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Predators can be defeated


8. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers[a] all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

I Peter 5:8-

Have you ever had a moment in life, when it seemed as if life seemed to go from bad to worse? During this Coronavirus pandemic, a recent discovery was reported of a giant hornet from Japan that has made its way to the United States. Known as the Murder Hornet, it relentlessly can destroy tens of thousands of honeybees. Bees are decapitated with a slice of its jaws. They are even known to sting through bee suits of humans. If that doesn’t make it fierce enough, the Murder hornet cannot be penetrated by the sting of its would-be prey.

Although it appears to be the end for the American honeybee, there’s something you should know. In Japan, the honeybees who are under attack by the hornet have made some amazing offensive adaptions. When faced with an attack from the hornet, the honeybees do something amazing. Documented studies show that the honeybees come together to completely engulf the hornet, by forming a ball around it. At the same time, the bees vibrate their bodies which creates a heat that the hornet cannot tolerate, yet the honeybees themselves are not affected. As a result of this counterattack, the bees literally cook the Hornet in defeat.

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JOURNEY TO THE CROSS

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry."

Matthew 2-4:1 NLT

Lent or "Lencten" is defined as spring or "lengthening of days. This winter in New York has not been met with a lot of snow if any this winter. However, in a few weeks we will soon "spring" clocks ahead and begin longer days until November. Another word for Lent is the word "given".

Lent is seen as the 40 days Jesus experienced in the wilderness after being baptized by John the Baptist [Matthew 3:13-17]. As followers of Christ, Christians remember what Jesus gave to the world through his journey to the cross and resurrection. The greatest act of love for another the world will ever see and be forever impacted by it.

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Enough

Enough

Long ago, I accepted that I am not for everyone and that everyone is not for me. I have learned that it is a blessing and for my own protection that I am not for everyone and vice versa. If you think about it, it is a lot of work just maintaining the covenant relationships we are given to manage. That being said, who has time to entertain the unnecessary foolishness that comes along with persuading people to like or love us? The bottom line is that we are not created to be accessible to just anyone. God strategically chose our family for us. He ordained some of our friendships – notice I said “some”. However, the presence of trouble in a relationship does not always mean that it is not meant to be or that a person doesn’t “get you”. A relationship is not authentic until you have had a disagreement, an offense takes place, or that person sees you at your worst, and yet their loyalty and love does not change. In stating that you will be enough for the right people, I mean that you will be adequate for who or what is required at the time. This means, you may not always be enough, particularly when seasons change in your life. This is where and when it can become difficult. The moment I sense that my role or reason for being in a person’s life has ended, I am no longer adequate for them. If I choose to stay engaged in the same way, I only do myself and them harm. Secondly, do not assume that those who may not display or demonstrate a likeness toward you is in any way jealous or “hating” on you. Just because you are not liked does not mean you are hated. There could be countless reasons why a person is not supposed to be in your inner circle. We live in a society that is easily offended but fails to confront the origin of why there is a need to be included by all in the first place. I believe part of this stems from believing that we must fit in everywhere in order to be significant. There is a lie going around that one’s impact and importance is comprised of being liked and followed by masses of people. Another lie is that these people all care about you and want what is best for you – until they determine that you are not enough. The right people will have healthy expectations of you, hold you to high standards, and help when needed. They will support you without having to ask them and will make sacrifices without telling you. They will understand if you are not yourself without making it about them. They will think good of you and will not tolerate anyone saying anything bad about you. They won’t have to defend you around others because they won’t entertain people who feel comfortable talking about you to them. The right people are right for you because they believe in what is right themselves. Being enough does not mean that you are perfect, but that you are appropriately living out your purpose among those entrusted to you and to whom you belong.Jewel Challenge: This week, evaluate your relationships. Make sure they are what you need and that you are fulfilling the right role in their lives as well.

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Jesus and Jimmy

Jesus-and-Jimmy

Many of you know that my father was taken off of lifesaving medications and measures almost two weeks ago. We were told that he would only survive minutes. This picture of me kissing his forehead was taken a few days ago during my recent visit back to Indiana, and he is still defying the odds. This week's blog is dedicated to the man I affectionately call "Daddio" - Bishop Clarence Isaac Lee. He introduced me to the greatest man in all of history - Jesus and interceded on my behalf for God to bless me with the kindest, most loving man on earth - my husband, Jimmy. I was raised in the Church but came to know Christ for myself as a child, watching my father serve and lead. He once preached on top of our church building, drawing several hundreds of congregants and guests to hear the "good news". My love for God and others was ignited by his example and biblical teachings. The greatest gift any father can give his children is the example of following Christ and nurturing their relationship with Him. Years later, as a college graduate and traveling singer, he approached me about my singleness, stating that he was going to start a spiritual fast for me to meet my potential husband. At the time, I wasn't even dating nor was I interested in getting married. I had my own plans and idea of my future. He insisted and began drinking only water for the next 40 days, eating no food. No, that was not a typo - 40 whole days. The entire story is too extensive to share in this writing, but long story short, I met Jimmy while on tour, during my father's fast, and we just celebrated our 19 year wedding anniversary last month. Jesus and Jimmy - the two men who mean the most to me in the whole world. My father knew he would not always be with me, so he guided me to be grounded in my faith with Jesus and prayed for me to be found by the next man entrusted to love, honor, and cherish me as much as he did. What more does a little girl need? Nothing. Nothing at all.

 

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Faith What You Face

Faith-What-You-Face

As a child, there was a song I remember hearing. The lyrics, "faith, faith, faith, just a little bit of faith...you don’t need a whole lot, just use what you've got", takes me back to my childhood, Pentecostal church in Indiana. The bible talks about having faith the size of a mustard seed, but what does it really mean to have faith or be a person of faith? After all, there isn't a universal answer that serves as a "one size fits all" for every person or circumstance. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. defined faith as "taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase". One of the most difficult things to do is maintain faith during dark, uncertain times. When given a bleak report or dealing with a seemingly impossible situation, we tend to think about everything that is going wrong, perhaps gathering the facts to prepare for what's ahead. Some may even start to make plans based on whether or not things get worse, or even fail - protective mode sets in and walls go up. We shut people out and worry about what may happen next. Just this past week, I had to exercise my faith in ways I never dreamt I could. I witnessed God's healing virtue flow through a body that was supposed to die, yet lived. Everything in me hoped for the best, but I can't say my faith expected a miracle. In this admission, I know I am a person of faith, but it made me think about not the size of my faith, but its depth. Faith, once planted, must grow, not only higher, but deep, so embedded in the soul that it serves as an anchor during the worst of storms. Colossians 2:7 says, "let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your FAITH will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." My prayer for you this week is that you seek to have great faith - the kind that moves mountains and shakes loose anything holding you back. I would love to hear more faith stories about how God has moved in this area of your life.

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Woes into Wows

Woes-Into-Wows

A couple of years ago, my husband and I endured a painful ministry setback. Although the circumstances were not completely within our control, we felt a great deal of humiliation and embarrassment. We agonized over what we would do next, wondering if we should stay or move. The plans we thought God had for us had been denied, or so it seemed. Throughout that time, very few reached out to us or offered any help. It was a lonely, isolating experience. However, it was during that time that we began to accept that what God was doing in our lives was not to harm us but to allow us to see His hand on us like never before, especially when it felt we had been abandoned. As leaders, we questioned our anointing and ability to serve and lead. When enduring hardship, it is important not to let your mind wander into a place of self-degradation and self-doubt. After going through a process of forgiving those who meant to destroy us, there was an opening and awakening in our ministry. Soon, I accepted a part-time position as a teacher assistant at a school. It wasn't the job I desired, but unbeknownst to me, God was about to turn my woe into a wow. In less than five months, the director of the school resigned and submitted my name to the board to be her successor. I was hired and received more than a salary. I was welcomed into a new faith community and have been blessed with much more than I ever imagined. I could go on about what all this opportunity included, but for now I will just say we are right where we need to be - restored and in awe of God.

Sometimes, we focus so much on our situation that it is difficult to remember that what we are suffering now is nothing compared to the glory God will reveal to us later (Romans 8:18). Bishop H. Eugene Bellinger, pastor of the Cathedral of the Covenant Church in Columbus, Ohio, maintains that others cannot kill the thoughts that are in the mind of God concerning us. This means no matter what is going on, and regardless of what is said about you or done to you, God has the final say! Also, no matter how long it takes for the promises of God to come to pass, keep holding on and wait in great expectation. In the words of Pastor Steve Furtick, "don't let years of disappointment deteriorate your determination". It is said that time has a way of making us doubt what God has spoken. Let me remind you that you are not forgotten and there is an appointed time for you to receive what you have been praying for, just wait and see. No, this is not a "name it and claim it" or "blab it and grab it" pep talk. I'm not telling you to turn around five times, jump up and down and shout "glory" and then you'll get what you want. What I am telling you is to trust God and keep doing good. Get prepared for what you're praying for and testify of His goodness. In uncertain times, one thing remains and that is God is good and He never fails to amaze us.

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Self-Care Vs Self-Control

Self-Care-Vs-Self-Control

The term self-care has become the newest buzzword for needing to retreat and focus on one's personal, spiritual, emotional, or physical needs in order to function at a more optimum level. While self-care has been around for centuries, as it is defined today, self-care seems to be applied when one feels exhausted or overwhelmed by their circumstances.Therefore, the casual use and abuse of its concept runs the risks of becoming more and more meaningless. In other words, some use self-care as an excuse to disengage because they are unwilling or unsure of how to navigate what is happening around or to them. After getting a massage, having your nails done, visiting the spa, going shopping, reading a favorite book or doing whatever is needed, one must confront the reality they so desperately tried to avoid. While rest and relaxation is an essential part of useful and purposeful interaction, this 'treat yo self' generation has abandoned the implementation of self-disciplines that prevent burnout and other distresses that could be eliminated. My point is why not employ practices that foster a healthy, holistic lifestyle that reflects you care about yourself every day? Some of the problems and issues that we face can be avoided if we had more self-control concerning what we think, eat, say, react to, allow, or accept. From a practical standpoint, it doesn't make sense to detox and be renewed just to revert back to the poor habits, toxic environments, and old way of living and then complain and gripe about needing another self-care moment. Instead, we should resolve to acknowledge and address our needs before they become a problem. Additionally, in light of God's Word, self-care is not a fruit of the Spirit, but self-control is, and is often overlooked (Galatians 5:22). In extreme cases, you can't help yourself through pampering and putting a bandage over a wound - you need the help of the Holy Spirit to provide what you need. Spending time, money, and energy in places that will only result in a temporary fix is counterintuitive to what your mind and soul truly need. Pretty packages can still be poisonous on the inside. Self-care alone is not enough. We have to seriously deal with ourselves rather than hiding behind a trendy notion filled with promises of a better you without working on you. I'm not against bubble baths and lattes, but there's more to loving yourself than Bath & Body Works and Starbucks.Here's this week’s Jewel Challenge: How is self-control demonstrated in your life? What adjustments must be made in order to manage your needs? Some examples may include scheduling regular doctor appointments, changing eating habits, forgiving someone, starting school, joining a faith community, talking to a therapist, and so on.

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Don’t Let a Stone Stand in Your Way

A-Stone-in-the-Way

Are you overwhelmed by just the thought of what could stand in your way if you followed your calling or took a risk, not knowing whether you would succeed? In Mark 16, the discovery of the empty tomb offers insights that apply to our everyday living. As Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were on their way to see Jesus, they began to ponder who would help them roll away the stone. It was more than they, with their united strength, could move. Additionally, the tomb was being guarded by a soldier. Once there, they encounter an angel who announces the Resurrection of Jesus.

The two dilemmas the women faced on that early morning are ones that still, if allowed, can hinder us from accomplishing our goals, or more importantly getting to Jesus; pressures (the stone) and people (the soldier). However, pressures in life and the people in our lives are no excuse for quitting or giving up on our pursuit to greatness. Notice that although the women acknowledged a potential problem ahead of them, they did not allow that to stop them in achieving their purpose. This lets us know that the presence of an obstacle should not cause us turn around and go a different direction, seeking to find a less troublesome path. The easy way is not always the best method. Many want to skip the process of learning through test and trials and would rather leap right into their destined place. However, skipping steps can be dangerous. Imagine if you were assembling a chair and decided to not include the bolts and screws. In a rush, you just placed parts together, then tried to sit down. An impatient, instant-fix approach usually results in an unfinished, ineffective product, especially when something is originally meant to take time. Furthermore, some may attempt to prevent us from what we desire to do, particularly when what we are doing will have an eternal outcome. Remember, there is no force or power in hell that can override God’s plan for your life, unless you permit it – and even then, stones can be turned. I encourage you to consider those around you who can help you get to where you are going and are committed to tackling difficult situations with you. Simply put, those who are for you will want you the best for you. Truth is, it is not always others keeping us from doing what we need to do – it is ourselves (lack of self-discipline, poor habits, etc.). Whatever you are facing, don’t let a stone stand in your way!Jewel Challenge: What will you do this week to move the stone in your life?

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Losing Your Mindset

Losing-Your-Mindset

Whether you are starting a new job, launching a new business, exploring a new relationship, or trying a new activity, understanding your mindset is essential in helping you navigate uncharted territory. While your current skills, knowledge, networks, and experience may have brought you to where you are now, in order to go to another level, you will have to lose your old mindset, especially when pursuing new opportunities that will require a different attitude or approach than what was used to attain previous success. What once worked does not always work for every situation. In fact, I have learned that I must grow for the next level before I go to the next level. It is during these times that I honestly feel like I am LOSING MY MIND!!! My relationships with people start changing and I start feeling uncomfortable in spaces that once brought me peace. I begin sensing things I never did before and my views about my purpose become reframed as I no longer find satisfaction in what used to be a priority. It has been said that if you want something you’ve never had, then you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. This is not only true but can determine one’s success and survival as well. There are countless examples of the danger of staying stuck in your ways, but one that still baffles me is Blockbuster’s failure to adapt to the changing culture of the video rental industry, particularly when they were the leading source for watching home movies. It wasn’t the rise of technology through digital downloads and live streaming that caused them to go under – it was their unwillingness to acknowledge and implement new strategies and shift their mindset from what once thrived to what was needed to endure the competition. In 2000, Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, flew to Dallas to propose a partnership to Blockbuster’s CEO and his team. The idea was that Netflix would run Blockbuster’s brand online and the firm would promote Netflix in its stores. Hastings got laughed out of the room. In 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and to date, Netflix’s net worth is over 3 billion dollars. In a nutshell, the ability to lose your old mindset may be the key that unlocks doors that have already been there or that will come. Yes, people will think your new ideas or ways of thinking are crazy. Yes, they may even laugh you out of a room. But, think of what can happen if you risk not fitting in and change up your whole game plan. Sometimes, you have to start over with a clean slate and restructure what you are doing and imagine the possibilities that await if you are willing to pivot and persevere. In spite of what others may say or think, whether people support you or not, dream as big as you possibly can, then create a plan to execute your vision. If you can accomplish your dream on your own, it is too small. If your dream is safe and keeps you in your comfort zone, you won’t be challenged or see a need for change. If what you seek is approval and would rather maintain the status quo, then don’t expect anything different to manifest. Finally, let me address the fact that even those closest to you may not fully understand what is happening in your life as it pertains to losing your old mindset. Behind millions of successful leaders is an unpopular decision they don’t regret. Sometimes, you have to make choices that only you and God know are right.

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Managing Your Emotions

Manage-Emotions

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In his book, The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Pete Scazzero argued that many people mask their emotions by staying busy and being overly productive when in fact they are horrified of what they will find inside themselves if they slow down. The terror of stopping may reveal an emotion they are unwilling or ill-prepared to confront, at least on their own. The subject of mental health has become more widely discussed recently and emotional management is at the forefront of this important matter. I am convinced that whatever is not managed will soon master us - whether it's our emotions, money, addictions or desires, and especially our time. But, how does one manage their emotions? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Identify emotional triggers (i.e. holidays, special occasions, settings, and/or conversations).It's ok to decline invitations, friend requests, etc. if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy for any reason. An explanation is not necessary when it comes to your self-care and emotional stewardship.

2. Set appropriate boundaries.This lets others know how to treat you and what you expect. The key here is to have a plan for when people cross the line. Standards without any consequences are useless.

3. Allow yourself to feel an emotion, but only for a set time. Don't "pitch a tent" where you're not supposed to stay. Psalm 23:4 reminds us that we are to walk through what we're experiencing, not stop. Lean in, but eventually let go.

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Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.”

Trust Ministries Prayerline Summary

Leader: Anais Belgrave Topic: Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.”Text: 130:7 KJV

When we break down this particular verse, phrase by phrase, it gives us insight on the kind of hope we should have. The first clause “let Israel hope in the Lord” is talking to Israel, which is the Lord’s people. It deals with their experience, how they wrestled with God in prayer and also, how they prevail. Our God is the God of hope and we should put all of our hope in Him. Just like Israel, we should find hope in every situation - we can find hope in strength when we’re weak, direction when we’re lost, light in the midst of darkness, provision during times of lack and even triumph over death! The hymn tells us that “our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name”. The chorus goes on to say “on Christ the solid rock i stand all other ground is sinking sand”. Today, we cant afford to put our hope in the government, man or money. This is what we’d consider sinking sand. One minute the economy is up, then it’s down. One day folk love you, tomorrow they hate you. Our hope in Christ is what separates us from the rest of the world.

It’s usually during this time of the year where the suicide rate is at an all-time high. People are stressing about bills, not having enough money to buy gifts or where they’re going to lay their head. But, when you have a hope in God, you can say “Lord, I may not know where my next meal or paycheck is coming from, but I’m placing all of my trust and hope in You because you’re a God that provides.”

In spite of what things may look like, we have a comfort in God. Even in the midst of our sin, we can proclaim that hope is ours. His mercy does what man won’t: it receives the sinner, restores the backslider, and keeps the believer. It’s the mercy of God that blesses our prayers far beyond expectations. This is why it’s important not to think like the world does. When we, as the believer, think about the mercy of God, we understand that it’s not because of any good we’ve done. With the world, in order to receive, you HAVE to give something! But with God, His mercy supersedes any good we could ever do. This is why we can walk into an interview with no prior experience, expecting a cashier position and walk out being offered a supervisor position. That’s the mercy of God. He takes delight in fulfilling our hopes and dreams, beyond our hopes and dreams. But not only does it satisfy us as the receiver, but it exalts Him as the giver! When God does the inexplainable, it awakens the curiosity of others in either wanting to know who God is or saying, no one else could do that BUT God!

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Wisdom

Trust Ministries Prayerline Summary

Leader: Minister Dollie M. Curry (https://www.facebook.com/dollie.m.curry?fref=mentions)Topic: WisdomText: Mathew 21:22

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Wisdom is a primary aspect in our relationship with God. As Christians, we must be mindful that we do not respond to matters of the world like the world. Earthly wisdom is deceptive and can exploit others. God gives us His wisdom so that we may discern the difference between right and wrong. The Word of God gives us instruction concerning how to live and how to respond to our life experiences. As represented of Christ, we should not say whatever we want to say or do whatever we want. Instead, we must seek Him for direction, especially in making difficult decisions. Doubt and fear will hinder our thinking, causing us not to trust the wisdom of God. We can only be wise if we walk with God and ask him for it (James 1:5). Therefore, when we pray, we will receive what we ask because our requests align with His will for our lives since we have sought His wisdom.

 

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The Good Shepherd

Trust Ministries Prayerline Summary

Leader: Ivana Payne Topic: The Good Shepherd Text: Psalm 23:1

In our relationships with others, it is easy to rely on people for needs that they are not intended or created to meet. If there is an interruption or disconnection in our relationship with others, there is a tendency to replace that person or at least fill that void. This never works because we already have everything we need in Christ - people were never meant to take God's place in our lives. Eventually, we come to a crossroad that may require a decision, either to make the same choices as before or learn from the past and rediscover the Lord as our Good Shepherd. In asking God for anything, we must remember to wait on Him and not lean on others for the answer. As we look up and not out, we will receive the desires of our hearts from the One who provides and is faithful. In doing so, we act in obedience to His Word and we release others from our unrealistic expectations. Trust that He is enough and will provide everything you need.

 

 

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In the Place of Transition

Trust Ministries Prayerline Summary

Leader: Minister Tammie WilliamsTopic: In the Place of TransitionText: John 14:1-4; Psalm 91:1-7

During times of transition, do not faint, do not give up, and do not give in to jealousy or comparison. This week, remember these words of encouragement:

1. Accept the transition.Instead of being a hindrance, come to peace with what is happening and choose to play a part in the process.

2. Appreciate what God is doing in the transition. Sometimes, you have to say, 'be still my soul'. Find a secret place in God so that you can more easily see how things are coming together.

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Eternal Life Comes at a Cost

Trust Ministries Prayerline Summary

Leader: Anais J. BelgraveText: Matthew 19: 16-30Topic: Eternal Life Comes at a Cost

What are you willing to give up in order to spend eternity with God? If God sacrificed, so ought we. Jesus explained to the disciples that it is hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of heaven. However, it's not about how much money you have in your bank account. Although sometimes, we are so focused on earning wealth and riches, that we lose sight of what is most important and that is keeping His commandments. If we're not able to let go of earthly things, how can we ever embrace God's true riches in Glory? Giving up our own wants for His desires for us may be difficult, but it's not impossible. Lady Tammie Williams reminded us that the only thing God requires us to give up is anything that will tear us away from Him. She went on to share that sometimes, our sacrifice is temporary, that God may release us to take part in it again, but not until His appointed time. Lady Joyce TerryTerry mentioned that we're never asked to give up everything, but rather the one thing we're holding onto too tightly - for example a safety blanket of sorts or a way of doing things. Nevertheless, we'll all be asked to give up something, but nothing will compare to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid for our sins.

If you were encouraged by this devotion, please share and/or follow the Trust Ministries Facebook page. Have a blessed week!

 

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Insecure People

Trust Ministries Prayerline Summary

Facilitator: Joyce TerryTopic: Insecure PeopleText: Exodus 2:1-10

The definition of a fool is someone who acts unwisely. Insecure people frequently make misguided reckless decisions.

Insecure people want you to do good, but not better than them.The king was threatened by the potential of the Hebrews, they hadn't yet outnumbered them. He saw greatness in them. He too was great, yet chose to use his authority unwisely.Insecure people want you to grow, but not outgrow them.The king feared that the Hebrews would outnumber them and take over. Authentic leadership and relationship necessitates mutual growth.Insecure people want you to be guided by their thoughts and discourage independent, critical thinking.

A person can be in a position of power and still lack authority. When this occurs, their only recourse is to try and control how you think. They use tactics of intimidation and try everything in their power to keep you from thinking for yourself.

So, what do you do when you can't fix a fool? For one, Moses teaches us that you don't try. Each time he approached Pharoh, he wasn't trying to change his mind in his own strength. Instead, he always began by stating what God said. A fool can fight with you, but they have to face God!

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Kindness Toward Others

Trust Ministries Prayerline Summary

Leader: Anais J. BelgraveTopic: Kindness Toward OthersText: Titus 3:3

God saw sin, brokenness, and despair in the world and chose to save us. We didn't deserve His kindness, yet He made the ultimate sacrifice. When was the last time you were kind to someone? Here are some things to remember about kindness:

Kindness isn't always comfortable.Acts of love are not based on what is convenient for us. If there is a problem, God may use you to meet the need, even if it requires you to make sacrifices.Kindness is contagious.When you're around people who are kind, it will affect you and cause you to impact others in the same way. If you love people, you will want to be kind.Kindness is to be clothed.Colossians 3:12 says to be clothed with kindness, compassion, and humility. Love binds our hearts together in unity so that we bear one another's burdens.

Kindness is listed as one of the Fruit of the Spirit and is to be expressed through our faith (Galatians 5:22). This week, find someone to show kindness towards and share the love of Christ!

If you were blessed by this message, please share and like our Trust Ministries FB page.

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Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.

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" This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says:Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. " Zechariah 7:9 NLT

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What is Community all about?

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper ), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity - all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47 NLT

After Jesus departure and in response to His command to wait on the promise of the Holy Spirit, the disciples began to experience the birth of a new community. In this community of believers they worked together, shared together and served each other. Imagine a community where no one was allowed to go without their needs met. From cash to accommodations the word shared had an entirely new meaning. From this passage in Acts 3 points of community standout.

Community is Reconciling - not your past but your present and future life is of importance and to be supported.Community is not about self Recognition "as each had need". Elitism had no place in this community of sharing.Community is about Relationships - some needs may be obvious, but in order to meet specific

needs there had to be sense of trust where individuals were not afraid to express it with one another.

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Psalm 1: Being a tree planted by streams of water

Psalm 1: Being a tree planted by streams of water

Psalm 1:1–2,

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1 presents two (and only two) ways to live: the way of the world or the way of the Word. Those who “walk in the way of the wicked, stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of scoffers” are simply people oriented around the world’s values. This is the wide and easy gate leading to destruction (Matthew 7:13).

Be the Tree, Not the Chaff

“The wicked” of Psalm 1 are those who seek independence from God, those who have only a human or earthly perspective on life, those who live according to the world’s standards and not God’s. At times this way of life appears to be the way of success, acceptance, and prosperity (see Psalm 73). However, Psalm 1 helps us see things in ultimate perspective: the prosperity of the wicked is fleeting, for they are like chaff blown away by the wind.

The alternative is a life of dependent delight in divine instruction. The “righteous” recognize the poverty of the world’s wisdom and values and so orient their lives around God’s revealed Word. This is the life of faith (see Jeremiah 17:7–8) that leads to blessing, fruitfulness, and fellowship with God now and forever. Think a beautiful, sturdy, well-watered, fruitful tree (v. 3). Be the tree, not the chaff.

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