Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Testimony

This weekend our Pastor challenged us to share our testimony with those we cared about on social media. If you know me you know I love a challenge.  And if you didn’t know I do care about you!

So here is my stab at doing that.

Please don’t hate, I am talking about me not anyone else. I am just sharing my lousy life before Christ.  I will use the following way to share this with you because I care and I want you to know that I was not always the guy in the white hat.  As a matter of fact my hat was so black that I was shame to even share where I was and I really was not a very nice person to know.

  • Before I trusted Christ
  • How I trusted Christ
  • Since I trusted Christ

Before I trusted Christ

  • My outlook on life was dark
  • My behavior was wicked and ugly
  • I treated others as pawns on a chess board
  • Sin had me twisted up or entangled, things like lust, cussing, rebellion, disrespect, fear, dirty mind and thinking, porn, hate, backbiting, etc.
  • I was tired of the way I lived
  • I wanted to do right but just couldn’t
  • I turn over a new leaf only to do again and again with no results
  • I was at a point where I needed saving or else

How I trusted Christ

  • I really heard the Word of God that stated,
    • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NLT)
    • We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous, He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”  (Romans 3:22-24 NLT)
  • I admitted that I was wrong
  • I repented of my evil ways
    • Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NLT)
  • I acted on what I heard by believing on the name of Christ
  • I received him as my personal savior
  • I prayed and ask God to forgive me for the way I had being living and for all my wicked deeds that he could clearly see because he sees our hearts
  • I know now that I am forgiven based on His Word that states, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn–not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.“(John 1:12, 13 NLT)
  • I am truly thankful for the new life

Since I’ve trusted Christ

  • My outlook on life is now one of hope and brighter
  • I know how to really love others now
  • I put Christ first in the major areas of my life
  • I am taking steps to separate from sin daily
  • I am regular in applying the Word of God to my life with the help of the Holy Spirit
  • I maintain a consistent devotional life and I am growing in faith and really working on being a better intercessory who prays for others, still need some work in this area
  • I demonstrate Christ’s love by identifying with and serving other believers
  • I am openly identified with Jesus Christ where I live, work, and play
  • I am a learner who is now open and teachable
  • I am a visible follower and learner of Jesus Christ, and I am constantly working on being consistent and faithful in all of the above areas

Well that’s it I promise even with the issues of life I still see a brighter tomorrow and I am encouraged.

 

Income & high interest rates

Proverbs 28:8

Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor

“Payday lenders average interest on a loan to a low income person is 574 percent, we are the third highest in the nation.”

http://www.kdlt.com/2016/11/02/battle-over-payday-loan-interest-rate/

Example of the high interest rates for the poor:

Ramon Zayas was suffering from prostate cancer and facing mounting bills.

“I had to pay the electric bill, or have the lights turned off,” Zayas said.

So he and his wife got a $250 payday loan from an online lender 500 FASTCASH. It charged an annual interest rate of 476 percent. Zayas thought he was paying off the loan, but confusing fees, and the high interest eventually pushed the cost to $125 a month – on a $250 loan. Like a lot of people, he couldn’t keep up with the soaring costs.

“I borrowed $250, I thought I was going to pay $325,” Zayas said. “I actually paid $700, but it would have been $1,100 had I not gone to the bank and put a stop to this.”

Because of cases like this, 17 states have effectively banned payday lending. But Ramon Zayas’ lender is shielded from state laws because 500 FastCash is owned by an Indian tribe. Today, an estimated 30 online payday lenders partner with American Indian tribes.

From <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-payday-lenders-pull-off-crippling-rates/>

I can’t even imagine paying this type of interest, I have heard of this but to see it in black and white is shocking.  Yet our leaders are allowing this to go on.  Even allowing loop holes for the pay day loan industry to get around the unfairness of charging such high interest rates to those who are already struggling.  Yikes!!!

This goes on every day without fail and the poor are getting poorer!

Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty Pr. 28:22

Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity Pr. 28:26

Those who trust their own insight are foolish but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe Pr. 28:26

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability. Pr. 28:2

Memory Verse:  Proverbs 28:20 “The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.”

Live Bountifully

Source: Gen. 9:6-7Whoever sheds human blood,; Because God made humans in his image; You’re here to bear fruit, reproduce,;  lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!”;  reflecting God’s very nature.

According to this verse we should not:

  • Shed human blood

We should :

  • Bear fruit
  • Reproduce
  • Lavish life on the Earth
  • Live bountifully
  • Reflect God’s very nature

 

Denial

Denial defined: refusal to recognize or acknowledge; a disowning or disavowal

Synonyms for denial noun dismissal, refusal of belief in:

Antonyms for denial

denial3a

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus.

Note:

John that other disciple

Was one of the sons of thunder his brother James was the other (Luke 9:54) (the sons of Zebedee)

Strengths and accomplishments

  • Before following Jesus one of John the Baptist’s disciples
  • One of the 12 disciples
  • One of the inner three closest to Jesus
  • Wrote five New Testament books:
    • The Gospel of John
    • 1, 2, 3 John
    • Revelation

Weaknesses and mistakes

  • Along with James, shared a tendency to outburst of selfishness and anger
  • Asked for a special position in Jesus Kingdom

Lessons from his life:

  • Those who realize how much they are loved are able to love much
  • When God changes a life, he does not take away personality characteristics, but puts them to effective use in his service

 

16 Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in.

17 The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?”

“No,” he said, “I am not.”

18 Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.

Note:

  • Natural though this was, and safe enough, had he only “watched and prayed that he enter not into temptation,” as his Master bade Him (Mat. 26:41) it was, in his case a fatal step

Mat. 26:40b and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

Mat. 26:41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Ref: Luke 22:32, 32 Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not

What does Prayer do?

  • Prayer makes me wait (Swindoll)
    • It forces me to leave the situation with God
  • Prayer clears my vision Neh. 1:5
    • It burns through the foggy situation
    • My vision will clear up so that I can see through God’s eyes
    • It clarifies any problem we may be facing
    • It clarifies God’s great power to help me and you
    • It clarifies the job that must be done
  • Prayer quiets my heart Ps. 62:3-6
    • It replaces anxiety with a calm spirit
    • Knees don’t knock when we kneel on them!
  • Prayer activates my faith Mark 9:29
    • It sets my faith on fire
  • Prayer demonstrates our reliance on God as we humbly invite God to fill us with faith and power

There is no substitute for prayer, especially in circumstances that seem unconquerable

Effective prayer needs both an attitude of complete dependence and an action – asked

(What prayer does thoughts from Hand me down another brick by Chuck Swindoll)

Results of Denial

Why deny your great friend?

Vital areas of our lives

Why I Practice The Power of Prayer

I practiced the power of prayer because I really needed help in accomplishing the purpose of my life.  By the way, I did not really know what my purpose was other than existing day to day.

After really practicing the Power of Prayer I realize that my primary purpose was to first and foremost search for God and seek his will for my life and then bring him praise and worship.

I practice the power of prayer because I didn’t know God’s purpose for me in these areas of my life:

  • Family
  • Financial
  • Career
  • Physical and health
  • Social and cultural
  • Spiritual and ethical

I did not even think about these areas until after I was marry and our first born child was a teenager, yikes!

How does one go from a an unimpressive kid who dropped out of school at the eleventh grade, from Fort Worth Texas, go on to becoming a military member with over 20 years of service, retiring with distinguish service awards, to Century 21 Real Estate agent, to Janitor, to Lead sales Associate, to Computer and Video Director responsible for 4 campus for a major university, to Director of housing responsible for three division within a community action agency, who with the help of his team won 2 million dollar projects to build affordable homes in two different counties in Missouri, to an adjunct professor with over 10 years of service, to youth leader to youth pastor with over 20 years of successes and failures in helping others to raise their children in to spiritual mature and successful adults.

How does one become accomplish in all these things when ones start in life is so meager and unimpressive?  By practicing the Power of Prayer.

Prayer defined

Prayer is asking and receiving, it is talking with God, and it’s making your request known unto Him in faith

Prayer is asking and receiving when you do not know the will of God regarding a need, whether it be material or spiritual

Power defined

The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to help us with our daily problems.  When you feel weak and limited, don’t despair.  Remember that God can give you strength.  The Power that controls creation and raises the dead is available to you. (Note on Psalms 29:10, 11 pg. 976  Life Application Study Bible)

What or Who guides your Life?

I know, I am always talking about the fruit of the spirit, but this is so important, If we don’t let God’s Spirit direct us in every area of our lives we end up looking very foolish and claiming to be Christians but acting like the world or even worst the children of the devil.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.

And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.

These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:

  •  love
  •  joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

Galatians 5:16-18, 22-26 NLT

In the list above which do or did you have trouble with?

My nemeses was self-control, faithfulness, and gentleness. What a struggle these were in my younger life, I have not arrived as of yet but I really am working on dying to self and allowing God’s Spirit to control every area of my life. I would like to tell you all that I have won in these areas but then I would look like a fool when I have a flesh attack, especially when I am declaring victory in these areas. When I know for sure that the battle is not over until I leave this world. Sorry love-ones just telling like is.

From the JAR – The 10 Commandments (Do not Covet)

Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.

10 Basic Rules for Life

Notes:

  • To covet is to wish to have the possessions of others
  • It goes beyond simply admiring someone else’s possessions or thinking, I’d like to have one of those
  • Coveting includes envy resenting the fact that others have what you don’t
  • God knows however, that possessions never make anyone happy for long
  • Since only God can supply all our needs, true contentment is found only in him
  • When you begin to feel covetous, try to determine if a more basic need is standing behind your envy.  For example, you may covet someone’s success, not because you want to take it away from him, but because you would like to feel as appreciated by others as he is.  If this is the case, pray that God will help you deal with your resentment and meet your basic needs *1
  • Jesus says that the good life has nothing to do with being wealthy, so beware of covetousness (greedy desire for what we don’t have)
  • This is the exact opposite of what society usually says
  • Advertisers spend millions of dollars to entice us to think that if we buy more and more of their products, we will be happier, more in tune, more comfortable
  • How do you respond to the constant pressure to buy?
  • Learn to tune out expensive enticements and concentrate on the truly good life–living in a relationship with God and doing his work *2
  • Despite almost overwhelming evidence to the contrary, most people still believe that money brings happiness
  • Rich people craving greater riches can be caught in an endless cycle that only ends in ruin and destruction
  • How can you keep away from the love of money?
  • Paul gives us some guidelines:
    • realize that one day riches will all be gone (1 Tim. 6:7, 17)
    • be content with what you have (1 Tim. 6:8)
    • monitor what you are willing to do to get more money (1 Tim. 6:9, 10)
    • love people more than money (1 Tim. 6:11)
    • love God’s work more than money (1 Tim. 6:11)
    • freely share what you have with others 1 Tim. 6:18)
  • This is the key to spiritual growth and personal fulfilment
  • We should honor God and center our lives on him (godliness, see Matthew 6:33)
  • And we should be content with what God is doing in our lives (contentment, see Philippians 4:11-13) *3
  • Having too much money can be dangerous, but so can having too little
  • Being poor can, in fact, be hazardous to spiritual as well as physical health
  • On the other hand, being rich is not the answer
  • As Jesus pointed out, rich people have trouble getting into God’s Kingdom (Matthew 19:23, 24)
  • Like Paul, we can learn how to be abassed or how to abound (Philppians 4:12), but our lives are more likely to be effective if we have neither too much nor too little money *4

Ref. Verses:

Luke 12:15

Rom. 7:7 – 14; 13:8 – 10

Eph. 5:3 – 7

1 Tim. 6:6-10

Heb. 13:5

Proverbs 30:7-9

*1 Notes from Life Application Study Bible notes on Exodus 20:17, pg.143

*2 Notes from Life Application Study Bible notes on Luke 12:15, pg. 1751

*3 Notes from Life Application Study Bible notes on 1 Timothy 6:6-10

*4 Notes from Life Application Study Bible notes on Proverbs 30:7-9, pg. 1124