Power belongs to you, God (Psalm 62)

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For Times Like These, Power Belongeth to God

“There is nothing too hard for God

Nothing, too hard for God.

Power belongs to God.”

HEZEKIAH WALKER


While the news you hear may cause you to fear, remember this: The ultimate power belongs to God.  No one else!  Nothing is too hard for God.  Nothing.

  • Omnipotent, the Lord is two other things as well: Omniscient and omnipresent. Therefore, his knowledge and presence make the ‘power in his hands’ a mighty force for you – and all his children.  If he were uninformed and absence (from most places) his true power would be greatly limited, right?

This gospel classic by Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir conveys the assurance that all Christians benefit from.  He has all ‘power in his hands’.  This post seemed the perfect way to end this blog’s third anniversary Series; 66 Assurance Way was launched on the third Sunday of September 2013.

  • For times like these, power belongeth to God. So serve and trust the Lord for the rest of your life.

I’ll end with the words that are powerfully sung at the beginning of this Hezekiah Walker song:

Trust in the Lord at all times
Pour out your heart before Him
Power belongeth to God

God has spoken once
And twice have I heard this
Power belongeth to God

Who can search His understanding
His thoughts higher than ours
All power’s in His hands
For my life He has a plan


Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

For Times Like These, Just Say Lord Please

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As an abiding Christian, know that a prayer of supplication is often what’s needed for a particular situation.  If you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, develop a fervent prayer habit.  Pray, don’t despair.  Look up and keep your head up; be hopeful and remember who your refuge is.  For times like these, just say Lord please

Do you remember how Paul acted when he was jailed?  He didn’t fret, he kept praying and praising!  In his ‘midnight hour situation’, his prayers were indeed answered (Acts 16:25-34 NIV).  For times like these, just say Lord please.  Paul and Silas did; you can too!  

  •  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”   Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
  • The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16b KJV
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV

While it’s important to pray, to keep a line of communication with the Lord, keep three more things in mind too:

  • Be willing to be an Angel for someone else. Through you, yes though you, God may answer another’s prayers.
  • You often in life need to give to get.  You may get a prayer answered from someone you’ve given nothing to. To someone you perhaps don’t even know.  Perhaps in fact from someone who dislikes you, but who God moves to position you for a victory nonetheless.  
  • My Pastor and First Lady (Dr. Rev James A. and Brenda Webster) are celebrating this week 33 years leading my church, Oak Ridge First Baptist Church.  God, Family, and Church are -in that order- Pastor Webster believes the proper priorities of an abiding Christian.  It’s hard to put God first if you don’t prayer regularly, right?

So what does a child of God need to do in uncertain times like these?  It’s simple: Ask, seek, and knock.  Just say Lord please

   Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way


Photo credit:  Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)/flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

Christian Assurance: Putting it ‘All In His Hands’

This and that, I put it all in His hands,

He can handle it that’s a fact, I put it all in His hands”.

~ Varn Michael McKay, “All in His Hands”


At it’s core, the assurance that Christians have lies in our ability to know we can put our lives in his (God’s) hands. The vision and name of this blog, 66 Assurance Way, rests in Christian assurance and the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible.  There are I feel 9 pillars of Christian Assurance.  

“All in His Hands”, written by Varn Michael McKay, entered by spirit a couple of weeks ago – and lingered.   First recorded by Dr. Charles Hayes & The Cosmopolitan Choir, featured on their release “Turn It Over to Jesus” (1989), it has a simple and divinely joyful nature that I love!  It seemed fitting for the third anniversary Series I started last month.

  • The anointed Gospel video (First Baptist Church of Glenarden Combined Choir, Landover MD) and uplifting words (lyrics below) each stand on their own. The Baltimore choir’s video is phenomenal!   
  • Remember: If you have a burden, problem, or question, you can put it in his hands. Turn it over to Jesus!  What can he handle?  ‘This and that’.   Yes, this and that.  

All In His Hands

Verse 1
All in His hands,
I put it all in His hands.
(repeat)
All of my burdens, problems
if I have a question;

Chorus
I put it all,
yes, I put it all;
I put it all in His hands.

Verse 2
Whatever the problem,
I put it all in His hands.
I know that He can solve them,
I put it all in His hands.

Verse 3
This and that,
I put it all in His hands,
He can handle it that’s a fact,
I put it all in His hands.

Bridge
No matter how great or small
He’s the Master of them all

Chorus


 Greg Silverthorne

66 Assurance Way

She’s Got the Anointing, They Got the Word: Mosie Burks

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She’s got the anointing, they got the word!  As I watched and kept rewatching this powerful video, “They Got the Word”, I wasn’t quite sure why I kept being drawn to do so.  Over and over again.  

  • The amazing energy of the truly anointed lead singer? (Indisputably anointed, Mosie Burks‘ gray hair suggests she wasn’t ‘born last night’/Smile)
  • The power of the fully-robed choir of gifted men and woman she led? (Mississippi Mass Choir)
  • The gospel song’s skillful leveraging of a scripture I didn’t know well? (Revelations 21, the second to last book in the Holy Bible)

Likely all of the above I’d say. Last July, a few months before the 3rd Anniversary of this blog (Sept. 21, 2016), I learned more about the talented choir – and the lead singer of this spirited song. This post seemed a good one to begin the Anniversary Series I promised in September.


Mosie Burks’ dynamism and anointed spirit are a joy to watch in this video! Frankly, she exhibits energy and moves that you’d expect from a woman twenty years her junior.  She was about 66 or 67 when this video of the 1999-released song was recorded.  As of July 2014 she was STILL touring with the Mississippi Mass Choir. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If you watch this video, I promise you’ll be amazed at how she makes this song come alive.  When she retired from her former job, as a telephone operator (South Central Bell after 23 years) who knew she’d be answering another kind of call?  I’m so glad she did.

If you look at the tag cloud on my Home Page, you’ll know that I regularly feature gospel music videos and lyrics on this blog. When I realized about four years ago that I couldn’t lead a song if my life depended on it (smile), I had a fellow church member -who is a great singer- encourage me to ‘sing with my keyboard-typed words’ instead.  She knew what my true talents were.  

  • For the record, I made an attempt to lead a song – “Company”/The Nevel Sisters – and it was a mild disaster!  I realized that what I WANTED to sing I couldn’t, and that what I could (reasonably) sing I didn’t want to sing.  Like having a Tercel budget and Lexus desires when car shopping.  I sing harmony, tenor, in the background; that’s a role that’s within my God-given talents.  

How did I come to this song? The choir I’ve sung with for over 7 years (Gospel Choir, Oak Ridge First Baptist Church) sings this song.  It’s one of my favorite. Moreover, the well-produced video is phenomenal!  Looking at Mosie Burks, I subconsciously feel that when God has my back I can do all things. All things! You can too.


Who is Mosie Burks?

  • Long a local singing favorite at churches around Jackson, Miss., she was instead talked into [after retiring] joining the Mississippi Mass Choir and has spent the past two decades traveling the world as the hugely popular ensemble’ s star soloist.”
  • “When she walks on the stage, the audience automatically rises to their feet,” says Jerry Mannery, 62, the choir’s executive director and one of its songwriters. “Whether it’s in the U.S., in Africa, in Spain or in Greece, it doesn’t matter. People just recognize that there is something special about her. The scripture says, ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’ She’s really chosen.”
  • Burks was the third of 13 children born in Forest, Miss., to migrant-fieldworker parents. Picking cotton didn’t suit her health, however. . . She says she was the only member of the family who attended church. “My mom would wake me,” Burks remembers. “She’d have my little dress pressed and comb my hair, and down through the field I would go.”
  • She got married when she was 21. “Also when Burks was 21, her mother died and her father abandoned the family, leaving her to help raise five of her younger brothers and sisters until they were old enough to go out on their own.  She worked as a maid before being hired by the telephone company.
  • Burks has three children by her first husband, who died in 1984, and seven stepchildren by her second and current husband, Willie Burks.
  • “I still enjoy traveling, even at this status in life,” said Burks in 2014.  “I give God the glory and thanksgiving every day that I am still able to get up and go and do.  It was just beyond my imagination the things the Lord has allowed me to be a part of.  Amen to that.”

Source: “Mosie Burks, Mississippi choir to make Richmond appearance”, Lee Hildebrand, San Francisco Chronicle, July 20, 2014.


mississippi-mass-choir

To see someone render this song with such intensity, at any age, would be impressive. To be in her late 60s when this video was recorded and doing it so well makes it even more so; at age of 81 (July 2014) Burks was STILL touring with the group.  Through him who strengthens us we can do all things.

In an interview, Burks cited 3 scriptures which serve as sources of divine encouragement for her:


The song, “They Got The Word”, conveys a basic tenet of Christian life: Eternal salvation is possible for all abiding children of God. In life, whatever earthly tribulations we endure are simply temporary. They won’t last. Moreover, heavenly triumphs await us when we go up yonder. For those who pass through the Pearly Gates, as Burks puts it there will be “nothing, nothing, nothing but Peace”. For all who get there they’ll be able to “Crown him, crown him, crown him Lord of Lords” (Refer to Revelations 4 and 14).

When a 57-year old cousin of mine passed away last year, I couldn’t get this Mississippi Mass Choir led by Mosie Burks video out of my mind!  As stated in the 21st Chapter (Verses 4 – 6) of Revelations:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.


Greg Silverthorne

66 Assurance Way


Photo credits: Video screenshots, “They Got The Word“, Pannellctp Traditional Gospel Music.

66 Assurance Way: Pressing towards the Mark in 2017

By Greg Silverthorne

“But allow me to offer a little bit of hope, a reminder of what the soul actually is and how it is constructed and valued. 

It is not external, it is internal.  It is not made, it is given.  It is not earned, it is instilled.  It is not of humanity, it is of God.

And as such, it is not subject to the changing winds of culture or politics.   It is more stable, more lasting, and more resilient than anything else we possess”. [Emphasis added]  

Rev. Noah Van Niel (11/13/2016)


John14As I approached the 3rd anniversary of this blog (Sept 21, 2016), I had envisioned an Anniversary Series beginning in late September – and ending by December 21st.  So much for my grand plans. Smile.

On December 20th I published a post that captured a lot of what had happened on and since the November 8th Elections. “When Hate Arrives, Silence is Tacit Approval” One Man’s Story” was surely an example of faith in action!

The results of the Elections exactly 2 months ago, and many events (good and bad) since then, caused me to postpone the launch of the Series – to mid-January.  The silence is tacit approval post, along with the first post of 2017 (“Sermon Says: Hopefulness, God’s Presence, and Racial Harmony”), are posts I felt deeply called to do.  The young Priest , Rev. Noah Van Niel, featured in the Sermon Says post is a phenomenally eloquent and empathetic man of God!  The words that led this post are from that Sermon by the way.  When I first read the Sermon he delivered -the Sunday after Elections- I was immediately moved . . . and knew I had to share his profound perspective on the soul as a Christian’s stronghold. 

66AssuranceWay blogger


While I’ve written in the last 3+ years on topics beyond spiritual encouragement and Gospel music, like worklife/career issues, I’ve generally avoided blogging on politics.  Notice the tag cloud in the right sidebar. I haven’t done a lot of deep blogging on race issues.  However, the events of the last 2 months, including some enlightening dialogues (and deep self reflection), have been unlike anything I’ve experienced in my 55 ½ years on this planet as an African-American!  As bad as things look at times, I trust that ‘all things will work together for the good’ (Romans 8:28).  I trust that God will keep being a Way Maker, and not forsake me, you, or any abiding Christian.

  • Silver linings?  Yes.  I’ve personally seen, and helped others see, the racial dynamic of the US in a more nuanced way.   As well I’ve seen some extraordinary actions that caused me to NOT loss faith in humanity; my faith in God remains changed!  So, in the words of the late Maya Angelou, I will -from time to time- be a ‘trailing wisp of glory’ in shining light on a dark place in America – race relations.  I have accepted your assignment God!

That said, I will continue to blog about Christian assurance, gospel music, worklife issues, and spiritual encouragement & empowerment.

  • I will publish a post that I first envisioned just after Labor Day next weekend.  The story behind a lead singer for the Mississippi Mass Choir (Mosie Burks) is one I love!  Like Tiffany Joy (singing “Amazing” with Ricky Dillard), Burks is an anointed singer with an intriguing life story.

Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

66 Assurance Way: 3 years and Counting!

John14


Why did I start this blog exactly 3 years ago?  

“The idea for this blog has been on my ‘radar’ for about 16 months.  Today seemed the perfect day to launch it.   Today marks the 5-year anniversary of my joining a great church with a great, humble man of God as it’s leader”.

  • The upcoming Anniversary Series, and the most viewed posts published in last 3 years, can be found below.

Top posts (Number of views since 9/21/13)

3 Steps of Sanctification (John MacArthur)
8 ‘Assuring Beacon’ Scriptures (Lord’s lighthouse)
A ‘trailing wisp of glory’: Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014)
Amazing (Gospel) / Tiffany McGhee with Ricky Dillard (Part 2)
Amazing / Tiffany McGhee with Ricky Dillard (Gospel)
Dare to Feed your Faith and Starve your Fears (Part 1)
Daryl Coley w. Tri-City Singers // When Sunday Comes (Gospel)
For Thou Art With Me // The Whispers (Gospel, Scripture)
God’s got a blessing with YOUR name on it
I’m the True Vine, You’re the Branches (John 15)
No One Compares to You, You’re Amazing! (Devotional)
Who are You ‘in Christ’? (Joyce Meyers)
Working in a Hostile Environment? (10 Tips)
You hold me in the Midnight Hour (Tiffany McGhee, Amazing)


To mark this milestone, I’ll be launching an Anniversary Series of posts next week. Running to December 21st, the Series posts will include:

  • Being Forgiving When It Isn’t Easy”
  • “Madea Goes to Samaria” (based on Luke 10)
  • They Got the Word, She’s Got the Anointing” (Mississippi Mass Choir, Mosie Burk)
  • Mastering the Whyness of your Career”

While I haven’t published as frequently on this blog in last 12 months, when the spirit moves me I do.  I have no plans to stop answering the call, until I am divinely called to do something else.

Thank you for all who follow this blog – or who have liked or commented on a post on 66 Assurance Way in the last 3 years.

To God be the glory!

Greg Silverthorne, 9/21/2016

66 Assurance Way

66AssuranceWay blogger