When you say yes O Lord, No one can say no. I am still to see Who can counter your decision; Your word is final; Your yes is your yes; An unchangeable decree From your heavenly kingdom; The Devil is a liar, A specialist in deceit And failure; Who labours in vain; Day and night, he labours; But for nothing; No matter how hard he tries, He always fails like Goliath, To pull down the young David Who put his trust in you; He goes home empty handed From all his hunting expeditions; You stand strongly by them Who rely on you; Who are faithful to you; Who are loyal to you; Who surrender their lives To you; Those who depend fully on you, Make a wise choice; They are safe – divinely protected; That is why I depend on you; I rely on you; I count on you; Let the whole world see O Lord, That all those who put their trust in you do laugh. That they do laugh and loudly; They do laugh from jaw to jaw. You are the final, O Lord.
Faithful friends I have; I love my faithful friends; For they are the ones I so much value; Who keep me going, All year long; In darkness and in light; When I am happy And when I,in sadness swim; I can’t say What I would have been Without them. They are my treasure, They are my gold; I count on them for much; And they never fail me; Even when the going is hard, They are there for me; Fidelity, the stock in trade Above everything else. Sweet lovely friends; So much I love my faithful friends. My heart will always Go for you.
The brisk wind stirs my mind, and I ponder our current events. Shelves are empty in the stores, and a virus plagues us. Quarantined from life, it seems it’s against our nature not to roam freely with our adventuresome instincts. My excitement usually comes in the early light, but boredom sets in now as it rains throughout the day.
Are today’s trials set in place by God’s admission or schemed by Satan? Everyone has their hands tied, and the world has come to a screeching halt. No God in heaven would wish this on His chosen people… or would He? Perhaps He is telling us to take a stand. Our faith is being tested!
In the biblical scriptures of Matthew 24:6-8, Jesus speaks of the End Times events as “birth pains.” Besides food shortages and economic collapse, He also spoke of viruses and locust infestations. Throughout the Bible, God sent plagues and pestilence to deal with his own people.
Medical science has proven the coronavirus natural host is bats, and the Chinese consume them in the form of soup. Did you know the Bible labels bats as forbidden meat? China detests Christianity and persecutes believers in their country. It is undoubtedly interesting COVID-19 figures today show that over 21 million Chinese have died from this virus. Is this a message from God? It is probable He is putting you on alert.
You may ask why a loving God would allow the death of His children from a pandemic. This is a wake-up call for those who refuse to repent their sins or surrender to Christ as their Lord and Savior. After all, history repeats itself.
All the wealth and knowledge of mankind will not stop our Lord’s intentions. Are you concerned for your safety? Staying home helps… or does it? Yes, it can UNLESS it is God’s will for this to happen. I cannot affirm the coronavirus positively is such a plague, but be aware of the signs. What I write for you today may shed light on the secrets of the future.
The Lord is watching and preparing our new home. Life, at this moment, mirrors biblical prophecy, and our faith is being tested. Trying to make sense of an incomparable condition is better left to those chosen scholars of God.
Should you fear the ultimatum, or should you remain faithful? This disease is a test of our personal faith in Jesus Christ. Let Him be your refuge for peace and comfort. It is so essential in these times you pray for His protection, study the Bible, and ask for healing.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
A final thought – a man recently delivered some lumber to my home, and he had a profound point of view on faith that I need to share with you. He said, “You can’t line dance to gospel music.” Thanks, Ira! Great perspective! Stay in faith, everyone… you’re being tested!
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open Google and social media each day, and the negative news floods the pages.
People are murdering the innocent with fortitude, a grim reminder Satan still walks
the earth. Those with the gold try to pass absurd laws for citizens to follow while
they release the guilty to commit more crimes. Lines are drawn in the dirt as men
of power speak lies. We, the meek, are artists left to draw our own conclusions.
Today, I sit outside in the rain to witness God’s tears of sadness as I pray
for those who desperately need His help. But every now and again, we might glimpse
His holy goodness.
isn’t it time for some good news? God is coming soon to save the faithful and who
believe He is the great healer of all our pain. Prophecy promises He will honor
those who uphold His holy name.
“And God shall wipe away all
tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor
crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed
away.” Revelation 21:4 NIV
make hope the new headlines! The brown lawns will soon resonate to a gorgeous
green, and budding plants will regain their strength. Even in times of disaster,
we can witness God showing His power, and mankind, together, fights off evil as
one. Many non-believers, especially overseas, have found the saving grace of
our Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t this a joy to share with others? Let us join hands
in solidarity and honor God, for He will be the successor! Spread the hope of
salvation to everyone!
I challenge every man, woman, and child to become a leader for God. Sweep away
the dead foliage of yesterday, and salt the icy bricks so we can climb the
steps to heaven’s gates. Let your Christian faith shine through in every aspect
of your life! Make positive changes that reflect God’s love and spread His good
“A cheerful heart is a good
medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV
scriptures with a strong heart and an encouraging message. It will improve your
relationships, health, and happiness. Learn new ways to replace the old
negative ones. Pray for the Lord to show you the way for He is in total control
of your life.
YOU will be the good news this world is so desperate to find! Faith unto us has
“Do not conform any longer to
the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans
God bless you, my friends!
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What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a
political position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes
may be true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent
examples of strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible, and I will
review two a week for the next four Sundays. Our ladies, now two thousand years
later, may find much wisdom in the biblical females. Use them as a guiding tool
in your personal lives and to develop a relationship with God.
The last point I want to express is “behind every
successful man is a strong and wise woman.” So true of these most powerful
women in the Bible! I hope you enjoy my review.
Mary of Magdala lived in a comfortable village of many
Greeks in Galilee. They depicted her as a prostitute in town. According to
scriptures, the single Mary Magdalene had a serious sickness caused by ‘seven
demons,’ so many people assumed she was a fallen woman. But, in biblical times,
certain illnesses such as schizophrenia, blindness, heart disease, and epilepsy
were thought to be demonic. The Bible is unclear what her specific situation
was, but bible scholars agree she was not a prostitute.
At some point in her life, Mary met Jesus in one of the
many villages He ministered to, and He healed her afflictions. She became an
immediate follower and a leader of a group of women who traveled with Jesus and
helped to support His ministry. Only a strong, self-confident woman would be so
brave to spread the Gospel in biblical days.
Jesus had two groups of people who accompanied Him – a
group of men led by Peter the Apostle, and a group of women led by Mary
Magdalene. However, according to religious tradition, females were meant to be
seen and not heard, but Mary, in controversy, was very close to Jesus. Just as I
wrote in the past, God chooses people to be His disciples that we least expect
to reach this broken world. Mary was one such example. Her great faith earned
special attention from Jesus.
On the day they crucified Jesus, Mary Magdalene, along
with two others, stood at the base of His cross and watched Him breathe His
last breath. Her heartbreak must have been unimaginable! In the Bible passages of Luke 23 and Matthew
27, Mary prepared Jesus’ body for burial by making a spice anointment for the
linens. She observed from afar as they placed His body in the rock tomb. Mary
visited His burial site every day as if waiting… did she know something?
In the early morning light, the following week, Mary visited
the tomb. As she sat and prayed an earthquake erupted and forced the rock away
from the entrance of the grave. Mary jumped up to look inside, and it was
empty! Suddenly, God’s angel appeared before her.
“Woman, why are you weeping?”
With tears streaming down her face, Mary replied, “They
have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
Suddenly a voice from behind her spoke, “Mary! Why are
you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”
Not recognizing the face, she said to him, “Sir, if you
have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him
away.” He responded with, “Mary!” It was Jesus standing before her.
She dropped to her knees, grabbed His hands, and said in Hebrew “Rabbouni!” Jesus told her not to hold on to Him because He had not ascended to the Father yet. Instead, He ordered her to go tell the disciples he was resurrected.
Mary ran to them and announced, “I have seen the Lord.”
It is interesting that in a society where women were held
in low regard, Christ showed Himself first to a woman. Mary loved her Lord, and
she was His truest, faithful follower.
What made Mary Magdalene a powerful woman?
She taught us to live courageously and faithfully for Christ. Jesus set her free by eliminating her ‘demons,’ and instead of going about her own life, Mary worked for Him. Even when she faced difficult times, and people called her hopeless, she allowed Jesus to work through her.
Mary was more loyal to Jesus than His own disciples. They hid as Jesus was led to His crucifixion, but Mary stayed with Him. She also anointed His linen with spices.
Mary was given the honor of being the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection. She was very important to Christ, or He would not have revealed Himself to her before the other disciples. It may be safe to comment Jesus changed the way women were viewed in society.
Mary teaches us that even if our lives are in terrible disarray, it is never too late to find hope in God.
Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends and His apostle, ostracized her work as a disciple. In the Gospel of Thomas, he said, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of the Life,” but her strength of character and love of God gave her the courage to move forward. Today, she is often called the first woman evangelist.
What happened to Mary Magdalene
after Jesus’ resurrection? Much controversy exists about this topic. One theory
suggests fourteen years after the crucifixion, she was put into a boat by Jews
and set adrift without sails or oars. The boat landed in southern France where
she lived in solitude in a cave.
Another theory claims she
accompanied John to Ephesus, where she died and was buried. Some say she
evangelized Provence, France during her last thirty years.
A recent book titled The Lost
Gospel even claims Mary and Jesus were secretly married and had two children,
but someone’s imagination was a little overextended.
Today, in the Russian Orthodox
church, they know her as the patroness of sinners and penitent women. One of
the world’s best-known monuments is the Church of Mary Magdalene in East
Hannah is an inspiring and
wonderful story of humanity and all its flaws. No one is the leading character
in the story of their own life.
Elkanah lived in the Ephraim
hills of a small town thirteen miles to the northeast of Jerusalem. He practiced
polygamy through his Levite religion. Hannah was his first wife, and he adored and
loved her, doting on her every need. But, she was infertile, and his family
name needed to be honored with children, so he married another woman. Peninnah
was envious of the love Elkanah had for Hannah. She cruelly taunted Hannah to
tears each time she gave birth to their ten sons, and Hannah lost her sense of appetite.
One day, Hannah traveled to the
sanctuary, and she spoke to the priest about her inability to have children.
Her soul was crushed as the tears flowed down her lovely face. She dropped to
her knees before the altar and prayed.
if you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain, if you’ll quit neglecting me and
go into action for me by giving me a son, I’ll give him completely,
unreservedly to you. I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.”
Before the year was out, Hannah
conceived and gave birth to a son named Samuel. She told Elkanah she asked God
for this son. Hannah also explained when the child was weaned, she would
present him before God, where he would remain forever. He agreed with her
The day arrived when Samuel was
no longer dependent on Hannah for nutrition. She took him to Shiloh along with
a butchered bull, flour, and wine and presented him to the priest, Eli. “I
prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have
dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”
Hannah and Elkanah dedicated their lives to God as they watched their son grow up among the priests. Hannah made Samuel little white robes cut to his size, and they took them to him. Eli often said a prayer over her on those visits, “God give you children to replace this child you have dedicated to God.” His blessings and prayers were heard as Hannah and Elkanah had three more sons and a daughter.
Today, we acknowledge Samuel as a
prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, an equal to Moses. He wrote the story
of his life, including his mother, Hannah, in the Book of Samuel.
What made Hannah a powerful
Hannah’s main attribute was perseverance. She prayed for many years for God to give her a child. She had faith in the power of the Lord and never doubted He would answer her prayers. Hannah teaches us never to give up, even when we think something is impossible. Her faithfulness to the Lord bled into her son, who became a great man.
Her boldness, strength, and devotion were like no other for she was a mother who gave up her first-born to the Lord. I’m sure most parents would rethink this decision. But, Hannah recognized all things are God’s possessions, even our children. He honors parents with children as merely a gift, a temporary gift. We are to mold them in the ways of the Lord as a blessing to all nations. In Hannah’s case, because she fulfilled her promise to God, He blessed her with a legacy of five more children.
Hannah’s power is also demonstrated through a promise which she kept to God. Her integrity is in the commitment of handing her child over to God. She never went back on her word, for if she did, she might never have conceived any more children. God rewards us for loyalty.
Thank you, Hannah, for teaching
us we must trust in the Lord in everything in our lives. Life is not always a
bowl of cherries, but with persistent prayer, miracles can and will happen.
Dedication to the Master who created us, along with integrity, will reap you
blessings beyond your wildest imagination.
Hannah is buried in the Tomb of
Samuel in the West bank, beside her son Samuel, on top of a steep hill just north
of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot.
We hope you enjoyed Part One and will return next Sunday for two more powerful women in the Bible.
I do really admire you
My faithful friends;
You are the kind of friends
You are so scarce
What we mostly find
Are unfaithful friends;
Who will be with you,
When the going is good
And part ways
When the going is bad
Call them fake friends;
That is what they are;
Who cannot be trusted;
Who cannot be counted on;
Who cannot stand for you
In light and in darkness;
When the rain is pouring
As when the sun is shining;
You have proven your fidelity, faithful friends;
I love you, faithful friends;
You are, to me, great souls;
Being what many cannot be,
You are great souls;
The blessings of fidelity
Oh! my great, faithful friends!
God set forth an impossible undertaking when He challenged
my capabilities to be the best at something I never imagined possible. But then
it occurred to me – how many others seem to be on a quest for Jesus? They do
not realize the disillusionment of the deserts.
I often wonder how some people got started in life. What
made them so great in their lifetime? For example, Nicodemus in the Book of
John became a legend in the Jewish community as a ruler and teacher of Israel.
Then there was an Indian lawyer called Ghandi, and a lady named Mother Teresa. Closer
to home was a little boy called Billy, who took his Bible to school every day. He
was such an avid reader, and he never gave up his desire to serve the Lord.
But many others are true to their heart, and they never waver
from God’s ministry. In my personal life, it’s a profound feeling of a great
success to serve the Almighty. It comes with abounding rewards and grace. Now I
should ask, where is the Holy Spirit in your life?
It could be too easy to stop my ministry of writing. I’d
load the kayaks in the back of my pickup truck and head to the lake. Not a bad
idea, but God puts His trust in me to bring others to His kingdom. My reward
for faithfulness? I am so blessed in every waking moment. I’m sure my words may
confuse you, but my closest friends and family know my priority is to serve the
Too many believers “toe the line” in their commitment to
serve our Lord. They pray for answers but give up when there’s no immediate response.
Sometimes we look for answers within this world only to discover God is already
working on our healing.
If you want to see faith at work, then don’t look at a
three-piece suit parading up on a stage, shaking a Bible at our Almighty.
That’s blasphemy – no! Let’s examine the heartbreaking scenes of the Bahamas. A
mother stood in a bathroom with her three children praying to God for help in
the disastrous times of Dorian. Do you think God didn’t hear her heart? (See
the video below) Prayer is the only ammunition to combat evil.
With the mighty force of just one young mother, who guarded
her three children in a bathroom, she brought together the strength of nations,
ready to oblige her mission. What a world we could live in if we understood the
destitution of our mental thoughts! Hopefully, many received the message for it
was a great example of God working through His people.
God challenges us to be successful in His glory if we stay
in prayer and never give up hope. Do not render your patience. As we kayak in
God’s calm waters, do not evade the fact the calm waters are His too. He wants everyone
to be successful and filled with hope. We shall armor ourselves in the covenant
of faith for God ordained it to be ours.
God bless you, my friends, and all the survivors of Hurricane Dorian.