Thanksgiving Power

Ana Martinez, Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Ana Martinez, Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Matthew 6:9-13

9- “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10- Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. 11-Give us this day our daily bread. 12-And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

This is such a powerful prayer, that each day as believers we should put it into action. With the holiday season upon us, it is so important to remember this prayer.  Christ is our daily bread as stated in verse 11. He knows our needs and He is faithful to supply.   Daily we must look to Him to help work through the difficult areas in our lives. Forgiveness is so important because we are to forgive as Christ has forgiven us.   The holidays can sometimes bring up past hurts, difficult memories or reminders of our present struggles; however, we are not alone in our affliction.  The Lord is right there with us.  I encourage you to not become defeated this year but to rise above and persevere.  The Lord will see you through as you continue to walk by faith.  Psalm 100:4 – “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless His name.”

About Ana Martinez

Ana Martinez was born in Michigan. When she was age 4, her parents Pastor Juan and Deborah Martinez founded the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship in Almont, Mich.  Ana grew up in the church and in a humble, loving Christian home.  Her parent’s faithfulness and commitment to ministry for over 27 years has been a testimony to her.  In her youth she was like the prodigal son.  She knows what it means to walk away from your call and to stray from the Word of God.  Her life experiences have taught her that God’s way and His principals are worth upholding.  She is a God-fearing Christian woman determined to do the will of The Lord.  Her heart’s desire is to reach the lost and win souls for the kingdom of heaven by sharing the Good News, according to Matthew 28:19. Ana truly believes people are hurting and need to know that there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give ye rest.”

Ana has served on the Missionary Field, and has served in and led praise and worship, web design, children’s ministry and youth ministry.  Ana’s most recent initiative isGeorgia Peach Ministry, a non-profit she founded that serves widows and orphans.  Ana is also on the board of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship. Ana is a private chef and has worked with professional athletes over the past five years. She is also an entrepreneur and is part owner in an interior design business, a chef placement business, and is entering into the food product industry.

Ana resides in Southern California with her three beautiful children and seeks daily to model this scripture from Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

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Whom Shall I Fear?

Ephesians 3:20-“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

First, humble yourselves. For it is not by bread and drink alone that we have life. For it is not by our own volition that we are able to stand, walk and work with the determination that our bodies allow us. Second, God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. This means God can and will do anything and everything for us, if we hold steadfast to His will. This means God won’t let individuals say one thing and do another without repercussions. For no man/woman can derail the plans God has for you. Therefore, push with the strength of 1,000 men through the barricades, which look to stop your forward movement. Mentally fortify your minds with heaven’s army of angels who will fight for you to bring about the victory won. Hence, we have nothing to lose, but everything to gain because Christ is our Rock, our Strength, and our Redeemer. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

No Condemnation Brings Radical Freedom

Today’s post is from the daily devotional book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Each devotional is written from perspective of Jesus speaking to you.

THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Me. The law of the Spirit of Life has set you FREE from the law of sin and death. Not many Christians know how to live in this radical freedom, which is their birthright. I died to set you free; live freely in Me!

ManCross300_7k

To walk along the path of freedom, you must keep your mind firmly fixed on Me. Many voices proclaim: “This is the way for you to go,” but only My voice tells you the true way. If you follow the way of the world with all its glitter and glamour, you will descend deeper and deeper into an abyss. Christian voices can also lead you astray: “Do this!” or “Don’t do that!” “Pray this way!” “Don’t pray that way!” If you listen to all those voices, you will become increasingly confused.

Be content to be a simple sheep, listening for My voice and following Me. I will lead you into restful green pastures and guide you along paths of righteousness.

Accompanying Scriptures: Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2- because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set  me free from the law of sin and death.”  Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” Psalm 23:1-3, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want; 2- He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. 3- He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (New International Version)

Crisis-Driven World, Crisis-Driven Saints

Breaking news financial crisisShootings. Earthquakes. Financial crash. Typhoons.  Wars.  In His Word, God forewarns us of turmoil to come. He tells us these things so we won’t be distressed. Yes, we have empathy and concern for those affected—but our faith should not be moved nor should our reactions become crisis-driven. Our actions should be Spirit-led.

Read the following excellent post written by Hakim Hazim, dear friend,Voices Against the Grain radio show guest, national security expert, author and co-founder of Christian think tank, Freedom Squared. His post, “Crisis-Driven World, Crisis-Driven Saints,” speaks to the crisis-driven media that sends many into crisis-mode, fleeing from their inherited peace and rest found in Jesus Christ. Thank you Hakim for allowing Voices Against the Grain to share this message with our readers.

John 16:33:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (English Standard Version) Biblos.com

Hakim Hazim, Co-Founder of Freedom²

Hakim Hazim, Co-Founder of Freedom²

Everywhere we look we are reminded of impending doom and worst case scenarios. There is something about the human soul that is attracted to good character, beauty and hope; conversely, we are drawn to and occupied by evil, fear and uncertainty. Try making a movie without those six elements and the heroes and antagonists who embody them, and you will ensure a flop. Art mirrors life.

As a species we nurse the wounds and injuries we have acquired over the years. We constantly devise ways to protect ourselves and loved ones that come up short. Long term hope seems in short supply and when good things happen our next question is, how long will it last? This sometimes drives us to conclude we should extract everything we can from situations or people that will benefit us because we never know when they will end. We become survivalists and takers—not givers as instructed by scripture. Living in a perpetual state of high alert concerning the potential crises we may face next, we lose sight of our Savior. The world is crisis-driven and unfortunately, so are many saints.

To remedy this, I offer some instruction. Consider the statement of Christ above. He said that we would face tribulation in the world. There is no way around it; so plan on it and accept it. Next, ask God how we can glorify Him in the crises we face. We were born in a turbulent ocean but He has given us the navigational tools for the journey and an arc—Christ, who will safely guide us home to the New Jerusalem. Our peace is knowing that He is with us in every crisis, and He has equipped us to face each one, even those of our own making.

We must learn to be Spirit-led, not crisis-driven. The noise and tumult demand our attention, but we don’t have to focus on to them. God is worth our undivided attention. Let us rest in that regardless of what is to come. He has chosen us; therefore when He moves us forward and we see something on the horizon, we should move forward whether it appears fortuitous or ominous.

About Hakim Hazim

Hakim Hazim, author of several published books and articles, nationally recognized criminality and national security theorist is the co-founder of Freedom², which focuses on believers in America and other free societies. Hakim, who is based near Boise, Idaho, was raised Muslim and is a born-again Christian since 1993. Daniel Jackson, a former youth pastor, is the organization’s other founding member and technology expert with a Fortune 500 company. Other project partners include researcher Charles Holmes, Jr., and Dracy Jenkins. Hakim is also the founder of the Christian-based national security consultancy, Relevant Now, which provides clients with ”timely, insightful and transformative information.” Hakim has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from the California State University San Bernardino.

 

On Solid Rock I Stand

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Psalm 28:1- “I pray to you, O LORD, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die.”  (New Living Translation)

Shhh, be quiet, so we might hear the whisper of God’s voice. Now we sit in silence, waiting and cogitating our lives within the still of the darkness. Our thoughts are now projected into tangible representations before us. We grasp, but cannot touch. We stare, but cannot see. Thus, how can these representations be tangible?

Well, they’re held within the caverns of our hearts and are made real by the mere thoughts of our minds:

A desire to help others is met with swindlers and smooth talkers at our doorstep.

A desire to employ others is met with impediments and capital losses threatening to steal our businesses.

A desire to stay moral and clean is met with solidarity and loneliness.

Every desire started off with good intent, but ended up in failure and discontent. The solution is prayer, which is the direct link to God, our Rock and our Fortress. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Carefully Prepare Your Words

Our words are powerful, ladies and gentlemen.

Matthew 12:34-37-

 

Ana Martinez, Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Ana Martinez, Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasures of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (King James Version)

As stated in verse 36, we will one day give an account for every idle word we have spoken.  Now is the time to change our attitudes and behaviors in order to align ourselves with the Written Word of God.  Words are powerful: a compliment can brighten someone’s day, and a mean word can destroy it.  I see the importance in this firsthand with my children.  When my little ones play basketball they always look over to make sure I am paying attention. When I give them a “thumbs up” and say “good job,” their confidence soars.  The same with my oldest.  When I tell her “great job running, I am so proud of you” she smiles and feels accomplished.  However, on my stressful days if I snap at them for little things, their spirit is easily crushed.  I am learning to recognize the power of words in how they can build up or tear down.  While it is always important to speak truth in all circumstances, we need to go about it in a way that is non-abrasive and choose our words carefully.

I challenge you to speak life to those around you.  Allow God’s Praises to continually be upon your lips and let the law of kindness be upon your tongue. Invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart in hopes to uproot any and all bitterness or resentment you may have. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (verse 34).”

I speak Blessings over you my Brothers and Sisters.   Remember you are a Chosen Generation; a Royal Priesthood!

If you are want to gain control over the words you speak, here are a few more helpful scriptures to study:  Proverbs 18:21, Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 15:4.

About Ana Martinez

Ana Martinez was born in Michigan. When she was age 4, her parents Pastor Juan and Deborah Martinez founded the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship in Almont, Mich.  Ana grew up in the church and in a humble, loving Christian home.  Her parent’s faithfulness and commitment to ministry for over 27 years has been a testimony to her.  In her youth she was like the prodigal son.  She knows what it means to walk away from your call and to stray from the Word of God.  Her life experiences have taught her that God’s way and His principals are worth upholding.  She is a God-fearing Christian woman determined to do the will of The Lord.  Her heart’s desire is to reach the lost and win souls for the kingdom of heaven by sharing the Good News, according to Matthew 28:19. Ana truly believes people are hurting and need to know that there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give ye rest.”

Ana has served on the Missionary Field, and has served in and led praise and worship, web design, children’s ministry and youth ministry.  Ana’s most recent initiative isGeorgia Peach Ministry, a non-profit she founded that serves widows and orphans.  Ana is also on the board of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship. Ana is a private chef and has worked with professional athletes over the past five years. She is also an entrepreneur and is part owner in an interior design business, a chef placement business, and is entering into the food product industry.

Ana resides in Southern California with her three beautiful children and seeks daily to model this scripture from Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

How Porn is Stealing the Soul of a Generation

A must-read post form the Brandon Andress blog.

brandon andress

Earlier this year I wrote a post entitled 3 Things I Want My Son to Know About Porn. The impetus for that post was an article about an adolescent boy who was addicted to pornography and his mother’s heartache at his growing self-hatred. It completely broke my heart. At that time I began to think about how I would one day talk to my own son about pornography.

That post was met with wide acceptance and praise as many were happy that someone had begun to proactively discuss a topic that is still surprisingly taboo in much of our culture. However, to my dismay, there was a minority who mocked the notion that access and regular viewing of pornography by young men (or women) has any real negative spiritual, psychological, or relational impact.

I knew, however, from my own personal experience with pornography, and from the dozens of men…

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Approaching Our Mountains

Psalm 18:33- “He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

What do you see when you look into the eyes of the frustrated and defeated? Do you see joyful eyes flickering with glimmers of hope? Do you see a smile indicating everything is alright? Usually the answer is “no,” due to the negative outcomes we endure, which shroud us from seeing God’s plan for our lives. Thus, the Christian walk can be challenging which can make the world so appealing. Who doesn’t want to live the good life, indulge in every temptation, and flit around without a care?

However, what is the after effect on our minds, bodies, and spirits? More than likely its loneliness, poverty, and pain, all factors of overindulging. However, doesn’t the Christian life bring about some of those factors? In some cases yes they do, but those factors led by the world is like climbing Mt. Everest without safety gear. With God we are able to climb that mountain of hope without fear because with “God all things are possible” (Philippians 4:13.) Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.