Surpluses in The United States Of America


This is just a little research I did a couple of years ago! Guys, only 12 surpluses since 1941?

angelcasiano.com

White House, Sen, House

Surplus
Year President’s Name President’s Party House Senate Amount (B)
1947 Harry Truman Democrat R R  $42.11
1948 Harry Truman Democrat D D  $114.56
1949 Harry Truman Democrat D D  $5.88
1951 Harry Truman Democrat D D  $54.95
1956 Dwight Eisenhower Republican D D  $33.62
1957 Dwight Eisenhower Republican D D  $28.33
1960 Dwight Eisenhower Republican D D  $2.36
1969 Richard Nixon Republican D D  $20.38
1998 Bill Clinton Democrat R R  $99.28
1999 Bill Clinton Democrat R R  $176.16
2000 Bill Clinton Democrat R R  $320.76
2001 George Bush Republican R D  $168.16
So what can we say about these numbers:
1.  Since 1941, that is, in 75 years, the United States has only experimented 12 years of Budget Surplus.
The rest of the 63 years have been deficits.
2. Only Five Presidents are a part of this prestigious group of Surpluses. 5 Republicans and 7 Democrats.
3. With…

View original post 181 more words

The Cameras: From Martin Luther King to Today


Police Arresting Martin Luther King
04 Sep 1958, Montgomery, Alabama, USA — Police officers O.M. Strickland and J.V. Johnson apply force in arresting the Reverend Martin Luther King for loitering near a courtroom where one of his integration lieutenants was on the stand. King charged he was beaten and choked by the arresting officers. Police denied the charges. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

In a time when we had far less camera coverage and television; before cell phones and selfies, Martin Luther King used the power of the video camera to expose the ugly face of racism, hate and injustice. It was a painful and humiliating fight that eventually cost him his own life, however, no other fight against racism has been more effective and has indeed accomplished more. Martin Luther King understood that only light drives out darkness. Even as racism continues to be a reality in our nation today, it is no longer politically correct to be a racist; that is, thanks to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

1371913

         The video cameras recorded the vulgar language and the evil philosophy of the white man against the black race. Racism existed in a far worst fashion than today! It was open, unashamed and widely accepted as the norm. We witnessed high ranked political figures, police officers and sheriffs referring to our people as “niggers” on national television. They did not lose their jobs, but were held as heroes! The cameras showed it all, not as a movie or television show, but as something real.

1878538

         The cameras showed how black men were beaten, pushed around, sucker punched, and pushed down by the pressure of firefighter’s water hoses. The whole world saw how the white man did not even pull back their hatred against the black woman and the black child. The same white man who opened the car doors for the white lady and who removed his hat in her presence; did not have any problem addressing our black women like animals and calling our children “little niggers.”

Martin Luther King Escorting Children
20 Sep 1966, Grenada, Mississippi, USA — Dr. Martin Luther King is shown leading a group of black children to their newly integrated school in Grenada, Mississippi, escorted by folk singer Joan Baez and two aides, Andy Young (L) and Hosea Williams (next to Baez). — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

         Do you remember the first time you heard your voice on a voice recording? Do you remember how you felt when you first saw yourself on video? The cameras shook the conscience of our nation; as our nation was able to see, for the first time, how hate looks like on T.V. Some white folks were uninvolved, some did not see anything wrong, but were transformed and had an immediate change of heart when they saw hate on prime time T. V. We must remember that some of our white brothers and sisters died for the cause of freedom too.

         Many more cameras are rolling today than in the 50s and 60s. But what do we see now? Do we see excessive force? Yes we do! Are the cameras showing police brutality; not always, but enough to be an issue. Police officers are held by higher standards; they exist to protect us. When we have an off day at work, well, we sacrifice somebody’s paper work. When a police officer has an off day, maybe, just maybe, somebody will die that day! The cameras are showing one too many cases of officers disregarding life and taking a life without considering other options or other levels of appropriate force. The cameras are there to judge the unjustifiable from the justifiable.

         I know, I know, some reading this article will bring up the statistics, the streets of Chicago and the fact that more black men are dying at the hands of other black men. Oh I know; the number of white police officers intervening with blacks is enormous compared to the little percent that ends up in a shootings and more less deaths. The issue that I have is that perhaps we are missing the value of one soul; perhaps we are bringing down the value of life. My bible tells me that everything in this world can’t compare to the value of a single soul (Matthew 16:26 / Mark 8:36). I am not endorsing the Black Lives Matter in any way; I believe that is led by a bunch of hateful and confuse kids; but the soul of a black man is as valuable as any other soul; so one unjust killing is one too many.

         But what is it that the cameras are showing today? Can we hear the eloquence of Dr. Martin Luther King and his followers in the black voices of today? Malcolm X had a more aggressive speech, as aggressive as it got during those dangerous days; but was he making sense? Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had two different styles of fighting, but neither one of them were enticing ignorance. Malcolm X advocated for self-defense; if you mess with him, he was ready to retaliate back with whatever means necessary. Dr. King was a cry for love, for peace, reconciliation and unity. His message was sealed with his blood.

differences-between-martin-luther-king-and-malcolm-x1

         The cameras today are showing a whole different story. The cameras are showing us destroying businesses, stealing from our own people and disrespecting even those officers who are doing their jobs lawfully. The cameras are showing how we are disrespecting each other, destroying the very neighborhoods we grew up in; how we are more eager for violence than for facts and truth. On live television, for the whole world to see, the cameras are showing our ignorance as we attempt to fight darkness with more darkness.

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man
FERGUSON, MO – AUGUST 11: Protesters are forced by police from the business district into nearby neighborhoods on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets as residents and their supporters protested the shooting by police of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown who was killed Saturday in this suburban St. Louis community. Yesterday 32 arrests were made after protests turned into rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

         This fight is ineffective and destructive, and will, at the end, accomplish nothing for the betterment of our people and of our nation. The cameras today are showing a nation in trouble; a nation infected with bitterness; a nation filled with unforgiveness on one side and historical myopias on the other; a nation who worships and honors the founding fathers, but closes their eyes to our historical injustices, a nation more enraged about men not standing for our national anthem than for those whom are unjustly gunned down. Something is wrong when we are selective in what tragedies to never forget and honor and what lives matter and what lives do not.

         This is a nation of policies and procedures. When something goes wrong, policies and procedures are expected to change; but when a life is unjustly gunned down by a police officer, we make excuses; “nobody is perfect”; “officers make mistakes too” and so on.

enhanced-12697-1430497612-21

         The narrative of “hands up, don’t shoot” is based on a lie; facts confirm that; but can we take responsibility for a man who is being physically restrained by multiple trained officers and expresses several times that he can’t breath? Can we take a look at that one? Those who always see the police, in every case, no matter what, in the right, are wrong! And those who see blacks in the right, no matter what, are wrong also.

         I challenge you to look at the camera, what is it that the camera is saying? Can you be objective? Kids disrespecting police officers, officers killing innocent people; case by case, one by one, what do you see? The cameras are showing who we are, what we have become. This is America today! The cameras are rolling!

image

LEAVE!


016589163_40400

I believe that:

1) There is something out there that can be properly called the Institutionalized Church. This is a church that is set and unchanging. The problem is that is set on manmade traditions and not God’s. I believe this church suffers no persecution from the world because, at its heart, is a man centered church. The focus here is pleasing man rather than God and receiving the validation of the world. The modus operandi of this church is secularism.

2) Because of the abandonment of the apostolic teachings, the Lord will release many out of local churches. Many of these local churches are like boats that are leading God’s people away from the shore of truth. Many of you are going to have to jump out of those boats. 2 John 1:9-11 brings this point home nicely, Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (NKJV) For those who have the tendency to minimize the importance of teaching God’s Word over emotionalism, I have news for you; you are not even worth saying hi to. If you are in a local church that is not teaching the doctrine of Christ… LEAVE!

3) The Bible gives us a clear roadmap of how the church should look like (Stop with the NEW THING). We find our purpose in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. The Modus operandi is clearly found on Acts 2:42 and Ephesians 4:12-16

4) In every Christian denomination you will find authentic Christians. As we read the 7 churches in Revelation, even those churches that were under severe judgment had true believers in it. For those true believers in those churches: You are there to insist in truth, to speak up and not to be a cheese ball and a coward. Don’t be afraid of getting in trouble (You will) and don’t be afraid of getting kick out (You will if they don’t listen). Remember that loves delights in truth! (1 Corinthians 13). Speak the truth in the mix of all those lies you are listening to Sunday after Sunday.

5) Moving away from God’s Word as the maximum authority in the search and recognition of truth, is a clear sign of not belonging to Christ. Christ demands that we remain in his Word (Teaching). John 8:31-32 tells us, Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word (Logos: written word), you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV) Our freedom is not found in laughing uncontrollably or barking like a dog or screaming like a siren or running up and down the sanctuary… Our freedom is found in truth. Any group that minimizes the authority of Scripture as a confirmation and compass of truth is either not of God or highly deceived. Wherever you find folks watering down the Gospel… LEAVE!

6) It is not about the building, I agree, we are the church. Meeting under a tree, in a parking lot, in a dinning or living room, etc. does not make you any holier or any more or less part of the church.

7) God did not call us to place our focus on criticizing the church, but to expose false prophets and teachers amongst us. For a list of Bible verses addressing this issue click here: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Exposing-False-Teachers/

8) Our focus is to make disciples, to teach them to abide in all that Jesus commands. How is it that the Great Commission has become the great omission? Because we continue to increasingly preach a gospel without responsibility, accountability, process and/or efforts. We have become enemies of good works. We are creating an environment where spiritual laziness is celebrated as truth. Never mind that we are call to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18), never mind that we are called to STUDY God’s Word (2 Peter 2:15)… never mind that we are called to EQUIP the saints for the WORK of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:12-16) If these things are not happening in your local church… LEAVE!

9) We, as the church, are not called to change the world, we are called to evangelize. Why do we continue to insist in mixing with the world? Are we not call to be holy? Are we not call to get out of this Babylonian system? (1 Peter 1:16 / Revelation 18:4) Do you realize that God will destroy this secular demonic system in one hour? (Revelation 18:10). So our job is to bring them out of darkness into light by the preaching of the Good News. (Luke 4:18-19) And, lastly,

10) You MUST bring this church experience HOME. Notice that I am not saying HOUSE (Building), I am saying HOME! (Family). If you are not worshiping, if you are not studying God’s Word, if you are not praying, if you are not engaging in Godly conversations, if you are not loving Jesus and if you are not changing AT HOME, then YOU are FULL of MANMADE RELIGION! I implore you… Leave and rescue your faith! Leave and rescue your family… Leave and let set the captives free before it is too late!

 

Biblical Not Political


I am not blind to the historical atrocities, contradiction, arrogance, injustices and hypocrisy of America. What do you expect from this world system? But God’s ways are unchanging; we must not walk in bitterness, we must forgive, we must love our enemies and we must all embrace the ministry of reconciliation. As this nation sees the racial divide widening, our message must be biblical and not political!

For real answers meditate on these:

2 Corinthians 4:4
Hebrews 12:15
Colossians 3:13
Matthew 5:44
2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Whether You Agree or Not


krEveryKneeShallBow.tif'Every Knee Shall Bow'  J. Kirk Richards
krEveryKneeShallBow.tif ‘Every Knee Shall Bow’ J. Kirk Richards

The purpose for this article is not to defend God, He can do that all by Himself; but I am here to defend the hope that is in me.[1] I serve a God who is love;[2] who gave us a free will and freedom to even reject and hate Him. Because of this freedom, evil exist; but only in this freedom can true love flow! How can it be love if it is forced?[3]

         Make no mistake about it; God is also a redeemer who will indeed redeem all of His people from the devastations of sin, the secular world and demonic forces. Evil itself will have a final hour; it will be a total and eternal extermination. Because of His indescribable love for us, Jesus gave His life as the ultimate atonement for sin, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.[4]

         I know that there are injustices, much pain and many tears in this world; but I am here to tell you that my God is also a judge; how can He be so loving, but also be a judge? Only He can, for His judgments are true and righteous![5]

         Whether you agree or not, I am here to tell you that you are a sinner; somebody has to tell you! There is none good[6], not even you! All of us are guilty of sin and fallen short of the glory of God[7]. Whether you agree or not, I am here to tell you that you must repent of your sins and believe in Jesus as the only one with the authority to be Lord and Savior. This is an ancient message as true today as it was 2,000 years ago.

         Whether you agree or not, God has a plan for you, the perfect plan, so much better than the very best you can wish for yourself. God is a good God,[8] who is not in the business of harming you, but is in the business of blessing you.[9] We are now in the times of grace; times where He can be found, but that door will one day be close forever.[10] There is love now; a reaching out, a heartfelt evangelism and commission; but the wraths of God will come later to purge the earth from all evil.

         Beloved, whether you agree or not, your knees and every knee in the world that ever existed will bow before HIM and, every tongue that ever existed will simultaneously confess His Lordship.[11] Soften your heart, for my God has made His existence obvious[12], and let Him into your soul. Whether you agree or not… this is the TRUE!

[1] I Peter 3:15

[2] First John 4:8

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH2DEOxvaWk

[4] John 3:16

[5] Revelation 19:2

[6] Mark 10:18

[7] Romans 3:23

[8] Psalm 136:1

[9] Jeremiah 29:11

[10] Isaiah 55:6

[11] Romans 14:11

[12] Romans 1:18-20

Misleading Definitions of Grace


0fda8e3b0d3a84e89881c612124ccf40

Grace is the maximum expression of God’s love, His ultimate gift, the greatest manifestation of power and the most effective instrument of success. Grace is not the enemy of the law, but the fulfillment of it. Did grace not come through Jesus?[1] Is not Jesus the fulfillment of the law? In Matthew 5:17 Jesus tells us, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (KJV)

         For those who speak against the law as if the law is some kind of disease, you are dangerously mistaken. The law is God’s standard and his standard has not change.[2]

         The law proved the point that none of us is able to follow it. The law pointed straight at Jesus as our only Savior.[3] I have been reading and watching videos in social media with absolutely incorrect interpretations and definitions of grace. Boy, they sound good! But there is one major problem; the message is dangerously incomplete.

         If you listen to these folks, they make it sound as if folks under grace are exempts from any works. Let me make this clear, grace is not a reason or an excuse for us to be lazy, it is indeed the reason why we do good works.

         We do not do these works to gain or retain salvation; we do these works because it is what the Word tells us to do. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (KJV)

         This theme of good works and of being a blessing in this world, is not a new one; it is clearly established from the very beginning with Abraham. God raised the nation of Israel to be a blessing to the world.[4] So, if the Old Testament establishes God’s people as the instrument of blessing in the world, how much more, we, New Testament folks, ought to be a blessing, as we are partakers of a greater promise?[5]

         To these new evangelicals of grace I say, do not read beyond the Word of God in trying to find new definitions of biblical concepts. What you are doing is not new, Paul told the Corinthians Church, “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” First Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)

         I heard a man saying, “Grace is more than an unmerited favor.” Does this man realize that grace is a word that already has an established Greek definition? John 1:17 tells us, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (KJV) The word grace here is the Greek Word cháris, meaning: “To rejoice. Grace, particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, gratitude. A favor done without expectation of return; the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; unearned and unmerited favor.”[6]

         Notice that, in listening to these Neoevangelicals, they say a lot of things with very little or no Scripture and when they do use Scripture, for the most part, is used out of context. Some, not all, are borderline inclusionist; that is the belief that everybody is going to make it to heaven.

         When you see folks going beyond the original meaning of the words, ignoring and minimizing Scripture and teaching private interpretations of Scripture, run from them.[7] In order for us to be Jesus’ disciples we must remain in His Word.[8] In other words, the Bible is the place where we find and confirm truth, not in Dr. Joe Blow’s fancy and private interpretations.

         The truth is that we as Christians are not called by God to be lazy; we are actually called to do many things; make disciples, teach Jesus commands, care for the poor, the widows, minister to those in prison and in hospitals and the list goes on and on. This idea that we are just floating around in this world doing nothing, is not biblical. We as Christians have so much to do that indeed, without God’s grace we won’t be able to accomplish anything.

         As Christians we should be equipping the saints to the work of the ministry according to Ephesians 4:12-16. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). As the direct result of all these lazy, hippie gospel promoters and these misleading definitions of grace, we have many saints walking with dead faith.

         We will be judge by Jesus for the things we did and did not do while on this earth.[9] Doing something is not a recommendation, is a biblical mandate. So I conclude with these words: Get up your BUTT and DO Something for GOD!

Biblical Reference:

[1] John 1:17

[2] Matthew 5:18

[3] Galatians 3:15-22

[4] Genesis 22:18

[5] Hebrews 8:6

[6] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[7] 2 Peter 1:20

[8] John 8:31

[9] 2 Corinthians 5:10

America is US


12-Years-A-Slave-014

America has some ugly chapters in her history. It is nauseating to listen to these conservative radio personalities speak as if those chapters do not exist. It is equally nauseating to see our current civil right leaders want-to-be, talking as if we are still in the days of slavery and in the days of Dr. King and Malcolm X. Neither man, by the way, saw their fortieth birthday.

         The insensitivity of the white man to pretend that we can just move on from the consequences of slavery, will continue to keep the wound of separation in our society open. On the other hand, the idea that we, as minorities, are now entitle to goodies and exempt from the duty of respect, the pride of our own efforts and, as the direct consequence of injustices suffered, we can somewhat be exempted from God’s principles of holiness, good works towards others, forgiveness towards those who trespassed against us and, that somewhat now we have no obligation, as Christians, to love, that is, including our enemies, it is also contributing to this open and infected wound in our society.

         People like Rush Limbaugh seem to skip slavery all together. They are either unable to see the historical greed of this nation or are blinded by their own. Such hypocrisy is irritating to me. But one thing I know, the atrocity of slavery, that great sin against mankind can’t be forgiven nor forgotten in our strength. The blood of our ancestors, the humiliation of our fathers who were powerless witnesses of the raping of our mothers, sisters and even themselves, by their own masters, can’t be erased with a few government programs.

         Beloved, not even with a million dollars in the hands of every slave descendant can this wound possibly be healed. Have you seen the condition of our Native American brothers and sisters in Alaska? With all the dividends and millions in entitlement programs, they are still at the bottom and far away from the American Dream. Have you noticed those amongst us who are now millionaires? Many are still filled with bitterness and anger against the white man? Money did not heal them and money will not heal you.

         America is US, that is, you and me! Do you have ugliness in your story? I know I do; shameful things I done; sin against my brothers and against my God. But I read somewhere in Romans that faith comes by hearing. So I preach, I teach and I write with all my heart; not to exalt myself, for there is nothing to exalt here, but to exalt the One and True God, the Creator of heaven and earth and the only one worthy of being recognized by his goodness. Oh yes! That somebody, somewhere listening or reading the words of my Lord be saved and encouraged to follow Jesus and not only that, but to GO and tell others about this hope of glory. I hold on to the words of the Great Apostle Paul when he states,

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 King James Version (KJV)

 

 

 

¿Opinión o Verdad?


verdad-font

Creo que es importante el establecer que la verdad no es cuestión de opiniones e individualismos, culturas, etc. La verdad es real, existe, es tangible, ha existido y existirá siempre. Juan 1:14 nos dice, “Y el Verbo se hizo carne y habitó entre nosotros lleno de gracia y de verdad; y vimos su gloria, gloria como del unigénito del Padre.” Reina-Valera 1995 (RVR1995).

         Cuando yo era chamaco criándome en Puerto Rico, escuché muchas veces que los que leen la Biblia se vuelen locos. ¡Qué acusación tan asquerosa y descarada! La Biblia es el libro más poderoso en la historia de la humanidad. Lo que hace este libro tan poderoso es precisamente el hecho de que es la Palabra de Dios.

         No niego que hay conceptos que son difíciles de entender; de hecho, muchos de los conceptos en la Biblia son imposibles de entender si todavía no has experimentado el nuevo nacimiento. Jesucristo lo explicó de esta manera, “Pero si nuestro evangelio está aún encubierto, entre los que se pierden está encubierto; esto es, entre los incrédulos, a quienes el dios de este mundo les cegó el entendimiento, para que no les resplandezca la luz del evangelio de la gloria de Cristo, el cual es la imagen de Dios.” Segunda de Corintios 4:3-4 (RVR1995).

         Esta ceguera del mundo, continuamente abre puertas a confusión y ha opiniones baratas. Solamente en Jesucristo encontramos la absoluta verdad. La verdad no se encuentra en partidos políticos, figuras de televisión, los famosos, célebres, ni aun en los que son altamente educados; si quieres encontrar la verdad abre tu corazón a Cristo y su Palabra.

         Ha esta lista debo también añadir que Dios no se somete a ninguna denominación. Toda denominación que abandona la Palabra como la fuente de verdad absoluta es una denominación que se ha infectado y apartado del camino de justicia. Son precisamente estas denominaciones las que Satanás utiliza con más fuerza para traer confusión al Cuerpo de Cristo, es un ataque que emerge desde nuestros propios púlpitos.

         Nosotros los discípulos de Cristo traemos nuestras biblias a nuestras reuniones; no de adorno, pero para confirmar que lo que dice el predicador está claramente confirmado en las Escrituras. La pregunta clave que te hago es esta, ¿En qué está basada tu vida, en opinión o en verdad?

Hope for the Divorced in the Church: A Radio Interview About the Topic


In a few weeks, my first book will be published. I am super excited about that. This has been a four-year project. I am inviting you to listen to this interview I did with Mrs. Sherrie Clark on her radio show, God Where Were You When? At the time this show was recorded, the title for my book was different, but the heart of the conversation is an insight to what this book is all about. I hope you enjoy this interview. Click below to listen:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/truthnetwork/2014/03/20/god-where-were-you-when

angelcasiano.com

angel

In a few weeks, my first book will be published. I am super excited about that. This has been a four-year project. I am inviting you to listen to this interview I did with Mrs. Sherrie Clark on her radio show, God Where Were You When? At the time this show was recorded, the title for my book was different, but the heart of the conversation is an insight to what this book is all about. I hope you enjoy this interview. Click below to listen:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/truthnetwork/2014/03/20/god-where-were-you-when

View original post

Hope for the Divorcee: Forgiven and Moving Forward


 

https://www.facebook.com/hopeforthedivorcee/

Acknowledgments

I want to take this time to thank God, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I want to thank Mrs. Santana, one of my high school teachers, for allowing me to see that indeed, God gave me a gift to write.

I want to thank Pastor José Bosque for inviting me to write small articles for one of his websites. I want to thank Pastor Wallace who saw the good, the bad and the ugly in me but was always eager to encourage me to write.

I want to thank my wife Rayette Casiano for asking the question that provoked the writing of this book. I want to thank Frank Bennett for also being part of the inspiration to the writing of this book. I want to acknowledge the following people who, when asked for their opinions for a possible title for this book, they responded immediately: Dr. Michael L. Hadsall, Pastor Sandy Outlaw with whom I serve together in ministry, Pastor Jonathan Rissmiller, whom I consider not only a brother but a friend, Suzan L. Brown, Josué Ramos, Pastor Alex Meadows, Pastor Jeff Oden, senior pastor of the local church where I have the honor to currently serve as a teacher of God’s Word, Pastor Keith Kurber, whose middle name should be “Encouragement,” Chris Chestnut, Erika Harrison, Dr. John Russell, another dear brother who always encourages me to write, and Pastor Rochelle Olson.

Finally, I want to acknowledge one of my personal doctors, but most importantly, a friend, Dr. Michael Fitch. I consider many of our conversations priceless!