Practical Living through Biblical Principles

The Tongue Is A Powerful Force

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By Pastor Brenda Gray – The tongue is a very powerful force. God says in his word that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) and out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing (James 3:10). The tongue also has the power to crush the spirit because your words take root.

Today there are many people walking around with a wounded spirit because of something that someone has spoken over their life. It may take days, weeks or even years for the manifestation of pain, hurt, misery or regret to take place.

The sad thing is people continue to live their life taking no responsibility for their actions, spreading deadly seeds in the lives of others causing pain and misery. We must re-visit our life to see if we have planted any deadly seeds and ask God and the other person for forgiveness.

From this time forward before you speak something into some one’s life ask yourself this

Is It Kind, Is It True, Is It Necessary. We want to build up the spirit not tear it down. Amen!

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Father’s Day Edition 2018

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By Rev. Shakita Valentine – Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful men in the world!  You deserve to be celebrated for your dedication, diligence and tremendous role in the lives of others.  The father’s role is not only to fix what is broken and step in when the child fears, it is the father that cultivates potential to person, boy to man and girl to woman. It is his role that establishes natural progression while sustaining order.  The Center for Disease Control stated that 85% of behavior disorders are persons of a fatherless home.  Now most of us have had our moments of bad decisions that has caused some disorder of sorts, as you read this you are likely thinking of an exact moment that changed the trajectory of your life.  Whether you believe it was because of an absent father or a distant father the choice was yours to make and you made it.  I am fortunate to have my biological father in my life; but he was not always a part of my life.  Though pain shadowed life moments when he was not there I resolve to seek safety, wholeness and relationship with a father that never disappointed me.  Know that whatever feelings you do or do not express about your biological father, you are welcome to share mine.  For He said He will never leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and He is also stated that He would not leave you fatherless (John 14.18-20). He is one that promised to be IN and A PART of your life if you allow Him.

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Me Time

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Genesis 2:2-3 – By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Women in today’s society tend to wear several hats. We are mothers, wives, daughters, family members, friends, professionals, members of society and the list goes on.

The expectation is for us:

  • To keep the house clean, shop for groceries, prepare meals, wash the laundry, and perform our wifely duties
  • We help with homework, get involved in the PTO, transport to and from extra curricular activities, take care of sick husbands, children, parents, family members, and sometimes friends
  • We become care givers for ailing parents, attending doctor’s appointments, getting prescriptions filled, ensuring their needs and wants are met
  • We plan family gatherings, host family gathering, serve as peace makers, financial enablers, sounding boards, etc.
  • We attend church, sit on boards, participate in various ministries within the church, and volunteer our time for outreach projects and activities

All of this while working a full or part-time job. We have so much on our plates that we find it hard to take time out for ourselves. In some cases, we think it’s selfish to take time for ourselves with all that we have to do.

BUT IT IS OKAY TO TAKE TIME OUT FOR YOURSELF

Genesis 2:2-3 shows us that God took time to rest. It was okay for Him and it is okay for you. In fact, taking time out to rest or do something nice for yourself is the key to refreshing, renewing, and restoring your physical and mental health. Taking time out for yourself will make it easier to wear the many different hats you wear as a woman in today’s society.

Take action: Take a moment to schedule some time to your self or make plans to do something nice for yourself (get a massage, manicure/pedicure, book a weekend way).

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Kangaroos and Emus

By Pastor Brenda Gray

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Two of Australia’s indigenous animals are kangaroos and emus. The two have something in common and that is they seldom move backward. Kangaroos, because of the shape of their body and the length of their strong tail, they can bounce along with forward movement, but they cannot shift easily into reverse. Emus can run fast on their strong legs, but the joints in their knees seem to make backward movement difficult. Both animals appear on Australia’s coat of arms as a symbol that the nation is to be ever moving forward and making progress.

The apostle Paul called for a similar approach to the life of faith in his letters to the Philippians: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”

Something to think about: While it is wise to learn from the past, we shouldn’t live in the past. We cannot redo or undo the past, but by God’s grace we can press forward and serve God faithfully today and in the future. Remember the life of faith is a journey forward. Amen!

Prayer starter: Father in the name of Jesus I am pressing on the upward way, gaining new heights every day. While I am onward bound, Lord plant my feet…

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God’s Grace

By Pastor Brenda Gray

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

During the winter season when the snow begins to fall, a transformation takes place. Dark patches of soil turn white. The white cottony fluff of snow comes down steadily and covers trees, roads, grass, houses etc.

The snowfall reminds me of a spiritual truth: Just as the snow covers everything in sight, God’s grace covers our sin. But grace doesn’t just cover sin, grace erases sin.

Through the prophet Isaiah, God appealed to the Israelite’s to come and reason together even though their sins were like scarlet, he said that their sins would be as white as snow. When God made this promise, His children had a painful problem with sin. God compared then to a physical body plagued with “wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.”

Something to think about: As bad as their sin was, God was willing to extend His grace to them. As His children today, we have the same assurance. Sin may stain our lives, but when we repent and confess it, we have the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of God’s grace.

Prayer starter: Father in the name of Jesus, give me courage to confess, to bare my sinful heart to you. To receive the forgiving love that you long to show me and from my sin to set me free. Lord…

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A Good Soldier

By Pastor Brenda Gray

2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Do you remember running relay races in school? Someone on your team would run around the course and then hand off the baton to you. You had to wait for them to make those final yards before it was your turn to run with it. Then, with all your strength and endurance you ran your part of the race.

Something to think about: God’s word has been given to every one of his children. We have been entered into the race of life. We have no excuse! It’s up to each of us to use all our strength and endurance to complete what God has called us to do. Be set on fire by God’s word. Read it! Know it! Then set your eyes on the finish line of heaven and run! Remember that God is on your side!

Prayer starter: Father in the name of Jesus teach me to search your ways so that I may know you. Thank you that when I draw near to you, you draw near to me with wisdom and discernment…

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Uncertain Times

by Pastor Brenda Gray

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Believers in Jesus can have peace in the midst of uncertainties because we have the assurance that our heavenly Father loves His children and cares for our needs. We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness, trusting Him to meet our needs and give us peace.
Something to think about: To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding reveals that we can’t explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds. Our peace comes from the confidence that the Lord is in control. He alone provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of changes and challenges.
Prayer starter: Father in the name of Jesus, you are all wise, all powerful, and all loving, in the midst of uncertainties. Please help me to rest in the certainty of who you are. I thank you that your peace will guard my heart. I place my trust in…
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