Angel’s Quotes: Food for the Soul


The part of love nobody likes: It tells the truth, it provides discipline and it hurt like crazy.

angelcasiano.com

Angel’s Quotes:

  • We will never be free if we refuse to forgive.
  • Where there is no love, there is fear; where there is fear, there is no faith, where there is no faith, sin reigns; and where there is unconfessed sin, God cannot bless.
  • “We fall in our hearts before God, before we fall publically.”
  • “If that thing is in our hearts and we don’t let God deal with it, it will find its way out and it will be manifested for the whole world to see.”
  • “God uses circumstances and people to bring out the junk that is already in our hearts; it is that simple.”
  • “The fear of confessing comes from the fear of rejection and judgment; how bless we are when we have friends that love us no matter the magnitude of what we are confessing.”
  • “If the confession and consequences of my foolishness can help one…

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Healing & Wholeness, A Personal Testimony


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In April of this year I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. For me, exercise and eating right is vital. I have to take medication twice a day and even with that, if I don’t exercise and eat right, my sugar numbers will go to the roof.

Back in April of this year I really felt like I was dying. I was constantly drinking water, constantly in the bathroom, constantly thirsty, not able to sleep well and loosing weight rapidly. All these are indicators of diabetes.

I don’t like to go to the hospital and I really don’t like to go to doctor’s visits, even as I married one. But I knew something was terribly wrong. I felt like I was about to pass-out with every step I took in my job.

As I took myself to the hospital, I quickly found out that my sugar numbers were over 900, so I was taken to the emergency room. For those that have no clue what this means; the normal number after a meal should be 140. The doctor told me, that is one of the highest numbers he has ever seen. Not the kind of record I want to have.

My mom came to Fairbanks to visit us the day after my doctor visit that landed me in the emergency room. She was truly a Godsend! My mom has been a diabetic for many, many years. It actually runs in the family. She was truly a great help as I started processing the news of my diagnoses.

During the summer here in Alaska there is plenty of sunlight and plenty to do. I love Alaska because it forces us to work hard and prepare for the winter.

I stayed active cutting trees, splitting and stacking wood; working around the house, building things, etc. through the whole summer my sugar numbers were next to normal. When I went back to my doctor, just three months later, the progress was amazing. Dr. Wright congratulated me and encouraged me beyond my abilities. God really used Doctor Wright from Tanana Clinic to help me through this process.

As the weather started changing and the cold, snow and darkness came upon us. My physical activity level decreased dramatically and I saw my numbers sneaking back up. I can’t cut trees and work around the yard as I did during the summer. After all, we have very little daylight! But, I can go back to the gym; is not as fun, but is a most for me.

I have to tell you that one hour on the treadmill can’t even come close to splitting wood, but is truly better than nothing. I see my numbers getting better again and I am feeling much better.

I feel like talking about this topic because the name it and claim it crowd is really irritating me. First, let me establish that it is God’s will for us to be healthy. 3 John 1:2 tells us,

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (NKJV)

What we need to understand is that this verse goes beyond physical healing. It involves financial and emotional prosperity also. The problem is that we want the physical healing, but ignore other very important aspects.

Our physical decisions, (What we chose to eat and the lack of exercise) and, what we allow to enter in spiritually, will have a drastic effect in our health. The spiritual aspect of our lives, I say, it is the foundation of our health.

You and I can declare healing until what? Until the cows come home. However, if we don’t exercise, if we don’t eat right, if we continue to fellowship with evil through the music we listen to, through the movies we allow ourselves to watch, through the people we give our fellowship to, through the books we read and, basically, through a Godless lifestyle, that healing will never come… NEVER! Jesus told one of the man He healed in John 5:14,

Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” (NKJV)

The reason many people do not experience any healing or any improvement in their health is because they insist in doing the same things that caused their health to deteriorate. My little sugar machine do not lie to me; it tells me every day if what I eat was right, wrong or terrible; it is up to me to make the right choices.

So we pray… yes, we are supposed to do that, but we obey the Word; that should be the end-result of prayer. Is not just throwing some words to the air. In prayer we speak, God speaks and we obey by doing what He tells us to do.

Healing is great, but God wants to take us into a place of wholeness. That wholeness is found in sincere praise, a lifestyle of worship and obedience to our God. In Luke 17:11-19 we read an amazing story that illustrated perfectly the difference between healing and wholeness. Here is the story of ten lepers. All of them cried out, “…Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Luke 17:13 (NKJV). They were all healed; however only one received wholeness.

 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Luke 17:15-19 (KJV)

Now look with me at what the word “Whole” here implies, “To save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction.[1]” On the other hand the word “Cleanse” means, “To cleanse, free from filth[2]”.

Healing can be a temporary thing. I have heard healing ministers express their frustration as the same people that received healing today are back on the same line not too long after that. That is because they have not change. See, anybody can receive healing, but only those that are grateful and have a heart after God receive wholeness. Have you notice the mighty men in the Bible? They all die full of life. They were not sick; they just die of natural death.

As I deal with this diabetic issue, I have complete dependency on God, but that does not take away personal responsibility. I have to put a stop to many things. I can’t wait on anybody to exercise for me or with me. People that don’t exercise nor enjoy any kind of physical activity surround me, with the exception of a very few. I love them, but I have to move on and stop waiting on them; I needed to stop foolish driving around for worthless events, I needed to say no to certain things. I must take care of myself, because nobody will…and I mean, NOBODY!

I must follow God and do what HE tells me to do. I must go after HIM with all of my heart in prayer, in worship and adoration. I must give HIM glory in the mix of all, with or without the manifested healing…after all, HE is still worthy and HE has already done more than enough for me. With that heart I pursue HIM. I just don’t want healing from my health issue; I want to be made whole and that is my pursue, that is my passion! How about you?

[1] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

In 2015, Just Get Your Priorities Straight


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Who is your god? There is a difference between what we claim about ourselves to be and what we really are. There is also a great difference between our personal opinion of self and the truth.

As we get ready to end the year of 2014, I would like for you to take this article as a personal assessment. However, as I said before, the truth is unreliable when it comes to protecting your feelings from getting hurt.

The divine order of our priorities as God’s people should be, God first (Matthew 22:37-39), and family second.

Family consisting of:

  1. Wife
  2. Children
  3. Family of believers

In Genesis 18:18-19 we see part of the reason Abraham was chosen to be, not only the start of a new nation (Israel), but the father of our faith.

18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. (KJV)

In First Timothy 5:8, the Bible is more direct when Paul states,

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (KJV)

This verse is actually telling us that if we do not provide for our family we deserve to go to hell, as that is the destination of a non-believer (Infidel).

Now that we have our Biblical foundation in the order of our priorities lets answer the question, do you know who your real god is? To determine that, you must check your investments in the following areas: Time, Money and Conversation

  1. Time

Colossians 4:5 tell us, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” (NKJV)

The way we use our time will directly affect our testimony with the people around us. What we do with our time will affect first, our families and then, the people that we constantly come in contact with.

John 17:4 tells us, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” (NKJV)

In other words, we have work to do. We actually give glory to God by using our time wisely and by using our time according to God’s will.

So the question is, where is your time going? Playing golf, in the gym, hanging around your friends, going from bar to bar, on social media, reading secular books, watching T.V., playing video games, online…

You can claim to love God, but if you have no time for HIM, is He really your God? You can claim to love your family, but if you are giving them the crumbs of your time, can they even sense your love?

Are you investing in your children? Are you investing in your own home? When was the last time you cooked a good hot meal? When was the last time you cut the grass, painted a room or built something for the benefit of your home. A good friend once told me that LOVE was spell T-I-M-E, he added, “We spend time with that or those we love”.

  1. Money

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34 (NKJV) Many people struggle with giving just ten percent of their income; as a matter of fact the great majority of so call Christians do not tithe. On an article entitle, Study: Christians Who Tithe Have Healthier Finances Than Those Who Don’t, written by Jeff Schapiro, a Christian Post Reporter for CP Church & Ministry only just five and twenty percent are tithers in a typical congregation. This article was published on May 15, 2013. So if you find it hard to tithe or give to others in need, but have no problem buying stuff for your own enjoyment, you can easily judge your own heart. Your checkbook is another reflection of who your real god is.

 

  1. Conversation

Luke 6:45 tells us, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (NKJV) We can say many things, make a million confessions, but those things are not necessarily confessions of what is in your heart. What is a clear reflection of the condition of your heart are your favorite conversations. What do you spend the majority of your time talking about? Your conversations will reveal, very easily, what you are all about.

In following this simple assessment we can determine not only who our god is, but further more, who is a believer and who is not or at least, who is cold, hot or lukewarm in their relationship with God.

I know that many people are already prophesying what is going to happen in 2015. I have heard it all in previous years. The year of restoration, the year of salvation, the year of great prosperity, the year of this or the year of that. Beloved, I am a strong believer of prophecy, but some of these prophecies are ridiculous.

So understand that we are not waiting for God to do anything; Jesus did it all on the cross of Calvary as He stated, “It is finish.” (John 19:30) God is actually waiting for us.

Beloved, we all have access to healing, we all have access to the manifestation of angels, God’s prosperity, His anointing and so on… if we just do one thing… just get your priorities straight.

We get our priorities straight by investing time in God’s manifested presence, by going after HIM with all of our hearts, in prayer, in the reading of HIS Word in Worship. By investing in our families, by teaching them the way they should go and stop this friendship garbage with the children we are called to raise. We get our priorities straight by husbands taking their places at home and acting like the spiritual leaders that they are called to be, by husband pursuing loving that wife that gets on his last nerves and by that wife respecting that husband in-spite of his obvious imperfections.

This is the word for 2015 and for the rest of our lives…LETS JUST GET OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT!!!!!

 

The True Spirit of Christmas


Praising Jesus

The essence of Christmas is that,  “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Christmas is about giving, not about receiving. Not that giving gifts to each other is a bad thing, for the Bible tells us in Acts 20:35,

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (NKJV)

But we must point out that giving here is not a Christmas thing, but a lifestyle thing. We place so much emphasis on giving and receiving gifts from and to each other that we literally forget about the birth of Christ. Did Mary and Joseph receive gifts on that day? If they did, it wasn’t important enough to record because Jesus was, is, and will always be the star of the show. Jesus’ birth, before and after, was surrounded by acts of worship to HIM.

  1. Luke 1:46-55 this is the song of Mary.
  2. Luke 1:68-79, this is the song of Zachariah, father of John the Baptist.
  3. Luke 2:8-14

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold,[a] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (NKJV)

  1. Luke 2:25-32 In a time when God was not speaking much, an old man by the name of Simeon was told that “…he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” Luke 2:26 (NIV) Simeon took the time to praise Jesus.
  2. Luke 2:36-38 tells us about a Prophetess by the name of Anna,

 36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years,[a] who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord,[b] and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Luke 2: 36-38 (NKJV)

Do you see any reference that indicates that we ought to receive anything during Christmas? Absolutely not, we ought to be exited that we receive everything already. It was Jesus who gave us the ultimate gift. The focus ought to be in Praising Jesus. All of our excitement should be about HIM. Beloved, that is the spirit of Christmas!

 

 

It Is Time to Get In Trouble for Jesus


In Prison for Jesus

Two things are for sure; that is, if you are serious about your Christian faith,

  1. You will be persecuted. (Matthew 5:11)
  2. You will offend some people. (I Peter 2:8)

During this Christmas season, I found how annoying it is to see the world celebrate Christmas without any acknowledgment of Christ. Not only that, but to see how they come against the true essence of this holiday season, truly irks me. They decorate, put up the Christmas tree, have their parties and sing songs without any mention of the wonderful story of the manger. It is an in-your-face attack!

These are times of great denunciation against the gospel here in our beautiful America. It is not yet in the form of physical violence, but it is in the form of social and cultural rejection mixed with the agonizing spirit of political correctness. Brothers and sisters, we must be bold and continue to proclaim the Gospel in our places of influence. People are literally dying and going to hell all around us.

People are confused as they see folks with international recognition, walking around with titles of Reverend, but insisting in promoting a message of violence and hate. People are confused when they see actors that openly declare their Christian faith, but openly fornicate as well; as if fornication is something Biblically acceptable. Isaiah 5:20 tells us,

 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (NKJV)

I think we are in those days, don’t you think? The things that we see make no sense. Common sense is out the door and there is no desire for the truth! The only way to avoid persecution and offending people is by keeping our mouths shut. Only those that are friends with the world are doing well in their own eyes, but the Bible tells us,

 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

But I say, speak the truth, no matter what. Many will reject that truth, but some will receive it and will be added into the family of God. James 4:4 (NKJV)

We are so afraid of getting in trouble, so afraid of offending, so afraid of people not liking us; so we compromise the Gospel for the sake of our own fears and selfish ambitions. But I have to tell you beloved, many of us will lose our jobs for no reason, many of us will end-up in prison just for preaching the Gospel, and yes, many of us will lose our lives. I must point out that these things are happening in other countries around the world, even now as I write these words.

We are called to obey the law of the land, but there is one law that we are not called to follow but to violate every time, and that is any law designed to stop us from preaching the Gospel. He will provide, He will give us peace in the midst of all, and He will give us the power to overcome. It is time to get in some trouble for Jesus.

Dealing With the N Word


A message for Black Men in the United States of America!

angelcasiano.com

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I was a counselor in a Drugs and Alcohol Rehabilitation Long-Term Program for the Homeless in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a nice sunny afternoon in the River City and I was getting ready for a one-on-one session with one very special student. To protect his privacy I will not use his real name; I will use Michael.

Michael was a man; physically strong, with a rough voice, a rough intimidating demeanor, very opinionated and long braided hair. Michael was a black man. I also should add that Michael spent over fifteen years in prison for murder. Michael was cool, but when he was upset it was a sight to see! He had been in the program for about four months at the time and he was added to my caseload because of the degree of difficulty in dealing with his type of personality. I was in my early forties at…

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Beyond Christmas


Christmas-Lights

Jesus was born; the Great Lord, the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the Word, He who was, Who is and Who is to come, He who became flesh. He showed up just like the rest of us, but that was not enough.

Later, right before starting His ministry, He was directly tempted by Satan in the desert. Jesus gave Satan a mighty beating, even though He was weak from fasting forty days and forty nights, but that was not enough. See, we can show up to every meeting, we can be in the building we call the church every time the doors are open, but that is not enough.

John 15:13 tell us, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (NKJV) Jesus was a sinless man; He was all knowing and all-powerful. Nevertheless, He voluntarily gave His life and allowed men to commit the greatest injustice in the history of humanity. That is Christ’s greatest legacy; He gave His life to save us. For the Bible tells us,

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)

Jesus gave us an example of the way we should live our lives. Beloved, thank you for showing up, thank you for showing your great strength by defeating a powerful adversary, but all that is meaningless until you display that greater love. I finish with this, think about it,

 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26 (NKJV)

I thank God for Christmas, I thank God for Jesus’ victory over Satan in the desert, but I am more thankful for the display of His greater love for us as He was willing to humiliate Himself, die the worst dead and, in that way, give His life for us so that we may be saved.

Beloved, I encourage you to go beyond Christmas, beyond the Christmas tree, beyond the lights, beyond the gift exchange, beyond the busyness of the season, and into the family of God.

What Impressed Me About Ballet Praise


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Yesterday I went to the gym; I prefer to walk and run outdoors, but it is too cold for me here in Fairbanks, Alaska. While I do cardio on the treadmill, I enjoy watching TV with my headphones on. It is better than just looking at the walls or at others that are really going faster than me.

         As I started flipping channels, I stopped on ESPN for an NBA Basketball game. I saw tattoos all over the place. I also noticed that apparently scoring points was not enough for the players, they have to talk trash, beat their chests and humiliate their opponent.

         Today I went to the gym again. This time, I saw a few MMA fights and interviews. Again, the arrogance, the disrespect, and the trash talking were evident. In the last two days, I watched some of the best athletes in the world acting like fools; that seems to be the norm now. No wonder that is exactly what I see in some of the local games at the high school level; they are trying to emulate their professional idols. What I see is an epidemic of arrogance, ignorance and plenty foolishness that is indeed sickening in this generation.

         I take issue with coaches that seem to only care about the game and show very little interest in helping these young men and women develop character. These coaches are not teaching any life skills, such as integrity, self-respect, modesty, or how to prioritize, nor do they seem to care or know how. Many times, I feel like they are not re-enforcing our values, but actually contradicting them.

         Oh, but I am so glad my weekend ended on a positive note. One of my daughters has been taking Ballet classes at Ballet Praise here in Fairbanks, with long time Ballet teacher Rebecca Smith.

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Miss Rebecca is a pioneer, as she founded the first faith-based dance studio in Interior Alaska. The Biblical foundation for their validation as a ministry is Psalm 149:3, “Let us praise Him with dancing…”

         To start with, Miss Rebecca did not charge at the door for this recital. I would have gladly paid and I am sure other parents felt the same way; but Miss Rebecca had a greater idea in mind. Miss Rebecca requested that we all bring can foods to be donated to a local ministry to feed the needy. So the students were actually dancing, not for fame, not for recognition, but to help others in need. Over 600 cans of food were collected that night and a great lesson to our children.

         However, the thing that impressed me the most was what was happening behind the scenes. The students were not only dancing, but also acting as the stage crew. With dozens of children, including very young children, it was refreshing to see teenagers and even pre-teens students so active in keeping the show rolling. They were serving, they were moving, and they were awesome.

         See, I hope that every single student’s dream at Ballet Praise becomes a reality; if that is to become a professional ballet dancer, let it be so. However, teaching kids humility, hard work, servant-hood, and respect was a glass of fresh water for me.

         Ballet Praise is taking a well-deserved break for the Christmas season, but you can bet that in January my daughter will be back. Not only that, my wife and I will add another one of our teenage daughters to the class.

Ballet Praise

         Miss Rebecca started her academy with two students six years ago, but today she has 92 students going strong. Congratulations Miss Rebecca, thank you for all you do; for teaching our children how to dance, but more importantly, for being an extension and enforcer of the values we teach our children at home. I can’t wait for next semester!

         For more information please visit www.balletpraise.com

Bruce Lee: What Makes Him the Best?


Bruce-Lee

There is not one martial art style superior or above others. History is showing us that the power is in the mixing of arts; MMA in the side of sports and advance military combat in the side of reality. The best is not found in styles, the best is found in the individual martial artist, his interpretation, his execution, his natural abilities, his dedication, his passion, his character and his impact in the lives of others. The legendary Bruce Lee, in his most popular quote, said,

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     I don’t agree with emptying our minds. The Bible does not tell us to empty our minds, but to transform our minds (Romans 12:2) However, I do agree with the rest of the quote.

     There was a time when Karate was the most popular art, then Kung Fu, Taekwondo and then Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, today everybody recognizes MMA, (Mix Martial Arts) I think that Bruce Lee was ahead of his time; he saw the power of mix martial arts before anybody did. However, I think that he saw beyond the mixing of martial arts; to a place where we have not step into yet.

Lee emphasised what he called “the style of no style”. This consisted of getting rid of the formalised approach which Lee claimed was indicative of traditional styles. Lee felt the system he now called Jun Fan Gung Fu was even too restrictive, and eventually evolved into a philosophy and martial art he would come to call Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist. It is a term he would later regret, because Jeet Kune Do implied specific parameters that styles connote; whereas the idea of his martial art was to exist outside of parameters and limitations.[46]

     It is said that before Bruce Lee died he closed all of his schools; perhaps he found his freedom. The great American Kickboxeer and one of the pioneers of full contact martial arts tournaments in the United States Joe Lewis said of Bruce Lee,

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Joe Lewis

“Bruce and I would only do drills related to combat. We did not give them names, such as Wing Chun etc. If it worked we used it and I have always trained that way. I do not care about names or styles, that is all garbage—and I mean garbage. Either your kick or choke worked or it didn’t: the style did not carry any super magic or extra powers.”   

     It is amazing to me that somebody that lived such short life caused such impact in the wonderful world of martial arts. That is the reason why, in my opinion and in the opinion of millions around the world, Bruce Lee was, is and forever will be the best martial artist of our era. 

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