Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Daily Word of God - Philippians 3:20-21

Philippians 3:20-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Mid-Week Message - Guide Precious Savior

"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left."  Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  Psalm 119:105 (ESV)

One day when I was in college, I had one of those days in which nothing goes right.  My alarm didn't go off.  There was no hot water for my shower.  I was late to my first class.  I forgot an assignment.  I tripped on the stairs.  By the time Chapel started, I was just beside myself.  Then we were told to grab our hymnals and turn to page 1 to sing "Holy, Holy, Holy".  When I opened my hymnal and saw that part of it was missing and it began on page 55, I finally started laughing.  For some reason, I saw it as the Lord telling me to lighten up and it all became funny.  Yes, I believe God has a sense of humor.  

Life can be absolutely frustrating.  It can seem that no matter what we do or which way we turn, we end up farther behind than we were when we began.  All of us have experienced that. When it comes to knowing what to do next we can be at a loss.  But, praise God, we have Someone on our side that wants to see us succeed.  He wants each of us to be beacons of joy and we can't do that if we are downcast and worried about every step we take.

My car has a built in guidance system.  All I have to do is press the button and tell it where I want to go and it plots a path for me.  The GPS becomes my guide for where and when to turn and if I follow the directions, I will end up at my destination.  If I forego the instructions, it will attempt to re-route me and get me back on track.  

Our Father has a plan for each of us.  He has a plan and a purpose that only He knows. In order for us to fulfill that purpose, we need to trust in Him, ask Him for directions and follow them.  The first place we need to start is in His Word.  Psalms tells us that it will give us light for our path.  It will keep us from stumbling.  But if you have ever used a flashlight on the darkest night, you know that it only gives a certain amount of light.  Beyond that, you don't know what is coming.  Ah, but, Jesus is the Word that became flesh and He is light.  Our Savior, if we stay close to Him, can be trusted to lead us because there is no darkness where He is concerned.  

Some days are hard.  That will always be the case.  But we have a wonderful GPS to call on.  Ask Him to take the lead and trust Him to do so.  GPS can be your reminder.  Guide Precious Savior.  God bless you.

Daily Word of God - Philippians 2:13

Philippians 2:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Daily Word of God - Galatians 5:24

Galatians 5:24 New Living Translation (NLT)

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 10:13

1 Corinthians 10:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Daily Word of God - Philippians 2:14-16

Philippians 2:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 20:7

Proverbs 20:7 New Living Translation (NLT)

7 The godly walk with integrity;
    blessed are their children who follow them.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday Praise & Worship Audio Recording - Up to the Almighty

Daily Word of God - Galatians 3:22

Galatians 3:22 New Living Translation (NLT)

22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Up to the Almighty

I would like to tell you a story that is repeated all across the world. A man is wheeled into an emergency room with his family closely behind. Emergency medical technicians are racing to get the man into an emergency room bay. Doctors, nurses and medical technicians begin to stream into the bay as the EMTs move the man from the gurney to the medical table. Medical monitoring devices are quickly attached to the man as everyone works to save this man’s life. As I relate this story to you, I know that some have been in the exact situation and know what it is like. The tension is heavy and the fears are real. More and more technicians and medical personnel flood the small emergency room bay in a desperate attempt to ward off death. Sweat begins to bead up on the forehead of the doctor as he uses all of his skills and experience to do what he has sworn to do when he took his Hippocratic Oath -  preserve life.

If the physician is a Christian, he is, deep inside of himself, praying for guidance and calling upon the greatest of all healers, God. In the Hebrew, He is called “Jehovah-Rapha” and that very name translates as the God who heals. This name only appears once in the Bible, but that name of God is so very special because it tells of a God who cares so much for His children that He has the power to heal them.

After the physician has done everything he can humanly do and has either stabilized the man or sent him on to surgery, he visits with the family to let them know what has happened and what the next steps are going to be. He sees a family whose lives are shaken. Some are in tears while others are in prayer. They are holding on to each other and looking for comfort. The physician tells them something that should give them immediate comfort, “I have done all I can do. It is now up to the Almighty.”

This story happens all the time. Sometimes it is not physical life and death. Sometimes it is emotional, spiritual or material life and death. We all struggle with things in our lives that seem like there is no way out of them. Like the doctor, we muster our skills and past experiences to help us work through the problems. But, in the end, we can only do so much. We, like the doctor, must realize that it is not always up to us, but it is up to the Almighty.

When you read through the Bible and read about God, you quickly begin to see God as truly the provider, peacemaker, sanctifier and, most importantly, the one who is always there. He is not only the God who heals but He is also the God who is there, Jehovah-Shammah. He is always there for us in times of joy, strife and trouble. Because of His son’s love and sacrifice for us, we are able to go to the Father in prayer. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” It is through him and him alone that we are able to go directly to God in prayer. We have unfettered access to Him and lift up our prayers of supplication to Him.

Since we are His children, we know that He hears our prayers and will provide us what we need most in those moments of trouble. Let us look at  Psalm 145 and see what David had to say about God. Starting with verse 18 and going through verse 20, David sings these words, “The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. 19He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. 20 The LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked.

As His children, we must love Him and let Him be the center of our lives. When God is the center of our lives, we realize that we can only do so much. God must reign supreme in our lives and as His children, we are able to say, “It is up the Almighty.” When we are able to do that in our times of weakness, we can rest assured that God will provide what we truly need. We may not always get our desires fulfilled. Things may even seem to get worse, but we must continue to remain faithful to God and know that He has our best interests clearly in mind. Let us look at what Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12. Starting with verse 9 and reading to verse 10, Paul tells us, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

By leaving things up to God, we admit to God and to ourselves that we are weak. We are humbled by His power and the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for our sins. When we place our cares into His hands, we know that His grace is total and sufficient to meet our needs. Until we are able to do this, we will never know peace. We will continue to wring our hands and pace the floors night after night. We will worry ourselves literally to death by holding on to our problems rather than holding tightly to the everlasting arms of our Father. In the end, we must, as some say, “Let go and let God.”

We must remember the words of Deuteronomy 20:4, “For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” It is He who will give us victory over all the troubles of this world. He will be there when we need Him most. By leaving things up to the Almighty, we know we can stand firm in His grace.

Daily Word of God - Acts 16:13

Acts 16:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there.

Announcement - Recorded Sunday Praise & Worship Messages

While I was sick and unable to record our messages, I began posting them in written form with the intention of recording them when I recovered. During that period, we received requests to continue to post the written messages. There are some who prefer to read and share them in a text format. 

As my wife and I thought about these requests, we see the value to those who prefer to read our messages. Given all of the requests, we have decided to do both. We will be providing the messages in written and audio format for those who wish to listen while driving.

If I hadn't gotten so ill, I would have never considered the value to our brothers and sisters in Christ to have both formats.

Once again, thank you for prayers and for your suggestions on how to improve our ministry. We reach thousands of people every month and desire to reach more. Because of your prayers and love offerings, we are able to grow the ministry and spread the word of God to those all around the world.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 Timothy 4:12

1 Timothy 4:12 New Living Translation (NLT)

12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Daily Word of God - 1 John 5:13

1 John 5:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 John 5:5

1 John 5:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Daily Word of God - 2 Corinthians 5:17

2 Corinthians 5:17 New Living Translation (NLT)

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 42:9

Isaiah 42:8-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not give my glory to anyone else,
    nor share my praise with carved idols.
9 Everything I prophesied has come true,
    and now I will prophesy again.
I will tell you the future before it happens.”

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 4:21-24

Ephesians 4:21-24 New Living Translation (NLT)

21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Daily Word of God - Psalm 40:3

Psalm 40:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 He has given me a new song to sing,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.

Mid-Week Message - Life's Recipe

"...all the days of my life were written in your book before one of the came to be."  Psalm 139:16b (NIV)

I am trying a new recipe today.  I don't know how it's going to turn out, but it sure does smell good.  I like all the individual contents, I just hope I like them all together.  It's a soup.  A healthy soup.  Something good for us rather than just filling.  As I was putting all the ingredients into the slow cooker and thinking whether I was going to like it or not, I thought about how that soup was a little bit like life.  

Have you ever been asked if you would go back in time and live life over again if you had the choice?  What was your answer?  Mine has always been either a flat out "no" or that I would do it only if I could know then what I know now.  There are certainly things in my past that I would not want to experience again.  If I could know ahead of time what would happen if I made certain choices, then I could avoid them and save myself a lot of heartache.  

I have to wonder though, how would my life change?  If I didn't fall in love with my first love, the one that broke my heart for the first time, what would I have missed out on?  Actually, there are some very precious memories from that time.  If I hadn't ever offended anyone or done anything wrong, I wouldn't know the unburdening feeling of forgiveness and I wouldn't have developed the skills to work through problems.  I guess it was positive for me to have those experiences after all.  

I have heard life compared to weaving.  If you look on the back side you will see loose threads and wonder what the weaver was thinking.  But, if you turn it over, you will see that all those threads come together to create a beautiful picture or pattern.  That is what life is like.  Good times and bad times are used by the Lord to make us more Christlike.  He takes all of our joys, sorrows, mistakes and frustrations and weaves them together to make something beautiful.

Tonight, as I eat my soup and taste all the individual flavors melding together, whether I like it or not, I will remember that before I was born, God saw this day in my life, as well as all of my yesterdays and tomorrows and loves what He sees.  What a wonderful thing to know!  God bless you!  

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 43:19

Isaiah 43:19 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Daily Word of God - Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Daily Word of God - Deuteronomy 31:6

Deuteronomy 31:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Daily Word of God - John 8:31-32

John 8:31-32 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 18:10

Proverbs 18:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
    the godly run to him and are safe.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 John 4:20-21

1 John 4:20-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - What are You Hungry For?

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my health is slowly improving. However, I am still unable to record the message for those who wish to listen to our message. As soon as I am well enough, I will start recording all of the messages that I have been unable to record.

I want to thank each of you for your prayers, words of encouragement and well wishes. They have been a boost to my spirit

Yours in Christ,
Chaplain Jesse

There is one question that frequently pops up between friends and family members. This one question tends to drive a conversation for what seems like hours and tends to go around in circles. Everyone has an opinion or item to share regarding the question. Those conversations are driven by a desire for something. You are probably wondering what question could drive people to such discussion and active participation.

If your family and friends are like mine, then you already know what the question is. It is “What do you want to eat?” My wife and I often have the same discussion on the weekends around lunch and dinner time. I would ask her, “What are you hungry for?” Nine times out of ten, she would say, “Nothing in particular.” Without missing a beat, she would turn the question around and ask me the same thing. I would answer with the same answer and turn the question back to her. This “ping-pong” questioning could go on for a couple of minutes and then sudden stop. Like an unresolved question, it quickly comes back.

All around the world, people have one thing in common, their love for good food and fine drink. No matter where you go in the world, people enjoy sharing their food and drinks with those who visit. The ultimate expression of hospitality is the sharing of food with others. If you watch food programs on television, you see people sharing with others. It is that hospitality that brings people together.

If you go to a sporting event, you see people in the parking lot sharing their food and enjoying the company of others. People call that tailgating and everyone comes together to share. You see similar things occurring in other places as well. People coming together and sharing their food. I would say with a certain level of confidence that there isn’t one culture that does not share food with others as well as strangers. Everyone shares and enjoys the company of others when it comes to eating.

This desire to eat and share goes beyond just food. As a species, mankind hungers and thirsts for other things as well. Knowledge, adventure and the desire to advance man’s state are key ingredients in seeking out those items that satisfy their desire to better mankind in general.

As Christians, we have the same hunger and thirst for certain things as well. Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, tells us this in the section of the scripture called the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are eight blessings recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. These proverbs are statements or proclamations that result in a blessing or an achievement of happiness in our lives. 

The one statement made by Jesus that struck me the most and ties closely to the question I mentioned earlier is in Matthew 5:6. Reading from the New American Standard Bible, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

It is our desire as Christians to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We should be seeking this out daily. We should be active in our search for righteousness and once we receive it, we are satisfied and filled by it. In Psalm 63, we see a wonderful verse about David being in the wilderness. The words beautifully capture the essence of our hunger and thirst for righteousness. Reading verse 1 from the New Living Translation, David writes, “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

We live in a weary land filled with hate, war and sin. The things that this world has to offer will not fill or satisfy us. It will leave us wanting more. There are empty calories in our diets that will leave us empty on the inside. We should be seeking only those things that fill us to overflowing. When we walked in the weary world, we sought those things that only left us empty and desiring more of what the world had to offer. The world can only offer us material things that will not fulfill us. When we heard the Good News, we sought after the living water. We wanted the manna from Heaven to fill us. Let us look at the passage in the Gospel of John about the Samaritan Woman at the well. Jesus, in John 4, comes upon a woman who must go to a well to get water daily. Jesus tells her that drinking the water from the well will leave her thirsty in a short period of time. He tells her about a different water, a living water, that will bubble up into her life and leave her satisfied. Starting with verse 13 and continuing to verse 14, Jesus says, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.

When the woman hears this, she wants this living water. She had been unsatisfied for so long and now she has a new source of water that gives eternal life. All of her life she sought after water from a well that just left her more thirsty. It left her empty and just wanting more. The living water is fresh and it bubbles up within and never leaves us thirsty.

Our desire for God and His righteousness is truly a hunger and thirst. We should be seeking out that living water and spiritual food daily and know that there is more than enough to share with others. Like Jesus, we should tell others of this water and let them know that they, too, can find that spring that bubbles up and provides eternal life.

When we seek God, we know that His righteousness will fill us and sustain us in this weary land. It is only when we seek Him out daily that we, like the children of Israel, be fed and given water to drink by God. When we ask ourselves the question, “What are you hungry for,” we can answer without hesitation, thought or belabored bantering, “I want the living water and spiritual food from God.” Once we receive those blessings, we know we are satisfied and can stand firm in His grace.

Daily Word of God - Galatians 6:2

Galatians 6:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Daily Word of God - 2 Corinthians 5:19-20

2 Corinthians 5:19-20 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 21:2

Proverbs 21:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

2 People may be right in their own eyes,
    but the Lord examines their heart.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Daily Word of God - Galatians 3:26-28

Galatians 3:26-28 New Living Translation (NLT)

26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Daily Word of God - 1 John 4:1

1 John 4:1 New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Daily Word of God - Matthew 18:20

Matthew 18:20 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 2:9

1 Corinthians 2:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
    for those who love him.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Daily Word of God - Matthew 5:44

Matthew 5:44-45 New Living Translation (NLT)

44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

Mid-Week Message - Time in the Wilderness

"Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow." Isaiah 35:6-7 (NIV)

The most traumatic time of my life was in 2012.  Near the end of January, I started having pain in my left calf.  At first the pain would come and go.  Then it began to get very sharp and incredibly strong.  Within a week and a half I was unable to walk without leaning on something.  During the second trip to the emergency room we discovered that my tibia was severed.  While in the pre-surgery area the surgeon that was going to place a rod in my leg to repair it, told my husband and me that because of my weight I would be unable to touch foot to floor until the leg was healed.  

After surgery I was sent for two weeks to a rehab program where they tried to come up with a way for me to be able to maneuver myself enough to avoid being bed-bound.  It was unsuccessful.  I was sent home with a hospital bed.  For the next four months, my life was spent in that bed in my living room, from which my husband had removed our furniture.  It was then that I realized that I was in my wilderness.

I had no control over anything.  I was at the mercy of the "wilds", otherwise known, in my case, as other people whose worlds had also been turned upside down by my condition.  I could do nothing for myself.  Nothing!  However, I was never alone.  I kept my Bible beside me at all times.  I read its words and cried on its pages.  I cried out to the Lord because there was nothing else I could do.  Being unable to care for myself was uninhabited territory.  I was lost.  

He made Himself incredibly real to me.  He brought people to me to bless me and to be the physical hands of His love.  The daughter of a lady in our ministry was one of them.  Karen Hanson came daily, Monday through Friday, for the duration of my time in that bed.  She did everything for me and she barely knew me when we began.  She made my lunch, helped me toilet, bathed me, changed my sheets, washed my hair and did anything else that I needed at the moment.  What a blessing she was, and continues to be.  Her heart for Jesus is incredible and her service to me was proof.  Chad Walding came into my life as my physical therapist.  I have to admit he put up with a lot from me.  Many days that he came he ended up doing more emotional counseling than physical therapy, but there was never a time that he showed anything less than grace and patience.  God showed up through these two loving souls and many others.  

My precious husband and daughter stood beside me the entire time.  They were thrown into a world of care-giving that none of us were expecting.  It was extremely difficult for them as my husband had to also work all week and my daughter was in school.  I begged for God's blessings on them during that time because I knew each of them was struggling to manage all that had to be done.  I had to depend on the Lord to watch over them, comfort them and give them strength. 

This is what I learned during my time in the wilderness.  There will never be a time that my Father in Heaven will leave my side.  When I depend on Him, He will show His might and His tenderness.  When there is nothing else to hold onto, I can grab onto His hand, which I should have had hold of already.  And there is no circumstance that can arise that will be too difficult for Him.  From my pain and sorrow, He brought an intimacy with Him that changed my life forever. 

Wilderness times arise for each of us and come with many different circumstances. I know mine may pale in comparison to others. Are you in the wilderness today?  Are you going through a time of difficulty?  I promise you that if you reach out to Him, He will join you there, walk you through, provide all you need and become more real to you than ever before.  I can make this promise because I know.  God bless you.

Daily Word of God - Luke 16:10

Luke 16:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Daily Word of God - Hebrews 5:8

Hebrews 5:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 3:20

Ephesians 3:20 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Daily Word of God - 2 Timothy 3:12

2 Timothy 3:12 New Living Translation (NLT)

12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Daily Word of God - John 13:34-35

John 13:34-35 New Living Translation (NLT)

34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Daily Word of God - Philippians 2:14-16

Philippians 2:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Help & Strength from God

Dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord Christ Jesus, I still find myself under the weather. I have visited the doctors several times to provide relief and a medical solution. The best medicine I have received is prayer. Many of you are praying for both my wife and myself. We appreciate those prayers more than you can believe.

As my strength and health continue to improve, I will be able to record my last messages for those who prefer to listen to them. Please continue your prayers and support of our ministry as we work through my health issues.

Yours in Christ,
Sr. Chaplain Jesse

As I continue to deal with my health issues and continue to pray for others, I find myself, at times, alone. I feel that God may have given up on me and left me to suffer. That loneliness began to invade every part of my life. I just wanted to be left alone to suffer. Then, my thoughts and fears began to take over. I began to worry about a great many things. We have all been in that situation. We begin to self-diagnose ourselves and wonder if it is more than a cold, flu or whatever. Our minds slip into a mode of fear, uncertainty and doubt. It is the FUD factor again.

Because of that fear, uncertainty and doubt, our minds and souls move away from God. God is the great healer. In fact, God is referred to in Exodus 15 as "Jehovah Rapha" which translates as the "God who heals". Part of the healing process is understanding that there is no place for fear, uncertainty and doubt in our lives. God is always there and ready to strengthen and guide us daily especially during the times of illness, depression or whatever ails us. 

Looking at Exodus 15:26, God tells us specifically what we need to do regarding our hearts. Reading from the New Living Translation, He (being God) said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

By keeping God's commands and decrees, doing those things that are right in His sight and listening carefully to His word, God promises that we should not suffer from disease. One could say, "Why, Jesse, are you ill? If you have done all those things, then why are you sick?" The word that we must remember is "suffer". 

When you think about it, most of the ailments that we deal with can be cured through better living. We need to eat right, exercise and have an optimistic outlook on life. We have often heard the old adage, "Laughter is the best medicine." By having a great outlook on life and maintaining a great relationship with the Lord, we can make it through the illness. Doctors provide us with the medicine, but it is up to us to take it. Through the medicine, rest and drinking fluids, we are able to get through a cold, flu or other illnesses. This is a very simple view of staying healthy. However, it does make sense.

The "suffering" part is the one we need to concern ourselves with. Suffering doesn't exclusively mean "going through something". It means, to me, just getting through it with the right outlook. We can choose to suffer or, rather, be miserable or we can get through the illness with a positive mental attitude and a strong relationship with the Lord. By going through these situations or, better put, suffering through them, we are humbled and have the opportunity to grow stronger in our faith. 

In 1 Peter 5:10, Peter tells us, "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." It is through that suffering that we are able to endure and come out on the other side of our problems with renewed strength and vigor. 

I know that suffering through things is very difficult for many including myself. It is only natural for an individual to want a complete turnaround and just get through the problem. However, we need to remember that God will see us through it. The road is difficult and the path may be unclear, but rest assured that God will be your guide and pilot through everything you face. I sometimes have to remind myself of that, because, I, like many, begin to feel that loneliness. I feel that I must go it alone. Then, I begin to think about God's promises and that He has never broken His word. He will restore, support and strengthen.

God will see us through everything, but we must remain faithful to Him and stay with Him. As I had mentioned earlier, the loneliness that we experience is self-induced. We separate ourselves from our loved ones, friends and God by feeling sorry for ourselves and believe that God has left us. 

Let's look at Isaiah 41:10 in the New Living Translation (NLT). God tells us, "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

Do you have fears, uncertainties and doubts that draw you away from God? Do you feel alone and feel that suffering is just a part of life? You shouldn't. If you have a relationship with the Lord, all things are possible and your outlook in life will change. You will find a peace that surpasses all understanding. You can go through life knowing that God is always there for you and is just a prayer away. All we have to do is call out to Him and He will listen and respond.  God is always there with us and we have nothing to fear or be discouraged by. He will strengthen and help you if you let Him. It is our choice to believe in the Lord and to truly call Him "Jehovah Rapha", the God who heals. By continuing to build a strong relationship with the Lord and having a positive outlook on life, we can easily stand firm in His grace.

May God richly bless each of you. You are always in my prayers and thoughts. 

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 5:1-2

Ephesians 5:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 Peter 1:13

1 Peter 1:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

Daily Word of God - Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 1:16-17

Isaiah 1:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 Wash yourselves and be clean!
    Get your sins out of my sight.
    Give up your evil ways.
17 Learn to do good.
    Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
    Defend the cause of orphans.
    Fight for the rights of widows.

Daily Word of God - Jeremiah 17:10

Jeremiah 17:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
    and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
    according to what their actions deserve.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 21:3

Proverbs 21:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just
    than when we offer him sacrifices.

Daily Word of God - Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Daily Word of God - Psalm 32:10

Psalm 32:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.

Mid-Week Message - Free to Choose

"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

I was very young when I fell in love with the Lord.  I have related the story before about a lady named Betty Allen in Amarillo, Texas.  She was the first person to take me to church.  I must have been around six years old at the time.  When I think back on that day, I remember it from a little girl's perspective.  Adults in suits and dresses, the distinct "church smell", sitting in a Sunday school room with a very nice lady and learning about Jesus.  The beautiful music that could be heard through the hallways.  It appealed to me.  I felt as if I belonged there, though I only knew that one person.  How I wish I could find her and let her know that when she introduced me to church, she introduced me to the Lord I love and serve today.  

This precious lady didn't have to take me to church that day.  She did it out of love for her Savior.  She chose to share His love and I am so very glad she did.  We all have the freedom to choose how we live our lives.  We do not have to accept Jesus as our Lord.  There are plenty that do not.  There are also other gods that we are presented with during our time on this earth and we are free to choose whether to follow one or not.  

When God created us, He gave us free will.  He could have programmed us to automatically follow Him.  However, He would rather we choose Him.  He chose to create and love us.  He would like for us to choose to love Him.  Before Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He could have chosen not to do so.  It was His love for us that kept Him on that cross.  It was His choice.  

So here are my choices.  I choose to believe in God's Word completely.  I choose to believe that He is the Great I Am.  The only True God.  I choose to believe that Jesus Christ is His Son and that He chose to give His life in a tortuous death for my sake and that He rose from the dead and still lives today with His Father in Heaven.  I choose to believe that when I accepted Him as my Savior that I became a child of God, forgiven for my sins and have a promise to live with Him eternally when my life on this earth is done.  I choose to speak openly about my love for Him and the wonders He has worked in my life.  I choose to spend time with Him in prayer, to carry my burdens and the burdens of those around me to Him because I believe He loves us enough to answer those prayers.  I choose to believe that what His Word says is true and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever and because of that He is still a God of miracles and that they happen every day.   I choose Jesus.  

God bless you.

Daily Word of God - Psalm 5:11

Psalm 5:11 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Daily Word of God - Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Daily Word of God - 1 John 2:15-16

1 John 2:15-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Daily Word of God - Psalm 78:16

Psalm 78:16 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 He made streams pour from the rock,
    making the waters flow down like a river!

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 43:19

Isaiah 43:19 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.