Youth

A Message from Shawn Hall

As we are all blessed in our own ways, take time to recognize your blessings may not be the same blessings as another. Recognize what you've been blessed with and share your blessings with those that do not share the same blessing as you.
What you've been blessed with is not just for you' but for your neighbor as well. We all have different blessings and sharing them with each other is how we live better. By blessing someone with your blessing, you open up the chance to experience their blessing.

Let's all work together and uplift one another towards a better world for ourselves and for mankind. Your blessings will help us get there' as well as the blessings I'm blessed with.

So let's spread our blessings to the world ! Watch the world return the love ten fold!

A Message from Minster Tarrece Givens

In this time of year most of us take this time to verbally and through actions to purposely be thankful. The truth is the matter is though every day of our lives we ought to be thankful for all God has done for us as well as be thankful for the great people he has connected us with and things in this life to help us. Sometimes I just sit and ponder on the things God has done, is doing and what I know he will do in my future. What a great and mighty God he is and we owe him thanks. Thank God for allowing us to live, thank him for family, friends and good associates and connections to help us in the ministry ( - tries) he's called us to. As my late Uncle would say so very often, “we have so much to be thankful for!” As a child I didn't understand but now as a young man I truly understand why he would say what he said. Thank God and his son Jesus for dying on the cross for all of our sins. He died and Rose again for us that we may truly live in him! Thank you Lord God for looking past my habits, hang ups and mess ups that were not pleasing to your divine sight. Thank for saving us, raising us and loving us despite of all we may have done. What a wonderful great God we serve. So I encourage you my brothers and sisters, to thank God for all that he has done, all that he will do and all that he is! Thank God!

A Message from Shawn Hall

As we Iive life things come and go. Friends we make, jobs we acquire, money we accumulate and even the parents we are blessed with. Take time to enjoy these things while they are available. In today's world nothing is promised nothing is for certain and nothing is guaranteed. If you have been blessed with this day take time to spread some love ! We've all heard that love conquers all' and I am a firm believer in this. When you love, do it genuinely and with all of your being. Take time to tell those you love, that you do because tomorrow may never come. Today's blessings maybe tomorrow's missed opportunity. Never take for granted what my not be there tomorrow. Share your love with those you engage with and love, and most importantly share and give your love to The Most High. For He has blessed and shared love with you today by waking you and breathing air into your lungs. Be a staple for love and appreciation, share they love baby ' and share His love !!

By Charles AR

BROKEN BUT BEING PUT BACK TO PIECES

How many times have you felt unsure about being you?
You felt like no one cared, no one understood, no one loved you?
You just felt Broken...
It's like shattered glass on the ground and people are just walking all over you
Not think twice about where they are walking or about if they are going to get cut
But they are just still walking over the glass like you are non existing
1 Timothy 4:12 says, " Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love,[a] in faith, in purity."
You are more than what you see yourself...despite the way people look at you.
You are able to speak out
You are able to be who you want to be in life
Don't let your age be the reason why you can't see yourself Beautiful and Unique
For you were made for such a time as this...You are a Warrior, You are a Peace-Maker
Your youthful look is only a disguise to the natural eye
For you are made to be more than a Conqueror
You are strong, Powerful, Bright, Intelligent, Treasured
You are a King's Kid
Crowned with Royalty
Remember you are somebody no matter what others may say about you.You might be Broken but God is putting the pieces back together. Though you may not understand what has transpired at this very moment. But God is with you every step of the way. Don't look to Find by people but be looked to be found by God through People. You are the Next Generals to go up to war.You will fight this war with your Full Armor of God on. For though you may not think it but you are Fearfully and Wonderfully made. You are can and shall walk by Faith and Not by sight. For God knew the plans for you before you were in your mother's womb. You shall BE UNSTOPPABLE!

By Charles AR

The Water of Uncertainty

The greatest challenge for the human mind is how to have unwavering belief in that which cannot be proven. As humans we seek to find the empirical evidence in everything. What we fail to realize is that everything we know can be questioned with the same logic. Has anyone you know ever analyzed a chair prior to placing their full weight on it when taking a seat? How do they know with certainty that it won’t collapse when they are sitting down? Truthfully, very few if anyone is this analytical in life. We immediately feel the sense of safety when we strap on our seat belts while lacking any full proof evidence that this will prevent us from harm in the event of a collision. The honest truth is that we lack evidence for many things in life and we are all operating in some form of faith. Hebrew 11:1 is a perfect definition for “faith.” It reads: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” To the carnal (natural) man, this is confounding. How can someone have substance for what he hopes for and evidence for what he cannot see? The book of Matthew illustrates this concept flawlessly when Peter walked on water.

Matthew 14:22-33 illustrates a defining moment in faith for the disciple Peter. Here we see Jesus sending the Disciples to the other side of the sea while He departed to pray. Then the disciples see Jesus standing on the water from afar and are frightened with the thought that he was a ghost. Jesus comforts there concern and tells them to be of good cheer for it was HE. Now throughout the 4 gospels Peter is always illustrated as a bold and faithful disciple of Jesus until his denial before Christ was led to be crucified. So it should come to no surprise that out of all the 12, he’d be the one to ask Jesus if he could walk on the water to meet HIM. Here we see Jesus say “Come.” Then Peter gets out of the boat to walk on water until he was frightened by the boisterous gusts of wind and he began to sink. Then we read that Peter asks Jesus to save him and then Jesus pulls him up and questions his faith.

Now how does this relate to you? Well, a good question to ask is “what is the purpose of a boat in water?” It has many functions, but a major one is that it protects you from what’s in the sea and the sea itself. It is therefore a place of refuge and comfort. Hmmm… it is a man made “comfort zone.” We all have been or are still in a comfort zone of some sort and the majority of the time it is not in Jesus Christ. Many times this place of comfort is the “known” or the fallacy of the “known” in our life. This is why our human logic combats with the idea of faith. We love to know things for a certainty or at least think we know. Your comfort zone is many time the things of this world or what you are accustomed to in the flesh like clubbing, getting high, drinking, partying, and many other forms of pleasuring our flesh. Thus when we try to conceptualize the act of leaving it all behind to follow Christ, we are often met with a fear of “uncertainty.” This comfort zone is your boat and the though of exiting it to walk the “unknown” path is the water. In reality we can not walk on water yet the Holy Spirit supersedes and extends beyond our reasoning. The water in your life is that uncertain, uncharted, and untraveled terrain. It takes faith in its supreme form to exit our safety to journey an unknown path in life. Now Peter had no certainty that he would not sink and drown once he left the boat to meet Jesus on the sea, yet he walked on the water without question and his “faith” turned that unstable terrain to a solid path.

Now once we make a decision to step out of the common plots in life to embark in the unknown, we must be prepared for the winds of distraction. The wind that took Peter’s eyes off of Jesus was the enemy we know as Satan. In Ephesians 2:2 he is referred to as the “prince of the air.” In our life this can be facebook, social media, entertainment, lust, addiction, anger, greed, and many more forms of distractions. These are mere conduits for the enemy to take your mind off pursuing Christ. The enemy knows how to utilize the pleasures of this modern day as tools of influence. We are consumed daily in our phones and social networks to a point of being in a trance at times. Now you spend 5% of your day in The Word and 90% in the world. Do not take your eyes off the LORD. Now an important thing to remember is that we are human and mistakes will be made but when we ask The Lord to save us HE is faithful to extend HIS arm and pull us up from sinking. So as you leave your boat of comfort to track the waves of uncertainty, remember to not be distracted by the contrary winds of the enemy. God Bless

A Brand New Start

Have you ever find yourself at a place wondering how and when did you get there? The truth is, in this journey call life we at times find ourselves in the places and positions where a brand new start is what we seek. “A do over” per se. Nicodemus asked Jesus about this brand new start in the book of St. John 3. Since none of us has the ability to enter a second time in our mother’s womb to be reborn, a brand new start seemingly is the best action to take. To have a brand new start in Christ comes from us being born of the water and the Spirit. Its only with this new birth one can become a new creature where old things are passed away and all things become new.

A brand new start in Christ will not happened overnight, however, it will take a discipline and purposeful actions to live in this newness of life. This brand new start begins with a mind transformation. Let this mind of Christ be also in you. As a man thinks in his heart so his he (Proverbs 23 v 7), therefore, a mind transformation will change our current thinking pattern to one that are conducive to our new start. “A believer’s life should change because he or she is being transformed into the likeness of Christ (2 Cor. 3v18). Instead of living for oneself, a believer lives for Christ (2 Cor.5v15). Instead of evaluation others with the values of the world, a believer looks at this world through the eyes of faith (2 Cor. 5 v16). It takes time and patience to for the old things to pass away, therefore, let us be deliberate in this process so we can enjoy all the benefits of having a life in Christ. “Our inner life is really what we think about. Therefore, the way we think determines how we live and who we are. That’s why we need to think about what we’re thinking about.”

What should we think about as we embark on a brand new start in Christ? In Philippians 4 v 8, Paul encouraged us to meditate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and are of a good report. If there be any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy about these things we should occupy our mind with them. Let us not treat this brand new start as a New Year’s Resolution. Let us be conscious and deliberate about every thought, every step, and every action representing this brand new start. This brand new start is not a temporary assignment but a way of life for us as Children of God.

What are the steps one should take to have a brand new start in Christ?

Surrender
Allow God to help you grow as you submit to His authority. “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you.” – 1 Peter 5:6

Humbling yourself before the God of the universe.
Admitting that God is all-powerful and releasing your struggles to Him.
Refusing to escape into the old patterns, habits and attitudes
No longer saying, “I can handle this myself.”
Submitting to God’s way of doing things, even though you don’t understand it.
Getting past your pain and fear and clinging to hope in God and His love for you.
Setting aside your human understanding and becoming childlike, acknowledging that you have no answers that work.

Acceptance
Accept the full reality of your situation. “Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.” – Psalm 139:1

To stop lying to yourself about the failures, sins and heartaches in your life, and to begin to acknowledge the truth about your situation.
To consider what you criticize in others as a clue to what you may be denying in yourself.
To face your past, your pain and your failures head-on.
To stop blaming others for your difficulties.
To seek, receive and apply God’s wisdom
To look at what you’ve done in the light of God’s mercy and grace.
To accept that you are unable to help yourself without God’s help.
To name your character defects and mistakes rather than deny them.

Confession
Begin to open up about the reality of your life. “Confess your sins one to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” – James 5:16

You submit yourself to God’s way of handling secrets, respecting His desire for openness and vulnerability among His people.
You are willing to overcome your fear of rejection by revealing your failures to another person.
You reject your habit of self-protective secretiveness.
You admit to at least one other person that you have fallen short of God’s best, including your character defects and judgment errors.
You have stopped trying to mask your true feelings.
You have chosen to humble yourself before both God and others.
You renounce your independence and admit that you need help from fellow believers.
You put your vague sense of guilt into written or spoken words and express the situation without making excuses.

Responsibility
Take responsibility to make necessary changes for spiritual growth to occur. “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” – Galatians 6:5

You face your problems rather than escape them.
You take the time to grieve your losses and experience pain.
You believe Jesus’ words: “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
You stop playing the role of victim.
You are willing to bear the full responsibility of your misconduct.
You no longer blame others for your sins.
You reach out to Christ, who is fully capable of understanding your emotional pain having suffered abuse and rejection Himself.
You look beyond your losses at God’s deeper purposes.
You accept the hope that God’s plans for you are always good and loving.
You refuse to allow anything from your past to be an excuse for lack of growth or character development.

Forgiveness
Forgive your own failures and the failures of those who have hurt you. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14

You hand back your rights to God (the rights you usurped from Him) and invite Him to be in charge.
Asking for forgiveness and making restitution for the damage you’ve done.
You no longer energize yourself with rage or hatred.
You step out of the past and into the present.
You accept the pardon of the Cross for others as well as for yourself.
You obey Jesus’ instructions to forgive so that you can be forgiven.
You begin a process of forgiveness which may continue for a lifetime, living in the light of God’s forgiveness.
To sift through your life and discard the resentments and hurts of the past.

Transformation
Transform your pain into a purposeful mission out of your desire to share with others and love them. “All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” – II Corinthians 1:3-4

To step out of your pain and into the needs of others.
To participate in God’s process of working all things together for good.
To seek ways of applying past pain to positive purposes.
You stop saying “Why me, Lord?” and start saying, “What do you want me to do?” Being a giver instead of a taker.
Learning to listen rather than always needing to be heard.
You allow your humbling experiences to give you a servant’s heart, investing your spiritual gifts in the lives of others.
The discovery of your God given spiritual gifts and the utilization of those gifts in reaching and serving others.

Preservation
Protect the spiritual gains you have made and persevere through life’s inevitable struggles. “So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.” – 2 Peter 1:5

You establish boundaries that prevent your return to sick and sinful behaviors.
You continue to forgive and to be forgiven.
You avoid secrecy by remaining accountable to others, while being a trustworthy confidant for their secrets.
You choose to be part of a godly community reading God’s Word, meditating upon it, praying daily, and practicing spiritual disciplines.
Developing, with God’s help, a deep and godly character.
Being patient with yourself when you slip.
Moving forward while remembering where you’ve been.
Continuing the process of surrender – day by day, year by year

References:
New Life Ministries.com