What do I believe about the Holy Spirit?

I think it is important to understand a little bit about me before I started this class and where I am now.  Prior to coming to this class, I had been engaged with a local Anglican church here in my town.  We followed the three streams model.  We were the living fire of the Holy Spirit. We spoke in tongues, healed the sick, and was blessed to be given some prophecy. Our Sheppard ensured he protected us and prayed in the Spirit with us.  However about three weeks before the class started, I had to leave the church due to the calling of the Holy Spirit.

I currently attend an Episcopal church which does not understand the traditions of the Anglican church I had come from. However, they do understand the Holy Spirit and understand the most important aspect of the call to ministry, they live and perform the Great Commission.[1]  The truly love one another and those in their community. The exciting part is they are called The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit looks and waits for willing vessels. And it wasn’t until I had found my previous Anglican church had I even heard or been a willing vessel for the Holy Spirit. I did not engage with Bible fanatics prior to joining this church. In all honesty, I rarely prayed and when I did it was something for me or someone I cared about.  I never prayed to the Holy Spirit or Jesus.  I just prayed to God.

In 2013 a survey was done comparing the English against American’s and their belief in the devil.[2] They found that American’s are more likely to believe in possession of the devil and that the devil really exists than the British. This is important to recognize because while oppression can occur for Christians it does not mean we can be possessed.  We cannot be possessed after we are Baptized in the Holy Spirit because we are protected by the blood of Jesus Christ.   Prior to attending that church, I suffered from rapid cycle type two bipolar disorder.  I had spent most of my life hearing voices and being placed on and off medications. On and off medications, I heard voices. Angry vile and evil voices.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Those that believe Satan does not sit in the pews at church are wrong. Satan and his demons sit and church.  They communicate with sinners like us to distract us from our service to the Lord. Therefore, intercessory prayer is so important.  Because although we are baptized Satan is a roaring lion that wanders the earth searching for those for whom he can take.  In our discussion group, we have been discussing back and forth about the concept of Sin in relation to the Holy Spirit.  We talked about sin because of the sacrament of Baptism.  The sacrament of Baptism is when original sin is wiped away and you are received in the family of believers but the Holy Spirit enters your Holy of Holies and provides you with gifts.

I believe that the gifts are not something that is permanently provided to you but is provided as needed for the situation by the Holy Spirit.  Sin limits our capabilities with the gifts. Therefore, the repentance of sin is so important prior to assisting or receiving the gifts from the Holy Spirit.  We are all used in God’s divine plan and what we are called to do varies from situation to situation. So, while the most common experience is the receiving of tongues it is not the only gift.   The Holy Spirit provides us with gifts that let others know the presences of God is there and is involved in the activity.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit used by St. Thomas Aquinas are mentioned in Isaiah 11:2-3.  St. Thomas Aquinas discusses the gifts in his writings Prima secundae and Secunda secundae.[3] He aligns the gifts with virtues. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the gifts for believing in Jesus Christ.[4] In the Bible, the three virtues we are to live in are faith, hope, and charity.[5] As Christians, we desire the virtues to live a virtuous life. These virtues are the theological virtues are faith hope and love. These virtues separated a Christian from the pagan world. Pelser believed that these virtues stemmed from the theological understanding of “human nature, sin, and grace”.[6] There are four cardinal virtues that all individuals can desire and pray for and live in these are prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice.  These four virtues can be practiced by anyone and perfect the capacities of the soul.[7]  Therefore there is a total of seven virtues each of these relate to the seven deadly sins.

Seven Deadly Sins Cardinal & Theological Virtues Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual Sins Theological Virtues Intellectual Gifts
Pride Faith Knowledge
Envy Hope Understanding
Wrath Charity Wisdom
Corporal Sins Cardinal Virtues Ethical Gifts
Sloth Prudence Counsel
Greed Temperance Piety
Gluttony Fortitude Fortitude
Lust Justice Fear of the Lord (Wonder)

 

spiritual sins of pride, envy, and wrath.  The spiritual gifts mentioned in Isaiah 11 is a reflection on understanding and identifying the Messiah. Isaiah expresses the hope that the Messiah would be a unique bearer of the Holy Spirit and with the ratifying of the New Age and Covenant that would impart the Holy Spirit upon all of God’s people.[8]

The gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 are gifts brought to the people in the Christian community.  It is an extension of being given the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  While the Holy Spirit can reside in our Holies of Holies in our souls, we must confess our sins on a regular basis to ensure we have an untarnished communication path with the Lord. This is not to say that every day we will be able to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We must be just waiting and willing vessels although faulty be prepared to do the Lords will although we might not always be called to do great things today we have faith that when our day comes to serve the Lord and do his will, we will be ready and prepared to be the vessel that he uses to ensure his divine plan is fulfilled.

Life and Disconnect from the Holy Spirit

So, as we wait to serve the Lord, life happens. Life is not that easy.  We wander from the path and we obtain and loose gifts. How do we get ourselves back to where we are in harmony with the Holy Spirit? Being human we are prone to sin. Man’s life is full of “vanity, trouble, disappointments, vexations and endless self-dissatisfactions.”[9] We faulty beings not perfect and yet we are blessed with the gift of being able to engage the Holy Spirit. The being, the spark that generates our life, is the breath of God brought by the Holy Spirit.  Owen defends that the cure for our sinful condition is holiness.[10] It is the belief that the image of having God in our souls the Holy Spirit does provide us with an inward peace for our troubled soul. “In the holy soul – the sanctified mind alone – that it composed into an orderly tendency towards the enjoyment of God.”[11]

Life without the Trinity becomes meaningless and pointless. You can literally walk the dessert alone for 40 years.[12] Even as a Christian, with a devout faith we become adults in our Christian faith through trials of the faith. As I write this paper I am experiencing a trial. The way to ordination is a marathon and not a race. As I have suffered the loss of my family and church, I have yet to give up on the faith that the Lord is there to provide for me the tools I need to complete his divine plan. Law writes that if we live in self-denial of those things we indulge on this would bring our mind into exactness which would then lead us to follow the rules of prudence and devotion.[13]

Then the question becomes what does the Lord exactly want from us in this trial?  If we fast, worship, and pray and still feel alone what do we do? The key here is that we must experience the darkness before bringing the light of the world, the Light of the Gospel to others. The darkness is not a time of loneliness but of joy.  Like Job, we must remember that even at the worst times in our lives we must remain faithful and worship the Lord with joy and praise.[14]

The Holy Spirit will provide us with comfort during the storm.  The Holy Spirit gives us gifts that allow ourselves to see the sinful men we are.[15] It provides us with a divine light to examine ourselves. This light in the darkness that surrounds us gives us a path to return to the path of our life in fulfilling God’s divine plan. I would saw that we all follow the same path of the Israelites.  We accept the Lord and then we sin.  He saves us and we sin again. He makes us repent by spending 40 years in the dessert before returning to the Promised Land.  We doubt and have faith.  We sin and repent. However, while we are punished and are lost we are never alone.  Jesus provided his followers the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This gift provides us with comfort in our times of distress to weather the storms of life and come about being a refined vessel for the Lord Jesus Christ.

How to Weather the Storm with the Gift of the Holy Spirit

So far, we have discussed the gifts of the spirit and our separation from the Holy Spirit in our life.  Now as for future ministers we must look at how we are to Weather the Storm of trails that await us in our ministries. As ministers during our postulant period prior to ordination, we will experience storms and trials. Unlike the first Adam, we will not have the Holy Spirit removed from us. However, if we sin and continue to sin without seeking forgiveness and have repentance we will experience the first Adam’s fall. When Adam chose to sin against God and was banished from the Garden, the Holy Spirit was removed from him and became flesh.[16] Sin then consumed the house of the Holy Spirit and we were no longer made in God’s image but the image of our corruption. It is through Baptism we are then reestablished in God’s divine graces.

As ordained ministers, we must remember that unlike the first Adam we are baptized and free from original sin.  We, therefore, have the Holy Spirit to reside in us and provide us with comfort during our trials. As ministers though we are called to stand apart and lead God’s people. This means we must protect our flock from the roaring Lion that walks about seeking souls to devour.[17]  We cannot stand up against the roaring Lion without the Holy Spirit. As ministers, it is our responsibilities to trust in the Lord and meet the roaring Lion face to face and prevent them from being consumed.

Today as the western church membership drops it is time for us to have the Wind of God blown upon us.[18] As ministers, we must remember once we are ordained we are dead to ourselves and alive in Christ. Therefore, we must walk in the way of the Church and although still sinners we must repent continuously to ensure we lead our sheep as an example of how to live a Christian life in today’s day. Failing to follow in the way of the Holy Spirit will lead to darkness in the Church.  Therefore, brothers and sisters, that have taken orders we must remember we are one body in Christ and although we are all different with different creeds and confessions, we still a living sacrifice unto the Lord.[19]

we will forget our personal family.[20] Again, the failure to engage with the Holy Spirit continually can result in the destruction of this family. Wives must find interpersonal engagement through the reading of the Bible, taking devotional time with the Holy Spirit, and having a strong self-esteem. Having these positive attributes ensures a strong relationship in the personal family as ministers and further ensures there is support from family during times in ministry.

Conclusion

A failure to accept the gifts and virtues of the Holy Spirit leads to us falling for the seven deadly sins. Staying pure and remaining faithful ministers to the Word of God is hard.  We not only are responsible for our flock but also for those we engage daily in our walk with God. If we fail to be in tune with the Holy Spirit we allow for the roaring lion to enter our flock and devour the innocent. We are warriors as ministers of God’s word and God’s church. We are the head of two families, our own and the Church we serve. Therefore, listening to the Holy Spirit and using his gifts is a must to ensure the safety of ourselves and others we are called to protect and defend.

Being the wife of a veteran, I can clearly say that although I have never worn the uniform. I respect and honor all those that have and do. As ministers, we are called to wear another uniform. The uniform of the Body of Christ. And like those service members who put on their boots and actively go into harm’s way to protect the values and traditions of our land, we must be so bold to go and protect our flocks from the roaring Lion.  We personally might sustain injuries and loss of life but we will not experience defeat. We have been told that Jesus will return and win a decisive victory in the final battle. As ministers, we must ensure that people hear that word. Our duties are to prepare our flock for the victory to come.  We do this through

“O Priest of God,

Live this Day As though it were your First Day,

Your last Day, and

Your only Day to do the will of God. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biography

Bouchard, C. E. “Recovering The Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Moral Theology.” Theological Studies 63, no. 3 (2002): 539-58. doi:10.1177/004056390206300305.

Fee, Gordon D. Baptism in the Holy Spirit: the issue of separability and subsequence. Portland, OR: TREN, 1992.

Law, William. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life; The Spirit of Love. London: SPCK, 1979.

Mcminn, Mark R., R. Allen Lish, Pamela D. Trice, Alicia M. Root, Nicole Gilbert, and Adelene Yap. “Care For Pastors: Learning From Clergy and Their Spouses.” Pastoral Psychology 53, no. 6 (2005): 563-81. doi:10.1007/s11089-005-4821-y.

Omeara, T. F. “Virtues in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas.” Theological Studies 58, no. 2 (1997): 254-285. doi:10.1177/004056399705800203.

Owen, John. John Owen on the Holy Spirit: Pneumatologia. Charleston, SC: Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space, 2012.

Pelser, Adam. “Virtues and Their Vices.” Edited by Kevin Timpe and Craig A. Boyd. Faith and Philosophy 33, no. 3 (2014): 382-86. doi:10.5840/faithphil201633369.

Rusu, Alexandru. “DEMONS AND EXORCISMS IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC MIND-SET: PROBING THE WESTERN DEMONOLOGICAL MENTALITY.” Revista Romana de Sociologie 27, no. 1/2 (2016): 89-109

Smeaton, George. Doctrine of the Holy spirit. Place of publication not identified: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2016.

Torrey, Reuben Archer. The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit. Place of publication not identified: Project Gutenberg, 2015.

[1] Matthew 28:16-20, KJV.

[2] Alexandru Rusu. “DEMONS AND EXORCISMS IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC MIND-SET: PROBING THE WESTERN DEMONOLOGICAL MENTALITY,”Revista Romana de Sociologie 27, no. 1/2 (2016): 106.

[3] C. E. Bouchard, “Recovering The Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Moral Theology,” Theological Studies 63, no. 3 (2002):539, doi:10.1177/004056390206300305.

[4] T. F. Omeara, “Virtues in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas,” Theological Studies 58, no. 2 (1997): 275, doi:10.1177/004056399705800203

[5] 1 Corinthians 13:13 KJV

[6] Adam Pelser, Virtues and their vices, ed. Kevin Timpe and Craig A. Boyd (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015) pg. 26.

[7] Ibid. pg. 15.

[8] Gordon D. Fee, Baptism in the Holy Spirit: The Issue of Separability and Subsequence (Portland, OR: TREN, 1992) pg. 92.

[9] John Owen. John Owen on the Holy Spirit: Pneumatologia. (Charleston, SC: Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space, 2012) pg. 643.

[10] Ibid. pg. 644.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Numbers 32:13, KJV.

[13] William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life; The Spirit of Love (London: SPCK, 1979) pg. 142.

[14] James 1:2-5, NASB.

[15] C. E. Bouchard, “Recovering The Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Moral Theology,” Theological Studies 63, no. 3 (2002): pg. 551, doi:10.1177/004056390206300305.

[16] George Smeaton, Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Place of publication not identified: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2016) pg. 15.

[17] 1 Peter 5:8, NASB.

[18] Reuben Archer Torrey, The Person, and Work of The Holy Spirit (Place of publication not identified: Project Gutenberg, 2015) pg. 33.

[19] Romans 12:1-5, NASB.

[20] Mark R. Mcminn et al., “Care For Pastors: Learning From Clergy and Their Spouses,” Pastoral Psychology 53, no. 6 (2005): 566, doi:10.1007/s11089-005-4821-y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Do We Hide Christians?

The numbers attending church are going down.  Those that go are getting older.  The fact of the matter is this. Being a Christian in the secular society is neither cool nor easy.  Those of us that are face daily prosecution for our faith.  Anywhere from the accusations of being a “Bible Thumper” or being laughed at for believing in something one has to have faith in because we cannot see it.  The news does not make it any easier to be a Christian.  It shows many intolerant aggressive Christians protesting various societal norms.  We are often defined by the actions of a few than what the majority do and see.

In many ways true embolden Christians are ostracized by the society they live in more so than any of the LGBT community or Muslims.  As Christians, our Christianity is at its brightest inside the confines of our holy sanctuaries.  Once we leave Holy Ground, we cover up our light with a basket and mask ourselves with our real world personas in order to continue on living in the crumbling society around us. Similar to the actions of the Disciples after the resurrection, we hide in fear to spread the news of salvation, freedom and everlasting life because we live in a survival like manner. Fear is not something that comes from the Lord.  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV).

Therefore, a majority of today’s Christians live in two separate worlds.  The world of our Heavenly Father when we are on Holy Ground and then the world we live in Monday -Saturday.  The thing we fail to remember was individuals have died so that our beliefs may live on and continue.  Some of these individuals include St. Stephen, St. Andrew, and St. Peter. The first martyr for the faith, however, was Jesus Christ. He was killed for his message and those that followed him often died in the same manner because of the message he spread. Our fear for how we are perceived by others should not be what forces us to put on our masks to the world.  We shall not die by showing who we are and professing our beliefs on this world.  We shall find joy in allowing ourselves be the light of the world to future Christians.

In the midst of tragedies of Orlando, California, and New York.  Those that the media focuses on are seen living out their beliefs. Right, wrong or indifferent. So why as Christians do we hide ours?  If individuals are willing to die for their sins, should we not be willing to die for our salvation?  Should we not as Christians embrace the sinner, love the person and not the sin? We should look at ourselves before we begin to judge others in a condemning manner.  (Matthew 7, KJV) Jesus ate with sinners and loved them.  He often healed them of their sins for their faith in him.   Jesus did not judge man by his sins. “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 (KJV).

It is hard being a Christian. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (KJV). However, the Lord never ask us to do something he would not do himself.  We do not have all the answers but we must be embolden enough to share our faith with others.  Share in the salvation we have received in being in the body of Christ.  Because of the actions of a few the entire Christian world is often judged.  Should it be this way NO!! However, the Lord has given us the power of the Holy Ghost to spread his word and share our faith. Failing to be the same person you are on Holy Ground as you are in your day-to-day life crucifies our Lord again. “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (KJV).  It is time to embolden ourselves Christians and take up the sword of truth, which is the Word of God, and become proud to become a Christian again. Ephesians 6:17.

Historical-Critical Method adds complexity to the Word of God

Glory to God in the Highest.  Hallelujah He has risen! Welcome to the church season of Easter.  After a difficult and trying Lent, I am excited to say Hallelujah in church again.  I realize it has been over a month since my last posting and I apologize for that.  I have been busy with starting seminary, vestry, and sharing services from my church on iTunes.  However, today, I am going to discuss what I have been studying in my Hermeneutics class about the historical-critical method of doing scholarly biblical research.  The concept of historical-critical research is to insert doubt and probability in various beliefs of the origins of the Bible and the accuracy of what is being said in the Gospel.  The primary core belief is that the Bible has been written a multitude of authors who gathered resources of the stories and miracles of Jesus Christ and copulated them into one book.  Essential in lay person terms it’s like Aesop’s fables and contain universal truths and some of the stories are more believable that others.

Academics and the scientific method has invaded our religious thought and study in the seminary.  While Christian monks founded the primary scientific method it has been diluted into a logical pattern of probability and statistics.  There is no mystery or wonder to it any longer.  The issue with religion is that it provides for the opportunity for the impossible.  It allows for a belief in something we cannot explain.  It allows for Faith.  The bible is the reason we have faith.  The truth allows us to believe.  It allows the faith to exist and thus have churches exist. Without the knowledge and acceptance that no matter what human wrote the bible, it is still the word of God.  It contains the truth about God and the path for our salvation.  It is a part of a greater understanding of truth about God. The bible is essentially like the cliff notes to the understanding and knowledge of God.  It provides us enough for us to accomplish and understand in order to reach salvation.  If we have questions then the answers are contained in the Bible we just need to look for them.  It is the truth.  You must have faith to believe that.

Failure to over analyze and bring in logic and the scientific method into faith is that basic human processes and understanding do not allow miracles to occur.  Even chaos has a mathematical anomaly, which can at times be predicted through statistics.  Faith is a belief because of what it is not because of any evidence that we can prove it.  Failure of the scholarly academics to understand this has resulted in an over analysis of the basics.  Believe because we have faith.  Understand because you believe.  Share because you understand. Sometimes we must remember individuals do not need the complexities of our faith because it justifies it through numbers but they need the simple understanding because everything else in our world is so complex.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:1-3 KJV)

Religious Understanding and Growth Over The Season

It is my prayer that the Lord has blessed you with a beautiful enlightenment and peace this Christmas season. I found a deeper enlightenment period during the Advent and Christmas season than ever before. The week of Christmas was extremely hard.  I found that the only thing that got me through it was the Lord.  I was limited to my chaotic bedroom with no engagement from another human being except the occasional two-minute visit from my husband.  On Christmas, I received no text messages, no visitors, and no presents.  I stayed in bed and stared at the bedroom ceiling wondering how the dust collects and maintains itself with the force of the air moving from the fan.  I finally was able to leave my room on Christmas evening once my husband’s children went to bed.  I was able to make our traditional chip beef on biscuits.

I made homemade biscuits, which was a joy.  It was a joy to be able to talk to my husband.  What allowed me to make it through that time was the midnight Christmas Eve mass at church.  It was an honor to be part of the changing of the Alter during the mass to signify the change of the season from Advent to Christmas.  A reverence and peace comes when you enter into the chancel.  As I entered in to change the alter linens it became very quiet.  A peaceful silence.  It seemed while changing the linens there was a peaceful rhythmic movement as we changed the linens from purple to white.  I felt as if I had been in the silence for almost 20 minutes when we were finally completed.  In actuality, though we had only been in the chancel about five minutes and the organ was going at full volume.  It was a blessing to be able to have participated in that activity.

I have made the leap on prayer and faith to go and obtain my third master’s degree. Like all positives and blessings roadblocks remain.  I found out today at I owe 1874 dollars to my old university for leaving the class.  Normally I would be ok with this but right now with little money coming in this is one bill that I cannot afford.  I admit choosing which bills I am going to pay each month is difficult.  Because inevitably I end of being late on some and not on others that leads to late charges and never-ending phone calls for payments.  I continue to pray that the Lord will provide me with the means to get a job that will help me pay my bills better than what my current situation is or provide me with a viable solution.  I am trying to see this as a way of me developing a relevant relationship of understanding between others and myself as I work towards sharing the Word of God. I pray for the Lord to provide me with a means to repay my debtors for when I have more I shall give more unto the Lord.  Luke 7:40-43 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?  Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

As the year ends, I have been blessed to find the Lord again and hear Him.  Like most millennials I was for a good part of my teenage and twenties stuck in a religious strife being headstrong in my desires of wanting to understand and know more but wanting to fit in with modern society so I could become my own.  The love I found for ritual and fellowship I thought I had found in the masonic orders.  However, after returning to the Church I found a true happiness and peace that can only be found in Church.  I have discovered on my own the demonic nature of the masonic orders.  The oaths on holy books, the proselytizing that they are not a religion but not holding up the men and women in their organization to attend religious services.  Men and women whether knowing or not give up their religious fellowship with one another in Christ when they meet and perform their rituals.  While the members donate millions to non-profits and help their community the underpinning of the organization lacks Christ.

Organizations like Hamas do charitable work to their brothers and sisters but the underlining of them is a terrorist organization.  Masonry is no different.  Many individuals I meet in these organizations I had known over 13 years of my life and once I broke away from them I was, informed vial rumors were spread about me to defame my name and character.  Grown adults older than me by a generation or two were spreading gossip, rumors, and lies about someone half their age. Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.  I fail to see how this is Christian or on their terms of good moral character.  I believe that the masonic lodges are the playground for Satan’s demons.  That once you turn away and go into the Light of Christ that they become angry and hostile.  I realize that when I speak of this many of my masonic acquaintances will be upset and tell me how I am misinformed.  However, after 13 years in multiple organizations and spending almost 6 days a week in various meetings performing various rituals and spreading the word of how masonry was not evil. I can tell you from my own personal experience the truth about how Satan resides in the lodge room. If you have doubts about your masonic activities and question if its morals are what the Supreme architect really intended I encourage you to email me.  I can share with you my experiences, pray with you, and assist you in seeing the God’s true path.

To provide you one insight I had as I was leaving the lodge I found this.

1 Kings 7:14 He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. – Also known in the masonic world as Hiram Abif. Masonic religious context is wrong.  He was not an architect but a brass worker.  He sent his architects to work on King Solomon’s temple.  He was not killed for not releasing a great secret but instead buried in a sarcophagus in Qabr Hiram.

Joshua 24:14 – Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

May the Lord bless you today and for the year ahead, I pray you find peace and happiness in the Lord’s path for you today.

Power of Prayer Challenge

May the Lord bless you and keep you this day; may His light shine down upon you.  In a world full of technology, information and gadgets we as Christians get caught up sharing on social media our beliefs and engaging in the evilness of the world around us.  Now while we are called to stand out and preach His word, we are not called to spend an average of up to nine hours a day on our social media sites copying memes or responding to prayer requests.  Not every request for prayer needs a response on social media.  God rather hear from you directly that read it online.  So the question becomes why do respond online to prayer requests?  Do we do it for the selfish nature of wanting others to see that we are praying for them?  If this is the case is then not the true intent behind the prayer not about the prayer for resolution and comfort from God but about yourself and your charity?  Some of the most faithful people may not respond to your request for help or prayer but it is not because they are not caring for you.  It is because they may be on their knees communicating with God beseeching favor in behest of you.

The power of prayer is the strongest weapon we have as Christians.  It alone can move mountains.  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22). Yet many Christians today do not use this power.  Many of those that do use it only use it to ask for help.  Giving praise in prayer is extremely important not just requesting help but to give thanks.  Like the lepers healed by Jesus will we be like the Samaritan that comes back to give thanks for the grace that God bestows upon us?  (Luke 17) Often Christians forget that the goodness that is bestowed upon them is not by their will and actions but through His and His alone.  Yet we continue to post on Facebook in our selfish ways to seek the acknowledgement from our brothers and sisters for the prayers we provide.  If this is so how are we any better than those that collected money at the temple? (Matthew 21).

Prayer should be conducted as Jesus instructed in Mathew 18.  In small groups both in silence and out loud. Praying alone can be done but a greater emphasis on prayer must be placed on doing it when two or more are gathered in His name.  By sharing we are able to afford people the opportunity to listen which often does more good to the person hurt than anything else.  Listening is one of those skills my generation is failing to learn or accomplish.  Reading tweets, blurbs and status changes is not the same as listening.  More information can be obtained when we listen to someone share their message.  Their nonverbal ques, their voice pattern, and their facial expressions this information can impact the need and emphasis we place on those requesting us to pray with them.

While social media will never go away, I understand as Christians we will always go there to update and see who needs someone to comfort them.  But least we not forget to communicate verbally with one another to share our praise and burdens so we together can lift them to the Lord.  But if we go on social media to share in each other’s burdens remember to pray first about it and then to follow up in a verbal conversation so the Holy Spirit can move you to comfort each other as you share each other’s burdens.

So this is the challenge I set before all my Christian brothers and sisters:  Formally pray with someone everyday for 30 days for both the good and bad in your life.  See how the Lord comforts you and brings you peace.  If praying out loud makes you nervous pray with someone you trust.  Let them lead you a couple of times.  Pray with your family at every meal even when you go out.  Let the Holy Spirit dwell within you by inviting Him in and see what wonders He will do for you in the next 30 days. Feel free to contact me with your experiences and I will share mine with you.

Prayer for the Human Family Book of Common Prayer 1928

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole
human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Veils and Demons

In the recent weeks I have begun to have a greater reverence for the power of prayer.  With this reverence I have begun to take to the old tradition that most Christians in other countries follow by wearing veils during services and prayer.  But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. (1 Corinthians 11:5-6 KJV).

I have seen people healed through the power of prayer.  I have also seen demons cast out by the power of prayer.  Demons are real.  They exist.  As children we are told about demons and the devil but with the advancement of the church into the modern era, the Church has deemphasized the aspect of demons, satan, and hell.  The church has been teaching that God is a forgiving God and will forgive you of all your sins no matter how many.  While this provides us comfort at the time of our death it deemphasizes that true forgiveness.  Luke states in Acts 26:18 KJV To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.  While God forgives we must keep moving toward his glory and salvation.  To receive forgiveness and to continue in sin is choosing sin.  It is not choosing the power of God and therefore true forgiveness is not received.

Demons live off our sin.  They build strongholds in our souls and prevent the power of the Holy Ghost from really working to his full potential. Deliverance ministry is important.  I have seen demons cast out of people and admittedly it is frightening.   No one wants to admit they have strongholds that demons reside in.  Going through deliverance ministry I find the hardest part for me to be willing to sit down and have the demons cast out is the fact that they show themselves.  I do not want to know that their there. I am a good person.  I care for others.  This is not me.  The fear is what happens if it takes more than one session.  Why would I want to experience this all over again?  At some point I will muster enough courage to sit and have my soul examined and cleared but it does not mean that there is fear about it.  A great deal of deliverance ministry is trust.  A trust that the Lord will help you, that others in the room that pray with you will not judge you  and that your priest will be able to assist you in your deliverance.

For deliverance to be successful change must occur.  For mine it is removing myself and my belongings from multiple organizations I have spent almost half of my life participating in. I have lost friends that I have had for over 15 years.  I had had rumors spread about me to villainize me for leaving.  Although this occurs I have found peace in being at church and on holy ground much more so than in lodge rooms that try to emulate that peaceful reverent feeling.  Debate runs heavy in the Christian churches whether these organizations belong to the occult because of the good works the organization does for children and the community.  My church has found these organizations to be part of the occult and for good reason.   In James 5: 12 KJV  But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. By taking an oath we have bound ourselves to following charges and commitments that might someday be contradictory to the Law of the Lord.  Why would we put ourselves in that situation?  The organizations require members to take oaths on Holy Books that require men to submit to having their throats cut in secrets are revealed.  Everything in the house of the Lord is open and no secrets are hid.  Therefore these organizations although claiming to be fraternities are contrary to the Christian Church’s teaching.

Therefore I pray and keeping with God’s word I veil myself while praying and while being in the church. Demons are real and the spiritual warfare that occurs in this world that we do not see I believe is real.  Thus to ensure my prayers are pleasing to the Lord and my worship is pleasing I choose to veil to ensure a holiness and peacefulness is maintained in my personal worship with the Lord.

#BreatheFire For What The Lord Has Set Forth For Us

#BreatheFire is an internet meme that was started by a women who was upset at the situation for Anna Duggar. At the end of her open letter to Anna Duggar she vows to teach her daughters to think they breathe fire. Her complaint is not with Anna Duggar but those that raised her. She believes that Anna was raised to be chaste and holy. She was raised to be devout to her husband and be a good mother. The issue becomes as the mother points out that for everything she was taught she was now bound to a man, Josh Duggar, who was not honorable to what he was taught. We all have heard over the past year the hits the Duggar family has taken in the media for the less than Christian actions that have taken place in their lives separate from their TV show which expresses their deeply rooted Christian values.

As a Christian woman I live in two worlds under the oppression of the feminist movement. As Christian women we are obligated to live out our Christian values and fight the feminist agenda. The feminist agenda was not all bad. It gave me the opportunity to wear jeans and pants without being judged. It allowed me to take a technological job which is often dominated by males. It also allowed me get a higher education. Most importantly it also allows me to stand up and #BreatheFire for my Christian beliefs and values. I would like to imagine I #BreatheFire for God and Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Similar to Joshua.

Joshua 10: 10-12
10 And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.
11 And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.
12 And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.

I can be a servant to the Lord and be strong. I can be a strong women and put on the armor of the Lord and still serve the Lord and my husband (Proverbs 31:10-31). As I see the Duggar situation, I see Anna as being strong. She stands by the head of her household. She is represents the true idea of the #BreatheFire movement at this moment in time. How many of us Christian ladies would stay? How many of us would stand by our husbands in the face of his sins? As Christians we must remember in these times we must stand together and pull up our brothers and sisters and assist them in repenting for their sins. For it is the sin we hate not the individual committing the sin. Sin is real and hurtful to families and individuals alike.

As a parent I am in charge of assisting in the raising of a four year old little girl. I will teach her to #BreatheFire. Not for the feminist movement but for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To be a warrior for Christ. I will teach my son the same thing. Although we are all sinners  it was through His death we are able to be saved and forgiven. We shall be warriors, my family, for the Lord. Therefore we #BreatheFire in being warriors for our Lord. How will you raise your children? Shall the Word guide your life and its decisions? As parents we should teach our children to #BreatheFire. #BreatheFire not for the ideas of what our society teaches us but what for the Lord has set forth for us.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15