A wonderful opportunity for those who have messed up….


“As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace

in vain. 

For He says, 

In the time of my favor I heard you and in the day of salvation

I helped you. 

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of 

salvation. “

2 Corinthians 6:1, 2

 

We still have a chance. Today is a new day. The word is clear,

“NOW is the time of God’s favor”

“NOW is the day of salvation”

 

You may have messed up yesterday, but you have a second chance

today!

It’s not too late for you.

 

“Again He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives 

another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through

David after so long a time in the words already quoted, 

today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, 

do not harden your hearts.”

Hebrews 4:7

 

Today you have another opportunity to do things the right way.

Now is the time to get up and head in the right direction.

Don’t stay down.

God has not abandoned you.

Your dream may seem “dead” but it really isn’t.

 

No matter how bad you have messed up know that God has given

you a wonderful opportunity to start again today!

You don’t have to give up on your dreams.

You don’t have to “hang up the cape” so to speak.

There is grace today, there is favor today, there is forgiveness

today, there is opportunity today and there is a second chance

today.

What an amazing God we serve!

 

Rolain

 

 

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The saddest story in the bible…..


The Israelites did secretly against the Lord their God

things not right.

They built for themselves high places in all their towns,

from [lonely] watchtower to [populous] fortified city.

2 Kings 17;9

 

I read this passage and I was saddened as I read it hence

the title. These were God’ s people for crying out loud.

The things they saw…..

The things they heard….

 

How could they have lost all that?

They had great leaders: Moses, Joshua, the Judges, Samuel,

King David, King Solomon…..

Yet they fell, and fell in a huge way.

Let us read more:

 

They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim [symbols

of the goddess Asherah] on every high hill and under every

green tree.

There they burned incense on all the high places, as did the

nations whom the Lord carried away before them; and they

did wicked things provoking the Lord to anger.

And they served idols, of which the Lord had said,

You shall not do this thing.  2 Kings 17:10-12

 

The Israelites saw God’s glory.

They saw and experienced His goodness.

They witnessed His power when He drove the enemy

out for them.

They experienced His faithfulness……

 

They despised and rejected His statutes and His

covenant which He had made with their fathers and

His warnings to them, and they followed vanity (false

gods – falsehood, emptiness, and futility) and [they

themselves and their prayers] became false (empty

and futile). They went after the heathen round about

them, of whom the Lord had charged them that they

should not do as they did.   2 Kings 17:15

 

They despised and rejected the Lord. They refused

to believe in God and yet they still prayed to Him!!!

That blows my mind.

I can’t believe how deep they fell, how far they went.

But this is a warning to us. As I read this I realized

that could be me……!!! It’s a scary thought. A friend

told me one time that, we are a step away from anything.

We are a step away from sin, a step away from grace. No

one is exempt from the power of temptation. Just one

wrong decision and all is lost. We need the grace of God

to help us indeed.

The word says, “The Israelites did secretly against the Lord

their God things not right.”

 

The secret things need to be dealt with. The secret thoughts,

the secret habits, the secret addictions……we need to confront

them head on. Our heart belongs to God. Let us not allow the enemy

to steal it. Our brothers and sisters fell and our job is to not say,

“how could you” but we are to look at their lives and learn. We are

to look at their lives and fall down on our knees and cry out to God

to save us from ourselves.

We are to plead with Him with tears and a broken heart realizing we

cannot do this alone……

 

The true you shows up when you are alone. When you are

alone what kind of thoughts consume you?

What kind of programs do you watch?

How do you speak when no one is watching?

What kind of habits do you have when you are alone?

 

The Israelites rejected God in their hearts

In their hearts they refused His commandments

 

There is hope for us. There is always hope!

Let us open our hearts before God.

Let us allow Him access to every part of our

hearts.

No part should be off limits to Him.

Nothing should remain in the dark.

No doors should be closed to Him.

We need to be totally open for Him to come!

Amen

 

Rolain

 

 

 

Is Christmas still relevant today?


I love Christmas!

But I have a question.

What does Christmas really mean?
(Deep in thought……)
Christmas is about Santa Claus
It’s about giving and spending time with family. It’s about food (lots of it) haha
It’s also about the birth of Christ! For Christians this is the main purpose of Christmas.
It’s that time of the year we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
But as I reflect on Christmas a few things come to mind:
The 2014 Isla Vista killings – where a man shot and killed six people and injured thirteen others before committing suicide! I can only imagine what the families are going through!
The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines earlier this year which resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives! Hundreds of families will spend Christmas alone!
The death and loss caused by ISIS. There are people still fleeing for their lives. There are people still losing loved ones. There are lots of people living in fear because of ISIS.
The kidnapping of 200 girls by the Boko Haram.
Women and girls who have been trafficked and haven’t been rescued!
The list goes on and on!
As I thought on this I thought to myself,
Surely Christmas is more than gifts, food, Santa Claus, and family? Those things are important but what does Christmas offer to the person who has lost everything?
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. (‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭10-11‬ NKJV)
We were lost doomed to die but Jesus came and changed that. He reversed our death sentence to one of life! When I think of Christmas, I think of the hope it brings!  A hope that the world desperately needs. A hope WE desperately need!!
Christmas offers hope for everyone! No matter how bad things are, no matter how hopeless they seem, there is hope! Don’t be discouraged, don’t lose heart. You have been given a second chance!
Christmas is a beacon of hope to all that need hope!
Bad things have happened and are still happening but the birth of Jesus Christ is the answer to the pain and the terror that has happened.
When you think of the birth of Jesus Christ, His death and what He accomplished should come to mind! You cannot separate those two powerful, world changing events!
He came to give us life, peace, joy, a reason to live again, hope and a whole lot more!
If you are in pain, if you are alone, if your future looks hopeless know this:
There is hope for you……
You have a second, third, fourth chance!
God cares for you and looks after you.
Christmas represents HOPE for everyone!
Merry Christmas to you all.
Rolain

Contemplation of a disciple…..


I was thinking about the disciples yesterday. They seen some crazy things and heard a lot of strange things right? What went through their minds as all these things were happening?

A coin found in the mouth of a fish…. Matt 17:24-27
We all know the story. Peter was asked if his Master paid taxes and his answer was yes. The word continues and says:
“But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the  first fish that bites. Open it’s mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.” – Matthew 17:26, 27
 
What went through Peter’s mind? Did he get the revelation that Jesus was His source? Was he confident that ALL his needs would be taken care of if he only trusted God because he found a coin in the mouth of a fish!!?? Exactly as Jesus had said! Was he amazed, perplexed? Did he get it, I mean really get it???
Jesus, talking to a Samaritan woman!  John 4:1-42
Jesus does the unthinkable, He talks to a Samaritan woman. His disciples were shocked. What was on their minds?
“Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. The couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of woman. No one said what they were thinking, but their faces showed it.”  John 4: 27
 
Did they see the bigger picture? Did they realize that Jesus was seeing a much larger picture? The gospel was not just for a select few but for the whole world!!! Did they realize that? Did they know God loved the WORLD and was about to lay down His life for it?? Did they have a clue?? Did they know how much He loved people? He loved people no matter who they were, no matter their bringing up, what they had done in the past. He had a heart for the lost!!!
The “strange” teachings of Jesus.  John 6:51-56
The disciples had a real battle to decipher what Jesus meant. Some of his disciples abandoned him because of His hard sayings. We read one such saying in John 6:53:
“And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood]. 
He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has (possesses now) eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day. 
For My flesh is true and genuine food, and My blood is true and genuine drink. 
 
When the disciples heard this, many of them said, This is a hard and difficult and strange saying (an offensive and unbearable message). Who can stand to hear it? [Who can be expected to listen to such teaching?] John 6:60
 
What were they thinking when Jesus spoke these words? How would you have responded if you were in their shoes? “Eat my flesh, drink my blood”!!! They never realized Jesus was speaking about spiritual things. They never realized Jesus knew the future! He was speaking life and they didn’t even know it! How the disciples were tested constantly! We are not called to understand everything about the God we serve but called to trust Him no matter what even when our understanding is limited.
The abundant healing’s Jesus performed. Matthew 8
Part of Jesus mission was to heal us. The disciples saw Him heal people on a daily basis. What were they thinking?
And behold, a leper came up to Him and, prostrating himself, worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You are able to cleanse me by curing me. 
And He reached out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed by being cured. And instantly his leprosy was cured and cleansed.”Matthew 8:2,3
Did they ever come to a realization that He was The Healer! Did they ever make the connection that Jesus wanted to heal them soul, body and spirit? He was “willing” to heal and He is still “willing” to heal us today! He is our Healer. He has not changed His plan for us
 
The death of Jesus (hope lost) Luke 24:13- 20
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jesrusalem. 
They were deep in conversation, going over all these things  that had happened.” 
 
Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that He was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. 
 
The disciples had lost all hope of victory. Their savior had been crucified. What were they thinking? Did they know the story would turn out differently? Did they know His death would save the entire world? Did they give up on Jesus by ignoring what He told them while He was still alive? Did they dare to believe something as crazy as resurrection?
In their darkest hour, when their chances seemed dim, the greatest victory man would ever experience in ALL of history was about to take place. Jesus death signified His love for them and for us, they just didn’t realize it yet. What were they thinking? Did they regret following Jesus? Were they confused? Were they in despair?
When all hope was lost or so it seemed Jesus had a plan. In the midst of death, life was to emerge. You might have lost hope like the disciples but God has a plan. The darkness you see is not really darkness! Trust Him!
 
I honestly could go on and on but I will stop here. The disciples went though a lot. They had a lot to digest, a lot to learn but God was faithful to them! As He was faithful to them He is faithful to us. Let us take comfort in that fact. We may not understand all He is doing, but we must trust Him. It took the disciples a while to get with the program but eventually they did. Each and every one of them was martyred for their faith in a God. Let us trust in The Lord…..Amen
Rolain.

The “Gifts” God gives us…..!


I don’t know where to start and I don’t know how to begin this post. All I can say is that the word “gift” has

taken a whole new meaning for me. A few months ago I found out my friend, was leaving the country for good! We were first friends, then he became my boss, then pastor, then mentor, then family!

My world turned upside down that day. I had people leave before and it was painful but this, this was a whole new level.

My pastor’s wife called me and sat me down as she told me the news. I was devastated and confused. Why God I asked?

This can’t be happening I thought. I had known my mentor’s family for over 10 years! I knew them when they

had their first son. They have four boys now and I love them to bits.  Anyway I remember going to God and

crying out to Him for answers to the question why. Nothing came. Instead revelation came……

 

God showed me how they were gifts from Him. I met my mentor when I had just met The Lord. I am a sinner

now but back then I was much worse. If there is a word worse than sinner I was it. I was truly lost. I had no

direction and no plan. I had crazy issues I was beginning to work out. I had just became a Christian and this new

life was still…..new! I was dealing with a lot of things. I had no confidence and I had no self esteem. When he

employed me a year after meeting him I stole money from him! It was that bad. I WAS that bad! But thank God he never fired me or called the police. He gave me a second chance…….

 

I didn’t trust anyone back then and when he tried to help me out I would think he had some evil intension! When he disciplined me at work I would take it personally. When he made a joke about me I would get extremely angry. My stuttering was so bad back then which didn’t really help things! So believe me when I say, things were bad back then, really bad!!!

But God used him and his wife to mold me into who God wanted me to be. They taught me so much. They stood by

me when I had family issues. They helped me out financially countless times. They sat down and taught me so much

about God and life. In one of the darkest times in my life they were there.

 

God showed me how that was not an accident.

He knew all the change that needed to happen in me. He saw all I was going through and because of that He sent them

into my life. They were gifts. We serve a God who is the giver of gifts but the mistake we make is thinking gifts come in the form of money only. That’s not true. God’s gifts are so much more than money. They are deeper than that. During that time I never thought of them as gifts. We had our good times together and we had hard and difficult times.

 

The fact of the matter is this. God sent me gifts in the form of my mentor and his family. I just didn’t know it at the time and I never gave them the honor they rightly deserved. I wish I never took them for granted. I wish I honored them more and thanked them more for all they had done for me. I can’t put into words all that they did for me. A lot of who I am is because of their input in my life.

They saw so much potential in me and stood by me patiently. They are my family. I am telling you all this because….

…….they left on Wednesday this week! It’s been a hard week I must admit. They had my back. But in the midst of the pain God showed me how He will bring other “gifts” into my life after all; those “gifts” came from Him. He is the giver of all gifts. My mentor and his family never willed or planned to do all they did for me. God was behind it all. My mentor never knew the kind of impact he would have in my life but God did because He planned it. God was behind it all……

Yes, I am sad and broken at them leaving but I am also at peace because God has some amazing “gifts” in store for me.

I pray I be a “gift” to someone else as well. Would God use me to be the kind of “gift” my mentor was to me……

 

Have you acknowledged the “gifts” God has put in your life? There is a reason He has placed them in your life.

Don’t take them for granted. Thank them for all they are doing for you. It is not easy for them. There is always a

sacrifice on their part. May we always appreciate the “gifts” God has given us, always!

 

 

* This post is dedicated to the Stewart family. *

The Stewart family!

The Stewart family!

 

Rolain.

The Truth About Sin……


I have been in South Africa for the past two weeks now. I was in Durban to be precise, on a tour with my church choir and pastor’s wife. We had such an amazing time of ministry. God really showed up where ever we went to minister. One of my highlights going there was connecting with friends of mine who are in University in Durban. It was great catching up with them. As we were having fun,the issue of grace in context of sin came up. There were many solid arguments that came up and I left that day with a greater understanding of grace and how we should be more understanding with people. As Christians our model is Jesus.
Is there sin that is more abhorrent that the rest? In my country homosexuality is up there among the seven deadly sins.  What I am addressing is how we as Christians deal with people who are involved in the “unspeakable”sins. So having an affair is not so bad compared to homosexuality, someone would think.”How dare he come to church. He is gay and he should be stopped from coming to church”. “What nerve she has, coming to church when she is a prostitute. ” There are so many people who think they can judge certain people because their sins are among the “unspeakable.”

Jesus had to deal with the same mind set in His day.
Early in the morning (at dawn), He came back into the temple [court], and the people came to Him in crowds. He sat down and was teaching them, 
When the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the middle of the court and put the case before Him. 
Teacher, they said, This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. 
Now Moses in the Law commanded us that such [women-offenders] shall be stoned to death. But what do you say [to do with her-what is your sentence]? John 8:2-5

Let us think about this for a moment. The Pharisees brought a woman who was caught in the very act of adultery and it was considered bad to the extent that the offender was to be stoned! Did the Pharisees sin, yes! But they didn’t see sin as sin and because of that they thought they had the right to judge the woman.
Let’s look at how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees.

However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. John 8:7

We know the rest of the story. One by one being convicted, each person left and Jesus himself did not condemn her. So what am I saying. We need to be more understanding and patient with all people. We can’t be patient with someone who has just had a divorce but then separate ourself from someone who has murdered. What we need to do is look into ourselves and ask ourselves, what do I find detestable? Once you answer that question put that sin in place of adultery in the story I shared. What if a homosexual was brought to Jesus that day? I believe He would of said the same thing to the Pharisees. What if a murderer was brought before Jesus, I still believe the answer would be the same. If we are going to make an impact in the world we need to extend grace to all people. We extend grace because Christ extended His grace to us. What if He just left us? We would be dead with no hope. It’s because of His love and grace that we have a hope and future.  As Christians we cannot spend our time judging people when we all sin.

This is the conclusion. Sin is sin. we have no right to judge someone else just because we think their sin is a lot more atrocious than our own sin. Yes, we confront sin. If someone is doing wrong tell them but don’t let  a person’s sin stop you from loving that person. Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more but before that, He gave her a chance. He did not condemn her. Are we condemning before even giving that person a chance? And that is my challenge to you.

How To Endure The Storm!!!


I have had a very intense week. A lot of things have happened that have made me doubt my worth, my value, my effectiveness, my future and a whole host of other things. It has been hard to be joyful these past few days. As all these things were happening, I was crying out to God. Everything around me began to shake and I didn’t know why.  One thing was certainly clear, I could either give up or choose growth. Anyway, as I was thinking on all that has been happening and seeking God’s face, He spoke to me through a song! Well a specific line in the song. That line said,

I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I used to be!

That really ministered to me. I am so far from where God wants me to be. I make mistakes everyday. I sin, but the fact of the matter is God has brought me so far. Where I used to be and where I am now is so different!!! They are two entirely different places! In fact, they are two entirely different planets!!! God has been so faithful up to now and He is not about to stop now. Things may be confusing right now, things may seem dark right now, things may seem lost right now but God has brought me this far and He is not going to stop now!!!! God doesn’t leave work undone. He is the God who finishes things!

You might be in the same situation as I am but know that God has brought you this far but just because there is confusion and things seem dark in your life doesn’t mean God has abandoned you!! He is with you. Only You know the hell God brought you out of. The good news is, He has not stopped carrying you. He will complete what He has started in you!! Take heart….

Rolain

Restoring Broken Relationships….


The importance of relationships has been on my heart of late. Relationships can be so hard and difficult at times but is that a legitimate excuse to abandon them?
We need each other. That is how we were created.
We are strong when our relationships are strong but we are weak when they are weak. I remember being in a very tense situation with a friend. It got so tense that I was about to give up on the relationship. Why bother, I asked myself? What is the point?
What do we do when the relationships we have are broken? How do you salvage a broken relationship?
The mistake we make a lot of the time is try and solve it in our own strength. We don’t bring the situation to God in prayer, instead we plough through in our strength.
The situation I was in just escalated. It just got worse and worse. I was at a loss at what to do and that is when I got the revelation.
God wants to restore our relationships so badly. Do we have the same attitude or are we tired of fighting, that we have just thrown our hands up in surrender?
Have we starting treating the people  in our lives commonly?
Have we started talking behind our friend’s back because we are bitter and angry?
Or have we ignored them altogether hoping the tension will simply go away, because it won’t!!!

Relationships are from God and they are meant to sharpen us, build us up and mean’t to propel us into our future but why have they become taxing, and why is there pain and fighting, and tension and bickering? How could something so precious become so bad??? Let me tell you why that has happened:
We took God’s precious gift and decided to rely on our own strength. We stopped going to God for guidance. We stopped looking to Him for wisdom and started relying on our own intelligence.
Let us get back to God. He can restore your broken relationships.

God wants to be involved in our relationships. Let Him guide your relationships and watch how He will be glorified…

Rolain