Praise Center Church Online

Pentecost – “The Birthday Of The Church.”

Be Hope for the Hopeless – Wednesday May 27, 2020

 

According to Christian Headlines a new survey was done where they polled 800 high school students and 800 post-secondary students ages 13-22 and they found that 67% said they are either praying more often or thinking about spiritual issues more since the CoronaVirus Pandemic. Part of the report said “I believe that young people are far more interested in prayer and spiritual issues during the Covid-19 pandemic than before because everything they focused on or sought for security has come to a halt and is quickly fading. Schools, businesses, corporations as well as churches are closed, states are losing money every day and unemployment is very high. All the things they depended on for security and happiness are gone, and with that so is their hope. I believe that young people are trying to retrieve that hope in God. ” (Rev. Anthony Thompson)

 

With everything coming to a quick stop and with little to no forewarning, jobs, schools and everything that we have depended on for security and happiness have been pulled out from under us. Since all of our lives have been affected somehow; for some their health and finances have been impacted while others have been able to enjoy some time to slow down. Whatever category you find yourself in let me remind you that we need to be looking for “The coming of the day of the Lord.” It certainly is going to come and we see so many signs pointing to the fact that it can be soon. And considering this “what manner of persons ought we to be?” There is a good reason why Christ has not returned. He does not want anyone to perish. He provides time and opportunity for us to do what He called us to do so that those who are lost can find salvation in Him.

 

2 Peter 3:11-15 “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation… (NKJV)

 

I think reading this scripture in another translation may help us to understand a little clearer what Peter is saying. 2 Peter 3:11-15 “Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day —   but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness. So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. Interpret our Master’s patient restraint for what it is: salvation.” (THE MESSAGE.)

 

As believers we have a duty to fulfill, this earth will soon be dissolved away, there is a fiery judgment coming, and there is only one thing that will last and that is what we do for Christ and since what we do for Jesus Christ is the only thing that will survive don’t you think we should prayerfully consider what we are investing our lives in?

 

Shouldn’t the knowledge of what is coming affect the way we live? Since this earth and everything in it will be dissolved what should we be giving our greatest attention and devotion to? This is a good time to examine our heart and our lives.

 

We should not be so preoccupied with when Christ is returning or what is going to happen but we need to be occupied with what is happening today.  What did I do today that made a difference in my life or in the life of another?

 

We need to live expecting and earnestly longing for that day but we also need to be preparing and taking this time to examine the priorities in our life.  Are we investing in eternity or are we consumed with things that will one day burn up and be consumed by fire?

 

Peter tells us how to prepare. Believers must live holy and godly lives. To be Holy means respect, awe and reverence, to be pure morally, sinless and to be separated and entirely different from this world, to be a holy place. Godliness means to live in reverence to be so conscious of God’s presence that you live just as if God would live if He were here walking on this earth. It means to seek to possess His character nature and behavior.

 

Yes we have a duty to fulfill and we can quicken the day of Christ’s return by living in such a way that all these young people who are looking for hope will see Christ in us and will be attracted to the God that we love, the God who has given us hope. The more they see our peace filled attitude as God carries us through the difficulties and trials of life the more they will be attracted to the Christ that is in us. The result will be more souls won “and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (v. 15). Yes, many are looking for hope so let’s give them a reason to expect with confidence and anticipate that salvation in Christ alone is the one thing that they need more desperately than anything else.

 

The scripture tells us God is longsuffering (patient) because He does not want anyone to perish.  Who knows it could be your son, daughter, grandchild or the person that you share Christ with that will be the last person to hear the Good News of the Gospel and then Christ will return. But until then let’s give others a reason to Hope.  

 

Living a holy life makes us the light that shines in the increasing darkness and uncertainty of our day and gives hope to the hopeless.

 

We look forward to worshiping with you on our YouTube channel this Sunday Morning at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship and a powerful message by Pastor Rodriguez.

In His Service,

Francine

 

Prayer: If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.  

 

Online Church Services: Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

 

The Complacent Generation

The Promises of God – Wednesday May 20, 2020

How are you doing today? How are you doing through all these changes? Yes, I really want to know how you are doing.  As our city is slowly opening back up, are you excited or are you having second thoughts? Are you thinking, I don’t want to move too quickly, but I need to get back to work, I need to get back into the house of God, but what if…? Is all this news weighing you down, making you feel confused, and zapping your energy? All of this prolonged isolation certainly can make us feel disconnected and uncertain. God created us for community so its normal that we are feeling out of sorts. And this world is certainly different than it was a few months ago.

 

It seems that we are living in a world that is consumed with fear right now, fear of sickness, death, finances, fear of what is going to happen to us and to our economy. We may lose our earthly material things, and although it will be hard we can start over but we have an eternal home so even if the worst should happen to us remember God is with us!

 

Sometimes it seems that our emotions are swinging on the end of a clocks pendulum going from one extreme to the other. We worry about what we don’t know, but if we knew, we would worry about that to. We cannot allow the fear of all the “what if’s” to control us, because they will certainly drag us down, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

I’ve asked myself “what gives some people the ability to be strong and courageous in the face of adversity?” How do some people just know what to do and when to do it? When I find myself asking so many questions I try to find something in the bible that can give me an answer or at least give me some comfort.  

 

In the book of Joshua, we read about Joshua facing an uncertain future when Moses commissioned him to lead a nation to their homeland. The land of promise. In order to enter the promise land they had to drive out the present inhabitants, that meant a battle was about to begin. No one likes a battle, but there are times when we will be face to face with the enemy. What are we going to do? Run…or do we stop running and face our fears?

 

Elijah the great prophet of God ran when Jezebel vowed to kill him, but God patiently followed him and reminded him that he wasn’t finished with him yet. God gave him a new perspective and reminded him he wasn’t alone. God in His compassion renewed and refreshed the Prophet and he reentered the spiritual battle to which he had been called.  Sometimes like Elijah we get our eyes off of God and His promises and we become fearful and run just like Elijah did. Or maybe we avoid, if I don’t look at the problem I don’t have to deal with it. It’s not going to go away so face it and stop pretending.  

 

God told Joshua two things that would keep him strong and courageous: The promise of God and the presence of God would be with him. He wasn’t going alone into an unseen future, several times God had to tell him, fear not, why? Because he was afraid!

 

God gave Joshua an unconditional promise and he gave him two conditional promises:

 

Unconditional Promise:I will be with you.”

 

Conditional Promise One:Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left.”

 

Conditional Promise Two:Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it… then you will be prosperous and successful.

 

God would never leave him, but prosperity and success could if he did not follow God’s Book of the Law. What God told Joshua was, your responsibility is to stay focused on the Book of the Law (The Word of God) I’ll take care of the rest. The promises of God, gave Joshua the confidence that he needed to successfully fight the upcoming battle.

 

God wants us to carry the same confidence into the battles we face every day. He has armed us with an impenetrable armor so that we can stand our ground against our enemy Satan. (Eph. 6:13) God wants us to claim the land for His Kingdom, he wants us to be successful and prosperous but fear holds us back. Courage to move forward is found only in the promises of God and in His presence. God promised Joshua “I will give you every place where you set your foot as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend…” (Joshua 1:3)  Fear paralyzes us and we freeze but remember the promise, and lift up that foot, now put in back down and lift the other, you can do it, pick up the sword in your hand (The Word of God) and with confidence march on and let’s take the land for Our Lord and extend our territory. 

 

When we live in fear, we believe that God is unable to provide for us, protect us or defend us. The next time you are fearful ask yourself. What can man or my emotions or life’s circumstances do to me? When you remember that God is with you, you will find a remedy for your fear. Read it, it is written “the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  (Deut. 31:8)

 

Psalms 1:1-3 (NKJV) Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

March on! And as you lift each foot watch how you walk, where you stand and who you sit with. As The Pastor always says “Keep your face in the book, (Bible) and get it out of face book.”

 

We look forward to worshipping with you on our YouTube channel this Sunday Morning at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship and a powerful message by Pastor Rodriguez.

 

In His Service,
Francine

 

Prayer: If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.  

 

Online Church Services: Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

 

Keeping Your Heart Right In Uncertain Times

The Lord is My Shepherd – Wednesday May 13, 2020

In the ancient lands of the bible, the term shepherd was applied to Kings, especially in Israel. In Isaiah 40:11 God himself is viewed as the shepherd King of Israel. “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.” Ezekiel 34:11-16 gives us a description of the true Shepherd who searches and seeks out His sheep when they are scattered, He says “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; …”

One of the most familiar and comforting descriptions about our shepherd King is Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…” Here David describes God’s care in providing guidance, protection, and an abundance of refreshing rest even in our darkest days. The Hebrew translation of the first part of this verse is “Jehovah Rohi”, it means “The Lord my shepherd.” As we read this chapter we can envision a flock of beautiful white fluffy sheep grazing on a field of beautiful green grass with a brook of cool refreshing water for them to drink to their heart’s content. How peaceful, satisfied, and carefree are these sheep.

Hmm… life isn’t always like this picture I am imagining right now.

According to Isaiah some of the flock are weak, and even unable to walk, some are pregnant, and some are nursing their young. Isaiah is speaking of Christ our Jehovah Rohi our shepherd. And he didn’t come just to tend the strong and healthy sheep, but he came also for the scattered, weak, wounded, diseased, broken, and lost.

Isaiah 40:10 says “Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for Him;” His arm represents his power, ruling and in control. He comes not only with strength and power but with the tenderness of a shepherd who loves his flock. David the author of Psalm 23 himself was a shepherd, tending a few sheep in a desert wilderness. (1 Sam. 17:28)

The wilderness in the bible denotes a place of separation and solitude. In the wilderness, there are few distractions and the uncertainties of a wilderness create a need for God and a dependence upon God. This is a place where there was plenty of time to think. I’m sure David thought of all the times he led his sheep out of danger, how he had to fight for them against a lion or attacking hungry predator, what about all the times he had to bind up their bruises sometimes even having to carry them to safety, he would even sleep next to them. He knew each one by name and they knew his voice and most of the time followed close.  I’m sure they didn’t know how well they were watched. David must have spent a lot of time thinking about how very much God is like a good shepherd.

David the shepherd boy draws us into the scene and shows us how our Shepherd God leads us to a place where will shall not want. Yes we may be in a wilderness right now, this pandemic has changed our routines and our lives, wherever we are at we can know that God knows us by name and His heart is wide open to us ready to bind up our wounds or to provide some refreshing life-giving water.

Sometimes we forget that we have a resting place and we wander off, He knows our pain, our grief, our limitations our weakness, and our bleating always reaches his ears Our Shepherd has tender care and concern for his lambs. God cares for the needs and problems of every individual in a personal way. We need to say like David did “The Lord is MY Shepherd. Make it personal, He is MY resting place. A lost sheep never has to go looking for the shepherd, the shepherd looks for the lost sheep.

As a King, he has all power and authority, yet as a shepherd, he has compassion and care. “Shepherd,” say it out loud it sounds so comforting, I feel the security, the tenderness, compassion, protection, and provision. But that word would mean nothing if I couldn’t say “The Lord is My Shepherd” Yes I may be a part of a flock but just the word ‘my’ tells me that this is personal. My shepherd watches over me, my shepherd loves me, my shepherd has compassion for me, and my shepherd even knows my name. “Every morning the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” (John 10:3-4)

To know that God the King of Kings, Jehovah Rohi, the Great Shepherd is mine, brings such peace, that yes I can find rest even in the middle of the wilderness and calamities of this world because He is watching over me and He loves me with an everlasting love. Whatever tomorrow may bring whatever is lurking around the dark corner, He, my Shepherd, goes before me.

In the wilderness the secret to confidence is to delight in communion with God, beholding all His perfection. Use this time to get to know the Great Shepherd personally.  When you are with the one you love, the most desolate place can become a well-watered garden, just their presence alone can transform the darkest of places into a place of beauty. So let’s take our eyes off of all that surrounds us and gaze upon the beauty and goodness of the Lord.

I will close our time together with part of my favorite chapter in the bible. Psalm 27 “One thing have I desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me…”

Maybe you don’t know this loving Shepherd, He is here watching and waiting for you. He says “I am the Good Shepherd. The shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) He has found you, now He is waiting for your response. It’s time to cast all your care on the One who loves you and wants to help you.

“The King of Love my Shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am His And He is mine forever.” Henry Baker

We look forward to worshipping with you on our YouTube channel this Sunday Morning at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship and a powerful message by Pastor Rodriguez.

In His Service,

Francine
 

Prayer: If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.  
 

Online Church Services: Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

The Outbreak Of Praise

His Banner Over Me Is Love – Wednesday May 6, 2020

We have become so accustomed to the speed of light technology. The media, cell phones, satellites, global positioning systems. It is hard to remember what life was like without the technology that we have today. How did we ever stay in touch before this era of such vast technology? And now with Social Distancing, it seems as if we need it even more. I can call you on my cell phone, zoom, email a document, and I can face time and see others on the other side of the world in an instant. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

I’m sitting here wondering how did they stay in touch in the Bible days, how did they navigate uncharted territory? They didn’t have what we have today but there was still a need to stay in touch, they needed organization and they had to convey plans to such a vast number of people.

Imagine you have twelve tribes of people, just one tribe the tribe of Judah alone had an army of 74,600. (Numbers 1- 2) There was a total of 603,550 men, Moses, Aaron the twelve leaders of Israel each representing his family and all the Israelites 20 years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army.

God was ordering Moses to move on from Sinai, and now they were preparing to march on to Canaan which was around 316 miles away. Their armies were organized, they had laws, (Ten Commandments) and the tabernacle to worship. They not only had to move a lot of people they had to move a lot of stuff even the furnishings for the tabernacle, but they also had to set up tents, and they had to do it all without a GPS system, cell phone, computers to email each tribe, or moving trucks they didn’t even have Walkie Talkies. Wow! How did they do it? We seem to have a difficult time getting everyone ready and out the door on Sunday morning.

Sometimes, God’s ways don’t make sense to us, but they always work. Before this age of technological advancement in the days of the bible, they used banners- flags that identified, designated, and communicated to the different groups. A banner was a flag bearing a symbol, or message also called a standard. In Exodus 17:15 Moses built an altar to the Lord after the defeat of the Amalekites and he called it Jehovah-Nissi “The Lord is my Banner”. If we put our trust in “The Lord our Banner” He will lead us, guide us, and give us victory. The Bible is God’s standard and is like a banner that can be raised to proclaim the Word of God. When we follow the banner we are safe and are reminded that God, our Warrior, stands against the enemies of His people. (Read Isaiah 59:15-21)

Under God’s leadership, Moses transformed and organized a mass of people. Twelve tribes were organized into four groups of three tribes each. The lead tribes of the four groups had banners or standards. Every man knew his place by their banners or standards, they knew when to pitch their tent and when to move forward. They marched in formation and moved to the next place as God gave them instruction. The banner gave one a place of identity, a rallying point, and a reference point. The raising of a banner would instantly bring order to chaos. It conveyed the message and gave direction. The trumpets sounding called the community together or sounded for battle, there was a different sound for each command and they all knew what each sound meant.

I’m thinking of the uncharted territory we are going through right now and I need a banner to follow. At this time we can’t congregate in our church houses and that leaves me feeling a little lost and alone, although I know I have Jesus and I am never alone, we were created to be social beings and we need each other.

Judah was the first of the warrior tribes to march (Judah means “Praise”) and then the tribe of Dan (Dan means “a judge”) would lead the tribes responsible for protecting the Israelites from behind. The other tribes fell in between. God goes before us and he is our rearguard. He will judge the situation for us. We just have to fall into place under the banner and listen for the trumpet sound.

Our God is an awesome God. Whenever we find ourselves going into uncharted territory remember like the tribe of Judah at the front, Praise to Our God should always go before us. There is power and direction in praise.

Stop and take a breath if you’re feeling like you need some direction and remember that you were once lost and Jesus was lifted up for you. He said, “if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” The banner was lifted up that day that Jesus was lifted up on the cross for you and for me. You have been chosen by God, you are His very elect. How precious is His unfailing love for us!

This takes me to Song of Solomon 2:4 When the Shulamite says, “He brought me to the banqueting house and His banner over me was love,” She knew and so did everyone else that when he publicly lifted up his banner over her his intentions towards her was love, she knew that she was set apart from all others, there was no doubt that she belonged to him and he to her.

We are the beloved of God and He is raising His banner over us in this chaotic world. When we are under the banner of love we will know whose we are and to whom we belong. Uncharted territory, a new normal who knows what tomorrow will bring? One thing I do know is that I don’t go alone. God’s banner over me is love! Yes, I am my beloved and He is mine, his banner over me is love. God can bring order out of chaos just look to the banner.

If you’re looking for direction look up and look for the blood-stained banner (The Cross) the one with the heart in the center that has your name on it and as you look remember the forgiveness, acceptance, and God’s unfailing love. Now that’s something to praise God for! Excuse me I think I feel a jubilant praise coming on.!

“Whenever we find ourselves going into uncharted territory remember: “Praise to Our God should always go before us.”

We look forward to worshipping with you on our YouTube channel this Sunday Morning at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship and a powerful message by Pastor Rodriguez.

In His Service,
Francine

Prayer:
If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.

 

Online Church Services:
Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

Rejoicing Under Pressure

Is There Not A Cause? – Wednesday April 29, 2020

Let’s face it we are living in a difficult time, or should we call it a different time, either way, we are not used to this lifestyle. We are used to running, doing and going. We didn’t see this coming did we? But no matter what the world throws at us, a virus, sickness, fear, anxiety, financial distress, being quarantined, being overwhelmed, temptations and even confusion- yes it does seem like a lot to deal with, but we have a choice on how we are going to respond to it all.

As the people of God we do not give in to defeat because we were created for victory. Of course it is easy to say I have the victory but a completely different thing to walk out that victory. I’m reminded of a story in the bible I’m sure you are familiar with, David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).

The bible says that the Philistines had gathered their armies together to battle against Israel and that a champion went out from the Philistines camp and he struck a great fear in them. The Israelites were in a panic, fleeing in terror from the giant Goliath of Gath, a champion warrior, experienced in combat. For *forty days Goliath challenged the Israelites and defied the armies of the living God. (*The number 40 represents a time of trial and testing. It is a probationary time, God does not allow the testing so that He can know if our faith is real but He allows it so that we can know He is real.)

The bible says “They were dismayed (discouraged) and greatly afraid”. A once victorious army is now a paralyzed army in isolation. Goliath mentally and emotionally immobilized the armies of Israel. They were overwhelmed but God says “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will raise up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:15)

That’s when a young shepherd boy named David comes on the scene. His father sends him to take provisions for his brothers who were on the battlefield and that is when he catches his first glimpse of Goliath. David sees the Philistine step up and shout out a terrorizing challenge. A deep concern and anger rose up in David “I can’t sit back and watch this happen to my people, he becomes very courageous as he shouts out “how dare you defy the armies of the living God.” When Goliath insulted the army of God he was insulting God.

When David’s older brother saw him at the battlefield he was angry and asked him what he was doing there. And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?”

We know at the end of the story David a young shepherd boy kills the giant Goliath. How did he kill the giant? David put his hand in his bag and pulled out a rock and with just one rock, he put it in his sling and flung it at the giant, smack right in the forehead and down he went flat on his face. (Read the rest of the story.)

You might be facing a giant in your life, you may be in a time of testing and those forty days may seem as if they are never going to come to an end.

Let me remind you that just like David, you have a rock and His name is Jesus.

There was a battle of two champions and David was on the winning side. You also are on the winning side. I’ll ask you the same question David asked his brother that day “is there not a cause?” You were created for such a time as this. Yes there are giants but remember the Word, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust” ( Psalm 18:2). Yes there is a cause, we must stand up and fight. It’s not time to be passive or dormant because we are in isolation, but this is a time to be more determined because God has a plan for this world and you are it! The enemy will oppose us and try to distract and intimidate us just like he did David. What was David’s response to the opposition? Even his own family said go back to the field with your sheep. You’re just a kid. But David knew he had been chosen and anointed by the Lord. When you know that God has changed you and called you don’t let anything distract you.

Where did David get his courage to stand up against Goliath? It was in those seasons of his life when he spent his days and nights alone out in a field, in isolation. He knew God experientially; God was his helper, his defender, and his teacher, and he became the greatest warrior that we read about in the bible.

You and I need that same courage, bold courage to face the enemies that are trying to stop us. That strong determination and courage that David had was a result of knowing God.

The giants will come and many of us are experiencing them even now; what will we do? The taunting by our enemy does not have to send us running in fear but we can have the same courage to stand in the face of the enemy and say enough is enough. Yes there is a cause! Devil give me back my brother, my sister, you can’t have what God has given to me. I will stand as a soldier of the Lord, I won’t give up or give in.

God will teach your hands to war, this quarantine, this time of isolation may be just your time so that you can get into the presence of God and be still and know Him. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, they are spiritual.

The sling David had was the vessel or the tool that he used to project the rock right smack into the enemies forehead.

You are a vessel that holds the word of God, you are like that sling, now take the word of God and thrust it at the giant that is coming against you. Hit him right between the eyes with the Word of God and render him powerless.

The many days and nights David sat alone out in a field doing the routine, the monotonous and menial tasks, taking care of sheep- that was God’s training ground. It was out in that lonely isolated pasture that God got David alone so he could talk to him and teach him. Maybe this is your time- is God trying to get you alone to teach you?

You may feel discouraged because you want to do great things for God. And it seems that God has forgotten that you are sitting out in a field somewhere in a place of solitude but remember you may not like the place you are at right now but it is God’s place for you, embrace it.

It was not the training or armor that gave David courage. His courage was based on his knowledge of God. He knew there was no one strong enough to defy and insult God or his people.

So today think about this: this is God’s plan and there is a cause, giants, yes there are many but God is greater. Many are dying without Jesus and you are the answer, don’t give up, don’t give in! God is teaching you to be a disciplined soldier, this giant that you are fighting against is just a distraction. “The One who is in you is greater than any Goliath that will ever come against you.”

We look forward to worshiping with you on our YouTube channel this Sunday Morning at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship and a powerful message by Pastor Rodriguez.

In His Service,
Francine

Prayer:
If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.

Online Church Services:
Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

Freedom From Anxiety – Coronavirus Defense Strategy

Focus Forward – Wednesday April 22, 2020

We are all navigating challenging times right now, many are facing difficulties and dealing with situations that may seem impossible and as a result we can become fearful. Just because you are a believer does not mean that you won’t experience many of the same things that others may be experiencing. The bible says that it rains on the just and the unjust. It does not mean that you have favor with God or that you have fallen out of favor with God. Sometimes the things we go through are just a result of life.

 

We may experience some tough times, but we have something that the world does not have. There is one big difference for the believer; when we are confused and fearful we can remember what God has done in the past and we can run to the One that is our refuge and a very present help in our trouble. There is no place that is safer than in the presence of God.

 

When any situation that comes against us seems to be greater than we are, anxiety and its companion, worry, seem to take over. I become anxious about my future, and anxious many times about things that have not even happened.
 
It is difficult when the circumstances of life remind me that I am not in control. Someone once said “The storm is not where you face the enemy, the storm is where you meet God.” I’ve come to understand this phrase more with each trial I go through. I find that it is only until I come to the end of myself that I see the power of God show up in my situation.
 

You may be wondering how I can get through this time of self-isolation and the restrictions, the homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, sanitizing, handwashing, cooking and more cooking. I don’t just want to survive it, I want to flourish, I want this time to make me better and more conformed to the image of my Savior.

God’s Word always has an answer, for whatever we may be dealing with. What does God’s word say to me?
 
1 Timothy 6:15 (Phillips translation) says, “God…is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and master of all masters.” Remember God is in control of all the uncontrollable events in my life, even what I can’t see, what doesn’t make sense to me, and what I don’t understand. (Matthew 10:29-30)
 
If God has every hair on my head numbered, He surely knows about my struggles. Nothing can happen apart from His will. No difficulty, no trial present or to come happens by chance, All is under His sovereign control. Therefore I can put a smile on my face and trust Him. Prepare for the next great phase of life!
Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart (Laughter) does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones (We become confused, disappointed and exhausted).”
 
It is true laughter relieves stress, improves your mood, boosts immunity and can even relieve pain. The effect of the mind on the body is well known. When it comes to boosting our immunity laughter is right up there with nutrition, sleep and exercise.
 
Medical research, (which is discovering what God already told us) has found that laughter, even if it is fake or anticipated strengthens the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and other foreign invaders. So why not turn off all the bad news and tell some jokes or watch a comedy, there are some great Christian comedians out there. (Check out the “Thou shalt laugh series”.) Get outside, take a walk and put a smile on your face. It will improve your mood and possibly put a smile on the face of the next person you look at.
 

Research says that it takes three positives to neutralize one negative statement, which can have damaging physical and emotional consequences. And as a child of God that’s not what we are about, we are to encourage and lift one another up. What we are dealing with right now is hard enough, so step back, take the eight count and cancel those negative words and replace them with “I’m sorry, I was wrong, I love you. Please forgive me.” That includes that entire negative self-talk which we are so good at; replace it with those positive I am statements “I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved.” (Col. 3:12) “I am loved” (1 John 4:10) “I am forgiven” (1 John 2:12)…”

 

If it takes three positives to cancel out one negative let me give you three positive reasons to rejoice.
  1. Genesis 21:6 And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.”
  2. Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
  3. Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God in your midst, The mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing,”
 
Say this and put a smile on your face, “I am grateful for this day and for this situation we are all going through because at the end of it all, truly God will cause something good to come out of it. I will be better because of this pandemic.”
 

I can see how the challenges of this world and our enemy has tried to keep the body of Christ separated from one another. BUT I am seeing more unity amongst the people of God, like I have never seen before. More unity in separation? Doesn’t make sense does it! The prayers, the care and concern for others, the phone calls, the grocery runs, the sharing, sounds to me like the book of Acts is coming alive in the church.

 

Don’t let distorted thinking side track you, don’t trust your emotions, trust God’s sovereignty because the same God that saved you is the same God that is able to meet all your needs. You’re not alone we are in this together and because of Christ we are victorious!

 

We look forward to worshipping with you on our YouTube channel this Sunday Morning at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship and a powerful message titled Freedom from Anxiety, by Pastor Rodriguez.

 

In His Service,

Francine

 

Prayer: If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.  
 

Online Church Services: Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

Distruptive Technology – Finding God In A Distracted World

“I” of the Storm – Wedneday April 15, 2020

 

 

THE “I” OF THE STORM

We have heard, read and studied the many times that God miraculously changed the situation for His people when they cried out to Him. Situations, which by human standards were impossible. But we must remember that we serve a God who is not governed by situations and who takes delight in doing the impossible.

There is no question this is a time of uncertainty, we have never experienced anything like this in our lifetime. We don’t know what to do and neither do the professionals. We can try our best to stay healthy, we can try to calm our emotions and not let them run rampant. We can let this pandemic make us lose our sense of security and our joy or we can remember that the same God in the bible, is the same God today, and forever. He does not change. Many times we read in the bible when God reminded his people of who He was and of His power. As humans, we have a tendency to so easily forget who God is.

Yes, we are living in a day of uncertainty and it is easy for our vision to become clouded by the situations we are up against. But God is calling us to remember what we already know. He is Sovereign, He is powerful and He is everything that we need.

Psalm 77 is a Psalm written by Asaph- (His name means a collector or gatherer) he is a Levite musician to whom King David gave the responsibility to lead worship at the tabernacle in Jerusalem. Can you imagine the one who was the leader of national worship, his faith was failing, he is a man in despair and distress, it doesn’t explain what the cause of his despair was, but he complains bitterly. Some say because he turns to history in seeking consolation that it could imply the affliction was national, others say it was personal but whatever it was we know the pressure was intense.

Sometimes the Bible doesn’t give us exact details because when it comes to trouble, we all experience them for different reasons, and to different degrees. Your trouble could be a result of our current world situation or it could be a personal crisis you are dealing with.

Regardless of what the source is, we have two choices: 1. We can blame God or others. Or 2, we can trust that it is part of His perfect plan for our lives and that He will cause something good to come out of it.

Asaph shows us his journey from troubles and despair to triumph and victory.

Psalm 77: 1-3 (NKJV) “I cried out to God with my voice; and he gave ear to me. In the day of trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed.

A discouraged Asaph wrestled with God’s faithfulness and he questions “Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?” (Psalm 77:8) We have probably all felt the pain of abandonment, when we felt as if God has forsaken us. But he didn’t stay there; he took a step that restored his perspective, He says: “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:11).

That Word Remember means: Hebrew, Zakar– to recall to mind, usually as affecting feelings, thoughts, or actions. Greek, Mneia, to mark as to be recognized, to be mindful, to keep in mind, to burn incense. (Symbolic of prayer) A written record used to memorialize a person’s actions. (Bible) A sepulcher, statue, monument, or tombstone. To think, mention or record.

God is calling us to remember: remembering God’s help yesterday helps us to trust him for today. When we remember the past it allows us to understand our future. Remember the Bible is written for our example so that we have a pattern to follow. Memories must be deliberately maintained and cultivated if they are to remain vital in our hearts and minds. God calls us to remember His faithfulness, but he also remembers his promises to his people. “If their hearts are humbled… I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:42) The act of remembering has a positive effect in strengthening our faith.

We can triumph in our troubles.

Even when circumstances are bleak and God seems silent, our hearts can be stirred by remembering how God has moved in the past. The decision to look beyond our present troubles can bring us hope when we look to God’s saving acts.

Asaph was honest about spiritual struggles. It seems as if he is putting words to our feelings. Even though he is feeling despondent because of his troubles, he perseveres, and we can learn from his example that our troubles can cause us to focus on self.

It’s natural, when we suffer difficulty, to think first of ourselves. Notice Asaph’s focus in these first four verses: I cried out, I was in distress, I sought the Lord, I stretched out untiring hands, my soul refused to be comforted, I remembered you, I complained, my spirit was overwhelmed, I was troubled.

“I cried out to God with my voice; To God with my voice; and he gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.”

Some can condemn this kind of preoccupation with our own feelings, but it can be the first step toward triumph—if it leads us to seek help beyond ourselves.

God cares about our suffering, but He is more concerned with molding our lives. He knows what is best for us and what will bring Him more honor, glory, and praise. But our trouble, at least at first, prevents us from understanding that.

Only when we are honest enough to admit that we can’t do it on our own, can we cast all our cares on the Lord (1 Pet. 5:7 casting all your care upon Him for he cares for you.) Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed. If we try to cover up our troubles or pretend they do not exist, we are really relying on our own efforts to deal with them. So looking first within ourselves and then remembering our God is the first step toward triumph.

God is our refuge. He waits to hear our heart’s cry. Let me remind you of the God to whom you belong. His name is ELOHIM He is the one who created the heavens and the earth. He created you and He loves you with an everlasting love. He is a God of love and creative power but He is also the God of authority and He is sovereign.

Remember after the resurrection of Jesus the women and certain others went to the tomb not to look for a risen Christ but to take the prepared spices for Jesus’ dead body. When they arrived his body was not there they were perplexed because they had forgotten the words that Jesus had spoken. But two angels appeared to them and said “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how he spoke…And they remembered His words. Later in this chapter on the road to Emmaus Jesus walked with two men as he listened to them he asked “what kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad” As they sat and talked with Jesus their eyes were opened and they knew Him, they couldn’t sit still anymore they had to run and tell the others that Jesus had truly risen from the dead. Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said: “Peace to you.” (I encourage you to read all of Luke chapter 24)

Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the conversations of doom and despair but in the “I” of our Storm, we must remember the past faithfulness of our God. In Isaiah 41 God said:

I have chosen you, I am with you, I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, For I the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you fear not, I will help you.” When you find yourself in the eye of the storm remember the “I” of the storm is with you.

Prayer: Elohim, you created me, and you promised in Your Word that you will be with me and watch over everything that concerns me. You are the God who keeps his promises, you are mighty and I will trust in you.

We look forward to worshipping with you on our YouTube channel this Sunday at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship followed by a powerful message.

In His Service,

Francine

If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.

Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

 

 

Resurrection Sunday – The Touch of Heaven

The Closeness of God’s Love – Sister Francince – Wednesday April 8, 2020

 

The Closeness of God’s Love

We will all spend this Holy Week differently than we have ever done before. Social distancing is becoming a part of our new way of life. It saddens me that I won’t be spending Good Friday and Easter Sunday with my church family. We won’t be shaking hands and hugging one another as we share the common Easter phrase “He is risen- Yes He is risen indeed.” We won’t be singing and rejoicing together as a congregation. But nevertheless, I know we will be rejoicing in our own homes because Jesus paid a great price, we do not have to experience social distancing from God our Father.

How grateful I am for God’s plan to redeem mankind. Without Jesus’ sacrifice how lost I would be, I would be without hope. I would spend eternity separated and distanced from God. Oh but today I rejoice because truly OUR SAVIOR HAS RISEN! And because of that, I can have peace.

What do the events of this week mean? First of all, let me tell you this is not a fairy tale. This is an event that changed all of history and it is the very foundation of our faith.

While Jesus Christ hung on the cross, eight miraculous events happened- events, which demonstrated that the cross was a triumph and not a tragedy. I want to focus on one event in particular.

The great veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:51) To the Jews, the veil was the most important thing in the temple because it surrounded the Ark of the Covenant, which symbolized the very presence of God. It was huge, it was sixty or more feet high; it was beautiful and made of the finest of materials.

Its significance is that it was torn by an act of God himself. It was the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy place and up until that time only the priest could enter one day a year, the Day of Atonement. When the perfect Lamb of God was lifted up, Jesus’ blood was accepted at the Cross-as final payment for man’s sin and the Holy of Holies, which was a place, limited only to the priest, has now become accessible to all of us!

Once we were distanced and isolated from God but because the veil was torn in two we now have direct access to God. As darkness came over the land and Jesus gave up his life, it was through His blood that the middle wall of separation was torn and now we have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2) It was at that very moment that Jesus paid the price so that we can have access to God and we can enjoy the presence of God every day.

What does that access mean? (John 3:16) It means we can have forgiveness for our sins, we can talk to God, we can have peace with God and the peace of God and we can have eternal life if we believe and accept Jesus Christ. We can have continual access to the very presence of God, The Holy of Holies has been opened to us and we can now “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. “ (Hebrews 4:16)

And isn’t that what we need in this world right now? As a believer God no longer lives behind the curtain, He lives in you and me. No matter what this world throws at us, anxiety, fear, confusion, isolation we do not have to give in to defeat we can be assured of victory. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace, in this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Yes this Easter may be a little different, yes I will miss the presence of my children and grandchildren as we always have celebrated the resurrection together, I will miss our traditional Easter service and the presence of other believers, but I will rest in this; “This to will pass, God is in control”

This year I have a new Easter garment, pardon me while I put it on. It is the Armor of God and it was designed for Victory. And as I take up the sword in my hand and lift it up I say to you “onward Christian soldier there is a world to be won, no it’s not time to back up or give in its time to answer the call, tell His story and change our world.”

If you are not experiencing the peace of God right now ask yourself this question, ‘Have I made peace with God? Have I surrendered my life to Him?’ Will you accept His love and forgiveness right now; He is waiting for you with open arms.

Prayer: “Lord thank you for allowing me access to you, Make me, O Lord, Victorious over every circumstance; make me patient with every person; and give me the joy which no circumstance and no one will ever take from me…Amen”

Tune in to our YouTube channel this Friday, April 9th for our Good Friday Service at 7:00 PM for a Message of Hope and then this Sunday, April 12th for Resurrection Sunday Service at 10:30 AM for a time of praise and worship from the best Praise and Worship team ever followed by a powerful message by Pastor Rodriguez.

Please know that Pastor and I are praying for you and your families (Colossians 1:9-11). If we can pray for you in a specific way you can send your prayer requests HERE.  

In His Service,
Francine

Click HERE to access our YouTube channel then hit the subscribe button and the bell next to it to be alerted of all our online services.

Good Friday – The World’s Greatest Rescue Mission

Life Without God

An Update From Praise Center Church – Wednesday April 1, 2020

 

AN UPDATE FROM PRAISE CENTER CHURCH

Deuteronomy 31:8 saysThe Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

As our day to day lives continue to change quickly due to the COVID-19 responses from our government, I want to remind you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The bible tells us repeatedly that His word will not return empty and will never pass away (Isaiah 55:11, Matthew 24:35, Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 40:8). As believers, we have the great gift of taking refuge in God’s word during this time of unease and uncertainty.

I want to remind you today that God is with you during this pandemic! He has gone ahead of you to make the rough places smooth (Isaiah 45:2) and He says This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Whether you are anxious about your health or your finances or just the uncertainty of your day to day life I encourage you to find peace in His word!

We know that as believers, the church is a place to reset and refuel and grow in God’s word and to fellowship with one another (Hebrews 10:24-25) Currently our state is on a stay at home order and although Churches are exempt from this order we have decided, that to keep you from breaking the order of staying indoors Sunday worship services will be closed to the public and will be streamed on our YouTube Channel.

We want you to join us online! We will not give up meeting, we will simply do it through technology. Simply click HERE hit the subscribe button and the bell just to the right of the subscribe button.

Now more than ever, it is important to hear the word of God and to come together in fellowship. I believe that God can move in the gathering of His people online just as He moves when we gather in person. And remember this is for just a short season!

Francine and I are praying for you and we look forward to seeing you soon in church, until then please let us know how we can pray for you during this time. You can submit your prayer request HERE.

Take a moment to subscribe to our YouTube Channel. It's easy and fast and will ensure that you are notified of every online service we have. We look forward to meeting with you and encouraging you online during the next few weeks!

In His Service,
Pastor William A. Rodriguez

Thank you for your continued support of the ministry. To continue to give your tithes and offerings during this time, please click on www.praisecenterchurch.com/give or download the GIVE+ app from the App Store on your Apple device or Google Play on your android device and enter our church information: Praise Center Church 3105 W. Florida Ave. Denver, CO 80219 or call the church office for other options at 303-922-1131

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A Candid Conversation About COVID-19

Special Prayer Session – COVID-19

Trying God’s Patience – Special COVID-19 Message