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

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

Sermon Says: Hopefulness, God’s Presence, & Racial Harmony

If you lose hope, somehow you lose that vitality

that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be.”

Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Keeping the Courage to Be: Your Hopes, Your Dreams

Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am personally the victim of deferred dreams, of blasted hopes, but in spite of that . . . I still have a dream, because, you know, you can’t give up in life. If you lose hope, somehow you lose that vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream. I have a dream that one day men will rise up and come to see that they are made to live together as brothers”. [Emphasis added]

These words are from the last Christmas Sermon (December 1967) that King delivered, prior to his assassination in 1968. The importance of having hope and having dreams are expressed in this sermon by the embattled civil rights leader.   Racial harmony is based in all people really ‘living together as brothers’.   Therefore, simply uttering the word Unity in a single speech doesn’t mean that a diverse, divided country is magically transformed!  In the 1960s, when I was a young child living in New York, or now.

Sadly, in 2017, nearly fifty years after the death of MLK from an assassin’s bullet, we’re still a nation that judges people too often on their color – not their character.   Men of God like the other man who I showcase in this post, Rev. Noah Van Niel, give me hope that MLK’s dream is still possible.  A deferred dream, not an impossible dream.  

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Your Soul: A Stronghold Against Hate and Fear

Rev. Noah Van Niel

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. Our lives are liable to be molded and shaped by all sorts of forces beyond our control. But our soul—that bit of God that resides in each of us—is unchanging in that it is always pure, and righteous and good and it is always there no matter how much hatred, or anger, or worry, or fear is piled on top of it. And it will, always, have the last word”. [Emphasis added]

In that God has the final say, your soul will have “the last word”.  Period.  End of discussion.  This powerful Sermon was delivered on the Sunday after the recent Elections (11/13/16) by Rev. Van Niel.  I thank my friend Thomas, who I profiled in “When Hate Arises, Silence is Tacit Approval: One Man’s Story, for bringing this Sermon to my attention.  I’ve personally thanked Rev. Van Niel for delivering a message I, and many others, needed to hear!

The eloquence and empathy of this young, white Priest was one of the most calming things I experienced in the days after the candidate I didn’t vote for won.  To this fifty-something Black man in NC (yes, NC . . . Pray for me!), God knew I needed something compelling, spiritual, and anointed to deal with the changes I was enduring.  Reflecting on this Priest’s words was part of my own post-election strategy to not loss hope – when the candidate I voted for lost (in the Electoral College).  

God’s presence in our souls is something no Christian should take for granted.  Your soul is a stronghold like no other!


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Strategies for Dealing with Life’s Storms

Leslie Vernick

The sermons of Dr. King and Rev. Van Niel serve as a foundation for the insightful strategies which Leslie Vernick offers.   In times of disappointment and discouragement, even the most abiding Christians may feel like they can’t go on.  Sermons, without specific coping strategies, may not have had the impact the Lord desired for this post today – my first in 2017.   

In “5 Ways to Stop Discouragement from Getting the Best of You” Vernick offers some spiritual steps that you can take when facing disappointment.   They are in my humble Christian opinion a very good complement to the pulpit-delivered words of King and Van Niel.   

  • After offering four ways that abiding Christians can be discouraged, Vernick offers “five (5) steps you can take when you start to feel the black cloud of discouragement swallow you up“.   With ‘the God in you’ that is your soul, with ‘that courage to be’, and your dreams, you CAN deal with tough times like a champion.  You can go on!   The steps, described poignantly in her article, are:

1. Be honest.

2. Take care of your body.

3. Pay attention to your thought life.

4. Train yourself to “see” life out of two lenses at the same time

5. Press close into God


Link to full Sermons:

 


Our soul—that bit of God that resides in each of us— is

unchanging . . . and good and it is always there no matter how much

hatred, or anger, or worry, or fear is piled on top of it”.

Rev. Noah Van Niel



Photo credits:

Bible – honorbound/fickr  (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson & Rev. King – U.S. Embassy New Delhi/flickr  (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Cross – Dave King/flickr  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Under the Umbrella: You ain’t alone! (Christian Faith)

“I command you to move today.
Because of faith, I have a brand new day.
The sun will shine, and I will be okay.
That’s when I told the storm!”


  • In the aftermath of the 2016 Elections, this gospel gem came to mind.  I love this song!  The lyrics are excerpted below.
  • At a time when it seems a storm of hate (not love) is rampant in the USA, I know that the Heavenly Father is under the umbrella with every abiding Christian who faces (or is at risk of facing) hateful or violent acts and talk – because of their race, immigration status, or religion.  Where is the love?
  • When God speaks, be assured he will tell the current national storm of hate and bigotry we’re facing to go away.  The battle isn’t your’s, it’s the Lord’s!  

  • Meditate on the lyrics and audio of Greg O’Quin ‘n Joyful Noyze’s song, “I Told the Storm”; this YouTube has over 21 million views by the way (that’s not a typo).  Know, like the 3 Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, you ain’t alone. God’s there too!
  • Pray everyday for a cease in the ugly storms we’ve faced all over this nation (since Trump won).  What are you telling the storm?

Even though your winds blow.
I want you to know.
You cause me no alarm.
Cause I’m safe in his arms.

I command you to move today.
Because of faith, I have a brand new day.
The sun will shine, and I will be okay.
That’s when I told the storm!

Death can’t shake me!
Jobs can’t make me!
Bills can’t break me!
Disease can’t shake me!
You can’t drown me!
Cause my God surrounds me!  
That’s what I told the storm?

Hate can’t shake you!

Racism can’t break you!

 66 Assurance Way


Have hope in Him, God: Vote, don’t fret

ChurchSign_voteLAMB

 


Inspired by my Pastor’s Sermon today, “God’s Got Your Back” (Isaiah 41: 8-10), I offer one thing Dr. Rev. James A. Webster (Oak Ridge First Baptist Church) said: You do what you can do and God will do the rest.  The 10th verse of the 41st book of Isaiah reads:

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (NKJV)

Folks.  As I drove home the words for this post entered my spirit.  While Pastor Webster did not in his sermon allude to voting (or the current elections), he touched on the ‘uncertainty’ in the nation and the world.  God is surely a balm for that uncertainty he feels – and I agree.  

My firm belief: Just vote and let God do the rest.  The ‘Lamb does indeed have the answer’, especially when our nation’s political parties don’t.  Some politicians don’t have an answer frankly.  Some offer platitudes and simply hope you’ll trust them to figure it out.  Guess what?  I trust the Lord.  God’s Promises are never broken.  Have faith that our Heavenly Father will help this nation heal from the rancor of the last 3 months of the U.S. general election – and the earlier primaries.

Did I vote?   Yes, I voted yesterday in NC.  In fact, I was the first person in line!  While the Guilford County polling place opened at 8:00am yesterday, I was there at about 7:20am.  I was done voting by 8:05am. There was a decent size line when I left Bur-Mil Park at that time.

  • As citizens, it’s important that we vote.
  • As Christians, while you’ve chosen Jesus as your personal savior, you can also help choose the next President of the United States.  As a 55-year old African-American I know that many suffered or perished so I could vote; when I was born (1961), Blacks didn’t have that right.  They do now.
  • I took this photo 17 days ago at a church less than half a mile from my home by the way.

Have hope in God. Vote, don’t fret.  Scripture tells us “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:11).

  • Again, God’s got your back.  Let the candidate of your choice have your vote.

Peace be with you,

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

Is Anything Too Hard For God?

Nothing’s too hard for God. Through his power we’re empowered. Through his power we endure our trials. At the root of Christian Assurance is God’s ability to tackle hard, seemingly impossible tasks.

Sunset with Cross

Christianity Matters

In Genesis 18 God meets with Abraham and tells him that he will have a son within a year, even though Sarah is beyond childbearing age. Hearing God’s promise Sarah laughs in doubt. But God doesn’t think this is a laughing matter. He is serious about finally providing them with their promised child. In a remarkable exchange with Abraham regarding Sarah’s unbelief, God asks Abraham.

Is anything too hard for the Lord? ”” (Ge 18:14a)

The answer to God’s question is important not only for Abraham but us as well. God’s ability to fulfill His promise to Abraham either confirms or denies His power and abilities. Power and abilities we place our hope in today. For if God can’t provide a child to a childless woman beyond childbearing age, how could He ever raise us from the grave, provide us with a glorified body, and return the world to…

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