Friday, May 29, 2009

Ever felt like “Chippie?”

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie's owner decided to clean Chippie's cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She'd barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in.

The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A few days after the trauma, the reporter who'd initially written about the event contacted Chippie's owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn't sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."

It's hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That's enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.

Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, p. 11.

There are so many of God's people that can relate to Chippie the parakeet. Life has a way of stealing our song if we allow it to. Listen to what God's Word admonishes us to do: Ephesians 5:20

(AMP) At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

(MSG) Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.

When we develop the habit of complaining instead of doing what God's Word tells us to do in Ephesians 5:20, we will lose our song. My challenge to all of us today is to develop the habit of praising God, IN SPITE OF the situation. He is deserving of our praise.

Louis Albert Banks tells of an elderly Christian man, a fine singer, who learned that he had cancer of the tongue and that surgery was required. In the hospital after everything was ready for the operation, the man said to the doctor, "Are you sure I will never sing again?" The surgeon found it difficult to answer his question. He simply shook his head no. The patient then asked if he could sit up for a moment. "I've had many good times singing the praises of God," he said. "And now you tell me I can never sing again. I have one song that will be my last. It will be of gratitude and praise to God."

There in the doctor's presence the man sang softly the words of Isaac Watts' hymn, "I'll praise my Maker while I've breath,/ And when my voice is lost in death,/ Praise shall employ my nobler power;/ My days of praise shall ne'er be past,/ While life, and thought, and being last,/ Or immortality endures." He refused to LOSE HIS SONG!

Wow! What an attitude of gratitude! That is the way that I want to be. It all comes down to a matter of faith. How much do I trust God? William Carey had much faith in God. Listen to a little bit of his story:

After William Carey was well established in his pioneer missionary work in India, his supporters in England sent a printer to assist him. Soon the two men were turning out portions of the Bible for distribution. Carey had spent many years learning the language so that he could produce the scriptures in the local dialect. He had also prepared dictionaries and grammars for the use of his successors.

One day while Carey was away, a fire broke out and completely destroyed the building, the presses, many Bibles, and the precious manuscripts, dictionaries, and grammars. When he returned and was told of the tragic loss, he showed no sign of despair or impatience. Instead, he knelt and thanked God that he still had the strength to do the work over again. He started immediately, not wasting a moment in self-pity. Before his death, he had duplicated and even improved on his earlier achievements. He refused to LOSE HIS SONG!

Joe Scriven was a missionary from Ireland to Canada, working among the Iroquois Indians. He was joined by his fiancé who was also from Ireland. Just before the wedding, she was killed in an ice accident. Joe buried her with his own hands, and a broken heart. A year later, in a letter to his mother, he reflected,

"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer." Joe was on the road to triumph, even though there were times when the road was rough. He refused to LOSE HIS SONG!

Having lost in a fire virtually everything they owned, the Spafford family made new plans, including a move from Chicago to France. Horatio Spafford planned the trip for his wife and four daughters to be as trouble-free as possible. To transport them from America to France, he booked passage on a huge ship, and made sure they had Christians with whom to fellowship in route. He planned to join them a few weeks later. In spite of much careful preparation, Mr. Spafford's plans suddenly dissolved when the ship carrying his loved ones was rammed by another vessel and sank, carrying his four beloved daughters to the bottom. Anyone who has ever had their plans disrupted by the hand of God can understand Spafford's plight. The next time you are in church,turn to the words of the great hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul"--words he penned as his ship passed over the watery grave of his four daughters! He refused to LOSE HIS SONG!

Vance Havner told a story about an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her many troubles--both real and imaginary. Finally, someone in her family tactfully told her, "Grandma, we've done all we can for you. You'll just have to trust God for the rest." A look of absolute despair spread over her face as she replied, "Oh dear, has it come to that?" Havner commented, "It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that!"

My friends, why don't we start with that today? Turn your situation over to God and trust Him completely and totally! He will not let you down. Don't be like Chippee and lose your song…sing in the face of your trial and watch the victory come! I love you guys!

Pastor Rusty

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Prescription for anxiety and depression

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it…I hope you are as well!

Hope is so very important for each of us every single day. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 that "faith is the substance of things HOPED for the evidence of things not seen." We need hope in this day of worry and anxiety. We are facing what some are calling the "Great Recession" and many folks are burdened down with worry. I want to talk with you about that for a moment.

Look at what God's Word says about worry and anxiety:

Proverbs 12:25(CEV) Worry is a heavy burden, but a kind word always brings cheer.

(ESV) Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

(MSG) Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up.

When you're depressed your motivation is drained, your desire to pursue God is gone, your conversations turn sour, you're blinded to your blessings, your enthusiasm is forced, you're in a daze regarding future plans. What's the way out? Find the cause of your depression!

1. First of all, examine your relationships. There are different type of relationships, but I want to mention three:

  • Replenishing relationships. This is where you get something positive out of the relationship. It is a relationship where you feel encouraged and enriched when you spend time together.

  • Neutral relationships. In these relationships, you aren't replenished, nor are you really drained.

  • Draining relationships. These relationships wear you out and tear you down. Nothing positive comes from them.

Take just a moment and think about it. What type of relationships do you have? Do you have any replenishing ones? Or are they all neutral or draining? In the Bible, the prophet Elijah was in a cave, depressed and discouraged. Why? One of the reasons is that he had nothing but draining relationships. He felt all alone, he even said, "God, I'm the only one left who won't worship Baal." What God tell him? "Come out of the cave, I have many others who haven't bowed their knee to Baal." Then God sent Elijah to a replenishing relationship with Elisha. One of the main causes of depression is a lack of replenishing relationships.

Long-term depression drains your energy, distorts your reality, assaults your faith, and affects everybody around you. One in five of us suffers from it. It's responsible for more workplace absenteeism than diabetes and heart disease. Poor health can cause it, not to mention your surroundings; also stress, fear, loneliness, guilt, and anger. And it's no modern-day disease either; it affected Bible characters too.

2. David experienced it because of unconfessed sin.
"I am… severely broken… my strength fails… my loved ones… stand… afar off" (Psalm 38:8-11 NKJV).

3. Job got so depressed about his financial, personal and family losses that he cursed the day he was born. (Job 1-3)

4. When Jezebel threatened Elijah, he went through the "H.A.L.T." syndrome. He was Hungry; he stopped eating. Angry; he got mad at God and the world. Lonely; he left his servant and went off by himself. Tired; he collapsed.

But God had a prescription. He: (a) changed his diet; (b) told him to rest; (c) let him know he wasn't alone; (d) sent an angel to minister to him. Those are still the steps out of depression!

David said, "The Lord… brought me up out of a horrible pit" (Psalm 40:1-2 NKJV),
and He can bring you out of your depression too! Don't isolate yourself, and don't be ashamed to get help from your pastor, a trusted friend, or a good counsellor. And remember, addictive behaviour and destructive relationships will only make things worse. The moment Elijah heard God's voice, he began "getting it together." With God's help, you can too!

Psalm 116:7 (MSG) I said to myself, "Relax and rest. GOD has showered you with blessings.

Bob Gass, a well known author reminds us that you can conquer depression: (a) Through prayer! Oswald J. Smith said that the happiest moments of his life were during prayer and Bible reading. He called this his 'morning watch.' He also said praying aloud prevented his thoughts from wandering. (b) Through God's Word! Jeremiah said, "When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight" (Jeremiah 15:16 NIV). Daily prayer and the reading of God's Word is a prescription that can help heal your emotions and lift your depression. Try it!

Why don't you meditate on God's Word today? Go back and look at the Scriptures that I placed in this blog, and meditate on them for a few moments. Why don't you also turn on some good Praise and Worship music? As you do this, you are putting on "a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." (Isaiah 61:3)

I love you guys, and pray that a GARMENT and SPIRIT of praise will be released upon you even now. Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do you still hold fast your integrity?

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you are as well.

Let me share something that God laid on my heart very early this morning from Job 2:9-13:

Job is totally covered with agonizing sores. He was not only physically afflicted, but he was also painfully humiliated. He ends up sitting in the ashes, scraping the pus from his sores with a broken piece of pottery. To cap it all, the one to whom he ought to have been able to turn for emotional support turned against him. His wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity?" I can see that her faith has crumbled under this attack. She no longer believes that God is loving, thoughtful, and just. She sees this as proof, as many of us have done in times of trial, that God has forsaken his promises, that the Bible is not true.

How many times I have come to comfort people going through trials, and had them say to me, "I tried these promises, I tried believing God, but it doesn't work." Have you ever said that?

That is getting very close to what Satan was trying to get Job to say: "Curse God, and die." He used Job's wife as his instrument, and, just as Eve became the instrument to get at Adam in the Garden of Eden, the assault upon Job's emotional life comes through his wife. She advises him to do two things: "Give up your faith, apostatize. Curse God." (Actually, in the Hebrew, the word is "bless" God, but it is properly translated "curse" because the word "bless" is dripping with sarcasm.) "Bless God, and die." She is clearly suggesting suicide: "It would be better for you to take your life than to go on like this." So poor Job, bound by physical pain, sits in humility with a disfigured body, and suffers from a sense of emotional abandonment by his spouse.

I do not know if women fully understand how much their husbands depend on them. I think husbands often draw emotional strength from their wives far more than either they or their wives realize. Here was a severe attack addressed to the very soul of Job, in which he felt his wife abandoning him, advocating that he turn from his faith and renounce his God. But now, in Verse 10, we get the results of this second round of tests:

But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:10 RSV)

Job's rebuke is a very gentle one. He did not say, "You foolish woman!" He said, "You speak as one of the foolish women." He is not attacking her, rather, he is suggesting that this is a temporary lapse of faith on her part, and that, for the moment, she has begun to repeat the words of stupid, foolish women who have no knowledge of the grace and glory of God. In that gentle rebuke you can see something of the sturdiness and tenderness of Job's faith. In this great sentence he again reasserts the sovereignty of God: "Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" And herein is the lie that is growing in America spoken by Job's wife. She had the philosophy that life ought to be pleasant and if it was not, there was no use living it.

That philosophy is widespread in our own day, and a mounting suicide rate testifies to the universal acceptance of it. But this book is given to show us that life is not to be lived on those terms. The reason we are here is not necessarily to have a good time. There are meaningful objectives to be attained in life, even when it all turns sour. When the pressure comes, when living is no longer fun, life is still worth living. A philosophy that wants to abandon everything as soon as things become unpleasant is a shallow, mistaken, distorted view of life, and a growing lie from the devil in America.

Job reaffirms that. "Shall we not take both good and evil from the hand of God?" We take his joy and his pleasure, the pleasant things of life with gladness and gratitude. If he chooses to allow something that is difficult, shall we then abandon that gratitude and begin to curse him in protest, because life is suddenly different than we thought it would be? The reason we are here is not merely that we might have a good time, and this is taught everywhere in the Scriptures.

God, in his grace and glory, does give us many, many hours of joy and gladness and pleasure and delight, and it is right for us to give thanks. But do not abandon that when the time of pressure comes for that is what satan wants us to do. He wants us to begin to complain and to protest to God; to get upset and angry and resentful; to stop going to church, or to stop reading the Bible. That is what Satan's whole attack in our lives is aimed at doing.

So today, put on that garment of praise, and understand that "life is worth the living, just because He (Jesus) lives! I love you guys, and pray that you have a thank-filled and peace-filled day! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Kratos Power of God


Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.


In Ephesians 6:10, the apostle Paul gives us some very important insight into the kind of power God has made available to every believer - including you! This is really important for you to understand because it describes the kind of power that God wants to operate through you.

First, let me remind you that Ephesians 6:10 is a verse about the supernatural power God has made available for our fight with unseen, demonic powers that come to war against the soul. The word "strong" used at the first of this verse is taken from the word endunamao, which describes a power whose purpose is to infuse a believer with an excessive dose of inward strength. This particular type of endunamao power is so strong that it can withstand any attack and successfully oppose any kind of force.

A historical study of this word proves its supernatural nature. It was used by early writers from the Greek classical periods to denote special individuals, like Hercules, who had been handpicked by the gods and supernaturally invested with superhuman strength in order to accomplish a superhuman task. Now Paul uses this word endunamao to tell us that God has made this kind of supernatural strength available to believers in Jesus Christ!


For today's application, as I did yesterday, I want to share something I read this morning from Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems from the Greek

Let's see what else Paul tells us about this power. In Ephesians 6:10, he says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Especially notice the words "power" and "might." Yesterday we looked at "might" today let's look at the word "power".

The word "power" is taken from the Greek word kratos, and it describes what I have come to call demonstrated power. In other words, kratos power is not a power that one merely adheres to and believes in intellectually. Rather, this kratos power is a power that is demonstrative, eruptive, and tangible. It almost always comes with some type of external, outward manifestation that one can actually see with his or her eyes. This means that kratos power is not a hypothetical power; this is real power!

Ephesians 1:19,20 declares that when God raised Jesus from the dead, He used this very same kratos power to do the job! It says, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power [kratos], which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead."

The KJV is a bit reversed from the original Greek. The Greek says, "according to the power of his might." Why is this difference so important? Because the phrase "the power of his might" is the same identical phrase used in Ephesians 6:10 to denote the power that is working behind the scenes to energize us! This power that God used when He raised Jesus from the dead is the same, exact, identical power that is now at work in us. That means we have resurrection power working in our lives!

Kratos power is so overwhelming that the Roman soldiers who guarded Jesus' tomb on that resurrection morning fainted and crumbled to the ground beneath the full load of this divine force. And the soldiers continued to lie prostrate on the ground, paralyzed and unable to move, until the resurrection was complete.

This kratos power was indomitable, overpowering, and irresistible on that day long ago. Flooding the grave where Jesus' dead body lay, this conquering power permeated every dead cell and fiber of His body with divine life until it was impossible for death to hold Him any longer!

God's kratos power was so overwhelming that, had we been present at the resurrection, we would have felt the ground trembling as this electrifying force entered the tomb where Jesus' body lay. The power that raised Jesus from the dead was an eruptive power, a demonstrated power, an outwardly visible power. It was the strongest kind of power known to God or man.

And now Paul uses this very word to describe the power that is available for our use! With this empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we can expect the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead to operate in us! Remember, this is a demonstrated or outwardly manifested kind of power, so when this power begins to operate in us, it immediately seeks an avenue of release so it can demonstrate itself.

So turn up your level of expectation! Start anticipating that this mighty power of God will begin to flow through you!


"Lord, I thank You for making such power available to me. Now I see that I have no excuse to ever complain that I am weak, for You have placed at my disposal the very power of the resurrection itself. Teach me how to tap into that power so it can be released in my life. I know that this power is the answer for many people's needs and that You want it to flow through me. Holy Spirit, as my Great Teacher, please teach me how to open my heart wide so the river of Your divine goodness can flow through me. I pray this in Jesus' name!"


Pastor Rusty

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Ischuos Power of God


Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.


In Ephesians 6:10, Paul says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." The word "might" is taken from the word ischuos, and it conveys the picture of a very, very strong man, such as a bodybuilder or a mighty man with great muscular capabilities. Now Paul applies this picture of a strong, muscular man, not to himself, but to God. Paul pictures God as One who is able, mighty, and muscular.


For today's application I want to share something I read this morning from Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems from the Greek:

Let me ask you - is there anyone more powerful than God? Is there any force in the universe equal to the muscular ability of God? Consider this:

  • With one stroke of the hand, God's mighty arm released so much creative power that the entire universe was flung into being.
  • With one stroke of the hand, God's mighty arm discharged such incredible force that the civilized world of Noah's day was flooded and an entire period of civilization was wiped out.
  • With one stroke of God's mighty arm, Egypt's rebellion against Him was crushed beyond recognition, and the children of Israel were set free.
  • With one stroke of God's mighty arm, the wicked powers of the heavenlies were forcibly shoved aside, and although it was physically and medically impossible, Jesus was conceived and miraculously born from a virgin's womb.
  • With one stroke of God's mighty arm, His power surged into the throes of hell itself, where it ripped Jesus out of the pangs of death, stripped demonic principalities and powers naked, and made a public display of their embarrassing defeat.
  • When the mighty arm of God moved on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as a "rushing mighty wind" and filled the Upper Room with His awesome power, supernaturally enabling the disciples to preach the Word with signs and wonders following.

Where is this powerful, mighty ability of God working today? In you and me! Paul says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

The word power in our text is the Greek word kratos and it is the demonstrated, outwardly manifested, eruptive power of God, which now operates in every believer. But the ischuos we have looked at today is the force that works behind the kratos power! Why is kratos power so strong and demonstrative (as in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? Because God's muscles (ischuos) are backing it up!

These words in Ephesians 6:10 are so powerful that they convey this idea:

"Be strong in the Lord and in the powerful, outwardly demonstrated ability that works in you as a result of God's great muscular ability that is working behind the scenes."

All that God is, all the power He possesses, and all the energy of His muscular, mighty ability now energizes the kratos power that is at work within you. With this power at your disposal today, you can confront the unseen demonic spirits that come to wage war against your flesh and your soul - and you can win every time! Since this power is available to you today, you are ready to lay hands on the sick, pray with power and authority, speak the word of faith in every situation, and see mountains move on your behalf!

So the next time you run into a problem that seems a little overwhelming, remind yourself that "greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). You have no need to be afraid and no need to shrink back in timidity, for there's enough power at work in you to resist any force that comes against you and to supernaturally remedy anything that needs to be changed!


"Lord, I am so thankful that Your muscles are the backup for the power that operates in my life! Just as Your mighty arm created the universe, divided the Red Sea, destroyed the Egyptians, ripped Jesus from the throes of hell, and raised Him from the dead, I know that now this mighty power also works in me. Help me learn how to flow with this power and allow it to be released through my life so I can be a bigger blessing to people who are around me. I pray this in Jesus' name! Amen"


Pastor Rusty

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The People in the Cave of Adullam


1 Samuel 22:1-2 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. (2) All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.


Until now David had been alone, but at this juncture in his life he gathered people around him. The first to come were "his brothers and all his father's house" (1 Sam 22:1). There was a unity to the clan or family that made this a natural move, but they were also now in danger from Saul who might be expected to attack them merely because they were David's family. As society has moved from a pastoral to an urban culture, and from a sense of corporateness to the prizing of the individual, there have been losses as well as gains. One loss is the strong support system that families are capable of providing for their members.

The second group that was drawn to David did not seem as attractive, for they were people who were drawn to him because of common troubles. They had been made into a family not by blood ties but by suffering similar problems. While the one-sentence description in the text is not exhaustive, it paints a clear picture of David's four hundred men as "everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented" (1 Sam 22:2). The establishing of the monarchy had not solved all their problems and had probably created new ones, and these were the people caught in the social upheaval. It's easy to see why they accepted David as their captain.

While the group bore no resemblance to the elite unit that David had commanded for Saul, they made a contribution to his preparation for being king. They taught him the problems of the common people. Had he stayed in the palace, eating with the king and enjoying the company of the prince, he would have never been able to understand the people who came to him. When people suffer they discover others who are suffering and are able to communicate with them at a deeper level than is ever possible for those who have not shared the experience.


How do these verses apply to me? I want to take a look at each "group" that assembled with David.

First of all, the distressed. The Greek word used here means: a narrow place, confinement or disability: It refers to hardships and anxiety especially brought on from disobeying the Lord but also from general social and political conditions.

So, the distressed in the Cave of Adullam were those who were "boxed in" with a disability or a "narrow-minded" view of things. They were those who have been in disobedience to the Lord for various reasons. How often has my narrow-mindedness brought me into distress? I must allow my hardships and anxiety to drive me to God's presence, and not from it. I know people who are "narrow-Minded" in the style of music that they will worship to, that there is only one translation that is worth anything and if you don't use that one, than you are wrong. Some are narrow-minded in how to deal with people, in how you are supposed to lead people, in their opinions. I could go on and on. I can become "distressed" because of my narrow-mindedness which leads to hardships and anxiety.

Secondly were those in debt. The Greek word used here means: A verb indicating lending or interest, serving as a creditor. It refers to a person who has made a loan, It means those who lend or charge excessive interest.

So, those who were in debt represent those who have not put the Lord in charge of their finances. Instead of looking to God, they looked to credit, or high interest abuse of people. It all adds up to a lack of integrity in their finances. It is so tempting to use credit cards to get what we want right now. Instant gratification is a lack of self-control that has gotten many folks in a mess financially. In fact, it has pushed entire Countries into messes that the government has to start "bailing o out."

The very basics of giving my finances to God is to start giving. Some want to argue that paying tithes isn't a New Covenant principle so many use that as an excuse not to give anything. God's heart is giving, not receiving or being tight fisted. God blesses the giver, not the stingy. Help me Lord, to be a better steward of the blessings that you have given me.

Finally, there were those who were the discontented. The Greek word used here means: bitter (literally or figuratively); also bitterness, or (adverbially) bitterly: angry, chafed, discontented, heavy.

So, those who were discontented were people who were bitter and extremely angry. We are living in a very angry culture. From road rage, to school shootings, home invasions, and drive by shootings. God is looking for a people that will raise the standard of living and be salt and light. We cannot be salt and light when we act like those who do not know Christ. There are many angry, bitter people in God's Kingdom. We must allow the Lord to change our character and attitudes. And give our bitterness and anger to Him daily!


"Lord, please help me today. I have been distressed, in debt, and discontented at various times in my life. That is not a great place to me, in fact it is very troubling. I need to lean on you today to make sure that I don't go there again because of my lack of self-control and sour attitude and disposition. Jesus, I want to live, act, talk, walk, think and love like you do. I thank you that you can, and are, using my experiences that I have had in each of these categories of people to help others. You never waste pain, you always use it to assist others if I will allow you to do so. I honor you today, and choose to make every effort to keep my life from becoming distressed, in debt, and discontented today. In Jesus name, Amen! "


Pastor Rusty

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Cave of Adullam


1 Samuel 22:1-2 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. (2) All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.


Those in trouble, in debt, or discontented joined David, who himself was an outlaw. These people were outcasts themselves and could only improve their lot by helping David become king. David's control over this band of men again shows his resourcefulness and ability to lead and motivate others. It is difficult enough to build an army out of healthy, strong men, but it takes even greater leadership to build one out of the kind of men that followed David. This group eventually formed the core of his military leadership.

David didn't choose wilderness living; he had nowhere else to go when Saul isolated him from his family, ended his military career and banned him from the palace. The wilderness experience starts out with feelings of disconnection and isolation, and usually gets worse before it gets better. Hoping to form an alliance with the Philistines in Goliath's hometown, David went to Gath. After all, when Saul's your mutual enemy you naturally become friends, right? Wrong!

The Philistines wanted nothing to do with David. So with yet another door closed, he escaped to the cave of Adullam where he turned back to God. There he became a magnet for "those who were in distress or in debt or discontented" (1 Samuel 2:22). The Bible says, "They came to David… to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God" (1 Chronicles 12:22). Not exactly a model congregation!

Do you know what the name Adullam means? A place of refuge! Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:31-32).

Strong churches are built from people who were "in distress or in debt or discontented". Do you remember being there? Paul said, "Take a good look… at who you were when you got called… I don't see many of 'the brightest and the best'… not many influential, not many from high-society families… .God deliberately chose men and women… the culture overlooks… exploits and abuses, chose these 'nobodies' to expose the hollow pretensions of the 'somebodies'" (1 Corinthians 1:26-28).


Although he was raised in a good home, Whit Criswell got hooked on gambling and ended up embezzling from the bank where he worked. When the auditors found out he decided to end his life. He wrote a suicide note, drove to the outskirts of town, parked his car and put a gun to his head, saying, "Go ahead, you no-good slob, it's what you deserve." But he couldn't do it. So at dawn he returned home where police arrested him. He felt humiliated being handcuffed in front of his friends and family. But he was also liberated, because he no longer had to live a lie. Criswell's prison cell became his 'cave of Adullam', the place where he turned back to God. When he was released in 1987 he joined a church doing odd jobs, and eventually became a staff member. In 1998 another church asked him to be their senior pastor and today it's one of Kentucky's fastest growing congregations.

Another cave dweller 'ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven', by the amazing grace of God!

The introduction to Psalm 57 describes it as "a song of David when he fled from Saul into the cave". In the first verse he says, "Be merciful to me, O God… my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by".

Are you feeling "down on your luck" today? Do you see yourself as damaged goods? Are you in distress, discontent or in debt?

Instead of wandering alone in the wilderness, find what you need in God's presence. Understand that their are others all around you struggling in the Cave of Adullam. We will discuss this further in tomorrow's blog. Please pray the following prayer with me if you are facing a difficult time:


"Lord, I thank you for your blessings, your faithfulness, your compassion and your workings in my life. You have never left me nor forsake me. I know you never will. There are times that I have found myself in the Cave of Adullam. I have been distressed, discontent, or in debt up to my eye balls. Nevertheless, you remain faithful. I come to you in the midst of my difficulties, disappointments, discouragements, depressions, and moments of despair and I get still and listen for Your still small voice. I know you will give me the direction and help that I need. I love you Lord, and patiently listen. In Jesus name! Amen."


Pastor Rusty

Friday, May 15, 2009

Careful or fearful?

This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it! I hope you will as well.

First of all, to all of our West Memphis First Assembly family, God has given me a message for Sunday morning that I am very excited about. It is simply called, "Nevertheless…" Please make plans to attend one of our two services Sunday morning (8 am & 10:30 am). I believe God is going to do some awesome things in our lives!

I have talked with several people lately that are battling fear. Because of this, I have been studying and reading a lot of material on fear. This morning I was reading something from Author Bob Gass that ministered to me in a great way. Those of you that are regular readers know that I love to share things with you that have blessed my life. That is the purpose of this blog. Not just to share my heart and my writings, but to share things that have blessed me and "spurred me on." I believe the following thoughts from Bro. Gass will do just that to you today.

I Samuel 17:37 "The Lord… will deliver me."

Fearful people often excuse their fear as just being careful! They say, "I'm not afraid, I'm just being careful. You can't rush these things, you know." Doubtless King Saul wouldn't have admitted he was afraid to face Goliath, yet behind all his talk of "calculated risks" and discussions about "what was best for the nation," he was just plain scared. As you evaluate your response to the risks you face right now, ask yourself: "Am I careful or fearful?" You must wrestle that question to the ground!

You see:
(1) Careful is thoughtful; fearful is emotional.
(2) Careful is fuelled by information; fearful is fuelled by imagination.
(3) Careful calculates risk; fearful avoids risk.
(4) Careful wants to achieve success; fearful wants to avoid failure.
(5) Careful is concerned about progress; fearful is concerned about protection.

Saul was fearful; he did nothing. David was careful; he moved forward and killed the giant. And in that moment something significant happened. The Israelites suddenly got the courage to fight. The Philistines, who moments before had been beating their chests, suddenly ran for cover. One act of bravery, just one, gave everybody else what they lacked - courage. And that's the heart of leadership! Leaders instil courage in the hearts of those who follow - not just by their words, but by their actions.

So if you want to be a leader, you have to go first! In stepping out, you'll give the gift of courage to those who are watching. And depending on your situation, your one act of courage may change everything around you for the better!


Pastor Rusty

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Romans 8:28-God is in Control

No matter what's happening in my life – good, bad, or ugly – God's purpose is working in me. Whenever you have a problem where you can't understand the purpose, it becomes very difficult to handle.

You know the most difficult kinds of questions of life are, "Why is this happening to me?" When the problem is there that's kind of a freak accident and it doesn't have any rhyme or reason to it. It just doesn't make sense. Those are the kind of situations that are the most difficult to handle.

On the other hand, when you see a purpose behind your problem it gives you enormous hope. It also gives you enormous power to endure it. And God says, I am working in your life and I have a purpose no matter what's happening.

God is doing good things in my life even when the situation is bad, even when I don't feel it, even when it doesn't make sense, even when I have no understanding. When the situation is bad, He is still doing good things in my life.

I want us to look at a couple of verses that we've looked at many times here at First Assembly of God. But we keep coming back to these verses because they're so profound, they really explain what life is all about. I hope by now if you've been a believer for some time that you've memorized Romans 8:28
"We know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose."
This is such a significant verse I want us to look at it word by word.

Notice first what it does not say. It doesn't say, "All things work out the way I want them to." We would like that and we'd like to interpret it that way but that's not what it says. It doesn't say, "All things work out the way I want them to."

It does not say, "All things have a happy ending on earth." Because that is not true. All things do not have a happy ending on earth. Reality teaches us that not every patient gets well, that not every couple that gets married lives happily ever after. Reality teaches us that not every business decision makes a million bucks, not every problem is resolved. So we know that's not true. All children don't get straight A's and become captain of the football team. What does it say?

  • First it says, "We know that God causes all things to work together for good." What that means is we don't wish, we don't imagine, we don't desire, we don't have false hope, we don't have positive thinking. It just says, We know. It's not a wish or a desire. It is a certainty. We are confident of whatever comes after this. "Hope is not the same as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well. But hope is the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out."

  • "… that God causes…" There is a grand master designer of the universe. And there is a plan that is in action and history is His story. There is no such thing as fate. There is no such thing as chance. There is no such thing as luck – good luck or bad luck. There is no such thing as karma, or "I just happen to fall into it." That is not true. There is a master designer. We make mistakes for sure. We make many mistakes. But God never makes mistakes.

  • "We know that God causes all things to work together for good."

    What does "all things" include? Does that include illness? Yes. Does that include unemployment? Certainly. Does it include divorce? Some of you have a question about that one, but yes. Does it include a miscarriage? Does it include failure? Does it include freak accidents? Does it include the stupid decisions that I make and the mistakes I bring upon myself? Yes! Absolutely, yes! Everything fits into God's plan. The good, the bad, the indifferent. The things that I do, the things I don't do. The things that I control, the things I don't control. All things work together for good.

Notice: It doesn't say, "all things are good." And it does not say God causes all things. God does not. God does not cause rape. God does not cause war. God does not cause famine and poverty. God does not cause leukemia and cancer. To attribute those things to God is to turn God into a monster. God is not a monster. God is incapable of sin. It doesn't say God causes all things. We bring a lot on ourselves.

  • But it does say that "God causes all things to work together for good." It's not by accident and it's not separate. They work together. It goes back to that illustration about baking a cake. When you're baking a cake you've got to have some flour and some raw eggs and some Crisco and some sugar and some salt and some vanilla. Any one of those things by itself doesn't really taste too good. Have you ever tasted flour? Crisco? Maybe the sugar some of you might say is ok. But none of those things on their own tastes good.
There are a lot of things in your life that are difficult to swallow. They're bitter going down and you choke on them. "Why is that happening?" Not all things in your life are good but they all work together for good. When those elements are put together – just like the element of the cake are put together it produces a cake and the cake is very good. God wants to bake a cake in your life and He wants to take the elements in your life, even the things that are distasteful, bitter, and He wants to work them together.

  • Notice the qualifier of this great promise. It is not for everybody. It says "… those who love God…" All things do not work together for good for everybody. In fact, if you are thumbing your nose to God, walking out the back door and saying, "Forget You, God!" all things are not working for good in your life. In fact, all things are working for bad in your life. This is not a promise to everybody. It's a promise for those who love God and want to have a relationship with Him and who are trying to live according to His purpose.
This morning if you are reading this blog and you are facing an impossible situation, the next verse is for you. Jeremiah 29:11 God says, "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future."

You may think that what God is doing in your life right now is painful and is to no avail but God says, "My plan is good. You just don't see it. You need to trust Me. You need to have hope because it's a plan to give you a hope and a future."

If you have walked away from God. And you think, "I was close to God at one time but I can't get back to Him," then the next verse is for you. Philippians 1:6
"God began doing a good work in you and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again."
God starts something in your life and what He starts He finishes. You may say you're too far beyond hope. You're not. You've walked away from it but when you come back and say, "God, I'm going to give You the mess, give You the pieces. Give me Your peace." Then that which He started, He finishes in your life. And He keeps on keeping on.

I pray that you have a HOPE-FILLED day today! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Friday, May 8, 2009

Do not WORRY about your life


Matthew 6:25-34 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (27) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (28) "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (29) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (30) If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (31) So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (32) For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Because of the ill effects of worry, Jesus tells us not to worry about those needs that God promises to supply. Worry may (1) damage your health, (2) disrupt your productivity, (3) negatively affect the way you treat others, and (4) reduce your ability to trust in God. How many ill effects of worry are you experiencing? Here is the difference between worry and genuine concern-worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.

Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting in God's guidance. When done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worriers, by contrast, are consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God. Don't let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today.


Imagine never worrying about anything! It seems like an impossibility; we all have worries on the job, in our homes, at school. But Paul's advice is to turn our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less? Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.

By nature, I am a worry wart. I often am tempted to "worry about my life." And just as often, I have to go running back to the Word of God. My daily theme verse is from Psalm 118:24 "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." This reminds me that since God gave me this day, He has also given me the provision for this day.

Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us THIS DAY our daily bread." THIS DAY...God wants me to understand that there is great POTENTIAL in THIS DAY. There is great POSSIBILITY in THIS DAY. There is great POWER in THIS DAY. There is a great PERSON who is in charge of THIS DAY! That is the key...make a decision to trust God THIS DAY.

Regardless of what I face, I need to understand the importance of leaning on Jesus THIS DAY. I need to spend time in His presence THIS DAY.

A Swedish proverb says, "Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow." A Scottish Proverb says, ""What may be, may not be."

A bassoon player came up to his conductor, Arturo Toscanini, and nervously said that he could not reach the high E flat. Toscanini just smiled and replied, "Don't worry. There is no E flat in your music tonight." Many of our worries are like that-- unfounded and unnecessary. Why do I spend my times worrying about the "E flat's" that I am fearful of? Often, I am anxious about something that never comes to pass.

Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat...worry is wasting today's time to clutter up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles. A dense fog that covers a seven-city-block area one hundred feet deep is composed of less than one glass of water divided into sixty thousand million drops. Not much is there but it can cripple an entire city. When I don't have anything to worry about, I begin to worry about that.

J. Arthur Rank, an English executive, decided to do all his worrying on one day each week. He chose Wednesdays. When anything happened that gave him anxiety and annoyed his ulcer, he would write it down and put it in his worry box and forget about it until next Wednesday. The interesting thing was that on the following Wednesday when he opened his worry box, he found that most of the things that had disturbed him the past six days were already settled. It would have been useless to have worried about them.

I must make up my mind daily to "not worry about my life." How? Fill my mind with God's Word, and daily make a decision to spend time in God's presence.

As Author Bob Gass says, "God doesn't want to be your Sunday get-away; He wants to be your permanent residence. We think of God as a deity to discuss instead of a place to dwell, but God wants to be much more. He wants to be the One in whom "we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). When God led the children of Israel through the wilderness He didn't just appear once a day, then abandon them. No, the pillar of fire was present all night and the cloud of smoke was present all day. Our God never leaves us. He promised, "I am with you always"(Matthew 28:20)."

David said, "I'm asking God [Yahweh] for… only one thing: to live with Him in His house my whole life long" (Psalm 27:4)." That's nice" you say, "I'd love to live in God's house too, but I'm stuck in the real world." No, just the opposite; you're only one decision away from your Father's presence. You don't need to change your address - just your perception. Wherever you go today, whatever you face today, remind yourself, "He is with me!"


"Lord, I need your help today. You said in my daily text that it is the heathen that worry about their lives. I am not a heathen, and don't want to act like one. Please forgive me for being anxious and filling my mind with worry. I choose today to come into your presence. I choose today to remember that this day you have made for me, and my responsibility is to rejoice and be glad in it. Since you gave me this day, you have also made arrangements for the provision for this day. I know that, but the way I express it is through thanksgiving. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to me, THIS DAY. In Jesus' name, amen."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Peace Beyond understanding

This week I have been studying the dangers of worry and anxiety. In my study I came across an article on God's peace that I wanted to share with you on my blog. The author is Rick Renner (Sparkling Gems from the Greek). Please take a moment to read through and meditate on the following words. I truly believe that they will speak PEACE into your life!

Are you tired of letting the devil get you all stirred up? Has it been easy for the enemy to throw you into a frenzy of panic and anxiety? Maybe it doesn't happen continually to you, but every once in a while, something happens or someone says something that pushes a button inside you and throws you into a tizzy! When this occurs, do you say and do things you later regret? Do you feel sorry that you allowed the devil to get to you again?

If what I just described sounds familiar, I have help for you today! In Philippians 4:7, the apostle Paul writes, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

As we begin our study today, I want to draw your attention to the word "passeth" in the verse above. It is the Greek word huperecho, which is a compound of the words huper and echo. The word huper literally means over, above, and beyond. It depicts something that is way beyond measure. It carries the idea of superiority; something that is utmost, paramount, foremost, first-rate, first-class, and topnotch; greater, higher, and better than; superior to; preeminent, dominant, and incomparable; more than a match for; unsurpassed or unequaled. The second part of the word "passeth" is the Greek word echo, which means I have, as someone who holds something in his possession. It can be translated to keep; to possess; to have; to hold; or even to acquire.

When these words are compounded into one, they form the word huperecho, which Paul uses in Philippians 4:7. This Greek word denotes a peace so superior that it is held high above all other types of peace. This is a peace that transcends, outdoes, surpasses, excels, rises above, goes beyond and over the top of any other kind of peace. The implication is that people may try to find peace in other places, but there is no peace like the peace of God. The peace of God completely outshines every other attempt to produce peace, causing it to stand in a category by itself. There is absolutely nothing in the world that can compare with the peace of God.

Paul continues to tell us that this peace surpasses and excels above "all understanding." The word "understanding" is the Greek word nous, the classical Greek word for the mind. This word refers to the ability to think, to reason, to understand, and to comprehend. It also depicts the mind as the source of all human emotions. In Greek, the word "mind" represents the inner powers of a person and thus the place from which a person rules and controls his environment and the world around him. The Greek word emphatically depicts the mind as the central control center for a human being. Therefore, it was understood that the condition of the mind is what determined the condition of one's life.

Then Paul tells us what this powerful peace will produce in our lives! He says that this peace "shall keep your hearts and minds." The word "keep" is the Greek word phroureo, a military term that expresses the idea of soldiers who stood faithfully at their post at the city gates to guard and control all who went in and out of the city. They served as gate monitors, and no one entered or exited the city without their approval.

The apostle Paul uses this word phroureo to explicitly tell us that God's peace, if allowed to work in our lives, will stand at the gates of our hearts and minds, acting like a guard to control and monitor everything that tries to enter our hearts, minds, and emotions. When God's peace is ruling us, nothing can get past that divine "guard" and slip into our hearts and minds without its approval!

This is the good news you've been waiting for! It means you can refuse to allow the devil to access you, throw you into a state of panic and anxiety, or push any button inside you any longer. When the peace of God is standing guard at the entrance of your heart and mind, the devil has lost his access to your thought life and your emotions!

Taking these Greek words together, Philippians 4:7 could be understood in the following way:

"And the peace of God — a peace so wonderful that it cannot be compared to any other type of peace; a peace that stands in a category by itself and rises far above and goes beyond anything the human mind could ever think, reason, imagine, or produce by itself — will stand at the entrance of your heart and mind, working like a guard to control, monitor, and screen everything that tries to access your mind, heart, and emotions."

By using this word, Paul tells us that the peace of God will keep and guard your heart and mind! God's peace will surround your heart and mind just as a band of Roman soldiers would keep dangerous nuisances from entering a city or from breaking into special, private places. In the same way, peace keeps fretfulness, anxiety, worry, and all the other wiles of the devil from breaking into your life. When this peace is active in your life, it surpasses all natural understanding. It protects, guards, keeps, and defends you.

Nothing compares to this powerful, protective, guarding peace that God has positioned to stand at the entrance of your heart and mind! When this peace operates in you, it dominates your mind and your life. Since what is inside you is that which rules you, peace rises up and conquers your entire being. It stands at the gate of your heart and mind, disabling the devil's ability to disturb you by preventing his attacks from bypassing and slipping into your mind. The devil may try his best to find access to your mind and emotions, but this guarding peace will paralyze his efforts.

So make sure Philippians 4:7 is a reality in your life. In every situation you face today and every day, let God's supernatural peace rise up to dominate your heart and protect your mind and emotions. If you're tired of the devil getting you all stirred up and throwing you into a tizzy, it's time for you to let this supernatural peace go to work and start monitoring, guarding, and approving what does and does not get access to you!


Pastor Rusty

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Worry Warts!

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

We started looking at the Dangers of Worry yesterday. I would like to share with you a short devotion that I read today from Author Bob Gass. It ministered to my life, and believe it will yours as well.

Did you know that 'worry-warts' usually have a higher than average IQ? But they also tend to have a bad case of the "what ifs." "What if I wreck the car… or get sick… or lose my job… or don't measure up to the challenge?" Now, most of this stuff never actually happens, but the fear of it overwhelms them and prevents them from living life now.

Chronic worry will steal your joy because worry is just fear that's unpacked its bags, signed a long-term lease and moved in. You can't be joyful and fearful at the same time; they're fundamentally incompatible.

How you act - reveals what you believe! By living in fear you're demonstrating that you don't trust God enough! Furthermore, when you serve God out of fear instead of gratitude, you end up feeling like a martyr, envying and resenting those who are living in joy. Jesus said, "I say these things… that [you] may have the full measure of my joy within [you]." Notice, He didn't pray that you'd be happy and escape trouble. No, He prayed that you'd have the same joy He had. "What kind's that?" you ask. A joy firmly grounded in your relationship with Him. A joy that's not subject to negative emotions within, or adverse conditions without.

David said: "Be glad in the Lord, and… shout for joy" (Psalm 32:11). So, when you can't think of a solitary thing to be happy about, be glad that you're still held securely in the everlasting arms of God!


Pastor Rusty

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Dangers of Worry

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

Last week we looked at the blessings of encouragement. This week I want us to examine the dangers of worry and how to overcome it.

When worry comes knocking at your door, stop it on the porch, otherwise it'll move in and take up residence. The Word of God says that we can, "Throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are His personal concern" (1 Peter 5:7).

Isn't that wonderful; God really does care, about the things that worry you and prey on your thoughts. He cares about them more than you do. Not a single nagging, aching, worrisome, gut-wrenching, blood-pressure-raising thought escapes His notice. Because you are His personal concern, you never disappear from His screen.

Worry is like a rocking chair; it uses up all your energy, but where does it get you? Leo Buscaglia writes, "Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."

Dr Charles Mayo of the famous Mayo Clinic says, "There's a growing mountain of evidence to suggest that worry is the chief contributor to depression, nervous breakdowns, high blood pressure, heart attacks and early death. Stress kills. I've never known a man to die from hard work, but I've known a lot who died from worry."

Author Bob Gass says, "Mathematically speaking, it doesn't make sense to worry. Psychologists tell us that roughly 30 percent of what we worry about never happens; another 30 percent has already happened; 12 percent is about unfounded health concerns, and an additional 20 percent involves 'sweating the small stuff'. That leaves only 8 percent. Think about that! We worry 92 percent of the time for no good reason at all, and if Dr Mayo is right, it's killing us."

What qualifies as a worry? Anything that drains your tank of joy… anything you can't change… anything you're not responsible for… anything you're unable to control… anything that frightens and torments you… anything that keeps you awake when you should be asleep. All of that 'stuff' needs to be transformed from your worry list to your prayer list!

What's the answer? "Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected… and the God who gives peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:1-8). That's God's answer to worry!

Give each worry, one-by-one, to God! The more you practice doing this, the more exciting your walk with Him will become. You'll be amazed at how easily He handles things that overwhelm you. Always keep these three things in mind: (1) He's able to handle it. (2) He's willing to handle it. (3) He's waiting for you to give it to Him.


Pastor Rusty L. Blann