I intend to make memories of childhood joys as long as the Gkids will allow me to!! It was another fun time together- cracked eggs and all! If one was messed up we just made it part of it's little face and laughed and laughed together!!
Pastor Robert Vaughn and the New Life Sanctuary Choir performed an amazing Drama that was both anointed and had a precious message to share. Sis Denise Borel created this presentation and shared her heart with NL - she was a real help this year! I enjoyed every minute of it!! Here are some pictures to tell the story...
May Jesus be glorified..... this was the first year in 16+ years that I have not created and produced a drama. It was wonderful for me to just be blessed this year. Pastor Robert it was fantastic!!
Today is Good Friday - the day Christians remember when Jesus Christ, the Messiah was crucified. I am soooo thankful I know the reason why. And even MORE grateful to know He rose from the grave. Because of Jesus' sacrifice I have life eternal. My evening was spent at the
beautiful Communion service in our home church. So special to me...
Overcomers are not those who are necessarily famous, fabulous, wealthy, or even well known. They are those who have been through storms and continue to serve God anyway. Stayed faithful through the extremes of life, refused to quit when others gave up. Overcomers are those who stand when they would rather turn around and run. These rugged people are scarred by life, having been through many broken 'emotional bones.' Time.... experiences..... and age has taught them many lessons about overcoming all things.
These are not those who glibly run along proclaiming blessing.... for life has times that will crumble the strongest souls if not deeply clasped to Christ. Overcomers are strong.... not because they are.... but because they have learned to lean into the Lord. These are those who have hidden themselves in Christ in the worst of times and can still carry on when the crisis is over.
It's not just jumping back up after a fall..... sometimes it's crawling to the Saviors Arms and staying there till the breath comes back.
'When I am weak then am I strong' - takes on a whole new light doesn't it? The devil hates this kind of Christian.... Overcomers like Job, David and Daniel. People like you.... who just refused to quit. Be an overcomer today..
"By reason of breakings they purify themselves" (Job 41:25).
God uses most for His glory those people and things which are most perfectly broken. The sacrifices He accepts are broken and contrite hearts. It was the breaking down of Jacob's natural strength at Peniel that got him where God could clothe him with spiritual power. It was breaking the surface of the rock at Horeb, by the stroke of Moses' rod that let out the cool waters to thirsty people.
It was when the 300 elect soldiers under Gideon broke their pitchers, a type of breaking themselves, that the hidden lights shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries. It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil, and poured it forth, that God multiplied it to pay her debts and supply means of support.
It was when Esther risked her life and broke through the rigid etiquette of a heathen court, that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death. It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them, that the bread was multiplied in the very act of breaking, sufficient to feed five thousand. It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box, rendering it henceforth useless, that the pent-up perfume filled the house. It was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken to pieces by thorns and nails and spear, that His inner life was poured out, like a crystal ocean, for thirsty sinners to drink and live.
It is when a beautiful grain of corn is broken up in the earth by DEATH, that its inner heart sprouts forth and bears hundreds of other grains. And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation, and all spiritual life, God must have BROKEN THINGS.
Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken ofttimes in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon, and using for God's glory.
"The lame take the prey," Isaiah tells us.
O break my heart; but break it as a field Is by the plough up-broken for the corn; O break it as the buds, by green leaf seated, Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn; Love would I offer unto Love's great Master, Set free the odor, break the alabaster.
O break my heart; break it victorious God, That life's eternal well may flash abroad; O let it break as when the captive trees, Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties; And as thought's sacred grove to life is springing, Be joys, like birds, their hope, Thy victory singing.
My favorite animal in all the world is the giraffe. The grace and beauty of these creations of God is amazing to see.
There is no awe like seeing these tall creatures as they run with their long legs.... gracefully.... with long necks elegantly moving. They actually look like they are flowing along the ground when a group is running together. I love it!
Recently in ministry at Prophet Michael Constantine's church - we were able to enjoy so many different things. The Presence of the Lord, a wonderful service, our friends, and my favorite animal! An unique place for a unique ministry!
It was a special day for us!
Sweet memories of our African missionary days...
Travels with other friends into the bush to watch the giraffes in the African sunsets. Sharing meager meals around campfires, late evenings in the wild listening to the night sounds of animals coming close to the watering holes. Spending time in the back of a Jeep watching the tall grasses to catch glimpses of them. And when they swing into view up close they take my breath away they are so gorgeous! Holding my baby daughter and watching their huge eyes watch us in their natural habitat. And seeing our Angela look up at them unafraid.. was always magical to me. Where ever they are found in Africa they are always the same...so beautiful to me. Precious memories now forever in my mind.
Thanks Lord for an unexpected surprise at a guest church!! You never cease to make me smile!
The breeze was blowing softly and the sounds of the birds the only backdrop to my voice. Teaching the African women out in the bush is a wonderful time, as they are open and very receptive to Bible teaching. On this day I taught about being God's woman. Every eye is direct contact, every ear tuned intently to hearing well. No ones mind wanders..... no one is a distraction.... everyone is in one accord. Setting on the ground on grass mats is not a problem. Waving away the occasional fly does not disturb them. They will stay as long as I will teach....my interpreter works right alongside me with a smile and a tender heart.
I miss this.
The American Christian could learn so much from these humble people who really are hungry for God. Their wisdom has far greater implications for a life of faith.. than the wealthy western Christian who spend all of life only on selfish behaviors and lifestyles.
Affliction comes to us all, not to make us sad, but sober; not to make us sorry, but to make us wise; not to make us despondent, but by its darkness to refresh us as the night refreshes the day; not to impoverish, but to enrich us.
The storm is furious and the waves horrific in their height and murderous up-swept drowning power- striking the ship. It's pitch black with inky depths giving the white flash of light only from the lighting that strikes above in some distant cloud. The battering rams of liquid force pound the ancient wooden boards with certain death. A watery form of dying is the highest thought of those on board this old vessel. Over and over the waters lift to heights beyond control and crash down spilling thousands of gallons of shocking cold water upon the souls holding on inside for dear life. Fear and terror clutches the hands and hearts of each on in the storm. It seems to never end...... the power of the storm.... the fear of total collapse...heart pounding and eyes dilated each one searches the faces of others for any form of comfort to be had. But alas all are in the same straits of gripping horror.
The carved face of the woman set upon the bow of the ship looks steadily towards the heavens, as if she knows who is in control. The waves cover her upswept face only to wash away to gather again to strike. The gentle face stares unblinkingly at the storm forever settles in wooden grains of a half smile, never failing to watch the horizon in the midst of the raging sea.
Then I hear the sweet tender voice of the Lord......
See this from my view. See the praise of the waves, the lift and power of the waters that carry you in the midst of the authority that looks to be in control. Yet I am with you.... yet I am with you. The drama of this dance with death cannot but bring you closer in my destiny for you. The strange sounds of danger are but the operatic voices of the deep adding their depth to the sound stage of your life. Let the storm carry you in it's heights and depths. Let go of your fears and dreads, put your hand upon faith. Can you watch the height and depth with ease? The calling of the stormy depths may give sounding tones of terror and the wind fiercely whipping your hearing beyond understanding. The spray of the waves may drench and the drag of the waters overflow...
Yet to the one held safely in my arms will only be carried further into My Plans. The praise of the waves will forever be used of Me, by Me and for Me. For I am Lord even of the Storm. This can only carry you forward in Me...
The last time I wrote about this subject I received strong 'rebukes' from people who don't support God's work in a consistent biblical manner. My brother Alan shared this most informative article with me and I am posting it here. Prayerful people who read this will immediately agree and obey.. please feel free to copy and repost...
5 REASONS WHY I BELIEVE TITHING IS A NEW TESTAMENT PRACTICE
1. JESUS SAID TO TITHE.
While rebuking the Pharisees, who tithed meticulously, our Lord said that tithing should be done, providing that more important matters like justice, mercy, faith and the love of God were also observed.
"Woe to you scribes and pharisees hypocrites!
For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.
These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
"But woe to you Pharisees!
For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs,
and pass by justice and the love of God.
These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
These rebuked Pharisees were being corrected by the Lord Jesus for using tithing as a substitute for true devotion to God and His people.
Therefore He rebuked them for what amounted to being a religious cover-up, yet still He reiterated tithing's importance.
2. JESUS SAID TO MAKE DISCIPLES AND TO TEACH THEM TO OBSERVE EVERYTHING HE COMMANDED.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;.... '
This certainly would include everything He had said earlier about tithing.
In the following New Testament passage, the writer refers to a story recorded in
"For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God,
who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all,
first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem,
meaning "king of peace," without father, without mother, without genealogy,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God,
remains a priest continually.
4) Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils."
This passage is drawing a comparison between the person, priesthood and kingship of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ; who is also our Priest of the Most High God; continually having "neither beginning of days nor end of life."
From these verses alone, we do not know - for sure - if Melchizedek was an angel or the Lord Jesus Himself; manifested as what some theologians might call a "theophany". However, what we do understand is that he personified a king and priest like the Lord Jesus would be.
Melchizadek's name meant "king of righteousness" and he was king of a place called Salem, which means peace; thus making him even more like Jesus, also a king of righteousness and peace.
Notice that this comparison is being made with someone living before the Law.
This New Testament chapter goes on to say, "Here mortal men receive tithes but there he receives them to whom it is witnessed that he lives." HEBREWS 7:8
4. TITHING PRE-EXISTED THE LAW AS DID OTHER THINGS THE LAW INCLUDED, WHICH JESUS LATER FULFILLED, BUT IT IS ONE OF A FEW THINGS THAT HE DID NOT FULFILL.
The list below shows some things that pre-existed the Law of Moses which were included in it.
EIGHT PRE-EXISTING THINGS THAT THE LAW INCLUDED
Sabbath Gen. 2:2
Animal sacrifices Gen. 3:21
Praying Gen. 4:26
Tithing Gen. 14:20
Faith Gen. 15:6
Circumcision Gen. 17:12
Passover Ex. 12:21
Singing Ex. 15:1
The next list shows some of those things that Jesus fulfilled
FOUR THINGS IN THE LAW THATJESUS FULFILLED
Sabbath Matt. 11:28
Animal sacrifices Heb. 9:12
Circumcision Col.2:11-12 .
Passover 1 Cor. 5:7
From the second list's first Scripture reference above - MATTHEW 11:28 - one can see how Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath by offering us rest that only He can give, available to those in close relationship to Him.
The second Scripture reference, HEBREWS 9:12 says that Jesus offered His blood once for all, so that we could have eternal redemption, (something animal sacrifices could never do).
Thirdly, COLOSSIANS 2:11-12 speaks of the circumcision of Christ that is done in our lives without human hands. .
And fourthly, 1 CORINTHIANS 5:7 says that Christ is our Passover who was sacrificed for us. Deeper study reveals that Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of this Jewish feast.
This leaves us with four things from the above list of eight, that I believe are relevant as New Testament practices for today.
There are some other things - like repentance and parenting - that were a part of pre-law Old Testament Godly living which were not fulfilled by Jesus and are still to be a part of New Testament life.
5. THE GIVING OF THE EARLY CHURCH EXCEEDED TITHING.
Now all who believed were together,
and divided them among all,
Nor was there anyone among them
who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands
NOTICE: not one of them" lacked".
The issue of giving and honesty, during this season when the early church gave everything, while living communally, was so important that two people died for lying about their giving. (ACTS 5).
While Bible believing readers may not all agree with everything said here, my hope is that these words will at least help put an end to the belief that tithing is absolutely nowhere in the New Testament.
Having served the Lord’s purposes with the same congregation for the last 20 years, I can testify that we have offering boxes and no longer do we pass offering baskets unless it is for something special; like for supporting ministries beyond our own congregational needs.
This is made possible by the Lord’s provision through committed believers who believe in tithing and therefore do not have to be asked for money; or bribed with blessings nor threatened with curses.
By the way, not one in our congregation lives in poverty, so we are able to give thousands of dollars away every year, both locally and internationally, to help the poor and to spread the Gospel.