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Hope

“Where do you find hope, and in what shape or form does it rest?
I say to you now that absolute and genuine hope is found only in Christ Jesus. He is never far way and always within your grasp. He expects you to seek Him, but when you do He is quickly found. Only upon your discovery of Christ will you recognize the desperate condition of your soul, and through glorious and supernatural revelation comprehend that it was this living Hope who graciously discovered and delivered you.”
~ Cheryl Zelenka-Author
From upcoming book Facing Storms.

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Available books now on Amazon…
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No Problems in Heaven


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Work In Heaven?

No Problems in Heaven

Are you afraid to die? Is it death itself or the journey to death’s door that causes you to fear? Maybe it is the idea of living for an eternity, or maybe you fear the possible pain that will come with your travel to heaven’s door? Why not dislodge your fears by focusing on this fact. You will not die!

Believers do not die, they transcend. Our earthly passing is simply the means God has ordained to transport us into our final destination. Regarding any pain we may face on our journey home, He will supply for all our needs.

“Are you afraid to die? Remember that for a child of God, death is only a passing through to a wonderful new world.” ~Corrie ten Boom

In the book of Matthew we read, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Indeed, we will be living spirit and flesh with new and improved bodies. These glorious and newly resurrected bodies will be magnificent.

“But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,  ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”  And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”  Matthew 22:31-33(NKJV)

And what will life be like in heaven? Will we find ourselves bored with endless feasting and continual choir practices? Does all work end the minute we pass through those pearly gates? I really don’t think so dear one.

God created mankind for His own pleasure. He takes great delight in us and rejoices over us with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17) And because God is love, He wants us to enjoy all that He is and all that He has done.

Therefore, heaven is a place of revelation, exploration, and learning. Why would God impart spiritual gifts and talents, while we live out our lives on earth, and take them away once we reach paradise? Doesn’t it make more sense that we continue to improve our skills and talents in heaven and use them to magnify our Savior?

If you are presently a gifted composer and your music pleases God, why wouldn’t you continue to hone your talent in heaven? Surely in heaven you will have a greater understanding of sound and a more excellent ability to create with you new heavenly resources. Why would music stop in paradise? I see no reason why those with musical abilities would cease from creating, learning, producing, and performing, as it would all be for His praise and glory. Think of our human design. God values music, otherwise He would not have designed our bodies as living instruments.

I see our time on earth as one spent in a gigantic classroom. Each person and experience we encounter has been planned and foreseen by God, and is being used to train us for our future heavenly labors. Yes, I said work. But this work will fill us with joy and great satisfaction. To serve God will be our fulfillment and pleasure.

And since God designed us with the need for fellowship, there will be times of worship, feasting, working side-by-side, and playing. Yes, fun games and entertainment… so long as it glorifies God. Can you imagine climbing the mountains in heaven? What would a game of football look like up there? Imagine saints inventing new sports for the glory of God and for everyone’s good pleasure.

Heaven, I do believe, will be a place of endless learning, laughter, joy, fellowship, praise, and labor. However, our labor will give us great enjoyment. I love to garden, so maybe I will work the soil in one of God’s magnificent gardens. Maybe you like to design and build, imagine the new buildings you could create for His glory! If you like to explore, God could ask you to search out new realms of His kingdom and bring back stories and resources. You may then attend a feast and share your stories with friends who are gifted writers. They might even write down your adventures for enjoyment of others and the King of Kings.

Heaven is a destination we should all dream about and never fear. I pray I see you there!

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV)

“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.  There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:3-5 (NKJV)

“In the dark dreary nights, when the storm is at its most fierce, the lighthouse burns bright so the sailors can find their way home again. In life the same light burns. This light is fueled with love, faith, and hope. And through life’s most fierce storms these three burn their brightest so we also can find our way home again.” ~Unknown


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On a day when America would normally be proudly looking back to Neil Armstrong’s famous “One giant leap for mankind,” they are lamenting the thousands of giant leaps across the southern borders by tens of thousands of illegal immigrants

Written by Michael Bresciani Copyright© 2014

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On a day when America would normally be proudly looking back to Neil Armstrong’s famous “One giant leap for mankind,” they are lamenting the thousands of giant leaps across the southern borders by tens of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Both sides of the issue were heard in cities across the nation this past weekend, but the naysayers far outnumber the few who seem to think it is a purely humanitarian crisis and the oppressed and displaced Central American children should be welcomed in with open arms.

Main stream America is at odds, as usual, with main stream media on the issue. Dem’s are using whatever news outlets that will yield to make their humanitarian spin, but it is largely failing as opinions and tempers flare because most Americans think Obama’s policies are at the heart of the problem.

To bolster the feeling of most Americans that the crisis is an Obama generated policy blunder is a report from Breitbart News that shows a leak from EPIC (El Paso Intelligence Center) clearly stating that it is not violence and guns in Central America that is driving the immigrants to the borders.

Breitbart says, “An elite, law-enforcement sensitive El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) intel report from July 7, 2014 was leaked to Breitbart Texas and reveals that homicide rates in Central America suggest violence is likely not the primary cause of the surge of thousands of unaccompanied minors and incomplete family units illegally entering the United States.”

Epic is comprised of several law enforcement agencies, DEA, Coast Guard, Local and State Police and a full roster of other agencies.

They all concur that the recent barrage of immigrants crashing the borders is not caused by rising homicides in Pan America.

Politicizing the plight of Central American youth is not only an Obama policy failure, but is the most amazing hypocritical turn the Democratic Party has ever made and it is impossible to hide.

Democrats with some exceptions are the nation’s abortion advocates hands down. Anywhere, anytime, if it were completely up to them an abortion could be had with or without parents’ consent, ultrasound requirements or any other deterrents.

Now, with thousands of diseased kids and members of dangerous gangs clamoring at the border – the Democrats have grown a conscience.

The nearly 4,000 abortions performed daily do not phase the Dem’s who seem to think only children from third world countries should have rights and constitutional protections.

The little ones thrown in medical waste receptacles every day are given no chance to live much less to pursue “life, and liberty,” a bit of aid until better times and an education would be all right considering that after all – they are American.

They are not considered for anything and the Dem’s have remembered to stay oh so silent about the abortion scourge they undergird and support. The word was, is and will always be hypocrisy – it cannot be hidden.

The deaths of 55,000,000 American children at the hands of abortion doctors under the auspices of the liberals and democrats cannot begin to be compared with some 45,000 children at the borders of a nation that is not theirs.

Never has hypocrisy had a better example in modern times. In fact, the liberal spin is several stages beyond hypocrisy and is now knee deep in the realms of all that is shameful and ludicrous.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  (Mt 7: 3-5)

Michael Bresciani is the publisher of American Prophet.org since 2005. The website features the articles and reports of Rev Bresciani along with some of America’s best writers and journalists, news and reviews that have earned the site the title of – The Website for Insight. Millions have read his timely reports and articles in online journals and print publications across the nation and the globe. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook


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A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP


by Neil Anderson

July 21

John 1:14 
The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth
 
What effect did the Fall produce in Adam’s mind? He and Eve lost their true perception of reality. We read in Genesis 3:7, 8, that they tried to hide from God. Doesn’t that reveal a faulty understanding of who God is? How can you hide from God? After the Fall, Adam and Eve weren’t thinking straight.
 
In essence, when Adam and Eve sinned, their minds were robbed of the true knowledge of God. In God’s original design, knowledge was relational. Knowing someone implied an intimate personal relationship. You can see it in Genesis 4:1: “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived” (KJV). Yet we don’t generally equate a knowledge of someone with personal intimacy.
 
Before the Fall, Adam and Eve knew God, not sexually of course, but in the intimacy of a close, personal relationship which we associate with marriage. They knew God by being with God. When they sinned and were banished from the garden, Adam and Eve lost their relationship with God and the knowledge of God which was intrinsic to that relationship. And you and I inherited Adam and Eve’s darkened mind. Before Christ, we knew something about God, but we didn’t know God because we had no relationship with Him.
 
The necessity of being in relationship to God in order to know God comes into sharp focus in John’s announcement: “The Word”– logos in the Greek–”became flesh” (John 1:14). The word logos represented the highest form of philosophical knowledge. For the Greeks, saying that the logos became flesh was the same as saying that ultimate knowledge became personal and relational. God was announcing to the world through John: The true knowledge of God, which can only be discovered in an intimate relationship with God, is now available to the world through God in the flesh–Jesus Christ. In Christ we are able to know God personally, not just know about Him.
 
Prayer: Lord, I thirst for deeper intimacy in my relationship with You. I want to know You more personally today.


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PERCEPTIONS AND EMOTIONS


by Neil Anderson

 

July 20
 
Lamentations 3:22, 23 
The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compasssions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness
 
In a general sense, your emotions are a product of your thought life. If you are not thinking right, if your mind is not being renewed, if you are not perceiving God and His Word properly, it will be reflected in your emotional life.
 
One of the best scriptural illustrations of the relationship between perceptions and emotions is found in Lamentations 3. In verses 1-6, Jeremiah expresses despair as he wrongly perceives that God is against him and that He is the cause of his physical problems. In verses 7-11, 18, he vents his feelings of entrapment and fear. If your hope was in God, and these words were a correct portrayal of God, you would probably feel bummed out too.
 
What was Jeremiah’s problem? His perception of God was way off center. God wasn’t the cause of his affliction. God isn’t a wild beast waiting to chew people up. But Jeremiah wasn’t thinking right, perceiving right, or interpreting his circumstances right, so he wasn’t feeling right or responding right either.
 
Suddenly, Jeremiah’s countenance changes: “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness” (verses 21-23). What a turnaround! Did God change? Did Jeremiah’s circumstances change? No. His perception of God changed and his emotions followed suit.
 
You are not shaped so much by your environment as you are by your perception of your environment. Life’s events don’t determine who you are; God determines who you are, and your interpretation of life’s events determines how well you will handle the pressures of life. In reality we have very little control over our emotions, but we do have control over our thoughts, and our thoughts determine our feelings and our responses. That’s why it is so important that you fill your mind with the knowledge of God and His Word. You need to see life from God’s perspective and respond accordingly.
 
Prayer: Lord, continually adjust my perception of my environment to match Your perspective found in Your Word.
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Fear: The Absence of Peace

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When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear robs our peace of mind, weakens our resolve, disturbs our rest, and even causes us to question the presence of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walks with Christ unless we learn to face it and overcome it with the grace of God.

In Isaiah 26:3 we read how God keeps those whose minds are steadfastly transfixed on Him in perfect peace. When we take all thoughts captive and trust God with our well being, fear departs. Our faith in His power will remove our insecurities, wobbly uncertainty, and unstable nervousness.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Because God knit each one of us together, He understands our nature and individual weaknesses. He lovingly calls out, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV). It is His desire for us to rest in His peace. God longs to give us rest. Faith requires trust, and peace is the fruit of that trust in God.

Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” in Isaiah 9:6. When He walked the earth as the Son of Man, He told us that in this world we will have tribulation. But He also told us to be of good cheer since He had conquered the grave. This fact alone should produce peace in our hearts. The battle has already been won. Eternal peace is our guarantee, but peace while on still on earth is also available. In fact, we are told to pursue it!

“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 (NKJV)

How then do we pursue peace? Through Christ and Christ alone! With supplication and petitions we enter the very throne room of God and while in His very presence, we witness a mediator who intercedes on our behalf both day and night, for He never sleeps. By knocking on His door and seeking Him out, He will accept our offer of fellowship and dine with us. While in His company, He fills us with a hope, inexpressible joy, and comforting peace. Trusting in His love for us produces peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 (NKJV)

Psalm 23 speaks of how God provides peace even when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. With our eyes focused on Him, not concentrating on our problems, He leads us beside still waters and makes us lie down in green pastures for a peaceful rest.

When we walk in the Spirit of God, the fruit of the Spirit will be very evident in our lives. Peace, not fear is a component of this fruit. We must crucify our flesh, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NKJV). By doing this, God blesses His people with peace.

“God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst… will be quiet in the middle of alarm.” ~ F.B Meyer

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“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NKJV)

“And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”   Daniel 10:19 (NKJV)

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (NKJV)

“It is good to remind ourselves that the will of God comes from the heart of God and that we need not be afraid.” ~Warren Wiersbe


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Just Think Of The Sparrows

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I celebrate my birthday on the 20th of July, I had wanted a bird for a gift. But instead, God gave me this “imaginary sparrow”, so that  I could share it with everyone.image

When I read my final draft of this article, I cried…because I soon realized that not only did God answer all the questions I’d been asking Him for sometime  but He also guided me to find out the answers, myself.

Yes, I am a self-confessed “sparrow”.

Please take time to read and maybe if you’ll think of the sparrows, you will say a li’l prayer for me as well..

Thank you and may God bless us all!

Sincerely,

Mayrose

 

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It amazes me that the sparrows are mentioned in the Bible numerous times.. And how the sparrows predominately find themselves in the language of the Bible, amazes me even more. What is so special about them? Just for kicks, I made a research about this particular kind of bird.

Here’s what I discovered, out of the more than 9,000 varieties of birds in the world, none is more common than the sparrow. The sparrows are simply small and pretty insignificant birds. This gave away the answer, it is their being insignificant that made them significant to the Lord.

It is no wonder then that Jesus use them as an object lesson that we may not soar like the eagles or strut like the peacocks but like the sparrows, we are just as important to our Heavenly Father.

From my perspective, I could see a bit of the “sparrow” in everyone of us. The “sparrow”  within us  manifests in different forms. There are times when we feel so worthless and feels like nobody loves us and no one even cares anymore if we are still alive. Also those times when it’s like the world is against us. Those times when we ask, “Where are you God?” amidst our feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Those are the times that we become a “sparrow-on-the-whole”.

Such is not always the case however, the “sparrow” within us may also manifests in bits and pieces in  our lives like  when we are successful in our career but flops in our marriage or other similar cases.  In other words, there are some areas in our lives that may have drawn us to feel insignificant, or at least we had some experiences of “sparrow moments” – those times when we felt so small, unloved and unnoticed.

Have we not all gone through this at some point in our lives? Then, everyone of us  is a  sparrow. So, as followers of Christ, we are all “Christian-sparrows” and therefore no one is excluded from the love of God. In short, we are ALL important to the Lord.

From my research, I’ve also learned that sparrows have different species- american tree sparrow, house sparrow, henslow’s sparrow, to name a few, each  have their own distinct color and characterstics. Similarly, as we have diversified traits, culture and total personality make-up, we deal with the “sparrow” within us differently. Like the bird sparrow,  there are also different types of  “Christian-sparrows”.

TYPES OF “CHRISTIAN-SPARROWS” :

1. THE DORMANT “CHRISTIAN-SPARROW”

This could happen because of chronic adverse circumstances that can be  due to disease, bad home or job situation or anything that may affect our life on a major scale. This could result to a feeling of worthlessness and despair. “Sparrow moments” huh?

Here’s what may have happened..We have all heard of the word “erosion”, right? When something erodes, it is either eaten away or worn out. Erosion is a process whereby something which was once a thing of beauty or a strong pillar of some type has deteriorated.

We have all seen or heard about a landslide  or mountain erosion that causes damage to its surroundings. Well, this is parallel to our Christian walk, all of a sudden, we just stop and become dormant. As we go in years, the same can occur in each of us.

WHAT TO DO:

We may have “eroded” in our Christian walk but unlike soil erosion which maybe irreparable, we can always start a new walk with the Lord Jesus.

How? If we are going to understand the world and its circumstances, then we must be ceaseless students of the Bible. Keep in mind that the Bible comes from the mind of God and it is the ONLY source of the true perspective of God.

And so, if we are to regain our equilibrium and continue our walk with God, then it is necessary to return to the Word of God.

2. THE “CHRISTIAN-SPARROW” WHO PATIENTLY WAITS

Sometimes, we go through circumstances that make us feel overlooked and brushed aside. We see the success of others and wonder when it’s our turn. Others receive accolades while we are quietly doing our own thing and instead of being recognized, we even get criticisms for it.

Sometimes, God places us in quiet seasons, seasons hidden and tucked away. In those times, it can be easy to feel cheated and gipped.

WHAT TO DO:

I think the most important thing we can do with our lives is quietly go with God’s purposes for us. But in the meantime, we can have some “sparrow moments”, we feel small and insignificant. We wonder why she got that job or he got those accolades or why the family is living luxuriously when we could barely make both ends meet.

Here’s the truth of the matter. God sees us and He is just preparing us for the right time until we are ready to get that promotion that He intends just for us. YES…we, too will have that promotion…in HIS time.

We may want something and we may want it right away…BUT God says..”WAIT, just wait! I have bigger plans for you..this is just not  the right time.”

In these quiet waiting seasons, when we feel stuck and left behind, God does His great work of refining us. He is teaching us lessons, dealing out pearls of wisdom, but only if our hands are open to receiving them.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

3. THE HOPELESS “CHRISTIAN-SPARROW”

Amidst the multiple problems that our world faces today- unemployment, food shortages, energy crisis, spiking cost of basic commodities, religious wars add to these the burgeoning global population,  it’s inevitable that many are gripped with a quiet despair, uncertain of their future, wondering even if they could survive till their next paycheck. They flit from one task to another, doing the best they can.

At other times, their life is smooth sailing but  only for a time, then they find themselves sinking once more. This is the reality of what the majority of the population is going through during this modern times…but God is so good that when we were born, He gifted us with “survival instincts” to help us cope and survive in difficult situations. And so, we don’t easily give up, we continue to fight and  we become resilient. Unfortunately however, there are times when we have given our best shot, have done everything we can and yet we fail.

WHAT TO DO:

At times like these, learn to put into God’s hands what you cannot change. Learning more about Him will give you confidence that He’s able to take care of your storms in life. Giving up and not being able to overcome your difficulties on your own  doesn’t always mean you’re weak, it means you have strong  faith that God will see you through like the “sparrows”.

This is the time  to remind yourself too that self-reliance maybe an admirable trait in our society, but when you have given it all and still you haven’t or never succeeded, then you have to accept the simple truth that there are things that only God can do.

The psalmist says, “For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling, He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”

4. THE “CHRISTIAN-SPARROW” WITH A BIG HEART

This is my favorite type.

In the homily during a mass I attended, the priest related a touching story about an old woman who never fails to attend the early morning mass. “And everyday”, said the priest, “the woman would get the broom and sweep the floor after the mass”. Then one day, the priest could no longer resists asking the woman, “how much are you paid for it?” “Nothing Father”, the woman replied. “Since I do not have money for the alms, I serve the Lord in my own little way. This is my humble love-offering to Him”.

Such an admirable tiny sparrow with a BIG heart for Jesus. Can we be like this woman? Like her, every Christian can serve the Lord even in little things coupled with love.

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So,  to which type do you belong ?

How wonderful it is when Jesus spoke of sparrows to let us understand that He notices even them and that we are of far greater value.

Simply put, the next time you feel shunned by the outside world, neglected, small and unimportant…My friend, have faith! Just think of the sparrows.