Monday, December 30, 2013

Pastor Appreciation 2013

As we end this year's Pastor Appreciation, we will continue it on daily into 2014 and until the Lord returns.

In these days its hard to find someone who give up something small for another. Here at BTAC we have a family that gave up all (and still do) for the people of God.

You will always have ups and downs in your life, but when you're living for God, there is nothing like it. You know He is your answer, by your side and in the end the worth of it all.


Here is a presentaton that is precious to our hearts and we hope it blesses yours.

[Jer 3:15 KJV] 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Submitted by: Tina Marie

Presentation by: Rebekah Rudzinskas

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Of Mole Hills and Mountains

“There are very few certainties that touch us all in this mortal experience, but one of the absolutes is that we will experience hardship and stress at some point.” Dr. James C. Dobson

Stress...that six letter word floating at the top of the bowl in this alphabet soup we call, 'life'. No matter how much we try to skim the letters off the top, there seems to arise from below another set of these same six letters to take its place! And herein may really lie the problem...its not just how we think about a situation of life, but what we think upon that keeps the soup simmering. Byron Katie said, "Rather than understand the original cause—a thought—we try to change the stressful feelings by looking outside ourselves." If the truth be grasped, known, and understood, most all our problems originate with 'our thoughts'. There is a saying that goes as follows: "Watch your thoughts, they become your words; Watch your words, they become your actions; Watch your actions, they become your habits; Watch your habits, they become your character; and your character becomes your destiny." Like some cosmic domino affect, EVERYTHING begins with a thought! Our thoughts frame the world in which we live. They create our world long before we begin to speak our world into existence. Long before you brutally assaulted your friend, spouse, or child with those verbally charged words of hurt and pain, the anger was resting in your bosom. The words are and were inevitably linked to a stewing anger that finally boiled over onto the fragments of your life.
So, as the myriad of self help and positive thinking pundits have continually tried to persuade us to do over the years, if we would change our thoughts or the way we think, then the obvious result is a change of course in our destiny. If this holds true, then it should not be a surprise to find the Bible is full of Holy Writ admonishing us to change the way we think. In Philippians, the Apostle Paul commands us to 'THINK on these things!' "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." ~ (Philippians 4:8) With the onslaught of negativity all of us must endure from within our own hearts, it is not surprising to see Paul admonishing us to think of positive things.
Job, a man who endured some horrific stress in his life said, "Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble." ~ (Job 14:1) If we could truly tap into the basic understanding of Job's words. Stress is as much apart of life as life itself. None of us will ever avoid stress or be dissolved of stressful situations, but if we UNDERSTAND this, then we shouldn't be so moved when stress hits our lives! "How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish." ~ (Catherine Pulsifer) We may not have control over to all that happens to us, but we do have control over our responses! "Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose." (Maureen Killoran) I have always found it amazing to read of others who were confronted with life threatening adversity, and yet, are not overtaken by it, but enjoy the power of life and living within the stressful grasp of such wayward winds. Take a man by the name of Viktor Frankl, who was truly a victim of the Nazi Holocaust. Imprisoned, oppressed, and surrounded by death itself, Viktor Frankl lived to tell its tale. "The experiences of camp life show that a man does have a choice of action. There were enough examples, often of a heroic nature, which proved that apathy could be overcome, irritability suppressed. Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress. We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity—even in the most difficult circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to life." Wow...and with this picture fresh in our minds, dare I say or write, how many of us live in a concentration camp of our own makings. Though we are not trapped, we are trapped. Immobilized within the walls of our own oppressor and consumed by the tragedy of its fears.
Over the years I have not only heard it said, but deem it to be a truth...that well up to ninety-seven percent of what we worry about never comes to past. Most of us have been beaten down by our minds, minds that have been filled with a broad brush of illuminating imaginations, only to find the painting that was painted never did warrant so much color. Catherine Pulsifer said, "When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go." In the 'big picture' of life we cheat ourselves of truly living by majoring in minors and minoring in majors. And if the truth would be known, the mountain we are so intensely climbing is a mole hill of angst and stressful thoughts of our own making.
Joshua L. Liebman echoed Job's words by saying, "Maturity is achieved when a person accepts life as full of tension." We must learn to stop thinking that every rain drop is the beginning of a torrential down pour. "Even to much sunshine can be devasting, while only with rain can growth occur. Accept both as part of the growing process in the garden of life." (Donald S. Neviaser) Today, its time to bring your life back into balance. A balance that allows you to live fully and achieve the HIGH CALLING a MIGHTY God has called you hereunto! Sure, its stressful to 'take up one's cross' but don't be discouraged...on the other side of the cross, there is a resurrection!
 
Submitted by: Elder David Green

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blissful

The 'Blissful' Fires of Ignorance...NOT!

Ignorance is never out of style. It was in fashion yesterday, it is the rage today and it will set the pace tomorrow. ~ Frank Dane

Thomas Jefferson said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." To be ignorant is to be lacking information or knowledge. An ignorant person may be smart in some areas, but still 'in the dark' in other areas. For the most part, in this day of information overload, it is probably difficult to be knowledgeable in ALL areas. Our minds have been over so saturated with a plethora of information it is becoming more and more difficult to even recognize 'truth' anymore. From junk science to government propaganda, our lives have been assaulted beyond measure. But this should come as no surprise. In a prophetic utterance, Daniel said, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." THIS is the age we live in. The age of 'running to and fro' and the rat race has us so mentally helter skeltered that life itself is losing its true meaning. Material things, pleasures, entertainment, and such like have become the pseudo replacement for life's yardstick of the essence of life itself.

Is it possible that we are so caught up in the temporal world that life itself is measured only by our senses? The idea that living is only measured by what we feel, taste, touch, smell, and see has flipped everything upside down. The chase to fulfill any meaning in life through sensual obtainment is and will always be never ending. There will always be a another 'high' to chase. There will always be another newfangled fad to follow. There will always be a continued push for a pulling out of the wallet. In the Book of Proverbs, written by a man who had everything imaginable to his flesh, said this..."Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied." (Proverbs 27:20) Like burning fires, there are appetites within us that desire 'things' and pleasures. Those in know, corporations, advertisers, government agencies, and similar entities, have long known how to use and control us through our appetites. It doesn't take much to bring a dying fire back to life. Toss in a few pieces of wood and the fire is 'satisfied' and comes raging back to life. Yet the problem still remains, the new wood will burn off and again, and the fire will need more wood to continue its burning.

I find it interesting how George Washington described government as a fire. The Father of our Country said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." Here he likened government like a fire. Fire (government) is good if used properly. There are many beneficial uses for fire, if contained and restrained. But once fire (government) leaps past the pit and border of rocks it was corralled within, then who knows where or who it will burn! Such are the passions of men! Contained within us are a myriad of fires which many, if used properly, are beneficial, but when left unrestrained, these passionate fires wreck havoc on our surroundings and God's creation. As unrestrained government leads to oppression, so does unrestrained lusts bring a man into bondage unto his own fires. This is easily revealed by a quick look of the world around us. The cornucopia of men and women bound by the fires of alcohol, drug, and similar addictions is clear evidence that the appetites of men have leaped up out of the pit, over the ROCK, and has become an out of control forest fire of spiritual decay and burning!

Dr. Don Colbert wrote a book that says. "What You Don't Know May Be Killing You"... but I would have to say that what you don't know IS killing you! It is easy to claim 'I am a victim' and in this day and age, where everyone is a victim, you may even win a 'victimhood' trophy to put on your mantel. Elbert Hubbard said, “The recipe for perpetual ignorance is a very simple and effective one: be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge” So if you were to truly examine yourself, your life, and the choices you have made, is it possible you have become ignorant to the impact of these choices have had upon your life? Is it possible you are still making choices that feed the fires of your problems? Is it possible the real problem resides within you? As the song says...have you been looking for love in all the wrong places?
A man by the name of Derek Bok said, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Think of what your ignorance has costs you over the years. If the definition of insanity is doing the same behavior over and over again and expecting something different, then why do you continually look for some temporal thing or person to be the impetus of change for your life? Life is NOT measured by temporal things nor can it be truly lived by the things one gained. Though, at the end of life, one may garner to himself the most toys...yet in the end, that man is still dead, and as I have yet to witness, I have never seen a U-Haul following a Hurst at a funeral.

"The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about." (Wayne Dyer) The Lord said in Matthew 4:4, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." When was the last time you picked up your Bible and read it? Remember, the world would have you unrestrained and your fires raging hot. There is much money to be had when the fires are burning bright and hot! The world has pieces of wood to feed your desires, but in the end, what has your out of control fire ever gotten you? The Lord also said in Matthew 16:26, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" YOU make the calculations! YOU add it up! YOU must balance the budget on the ledger of you own life! In YOUR life, only you can say whether the exchange rate has been fair! Maybe today, its time to make an honest summation of your life's choices and finally, once and for all, put out the forest fires of your life!

Submitted by: Elder David Green

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankfulness

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today we take the time out of our busy schedules to gather the moments of our lives and family together to give 'thanks'. To give thanks for our blessings, of which, we have many. Though today, for one day, we stop to 'smell the roses' of our lives and slow down enough to 'see' how blessed we really are and how much all of us take for granted. I looked up the definition of gratitude and gratitude was defined as a 'feeling' of thankfulness and appreciation. Although I agree with the definition, and maybe if I pulled the definition from another source, I may find a different interpretation, but when I saw the word being defined as a feeling, it opened up, what I think, is an answer to another door of understanding in this journey we call life. If being thankful or grateful is just a feeling, then maybe herein lies the root to many of our problems associated with the dilemmas of our lives.

Today we will pause to stop and think on all the good things and blessings in our lives. From being grateful for a warm house and a roof over our heads to each and every family member we embrace, all of us will take a moment to reflect on the good. We will temporarily let go of the 'bad' and only focus on the many things we are thankful for. How many times have we taken a day like today and looked back at all the 'little' things in life and then realized those 'little' things were actually big things? The crazy thing about all of this thankfulness is the fact that all of these things we are thankful for don't just seem to materialize on this day, but they are in our lives every day of the year. From the faithfulness of the rising sun to all the precious relationships we overlook on a daily basis, they are not there on just one day a year, but they have and will always be there. Because of the 'rat race' this life seems to spin by us so fast that the turmoil of each day sometimes leaves us wandering and wondering. So I understand the necessity of a day like today. One day to stop and 'smell the roses' and take one day, out of three hundred sixty-five days, and focus on the blessings of our lives. And herein is the key, today we will spend some time focusing on what we are either not able or refuse to focus on during the other three hundred sixty-four days out of the year. Every year, we take this day and dwell for the moment on our blessings and we are able to make an adjustment on our lives. We refresh ourselves with the positive and in reality, we make an 'attitude' adjustment that reevaluates our perspective. We take a deep breath and say to ourselves, 'it really isn't as bad as I thought it was' and we become thankful. When we actually stop and take this time to focus on the blessings in our lives, it changes our perspective. The question then is why don't we do it more often? If being thankful changes our perspective and brings a refreshing in our lives, then why do we wait so long to be thankful? Why do we not start our day by counting our blessings rather than being continually consumed by our doubts and fears? or overwhelmed by getting what we want and not having what we may or may not need? In Philippians 4:8 the scripture says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." There are also countless other scriptures that admonish us to be thankful and in everything to give thanks, and yet we never seem to stay in a place of being thankful for too long. Is it possible this and other scriptures tells us to think on these things because we are so prone to think on the opposite and it is in our nature to dwell more on the negative aspects of our lives than on the positives? God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds today, and not just today, but every day we have opportunity to 'stop and smell the roses'. If every day brings us 86,400 seconds can we not stop and take one second to be thankful? The flowers of gratefulness and thanksgiving are always in our midst as we walk through the garden of our lives but its up to us to stop and smell them. If thankfulness changes our perspective and brings about a more quality of life, is it not worth a second or two to do so? What if you and I woke every morning and before we planted our feet on the floor of a new day, we took a deep breath and thanked God for the breath we just took. I believe it to be true that gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Gratitude is a key that unlocks a door of living life to its fullest. It turns what we have into enough, and more. Gratitude is the energy of faith. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Being grateful for the tiny details of your lives will help make room for unexpected and beautiful blessings because as there is no doubt if you are not thankful for what you have, it isn't likely you will be thankful for you are going to get.

Today, I am in agreement with with William Arthur Ward who said, "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." Gratitude is MORE than a feeling, but gratitude is an action. If you are thankful and it is not expressed in your life, then you have missed the power of it's hidden blessing and the blessing of gratitude can only be enjoyed when it is expressed in an action! So Happy Thanksgiving to all who have taken the time to read this today. May today be more than just another day, but let today be the beginning of a new day of expressing gratitude and not just on this one day but let it be on a continual basis of giving thanks for all you have and all the gifts you have to give your fellow man. And always remember, if you want to turn your life around, that on any day of the year, try thankfulness, because it is the one thought you can put in action that will change your life in a mighty way!
Submitted by: Elder David Green
 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Streetcar Named Desire


In 1951, "A Street Car Named Desire" hit the movie screens starring Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando. History now considers this film to be one of the all time classics of cinema. It was and it is, but I am not wanting to discuss the movie as much as the thought the title of the movie brought to my mind this morning. When one thinks of the word...desire and what the word desire means, it prompts a myriad of inspirational thoughts in my mind. The word desire is a noun which means, an inclination to want things or the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state. To desire is to want. To desire something will set in motion a plethora of machinations within us to set about to obtain that inward urge or need. Desire is truly set within the appetites of the human condition. No doubt desire and the word, hunger are mutual in their meanings and pursuits. But desire, at least to me, seems to have a deeper spiritual meaning. It is not just a want, but it is a deeper 'inner man' psyche of the persona of who we really are and where we really want to go.

The cliche, 'Where there is a will, there is a way.' also seems apropos when discussing the nature of desire. As a child I can remember the day when my step-dad quit smoking cigarettes. He walked in from work and said he quit smoking and from that day on he never smoked another cigarette again. He told all of us that he threw his last pack of cigarettes in the trash can and he was done. No gimmicks, no drugs, no hypnosis...nothing but sheer desire to quit smoking surged him forward to obtaining his goal. This incident of my childhood, to this day, still points to the incredible power of a person's desire! Henry Hazlitt said, 'A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.' I have witnessed over the years many seemingly impossible things get accomplished merely because there was a will to get it done or a desire to make a way. It seems clear to me, if you cannot tap into the desire of a person, then it is almost impossible to move them. Andrew Carnegie seemed to feel the same way...'There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb himself.' But if you can fuel the fire of their desire, somehow connect what is to be accomplished to match and attach itself to their desires...well, its almost a forgone conclusion it will get done. The scripture says in Proverbs 18:1, "Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom."

Too many people try to look outside of themselves for their driving motivation, when the reality of their world truly lies within themselves. We can attend seminars, self help classes, and even sit under anointed preaching, but if our own desire is not sparked, then most of what we hear will  merely remain hollow words of little use. Simply put, we are the street car named desire. All of us, day in and day out, reveal who we are by what we do with our bodies and our spirits. Clearly, a person shows what he is by what he does with what he has. The Apostle Paul said that we should '...run that we may obtain'. So many of us are running but our runs are in wild abandonment and without vision. We run to and fro without knowing where we are going. "It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ~ Somerset Maugham We burn both ends of the candle until our life waxes dull of energy and vision. We use our talents to no avail because our true passion of life is locked away in some foggy childhood dream. Don't get me wrong, talent is good, but there is nothing like a good ole fashion shot of desire. When the fire of our desire is lit, then profound things can begin to happen. Eric Hoffer said it best, "It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents."

What is it YOU truly want...or should I say, what do you truly desire? Where lies your passion? The scripture tells us that wherever our treasure is, there shall your heart be also. (Matt 6:21) It is time we begin to search within ourselves and not only find our passion, but reawaken that dormant desire to live life to its fullest. Life is too fragile and time is far too precious to be squandered under the blanket of victim hood. Self help author and speaker, Napoleon Hill said, "The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat."Is it possible the results of your life you feel are not the fault of those around you or by mere happenstance? If you are reading this today...I want you to know there is more to life than what you have settled for. The Almighty God has not ordained His creation to weakness, but would have that all His creation would be endued with POWER! (Acts 1:8) Today is the day you take a step out of weakness and into the power of your passion! Find your passion, and you will find your life! 
 
Submitted by: Elder David Green

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spirit week at BTAC

Our Christian School has a week of spirited fun..For a full week they have a theme for each day.

Everyone gets involved and shines..

Allow me to introduce our Principle: Elder David Green

Well maybe I should introduce him in a more "normal" picture... LOL
Its hard to find


The school picture for mix, match and crazy hair day




The classics for that day




Hum what are these....



NO we don't do Halloween, but we do have fun.. super hero's and villain's.



The BTCA High School Class on School color day



This is just three days of fun.. one more to come..

BTCA is short for Bible Truth Christian Academy.
Along with all the fun, the students here learn the importance of Apostolic Doctrine mixed with a good school curriculum equals a powerful future generation. Thank you Pastor Davidson for having a burden for our kids and praying over 20 years ago for a Christian school.




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Road Rally Run

Having jsut had our road rally, wanted to share some of the fun.

You get a list of questions and you have to take pictures with all in your group but one person and they have to be smiling. So say cheese...





Just some pictures of our smiling participants.

Winners
1st
Luke
James
Christian
Jesse
Blake

2nd
Sean
Mary
Julie
Allie
Danni

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Trying to Live Sane in an Insane World

Trying to Live Sane in an Insane World

I have heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same behavior over and over and over again but expecting different results. I have been around for a mere fifty plus years, which is but a drop in the bucket concerning time and eternity, and I wonder if it is just me that thinks this world has gone completely crazy. The politicians are heavily campaigning for the vote and prostituting themselves with the same rhetoric I have heard since I could discern their language. Which is a science in itself! Change is preached in front of millions and yet the more things seem to change the more things stay the same. Promises are being made that even on paper it’s easy to see they can’t be kept. Like the proverbial snowflake that started rolling down from the top of the mountain and accumulates substance on it’s way down, our heritage is being smashed beneath it’s carnage. And the scary thing is most don’t even ‘see’ it coming. Since the founding of our country, everything has been flipped upside down. From government not being trusted to now it’s your best friend. It’s getting really crazy out there!
Murder used to be murder and the definition was clear, but now its somewhat murky in it’s interpretation. Killing an unborn human being is not murder. It seems that sucking a human being out of a womb with a vacuum after it has been burned with a saline solution is different than shooting a person with gun. Now if a man punches a pregnant woman in the stomach and kills the baby (or should I say fetus here allowing the sting of what is happening to be taken away) then he can be arrested for murder. Even a woman who drinks alcohol or takes drugs during pregnancy can be charged with neglect, but if she decides to murder her baby through a procedure called partial birth abortion its not murder. Crazy man!
It used to be things or situation were viewed within the context of how they benefitted society. If your personal rights were detrimental to the best interest of society, then you laid them down and relinquished your will.
Laws are passed on a daily basis against illegal drugs and rightly so. Drugs like cocaine, crack, pot, meth, etc have always shown themselves destructive in our lives. All of us have probably witnessed their destructive forces in our own family’s. Just say NO ! has been the rallying cry of the DARE program. Alcohol, although legal, as a depressant has been just as deadly then the others. All of us would agree that the drug dealers of America need to be locked up, yet the pharmaceutical companies seem to have a free pass into our hearts. If you have a headache take this drug. If you are constipated take this pill. If you are hormonal inject this and if you have allergies sniff that. All legal drugs are okay but those nasty bad street drugs are for losers while most of the people in American society take on average six to eight prescription drugs on a daily basis. No wonder John said in the Book of Revelations that the nations were deceived by her sorceries. Look that up, sorceries is talking about pharma (drugs). Crazy man!
Let’s see, the logic of the world says that a woman, although she is and always has been the object of men’s lusts, can dress any way she wants. She can entice a man with her body and curves. She can dress half naked, exposing most every part of her body and this is accepted. Take the average American woman, put her in a string bikini that is tantalizing to the lusts of a man and this is acceptable. But take this same woman and put her in her underwear and ask her to walk down the street, she would think that this is an insane request asked only by an obvious male chauvinist pig. Label it a swimsuit and its acceptable. Call it underwear and it’s crude. Put this same woman in modest clothing that is less revealing and this is called insanity. You’ve come a long way baby! Crazy man!
Taking responsibility for one’s own actions use to be the right thing to do. Now everyone is a victim. The excuses that are presented seem to be unending. I am the way I am, not because of my choices, but because of my circumstances. I grew up in a dysfunctional family. My father was an alcoholic and wife beater so that’s why I am. The drugs made me do it and so on and so forth. Crazy man!
It is sad, but we have become a nation of victims. Somewhere along the way sin was no longer sin and now everything is labeled as a disease. Although I am sure the medical establishments across the country enjoy the ability to label things as diseases because with every new disease comes the opportunity to create a new drug. Within this victim hood mentality has grown this obsession to seek answers from everything but God. We look for answers in money, sex, drugs, lifestyle choices, and last but not least, the nearest government agency. I don’t know about any one else but I look with wonder at all the people salivating at the opportunity for their government to take care of things they should be taking care of themselves. Crazy man!
When I sit back and look at all this developing around me, I envision the three Hebrews standing before the image of King Nebby and ALL the kingdom bowing to the image, except those boys. Those that were on their knees worshiping the image must have thought those Hebrew boys were insane. Wow! No wonder that John the Revelator looked with admiration at the beastly system that the Lord brought before his eyes. To think that the whole world is deceived and worships this system and humbles itself to it without much of a fight is eye opening.
The prophet Isaiah said, Woe unto them that call evil good , and good evil ; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa 5:20 KJV)
What an age we live in! Who would have thought that America, the land of the free, would become like this? Evil is glorified and good is vilified. When the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are stampeding through the streets without much resistence and good wholesome godliness is kicked to the curb without remorse, can the end of this nation be near? How much longer can her banner yet wave to the home of the ‘free’ and the land of the brave? Although the entangling arms of this world system are trying to choke the life out of us and bring us to our knees in worship to it. I am not careful concerning this matter, as me for and my house, we are going to stay sane!

Submitted by: Elder David Green

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Watch therefore

[1Th 5:6 KJV] Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

The scriptures warn us to be sober and to watch. But what are we watching for?

"Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything."

Its about not letting the things we see or hear affect us in a way that is not becoming of Christ. All day long you see and hear things, news reports, songs, people talking as they pass by, books and magazine's, interactions with people, mail (bills for sure), and on and on it goes.

As these things enter into your mind, you can choose to "think" on these things and simply at that time disregard them or consume then.

[Pro 23:7 KJV] For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

The bible talks about girding your mind with truth.
[1Pe 1:13 KJV] Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

The first step in watching is taking what enter's into your mind and stand it up to Truth. If it can't stand, cast that thought out. Soberness is to be aware of what's going on in both your mind and your outside enviroment. Not drunk on the things of this world, fears, lies, lusts etc.

 [Rom 13:14 KJV] But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Dig into the word of God and let the truth of it purge your mind and be the plumb line of your thoughts. The more you do this, the more your words, deeds, habits and character will become like the Lord. You'll speak life, your actions will be life promoting, your habits will glorify God and as He resurrected from the dead because He is life, that same life will be in you.

[Col 1:27 KJV] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
[Jhn 14:17 KJV]  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
[Rom 8:11 KJV] But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Reading the book of Acts is a good place to start. Its how the New Testiment church was born and how you too can experience the new birth.

Submitted by: Tina Marie







Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Truth About Freedom

The Truth About Freedom

Most of us have heard the often used cliche that ‘Freedom isn’t free’ and it will cost you something if you truly desire to be free. The world quickly looks upon us and immediately categorizes us into a group labeled ‘bondage’. The religions of the world (even many within our own so called Apostolic groups) call us ‘legalists’ because of what they deem as unnecessary constraints or rules to living for God. We are in bondage because we can’t (or won’t) do the things they get to do. We are legalists like the pharisees, they claim, because we live for God by rules (as though there are no rules because Jesus already paid the cost). Although these two accounts are somewhat shallow in depth concerning their ‘views’, in a nutshell, they summarize their vicarious perspective of what they ‘see’.
Over the years while teaching US History and Government classes to my high school students I have tried to pound a certain point home concerning the truth about freedom. It is a saying that most of my students hear over and over and over throughout the school year. It is something our Founding Fathers understood. It is something that generations of Americans understood for many years until just recently. It is a principle that most religions understood until about hundred years ago or so. But somewhere along the way, combined with the dumbing down of the American mind and the advent of a pleasure seeking generation, we lost this basic understanding....There is no such thing as an immoral free man!
I’ll say it again. There is NO such thing as an immoral free man. The more that a person is left to himself and allowed to follow his appetites and lusts, then the more laws have to be passed to make sure his lusts are kept in check. Therefore with the creation of more laws comes the creation of more government agencies to make sure those laws are enforced. The creation of more government agencies means government gets bigger and when government gets bigger the people become oppressed and lose their liberties and freedoms. These things do not happen by accident, but all these things happen because of the immorality in the people. This inability of the people to discern between good and evil leaves them laying in a bed of unbridled passions. The more unbridled their appetites become without restraint, the more oppressed society becomes with an overbearing burdening system of government regulation. Solomon said it this way, "For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged." (Prov 28:2) The way of the transgressor is not only hard for the individual but also for nations who turn their backs on God. George Mason said it this way, "As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this." Sadly enough, usually the punishment involves the gradual growth of an over zealous and burdening government.
I want to try and back up what I am saying here by quoting some of our Founding Fathers, so bear with me here as we step into their world and their mind set at the time of the American Revolution and a few years after:
Noah Webster"All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." [Noah Webster. History. p. 339]
James McHenry Signer of the Constitution
"Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience."
Jedediah Morse:"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."
Charles Carroll - signer of the Declaration of Independence
" Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." [Source: To James McHenry on November 4, 1800.]
Thomas Jefferson"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever." (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]
Governor Samuel Johnston"It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans (Muslims), pagans, etc., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, [unless] first the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves. [Elliot’s Debates, Vol. IV, pp 198-199, Governor Samuel Johnston, July 30, 1788 at the North Carolina Ratifying Convention]
Thomas Paine: " It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author."
" The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal." "The Existence of God--1810"

Benjamin Rush:
"I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism." "By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds." [Letter written (1790’s) in Defense of the Bible in all schools in America]
George Washington
Farewell Address: The name of American, which belongs to you
, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion" ...and later: "...reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle..."
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.
" -- James Madison (Federalist No. 51, 8 February 1788)
What powerful words and understanding of the necessity of having a nation flowing with moral principles that can only be derived from the Word of God and Christianity. As James Madison said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary...." but seeing that men are NOT angels and governments are made up of men, there is of a necessity to create checks and balances to check and balance the passions, appetites, and lusts of the men who will obtain any office of political power. The beauty of the Constitution is not that it is so concise and well written, but within it’s make-up is this eternal understanding that permeated through all the minds of the men who wrote the document: It is of a truth that government is made up of men and if left to himself, with no checks on his lusts, he would oppress his fellow man and enslave him. The true beauty of the Constitution is that it incorporates this fact. True freedom can only be derived when human nature is checked and controlled. This is the inherent genius of the Constitution; it was written by our Founders with the intent to maintain a vigilant check upon human nature. John Adams said, "Power must NEVER be trusted without a check." Why? Because when a man gains or acquires power, history shows that in the end, he cannot be trusted to maintain that power or office with purity. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. (Prov 29:2)
The cliche that ‘freedom isn’t free’ is clearly true and in the end, if we truly desire to be free it will cost us something. As a matter of fact, true freedom will cost us our lives. Which, sadly, is a price that many will not or are not willing to pay. We talk a good talk, but our actions do not match our speech. We enjoy great conversations about the Holy Ghost, but discussion of discipline and constraint is kept to low roar, if even discussed at all. The Apostle Paul said it this way, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" (Phil 3:10) YES! We want to know Him in the power of His resurrection, but we fail to connect these two ingredients. There is no resurrection without a cross. There is no power without stepping into the fellowship of His sufferings. And there is no freedom without a cost.
Most seem to disregard the words of Jesus or let’s just say, they may hear them, but to do them is a whole different story. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross , and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt 16:24-26) Too many of us are caught up in saving our lives rather than losing our lives for His name’s sake. We find the Word of God too constraining in a world that is so liberal and seemingly ‘free’. We are so apt to shun any preacher that preaches a standard or doctrine that warns about what we put before our eyes and ears. Our images are more important then His image. The image of Jesus on the cross is too painful of an image. In agony He hangs there, looking forlorn, forsaken and all alone, with no one to help Him. We think to ourselves, ‘There is NO WAY that all that blood, guts, and gore will bring freedom!’ We have a hard time seeing beyond the cross. We have difficulty seeing beyond obedience. Our senses create images of eminent death and we buy into the pictures of despair. The voices inside us cry, " I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?" (Gen 25:32) "This is bondage not to have my desires fulfilled! This is crazy that I can’t go here or do that? Who does that preacher think he is telling me what I can or cannot do?" Edmund Burke said, "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
In our inability to see beyond the cross, we cave and give in to the appetites of the flesh. When I run, going up hill is always a battle but when I go downhill, there is a momentary reprieve and a certain exhilaration. Like the back slider who walks away from the Truth...it’s exciting...but the excitement is just that... fleeting and brief. That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? (Job 20:5) Momentarily, we ‘feel’ as though we have obtained true freedom, when in essence we have unlocked the proverbial pandora’s box of bondage and enslavement. Soon we are encompassed with chains of darkness and our eyes have been plucked out by our enemies. I am sure that there was a sense of excitement in Lot’s bosom when he walked away from the oversight and rule of Abraham in his life. The ‘well watered plains of Jordon’ looked like real freedom. No more mountainous terrain to deal with. No more answering to his Uncle Abraham. But about thirteen years later, after being vexed day and night, by what he saw and what he heard, the freedom Lot thought he had obtained was really darkness disguised as freedom. A wolf in sheep’s clothing if you will. I don’t really believe in the beginning that Lot thought he would end up offering his virgin daughters to the men of Sodom, but these are the things that happen when you don’t understand the truth about freedom. Another Founding Father said it this way, "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
The scripture says that ‘a good man’s steps are ordered of the Lord’. A man who follows after God cannot afford to believe that his appetites and lusts are in any way shape or form the pathway to freedom. A man’s whose steps are ordered of the Lord knows that sin always paints a pretty picture. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth , that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:10-12) This man knows if he gives into his appetites, he might as well put a knife to his throat. Because somewhere down the road, a good man knows he will reap what he has sown. He understands it is a walk by faith and not by sight. His passions and lusts must first be screened by the Word of God and he can not maintain this walk without a preacher. He must have a God called man in his life that will preach what God has sent him to preach. Benjamin Franklin said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" I am glad the the Lamb of God came to contest the vote! While the religious wolves of Jesus’s day divided and conquered Israel for their lunch, there came a well armed Lamb who kicked open the sepulchers of death and deceit. The Strongman came, He conquered, and He showed us the way to true freedom. Today, in the midst of this untoward generation, we still have an opportunity to truly be free. The promise is still being poured out and if you feel bound today, maybe its because you have not yet examined the truth about freedom. Besides, what has that pottage of lentils really gotten you anyway???

Submitted by: Elder David Green

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jesus is...


Jesus is:

Able, Air, Answer, Anchor, Advise, Adoni, Ark, Advocate, Amen, Assurance, Abundance, Angel, Altar, Author, Alpha, Almighty, Alleluia, Blameless, Bread, Beautiful, Balm, Benefit, Bountiful, Blessing, Boss, Beginning, Call, Chosen, Cares, Covering, Counselor, Christ, Creator, Candle, Comforter, Chief, Consistent, Cloud, Clothing, Compensation, Church, Courtesy, Complete, Circumcision, Compassion, Conviction, Conqueror, Child, Cornerstone, Clear, Center, Concrete, Cause, Captain, Devoted, Deacon, Director, Divine, Door, Distinct, Dominion, Doctor, Dream, Eternal, End, Exalted, El, Example, Expected, Elohem, Excellence, Expounds, Faithful, Fellowship,  Frankincense, Friend, First, Father, Family, Fire, Forbearance, Fragrance, Fortress,  God, Gentle, Guarantee, Gift, Grace, Guest, Great, Glory, Godhead, Good, Gold, Guard, Helper, Hero, Heaven, Honor, Harmony, Haven, Healer, Happiness, Humble, Husband, Holy, Image, Inspiration, Innocent, Indispensable, Indwelling, I am, Inseparable, Intercessor,   Impartial, Joy, Judge, Jehovah, Justice, Keeper, King, Knowledge, Leader, Lamb, Lily of the valley, Liberator, Life, Last, Light, Lord, Love, Long-Suffering, Majesty, Master, Music, Mediator, Meek,  Melchizedek, Messenger, Messiah, Mountain, Miracle, Morning star,  Myrrh, Manna, Mercy,  Mystery, Noble, Nurturing, Newness, Never-Ending, Nourishment, Notable, Nature, Necessary, Nation, Obedient, Officer, Offering, Oil, Ointment, Omnipotent,  Omega, One, Offspring, Order, Ornament, Overcome, Overseer, Peace, Patient, Poetry,  Perfect, Power, Prince, Pentecost, Physician, Prayer, Preaching, Precious, Priest, Preeminence, Prophet, Prophecy, Protection, Praise, Pleasure, Profitable, Promise, Principal, Psalm, Redemption, Rod, Refuge, Reward, Revelation, Reverence, Rabboni, Rock, Root, Rose of Sharon,  Reigns, Quickened, Qualified, Quality, Salvation, Sacrifice, Significant, Servant, Shepherd, Sun, Shelter, Shew-Bread, Staff,  Shield, Silent, Savior, Soldier, Sovereignty, Sin-Bearer, Spirit, Sinless, Strength, Star, Sufferer, Supplier, Support, Sword, Teacher, Tree of life, Tabernacle, Truth, Trust, Tower, Time, Testimony, Unity, Unselfish, Unequivocal, Ultimate, Victor, Vine,  Valiant, Voice, Virtue, Vision, Vengeance, Wisdom, Witness, Watchman, Word, Worker, Water of life, Warrior, Worship, Water, Way, Wine, Wonderful, Worthy, Which Is, Which Was, Which Is to Come, Yearning, Yea, Youth, Zeal, Zion

The words in all caps are after living for God about 3 years, how I saw Him. The rest of the words I have added during the next 15 years. God gets greater and greater the longer you spend searching Him out, living His word and experiencing all you can in Him. Come, taste and see that the Lord, He is Good and there is none else. He alone will be your ever yearning desire and the answer to it.

Submitted by : Tina Marie



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Extraordinary Find

“But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee”1 Samuel 13:14
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41
The Lord warned his disciples concerning temptation. If they would not watch in prayer, they wouldn’t be able to keep from being drawn away from doing the will of Jesus. It seems that seeing could only be achieved through praying and meditation on Jesus’ word. Since the disciples slept instead of praying, they all failed by being drawn away and tempted. They all denied knowing Jesus.
“But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” Matthew 26:56
What does this all have to do with an extraordinary find? 
Well... King Saul evidently practiced a life without prayer. He couldn’t see his own disobedience when he allowed Agag to live along with the best animals. Instead of obeying the man of God, he used what he thought to be his own good judgment. Because of his failure to obey, this cost him his Kingdom and his anointing.
When God responded through Samuel, I have found a man who prays, A man who desires to see & seek after my heart instead of his own. 
David,  was the least in his house but God found this extraordinary find... So, God sent Samuel with the anointing oil. Go, Find him and let him know that he has found the key that unlocks my heart. 
His Prayer, his watching & his obedience have caused the anointing to come upon his life. To keep this anointing he must watch in prayer to see that he does not fall into temptation. Although he will fall,  I will not let him be utterly cast down.
David is a picture of God’s church. The bride that I will choose must watch and pray so as not to fall back into the flesh that I brought them out of. This church of mine is also an extraordinary find. It will seek my face for the promise. Just like David was anointed so will I give the the Holy Ghost to them.
Any man or woman that will set  in their heart to pray and ask for the words of Christ to become their own, will be found extraordinarily by God.
                               GOD is extraordinary and so is his church!

Submitted By: Pastor W.J. Davidson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Defining Moments (Part Two)

Defining Moments (Part Two)

In this day and age some people’s ‘moments’ may take place even before they even take their first breath. With the pollution, toxins, and addictions that have overtaken the land, could it be possible that a child’s life has been shaped in womb? Today there are babies that are born already addicted to the drugs of this world. Though these are no defining moment’s of no choice, just as genetic moments of definition come into play in our lives, these cannot be discounted as superficial or without merit. Though I am unsure nor do I remember anything from my own mother’s womb, I am sure there were a few of those moments that have affected me to this day.
There are not many moments in my life that I can remember before the age of two. Born in New York City in the boroughs of Queen and then moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, my ‘recall’ of any such moments at this age in my life are only from the words of those who are able to tell the stories. Whether they are actually still residing in my mind or just repressed I do not know, but they are there and are still affecting my life right now. Though I don’t remember this moment for myself, in my own life, I know that my parents divorce was a deep and defining moment in my life. Although just a baby, there is no doubt that this separation of my parents helped to define who I was too become and who I am now. Many go through life not realizing how family ‘moments’ like these actually help to define who they are. They search their whole lives looking outside of themselves to solve the broken riddles of their lives when in reality all they need to do is examine their own lineage and upbringing. For me, such a moment occurred when I was five years old…standing in the kitchen hearing that the man my mother was with was not really my father at all, but he was my step dad and the man that was coming to ‘visit’ me the next day was my real father. I remember crying and not really understanding what was going on, but it is obvious to me, the fact that I am writing about right now, over forty years later, tells me that it impacted my life from that point on. To grow up in a home and feel that kind of separation and division within your own family is not only confusing but painful. The mental torment was overwhelming at times…especially when a child is born from the new marriage, which then leaves you (and your brother) out of the family because of the natural bond at the birth of a child.
In these perilous times, those that are born within a broken home live in an inner psychological torment that never leaves them. When your hero’s fail, there’s not too many other faces or places to turn too. Your life revolves around those broken pieces. Some end up living a life of unfruitful frustrations, desperately trying to put the pieces back together again. Full of anger, resentment, and guilt, they try to undo the defining moment’s of those around them, not knowing they are allowing their life to be shaped by other people’s defining moments and not their own. Obviously, no man liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself. All of us influence and are influenced of others, yet some choose to (yes it’s a choice!) to let those around them define who they are and what their lives are all about. These are those truly defining moments. Moments that forever shape your life and mold your being and affections. To me, though easily shrugged off by others, my parent’s divorce affected me deeply and still impacts me now.
Today I can look back and ’see’ it’s shaping affect upon my life. To hang around my friends and hear them call their father’s ’dad’ when I couldn’t go home and do the same affected me. To know that the man that my mother was married to was not my father and my real father was out ’there’ somewhere never left my mind. Now looking back, all of my actions were infused and framed within this moment.
Though my step-father was a decent man and took care of us, there is nothing that compares to the love that one feel’s when you conceive your own child. And this was definitely felt when my sister was born to the new marriage. All love…if any…was to be shown in our family went to her. Back then, as a young boy, I could not understand the connection. But today, now that I have experienced the love that prevails and overcomes your spirit at the birth of your own child, I can now understand the ’whys’ and no longer frustrated. Therefore, a moment in my life that was created by someone else no longer has any more control over my life, because I understand the ’why’. When one is no longer confined behind the bars of ’I am a victim’ prison, then the possibility of true growth can be obtained. We are the choosers of our destiny…these moments come and go…but it’s what we do with them that counts. Stepping stones or stumbling blocks. Victims or victors. Welfare or wealthy. They either weigh you down or stimulate a desire to rise above them.
Today, rather than wallowing in the despair of divorce and it’s impact upon my frail psyche as a child, I can now see the blessing that it brought to me in it’s entirety. From the emotional instability of these broken pieces came a deep desire within me to truly find out ‘what life is all about’. From a young age I began searching. Yes it may have been in all the wrong places, and in all the wrong faces, but there was a yearning in me too know the truth about life and it’s meaning. Though this yearning took me on a far journey, it allowed me opportunity, if you will, to seek things out for myself. The rejection of my upbringing, though rebellious in nature, was a blessing in the long run. For I developed an attitude to seek things out for myself. To question the status quo and look for the deeper answers. The Greek philosophers of old said, “Reality hides behind appearances” and I refused to accept things at face value. It breed within me a desire to know…so I read, I wrote stories, kept a journal, wrote poetry, took philosophy classes, and traveled abroad…in search of these all elusive answers to the truth of life. Instead of being a recluse, too me life was about living each moment as fully as one possibly could…with gusto I would live it and with all I had, and in this, I would find out the truth. When I think about it, this attitude was birthed within me because of that one defining moment that I had no control over.
Now looking back, it is truly a wonder to see how God orchestrates a man’s steps if he is truly seeking an answer. Though, in my mind, I rejected anything that had to do with religion or God, I was seeking Him and I didn’t know it. God’s longsuffering was wrapped in mercy as He waited for the end of my dabbling in the transgressions of this world. Worn out from chasing the empty promises of my carnal senses, God saw me. Though my searching’s could easily be placed into a category called stupid or absurd, God waited for me. Though I despised those who claimed to know Him and religions that mocked Him, God knew my heart. He knew that the gospel would one day be delivered to my heart by a God called preacher, by a man sent of Him. And once I entered His sanctuary of praise, heard the gospel truth of my salvation, He knew I would not reject it, because my searching’s had brought me to the end of the road. A long road of abrupt stops and painful harvests of wrong choices. But He was always there, drawing me ever so closer to His will, His ways, and His light. Step by step, choice by choice, the ironic thing is the defining moment of a painful divorce ultimately led me to a defining moment at an altar where I met the Master of all moments, and the God of the spirits of all flesh. It was here, at a literal altar of repentance that the God of the universe encamped upon the tables of my heart. As the one hundred and twenty basked in the defining moment of Pentecost, I too, stepped into the eluded questions of my life and fell into the answering embrace of His mercy. Oh what a moment! What a defining moment! Though my soul longed for answers, my rest came when my soul found Him who it had longed for. Oh what a moment! What a eternally defining moment!

Submitted by: Elder David Green

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Defining Moment (part one)

A Defining Moment
(Part One)

I believe that there are moments in people’s lives that help define who they are and where they end up going. These moments are not many but few. These moments not only impact a person’s life, but help to shape that person’s life from that point on. Sometimes they are intellectual and sometimes they are physical events that occur in a person’s life. They are sometimes moments of tragedy or sometimes moments of inspiration…glimpses of a better way or insight into a deeper understanding. These moments can propel people to greater heights or send them over the cliff to destruction. When these moments come they don’t last long…they appear for your grasp and if you don’t take advantage of it you may never retrieve it to your mind again. These defining moments are not just restricted to the individual but can also be seen in the a more broader historical sense.
Throughout history one can observe moments in the history of nations that for better or worse defined that nation. Our nation’s defining moment came with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The moment those signers penned their name to that document they were labeled traitors. And though they knew this, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Though I am sure there were many individual moments within that moment, as a nation, it defined who we were and even to this day is woven into our makeup as a culture. To the victor’s of the ‘Civil War’, the Union points to Gettysburg as their defining moment when the tide’s of war changed, yet to the Confederates, the defining point of the war came at the moment that friendly fire took out their great general and leader, Stonewall Jackson. When Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were together the Confederate Army could not be defeated. Therefore, Gettysburg was lost because Lee had to count on generals who could not match the military genius that Jackson had obtained too. American history is littered with such moments…’the day that will live in infamy’ is a quote by FDR that stimulates images of Japanese planes surprise aerial at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The ‘turning point’ in WWII can be found on the beaches of Normandy. Here thousands of U.S. soldiers stormed the beaches in a back breaking assault into the heartland of Nazi control. The ‘war on terror’ will forever have the surreal images of two planes crashing into the World Trade Center Towers as it’s defining moment. Germany is forever riddled with the image of Adolf Hitler and his campaign to conquer the world and create a super human race. The Catholic Church, though not a nation in itself will always be remembered for her leadership of the Inquisition. The blood of the martyr’s voices still testify of her quest to quiet their voices.
Israel had a few defining moments, one of the most obvious was the exodus from Egypt. With God as their head, Israel was moved by defining moments one after another. From the plagues to the Red Sea, these were forever embedded into the mindset the Israelites, which they still cling to in claiming to be special chosen people of God. What about the moment that Jesus stood before the religious order of that day and opens up the scripture of Isaiah, he finds the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:17-21) Wow! What a moment! This was a ‘God’ moment! One of those ‘declaration of independence’ moments, yet too Israel it was the first swing of the axe at the root of the tree.
And what of those individual’s who defining moments not only helped to shape a nation but also define who they were and forever forge their mark on the annals of time. Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” was an act of treason. Napoleon’s Waterloo forever vanquished him to defeat and an ultimate exile outside of his own country. The success of Jamestown owes it’s historical significance to a man by the name of Captain John Smith who abolished the communal system of taking from the haves and giving to the lazy have not’s and establishing the biblical principle of ‘if you don’t work, you don’t eat’! And what of George Washington’s amazing survival against all odds as an officer, under General Braddock in the British army. As they marched toward Ft. Duequene they were ambushed by the Indians who knew that their only way to victory to was to kill every officer. Two horses were shot out from under him and four bullet holes were found in his jacket. Fifteen years later an Indian war chief compelled George Washington to meet with him so he could meet the man that God protected. He told Washington of him personally taking seventeen shots at him and finally stopped shooting because he realized he could not kill him. Washington writes not only of this account, but of ninety seven defining moments in his life where the hand of God protected him and directed his path. King David’s life has a few moments that determined his destiny. Samuel stepping past eight of his brothers and asking David’s father if he had any other sons had to have been quite a moment. Imagine the astonished look on David’s eight brother’s faces as Samuel poured the anointing oil over their little brother’s head. An obvious one is in the Valley of Ellah. Here the young God chaser was brought face to face with the giant Phillistine, Goliath. Though Bathsheba comes too mind, David’s defining moment wasn’t really that he sinned, but was truly captured when his sin was revealed. Here is probably a universal defining moment for every inhabitant of the earth. How you respond to a preacher who tells you the truth is an eternal moment that places you at the proverbial fork in the road.
Historically, I could probably go on and on with this list of ‘defining moments’ that have transpired throughout the ages. In part two (next article) we will bring the examination of this idea to a micro level and step into the dynamics of defining moments of the ‘inner man’ in each of us. Though it is easy to look at history or the defining moments of those around us, it is a little more difficult to ’see’ how our own personal experiences have defined who we are and how they have shaped us.

Come back for part 2...

Submitted by: Elder David Green

Friday, September 20, 2013

When Will We Ever Learn?

When Will We Ever Learn?

When all the waters turned to blood and began to stink with the corruption of death, they turned to the god of Hopi and sacrificed before it’s carved image made with hands and it did not answer. When the land was overrun with frogs and began to stink with the smell of death, they turned to the god of Heka and sacrificed to the carved image of a frog made with hands and it did not answer. When out of the dust came the plague of lice, they turned to the earth god, Seb and made sacrifice to it’s carved image made of hands and it did not answer. When the land was filled with devouring flies and their crops were destroyed, they turned to an image made with hands and made sacrifice to the god of Khejra and it did not answer. When all the cattle of the field fell ill and the land was filled with a great pestilence, they turned to the god, Apis and made sacrifice to a carved image of a bull hewn with hands and it did not answer. When all manner of living things were plagued with boils and blains, they turned their hearts toward the god of Neit and made sacrifice to the image made with hands and it did not answer. When hail, fire, rain, and thunder swept across the land, they turned their hearts to the gods of Shu, Iris, and Osiris and made sacrifice to the hewn images of carved rocks made with hands and they did not answer. When a mighty swarm of locust swept across the lands making even the ground invisible to see with the eye, they turned to the carved god of Serajia and made sacrifice to this image hewn with hands and it did not answer. When the sun was blotted out and darkness engulfed the land for three days, they turned to the supreme god of Ra and made sacrifice unto an image hewn with hands, and it did not answer. When the agonizing cries of the firstborn began to spread across the land, they turned to the god of the underworld, Apophis and gave sacrifice to a piece of rock hewn with hands and it did not answer. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat . They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. (Ps 115:4-8 KJV)
But somewhere beyond the cries of pain and death, having ears to hear and eyes to see, there sat a people in softened obedience to an Almighty God, eating a lamb under the covering of it’s blood. Patiently awaiting the passing over of a night of terror and looking toward the dawning of a new day. Ye are my witnesses , saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses , saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? (Isa 43:10-13 KJV)
When will we ever learn? When our marriages go astray, we turn to worldly marriage counselors, and we get no answers. When our children turn their hearts toward evil, we talk lectures upon emotional ears too young to understand, and we receive no answer. When New York and Paris flood our closets with their fashions, we turn to the talking pundits of godless media, and we receive no answers. When Hollywood calls and the fads demand we march to the tune of their beat, and we receive no answers. When we burn with lusts, we surf with unfettered frenzy the world wide web of deceitful fancies and receive no answers. When anger rests in our bosom, we turn to alcohol and we receive no answers. When the wounds of the past rise up to declare their place in our lives, we turn to drugs (both street and pharmaceutical), and we receive no answers. When our nerves are shot we smoke a cigarette to soothe our tensions, and we receive no answers. When we do wrong we look at others and compare our choices, and we receive no answers.
When will we ever learn? I have heard it said and it is a true saying, that it took forty years to deliver Israel out of Egypt and then it took another forty years to get Egypt out of Israel! There is nothing new under the sun and as it was for them it is for us. Though we have been delivered by an Almighty God, we are yet consumed by the habitual habits of worship to false gods and their demands. When will we learn that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal? There is no intellectual way out of this and there is nothing that we can create ourselves that will be able to deliver us out of the hand of the fowler! There is no literal thing on this earth that we can bow down to and give obeisance and sacrifice to that can render us from the harvest of habits. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? As Naaman walked away in frustration at the simplicity of the message, we too seem to be looking for something outside that will soothe our hurts and pains. There is no doubt that Namaan, a captain of the Syrian Army was inundated with the customs of his culture. He was use to the great ceremonies given to his gods. He was used to the pageantry associated with the sacrifices around his gods. The drum beats, colors, orgies, and the sacrifice of virgins and children to the gods of Syria were elaborate displays of glory to their gods. This was Naaman’s picture he brought with him to the door of the prophet’s house. In his polluted expectation there is no doubt his mind swirled with a vaunted anticipation of what the prophet would do to bring an end to his demise as a leper. Surely, he thought, some great colorful display would take place before his eyes and the prophet would glorify his abilities as a prophet bringing the glory of his God down upon him and heal him of his leprosy. But it was not so and Naaman’s expectation was cut short and in his rage he walked away... but he was still a leper. How many times have we been entangled by our own imaginations and knowledge that exalts itself above the knowledge of God? How many times have we missed the call of God in our lives because of pride? How many times have we missed doing the will of God because of how we felt or what we thought should or should not have happened? How many services are going to go by before we allow ourselves to give God the glory and simply place our will into His hands? How many times are we going to walk away mad at the preacher, mad at a saint, and mad at God? When will we ever learn that God will not allow flesh to have any glory? Ever! That somewhere beyond the clamoring noisome pestilence of the gods of this world and the man made attempts to deliver a needed peace, there is a quiet place to simply eat the lamb under the merciful shelter of it’s blood. And it’s there... there in the faint cries of the first born... there in the meekness of a grateful heart... we can learn and find the true answer.

Submitted by: Elder David Green

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The 'Soul' Purpose of Fruit

The 'Soul' Purpose of Fruit

"To everything (turn, turn, turn)" The sixties rock group The Byrds put the words to a melody.... "There is a season (turn, turn, turn)" The Byrds memorialized the words in a song..."And a time for every purpose, under heaven." But King Solomon wrote it..."To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to plant and a time to reap." Everything has a season and a purpose. Rosemary has long been a symbol of fidelity and remembrance. It was often used in the holiest of Christian ceremonies, the wedding and the funeral. From Queen Elizabeth of Hungary in the 14th century’s healing of her arthritis using Rosemary or its simple use as a diuretic, Rosemary’s sole purpose is simple and unchanging; bring forth and yield a harvest of healing to all those who look to her for help.
From our gardens to our own lives, there will always be a harvest. The law of reaping and sowing knows no boundaries. Whether the seeds sown are natural or spiritual, this law will produce only what you put into it. A farmer does not plant one kernel of corn in the ground then curse the ground for not bringing forth an abundance of corn. He understands that what he sows is what he will also reap. Sow sparingly, reap sparingly Sow bountifully, and your harvest will be bountiful. Obviously you cannot reap where you have not sown.
Soon after the War for Independence, our fledgling republic was floundering in a sea of disgruntlement.
The military was unpaid, the economy was unsound, and the enemies abroad were frothing at the mouth to once again seize the New World back into their hands. It wasn’t long before Washington’s generals were determined to crown George Washington king of the new nation. On March 10, 1783 George Washington heard, through a letter, that his generals, with or without him, were now calling for a military coup d’etat. Five days later, Washington was meeting with his fellow officers, trying desperately to change their minds. This was not what they had fought for and this was not the expected harvest of the American struggle!
His words fell upon deaf ears and sullen looks. His plea looked like it had failed. Finally, in one last attempt, Washington began to reach for a letter out of his pocket that showed support would soon be on the way from congressmen who wanted to help. As he reached and fumbled in his waistcoat pocket, he pulled something out that only his intimate friends had seen him wear. It was a pair of eye glasses. As Washington looked about the room he explained, "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country."
Where all of his rhetoric and pleas had moments before fallen upon deaf ears, in this one moment, his fellow officers recognized the man who had led them all so far and long. Instantly, their eyes were swollen with tears. Washington finished reading the letter, walked out, mounted his horse, and rode off down the road. As his officers peered out the windows at the disappearing figure on horseback, they voted unanimously to support their leader in a peaceful approach to solving their problems. The harvest of one man’s life helped to secure the planting of an entire nation.
As I look over my herb and vegetable gardens, I cannot help but contemplate the majesty of it all. From the simple garden plot to the dynamic interactions of international affairs, the law of reaping and sowing reveals itself in history over and over again. The fruit gained from any harvest, whether the reaping be personal or national, can only be equated to the seed that has been sown. The history of the world is littered with the shadows of many a great men and women. Some of them were mere takers and gathered only from this world to fulfill their greed and power. Yet, there were some who gave back and even though they have long left this terrestrial island, the harvest of their toil is still available for all who are willing to reach up, pick, and eat.
It doesn’t seem too long ago that spring with all its promises had just arrived and we were hoeing and digging up the fallowed ground of winter’s past. But as faithful as the sun is to ascend over the eastern sky, so is the changing of the seasons. Winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer, and now we find ourselves falling into autumn.
There is a certain feeling that comes with autumn and although, I as a runner, with the southerly winds giving way to northerly gusts, can definitely feel the changing winds, this is not the feeling that I am talking about. Autumn is a time of triumph, a time of rejoicing, a time of reminiscing, and a time of thanksgiving. It is a season of looking back and enjoying the fruit of one’s labor. It is a fulfillment of a vision that poured out in drops of sweat on that first spring breaking of the ground.
I can remember tilling the ground and I could already taste the fresh mint tea that I would eventually seep in a hot cup of water in the fall or the first bite of that fresh organic tomato. Yes, way back in the spring, I already envisioned the harvest of my investment. The time, sweat, and energy would be worth it all!
Now, the season has changed. The summer has passed and the harvest is upon us. The plants have endured the rigors of the seasons. The fruit that now hangs from my plants has made it through the depths of late frosts, spring rains, and hot summer suns. From rabbits, ground hogs, deer, and insects my plants kept to their specific ‘calling’ and have now come forth to yield its fruit. Every plant has faced a myriad of adversities to produce what was long predetermined in its seed. They have finished their course and have endured all for this one moment; to be chosen so others may live. They have fulfilled their purpose.
Soon the autumn leaves will fill our gardens signaling another harvest’s past and I cannot help to wonder if this same simple principle shows up in my own life. Forty-seven years and one hundred eighty-five seasons have come and gone. If I were to be opened up like a tree, the rings around my life would show it’s share of the different seasons; pain and joy, tragedy and hope, fear and love. All wrapped up and contained within a fragile human being called me. The law of reaping and sowing has not left me behind and neither could I avoid or elude it. Another season has past, the harvest again is here and I wonder...Is there any fruit hanging from the harvest of my life that others may desire to pick, eat, and live?

Submitted by: Elder David Green