Thank you for visiting with us today! We pray that these articles will provide inspiration and direction for your walk with God.
|Posted by Charles Holsinger on December 15, 2020 at 12:00 AM|
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I have been somewhat concerned with a trend that I see happening among God's people. There is a sense of discouragement that seems to exist around many people in the church today. The discouragement seems to come from many things seemingly not "working out" the way we often think they should work out. I have also experienced that in many ways in 2020. I have said the words, "It's just not fair" several times this year. And honestly in those moments of pure discouragment it didn't seem fair and it still doesn't. Sometimes people especially other Christians mistake feelings of discouragment with unthankfulness but that's not always the case. When our son at 18 years old had a stroke in July 2020 and was not able to walk 10 feet across the floor and could barely talk we wasn't unthankful because we knew that it could have been worse. However, we still felt overwhelmed and discouraged and it sure didn't seem fair to us. In those moments we couldn't help but have an overwhelming feeling of dismay. I have Pastored and been in ministry for several years and while I have not been perfect in my walk with God I have always tried to be the example that our children, community, and church family could look to I still found myself dismayed.
As the year continued the stroke happened in July and by November he is finishing up with therapy and has almost completely recovered. I was preaching about an hour away from where we live and on our way home we hit a deer! The insurance company ended up totaling our car and giving us what seemed like a fair price but still not enough to go purchase another vehicle. Again we were thankful there was no injuries and we were thankful we had insurance and could at least receive some type of compensation but it left us between a rock and a hard place. Still paying off another vehicle we did not believe the Lord would be pleased with us going in to debt at this moment nor would it be wise to do so. So we are yet again feeling dismayed.
As the year continues we continue to move forward pursuing God's will for our lives and doing the work that the Lord has set for us to do preaching and working in ministry. Two weeks later after hitting the deer my wife and I was traveling to minister at a revival several hours away and while being there we both contracted Covid-19. Thankfully we both recovered well and had very mild symptoms and for that we are very grateful to the Lord because we know for many it is much much worse. But while we are thankful we still found ourself dismayed. Why, Lord, Why. First we hit a deer and total our car after preaching and then we get Covid-19 after preaching. What is going on? And to make it worse neither one of our jobs paid us while we were forced to be off and here it was 2 weeks before Christmas. And as it stands right now unemployment is still not been approved.
But the scripture said, Don't be dismayed. I'm going to be honest with you I have felt dismayed this year. But as I began to examine that scripture more closely maybe what the Lord is telling us is to not stay dismayed. Don't forget that God is with us regardless of the circumstance and regardless of the outcome. I have had to learn that sometimes in this life things just don't work out the way I think they should and in those "not fair" moments it can be hard not to feel dismayed. But feeling dismayed in a moment is not the same as staying dismayed. Take a moment, quench your fist, cry those tears, close your eyes and breath and then get back up and put one foot in front of the other and remember who you are in Christ Jesus. He said for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. You might be dismayed but don't stay dismayed.
|Posted by Charles Holsinger on July 1, 2020 at 11:40 PM|
During our midweek service we usually have oppurtunity for people to share a testimony or a Bible Verse. This week one of our ladies shared a wonderful testimony about how thankful she was for all the important things in her life. She spoke about how her idea of what is important has changed since she had gotten older and had certain experiences in her life. It got me thinking about some of the "important things" that I'm dealing with right now. There is definitely no shortage of "things" that need to be accomplished on any given day. Things that seem so important right now will likely not even be remembered in the not so distant future.
It is very likely that what is "important" to us will in fact change throughout our life. We will likely all end up like our dear sister that shared her testimony. She was more thankful for the people rather than the things. Barbara Bush once said, “At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”
How true that is. Sometimes the "important things" end up being the forgotten things and the unnoticed people and things end up being the most regretted things that we've missed out on. However, it doesn't have to be that way. Instead of regrets we can have memories.
The Right Path
|Posted by Charles Holsinger on June 15, 2020 at 12:05 AM|
In that classic book, The Pilgrim’s Progress written by John Bunyan, we find the allegory of a man who is on his way to heaven and is having to traverse through all sorts of obstacles and hindering elements that work to impede their progress.
Such is the case when they reach what Bunyan refers to as the Hill of Difficulty. At the bottom of this hill is a spring of cool, clear water. Christian stops for a drink before his difficult climb. While he is lingering, he notices that on either side of the hill are two alternate ways but the “narrow Way” is the one leading straight up the side of the mountain.
He becomes aware of the names of these two paths, one is called Danger leading to a dark forest of trees and the other is named Destruction and it carries the traveler through a dark and daunting mountain range. Those who take these two paths never recover.
-These are his words as he begins to take on the next challenge in his walk toward the Celestial City:
The Hill, though high, I desire to ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way to life lies here:
Come, be strong, heart, neither faint nor fear.
Better, though difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.
It does not take long in serving the Lord to realize that there are difficulties that will place themselves in the path of our faith. There are times in which we will make mistakes and will have to overcome the challenges that comes along with that. One of the hardest things to do sometimes is confess those things to the Lord and to others we may have wronged. As hard as it may be to take that step confessing to a merciful God is the first step of repentance. The tragedy is not when a believer makes a mistake it is when we fail to take responsibity for that mistake.
There comes a time in a person’s journey with God that they have to move from casually serving God to seriously serving God.
Mark my words – there will be those who will mock your devotion – sometimes people right inside the church.
Opposition and difficulty are sometimes part of serving God – along with acceptance and much joy!
I Am Not Alone
|Posted by Joseph Green on June 1, 2020 at 10:00 PM|
It’s not always easy to sit here and try to write something that might help someone. Sometimes I sit here at this desk pouring out my own soul. It’s my own brokenness that ends up being put in print. I tend to be preaching to myself through all the pain and suffering that I sometimes feel. It wasn’t that long ago when I felt I could handle every situation that came before me. Those were the days when Susan and I faced the world together. We could lean on one another and lift each other up. We were always there for each other and when one faced an issue we faced it together. Every situation that came along we tackled together. We sought the Lord together, we praised the Lord together, we worshipped the Lord together and we served the Lord together.
It’s been a long road from then to now. I’m still learning to handle things without Susan. Months have passed and I have at times felt so alone. I have felt that the battles I have had to fight, I had to face alone.
A few weeks ago I had a vision. I saw myself in a vast body of water with no land in sight. There I was swimming, treading water, and no place to go. I heard the Voice of God speak to me. He said, “How long will you tread water until you drown?” I was puzzled, I wasn’t sure what God was trying to show me or say to me. I contemplated this vision and prayed and sought God for answers but it was days before He revealed the meaning. There I was in the vision treading water, swimming and getting nowhere. I was alone...alone...alone facing a vast sea and so alone. God was pointing that out to me clearly...I was facing it alone. How long would I tread water...alone...before I drowned?
I realized God was showing me that He wanted me to trust in Him. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust God really, but I was so used to seeking out God and facing everything with Susan that I had forgotten that I am not alone. I would pray and ask God for help but then head to battle alone. God was trying to get me to surrender. Sometimes surrendering in the midst of a battle seems like the wrong thing to do. Surrendering in the midst of a vast body of water seems like certain drowning. That’s what God wanted from me though. He wanted me to totally give everything over to Him. I have for years felt that I had in fact given my life over to God and I suppose I had but in recent times I have been planning out my battle tactics with God and then heading out onto the battlefield alone. God wants to fight my battles! I am not alone!
I am not alone! I have had to learn a hard lesson. The thing is I knew I wasn’t alone, but yet I’ve had to face things differently and so I guess in some ways I felt very much alone. God has shown me through all of this that He has sent an army out for me. I have found that the people that God has surrounded me with have stepped up. Those people I have called friends have become more than just friends. They are soldiers of God sent to fight for me. I have a new concept of love for the people God has placed around me. I have a new found respect for them all. They are all dear to me. People who were good friends have become the best friends I have ever known. I am surrounded by great men and women of God who are there to fight in defence of their brother. I am not alone!
Kari Job sings,
“In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light breaking through
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You
Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear
I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me”…
God has never left me. Even in the midst of deep sorrow. I still have moments of sorrow but I am not alone. So today I sit here at my desk reflecting on all that God has done, but not not only that, I know that He is about to do more. I know that when He and I have a conversation I can count on Him fighting my battles.
Lauren Daigle sings,
“I will send out an army to find You
In the middle of the darkest night
It's true, I will rescue you”
His army can be counted on. His army consists of some really great saints that I have known for years.
“I will send out an army to find You
In the middle of the darkest night
It's true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It's true, I will rescue you”
It’s true! He will send out an army! We are not alone! Isn’t that worth giving God some praise. I think so.
A group by the name of Housefires sings,
“I believe through every battle
Through every heartbreak
Through every circumstance
I believe You are my fortress
You are my portion
You are my hiding place
I believe You are the way the truth, the life
I believe You are the way, the truth, the life
I believe through every blessing
Through every promise
Through every breath I take
I believe that You are provider
You are protector
You are the one I love”
Isaiah 43:2-4 KJV
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
No matter what we go through, no matter how hard life gets or how deep we tread through sorrows we can always face them with Jesus. He is always with us, he will send out an army for us. Warriors of Christ are there interceding in prayer for us.
I can’t seem to find a better way to close this blog than ending it with:
Psalm 42:1-11 KJV
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Lord today I pray for those who are fighting battles alone. I pray for those lost in the agony of sorrow. I pray for the brother or sister stuck in a world of depression. For those people, God, who can't seem to find their way in this time of tribulation I pray God that you make that way visible for them. Show them Lord that they are not alone, resurrect them from the ashes of defeat, let your Spirit rise up within them and give them victory. Let us praise Your name, let us worship you in Spirit and in truth. God today I give you thanks for the army You send out for us. In Your name let us rise up to all the challenges laid before us. Let us gather together in Your name as warriors of Christ to intercede in prayer for those struggling to survive in this lost world.
In Your name Jesus Amen
Brother Scott Green
|Posted by Joseph Green on March 29, 2020 at 9:50 PM|
I remember as a little boy the stories my Grandpa and Grandma used to tell me about their time together before my Dad and his 2 brothers were born. They had lived most of their lives in the sandhills of Nebraska. The sandhills were a hard place to live prior to 1940. History books tell the story of the Dust Bowl Era from 1931 to 1939 also known as the Dirty Thirties.
In an attempt to flee the dust storms and drought that was happening in Nebraska my grandparents packed a few meager belongings into the back of a Model T truck and headed for Wyoming to homestead. Eventually the Wyoming homestead failed and they joined up with some of my Grandpa’s brothers in Oregon and got into the logging industry.
When I was a young teenager I asked my Grandma what it was like homesteading in Wyoming. She described the day that they loaded the truck and headed out. The trip was hot and dusty and the old truck was rough riding. There were no motels so they slept on the ground. She never talked about this trip as any particular hardship, in fact quite the opposite. She told me about the beautiful blue sky and the sparse white fluffy clouds that dotted the sky. She even remembered what most of the clouds looked like.
My Grandma was a very special lady. She looked at everything as beautiful. Nebraska to Wyoming to Oregon to Nebraska to Missouri to Nebraska the hardships were all there but she rarely complained. She laughed about sweeping the floor of their sod house which was made of dirt.
I asked her once how she could find anything to laugh about with what she had to go through. She quoted me this verse:
Matthew 5:45 KJV That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
That we are the children of our Father should give us enough joy to overshadow all our hardships. Grandma always said: how would we ever know the goodness of our Father if He never allowed us to face some hardships. It's the hardships that make our focus on good times so much better. Hardships allow us to see hope. If everything was always good there would be no need of hope and no need to turn to our Father. In my Grandma’s heart it wasn’t hardships that chased them out of Nebraska, it was hope that led them to Wyoming. It was the hope of something better ahead that allowed her to focus on joy. With hope comes the expectation of an end to hardships.
Proverbs 23:18 KJV For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
Like anyone I deal with hardships from time to time. My hardships don’t stand to measure against the hardships that others face. But I go through a doozy once in a while. It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives. It’s easy for us to tell ourselves this is our life and we just have to settle with what we are dealt. But there is hope, there is an end to our hardships if we allow ourselves to focus on the hope and not the hardship. With hope comes joy and without hope comes misery.
Proverbs 13:12 KJV Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
We have a choice to believe that the negativity in our lives is short lived. It’s placing our faith and hope in the hands of our Father and knowing He wants good things for his children. If we trust in God and allow the power of the Holy Ghost to infiltrate us and submit to His leadership and guidance then we can experience peace and joy in our lives even while living among the hardships that we face from time to time.
Romans 15:13 KJV Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
I was just reflecting in my Spirit Mathew 5:45. The elements of creation are revealed in that verse. Isn’t it like God to show us the wonders of his works in the face of adversity.
Genesis 1:2 KJV And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
At one point during the creation process there was chaos. We all go through chaos once in a while don’t we? But God creates beauty from the chaos.
Genesis 1:31 KJV And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
God makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good. The sun being a focus of His creation. He sends the rain on the just and the unjust. More of His creation revealed. It depends on you and how you envision the circumstance as whether it's a hardship to overcome or the joy of hope knowing your Father wants the best for you.
Matthew 5:45 KJV That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
I hope this blog inspires each of us to concentrate on what God has ahead for us and not on the negatives that we are experiencing in our times of hardship. I know times are hard right now but we can exude some joy through it all. Just because you see someone smiling through these times doesn't mean that they are not taking the issues seriously. It may be that the joy of their Father is shining through and there is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing a little hope with your brethren.
I pray Lord for all of my Christian family. Lord that you would open all of our hearts and let your joy shine through during these times. Help us God to focus on the hope of tomorrow and the promises of our future as you reveal your plans for us. When these times pass God, let us look back and see what you have brought us through. Let us remember the blue skies and the shape of the clouds and not the negativity that the enemy wants us to see. Let us see the sun and the rain with your eyes Lord. Let us focus more of the wonders of your creation and less of the chaos. Let your mercy rain on us and your joy shine down on us like the sun. Thank you Lord for your love.
In Jesus name amen
Brother Scott Green
It's God's Money!
|Posted by Joseph Green on February 22, 2020 at 11:35 PM|
A couple of weeks ago I went to McDonalds with some friends after church. After we ate we stood in the parking lot next to our vehicles talking when a guy in a black car pulled up beside us. He began to ask us how to find a certain place and we all did our best to accommodate him but the place he was looking for no longer existed. Just as he began to drive off he stopped and told us he was going to humble himself and ask us to help him. He explained that his son had been severely injured in a 4 wheeler crash and had been life flighted to Huntington, WV. He then said that he was from North Carolina and he was on his way to be with his injured son. He told us he was an Army veteran, had been on the road for a while and now needed gas to complete his journey. All he had with him of value other than his i-phone 11 was a $40 McDonald’s gift card that was given to him by a church so that he would have food on his trip and he would gladly sell it for $20 so that he would have gas money.
Now I like to help people. I don’t typically give money to people for the simple fact that it usually ends up in going to purposes other than intended and not really to help the individual. If someone tells me they are hungry I get them food. If someone tells me they are thirsty I give them something to drink. However, this man sounded sincere. I couldn’t imagine someone making up a story like that and after all he was offering a return on the money. What would be wrong with helping a soul in need right? That was my thought anyway. I went to my car, grabbed my wallet and pulled out a $20 dollar bill and handed it to him. He began to hand me the gift card, which was still in an unopened package. I told him to keep it, he would need food. The money is not mine, it’s Gods! I am only a steward of anything I possess. Without God nothing is possible. So off he went with the $20 dollar bill. I haven’t seen him since but a friend showed me an article that read this man has been all around the area telling the same story and selling “stolen” gift cards.
Now I’m no different than most people. I don’t like being taken advantage of. No one does. Most people will help someone in need. Everyone works hard for their money and don’t like to see it go to waste or for unintended purposes. I’m no different. I receive a disability check each month so money for me is hard to come by. I’m not able to work and increase my income. So basically I handed off $20 dollars that I could have used. I fell for a con man's play on my sense of goodness. Does it upset me… well it did at first. I’ll admit when I found out I had been conned I was angry. My first thought was how could I have fallen for this?! Why does it always seem like I’m being taken advantage of?!
Now pay close attention to what I’m about to say next. Some people I’m sure are going to disagree with what I’m about to say but I’m going to say it anyway. I believe God wanted me to give that con man $20. I know, I know, many of you are asking why God would want to bless that man. Let me explain. First of all, the money was never mine. Did I possess it? Yes, but I am only a steward of it. Nothing really truly belongs to us. God gives us possession of many things but we will never be able to take money or personal possessions to heaven. It all stays here on this planet and when we are finished with it someone else will receive it and become a steward. So God lets us decide how our money benefits the kingdom. If a person comes to us and asks for money and we decide to give it to them out of the kindness of our heart and for the intention of blessing someone then we no longer are stewards of it. That person will now have to make the decision on what to do with it next. He will have to stand before God one day and explain himself.
The true fact of the matter is the con man did not steal my money. He stole what actually belongs to God. I gave out of the goodness of my heart. Not to help myself. Not to make myself look better. Not to make myself feel good. I gave it to help a person I believed was in dire need to visit his injured son in an ICU at the hospital in Huntington. So the question remains, why do we fall prey to the cunning of these types of people? Well, I believe from time to time it becomes a test of our true intentions. Are we truly giving out of the goodness of our heart without reservations? Are we giving without respect of persons. If we are giving with the intentions that God wants us to give then it matters not who receives it. Those who plot to bear false witness to us in the pretence of benefiting their own lustful and greedy desires will answer to God one day. We still receive our blessings. We gain our rewards in heaven regardless of who receives the gift that God intended us to give. It seems like these kinds of things should never happen, but they do. It seems like we shouldn’t give because we can’t always trust the recipient but God wants us to give. We should, in fact, be somewhat mindful of what we give and to who. But sometimes God is going to allow us to be tested. We shouldn’t be afraid to give to people if our intent is pure. There is no need to become upset when we find out the gift we gave did not serve its intended purpose. Believe me, I understand that we could use those things we give to sustain ourselves. But we serve a gracious God. He will provide. I can live without that $20. I could have used it but I believe God will bless me with more than I gave. It may not be money, but I’m sure whatever I could have used that money for, God will provide for me and provide for me more than I could ever imagine. I’m not worthy to receive what God has in store for me but He gave a gift to all of us. A gift of love so valuable that we could never repay Him and the gift is available to all including the con man. Remember the thief on the cross? Yeah I thought you would.
John 3:16 KJV_For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV_Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Acts 20:35 KJV_I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Luke 6:38 KJV_Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Matthew 6:1-4 KJV_Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 KJV_Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Luke 12:33-34 KJV_Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 6:30 KJV_Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Proverbs 28:27 KJV_He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
My Spiritual Warfare
|Posted by Joseph Green on February 19, 2020 at 9:05 PM|
My Spiritual Warfare
Well it’s been a while since I’ve sat down to put my thoughts into this blog. Many things have happened, the passing of my dearest friend and wife Susan being one. The depression and anger that set in opened me to a great attack by the enemy. No one will probably believe the attacks I’ve had to deal with. You just never quite know the full extent of what the enemy can do to you when he gets into your head until it actually happens to you. I want to tell everyone some of what I went through because it is important to pay attention to your friends and family because you may recognize something in them that they don’t see in themselves. It took a few people to give their perspective of me before I realized the destruction that was going on in my life. When the mirror was aimed at me I realized that there was an ugly reflection looking back at me. I didn’t like the man I saw in the mirror but didn’t know how to get back to who I once was. The journey back seemed long and impossible to traverse and instead of taking that first step to get back on that path it just seemed like it was easier to stay right where I was at. Why not? I wasn’t doing anything bad.
That’s one of the many ways that the adversary the devil and his minions try to destroy us. His ways are to infiltrate our mind and use our weaknesses against us. Lies and deceptions are his weapons of destruction. In the end it will be by our own hand that causes our own self demise if we allow him to penetrate our thought process. This is why spiritual warfare is so deadly. No one sees it coming until they are smack dab in the middle of the battle. I felt confident in my relationship with Jesus. I felt unshakable, I think everyone who knew me thought I was unshakable. I always felt like a prayer warrior, undeniable in my faith with the courage to shout the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus from the highest mountain top for all to hear. I had no shame for my Jesus!
I’m still not sure how it all happened. Somewhere in the midst of my service to God I let my guard down. Perhaps it was depression, there was certainly a lot of it. Maybe it was anger, I had that going on as well. Whatever the weakness was in my armor the enemy was quick to exploit it. He got into my head and created great confusion. At times it felt as though every thought in my head was screaming out at once. I couldn’t concentrate. It was too complicated to pray and so I would just give up on prayer. I would try reading my bible looking for the Word of God that would help me but I just could not comprehend through the din and confusion. Even going to church didn’t seem to help. The screaming in my head would become so annoying that I just wanted it to stop. I would cry out to some of my friends but I couldn’t understand what they were telling me. They would give me scripture to meditate on and tell me to pray and fast. I just couldn’t get the screaming to stop long enough to allow me to do any of those things. I wanted it to stop! The screaming! I felt if it didn’t stop I was going to go crazy.
That’s when I began to devise ways to silence the screaming...those annoying thoughts that were spinning wildly through my head had to be silenced. One night I sat on the edge of my bed with a 9mm semi auto, loaded and racked. I sat there in silence staring at the gun laying on the bed thinking it could all be over in a matter of seconds. Then suddenly my cell phone chimed in with a message from my best friend. I cried out explaining that I was trying to end the screaming in my head. The friend caught on to my plan and talked me out of my ridiculous idea and began telling me of their situation and I began to minister to them. After that night it seemed like the screaming and confusion ended and for a short time. It did, but when it came back it came with a vengeance. I began to think of ways to numb myself so the screaming would be silenced. I thought about drinking liquor in excess. I considered going through my medications and seeing what combinations I could put together to numb myself. I can’t explain why I never acted on these compulsions other than to say it had to be the prayers of my friends.
One thing did seem to give me peace, music. When I would listen to the Christian music I had saved on my phone, I would experience moments of clarity. During this time frame of spiritual warfare I was losing sleep, having different health issues, straining relationships, things were just going bad all at once and it felt as if I could never get a foothold on solid ground. The most important thing that was working for me was my church. When I had given up on myself, my church never did. My friends kept praying for me when I felt I couldn’t pray for myself anymore.
It was my best friend again who aimed the mirror at me and made me see how ugly I was spiritually and another good friend from church who confirmed the image that I saw in that spiritual mirror. I was told in a not so very nice but needed way that I was being selfish. Selfish? Me selfish? Really? I never considered everything I was having to go through as selfish. I was also told to stop sitting there wallowing in sorrow! That I had to get moving forward and do what I was called to do! I have to say that caught my attention. My problem was I didn’t know how to pull myself out of the pit I was in. I just knew that the screaming was getting louder and the confusion worse each day and if it couldn’t be silenced I was going to end up dead. A friend from church told me how to anoint my house and pray and as I did so, slowly the screaming began to subside. Even when the noise in my head had cleared I still held doubts about ever serving God in the capacity I once did. I was able to pray and cry out to God with a passion I hadn’t felt in quite some time and I felt God would repair the ministry I had once abandoned in the din of confusion. It was my belief that God would repair it in His time, which I figured would be a couple of months down the road. I was surprised when that night as I attended church that God had answered and responded immediately.
So here I am tonight writing this. Why? Well for one as my testimony. I hope all who read this will stop and check friends and relatives. You just don't really know the battles some people are fighting. If we fail to recognize and reach out to help a friend in need we may lose them. It was that close for me. I contemplated it many times during this period and nearly acted on it once, but that’s all it would have taken. A mere second in time and an eternity in hell. I can tell you that just a simple text message, a short conversation, can make the difference between heaven and hell. Pound the throne room with every prayer you can because it counts. Leave the 99 and go after the one because that lost soul is as important as every soul prepared to enter the gates of heaven. Reach out! Someone needs your help! It may be the one whom you least expect to fall because even those who seem to be unshakable can let their guard down. Spiritual warfare is real people, it’s nothing to be scoffed at. Secondly I want to say that depression, anger, resentment, bitterness, and many other things will tear down your armor and leave you open for an attack. Forgiveness goes a long way to patching up distressed armor! Don’t let your relationships become strained, forgive one another, pray for one another, love one another. Be Christ like.
John 10:10 KJV
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Revelation 12:12 KJV
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Brother Scott Green
|Posted by Charles Holsinger on December 26, 2019 at 9:55 PM|
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
I heard something a few months ago that has stuck with me and that is "Satan's target is your mind, and his weapons are lies, so fill your mind with the word of God".
I find this particular quote to be very accurate especially in our world today. It is satan's goal to feed our mind with his lies. He will strategically use the circumstances of our life and turn them around as oppurtunities to penetrate the mind.
Sin before it is committed first starts out as a thought in our mind. Once that thought is acted upon and nourished it then becomes an action. We certainly don't want to give the devil too much credit but one thing that we know from reading our Bible is that he is an expert of twisting the word of God and taking advantage of the low times in our life. The real battle is within our mind this is where the enemy does his best work. Once he is able to penetrate our mind he continues to use his weapons of fear and doubt to keep us second guessing the promises of God. Suddenly things that we believed no longer seems believeable and faith becomes fear.
So what can we do? It is important to understand that living for God will not come without some resistance in our flesh, the world, and the devil. However, with the Spirit of God we have the advantage when we fill our minds with God's word. It is amazing to me how many people who profess to be believers do not read and study the Word of God. Failure is absolutely inevitable if God's word is not consistently a part of our life. Going to church, reading the Bible, attending Bible Studies, and praying over God's word will help keep our mind full of God's word. Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee". There is no better way to know the mind of God and keep your mind on God than through His word.
Above All We Ask
|Posted by Joseph Green on May 25, 2019 at 12:55 AM|
Above All We Ask
Sister Susan Green
Mattew 6:8 "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"
I’ve been a Christian most of my life, and as a Christian, I’ve read the above verses countless times. I’ve repeated them to others to help encourage them. I know the Lord is able to do everything we ask. Nothing is impossible for Him.
Then why am I so surprised when He does them for me?! I believe it’s because I’m so amazed that God Almighty, Lord of all creation, knows what I need before I even ask Him. On this planet of billions of people, He knows me, even the thoughts of my heart! WOW!!!
I talk to God all the time. He’s my best friend. I literally talk to Him “all” the time. Recently in one of our conversations, I told Him some things I’d been thinking:
1.) I said; “Lord it would be nice if I had a different chair. The recliner hurts my back sometimes.”
2.) “I can’t find affordable dark sunglasses anywhere. Lord it would be nice to have some dark sunglasses.”
3.) “Lord it would be nice to get the Sunday School kids some new Play-Doh.”
Now mind you, these weren’t prayers! They were my thoughts and my conversation with the Lord of my life.
Now let me show you how good my God is! All in the same day, he gave everything I told Him about.
1.) I went to my sister's house and there was a chair on her porch that she didn’t know what to do with with. I sat down in it and it was perfect! So I told her I would take it since she didn’t want it anymore.
2.) We went into her house and she opened a drawer and asked if I wanted any sunglasses. She needed to do something with them so I picked out three or four pairs!
3.) We then went to my niece's house where she had been preparing for a yard sale. She donated Play-Doh accessories, toys and enough Play-Doh to last the Sunday School kids a couple of years!
My God not only gave me the desires of my heart, but He went above that which I told Him would be nice to have!
He loves us!!!
It’s His desire to give us what we need!
If we put Him first in our lives and truly serve Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts.
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
From Despair To Hope
|Posted by Joseph Green on April 30, 2019 at 2:30 PM|
“From Despair To Hope”
Sister Susan Green
Earlier this month we celebrated Easter, since then I’ve been thinking alot about the disciples and how everything must have looked for them. They had followed Jesus and saw all the miracles that He had performed, listened to His words and His teachings. Just to watch Him go to the cross, suffer and die such a horrible death for sins they knew he wasn’t guilty of.
I think about how lost and alone they must have felt. To watch him die upon the cross, His body to be taken down and laid in a tomb. I wonder if they thought; “it’s over, He’s gone, it’s back to the old life without Jesus.”
I’m sure they remembered His words. I wonder if they really believed or associated his words with what was really coming. Because we know from past chapters, having seen the miracles, it was still hard for them to believe some of the things He did. It’s like thier mind couldn’t comprehend each new thing that He did. He was constantly amazing them!
So to see this man go from being their friend and their master, their Rabbi, to see him go from walking with them, doing nothing but good for everyone He came in contact with. To see Him go from theat vibrant, good, wonderful person, to the unrecognizable man on the cross and the to go from that man on the cross to the body that was laid in the tomb.
I think so much about the hopelessness they must have felt, how totally bereft they must have been. The sorrow must have been unexplainable. They must have been like sheep having no master, no shepherd, they scattered. They had been with Him and now they were without Him. They didn’t know what to do. What a terrible time it must have been.
But as the song says; “then came the morning…”! And oh what a morning! When Mary went to the tomb and saw the stone rolled away and heard the Angel say; “He is not here. He has risen! He has risen! “And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” (Mark 16:6)
They were almost afraid to believe. But then they saw Him! “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” (Mark 16:9,14)
And it solidified everything He had ever told them. How wonderful! How truly wonderful that must have been! Hope rose with the dawn!
That’s what the Easter Season is, hope! Because the Bible says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is going to quicken my mortal body. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11)
He went away to prepare a place for me, so that He could come again, that where He is, I can be also. “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)
It’s hope! Paul says that if his only hope was in this life, he would be of all men most miserable. That is so true! “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Corinthians 15:19)
If you look at the shape the world is in, with everything that has been happening, things that are unimaginable, things that the world is allowing. A complete and total abomination to God. If it were not for our walk with God and our relationship with Him, how would we ever make it through?! How would we ever be able to stand it?!
I thank God that my hope is not in this life! My hope is not in this life! And I thank God that; “ because he lives, I can face tomorrow!” and every tomorrow until he comes! Because that’s my hope! I serve a risen savior that’s coming back for me! To take me where He is! Where I can forever be with Him
So the Easter Season to me, while there’s a lot of sadness with Good Friday, the utter despair of the cross is overshadowed by the hope of His resurrection!