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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat
on her face, walked into a grocery store.

She approached the owner of the store in a most humble
manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and
unable to work, they had seven
children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested
that she leave his store at once..

Visualizing the family needs, she said: ‘Please, sir! I
will bring you the money just as soon as I can.’

John told her he could not give her credit, since she did
not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard
the conversation between the two. The customer walked
forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for
whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a
very reluctant voice, ‘Do you have a grocery list?’

Louise replied, ‘Yes sir.’ ‘O.K’ he said,
‘put your grocery list on the
scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give
you that amount in groceries.’

Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she
reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and
scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of
paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement
when the scales went down and stayed down.

The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the
customer and said begrudgingly, ‘I can’t believe it.’

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the
groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not
balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on
them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed
the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.

It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:

‘Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am
leaving this
in your hands.’

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had
gathered and stood in stunned silence.
Louise thanked him and left the store. The other customer
handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said; ‘It
was worth every penny of it.

Only God Knows how much a
prayer weighs.’

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We live in such a crazy and sin sick world.  The news is depressing.  You, like me have probably turned it all off for a few days at a time.  We just can’t stand to hear anything else BAD.  What I am about to write may seem to simplistic, however it is true.  If we focus on things that are lovely, of good report, etc.  our minds won’t be so stressed by the things of this world.  Give it a try and see how much better you feel.

Page after page can be written about a person’s life.  We call this a biographical view of an individual.  However, sometimes a biography can be summed up in just a few words.  These expressions refer to the character and/or impact someone had on the lives of those they lived around.  Last year, in our ladies ministries of the UPCI we focused on “Leaving a LEGACY”.  Usually when you mention someone’s name who has gone on to their reward you don’t go into a great dissertation.  You simply say things like, “He was a GOOD man”.  “What a man of WISDOM”.  “She was such a LADY”.  “She was a QUEEN”,  etc. and we all know what you are talking about.  That one word pretty much sums it up, how a person lived their life.

When Peter was sharing the Gospel with Cornelius and his household, before pointing to the Crucified Christ and the forgiveness of sins that can be received in His Name…He summed up the life of Christ like this:

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

GOOD is what we can expect associated with God.

GOODNESS is what marked the essence of Jesus being here on earth.  He was GOOD to others.  It wasn’t because they deserved it but because it was needed and would ultimately bring glory to God. 

When Jesus was to come on the world scene it was announced by angels with GOODNESS….Luke says it like this, “Fear Not, for behold I bring you GOOD NEWS of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus came to earth during a time when there was definitely a need for some GOODNESS.  We live in such a time right now, today!  Among all the bad news there is need for GOOD NEWS and maintaining our focus on Jesus!  If we seriously focus on the GOODNESS of Jesus and portray that in our lives, then we will have opportunity to share the GOOD NEWS with people in this trying time.  Folks will want to know why you can be so happy and peaceful in this time of insecurity.  Keep your focus on JESUS! 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Have a GOOD Day for GOODNESS sake. 

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Yesterday’s service was filled with glory once again.  Shawn and Gwen Dunahoe was with is in service and we had a great time.  Bro. Shawn preached an excellent sermon on “God’s Encore”.  Two ladies were baptized and I know of two people that received the precious gift of the Holy Ghost.  One of the ladies that was baptized has been coming for a few months now.  She is from Beijing and has had some difficulty in following the services because of language.  However,  the love and peace she has felt since coming to our church is overwhelming to her.  She has often said to me through her tears at church, “I don’t know why I cry when I’m here because I am so happy”.  I have tried to explain it to her but I don’t know how to explain “joy, unspeakable” and “peace that passes all understanding”.  ūüôā  Different things have led up to her baptism yesterday.  David and Teresa Leonardo are teaching her and her husband, Ernie a bible study and of course that has been the most significant blessing.  Then, in our communion and foot washing service, my mother-in-law, Dorothy Hurst knelt down in front of her and began to wash her feet.  She was so moved by this, she could hardly get control of herself.  That is the first time she asked about baptism.  Then, yesterday she told someone that she was ready to be baptized in Jesus name for the remission of her sins.  She came up out of the water speaking in tongues.  A man that goes to our church from Nigeria also speaks Chinese and he was right there with her and said she spoke in a language other than Chinese or English.  Praise God!  It was so awesome. 

The other lady that was baptized is the daughter of a man in our church.  He has been praying for her for several years and she called him yesterday morning and asked for him to come pick her up and that she wanted to be baptized.  It was so sweet.  If you have children away from God, don’t give up.  He hears every prayer.

Tonight (Monday) was ladies prayer/bible study meeting.  Sometimes I teach and sometimes we pray.  Well, tonight was one of those nights I just felt the Holy Ghost leading us to pray and specifically for our Sunday School department.  We had an incredible time in the Holy Ghost praying for every teacher.  I can hardly wait to see what God will do in our Sunday School this year.  I know it will be great! 

God is so good to us!  I hope and pray you all have a truly blessed week.  Let me leave you with this one last thought….Don’t be discouraged about the economy.  We serve a God that owns the cattle of a thousand hills.  He WILL take care of His children.  Once I was young, but now I’m “old” and I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken, or His seed begging for bread.  Amen! and Amen! 

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Where do I begin? The highly anticipated week-end has come and gone and we are ecstatic and a little in shock and very humbled for what God has done.¬† Yes, We prayed and fasted.¬† We planted and watered seed and GOD gave the increase.¬† Soul Winners Boot Camp was above and beyond what we could have thought.¬† On the first night, Thursday, the presence of God met with us in a powerful way.¬† We were off to a good start.¬† All day Friday the sessions with Bro. Matt Maddix, Bro. David Smith, Bro. Tim Downs and Bro. Travis Worthington were packed with superb information about soul winning and also the presence of God.¬† A huge shout out to this team.¬† You guys were great!¬† We had 91 boot campers registered.¬† I must say that I don’t think I have ever been around that many people at one time that the only reason we were together was to reach the lost.¬† Boot Campers, your attitudes were awesome.¬† I so enjoyed having you here in Hollister.¬† Your hard work in walking the streets of our city and witnessing to people paid off, BIG TIME!!!

Friday Night we had a downtown block party and I stood in amazement as people were so hungry for God that they got baptized in their street clothes in cold water.¬† And then watched as God miraculously filled them with the Holy Ghost.¬† On Saturday we had an event in one of the parks in town and even though the day was warmer than the night before, I once again stood in amazement as people so hungry for God was baptized in their street clothes in the cold water.¬† And, once again watched as God filled them with the Holy Ghost.¬† My husband said he was overwhelmed one time when he saw three young boys who had just been baptized, standing together and praying, as all three of them began to speak in tongues at the same time and received the Holy Ghost.¬† There are so many stories to tell, I cannot possibly put them all here.¬† Just know that God moved in a sovereign way in Hollister this last few days.¬† On Sunday, the Lord met with us again.¬† Many of the people that was at the block party and the park was in church on Sunday.¬† One lady and her daughter received the Holy Ghost while the chorale was singing, “Everybody Ought To Know (Who Jesus Is)”.¬† They were baptized on Friday Night downtown and received the Holy Ghost today. 10 people received the Holy Ghost in our Sunday Service.

After service on Sunday our family took my father-in-law out for his 76th birthday.¬† While we were eating we received a phone call from one of the saints…she had invited her neighbor and a couple in our church over for dinner.¬† While they were eating and talking about the good things of God the neighbor said that she wanted the Holy Ghost.¬† They stopped what they were doing and began to pray and she received the Holy Ghost right there in her living room.¬† Like I said, to many stories to tell.

So…All totaled for this week-end:¬† 70 received the Holy Ghost and 61 Baptized.

To my awesome church family, “The Pentecostal Church”…I cannot describe my feelings for you today. Proud, thankful, in awe, amazed…I know how hard you have worked and how much you have prayed and fasted for revival.¬† I did not see one person that was not involved in some way or other in this past weekend.¬† That is not hyperbole.¬† That is the truth.¬† There are so many details that go into a meeting like this and you all pulled it off with class and efficiency.¬† Nathaniel you did a superb job in organizing everything.¬† I am proud. ūüôā¬† Your immediate team that you worked with was unbelievably good too.¬† Please allow me to say, as great as this was,¬† THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!!¬† God has opened the flood-gates of heaven.¬† We must keep working until Jesus comes.¬† Let’s take many souls with us from Hollister to dance on streets of gold.¬† God bless you all mightily.¬† Read more here!¬† See report from Nathaniel here.

Go to our church web-site for photos in the Soul Winners Boot Camp photo category.

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Sunday as our little niece prayed at the altar I felt impressed to say something to her. I had Teresa (my sister-in-law) come over to where we were so she could hear what I said to Victoria. I simply said, “Victoria, I want you to ask Jesus every day this week for the Holy Ghost and then next Sunday you will receive it.” She said she would. Wednesday night before church when she came and gave me her usual hug and “Hi, Aunt Ronda”, I said “Have you been asking Jesus to fill you with the Holy Ghost”. She said, “Yes I have”. Well I was expecting her to receive the Holy Ghost on Sunday but God had different plans. The altar service was in progress and Nathaniel came up to the organ and said to me, “Look at Victoria” and when I looked she was standing alone with tears streaming down her face and hands lifted high, praising God. Just a few moments after I saw this sight my husband asked for anyone who was sick to come forward and be anointed with oil for healing. Victoria and Brandon (her brother) both came to the front with others. As Bro. Andrew Buxton (visiting minister) laid hands on these folks you could see the anointing come upon them. When he laid hands on Victoria for healing I saw him back away slightly and then ask her Dad, Scott, “Does she have the Holy Ghost?” and Scott said, “not yet”. Bro. Buxton laid his hands on her again and she began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. It was such a beautiful thing. I watched as her Sunday School teachers (Jim and Marian Knutson) prayed with her. Thank God for good Sunday School Teachers that care even though it’s Wednesday night and they are tired. Here is another little faith builder…Monday night at Daughters of Zion prayer meeting we specifically asked the Lord to fill Victoria with the Holy Ghost this week. Remember this, specific prayers get specific answers!

This was just a “regular” Wednesday night Bible Study. My husband had taught on prayer. The spirit of God was so strong that folks began coming to the altar without being asked and began to pray. I love it when God moves in and takes over and blesses our seemingly small efforts. When I left the church last night I could hear 3 of our young men travailing before the Lord. I don’t know how late they stayed and prayed but I know that something was taking place in the spirit world. I look forward to seeing what God will do for these young men in the future. Other blessings were poured out on God’s people in this service that was greatly needed, but time ‘nor space is adequate to put it all here. Suffice to say, God blessed Bro. Andrew Buxton with a needed blessing and if he wants to tell about it I will let him do that. Thank God for Victory!

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Transitions are not always easy. Leaving what is familiar and stepping into what may not be fully known can create some anxiety. I know that when we left Texarkana, Texas after 20 years was not the easiest thing I have ever done, but I am so glad I was surrendered to HIS will and purpose.  I have lived long enough to realize that life is filled with transitions. Not only are those transitions associated with movement from a familiar place into a new one, but also in our day to day activities: school, jobs, relationships, economic status, etc.

THE ONLY THING that can make these transitions easier is through focusing on that which does not change. For us to keep our bearings in life and remain on the right path, we have to fix our eyes on that which remains constant.

Malachi 3:6 says: For I am the Lord, I change not…

Hebrews 13:8 says: Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever!

Consistency all the way! We even sometimes see people around us change and so we don’t always know what to expect. But that is not the case with God. I’m thankful for something I can count on in the midst of a constantly changing world.

Some of the transitions we go through are because of changes that we NEED to make. We are still in the process of becoming what God wants us to be. However, when it comes to HIM and HIS will there is no need for change because perfection cannot be improved upon.

As we go through transitions in our life, no matter how small or how great, remember that God is still God, Jesus is still the Lord of lords and King of kings, and the truth remains the foundation for supporting and building up our life.

If you will keep this focus, you will not have to much anxiety about changes in life.

HE NEVER CHANGES! Keep your eyes on HIM!

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I just got home from the Orthopedist.¬† This was my two week check up for my broken arm.¬† After the radiologist took the xray she asked if I wanted to see them and I said yes.¬† I asked her where the break was and she said, “You know, I can’t tell.¬† You will have to ask the doctor about this.”¬†In my mind I’m¬†saying “Hallelujah”! ¬†The doctor came in and as we were looking at the xray he asked, “When did this happen, again?” and I said, “Two weeks ago, yesterday”.¬† He said, “Are you sure?”¬† I said, “Yes sir, I’m quite sure”.¬† We chuckled and he said, “Well, this has healed up very nicely”.¬†In my mind I am shouting “Hallelujah” again.¬† ¬†Then he had me do a couple of¬†exercises with my hands and arms and said “that’s amazing that you¬†can turn your right hand like that¬†after only two weeks.¬† This is healing¬†very nicely.” ¬†I told this part first because it is so fresh on my mind since I just left his office.¬†

Now let me tell you what happened yesterday in our services.  First of all when my husband got to the church for Sunday School he said he had a real urgency for the church to pray.  He called the teenage and college and career classes into the sanctuary and they joined the Bible Class and we had a prayer meeting.  WOW!!!  Toward the end of that hour a spirit of praise and worship came in and replaced the spirit of prayer and travail that had been on the church and we began to worship. I cannot explain the power that was in the place as we worshipped the Lord.  At one point my husband began to dance before the Lord and my son linked arms with him and the two of them danced.  I went and joined in on the other side of my husband and we three danced together for awhile.  All of a sudden I felt as if little bolts of electricity were going through my body and arm.  I knew the Lord had touched me.  I took my sling off and began to twirl it above my head as I danced before the Lord.  God healed me as I prayed and worshipped Him.  He is such an awesome God.  I have had no pain since then.  Thank you Jesus!  God has healed me at different times in my life but nothing quite as sudden as this.  The Lord healed me of allergies when I was 9 years old and He also healed me of planter warts on my feet when I was a teenager and I never had to have surgery and they have never come back.  God Is So Good!  Thank God for His healing power.  YES!  He is still performing miracles today! 

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