Pray for Those Who Grieve


Tomorrow isn’t promised.  In the last 48 hours I’ve learned of passing of two fellow alumni from my alma mater, Brown University.  Marlene G. Brown (West Windsor NJ) and Gideon M. Leaks (Brooklyn NY).

I knew Marlene well; we both went to high school in Great Neck NY.  I just saw Gideon at a great reunion gathering in Providence, RI last month.  Two great people. Both were fifty something.  When people you went to college with in the early 80s pass away it makes you realize that tomorrow is surely not promised.

  • Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1 ESV

I just hope that I shall wear a crown when I pass away.

This NC choir encourages me to live in such a way that I will wear that crown some day.

  • In a weekend when 11 Jewish people worshiping were senselessly murdered at  a Pittsburgh synagogue, Tree of Life, let’s pray for the families of those eleven families and my two late fellow alumni. I am greatly saddened today.
  • I can’t help but recall the Mother Emanuel (SC) massacre a few years ago.  And the Texas church shooting more recently.  I will never get comfortable with the senselessness of killing people, whatever their race or religion, while worshiping. And never will.

Please cherish today and pray for all those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, friends, or neighbors.

To God be the Glory.

Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

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God: He’ll Test, but Never Tempt You



Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

James 1:13-14 NKJV


  • My Pastor said a few months ago: God will test you, but he’ll never tempt you.  I never knew the origin, but the statement lingered in my mind.  When I stumbled on to this verse I needless to say did.  Only the Devil will attempt to tempt an abiding Christian.

P.S. I am happy to say this blog is in it’s sixth year.  The 5th anniversary day (September 21st) slipped my mind, because I was out of town.  Participating in a Choir at a Reunion at my alma mater (Brown University) during the third weekend of September (9/21 – 9/23) had me flying to Rhode Island . . . and singing with fellow Black alumni – going back to the late sixties classes.

P.P.S.  I didn’t realize I had not blogged for three months until Tuesday.  LSS my life has been a roller coaster since early July.  Joyful events have been intermingled with storms I didn’t ‘order’; thankfully the Lord allowed me to be delivered and endure my afflictions (Psalm 34:19) and keep on ‘stirring my gift’.  With my full armor of God on, the Evil One is wondering why I still love the Lord.  Why I continue to blog.  Part of my plan from my Heavenly Father is to share what he gives to me here in this space since 2013 . . . things I find enlightening.  Thank you for visiting 66 Assurance Way.  Five years and 22 days and counting!

To God be the Glory!


Greg Silverthorne

66 Assurance Way

Prevail: Your Victory through Jesus Christ (Part 2)

God worked it for my good

Just like He said He would

“For My Good” / Earnest Pugh featuring Beverly Crawford


The spirit’s interceding on your behalf is at the root of your ability to Prevail. Whatever the circumstances you’re in, in the end you will escape defeat. A small setback today may be dwarfed by a bigger blessing you’ll get later; as I heard a preacher say this weekend, why ‘cry over spilled milk’ when God will give you another glass? (and it may be for something better!)


In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:26-28 NIV


I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:10-13 NIV


Prior Series posts:

  1. Your Joy: From the Almighty, Not Amazon
  2. Christians: Do You Have A ‘Gratitude Attitude’? (Praise)
  3. Praise is Your Weapon: You’re Not Walking Alone
  4. Prevail: Your Victory Through Jesus Christ

He worked it out, without a doubt.

He worked it out, without a doubt.

He worked it out, without a doubt.

God worked it out!

66 Assurance Way

 

Prevail: Your Victory through Jesus Christ


While others may fail, faithful Christians will Prevail.  In Roman 8 we read: If God is for you who can be against you?  Those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior know the answer to this question; no one!

Through your praise, prayers, and faithfulness you hold the keys to a life of Prevailing.  If you enjoy ‘perfect peace’ you are surely able to avoid stumbling and falling.  Enjoy your Joy!


They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”  Jeremiah 1:19 NKJV

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.  Psalm 34:19, 22 NKJV

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ JesusPhillippians 3: 13-14 KJV


  • Prevailers keep ‘pressing towards the mark’ because they know the Lord will deliver.

So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.  Zechariah 4:6 NKJV

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  1 Corinthian 15: 57-58 NKJV


  • God gives us our victory if we stand firm. By interceding on our behalf we are ‘more than conquerors’.  It’s not by our own might, it’s by the Almighty’s might.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  Romans 8: 31 – 37 NKJV


God Is In Control / Wilmington Chester Mass Choir


But By My Spirit / Mississippi Mass Choir (inspired by Zechariah 4:6)


To God be the Glory.  If God is with you how can you not Prevail?

(to be continued)

66 Assurance Way


Photo Credit (Cross): Dave King / flickrCC

Your Joy: From The Almighty, Not Amazon

The seventy-two returned with joy and said,

“Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

Luke 10:17 (NIV)


A sermon I experienced on April 22nd seemed to fit very well into the current Prevail, Praise, and Pray Series.  I’ve attended my current church since early December 2017.  While the words don’t do it full justice, they address the joy-happiness conundrum that Christians face (my Pastor is an anointed, gifted preacher, in his early 50s, who’d never be mistaken for a statute).

Sermon by Pastor Ronald E. Speas

Theme: “The Reason I Have Joy”

Scripture – Luke 10: 17 – 20

Location: New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church (Winston-Salem, NC)

How can one walk with Jesus -and prevail- if one doesn’t have joy? In my humble Christian opinion they can’t!

Below is an overview of the Sermon that my Pastor, Rev. Ronald E. Speas, gave a few weeks ago.

  • Joy is not the same as happiness
  • Joy is one of the ‘fruits of the spirit‘ (Galatians 5)
  • The Lord gives us the power to deal with life’s ‘serpents‘ . . . so that even if they bite someone they won’t harm them.


  • This scripture reminds us that we should: Be aware of who and what you’re dealing with; be humble, not arrogant.
  • Joy and happiness are similar, but they are different in many ways too.
  • Joy is from God (the Almighty), while happiness is “dependent on something happening to one” (i.e. it’s situational). 
  • Happiness is temporal
  • Joy is lasting.  Even in times of sorrow, joy still endures.

  • The joy I have. The world didn’t give it to me, the world can’t take it away.

  • Follow God’s insight, follow God’s warning. Those with spiritual discernment are good God followers.
  • God doesn’t share his glory with nobody”
  • Maintain your joy, because it serves as “your connection to the Lord”. ‘Smile, even when all hell brakes loss’. Forgive.

Rev. Ronald E. Speas


While what I’ve just described is just the tip of the iceberg, I felt it was a Message from a great man of God that I couldn’t keep to myself.

It’s through their Joy that Prevailers endure and thrive.  Joy for those who are connected to God isn’t fleeting.  It isn’t ‘of the world’.  It’s from the Lord.  It allows Christians to have assurance that God ‘has their back’. It allows them to endure with faith while weeping, knowing what’s ‘coming in the morning’ (joy).  While some days you and I will cry tears of sadness, others we’ll shed tears of Joy.

I thank my Pastor, Ronald E. Speas, for telling me -and the others in church that morning- the reasons he has joy.  He got it from our Almighty God, not online or in a store.  Joy, like faith, can not be bought. His joy, like yours and mine, comes from our Heavenly Father. To God, the Joy Giver, be the Glory!  Isn’t he worthy to be praised?  

Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way


Photo credit: “They Got the Word“, Mississippi Mass Choir

How Christ Can Bless You: Suddenly (Gospel/Scripture)

I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

Isaiah 48:3 (NIV)

 


 

 


Suddenly

New Birth Total Praise Choir (Bishop Eddie Long)

featuring Vanessa Bell Armstrong

Verse 1
There’s been a change in me,
once blind but now I see,
God gave me victory;
and He did it suddenly,
and He did it suddenly.

Verse 2
He changed the way I walk,
He changed the way I talk,
He changed my attitude;
and He did it suddenly,
and He did it suddenly.

Vamp 1
Jesus did it,
oh yes, He did it,
and He did it suddenly.

My God changed me,
I’m not the same,
and He did it suddenly, suddenly.

(repeat as desired)

And He did it suddenly…

Vamp 2
And He did it suddenly.
And He did it suddenly.
And He did it suddenly.
And He did it suddenly.

Vamp 3
He did it suddenly.
He did it suddenly.

Writer: Soraya Lamilla
Copyright: Lyrics © BONDED MUSIC PUBLISHING , Universal Music Publishing Group


SCRIPTURE

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Isaiah 43:15, 18, 19 (NIV)

I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.”

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

 


Photo credit: blackgospel.com (Spirit and Trust release, EMI Gospel, May 18 2004)

Lyrics credit: Lyricsondemand.com

 

Be An Active, Devil-shunning Christian


This church sign says a lot in just 7 words.  Seen at a church near Greensboro NC, the grammar error is as noteworthy as the sign’s spiritual message:

  • Satan’s best tool is a[n] inactive Christian

Being an inactive Christian is a profound paradox.  It isn’t pleasing to the Lord.

Faith is an essential part of the life of active Christians. The Bible says, in Hebrew 11:6 NKJV, “But without faith  it is  impossible to please  Him,  for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and  that  He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”.

Believe that God exists and know that your steadfast faith pleases him. When you hear the Lord speak, listen. The things the Devil wants you to do, while often pleasurable, aren’t pleasing to God.  As the NC church sign above expresses, the Evil One’s ‘best tool’ is a follower of Christ who is inactive. Cafeteria Christians are god-abiding ONLY when it’s convenient. Put another way, that’s like only wearing a car seat belt on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Surely faith without works is dead (James 2: 14 – 26).

Surely it’s wise to submit to the Lord. James 4:6-8a (NKJV) tells us:

But He gives more grace.  Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”   Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 

Lastly, my Pastor (Ron E. Speas) said something recently I’ll never forget:

  • “The Lord will test you, but he’ll never tempt you”.

Some Christians are known by the temptations they take, not the testimonies they tell.  What’s your testimony? Strive to keep being an ‘active Christian’.  Keep the faith and praise the Lord!  Keep avoiding the temptations that the Devil dangles in front of your face.

The joy I have. The world didn’t give it to me. To God be the glory.