Monday, May 26, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Will you Answer the Call?

When I was praying this week and trying to figure out what God was wanting to be said, this verse just kept popping in my mind. 

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelations 3:20 (KJV)

Then, at prayer Friday night, Bishop started to talk about how God is calling His people to another level. God is wanting His people to turn up their spiritual level. And then, Sunday it was mentioned again. Right there, that was confirmation for myself that God was calling me to get closer and be more committed. 

Now, for this verse, God is standing at the door and knocking. What is God calling you or trying to get you to do? For some, it may be waking up in the morning and spending time with God. For some, it may be walking in your purpose that you have been trying to deny for some time. For some, it may be talking to a person that you don't want to talk to or spend time with. Whatever it may be it is time to answer it and step up!! 

As we all know, it is Memorial Day today. So, I just want to say thanks to all the servicemen who served in any type of war. If you go back to wars in history, there was a draft. And if you were called, you had to answer the call. If not, you could face jail time or other consequences. If you were called into war, you had to answer and go into war. With this spiritual life, we are in a spiritual war. God is calling us to fight the good fight and walk in our purpose. However, the only way we walk in our purpose and complete the task that God has called us to do is answer His call. We have to be obedient and put Him above all else. When He wakes us up early in the morning, gotta get up and answer it. When He tells us to go speak to someone, we gotta do it. As we walk, we gotta walk in the Holy Spirit.

Jonah was a man who God called to go to Nineveh and preach about God. Jonah did not want to go at all because this city was a complete mess and he saw it as there was no hope for them to change. He judged the city by how they appeared to be; but he did not think about who he was working for. So, he went in the opposite direction on a boat and stayed in the bottom of the boat. He knew he was wrong and tried to go somewhere where he thought he was escaping from God. God knows where we are and He knows what's happening. Don't try to escape!!! After that, a huge storm came and the result after they tried to empty their boat was Jonah being thrown off. Then, Jonah was swallowed up by a whale. Jonah spent a lot of time in the whale until he told God that he would go to Nineveh and do what God originally told him to do. Jonah was given a second chance and God gives His people second chances and more. So we just gotta listen and keep following God.

Now, the thing is if we don't listen to God, we will go through a whole bunch of trials and stuff because we did not listen to God. If we would just listen to God, we would have an easier life. Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. God knows what He is doing so we just have to trust God and let Him work it out. And the other thing is that God has given us POWER!!! Acts 1:8 says But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. God is going to give us the spiritual power to have everyday. The question is will you use it? Will you access that power and follow His will? God is calling you and it's time to answer the phone and follow the orders. 

A lot of times we want to do things our way. Sometimes we just have to say God I trust you!! It's not easy for me to do this and just do what You want. But, God I trust and I will do what You said. God, I want to give You more and do what You say. God, I will give You More!!!

Time to trust God and answer the call!!

Steven Gable
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

GUEST BLOGGER FOR THE MONTH OF MAY: Thanking God For Blessings in Disguise

When I was asked to be a guest blogger I was a little caught off guard, hesitant, and uneasy about the entire thing until I sat down and thought about the role that God has played in my life.  I can honestly say that this past year has been one of the toughest but it has also been extremely rewarding.  For those of you who don't know me, I am extremely shy and an introvert and something such as expressing my feelings or beliefs or experiences to strangers is already a huge test to my faith.  So here we go!....

For starters, I have just completed my first year in college!!! There was a time when I didn't think that I would make it through because it is challenging and outside of my comfort zone.  However, God has always shown me that light at the end of the tunnel when I couldn't see it for myself.  For example, in one of my English classes I was feeling defeated and overwhelmed because everything was coming to me at once.  It also didn't help that I had already formed the attitude of, "I just can't do this" in my head before I even began.  And I was so stressed out that I would pray for a miracle because it just wasn't clicking in my head.  Well upon completion of that class and those countless papers, I received a final grade of an A in that class.  Even now I am not even sure how it happened, but I just know that it was God every step of the way.  He helped to change my attitude, and in turn his miracle that he performed only strengthened my faith and trust in him.  Prayer really does change things! And I am not just thankful that God blessed me with an A, but I am even more thankful that God heard and answered my prayer.

God has also blessed me with more motivation as he has blessed our family with a new baby this year.  It's so easy to have a lack of motivation but God has found a way to keep me grounded striving for greatness.  It's one thing to slack in life when you're just living for yourself, but everything changes when you have someone looking up to you.  That's when I remember how God uses experiences to place things into perspective for us.  He wants us to continue to strive for our successes, to strive to serve others, and to strive to be better people and sometimes he has to give us those blessings in disguise.  I think blessings in disguise are another factor that triggers our faith.  As life slowly unfolds and people are placed into our lives and others taken out of lives, we are given that chance to appreciate people for who they are.  I am so thankful that God placed my nephew into my life because he is a constant reminder of love, hope, and peace.  Although the circumstances may not have been great, my nephew has given me a new sense of hope.  He gives me hope just like prayer gives me hope.  He is a blessing that God decided to bless my family with.  

Yesterday was my birthday and it was milestone.  I decided to incorporate my entire family into my birthday this year (previous years it was some family and friends) and it was just a great feeling to be surrounded by love.  I am thankful for the bonds that my family and I have formed over this past year from the highs to the lows.  Although I'm not too happy about the lows I thank God for them because they have made me value everything in my life.  Life is so short so any chance that I get I try to make the best of any moment.  This includes: mending strained relationships, ending burdensome relationships, and establishing healthy relationships.  Now when things go wrong, I thank God for the experience because I know there has to be a lesson blessing in disguise.

Overall, I may not always go to church or always read the bible, but I know that God loves and cares for me because I make sure I pray and God always blesses me.  Even when I don't deserve it God seems to be always on my side.  As I sit back and reflect on this past year and celebrate a new year of great things, I am just thankful for everything!  I am thankful for the lessons that I'm learning and will continue to learn.  I am thankful for the growth that is coming my way.  And I am certainly thankful for the blessings in disguise that are happening at this very moment.  Although I thank God daily, just reflecting on this past year has caused me to give him the highest thanks.  So many other people have it worse and as long as I am reminded of that, I'll continue to thank God for his blessings in my life.  And when things don't go my way, I'll thank God anyway because, "this too shall pass."

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18 “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (NLT)


Monday, May 19, 2014


A hopeless and desperate man was standing on a ledge about to make the biggest decision of his life.  He decided that this was going to be it; the last breath he will ever take.
He was going to end his life.
As he was about to lean over and jump another man comes up behind him; introduces himself and starts to talk to the hopeless mas as if they were standing online at a grocery store casually conversing.
Little did the hopeless man standing on the ledge know that this stranger just recently lost his wife and two kids in a car accident the previous week.
The man just kept on smiling, asking the hopeless man questions about his family as well as sharing his fondest family memories, and encouraging the hopeless man to come off the ledge.
The hopeless man was so confused by this stranger who just by speaking to him and showing compassion sparked a little flame of hope inside of him.
Before, he knew it the hopeless man standing on the ledge was no longer on the ledge.
He was standing on solid ground with the other man laughing and sharing jokes and stories about his family.
This story is a story of hope, encouragement, reaching out, and sharing God’s love with others.
We don’t understand how good we have it to know the true and living God.
Yes, our lives are not perfect however, we are way better off than those who don’t have God in their life.
And as followers of Christ we need to share hope, give love, reach out and encourage those that God places in our lives.
In the bible it says,
"You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

There are people out there who don’t know where to turn when something drastically goes wrong in their life.
Some may only know things that can temporarily bandage it up like drugs, sex, food, alcohol, tv, work, etc.
Yes, these things can help patch up the problem however, these things can’t heal it.
The true healer is Jesus Christ. He can mend broken hearts, heal diseases, transform minds, open up doors and put together anything that is broken in your life.
We know him, we know the healer so we need to walk like it.
Share God’s hope, love, grace, and mercy with others so that God can be glorified. Simply, reach outside of yourself.
You never know who’s life you might affect. ~ Proverbds 12:5 “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”
I encourage all believers to continue in sharing God’s love with those looking for a savior.:)
And I encourage those looking for a savior, his name is Jesus Christ. Just call on his name in prayer and he will surely answer you. :)
Psalm 91:15
King James Version (KJV)

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekly Devotional: It's Love

It’s Love

Have you ever felt like David did in Psalms 77?

Psalms 77
 1 I cried out to God for help;
    I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
    at night I stretched out untiring hands,
    and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
    I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.[
You kept my eyes from closing;
    I was too troubled to speak.

Weeks have gone by and I'm wearied spiritually. Praying has become work, fasting has become a nuisance and I have laid my faith down.

I thank God he is just and loving to forgive our sins, as long as we confess them. Repenting of my sin, I’m ready to revenge my disobedience and seek to please God. I begin to thank God for his mercy and just gave him praise. In the middle of my prayer, I was reminded, that I love the Lord. I began to sing unto God, “I love you, I love you lord today, because you cared so much for me.”
God’s love for us is everlasting, as he guarantees he will always forgive us. Jesus Christ was the sacrifice for all sin, and now there remain no more sacrifices for sins. There is nothing anyone can do to wash away their sin. Simply believing on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ life and then confessing our sins will make us recipients of God’s eternal forgiveness. This simple and forever process of forgiveness will strengthen our love for God. It should strengthen our love and adoration, because God wants us back in spite of our sin.

This is the reason I pray, go to church, read the bible and seek to live righteously. It's this love of God. We can’t let go of the promises God and this love. God has greater for you and I, don’t lose focus on these things. God is not saying these promises and great things are optional, but guaranteed in him. Keep your eyes and your faith in him. I command the believer to stand and hold onto the promise of God, for he is faithful that promised.

When we fall, just like David we get up by recalling the great things God has done to rekindle our love!! One thing I’ll share is, by tomorrow, I’ll have completed a full year at Montclair after returning from a four year break.

11 I will remember the deeds of theLord;
    yes, I will remember your miraclesof long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Love Thy Neighbor

As I sit here and read through different scriptures in the bible brainstorming ideas to blog about I seem to stumble upon the same subject. And if coming across it in the bible wasn’t enough of a sign, a friend discussing a prime example of “loving thy neighbor” was the icing on top.

Time and time again we come across scriptures in the bible dealing with loving thy neighbor and showing kindness towards one another. Mark 12:30-31 says “30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these”. With everything that is going on in our lives from personal affairs, to pressures at work etc. it can be easy to get so wrapped up in our own web of situations that we are blinded to the needs of others. In a rush to get from one place to another we may walk by someone who needs a hand or help with a door. But if we can for a moment forget about  our own situation and “love they neighbor as thyself” we will not only help others but please God in the process.

Just last night I was in port authority walking quickly to make it to my gate in time to catch the bus home. It was about 10pm and I was pretty tired having been out since 11am. As I was walking at a brisk pace a man stopped me to ask for 80 cents. My initial thought was to just say no and keep walking since I had a bus to catch and didn’t want to miss it. But before I responded I thought for a second, what if I was in that position needing 80 cents, I would want someone to be kind enough to stop and lend me the money. So I stopped checked my pockets for any loose change. Now I didn’t have 80 cents, I didn’t have any change at all just a set of keys and my phone. At that point I could have walked off like sorry bro, got nothing for ya, but instead felt led to ask him why he needed the money. He proceeded to tell me he’s a little short for a bus ticket home. Knowing how badly I wanted to get home I again thought, what if I needed 80 cents. So I told him, I don’t have any change but I have my card, I can buy a ticket, he told me where he was going, and I purchased the ticket from the machine for him. He was extremely thankful and let me know how much he appreciated the gesture. Love thy neighbor as thyself,  “and do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” Hebrews 13:16

A friend of mind also had a great example of loving thy neighbor today. While walking to work he saw an older man in a wheelchair stuck on the side of the highway. So as tons of people drove by, he risked being late and went over to lend a helping hand. One of the wheels seemed to have gotten caught in between the road and a ditch. Not only did he help get the wheel out but decided that he would push the man home. The man was extremely thankful and happy and stated how he was heading home from his dialysis session. He even gave him a shirt and prayed for him before leaving. "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17

We all have very important things we need to get done. But if given the opportunity take the time out to lend a helping hand. Love thy neighbor as thyself "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another". John 13:34

Sunday, May 4, 2014



 2 Corinthians 3:2 No, you yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts. It is known and read by all people.

I am talking to the young adults who are growing as Christians. The message I want them to receive is “Young adult Christians need to check their standards; they’re called to a higher calling.  Also, as believers, they need to represent, and they need to bring themselves up to a new standard—specifically Jesus’ standard.

You are called as believers of Jesus to live differently especially because you are God’s message to the world of what Jesus can and will do in people’s lives.  What kind of message are you sending?
My name is Mark Alexander Spencer. I am from Long Branch, NJ currently a student at Faith School of Theology in Charleston, Maine. Yup you read it right Maine right next to Canada where it gets as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Or lower I grew up in a Christian home and committed to following Jesus when I was 5 years old. When I reached high school I had a lot I dealt with that helped me lower my standards and eventually backslide. I played 3 sports (football, wrestling, and track and field) and I was around many people who did not follow Jesus. I wanted to connect with them since they were my teammates. But the more I wanted to hang out and connect with them, the more I conformed and did things that were not pleasing to God. I Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “Don’t be fooled: Bad friends will ruin good habits.” I told people that I was a Christian, even quoted Bible verses from time to time, but they saw hypocrisy. The scripture sure is true because I started cursing, going to drinking parties to increase my popularity. I tried marijuana, my temper was out of control, to the point where I constantly yelled at my parents, slamming the door behind me. And with my friend’s influence, I started using pornography, which soon became a stronghold in my life.

(What I look like when I’m angry)
I went to youth group and services only because I had to and there were people to hang out with. I was not there to grow in my relationship with Jesus but just to hang out. When I first recommitted my life back to Jesus, I said in my heart: “Since I am going to follow you, Jesus, I want to know the truth because only the truth sets me free and I can’t just do anything I want since Jesus literally gave up His life so I could experience true life. I want to know how Jesus wants me to live since I owe my life to Him and I can’t even breathe or wake up without Him allowing me to.” So I started actually reading the Bible again and asking Jesus to help me to understand what to do and to help me do it. I started to put God’s teaching (scripture) into practice because the God says in James 1:22: “Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves.” We deceive ourselves when we only listen to the Word of God but don’t even do what it says. Every time I read it with that attitude God showed me different things that were not benefiting me in my life. Because I was willing to listen to God. One of the first things was the way I talked at times. Ephesians 5:4 says: “Also, there must be no evil talk among you. Don’t say things that are foolish or filthy. These are not for you. But you should be giving thanks to God.”  From being around guys in sports they spoke filthy about women and their own body parts, and that influenced me to do that as well. God convicted me of that because on my own I could not change until I asked Jesus to free me from it. I’m not saying the thoughts never come into my head but that I choose not to say it. 

The Bible is very clear in Ephesians 5:6-17: "Don’t let anyone fool you with words that are not true. God gets very angry when people who don’t obey him talk like that. 7 So don’t have anything to do with them. 8 In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light. 9 This light produces every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord. 11 Have no part in the things that people in darkness do, which produce nothing good. Instead, tell everyone how wrong those things are. 12 Actually, it is shameful to even talk about the things those people do in secret. 13 But the light makes clear how wrong those things are. 14 Yes, everything is made clear by the light. This is why we say, “Wake up, you who are sleeping! Rise from death, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 So be very careful how you live. Live wisely, not like fools. 16 I mean that you should use every opportunity you have for doing good, because these are evil times. 17 So don’t be foolish with your lives, but learn what the Lord wants you to do.”

It has helped me a lot by letting God change me because it keeps me from unnecessary trials. I am not saying I never go through things, but I am able to avoid drama with people.  Since I started to live differently, my unsaved friends saw me differently and listened to what I said more. As Jesus was first making changes in my life I talked to a certain friend about Jesus by sharing scriptures and telling him what God had done in my life. But before I did this I asked God to open up his heart to receive His Word. I was honest with my friend, telling him things I was ashamed that I did like pornography, cursing, going to drinking parties,  trying marijuana, lying, deceiving people, and so on, but I also about the judgment and mercy of God, His character, and how He set me free from all those things.

 My friend was touched and told me how he saw the difference from who I used to be and who I am now and how he looks up to me because of my integrity.  I had talked with him in the summer 2012 but he did not accept Christ right away because the person has to want to change. But he did make Jesus Lord of his life during the winter 2014! Your life and the trials you go through are a testimony of what Jesus can do for others!  Jesus uses you to reach people.  Jesus says to you today, “You will make them able to understand the truth. They will turn away from darkness to the light. They will turn away from the power of Satan, and they will turn to God. Then their sins can be forgiven, and they can be given a place among God’s people—those who have been made holy by believing in me (Acts 26:18).

No matter what if someone follows Jesus or doesn’t wherever you go people judge each other.  People Judge each other based on what they look like, what they say, the sound of their voice, what they do, etc.  Through all those things people see what others people’s lives are about.  I remember two summers ago in 2012 I had a summer job at K-mart where I was working with this one married fellow. While we were putting food cases and boxes on the shelves, I noticed that he was staring at a lady to the point where it seemed like he was undressing the lady in his mind.  I asked him, “Aren’t you married?” and what he said surprised me.  “I am only married when I am around my wife.” When I heard that it told me a lot about him what he believed. It showed me that people judge other people.

So how much more will unbelievers judge the followers of Jesus and hold you to another standard since you are called to a higher standard? You may be the only representative of Jesus that someone will see and based on how you live will help determine whether people want to learn about Jesus or not. I plead with you as Paul said in Ephesians 4:1 “… I beg you to live the way God’s people should live, because he chose you to be his." You were bought at the highest price anyone could pay with their own life!

"Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. 14 I keep running hard toward the finish line to get the prize that is mine because God has called me through Christ Jesus to life up there in heaven" (Philippians 3:13-14).

We are called to live above the influence and be the influence to the World! You are called as believers of Jesus to live differently especially because you are God’s message to the world of what Jesus can and will do in people’s lives.  What message are you sending???