Turning Eyes Toward the Father

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Luke 6:22-23 (New International Version)22 “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” 23″Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.” I will be the first to admit I am not the most righteous of people. I am still growing in the Lord and I have my faults and failures just like any other human being on the face of the earth. It may be hard for some of you to believe the emails I receive can be quite rude, blaming and downright unloving. They range from some of my thoughts to some of my links on the links page etc. So here is my thought on the matter. Lets say that perhaps i have a link that you find “offensive” because of what “little” you have seen of the person on TV or heard them on radio. Lets even go so far to say that you are right and I am wrong. I saw God clean his house in the 1980′s with televangelist that were in sin; I saw him clean his house of the wrongs some catholic priest were doing in the 1990′s-2000′s. If some of who are on my links are deceiving me and others; then i trust God will clean his house of those too. But here is my rub; don’t blame me for having them on my links page. I vouch for those I personally do know and others will come to light. If you are going to write me have the courage to tell me your name and also be “nice.” If it makes you that angry. Then just go away! My goal is to turn eyes toward the Father, not men or man. God uses people and he uses people who fail and at times had wrong motives. I place links as resources to help the body of Christ. I am sure I will regret a few in my lifetime. Big deal. I too will move on. I pray Idon’t have anyone on my list who is “conning” anyone. But if I do i trust God to reveal it to me and to move things along. There have been a few who like in Luke 6 have decided i have no credibility and have insulted me etc. To them I say; if you are offended practice the word and forgive me and then go read a lesson or two on love. It doesn’t matter what is said if the person you said it to cant receive it because of the way you said it. No matter how truthful it is. I find we often hate what we don’t understand or perceive as different. Don’t get me wrong I do like input from all of you and value it and take it all very seriously. I just prefer it come to me in the form of love and not an attack.

Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people learn to deal with brother and sisters in the Lord with Love.

God can work all things for good….if we let him

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Romans 8:28 (New International Version) 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
According to some manuscripts they state “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God” “Or works together with those who love him to bring about what is good—with those who.” I have pondered and meditated on that scripture because I hear many people misquote it or quote it to fit their philosophy and to keep God in their box of who he is. I work in an Emergency Department and as I watch tragedies unfold in peoples lives and drama unfold upon others lives, I pondered Romans 8:28. I was asking myself How do I tell the lady who just lost her baby that all things work together for good for those love God and have been called according to their purpose? I have seen people who have had hard times and tragedies and are still committed to the Lord and his ways and I have seen others drop off like a flea that was just swatted and give in to hard heartedness and bitterness and walk away from the Lord. So my conclusion has been that we have to allow God to work good in our life. That as the New International version states that “In all things God works for Good..” Psychiatrist and Psychologist with better minds than mine can tell you why people interpret and quote scripture to fit their belief rather than to seek what it truly does say. Today I hope you look at this scripture differently than you previously have and allow God to work good in all things in your life.

Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people allow God to work in their life even during the most difficult of times.

Continue in God’s Grace

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Acts 13:43 (New International Version)43″When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.” I have to remind myself that I have God’s grace on me to live the life he has for me and fulfill my assignment on this earth. I have also come to realize that when I live my life differently from the “norm” of others that I am walking and living under a special grace that others may or may not understand. I am sure some of you know what I speak of. God’s grace gives us a peace that passes all understanding and helps us to remain calm when we see others cracking under the stress of life. Don’t get me wrong there are days I seem to be cracking under the stress of life but the difference is I close the door and pray for God’s grace and wisdom to manifest itself in my spirit and life. It’s true I have failed and fail but I keep pursuing Jesus and his word and he gives me the grace I need. Aren’t you glad and comforted by the fact we have a God who is engaged in our life and has given us his Holy Spirit to remain with us on this earth as our comforter. Hebrews 4:16 (New International Version)16″Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Today is a good day to boldly approach the throne of grace and receive the grace to help you deal with whatever your going through. We serve a loving God.

Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people learn to walk in the grace God provides.

We are Forgiven!

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Jeremiah 31:34 (New International Version)34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” I think the greatest gift ever given to us was the gift God gave us of his son Jesus. I believe the greatest benefit of any gift ever given us was the forgiveness of our sins and cleansing from our own wickedness. Whether I ever wanted to believe it or not, my own sin was what had brought me the most pain in my life. It wasn’t necessarily what others had done to me or said to me, it was my own actions that caused my greatest pains. James 1:13-15 (New International Version)13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. We have been witnessing the deaths of many celebrities and well known people in our culture. Some have been as a result of their own sin catching up with them. As the scripture states it’s when sin becomes full grown it leads to death. I wonder how many of my friends and colleagues and acquaintances may be walking around spiritually dead because they have given over to sin and thinking they just can’t conquer it? Remember ; a “sin state” is what we were before Christ entered our lives; now we can live in a “life state” knowing the price was paid and we are cleansed and forgiven. Thank the Lord today for the price he paid for us!

Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people walk in God consciousness not sin consciousness

Keep The Faith

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Psalm 25:10 (New International Version) 10 “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.” During these challenging times I am reminding myself of God’s faithfulness and love toward me. My God loves me and thinks good thoughts about me and still has a plan for me to live out his word for the assignment he has placed on my life. His anointing is still on me whether I succeed or fail and though I stumble he will always be available to pick me up, dust me off and encourage me to carry on. According to the scripture God looks over the earth to find those of us whose hearts remain devoted to him. He isn’t sitting on the throne of Heaven disengaged or uninterested in life and our problems. He is faithful and just to finish the work he started in us. When Jesus died on the cross God didn’t stop working in Jesus because his physical body wasn’t alive anymore. He continued to be with his son and see to it that his plan for Jesus to be resurrected and salvation and freedom for all mankind would take place. So if you are like me and you struggle at times from the battle; remind yourself of God’s faithfulness. There are many voices pulling at you. Listen to the one that matters.

Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people remind themselves of God’s faithfulness.

Can They tell?

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Acts 4:13 (New International Version) 13″When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter and John were ordinary people like you and I. You and I have a lot in common with them. Just like you and I they responded to the call from Jesus to “follow him.” They were with Jesus everywhere he went. They listened to his teachings, asked him questions, went through very hard times wondering if it all was real or just a social cause. They had hope only to watch it get deferred. They had a dream only to watch him die. They had major disappointment because things didn’t turn out as they had thought they were going to turn out. Yet after all that they still followed the Lord. Jesus knew what they needed and gave it to them at the time they needed it. Notice the scripture says that the people saw the disciples courage and basically began to judge them to see what qualified them to be so courageous. Their assessment was that, “these men had been with Jesus.” I ask myself this question, “Can people tell if I have been with Jesus?” Do my actions, words and faith reflect that I have been spending time in reading the word of God, praying and speaking confidently about my assignment in this life? I have to confess, I fail; that’s why I need Jesus. The disciples failed and yet Jesus comforted them, encouraged them and they took courage that it would be OK. A man I had the privilege of meeting and praying for me was Derek Prince. Right before Derek passed on to be with the Lord his instructions to the church and people following his ministry was to “carry on.”Let me encourage you today to spend the time with Jesus to get the courage you need to carry on and carry out your assignment. I am sure there are times it doesn’t look like I spent time with Jesus. The battles make us all weary. Today choose to be with Jesus.
Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people spend time with Jesus and are blessed with the strength and courage they need to carry on.

The Lord Looks To Strengthen Us.

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This is one of those mornings where I woke up feeling overwhelmed with what life has thrown at me. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t whining and I will be the first to tell you I am a blessed man living in a blessed time serving a blessed Lord. I pray Psalm 103 aloud, “forgetting not all his benefits.” You know as well as I do even when we walk with the Lord and we are taking ground in our lives that the opposition does all it can to stifle us and discourage us. If you don’t recognize that perhaps you aren’t in the fight. Many times opposition signifies we are making some sort of progress. But the encouraging thing is found in 2 Chronicles 16:9 (New International Version)
9 “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
Our Lord is a good Father who daily cares for his family and looks to strengthen us when he finds us down or possibly struggling. He doesn’t walk by and say something like “Oh well that’s their problem,” Our Father actually looks for us and looks to see if we need to be strengthened. That is very encouraging. Our heavenly Father hasn’t left us to be devoured by sin, sickness, disease, or opposition. He is right where he said he would be; Looking for us. Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people rely on a strength that’s not their own.

It Pays to serve the Lord

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It pays to serve the Lord. I don’t mean God is standing there with a financial paycheck waiting to distribute because you simply obeyed him. Read Psalm 103. It is one of my favorite Psalms. The psalmist implores us by writing in verse 2, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all all his benefits.” I pray this Psalm aloud and declare to the spiritual forces that my God has done all these things for me. Think about it; through God’s love, and Jesus obedience and Love for us our sins are forgiven, diseases healed, life is redeemed from the pit, we are crowned with love and compassion. We are also satisfied with good things, our youth is renewed, the Lord is working righteousness on our behalf and the Lord is slow to get angry and is compassionate and loving toward us. God is all that toward us because he loves us. God likes us! God did this for us before we were physically born on the face of this earth. Psalm 103:12-13 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.” The Lord has compassion on us and our sins are forgiven. What a blessed glorious thing. Today read Psalm 103 out loud and declare to the spiritual forces that God has you protected and blessed. I am thankful. Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people focus on the Lord and thank him for his blessings.

This is the day the Lord has made!

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Psalm 118:24 (New International Version)24 “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” God’s mercies toward us are made new every morning. This probably isn’t a new revelation to you except to say that making a choice to wake up and realize it may be. I have gotten to a point where I awaken in the morning and I lay in bed and praise the Holy Spirit for some time. Before my feet hit the floor I am thanking the Holy Spirit for the new day and the adventures that will come with it. I am consciously developing a deeper walk and trust with the Holy Spirit. Jesus had made mention that every day has enough trials of it own that we shouldn’t be worrying about tomorrow but trusting God for today. Today I agree with the scripture and will remind myself that this is the day my father has created and seen fit to allow me to be on the face of the earth to enjoy, rule over it and live! Today as I work and receive emails that are filled with the problems and cares of this world; my thoughts will be based on God and his word. I will not allow my joy to be robbed because this world is in turmoil. Join me. Pray for others and our Pastors and Priests and Godly leaders in the land and world.
Howard’s Helpful Hints: Centered people center themselves in their relationship with the Lord and enjoy his presence throughout the day.

Seek First the Kingdom and Righteousness

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Matthew 6:33 (New International Version)33″But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I remember one day waking up and seeing this scripture differently than I previously had. I had always been a man who was seeking the kingdom of heaven but I wasn’t necessarily seeking his righteousness. I find many Christians today who will tell me that the things they do are OK with the Lord. They listen to what they want, eat and drink what they want and then wonder why they are in the condition they are in. I’m not one to be restrictive and trust me when I say I have to protect myself in these areas as well. I judge no one. Then that day I started seeking God’s righteousness. I started spending more time in the word (the bible), I started praying more consistently and I started placing more order in my life. That’s what “seeking his righteousness” will do for you. Despite the fact we aren’t perfect we can have excellence in our life. Dictionary.com has a note on righteousness which is,”Note: Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it chiefly occurs, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law.” That note is what I am trying to convey. To conform to God’s way of living and not the world’s. I believe it is something for me to reach for and consistently do. I also believe it is possible to daily attain, but only if we seek it. Please read this and understand God is a loving faithful forgiving God. So when I don’t attain or walk in the righteousness God intended; I know that is still available for me. It’s available for us all. So today don’t just seek his kingdom; seek his righteousness too. Howard’s Helpful Hint: Centered people learn to seek the wholeness of God in their relationship with him.