Faith-Hope-Love

  • Don’t Give Up

    Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or even months where you just want to give up or throw in the towel? Well, I think I have had some of those days in my life. Days when everything is going smooth and then something happens and I feel like nothing was working or going as “I” planned it, I couldn’t get anything accomplished. When we have days like this let’s work on not giving up. Here’s what we can do instead of thinking I just want give up, or say in Twitter language #ICan’t.

    First we want to compare our characteristics to the circumstance. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” You and I can’t always control what happens to us, be we can always control how we choose to respond to it. When situations arise make the choice to not complain (I know someone is saying easier said than done) but instead give thanks to God for what is going well, for the good in your life. You will then see that what seems to be so bad really isn’t all that significant after all. Your character is really stronger than your circumstance. Keep a positive attitude and a thankful heart regardless of what you’re going through.

    The next thing we want to do is to remember that God’s timing is always on time. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future.” So, we see that during those times that we want to give up, we need to have patience, wait on the Lord, work our faith, and we need to worship him in the midst of everything. We can’t force our timing, but we can trust and believe God’s timing is always on time.

    Finally, we want to tell ourselves that we are never alone. I know that when that circumstance arises you feel as though you are alone (the battle is not yours it’s the Lord's). Think back on the day you asked Jesus to come into your heart, when you became a part of God’s family. God promises us in Deuteronomy 31:6, that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will always be by your side to the end. So, DON’T GIVE UP HOPE, KEEP THE FAITH, AND REMEMBER GOD LOVES YOU!

    Faith-Hope-Love
    LaTanya Corpening


  • Christian Theology

    Christian theology says God speaks to us through the Bible,theology helps us to see life ,and see how we fit in revelation. This makes one ponder with all the ministry that goes on daily on radio stations on television and on the internet, and in publications all across the nations why is it so difficult for humanity to love God. To embrace his theology and to desire to live a life indebted to God. Some of humanity's problem is selfishness in nature. We want to answer to no one but ourselves. And we desire to live our live's on our own terms as we desire regardless of the circumstances. That would be okay if we were alone on the planet but. We want relationships we are dependent. On someone before conception and. And even in adulthood we desire companions and through relationships we reproduce and what type of life due we owe our reproductions of self. Without theology, and revelation we will not prosper but spiral into disaster considering the latter, how can a sane mind refuse Theology?

    Faith-Hope-Love, Minister Gary Bullock

  • In the Storm

    As we know in life there will be storms. However, as with any storm being prepared can make all the difference as to how you will weather the storm. In other words, do you have what is required to go through the storm safely? Do you have the appropriate, necessities to come out of the storm victoriously as a conqueror? Or, will you come out the storm with a lack of, only to experience loss and the costly damage of defeat? The storm may be financial, health related, associated with work or even an unruly child. Often, day to day people who face unavoidable issues that may seem impossible to get through actually have the ability to prepare prior to the onset of the storm, but they don't due to many reasons.

    As a follower of Christ we must know, the one and only way to remain prepared to overcome any form of storm that may arise is to put God first in our lives. *By reading the word of God, because "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The word of God says; Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:8, 9 NIV)

    *By praying always, just by going to God with cares and concerns for yourself and for others.
    *And lastly, by giving of ourselves,as to the service of others as Jesus did for us and continues to do for us every day. To live without God first in our lives leaves one helpless, unprepared, vulnerable, and unequipped to conqueror the inevitable storm. Be a follower of Christ and watch God show himself on your behalf to weather the storms of life with you. God is all you will ever need. In Him you have all that you need to be victorious.

    Finally, brothers and sisters,whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8, 9 NIV)

    “Father God I pray that we will never cease to pray and never cease to seek your face. For your word says if we would acknowledge you in all our ways you shall direct our path. Father God we are open to your direction. Have your way, for your ways are always best for our lives, please let your perfect plan be manifested in us always.” In Jesus name!

    Faith-Hope-Love,
    Lisa Atterbury-Vorhes

  • Is “Obedience really better than Sacrifice”?

    For some years now I have heard this preached and taught but not until coming to the VOFM have I really understood why. This statement hits home to me with respect to tithing. Even though I am not new to the concept of tithes and offering, Pastor has pointed out to me some real revelation in being obedient in this area. I not going to say I have been able to fully perfect my faith walk in this area, but I do understand that we too at least have to try and take those baby steps. The thing that has made me open my eyes is that I have been blocking my own blessings by not being obedient. I also believe that we should not leave God’s house in disarray. It is real easy to say, “Oh I will tithe later”, or when “I hit that big money”. To be obedient is unconditional, you either do it or you don’t. What I am learning is that it is better to do at least something, rather than do nothing. It is better to be obedient and to sacrifice.

    Faith-Hope-Love,

    Joe Vorhes

  • It can happen to anyone but; what do you do if it happens to you?

    "Why do bad things happen to good people?" That is the question that people ask themselves day in and day out. What do you say to parents of a child born with a birth defect, or to the parents that have lost a child with his or her whole future ahead of them? What is the answer to why did he or she leave me? Who has the answer to why did momma or daddy have to die? Why was I laid off instead of someone else? Believers and non-believers alike ask these and many similar questions.

    How do you as an individual make sense of these tragedies and misfortunes? How do you deal with the grief and uncertainty that is sure to follow? I mean really, what do you say to these individuals? I know that on more than one occasion I have asked, "Why in the hell is this happening to me?" or "What did I do to deserve this lot in life?"

    There may not be any obvious answers for the non-believe but for the believer, we know that Jesus said in John16:33 "...That in this world you will have trouble..."(NIV). You see, satan is constantly at work roaming this world trying to shake our faith and derail us from the path God has for our lives? Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy."(John 10:10a) and "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."(I Peter 5:8).

    So how does that help me and my situation? How can I as a believer make sense of this world? Jesus said in John 16:33, "But take heart! I have overcome the world." "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10b).

    We may not fully understand why bad things happen to good people or even control how we feel about the times when they do but we can control how we choose to react. Where will you stand?

    Faith-Hope-Love,

    Minister Michael R.

  • SSSO (Stop, Sit Down, Shut Up, Obey)

    The communication process is a two-way street. There is a speaking side and a listening side. Participants in the communication process serve both roles during a conversation.

    More often than not, we are generally better at talking than we are at listening. Make a visit to any local bookstore or library to see the pittance of books focusing on listening compared to those focusing on speaking to get the point.

    A healthy relationship and conversation rely on both speaking and listening. In fact, many experts suggest that we spend more time listening than talking. We call it listening for understanding.

    A conversation with God is called prayer and, similar to a “natural” conversation, it includes speaking and listening. Think back to your last prayer time. How much time did you spend talking compared to listening? As Christians, how much time do we truly spend listening to God? To complete the spiritual conversation, we must spend time praying and listening. Whether we pray for guidance, direction, healing, or anything else, we need to take the time to listen to God’s responses.

    There are times though when God may initiate the conversation when He has something to tell you. But due to the “busyness” of life, He cannot seem to get our undivided attention. God has a number of ways to get that attention. Some of His ways include a restless spirit, a spoken word, an unusual blessing, an unanswered prayer, disappointment, extraordinary circumstances, defeat, financial troubles, and sickness/tragedy/affliction.

    For me, it was the latter that God used several years ago to finally get my complete attention. I had felt like He was trying to tell me something. In fact, I even shared that feeling with my friends. However, I was already feeling overwhelmed with life issues and did not feel I was in a place to hear from Him. So, I continued on with life. As you can see, God had already used the restless spirit approach to no avail. Then He used sickness to arrest my attention.

    He not only allowed me to get sick, He allowed me to get sick over something that had never made me sick before. It was at this point that I finally asked God, “What are you trying to say?”, “What is it you want me to learn?” and “How do you want me to grow?”

    One only need to look in the Bible to see how God has used sickness/tragedy/affliction to get someone’s attention. In one example, God used illness to alert King Hezekiah that he was becoming to prideful (2 Chronicles 32:24). Another example is when Saul of Tarsus was stricken blind when he was persecuting Christians (Acts 9:3-9).

    God always knows where we are on life’s journey. He also knows exactly what it takes to get our attention. So, pay attention and notice if God is using any of the methods mentioned to get your attention. If so, stop, sit down, shut up, and obey.

    Faith-Hope-Love,

    Jameo Pollock

  • EMBRACE YOUR NEW BEGINNING

    As I recently celebrated the forty-fourth anniversary of my birth, I thought about the number forty-four adding the two fours together you get the number eight. The biblical meaning of the number eight is “New Beginnings”. In addition this just happens to be the time our church is celebrating it’s eighth year anniversary. I am privileged to witness the excitement of celebration of not an anniversary of the founding nor my birth but the celebration of LIFE. Life has thrown its curve balls, handed out some real messy hands just as I have over-come triumphantly I also understand those fires had to be flamed in order to burn off the old that completion could have it’s place. In other words we know before the number eight there is the number seven. Biblically the number seven means completion. God allowed closed doors, failed relationships, financial challenges etc… to increase your faith and also bring a close, completion to some things in order to renew your thinking and bring restoration in order for you to walk freely into that “New Beginning” God desires to do a new thing in us we have to step aside and let God perform his perfect work which he has already begun in us. Now you may not have the numerical theory going on yet God is speaking to you, saying you have endured in this season it is your time to “Embrace Your New Beginning”! Celebrate your current trials understand they are designed to bring you to a seat of freedom in order for you to fulfill your destiny. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Prayer: Heavenly Father we come before you today thanking Lord for our new beginnings. Rejoicing in our current state understanding this is all apart of our making. Lord increase my faith to follow and submit to your will for my life. In Jesus Name we pray. 

    Faith-Hope-Love, 

    Minister Maurie Dennis

  • Unexpected Storm

    Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For He commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. Luke 8:22-25

    Natural storms are talked about on the news, but the storms of life will take us by surprise. This was probably true for the disciples, as this storm came even when Jesus was with them in the ship. How many times have a storm come your way and you weren’t prepared for the storm? Do you look at the storm as a road block or detour to your destination?

    Are there times that you have thought about some situations that you have faced throughout your life? Do you recall saying “if it isn’t one thing it’s another,” or even saying “I don’t think I can’t deal with another thing?” Each time it seemed like the storms of life were calming down, here comes yet another storm. I am sure that while you were going through it, if anyone ask you the question that God ask the disciples where is your faith? I am certain that your answer would have been that your faith was in the circumstance, you know the “storm” that was present in your life. You wanted to get to the other side just as the disciples did when they were on the ship in the storm. When I refer to the other side I am talking about the other side of life, the other side of through. God would never have you in a storm or situation that He would not see you through or He did not believe that you couldn’t handle. During the storm there are days that you can’t see your way because of the rain. (your tears) during the storm that God had something greater for you beyond the storm.

    When our "storms" starts to devastate us, do we want to take God's interpretation of our storm? Or, do we want to just develop our own interpretation? When trouble comes down on us, do we carelessly say, "God doesn't care — or when is he going to do something for me!" I recall hearing someone say once that problems are sometimes just opportunities in "work clothes." Yeah it’s hard to see that there really is life after the storm.

    You may not always realize that God was just testing your faith. You may have even felt as if God may have been using it because at times you didn’t pray enough, there were times, where you may not have exemplified all the fruits of the spirit. We must not forget that faith is taking God at His Word despite the circumstances, despite what we see. When we have faith we are claiming God's promise in the midst of bad circumstances. Like the disciples, we may be in a terrible "storm." We might even be so afraid of being tossed around on this ship called “life” that we're so busy trying to calm our own storm. Don’t lose control while you are going through the storms of life. God is not going to let you die during the storm, so don’t be afraid. God’s word says in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” God wants us to call on him, when we are in storms, he does not want us to try to figure it out on our own. While we are yet trying to figure it out He has already worked it out, and brought you out of another storm.

    So, when the storms of the life arise, we need to realize that there is life beyond the storm. Your storm will pass and your trial will turn into triumph. Remember to constantly call on God before and during the storms of life.

    Faith-Hope-Love,

    LaTanya Corpening

  • IT CANNOT BE REVERSED

    IT CANNOT BE REVERSED

    The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but Christ came so that you might have life and that more abundantly. Oftentimes, what we have believed God for and received from Him is at risk of being taken away or stolen from us. Proverbs 6:31 tells us if the thief be found he must restore sevenfold. What has the thief taken from you? If you want it back then tell him to put it back and with interest!

    "Steve" received a substantial pay increase during an annual performance review at work. Later, he was told by his manager that there had been a mistake and the payroll department would be making an adjustment to correct the error. Believing that there is nothing too hard for God, Steve immediately called his wife and asked her to pray in agreement for things to work out so that the increase would remain intact. After the prayer, his wife reminded him of a message from the previous Sunday church service. The message was about the Israelites and how God prospered them in number, wealth, and livestock. The king of the Moabites wanted what they had, so he hired the prophet Balaam to pronounce a curse upon the Israelites because they had become too powerful for him to defeat. After several attempts the prophet finally said to the king, "How shall I curse whom God has not cursed...?" (Numbers 23:8)

    Steve and his wife stood on the Word of God. They professed with their mouths that their blessing could not be reversed. A week later, Steve's manager came back to him and said, "I made the mistake, but it cannot be changed." That is the same result that any one of us could experience if we stand on the Word of God and open our mouths in faith to say what we want to see happen. So, the next time you are in jeopardy of losing what God has blessed you with whether it is in the area of your joy, peace, health, finances or relationships; remember those whom God has blessed no man can curse. You are blessed and it cannot be reversed!

    Faith-Hope-Love,
    Minister Artesa Cooper

  • Why Do We Go Through Adversity?

    Why is an innocent child assaulted? Why are some people afflicted with diseases? Why is a child born with birth defects? There are some questions we will not know the answers to, until we get to heaven and see God. Some of our problems are beyond our understanding. But we can always go to the word of God for life`s adversities. 

    God`s word is full of guidance for all problems we will face in our lives in order to grow and mature as Christians. Our heavenly Father wants us to be cleansed of sin. He wants us to be cleansed so that we will grow and mature and live our lives the way He wants us to live them. 

    There are two ways to receive this cleansing:

    (1.) By continual study and meditation in the word of God

    (2.) By going through the fire of trials and adversity

    Faith-Hope-Love,

    Minister Gary Bullock

  • Relax It's Only A Test

    I remember the day just as if it were yesterday. I went to the Doctor and my report from the Doctor was not at all what I wanted to hear. As I was sitting there listening to my physician tell me that from the test it look like my kidneys were failing, she said “we’re going to have to send you next door to have a port put in your arm to began Dialysis Treatment.” As the tears rolled down my face I am thinking this is yet another test. It seemed as if the lights in my life were out.

    I began to cry as I realized that the situation was dark but Jesus is light. I realized that I still had power, because I could still open my mouth and thank him for waking me up that day and allowing me to be at the Dr.’s office. I proclaimed that this is not suppose to be part of my journey. I told her that God’s word says in Matthew 9:29 “According to your faith be it unto you”. Of course she was not trying to hear about my Daddy Jesus. So, I went home praying, believing that the test results would show on the next visit that my kidneys weren’t failing.

    I decided that during the course of the weekend I was going to praise God for the outcome of my test results. I was praising him before the results were even given to me. You see I did not want to wait until the results came back to thank him for what I had faith and believed that he would do. I would not be telling the truth if I said I didn’t wonder what was next……Well, I didn’t even have to go back to the Dr.’s office because she called on the following Tuesday. My Dr., says “well I got your lab results back, I don’t understand what I am seeing here BUT I wanted to let you know that your kidney function is at normal capacity, your kidneys are stable. As the tears began to roll down my face as she spoke to me and I heard a small still voice ….. Relax it’s only a test, where’s your faith. It was at that very moment that I thought about all the that the Dr., had said to me the week before at the Dr.’s office. I was reminded that God would never leave me nor forsake me. I still believed and I had faith that God was stretching me as he was working this situation out for my good. So, instead of me crying, complaining each day about the situation that I was facing I decided to hook up my spiritual generator to pray, praise, worship him in advance.

    Remember as you go through life you will have test and storms that will come your way. Trust, believe God, for he is walking with you during difficult and sometimes confusing seasons, know that God will see you through. So.....Relax it’s only a test!

    Faith-Hope-Love,

    LaTanya Corpening

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