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

GET TOGETHER- HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN

GET TOGETHER- HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN

Lu 4:18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; This week while J.J. has been at her Mom and Dad’s I have spent some time at night reading the word, praying and listening and singing along with worship music. Please keep her Mom in your prayers as she is recovering from a fall that she had last week. I love all kinds of Christian music. I listen to everything from the Happy Goodman’s, the Gaithers, traditional hymns, Bethel music and other contemporary worship songs. If the Holy Spirit gave it to someone and somehow, they encountered God in writing the song I love it. One of my new favorites is Graves Into Gardens by Brandon Lake and Elevation Worship. There is so much in that song that reminds me of what Jesus has done in my life and what I have seen Him do in the lives of others. It also inspires me to pray for others that they may know Him as their Lord and Savior. That they may know Him as the one who can heal their broken hearts. That they can know Him as the One who can do great and mighty things in their lives. In the song some of the verses say He turns graves into gardens. You may be reading this and at sometime in your life you have experienced some heart break. You may have even experienced some quiet recently. Be assured of this fact. Jesus Christ can turn that grave into a garden in your life. In the song a continual line that is sung is “He is the only one who can.” Be assured that Jesus Christ can turn that grave into a garden. where other things and other people can’t, but He can! Some of you may be like I was and you have a very sinful past, or might even be living in a sinful lifestyle at this time. There is another line in the song that says “He turns shame into glory. The One that we celebrate His birth this time of the year came to earth to save us from our sins and to turn our shame into glory. The shepherds heard the angel proclaim one night as recorded in Lu 2:9-11 “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. As our Savior Jesus Christ is our Healer, our Deliverer, our Protector. He is everything that He says He was in Luke 4:18 and throughout the Gospels. One of my favorite lines in the song is “He turns seas into highways.” We know that God did this for Moses and the children of Israel. For us today we sometimes have faced some situations, or circumstances and we needed a sea turned into a highway. I can’t list here how many times that the Lord has come through for us in a supernatural way to make a way for us. I don’t remember if it was last night, or night before last when this thought came to me as I was listening and singing along with some worship music. I thought back many years ago before I met J.J. and would later meet Jesus Christ. There were a lot of nights that I sat at home by myself there in Hull Camp in Walker County. I would put on music. But it wasn’t about turning graves into gardens. I was doing drugs and listening to a lot of music that said well you are in the grave and you will just have to stay there. Here are the ashes and you might as well drink and drug them away. Those old songs of self-pity and defeat were in my spirit.

Other nights I would go to the various night clubs looking for some way to turn the graves into gardens. Or as Brandon Lake sings “I searched the world and it couldn’t feel me, but You (Jesus) came along and put me back together.”
Praise God that when we allow Him to turn our graves into gardens we can walk in victory and not in defeat. That is why I really love this time of the year. We celebrate that Jesus Christ, born of a Virgin came to the earth to turn graves into gardens. I believe that what the Prophet Isaiah said that God would do for Israel that the Lord Jesus Christ will do for us. Isa 61:3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”(NKJV)
Here is the link to the song. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KwX1f2gYKZ4&feature=youtu.be
Take some time to listen to it. If Jesus Christ has done this in your life take sometime to give Him praise. If you feel like your life situation is a grave and all you can see are the ashes that come by our sins, mistakes, sins of others, or some of life’s terrible events turn to Him today. He will give you beauty for ashes! He will turn seas into highways! He will turn shame into glory! He will turn bones into armies!

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus Christ we praise Your great and wonderful Name! Thank You for coming to the earth. Thank you for being born in a manger! Thank You for dying on the cross and being raised from the dead. May those reading this that need a grave turned into a garden look to you and receive hope. May those who need a sea turned into a highway receive a miraculous work from Your Mighty Hand. May all of the brokenhearted be healed. May all who are oppressed be set at liberty. may all who are blind have their eyes opened both physically and spiritually.
In Jesus Name
Amen

If you live in the Hamilton, or in driving distance and you need to be in a group where you can overcome the power of sin and addiction in your life we invite you to Jesus Now in the Middle Building at Christ Community Fellowship at 6:P.M. tonight.

Love you all. Please keep J.J.’s mom in your prayers.
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER – A PERFECT SAVIOR FOR AN IMPERFECT TIME

GET TOGETHER – A PERFECT SAVIOR FOR AN IMPERFECT TIME

Isa 9:6,7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

            We all know that we are living not only in an imperfect time of the year, but in a very challenging time.  I love this time of the year. I often think about some Christmases’ from the past. some of the memories are really good and some of the others were some that were very painful at the time, but praise the Lord Jesus Christ He has redeemed those. 

            During the Christmas Season of 1981 I gave J.J. her engagement ring. That is a good memory. In 1996 Daddy went to be with the Lord and at the time it was a very painful thing. But the Lord has brought much healing from that pain over the years.   during this season over the years I have been with families that have experienced death, or some other kind of tragedy during this time of the year. 

            I say these things because I know that many people are concerned about a lot of things at this time. Many of us are concerned and rightfully so about our nation. Many of us are concerned about all of the challenges that have come with the Corona Virus Pandemic. 

            This time of year, can be a time that people may look for their relief from their concerns through substance abuse. I know that first hand because at one time that is where I sought help for my relief from things that concerned me and other painful situations and circumstances in my life. 

            No matter what your current situation is and no matter what your concerns are let Jesus Christ the One that we celebrate His birth and anticipate His return be your focus this time of the year. Use this time of the year to praise Him. It is impossible to praise God and to worry at the same time. It is impossible to praise God and to live in self-pity at the same time. It is impossible to praise God and hate at the same time.  I am not trying to sound cold, or callous. 

            Let this be a time of the year that you spend time in His word. For those who are experiencing deep pain take some time and pour out your heart to God. He is there for you, to listen to you, and to give you comfort. Your pain is real. The Psalmist wrote about how many of you may feel emotionally now in   Ps 6:6 “I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears.”  But when we  give the Lord those tears, He brings healing from our heartache and our pain in a way that we cannot find  anywhere else. The Psalmist also wrote about this in   Ps 56:8 ¶ You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” Yes, He has our tears and He will bring healing. We are promised that in Ps 126:5 “Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.” (NKJV)

            I was just thinking about the shepherds that were out in the fields tending their flocks when they got the announcement about the birth of Jesus : Lu 2:10,11 “Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.   It must have been a little lonesome out there that night.  They didn’t have Facebook to connect with old and new friends. They didn’t have cell phones to text those that they loved.  Perhaps some of them had experienced the loss of a child, a spouse, a brother, or sister, or maybe a close friend. I don’t know.  But I do know this.  All of them would need a Savior because the Bible tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They would need this Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ  who had come to earth born  in a manger, and would die on a cross  and be raised from the dead to bring salvation to lost humanity.

            I think of salvation in this way and I believe that it is Biblical. I believe that salvation means being saved from Hell. It means being delivered from the power that Hell had had over our lives. And it means being healed from the damage that Hell has wrought upon our lives. 

            May we all in this uncertain imperfect season turn our hearts and focus to the One who came to give us eternal life, to heal our broken hearts and to set at liberty all who are captives.  And just as He was born in Bethlehem in a real manger at a real and imperfect time upon the earth. He is going to come again. He won’t be in a manger this time, but He will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now that is something that we can all rejoice about in this imperfect season. We will see the sinless perfect Son of God face to face!

Let us Pray

Lord Ima sure that some that are reading this are hurting right now. Some have had a love one leave this walk of life this year. Others may be experiencing this uncertain imperfect season in some very difficult ways. But for all of us may we look to Jesus Christ the Incarnate Sinless Son of God the Perfect sacrifice and perfect savior during this season.

In Jesus Name

Amen 

Merry Christmas 

We Love you all!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- What Thanksgiving Means To Me

GET TOGETHER- What Thanksgiving Means To Me
Re 7:12 saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”(NKJV)
Thursday is the day that we call Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. And I agree with those who say that everyday should be a day of Thanksgiving the same as every day should be a National Day of Prayer. But I also love and enjoy Thanksgiving Day, and in this country we have so much to be thankful for.
Yesterday I was at Lifehouse in Winfield. The Holy Spirit had me to give the residents there an opportunity to share what they were thankful for. One that stands out in my mind is several gave thanks for second chances and the fact that God did not let them die in their lost estate.
That really resonated with me. I am so thankful for the second chances that God has given me in my life. Those second chances were made possible when Jesus went to the cross and died for my sins and rose again on the third day.
J.J. and I are so thankful for the many wonderful friends, and brothers ,and sisters in Christ that God has blessed us with not only here in the United States, but in other countries that He has allowed us to go to and minister in. He has blessed us with a wonderful family. He has been so good to our family!
There was a time in my life that Thanksgiving was not such a wonderful time. There was a period in my life where I was heavy into substance abuse. I am so thankful that for thirty years the Lord has not only delivered me from that but has also kept me from going back into that type of lifestyle. That is one reason that I love to go to Lifehouse, Restoration Ranch and other Christ centered ministries for people that are into drug abuse and addiction. The Bible tells us that in Revelation 19:12 “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”(NKJV) What He will do for one he will do for another.
As I sit here typing this in our sunroom I am looking out at some trees, a pasture ,and the fall colors on one of the beautiful Marion County hills across the road from our house. It reminds me of a promise from Scripture that I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me one day just outside the city limits of Hamilton as we were riding back to Hamilton on Hwy 278. It was from Isa 55:12 “For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
I am so thankful that Jesus shed His blood so that we could have life eternal and life more abundant: Joh 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
I am so thankful that He would allow someone that once was as vile as I was to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What a blessing and what an honor. I am thankful that one day we will be at the greatest Thanksgiving Service and Feast of all time: Re 19:9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”(NKJV)

I am thankful that I will see my mother, my daddy, my brother ,grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts ,and uncles, and cousins that we used to eat Thanksgiving Dinner with. There will be a reunion with friends that have left this walk of life before us. And most of all we will see Jesus face to face. I am so thankful that Jesus has purchased the ticket and paid the price for us to be there. We are told that in Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
J.J. and I are so very thankful for all of you who pray for us and support us in so many ways. We pray that you have a great Thanksgiving. We pray that all of you have received your ticket to the greatest Thanksgiving Celebration that there will ever be. If you have not done it then do so today. Do not let time run out on you. It is going to be out of this world!

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You for how You have so abundantly blessed us. We thank you for every material and relational blessing that you have given to us. We thank You most of all for shedding your precious blood on the cross and making a way for us to live with you and those who are saved in Heaven forever and ever.
In Jesus Name
Amen

On behalf of J.J. and all our family Happy Thanksgiving!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- THE WORD:IT IS LIVING AND POWERFUL

GET TOGETHER- THE WORD:IT IS LIVING AND POWERFUL

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 hear

            One of these days in the Lord’s timing I feel like I am supposed to write another book. I believe that the Lord would have me to write that book using the various passages that I have marked in the Bibles that I have used over the last thirty years. Many of those passages are passages that we have prayed through some tough, and challenging situations we, or others have gone through.  Others are passages that we have prayed over our children, friends, family members, brothers and sisters in Christ. We have prayed them over nations, situations and circumstances that only God could have come through and did something that only He could have done. 

            We are told in the above passage that the word of God is living and powerful. When we speak the word and release the word in faith action takes place in the heavenly places. The Psalmist gives us a picture of this in Ps 103:20” Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.”When we speak the word, pray the word, sing the word and release the word His angels obey and heed that word. 

            For as long as I can remember in our journey with the Lord, I have been praying over myself and our family Psalm 91 every day. I believe that the Lord has honored that. Today at least two times the Lord had His angels to protect me in a very special way while I was driving.  His word is truly living and powerful!

When our children were young we prayed this passage from Daniel  over them often from  Da 1:4 “young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.”  We actually have a son and a daughter, but the principle was what was important. We saw God honor this.  Even when it didn’t look like it in the natural, we prayed it and stood on it and God honored it.

We have found God to be faithful in the principle that is mentioned in Isa 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”   No matter what type challenge that you may be going through allow the Holy Spirit to pray and release the word of God through you.  It will not return void. It will accomplish the purpose for which He sends it. Remember that the word of God is living and powerful. Release His word into your situation and circumstance now. God will work  and God will   honor His word.

Let Us Pray

Lord we thank You that the word of God is living and powerful. We thank You for the Blood of Jesus Christ that positions us to pray, speak, and release Your word. We thank You for the Holy Spirit is at work in us and   through us.    Today may all that read this be a people who do that and see you do great and mighty things.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Love you all!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston