Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shepastor: “The Power of Remembrance”

This past Monday, our Nation paused to honor those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in exchange for the greater good. Families and individuals honored their loved ones who are no longer with them on this side of the Jordan. Remembrance can be a powerful thing. It can also be a complicated thing. Today Shepastor takes a moment to reflect upon both the wonderful and the difficult sides of memories.
In the Old Testament Book of Joshua, 4:20-24, Joshua set up 12 “stones of remembrance,” that would serve as testaments to God’s mighty acts of deliverance – the miracles before and after the crossing of the River Jordan. The stones were visual aids for younger generations to catch a glimpse of what their forebears endured, and the victory God gave them over pharaoh. The stones also were to serve as reminders to the next generation that God is God and beside Him there is no other. Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:23 declared that he, despite dreadful circumstances, gained hope when he remembered that the Lord’s faithfulness is new every morning.
In each of these instances, remembrance was used as a tool to help individuals to remain faithful and to walk in victory. Through the lens of these two scripture passages, remembrance serves a wonderful purpose – to strengthen, give focus and increase faith. Then, we hear the Apostle Paul declare, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV). Memories can also be problematic. Even good memories can keep you from pressing towards your “mark for the prize or your high calling.” Some spend so much time in the past that they miss the opportunities of the present and the future.
Painful memories can keep us from pressing forward. The pain of the past may keep you from hearing, seeing or pursuing the vision God has for your life. Is this your condition? Has the power of a memory kept you from the promise of your prize? Determine today which memories are meant to be blessed reminders to help you gain hope, courage, focus and strength and which memories are meant to be released and left in your past.
Remembrance is powerful. Choose positive, Holy Spirit power filled memories for your thought process today.
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Until next Wednesday, In Faith, Hope and Perseverance, Pastor Chris

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shepastor: “Is the Expanse of Your Wings too broad for Your Nest?”

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31, KJV
In our former home, in the crevice of a corner on our front porch, birds would frequently make nests. The nests were well woven with twigs, leaves, and some kind of fluffy substance. I could hear the birds chirping and from time to time, see momma bird bring worms to her babies. The nest, however, was only meant for smaller birds. Once the birds were strong enough to fly, they were nudged out of the nest by mother bird.
I never saw a large bird crouched down inside of the nest. Instinctively, they understood that the nest was too small for them. Yet, there are times when we as humans miss the cue that a season in certain “nests” is over. We miss the message that it is time to mount up and fly away. When we try to remain in a space or a place beyond our designated season, frustration, anxiety, depression, regret and even bitterness can set in.
If you are experiencing the above named feelings frequently, could it be that the expanse of your wings has outgrown the size of your nest? No matter what our season, we will encounter difficulties, times of uncertainty and periodic questions. That is life. But if we find ourselves consumed with feelings that oppress, debilitate and squelch our growth, rob us of joy and block us from peace, then possibly, our wings are too broad for our nest.
Could God be calling you to a new place, a new encounter, a new experience, a new dimension of ministry? Has God been nudging your heart, pricking your conscience and pressing your spirit to move forward? Rather than remaining in torment, ask the Lord to show you how to expand your wings and fly. While it is important to resist the temptation to be impetuous, understand that “waiting on the Lord,” means more than sitting and doing nothing. To wait on the Lord is to “serve” Him. Our strength increases as we seek to serve the Lord as His Spirit directs. Greater opportunities to serve exist. There is more for you than the nest you have outgrown.
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Remember to visit to pre-register for the 2012 "Empowering and Encouraging Women in Ministry" Conference, August 23-25!
Until next Wednesday, In Faith, Hope and Perseverance, Pastor Chris

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shepastor: “A Simple Yet Profound Prayer”

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Said to be the prayer of the Alcoholics Anonymous, its message has blessed many for years. We must learn to make a clear distinction between what we can change and what we cannot change. We cannot change the circumstances of our birth. We cannot change the color of our skin. We cannot change our genetic make up. We cannot change other people. The items on that list are obvious.
Life, however, can throw a curve ball and confusion may set in regarding what can and cannot be changed. Real change can be very challenging and may appear impossible. That’s where courage is needed. At times it may even take courage to pray concerning how to make or bring about a change. It may seem easier just to assume it cannot be done. Is God calling you to be a change agent? Have you spent the necessary time in prayer to discern whether or not “the thing,” whatever it is can or should be changed? Have you asked the Lord if you are the one to bring about the change, or at least get the ball rolling?
If it seems as though the change is not yours to make, pray for the serenity to accept the situation. Before, however, you settle into that acceptance, be sure that you have asked the Lord for the wisdom to know the difference and the courage to get moving if acceptance is the wrong option.
Post a comment or send me an email at Until Next Wednesday, In Faith, Hope and Perseverance, Pastor Chris

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shepastor: “Ministry to Mothers in the Desert: Pastor Marilyn Parker-Jeffries, Pastor of New Creation Baptist Church, Lorain, Ohio shares a description of a Mother’s Day Outreach”

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 ASV *****************************
14So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. 16Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yardsc away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears. 17But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.” 19Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. Genesis 21: 14-19, NLT
On Sunday, May 13, 2012, women across America will celebrate and be honored by family and friends for Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day, however, is not a time of joy and celebration for all women. Some will experience grief over the loss of a mother, a child or a barren womb. Some will experience anger or resentment because of a broken relationship with their mother. And some will look hopelessly at others as they rejoice because they have been displaced due to homelessness. Today, Shepastor highlights a beautiful and compassionate outreach program of the Women’s Ministry from New Creation Baptist Church; Lorain, Ohio;
The Reverend Marilyn Parker-Jeffries, Founder and Pastor.
Below is a description of the service they will provide to a local ministry to homeless women for Mother’s Day. Read below and be blessed… Shepastor Highlights “Ministry to Mothers in the Desert: New Creation Mother’s Day Outreach,” Rev. Marilyn Parker-Jeffries, Pastor
This is the focus of the Ministry we will be doing at Faith House on Saturday. Faith House is a transitional housing program that is focused on meeting the needs of homeless single parents and their children. The residents of Faith House can remain in this transitional housing for a period of 2 years. On Saturday, May 11th, the day before Mother’s Day, the Women’s Ministry of New Creation Baptist Church will be making a journey to Faith House to share the love of Jesus. We have one goal in mind in reaching out to the mothers who are currently residing at Faith House with their children. That goal is to let them know that sometimes unforeseen, and unplanned life circumstances can put us in a homeless situation. But just because you are in this transitional place, there is a God who sees you right where you are and has sent us to share his love with you and let you know that you are not forgotten. Just like Mary in the 2nd chapter of Luke, when she had to give birth to her son in a manger because there was no comfortable housing available to her, Jesus understands what it means to be homeless. Yet strangers from the East came bearing gift to let this small family know that they were not forgotten by God. Hagar, in Genesis chapter 21, had been kicked out of the household of Abraham and Sarah, and found herself in the midst of the desert with nobody but herself and her son, feeling that the only future available to them was death. There, God showed up and directed her to waters that refreshed and renewed them. Hagar gave God a new name, She said, “He is the God that sees me.” We will journey to Faith House to let these mother’s know that although unforeseen circumstances in life have put them in positions like Mary and Hagar, they are not invisible, they are not forgotten and there is a God that sees them. God is sending the women of New Creation to come not just with words of refreshment but bearing gifts that will seek to speak to their inherent value and worth as women and mothers created in the image of an Almighty God. Below is the program that the women of New Creation will share with these mothers: - We will provide a dessert buffet - One of our church mothers will give words of encouragement - Each woman will be given a bracelet of hope, flowers of love and a book, "Daily Devotionals for Mothers - We will end our time together with prayer It is our prayer this outreach will begin the process of building a bridge between these mothers and the church as we demonstrate the love of Jesus and partner with this organization to bring the light of Jesus into places of darkness and despair.
What an awesome reflection of Jesus’ love in our world today! Are you doing something special for women in your community on Mother’s Day? Post a comment or send me an email at Until Next Wednesday, In Faith, Hope and Perseverance, Pastor Chris `

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shepastor: "Let us not give up meeting together..."

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) The above biblical reference serves as the guiding principle for Women Together in Ministry of Greater Cleveland. For various reasons, women may be tempted to "give up meeting together." However, there is great strength, hope, wisdom, encouragement and inspiration to be found when the women of God come together! August 23-25th, 2012, WTIM will again host the "Empowering and Encouraging Women in Minsitry" Conference. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogues with other women in ministry, as we explore the things that hinder our relationships, keep us "living on roller skates," and endager our mental, emotional and spiritual well being. Anointed preaching, teaching, worship, fellowship and networking will all take place at this conference! Don't miss your opportunity to be blessed! Visit to receive more information or to download the registration brochure. Pre-registration began May 1st. Stop by and pre-register today! Post a comment or send me an email at I hope to see you August! Until Next Wednesday, In Faith, Hope and Perseverance, Pastor Chris