The Ripple Effect – Giving Tuesday

 
* The first Tuesday after Thanksgiving Day has been designated as a day for giving. Also known as Giving Tuesday. It was created in 2012 as a day to encourage people to do good. Many will give their time, money and resources for a cause they believe in. https://www.givingtuesday.org
 
* It is so important to live for a cause bigger than ourselves that brings meaning to life. Life cannot just be working and paying bills but what we also stand for. If you find a purpose that you identify with, you support it wholeheartedly either by volunteering your time, your money or any resource you have for that purpose.

* Many on this day give monetary donations to research centers, homeless shelters, animal shelters, the Red Cross and many other places. It is a global movement that encourages people to give in any form they can.
 
* As a believer, I want many to come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and to hear the unadulterated gospel. But how can they hear without a preacher? For, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:13-14

* I do believe that preaching the gospel can truly set people free from every bondage. ‘For it (the gospel) is THE POWER of God to our salvation” Paul said in Romans 1:16 . Salvation means preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin or loss and not only from hell to heaven.

* Jesus replied “ Go back and report to John what you hear and see. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news (the gospel) is proclaimed to the poor”. – Mathew 11:1-5

* The solution to being deaf is you hear, the solution to blindness is you see and the solution to being poor is to hear the gospel. I believe Jesus gave us the solution to our problems and it’s through hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Preaching of the gospel is the answer to sickness and poverty that have stricken the world for years now.

 
* We are not all able to preach the gospel as we should. So I will urge you to support those who can preach the gospel . It could be through sharing the gospel they preach so many can hear it. It could be by volunteering your time and resources to spread the gospel and it could also be through your monetary donation which is mainly what is encourage on Giving Tuesday
 
* I call on believers this Tuesday, December 3rd, to give to the cause of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe this is your first time hearing about Giving Tuesday or maybe you have done it many times before. But this donation on Giving Tuesday is neither a tithe nor an offering. Give as much or as little as you can. I will also urge you to support especially your local church. Our local communities need to hear the gospel as well. Charity begins at home – Sir Thomas Browne
 
* Jesus’ before he ascended to heaven commissioned us to send the gospel to the corners of the earth. I believe He saw social media when he said this. Let’s support the gospel to get to the ends of the earth. If you are a member of this church, I pray you consider giving to our church.

* Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8


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You’re loved!

 It was graduation week and a cold winter in Washington DC. Traveling from Washington DC to Maryland, I asked the man sitting next to me what he thinks life holds next for me. I just graduated and as many I had my own fears about how the next stage of  my life will turn out. Sensing my fear, he was quite for a while and I thought he did not hear me. He pulled over a cemetery by the roadside and asked me to get out of the car. I followed him as he walked closer to the cemetery .
 
“Many lying here will wish to have the opportunity you have again given the chance. It’s only a few who were courageous enough to live their lives. Many did not because of fear. Can you imagine the number of talents buried right here?” – he finally said. I will never forget that day because the cold itself shook the fear out of me after standing outside for that long 😄. It was one of those lessons you never forget. 
 
I was told not to fear and step out boldly in the world as many students are told when they graduate, but was never told how to do it. I once knew someone who will not step outside his house because his fear has now matured to anxiety disorder. Fear is real. We need to learn how to deal with it in order to help our younger generation as well. One of my favorite questions to many people given the chance is how do you handle your fears. You are able to tell how far a man will go by the way they handle their fears. But what do you do when the fear is there
 

Talk about it

A couple of years ago, a neighbor lost their spouse and they had little children. I had lost my mother two years before that and I could just imagine what the kids were going through. On the other hand, it dawned on me that their mother could be going through much worse; the loss of a spouse and probably the bread winner of the house. Suddenly, the fear started creeping in on me. I was afraid that I will lose my spouse as well. It will show up in my dreams and torment me every time he travelled. I gathered the courage and told another believer about this fear. She helped me trace the fear back from when it started and asked me to talk to God about it. Whenever those thoughts came, I will take the time to acknowledge and speak the word of God concerning that fear. Isaiah 46:4 was one of my favorites. Talk about your fears with someone you trust. I believe the fear is no longer a fear when you talk about it. You have just allowed light to shine on it. 
 

Pray about it

Talk to God about it. It is unfortunate, but most believers forget God when it comes to fears. The fear is only there because you forgot about God’s power in the first place. We develop our fears in areas where we have diminished God. When we take our eyes off God and focus on the problems, the problems become bigger and impossible. Fears of getting the same sicknesses of a relative, fear of losing a loved one….Have you asked yourself where God is, in all these. If only we will take our fears to God, we will see the fear dwindle.Ulcers like many autoimmune diseases have been associated with stress and fear. Fearing about the disease is bringing another kind. What I feared have come upon me – Job said in Job 3:25. Be careful what you’re afraid of that you’re not bringing to God. Talk to God about it and the fear will lose its power over you. 
 

Discover its origin with the Holy Spirit

Studies show that we are born with only two fears – falling and loud noise. We learn all other fears. Many children are afraid of a dark room because they believe a monster could hide under the bed. But if you are able to convince a kid, there is no monster even with the dark, they gradually get out of that fear. Where do kids learn this from? Kids learn this fear from the movies they watch or from an older sibling who told them about a monster and a dark room. Similarly, it will surprise you what good it will do for you to know where the fear is coming from. Go on this journey with Holy Spirit and you will be surprised what you will discover. Some fears are from certain events and situations that have marked our minds and emotions for years but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can receive our peace.
 

Faith in the love of God

Fear is a spirit and cannot be wished away – 2 Timothy 1:7 . To defeat fear, you need faith. ” Feed your faith and watch your fear starve to death” – John Mason (You’re Born an original, Don’t die a Copy). Many sit in the hallways of their minds with canvases painting pictures of doom over and over again. They then embellish the dark canvas with yet darker sparkles. They repeat this over and over in their minds. But perfect love cast out fear – 1 John 4:18. Knowing and believing that God loves you will cast out the fear. Our circumstances does not determine the presence of God – Neil Acheampong. It is human nature to default to our fears. We need a constant reminder that we are perfectly loved by God from the word of God to counter that.
 
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love – 1 John 4:18 (NIV)
 

Helping the next generation of believers

Fear is debilitating. It cripples you and keeps you immovable.If we will be honest, we all have fears. Social media has not made it even easier on our youth.I have also noticed that we have different fears at different stages of our lives. A dark room was my greatest fear when I was a kid but not so much any more. My fears I will say have matured to adult fears, fearing the things in life itself. Our children and youth have their fears too. We have to encourage them to talk about their fears. That will start with us acknowledging that we are not super humans and we have fears too. Many issues in our youth are caused by fears. They have forgotten how much they are loved by God. It is not enough to just know of God’s love for you but to believe. If only we will be constant reminders to them of the love of God for them, the Bible says it will cast out the fears. It will liberate them to live fully with talents and abilities God has given them.

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Breakfast is served!

 
In the teaching from the series – Sovereign test – Our Wilderness Experience, our senior pastor (Neil Acheampong) talks about the Israelites receiving their daily manna from God in the wilderness. We learnt that our lives as believers are exact mirror copies of the Israelites. We have been saved from slavery from a place called Egypt (Hell) and we are on our way to the promise land. Heaven is not the promised land for the believer in this case but it a place of abundance promise to us by God. Wells we did not dig, vineyards we did not plant, castles we did not build. Before we get to the promise land we would have to travel in the wilderness where there will be testings to grow our faith for the bigger and better things ahead of us.
 

Jesus, the bread of life

 The manna as the Bible calls it, is angels food. Food provides nutrients for energy and good health.The right foods also boost happiness, increase mental functioning, help maintain the appropriate body weight and prevent specific illnesses. Food is also important for growth and tissue repairs in our bodies. Jesus declares  In John 6:35 ” I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will never hunger”. Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven like the manna the Israelites ate for us believers. Like the Israelites we need that bread that came from heaven to function during the day. The apostle John in his gospel declares that the word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is also the word of God which sustains us in our daily lives. The more we feed on the bread of life the healthier our lives become.

Why did the manna come in the mornings?

Have you ever wondered why the manna only came in the mornings and not anytime else? Because as breakfast, it was important for their daily energy hence work. It is important then to have our daily bread before we step up for the day. Scientist and nutritionist popularly say that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. The body has been starving through the night during sleep. Therefore the first food the body receives when we wake up will determine how the body will perform during the day. Most of us religiously follow the breakfast being important rule but we forget our spiritual breakfast. If a natural breakfast will determine how your body functions and therefore your efficiency during the day, how much more your spiritual breakfast. 

“Meet divinity before humanity every morning” – Neil Acheampong

Spending time with Jesus every morning in the word can change your life. That is not a cliche’. Time is what most of us complain about. Not enough time to carter to everything calling our attention but if we can give the creator of time a bit of our time at the beginning of our day, we will see life differently.We all have 24 hours a day available to us but I’ve still found time to do the things I love when I spend the beginning of my day with Jesus. Because the Holy Spirit helps me subtract what is not necessary from my day. My whole day could be summed up to doing just that one thing the Holy Spirit directed me to do and the day just turns out right. So why don’t you just start some where. Just start with 5 minutes every morning and read just one verse and see how your day goes. Like a ruminant, bring that word back to memory and meditate on it during the day. Feed on the word, the served bread from heaven and get stronger every day.

 

Worried and Troubled about many things?

 
Jesus in the Book of Luke 10 was traveling and visited the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his message whilst Martha prepared something for Jesus to eat as the Middle Eastern culture encourages. Jesus did not scold Martha for cooking, so please don’t stop cooking when you have guest 😀. Martha was worried and troubled about many things as Jesus said in the chapter. Are you serving out of a worried and trouble heart? Is your job causing you sleepless night? Are you worried about that presentation? Worried about the day? Jesus said only one thing is needful. SIT at my feet and have breakfast and the worry and trouble will dissipate. You will also have a new energy to start your day.
 
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty – John 6:35 NIV
 
So, Have you had your breakfast?
 
References:
 
Exodus 16:1-36
Deuteronomy 8:3
John 6:32-35
 

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A New Season!

 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

 

It is fall and the leaves are turning brown and orange. Harvest time is here. The weather is changing , getting colder by the nights and early mornings. Some animals are getting ready for hibernation and others are getting ready for migration to warmer weathers. In the same manner, we prepare for the season by changing our clothing. We keep warm by wearing warmer clothing; We keeps our home and cars warm by turning on the heaters. Some even go to the extent of redecorating their homes to accentuate the season.

 

In the same vein as we have seasons in the natural, there are spiritual seasons too. What is in the natural is only a shadow of what is spiritual. The season you’re in will determine the clothes you wear: winter or summer clothing. It will determine if you will need the air condition or the heater on. As we will feel uncomfortable to dress inappropriately for the wrong weather; we will feel much worse in our spiritual seasons if we wear the wrong gears for the wrong season.  As seasons will always be part of our lives, it makes it important to know the season we’re in, to know the right gear to wear.- Genesis 8:22.

 

Here are some seasons for the believer

 

Waiting

  • There are seasons in which we have to wait and like children, we do not like waiting. Our waiting times though, are the times where we get closer to God. During these periods we tend to depend on God for answers. These periods can also be times of discovery. If we are careful, we would find talents and abilities that God has placed in us that we never knew we had. If only we will enjoy in this season, our eyes would be opened to treasures hidden in us. Treasures needed for the next season. Waiting also teaches us patience which most of us suffers from. It takes patience to catch the right .- Psalm 123:2; Hosea 12:6: Psalm 37:7

 

Exercising of faith

 
  • There are also seasons where we need to exercise our faith as believers. Many believers have sat on many church pews for many years listening to stories of many who exercise their faith in the Bible. But unfortunately, many do not exercise their faith. The righteous shall live by faith – Romans 16:17. For a believer to live, he will have to use his faith at some point. The gear to wear in this season is faith. I personally listen to many sermons filled with messages of faith in this season. I look for God in his word. During times of sickness, I wrote Bible verses on healing and said them to myself continuously. When it come to faith, we have to convince ourselves and therefore we have to continuously hear the word of God. There will be seasons where you would have to curse that disease in the name of Jesus by yourself. There will be times where you would have to believe you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you even when you’re trembling with fear. A season is coming or have already come when you would have to trust God on your own. – James 2:26; Mark 9:23

 

Testing

  • There are seasons where we are tested for what we believe in. Testing times come in many forms. Testing is important for our growth. As a father, God wants us to grow. Our growth is gradual. Little by little God helps us in our growth. So even though it is hard to do (rejoice in our afflictions), we can still see growth even in our testings if we do. Our testings leads to character. These periods are also teachable times where allow the Holy Spirit to teach us. We are also able to help others when they are going through similar times in the future. I have found words and felt sympathy when I see someone grieving a loved one because I have been there. A person who has been through a miscarriage is able to give a word of comfort to another going through it by the grace given to her. We also receive grace as our gear/attire for this season. Grace can only be receive so in this period, you wake up and receive God’s grace everyday for these times. Thank God we go through our valleys but not stay there. I also found some lasting relationships during these periods. God never leaves us alone in that valley but if would open our eyes, he always brings help. I found a group of friends who will pray for me and even visit and encourage. – 1 Peter 1:7 ; James 1:2-4

 

Harvest

  • The gathering of things planted. A joyful time. A time of abundance, joy , peace, good relationship etc. The right gear/attire for harvest is to acknowledge the Lord’s part in harvest. A farmer must do his part first by planting. If we would dig our hands in the dirt wherever we find ourselves in life and plant, there will be harvest wherever we are. This is often seen in our offerings. I have had many financial breakthroughs which I believe I can attribute to the little I bring to God’s house. A farmer during harvest is also careful not to eat all his produce but to plant some. Whatever you have, sow and your season of harvest will come. – 2nd Corinthians 9:10; Exodus 23:16

 

Thanksgiving

  • This season for a believer should be a continual season; for what do we have that we did not receive. Thanksgiving should be our daily gear/attire. Whatever season we find ourselves we must believe it is for a reason. Jeremiah 17:7-8 We are like trees planted by rivers of waters. If planted, then we are intentionally situated in every season. We become thankful knowing that we are planted by rivers of water. Therefore we will be abundantly supplied as long as we keep trusting in the Lord for every season. Our attitude of gratitude is a determinant of our maturity in God. I believe it is a season of Thanksgiving. Be thankful for where you are. God is good and faithful!

 

Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads outs its roots by the river. and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit – NKJV


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Recasting the Vision Our Church (CFC)

In the month of October, our church had the privilege of moving to a bigger space in Woodsboro, MD. We are really excited for the increase God has given us. The Lord has blessed us so much and we are most grateful. Please do visit when you’re in the neighborhood.
 
Usually, we tend to forget what we are all about with success. Also, the most important things are also usually buried underneath the many burdens of life. So, not to loose sight of our vision as a church, our head pastor has been taking us through a series of teachings revisiting the vision of our church.

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5 Questions You Should Ask When Reading the Bible Devotionally

When I was growing up as a new believer in Christ, I learned an acronym which have helped me to read my bible daily during my quiet time with the Lord. The acronym is S P E C S

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