What the bible say about:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Day Lazaro Arbos Sang in American Idol

I almost stepped out of the room when the 21 year old Cuban Lazaro Arbos from Naples, FL took center stage during his audition in American Idol season 12. His stuttering was so terrible that I almost lost interest in the guy. However when he began delivering his rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" I was suddenly thrown back in my seat. If I was not glued to the tube, I would definitely think it was a different person. 


It was such an inspiring episode. I learned a lot from it. The song choice itself talked about great faith. It inspired me to look beyond imperfections and sing. Only faith can drive our fears away. Only God can drive all those demons back where they belong.

Let Jesus take that wheel. Let Him steer our course. Let us learn from what this kid has overcome. Obviously it took lots of patience and perseverance to win our admiration. He might have faced a fierce mob but look where he is now. His hope and aspirations definitely paid off.

The episode also taught me not to judge others. God did create us equally special. We all have our shortcomings thus we should be cautious of passing judgement. I may not know Lazaro personally but he humbled me. This guy is certainly an angel sent down with a special mission. I do hope he makes it to the finals. I pray that his story can be continuously heard as a source of inspiration.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why Everyone Suffers Rejection
By Nellie Shani

I was not surprised when he walked into my office. "Typical case", I thought to myself. At five feet, we were almost the same height as I sat on my high chair. Bad case of acne, ears that stand out, buck-toothed. I smiled and extended my hand.

An hour later he was gone as I pondered over the cruelty of high school students towards those that did not fit the profile of "Prince charming". I had just finished writing the summary of our counseling session when there was another knock on the door. I looked up into one of the most angelic faces I have ever seen. She slowly pushed the door shut with the back part of her foot as her milky eyes nervously scanned the room. It was the first time she was coming to see me. "Not a typical case" I mused. I smiled and extended my hand. She ignored my hand and I motioned to her to sit down.

She was clearly one of the most attractive girls in the school. After she left, I pulled out another box of tissue paper from my drawer and put it on the table, throwing away the empty one. I did not think it was possible for so much liquid to be stored up in the tear ducts of any human being. I had seen five students that morning, and this was the fifth time I was summarizing the session as "Suffering rejection."

Frank D Hammond, in his widely read book "Overcoming Rejection," suggests that rejection results from the denial of love. When one is loved, he is approved and accepted; when one is rejected he is disapproved and refused. The hurts of rejection are synonymous with refusal, denial, turn-down, rebuff, repellence, cold shoulder, slighting, shunning, spurning, ignoring, neglecting, avoiding and disapproving."

Human beings suffer rejection the most during childhood and adolescence. We have all grown up as part of a community, and the most loving and protective parents could never have shielded us from suffering rejection from our various communities. This community may be immediate relatives, play school, kindergarten, grade school, high school, university, working environment and ultimately in a marriage relationship. It seems like most insecure people have a need to "beat down" somebody else in order for them to rise up in their own estimation.

The two cases cited above, go to prove that "Cinderella" will suffer rejection right in the same dining hall as "the hunch back of Notre Dame". So long as spite, envy, jealousy, hatred and sheer self-centeredness continue to be human traits, then rejection is here to stay. Show me one person who has never had any of these undesirable human traits portrayed against them at any one time, and I will show you one person who is out of touch with what is going on around them. Those among the human race who have received the most love and acceptance in infancy and early childhood, are the ones most able to withstand the ugly onslaught of this unsympathetic world.

Rejection almost always comes with pain and a loss of self worth, and a natural response to pain is to recoil. This is a mechanism for self-preservation. As a result, people who have suffered severe rejection build emotional walls to protect themselves. Who can they trust? Will they be hurt again by those who have causes them to suffer? Often in order to protect themselves, they begin to suspect the intentions of others, and a distrust of their motives. As this paranoia grows, they eventually convince themselves that everybody is plotting against them and anything you tell them gets a sharp retort.

Because we will be rejected at one time or other, we need to build positive "shock-absorbers". We need to accept and love ourselves first before seeking the acceptance and love of others. Each one of us needs a healthy portion of self-worth. We need to develop our talents and our hobbies. Seek to do what we enjoy doing. Then we need to take a good look in the mirror and determine to love the person we see. Accept the things that cannot be changed like height and facial features. People notice when we do not like ourselves - and join that club! Be your best cheerleader!

God has created us all as unique individuals. Let us celebrate our individuality. However the greatest acceptance that any human being can ever experience is the acceptance that we receive from God. In the Book of Psalms 139, God tells us that we are beautifully and wonderfully made. The new Testament further tells us that God loved us so much that he gave His Son to die for us! What a wonderful message!

Nellie Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first book, "Stand Your Ground," and second book, "Hope For The Childless are available on, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.

Friday, February 1, 2013

By Dr. Henderson Ward

The Bible is such a marvelous book that we who have been studying it for decades still find so much that is surprising and challenging. Because it is one book in 66 volumes from the one source, we know and can demonstrate with utmost conviction, that it contains no contradictions and ambiguities if properly understood. The Bible is the one book in all the world that stands or falls, confuses or enlightens, saves or damns on the mighty foundation of its context. Without a proper understanding and appreciation of this indispensable ingredient of Biblical context the search for truth is as elusive as a man trying to find gold at the end of the rainbow.

 The question before us is straightforward and not couched in technical terminology that needs to be deciphered. Does God hear the prayers of sinners or doesn't he? Some believers say yes he does and others say no he does not, so who is right?

 For those who say he does not it would appear many scriptures give them support:

 "The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that GOD HEARETH NOT SINNERS: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing." (John 9:30-33)

 "And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us." (1 Samuel 8:18-19)

  "For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? WILL GOD HEAR HIS CRY when trouble cometh upon him?" (Job 27:8-9)

 "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. THEN SHALL THEY CALL UPON ME, BUT I WILL NOT ANSWER; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me." (Proverbs 1:24-28)

 "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, WHEN YE MAKE MANY PRAYERS, I WILL NOT HEAR: your hands are full of blood." (Isaiah 1:15)

 "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that HE WILL NOT HEAR." (Isaiah 59:2)

 These and other scriptures are enough to show that the idea of God not hearing sinners have a basis in both the Old and New Testament. It is also clear that the countervailing view that God hears sinners has scriptural foundation as well as we see by the following scriptures.

 God heard the prayers of Cornelius a sinner, "He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, THY PRAYERS AND THINE ALMS ARE COME UP FOR A MEMORIAL BEFORE GOD. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter." (Acts 10:3-5)

 God heard the plea of blind Bartimaeus a sinner, "And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. AND JESUS STOOD STILL, AND COMMANDED HIM TO BE CALLED. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee." (Mark 10:47-49)

 God heard the plea of wicked demons, "So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, GO. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters." (Matthew 8:31-32)

 God heard the prayers of the sinful Ninevites, "But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? AND GOD SAW THEIR WORKS, THAT THEY TURNED FROM THEIR EVIL WAY; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; AND HE DID IT NOT." (Jonah 3:8-10)

 So here we have evidence that God hears the prayers of wicked people and responds to them in different ways to suit particular circumstances. So how do we square this circle and reconcile what appears conflicting scriptures.

 First we should note that there is no conflict or contradiction. What we have here is a perception and not a reality for these apparent contradictions remain so until proper exegesis shows them to be non-existent and the application of genuine Biblical hermeneutics lay those ghosts to rest.

 We need to understand that all of us are sinners, even genuine, born-again believers and if God did not answer the prayers of sinners then all human-kind beginning with Adam would be lost. Since we know that some will be saved, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25) "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Revelation 7:13-14) it therefore follows that God hears the prayers of sinners.

 Next we need to realize that there is a difference between sinners. All sinners do not stand equal before God not because God is bias and unjust but because sinners take a posture of facing God with the attitude of appropriating his help or backing God in an attitude of derision and disdain. Christians who are redeemed and walking with God are not immune from sin and are the first to confess that they do sin from time to time (therefore they are sinners) but their sins are repugnant to them and they seek God's face in humility asking for forgiveness and mercy and is therefore reconciled to God. The Bible states, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John1:9)

  Other sinners, those not walking with God and therefore not in fellowship with him, are not occasional sinners but have adopted a sinful way of life, they luxuriate in sin, they thoughts and every action are driven by sin and they take pleasure in others doing sin. These are the reprobates and blasphemers, the Satanist and degenerates who given the opportunity would gladly destroy the true and living God and to them the Bible states, "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)

 Thirdly we need to have a clear understanding of what we mean by God hearing prayers. It would be iniquitous to suggest that the Almighty God who sees and knows all things cannot hear something; even that which is most insulting and derogatory. When the Bible says that God does not hear the prayers of sinners, in nearly every context, it does not mean that he cannot hear their voice or understand what they are saying, it simply means that God will not comply with their request, he will not empower them in their wickedness for to God it is as if they had not spoken.

 King David who was a man of God said this, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalm 66:18) The basis of God hearing prayers has always to do with the compliance of God's will. This understanding holds good for sinner and saint alike and is never set aside. Elijah could pray for a drought and get it because God had said to the Israelites, "Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD's wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain..." (Deuteronomy 11:16-17). The Ninevites could turn and ask God for salvation and get it because of God's promise, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7). Sinner or saint whenever prayers are made to God it is those that comply with God's will that really count.

 Lastly we should pay special attention to the privileged position of believers. When we are saved we enter a new and blessed relationship with God on the basis of sonship. Every parent knows how to treat their children and no matter how kind and hospitable you are to strangers you never treat them on equal terms with your children. This is the same with God but even to a greater extent. Here is how Peter sees it, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." (1 Peter 3:12) God is actively listening, eagerly awaiting to hear the voice of his children and even before we can ask he already has answered. Believers should know by now that they are truly blessed.

 Enough said.

Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2012

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I am Beautiful. Yes I am. Thank God.

You are beautiful
By Laetitia King

My husband loves the sea.

When he asked me to be his girlfriend, I told him that he might have to reconsider, because there was something he didn't know about me. After a dead silence haunted us for what seemed to take forever, I finally mustered the courage to make my confession....

I didn't like the sea. To be honest, I still don't.

I always feel like a tiny, vulnerable ant trying to battle the gigantic, monstrous waves, a battle I seldom win.

Not only that, I don't like the beach. When I see the golden brown bodies lying next to me I always feel this desperate urge to cover myself with twenty towels, which you can't really do in the scorching Africa sun. Most girls seem very confident in their bikinis, walking around like models on the catwalk, unaware of the attention they are getting - or "not getting." But I am not one of them. Insecurities flood my mind, comparison keeps me company and I always leave the beach with one nagging question:

Am I beautiful?

I once mentioned this inner turmoil to one of my friends after being rejected by a guy during my Varsity years. She looked at me with a "what's the big deal" expression and responded with a very blunt: "Stick a piece of paper on your mirror with the words "I am beautiful" written on it and look at it every morning." I left the conversation thinking I must be the only woman in the world struggling with this ridiculous question. Luckily, Stacey Eldrige in her book Captivating says that most women ask themselves this universal question.

Some churches attempt to answer this complicated question by teaching that God focuses more on the inner beauty than the outer beauty. I always found some comfort in the statement, until I discovered how difficult it was to stay beautiful on the inside. It is much easier to go for a haircut once a month than to continually walk in love! Hence, the turmoil all over again!

Some say I shouldn't focus on the outward appearance too much; it is only a tent for our spirits to dwell in. My response to that: I would love my tent to be beautiful!

One day it dawned on me that I was starting to sound like the evil stepmother in Snow White, asking everyone including the mirror: Who is the most beautiful woman in the world! And we all know the end to that story. So, I had to renew my mind according to the Word.

Prov 31:30 says:

Charm ( attractiveness that casts a spell, appeal, attraction, magnetism) and grace ( style, beauty of movement, form) are deceptive (lead into error, cause to believe what is false, disbelieve what is true, mislead) and beauty is vain (unfruitful, unproductive, ineffective, futile) but a woman who fears (takes serious their responsibility towards God and respects what He says), will be praised (admired, honoured, go into raptures over)

The truth of who we are can sometimes be hidden by outer appearances that may look more captivating and important. The world loves charm and grace. Most romantic comedies usually feature a beautiful woman exercising her mysterious mesmerising power over a gorgeous guy. But they neglect to mention that this power of form and appeal will always lead others to either believe what is false or disbelieve what is true. Charm and grace have deceptive power.

Pause and think about the following.....

How many times do you believe that you won't find love because you don't look like a Hollywood actress? (Pause and think)
Or how often do you believe that you are not worthy of your husband's faithfulness because you do not captivate him the way another woman does? (Pause and think)
How seldom do you compare yourself with a more gracious and charming woman, thinking you are less attractive, less valuable and less desirable? (Pause and think)
Do you sometimes shy away when meeting a sexy and beautiful woman, thinking you are not qualified to be her friend? (Pause and think)
Or how many times do you withdraw from a conversation thinking you are not as talented or interesting compared to another more attractive woman? (Pause and think)
Do you sometimes think... "why bother looking beautiful" won't make a difference anyway? (Pause and think)

These messages we get from charm and grace usually misleads us to believe something false about who God made us to be. A woman with a sexy body and a Marilyn Monroe mystery can sometimes cause us to not see ourselves through the eyes of truth.

The opposite also happens....

Do you sometimes struggle to believe your husband's words of love and adoration, because you do not think it's true? (Pause and think)
Do you sometimes disregard the testimony of married women when they say they only trusted God for their husbands, because you think it won't happen to you? You do not feel beautiful enough? (Pause and think)
Do you often ignore compliments, because you think people are lying? (Pause and think)
Do you often doubt that God has a specific calling and specific purpose for your life, because you are not captivating and charming like someone you know? (Pause and think)
Or how many times do you think that you should only mix with the rich and influential, because God must have his favourites based on looks, and therefore you only mix with the "in" crowd. (Pause and think)
Or do you sometimes disbelieve that God can love you without any expectations. Don't you often feel like you should do something from your side, like go for a make-over or buy a new dress for God to answer your prayers and give you your heart's desires? (Pause and think)

Charm and grace misleads us to disbelieve the truth about how God feels about us. We often build a wall around us, shielding us from messages of truth, because it's much easier to believe the lie.

There is no lasting power in beauty. It will fade, and therefore we cannot construct a true perception around it. Beauty is ineffective and unfruitful. Even men who have committed adultery will testify to this. If we want to be honoured, admired, respected and celebrated, we cannot look to charm and grace to provide us with messages of truth. Beauty is vain. Charm and grace are deceptive

Our value should be determined by the revelations we get from a living relationship with God. We should respect what God says about us. There is great influence in knowing that we are worth the blood of Jesus Christ, and that we are seated in heavenly places. A sense of authority and respect for God's work in our lives should motivate us to believe the best about ourselves, to look after ourselves and to reflect the gospel through who we are.

How we look should not celebrate charm and grace, but value.

Our value must be reflected in how we walk, in what we wear and what we say. We are daughters of Christ, princesses in the Kingdom of God. The worth of anything is dependent on how much someone is willing to pay for it, and how much someone will sacrifice to keep it. God the Father gave ALL He had, to pay the true price of our worth, and to keep us connected to Him. And He daily gives everything we need to reaffirm His love for us. Our value is determined by the sacrifice that was made to save us, and we were paid with the highest price in Heaven and on Earth, the death of Jesus Christ, God's only Son. Angels stand in awe; creation waits for the revealing of the daughters of God with trembling, because they know how precious we are in God's eyes. In the Spiritual realm there is a sense of wonder of what God did for us, because all principalities and powers know - God chose us. We are worth God's love, God's blessings, God's favour and God's heart. We are surrounded by God's goodness toward us.

Do you believe it?

Do you believe that you are precious? Do you believe that God orchestrated everything 2000 years ago to love you forever? Do you believe that you carry the opinion of God in your life, and that it's more costly than beauty? Do you believe in the power of God's words over your life, the power of the value He places on you?

Believe the truth of His Word!

Roll out the red the paparazzi.....let's give the world something to adore, to celebrate, to honour and to be raptured over.....let's give them God's value....let's give them WOW!

Join me today by making a heart's decision that you will never be misled by beauty that will fade, but that you will be led by God's eternal value that will last!

You are every way....(Pause and think)

Laetitia King is a passionate follower of Christ with a passion for women to discover their true identity. Wife, blogger, communication manager and teacher, she loves sharing the Word of God.


An excerpt form George Washington's Christian Journal

Making a journal for me is time-consuming and tasking. I never kept one literally. Somehow the excerpt below changed my mind completely.
"Almighty God, and most merciful father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day, receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee; I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated not thine own service and for thine own honor. Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do mine own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou requirest of me, and since thou art a God of pure eyes, and wilt be sanctified in all who draw near unto thee, who doest not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts, pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense; and as thou wouldst hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus. Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou has sent it. Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God  guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."

This was taken from a book called George Washington, the Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35 by William J. Johnson.

I stumbled into it while writing an article about Christian journals. This made me wonder how many  great men have one and how they use it during the time of despair. It is a wise idea in my opinion. Evidently we all need a guide especially in the time of desperation. Maybe I should start one soon but how?

This guide is very helpful.
How to Write Notes in a Journal for Personal Bible Quiet Times

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God Calling, Would You Pick Up?

"And I would give up forever to touch you, cause I know that you feel me somehow..."

Oh my gosh that is my ringtone but where is my cellphone?

It is in my room. Somewhere in my bed. I have to turn the whole thing upside down just to find it. One by one I took out the pillows, pulled out the sheet but no it was not there. The ringing continued. It must be important so I crawled down the bed with a flashlight on my mouth. Eureka. There it is. I answered it immediately but it was a wrong number. This made me ask myself, "if it was God calling, would I make the same effort?"

God sends us messages everyday. He sends us angels, gives us blessings and even provides us opportunities to attain our dreams but we are too busy to listen. We would rather mingle with friends, spend time online and even party all night than to sit down and pray. Yet still He never grew tired of doing it over and over again. Sadly we never fail to ignore it.

God does not have a land line number but we can talk to Him through prayers. He does not have a Facebook account but we can visit Him at church. He does not like to leave messages on answering machines but we can always read His words through the Bible. The question would be: would you ever do it?

Let us be realistic. Without the Creator, we would have not existed. His great love for us often saved us from total destruction. It is right to give Him the same attention as we give our friends or love ones. Take an hour or two a day to do this. He deserves your company.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The day that God sent me the Phoenix

There came a point in my life that I almost gave up completely. I had three mouths to feed, almost jobless and totally wrecked. I was clueless of where I was heading. The nightmare was over but its consequences were painful. I knew I have to bounce back but how? I was like a fugitive back then. Hiding from those discriminating eyes of my family and my neighbors. I hardly can get out of the house. I was so afraid of being questioned and persecuted. It was like Armageddon for me. Far more different from what I used to be.

I sought comfort in Facebook. Poured my pain on its wall. Cursed the guy a thousand times for ruining my life but that did not help. The pain was still there. I still want to take revenge. I knew it was not healthy but I could not help. I was angry, worried and pretty much upset.  This went on for months until one day this picture caught my eyes:

I do not know what moved me to talk to its owner. It was definitely not my attitude to make the first move but somehow the person behind it made me realized, "Hey there is always room for second chances. So why give up?" True enough God's send angels in the least expected moment. Mine came in Cyberspace where it is easy to hide ones true identity. But this guy, he is simply heaven sent. My total opposite but I certainly love him so much. By the way, he is now my fiance.

The event proved that God do work in wonders. He will let you experience pain to get something better. Time and again He gives you options. It is your choice whether you would like to grab it or not. I have no regrets that things happened the way they should be. He definitely knows what is best for me.