POEM: SIN & FORGIVENESS

My light is taken over and the darkness covers all.

Swollen clouds are hovering as the drops begin to fall.

Dismal skies bring somber eyes and the fullness brings the rain

As sorrows, through a hazy view, stream down my window pane.

 

The rhythm of my heartbeat meets my heavy soul’s release.

A silent storm is raging and it’s pain begins to feast.

Thunder is my anger and it’s lightning strikes my mind.

A binding wind is blowing cold for I’ve failed the test of time.

 

Yet, Your canopy extends to me against an air so bleak.

Your branches touch my weary soul and nudge me on to seek.

In a clearing, I see shelter with a Light that shines within.

Amidst the pour, You’re the open door that forgives me of my sin.

Written by R’chelle Cyrus-Hughes

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CHRISTIAN YOUTH: SATAN’S #1 TARGET

Allow me to be quite frank here: All Hell has broken loose and its aim is at your children. Now, what are you going to do about it?

As you must know, Satan is the temporary god of this world. Therefore, you can believe that he has his hand in everything concerning it. Your focus may be on many things in this life however, you must know that Satan’s focus is unrelenting and is on one thing and one thing only: How to kill, steal and destroy – this especially applies to our children. If the enemy is after your children, where do you think he orchestrates his plans of deception and corruption? Let’s talk about this.

THE ATTACK

Of course you are aware of the many traps he sets in this world to ensnare our youth using drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality, right? Well, are you aware of the enemy’s control over the media? Do you know that Hollywood (with all of its acclaimed indoctrination into every form of witchcraft and the occult), and everyone involved in it, are all puppets in the enemy’s hand? How about the music industry with all its demonic curses and satanic rituals? Are you aware of this? And then there are the industries of advertising,  fashion and pornography. You have to know that these industries thrive on the exploitation of our youth. And let’s not forget the video games – do we really need to go there? Oh, and let me throw one into the loop that you might not be aware of – or maybe you are. Can everyone say (so-called) secret societies i.e. the Masons and the Illuminati? What about the generational curses that have been passed down to the children as the result of their parents’ (and their parents before them, etc.) association with these affiliations? How about your children’s education? I’ll bet you weren’t aware that Satan also goes to school – or maybe you are. Let’s just pause right here for a moment.

You know that our schools today are programming our children to believe and accept everything that goes against the word of God, right? I am sure that this is no surprise to you. Of course this includes teachings such as false theories of evolution, the acceptance of gender changing and the embracing of the homosexual agenda – just to name a few. But are you aware that the educators that are teaching your children are now permitting Satanic education and allowing Satanic clubs into the schools? Hmmm, maybe you weren’t aware of that one. SATAN IS TRYING TO DESTROY YOUR CHILDREN – no holds barred. His intent is to leave nothing to chance.

Child of God, how are you going to counteract this attack? Now, that I have your attention, let’s talk about that.

THE COUNTER-ATTACK

The Bible tells us that we (the children of God) are to be in the world but not of the world. So, we are not expected to live in a bubble or hide under a rock. However, we are expected to walk in the authority that’s been given to us by the power we have in Jesus Christ. Are you doing that? Let’s talk some more.

First and foremost, you must PRAY for your children every day – if not multiple times throughout the day because they need it. Then, you must take everything you know (and possibly don’t know) about spiritual warfare very seriously. For the fight that is upon us is truly a matter of life and death – especially where your children are concerned. What’s next? Okay, let’s talk about something else you may not take very seriously – your WORDS.

I know you have heard this said plenty of times before but now, I really want you to listen. THERE IS POWER IN THE WORDS THAT WE SPEAK. Be careful about what you say to your children and be careful about what you think about your children. For as soon as your words leave your mouth, something happens in the spiritual realm. Now, just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If you speak negative, hurtful words to your children, you are speaking curses over your children. When you do this, you open a door for the demonic to come into the life of your child. This gives authority to the demons and they take those words and run with them, using them against your child in every way they possibly can. Think about it. We all know people who continue to struggle with something that was said to them, as a child, by someone who was in authority over them? Maybe this is you.

Likewise, the same thing happens when you speak positive, encouraging words to your children. Only now, you have spoken words that bless your child and IF you have the authority of Jesus Christ – and you MUST be in good standing with Him for this to work God will honor what you say. When you walk in His authority, you can actually operate in a principle called binding and loosing: “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18 – and God will honor what you say. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather speak blessings over my children than curses. The good news is now that you know this, IF you are operating under the authority of Jesus Christ, you can break these curses – both off of yourself as well as your children.

Now for the fun part. You (as a child of God) must cover your children in your home by practicing godly parenting. Parents, DO NOT leave biblical teaching and the training up of your children to the schools and the churches. You must take responsibility for instilling an uncompromising biblical mindset – even as early as in the womb and most definitely from birth. So, how do you enforce Christian parenting?

I’m so glad you asked…

  • Commit your life to Jesus Christ.
  • You must put God first in your own life before you can require it of your child. Then live it, don’t just talk it.
  • Show your children how to live in ‘pursuit of holiness’ and set an example for them to live by.
  • Don’t compromise – even in the small things. For your child is watching everything you do.
  • Commit to a godly marriage and choose your dates (which will lead to your mate) accordingly.
  • Nurture your children in a godly household, i.e. be mindful of what is entering their ear-gate as well as their eye-gate. Also be mindful of the people you allow them to interact with. You can’t control what goes on in the world but you can control what goes on in your home.
  • Train your child up in the way they should go by teaching them the words of the Bible. (Proverbs 22:6)
  • Encourage an intimate relationship with Jesus by sharing your testimony with your children.
  • Teach your children to pray – about everything.
  • Don’t be afraid to engage them in dialogues of real truth concerning everything. Truth is not subjective. Truth is absolute – and according to the word of God.
  • Teach them to make independent decisions based on the word of God. Walking this walk is not for the faint of heart. It can be a lonely journey at times. If your child buys in to group-think, they will never make it. For what they, themselves believe WILL be challenged.
  • Lovingly and consistently discipline your children.
  • Forgive your children when they fall and when they fail – for they most definitely will.
  • Love your children unconditionally – always.
  • Bathe your children daily in prayer.

The Lord holds you, the parent, responsible for giving proper instruction to your child. You will be held responsible until your child reaches the age of accountability. When will that be, you may ask? Only God knows for sure. However, we do know that this age is determined by the child’s ability to truly distinguish the difference between what is right and what is wrong. If you are wondering if children can go to Hell, the answer is YES. Now that you have been warned, what are you going to do?

The Lord has been impressing upon me for a time to continuously pray for the children. I invite you to join me in this, for the life of your child may depend on it.

In all things, to God be the glory.

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UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

reachingYou’ve never known a Love like this…

This is truly an unconditional Love. This Love is an every day kind of Love, an every night kind of Love, an every moment kind of Love, always… This Love never leaves you all alone and never forgets its own. This Love takes you in and lifts you up… This Love opens your eyes, opens your ears, opens your arms, opens your heart… This Love walks with you, talks with you, always wants to be with you… This Love doesn’t see your past, He forgives it and He forgets it… This Love can open any door, casts out darkness, cancels fear, helps you forgive, gives you peace and lifts your head… In this love, He gives you faith, gives you hope, takes you in and lifts you up above it all so you can fear no more, so you can run real fast, so you can stand real firm, so you can be real strong, so you can hurt no more, so you can feel His joy! This Love rules the wind, this Love rules the waves, this Love rules the world!

There is true freedom in this Love for there is no shame this Love can’t take, there is no chain this Love can’t break. This Love is oh so sweet. This Love is oh so Jesus. Oh, if you could only truly know Him. Come taste and see…

THE HIGH COST OF OBEYING GOD

paying-the-price-pig-with-stack-of-coins

We are all so interconnected and intertwined together within the fabric of God’s universal purpose that the minute one obeys Him, others immediately become affected.

As a Christian, you can expect to endure all manner of persecution on account of your faith. Because of this, you may find yourself being tempted to keep quiet about the word God has given you to share. Or you may want to guard God’s word in an effort to protect it from those you feel will not appreciate it.

Child of God, Satan will use everything, and everyone, to challenge your allegiance to God. And God will allow some of these trials as an opportunity for your growth as well as to strengthen your resolve. Some of these tests will cause controversial change in your life that will surely ruffle the feathers of many.

When this happens, and it will, what will you do? Will you rise to the challenge? Are you willing to risk it all to obey God and allow the consequential chips to fall where they may? Your response to each challenge placed before you will reveal just how much you are willing to pay to be in relationship with the Lord. However you choose to handle these tests of faith, your responses will never be a surprise to God.

Whether you finish or fail, God will use it all for His greater purpose and for your greater good. It is important for you to know that EVERY decision you make will result in either a penalty or a reward for you as well as for those around you. We ALL have to pay, in one way or the other, the high cost of obedience…

The Price Of Giving Up Self

Living for Christ is to die for Him. Living for Christ is to fully give over to Him your body, mind, heart and soul. This is impossible to do unless you have first crucified self. You will know when you have successfully done away with self for only then will you want nothing more than to strive to give your all for Jesus. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ (who) lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

The Price Of Comfort

As a Christian, it will be necessary for you to step outside of your comfort zone. For you have an obligation to share God’s Word and your testimony with others. “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when He comes to set up His Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

“And they conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of their testimony.” Revelation 12:11

The Price Of Demonstrating Love

Jesus was asked by one of His disciples: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT).

Many people confuse love with emotions and feelings. Love is not a feeling. Love is a decision that requires action to demonstrated. There is no better way to demonstrate love for someone than to share God’s Son with them.

The Price Of Consequences

Following Jesus WILL bring much change into your life. Following Jesus will also affect the lives of those who are closest to you. There is no way to avoid this. Remember, God has everything under control. He only requires your obedience and asks that you leave the consequences up to Him. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh, will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8

The Price Of Time In God’s Word

God’s word is exciting and alive! However, you cannot discover this amazing truth if you do not spend time in it. You cannot live the word, teach the word or speak the word if you do not know the word. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

God’s word is a living demonstration of His power. It speaks of His law over everything in and outside of this world. God’s word also rules over each and every person, regardless of their belief in Him. “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the,earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT).

God’s word always accomplishes that which it is sent out to do. It does not return void. His living word carries with it costs and consequences. The costs come in the form of sacrifices. The consequences come in the form of blessings and curses. “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on Heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)

Are You Willing To Pay The Price?

Your obedience to God will require your willingness to give up plans, give up people and possibly even give up your life. Though many profess to love God, many are not willing to make the sacrifice required to follow Him. “Jesus was aware that His disciples were complaining, so He said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe Me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and He knew who would betray Him.) Then He said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to Me unless the Father gives them to Me.” At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” John 6:61-67.

Are you willing to pay the price?

I’M A BRAND NEW CHRISTIAN! NOW WHAT?

stages-300x300This was the question I asked myself thirty years ago when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. You see, I was not raised in a church and did not own a Bible until I was 27 years old. There was no one around to disciple me and, honestly, I felt completely lost because there was so much I did not understand. Although I was excited about my brand new life as a Christian, I knew nothing about the things of God. My first few years as a Christian, I made so many mistakes. I realized years later that my transition could have been much easier if I had been discipled which is why I am sharing this message.

Allow me to be completely honest with you. Following Jesus Christ will be the most difficult and the most rewarding experience you will ever encounter in your life. The sad fact of the matter is that not everyone will be able to see it through to the end for many people come to Christ for many reasons. However, only those who are called by God will be able to contend to the end. The Bible tells us “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The Highway to Hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life (Heaven) is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Relationship is the key. To successfully live the life of a Believer, you must have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Two-way communication is mandatory for this journey.

So, what do you do now that you are a brand new Christian? If you haven’t already, first be sure that you get baptized…

GET BAPTIZED
Jesus tells us: “Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) Baptism represents the partaking of the burial and raising of Jesus Christ so that we, too, may walk in the newness of life. It is for this reason, we are told to repent AND be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of our sins. The Bible also tells us that the baptism allows us to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit(Acts 2:38) who is our Helper though out this walk.

The first thing Jesus did before He began His ministry was to be baptized, (Luke 3:21-22). Where do you go to get baptized? Any true follower of Jesus Christ (Believer) is authorized, according to Jesus Christ, to baptize. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28: 19-20)

Baptism can be done in a true, Jesus-following church and even in a bathtub within the home of a true believer. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to follow His example. So regardless of where you get baptized, get baptized as soon as you can!

READ YOUR BIBLE
You cannot truly follow Jesus Christ if you do not understand who He is or know His word. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

There is no substitute for reading your bible. Begin immediately and do it every day. There are many translations available. Find one that is most faithful to the original text. I recommend beginning with the King James Version or the New King James Version. If you are sincere in seeking Him, God will unlock the mysteries of His word to you and give you understanding. Set aside time when and where you can meditate on Him without being interrupted. Quality and quantity go hand-in-hand when it comes to reading your Word. The Bible telIs us that we are to “study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word unto truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). Remember this: God pursues those who pursue Him.

PRAY OFTEN
Jesus tells His followers to pray always without ceasing. Prayer, very simply, is talking to God just as you would talk to your very best friend for He is just that. In fact, you will find that He is the very best friend you will ever have. Talk to Him about everything. He cares about everything that concerns you. There is nothing too small or seemingly too insignificant that you can’t share with Him. Through prayer, you will be developing a very REAL and very intimate relationship with the true and living almighty, miraculous God. There’s nothing in the world like it.

My suggestion would be that you begin by praying every morning before you start your day and every evening before you go to bed. Also pray often throughout the day. Pray about everything. Pray for direction and guidance concerning every decision you make. Thank Him for all He has done, all He is doing and all He will do for you. Pray for others as well as yourself. If you find it difficult to find the words to pray, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and He will. “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly you.” (Matthew 6:6)

BUILD FRIENDSHIPS WITH OTHER TRUE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS
The Christian life is not an easy life. As a true follower of Jesus Christ, you will be under constant attack and scrutiny from this world by way of Satan and his demons. As hard as it may be to understand this, know that this may even include your family members. It is good to fellowship with like-minded Christians. Jesus told His disciples that “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own household.” Mark 6:4

You will need to be around those you trust for encouragement as well as correction. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but encouraging one another and so much the more as you see the Day (of Jesus’ return) approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Also be mindful that we, as Christians, are warned to not be unequally yoked with non-believers. “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

OFFER YOUR GIFTS & SERVICES FOR GOD’S PURPOSE
As a new Christian, the Lord will begin a miraculous new work in you. You will go through a process that will transform you from the old you into the fabulous new you that God created you to be. Now, this transformation doesn’t usually happen over night. The process of molding and re-shaping you into the spiritual image of Jesus Christ takes a lifetime. A brand new Spirit has come alive in you for God has an amazing work for you to do. How exciting! “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

ALWAYS LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE YOUR FAITH & YOUR TESTIMONY WITH OTHERS
Through Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, you have received salvation. You can now stand alongside of Him and claim your inheritance to the Kingdom of God. Through Him, you now have the authority and the power that delivers healing and deliverance. You have access to the throne of the one and only living God. There is much God is going to tell you, do with you and show you so keep a journal and share your excitement whenever you have the opportunity.

It is through your testimony, and the testimony of others, that Jesus Christ will be shared throughout the world. It is also through your testimony that You share in the victory of overcoming Satan and the evil that is temporarily in this world. “And they (Christians) overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

As you continue in your faith and your walk, remember that there is nothing you have done that was deserving of this wonderful blessing that you have received through Jesus Christ. You have been saved by grace alone. Even still, God has started a work in you and His promise is to finish it. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” (Philippians 1:6)

PRAY FOR GOD TO LEAD YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY
Only God knows the plans He has for you. Only God knows of your special call. Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit to know it and then receive it by faith. Pray for spiritual sensitivity to hear Him so that you can obey His every word. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

Now, welcome to the family and remember that in all things to God be all the glory!