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A tribute to the late Andrae Crouch


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Legendary gospel singer/songwriter, Andrae Crouch passed away on Thursday January 8, 2014. He was 72.

Crouch was a remarkable gospel singer. His music has touched the lives of many people around the world.

The Recording Academy awarded him with seven Grammys during a career that spanned more than a half-century.

He wrote his first song at age 14. Some of his more well-known songs are “Soon and very soon,” The blood will never lose its power,” To God be the glory,” and my favorite, “Through it all.”

May his soul rest in peace.

Do not be misled—you cannot mock God.


A couple days ago I stumbled upon a very disturbing post on the Patheos website, titled, “Why I broke up with Jesus.” The author, Neil Carter is a former church elder; and now an apparent atheist, tried his darnedest to make fun of Jesus. He stated that there were many reasons for the brake up, but one of the  main ones was Jesus wouldn’t return his calls. And since he could not get in touch with Jesus, he asked some of Jesus’ friends to explain. In essence, the purpose of Mr. Carter’s ridiculous post is to deny Jesus’ existence. But God is not mocked. Jesus says,

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

However, aside from the author’s ridiculousness, I was flabbergasted by most of the answers the so-called friends of Jesus gave him. Obviously, none of these people have any knowledge of how God works. Job 33:14 says, “For God speaks once, yes twice, yet man perceives it not.”

Here are some excerpts from the post:

“About five years ago, I broke up with Jesus. Recently someone asked me why. There were plenty of reasons but one of the main ones was that he wouldn’t return my calls.

Since I couldn’t get in touch with him, I asked some of his friends to explain to me why he wouldn’t get back to me, but their answers were never helpful.  Each one had a different explanation and none of them really made me feel any better:

  • Some said he heard my messages but didn’t answer because what I wanted wasn’t the same as what he wanted, and he only answers calls he already agrees with.  Huh.  Okay.
  • Some told me he might not have liked my tone of voice.  Maybe I wasn’t asking for him to call me in the right way?  I dunno.
  • One guy said that Jesus would only answer me as long as I had no doubts that he would answer; but if I doubted, then he wouldn’t.  That sounded kind of sketchy.
  • Some said it was because he wasn’t ready to answer me—the timing wasn’t right somehow.  I wonder how many years you’re supposed to wait before you can conclude the other person has moved on?
  • Others said sometimes he doesn’t answer just because he wants to see how long people will go without an answer before they give up.  That sounds kind of…schmucky…if you ask me.
  • Finally, one guy informed me I shouldn’t expect an answer at all.  Like, maybe it was wrong for me to want for him to actually communicate with me.  Or if he did communicate with me, it would be telepathically through other people who wouldn’t necessarily even know they were communicating on his behalf.  I just don’t even know what to say to that.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2014/11/10/why-i-broke-up-with-jesus/#ixzz3JBnqvuiQ

What do you do when problems overwhelm you?


We are unique in many ways. Hence, we all have different methods of approaching difficult situations. Some of us turn to professionals, family, friends and neighbors when we do not know what to do with our problems. But often time these sources of help are inadequate. So, many of us throw our hands in the air and give up. Others who have read God’s Word and believed in His promises turn to Him for divine help.

In 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat, king of Judah was faced with a very difficult situation. He got the news from the people that the Moabites, Meunites and the Ammonites were mounting an attack against him. And even though he was fearful. He never took things in his hands, and he never surrendered. Instead, he turned to God for divine intervention. Here is what the Bible says:

“Jehoshaphat was terrified by the news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. 4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.

Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah, and Jerusalem, in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the LORD. 6 He prayed, “O LORD, God of our ancestors. You alone are the God, who is in heaven. You are the ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. 9 They said, ‘Whenever we face any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where we honor your name. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us” 2 Chronicles 20:3-9).

God did answer Jehoshaphat’s prayer. His soldiers did not have to lift a finger. The enemies started fighting against themselves. The Bible says; there were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as the eye could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

And here is the kicker according to verse 30: “So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side”.

He is not here, He is risen, just as He said


Scripture Reference:  Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-21:25.

After the Romans had crucified Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea had Christ‘s body placed in his own tomb. A large stone covered the entrance and soldiers guarded the sealed tomb. On the third day, a Sunday, some women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and Salome are all mentioned in the gospel accounts) went to the tomb at dawn to anoint the body of Jesus.

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A powerful earthquake took place as an angel from heaven rolled the stone back. The guards shook in fear as the angel, dressed in bright white, sat upon the stone. The angel announced to the women that Jesus was no longer in the tomb, “He has risen, just as he said.” Then he instructed the women to check the tomb and see for themselves. Next he told them to go tell the disciples. 

With a mixture of fear and joy they ran to obey the angel’s command, but suddenly Jesus met them on their way. They fell at his feet and worshiped him. Jesus then said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.”

When the guards reported what had happened to the chief priests, they bribed the soldiers with a large sum of money, telling them to lie and say that the disciples had stolen the body in the night.

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the women near the tomb and afterwards at least twice to the disciples while they had gathered at a house in prayer. He visited two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and he also appeared at the Sea of Galilee while some of the disciples were fishing.

Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday?


Sunday, March 24th is Palm Sunday in Christian tradition. Today Christians all over the world celebrate the day Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on a donkey to shouts of, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

For many Christian churches, Palm Sunday, often referred to as “Passion Sunday,” marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday. Today is call Palm Sunday because the crowds covered Jesus’ path with branches of palm leaves as He rode by on the donkey. It was a joyous welcome.stdas0760[1]

The biblical account of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19.

Matthew 21:1-11
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what (Zechariah 9:9) the prophet foretold five hundred years earlier.

“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. An extremely large crowd spread their cloaks on the road while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the city got stirred up and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

What moved Jesus to comment on the widow’s mite?


The story of the widow’s mite described in Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4 is a fascinating and intriguing one. Most of us have heard or read this story more times than we can remember, yet most of us have missed the essential point–selflessness.220px-BasilikaOttobeurenFresko08[1]

The big question, however, is: “What moved Jesus to comment on the Widow’s Mite?” I am sure there were other poor widows in the Synagogue that day. Some may have even given less than two mites, so, Why did Jesus choose to comment on this widow? The answer is not as obvious as I thought. However, embedded in the story, one sees a poor widow displays an unusual and unique characteristic–others before self. In other words, she gave selflessly. It did not matter that the two mites were all she had to survive. She placed them in the offering plate without thinking about her needs. This to me was an extraordinary display of faith and a strong belief in God as her provider. Choosing others before self is not easy, but when we do Jesus takes note. After all, He chose others before self when He dies at Calvary.

Here is Mark’s version of the story: Jesus sat in the temple near the treasury and watched as people walked by and deposited their gifts for the temple. Some made a show of it, mainly because they wanted others to see how much they had given. Suddenly a poor woman who was a widow, came by and threw in two mites.250px-Widowsmite[1]

Now, back in those days, a mite was the least valuable coin used. Therefore, the widow’s gift was extremely small, amounting to nothing in the eyes of many. However, Jesus looked at her heart and saw what others did not see. Thus, He commented: “All the others contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:44). The widow did not draw attention to herself. Her gift was much too small for anyone to notice. Of course, except Jesus. She gave from the heart, and she was selfless in doing so.

God sees everything we do, and it does not matter how small it may seem. It may be nothing more than a smile, a handshake, a silent prayer, a comforting word, or an unnoticed act of love and kindness to someone who is going through tough times.
Jesus said: “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven. “Therefore”, when thou do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and the streets that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say, they have their reward. Hence when thou do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:1-4).

Is condemning the fallen bad for the Church?


Christ and fhe Adulterous Woman

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).

Everybody stumbles and everybody fall sometimes; including the most pious among us. However, as Christians we routinely ignore these fundamental biblical facts, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)… “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Still many in Christendom and other religions too, have adopted the holier-than-thou personality and set themselves up as judge and jury. Consequently, instead of helping to strengthen and pick up the fallen, they selflessly unleash judgment base on their emotions. This is a dangerous practice, especially when the judge and jury themselves have bigger planks in their eyes than that they seek to remove from another person’s eye.

I have seen many young Christian women got thrown out of the Church because they got pregnant. Sometimes even the parents side with the draconian tribunal, leaving the victim feeling hopeless and abandoned. Everyone in the Church understands that salvation is a gift from God, which none of us deserve. The apostle Paul said it best, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. It is not by your own merit; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Hence, when a brother or a sister falls it is the duty of the Church to encourage and support the person rather than being judge and jury.

This premise that a sin committed publicly, deserves a harsher punishment than that  committed privately is a fallacy. Jesus debunk this argument when religious leaders brought a women caught committing adultery to Him. The religious leaders of the day were expecting Jesus to hand down the ultimate punishment–death by stoning, but He surprised them. Jesus did not condemn the woman or her accusers. As a matter of fact, He did not utter a condemning word.

Here, is John’s account of the incident: Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery. Furthermore, when they set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, we caught this woman in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. What do you say” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accused Him. However, Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, became convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. Then Jesus was alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had straightened Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has not anyone one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11).

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