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WE HAVE AN ANCHOR

I woke up this morning singing the hymn “IN TIMES LIKE THESE” which talks about needing an anchor that holds and grips IN TIMES LIKE THESE. Then I found myself singing another hymn “WE HAVE AN ANCHOR” and just in case you never heard this hymn or if you heard it and forgot the words I am going to include it in this blog. The hymn is written as follows:

WE HAVE AN ANCHOR

1 Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

2 Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
when the breakers roar and the reef is near?
While the surges rage, and the wild winds blow,
shall the angry waves then your bark o’erflow?

3 Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,
when the waters cold chill your latest breath?
On the rising tide you can never fail,
while your anchor holds within the veil.

4 Will your eyes behold through the morning light
the city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
when life’s storms are past for evermore?

chorus:

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

 

This hymn states what the world surely needs and what I pray you have on today.

Presently we are in the midst of Covid-19 and though we would like it to go away, unfortunately, it appears that it will be with us simply because in this country we cannot unite and follow instructions. This week we experienced tropical storm Isaias which left 2.2 million homes and businesses along the East Coast without electricity.

Before the storm in my state, we received the forecast that it would be raining with possible thunderstorms for about eight hours. We also were told that we would be experiencing high winds and possible tornadoes. Well, in my city it only rained several hours but the wind uprooted trees and scattered limbs everywhere.

I was expecting it to flood but that was not the culprit in my area; it was the winds that took down trees that toppled on the electrical wires and poles. Consequently, in some areas, people were told that they would not get their electricity back on for five days.

As you can imagine people were already stressed about their financial status and now, they had to think about the food that they had in their refrigerator spoiling. Praise God, I am happy to report some people were fortunate to get their electricity on sooner and their food was alright.

Also, this week the news reported on well-known persons expressing their anxiety and depression feelings to the media. Plus, reports of suicide are increasing. People are feeling hopeless and don’t know where to turn for answers and relief. It is in times like this we need to be able to declare to our self, “Because of my Savior’s love I have a steadfast anchor that is fastened and grounded to the Rock which cannot move.”

In the fall of this year, along with the flu and hurricane season, we are being told we will probably be experiencing the second wave of the pandemic. Besides these things we have the issues that we are facing such as unemployment, foreclosures on homes, apartment evictions, and unpaid bills. Our world is in turmoil, we are experiencing unprecedented times and if we understand the Word we know things are going to intensify and get worst.

It is important that those of us that know the truth and have the answer begin to speak it loudly and consistently to all those in the hearing of our voice. So, I end this blog saying, “The love of God provides for us the anchor we need during the storms of life and despite all that may happen we will not drift away.”

  SAVE YOURSELVES

As recorded in Acts 2:40, Peter’s first message to unbelievers on the day of Pentecost urged them with many words and exhortation to, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” This message is also our message; it has not changed. There are numerous voices in the world, and they offer a lot of things that are detrimental to our physical and spiritual well beings. Believers need to be alert and on guard for the enemy of our souls is after us to kill, steal, and destroy those that are sleeping.

Hence, this blog is to encourage you in the things of God. During this time of Covid-19, the world had been in a place of fluidity. By this, I mean it is continually moving and changing. What may be true today may not be on tomorrow. What you have confidence in today may fall apart tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but during this time, my prayer has become, “Lord let truth prevail,” and then, “Give me the wisdom to accept the truth and act accordingly.” Unfortunately, many have received truth and still make dumb decisions; I pray that both you and I are not in that number.

Amid all of the turmoil, God has allowed His Word to prevail. Over the airway, via our satellite systems and social media, the Word is preached all hours of the day. Prayer requests are being made, and intercessors are going to God on behalf of people known and unknown. On FB, free conferences are being offered, apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and ministers are providing worship, teaching, and preaching services. Zoom and google meet are allowing congregations to meet weekly without cost. Additionally, for those who do not have cable service, religious services are available on the television and the radio.

There is no lack of the Word if you desire it; it is up to us to avail ourselves and take advantage of what God has provided for us. During this time, when the enemy thought isolation and loneliness would overwhelm us, God has allowed the table to be spread, and all we have to do is come and dine on the Word that would build and strengthen us. Thank God, my testimony is, I, along with thousands of others, have taken advantage of several conferences, and we are learning and feasting.

I acknowledge that some of you may be overwhelmed with all that is happening in your life right now, but I want to encourage you and say that God is your helper, and He has not left you alone. I suggest following David’s example for when he was faced with the possibility of being stoned by his men the bible recorded in 1 Samuel 30:6 he encouraged himself in the Lord. When you feel the world is caving in on you as if you are being stoned, weighed down with the cares and problem of this world; get up, shake yourself, take advantage of all the spiritual programs being offered, and most importantly save yourself.

WE NEED YOU, LORD

The song written by Jonathan Butler voices the sentiment of my heart. In it, he first acknowledges the need of the masses, and then he personalizes the need. The song is not lengthy, nor is it hard to remember for it is composed of these two verses which are repeated several times:

We need You Lord, we need You Lord, right now

We need You Lord, we need You Lord, right now

We lift our hands and bow our knees and worship at Your Throne

We need You Lord, we need You Lord, right now.

 

I need You Lord, I need You Lord, right now

I need You Lord, I need You Lord, right now

I lift my hands and bow my knees and worship at Your Throne

I need You Lord, I need You Lord, right now.

Right in here, I know this is what the world and I need. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve received all kinds of prayer requests from people for healing from Covid-19, cancer, mental health, and other related health issues, financial woes, and comfort for the grieving families over the loss of their love ones. Just hearing the request of hurting people and seeing the confusion plaguing this country brings tears to my eyes.

Covid-19 has us living with so many uncertainties. Decisions concerning the best course of action and plan for our lives are changing continually with the reception of new information. This has caused many to become depressed and suicidal, but for me, I am so glad I know God because He has been my resting place amid Covid-19.

Over the years, I purchased material things, things that I thought I needed, and some of which I packed away and never used. I’ve accumulated stuff, and now as I look over all of these things, I am trying to find ways to dispose of them because I don’t need them.

I have come to realize things are temporary, things are disposable, and things that I thought I needed, things that would make me happy, and my life complete have not. What I should have done was pray and ask God the One I needed for guidance before I purchased the stuff.

To conclude this blog, the point I am trying to say is in everything we need the Lord. We need Him in every area of our life, and this fact in our present world could not be more apparent. We need Him for guidance, support, peace, shelter, wisdom, knowledge, healing, answers, protection, deliverance, strength, prosperity, and salvation. (This is just a few areas of need, I am sure you can name many more).

So, let’s spread the word, and tell this faltering world they need the Lord; He is our answer and only hope.

 

 

WILLING AND OBEDIENT

I was in prayer, praying about Covid-19 and asking God to eradicate it, and while doing this, the words of this scripture found in Isaiah 1:19 resounded in my spirit, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” The Holy Spirit began to minister to me believers all over the world are praying this prayer, but for it to manifest, we must be willing and obedient to follow the instructions. For everyone these instructions are not spiritual, they are practical for we can’t be like people that pray and ask God to keep us healthy; yet, we go outside in a winter snowstorm improperly dressed

This week citizens in Utah met at the Utah County commission meeting to object to their children wearing a face mask when they return to school. In that small cramp meeting room, these citizens refused to distance themselves socially and the majority of them did not have on a mask. Unfortunately, in a couple of weeks, these citizens will probably realize Covid-19 is real if there is an outbreak of case among those that attended this meeting.

The news also shared the story of a former game show host who tweeted, “everyone is lying (CDC, media, and Democrats) about COVID-19.” On the next day following the tweet, he changed his tune because his son tested positive for the virus. Furthermore, this is not new because the news is repeatedly reporting cases of individuals who became sick with Covid-19 after attending a function where they were not socially distancing or wearing a mask.

In Luke 16:19 – 31, there is a story of a rich man and a beggar. The rich man ends up in a place of torment and the poor man in the bosom of Abraham. When the rich man realizes his fate as compared to the beggar, he requested Abraham to send a messenger to his relatives and warn them about ending in a similar position as him. Abraham gives him this response, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” This story reflects the hardness of man’s heart and their unwillingness to listen to wise counsel from multiple sources, which unfortunately ends with fatal consequences.

If people continue not to follow the guidelines established by the medical doctors and leading scientists and if they believe Covid-19 is part of fake news, the pandemic will remain. We cannot function like the people that lived during the times of the judges where everyone did what was right in their own eyes, for like them, we will suffer the consequences for our misguided actions. All we have to do is do our part and be willing and obedient to instructions, and then God can do His part, heal the land.

 

 

NOT WHAT THEY EXPECTED

After the decree of King Cyrus and seventy years of captivity in Babylonia, the children of Israel, namely the tribe of Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Ezra, returned to Palestine. The story of their return is penned in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and it shares their struggles, neglect, oppositions, and their accomplishments. Additionally, they rebuilt the temple and their cities in Palestine.

Historians record from the closing of Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament to Matthew the first book in the New Testament, approximately four hundred years passed. This time was known as the “Period of Silence,” for during this time, there were no words spoken or written by the prophets. Furthermore, historians wrote about the fate that befell Israel during this period and how they were bitterly persecuted and their religious practices hindered by the series of conquering rulers that took possession of Palestine. By the time of Jesus’ birth, the Roman Republic had taken control, and the Jews were required to pay yearly taxes to Rome, who gave them some political liberty to control local affairs and permitted them some religious freedom. Also, various Jewish parties: Zealots, Sadducees, Pharisees, Essences, Scribes, and Samaritan, all with their own beliefs, could be found operating in Palestine.

Despite their circumstances, the Jews remembered the Edenic promise of the seed of the woman and words of the Old Testament prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Micah, who talked about the coming Messiah, a conquering king who would redeem man and restore the earthly kingdom of Israel. The Jews were expecting someone prestigious to be their king, someone born of Davidic royalty, someone who was scholastically astute and not someone who came from a lowly background or someone who was placed in a manger at birth.

First came John the Baptist heralding, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and then came Jesus. Throughout His earthly ministry, His teaching, healings, and feeding the multitudes caused many Jews to want to make Jesus their king. At one point, they forcibly attempted to take Him and make Him king, but He withdrew from their midst.

Even His disciples whom He walked with for three years, whom He taught privately and gave insight into mysteries and parables, did not understand because after His resurrection and before His ascension, they asked him, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”

The outcome of Jesus’s time on earth was not what His fellow countrymen expected. Those of us living in the 21st century, and are privileged to read the Bible in its completion understand that He was not coming solely to redeem the Jews but the whole world. We understand the events that needed to occur before His earthly kingdom reign are manifesting now. Jesus was not what they expected; however, He is whom His bride with expectation longingly await and say, “Even so come, Lord Jesus.”

WISE KING SOLOMON WHAT HAPPENED (Part 2)

Last week I blogged on the failure of King Solomon to follow God’s instructions, and thus when Solomon was old, his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines turned away his heart from the God that blessed Him toward other gods. In this blog, I am going to share more details on Solomon’s failure and delve into why this wise man failed. To accomplish this goal, I must first share some facts from a few scriptures.

Genesis 2: 22-24 shares God’s perspective on marriage, and it says, “A man should leave his father and his mother, cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”  Apparently, God’s mandate for marriage was two persons becoming one; He did not mean for multiple persons to become one.

In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God talks to Moses about the laws of kingship and He made these points:

  1. A king was not to multiply horses to himself.
  2. A king was not to have multiple wives.
  3. A king was to write and keep himself a copy of God’s law, read it all the days of his life, and turn not aside from them.

Unless I overlooked it, there is no recording of Solomon continually reading and adhering to the laws of God, which was the last thing that God told Moses a king was to do. Maybe if he had done so, he wouldn’t have died outside of the will and purpose of God.

Solomon’s father David had seven wives, plus concubines, and from these unions, Solomon had eighteen brothers and one sister. If he had additional siblings from his father’s concubines, it was not recorded. Furthermore, reading the life of David reveals he, with his multiple wives, had a dysfunctional family, and Solomon experienced sibling conflict because of it.

This family dysfunction was also a generational curse that was passed down from multiple generations before Solomon’s birth, for Solomon’s father and grandfather had several wives. Why didn’t wise Solonom learn from the mistakes of his fathers?

In Proverbs 6, 7, and 9, Solomon gave words of wisdom to his son concerning resisting the seduction of strange women. When I read those chapters, I wondered why Solomon did not heed his own advice for the lust of his flesh caused him to overindulge in promiscuity.

Unfortunately, Solomon’s failure is the same failure believers are experiencing today. In many areas of our lives, we fail to bring our flesh under subjection to the Word of God. Throughout the Bible, which is haphazardly read, the scriptures tell us that we are capable of overcoming, but we regrettably succumb to out flesh rather than our spirit.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to be wiser than Solomon. Solomon died at age sixty, I am a bit older than him, and I aim not to die being foolish. I practice learning from the good and bad experiences of others. So, learning from him, I am going to read,  meditate, and follow the Word day and night, and I implore you to do the same.

 

 

WISE KING SOLOMON WHAT HAPPENED?(Part 1)  

Solomon, who became the third king in Israel, was the second son of Bathseba and the tenth son of King David. The Bible states in 2 Samuel 12:24 and 2 Chronicles 1:1 that God loved Solomon, was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. Additionally, the Bible states before David’s death he told Solomon, “I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself.”

In the early days of Solomon’s reign, God appeared to him in a dream and said to him, “Ask what I shall give thee.” Solomon’s response was to ask for an understanding heart to judge Israel and the ability to discern between good and bad. His request pleased God in such a meaningful way that God told him, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;  Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”

In his lifetime, with the blessings and favor of God, Solomon obtained fame and adulation. The Bible recorded that all Israel heard of the judgments of Solomon, and they feared him for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him. Furthermore, people from other nations of all socio-economic backgrounds came to hear his wisdom. He was a poet and a prolific writer who penned 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, some of which are found in the book of Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Psalms. He built the first temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, a majestic palace for himself, and government buildings surrounded by gardens and roads. He accumulated thousands of horses and chariots, and his diplomatic skills allowed him to secure peace with his neighbors and build up Israel’s trade industry.

Unfortunately, Solomon loved women for the Bible states he had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. These wives and concubines were Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites, which God had instructed Israel not to marry. Solomon disobeyed God’s instruction which resulted in faulty behavior as seen in 1 Kings 11: 4-9, “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.” The consequence of his actions is seen in verses 9-11, “And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to thy son for David’s my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem sake which I have chosen.” What a sad end for the wisest man of his time who died at age sixty. He was wise, but not wise enough to be obedient to God, for he allowed the lust of his flesh to control a significant portion of his life.

Solomon’s life provides lessons for all of us to learn. First and foremost, be obedient to God’s instruction. Secondly, bring the flesh under subjection to the Word of God and, thirdly, don’t allow our actions to have a negative effect on our future generations. I believe these are vital points to adhere to for success in our Christian walk.

In my next blog, I am going to delve some more into problem areas in King Solomon’s life. So, I invite you to return to this website to learn more about Solomon’s errors. Prayerfully, these blogs will help you and me to please God and not our flesh.

 

 

 

 

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

Starting around the beginning of May 2020, I noticed my laptop on which I typed was moving extremely slowly. It was almost seven years old, and it had served me well. I was informed by a few people that my laptop was probably getting ready to die on me, and I took it to be serviced, and its death sentence was confirmed.

One morning after receiving the pending death notice, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to transfer everything that I needed off the laptop to a thumb drive. I am so glad that I did not procrastinate because after I made the transfer, the laptop started acting up. It would freeze up and not allow me to type or see material that I had on it. Thus, I made up in my mind to purchase a new laptop.

Initially, I wanted another Toshiba, but I found out that Toshiba was going out of business and was no longer making computers; therefore, I had to shop around for a new brand. After reading some consumer reports, I decided on a Hewlett Packard. Due to Covid-19 and being unable to go into stores, I ordered it directly from the company. It took several weeks to arrive, and it took me over a week to learn all of the features and set it up to my liking.

I said all of the above to explain why I had not been able to do my weekly blog, which I hope you were missing, but with the help of God, I am restarting.

While unable to post blogs, one thing I have been doing is taking advantage of the many free conferences and seminars being publicized on FB. I can honestly say that during this time, when we have been made to shelter-in many ministries have made their conferences free to the public. Besides on FB all through the day, prayer, teaching, and preaching are being done. The Word is no longer behind the four walls of our churches, but it is going into the homes of the masses throughout the day. Furthermore, I believe there is no reason for us to be discouraged because someone during the day has the Word to fit every situation, and I have been feasting.

In closing, if you have not availed yourself to Word in the many forms and platforms being offered, I strongly recommend you to do so. (There is no need to be hungry when you can eat at any time during the day.) And as usual, I solicit your prayers as I restart my blogging.

 

STUCK IN THE PAST

I recently heard a minister talk about how the older generation has difficulty adjusting to the changes to which the younger generation has adopted and considered normal. He also talked about how the older generation was probably criticized by the generation that was before them in the same manner that they are criticizing the younger generation. After listening to the minister I could attest to what he had said for my generation is looking at the generations below us and shaking our heads with concern, wonderment, and disbelief. Undoubtedly, many of us have become comfortable with our past and believe that is how the future should remain. However, I realize that as long as the younger generations are not violating the scriptures I must allow them the freedom to be themselves and craft their future.

In this world, I have lived to see the television industry move from having three traditional major networks to more than fifty national free-to-air networks, and most households having more than one television in their home. I have lived to see the old Bell rotary telephone no longer existing to where adults and children have their own cellphones. I have lived to see washing machines modernized from a scrub board and tub, and I have lived to see the move from cooking on a coal stove to gas or electric ranges and instant pots. I have lived to see the modernization of cars, planes, recording devices, typewriters, and building equipment. Furthermore, there are so many other changes that I have seen in my lifetime and will continue to see with age, things that I probably can’t even imagine and are yet to be invented.

What then do I say, change is inevitable and we have to pray and ask God to give us the spirit of the children of Issachar, who were men that understood the times and knew what Israel ought to do. We believers cannot get stuck in the past and bury our heads in the sand for God has allowed us to live at such a time as this. So, we must move forward with His guidance. Additionally, just as we have adjusted to changes in our world, and with the younger generations, we must also wisely adjust to changes in our churches.

The Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted the world into a new norm, and most of us would like to turn the clocks back to the old way of life but unfortunately, it appears, for now, that is impossible. The pandemic has caused places of worship to temporarily close down and this has led many to feel as if their religious rights are being violated; however, I like what many pastors and parishioners are saying, “The church has never been closed, our edifices have, but not the church for we are the church and we don’t need a building to function.

This pandemic has caused ministries to think of innovative ideas to get the good news of the gospel to the masses. In the past, many of us have been stuck behind the four walls of a building but this pandemic has caused us to make plans in a new way and to go outside. The internet which many were calling evil is now a major vehicle utilized to get the Word out without cost. Not only are we having services on-line, but outside, by drive-through and in parking lots. Plus, more food programs established by churches are serving the needy, and despite all that is happening God is helping ministries to grow and expand. We are becoming more like Jesus for if you search the scriptures the major part of His ministry was not in the temple but outside in the villages, towns, cities, mountains, and by the side of rivers and lakes.

I am seeing amid the pandemic which God has allowed, He is moving and His kingdom is advancing. It is up to you and me to get in the flow and ride the wave with Him. Thus, in viewing younger generations, in advancing with modern technology, in adapting to new methods of ministry, with His help, we must progress and not be stuck in the past.

THEY DID NOT LISTEN

From the beginning of time God wanted a loving, caring, rewarding relationship with His creations which is called a human being. This kind of relationship could be easily experienced but it required the man to listen and obey.

In the first home of man which God gave him, He gave man instructions on how to live a full life, and He has continued to do this up to this present time. However, man has a universal problem and it has to do with listening and obeying. If you read the scriptures, you will see that this unfruitful behavior is not a new occurrence for down through the ages not listening has been the practice of humans and if you interact with toddlers you will realize this starts at a young age.

Right now I am sounding an alarm and saying to those who do not realize it, “Not listening and following instructions leads to consequences.” The stories of Adam and Eve who was put out of the Garden of Eden, Israel wandering in the wilderness forty years, Achan causing Israel to lose the first battle at Ai, God’s rejection of King Saul, the man of God who was slain in the way by a lion, Israel’s enemies prevailing against them throughout the book of Judges, and Israel going into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity illustrate a few of the many times man did not listen and therefore they suffered the consequences.

After reading these stories I would hope believers grasp the concept that there is a reward for listening but it appears that I am mistaken from what I see and hear in the news.

We are amid the Covid-19 pandemic and our government has formed a task force to provided us with the latest information and guidelines on how to handle this virus. We are seeing people that are following the guidelines and we are seeing people that believe they do not have to follow the instructions. Many people who are not following the guidelines believe that their liberties are being violated and they have a right to do what they want. Hence, we see that many are suffering the consequences of their actions. This is not the time to act foolishly.

In the scripture we see times, when God had people shut-in for their safety and His presence, was with them. He is the same God today as he was then.

Thank God we are living at a time where God has allowed man to have the technology and scientific tools to aid society. It is up to us to pray, listen, and act responsibly. So, please don’t let it be said about you, “They did not listen.”