By: Kevin Evans
Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust,
Life hurts, our hearts become hardened, tough, calloused,
We push back, block, medicate, stay numb, rather than feel emotional hurt and pain.
Our adversary stands by observing and steeped in the blackest of sin,
He hates, he waits,
To sell you a lie,
He strikes you down with words and false accusations,
Then proudly he appears as an angel of light,
Smooth talking, smiling, smirking and arrogant, possessing charisma and popular clout,
His whispering charms creep around and through you, grasping for your agreement, a place to hang out?
Whispering spewing his thoughts in your mind, to sew seeds of slanderous lies not truth, lustful thoughts, unrighteous fear, unholy doubt.
He will puff you up just like a balloon,
Flattering you to agree with his boasting and foolish pride,
His evil grin widens for he knows that soon,
You will fall and dive to the depths of disgrace,
Then he will clothe you with darkness, guilt and shame, to make you want to hide your face.
He will mock you and tell you
You are the worst of all beings,
He will steal away your innocence your beauty, youth and grace.
He’ll sour your taste and smell,
He never wants you smile, laugh, love, share, help another, offer light, or to give,
He wants to suck your soul dry,
He does it by getting you to believe his lies,
He wants to make you selfish, a victim, lying all the while, saying you deserve it all, just like him.
Remember he is the king of selfishness, pride, hate, and sin.

His justice is coming
And ours is coming too!

Our only salvation?
Believe the truth.
Believe that God loves us
Proven at the cross,

Jesus died for you, for me, and paid the absolute and final price for every person, every sin.
Once and for all.
And never again
There are no exclusions
Absolutely as none at all.

It’s not how good you are
Rather that you know how bad you have been.
Only can you know this
when In His light you stand
Then choose, change your mind, ask Him to change your heart.
Die to yourself
Let His Holy Spirit in.

A new creation, He shall make you
He calls being born again
You now become
One with the father, the Son, The Holy Spirit.
One with the Great I am.
Christ rose from the grave
And so shall you
Seated in heavenly places
Sealed by His Spirit
Made right by His perfect love and sacrifice

Oh what great mercy
How sweet is his Grace
That we could be forgiven
Washed by his blood🩸
All our sins erased.

So come my Lord Jesus
Now please I pray
may your Kingdom come
Forever, now and always
Your precious will be done

Restore me in your presence
Your child in love and awe
Your power, Your Kingdom, Your Glory
To you alone belong.


The Defense of the Christian…

The Defense of the Christian is their Innocence 
By: Victoria Harrington


Let’s talk about Daniel 3. You know, the one about those three guys who got thrown into the fiery furnace. Sadly, some of us only heard it in Sunday school in elementary school or on television by talking vegetables.  Well let’s get those simplistic images out of your head and talk about what the deeper meaning of this story is about, the idolatry of national identity. Daniel 3 is written as an exposè of what happens when a people exalt themselves to be on the same level as God and what we as Christians are to do when this happens. What do you do when you, God’s people, find yourselves living in a nation that’s going down a path like this? What do you do as a Christian individual, as a Christian family, as a Christian community, when your country is pushing ideas that are not in line with the Word of God? It starts off with a scene that is common in the Bible, the building of an idol.

“King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So, the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.”

Daniel 3:1-5

Babylon has always represented a place- a nation- a people, who do unrighteous things. It is a larger-than-life image of humanity. An archetype of self-exaltation, and the epitome of everything wrong in the human condition. Statues are found all over the New and Old testaments. We don’t think too much of them now and half the time when we read the Bible we think, “Why would they worship a statue? Isn’t that kind of silly?” It is a primitive idea and we don’t know exactly what the statue was made to look like, but please realize that it is more than a statue. It is an idea. The statue represents an idea, a dangerous idea, because it is one that replaces God as the highest authority.  It embodies everything that Babylon was, much like the Statue of Liberty is the symbol and embodiment of the United States of America…not so primitive now, eh?

What King Nebuchadnezzar was asking of these people was that they give their allegiance to this statue. In other words, King Nebuchadnezzar wanted his people to give their allegiance to everything Babylon represented.  Give allegiance to child sacrifices, allegiance to adultery, allegiance to worshiping Baal, ect. These people would commit themselves to letting their nation define right and wrong for them. To let Babylon define what failure and success meant for them. That Babylon could define their reality without any question. This statue is a representation of a direct defiance of God and His power.  

As Christians we know that this breaks the first and second commandments given by God to Moses, (Exodus 20:4-5). A kingdom represented by an image. On page 1 of the Bible God created an image of Himself.  The same Hebrew word that was used in Genesis 1 for image is the word that is used in Daniel 3 for this statue.  Do you see that Satan cannot have original ideas? He must corrupt the ideas and creations that God and man have created. Man was made in God’s image and like God can create. That is what man was made to do. Satan was not made to create and was not made in the image of God. Instead, Satan disrespects God by making His image bow down to stone, wood, or a nation. Saying that the Creator’s image should bow and worship something that His image has created. How backwards, yet it happens all the time. He really is a master deceiver. 

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to conform to extreme nationalism. 

“But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:12

Essentially these counselors have posed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as a national threat. That is a huge claim, but the King believed it because they were his closest companions. How do your friends shape your thinking? Do they encourage secular ideas, your ideas, or God’s ideas?

What I consider one of the most important lessons for Christians is found in the response Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego gave to King Nebuchadnezzar when he confronts them about their choice to not bow down to his statue. 

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:16-18

This has got to be the politest rebellion ever. These three friends calmly tell the King, we do not have to have a theological debate or even defend ourselves about this. We will not let you define right and wrong for us. Our God defines that for us. We will not serve your gods. If you want to kill us, okay, but we still will not worship what you worship. You are not God and that is not up for debate with us. Peaceful and polite. Then they take it a step further and say that even if God does not save them, they still put their allegiance with Him. They still have faith in Him even if things do not go the way they think it should. How many of us can say the same? 

Naturally the King was not happy. Satan cannot stand when a Christian just won’t give up. When you say and believe “never-the-less God I trust in you even if it hurts. I love you and will worship you even if my life gets worse, because you are worth it.” That is powerful. That is someone who has learned the power of peace and peace like that is only found in Jesus Christ.

This highlights the spiritual power of resisting the temptation of associating yourself with the popular ideologies and trends in your communities that do not line up with God’s Word.  The Bible is your guide book, the Holy Spirit is your mentor, and we are to use them to help us discern right and wrong. These men did not go hide and make their own secret community in Babylon. They did not withdraw to themselves and they did not promote violence. They acknowledge that God is their justifier. He sees and He knows all the injustice happening. They lived their lives peacefully  and to be honest Nebuchadnezzar probably wouldn’t have even noticed had his buddies not ratted them out. God told Jeremiah the same this to prophecy to the people of Israel before they were carried in exile, 

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Jeremiah 29:4-7

The power of God’s people during resistance is their innocence. Jesus did not fight physically or needlessly argue. In fact, the scriptures tell us that arguing with people who are committed to arguing is foolish, (Proverbs 26:4-5). The fact that they are not a threat makes the power of their witness so significant. We must remember the three commands that Jesus did give us, love God, love your neighbor, and seek to share His kingdom with others. With this in mind we can give the best to our communities.  At Praise Center we have communion every first Sunday of the month. Together as a unified body we reject the things of this world, Babylon, and commit ourselves to being the body of Christ.

“And so declare your allegiance by taking the bread and cup.”

Colossians 1:15-20

My Hand

Just sitting there quietly, I happened to look at my hand. As I studied it and thought of how well it has served me over the years, I began to marvel at its capabilities. Consider that a hand can do very small, precise things like pick up a small screw off a work bench. Conversely, that same hand can wield an axe to fell a large tree, or run a powerful jack hammer to break up concrete, or, in concert with our amazing eyes, can swing a bat and drive a baseball over 400 feet for a home run!


Most tools and other functional objects I use to equip me for life are intended for one purpose. Whether it’s a hammer, a screw driver, or a laptop computer, they’re intended to do one thing—not so the hand!


As I sat there contemplating my hand and its amazing versatility, it occurred to me that my hand is just one component of an overall incredible construct: the human body. Prepare to be in awe when you take the time to consider other amazing body parts. Consider the functionality of your eye, for example. Or the constant pounding sustained by your feet, or your heart that faithfully beats a few billion times over a typical lifetime—Of all that God has created, mankind has to be the epitome of God’s great artistry, created in His own image [Gen 1:27] and He called it “very good.” [Gen 1:31]


As I thought about my amazing body and how creative, wise, and artistic God is, another thought occurred to me. The Bible says in Romans [Rom 1:19-20] that we know intuitively that God made all of creation and, as it goes on to say, we are fools if we deny that and fail to honor Him.


That led me to another associated thought: if we look around us, we have to conclude that a very powerful Being (and artistic being, we call Him God) created all that we see.  Yet, as it occurred to me, we would know virtually nothing about God except what He has created and that which we can see with our eyes. So how did our knowledge increase: He told us!


Yes, what a wonderful gift is the Bible, the Word of God. Without it we would not know the name of God (or that of His Son). But, with the Bible in our hands, we can read words that came forth from the very mouth of God Himself! And stories of His interactions with men and women just like us. Not to mention the works of His Son on our behalf to buy our freedom from sin and death! God gave us His Word just so we could know Him so much better.


I can only conclude that He must love us a lot given His efforts in creating me and you, and in His work to give us the Book that tells us all we need to know about Him. I hope you read it often!