GET TOGETHER – GO ON TO PERFECTION

GET TOGETHER – GO ON TO PERFECTION

Jas 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Heb 6:1 ¶ Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (NKJV)

I praise God for the finished work of Jesus Christ through His death on the cross and by His rising from the dead. For the believer in Jesus Christ, we can rejoice that by the shedding of His Blood that He made atonement for our sins. The Apostle Paul wrote in the Ro 3:24,25 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.” So, for the repentant sinner we can rejoice that He has saved us from hell and reconciled us unto Himself.

On the other hand, He is not finished with us. Here is an example that I didn’t really want to give, but I know that the Lord wants me to do it. First, I want to praise the Lord for the things that He has delivered me from in my past. You have heard me testify of him delivering me from drug use, drunkenness, and several other things.

So, here is what I really didn’t want to share. Last week we were at our Grandson Judah’s basketball game. The bleachers were very close to the court. A call was made and us being only about 5 feet from where the official was standing, I questioned the call and the official answered me. The Holy Spirit convicted me about what kind of an example was I setting. We live in a world that shows so much disrespect to those who are in authority.

After the game I went up to the official and asked him to forgive me. I told him that I had a friend that was an official. And that he had told me how hard that it was today to get officials because people don’t want to go out there and get yelled at. And sometimes even face threats against them through bodily harm.
When I first got saved an umpire that I had used some profanity on when I was playing softball before I got saved came into our business where I was working. I can remember very well the Holy Spirit impressing upon me to go and ask him to forgive me for that. I asked him to forgive me for that. I then told him that I had been saved and that I didn’t talk like that anymore. I don’t want to go back to old behaviors that I had before I got saved. Jesus said in Mt 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I know that sometimes the devil brings false guilt, and condemnation to us. And we need to know that as Paul wrote in Ro 8:1 that we are not under condemnation. ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

I also know that we haven’t arrived yet. And I know that we aren’t perfect. But we are called to go on to perfection. Sometimes we play the I am not perfect card in a way that it stunts our growth as a Christian. The Lord has blessed J.J. and I with many brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ across denominational lines. In the part of the Body of Christ that I came out of one of the questions associated with that tradition that I think is helpful for all of us is to ask one another this question. Are you growing in grace? Are you going on to perfection? Meaning are you moving forward in your relationship with Christ? Are you maturing as a Christian ?

The Greek term for perfection in Hebrews 6:1 is teleiotes, tel-i-ot’-ace. It means completeness, mentally, morally and perfection. No, you can certainly tell that I am not there yet. But on the other hand as we are told consistently in the Scriptures:
Ps 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (NKJV) Php 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;(NKJV)

So, with that said let us do as we are told at another place in the Book of Hebrews Heb 12:1 ¶ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (NKJV)

By the way I have another game to go to tonight and one of the other areas the Lord is working with me in is not coaching from the stands as I sit by J.J. and coach to her. So, pray that this will be another growing point for me. When He removes something, He always replaces it with something better.

Let Us Pray
Lord we are reminded in the Word of God that you chasten those that You love. We thank you that You don’t condemn us, but You show us areas of our lives that You want to work in. We thank You that You are a good good Father.
In Jesus Name
Amen
Love You all
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER – JOURNEY ON CHILD OF GOD

GET TOGETHER – JOURNEY ON CHILD OF GOD

Isa 43:1 ,2 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
When we first surrendered to go full time into the Pastorate the Holy Spirit gave me this passage. At that time, we decided to go on a journey with the Lord that has had challenges and it has had many, many blessings.
Week before last J.J. and I were going on another journey. We were going to Springfield, Missouri to help our son Jake put on a basketball tournament and spend some time with his family as well. We left around 5:P.M heading to Jonesboro, Arkansas where we would spend the night and get up and drive what normally is about a four-hour drive to Springfield the next morning.
When we got up it was snowing. My first inclination after looking at the roads was to head back to Alabama. However, as so often she does J.J. encouraged me to continue the journey. As we were going through the flat areas outside of Jonesboro there was ice, and snow on the roads and there was hardly any traffic. I knew that about fifteen miles ahead we would be going into the Ozark Mountains. I was very concerned about that to say the least.
In 2013 I had gone with a group of men on a ministry trip to Macedonia. One day we were driving to Philippi to see where Paul and Silas had been put in jail. We had to go over some of the highest most treacherous mountains that I have ever been on that were covered with ice and snow.
We had a good driver that day who was also a good friend. When we were outside of Jonesboro, I said I sure would like to have him with us today to drive us across these mountains. It was then that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said that it wasn’t my friend that got us across those mountains, Although God certainly used him. It was God that made it possible. And He told me to trust Him, and He would get us across those mountains that we were about to go across. He then reminded me of the above passage. Although we weren’t going through fire the principle was the same. We must trust God in all situations.
When we began to go up into the mountains, we noticed that the roads were better. As we were driving, we noticed how beautiful that it was up in those mountains. We would see lakes that were surrounded by snow. And we counted eight snowplows that the Lord had placed on the mountain. We made it to Springfield and had a wonderful time at the tournament and with Jake, Tommye, Eli and Hannah. While we were there we met some wonderful Christian students who are really dedicated to the Lord and made several new friends.
There were several things that the Lord taught me about that in relationship to our journey with Him. When we are on our journey with Him there may be situations and circumstances that the enemy would use to tell us to turn around and to not continue the journey. But we have to be like the Apostle Paul said and keep moving forward : Php 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
For every challenge there is a blessing on the other side of it. Mountains can be things that attempt to inhibit us from fulfilling our destiny. Jesus said that we could command those mountains to go Mr 11:23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
Also, as we experienced mountains can be places of great beauty and we experience what God has created in a very special way. And the mountains can be places where we experience God in a very special way: Re 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,(NKJV)
When we journey with the Lord there will always be challenges that try to hinder us from experiencing His goodness and reaching our destination. But I am reminded of a passage from the Psalms that reminds us of the faithfulness of God even when we walk through the tough places in our journey with Jesus Christ: Ps 84:5-7 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion. Don’t turn back. The Lord will always supply the snowplows, or whatever we need.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your faithfulness. today by the power of the Holy Spirit help us to keep moving forward in this glorious journey with you.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love You All
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- It Will Be Perfect

GET TOGETHER- It Will Be Perfect

Re 21:1 -6 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”

As I have said earlier, I love this time of the year. Many people are more giving. Many people are expressing the love of Jesus Christ in special ways. J.J. and I have been experiencing some good fellowship with other people in ministry, our friends, and our family on several different occasions in the past few weeks. It has already been a wonderful Christmas.
On the other hand it has not been a perfect Christmas. When we read the news, we see some challenging times for our nation and for the world. Being in ministry we are fully aware that there are many people and families that suffer heartbreak at this time of the year. Sometimes it may be an unexpected death of a loved one. It may be a child that is in rebellion, it may be something like a bad cold, the flu or some other type of sickness that makes a person not quiet feel like celebrating.
I love the passage from Revelation that I am using today. Most times the Holy Spirit has me to use that at the end of a Home Going service. For those of you that aren’t from our part of the country here a Home Going service is what a lot of people call a funeral. But here in Marion County we believe that for the Christian it marks a return to our eternal home. The Apostle Paul wrote 2Co 5:8 “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
As believers in Jesus Christ, we joyfully celebrate His coming to the earth as a man. Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. We joyfully celebrate that in His death and resurrection we have eternal life. Through His Blood he has made atonement for our sins : Ro 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. We celebrate that we are saved from Hell! We celebrate that death has been defeated in His resurrection! We celebrate that He has given us the Holy Spirit and that we are empowered to serve Him and to walk in victory Ac 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
But most all we celebrate His return. It will be a time when no one will die. It will be a time when no one will argue, or fuss about little things, or big things. It will be a time when all believers will walk in perfect unity. There will be no addictions there. There will be no heartaches of any type.
Only the Believer in Jesus Christ can look forward to that day. It will be a perfect place. If you have given your life to Jesus Christ celebrate that even as much as His birth. If you have given your life to Jesus Christ, no matter what you may be going through at this time keep moving forward in Him because the best is always still yet to come. Now that is something to celebrate!

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus, we thank you that You came to earth to save us from our sins. We pray for those that are hurting for any reason at this time of the year. Please give them joy, peace, and comfort. May any that read this that have not given their lives to you do so today. We thank You that in You the future is always brightest!
In Jesus Name
Amen

On Behalf of J.J. Myself, and all of our family we thank You for the many prayers that you have prayed for us through the years. Have a Merry Christmas. we will see you here, there, or in the air!
Your Friend, Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- The Seed Cannot Be Destroyed

GET TOGETHER- The Seed Cannot Be Destroyed

Mt 2:1,16 ¶ Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

One thing that I learned was a major theme in the Scriptures as a young Christian is that the enemy meaning Satan is always at work attempting to destroy the seed, and that God is always at work preserving the seed. King Herod is sometimes referred to as Herod the Great. However, his character and his deeds were not great. Herod was an Idumean. they were longtime enemies of the Jews. He was put in power and was subordinate to the Romans. He was a brutal man He had killed two of his ten wives, at least three of his sons, a brother-in- law, and the grandfather of His wives. He had rebuilt the Temple to a very grand scale. But he did not do this because he was a worshipper of God. He did it for political reasons to pacify the Jews and hoping that it would keep them from rebelling against Rome and against him. I am going to go back and look at a couple of other verses that show us some characteristics of those who are operating under the spirit of antichrist and are being used by the enemy to destroy the seed.
Those operating under this spirit are always paranoid and concerned about one that will be more powerful than them and remove them from their thrones: Mt 2:3,4 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
Certainly, there are things that we all must keep confidential especially for those of us who are in ministry and for others in their various callings that they serve in for example attorneys, healthcare workers, and many others. On the other hand, those who the enemy will try to use to destroy the seed will always have a secret plan that is clothed in dishonesty to try to accomplish what the devil is trying to accomplish through them. Mt 2:7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” Herod had no intention of worshipping this new King.
Anger and hatred for God and for God’s people will be the fuel that is behind the fire that the devil wants to use to destroy the seed. Mt 2:16 ¶ “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.”
The good news for us is that the seed cannot be destroyed by the devil. Just as God showed Joseph how to avoid the death of Jesus Christ before it was His time to die for our sins God will preserve those who are in Christ Jesus . Mt 2:13 ¶ Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
We know as the Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus Christ is the Seed of Abraham that is with a big S. Ga 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And as believers in Jesus Christ, we are we Abraham’s seed with a little s. Ga 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NKJV)

There are things in our culture that concern me. Teachers in some states can advise students in a way to bring confusion to them about their being created male, or female. While others face persecution and the possibility of being fired for praying in school. There is more hostility in our nation to the Christian faith in our nation than at any other time in our history. There is an agenda by the enemy to destroy the seed. But praise God that just as He preserved the Seed and kept him from dying before His time at the hand of Herod. God will preserve those who are truly in Christ Jesus. As we celebrate His birth let us also celebrate the fact that He has given us victory over the enemy. For us as Christians our best days are always ahead of us.
So, as we go into this joyful Christian week of Celebration don’t let the headlines steal your joy. The Bethlehem News probably looked scary at that time. But praise God that we have the victory in our Lord Jesus Christ the Seed of Abraham, and we will celebrate not just this week, but forever, and ever!
Let us Pray
Lord, we thank you for coming to the earth. We thank you that You died and rose again. We thank You that we as your Blood bought people shall live forever and ever! Praise God that the Seed cannot be destroyed!
In Jesus Name
Amen!

On behalf of J.J. and myself we pray that you have a very Merry Merry Christmas!

Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- The Small Things Can Become Big Things

GET TOGETHER- The Small Things Can Become Big Things

Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Mt 25:21,23 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

One of my favorite ways to exercise and to keep off some of my weight is playing basketball with two of our grandsons Judah and Micah. It also brings some healing for when my Junior High Coach benched me for throwing up in a game at one of our rival’s gym. Judah is eleven and Micah will soon be eight. Sometimes our games get kind of heated. They had beaten me I think over thirty something games in a row. We referee on the honor system. I went in for a layup and called a foul on Judah which gave me a three-point play. They hotly disputed my call, but we let it stand. I threw up a three pointer that I still don’t know how on earth that it went in, and I broke the losing streak. They were not very happy, and I attempted to give them a lesson on sportsmanship.
That night the Holy Spirit brought to my attention that one time when I scored that day that I had slid my feet and taken an extra step. I didn’t call traveling on myself. The Holy Spirit then had me to ask both boys to forgive me. Then He reminded me that we had gotten away from praying before and after each game. What a great lesson God taught me.
This week when we played, we returned to praying before and after the game and although I got beat by over twenty points things went much better. There are several lessons in this. I am not being legalistic. But what the Holy Spirit was showing me is that it might not appear to be a big thing not calling traveling on yourself in a pickup basketball game. But what does it say to Micah and Judah? Also, if God is going to trust us with bigger things, we must be faithful in the small things. When we cheat in the small things it can also get easier to cheat in the bigger things.
The Good News for us is that our Heavenly Father loves us enough to correct us when we mess up. We are told in Heb 12:6,7 “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” The Greek term for chasten is paideuo. It means to train up a child. It means to educate. To discipline with punishment. I praise the Lord that He corrected me and did not punish me. There is also good news for those of us that have been saved. When the Holy Spirit convicts us and shows us an area that we need to repent of and to ask for forgiveness we are told in 1Jo 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. And praise God because of the Blood of Jesus Christ we can walk in the light and not have to walk in the darkness.
Again, I want to emphasize that God does not go behind us with a lightning bolt looking for every mistake that we make. But He does from time to time give us some integrity checks to help us to stay on the right path and to not be drawn away by the temptations that Satan brings our way. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who is the Light of the World may we allow His light to shine through us in the small things of everyday life. When we do, He will help us in being faithful over even bigger things.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that You love us enough to correct us when we may mess up in some way. We thank you that you do not condemn us, but You forgive us, and You help us not to repeat those same things that we have done wrong. May all of those who read this be faithful in the small things. We know that when we are that You will make us faithful in even bigger things.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love You All
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

Merry Christmas!

GET TOGETHER—WHAT A GREAT HOPE WE HAVE

GET TOGETHER—WHAT A GREAT HOPE WE HAVE

This past week in my time with the Lord and Bible Study I have been reading through the Book of Romans. Wow! There is so much good news in there that I can hardly stand it! It has me shouting and has put a song of praise and thanksgiving in my heart. 

This morning the Holy Spirit really impressed upon me how many time that the English term hope is used in the Book of Romans. There are at least twelve times that the word hope is used there. In some of the verses the Greek term for hope  elpis,  el-pece’ is used. It means to anticipate in most cases with pleasure. It means confidence. In other verses the Greek term elpizo is used meaning to expect. So as believers in Jesus Christy you and I can always look forward with confidence and be an expectant people. Let’s look at four verses here that will help us to grow in that confidence. 

In Romans 5:5 we are told that hope does not disappoint: Ro 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Because we have been justified by faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ as we are told in Ro 5:1 ¶ Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (NKJV) and Ro 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (NKJV)   We  can rejoice that we are loved by God and that He is pouring out His love upon us, in us, and through us. We can love when the whole world may appear to be hating. We will never face the disappointment that we are not loved by God. 

We can look forward with confidence when the things with the natural eye may look bleak. Ro 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? We can’t see Heaven right now, but we know that as believers in Jesus Christ that Heaven is a real place because Jesus promised us in Joh 14:1 -3¶ Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  So, we know that this life is not the final place for us as believers in Jesus Christ. What a glorious hope we have in that we can always celebrate that this time of the year and the rest of the years  as well. 

We can look forward with confidence that no matter what challenges in life that we are facing that God is going to bring us to a place of victory no matter how certain and painful that defeat may look or feel. Paul tells us in Ro 12:12rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Remember he is writing to Christians that were facing and would face major persecution. Don’t let the devil convince you that your prayers are not effective. Don’t let the devil convince you to give up on God making you think that God has given upon on you.  keep pressing forward and look forward to the victory. 

Finally, we can have hope because the Holy Spirit will give us the the power to abound in peace no matter what the situation, or circumstance might b.  He will also give us joy. Remember joy isn’t always feeling goose bumps during times of challenge, but it is the peace of knowing that God will bring you to the place of victory in that matter, or situation.  By the way old Brother Preston really enjoys those Holy Ghost pumps that do come with great victories!

So, during this Christmas season remember that Hope came to the world as a little baby in Bethlehem. He was crucified, dead, buried, and rose again!  He poured out the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and is still pouring out His Spirit on those who will get under the spout. Hallelujah He is coming back again. We can experience Him now! And  we can look forward to being with Him in eternity. What a HOPE! 

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus You are the living hope. We praise You that in You we can always look forward with confidence that You are with us working all things for our good and for your glory. Today work in the lives of all who read this. May we never waver in our hope that You will always perfect those things that concern us.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Merry Christmas 

Your friend/Kinfolk

Preston 

 

 

Preston Headrick 

Evangelist 

Real Party Ministry 

P O Box 2302

Hamilton, Alabama  35570

GET TOGETHER- THE BLESSING OF THANKFULNESS

GET TOGETHER- THE BLESSING OF THANKFULNESS

Lu 17:12-19 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? “Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Yes, those of you who know me know that I enjoy a good meal and especially those at Thanksgiving and other holidays. But on the other hand, if it was just about the meal all that we would have would be a guilty conscience perhaps from overeating and knowing that there would still be more on Friday and on Saturday.
I have good memories of Thanksgiving as a child when several of my cousins and aunts and uncles would meet for Thanksgiving Dinner at our house when we lived with my Maw-Maw, and Paw-Paw Sullivan. Thanksgivings have been great since J.J. and I got married over forty years ago. They really got better after we both received the mercy and forgiveness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the passage above the main thing that I want to point out is that out of ten lepers who were healed only one came back to thank the Lord Jesus for healing him. The Scripture says that he got sloppy in giving thanks to the Lord for healing him. He glorified the Lord with a loud voice. He fell at the feet of Jesus. This weekend people will get loud in cheering their football team on. I am not saying that anything is wrong with that. On the other hand, how much more and what a blessing it is to get loud in song, or a shout and thank the Lord for all that He has done for us.
There is a song out now by Chris Tomlin called Thank You Lord. In that song there is a lot of thanks for many of the things that we often take for granted. As we go into this week of Thanksgiving ask the Holy Spirit to help you and me to live a life that is a life of Thanksgiving.
I am seventy-two years old. On the wall in my office is a picture of my high school football team my Senior year of High School. There are twelve guys on that picture that have already left this walk of life. I don’t take it for granted that every day that I take a breath that it is only God that gives me that breath. We often take for granted the “small things in life.” We have a two-bedroom house with a bath and a half. Our house would be considered a mansion in a lot of the places that the Lord has had us to travel to. We are so thankful for it. We are thankful for the friends that God has given to us and for so many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. We are thankful for our family. We are so thankful for their marriages and for their children.
J.J. and I are most thankful for the shed Blood of Jesus by which through faith in that Blood and in His resurrection, we know that we have eternal life, and life and life more abundantly. Praise God for these words from Ro 5:8,9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
I also realize that during Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas Season that everything will not be perfect in our lives, or in the lives of others. For some it will be the first Thanksgiving, or Christmas without a husband, a wife, a child, a mother, grandmother, grandfather, or a good friend. Or there good be other trials and challenging situations that would attempt to rob us of our peace.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica the following words in
1Th 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We live in a fallen world. So, we don’t blame all the bad stuff on God. But on the other hand because the Lord Jesus has promised us as is written in Hebrew 13:5 “ For He Himself has said , “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” We can give Him thanks in all situations because He never leaves us, and He never forsakes us.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 46. We are reminded in the following verses and throughout that Psalm that God is with us “Ps 46:10,11 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah(NKJV)

So, not only during this Thanksgiving Season in every season give God thanks. It may be when God has come through for us in some big-time way as He did for the ten lepers. Be sure and be like the one that came back and give Him thanks. It may be thanking God for the everyday blessings that we experience in life and take for granted. Be sure and give Him thanks. It may be during a time of loss, trial, or challenge. Give Him thanks that he is with you. Give Him thanks that He raises up the age-old waste places and restores broken streets and dwellings. In everything and always give Him thanks!

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus please forgive us when we fail to thank You for all that You have done for us. We thank You for the gift of eternal life which you have provided for us, by Your death on the cross and the shedding of Your precious Blood. Help us to be a people of Thanksgiving in season and out of season.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Happy Thanksgiving! We love you all!
Your Friend/kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER – Bring Them Up In the Lord

GET TOGETHER – Bring Them Up In the Lord

Eph 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

J.J. and I have been blessed with five beautiful grandchildren. One of the main motivators that God uses in having us to pray for our nation is the future of our children and grandchildren should not the Lord return first. We love spending time with all of them.
One of the things that I do with Judah age 11 and Micah age 7 is play tag football and basketball with them. It helps me to stay in shape and it is something that I really enjoy. Recently our games had been getting a little testy and I might not have been a good example to them in demonstrating good sportsmanship.
Well, the Lord always uses J.J. to help me when I get a little off track. So, she said why don’t you start praying with them when you play with them. What a great idea that was. I really know that was the Holy Spirit putting that thought in J.J.’S head. So, the last few times that we have played we have either started, finished, or done both by praying. What a joy it is to hear them pray and thank God for the opportunity and the time that we have together. The quality of our time has gotten much better as well. They are teachable about how to get along and encourage teammates rather than fussing at them. And it has been beneficial to me as well.
Right now, the world is using a lot of ways that will attempt to give children a mindset on lots of things that are different than a Biblical mindset. I would encourage you no matter what the occasion may be that when you are spending time with your children or grandchildren use it as a time to teach them Kingdom principles. You can do that in fun ways no matter what their interest may be.
Paul is telling the fathers not to provoke their children. The Greek term for provoke
is parorgizo, par-org-id’-zo. It means to provoke to anger. There had been some days when we were playing that I had been doing that some. Although I was kidding when I scored a touchdown, they as children didn’t see it that way. I realized that I was not modeling Christ like behavior.
The King James Version uses the word nurture for training. The Greek term paideia, pahee-di’-ah deals with training, instruction, chastening, and disciplinary action. When we approach even our fun times as a means for helping children to enjoy and participate in activities in a Christ Centered manner the Holy Spirit can use those times to teach not just the children, but all of us who play with them valuable Kingdom Lessons.
The Scriptures are so consistent on how important that it is to teach children about the Kingdom. Here are just a few : De 11:19 “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Ps 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. And never forget what Jesus said about children Mt 19:13,14 “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
The world is going after children with demonic things in a way that I have never seen in my lifetime. Remember when you are having fun with your children that the word recreation can be broken down as re-creation. Let God use it as a time to recreate you into the person that God desires for you to be. Let it be a time for God to re-create these children into boys and girls that will serve God at an early age. And that they will experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living everyday of their lives and forever and ever into eternity.

Let Us Pray
Lord in Your word you have told us to do all that we do heartily as unto you and not unto men. Lod help us to teach our children, grandchildren, and others that you have placed under us how to experience the good things that you have for us in a way that honors you. We need your help in this. Help us to crucify our sinful nature and reflect Your Glory no matter what we are doing.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love You All
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- Witchcraft and Rebellion

GET TOGETHER- Witchcraft and Rebellion
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
This morning as I was standing near our Keurig and getting ready to get J.J. and I our second cup of coffee I heard the Holy Spirit speak this passage as plain as anything as I have ever heard Him speak. King Saul was Israel’s first King. He had been to battle with the Amalekites. He had been directed by God to destroy everything that the Amalekites were, had, or possessed: 1Sa 15:3 ‘Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” He didn’t do it. He spared King Agag and the livestock. His disobedience would cost him his Kingship. Later on, during the night before he would take his own life after a battle with the Philistines at my Gilboa he would even visit a witch.
Rebellion against God happens when we think that our way of doing something is better than God’s way of living life. When this happens, it opens doors for the demonic influences of witchcraft to have sway in the lives of individuals, in schools, in colleges, and universities, in businesses in communities, in government and in nations.
Many people don’t believe that witchcraft is real. The Bible certainly speaks about the reality of witchcraft. We are told in De 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer.” Witchcraft certainly had a terrible effect on the rebellious Northern Kingdom of Israel through Jezebel the wife of King Ahab : 2Ki 9:22 “Now it happened, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” So he answered, “What peace, as long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft are so many?”
All of us were created by God for a desire for the supernatural. God’s plan for that desire to be fulfilled is through a born-again Holy Spirit filled relationship with Jesus Christ. Joh 7:38,39 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
There have been several times during our ministry that we have encountered spiritual attacks of witchcraft. Some have happened here in our own community where we serve in Hamilton, Alabama. Some other times in Kenya being woke up in the middle of the night and the enemy sending a spirit of fear telling you that he is going to take the life of a loved one while you are gone. The answer to that is to get out bed and get on your knees and know that as we are told in 1Jo 4:4 ¶ You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (NKJV) The answer is to put on the full Armor of God as Paul talks about in Ephesians 6:10-18. And pray in the Spirit.
You might say how do you know when you are encountering a demonic assignment that has been released through the practice of witchcraft? That is why we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit. God has given us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us as we wage the good warfare. Without going into an extended teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit the gift of discerning of spirits will enable us to know where the assignment is coming from and what type of assignment that the enemy has launched against us to inhibit what God desires to do in us and through us. This gift along with some of the other gifts of the Spirit is listed 1Co 12:10 “to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12 :7-10 lists other gifts of the Holy Spirit
Right now, there is much rebellion against God that is taking place in our nation. Some symptoms of the effect of witchcraft on our nation are evil being called good and good being called evil. Confusion over people not knowing that God has created us male and female, and God does not make mistakes. Confusion over marriage. Jesus had this to say in Mt 19:4,5 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? Confusion in thinking that the vain philosophies of sinful men and women are the answer to racism. The answer to racism is to repent of the sin of racism and do not practice it or glorify it in anyway. And to ask the Holy Spirit to deliver you from it and to give you a love for people of all colors.
The good news for us is that through prayer, fasting and growing closer to God we can be used by God to enforce the victory that Jesus Christ has won for us on the cross at Calvary. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Col 2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
More good news is that when we press through and walk in victory over the enemy’s use of witchcraft, we will see big victories. I remember one year when we were in Guatemala. We went into a village where we were told that there was a large practice of witchcraft there. Well, the people in the church had been praying and fasting for a week when we got there. That night there was a demonic attack on the sound system. The Lord took care of that real quick. At the end of the service there was a man there who couldn’t hear. The Lord healed his hearing that night. We also had the opportunity to pray for some women that the drug lords had contracts on their sons. What a great night in was. Remember great battles bring great victories!
Hopefully through this you will have an understanding that rebellion against God and witchcraft go hand in hand. Hopefully this will help you to walk in the victory that Jesus Christ has provided for us in His death and resurrection. and during this time of year when well meaning people and Christians don’t understand that witchcraft is an evil demonic tool of the devil. May we will celebrate every day that Jesus Christ is Lord and that He has conquered death, hell ,and the grave!
Let us Pray
Lord Jesus, we thank you that You have created us to have a supernatural Holy Spirit filled relationship with You. Today we pray for an awakening in our nation and every other nation. We pray that the demonic influences that are attempting not just to destroy this nation, but every nation will be exposed and vanquished. Help us to wage the good warfare and to walk in the victory that You have provided.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love You All
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston
Every day is the day that the Lord has made! We will rejoice in it!

Get Together- His Word Never Returns Void

Get Together- His Word Never Returns Void
Isaiah 55:11
New King James Version
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me [a]void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

This morning this is what I hear the Holy Spirit saying, “My word shall not return to me void.” I believe that He wants me to share with you a few things that have been beneficial to me in my journey with Jesus Christ and the word of God.

First, it is always beneficial to read and to mediate on the word of God. When we do that, it helps us to distinguish between when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us through His small still voice than from when the enemy is bringing words, of discouragement, condemnation, and fear. Jesus said that we could hear His voice “ John 10:27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

It is beneficial to hear the word of God preached. Jesus preached the word while He was here on the earth. When He preached lives were changed, miracles, and healings took place and I believe that He still does that today when the word of God is preached and proclaimed under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” (Matthew 9:35)

It is beneficial to hear the word taught. Jesus in Matthew 28:19,20 before He ascended to Heaven commanded the disciples to make other disciples by teaching “Go [a]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [a]Amen.”
It is beneficial to pray and declare the word of God. In Acts 4 :24-31 they did both:
So, when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
“who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things?
The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’
“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together
“to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,
“by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Pray the word over your children, your friends, your workplace and yes for your enemies. Paul’s prayers in Ephesians Chapters 1 and 3 are excellent prayers to pray as well as any word from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit has you to pray.
Speak the word into the environment that you are in. You don’t have to call out the Chapter and verse. Today I was in a setting, and I was able to just say “life is a vapor.” I believe that someone in that setting will be affected by that in some way.
I could give several more examples of ways that the word does not return void, but time won’t allow me to do that today. I pray that this will help you in some way as you serve the Risen Christ. And remember this as the writer says in Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.(NKJV) So whether the word is being preached, taught, read, declared, or prayed life is going forth! Power is being released! Jesus had this to say in Joh 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. The word will not return void. Believe it, receive it, declare it, pray it, and stand on it!
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus, we thank You for the living and powerful word of God that never returns void. Today we pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to get in the word, stand on the word, declare the word, pray the word and leave the results to You.
In Jesus Name
Amen!

What a great blessing it was to work with our dear brothers and sister from the Tuscaloosa/West Alabama Emmaus Cluster on Alabama Emmaus Walk 497 last week! The Holy Spirit did great and mighty things !
Love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston