You Love Me Not, You Love Me

Psalm 80:17- “Strengthen the man you love, the son of your choice.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Strengthen the ability to love within a soul that harbors ill will toward the caring embrace of another. Loosen the chains on a heart protected by archers who are primed to fire on any invader. Destroy preconceived notions that slowly drip into the linings of our thoughts. Stricken us with amnesia to forget the past in order to prepare us for our futures. Allow love to infiltrate our lives like a ninja advancing toward its target. Help us Lord, before our hearts become frozen, for a tragedy is being written and our hearts are playing lead. Hence, prep our ears so we might hear your words, and our minds to recall your acts of love. For you showed us that love can be genuine in a world full of lies. You showed us that love is not overrated if we seek others before ourselves. You showed us that sacrifice is the greatest form of love. Thus, strengthen your sons and daughters Lord so we might emulate you. 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.

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Compliments for the Soul

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Luke 19:17- “Well done!” the king exclaimed. “You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.” (New Living Translation)

Listen carefully and heed the words of this verse, as pride and impatience seek to run roughshod over us. For this indomitable foe is full of ingenuity and seeks to infiltrate the very core of our being. Here, these emotions transform to resemble barnacles, which latch themselves to the inner linings of our hearts and minds, “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Therefore, we’re worthless, due to our self-gratifying mindsets. We are worthless in our rationality as God’s plan manifests itself too slowly for our liking. We are worthless in our intelligence to forget that pride was the impetus that decimated kingdoms. If you’re like myself, then ‘worthless’ is not a word to associate with, but rather ‘fruitful,’ which tells me that one day, you too, will hear those glorious words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” 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.

Enduring Temptation

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Your temptations are no different from what others experience. Yet, God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Why me Lord? Why is this only happening to me?” While it may seem that your temptation is unique to your life situation in the way that it affects you, others have experienced it before you or are currently enduring the same. To endure essentially means exercise patience through trouble or suffering. You are not alone friend. The dark moments of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish his purpose in us.

You say, “What good is there in my temptations and sufferings?” If you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are now being molded and transformed each day into His likeness. For 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” As painful as it may sound, that means even sharing in the suffering of Jesus Christ. Yet, take courage for we have One who understands fully and will meet our every need. “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” -2 Corinthians 1:5

God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey him. The Bible says that he will show us a way out so that we can endure. But our hearts must be in tuned with the Spirit so that we can listen carefully to his will for our lives. One of God’s requirements for maximum usefulness is brokenness. This is also a way to be in tune with the Spirit through prayer. This walk of faith, I urge you friend, don’t walk it alone. Call up a Christian Brother or Sister in whom you trust and share your valley experiences with them. The truth is, we learn more in our valleys than on our mountaintops.

Find joy in obeying Christ today. For one day, we will be rewarded here either here through our blessings on earth, in eternal life, or at our Savior’s return. “So think clearly, and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ.” -1 Peter 1:13 Amen

Jason M. Alexandre

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born on November 29, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. However, at two years old he and his family moved to Philadelphia, PA. Later, Jason moved to Limerick, PA where he now resides. Jason is currently working toward obtaining his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the great commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the gospel to be spread from nation to nation. On a yearly basis, Jason primarily goes to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year Haiti Christianity visits different cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothes, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly evangelization takes place. Jason is currently their public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to be spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively.

 

Walk in God’s Amazing Gift of Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9- Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (King James Bible)

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Something that was said during the March 26, 2014, Voices Against the Grain radio show episode entitled “Celebrating Faith and Family,” truly spoke to me.  One of the guests (Lilly Hayes) mentioned the importance of walking in grace.  I did not truly recognize exactly what it meant to walk in His grace.  I knew I was forgiven, set free and His amazing grace is what rescued me but I still was trying so hard to do everything right.  I can’t change my past or failures and I will continue to fall short—yet I have found hope in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ rest upon me.” (King James Bible)

His grace is so precious and so sweet and I am basking in it.  I can feel His peace within me and His grace and strength rest upon me. Once we truly “Fully” walk in His Grace we can see ourselves the way Jesus sees us.  We can walk in truth and know that through Him we are more than Conquerors and He alone is what is holding us togther.  We then must extend that same grace toward others along with mercy to those who mistreat us. By doing this, we are not only walking in grace but living in it.

I leave you with a song of encouragement (play video below):

“In Heavenly armor we’ll enter the land the battle belongs to the Lord

No weapon that’s fashioned against us shall stand the battle belongs to the Lord

We sing glory and honor power and strength to the Lord

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord

When the power of darkness comes in like a flood the battle belongs to The Lord

He’s raised up a standard, the power of His Blood the battle belongs to The Lord

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord

We sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord

When the enemy presses in hard do not fear the battle belongs to The Lord”

 

Take courage my friend. Your redemption is near and the battle belongs to The Lord!

Ana

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 principles 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 is Georgia 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.

 

Everything In Its Time

Today’s post is from the daily devotional book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Each devotional is written from the perspective of Jesus speaking to you. The message truly spoke to me!   -Nicole

ecclesiastes3-1STOP TRYING TO WORK THINGS OUT before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today’s agenda. If it isn’t, release it into My care and go on about today’s duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.

A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace.

Accompanying Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (New International Version)