Starting the Day with the Inspiration and Wisdom of Two Powerful Letters

Starting the Day with the Inspiration and Wisdom of Two Powerful Letters

Dear Friends,

A few days ago I woke up feeling weak, worn, and weary. If that wasn’t enough, I discovered that while I was sleeping, a spider had bitten me on my right wrist.

It was one of those days where I had felt beaten even before I had climbed out of bed. I knew I couldn’t just lay there allowing a dark cloud of depression to settle over me, so I got up and grabbed my Bible and turned to the book of Ephesians.

This was actually one of two letters written to the church of Ephesus. One, the Book of Ephesians was written by Paul and the other by Jesus, is recorded in Rev. 2:1-7.

I didn’t have to read any further than verse 3 of Ephesians 1 to start getting my deflated, depressed spirit pumped back up again…

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Dream The Impossible Dreams

Dream The Impossible Dreams

Dear Friends,

As we get older, disappointment after disappointment can pile upon each other until we become so disillusioned we are incapable of dreaming. As a result we start living in a hopeless rut called life. Such an existence has little or no expectations. Such a rut is actually a grave with both ends knocked out.

The reason we often lose our ability to dream is that somewhere along the line we have allowed our learning to be a result of the retaining of negative experiences or unmet expectations rather than a focusing upon the good and the positive.

Paul in Philippians 4:13 said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This involves by God’s grace allowing the Holy Spirit to help us rediscover the idealism of youth and at the same time learn from our mistakes without being paralyzed by them. Jesus emphasized the need for a childlike faith that dared to believe in spite of the obstacles or disappointments.

How do we go on living in a world intoxicated by its lust for power without becoming disillusioned to the point where we no longer dream or have hope? God’s response to this world that is intoxicated by its lust for power, is…

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Courageously Doing God’s Will

Courageously Doing God’s Will

Dear Friends,

This past week I was exploring downtown Alton with my grandson Ezekiel and my wife Debra when I saw a sign pointing me to the monument for Elijah Lovejoy. I have always admired this man’s courage and faith so I immediately proceeded to the cemetery where this monument was located. When I got there not only was I amazed at the size and beauty of the monument but the cemetery as a whole.

After returning to St. Louis I proceeded to further research the life of Elijah Lovejoy, who was born in 1802. My research revealed after graduating from college he started a private high school in St. Louis and regularly wrote articles for the St. Louis Times.

It was when a preacher named David Nelson came to St. Louis, that Elijah’s life was changed. He heard Nelson declare that slavery “is a sin against God, who is the rightful owner of all human beings and it is a sin against the slaves who should be free to answer to God.”

As Nelson continued to share how God’s heart was broken over people’s wrongdoing especially slavery, Elijah realized…

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From Strangers to Neighbors

From Strangers to Neighbors

Dear Friends,

God has given us this day as a gift, and we dare not waste our time by not asking Him to lead us in doing His will. The Word of God tells us to “contribute to the needs of the saints” and “practice hospitality” (Rom. 12:13), and the Greek word for hospitality is philoxenia or literally “love for stranger”. The same word is used in Hebrews 13:2 which says, “Do not neglect hospitality, for in doing this some have entertained angels unawares.” I want to take some time to look deeply into who we are at NLEC, our mission, values, and expression, and then look at what it means to show hospitality and move from being strangers, to being neighbors in our community. But first, let’s pray:

“Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 826)

The mission of New Life Evangelistic Center (NLEC) is to provide Christian hospitality and respect for life through the services of food, clothing, shelter, education, and job training programs, as well as physical, mental and spiritual health care, to the poor and homeless in Saint Louis and beyond.

Because of the love of Jesus Christ displayed on the cross, and His Spirit alive in us our values are…

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Going Through Hot Water

Going Through Hot Water

Dear Friend,

As we get older, if we are going to get better and not bitter, we need to daily be aware of the presence and promises of God. Determine now that next time you encounter a crisis instead of panicking, you will pray and remember Is. 43: 2-3. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your God.”

We are promised throughout the scriptures that if we pass through the hot flames or the hot waters of life’s trials and tribulations, like the tea bag that is not destroyed by the hot water, we will come to see that our purpose for being in such hot water is to change the water through the power of God.

If we are going to not only survive, but actually change the hot waters and flames of life, we must see ourselves not as free floating spiritual tea leaves, but as members of God’s community tea bag of love. With His loving presence flowing through His community of compassion, the homeless are given homes, the hopeless are given hope, and the helpless provided help. Those immersed in the hot water of trials and tribulation are able to confidently declare, “God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Living victorious lives involves guarding the spirit or the heart…

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The Cure For Affluenza

The Cure For Affluenza

Dear Friends,

Recently a story out of the Los Angeles Airport shocked air travelers all over the United States. An undercover operation had revealed that baggage handlers at that airport had been going through baggage that had been entrusted to their care and were stealing items out of the baggage. People were rightfully outraged. When you buy a ticket and turn your luggage over to the airline you expect everything you give the airline to be there when you arrive at your destination. If it gets stolen along the way you feel cheated, robbed and violated.

Yet so many infected by Affluenza are doing just that to God. In Malachi 3:8-10 we read the following, “Will a man (or a woman) rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts. ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessings that there will not be room enough to receive it.’”

Affluenza is that disease where a person refuses to give from what God has given them. This plague which has swept through America is deceiving its victims into believing that happiness can be bought and the accumulation of things can somehow fulfill a longing within. The plague of Affluenza has so poisoned the soul of our culture that the identities of many have been formed by the possessions that have now come to possess them.

Infected by the disease of Affluenza many now dread the thought of leaving this world because this is where their heart, possessions and identity exist. Jesus said in Matt. 6:21, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” That is why…

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The Decision is Yours

The Decision is Yours

The Easter Message told thru Revelations.

Dear Friends,

There it is, right there in Revelations 12. In this dynamic chapter we find the Christmas and Easter stories. Revelations Chapter 12 also tells us about the cosmic warfare and the all-out war that Satan has declared on the people of God.

Before Revelations 12 begins we are reminded that God is a God of life who “will destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth” (Rev. 11:18). After all, “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (Ps. 24:1).

The stage is set…

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It Won’t Be Long

It Won’t Be Long

The Easter Story and the Story of Christ’s Return as told by the Book of Zechariah

Dear Friend,

When was the last time you read the Book of Zechariah? Have you ever read this dynamic book? It has only fourteen short chapters and is the second to the last book in the Old Testament. Not only does this amazing book of Zechariah tell of specific events about Jesus crucifixion hundreds of years before He died, but it gives insights into His earth shaking, history breaking return.

The book was written by Zechariah approximately 520 to 518 B.C. (Before Christ) with another section written around 480 to 470 B.C. Zechariah was the priest which Matt. 23:35 reports was murdered between the temple and the altar.

In the Book of Zechariah we encounter one fantastic scene after another. For example, in Zechariah 5 we find a flying scroll with a curse for those who swear and steal. There is also a woman in a basket filled with everyone’s sins. The woman is wickedness. She is pushed back in the basket and carried to Babylon by two other women flying thru the air.
Zechariah was written by the Prophet because…

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How to Change our World thru Prayer and Fasting

How to Change our World thru Prayer and Fasting

Dear Friends,

With each passing day it seems that the battle to shelter the homeless is becoming more intense. Jesus tells us though that we should not be surprised at such. “Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. The people of the world will hate you because you belong to me, for they don’t know God who sent me” (John 15:20, 21).

As parking lot and condominium owners unite and try to push the homeless and hurting out of the neighborhood we must remain steadfast in our service unto the Lord.

What our ministry needs more now than anything else are intercessory prayer warriors. As the New Testament points out, there is a spiritual battle under way which requires each of us to put on the full armor of God (See Eph. 6:10-18, 2 Tim. 2:1-5, 1 Tim. 6:12). Clothes in the full armor of God and equipped with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, we are then able to intercede in prayer, assured of victory.

This victorious intercession is possible because of the victory Jesus Christ has provided through His death and resurrection. It is for that reason we pray in His name for He has told us in John 14:12-14 the following: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”

God weeps when He sees the destruction that the lust for power has brought and the prayerlessness of His people. His heart is broken as He sees those He loves going into a Christ less eternity because of the lack of prayer that the lost will be saved. God’s love causes…

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Victory Over Satan

Victory Over Satan

Dear Friends,

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the victory He provides over Satan, who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are on the winning team because Jesus has already won the battle through His death and resurrection. I Peter 5:8-9 tells us how we can experience daily the victory Jesus has provided. There we are instructed to, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers (and sisters) throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” The victory has been won. Now all we have to do is believe God and stand firm in that victory.

When Satan attacks it is usually a deliberate attack to stop God’s will for our lives. Satan’s objectives are very clear. He wants to draw us away from God and prevent God’s purpose from taking place. His timing is calculated. Satan is a deceiver, a divider and a destroyer. Those who refuse to commit their lives to Jesus Christ have already refused the victory He has provided. As a result, Satan doesn’t need to waste his time attacking them because they already belong to him.

For over forty two years at New Life Evangelistic Center we have experienced one attack after another as we have been engaged in sharing the love of Jesus Christ. An example of such, were events experienced in August and September of 1984. On August 12th Penny was to speak to over 200 people at a major church about the work of New Life Evangelistic Center. The day before this speaking engagement she was attacked and slapped by a mentally ill woman who came to our home which was also a shelter. Rather than giving Satan the victory by letting that attack haunt her, she surrendered the fears and anger to Jesus and by His power went and spoke at the church where God gave her a great victory.

Then there was Charlie Lopez who had come into our training program….

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