Archive for the ‘inspirational’ Category

Joel Spencer – Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Matthew 1:18-25  This week Joel Spencer brings our Christmas message.  Do you know what it really means to believe in Jesus?  There are some false views about this in today’s society.  Listen to find out what is the evidence of true faith.

Please click on the link below to listen to this message.                            matthew1_20-21

Evidence of True Faith – Joel Spencer

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Elder Joe Casey, Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Ephesians 5:22e  This week Joe Casey continues his series on “The Fruit of the Spirit.” This time we take a look at “kindness.”

Does the attribute of kindness come naturally to everyone?  How is the kindness that is the fruit of the Spirit different from worldly kindness?  Can those who are not Christians be kind?  Is it the same thing?

Notes:                                                                                                           galatians5_22-23

Kindness:

 

Examples:

Please click on the link below to listen to this inspiring message.

Fruit of the Spirit is KINDNESS – Joe Casey

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1 Corinthians 15;57

Hi friends,  Thanksgiving, a time to get together with family and friends and share a big, hearty meal and enjoy each other’s company. It’s also a time to reflect on our lives and think about what we have to be thankful for.

It’s certainly been some time since I’ve had a chance to write and touch base with you, so I thought this would be a good time to bring you up to date on what’s been happening in my life.

I haven’t written in my blog since last April.  Can you believe that?  Last April my husband began having heart symptoms and in May he had to have open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve and also a triple by-pass.  This surgery had to be done in a large hospital and that meant we had to travel a distance from our home.   So, as it turned out he had to stay in the hospital for 19 days.  I stayed by his side the first 11 or so days, then I went home for a day or two, then back and forth with family.  My eyes are bad and I couldn’t drive in the city, so had to depend on others to get me back and forth.

During his recovery time in the hospital which was only suppose to be 5 to 7 days, he had some setbacks.  The first one was A-fib.  While he was in ICU his heart started racing and being erratic.  They gave him medication for this.  At the same time our pastor and his wife came to visit and to take me out for dinner. (They thought I needed to get out of that place for a little bit.  Bless their hearts!)  Anyway, before we went our pastor prayed for Charlie and his heart racing problem.  Then we left.  They dropped me off at the hospital in a couple of hours and I went up to ICU to check on my hubby.  The young man who was caring for him told me about his heart acting up and that they were watching it.  I checked the monitor and I said, “It doesn’t look to me like it is irregular now.”  He looked, “You are right!  Just a minute.”  He took the long strips of paper the machine spits out that showed his heart rhythm and ran down through it.  “It looks like it has been okay now for a while, look here.”  I looked and agreed.  Praise God!  I’m so thankful that God answered our prayer, and that his heart beat became regular again.  It’s been okay ever since.

They moved him to his own room the next day.  Things went along pretty well and they scheduled him to go to a nursing home for a week or so to get stronger before actually coming home.  That sounded pretty good and I was pleased  as it was near our home and I could commute myself there.  The next morning I came to his room with my suitcase in tow.  I was more than ready to go home.  But, guess what?  Yes, a problem had cropped up.  He was allergic to the heparin they had given him during surgery and afterwards to keep his blood thin.  It worked just the opposite and thickened up his blood.  It is called HIT.  The blood gets kind of clogged up and it can cause blood clots.  Nice!  They called in the specialists, and got him off the heparin and put him on another kind of thinner.  He would have to be in the hospital for several more days because the heparin actually ate up his platelets and he was in bad shape.  The platelets are what control clotting I believe.  Anyway, another crisis.

I alerted several to pray for him and I continued to pray.  The good news is that the platelet count began coming up and it took another week or so to get them back up to normal.  Praise the Lord it worked.  And, I’m so thankful that problem showed up before they had shipped us off to the nursing home.  It most likely would not have been found there and the outcome would have been bad.  Another thing to be very thankful for.

Finally, Charlie came home.  By that time he didn’t have to go to a nursing home first as he had gotten a bit stronger.  He had some physical therapy in the hospital and that helped.  We got him physical therapy, a visiting nurse, and occupational therapy at home for a few weeks.

Another problem!   He was all bloated up when he came home.  I could hardly get his shoes on and his pants would not button.  But, he was coming home and we were both happy about that.  The visiting nurse had a fit about how bloated he was all over.  She contacted the doctor and got him some Lasix and potassium.  He began taking that and overnight he lost 6 lbs.  He kept losing weight and fluid, but they thought his lung sounded like it wasn’t working.  So, back to the hospital!  (I thank the Lord for his brother and his wife because they took us back and forth several times.)  He had to have the fluid drained from around his lung and they got out over a liter of fluid.  After that he started feeling better.  More thanks to God for all He has done.  He got him through it.  And, he got me through it.  Praise the Lord!

Also, I am thankful that the kids came an helped out a lot.  They brought me back and forth to the hospital some.  They came while he had his surgery.  They came every evening they could.  I’m very thankful for them and love them that much more for what they did.  They were very helpful and supportive.   Friends and neighbors visited and people sent such nice cards and notes of comfort and love.  God showed me how  much people cared.  I thank Him for that.

Another crisis we had happened when he got home. They had put him on Coumadin in the hospital before coming home.  That was to keep his blood thin so that clots didn’t form.  Anyway, they told me the dosage for each day, and then we were to have the visiting nurse check it by a blood test.  She came and pricked his finger for the test.  Well, at the hospital they thought she was taking blood out of his arm like a regular blood test, therefore, the results were not read the same.  (I know this is confusing.)  But, then the doctor’s office from the hospital would call me to let me know how much medication to give him.  Well, they weren’t on the same page, so that threw it all off.  (Of course, I wasn’t aware of all of this.)

The day we had to go to the hospital to get the fluid drained they checked his blood there and it was way off.  It was so thin that he could have hemmoraged easily.  They tried to get his blood out of his arm, but the vein would not cooperate.  I said, “Why don’t you just prick his finger like the visiting nurse does at home?”  They all looked at each other.  “She just did a finger prick?  She didn’t take it from his arm?” the nurse said.  “How much medication did he have last night?”  I told them.  They did not dare punch him with the needle to remove the fluid.  They told us to go home, do not let him hit his head, do not let him get cut, and on and on.  If we saw any blood anywhere to get him to an ER right away.   Yes, they unnerved me!  So, we went home and I prayed all the way we wouldn’t get in an accident. That’s all we would need!  I didn’t give him any medication that night.  We had to wait another day, and then bring him back to get the procedure done.  I told Charlie, “Don’t even cut your finger nails will you.”  He said, “I already did.”  Gulp.  Whew, he didn’t cut himself.  Praise the Lord!  God kept him safe through all of this!  I’ve never been more thankful!

There were a few other things that went wrong, but God got us through it all, as He as promised.  He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” I sat there hours in the hospital and I felt the peace of God that passes understanding.  Even when the times got rough.  I knew He was by my side.

There were many blessing along the way and I’m so very grateful.  One was when I went to the desk to pay for the room I’d been staying in over at the guest house near the hospital.  I gave the lady my key. She said, “Thank you and turned away.” So, I  asked her how much I owed.  I had it figured roughly in my head, but wanted to know for sure.  She said, “You don’t owe anything, it’s been taken care of.”  Wow!  What a blessing!  I’m so thankful for people who are not selfish and help out in times of need like this.  That took a lot of the pressure off.

Another expense when staying at a hospital is for food.  I ate all my meals at the hospital cafeteria.  And, they really had good food.  That alone helped the stay.  I had many meals paid for by friends and family.  Another praise as God touched their hearts to help out in that way.  Little things mean a lot actually.

Here is a song that I would like you to listen to.  It blessed my heart today as I listened.  Just notice all the things that we can thank God for.  The good and the bad.  I pray all of you will have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving.

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Stream on Flat Iron Road

Have you ever considered that you have God’s awesome power in your life?  It is true!  In this verse Paul the Apostle is praying for us and he wants us to know what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.  This is an amazing scripture and Sunday our Pastor laid it out for us.

Paul wants us to know this power that God has placed in us at salvation.  I don’t think most of us are even aware that we obtained a great power when we were saved.  The Holy Spirit came to live within us and in Him we have power.   No matter what is going on in our lives we can be assured that we have the power in us from God to be victorious.

I’ve been pondering on just how this power works in us.  Yes, we have it, but do we use it?  Or, do we do everything in our own strength.  When we do that we are weak and not powerful.  But, when we walk in the Spirit and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through us and energize us for service then we will be powerful.  I think it is when we yield ourselves to God in every way that we find this supernatural power.

This power within us helps us to talk to others about Christ.  We cannot save anyone, it is only the work of the Holy Spirit that does it.  We are merely the messengers.  God uses our bodies to work for Him and He gives us the strength to carry on whatever He calls us to do.

We pray, confess our sins, make sure we are right with God, then we go out to serve Him.  This should be our daily walk.  Wherever He sends us we are His ambassadors for Christ.  We need to remember that we are not of this world, but we are in it.

By the way, what really boggles my mind, is that this power God has given us is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  Isn’t that awesome!  We can be strong and we can overcome temptation in our lives.  We can go out and evangelize people.  We can do anything God gives us to do because He is in us giving us the power we need.

I’d like to give you a cute illustration of this power that is hard to comprehend and put into practice.  A couple of weeks ago I was shopping and happened to look at picture puzzles for kids.  I don’t have any little children so that was unusual in itself.  But, as I looked through them I saw this really cute puzzle of a rabbit and baby chicken.  It was so cute and right away I thought, “I’d bet Cora would like this puzzle.”  Cora is my great-great-niece and is only 7 years old.  Anyway, just for fun I purchased the puzzle.

Days later I happened to see Cora’s grandmother.  So, I gave her the puzzle and asked her to give it to Cora, as I seldom see her.  Her grandmother said Cora came over to visit so she gave her the puzzle and told her it was from me.  Cora’s face lite up and she said, “How did Aunt Bonnie know I wanted this puzzle?  I saw it in the store and asked my mom if I could get it and she said I had to wait till my birthday.” Cora took the puzzle and opened it and put it together right then.  She was so happy!

It boggles my mind when I think about it.  I believe that the Holy Spirit put it on my heart to buy that puzzle for Cora.  I didn’t have a clue that she wanted that one or had even been in that store.  But, God knew that Cora had been looking at it and wanted it and was disappointed when she couldn’t have it.  God blessed Cora through me.  Isn’t that interesting?  God of wonders!

I thank the Lord that I had that urge from the Holy Spirit to go ahead and get it and it made a little girl happy.  And, I’m also very grateful that I listened  and acted upon that urge.  It is a lesson for me.  I need to be more aware of what the Holy Spirit is asking me to do.  I think many times I simply stifle that urging inside from doing things.  Many times I think I should call a certain person or send a card or email them.  But, I don’t do it.  Maybe I am missing a blessing because of that, and perhaps that other person is too.  I must be more aware and try to obey the prompting.

If you’d like to listen to this “powerful” sermon you can click on the link below:
God’s Mighty Power in You!

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Ephesians 1_18a

Ephesians 1:18a “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,…”

The Apostle Paul prays in this section of scripture for believers.  If you are a believer then you can insert your name.  “I pray that the eyes of your heart, (insert name) may be enlightened…”  He is praying to God that the eyes of our understanding will be open.

Paul has a reason that he wants our understanding to be open, and as we read on we will find out why.  He says, “so that you (insert name) will know  what is the hope of His calling.”  Now let’s look at these three words.

KNOW:  This word as used in the Greek means something we know instinctively. In other words, we know that we know.

HOPE: As Pastor Ron Lewis has said, “This is a confident expectation of a future unseen reality.” This is the blessed hope we have that someday Christ will come back for His church, and that we will live with Him in heaven forever.  Isn’t that wonderful?

HIS CALLING:  God’s call on our lives took place before the creation of the world according to Ephesians 1:4. (NIV)  “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight…”  This is almost too wonderful for me to think upon.  But, God actually chose you and me to be his adopted children before he even created the world.  This boggles my mind.  I can only say, “Why me Lord?”

Paul wants you and me to know all of this because it gives us the assurance of our salvation.  We know that we know that we are saved and are on our way to heaven. Satan will come after us and tell us all sorts of lies.  He is the father of lies.   But, knowing where we stand now and what awaits us in our future gives us the courage to resist the devil.  When we know the truth then we can be overcomers of whatever comes our way.

I’m glad Paul prayed for us.  Aren’t you?  We should pray this prayer for other believers also.

I’ve taken these thoughts from a sermon my pastor preached last Sunday.  If you’d like to hear this very encouraging message you can click on the link below.

The Hope of His Calling

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matthew1_22-23

Matthew 1:22-23

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

Isn’t it awesome to  think about what this means?  God with us?  How can that be?
That beautiful little baby that was born of a virgin, and laid in a manger so many years ago in Bethlehem was actually God.  That just boggles my mind!   Yes, Jesus was fully man and fully God at the same time.  I can’t understand all that, and I’m sure you can’t either, but we can take it by faith and believe it.

Now, think back to that day in Bethlehem so many years ago, and picture Mary and Joseph.  She was pregnant and about to give birth and they couldn’t even find a room to stay in. Oh, how uncomfortable and stressed Mary must have been.  But, God provided a place in a stall with the farm animals.  Then, that little one was born.  He was “God with us.”  Wow!  That tiny baby was God!  How amazing!  How wonderful!

Do you think Mary knew the significance of it all?  I wonder what Mary and Joseph thought when shepherds came and worshipped their little baby?  Then, kings showed up and brought gifts.  How puzzling it must have been and how wonderful at the same time.

Jesus was sinless and therefore He could stand in our place of judgement for our sins.  Only a sinless one could do that.  He took our punishment for sin which is death.  The Bible says in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Oh, God must really love us more than we can ever appreciate.  He sent His Son to die for me!  And for you! Wow!  That’s truly amazing!  What love!  What mercy!  I truly deserved to die, but He stood up and went to the cross and took on the punishment for all humanity who would believe in Him.

That’s not all.  After Jesus suffered and died that horrible death on the cross, He was buried in a tomb, and after three days He miraculously came back to life.  That is almost unbelievable too.  But, it is true as the scriptures testify of it.

But, there is even more.  When we turn to Jesus Christ, confess our sins, repent,  and give our hearts and lives to Him then guess what?  He (God) actually comes and lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit.  We are reborn.  We are “in Christ.”  We have been cleansed of our sins and can live to glorify God with the power of the Holy Spirit in us.  I’m so thankful that God sent Jesus so that God could be with us.

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It’s that time of year again.  I’ve noticed lately that some people say, “happy turkey day!” instead of “happy thanksgiving!”  Have you noticed that?  At first I didn’t think too much about it and kind of thought it was cool, but then I gave it another thought.  Is thanksgiving just a time of getting together with friends and family and gorging ourselves with all the delicious goodies on the table until we feel more stuffed than the turkey?  After that we waddle off to the family room to watch football the rest of the day until our eye balls just about fall out of our heads?  Is that what it is about?  That must be “turkey day!”

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, so Thanksgiving was more of a family gathering where we did enjoy all the wonderful food my mom and aunts prepared.  It was fun having all the company and playing with my cousins in the afternoon.  We didn’t have television so the conversation was around the deer hunting stories the men told.  It was a fun time that’s for sure.  Also, in school we were told about the pilgrims and how they celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Indians and gave thanks to God for the bounty.  That’s about all I knew about it.

By the way, if you are thankful, who are you thankful too?  Are you thankful to your boss for giving you a good job so you can have that shiny new car in the drive?  Are you thankful to your wife for preparing a wonderful meal?  We need to check our thanksgiving and see who we are thankful too.  We can be thankful to our bosses and spouses, but above all we need to be thankful to God who supplies all our needs, and gives us all things to enjoy.  God is above all else.  He is the one who put it on your bosses heart to hire you.  He is the one gave you the ability to do your job.  He is to get all the thanks and glory!

Later in life I became a Christian and Thanksgiving now has new meaning for me.  Yes, I am thankful and for so much.  I am thankful that God saved me from myself and gave me a new life in Christ.  I am thankful for being adopted into God’s family.  I am thankful for the Word of God and all that it has meant to me from that time on.  Yes, I have a true Thanksgiving because I am thankful to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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