Another email I received that I absolutely had to share. It's perfect for today and the world around us. I love proverbs there are so many good verses that resonate with all of us.
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
– Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.orgOur culture esteems quick wit, but many times that wit devolves into words that hurt others for a laugh. The Proverbs challenges us to see our tongue as a healing balm. How do you do that? It starts with what we are looking for. Instead of looking for the inconsistencies in other people’s lives, start to notice the strengths. When what we notice is turned into words, we can encourage others in ways that few people do. An occasional jab is fun, but may we be known more for the way we build others up instead of tearing them down.
My Response to This
I know in my family we throw jabs at each other but WE ALL know that's its for fun. And adds a little humor. We make light of things that can go wrong, but in the end we all love each other.
Outside of my family I personally don't do that unless that particular person knows me Aand my personality (<--emphasis on the 'and'). Some people can get offended and honestly, I would too. If I didn't know someone too well, and they were to throw a jab at me, I would think of it as being rude and inconsiderate. I would definitely be feeling the negative energy and most likely just avoid it. For my own peace. In light of our lifestyles, our stresses, our families, our friends, social media and the news, everyone has difficulty in life. It may be on different levels but we ALL have something we are going through. Play nice respect one another. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
It truly is amazing and makes us feel much better when we give someone a compliment or point out what it is they are doing good at. It's good for their confidence, self esteem and also a mood booster. In turn they give us positive reaction which makes us happy. We can all use that!
The Devil's Triangle ... 2.25.2018
Last week's sermon my pastor used the Bermuda Triangle to relate it to our own growth into spiritual well being. We are well aware of the the famous and deadly Bermuda Triangle in the North Atlantic Ocean. It's the part near the Caribbean where the Hurricanes start and have devastated many islands such as Hurricane Irma, which wiped out Barbuda Island and left Puerto Rico without power. This was just last year. This was deadly ... which brings me to the Devil's Triangle.
There are three main points in our Spiritual path which make up the triangle that can lead us into deadly territories.
1John 2:16-17: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is NOT the Father, but is OF THE WORLD. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
There are many other belief systems in our world, in today's society we are taught to live and learn, to follow a set of rules, to read this book or to believe that, to for-see our futures, these are not from the Kingdom of God. Rather it ignores God, it makes him different. These are NOT of the BIBLE. The bible offers you any answers or offers to help you through any difficulty in your life. The Bible has already foreseen our future thousands of years ago. I talks about adultery, it talks about witchcraft, it talks about anger, it talks abut boasting oneself to impress others, it talks about natural disasters, it talks about how we should stay sober, how drunkenness or any other substances can lead us down a path to negative awakenings, it talks about money. And its ALL TRUE! Who hasn't experienced any of this? Since reading the Bible and having personal conversations with God my life has gotten so much better! I'm woken-ed up, I'm avoiding bad decisions, I'm choosing my friends and my relationships wisely, it's leading me onto the RIGHT PATH. You must first believe it to see it and experience it. BELIEVING is the FIRST STEP. The beginning of this paragraph I mentioned there are many belief systems in our world. Exactly. These are OF THE WORLD. It is not from the Kingdom of God.
How many relationships were ruined or how many marriages were torn apart because someone was lusting over another person either by pornography (of the eyes) or committing adultery (of the flesh)? This is the DEVILS TRIANGLE. Avoid it to survive and not lead down a path of temptation and eventually death (Death of a marriage, death of your well being, however you want to grasp that). If we follow the world and it's teachings we can be headed into a dark path but if we follow God we can step into the Light. He makes our light shine bright.
Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:25-26: If we live in spirit, let us also walk in spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
A brave woman in our church gave her testimony about the third point in the triangle. The PRIDE of LIFE. She wanted to share her experience. She achieved several degrees as a young woman, worked herself up to powerful positions, was career oriented and felt powerful and successful, she was focused on herself and boasting about her own self achievements. One day she was involved in a train accident, where she ended up falling off the train. She was in and out of the hospital for 8 years, she needed her family to help her with everything. Eating, getting ready, daily tasks, she didn't have the power like she had before. Her entire was life spent on building herself up to a prestigious position and this is when she came to God. She turned to the heavens for answers, help and guidance. She is now involved in Sunday teachings and helps others. She is still a very smart woman and this has humbled her. She was saved by Jesus.
God knows when bad things are going to happen to us. Its the times when we are at our worst, when we don't know what else to do, when we need help and guidance, that we finally come to knock on his door and ask him for his forgiveness and to be saved. Walking in the LIght
So I started reading the Bible and my plan is to read the whole thing. Yes it will take some time but I have some good news. The first book is complete! Hooray! And I'd like to share A FEW of my FAVORITE verses from this book:
Genesis 1: 29. And God said, Behold, I have given you every HERB bearing SEED, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every TREE, in the which is the FRUIT of a tree yielding seed; to you it SHALL BE FOR MEAT. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every GREEN HERB FOR MEAT: and it was so.
This is the book which contains the story of Noah’s Ark. God flooded the world and saved a few good souls in Noah’s Ark. The world was flooded for 150 days but everyone on the Ark survived. Animals, people, birds, etc. God told Noah to multiply what he had and many sons and families came from Noah’s Ark, and it was his son’s that created the different nations upon our Earth and that is how our nations became divided.
**Sorcery definition = the use of magic, especially black magic. Synonyms: (black) majic, the black arts, witchcraft, wizardry, enhancement, spells, incantation, witching, witchery, thaumaturgy, tarot cards "the practice of sorcery was strictly forbidden" -Google Definition
Proverbs 18:13 (NIV) – To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.
Posted: 28 Jan 2018 09:15 PM PST
To answer before listening--
that is folly and shame.
– Proverbs 18:13 NIV
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.orgOne of the great principles of negotiation is to seek first to understand, and then be understood. We are prone to give answers before we know the full situation, which only makes the person we are talking to feel invalidated in their perspectives. Parents need to listen to children, children to parents, spouse to spouse, worker to worker, and on it goes. So resist the shallow sound bites that you hear on media. Take the time to listen to each other. You may find it the most profitable thing you can do.
My Response to This
Do you ever find yourself wanting to cut someone off really quick or interrupt so you can get your opinion in? Something they said really affects you and you want to get your point in. I have found myself in this situation at times and have interrupted others. Afterwards I think to myself I shouldn’t have done that. I tend to notice others body language and when I interrupt them, it changes their chain of thought. When I see this happening I quickly say, “I’m sorry I didn't mean to interrupt go ahead”... And they continue on with what they were saying. And I take a mental note of what it is I wanted to say so when they are done I can give my response.
As people talk it’s important we allow them to say what they are going to say. The conversation will run much more smoothly and positively if we respect others and value their opinion. When we interrupt we are letting them know we don’t care what else they have to say, therefore we don’t value their opinion. We are cutting them off. We are cutting off the conversation to our own benefit. How does that make them feel?
Walking with Jesus ... III
The Blood of Jesus ... Am I really a Christian? 1.28.2018
This week my pastor spoke about the authenticity of being a Christian and what it really means. Am I really a Christian or do I just categorize myself as one. God knows the effect that sin has on our body and having a habit of sin cannot be in the Christian life. Walking with a habit of sin is walking in darkness. And walking in the Light means that we have been saved. I want to have eternal life, I've accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, I'm taking it seriously now. I was going down a rough road and I needed to be saved, so I turned to Jesus, I turned to our almighty God for help and answers. And he delivered! I feel like without all my trials I've had, maybe I wouldn't have turned to him like I did now. I was listening to the radio today (KKLA Faith and Reason) and the pastor on there said, 'Only the good few will turn to him and want to be saved.' I'm putting Jesus first in everything I do. Relationships, family, friends, I'm getting rid of the darkness qualities that led me further into the darkness lifestyle. By praying everyday he's been leading me on my way and teaching me His ways. I've witnessed it. No man will come before my God. I will seek his advice first.
1John 2: 1-2: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Jesus is our advocate, therefore he is our defender when we are at the gates of God and Satan. If we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, he will save us. Save us from hell, save us from darkness. Every man sins and it's our duty to confess our sins to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. We have one chance to live and Christ will stand by our side when we die. Jesus died for our sins! He shed his blood! We must confess our sins and when we take communion, we are restored, we agree to be saved. We cannot take communion and expect to be saved if we did not confess. If that is the case we are liars and we are lying to God himself. God sent Jesus onto our Earth to save us. It's up to us to find him! To bring him in; To walk in the Light.
IJohn 2:4-6: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Someone may say they believe but when they don't abide by the commandments they are lying. They are lying to themselves and most importantly they are lying to God. If we talk the talk, we must also walk the walk. Otherwise we are 'fools' --essentially. And we are lost. You must be saved. If we do not confess our sins we are giving up our will to live an eternal life in Heaven. Sin is eternal separation from God.
Romans 6: 12-15: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under Grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid.
Think of our instruments as our body parts. We should not let sin override who we are as individuals, we must confess and let God hand us the wheel on life. Let him guide you. Under law is our world. It's materialistic. God was created before any law of our country was created. God is your judge at the end of life, he is the one who decides whether you live in heaven (eternal) or hell (suffer), not the law of the country or the state. Who are you going to abide by?
Have Trust, Faith, and Confidence in our Almighty God!
Walking In the Light 1.21.2018
This week my pastor used Photosynthesis as a way to describe how plants need light in order to survive and live. He met with a science teacher to help him clarify the true meaning of Photosynthesis but I won't get into detail about that. He just used it as an example for how we need God in our lives to survive. When we walk in darkness we fail. We sink. And I personally have my own experience of this, which I why I turned to God this past year in 2017 because I felt my life wasn't going where I wanted it to be going. I'll admit that I did loose sight of him in my teens up into my twenties. I am now 34 and feeling more blessed then ever because I know he never left me, he was waiting for me to come to him.
My relationships were not satisfying me, I wasn't getting what I hoped for. And that goes for a majority my relationships. My past boyfriends and even some of my friendships. The main reason for this was because I'm a giver, but I wasn't getting anything in return. I felt taken advantaged of. My mom was a giver and that's where I picked up the trait. For anyone who is like this it's heartbreaking. I was giving men the chance thinking maybe this one will be the one. After a few relationships I needed answers, I needed guidance, I was getting worn down. Giving someone a chance was the wrong thinking for me. I was lost and I was walking in darkness. I am now surrounded by the light (the Lord) and I feel renewed. Jesus saved me. I had to make a change so I changed to bring Jesus in my life for good. He's never leaving me again! He's all the man that I need. So below is the scripture my pastor used for his sermon this past week.
IJohn Chapter 1:5-10: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
So after reading this passage and back to my personal experience. Did Jesus ever give in to people? Was he that nice to give everyone a chance? The truth is NO. I lied to myself and I lied to him. I was not in the Light. We are ALL born sinners. No one that is here has not sinned before. Whether we cheated on our tests in high school, college, we made fun of someone, we lied on our taxes, we called into work saying we were sick and we weren't, we lied to our significant other, we told them things and never followed through, we made ourselves look good but in no way magnified the Light... we have ALL sinned. And it's important to confess our sins because that is why Jesus died on the cross. For our Sins. He died for our sins and when we confess them and pray for one another, God forgives us of our sin and renews our soul.
I'll admit, I haven't confessed in YEARS! It's been years! But I've confessed this past weekend and I'm still remembering some that I forgot to tell him. It's important we think about what we have done and actually say it aloud and ask for forgiveness. That's what Jesus was brought on Earth for. God sent his only son to die for us. Now who else would do that?
Ephesians Chapter 5: 8-9: For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Some may say one thing but do another, they are lying, therefore they do no tell the truth. BEWARE OF THOSE PEOPLE! There is No Growth, No Fruit, and No Life. The truth is not in them. Gods word is not in them, they may claim that it is but it IS not. They are calling God a liar by saying they didn't do anything wrong. We ALL Sin. Those who seek Gods forgiveness with be given eternal life.
My pastor then used his sons archery skills as an example of life. We miss the mark. We are not perfect in life and Light, we miss the mark. Sometimes we fall short of Gods life. When we confess we are agreeing with God that we missed the mark. God has provided a way for US to clean us of our sins, by confessing. The OLD YOU ===>> Becomes the NEW YOU.
Jesus in light, there is no darkness in the soul and human spirit.
I,II,III John and James
This year at my church, our pastor has organized a yearly message called "Walking With Jesus." Every Sunday will be a lesson that we will learn to understand what it truly means to walk with Jesus. The beginning of last year, 2017, I began to understand and follow the word of the Lord. I needed guidance and I needed to believe he was truly there at my side. I wanted his love to surround me and protect me. Protect me from life's roadblocks. As I got older more things started happening, family members and friends were passing away, family dynamics started changing, relationships weren't working out, and even friendships were questionable. From then I began to question everything about my life. So I came to God for help. And I want to share with you the first lesson towards this years organized message. Walking With Jesus.
Authentic Christians 1.7.2018
My pastor gave this scenario. As you walk with your other half we want to walk side-by-side with each other. We want to constantly have that open communication where we can see each other, possibly touch each other (hold hands, to share our intimate connection), hear each other, we will be able to know each others emotions on a more intimate level by walking side-by-side, not in front-not behind, we can see each others expressions and body language. When one person walks ahead or falls behind, the communication cuts off. We are now getting ahead of ourselves, the other is falling behind, or perhaps wondering why you're walking so fast. What is the real problem here? The communication has stopped. So the same goes for walking with Jesus. We want to be authentic Christians, and by doing that we should be magnifying the Lord with our lives.
1John chapter 2: 4-6: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whose keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected, hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
I used to read the bible before but not really understand it's true meaning, and that's what I love about my pastor. He helps me to understand. Another way to look at this is, if we are truly going to be authentic Christians, then we are to magnify the Lord within our lives, and be the same person outside of church as we are inside of church. Do you only dress to impress for the Lord but not for another person? Are you magnifying the Lord from within or are you just putting up a front when you're at church? When we are at home we should be the same person we are when we are at church. Another point to make is do you love your work? Do you love your job? Do you love your house? Your material things and take pride in where you have come? Your physique or someone else physique? Because this is the WORLD itself, this is NOT the Lord. These are things that came after the Lord.
Verse 16-18: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. **
Another point to make is, if we are going to be authentic then we must NOT let sin destroy our true selves. Authentic Christians will NOT allow the dust and dirt of our sins to penetrate our hearts and souls. God brought his only son down to die on the cross for OUR sins! Do not let this change you as a person! God has already forgiven you, your sins were forgiven when Jesus, his ONLY SON, was tortured for You. Forgive yourself already!! Walk with Jesus side-by-side. Love each other in your actions and your words. Don't be phony and don't be fake. We all know people who say they believe in God but they are not walking with him. God wants us to be ambitious, he wants us to love each other, and take pride in Jesus and what he has done for us. The devil creates fake phony, people who take pride in themselves and magnify themselves, but not God.
**The Following Sunday 1.14.2018
One thing I have learned is that IJohn was written about 50 years later then John. John originally wrote his gospel 50 years before when he walked with Jesus for THREE years. He was there during his teachings and during his time on Earth. He witnessed the miracles and he witnessed how Jesus was IN FACT God. He was the last apostle to die at age 104 of natural causes. He wrote IJohn because 50 years later, after original John was written, other knowledge and Antichrist teachings were in the world, trying to dissuade the real truth of Jesus, to make Christians believe there was something else more meaningful and powerful. So this is when John felt compelled to write again. (The New Testament)
New Knowledge was accepted during this later time on earth, these men have gained a new knowledge that made them believe God did not create this world, because it was physical, therefore it was matter. They considered themselves an 'Elite' group with no concern for others. Science should be meant for education, it IS NOT how the world was created. Science does try to discover how our world was created by using knowledge and scientific evidence. So even way back then other teachings were accepted, but John felt compelled to write again. He was 100% witness because he was there. He heard, seen, and touched the word of life. Everything he said is consistent with the past, nothing ever changed. He never lied about his past writings or changed his point of view, he had no motivation for himself but to teach others, and share to the world, the word of life, therefore he was a REAL witness.
So with all this said we are to have Fellowship with each other. Walk with each other and share our lives together because that is what Jesus did. IJohn only has five chapters and if you want to bring all this together you can read the first four chapters but since you're already going to read four you mind as well read the 5th chapter too. lol Enjoy! Any comments are different points of view are more then welcomed here. Because I love you all!
But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.
– 2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV)
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org, Author of Making Sense of the Bible God does not leave us alone when we face overwhelming odds. Paul felt abandoned by others, but he was not separated from God. Paul knew that God had a purpose for him that was yet to be fulfilled, so Paul was able to stand strong even in the midst of incredible danger. This is the confidence that any man or woman who calls on Jesus should lean on—that God will give you strength, for He has a destiny for you to fulfill.
..and my response to this verse
If you are going through tough times or if you feel like you dont have any support just know that God is your support. Whatever trials or tribulations you may be having, God knows about it, he has a plan for you, and it is through his word that gives you peace and makes you become a stronger person as a result. These are life lessons that you must carry with you and share with others your experiences to also bring peace to them. Them who may not believe or not feel like they are distined for this life.
You ARE destined for this life and yes you better believe it. There is no strong person with an easy past. God saved me when I was in my darkest moment. When I was questioning what my purpose in life was. Loosing three people dearly close to me within a three month period, my failed relationships, a near death car accident almost killing my friend. I did not know what my purpose was. Nothing was going as planned. But he saved me, this is my plan, I would not be the strong confident woman I am today without any of those experiences. Keep fighting and know that you ARE loved and supported every step of the way. Be positive and believe. God gives you peace and strength within his word. Believe, Love, and always strive to be a better you. May God bless you today and always.
I read this today out of my Daily devotions book, By Joel Osteen.
If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away.
AIM FOR KINDNESS - I feel like this relates to today and our world that we are living in. I know we all have experienced bad days, sad days, and life roadblocks. We don't know what other people are going through. Maybe they just lost a loved one, or lost their job or house, whatever the case is, we can make someones day better by showing a little kindness. There was a time when my parents were splitting up and my brother somehow was in control of my mom and told her not to talk to me anymore. I had the police get involved and it was a stressful couple of months. So I liked going to work. Yay work! Looking forward to getting my mind off things..
Someone at work was obviously having a bad day and had no consideration for kindness so HE took it out on me. What happened? You got it.... I cried! I was so sad that I couldn't get mad I just cried. He had no idea what I was going through. See how that works? He was having a bad day and so was I but I got the icing on the cake. I was already hurting inside.
If only he knew.
Life is hard already. But we can change ourselves a little to show kindness towards others. We're all guilty of it but it's important to remind ourselves that kindness goes a long way. I personally feel RESPECT goes with KINDNESS. When we are kind we are respecting the other person. You will make them feel better. Making the world a kinder place.
James 1:19-20: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God
Wrath = Extreme anger (anger, rage, fury, outrage, spleen, vexation, displeasure, annoyance, irritation - Google Definition
What a great verse. God seems to find the perfect verse for me to read as I'm searching for answers. The clues are the there and this is how he is giving me guidance. I was reading my Dad's index cards with Bible verse on them and this verse was the one that I grabbed. My parents went to Bible study together when they were younger and were learning different verses relating to relationships and marriages.
This verse hits home for me as I can relate and also can related to some people I have close ties with who get angry fairly easily. We don't have to be angry. I've read this verse the other day and now my perceptions about anger have changed. I hope those who reach this verse will be saved from their emotional tension just a bit, because that's what it did for me. In some cases though I feel anger is necessary. This of course all depends on my situation and scenario ... interesting thought.
The Bible has so many verse and we can pretty much find anything in the Bible for whatever we are going through giving us clarity on our choices and our journey through life. I started looking for help. The Bible says God finds those who are in need of help. I was in need. I needed support, I needed direction, and I needed my Faith back. When I felt as though everything was falling apart God was there for me. He's the best and my spirit is lifted so much higher because of him.
I've been reconnecting with my Faith and as I start this new journey I want to share some verses along the way, that really hit home and relate to life itself. So excited. Enjoy.