A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
Reset (Starting Over)
In between the time I did the last issue until this Tuesday I’ve fallen way off the mark. Somewhere along the way, I stopped focusing on God and started focusing on all my problems. I felt so weighed down, angry and frustrated that I eventually backslid to all my vices. I wouldn’t say I did a 180, but the old me before Christ was definitely coming back. I was detached from everything and everyone around me to the point where I had distanced myself into a corner of isolation.
…the cycle of things going on around me was seemingly endless. I found myself waking up irritated and would dive right into my sin.
Then came this past Sunday and one of my brothers in Christ, who accepted his calling as a minister, gave his first sermon.
Every single word of his message hit me dead on, but the thing that cut me deep was when he began reading James 1:1-8 and I suddenly realized that I had become the thing God spoke against. I remember him saying, “How can you pray for others when you can’t even pray for yourself?” It has stayed with me since then, reverberating all throughout my soul.
You’re double-minded…you don’t trust God…you encourage others but you can’t encourage yourself…your prayers are useless if they’re full of doubt…why do you keep running from God when all you have to do is repent? What are you so afraid of?
Those were the things that kept echoing in my mind. I feared writing about it because I was scared of what God would say to me, but then the Holy Spirit brought a couple of verses I studied months ago back to my remembrance,
“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Prov. 3:11-12 KJV)
Right now I still feel as foul and jacked up as I did then. I find myself asking the Lord why He continues to save me and why He gives me so many chances, only to hear Him say that it’s for this very reason.
He reminds me of a snippet I posted up from one of the poems in my book. A reminder from Jesus Himself that it doesn’t matter how bad I think my situation is, or how bad I’ve messed up, or what all I’ve done because He alone has the power to redeem and deliver us all. He lives therefore there is still hope for me as long as there is breath in my body.
I feel horrible, as though I have let down so many people from how I’ve carried myself these past few weeks, but I can’t change what I’ve done. I can only choose to come home, clean up and press forward.
And maybe, just maybe you’ve been under attack and you’ve caved. Perhaps you chose to give in rather than resist. Maybe you have distanced yourself so far away from God that you feel disconnected from everything and everyone in your life. I am here to tell you that there truly is nothing too hard for God. Christ knows what you did; He was there. Do not allow shame and guilt to keep you from your deliverance, from the blessings God has in store for you. You don’t have to continue to live that way; you choose to.
So choose to be free. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how free we are…I had to be reminded myself.
I decided to make myself some reminders and pair them with scriptures. I’ll be writing more about it separately on my personal blog (jssberry.wordpress.com.) Maybe these will help you as well:
- I will not obsess over my problems (Psalm 121:1)
- My age will not hinder me (Genesis 21:1-2)
- I will succeed & accomplish my goals (I Corinthians 15:57-58)
- I will be patient and trust God NO MATTER WHAT (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
- I CAN do it and I CAN LEARN how to do it (Philippians 4:13)
I’ve given myself the task to read these reminders at least once a day every day alongside the scriptures. I am to remind myself of them and say them out loud every time a negative thought pops up, a person tries to speak curses over me, I begin to get restless or down about my situation, etc. Feel free to join me and let me know in the next few weeks how it’s been working for you.
Come back home to God and let Him fix it. He loves you and His desire is to make it better. Staying away only makes things worse; all you do is dig yourself into a deeper hole. Repent, let God clean you up and get back up.
Local news in the area
PASTOR’S EYE SURGERY GOES WELL
by Jacqueline S. Sadberry
Editor in Chief
Temple of Refuge pastor Dr. Michael W. Prince underwent surgery on his eye to reattach the retina on Aug. 18. The surgery went well with Prince reporting to his congregation this past Sunday that he could tell his sight was already improving.
The cost of the operation itself was $1500, and unfortunately, the Prince family was all but tapped out. First Lady Stephanie Prince had come up with an idea however: she raised money by making fish dinners. Combined with donations from friends, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ, enough was collected to pay for everything.
Currently Pastor Prince is recovering at home. He has been dealing with some pain and discomfort, but nothing serious. Please be sure to keep the Prince family encouraged and lifted in prayer.
We are still raising money to begin construction for our bathroom installation. The total cost of the project is $6000 and so far we have risen close to $4000. If you can, please make a donation by going to KTORRadio.com and clicking on the ‘donate’ button.
Sunday sermons, Wednesday messages
Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, “Don’t Miss Your Blessing Waiting on Confirmation (Judges 6:34-37)”
When God promises us something it’s guaranteed, but too often we question Him. Although Gideon received a word from the Lord, he continued to question and ask for Him to perform a series of miracles as a sign. “We keep looking for confirmation with the most simplest stuff [but] God entertains us anyway.”
Jesus presents us with an opportunity to go further than where we are, but too often we choose not to walk through the door He’s opened because of doubt or fear. Or we walk through it only to turn back around because the situation isn’t ideal to us, “Just because it becomes uncomfortable doesn’t mean you weren’t supposed to be there.”
Sometimes we can be guilty of asking the Lord for confirmation on the confirmation He’s already given, “…you’re looking for answers when Jesus has already given you the answer.” It makes no sense to sit around waiting on an answer that’s already been given to you, “The enemy is always moving while you’re sitting around moving around.” Don’t become a sitting duck for Satan to target.
There are times when the ones who should know God are full of doubt. Thomas had a hard time believing that Jesus had rose, declaring that he wouldn’t believe until he could touch Jesus’s wounds himself, “Why was it so hard for Thomas to believe that Jesus was eternal…more than the bones that encased Him?” Think of all the instances you ended up walking into a blessing simply because you went out on faith and trusted the One you serve?
“Why are we still praying doubtful prayers if we don’t believe? You’re wasting your time… How can you pray for others that way?” Christ constantly reminds us over and over again in His Word to not be afraid, that He will take care of us, “We have more power than we realize. If the saints would come together the world would not be the way it is today.” That promise may not come right away, but if we are His children we should learn to wait on Him faithfully.
Always know that God hasn’t forgotten about you, “Things aren’t going to happen overnight. If it does, praise God…but ask in faith. Instead of leaving your prayers and blessings insecure, trust in Jesus. Be serious about what you’re asking for.” Let us look to the Centurion man; others asked for signs and wonders while he only asked Jesuits speak a word over his situation, “…your blessing is already in store for you. You have to go forward.”
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, “Wisdom and Understanding (Proverbs 3:13)”
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Prov. 3:13)
The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon, who has become known as one of the wisest kings in the Bible. In this book, he is seeking to build up young men into leaders. He continually reiterates over and over for them to get wisdom, to lean on the Lord’s understanding and follow God’s commands. I’m sure we would all agree that an great leader is wise, one who’s able to discern between right and wrong, and can make sound decisions.
But there’s a difference between a leader who’s gained wisdom through countless, senseless mistakes that could’ve been avoided and leader who not only learns from their mistakes but take a proactive approach. As a leader, as disciples of Christ, if we are not taking the time to dig deeper and grow further in Him then we have nothing to give back to His people. “You can’t give them what you don’t have.” If you lack understanding, if you lack wisdom, then all you can give the people is nothing.
“Wisdom comes through experience. Whether it’s God ordained or things you brought on yourself, you should be learning something them. You can’t gain wisdom, however, if you continue to keep doing foolish things.” If you know God is the true source of wisdom, and yet you keep trying to do things on your own, then prosperous reading the Lord’s commands but not heading them.”
Prov. 3:5 tells us to trust God with all our hearts and not lean on our own understanding. You can only understand what the Lord reveals to you; understanding has to be given to you, and it can, all you have to do is ask for it. “God has the answer to every problem you can’t answer and all the one you THINK you can.” In short, we are in desperate need of God. We can’t get up in the morning unless He wakes us up, so what makes us believe we can fix things all by ourselves?
“You serve a God who can give you understanding even after you have made a severely grave mistake.” Perhaps you jeopardized a relationship or friendship because you of some foolish choices, or maybe you burned a bridge you shouldn’t have, “Some bridges can’t be repaired until the other person is ready to repair it. Other times He has to tear it down, but it has to be restored by God.”
A leader goes beyond self. They consider how their actions will affect the body as a whole, they seek godly wisdom and counsel, “It’s BIGGER than YOU, therefore your decisions impact everyone else in your vicinity. When you drop a pebble in the water, do the ripples stay in one place…? One action, one bad decision is all it takes to destroy everything God has built through you… Don’t tear down blessings God is trying to build up.”
THE ART GALLERY
Poems, shorts and other creative pieces
Painting: Richard Sherman
by Sarah Lumpe
This young lady is very talented artist. I stumbled across her artwork on Instagram and I’ve been following her ever since. She loves the Lord and she has an amazing gift! Feel free to check out more of work: @sarahlumpeart
Events and announcements for month of August
- Aug. 10-12: District Meeting, Tomball, TX
- Aug. 28: 4th Sunday, “Self Worth in Christ,” 5 p.m.