Learning From Hannah’s Painful Transition Process Part 2

Hannah had a rival whose job was to irritate her. We will never embrace change until we are fed up with our condition. What is irritating you right now? Whatever it is, thank God for it; it is the very thing He will use to move you higher in your transition process!


“Provoked as We Wait for the Breakthrough”

“And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.” (I Samuel 1:6-7)

What was Hannah’s issue? What was the big deal? Hannah wanted to have a baby; that was the reason for her misery. The misery of not having what we desire in terms of ministry, gets even more painful before we begin to see doors opening up. Perhaps you desire to minister to a particular nation; perhaps you desire to sing to the Lord, to write a book, to pastor, etc. Whatever the situation may be; in the process of going after our dreams, you will always find a season of great irritation.

God is always in the business of taking us from glory to glory, from level to level and from revelation to revelation. He is always in the business of preparing us for something greater, to take us higher and to take us deeper. But the reality is that if we are comfortable where we are at, it is human nature for us to want to stay in that same place.

Hannah had a rival whose job was to irritate her. We will never embrace change until we are fed up with our condition. What is irritating you right now? Whatever it is, thank God for it; it is the very thing He will use to move you higher in your transition process!

TO BE CONTINUED!

Learning From Hannah’s Painful Transition Process Part 1

Hannah was to become the mother of one of the greatest prophets in the history of humanity; the great prophet Samuel. During the next few days we are going to take a closer look at Hannah and her painful transition process.


“Favor in the Mix of Our Frustrated Dreams”

“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu,[a] the son of Tohu,[b] the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there. And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb.” (I Samuel 1:1-5)

 

Hannah was to become the mother of one of the greatest prophets in the history of humanity; the great prophet Samuel. During the next few days we are going to take a closer look at Hannah and her painful transition process.

 

Notice that even as the Lord had close her womb, Hannah still enjoyed a great deal of favor as her husband demonstrated his great love for her by always giving her a double portion of his offering for the Lord. Hannah was greatly love by her husband Elkanah. We must remember that we are greatly loved by our Heavenly Father even in the mix of our uncomfortable transition process.

 

Many times we fail to see God’s favor in the mix of a transition that will forever marked our destiny. The enemy will do his best to try to make us think that we are abandoned, but we are not, God is positioning us for something great! We have the tendency to focus on the wrong thing as we want immediate results; especially in our current microwave society.  We may not have what we want at the time, but our eyes should always be opened to see what God is doing as we wait for our breakthrough. Our eyes should also be open to see how bless we are to have love ones that love us regardless of what we have or don’t have.

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

My name is Angel Casiano and I am Fat Part II

My personal journey is a long one; I am feeling better, I am seen changes in my physical body and some improvement on the scale, but it took me some years to mess my body up; so it is going to take some time to get physically healthy again. So this journey is as much mental as it is physical. What I do feel is that I am on the right track again and for that I am thankful to God.


“May God himself,
the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul
and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 (I Thessalonians 5:2)

 

 

                Taking care of ourselves physically is not a laughing matter; the truth is that we do feel awful when we find ourselves overweight.  On August 16 of last year I wrote the first little article of this confession. Little did I know than less than a month later the Lord was going to open doors for me to start teaching Martial Arts again.  Teaching Martial Arts is giving me the flexibility to be able to workout almost every morning. I thank God for Vidant Wellness Center in Ahoskie. If you live in this area I fully recommend this place; it is truly more than just a Gym It did not take long before I engaged in a healthy exercise routine. However, to be honest, exercising is not a big challenge for me, eating right is!

One thing that I quickly discover is that you can exercise daily, but if we don’t make adjustments in our eating we will see very little results in the way we feel, the way we look and in the process of losing weight. Diets don’t work for me; I love rice, I love my chicken, my turkey and my beef and when it comes down to proportions I am the worst. The only thing that truly works for me is to cut things off. Matthew 5:29-30 tells us:

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

 

                So I am not eating meat, only sea food; I am not eating rice and I am trying to drink water for the most part. I am taking vitamins and finding other ways of getting my protein.

I know that many times as we engage in diets and exercise routines the first thing that we want is to see results in the scale number; however, that should not be the case. Our bodies talk to us, they let us know when they are hurting and when they feel great and we out to listen. For example, you can be 30 pounds overweight, but feeling increasingly better because you already started and exercise and a life style of eating that are healthier. So even as you still, technically overweight, your body is already reaping the benefits of your life style changes. On the other hand, you can have somebody else who is 15 pounds over weight, but it is not exercising or making any healthy life style changes and that person feel horrible. You can have somebody else and technically his weight is not an issue, but without proper diet and exercise that person to could be feeling terrible. So what is it that I am look for in order to make a proper inventory of my progress? As I make  adjustments in the things I eat and don’t eat, together with my exercise routine I am already begin to see changes in the way I feel, the way I look and on the scale.

We must be honest with ourselves, if we are not feeling well, if our bodies are feeling weak, if we are lacking energy to do the basic things we have to do in this life, whatever we are doing is not right; something is terribly wrong. Then, the second thing I look for is the way I look. Sometimes we start losing inches in certain places before we see a drastic change in the scale. Perhaps we start feeling a little more comfortable in those jeans we love so much! Then the third thing I look for is indeed the scale. With time, that scale number is going to get smaller and smaller, but we must be patient.

My personal journey is a long one; I am feeling better, I am seen changes in my physical body and some improvement on the scale, but it took me some years to mess my body up; so it is going to take some time to get physically healthy again. So this journey is as much mental as it is physical. What I do feel is that I am on the right track again and for that I am thankful to God.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

Is My Religion Working For Me?

Sometimes I wonder how we can know if our religion is working for us. How can we know that we are changing? Can I make an inventory of my faith? I believe these questions can sincerely be answered the following way:


Sometimes I wonder how we can know if our religion is working for us. How can we know that we are changing? Can I make an inventory of my faith? I believe these questions can sincerely be answered the following way:

 

If whatever you are doing is bringing you closer to Jesus; if your hunger and thirst for HIM is ever-increasing; if you are motivated to spend time alone with HIM in prayer; if you read HIS Word motivated by a love that increases your desire to know HIM; if you desire to worship HIM, if you find yourself in tears, overwhelmed by HIS presence; if you have peace; if you have joy; if you trust HIM, even when things look rough; if you are able to see how nothing you are and how everything HE is; if you struggle with sin, but don’t surrender to sin, if you feel convicted by sin and if by His power you are able to walk away from sin, if you fell down, but got up again for HIS glory; if you continue to taste of HIS mercy and learn that is all about HIM and not about you; if others are eager to come and eat of the fruit of your maturity in HIM; if you are not easily offended, but forgive when they are able to offend you; if the tribulations of life, whether they come because of satanic attacks, God’s discipline or your own doing is getting you to a place where humility is being formed in you; if you learn to find HIM in your home, both, by yourself and with your family; if the Holy Spirit is your number one teacher, if you are receiving revelation directly from HIM; if nothing fills you up more than JESUS, if you miss HIM when you stop seeking HIM; if you see yourself changing for the good and yes, if you walk in the light, in fellowship with your brothers and sisters in the Lord and if JESUS is your favorite topic in your daily conversations; I have an advice for you: Please don’t mess your religion up… is working…Keep doing what you are doing!

 

 

Introducing One of My Instructor: Master Anthony Arnett

I was truly blessed to have the opportunity to learn from great Martial Arts Instructors; I am grateful for all of them! However, none other challenged me more than Sifu Anthony Arnett! I respect this man not only as a great fighter and Instructor, but also as a man of God. I came to him as a former Amateur boxer and as a First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. From Master Arnett I received great inspiration and confidence as a Martial Artist. Through the studies of Cheung Style, a style created by Master Arnette, I receive all of the tools necessary to successfully represent his program. He never took away what I already knew; he added to what I knew and took me to higher levels as a fighter.


I was truly blessed to have the opportunity to learn from great Martial Arts Instructors; I am grateful for all of them! However, none other challenged me more than Sifu Anthony Arnett! I respect this man not only as a great fighter and Instructor, but also as a man of God. I came to him as a former Amateur boxer and as a First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. From Master Arnett I received great inspiration and confidence as a Martial Artist. Through the studies of Cheung Style, a style created by Master Arnette, I receive all of the tools necessary to successfully represent his program as a kickboxer. He never took away what I already knew; he added to what I knew and took me to higher levels as a fighter.   This is part of his story:

 

MASTER ANTHONY ARNETT 9th GENERATION DISCIPLE OF 8TH GEN. GRANDMASTER WILLIAM CHEUNG 2011 National Karate & Kung-Fu Union Grand Champion MARTIAL ARTS COMPETITION TIMELINE 1974 Began competing in Points Tournaments in Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. 1975 Continued competing in local Tournaments in Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. 1976 Continued competing in Baltimore, MD., Washington, D.C., and Virginia. 1977 Became Division Champion on several local circuits and also began competing nationally on the “Professional Karate Association” (P.K.A.) circuit. 1982 East Coast Grand Champion and ranked 8th in the Nation on three Tournament Circuits. 1983 Met Grandmaster William Cheung in Chicago, IL and accepted as one of Grandmaster Cheung’s Disciples. 1983 Began competing in Tournaments using Wing Chun Kung-Fu. As an honor to his teacher Grandmaster William Cheung, opened the first Wing Chun School in Baltimore, MD. 1984 First place Heavy Weight Champion and Runner-up for Grand Champion in “Ziggs Hard Contact Tournament” the first “hard contact” Tournament in Alexandria, VA. 1985 Competed in Hard and Full Contact Tournaments in Maryland and Virginia. 1986 Opened first Traditional Wing Chun School in Waynesboro, GA. 1987 Opened second Traditional Wing Chun School in Augusta, GA. 1988 Began competing in local and state Tournaments throughout Georgia. 1989 Grand Champion in Fighting and Forms category in Georgia. 1990 Opened first Traditional Wing Chun School in Florida. 1991 Grand Champion in Continuous Fighting Format Tournaments in Florida. 1992 Undefeated as Continuous Fighting Format Grand Champion Title and Division Champion in Point Tournament. 1992 Grand Champion of the “North FL Open Martial Arts C.S.F.” in continuous Fighting, Forms, and Weapons. 1993 Undefeated as Grand Champion in continuous Fighting and Division Champion in Point Tournament. “Cheung Style Sport Kung-Fu” was dedicated to Grandmaster William Cheung. Participated in the “Night Of Legends” All Star Champions, Jax, Fla. 1994 Created “The Fighting Dragons” team and traveled throughout FL and GA competing in Point Team Fighting Competition. “ Night Of Legends” All Star Fighters, Won Grand champion Men’s Fighting Heavy Weight. 1995 Coached Full-Contact fighters for competition on the “International Sport Kickboxing Association” (I.S.K.A.) Circuit. Retained Division Champion in Points Title in Georgia. Travelled with Grandmaster William Cheung to California. 1996 Accompanied Grandmaster William Cheung on California tour and featured in MA Training Magazine. 1996 Coached 6 full contact fighters to victory in the “Memorial Day Massacre” fight in Jacksonville, FL. Completed a 3 volume video series on “Cheung Style Sport Kung-Fu” starring Grandmaster William Cheung and Master Arnett. Retained Division Champion Points Title in Georgia. 1997 Division Champion in Forms, Weapons, and Fighting in Georgia. Retained Division Champion in Point Fighting in Georgia. 1998 Opened first private lesson studio exclusively for one-on-one sessions in Jacksonville, FL. Retained Division Champion Points Title in GA for Forms, Weapons, and Fighting. 1999 Retained Division Champion Title on the Tri-State Circuit. Established the Certificate Course Program (C.C.P.) through Private Lessons. Promoted Tournament training seminars and camps. 2000 Awarded “Provisional Master Grade Level-5” by Grandmaster William Cheung. Division Champion in Fighting and Forms in the North FL Martial Arts Association. Division Champion in Fighting, Forms, and Weapons in the “National Karate & Kung-Fu Union” (N.K.K.U). Awarded the overall Grand Champion in the “National Martial Arts League” for Forms and Weapons Demonstration. Awarded the “Most Competitors” Award. 2001 Awarded “National Karate & Kung-Fu Union” (N.K.K.U.) Ultimate Grand Champion in Forms, Weapons, and Fighting in the Masters Division. Grand Champion in the “North FL Martial Arts Association”. “Southern Sport Karate Open” Grand Champion in Men’s Black Belt for Fighting. New chapter of Cheung Style Sport Kung-Fu opened in Hilton Head, SC. 2001 Began the sport of Olympic Style Fencing under Mr. Raul Toro at the Jacksonville Fencing Club. Participated and placed 3rd in Fencing Competition in Gainesville, FL. Placed 1st in Inner School Fencing Tournament. 2002 Awarded the North Florida Martial Arts Association Fighting and Forms Division Champion (Masters Division). Open 3rd Chapter “Cheung Style Kung-Fu Academy of Orange Park, FL. Continued Certificate Course Program (C.C.P.) to develop instructors. 2003 Awarded “NFMAA” Fighting and Forms Division Champion. 20 year Celebration as a student of Grandmaster William Cheung. Honored as the “Founder of Cheung Style Sport Kung-Fu” (10 years). Invented new self defense weapon called the “Arn-Knot”. Four state summer tour promoting The “Arn-Knot”. Featured in Jacksonville weekly publication Folio Weekly article called “Fight Club”. 2004 North FL Martial Arts Association (NFMAA) Division Champion in Fighting and Forms. Gallops Karate Tournament Grand Champion in Fighting Masters Division. Gainesville Challenge (Gainesville, FL) Grand Champion in Fighting Masters Division. Universal Hall of Fame winner for Kung-Fu Artist of the Year. Orlando Universal Martial Arts Competition 1st place winner in Fighting Masters Division. Opened new Traditional Wing Chun School on Chester Avenue (Jacksonville, FL). 2005 “Bethel Champion of Champions” Grand Champion for Fighting. “Gainesville Challenge” 1st place winner for Fighting Masters Division. “Gallops Karate Tournament” 1st place winner for Fighting Masters Division. “North Florida Martial Arts Association” (NFMAA) Division Champion for Fighting and Forms. Became the Official Martial Arts Instructor for NFL Football Team Jacksonville Jaguars. 2006 Appeared in Black Belt Magazine with Grandmaster William Cheung. Appeared on Inside Kung Fu Magazine May 2006 front cover with Jackie Chan. Featured in Inside Kung Fu Magazine article “Cheung Style for Tournaments. Retained Division Champion for “NKKU”, NFMAA”, “Gainesville Challenge”, and “Gallops Karate Tournament”. 2007 “Gallops Karate Tournament” Grand Champion. Successfully coached 3 students for MMA Competition in Jacksonville, FL. 2008 “National Karate & Kung-Fu Union” (N.K.K.U.) Grand Champion and Gold medal winner. “NFMAA” 1st place winner in Masters Fighting Division. “Gainesville Challenge” 1st place winner in Masters Fighting Division. “Gallops Karate Tournament” Grand Champion “Bethel Champion of Champions” Grand Champion for Fighting. 2009 “National Karate & Kung-Fu Union” (N.K.K.U.) Grand Champion and Gold medal winner in Masters Division. “Gallops Karate Tournament” 1st place winner for Fighting Masters Division. 2010 “Clash of the Titans” Tournament 2nd place winner Men’s Black Belt Fighting. “Clash of the Titans” Tournament 1st place winner Men’s Black Belt Weapons. “National Karate & Kung-Fu Union” (N.K.K.U.) Gold medal winner in Fighting for Masters Division. “Gallops Karate Tournament” 1st place winner for Fighting and Forms Masters Division. 2011 Opened Sport Kung Kung-Fu Academy of Jacksonville under President of the Global Traditional Wing Chun Kung-Fu Association, Grandmaster William Cheung. Participated in foster camp program, “Camp for Champions”. National Karate & Kung-Fu Union (N.K.K.U.) Grand Champion in Fighting Masters Division and Gold Medal winner in Forms.   Check out his Master Arnett Web Site at: http://www.skfajax.com/wing-chu-master-anthony-arnett/

The Greatest of All Masters

My Great Grand Master is not done yet, for He is preparing an army of which I am a part of, to take over the whole world. We will rule and reign with Him! Tears will be no more, pain will be inexistent! Betrayal will be a thing of the past! His kingdom will be a kingdom of love and peace. We, the Body of Christ, are being trained, even now; for the day will come where the Devil and all of his army will rise up one more time against God and that will be his end and the termination of evil. Get ready people of God, even as it seems as if we are losing some times; even as it looks like we are obsoletes and the scum of the earth, we will rule and reign with our Master forever. Everything apart from Jesus will be no more. The arrogance of this world and death itself will burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. My victory is secure, my weapons are lethal and my True Master is untouchable.


Some time ago, I had the honor of meeting two martial arts instructors. We crossed paths at The Vidant Wellness Center in Ahoskie, North Carolina. Up to that moment, we were not acquainted. They wanted to meet with me as I had recently begun promoting my Wednesday-morning classes in that particular gym. In conversation, they discovered that they studied Karate under the same family line of Grand Masters.

 They proudly mentioned the name of their masters and were able to connect their instructors to the fathers of certain Japanese martial arts styles. It is very common among traditional martial artists to honor their teachers. In the process, I started thinking about my own Martial Arts Instructors and the privilege that I had to study under them. I am grateful for each one of them! Nevertheless, I started thinking about the amazement of my True Master.

 He is the best martial artist in the history of humanity! He himself is the greatest warrior that was, that is and that is to come. He never gets tired, He is never out of shape and He never gets old. With His Word alone, He can destroy and, with His Word alone He can create. He trained the entire host of angels in Heaven. His training methods were well-known by our father Abraham back in the days when he was just Abram. We see signs of His first students in Genesis 14. Abram was told that his nephew Lot was captured by the armies of four kings…

 “14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.” (Genesis 14:14-16)

In Exodus 2:16-19, we see another of my Master’s great students. Moses showed his skills against multiple enemies and gave us the heart of a true Martial Artist who is ready to fight and give his life to defend the innocent and the weak. Moses knew an art that gave him access to the power of his Grand Master; no Chi Power can even come close. Powerful and impressive signs and wonders followed him all through His ministry.

Later, we see Joshua and Caleb; they were fearless and skillful martial artists. These were the days when they fought giants, creatures of over nine foot tall with supernatural skills. However, the Israelites were trained by the best and as long as they followed HIS ways they were the original untouchables.

 As time went by their skills increased as we see the introduction of, perhaps, the best fighter that ever lived who was to become the most renown king in Israel’s history; David from the tribe of Judah! David was not physically impressive, but as a fighter he was second to none. As a young man he made a name to himself as he faced a giant by the name of Goliath. First Samuel 17 states this amazing story that is still remembered and honored today.

 In his lifetime David shed more blood than any fighter in the history of humanity. With all the respect I have for all the great Black Belts, Masters and Grand Masters such as; Ed Parker, Benny Urquidez, Bill “Super Foot” Wallace, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Steven Segal, The Gracie Family, our MMA champions of today and many others, I respectfully say that no number of us could even last a minute in a real life and death combat against David or any of his Thirty Mighty Men. No offense!

But what about our True Master, what great fights can He record for His own record? He faced the grand master of all evil and hate in the desert. Even after our Lord Jesus Christ fasted for forty days and forty nights and was physically at his weakest point, even when our Lord and Savior decided to choose this fight on our dimension of life, wearing nothing but his flesh and blood with no supernatural clothing, even as the devil threw at him every technique he knew; Jesus Christ still gave the devil a humiliated beating that should have sent the devil to retirement. Yet, the beauty of my True Master is that He did not fight for Himself, He did not fight for His own glory and recognition, even as He is the only one worthy of all glory, honor and praise.

The desert fight was enough for Jesus to prove his superiority over Satan, by far. But he was not done yet.  In the desert Jesus gave Satan a personal beat-down; later, on the cross of Calvary, they would meet again. The devil was convinced that he got Jesus this time, but it was all a setup to save humanity. Beloved, the battle at the cross was a battle for our souls.

Jesus gave His life for us. Jesus was murdered, but with that, Jesus got the most impressive victory of all a victories that no Grand Master of any style can claim. Jesus defeated death itself! He is the King of kings! He is the Lord of lords! He is the Alpha and the Omega! He is the beginning and the end! Before Him every knee will bow and every tongue will confess His Lordship. Even the grand masters that rejected Him and position themselves as gods with non-Biblical teachings will bow down to Him who Is the only One worthy of all praise, honor and power.

My Great Grand Master is not done yet, for He is preparing an army of which you and I are a part of, to take over the whole world. We will rule and reign with Him! Tears will be no more, pain will be inexistent! Betrayal will be a thing of the past! His kingdom will be a kingdom of love and peace. We, the Body of Christ, are being trained, even now; for the day will come where the Devil and all of his army will rise up one more time against God and that will be his end and the termination of evil.

 Get ready people of God, even as it seems as if we are losing some times; even as it looks like we are obsoletes and the scum of the earth, we will rule and reign with our Master forever. Everything apart from Jesus will be no more. The arrogance of this world and death itself will burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. Our victory is secure, our weapons are lethal and our True Master is… untouchable. On a donkey He entered the city of Jerusalem and was crucified a week later. He is coming, but this time not on a donkey, He is coming, this time not to be birth in a manger or to die on a cross; this time HE is coming on a white horse…this time He is coming to take over!

 “11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” (Revelation 19:11-21) NIV

Jesus Christ is the greatest of all masters…are you ready?

Everybody Has Something To Be Ashamed Of, But Thank God For Jesus!

The reason we continue allowing our shame to hold us back from our destiny in God is because we have a deeper issue. That deeper issue is founded on the fact that we don’t believe that God is who He says He is. We don’t know HIM personally and we have a hard time believing that He can actually forgive us.


It all started with Adam and Eve hiding from the Lord and covering their nudity. They had something to be ashamed of. Our father Abraham almost gave up his wife to sleep with another man out of fear for his own life. He was more concerned about his safety than about the safety of his dear wife. Later, his son Isaac did exactly the same thing. What do we say of King David? He slept with a married woman; the wife of one of his faithful soldiers. David killed the husband; that is a first degree murder, no doubt. David had plenty to be ashamed of! And what of Solomon, the wised man that ever walked the face of this earth? His wisdom was not enough to stop him from worshipping other gods; that was shameful indeed. Peter walked with Jesus, even walked on water, but he still denied the Lord three times. Some years later, the same Peter was confronted by Paul for his racial tendencies; oh yeah, Peter also had plenty to be ashamed of.

What about you? Do you have things in your life that you are ashamed of? What about me? Oh my land, I have so much that I wish I could erase out of my history. Nevertheless, today God wants to deal with our shame, for He does not want us to feel ashamed anymore. Romans 10:11 tells us:

“As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’

 

            The reason we continue allowing our shame to hold us back from our destiny in God is because we have a deeper issue. That deeper issue is founded on the fact that we don’t believe that God is who He says He is. We don’t know HIM personally and we have a hard time believing that He can actually forgive us. We are so used to the ways of men, where we are forever judged for our shameful moments, that we can’t even entertain the idea that God not only can forgive us, but wants to do so.

God clothed Adam and Eve after they sinned (Genesis 3:21); God protected Sarah; even as her husband Abraham acted like a coward. God said of David that he was a man after God’s heart. The redemptive stories are never-ending, even extending to our day; to you and to me. If we trust God we will never have to live with shame!

Can We Lose Our Salvation?

Boy I know that I am about to step in some serious toes here! This topic is one, if not the main divider between Pentecostals and Baptist. I hope that with this small article we can open a respectful dialogue. Both, Pentecostals and Baptist claim to be Christians; they both honor Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and they both believe that the Bible is indeed God’s Word and is to be trusted one hundred percent. So why is it that in an important topic such as Salvation they are so divided?


Boy I know that I am about to step in some serious toes here! This topic is one, if not the main divider between Pentecostals and Baptist. I hope that with this small article we can open a respectful dialogue. Both, Pentecostals and Baptist claim to be Christians; they both honor Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and they both believe that the Bible is indeed God’s Word and is to be trusted one hundred percent. So why is it that in an important topic such as Salvation they are so divided? In Matthew 7:22-23 the Bible gives us a couple of verses as good starting point for this discussion.

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:22-23

 

So, who is Jesus speaking with? Clearly Jesus is speaking to Christians! In Mark 3:22-26 Jesus is being accused of casting out demons in the name of the Devil “Beelzebud”. Jesus’ answer here is the confirmation that in Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus was speaking to Christians:

“And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”

So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.”

 

            If Jesus was indeed speaking to Christians in Matthew 7:22-23, then the argument that we can’t ever lose our salvation is out the door. Jesus stated:

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:23

 

Jesus is speaking to Christians that were saved, did great things for God, but in the process they lost their intimacy with God and gave themselves to lawlessness. I am not talking about struggling with sin as we all do in certain areas; I am talking about people who turn their backs on God. You had the choice to be saved as you respond to the Holy Spirit and you also have the choice to walk away. Free will is not taken away from us just because we are saved.

Now, I am sure that God is not going to give up on us that easy; He will do whatever possible to bring us back, but at the end it is our choice to return or not. Revelation 3:5 also gives us a key verse for this topic:

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

 

In order for our names to be removed from the Book of Life our names needed to be there to start with. Beloved, I am also convinced that many that claim to be born again are not. They repeated a prayer in some service, but they never believed in their heart. Some others think that they are saved because they grew up in the church. You see in them no change, no fruit of salvation, no conviction of sin, no passion for Christ and no use of their gifts for God. They don’t make it to church or express any desire to fellowship with God’s people and have no desire to read the Word. They have the “I can have it my way Gospel.” Those are in great dangers with the Always Save doctrine because they believe the lie that tells them: “I am in, no matter what!”

I want to make it clear that losing our salvation is not an easy thing; but if we make up our minds to purposely turn our backs on God then Mathew 7:22-23 will be applied.

I welcome your comments in this very vital topic!

 

 

 

The Cure for Racism in America by Dennis Owens

Until we understand that the gravity of our rebellion against God racism will continue to jump out! The problem we face as a nation is not between black and white, it is not between man and man, it’s between man and God.


Until we understand that the gravity of our rebellion against God racism will continue to jump out! The problem we face as a nation is not between black and white, it is not between man and man, it’s between man and God.

J.I. Packer has commented in his epic book, Knowing God, “All that has gone wrong in human life between man and man is ultimately due to sin, and our present state of being in the wrong with ourselves and our fellows cannot be cured as long as we remain in the wrong with God.”

The predicament lies in the law. “Cursed be he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them” (Duet 27:26). The curse or judgment of God, which the law pronounces on lawbreakers, rests on us, This is the predicament of mankind. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

So, if there ever was an answer to man’s dilemma, it has to be in the cross.
Christ has redeemed us by becoming a curse for us and taking away our sin when he died in our place on the cross. Jesus became sin (2 Cor. 5:21a). When we look at the Cross, we never have to ask if sin is real. It is so real that Jesus had to “become sin” in order to defeat it. And in that moment, he experienced the horror of feeling forsaken.

But Jesus also conquered sin (2 Cor 5:21b). The curse is transformed into the blessing. Christ is Victor! When I think of the Cross in this way, it reminds me of Angel Casiano’s Martial Arts Program and the many other Christian Martial Arts programs. It is taking the power of the opponent and transferring it into the power of the other. That which would have destroyed us, has now lost its power over us—Satan has been cast out—and that power is now unleashed as the power of God. In this way, God and Jesus could both speak of “glorification.”

Death has been swallowed up (1 Cor. 15:54), taken into the mouth of him who declared, “It is finished!”

Trayvon Martin’s Death: What Jumped Out of America?

What jumped out of America? Intimidation jumped out of America. Many people are scared of addressing this issue objectively for fear of being judged as a racist. Al Sharpton jumped out of America! Who is surprised about that? Where is this so-called Reverend when a white young man is killed? Jessie Jackson did to! Spike Lee showed his murderous heart along with Roseanne Barr. The Black Panthers Party, who placed a million dollars on Zimmerman’s head, jumped out of America.


Like many Americans, I have been following the Trayvon Martin tragic story. I listened to the 911 tapes, watched YouTube videos with people expressing their passionate opinions about the matter, watched the TV News and various reporters, interviews and I have spent the time reading different articles on this distressing story. This is one of those stories where it is very difficult to stay neutral. You are going to be passionate towards one side or towards the other, or allow fear to keep you quiet.

This tragic story hit me like it has many Americans around this nation. First, because I to have a seventeen year old child that I love dearly and two, because in the last twenty years I have been stopped and questioned by authorities four times just because of the way I look; two in Jacksonville, Florida, one in Houston, Texas and one in San Juan Puerto Rico. I was not doing anything wrong, but I suppose that I was profiled. My heart truly goes out to the parents and family of Trayvon. I can’t even begin to understand the pain that they are feeling right now.

By now, you probably know the story that we all have heard so far. UMFE Fresh Perspective writes:

“Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin of Miami, was walking from a convenience store to the home of a family friend in a gated community in Sanford on Feb. 26th. He was confronted by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman called police to report a suspicious person but before police arrived, the two struggled and Zimmerman shot and killed the teenager. Community members are demanding Zimmerman’s arrest but Sanford Police say they don’t have sufficient evidence to dispute his claims of self defense.” http://www.wmfe.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=12555&news_iv_ctrl=1041

 

I have my own opinion on what happened that night, but I am waiting for the investigation to be completed and for the truth to be revealed. The emphasis of this article is different; I want to relate a different message.

I learned from a good friend of mine that when we face very uncomfortable situations in life we are able to see what jumps out of us. In other words, those hidden things in us are quickly manifested in our behaviors and in what we say. Nothing “just come out;” if it came out it’s because it was there, it only needed the right circumstances or for somebody to push the right button. So, what has jumped out of this nation in response to the tragic ending of Trayvon Martin’s life?

Clearly we can see that, racially speaking, we are still a nation divided. The wounds of slavery are not completely healed yet. We can still hear the echoes of the cries of our fathers and mothers crying out for freedom. We can still hear the cries of fear. Even after their “freedom” was signed into the law of the land, they were still victims of terror. We hear the horror stories of burning crosses in their front yards and black men hanged on trees like dogs. How could this wonderful nation that was founded over Christian values, close their eyes to the cries of slavery and racial brutality? The pain is still there like a volcano waiting to erupt.

What jumped out of America? Intimidation jumped out of America. Many people are scared of addressing this issue objectively for fear of being judged as a racist. Al Sharpton jumped out of America! Who is surprised about that? Where is this so-called Reverend when a white young man is killed? Jessie Jackson did to! Spike Lee showed his murderous heart along with Roseanne Barr. The Black Panthers Party, who placed a million dollars on Zimmerman’s head, jumped out of America. A press that disrupts the facts and places more dry wood on a sensitive social fire, jumped out of America. The press was eager to make this tragedy a racial one. They gave us photos of a much younger Trayvon, they told us that is was a white man that shot Trayvon initially, and they removed a key part of the 911 recording and continue to insist in instigating our nation’s rise to violence. The irresponsibility of our media jumped out of America. Furthermore, what is even more revealing is that we are still a nation in great need of healing. We are one incident away; one injustice away, one bad-thing-said-by-a person-with-the-wrong-color away from a riot or even a civil war. I am sure that the agitators are standing at the door waiting!

 

I have news for you America, God is a God of justice; He is above any police department, any political agenda, any intimidation, the press and even above any president and/or king. Will you trust HIM America? I have no doubt that when all is set and done we will know the truth and justice will prevail. Beloved, nobody gets away with anything; for the Bible tells us in Galatians 6:7-8

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

The God of justice will have the last Word, but we must continue to deal with what is constantly jumping out of our hearts. We must be healed from the pain and humiliation of slavery, forgive and be willing to start all over as if nothing happened. The blood of Jesus is available for us and His sacrifice on the cross is our perfect example. He is sinless, He is perfect, all loving and all caring, but he still gave His life for us, even after we yelled: crucify HIM! Even in the face of the greatest injustice mankind has ever seen; an injustice greater than the killing of millions of Jews, an injustice greater than the slavery of one race and all the injustices of humanity put together,  injustice that shames the history of humanity; even with all that, from the cross of Calvary, Jesus cried out:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)