Archive for July, 2011

This is Awesome!!! The Sneeze

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Puzzle Art Work By Jaleen Bolan and Cathy Parker

Deuteronomy 27:10

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would NOT pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling.

They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one  asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine until the final speech

received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and  silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said,

‘GOD BLESS YOU’

And he walked off the stage…

The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God’s blessing on their future with or without the   court’s approval.

1Samuel 16:7

The Men in Christ’s Life: Blind Bartimaeus

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krisswiatocho_summer07

 By Kris Swiatocho

Kris Has Another Great Website! Just Click Here And Enjoy!!

My stepfather is only one example of a man who has impacted my life as a result of his relationship with Christ. Throughout this series, I want to share with you about some of the other men who have impacted my life solely because of their relationship with Jesus. I believe as I share that you, too, will connect with them and discover for yourself how God has always had a plan for you, is working it out in your life and will never leave you.

How is your life? Are you fulfilled? Are you getting everything out of it you have wanted to? Is your life turning out the way you thought it would be?

There have been times in my life where I never have seemed to get it. Times I have lived the same way day to day but expected a different result. Times that I spent just enough time with others, gave of myself just enough, spent time with my family just enough and gave to God just enough. But what is enough?

For myself, I am not ready to live a life where I am content that what I am giving God is enough. Am I content as a single adult? Yes, I am really content where God has me … even if I do get lonely, frustrated and confused by his direction. But this isn’t the contentment I am talking about. I am talking about content with my part of this journey God has me on. No, I am not content and I will tell you why.

Bartimaeus was a blind man living in Jericho. He would sit along the road, day after day, doing the same thing and basically getting the same result. Probably enough change to just get by. Now, could Bartimaeus stay there for the rest of his life? Sure, and more than likely he would continue to get just enough based on his efforts. And this enough would feed and clothe him. But Bartimaeus decided he didn’t want to stay where he was. He wasn’t content with where he was. He wanted his life to be different. Bartimaeus not only prayed for his life to be different, but he yelled it from the mountain tops. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When is the last time you really wanted your life to change? I mean, really change. No, I am not talking about the 911 Christian behavior where you cry out to God only when you are in trouble. Bartimaeus wasn’t in any trouble, no more than normal. But the one thing Bartimaeus was, that most of are not, is we are never quiet enough to hear God when He is near. Near enough to us because we are walking with Him—daily, hour by hour, minute by minute. Close enough to hear his breathing, to know his footsteps, to know his voice. Near enough to know when to ask for real help, because you have made a real decision to change.

Right now, as I am writing this, I am at my own crossroads yet again. As most of my readers may know, I am a diabetic, type 2. I have gone up and down over the years with my sugars. I do well for a while, only to slide back into old patterns. I love to eat. I love the social aspect of eating, not to mention the variety of all the foods God has made. But my diabetes, without continuous management, could literally lead to my own blindness not to mention death.

But now, I am where Bartimaeus is. I am ready to not only listen to God, but also to jump to my feet with a joyful heart because He is going to heal me. Does this mean my diabetes could go away instantly? Sure, if it is Jesus’ will. But for me, I believe the journey of learning to eat right with exercise is the only way that will lead to a lifestyle change. A lifestyle that can guarantees success, so that one day I can say I am not a diabetic. One day I will be cured from my own blindness.

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Mark 10:46-52

 

Don’t Let Satan Mislead You About Receiving The Baptism Of The Spirit

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Don’t Let Satan Mislead You!!


Pastor Smith’s Previous Post


Post by Pastor Dennis Smith

 

There has been much misinformation and confusion about what happens when a person receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Satan fears this experience in the believer more than any other.  He knows that the baptism of the Holy Spirit will break his power in the believer’s life and the resulting powerful witness for Jesus Christ will bring Satan’s work to an end on planet earth.  For this reason he has done everything he can to confuse this teaching and cause many sincere Christians to misunderstand it and even be suspicious of it.

 

“There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation.  When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come.” Review & Herald, March 22, 1887

 

Receiving the baptism of the Spirit does not necessarily involve a highly emotional experience.  One may or may not feel something at the time of seeking the infilling of the Spirit.   However, the Spirit will make Himself known to the one He indwells.  His presence will begin changing the believer’s life from within.  A new power for victory and service will be manifested.

God desires to give His children this wonderful experience of Spirit baptism.  However, in order to receive we must ask in faith believing He will bestow it.  Secondly we must be willing to give ourselves completely to God.

 

“The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit.  It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 507

 

Seek the Baptism Every Day

 

Another very important point is that we must renew this infilling every day.  Paul said, “I die daily”, (1Corinthians 15:31).  The dying to self and infilling of the Spirit is a daily experience.  It is not a “once and for ever” experience.  Paul tells us that the “inward man is renewed day by day”, (2Corinthians 4:16).  We need the renewing of the Spirit every day of our life.  Also, Paul’s command to “be filled with the Spirit”, (Ephesians 5:18), is a continuous action verb in the Greek meaning we are to keep on being filled with the Spirit daily.

With the infilling of the Spirit the believer is led by the Spirit.  Paul writes of the importance of this being a daily experience when he states;

 

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

 

Again the verb form in the Greek is continuous action.  Paul is saying, “as many as are continuing to be led daily by the Spirit of God.”  Hence, we must receive the Spirit everyday to be led by Him everyday.

Christ is our example in all things.  Note what Ellen White writes about the baptism of the Spirit in Christ’s daily life.

 

“Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit.  In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others.” Christ Object Lessons, p.139

Please Visit Pastor Smith’s Holy Spirit Ministry

 

The Value of God’s Word

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  • Greg Laurie
  • Harvest Ministries

I read an interesting story about an old miner who had lived the life of a hermit deep in the mountains of Colorado. When he died, some of his distant relatives came to collect his valuables.

They arrived to find a miner’s shack with an outhouse behind it. Inside the shack, there was an old cooking pot, some mining equipment, and a cracked table with a three-legged chair that stood next to a tiny window. A well-used kerosene lamp stood as the centerpiece on the table.

As the relatives gathered up the miner’s possessions, loaded them in a truck, and got ready to drive away, the miner’s old friend came walking up. He called out to them, “Do y’all mind if I take what is left in that old shack?”

“Oh, no,” they said. “Take it. We have all the valuable stuff. You can have whatever is there.” The man thanked them, and off they went.

He walked over to his friend’s shack, went in, and looked around for a little bit. Then he reached under the table and lifted up one of the floorboards. Little by little, he lifted out all of the gold his friend had discovered over the previous decades – millions of dollars’ worth of gold.

Apparently, the old miner had died with only his true friend knowing his actual worth.

In the same way, our friend, Jesus Christ, wants to make Himself known to us, but we can be like a distant relative sometimes. Yet, if we would get to know Him better, we would discover the riches that He has for us.

And where are these riches? They are in His Word. Jesus said, “In the volume of the book it is written of Me” (Hebrews 10:7 NKJV). In Psalm 19, we find a description of the great value of God’s Word in our lives.

First of all, we find that God’s Word is perfect: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7 NKJV). This phrase, “the law of the Lord,” is a Hebrew term that is used to define Scripture. It is speaking of all of God’s Word. So we could also translate it to say that the Word of God, or even the Bible, is perfect.

This is in direct contrast to the flawed, imperfect reasonings of humanity today. As society changes, we don’t need to flow with the winds of change. We can stand on the firm foundation of God’s Word.

Second, we see that the Word of God transforms us: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7, emphasis mine). The word convert could be translated, “reviving, restoring, transforming.”

God’s Word will revive you. It will restore you. It will transform you. You may find yourself in a situation in which you are revived, restored, or transformed by verses you’ve read a day or a week before, because you had established the discipline of regular Bible study in your life.

Third, we discover that the Word of God gives incredible wisdom: “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).

The Hebrew word used here for simple comes from a root word that speaks of an open door. It is the idea of a person whose mind is like an open door. He or she has no control over what comes in or what goes out.

This verse is saying that if you study it, if you memorize it, and more importantly, if you apply its truths, God’s Word will make a wise person out of a simple one.

Fourth, we learn that the Word of God is right: “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:8). In Hebrew, this means that the Bible has given us the right path to follow. We don’t have to lose our bearings in the fog of human opinion.

That is why we need to read through the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter.

Fifth, we realize that keeping the Word of God makes us happy: “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:8).

Sometimes people are afraid that if they do what the Bible says, then they will be unhappy. But just the opposite is true. By living what the Bible teaches, you will live a happy life.

Psalm 119:165

As you study, as you memorize, and as you read and obey the Word of God, your life will be transformed, and you will be a successful Christian.

Today I Will Make A Difference

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By Max Lucado

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

A Promise Of Grace: Jesus Dwells In Me & Gives Me His Victory

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

JULY 4,2011

A Promise Of Victory and Grace!!  Jeremiah 31:3, Romans 8:3-4, 2Corinthians 12:9-10

By Grace again today, I claimed afresh by faith that I died in Christ nearly 2000 years ago. 2Corinthians 5:14-15, Colossians 2:2 , Colossians 3:1-4. Now, by His Grace according to His faithful promise, as I abide in His Word, He dwells in me & gives me His Victory. So He is the only thing in me worth knowing! Praise God!!

Here is a huge help!!

Prove to yourself that Jesus Lives… Read a chapter a day prayerfully in the Gospel of John… never miss a day…Somewhere before the end of the book, you will see some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit coming into your life. “…Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Spirit Control).” Galatians 5:22-23

The Love of Jesus Holds You Up and Controls You!! Psalm 94:18, 2Corinthians 5:14,17, Romans 8:37-39, Galatians 2:20

And My God Loved Me Even Before Our World Existed!! Wow!! My God Is Incredible!! You have got to read these fabulous verses of encouragement!! John 17:3, 24-26.

If we trust Jesus, then He will perfectly heal us. It is in this trust relationship with Christ that we find our assurance of salvation. At the moment we trust Him and turn our lives over to Him we have His assurance that He will save us. 1John 5:11-13,John 3:16-17,Romans 3:26,10:9

“Courtesy Dr. Tim Jennings and ComeAndReason.com”

What About The Rapture? Will There Be A Rapture To Avoid Persecution?

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“Behold He is coming with clouds and every eye shall see Him”…. Revelation 1:7

By Corrie Ten Boom on the Rapture:
From a letter Corrie wrote in 1974

 

CorneliaCorrieten Boom (Amsterdam, April 15, 1892 – Orange, California, April 15, 1983) was a Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the Nazis during WorldWar II. In 1970, ten Boom co-wrote her autobiography, The Hiding Place, released in 1971 and which was made into a film of the same name two years later starring Jeannette Clift as Corrie.

“The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers.  Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change.

My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.

We may have been the Lord’s only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.

Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” for I have found where it is written that Jesus said,  “He that overcometh shall inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My son.” This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick.  “Yes, the Lord will heal me,”, Betsy said with confidence.  She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.  It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days.  Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.”  Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,

“We have failed.  We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first.  Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes, – to stand and not faint.”  I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it.   We are next.  Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it by heart.  When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy.

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part evil is spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.”  (I Peter 3:14) I found myself saying, “Hallelujah!  Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!”  In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”, but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.
Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.  The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, “Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?”  The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screen-less windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I told them a story out of my childhood.

“When I was a little girl, ” I said, “I went to my father and said,  “Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”

“Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket?  Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength.  Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.  He will supply all you need – just in time…”
My African friends were nodding and smiling.  Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing,

“In the sweet, by and by,  we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed.  I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago.  But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.
How can we get ready for the persecution?  First we need to feed on the Word of God , digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.  Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ . Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History,  but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.  We must be filled with the Holy Spirit.  This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it. In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other .
But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.  The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian’s life.  Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also.  But then I read the Bible and I am glad.  When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”, (Job 13:15) for I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life.  Hallelujah! ”

– Corrie Ten Boom – 1974

“Behold I stand at the door and knock”… Revelation 3:20