Most of us, at one time or another, have encountered painful experiences.  So much so that it often brings tears to our eyes, frustration sets in, and our spirit becomes grieved.  Our nights become long and dreary, stress levels escalate, burdens become heavy, and our hearts feel the pain of brokenness.  There seem to be no hope, or at least the little hope that we might be able to hang onto seems dim and gloomy.  And, if that is not bad enough, our flesh begins to hold a conversation with us on how we got ourselves into this predicament in the first place.  It is during such encounters as these that we conclude that "life does not seem fair."
Because of the excruciating pain we experience, we try to make sense of what is happening.  It is only when we walk through adverse situations such as these that we become an inspiration and an encourager to others.  If God allow it, then He has a purpose for it.  The challenge is to leave behind the turmoil of misery and frustration and allow God to turn those adversities into blessings.  In First Peter 4:12, 16, and 19, Peter stated, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."  The world has much to offer, but what it offers tarnishes with use and fades with time.  Jesus said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Therefore, it is imperative that we stay connected to the source by:
1.  Praying and seeking God's face (Psalm 18:6; Psalm 77:1-2);
2.  Studying the Word and meditating upon it (Psalm 119:105; 92);
3.  Worshipping God (Job 1:20; Habakkuk 3:17-19); and
4.  Trustsing God to work thngs out (Psalm 7:1; 9:9-10; 118:8; Romans 8:28).
This is a sure formula because it takes us out of the equation and we can rest upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. Sometimes life is not fair and it is certainly unpredictable.  Nevertheless, we must keep our eyes fixed on Christ and find strength in Him.
So let me encourage you.  When our flesh gets ahead of our faith, and we find ourselves chiming in on "life not seemingly fair", take a leap of faith by standing firm on the foundation of God's eternal Word.  He will turn our darkest nights into brighter days, our battles into victories, and our heaviest burdens into the greatest blessings.  Let Him have it.  The battle is His, and He will always bcome our VICTORIOUS!


"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1). Trouble is inevitable, and we have all had and will continue having bouts with it. It is the "Straw that broke the camel's back." Trouble is like a member of the family - every time we look around, it is there. It is a powerful keg of explosives that damages and destroys families, friendships, relationships, and memberships. Its strong current of destruction brews and zaps us like a bolt of lightning that strikes when we least expect it. In other words, trouble is one of those storms we face in life that does not play fair. Sometimes its explosions are so powerful and furious until it gives us a sudden urge to give up because of fear. That fear hinders our ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and our lives begin to look bleak and hopeless. Other times, trouble can appear as a tiny 'firecracker' with just enough 'bang' to remind us that "it is still there."

From another perspective, we sometimes become confused about what steps to take when trouble does come. During those crucial moments, the Lord protects and shelters us from danger, in harm way, by hiding us under his pavilion like a mother hen protecting her chicks. "For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock." (Psalm 27:5). Who is better able to protect us from danger than the One who birthed us into the world?

The Late Timothy Wright wrote a song entitled, "Trouble Don't Last Always". Hallelujah! We are assured by our unwavering faith in the Word of God that when trouble does come we have a Savior who will guide us through every situation. Our problems may seem grim, but God promises that He will never put more on us than we can bear. A testament to that promise is reflected when we prevail during the course of us going into, going through, or coming out of a storm, that the end results cannot be attributed to us but by our faith in Jesus Christ.

Trouble is truly on every hand, and no matter how swift we are on our feet, it will eventually catch up with us. But having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ renews our spiritual strength and endurance to meet some problems with a degree of expectancy. For the battles we encounter are not ours; they are the Lord's. " . . . when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 61:2(b)(c)).


"Two road diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth . . . I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Excerpts from Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" are metaphorically symbolic of Jesus' sayings in Matthew 7:13-14. "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Think about it! The question asked is not unusual or unreasonable because many of us have had to chose and have become acquainted with these roads in life. So which will you choose -the road to life and eternity, or the road to death and destruction?

Jesus compares the way to eternal life to an entrance through a gate - a "strait" gate. The strait gate is narrow and difficult to enter. This means that the way to Heaven is narrow and even though salvation is a gift of God, it was with much difficulty that the Father purchased our redemption through the sufferings, death, burial, and resurrection of His only begotten Son. God's word assures us that Jesus is the WAY and the GATE. If God, who loves us so, had not prepared the WAY and provided the GATE, we would still be lost with no way into Heaven to live with Him forever. But, since Jesus is the WAY, the choice becomes ours as to whether we will choose the path He has set before us - a very important decision regarding our salvation.

Unlike Robert Frost, we should not experience such difficulty in deciding which road to travel, even though he eventually chose the right road. But, if for some reason you come to the bend in the road and you are still unsure about which road you should be traveling, read II Peter 3:7, 9-10. "But the heavens and earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Which road are you traveling? The choice is yours! "And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . ."
(Joshua 24:15). Tomorrow is not promised, but there is hope in the one who holds tomorrow.


There is a beautiful song by Pastor Bruce Parham entitled "Hide Me" that speaks volume to my soul. To "hide" means to put out of sight; to conceal for shelter or protection; to keep secret; to turn (the eyes or face) away in shame or anger; and to remain out of sight. After reading and meditating on the very core of these definitions, I unequivocally understand what Pastor Parham is conveying to his listeners through this song. Personally, it ensures me that since Jesus loves me so that He is willing to hide me in Christ - under the shadow of the Almighty. This testimony of Pastor Parham should also be the testimony of every Christian who loves the Lord.

The words of the song are - "Lord hide me in thy glory, in the secret place of your holiness and grace; That's where I'll worship in thy presence, I'll bless your name and give you reverence; Hide me where your hands of mercy covers me from the enemy . . . Hide me from circumstance; Hide me when I want to take one more chance, Hide me when my strength is weak; Hide me when my eyes want to take one more glance . . . Oh hide me, hide me Jesus, Hide me from the enemy; oh, I'm asking you Lord to hide me Jesus; hide me . . . hide me, even if the enemy you hide is me." These are some of the most powerful words in the song that makes the plea to Jesus so profoundly humble and submissive.

Just think about it. When we are hidden in Jesus, He covers us; we are surrounded by Him; we have nothing to fear because He protects us; He assures us that He is always there; we are not alone; and we will produce spiritual fruits. Colossians 3:3-4 says, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." So we must first and foremost die to the flesh and ask Jesus to hide us from everything that hinders us from allowing Him to direct our path - "even if the enemy you hide is me."

Being covered by Jesus' blood sustains us when Satan rears its ugly head up seeking to destroy us. But, be encouraged. Psalm 27:5 assures us that "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me upon a rock (out of the reach of my enemy)."

Be still, and know that I am God . . . ." (Psalm 46:10)


Almost three years ago, Pastor introduced Pilgrim to the slogan of moving from "I Can" to "I Will". And even though that slogan was ushered into the hearts and minds of the congregants, it is far removed from its original intent. I believe that we forget that when we make a vow of commitment, it is to God Almighty and not entirely to the person responsible for introducing it. Pastor has no magic wands to "make" people do the work of the church, but he can hold us accountable. Remember, where there is no vision, the people perishes. If anyone perishes under Pastor's watch, it will be because of their failure to fully commit to God and for fear of change. Prayer is an important component in situations involving fear. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths". The same God who is able to make rocks cry out is still inviting us to follow Him.

And now that 2009 has arrived, let's take a "Holy" examination of our relationship to God; our fellowship with one another; and as leaders our commitment to lead, follow, or move out of the way. When we lead falsely, it causes people who may not be as astute in the Word as they should be, to follow the wrong path, and can cause them to fall out of fellowship with God and his/her brethren. There is a saying that, "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything". We are falling for those things that hindered us in the past; we are falling for acceptance at any cost; we are falling for something new in Jesus which will never happen. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more.

So, Fellow Christians, I challenge you to stop gazing up into the sky; look around you; embrace that individual whom you have not spoken to in months or even years; embrace that individual that sits next to you each Sunday without uttering a word; embrace that individual who may feel inferior because of a perception of us having uncaring hearts. What if Jesus treated us the way we treat each other, or the way we deserve to be treated. Nobody is better than anybody else. Unfortunately, some may think they are, but in Jesus' eyesight, we are all the same. Only what we do for Christ will last - the other superficial things outside the realm of love is "vanity".

Solomon, the old Preacher, says "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil". (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) The best is yet to come!


A few weeks have passed since we participated in and witnessed a spirit-filled Women's Day Conference. Thanks to the Conference Chairperson and her committee, every "T" was crossed, every "I" was dotted, and we had an awesome experience in the Name of the Lord. Each class was facilitated by such phenomenal, Godly women who unselfishly shared with us their expertise on their respective topics. And, our Guest Speaker for the Sunday Morning Worship Service just put the icing on the cake. I applaud all of you who planned these events, our guests, and everyone who participated. Further, I trust that with all of the excitement, tears of joy, and having such a mountaintop experience, that our lives were impacted so that it brought about a sense of spiritual renewal within us.

The scriptures referenced for Women's Day 2008, Genesis 19:17-26 and Galatians 5:1, from man's enslavement to his freedom, led to the theme, "Looking Back at What Cost?" This theme served as a warning to us of the consequences we face when we continuously look back, taking our eyes off the cross. Thus, this particular scripture also speaks of God's warning Lot by sending two angels to Sodom to compel him to get himself and his family out of that city. ". . . because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it." (Genesis 19:13) Lot was told to escape for his life, where to go, and to not look back, lest thou be consumed. But, Lot's wife, for whatever reasons, looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Why did Lot's wife look back? Why are you looking back? "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13-15). Also, in Luke 9:62, Jesus again warns us that, ". . . no man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God." Therefore, if Jesus is not in our front view, then we are looking in the wrong direction.

So, let me introduce you to my Guide, my bike partner, who is reliable and He makes sure that my mission is clear. He is the One who brought us from slavery to freedom by the shedding of His precious blood on Calvary's cross. Come on; get on the bike with Jesus and me. We don't have to do all of the peddling; He will change places with us when we get tired. There is no need to fear. He knows the route well, and He is the only one who can help us reach out destination, Heaven. However, one very important prerequisite is that we must have been on the bike long enough to get to know Jesus personally.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. AMEN.


When tempers flare and attitudes need adjusting, it makes one want to just throw up their hands and say "forget this". And, if the individuals' acts of impropriety are not bad enough, they try to justify such behavior. But, if the truth be told, this is an attention-getter. Some people's egos are like addicts; they need stroking or, they will throw a tantrum. This is a deceptive motive but unfortunately sometimes it gets them the attention that they want. While it would be easy to walk away from a situation such as this, the Holy Spirit just will not allow us to do it. He immediately intercedes and reminds us that Jesus would handle the situation(s) totally different in a much nicer, more loving, kinder, gentler way.

So what is the problem? The problem is that these people need a spiritual renewal---a discipline of the mind and heart. We should embrace them when they are hurting or in pain; but again, if it is only to get attention, then these people need to seek someone with more discernment than us. Sometimes the only thing we can do for these individuals is to advise them; give them a Word. A thorough search of our hearts and souls will determine if we are contributors to satan's attacks on our lives. One of the hardest things to do is to admit when we are "wrong". Admittance of such, however, will begin the healing process. We cause some of the hurt in our own lives because of our tongue, selfish pride, and as a result we reap what we sow. We should never sow discord among our brothers and sisters because this is one of the things that God says HE HATES. (Proverbs 6:19) Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to change our bad habits, thought patterns, and selfish acts. They will get you nowhere, but will cause a lot of grief.

R - E - S - P - E - C - T is a word that has to always be in the forefront of our mind, body, and soul because it seems difficult to respect those whom we do not love. But the Bible makes it very clear, WE MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Christ commands it. So, let's stop playing games, plotting, and scheming. We are the ones who are supposed to carry God's Messages to the lost. And, when we get caught up in worldly things, we lose our drawing power.

Spiritual renewal allows us to look at life differently, and gives us a different perspective on the people whom we shy away from. All of us are God's children. So do not pat yourselves on your chest too boastfully, because God loves us all the same. "For there is no respect of persons with God". (Romans 2:9) He is an advocate for all of us. And, if we do not love or respect each other on earth, God is not getting any glory when we PRETEND to glorify Him. We say we love God; God says we are LIARS, if we hate our brothers. (1 John 4:20)

Having a new mind in Christ makes our lives better; our walk with Him will be clearer and not cloudy or doubtful; and our focus will be on the Cross, not on ourselves. God is still standing with outstretched arms waiting for us to CHANGE. Get your attitudes off your shoulders and come join the rest of us in the spirit of love, fellowship, and joy! We have too much work to do for the cause of Christ to allow the world to deter/detain us! So let's stay focused on the things that is important to Jesus Christ.

And, in spite of it all, may God continue to richly bless and keep each of you in perfect peace as you keep your minds stayed on Him. It is not about you; it is about JESUS!