All posts by markkharris55

About markkharris55

Mark K. Harris is an officer in United States Coast Guard who has enjoyed over 16 years of active duty naval engineering assignments. He is married to his beautiful wife Vanessa for 8 years; they have three children Joshua, Andrew and Hannah. They are actively involved with our church and other community based activities. Having had the opportunity to both learn and lead during his career on both Coast Guard Cutters and high level Naval Engineering units, Harris’ intention is to continue in the Coast Guard for or beyond twenty years. After that, we will reevaluate family, ministry and career priorities to determine all opportunities that might be available to us.

Happy Birthday Daughter

Psalm 127:3-5: Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Today I’m so excited to celebrate my “Little Princess!” 10 years ago today, she entered our lives and has been a great blessing to our “Harris Clan.” She is so beautiful inside and out. I know that God has amazing plans for her life, and I look forward to be a part of her journey. She will declare God’s great work at the gate as her enemies flee several ways in defeat.

Happy Birthday Princess!!!

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What A Spouse We Have In Jesus….

I cannot help but be grateful that despite all my shortcomings; my Failures; my Anger; my Pain, my Sin; all the areas in which I fail to be a lovable spouse…Jesus Loves Me Unconditionally. Jesus is the Bridegroom and we the Church are His Bride. He will never leave us, no matter what we’ve done (or failed to do).  He will never walk away once He’s made a commitment to us the Bride of Christ (His Bride/His Spouse).

Ephesians 5:22-28:  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Husbands we are called to love our wives like Christ loves us (Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church).  That is HARD!!!! So why would he tell us that??? How in the world could we possibly love our wives like that?  The key is that there is no way in the World that we can.  We will never be able to love our wives on our own (in our own strength, power or intelligence) and when we don’t; We Fail 10 times out of 10.  We can only love like that IN CHRIST!!  By Jesus’ Name; Jesus’ Blood; Jesus’ Power and Jesus’ Strength.

Men hate failing at anything; it’s just not how we’re wired. We want to Win Win Win no matter what…. The very thought of failing pushes and drives men to be great…that is until the point in which failure is evident. That drive that burns a fire in most men can become extinguished when failure is imminent. When men fail and fail and fail very often it becomes easier to just leave that dream or situation than to continue to battle knowing failure could be looming. Many men leave failing marriages because they are frustrated; bitter and angry.  Most are not bad men; they are just HURT men and feel they are left with nothing more than the last-ditch effort to both relieve their own pain while inflicting Pain on the one person they believe to be the culprit (of all their hurt).

Men, by nature are fixers; when they run into a problem the first thing they want to do is fix it.  That is who MEN are!!! The issue in marriage that most men are encountering; We cannot fix our marriages AND THERE LIES OUR FRUSTRATION!!!!  This failure is one many men are walking away from.  The is only one way we will ever fix our marriage and that is thru Christ; the only way to do that is to TRUST HIM IN OUR MARRIAGES.

  1. Trust God: We must at some point stop trying what we know to fix things and believe in the God who saved us and blessed our marriage vows. Mark:7-9 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” The text tells us that two become one & no man should separate what God put together. Trust God with Your Failure….We see failure and God see’s learning opportunity or teaching moment. God constantly wants us to be more like Him. In that He often takes opportunities to teach us what His Love for us feels like; what it means to love like Christ. God’s plans are not for your harm but to prosper you (Jer 29:11). However, it will take TRUST in God to fix what we cannot. Are you capable of trusting Jesus like that??? If not don’t worry just pray; ask the Lord to help your unbelief (Mark 9:24). God want’s our marriages restored; but it will take TRUST.
  2. Stay IN: We can’t leave and hope Jesus works it out for us.  We’ve got to Stay and fight for what God put together (Mark:7-9). It is a tough choice to walk away from your marriage and family. However, it is much tougher to STAT IN that marriage and work to fix the many neglected issues. This recovery of the painful areas of marriage can and will cause more pain while attempting to correct to the failures. The only way these changes can me made in a broken marriage is that We STAY IN it. We cannot leave, and it work on it at the same time.
    Before someone question this with respect to physical abuse; I absolutely believe that any person being physically abused should leave and find protection immediately. Then pray and ask God to get that spouse the necessary help whether it be counseling or prison or a mixture of both.
    Brother’s Hang In There and fight. Now what you may have to realize is that you might need new weapons to fight with. This fight might have to be won but reading books, going to personal and couple Counseling. You may have to seek out different voices on protecting marriage, reconciliation, conflict resolution and forgiveness. The tools you’ve been using have not been working so go to Jesus and ask Him for Wisdom (James 1:5). When You STAY IN God will change either the Situation or You and either way making your current circumstance better.

The Voices in Your Head

Genesis 3:3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

I recently read an article about a famous couple who were divorcing after being married for over 30 years. Their legal reason for divorcing was “Irreconcilable Differences;” after so many years, they severed their marriage for of all things, incompatibility. I find that very difficult to process, and while I’m sure there were many other unpublished reasons, could they be enough to erase so many years built together? What is it that has caused over 75% of all marriages (including over 70% in the church) to end in divorce? So many who believe in their vows still choose to call it quits. I think we can learn a great deal from the first Couple, Adam & Eve.

Now while I continued to read the article, I kept hearing “too many voices.” But, what did that mean? Well Adam only heard one voice, God’s. Then came Eve and they only heard God’s voice an each other’s. Problems began when they allowed voices from outside override that which they knew as Truth. When we allow other voices to influence our marriages, we put ourselves in position to make poor decisions. Often decisions that can destroy our marriages & families.

We need to change the narrative; if any marriage should thrive it should be those who believe Jesus Christ is Lord. And Adam & Eve can help us learn from their mistake.

  1. Listen to God (& your Spouse):
    Adam & Eve were influenced by Satan because they allowed someone from the outside speak into their situation (“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”). We cannot allow other people (Family, Friends, Co-Workers or even Famous Stars) to give advice, question our decisions and in this case speak against the Word of God. Satan questioned God’s Word and that opened Eve up to make a poor decision. We make equally poor decisions when we listen to the world tell us that God’s Word is not true; like “if you’re not happy you should leave your marriage.” God told us marriage was a covenant until death. Be very mindful of those speaking ill of your spouse and your God; if they do then they’ve got to go. They might not have to be completely cut off, but they need to be cut off from the access to speak into your marriage. Family and Friends may need to be adjusted like a Facebook category. However, there are Family & Friends that encourage your marriage, they speak positively or confirm the Word of God that you’ve already heard. Understand that when they Confirm the Word of God, they agree with God and therefore it’s God speaking to you again.
  2. Know & Play Your Role: Now you might say, well maybe you shouldn’t listen to your spouse after all Eve told Adam to eat the Fruit (She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate). However, the fact that they did not communicate before he ate the forbidden fruit is a major problem. Adam did not step up, he did not Speak the Word to and over his wife, nor warned her that this Serpent was not to be trusted. We as the Men, Husbands and Priest of our homes have a responsibility to cover and protect our wives & families (VERY often I don’t meet the mark as either). We should be constantly Praying God’s protection over our family; giving our wives the attention and affection that THEY desire or being the model Man, our children need to see? It is not easy to “Play the Role,” but with God’s help we can be all that we are called to be. Now God was very clear with Adam, he knew what God said and it was NOT what Satan told Eve, but rather than step up he said nothing. He sat back and did not do a thing a decision that would impact all their descendants. This is the same when Men do not know & play our Roles.
  3. Don’t Hide; Take Responsibility For Your Actions: I’m sure you all remember the story (And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.). Adam & Eve made a poor decision that impacted their family and when they were in God’s Presence. They HID!! How many times have we hid from the Truth, blamed others or shook responsibility. In this era of hate crimes, partisan politics & fear tactics to sell products; everybody has a problem with somebody, but no one is willing to be transparent about their own actions. We must stop hiding, be honest with God, others and ourselves, then take responsibility for our actions. Adam & Eve Hid from God, but as God does He asked the right questions; questions geared to get to the root of the issue. ”Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Rather than answer, they played the blame game, then tried to cover their sin with fig leaves (their own efforts). We are never enough to cover our sin, but Jesus was sacrificed so that all of our sin would be forgiven. We no longer have to hide, we can be honest with God & ourselves because Jesus loved away our sin. This is a pretty good example for us in marriage, sometimes we should just love away hurt/pain our spouses cause.

Marriage is wonderful, painful, beautiful and a struggle all at the same time. More than anything marriage is worth it and it is worth fighting for. However, sometimes fighting means changing some things up, doing something different so you both can win. Maybe even pushing the reset button and starting all over. When we listen to God, know our roles and take responsibility for our actions we can see success in our marriages.

G is for Grace

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
We are who we are and where we are because of God’s Grace. We must also know that Grace is a gift that we can never earn or loose, regardless of what we have done. We’ll dig into this more later.

Last time we discussed the 5 Pillars of Christian Maturity. These 5 principles, when comprehended and embraced are guaranteed to produce GROWTH in any believer. Today the focus will be on pillar # 1 the Grace of God, a gift that will keep on giving.

Grace is defined as God’s unmerited, undeserved favor; Strong’s defines it as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify. That’s a lot right; so what does Grace mean to me? God’s supernatural empowerment, whether strength, wisdom and endurance; we’ll provide a few examples later.

There are a few things we must know about GRACE:

  1. GRAVITY of Grace:
    So I love the Lord because I was trying to find the perfect words to describe Grace and the power of God’s unmerited Favor on our lives. As I was listing to a message this morning before church, I heard to preacher use the term Gravity. Boom!!!! The fireworks went off because like Gravity; Grace does not just have one simple definition it’s multifaceted. Gravity is defined as extreme magnitude or alarming importance; seriousness, other words include significance, profundity, momentousness, weightiness. All express how important Grace is to our Christian beliefs; we are saved by God’s Grace. Grace is a unprecedented power that allows God to look beyond the Sin inherent in each one of us to love and allow us to enter into His Kingdom. Grace is Significant!!! Yet while so profound, it is also like Gravity (the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass), in that Grace attracts us to the God who is at the center of our lives. His Grace attracts us by His love and it attracts others to us by its power. When God’s Grace is upon us, others want to be around us because it produces; success, favor and unexplainable blessings. Whether saved on unsaved people want to be around those three things. As we prepare to GROW in 2019, we must understand the GRAVITY of Grace.
  2. Grace enables REDEMPTION: Salvation is possible but only by God’s Grace. Grace empowers each of us to believe in God, trust in His Son Jesus and receive His Holy Spirit into our hearts. Even if we tried we could not do it on our own, our flesh would not allow it only our Spirit which is given to us by God. Redemption is the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. It is the act of being saved from our own sinful nature. It is the act of Jesus Christ giving His life on the Cross that we might all receive Salvation. [Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).]
  3. ABUNDANT Grace: Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Grace is that power working in us to do miraculous things; and it is not just enough but abundant. As a matter of fact, the power in us is exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think more than we can even imagine. God had given us more than we will ever know; often we only witness it when life brings challenges or if the devil attacks us. Remember in 2019; no matter how inept you feel; the Grace God has given you is exceedingly abundantly above.
  4. The Grace CONFESSION: Life & Death is in the power of the tongue and we must confess the Grace upon our life if we desire to see it manifest. What do I mean? When we say we don’t have enough, we’re not enough, we can’t, I can’t do it. What we fail to see is that when we do this our words are acting as a “clog” in the pipe of God’s Grace. God always wants to flow His Grace into our lives and when we confess that God’s Grace is more than able, Your Grace is empowering me, and Your Goodness & Grace will follow me all the days of my life; we unclog all of the pipes God has opened to us.
  5. The Execution of Grace: “Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do.” At some point we have to DO IT!!! We have to execute Grace to others just as God has executed to us. While Christ’s sacrifice is God’s execution of GRACE to us all, that same action gives us the ability/responsibility to execute grace to the people closest to us in our lives and those we may encounter during your lifetime.  Whether it be forgiving someone who has done you wrong or simply giving a smile/speaking a kind word to a stranger; God’s Grace should be shown thru every Christian.  God’s Grace was given to us as a gift.  This means that it was not given as a wage or a reward for some action; we cannot earn it.  Since it is a gift, it can also not be lost or taken away from us; these is no action we can take to lose it.  The Lord gives us grace every day, multiple times a day. We should be so willing to do the same for others.  After all, God blesses us in order for us to be His hands & feet here on earth to be a blessing to others.  We can do that when we extend GRACE in this land of significant judgement.  When we extend GRACE, we show off the “goodness of God” (…it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance Rom 2:4) to a lost world who needs it as well as to a family of believers who could use some encouragement.

Recapping, understanding the GRACE God has shown us will help each of us GROW in our walk with Jesus. The forgiveness of sin, and power to live a life that gives Him glory can only cause us to mature as Christians and be an example to others.

GROWTH

2nd Peter 3:18 but GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen
As we move quickly into 2019, I ask you a question, what did you learn from 2018. Are you able to grow from last year?? Peter encourages us to grow “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I have to trust that Peter, and all of his experience with the Lord, would understand the type of Growth possible for anyone in Christ Jesus. So what is GROWTH:

GGrace
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
-We are who we are and where we are because of God’s Grace. We must also know that Grace is a gift that we can never earn or loose, regardless of what we have done. We’ll dig into this more later.

RRighteousness
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
-Jesus is Righteous and everything in Him is Righteous. Guess what? 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When we accept Christ as our Savior we become the righteousness of God, because we are in Christ. More to come…

OObedience
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
-I always want my children to obey me, because I feel I know what is best for them, plus I love and would do anything for them. How much more does God want what is best for us? Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

WWorship
Genesis 22: 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
-Worship takes every focus off of ourselves (our life, problems, desires) and places it solely on God!!!! When we do this, we acknowledge Him as our source, strength and hope. We invite God into our situation when we worship and God is looking for us. John 4: 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

TThankfulness
1 Chronicles 16:5 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 35 And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation; Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise.”
-A mindset of Thankfulness, is a constant reminder that every blessing we receive or good that happens to us, does so because of God’s love for us. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…

HHealing
Isaiah 53: 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
-By Faith we are healed!! Jesus allowed himself to be beaten to a pulp so that we would receive His supernatural healing and desires that we be healthy and whole. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

As we continue together into 2019, GROWTH has to be a group effort. Us and a Triune God (The Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit). With this team we can do all things. We will work together over the next couple of months to walk thru this GROWTH model. So come back and join us.

Help Me: I’m Sinking

Psalm 69

1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4 Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it. 5 O God, You know my foolishness; And my sins are not hidden from You. 6 Let not those who [c]wait for You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me; Let not those who seek You be [d]confounded because of me, O God of Israel. 7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Shame has covered my face.
29 But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song. And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. 

One of the most helpless feelings a person can endure is the feeling of drowning.  Being in a body of water regardless of size, and to since you’re slowly sinking deeper and deeper as the water begins to go above your head, is unbearable.  No matter how hard a fight you put up, when your body feels the water covering more and more body parts with seemingly no compassion for your desire to escape is torture.

In this text David cries out to God saying “Save me, O God!  For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me.”  David felt that his life was in danger because the waters of life had come up to his neck, and it was just a matter of time before the rest of him would be consumed. Have you ever felt like you were sinking; drowning in the stresses of your life; weighted down by unmet expectations, depression or bitterness? Then you’ve been where David was, he was sinking in the mire or the mud, clay or wet sand. He was stuck, unable to move and falling deeper and deeper into the muck.

Last year I competed in a Triathlon, an event that combines running, cycling, and swimming.  The first portion of the event is the swim, which for me was the most difficult. Not that I’m a weak swimmer, but of the three exercises it is where I have the least amount of endurance. Swimming requires the use of just about all the muscles groups in your body and it can be exhausting. It was important that while training, my main goal was increasing my endurance in the water.  I had to put yourself in situations that at times made me seem like I was drowning, even while I was the most tired. This helped me to develop stamina and calm in the pool.  What I found was that when I was calm, my breathing was consistent, and I could keep my lungs filled with air. Ultimately, it kept me afloat.

There are two take ways from this text and my swimming experience. I was able to float and succeed during the swim when: 1. When I remained calm in the water, and 2. When my lungs were filled with air. David found the same success in Psalm 69: 13 But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, Hear me in the truth of Your salvation. 14 Deliver me out of the mire, And let me not sink; Let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. 14 Let not the floodwater up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me.

1. David Was Able to Remain Calm: Even though he was drowning in the mire around him, he did not try to rescue himself. He prayed to the Lord and trusted him for his deliverance. After the initial fear of drowning, David regrouped, found peace in the Lord (remained calm). So, while I did finish the Triathlon, it was not without difficulty during the swim; I started off just as practiced and really felt great for about a minute. The water was splashing from all the men in the water swimming around me, and where we were the water was very muddy; so much so, you could not see beyond your hands in front of you. This caused me to panic, which resulted in shorter and inconsistent breathing and over exertion of the very muscles I needed to finish the swim. I was stroking, kicking, gasping for air & praying that I would be able to finish. One of the Triathlon safety personnel reminded me of this very important principle that David demonstrated, by yelling to get my attention and saying, “Calm Down.” It was clear & concise, I had to relax in order to catch my breath. I not only had to remember this but continue the process for the LONG reminder of the swim. Like David, I thought I was going to drown; but by remaining calm I was able completed the event.

2. David Was Filled With Breath: David sought the Lord and his heart was filled with God’s Breath of Life; His Holy Spirit. Psalm 69: 29 But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song. And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. David went from fearing for his life to praising and magnifying his God. David prayed and was filled with Life by the Spirit of God. It’s just like filling our lungs with air; when our lungs are filled with air, our bodies are able to float (air is lighter than water). After telling me to Calm down, my new best friend (the safety guy) also reminded me to breathe. You see while training, you develop a pattern or rhythm of breathing that not only helps keep your lungs filled with breath (air), but the rhythm helps choreograph your strokes/kicks. That simple reminder helped both me and David rise above the water that would normally drown us.

So, this year with whatever 2019 brings you, remember to calm down and breathe. (Be Calm) Let the Peace of God guard your heart and mind (Phil 4:7). (Breathe) The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty give s me life (Job 33:4)

Get Back To Business Part 2: Jesus Anointed You Too….

View This Message on YouTube @ “The Manger” https://youtu.be/jXbpBG7sAdE

Last time we talked about finding God’s Plan for your life by being “about My Father’s business.”
(Luke 4:18-19 “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. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”)

When you focus on Jesus’ purpose, He’ll lead you to yours (Seek Ye First His Kingdom…). This week I wanted to dig a little deeper into what My Father’s business is all about and how Jesus is the example for all of us:

Before we discuss what Jesus did, we have to look at how He did it. In Luke 4 Jesus revealed His power source and assignment. Jesus said so much in so few words. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To. Because of what the Holy Spirit did for Jesus while on earth, He will now do the following for us:

  1. The Holy Spirit Is Our Power Source:

Jesus left His Kingly Throne to come and take on an earthly body. He gave up everything to become like us. Therefore when He declared that The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, what he was telling us is that we need the Spirit of the Lord is upon us in order to do anything. John said it like this: John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. Before we can be about any business…we need The Holy Spirit’s power. One of man’s biggest downfalls is our short term memory. We often forget how powerless we are without God’s help. If Jesus, while on earth needed the power of the Holy Spirit to work miracles, heal the sick and save; why do we think we can do anything without The Vine‘s power. What do I mean, many times we believe that because we’ve earned the diploma or certification and that is why we are successful. Forgetting that it was only God that miraculously made it possible for us to even get into a school, let alone graduate; but somehow we based our success or pulling ourselves up by our own boot straps. Remember (Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure)

Jesus however, tells us what we can expect from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” & John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you). When we seek Him, He gives us Power and teaches us all things & the bible encourages us in (John 15:7-8 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.   This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.), that we will bear fruit and have what we ask God for; this will show the world that we are Christ’s Disciples as we minister to His children here on earth. Before we can serve the Poor, Broken Hearted, captives or the blind, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Power Source and now we need our assignment.

2.  The Holy Spirit Gives Us Marching Orders:

Because He has anointed Me: Jesus tells us that He was anointed. What does that mean? Strong’s Definition: (5548 xríō) – to anoint by rubbing or pouring olive oil on someone to represent the flow (empowering) of the Holy Spirit & to present someone as divinely-authorized (appointed by God) to serve as prophet, priest or king (set apart, consecrated, and ceremonially conferred; given a position for a particular assignment). So anointing further highlights the empowering of the Holy Spirit, but it also speaks to being given an assignment. If we use military jargon it would be receiving orders. The Holy Spirit will give us marching orders. Jesus tells us his Marching Orders were to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, give the blind sight, liberate the oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Now those orders are being transferred to us.

Since we’re talking militarily, the assignment process is simple; once your billet or assignment is completed, you are transferred and someone else is assigned to your position. Jesus laid out a very detailed target demographic that He was anointed to serve. Great Leaders always Prepare/Train their replacement? Jesus is a great leader and He prepared the 12, then the 70; then the church and He is still training up replacements today; including each one of us. Because Jesus was anointed, we too are anointed because we are in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When Jesus ascended to heaven, His assignment was accomplished (John19:30… It Is Finished). The disciples then took over Christ assignment or Marching Orders via the Holy Spirit and today the Orders have been passed down to us. So now that we have our Power Source & our Marching Orders, it’s time to get to business.

It is now time To handle “My Father’s business.” We received power and direction now it is time To execute His business. Jesus let us know that the Holy Spirit gave Him power, and anointed him To heal, serve and minister to all of us. We see all thru scripture that His purpose was being manifested, executed and seen on the earth; this is done for the benefit of man & so that God would be glorified.

Next time we’ll go a little deeper into Jesus’ 6 assigned areas, so please join us here at “the Manger” and connect with us at (https://feednhissheep.wordpress.com/)

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Get Back To Business!!!

View This Message on “The Manger” @  https://youtu.be/fw7CPH3FdXM  

I retired from the military 3 years ago and my family moved here to Houston. We’d become used to moving often, about every 2 to 3 years. So knowing now that we would be planted was really exciting for all of us. My family has really settled in well, the kids are in great schools and all doing very well; they’ve made friends and all three have really begun to blossom into their own uniqueness. My wife has also settled in, authoring two books, launching a faith based clothing line and participating at local conferences. It’s all been fun to watch. Everyone was finally living in the GAP; you know that Good, Acceptable and Perfect Will of God (Romans 12:2). Well almost everyone…

Have you ever known that you’re exactly where God’s Purpose is for you…..But you can’t quite put your finger on what it is you’re supposed to be doing? That is where I’ve found myself recently, but what do you do when you’re living in God’s Purpose but still unsure of His Plan……

Unsure of what exactly I’m supposed to be doing, I recently asked God what I was missing. Why do I feel just a little out of sorts? He told me I had to go back; Go back to when you first heard Jesus’ voice. But what did that mean? The Key was hearing Jesus’ voice; So I went on a quest to find His first words documented in the Bible. Figuring it had to be in the Gospels I searched (Matt 3:15 talking to John the Baptist; or Mark 1:15 when preaching to the Galilean’s; or John 1:38 when John’s disciples were following Him)
Matt 3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
John 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”

I found it in Luke. While Jesus was still a teenager, He said this to His parents, who were anxiously searching for Jesus after leaving Him behind in Jerusalem….
Luke 2:49…And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

When I read this; Jesus’ words really jumped out at me. Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? Jesus was in the right place and focused on God’s plan for Him on the earth. A plan which was for our hope and future. Even at such a young age, Jesus new how to keep the main thing the main thing. He was tending to Our Fathers Business. I was trying to figure out what my purpose was here in the Houston area; and it was clear. I’d forgotten to first be about My Father’s business. With the many hat’s I attempt to wear, it had become easy to misplace my priorities by doing everything except My Father’s business. So what was His Father’s business? Jesus would provide some insight to His Father’s business” two chapters later during a trip to the synagogue in Nazareth:

(Luke 4:18-19 “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. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.)

Whenever you’re searching for God’s Plan for your life start serving others. Serve those who Jesus was anointed to serve:

-to preach the gospel to the poor
-sent Me to heal the brokenhearted
-to proclaim liberty to the captives
-recovery of sight for the blind
-to set at liberty those who are oppressed
-to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

This word was challenging to me and ignited the service in me. I had just started back doing prison ministry and had new hunger for discipleship groups. I want to challenge those of you who like me sometimes find yourselves asking the question what am I supposed to be doing; Get Back to Business. You will never go wrong being about our Father’s business and you will always find Jesus right there with you.
Listen, I’ve been studying and executing Executive Level Leadership for the past 26 years. One principle that has remained a pillar for successful, corporations, organizations and industries is this. Every leadership philosophy should be aligned with the overall corporate/organization Vision/Mission Statement. If every leader is aligned with the company’s purpose 8 time out of 10 they have to succeed. In Luke Jesus laid out the Vision of why He was here, now it is up to us to align ourselves with His vision and accomplish what it was sat out to do. I mentioned an 8 out of 10 or 80% success rate; the other 20% was based on the organization’s leader. Ours is Jesus, so we cannot go wrong.

Are you looking for purpose and can’t find it???? Align your vision. Are you proclaiming the Gospel to those who need it? Are you tending to the broken hearted? Are you helping the Blind see? So I’ve been walking thru Master Life individually with my two Sons (Master Life is a powerful discipleship series that I highly encourage for those interested in going to a new level in Christ). In the study we are reminded that Jesus’ primary focus on us and for us is LOVE. And that LOVE is to be shown by Him thru each one of us. John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The way we find our purpose is by loving others the way Christ decides; bearing fruit in His name and touching the people He was anointed to impact. When we do this; God is glorified and He will open our eyes to the purpose we seek and the desires He has for us. John 15:7-8 “ If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

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Introducing “The Manger”

The Manger:  https://youtu.be/chtg1-SFIqs

I’m excited to announce a new element to the Feeding His Sheep Blog: I want to introduce everyone to “The Manger,” a YouTube Channel geared to feeding the Lord’s Sheep across the Globe.  From time to time I’d like to begin sharing with you from a new platform; video.

So why’d we call this channel “The Manger?” When Jesus was resurrected and walked the earth for what is believed to be 40 days; He found His disciples on the water fishing just as he’d found several of them when His ministry first began. You guys might remember Peter, the disciple who was so prideful that he told Jesus he would never deny him, then before the rooster crowed 3 times Peter aggressively rejected even knowing Jesus, and it would be the last time seeing Jesus before his crucifixion.
Peter was at his lowest point, how could he ever be worth anything after this? John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Yet Jesus sought out Peter and this “worthless traitor” would soon be given His greatest responsibility. Jesus told Peter to Feed His Sheep! He not only restored Peter, He entrusted His most precious possession; His Children (you and I). God wants to do the same with us (if he has not already done so).

We will feed His Sheep today thru this new YouTube Channel “The Manger.” Webster’s defines manger as a long open box or trough for horses or cattle to eat from. It is a place that many can eat from at once time. This channel will be a place where all can eat; and not one plate at a time but as much as they’re able to handle….then even come back from more.

There is also another reason the channel is called “The Manger,” it was the resting place for Jesus. When He entered the very earth that He came to save, the Prince of Peace had nowhere to even lay His head. He was relegated to a dusty old manger even though he deserved a Royal Reception. Jesus will be found in this manger as well. Jesus Christ will be the only food on this Manger’s.
“The Manger” is where we can all be fed and the only item on the menu will be Jesus in all of His glory. Why because everything we stand in the need of can be found in Jesus, 2000 years ago He lovingly came here with Grace & Truth to sacrifice all so that we could become the Righteousness of God.

If the channel blesses you please subscribe: https://youtu.be/chtg1-SFIqs

It’s Settled

Isaiah 1:18 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

 

When we believe Jesus Christ is Lord and He died for our sins……..It’s Settled!!!!!

You are Forgiven…….