My End of the Year Testimonial

To say I discovered the true meaning of spiritual warfare in 2018 would be an understatement.

John14

I am grateful, it’s important to say, that my triumphs served to dwarf my trials and tribulations!  Every time I made a major step in my spiritual journey I was faced soon thereafter with a storm.  To put this in proper context folks, when I (on God’s direction) was working to change churches, the Devil thought (falsely) that he could get me to honor him, not the Lord.  Fat chance!

Just six days after I joined my current church (which I love) I had to go to Urgent Care.  I had a strange pain in my lower back.  I knew in February that I was on the battlefield for the Lord . . . whether I liked it or not.  Smile.  I foolishly assumed this medical storm that lasted into the Summer was my last battle.  No such luck.  Less than three weeks after joining the Mass Choir of my Winston-Salem Missionary Baptist Church (August) I took on some more ‘enemy fire’.  I was unexpectedly fired from my job . . . just 11 days before Labor Day.  Guess what?  I had a comparable job (in pay) less than 3 business days after my last day of work!  In a potentially fiery financial furnace God showed up and showed out.  I had to smile, knowing my Real Boss hadn’t forsaken me.

My sub par health from February to mid-November (two different health storms btw) basically drained my energy to blog and express my spiritual thoughts.  However, many blog ideas and rough drafts for posts were written down.  They will bear fruit in the days and months ahead.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.  Psalm 34:19, 21 ESV

Hold on / Mississippi Mass Choir

 

  • The video above conveys well the essence of my year. BTW the lead singer for this choir was spotlighted in one of the top viewed posts this year.  She’s Got the Anointing, They Got the Word: Mosie Burks; the video in this popular post is a true gem, highlighting a truly anointed singer.
  • This Biblestudytools.com article, Spiritual Warfare: Understanding the Battle.  , provides a good overview of this area of spiritual growth that many Christians, including myself this year, face.  To state the obvious, it’s only an issue for those who are ‘on the battlefield for the Lord’.  Are you marching in God’s army too?
  • Look for 2019 to be much more fruitful and prolific than this year. Putting on ‘the full armor of God’ worked wonders in 2018.
  • Look for a guest blogger in the new year. Early last Fall I, after meeting her in late September, realized that she had something really special that she could share on this blog.  Stay tuned!
  • To begin the new year on a strong note, I will be publishing a post, based on a Revival Sermon (Matthew 28:20, 8/29/18) I heard four months ago, in a few days.

To God be the Glory.  I hope you have a happy and blessed New Year.

Peace be with you,

Greg

66 Assurance Way

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Jesus Christ Was Born: “Go Tell It on the Mountain”


While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2: 6-14 NASB


Merry Christmas from 66 Assurance Way

Thanksgiving Devotional (Part 3)

 

Don’t Complain, Praise and be Thankful

Christian life offers joyful and unjoyful dimensions.

Surely enjoy the joyful aspects of your life as a follower of Christ, but appreciate that you’ll encounter trials, storms, and challenging paradoxes along the way.

Remember all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord.


Paul Morton’s classic song “I Won’t Complain” flows from the good and bad times that all, including Christians, face.  Despite all you endure in life, knowing that you’re not ‘in the fiery furnace’ alone (Daniel 3: 19-30) should give you great comfort as an abiding Christian.



  • A post I published on this blog a few years ago, Nine Paradoxes of Christian Living may offer spiritual food for thought.  It isn’t a long form post, but I believe you will see an aspect of your walk with Christ that will make more sense after reading it.
  • 30 Thankful Bible verses from one of my favorite websites, biblestudytools.com is a resource well worth tapping. As they state in that piece: “Read through these Bible verses to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Find some quiet time to pray and thank God, read Scripture out-loud, and find a renewed heart that is filled with peace and joy!
  • Need to dive into another timely Devotional? A YouVersion blog post, Why Gratitude is Great for You, offers other Thankfulness and Thanksgiving Devotionals.
  • Miss the first two parts of this Thanksgiving Devotional?  Part 1.   Part 2.

To God be the Glory.  I’m thankful he’s always with me and that he can do more than I can ask or imagine.  What a friend I thankfully have in Jesus.

Peace be with you.  Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.


SCRIPTURE

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.  Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23 (NASB)

 


Happy Thanksgiving from 66 Assurance Way


Photo Credit (Cross): Dave King / flickrCC

Thanksgiving Devotional (Part 2)

The first step to showing gratitude, to God or another person, is one’s thankfulness. A person who isn’t thankful can’t show gratitude either.  Let your Thanksgiving be one of thankfulness AND gratefulness



As I expressed last Spring in Christians: Do You Have a Gratitude Attitude? (Praise)

Your Praise is literally music to God’s ears.  It pleases him and drives the Devil crazy!  To put it simply, the God-exalting Praise of a Christian man availeth much!  Having a ‘gratitude attitude’ in your thankfulness towards the Lord is as valuable as your faith and prayers. 



SCRIPTURE

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:3-4 ESV


  • If you missed the first part of this 3-part Devotional / Link
  • Need another Praise song to get you in the spirit?  Lord, I’m Available to You may be just what you need – a gospel classic.
  • Hoping your Thanksgiving is full of people with a ‘gratitude attitude’.  If it is, know that you are truly blessed.

66 Assurance Way


 

Thanksgiving Devotional (Part 1)

Count your Blessings, Instead of your Crosses;

Count your Gains, Instead of your Losses;

Count your Joys, Instead of your Woes;

Count your Friends, Instead of your Foes;

Count your Smiles, Instead of your Tears;

Count your Courage, Instead of your Fears;

Count your Health, Instead of your Wealth;

Count on God, Instead of Yourself.

  • From the Morning Service Program of my church, New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, yesterday.  With life’s smiles come tears of sadness.  However, you’re NOT in this alone.
  • Count on God and you’ll reap the benefits of Christian Assurance!  Check out the 9 Pillars of Assurance at the top of this page.
  • When I heard the words above read (Thoughts for the Day) I knew I had to share them!
  • Look for the 2nd and 3rd Parts of this Thanksgiving Devotional Series in the days ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving from 66 Assurance Way.


  • “Thank You” / Walter Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin

SCRIPTURE

  • For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God.  1 Thessalonians 3:9 (NKJV)
  • Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

 


66 Assurance Way

“God’s Got a Blessing (with My Name on It!)” / Norman Hutchins (Gospel)


Get ready, for your Blessing
Get ready, for your Miracle!


I know you’ve been hurting, deep down inside
Let me encourage you, it’s going to be alright
Troubles and trials come to make you strong
Keep on believing, you keep holding on!

 


  • God’s Got a Blessing (with My Name on It!)  / Norman Hutchins (2006)

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV)



66 Assurance Way

 

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