Monday, November 28, 2011

What Kind of Tree Are You?

Greetings, my friends!

Rev. Dr. Felix G. Williams, III, themed his sermon on Sunday, November 27, 2011, “Be The Right Kind Of Tree”. This sermon was from Psalm 1:1-3, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.” (NIV)

Rev. Dr. Williams told the congregation that we do not need any forecast of our future; we do not need to be paying any palm reader or psychic, nor do we need to be reading horoscope. The Word is all we need!

Rev. Dr. Williams said that you know you are blessed when:

1) you know what not to connect to and what not to connect with;
2) you do not hang out with certain kind of company; when you know the right company to keep and the right book to read;
3) you do not have to give in to the atmosphere you are around;
4) you will be in the space of the unrighteous but you are stronger because you will not be overcome by whom is in your space;

Rev. Williams said that you can be in an environment that does not prosper, but you will prosper because of the Holy Spirit! He then posed the question, “so what kind of tree are you?” I am a palm tree! A palm tree, according to Rev. Dr. Williams, does not need storm-free living!

Storms become evident of how much faith you have. Palm trees weather the storms – hurricanes and tropical storms and thunderous rains! The leaves of a palm tree sway from side to side, one of the branches may even get broken off but the leaves point up! A palm tree does not die because a branch is broken off, it continues to prosper. Being blessed is like a tree …. a palm tree, that is!




Taken from the sermon of Rev. Dr. Felix G. Williams, III, 11/27/11, Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church)


God bless,
Therese from Belize

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiritual Warfare

Greetings, friends-in-Christ!

Today, I could not help but to seek God's help with this spiritual warfare going on in my life and around me. As Paul warned us in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (KJV)
ChristiaNet.com, a large Christian portal, had conducted a survey of 1,200 Christians asking, "Have you ever experienced spiritual warfare?" The responses were significant. 84% of those surveyed believed that they had indeed experienced some type of spiritual warfare in their lives. Most in this group felt that experiencing spiritual warfare was actually a confirming sign that they were true believers in Christ. (1996-2011 ChristiaNet)®

Friends, during the time of spiritual warfare, that is when the weak is weeded out from the strong. It is during this time that our faith in Christ is tested. Will we pass this test trusting in God to bring us through or will we allow the enemy to defeat us? A writer for Christianity.com stated, "The more our minds are filled with the truth of God's Word, the less susceptible we are to Satan's deceptions and temptations." (2009 article, www.christianity.com)

So, how do we fill our minds with the truth of God's Word to fight this spiritual warfare? Paul advises us in Ephesians 6:13-18, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (KJV)

Therese from Belize

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Domestic Violence: A Challenge For Faith Communities

Greetings, my friends:

I had the opportunity to speak to members of clergy regarding recognizing and discerning domestic violence in our places of worship.

Domestic violence is prevalent in our faith communities, however, as I told the clergy, we often turn a blind eye to the needs of our congregations. In a 2004 survey that was conducted by the Kentucky Injury Prevention Research Center, they found that 75% of the women who were affected by domestic violence talked to someone (family member, community member, etc.) and of that 75%, 26% of those women contacted their clergy. My question, what did the clergy do? Are we seeking assistance for these women or are we sanitizing sin, throwing the problem under the rug, ignorning or simply do not care? Do we get the perpetrators out of the pulpit, out of leadership positions, or do we continue to let them sit in the pew without calling on them for prayer and counseling? Do we visit the home? Are we mentoring?

What I stressed to the clergy, was to make members feel that they are listened to, that we care about them. There needs to be support from the pulpit for victims of domestic violence. Preachers and pastors, evangelists, prophets and prohpetesses should be speaking out about this evil. I directed scripture from Romans 5:5, "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (KJV) We must never let someone feel that it is their fault why they are being abused. PositiveChristianWoman.com tells women, "at the core of our very beings, we should base our self-worth in nothing more and nothing less than Christ, in HIS magnificant love for us and how HE demonstrated that through HIS death and resurrection."

This is the time for us as God's people to get educated about the prevalence of domestic violence in our places of worship; to provide assistance through organizations for members who come for assistance. How we respond to someone of our congregation may make the difference between them coming closer to Christ or them walking out in darkness.

I pray that our churches and places of worship will get serious about this issue.

God bless,
Therese from Belize

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Soulful Relationship

Greetings, my friends in Christ!

Today, I am thanking God for blessing me with life, a new beginning to get things right with HIM! Thank you Father.

Rev. Ronald McFadden, Soulful Relationship, said, "An African proverb states, 'Before you get married, keep both eyes open, and after you marry, close one eye'. Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don't let lust, desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a low self-esteem make you blind to warning signs. Keep your eyes open, and don't fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see as faults aren't really important. Once you decide to commit to someone, over time their flaws, vulnerabilities, pet peeves, and differences will become more obvious. If you love your mate and want the relationship to grow and evolve, you've got to learn to close one eye and not let every little thing bother you. You and your mate have many different expectations, emotional needs, values, dreams, weaknesses, and strengths. You are two unique individuals who have decided to share a life together. Neither of you are perfect, but are you perfect for each other? Do you bring out the best of each other? Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare, and control? What do you bring to the relationship? Do you bring past relationships, past hurt, past mistrust, past pain?
You can't take someone to the altar to alter him or her. You can't make someone love you or make someone stay. If you develop self-esteem, spiritual discernment, and "a life", you won't find yourself making someone else responsible for your happiness or responsible for your pain. Manipulation, control, jealousy, neediness, and selfishness are not the ingredients of a thriving, healthy, loving and lasting relationship. Seeking status, sex, wealth, and security are the wrong reasons to be in a relationship.
What keeps a relationship strong?
Communication, intimacy, trust, a sense of humor, sharing household tasks, some getaway time without business or children and daily exchanges (a meal, shared activity, a hug, a call, a touch, a note). Leave a nice message on their voicemail or send a nice email. Sharing common goals and interests.
Growth is important. Grow together, not away from each other, giving each other space to grow without feeling insecure. Allow your mate to have outside interest. You can't always be together. Give each other a sense of belonging and assurances of commitment. Don't try to control one another. Learn each other's family situation. Respect his or her parents regardless. Don't put pressure on each other for material goods. Remember for richer or for poorer. If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as resentment, withdrawal, abuse, neglect, dishonesty, and pain replace the passion.
"The grass withers, the flowers fades, but the word of God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight? Always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary. The difference between 'United' and 'Untied' is where you put the I." (Rev. Ronald McFadden)

A soulful relationship. Amen.

God bless,
Therese from Belize

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hallelujah Anyhow

Friends, greetings, in the name of our Lord!
Today, I am just shouting hallelujah, anyhow! Thank you Father. Sometimes, all I can say is hallelujah anyhow! We serve an amazing God that no matter the circumstances, no matter how grim things may look, no matter the attack from the enemy and the frenemy, God always allow us to come through! I am just giving God all the honor and glory for HIS name is worthy to be praised!

This blog today is just a hallelujah shout to my Lord! Thank you, Father, thank you for redemption, thank you for mercy, thank you for grace, thank you for providing, thank you for comfort, thank you for joy, thank you for peace, thank you for laughter, thank you for the tears.

Isaiah 53:5-6, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (KJV)

Sometimes, when we just do not know .... it is hallelujah anyhow! Jesus has payed the price for you and for me.

I pray that you will give God a hallelujah shout.

God bless,
Therese from Belize

Search This Blog