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Praise
I’m so thankful that God does not see us for our mistakes, but He sees us in our redempted state (brother and sisters in Christ) and expected end. He said, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11
So, if you have strayed a bit from the Gospel, it’s time to turn around and face the father. He has been asking about you. He told me to tell you that He loves you and that He has never stopped loving you. In fact, He loves even more now.
In this world in which we live, we have to start all over again when we leave a place and have the grace to return, but this is not the case with our Father.  In His word, God says, “…Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”~ Zecharian 1:3. It’s that easy.
Stay blessed and don’t beat yourself up with the guilt of sin. Ask for forgiveness and return Him. Lean on Him who is your convering, comforter, and friend in time of need. He loves you. ~Peace
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In Spite of…

Good morning. I was thinking to myself how the Holy Spirit can use us best when we are at our weakest. Yes, there are times that I fall short of the glory, and I’m certain that I am not in the minority; we all fall short from time to time. Sometimes, we fall and even take our time getting back up. However, in spite of our foolishness and weakness of the flesh, God still finds a way to use us in our daily lives. We only have to be willing and open. We also have to not only ask for forgiveness from God, but forgive ourselves and realize that we are not perfect; however, we are perfected in Him through Christ Jesus. “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until athe day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Keep pressing my friends (Philippians 3:14).

Stay Blessed,

Stephen

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“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Heb 10:25

Because of travel and family matters, I have not been able to attend church service for the past two weeks; I can feel it. I thank God for growth because there was time when that wouldn’t have mattered.   Now, I see it as an opportunity to share in His love and to receive a corporate word.  It is where I fill up and take with me to distribute to the people.  I thank God that I am going this morning.  I look forward to what is in store. Have a blessed and wonderful day.  Peace~

Photo:  Belmont Baptist Church: Old family church in Eastern North Carolina. This old building is no longer being used.  They have a new church building.

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2012: The Year of Decision

“…And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  ~Joshua 24:15

2012 is the year of decision.  This year, we must decide who we will serve.  Yes, we must choose sides.  For too long, we have done like the poet in Frost’s poem and decided not to take either road.  We have skipped down that road of indecision and self-gratification for far too long.  NOW, it is time to serve the true and living God you profess.  If we call ourselves “Christians” or “Born-Again” then we should live as someone who knows who he or she is in Christ.

Christ said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).  In order to keep His commandments – I’m not talking about just the 10 Commandments – we must read His word.  Furthermore, we must believe all of His Word and not just some of His Word.  His Word is TRUTH  and there is so much He has to show to us through that living Word and His Holy Spirit.

Let us get rid of the saying, “I’m only human,” and remember that we are sons of the living God (Galatians 3:26) and there is nothing in that which is only human (1 Peter 1:23).  Peace ~

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To Give and Forgive

Forgive me father.  After I leave the college for the afternoon, I sometime stop at the local café to get a cup of coffee.    Whenever I go, I see a young man, who seems fit and he seems to have his mind.  In other words, there seems to be no sign of mental illness.  Nevertheless, he hangs around the coffee shop and he asks for money.  I have given him money on occasion, and I have also witnessed to him about the goodness of Christ.  He began to speak of the religion he believes and questioned my belief in Christ as Lord and Savior.  I patiently explained to him my reason for the hope that is in me.  He shied away for a while but soon began to ask again for money.  After a while, his daily encounters and request for money became somewhat of a burden.  I began to feel as if I were paying a toll every time I saw him. 

This situation soon caused me to become resentful of this man; now, I will not give him any money.  I simply reply with “no.”  This doesn’t seem to bother him because there are others who will give.  However, this situation has caused me to look at self.  I like to think of myself as someone who is led by the Spirit, so I refuse to feel guilty.  However, I pray that God will continue to give me wisdom and continue to guide me in my thoughts and words.  I pray that I will approach others and treat them with the love of Christ — The love that God has poured inside of me.

Also, I pray for that brother – I pray that he also receives wisdom.  I pray that God will help him out of the limitations that seem to hold him captive and in poverty.  Finally, I pray that God will forgive me for judging him in my heart.  Again, Father, please forgive me.  I have no right to decide who should or shouldn’t ask for money.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

Note:  I welcome any comments about your experiences with giving and how God taught you something through those experiences.  Enjoy your weekend.  Peace~