STAFF Founder/ President Rev. Melissa D. Pearce
Copy Editor Barbara Watts
Contributing Writers Carole Shirley
Rev. Melissa Pearce
Chuck Hamby, Pastor
Julie Van Gorp
Mary Beth Pecora
William L. Glaze, Dr.
WANTMORE? Cant Get Enough? Checkout more articles and happenings at: www.EnduringHopeMinistries.com
Point of Hope is published by Enduring Hope Ministries, a non-profit organization, Murrysville, PA ÂŠ USA 2014 Enduring Hope Ministries, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited by federal law. Point of Hope has no subscription price and is supported through the contributions of our supporters. All gifts to this ministry are tax-deductible (in countries where this applies) For more information: please www.enduringhopeministries.com
Is a legacy how someone impacts their community? Or how they led their life?
10 LEAVING THE MOUNTAIN Do you believe that things won?t always be the way they are right now?
There are very few people who are free today.. Freedom is hard to achieve.
26 EYE OF THE TIGER Stay focused today on the important tasks that God has set before you..
C O N T E N T S
The only person that likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.
Magazine Layout & Designs created by: L ogicWebDesigns | email@example.com Point of Hope is a publication dedicated to encouraging and equipping people of all ages with the Word of God. Our Goal is to provide readers with life applicable articles that will edify and strengthen their personal walks.
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hat constitutes a legacy? Is it how someone impacts their community? Or is it how someone led his/ her life? I believe it is a combination of both. A legacy is the sum total effect of one?s resolved character and the influence he/ she used to make a difference in the world.
A few weeks ago, one of my dearest friends, a mentor and beloved brother in the Lord, went home to Heaven ? Pastor Chuck Hamby. Pastor Chuck and his wife, Laurie, served on the Board of Enduring Hope Ministries. And Pastor Chuck contributed to the Point of Hope E-Magazine. Reflecting on his life and the impact he made within my life and in the lives of so many, I felt compelled to dedicate this article to him. Pastor
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Chuck knew what it meant to leave a legacy. He never allowed circumstances to deter him from serving the Lord. I am reminded of a quote from the Apostle Paul, ?But I want you to know, brethren, that the thing which happened to me actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel? (NKJV ? Philippians 1:12). In prison at the time, Paul did not allow circumstances to deter him from loving and serving God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. In many ways, Pastor Chuck became a prisoner of his body because of health issues. Yet, he did not allow his situation to prevent him from loving and serving God with every fiber of his being. Those who visited were ministered to by this man, who always gave hope, spoke truth and
had a will for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to prevail! Visiting Pastor Chuck and Laurie just days before his death, God gave me the perfect picture (through him) of what it meant to be rooted and grounded in Jesus. I am reminded of Ephesians 3:17-19, ?? that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height ? to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.? Even though
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"I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus"
(NKJV ? Philippians 3:14)
his body was failing, Pastor Chuck?s faith in Jesus never wavered. He was solid in his devotion and commitment toward God. He didn?t get angry when God didn?t instantaneously heal him. He didn?t question God?s ability or authority. Pastor Chuck kept praising his Creator, his Lord and Savior and the Lover of his Soul. He trusted and believed that the plans God had for his life were far greater than he could begin to comprehend or imagine. Pastor Chuck?s character was firmly built on the foundation of God. He believed the inherent word of God, reflected in the lifestyle he lived. There are so many lessons we can glean. Do we allow circumstances to defeat us? Or are we unwavering in our devotion and commitment to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ advance? I believe, too often, we allow our situation to deter us from moving forward. We become introverted and absorbed by what is transpiring within our life; we lose focus. Both Paul and Pastor Chuck had the answer ? their differing imprisonments were for the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don?t allow circumstance to cause you to doubt the character of God. He is always Good, and He is always Able! Sometimes, when opposition arises, you need to refocus as Paul and Pastor Chuck did. Both men were open to however and whenever God chose
to utilize them; they made themselves readily available. Is your attitude the same? Are you readily available to God? Both men understood who they were in Christ Jesus and the God they served. They were rooted and grounded in their love of the Father. Their heart didn?t waver, and their character demonstrated the God they believed in. What about your character? I know Pastor Chuck would want this to be our commission: ?I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus? (NKJV ? Philippians 3:14). This is what it means to leave a legacy. Your life is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ; no matter what is thrown at you ? you are deliberately focused on the prize. Leave a legacy others can glean from your life. What do you want to leave them? I recommend what Paul and Pastor Chuck did ? leave them a hunger to know God intimately! Thank you, Pastor Chuck, for inspiring me (and so many others) to know my Savior Jesus Christ ever more! And thank you for setting the example of remaining steadfast on the prize! In Him, Rev. Melissa Pearce
??YOUHAVESTAYEDLONGENOUGHATTHISMOUNTAIN. BREAKCAMPANDADVANCE?.?(DEUTERONOMY1:6-7,NIV) This is what the Lord spoke to the Israelites when it was time for them to enter their Promised Land. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary explains the following about these verses, ?Horeb was the general name of a mountainous district; literally, "the parched" or "burnt region," whereas Sinai was the name appropriated to a particular peak. About a year had been spent among the recesses of that wild solitude, in laying the foundation, under the immediate direction of God, of a new and peculiar community, as to its social, political and, above all, religious character; and when this purpose had been accomplished, they were ordered to break up their encampment in Horeb. The command given them was to march straight to Canaan, and possess it [Deuteronomy 1:7].? Additionally, Benson Commentary explains about verse 6, ?They had stayed at mount Sinai, or Horeb, almost a year, receiving the law, erecting the tabernacle, numbering the people, ranking them under their standards, etc. And so, being fitted for an orderly march, they were commanded to depart thence, and proceed to the nearest borders of Canaan.? One reason we may be told that we have remained too long at this mountain is because, when the reason for the season has been accomplished, it?s time to move on. Another reason may be, when the Lord reminds us that He has a victory and an answer for us, we need to trust Him and go forward instead of sitting, defeated at the base of the mountain. Almost a year after I sat down at the base of a mountain, staring at it, wondering how I would ever get up over it, I received my devotion from Joel Osteen Ministries that said the following, ?Let me ask you, do you go out each day knowing that favor is already in your future? Or, have you gotten stuck in a rut staring at a mountain of disappointment, setbacks, or difficulty? That?s what happened to the people of Israel. They were headed to their Promised Land. They had big goals and big dreams, but along the way, they hit some setbacks and had some 11 His Word, Your Hope EnduringHopeMinistries.com
disappointments? One day, God said to them, ?You have dwelt long enough on this mountain.? He was saying, ?It?s time to move past this and embrace the blessing in your future? (Joel Osteen, Move Past Your Mountain). ANSWER TO PRAYER A few weeks later, watching a DVD from the ?He Is? series by Beth Moore, Beth talked about how sometimes we ask the Lord for an answer to a prayer, and we expect Him to give us the answer right where we are. However, in fact, God may be asking us to keep moving forward with Him, praying and believing Him to come through with the answer. Why? Because, contrary to our plan,
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maybe the answer lies ahead in the next place, and we need to move forward to reach that place where we can receive the promise/ the answer. A day later, I changed my mobile phone plan and received an email from the phone company that said in the subject line, ?Confirmation of Your Plan Change.? I thought of what Beth had said and, more importantly, what the Lord was saying to me. A third reason that we may be told that we have remained too long at this mountain is, sometimes, we have a plan that believes God will come through with the answer in the place we are in currently. When, in actuality, we need to leave the place we are and follow the Lord to the next place where HE PLANS to give us the answer.
After the Lord said (verse 6) the Israelites had been too long at the mountain of Hebron, He told them to ?break camp? (verse 7). When you camp, you pitch a tent. You plan to remain for a period of time. However, camping is not permanent. It?s a place you stay for a short period of time and then pack up your tent and move on. Right? A campsite is not a place equipped for long-term residence. It is a stopover along the journey. I love the verb break used in verse 7, because it signifies such a strong detachment from this encamped place. Dictionary.com defines break as ?to smash, split, or divide into parts violently; reduce to pieces or fragments. To infringe, ignore, or act contrary to. To dissolve or annul.? ?? You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp? ? After telling them to break camp, the Lord (verse 7) said, ?? advance? ? In other words, move forward to the next place.
BE READY We may also be told that we have remained too long at this mountain because sometimes we sit enslaved at the foot of that mountain, hiding in the shadow of it, instead of stepping out into the next place out of insecurity or fear of rejection. Instead of getting up and moving on, we have issues blocking our way that we need to get authority over. These blockages could be the need to get in better shape, getting our finances in order, forgiving someone or letting go of a heartache, etc. As long as we avoid addressing these issues (these mountains), they are stumbling blocks. We are unable to move forward without pushing these out of our way. You push them out of your way by addressing them. When the Israelites were in the wilderness prior to Moses?words to them (Deuteronomy 1:6), the Lord went before them as a fire by night and a cloud by day. He also provided everything they needed, and He will do the same for you. Ask Him for the grace to address these issues and walk in His authority to move them out of your way ? so you can BE READY to step into the next place. Joel Osteen concluded his devotion, ?I believe God is saying [this] to each one of us today, ?You have been where you are long enough...this is a new day. Get your fire back. Where you are is not where you?re meant to stay.?? When the Israelites were told to move on from Hebron, the cloud lifted from the place they were. This cloud was the
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presence of the Lord. Deuteronomy 1:33 explains about the Lord and the Israelites, ?? [He] who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go? (NIV). As you advance, ask the Lord to go before you to show you the way you should go. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you so you are able to follow Him to the next place, where you may very well receive your answer. DO YOU BELIEVE..... Do you believe there is a good future in your forward steps worth moving toward? Do you believe God is good and rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)? Do you believe that things won?t always be the way they are right now, because God has something better for your tomorrow than He had for your yesterday? If you struggle to answer ?YES!? to any of these questions, talk to the Lord about them. He?ll answer, because ?? You have stayed long enough at this mountain? (Deuteronomy 1:6, NIV).
Written by: Pastor Chuck H amby
? ? ? The American Revolution and the French Revolution occurred in the same historical framework. The French were emboldened by the success of the American Revolution. Thomas Paine was a supporter of France in the revolution until he saw the tremendous bloodshed as a result of the popular take-over of government. ? ? ? The French Revolution had the guillotine; the American Revolution had the divine hand of Almighty God. Both revolutions were committed to the equality of men. France sought equality through government but America knew the secret of true liberty. The writers of the Declaration of Independence avowed, ?? We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? ? ? ? ? The only source of freedom is our Gracious Heavenly Father. Jesus was talking to the Pharisees in John 8: 31-36 "So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.?They answered Him, ?We are Abraham?s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ?You will become free??? Jesus answered them, ?Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. ?The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. ?So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."
? ? ? The Pharisees thought they were free. They bragged about not being slaves to anyone (It seems they were very good at ignoring all of those Roman soldiers running around). Many people reading this will think, ?I?m free; I?m not in prison? ? But let?s ask ourselves, ?What does it mean to be free?? ? ? ? When I was young, I thought freedom was to be able to do anything I wanted to do. I had enough money; I was old enough to make my own choices; I was free. I soon found out that freedom was not the ability to do what I want to do: it was the choice to do what I ought to do. ? ? ? There are impediments to our happiness when we chart the course. Did you notice the Declaration of Independence does not guarantee happiness? Government is to ensure that the God-given, inalienable rights are not taken away. Too often they are not taken away, but like Esau who bartered away his birthright, we barter them away for a pitiful bowl of beans. How does this happen? It happens because we go our own way. Isaiah nailed it when he wrote, ?All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." (Isaiah 53:6) ? ? ? Bondage and slavery come from inside us and must be purged. The alcoholic is not free. The drug addict is not free. The insatiable shopper is not free. The bulimic person is not free. We have
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made ourselves prisoners by our desires. James warns us of this in chapter 4: 1-3 "What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?2You lust and do not have;so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain;so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures." ? ? ? There are very few people who are free today. We are slaves to our work, ambitions, or our pleasures. We are always trying to get just a little more, a little farther ahead. But that ?little more? is never enough. The path to true freedom is easy and hard at the same time. It is easy because it is easily doable. It is hard because it requires us to empty ourselves. Remember Isaiah's phrase ?? each of us has turned to his own way? ?? and James?warning, ?? You lust and do not have;so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain;so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.? That is why freedom is hard.
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1. TRUEFAITHINGOD ???
This is much more than a belief in God. James tells us that the devils believe and are terrified. Faith is much more that believing that God exists; it believes that His existence is important to me. Faith means that we are aware of God communicating to us through his works (science), His Word (the scriptures), and His Son (Jesus, the Christ). ? ? ? Faith is dynamic! It seeks after God. It is insatiable to know God and why He has us on this planet. It causes us to dig into the Scriptures to find out what God is up to. We are in relationship with the Almighty. We want to know Him intimately. We want to know His thoughts, His plans, His feelings. Faith drives us to know God!
2. OBEDIENCETOGOD?SWAYSANDWORD God?s Word, the Holy Bible, is our guide for conscience and conduct. It is true in all its ways. God has exalted His Word above His name because in His Word, He is revealed. His Word becomes our daily guide; what it tells us to do, we do, and what it tells us not to do, we don?t do. That may not sound like freedom to some because they do not understand the benefits of God?s Word. Here are some of the benefits of God?s Word:
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? ? ? A. It makes us wise. The famous botanist, George Washington Carver, never took a book of science into his laboratory. He entered with his Bible and his notebook. He would get on his knees and ask God to show him how to make specific things from the peanut, and God would tell Him. Dr. Washington?s faith came from his reading of God?s Word. His wisdom came from depending on God?s Word and watching Him work. He believed God even when it went beyond his own experience. ? ? ? B. God?s Word makes us aware of our human condition. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). Wise men are dismayed at the evil and destruction in the world today. In the founding of our nation, the Bible was the standard of education. It was the foundation of thought and action. Our laws are based on it, but we have ignored, denied, and derided the Holy Scriptures. We have removed them from the schoolhouse. It is no longer the cornerstone of our system of justice. And we are surprised at why our culture is in a tailspin of debauchery. The only remedy for sin is repentance. ? ? ? C. God?s Word also makes us aware of His grace and forgiveness. It tells us that there is a Savior who took our sins in His own body. He was sinless while we are sinful. He was perfect, and we were marred and scarred by our own willful disobedience. 2 Corinthians 5: 21 "He (God) made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." We have the ability to be free from sin. ? ? ? D. God?s Word gives us power and authority. When we follow God?s Word and Ways, we have that righteousness Paul wrote about. That is power over sin. The Bible tells us about God?s Kingdom and His Purposes for us. We are appointed to rule and reign with Him.
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3. PRAYER This is not some memorized incantation but a ?soul-deep? communication with the King of kings and Lord of lords. ? ? ? Most of us equate our prayer time with spiritual shopping. We thank God for all the things He done for us. We tell Him what we want, and we wonder why our prayers have little or no power. ? ? ? Prayer is not my heavenly ATM machine. Prayer is for me to get my marching orders for the day. Jesus mentioned something one day that intrigues me. He says, ?The Father works, and I work? ? How did He know the Father was working? He spent time with the Father. Prayer is not just us speaking; it is being with God and letting Him speak to us. What do you think God would say? If you are looking for scolding and rebuke, I think you might be pleasantly surprised. ? ? ? We have our greatest freedom when we are doing what God has made us to do. It isn?t what makes the most money or brings us the greatest fame; it is what we were made to be. We were designed before the world began? for the praise of His glory.
Now, my friend, that is freedom! ~Pastor Chuck Hamby _________________________ Editorial note: This article was originally featured in Point of Hope Issue # 7. | July 2014 We are sharing this article with you again, in memory of our dear friend Pastor Chuck Hamby. May this message of God's freedom ring true in your heart and may your life be filled with the only one true Freedom that is found through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
EYE OF THE TI GER WRITTEN BY: PASTOR DR. WILLIAM R. GLAZE
In the movie, Rocky III, Rocky?s trainer is concerned that his fame has gone to his head and he has lost the ?hungry eyes?he had when he was just a scrappy fighter. He tells Rocky that he needs to get the ?eye of the tiger?back. The ?eye of the tiger?is a laser-focus and concentration on the object to be conquered. On one particular occasion, I slacked off on my workouts. I determined I was going to attack them again with a vengeance. I was so psyched that I told my trainer I had the ?eye of the tiger.? He saw my enthusiasm and got pumped along with me. After missing a few workouts, I received a text from my trainer: ?Right now, you got the ?eye of a kitten.?Next week, let?s get at least to a full-grown cat. Ha! Ha!? I responded back that I needed that exhortation, because I had lost my focus. In today?s passage, the Apostle Paul keeps his focus and his eye on the prize. First, he had single-minded purpose. He said, ?? this one thing I do? ? He was totally, solely focused on one thing. Second, he had a forward-looking focus, ?? forgetting those things which are behind? ? He realized it was a new day, and past victories and failures would have to be left behind because he was pressing ahead. Third, he had a downward focus, he was pressing ?toward the mark? ? In the Greek, 'toward' literally means 'down'. He was pressing down upon the goal. The idea presented here is that of a runner pressing down upon, or closing in on, someone ahead of him. Fourth, he had an upward focus, ?? the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.? In this context, the word 'high' actually means 'upward'. He had a heavenly call; as he pursued it, he was elevated to heavenly heights. Paul had the ?eye of the tiger.? Prayer: Great and glorious God, thank You for being a God of focus. Please help me stay focused today on the important tasks You have set before me. Let me not turn to the left or to the right but have a single-minded focus, a forward-looking focus, a downward focus and an upward focus. Let me not substitute good focuses for Your great focus. AMEN! Pastor Dr. William R. Glaze
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Calle d To ... EM B R ACE CH AN GE A Year of Calling : Devotional Study Series - Part VII Mary Beth Pecora
f a survey were taken about change, I bet about 80% or higher would not like change. 'I have heard it said, ?The only person that likes change is a baby with a wet diaper. Change is such an uncomfortable thing, isn?t it? So many of us crave it but fiercely resist it, which fuels an ever-escalating inner civil war.? ' Maybe that?s why we feel such strife inside at times. In our society, we are so comfortable! We insulate ourselves against anything that is the least bit uncomfortable. We think we are entitled and everything should be handed to us. Unfortunately, this mentality has been passed on to our children. Now, they live feeling entitled. Yes! The sins of the fathers and mothers have been passed on to the third and fourth generations. God forgive us! How can we break this pattern of being so comfortable that we resist change? What does God say about change? ?? Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones ? those who believe in me ? to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea? (Matthew 18:3-6, NIV). Continued........
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That is some heavy stuff; pun unintended! A millstone is a large circular stone that crushes grain to make flour. The Open Dictionary defines it: "A problem or responsibility that prevents you from making progress or doing what you want to do." Sounds like a trap we do not want to be ensnared by! CHILDLIKE FAITH Our childlike faith is very important to God. Children are humble and seek no reward; they just believe. We are to welcome them and how they respond, especially to Jesus. The love Jesus has for a small child is special, because they don?t pretend and their love is so pure. Adults should learn from them! We are to be a model for them!
way through the old nature, which is selfish and self-seeking. INSTRUMENTS OF GOD'S CHANGE God?s nature is love, kindness, mercy and more! His character never changes! We change as the Holy Spirit takes control. It was delightful to see the change in me, for those close to me to benefit from this change. When our heart becomes changed, our life is changed! When we embrace change, we embrace growth. When we grow, we see through God?s eyes, not our own. When we see through His eyes, we experience His love, mercy and grace on a completely new level. We then become the ones to implement change.
A heavy, large stone around our neck will drown us in worry, fear and anxiety.
Yes, my friend, change has a domino effect, growing large enough to change the world!
The analogy God uses here is to keep us away from hard-heartedness and to be easy to get along with, as children are. They go with the flow; they don?t have the weight of responsibility on them. That?s why Jesus said, ?? become like little children? ? If you ever served in a Children?s Ministry with small children, you know they model sweet, lovable, honest and carefree behavior.
Isn?t that why we were created? Are we not to be instruments of God?s change?
Why are we so afraid of change? Why do we insist on being stuck in our ways?
RESIST CHANGE - RESIST GOD Brothers and sisters, if we resist God?s change, we resist Him. If we resist Him, we will not live but die (physically and spiritually).
For most, there is some level of fear associated with the unknown. When we step out of what?s familiar into the new, it requires total trust and releasing our control. When I asked the Lord to come into my heart and live through me, it required me to let go of my old ways. When God came to live inside I yielded to His ways, not mine. When we surrender our ways and receive God?s ways, the old is gone and the new has come. I don?t want to live the old 30 July 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
Oh, how Jesus has changed my life! He has changed how I live, how I love and how I see. The Apostle Paul said, ?? I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me? (Galatians 2:20, NIV).
If you embrace Jesus, Who is God, you will experience Him in a new and loving way. He will change everything about you ? how you live, how you see and how you love. Let Him change you. Cling to Him, and His ways will cling to you. Know Him, and He will know you: ?? whoever loves God is known by God? (1 Corinthians 8:3, NIV).
WEREFUSECHANGEWHEN WEBECOMEENSLAVEDBY FAMILIARWAYS.
Paul the Apostle had concern for the Galatians; they were slaves to legalism (dependence on law). He addressed them, but they didn?t understand his new teaching: ?It is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ that we are to live.? He continued: ?But now that you know God ? or rather are known by God ? how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?? (Galatians 4:9, NIV) We refuse change when we become enslaved by familiar ways. When we embrace grace through faith alone in Christ, we embrace the freedom of His Holy Spirit! When we embrace and encounter Him, our life changes! EMBRACE CHANGE Receive Him! Receive His change! Receive a new life ? His life! Your life will never be the same. When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon you in power, you will be changed into a different person. When God changes our heart, we will see and know! This is HOW a changed life (a changed heart) sees: ?Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal? (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Lord, may we have eyes and hearts to see as YOU see! May we fully understand that we cannot fix anyone, but we can fix our eyes on the ONE Who can! Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, ?? the pioneer and perfecter of faith? (Hebrews 12:2, NIV).
Making Changes With You! -Mary Beth Pecora
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A Tr ibute to Pastor Chuck Ham by
his week, we lost a great man - a man of never-ending spirit, faith and character. But heaven gained an angel.
first time ever. But first, he had to come see me off to surgery. Unbelievable, right! This is the kind of mighty man he was.
I first met Pastor Chuck twelve years ago when he was the Caring Pastor at Cornerstone Ministries. I was instantly attracted to his larger than life personality. He was charismatic and he exuded energy that was hard to match. He was famous for his vise grip handshakes and bear-like hugs. I was magnetically drawn to him and we quickly became friends. I grew to love and admire this man, not just because he had a passion for helping recovering souls with addictions through Celebrate Recovery; not just because he was a prayer warrior for the hurting through Cornerstone Television; not just because he was a compassionate servant for the ailing through Cornerstone Ministries; nor was it just because he (and Laurie) served as leadership advisor on our Board of Directors through Enduring Hope Ministries. I grew to love and admire this man mainly because he was a mighty man of God with a mighty big heart.
On another occasion (and another hospital stay for me), I was having a total knee replacement procedure, and I was scheduled as the first case for 6:00 AM surgery at Jefferson Hospital. I was told to report at 5:00 AM for surgical prep. When Melissa and I arrived, the check-in center was dark and empty and only the security guard was present. He told us that the receptionist would be arriving shortly. After waiting in the empty reception area for a few minutes, the door opened and who walks in, not the receptionist, but my buddy Chuck determined to pray with me! Again, I was amazed at how he knew (I was sure that I kept it a secret this time), but I was also amazed that he was so committed to see me off the surgery. After all, it was 5:00 AM and he had to drive an hour to get there! This is the kind of mighty man he was.
I can tell many stories to illustrate just how mighty he was, but I must share two of my personal Chuck Hamby testimonies with you. I recall a time when I was having an outpatient cholecystectomy procedure, and desiring anonymity, I told no one. As I laid in pre-op with Melissa at my side, Pastor Chuck surprisingly shows up to pray with me. I was first amazed at how he knew, but I was more amazed to discovery that he came on his day off from work (and Pastors rarely get days off). The amazement didn?t stop there. It was also the day of his and Laurie?s wedding anniversary and he was taking her to Kennywood for the
Chuck was a mighty man of God with a mighty big heart, but for me, he was a mighty friend, and I will miss him. I think that Chuck?s favorite sermon topic was ?salt and light?, probably because he was such a shining example as well as a great encourager. When Chuck provided encouragement, he routinely ended his enlightenment with an animated fiery fist pump, a hearty smile, and a parting battle cry of, ?Give ?em heaven?. Chuck, you got heaven, and I?m sure God welcomed you and with an animated fiery fist pump, a hearty smile and a ?Well done faithful servant.? ~Ron Pearce
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Point Of Hope Magazine is a publication of Enduring Hope Ministries