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

God Will Lead You

“This I say then, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16.
Walking in the spirit. That’s the key to overcoming the flesh. If you follow the promptings of the Spirit of God within you, you won’t be dominated by the pressure your flesh tries to put on you.
As you listen to the written word and do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do, you’ll constantly be making little adjustments in your life according to what He says. Those little adjustments will keep darkness from overtaking you.
God knows just what you need. He can look ahead in your life and see the traps and pressures the devil is laying out for you. Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and He will maneuver you safely around them to victory.
-Pastor Jack DaGraca

The Sound of Your Silence

When we hear that someone has said something negative or accused us unjustly of something, the way that seems right to a man is to retaliate, quickly find and confront the source, defend ourselves, clear our good name. 
This is the correct and expected action in the world in which we live, but, according to the Bible we are in the world but not of it. The way that seems right to a man, is the way that seems right to the un-renewed man, the man after the fall, disconnected from God, not to a born again and reconciled son or daughter. It is the way that seems right to the prince of the air, not the King of our hearts. 
Jesus was the expressed image of God; He only said what he heard the father say; He only did what he saw the father do. When we see Jesus in the scriptures we see God’s perfect will. Jesus went about doing good everywhere he went, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. Yet, there were plenty of people who accused him! They called him blasphemous and demanded he be crucified. Imagine that, the very people he came to save, yelling “crucify him”. What was his response in this situation? Let’s look at Mark 15 1-5 (Amp), “And immediately when it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders, and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation; and when they had bound Jesus, they took Him away [violently] and handed Him over to Pilate. And Pilate inquired of Him, Are You the King of the Jews? And He replied, It is as you say. And the chief priests kept accusing Him of many things. And Pilate again asked Him, Have You no answer to make? See how many charges they are bringing against You! But Jesus made no further answer at all, so that Pilate wondered and marveled.”
Jesus agreed with that which was true. He replied “It is as you say” when asked “Are You the King of the Jews”. To the lies and accusations He replied with astounding silence. Since this is the way that is right to God and not to man, Pilate wondered and marveled.
Let me encourage you with this; God is for you! You plus God is the majority! When provoked be still and know that He is God. Let your adversaries marvel at the sound of your silence.
-Pastor Justin Barros

Hold Your Image

It’s been said that 2019 is a year for the church to experience extraordinary manifestations of the goodness of God. We are half way through the year so it’s an appropriate time to stop and reflect. Has this manifested in your life thus far? If so, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell someone! Make a big deal about it because it will encourage others. 

If you haven’t seen extraordinary manifestations of God’s goodness, it’s not too late. There are several reasons why many people haven’t, but rest assured one of them is NOT that God loves someone else more than He loves you. The Bible says in Acts 10:34 that God is no respecter of persons. This means that he doesn’t play favorites.

I believe one reason why people fail to receive the promises of God, is that they don’t take it personal. What do I mean? When a word from God is spoken, I must first believe that it IS a Word from God and that it IS for me. I then must take the time to receive the word personally. How? I start by asking, what does this word mean to me? In what areas do I need to see this manifest? What will it look like when it does show up in my life? What am I willing to do to align with the conditions of the word?

While asking these questions, I let the word form a clear picture for me and I see myself walking in the fullness of it. The word becomes so real to me that it’s as though I already have it. Once this happens, I find myself thinking and talking about it every chance I get. Even when my current condition doesn’t look like it’s changing, I hold the image of that word in my heart and continue to believe that it’s going to manifest, until it does. 

This exercise doesn’t cost but a few minutes of our time and the payoff is life changing! Until next time, hold your image!
– Pastor Maria Murphy

Long & Strong

The  words “Long and Strong” have become part of my wife’s vocabulary over the past few months and I have incorporated them into mine as well. It is our desire to run our race and finish our course in good health.
Ephesians 2:10 Amp: “For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
”It is important to create an inner image of ourselves living a long and strong life and that is done by knowing what God has already said concerning our lives.  Psalm 91:16 TPT states, “You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!” Other translations state, satisfied with long life.
How long is a long life? A long life could be until you are satisfied, or 120 years according to Genesis 6:3.  John 10:10b AMPC says, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [a]overflows). This kind of life is more than merely existing day to day it is Zoe the God kind of life. We must remember that just because the Bible says something is available to us that it will not automatically happen to us or for us. Our faith in what God has already provided for us is how we are going to receive His promises into our lives.
It will take some quality decisions, some discipline, and a lot of wisdom in order to live long and strong. But most importantly, the words that come out of our mouths must agree with what He has already promised to us in Scripture.
I have but one opportunity to run my race and with His help I will. I pray you will as well.
– Pastor Henri Talbot

Don’t Worry!

“Do not fret or have anxiety about anything” – Philippians 4:6. I wish I knew this verse back when I lived in Cape Verde. I was paralyzed with fear and I had this black cloud hanging over my head. I remember getting pinned to the wall because of fear. Oftentimes it took the help of others to make me move.
I moved to the U.S. got married, had kids, and fear continued to run my life. I didn’t want leave my home, let alone let my kids go outside to play. I was fearful of people, war, and anything else that I felt could harm me and my family.
I eventually learned what worry can do to you. I learned that worry is unhealthy and it’s the child of fear and unbelief. The two are married. If you have any fear in your life, it will make you unproductive. Worry leads to the wasting away of vital energy, the disruption of the digestive system and other organs, which impairs your ability. It becomes a mental Illness that many people suffer from. It’s contagious and leads to all kinds of other physical and mental disorders. It’s part of the curse, plain and simple.
Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. He will direct you to wisdom. Cast all your anxiety upon him. Don’t hold onto it for another second. Get quiet for a moment and remember this, God is for you.
-Pastor Maria DaGraca

Love Born

When you were born again, God became your Father. God is a love God. You are a love child of a love God. You are born of God, and God is love; therefore, you are born of love. The nature of God is in you – and the nature of God is love.
In fact, you can’t say you don’t have this divine love, because everyone in the family of God has it – or else they’re not in the family! They may not be exercising it, but love is in them.
The Bible says in Romans 5:5, that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That means the God kind of love has been shed abroad in our hearts, our spirit, and our inner man.
Let the Love of God in you, flow through you!
-Pastor Jack DaGraca

A Healthy Lifestyle

For the past month or so I have been drinking wheat grass mixed with 8 ounces water every day. My wife looks at me in disbelief as I chug down the bright green beverage. She thinks it smells like yard clippings and although I have never eaten yard clippings, I am pretty sure she’s right. Why do I do this? Well, there is only one reason and it is not because I like the taste. I truly believe that it is good for me. It helps promote a more alkaline environment in my body, which decreases inflammation. Medical science has identified inflammation to be the cause of many chronic health problems and diseases.
More important to my health than my daily dose of wheat grass is my time spent in the Word. Look what the bible says about the Word of God in Proverbs 4:20-23, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Often times we have the same feelings towards reading the Bible as we do towards eating healthy. We know it is profitable, but there are so many reasons why we can’t find the time every day. Our jobs, families, hobbies, and even ministry opportunities can distract us from what is most important, feeding our spirit man. I encourage you to change the way you think about getting into the Word. Instead of approaching time in the Word as if it was something to be checked off of your to-do list; you would approach it as if your very life depended on it; because it does!
-Pastor Justin Barros