Pastor’s Blog

The Uniqueness of We

What happens when you are surrounded by many people with the same thoughts and attitudes? Nine times out of ten we concede on our own ideals and blend in with the crowd to be liked and loved. Human nature explains that we are social creatures and will do what is necessary to fit in to the situation at hand sometimes compromising our thoughts and beliefs, losing ourselves in the process.

A Danger Seen But Not Conquered

All too often the youth are easily influenced to be like others with whom they really have nothing in common. This is especially bad when certain people who have abused their gifts are given a platform to share their idealisms and agendas that are not in concert with God’s plan. Think of what has happened in the last 120 years with the event of audio/visual media. First used as a way of informing people of things happening in the local area, it has flourished into a means of delivering both true and false information throughout the world. The owners and those who make an extravagant living off of fame think they have the power and the right to influence the way people think. They really do not.  

God created each of us as unique persons with one purpose, to take care of His creation through expressing His Image through mirroring His Love. Yes we all have the same purpose but each of us has been given a gift to be used for His glory. We are not supposed to be hateful towards each other. We should not hold grudges or bitterness towards anyone whether we approve of their lifestyle or not. God gave us the opportunity to be unique and use our gifts to live together in love, not away from each other in fear.

You Cannot Be Completely Like Mike

For those who may be jealous of one person’s gift and desire to be like that person, you have to realize that God designed that individual to succeed in that gift and not you because your purpose is elsewhere. If everyone tries to be like someone else, our uniqueness and gifts are wasted and God’s purpose for us is overtaken by the devil’s desire to overthrow God.

Satan has placed His demons in areas that control those who do not know God or refuse to know Him. He has created a world where money and materialism control our lives so our uniqueness is hidden away. When we open our eyes and accept Christ as Lord and Savior, Satan loses control. Once we rely on Jesus our gifts become more apparent but we must fully submit to Christ. It is honestly real easy but it is the hardest thing to do if you remain attached to the things of your past.

Regain Your Uniqueness  

Putting your full Faith and Trust in God helps you discover the real you. For some it takes a long time but it will happen. We are all infused with a servant’s heart it just depends on the specific gift on how we are to serve others. Are you able to teach, sing, play an instrument? Do you have good business sense and can lead others? Look even the ability to stack a bunch of cards in a pyramid without it falling shows the potential for a natural gift of construction or engineering (either that or you can balance things easy). We are meant to share our gifts with specific people groups but all is for the Glory of God and His creation of which we are a part of.

Be unique, share your uniqueness with others but to not convince them that your way is the only way because you will going against God. Do not go against the Commandments nor the teachings of a right moral life or you may be easily influenced and lose your you which God made you to be.

Brothers and Sisters, Love one another as He loves us. Love your neighbor as yourself and do not hold anything against them. Be in Christ and Live.

Rob, Servant of God

Jewish Influence in the Lord’s Prayer

What I am about to talk about today may shock and challenge some people who are blind to certain facts of historical significance. There are many things about Christianity that so many have been blinded from by radicals who desire supremacy over others when the origins do not even belong to their ethnicity. There is no “Master Race”. There is no White Jesus or Black Jesus. Here is the fact. Jesus was born of Middle Eastern ethnicity in Bethlehem in Judea. His mother and earthly father came from Nazareth. Both of them are descendants of Abraham who descended from Noah who descended from Adam. When Rome took The Way and made it into the national religion called Christianity they tried to strip away all things Jewish except that one fact.  

Did you know that the Lord’s Prayer and other things we say and do as Christians have Jewish roots? In fact, we would not have Christianity except that the first people who knew Jesus and spread the faith were Jewish.     

So we ask this question, “How did Jewish Liturgy influence the Lord’s Prayer?”

Jesus taught us the model on how to talk to God in prayer. Here is the Lord’s Prayer as we know it.

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
  Luke 1:1-4

For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever, AMEN was added later.

The Lord’s Prayer is by far the most central and well-known Christian prayer in the world but it has almost word by word similarities with different Jewish prayers.

First, the content of the Lord’s Prayer is the same as the key Jewish liturgical concept of אבינו מלכנו (pronounced: Avinu Malkenu). When translated it means “Our Father, Our King”. In fact, everything in the Lord’s Prayer is centered around either the fatherhood or kingship of God.

Our Father, Who art in heaven

​The prayer begins by professing our core religious belief that God is our heavenly Father who is all knowing and all powerful. Notice that Jesus didn’t instruct us to say, “My Father” but stressed “Our Father.” God is not just the Father of one or five children but the Father of the human race.

 “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt.6:9b-13a)

Second, there are word-by-word parallels between the Lord’s Prayer and variety of Jewish prayers such as “Our Father, Our King”, the “Amidah”, and the “Morning Blessings”. Here is one example from each:

אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ סְלַח וּמְחַל לְכָל עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ

Our Father, Our King, forgive and pardon all our sins.

נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם

We will sanctify your Name in this world, as it is sanctified in high heaven.

ואל תביאנו לא לידי חטא ולא לידי עברה ועון, ולא לידי נסיון ולא לידי בזיון, ואל ישלט בנו יצר הרע

Lead us not into sin and transgression, iniquity, temptation and disgrace, so that evil will not rule over us.

Jesus had taken what was already known from established prayers and petitions to God and gave them deeper meaning outside of the realm of Israel as the plan was originally intended.

The liturgy of Jewish prayers, their festivals, and traditions, are the basis of all things Christian. Some modern scholars even want the Old Testament put aside but then call the New Testament, Scripture. The Word of God, Jesus, is found at the very beginning of the Christian Bible cannot be ignored. Jesus gave the two Great Commandments but they lose their meaning without understanding the Ten Commandments. The Great Commandments are the culmination of the Ten so everything in the Ten still apply.

STOP THE HATE

This Anti-Semitism and ethnicity hatred that has grown stronger must stop. We are supposed to be helping the Jews see Jesus in a peaceful manner not by killing them like the zealous Catholics did during the Inquisition. We should be spreading Love not hatred because we are all of the same flesh. Our outward appearance comes from a manipulation of dirt, clay, and water. That is what our bodies will return to. Our spirits live on after the body dies. There is no color, gender, or ethnicity, just the spirit. We are all one. Let’s start acting like it. Look at the inner person not the sinful shell. Be the Child of God He desires us to be. Love one another, give up the hatred and all things that keep us in the world. That is one of the ways we will have communion with God.

Brothers and Sisters, the time is past and we are already hurting. Now is the time for healing.

Love to All,

 Rob Servant of God     

‘Tis The Season

The hustle and bustle of the most joyous season of the year has begun. Merchants both small and large have decorated their stores in a mixture of Autumn and Winter celebrations. Lights and decorated trees are everywhere and we haven’t even cut the turkey for Thanksgiving. The Santa at the end of the Macy’s Parade has not even arrived yet. So why are we preparing for the 25th of December.

When reading Luke, there are many things he wrote that show preparation for the coming king. He talks about the parents of John the Baptist and their initial disbelief that turns into a most glorious blessing. He speaks of the mystery that surrounded the births. When Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, John leapt in the womb with excitement in anticipation. How did he know? John had the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him before he was born and felt the presence of the Most High developing the physical body of the Word/Savior to come. He was prepared even before birth.

How should we prepare? It is simple really. Now is the absolute time to fully trust in the Father. Put aside all grudges, bitterness, those things that tempt us, so that our concentration is wholly on the coming King. Praise and Worship in anticipation daily and take everything to God in Prayer. This is the time when the devil will try anything to keep us away. Be stronger and fully rely on God. This is the moment, be blessed.

Love to All,

Rob, Servant of God

Building

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127

Relationships are very important to God. God wants a personal relationship with us. Having strong, caring, and healthy relationships with family members, friends, coworkers, and others here on earth are just as important. The love, trust, grace, and mercy we share with each other (especially when God is central) is the physical representation of God’s everlasting Love for us. When our earthly relationships get damaged that does not mean that God loves us less, it is a way for us to show God’s grace and forgiveness.

Children are God’s gift so that we can understand how much God loves us by putting the future in our care. The more we love God, the more we are blessed. Do not think that you are not loved or blessed by God if you cannot have, for God has greater plans and will bless in different ways.

We build relationships to emulate God’s relationship He desires with us. Keep building and the Kingdom of God will increase.

Rob, Servant of God       

Beginnings

We have begun breaking ground for the Path-Way Refuge and Retreat Center. While looking around at the different areas and envisioning the possibilities we have found that God has led us to this place for a reason. We looked at so many other places but found this one right near our home in South Carolina. It is the culmination of all the places we had visited and it is beautiful.

There is a lot to see and we will be posting updates as we move forward.

Breaking Ground  We started to dig near the property edge to put up a retaining wall. 

Beginning to break ground for workshop Here we have where the woodshop and welcome area will be.

future-site-of-entrance-brook.jpg This  drainage spot will be  a running brook.

Holly-with-Berries-on-Property.jpg While exploring the land (we had to take a break) we found a few holly trees with berries. This is a good thing. We will not have fake holly decorations and it is a hardwood that we can use for multiple purposes.
There are so many good and friendly people that travel the road that we are on. We are not on a hardball road so it is easy to get stuck and many of the passersby stopped to make sure we were ok. Of course we were but that gave us an opportunity to meet the neighbors and share what is taking place on the land.

God grants good things to those who wait on Him. Though we were getting a little impatient and disappointed when we could not afford certain lands, God led us here and we are thankful every day.

About 15 years ago God had placed this on my heart and now it is up to us. We would love for you to join with us in making this dream a reality. Every Saturday (even Thanksgiving Weekend) we will be out there clearing and building. The first major project is the driveway and parking area. We would appreciate any and all assistance. If you would like to volunteer please leave a comment on this site, our Facebook or Twitter pages. For donations follow this link: Path-Way Refuge and Retreat Center

Thank You one and all. May God Bless You
In His Great Love
Rob, Servant of God.

 

Word of the Day: Adulting

Is there an adult in the house? I certainly hope so.

Terms used to differentiate between stages of life have been turned upside down to the point where some of them have become stylized to be something dreaded. The line between teen and young adult has been made so thin that 14 year olds think they deserve to be treated as if they are out of high school. When parents give them the opportunity, some teens fall flat while others are able to embrace it for a little while then realize that they are not truly ready. It is good when they realize that there is a lot left to learn.  

The term “Adulting” means taking on the responsibilities of being a person above the age of 18 who are responsible for taking care of themselves and others. In other words, having responsibilities that make them into a functional member of society. But who is responsible for teaching them how to become the responsible adult? The answer is found in Scripture:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6  

Yes, the parents are the responsible party for training (or bringing) up their children. But since society is so hung up on social status and daily living costs have skyrocketed,  parents are not always there to teach the child right. To this matter, the child learns about life from outside influences. Some of these influences are good while others have corrupted even the most basic family values. 

Young children are sponges and are very observant. They imitate what they see and hear. Without God at the center they soak up things that will corrupt positive ways of thinking. This is why we have so many issues today.

On a different perspective, children who have religion excessively pushed on them may want nothing to do with it later in life. This allows the devil to entertain the belief that what is evil is good and what is good is evil. They lose the desire to be responsible adults. 

So “Adulting” has become the term used when someone just does not feel like doing the normal activities that come with being an adult and also not desiring to being responsible for their actions placing the blame on others. 

What if God did not want to “Adult”? We would be under the total influence of Satan and total anarchy, violence, immorality, death, destruction, and disease would rule over us. God gave us His Word to keep evil in check so that we could live understanding the difference between a right way of living and influences that destroy our souls.

Then He gave us His Son as a sacrifice to completely cover our sins once and for all. This does not mean we are good and can continue in living in our sinfulness. We must learn to “Adult” in the way God desires of us so that we can be with Him in eternity. How do we learn this? We go back to Proverbs 22:6 and understand that God teaches us in the way we should go so that we can live a right life under the influence of His Grace, Mercy, and Love.

Brothers and Sisters, be that light, that influence to the youth that helps them desire to do the right thing and become responsible, mature adults.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God  

   

GET ACTIVE

Do you know someone who is on the church roll but is either hardly ever present or just there without participating? Does that same individual profess faith outside of the church or is Christian only when he or she is in the sanctuary? There is a vast difference between professing one’s relationship to Christ and one demonstrating the reality of one’s relationship to and faith in Christ. That person needs to get active.

Paul in writing to Titus (1:16) speaks of a group of professing Christians and says, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” What Paul is saying is that they profess to be saved, but by their lifestyle, the habitual practices of their life, their lips lie. However, their actions tell the truth about their spiritual condition.

Jesus revealed the judgement of being lukewarm through John as he wrote his revelation. Being a lukewarm Christian is the worst kind to be. You can talk the talk but to be in Christ you must walk the walk. Sharing the Word is one thing but you must show the Word in action in your own life to be believable to those with whom you speak.

“let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

It is not just about you and your relationship with Christ. It is about your relationship with others through Christ. Do you remember the story of the sheep and the goats where Jesus is sitting in what appears to be a pretrial like area with His flock and separating them as the two types of Christians? Which type are you? What have you done for Him lately?

I tell you this Brothers and Sisters. If you are a Christian with an inactive faith then you might want to change your ways before Jesus returns.

For those in the states especially in South Carolina, I have an opportunity for you to begin becoming the sheep you need to be. Path-Way Refuge and Retreat Center needs your help. By helping us you can be a part of helping others in need both spiritually and physically. We have counselors and facilitators but we need volunteers to help with some building projects and a Christmas fundraiser for the needy in our area. If you are outside the area and would like to contribute monetarily we are taking donations from starting at $10.00s and up. See here to donate: Refuge and Retreat Center

We have rewards for your contribution that are all handmade items by me, my wife, and two of our volunteers.

Brothers and Sisters, all funds go directly into the building and missions funds. Nothing goes to our pockets. When you donate we will send you updates on what your contribution is doing and we will introduce some of the people you are helping. When we do help someone using funds, we watch what the money is spent on by giving the person cards that are only accepted for specific items so it is not spent on unhealthy things.

I pray that you will deeply consider helping us help others. Help us so we can get the Refuge nd Retreat Center up and running by April 2019.

Rejected by First Impression

Have you ever been rejected by a place of worship even as you are entering? Was it the clothes you were wearing? Or maybe someone in the church recognized you for a past discretion and hurriedly ran in and told the greeters to tell you that you are not welcome there? If you ever had this issue, the problem is not with you, it is the church.
Some churches have a strict dress code where you must be in what is considered Sunday best. Some see ethnicity as an issue while others go by the gossip. These types of churches tell the same story of Bartimaeus who was initially rejected by Jesus’ followers and accepted only when Christ called for him. They hear the Word but do not listen.

And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10:46-52

When someone is seeking salvation it is not our place to reject him or her, we should welcome the person no matter the appearance. We all were hurting at one time in our lives and sought refuge in Christ, were we rejected? If our intentions were and are true, Christ will not reject out plea and so should places of worship.

In the passage above, Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus and was hushed by the crowd. He was physically blind and dressed in rags. It was not a pretty picture. Through all the noise of the crowd Jesus reached out and heard the cry of His heart then called on him to come. The crowd quickly changed their attitude when they heard Him. They welcomed Bartimaeus only after Jesus invited him. If that is what it takes for us, we are wrong.

I have preached in places where people were in their Sunday best and I was wearing shorts and a collared shirt. Boy did I get some looks but God does not see the outer appearance, He sees the heart.

Do not reject anyone no matter their appearance or known sins but be welcoming as Jesus welcomed you when you first sought Him. We live for Jesus because He died for us. No person or thing in this world can save us the way God did through His Son, Jesus. He died for all people.

The next time you see a member of your church look at someone in disgust for their outward appearance, ask them to look into their own heart and see how dirty it is.
Be blessed,
In Christ,

Rob, Servant of God

Do Not Fear Failure

One of the missions at Path-Way Worship Ministries is to help people get closer to God. We have had what many would consider success but not without some failures. Thing is, we do not always know the right thing because that is God’s Plan and we do what we can to assist along the way. We do not believe that there are failures but we are saddened when things do not go the way we had hoped they would. Scripture tells us that God will direct us in the way we should go, so when we accept a failure and pray for guidance, God listens.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

What Does Failure Look Like To Us

 Failure is that point where we believe nothing is going to go how we perceive is the right conclusion to a problem or situation. It is defined as a lack of success, a deficiency, and the action or state of not functioning. Failure is that final straw of giving up. Man’s biggest failure is giving up hope. If we give up hope and do not know God’s Love we are in trouble. The weak human heart is discouraged without God in the center. Loving God gives us hope for a future even if we have to suffer along the way.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 

True Failure is When You Quit And Let it Rule You

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins Hebrews 10:26

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2 Peter 2:21

God told Moses to tell the Israelites to keep His Word on their hearts. He reiterated that to Joshua and added that doing this leads to success. Jesus tells us the same but concludes that by not doing so and continuing in our worldly ways will lead to darkness suffering and death.    

God’s Word gives us the hope and encouragement we need to accept failure and keep moving forward towards the goal which is eternal life with God. 

God’s Word Encourages Us To Get Back Up And Keep Moving

“You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: When men fall, do they not rise again?
    If one turns away, does he not return?
Jeremiah 8:4 

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.  Proverbs 24:16

We are:

persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed 2 Corinthians 4:9

One of Walt Disney’s favorite sayings that he kept close to his heart was to keep moving forward. That helped make him and the dream a success. There are times when we make mistakes and let the failures rule over us. We cannot let failure rule us because the devil sees that as an opportunity to take us away from God. So we must learn from our mistakes and overcome them. 

God’s Word Encourages Us To Accept And Learn From Our Mistakes

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. Psalm 119:71

Because if we do not learn then we are destined to repeat the same mistakes.

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 26:11-12 

Sometimes God Allows Us To Fail But Is Right There To Set Us Straight 

God gave us free will to make choices in our lives. These choices can point us to Him who created us or to the one that will destroy us. If we have God in our hearts He will guide us to the solution.

The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down Psalm 145:14

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Our failures are lessons that teach us that God cares for us and will not let us fall. Our faith, trust, and obedience in and to Him ensure our place in His Kingdom. After all, we are His inheritance.

Learn From The Past, Don’t Repeat It

God wants us to forget about our past and press on towards the eternal prize. If we learn from our faults we will not repeat them. Forgetting does not mean to totally ignore it because if we do ignore it we are bound to repeat it.

Brothers,I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

We can move forward from failures and mistakes if we have the Love of God in our hearts. Jesus sent us the Helper or Holy Spirit to dwell within those who believe and have faith in Him as our guide. We can defeat the fear of failure by embracing our mistakes, learning from them and moving forward with the Love and Hope of Jesus guiding us and picking us up where we fear to tread.

Brothers and Sisters, do not let failures and mistakes get you down. Figure out what went wrong, pray on it and let God guide you to the right thing. Take the time to Let Go and Let GOD do what He needs to in your heart to turn you to the correct path. Remember, it probably will not be the path of least resistance but it will lead you to success in the spirit and what God wants you to accomplish. Do not be afraid to fail. God Loves you and is with you always.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God