Audio-Walking on Water

God Bless You!

I hope you enjoy My first Audio message titled “Walking on Water”

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A life worth living

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

My father, Cecilio was diagnosed with cancer of the glands at the age of 22. The doctors after much treatment sent him home with little hope of surviving. However, my father was a man of great faith. He prayed and placed his life in God’s hands. This week we celebrated his 80th birthday. It was an awesome victory. I especially am grateful since I was born after he was afflicted with this disease.

My father’s life has always been one of great dedication and purpose, a life worth living and a life to be proud of. He was born out of wedlock and into poverty. At the tender age of 7 he was sent to work at his uncle’s store, the largest store in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. This young boy was rescuing his family who had fallen into financial ruin due to his stepfather’s sickness. It was there that he first learned administration and professionalism. He would take those lessons with him wherever he would go. By the time he was 12 his uncle would trust him to be in charge whenever he couldn’t be there. At 15 his family was doing better and his father, living in N.Y., was asking for his son.

Cecilio arrived in N.Y. not knowing English and without a H.S. diploma. He worked all kinds of jobs, learned English and went back to school. A lover of education my father would continue his studies until he obtained a Doctorate in Divinity.

My dad worked as a registered nurse and later as a hospital administrator. However that was only part of his life. He was ordained as a minister at the age of 23. He had started preaching when he was 12 and would often preach before large crowds. The Reverend Doctor Cecilio Melendez, founded a church in Puerto Rico, was president of a council of churches in NY and has been Pastor of our church for almost 40 years.

My father has lived everyday for the glory of God. He knew early on that every day is a gift. He has strived to do all he can with every opportunity. Serving God, by serving his fellow man has been the focal point of his life. Whether as pastor or nurse, my dad has served with patience, dedication and love. He has been a light in the darkness and a fortress in troubled times.

While we celebrate his life it is important to consider our own. Every day is a gift from God. We must cherish them. We should strive to demonstrate the love of Christ through our words and actions every day. Ultimately we must please Him who so graciously bestowed this incredible gift of life upon us. Let us make it one worth living!

Giant slayer

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17: 45-47

For many days the giant stood before the mightiest warriors of Israel. He shouted insults and challenges. Surely one of these brave soldiers would be willing to stand up to the giant. But in the Israelite camp there was nothing but silence except for the sound of beating hearts, racing from fear. But this day would be different because a young lad, not a soldier, happened to be in camp delivering food, and he would decide to take a leap of Faith.

Trusting and waiting on God is necessary and often a good practice but sometimes a decision or a challenge stands before us and we must take action in faith, especially if others are at risk. An entire nation was in danger of being enslaved, someone had to take action.

David gathered a few stones and came before the giant trusting in his God. It was not exactly blind faith, since David had fought a lion and a bear. Still this man was a renowned warrior, who also happened to be over 9 feet tall. David could not even carry his armor. But David with much courage challenged Goliath and warned him that he would fight him in the name of The Lord the God of Israel and that He would give him the victory. David ran towards Goliath and with his sling flung a stone. Goliath fell to the ground and David acting quickly cuts the giant’s head.

David like everyone else could have easily given into fear. It is easy to be frozen when facing dangers or challenges. However David was a man of faith. When it is time to take action, we must act, and demonstrate the faith we have in God, believing He will give us the victory.

 

Try these Veres on fear

Calling all thrill seekers

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Matthew 14:29

There are so many exciting things to do in this world: where to begin, mountain climbing, skydiving, hang gliding, bull fighting, surfing, and of course walking on water? Wait there is something different about the last one. Well it certainly seems impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

How exciting it must have been for Peter to be out there on the water, the waves splashing against his legs, the winds pushing his body and the fish swimming below. He must have felt super human. What a thrill. No man had done this before, except for Jesus. If you could call him a man, he definitely was not just a man. Speaking of Jesus, he was the reason Peter was walking on water. Jesus had given Peter the authority and the permission to walk on water. No telling what we can do when Jesus gives us the authority and the permission. All Peter did was asked!

All was going well but then Peter got a little distracted. The wind must have been coming in pretty strong. You thinking at home, “no big deal just a little wind”. But that was enough to cause some doubt. Peter took his look away from Jesus and lost faith. Before he knew it, he was sinking.

A little distraction is all it takes. Some of us have dealt with pretty big distractions in our lives. They can all cause us to loose faith. Sickness, death, job loss, personal problems, attacks of the enemy that comes in so many different forms. They all take our eyes away from our source of strength and hope, Jesus. They can cause us all to doubt. Then we are not so invincible. Moving mountains become a little difficult and we fail. Well there is a solution.

Peter called out for Jesus. When walking on water is no longer possible in our lives, call on Jesus. He can pull you out of the water. He can get you out of trouble and get you back on track doing all the exciting things you need to be doing for God, yourself and all the love ones in your life.

The bible does not record Peter walking on water again, but he did do other incredible things. Peter broke out of prison with an Angel (Acts 12:5-10), healed the sick with his shadow (Acts 5:12-16), and when he preached, thousands would be saved. (Acts 2:14-41) If you have found it difficult to do great things of late call on Jesus, put your faith in Him and do not let the struggles in life get you down or distract you. Soon enough you’ll be walking on water again and going on other exciting adventures!

You are not an afterthought

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” 1Samuel 16:10, 11

You ever felt like an afterthought? Like no one believes you are capable, right for the job or worth much? I got just the story for you, pull up a chair and enjoy.  Oh, by the way, it’s a true story.

All of Jesse’s boys were lined up, except for the youngest, David. One of them would be anointed to be the next King of Israel. The father knew David was just not the sort to be the next King; the thought was ridiculous!  He was only a shepherd boy and he was the youngest in the family.  He was not daddy’s pride and joy.  He would not inherit the mantle of leadership for the family.  He was meant to be a follower and therefore his presence was unnecessary.

The prophet came.  He was no ordinary man.  He had been the sole source of leadership and power in Israel for many years. He was the judge, high Priest of Israel and he was a king maker. He was God’s man and therefore one could argue still the true source of power in all of Israel.  For all of Samuel’s glory Jesse did not think it important for David to be present.  If you left it up to Jesse, his youngest son would miss perhaps one of the greatest events in Bethlehem’s history. Samuel, the prophet had come to town.

The present King had fallen out of favor with God and soon the kingdom would be taken away and given to another man.  But who would be that man?  This was the purpose for which Samuel found himself in this small town.  He was looking for a king.

One by one Jesse’s son came before Samuel, and each time, they were rejected by God. Soon Samuel and Jesse were out of Boys.  The great prophet turns to Jesse and says “Do you have another son.” Jesse responds that he is the youngest and that he is tending the sheep. Samuel is not dissuaded and demands the young boy’s presence. When David arrives immediately God tells Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” (1Samuel 16:12) This afterthought, unlikely candidate, became the greatest King in Israelite history; easily Israel’s greatest hero.

When self-doubt sets in and others would have you believe you’re not good enough, I think it’s best to remember that it’s not up to them or you, to decide who is not good enough. That’s God’s decision: the God who looks at the heart and sees the true nature of a person. He alone knows your true potential. Chances are it is greater than what you think!

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Basketball and God’s Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111:10

“He runs across the court passes to Johnson, he shoots from the three point line, he scores, they win, they win, and the crowd goes crazy!” Basketball is a great sport. You ever notice what a basketball player does. He runs, sometimes walks, throws the ball and dribbles. Most children can do these things. I am sure many would like to grow up to be great basketball players. In truth many are already on their way. They are learning each and every day. If they can just acquire enough wisdom for the game anything is possible.

It’s the same for Christians. We would all like to be great women and men of God. But I for one know there is no comparing Sammy (yeah that’s me) to Moses. But we all can keep growing in the Lord. Where do we begin? That’s the easy part. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10)

What does it truly mean to fear the lord? It means we are aware of his greatness and his might. We recognize that he is all powerful, knows all things and is everywhere. It also means that we are ready to submit to Him and trust in Him. We will obey Him.

When God first called Moses he resisted and gave many excuses, but he feared God and ultimately knew he had no choice but to submit. He then became a mighty instrument of God. He became a great man of God. But first He had to submit.

How can we do a better job of submitting to God? If we want to play on God’s team, we must study His rule book, also known as the bible. It contains all that God desires of us, and all the promises he has made and will fulfill. Let us commit ourselves to the study of scripture so that we may please God more and grow in His wisdom. We too can become great women and men of God and that’s better than shooting a three pointer.

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Getting Stronger!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

You can just hear the trainer at the gym, “Come on baby one more. You can do it yea! Can you feel the burn? You can feel those muscles growing. Great work out!” I am a firm believer in exercise and proper diet. God gave us legs, arms and muscles for a reason and it is no coincidence that the harder we push ourselves, the stronger we become. I believe we should get the most out of what God has given us and care for the Temple Of God which we are. It helps us to endure, grow stronger and be more productive.

But while we are considering our physical development, we cannot forget that we are more than muscle, bone and flesh. We are mind, spirit and soul. This is the stuff that when properly developed can give us the will to go on, the faith to always believe, the psychological stamina to overcome tragedy, the drive to finish and the strength to never give up. It’s what keeps our conscious whole and enables us to differentiate between right and wrong. It guides us in all that we do. If we neglect our spiritual life we can easily fall to temptation or be crippled by the many challenges presented in our lives.

There is real power in the spirit. The disciples came to Jesus and said to him “why could we not cast out this demon?’ Jesus who had come to their rescue and had with ease rebuked the Demon, told them that this one only comes out through prayer and fasting, the ultimate work out for the Christian (Matthew 17:14-21). When we build our spirit through prayer, we can do great things.

When Jesus had his encounter with the devil in the wilderness scripture reveals that he was filled with the spirit. He just didn’t have the spirit. He was filled with the spirit to capacity. The Devil didn’t have a chance. Jesus was also armed with the word and used it effectively to counter every suggestion/temptation of the devil (Luke 4:1-13). Jesus was the greatest example of spiritual fitness.

While we are at the Gym trying to run one more mile, we cannot forget that the spirit needs some exercise too. We must be spiritually fit, exercising with the word, prayer and fasting. That’s the real total workout.

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