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Archive for July, 2005

Only One Mediator


Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a woman who is honoured above all women as she was chosen to give birth to the Saviour. The angel Gabriel said to her in Luke 1:28; ""Rejoice highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"" She was a virgin and of the royal line of the house of David.(Luke 1:26, 3:23-38) She did not stay a virgin. After Jesus was born she and Joseph had many children. The author of the book of James was his half brother. (Gal. 1:19) Other brothers mentioned are Joses, Simon, and Judas. Also mentioned are his sisters. (Matthew 13:55-56, Mark 6:3)

She was not the mother of God, but of the man Jesus. She gave birth to His humanity not to His deity. To give birth to something means to bring something into being. Christ Jesus existed before creation. (John 1:1) He existed before He came in Human form. Mary is not Devine and to be worshipped. One day a woman approached Jesus and said "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Luke 11:27-28) He deflected any worship directed at her. In Luke 2:48-49 she showed some very un-Devine attributes.

Mary needed to be saved in the same way as any human being. The bible says in Romans 3:10 that there is none righteous, not one and that all have sinned (there is no exception aside from Jesus) and all fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) You cannot pray to Mary or seek forgiveness for your sins from her. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5; ""For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. Jesus said it best Himself in John 14:6; No man comes to the Father, but by Me. Don’’t be deceived my brothers and sisters, there is no other name under heaven by which men may be saved. (Acts 4:12) Only by calling on Jesus can you be saved from your sins. If you are praying to Mary for salvation, you praying to no avail and will perish.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

The Way of a Fool – Part 9


O LORD, you are my God;
       I will exalt you and praise your name,
       for in perfect faithfulness
       you have done marvelous things,
       things planned long ago.
Isaiah 25:1

Elaine was born in Hull, Quebec, the second youngest of 5 children. The oldest was Gilbert, then came Celine, Julie, Elaine and Denis. Her parents were well known leaders in a Transcendental Meditation cult that had sprung up here in Quebec and had written a few books on the subject. Her dad also dabbled in the occult as well.

Her early years were chaotic as they moved around a lot and because of some kind of scam her parents got in trouble with the law. They were fugitives for a while travelling around the States. At one point they left their children in a transcendental meditation camp in Vermont. Eventually the parents were caught and Elaine and her siblings were put in a convent while their parents served time in jail for their offences. I never really found out what it was for as Monique never wanted to talk about those times and Elaine knew very little about what the reasons were. After they came out of prison and recovered their children, they declared bankruptcy and her dad got a job as a printer and her mom as a school teacher.

When she was about eight years old she was crossing the street and was hit by a city bus. She was thrown across the street and landing on top of another vehicle. She miraculously survived with a concussion and a leg injury. God’s hand protected her that day.

As a young teenager, Elaine would often get herself into trouble at school and often found her self at the principal’s office. But at the age of 14 she started having questions about her life and her future. She saw many of her friends turning to drugs and alcohol. One evening she was at a party with a guy who was much older than her and drugs were being passed around. She decided that evening that this was not the lifestyle she wanted and went home.

Unbeknownst to their parents, her two older sisters had been attending a church. One day they invited Elaine to come along. Elaine says she didn’t understand much of the message that was given that day, but when the altar call was made she responded and found herself up at the front. She kept hearing someone behind her saying "Touch her, touch her." As one of her sisters was standing directly in front of her, she assumed that the person was wanting Elaine to reach out and touch her sister. She didn’t realize at the time that the person was actually praying that God would touch Elaine. She closed her eyes and God’s spirit moved upon her. She saw a light and the light said to her; "Today you are my disciple." She didn’t even know what a disciple was and the whole idea of Christianity was foreign to her. Other than her contact with the nuns at the convent she knew nothing. She just knew that on that day something happened to her. She was changed and hungered to know more.

When her parents found out that she had accepted Christ as her Lord and that she and her sisters had been attending a church, they flipped. They forbade them to go back anymore. But that didn’t stop the Lord from reaching out to Elaine. The youth pastor from the church she had gone to would go and see her at her school and teach her about the bible. She began to grow and would spend hours in her room reading the bible. At school the changes were very significant as well and she went from being a trouble maker to someone who loved to witness about Jesus to her schoolmates. She won many of them to the Lord in her last year of High school. Unfortunately her sisters didn’t continue on with the Lord and chose to go back out into the world because the relationships with their boyfriends.

Her parent’s marriage began to fail and it was found out that her dad was seeing another woman. Monique, Elaine’s mom decided to separate from her husband and found a flat in LaSalle. Only Elaine and Denis were living at home at the time and they both moved with her. It was in the pain of betrayal by her husband that Elaine was able to reach out to her mom and Christ entered in. They decided that Trinity would be a good church for her to attend as it was close to home. Monique had a sister that was a nun who had a very sincere relationship with Christ. I believe that it was because of that woman’s prayers that Elaine and Monique came to the Lord.

In our New Beginnings class at church, Monique would often speak about her daughter and how Elaine was teaching her so much. How thankful she was to have a daughter like her. Elaine was attending a church in Terrebonne which is north east of Montreal, but was finding the travel hard. One day she felt God was telling her she needed to learn English and so eventually she joined her mom at Trinity. It was 1982. Elaine was 19 and I was 26 when we met. There was a 7 and a half year difference between us. Because of our street witnessing team, I got to talk to her often. One evening I got up the courage and decided to ask this beautiful woman out on a date. I was pleasantly surprised when she said yes. I went home that night walking on air.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

The Way of a Fool – Part 8


In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

In my early walk with Christ there was a few circumstances that brought me to a crisis. When I came to the Lord a friend of my cousin’s came to know Him at the same time. I had lived with this woman’s sister when I was 19 so I knew her to a certain extent. We became quite good friends and would do many things together and it was her that suggested I use my voice for the Lord. I began to have feelings for her. I was 26 and wanted to settle down. Unfortunately she didn’t have the same feelings for me and she felt uncomfortable with the fact I had, had a relationship with her sister. She also had decided to see a non-believer as well. My heart was broken over it.

I had also made another friend who I had thought was quite mature in the Lord. I looked up to him and we would go street witnessing. One day his mind just snapped. I don’t know what it was that caused it as his parents never told us. I got a phone call one day that he had gone behind the University of Quebec and had hung himself. Is he in heaven? I don’t know. If his mind was gone I don’t believe God would hold him responsible for his actions. I guess I’ll find out when I get there. At that moment I was missing this friend terribly and the whole thing confused me.

And then I found out that the man that I looked up to most musically, Keith Green, had died in a plan crash. Never in my life had someone’s music affected me as much as his had. He was a prophet and way ahead of his time musically. I listen to his music today and I can’t believe it came from the late seventies and early eighties. I love the music the God inspired this man to write.

With these three things weighing heavily on my heart and mind I came home to my apartment one Sunday afternoon, sat in my chair and had a pity party. I wept and complained to God. My heart was broken. Suddenly this awesome presence filled my room. When God makes His presence known, you have no choice but to either bow or fall to your face. He doesn’t force you but His awesomeness, His majesty is so overwhelming you can’t help but put your face to the ground. My head went down between my knees and I began to sweat and tremble. He was looking at me and saw right through me. Everything in my life was laid bare. Nothing was hidden from Him. He knew my every thought. I could see that I had no excuses for the way I was acting. I was terrified in His presence as I knew I was a sinner and it was only because of the blood of Jesus that I could be there and yet I could feel His great love for me. A love that went way beyond anything I had ever felt or experienced before. His peace flooded my soul and I was changed even more that day. He was about to change the direction of my life.

One day as I was sitting in the sanctuary waiting for a service to begin, I saw this beautiful woman. She was the most beautiful I had ever seen in my life. She had long thick brown hair that went down past her waist and beautiful big green eyes. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I was looking at an angel.

When we came to the Lord they started us in these new believers classes and it was in that class that I met Monique. Monique had been in a transcendental meditation cult and had just recently been brought to the Lord by her daughter. One day Monique introduced me to her daughter Elaine. It was the angel.

Elaine had just started coming to Trinity and could hardly speak any English but was determined to learn it. She had been going to a French church in Laval but lived in Lasalle where Trinity was. When her mom came to the Lord it was decided that they would look for a church in Lasalle, preferably English.

Another one of Monique’s daughters was dying of throat cancer and she had asked Pastor Johnson and the elders to pray for her. Celine was near death and was brought into the church on a stretcher. They said she only had a couple of weeks left to live and the doctors had done all they could. She was so thin and you could see how near death she was. As they prayed for her I felt that same great and awesome presence fill the place. From the depths of my soul I was praying for God to heal her. She was completely healed that day. The doctors couldn’t explain it. The cancer had completely disappeared and it has never returned. She also now has 3 healthy children which the doctors also said she would never have.

I was part of the street ministry. We would go and hand out tracts at shopping malls and on the streets. One day Elaine joined and started going out with us. I had a chance to sit down and have a coffee with her and the group afterwards. As I sat at the table across from her I was captivated by her beauty and her graceful mannerisms. She really wanted to learn English but at the moment it was very fractured and because I didn’t speak French very well it was a strange first conversation. But it was clear I had made a friend. It went through my mind what if she is the one. Nah I said, she is too beautiful and I was eight years older than her, but I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

One night the youth choral director and I went out for a meal together and he asked me of all the female acquaintances I had, who would I like most to develop a relationship with and eventually marry? I told him Elaine. My life was about to change big time.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

Pray!


"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Prayer is something that should be as natural as breathing. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to; "Pray continually." and yet for many of us the most we pray is kind of like this; "Lord bless my family, bless my pastor, and bless my boss, Amen!" Sound familiar. I’m sure many of us at the end of a tiring day have prayed like that. And then we wonder why things are not going well in our lives, our families and our churches. We wonder why we find it so easy to sin and so hard to read God’s Word. Why we lack power and can’t hear His voce anymore. Why many of our needs are not being met.

Isaiah 59:1-2 says; "Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." Lack of prayer is sin.

In 1 Samuel 12:23a Samuel in talking to the children of Israel says; "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you." Jesus commanded us to pray. In Luke 18:1 says; Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Paul in Ephesians 6:18 after telling us to put on the full armour of God says; "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

Praying is not something that is left up to the pastors or leaders in the Church. Every Christian needs to pray! We can’t let the intercessors do all the work. Prayer plugs you into the power source who is God. Today we have many powerless Christians walking around and the church in North America has stopped growing and has become weak It is us who don`t pray who are to blame. We find all kinds of excuses as to why we don`t have time to pray and why we can`t attend prayer meeting. I know that even in reading this some of you will make excuses. Our example is Jesus. He never stops praying for us. Romans 8:34 says; "Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died, more than that, who was raised to life is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Jesus says in Revelation 3:16-17 in talking to the church of Laodicea says; "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth." We have become lukewarm. Some of us, if not all need to repent and get on our knees. I don`t know about you but I surely don`t want to be one of those that gets spit out of Jesus`mouth. Stop making excuses. Humble yourself and ask God for forgiveness. Seek His face, pray and watch what He will do.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

Who or What Do You Worship?


 

American Idol and shows like it bother me. As a matter of fact they bother me a lot. Usually us Christians fall into the trap of copying what the world is doing. So what’s next, Christian Idol? Now there’s an oxymoron. Let’s look at some of the definitions of the word idol taken from Merriam-Webster;

Idol; a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly : a false god. a likeness of something: pretender, imposter, an object of extreme devotion

An idol is a false god set up by men. A thing or a person to which extreme devotion is given, something or someone who takes the place of the one true God who alone is worthy of that worship.

What does the Bible have to say about idols?

You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:3-5

You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars-all the heavenly array-do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshipping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. Deuteronomy 4:15-19

Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Matthew 4:10

All human beings have an inherent nature to worship. It is part of us as we were created to worship God and only Him. If we don’t worship Him we will always find something else or someone else to give that worship to and there are those who willingly accept that worship. Satan is more than willing to direct our worship elsewhere and eventually to himself. In North America we are a worship oriented society. It starts at a very young age. Go into any child’s bedroom and you find pictures and posters of their idols. Go to any rock concert and watch the worship that takes place. Go to any Hollywood movie premier and see how the crowds worship the stars as they walk in. I haven’t seen many of these stars turn away that worship either. They seem to bask in it. Some of the most disgusting worship is given to some of the rap stars such as Eminem and 50 Cents. They espouse rape, murder and sodomy and are rewarded for it.

Then there’s the worship of things and riches. It could be a car, it could be a computer or even your bank account. It could be a pet or a cd collection. It could be your wife, husband, kids or somebody else. Think about it. Whatever you spend the most time with or thinking about, that has become your idol. Jesus said in Matthew 6:21; For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. You’ve seen the slogan "He who dies with the most toys wins" When life is over, you will have nothing. You can take none of your possessions with you. Jesus told a parable in Luke 12:16-21;  And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ "Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." "But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Worshipping the things that world has to offer will always leave you unfulfilled. You keep seeking and never find what you are looking for until you come to the place where you put Your Creator first in your life. When you do that, He will provide you with those things that He knows will make you happy in every way. Listen to His promise He gives you. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD , "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Forget about idolizing the people and things of this world. They are only imposters. They are not the real thing. They will always let you down. There is only one that you need to worship and that is Jesus Christ. The only one who was ever perfect in every way. He has never let me down and I know without a doubt, He will never let you down either. Get to know Him today and you’re life will never be the same.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

Lord, Make Us One


Jesus prayed in John 17:20-23 "My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me that they may be one as We are one. I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.

The body of Christ is in a sad state today. It looks like a paraplegic person. Each part of the body is going in different directions. There are countless demoninations oops I mean denominations. (Actually I believe that denominations are an abomination and it is what comes about when man tries to organize a move of God and bring in his own set of standards. You cannot capture the wind and you cannot bottle the Spirit.) Everyone wants to do their own thing. It’s rare you find churches working together unless they are of the same denomination.

Here in Quebec the percentage of born again Christians is .04. Recently a well known evangelist wanted to come and minister here. It was to be a multi-denominational crusade. Because the largest denomination here did not agree with some of his teachings they told their members from their pulpits they were not to get involved. The crusade was cancelled due to lack of participation. The last crusade ever held in this province was 17 years ago!! No one wants to come here and there has never been a sustained move of God. I wonder why! When the news of my pastor opening a new church in this city got out, the pastor of the local church of this same denomination said from the pulpit that the city did not need another church!?!

There is such jealousy and selfishness in the body here. It’s amazing that in those cities and countries where churches of different denominations work together, they have turned those places upside down. There is a powerful spirit here that has infected even churches and it is called independence. It says I can do it all by myself. I don’t need you. Pray for unity here. Pray for the churches here that God would lead them to work together. Pray that God would place pastors here that have willing hearts to do what ever is necessary to bring about revival and overturn this city and province for Christ. If you believe that Christ was God wrapped in human flesh and that He died and physically rose from the dead to conquer sin and death for you and I then you are my brother and my sister and we can work togther. Make us one Lord!!

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

Who’s Welcome In Your Church?


One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat. A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, "This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!"

Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you."

"All right, Teacher," Simon replied, "go ahead."

Then Jesus told him this story: "A man loaned money to two people–five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, cancelling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?"

Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the larger debt."

"That’s right," Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love." Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."

The men at the table said among themselves, "Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?"

And Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Luke 7:36-50

Many churches today miss it. Many of us have become like Simon. God brings people like this prostitute into our churches and we stand in judgement and say; "Who let that person in the door? Could we get some ushers to escort them out or a least sit them in a place where they are not going to be so noticeable." We have become blind. Is it no wonder many churches have trouble bringing in the lost when the lost see that type of attitude?

I am tired of seeing pictures so called believers carrying signs saying "God hates queers" or "Kill the fags". Do you really understand what you are doing? Do you understand that you might be the one destined for judgement because the hatred you carry.

What if two hurting men entered into your church holding hands. Are you going to stop them at the door and tell them they are not allowed in? If so you have just lost two souls that could have heard the word and been set free, but now they will probably never look to Christ again because if that’s the way His children are then we don’t want anything to do with them.

What if a prostitute with needle marks up and down her arms, hardly dressed at all, staggers into your church and sits in your seat? Are you going to have the usher toss her out? I’ve seen it happen. Not with a prostitute. In a church I used to attend some people would get really upset if they saw somebody form outside the church sitting in their seat. More than a few times I saw those new people leave the church never to return.

As children of Christ we are to be accepting of everyone. How dare we turn anyone away. We are not to be accepting of their lifestyle. But we have to let God take care of that. He is the one who will bring conviction and change if the person is sincere.

In Pastor Jim Cymbala’s book "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire" He talks about an encounter he had one day after a service. Pastor Cymbala is the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, home to the world famous choir. As he was greeting people bumped into what he thought was a very attractive woman. He said excuse me and they answered back in a man’s voice. It was a transvestite who went by the name of Sarah. It turned out his real name was Ricardo and he was responsible for turning a lot of young kids on to crack cocaine and prostitution.

Ricardo’s lifestyle was beginning to get to him. Imagine hustling most of the night just to make the $400 to $500 needed for your addiction, falling asleep under a bridge and then searching garbage cans for food in the morning. He was looking for hope.

Now they could have turned Ricardo away, but they let him keep coming into the services. Ricardo sat in the meetings, and it dawned on him that maybe he could be different. This Jesus could actually set him free from crack. Perhaps this Jesus could even change him into a true man, not this half-half person he assumed was his nature. He had been teased from childhood about being effeminate. His mother had pleaded with him to forsake homosexuality, and he had tried, to no avail. His will power had failed him countless times.

But the idea that God was stronger, that God could in fact change him on the inside…. that was a new thought. Ricardo kept listening, and after about a month, he gave his heart to the Lord. It was not a dramatic conversion. But it became real on the inside.

God changed Ricardo and he embraced who God created him to be. A man. He went on to marry a beautiful woman named Betty. But he was dying of aids. A few years later as he was dying he spoke to Pastor Cymbala and said "I will never forget how you loved me and took me in. Thank-you so much!

Brooklyn Tabernacle is not ashamed of who they let into their church. They welcome them with open arms of love. And because of that lives are changed and given a new hope.

People are looking for hope. Are you willing to do all it takes to show them there is a hope? You are an ambassador for Christ. Don’t stand in judgement but let Christ in you shine for all to see. Be an example of His love. You do the loving and leave the changing to Him.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

The Way of a Fool – Part 7


Come, let us sing to the LORD!
       Let us give a joyous shout to the rock of our salvation!

    Let us come before him with thanksgiving.
       Let us sing him psalms of praise.

    For the LORD is a great God,
       the great King above all gods.

    He owns the depths of the earth,
       and even the mightiest mountains are his.

   The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
       His hands formed the dry land, too.

   Come, let us worship and bow down.
       Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,

   For he is our God. We are the people he watches over,
       the sheep under his care. Oh, that you would listen to his voice today!
Psalm 95:1-7

 

I always wanted to sing. It was in me. My dad was a singer with a rich voice. He was a crooner like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. So I inherited a good set of pipes as well.

I used to listen to the radio a lot singing all the songs and when my cousin June would come over we would pretend that we were singers singing into broomsticks My dad had an album by this new singer called Tom Jones that I would play over and over. I had the words to every song on that album down pat and could sing them from memory.

As I grew into my teenage years my interest in music began to grow even more. I discovered FM music which in the 70’s was very experimental and commercial free. My first 2 albums that I got for Christmas when I was about 15 were Led Zeppelin III and The Guess Who’s Share the Land. I wore out those albums playing them over and over. Led Zeppelin went on to become my favourite band. To me the music of the late 60’s and 70’s was some of the best stuff ever written. It was raw. The music today has lost something and it no longer has that edge. There is so many technical ways today to make a singer or a band sound better than they really are. They didn’t have that then and so the musicians tended to be of better quality.

After I graduated highschool and started working I started going to many concerts downtown at the old Montreal Forum. I remember waiting in line for Led Zeppelin tickets for 4 hours, but it was worth the wait as I walked away with 4 tickets to in my opinion then the greatest band on the face of the earth. All other bands paled compared to them. Their show was something I will never forget. I wanted so much to be like Robert Plant the lead singer.

I must have gone to a least 60 to 70 and had a record collection of over 500 albums. That’s how much I loved music. I loved just about every style that was out there at the time with the exception of some kinds of jazz, opera and reggae. But when I came to Christ, I had to let go of all that. Music had become my god and groups like Led Zeppelin and Genesis were it’s high priests. When I came to the Lord I had to let it all go. One thing that really disturbed me was finding out that Jimmy Page the guitarist and main song writer for Led Zeppelin got a lot of his inspiration from Alister Crowley, a big time satanist. It was time let go of that music.

My brother Gary had left an album by a man called Keith Green at my house and it had sat there for over a year. Not once did I listen to it until the day I came back to Christ. When I put that album on it seemed that on every song that man was singing to me. His songs touched me deeply and I began to ask my brother for more like Him. I had to get rid of my old record collection and start a new one. I couldn’t even put on the other music anymore. It seemed so empty and meaningless, whereas the Christian music had meaning and was full of hope and life.

I began to sing all the songs we would learn in church. Where ever I would go I would be singing. I loved to sing the new songs God had put in my heart. It was because of my singing all the time that my friend suggested that God was calling me into music ministry. The confirmation was when the director of the youth choral asked me to join without me asking him.

After Pastor Johnson left and Pastor Ken Bombay took over there were some changes that took place in the church. The director of the youth choral stepped down and a woman took his place. Now when I say youth choral, it really wasn’t as the ages of the people were between 17 to 26. The new director decided we should give ourselves a name and we came up with Living Fire. I had a great time singing with that group and singing with the church choir. It was through the experience with these groups that I learned how to sing harmony. It almost came naturally as if it had always been there. If you know me you know I can’t read notes, but I can pick up a melody and the harmony almost immediately. I thank God for building that in me.

The first time I ever sang solo was on a Wednesday evening. I was so nervous I felt like I was going to throw up. I hated standing in front of people, but I knew this was what God wanted me to do so I persevered. Pastor Ken Bombay loves to play the piano and he can pick up any tune given to him within a matter of minutes. He is another that can’t read notes, but boy when he sits down at the piano and plays, such an anointing comes into the place. The song I had chosen was "Oh Lord You’re Beautiful by Keith Green. I sang it to Pastor Ken before the service and he picked it up no problem. When I got up, I felt so week, I felt like my knees were going to buckle and I was going to fall. As Pastor Ken began to play I sang and God’s presence surrounded me like a warm blanket. Pastor Ken had me sing it again and after I went and sat down, he continued to play the melody on the piano. God’s presence filled the sanctuary like I had never felt before. Many people fell to there knees and many were weeping and just loving God. It went on like that for an hour and a half. We never got to that night’s bible study. God just wanted to minister to His children.

 

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,

Your face is all I seek,

For when your eyes are on this child,

Your grace abounds to me.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.

But first help me to just, live it Lord.

And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.

For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, please light the fire,

That once burned bright and clear.

Replace the lamp of my first love,

That burns with Holy fear.

 

I want to take your word and shine it all around.

But first help me to just, live it Lord.

And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.

For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,

Your face is all I seek,

For when your eyes are on this child,

Your grace abounds to me.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

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The Potter’s Masterpiece


 

The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: "Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words." Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NKJV)

Before we came to Christ we were all imperfect. We were all created in God’s image and yet we were marred by sin. We used the vessels He gave us (our bodies) for dishonor. Many of us felt empty and used by others. There was no purpose to our lives. Created by God and yet marred and broken. When we come to Jesus He begins to remake us into His image. It is a process that sometimes takes our whole lives. It sometimes can be quite painful. Many of us still walk around with scars that have been left over from hurts we have suffered in this life and so we blame God and try to tell Him He is not molding us correctly. He doesn’t know what He is doing. Oh really? Listen to what God said through His prophet Isaiah; "How stupid can you be? He is the Potter, and He is certainly greater than you. You are only the jars He makes! Should the thing that was created say to the One who made it, "He didn’t make us"? Does a jar ever say, "The Potter who made me is stupid"? Isaiah 29:16 (NLT) Sometimes the pain simply comes because we didn’t obey His word or we have done the things that we wanted to do instead of what He had planned for us. As with Israel in the passage from Jeremiah, you are in His hand. He desires the best for you. He loves you and it is with love He fashions you. Isn’t it better to submit to Him and let Him finish the work He has begun in you. Job declared in the midst of His trials; "He knows the way I take and when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10. We know that when Job came through, God doubly blessed him. As a true worshipper of Christ it will should always be your desire to let the Lord work in your life in whatever way He chooses. He asks for nothing less than our total surrender.

Today will you declare this to God. "LORD, you are my Father. I am the clay, and You are the Potter. I submit to You and Your will for my life. Lord I want to shine forth as gold to a world that is lost. I want to be a testimony of what the Potter can do to a pot that was broken and marred. Take me, mold me, use me for Your glory." Ephesians 2:10 says; "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

The Way of a Fool – Part 6


In 1980, the year before I made Jesus Lord, I had to go to see the doctor because of the arthritis at least once a week. I was taking up to 18 aspirin a day and receiving a gold shot injection each visit. I was at the time working for Kraft Foods in their payroll department. One day my supervisor told me that if I kept missing work because of the appointments I would lose my job. It was not like I was terribly busy as many times I had to find things to do. I arranged that the medical room at Kraft could give me my injections, but I was still required to go get blood tests every two weeks. One morning after I went for those tests I came back to work but wasn’t allowed in. I was told to sit in a small office and wait for my supervisor. He came in and told me that he had warned me and now he was letting me go.

I was devastated. My doctor was also very upset by this and at that time was working with a bunch of other doctors and the government to try and bring in a law that would protect people like me. He added me to a list of people that he might need to testify to the government about mistreatment. But the law was passed and I was spared that. But I am glad that I played a small part in bringing a law that would give workers more rights when it came to illness.

Working had kept my mind off a lot of my troubles and had given me some stability. But now that security was gone. It was just another one of those circumstances that led me to Christ.

After I came to the Lord, I set out looking for a job again. One of the elders in the church gave a place where I could go and apply. It was at an over the counter pharmaceutical company where they made mouth wash, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc….. The work was quite physical, but God had healed me to the point where I could do that stuff. The manager took me down to meet the man I would be working with. As soon as I saw the guy I knew right away he was a fellow believer. He didn’t have to even tell me. I said to him; "You are a Christian aren’t you?" He told me he was a pastor at a small church in the eastern townships. God knew that in my early walk I needed to be surrounded by believer’s in every area of my life. What a great God He is!

It is amazing the things that God will change in your life overnight when you make Him Lord. I used to swear up a storm. Every second word out of my mouth used to be a curse word. All of a sudden it was gone. It was like God took some Holy Ghost soap and washed out my mouth. But not only that. When I’d hear others swearing, my ears would cringe. Especially when I’d hear the Lord’s name taken in vain.

But there were other things God wanted to work on as well, such as my pride. I had a lot of it. You’ve heard of the Proverb, pride goes before a fall. Well it happened to me literally. Working with a brother in Christ was one thing, but having him tell me what to do was another for me. I began to argue with him about the way to do things. One day I was pretty angry against him for something and as I was rounding a corner my feet went out from underneath me and I fell on my tail bone. They had just put some new tiles down on the floor and there was some oil on them which I didn’t see. Someone drove me to the hospital where I found out I had a severely bruised tail bone. I would be off work for at least 2 weeks. It would give me a lot of time to reflect on the way I acted. When I went back I apologised for my behaviour. But I also resigned as I also realized that my body was not able keep up with the physical work that was demanded. I last saw that brother at a Lieghten Ford crusade the next year and we left on good terms with all forgiven.

The next job I got was in payroll at Maislin Trucking. My cousin and I prayed before I went to the interview that if that was the job for me I would get it. I went in there with such confidence that God would give me that job. I knew that I knew it was mine. I got the job that very day.

In my early walk with the Lord I was also put to the test by the enemy. I had moved out of my one room apartment and had taken a 3 and a half with my second youngest brother Gary. Gary was a believer as well and had been partially responsible for bringing me to the Lord. He went to another church downtown where he would sing and play guitar. It was him that first got me interested in contemporary Christian music. When he was about 1 or 2 years old he had meningitis and nearly died. They didn’t expect him to live. But people prayed and his life was spared. I thank God for that.

He used to have these terrible nightmares when he was living with me that satan was after him. He would be screaming for someone to help him and I would rush into his room to wake him up. There were so many nights like that. I wondered was it something that was left over from when he was a baby or was the enemy really attacking him. I knew very little about spiritual warfare at the time and didn’t know what to make of it.

But then strange things started happening to me as well. One night my brother was out and as I was reading in my room my cat jumped up and stared at the door. Her back arched and all her fur stood up straight. Something fell in the other room. I took a baseball bat to go and look. There was nothing and nothing had fallen and yet my cat was still acting strangely. After a while she settled down and I just laughed it off.

A couple of week’s later I had just come from my cousins house and was sitting at my bed when my cat started going crazy again. All of a sudden it was like an icy hand grabbed the back of my head and I was immobilised. Fear just crept all over me. I reached for the telephone and kept trying to call my cousins number. It seemed like forever to dial it. When I got through I explained to her what was happening. Right away together we just started pleading the blood of Jesus. As we prayed the hand withdrew and peace came back to me. I began to realize the power I now had over the enemy and used it to pray with my brother Gary so that he no longer had those dreams.

Is the enemy real? Yes he is. But he is no match for our Lord. The devil was defeated at the cross. Believers have nothing to fear from him. He cringes simply at the mention of Jesus name. What a happy day it will be when he finally gets his due.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!