That Beautiful Name


“You didn’t want heaven without us, So Jesus, You brought heaven down…

My sin was great, Your love was greater, What could separate us now…

What a wonderful Name it is

The Name of Jesus Christ my King”

This has been one of those weeks, a time when sorrow and grief have clashed with Joy and Hope like a wave crashing onto the rocks in a storm. How is it that the heart can break and rejoice at the same time? The key is in the Power of His name… Jesus. The songwriter proclaims, “You have no rival, You have no equal, Now and forever… Our God reigns, Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory, Yours is the Name, above all names… What a powerful Name it is.”

A fourth century monk named Telemachus from Asia is credited with halting the gladiatorial contests. Having come to reside in Rome where these ‘abominable spectacle were being exhibited’, he went himself into the stadium, and stepping down into the arena, endeavored to stop the men who were wielding their weapons against one another… all while crying out, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, Fordear!”.  The spectators of the slaughter were indignant, and inspired by “the triad fury of the demon that delights in those bloody deeds, stoned the peacemaker to death. When the emperor was informed of this, he numbered Telemachus in the number of victorious martyrs, and put an end to that impious spectacle.” What enables a man to place himself at deaths door for the sake of saving others lives? What principles must he believe? More importantly, what powerful truth did he proclaim that had such an indelible impact, causing such violence to cease and lives to be changed…? It is that powerful name, the name of Jesus, “that every knee should bow too, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10-11) Do you know that name, and I mean not just know ‘of it’, but do you intimately know Him, having by faith believed in His finished work of redemption? I hope so.

Do you want to withstand the storms of life? Can you rejoice as a loved one slips from your arms and walks through Heavens gates? Can you wait on God’s timing having trusted in His will and released your own? Do you desire to allow the crucible of suffering to refine you into His extraordinary character, enabling you to not only face the lions of this life, but to change their hearts as well? Then you must come to “know” Jesus and the power of His name.

I look forward to the day when those ‘who know His name’, sing this song together in the presence of the One whose name is Beautiful, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray you are there too.

Choose wisely…

Praying 4 U

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 14-18| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: “You were the Word at the beginning, One With God the Lord Most High, Your hidden glory in creation, Now revealed in You our Christ… What a beautiful Name it is… The Name of Jesus Christ my King.” – Hillsong

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Praying 4 U

The Confidence to Witness

Couple of young men talking on the stairs

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

There’s a deeply spiritual lady in our church called Caroline. Sadly, she has a social phobia (the exact opposite of confidence) that cripples her life. In spite of this, she has brought more people to church and to ‘Alpha’ courses than anyone I can think of. I find that inspiring. She recently told me that at a conference two years ago someone shared a word from God that ‘Two men will pull you out of this.’ She’s been waiting for these two men. I told her that she should really only be waiting for one because her husband, Steve, is the other. Steve is a convinced atheist but he’s also a wonderful guy. He teaches college math. He’s kind and funny. He loves his wife deeply and has hung in there for all this time. Then it occurred to me that as her pastor, I must be the other. So I got Steve to meet me for coffee.

I shared testimonies of God working in my life in ways that are unexplainable apart from the supernatural. I told him that there was power in togetherness and that my idea was to pray together with him for his wife. He said, “You’re asking me to pray to a brick to make my wife better and in all sincerity I can’t do that.” I asked him if he would do anything to make his wife better including praying to a brick. In the end he said, “I’ll do it for you, Chris. It’s not for Caroline and it’s not for me, but I can see that it’s important to you.” So right then and there I prayed a short prayer and squeezed out an ‘amen’ from Steve. The next day I heard from Caroline. In her e-mail she said:

“Thank you for meeting up with Steve. I’m so glad he was able to talk to you about my illness. He said he’s never had anyone to talk to and it felt good to open up. He also came away questioning himself about what makes him so sure that there is no God, and that if God was to reveal himself to Steve, then he would accept him.”

This testimony is still unfolding but I believe in Caroline’s healing. I believe in Steve’s salvation. I believe in God’s goodness and power, and I believe that if we boldly witness, then we can not only have confidence in our own futures, we can even change the future for others.

Written by Rev. Chris Thompson: Chris is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and Pastor of Enderby Mission Church in Leicester, England.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 121; Proverbs 29

Daily Quote: Fervent prayers produce phenomenal results. ~Woodrow Kroll

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. ~2 Corinthians 4:8-11

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Still, Like Water

Empty footbridge over the lake
It is only with total humility, and in absolute stillness of mind that we can know what indeed we are. ~Terence James Stannus Gray

be still.pngI beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Romans 12

Oh beloved, it is true. There is so much of us that has to go. And most of it is stuff within us that is all to precious to us. The list of things to be jettisoned is long and wide and deep:

The right to pleasant circumstances.

The right to be accepted.

The right to be successful.

The right to my possessions.

The right to be rescued from my circumstances.

The right to see results.

The right to know the specific will of God.

The right to understand my circumstances.

The right to be proven right.

The right to be loved.

The right to have a mate or children.

The right to be used by God the way I want to be.

The right to live in the place I choose.

The right to the job I want.*

Our rights in general.

And this, is the pain of death that is going on inside of us. Though we have already died with Christ, there is so much programming and tapes that need to be cut. There is so much garbage in the waste bins of our emotional makeup.

This fool of a writer is not good at this.

There are so many times, where i really feel the need for people, especially those close to me, to realize that my life is being poured out for them. I have made so many mistakes in the past; ruined so many things and people and circumstances, that i get hurt when people don’t see that i am finally getting it right after 45 years of getting it wrong.

He must increase, but I must decrease. ~John, The Prophet, in John’s Gospel 3

What to do?

Absolutely nothing.

The reality is truly that we have given our lives as a living sacrifice to our King. And if our King deems that our lives be poured out over rugged terrain and mixed with the dust of the earth. Quite simply brothers, we need to come to a place where we realize that a living sacrifice does not give orders back to the One receiving the sacrifice.

Can we see it though? There is an upside. It is here, in complete stillness and surrender that we finally begin to get some clarity on where we are supposed to be going with our lives. We finally get to the place where we can here Him speak… And when we do, we truly find another thing we have been looking for all the while: We hear Him tell us how much He Loves us. We hear Him saying how proud HE is of us. We hear Him telling us that HIS grace is sufficient, and that all is well.

So, are you going through the pains of death to your own self? This fool of a writer does. And just when he thinks the thing is dead, The Holy Spirit shows me some more things that need to go. However, what i have learned is something that may be of benefit to you. I have never – not once – regretted letting go of anything. EVERY time i have let go of some little thing, He has poured more goodness and freedom into my life than i could ever have imagined.

Tonight is your night beloved. Time to be still.

Makala_FF 2016Written by Makala Doulos: Makala  is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

*this list is from another, unknown author

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 101; Proverbs 9

Daily Quote:  What then are we afraid of? Can we have too much of God? Is it a misfortune to be freed from the heavy yoke of the world, and to bear the light burden of Jesus Christ? Do we fear to be too happy, too much deliver from ourselves, from the caprices of pride, the violence of our passions, and the tyranny of this deceitful world? ~ François Fénelon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.~Romans 8:33-34

How to Communicate With Millennials – Part #2

Using smart phone
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Good morning, friends. I trust that you had a good weekend and that you are prepared for this new week.

Last week I started a dialog with you about communicating with millennials and I want to continue to share my heart with you.

Millennials are a unique generation. They are the largest demographic alive right now and have become a powerful part of today’s work force.

What I am not saying is that one generation is more important than others. What I am saying is that the millennial generation is here to stay and we can choose to either ignore them and be frustrated, our we can learn about them, embrace them and encourage them to be the men and women God desires them to be.

I personally believe that if we think it through, we have the opportunity to equip a group of people who God could use in incredible ways to reach the world for Christ.

This generation are not pew sitters. They are not interested in talking about whether or not we need Hymnals or sing off the wall. They are not concerned about carpet colors, pews or no pews, dress code, and tons of other things that have been issues with other generations.

What they are interested is in DOING SOMETHING. They are not about getting bogged down in policies and committees that are going to spin their wheels and never get anything done. If there is a house near the church that has burned down, they want to get down and dirty and provide ministry to the family – practical ministry from childcare to actually helping rebuild the house.

They will not just give money to an organization – they want to make sure that their resources are going to be used for what the organization is raising the money for.

They are interested in substance not fluff. Churches and ministries that are going to reach this age group need to learn that they have watched their grandparents and parents flounder from church to church because they are looking for the newest and best. They have watched their families dabble with “Christianity-is-for-Sunday” lifestyles, when everything else is up for grabs. They have watched their families divorce, use drugs and alcohol, and this new generation is asking how faith and life connect.

They are leaving what I call the “dog and pony show” churches to be a part of more liturgical settings where form and substance are a part of the worship experience.

They are more interested in depth to the preaching vs. shallow fluff and stuff entertainment preaching.

They are interested in being mentored. My generation, the infamous Baby Boomers could care less what our parents thought – we had all the answers and didn’t need advice or counsel. This generation wants to ask you questions, do the research, and then make their decisions. They may not take your counsel, but at least they have asked for it.

Because of their intuitiveness with technology, they have the unique ability to get things done with greater efficiency. They have embraced the technology with the ability to get stuff done. It’s pretty cool to watch them in action.

I am out of words. More next week. Thanks for hanging with me on this subject.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 98; Proverbs 6

Daily Quote:  “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.~Romans 8:33-34

Idolatry of the Preacher 

Open bible on table with bookmarks in pages

The life wrought in Christ is one of tremendous worth and elevation. We who have yielded to the Lordship of the Son of Man are commanded to conduct ourselves in such a way that the harmful things at enmity with God, no longer infiltrate our lives. A terrible plight on the Body of Christ is that of the idolatry found amongst its members. It manifests itself in many different ways, all equally grieving to the Spirit of God. When a shepherd of a flock is esteemed higher than God by the people of God, this is idolatry. The theocracy established by the Scriptures becomes perverted and the divine order of operation is undone. This will always result in great detriment to church and greatly affect the power of its people.

With the eyes of its people fixed on the pastor rather the LORD, the church will never be satisfied in its pursuit of spirituality. They will in effect be drinking for broken cisterns rather than from fountains of living water. This will permeate each area of their lives sapping them of the fruit of the Spirit and by consequence, preparing them for the works of the flesh. The longer we live there the more our salt will loses its saltines and therefore, be good for nothing but being trampled under the feet of men. How poor and unfulfilling is the man who looks to his sinful brother to be his god.

Yes, it is surely true that we are to honor our pastors with a special reverence but God forbid we worship a person rather than our Creator. Remember that they are but men, pray for them to continually point the people God has given them to our Saviour. Stay rooted in the Scripture, be a Berean, always check what is taught for yourself. Ask questions, join a small group, pray, pray and pray. You would do well to take heed and lastly, ask of God to reveal Himself to you in a deeper way. Trust that when you see Him for who He is, mere men will no longer impress you the way they once did and “the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”

Written by Troy Fink:
Troy is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is an Urban Missionary at New Hope Philly in Philadelphia.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 94; Proverbs 2

Daily Quote:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, 

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

-Helen H. Lemmel

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? ~Romans 8:31-32


Church Can Be Fun!?

First United Methodist Church of Pasadena

“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.” Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” ~Psalm 126:2-3 (NLT)

Where in the Bible does it say church should be fun or even relevant? If we were to ask this question in a different way it might sound like this, “What is the purpose of the church? Is it a time when we all get together in comfortable setting, dump some loot in a basket, do a sing-a-long or two or three, listen to a self-help sermon because “Jesus loves you”, shake some hands, get some lunch afterwards and then get our butts home before the Star Spangled Banner is finished and the coin toss favors the opposing team?

My fellow Freedom Fighter writer, who I’ll call Rob (to protect his identity) and myself have gone back and forth on the notion of church being fun. We’ve taken to Facebook with the question (well actually he started it…I may have to finish it) and there have been some surprising answers. There are people who do find “fun” in their Sunday worship. Now we can find fun at Six Flags but get real here people, you wait in line to get on a ride…BORING!! Well now they are handing you cute little disc’s that vibrate and blink little L.E.D lights when it’s your turn to get on a ride that last maybe 90 seconds so you don’t have to wait in line but where’s the fun in that? Now you gotta go find something to do until the thing activates.

As much as I understand that we essentially should maintain a reverent mindset when it comes to Christ’s Church, I am also a man who believes Jesus wasn’t above having Himself a good laugh every so often. I mean, after all, we humans do some pretty laughable things…like take ourselves seriously on way too many issues. The bottom line is Jesus, although the Passover Lamb, also came to rebuild His Father’s community. And for all you wordsmith’s out there the word “commune” is the central idea here. We forget the idea behind the church is to “commune” with each other as we “commune” with The Father. Why do you think we are called to partake of the elements off The Table?

But what’s a community/church like without a little fun or laughter to it? Well…BORING…it doesn’t make it wrong but it can make it too rigid to handle a storm. Truth be told the only thing in a building that has to be true to solid is the foundation, the rest of the building needs to be able to handle the elements around it. Sometimes that takes a little flexibility to the construction. I once knew a guy (Jan Savercool is his name) that told me I was gonna need to be flexible in my walk. In its

own little way, it’s kinda laughable ‘cos he has been right since 2003. (wish he still among us so I could tell him)

The real thing to grasp here today is that church should be a place of joy. The writer of Hebrews puts it like this, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) Even though I think using the word “fun” in the same sentence that we use “church” has a hint of irreverence to it (making it seem like going to Youth Group) I don’t think we should take things so rigidly when it comes to church.

But I do believe there should be laughter in church. If we can laughter together then we can pray together, serve together, worship together and even mourn together. And if we are coming together, out of the joy we have for our God, and joy is a Fruit of the Spirit dare I say that “fun” is a fruit of that joy and those folks out there who have fun worshipping YHVH aren’t doing anything that deserves them a stonin’ or two? Well maybe that’s still debatable among some but for me I have fun ironing out these kinda issues. But please heed this warning as I end with you today, when you treat the things of the Kingdom as common everyday items, judgement is just around the corner. Amen?

Chris Hughes_FF 2016Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 92; Proverbs 31

Daily Quote: “The church is an outpost of God’s empire: a community of people whose passport is stamped [or issued by] “heaven” but who continue to live in a foreign land – earth – with the aim of making that foreign land more like home. We take heaven seriously, and live with different aims and different values from the people around us. We also take our citizenship seriously, so instead of hiding under the bed and waiting for rescue (or the rapture?), we live in the world with the intention of changing it…” —Andrew Wilson

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? ~Romans 8:31-32

The Privilege to Serve

All hands together, racial equality in team
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

While watching a television program where an actor, playing the President, was sharing to his Vice President that he was human and he was ok with making some immoral/emotional choices. She rebuked him immediately and mention we voted for you to be different your position doesn’t allow you the privilege to indulge as the commoners.

It was clear what God was communicating to me at that point. I was created for something more. It’s a call that doesn’t give me the privilege to do as the world does. Furthermore, the call on my life doesn’t allow me to do what other Christians do as well. It’s not how about many liberties I gain under the grace of God, rather the call that God has created me for.

God foreknew the work he designed or marked out for you before the foundation of the earth. He has designed plan and purpose for you that are intimately graphed in the way he designed you. We are not just existing and our lives or not our own.

“For you, brothers, were called to freedom. Only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity to gratify your flesh, but through love make it your habit to serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)

God is very clear and intentional about the call on your life. He has created you for good works and indulging in pointless sin doesn’t help accomplish His divine will. Yes there are liberties and yes the grace God is flawless, but isn’t it wise to use our God given privilege for its intended purpose? God bless you saints.

Juan Mendez_FF 2016Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick. 


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 91; Proverbs 30

Daily Quote: Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love. ~Billy Graham

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? ~Romans 8:31-32

Living Beyond Fear

Superhero Kid

What would you do if you had no fear? What would your life be like if you had no fear? What would you attempt for God if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you plan to do if you were convinced that God would resource you? What would your approach be to setbacks and challenges if you were empowered by God’s faithfulness? ~Graham Cooke

But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” ~from Isaiah 43

Oh beloved, it is true. There is a place for fear. But it is not in this world. We are getting it dreadfully backwards when we have no dread of the Almighty and are scared to death of the littlest things in this life.

Lest any of you brothers reading this think that i am writing from some place where i do not have an understanding of what is going on in life, may i present a few details? i have been in a near plane crash in Costa Rica, followed by some bad guys in Palestinian Territory (really), stopped and questioned by a radical Muslim on a trash mountain outside of Jakarta, and survived a knife attack in the Philippines. And each time, G_d was there with me in ways that go beyond words.

Yeah, the life of an international worker can be a little exciting.

But, beyond this, i have had truckloads of the opportunity to be afraid of the more daily things. Like…

What people think of me

Where my next paycheck or meal is going to come from

How my health is working out

Being misunderstood by my spouse

Dealing with waves of chronic pain

Loss of relationship with children

Being disliked by coworkers and students

Being misunderstood (sometimes purposely) by those who could not believe what G_d was and is doing in my life.

There’s more… Each of us could come up with a long list of thing about which we could be afraid. And nearly all of them seem reasonable. But, they are not. Can we be honest with ourselves? Fear is nothing other than a lack of faith. Fear is my damnable pride getting in the way of truth. Fear is an excuse to avoid the unavoidable truth of the Gospel.

Read the passage beloved. The cure for fear is not just believing real hard in some self-powered attempt at faith. No, the cure for fear is to rest in the one thing that draws us towards real and abiding strength. Love is the cure.

But, can we see what kind of Love this is? The Love of G_d is not some sort of warm fuzzy feeling (though this fool of a writer is sure that He has those for us too). No, the Love of G_d has traded away influence and interest in nations to get ahold of us. The Love of G_d is a lifesaving, firewalking, river-fording, and all-consuming Love! We a precious to the very One who defines value itself. We are honored by the One who is more honorable than 10,000 princes of the purest royal houses.

Oh my!


Can we see it? Love like this grows something powerful within us. Love like this steels the heart and calms the nerves. Love like this drives out fear. And this is exactly what the only One we should fear intends. For as we look to Him and become dreadfully aware of our fallenness in light of His dreadful perfection – we see the one thing we never thought we would see: Acceptance in His Son, and Love beyond our wildest dreams in His eyes. Forever.

So, is fear dogging you lately? Maybe you could take it from an old guy like me out in the field. Fear is a liar. It was one of the best things i ever let go of. And when it wants to poke its head up in my life, i pray for the grace to look away from the foul thing, and just look into His eyes. When i do, when i look into those eyes – the fear is gone – replaced by the strength of His Love.

Tonight is your night. Time to believe you are Loved.

Makala_FF 2016

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala  is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 86; Proverbs 25

Daily Quote: “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.” ~Karol Józef Wojtyła

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. ~Romans 8:28-30

True Worshippers 101!


“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)

In T-n-T, we are provided with an opportunity to give glory, honor, and praise to our God. There are times when it’s undeniable, that God’s presence is thick and other times where He is taking a more quiet approach. But regardless, I believe that when a person or people proclaim the work of Jesus, it is one of the richest way we give Him glory.

True worshiper 101: Individuals who decide to put themselves on the side and give Him, His praise. A true worshiper’s life is hidden in daily surrender and he will show up to service with a heart ready to praise, because it becomes an extension of his everyday relation with Christ. True worshippers are sincere in their spirit, and inwardly resolved in their minds and hearts.

Identifying true worships indicates that there false or deceitful worshippers. Jesus declares, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” (Matthew 7:21) It’s a sad reality to think that you can be within the body of Christ worshipping, serving, even broadcast the name of Jesus, and be out of fellowship. Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the LORD had left him.” (Judges 16:20) Sad!

So how do you know that you are a true worshipper?

True worshiper 201: It will be evident in your prayer life; true worshippers have a valid prayer life. They also have a boldness to confess wrongs, and to be transparent because they are concern with their relationship with God and loving their neighbor. The Word is esteemed, and the desire to be obedient to that Word guides the true worshippers. True worshippers proclaim and understand the love of God, and how that love is manifested through sacrificial work of Jesus. Are you a true worshipper?

Juan Mendez_FF 2016


Written by Chaplain Juan Mendez: Juan is graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full time staff member at America’s Keswick.


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 2; Proverbs 3

Daily Quote: “We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.” ~Francis Chan

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. ~Isaiah 26:3-4

Misappropriation of Worship


“Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth.” ~Isaiah 58:14a

There was a strong sense of fear for me growing up of ever being arrested. I could remember my Father telling me “don’t ever do anything so bad that your name would be in the newspaper”. My Dad had a high regard for our name and didn’t want it to be “dragged through the mud”, and I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to do it. Now I wish I could say I never broke the law but that would be a lie. I was just very good at not getting caught.

The word misappropriation is a strong word that brings with it a condemnation and certainly nothing that I would want any part of. It is usually associated with mishandling money for self-serving or illegal gain.

The 58th chapter of Isaiah is an account of the Prophet proclaiming to the people that their worship is nothing more than self-serving with a hope that God would hear them and bless them because of their efforts. The people’s complaint is ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

The idea seemed to be “If I fast then I’ll be able to perform my religious duty and God will bless me”. It’s a mentality similar “misappropriation” of funds but instead it’s a “misappropriation of worship”.

God is displeased with His people once again in this potion of scripture and is using Isaiah to bring a warning that this type of behavior only leads to bondage, a type of imprisonment. Similar to what would happen to us if we were to misappropriate funds and get caught.

I’m afraid that I think I can get away with my “acts of worship” and fool God. The truth is I might be able to fool you but not God.

The message from Isaiah is that God desires an authentic attitude when we gather together in His name. I have been thinking about the events leading up to the Easter season and the purpose Jesus had in coming. He not only made away for us to be forgiven but also exposed the idle worship of His people while He was here.

So, at this time of year let’s make the appropriate attempt of worship, placing our worship where it belongs not trying to “work the system”. Isaiah delivers a message to God’s people in verses 13 and 14,

“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,

From doing your pleasure on My holy day,

And call the Sabbath a delight,

The holy day of the LORD honorable,

And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,

Nor finding your own pleasure,

Nor speaking your own words,

Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;

And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,

And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.

The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member at America’s Keswick in the maintenance department.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 83; Proverbs 23

Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan

Daily Quote: “Are you facing fear today? Perhaps you are afraid of losing your job, of developing cancer or being left by your spouse. At times all of us experience fear. But don’t allow fear to keep you from being used by God. He has kept you thus far; trust Him for the rest of the way.” ~Dr. Woodrow Kroll (Enjoy Dr. Kroll this Memorial Day Weekend at America’s Keswick

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 

But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;

The future of the wicked shall be cut off. ~Psalm 37:38 (NKJV)

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