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.

 

Incredible pREACHing

This past Thursday night, Saturday afternoon(at our annual spring youth rally)and Sunday morning and evening, our church was blessed to hear the anointed preaching of Pastor Ron Townsley from Princeton, Illinois. Brother Townsley was with us 2 years ago as the speaker at our 2014 youth rally and was greatly used of God to help our church.

Preaching is really amazing to me. I find it incredible that a man of God can earnestly pray, study and deliver a message that can touch people’s lives in so many different ways.

 

1Corinthians 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

 

It’s through the preaching of the Word of God that we can receive the greatest gift, which is the salvation of our souls.

 

There are a host of other things that we need saving from as well.

 

-false doctrine

-bad attitudes

-despair when we’re being tested

-bitterness

-rebellion

-our own carnal nature

 

This is by no means a complete list, but God knows just exactly what we need and when we need it. He knows each person that is going to be in any given meeting and the needs that are represented there. For instance, on Sunday there was a young lady in our morning service that we had not seen for several months. We had no idea that she was going to be there. Having known some of her background and things she has been through recently, I knew that things that were being said by the preacher were speaking to her and her situation. The preacher had no idea who this young lady was, but God knew, and God was reaching for her through an anointed God called preacher. At the same time, the message that was coming across the pulpit was striking a chord with others who were there also. It is so awesome how God uses His Word to reach to us! I’m so thankful for the Word of God and God called men who are not afraid to preach it. I wish I could share all that Pastor Townsley preached, but I know I could not do it justice. I’m just thankful that he allowed God to use him, and many individuals responded to the Word and were strengthened and helped as God was reaching through the preaching.

 

 

 

The Word of God in your ears has been preached.

And by it, for your heart the Lord has reached.

Respond! Respond!

Hark to the Master’s call.

Come to the altar; give to Him your all.

 

The things the man of God has said ring true.

And now it’s time, the choice is up to you.

Submit! Submit!

Your will to God, do give.

He’ll give to you a better way to live.

 

As in His holy presence you do kneel,

And offer up a pure, sincere appeal,

Receive! Receive!

The grace He does impart

To get back up and make a brand new start.

 

And from the church house as you go your way,

Knowing you’ve heard the things God had to say.

Leave changed! Leave changed!

And no more walk alone.

Go in the strength that flows from Heaven’s throne.

 

4/12/16

 

Tricky Trap House

 

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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!

 

 

Easter Highlights

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Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing that we can be born again!

 

This was part of an awesome puppet show that we had in Children’s Church. Sis. Kolej and our young people puppeteers did a super job.

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Celebrate, Jesus! Celebrate!

 

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I was really looking forward to this moment. 10 year old Daniel was about to sing his very first special in church. Pastor brought him up to the platform first and bragged on him. Then he had Daniel testify. Hearing Daniel testify is always a moving experience. He is articulate and has a sensitivity to God and a love for Him that radiates through him. As Daniel was weeping, he thanked God for the church, thanked Him for the blood that He shed on the cross and ended his testimony by saying he wanted to be a soul winner. Beautiful!

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Daniel sang a medley-I’ve Got That Holy Ghost, I’ve Already Been To The Water & Look What The Lord Has Done. I’ve Got That Holy Ghost is his favorite song. When Daniel sang, he wasn’t polished, but he was surely anointed! I couldn’t help but cry and shout. God surely has His hand upon this boy, and I’m excited to see how God is going to use him as he grows up.

 

We had 7 new visitors and 1 repeat visitor that came, and I know God was working in hearts. Thank you, Lord!!

 

She Crossed The Finish Line

This is the wording my husband/pastor used in relaying to some folks from our church that Sister Carmen Hood, whom we have been praying for, had passed away today. Sister Hood was the wife of the late evangelist Jason Hood, mother of Jaelyn Hood, anointed singer, songwriter, musician and a genuine Christian lady. My heart goes out to her family. I am praying for them and especially her daughter Jaelyn who has lost both her daddy and mommy within a short time period.

When I first heard the news of Sister Hood’s passing, my mind went back to something I posted almost 10 years ago. The post was entitled When Death Doesn’t Seem Fair. To keep this post from being too lengthy, I won’t go into the details of that post. I just mentioned it, because this is one of those situations where from our human standpoint, the death of Sister Carmen Hood may seem unfair. She endured so much physical affliction, was so young and has left behind a little girl. It’s easy to wonder things such as “God, how come you didn’t heal her when we truly believed you could do it?” “Why are you leaving her little girl without a daddy and a mommy?” I’m sure there are other questions too, and I make no claims that I completely understand it all.  The truth of the matter is that this is just one side of the story. This is our human perspective, but God has a perspective too.

The Scripture says in Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” 

What we look upon as a loss down here on earth, God is counting as a great gain.  One of His children, whom He never intended to live forever in this sin cursed world, has come home to a place where there will be no more sorrow, tears, crying and pain, and best of all, there is constant, unbroken fellowship with the Lord. Many times we have prayed for Sister Hood to be healed, and today she received healing in the way that God chose to heal her. I understand that her passing is very difficult for family and friends, but to those of them that have been obedient to the gospel and are living for Jesus, it is only a temporary separation. It is an ending in one sense. In the Scripture, living this Christian life is compared to running a race. Sister Carmen has finished that race and can now say with the apostle Paul:

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: ” 2 Timothy 4:7

But today was also a beginning for Sister Hood. The apostle Paul goes on to say:

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

My prayer is that Sister Hood’s family will find comfort in the fact that she has gone on to receive her prize, and if they will embrace the same faith that she had, they will see her again.

I dedicate this poem to Sister Hood and her family.

She crossed the finish line

Led by His hand divine

Though we felt it too soon she should go

God allowed it to be so.

 

Frail body can no longer confine

She crossed the finish line

Continuing her redemption story

In the presence of His glory.

 

We prayed that she would be healed

God’s plan for her now revealed

She crossed the finish line

It was by His design.

 

And although we do feel great pain

Our loss, Heaven’s blessed gain

We know everything will be fine

She crossed the finish line.

 

 3/25/16