Father’s Day: (The Bike and the Man who Wouldn’t Let his Little Girl Quit)

“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness” (Micah 7:8-9).

When I was growing up, my enemy was my bicycle. Okay, I know that having a bicycle should not give me that feeling, but you don’t understand. After I had drooled every time I even thought about having a bike, and I had longed for it for over a year, I finally got one for my birthday. You would think that I would have been more grateful, and I was, until that first time I tried to ride it in the backyard.

I started out fine, and even was able to get up some speed and soar through the air with the wind blowing through my long auburn hair, but then, the oak tree root and loose dirt met my tire and I did soar: over the handle bars and flat on my back on the ground, and the handle bar fell on my neck. My prideful wounded self, got up, dusted myself off and got back on to try again. Not! I stomped my way to the back porch steps and sat down beside my daddy.

Daddy was quiet and gave me some time to compose myself, then he asked me a simple question: are you ready to get back on, now? Hot tears fell down my cheeks and I whispered a sobbing, no, my neck hurts, Daddy. We sat in silence a little longer. After what seemed a lifetime, my daddy asked me, aren’t you ready to try to get on it, again. I won’t make you get on it, you can park the bike under the shelter, or you can give it to someone else, but I wish you would try again.

Another long stretch of silence, and by that time I felt peace. Okay, Daddy, I’ll try it just for you.

Gone were my previous fears that I would fail at learning to ride that bike without any training wheels. It was replaced with the desire to make my daddy happy because he had saved up for over a year to get that bike. He kept it at his mechanic shop, gave it a fresh coat of paint, and rebuilt it from top to bottom. I could finally be like other kids my age. I could finally fit in. I don’t even know now why it was so important to fit in, because I already had my daddy’s approval and adoration. He kept me safe from all that may harm me, and no one could have loved me more in his own way.

After that day, I never fell off of the bike again. When I needed to learn to respect things, he taught me how. The bike had gotten a flat tire and I needed to get it patched. Daddy wasn’t moving fast enough for me, so I decided to help him out. I rolled the bike to the service station and got it patched.

What I thought was a good thing, became a lesson in obedience, because I disobeyed my daddy. As a consequence, he took the wheel off of the bike, and didn’t allow me to ride it for a long time. I learned obedience and how to wait. It was so long that I almost had lost interest in the bike.

I never complained about it, but knew that my disobedience had disappointed him, and I was willing to wait as long as it took. He fixed it on my birthday. That day I felt grateful and fully forgiven. The damage had been repaired in our relationship and in my bike.

Today is Father’s Day, and if he was alive, we would have carrot cake, and laugh about the beautiful bike and the little girl who learned how to not quit. It is important to remember those life lessons that shape us to be the best we can be.

I give honor to the men of God who pour so much into our young people, so they too can learn. In this week’s Lattereign, we learn more about Raising up spiritual leaders.

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All Things Work Together for Good

“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do” (Proverbs 29:9).

God’s got a secret? Absolutely. He chooses when and if he’ll reveal things to us. I used to think that I was the only one who ever questioned God, that is, until I picked up my Bible and started to search the scriptures. Since the beginning of time, mankind has questioned God’s motives, plans, and his will. I never will be able to figure out God’s complete purpose for my life.

It takes a daily walk to move with God’s Spirit and to be a blessing to others. I’m willing to do that, but at the same time, I try to explain my actions to others and that’s where I have difficulty sometimes, because it’s hard to explain something that you don’t understand yourself. For example, I know where God brought me to and the bondage that he delivered me from, and if I were God; I don’t think that I could be as merciful as he has been towards me.

Why is it that I have such a hard time forgiving myself or expecting that the Lord wants to bless me just as much as he wants to bless any other of his people? He doesn’t see us the same way that we see ourselves. We’re looking at our past through a narrow vision; while Jesus sees us through his precious blood that was shed at Calvary. I like his vantage point much better because it gives us a better view of everlasting life. While we’re critical of our own imperfections; God sees us as the repaired vessels that he has fashioned for his purpose. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. If God in his omnipotent power sees us only through his blood; then, why can’t I trust him to know that I’m redeemed—thoroughly cleansed from the sin that I was born into?

What a blessing to have a Savior who loves us so much that he’d be willing to die for us. I’m more than ever convinced that I am blessed. Sometimes I consider how awesome God is and I can’t figure out how he is able to bless us when all that we do is criticize and complain—but that’s okay—because he is God. All is well in the blessed realm of God’s love. So many times I am amazed of how the Lord reveals his secrets to us as he wills. Just when we think that it can’t get any better than this, living for God, he sheds some light on a new purpose, or I should say a continuation of an old purpose.

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16).

I know that he’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think; and once again, he’s gone far beyond my expectations. Thank you, Lord, for being my friend and a help to me. I don’t deserve it, but yes, I am blessed.

It isn’t up to me to know everything. Deuteronomy clearly tells us that if it’s secret, it belongs to God. God has given us the things that are revealed for our inheritance, and he promises if we’ll keep the law; that we’ll prosper in all that we do.  It’s time for God’s people to prosper. We’ve waited on the Lord for such a long time and now that he’s bringing his perfect will to pass, we mustn’t stop moving in the direction that’ll lead us to live in eternal security. We have to keep on praying, working, and doing God’s will; if we expect God to give us a revelation of his word.

We have an open door and God’s promise; who could ask for anything more? In this week’s Lattereign we look at how All things work together for good.

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It is Well With My Soul

The Lord leads each one of us in a unique way through our lives, and sometimes, the life that we are called to live may take us down a crooked path. Our journey through life may take us down roads that we never chose to travel, and yet, we find ourselves just trying to take careful steps to avoid the rocks and pits that would make us fall.

Who am I to question God’s wisdom in these matters? I am a servant, called to do his will and to be a witness for his glory. I didn’t bargain for some of the trials that I’ve had to face in my life; but at the same time, I know that I have a privilege to rejoice in the God of my salvation, who always causes me to triumph.

When I am sick; I have the Balm of Gilead. When I am thirsty; I have the fountain of living waters to draw from; when I am hungry; He is the living bread that sustains me. When I feel alone; He comes to me at the thought of his name; When I am weak, without the strength to carry on; he picks me up and carries me.

When I am confronted with the attacks of the enemy; He stands in the gap for me and he upholds me with his free spirit.

In the weakness of flesh, I may look at the storms of life and forget that he made the storms. He is always in control of every situation and we must learn to trust him because he is faithful to us. What may seem like a rejection, could very well be the Lord’s hand at work in our lives.

If you lose a job; you may rejoice, because you will find a better one. Don’t give up, for the Best is already here! You will never be able to have less than God’s best, because he is not an inferior God who gives us leftovers of his blessings. We will always have the best of everything because the Lord is our provider. He has made us the head and not the tail; and, we can stand before his throne boldly and proclaim that he is Lord. There is no second best with God.

He eternally supplies our every need, and when we feel that there’s not any hope left, God steps up to the plate and scores the final points. We win this game of life, if we will continue to trust God.

Don’t give up on your dreams, because they are your only hope to change the world for the better. “Without a vision; the people perish.” You’re invited to enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness.
O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shall thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall thy offer bullocks upon thine altar.” (Psalm 51).

In this week’s Lattereign, we learn to rest in the Lord, and no matter what circumstances surround us, we can be able to say, “it is well with my soul.”  Resting Under the Shadow of the Almighty

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Lord, Help us to Remember, and Never Forget

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

I am thankful today that I can enjoy living in a free country. Not everyone can say the same, so I wonder, have I become so used to being free that I take it for granted? Today, we remember those who have fought and given their lives for our freedom. Their selfless acts of loyalty to their country should be recognized. Knowing that I could have not been as fortunate as I am, makes me want to praise the Lord even more. He has spared me from many situations in life, and as a result, I am able to do the things that I need to do.

It is my prayer today that we are forever grateful for where the Lord has brought us from, and hopeful for where he is leading us to. He didn’t have to purchase our salvation with his own life, but he did. Today, we take the time out to remember our fallen soldiers in this week’s Lattereign. They paid the ultimate price for our freedom. May we never forget.  Memorial Day 2018

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If You Trust in the Lord you Will be More Than a Conqueror.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16).

On this journey that we are called to take, we may experience setbacks. It’s not always easy to trust and not complain when the pressure is on us. If we didn’t have a relationship with the Lord we could try to handle every situation on our own, and even start making the situation bigger than our God. In Hebrews, we are reminded that we must learn to focus on the good things that we do have, and less on the things that we don’t have.

The Lord already knows what we need. We must trust him; he promises us that he will never leave us or forsake us. He will direct our steps and instructs us to “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:5-8).

At no time should I crumble when the enemy comes in like a flood, because Jesus promises that I can lift up a standard against the enemy. It is difficult to take a stand sometimes and our natural response to hurt is usually retreat. During the times of retreat we learn how to wait on God and to trust him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Being rejected isn’t easy to cope with, and living in the shadows tends to subdue our testimony and our effectiveness for the kingdom; but in God’s mercy we can be meek, and still be strong in character. It isn’t necessary to give up or give in to the world. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

It only took God’s spoken word to bring the world into existence. How great and mighty is the God we serve! I wonder why I limit God so when I struggle with the world? When will I begin to believe his word and act in faith without wavering?

Sometimes we place the greatest obstacles in our own paths without any help from those who would despitefully use us. Obstacles of doubt, unworthiness, fear, intimidation. Lord help us to get a picture of the great things that you have in store for us as a body of believers. Not one of us would be here today without faith.

To reap good fruit, we must sow good seeds, and to allow the word to work for us, we must act on the word and be in total obedience to the will of God. We can listen to God and stop his blessings from ever reaching us because we didn’t abide in his word. We could sometimes be identified as haphazard Christians: when everything is going our way, we don’t have time to read the word, and we enjoy the good life; on the other hand, when things fall apart in our lives, we turn to prayer and wonder why God allows things to happen to us while other Christians and the world in general are succeeding. In all fairness, I must ask what makes me so different than the next person down the road?

The Lord rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. He is no respecter of persons. He chose us to do his will, and we need to take a good long look at life from God’s perspective. We will see the mighty hand of God at work in our lives. Maybe not during the test designed to strengthen us, but after we have overcame the trial, and paused to reflect on the goodness and mercy of God. We shall see how God will arise and his enemies will be scattered. People may mean it for evil, but God is working all things out for our good. He cares about us for all eternity.

Take a leap of faith; make up your mind to trust God.

In this week’s Lattereign we are reminded that We are More than Conquerors.

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Celebrating Mothers

who can find a virtuous woman

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies…. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness…. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her”        (Proverbs 31: 10,25-28).

I am thankful for a mother who loved us and the Lord with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength. Our lives had challenges while we were growing up, but we could always depend on our mother being there through the good and the bad times. I can’t recall even one time that she complained about her life, and she made sure to keep her emotions in check when she was with others. She knew how to find happiness in life when others focused on the bad, she always found the good and positive side of things. If the electricity was shut off, she made sure that we stay occupied with making shadow rabbits, with our hands in the lantern light.

If the washing machine was broke down, we made a game out of being a human washing machine. We would fill the tub with dirty clothes and soapy water, and get in. We marched up and down on the clothes and became like a human agitator. I never felt deprived; instead I learned to love life and to make the best of every situation.

Meals were not always steak and potatoes, but we never went hungry.

I know that Mama’s prayers are why I am living for the Lord, today. The following poem is anonymous: A Mother’s Prayer

The things I never told you I’d like to tell you now;
Of feelings held contentedly inside my heart to swell;
Of thoughts and dreams, wants and happiness too;
A Mother’s prayer to finally share with you.
Lord, govern their lives as you have mine,
Touch them with Your sweet divine,
Make them happy, guide their paths,
Tickle their funny bones, let me hear their laughs.
Dry the tears sliding down their faces,
Hold their hands when the love heart races,
Make them stand tall when the burdens are great,
Prepare them to carry the loads of fate.
Heal the hurts and sufferings of the spirit,
Make them listen until they hear it;
That sweet song of yours that will touch their soul
And carry them forward until they are old.
Lord, let them see the meaning of life,
Protect them from the evils of strife,
Gently guide them in the path of your ways,
I pray, Lord, I pray for them everyday.
I know, Lord, that I fell short many times;
In my guidance as “Mom” there were crimes,
Times that I failed to help them see
The beauty that you have bestowed around me.
Take their hands and lead them forward
Give them strength to avoid the coward
And evil ones that lurk about
Waiting to swallow them up and shout
The conquest of their gentle soul
Provide them the coin to pass the toll.
Please make things right, Lord, once again
To help them to see the meaning of friend
And loved ones that hold them close to the heart
With a Mother that loves them, never apart.
Author Unknown

 

 

In this week’s Lattereign we are Celebrating Mothers.

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).

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No Matter How Many Times We Fail God; God Never Fails Us.

It is true. I can’t tell you how many times that I have made big mistakes in my walk with the Lord, but after every one of those mistakes I pray and make it right, and the Lord continues to bless me in ways that I could never imagine. I would be the one who held a grudge when someone did something against me, after I invested time and effort praying until I felt like I would choke on the words, “forgive me.”

My heart may have desired to do something noble like forgive that person, but it seemed that each time that I saw that person, I remembered, in detail, the wrong that was done to me. We have a tendency to hold on to grudges like they were pets, because, bless the Lord, we are always right, so everybody else on the planet must be wrong. And, so what if someone said something to hurt your feelings one time. Sometimes the truth hurts. If it’s a lie, then refuse to allow your spirit to harbor an ugly spirit against that person, because, I have found out that if I don’t bring my emotions into subjection, that I’ll be the one who will ultimately be damaged from the rejection.

Don’t you know that your negative feelings can make you physically sick? How dare us to listen to the devil when he tells us that a person doesn’t deserve our forgiveness! Jesus Christ died on the cross to purchase our salvation.

Even, at times, I have known family to let things in the past cause them to lose their victory. It isn’t worth it to harbor ill feelings against anyone, especially family. What better way for the enemy to win, than to divide homes; and how unfortunate it is for us to allow anything to separate us from our family.

You are wrong to not let it go. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. If you are unwilling to forgive, you can’t be forgiven. Is it worth losing your soul over some petty argument? I am reminded of the Hatfields and the McKoys. They had feuded for so long that they couldn’t even recall why they were feuding. I submit to you that as children of God, we must learn to walk in his light. Put away any old grievances that would keep you out of the kingdom of God, and let’s get about the Father’s business, for the time is short.

This week in the Lattereign, we are reminded that God’s Faithfulness is Unending.

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Revival is Here! What are you Waiting On? Praise the Lord!

It never ceases to amaze me what can be accomplished when people come together in unity for a common cause. This year is no exception. CommUnity Day was a huge success and the Lord poured out his spirit.

Here are the Results of 2018 Tent Revival, so far:
468 people registered @ Community Day event!
+ 200 Volunteers helped with everything!
= 668 people participated @ Community Day!
550 stayed for the Community Blessing Service!
46 received the gift of the Holy Ghost!
4 people were baptized in Jesus Name!
71 people requested prayer/ Bible study or both!

It’s not a time to be lackadaisical in our worship and walk with the Lord. Having a relationship with him will make all the difference in our lives. There’s a whole world out there that is hungry for what we have. Nothing else will satisfy the longing of our soul like Jesus can. He keeps his promises. It is up to us to believe that he will do what he said he would do. If we will honor him and do our part, in faith, he will pour out a blessing on our lives that cannot be contained.  Yet with all that he desires to be for us, it is up to us to believe that he can do it for us.

 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

In this week’s Lattereign it is my desire that you Choose Life .

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Submit to God; Resist the Devil and He will Flee.

resist the devil and he will flee

Have you ever felt that if one more responsibility were to get laid at your feet that you would implode? Life happens and responsibilities sometimes seem to overtake us. It leaves us vulnerable, tired, and weak, and unless we learn how to cope with the added onslaught of situations that we will be required to endure in our lifetime, we will feel forever defeated.

How often have you said, “I just can’t take it anymore!”? We are all faced with those times, but I’m here today to encourage someone with five simple words: Give Them All to Jesus.

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows?

Are you tired of spinning round and round?

Wrap up all those shattered dreams of your life

And at the feet of Jesus, lay them down.

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus

Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys.

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus

And He will turn your sorrows into joy.

He never said you’d only see sunshine,

He never said there would be no rain.

He only promised a heart full of singing

About the very thing that once brought pain.

 Matthew 11:28
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

You may feel that you are losing control of yourself and instead of feeling peace and security in your walk with God, you have allowed things to become the enemies that you must conquer to keep your sanity. Never take on more ministry than you can support in prayer. Sometimes it’s important to step back and take a deep breath and be reminded of your purpose in doing all that you do. You may ask yourself, who is getting the glory for this? If it isn’t God, then maybe it is time to rethink your priorities.

Everything that I do, say, feel, should be filtered through God’s plan for my life. I can tell when I start to get off course in his will. I may struggle, or get super fatigued, maybe even discouraged so much that it feels that no matter how much effort I give to a task, it still seems to be empty of satisfaction. Could it be, that I am placing too much emphasis on the task, and not enough effort on the Lord who promises to direct our steps?

While rowing a boat requires great effort when you are rowing with the current, it still is not as hard as it would be, if you had decided to follow your own course, and row against the current.

God is in control of all situations even when we think that our world is falling apart. Family may reject you, friends may turn away, you may get disappointed by something someone has said that brought up the past hurts and mistakes, or you may not have a care in the world; but God is still in control and he is working out all things for our good.

What should we be do? Keep praying, and believing God. If we are wrong we must learn to forgive and make it right; if we are right in our eyes, we must still forgive and seek peace. Life is too short to harbor ill feelings against others. Do the best you can to make it right and then, let’s trust God to know what is the best for us and he will restore unto us the joy of our salvation.

open the window

In this week’s, Lattereign, we are reminded that we need to trust in God. Isn’t it Time to Put Your Trust in God

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Is Seeking the Will of God Our Last Resort, or Our First Option?

We have been told since the beginning of our lives that we must put God first in all things. It’s like the more we hear it, the more we brush it aside as one of those wise sayings that was never meant to be taken literally. After all, we have certainly changed from the time this was written, so it may not even apply to us, today. If we have that kind of thinking, then we would be terribly wrong.

Seeking God is an action and we should not sit around in a haphazard way to seek God. I promise that if life gets real enough, we will not have any trouble seeking God. Why is it that when trouble comes our way, we are quick to beg God for help, but when things are going well, we neglect to give God the time of day? Instead of building a relationship that is based on communication, and reverence, we slide into our prayer closet and offer up our wish whining to God the Almighty. I’ll take a side order of answered prayers with that order, please.

We have all been guilty of not giving enough time to prayer, even when we know that prayer is the key to unlocking the doors of our praise and answered prayers. If we want to see mountains in our lives moved, we must pray until the walls begin to crumble.

On the other hand, if we spend our time hoping and wishing for something to happen, instead of taking a step of faith and doing what we can do, nothing will ever happen.

I am grateful that I have an opportunity to seek the Lord. Not everyone in the world has that freedom to choose. Nothing else matters if we don’t get our lives in perspective. The Lord is coming soon. Instead of seeing how close you can live to the world and still be saved, why not seek the Lord first and all these things will be added to you. It’s my desire to do his will. Let’s be able to say with confidence that, “It is Well with my Soul,” as the song goes.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
Songwriters: P P. Bliss / Gloria Roe
It Is Well with My Soul lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

In this week’s Lattereign we have this assurance that if we will Keep on trusting we will overcome. Keep on Trusting-You Will Overcome

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