We’ve all been created on purpose for a purpose!


You weren’t an accident! You are an accident! You’ve been created on purpose for a purpose! So let’s live up to that calling! Let’s pursue that purpose! Let’s complete the work set in front of us to do!

Do you know where to turn? when you have questions? when you have concerns?

God’s plan is good! God’s plan is great! So let’s live out our lives as living testimonies of His greatness! Let’s allow our goal and purpose to become more like Jesus! Let’s allow grace and forgiveness to flow from our lives! Let’s allow people to be transformed through our encounters because we point them to the one true God! Let’s allow our words and our actions to be the gospel in action! Let’s allow God to be seen through our relationships! So that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!

Let’s celebrate, because God’s not dead!


Today’s reading starts with the calling of the Levites and then into praising God and closes with the incredible resurrection of Jesus!  He is risen! He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us! So let’s choose to live!


The Levite Families and Duties

1These are the generations of Aaron and Moses current at the time Adonai spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. 2These are the names of Aaron’s sons: Nadab the first-born, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 3These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed kohanim whom he consecrated to be priests. 4But Nadab and Abihu died before Adonai for offering unauthorized fire before Adonai in the Sinai wilderness—they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as kohanim under Aaron their father. 5Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 6“Gather the tribe of Levi near, and appoint them to attend to Aaron the kohen. 7They are to keep watch over duties for him and the entire community before the Tent of Meeting while performing the service of the Tabernacle. 8They are to tend to all the implements of the Tent of Meeting and the service of Bnei-Yisrael while performing the service of the Tabernacle. 9You are to give the Levites to Aaron and his sons. Out of Bnei-Yisrael they are dedicated entirely to him. 10You are to appoint Aaron and his sons to maintain the priesthood; any commoner who approaches must be executed.” 11Then Adonai said to Moses saying, 12“See, I have taken the Levites from among Bnei-Yisrael in place of the firstborn who open the womb among Bnei-Yisrael. The Levites will be Mine, 13because all the firstborn are Mine. In the day when I was striking down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated to Myself every firstborn in Israel—whether man or animal—as Mine. I am Adonai.” 14Adonai spoke in the Sinai wilderness to Moses saying, 15“Count the sons of Levi. According to their ancestral house, by their families, every male a month old and upward you are to number them.” 16So Moses numbered them in accordance with the word of Adonai, just as he was commanded. 17These were the sons of Levi, by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 18These then were the names of the sons of Gershon by their families—Libni and Shimei. 19The sons of Kohath by their families were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 20The sons of Merari, by their families, are Mahli and Mushi. These then were the families of the Levites by their ancestral households. 21To Gershon belonged the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites. These were the families of the Gershonites. 22The number of every male one month old and upward who were counted was 7,500. 23The Gershonites were to camp behind the Tabernacle on the west. 24The prince of the ancestral house of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael. 25The duties of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting were the Tabernacle, the tent, its coverings, the curtain of the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, 26the curtains of the courtyard, the screen of the entrance of the courtyard around the Tabernacle and altar, its ropes and all related to its use. 27To Kohath belonged the family of the Amramites, the family of the Izharites, the Hebronites and the Uzzielites. These were the Kohathite families. 28The number of every male one month old and upward was 8,600. Their duties were caring for the Sanctuary. 29The Kohathite families were to camp along the side of the Tabernacle on the south. 30The prince of the ancestral household of the Kohathites was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. 31They were responsible for the Ark, the table, the menorah, the altars, and the implements of the Sanctuary used in service with them, the curtain and all involved with its use. 32The chief prince of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen appointed over those whose responsibility was the care of the Sanctuary. 33To Merari belonged the families of the Mahlites and the Mushites. These were the families of Merari. 34Their number by count of every male one month old and upward was 6,200. 35The prince of the household of the father of the Merarites was Zuriel son of Abihail. They were to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle. 36The sons of Merari were appointed over the care of the frames of the Tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, and all equipment for its use, 37the posts of the surrounding courtyard, their bases, pegs and ropes. 38Those camping in front of the Tent of Meeting, on the east, toward the sunrise, were Moses, Aaron, and his sons. They were to care for the Sanctuary on behalf of Bnei-Yisrael. But anyone unauthorized who approached had to be executed. 39All the Levites counted by Moses and Aaron at the word of Adonai, by their families, inclusive of every male one month old and upward, were 22,000.

Redemption of the Firstborn

40Adonai said to Moses, “Count every firstborn male of Bnei-Yisrael from one month old and upward and make a list of their names. 41Set the Levites apart for me in place of all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael, and, all the livestock of the Levites in place of the firstborn of the livestock of Bnei-Yisrael. I am Adonai.” 42So Moses counted all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael as Adonai commanded him. 43The sum total of the firstborn males of Bnei-Yisrael, one month old and upward, listed by name, was 22,273. 44Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 45“Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites will be Mine. I am Adonai. 46To redeem the 273 firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael exceeding the number of the Levites, 47you are to collect five shekels for each, based on the shekel of the Sanctuary, which is 20 gerahs. 48Give the money for the redemption of the extra ones of the firstborn of them to Aaron and his sons.” 49Hence Moses collected the redemption money for those exceeding the number redeemed by the Levites. 50From the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels, according to the Sanctuary shekel. 51Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, just as Adonai commanded him, in accordance with the mouth of Adonai.
–from Numbers 3

God’s got a plan! So let’s live it out! And give Him all the praise!

Let All Peoples Praise You

1For the music director, with stringed instruments, a psalm, a song. 2May God be gracious to us and bless us. May He cause His face to shine upon us— Selah 3so that Your way may be known on earth, and Your salvation among all nations. 4Let the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You. 5Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples fairly, and guide the nations on the earth. Selah 6Let the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You. 7The earth has yielded its harvest— God, our God will bless us. 8God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.
–Psalms 67

Wondering why? Wondering how? Wondering where? Wondering who? Wondering what? Wondering when?

The Lamb of God is Resurrected

1Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it is still dark, Miriam from Magdala comes to the tomb. She sees that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. 2So she comes running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Yeshua loved. She tells them, “They’ve taken the Master out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put Him!” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out, going to the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and arrived at the tomb first. 5Leaning in, he sees the linen strips lying there. But he didn’t go in. 6Then Simon Peter comes following him, and he entered the tomb. He looks upon the linen strips lying there, 7and the face cloth that had been on His head. It was not lying with the linen strips, but was rolled up in a place by itself. 8So then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. 9For they did not yet understand from Scripture that Yeshua must rise from the dead. 10So the disciples went back to their own homes.

Yeshua Appears to Miriam

11But Miriam stood outside the tomb weeping. As she was weeping, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12She sees two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where Yeshua’s body had been lying. 13“Woman, why are you crying?” they say to her. She says to them, “Because they took away my Master, and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” 14After she said these things, she turned around. And she sees Yeshua standing there. Yet she didn’t know that it was Yeshua. 15Yeshua says to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Thinking He’s the gardener, she says to Him, “Sir, if You’ve carried Him away, tell me where You’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16Yeshua says to her, “Miriam!” Turning around, she says to Him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Yeshua says to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” 18Miriam from Magdala comes, announcing to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord,” and what He had said to her.

Yeshua Appears to the Disciples

19It was evening on that day, the first of the week. When the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Judean leaders, Yeshua came and stood in their midst! And He said to them, “Shalom aleichem!” 20After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Yeshua said to them again, “Shalom aleichem! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And after He said this, He breathed on them. And He said to them, “Receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh! 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; but if you hold back, they are held back.” 24One of the Twelve, Thomas called the Twin, was not with them when Yeshua came. 25The other disciples were saying to him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he replied to them, “Unless I see the nail prints in His hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand in His side, I will never believe!” 26Eight days later the disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Yeshua comes, despite the locked doors. He stood in their midst and said, “Shalom aleichem!” 27Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe!” 28Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Yeshua said to Him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed? Blessed are the ones who have not seen and yet have believed!”

The Reason for Signs and Wonders

30Yeshua performed many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these things have been written so that you may believe that Yeshua is Mashiach Ben-Elohim, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

–from John 20

 

 

 

Do you remember? Will you remind others? Hope for the future!


It’s been said that those who forget or don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. Do you remember? Have you learned from the past? Have you forgotten and doing it over again? Do you need to go through the pain and the suffering yourself or can you learn from the experiences of others? Do you need to experience things on your own to get it? Are you willing to learn from the experiences of others? Are you willing to use history as a teacher and then live out today in a way that won’t repeat the past? How do you live? How will you learn? What will it mean for your present and future? How good is your memory? How long can you remember what you said, what you promised, what you are to do? How long can you remember what others have said and done? How long can you remember the miracles God has done in and through your life? Do you remember what He has done? for you? in you? through you?

Today’s reading triggered all these questions in my mind. What happened…What was said…What was promised…What was forgotten…

Cutting the Covenant at Sinai

1Then to Moses He said, “Come up to Adonai, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2Moses alone is to approach Adonai, but the others may not draw near, nor are the people to go up with him.” 3So Moses came and told the people all the words of Adonai as well as all the ordinances. All the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which Adonai has spoken, we will do.” 4So Moses wrote down all the words of Adonai, then rose up early in the morning, and built an altar below the mountain, along with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5He then sent out young men of Bnei-Yisrael, who sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings of oxen to Adonai. 6Then Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins and the other half he poured out against the altar. 7He took the Scroll of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. Again they said, “All that Adonai has spoken, we will do and obey.” 8Then Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which Adonai has cut with you, in agreement with all these words.” 9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was something like a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the very heavens. 11Yet He did not raise His hand against the nobles of Bnei-Yisrael. So they beheld God, and ate and drank. 12Then Adonai said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the Torah and the mitzvot, which I have written so that you may instruct them.” 13So Moses rose up along with his attendant Joshua, and Moses went up onto the mountain of God. 14To the elders he said, “Wait for us here until we come back to you. See, Aaron and Hur are with you—whoever has a dispute should go to them.” 15When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16The glory of Adonai settled upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. Then on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17The appearance of the glory of Adonai was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of Bnei-Yisrael. 18So Moses entered into the midst of the cloud and went up onto the mountain. Moses was on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.
–from Exodus 24

Could you last a week? Could you last a month? Could you last 40 days? How long are you able to remember? Does it matter how big of a miracle it was? Do it matter how incredible it was? Does it matter how much of an impact it had on your life? How long would you be able to remember?

Tabernacle: Ark, Table, Menorah

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2“Tell Bnei-Yisrael to take up an offering for Me. From anyone whose heart compels him you are to take My offering. 3These are the contributions which you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4blue, purple and scarlet cloth; fine linen and goat hair; 5ram skins dyed red, sealskins, acacia wood; 6oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 7onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastplate. 8“Have them make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them. 9You are to make it all precisely according to everything that I show you—the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all the furnishings within—just so you must make it. 10“Now they are to make an Ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits in length, one and a half cubits wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11You are to overlay it with pure gold, inside and out, and make a crown of gold around it. 12You are to cast four rings of gold for it, and place them in its four feet. Two rings will be on one side, and two rings on the other side. 13Also make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14You are to put the poles into the rings on the sides of the Ark, in order to carry the Ark. 15The poles are to remain in the rings of the Ark, and not be taken from it. 16You are to put the Testimony, which I will give you, into the Ark. 17“Then you are to make an atonement cover of pure gold, two and a half cubits long, one cubit and a half wide. 18Also make two cheruvim of gold, from hammered work, at the two ends of the atonement cover. 19Make one cheruv at one end and one cheruv at the other end. Of one piece with the atonement cover you are to make the cheruvim at its two ends. 20The cheruvim are to spread out their wings above, shielding the atonement cover with their wings, each facing its companion. The faces of the cheruvim are to be turned toward the atonement cover. 21You are to put the atonement cover on top of the Ark, and inside the Ark you will put the Testimony that I will give you. 22“I will meet with you there. I will speak with you from above the atonement cover—from between the two cheruvim that are on the Ark of the Testimony—about all that I will command you, for Bnei-Yisrael. 23“You will make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 24You are to overlay it with pure gold, and make a crown of gold around it. 25Make a border a single handwidth wide around it and a golden crown for the border all around. 26Also make four gold rings for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet. 27The rings are to be close to the borders, as holders for the poles to carry the table. 28You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. 29You are also to make the dishes, pans, jars and bowls to pour drink offerings, from pure gold. 30Always set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me. 31“You are to make a menorah of pure gold, by hammered work. Its base, stem, cups, bulbs and flowers are to be one piece. 32There are to be six branches coming out of the sides, three branches of the menorah out of one side, and three branches out of the other. 33There are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms in one branch, each with a bulb and flower, then three cups made like almond blossoms in the next branch, each with a bulb and flower, and so forth for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 34Within the menorah will be four cups made like almond blossoms, with bulbs and flowers. 35There is to be a bulb under two branches of the first piece, a bulb under two branches of the second piece, and a bulb under two branches of the third piece, for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 36Their bulbs and their branches are to be one piece—all of it a single hammered work of pure gold. 37“You are also to make the seven lamps for it, and set the lamps up to shed light over the space before it. 38“The tongs and the censers are to be of pure gold. 39It is to be made from a talent of pure gold, with all these pieces. 40See that you make them according to their pattern being shown to you on the mountain.
–from Exodus 25

So let’s remember! Let’s be people who walk in love! Let’s not allow hate or bitterness to take root in our hearts! Let’s not allow worry or doubt take root and cause fear! Let’s put our hope and trust in God and remember everything He has done for us, in us, and through us!

Haters Won’t Prevail

1A Song of Ascents. “How many times they have been hostile to me, even from my youth” —let Israel now say—2“How greatly they have been hostile to me, even from my youth. Yet they have not prevailed against me. 3Plowmen plowed on my back—they made their furrows long!” 4Adonai is righteous—He has cut the ropes of the wicked. 5May all who hate Zion be driven back in disgrace. 6Let them be like grass on the roofs, which withers before it springs up—7with it a reaper cannot fill his hand, nor can a binder of sheaves fill his lap. 8So the passersby may never say: “The blessing of Adonai be upon you—we bless you in the Name of Adonai.”
–from Ps 129

Will you be an ambassador for love? Will you be an ambassador for peace? Will you?

Will you submit to God and study His ways? Will you pursue Him and His directions? Will you follow Him and His instructions? Will you imitate Him so that you will glorify and exalt Him by the way you live your life?

Misdirected Zeal

1Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have zeal for God—but not based on knowledge. 3For being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on Torah, “The man who does these things shall live by them.” 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down), 7or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).” 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” —that is, the word of faith that we are proclaiming: 9For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart it is believed for righteousness, and with the mouth it is confessed for salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all—richly generous to all who call on Him. 13For “Everyone who calls upon the name of Adonai shall be saved.” 14How then shall they call on the One in whom they have not trusted? And how shall they trust in the One they have not heard of? And how shall they hear without someone proclaiming? 15And how shall they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news of good things!” 16But not all heeded the Good News. For Isaiah says, “Adonai, who has believed our report?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah. 18But I say, have they never heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” 19But I say, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, with a nation empty of understanding I will vex you.” 20And Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I became visible to those who did not ask for Me.” 21But about Israel He says, “All day long I stretched forth My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
–from Romans 10

So will you let your light shine? Will you allow others to see Jesus in and through you? Will you point them to the one that can make a difference in their lives? Do you point them to the one who gave it all for our sake? Do you share His love with those He sends into your life? Do you share His hope with those around you? Will you glorify Him by the way you live out today? What if He took the punishment for all that you had done? (He did – even to the point of death on a cross) What if you betrayed Him? (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god) Will you receive the mercy and grace He provides? He won’t force Himself on you, so will you freely receive His gift of salvation? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? He overcame the world, so that we can have hope! (In this world you will have troubles, but take hope for Jesus has overcome the world!)

Judah’s Remorse

1When daybreak came, the ruling kohanim and elders of the people conspired against Yeshua to put Him to death. 2And they tied Him up, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. 3Then Judah, His betrayer, saw that Yeshua had been condemned. Feeling remorse, he brought the thirty silver pieces back to the ruling kohanim and elders, 4saying, “I’ve sinned, betraying innocent blood!” But they said, “What’s that to us? You see to it yourself!” 5After tossing the silver into the Temple sanctuary, he left. Then he went off and hanged himself. 6But the ruling kohanim took the silver pieces and said, “It is not permitted to put these in the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7So after they conferred, they bought with them the potter’s field, as a cemetery for strangers. 8For this reason that field has been called the “Field of Blood” to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price of Him on whom a price had been set by Bnei-Yisrael; 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as Adonai arranged for me.”

“Kill the King!”

11Now Yeshua stood before the governor. The governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” “You say so,” Yeshua said. 12And while He was accused by the ruling kohanim and elders, He did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how many things they testify against you?” 14Yeshua did not answer, not even one word, so the governor was greatly amazed. 15Now during the feast, the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner, anyone they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Yeshua Bar-Abba. 17So when they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release for you? Yeshua who is Bar-Abba, or Yeshua who is called Messiah?” 18For he knew that they had handed Him over out of envy. 19While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous Man, for today I’ve suffered many things in a dream because of Him.” 20Now the ruling kohanim and elders persuaded the crowds that they should ask for Bar-Abba and destroy Yeshua. 21But the governor responded, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Bar-Abba!” 22Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Yeshua, who is called Messiah?” “Execute Him!” all of them say. 23But Pilate said, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Let Him be executed!” 24When Pilate saw he was accomplishing nothing, but instead a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this blood,” he said. “You see to it yourselves!” 25All the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released to them Bar-Abba. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Nailed to a Stake

27Then the governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around Him. 28They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe around Him. 29And after braiding a crown of thorns, they placed it on His head and put a staff in His right hand. And falling on their knees before Him, they mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on Him, and they took the staff and beat Him over and over on the head. 31When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the robe off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him away to crucify Him. 32As they came out, they found a man from Cyrene, Simon by name. They forced him into service, to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (that is to say, Place of a Skull), 34they offered Him wine mixed with gall to drink; but after tasting, He was unwilling to drink it. 35And when they had crucified Him, they divided His clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36And they sat down and kept guard over Him there. 37Over His head they put the charge against Him, which read: “THIS IS YESHUA, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 38Then two outlaws were executed with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If you are Ben-Elohim, come down from the stake!” 41Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars and elders, were also mocking Him. 42“He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? He’s the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the stake, and we’ll believe in Him! 43He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He wants Him. For He said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim.’” 44Even the outlaws who were executed with Him were ridiculing Him in the same way.

Yeshua Lays Down His Life

45Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46About the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 47When some of those standing there heard it, they began saying, “This Man is calling for Elijah.” 48Right away one of them ran and took a sponge. He filled it with sour wine and put it on a stick, and was offering it to Yeshua to drink. 49But the rest were saying, “Leave Him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.” 50And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. 51And behold, the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. And the earth quaked and rocks were split apart. 52And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim who were sleeping were raised to life. 53And coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now the centurion, and those with him keeping guard over Yeshua, when they saw the earthquake and what was happening, they became terribly frightened and said, “This really was the Son of God!”

The Tomb Is Sealed

55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Yeshua from the Galilee, serving Him. 56Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had also become a disciple of Yeshua. 58This man went to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. Then Pilate ordered it to be given up. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60And he laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a large stone up to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Now Miriam from Magdala was there, and the other Miriam, sitting opposite the tomb.

Guarding the Tomb

62Now on the next day, which is after the preparation, the ruling kohanim and Pharisees were gathered before Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember how that deceiver said while He was still alive, ‘After three days I’m to be raised.’ 64Therefore, order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, so His disciples do not come and steal Him away. They will tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first!” 65“You have a guard,” Pilate said to them. “Go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone along with the soldiers of the guard.
–from Matthew 27

 

What will you do when you are cornered?


Nowhere to go! Nowhere to run! What seems to be an immovable object on one side! They are closing in! What will you do? Where will you turn? Where will you find hope? Where will you find answers? Do you run at them? What do you do? How will you know the right thing to do? Will you sit there and just accept whatever happens? Will you do something?

We need to turn to God! We need to cry out to Him for wisdom and instruction! We need to put our hope and our trust in Him! His plans are for good! He can use what the enemy has planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! So don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Turn to God to understand His plan and how you can glorify Him in and through the situation you are finding yourself in!

Today’s reading starts off with just such a situation, let’s see what happens for I am sure it will show God’s ability to rescue and save…

Sea of Reeds Showdown

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, so that they turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. You are to camp by the sea, opposite Baal-zephon. 3Pharaoh will say concerning Bnei-Yisrael, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land—the wilderness has shut them in!’ 4I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so he will follow after them. Then I will be glorified over Pharaoh along with all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai.” So they did so. 5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we let Israel go from serving us?” 6So he prepared his chariots and took his people with him. 7He took 600 of the finest chariots, along with all other chariots of Egypt, and captains over them. 8Adonai hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so he pursued Bnei-Yisrael, for Bnei-Yisrael went out with a high hand. 9But the Egyptians pursued them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, as well as his charioteers and his army, and overtook them as they were encamped by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth opposite Baal-zephon. 10When Pharaoh drew near, Bnei-Yisrael lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them! So they were terrified, and Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai. 11They said to Moses, “Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to bring us out of Egypt? 12Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians?’ It was better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!” 13But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever! 14Adonai will fight for you, while you hold your peace.” 15Then Adonai said to Moses, “Why are you crying to Me? Tell Bnei-Yisrael to go forward. 16Lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it. Then Bnei-Yisrael will go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. 17Then I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them, so that I will be glorified over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and his horsemen. 18Then the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai, when I have been glorified over Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” 19Then the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them. Also the pillar of cloud moved from in front and stood behind them, 20and so came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel—there was the cloud and the darkness over here, yet it gave light by night over there—neither one came near the other all night long. 21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. Adonai drove the sea back with a strong east wind throughout the night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided. 22Then Bnei-Yisrael went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, while the waters were like walls to them on their right and on their left. 23But the Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen. 24Now it came about during the morning watch that Adonai looked at the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and caused the army of the Egyptians to panic. 25He took off their chariot wheels and caused them to drive heavily, so that the Egyptians said, “Get away from the presence of Israel! For Adonai fights for them against the Egyptians!” 26Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters come back upon the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” 27So Moses stretched his hand out over the waters, and the sea returned to its strength at the break of dawn. The Egyptians were fleeing from it, but Adonai overthrew them in the midst of the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen and the entire army of Pharaoh that went after them into the sea. Not one of them remained. 29But Bnei-Yisrael had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were like walls to them on their right hand and on their left. 30So Adonai saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31When Israel saw the great work that Adonai did over the Egyptians, the people feared Adonai, and they believed in Adonai and in His servant Moses.
–from Exodus 14

Imagine that sight!

God moves the immovable object - God parts the red sea.png

Imagine if people saw evidence found at the bottom of the Red Sea – what would they think? What would they do?

It's amazing how modern technology and research verify and validate the Word of God - Red Sea Combo Wheels and Bones.jpg

God’s Word never returns void! God’s Word is truth! God’s Word is a love letter from our Heavenly Father!

So next time you are between a rock and hard place what are you going to do? Where will you turn? Who will you all upon? Will you go to the one who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine? Will you call out to the one who can help? Will trust Him? Will you believe Him? Will you honor Him? Will you obey Him? Will you worship Him – in spirit and in truth? Will you serve Him all the days of your life?

Today’s reading continues in Exodus…How long will that high last for you? Will remember? Will you press on? Will you trust Him? Will you walk in the truth that He is for you and not against you? Will you grab a hold of Him and not let go? Or will you forget? Will you wine and complain?…

Song of Moses and Miriam

1Then Moses and Bnei-Yisrael sang this song to Adonai: I will sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea. 2Adonai is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will glorify Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. 3Adonai is a warrior—Adonai is His Name! 4Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has hurled into the sea, and his chosen captains have sunk into the Sea of Reeds. 5The deeps cover them. They sank to the depths like a stone. 6Your right hand, Adonai, is glorious in power. Your right hand, Adonai, dashes the enemy to pieces. 7In the greatness of Your excellency You overthrow those who resist You. You send forth Your wrath— it consumes them as stubble. 8With the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up. The floods stood upright as a heap. The deeps became firm ground in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy said, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My lust shall gorge on them! I will draw my sword— my hand will destroy them.” 10You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11Who is like You, Adonai, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in praises, doing wonders? 12You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13You in Your lovingkindness led the people You have redeemed. You guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation. 14When the peoples hear, they will tremble—anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia. 15Then the chiefs of Edom are terrified. Trembling grips Moab’s mighty men. All of Canaan’s inhabitants will melt away. 16Terror and dread will fall on them. By the greatness of Your arm they become still as a stone, till Your people cross over, Adonai, till the people whom You purchased cross over. 17You bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, Adonai, that You have made for Yourself to dwell in— the Sanctuary, Adonai, which Your hands have prepared. 18Adonai will reign forever and ever! 19For Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, but Adonai brought the waters of the sea back over them. Yet Bnei-Yisrael walked in the midst of the sea on dry ground. 20Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing, 21as Miriam sang to them: Sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!

Bitter Waters Made Sweet

22Then Moses led Israel onward from the Sea of Reeds. They went out into the wilderness of Shur. But they travelled three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink from the waters because they were bitter. On account of this it was called Marah. 24So the people complained to Moses saying, “What are we going to drink?” 25So he cried out to Adonai, and Adonai showed him a tree. When he threw it into the waters, they were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them. 26He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of Adonai your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His mitzvot, and keep all His decrees, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am Adonai who heals you.” 27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. So they camped there by the waters.
–from Exodus 15

How long will you celebrate? How long will you remember? How long will you walk in the power? How long will you walk in the truth? How long will you walk with the hope? How long will you persevere? How long will you endure? How long….?

Do you realize our actions, our beliefs, our faith doesn’t change how great God is? Do you realize God is love! God is truth! So let’s put our hope and trust in Him and never forget what He has done for us! We can’t be good enough to meet the bar! Our only hope and choice is to accept and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior – He has paid it all!

No One Is Acceptable

1Then what is the advantage of being Jewish? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2Much in every way. First of all, they were entrusted with the sayings of God. 3So what if some did not trust? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? 4May it never be! Let God be true even if every man is a liar, as it is written, “that You may be righteous in Your words and prevail when You are judged.” 5But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? God is not unrighteous to inflict wrath, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7But if by my lie the truth of God abounds to His glory, why am I still judged as a sinner? 8And why not say, “Let us do evil, so that good may come” — just as we are being slandered and as some claim that we say. Their condemnation is deserved! 9What then? Are we better than they? No, not at all. For we have already made the case that all—both Jewish and Greek people—are under sin. 10As it is written, “There is no one righteous—no, not one. 11There is no one who understands, no one who seeks after God. 12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless. There is no one who does good—no, not even one! 13Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they keep deceiving. The poison of vipers is under their lips. 14Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15Their feet are swift to shed blood. 16Ruin and misery are in their paths, 17and the way of shalom they have not known. 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19Now we know that whatever the Torah says, it says to those within theTorah, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become accountable to God. 20For no human, on the basis of Torah observance, will be set right in His sight—for through the Torah comes awareness of sin.

How God Accepts Us

21But now God’s righteousness apart from the Torah has been revealed, to which the Torah and the Prophets bear witness—22namely, the righteousness of God through putting trust in MessiahYeshua, to all who keep on trusting. For there is no distinction, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24They are set right as a gift of His grace, through the redemption that is in

Messiah Yeshua.

25God set forth Yeshua as an atonement, through faith in His blood, to show His righteousness in passing over sins already committed. 26Through God’s forbearance, He demonstrates His righteousness at the present time—that He Himself is just and also the justifier of the one who puts his trust in Yeshua. 27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith. 28For we consider a person to be set right apart from Torah observance. 29Is God the God of the Jewish people only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30Since God is One, He will set right the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.
–from Romans 3

So, will you trust Him? What’s it going to take for you to let go of your desire to control? What’s it going to take for you to give it up into God’s hands? What is it going to take for you to receive the grace given freely by God through Jesus? Will you have to hit rock bottom? Will you be able to choose before it is too late?

If you haven’t yet, what is stopping you from making today your day? If not now, then when? If now right here, then where? If not you, then who? Do you really want to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? Why not partner with God? Do you really want to try and do it on your own? Why not partner with God? Jesus is knocking at the door to your heart! Will you open it and let Him move in? Live to Glorify God! Live to get the approval of God! It’s all about Him! Keep Jesus in the center for a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken! Walk in humility, serving others!

Seven Woes

1Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying, “The Torah scholars and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. 3So whatever they tell you, do and observe. But don’t do what they do; for what they say, they do not do. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5All their works they do to be noticed by men. They make their tefillin wide and their tzitziyot long. 6They love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called rabbi by men. 8“But you are not to be called rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And call no man on earth your father; for One is your Father, who is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah. 11But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 13“But woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not enter yourselves, nor do you let those enter who are trying to go in. 15“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel over land and sea to make one convert. And when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as yourself. 16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘Whoever swears by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Temple, he is obligated.’ 17O fools and blind ones! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that made the gold holy? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19O blind ones! Which is greater, the offering or the altar that makes the offering holy? 20Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the Temple, swears both by the Temple and by Him who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. 23“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You tithe mint and dill and cumin, yet you have neglected the weightier matters of Torah—justice and mercy and faithfulness. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others. 24O blind guides, straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel! 25“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. 26O blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well. 27“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, you appear righteous to men on the outside, but are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the tzaddikim. 30And you say, ‘If we’d been alive in the days of our forefathers, we wouldn’t have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers! 33O snakes, you brood of vipers! How will you escape the condemnation of Gehenna? 34“Because of this, behold, I’m sending you prophets and wise men and Torah scholars. Some of them you will kill and execute at the stake, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. 35And so, upon you shall come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36Amen, I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

Holy Temple to Be Destroyed

37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate! 39For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘ Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
–from Matthew 23

Don’t wait too long! Don’t miss out on getting to spend eternity with God!

 

Stepping up and stepping out…God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called

That fall, there was a men’s retreat scheduled out by the ocean. I signed up and got a group of guys together and we drove out in our family minivan. A great time to talk and learn more about each other before getting to the hotel. That first night was incredible as we worshipped, heard the Word preached, and then had time of prayer and being prayed over.

It  an incredible weekend and an incredible time to spend with God and other men building and growing relationships.

During this time, I received a message that I was supposed to get involved in my community. So I pressed deeper to understand what that was supposed to be. God spoke to me about joining the board of the homeowners association. Not sure what that meant, I looked into it and had a meeting with some of the board meetings. Speaking with them they explained the board and also tried to see if I might be more interested in a committee because I would get a quarter of my dues back, but that isn’t what God had called me to do, so I passed and registered for the next election for board members.

The community came together for the annual homeowners association and my name was on the list. After the election, I learned that I had been elected to be on the board. We had the annual board retreat where the election for the various positions within the board took place and I being new and also based on the nominations and votes became the secretary. I learned a lot about the community that first year and got to be a part of many big items and topics that came up in the community from traffic to safety, roof materials to colors, nearby community integration like annexation and new road construction and other political items. As the next year came, God started to prompt me to step up to be president. I didn’t feel qualified or ready for such a calling and resisted and pushed back. During the board elections I ended up getting nominated and elected as vice president. It was very interesting the things I learned through this new role from process and procedures to additional responsibilities. As the year went on, God continued to press in my mind that I needed to step up and step out to be who He was calling me to be. I continued to resist feeling I wasn’t ready. Next thing you know there is a riff in the board and a group were getting together to try and oust the existing president. During the process God continued to say step up, step out of your comfort zone, step in to what I have for you, but I continued to resist. As they removed the former president and a new election took place, I was reinstated as vice president while another board member stepped into the president role. Since the president wasn’t there, I was leading the meeting and abstained from the vote as there was no tie to break. It was only a few months before the next annual election and board nominations. God continued to prompt and I continued to press back. One day while at the gym after working out, I hopped into the hot tub to wind down and I heard “you will be president or you will be nothing, you choose!” The voice was loud and startled me as I looked around to see nobody in the room. Nothing didn’t seem like a good option and so I agreed. I chose to be obedient to the calling God was putting into my life rather than needing to be qualified to take on the role He was asking me to step into. As we got closer to the nominations of new board members, one of the members’ mothers was diagnosed with cancer. She offered to stay until after the nomination and board election before stepping down which would mean we would need to add an extra person to the board. I told her that if God wanted me to be president, He would make it happen and that it was important that she focus on family and her mother. So she did which meant we needed to add one additional person to the board instead of the usual 2. So we had the annual association meeting and added 3 new members to the board. Driving up to the board retreat I remember praying God, not my will, but Your will be done! So it came time to have the nomination and the vote. Two of us were nominated to be president (and guess what, I was one of them) at which point everyone got to vote. They took the ballots and did a count and I won. Wow! I wondered what God had planned and in store for me. I wondered what was going to happen that He needed me to be in this role. After the retreat I was talking to the staff and to my surprise, I learned from them that had the other person won, they would have quit on the spot. Wow! I had no clue. I was totally unaware of their view and the status of the staff of the association. They now reported to me and I had the staff responsible for taking care of the community of approximately 10,000 people and 23 divisions of single family homes, 9 subdivisions of townhomes and condos, and 2 apartment communities.  So many amenities for the families of the communities from 2 swimming pools, basketball courts, walking trails,… During my time I had to help lead the board through staffing changes, board member challenges, hiring new director, security changes, insurance policy changes, budget adjustments, and so much more. I still remember the conversation with God when all of a sudden I needed to hire a new director for the association. I told Him that since He wanted me to be the president, He was going to need to help me with wisdom in picking the new director. The interesting part of this was the He put the name Rich into my head which made no sense. So we put together the job description and got it posted. We got 2 candidates and setup interview loops with 2 other board members and myself. Want to know something interesting, one of the candidates name was Richard. So we went through the interview process and it came down to me needing to make the decision. Based on the interviews 1 of the board members chose 1 candidate (not Richard), one said he felt either could do it, and I felt from the interview process as well as from a feeling in my gut that Rich was the man. So I went with Rich. And what a great hire he was. God provided! God had needed me in such position for such a day and such at time as this. There were so many changes and so many decisions that were needed and He provided wisdom beyond myself for each one so that the community would be setup for success and would be covered and moving forward meeting the needs of the community and providing the services the board was supposed to do.

Want to hear two interesting side notes around the hiring decisions?

  1. After Rich had accepted the role and started leading the office and facilities staff, I received a letter from a member of the community thanking me for having hired Rich and went into details how he was doing such an incredible job, validating what God had prepared in advance for me to do. [Goodness of obedience]
  2. I later found out the other candidate we interviewed was actually related to one of the board members, the one who was in the interview loop and also the one who was choosing the other person (not Rich). When I realize how God had protected me by providing a name, I was so grateful. When I realized how we could have had a legal situation on our hands had things gone differently, I was so grateful. [Goodness of obedient, Protection of God]

That was an incredible 3 years where I continued to watch do incredible things in and through my life, at work, at home and in my community as a volunteer on the board.

He stretched me to step up! He stretched me to step out! And because of my obedience He took care of the community He had called me to step up and step out to serve.

God is so good! Over this time He spoke into my life on many things but that is a story for another day!

Remember to obey the still quiet voice! You don’t want to have to hear the loud booming one.

Praise be to God!

The Transformation begins…

What's your story?

God’s Word for our lives…

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! –from 2 Corinthians 5:17

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
–from Romans 12:2

As 2001 began, the New Year started off on an incredible journey. God had connected with me on a level I never knew or realized before. God made it clear to me that it wasn’t about routine, it wasn’t about religious practices, but rather it was about having a real relationship with Jesus. It was the time when I received Jesus into my heart and it became real. I didn’t just go through a class to get a certificate, but it went further than that. I didn’t just go through a ceremony, it went even further than that. I started a real relationship with Jesus. My view changed. My reality changed. I changed.

I was baptized

15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. 16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” –from Matthew 3

My wife and I both went through the baptism class and decided to be baptized on the same day. Wow, what an incredible experience to demonstrate what had taken place inside in a personal and powerful experience before the congregation. I publically declared Jesus as my Lord and Savior by walking in obedience to His Word and plan. If Jesus felt it was important to be baptized, then I should follow after Him and also be baptized. We even hear Jesus commands the disciples in what to do and where to go, giving them the great commission. As a child I was christened but this time it was my choice and my declaration of what I believe to the world.

18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” –from Matthew 28

I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit

4Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” –from Acts 1

7And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. 8“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” –from Mark 1

10“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” –from Matthew 3

4Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7There were in all about twelve men. –from Acts 19

14Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. –from Acts 8

It was a week of spiritual emphasis when we had guest speakers coming each evening and preaching the Word of God. One night they called people who hadn’t receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and wanted to. As I was being prayed over, I began to speak in a language I didn’t understand and a power, a feeling, a sense came over me that went beyond anything I had ever experienced before. God confirmed upon me His Spirit. God transformed me again. The transformation continued as He kept calling me to draw closer and closer to Him.

I became a member of the church

God was calling me to be a part of the His body. So my wife and I signed up for the membership class so that we would be able to be accountable to God’s calling on our lives. He was calling up to a new level, a new responsibility, a new role in His kingdom. Our transformation called us from where we were towards where He wants us to be.

9Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. –from 1 Peter 4

34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
–from John 13

9For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. –from 1 Thessalonians 5

11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. –from John 15

13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. –from Ephesians 1

16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. –from James 5

It was amazing to learn about the beliefs of the church. It was amazing to hear from God.

16 FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD

  1. WE BELIEVE…The Scriptures are Inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind.
  2. WE BELIEVE…There is only one true God, revealed in three persons…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity).
  3. WE BELIEVE…In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God’s son Jesus was both human and divine.
  4. WE BELIEVE…though originally good, man willingly fell to sin ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world.
  5. WE BELIEVE…Every person can have restored fellowship with God through salvation (accepting Christ’s offer of forgiveness for sin). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  6. WE BELIEVE…and practice two ordinances (1) water baptism by immersion after repenting of one’s sins and receiving Christ’s gift of salvation, and (2) Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper) as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation.
  7. WE BELIEVE…the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a special experience following salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service, just as it did in New Testament times. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  8. WE BELIEVE… The initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues, as experienced on the Day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles.
  9. WE BELIEVE…Sanctification initially occurs at Salvation and is not only a declaration that a believer is holy, but also a progressive lifelong process of separating from evil as believers continually draw closer to God and become more Christlike.
  10. WE BELIEVE…The Church has a mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin. We believe ‘the Church’ is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God’s offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
  11. WE BELIEVE…A divinely called and scripturally ordained leadership ministry serves the Church. The Bible teaches that each of us under leadership must commit ourselves to reach others for Christ, to worship Him with other believers, and to build up or edify the body of believers the Church.
  12. WE BELIEVE…Divine healing of the sick is a privilege for Christians today and is provided for in Christ’s atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  13. WE BELIEVE…in the blessed hope. When Jesus raptures his Church prior to His return to earth (the second coming). At this future moment in time all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  14. WE BELIEVE…in The millennial reign of Christ when Jesus returns with His saints at His second coming and begins His benevolent rule over earth for 1,000 years. At that time many in the nation of Israel will recognize and accept Him as the Messiah, the Savior who died for them and all mankind.
  15. WE BELIEVE…A final judgment will take place for those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire.
  16. WE BELIEVE…and look forward to the perfect New Heavens and a New Earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following His millennial reign on Earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord!’

I was freed from the chains that were holding be down and the lies that were holding me back as I went through Cleansing Stream

Friends shared the incredible power of Cleansing Stream ministries and so we signed up to go through the classes and retreat. Before the retreat we were told we should go forward every time they call people forward because we may not even realize that it is applicable or may be something generational that is involved. The retreat was incredible and broke the chain that had created rage and explosive responsive that had been triggered in the past when people hit me in the face/head. Before this time, I never knew why or how this was triggered, but during the retreat there was a call to go forwarded to forgive woman in my life. I went forward, not considering that there was anything, but the lady I went to started to pray as my grandmother asking me to forgive her for what she had done. She knew nothing of my past, but a vision of when I was a child and had run to get to my mom’s work before my grandmother and sister came to mind. I was struck in the face because she was scared and worried, but I never really realized the impact it has had on my future. Touching my face till the retreat always triggered anger and bitterness. I forgave her and at that moment it was gone. Hitting or touching my face has no negative side effect and I am now free from those chains. There were many other events, but this one is one that I felt the most from the retreat and ministry and has transformed my response and reaction to touch. God is good!

“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” –from 2 Timothy 2:2

13Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” –from John 4

37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” 39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. –from John 7

 

1Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. –from Revelation 22