A New Testament Memorial Day

Have you ever prayed for something for a long time and have just grown weary of praying?  Have you ever prayed and asked the question, “God, when are you going to bring it to pass?”   I wonder if Cornelius ever felt this way.  The Bible describes the character of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 and verse 2.

 

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

  I looked up the word “prayed” in this verse in Strong’s Concordance and the meaning was to beg, beseech or petition.  It appears there was something that Cornelius was desperately seeking God for, and he did it on a continual basis.  The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what Cornelius was praying for, but it does tell us there came a day when an angel of God appeared to him and told him that God remembered all the times that he had prayed.

Acts 10:3  He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. Acts 10:4  And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 

 

 Although we may not know exactly what Cornelius prayed for, we do have the record of how God chose to answer his prayers.

 

Act 10:5  And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: Act 10:6  He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. 

 

 Cornelius was told to send for Peter and that Peter would tell him what he needed to do.  Cornelius was about to have his Memorial Day!  In the meantime, God was preparing Peter to be the answer to Cornelius’ prayer as he showed him a vision and then sent 3 men to Peter who would escort Peter to the house of Cornelius.  (See Acts 10:7-24)

 

After a brief discourse between Peter and Cornelius, Cornelius begins to preach Jesus unto him.  While Peter was preaching to Cornelius and his household, the Bible records something wonderful that happened. Act 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Act 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  God’s spirit was poured out on Cornelius and those in his household that had heard the word of God preached.  They of the circumcision(in other words, the Jews)which were there with Peter were astonished because this was the first time that a non-Jew(Gentile)received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  How did these other Jewish men that were with Peter know that Cornelius and the others who were with them had received the Holy Ghost?  Verse 46 gives us the answer.

 

Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

 

Notice though, that this is not the end, for this verse concludes with “Then answered Peter,”.    God still had more for Cornelius. Act 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Act 10:48  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 

What a glorious Memorial Day for Cornelius and his family!  If it was anything like the day that I was baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost, I know it was an awesome, unforgettable day.  I believe Cornelius’ prayers were answered in a far greater way than he ever expected.  God certainly honored the faithfulness of this man.

 

Is there something that you have been praying about for a long time?  Perhaps there is a loved one that you long to see come to God.  Maybe you are in need of a physical or emotional healing.  You may already have a relationship with God, but you are just desirous and so hungry for  more of Him.  May you be encouraged to keep asking, seeking and knocking.  God still answers prayer and He would love for there to be a  Memorial Day for you too!

Memorial Day 

 

It’s coming – Memorial Day

Cornelius, do not cease to pray

Prayers sent up to God have been heard

Every cry of your heart, each word.

 

 

Though answers may seem far away

It’s coming – Memorial Day

In faith keep on lifting your voice

And soon you’ll have cause to rejoice.

 

 

In our flesh we may groan, grow tired

Let this grand thought keep you inspired

It’s coming – Memorial Day

In spite of the seeming delay.

 

 

Now brought to life, to fruition

You have received your petition

No longer do you have to say

It’s coming – Memorial Day!

 

 

Written 5-27-07

Overcoming The World Pool

pool pals

As little kids it

was just a game we played

on hot summer days.

Everybody go as

fast as you can

in a circle

around and around

the pool.

We ran if we could,

as fast as we could,

until suddenly,

STOP.

Change directions.

Walk against the

swiftly swirling

current.

Grab onto the sides

and hold on

If you have to,

but resist the pull

and go forward

inch by inch

step by step.

See who can stay

Up the longest.

If we got tired,

no problem.

No big deal to

let go.

Just relax.

Let the strong force

carry you along.

Everything is fine.

 

But we never

realized that the game

would become reality

when we made the

decision to live

for God.

 

Often we are pommeled

by a vicious vortex

of wickedness,

worldliness and a

host of other

unseen undertows.

Our advancement

can seem slow at times.

We do become weary

but

LETTING GO IS NOT AN OPTION!

 

Victory comes

one step at a

time;

walking in the

Spirit as we

hold on

To truth.

 

4/27/16

Fruit That Will Remain

Some have started and departed.

This caused our heart to pain.

We still believe God to give us

fruit that will remain.

 

Others partook and then forsook.

From truth they turned away.

But we’re trusting in the Lord

for souls to be planted and stay.

 

They will not cease, our prayers;

petitions, groanings and tears.

Lord, help us do what we can

to share your salvation plan.

To those that have not heard,

if they’ll listen, we’ll teach your Word.

 

Help us work while it is day.

The world is growing dark.

Give us the words to say

to ignite in hearts , a spark.

 

Let this be our decision;

to reach together for souls.

Help us to catch the vision.

Please use our church as a whole.

 

To help men turn from darkness

into Your marvelous light

and have their sin stained garments

by Your blood, washed white.

 

And that each new born Christian

whether old or just a youth,

would grow in grace and knowledge,

and continue to walk in truth.

 

Then when we reach that heavenly home

where Jesus will rule and reign,

we’ll stand together side by side

with the fruit that did remain.

 

4/25/16

 

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

 

Tricky Trap House

 

image

image

I have a client who is rather fond of the cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. Tom is a cat, and Jerry is a mouse.  Having grown up in a home where we had a television, I am familiar with these characters that have been around since 1940. One day several weeks ago when I arrived at my client’s house for our afternoon session, I noticed a new toy sitting on the small table where we sometimes do our work. It was the house you see in the picture above. My client’s older sister explained to me that it was a tricky trap house that Tom uses to try and catch Jerry. Upon inspection, I noticed some of the cleverly disguised traps that were part of the house, such as a porch swing with a crack down the middle that you can’t see very well, a grand piano with three good legs and one wobbly leg that you can easily kick out and a chandelier that can be ejected by a button, causing it to fall and become a mouse trap. We use this trap house sometimes during play time to provide my client with opportunities to learn how to be flexible. Sometimes I will purposely interrupt him in playing, maybe by rearranging furniture in the house or saying that I want a turn to play with Tom and Jerry. I then take data on whether or not he was flexible. If he’s not flexible, we make a note of it and teach him how to respond in a way that is more acceptable than raising his voice in protest, screaming or throwing a fit. We are also using the trap house to try and help him gain an understanding of prepositions. For instance, I will take the Tom figure, place him in front of the house and ask, “Where’s Tom?” We prompt him to say “in front” until he can get to the place where he can tell us independently.

 

Maybe it’s because I’ve been a Sunday school teacher for so long that I have a tendency to see object lessons in things around me. I’d like to think that it is God trying to show me something. Whatever the case, I think this trap house has a spiritual application which I put in the form of a poem.


 

Satan has a tricky trap house

He’d like you to enter in

Though it has been called many things

It’s original name is sin.

 

He’ll tell you that it won’t harm you

Indulge a little, and all will be well

Don’t be fooled, his real intention

Is to damn your soul to hell.

 

Temptation can look so appealing

Appear to be harmless and fun

Consider not Satan’s slick offers

But from his enticements, run!

 

To God you must first submit

If ol’ sloughfoot you plan to resist

Then when that deceiver comes knockin’

The Lord will be there to assist.

 

And when the devil is beat at his game

For him it will be such a bummer

With God’s grace you will have become

A victorious overcomer!

 

I’m thankful that through Jesus we can have the power to recognize and overcome the temptations of the enemy. Satan, you’re kingdom’s coming down. No April fooling!

 

 

Perpetual Miracles



It’s officially spring in our part of the world. In spite of the allergies, I would have to say that spring is my favorite season. There is something so amazing about seeing plants and trees that appear to be dead suddenly start to bud and blossom. It’s a phenomenon that occurs every year and never ceases to fill me with wonder and hope. Growing up in the Midwestern United States, I experienced some very cold winters. Some of them seemed very long, but no matter how long they were, they did finally give way to spring.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1 we read

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

 
The times or seasons in our lives when we are experiencing trials and difficulties are a lot like winter.  They can seem cold, harsh and like they’re lasting a long time, but God doesn’t mean for them to last forever.

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” 1 Peter 1:6

If God allows a winter season in our lives, there surely is a reason for it, and if we keep trusting in Him, spring will come.

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” I Pe. 5:10

If you’re going through a hard time, a winter like season that seems harsh and long, keep holding unto God. Pray and seek Him earnestly. This too shall pass. Spring will come!

 
It really is a miracle

An extraordinary thing

I’ve never seen a winter

That didn’t give way to spring!

Just Wanted To Remind The Devil…

about his future destination. He certainly has been trying to hinder our church, but thanks be to God that gives us the victory when we pray! This is just a reminder that if God be for us, who can be against us.

The devil tries to act so tough,

but really, he is only bluff.

Just call on God when things get tough.

He’ll be enough! He’ll be enough!

When satan tries to spread some gloom

with voice just like a cannon boom,

speak Jesus’ name; away he’ll zoom.

In state of doom! In state of doom!

The enemy comes to spread his lies.

He must be stopped, cut down to size.

Appeal to God for his demise.

It’s only wise! It’s only wise!

Ol’ slough foot ‘s like a roaring lion,

always temptin’, always tryin’.

His future fate is worse than dyin’.

Ever fryin’! Ever fryin’!

Isaiah 14:12-16 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1Pe 5:8(AMP) Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

1Pe 5:9 Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Bruisin’ #4 – Blessings in spite of death

Last month, we had a good man from our church who was hit by a car while riding on his bike. He was on life support for a few days with no evidence of brain activity. His family made the decision to take him off life support, and he passed away a short time later. About a week later, we had a memorial service for Bro. Mike at our church. Among his family members that attended were his niece, Rebecca and her children. Rebecca talked to my daughter afterwards about her daughters coming to our children’s church, and arrangements were made to bring them to church the next Sunday. They have been coming every Sunday since that time! The 2nd or 3rd week they came, it was my turn to teach, and the lesson had to do with being a witness for Jesus. I gave all of the kids some invitations to pass out to their friends. These 2 girls were so excited about inviting people to church. The following Sunday, my daughter picked them up along with 2 of their friends. The 2 friends have been coming for the past 3 weeks. Last Sunday morning when they came, there was also a 19 year old young lady that wanted to come to church as well. God touched her in children’s church and she was crying and praying. The 19 year old girl wanted to come back for the evening service, so my daughter went to pick her up. I got a call from my daughter asking me if I could come by too, because there were more kids that wanted to come, and she didn’t have enough room in her car. I was on my way, but then I got a text saying that I did not need to come because transportation had been worked out. One of the girls that wanted to come actually came with her dad who stayed with her through the service. It just seems like the apartment complex where Bro. Mike’s great nieces live is a mission field.

We have a problem now, but I know it is not too big for God to solve. We need a van. Many of us are already using our cars to transport people, but a van would be ideal for bring kids to children’s church. Our church is praying and believing God to supply the need.

One of my favorite Scriptures is found in the book of Romans.

Romans 8:28

 

  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

One of my prayers(and I know there were others that prayed this way too)concerning Bro. Mike’s passing is that God would bring something good from his death. Indeed He is! It is a good thing to have these new souls coming to the house of God, who otherwise, would not have been exposed to our church.(which preaches the truth!) So, take that devil!!