Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Open Heavens Daily Devotionals BY PASTOR E.A ADEBOYE Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Open Heavens Daily Devotionals BY PASTOR E.A ADEBOYE  Tuesday, April 25, 2017

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17

READ: Ezekiel 33:14-16
vs14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
vs15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
vs16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.


Expectedly, you may be wondering what God is not interested in. God is not interested in the death of a sinner (2 Peter 3.9). Many sinners don't even know that God has no delight in condemning them. It is therefore necessary that those who know this truth should make it known to them.
"Again when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.” Ezekiel 33:14-15

It is clear from the above Scripture that God is not interested in the death of any sinner, but desires that the sinner repents and turns away from his or her wicked ways. It is amazing that God Almighty promised that none of the sins committed by a converted sinner will be remembered any more. God is always wanting to restore fellowship with His human creation back to what it was in the beginning, if only they would appreciate His love for them. Jesus Christ in John 15:13 said:
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

If indeed we are the friends of Jesus, we then must do whatever He commands us to do (John 15:14). Are you a friend of Jesus or willing to be one? lf you are willing to be a friend of Jesus, you must accept Him today, because tomorrow may be too late. The Bible says:
"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2

For believers who would aIways pray that sinners should "fall down and die", I will like to admonish you to stop wasting your time, because if the fellow you are praying against is a candidate for salvation in the future, your prayers may be an exercise in futility. This is why the Lord God said vengeance is His (Romans 12:19). May God fill our hearts with the compassion of Christ, so that we can be more concerned about the salvation of sinners rather than their death!

Father, fill my heart with the compassion of Jesus, so that I would care for sinners even as You do. 

Numbers 18-19
Jeremiah 20:7-18


1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

2. Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer!

3. Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge-
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield you;
You wilt find a solace there.

Being A man Is Not Having A Big Manhood

A great man once said if you take all the money in the world and distribute them equally among people after a while all the -monies will go back to their original owners. Why? 

Being A man Is Not Having A Big Manhood

The poor are mainly consumers and the rich are mainly investors.
Show me a POOR man and I'll show you a man who
P - Passes
O - Over
O - Opportunities
R - Repeatedly.

A man who sees challenges in every opportunity instead of seeing opportunity in every challenge.

Being a MAN is not a title, it's a responsibility. It means you have to answer financially in the
M - Morning
A - Afternoon and
N - Night.

You must take great risks to receive greater rewards. 

You must plan and strategize, you must value profit not wages, you must be focused and you must be determined if you want good success. 

Last but not least, You must involve God.

"The worst people on earth to serve are the POOR PEOPLE"*

POOR: Meaning  "Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly"

*See the reasons below:*

* Give them for free, they will think it is a trap.

* Tell them it's a small investment, they will say you can't earn much.

* Tell them to come in BIG, they will say "I don't have any money".

* Tell them to try new things, they will say "no experience; has it been proven to work? Who has gained from it before?".

* Tell them it's a traditional business, they'll say "it's too HARD to do".

* Tell them it is a new business model, they will say "I don't do network marketing and how many years has this business model been existing?".

* Tell them to run a shop, they will say "I will be tied down, I'll have no freedom".

* Tell them to follow a 1-year business plan, they will say "it's too long. Please, I can't wait for so long".

* Ask them what can they do? They will say "I can do ANYTHING".

* They like to ask friends who are as hopeless as themselves to get their opinions. Even the Bible acknowledges the fact that blind people don't lead blind people.

*  They think more than a University Professor and do less than a blind man.

Penny wise, Pound foolish.

One major challenge POOR people have is "LACK OF ACTION!"

They enjoy their comfort zone, dwelling and swimming in their "own type of knowledge".

Anything beyond their reason "can't work, and therefore it is fraudulent"

This is the cause!

Proverbs 6:10-11 says: *"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty WILL come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man."*

Remember: It's RISKY to take a RISK, but it's even RISKIER not to take any risk at all... 

This is April 25th  2017.
We have less than 8 months to go. 
If you continue to earn what you are earning at the moment all through the months until the end of the year, tell me: will that dream of becoming a financial pillar in your family be achieved by the end of December 2017?

Well, YOU alone know the answer.


*Learn to try out new things*

*The world is not ruled only by prayer warriors but by mental warriors.*

 Thinking is the highest paying job in every field.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Open Heavens Daily Devotionals by Pastor E.A Adeboye Saturday, April 22, 2017


Open Heavens Daily Devotionals by Pastor E.A Adeboye Saturday, April 22, 2017

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

READ : Deuteronomy 8:10-18
8:10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

8:11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:

8:12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;

8:13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;

8:14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;

8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.

8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Many children of God dread prosperity because of the challenges associated with it, particularly when it relates to material prosperity. The reason for this attitude can be put down to either ignorance of the word of God concerning prosperity, or ignorance of the need for the children of God to prosper, if they would not live at the mercy of the ungodly. The Bible in Proverbs 22:7 says,
“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

In our Bible reading today, we discover some truths about Gods purpose concerning the prosperity of His people. Deuteronomy 8:18 says,

"But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

God gives power and opportunities to His children to get wealth for one singular reason: to prove Himself faithful to His word. In other words, the issue of God’s children becoming wealthy is not about them but about God and His infallible word. This is why those who pick and choose what they feel is suitable for them in the word of God are losers; God cannot be mocked. Such people want the blessings of Abraham, but do not want to keep the covenant that Abraham kept with God. Jesus in John 8:30d said;
"If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham"

Beloved, I have good news for you: God is interested in the prosperity of His people (3 John 2). Not only is God interested in your prosperity, He also gives you the power to make wealth and to prosper. Furthermore, the prosperity from God is without negative repercussions and sorrow. The Lord who prospers is the same Lord who protects. He will not give you a car that will become a death trap. 

He will not give you a child that will break your heart. If you believe this, you will see the glory of God. Finally, in order to receive the prosperity that is devoid of sorrow, you must ensure that the prosperity you are seeking is from the Almighty God. 

This suggests to us that there is a counterfeit prosperity which puts its beneficiaries in tight jackets of regret and sorrow. The devil is the giver of counterfeits, but Jesus is the true source of eternal blessings. You can never regret being prospered by His benevolence because He paid the price for your prosperity in full. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says,
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

Stop cutting corners. At God’s own time and in God's own way, He will prosper you.

Numbers 12-13
Jeremiah 18:1-18


1. There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy drops 'round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

2. There shall be showers of blessing-
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.


3. There shall be showers of blessing:
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come and now honor Thy word.


4. There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we're confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Leave A Life Of Peace

The world has come to the extent that we must stop leaving the lives of  fight, quarrel, and problems. When you think that without you, someone around you will not prosper It's not a good thought from you because you should as well remember that you are not that person's God at all.

Leave A Life Of Peace

To start leaving a peaceful life, you must first of all make up your mind, if you don't make up your mind, you might give up along the way, but when you say a word and stand on the word you declared, you will fulfill a destiny.

Many people around the world think that without them, a  family in their community will not progress because he/she is the one helping them out in so many basic things in life, you should as well know that if you don't help those family, you might not be who you are today.

I've come to realize that in the things about the world, it doesn't work out the way we think it should. Many people today has caged the life of their fellow community members, all in the name of money, while many as well have taken away the lives of their family members all in the name of money too.

Money is not everything, You might have that same money but yet there's no peace for you, but if that money came on the right track of life, you will enjoy the money and have peace when enjoying the money. Have you ever asked yourself this question: AM I LEAVING A LIFE OF PEACE?

If you couldn't give yourself a right answer to this question, then I think you should as from today amend your life. Stop leaving a troublesome life and start leaving a peaceful life. Start makingPeace for aa broken marriage and stop being the one scattering it more.

I've seen people that like to scatter a God arranged family and instead of them to thinks of how to arrange their own family to be the best family in the world, instead they will go around destroying other people's marriages! We must stop all those immoral lives of quarrels and troubles and we have to start leaving the life of Peace wherever we enter. 

Your new name as from today should be Peace, both Peace in the family, Peace in the Community, Peace in the State and peace in the country. That should be what we should be known as because If you are a Peacemaker, People will always value you in every aspects of life.

Although if you are a peace maker most people in life will become your enemy, especially people that see that see that they are leaving the lives that they refuse to change, All you should do is to make sure that your life is hidden inside Jesus Christ and Him alone will be there fighting for you.

The Most enjoyable part of life is when Jesus is the one fighting for you, You don't even need to pray for victory because His name is Victory, He just needs to have faith in Him, because you must believe in something before that thing works out for you.

Moreover, I will tell YOU that is reading this post today, If you have been leaving a Just, truthful and peaceful life, You must continue with your good works, don't ever give up because of the trials and temptations you see around you. 

Many People today have changed their ways of living from peaceful life to a rough life because of the things that happened around them, but I want to encourage you today with this post to Never Give up, keep doing good because one day your good will speak for in a place yo never imagined it will.

When you do things for people and out of 10people it was only 1person that came back to appreciate you, just accept it because it's the way things were in the time of Jesus when he was on earth here, after healing ten lepers, it was just one person that came back to appreciate him, so you should not feel bad, instead you should feel better, that you are the savior of the world after Jesus Christ.

In the essence of life, we should finally know that we are not of the but we are in the world. as soon as things about this world change our mentality from positive to negative, that is when you make yourself part of the worlds. From today make your life to be a peaceful life for yourself, for people around you and by yourself too.

In conclusion, leaving a life of peace will establish things you never expected for you and your future to come, though it might only take time...but you must do the right thing because deep inside your heart, you know the right thing and you must do it, not just for your sake alone, but for your generations to come which you are dropping a nice legacy to follow when they come forth.

And as well your name will be recorded among the peacemakers, no matter where you are, even when you are dead too. it will bring a great and nice fruitfulness to your world and even in your next world to come. Wherever you are right now, make sure you amend your ways and you will see God's glory being fulfilled in your life and family in Jesus name amen!

Share this post to many just to change the lives of some, and to win a soul for Christ. Jesus Love You! 

Rhapsody Of Realities Daily Devotional We Walk In Righteousness Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Pastor Chris

Rhapsody Of Realities Daily Devotional We Walk In Righteousness Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Christianity is a walk in righteousness. What is righteousness? It’s the nature of God in you, producing the rightness of God: the ability to do right and fulfill the will of the Father. God is always right; it’s His nature to be right. This nature of righteousness is at work in us. So, in our Kingdom, we do righteousness; we walk in righteousness and do works of righteousness; we manifest the goodness of God everywhere. The world may not appreciate it when you walk in righteousness. It was for the same reason that the Pharisees and Sadducees had a problem with the good works that Jesus did; they misunderstood Him. If in your place of work, for example, you did something you thought required commendation, but instead, you were reprimanded for your good works, don’t feel bad about it. Keep expressing the God-nature in you.

Just because you’re doing the right thing doesn’t mean everybody will like you. There might be those that’ll resist you, and try to make you compromise; they might even call you evil, in spite of your good works; maintain your composure. Refuse to change. You’re greater than your adversaries, detractors, and persecutors. Stay in the Word, and practice your Christianity, no matter the criticism. You’re the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; therefore, it’s your calling to walk in righteousness, regardless of the pressures and challenges.

I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; a victory for life, endowed with the grace to reign and rule over circumstances. My life is for the glory of God; I walk in righteousness, and fulfill God’s perfect will today, and always, in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Further Study:
Isaiah 54:17
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;
and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
Romans 5:17
For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Daily Scripture Reading
1-Year Bible Reading Plan:
Luke 17: 20- 18: 1-14
1 Samuel 8- 10
2-Year Bible Reading Plan:
Mark 3: 20-35
Leviticus 19

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Catholic immigrants Didn’t Make it On Their Own. They shouldn’t Expect Others To.

A variety of government programs helped white American Catholics get where they are today.

Catholic immigrants Didn’t Make it On Their Own. They shouldn’t Expect Others To.
Immigrants after their arrival in Ellis Island by ship in 1902. (Ullstein Bild/Getty Images)

Recently, the results of the American National Election Survey (ANES) were released, showing troubling results: Convictions about the perceived failures of particular racial groups were a more certain predictor of votes than income inequality or authoritarianism. Specifically, the ANES found that President Trump’s voters tended to agree more than past Republican voters with the notion that “Italians, Irish” and other immigrants “overcame prejudice and worked their way up,” and that “Blacks should do the same without any special favors.”

There are plenty of reasons to object to this way of thinking. But foremost among them is this: Many of those immigrants presumed to have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps without “any special favors” — especially primarily Catholic immigrants such as those from Italy and Ireland — relied upon government spending to help them get a start in the United States. For voters convinced of the myth of immigrant self-reliance, the story of these Catholic immigrants is worth considering.

In the final decades of the 19th century, the number of Catholics immigrating to the United States began increasing at a rapid rate. Catholics constituted about 13 percent of the population in 1900; by 1998, they were about 23 percent. The rise in the percentage of Catholics was not a smooth curve — there was a sharp jump between 1900 and 1920, a couple of decades of leveling off, and another sharp jump between 1940 and about 1970. These variations are not hard to explain: The first wave, from southern and eastern Europe, was cut off by the start of the Great War in 1914; when it began again at the end of the war, it was cut off by intentionally anti-Catholic legislation passed by Congress in 1921 and 1924. And so a large number of Catholics who had immigrated before the war assimilated as a cohort, and as a cohort contributed to the baby boom that took off after the Second World War.

In both eras of significant growth in the Catholic population, Catholics arriving in America benefited from great expansions in government intervention and government power. In the Progressive Era at the century’s beginning, both local and national government took increasing responsibility for urban infrastructure, public health, and education, among other things — commitments that helped establish the stability necessary for the upward mobility of these immigrants over the subsequent generations. Good sanitation, municipal garbage collection, public schools, pure-food-and-drug laws and child labor laws all ensured that these newcomers could acquire stable footing in their new homes. In that way, large government investments helped facilitate the transition from immigrant generation to American-born and -raised.

As the century wore on, this assimilating generation continued to benefit from government intervention. The New Deal and its protections for labor unions, along with the massive increase in industrial production for World War II, gave a boost to immigrant workers, and the building of the interstate highway system and the mortgage interest deduction made moving to the suburbs (and thus homeownership and wealth conservation) possible. Perhaps most importantly, the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, better known as the G.I. Bill, helped a generation of Americans without much money to attend college. Countless American family histories follow the path from unskilled immigrant labor to college-educated professional work in two generations, and this series of programs helps explain how.

In addition to disproportionately benefiting Catholics because such a large percentage of them were assimilating, upwardly mobile and urban, these government expansions had another feature in common — they excluded or disadvantaged African Americans. Many New Deal programs were not available to black people by design, not accident. Blacks were the last hired and first fired in an era of industrial expansion and often excluded, legally and illegally, from labor unions. African Americans were also deliberately excluded from the enormous upsurge in homeownership in the postwar period, which became perhaps the single most important source of the increase in wealth for the children and grandchildren of the white Europeans who had immigrated earlier in the century.

Between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s, the federal government finally recognized the claims of African Americans to their full rights under the Constitution as ratified and amended. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were great and historic achievements, significant steps toward righting old wrongs. But in that same period, American politics began to backtrack on the promises made to earlier generations regarding the economic stability necessary to achieving full equality. Over the past 40 years, we have systematically dismantled many aspects of the social order that had enabled the rapid assimilation and ascent to the wealth of the previous generation of white immigrants. With organized labor undermined, public schools systematically underfunded, homeownership further and further out of reach, and voting rights under sustained assault, many of the very gains that once helped ensure social mobility to the children and grandchildren of white European Catholic immigrants have been reversed.

Christians should care for the poor and vulnerable because doing so is at the heart of the Christian call. But somehow that call often seems to carry less weight than it should in the public arena. We often feel free to reject politics that would uplift the poorest because we don’t owe anything of what we’ve worked hard for to fellow citizens we imagine as working less hard. This is perhaps why Trump was able to win a majority of Catholic votes.

But the history of 20th-century white Catholics in America suggests that this bootstraps story is not historical. The social mobility of the Catholic immigrants of yesteryear was a result of hard work, courage, and perseverance — but it was also the result of the vast public investment, government subsidy and the advantage many Catholics had because they were white. At the very least, this reality of white Catholic history should call contemporary white Catholics to support levels of investment, support and trust in our fellow citizens at least as generous as those that led many of us to where we are. Rather than reinventing a mythical past about self-reliance, it’s time to pay it forward.

Open Heavens Daily Devotional By Pst. E.A Adeboye Tuesday, April 18, 2017.


Open Heavens Daily Devotional By Pst. E.A Adeboye Tuesday, April  18, 2017.


Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7.

READ: 1 Samuel 15:17-22:
vs17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
vs18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.
vs19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
vs20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, l have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
vs21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
vs22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.


I have always admonished believers never to pray that God should humble them; this is an ignorant prayer. The truth is that God has given everyone the capacity to choose whatever he or she wants to do, and He will not interfere with our choices. For this reason, every man is responsible for his or her actions. Why is this so? This is because man, unlike other creatures, was created as an agent of free will. The Bible in Deuteronomy 30:19 says:

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"

The above passage of Scripture explains God's attitude to man's fall in the Garden of Eden. Although He had instructed Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, He did not try to stop them when they did eat it, even though He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. His righteous nature would not allow Him to hold back the free will He had already given to them. However, they lived to bear the consequences of their choice to disobey God. In our Bible reading today, King Saul momentarily forgot the low estate he occupied before he was made the king of Israel. His forgetfulness caused him to think that he could flout the instructions given to him by the King of kings. He decided to listen to his human counselors, and he began to rationalize the instructions God gave him. King Saul, therefore, became swollen-headed,
and Prophet Samuel who anointed him as king became "old school" and "old fashioned" in his eyes. To him, there should be no 'waste‘,' after all, why destroy valuable fatted cows? Moreover, great kings would begin to pay tribute to him for sparing their lives. Contrast this attitude against his humble demeanor before he became king. He himself had once said in 1 Samuel 9:21:

"...Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?"

Remembering this, Prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 15 : 17 said :

"...When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?"

May the Lord deliver his children from pride in Jesus' Name. Our approach to humility should be to heed the counsel of submission in today's memory verse; the reason being that if we do not humble ourselves voluntarily and God has to do it, one could end up like King Saul, whom the Lord rejected from being king over His people (1 Samuel 15:26). May that not be your portion in Jesus' Name.

Father, I submit myself to Your Lordship. I will seek what You want, and what You hate, I will hate. Help me to stay true to this commitment in Jesus Name.

Numbers 5-6
Jeremiah 15:10-21


On a hill far away
Stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross
where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'II cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross,
so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God
left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.


In that old rugged cross,
stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For 'twas on that old cross
 Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.


To that old rugged cross
 I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then he'll call me some day
 to my home far away,
Where his glory forever I'll share.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Pastor Gets Surprise Trip to Holy Land

By Suzanne WislerFor The Monroe News
Pastor Ted Kerr got an unexpected surprise recently: a trip to the Holy Land.

Pastor Gets Suprise Trip to Holy Land

In January, the pastor of Ida’s Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and his wife, Diane, spent 21 days in the sacred Middle Eastern region.

Members of his congregation paid their way.

“It was pretty awesome. It just blew us away,” said Pastor Kerr, who’s been at the church for 12 years.

It all began just before Christmas when church official Martha Kamprath went on a retreat.

“Someone said going to the Holy Land was a life-changing experience. (She) always thought it would be a wonderful thing to send our pastor,” said Lynn Zabawa, president of the congregation.

Ms. Kamprath mentioned it to other church leaders. And then brainstorming began.

Incidentally, Michael Opfermann, a church member and student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, was going on a seminary-sponsored trip to the Holy Land in January. But the sign-up deadline had passed months earlier.

Still, they decided to try.

When trip planners said one more guest was fine, they checked Pastor Kerr’s calendar: no weddings for the 21-day period.

“Maybe we could make this happen,” said Mrs. Zabawa.

Then, Pastor Kerr’s wife gave her blessing.

“She was all giddy and excited. She said, ‘It’s been a dream of his. We’ve just never been able to make it happen,’ ” said Mrs. Zabawa.

Church officials met and, within just days, had almost enough money for Pastor Kerr’s trip.

So, they raised money for postage and secretly mailed letters to the rest of the 600-member congregation.

The balance quickly came in.

At Christmastime, Mrs. Kerr brought her husband to church for the surprise presentation. He walked in to see several church members sitting at a table.

“The look of horror on his face; he thought he was going to be fired,” recalled Mrs. Zabawa.

Then, they uncovered a nativity, which had a sign pointing to Bethlehem.

He had to leave right then to have his passport expedited.

“Pastor honestly just had to be led to his office and then be led to his car,” recalled Mrs. Zabawa.

Meanwhile, more money trickled in. In all, it was almost $10,000.

“We’re a little country church,” said Mrs. Zabawa.

Pastor Kerr was allowed to spend the extra money as he wished. He chose to bring his wife on the trip.

There was exactly enough money for her trip.

“Within 10 days, the money came in for her to go. It was a very unexpected blessing. That’s how they roll here,” said Pastor Kerr.

“It’s neat, the way it all came together,” said Mrs. Zabawa. “A lot of things had to fall into place for this to come together. Pastors deal with difficult stress in our congregations. They need a spiritual reload. Maybe some other church would be inspired to say, ‘we can do this too.’ ”

The Kerrs and the 26 other travelers departed Jan. 3. The flight took 12 hours.

Pastor Kerr was awed to be on sacred ground.

“Seeing the spots where Jesus actually visited: Nazareth, the Jordan River, Bethlehem. We spent one Sunday on the Sea of Galilee. We worshiped at a church built near where the Beatitudes were (proclaimed); the Sea of Galilee was in the background,” he said.

He also enjoyed seeing archeological sites.

“Some of them are still actual digs,” he recalled.

The Holy Land, he said, is about the size of Massachusetts, and it’s hilly, rocky and a desert. It also has many conflicts.

“It’s a very volatile area. There’s a lot of political turmoil,” said Pastor Kerr. “Israelis just seize land and property.”

He saw a monastery full of mortar shells from a war and looking toward the northern border of Syria, he could see bunkers and landmines.

“That affected us greatly,” he said.

Nonetheless, he maintains the area is safe.

“Tourism is their No. 1 industry,” he said. He saw 20 tour buses at the Tel Aviv airport.

Pastor Kerr earned a master of divinity degree in 1984 from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus.

Before coming to Prince of Peace, he was an associate pastor in Warren and Lake Orion.

Mrs. Kerr is a registered nurse and a volunteer at Prince of Peace.

They have two grown children and a grandson.

Since returning, Pastor Kerr has given two presentations about his trip, where he shows some of his 12,000 pictures. Ninety-three turned out for one April 6 at Ida United Methodist Church.

Yes, despite his positive experiences, Pastor Kerr has no plans to return to the Holy Land.

“It was an amazing, incredible area, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Pastor Kerr. “I recommend it for anyone, but I have no desire to go back.”

Open Heavens Daily Devotional By Pst. E.A Adeboye Monday, April 17, 2017


Open Heavens Daily Devotional By Pst. E.A Adeboye Monday, April 17, 2017

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10

READ: 1 Timothy 6:6-11
6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.


A crafty and complex form of idolatry in our world today, which has been around for a long while, and yet seems to go unnoticed by most people, is the reverence and premium place given to the god of money (Mammon) in the hearts of mankind. Our Lord Jesus Christ was very clear when He stated what the first and greatest commandment was in Matthew 22:36:
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

When our love, which should be given to God exclusively, is diverted to money, we err from the faith and expose ourselves to dissatisfaction and many sorrows. The Bible in Ecclesiastes 5:10 says,
"He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity."

I am sometimes puzzled as to why people run after vanity. ln some countries of the world, government offlcials embezzle billions from their sovereign wealth and cart their loot away to foreign lands. Some of these officials have become even "richer" than their country by this act. One wonders what they would do with all this stolen money. Nothing reasonable for sure! For such people, money
has become their god, and so they worship it to the extent that the more they acquire, the more difflcult it becomes for them to spend. Find out from some so-called rich people, they flnd it difficult to spend their millions. They eat like paupers because money is their god. In today's Bible reading, the Holy Spirit offers us a way out of Mammon's bondage. He said:
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." 1 Timothy 626-8

Beloved and fellow pilgrims, our stay here on earth is too short for us to run after Mammon. Let us follow the Master intimately, because He is the only One that would always stand by us, even after we close our eyes in death. Mammon would change servants immediately the fellow who worships him breathes his or her last. Let us be wise and follow after godliness.

Father, please fill my heart with godliness and contentment. Grant me the grace to love You more than anything else in this world.

Numbers 4
Jeremiah 15:1-9


On a hill far away
Stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'II cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.


In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.


To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
Where his glory forever I'll share.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Woman Touched Many Lives, Left Legacy

What a difference one life can make.

Woman Touched Many Lives, Left Legacy

Last week, I attended a memorial service for a dear woman of God named Vivian Coley.

Vivian was 101 when she died, leaving behind family, friends and precious memories. Vivian and her daughter, Jody, have been part of my life for a long time.

I got to know them after they began attending Full Life Church years ago. At the time, I was a single mom and we’d go out to Arby’s to eat after church. I’d be nervous, trying to make sure my little boy, Michael, behaved. They’d just smile and laugh.

Back then, Arby’s had a payphone near the restrooms. Michael, who was probably only 2 or 3 years old, picked up the phone one day and pretended to call the pastor.

They loved that and remembered it for years.

When Vivian was in the hospital a couple years ago, my daughter-in-law, Rachel, and grandson, Matthew, brought me along to see her.

Matthew kept giving Vivian some M&M candies. He wanted to make sure she had plenty. She remembered that for a long time, too.

Lots of people loved Vivian, something evident at her funeral, which just happened to be attended by 101 people. Different folks shared their memories of Vivian and it was obvious that she’d touched many lives.

She was good woman who loved God and lived a full life.

Vivian was born in 1915.

To picture those times, please consider this: Baseball great Babe Ruth hit the first home run of his career that year and World War I was raging in Europe.

Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president of the United States. (Our country’s current leader, Donald Trump, is the 45th president.)

Please also note this: Only five years after Vivian was born, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote.

Obviously, a lot has happened in a century, plus one year.

I also found it interesting that Vivian’s grandfather, Dudley Miller, served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Both of his legs had to be amputated due to frostbite during that war. Vivian never saw him before he’d lost those limbs.

The third youngest of 10 children, Vivian grew up on a farm and lived during the financially miserable times of the Great Depression. She attended a country grade school, then started at Pilger High School.

She was a high school sophomore when the school caught on fire and all the students were evacuated through a fire chute.

The building burned down and Vivian lost the only new coat she’d ever had.

Another school building was constructed. That building was demolished by a double tornado in 2014.

Vivian and her husband, Leonard, who married in 1934, had two children, Jody and Cheryl.

During World War II, the family lived in North Platte. There, Vivian was active with many other women in what was known as the North Platte Canteen. When troops stopped at North Platte via train for a short time, the women fed them sandwiches, fruit and cake and gave them magazines.

To military personnel headed to war, it was a little bit of home.

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Years later, Vivian worked at the J.M. McDonald’s department store in Fremont. For the last 10 years of her career, she worked at a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha, called Omaha Indemnity.

At Full Life, Vivian was active in the WMs (Women’s Ministries). As part of that group, she helped prepare meals at the Care Corps Family Services homeless shelter for a time.

People at our church and lots of other friends loved Vivian — and still love Jody — for their amiable attitudes and genuine interest in others. And Jody’s quick wit keeps us all laughing.

Everybody needs friends, people who care about them, love them enough to tell them the truth in a kind way, and stick by them in tough times. Vivian and Jody have been that to me.

The Bible talks quite a bit about friendship.

In the Old Testament, we find the story of David and Jonathan. David was a young shepherd in Israel. Jonathan was the son of King Saul.

The two young men became friends after David killed the wicked Philistine warrior, Goliath. And Jonathan remained a faithful friend even after his father became murderously jealous of David.

Jonathan also warned David of King Saul’s evil intentions. David fled for his life and spent years on the run, despite his incredible loyalty to the king.

In the end, the Philistines killed Jonathan in battle. King Saul fell on his own sword, killing himself rather than falling into enemy hands.

David was grief-stricken when he heard about Jonathan and the king’s deaths. David became king of Israel and later showed great compassion for Jonathan’s disabled son, Mephibosheth — even having him as a regular dinner guest.

The friendship shared between David and Jonathan was rich and lifelong and a great example of loyalty.

Various Bible verses also touch on the subject of friendship.

We find the topic in verses like Proverbs 18:24, which talks about “…a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

There’s Romans 12:10, which says: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (English Standard Version).

And one of the most poignant verses in all of Scripture records the words Jesus spoke before his death on the cross.

We find them in John 15:13: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (New Living Translation).

As Christians we know Jesus is the best friend we could ever ask for — the 24/7 Savior who is with us and understands and loves us, like no other.

Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and rose from the grave. If we believe that and repent (turn from our sins) and ask Christ into our hearts, we can be saved and go to heaven. It’s a free gift of love from God that we don’t have to earn or buy.

That’s great news not just at Easter, but all through the year.

I find that it’s also comforting news when people we love die.

Vivian loved the Lord and shared that love with those around her.

I don’t know that she’s eating M&Ms in heaven or sharing a sandwich with someone, but I have to think Vivian is thrilled to be closer to God than she’s ever been and able to see loved ones she hasn’t seen in a long time. I imagine her getting to see her grandfather with his legs restored and her daughter, Cheryl, who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

And I’m grateful I had the opportunity to get to know Vivian while she walked on this earth.