GET TOGETHER – Our Mission Carry Out The Commission

GET TOGETHER – Our Mission Carry Out The Commission
Mt 28:19,20 “Go 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.” Amen.(NKJV)
Wednesday night as we began our time of sharing from our studies at Jesus Now a Christ centered ministry to help people with addictions overcome the power of addiction and sin in our lives there was a man there that it was his first time to come. We had played a worship song at the beginning of the meeting called Graves to Gardens. We call that our fight song! This man had been incarcerated for much of his life. After J.J. had shared briefly, less than two minutes from Psalm 46 one of the members of our group that had brought him said I need to interrupt you. He said this man wants to get saved! We prayed with the man. He then gave his life to Jesus Christ and he began to weep. He said that he had not cried in thirty years.
I spoke to him about being baptized at some point. He then said very emphatically said that he wanted to be baptized then. J.J. then went and ran enough water in the baptistry that we could immerse him in. we baptized this man who had been incarcerated for much of his life. we then assured him that now he was a new creation in Christ Jesus. It was a glorious night!
I thought about the young man that brought him to Jesus Now. Jesus Now as I mentioned earlier is a recovery ministry that we have here at Christ Community Fellowship. The young man that brought him has really gotten a hunger to see souls saved and for people to be free of addictions to drugs and alcohol. He was truly doing the work of a missionary right here in our hometown.
For several years the Lord has allowed me to go to Guatemala and serve with Eyes Wide Open Ministry. That is a ministry led by Daniel and Brandi McIntyre from Florence, Alabama. I have never been around a ministry that I thought was doing what our Lord has commanded us to do as much as what I have seen God do in that ministry in Guatemala. This past year I didn’t get to go because of the travel restrictions that are related to Covid 19.
When I didn’t get to go the Holy Spirit told me to be a missionary in Hamilton. He didn’t mean that we were not supposed to go to other places anymore. But what He meant was that just as the McIntyre’s were on mission in Guatemala, we needed to be on mission here.
I really believe that if we do what Jesus has told us to do that, we would see a turnaround in our nation. I believe that if we all as Christians saw ourselves as missionaries that our country would not be in the morally bankrupt condition that it is in. I don’t believe that we would have the break up of God’s design for the family that we have if we were about the business that Jesus has commanded us to be about. I don’t believe that we would have the celebration of taking the lives of those who are in the womb if we were being the hands and feet of Christ to a lost and hurting world.
Two times this week as I was in my truck the song, Why Don’t We Start Right Here by Casting Crowns got me attention. I felt like the Holy Spirit was using this song to confirm this message that you are reading. These words from the song really confirmed to me that God is calling the church to be on mission here in our nation:
What if the church on Sunday
Was still the church on Monday too?
What if we came down from our towers
And walked a mile in someone’s shoes?

Again, please don’t take this as my saying that we are not supposed to be in mission to other parts of the world. I plan to go back to Guatemala when the travel restrictions in and out of that country are lifted and anywhere else that the Lord tells me to go. Again, Jesus told us to go into all the world. also He gave us a good reason to be filled with the Holy Spirit : 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.”
However, we don’t need to skip our hometown. A few years ago, I read that missionaries from Africa were now being sent to this country. Wow! That really challenged me. Many of you reading this have already said yes Lord I will serve you. Most of you are in some way involved in Christian action of some type. But let me ask you are you willing to let God take that to a new level and to be a missionary in your hometown? Are you willing to say yes Lord here I am send me? It might mean missing some games that your favorite football team plays. it might mean some sacrifice in other areas of our lives.
The following passages from Matthew are passages that challenge me the most on how that I will give an account to the Lord when I see Him face to face one day. Here are a few verses:

Mt 25:34-40 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
There sure are a lot of opportunities there for a person to be a missionary.
Last week as I was preaching at my Mother- in -law Norine Johnson’s celebration of life the Holy Spirit brought to my attention that she would have some trophies to lay at the Master’s feet. She was a faithful servant of God and I believe that she had a missionary mindset. The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance as I was preaching the words from that old hymn All Hail the Power of Jesus Name. There is a line in there that says “go spread your trophies at his feet.” Missionaries will have some trophies to spread at the Master’s feet. Certainly, as a believer you and I would want to have some to lay at our Lord’s feet on that day when we meet Him face to face. Ask the Holy Spirit if He would help you to have a missionary mindset wherever God has you planted. I believe that is the only hope for this nation, or any other nation.

Let Us Pray
Lord forgive us for being so unconcerned about those that You are concerned about. We believe that You love us and that You love all people. We ask you to give us a missionary mindset. Forgive us for when we have wanted to stay in our comfort zones. Give us a heart for the lost and for the hurting. We know that You have a desire to redeem what is lost in this nation and every other nation.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love you all! See you on the Mission Field!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston Headrick

Get Together – Come Back to Your First Love

Get Together – Come Back to Your First Love

Rev 2:1-4 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your [b]patience, and that you cannot [c]bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

A few weeks ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about something. I was beginning to allow some bitterness to come into my spirit in relationship to some of the current events that are going on in our nation and throughout the world. He reminded me about something that I have always preached and taught. That what we put in our spirit will dictate how that we relate to God and to others.
One of the things that He had me to back off of was how much of the news that I was either listening to in my vehicle, watching on television, or reading off social media, or the internet. I am talking not only news that I disagreed with, but also news that for the most part I agreed with. Before I go any further, I believe that we are to be informed. We need to be like the tribe of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32 “they had an understanding of the times.”
To be honest I have had some great times in my quiet time each morning and at other times with the Lord. But again, I noticed that when I watched certain things in the media, listened to much to talk radio while I was driving and read everything on social media about what is going on in our current culture, I was going past righteous anger and getting into bitterness and a critical spirit.
The Holy Spirit then brought back to my remembrance that when I first got saved that I listened to nothing, but worship music, and prayed while I was in my vehicle. On the other hand, sometimes I would just be silent and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Again, I do believe that we need to be informed, but with social media the way it is today we can often end up putting things in our spirit that may cause us to become poison drinkers. We can leave our first love although we have not backslidden, or gone into a rebellious sinful lifestyle.
Let us look at some of what Jesus had to say to a church facing extreme persecution. They were facing persecution from the ungodly pagan Roman Emperors Nero and Domitian. They were of sound doctrine. If there ever was a time that we need to be of sound doctrine it is now. They were a patient people. They didn’t tolerate evil. They tested false apostles. They persevered, they didn’t grow weary, and they labored. Everyone of those things are good things and are certainly things that are things any Pastor would love to see taking place in the church.
Jesus is commending them for this. As the greatest leader of all time, He certainly wanted to commend them for these characteristics. And as the greatest leader of all time who loves the church, He certainly wanted to point out to them where they were lacking. They had left their first love.
I think what He is saying is that we can sometimes leave that first love a little bit by a little bit. It is not like we make a conscious decision to walk away. But it is more like something we may place in the water and it slowly drifts away.
Last week as I was taking some time to really seek the Lord in a special way, He spoke that gently to me. He told me to get that music back on in my truck. He told me to use that as a time to commune with Him in prayer and listening. He assured me that He was going to take care of me in this culture that is so hostile to the Gospel and a biblical worldview on marriage, life, and that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
Remember as we are told in Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. When we leave our first love it is so easy to get drawn into fleshly battles. Then we are set up for the enemy to come and discredit our witness for Jesus Christ.
There is good news for us when we repent from things that may cause us to become bitter. There is good news for us when we hear the voice of God and let go of those things that may give us a critical spirit and cause us to view others in a way that will hinder us from winning them to Christ. Jesus had this to say about it in Re 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘ That is the tree that we eat from when we are fellowshipping with our first love 24/7 seven days a week. Whether in our vehicle, or quiet time at home, or anywhere else.

Let us Pray
Lord Jesus we know that we have to be aware of the things that are happening in our culture. On the other hand Lord, we know that we can get consumed by reading and listening to so many things that it sometimes crowds out the time that we need to hear from you. Lord help us in any area that the devil may use to get our focus off of you. Help us to enjoy those sweet sweet times when we worship you and when we read your word not out of duty, but out of having a Holy conversation with You. We do pray for our nation. Lord we pray that You would bring a Holy Spirit Awakening to this nation. Revive our hearts and help us to continually fellowship with You our first love.
In Jesus Name
Amen

The Holy Spirit was singing The Goodness of God to me when I woke up this morning. It sure is a blessing when Your first love wakes you up singing to you! Love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER – ENCOURAGEMENT IS NOURISHMENT

GET TOGETHER – ENCOURAGEMENT IS NOURISHMENT

Ac 11:22-24 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

We live in a time where we hear a lot of things that are very troubling. To say that there are not many things going on in the culture here and throughout the world that trouble me I would not be honest. If I didn’t say that this past year has been very hard as we have seen people that in appearance to us looked very healthy leave this walk of life from the Covid virus I would not be truthful.
We see and hear about things in our culture here at home in our own country that are opposed to scripture being celebrated. Persecution is going on in the church throughout the world. In various places in Africa Christians are being murdered for their faith. In China, North Korea, Iran, and several other places Christians face imprisonment and separation from their families for being faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When we look at the early church it was not the cool thing to be a Christian. Those early believers faced persecution from their fellow Jews and lived under Roman oppression. When persecution came the early church was scattered. When persecution came the church began to grow.
No matter whether it is persecution, famine, pandemics, or even when things are going great, we all need encouragement. One of my favorite people in the Bible is Barnabas. His name means son of encouragement. Barnabas would be used in the early ministry of the Apostle Paul. He helped the early church to know that Paul a former persecutor of the church was the real deal and that he had truly become a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we need to encourage one another in the faith. As I remember a mentor of mine saying one night when he was ministering at our congregation “the devil will try to discourage you enough we need to encourage one another.”
In the above passage there are several things that the scripture says about Barnabas. The scripture says that he was glad. Can you imagine what an effect that had on those early believers to see a man of God that was glad in such a season as they were in. Perhaps we can let a lost world see that we are glad. That we have a peace and joy that as the old song goes “the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.”
He encouraged them to continue in the Lord. Many times, when some we face some hard times the enemy will tempt us to give up on God. Just remember that He doesn’t give up on us, so don’t give up on Him!
He was a good man. We know that being good doesn’t get us to Heaven. On the other hand, we know that we are called to be salt and light in a dark world. We are also called to do good to others. The Apostle Paul said it like this in Ga 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJV) Jesus said it like this in Mt 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV) Doing good to others is a very effective way to bring encouragement to those who are having a hard time and discouraged during this season that we are living in.
Barnabas was filled with the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that there has ever been a greater time than now for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you have been filled once, twice, or numerous times ask Him to fill you again and again. We drink from that fountain that never runs dry.
He was full of faith. We are told in Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV) If you want your faith built up and to be able to encourage others get in the word of God. I am listening and watching a whole lot less of the news. The word of God HNN (Heavens News Network) will help us to be encouragers to others.
We then see as the church was encouraged that a lot of people were added to the Lord. So today be an instrument of encouragement and nourishment to those who are living in a dry and thirsty land. I believe that if we spent more time getting the lost saved that the Lord would save the nation. In order to do this it will take encouragement that brings nourishment so that we can continue in the Lord and be used to bring others into the Kingdom.
Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus it wasn’t easy for you here on the earth. It wasn’t easy for the early church. Today we pray that we will be encouragers to one another. we pray that we will encourage those who are faithfully serving You. We pray that we will encourage those that have suffered loss this year. Help us as to speak words that are spirit and are life. Help us to give encouragement that brings nourishment to all of those who are hurting, and discouraged.
In Jesus Name

Love you all !
Be Encouraged !!!!!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- DON’T QUIT NOW

GET TOGETHER- DON’T QUIT NOW

Ro 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Last weekend one of the most faithful servants that I have ever had the pleasure of being their Pastor went home to be with the Lord. His name was George Childree. Several of you reading this knew George, prayed for him during his battle with COVID-19 and like me were at first disappointed that his healing did not take place here on this earth. Others of you who are reading this perhaps have had someone that you loved very much and prayed hard for go home to be with the Lord after you had prayed for them everyway that you knew that the Holy Spirit was leading you to pray. And perhaps some of you heard that voice from the evil one telling you that it didn’t do any good to pray, or perhaps you didn’t have enough faith.
First of all, going home to be with the Lord is never second place. It isn’t a consolation prize. It is the ultimate prize. On the other hand, we are to contend in prayer for healing on this earth as long as the Holy Spirit leads us to pray. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful Biblical teachings that the Lord has had me to study about the healing power of Jesus and how He still heals the sick today. I am so thankful for the many times that we have experienced healing through prayer and have seen others healed through prayer.
When the enemy began to attack my mind about how it didn’t do any good to pray for our dear brother George, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how many times that God had worked supernaturally in George’s life. At one time he had a gun in his mouth and was going to commit suicide. He pulled the trigger and the gun didn’t go off. Somebody was praying! I remember visiting him at St Vincent’s hospital with a heart condition over fifteen years ago. Somebody was praying! At one time in his life, he was practically homeless. Then the Lord put him with his faithful wife Delores. Somebody was praying! He and Delores came to 3:00 am prayer meetings when they were a part of our congregation. Somebody was praying! They served in so many ways at our congregation that I won’t list them all here. Somebody was praying! After being practically homeless at one time in his life when he went to be with the Lord, he and Delores own a condominium in Foley. Somebody was praying! Delores told me today that after George got saved, he found his Mother’s Bible and there was a prayer request in there: Lord Jesus, please save my children. Somebody was praying!
In the passage above Paul is writing to a church that had either seen, or would see Christians have oiled poured on them and be used to light the Emperor Nero’s race track and party garden. Others would have to fight the wild beasts in the Roman Coliseum and yet Paul would write to them to be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation and continue to steadfast in prayer.
The Greek term for hope in this passage is elpis. It means to look forward with confidence. The Greek term for tribulation is thlipsis. It means pressure, anguish, persecution, tribulation, trouble. Many are experiencing anguish at this time from love ones suffering and leaving this walk of life. Many Christians throughout the world are facing persecution and hard times. And even here in the United States although not yet to the degree as in other parts of the world Christians are beginning to face persecution here. And yet we are to be steadfast in prayer. we are to never quit. What if those Christians in Rome had quit praying? I might not be typing this and you might not be reading this. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi some words that I believe would also encourage us not to give up in praying for the sick, the lost, and praying for our nation, and praying for the church throughout the world in Php 3:12,13 “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. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
I believe that if I could talk to my brother George Childree today, I believe that he would tell me to keep praying for those patients that are on ventilators. He would tell me to tell people to keep pleading the Blood of Jesus and to stand on the promises of God in Psalm 91. I believe that he would tell me to pray for a Holy Spirit Awakening in this nation. Don’t quit! Don’t quit! Don’t quit! Remember the greatest victories come after the greatest battles.
I don’t know the answer to why some get healed on this earth who may never have been to church as a result of someone’s prayers while some of the people that I have prayed for had as much faith as anyone and believed in healing as much as anyone that I know have gone on to Heaven. but I do know this just like I believe that George would tell us they would also say Don’t quit! Don’t quit! Don’t quit!

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus today first of all we pray that you will be with all of those who have had a love one go home to be with you during this past year. We pray also for those that are battling Covid now. May you bring healing to their mortal bodies today. We pray that they will mount up with wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, and walk and not faint. Lord we want to thank You for those that have experienced Your healing power and that You have chose to remain upon the earth. May each of these fulfill the destiny and purpose that You have created them for on this earth. We pray for ourselves. Help us to be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, and to continue steadfast in prayer.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Don’t quit Praying! Don’t quit believing
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- IT TAKES US ALL

GET TOGETHER- IT TAKES US ALL

1Co 12:13-18 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Most mornings rather than eating breakfast I make myself a smoothie. One morning last week as I was doing this the Holy Spirit used our blender to speak to me. He showed me that there was not a part in that blender that if I didn’t have it that I could not make that smoothie without causing some kind of a mess and the smoothie not coming out like it needed to.
There is the container. By the way that container has to be filled with the right content. There is a lid on top of the container and it keeps the content from being slung out in some direction that it is not supposed to go in. There is a cap that goes on the side of the blender that if it is not put on tight then the content is going to leak out. There is a gasket that also makes sure that the content does not leak out of the bottom and go on the motor. There is the base. If the base is not there then nothing could be done. That is why the devil is attacking God’s design for the family. There is the power cord. If there was no power then the blender would not work. If we don’t have the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives we cannot function in our role in the Body of Christ.
Some of those parts may seem less significant than the others. But again, if they are all working together then I will get my smoothie and I will not have to clean up a mess, or see a large part of it be wasted. It takes the little parts and the big parts.
In 1 Corinthians 12 the Apostle Paul while teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit emphasizes how important and significant each member of the Body of Christ is. This devotional is not a teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is again on the importance of each believer fulfilling their role and calling in the Body of Christ (You can see more on that topic at the end of the devotional).
I don’t believe that there has ever been a time as critical as today for the members of the Body of Christ to function as we are called to function as there is today. If we don’t get out of our comfort zones and do what Jesus has called us to do our comfort zones are going to get a whole lot less comfortable. I am not talking about starting a fleshly revolution, but I am talking about walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and doing what Jesus our King has called us to do. He has called us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. He has called us to lay hands on the sick. He has called us to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. That covers our homes and where we live.
He has called us to what He said to do in Matthew Mt 25:34 -40″Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Just like it takes every part of that blender to make sure that smoothie turns out right and doesn’t make a mess all over the kitchen. It takes every member of the Body of Christ functioning in our role to advance the Kingdom of God upon the earth. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Eph 4:15,16 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. If we do this the church will grow. Our enemies will become our brothers and sisters in Christ. And the culture will be turned back to a Godly culture rather than a pagan culture.
So today in this time when it may not be so popular to be a member of the Body of Christ are you ready to function in the role that God has given to you in His church? We must all ask ourselves that question. And hopefully all of us will like Isaiah the prophet did at a time when it wasn’t very popular to preach what he was preaching we will say yes Lord here I am send me.

Let us Pray
Lord we thank You that You have chosen us to be alive and Your servants in 2021. We understand Lord that many of our foundational beliefs are under attack today. We ask You Lord to help us to serve You in this critical time in the Kingdom. Help us not to resort to fleshly means against those who oppose us. But Lord we pray that You will so fill us with the Holy Spirit that our lights will shine before men and women. Help us to win the lost. Give us a greater love for You. Help us to love our neighbors. Help us to love those who oppose us as You have commanded us to do. Help us as you did to win the lost. Lord give us all a holy desire to function as your effective servants in the Body of Christ. May each one of us know that no matter how big, or small that we all have an important and significant role to play in Your Kingdom
In Jesus Name
Amen

Love you all!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

If you are interested in learning more about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, I would be glad to email you some of the teachings that I have on that topic.

GET TOGETHER – LOVING YOUR ENEMIES

GET TOGETHER – LOVING YOUR ENEMIES

Mt 5:44-47 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

I have often thought about and asked myself I wonder if Jesus got any Amens when He was preaching the Sermon on The Mount from which comes this passage.  It is a very challenging passage. Jesus is saying that we are to love, bless and to pray for those who persecute us and hate us. 

I believe that God created us male and female and that God’s plan for marriage is one man and one woman. I believe that life begins at conception. I believe that the only way that a person can live eternally is by repenting of our sins and putting our faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. 

There are people that would call me a bigot because I believe that. There are other names that many in the culture have for those of us who believe that.  The same Bible that I believe teaches those fundamental beliefs also tells me that I am to love, bless and pray for those who may think that and say that about me. 

I am not living in fear, but to say that I have not thought about would I remain faithful to those Biblical truths at a time when those of us who believe like that could face some serious persecution for having those beliefs, I would not be honest.  To be honest last week I felt like the Holy Spirt impressed upon me that He would keep me faithful during a time of persecution. He also impressed upon me that it would be only through His power that I could be faithful. 

As I was working on this, He also emphasized that it is only through the Holy Spirit’s power and love that we can love our enemies. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can pray for those who would persecute us. It is the Holy Spirit that reminds us that Jesus died on the cross to save those who would persecute us:  Joh 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the capacity to love those who hate us. He pours out a supernatural love into our hearts: 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.”

I am sure that the early church remembered Jesus words from the Sermon On The Mount when they prayed for Saul of Tarsus.  As a result of that he gets saved, filled with the Holy Spirit becomes an Apostle, plants churches, and writes at least thirteen books of the New Testament.

So, for all of us. May we pray that the Lord will keep us faithful. But may we also remember as disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to pray for and to love our enemies. Just think about when the Lord saves some of those who oppose the Gospel with so much passion of how they will be used mightily in the Kingdom. I have a list with their names on them. Jesus loved them enough to die for them on the cross. I have asked him to give me a love so that I can pray that just as I was rescued from the power of the darkness that they will be too.  Get you a list. begin to call out their names. I am glad that someone at some time was calling out mine.

Let Us Pray

Lord today we know that there are people that oppose Your Kingdom that you died on the cross for. We ask you Lord to give us a love for them. We pray for the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to bring those before us in prayer. May we pray that just  as the Apostle Paul had a Damascus Road experience that they will too. May we pray just as the King of Nineveh’s heart was changed and so many others in that wicked city that these will come to a place of repentance and faith in You.

In Jesus Name 

Amen 

Love You All

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- OVERCOMING TEMPTATION

GET TOGETHER- OVERCOMING TEMPTATION

Lu 4:1,2 “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.”

It would be nice if when we put our faith in Jesus Christ to save us from our sins that we could tell people that they would never be tempted again to sin.  But that is not the case. We can see in Luke Chapter 4 how that Jesus Christ the sinless Son of God who never sinned had to face temptation from the devil. 

All sin comes in three categories. 1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. (NKJV) These are the three categories that Adam and Eve were tempted in and that led to the fall of humanity and to original sin. Ge 3:6 ¶ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, (lust of the flesh)   that it was pleasant to the eyes, (sins of the eyes) and a tree desirable to make one wise, (the pride of life)she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Jesus was tempted in all three categories of sin: (Lust of the flesh) Lu 4:3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  (The sins of the eyes): Lu 4:5-7 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”  (The pride of life) : Lu 4:9-12 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. “For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ “and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ “And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'”

Jesus overcame these temptations by responding with the word of God and by the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. He did this to model to us how to respond when we are tempted by demonic forces that are at Satan’s disposal. We live in a season where we need to know and to understand this. 

As I mentioned earlier it would be nice if we could say get saved today and you will never be tempted again. Or if you preached for twenty, or thirty years, taught Sunday School, or served God in some way that the enemy would think that you are too strong to mess with.  Often times the more people that you have had an influence for Christ over the bigger and more attractive the bait will use to try to get you to succumb to the temptation.  You  become a target for the enemy because he wants to destroy your witness and the influence that you have in the Kingdom. 

I praise the Lord that He set me free from alcohol close to thirty-two years ago. He has taken all my desire to drink alcohol and to use any other addictive substance away.  With that said I remember one day when I was at Wal – Mart and I was going to but some flavored water drinks. I had to walk down the aisle where the wine was. I noticed one very expensive brand on the shelf.  The enemy said why don’t you get you a bottle of that it sure would go good with some lasagna, or some kind of Italian food. Then he said Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach. The Holy Spirit reminded me that old Preston never did take it for his stomach.  I took it to fill a void that Jesus has since filled with the Holy Spirit. Through His power I kept on walking to get the flavored water.  

You may be reading this and may be thinking that the enemy can’t tempt you. The Bible tells us in  1Pe 5:8 ¶ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (NKJV)     If God is using you in the Kingdom know that the enemy would like to devour you. But also know what Jesus said in Joh 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  Get in the word of God. Get the word of God in you. Get filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit. Remember that Jesus overcame the temptation of the devil by the word of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Let us Pray

Lord we know that we live in a time where sin is called good and glorified. Help us not to succumb to the temptations that the devil and the world bring our way. May all who read this get the word of God in them. May all who read this be filled with the Holy Spirit and with power. Help us to not only overcome temptation, but help us to bring others into the Kingdom and to be free from their lifestyles of sin. We thank You that it is only in You Lord can we do this.

In Jesus Name

Amen

GOD BLESS YOUALL !

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER – LIGHT UP THE NEW YEAR

GET TOGETHER – LIGHT UP THE NEW YEAR
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.
This Sunday our Pastor spoke about speaking life and not death over 2020. what a good word that was. As believers and followers of Christ we bring light where there is darkness and life where there is death. While 2020 has been a year with many challenges it has also been a year for us as was with Queen Esther in the Old Testament a time that we have been brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this.
Should the Lord not return first 2021 will be here at Midnight Thursday night. To be honest with you there are challenges that I see to us as Christians in the coming year. For me as an evangelist and teacher will I be faithful to the Gospel as the world view of much of the culture that we live in becomes more hostile to the message of the Gospel? Will I be able to love my enemies as Jesus has commanded us to do in a hostile culture? Do I really believe that God can bring an awakening to this nation and turn this nation away from a humanistic secular worldview into a nation that honors and exalts the Lord Jesus Christ?
My honest answer is yes I believe that He can do those things in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. In our own flesh we can do nothing. But just as He gave the Apostle Paul strength to be a faithful witness during a time of persecution, He will give us the strength and the love to glorify Jesus Christ during the season that we are going into. And yes, I believe that through the Holy Spirit He will not let His church rest until we cry out for an Awakening that will bring those who oppose the Gospel into the Kingdom of God.
I believe the Jesus that changed the Apostle Paul on the Road to Damascus can still change the heart of the vilest sinner today. I don’t know who you have on your prayer list, but on mine I have some names of people who put lots of money into ungodly causes and organizations. Jesus loves them. He died on the cross for them. I am praying for them to come into the Kingdom. In stead of trash talking some of these people begin talking to God about them. Think about it. If God could change the heart of the King of Nineveh and put him in sack cloth and ashes can not He still do it today?
This is an opportunity for the church to really shine. Remember where there is darkness a light will really shine bright. Make a New Year’s commitment that in this coming year that you are going to let your light shine. That wherever there may be darkness that when you come on the scene that place is going to get Holy Spirit illuminated. Remember when Jesus told them to let their light shine that they were living in a country occupied by a foreign army. They would face persecution from the religious establishment. And yet they were called to be a light. So, as we close out 2020 and get ready to move into 2021 let’s all recommit to letting our light shine in such a way that we glorify our Father who is in Heaven.

Let Us Pray
Lod we thank You for the opportunities that you have given us to let our light shine in 2020. Please forgive us for the times that we failed to take advantage of those opportunities. We pray today that we will learn from any of the mistakes that we might have made this past year and go into 2021 with a passion to let our lights shine before men and women in a way that they will be drawn to You. We believe that it is still true that if You be lifted up that all men and women will be drawn to You!
In Jesus Name
Amen
Happy New Year from J.J. and I
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- OVERCOMING IN A HARD TIME

GET TOGETHER- OVERCOMING IN A HARD TIME
Lu 2:1 9 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Last night I watched the episode about the birth of Jesus from the Bible Series. It was on pure flix. This Christmas season is different for most of us than the Christmas seasons of the past. All of us have been affected in someway by this pandemic. Whether it is the social isolation of being quarantined, or the social isolation of staying at home most of us have either experienced it or know someone who has.
Several of us have friends and love ones who are in the hospital fighting for their lives. Praise God for the health care workers who risk it all every day to look after those who are sick. We also know that besides the virus that we live in a country that is as divided as I can remember it being divided in my 71 years on the earth. It is a particularly challenging time that we live in.
Last night in the movie depicting Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem there was a scene depicting the harshness of the journey. It was between a 90- and 100-mile trip. They were not riding in a motorhome, an automobile, or a train. They did not have the comforts that we have when we travel today. By foot some say it would have been an 8-10-day trip. It was a very hard and challenging journey for them.
When we serve God, He does not always give us an easy path to travel. Mary and Joseph had both faced the shame of her being an unwed Mother to be living in a small town. They had both had supernatural encounters with God through either a dream, angelic visitation, or both. Mary was with child conceived by the Holy Spirit. She was a virgin and had never been with a man. And yet the journey that she is on to Bethlehem and the journey that she would live out over the next thirty something years would not be easy. However, it would be glorious! They would make it to Bethlehem. She would give birth to the Christ child, the long-awaited Messiah. She would see Him grow up, heal the sick, raise the dead and set captives free.
She would also see the only perfect child that has ever walked the face of the earth one day be beaten, mocked, and nailed to a cruel Roman cross. She would also celebrate His being raised from the dead and experience being filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. For us today our journey may have some challenges that we never thought that we would see. But we can rejoice as I said last week that Emmanuel God is with us. We can rejoice that one day we will witness His second coming. We will either already be with Him, or we will as we are told in 1Th 4:17 we will meet Him in the air. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
So, for all of those who are in Christ we can rejoice that the day is fast approaching when there will be no more heartache, no more disappointments, no more sickness, and no more wars. Remember that no matter what we are overcomers! Re 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.(NKJV) The Apostle Paul said it like this in 2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” So even though as we said a few weeks ago this season is not perfect. We can rejoice no matter what is going on in our journey that Emmanuel is with us. We can rejoice that one day we will be with Him forever and ever.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we pray for all that are sick with Covid and for those who care about them. Please bring a quick healing. For others that the journey is a little challenging right now for whatever reason give them the assurance that You are with them. We thank you for coming to the earth in the form of a man. We thank You for dying on the cross for our sins. We praise You for being raised from the dead. We look forward to Your return for your people.
In Jesus Name
Amen

On behalf of J.J. and all of our family we wish you a Merry Christmas!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- HE IS WITH US TODAY

GET TOGETHER- HE IS WITH US TODAY
Isa 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 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.

One time I remember being is a worship setting and we were singing the hymn Emmanuel, Emmanuel. The Holy Spirit’s presence was there in a very good way. The worship leader a dear sister in Christ who has gone on to Heaven told us that He loves for us to call Him Immanuel, or Emmanuel either way that you choose to spell it. Here are the words to that song:
Emmanuel Emmanuel
His Name is called Emmanuel
\ God with us, revealed in us
His Name is called Emmanuel.
What Amazing Grace! God came to earth in the form of a man over two thousand years ago. He chose to be born in a stable. If He had wanted to, He could have made sure that there was a room available in the inn, or He could have built a Hampton Inn way back then right on the spot. But He chose to come to the earth and was born in a manger.
He left the Glory of Heaven to come to earth. Think about it ,God is with us! If you have been born again, He is living inside of you. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Because He came to earth in the form of a man, He can identify with us when we are going through challenging times such as we are facing today. He knows what it is like to be lonely. He knows what it is to be mocked, rejected and despised. Although he never sinned, He knows what it is like to be tempted. We are told in Heb 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.(NKJV)
Maybe this is your first Christmas without someone that you love being here. The Lord knows your heartbreak and your pain. Turn to Him during this time. Perhaps you have been clean from drugs, or alcohol use and this is your first Christmas that you haven’t done either one in years and you have a fear of going back. Come to Emmanuel, God is with us throne of grace and He will grant you the grace to not go back down that road.
Perhaps because of the COVID-19 situation your plans for Christmas are up in the air. Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you. Emmanuel God is with us! Perhaps the current political turmoil that is going on in the United States and in other parts of the world has you in fear. Emmanuel God is with us!
And we can joyfully celebrate this because not only is God with us. But we will be with Him one day where there will be none of those things that I have mentioned. There will be no sin, no heartbreak, no sickness, and no disappointment. Isaiah who prophesied the first coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had this to say about that time in Isa 11:6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. He was right the first time when He prophesied the Virgin Birth and Immanuel being with us. He will be proved to be right about our eternal home when the comes the next time. One of my favorite passages about that time is in 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.”
Child of God no matter what you are going through right now know that the Lore Jesus Christ is with you. He is Immanuel God is with us, in us, and we will be with Him forever. He was Christmas before there ever was a mall, or the internet to shop on. He will be Christmas long after there are no more malls and no internet, or no need for shopping anymore!

Let us Pray
Lord there are some people reading this that either their parent, spouse, or child has gone home this year. Please be with those. For those who are experiencing sickness we know that healing is the children’s bread. Please bring healing to all whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Thank You for being Immanuel God is with us!
In Jesus Name
Amen

We love you all and as you celebrate the Lord Jesus coming to earth may we all pray for everyone that we love to be ready when He comes again.
Merry Christmas
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston