Stand on the Word

As we continue to navigate through the current situation with Covid-19, it is important that we stay strong in our walk with the Lord and that we continue to grow more and more in His promises. Let me encourage you today with just a few scriptures:
Psalm 91:9-10, “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Stay close to the Lord, in fact, make your home in Him. When you do this, you can stand on this word and declare that no evil, plague, or coronavirus can come near your dwelling.
Psalm 27:1-3, “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? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” Declare these verses over your life then don’t undo them by speaking fear. Stand firm on this word and believe it for you and your household.
You don’t need one hundred verses, one word from God has the power to change any circumstance. Put it in your mouth and refuse to speak anything else. When you hear about an increase in cases, say, “not in my house,” and boldly say these verses. Let the word work on your behalf.
I love you and I can’t wait to see you!
-Pastor Jack DaGraca

Infected With Peace

Galatians 5:22a, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, Joy, peace…”
One of the precious qualities in a Christian’s character is peace. Peace that is evident in the most stressful and fearful times; in uncertainty and in uncomfortable situations.
Today, we are hearing all kinds of voices and negative reports. When you look at the faces of people you meet, you can see fear. People appear to be distant. In the stores it’s as though people are infected with the virus even though they do not have it. “Hello’s” and smiles are not as prevalent as they were just a few short weeks ago. You can see that people are frustrated and some even resort to being unkind.
This past week, as I walked through the grocery store, I watched as people frantically passed without giving any thought to those around them. It was as if they were being led by an invisible force (fear).  I have to thank God because it was as if I was in a bubble. I was at peace. See, Jesus paid for this peace. He said, “My peace I leave with you.” Philippians 4:6 says that His peace, “passes all understanding.” Peace is contagious. Become infected with it and spread it to as many people you can.
The love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
-Pastor Maria DaGraca

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

When you look in a mirror what do you see? Simple answer is, “I see a reflection of myself.” An unfiltered reflection at that.A mirror can make us feel bad or good about ourselves. It reveals what needs immediate attention and what does not.
A mirror does not lie and does not care one way or the other how you feel about what you see reflected back at you. It simply reveals the good the bad and the ugly. Hopefully there is not too much ugly. Lol!
When we spend time in the Word of God it is like spending time looking into a mirror. It also reveals what needs change and what can remain the same It also does not care one way or the other about how we feel about it. 
We are all growing into the image of Christ; from faith to faith and glory to glory so don’t feel bad if you do not like your reflection.
The difference between an actual mirror and the “Word Mirror” is this: An actual mirror can only reflect back to you who you are at that moment whereas the Word Mirror reflects back to you who you are in Him. So keep coming back to the mirror every day and make a little adjustment here and a little change there and you will become more and more a reflection of Him.
Be Blessed Pastor Henri Talbot

Challenge Your Beliefs

I love this scripture, “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” Proverbs‬ ‭20:27‬
‭At the end of February, I had an idea, a specific thought, and it challenged my heart. I followed my heart and heard this question, “do you really believe you can have that?” I had to search my belief, examine, and challenge myself, to know if I really believed it.
I realize that belief is action of the heart, not just mental acquaintance with truth or an idea. It’s not just what my mind accepts but my will must obey. I don’t truly believe unless my conviction is manifested in my life, so belief stands close to faith. Belief is a deep sense of trust by commitment to that thought or idea found in the Word of God. Belief is the foundation of life.
The most amazing thing is that my heart did have the answer and I did believe. If I failed in my pursuit of my belief, it’s just because I didn’t capture the idea and purposely follow it until I got the answer.
We are spirit beings, God’s spirit indwells us. He leads and guides us through our spirit. Communing with our own heart will give us the answer we are looking for. Now, if we just get happy and don’t follow up, it will die. To bring it to pass, I have to speak the truth of that idea through. Growth is keeping at it until we get it right.
-Pastor Maria DaGraca

An Open Heart

A number of years ago, I experienced what you might call a “dry season” in my spiritual walk. One day during this time, I began to complain (I know you’ve probably never done that). I told the Lord how frustrated I was and how I disliked religious tradition. I took responsibility for the state I was in, told Him I would fix it, and basically reaffirmed my commitment to Him. I expressed to Him my desire to be used by Him to glorify Him.  
I expected His response to be, “Go lay hands on the sick” or “go cast out devils”. Instead here’s what He instructed me to do: “Listen to your heart. When people talk to you, listen intently to them. Understand what they are communicating to you. Take interest in what they are saying so much so that you can repeat it back to them. Open your heart to people when they communicate with you and don’t be so quick to give them just any answer. Look into their eyes, feel what they feel, then look into your heart for the answer. People have deep pain, they are not just crazy. The enemy has found a way into their lives and in your spirit there are answers for every problem they have. You are my hands and my heart, you can comfort them. You are my love, my mouth, and my hands.”
What the Lord ministered to me wasn’t just for me. It’s for anyone who longs to be used by Him. Start by opening your heart to Him and He will show you how to open your heart to the people around you.  
-Pastor Maria DaGraca

Seek First

“But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” Matthew 6:33 AMPC.
What does it mean to “seek first”? Does it mean to forget everyone and everything else and look for His kingdom? No, absolutely not! God is not a selfish God.  
To “seek first” is to simply obey God’s Word by acting on it. Living like this will not only add to your life but it will also strengthen your relationships.
Life is a series of choices so a good place to start is by putting God first in every decision you make. What a difference this will make in your life!
-Pastor Jack DaGraca

Start Great – Finish Greater!

When I was about 9 years old, my mom began to teach my sister and I how to crochet. I remember being so excited when she took us to the store to buy the items we needed and to pick out the patterns of what we were going to make. 
My mom patiently showed us how to crochet and we actually learned fairly quickly. Pretty soon, my first little baby bootie was complete. It was quite small so it didn’t take me long, but I was so excited about it! 
After just a a few weeks, the excitement began to wane and not long after that, the basket we had bought, sat untouched with a number of projects I started, but didn’t finish.  
Sound familiar? It took me years to realize that l was really good at STARTING a lot of things but really bad at actually COMPLETING them. Not completing a crocheting project wasn’t a big deal and didn’t make much of a difference in my life but not completing my God-given assignment, is a huge deal!
John 17:4 MSG says, “I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do.” Once we know our God-given assignment, we should do whatever it takes to complete it, including stopping anything that takes our focus or excitement off of it.
 Ask God to reignite the fire in you again for the assignment He has given you and do something everyday to keep the fire lit. Let Him be glorified in every step of your journey to fulfill your assignment. 
– Pastor Maria Murphy

Faith Requires Action

We just finished a series of meetings with Dr. Marilyn Neubauer which were absolutely wonderful. She ministered on healing and she boldly and eloquently addressed some difficult questions like, “why didn’t God heal sister or brother so-and-so when they were strong in faith?” She shared personal examples that really put things in perspective. The Word was rich and I received so much from each message. 
As I sit and re-read my notes and watch the recordings, I want to encourage you (and me) to not just listen to the messages but to be a doer of what we heard. The simplest way to do this is to identify one thing you can act on right away.
Oftentimes we try to do four or five things and when we’re not successful, we give up. Avoid that by starting with one simple step. As you reflect on the word you heard, what is the one thing that keeps coming to you? How can you act on it? When are you going to start (now is always a good time)?
Be a doer of God’s Word and you will see results every time.
-Pastor Maria Murphy

Taking a Walk

If someone told you they took a walk and they were all excited about it you might think, what’s the big deal it’s only a walk? When they tell you it was a walk on water, now they have your attention! The idea of walking on water is ridiculous unless the thought comes from God.

Matthew 14:26-29 (NKJV) 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

I wonder if Peter wasn’t a bit surprised when Jesus said “come,” after all Peter had never walked on water before. Asking Peter to walk on water was not a natural request, it was a thought that came from Heaven. When Jesus said “come” and Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water, he was in God’s perfect will at that time in his life.

If we are going to walk with God, we will be required to do things we have never done before. We will have to walk by faith and not by sight. The only way to reach our destination or accomplish what God has assigned us to do will be to stay in faith.

Peter was doing well until he allowed the conditions surrounding him to move him off the word Jesus had spoken to him. Unfortunately, we all do what Peter did at different times. What we must do in those times is what Peter did, he cried out to Jesus, and Jesus “The Word” rescued him.

You can be sure that when you decide to take on a faith project or “take a faith walk,” you will encounter resistance, but resistance alone does not have the ability to stop you. Only you can do that.

If you start with the Word then stick with the Word, it has the power to keep you walking to the finish line every time. Praise God forevermore!

-Pastor Henri Talbot

The Right Place

I think often about the calling and the purpose of the church, the body of Christ. I often ask myself as a part of the glorious church, are all of us in our right place?
The plan and purpose for each one of us is in the will of God. Being in His ministry is so fulfilling! I enjoy being in my place. I don’t ever have to question my place or my destiny. Being a pastor’s wife and working together with His church body is so fulfilling. There is nothing like God’s grace and mercy to serve Him in ministry.
My heart is so grateful to the One who has called me. While I enjoy this part of His calling, I truly love what I consider my first calling, and that is to prayer. God has given me a special grace to love people in prayer. My heart is so full and complete when I am before my Father’s face with precious brothers and sisters. This is where I am most satisfied, being in His presence, bringing Him what the Holy One imparts. I invite you today, let us meet together in His place.
-Pastor Maria DaGraca