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

GET TOGETHER- Don’t Miss the Celebration

GET TOGETHER –    Don’t Miss the Celebration 

1Co 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1Co 3:13,14 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

This past Sunday I had the great blessing of attending the Induction Ceremony for The Walker County Sports Hall of Fame.  There were four individuals that the Lord had allowed me to be connected with either by playing, or coaching with being inducted. It was also a blessing to see some old friends that I have not seen in years. Some were people that I had played against and some were people that I had gone to school with. It was also a great blessing to hear of some of the achievements and accomplishments of some of those who have exceled in athletics since we moved from Walker County in 1996 that were being inducted this past Sunday. 

As I sat there during the ceremony I couldn’t help, but think about another day that is coming when awards will be handed out.  We can never do enough to earn our way to get to the celebration that I am talking about. Jesus paid the price for us to get there with his death on the cross and by His rising from the dead. We who have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to save us from our sins can be assured of that. We are told that in Eph 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.   

But on the other hand, there will be awards given out on that day.  We will see faithful Christians who have been martyred for the faith throughout history receive their rewards.  We will see grandmothers who had prayer lives that effected third and fourth generations receive their rewards.  We will see people like Billy Graham, John Wesley, and others that God has used to snatch souls from Hell and to advance the Kingdom of God upon the earth receive their rewards.  We will see people that the majority of us have never heard of come forward and receive their rewards because of their response to the words of our Lord Jesus in 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.’

As wonderful as earthly rewards can be sometimes, they don’t compare to the eternal rewards that the Lord has in store for those who serve Him faithfully. Jesus spoke about these awards in  Mt 6:19,20  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” As believers and followers of Christ no matter what our occupation, or place in life we are called to be a people that lay up treasure in Heaven. This is not for our glory, but for the Glory of God. 

It was a real blessing to hear of some of the achievements of those who were being inducted. A couple of times I came close to tears when those that I had a close relationship with accomplishments were read aloud and they stepped forward to the podium to make their acceptance speeches.  And then again, I thought about what a glorious day that will be when we see our loved ones again. What a blessing it will be to hear the Lord say to my grandmother you are being rewarded for not giving up on praying for your family when it didn’t look like they would serve Me, when it didn’t smell like they would serve Me, or when it didn’t feel like they would serve Me. What a day that will be!

Let us all examine our hearts in this very crucial time in the Kingdom. Where are you laying up treasure? When your name, or my name is called out will our works have been built on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ, or were they for self-promotion, or some other reason?  One day our names will be called out there.  I pray that like the Apostle Paul that our motives are pure and right. I pray that we keep moving forward in that direction that Paul talked about in Php 3:14” I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

If we do we can look forward to that glorious day when the Master of the greatest celebration  of all time and the Giver of eternal rewards will call our name and say as we see in  Mt 25:23 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” With that said I leave you with these words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth 1Co 15:58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (NKJV) I hope to see you there. 

Let Us Pray

            Lord Jesus we thank You that we do not have to work our way into Heaven. But Lord we also know that there is work to be done here on this earth. Today by the Holy Spirit empower us and impress upon us to do the work that we can see so clearly in the Scriptures that you desire for your servants to be about. Lord we are so looking forward to seeing you and being able to receive the rewards that you have for your children at that great celebration that You have planned for your saints. 

In Jesus Name 

Amen

On this Veterans Day we are so thank for the Veterans that have served our country. Let us honor them by praying for a Holy Spirit Revival for this nation so that none of their sacrifice will ever be in vain.

Your Friend /Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- WITNESSING TO UNSAVED LEADERS

GET TOGETHER- WITNESSING TO UNSAVED LEADERS 

Ac 26:19-28 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,

  “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. “For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. “Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come– “that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.

  “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe. “Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

            The Apostle Paul who was an innocent man who has just been put on trial. He is on trial before King Herod Agrippa II and Festus the Roman Procurator of Judea.  As he stands before these two men, he gives his testimony of how that he had met Jesus on the Road to Damascus and how that he had heard the call of God on his life and had surrendered to that call.  There are several things that stood out to me as I read this passage. To be honest as the Holy Spirit has been bringing this passage before me several times in the last few weeks.  Here the Apostle Paul is standing before two pagan leaders who definitely have a different world view than he has. 

Here are some things that stood out to me.  If you read his whole testimony, he confessed what a sinner he was by persecuting the church.  He  also respectfully addressed Agrippa and Festus. Here are some examples.  Ac 26:3 “especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore, I beg you to hear me patiently. Here are two examples of Paul addressing    Agrippa by his title: Ac 26:19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Ac 26:27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”.  He also addressed Festus in a respectful manner. Ac 26:25 “But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”

Paul never watered down the message about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He truly spoke the truth. On the other hand, he spoke the truth in love. Paul knew that we don’t battle against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Paul knew that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the casting down of imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. 

Some say that we are living in Post Christian American. I want to believe that we are living in a time preceding another Great Awakening in America. We can learn some good lessons from Paul when he was brought on trial.  First of all speak the truth. Share what Jesus Christ has done in your life.  Don’t let the enemy draw you into a fleshly battle. Notice that Paul did not call Agrippa, or Festus scumbags, low life’s, or any other names. He did as Jesus has commanded us to do. He let his light shine. Jesus told his followers this Mt 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Paul wrote these words in Eph 4:15,31 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ-31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. In this hostile culture that we live in speak the truth. But speak the truth in love. Again, speak the truth. We have the truth and we like Paul are  called to speak the truth. But we are also called to speak the truth in love. 1Pe 2:1 ¶ “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.”

            One more thing. Agrippa said that Paul almost persuaded him to be a Christian. I have often wondered how many times since that day that Agrippa has perhaps regretted that almost part. Today may all of us ask the Lord to help us to not only speak the truth, but to speak the truth in love.  If we heed these words that our Lord Jesus gave us he will help us to do it: Mt 5:44 “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.” (NKJV) I would imagine that Paul spent a good amount of time praying for Agrippa, and Festus before he went before them that day. May we obey the Lord and follow the example that He gave us to follow.  that is what Paul did. When we do that, we will be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let us Pray 

Lord today we live in a culture where there is much hostility to those of us who serve You and have a Biblical worldview. Today we ask you by the Holy Spirit to help us to represent You in a Christ like manner when we encounter those who are opposed to the Gospel. May You use us to win those who without your grace will spend eternity in torment separated from You.

In Jesus Name 

Amen

We love you all!

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- SEE YOU LATER

GET TOGETHER- SEE YOU LATER

Joh 14:1 -6 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. “And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

This past week our son Jake and one of he and his wife Tommye’s children Eli came to stay with us a few days. They currently live in Ozark, Missouri. We had a very good time while they were here and Eli seemed not to be very homesick. He played with his cousin’s Judah, Micah, and Eden and had a very good time.
But Saturday night he began to get homesick. He was missing his Mother and his sister. When he and Jake got in the car to return to Ozark this past Sunday morning to be honest, I was sad. I knew that we were going to miss them. But on the other hand, we also knew that they were ready to get home and to be with Tommye and Hannah.
In the past several years we have had several loved ones and friends that have left this walk of life. J.J. and I often talk about them and the good memories that we have of them. Some have left this walk of life recently, and others it may have been years. But we still miss them from time to time. But one thing that we have been thankful for is that we know that we will see those that are in Christ again.
Thomas although he had been with Jesus three years and had heard him talk about eternal things, still had to ask Jesus where that He was going. and strangely he was still asking him for directions. Jesus gives him some good news. He tells him that He is the way to get to where that He is going. As a matter of fact, He tells him that He is the only way to get to where that He is going. That was true then. and that is true now.
I still remember the last thing that the Lord had me to say from the pulpit of the first church that we pastored. Christians never say goodbye. We just say we will see you later.
It isn’t easy to tell people that we love that we will see them later. Especially when we are not sure how long that it will be before we do see them again. But praise God that we can! Jesus made this promise to us in Joh 3:16-18 “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. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” and Joh 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
But as painful as it is for us to see those that we love leave this life. I believe that at some point those that are in Christ come to a place that no matter how much that we love those here with us on the earth that we get a longing to go home. Just as Eli was enjoying his time with us last week, but then he got a longing to go home we get to that place where we long to be with Jesus, and go home.
Jesus has a home for all of us that have trusted in His shed blood and His shed blood alone for our salvation. Ro 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” What a glorious home that is! The apostle John tells us what it will be like in Re 22:1 ¶-5”And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”
While Eli was with us last week, he made the most of every moment that he was with us. While we are here on this earth, we need to make the most of the precious moments that God has given us here on this earth. We do that by loving those that God has put in our lives and serving the Lord Jesus in a manner that the Scriptures tell us to serve and that the Holy Spirit calls us to serve.
And for those of us in Christ one day just as Eli was longing to go home and to see his Mother, we will have a longing to go home and to meet our Heavenly Father and to live with the Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever.
There is a mansion waiting for those that are ready. There is only one way that we can get there. and that way is through Jesus. Have you made Him your Lord and Savior? If you have served Him here when the time has come, He will welcome you home with the words “well done my good and faithful servant.” If you haven’t there is no better tine than now to repent of your sins and to put your faith in His precious blood to save you from your sins. That is as far as I am going today. but I think that I will close with the following words. See you later!

Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that we have an eternal home. We thank you for paying the price for our home in Heaven on Calvary’s cross. We thank You that You rose from the dead. We thank you that You have promised us that You will come again for those who love You and have put their faith in you. For all that haven’t we pray that any who read this will do it before it is to late. Thank You for Your mercy and for Your love.
In Jesus Name
Amen

See you later!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- THE POWER OF PRAISE

GET TOGETHER- THE POWER OF PRAISE
2Ch 20:22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. (NKJV)

King Jehoshaphat the King of the Southern Kingdom of Judah was facing a very dire situation. There were three different armies coming against him and his people. The people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir had them outnumbered and in the natural it looked like a hopeless situation.
The first thing that he does is to seek God about this matter. 2Ch 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. (NKJV) He does this by fasting. There is just something about being able to hear the voice of God more distinctly when we fast in some way.
The next thing that He does is to express his faith by 2Ch 20:7-9 “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? “And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us-sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine-we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ In this expression of his faith he acknowledges what God has done for his nation in the past. It is good for us to acknowledge the things that God has done for us in the past as an expression and a builder of our faith. Especially when we face adverse circumstances and attacks from the enemy.
He then acknowledges that there is no hope for victory outside of the victory that God will provide. 2Ch 20:10-12″And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir-whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them-“here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” Perhaps some of us today are looking at some situation, circumstance, or some demonic attack that is against us. If this is the case it would be good to acknowledge that the only hope for victory will come through the Lord Jesus Christ. We like Jehoshaphat can tell the Lord the exact details of the situation and we can expect Him to come through for us.
Now God is ready to speak through one of His servants and assure Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah that God will provide the victory. 2Ch 20:14, 15 “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus, says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Today you and I can be assured of the victory against every assault from Hell because of the victory that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has provided. The Apostle Paul tells us about this victory in Col 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
(NKJV)

God gave Jehoshaphat a strategy for victory. Which leads to why the Holy Spirit gave me the title for this message 2Ch 20:21,22 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
What an unorthodox battle plan! They sent the Praise Team out before the army. And just as God had promised they didn’t have to fight the battle. 2Ch 20:23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
The Bible tells us that they were three days collecting the spoils. 2Ch 20:25 “When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.” Think about it this way. They could have let a spirit of self-pity cause them to feel sorry for themselves and surrender to the enemy. They could have tried to fight this battle in their own strength. But they fasted, prayed, listened to God and obeyed what He said to do no matter how foolish that it might have looked to the world.
Something happened in the New Testament where praise also brought a big victory. Ac 16:25,26 ¶ But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. That probably looked foolish as well, but Paul and Silas just as Jehoshaphat and Judah did praised their way to victory.
Remember sometimes that what God calls us to do may look foolish to those who depend upon worldly knowledge. 1Co 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”
So today when it looks like things in the natural are too overwhelming for you. Begin to praise God in the beauty of holiness. Begin to praise Him for who He is. Praise Him for what He has done for you in the past. Praise Him with all of your heart. When you do begin t expect the victory. Praise Him and get ready to pick up the spoils.

Let Us Pray
We praise You Father- Son- and Holy Spirit! Jesus, we thank You for going to the cross at Calvary and providing the means for us to walk in victory both now and forever! Holy Spirit help us to hear Your voice as the Father communicates His love to us and His plans for us to walk in victory against every assignment and attack that the enemy sends our way.
In Jesus Name
Amen

Thanks to all of you who love us and pray for us!
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- KEEP THE FLIES OUT

GET TOGETHER- KEEP THE FLIES OUT

Lu 11:24-26 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ “And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. “Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

Our grandchildren are a great blessing from God. We have some great times together. They are very active and they will often go in and out of the house quiet often. Sometimes when they do, they will leave the door open. When that happens, flies get in the house. I have a strong distaste for flies. And I am sure that most of you do as well.
As Followers of Christ there are spiritual flies that will often attempt to get in our house. These spiritual flies can appear as sexual immorality, gossip, unrighteous anger, addiction, bitterness, racial prejudice, condemnation, a critical spirit and to be honest there are too many to list here.
With that said just as we as parents and grandparents see the potential for flies coming in our natural house when the doors are left open our Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit sees the potential for flies getting in our house. Through the Holy Spirit He will show us where they are and He will help us to remember to keep the doors closed so that those spiritual flies that we have been delivered from cannot comeback.
This past week I walked into an area where a song was being played that the more, I listened to it I thought that I had heard that song before. When I finally recognized the song, it brought back some memories of a past that I have been delivered from. In the song there is a lot of self-pity. I thank Jesus that He has delivered me from the spirit of self -pity.
The enemy was knocking at the door wanting to romanticize that song. The flies were wanting to come back in the house. That it why Jesus said that we need to keep the House filled. We want to keep the house filled with the Holy Spirit! The Apostle Paul talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit in Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. He goes on to tell more on how to keep our house filled and keeping the flies out in v.19 “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” We don’t have to sings the songs of self-pity and heart break anymore. We sing the songs of victory. We can keep the doors closed and keep the flies out.
If we don’t do this Jesus said that our condition would be seven times worse than it was before. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want seven times more spiritual flies than I had at one time.
I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me this week. I must admit that one spiritual fly that I had been delivered from got pretty close. It was bitterness. During this hostile season in our culture I caught myself reading too many peoples comments that I did not agree with them on. Certainly, it is alright to have a civilized in person discussion with people that you disagree with. But sometimes when we read what others say on Facebook it can make us bitter and full of unrighteous anger.
With that said I know that the Lord wanted me to step away from Facebook for a few days so that I could hear His voice with more clarity. I will continue to put up posts on Facebook as I have done in the past, but I am asking the Holy Spirit to restrain me from any activity on Facebook that would put bitterness in my spirit. I have been free of it too long to let those flies come back in.
I also appreciate all of you who have been praying for us this week. I am looking forward to preaching at New Life Fellowship in Winfield this Sunday morning and at The Stand hosted by Lea and Butch Benton, Pastor Benny Knight, and Solid Rock Church in Haleyville Sunday Evening at 5:P. M.
In closing how about you? Are you keeping the doors closed so that the spiritual flies cannot get back in the house? Remember that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. 1Co 3:16 ¶ Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? Just as we wouldn’t want to let those stinking disease carrying flies into our natural house, we certainly don’t want to allow them into our spiritual house. If some have gotten in there repent of the sin that left the door open. Renounce it and command it to leave you in the Name of Jesus by the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. When you do that keep as well as keeping your spiritual doors closed those flies will have to leave and they can’t come back!
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we ask You today to help us keep the door closed so that those spiritual flies don’t get an entry point into our spiritual house. If we have let some in may we repent for leaving the door open, renounce them, and through the power of the Holy Spirt and by faith in Your precious Blood keep the doors closed to our spiritual house.
In Jesus Name
Amen

If any of you can come to either New Life Fellowship Hwy 43 South in Winfield Sunday Morning at 11. Or to The Stand In the field at the home of Butch and Lea Benton 3521 Littleville Road Haleyville, Alabama at 5:P. M. Sunday Evening we would love to see you there.
Your Friend/Kinfolk
Preston

GET TOGETHER- The King’s River

GET TOGETHER- The King’s River

Mt 23:33 “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? (NKJV)Re 22:1 ¶ And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Re 22:2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (NKJV)

God often uses things that we see to speak to our heart.  Last week as J.J. and I were traveling through Arkansas on our way to Missouri there were a couple of things that I saw that I felt like the Holy Spirit wanted me to use in this message today. We were traveling somewhere either on I-555, or when it becomes US 63 on the western side of Jonesboro Arkansas.  I can’t remember if it was before we got to Jonesboro or after, but here is what I do remember.

We passed over a creek and the name of that creek was Hell’s Creek.  I found that to be a strange name for a creek. I don’t know how the creek got that name, but here is what it made me think about. Hell is a real place. Jesus spoke quiet often about Hell.  The Greek term Gehenna for Hell in most of its occurrences in the Greek New Testament, designates the place of the lost.  It is a place of eternal torment. 

Sometimes the devil has convinced some of us when we were lost that there either is no such place as Hell, or that perhaps the devil would give us a good position in Hell if we would serve him. Hell is a real place.  And the devil will not be in a position to be handing out good positions in Hell as we are told in  Re 20:10 “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” 

There will be no good positions in Hell. And it sure doesn’t sound like there will be any creeks there, or places to get a sip of water. This passage in the Gospel of Luke reminds me of the agony of eternal torment: Lu 16:23 ,24″And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ There is certainly not a creek in that place. 

Then a few miles down the road we crossed another creek. The name of that creek was King’s Creek. That made me think about the only One that can keep us from the torment of Hell. His Name is King Jesus. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came as we are told in Mt 9:13  to save sinners  “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”  He came to save us from the everlasting torment of Hell and to give us eternal life. The Apostle John wrote  in  Joh 3:16 -18″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. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I assume that it is possible that people from time to time go swimming, or wading in the two creeks that we passed by. But for those of us who have  repented of our sins and put our faith in the shed Blood of Jesus Christ there is a River waiting for us. We are told in  Re 22:1 ¶ And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  And in Re 22:2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.(NKJV)

And praise God that there is a River that flows in us, through us and around us now.  I am talking about the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Joh 7:38,”He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 

 This King isn’t in the creek business. He is in the River business.  Ask Him to fill you with that living water today. When He does you will want to point others to the King who will rescue them from the place where there is no creeks. And one day we will see that King.  the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ who sits on the throne where the river of life flows from throughout eternity.  Have you repented of your sins and put your faith in the shed Blood of Jesus Christ to save you from your sins? If you have  done that then  give Him the praise that He deserves. If you haven’t there is no better time to do that than today. 

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we thank you for Your shed Blood on the cross. We thank You that You have made a way for humanity to escape the everlasting torment of Hell and to live with You throughout eternity. So fill us with Holy Spirit that rivers of living water flow out of us and help us to point those who do not know You to the blood stained cross of Calvary. Thank you that You have paid the price for our forgiveness of sins and for life eternal and life abundant.

In Jesus Name

Amen  

Pray for the service at New Life Fellowship in Winfield on Sunday Morning October 18th.

Pray for Evening Service at the Home of Lea and Butch Benton in Haleyville October 18th 5:30 P.M. If your church doesn’t have an Evening Service, we hope that you can come.

Love You All

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston

GET TOGETHER- Loving Our Enemies

GET TOGETHER-  Loving Our Enemies

Mt 5:44 “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.”

Wow! How many Amens do you think that Jesus got when those words came out of His mouth that day when He preached what we call The Sermon On The Mount?  Although I was not there, I would dare say that there probably were not too many.  Think about how many enemies that many in the crowd had there that day. There were the Romans who were occupying their land. There were the Tax Collectors who collected taxes for the Romans and often extorted them.  There were the Scribes and Pharisees who added to the law and put shame and false guilt on many of the people. Then there were the Sadducees who didn’t believe in the immortality of the soul, or in anything supernatural.  Plus, I am sure that there were many there who maybe had some enemies over some business transactions, or other things that take place in a fallen world.  Hopefully I can share a few things with you that will help us all to love our enemies at a time when there is so much hatred and unrighteous anger in our culture. 

The first thing that we need to understand that once we are born again and become believers in Jesus Christ, we need to understand who are real enemies are. Those enemies are Satan and the demonic hierarchy that is behind so much of the evil in the world. We are told in Eph 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.”

With that said just as God works through real people to advance the Kingdom of God upon the earth. Satan works through real people to oppose the Kingdom of God upon the earth.  So, we do what Jesus has commanded us to do and we begin to pray for those that he is working through.  So right now, you want to be sure that you are praying for those that the enemy is using to oppose the Kingdom of God. Remember Jesus died on the cross to save them from their sins just as He died on the cross to save those of us who have already come into the Kingdom to save us from our sins. 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.2Pe 3:9 ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.(NKJV) I have found out that the energy that I spend ranting is better used in praying.

Think about the Apostle Paul. When he was known as Saul of Tarsus, he was a persecutor of the church. When I look in the Book of Acts and when  the early church was praying I think about how God would use their prayers to bring those that opposed the Gospel and the Kingdom of God into the Kingdom of God. We get a glimpse of how they prayed in Ac 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” I believe that it was that type of prayer that would turn enemies into friends. I believe that it was that type of prayer that would lead to Saul of Tarsus having a life changing, mission changing encounter with Jesus Christ on the Road to Damascus.  Look at what happens in Ac 9:3 -6 “As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? “And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

This should really motivate us to pray for those who are opposed to the Kingdom of God. Just as the Lord redeemed Paul and would turn  the boldness that he had in persecuting the church into a boldness to go on three mission trips, plant churches, write at least thirteen books of the New Testament  and be a martyr for the faith. Think about  how God can redeem the lives and the boldness of the people who are advancing ungodly causes and use them to become  purveyors of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I am typing this, I just noticed that the clock on my computer said 1:11. This confirms that God can redeem what appears to be the unredeemable if we just pray for our enemies as Jesus has commanded us to do.  This verse has been a real blessing to me about how God can do that in the life of any  of us who have lived in, or still are living in  rebellion Eph 1:11 “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”

I remember one time in my early days as a Christian when someone did something that could have injured me, or my family. My first instinct was to retaliate. But the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, and told me to pray for that person. I did what He said to do and God took care of me and my family. No harm came to us.  

Our Lord is always right. He is never wrong. So today I encourage you and I challenge myself to heed the words of Jesus and to pray for those who hate us and for those who oppose the Kingdom of God. When we do, we can expect God to work in that person, group of people, or situation in a way that we cannot ask, or imagine.

Let us Pray

Lord Jesus you gave us a great example on how to do this when you were hanging on the cross. You prayed and asked the Father to forgive those who nailed the nails in your hands, who mocked you, and taunted you.  Today help us to pray for those who persecute us. We pray that our prayers would be used to turn them from enemies of the Kingdom to Brothers and Sisters in Christ in the Kingdom.  Lord we thank you for those that have prayed for us when we were enemies of the Kingdom. Thank you for the mercy that You showed us by answering their prayers and bringing us into the Kingdom.

In Jesus Name

Amen!

Pray  for our Jasper TV Broadcast tomorrow.

Pray for the service at New Life Fellowship in Winfield on Sunday Morning October 18th.

Pray for Evening Service at the Home of Lea and butch Benton in Haleyville October 18th 5:30 P.M. If your church doesn’t have an evening Service we hope that you can come.

Love You All

Your Friend/Kinfolk

Preston