Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hatitude of Gratitude

By: Rev. Angela Lee Price
"Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people " 1 Chronicles 16:8.

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Ladies, no matter what you are going through and no matter where you have been, the Bible encourages you to always have an attitude of gratitude. What do you have to be thankful for? What has God done for you this year? What gratitude do you have under your hat? Make it known known according to 1 Chronicles 16:8. Share in our discussions on the Jesus Saves Social Network and express your "hatitude" of gratitude.

Jesus Saves Ministries will be sending two ladies, who would not otherwise be able to attend, to the St. Stephen Women's Ministry "Hatitude" Holiday Tea on December 12th at the St. Stephen Family Life Center, Louisville, Kentucky as part of our Least of These ministry. This 6th annual tea will include fabulous food, holiday music, a hat fashion show, and much more! When praises go up, blessings come down! Express your gratitude today!

Lifting you up in a down economy, Jesus Saves Ministries!
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Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Help Us Help the "Least of These" This Holiday Season!

By: Min. Angela Lee Price

"For I was an hungered, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick or in prison, and come unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto youm Inasmuch as y have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" Matthew 25:35-40.
  1. Jesus Saves Ministries will be feeding several families this Thanksgving and Christmas. Jesus Saves Ministries will be delivering "Blessings In A Basket" toiletries baskets to the homeless and those in need throughout the season.
  2. Jesus Saves Ministries will provide tickets to the St. Stephen’s Women’s Ministry “Hatitude” Holiday Tea, Saturday, December 12th to two women who otherwise cannot afford to attend, courtesy of the St. Stephen Women’s Ministry.

Help Us Help the “Least of These” This Holiday Season. Here's how you can help:

  1. Pray for the "least of these" according to Matthew 25:35-40.
  2. Supply the last names of families in need to receive turkeys with trimmings for 4, or persons to receive "Blessings In a Basket" toiletries baskets (persons who are homeless, temporarily living in shelters, unemployed, seniors in need, etc.); or women to receive tickets to the "Hatitude" Holiday Tea.
  3. Contribute toiletries or sponsor a “Blessings” Basket;
  4. Participate in the Least of These Group with commentary, statistics in your area of the needs and particular circumstances of the people we are serving.

Lifing you up in a down economy, Jesus Saves Ministries! Celebrating 4 Years of Lifting Up Jesus Christ!

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Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Get In Where You Fit In!

"The proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism" Acts 6:6-7.

Church growth is good, but when you don’t have the resources, the people operating in their proper places in ministry, you’ve got problems. In Acts 6, we see immediately there is a problem, and not just one problem, but two problems. The Greek-speaking widows are complaining that they are being discriminated against in the daily ministration.

This was not just a food line. The disciples weren’t just waiting on tables. The daily ministration was a place where money changed hands. The tables were a place where disciples brought their money after the sale of their estates and land. Jesus told the rich, young ruler to sale his possessions, give the money to the poor and follow Him. The young ruler went away sad because he was not willing to part with his worldly possessions. Ananias and Sapphira sold their property and brought money to the disciples, but kept part of it for themselves. They died, mostly likely at the tables, for lying to the apostles.

Also, the tables were the place where the Grecian and Hebrew widows received public charity, funds, food, and help with daily living. This neglect of the Grecian widows occurred because as the church was growing the disciples found themselves out of place. They were serving tables when they should have been preaching. They were serving tables when they should have been praying. Have you ever known someone to be out of place, greeting on the door or serving as an usher but looking like they just drank sour lemonade? I want to encourage everyone to get in where you fit in!

In Acts 6, the apostles "kill two birds with one stone." Sorry Stephen. Stephen was stoned to death for the Gospel's sake. We see the resolution to both problems in the establishment of the office of deacon. There were 16 deacons ordained last Sunday at St. Stephen Church. One of them, Deacon Dick Dickerson, is from Dosker Manor. I believe God is speaking specifically to Dosker Manor on this subject, “Get In Where You Fit In.” He elevated a woman here from her wheelchair here so that she could “fit in” to the choir. He has elevated a man here, not from his wheelchair, but in his wheelchair so that he now “fits in” on the deacon board.

Somebody has an opportunity to “get in where they fit in” right here on Friday. Bible Study is Friday, but some of you have been saying all year, “This Friday is a bad Friday. “This just ain’t my year. This Friday is Friday, the 13th, and it’s the third one this year. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.” I stopped by to tell you stop don’t afraid of witches, warlocks, spells and unlucky days. The Ancient of Days is all you need! He is much more powerful than any black cat, Satanist, psychic, or magician. The powers of Pharaoh’s magicians couldn’t match God’s powers in Exodus 8:19, 9:11), and the King’s magicians couldn’t interpret his dreams when Daniel could through God’s revelation (Dan 1:20, 2:27, 4:7ff). Acts 19:19 describes how the people who had done magic gave it up after they trusted Jesus, “And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone” (NASB).

In order to get in where you fit in, turn your bad Friday into Good Friday.

Say “TGIF – Thank God I’m Forgiven!” Write down, “TGIF.” Take the “T” that represents the Cross and move it from the beginning to the end because Jesus is coming back again. Now you have the word, “GIFT.” You have just turned your bad Friday into Good Friday. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life!”

Turn your bad Friday into Good Friday. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Isaiah 53:5 says, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisment of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." What can wash away are sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Turn your bad Friday into a Good Friday. Jesus defeated Satan and his evil forces at the cross! Colossians 2:15 states, "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them at the cross."

The disciples turned their bad Friday into Good Friday in Acts 6. They recognized that they were not serving properly within the body of Christ so, “They gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry for the Word of God in order for us to wait tables” (v2) .

In order to get in where you fit in, stop sitting in!

Not only is Jesus our perfect Gift, defeating principalities and powers at the Cross, he also gave us at least one gift for the work of ministry. Ephesians 4:7-8 tells us Jesus, the perfect Gift, has given gifts to men. Our gifts have been given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (v12).

He didn’t save us to sit. He saved us to serve! That’s the problem. Some of us are just sitting in. We’re just sitting in worship service, matinee style with our candy and food, texting on our cell phones while worship is going on. We’re just sitting in front of the television watching the Yankees beat the Phillies, glad baseball is over so that now we can sit in some more on the real sports, football and basketball. We go by and sit in with “Big Mama” every once in a while like we’re doing her a favor. We see that she needs help around the place, but won’t pick up, straighten up or fix up. We see that her eyesight ain’t what it use to be, her curtains need washing, clothes need ironing, but all we to do is go by and sit in. The days of just sitting in are over. There was a time when the sit in was a very effective tool for protest. I thank God for the sit in, but how did Barack Obama get into office? People didn’t just “sit” him in. They “fit” him in, by voting him in office! Stop sitting in. Get in where you fit in!

Okay, preacher where is that in the Bible? Stephen and the six were voted into office, "Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known (say known) to be full of the Spirit. This proposal pleased the whole group" (vs 3-5). King James says, “And the saying pleased the whole multitude….” They chose Stephen.…" It’s called lay participation.

Let me help you. God has given all of us at least one Gift, but He doesn’t give gifts in secret. Even if some of your gifts appear to be a mystery to you a little while, your gifts will find you out. Your gifts will make room for you. Has anyone come up to you lately and said, “You’re good at that!,” “You should consider doing such and such in the church?” Those are quite possibly times when your gifts are making themselves known. Stephen’s gifts were known to the multitude. Stephen was the first disciple martyred for the faith in the New Testament. Stephen was one of the seven men chosen to assist the apostles in the administrative affairs of the early Jerusalem church. He is most noted for his outstanding character, faith, wisdom, courage, and willingness to contend for the faith against false accusation and fierce opposition. St. Stephen Church is named after Stephen. Stephen talked about the people who were "sitting in" at the Sandhedrin calling them "stiff-necked." (7:5) Stop sitting in! Get in where you fit in!

In order to get in where you fit in, find your business and mind your business!

Every Christian should find their business and mind their own business. We are too busy in everybody else's business that we can't find business of our own.

Find your business:
1 Corinthians 12:1-21 – “And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”
2. Romans 12:4-8 – “For as we have many members in the body, and all members have not the same office…”
The apostles found their business – prayer and the ministry of the Word.

Mind your business:
3. 1 Timothy 4:14 – “Neglect not the gift that is in thee….”
4. 2 Timothy 1:6 - “…stir up the gift of God…”
The apostles minded their business by turning the daily ministration over to the seven elected officers. When they did this, the word of God spread rapidly so that even the hard to reach priest came to the Lord.

God had already equipped Stephen for his administrative assignment (v3, 5). Stephen’s additional gifts were (some appear in Chapter 7 & Chapter 22):
a. administration (v3,5)
b. wisdom (v3)
c. faith (v5)
d. miracles (v8)
e. teaching (v9-10, chapter 7)
f. prophecy (v9-10, chapter 7)
g. martyrdom (chapter 7, 7:60)

In addition to these gifts, Stephen was fine! He had it “going on!” To me, he must have looked like Denzel Washington. The Bible says, "All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel (chapter 6:15).

In order to get in where you fit in, get out.

I did not include evangelism as Stephen’s gift. He contended for the faith in the Synagogue of the Freedman. Stephen was an apologist. He defended the faith. Phillip, who “got in” with Stephen and the five disciples in Acts 6, “got out” as an evangelist in Acts 8. Additionally, his four daughters had the gift of prophecy.

I said earlier this summer that the cults are out there out-witnessing us witnesses. This is one reason Christians are denouncing Christianity, turning to other faiths, or adding unbiblical all-roads-lead-to-heaven types of beliefs with Christianity. On any given Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday, any day of the week, for that matter, we are more apt to see Mormons in pairs riding their bikes, Jehovah's Witnesses walking the streets, and Muslims on the street corners selling their bean pies and Final Calls than we are to see denominational or non-denominational Christians witnessing for Christ.

Considering the numbers of churches on every corner in every city, and the size of some of our mega churches, we should be bumping into each other on the streets with our complimentary Bibles and tracks eager to share the Good News with anyone willing to give us half a minute of their time. If we are going to make a great commotion about the great commission, many more of us are going to have to get out!

In order to get in where you fit in, 1) turn your bad Friday into Good Friday; 2) stop sitting in; 3) find your business and mind your business; and 4) get out.

Sermon preached Sunday, November 8th, St. Stephen East at Dosker Manor, Louisville, Kentucky. Inspired by the St. Stephen Church Sunday school lesson, "Mind Your Own Business," October 11-12, 2008.

Friday, November 06, 2009

What do you say to someone struggling to make it?

In an April 2009 interview in True Love Magazine, Tyler Perry was asked the question, What would you say to someone who is struggling to make it? He referred to Joseph's response in dealing with hardship, "I would tell them the fascinating story of Joseph in the Bible - he always dreamt. Even when there was a famine in the land, he still dreamt and he did an amazing thing - he gave. And that's what I would say to people - give. Give, even when it doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to be money, but if you have something to share with people, do it. It will bring blessings in your life. When you have a dream that God has given you, the dream will start to believe for you. You will meet people who will believe in you, but whatever you do, don't stop. Keep moving."

Do you agree or disagree with Tyler Perry? What would you say to someone who is struggling to make it?

Here are a few replies from the Jesus Saves Ministries Social Network:

Reply by Therese Warrick on October 30, 2009 at 9:55pm

Rev. Price, I really like this discussion topic. It hits home for me because I have been that person who has had to struggle to make it, and sometimes I still struggle with certain things in my life, especially as a single parent. I read Tyler's answer and he is certainly on point. I deal with my struggles by praying, I pray believing God that He will see me through. I also deal with my struggles by getting in the Word and by seeking out my prayer partner, and asking believers to intercede on my behalf.

I would say to someone who is struggling to make it to keep on going, don't give up, just hold on to God's hand, don't let it go; just keep on praying, pray morning, noon and night, pray anywhere and everywhere, just pray, but pray believing that God will make a way. Speak life and affirm what it is that he/she is seeking, that is, financial blessing, job promotion, getting out of depression and disappointment, whatever it is, just speak life over the situation.

I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 "Two people are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help.

Reply by Rev. Angela Lee Price on November 4, 2009 at 9:12am

I am glad to see at least one of the prosperity preachers backing away from the distorted prosperity gospel to focus on the ministry of Jesus Christ thereby presenting a more balance message of hope. I believe telling the truth in love is the best thing one can do in the midst of struggle and suffering. The Bible tells us that speaking the truth is love helps us as Christians become mature, grow up in Jesus, and to not be tossed "to and fro" by every wind of teaching and schemes of deceitful men (Ephesians 4:14-20). The best thing we can do as a general rule is tell the truth and not try to water it down or distort it in any way. Some of the struggles we face we bring on ourselves. The Lord says, "My people perish for lack of knowledge."

Reply by Jazlyn on October 31, 2009 at 12:14am

I believe that we all were put here to tend to one another. Often times i will go out of my way to help a stranger and it feels good. I dont look for anything in return, I just do it.....

Reply by Rev. Angela Lee Price on November 4, 2009 at 9:19am

There is scripture for what you just said, "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms" 1Peter 4:10-11. When we use our spiritual gifts, we extend God's grace to one another. One of the spiritual gifts God gives to believers is the gift of giving.

Reply by Jazlyn on November 4, 2009 at 9:57pm
Angela, I will read 1Peter, thank you for the reference.

Join the Jesus Saves Ministries Social Network and participate in our group and forum discussions.

Jesus Saves Ministries, Celebrating 4 Years of Lifting Up Jesus Christ!

Tyler Perry's Laugh To Keep From Crying Comes to Louisville

Next week, Jesus Saves Ministries will be giving away a pair of tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance of Tyler Perry’s stage play “Laugh to Keep From Crying” coming to the Louisville Palace Sunday, November 15th, Louisville, Kentucky.

Amazingly, Tyler Perry has built a solid portfolio of stage productions over the past 12 years. Tyler Perry’s “Laugh to Keep from Crying” will surely bring much needed laughter with all the challenges we face today. This 11th production touches the depths of our souls and has a lot of great poignant moments. It explores confusion versus an illustration of courage. A cast of veterans from former Tyler Perry productions will provide you with a clear perception to manage your own situations but on a lighter scale.

The story line is based on life’s struggles in the heart of the neighborhood. How does one understand and protect young people; how do you manage to keep a roof over your head when you lose your job; where do you find a bed of roses when there is so much pain? A family that receives redemption and a neighborhood that comes together with hope, love and respect is recognized. As all of Mr. Perry’s stage productions have been in the past, this entertaining experience is full of great laughter, high quality singing and encouragement. As they say during difficult times, you have to "Laugh To Keep From Crying"!

The ensemble includes Palmer Williams, Jr. (“Floyd” of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and The Marriage Counselor) who gets involved in everyone’s business - this time as the landlord; you’ll remember Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley, from previous stageplays and movies, as she portrays a single mother with 2 teenagers; D’atra Hicks, has been in his past productions – now who could forget her voice; Chandra Currelley, a very familiar face and talent in his productions; and Mr. Perry is bringing back Tamar Davis, Stephanie Ferrett, and Donnie Sykes from “The Marriage Counselor”.

To enter the drawing, join the Laugh to Keep From Crying group on the Jesus Saves Ministries Social Network and participate in one of the discussions. There will be 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners. Current discussion topics include:
  1. What would you say to someone who is struggling to make it?
  2. Real men do cry
  3. Is it easy being a Christian today?
Over the past month, Jesus Saves Ministries has given away tickets to the stage play Clean Up Woman and to Unityfest 2009 featuring national gospel artists, Hezekiah Walker and Kim Burrell.These tickets and other gifts are our way of lifting you, our members and supporters up in a down economy.

Below is a video excerpt on prayer from one of Tyler Perry’s plays.

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Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!


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