Normalcy Bias or Great Expectation? Your View

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Rose-colored glasses. All is well with the world. ARE YOU KIDDING? Even some of the most skeptical realize something is amiss. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright bluntly stated, “The world is a mess.” So do you approach life with a normalcy bias or with a great expectation?

THE NORMALCY BIAS 

According to Wikipedia, “the normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This may result in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster.” 

In short, you will consider our times to be normal and not strange. And for that reason, when time is up you’ll be caught flat-footed, without a life preserver, and without hope. Like the frog sitting comfortably in a slow-boiling pot, you’ll be finished. Done. normal

Today, we are in the 11th hour. What’s the 11th hour? It means “time’s almost up.” “Gather everyone before the doors close.” “Last call.” Read Matthew 24 in its entirety. In short, Jesus fortells the signs of the end of this age. Matthew 24:3-8 reads: 

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us,when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

And verse 29: “The stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”  

Zephaniah 1:14-15, 18 further warns:  “The great day of the Lord is near–near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the Lord will be bitter… That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish… In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth.”

ready or notAt that point:

  • God’s wrath will not be to discipline those who denied Him
  • It’s not the unbeliever’s chance to invite His Son Jesus Christ into their life
  • This is not God’s opportunity to improve a person or lead them to holiness
  • Time has passed; He will no longer strive with man

A GREAT EXPECTATION…As the Sky is Falling

For the Believer whose hope, joy, life, peace and eternity rests in Jesus Christ:

  • We have nothing to fear about the coming events
  • God’s people will be in the midst of the battle and judgment, but He will equip us
  • As the “sky is falling” He has given us His Spirit of peace
  • We must continue to plant seeds, leave the Holy Spirit to harvest those last few souls
  • We will be sorrowed by the tragic times, yet will have a great expectation and joy!
  • We know these strange times indicate the expected and soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Those in Christ Jesus have assurance in these critical times, for He said in 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)

Have no delusions but clarity about what is coming down the pike. It’s your choice and your chance. Tomorrow will not be the same “normalcy” as today. Time is drawing near. If you don’t have the answers to get out of your mess or can’t rescue your own future, Jesus is the answer. Express that you need Him, acknowledge that He died and rose again for you so that you will have victory, and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit to serve as your guide along the way.

God bless you,

Nicole

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.

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Position Yourself in Faith, Not Fear

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

I come to you today in a very humble state.  While out to dinner celebrating my brother-in-law’s birthday, I was side-swiped. A stranger to me, yet friend of my brother-in-law, spoke a sobering truth directed at yours truly.  Their words came completely out of left field and I was caught off guard. However, the truth that was spoken shook me up and resonated deep within.

I have come to a place where I have disconnected myself in order to protect myself. It is far easier for me to keep everyone at bay rather than allow people in.  I work so hard to keep bad things from happening that I also keep the good things out. It’s not me walking on the water or walking by faith trusting in God’s Sovereign hands. It’s me believing the lie that “if I do everything right and play it safe everything will be okay.”

My past is my past and I cannot change it. However, today is a new day and I want to live by faith. To live boldly for Christ without holding back all the good I have inside and not only offering up the portion I see fit. If you have been hurt, rejected or disappointed do not let that stop you from living to your fullest God-given potential.  What I want to pour into you today is love.  We are all hoping and believing for something.  Keep hoping, keep believing and don’t give up.  The Victory is ours and the battle is the Lord’s. Position yourself to receive by letting go of fear. You may think I personally do not struggle with fear…but the truth is, many of us do. Yours could be fear of what people might think, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of not financially having enough, fear of speaking truth, fear of letting go, fear of holding on.  Fear daily tries to grip each one of us differently. While you begin to step out in faith believing, I encourage you to fear not. God is in control!

Isaiah 43:19- Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

-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.

 

Caring for Those on Milk

Hebrews 5:13- For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. (New Living Translation)

 

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Mature, solid food fed Christians can distinguish the bold line between right and wrong (Hebrews 5:14). Puerile, liquid fed Christians can’t distinguish the bold line between right and wrong. Thus, how can we clarify our own status in order to lead godly lives? For mature Christians make mistakes as do young Christians. Mature Christians can witness to others as can young Christians. However, mature Christians are pained by their Holy Spirit, while young Christians seek more clarity to understand the reason for their heavy hearts. Therefore, mature Christians can’t be impatient, for God can work within all people who are ready and willing to listen. For we once were young babes in Christ being fed the nutrients through the Word of God, so we might grow big and strong. For this reason may we allow God to do the molding, while He uses us as a tool to spin the clay. 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.  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.

 

 

Jesus: The Light of the World

Joy! Yesterday I received wonderful news from a friend who testified to the power of our God through Christ Jesus to make necessary behavior changes in their life. When God moves on your heart, you can do nothing but change and in fact become “a new creation,” as said in 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Praise God! While I believe programs can also assist people in making behavioral changes, nothing matches the heart encounter one has with Christ and how he can make changes “suddenly.” Now, this friend is shining their light before others, a witness to God’s goodness and awesome power. We know Satan hates an empowered Believer because they will likely equip and empower others in the Spirit. Nevertheless, shine your light so others may be drawn to know Him.

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 post reminds us Who is the Light of the world. There is no need to remain in darkness. Walk in the light. God bless you.   -Nicole

I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Men crawl through their lives cursing the darkness, but all the while I am shining brightly. I desire each of My followers to be a Light-bearer. The Holy Spirit who lives in you can shine from your face, making Me visible to people around you. Ask My Spirit to live through you, as you wend your way through this day. Hold My hand in joyful trust, for I never leave your side. The Light of My Presence is shining upon you. Brighten up the world by reflecting who I AM.

I-am-the-light-of-the-world

Accompanying Scriptures: Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15- Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16- In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” John 8:12, When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  2 Corinthians 3:18, And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (New International Version)

 

1 Woman, 1 Man

Note: I love that Herbert has written this message for a world where “holy courting” will sound like fingernails skimming a chalkboard. It is an unpopular concept in a world where lust of the flesh drives appetites without care for another’s heart or soul. Satan has done well to counterfeit God’s design for relationships, but we are here to share truth where confusion and deception have taken root. Just as a man will never satisfy another man’s soul, nor a woman will ever satisfy another woman’s soul, lusting after multiples will never satisfy the soul either. God’s joyful, life-giving design for male and female relationships is that two equally yoked become one, and whose monogamous partnership reflects God’s love. One woman, one man.  -Nicole

Job‬ ‭31‬:‭1-‬ “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

1 woman, 1 man. Is this task hard? Yes, but can it be done.  1 man, 1 woman. Each of us deal with carnal cravings, which causes our heads to swivel. Lack of self-control allows our minds to defect from the truth like a rebel. Is this task hard? Yes, but can we move from animalistic attractions to holy courting? Yes. 1 woman, 1 man. Joy inundates the heart when love has made its home. Monogamy comes easier and his/her glances are affixed on each another, which leaves the eyes with no room to roam. Thus, is this task hard? Yes, but can it be done. Yes, 1 man, 1 woman. Therefore, as a man who has found his woman, might I say this is possible. For Irina provides the relief from facing this world alone, like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. Therefore, may we proceed with stout determination to stay the course and watch as God delivers our divine counterpart. (1 man, 1 woman) 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.  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 Other God

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

“I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” –Daniel 3:15-17

As the annual mission trip for Haiti Christianity Inc., quickly approaches, we ask that you keep us in fervent prayer. Prayers are always needed when our brothers and sisters in Christ are traveling to foreign lands with the intended purpose to encourage believers and carry out the Great Commission in spreading the Gospel to unbelievers. This July in Haiti, we will evangelize, conduct vacation bible school and professional skills conferences and bring an array of children’s clothing, shoes, medical and educational supplies. We thank you in advance for how your prayers will add to the blessing of empowering us through the Holy Spirit to carry the mission to advance the Kingdom of God. Now you may be wondering why this week’s devotional scripture comes from the book of Daniel and how it relates to anything I just mentioned. Let me explain.

This past February, I traveled to the beautiful and rich in history country of Thailand also known as the “land of smiles.” My experience in Thailand was nothing short of amazing. It was everything I envisioned it would be. Although this was not a mission-focused trip but rather a study abroad trip conducted by my former University, time of testing came to me. The Lord’s voice to me was so crystal clear and so loud within my spirit I could not ignore it. At some point during the trip, our kind native volunteers took us to one of the Buddhist temples and engaged us to participate in a worship/mediation demonstration of their Buddha golden statue.

Everything within me said “Do not participate, do not bow” and I did not. I was taken aback that other self-professed Christians with us on the trip decided to participate. I do not know whether I offended our native volunteers or not but two of them came to me and asked why I decided not to participate. I said to her, “I believe my worship and meditation should be only reserved for my Lord Jesus Christ.”

One said, “Oh you’re Christian? It’s okay I have friends who are Christians who do this along with us. It’s okay you can do it.” Once more, I told her I could not, for I knew I would be betraying the One and only true God also known as the “invisible God” or as the “Unknown God” as the apostle Paul put it.

As I close, I want to leave you with an encouraging scripture of when the apostle Paul preached in Athens.

“So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs-for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” – Acts 17:22-26

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.

 

Your Life in Christ Helps Another

Luke 15:7- Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (English Standard Version)

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Have we got it wrong? Many of us miss the big picture as we go about our daily lives.  There are many misconceptions like, “I am a Christian. I got it all right and everyone else has it wrong.” Yet the truth is, God is the ONLY one who has it all right.  We can’t begin to understand nor comprehend His great and marvelous ways. We only know the half of it.  It is Christ in us at work cleaning out all the junk and debris, for we all fall short and are in need of mercy and grace. Your life is not your own and if you are living a righteous life, that is wonderful.  However, now you are called to speak the gospel and live it out so others too may be saved. We are not to cast the sinner to the side. We are to set an example, a standard, speak truth and offer unconditional love in hopes to draw them unto the Lord.

So I ask you: Who in your life can you extend a helping hand to? You might be wondering what does that question have to do with the message. It has everything to do with it.  Helping those who are struggling is what it is all about, showing mercy, compassion, and love as Christ has shown for you. It can be as simple as buying a cup of coffee and saying “Jesus loves you.”

-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.

Prayer: Our Four Tires

1 Thessalonians 5:17-Never stop praying. (New Living Translation) Pray continually. (New International Version)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Our time is important. Our time is sacred. With work and obligations Monday thru Saturday and errands to run on Sunday, we have no time for ourselves. Thus, this call to action is simple. A call that will not be adorned with flowery language, or poetic couplings to paint profound images within your mind. A call that will seek out the bare essentials like food, shelter, clothes, and water. A call to which we strip away the demands of the outside world, in order to hear the whisper of God’s voice cached within the wind. There we will find the tranquility of the Holy Spirit and the ability to listen to the faint groanings of our souls. It is there that serenity intersects at the crossroads of clarity. For yesterday’s anxiety is forgotten and the stress of of tomorrow dissipates, all due to our obedience to fulfill the request of ceaseless prayer. A tool that will keep our bodies running on all four tires with no need for spare. 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.  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.

Learning to Obey God

Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” –John 4:34 (New Living Translation)

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

In the Christian walk, “obedience” is a word often associated within a negative context rather than positive. The English dictionary defines obedience to be “the act or practice of obeying; dutiful or submissive compliance.” In a world that is increasingly encouraging personal, financial, and sexual freedom among many other things, obedience can be a dreadful experience if you’re not thinking rightly about it. But Jesus wants us to have JOY in obeying the Father! Just as it pleased Him and gave Him joy to obey God, so it should please us!

But if we desire to obey God, let it not be from a spirit of unwillingness, fear, or contempt but rather because we LOVE Him. For Jesus said, “All who love me will do what I say. My father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” – John 14:23 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. – 1 John 5:2-3

One thing we must remember while being obedient is that we have a High Priest in Jesus who endured obedience before us. In his humanity, he learned the impact of full obedience to God. For even though Jesus was God’s son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. –Hebrews 5:8. And this High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testing’s we do, yet he did not sin. –Hebrews 4:15 He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. –Philippians 2:8 He did this out of LOVE for his father and out of love for us.

So how exactly do we learn how to obey God? Let me suggest a few ways that has worked in my life and other Christians. First we choose to TRUST him and do it his way instead of our own. Jesus gave us an example of this when he said, “For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.” –John 6:38 Second, understand that patience and faith are requirements in obedience. Be determined to wait upon God in prayer. His timing is always perfect.

Third, we must meditate on His word EVERY single day. It is impossible to live an obedient life with a closed Bible. Finally, we must be CONFIDENT enough to leave all the consequences to him. There is an inexplicable FREEDOM in knowing that you have obeyed God in your life situation and you leave whatever happens next to him. The psalmist knew this very well when he said, “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments”-Psalm 119:45. Yet, beware of that prowling lion our enemy the Devil. He will keep attempting to move you toward “partial obedience.” Rationalization is one of Satan’s biggest weapons to keep you off base in your relationship with God.

Dear friends, life at its best comes from obeying the Father. Obedience is something you will never regret for it ALWAYS brings blessings. 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.

Speech as Soft Velvet

Deuteronomy 32:2- Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

It took 6 months and 5 days for me to realize that my words were falling like hail, which dented the countenances of all who were close to me. It took 6 months and 5 days to realize that my gentle mist was more of a torrential downpour on the ripening plants. It was then that I saw the color fade from their leaves, which was coupled alongside a wilted stem. My words were drowning the very essence out of the roots of those plants. Therefore, like a gardener, I sought to prune what was trying to die. Like a gardener, I sought to tie a stick to the stem to provide support. Like a gardener, I lightly dampened the soil and gave the young plant heat. I watched that young plant spruce up and become resuscitated. It was then that I knew that gentleness bred strength and chastisement bred weakness. 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.  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.