EXCELLENCE

Recently an event occurred which had me questioning what I do and even my value. After doing all involved in creating a restaurant from scratch: creating the standard recipes, writing the training manuals, bar manual, employee orientation, bar recipe manual, food costing program, photography for and the creation of the build sheets and hiring and training employees, the client decided they simply did not want to pay the contract and simply gave a third of the agreed amount with a thank you and now go away. This was similar to the Branson, Missouri group who used my name and my Chef K trade mark without seeking permission or paying for the use of it to open another restaurant which I never consulted with (a theft.) Both groups, upstanding business leaders in their community but far less in the integrity area, to steal, lie, and cheat does not a success make.

The actions of both these dishonest companies had me double checking myself and questioning as to whether or not I preformed in excellence. So the following is as much for me as it is a sharing with you.

We can (and must) examine what it takes to have a life of excellence. This is not just in one area, but in all areas of life. 1 John 4:17 says that as Jesus “is”so are we in this world. So then how is He? He is the most excellent being alive in the universe, and His desire is that we be exactly the same as He. What is He? His entire purpose is to disciple us in His ways, causing us to become leaders, leading others into the same life of excellence. It is being magnanimous

“Magnanimity” generous in forgiving an insult; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness. High minded, noble. Proceeding from or revealing nobility of mind, character, or spirit. Synonyms: big, liberal, un-spiteful, elevated, lofty.

To become such a person, there is something that we must realize in our lives, that something is the fact that excellence can be learned.. Philippians 4:8-9, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you Here we find that the life of a Christian being one displaying magnanimity, being magnanimous. Verse 8 gives what the life should be like, verse 9 however, reveals to us exactly what we need to know.

The life of excellence can be;

  1. A) Learned, Christian practice.

 James 4:7-17 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? 13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will,  we shall live, and do this, or that. 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

B) Received, Christian blessing.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28;

 26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

 Psalm 1:1-3; Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

 Proverbs 10:6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

C) Heard, Christian doctrines.

 1 Timothy 4:5-6

5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

D) Seen, Christian miracles, mighty power, or mighty works. Galatians 3:1-14 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.                     

 We must always keep in mind that although the life of a Christian be uneven and rocky (it is rarely smooth, when it is challenged, this how you grow) that when trials , testing, and temptations come, it is through the life of excellence that they are defeated. This four elements found within these scriptures show us that excellence is not something far off, but as near as our learning will take us. It is through these elements that those around us will notice a difference and seek out whatever you may have. What you should have is excellence in life, being ready to lead and disciple.

2 Corinthians 4:13-18.

13  We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

It is not a question as to whether or not you have a choice as to living in a life of excellence, it is the simple fact of the spiritual life that you have been called to live this life.

You are of a royal blood line, 1 Peter 2:9, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: This is not something you should take lightly, nor is it something that you should ever be allowed to be stolen from you. Every attack that Satan brings against you is such an attack. Giving in reduces your quality of life and the excellency of it.

Satan desires that he pull you down and then flaunt you in front of all to declare “see how noble, royal and regal this so called Christian is”. Don’t ever give him the pleasure of doing it to you.

You must come to realize that it is the quality of your spirit that brings this nobility into your life. That which first takes place within the spirit realm will eventually find it’s way into the other realms of your life. Anything that Satan can use to degrade the spirit he will. Ephesians 3:9-21. And to make all men see what is the fellowship (THE STEWARDSHIP) of the mystery( the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly), which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places (angels and demons) might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches (abundance of external possessions) of his glory, to be strengthened with might (dunamis, explosive working of the power contained within)  by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Now it is only through a lifestyle of excellence in the faith that those things that we desire can be found.

We must never compromise our stand of nobility, our integrity must be of the highest order.

Proverbs 11:3-13. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. 4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. 5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.  6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. 7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. 8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. 9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered. 10 When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. 11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. 13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. 

To be of a faithful spirit is to be full of excellency. Why is it that a person of the highest orders are called “your excellency” because they stand for their word regardless of circumstances.

Psalms 15:1-4. 1 A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?  2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

What is it that reduces the Christian to just another religion? Many differing things will, unbelief will, following after the things of the flesh will. Things like lying , stealing, cheating, living in strife, be full of resentment, etc. etc. etc.Ephesians 2:3-5. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 

2 Corinthians 10:4,  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Here is where the true test of the life excellency comes in, in what fashion will you respond in your present situation, through the flesh or through the spirit. The magnanimous person will always respond within the spirit.

Webster defines magnanimous as “that elevation of dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence”.

All this can only be completely done within the spirit and through the action of the Holy Spirit. You too can have the life of excellence when you discover that “as He is, so are you in this world”.

Many people today are miserable because they know not what kind of seed they are and they will not know until they plant themselves and begin to grow John 12:24-26, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be:  if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Jesus compares his own life to a seed. It had an eight fold purpose. Just as he did, so too do we. It becomes the reason that we live in this life. Verse 24 shows us the eight elements.

A) Necessity; here we see that the life of Jesus was essential, for without it we could not be born again nor have any future. So too are our lives essential, for without us, God can do nothing here on the earth for others. Jesus said “I am the way, truth and the life” and so He is. However, he uses us to bring others to him. We are essential for we bring destruction to the enemy. We are essential to the lives of others, for if we are the body, then they are part of us and we part of them.

B) Cause; The action placed behind us once we find the necessity of living. Another word we could use here is requirement. What are the requirements that we place on Jesus. These same requirements are what we must place upon ourselves in order that we know our cause. Our cause is simply to provide for all who come our way the message of the good news of the gospel.

C) Place; There is a place for every seed. Certain seeds grow only in certain soil, under certain conditions, in selected places. What is your place? It should be exactly where God would have you. When we get out of that place then we fail to bring forth the ideal crop. In some they bring forth no crop at all.

D) Present state; Know that your present state is not relevant to the final outcome, a small ugly seed once it has died brings forth a beautiful flower. Knowing that as a seed that you are going to die is very exciting for once you’ve died only then can you bring forth a crop.

Galatians 2:20,21

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

2 Corinthians 4:10-11

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

 E) Unselfishness; When you sow your life in Christ in excellence it becomes the greatest act of unselfishness. Jesus sowed His life into you, you into Him. The seed begins to grow and realizes that in order to live I must continue to draw nourishment from the others around me so I also must put something back into them. Then I will live and be successful.

F) Resurrection; Here we find the reason that we desire to become a seed, which we sow into Jesus, for the seed is resurrected as a thing of beauty, a change took place in you. Now you are new fresh and clean. But that’s not all, in the resurrection you’ve multiplied. Just as Jesus did, so that now more than 1 billion Christians live on earth. We in Jesus multiply as well.

G) Purpose; The very result of our sowing ourselves is that we bring forth much fruit. If our lives are as Christs, then the fruit will be good. If our lives are as our old man then fruit will be rotten.

H) Faith; Without faith none of this would be possible. We must believe that through faith all things are possible. So that when the dying process begins, we believe that we’ll be back only stronger, richer, and with beauty.

John 15:1-8

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

The process of sowing is best summed up here, it is abiding in Christ Jesus. In other words, to have a constant, enduring, eternal, immutable and permanent relationship with Him. To take residence in Him and to never leave home. We do this through many and varied methods, Luke 9:23-27

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (take his stand in Christ) daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

 Here we see that one way is self denial. That does not mean we deny those things that we do. It does mean that we do not allow the things of the flesh to take charge of our lives. It also says here that we are to take up our cross and follow Him. Have ever wondered what that really means. Well, I believe it to mean that we are to live the life of excellence. We are not to live a life of compromise, its God way or no way.

Every day we pick up our cross by sowing our lives into him. Romans 8:29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. We conform to his image and away from ours.

 Faithfulness

Faithfulness, the key to maintaining all that is given over to us. One cannot prove faithful to one’s goals and the life of excellence unless one proves themselves faithful. When we examine the faithful, we must conclude that they posses Serval elements in their character the faithful will be found to be; Allegiant, constant, dedicated, devoted, loyal, steadfast, trustworthy and secure. Without these elements no faithfulness can be found within a person.

Many are the examples of the faithful person in scripture, one that I like is the one of David King of Israel. Regardless of who and what he faced, he stayed faithful to God.

 Psalms 31:14-24,  But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. 15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. 16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. 17 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.  18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. 19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! 20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.  22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. 23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

David would commit the events of his life over to God and God in turn would lift and encourage David therein. In this passage of scripture, David brings to light why to serve a God such as our Lord.

Verse 14) He trusts in God, why because He is his Lord. This is a statement of the faithful, in it he is saying that all of the elements needful to be found faithful.

Verse 15) My times are in your hands, the events, circumstances, situations of my life are in your hands. Therefore deliver me from those that are contrary to your desires, for it is they that become my enemies. It is their involvement in my life from which my persecution comes.

Verse 16) Make your face to shine upon me, give me your favor. For in your favor I have deliverance, comfort, healing, provision, preservation, protection, assistance and holiness.

Psalms 28:6-9, Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 8 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. 9 Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever. 

The favor of God v 6) He hears my prayers, v 7) He is my shield, v 7) He is my help, v 8) He is my strength, v 9) He is my salvation, v 9) He is my blessing, v 9) He is my blessing, v 9) He is my food, v 9) He is my support.

Verse 16) Save me for your mercy’s sake, show me all this favor because of the kindness you show to me in all that I am faithful in.

Verse 17) Let me not be ashamed. Do not allow me to be embarrassed, humiliated, guilty of not be faithful to you. If not, then I will not grief stricken or remorseful.

Verse 18) Have those who are found to be unfaithful be put to silence.

Verse 19) Your goodness is far beyond measure, but although it cannot be measured it has been all laid up for me so I receive it. For you have promised it to the faithful.

Verse 20) Psalms 91, Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High.

Verse 20) Strife of tongues, contentious plots.

Verse 21) The trials of the tongue come yet I am blessed for my tongue sings nothing but the praise of the Lord. His favor I have as I dwell within the secret place.

Verse 22) Sure, I said the wrong thing at the wrong time, yet I confessed these before you and you still listen to my prayers.

Verse 23) For those who are faithful and take pride in doing the Word, God preserves them and rewards them.

Verse 24) So be of good courage, and go all out for God, those who are faithful to Him.

1 Timothy 1:11-13

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

The Gospel can only be given over to those who show themselves to be faithful.

So why don’t we take a moment to examine the word faithful. To be strict or thorough in the performance of a duty, true to one’s word or promises, reliable, trusted.

Psalm 15:1-5 A Psalm of David.

 1  LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?  2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

How is that one shows themselves faithful?

2 Peter 1:1-10

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:   2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

V 1) Like faith, what the Lord is, we too are the same.

V 2) Grace, peace, and knowledge all help us to maintain faithfulness.

V 3) His divine power (the gospel, Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ) Working through us, without this power, faithfulness is hard to maintain. All things that pertain shows us God’s faithfulness to us.

V 4) It is these exceeding great promises that develop with us the capability of a servant and it is the servant of love which remains faithful to God. When are partakers of God, the divine nature, we become the faithful, for we are ever changing our nature to conform to His, in the process as our nature changes, so too will our character. Those things to which we could not be faithful in the changing of our nature our character allows us to do so.

V 5-8) The elements of the faithful. Proverbs 28:20, A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. 

Excellence in Christ Jesus\Integrity

Integrity: soundness of & adherence to moral principles and character; uprightness; honesty. The state of being whole, entire or undiminished or of prefect condition.

Proverbs 11:3, The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. The integrity of the upright shall guide them.

The just man walks in integrity. Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. We must be conformed into God’s image, to conform is to accommodate, adapt, adjust tailor, agree, harmonize, follow, observe, obey and comply with God. In what? Not so much as in what but rather into what. That’s what is His character. One of the greatest character traits of God is His integrity to us and to His Word. What He says He will preform. Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God said it, that settles it.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Jesus is ever unchanging, His word will preform for us just as it did for Him. One can place complete and utter trust into the Word of God.

Jeremiah 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.  Psalm 119:89-93 Lamsa.

It should be our desire to walk in integrity, then it is our desire to be like Christ. We must then walk after the manner that He walked.

14 ways to be like Jesus (Dakes Annotated Bible).

A) Follow after righteousness as He did. 1 John 3:7, John 15:10-14.

B) Walk free from the world by being in the Word. John 17:14-16.

C) Self crucifixion. Galatians 2:20. Setting aside our desires and seeking after His.

D) Walking in newness of this life. Galatians 5:16-26.

E) Enduring persecutions. John 15:18-20.

F) Being diligent to do the work of God. John 14:12-14.

G) Operating in the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:21-23.

H) Being totally set apart unto God. John 10:36.

I) Walking in the light. 1 John 1:7.

J) Having unity with God. John 17:11.

K) Suffering on the behalf of others. 1 Peter 2:17-24. Lamas

L) Our life and conduct should be in line with His. 1 John 2:6.

M) Enduring temptations. Hebrews 6:18.

N) Manifesting the fullness of God. John 3:34-36.

Psalms 7:8, You are judged according to your integrity.

Proverbs 11:3, Your integrity will be your guide.

Proverbs 19:1, Integrity make’s you a better person.

Proverbs 20:7 Your integrity blesses your children.

Psalm 141:3, Proverbs 18:21; 19:9, Your integrity is seen through the keeping of your words.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Put a guard around your words and your actions.

Quitters never win, Winners never quit.

The life that most Christians lead is not always one of ease. In fact, more often than not we face situations and circumstances that many in the world never have to.  Why, because we do not belong to this world, it belongs to Satan and therefore our presence here is a tremendous threat to him.

Since that threat is constant our need for knowledge to overcome the ever changing threats is also constant. For us to image that we have arrived at the knowledge or in victory can be a fatal mistake.  It is usually this kind of arrogance that leads to the defeat of a person and the backslidden results in their lives.

The simple fact in life is that although most never feel that they are winners just having Jesus Christ in their lives as Lord and Savior makes them such.To possess Christ is to possess His knowledge, strength, abilities, compassions and most importantly His love.

So why then do we not feel like the winners at times when the Word declares us to be. The answer is a very simple one, most winners know they are winners.  They rely on that fact and not on their feelings.  Usually when they win is when they’ve pressed themselves to a point where their feelings are not good but poor. When you rely on your feeling they will speak lies to you and cause your defeat. Feelings or emotions are not a good guide to use when evaluating your situation.

So let’s examine the life cycle of a winner.

Joshua 1:6-9,

6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Here God is giving Joshua the keys to being a winner in Christ. First He tells Joshua to be strong.  But where was he to gather strength from.  Well verse 7 gives us the answer “the book of the law”.  To be strong requires one to exercise the muscles that they have, or to develop what they already have been born with.

When you were born again, you were given the strength of Christ, but to never use that strength is tantamount to living weakly.  To be strong is to be powerful, healthy, more than competent, abundantly supplied with something, solid, easy to defend, capable of exerting influence, tenacious, convincing, moving with a great force,  it is to see the complete work of God protruding from you.

However, there has never been a strong Christian who has never spent a great deal of time in the Word of God and in prayer.  For this is where the power comes from. This is the strength of the winner.

The next thing God says to Joshua is the very courageous.  That is not the same as being strong.  To be courageous is to disregard what we may fear and to follow through on the direction given to us.  Some time what may be required of us is not what we like or want to do.  But the courageous person knows regardless of how they feel it is the right thing to do.  It is the quality of mind and spirit that enables one to meet danger or opposition with fearlessness, calmness, and firmness.  To be steadfastly minded, established and fortified in a direction of life.

Winners must be strong, yet they also must be constant that is why God says to be “very courageous”.  We must set our course and head only in that direction.  The courageous are the ones who know that in the end they will win.  Therefore, they think, talk and act as if they already have won.

“Be not afraid”.  Fear will steal all ground gained and place the possessor in a position of lost instead of winning.  Fear is a Satan, death trap, his strongest desire is to see you dead.  If he can’t then he wants to see you sick, defeated and fearful.  Fear steals faith, paralyses courage and destroys strength.

For all these reasons Gods say “be not afraid”.  The Lord gives us great assurances.

 A) He is with us wherever we go.

 B) His Word is a suit of armor protecting from all the wiles of the devil.

 C) His Holy Spirit lives within and causes all fear to flee in terror from us.

 Next God says to be not dismayed.  To be dismayed is to; live in alarm, have anxiety, to have apprehension, to live in dread and trepidation. To disappoint, have discouragement, disillusionment, to dishearten, to dispirit, to intimidate. There can be no victory in such a life.  In order to live upon this we must take comfort in the fact that everything that God says is so.

The key to prevent any form of dismay coming upon us is that we must be obedient to God, His leadings, and His Word.  Never has God brought disappointment to any of His children who truly followed after Him.

The next key to the life of victory or being a winner is to know that you cannot do it alone.  Those who are loners can not see what surrounds them in all directions.  You need the support of like minded persons.  Not those who will tell you it can’t be done, you already know that.  God only uses those who know they are limited.  So if the victory is going to come it will have to be through the power of God.  When we surround ourselves with others who do not agree with us, their constant negative chiding will place us in a position of weakness.  Weaknesses is what Satan looks for to capitalize upon so that his weapons of destruction may work they’re worse.  Judges 20:22. And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.

 Winners must always exercise patience, without patience, no victory will ever will be possible. Psalms 27:14, 38:15.

 14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

 38:15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.  

 The victor knows that winning comes only through hope, not hope in the desired result but hope in God. Psalms 39:7

7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

The victor knows to win, he or she must get familiar with the name of God, for it is through His name that all power and authority is given.  Psalms 44:5 Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

 Know that once you are on the side of God that you are not your own any longer, you’re God’s and if you’re His he’ll look after His own.  Psalms 100:3  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 Finally believe.  Every person who has ever won anything believed that they could do it. Mark 9:23-24. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

How To Have The Winning Attitude

Before one could have a winning attitude one, one has to understand what is an attitude. An attitude is: an opinion, an outlook, your perspective, any stance taken, a viewpoint.  So it is what you think based on the available facts, senses, emotions, and imaginations.  In order to have a winning attitude, it would be necessary to control these attributes.

Let us look at these closer, remember we said they are facts, senses, emotions and imaginations or fiction.  Fiction or imaginations are just what they say they are, an untruth or lie. To these there is nothing that we can settle upon.  They are ever changing according to the whims and wishes of the holder and his thoughts.  Believable fiction is a lie so attractive that anyone would have faith in it.  Yet it does not change, it is still a lie.

Should one base their attitude upon their imagination or what is fiction?  No, for if they do, they will develop a wrong or poor or even bad attitude toward our own opinion.

Emotions, can our emotions be depended upon so that we could develop a right and true attitude?  Again the answer would have to be an unchallengeable, no.  Why not, because your emotions cannot be trusted themselves.  They are situational and therefore subject to change according to the circumstance that one would find themselves in.  Emotions such as anger, envy, hate and sorrow will warp our viewpoint and cause us to think only upon them.  All emotions will blind us to what is beyond them and restrict us to only what they want us to see.

Therefore most if not all emotions are lies from the point of view that they are restrictive to only their way.  If the emotion is temporal and consequently subject to change, could not an attitude developed by it also  be subject to fluctuations.  Should our attitude fluctuate it becomes evident that it cannot be depended upon.

Senses, we can readily accept that our senses are not view to assist us in our opinion formation.  When is a rose not a rose, when it is in a can of deodorizer.  We smell roses yet they do not exist.  We may only see a limited amount of persons in a room, therefore our senses say that the world is limited to what we can see, yet we know that to be completely erroneous.  We may hear music from a compact disc, but that does not mean that the band is near by.  We may taste a peach in the center of a dessert, however, in reading the packaging we find it say artificial flavoring.  Our senses cannot be relied upon to help us develop our attitudes.

This leaves us with only one area that requires examination in developing the winning attitude.  That area is a fact.  But what is a fact, it is an actuality, certainty, reality, or truth.  It is exactly this that we need to use to develop our attitude from.  It is these that will cause us to ever have the winning attitude.  We need but ask ourselves such questions as;

Is the situation I find myself in actuality what is happening or is there something beyond this that i cannot yet see?

A certainty is an absolute, is this circumstance absolutely without change?

What is the reality of what I am about to say, do, or think?

Is what I see, feel, think and hear the truth, and should I be examining something beyond this to know what the truth truly is?

Once we get clear and definite answers then and only then can be develop an opinion on that situation and then we will have a winning attitude toward the circumstance.  James 1:2-22 God always works from the inside out, Satan always works from the outside in.

James 1:2-22

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9  Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:  10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted,  I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Therefore our attitude is dependent upon the forces used to change your inside.  Use the forces of Satan and your inside will be corrupt and twisted, so too will be your attitude.  Use the forces of the Word of God and your inside will be right and true, so too will your attitude.  You are able to say “I can afford to have a closed mind, I’m right.

James 1:2, Count it all joy.  Joy then cannot be an emotion, it must be something greater. It is a force called, blessedness which is “God’s divine favor on us”.  We must then know that if God’s favor is upon us then our attitude toward our situation will be as God would declare it to be.

Temptations, testings and trials all will come to attack our attitude.  When we lose our attitude or the truth of the outcome, then it is at this time we either stand or fall into them.  Notice that the verse says  “when” you fall, so there is a possibility that we may not fall.  And if we do then there is a way out.

“The trying of your faith”,  not the destruction or downfall of your faith, just the trying of it.  It may burdensome, demanding, exacting, arduous, difficult, strenuous, taxing or an uphill climb, but to try something is not to defeat and destroy it.  The trying of your faith is the keeping of your attitude.

This why the verse says works patience, the word comes from the Greek word “hupomonê” which means to abide under.  Under what, under the joy of the Lord.  In English patience means composure, forbearance, tolerance, diligence, persistence and stamina.  They simply do not get the meaning, for to abide in something is to live in it.  If we are to live in God’s divine favor then the trial, test or temptation cannot live there as well.

Notice to that is not you that is on trial it is your faith.  Your faith in what, in what you are abiding in.  If you are abiding in God then your life in God in on trial.  God cannot fail so therefore neither can your faith. Your attitude is protected by your life in Christ and His Word.

Verse 4, To paraphrase “Let what you are abiding in have complete and full control of your life  so that you may become fully mature and grown into a life of prosperity, health, deliverance and you become preserved for the work of the kingdom of God”.

Psalms 51:12, With joy and salvation restored in our hearts, the gifts of salvation would only naturally lead us to the right attitude. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

The next area to examine in obtaining the winning attitude we find in verse 5 of James 1.  Here it simply says that if any lack wisdom “comes from the Greek word sophia” which means the insight into the true nature of things.  When we can’t see the full intent of the circumstance we are in, we lack wisdom.  Then all we do is go to God and ask for the full picture and we will be able to comprehend what is about to take place.  But we must “ask”, if we don’t how then is the answer to come.

After we have asked we must receive the instruction and we must be obedient to the instruction.  Many people do not obtain winning attitudes because they disobey the instructions they are given to carry out, or they simply do not act upon those instructions.  To be obedient is to stay focused on the instructions given.  To be of one mind, heart and action. Romans 8:5&6  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  

We readily see that the disobedient are in no position to receive from God.  In verse 8 it says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. What is a double-minded man? A man has two minds, the conscious mind and the subconscious.

The conscious mind is what makes us aware of what is happening around us.  It makes use of the five senses and then derives an attitude and an action based on what it assimilates.  As we have already seen this may not be the correct action.

The subconscious mind is the mind of the spirit.  It is what causes us to act without thought for has been proven to be factual and therefore something that is trustworthy.  Being called by your name causes you to respond without thought.  You don’t check to see if you are really you when someone speaks your name, you know it as fact.  It’s within your spirit, it is correct and that is just the way it is.  It is unchangeable.

The double minded person is the person who attempts to place the things the senses show him are fact.  They are not proven, nor will they work, yet he depends completely upon them for the results that he needs.  He wishes for the provision of both the world of the senses and the world of the spirit, when only one will bring the desired result.

 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 

He is the man of “plan B”.  He looks for what God says and if that does not work, then there is always another way to do it.  When it comes to the things of God, there is only “plan A”.  God never has a plan B  because he never requires one.  His plans are prefect a person with the winning attitude gets the prefect plan the first time.

 Romans 13:14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

 Lusts, anything the flesh desires that counters the word of God.  Formulating a plan B when God gave plan A just in case it doesn’t work.  If it doesn’t work, then God didn’t give it in the first place.  Jeremiah 1:12   Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. God will watch over His Word to perform it.

Say, the next area we examine in the winning attitude is the area of our mouth.  What is that we are saying, verse 13.  Be sure that we examine our mouths before we go about saying that is God or even that God said it. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.  Instead of blaming God learn to submit to Him.  That will keep your attitude in check.

The next area to see is that we must “receive the Word”, verse 14&15.  To receive the word is to believe it in the heart and to speak it with our mouth.  For until it is flowing from our mouths we cannot really say that we received it. To receive something is to obtain it and make it your own.

The final area in having a winning attitude is simply to just “do it”, verse 22.  Failure to act on the word is failure to do the things of God.  To not perform the things of God is to perform the things of Satan and with him no one wins.  Only in Christ and His Word is there any victory, and that’s where the winning attitude can be found.

Harden Not Your Hearts

In this life many of the faith people live lives in much victory.  Each has testimony after testimony as to the powerful works that God has performed within their lives.

Yet seemingly for every testimony that comes forth top bring praise to God, there are 20 others sitting in the same church that have nothing to praise God in or for.  Why?  The answer is one main reason, that reason is the hardening of their hearts toward God.

Now not many would readily admit that they have a harden heart, but then not many understand just what exactly is it that has become hardened. The word simply means to make dry.  So then it is to make our heart dry to the things of God.  Okay, we understand that, it’s easy to see, but what is the method of drying up.

Let’s turn to Hebrews 3:7-19 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Here the nation of Israel lived in the very presence of God, Jehovah Himself, yet they disbelieved Him, doubted Him, and this is called a provocation.  They provoked God into taking an action that He had no desire to take.  They died and the plan of God was put on hold for more than forty years.

The hurting of the heart comes through the failure to believe and trust God.  To trust and rely on anything other than the Lord is to fail God and He views it as a great injustice done to Him.

There are those who claim to be standing in faith for many years, yet they are actually provoking God because of their unbelief.  They claim to confess His word, but their tongues do not speak the word of truth.  Their actions are contrary to what scripture says, and are in line with what their flesh dictates to them.

Paul brings a stern warning to the church in this passage.

A) v7, Today hear the voice of God.

B) v8, Harden not your hearts through refusal of the Word of God.

C) v12, Entering into unbelief.

 D) v12, Departing from the living God.

 E) v16, Open rebellion against God.

 F) v17, Open sin, habitual provocation.

 G) v19, Death caused through unbelief, spiritual death.

 Hebrews 10:35-39  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Confidence: trusting reliance, an assurance of the mind or firm belief in the integrity or stability of another, or in the truth and reality of a fact.  Belief in ones owns competency. He or that which supports, safety or assurance: security. Boldness, courage.

We must learn the lesson given in Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

A) We must have faith.

  1. B) We must please God.
  2. C) We must come to God.
  3. D) We must believe that He is.
  4. E) We must believe in His reward system.
  5. F) We must diligently seek Him, (this means after the answer comes just as much as before).

We also harden our hearts by not taking up our residence in Him. John 15:1-16 Phillips version.  500 people saw Jesus ascend into heaven, only 120 were left to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  What happened, they cast away their confidence, they left from fellowshipping with the Lord.

 1 Corinthians 15:1-6. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.   3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

The Ten Most Common Causes of Failure

1) Blaming Others

A) Who did this to me.

  1. B) What caused this in my life.
  2. C) It’s the other guy’s fault.
  3. D) The other person doesn’t appreciate me.
  4. E) Each of us will answer before God for His own life. 1:4, Matt.7:1-2, 12:37

2) Blame yourself (in private).

A) Why was I so dumb. Job 5:1-4 To consider oneself dumb is tantamount to calling yourself a fool. A fool is; one who is dull or stupid, a heedless one, a blockhead, an idiot.

B) Why do I always do the wrong thing. Romans 14:1-8

C) Self-blame is the cause of self pity which leads to self-condemnation and eventually to self-destruction.

D) Blaming yourself opens the door to feelings of guilt. Romans 8:1

E) Blaming yourself closes the door to self-development.

3) No goals.

A) Habakkuk 2:2, Amplified version

  1. B) Proverbs 29:18, no vision, no life
  2. C) People without goals float through life waiting for the big one to happen.
  3. D) Many peoples only goal in life is to have fun.
  4. E) Remember DEAD FISH DON’T SWIM THEY FLOAT.

4) Choosing wrong goals

A) You must choose your own goals, don’t allow family, friends or circumstances choose them for you.

  1. B) Study your desires, set your path, then don’t waver from it. 2 Tim. 2:15

5) The short cut

A) Taking the path of least resistance is not always the best course to take.

  1. B) There are no short cuts in a life of excellence. Psalms 16:11, Proverb 2:6-15

6) Taking the long road

A) Israel took so long in getting to the promised land that they never did arrive.

B) People die and never enjoy what they worked all their lives to gain. Joshua 1:15

C) Be sure to “stop and smell the roses”. 2:24, 3:13, 5:18-19, 1 Timothy 6:17

7) Neglecting the little things

A) There is no substitute for diligence in our lives. Proverbs 4:23, 2 Corinthians 8:7

B) Proverbs 27:23-24

C) Proverbs 24:3, Living Bible version

D) A misplaced decimal point on a patent application once cost Thomas Jefferson a patent and subsequently millions of dollars.

8) Quitting too soon

A) Men do not fail, they give up. Psalms 126:5

B) Galatians 6:9

9) The burden of the past

A) 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

B) It is easier to lie on a bed digging into the past than to sit in a chair and face the future. Psalms 55:22, Jer.17:24

10) The illusion of success

A) Don’t make the mistake of aiming for what others will approve of. Philippians 1:10

B) There is more to success than what Hollywood and infomercials tell us. Mark 7:21-23,

1 John 2:16

C) Matthew 16:26

Synergism

“The sum total of the whole is greater the sum total of all the parts”.

“Human effort in cooperation with divine grace in the production of salvation”.

Psalms 90:16-17, Colossians 1:10-12, Hebrews 6:9-12

 Psalms 133:1 Living Bible, How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony.

Unity is a key principal to living a life free from frustration, strife and loneliness.  Ephesians 4:3&13

Even Jesus did not attempt to do the work that the Father had given to him alone. The bible records 12 apostles, 70 disciples and up 500 followers. He had many widows and rich support Him so that work could be accomplished. John 5:17,9:4. The results of no unity or harmony is disarray, Luke 11:17, divided means separated into parts, groups or sections, separate in opinion or feelings, to cause to disagree.

To fail means; to be completely overthrown.

Matthew 18:18-19, Agreement, an expression of the love and compassion of God.

Deuteronomy 32:30, Power in agreement.

Isaiah 59:19; the standard is the agreement with the word in our lives proceeding forth from our mouths and by our actions.

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Alexa, how far is the moon from the earth? In a split second Alexa answers,” The moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical. At perigee — its closest approach — the moon comes as close as 225,623 miles (363,104 kilometers). At apogee — the farthest away it gets — the moon is 252,088 miles (405,696 km) from Earth. On average, the distance from Earth to the moon is about 238,855 miles (384,400 km). However, the moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of about 1.5 inches (4 cm) per year.”

Siri, how long will take me to drive from Toronto to Miami? “The driving time from Toronto, Canada to Miami, Florida is: 21 hours, 44 minutes.”

Google, what is the best Creole restaurant in New York City? Foursquare lists Great Jones Cafe as the number 1 restaurant while Zagat lists Sugar Freak as they’re pick.

So without a blink of an eye, in complete faith and without question we believe, Alexa or Siri or Google or any other electronic information system. Why they said it so it must be so! Yet, when it comes to all knowing God, we hesitate, question, doubt and all manner of reservations in simply believing the author of all knowledge.

For our success against any kind of failure we need to bypass Siri, Alexa, Google, Yahoo and go directly to He who has our answers for now, get yours today, download it for free, that’s right worry free downloads without any cost.

God’s Defense Plan Against Failure

Failure, most people come face to face with it some time in their lives. No one enjoys failing. Yet it is what you do in the middle of apparent failure that will decide whether you emerge in victory or crushed. Many emotions are felt in failure such as:

Loss of self-confidence

Inferiority complex

Self directed anger

Fear of the future

Low and demoralizing self esteem

Paralysis of your creativity

Vulnerability to self destruction leading to possible suicidal thinking

Loss of favour with so called friends

Missing the will and plan of God for your life

The facts are in and they speak clearly for themselves. The person who undergoes some kind of failure or even perceived failure will suffer all of these experiences if the failure goes unchecked.

Careful examination of the above conditions will reveal that all can be eradicated if only the one within the failing mode will respond to the others. Many however cut themselves out from association with others, believing the lie of “No one wants to be around a failure”. This lie created by the greatest and most consistent failure history has ever known keeps the victim of failure from the positive association they desperately need. Failure can be reversed into success with positive associations.

 Let us now examine each of the negative emotions that we listed and see exactly how unity or positive associations can change a person life. Rescuing them from sure ruin and placing them into infinite victory.

 Loss of self confidence.

 What is self-confidence, isn’t it really self-worth? These are good questions; yes self-worth is partially a correct answer to what is self confidence. However confidence is far greater than worth. Your worth is subject to your confidence. Worth is; importance, merit, significance, virtue and price. However once you’ve lost self confidence you will also lose all your self-worth, placing no value or importance upon yourself.

Self confidence is established through faith or reliance upon oneself to believe oneself. It is made from the trust that you have with yourself. If you have no faith in yourself you will convince yourself that the circumstance you are about to face cannot be completed by you, therefore your trust in yourself is shattered.

Self confidence is the assurance, conviction or determination that you will see a situation through to the end regardless of the outcome.

When one loses this conviction they lose their ability to believe in themselves and thus this lack of faith in self deters them from having any faith in anyone else, especially God. Scripture gives many examples of those who lost confidence in themselves and eventually lost it in others as well. One of the best examples of this is King Solomon. Look at Proverbs 1:1, “The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, King of Israel”. Here was a man in all his glory ready to take on the world. Gifted with supernatural wisdom from God, nothing could stand in his way. Wealth, riches, women, houses, seemingly he had it all. Yet somewhere along the line Solomon lost his confidence in himself and in the God he served. He was swayed from serving Jehovah and went to serving the Gods of his 800 wives. It took some time for failure to show its way into the life of “the King of Israel” but it did and when it did Solomon lost confidence.

Notice his next book Ecclesiastes 1:1 “The words of the preacher, the son of David, King in Jerusalem”. No long King of Israel he is now only King in Jerusalem. He is still a King yet for the most part he is a King without a kingdom. Ten of the twelve tribes of Israel had now left and Solomon was left to rule over a very rebellious group of people.

Depression had set into him and his confidence was waning. This is evident from the main theme of the book of Ecclesiastes, “vanity, vanity all is vanity”. These are not words from a man gifted with the wisdom of God but rather words of a man who has lost confidence in all. The more he lost of his confidence the greater he slipped until in the final chapter he say’s 12:11-12 “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies which are given from one shepherd. And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end: and much study is a weariness of the flesh”. Depressed, alone and mostly forgotten Solomon turns his back on his own wisdom and all that had been granted to him by God. These are not the words of the same King who in Proverbs 4:5-7 “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding”.

Truly losing your self confidence is the first step to complete failure. Worst than viewing yourself worthless it is not to view yourself at all. This is contrary to what God and His Word has to say regarding you.

I can remember back to when I had lost one my restaurants, house, savings and more. How terribly depressed I was. Dianna asked me “have you given up on God” and I had to respond “no, I’ve given up on myself”. Without knowing it, that acknowledgement of not giving up on God brought me back to believing in myself. For when all else fails you, God will not. Psalms 27:10 “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up”. There is never a place to stand in loss when God takes you up. If the entire world were to desert you know that God never will. You are ever on His mind. He wants to know all that concerns you so that He can see to it that you never fail. Psalms 138:8 “The Lord will prefect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands”. The Word is saying here “not to worry what you do, I’ll see to it that it does not fail”. Keep working at it; don’t give up what you’ve dedicated your life to, God is right there beside you making sure that it will come out right.

So then the first main key to unity that prevents failure is: We are never alone in this, God is always right beside us. If this be true, then we need to learn to hear and listen to what God is saying in a our circumstance and allow Him to see us through it. If we are not unified with God then we will not hear from any other as well. Remember to hear and to listen are two different actions, we must complete both.

Look at Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: you have not seen what the whole matter it may be that it is not completely over, so why give up until then Fear God, (stay in fellowship with God) and keep His commandments: follow what He says in His Word for only in there is success for this is the whole of man. Forget the word duty it is not in the original, God wants the whole man enriched by Him, spirit, soul, and body. Mentally, physically, financially every way, where ever he may be. Keeping God’s Word or commandments makes you whole, nothing less. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. God will see that proper direction is given to a person so that their works will be good.

Solomon although in a depressed state kept this in mind: that if we stay in God, God will stay with us so that in the end God will be glorified and we will be raised up by Him. Be sure that if God lifts you up you will not fail. Solomon’s father David had some thing to say about this very matter, Psalms 37:23-25 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he deligtheth in His way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread. 

You may go through some rough times, you may even fall but know in your heart that God has a hold on you and you will not fail. There is a great difference in falling and failing. Those who have a heart for God, will serve God and God will place in them His plan and His plans do not fail.

In the New International Version of the Bible they translate this matter up like this “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 a hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11. God has great things planned for you and failure is not one of them.

It certainly is not hard to conceive that when a person enters into the mode of failure that the feeling of being inferior will appear. They form a complex, you become focused on your failures, and you form an obsession on your failures. You become preoccupied by the mistakes that were made in bringing you to a place of failure. So then an inferiority complex is to be obsessed with feelings of being second rate or substandard.

This is often found in the poor of the nations. As they focus upon their problems that keep them in poverty instead of looking for the answers that will move them into prosperity. They are often those who find security in hum-drum daily routines afraid that if they should ever experience any success they will lose it to failure in one fashion or another. They become dependent upon governmental support, lethargic and fear filled, should they venture out they could lose the meagre handouts the governments dole out. (Why it is called living on the dole.) God’s plan is always greater than any a government may conceive, all the desires people on the dole seek are found in the Word of God and are obtain by faith. Poverty, sickness, disease, insufficiency, addictions are all ended when God is the centre of one’s life.

However, even people who seemingly are well to do suffer with this crushing complex from time to time. Should they not achieve the goals or quota’s set out for them, they feel inferior. Those who are employed by the professional sports often require treatment for this from the team or a personal psychiatrist, should they happen to have an extended losing streak. No one seems immune, from the best educated to the person digging his way out of homelessness. All can have that sinking feeling of inferiority.

It must be understood that this is a robber and is very much the work of Satan and his cohorts. John 10:10a “The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”. This very much the way that inferiority works its dirty work. The thief will come, but it is how we are prepared to defeat him that matters, the scripture states why he comes, it is the alarm system of your soul. We alarm our homes and cars with alarms to prevent the thieves from doing just what this scripture says, so alarm your soul and spirit too, and prevent the thief when he comes.

First, the thief will steal the dream and the belief in that dream. More people have lost sight of their God given ideas than those who have achieved them. Inferiority has come along and whispered the thought into their minds that they weren’t good enough, smart enough, talented enough or educated enough to complete the dream and see it through. So they just give up on it Satan then has stolen it and replaced it with hopelessness. When the thief terminates, cancels or annuls the dream within them their future always looks its worse. Those who dare to dream know that the fulfilment of the dream will see obstacles, if they will see it through however they will see the rewards as well. Those who allow their dream to be stolen because of an inferiority complex are ever bound into a life of failure until they break the cycle which then will revive life into their dreams. Dare to dream big, be superior instead and see the great rewards that go along with that thinking. Proverbs 8:12 “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions”. Allow wisdom to indwell you and witty or intelligent dreams will be fulfilled. Prudence is the ability to apply wisdom in the best manner, to obtain the best ends. God desire is that you achieve the best ends in all you do, this cannot be inferior. It must be superior to all else for the wisdom of God is indwelling you.

Secondly, “the thief cometh but to kill” if Satan can’t steal the dream from you he will attempt to kill it and all that may be related to it. You may require a certain amounts of money to achieve what you dream. Only to find prices higher, cost overruns, equipment failures, etc. etc. etc. The more you do the worse it seems to get. This is Satan killing it from you and you must put a stop to his thieving ways. Proverbs 6:30-31 “Men do not despise a thief if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore seven fold: he shall give of all the substance of his house”. If Satan has been killing your dreams and the ability to make them happen, put a stop to him. Demand that he return to you sevenfold of all that he has stolen. Those who continue to look at the successes of others and mope or wallow in their failures have been killed in the heart. They need to pick themselves up and demand they’re return.

The last thing the verse says is that Satan will destroy. To destroy is to demolish, devastate, ruin or wreck you. Satan desires to do exactly that to you. Once he has either killed your idea or stolen it from you he desires to completely ruin you. How many bankruptcies happen every day because Satan was able to devastate someone? When you leave the bankruptcy court you don’t leave feeling that you have a new start on life, but rather feeling very inferior to everyone that you meet on the street.

You enter into a belief system of one of two areas:

  1. A) You’ll believe that this will be your forever and that it is your lot in life to live below everyone else. Or, B) you’ll believe that you will recover and that you will be back better than ever. The thief will attempt to keep you believing (A) while God has already given you (B) look at the second part of John 10:10.

  John 10:10b “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”.

 “I AM”, those who find that they feel inferior to others need to meet the Great I Am. For within Him are the answers to everything that we require. When the Israelites were in bondage to the kings of Egypt they knew that only the “I Am” could save them. They knew God by the name “I Am” because to them God was everything they required. Moses didn’t show up on the scene with the name of God (Jehovah) he came with the name “I Am”.  God said to Moses that I Am the ever present and living God, so go to the people with the good news that I will be with them in all they face. I will remove them from their inferior position in Egypt and make them a superior people around the world. This He has done. Now Jesus is saying that He too is the “I Am”, and He has come for exactly the same reason, and you are the one He is speaking it to, He say’s “I Am” your answer in every need”.

Notice that He qualifies His reason for His presence. “That they might have life“, not the things that Satan has to offer, but life. What kind of life though, just the getting by kind, or perhaps the kind that offers some good days and some not so well. Maybe it’s the kind of life that is just always at an even level, no problems thus no troubles. No, that is not the kind of life that Jesus came to offer us. The word for life here is the Greek word “Zoe“. Zoe means; life as God has it. We need but examine whether or not God is superior to what our situation is and then put His life into it: how can we possibly feel inferior with the God kind of life running thorough our very beings?

Jesus wanted us to realize that this isn’t just for when you get to heaven but it is for the here and now, He continues to say that we should have this Zoe kind of life, have it in abundance. It helps us to look to the Greek to study the word abundantly, and its meaning. Abundantly in the Greek is the word “perissos” which means superabundant in quantity and superior in quality, far exceeding in measure. Jesus wants to bring the God kind of life into ours in a superabundant quantity and then see to it that we enjoy a superior quality of life. Look at the people, who live life to its fullest, they never view themselves as inferior. Their lives are always rich and full and that is exactly the type of life Jesus has prepared for you when you live in Him. Jesus never had a single day that He felt inferior so if you will live in Him He’ll see to it that every day you live is one of superabundance in quantity and superior in quality. He’ll give you the life that God has for you.

We not are promising you a life without problems. Why even God has problems, He’s got Satan still running around beating up on His kids, but the day they learn who they are in Christ Jesus is the day God gets rid of His problem. He has given man all authority to completely demolish Satan for Satan is inferior to those who live in Christ. The day you get a revelation of this in your heart will be the day that you will no longer believe yourself to be inferior.

The day Adam sold out his authority to Satan was the day that man became inferior to Satan. However the day Jesus died upon the cross we stopped being inferior and became superior. The only way to gain a grasp on this is to study out the life of Christ then make an unchangeable decision to live in it.

We must also look at righteousness; those who live in a life of inferiority never believe that they stand right in anyone’s sight, let alone God’s. The word righteousness is an old English word for right standing or a better definition is our bill of rights.

All that Christ Jesus has given us is the ability to stand right. He made for us a way when there was no way. He brought us from inferiority to superiority. Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”. Only a person of a superior thinking can make such a statement. Paul was such a person, earlier in the chapter he says that we should act in certain ways, look at verse 9. “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me do; and the God of peace shall be with you”.

We must see the valuable lesson that Paul is teaching us here;

  1. A) We must learn, learn the life of Christ. Learn the word of God. Learn what it means to live a superior life. For a person who has always lived an inferior life this may be a difficult lesson to learn. Yet if that person will learn from the Word God, God will place His life into them causing them to rise up against all that holds them in inferiority and bringing them into superiority.
  1. B) We must receive the life of Christ into ours. That means be ready to receive from His word. Receive His instruction and wisdom. Apply it to our lives. Receive every gift that He has given beginning with His Holy Spirit.
  1. C) Hear what the Spirit is saying to you. This can only be done by spending time with Him. By staying in His word, in prayer, in fellowship with Him, you will develop your faith in God. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” this not just a good saying but rather Gods way of developing your trust and reliance in Him.
  1. D) See to it that you see the life of God in all that you do, or don’t do it. The greatest cause of failure is to try to do something that you have not seen. See it in your spirit, believe it in your heart, once you’ve done this no-one will ever cause you to feel inferior to anything, for you believe in yourself and in the One who placed the vision in you. Remember all tryer’s are liars. To try is to fail, to do is to succeed. Do not act until you see it.
  1. E) Do, do, do. Once you’ve developed a right life style in God, do it. Don’t allow anything to ever steal it from you. This is accomplished by being a doer. In the Greek a doer means “to be a poetic practitioner” or in other words someone who has done something so often and with such precision that they are poetry in motion. That is what a doer is, a superior type of person. We have all said of someone “they do it so well they can do it in their sleep” this is a poetic practitioner, it is as if you were born doing it, but it came by doing it over and over and over again. This is how faith works, by trusting God over and over and over again, believing for the greater every time you believe God for something. Trust small and eventually you will receive the great.

Now look at Genesis 1:26-27 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them”.

It is very important that those who suffer with the inferiority complex understand fully this scripture. Above all that has already been discussed this one verse has enough power to break the curse of the inferiority complex.

“God said” whatever God says “goes”, all else is secondary. We need to come to the place where that statement burns in our spirit. It means that whatever I face I go to God knowing that whatever He say’s settles the situation once and for all. There is no greater assurance offered to anything than that of the Word of God, everything He has ever said has to take place just as He said. So it would behove us to get into His Word and see what He is saying regarding our circumstance, then that is what we should be saying to the circumstance. Examine His word regarding yourself and see if He says your inferior (you just can’t find that in scripture) if His Word say’s you are not inferior then you are not, so there is no need to live in it. It is His confession coming out of your mouth that will lift you up above your inferiority complex.

“Let us make man in our image” stop and consider that point. You are made in the very image of God. The Hebrew word for image is “tselem” which means; an exact resemblance. You are exactly like God, that is why when you put on the armour of God (Ephesians 6:11-17) it fits. It also means that there is no inferiority complex with God, who would God feel inferior to? That is the reason that Satan brings the inferiority complex upon you, he knows that if he can cause you to feel inferior or to fail then he has caused God to suffer. God’s desire is that none of His children suffer. That was why he gave them dominion. “Let them have dominion”, notice that this is given to man as a whole not just to Adam. Adam lost it, Jesus bought it back. Today all God’s children should have dominion over the earth and the things upon the earth. There is no inferiority complex when you have dominion. To have dominion is to; tread down, to prevail against or to reign over. This is exactly what we do to Satan and his army. We rule over him not vice-versa. We are the superior created beings to Satan, therefore we reign. Notice that scripture say’s “over every creeping thing” that gives us the knowledge that Satan can’t raise above the surface of the earth, that he has to creep along on it. Let him creep while you stand and walk upon him. You are the superior not the inferior.

Verse 28, “And God blessed them” You have had this blessing poured out up you. Adam may have had the curse placed upon him after he fell, but you have been redeemed from that curse and have been restored to the blessing of creation. Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Yet there is an even greater blessing in you, that of the infilling of the Holy Spirit of God. Now there is no need to concern yourself as to whether you are inferior, for the very Spirit of God lives within you bringing all the superior blessings of creation to you and into you. Look at yourself, now you can have a high and mighty attitude, for you are seat seated with Jesus Christ on the right of Majesty on High, and you are Mighty to the pulling down of strongholds in Christ Jesus. You are no longer inferior but from now on “superior” in Christ.

Overcoming Self Directed Anger

 Should we not overcome our feelings of inferiority they will lead us into the next phase of failure, that being self directed anger. When failure creeps its way into our lives we begin to see certain emotions that we are not accustom to dealing with come rushing into our lives. One such emotion is that of being angry. Not just angry at the world or the circumstances but being angry at ourselves for allowing failure when we were convinced of complete success.

Anger can be described as many things such as: fury, ire, outrage, wrath, exasperation, indignation, resentment, annoyance, displeasure, irritation, hostility and so on. Notice that there is not a single positive emotion listed here, they are all negative, so this should give us an idea that anger either against ourselves or others is negative and therefore not uplifting or Godly.

When we examine scripture we find that anger is called a violent passion, a reflex (or something that we’ve trained ourselves to do), a desire caused through the excitement of the mind. The word comes from the Greek word orge, where our English word orgy comes from. We when hear or read this word we immediately think of a wild drunken group of people in illicit sexual activity, and it does carry that meaning. We readily see that such activity is Satanic and partaking in it will lead to death and destruction. Only a very foolish person would submit to such imprudence.  However the word orgy also means “any proceeding marked by unbridled indulgence of passions” anger is such an indulgence. To overcome anger we need to reverse the foolish proceedings that we are in. Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools”. Scripture provides us a warning not to be alarmed or agitated by anger or quickly rush in anxiously to embrace anger, or take it into the inner most regions of our being, for if we do we are counted with the foolish of the world, lost in their destructive passions.

To be hasty in your spirit is the same as seeking revenge, upon whom do you seek such revenge when the anger is directed toward yourself. You seek it upon yourself, looking for ways to bring destruction upon yourself. This is a suicide spirit driven on through the passion of anger. When this occurs we must at once seek help and deliverance for this. We must refresh ourselves in the Word of God that says Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”. Romans 12:19. We must believe within ourselves as Jeremiah the prophet did. “For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge upon him. But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten”. Jeremiah 20:10-11.

Jeremiah knew that his problems were caused in the spiritual realm, and that the spirits (familiars) would be there hoping that they could trap him and bring his ultimate destruction. We need to get a grip on this as well and don’t be so down on ourselves but rather step down upon those who Jeremiah called persecutors. Let God prefrom His vengeance upon those in the spiritual realm. Every assigned spirit (which a familiar is) will be brought to their knees by the name of Jesus and through the blood of Jesus. We need not be angry  with ourselves, but rather be angry with Satan and watch God bring destruction on him. This is what the scripture means when it says ” Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath: Neither give place to the devil”. Ephesians 4:26-27. There is no need to be angry with yourself or anyone else God is in control, He’ll meet out the vengeance. When begin do so you are giving the devil (place) an opportunity to bring you into strife. (We’ll examine strife later on in this series). There is a justifiable anger, that is the anger one has against Satan and his works. To tear down all of them through the heat and the passion for righteousness in the power of Christ with love for any person that may be trapped by the circumstance.

Notice we called it a violent passion. So in anger we put a wild destructive force behind an obsession to bring hurt to ourselves. We find scripture tells us not to let our flesh (passion’s) to get away with us. If we are in a violent passion then we have not only allowed our flesh to take control but it has taken off and is running away from us. It’s become wild; we become blinded to all that is around us and only see what the wild violent passion of anger will allow us to see. We have heard of being so angry (mad) we only see red, well this is what happens. The red you see is the heat from your anger fuelled through your passions of the flesh, rooted by the will of Satan.

 Colossians 3:8, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth”. All the actions that follow anger quoted in this verse are those that the angry persons will take part in. Right down to losing control of his or her mouth. Now scriptural law is that you will receive what you speak from your mouth. If your mouth is speaking ungodly words of anger, wrath and malice (or cursing) you will gain in yourself the fruit of your words. (Study Isaiah 55:11, Romans 8, Mark 11:22-24, James chapters 1-3 and Deuteronomy 26 for more on law of words).

More than anything Satan desires to gain control over your mouth for this gives him legal right to do to you what you speak from your mouth. So put a guard over your mouth and speak only those things which are going to cause victory to come to you. In other words speak the Word of God over your situation.

We also described anger as a reflex, or something that we have trained ourselves in so well that it is an automatic reaction to a circumstance. If we know anger to be destructive then we must come to grips that it is also a sin, (sin means to miss the mark, fall short.) When the anger that is within is so well trained as to come out when we miss the mark, then we enter into a negative trap that will keep us in the mode of sin until freedom comes. If we will but pass it by then we cover or live free form this kind of sin. Proverbs 19:11 “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression”. When we walk with prudence and caution we will prevent situation that will tend to lead to anger due to our failing in them. If we will but follow our hearts, then we will not find ourselves in circumstances that will be destructive to us. We should follow then scriptural advice is to walk away from them, pass them by and we will leave sin (transgression) behind.

Don’t just react to everything that may come your way. Stop, think, plan, seek wisdom and guidance and then you will be prepared to defeat the enemy when he comes, because you will have considered all the choices that will bring you into victory. Discretion is intelligence, knowledge and policy. In order to make an intelligent decision you must have knowledge. Seek out every wise counsellor that you may know and gain their input. Forget those who will just agree but look toward those who will show you both the good points and the bad ones. Once you’ve made an intelligent decision set yourself policies (standards) that cannot be varied but live by them. Apply them to every circumstance and situation that may arise. Make them your guide lines for life. Be sure that they include the study of the Word of God, prayer, praise and fellowship with the Lord daily. For in that God is well pleased, and scripture tells us that when we please God He gives us rewards.

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”.  This is the guide lines to begin every day with. Have faith that God can keep you free from all anger. Please Him by fellowshipping with Him. Believe that He is all that He says He is regarding your every situation in life. Receive His rewards; He desires greatly to give them to you. Then always diligently (work hard) at seeking Him out.

Lastly we said that anger is a desire caused through the excitement of the mind. In other words there are those who receive pleasure from being angry. They receive a mental high from the multitude of emotions that anger causes in them. Those who are driven with this are upon the road to self-destruction.  Strangely enough these people will only become free through the power of the prayer of deliverance. This kind of anger is rooted in the spirit of hate, a controlling spirit of the heavenlies that is manifest in outrage, violence, hostility, fury and indignation. This is the person who is meddling with a life filled with strife, friction, conflict and turmoil. Poverbs 15:18 “A wrathful man stirreth up strife, but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife”. The person that is constantly stirring the boiling pot of strife is sure to get burned. The deepest cause for such a person is that they at one time failed self then anger with self came and they were not set free from it. Had they fulfilled the latter part of the verse they would have moved into a realm of peace, contentment and joy?

To meddle with strife is to lead you into the very depths of Satan and become a captive or prisoner of his, to perform as he would does call. 2 Timothy 2:22-26 “Flee also youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord with a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will”. The new King James reads the last phrase as “to do his will”.

Notice that it is the foolish and unlearned who are entering the beginnings of strife by pressing in on matters that are not of righteousness, faith, charity and peace. If pressed in areas that are important, strife will come and anger is sure to accompany it. They press because their hearts are not pure; they do not seek answers only to justify some strange doctrine that they may be following. When you avoid them and their foolishness they become angry gendering strife actually enjoying the fact that they were able to cause a problem in another’s life. A hateful desire caused through the excitement of the mind. Excitement means: delight, electrify, inspire or thrill. They go in their anger gendering strife for they are thrilled with their evil actions.

We need to be gentle and kind with them, teaching them what truth with patience and with what love is. Yet if they will not receive, we cannot be responsible, for they must come to repentance on their own learning what truth is. Should they rebel their anger will become all consuming and their strife filled lives will be the ruination of them as Satan commands, and they follow like marionettes on unbreakable strings.

These people become very envious of what others have or of the success found in the ones they feel they are in strife with. Know this, that strife does not begin with another person, it first begins within yourself and because it is very contagious others will be affected by it, possibly even entering into it with you. Those who chose not to enter into strife will actually cause the strife bound to become envious of their righteous ways, they will become desirous of a strife free life and run to you for help and freedom.

James 3:14 “But if you have bitter envy and strife in your hearts glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual and devilish. For where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Angry people believe that they were right and the every other is wrong. Once you enter into anger it will no longer matter who is justified or not, you’ve entered into strife and the results are sure to be disastrous. Do not take pride in the fact that you were right, either, for pride comes before the fall and you will surely fall. The envious and strife filled people, always fall and fail. James says if you are living a life of confusion, which an angry person cannot see or will not choose to admit even if they could soon they are full of lust and are warring with all who come near, going head long into destruction.

James chapter four continues with these thoughts and informs us that this is the reason we do not receive answers to our prayers. How much better would it be just to let it go and move on in our lives? James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. Verse 10 reads “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up”. When anger and strife comes, don’t run from God but rather run to Him and He will cause you to be healed and give you good success. 

Overcoming The Fear of the Future

 Edwin Rand once said “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail” true, yet creativity is stifled by imaginative people often because of exactly this reason, failure. What they have is a fear of the future. Under the constant pressure to produce, high stress comes, so they then fill their lives with stress reducing activities believing that these will relieve the anxiety. It cannot, only redemption from the fear of failure will project a bright and happy future.

A man driven by the fear of the future causes him to search many differing avenues to know what the future may hold. He begins with a desire to know what may take place in the distant future and ends with a drive to know what will happen in the next five minutes. To find these, he seeks out the so called wisdom of soothsayers. Today they come packaged under many differing names or titles such as; fortune tellers, horoscope readings, biodex readings, modern day prophets, occult teachers, new age religions, astrologers, magicians, wizards, necromancers and many others. To seek knowledge of such will lead one into the clutches of the satanic realm and eventually into death. The Bible gives clear warning as to not to have anything to do with those who practice such “dark or black arts”. (They don’t call these the dark arts for nothing). To seek knowledge of one of these defiles, adulterates and befouls the soul of the seeker. Leviticus 19:31 “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God”. The Lord is saying why seek these out? I’m God, and I am the one who knows what your future will be, what you will need when you arrive there, so seek after me.

What part would a person, who has been sanctified by the living blood of Jesus, have with something that is unholy and foul? No part, unless they have forgotten that sanctification means ” a setting apart”. They are set apart to the things of God. We need not seek after the foul base things (or persons who practice such) of the world to gain their knowledge. We need to have the same attitude that is found in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “There shall not be among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before you”. Those who seek after these demonic persons for knowledge will have their end in complete and utter darkness.                             

An acronym has been given to the word, fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. What we believe to be real will cause us to make our decision for the future. If it is false then we set ourselves up for failure in the future, not understanding that our decision was based upon inaccurate information.  Fear moves in and gives a deceiving report of what reality will truly be. We need to be more like the prophet Isaiah when he said “Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed” Isaiah 53:1 The report that we need to believe when it comes to our future is the report of the Lord, not the report of what fear brings. God’s arm reveals His strength to us in protecting our future.

There really isn’t any need to be fearful of what may take place in the future, as it is completely possible to control the events, and consequences, of the future. God say’s that He has a plan for you and that it is a plan of success. Jeremiah 29:11-13 N.I.V. “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 a hope and a future. Then will you call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”.  We have no reason to fear what the future may bring when we understand that God’s intent is to bring us into a very bright future. Not only has God a bright future planned for us, but it is His plan He has for us. Nothing God has ever planned failed, it always comes into success.

We must “get with” the plan of God to prevent fear from taking root. If we allow fear to whisper in our ear’s we will soon learn that anything that looked attractive has been twisted into something repulsive and offensive.

Fear:

Is faiths greatest enemy.

Put’s distance between God and man.

Places one in reliance on his own works.

Is rooted in self, activated by concentration upon self.

Denies God and His power.

Saps away courage and makes one spineless.

Places irrational thoughts in one, then drives them to carry them out.

Believes the lies it implants into its victims.

Causes hopelessness to cover and control.

Keeps one feeding it by causing that one to speak in accordance with the fear.

Fear knows that once it has been revealed it will be defeated unless it performs some of the ingredients listed above.

To defeat this kind of fear we must go to the word of God and begin to allow it to flow from our mouths with the power and anointing of Jesus. Knowing that in the Name of Jesus and with The Blood of Jesus every fear can be defeated.

Don’t look anywhere but to the Lord for knowledge regarding the future, trust His word. You search the Word and find scripture such as:

Psalms 20:4 “May He give you the desire of your heart and cause all your plans to succeed”. N.I.V.

 Proverbs 12:5 “The plans of the righteous are just”. N.I.V.

 Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed”. N.I.V.

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. N.I.V.

 Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit”. N.I.V.

Jeremiah 29:11 comes very much alive when it is committed to us in faith. God’s plan is for a bright future. Once we’ve developed the plan and know that it is from God, and then we need to be sure that we establish our life in Christ so that we stay free from fear.

1 Peter 5:7-9a “Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith”.

Here is an absolute key for overcoming fear of what the future may bring. Cast all your care upon him. To cast is to throw away. That is what needs to be done to your cares, set up a catapult if need be and hurl them into Jesus’ lap. He’s big enough to destroy them. Understand what a care is: the definition of care is, worry, grief, anxiety mental anguish, concern and solicitude. When we give these over to Jesus He makes sure that all the frustration that goes along with them goes as well. Care is an evil scourge that the devil use’s to cause the destruction of many.

 Mark 4:18-19, “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful”. Many are caught in this trap; although they may hear the Word of God they don’t receive it in their hearts. Their many worries keep them from the freedom that they so greatly desire.

The cares of this world are usually those of the necessities of life. Are you worried about housing, food, automobiles, how to dress ourselves and our children, these are basic’s for life, so why shouldn’t we be concerned over having them? Because the Word of God say’s that He will provide them, and if God is going to supply them, there is no need to get worried or anxious about them. From the everyday needs, we learn that if God is taking care of them, then He will also look after the large future needs as well.

Why is it such a terrible thing to worry, after all everybody has the same problems and don’t we all worry about them? No, everybody may be faced with the same situations, yet not everyone enters into worry over them. They have learned that worry is a satanic tool used to take their eyes off Jesus and place them upon the problem that they are worried over. Anything that will remove Jesus as your prime concern is sinful and needs to be eradicated from your life.

 Matthew 6:33-34, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you, (all the requirements that you have need of).  Take therefore no thought (don’t receive any thought of care, concern or solicitude) for tomorrow; for the morrow will take thought for the things of itself. (Tomorrow’s problems need to be left until then, deal with those as they arrive in the same manner as today’s). Sufficient unto the day is the evil there of. (Prepare thoughtfully for the future but do not enter into fretting over it, each day has its own situations to master via the Word).

Your future can be worry free and very bright when your total and complete reliance is placed in Christ Jesus. Jesus said “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” John 8:36. Fearing the future is nothing more than bondage of Satan, Jesus came that you might be free from all bondage’s. Why fear something that has already been destroyed by the one who rules over all. Which is a valid point in itself? If Jesus rules over all and you say He is Lord, does not that give Him rule over your future and your worries? If so, do you actually think that He will not resolve them, and in your favour?

When we have developed trust in His Words, we latch onto them and know that we will never stumble. Sixty three times in scripture the phrase “fear not” appears. Revelation 1:17b “Fear not, I Am the first and the last”. If He is the first and the last then He is everything in between, He covers it all including your future and your worries. (That’s better than one fear not a day for two months). If you were to speak to your soul (the mind, will and emotions) to fear not for two months, fear would not exist in your life. The problem would be solved and the future very bright.

Other examples are: Isaiah 41:13 “For the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand saying unto thee, fear not; I will help thee”. Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not; for I have redeemed thee”. Isaiah 54:4 “Fear not; for thou shall not be ashamed: neither shall thou be confounded; for thou shall not be put to shame”.

Here are great promises regarding the things of the present and the future. God is always by our side holding our hands to see to it that we succeed. He has redeemed (or saved) us from our own foolishness and from Satan’s destruction. We have no shame, humiliation or chagrin in Jesus because He sees to it that we flourish in Him. In Jesus we cannot fail, shame comes because of failure. Fearing of failing in the future has just come to an end by staying in Jesus Christ.

Low and Demoralizing Self-Esteem

When failure happens in our lives we believe that it is a natural emotion to place ourselves in a low position, to get down on ourselves, to live in a depressed state of mind. However reality is that it is never a natural emotion. What we are actually suffering with is a spirit of rejection, the very worst kind, rejection of self.  Low and demoralizing self esteem will cause one to live in an array of very confusing “feelings”, these are in actuality darts (spirits) of the devil used to bring destruction upon his prey, which is you. Some of this darts are: covetousness, indecision, procrastination, compromise, confusion, forgetfulness, indifference, insecurity, inferiority, self-pity, loneliness, timidity, inadequacy, shyness, ineptness, retaliation, spite, hatred, sadism, hurt and cruelty.

So to explain how the enemy use’s these in his battle against us, first, he will set up a circumstance by which we begin to enter into a failing mode. When we don’t act on the Word of God at this point, the devil knows that he is on the right track, and then he begins to introduce his next attack.  Usually it will consist of one of the first six darts we just listed. For example when he can get us to procrastinate on our next move with a thought like “Oh I’ll get into God’s Word later, I’m just too busy working out this problem just now”, he will introduce trouble into our lives. The more you delay the harder it becomes to enter into the Words of life.

Once he has you in a delaying mode, he will stick you with the next dart which could be one like inadequacy. You begin to “feel” that you are just not good enough to accomplish the job, or see the situation through. You begin to doubt your ability, your faith in God, yourself, and even whether or not you should have been doing this in the first place. You switch from faith to doubt, from knowing that you’re well able to perform to being inept in all you do. This is where you fail, however it is not where the enemy stops in his attack.

Next he whispers lying thoughts into your soul, so that you will not examine him or even yourself, but rather you begin to cast your eyes upon others, to judge them, their success, their faith, their love for God is a thorn ever digging deeper into your mind. Soon their prosperity is too much to deal with so you isolate yourself from them. The same pattern happens with the next person, then the next, and the next, so that loneliness sets in.

Loneliness keeps you away from any and all who may want to assist you or help you to recover. At any given moment anyone of them may suffer the wrath of a loose mouth. The prey (of the devil) falsely believes that they have been wronged by those who are desirous to help, so the prey strikes out in retaliation, except there is nothing to retaliate against so a great frustration comes in. The person begins to “feel” spiteful toward others. They feed that spite with animosity, they become resentful and soon bitterness is the way of life they have chosen.

The bitter person is not far from self-destruction, but they will not go alone. They enter into hatred, their thoughts are constantly hurtful and sadistic, their actions very cruel. Life becomes worthless and the grip of death has taken root.

All this because the person suffered a minor setback (or maybe a major one) yet put off drawing unto the healer, Jesus Christ.

How does one overcome low self-esteem, go to the Word of God and see what it has to say about you. Not when things are going good, but rather when you are in the midst of your trial. Believe that God is God, and He still can do anything. Set for yourself a daily pattern, perhaps much like the following.

A) Set your mind on God at all times. Isaiah 26:3 “Thou will keep him in prefect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee”.

 B) Make a quality decision not to listen to reminders of past failures, leave the past in the past.

Philippians 3:13 “but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind”.

 C) Receive the plan of God in your life (Jer.29:11 N.I.V.) then run toward it. Pray, Study the Word and spend time in the presence of God through praise. Philippians 3:13b-14 “reaching forth unto the those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

 D) Know that you can do “it”, allow old failures to die away, you are a new person.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new”.

E) Speak good and encouraging words, regarding yourself and those who are around you.

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will it’s fruit”.

 F) Know that there is no other person just like you, therefore there is no need to compare yourself with any other. 2 Corinthians 10:12 (Wuest) “For we are not daring to judge ourselves worthy to among nor compare ourselves with certain ones of those who are commending themselves. But they themselves, measuring and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding”.

 G) Be selective as to your associates, choose only those who will build you up in faith, you building them up as well. Know that friendship means that you need to be friendly. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (Amp) “Do not be so deceived and mislead! Evil companionship’s, (communications, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character”. Protect yourself, there use to be a saying “I don’t smoke, drink or chew, and I don’t go with girls that do”. Set your standard then never let it down.

H) Keep your mind and thoughts on what is good and positive. Philippians 4:8 (Phillips) My brothers I need add only this. If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on whatever is true and honourable and just and pure and lovely and admirable”.

If you will follow after a pattern like this you will never experience low self esteem again. You may have down days but the spirit of depression will never be able to defeat you.

Overcoming Paralysis in Creativity

  One of the events that takes place in failure is the loss of your ability to create. Creativity is instilled into your heart by the Lord. When failure succeeds in our lives, creativity is stifled, shelved and eventually destroyed. This is of course not the plan of God. Gods will, His very intent is for His creations to succeed, and so the creative flow has been placed within you.

Creativity in its simplest form is the ability to think for oneself. In its truest form is the power to create or to be productive. It proceeds from originality of thought or expression. Creativity is best summed up as the expression of the heart’s desire, issuing forth into abundance.

The artist with the brush or pallet is creating what he sees only through the eyes of the heart. The poet speaks through the language of heartfelt words. The chef creates cuisine with expressions flavour upon taste buds gone wild with delight. No matter what the person may do to provide for themselves, when done with creativity, that person pushes self into personal excellence. The most gratified person is the one who knows that they have performed well, this is usually achieved through creativity.

This is the reason Satan is hell bend on destroying ones creativity when one fails to accomplish a task or succeed in an effort. Satan has never (in his entire existence) had one creative thought. He is not capable of creating anything, not even a new thought. This is a tremendous irritation to Satan. In 1 Corinthians 10:13a, we read “There hath no temptation taken but such as is common to man”, here we find that the enemy has been limited to what is common to man. The interesting thing is that the “man” is Jesus, and whatever the devil used against Him has been destroyed by Him. Therefore if the devil uses a weapon on you, know that it is one that is old, bend, dull and useless. To come against the creative person is come with weapons that have no power, and will not produce, unless we give the weapon power through a lack of faith in what the Lord Jesus has done. We on the other hand are not limited,

Think of the terabytes of information stored for your access within the internet which is just a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the information found within the Lord, stored in the Holy Spirit which can be downloaded within you for free.

All creative flow, a language developed by The Master which can only be read by you and He and of course it always remains virus free.

Thousands of year before the internet the bible had already predicted its coming, so it would be much wiser to the take heed to the one who knew and had the knowledge of the coming out pouring of knowledge found within the terabytes of the internet. There is nothing on or in the internet that God hasn’t already spoken of. Creative people know to go to Him first, they perhaps he will guide you the right information on the internet.

Daniel 12:3-7 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

Look how The Voice Translation translate this passage, Daniel 12:3-7 The Voice (VOICE)

 3 Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky at midday, and those who make the many righteous will shine as the stars forever and ever. 4 As for you, Daniel, keep these visions and their meaning a secret. Write down what you have seen and heard, then seal the scroll until the time of the end. Many will wander here and there, and knowledge will expand.

 5 Then I, Daniel, stood on the bank of the Tigris River and looked as two others appeared, one on my side of the river and the other on the far side. 6 One of them spoke to the man dressed in linen clothing, who was upstream.

 Heavenly Being: How long will it be until these disturbing events come to an end?

 7 I watched and listened carefully. The man dressed in linen clothing who was upstream raised both of his hands into the sky toward heaven. He swore an oath by Him who lives eternally that these disturbing events would last for a time, times, and half a time; and that when the shattering of the power of God’s holy people comes to an end, then all of this will be over.

 In verse 4 we see people are at their wits end in search of the knowledge that brings freedom. The scroll (the internet) is locked they simply cannot find the freedom they seek even though knowledge has been poured, wisdom has not. Wisdom can only be found when knowledge is applied, knowledge found within the terabytes of the internet is not wisdom it is simply facts, or as the rage is now “fake news” no creative force was required.

God takes creativity and places in you, creativity is His gift of success, why not ask and receive it today. Exodus 31:1-6 -Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you.”

“To make everything I have commanded you” His command to you is to be creative and He has given you the ability to be just that. He has gifted you you, ask the Holy Spirit what that gift is and download it today for free.

 

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THE JUICE IS  IN THE SQUEZZE

mount st helens

I have not written much regarding personal events in our lives, however recently after a conversation with my wife we decided there may be some small benefit to our readers that they may glean from reading of these stories.

This lesson was inspired by US  Senator Bernie Sanders when he stated  “When you’re white you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor,” Poverty knows no race, it has no boundaries, it has but one purpose, destruction of all who are caught within its grip. Ghettos hold anyone who live therein, color of the skin is does not make the ghetto. Poverty is the task master and the ghetto is his home. Slums are his housing and destruction his goal.

Poverty is a ruling spirit which targets anyone.  Government cannot fix poverty, they throw billions of dollars into repairing the problem but until the spiritual destruction of poverty happens it will continue and grow.  Government cannot repair it, but the church can, yet instead of teaching the way out of poverty they teach how to stay therein. They in fact get angry and preach against any who are bold enough to say “you do have to poor no more”.  A ghetto is any place that poverty can cause you to reside therein.

May 18, 1980, a major volcanic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens in Washington state, ash poured down on Northwest Washington state along with southern British Columbia in Canada, the hopes of many seemed lost, the world darkened for a moment.  Conspiracy theorist preached doom and gloom, the ignorant declared that Christ had returned, or, Japan caused the explosion, or even that the eruption was caused by the military to destroy a Bigfoot breeding ground. Yet the world moved on.

I wondered as I watched that eruption if perhaps the mighty mountain was speaking to me as well, what I faced now could it really be as bad as all that ash pouring down upon the earth, my heart certainly seemed that way.  Unemployed (again) recouping from the lost of our first restaurant, a wonderful beautiful wife and two babies but that darkness floated literally above.

We found a job that provided both housing and a meager income; we became managers of a slum motel. Rooms that rented by the hour (shocking to my wife) a strange and bizarre clientele, sex trade workers on the job, some looking to avoid the law or their wives, or others who were just eccentric and vastly different. Like Fred, a guy who wanted roller skate across Canada, but before he left he had to discard a small bundle, he decide to skate into the motel and leave the bundle with us. He hadn’t stayed there but for some reason he chose us to discard that bundle.

I asked him “why” he answered “because you will do what’s right with it”.

“What will you do now” I inquired.

“I’m rolling skating across Canada” then off he headed on his skates down Lougheed highway.

What to do, I opened the bundle of course. It was a old burlap coffee bean sack which had been tied together with chicken wire and held together with duck tape. Once in I found, three switch blades, two sets on numb chucks, three brass knuckles (one with blades) but the prize was a sawed off double barrel shot gun.  These were not the type of gifts I possibly could have hoped for, certainly not what I wanted around the motel given my young family or even the type of clientele we had staying there.  I called police who came quickly in two squad cars, I showed them our “gift”, one set of officers questioned us further and the second sped down the highway in search of Fred. They found him (roller shaking along) and returned him to the motel where he repeated what he did and said to us. He actually thanked us for calling law enforcement stating he just couldn’t turn himself in.  After much questioning of Fred the officers let him go and they departed with weapons in hand. I asked Fred “what now” he answered “I am rolling skating across Canada” and off he went. (I never did find out if he made it.)

We had stopped all of the hourly rentals and all of the known sex trade workers, we began to rent by the week and quickly filled all rooms with good paying customers but everyone had a story that could break the hardest heart.  I didn’t want those weapons around, one day a young lady came to the office in desperate need, she had been cut from her forehead to her waistline by her boy friend in a fit of rage. He had broken a mirror and used a shard of glass as a knife to slice her up.  There was no need to risk any event occurring while weapons may be at someone’s disposal, in fact I was happy to know they had been disposed of.  This was just one day, every  day there were events big and small, horrific and laughable occurring, we had no knowledge how to handle them but in each one we came through with a little more knowledge, closer to each other and closer to the Lord.

As difficult as our circumstances were, and they were, our restroom had a ceiling that literally had caved in and we could watch the sun rise or set from therein, we didn’t need the shower, we just had wait until it rained and stand in the restroom.. Ants had infested the apartment so badly that one night we awoke to our baby sons cries finding him completely covered by them. Six inch slugs, snakes, rats, mice and wild dogs all had to be contended with alongside the drug and alcohol addicts, hookers, crooks and thieves, this is where God had placed us? At least that is what we thought, how could God allow this to happen, and what was He trying to tell us? How strange it is, when adversity comes we blame others, we blame God and find that we begin to hear Him clearer, or, refuse to hear Him at all.

Psalm 34:3-5 (KJV) O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.5 they looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

Ignorance, desperation and fear, when poverty moves into your life then so too do these other spirits, and eventually God gets blamed.  Poverty brings spirits of destruction with her, addictions (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.) higher crime rates, higher death rates, all are within the power of poverty, she is the ruling spirit of destruction and her rule is extremely harsh.

You with God are always greater than your circumstances.  Circumstances gives character an opportunity to shine.  Those who have traits that embody those of Christ will go through the circumstance with peace ruling their hearts. Those whose character is situational focused will struggle as they seek to overcome, and those who are just ego will find failure and are doomed to repeat the circumstance until they have seen the way out.  Circumstances come, regardless of who you may be, it is within your spirit that the situation is resolved for good.  We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we choose to respond. Looking to God is not just a way of comfort but it is the best way to eliminate every situation that may give place to fear. The Psalmist (above) states He will deliver us from “all” our fears. Sure the devil is there to rob, kill, destroy and bring complete destruction but his spirits of fear have no place. We have been greatly delivered from all fear.  Notice the verse says our heart is lightened, the burden is taken; shining faces of victory can be seen by all.

When God is glorified in the midst of dire times, He gives the victory and gains the glory as we declare to others His goodness. His will is never to bring any hurt or harm, that is what Satan does. His will is to walk you through in victory.  We give thanks in the circumstance (not for it) because we know He is bringing through. Many were the times we spend weeping at that No-Tell motel slum, but that is just a relief mechanism because deliverance would come, we just had to remain in attitude of prayer and thankfulness. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Remember that your struggle always leads to might within the spirit and soul. Might is an explosive power, it is the ability to use Gods power in any situation; it is the believers power to achieve. What? Anything that is required, poverty desires destruction but God instills His ability to overcome such.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 It is not that all things are good but rather that good will come within that circumstance.

Gods plan is always perfect. The best of the Lord comes with attack, God wants the best for you but there are enemies that want the worse.  In cooking we like to say “the juice is in the squeeze” in order to get the most juice from a lemon or lime you must apply pressure to it. Roll it under pressure, then cut it in half and squeeze. It will run freely with its reward, sweet delicious juice. You gain much more juice by applying the pressure.

As the enemy attacks pressure is applied to us, poverty wants our destruction. However as we allow God to lead and guide through that pressure we will come through with something far greater than what we could have thought or dreamed of, a very sweet result.

While seeking the prefect plan of God to lead us out from poverty we know that trouble will come we must keep our eyes upon the Lord, it is His plan that will lead us in hope, that will give us the kind of future that is one of His goodness.

We call Him Father, why, because a father loves and cares for his children. He keeps them from harm and defends them with his life. He always wants only the best for his family. God is the greatest example of what a father is to be.

It is beyond stupidity and very insulting to the Lord when you hear people who say “God did this” some evil twisted thing. Poverty is an evil twisted thing and does not flow from a God who is the great Father.  God does not bring sickness and disease to teach us anything, nor does he sent disasters of any fashion, he does not place His children in destructive situations or kill man, women or babies. It is wrong for someone to says “God took him or her” scripture tells exactly who is the killer and thief: John 10:10 King James Version (KJV) “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

To steal: is to scuttle our dreams, dash into pieces our hopes and excitement of God goodness and to crush any action us that will cause us to do better.

To kill: To devastate us through the power of belief in the ability of the enemy, to coerce and force us into deaths grip.

To destroy: To destroy our faith, who we are, our very being, to annihilate our family, to completely crush our relationship with God through extremely harsh circumstances.

That is the squeeze by poverty, but what follows is the promise, that abundant life in Christ.  When the love of God moves upon your heart and into your life all else must move out, and the ruling spirits are driven out as well, including poverty.  Begin to believe the love of God for you, learn and follow His plan and not that of poverty, for God’s plan is always good. Poverty wants you to believe the squeeze is all there is, God knows it’s the juice.

God and you are a winning team. Think of juice as an acronym:

J-Join

U-Us

I-In

C-Creating

E-Excellence

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11

Learn in your heart that God will never leave your side. Psalm 118:6 King James Version (KJV) “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” How can you fail, lose, or come to destruction when the creator of heaven and earth is on your side. God and you are winning team.

Excellence is achieved by having a spirit of excellence, how, by and with the Lord. Focus yourself completely on the Lord and what would He do in any and every situation or circumstance.  Colossians 3:23 –“ And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Keep your focus on the Lord, when you are joined in spirit with the Lord then excellence flows to you.”   Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”

Jesus, Jehovah and The Holy Spirit are all on your side, you are not going through your circumstance alone; God is on your side.  Just stay resolute on the Word, it is your guide into victory and out of poverty. No matter how bad it may look for you stay with the Word and stay in faith. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Do not stray from what you know to be the goodness of God. Affliction, death and destruction are in the hands of the enemy and the enemy looks for those who stray from the Word and quickly moves to crush them so that they continue to wander away from the Lord. Yet when you fall (falling is not failing) and we all do, run to God, seek his Word for He forgives, He loves and it is He who will pick you up.

Psalms 119:67-68 “ Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.”

Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Isaiah 55:6  “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.”

Psalm 34:17 “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”

We overcome poverty and the spirit of poverty by forcibly driving him out of our lives. Yes by the Word and in the name of Jesus we command it to leave, but we must back that command with our actions. Faith is a force and the application of faith is the weapon that destroys poverty.  We put on that might and do warfare against poverty. Just because you are living within it does means you have to stay in it. All the weapons that the enemy uses against you are completely destroy by staying in the Word, staying in faith.  In faith the question must be asked, who can stand against me, and the answer of course, no-one and nothing, all come to destruction when it is against the Lord, His Word, and His children, those who stay in faith.

Romans 8:37-39 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) “Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors [a]and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [b]impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We were in a horrible place, poor, without proper housing, living a rat infested life. Yet by keeping faith and applying the Word we soon turned that situation around, the No-Tell  motel became a residence  for some under crushing needs, those in turn heard the Word and the slum became repaired to the point where the landlord sold the property. We moved on to another town and our circumstances improved. No, we hadn’t conquered poverty yet, not completely, but by faith life improved.

Ephesians 6:10-17 King James Version (KJV)  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

Biblical joy is the knowledge that God is in control of your circumstances and allows only that which is good for you into your life. Joy is an established position of contentment, confidence and hope. For most the lie of the enemy is “trials and tribulations draw you closer to God” it is not the trial, the tribulation or the circumstance that draws you closer to the Lord, but rather what you do within those circumstances.  1 Peter 1:6-9 King James Version (KJV)  “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Keep the Word, stay in faith and walk in joy and you with God (your team) will defeat poverty in your life and then have the power to defeat it in others lives as well. Keep these final scripture as your starting point in the destruction of poverty in your life.

Psalm 27:1 King James Version (KJV) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 41:10 King James Version (KJV) Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Acts 27:25 King James Version (KJV) Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 King James Version (KJV) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith ([a]your conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength!

Psalm 23 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

3 He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a]oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.

6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

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TRUST: MORE VALUABLE THAN GOLD

We have all heard the quotes “honesty is the best policy” or “walk the talk” however, at times our policies are too self centered and the honesty is to oneself only, or the talk is so foul that even the speaker wouldn’t dare attempt to walk it.  The life free from a broken heart must be one of integrity. Policies that cannot be adhered to, will be broken, speech that causes one to stumble from integrity is not worth voicing. The walk is about honesty and therefore it is about trust, trusting in our word so that others may trust in ourselves.

Let’s just look at the definition of trust before we proceed:

1) reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

2) confident expectation of something; hope.

3) confidence in the certainty of future

4) a person on whom or thing on which one relies:

5) the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

6) the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed:

So then simply put, trust is the combination of the only two things a person actually owns, your name and your word. The breaking of either destroys the other and dissolves all trust, sows doubt and brings disappointment, pain and betrayal to the circumstances in life and will rob you of your joy.

Every relationship requires a high level of trust to flourish, when that trust is broken a withering process takes place and if not acted quickly upon to bring restoration the trust will become destroyed and the betrayer of that trust has broken a part of the implied agreement that forms their relationship. The loss of trust means the loss of safety, security, respect, love and friendship these should be too valuable to anyone to gamble with them.  As we break trust we infuse into a relationship (that once may have been great) anger, insecurity, anxiety and fear, the betrayer of the trust goes quickly from companion to friend, from friend to acquaintance, from an acquaintance to a stranger and soon there is no relationship whatsoever all, they can no longer be trusted.  Their word is worthless, their name becomes abhorrent. As soon as another speaks their name thoughts of evil and anger flood into our mind, a name once thought of in glowing auras now is considered in malevolence. Those two possessions, no longer have value.

Trust between spouses, with parents and children, employers and employees with friends and even with animals is based strictly upon our word and the action we place behind those words. You cannot build a relationship or operate effectively in the absence of trust. Trust is not a product, a service or some kind of good,  trust is not something to be dismissed as futile or immaterial. Trust is the keystone of every relationship. “Mark 3:25 (KJV) And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Houses of any name or type when they become divided fall and fail because of the loss of trust.

Trust is lost for a host of reasons and attempting to reasoning it out may be an exercise in futility, energy must be spent in the attempts of repairing that trust, if in fact, it can be repaired.  In order to repair it we must trust again, not in oneself or in the one by whom you have been betrayed, but with God, “Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  Healing for any hurt, or any forgiveness required that needs to be applied, can only proceed from God, He is the only one with whom our trust can be repaired and even replaced.  Our minds are screaming “no” I will never trust that person again,  but that is our understanding talking to our minds loudly and forcibly, the scripture says do not lean upon that understanding for it will not support you, you will fall. Take those thoughts and give them to God He knows how to heal you and bring wholeness to your heart and mind.

We tend to think thoughts that are unhealthy while we hurt, our thoughts tend to be destructive and are not healthy so we must not depend upon those thoughts, but turn them over to God and allow His thoughts and actions to lead us in ours. “Isaiah 55:8-12 (KJV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” By allowing God to take charge of the hurt and wounded heart we see that trust is restored, healing comes, a washing of the hurting heart is completed so that a need is met and the result is the restortation of our joy.

None of us may fain innocence, we all have broken trust with another, intentionally or not we all stand guilty of the destruction of anothers trust. Therefore, we all must work toward restoration of that trust, capturing the good will of our name and hence the value of our word.  So what do we do, what action must we take to bring repair and restorations to the hearts and minds of those with whom we have broken trust.

1) Understand a violation has occurred.  Regardless of how minor we may view the breach of trust, it is with those whom that breach has occurred that really matter, we may see it small, they see it great, look at it from their point of view and do all you can in your power to repair it. Find common ground to build upon, spoken assurances will only matter when your actions show that your trust can once again be relied upon.  Forgiveness always begins with a willingness to trust again.  Forward is but trust in action.

2) “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” Maya Angelou. We are human and as such we will make mistakes, the quicker we repair those mistakes the less likely our trust will be destroyed. If we act not upon our hurting heart the break will fester and soon become infected with anger and resentment and trust is destroyed.  Forgiveness is never about being right but rather in doing right, Kenneth Copeland, “Do what is right, do it because it is right, then do it right” this is trust in action.  When trust is broken it requires the action of righteousness to keep one going forward. Righteousness is not just being right, but more powerfully, it is the action of walking right. Look to the politician, they say what is right, but walk in deception, none trust the politician because they do not walk in righteousness.  To walk in righteousness is to allow people to make mistakes, then as they do, we lift them up and lead them in a way in which trust remains. People take risks, they make mistakes, why they even have differing opinions, righteousness, helps you to overcome their errors and allows you to compromise with them while in the midst of conflict. This is called “grace” which always finds a way through. “Psalm 28:7 (KJV) The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

Are you willing to walk away or will you look for a small grain of grace and hold on. Grace loves, grace builds, grace forgives, grace encourages, grace restores.  God had lost trust in man and was ready to destroy the entire world for that loss of trust, yet one man, weak, imperfect, bold and brash still found grace in the eyes of the Lord and the world was saved from sure destruction. The ability for God to trust Noah was accounted to Noah as grace and so the world was saved.  Your world too may be shaken, but apply trust and grace will bring restoration.

Trust is the author of patience, trust will wait, for what has been spoken surely will take place. Trust painted with time sees a work of the heart completed.

Trust and integrity are twins, for without one the other cannot be.  As an employer, many are the times people have offered to work for cash, “just keep it off the books”  they say, that way neither employer or employee pay the government the taxes due.  We on the other hand, expect that the government does all they say they will do for us, yet without the funds they cannot and quickly the debt grows. Cheating the government seems like a small thing yet it shows a person’s integrity and the fact that they are not trustworthy.  ”Mark 12:17 King James Version (KJV) And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”  Here we see that it is a person of integrity  that earns the trust, by simply doing the right thing then God can work through him/her. Trials and judgments should not sway your integrity, stand firm through what the world and the devil may throw at your integrity. You will see that trust will carry you through. God sees that doing right in even the smallest things is part of who you are, a person grounded in integrity and therefore one whom is trustworthy and trusting. “Psalm 26:1 (KJV) Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.” The government may not see our lack of integrity or trustworthiness but God does and our reward is in God and not the government.

We pay the government to do that which the church has not done, therefore we must show integrity so the Lord may bring His blessing upon us. “Deuteronomy 10:16-19 Amplified Bible (AMP) So circumcise [that is, remove sin from] your heart, and be stiff-necked (stubborn, obstinate) no longer. 17 For the Lord your [a]God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, the awesome God who does not show [b]partiality nor take a bribe. 18 He [c]executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and [d]shows His love for the stranger (resident alien, foreigner) by giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore, show your love for the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” The person of integrity shows it, from a good heart, here we see the reason we should tithe, but as the people of the church do not tithe (only 17% of the church does) the government must step in to do this work and they demand from us much more than the tithe.  So a person of integrity would not do that which may harm another and to cheat the government surely brings harm to others.  Give what belongs to the government and that to which belongs to God, tithes and alms so both may work freely on your behalf. “Matthew 6:1-4 (KJV) Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

“The essence of trust is not found in its bind, but in its bond” There are four factors that seal the bond of trust, but before we see those lets look at in the bind of trust.  Think of it as a string tied around the heart, sure it is together, but the hurt is still there.  Have younever cut yourself badly enough to require stitches, after that thread was removed, there was still a scar that reminds you of the injury. The same holds true when we bind our hearts in trust, we want a whole heart, not just the ones which are tied together, yet, even that is better than a heart that has completely lost trust in all. The bond of trust however is so much more.

Look at BOND as an acronym:

B-Believable

O- Objective

N- Nourishing

D- Dependable

Trust is first believable, it keeps confidence, it is honest and sincere.  It is believable because it will not lie, it can lie but it will not.

Trust is objective, it resolves problems, develop the skills required to gain confidence, it will do the right things just because it is the right thing.

Trust is nourishing,  its goal is to see a life is growing in faith, sustained by what is good and never brought down by an action that will hurt, it becomes strong as it is rooted in integrity. It listens well, praises others, encouraging them to move forward, it shows you completely as who you are and says “discard my weaknesses and draw from my strengths.

Trust is dependable, your word is everything, you will fulfill whatever you say even if you are placed at a disadvantage, you are your word.  You are responsible, consistent and what’s more, you are accountable.  You are on time, every time.

So when its all done, your word is your bond, you can trust that.

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Hoodwinked

Have you been hoodwinked, or, perhaps you don’t know what that means, so here is the definition: bamboozled,  tricked, fooled, dupe,  cheat,  conned,  deceived,  ripped off,  scammed,  mislead.  So I ask again, have you been hoodwinked? The answer of course is that we all have, at different times for various reasons. However, there is great deception running rampart in this world. Speaking, whispering lies, attempting to bring us into a place that we no longer can see God, or, even believe in God. Such lies are designed to zap your strength, crumble your faith and dissolve the love that God has for you.lonely isalnd

The enemy (Satan) has designed theselies, they begin as small, little ones, so we will speak them, giving them creedance, then as we speak, so we believe. For we believe that which wehear and of course we believe ourselves first and foremost, even when it is a lie coming from our own mouth. Those little lies like “I don’t feel”, or, “I can’t”, or, “nobody loves me” every confession seals that lie within and soon they grow and become much larger stealing from the very fabric of our faith, are we believing the lies rather than what is the truth.

So let us ask what really is the response of scripture to those little lies, “I don’t feel” well what do your feeling have to with anything at any rate. We believe, feelings change moment by moment, so we must base our faith upon a feeling. One moment someone speaks something that causes our feeling to be assaulted, simply speak the truth and the feeling will change, check your feeling with your mouth, speak what the Lord has spoken over your situation knowing that He has already experienced exactly what you are dealing with. Hebrews 4:14-16 Amplified Bible, “Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”  Don’t be hoodwinked, squash what you feel when it is contrary to the love of God, when it does not fall in line with God has said.

What then, when we face situations that appear too great for us. Should we crumble and say “I can’t” or see that there is a better way, don’t be hoodwinked, God is greater. Philippians 4:4-13 Amplified Bible “Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

8 Finally, [a]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. 9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord, that now at last you have renewed your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned about me before, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. 12 I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. 13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”  Your needs are already met, whatever you face in life, God is showing you here it is all good, you can do it, regardless of the situation, attacks on your health, attacks on your finances, attacks upon your family, attacks upon your faith, Christ is the way for you to overcome those situations, so stop being hoodwinked by the enemy and saying “I can’t”. Change that to a confession into one of faith by saying “I can do ALL things through Christ who is my source, my strength, my power, the very answer to whatever my need may be, therefore I can.”  We rejoice because we know He has kept His word to be our very help in ANY trouble.

Have you had those failed relationships, you caused them, or, another failed you, time after time you have given your heart only to have it broken in many pieces, and now you are convinced that you are unlovely and unworthy of any kind of love? Well, you have been hoodwinked, you have been deceived, you are loved and as such will be loved and be loving, just change the lie that you see to the truth that is. 1 John 4:10-12 Amplified Bible “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath]. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us.” Consider that God lives and is alive within you, as He lives within you then you are lovely, loving and worthy of being loved. Set aside and forget what you have been told and believe, believe God, it is impossible for God to lie to you Hebrews 6:18 Amplified Bible “so that by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge would have strong encouragement and indwelling strength to hold tightly to the hope set before us.”  He cannot lie, He has given us His promise, so He keeps it, He has given us His oath, therefore it is true.  God promise is a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act. The He swears an oath to make it sure.  Learn quickly that as God speaks so it is, yes, in your life.  Nothing, no-one can take from what the Lord has spoken: Psalm 33:6-9 Amplified Bible “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, And all their host by the breath of His mouth.7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as in a wineskin; He puts the deeps in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear and worship the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” He spoke and it was complete, boom, complete in you. None can stand before Him, not Satan nor those who have been charged to lie to you, believe God when He says He Loves you. Jesus was sent to live, die and rise again just because He loved you. If you are that special to Him how much more are you to the person God places into your life.

Do not fall for the greatest hoodwink of all time, The Holy Spirit no longer works miracles as he did in the days of the apostles, the day of miracles died when the last apostle died. This is a great lie, it is passed along by educated religious people who know of God but do not know God. Many can study theology and speak long flowing sermons as to why God is no longer the Lord or why He is no longer what He says He is. Are they holy phyciatrictrist?  Well, guess what, God doesn’t need one. He cannot go back upon His Word, so if He has declared or promised something within His Word then He will fulfil it.

Do not be hoodwinked, you are not a lonely tree surrounded by waters of hopelessness. You are a child of the living God, alive within you, your every need is there in the living Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit and He lives in you.  If you consider yourself an island, then be the island of the Lord. Isaiah 60:9 Amplified Bible “The islands and coastlands will confidently wait for Me; And the ships of Tarshish will come first, To bring your sons from far away, Their silver and gold with them, For the name of the Lord your God, For the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.”

The Holy Spirit has been given to us today, to live daily, in victory. Regardless of what the “holy phyciatrictrist” may say. God’s commission has not and will never change, that being to give us the mind of Christ so we may think exactly as He does. Allowing us to have victory in our daily lives. 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 Amplified Bible “For God has unveiled them and revealed them to us through the [Holy] Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things [diligently], even [sounding and measuring] the [profound] depths of God [the divine counsels and things far beyond human understanding]. 11 For what person knows the thoughts and motives of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So also no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the [Holy] Spirit who is from God, so that we may know and understand the [wonderful] things freely given to us by God. 13 We also speak of these things, not in words taught or supplied by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual thoughts with spiritual words [for those being guided by the Holy Spirit].

14 But the natural [unbelieving] man does not accept the things [the teachings and revelations] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness [absurd and illogical] to him; and he is incapable of understanding them, because they are spiritually discerned and appreciated, [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters]. 15 But the spiritual man [the spiritually mature Christian] judges all things [questions, examines and applies what the Holy Spirit reveals], yet is himself judged by no one [the unbeliever cannot judge and understand the believer’s spiritual nature]. 16 For who has known the mind and purposes of the Lord, so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes].

 

 

 

 

 

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Angels Watching Over Me (part 2)

Angels Part Two (Please READ or re-read part one on angels first) https://chefk.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/angels-watching-over-me/

Revelation 8:2 King James Version (KJV) And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

Many are seeking the assistance of angels in their lives, believing that angels lead and guide their every step in their day to day lives.  Seeking and seeing angels in most of what they must do in their daily lives. So it is imperative that we get to understand who or what these angels may or may not be, and to understand those who portray themselves as guides to the realm of angels.

Many refuse any longer to be labeled as the followers of the occult as such but rather as “New Age thinkers” when in fact there is nothing new in it, They believe they are communication with angels but are in fact in communication with the occult and the demonic hordes. There many who present themselves as guides through communication with angels these angels becoming their “spirit guides”? These guides are assigned at conception as “angels” but rather than guide us to life in Christ these guides lead us down the path of death and destruction and in fact that is their very assignment as they are demonic and not angels.Death and destruction is their primary goal, the sooner they can accomplish this the better, if they can convince a mother into aborting an unborn child they shall do so, accomplishing their assignment before the child is born.

Some believe these guides are dear depart loved ones, ascended masters” or unseen helpers with only the best intentions for your life, however the facts are very different, they are not guides or ministering spirits but demonic and very evil, attempting to deceive people into believing the exact opposite. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15- And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

So we must clearly know and understand with whom we are communicating, the fallen angels are servants of Satan. True angels of the Lord will only act upon instruction of the Lord and His Word.  No-one can order an angel to do anything for any reason, if anyone believes that they have power over angels they are deluded and will eventually find themselves in grave problems, be assured that the angels they command are the fallen angels who are playing upon the persons guile. Psalm 103:20- Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. For this reason we teach ourselves to speak the Word of God, so that those angels of the Lord assigned to us (which there are many) will find the we are in agreement with the Lord and His Word and they are then free to carry out their assignment.

The Word when spoken brings the spirit into line with that Word and brings life. Death and destruction lie in the power of the tongue, as is life and liberty. John 6:63 Good News Translation (GNT) What gives life is God’s Spirit; human power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you bring God’s life-giving Spirit.

The fallen angels, familiar spirits, and other demonic forces have but one assignment, to separate you from God and His love for you.  Any technique they can employ to complete this assignment is exactly what they will use.  We commit that we will fight them in every arena and we will win the battle. We must be fully confident of this: Romans 8:37-39 -Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Revelation makes mention that there are seven angels; occult circles teach that they are able to communicate with these angles. So then who are they, look at an ancient book (considered a holy book yet not a of the bible) the book of Enoch. Much of what is known regarding angels and demons can be found within its pages. However if scripture does not back what you find there stay with scripture.

ENOCH Chapter 20

And these are the names of the holy angels who watch.

1 Uriel, [ also called Auriel and Oriel meaning, “God is my light” ] one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus.

2 Raphael, [ meaning, “It is God who heals” ] one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men.

3 Raguel, [ meaning, “Friend of God” ] one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries.

4 Michael, [ meaning “who is like God” also viewed as the field commander of the Army of God ] one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best part of mankind and over chaos.

5 Saraqael, [ also Sariel meaning, “Command of God” ] one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit.

6 Gabriel, [ a messenger from God, “Strength of God” ] one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim.

7 Remiel, [ A Watcher ] one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise from the dead, in effect the angel that watches over those that are to resurrect.

Here we find the names of the seven archangels, yet we know from scripture that they were many thousands more angels of differing types. The Scriptures reveal that God created nine orders of angels: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Archangels, and Angels. So there are two angels classes the fallen and the heavenly. The fallen are as they were in heaven (holding the same position in their fallen state) except they have changed that state from good to evil. Jude 6 -And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Depending on the circumstance “the angel of the Lord” could be any one of the ones above, yet at any situation each angel will deliver their message from God with the fact that it is the Lord who has spoken and nothing less. THEY SPEAK THE WORD. Psalm 103:20 – Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

There are many very false medians that wander the globe, presenting themselves as knowledgeable and in constant communication with various types of fallen angels both great and small.  However these diviners “are” not in communication with angels but rather with the evil fallen angels. Notice the nine listed above (I highlighted their names meaning) they only do what God commands and they only speak His Word, anything else, or anything that does not line up with the Word of God is absolutely false.  2 Corinthians 11:13-14 – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. The Lord does assign angels to watch and keep us on our life’s journey; in fact Jesus had to overcome one of Satan’s temptations regarding this fact, the devil quoted scripture in his attempt but failed because Christ quoted the life filled Word. Luke 4:9-12 – And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Jesus knew that there is powerful truth found in Psalms 91:11 (what devil quoted) but to misuse the assignment of the angels would be considered a lure to trap the Lord which He could not do (nor should we) which is exactly what we attempt to do when falsely attempt communication with true guardian angels.

Believing and communication with the supernatural is the right of every Christians that communication is with God and the Holy Spirit through the name of Jesus. This is a great honor, so much so that even those fallen angels are envious and tremble at the thought. A conversation with a fallen angel is simply a conversation of lies. Christ gave them no place, nor should we. Mark 1:34 – And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. They knew Him, do they know you, for just as Jesus is so are you when you believe and walk in the Spirit of God. 1 John 4:17 – Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Jesus gave no place to fallen angels, in fact He spoke and they listened to Him. They want you to believe that they carry great power over you when in fact you are the one who carries the power over them in the name of Jesus. These fallen angels know God and fear God and fear those who know the Power of the Word of God  when spoken with the authority of the name of Jesus.  James 2:19, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!”

Why is it dangerous for anyone to have communication with such spirits? Simply because these spirits will bring destruction to your relationship with God. They are master liars; they can place small grains of truth into your conversation which gives them a disguise of being genuine, while knowing that they are not. As they have been assigned at conception they have knowledge of an individual that no-one else does or can, so they are able to do and say things that are convincing, yet false or destructive.  God clearly warns against having any communication with such because of their ability to deceive, He knows once the familiar spirit has a grip upon a person it is very difficult for that person to be set free, as they continue to seek more and even more of the deceiving lies the familiar sows within their heart. Deuteronomy 18:10-14 – There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

When looking at verse 13, the word translated as “prefect” here is the Hebrew word “tamam” which means “being complete, blameless, without as blemish, full of integrity”  the walking with familiar spirits pollutes a person and draws them away from God and into darkness. When you look at the chart of spirits in part one of this writing you see that the familiar spirit is an angel (fallen one) that is assigned to us at birth, for this reason they have vast knowledge of our lives and can even appear to others as us, especially after our death while they grieve.  This is how they deceive, but God wants us to walk with Him, trust Him to lead us, He will guide us.

Remember that a familiar spirits goal is to get you to believe them rather than God, thus they get us to believe in them at very early ages. Every child knows that witches have brooms to fly in moonlit nights through the sky. They have big cauldrons in which they make potions from herbs, dried animal parts, mushrooms and other such ingredients. They use flying ointment and dust to leave the earth, through the chimney. They have black cats as pets, or toads which they consider special (familiar) spirits. And that witches do wear the black pointy hats which is known to raise energy frequencies. They have imps and familiar spirits that do their bidding. Is it any wonder that the witch costume is the number one costume of the Halloween celebration? The deception of Halloween is the high day of worship for Satan and his devils, which includes familiar spirits, in actuality this is worship of false gods. Every child knows Halloween and and what it means, yet do these same children know and love God. Proving the deception Satan has sowed within the nations and the hearts of the children therein. Deuteronomy 11:16 -Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

Why is the communication with familiar spirits detestable to God, He is the Father and as such desires no harm to come to His children, all this communication with destructive spirits only brings confusion and hurt to God’s child and could eventually lead to destruction.

The great thing is, that once you know Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirits these spirits and those who practice communications with such spirits fear you. I recall a day when I took my family to Los Angeles for a Christmas vacation, as we walked down the famous Venice Beach we began to approach a woman who had a table with tarot cards and crystal balls offering to tell anyone’s fortune.  Suddenly she saw me coming toward her, she jump up and began screaming at me “stay away from me, stay away from me” very quickly she packed up her cards and crystal balls, folded her table and literally ran away down the beach and left the area.  I didn’t even say a word; the presence of the Lord upon us was enough to drive her away. The power of the Lord within a believer is always greater than any power of a fallen spirit, demon or Satan himself.  The communication with familiar spirits will eventually lead to death and destruction as one is lead further and further away from God and deeper and deeper into the grip of deception. It matters not who you are; communication with such always leads to destruction. Look at what happened to King Saul for doing exactly this, 1 Chronicles 10:13-14(a) – So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the Lord.

Communing with these familiar spirits is nothing less than idolatry and witchcraft which we have been clearly warned that this will lead us into destruction. Our lives are best when we follow the assignment best suited to us, that of following the Holy Spirit. No fallen angels, no spirit guide, no shaman, no familiar spirit, no clairvoyant, no witch or warlock can provide you the powers of living life as the Holy Spirit can.

Galatians 5:19-24 – Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The Holy Spirit helps, inspires, and strengthens us. Ephesians 3:16—That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.

The Holy Spirit guides us and gives us understanding of God’s Word. John 16:13—However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

The Holy Spirit enhances our relationship with the Lord. John 14:26—But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

The Holy Spirit empowers our witness to others. Acts 1:8—But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.

The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:8–10—For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, (9) to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, (10) to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Ephesians 1:10-14 – That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

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GOING THE EXTRA MILE

When it comes to service and serving we have all heard and perhaps quoted the expression, “go the extra mile” but can we understand what exactly this means? As it is with most common expressions this one too means differing things to different people. The person offering the service understands it with one meaning well the person receiving the service may see entirely different.

Those offering service understands it to mean that they have given absolutely all they have, reaching deep within and giving completely beyond what is required and at times even able to do so.

Those receiving service believe this to mean that all they require, want or need is met to their satisfaction regardless of the demand. When the service provider fails to have gone the extra mile then the customer becomes upset, unhappy and depending upon their mood at the time irate.  “Why should I pay for what I did not get?” Then within the exchange of money for service becomes the area of conflict.

“Go the extra mile” becomes bad advice to give a co-worker if the co-workers perception of service differs. Service is the art of precisely meeting the expectation of the client. In cooking we meet the demand by giving the customer exactly what they ask for, (ie: a medium rare steak should be just that) any variances and we have failed both the customer and the ability to perform the service. The extra mile is not met and we have not preformed a service.

The first key to our expression then is found in the first word. GO! Having an understanding of this word will allow us to proceed with service. Without it we come to a complete stop. For you are at a stop when you cannot go.

One definition of go is: an attempt or a trial to perform something. We have failed right there. Service is not attempting to perform it is rather performance in itself. We are servicing a client when are simply trying to do so. We must be successful at servicing for in a trial the client will always judge us as lacking therefore failing them.

Go can also mean to traverse, as in “to go the entire distance.” Certainly service will take one from beginning to an end, but is it the desired end.  When we perform a service we have a set goal we desired to see gained when we are complete. However the client may have a differing goal in what they are seeking for the service they are requesting. Without each have a clear understanding of the service being provided conflict is sure to arise.

We have all heard another service expression, “the customer is always right” this falls short when the customers has not defined what they want or has not communicated what they desire is. Therefore, without having a clear understanding what the customer wants, becomes a cloudy mess, in seeing the finish and therefore understanding how right the customer truly is. This maxim also gives the customer a false sense of entitlement which is often expressed in verbal (or worse) abuse of the one providing the service.

Originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909, his goal was to give the customer the assurance that their demands would be clearly met, therefore service would be given at the highest standard. The opposite happened, the more demanding the customer the less the service provider became willing or just unable to meet the demand. The service went down, demands went higher, were not met and service went down, demands went higher, a seemingly unbreakable circle. The result, both client and provider became unsatisfied. The clients went elsewhere as did the employees.

Question, if the abusive customers get’s his or her way by unreasonable demands does this means the nice customer is therefore not right and also needs to become abusive as well.  Who will return to the service offered the abusive customer or the nice one, focus on the one most likely to return. Unhappy abusive customers who believe they are right are not coming back so focus on the happy one who really believes they are right because they are satisfied. Perhaps the expression should be, “the satisfied customer is always right.”

How is the customer satisfied, by a happy service provider (employee). If keeping the employee happy is the key to keeping the customer happy then we must rethink and see our way to satisfying our employees. Bad customers are bad for business great employees are great for business.

Recently we saw an example of this posted on the internet. A customers with “literally” a holy than thou attitude took great service and belittles with a crude note on tipping, invoking (more likely provoking) God and leaving the service provider with nothing. The server posted the nasty note and the company terminated the server instead of siding with the server they apologized to the nasty preacher. They gained a nasty customer, lost a good server, lost nice customers who sided with the server and lost reputation with the public who saw the injustice of their “customer is always right” position. While the customer claimed that the posting “soiled her reputation” it clearly showed who the pastor is and that she demands far more than she herself is willing to give. The result is the restaurant chain will most likely not suffer much for the retention of the nasty over the nice but some will think twice about supporting them, some other servers will think twice about continuing or beginning employment with them.  The only winner is the pastor who will have to answer to the God she invoked.

We also have a problem with if the customer is “always” right then the service provider is “always” wrong.  If we (or our employees) see ourselves as providing a service in which we cannot complete believe in then we are apt not give the service that our product deserves therefore not providing the service our customers expect. If we are the ones that are wrong we cannot defend our service when the customer is wrong, and believe it or not, the customer can be wrong from time to time. The customer who throws a temper tantrum only get his or her way (at the expense of other customers or the service provider) is not right. A great service provider will stand their ground when they are right, to take away the right of the service provider from being right will reduce the employee’s pride in doing their job, and their pride in working for a company who will not defend what is truly right.

In one of my restaurant we had a special dining offer with a condo sales company where when you viewed the sales offer you were given a dinner for two at our restaurant, you simply had to pay for beverages, taxes and tip the server, we served hundreds of these a month.  It was a good deal for our clients. A fifty dollar meal and you could walk out by paying ten. One evening we had a guest who raved about his meal, his server, the view (we were on the top floor of a hotel) we went on and on about how good everything was…..until he got his bill. Then he went into a well rehearsed temper tantrum, all day long he would do this when he didn’t get what he wanted, regardless of what others with him and around him thought. Suddenly his great server became the worse, he berated her into tears, the dining room manager could get nowhere with him, the only way to calm him down was to take the takes off his bill (he was not going to pay the tax of 3.65). He threw such a fit he was ejected from the restaurant. After his departure the manager, server and myself were given a standing ovation by the guest of our full dining room many of which were the companions of this customer who had enough of him and his abusive behavior.  When you believe in your product and your service there comes a time when you are right and you need to defend the product and your service provider because it is the right thing to do.

There is an expression “do what’s right, do it because it is right, then do it right” if you have done so then there is no reason to back away from.

Proceed Without Delay

Another definition of go is: to proceed without delay. Delay is a huge enemy of service, yet it is one of the most common mistakes committed by the service provider. There is a song “Make Someone Happy” by Jimmy Durante, the last verse is:

“Make someone happy,

Make just one someone happy,

And you will be happy, too.”

This is the goal of service, to make the client happy. Happiness is not found in delay. Delay causes the client to feel their request is not important to the one offering service. That the need is secondary to all else, that the procrastination of the service provider means there is little or no value in the one requesting the service. Therefore there is no opportunity for happiness.

Consider the church “service” the advertising announces that the service begins at 10 AM but many people arrive late is the service is delayed to 10:15 to accommodate the late comers. The delay disrupts the flow of the service, worship is rushed, the sermon is cut in order not to go long and ministry to the needs of the congregation comes under pressure. Those who arrived on time did so in respect of the needs of others, those who arrived late will have an excuse but all will be centered upon self needs and no consideration of serving others. The same ones late are generally late each and every week, the delay they cause is not an issue to them. 10 AM is never 10:15 and to serve one correctly means beginning on time.

Delay of course disintegrates trust, do I really trust anything else the church may say or do if a simple service time is not trustworthy? This may seem a minor point but the small actions carry forward and reflect the attitude of what the service being offered could be. In a restaurant for example, can you trust what the menu states to be true if the service offered is not trustworthy, should you actually trust that the food is going to be at the highest standard if that trust has been broken? Possibly not.

Jimmy wrote “Make someone happy” the very goal of service. As go indicates we “proceed” forward. Delay of course is not forward going but actually causes us to go backward instead of forward. The service, when done right, always accomplishes the same results, to make someone happy. So then service is the “the art of accomplishment” or achieving our goal successfully. An unhappy churchgoer can cause the restaurant server grief later on and not even realize that they are unhappy because of the actions of the church and not those of the server. A happy churchgoer may in fact serve the restaurant server by giving him or her a larger tip than required to do so. So then the happy service becomes contagious, happy churchgoer, happy server, happy family, all connected to one simple action.

When we view a person who is excellent at what they do we say they are accomplished. Service then, when given in excellence, is therefore accomplished successfully. Accomplished servers are those who have skills in seeing the needs of the clients and then filling those needs in the most effective manner without any delay. One becomes accomplished through practice and skill.

Making mistakes is a huge part of becoming an accomplished server. For every mistake one makes, a lesson one learns. Remember “how do you get to Carnegie Hall, practice son, practice.” In one of my restaurant I had a baby grand piano in the center of the dining room; we had to put a sign on it to prevent anyone and everyone from playing it. The sign read, “Please do not play the piano without the permission of the chef, the chef never gives permission.” One day a gentleman came in, he looked rumpled and had a club foot, he asked if he could play the piano. I judged him on his appearance (very wrong) and asked if he knew how? He answered, “I’ve played in a few halls” then I thought, oh brother, but he quickly said, “Massey Hall, Carnegie Hall to name a few.” I gave my permission and he served myself and our dining guests to one of the finest concerts I have ever heard. A more accomplished pianist I have never heard. I think of the mistakes he must have made to become so accomplished, yet what pleasure he gave in playing, this was a service well worth hearing.

He could not proceed without gaining an understanding of what I expected from him. I did not want someone playing the piano who would only serve my customers with noise; he understood service is to make someone happy, first me as the one responsible for my guests then to the guests themselves. To proceed you must have a plan as to what the final result is to be. The client has a request you are the one responsible to fulfill that request.

You may have to be creative in fulfilling the desired goal, being the source of an answer is great; serving is the ability to use all sources available to fulfill the request. Usually we begin small but as we become more accomplished we tend to take on more and therefore serve even more. All great servers begin small. Look at the Mississippi the greatest river in North America and how it serves the life blood of the country. Its source is Lake Itasca is a small glacial lake, approximately 1.8 square miles in area, in north central Minnesota, yet from it the mighty river derives the force serving the country. Our beginnings are the same, we start by serving one or two but as we do so we become more accomplished and therefore serve many more, passing on our knowledge to others who serve and so on and so on, becoming a mighty force in service.

At times, some look at those who serve as less than they are, inferior. Yet all serve. A waiter or waitress is often considered inferior, less intelligent, by many who do similar work in differing fields, we all serve, and some are more visible than others. Your sense of service is found within you not from what others want to put upon you. I once drove 1275 miles one way to serve a dinner for 10 people, not for money (I didn’t charge) not for praise, but simply because I wanted to do something nice for a friend. He loved it as did his guests but his wife made both my wife and myself feel as if we were servants. Here lies a huge difference.

To serve is making someone happy, to be of assistance or promote the interests of another. To be a servant is one who performs duties of the master. We have but one master and to Him and for Him we may be a servant. Scripture tells us to become great in the kingdom of God we must become the servant of all.

Mark 9:35. New King James Version (NKJV)

35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”

Here we Jesus explaining that the servants do not carry a high standard those who are high minded and feel they are greater than others become servants. Yet there was no greater example of serving as His, after He gave His very life in service to your living.

Serving is an infection, it infects life, the finer the service the more we desire to have. One of my sisters works for a company that makes clothes that protect first responders. Firemen and women, police officers and many others depend on the uniforms she supplies to keep them protected; needless to say she takes that very seriously. Her service to them keeps their lives, so should all service be. A bank teller, a restaurant server, a mechanic or the president of a company all should serve as if life depends upon it. If I am infected with service then I am giving the very highest service I can, this means those who receive my service have a better life, even if it is just a momentary event. I serve to make someone happy.

Look at the last line of the song, “and you will be happy too.” There is your reward for giving great service. So don’t delay, give great service today.

Extra, Extra, Extra

Good service is doing your job correctly, no delay, no mistakes, completing the task and making someone happy. But there is so much more one can offer their clients by moving from good service to great service without a lot of extra effort.

Extra service does not hinge on the freebies or give a ways that may be part of the marketing of the business (done too often the clients begin to expect these). A freebie given with poor service, places something in the client’s hand to degrade the business. A free key chain given away at a sporting event where the home team loses reminds the guest of the loss, and then produces negative speech against the team. When they win the guests looks at the key chain only as something they got for free, but they don’t talk about the win based on the freebie. Service in this case was left lacking, it is the team’s job to win and therefore serve the paying fans. Even diehard fans of continually losing teams speak negative of their team which in turn affects the player performance, the circle begins.

Free food given in exchange for poor service in a restaurant never produces a return customer nor does it negate the customers’ feelings of being cheated by the poor service, whether it was the server or the kitchen, an unhappy customer becomes a non customer, they speak with their absence from the establishment.

So what is the answer to exception service? The simple answer is, “go the extra mile” but simple as it may sound many who serve do not understand its simplicity. “Why, it’s just common sense, isn’t it?” Perhaps, the problem lies in what is common to you and It may not be so to another. Someone who has had 20 years of experience knows more than someone with just one year experience. So there must be a way to give that knowledge to those who need it. The answer is simple, train.

No-one who serves should ever be placed in a position of service without being taught to do so. Teaching the fundamentals of the industry you serve in should be the first and most important gift you can give an employee. Without knowledge of what they are doing they fail themselves, their employer and most importantly the client.

I have always considered myself a pretty good sales person and over my years have had a few sales jobs which I have received high awards for performance, happy customers mean’s a happy employer mean’s a bonus for me. However in each job they trained me in the way I should do my job then I went beyond my training to satisfy my client. A few years ago I thought I could become a car sales person, what a miserable failure I was. I stayed for four months and sold only one car. Why? No training. The dealership gave a couple of hours on the paperwork required and then said go for it. I needed a far more knowledge than that. I am not inclined to understand how cars work (in fact I am terrible at it). So because of my lack of knowledge I failed my employer, myself, my clients and most importantly the family.  I needed to be trained.

This however is so very common in many industries. Waiters with little experience are placed in positions of serving without knowledge of the menu. They do not know what ingredients make up a dish. Do not know the wines available or how to serve them and so on. What is the problem? The employer and not the server, the employer did not train the server. He should never have been placed in the service of the business without a solid knowledge of the job. The lack of knowledge produces poor service in that there may be allergy issues, dietary issues, or just effective service. If the servers has to constantly excuse himself to check with the kitchen then he is providing a service of delay and therefore very displeasing to the client. How often do you receive service from a server who does not know the soup of the day or the daily special, does this not equate poor service? With today’s POS system’s many simple training exercises could be complete when the employee checks in.

Every business who offers service should have an established training system. This means going through each area of the business in detail and why we do what we do in addition as to how. Educate each employee to the highest level of the company’s standards. Education leads to knowledge, knowledge when applied is wisdom, wisdom in operation is common sense. All begin with education.

Once one is educated it doesn’t stop there, everyone performing a service should be encouraged to improve themselves. Giving extra comes from a heart filled with a positive attitude toward self. Any employee who believes they can will in fact do. Those believing they cannot, will find a way to avoid doing. Every employer should encourage their employee to go beyond the training and learn more to improve on self and their service.

Training gives the employee self confidence. An employee who knows what they are doing serves at a much higher standard than those who question their ability. Customers are the reason for business but when my customer feels they are not getting the service they want they simply go elsewhere. The customer is not the problem; they may have a problem and serve to correct it. Thus we build a relationship, a problem fixed, a happy customer and they tells others who can resolve their problem, therefore more customers, more business and the need to expand. It all began by training.

Large stores have a customer service department to handle returns and complaints but most of these stores realize that the more training they give the front line employee the less likely the customer service department will hear from an unhappy customer. After receiving exceptional service I will often tell the supervisor or owner of a company about it and encourage the employer to give that employee a raise. I will rarely complain about poor service but I never return, this is the employers fault for not training properly.

Ask yourself, I am as good as the next or I am the same? If you answered yes, check your training as being as good as the next is not exceptional, training coupled with self improvement brings you out of the common and the same into something exceptional.

If you’re an employer and you are not training then your business will fail. If you’re an employee and you’re not learning then you are prepared to be unemployed.

Training will reverse the attitude of delay in a sense of urgency. A skilled server wants to give the customer what they want in the most effective manner possible. They want to be acknowledged or greeted within seconds not minutes. This simply states to them that they are important to the well being of the business and in turn their business has value.

Training teaches the right actions to take with a customer. When a customer is greeted within 30 seconds with a smile and acknowledgment the customer is set at ease at once. Leave them wait and not acknowledge them and they quickly become irate and ready to go elsewhere. Just making eye contact with a customer assures them they are important to the business. Yet some do not realize this, training teaches them and gives them an edge.

Training teaches the employee the value of the words they speak, a harsh greeting makes for an unhappy customer. Be friendly and sincere with your words and you will find a customer that is at ease and willing to listen while they are complaining. Let your words show confidence in doing so your client will also have confidence that the server truly cares and resolve their problem.

Think about all the companies that do just what you do, why do your clients return to you? Have you trained beyond what the competitor does? Is it because of the training that your customer has complete assurance in you and your service? Training always returns a higher payback that what it cost to do it when you bring a new employee into the business.

Many believe education is training; however education does not replace what goes on in your business. Education cannot be replaced however training is an imperative to business. If you prefer you can call training “continuing education” either way it is important. Training helps the learner solve known problems with a high degree of expertise. Education will perform some training, give a mindset, develop thinking abilities, and develop attitudes and behavior patterns. Training gives the skills to use these. Simply put education is the giving out of knowledge; training is the applied use of the knowledge learned. We need both.

Miles To Go

Matthew 5:41 states, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” Back in the first century AD, when the Roman Empire conquered what used to be Israel, a Roman soldier could tell a Jew to carry his baggage. As one can imagine, the Roman could abuse this right by forcing a Jew to carry his bags indefinitely. So, a law was passed that no Roman soldier could make anyone carry his stuff for over one mile.

When Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, His audience were aghast as He came to the part that says, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles” (Matthew 5:41). This was a revolutionary thought. It would be like the Jew offering the Roman soldier, “Sir, I carried your load for the obligated one mile. Would you like me to carry it for one more mile?” To freely paraphrase what Jesus was saying, “Sure you have enemies. Who doesn’t? But don’t regard them in silent contempt. Do something good and kind to them that they do not expect or even deserve. If you don’t, what would make you different from ordinary people?” Therefore we must ask ourselves what makes your service different from ordinary competitors.

In a world of cookie cutter businesses, restaurants that are all identical, superstore’s that offer the same merchandise, big box electronic stores that need a sound check, what is going to differ one from another? Service, media and cell phone companies offer nearly identical plans, what is the convincing factor to a customer to choose one or the other? Service.

The service is absolutely the difference, but when they all offer service just as they are, very much identical to each other then it becomes our job as the person requesting the service to gain knowledge of our service provider before choosing them.

When we consider the extra mile we have to think about the term” mile” what is exactly we are talking about. Put another way we need to the distance required to provide our service, then push forward way beyond that.

As a restaurant person, let’s just look at the areas I am most familiar with. Going that distant, do we greet the customer at our door why not go a little further and open the door for them, this lets them know “you are most welcome here” opening the door for them as they leave says” thank you so very much for your business” certainly not hard things to do but things that speak largely in the mind of the customer.

Want to keep the customer from leaving while they wait in line at the door, offer them a bite size something. Amuse bouche (literally mouth teaser) a French term for a tidbit of free food offered to keep you happy while you wait for your first course. When offered during a waiting period it does a few things, first it puts the taste of your chef’s culinary ability in their mouth causing them to want more (if good of course.) Secondly because they are hungry and now with a flavor in their mouth, they may order more once they are seated. Thirdly, this little gesture speaks to the customer that the patience they have given in waiting for the table is rewarded with a kindness by the restaurant setting the customer somewhat at ease.  I learned this little kindness many years ago when a friend took me to a BBQ restaurant. We drove for nearly an hour on back country roads to get to this little shack of a restaurant. It didn’t look like any place I would ever enter, out in the middle of nowhere. But although it was miles away from anything there was a line up of people in front. We were greeted by a hostess and informed that the wait would be nearly 45 minutes (an honest time period) two minutes later she returned with a couple of barbecued ribs to snack on. Once we tasted those ribs we knew we were not going anywhere no matter how long the wait may have been, they were just too good not to have more once inside. This was great service.

Once inside, the service just got better and better, drinks with 1 minute of ordering, food within 10 minutes, and a friendly smiling “knowledgeable” server just what a great dining experience should be. We drove many miles and were treated very well for doing so. A restaurant could have the best food in the world but if the service is poor or worse than the experience of the food is not worth the time it took to get there, even if it’s just walking across the street.

Going the distance, means, getting proactive. Do you wait for the customer to request something or do you foresee the need. Just having one napkin in BBQ restaurant is not likely enough, does the server bring additional ones before asked to? Service foresees the need and responds; on hot days does the server bring ice water with lemon as they bring the menus. A proactive service cuts the problems down quickly and if one does arrive it is often far less than what it could be with poor or even average service. Being proactive is simply anticipating the need before it arises. It sees that the request of the customer is met beyond the expectation, when a special request is made it is fulfilled “exactly” as the request was made.

Thinking about going the distance, as if you are forming a relationship that you really, really want badly. You are absolutely willing to do anything to see to it that it will work. Great service is exactly that, a relationship with your client that you want to continue for a very long time. As in all relationships remember actions speak larger than words. What you do in service must be beyond what you say. When you do speak, say what you mean and mean what you say. Remember back in grade school we had a time during class called “show and tell” that is exactly what service should be show me what I need and tell how you’re going to fulfill my need, then I will be a happy customer. We used to do business with a simple handshake, why, because they always stood by their word. Service must be the same always do what you say. Today instead of the handshake we have long legal binding agreements which deal mostly upon one or the other not keeping their word. How much easier to say what you mean then do it.

When a customer has a need don’t just tell where you find the solution, take them there. When they need something on the other side of the store take them to it. A good concierge of a hotel always sends his clients what he considers the best, not only telling them about it but arranging the transportation to get them there as well.

Relationships do not require permission to move forward. Give the service worker training and they will have the required knowledge to handle a situation without the need for a manager’s approval. When the situation requires a manager’s attention then the customer will know that server has already done the best to resolve the problem and manager may find the customer less hostile in dealing with.

Once you have the relationship, be sure to keep it. Many “loyal” customers leave because they believe they are not important any longer as a customer. Customers return because they feel valued far more than a gimmick or freebie that may be offered. Sure they’ll take the freebie and move on to where they feel wanted. Freebies, give a way’s, coupon’s and gimmicks are not, nor do they equate, good customer service and certainly not going the distance. The advantage of discounting is only as good as long your competitor doesn’t match you, but excellent service is often never matched by the competitor. Having a big sale or great offers mean little when the service isn’t as big as the sale. Seek to serve and you may not need the sale.

Great service is helpful service even when there is no apparent benefit in it. There is a win always customers with a customer who is happy. The customer who leaves happy lets others know how happy they are and therefore they will come for the service as well.

Going the distance means to be known as the company of “always.” Do you always serve the same meal every time it ordered, or does it vary from time to time? Do you always clean the interior of a car after it has been serviced, or just when you’re not busy? Do you always treat a child when servicing the parents or is just employees who really love the kids. Do you always check a guest with a smile and a comforting word? The two demons of always are “new and improved” this tell your client that there was something wrong with the old. Do remember how Pepsi was able to cash in on Coca Cola with they introduced “New Coke” this told the customer that the old Coke simply wasn’t good enough, they quickly switched back.

We know the expression “don’t fix what is not broken” so don’t mess with always. What works always do it and stay with it, if you don’t your customer will, by always staying away. On August 29, 2010 a sewer worker walked out of the sewer and into the Parkway Bakery & Tavern  in mid-city New Orleans, dirty and grimy he orders a shrimp PO-Boy sandwich, later that day the president of the United States (much cleaner) did exactly the same thing. Why, because the Parkway always served the very best sandwich. For them always has meant over 100 years of the same great food and service.

The PO-Boy sandwich in the late 1800s was the fried oyster sandwich served on French loaves. Well known in New Orleans and San Francisco as “oyster loaves”, a term still in use. The sandwich was alternately called a “peacemaker” or “La Mediatrice”.

There are countless stories as to the origin of the term “po’ boy”. The term is likely derived from the French word pourboire, referring to a tip given to a waiter. A popular local theory claims that “po’ boy”, as specifically referring to a type of sandwich, was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Benny and Clovis Martin (originally from Raceland, LA), former streetcar conductors. In 1929, during a four-month strike against the streetcar company, the Martin brothers served their former colleagues free sandwiches. The Martins’ restaurant workers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys”, and soon the sandwiches themselves took on the name. In the heavy Cajun/Creole Louisiana dialect, this is naturally shortened to “po’ boy. The best of these today is served at the Parkway.

When you think of companies with great service you can trace the history, Parkway Bakery & Tavern 101 years old is still young compared to some with great service (still around today.) Here are just a few:

Hoshi Ryokan a Japanese hotel established in 717 AD the worlds oldest hotel.

The Bingley Arms Pub in the UK founded in 953 AD.

Weihenstephan Abbey a brewery in Germany founded in 1040 AD.

The Old Crown restaurant UK founded in 1368 AD.

Delmonico’s  A New York restaurant founded in 1837 AD.

Durgin Park Cafe of Boston founded in 1827 AD.

AntoInes of New Orleans founded in 1840 AD.

Griswold Inn in Connecticut founded in 1776 AD.

Buckhorn Exchange of Denver founded in 1893 AD.

Think how an establishment can be found and then centuries after it came into existence it still is here today, one answer, service.

Always know who the company is, when you represent your employer you are the company. In the eyes of the client you are the company so then treat both your job and your client as if they are your own.

Have you watched Undercover Boss, they go undercover to see how their employees treat their customers and their business. What they discover is the best employee always treats the business as their own, and the customer is always first. These employers have come to understand that the quality of service is totally dependent on the quality of people. Money is not a good qualifier of the quality of a person; many minimum wage employees have greater quality of person than those who make 100 times their wage. However those of high quality should be compensated for their high standard.

Everyone however has a rough day from time to time, so how do you insure that great service is always a surety? Like common sense, the answer is to train. Training becomes a second nature of the service provider. When the service is so ingrained within the worker regardless of the day the worker is having they will follow the training.

So then that extra mile is, going way beyond the distance. Again we can go to scripture to conclude, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles” (Matthew 5:41) Successful service is doing that which unsuccessful people will not.

Service Life’s Conduit

There are four areas in life that cannot be excluded, they embrace each other, fulfill each other and make an individual complete. Without them there is a lacking in all areas of living. These areas of course are Faith, Love, Passion and Serving.

We each can speak of faith, love and passion as our personal experiences require of to be true to what we believe most, what will guide us through life. However when we have established these core values in our lives then they set the standard for how we serve. Make no mistake “we all serve.”

We serve but are not in servitude, those will little or no education serves, the B.A. serves, the M.B.A. serves, the PHD serves. When you visit a doctor’s office you are served, from the receptionist, to the nurse who sees you then finally by the doctor who examines and prescribes a needful remedy. We must always see the service we receive in every area of our lives.

It is our core values that will allow us to see and receive service, if we believe we are not receiving service, we must first see what kind of service we perform, then and only then can we demand the same from another. Our standards or core values must be visible to others in the service we perform and in the manner that we receive service from another. If we give praiseworthy service it is highly likely we will receive the same, demeaning service will reap the same.

There is a law of nature and spirit, “we reap what we sow” sow corn get corn, sow wheat get wheat, sow apples get apples, sow kindness get kindness, sow love get love, sow service and be served.  Keep in mind however the law of sowing and reaping brings forth another law, the law of multiplication. When you sow a seed it grows and returns a much higher yield. If you plant an apple seed you get a tree which produces many apples over many years. Sowing great service produces a crop of great service which you receive over and over again.

Our personal mission statement should have a list of our core values, every company’s mission statement should have a set of core values. Look a great service company, notice what the call themselves.

Calgary Police Service Core Values

“All members of the Calgary Police Service are expected to adhere to the core values of the Service, conducting themselves at all times with honesty, integrity, respect, fairness and compassion, and courage.”

Honesty: Tell the truth with candor in a way that is clear and to the point.

Integrity: Display actions and express oneself in a manner consistent with the values of the Service.

Respect: Treat all people with value and decency. Listen to the views of others and maintain open communication.

Fairness and Compassion: Deal with people fairly and in a manner that displays empathy and understanding.

Courage: Take a stand on issues of value and importance to oneself and the Service. Make decisions and take action regardless of the possible consequences, to maintain public safety.

They not only recognize that they are in service but they embrace it by placing the word within the very essence of their being. They exist to serve, not just to enforce laws but serve the needful in a manner that is of the highest standard. Should there be any question as to the standard of service they list those standards for all to see.

The slogan of many Police Departments is “To Protect and Serve” and when you examine the core values of each department you find they all hold true to Calgary’s. No matter how you may try you will find that you too, serve. So find how you may do so at the highest level.

Establish core values that you can never stray from here are some that make a good beginning:

Tell the truth, it is what it is, if you stay with the truth you never have to be concerned about the repercussions of the lie. The truth is transparent, clear, your reward is you are believable have credibility and respect. Remember, say what you mean and mean what you say.  A false claim is still a lie, if it’s not the world’s best don’t call it that. Be sure you have something to sustain your claim, certificates, awards, etc. Restaurant menus of course are a great example of untruths, state what it is and be sure you state nothing less. A Black Angus hamburger is not Kobe beef and just because 99% of your guests cannot tell the difference it does not permit you lie on your menu.

In the 1970’s we had another saying that went like this, “I know you believe that you understood what you thought I said, but I don’t think you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” Clearly communication was lacking one believed they spoke correctly the other they heard correctly yet there was a misunderstanding. The very reason to, say what you mean and mean what you say.

Promises promises, make them and keep them. Never leave them unfulfilled, in doing so you break the above core value.  When I promise service in 15 minutes or it’s free I must deliver or not charge. The promise given must always stand. A 10 minute oil change is rarely 10 minutes, how can you trust a service center that makes that promise, they delay on purpose so they can up sell you on other products. But their promise means nothing therefore the service they provide also loses its value. The result is the customer is always seeking an oil change service center.

Respect, a customer does not have to demand respect, they already are your customer therefore I respect their choice of choosing me so they have already gained my respect, why would I not give the same to them. We show that respect (even with the most difficult) by being courteous, considerate and attentive to their needs.

Loyalty, great service seeds loyal customers; they become faithful followers, committed to your service. When we break that loyalty by not fulfilling our word to them they feel beyond betrayed, it becomes very difficult to win them back. We must be just as faithful and loyal to our customers as they are to us. Why do “new” customers get better deals than the loyal faithful customer? Is there a double standard, often the answer is yes?

Empowerment, I have been well trained; I must be given the freedom to use my training. Empowered to make decisions and resolve problems. In exchange I will take responsibility for the decisions I have been empowered to make. Having been empowered I will make only those decisions within the guidelines I have been given and will seek assistance from a superior seeking decisions outweighed by my empowerment.

Discipline, as we have a defined set of rules and guidelines we are trained not to vary from them. By be disciplined in these actions I improve my skills, enhance my training, and develop my behavior. When I am disciplined, no matter my day, I vary not from my core values.

Leadership, we lead by example, therefore it must be the example one that others want to emulate. Innovation, creativity, and forward thinking are hallmarks of the leadership we demonstrated. We never hear a leader say “that’s not my job” no matter the job it is the responsibility of everyone, the name of the job is serving the client and every leader takes on every job.

Undeniable truths are what core values are, once ingrained within the very being of the soul they are demonstrated in our very being; they are an inseparable part of us. Serving is a choice of the heart; servitude is a burden of the soul. In service we always look to another best interest before our own. Phil 2:1-4 (Phi) Now if you have known anything of Christ’s encouragement and of his reassuring love; if you have known something of the fellowship of his Spirit, and of compassion and deep sympathy, do make my joy complete–live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but consider other people’s interests also.

We serve because we have been given a great example of service for our lives, Mat 20:27-28 (NEB) “…whoever wants to be great must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the willing slave of all–like the Son of Man; He did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give up his life as a ransom for many.”

Serve With Honor

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” Albert Schweitzer

In a world that has so many vast needs the art of service may be the walk that we require to take us to the answer to these needs. Fulfilling needs truly is the art of service; the needs are great the service must be greater. In other words, we minister to the needs of the people. Minister in religion, in government, in business, in health care and in family, ministry is simply meeting the people where they are at and then lifting them above it. Serving the people, Christ of course was the greatest example, Stephen (a waiter) gave his life to serve as did Philip (Acts 6:5) Serving is always life giving, life changing and for life.

However one’s service can only be as genuine as they are. A corrupt person will serve from a place that focuses upon self and not upon the need of those whom they serve. Those who are motivated by anything other than to serve and to make someone happy must check their motivations.  Some are motivated by need themselves, when the need is met then the service becomes lacking. Those motivated by greed never serve the needs of others and only are there to serve their own need. Check your motivation and you will see what kind of server you will be.

Service is and must always be an act of compassion, but understand that compassion is not just feeling sorry for another and the situation they be in. Compassion is far greater than this. When we read scripture we find that compassion was all that moved Jesus, He met the needs of the people when He had compassion upon the people. In other words He served the people by meeting their needs through the motivating power called compassion.

We therefore need to know what compassion really is if it is not just feeling sorry for another. Dakes says compassion is “a characteristic of God and Jesus and should be of the believers. It is the drawing and the agitation of the innermost parts at the sight of any distressed or miserable object. It causes revolting action in the innermost being to bring deliverance from such unlawful and inhuman misery and suffering”. In other word’s compassion is “to experience what another undergoes and have the power to change it forever”.

No matter what we do as servers we always to the same thing, see a need and meet the need. When we do so through compassion we often eliminate that need. A governmental minister sees that the populous needs a way to have health care that is affordable, so they pass laws mandating that the need be met. The pastor of a church sees a need within the congregation and takes them to scripture to fulfill the need. A banker, doctor, dentist, mechanic, electrician, plumber, waiter all are presented with a need, Having gone through a similar situation each knows the anxiety of the problem and each knows they possess the power to answer the need, in doing so, they eliminate it.

Compassion has its own motivating force, it is called honor. Without honor our compassion is misapplied even distorted and then confused with a feeling, (like sympathy) but all too often not a feeling for the one with the need but rather for self.

Honor is best defined as: honesty, fairness, or integrity in ones belief and actions. To serve without honor is but to mock whom you are pretending to meet their needs. So let’s break this down. Honor defined as honesty. Many are surprised to learn that the scam artist actually believes himself to be an honest person. His own personal welfare far outweighs any other considerations. His thief is to serve himself and in his mind he is being honest to himself, harm to others is not factored into his actions. Look at the history of the greatest scam artist of all, Bernie Madoff, and you find someone who began with great intentions for the good of those whom he served. Life and welfare of others really was important to him at one time, he even began serving as a lifeguard. The well being of another was important to Bernie at one time, but along the line serving others became only a means of serving himself. Horribly wrong, incredibly dishonest. The trademark of any scam artist is to believe they are the ones who were honest and it was another who caused them to become a cheat locked in deception and delusion. Bernie’s reward 150 years in jail, a wife and youngest son will not visit, his oldest son committed suicide and a life left unfulfilled. He lost it all because he stopped honoring what he once believed so valuable, the welfare of another.

One doesn’t have to be a Bernie to stop this action. Honor has no off switch, a bartender who over pours a drink may believe himself to be a person of honor, he in fact is a cheat. Like a Bernie, he over pours for a bigger tip, give a little extra to a friend, or just doesn’t care about the quality of the drink. Whatever the reason, his action is dishonest in that he steals a little at a time from the employer. Added up over a year and it becomes grand theft. I once had a singing bartender at my restaurant in Branson Missouri who stolen over his time there close to 50,000 dollars along with doing other harm to the business. When we caught him, like Bernie, denied it all, he could sing like an angel but stole like the devil. His service is ever marred, and forever is known as a thief. The waitress who bill for the extra fry’s, the builder who uses inferior products, the repair person who fix’s the problem with a used part charging for a new, the cashier who short changes a customer all are not in service but to themselves.

In serving with honor we protect the only thing we truly have, and that is our name. Say Bernie Madoff and honor is not something that jumps to your mind. Say the name of that bartender to me and I cannot bring myself to say anything worthy of him (I even refuse to use his name). Our name must be protected at all times and we can only do so by living up it with honor. Do something that takes away from your name (even a little) then you take away from your very being not just your well being (the reason most cheats are who they are.)

Honor will do what it has promised or offered to do even to one’s own hurt. A contractor may offer to complete a job at a certain price but did not price the job correctly, honor completes the job. He may discuss the problem and believe that the extra may be paid but the price should remain as the quote. A store sale price should mean it applies without unknown factors. Honor always does the right thing. When we serve people with what has been agreed upon and do it in excellence then we live a life in honor.

Honor is the foundation for the expression I quoted earlier, “do what is right, do it because it is right, then do it right” yes even to your own hurt if need be. I am in a situation right now that is one of honor. Opening a second location, one of clients advertises their restaurant as if I approved of it, using both my name and trade name in their marketing. Yet they had no contact, or approval to do so. They make claims that leave their clients believe that they use the finest ingredients and freshest product and that I have approved such. None is true therefore it is cheating the customer, me and even them. They mistakenly believe that because they are doing well the other factors are not important. Honor says they are important, to claim an international chef has approved your food when he has not is a falsehood, to claim you use the finest ingredients when you use far inferior ones is a falsehood, it will catch up with you.

Romans 12:10: Expanded Bible (EXB)  10 ·Love [Be devoted to] each other ·like brothers and sisters [with family/brotherly affection]. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves [or Outdo one another in showing honor; or Be eager to show honor to one another].

Simply put we are to honor those who get on our nerves, those who do us wrong, yes even the cheats of the world. In doing so we build ourselves and the reward they have for their actions will come. The cheating bartender lost all, Bernie Madoff lost all, honor is meant mostly for our well being and not another.

Some believe in honor so much that they are willing to kill for it. Recently we have seen a surge in so called honor killings especially in western countries, but there is never any honor murder. These are meant to service the honor of a family however every religion in the world forbids the taking of another’s life. Most honor killings are a crime against the youth (average age is 23) surely it must be easier to instruct than to kill. Honor provides and loves whom it may want to instruct. To live with honor is to teach the most important lesson of life, to serve another.

Serving with honor is to serve with fairness, in 1949 the FCC saw a need lacking in the broadcast industry and would pass what became known as the Fairness Doctrine. The focus was to be sure that a broadcaster would handle controversial issue that were of great concerns to the public in a fair, equitable and balanced manner. The broadcaster would give the public an honest response to their need serving the viewer with comfort. So then to be fair is to be honest, equitable and balanced. These should be the minimum standard of any server.

Fairness in service should:

  1. A) Give the customer what they paid for, more when it is fair to the service provider, but at a bare minimum what the customer has paid for. We may have need to educate a customer as to what exactly they are paying for, they then are comfortable they are getting what they pay for. I recall an automotive company once advertising “get a trip to Hawaii with any Chrysler product sold” so a customer went and bought a spark plug and demanded the trip. The car company saw the advertising mistake but honored to ad and gave the trip to Hawaii. In the long run they could not have got more exposure as the news wires told and retold the story. The customer was very happy, getting far more than what he paid for, the car company happy to be fair and honor their advertising.
  2. B) Never take advantage of the customer. Most customers are not qualified in the service they seek, therefore the need of the service. Our priority must always be that we are serving in a manner that leaves the client feeling that they were served extremely well. Customers rely on the expertise of the server and know within when they are being taken advantage of. This always leaves a sour taste in the soul and you can be sure that you will never see that customer again.
  3. C) Offer the customer the best you have. We have said this much during this study but always needs repeating. Excellence will always be rewarded mostly by gaining a loyal customer.
  4. D) Create a loyal customer. There is a difference in a satisfied customer and loyal customer. A customer who is satisfied is one who received service which they considered the same. Same price, same offer, same service, they see the business only there to provide what they need. The loyal customer sees beyond, the service is better the product better, so they form a personal relationship with the service provider. They are swayed by gimmicks and freebies but by the service. A satisfied customer may not be a returning customer, a loyal customer thinks twice about going elsewhere. Going beyond, being fair will switch the satisfied customer to a loyal one.

You will find the loyal customer has emotional attachment to the service provider, therefore they begin to refer to the establishment as their own, and in no way could they be found elsewhere, no other establishment could be better than their own. In all my restaurants my loyal customers refer to as their chef, they have taken me on as a possession of theirs. I would have it no other way for many I will see several times a week. In Branson I had many of the entertainers who ate in no other restaurant many just considered it their own. The emotionally attached customer is your best advertising tool, they simply tell everybody to go to “their place”.

  1. E) Eliminates the embarrassment of closing questions. If a service provider has been fair then why should they be embarrassed to simply ask the client for their business? Would you buy the car today, have I explained everything and answered all your questions? ‘Yes, then let’s go a write it up. There is never a poor reason to ask for the client’s business when fairness, honesty and honor is the foundation of the negotiation.
  2. F) Good is not good enough! We just watched this year’s Academy Awards, we watched how one Oscar winner after the other received their award, and they were the best at what they did. All the others were good but these few excelled in their service to the moviegoer. TO BE FAIR IS TO BE THE BEST,

Serve with honor and success will be yours.

I now want to speak to the art of service, and given my background I will speak to service industry of waiters and waitresses, but the following applies to all who are dependent upon the TIP as part of their wages.

Waiting tables is an “honorable” profession and should be treated with a certain level of high respect. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out. We as servers have actually have had patrons say (usually angry ones) “Why don’t you get a real job.” So for those who would make such a statement, SERVING TABLES IS A REAL JOB. This statement is often from the lips of someone who simply does not want to leave a tip regardless of the level of service. We will discuss the tip later but i want to discuss the duties of most servers (good ones.)

* Arrive before schedule and check POS for specials, a la mode offerings, and eighty six items.

* Greet guests in a friendly and courteous manner during all interactions.

* Handle all guest interactions with the highest level of hospitality and professionalism.

* Abide by the policies and procedures as set out in the Associate Handbook and any other applicable policies.

* Must adhere to the appearance and grooming policy.

* Perform other duties/tasks and projects as assigned

* Offers suitable wine pairing options to enhance guest experience.

* Informed wine, spirit and cocktail knowledge, constantly improving and updating to suit guests’ needs.

* Ensure guests meet the legal age in order consume alcohol beverages, check valid government issued identification.

* Must be able to perform accounting duties as it pertains to closing out checks, giving change and accuracy in balancing end of day reports and paperwork.

* Must be able to up sell and suggest specialty food and beverage items to each guest.

* Writes customers’ food and beverage and keys into POS.

* Clears and resets tables, including removing and replacing dishes, glasses, utensils and condiments in a timely manner.

* Ensures cleanliness of the dining room, service areas and back of the house.

* Have knowledge of menu and private party menus.

* Responsible for pre-sets and removing unused pre-sets from the table.

* Effectively communicates to management, both front and back of the house, any problems (e.g. Allergies), special requests (e.g., no garlic, no MSG, etc.) concerns (e.g. Timing) to ensure the guest a pleasurable dining experience.

* Coordinates with kitchen and floor staff to ensure an exceptional guest dining experience.

* Answers or finds the answer to questions regarding menu items, property and area events and attractions.

* Resolves customer complaints including invocation of complete satisfaction policy.

* Completes required side work as assigned.

* Meets the attendance guidelines of the job and adheres to regulatory, departmental and company policies.

* Fluent in English both written and verbal. Proficiency in other languages would be an asset.

* Ability to work flexible hours including days, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays, including overtime as required.

* Ability to follow all safety policies and procedures within the work area and respond properly to any hotel emergency or safety situation.

* Ability to work well under pressure. Ability to serve up to 30 guests at the same time.

* Work harmoniously and professionally with co-workers and management.

* Must be able to initiate and engage in conversation in a professional and friendly manner.

* Excellent interpersonal and customers service skills. Problem solving, and guest retention skills are required.

* Must be able to work in the assigned bar and lounge.

* Must be able to carry and balance cocktail and serving trays that weigh at least 15 pounds.

* Must be able to stoop and bend, as well as maneuver up and down stairs.

* Must be able to use hand motion when serving drinks and wiping down tables

* Must be able to stand for extended periods of time to continuously perform essential job functions.

* Must be able to attend to the needs of guests of differing age groups, seniors, adults, young adults, children and toddlers ensuring an excellent experience in dining.

How then does one actually say “get a real job” what exactly is a real job and how do you classify it as such? Why is a job not serving a real job and one of serving not a real job? A bank teller is that a real job, or the doorman, the theatre usher, the restroom steward, the car sales person, are these also not real jobs? Or is it only for those with a degree and various letters behind their name. Take a look at what my name could actually be written like, Rev. Ronald Kalenuik, BA, MBA yet I am a server, does this discount my degrees? Perhaps the real job means the amount of money one makes; professional servers make sums much higher than those with a BA or other Bachelor type degrees. A real job must be one where the needs of the individual and his or her family are being met. The taxi driver or counter server work in no less of a real job than the doctor or the lawyer. The difference is the value that society places upon the individual, but the job they perform is very much real.

This job of serving requires extensive knowledge in various areas, it requires the individual to multitask at multiple tables while keeping health and safety of the customer foremost but not letting the customer realize it. Performing all the requirements, while dealing with the demands of a logistic corporation, a manufacturing corporation, an educational institute and a day care center (that’s just the first hour.)

The server is required to a peace maker, have knowledge of obscure ingredients, tracking information as to the locale where the ingredient is grown. Knowledge field and farm, fresh and salt water fish and seafood, and is the product wild or farmed grown. They are required to do the exotic and then the mundane. An expert in time management, they are required to know the exact timing of the preparations of the kitchen to ensure all is delivered fresh and at the correct temperature. They must be ambassadors, diplomats, politicians and skilled orators. They become skillful at handling ego’s of managers, chefs, sommeliers, and more importantly the customer.

Servers work every special occasion and birthday except their own. All long weekends take on a completely different meaning to the server. While they attend to the needs of those with the “real jobs” being sure that their families are having a great long weekend of fun, the family sits at home to wait for the server to return, tired, hurting, deprived of rest, exhausted, and it was all at or below the local minimum wage and a percent of the tips. (Most servers’ tips are split in various ways, we’ll see this later) Special days or holidays are always the highest in stress, in customer dissatisfaction, in errors committed, and at the door wait times all potential disasters that the server needs to defuse.

Although many view the job as temporary (as they gain knowledge to transcend to their career) those who have made a career of serving, often find it a more rewarding and fulfilling career. In comparison to those who have successfully entered into their field of their choice and the professional server statistics show the server is happier in their job.

The song “Take this job and shove it” by Johnny Paycheck, may explain the attitude of many, it is not a general feeling of the professional server. Given the stress and the high demands the professional server everyone who serves this is not a job but rather a vocation. A vocation is a term meaning “a divine call” which most servers truly believe they are. Another meaning is: occupation, or the principal business of one’s life. Talk to most servers and they will tell you that they do what they do because it is in their blood to do so. They leave for a time but soon they are back, many who have departed serving for another career will be found returning, often giving up the career to serve. The professional server is reminded daily of what they do, an acronym for service is: Social, Enthusiastic, Responsible, Vibrant, Intelligent, Courteous, Engaged. The professional server has been trained in service.

When I conduct service courses for my clients here is what the staff will be trained in:

  • Hospitality and the waiter • Menu: Types, uses and services: Buffet service; Family service; Plate service; Silver service; Functions service. • Food service equipment• Food service procedures • Mise-en-place (everything in its place) • Taking orders • Suggestive selling • Styles and sequence of service • Silver service • Gueridon service, (food is presented, cooked, or finished on a trolley in front of the guest.) • Beverage equipment and service procedures • Beverage product knowledge • Patron-care • Wine rituals • Cash register operations • Handling customer complaints • End–of–service procedures • Espresso machine operation.

Having a complete understanding in these areas requires dedication to professionalism, and once learn it does not end there servers are constantly upgrading their knowledge as food trends become popular.

So much of the server’s job is to provide the guest with the highest of standards, the standards must be in place and enforced by all, servers, chefs, managers. They are never up for debate; a standard means the way it is done, automatically without thinking. Think of it, after the manner of a car’s transmission, there is the manual which requires coordination and thought but for most they drive an automatic, just get in and go, the work and thought are completely done with the car. Everyone applies the standards without thought; a server cannot serve hot food if in fact the cooks do not follow the standards of providing it hot. The manager cannot change the standard when he or she just happens to feel like it, they put are in place to the delight, satisfaction and safety of the customer, not the ease of those who must enforce them. Any business without standards will frustrate the employees, managers, owner and most importantly the guest. They are likely not to exist too long. Those which do stay in business will see the business struggle in retention of employees and satisfied guests.

Truth In Service

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Winston Churchill

Truth or Consequences? a city in New Mexico or a game show or a life lesson? I know, I know, all of them. Well it is the life lesson we will concern ourselves with, truth in service and what are the consequences for either disobeying or obeying the truth. As a chef I will use my industry to be an example, but it holds true for all industries.

We are a “five star” restaurant states the manager to a guest, it’s a lie. No one awards 5 stars; the best is 3 stars from the Michelin Guide, 5 diamonds awarded by AAA and Zagat’s rates on a point system as does Wine Spectator. For someone to claim such, shows how little they know little about what they are talking about and if they can lie about their rating what other lie’s may be found upon the menu.

Common menu lie’s are over inflating the ingredient used, (farm salmon touted as wild or even Copper River salmon sold fresh in October (the Copper River season is mid May until July) cannot be true. Other menu lies are the latest catch words such as sustainable, local or organic. These are the latest hot button terms in the greening of a restaurant, but do you really receive what they claim on the menu. Certified organic means there is a record to track the product, sustainable is a philosophy and subject strictly to the claims of the farmer or operator, local often refers to product farmed within 100 miles of the operation (something that can be verified but often is not.) Many restaurants use these terms without providing the required documentation. I dined in a restaurant just today who made these claims, in Canada, in winter you cannot get any fresh produce grown within 100 miles, the ground is frozen. So they clearly lie to the customer. There are times of the year when ingredients are simply not available within that 100 mile zone, strawberries may come from California or Florida or even Chile. Apples are waxed and stored in the fall, getting a fresh one in May it simply doesn’t happen although the apple from Washington State may be available year round it still may be last season’s apple (which is ok as long as you don’t claim it was just picked). In defense of the chef who actually goes to the farmers market (very few do) they need to be asking the right questions as well, the farmer may be getting what he is selling shipped in from elsewhere too. Many farmers will sell other regions until their own product is ready.

The restaurant operator must present what is stated upon the menu, so if they claim an ingredient comes from a certain area then it must: Scottish salmon; Atlantic salmon (can be both a type and a region); Crassostrea gigas or Pacific oysters; Bluepoint oysters raised in Long Island’s Great South Bay ; PEI or Idaho potatoes; Bay scallops; Gulf shrimp; PEI Mussels, Smithfield ham; Limerick ham; Alaskan king crab; Long Island duck; Florida stone crabs; French white asparagus.

Leeway may be given for styles rather than districts, New England, Manhattan and Boston style clam chowder, New York style cheesecake, Maryland style crab, New York or Chicago style pizza, Kansas City or New York strip is commonly accepted and most realize that it is a style of cuisine rather than a district, we all understand that Chinese food does not come from China but rather it is the preparation method of the food.

Often restaurants boast of servicing the” finest” and “freshest” ingredients however when questioned they use terms like IQF (individually quick frozen) to refer to the food ingredient, no matter what frozen is, it is still not fresh. I recently watched a TV commercial referring to bagels as “fresher than fresh” because of the IQF process, still frozen is not fresh, thus it is a lie.  Often compounded with the lie there is just out and out fraud. Veal cutlets made of pork, shrimp used instead of scampi, and common beef sold as Black Angus, Kobe or Wagyu (watch out any restaurant that claims the burger is made of these) wild mushrooms must be wild.

Bar’s who use well stock instead of the requested brand name knowing most people cannot tell the difference once mix has been added to the drink. How much more money can I get if my customer orders a Masterson 10 year old whiskey at 4.00 an ounce but I give him a Centennial 10 year old at 1.00 per ounce, if they add cola will they know the flavor difference.  The Masterson would sell for 25.00 per drink and the Centennial for 6.00 (at the bar 17% liquor cost) so if two drinks are served with mix I can charge 50.00 and only have a cost of 2.00 instead one of 8.00 (after all he will never know) so the bartender has lied, committed fraud and theft, (after all who is going to pocket the 38.00 difference in just those two drinks?

Truth will prevent the restaurant from using many canned and RTU items as well. Is that sauce on your steak Oscar really Béarnaise (eggs, butter, white wine, lemon juice, tarragon, salt and pepper) or is it something made of modified milk ingredients, palm oil, wheat flour, modified corn starch, monosodium glutamate, corn syrup solids, hydrolyzed protein (corn, soy, wheat), salt, onion powder, silicon dioxide, locust bean & guar gum, citric acid, spices, hydrolyzed casein (milk), hydrolyzed soybean oil, garlic powder, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, color with allergens of milk, wheat and soy. Would it not be far nicer if the cooks only knew how to make the sauce in the first place instead of relying upon a microwavable “something”. The big factor here is most restaurants proudly declare themselves as MSG (monosodium glutamate) free zones, cooks simply make an instant product that calls itself Béarnaise sauce and states to the server no MSG because they have not read through the ingredients listed upon the package. Reading labels prevents problems in the dining room as well, maple “flavored” syrup is not maple syrup for pancakes.

We may ask ourselves, how is that we are not speaking truth? This is so easy to answer, in doing so let’s look at what a lie is. There are two kinds of lies, both wrong, both destructive. What there is not is what we call a big lie or a little lie, a lie is a lie. So what are the two kinds of lies, white lies and black lies?

Something white has always been thought of as day, light, beneficial, good, pure, not presenting any harm. Whereas something black is considered dark, night, destructive, very harmful. Other terms we use this comparison with: white and black magic, black and white ideas or choices, seeing everything in black or white, an agreement written in black and white.

So then a “little white lie” can’t be harmful, can it? Most white lies are conceived to manipulate someone into a course of action that who favor the liar, not usually beneficial to anyone except the liar. In a restaurant my menu white lie manipulates the customer into buying an item at a cost higher than what I should charge or reassures the guest I am offering them what they want when in fact I knowingly am not. Morality says we don’t lie, compromising our morals gives us the needed permission to tell little white lies.  We want our customers to think highly of us therefore we tell them what they want to hear so that our self-esteem or our confidences in our business skills do not come under question.

The little white lies are ok because we have not harmed anyone, right? Wrong for we have caused harm first to our sense of morality which devalues who we are, once caught in our lie we generally tell another and yet another cover of the first, it eventually gets lost in a maze of lies and our integrity is now gone. Some may believe that the telling of the white lie is really just being kind and showing kindness. To be kind is defined as being: useful, to lie to someone only serves you and has no good use ever. People want the truth regardless of the circumstance, you’re not being kind to tell them anything less than the truth. If the truth cannot be expressed because of a possibility of harming sensitivities, just ask yourself what will be the repercussions be in the end? If they will be harmful (and they will be with a lie) then tell the truth. Everyone can be truthful, just word the answer in a way that holds integrity.

Truth is kindness, those who receive the truth have knowledge upon which they may shape their future, immediate or for the long term.  “Is this the best thing you ever ate?” asks the new cook, when it was not so good at all, the comforting lie would be a simple yes, the truth could be worded “there is potential for you to produce the best thing I ever ate if you will only do….” No lies and the cook will get a useful bit of knowledge. We place greater value on hearing the truth so we may move forward than hearing a falsehood that only strokes our ego.

No matter the circumstance there is never the place for the white lie, especially in service. We want to build relationships and to do so on the grounds of a falsehood will only catch us in the end and we suffer the loss of the relationship. What price have you placed upon your integrity?

A black lie of course, is any lie spoken to cover and protect ourselves or out and out deceive another for our personal gain. We talked earlier about Bernie Madoff the King of the Liar’s he did only that which pleased or made gains for himself, all based upon black lies. Be sure that the fall is great; I wonder what price Bernie had upon his son’s life.

Most bartenders, like car salespeople, insurance salespeople are masters at the lie, telling the customer what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear, that is the kindness we cans serve, speak the truth.

Service demands truth and if you want the best of your customer than give them the best you have, the truth. Many states, provinces and most city health departments actually have “truth in menu” laws, and the operator could be closed for misrepresenting their menu with lies. Homemade (house made) must be so, not a purchased product, using ingredients which are claimed to be not in the building (MSG), Most government law enforcement can enforce truth in menu laws and literally hundreds per year experience some punitive action for lies expressed on the menu.

“Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” Albert Einstein

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston Churchill

“Our duty is to encourage everyone in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.” Swami Vivekananda

“Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness.” Khalil Gibran

“Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.” Shel Silverstein

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 Jesus the Christ

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Freedom From Despair & Depression

hope-despair-5777526Ephesians 2:1‑10 (NIV)  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  

In a world where more of the people are giving up and giving in there must come a time of freedom.  All around there seemingly is no hope.  More companies are failing than any other time in history, more layoff s occurring enemas than any other time in modern history.  Less funds for the necessities of life, forget the more pleasant items.  Everywhere we turn there seems that none have the answers. Despair, despair, despair all around, and the sinking feeling takes deeper hold on you.  So what does one do?

First understand what you are dealing with.  The dictionary defines despair as: to lose or abandon hope; be or  become hopeless, utter hopelessness and discouragement.  Despair, desperation, despondency, and hopelessness.

Despair, desperation, despondency, and hopelessness are the controlling spirits found in most people today. These four spirits work together to be sure that the will of Satan is carried out. We read in John 10:10, that Satan will come to kill, steal and destroy. Despair, desperation, despondency, and hopelessness are the four major spirits that fulfil such an order.  If they can get a person to operate only one of  these “emotions” then the other three will move in quickly to trap that individual.

Prolonged frustration is the seed of despair, frustration is: to make plans that are worthless and of no avail, to disappoint or thwart (baffle or obstruct), to do something in vain. 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 a hope and a future”. N.I.V.

We said that the four major spirits that work together are: despair, desperation, despondency and hopelessness. Now let’s give a definition’s of each of these.

Despair is the utter abandonment of hope that leaves the mind apathetic (callous, cold‑blooded, nonchalant) and numb”. Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,  because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour. Here we learn much regarding despair, first it is a spirit, as stated here. The KJV calls it a “spirit of heaviness” and is exactly what the spirit wants to do, bring burdensome oppressive weight, a persisting sadness, a complete lack of hope and joy. Despair is a spirit that will cause even the smallest situation seem to great to overcome. It is the driving spirit behind thoughts of suicide, the intent of all evil spirits is that of taking of life.

It becomes an absolute rule that we recognize this as a spirit and not just some feeling or emotion, the word translated as spirit here is “ruwach” this is the same word used for all spirit lives and beings including God as seen in the first line of the verse. The Spirit of God is the deliverance one requires for the spirit of despair. Despair is often assisted (like all spirits) by other attacking spirits.

“Desperation is energized despair, vigorous in action and reckless of consequences” found mostly on the lips of those under attack as they speak words that only fuel’s their despair, words carry power and words of evil carry evil power. Desperation gains all its power by the spoken word. We see its downfall by our speaking other words, those are the praises of the Lord.   Job 6:25-27 (KJV)  How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? 26 Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? 27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.

“Despondency is paralysing despair coupled with deep sorrow or chagrin (affliction)”.  Despondency is the dejection of spirit from loss of hope.  Yet as in Isaiah 61 the answer to the loss of hope within the soul is found in praising the Lord. Psalms 42:5‑11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.8 Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

“Hopelessness is the absences or loss of desire, expectations, assurance, belief, or trust”.  Lamentations 3:18‑26 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: 19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. 21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Mans answer to fight despair is to place despairs victim upon a drug, these drugs do not rid one of the despair the drug only suppresses what the spirit is attempting to do, look at just some of the drugs given (often in combination) and notice the side effects of them. Drugs are not God’s answer to attacking evil spirits.

Anafranil, Adapin, , Aventyl, Elavil, Endep, Norpramin, Pamelor, Pertofrane, Sinequan, , Surmontil, Tofranil, Vivactil, Zonalon

These medicines are tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) which work by increasing the available amount of serotonin and/or norepinephrine in the brain. Dry mouth, blurred vision, increased fatigue and sleepiness, weight gain, muscle twitching (tremors), constipation, bladder problems such as urine retention, dizziness, daytime drowsiness, increased heart rate, sexual problems.

Emsam, Eldepryl, Nardil, Marplan, Parnate, Zelapar

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) increase the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. One must avoid certain foods and medications to avoid dangerous interactions.

Serious side effects may include: headache, heart racing, chest pain, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Pexeva, Prozac, Sarafem, Zoloft

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, work by increasing the functioning of serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the brain. Sexual problems including low sex drive or inability to have an orgasm are common but reversible, dizziness, headaches, nausea right after a dose, insomnia, feeling jittery.

Aplenzin, Budeprion, Buproban Forfivo, Wellbutrin

These contain bupropion, which may increase the amounts of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Expect to experience weight loss, decreased appetite, restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, tremor, constipation, dry mouth, diarrhea, dizziness, seizures.

Cymbalta, Effexor, Fetzima, Khedezla, Pristiq

These drugs increase the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.Drowsiness, blurred vision, lightheadedness, strange dreams, constipation, fever/chills, headache, increased or decreased appetite, tremor, dry mouth, nausea.

Remeron can be sedating and cause weight gain. Cymbalta may increase sweating and blood pressure and also cause fatigue and reduced energy.

Desyrel Ludiomil, Oleptro

These drugs block various neurotransmitter chemicals including serotonin or dopamine. Desyrel and Oleptro may cause drowsiness, fatigue, tremor, headache, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting.

Ludiomil may cause headache, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and sweating.

When you consider the power of the spoken word of God against the spirit of despair and the promise of freedom from or the use of mans way of just suppression why would anyone choose the drug over the Lord? The worlds solution to the enemies attack is drugs the solution that Jesus gives is Himself, trusting in Him to provide the freedom one requires is the only true solutions, look at His words John 16:33 (AMP)  I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

Satan works so that all men might come under the control of these most destructive of spirits.  When despair is operating to its fullest, it will usually drive its prey into isolation, self pity, bitterness, envy, jealousy, and if left alone destruction of the one possessed.

Suicide is often the work of despair.  Yet this spirit is usually not content in destroying the possessed one alone, it will attempt to destroy others along with the possessed one. Therefore murder is not uncommon with this spirit.

Despair, (it should go without saying) is one of the most difficult spirits to leave a person.  The reason for this is that despair is controlled by a ruling spirit of old, called unbelief.

 Unbelief of course is a whispering spirit that attempts to convince its prey of the opposite to the Word of God. Unbelief never gives or has a valid argument when creating its doubt; it doesn’t feel it needs one. “That’s just the way it is” unbelief cries.  Regardless of what the Word may say.

Unbelief convinces the prey that what the person is hearing from the Word is not so.  Then the prey is absolutely sure that nothing will change the situation, then they will begin to operate in yet another spirit “fear”. Together fear and unbelief will set the stage for despair to enter along with its three cohorts. Regardless of the promise of Christ that we may live a life in perfected peace, unbelief will whisper it destructive lies in an effort to establish the lie as the ruling principle of one’s life. John 14: (AMP) Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

Like all spirits whether rulers or not, these will always deny that fact the Jesus is ruler over them.  Yet at His name they must bow their knee and release the prey from their clutches.  These more than any other spirits want to see something, the death and destruction of its victim. These are the “show me then I’ll believe” spirits.  The further down one is pulled within these then the more they want to see to pull them out.  These are the spirits of inactivity.  They will attempt to convince the prey not to take any action until they are absolutely sure. Which, of course, they never are.

These spirits are the “me” spirits.  They often convince their prey to focus only on themselves.  When in fact if they would take their eyes off self they could then grasp the problem and begin to repair the damage that has been created. We see in Isaiah 61 the instruction to put on the “garment of praise”, a covering, praise will focus you upon the one who will bring freedom, in praise no evil spirit can stand or withstand the effects of the Word spoken forth. We know King David had many battles against many enemies seen and unseen yet his life was always an example of praise, he found every answer he needed when he just put on praise as his covering. 1 Chronicles 29:9-11 (AMP) Then the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with a whole and blameless heart they had offered freely to the Lord. King David also rejoiced greatly.10 Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly and said, Be praised, adored, and thanked, O Lord, the God of Israel our [forefather], forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all. When we see God (like David did) in everything then everything conforms to Him and His Word, no spirit hat contrary to that Word can last long within the lives of the one under attack. When we focus on “me” we will lose every time, when we focus on Him we win every time.

So when all these spirits are holding one in bondage, can there be any possible freedom?  Of course the answer is yes.  Despair need not take the person down.  He or she can take despair down and even have restored all that may have been stolen. The destruction of despair (and any other evil spirit) lies within the praise we have covered ourselves with, here are some examples of that praise, notice the focus is always on the Lord:

Psalm 18:46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

Psalm 28:6 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

Psalm 31:21 Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

Psalm 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

This then is the first rule in bringing down despair. Get the person to agree that there is no greater power than that of the Word of God voiced through praise of God. Look again at what the blessings of praise brings, salvation (sozo, all encompassing life,) being heard by the Lord, seeing marvellous solutions to my problems, being chosen to receive an inheritance of life in victory, being loaded daily with His benefits, seeing wondrous things (or the answer to our problems).  In praise we see the truth of the Word and the revelation of the lies of Satan, when we see that God cannot lie we will gain victory over unbelief.  They then focus on the WORD and create within themselves a system of belief, trusting in a God who can, and who will not leave or forsake them Hebrews 13:5b. (AMP) for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!] When God’s support and hold upon you is established you will then seek relief from other areas that despair has held you in bondage to. Despair will not be long in going.

When despair is driven out by the force of God’s Word coupled with the Name and Blood of Jesus then it must be replaced.  The most powerful weapon of God to replace despair is hope.  Hope creates and regenerates in one the desire for life.  Hope gives the person the ability to see that nothing is as bad as it may appear.

Look at the following scripture verses, use them as a foundation of praise that you may build yourself up into the creation of hope within your soul ad spirit; Psalm 16:8‑11, (AMP) I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety,10 For You will not abandon me to Sheol (the place of the dead), neither will You suffer Your holy one [Holy One] to see corruption.11 You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 31:24 (AMP) Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!,  

 Proverbs 13:12 (AMP)  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

 Jeremiah 17:7-8 (AMP) [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

 Romans 4:18 (AMP)[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be, 5:1‑5, Therefore, since we are justified ([a]acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to [b]enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 2 Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.3 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of [c]character (approved faith and [d]tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] [e]joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.15:13, 13 May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.

 Ephesians 1:17-23 (AMP) [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].

 Now back to our introductory text, this time from the Amplified Version,  Ephesians 2:1‑10. And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins2 In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].3 Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.4 But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).6 And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us [b]joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).7 He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved ([c]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [d]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Here we find that God has given us the equipment to defeat despair, desperation, despondency and hopelessness.

A) Verse 1&5, We find that we are quickened from the dead. All too often the spirit of death will attach itself to the person suffering from these spirits. However the Word gives us assurance that we need not to worry (which is to worship Satan). To be quickened is to be made alive in Christ Jesus. To be granted the kind of life that He lives. He does not despair over anything.

 B) Verse 4, We are the loved, there is no greater defence against the power of despair than that of the power of love.For even in the lowest moments of our lives love, God’s love will carry us through.

C) Verse 5,8&9, Despair learns that we have no need of it for we are the Here we see the Greek word Sozo which means to: deliver, protect, heal, preserve and prosper. When we are saved from despair, God delivers us, and then sets a protection around us. He heals us from all the hurt and anxiety. He preserves us from the attacks of the enemy and he prospers us into His plans.

D) Verse 6&10, Sometime when despair appears to be overcoming us, we need to sit down and discuss the problem with someone who really cares for us. Not only cares but also has the answer that we need. No greater Comforter is there than God. He not only wants us to tell Him, but He has made us to sit down with Him and give Him the problem that despair has created. He’ll do away with it. Here we can remind Him of what He has promised, what His Word declares we are in Him and how He has promised us to be free from such attacks.

E) Verse 10, We are created in Christ, the word workmanship means Nothing God ever put His hands to could be any better than YOU. He foresaw all that you would require to make it in life and then gave you much more when He gave you Jesus. Why despair, you are created in His image after His likeness. He has yet to fail, so why should you.

F) The blood of Jesus covers every pain and sorrow that despair has ever given any‑one. If we will apply that blood and plead it (as our answer to despair) we will always overcome. To be nigh to Jesus is to be close to Him, we stay close by living a life of prayer, praise and study of His word. Then going forth and speaking it and putting it into action.

Where God is in action, Satan is in reaction. Satan’s only reaction to the Blood, Word and Name of Jesus is to flee in desperation. “Desperation is energized despair, vigorous in action and reckless of consequences”. Those reckless consequences are the damage he does to himself as he departs from those who use the power of God by His Word, His Name and His Blood.

PAUL DEFEATS DESPAIR

2 Corinthians 1:8-10, (AMP) For we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about the affliction and oppressing distress which befell us in [the province of] Asia, how we were so utterly and unbearably weighed down and crushed that we despaired even of life [itself].9 Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.10 [For it is He] Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope (our joyful and confident expectation) that He will again deliver us [from danger and destruction and [a]draw us to Himself], Here we find that Paul is undergoing much of the symptoms of despair because of his Asia journey. Paul suffered with hopelessness even to believing that death was his only way out. Paul thought he was sentenced to death or so this scripture reads, yet it is not what it says, for the actual Greek word for sentence is answer, and so Pauls is saying the answer to death is not despair but something much greater. What is that something, TRUST GOD, the answer to despair, is to trust God. He will bring you through and cause you to be victorious. Philippians 4:6-8 (AMP) Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [b]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [c]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

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