Archive for February, 2015

The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.” (Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭3‬ NLT)

On April 18, 1924, Francis Leavy, a Chicago firefighter, was washing a large window at the department when he apparently had a premonition: He would die that day. And he did. The next day, as fellow officers were dealing with his death, they noticed a handprint on the window that Leavy had washed, which wasn’t there before. When it was washed again, the handprint, possibly Leavy’s own, remained. Not even chemicals removed it. The handprint remained a mystery until 1944, when the window was broken by a newspaper boy’s wild throw. 

Everyday, God gives us “handprints of His presence” to show us that He’s there and involved with us. It might be a random song, a glimpse of nature, or a call from a friend, but each moment is associated with a feeling, even a brief one, that everything’s going to be okay. Consider it for what it is, your Heavenly Father reminding you that He’s there with you!

As I watched the snow gently fall yesterday, I felt it. When I talked to a friend on the phone yesterday, I felt it. And today, I’ll look again for another “handprint”, knowing that my God loves me and wants me to know it. May you see it too! You are loved!

mike@poyenassemblyofgod.org

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Arise, let us go from here.” (John‬ ‭14‬:‭31‬ NKJV)

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, aka Grandma Moses, is one of the biggest names in American folk art, and she didn’t even pick up a brush until she was well into her eighth decade! Grandma Moses was originally a big fan of embroidery, but once her arthritis grew too painful for her to hold a needle, she decided to give painting a try. She was 76 when she cranked out her first canvas! By the time she passed away at 101, her paintings were worth thousands of dollars.

I’ve often heard that a rut can be described as “a grave with both ends knocked out”. We sometimes settle for lesser things in life and in God when there is more, but it requires moving beyond places of comfort and safety. Regardless of age or circumstances, God directs our lives as we follow His path. If we settle into a place of grief, loss, or discouragement, we’ll miss the path to better living.

As Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He was in the final moments of His life. Let God take the remainder of your days and, like Grandma Moses, create beauty in the lives around you! You are wonderfully loved today!

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Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NLT)

In April 2008, Wendy Petherick was standing beside a river in Northwest Australia, near Darwin, when she was attacked by an 8′ saltwater crocodile. Her husband, Norm, immediately jumps on the crocodile to save his wife! After wrestling with it a bit, he finds its eyes, gives them a gouge, prompting the croc to let go. Norm literally pulled his wife out of the jaws of death.

Just as a “saltie” swims by the waters edge in search of unsuspecting prey, sin camps out at the front steps of our heart, waiting for a chance to pounce. In this scripture, God is warning a very angry Cain not to let sin control him. Cain wouldn’t listen and instead eventually killed his brother. Even though God provided a warning, Cain didn’t heed it and paid a heavy price.

The Enemy longs to trip you up and destroy your life. Sin is enticing and is therefore hard to resist. As you encounter temptation, don’t fight it alone! Let God help you to resist it. You’ll survive spiritually as you let God help you fight your battles! You are loved today!

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And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master…” (Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭36‬ NKJV)

Growing up in an Army town, you never knew exactly when deployed soldiers were coming home. Women in our church were vigilant to keep the house cleaned, there hair fixed, and the diaper bag packed, because at any moment, the phone might ring and be told that the plane was coming in! For military families, you can’t get ready; you have to live ready.

We have a promise from our Savior: One day He is returning for us. It might be the whole church body or you alone through a life circumstance. Regardless, when it’s our time to leave this world and face eternity, there won’t be a chance to “get ready”. Spiritual vigilance, much like the military, means that we must live ready, anticipating our Lord’s call to come home!

Always remember that we are not earthly beings having spiritual experiences in this life; we are spiritual people having an earthly experience until our home is built! Live ready to serve in this life, and ready to go for the one to come. It could be today! You are loved!

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Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.” (Psalms‬ ‭27‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

In one study that focused on the abandonment of pregnant teenagers, it was reported that around 40% of caregivers kicked out or gave up their teen daughter when her pregnancy was discovered. In my opinion, disowning a child is irresponsible and the ramifications ripple into the community. Parents of these teens need to be involved in their lives, especially during such a trying time. Responsibly does not end when a child goes against a parent’s will.

For many, we view God through the same lenses of our own abandonment issues. If others are willing to dump me, then God is too. We can sense this same fear in the psalmist’s pleas to God, probably on the heels of a failure or hardship.

The good news is that God NEVER abandons us! While He is a good parent and corrects our bad behaviors, He also promised never to disown us (Hebrews 13:5). Trust that your future is indeed safe in the hands of an unchanging and truly forgiving Savior! You are loved today!

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But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth.” (John‬ ‭16‬:‭6-7‬ NKJV)

In times of crisis, the Bible has given me hope. When I have grieved a loss, it’s words have brought me comfort. As a pastor, I also have the privilege of dispensing these same words of life to others that are going through similar circumstances. But could God also bring tough words into our lives? You bet!

When the Lord speaks words of conviction into guilty ears, our heart breaks because we know we’ve done wrong. When the Holy Spirit wisely reveals to us that tough times are a’coming, we cringe at the unseen. To understand these tough words of God, you must understand the context from which He speaks to us: Out of the great love of His heart. He doesn’t aim to hurt us but to draw us to Himself, so that nothing, including sin, can separate us from intimacy with Him.

True love will speak the tough truths to you. I love, but I’m not great at it. That’s why I’m grateful for a loving Savior who can correct all of us the right way. Don’t be discouraged, just correctable. It always leads to blessed places! You are loved today!

Starbucks Invests Heavily In Drive-Thru Market

Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.” (Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ NLT)

On August 20, 2014, a woman drove up and paid for her own iced coffee at 7 a.m. at a St. Petersburg, FL, Starbucks and also asked to pay for a caramel macchiato for the driver behind her, who then did the same for the next customer. After a few people continued the chain, the employees started keeping a tally on a piece of paper by the window. By closing time that night, 10 p.m., 378 customers had kept the Java blessings flowing!

You don’t have to be a Christian to do something nice for others. But the natural inclination for us SHOULD BE to help others, especially when we see a need. Selfishness is the opposite of the spirit-filled life. By doing for others, we are keeping old ways at bay while allowing God to draw us deeper and invite others to join us on the journey.

This being Valentine’s weekend, do something special for someone (but start with your sweetheart first!). If you find yourself in a drive-thru line, start a chain reaction of blessing! It’ll make somebody’s day! You are loved!