R L F EAL
AITH July/August 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS Let’s Build Together – By Pastor Charles Hunter – Page 3 True Lies Wrongful Incarceration – By Elect Lady Avis Hunter – Page 5
Wife Repeatedly Tries to Slay Baby of Husband’s Lover – Real Life Faith Magazine Founder and Editor Michele Jackson – Page 9
Understand the Real Purpose – Elder Shermaine Y. Sanders – Page 14
Don’t Talk Like That – By President Jeanna L. Pryor – Page 17 Storms – By LaTanya Wooten – Page 20 Keep Doing Good, And Don’t Faint – By Apostle Karen Deadwyler – Page 22
Black History Fact – Page 24, What Does “I’m Saved” Mean? – Page 13, Prayer of Salvation – Page 14, Bible Trivia – Page 12 and 24, Love Lifestyle – Page 24
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Let’s Build Together By Pastor Charles Hunter
Photo of Pastor Charles Hunter “5And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: 6Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned. 7We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:5-7, King James Version Bible) “17Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. 18Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. . . . 20Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. ” (Nehemiah 2:17, 18, 20, KJV) Let’s build together. I am excited that we are now on the verge of celebrating six years in ministry. I do know that six years is not a long time. What I want you to understand today is when we planted this ministry God never told me to do this by myself. From day one God gave me some help in the person of 3|Page
Elder Wil Draughn. Then as we continued to move forward He gave me some more help. What I have come to understand is that God never intended for this to be a me, myself and I ministry. Everybody in this building plays a part in this ministry. It is important that we stay together in one mind and one accord to do what God has commissioned us to do. He may have given me the vision, but He has given you the work. This cannot be done by only me. All of us have to chip in. It is your duty to do God’s work. It is very important that everyone takes hold of what God has commissioned us to do. How can you not want to work wholeheartedly for the Lord when the Lord has done so much for you? I don’t care how many times I have to come to church. When I think back over my life and see all that God has done for me I will be in church Monday through Sunday, because God has been good to me. Let’s build together. When we look at Nehemiah he was a rebuilder. We are builders. Nehemiah only rebuilt something that was already there. God has commissioned us to build something that has never existed. At that we should say thank you because it takes a special kind of person to start something from nothing. It reminds me of God. He created something out of nothing. One thing we come to realize in this text that Israel was coming out of some captivity. Nehemiah said we have to build a wall. You are coming out of some type of captivity. God has given you the same commission to start working for the Lord. I don’t know what has been hindering you all your life. I do not know what valleys you have been in, but once you come out of your valley, you should work harder for God than you worked for the devil. I don’t care how long you have been doing nothing, today is the day that we change our objective. Today is the day that we change our mind. Today is the day that we change our motive that we are going to work wholeheartedly for the Lord. Let us build together. I guess you are asking me how are we going to build together? We build through prayer. Prayer is very important. Every great work can be traced back to prayer. Before every great thing Jesus did He prayed. Jesus knew the work that is at hand. If God has commissioned us for a work, can we not pray one hour? If God has commissioned us to save souls in this cold and dark world, can we not pray one hour? Prayer is important. It is the key to every miracle. It is the key to every healing. It is the key to every blessing. If we plan to build, we must plan to pray. If we plan to build, we must plan to praise. One thing that I find in every single church, God has been blessing you, God has been healing you, God had been delivering you; but you have not been praising Him. You have to learn to praise God. It is crucial to everything that you are trying to do. Praises let God know that you are thankful for what He has done. I’m thanking you for waking me up this morning. I am thanking you for starting me on my way. I’m thanking you for my wife and children. I’m thanking you for the food on my table. I’m thanking you for the clothes on my body. I’m thanking you for the roof over my head. If we want to build, we must learn to praise. If God has never done anything for you, you have no reason to praise Him. But if He has done anything for you, you should be able to praise. Ten lepers where healed, but only one came back to give God praise. 4|Page
Now I am going somewhere you don’t want to be -- confession of our wrongs. Let’s look at Nehemiah in verse 1:6 (KJV): “ 6Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children . . .” He is saying not only has he sinned, but also his father. We have to learn to pray, praise and confess. It is important to ask God to forgive us of the wrongdoings in our lives. We can’t continue to act as if we are perfect. If we do, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our wrongs. The reason I am going here is that God is not going to bless us in our mess. Nehemiah becomes specific in verse 7 in what he is asking God for forgiveness. We have to tell God what we need Him to forgive us for. One thing is to understand that we are wrong. The next thing is to ask God to forgive us of our wrongs. Lastly, we can build through commitment. It is very important that we commit ourselves to the ministry. We have to take on the cares and the needs of the ministry. Many of us need to do many things, not just one person doing everything. We need to be committed in everything we do. We need to be committed in Bible Study. We need to be committed in Sunday School. We need to be committed in the choir. We need to be committed on Sunday morning services. We need to be committed in all that we do. Commitment is one of the keys to building. I’m going to pray for this ministry. I’m going to praise God for this ministry. I’m going to confess my sins every day. I’m going to be committed to this ministry. When our hearts are right, the God of heaven will prosper us. If we pray, God will prosper us. If we praise God, God will prosper us. If we confess our sins, God will prosper us. If we are committed to God, God will prosper us. There is no devil in hell that can overcome God’s blessing. If you stay on the right side and do what God called you to do, everything is going to be alright. If we do the work that God has called us to do, not only will God prosper the church, God will prosper you on your job or business. God will prosper you in your household. God will prosper you in your finances. God will prosper you in your health. We looked at Nehemiah today because we are at a crucial point in ministry. We have to build together. If we don’t build together, God is not going to prosper us. He is not going to protect us. He is not going to guide us. He is not going to comfort us. But when we build together, God will prosper us. We build through prayer. We build through praise. We build through confession of sin. We build through commitment. _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Pastor Charles Hunter co-founded Kingdom Come Ministries in Dumfries, Virginia, with Assistant Pastor Wil Draughn in 2004.
TRUE LIES WRONGFUL INCARCERATION
by Elect Lady Avis Hunter
Photo of Elect Lady Avis Hunter
Twenty-four-year-old, African American Regina Kelly was working her typical second shift as a waitress in a diner in the small-town of 5,000 in Hearne, Texas, to support her four daughters when in November 2000 a SWAT team with big trucks, helicopters and guns arrested her and took her in handcuffs from her job site to a prison cell. When she appeared in court two days later and the false charges of selling narcotics in a drug-free school zone to an informant were issued, “my heart dropped”, said Regina. From the beginning of time many individuals like the Biblical character Joseph have been wrongfully incarcerated. Jacob loved Joseph who is the 11th of his twelve sons more than all his children (Read Genesis 37-50). That favoritism exposed wickedness like hatred, malice, envy, jealousy and covetousness within the hearts of nine of his brothers. Because of the wickedness in their hearts, they plotted to slay Joseph. However, Joseph’s brother Reuben convinced the other brothers to place Joseph into a waterless pit instead of shedding Joseph’s blood. The love of money inspired Joseph’s nine brothers to remove Joseph from the pit and to sell him to the Ishmaelite merchantmen. After Joseph was sold, his brothers returned home with Joseph’s coat which they dipped in goat’s blood to deceive their father Jacob into believing that Joseph was devoured by a beast. As expected, Jacob was deeply hurt by the deceptive lie. The truth was Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar who was an officer of Pharaoh the Egyptian ruler.
Genesis 39:2-4 (King James Version Bible) says, “2And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” Joseph had favor with Potiphar. He was an overseer of all his house except his wife. However, Potiphar’s wife asked Joseph to lie with her several times. He refused her offer each time. One day after being rejected, she decided to fabricate a lie. She told her husband as recorded in Genesis 39:17-18 (KJV), “ 17 . . . The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: 18And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.” - TRUE LIES! Her husband, Potiphar was furious. Joseph was incarcerated due to the lies told by Potiphar’s lustful, dishonest and deceptive wife. Nevertheless, even while in prison, the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy. He granted him favor with the prison keeper. Joseph utilized his divine gift of dream interpretation to find favor with Pharaoh, and he later became ruler of all of Egypt second only to Pharaoh. Joseph even lived to see his brothers subservient to him. After the lies and wrongdoings of his brothers, Potiphar’s wife and some of his former inmates Joseph did not harm them when he was in a position of power; instead he was merciful to them all. That’s the power of God producing through people and providing a good example to Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and to others! Good can overcome evil. Psalm 34:14 (KJV) says, “14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Joseph conquered many adversities by having the favor of God. God’s favor will deliver you from any type of bondage. Cooperate with God through life’s experiences to develop the faith in God that becomes unshakable trust. Outside or inside prison bars there is bondage, however, the truth shall set one FREE! John 8:36 (KJV) says, “ 36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
CAN YOU REMEMBER A TIME IN YOUR LIFE WHEN A LIE TOLD AFFECTED YOU?
Back to the story of Regina Kelly which was made into the movie “American Violet.” When Regina appeared in court she was falsely charged with the felony of selling narcotics in a drug-free school zone to an informant based on the testimony of a single informant. However, Regina Kelly was totally innocent! She didn’t use or sell drugs, but could not afford to hire a lawyer. Her court-appointed lawyer tried to get her to submit to a plea bargain several times. First he offered her 10 years probation due to her clean record. Regina refused! He then offered her 5 years probation. She refused that offer also. Her bond was initially $70,000; it was reduced to $10,000. Her parents bailed her out. Regina decided to wait for a trial. No plea bargaining for her. Several months later the charges were dropped along with the possibility of serving 15-20 years for being convicted of selling drugs. Even though the charges were dropped, Regina decided to seek justice and to become an activist speaking out against the racist aspects in the war on drugs. Because of her known innocence, trust in God and prayer she preceded with plans for justice for herself and the 26 others (mostly black and living in public housing) in Texas who were wrongfully arrested and/or incarcerated at the time she was. People convicted as felons can lose many rights, such as voting and public housing which Regina lived in. Regina could have even lost custody of her four 7|Page
daughters. She was encouraged and helped by her church and the American Civil Liberties Union. On November 1, 2002, the ACLU helped Regina file a class-action lawsuit for racial discrimination against the South Central Texas Regional Narcotics Task Force, John Paschall, the Hearne District Attorney and former head of the task force's Hearne unit, the City of Hearne and the County of Robertson. John Paschall was responsible for the SWAT raid that falsely arrested Regina while she was working. “Pain to Purpose”
Regina Kelly with the aid given by the ACLU won the law suit of racial discrimination. She and several others violated received a monetary settlement. The informant was basically the only evidence that the police had in many of the cases—and it was proven that he had been lying. His lies were exposed one by one! Regina said, “she had to stand for what was right.” When asked about getting the strength to endure she said, “Where I get the strength through all of this is from my faith in God, and from my four girls, who I have to set an example for, to show them that we are not limited to the things that people try to dish out to us in life.” The SWAT raid on Regina was part of a pattern of raids on blacks in Hearne, Texas; blacks comprise 44 percent of the population. These raids and arrests provided federal grant money for the County because they were used as evidence of victory in the war on drugs.
The law has changed as a result of Regina’s civil lawsuit; no more one-informant convictions. These one-informant convictions are a direct disobedience to Deuteronomy 19:15 (KJV) which says, “15One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Law enforcement has also changed in Hearne as there are no more cops toting big guns and dressed in SWAT gear jumping out of moving vans or helicopters to weed out a large portion of the town's black population. My Brothers and Sisters we should constantly pray for those who are wrongfully incarcerated day-today, month-to-month and year-to-year. We should pray for them to turn their pain into purposeful living. God has granted all of us a purpose. The wrongfully incarcerated that trust in God shall be granted peace. Regina just like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who also was incarcerated had a great purpose (mission). Salvation derived from His pain and suffering. Because of lies told against Jesus the Son of God we can live again – PAIN TO PURPOSE! Regina Kelly spoke of calmness during her ordeal, and the Scriptures show Joseph’s composure through his ordeals. Only God can give one that peace in the midst of turmoil. When you know and trust our Heavenly Father John 14:27 (KJV) says, “27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” My dad would always quote the latter part of this Scripture to me growing up to encourage me. I thank God for my dad’s wisdom and Scripture quoting that helped mold me. He set good examples for all his children just like Regina and Joseph did. God bless Joseph and Regina Kelly for courage, love for others and persistence. May this message bring awareness and be a blessing to you all.
Avis Hunter Elect Lady/Kingdom Come Ministries _________________________________________________________________________________ Elect Lady Avis Hunter is the wife of Pastor Charles Hunter of Kingdom Come Ministries in Dumfries, Virginia, and she heads the Women’s Wellness Ministry. She writes for Real Life Faith Magazine.
Wife Repeatedly Tries to Slay Baby of Husband’s Lover By Real Life Faith Magazine Founder and Editor Michele Jackson
Photo of Real Life Faith Magazine Founder and Editor Michele Jackson 4
“ Wrath is cruel and anger is an overwhelming flood, but who is able to stand before jealousy?”
(Proverbs 27:4, Amplified Bible) Kisha Jones, 38, tricked Monique Hunter, 25, into taking an abortion-inducing drug because Kisha’s husband, Anthony Jones, had fathered a child with Monique in 2009. After the seven-months-pregnant Monique took the drug and went into labor Kisha asked a male friend to go to Kings County Hospital in 9|Page
New York with what he claimed was breast milk for baby Anthony Hunter Jr. but was actually toxic. Monique and Anthony Hunter Jr. survived the abortion-inducing drug and toxic liquid. Then Kisha went into the hospital, posed as an administrator and tried to have the baby boy taken off a ventilator. “Chesed” ( )דֶסֶחis a Hebrew word that can be translated into the English words “loving-kindness”, “steadfast love,” “loyalty”, “compassion,” “mercy” or “goodness”. “Chesed” refers to God’s persistent love of Israel in spite of Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him. Kisha lacked chesed; when her husband was unfaithful to her she set out to harm him by harming his offspring and his lover. Fueled by jealousy and anger Kisha, a mother of four children, operated in steadfast hatred, treachery, unforgivingness and cruelty. Correction without compassion conceals sins in the person trying to correct another. Sometimes we try to justify our jealousies, anger, hatred and other sins by concealing them with claims of seeking righteousness. Yes, the adultery between Kisha’s husband and Monique was wrong. Yet Kisha was not the one to cast stones on the adulterous parents and their offspring because unlike God Kisha sought correction without compassion. Kisha did not have a heart broken by the damages of adultery to the people who commit adultery or a heart to help adulterers repent and seek the way of life through Jesus Christ. Like the Pharisees in John 8 Kisha had a heart to destroy human beings. The Pharisees had no compassion for the woman caught in adultery. Full of jealousy, anger and malice they dragged the woman from the sex act perhaps sweaty and partly naked and placed her on public display after breaking into Jesus’ class hoping not only to stone the woman but also to stone/destroy the ministry of Jesus. Kisha had no compassion for her husband, Monique or baby Anthony Hunter Jr. Kisha subjected them to the pain of the abortion-inducing drug Cytotec, the pain of suffocation by trying to take the baby off the ventilator and the psychological pain of sickness and seeing your offspring fighting for their life. However, Jesus couples correction with compassion. He couples chesed with truth. Jesus counseled the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11 (Amp), “. . . 11I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.” When someone sins against us the challenge for a Christian is to operate in chesed and truth. Adultery is to be confronted, corrected and changed into godliness without communicating to the sinners they are unreachable by God or committing sins against the sinners. Anthony and Monique sinned against God, Kisha, Anthony Hunter Jr. and society. Anytime people do not follow the instructions of God; they are sinning against God and people. God’s view on adultery can be found in Exodus 20:14 (Amp) which says, “14You shall not commit adultery.” 1 John 3:4 (Amp) says, “4Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God's law by transgression or neglect--being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).” Anthony’s sex belonged exclusively to his wife, Kisha. God designed for sexual satisfaction to be found in the marriage of one man and one woman. Hebrews 13:4 (Amp) says, “4Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.” Anthony and Monique also sinned against baby Anthony Hunter Jr. and society because they brought him into the world outside of the family unit God created. From the beginnings of the human race, the ungodly idea has existed that a man could successfully have multiple wives and/or lovers. In Genesis 4 Lamech is the first one recorded to try this idea. Lamech had two wives, Adah and Zillah. Lamech’s sin plays a role in the moral decline of the human race. Genesis 5 records the generations of the human race leading to a time when God in Genesis 6 describes people as being so far from a spiritual connection with God that He calls them 10 | P a g e
“basar” ( ) רָׂשָּבwhich is the Hebrew word that can be translated into the English words for “flesh,” “meat” or “body.” Anthony’s lust and covetousness for a woman who was not his wife brought out the wickedness of jealousy, hatred and other sins in Kisha’s heart. The Bible warns us that adultery exposes other sins and destroys lives. Proverbs 6:32-35 (Amp) says, “32But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks heart and understanding (moral principle and prudence); he who does it is destroying his own life. 33Wounds and disgrace will he get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. 34For jealousy makes [the wronged] man furious; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance [upon the detected one]. 35He will not consider any ransom [offered to buy him off from demanding full punishment]; neither will he be satisfied, though you offer him many gifts and bribes.” Kisha, who had no prior criminal record, ended up in prison because she did not prevail over her emotions. She was charged with attempted murder, attempted abortion, assault and other charges. You may say to yourself, “I would never do what Kisha did.” Sometimes the sins that we are the most critical of are the very ones we are doing in a different way. Romans 2:1 (Amp) says, “1Therefore you have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce].” We do not fully know what is in our hearts and what might come out of our hearts in certain situations. Every story has at least two sides. Perhaps Kisha was compelled to do what she did because she could no longer contain her emotional reaction to her husband abusing her verbally, sexually and/or physically for years. Many of us think that we have good, clean hearts, but King David tells the truth about all of us in Psalm 51:5 (Amp) when he says, “5Behold, I was brought forth in [a state of] iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful].” David was anointed to be king of Israel, and it was said that he was a man after God’s own heart. King David probably did not realize that out of that same heart would spring adultery against and murder of one of his top military leaders, Uriah the Hittite. God took the life of the child conceived by King David and Bathsheba, but God counsels human beings in Exodus 20:13 (Amp), “13You shall not commit murder.” God creates human life through parents. No matter how children are conceived, they are created by God; and God has multiple purposes for their life. The sin of the parents is not the sin of their children. Everyone is responsible for his or her own sin. The sin of sex outside of wedlock doesn’t stop God’s success plans for the children conceived of these unions. Monique and baby Anthony Hunter Jr. survived Kisha’s persistent efforts to slay them. The Bible book of Judges chapter 11 records that Jephthah was born of a harlot, but the Spirit of the Lord came upon him; and he led the Israelites to defeat their enemies the Ammonites. God chose Solomon, another offspring of King David and Bathsheba, to rule Israel. God has purposes for all people. Christians, be glad and thank God that our sins do not stop God from seeking us out for good things, and our sins do not sever God’s relationship with us at any point now or for all of eternity. Of course, we shouldn’t be trying to sin, thereby taking the grace of God for granted. Sin has consequences, and God will correct sin often using His body (the church) to bring the correction. When you see sin in someone, as a Christian, stop and search inside for chesed and truth. God is chesed and truth, and God lives inside of all Christians. If you are jealous, angry or in some other negative emotion pray to God to clean your heart before trying to correct someone else. If you do not have a relationship with God, you cannot operate in chesed and truth; ask God, who is chesed and truth, to 11 | P a g e
form a relationship with you. God is also a multiple of one as in 1 X 1 X 1 = 1 (God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit). When Jesus Christ died on a cross more than 2,000 years ago to pay the penalty of the sins of His people, He not only was satisfying God the Father’s requirement for justice, He was also making a way for human beings to have a now and eternal relationship with God and to actually have God live on the inside of His people (2 Timothy 1:14). John 17:3 (Amp) says, “3And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.” Ask God also to reveal Himself to Kisha, Anthony, Monique and Anthony Hunter Jr. and call them into relationship with Himself. God has a way of bringing multiple miracles out of messes. Homework: The next time someone sins against you before you respond, seek God for chesed and truth. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Michele Jackson is the founder and editor of Real Life Faith Magazine. She is also a licensed Bible teacher who lives with her son, Rafael Fowler, in Woodbridge, Virginia.
BIBLE TRIVIA JULY/AUGUST 2010 QUESTIONS (VERSES ARE FROM THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE).
True or false. Gideon is a descendant of Joseph.
Who is the daughter-in-law described as being better than seven sons?
Name the man who had a vision of a man saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”
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WHAT DOES “I AM SAVED” MEAN?/MARCH 2010
Salvation -- all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Sin is doing things contrary to the will of God.
Since God is perfect His will produces freedom now and forever. Not following God’s will produces bondage. All human beings have experienced bondage to sin from which they are completely unable to escape. Human beings are sinners in need of a Savior from sin (Romans 6:23 and John 8:34).
All the work of salvation is done by God and freely offered. God has to choose and change you before you
choose Him. You cannot be good enough, smart enough or do works of any kind to enter into a relationship with God. As a consequence of this relationship, you escape the wrath and judgment God has regarding sin; and God never leaves you (Romans 3:23, Romans 9, John 6:44, John 15:16 and Isaiah 64:6).
Love -- No one loves God before He calls a person into relationship with Him. God first loves those He chooses
to have an eternal relationship with Him and gives these people the desire and ability to love Him. In this earthly life God is maturing these people for marriage in heaven (Psalm 14, 1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:19 and Revelation 19).
Victory -- Jesus Christ defeated the devil who is the enemy of God and people. God the Father gave Jesus a
bride (those human beings He has a relationship with) before the foundation of this earth for a relationship that starts on earth and will be consummated in heaven. The devil tried to stop the wedding, but God got the victory over him (John 10, Matthew 28, Romans 8:29-31 and 1 Corinthians 15:52-57).
Awful -- God thinks sin is awful. God thinks sin is so bad that it requires a sinless, blood sacrifice as payment
for the consequences of the sins of His bride (Hebrews 9 and Hebrews 10).
Truth -- The truth is that the only human in all creation found without sin is the God/man Jesus Christ because
He is God the Father’s only begotten Son born of the human, virgin Mary. Jesus went to the cross in Calvary, Israel, more than 2000 years ago as the sinless, blood sacrifice for the sins of His bride (Matthew 1, John 3, John 8 and Revelation 5). God is all relationships to Christians; He’s Husband, Father, Friend, Brother, Sister and Mother (1 Corinthians 8:6, Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 3:14, John 15:14-15 and Matthew 12:15).
Idea -- It was God’s idea to make the bodies of His bride His temple. God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and
God the Holy Spirit live inside His bride. God is a multiple of one as in 1 X 1 X 1 = 1; and He is jealous for His bride; He shares her with no one; God protects her (1 Corinthians 3).
Ordered -- As a bride of God, God is ordering sin out of your life and increasingly manifesting His holiness
through you. God wants total control of your life (Psalm 37:23).
Never -- Most human beings will die. This is the first death. Yet the brides of God will never experience the
second death (commonly called “hell”) which is God’s wrath and judgment waiting for everyone who leaves this earthly life without a relationship with God and is one of the wages of sin. The bride will never cease to exist and will never leave the presence of God in paradise (Revelation 20:11-15 and Romans 6:23). 13 | P a g e
PRAYER OF SALVATION/MARCH 2010 (IF GOD IS ASKING FOR YOU, ANSWER HIM AFFIRMATIVELY.) IF YOU HAVE NEVER TALKED TO GOD AND SAID SOMETHING LIKE THE FOLLOWING, PLEASE DO SO SINCERELY TODAY. “GOD THE FATHER, I AM TALKING TO YOU IN THE NAME OF GOD YOUR SON, JESUS CHRIST. SALVATION EXISTS IN NO OTHER NAME BUT THE NAME OF JESUS. THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING AND COMPELLING ME INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU. THANK YOU FOR SENDING GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CONVICT ME OF MY SINS AGAINST YOU, TO SHOW ME THAT I NEED YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS APPLIED TO MY LIFE AND TO WARN ME OF YOUR WRATH AND JUDGMENT OF SIN ENDING IN ETERNAL DEATH. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME SO MUCH THAT YOU SENT YOUR ONLY BEGOTTEN SON JESUS CHRIST TO PAY THE PENALTY OF MY SIN AND TO PROVIDE A WAY FOR YOU AND I TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP. PSALM 14 AND ROMANS 3 SAY THAT I AM NOT GOOD, WISE OR ABLE IN ANYWAY TO SEEK AFTER YOU AND SAVE MYSELF. THANK YOU, FATHER, FOR SAVING ME THROUGH THE WORK JESUS CHRIST DID DYING ON THE CROSS FOR ME, BEARING ALL OF MY SINS, PAYING THE PRICE FOR THEM AND PROVIDING A WAY FOR YOU TO LOOK AT IMPERFECT ME BY FIRST SEEING THE PERFECT ONE, JESUS. THANK YOU FOR PUTTING FAITH IN ME. I BELIEVE IN MY HEART AND CONFESS WITH MY MOUTH THAT JESUS CHRIST IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR,THAT YOU RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD, THAT HE IS ALIVE TODAY, THAT YOU HAVE FORGIVEN ME FOR MY SINS, THAT I AM SAVED FROM YOUR WRATH AND JUDGEMENT OF SIN AND THAT I WILL SPEND NOW AND ETERNITY WITH YOU. THANK YOU, FATHER. THANK YOU FATHER, FOR GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO NOW GIVES ME DAILY POWER TO LIVE ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL AND WAYS AND TO BE A WITNESS TO YOU IN THE WORLD. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME FOREVER, FOR NEVER LEAVING ME ALONE, FOR LIBERATING ME TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE NOW AND FOREVER. NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO ME OR WHAT I DO, YOU WILL NEVER FORSAKE ME. LET ME NOT TAKE YOUR GOODNESS FOR GRANTED. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WILL BE CHALLENGING AND CHANGING ME INTO YOUR LIKENESS, THAT I WILL BE PROGRESSING IN THIS LIFE AND FULLY MADE PERFECT IN THE NEXT LIFE, AND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP MY LIFE TO LIVE FOR YOUR WILL AND WAYS. I COMMIT MYSELF DAILY BY RELYING ON YOU TO TALKING TO YOU, READING, STUDYING AND MEDITATING ON YOUR WORD THE BIBLE AND LIVING ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD IN A WAY THAT PENETRATES EVERY AREA OF MY LIFE. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR GOODNESS! IN JESUS’ NAME, AMEN.”
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Understand the Real Purpose by Elder Shermaine Y. Sanders, Founder of Eagle Heights Dominion Ministries
Photo of Elder Shermaine Y. Sanders, Founder of Eagle Heights Dominion Ministries “29
. . . to be conformed to the likeness of his Son . . .” (Romans 8:29, New International Version Bible)
Being such a huge history buff I've visited my share of Colonial restorations. In doing so I was able to step back in history and see men in their tricorne hats, ladies in their lace caps and of course a potter. For some reason there's always a potter, and they're intriguing to watch as they skillfully mold and shape blobs of clay into beautifully displayed masterpieces. I’ve often wondered what it might feel like to be the clay. As silly as it may sound I ask you to follow me through just a few of the steps: First, you get pushed and squeezed and poked all over the place. Then the potter takes you for a spin, and you're going around in these endless circles. The wheel stops; you're saying, “Man, I'm sure glad that's over.” But then suddenly you're in an oven at 2,200 degrees! When you're just about cooked, the potter pulls you out only to put you back in a little later! If you're the potter's clay, you've got to be thinking, “Why are you doing this to me?” “What could I have possibly done so cruel or wrong that you would subject me to this kind of repeated pain?”
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Strangely enough I recognize a lot of those “clay-like” feelings! “God, why do You have me spinning around like this? I’m doing a lot of moving, but it doesn’t look like I’m moving forward. Why are You squeezing me this way? Why are You stretching me so far? Why are You pushing and pulling me in so many directions? Why do I have to endure so much pressure? Why are You poking me, don’t You know how much that hurts? Why are You subjecting me to this intense heat? Don’t You think it’s a bit cruel to put me in the fire—over and over again?” “Why God? Why?!” Recognize any of that? Well, let’s see if we can find you some help. In Romans 8 we quote verse 28 a lot but what we fail to do is to keep it connected to verse 29 which gives us the whole, full and complete picture. Verse 28 (New International Version Bible) says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Now if you've got some apparently “not so good” stuff going on in your life right now, you may get real excited that it’s all going to work “for the good” in the end! BUT you can’t get caught up in that alone; understand that the promise is to those “who love him” and “who have been called according to his purpose.” You may then say, I love Him, and I know I’ve been called, but the little portion we leave out is “according to his purpose”. Therefore, you’ve got to keep the connection to verse 29 (NIV): “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” You’ve got to understand that “all things” (the poking, squeezing, spinning, pressure, heat—or more honestly—the divorce, the out-of-control children, the late mortgage, the unpaid car note, the mounting loans, the frustrations, stress, health issues etc…) are all going to work out for your good, BUT according to his purpose; and His highest purpose is that you become more and more like his Son, Jesus! Despite what many popular preachers are telling you today, you are not going through all you’re going through to come out of it and say in the end that the “good” God brought out of it was simply a house, a car, a check, a vacation, a paid bill, better children or a better marriage!” No, the “good” is that you come through it all and in the end you were “conformed to the likeness of his Son!” The word “conform” means to “comply with rules, standards, or conventions; to be similar in form or type.” Its Latin origin “conformare” literally means “to form”. In other words all that’s going on in your life right now (the good, the bad and the ugly) is in essence the very hands of God molding, shaping and forming you to the “...likeness of his Son!” Therefore, stop allowing flattery words in your ear to whisper that your hurt is for a house; your wounds are for wealth; your struggle is for a spouse; your cuts are for a car; and your past is for prosperity! No, all that you’re going through is going to work for your good according to His purpose, and His purpose is that you be conformed to the likeness of His Son! We have so cheapened what God wants ultimately from our lives! And the blunt, honest truth is that He doesn’t want the “Materialistic;” He wants the “Masterpiece”! Ephesians 2:10 (New Living Translation Bible) says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”God doesn’t so much desire houses for us, He desires us to BE better houses for Him! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (Amplified Bible) says, “Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.” It’s amazing of all the gifts we ask God for we’ve yet to realize that He’s already given us the 16 | P a g e
best Gifts! John 3:16 says He gave us His Son, and here in 1 Corinthians 6 we find that His giving doesn’t stop there, but in addition He gave us the Gift of the Holy Spirit! I find it absolutely unbelievable the high price He paid for our Gifts, and yet we give Him such cheap thanks in return! You don’t believe it? I’ll prove it! If truth be told: We thank Him for the car but not for the cross! We thank Him for the keys to the house but not for the keys of hell! We thank Him for the man/woman He gave us but not for His own body He gave for us! We thank Him for the money but not for the price He paid to redeem us! We thank Him for the bill being paid but not for the blood that purchased our salvation! We thank Him for the name brand clothes on our backs but not for the whips on His! We thank Him for the diamonds in the piercings of our ears but not for the piercing in His side! We thank Him for the glory of our hair but not for the crown of thorns that covered His! We thank Him for our nails but not for His! We thank Him for the food in our mouths but not for the spit in His face! We thank Him for releasing us from debt but not for releasing us from eternal damnation! Now can you honestly say we’ve given Him worthy thanks?! If you really want to show God how thankful you are, go through and come out “conformed to the likeness of his Son!” Romans 12:1-2 (The Message Bible) says, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Saints, that’s how you thank Him! I've been to the gift shops at many of those Colonial villages, and I've seen what the potter can make out of that blob of clay. Every squeeze, poke, spin and ounce of heat is to turn the clay from a mess into a masterpiece! Very simply put: We're God's clay, and the mold is Jesus! And God designed us to be, through the uniqueness of our own personality and gifts, a replica of His Son! And a “replica” is “an exact copy or model of something, especially one on a smaller scale.” The origin of its meaning originally was a musical term which meant “to repeat”. That’s your assignment! -- to repeat the attributes, characteristics, nature, image and likeness of Jesus on a daily basis in every area and aspect of your life! One of life's most frequently asked questions is, “Why God?” The only answer that fits all situations is: This can make you more like Jesus than you've ever been before! What happens in your life is either something your Heavenly Father sends or allows! In either case He only sends and allows into your life that which can make you more Christ-like! Think about it: You can't learn to love like Jesus unless there's someone in your life who's hard to love. You can't learn His sensitivity without being hurt. You can't be patient like Jesus without having to wait for or put up with something or someone difficult. You can't learn joy without circumstances you have to rise above. You can't learn peace without pressure. You can't learn faith without needs that are bigger than your ability to ever meet them. Therefore, you need to Understand the Real Purpose is that in the end you’re “conformed to the likeness of his Son.”
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Elder Shermaine Y. Sanders of Holy Trinity Baptist Church in Roosevelt, New York is the Founder of Eagle Heights Dominion Ministries which publishes a devotional Monday through Friday called Break-Through Devotionals For The Overcomer. To subscribe to the devotional email email@example.com.
Don’t talk like that By Jeanna L. Pryor, President of the Firstfruits Ministry
Photo of Jeanna L. Pryor, President Of The FirstFruits Ministry
It’s not unusual to hear people talk about their financial struggles. The conversation can begin innocently like, “How are you doing?” The response can be a flood of what’s going wrong, financial misfortunes and struggles. If you’re not careful, the conversation can easily become one of “woe is me” with each person sharing the horrors of where they are and trying to outdo the other. If this is you, STOP IT! 7
Proverbs 23:7 (King James Version Bible) says, “ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he . . .” 21
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) says, “ Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat
the fruit thereof.” Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV) says, “19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” 18 | P a g e
If your thoughts and words are constantly focused on your financial struggles and your paycheck-to-paycheck living, then don’t be surprised that you are reaping a lifestyle of financial bondage sown from your thoughts and speech. You can stop paycheck-to-paycheck living. You can have savings, be debt free, own your home, take nice vacations without charging or other loans and have other nice things. You can have _______ (you fill in the blank). I am not advocating a “name it and claim it” financial way of life. I am asking you to examine the why behind where you are financially. There are several reasons for financial lack some of which are: 10
1) Laziness – 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV) says, “ For even when we were with you, this we commanded you,
that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 28
2) Poor planning – Luke 14:28 (KJV) says, “ For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down
first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” 17
3) Keeping up with the Jones – Exodus 20:17 (KJV) says, “ Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou
shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” 7
4) Financial bondage – Proverbs 22:7 (KJV) says, “ The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is
servant to the lender.” Now that we have looked at some reasons behind financial bondage, it’s time to change how you think about money, how you speak about money and how you actually spend money. The change I’m talking about is found in God’s plan for you. Part of God’s plan is: 10
1) Prosperity – John 10:10 (KJV) says, “ The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I
am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” 27
2) Peace – John 14:27 (KJV) says, “ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world
giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 22
3) Inheritance – Proverbs 13:22 (KJV) says, “ A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children:
and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” 25
4) Savings – Proverbs 30:25 (KJV) says, “ The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in
the summer.” Be honest with yourself and with God. Examine why you’re experiencing financial difficulty. Confess your sins to God. Then seek God’s guidance to bring you out of financial bondage. God desires you to prosper.
Jeanna L. Pryor is the president of The FirstFruits Ministry and the author of Every Penny Count$. She teaches financial seminars, Vacation Bible School, women’s conferences, men’s conferences and workshops. To contact her email her at jeanna@the firstfruitsministry.com or visit her website www.thefirstfruitsministry.com.
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STORMS By LaTanya Wooten
Photo of LaTanya Wooten
Storms Hard times No peace of mind Cause it’s hard to find - Wind Blows - Streams overflow No open door
What is this? I have wings I guess I’ll fly Way up high - Rain
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Mess up my game Can’t stay the same It’s time for change
I shake myself Lift up my wings I’m up again - Cause I waited
Now I’m above I see the lightening But it’s no where near me My strength renewed
Adapted from: Isaiah 40:31 (King James Version Bible): “31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” _______________________________________________________________ LaTanya Wooten is a Christian writer who lives in Temple Hills, Maryland. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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KEEP DOING GOOD, AND DON'T FAINT By Apostle Karen Deadwyler
Photo of Apostle Karen Deadwyler
“9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9, King James Version Bible) Life can sometimes be comical. Laughter springs from a violent contrast with the expected order of things, and the way things actually happen or are. As we sometimes say in the church, “God has a sense of humor.” Sometimes you are walking in all that God has ordained you to do. You have prayed, fasted, read your Word, gone to Bible Study and listened to lots of Christian teaching. You are living the life of a Christian and being obedient habitually to the leading of the Holy Spirit and still nothing. Well this month I am here to encourage you: don’t faint; your harvest of blessings and promises is on the way courtesy of the Creator of real-life comedy, God. God’s ways are not our ways. Just because you are doing all that God has told you to do doesn’t mean that your appointed time has come to walk in all that God has for you. A lot of times we, Christians, forget that God is not concerned about how long it takes for our blessings and promises to arrive. But God knows exactly the minute, the hour and the second that you will receive everything that He has ordained for you. However, while you are waiting the Lord is preparing you and testing you. He is preparing you for His plans, purpose and destiny: not yours. He knows everything that you will encounter on the way, and He is strengthening you and making you wiser, so that you don’t faint in the day of adversity. But even if you do faint today what I like about Jesus is that He is able to fix it, so that 22 | P a g e
you don’t faint to the point that you fail to receive the abundant life He promised Christians. Proverbs 24:16 (KJV) says, “16For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” Everything we do in life is part of a process. See there are rules, steps and obstacles in anything that we attempt. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. God molds us to handle greater responsibilities by testing us to see if we can be a good, trustworthy steward over lesser responsibilities. Once we are able to handle these, God gives us greater things. During the process we are being challenged with choices to be a Kingdom builder or a Kingdom destroyer. Rely on your own strength, and you will faint; but if you learn to rely on Jesus, devil look out, a Kingdom builder is taking dominion over the earth. This process will test your integrity, devotion and love. Can God trust you to not persecute your enemies even when they try to destroy your name and character? Will you still stand and believe that the Lord thy God is your redeemer? He not only redeems you in salvation, but He will also redeem you from the lies, the snares and the traps of Satan. Are you devoted to God first or to man first? Man could mean a multitude of things. For example man could be your natural father and mother, your pastor or covering, your husband or wife, your friend or relative. When it really comes down to making a choice between the conflicting voices of God and man who will you obey: God or man? Sometimes we don’t really know ourselves; sometimes we have a higher opinion of our capabilities than the reality of our capabilities. This false view of self is exposed when many choose to obey man instead of God. We, Christians, all say we love God, but how much are we really willing to give up for Him? Would you give up your life? Seems like a crazy question, but that’s exactly what Jesus did for us. Even while we were yet sinners He died for us and became our substitute. God will test your love for all things not just people but also inanimate objects like cars, houses and jobs. Will you give up any of these for God or for the sake of God’s ministry? The life-long process of God molding and making you can get rough sometimes. “Don’t Faint. Keep Doing Good.” Cultivate God’s sense of humor, especially when the unexpected happens. As a Christian we have the power of the Holy Spirit living on the inside. Things might get too hard for us, but nothing is too hard for God. Rely on God even when you can’t see Him. For God promises in His word that “IN DUE SEASON YOU WILL REAP IF YOU FAINT NOT!!! _____________________________________________________________________________________ Apostle Karen Deadwyler is the author of His Miraculous Way and Five Rights Medication for Your Soul. She co-pastors Glory Temple Ministries with her husband, Ronnie Deadwyler, and heads a woman’s ministry called Willing Women of Worship Fellowship. To contact her email her at email@example.com or visit her website: www.godlypleasures.org.
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BLACK HISTORY FACT: 1/1/1963: United States President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Declaration liberating the nation’s slaves.
BIBLE TRIVIA MAY/JUNE 2010 ANSWERS (VERSES ARE FROM THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE). What is the name of Bathesheba’s grandfather? What job did her grandfather hold in David’s kingdom?
AHITHOPHEL WAS DAVID’S COUNSELOR WHO JOINED DAVID’s SON ABSALOM IN TRYING TO TAKE THE KINGSHIP FROM DAVID AND GIVE IT TO ABSALOM (2 SAMUEL 11:3, 2 SAMUEL 15:12, 2 SAMUEL 15:31 AND 2 SAMUEL 23:34). True or false. Isaiah’s wife was a prophetess?
TRUE. (ISAIAH 8:3). True or false. James, the brother of Jesus Christ, was an apostle.
TRUE. (GALATIANS 1:19).
LOVE LIFESTYLE: "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity," Luke 6:37-38 (The Message Bible).
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