Give Us The Facts From The Book Of Acts

Just imagine you could bring a Bible character back to this earth for a season. Who do you think you would choose? I chose Peter, and here is why.

another Acts 2 38

 

Peter, it’s such a blessing to have you back on earth
because our world is confused when it comes to the second birth.
Jesus gave you the keys. You’re the man who has the facts.
Please dispel all fake gospel news by taking us back to the book of Acts.
Show us that you never said to accept the Lord as our Savior.
You never preached or taught that that is how we find God’s favor.
You taught that Jesus died, the cross was His death sentence,
and we to sin, must also die, through the way of repentance.
After His awful death to a borrowed grave He was carried.
We identify with this, when in Jesus’ name baptism we’re buried.
Three days later Jesus resurrected after He had been killed.
We rise up to walk in the newness of life, when with His Spirit we’re filled.
The evidence of this infilling in God’s Word is clearly shown.
When His Spirit takes up residence, we’ll speak in a tongue unknown.
Yes, take us back in time, please, Peter, to the day of Pentecost,
when you preached that inaugural message to a multitude so lost.
So many believe in doctrines today that have totally been perverted.*
Let us read and heed God’s original plan, that we might be converted.

10/9/18

*perverted=changed

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-19

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.” Acts 2:36-39

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Galatians 1:6-8

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Parable Of The Talents

Five talents Phil was a very gifted man.

Compelling truth in his oratory was heard.

There was no doubt in any that he was

proficient and anointed in teaching God’s Word.

 

To many, he showed the way of salvation

just as Peter preached in Acts 2 and 38

and though multitudes rejected the message of truth

there were some redeemed from a damnable fate.

 

Two talents Tessie was an average young lady

although not brainy, she had a great heart.

She searched out ways to help the needy

and in doing thus, God’s love did impart.

 

Her selfless acts of kindness and care

aided those helped to open their spirit

that otherwise would be closed to God’s plan

now their ears were susceptible, so they could hear it.

 

One talent Winston was a fainthearted fellow

although he had obeyed the plan of salvation.

He was content to keep his mouth shut

and not offer to any escape from damnation. 

 

He thought, “I could never win a soul to truth.”

Love for God was trumped by fear of rejection

so he never reached out to neighbors or friends,

thinking it would be his protection.

 

And so the time of reckoning came

for these three who had passed away

each in turn had to stand before God

to give account on the judgment day.

 

Five talents Phil came and  stood before God

and for him, there was nothing but praise

for the work he had done, the souls he had won

during his earthly days.

 

Two talents Tessie was next to approach.

God’s response to her made her glad.

Although not the brightest of the bunch

she did her best with the talents she had.

 

As one talent Winston drew near to the Lord

His head was hung down in shame.

For somehow he knew instinctively

his reward would not be the same.

 

Slowly he began to offer excuse

of why doing God’s work was denied,

how he thought that none would believe him

why his light he chose to hide.

 

God said, “When I filled you with my Holy Spirit,

I gave you just what you would need

to impact your world with the gospel

yet My words, you chose not to heed.

 

And so the plight of one talent Winston

who made excuse and believed not

cast into a place of great torment

that eternally does burn hot.

 

A lesson we learn from this parable

if we’re so inclined to hear

let the wise in heart apply it

with a godly and reverent fear.

 

9/20/18

Confession And Prayer Of One Derelict In Duty

woman interceding 

Lord, I come before you with confession.

My prayers of late have been a little cold.

They ‘re sounding  like a jumbled mumbling session,

not pleas of interceding saints of old.

 

Often, do I ask for daily bread,

help to face the pressures of this life,

neglecting in strong wrestling to be lead

for those who still are lost in sin and strife.

 

So let my heart be broken once again

with the weighty things that break the heart of God

the perishing, precious souls of unredeemed men

who upon this earth do everywhere  trod.

 

Your loving burden, pour into my spirit

as Your blessed face I humbly seek.

Anoint me, that your word I’ll take and share it.

With boldness, may I go and stand and speak.

 

8/31/18

 

“Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” Acts 5:20

Good Old Folks

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I can’t believe I just called these two fine people old. In reality, Bro. and Sis. Halstead are very young at heart. Bro. Halstead still shouts, runs the aisles and praises God like a much younger man. His worship is sincere and encouraging.

The Halsteads are a very important part of our Kids’ Church program. In the first photo, Bro. Halstead is playing Grandpa Jones, a character in our current quarter of The Real Pentecostals. Both Bro. and Sis. Halstead are wonderful teachers, and I have been amazed at some of the creative ways they have come up with to keep the children engaged and teach them the precious Word of God. Brother Halstead also heads up our outreach department and does a great job inspiring us to reach out to those in our community that have not experienced Acts 2:38 salvation.

In the second photo, they are clowning around at a meal we had recently to break a fast that we did together as a church. Earlier that week, Sis. Halstead had sent a photo to me and another sister from our church of a man devouring some chicken drumsticks. She said that was going to be what she would look like when we broke the fast. Hence, I took this photo to represent that moment. 🙂

This faithful couple has been such a blessing to our church in many ways. Getting older has definitely not stopped them from being faithful and working for God with all of their hearts.  They are living out the following verses.

 

“Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;”

Psalm 92:13,14

Just to clarify, I’m not saying that Bro. and Sis. Halstead are fat. This is talking about abundance or a “spiritual fat” that is a good type of fat.(I sure could use more of that type of fat!) I am thankful today for the great big FAT blessing that Bro. and Sis. Halstead have been to Cornerstone Pentecostal Church!

Our Second Trip To Peru

Recently I wrote the following for a just for fun poetry contest. The theme to write on was a trip that you’ve been on, and the form to be used is called a haibun(a combination of prose and haiku). I didn’t place in the contest, but I truly enjoyed writing this and reliving the memories. Missions trips are the best!

 

 

In 2014 my family and I were privileged to be able to go on our second missions trip to Peru. The year before we had gone down with a group of 12 from our church, comprised of mostly young people, but this year it would be just my husband, 2 grown children and I. After about 10 hours of flying, we landed at the airport in Lima. We were greeted by the missionary and his helpers, loaded our luggage into a couple of vehicles and began our trip to the missionary’s home. Lima, which is the capitol of Peru has a population of over 12 million people and driving in this city can be a hair raising adventure, to say the least.

In Lima’s traffic
a person can learn to pray
for their survival.

 

On our first trip, we had spent all our time in Lima and her surrounding suburbs, but on this trip we had plans to visit Iquitos, a city in the Amazon jungle region and Cusco, a city and area of high elevation and home of the legendary Machu Picchu. Our first stop was to Iquitos, the largest city in the world that is only accessible by plane or boat. Cars are pretty scarce in Iquitos. The most used method of transportation is the rickshaw, which is basically a motorcycle with a cart behind it in which passengers sit. This open air form of transportation was a new and fun experience for us.

 

Hailing a rickshaw
negotiating the fare
and then we take off.

 

My husband was scheduled to preach a crusade that they were having at one of the churches in Iquitos. The people greeted us warmly, the worship was exuberant and it was very hot. None of the churches there have air conditioning.

 

Sweating a river
in jungle sanctuary
we praise God anyhow.

 

I told myself I would do my best not to use the restroom while we were at church. It’s just not the same as it is in America. However, there was one service where I just had to go.

 

Primitive toilets
sometimes do not have a seat.
Bring your own tp.

 

We enjoyed our time in services with the Peruvians, and after the crusade was over, we had occasion to do some sightseeing. We paid to take a trip down the dirty Amazon River to a small wildlife refuge. It was a peaceful ride down the river, and after about half an hour, we pulled up to the shore where there was a rickety wooden stairway that leads up to a small wildlife refuge. As we exited the boat, we saw several small monkeys coming down the side rails of the stairway. Much to my son’s delight, one of the monkeys came and jumped right onto his shoulder. These monkeys seemed truly happy and anxious to see who their visitors were. We found out that these monkeys, as cute as they are, also can be full of mischief. One of the little guys pulled a chopstick out of my daughter’s hair and tried to run off with it, but we were able to apprehend him and retrieve the article. I had my own encounter with a small imp.

 

Fresh little monkey
trying to lift up my skirt.
Missionary laughs.

 

As we made our way through the refuge, there were several animals that we were allowed to hold in our hands if we so desired. We all took turns holding a giant turtle, a toucan and a colorful parrot sitting on a limb. All of the animals there have been thoroughly cleaned up and have had parasites removed from them. I also held a sloth. It was not what I was expecting.

 

Stiff, sanitized sloth
much like a furry backpack
held near in my arms.

 

Before we returned to the city area of Iquitos, we planned to make one more stop. The missionary told us that there were groups of native people that live along the river that ran around very scantily clad or sometimes naked. We weren’t at all interested in seeing that, but the tour guide on the boat told the missionary he knew of some native people that were not like that, and he could show us where they were. He took us to the spot, we got off the boat and started walking towards a large hut that was in the distance. For some reason, my son was ahead of everybody else in a group, and when he reached the hut, he went inside. That tour guide must have fibbed. My son was mortified.

 

A primeval hut
filled with half naked women
he quickly exists.

 

Once we had returned to Iquitos we took a walk through an open air market. Just one look at the filthy hands of most of the merchants let us know that we would be playing Russian roulette with our health by eating anything here. We came to one particular vendor where we just stopped and stared for a few minutes.

 

Grub worm on a stick
regional delicacy
I think I will pass.

 

Near the end of our Peruvian trip we boarded another plane for our flight to Cusco. Cusco is a region of Peru, and there is also a city by the same name. We were told that where we were landing the elevation was 11,000 feet. . As soon as our plane was on the ground, I could feel the difference.

 

Landing in Cusco
one thought dominates my mind.
I need oxygen!

 

The next morning a taxi that was scheduled to pick us up came and dropped us off at the train station. The train ride to Machu Picchu was about an hour long, but it was scenic and pleasant. After exiting the train, we got on a nice, spacious tour bus which would take us the rest of the way there. All I can say is that Machu Picchu is absolutely breathtaking. I can certainly see why it is now named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

 

Oh my, what splendor
Machu Picchu in person
Photos can’t compare!

 

I might mention that the elevation is around 7,000 feet at Machu Picchu, so I had no problems breathing during our visit. There is so much more that I could say, but I will end my recollections by saying that this was a trip of a lifetime, and I was so blessed to be able to experience this with my family. I will never be the same!

 

The people, the sights
of our journey to Peru
live within my heart.

7/27/17

O Such A Prize

O Such A Prize I Want To Win

 

O such a prize of value great

One that is saved from darkest fate

Rescued from a desolate place

And made a trophy of His grace

To help a wayward come to God, you must be wise

A soul redeemed for eternity, O such a prize!

 

I want to win for God, a soul

That He will cleanse, fill and make whole

Whose life the Lord will rearrange

For all to see, a striking change

A new creature, truly transformed without, within

This is my goal. A soul for God, I want to win.

 

3/1/17

This type of poem is called a wrapped refrain. Click the link to see how to write one. http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/wrappedrefrain.html

 

 

The Man, The Survey,The Study

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Last week, our church was blessed to host an Evangelism and Home Bible Study Seminar conducted by Brother Shawn Dunahoe. One of the first things this man of God said that immediately arrested my attention was that he was an extreme introvert when he first came to God. However through prayer and gaining more knowledge of the Word of God, the Lord has helped him to improve in his ability to communicate with people. Being an introvert myself who still struggles from time to time, I am always encouraged when I hear of those who have made strides in overcoming this inhibition.

 

Brother Dunahoe shared with us the number one reason why we don’t get more Bible studies with people.

Do you want to know what it is? I’m going to tell you whether you want to know or not. 🙂

 

 

WE DON’T ASK!

 

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This public opinion survey is one of the tools that Rev. Dunahoe has used effectively to secure more Bible studies. Of course not everyone you survey is going to say yes to a Bible study, but the more surveys you do, the greater your chances of getting a Bible study.

In thinking about this later, I wrote a poem.

 

So

opened

he his mouth,

and words came out:

an invitation

for a Bible study

that he was willing to teach.

And wonder of wonders to him,

the man that was asked gladly said yes.

Thus began the gospel sharing journey.

 

2/10/17

 

A group of us met together on Saturday morning. We prayed, paired up into teams, got some survey cards and went to a neighborhood close by our church. To make a long story short, we came back after about an hour and 15 minutes with six yeses to home Bible studies! A few more yeses were acquired later that day from individuals that did some asking on their own.

 

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Here is the Bible study. It is usually taught in 2 lessons and really does a great job explaining what the first church taught(the original one immediately founded after the resurrection or Jesus Christ). I am looking forward to teaching my first one soon and to seeing what God is going to do through these Bible studies. Already we are seeing doors of opportunity to the Hispanic community opening, and I am believing God is going to do great things.

Stay tuned for more!