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Memorial Day 2021
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 After World War I the day was set aside to honor all American wars, and the custom was extended to pay homage to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian. There are a number of relatives, mentors, coach and friends who lost loved ones during wars. The Bible offers not just a beautiful word; but the divine comfort that God provides. The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington national Cemetery. Today is Memorial Day, a time for remembering people who were important in our lives. The purpose is to honor the nation’s military personnel killed in wartime. The holiday was called Decoration Day at first, because people decorated soldiers’ graves with flowers and flags on that day. Today may we proclaim a heartfelt pray of comfort for those who are mourning profound absence. Amen! Prayer: Heavenly Father, those who sacrificed their lives have transitioned into eternity, but are not forgotten. Lord God, bless those who have experienced such lost with Your loving and proud comfort. In JESUS name Amen! 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "We're ALL In"
See the Good
"God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good."
Genesis 1:31 (NASB) The ability to see is a miraculous gift. We cherish God's gift to see through our physical eyesight and our spiritual sight.
Pastor Bruce Howell shared a sermon entitled; "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". He expressed these words; "An obstetrician approached an anxious father in the waiting room of a New York City hospital and said, "I am sorry to inform you, but your baby lived but two hours after his birth. We did everything we could to save his life." As the sympathetic doctor was about to leave, the quick thinking father said, "I read only recently that human eyes are needed in a cornea transplants. Could my baby's eyes be used to enable someone to see again?"
The next day the Red Cross carried an eye to two different hospitals. In one, a corneal graft restored the sight of a working man with a large family. In the other, sight was given to a mother. A babe, who lived only two hours, gave physical sight to a grateful father and mother.
Over 2,000 years ago a Baby came into our sin-darkened world to give spiritual sight to all who will receive it without money and without price. At His coming, "the people that walked in darkness saw a great light."
Glory! Questions: (1) Are you thanking God for the gift of sight? (2) Are you using the full capacity of the gift of sight? There are GOOD things that God has provided for us. (3) Are you taking in your surroundings or do you just glance around? (4) When you look do you truly see?
Beloved, today take the time to really look at your world, your family, your work environment, your life—and smile at the gifts you have been given. Praise God!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I will look at what You have made and see how good it truly is! Lord God I that You for the gift of sight. Naturally and spiritually. Amen.
Meditate: "He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see" John 9:25
"We're ALL In"
When I Rise!
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying."
Mark 1:35 Question: how do you start off your mornings? How do you push through the day? For folks who express the following words, with a frown; "I'm not a morning person. Please give me a minute"! Catch this, if they would create a quiet time with Lord, first thing in the morning, it just might infuse one's soul with a renewed joy. YES! Or if a high energetic person that wakes up ready to take on the world, could recognize the benefit in centering their soul, by seeking God first thing in the morning. Interesting perspective. Let’s punch this out a bit more. At least four times in the Gospels, Jesus is pictured as going off by Himself, often early in the morning, to spend time in prayer (see also Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:18; Mark 6:46). Jesus was busy and as ministry minded as He was, found it so essential to spend time with the Father. Jesus kept HIS connection with the Heavenly Father by setting aside time alone with HIM. Amen. Let's flip it just a bit. Prioritizing a daily quiet time establishes that we truly believe God is the central component to our lives. He is more than our number one priority; God is that which our entire lives are centered on. We go to work in a godly way. We parent in a godly fashion. We make decisions in a godly process. We adorn our godly-armor to prepare for the attacks of Satan and totally get an energy boost to start off our day. Glory! Lastly, daily quiet time is a constant reminder of the central place God has in the life of a Christian. Unlike the world, God share a revelation in what the day or week could bring. God Is GOOD! Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the desire, heart, mind and spirit to seek You early every morning and grant me the daily blessings that come from a quiet time spent with YOU. Amen. 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "WE'RE ALL IN"
On Top of the Fencepost
Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, "Why is that there?" Alex Haley answered, "Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words and think that they are wonderful, and begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post and remember that he didn’t get there on his own. He had help." That is the basis of thankfulness - to remember that we got here with the help of God, and that He is the provider of every blessing we have. Question: Are you proud of yourself? Are you grateful for what God created in you? Are you grateful for folks who assisted during your journey? "Do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers". Ephesians 1:16 Prayer : Heavenly Father, I thank You for placing folks in my life to cause me to become successful. You have made things possible, yet as I am obedient to You, all things work together fir my good. Amen! 2021 'INTENTIONAL' #thankful #iseeU
Praying for Others
“True intercession involves bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance. People describe intercession by saying, “It is putting yourself in someone else’s place.” That is not true! Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.” ― by Oswald Chambers Praying for others is not only a blessing for us to do, but it is also a vital part of living the Christian life. We are commanded to carry one another’s burdens. One way we can do this is by praying for one another. A prayer that is on behalf of someone else is called intercessory prayer. Praying for others strengthens our bond with them, and it also strengthens our relationship with the Lord. So, this late afternoon, may my prayers strengthen you and bring healing where it is needed. GOD is GOOD and totally able to strengthen the bonds between all Believers. Totally able to strengthen your thinking and body. Job 42:10 prayed; “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. WOW! Action: pray for a friend or loved one. YES! Mediate: May my life glorify the Lord. 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "We're ALL In"
Grow While You Wait
by PW & PL
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Psalm 27:14 (KJV)
Waiting is part of the process of becoming the person God wants you to be—a time of growth where you experience the difference between your demands and His desires.
When you surrender to His timetable, you realize He knows best.
Pastor Morgan stated; "Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given".
Waiting is a demonstration of faith, but an act of obedience. When waiting it allows us to grow in the peace that our Saviour offers.
On the surface level, waiting on the Lord is the literal act of waiting. You might be waiting on the Lord to answer a prayer, or you might be waiting on Him to fulfill one of His promises according to Scripture. Regardless of what it is, there is often a literal time of waiting on the Lord to do something that requires patience from many of us.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to see the good in waiting. Guide me to be patient and flexible, as I let go of the reins and trust Your timing. Amen.
Be bold: memorize Isaiah 41:10; "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand".
One more to empower our thinking:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing". John 15:5 (ESV) 2021 'INTENTIONAL'
"Growing My Faith"
May I begin this devotion, in saying not sure who this message may be for, but I am trusting the Lord that it will minister to the intended person or people. Amen. David says in the psalms, “Where can I flee from your presence?” Nowhere. You will never be in a place where God isn’t. Pastor Warren once stated; "If you’ve trusted Jesus, He’s with you in your heart". Glory! From this day, may you dig in and start trusting God going forward. Remember HE is with you. His presence does not evaporate or disappear. HIS presence is always present. If you are facing something do not rush in trying to fix it. Spend some time in prayer. If the circumstance demands your immediate attention, 'PRAY'! Now let's flip it a bit! I have a major paper to write, rent is due, my refrigerator is lacking food and I need another text book for my class. Don't forget to PRAY! Or my family is depending on me for housing, food and medical needs. Don't forget to 'PRAY'! Question: are you alone in a situation? David was not only a sheep herder, but also an appointed king. As a youth, he fought a bear and a lion. As a king he fought enemies more than once. 1 Samuel 18:7 states; "So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” WOW! Now you may not fight a bear, a lion or an army, however, like David you are facing some real stuff. Pray, stand, walk with God as you face your situations. Take note, God was with David from a young age into his adulthood. Yet, David was prepared, equipped, available and vigilant. YES! So, may I ask a question: "How can you get better acquainted with God"? You conquered difficult circumstances throughout your life, including 2020. You have advanced, why go back when the Holy Spirit is moving you forward? Interesting! Once more, I believe the Lord has place this simple devotion to encourage someone today to focus and remember that "I made it through". Pastor Marvin Sapp wrote a beautiful song (2012) after his wife transitioned into glory entitled; "My Testimony". This song still moves my heart. A section of the lyrics goes like this "So glad I made it, I made it through In spite of the storm and rain, heartache and pain Still I'm declaring That I made it through See, I didn't lose Experienced lost at a major cost But I never lost faith in you So if you see me cry, It's just a sign that I'm I'm still alive I got some scars, but I'm still alive In spite of calamity, He still has a plan for me And it's working for my good And it's building my testimony So glad I made it, I made it through". Praise God, you made it through and 'YOU ARE MAKING IT THROUGH'! Romans 8:31(NKJV) says; "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" JESUS said; “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). Keep standing because you're never really fully alone. It you fall, stand back up. If you're extremely nervous about what you are facing, 'PRAY'. P.S......if this message wasn't for you, totally pray for someone who is going through. THANK YOU! 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "We're In This Together"
Fleeing to Strength by James Banks
"You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies". 1 Corinthians 6:20 “Parry four!” When I began fencing in high school, my coach would shout the correct defensive position (“parry”) against the move he was making. When he extended his weapon and lunged, to repel the attack I had to listen and respond immediately. That active listening brings to mind the prompt obedience Scripture calls for in the area of sexual temptation. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 Paul writes to believers tempted to solicit pagan temple prostitutes, telling them to “flee from sexual immorality.” Sometimes we are to “stand firm” in challenging circumstances (Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:11), but here the Bible practically shouts our best defense: “Run away!” Immediate action guards against compromise. Small compromises can lead to devastating defeats. An unrestrained thought, a glance in the wrong place on the Internet, a flirting friendship when you’re already married—each are steps that take us where we shouldn’t go and put distance between us and God. When we flee temptation, God also provides a place to run. Through Jesus’s death on the cross for our sins, He offers us hope, forgiveness, and a new beginning—no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done. When we run to Jesus in our weakness, He sets us free to live in His strength. Prayer: Lord Jesus, out of love You gave Yourself on the cross for us. I give myself to You in obedience to Your will. Remember: God alone can meet our deepest needs and give us soul-deep satisfaction. 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "We're ALL IN"
"Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin". Psalm 51:2 (NLT) In our backyard, we have a non-functioning water feature that collects water when it rains or when our automatic sprinkler system turns on. Stagnant water will sit unless it is removed. On the other hand, when the water feature is operational, the attached bowl captures recycled flowing water that is relaxing to watch and allows birds to drink or play in. Now non-operational and left unattended over an extended period of time, pesky mosquitoes appear. Mosquitoes love to hang out and breed in such places and most often, make it their home. Let's flip it a bit more. If we leave trash out for a long period of time, that condition could attract unwanted critters and their cousins. Stagnant water, leaving trash out for extended periods of time are invitations for unwanted guests. Not cool! Loved ones, the same applies to our spiritual lives. May we intentionally allow the Holy Spirit to clean the areas in our lives that are unclean. Where sin is active areas in our hearts are comprised. Unclean areas of our lives are invitations for 'DEMONS' to make themselves at home. Meditate on: Ephesians 4:27 (NKJV); "nor give place to the devil". Action: guard your heart against allowing Satan to take, influence or cause you to drift away so that he can take possession of your mind. Remember, we are challenged every day 24/7 with his schemes and tactics. However, may we vigorously pray that our desire is to obey God's will, rather than our fleshly desires. Beloved, the struggle is REAL. But ask God to wash me oh Lord cleaning me from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Glory! God loves us! 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "I'M ALL IN"
Are you living a HOLY life? Are you honoring God with your life? Let's keep going. If your co-workers or neighbors asked, "Is (your name) a Christian?" How would they answer? "Absolutely, I would consider attending their church"! Or would they respond; "I doubt it. Highly questionable according to their behavior". Would they respond with; He or she prays at every meal and prays for people who are hurting. Their life models the bible teachings. Let's keep going. Or would they say, "That person is the worst"! Their integrity is highly questionable and cuts people down all the time." Beloved, we are living in a time when people 'saved and unsaved' that walk in the integrity of the Word. Not just when people are around, but when no one is watching, a distinct and set apart life that can be easily identified. Amen! Action: I am a child of God and I can live out the following verse: "Because it is written, “Be Holy, for I am Holy.” 1 Peter 1:16. Meditate: Christians, no matter who we are, where we live or our status in life, have been called to live holy and blameless before God. Prayer: Heavenly Father, I desire and intentionally walk in the fullness of Your Word. May I be willing to submit daily to You fully. Amen. 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "Holy Spirit Reveals What Is TRUE"
Our Nation Needs Our Prayers!
Willow Street Church of God, Our Nation needs our prayers! Political division, fighting a virus, layoffs, racial inequalities, greed, job loss and mental exhaustion have caused immense suffering. We are called to be salt and light on the earth. May we, Willow Street Church of God, pray daily and vigorously for healing from our Heavenly Father. May we 'NEVER' leave our first love, Jesus. It is imperative to remain committed to His holy Word and always faithful to the kingdom agenda. Pastor Lloyd
Merry Christmas WSCOG & Friends!
2020 has been challenging yet filled with many opportunities to witness God's faithfulness. Beloved, your faithfulness is sincerely appreciated, and your steadfastness to serve our surrounding communities is God-honoring. In this season and always, may we encourage each other in remembering that HE is faithful to complete the good work in each of us. My hope and prayer is that you will be renewed in a fresh way, never doubting that God is walking alongside you. Let us rejoice! A child was born unto us to provide hope and joy! Again, thank you for all that you do; its a total honor to serve with you! Merry Christmas and God bless you always! Pastor Lloyd P. Harrison, Jr and the WSCOG Leadership team