habit to speak certain words as I enter an airplane.  I remember well the day that I heard a minister tell about his airplane adventures.  He reminded us of the story of Jesus getting into the boat with His disciples. 
As Jesus stepped up to enter the boat he spoke these positive words, “Let us go over to the other side.” 

His words were bold and optimistic, and they did not include fear that the boat might sink; as the waves were to soon roll over the boat and nearly collapse it into the deep.

Jesus fully expected to arrive at the “other side” unharmed, and safe and sound!!

“Let us go over to the other side!”  Just a simple statement! 

Now I use those words when I step up onto an airplane.  You can those words when you open your car door even to drive to work or to town. 

You can even apply these words to your jogging, or your walk in the park.

Expect safety, and expect to arrive at your destination worry free, under the careful protection of the Angels who are always watching over you. 

Every one of us is daily, coming closer to arriving at our final destination. 

There are only two ultimate final locations.  One I would not wish for anyone to go there! The other place is Heaven. 

Inviting Jesus into your heart will give you safe access into heaven.  If you have not already done so, it is a simple statement of faith.  It is simple and just say with your mouth - -

“I believe you died on the cross for my salvation, that you rose from the dead and are alive today, Jesus, come into my heart and I will live my life for you all of my days.”  

Following Jesus will lead you safely to the other side.

May the God of peace watch over us every one and carry us safely over to “the other side” to Glory.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scriptural Meditation

Considering Whether This Be True !

Years ago, I had a friend who while attending the college at Berkley, California, joined a cult that taught her how to meditate. 

Each afternoon at 3:00 pm she would excuse herself and empty her mind of all thoughts and allow her guide to come to her.  Eventually she lost her home, her savings and her mind.

Sorry to say this type of meditation as well as other forms taught by Yoga and others tend to lead to spiritual experiences that are NOT of God. 

There is a Scriptural Meditation that God approves of.
I believe you will enjoy this short study as you ponder and consider these few words taken from Gloria Coleman's book  "Scriptural Meditation."
Scriptural Meditation

(Excerpt from Gloria Coleman’s book
“Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation

What Is Scripture Meditation? The Bible tells us in Psalm 1: 2-3 that the person who delights in God’s Word and meditates on that word day and night will be ever green all year round and whatever that person does will prosper.
You may be asking the question, – What is scripture meditation?

 One of the Hebrew words used in the bible for meditate is “hagah” and it means to murmur (in pleasure or anger); to ponder, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, utter. Scripture meditation therefore is when you speak God’s Word to yourself over and over again, think on it, pray it and mutter it.

Allow God’s Word to fill your heart and mind. Think on the scripture you have chosen to meditate on and ponder it in your heart. Soon the Holy Spirit will bring you revelation on that Word and make that Word effectual in your life.

As you continue to meditate (on the Scripture), faith will rise up in your heart because you will keep on hearing (yourself murmur) the Word.

Suddenly the Word will become life to you and health to all your flesh.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jesus Come to Us


Pastor Jerry was reading from Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus was stressed out and tired and this was the reason he had gone to the desert place hoping for some solitude.
When the people followed, he had compassion on them and He ministered until it was now evening. 
It was too late to send them away hungry, so Jesus blessed the two fish and five loaves and told the disciples, “You feed the multitude.” 

By this time, Jesus was exhausted.  He dismissed the crowd and requested his disciples to take the boat to the other side, while He went up into the mountain to pray.

You will remember that Peter was a person who quickly changed his mind.  He was impetuous and spoke out of turn many times. 

One instance was when Jesus was washing the disciple’s feet, and Peter spoke up and said, “Never will you wash my feet.”  Jesus said, ‘then you will have no part in me.’

Peter quickly repented and said, ‘not just my feet but my head also.’  Then we know He said he would never deny Jesus, but soon he did just that three times.

While the disciples were rowing to cross the lake, a storm arose and they feared they might sink, but then - - - Jesus came to them walking on the water. 
Can you imagine their fear thinking they were seeing a ghost and would surely perish?

Matthew 14: 27-31 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Water can be scary and riding out the storm in a tiny boat is like a cork in a vast ocean.

Ancient civilization believed there was a god of catastrophes, always trying to tear good apart.  We know him as the god of this world, our enemy Satan.

Today people face all types of catastrophes.  Lost jobs, lost homes, broken marriages, child abuse.  The god of catastrophe is alive and hatefully well.

Jesus says to us, “Come onto me.”  When we begin to sink - - He offers us his hand and lifts us up.

Pastor suggested that we too need to stretch out our hands to lift others up.  This can be by our giving, and by prayer, or participating in the lives of others with assistance.

May we risk stepping out into the water and be willing to join in and perhaps do something that we have never done before. 
God will offer us His hand and awaken in us a new vision to fulfill His dream

Friday, August 8, 2014

IRAQ Missionaries

 Kurdistan, N Iraq

Kurdistan, North Iraq

Grady and Becky Pickett are currently serving the Lord in the Northern mountainous regions of Iraq.  They are pastoring in Erbil and are reaching out to the Syrians in the refugee camps around them.  In the camps they have built playground equipment, given out blankets, rubber boots, gloves, rechargeable lanterns, vegetable seeds and the good news.
 They studied Arabic in Jordan for 2.5 years and have been in Iraq for over 4 years.  They have been in over 50 counties traveling and serving the Lord in various projects.

Doug Jones Rhema Alumni Director forwarded us this message below:

 Just received an email from Grady and Becky Pickett and felt led to send it your way. These precious dear ones are part of our Rhema family and have been in northern Iraq for many years.

As you know Iraqi Christians are being forced from their homes as we speak….As I read the Facebook posts from Grady's page and Becky's page and the email they sent out today I sense a continual increase of urgency in their correspondence.

I am requested three things of you:

1) Take time to read the email that they sent today, it is located below.

2) Click on this url to gain some insight as to what is going on over there now:

3) Pray

For more info about Missionary's Grady and Becky Pickett:

a) Located them on Facebook

b) Watch a recent video Grady made:

b) Visit their missionary profile within our Rhema Alumni Missionary Directory:

We are living in very important days, it is my prayer that we do not become so self-absorbed that we neglect to be touched with the infirmities of other believers throughout the world. Whether we like to admit it or not, not all Christians have life as soft as we who live in America.


 Doug Jones
RMAI National Director

Below is an E-Mail From Becky Pickett

Dear Friends,

Please join us in pleading the Blood of Jesus over our precious country of Iraq. Have you seen the news updates?

The terrorists have made more gains this week and even taken Kurdish territory and Christian & Yazidi towns.

(Christians are the religious minorities of Iraq and those who the terrorists vow to kill and destroy).

There has been a MASSIVE influx of refugees into our capital -- Erbil-- also spelled as Arbil-- and just today, the US finally came through with an airstrike against the terrorists actually not that far away.

Our area is front and center in the news. Yesterday, when the bad guys advanced into the Christian villages--that hurt.

To say they're 40 miles west of Erbil (our capital) is crazy! We're just 45 miles to the NE from Erbil.

The Iraqi Christians have fled the captured villages and the terrorists are pulling down the crosses, blowing up the churches (many centuries old).

They're doing what their father “Satan” likes to do: kill, steal, and destroy.

This city of Qaraqosh (Bagdayda) has been the ancestral homeland of Assyrians for millennia. An Assyrian identity has existed continuously since 3,000 BC and they speak a language evolved from Aramaic.

When I say "Shlama lokum" to my neighbors, I'm saying "peace to you" exactly as Jesus said it...

Thomas, Barthlomew, and Theodus came to Assyria and converted the Assyrians to Christianity in AD 33. It's also said that Peter came in AD 37.

The Christians of Iraq have stood strong for the Name of Jesus Christ through genocides against them every 2nd generation for 1,600 years.

That is worth a lot to Jesus and I know He remembers the martyrs and their losses and holds them in his tender palms.

On a personal note, the Christians of Iraq have been so very kind and generous to our family....helping us to be here, securing our visas, etc...

We are asking you for your prayers for the precious people of Iraq.

Thank you for your friendship for the Gospel's sake.

 Grady and Becky Pickett



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cheese Pie Royal 2

Cheese Pie
If you are like me, when I visit someone and they are serving something that I especially enjoy, I usually make a request for their recipe.

As Robert and I were newly weds, our friends, Jean and Rex from church often invited us to dinner.  One Sunday afternoon she served Swiss steak, and to be honest, I did not know what it was.  It looked like liver to me, so I only took a small piece. 
Growing up as a child, steak of any kind was NOT something my family was familiar with.  I asked her how she fixed the steak, and a verbal account was enough for me to begin to add this to our diet, especially when we had company.  She pounded her steak, dusted it with egg, then with flour and herbs, and fried it. 

We began to invite new people from church, over for Sunday dinner and I would serve this round steak with mashed potatoes, green beans and some French bread.  If we had unexpected company, I would dice the steak into small slices and smother it with gravy.
Back to my friend who invited us to dinner.  Her desert was so amazing that I eagerly requested a copy of her recipe for her Cheese Pie Royal. 
I was use to apple, berry, and peach pies, and even cream pies, such as lemon, and banana cream, but never a cheese pie.  This recipe was added to my favorites, and through the years it would appear for special occasions.

I hope you will enjoy this lovely pie.  It will make you many friends !!

Cheese Pie Royal

Crust:  Mix and press into a deep dish Pyrex pie pan.

 20 graham crackers crushed
 1/4 cup melted butter
 2 T sugar

2 eggs
12 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon sprinkled on top

Beat eggs; add sugar and other ingredients, pour into crust and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool then add toppings.

1 1/2 cups sour cream mixed with 2 T sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla – top the cooled pie and
Bake 5 minutes at 400 degrees.  Cool and refrigerate.

 This post is shared at

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Letting Go of Stuff

It is amazing when we read the stories written by others that our own memories are resurrected with yet a story we thought we had already told it all.

One of the entries by Sharon Sharing God at “Tell Me a True Story told about a dream she had.  In the dream she discovered a lot of her “Stuff” that she had given away discarded and ready to be buried.  She wondered why they had not valued her stuff !

There are times when it is necessary to clean out our garage, closets, attic and give to an organization or find someone who can use what you no longer need.

Long ago, we purchased a white velvet couch and matching love seat that we enjoyed for many years. 

When we moved to our present mobile home, we decided to purchase a hide-a-bed and would no longer need the pair of living room furniture. 

Our local Teen Challenge was requesting furniture of any kind, so we make the telephone call and donated our white velvet chesterfield and love seat along with an office desk and chair and other items now forgotten.

Some tell us when you contribute money, you lose the right to say how it will be spent, and I suppose it is the same with items donated to a good cause.

Apparently what the group did was to hold a yard sale of the donated furniture to raise funds for their ongoing expenses.
Time passed, and one day as I drove my car down one of the semi-main streets of town, there I spotted in the front yard of a small house our “White Velvet Love Seat,” with a FOR SALE sign on it.
I knew it was OURS, and at first I was angry that the person was going to make a profit out of our lovely seat.

God spoke to me and said, “Let it go, it is no longer yours, but it is theirs, so they can do with it as they like.”
Then I began to consider people I have known, witnessed to, and often helped in times past, and I realized that they belong to God and they did not really belong to me.

Let them go, for they are in good hands. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Our Pastor Jerry was ministering from Matthew 14:13-21 as I took notes.

Jesus was having a hard day!  He had just been to his home town and was not well received.  Then a messenger brought him terrifying news about his cousin John being brutally executed by Herod.

After all his personal trauma, Jesus needed to have some quality time by himself, so he entered a boat to go to a desert place where he could pray and have a quite time.  But the crowds saw him leave and followed on foot to meet him on the other side of the lake.

Jesus was so moved with compassion that he ministered to them and healed many sick, but it was growing late and there was no place to purchase food, and the people were tired and hungry.  The disciples wanted to send the people away but Jesus said, “You give them to eat.”  All they had was a small amount of food and it would never be enough for such a large crowd

Matthew 14:17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”18He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

A large crowd can be unruly, but Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit in small groups of about fifty.  He did not say, “Let us refer this problem to our committee,” instead He said, “You give them something to eat.”

Then he took the loaves and broke them and gave to his disciples to distribute along with the broken fish and all were filled with 12 baskets of left overs.

The disciples were faithful but blind as they obeyed to serve the food.

Was it magic?  What happened?  How was this possible?  Why was there so much left over from only a small lunch?

If you believe the scripture, then it is evident that when Jesus broke the bread and each disciple continued to break the bread and fish - - more was there until the entire huge crowd was served.

I am reminded of the poor widow who was visited by the Prophet Elijah.  He asked her to bake him a cake, but she said, “I have only this small amount of oil and flour for me and my son and then we shall die.”  Elisha told her, “Do not fear but bake me a cake first,” so she did.  The amazing miracle was the oil and the meal continued to replenish and Elijah and the widow’s entire household were fed for many days.

A quote from today’s bulletin was: “Compassion stems from a heart changed by the powerful love of Jesus.  Christ demonstrated in this text what compassion does for the recipient and how a disciple learns the lesson of compassion.”

The message for today is NOT to retreat in the face of danger or lack.  Jesus did not withdraw because people were sick, needy and hungry.  Jesus became God's compassion. 

We may be at a standstill in our lives, but with a little Faith, God will provide.  Are you planning to give up before the race begins?

No let’s take another start up and step up and take the leap of Faith.

May God bless us all, amen.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Crossing the “Fear” line

I have been reading an e-book: “The Risk Factor” by Kevin and Chad Dedmon, forward by Pastor Bill Johnson and Missionary Heidi Baker.

 Kevin and Chad Dedmon, (father and son) 2011-12-20). The Risk Factor: Crossing the Chicken Line Into Your Supernatural Destiny. Kindle Edition.
Their exciting testimonies encourage Christians to believe the Bible when Jesus said:  

Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18b  they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Side note: The Dedmons mention Redding, California, Bethel Church that has become a place where many people are healed of cancer and a variety of other health problems after receiving prayer.  Jesus is the healer and he still heals today !!

What God does in Redding California - - He can do with and for you when you take a risk to step out and pray for those in need.

Often we hesitate to reach out because of FEAR - what will people think of me?  Remember they thought Jesus was out of his mind too! And the 120 were accused of being foolishly drunk !

According to Second Corinthians 10: 5, we need to learn how to take every thought captive under the obedience of Christ, because the spirit of unbelief can speak in the form of our personal thoughts.

For example, the thought could sound something like this, What if this doesn’t work, or what if this person doesn’t get healed when I pray? These thoughts arise from the fear that we will fail if we try and also from the fear of people.

Our part is where the risk comes in – We take the risk in boldness to cross the fear line - - and leave the result up to God.