“Resurrection Praise” – Dr. Robert E. Baines, Jr.

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On Resurrection Sunday, my father, Dr. Robert E. Baines, Jr., preached his face off!!! Coming from Luke 24 with a sermonic focus on verses 50-53, his thesis was “we ought to be mindful of Jesus’ resurrection and our praise. Here are his sermon’s highlights:

–          Something about the resurrection ought to force us out of hiding and into praise

I. Jesus’ Resurrection

  • No matter how messy we though Calvary was, the world we live in is messier.
    • We need the mess of Calvary to cleanse the mess of this world
    • THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE BLOOD

–          The blood does more than any law or money could ever do for our problems

–          Get your nose out the air, because everyone from the rapist to the liar needs the blood to be cleansed

  • While we needed His death for salvation, we needed His resurrection for assurance that He keeps His promises
    • His resurrection lets us know that the Father accepted His payment and gives confirmation to His teachings

–          We don’t have to be afraid of death, we now know there’s new life in Christ

II. Our Praise

  • Hiding (The Disciples)
    • Do we avoid full contact with God because we fear persecution?
    • Do we hide out of shame for the sins we’ve committed in the past?
    • Since Christ has risen, we can come out of hiding.

–          There’s no point in hiding from God: He can see you.

–          There’s no point in hiding from church folks: they’re sinners just like you.

  • Coming Out (The Temple)
    • Once you get out of hiding, come to the church house, look past the people and worship God
    • The disciples came back to the place full of the very same people who crucified Jesusand worshipped God, because IT WASN’T ABOUT THE PEOPLE, IT WAS ABOUT BEING IN HIS TEMPLE
      • Are we capable of focusing on God completely during worship?

–          Stay focused on the Lord

–          THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HIS PLACE TO WORSHIP!

–          Church folks might be messed up, but at least they’re in the hospital.

  • Praising Him (The Praise)
    • Don’t wait until your “Sunday” to praise Him!

–          He’s been “sure nuff” good even if He does nothing else

–          Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ve had any part of your resurrection; it’s all Him

  • God wants lips of praise, but He also wants LIVES OF PRAISE
  • The resurrection gives us power to press through our life’s death until He gives us victorious resurrections

“Keep the Faith” – Min. S. Hamilton

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Min. Hamilton brought the word of God at our 7:30AM service, in the absence of our pastor and definitely blessed me with this sermon. I pray it blesses you as it has me.

Coming from Luke 22:31-34, here are his sermon’s highlights:

–          We have to trust God even when we can’t see Him.

–          When Jesus has something to tell us, He calls us by our real name!!

  • We have to know who we are!
  • We need to have Jesus as our informant.
    • With Him as our informant, we can brace ourselves for satanic attacks.

–          God puts us through a sifting process:

  • Threshing: applying enough pounding and pressure to get the seed without damaging the grain
  • Winnowing: grain is thrown in the air, wind blows around it and all the messis caught in the wind while the pure grain is released
    • The wind has to blow to get rid of our mess
    • After the wind, we’ll come out clean
    • Satan separates us because he wants to see what we’re made of
      • What are you made of?
        • If you’re made of the wrong stuff, your grain will be destroyed
  • We have to go through the sifting process so we can be used
    • Wheat is useless until it’s been sifted…the same is of us
    • Sifting’s used to help us help others with our testimony

“You Had to Go Through It” – Rev. C.A. Pace

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At our 10:30AM service, Rev C.A. Pace brought the word, in the absence of our pastor. Coming from Acts 27:21-26, 39-44, here are his sermon’s highlights:

–          As Christians, we have to mature to the point that we accept challenges with the knowledge that we have to endure in order to get where God wants us.

–          Why we have to go through it:

  1. Your Assignment’s on the Other Side of the Storm
    1. Stop judging people because they’re in a storm

i.      Sometimes God sends storms even when we’ve been obedient

  • We have to stand!

i.      We’re going through the storm, so take it, don’t cower

  1. God Want to Show You Can Make it on Broken Pieces
    1. What do you do when the things you relied on become unreliable?
    2. Sometimes God breaks up our ships to bring us to where we need to be.

i.      The ship God brings us to next will be that much greater after He breaks the first one

  1. This is Not the Last Chapter of Our Lives
    1. If you can manage things in this season, He will bless us with greater in the next season.

Ministry Encouragement (March 2011)

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So the sermon highlights below are from my pastor’s anniversary revival, anniversary service and my father’s anniversary, as well. While I’m not a pastor or even a preacher, these sermons were extremely encouraging to me as I journey in ministry. I pray each of these sermon highlights edify and encourage you:

1. “Connected” (Rev. C. Cunningham @ Pastor Hunter’s 1st Pastoral Anniversary) 3/16/11

John 15:1-8

–          We have to be connected!

  • Too many of us want a connection with world instead of the Word.
  • Thank God, He doesn’t disconnect us!

–          The only way for us to get what He has, we must be connected.

  1. The Process
    1. It’s possible to be connected to Him without bearing fruit, but He’ll remove you!

i.      When branches get dirty, they corrode.

ii.      Jesus LIFTS dirty branches so they can GROW!

iii.      Corrosion disconnects us from the power and makes us grown down and get dirty (too dirty to bear fruit)

  1. When we begin to bear fruit, other things will grow as well.

i.      Not everything on our vine is healthy.

ii.      Suckers grow with our fruit but stifle how much we can grow.

  1. We have to cut the dead stuff at the end of our branch off so we can grow further!
  2. The Purpose
    1. The purpose of our connection is bearing fruit!
    2. We ought to look like what we are.
    3. The fruit we bear isn’t for us; it’s for someone else! A tree doesn’t eat its fruit, but it does provide nutrients for others.
    4. Meditation, conviction and conversion by God’s Word cleanses us
  3. The Possibility
    1. When you’re connected…it’s already done!

2. “Making the Marriage Work When the Wine Has Run Out” (Pas. K.E. Bryant @ Pastor Hunter’s 1st Pastoral Anniversary) 3/17/11

John 2:1-10

–          There’s no point of cleaning out cobwebs when we haven’t killed the spiders.

–          As a church we must understand how to operate in chronos and chiros (understand the difference between our time and our turn)

–          Too many of us are operating on empty when we think we’re full.

–          The marriage between the pastor and church can only work when God is operating both.

  1. Do Whatever He Says
    1. We have to push our pastor up because the ANNOINTING FALLS DOWN!!!
    2. Jesus performs all His miracles based on what’s within the context!

i.      Don’t make stuff up.

ii.      Use what’s and who’s already there!

  1. If you want to be used, you have to get hip to the vision!
  2. Once you pick up your pot and go in His direction, you have to be able to dip and move.

i.      The miracle is in our movement!

ii.      We have to follow even when we don’t see the change in his vision.

  1. We might lose stages, but we can still finish the race!

3. “Set Back for a Come Back” (Pas. C.A. White, Sr @ Pastor Hunter’s 1st Pastoral Anniversary) 3/18/11

Job 42:10-17

–          We don’t have to be in handcuffs to be in captivity.

  • God will turn our captivity.

–          Even the saints deal with depression.

–          Be careful who you sit next to in church, you don’t know what spirits they carry.

–          Wherever the people of God are, Satan will show up

–          Can God trust you with trouble???

  1. God’s Prerequisites
    1. God’s turning of our captivity occurs only after we pray for those so-called friends holding us down.

i.      Get rid of friends who won’t pray for you especially when you’re down

  1. Christian character is built-in the crucible of suffering.
  2. Stop kicking people while they’re down. The same people you kick may have to intercede on your behalf.
  3. We are intercessors: Pray for those going through even if you’re going through.
  4. Don’t hold your head down while you’re going through, God’s working tit out on your behalf and will give us DOUBLE FOR OUR TROUBLE.
  5. As Christians we have something inside of us that pulls us back up even when we get knocked down.

4. “Stay in the Process” (Dr. Jimmy D. Hunter @ Pastor Hunter’s 1st Pastoral Anniversary) 3/20/2011

I Kings 17:7-16

–          God moves us from where we are to places that will refine us before we reach our confrontations at the place of prosperity.

–          Peace leads to Pain leads to Prosperity

–          God takes us through processes of paint that will burn out impurities.

  • He won’t take us to without bringing us through

–          Don’t breakdown before you breakthrough

–          Even though we have to stay in our places of pain, He supplies in the midst

–          We’re not at the place of plenty, but we look like it!

–          What God teaches us in Zarapheth:

  1. He Can Bless Us Even when Our Environment’s Uncomfortable
    1. Even in the company of demonic forces, He is our divine cover
    2. God doesn’t need ideal situations to manifest His power!!!!!

i.      He will provide in spite and in sight of our enemies

  1. He Can Bless Us from Unlikely Sources
    1. You don’t have to be jealous of what others have, He has an unlimited supply of blessings.

5. “God Has Been Good to Me” (Dr. Jimmy D. Hunter @ Pastor Hunter’s 1st Pastoral Anniversary) 3/20/11

Acts 4:13-22

–          You can’t silence the preacher.

–          For too many of us, it doesn’t take too much for us to be quiet.

–          The trial of our testimony is our ability to share it in hostile situations

–          When God sets an agenda, all we have to do is follow it!

–          Why the counsel couldn’t silence Peter and John:

  1. The Presence of Unimpeachable Evidence
    1. People can’t speak against the power of God when they see our testimony

i.      All we have to do is stand!

  1. The greatest argument for the authenticity of the faith is a Christian that looks like one
  2. Is there enough evidence against me to convict me of being a Christian?

i.      Do my actions show Guilty or Not Guilty?

  1. We can’t forget where God’s brought us from.

i.      We must stop turning people out and bring them in!

  1. Too many of us want the power without the transformation.
  2. There Was Uncompromising Loyalty
  3. An Unalterable Experience

6. “Feed and Lead the Flock” (Pas. W. Oliver @ Pastor Baines’s 2nd Pastoral Anniversary) 3/27/11

I Peter 5:1-4

–          On pastoral leadership:

  • Willingness
  • Zealousness
    • Pastors must work for the love of the work and whose work it is
      • Work with a knowledge of the value of the soul
  • Humility
    • Crush worldly ambitions and the lust of power from our hearts and rely, solely, on the Holy Spirit in our leadership

–          The pastor’s reward shouldn’t be sought from men, but rather from God after patient waiting

–          Pastor have to be present.

  • Pastors cannot be more concerned with building their names (traveling in revivals) than feeding their flock.
  • Spiritual food is digested better when served by your leader.
    • Lack of spiritual feeding will result in malnutrition.
    • Absentee pastors affect the spirituality, finances, focus and function of the church.
  • There are predators seeking the death of the flock, so pastors must stand guard of their sheep

–          When the church is fed, victory, joy, triumph and peace, in the midst of defect, tragedy and misery, are present

This following sermon was extremely helpful to me and totally changed my outlook on things. I said in my last post that I would explain why I hadn’t posted in three months, so here’s why: I got sick of pouring out my heart in sermon analyses and reflections for just one person to read it. I got sick of seeing how many people would go to links I provided for hair, makeup, fashion or drama, but how few actually supported something about the Lord. This sermon challenged me to keep doing what I’m doing even if it’s just for one person. Please read the below sermon by Pas. Couzens…I pray it blesses you, as well:

7. “Don’t Come Down!” (Pas. V. Couzens @ Pastor Baines’s 2nd Pastoral Anniversary) 3/27/11

Nehemiah 6:1-4

–          The devil messes up by waiting until we decide to serve God to start bothering us

–          What would make a person dedicate himself to a thankless job (a glorious burden)?

  1. The Word
    1. Some were shown while others were told by God to stay on the wall of ministry.

i.      Don’t just run on what He told you, run on what He showed you!

  1. What do you see?
  2. Don’t rest until you arrest what has arrested you!!
  3. What sentence am I serving? Strive for  a life sentence, not just 3-5..
    1. We can’t come down until we’re done serving our sentence
  4. The Witness of Progress
    1. The devil should’ve come before we started making progress, but instead, he waits until we start making progress to start messing with us

i.      He uses insinuation, intimidation, interrogation and instigation to pull us down from the wall of ministry: these are all confirmation that we’re threats to him!

  1. Transformed lives is the best sign of good ministry

i.      Better members is way more important than more members

  1. c.       We have to know the value of what we’re doing even when others don’t
  2. The Work
    1. Not everyone’s ready to move to places they’ve never been.

i.      They love the preaching, but hate the leadership…

ii.      WE ARE NOT HERE TO MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO! WE’VE GO TO GO DEEPER AND HIGHER!!!

  1. We’re serving for God’s reward and glory, not the affirmation or acclamation of the world
  2. If I quit…
  3. While we build walls, God’s building lives through restoration, redemption and revival.
  4. Give the wall and they’ll hunger for the Book (come to their level)
  5. God has surrounded us with a cloud of witnesses confirming that our labor is not in vain

A Summary of Highlights 2011 (Jan-April)

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So…it’s been a while since I’ve posted highlights (I’ll talk about why later), so I decided to compile a list of highlights from some of the best sermons I’ve heard this year. Another compilation is forthcoming. Hope these sermons bless you as they’ve blessed me:

1. “The Anatomy of Christian Suffering” (Rev. D. Mckinney of Mt. Vernon in Memphis, TN) 1/23/11

II Corinthians 12:7-10

–          We must wear our suffering as a badge of honor.

  1. The Privilege of Christian Suffering
    1. Suffering as a Christian is a privilege.
    2. Whenever you live in the will of God, there will be satanic blessing waiting for us.
    3. Our thorns aren’t here to destroy us, they’re there to develop us!
      1. i.      DON’T MAGNIFY YOUR THORNS, MAGNIFY THE LORD
    4. Our thorns may be Satan inflicted, but they’re God gifted.
    5. Thorns keep us humble.
      1. i.      DON’T GET TOO GRAND THAT GOD HAS TO PUT THORNS IN YOU TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE!
  2. The Problem of Christian Suffering
    1. Most of us wouldn’t’ve started praying without a thorn! L
    2. CAN YOU HANDLE THE “NO”S OF GOD???
  3. The Prescription for Christian Suffering
    1. When you’re going through the waves of life, Christ serves as an anchor.
    2. The ultimate medicine to soothe our pain is GRACE.

2. “The Ministry of Joseph” (Pas. Samuel Winston of Mt. Calvary in Dayton, OH) 1/23/11

Genesis 45:8

–          People don’t call us, God does.

–          Why Joseph was success in everything he did:

  1. Divine Presence (God was with Him)
    1. It doesn’t matter what circumstance we’re in, if God’s with us, we’re coming out victorious!
  2. Divine Power (His gift was from God)
    1. The Devil has counterfeits that God overshadows
    2. When shackles aren’t loosed, there’s no power
    3. The world gives talent but God gives anointing
    4. Your anointing will take you to the top!
        1. Your gift will make room for you!!!!
        2. Our divine purpose is a floating devise, even when people try to put us down we float back to surface.
        3. NOBODY’S FOOT IS MORE POWERFUL THAN GOD’S HAND!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Divine Purpose
    1. God doesn’t turn evil to good, He uses it for our good
    2. We have something coming from us we don’t even understand yet!!!!
    3. Joseph had to go to the pit to save his brother, Judah!
      i.      Judah was the initiator of the lineage of Jesus!

3. “The Jerusalem Dilemma” (Rev. Jordan Ivy of Tennessee at the 5th Sunday Fellowship ) 1/30/11

Acts 8:26-31

–          The Dilemma: How do you travel 500 miles to church, purchase a Bible and still not understand what’s in the Word?

–          The Holy Spirit will lead you to the right people,  the right place, and bring out the right words from your mouth.

  1. The Profile of the Dilemma
    1. Too many of us are too concerned with being in the masses, that we miss the opportunity to minister to the person in the desert.
    2. There are too many religious people without relationship.
      i.      What motivates you to go to church? Love for the church? Love for the pastor? Love for the people? Or love for God?
  2. The Program of the Dilemma
    1. The message has to be relevant to our mission.
    2. Too many people are in love with messages missing a Messiah!!
    3. Too many of us are reading Messianic prophecy and corrupting it with prosperity mess!
  3. The Practice of the Dilemma
    1. We need to be Phillips: learned in the scriptures, love for sinners and operating in the Holy Spirit.
    2. God sets table for us when we’re obedient.
    3. We can’t walk on the road…we have to run!
      i.      When the spirit tells us to move, we have to move with urgency
    4. God’s more concerned with how many times we can minister than how many people just show up!

–          The Solution for the Dilemma: Dedicated Disciples

4. “Serving God by Serving Others” (Pas. Hunter at Bible Study) 2/23/11

Philippians 2:19-30

–          Discipleship is character-development.

  • Character vs. comfort
  • Holiness vs. happiness
  • Person vs. possession

–          We ought to have attitudes reflectant of Christ.

–          God didn’t call us to just clique up, we’re supposed to share our blessings!

–          When we go places in God’s name, or for the church, we need to go with God’s spirit in love and compassion for others, like Timothy.

–          You have to have commitment to serve God.

  • We cannot love without involvement  (Mk. 16:15, Jn 13:35)
    • Our commitment demonstrates our maturity.

–          You have to have compassion to serve God.

  • All our motives should be for the advancement of the kingdom (I Cor. 10:24)
  • We must be willing to put ourselves totally behind the scenes

–          You have to have consistency to serve God.

  • We cannot be afraid to share God even in the face of adversity (Dan. 3)
  • We have to be willing to work unto death.
    • Am I willing to sacrifice all I have for the gospel?
  • Christ saved us to work
  • Our consistency is the best attack against Satan
    • He wants us to question if we should be obedient or if we’re doing too much…

–          We have to have cooperation to serve God.

  • Service is about:
    • The Family: We are the Body of Christ
    • The Fellowship: we’re headed to the same destination with the same task, so we need to work together
    • The Fight: at the point of our salvation, we become Satan’s #1 enemy

–          WE CANNOT BE LONE RANGER CHRISTIANS!

  • Can people see that I love my brothers and sisters in Christ?

5. “Thank God for the Scars” (Pastor Hunter) 3/6/11

John 20:19-20, 24-31

–          We are preachers of right now!

  • We must focus on the present situation because we know the urgency of today.

–          We ought to be thankful for the scars, because:

  1. Scars are Visible Proof of My Victory Over the Struggle
    1. There are too many people faking resurrection in their lives (they’re really still dead, but pretending to live)
      i.      Stay Away from Imposters!
    2. Scars indicate healing!
      i.      They show we’re no longer wounded.
      ii.      They give us testimonies.
  2. Scars are the Basis of My Identity
    1. There are too many people in the church acting like CUTE CHRISTIANS!
      i.      Power comes from deliverance of our problems. 

      1. Where’s you power coming from?

      ii.      Problems force us to humble ourselves to God and it results in His giving us power.

    2. Stop judging people on the content of their Fridays…Sunday’s on it way!!
    3. PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND OUR SHOUT BECAUSE THEY CAN’T SEE OUR SCARS!
  3. Scars are a Visible Witness that With God All Things are Possible
    1. “I used to be layed open, but God took the pieces and sewed me back together again”
    2. We have to have our own account with God
    3. Am I walking questioning if Jesus is real?

–          Jesus can walk through LOCKED DOORS

6. “But God” (Pastor Hunter) 4/3/11

Ephesians 2:1-10

–          It was God’s grace that got us where we are.

  • Don’t get the big head.
  1. The Report of Man’s Crisis
    1. The condition of mankind without God: Without Christ we are dead, an enemy of God on our way to hell
    2. The cause of death: everyone of us has missed the mark. The world and devil have had us at one time.
  2. The Rescue of Christ
    1. But God…
      i.      Everything before this sentence has been cancelled out by God
      ii.      He’s our eraser boy
    2. No matter how dead you are, God can resurrect you!
    3. Since we sit under the feet of Christ, all we stomp under our feet is under His feet!
    4. What does God’s love look like?

    i.    No matter how much we mistreat Him, God keeps coming after us?

  3. The Responsibility of the Christians
    1. Because we are his workmanship, we have a responsibility to serve God and obey His commandments.

Reflection on the New Year’s Revival – Me (D.B.Saunders)

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Ok. So I didn’t want to overwhelm you with three sermons and three reflections, so I’ll just do one focusing collectively on all three sermons. For the sake of time and your attention, I’ll do my reflections in bullet style like the sermonic highlights.

1.       “Learning What to Leave Behind” (Gen. 12:1-4)

–          Baggage: Today I was joking on Facebook about spiritual hoarding, but it really hit me when Pointer related the death of Aaliyah to our spiritual demise. We have to let some stuff go. Too many of us have forfeited ministry for the stupid issues in our past we can’t let go of. Let go of your bitterness, resentment, insecurities and let God fill you up, so He can use you. Pointer concluded this sermon with saying “You can’t beat God’s giving”. This is so true. For every resentment, memory, sinful desire, guilt, inadequacy, person, relationship, place, and habit I gave up for God, He blessed me with promotions, education, relationships, knowledge, joy, peace, bliss, contentment, forgiveness…

–          Confusion in Ur: I know I’ve been guilty of worshipping idols in my life, and trying to downplay it because I was still worshipping God. The people in Ur knew of God and probably still feared Him, but He was not their number one. Until we make God the number one thing on our list of priorities and treasures, we’ll be guilty of idolatry.

–          Lot: Woooowww! This one really hit me hard! This New Year I have made a promise to myself to stop letting people use me. Although I’m still praying for compassion, I do have a tendency to take on a “project” every once in a while. For some reason I allow people to play up their victimization and then … somehow…they become my responsibility. However, just like Pointer said, my inability to challenge them to do better is causing their destruction vs. their growth. This year, people with issues coming to me will get help, but with the intent of progression. If I start to see their not growing, I’m gonna gracefully cut them off.

2.       “The Sufferer’s Shout” (Ps. 66:8-12)

–          We already survived it: I’m growing to the level of spiritual maturity that I thank God for my hardships. Instead of complaining about being broke, having some bad people around me, lazy coworkers/co-laborers, having my name or the name of family members scandalized or because things just aren’t going how I want them to, I am learning to thank God that my hardships didn’t kill me. I’m starting to look at the big picture that God is using my hardships to strengthen me for the things He has for me on the other side.

–          Temperament of our Hardship: This point killed me! While I go through things, I’m starting to realize that God not looking for me to just break, not to just seek Him for relief, not just to see His majesty…He’s looking for me to start acting like Him!! I’ve been saying for the past year that I want to be an image bearer of God, but I never related that back to using hardship to improve my image…I’m definitely going do some serious work here…

3.       “Need and Interruption” (Mk. 5:36)

–          Independence: I have trust issues…point blank. I grew up with the belief that if you don’t trust people with things that mean something to you, you won’t get hurt, disappointed or burnt. This is wrong, but it worked for me for a long time…until I started placing this belief on God…I have to let go and let God.

–          Isolation from Faith-Stealers: I mean…what can I say? This hit home. It’s hard to get used to being lonely… I’ve never been an extrovert, but I’d like companionship from time to time. However, God desires me to long to be with Him not people. I’m learning that the more I grow in Him, the more that’s gonna make people uncomfortable, so I’m gonna stop taking things personally. I understand that not everyone will embrace my growth joyously. J

–          Holding on to the Conversation: THAT’S WHY THIS BLOG WAS STARTED!!! I love the contact, but like Pointer said, “It’s not perpetual”. When things hit hard…my emotions, my frustrations, my anger with God, even prevents me from getting what I need from His contact and sadly sometimes it keeps me from seeking contact, but I’ll always have the conversations. That’s why I look like a mad secretary during preaching time. That’s why I don’t sit next to my buddies during preaching time. That’s why I have two Bibles on my phone, like ten at home and always at least one in my purse. That’s why I couldn’t care if all the service sucks as long as the sermon was good…because I need the conversation!!!

–          Individual Responsibility for our Miracles: Amen. This hit me so hard…I don’t know what to say…I just thank him for that…J

Overall, I thank Pastor Pointer for his messages. They have helped me in a way that I could never express. These sermons will be a part of my memory, weapon arsenal, and devotional time…for a long time. May God bless you Pastor Pointer in your ministry. I can’t wait to hear you again! Until then, I’ll remember to leave the old stuff behind as I board for my flight in God’s will of learning to shout through my suffering as I learn to let interruptions strengthen my faith as I wait for Him to meet and minister to my needs. God bless.

“Need and Interruption” – Rev. P.A. Pointer

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Ok, grand finale. Closing night! Friday night…Pastor Phillip A. Pointer of Upper Marlboro, MD and Alexandria, VA just went ahead and PREACHED!!! Coming from Mark 5:36 (Jesus tells the disciples to have faith after Jairus’ daughter dies), he preached on “Need and Interruption”.

Here are the highlights of Friday night’s sermon:

–          Oftentimes, our independence is not an issue of arrogance, but more so a reflection of our lack of trust in people and God.

–          Sometimes Jesus causes interruptions during His progress, because He wasn’t us to hold on to our faith when things get worse.

o   DON’T BE AFRAID, KEEP BELIEVING!

o   DON’T LET INTERRUPTIONS BE A DISRUPTION OF YOUR FAITH!

–          What God does when we maintain our faith:

1.       He Isolates Us From People Who Can’t Help Our Faith (v. 37)

o   The closer we get to God, the smaller our circle gets.

§  God takes faith-stealers out of our lives!

§  There is a crowd of people surrounding us just to spectate with the hopes of entertainment with no investment whatsoever

§  He isolates us from professional mourners (those who find significance and even enrichment from our victimization) who are insincere with surface grief only

2.       He Makes Contact and Has Conversation With Our Needs (v. 41)

o   When Jesus touched her, she wasn’t dead, because He told them she was alive before He even went to her!!!!!!! J

§  It looks dead, but it ain’t.

§  Go by what He says, not what you see!!!

§  TRUST WHAT HE SAYS!

o   We can’t sit unmoved when He touches us. Something has to happen!

o   We need more than contact, though. We need conversation as well. Contact isn’t perpetual (or continuous, lol).

§  When we don’t feel the contact, we have to hold on to the conversation!

o   We have to operate on what we know, not just what we feel.

o   He talks to us, touches us and then we get up!

3.       He Assigns You to Minister to Your Minister (v. 43)

o   God’s miracles are made clear and real when they show up tangibly and physically and practically.

o   He wants us to participate in the perpetuation of our miracle (he could have just said that at the beginning and sat down and I would have shouted!!!!!).

o   WE HAVE MALNOURISHED MIRACLES! He gives us the blessing, but we haven’t fed it! Real praise is done in the sanctuary of individual responsibility!

o   When God makes a way, it’s our job to walk in the way He’s made.