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Dealing with Erectile Dysfunction: Help for Christian Men

June/July, 2016

Interpreting Spiritual Dreams Can You Know for Sure You‘re Going to Heaven? How to Be a Wife Who Encourages Rather Than Complain 7 Demons That Attack a Church

M A G A Z I N E

10 Signs You‘re Desperate for Marriage How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself in 5 Easy Steps 2016 Top 10 Vacation Spots In The World Zondre‘ Hunter-Frazier and Unstoppable Praise

Regaining Intimacy and Rebuilding Trust After a Porn Addiction


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Contents June/July, 2016

Inside This Issue

11

Artist Spotlight:  Zondre’ Hunter-Frazier and

11 Unstoppable Praise -- 11

 Dealing with Erectile Dysfunction: Help for Christian Men– 13  Regaining Intimacy and Rebuilding Trust After a Porn Addiction -- 29 13  How to Be a Wife Who Encourages Rather Than Complain -- 35  10 Signs You’re Desperate for Marriage -- 39

Zondre’ and Unstoppable Praise

Relationships:

Personal Wellness:  5 Easy Ways to Treat Yourself Each Morning -- 44  How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself in 5 44 Easy Steps - 46  Look 10 Years Younger with These Home Remedies – 52

Download now on Cdbaby, Itunes, Amazon and Google Play

Travel  2016 Top 10 Vacation Spots In The World -- 27

06 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

Cover Photo by Alpha Coders


Also in this issue‌ 08

Letter from the Editor

51

A Word from the Lord by Evangelist Nancy Turner

56

7 Demons That Attack a Church

71

Interpreting Spiritual Dreams

78

Can You Know for Sure You’re Going to Heaven?

83

Dear Blessed Magazine

85

We Heard You

One of the strongest foundations on this earth is FAMILY Steps for a Strong Foundation in Jesus Read the Bible Together Pray Together Go to Church Together Communicate with Each Other Blessed Magazine


Letter From the Editor

Praise the Lord My Brothers and Sisters in Christ! First giving all glory and honor unto the Lord Jesus Christ for without Him in my life, nothing I could ever do would amount to anything! And, I would like to render a praise report for the many souls who have accepted Jesus into their lives these past months. Continue praying for this ministry as it is all done to the glory and honor of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!! There is so much going on these days, we must continue to seek God for everything in our lives. Keep praying for our spouses, our children, our loved ones and our friends. And, a special prayer for the many churches around the globe as the enemy is forever dividing and making havoc of the sanctuary, but we must endeavor to keep praying and believing God!!! This world seems to be turning upside down because so many have lost their way, but again, the devil is a liar and as long as our God (Jesus Christ) sits on His throne, we will be more than conquerors through Him…AMEN I want to personally thank all of our fans and readers for their continued support of this ministry which is striving and for that I am grateful Our goal is to continue being a resource for Christians and others for years to come and with your support we can keep this publication available free of charge always on our digital platform Pray for us as we continue to pray for you and thank you for reading this issue of Blessed Magazine God bless you in this coming new year!

Yours in Christ,

Laraine Turner Editor in Chief 08 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016


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Will Never Give Up On You!


Artist Spotlight

Zondre’ and Unstoppable Praise ―Get Right Church‖ is a message that Zondre‘ feels passionate about. She says, ―As I was driving in my car one day, I was saddened by some of the things I witnessed in church. I was grieved because I see people going to church, but for some of them, the church isn‘t inside of them. As a PK (preacher‘s kid), I have seen a lot, but that particular day, I found myself crying out to the Lord. I asked Him to help us to get right. The song‘s lyrics started to come and later on, my brother and now producer Todrick added music to it.‖ Since that time, the song has become a fan favorite with a mix of old school Gospel and contemporary grooves. She continues, ―Through this song, we are shouting ‗get right church‘ to the nations. We want to remind people that they have to start living right and that God still requires holiness. That‘s our cry to the world. We want everyone to see Jesus, so it‘s time to ‗get right church‘.‖

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Relationships

Dealing with Erectile Dysfunction: Help for Christian Men By Anna Diehl CAUTION: Due to the nature of the subject being discussed, this article contains some graphic language

For all of you Christian guys out there, it‘s time to talk real about the highly embarrassing subject of erectile dysfunction. Maybe you‘ve never had sex and you‘re stressing over things going badly that first night. Or maybe you‘re trying desperately to make things work and your body keeps sabotaging you in the critical moment. Or maybe things used to work and now they don‘t. Whatever the case, if you‘re stressing over erectile dysfunction, then this article is for you. Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 13


Relationships Because the world hates God, the world promotes a value system that is a total reversal of what God‘s value system is. God says your worth as a man is defined by His great love for you. The world says your worth is defined by the size of your genitals and how well you can get them to perform on command. The world‘s system is sheer idiocy, but when you get this garbage drilled into your brain from birth, it‘s very hard to unlearn. Here‘s where battling with erectile dysfunction actually becomes a major advantage. You see, the purpose of life is not for you to learn how to be Mr. Smooth in bed. God didn‘t create you for the purpose of having sexual intercourse, He created you for the purpose of forming a deep soul bond with Him. Do you know what holds you back in your relationship with God? Believing a bunch of lies about how your value as a man is measured. Letting another human‘s assessment of you trump God‘s assessment in your mind. Turning sex into a symbol of things that sex really has nothing to do with. These kinds of struggles are shared by all men, but now that you and God are together, He‘s not just going to leave you alone. He wants your relationship with Him to progress. This means He‘s going to bring trials into your life that will raise your awareness of where you need to learn to think differently, and then He‘s going to help you to make those changes.

wants to teach you through this trial, let‘s start with asking why this is such a big deal.

Now many things can cause erectile dysfunction. There are biological factors, psychological factors, and emotional factors. To figure out what positive lessons God

faces also reveal who you are viewing as your harshest critics. There‘s a big difference between thinking, ―I‘m so frustrated that I can‘t please my wife,‖ and thinking, ―My

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So you can‘t perform when and how you want to—why is this the end of the world? Don‘t just fluff this question off, really think about it. What is driving those negative feelings, and what are the specific emotions? Are you dealing with guilt, embarrassment, humiliation, or shame? Pay attention to your thought process—who is the first person to come to mind when you think about this issue: yourself or your woman? Is she making a big deal about this or are you the one who‘s getting on your own case? Is anyone else‘s face invading your thought process—such as a brother or a friend or your father?

The people you focus on mentally when you feel like a failure reveal who it is that you care most about pleasing in life. But those

Photo Credit: American Longevity Center


Relationships wife must think I‘m such a pathetic loser,‖ or ―My wife must be so disappointed in me.‖ When you view your wife as the main source of the criticism, this is going to have a major impact on how you relate to her in other areas. A common trap men fall into is believing things about their wives that simply aren‘t true. LEARNING TO RECEIVE HELP Let‘s talk about your woman for a moment. When humans feel intense emotions welling up inside of them, they instinctively project those feelings onto others. For example, when performing well is enormously important to you, you assume it is a huge deal to your wife as well. You don‘t actually ask her for her honest view on the topic because you‘ve already decided what she thinks. Humans do this with each other all the time, and our refusal to acknowledge that other people have vastly different perspectives of life than we do is what makes intimate relationships so challenging. Your wife simply doesn‘t view sex the same way you do. For starters, she‘s not a guy. She has a totally different anatomical set up than you, and her sensual experience of the whole process is quite different than your own. Secondly, she thinks differently than you do. When it comes to affirming words, affirming touch, and actual intercourse, you have your priorities, and she has hers. For most women, affirming words and affirming touch rank way higher than actual intercourse. Since

erectile dysfunction only stops intercourse, the crisis is not nearly as big as you think it is, because you‘re still able to give her the two things that she cares most about. But once you decide that she puts actual intercourse at the top of her list, you totally shut down on her when that doesn‘t happen and you go slinking off in humiliation while she‘s left with nothing. Instead of giving her what you can give her, and believing her when she says she‘s satisfied, you decide for her that if she can‘t have the intercourse, then the rest of it is useless. See the problem? When we‘re embarrassed, our listening skills often go out the window and this is something you may need to work on. If you have several failed attempts on your record already, then it‘s time for some honest reflection. Has your wife been trying to tell you that this isn‘t anything you need to be so upset by? Has she been trying to build up your esteem with positive comments? Forget about how you reacted to her words and just play a recording of what she actually said. Your wife is not you, and that means she isn‘t going to put things exactly how you want them to be put. But if you‘ve married a woman with class, then she is going to be stressed by your stress and she is going to be trying to help you. God has wired women with a very strong nurturing instinct. Just as the desire to protect surges within you when you sense that someone you care about is in physical danger, a very strong desire to emotionally soothe surges in your wife when she senses Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 15


Relationships that you are emotionally stressed. As a general rule, women are much more sensitive to emotional vibes than men are. It‘s like she‘s an antenna that can pick up both AM and FM stations while you can only pick up AM. In life, she is constantly scanning your emotional aura and when she detects any negativity, she gets anxious and tries to figure out some way to help. Now because women have been wired by God to want to intervene in emotional crises, when you‘re in a crisis and you slam the door in your wife‘s face, it‘s very hurtful. You do this because you‘re embarrassed, of course, and feeling embarrassed makes you want to run to the moon. But here‘s where you need to try to understand that your wife thinks very differently than you do. While you consider giving your wife some really great experience of intercourse is a major score, her idea of a major score is successfully helping you out of some emotional crisis. The desire to please isn‘t just on your side. To most wives, one of their most cherished prizes is an invitation from you for them to support you in a moment when you are obviously feeling vulnerable.

Women assess your value of them by how much you let them in. If your wife is the only one you‘ll cry around, she translates that to mean she has a secure place as your close confidant. If your wife finds out you shared some very personal information about yourself with another woman, she‘s going to immediately feel threatened and jealous because by getting vulnerable with another 16 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

woman, you just elevated her in rank. This is how women think. They deal in the exchange of information. Who do you talk to and what kinds of information do you share? There‘s cheap plastic money, real bills, and priceless gems. The harder something is for you to talk about, and the more vulnerable the sharing of that information makes you feel, the more it‘s worth to your woman. Your wife wants to be the one you share the gems with. To her, that‘s a huge compliment. This means that if things suddenly go south at the critical moment and you respond by hiding out in the bathroom, you are telling your wife that she doesn‘t rate high enough with you to get to help you in a vulnerable moment. When you finally come out of the bathroom and she‘s all upset, it‘s because she‘s hurt by you emotionally shutting her out, not because there was no intercourse. See how it works? Your wife doesn‘t have the same priorities as you. While you want to impress her with your performance, she wants to earn your trust. Now we‘re not all married to spouses with class. Maybe your woman is really working the world‘s garbage on you and trying to make you feel like a loser because you can‘t turn it on when she wants it. We‘ll address that scenario in a moment. But for all of you men who do have wives with honorable character, now is the time to consider whether God has brought this embarrassing trial into your life to help you practice opening up more and letting others help you. In life, God‘s help comes to us in many forms. If He‘s paired you with a woman who


Relationships is sensitive to your feelings and eager to help you, you need to take a hard look at how you‘re responding to this great gift. Are you constantly shutting her out and treating her concern for your feelings like some kind of insult? Are you throwing up walls when she tries to come running to your aid? If so, you need to own up to what a foolish jerk you‘re being and ask God to help you learn how to get better at receiving help.

Photo Credit: Health Instritution

You‘re not invincible. No man is. You don‘t have it all together. You have wounds, insecurities, and fears just like every other human on the planet. God is going to help you with those things, but He‘s going to choose the form in which that help comes. If you refuse to receive the help God is sending you through the channel He has chosen, He isn‘t going to change His style to accommodate your preferences, because God will not be led by you. There are some really fantastic prizes you can gain through this struggle with impotency if you‘re willing to seek God‘s wisdom in how you should respond to it. The bond between you and

your wife can grow exponentially stronger if you learn how to set your pride down long enough to admit that sometimes you need to lean on her instead of always trying to be the strong one. And since the ability to receive help is so critical in your relationship with God, getting better at that skill with humans is going to help you in the spiritual arena as well. So here‘s one valuable opportunity for growth that battling with erectile dysfunction can bring: a chance to learn how to talk about your limitations and receive affirmation in the face of them. We humans struggle immensely to accept that we are loved and approved of when we don‘t think we‘ve properly ―earned‖ these things. When you try to believe your wife when she says your inability to perform doesn‘t lower her opinion of you in the least, you are practicing a skill that is critical in your relationship with God. God says He loves you because He wants to. He says you‘re precious to Him because He says so. He doesn‘t give you a long list of logical justifications. He says that He‘s God, therefore what He says goes. If He says you‘re worthy, than that‘s what you are. Going far with God requires learning how to accept that He views you quite differently than you do. Keeping your marriage strong requires a willingness to allow your wife to draw conclusions about you that you simply don‘t agree with. Maybe you feel like it‘s unacceptable that you can‘t perform, but she says she simply doesn‘t care because she loves you for who you are, not for your abilities in bed. Are you going to let her be Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 17


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Relationships her own person or not? LEARNING TO REJECT LIES Maybe you know that if your old man ever found out about the problems you were having, you‘d never hear the end of it. Maybe your wife is going into some snit over the fact that you can‘t get where you need to be when she‘s in the mood. Maybe the guys at work can‘t stop talking about their conquests and it‘s making you feel super jealous. In these scenarios, there‘s a different lesson that needs to be learned. When there are influential people in your life who are promoting the world‘s rot that a man‘s value can be measured by his performance in bed, suddenly the pressure to come across becomes immense. You‘re not just trying to have intercourse, you‘re trying to prove to critical people that you‘re worth something. If this is where you‘re at, it‘s time to realize that you‘re way off course from where God wants you to be, and you need to ask Him to help you get into alignment with His value system. Intercourse is an earthsuit activity. Your earthsuit is like the car you drive: it‘s just a temporary machine that your soul is using to get around in this physical dimension that we live in. Your earthsuit isn‘t you. Your soul is you, and your soul doesn‘t have a sex drive or genitals. God is in love with your soul. Salvation and damnation are God‘s responses to your soul. Your earthsuit is just a shell. When you try to prove the worth of your soul by the current condition of your penis, that‘s

like trying to say your value as a human being can be measured by what position your tongue is in. What kind of sense does this make? What does your earthsuit have to do with your soul? Do you assess your level of intelligence by the shape of your navel? Do you measure the length of your fingers to decide how successful you‘ve been in life? No, but you view your genitals as being some epic statement on how manly you are. Let‘s talk real about genitals for a moment. Did you choose your testicles? Did God give you a selection of penises to choose from when He was putting you together? No. He gave you what you had, and He set the size parameters on these things. At some point you need to realize that this fixation with everything being large and long is utterly asinine. You had zero say over the equipment you received. You got what you got. Your earthsuit is like the rental car that you get assigned to at an airport. When they tell you that they only have one vehicle left, you take it, because you need something to get around in. Well, should we follow you to the vehicle and start measuring the size of the tires and counting how many dings are in the frame to assess what kind of person you are? Does this make any sense? No, because the car has nothing to do with who you are—the car is just a machine. In the same way, when you find yourself feeling embarrassed about your manhood because you‘re ―too small,‖ you‘re being utterly nonsensical. In the first place, your manhood is irrelevant because your soul does not have a gender. Your value to God has nothing to do with what sex your Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 19


Relationships earthsuit happens to be. Your value as a living being is defined by how much value your Creator says you have. God says you‘re priceless. Jesus says you were worth dying for. Yahweh says you were worth sacrificing His Son for. The Holy Spirit says you‘re worth inhabiting. By the time you‘re even pulling back the bed sheets, you‘re a human who has been declared to be precious and priceless by three Almighty Gods. In light of Their affirmation of you, who even cares what size some part of your earthsuit is? Who cares what‘s working and what isn‘t? Are you seeing how totally irrelevant the whole topic of erection is when we step back and look at the big picture? Sex has nothing to do with anything that even matters. Whether your earthsuit is feeling aroused or unaroused, ready or unready, has nothing to do with your value as a human being. As a Christian, there is a balance that you need to shoot for in life. Yes, things like impotency need to be discussed. Sex and all that comes with it needs to be discussed. But while we‘re talking about these things, we need to keep a grip on what matters and what doesn‘t. Certainly God cares about the fact that you feel all stressed out when nothing‘s happening. But His idea of helping you with that situation is to teach you how to put the whole topic of erection in proper perspective. Nothing about your earthsuit should be weighing in as a factor when we start talking about the subject of your worth and value as a human being. Your physical limitations don‘t have bumpkus to do with how successful you are as a person, because God 20 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

defines success as a matter of soul choice. How you‘re responding to your Creators in the privacy of your own soul is what determines how successful you are, how much ground you‘ve gained, how mature you are, and what kind of role model you‘re being. How well you do or don‘t turn on your wife simply doesn‘t make it onto the list of life‘s important topics. The world tells you that it does, but at some point you have to stop calling the world‘s idiocy ―wisdom.‖ When your inability to have intercourse feels like the end of the world, that‘s an indication that you need some major help in correcting your personal value system. If you‘re feeling convicted right now that this is something you need to work on, then ask God to help you be receptive to everything He wants to teach you. Ask Him to help you see your worth through His eyes so you can stop viewing your sexual performance as more important than it is.

Photo Credit: Black Doctor


Relationships Sure, sex can be a lot of fun and a real blessing to your marriage. But when God is putting the brakes on you, that‘s your cue to start looking for other lessons that He wants to teach you. A guy who has a dynamic sex life yet never learns to divorce his personal worth from his performance in bed is really missing out on some essential insights. If you want to go far with God in your own life, He‘s going to push you to progress in essential areas, and how God measures your value is definitely one of those areas. DRAWING BOUNDARIES WITH ABUSIVE WIVES When your own value system is right, then when your wife tries to make some issue out of your inability to perform, you will see her griping as the garbage that it is. Your wife is not God, and she can‘t take away the value that God has already assigned to you. So if she‘s giving you no end of grief about your inability to perform on cue, it‘s time to talk about boundaries. In Christian circles, it‘s often said that once a man and woman marry, they literally own each other‘s bodies. Well, no, they don‘t. Your body is the property of the Ones who created it and They never relinquish ownership of you to demons, humans, or anyone else. When you walk around in your body on earth, you‘re like the teen whose father gave him a car to drive. The teen needs to treat the vehicle well out of respect for his father, because his father owns the

vehicle. But the father also wants his teen to benefit from using the car, not be afraid to ever use it. In the same way, God wants you to enjoy the body He gave you. He has designed your body with the capacity to experience all kinds of sensual pleasures. The fun of gazing at a woman‘s curves, the delight of caressing her body, the rush of a sexual orgasm—all of these things are well and good when you‘re doing them within the boundaries God has set, and that means doing them only with the woman who you are legally married to. But while God has given spouses many options for enjoying their bodies, no one owns anyone, and that means no one has grounds for dominating, injuring, or coercing. You are a soul who God dearly loves. Since your body is associated with your soul on this earth, your body needs to be treated with great respect, because God says your soul has immeasurable value. This means that you do not give your wife access to your body if she is not demonstrating any respect for it. Bodies are very sensitive, complex machines. They have three basic components: emotional, physical, and mental. It is your responsibility to require that all of these elements be treated with respect whenever your wife has access to you. Should she stop treating some element with respect, then you need to cut off her access. This means that if you‘re in the middle of things and your wife makes a move that physically hurts you, you let her know. You don‘t expect her to read your

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 21


Relationships mind, because that is not reasonable. But you tell her what caused you pain and you ask her not to do it again. She responds by either choosing to respect or disrespect your body.

Photo Credit: Sharp

You‘re not a machine. You can‘t just have intercourse from sunup to sundown. There are times when it would physically hurt you to attempt intercourse. There are things you could do to yourself to force your penis to erect, but if you are not comfortable doing these things then don‘t do them. There is no law that says you owe it to your wife to give her sex whenever she wants it. You‘re not her slave, you‘re her equal, and you need to act like it. If you‘re having some kind of issue that makes intercourse a problem, then you tell her it‘s not a good time. If she‘s trying to shove some kind of pill or device on you that promises to solve your erection issue but you don‘t want to do it, then you say no. Don‘t be a doormat with your wife. When you start acting like a doormat, you cause a dangerous shift of power to occur and she ends up with way too much power on her side of the

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relationship. It is having access to too much power which turns nice people into mean abusers so it is critical that you draw boundaries in your sex life and insist on respect for your entire self before you give her access to your body. Mockery is a form of emotional disrespect. If your wife is making derogatory cracks about your genitals, your performance, or any other aspect of you, then you don‘t get in bed with her. There is only one way to regain respect that has been lost in a relationship and that is to draw boundaries, hold boundaries, and start getting a lot more stringent with the rewards. Now correcting an imbalance of power takes time, and if you start holding grudges, you‘ll never get to a good place. If you‘ve been letting your wife walk all over you in the bedroom and eating her abuse because you thought you were morally obligated or something, then now is the time to change your ways. You have to cut off all rewards, explain what the new rules are, and not give her what she wants until she meets your requirements. If your requirements are reasonable, this system will work. If you demand perfection and groveling on her part, then you‘ll only end up in a bigger mess. Respect is vital in the bedroom and it mustn‘t be treated like a negotiable issue. When your wife makes some comment about you that hurts your feelings, you need to stop and explain that to her.You have to use your words. Glares, body language, and subtle hints don‘t work. You need to clearly identify


Relationships what it is you don‘t like, why you don‘t like it, and what is better. For example, ―It hurts my feelings when you call me fat. I don‘t like how you‘re touching my stomach. I would rather you keep your hands off of this area (show her the area you mean with your hands).‖ Or, ―If I tell you I‘m not able to have intercourse right now, you‘re going to have to believe me. I‘m not going to prove it to you by letting you stick your hand in my pants. I‘m an adult, not a child.‖ Or, ―Stop trying to arouse me by touching my penis. I don‘t like it.‖ Communication and respect are critical to having a positive sex life, and these things need to flow both ways. If you‘re yelling at your wife all day, then she‘s not going to be eager to get all cuddly with you in bed. And just because you‘re having trouble with timing doesn‘t mean she has to come running the minute you‘re in the mood. Remember that how things go in the bedroom is largely determined by how we‘re treating each other when we‘re not in the bedroom. If you don‘t demand respect in any other area of life, then you‘re going to have an enormously hard time getting her to suddenly respect you in the bedroom. Boundaries are needed in every area of your marriage, and if you know that you need work in this area, ask God for help. Now some of you men are in a real mess because you‘ve veered off into the world of kinky alternatives to regular intercourse. Realize that anal and oral intercourse are not God‘s idea of appropriate sex. Also realize that engaging in sadomasochistic torture

fests in the name of ―sexual play‖ is extremely harmful to both you and your wife. We need to do sex God‘s way if we‘re going to do it at all, and when He‘s blocking us, we need to seek His wisdom on what to do in the meantime, not just rush into the depraved alternatives that the world promotes.

VIRGIN ANGST Now for all of you virgins who are stressing over not being perfect on your first try: give yourself a break. You haven‘t done this before. You‘re not supposed to be smooth at it, and if you marry the right woman, she will understand this ultra-obvious fact. On all sides, you hear virgins being slammed as stupid, lackluster, unsatisfying, and utterly disappointing sexual partners. Well, here again, you need to learn to recognize idiocy when you hear it. The only reason the world invests so many resources into mocking virgins is because God says virginity is a positive thing. If you‘re a virgin, you ought to be proud, not ashamed of it. The older you get, the more special and impressive your virginity becomes. Now all things are not equal in the world of sexual temptation, and God does not equip us all with the immense self-control we need to keep our clothes on. But those of you who have been blessed with the ability to stay pure certainly shouldn‘t be acting like such a great blessing is some shameful thing. That‘s insulting to God. He says the only appropriate sexual partner for

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 23


Relationships you to have is your wife. Not your girlfriend or your shack up who you‘re calling your wife, but your actual, legal wife. It‘s darn hard to make it all the way to that finish line without falling on your face. If God‘s helping you with this, then you should be giving Him the glory for it and viewing your virginity as the fabulous thing that it is.

Now if a kid mounts a bike for the first time, are you going to yell at him for falling over two seconds later? Of course not, because you understand that it takes time and practice to learn how to ride a bike well. We could say the same of many different activities on earth, and this is certainly the way it works with sex. If you‘re a virgin you‘ve got zero experience. This isn‘t something to be embarrassed about, this is the way it‘s supposed to be. You‘re not supposed to know exactly what to do—that‘s where your wife comes in. If you do it God‘s way, then your first attempt at sex will be with a woman who you are very emotionally bonded to. There will already be a foundation of trust and mutual respect established before you even get down on that bed, plus your woman is not some silent partner in the whole thing. She will be communicating with you and helping you out. This isn‘t going to be a case of you trying to grope your way around in some dark room. Godly sex is a romantic dance between two willing partners who are both eager to please each other. When someone accidentally steps on someone else‘s foot, there‘s apologetic giggles, not a raining down of insults and mockery. So

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there‘s no reason to feel anxious about fumbling about. Of course you‘ll fumble, but that‘s part of the whole bonding experience. Now because the world is so anti-virgin, and so big on saying a man is only as good as his ability to erect on demand, this gives you some good screening material to use when you‘re looking for Miss Right. If you see her laughing at some joke in a show in which some woman is ragging on her one night stand for being too small or for being unable to perform, call your date out on it and ask her what she thinks of the whole topic of men performing in bed. You don‘t want to waste your time with a woman who is going to fixate on the size of your genitals. Any woman who is placing value on such things is hardly good wife material.

Photo Credit: Bent Miles

The world says that the goal of sex is to have the longest orgasm possible as often as possible. God says that sex is the celebration of a bond of mutual love, respect, and commitment which already exists between a man and his wife. This is why it‘s impossible


Relationships to have godly sex before you‘re married: because legally binding yourself to a woman is the kind of commitment God has in mind when He talks about good sex. You‘re supposed to be all the way in before you unwrap the present. You‘re supposed to be devoted enough to her to make yourself financially and legally vulnerable. This garbage about prenuptial agreements and separate bank accounts and everyone going into the thing focused on keeping a clear path to the exit is not the kind of commitment a strong marriage can be built on. As a virgin man, you need to be looking to God to guide you in your search for the right woman. When you marry a woman with godly character, it‘s really not going to matter what does or doesn‘t happen on your wedding night.

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Relationships

By Jennifer Ferguson

Regaining Intimacy and Rebuilding Trust After a Porn Addiction Each time I caught my husband, Craig, looking at porn, I would go through the same emotional cycle. At first, I would explode, wrath drenching us both, the slime of sin and shame dripping from our mouths and our hearts. Then, I would see his contrite heart, the doubting of himself and my love for him. My anger would recede and I‘d try to show him the best way I knew how that I was willing to move on and try to forgive. And I‘d offer myself to him on the bed. Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 29


Relationships I did it was because I was afraid of losing him. I needed to remind him I was still there, still valuable, still able to please and satisfy him. Perhaps I needed a way to remind myself: I am still his wife. Don‘t give up. Keep trying. Each time I caught my husband, Craig, looking at porn, I would go through the same emotional cycle. At first, I would explode, wrath drenching us both, the slime of sin and shame dripping from our mouths and our hearts. Then, I would see his contrite heart, the doubting of himself and my love for him. My anger would recede and I‘d try to show him the best way I knew how that I was willing to move on and try to forgive. And I‘d offer myself to him on the bed.

But my offering was tainted. Sex is supposed to be a reminder of those wedding vows, the ones you took to love, honor, and cherish. This gift I was giving him wasn‘t wrapped in intimacy and devotion. It was wrapped in fear and doubt.  I don‘t want you to forget about me.  I‘m trying to be everything you need.  I need you to tell me you think I‘m enough.  I need you to tell me I‘m more than porn. It took a long path of healing for Craig and I to regain intimacy, emotionally and physically, with each other. Intimacy requires a level of trust and even though I could trust Craig with my body, I couldn‘t trust him with

30 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

my heart, the very place from which intimacy arises. Not every partner has the same reaction to his/her spouse‘s porn addiction. Some people are like me – they withdraw emotionally, but not physically. Some spouses withdraw physically, but are still able to give emotionally. And some are able to give nothing at all as porn wreaks havoc. How do we regain intimacy with our partners when we are unsure if we can trust them? How do we give the gift of ourselves, physically and emotionally, when the act of betrayal could be just a few short steps away to another room? How do we give of ourselves if we are unsure if what we are giving will be received without comparison to something we know to which we can never measure up? The truth is, this wasn‘t something I could do on my own. I was too broken. My own baggage of self-worth and competition was too heavy and the anger I repressed because of my fear was always threatening to erupt. None of this was conducive to rebuilding intimacy. Also, part of the reason Craig turned to porn was because he felt inadequately prepared to address his own needs in relationships. He needed to learn how to communicate and press in instead of hiding and running away. We needed Jesus to show us how to let go and let each other in. Here are some of the practical ways we


Relationships started the rebuilding process that might work for you, too.

1. Remember When You First Met When you‘re in the middle of fighting addiction, it easy to quickly get tripped up by fresh hurt and repressed pain. There are triggers all around and emotions run high. It was easy for me to return to places of anger and label him as ―the porn addict who is ruining our marriage.‖ It was easy for Craig to interpret anything I said as controlling or manipulative. But when we took time to remember our relationship way back from the beginning, it interrupted our current vantage points and took us back in time. Recalling the first time we met, the first time we kissed, the first time we knew we were meant to be married helped us to see each other without all the current junk. It reminded us of the things we saw in each other that we dearly loved. It rekindled dormant feelings that were crucial in bringing us back to the foundation of our marriage – our love for each other and our love for God.

would dismiss him and not meet them. He had to learn to trust me with his emotional self. As he let me in, he realized his sharing made me embrace him all the more. Letting me see the fullness of who cleared a path so I could ask him things about his addiction. What kinds of things trigger you to turn to porn? How can you not compare me to then?) He realized that his behavior had a significant impact on me. And as he realized how much I cared for him, the more he wanted to be able to take care of me. In addition, the deeper our emotional connection went, the more I could physically be intimate without fear, anxiety, and constant comparisons going through my mind.

Photo Credit: Play Buzz

2. Converse. A Lot Marriage, let alone overcoming addiction, takes a lot of intentional work and practice. Craig had to practice emotional intimacy because it was not only something he didn‘t intuitively know how to do, but he was also afraid of it. He feared that if I knew the real him – the one with needs and emotions – I

3. Be Spontaneous–and Don‘t Overanalyze! When a good thought about your husband or your wife pops into your head, say it. If you aren‘t in the same physical proximity, you can send a text. Or write it on a sticky note and hang it on the mirror. The more truth you Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 31


Relationships can speak to each other and the more you can affirm your relationship, the stronger it will be. If you‘re out shopping or running errands, see if your spouse can meet you for a quick cup of coffee or lunch. See a little something in the store that you know would bring delight? Buy it. When those good thoughts and ideas pop into your head, do not let Satan steal that moment of joy. Don‘t weigh in your head whether or not he deserves it. Don‘t stop to think if she is really in love with you or if she‘ll be grateful. Push through with love and trust that God will use your act to grow much fruit in your marriage. I know from experience these things are not easy to do, but they are worth it. And remember this: You weren‘t meant to journey this road alone. If you need help, ask. Satan wants you to hide behind the shame of porn addiction, but when you utter the truth, you invite Jesus in. Jennifer Ferguson and her husband Craig are the authors of

32 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

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Relationships

How to Be a Wife Who Encourages Rather Than Complain By Saidah Washington

Photo Credit: Dr. Woods Wellness

Do you strive to encourage versus complain in your marriage? How do you encourage despite marital frustrations, and lack of patience with the situation, etc.? I‘m an encourager, but I wasn‘t always. I had to work at being an encourager, especially in my marriage. Germaine is an amazing husband, a man after God‘s heart, but, he wasn‘t always a great husband. Early in our marriage when we were working to shed the baggage of what we believed our marriage should look like and conform to what God desired it to look like we struggled. Whenever he‘d mess up, fell short or drop the ball, I‘d get frustrated and instead of encouraging him to keep at it, I‘d dissect everything he‘d done wrong. Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 35


Relationships Becoming a wife who encourages can be a challenge. It‘s especially true when we keep our focus on our husband‘s faults instead of on God during trying times. But what does keeping our focus on God mean when it comes down to deciding whether to encourage or complain? It means a difference in our tone, and our body language when we talk to our husbands about the tough stuff in marriage. It‘s the difference in the choice of words and so many other spoken and unspoken tools of communication. I asked some of my girlfriends who have been married for as little as eleven months and as long as twenty years to share how they continue to encourage rather than complain. Brandi of MamaKnowsItAll.com says; “When things are challenging, or I can see that frustrations are rising, I lower my voice, am conscience of softening my tone, and touch him. I might put my hand, his arm, or his leg. It’s just something to let him know that I’m here for him, and I’m on his side”

1. Takeaway: Be conscious of your anger, tone and body language. Summer from DirtyFloorDiaries.com says; “I try to encourage my husband in every way possible in terms of his career, which is very 36 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

demanding. I am alone a lot of the time and he only gets one day off a week. He works a salary position so those long hours don’t translate to extra money. I always want him to know that I am behind him cheering for him so I do little things for him that I know will fill his love tank… I also turn to my girlfriends when I need someone to talk to. Using discernment on when is a good time to talk to your husband is so important. Timing can affect the entire direction of the conversation. I wrote a post about how to support your husband this week!”

2. Takeaway: Use wisdom when choosing a time to talk. Amiyrah from 4HatsAndFrugal.com says;

“I choose to encourage through being happy and comical with my husband. Our senses of humor are very similar and I know how to create a positive and light environment for him. This helps him to open up and share the good, and not-so-good, parts of his day”

3. Takeaway: Choose to have a joyful attitude toward your spouse and about your marriage. Raya from AndStarringAsHerself.com says; “I’ve been working on this for the past six months. I have tried to stop blaming and start talking to my husband. Sometimes he says some things that make me want to flip, but I have learned to process what he’s


Relationships saying, what I’m feeling, and what is being said and unsaid. So I have learned to stop fighting and listen more. Respect that his opinion is just as important and valid (even wrong,) as mine”

4. Takeaway: Be slow to get angry and fast to listen. Janeane from Janeanesworld.com says; “As an older wife, I do find that I get what I want by encouraging my husband. I tell him I am confident he will make good decisions, that I love him for his brains and not just his good looks. When he makes a decision I think is wrong, I encourage him to pray before acting. When he makes a decision that has a result, he did not want, I remind him that pencils have erasers and keyboards have backspace keys. I let him know that even if his decision is wrong, it is okay because he has fixed mistakes way worse than this one and we will get through it all.”

it’s easier to put into perspective all that my husband does, and the weight he carries as the leader of our family. I know that if I put my marriage first, and make sure he’s mentally and emotionally in the right place to live out his calling, everything else will fall into place. If I don’t connect with god the way I need to on any particular day, it seems easier to give Into the flesh and get irritated, etc.”

6. Takeaway: A close relationship with the Lord often equals a better relationship with your husband

5. Takeaway: Demonstrate grace and mercy. Kaitlyn from KaitlynJeanCruz.wordpress.com says; “I think a lot of being able to deal with frustrating situations, and still being an encourager instead of tearing him down comes from having my heart in the right place first. If I’m connected with The Lord,

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Relationships

10 Signs You’re Desperate for Marriage

By Brooke Dean

If you‘re a fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, you‘ve probably become very familiar with Kenya Moore, the resident desperate woman who, as ―Gone-With-The-Wind-Fabulous‖ as she is, still hasn‘t found her Prince Charming. She‘s made it known on almost every episode of Season five that she is more than ready to be married and have children, pressuring her poor [faux] boyfriend Walter to put a ring on it. Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 39


Relationships While there is nothing wrong with knowing what you want and going after it, there is a difference between actively pursuing romance and desperately trying to find a husband. In case you don‘t already know, desperation isn‘t hot by any means. As a woman who is knocking on 40 herself, I understand her level of concern – especially as it pertains to having children. But pressuring yourself and others into marriage can cause more harm than good if you‘re not careful. If the following describes your approach to looking for a relationship with marriage in mind, it‘s time to slow down and take it easy before you find yourself with the wrong guy, or pushing the right one away.

1

YOU SETTLE DOWN TOO FAST

Sure, we‘ve all heard of love at first sight, but how often do we look across a crowded room and just ―know‖ that we‘ve met The One? Exactly…almost never. While courting is considered a lost art, the typical way we arrive in a relationship is by taking our time to actually get to know someone. But if you find that you want to be considered someone‘s girlfriend after the first date, then you need to slow your roll. Relationships need time to develop and be nurtured so that a solid foundation of love, trust and respect can be built. Don‘t rush it. You don‘t want to wake up one day married to a stranger, and that‘s assuming a man has gotten to the point of proposing. Trying to settle down with a guy too fast can also possibly push him away, so breathe and have fun getting to know him. If he‘s the one, it won‘t take long 40 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

for both of you to know it.

2

YOU SETTLE…PERIOD.

Trying to marry the first man who smiles in your direction is as desperate as it gets. While attention is flattering, your criteria for a mate should involve more than ―he likes me.‖ Having a checklist for the perfect man may be a bit much, but you should still think highly enough of yourself to be with a man who meets your standards for a relationship. Whatever those standards are, you should have them; if he doesn‘t meet them, don‘t settle. I‘m not talking about unrealistic expectations, but if you find that you‘re always making excuses for him, and saying to yourself ―he‘ll do,‖ ―he‘s not that bad‖ or ―it‘s better than no man at all,‖ you‘re settling. Marriage is supposed to be forever, so if he‘s not worthy of all you have to offer, don‘t do it to yourself. Build your selfesteem so that you know your worth and then wait for the right man to find you.

3

YOU PUT A TIME LIMIT ON ALL RELATIONSHIPS

So you‘ve been dating a great guy for a few months and you want to know where it‘s headed. There‘s nothing wrong with letting a man know that you‘d like to be married one day, and asking him if he‘s on the same page. But all relationships develop at different speeds, so don‘t panic if he hasn‘t popped the question after four months of dating. Everyone is different – some men know if a woman is marriage material within a few


Relationships days or weeks of dating. Some need longer to assess if she‘s the one and they may need even more time to wrap their head around the idea of marriage altogether. But make sure you take the time to determine if he’s the one as well; don‘t let the calendar determine if enough time has passed for you both to be in agreement about the status of your relationship. Preconceived notions about how long you should be in a relationship before marriage could be your downfall, so allow your relationship to develop organically and let love tell you when it‘s time.

4

YOU BRING UP MARRIAGE IN EVERY CONVERSATION

You may think you‘re being subtle, but if you find a way to slip marriage into every conversation, you‘re letting your man know that you‘re obsessed with the idea of a wedding and marriage, not HIM. He may begin to wonder if all you want is the title of wife, not to actually be his partner. If he can‘t have a simple conversation with you without the topic of marriage creeping its way in, then you‘ll freak him out and he‘ll go running. Even if he does want to marry you, it‘ll just make him feel pressured to propose before he‘s ready, which is just as annoying. Mentioning your desire to be married once is usually enough for him to get the picture. Men aren‘t that slow so if you feel you need to constantly remind him that you want to be married, he‘s probably not the one.

5

YOU‘RE OBSESSED WITH EVERYTHING BRIDAL

Okay, so you don‘t mention marriage every chance you get, but if you have subscriptions to different bridal magazines lying around the house, I think he‘ll get the hint. It‘s one thing to have a general idea of the type of wedding you‘d like to have – I‘m sure most of us have envisioned that day. But if you already bought your gown and have your flowers and bridesmaids dresses picked out with no man in sight, then you might be certifiable. Get the man first and then wait until you actually get the proposal before you start planning the wedding. The work begins after the ceremony, so make sure you have a relationship worthy of marriage while you‘re dvr‘ing the entire season of My Fair Wedding.

6

YOUR BIOLOGICAL CLOCK IS TICKING

Yes ladies, we get the short end of the stick when it comes to reproduction. We have a certain window for popping out babies, and if we miss it, we just miss it – or adopt. But that shouldn‘t force you to settle for a man and get married simply because you want to have children; you might end up marrying the wrong dude in your rush to procreate and end up with a deadbeat. Maybe worse, you‘ll be in a loveless marriage which will leave you unhappy…and children pick up on that. Taking your time to find the right guy will only make parenthood that much more gratifying for you, because you will have taken the time to find a man who will be a great husband AND father – as a true partner and provider. Raising children is the hardest Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 41


Relationships job in the world and if you don‘t want to do it alone, choose your husband wisely, not desperately.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

7

YOU WANT TO MEET HIS FRIENDS/FAMILY PREMATURELY

We all hope that our significant other‘s friends and family like and approve of us, but in due time. Pressuring a man to meet his friends and family too soon will not only make you look thirsty; he‘ll question your motives and think you‘re crazy too. Trying to get them to like you before your man has determined if he wants to wife you is a surefire way to make him second guess if you‘re worth keeping around because he might feel like you‘re trying to trap him. Wait to meet his friends and family until he deems it‘s time, because most likely if he wants you to meet them, it‘s because he wants confirmation of what he already feels – that you will be his future wife. 42 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

8

YOU TRY TO TRAP HIM

Speaking of feeling trapped, thinking that having a man‘s baby is a way to get a ring will leave you barefoot, pregnant…and still single. Yes, there are men who marry women simply because they‘re going to have their baby – but that is the wrong reason to get married. Noble? Perhaps, but if the relationship isn‘t based on a real foundation and the baby is the only reason you two would be together, then trying to have a man‘s baby in order to keep him will be a mistake. With the divorce rate so high, you‘ll most likely end up a single mother anyway because the marriage won‘t last. If you have no problem with being a single parent, then rock out. But if you do, use protection and get him to marry you because he loves you, not because you‘re knocked up.

9

YOU WANT A FATHER FOR YOUR CHILD

Perhaps your biological clock isn‘t ticking so loudly because you already have a child, but you want the whole package: mother, father, child, dog and white picket fence. You know, the so-called ―American dream.‖ So to get it, you desperately seek to find a man who not only will marry you, but be a father to your child(ren). Some women want the ―complete‖ family so badly they don‘t take the time to vet a man before bringing him around her children…which could lead to disaster and have serious repercussions on the child. Some women even go so far as to


Relationships choose the affections of a man over their child, because they want to be a wife so badly they either neglect their child or put them in dangerous situations. If you‘re already a single mother, taking the time to make sure you bring the right man into your child‘s life is imperative to both of you, so don‘t rush it and don‘t settle for just any man who shows you and your child some attention. You don‘t want your child to feel neglected, insecure or unsafe because you have a revolving door of potential husbands coming through. Do you even want to teach your child – especially if you have a daughter – what desperation looks like? Be a parent first, and let love find you and your child when the time is right – not when you force it.

10

you‘re with someone – anyone – who will have you…for now. Instead, take some time to get over a past relationship before jumping into a new one so that you know exactly what you want while not spinning your wheels trying to get it. Focus on yourself and healing to make sure you are the best you that YOU can be so that you‘ll be prepared to receive the guy who was designed for you, not the guy you‘re busy chasing.

YOU CAN‘T STAY SINGLE

If you‘re dating a new guy within a week of a breakup, you‘re doing too much and moving too fast. Going from relationship to relationship doesn‘t give you the chance to reflect and recover from a past breakup, and you will most likely repeat any mistakes you may have made in the previous relationship. You don‘t give yourself time to learn! Some women hate being alone, crave attention and are already re-posting their profile on every dating site hoping to snag a man before the loneliness has a chance to settle in. They feel that serial dating is the best way to ensure that they‘ll get a husband. But always having a man doesn‘t mean that you‘re any closer to finding your soul mate, it simply means that

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Settle Down With JESUS Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 43


Personal Wellness

5 Easy Ways to Treat Yourself Each Morning by Sarah Megginson

1

Have your coffee in a special or favorite mug Allow 10 minutes to plan your day

2 3 Jazz up your morning mocha

4 Read a book or magazine in bed

5 Invest in some beautiful beauty products 44 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016


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Personal Wellness

How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself in 5 Easy Steps By Charlene Tops

If you find that you are not moving progressively in the direction of your dreams and goals, or that you begin projects and never finish them, most likely you are sabotaging yourself somewhere in the process. This could be from negative selfbeliefs or unhealthy behaviors, a fear of failure or success, or a combination of these things. It is important to realize that sabotage will limit your ability to move toward your goals and the future that you desire. In this article, I will share with you 5 steps to stop self-sabotage. Self-sabotage prevents or limits you from achieving your goals due to negative self-image, fears and a lack of confidence. Often times, we are our own biggest enemy. We have a mental tug-of-war between the conscious and the subconscious mind. The fear of failure, lack of confidence, and fear of change is in our subconscious mind, causing us much grief.

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 47


Personal Wellness  Discover Why You Are Sabotaging Yourself As crazy as it sounds, many people sabotage themselves on a routine basis. This isn‘t done intentionally or even knowingly often times; it is just a mechanism that many have built up within themselves throughout the years that simply keeps them within their ―comfort zone.‖ What they fail to realize is that they are actually missing out on some of the best things life could offer them if they only step out and defeat this ideology. The reason why self-sabotage is prevalent is because it is an outer manifestation of an inner struggle with shame, anger, or unworthiness. To begin to make progress, it is vital that you identify the areas where you are practicing self-sabotage. Look at the various areas of your life, such as finances, health, career and relationships. Determine which areas you need to defeat this monster in. To give you an example, I will present an overview of an eye-opening discovery I made concerning myself and why I was sabotaging myself. I bought myself a journal book for the purpose of getting back into writing after a time of inactivity. I had barely begun writing when negative voices and comments began to attack me. Why bother? You will never really do anything with your writing anyway. What makes you think you will 48 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

progress this time? Who do you think you are? What do you think you could ever do for anyone else by your writing? They are all just dreams, not reality. And on and on it went. I was being bullied by my own mind. For whatever reason, that day was the wrong day to pick on me! I decided then and there I was going to work this out. I was tired of living a life without fulfillment and purpose because every time I would try to succeed I would be shot down before barely beginning. I knew I needed to discover why I did this to myself, and I needed to look deep inside to combat this ugliness. It was high time for me to arise and conquer! After some soul searching of my own, I discovered I had a fear of rejection, ridicule or not being accepted. I had been feeding myself selflimiting negative beliefs and sabotaging my own progress in life.

 Journal, Journal, Journal One of the best tools, I have found, when embarking on a course of self-discovery and change, is to invest in a journal-type notebook that allows you to write out the many things that you discover, feel and think. A few simple guidelines about journal writing:  There are no rules.


Personal Wellness  Write freely without concern with grammar.  Express yourself openly.  This is for your eyes only.  Enjoy! When you first begin to journal, it may be intimidating to see the empty page. Some people love an empty page and are full of thoughts and inspiration. Others may stare blankly at the page without any idea of what to say. The main thing is just to begin to WRITE. It doesn‘t matter what the topic is. Whatever is on your mind, just begin to express it. There are many sites online that offer Journal Prompts to help you begin to write. I find the more freedom of expression you have in your journal the more useful it is. I love motivational and inspirational quotes! Sometimes I will just write a quote down and then it opens my mind for response. Doodle, draw, or write down lyrics to songs you like. Whatever feels good to you, simply do it! I love having a splash of color so I add scrap booking material onto some of my pages or photos. You may just surprise yourself with how creative you can become.

 Practice Positive ―Mental Chatter.‖ One of the most powerful ways to destroy self-limiting beliefs is through positive selftalk. Whether you realize it or not, you talk

to yourself every day. Self-talk is the conversation that goes on in your mind about your performance and behavior. Your self-talk is built by your thoughts. Apparently we each have over 50,000 thoughts each day (that must have been an interesting study!). Most of us are involved in constant mental chatter. We talk to ourselves all day long and, unfortunately, this self -talk is frequently negative. Often it is peppered with guilt about our past or anxiety about our future. This negativity destroys our hope. Each conversation that you have with yourself reinforces in your mind who you are and what you are capable of and, most critically, builds or demolishes your selfesteem and self-worth.

The approach to changing the way you speak to yourself is quite simple and yet, it can be so difficult to put into practice merely because you are unaccustomed to speaking to yourself in positive ways. Once you begin to put this into practice, however, several things will happen. First, you will realize just how often you berate yourself. Secondly, you will begin to adjust the way you talk to yourself. Thirdly, you will begin to think differently about yourself, as your self-esteem and confidence builds.

 Stop Comparing Yourself With Others Do you constantly compare yourself to others? Comparison doesn‘t motivate us to Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 49


Personal Wellness do more or be better; instead, it makes us feel even more inadequate. When we compare ourselves with others, we place unmerited worth on the person we are focused on. There are so many variables in each person‘s life that it is unrealistic to try to be who they are. By comparing ourselves with others, we are lessening the view of our own beauty and potential. We are not made to be clones of one another. We need to be true to our authentic self rather than a replica of someone else. When we compare, we limit our own potential. We break away from our true selves by imitating or wanting to imitate someone else. There is nothing more liberating than being authentic!

ď ą Become Your Own Best Friend How often do we overlook other people‘s faults and mistakes and then come down hard on ourselves for the same type of behavior? We give time and attention to everyone in our world and leave no time to nurture ourselves. When dealing with self-sabotaging behavior, it is crucial to become your own best friend. Personally, I feel it is a vital key for anyone desiring to reach their potential and live a quality life. Self sabotage causes us to run away from ourselves and fill our days with activity. Set time aside to spend quality time doing things that you love to do. Embark on a journey of self love and discovery. Unleash your true potential. You are an amazing person and it is time to end sabotaging yourself. Stop sabotaging yourself and live in freedom!

Does Jesus Live in Your Heart? 50 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

One of the strongest foundations on this earth is FAMILY Steps for a Strong Foundation in Jesus Read the Bible Together Pray Together Go to Church Together Communicate with Each Other Blessed Magazine


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by Evangelist Nancy Turner When you are feeling lonely and seem like no one cares You don't even feel good about yourself you need a word from the Lord…

We are sometimes burdened with the cares of this world and don't know what to do. But there is only one way to receive help when we are burdened and that is from the Word of the Lord. We have to realize that God is our burden bearer. He said in His word, ‗Cast all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you‘: 1 Peter: 5:7 We are the people of God the Word of God let us know: He shall sustain thee, He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved: Psalms: 55:22b We have to remember to depend and believe in the word of God and He will lift the burden and see you through This is (A Word from the Lord) 52 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016


Personal Wellness

Look 10 years younger with these 5 home remedies! Reduce fine lines, dry skin and other problems of ageing skin with these home remedies.

Who doesn‘t want to look young forever? This craze has led to not only treatments like Botox being popularized but also weird snail facials, placenta facials being tried by many women the world over. But what most people don‘t know is that nature already has many remedies in store for us. Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 53


Personal Wellness 1

Lemon Juice To Reduce Age Spots

The vitamin C present in lemons is a strong antioxidant. Besides, its bleaching action works wonders on age spots and freckles. Just squeeze out the juice from a lemon, apply and leave on your skin for about 15 minutes every day and then rinse with plain water. For even better results, combine 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with half teaspoon of milk cream and 1 teaspoon of egg white. Mix all these ingredients and apply on the face; after 15 minutes, rinse with cold water. Lemon juice in combination with honey is also a very effective remedy for ageing skin because honey has a soothing action. Mix one teaspoon each of lemon juice and honey and massage it into your skin. Keep for 20 minutes and then wash with warm water. Here are some more remedies for ageing skin.

Coconut Milk To Moisturize Dry Skin

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Coconut is a treasure-trove of vitamins and minerals; it also has the ability to moisturize your skin and keep it soft, supple and radiantly young. Grate raw coconut and squeeze the milk out of it. Apply this coconut milk onto your face; stay for about 20 minutes and then rinse it out with warm water. Read here to know more on other beauty benefits of coconut.

3

Papaya Mask For Skin Firmness

You may know about papaya being good for the eyes because it has a lot of vitamin A; the same reason ensures it has a strong antioxidant action and this makes it good for your skin, too. Besides, the enzyme called papain in papaya can digest the dead cells on the surface of the skin and makes skin more elastic and firm. To make a papaya mask, cut a few pieces of a totally ripe papaya fruit and mash into a smooth paste. Apply this on the face and after 15 minutes, wash away with warm water.

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Personal Wellness 4

Rose Water To Tighten Skin Rose water is a cleanser and can help remove the dirt clogging the pores of the skin. It also has an astringent action which means it tightens the skin; this helps it to give firmness and reduce the puffiness under the eyes. Mix 2 teaspoons of rose water with 3-4 drops of glycerine and half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply this mixture to your face using cotton ball every night before you go to bed. Or you can also make a face pack by mixing in a teaspoon of rose water into a mixture of 1 teaspoon each of curd and honey. Add this mixture into a mashed ripe banana; apply the pack to your face and after 20 minutes, wash it with cool water.

Cucumber And Curd Pack To Rejuvenate Skin And Under-eye Skin

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Cucumber helps to reduce the puffiness and dark circles under the eyes; besides it also has a soothing action that keeps skin healthy. Curd contains lactic acid which has the property of exfoliating the dead cells of the skin and this helps to rejuvenate the skin. Prepare a face mask by mixing half-cup curd with two teaspoons of grated cucumber and apply this to the skin. After 20 minutes, rinse with warm water. Using this face pack about twice a week for a few months will help keep your skin healthy and young. While the local application of a face pack can help prevent ageing, it is equally important to strengthen the skin from within by providing it the right nutrition. Vegetables, fruits, fish oils and nuts such as almond and walnut are valuable sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids and help to keep your skin young and healthy. So make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet and use the right nutrients on your skin and you don‘t ever need to worry about leeches and snails on your skin.

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 55


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Church Life

By Ron Phillips

When we begin to look at the seven churches described in the Book of Revelation, we discover specific demonic strongholds that can be found at church. Let‘s take a look at these spirits. Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 57


Church Life  Spirit Of Religion (Revelation 2:4–5, 7) The church at Ephesus had ―left their first love‖ (Rev. 2:4). They were doctrinally sound and had everything in order but they had lost their passion for God. When you turn to Acts 19 to look at ―first works‖ and ―first love‖ you discover an astounding truth. At the birth of the Ephesian church they were baptizing in water, laying hands on the people for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, magnifying God in tongues, casting out demons, healing with prayer cloths, and being evicted from the old order. The church at Ephesus had every element of church life in order and they were a hard working congregation. Yet the fire, the passion, the love had gone out of it. We see now that religion had taken over with its dull duty and tired traditionalism. The power of God was missing; demons were no longer leaving, tongues were absent, miracles were simply a memory. A loveless routine of religious works had replaced the power and passion of the Holy Spirit. Who can deny the present reality of this deadening demon of religion? Many churches like Samson have been shorn of their power by the Delilah‘s of religion! Now blind to spiritual things, we grind out our religious activities and traditions with no transforming power. This demon must be exposed and expelled.

 Spirit Of Intimidation (Revelation 2:10–11)

The church at Smyrna endured persecution, and many members suffered martyrdom. With this threat, Satan tries to strike fear in the hearts of believers by sending intimidation to frighten us away from faithfulness to God and His Word. Remember Simon Peter warming himself by the enemy‘s fire on the night of Jesus‘ arrest? This faithful disciple was intimidated by his surroundings and the questioning voice of a little servant girl. Today the church is silent and cowed down before the world and its governments. This demon must be cast down!

 Spirit Of Compromise (Revelation 2:12, 14–17) Pergamos was the capital city of the province of Asia mentioned in Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia. It was a celebrated city of Mysia in the Caicus valley, 15 miles from the Aegean Sea about 60 miles north of Smyrna. The river Selinus flowed through it and the river Caicus ran just south of it. This city was rich in historical and literary heritage with a library which boasted well over 200,000 volumes, topped only by the library in Alexandria. The city had a ―pet‖ god in Asklepion, an idol symbolized by a snake who called himself a savior. They believed that their god incarnated into the area snakes, so serpents were allowed to slither freely around the temple. Those who desired healing spent the night in the darkness of the temple, hoping a snake would crawl over them. The city was


Church Life an outpost to Greek civilization and was home to the temples of many other deities. Can you see the parallels of the secular plight in America and its churches? Most churches operate in a community or environment that is controlled by Satan rather than God. What can a church do when ministry becomes difficult? Can we allow the snakes of secular humanism to slither through our congregations? Compromise is not the answer. We cannot become comfortable with the sin around us! The church of Jesus must take active steps to stand strong in our lost and dying world! We must recognize the conflict. Jesus pointed out that the city was the church‘s dwelling place or permanent residence. To flee was not an option. Instead, He advised them to settle into service and draw the battle lines. Paul recognized the need for battlereadiness when he penned Ephesians 6. The armor of God is needed in the middle of war. Most of all, the church must go forward under the name and banner of Jesus, never operating in their own strength, for in the flesh the enemy could find weakness.

We must repent of compromise. The church at Pergamos had some weaknesses to be dealt with. There were doctrinal problems along with problems with some of their deacons and leadership. One in particular is mentioned, Nicholas, who began teaching heresy, and leading others into sin. How sad when a leader goes bad and quits truly

serving the Lord! Often times they lead others astray and take others with them. Yet another conflict in the Pergamos church was a discipline problem. They tolerated the mess they were in by overlooking the sin in their own camp. Jesus called them to repentance. Another problem that arose was the spirit of Balaam. To give you some history of this, Balak, the pagan king, literally bought the prophet Balaam‘s ministry. Balak eventually sent women to seduce the men of Israel, thus bringing judgment upon them. It was Balaam that sold out the people of God. In keeping the spirit of Balaam, too often today, money has become the goal and prize of many in the church. Popular preaching has replaced prophetic preaching. Image has replaced anointing and the church is reduced to no more than a place where pop psychology tickles the ears of its parishioners on Sundays. The image-makers and the politically correct have dulled the sword of the churches and its men of God. We must rely on Christ. The Pergamos church needed to rely on their Savior, who provided the weapon of the sword of the Spirit, His own word. This is the weapon we claim as Christians. The popular ―Star Wars‖ phenomenon has had two generations of children captured in imaginative play with light sabers, defending the galaxy as Jedi Knights! The movies show the young Jedi apprentice was carefully taught to use his weapon, to guard it, to perfect its use. In the same way, we must cling to the Word of God as our weapon—it has a power that is

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 59


Church Life supernatural and effective against the onslaughts of Satan. Our weapons are not carnal (2 Cor. 10:4) but mighty in God, and Satan can be defeated by the power of the Word. Overcomers are promised gifts. Jesus promised this church that those who didn‘t succumb to the sins around them—not eating things offered to idols and partaking in sin— these faithful would eat hidden manna, the blessing of Jesus Himself. They are promised the presence of Jesus in the barren wasteland of the world‘s wilderness. He also promised this church that He would set a white stone, promising acquittal, acceptance, and acclaim. The new name upon this stone was Jesus!

 Spirit Of Jezebel (Control) (Revelation 2:18-20, 26) A war goes on in today‘s church, and the battle lines are drawn. One of the most powerful spirits at work in this ongoing battle is the spirit of Jezebel or control. First Kings tells the story of the woman for whom this spirit is named. Known as the wife of King Ahab and a follower of the false god Baal, the scriptures regarded Ahab‘s marriage to this woman as a horrible sin: ―He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him‖ (1 Kings 16:31, niv). 60 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

Jezebel ordered a ―hit‖ on the innocent man Naboth so that she could obtain his prize vineyard. Not only was this murder, but it broke God‘s land covenant with His people. In addition to her disrespect for ordinary people and their property, she hated the prophets of God. Scripture says, ―While Jezebel was killing off the Lord‘s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.‖ (1 Kings 18:4, NIV) Later, Jezebel pursued the prophet Elijah following the great contest where God sent fire from heaven and defeated the prophets of Baal. Her relentless pursuit drove the prophet into depression and suicidal thoughts.

Jezebel‘s character was wicked, controlling, sexually immoral, murderous, and demonic! It is astounding that the same strong spirit was still operating in Revelation 2:20 and still operates in today‘s church. In every congregation we find those who want to control, manipulate, and subvert the men and women of God.

Recognizing the spirit This spirit is basically the spirit of domination or an unwillingness to cohabit peacefully. This is not about women or liberation, for this spirit can attach itself to a man or a woman. Many may think that this spirit is identified with sexuality, believing


Church Life that a woman who looks a certain way is a ―Jezebel‖ in her character. But this is not so. A wolf can easily hide in sheep‘s clothing. When you find a spirit of Jezebel operating, you will also find an ―Ahab‖ nearby, or someone in leadership who is allowing the spirit access and control.

The strategy of Jezebel The tool this spirit uses is manipulation. In 1 Kings 21, we learn that King Ahab would pout when he did not get his own way. He had seen a vineyard that he greatly desired, but the owner would not give up his precious property, even to the king. As King Ahab lay on his bed sulking, Jezebel assured him she would get him what he wanted. This powerful woman had introduced pagan worship into her kingdom, and now she was not below killing to obtain the things she needed to gain more power.

The seat of Jezebel Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. —Revelation 2:20 When the spirit of Jezebel begins to manifest in the church, it seeks a high seat in the church or a place of dominance. Usually it will manifest in someone who wants to teach or lead, usually leading them astray! To find

that place of leadership, Jezebel must look and act in a spiritual manner. One of these spirits operated in Moses and Aaron‘s day. Numbers 16 tells us, ―Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‗You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?‘‖ (Num. 16:1–3). Korah was operating in the spirit of Jezebel, with Dathan and Abiram operating as his power core, and 250 other princes as a structure under them. Moses took immediate action—he fell on his face before God and prayed. Following his prayer, he confronted the spirit, saying, ―Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also?‖ (Num. 16:9–10).

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Church Life Judgment came to this Jezebel spirit—an earthquake came and took the three evil leaders and fire consumed all the rest.

Jezebel‘s Targets The controlling spirit wiggles into the church, bent on destroying and undermining the very things that we hold dear as believers. Through manipulation, domination, and control, the spirit begins its battle against the body of Christ.

the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence‖ (kjv). However, the second time we find the word, a Jezebel spirit is attempting to control a body of believers. ―I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not‖ (3 John 1:9, kjv).

First, this spirit hates the prophets, the true leaders of God. She cannot control them, and when she tries to win their approval and fails, she will stop at nothing to try and kill them.

In addition, the spirit of Jezebel hates the preaching of the Word. She can‘t cope with its message. She will try to either reduce the messenger or the message. The controlling spirit also hates the praise of the church. During times of true, powerful worship, her carnality is exposed. In 1 Kings when the prophet Elijah prayed fire down from heaven against the prophets of Baal and Jezebel‘s schemes, praise broke out (1 Kings 18:39). Jezebel had lost, and the praises of God filled the air. A Jezebel spirit also hates the preeminence of Christ. There is no way to compete against it. The first time ―preeminence‖ is mentioned is in Colossians 1:18: ―And he is the head of

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Photo Credit: Contemporary Christian Lifestyle

Banish The Spirit If you sense this spirit is at work in your church, it is important to see the enemy as spiritual, not fleshly. Don‘t hate the person being controlled by the spirit of Jezebel, recognize that it is a spiritual power—one that God must fight. Let your prayer be, ―O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You‖ (2 Chron. 20:12).

 Spirit Of Traditionalism (Revelation 3:1–6)


Church Life For centuries the church has been the victim of rumors, hostility, and, what we call in this day and age, negative press. Churches often have to survive this hostile environment; however, outward hostility is not the greatest threat to a local church! Very often the greatest danger comes from within!

Evidence Of A Church‘s Death

The Sardis church lived in a favorable environment with a great reputation. However, in Christ‘s letter to this church, He ignored their human reputation and told this church they were listed in the obituary!

Ignores the Holy Spirit. When the complete work of God‘s Spirit isn‘t embraced in a church, that body is already headed for the grave. Jesus told the church at Sardis that they had a spirit of religion and didn‘t have the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit will not be managed or controlled by religious tradition or preferences! John 3:8 says, ―The wind blows where it wills…so is every one who is born of the Spirit‖ (John 3:8).

Environment Of Death The city of Sardis was a city of wealth. History tells us that in 550 b.c., King Croesus found gold in the city‘s river and issued the first gold coins in history! Even in New Testament times, gold could be found all along its rivers. In addition to its wealth, the city was known for its paganism. The favored idol was Cybele, and worshippers of this pagan god participated in wild, frenzied worship that included sexual immorality.

Remarkably, the community was at peace, for the inhabitants were comfortable in their self-sufficiency. This peaceful selfsufficiency had also invaded the church in Sardis; it became the peace of death. A peaceful coexistence with the city and its wickedness had settled into the church and all they had left was their reputation.

Viewers of our television broadcast often write and ask, ―How can I find a good church in my area? How can I tell if a church is alive and healthy?‖ A dead church has some basic characteristics that are spotted easily.

Lack of godly leadership. The ―seven stars‖ mentioned in Revelation 3 stands for the messengers or pastors of the seven churches addressed in the letters. What the church in Sardis needed was a leader who was called by God and served Him whole-heartedly. Too many churches today fail to get God‘s man. Several times a month our church offices receive requests from pastor-less churches that have been searching for a replacement. If these churches choose a pastor by his reputation, resume, physical appearance, or even recommendation, they may find later that they‘ve made a big mistake. As important as background information is, the fruit issued in a pastor‘s life and his walk with the Spirit of God is what should be investigated. The superficial

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 63


Church Life doesn‘t matter as much as the supernatural. Hiring solely on superficial facts may result in a short-tenured, flash in the pan, or morally bankrupt leader. Reputation over reality. Sardis was a busy, working church with a good name—but it had death upon it. They were an organization, but not a living organism. Sadly, they were so caught up in their reputation they didn‘t even realize that they had died. One winter night I noticed our house becoming colder and colder, even though I had turned our heat on full power. I called upon our faithful church grounds supervisor to take a look at the gas-heating unit, and he discovered the pilot light had gone out. The blower was blowing, but the fire was out. Going to church is good, if you meet God. Worship is good if it brings on God‘s presence. Giving is good if we have first given ourselves. Prayer is good, but ―if we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us.‖ Form without force is death to a church. It is like a store window containing lots of fluff and finery, but hiding an empty stockroom. Growth in numbers without growth in people. The letter to Sardis indicated that even Christians who had life in the Sardis church were dying in the cold environment. Churches must offer ministry that encourages its members to grow in the Lord. Ministry and work incomplete. Beginning a new program or outreach is easy; seeing it to

64 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

completion is much more difficult! A dead church is a graveyard of partially fulfilled goals and half-baked programs. These skeletons are evidence that they went ―partway‖ with the Lord and then backed up and sat down. A church that goes backward is doomed to death. Escape from death! To eliminate the spirit of religion from your church, the leadership should gather and repent of religious death. Together they should acknowledge that Jesus‘ kingdom is coming, and there will be an accounting for what they accomplish in His name. In almost any dead church, there are a handful of believers who do live in triumph and desire to be alive in God. This team of people should be lifted up and encouraged. Stay with the winning crowd! Finally, rebuke the religious pride that strangles your church. Reject the love of religion and its rules and reputation, and fall in love with Jesus. Determine to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in all decisionmaking regarding the church, and let His Word edify, rule, and reign from the pulpit.

 Spirit Of Inferiority (Revelation 3:7–8, 12) Many times a pastor will contact me about a speaking engagement at a church, and he will begin by saying almost apologetically, ―We are just a small church…‖ His tone implied a sense of weakness or inability. But there is nothing ―little‖ or ―insignificant‖ in the kingdom of God!


Church Life At the other end of the spectrum is the church that thinks they have all the answers, who loves to proclaim their statistics and numbers but are satisfied with mediocre efforts as long as they bring the church notoriety and recognition. God deals strongly with the church in Revelation 3: ―Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name‖ (Rev. 3:10– 12). Too many churches and individuals use their supposed weakness as an excuse for failing to advance the cause of Christ. Such notions and statements are foreign to the New Testament portrait of the church. I am convinced that such an attitude is not only false and hurtful but also demonic in its origin. There is a stronghold of inferiority, self-pity, and weakness. The enemy deceives those manifesting this spirit by making them think their attitudes are actually meekness and humility. This counterfeit humility is debilitating to the kingdom of God, crippling the advance of the gospel, and it insults the Holy Spirit.

The church at Philadelphia was at risk to be overtaken by such a spirit. If they were ever to become a ―pillar‖ in the kingdom, they would have to overcome the spirit. The scripture sets forth the church as a victorious company. Matthew 16:18 declares, ―The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.‖ In his great prayer for the church in Ephesians 3:14–21, Paul ends with this benediction, ―Now to Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages‖ (Eph. 3:20–21). It is ―in the church‖ that Jesus looses His divine ability, energy, and glory. The answer to our inferiority is His superiority! It is not in trying harder, but in trusting wholly that His work is accomplished. The church at Philadelphia had ―a little strength‖ (Rev. 3:8). Greek culture, international commerce, and religious diversity dominated them. The pagan goddess Dionysus was worshiped. This ancient Greek god of wine was credited with inspiring ritual madness and ecstasy. Worship of Dionysus was thought to bring an end to care and worry. The city was also a center of orthodox Jewish worship. This small church could have surrendered to the pressures around them. Yet they did not! They received the wonderful encouragement in Revelation, and history tells us that for nearly 1400 years, this city stood as a Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 65


Church Life Christian city in the face of Muslim pressure. It was only after centuries of courageous resistance that the city was overthrown by an unholy military alliance of Byzantine and Muslim forces.

Photo Credit: Raymond Ibraham

How did this church overcome inferiority and have a ministry that would last for 1400 years? They came to know the Lord of Opportunity (Rev. 3:7–8). Obedience always leads to opportunity! God promised this church the ―key of David.‖ With God‘s favor and their dependence upon His superiority, nothing could stop this body of believers!

 Spirit Of Pride (Revelation 3:14–17, 21) Revelation 3 also issues a charge to the church at Laodicea. This city was a wealthy and prosperous one. So vast was their wealth that when an earthquake destroyed the city, they required no outside help to recover! 66 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

Tacitus, the Roman historian, recorded, ―Laodicea arose from the ruins by the strength of its own resources.‖ The city was famous for the dark, black wool they produced and was known as the center for fine wool in the ancient world. Laodicea also boasted a famous medical school, having produced two of the most popular medicines for treatment of eye and ear maladies. In short, this city was pompous and full of pride. But here in Revelation 3, years have passed and now the church in Laodicea has fallen into a rut of mediocrity. The Lord Jesus Himself renders the verdict on this church. What was His appraisal? This lukewarm church was nauseating Him! What had happened to this church to make it slide into a state of mediocrity?

Lost Fervency Sadly, this church reflects the state of many American churches today. Not too cold…not too hot. Not too bad…not too good. Not too faithful…not too unfaithful. The Laodicea church was an ordinary church that had warmth but no fire. If asked about their work, they would say, ―We are holding our own.‖ Jesus is sickened by the mediocre. He would rather a church be as cold as the Arctic or as hot as the Sahara. In God‘s work, there should be no place for ―just getting by.‖


Church Life Elijah recognized this need for commitment when he challenged Israel at the contest of the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. He shouted to the congregation, ―If Baal be God, serve him, but if the Lord be God, serve Him!‖ Standing in the middle was not an option. A complacent church is a disappointment to Jesus! Laodicea had lost the fire of love for Jesus and for lost souls. The altar fires of prayer were in need of rekindling. It was business as usual week after week. They needed to pray! The great hymn by Gene Bartlett should be the earnest prayer of the church needing a fresh fervency:

O for a passion for souls, dear Lord! O for a pity that yearns! O for a love that loves unto death! O for a fire that burns!

Lost Faith The Laodicean church had tried to become self-sufficient. They boasted of wealth, increase of goods, and that they needed nothing, not even the Lord. They were cursed by their wealth. When the great Thomas Aquinas visited the Vatican, the Pope escorted him through the vast corridors and vaults adorned with jewels and gold. The Pope commented, ―No longer do we say, ‗Silver and gold have I none.‖ Aquinas replied, ―Neither do you say, ‗In the name of Jesus, Rise and walk!‘

A church‘s reach must exceed its grasp. An ever-enlarging vision must be forged. The challenges we take should be beyond our resources, so that our reliance and faith remains upon God. Our dreams and our plans should be God-sized. When God blesses financially, the church should give more to missions, build a needed building, add another staff member, and have the faith to stretch those resources to their limit. Unfortunately, the Laodicean church did not really see their true condition. God said they were ―wretched, poor, blind, naked‖—they were pitiful in the sight of God. They were without riches and spiritually blind in God‘s eyes. He looked at them and saw them as they really were: spiritually bankrupt.

Lost Fear This church no longer trembled in the presence of a righteous God. There was no remorse recorded for their failures. Jesus warns them by giving three motives to repent: His love, His rebuke, and His chastening rod. These three things could provide the motivation to set this church on the right track.

Lost Fellowship Jesus was standing and knocking outside the door of this church. At one point, He had been shut out; He was no longer the center of things. The church had no basis for Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 67


Church Life fellowship with other churches because Jesus Christ was the only common ground among the fellowship of churches. Without Him, a church can have a ―get together‖ without really being together in unity! ―That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ‖ (1 John 1:3). ―But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin‖ (1 John 1:7). The presence of Jesus Christ is the ground of all true fellowship, but too many churches have shut Him out.

One of the strongest foundations on this earth is FAMILY Steps for a Strong Foundation in Jesus Read the Bible Together Pray Together Go to Church Together

God‘s Promise And Plea Jesus keeps on knocking, hoping that someone in the church will open the door. When that happens, it sets the stage for revival and fellowship can be restored. A seat at the Lord‘s table is promised when we welcome Him at ours. We can share in His glorious reign! So, let us blaze and burn for Him until He comes in the blaze of His glory.

Is Your Church Being Attacked By Demons? 68 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

Communicate with Each Other Blessed Magazine


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Embracing Singleness and Loneliness This booklet is compiled with inspirations to encourage you while embracing the Lord through those periods of single and loneliness

Click Here To Download Your eBook If I could give this eBook 10 stars I would because it has been an eye opener for me. I didn’t know how to fully cope with being a single male and the ache of loneliness, but this book has inspired me to pray more and seek the face of God. Thank you Blessed Magazine‌..Thomas Y.

Exclusively at Blessed Magazine Get Yours Today! No Purchase Necessary!


Your Life

By Anna Diehl

The Bible is about God. Because of this, many Christians fall into the trap of thinking that any impression they get while reading the Bible must be coming from God. So when they read a passage that makes them feel condemned and rejected, they assume that‘s God talking, because only God speaks through those sacred pages, right? Wrong. There is no object or human in this world who you can count on to give you some secure pipeline to God. Instead of dropping your guard whenever spiritual matters are being discussed, you need to be all the more cautious and aware of how easy we humans are to deceive. Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 71


Your Life This same principle applies to your dream life. The fact that you dreamt about a God related topic does not mean that the dream was some Divine message from God to you. Maybe you had a beautiful dream about Heaven. Maybe you had a frightening dream about Hell. Maybe God Himself was a character in your dream. Maybe your dream included prophetic images and messages. None of these things indicate that the dream was a message from God. So before you go leaping to the wrong conclusions, you need to be asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom.

photographs, some are financial records, some are articles about God, some are communications from your friends and family, and some are reminders of things you need to do. Before the arrival of this large folder, the thousands of files already on your hard drive were very neatly organized. Now you‘ve got this folder of randomness cluttering up the place. This is your brain at the end of every day: it‘s been bombarded with a whole day‘s worth of experiences and it now has a large collection of random files cluttering up its inbox.

THE ORIGIN OF DREAMS

There are new discoveries, new concerns, emotional feelings, physical feelings, and spiritual communications. Just to get you through the day, your brain has also had to pull countless files out from its neatly organized subconscious archives. Now it‘s got a huge mess on its hands—rather like a librarian who has just been bombarded with a huge pile of returns. Your brain can‘t function well in this clutter. It needs to stop and reorganize, which means it needs to put your earthsuit in sleep mode and do some dreaming. Do you know what happens to people who are prevented from dreaming in their sleep? They start dreaming in the day. Your brain must dream and it must have a chance to reboot the earthsuit by having the whole thing sleep. What this means is that most of the things you dream about are nothing more than feedback from your brain‘s reorganization process. Your dreams will often reflect current stresses in your life.

As a general rule, you should think of dreaming as your brain‘s daily health regime. Your earthsuit is an incredibly complex machine and your brain is the engine that runs it. Just as you need to eat every day to maintain physical health, your brain needs to dream. Dreaming isn‘t an optional thing to your brain—it‘s essential. Everyone dreams every night. Some of us don‘t think we dream because we don‘t remember our dreams when we wake up. Others of us remember our dreams quite often, and this leads to the erroneous assumption that some people dream and others don‘t. But the truth is that everyone dreams. It‘s critical for brain health. Suppose a friend brings over a memory stick, shoves it into your laptop, and transfers one folder stuffed with random electronic files onto your hard drive. Some of the files are

72 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016


Your Life Let‘s go back to that big folder that your friend dumped on your hard drive. When you open that folder up and start trying to sort through the various files, some are very easy to file away into your system of organized folders, but others have you rapping your fingers for a few minutes trying to decide where to put them. Those hard-to-place files are the ones that most often result in dream material. Other common candidates are files which involve you having to access some very stressful folder from your archives. For example, you were traumatized by your brother dying when you were just a kid. Now your friend has just lost her sibling. Your brain associates these events and when it goes to file the new memory into the old folder, a flood of painful memories temporarily surfaces from your subconscious archives. That‘s stressful, and you‘re probably going to have some intense dreams that night as your brain digs through files which it prefers to leave undisturbed. Understanding that dreaming is essential to your brain‘s health helps to put your dreams in perspective. You shouldn‘t be looking for Divine communications in every dream. If you even remember your dreams, most of them will simply be symbolic musings about your current concerns and recent experiences. The better you understand yourself, the more obvious and less significant your dreams will seem. For the most part, they are just telling you stuff that you already know. You dreamt about some

rogue military general kicking down your front door and blasting away with his machine gun. Of course you did, because you‘re stressing about your domineering father-in-law coming for a visit next week. What‘s most remarkable about dreams is the wild symbolism your brain comes up with. But once you get past that, the underlying themes are usually nothing new.

Photo Credit: Decoding Den

So then, most of your dreams are just basic mental housekeeping. They are mostly reflections of your current stresses. If you‘ve got a lot of unprocessed stress that you‘re trying not to deal with, or if you‘ve got some very upsetting things weighing on your mind, that‘s often when normal, forgettable dreams ramp up in intensity. Upsetting nightmares can be a symptom of your brain feeling overwhelmed by stress, or they can be a result of demons messing with you, or they can be some warning from God. So how do you know which is which?

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 73


Your Life THIRD PARTY DREAMS Not every thought that comes into your head originates with you . It‘s the same with your dreams. If God gives them permission, demons can easily mess with your dreams and add their own elements which your brain wouldn‘t have come up with on its own. In such cases, it‘s like your brain goes from being the director of a movie to being a member of the audience. Demons can feed an entire dream into your brain, or they can take over the plot of one that‘s already playing and spin it in a different direction. What‘s important to realize here is that demons aren‘t just in the nightmare manufacturing business. Most of those wonderful dreams about Heaven which people describe themselves having in their bestselling books were totally demonic in origin. Demons are all about pouring on sweet assurances about the afterlife if that will help keep some spiritual rebel far away from repentance and submission. Don‘t put too much import on timing—the fact that a fellow was considered clinically dead at the time he had his dream is no guarantee that his vision was from God.

Demons see us from an entirely different perspective. When they see that God isn‘t really taking a rebellious soul out of this dimension yet, they rush to give that soul sweet visions of golden light and being reunited with loved ones in order to persuade them that they‘ve actually been to the other side and now have nothing to fear. Consider how much louder the ―I‘ve been to Heaven‖ group is than the ―I‘ve been to Hell‖ group. 74 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

The book and movie Heaven is for Real was a best seller, but where‘s the film entitled Hell is Real? How come we save discussions of our supposed visits to Hell for mostly Christian audiences who we‘re trying to scare into giving us more money? How come we never see movies on the big screen that are filled with dramatic testimonials of people who are desperate to convince the world that reverential submission to Jesus as God is the only way any of us are going to get saved? How come the importance of reverential submission to Jesus never seems to come up in the Heaven visions? When demons give us happy dreams, it‘s for the purpose of leading us spiritually astray. When they give us upsetting dreams, it‘s also for the purpose of leading us spiritually astray. Demons have one agenda: make trouble between you and God. If you‘re a Christian, they can‘t un-save you, but they can try to undermine your spiritual development. So if you‘re anxious about doing enough for God, you‘re a great candidate for a dream in which an angry Jesus is snapping at you for being some kind of slacker. Demons analyze the weaknesses in your theology, then they use those weaknesses to their advantage. So whenever God shows up in a dream, you can‘t just assume it‘s some Divine message. It could just be your brain sorting through some of your soul‘s current musings. It could be demons trying to stress you with the idea that all is not well between you and God. Or it could be God telling you something. How do you know which it is? You need to ask God. And while you‘re asking Him for wisdom,


Your Life there are some basic discernment principles that you can apply. Because the imagery of dreams is often metaphorical, the key to interpreting them lies in focusing on the emotional elements. A pink elephant was chasing you through a lollipop forest—obviously your brain is in metaphor mode and the metaphors have you stumped. So forget about the imagery for a moment and focus on emotions. What were you feeling as you ran through that forest? Were you happy or scared? Once you identify the general emotion, try to flesh it out. ―I was so happy because I knew the elephant was my friend.‖ Or, ―I was terrified of being captured and harmed.‖ When you focus on the feelings, it‘s much easier to spot associations with real life. Ask yourself, ―When is the last time these same feelings have come up in my regular life?‖

Photo Credit: Udemy

This same approach is very useful in discerning spiritual themes in dreams. You have a dream about Jesus. How do you feel in His Presence? Are you confident or scared? Do you feel accepted or unwanted? What kinds of conclusions do you draw from

how Jesus interacts with you? Does it raise up concerns about your relationship with Him? Does it bring to mind specific convictions? Does God give people terrifying nightmares about Hell? Absolutely, but when such dreams are from Him, they are paired with a clear conviction that the dreamer needs to repent and submit to His Authority. God doesn‘t scare us just to do it, and He doesn‘t confuse us just for a lark. If God is communicating to you through a dream, the message will be clear, and it will be one which reflects God‘s priorities. God‘s priorities include things like Himself being exalted and you growing confident in His love through the development of God honoring attitudes. So when you have that amazing dream of God standing up from His throne in Heaven and inviting you to take His place, that‘s not God talking. That‘s your ego and/or demons encouraging you to believe God has excused you from having to submit to His Authority. You don‘t need to feel threatened by your dream life. Your dreams don‘t define you, nor can they change your standing with God. Now and then they can serve as useful teaching tools, no matter where they come from. Demonic dreams give you good practice in identifying deceptions and embracing countering truths. Your own dreams can sometimes help you recognize when there are stresses that you‘ve been trying to avoid dealing with, and you can then ask God to help you respond to those Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 75


Your Life things in a way that pleases Him. Dreams from God will always have some useful spiritual lesson attached to them, but you might never have a dream from God. God speaks to us all in different ways. There‘s nothing super holy about God talking to you through dreams. In fact, many Christians have really led themselves astray by trying to read spiritual significance into their brain‘s normal musings because such people have decided that God must speak to them through their dream life. Well no, He really doesn‘t have to submit to our preferences in any area. So be open to God speaking to you through dreams, and but don‘t try to figure anything out on your own. Always look to God to guide you in life because He is the only One you can trust.

In All Thy Ways Acknowledge The Lord and He Will See You Through

For God so loved this world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him; should have everlasting Life


Embracing Singleness and Loneliness This booklet is compiled with inspirations to encourage you while embracing the Lord through those periods of single and loneliness

Click Here To Download Your eBook If I could give this eBook 10 stars I would because it has been an eye opener for me. I didn’t know how to fully cope with being a single male and the ache of loneliness, but this book has inspired me to pray more and seek the face of God. Thank you Blessed Magazine‌..Thomas Y.

Exclusively at Blessed Magazine Get Yours Today! No Purchase Necessary!


Your Life

Can You Know For Sure You‘re Going to Heaven? By David J. Stewart

"Nobody can know for sure that they are going to Heaven, right?" WRONG! "I guess we'll have to wait till we get there to find out, right?" WRONG! "If my good outweighs my bad, I'll probably go to Heaven, right?" WRONG! To make a presumption that what you've been taught your whole life must be true, especially concerning the destination of your eternal soul, is the epitome of foolishness. Your soul is the only possession you have that is eternal! Your wife, husband, children, career, house, car, boat, money, possessions, beauty, health, et cetera ... are all temporal. Nobody ever has, can, or will, be able to possess these forever in the flesh. Your soul; however, lives on forever in Heaven, or Hell (see Luke 16:19-31). Do not take chances! Do not trust in what mankind tells you. What does God have to say about salvation and going to Heaven? That is what is important! Psalm 118:8, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." 78 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016


Your Life God's Clear Promises "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life..." (1st John 5:13). God wants you to know that you have eternal life! John 5:39 says, "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.― Do not trust in Clergymen to do your searching and interpreting of the Scriptures! In Matthew 23:13 Jesus said, "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." What if your priest or minister is wrong? IT IS YOUR SOUL! In John 5:39 Jesus said Search the scriptures for yourself! Proper Biblical interpretation is not just for ministers! The Apostle Paul, while in Rome, reminded a young man named Timothy... "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures from his childhood. He was taught them, not by Clergymen, but by his grandmother and mother (2nd Timothy 1:5). God wrote the Bible so every person on earth could read it and find out what He requires

for us to have eternal life. We can know for sure that we are going to Heaven! It is mental torment to have to go through life wondering if we are going to make it to Heaven, or if we will end up in Hell. God does not want us to be mentally tormented and live in fear and uncertainty all of our days. We are not hostages to some unknown demands of God. HIS DEMANDS ARE KNOWN. If you will do what God says you must do to go to Heaven, you will be saved and KNOW IT! John 6:40 states, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ. We are Under the Condemnation of God's Law, and are in Trouble! God is Holy, i.e., moral perfection. God's holiness and righteousness demand justice. On the other hand, this is what the Bible says about humanity: "There is NONE righteous, no not one," (Romans 3:10).

"There is NONE that doeth good, no not one," (Romans 3:12). "For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23). "For we are ALL as an unclean thing and all of our righteousness (good works) are as filthy rags," (Isaiah 64:6). Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 79


Your Life It does not matter how good you THINK your are. The best person reading this article is nothing more than a sinner like the rest of us; and the person reading this who has done many good works, those works are nothing more than filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6).

The Penalty Of Sin Sin is a big joke today to most people. Just watch TV and you'll see sin glorified. God has never laughed at sin and never will. God sent His only begotten Son to pay for our sins with His shed blood (John 3:16; 1st Peter 1:18-19). That is serious. The Bible says, "the wages of sin is death..."(Romans 6:23). All of us are sinners and will pay the wages. Beyond physical death, the Scriptures teach, "The SOUL that sins, it shall die,"(Ezekiel 18:4,20).

on the cross! "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1st Peter 3:18). Christ's suffering was ONCE for all! Why? That He might bring us to God the Father. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). God loves you! (1st John 3:16). If God never does another thing for you as long as you live, He has already proved that He loves you by sending His son to die in your place (for your sins on the cross). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). When was the last time someone died for you??? That is love!

God's Word teaches that death has two parts: physical death and eternal separation from God in a lake of fire... "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire"(Revelation 20:14-15).

Jesus Paid Our Penalty Knowing that we were sinners, lost, hopeless and totally incapable of saving ourselves, JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS! He paid our death penalty in full. He was your substitute! You should have hung

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Photo Credit: River Bank of Truth


Your Life You Must Accept Christ As Your Savior IF you could earn your way to Heaven, then why did Christ have to die for you? No, you cannot earn your way into Heaven by your good works! Consider Ephesians 2:89, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, least any man should boast.― The question, "What must I do to be saved?" was asked in Acts 16:30. Acts 16:31 gives the answer... "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Romans 4:5 says, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." What a wonderful Savior! Quit working and start trusting! It is not what you can do that will save you, but what Christ has already done at Calvary. Are you believing on Jesus ALONE, or are you trusting in your self-righteousness or religion? Romans 10:3-4 WARNS, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.― Have you received Christ as your Savior? John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God even to them that

believe on His name." Therefore, being born-again is a one time event, not a lifelong process. Growing in the grace of God as a believer is a lifelong process (1st Peter 2:2), but not being born-again. "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (John 10:9). Jesus said it! "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). It's Jesus or Hell. If you want to go to Heaven, then it can only be through the blood of Jesus Christ. "Ye must be born-again" (John 3:3). You need only realize that you are under the condemnation of God's Law, deserving of Hellfire, and then turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Matthew 7:13-14 teaches us that there are many ways to Hell, but only one way to Heaven, and Jesus is the only door (John 10:9). Jesus Christ has expressed His love in what He has already done for you at Calvary. Now it is up to you. Will you accept Jesus as your Savior or reject Him? When you stand before God's Judgment Seat, He is not going to ask you, "How good have you been?" He is going to ask you, "What did you do with my son, Jesus Christ, who died for you: did you receive Him as your Savior or reject Him?" 2nd Thessalonians 1:8 ought to scare you if you've not obeyed the Gospel of Jesus

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 81


Your Life Christ, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." Oh! Listen my friend, don't risk spending eternity in the flames of torment. This life is so short, not even 100 years for 99% of the population. What if you're wrong? What if you die IN YOUR SINS and find out, to your horror, that the Word of God is 100% accurate? The what??? Don't you realize that even after 1,000,000,000,000 years that eternity won't even have begun yet? There is no time in eternity. Could you imagine burning in the Lake of Fire, knowing that there is NO END in site, no time, no years to count. I beg you, please, don't take the Word of God lightly. This is a serious matter, so serious that I've dedicated my life to warning people of the judgment to come. I don't make a penny from my website. I'm presently receiving, by the grace of God, 8000 visitors per DAY! I could make lots of money; but that's not why I do what I do. Hell burns with fire, and all those people who die without Christ will be lost forever in torment. I didn't write the Bible, God did. If I were God I would have done things differently, and messed everything up no doubt. Though I don't understand why God does certain things, I trust Him, and believe upon His Son Jesus Christ as my Savior. It's the blood of Jesus that took my sins away... 1st Peter 1:18,19. Do not gamble with your soul! Come to

82 Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016

Jesus now as a condemned sinner, guilty under God's Law, deserving of the penalty of Hellfire. Ask Jesus to be your Savior, ask Him to forgive all your wicked sins. God is omnipresent Wherever you may be as you read this, God is there. He keeps you breathing (Acts 17:25). God says to you, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Do it now; do not wait, for tomorrow is uncertain... Proverb 27:1, "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Tomorrow may be too late! Would you like to be saved now?

Assurance You can never lose your salvation --"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). "WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). John 6:37, "...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."


Dear Blessed Magazine…

Dear Blessed Magazine,

Dear Blessed Magazine,

Thank you for helping me to get into the bible. Asking for prayers as I don't feel good today – Marilyn Daniels

Good morning family of God, may I asks for advice on what to say when someone is stubborn bitter and habour unforgiveness in their heart. My sister is in her last days on hospice and really don't want visitors looking at her the way she is..what can I do for her – Anonymous

Dear Marilyn Daniels, We are blessed knowing you are being encouraged to read your Bible more. We will definitely lift your name up in prayer before our Lord, Jesus to bless you. Remain blessed of the Lord Jesus always! – Blessed Magazine Dear Blessed Magazine, Blessed Magazine,I have a question for you.Why did God no accept Cain's sacrifice? – Alyce Dickson Dear Alyce Dickson, Thank you for contacting us with this question as many have wondered what was wrong with his. In light of our studies, Cain did not offer his sacrifice to God in faith as Abel did. For collaboration of this statement, please refer to Hebrews 11:4 Thank you for contacting Blessed Magazine. Remain blessed of the Lord Jesus always! – Blessed Magazine

Dear Anonymous, Wow Anonymous! The best advice we could ever offer is to seek the Lord for guidance in this delicate situation. We are confident He will lead you on how to speak with your sister as not to drive a wedge between you two. We will definitely be praying for the both of you and especially on behalf of your sister to come to know the Lord. Thank you for contacting us. Remain blessed of the Lord Jesus always! – Blessed Magazine Dear Blessed Magazine, I glad that they have the people that put this on their F B. Thank u – Dawn Richmond Dear Dawn Richmond,

Thank you for reaching out to us and expressing your gratitude to God for

our site. Our ministry is from God and for God‘s people. We pray we will continue to be a beacon for individuals to seek the Lord through this site that God has blessed us to operate through His love and guidance. Remain blessed of the Lord always – Blessed Magazine Dear Blessed Magazine, Blessed Magazine, I love you guys so much. Your page and posts have changed my life. Thank you for being here for us to learn and grow in Jesus name – Teresa Murphy Dear Teresa Murphy, Thank you for contacting us today and we appreciate your love for us and our page. We pray to always be available to you and others who visit our page daily to grow in the knowledge of God through His precious Word. Keep us in your prayers as we continue this mission in Jesus name! Remain blessed of the Lord Jesus always! – Blessed Magazine

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Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 83


Real People

Real Miracles Many will say; ―God doesn‘t perform miracles today‖, but within this astounding eBook lies stories from ordinary people who have experienced first hand the miracle power of God!

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Lorece Johnson My thoughts. Yes they can. U will find a lot of atheist were once believers, but because of something that happened in their lives, they chose to not accept God. I know a renown Minister who has turned from the faith. Karen Quave In my opinion, I don't believe in once saved always saved. If u commit a sin then u must repent over it and ask for God's forgiveness. I don't believe in being saved by accepting Jesus as ur Lord and savior, yes u have to accept Christ but that's not where it stops. I believe in Acts 2:38. Repent, be baptized in Jesus name, and receive the Holy Ghost!! Fran Allbritten In my opinion. , I've you know Jesus Christ.. The only thing that would change is the person speaking to me about why the Lord is anything but " EVERYTHING"

Evangelist Chejuana Webster Exactly, Lita Tipton Dat y we have to walk da walk n not talk it, Cuz ppl are watching us Lita Tipton No! not a true believer,one that knows God's word,they may stumble and fall but the word is in them even if they don't want to believe.I believe once saved (believer) you're always saved thru Jesus Christ...but you can still send youself to hell,if you don't repent.Job even cursed the day he was born..yet he still believed.

Alyce Dickson Will say no,once you understand the Lord Jesus Christ you may fall off for a while but I think you will always return to him. Beverly Gray The Parable of the Sower Matthew 13 some can fall along the path and be eaten up, some don't grow,

some have no root, some get choked the good grows and produce more believers. True believers believe in forgiveness of God. But one you believe, accept God. John 3:16

Nita Ann Scripture says the heart is the dwelling place of God, where He does His work. And the work of the law is written in our hearts, our conscience is the proof. Billye Flannery Yes you can

Please note: the views and expressions expressed are not necessarily the views of Blessed Magazine or its affiliates

Blessed Magazine June/July, 2016 85


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