"He will feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11
Welcome to The Shepherds Table. Come and feast with us a the Master's Table. Come and rest in His arms as He teaches you, loves you, comforts you, and gives you peace during your troubling season. He longs to gather you into His arms. No matter what your loss may be, whether it is a loss of your job, loss of a family member or friend, loss of your home, and at times it may seem like you are losing your very sanity. He will never leave or forsake you. It does not matter where you have been or what you have done in your past. You do not have to first personally change your life. You do not have to get it all together before you come to His table, but as you feast on His Word and lie in His arms everything in your life will start changing little by little until you start feeling safe in His arms and you will never want to leave His presence again.
When I awakened from sleep this morning the words "it is time for the Kingdom to advance", was ringing from within. I don't think that I was dreaming any profound or prophetic dream; it was simply these words ringing from within. What do these words mean to you? Jesus instructed us, all of us, not just the pastor and evangelist to go in the entire world to preach the gospel, but it seems when we do so all hell breaks loose in our lives. (Mark 16:15) Sometimes it opposes the assignment that God has given us openly and at other times the enemy brings distractions in our lives to keep us in the fox holes of our lives. We are so focused on fighting our personal battles that we are not advancing the Kingdom of God; we are merely surviving by fighting in our foxhole. Anytime you begin to go forward, advancing the Kingdom of God you will be opposed. The enemy often uses the ones you love and respect the most to do so. We expect the ones that do not serve the Lord to oppose us, but we are often taken by surprise when the ones that are supposed to be our staunch supporters begin to turn on us and join our enemy's (satan's) team. Mat 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Mat 5:11 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Mat 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." When you are persecuted, talked about, falsely accused, or put down for the gospel sake, you are good company; Jesus experienced the same and even more so that we could be a part of the Kingdom of God. When there is no one else to do so, encourage yourself just as David did in 1Samuel 30:6 "And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God." My dear brother or sister in the Lord, it is time to get out of the foxhole, hunkered down so busy fighting your own personal battles that you are too distracted to advance the Kingdom of God. Give your battles, your burdens to the Lord, get out your foxhole, and advance the Kingdom of the Lord. It is time march forward, following the mandates of the Word of God, taking territory for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Shalom, Terry
Early one morning hours probably around 4:00 a.m., I was awakened by the coldness of the morning. My husband had turned the heat back a little more than normal and our bedroom had become very cold. I usually have a blanket at the foot of the bed that I could pull up if needed, but the night before I had failed to add the extra blanket. I drifted back asleep, but only to be awakened by the cold once again. I slept for short periods of time, dreaming, only to be awakened by the cold. All I needed to do was get up and get another blanket or turn the heat up, but I was too cold to bring myself to do so, I knew that it was even colder outside the blankets and I did not want to deal with the problem even though the situation could have been resolved very easily and quickly. During the dreamlike state, I thought of the times that I was so cold before that I felt like I was chilled to the bone, I was "bone cold". I remembered the comforting feeling lying beneath several blankets allowing the warmth to saturate my whole being, chasing away the cold, finally feeling warm and comfortable again. This particular morning I was only chilled a little, I was not "bone cold", so I failed to do what it would take to be warm and comfortable again. Is not that where many of us are in our spiritual lives? We feel that nagging feeling in our souls that God wants more for and from us, but it is not worth the trouble to push past the distractions and tiredness of life to get up and do what it takes to carry us deeper in Him and closer to Him. Many of us get in a place of complacency, we are not comfortable where we are and we know what we need to do to make a change for the better, but we do not make the effort that we need to in order to change the situation.
In Luke 11, Jesus tells the story of the strong man that guards his palace.
Luke 11:21, 22, "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil."
This scripture is referring to our condition before we became followers of Christ. When we lived in sin, we had no desire to please God, we were enslaved, were in bondage to the one that we served, the Devil, himself. We were totally blind to the truth of God and our need for salvation until the Holy Spirit opened our eyes and the drawing Spirit of God moved on our hearts, softening our hearts so that we realized that we were in need of a Savior that would bring redemption and salvation our lives. Satan is that strong man, but there is one that is stronger than him and that one is Jesus Christ.
Isa 42:6 "I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
Isa 42:7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Isa 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
Isa 42:9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them."
Jesus came to us and in us to free us from bondage and darkness, revealing to us His beauty and light. He sets us free from bondage. While in sin we did not even understand how bound we were until He opened our blind eyes, shining His glorious light around us and through us.
After a season of rejoicing and basking in the Glory of God, and as we study the Word of God, we begin realize that we need to change our lifestyles. Some of the things we will be delivered from immediately, while others it seems to be an ongoing battle. Everyone's battle is different. I am not at all saying that as time goes on that we should lose our zeal and wonder of all that the Lord has done for us. We should never diminish the impact the delivering power of God has had and is continuing have on our lives. We should be worshipping and praising Him every day for all He has done for us. As we mature in the Lord, He will gradually start revealing to us areas that need change in our lives. He will bring people and situations that are out of our comfort zones which will refine us into vessels that can carry His glory throughout the earth.
Even after receiving the redeeming power and delivering power of God in our lives sometimes strong holds rear their ugly heads. Sometimes it seems like you take a step forward only to take two more steps backwards. Some strong holds can be sin issues while others are not. Regardless these strong holds prevent us from serving God freely. Satan knows just the right buttons to push to keep us bound and distracted us from the cause or calling that He has placed inside us.
James 1:14, But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Satan sees the direction that you are drawn to, the things that entices you, he knows your weakness. In your own mind right now you are probably thinking about that thing that you keep trying to overcome, but it seems that no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot seem to overcome the hurdle placed in front of you.
What is it that has you trapped? Is fear and intimidation? Are you dealing with an addiction such as alcoholism or drug addiction? Are you addicted to cigarettes? Are trying to lose weight, but keep on failing? Are you living beyond financial means, spending more than you earn each week, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? Are you dating someone and every time you go out your sexual urges are getting the best of you? Are you always anxious and worried about everything and cannot seem to find peace? Have you told one lie only to tell another to cover up for the one before and are so guilt laden, living on the edge afraid that someone is going find out the truth? Are you losing your temper with your spouse and/or children and wishing something will change, but no matter how much you try you keep going through the same cycle over and over again? Are you burdened down with depression and have lost the will to live, you want something to change, but you feel so hopeless? Are you burdened down with grief from the loss of a loved one, longing for the time that your joy will be restored?
So over the next couple of weeks join me as we explore how to overcome the strong hold, bad habit, or whatever you want to call it. I truly believe that the answer is within the pages of His Holy Word.
I leave you with these closing scriptures that will start you on the journey of being an overcomer of the strong holds in your life.
II Corinthians 12:9, 10
2Co 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
His grace is truly sufficient for us in every situation that we deal with in our lives. I personally cannot go it alone. I need His strength to rise up in me and conquer the strong holds in my life. I have been told that I am a strong person, but the truth is in myself I am not strong in the least, it is His strength within me that others catch a glimpse of in my time of trouble. It is the power of God that gives the strength to overcome the strong holds in our lives.
Psalms 28:7, 8
Psa 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Psa 28:8 The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
The Lord truly is my strength and my shield. As long as we trust in Him, He will be our strength and He will be our refuge from the storms in our lives. He will rise up within us and show us how to overcome those strong holds that keep us bound, and that keep us from fulfilling the will of God in our lives, keeping us from being all that we are destined to be.
Sometimes God will give us a spirit of discernment about a person or situation. We should always pray before we react. God is not always telling us to withdraw; at times His desire is for us to push in even further. Either way God's desire for the person or situation is that we show His love to everyone, standing in the gap, being a watchman on the wall and interceding with the Heart of God in the situation or for the person. Be blessed.
I serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of more than enough. The God that delivered the Israelites from their oppressors, the Egyptians. He is more than able to deliver you or me from anything that the enemy of our souls places in our paths. He is more than able to heal us, deliver us, and give us the desires of our hearts. He is a loving God that loves His children. He will not give you a stone for a piece of bread or serpent for a fish. He will come to your rescue in your time of need. He just wants you to believe and trust Him. God bless, Shalom,
My favorite music is Contemporary Christian, but I do love the song "in the Garden" It is clear that the man that wrote this song had an intimate relationship with God. He understood loving God was not about what he received from God, but more about a communion with God, the longing in his heart that is experienced when you desire to be with the one you love and knowing that God has the same longing within His Heart. So I am singing today, Lord, I would stay in the garden with you, though the night around me be falling, but you bid me go with a voice of woe, but within my heart You continuously are calling me. So I go forward today, Lord, at your bidding to be about your business as I walk out this daily walk. Lord, please be with me because I do not want to go if you do not go with me. I truly love You, Lord.
IN THE GARDEN I come to the garden alone While the dew is still on the roses And the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses. Refrain
And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me Within my heart is ringing.
I'd stay in the garden with Him Though the night around me be falling, But He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.
Lord, I give you this day to do with as You please. Guide my feet, hands, and voice that everything that I do will give you glory and honor. Lord come and be a light in me in the middle of all that I do today. Love you Lord more than life itself, You are truly my everything. I deserved hell, but You gave me love and abundant life beyond measure.
"Just a closer walk with thee, Grant it Jesus is my plea, Daily walking close to thee, let it be, dear Lord, let it be." This truly is my heart's desire. (sometimes don't you just love those old hymns)
To base our relationship with Jehovah God on Him just providing our needs is to have the spirit of an orphan. Instead our relationship with Him should be based on Him being our Heavenly Father who loves us dearly and will not withhold anything that does not do harm to ourselves or others. Psalms 21:2, "You have given him his heart's desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah." When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become sons and daughters of God. Galatians 4:4-6, " But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." Thus when we petition the Father, we should go with the attitude of an heir, an attitude of a son or daughter of a Father that loves and adores them instead of an attitude of an orphan. It is time go boldly to the throne (Hebrews 4:16) with our requests as sons and daughters, not like a pitiable orphans begging for bread or attention. Be blessed.
The celebration of Christmas is coming to an end. Many have already packed up their Christmas ornaments in storage or on closet shelf to pull out again later. Sad, but true so many of God's children do same with Jesus, the very one the celebration is supposed to be all about. Just as the ornaments are packed away until one feels a need for them again, many do the same with Jesus. When their lives are going just like they desire, they feel no need of Him, who gave His life for them, but as soon as trouble comes knocking at their back door, they cry out for Jesus and He graciously answers their cry for help. It is time for us to make each day a celebration of the gift of salvation that Jesus purchased with His life. It is time for us to give Him honor not just with our words, but with our lives, reflecting His love and holiness in our everyday lives. It is time for us to return the love that He so freely gives right back to Him and to others that cross our paths.
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the United States in 1621 with the purpose of thanking God for His blessings and keeping power over the last year. Thanking God today for His many blessings and keeping us always in the good times and the rough times. Loving my God even more today, grateful for His great Love, Mercy and Grace. Shalom, Terry
We truly appreciate all that you have done to support our ministries. There has been much expansion since the first of the year. Our TV program at one time was aired two times a month, is now a weekly program as of April of this year. We are beginning to have more guests. Look for even more changes as the year continues. B. J. Sims who has assisted us in previous years, has agreed to assist us with directing some of our live programs.
God has blessed us with a new ministry, The East Africa Missions. Through this ministry, we now have a church and orphanage in Kisii, Kenya, The Kisii Kenya Fellowship, under the umbrella of The Shepherd's House Ministries. Moanga Ontiri is the founder and pastor of the Kisii, Kenya Fellowship and is doing a great work for our Lord Jesus in Kisii. Pastor Moanga is humble in spirit and very enthusiastic about the work of the Father. We are eternally grateful for Bishop Nelson Wesamoya for his assistance for overseeing the growth and instruction of this great ministry in Kenya. Bishop Nelson is a man after God's own Heart, and he makes many sacrifices to be about the Father's business in East Africa. He oversees a well-founded ministry that has been in existence since the 1990's. His ministry headquarters is located in Mbale, Uganda. Since the beginning of the year with your generous donations, we have raised enough money to build 5 decker beds as well as enough money to purchase 10 mattresses and blankets for the beds for the children in Kisii. We have been sending money each month since March, to feed the children and for urgent needs such as uniforms for school, school fees, medicines, and other needs. We have sent them money to buy "inputs" (seed or plants) for them to grow their own beans. We have accomplished much, but there is much more to be done. We now have 8 out of 16 children sponsored at $20 per month. The twenty dollars donation only takes care of feeding and clothing the children, it does not cover school fees, school uniforms, and medicines for the child. Our next project is raising money to build them a church. This will be done in 3 phases. I will know more about the cost of each phase after Bishop Nelson's visit to Kisii this week. This week he will be meeting with Pastor Moanga and the church board about plans concerning the church building and instructing them other manners as well.
Those of you that have already donated sponsorship money and other donations, we will be getting receipts to you in the near future. We do not have a 501c3, but will be applying for this very soon. We are tax exempt in the state of North Carolina. We have appointed 3 new board members and will be meeting this week. During this session we will be looking at expansion of the ministry as well as scheduling times to work on our 501c3 paperwork. We have asked Peggy Harris to be our new Treasurer and she has graciously agreed to do so. We are very excited about all that God is doing for and through this ministry. We desire yours prayers that we will always be in the perfect will of God. Thanks again for your support financially and through your prayers of faith.