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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Raindrops mixed with tears: God answers Prayers

If one member suffers all suffer together; if one member is honored all rejoice together. 1 Corinthians 12:26

God is still present
Raindrops got in my eyes this morning.  I was overjoyed; God answered a prayer.  Raindrops mixed with tears filled my eyes this morning I heard from a friend who was missing in action. 
Each time my brother in Christ created an illusion and disappeared my heart grew concerned.  I prayed and God showed up. 

Our Afflictions
My brother in Christ is no different than any of us he struggles with some aspect of life.  He, like others, is afflicted with personal thorns, unable to move forward in God’s purpose. During Paul’s ministry he experienced a “weakness” which obviously hindered or slowed progress. Being cognizant of it Paul asked God three times to remove the thorn. God’s reply, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 7-10

Praying for the right things
When praying we generally focus on self rather than others. Asking for the desires of our heart, blessings, favors, and healing. Nothing wrong with lifting up a personal request but remember God restored Job’s fortunes when he prayed for his friends Job 42:10.  Surrounding us are people who are spiritually, emotionally and mentally paralyzed. They are in need of prayer.  Thank God the power of prayer can heal. 

Christian Walk
I cried this morning because God answers prayers.  During my Christian journey I now realize and understand the more I pray for others God is present. Frequent prayers for my wife, children, family, and the well-being of others supersede my desires. Take time to pray more for others.  Lift up your family, friends, strangers on the streets, Preachers, teachers, schools and government leaders. Call them out by name. Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16

God knows your needs
Though prayers may appear to go unanswered, hearing from my friend
reassured me that God is real.  He knows what we need and he answers right on time.  As for my brother in Christ barriers are present in his life but he fathoms people are praying for him. As for me, each time I pray and hear from my dear friend, it is one more day I cry tears of joy that God is still present and answering prayers.  

Today, let us begin praying more for others and less for ourselves. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tearing down and overcoming barriers

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. Matthew 16:23

Life’s Barriers
Barriers can be depicted in various ways: stumbling blocks, hurdles, walls, obstructions or even blockades. When too many hitches occur in life, people tend to react irrationally. They develop despair, weakness and frustration. They fail to remember God’s Power.

God’s Power
Loosing spiritual sight and taking matters into their own hands people begin to run through hurdles that should be jumped, stop at obstructions opposed to going around, and stare at walls that should be knocked down. This repetitious behavior generates negative results which resemble insanity and obvious reactions become illogical. What have you struggled with and took matters into your own hands?
Life is worth living

Learn to Trust God
Lean not unto your own understanding when spiritually vulnerable. Listen to hear the voice of Jesus and Go to him. Go to Christ just as you are being weary and worn. Learning to humble self, allows God to navigate through the barriers and find that resting place in Him. The hurdles become easier to jump, walking around obstructions manageable and peerless strength to dropkick a wall down! Your steps shall be straightened and when you run you shall not stumble Prov. 4:12.

Though you may not believe it God hears your cry. This is the time to find inner strength and call upon the name of Jesus. Trust honor and obey the word. Don't let barriers in your life keep you from accomplishing great things!

Life is Good
Your life is worth living and God is there waiting to help. Keep moving keep praying and continue to destroy the obstacles in your life! Be encouraged!

Tigner Rand

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Scared as Hell: The afterlife as a zombie

The exaltation of Zombies
The Walking Dead - Zombies
Is it safe to say that people who love zombies are necrophiliacs? I recently heard a Podcast where zombie fans personified and glorified these ‘undead’ creatures.  This exaltation of zombies was for the USA Network series The Walking Dead, which happens to be the highest rated prime time program on cable.

The title says it all; a weekly thriller about resurrecting corpses that dead-walk the earth hunting warm bodies. To witness this delirium would be horrifying.  During an open cast call for zombie extras I was taken aback by weird comments. Hordes of people gleefully expressed it being a dream come true to act out nightmares as zombies. Others thought it was cool to contort their bodies and dress up in gruesome make-up.

What is death?
The last enemy that will be abolished is death. I Cor. 15:26
Death symbolizes the end. Once departed from the land of the living no one knows what lay beyond the heavens but we have an idea what Hell is like. A fiery furnace: where there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth!

The words of your mouth are deadly
People are fearful of death, yet mobs gather to watch horror movies, glorify death, Satan, and Hell.  Giving no regard of what enters the spirit. The point can be argued it is just a movie. But there is power in words and actions. For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he Prov. 23:7.  Be mindful of what you speak, it does not take much to corrupt the heart and spirit.
Jesus at the River Jordan
Tigner Rand 

Life as a zombie
God’s word tells us if we don’t profess Jesus as Lord, the savior, honor and praise his name a person will have a life of eternal death. The tongue has power of life and death Prov. 18:21.  But the path of many is foolish confidence that God or the afterlife is not real. Hades is totally disconnected from God it is the abyss, a lake of fire and brimstone.

The Final Call
Zombie lovers, do you want life everlasting as a zombie? I hope not! It is never too late to accept Christ. He can break strongholds. Be in the multitude that will awake and ascend in to heaven and not those who will experience the shame and endless contempt of Hell!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mind-boggling decisions made easy

Art Modell  1961-95 Browns 96-2004Ravens
Doug Pensinger getty images 

 We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. Proverbs 16

The road to the right choice

People make decisions daily and in some cases second guess their choice. Take for example former Cleveland Browns owner, Art Modell. He chose to sell the team and his decision haunted him the rest of his life.

Mr. Art Modell died days before the 2012 National Football League season. Thirty-one out of thirty-two NFL teams paid homage to this football pioneer. The lone stand out was the team he once owned, The Cleveland Browns.

Modell was a legend in his own time. His decision making skills were instrumental in regularly televised football games, paying players the highest salaries during the sixties and drafting Jim Brown, one of the greatest players of all times who wore the famous Seal Brown and Burnt Orange team colors.

After years of success, the story took a tragic twist in 1995. The city refused to build a new stadium. Modell make good on his threats to move team. He sold the Browns to Baltimore Maryland, The Ravens.

The fans felt betrayed. Modell regretted his decision until the day he died. It did not matter that the city forced the verdict to sell, or that a new Browns team came back to Cleveland. People didn’t forget, and they don’t forgive. All of Art Modell’s accomplishments were overshadowed by this one decision.

Your next decision may not be as difficult as Art Modell’s but you still want to use good judgment. And advice from friends is not always the best answer. The bible provides guidance. God’s word outlines steps which can assistant in discerning times.

Good Decision Steps

Studying God’s word will help develop a keen spiritual eye to recognize God’s instruction. God’s character is revealed the more you read.

Let Go Let God

Just because you read and gain knowledge you have to give up control, allow God to lead and you follow. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Prov. 3:5-6

Pray without ceasing

Every decision, large or small you should take it to the Lord in prayer. Prayer also assists in the development of your relationship building with God.

Keep the faith

Allow God to answer your prayer and provide a decision. Remember God will answer in His time, not yours. Be patient and continue to pray.

Art Modell was influential in transforming football. He also demonstrated great men can make mistakes. But Modell will always be remembered as being the most hated man in Cleveland. Yes, more than LeBron James. Now the challenge is for people to learn how to forgive and forget.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Don’t Forget God or his Goodness be thankful for what you got!

God's Commandments & ordinances
Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, ordinances and His statutes. Deuteronomy 8:11

There was a common thread throughout the Old Testament; people took matters into their own hands. If perceived that God had forsaken them they found other gods to pacify their needs. Regardless of how much man strives to commune with God this thin fiber of hope has shown us man still hates God’s instruction Psalms 50:16-17 thus the constant conflict which is visible today. Doubt, ego, selfish desires are enablers to drive people to forget God and his goodness.

The Mosaic Law was God’s fabric, it consisted of over six-hundred commandments and ordinances to govern the citizens and assist in their daily walk with Him. For forty years the children of Israel were ‘tested’ in the wilderness. The reason was to humble them and see what was in their heart Deut. 8:2, will they trust God or forget God? During the forty year Exodus God reminded the children of His Blessings. Never without food, clothes never wore out and feet never swollen Deut. 8:4. Jesus also reminded His follower’s weak-minded people worry about what to eat, wear or tomorrow, they run after these things. But seek God’s kingdom and righteousness all things will be given Matt. 6:32-33. Don’t forget God’s goodness. Be thankful for what you got.
Your mind is not on God
In the past thirty plus years God’s framework has collapsed.  Society has managed to destroy it from taking prayer out of schools, idolizing celebrities and entertainers as well as worshiping money fame and fortune. Today, as humanity proclaims Jesus as Lord these false gods really reign supreme in their lives. And God is angry. Why, because everyone’s hearts are not with God. Christians profess and recite God’s word but would rather join the antics of thieves than to correct them. Or bask in the glory of the rich and famed entertainers than to follow God. Some would testify against their own brother for material gain. Subconsciously these people justify their actions through the adoption of idol gods. Not just statues or images but possessions, money, jobs, and prestige. People have placed more emphasis on how to increase wealth rather than follow God’s commands and develop a relationship with Him.

He is a jealous God
The LORD your God is in our midst. His commands are rather simple but for some reason people have strayed from them:

• Keep the commands in your heart

• Fear the LORD your God, you and family

• Teach diligently God’s word to your children daily

• Serve God and swear by his name

• Do not go after other gods

• Or the gods of the people who are round you
Through praise, worship and not forgetting God’s command, He has promised to never leave nor forsake us.  Each time God’s children humbled themselves and came back He blessed them. Yet in contrast each time they strayed and disobeyed favor was removed.

You made it on your own?
Small in number are Christians who rebound, rebuild their lives, homes, but the heart becomes proud and forget God (again). Often boasting how they overcame by their power, ego (Edging God Out). Remember

God provides us all the ability to produce wealth not man.
So be careful not to forget God and be thankful what you got. If you ever forget the Lord your God and continue to worship idols and earthly possessions it will come a time that you will be destroyed. 

Tigner Rand


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