Faith

An ongoing series of informational entries

The Storms of Life

July 18, 2014

Every person, no matter who they are, will have trials and storms in their life. Life is a series of mountain tops and valleys, but it is what we do with those storms and in those valleys that will determine the outcome!

First, as with all bad news, there is a time of trying to wrap your mind around what has happened. This is where I have struggled. I once thought that if I allowed my emotions or any weakness to show, that I wasn't having faith that God would give me strength or help me through the trial. I've lived for God for many years, and with each of life's tests, I have felt that I've failed because I was weak. Not so! It is when I am weak that God will carry me. I simply have to give it to Him and trust that He will see me through. He is my strength and my salvation! The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psalms 18: 2)

Second, in the midst of the turmoil, it is easy to become angry toward God for allowing the difficult situation or circumstances to happen. This is where we must realize that God does all things perfectly. Our thoughts are limited, but God is all-knowing. We cannot understand how something bad can be used for our good, but God's ways are perfect! And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Third, if we can look past the storm clouds of life and focus on God, we will realize that He loves us and only wants what is best for us. It is then that we can trust Him and know that He will come through, and He is never late! He is faithful to remain by our side and carry us when we are weak! He is our help when we need it! God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalms 46:1) He is our peace when we are troubled! Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) And His joy is my strength! In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. (Job 41:22)

Next, we have to know in our heart that God will come through. That is faith. God has always made the sun rise, given us breath to breathe every moment of every day, and provided all of our needs in order to live. He has always been faithful, which means that He has never failed us! If that is the case, it also means that He won't fail us now because God does not change. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8) Hold onto that and remember...God has never failed to bring you through! He is the creator of the heavens and the earth and all things within! He owns a cattle on a thousand hills! He will provide what we need, no matter what! It's a promise! But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Last, when we realize that God will take care of us, just as He always has, we should have a praise on our lips for Him, continually thanking Him for what He has done and what He is going to do. Although we can't see a way out when the storm is raging, we can know that God can always see the way, and He will always give us what we need to get through, including strength, protection, provision, and joy. We simply need to wait on Him in faith. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

My Testimony

September 2, 2016

I haven't always known God. I was saved when I was twenty-one, and I'm forty-five now, so I've been living for Him for over half of my life. Before Jesus found me...yes, He found me...my life was very dark and frightening. Let me explain...

My earliest memories are sitting with my Great Uncle Jim at our table, sipping his coffee from a teaspoon, and my dad taking my sister and I for a ride in his dune buggy. We lived near my grandparents and many aunts, uncles, and cousins then, but soon moved away when I was three.

I remember things being rocky between my parents before we moved. That's when my dad went away for awhile. He ended up getting a job and came back for us, but I later found out that they had separated during that time. As I grew older, I began to figure out why. My dad's temper could be out of control, and the family received the brunt of his anger. I remember a lot of yelling when I was little, and my mom cried a lot, not just from emotional pain, but also from the physical pain that he inflicted upon her. As we grew older, my sister and I began to get hurt as well, although she received the worst of it because she wasn't perfect. My dad always wanted everything perfect...the house had to be perfectly clean; my grades had to be straight A's. Nothing could go wrong so as not to upset a perfect world, or he would explode. Unfortunately, my sister is developmentally disabled, so he would purposefully target her, requiring her to say big words, which she couldn't, so that gave him an excuse to lash out at her. I joke now that I was my father's son because he had me do things with him like work on vehicles and cut loads of firewood. I was often hit with a tool, kicked, or backhanded because I did something wrong. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't make him happy. When I was around twelve I developed a system. We had two kinds of silverware, two kinds of cloth napkins, and two kinds of dinnerware. I discovered that when my dad had a specific combination of silverware, napkin, and plate, he was happy, so I made sure he got the same ones every night, until one night he was angry and things happened that shouldn't have, so I had to come up with a new combination of fork, napkin, and plate. I held out hope that it might be helping, and did this for nearly three years until I realized that had nothing to do with his mood and stopped. We all tried so hard to make sure dad was happy.

Dad was always happy on Friday nights. He either had friends at our house or he was at the local bar, but whichever he chose, there was always plenty of liquor. He was usually a happy drunk, and we liked being around him during those times. He would tell his friends what good kids we were and how much he loved my mom, but the next day things would return to normal. It never lasted. He tried to make things better with marijuana. He was happy when he was high, but the effects wore off. Then there was the problem of money. He supplemented his income occasionally by selling marijuana, but he had to have his booze and his pot, so there was never enough money to pay the bills. I remember many times that I would come home from school and there was a disconnect notice on the door for the water or the electricity. Then the world was not a perfect place, so we knew what that evening was going to be like.

I remember that, as a child, I would wonder what the point of us being alive was. I knew that there had to be a purpose. I asked my mom if people were just born to die. It seemed so pointless. I would cry and not understand. I would eventually understand, but it would be a long time before I knew the answers. In the meantime, I was confused and empty.

It was when I was twelve that other things started happening in my life. People touched me in a way that no child should be touched. Yes, people. More than one. I hated it! I often wondered if there was a sign on my forehead inviting them. I hated myself. It was at that time that my grades went from straight A's to F's. The kids at school teased me mercilessly because I was fat, my clothes were ugly, I was socially inept, and I was frequently called names and had rocks thrown at me as I was chased home from school. My dad had a name that he always called me that included the word "lard". Even though he was big, he always pointed out how fat I was. I was miserable at home, and I was miserable at school. These things went on for four years until there was a change. Someone in authority found out that I was being touched and it was reported. It was at the same time that my parents were separating again, for the last time, and I was relieved, not only for myself, but for my mom and my sister. I was tired of protecting my mom from the would-be beatings she would have gotten had I not stood up for her.

We also found out that my dad was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It is defined as, "Any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, and accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances. Schizophrenia is associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and defects of the frontal lobe and is caused by genetic, other biological, and psychosocial factors." I discovered that my grandfather and my uncle also had schizophrenia, and that my dad's actions were, in part, a learned response that he grew up seeing his own father display, as well as the schizophrenia at work. The schizophrenia could have been helped if we had only known. I also realized that it is hereditary.

I was a sophomore when my mom decided that it was time to move. I ended up going to five different schools during the course of a year. I was shy, and it was so hard for me to make new friends, let alone meet so many new people only to leave to somewhere else unknown, so I skipped school a lot and fell further and further behind. It was during this time in my life that I wanted to end my life. I was searching for something or someone to alleviate the pain. I hadn't received the love and support I needed as a child to become a confident young woman. The only time I had been pretty or good enough was when someone touched me, so I went in search of someone to fill that empty void in my heart. I ended up pregnant at sixteen years old. My mother had a new boyfriend, and they talked and decided it was best to stop the pregnancy. My mom took me to an abortion clinic, and it was over. I remember laying in the back seat of the car in such pain as she drove home...pain from the abortion, and pain in my heart. What had I done?

There was a Stress Center at the hospital in a town near where we lived, and my mom and her boyfriend admitted me, not knowing that they would keep me for nearly four weeks, and I wouldn't be going home afterward. I had round-the-clock counseling, and someone was always there. I was so depressed that all I could do was lie in my bed and cry for the first few days I was there. It wasn't long before a case worker from Children's Services Division came to talk to me. I decided that it might be better for me to go to a foster home instead of returning to the place of so many bad memories, yelling, and chaos. I needed stability.

I lived with my foster parents for almost two years. They helped me get back on track with school, and they encouraged me to be a kid and enjoy life. I wasn't given the opportunity to be a kid when I was young due to the circumstances in our home. I also had to watch my sister a lot to make sure she was where she needed to be, she was safe, and she was being cared for. I didn't have any responsibilities in my foster home, aside from keeping my room clean, and as my confidence grew as a result of my environment, I began attending social functions with friends. Unfortunately, even though I was being more social, I still wanted to be happy and have someone else be happy with the person I was. I wanted approval, and I searched for that in boys. I had a long list of boyfriends over a two year period, and I never could find what I was looking for.

I graduated from high school and spent the next year working and partying every night when I got home. There were literally people on my porch when I would get home from my swing-shift job. My friends and I would cruise Main Street and we would party through the night, I would sleep a few hours, and go to work again, hangover included. There were many times I would end up at someone's house, and I didn't know the people. We were just there for the party. I would be so drunk, and I would drive home.

I finally met someone who seemed to really care and wanted to move in with me. I was thrilled! I thought he truly loved the person I was. It wasn't long and I was pregnant. I wanted so badly to be married since I was going to have his baby, so we were married when I was three months along. I soon had a beautiful baby girl and life continued on. She was my one ray of sunshine, despite the fact that her daddy preferred looking at other women and didn't come home some nights. When she was eight months old, I discovered that I was once again pregnant. My husband told me that I would either get an abortion or he would divorce me. I wanted so badly to please him that I was once again taken to an abortion clinic. I lay in that cold room alone for three hours and cried. After I returned home, I would hold my baby girl day after day and weep for the loss of my unborn child.

I became pregnant again three months later. It was during this pregnancy that I attended a family reunion. My husband decided that he was more interested in spending time with a cousin of mine, and left me soon after the reunion ended. I finished my pregnancy without him, but I was not alone. The foster parents I lived with as a teen had six children who were all grown and gone by the time I lived there. One foster sister was the glue that held me together during this time in my life. She came to check on me and called me frequently and just made sure that I knew she was there. I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, and was trying to figure out where to go from there. I was the mother of two beautiful babies, and because I didn't know what the future held, I was afraid!

When my son was three weeks old, my foster sister invited me to church. They were having revival services that week, and she picked me up and took my babies and I to church that night. I had never seen anything like it. People were raising their hands and shouting, "Amen!" I didn't listen to the preaching, but instead watched everyone. At the end of the service the minister invited everyone to the front to pray. My foster sister asked me if I wanted to receive the Holy Ghost. My response was, "Sure! What is it?" Looking back, I think I was so eager to make my life better that I was willing to try anything. She read Acts 2: 38 to me, which says, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." I still didn't understand what it was, but I went forward to pray anyway.

I felt the power of God in a way that I had never experienced before. I did as Acts 2: 38 said, and I repented by telling God that I was sorry for every sin I had ever committed. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. It also says that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, so I knew that when I said I was sorry and had determined to do right, that He had forgiven me. The power that came over me was so strong that I could feel it throughout my entire being. I told Jesus that I needed Him and I raised my hands to Him in surrender. I had so much hurt built up in my heart from everything that had happened to me throughout my life that it was easy to reach out to Jesus as tears coursed down my cheeks. As I prayed and cried out to Him, my words began to change and I was speaking in a way I never had. I had received the Holy Ghost, just as His word promised! He had come to dwell in my heart, and we knew it because I was speaking in another tongue...a heavenly language, just as the Bible says! The next day I was baptized in Jesus name, washing all my sins away. I was a living testimony that Acts 2: 38 works! In Bible studies, I learned that Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Being baptized in Jesus name is the burial, death and resurrection, or being born of water, and receiving the infilling of the Holy Ghost is being born of the Spirit. I was saved and I knew that if I lived for Him, I was going to dwell in heaven for eternity!

In the days after that I had a joy that was indescribable. I had not only been forgiven of my sins, but Jesus also helped me to forgive myself of the things I had done. He delivered me from the guilt and condemnation I had carried for so long. On the third day after receiving the Holy Ghost, my husband came to me and asked to come home. He came to church with me, and living for God became a way of life. We had another daughter, and dedicated all of our children to God, promising that we would raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I'm not going to say that everything that has happened since I was saved twenty-three years ago has been perfect. There have been some trials and tribulations that I've gone through, but I can say that Jesus has been my strength through each and every one of them. He has been a strong tower when the storms have raged. The rain falls on the just and the unjust, but God has never left my side and has blessed me more than I could ever imagine! I can honestly say that my worst day living for Him is better than my best day without Him! Each time I've had to go through something, I've come out on the other side stronger and wiser for it. I'm thankful for the trials I've had to endure! They have made me who I am today. I can reach out with compassion to a child who has gone through the pain that I endured as a child, help a single mother whose husband has left her, or know how to pray for someone who is distraught and wants to give up on life.

My husband ended up leaving church and divorcing me, but I remarried and had two more beautiful children. My five children are my heartbeat, and as they grow up and get married, I am now blessed with a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and five wonderful grandchildren. Four of my children are serving God in Spirit and in truth, and they are raising their children to do the same. I will never give up on my one child who is not walking with God right now. As long as there is life, there is hope! My husband is faithful to the house of God, and to the work of God, and I couldn't be more blessed!

Jesus has been our provider when my husband lost his job, not only making sure our every need was met when we didn't know what to do, but blessing us beyond measure. He has healed me from many things, including a brain tumor! He has protected our family from so many things, many of which we do not know, including the schizophrenia that my dad, uncle, and grandfather had and He has given me a sound mind. He has kept us through the good times and the bad. He has spoken a word of wisdom to us so many times through His word, the preached word, or in prayer, and it was exactly what we needed in a specific situation. He has sent people to minister to us when we needed it. He has been faithful and loved me when I was unlovable. And He loved me so much that He died on a cross so that I could be saved. I had never been loved like that before. I didn't deserve for Him to shed His blood for me, but He did. I'm in awe!

I continually grow in Him and learn. He loves me unconditionally and He is always giving and always there, but He is a gentleman and He doesn't demand us to give back. Something I've learned is that when we get to know Him through prayer and reading His word, we fall in love with Him, and it becomes easy to give back to Him. I have determined to give my life to Him, as He gave His for me. People that don't know the difference say I'm religious, but it's not about obeying a list of rules and calling myself a Christian. It's about me loving Jesus and wanting to be the friend to Him that He has been to me. I want more than anything to please Him in all that I do, say, and think. I chose to make Him the center of my life and love Him, no matter what the circumstance.

The story doesn't end here. After I was saved, with God's help I was able to forgive my father and get the hate out of my heart that I had harbored for years. I started teaching him Bible studies and he came to understand the plan of salvation. He realized that the Bible doesn't say that we accept the Lord as our personal Savior and we're saved, but we have to do some things...repent, be baptized in Jesus name, be filled with the Holy Ghost, and live a holy life unto God. I was able to take him to church where he was baptized, and he was filled with the Holy Ghost. We were able to start over and rebuild our relationship. It was soon after that he went to live in a nursing home and became very ill. He passed away, but I know that he was saved and I will see him again some day in Glory! My mother was also baptized in Jesus name and later filled with the Holy Ghost. She comes to church on holidays and special occasions, and I believe and pray that one day she will fall in love with Jesus in such a way that she will want to be in each and every service, loving and worshiping Him the way He desires.

One last thing...everything God asks of us in His word isn't going to make us comfortable. I've heard so many people read a scripture and say, "Well, I just don't agree with that," or "I'm just not comfortable with that." I always tell people that when Jesus suffered a cruel death on a cross so that we could be saved and not have to pay the price for our sins ourselves, He wasn’t comfortable. He truly doesn't ask much, and if we learn to really know Him, the things He does ask are easy because He gives us the strength. We are His children and He has favor on us. It pleases Him to give us good gifts. How much do you want to please the ones you love?

The ABC's of Living for God

September 2, 2016

If you are saved according to Acts 2: 38, including repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost, but you are looking for some ideas to strengthen your walk with God, you may find just what you’re looking for in these ABC’s of living for God.


A – Accountability is important. If you struggle in reading the Word and praying every day, have someone check in on you on a regular basis to see if you’ve been doing these things. When you are weak and need prayer, ask for help rather than trying to go it alone. There is strength in numbers. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18: 20


B – Be an example, to your own children as well as other church children and adults as well. Our children are learning from our actions, and we don’t want to be a stumbling block to anyone else. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4: 12


C – Counsel that is Godly should only be considered. Be hesitant to listen to your friends and family that aren’t walking in the Holy Ghost! “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Psalm 1:1


D – Don’t listen to gossip or look for the bad in others. Our flesh may desire to, but we must overcome! The Holy Ghost gives us the power to have victory over these things. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4: 29


E – Everyone falls, but don’t stay there. Get back up! Ask Jesus for forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins! “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” Proverbs 24: 16


F – Forgive! It’s easy to find offense and get bitter, but is it worth your salvation? There is nothing that someone else could have done or said that is worth going to hell over. Pray that God would help you love them as He loves them. “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11: 25-26


G – Give….of your time, your talents, and your money. You can’t out-give God, so when you learn to love working for Him, using your talents for His Kingdom, you will be blessed! When you give your tithe and offering faithfully, you will find that He will always provide your needs without fail! Become a cheerful giver and love giving to the Lord! “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6: 38


H – Help others. Pray for them. Encourage them. Restore them if they fall. Love them! “For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4: 10


I – Involvement is key! If the church has scheduled activities, be involved. If you are involved, you will be about His business and less likely to be bored and looking to the world for something to do. There is strength in the body of Christ, and when you’re constantly involved in His work together, in unity, you will be consistently strengthened in Him. “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” Philippians 1: 27


J – Judge not! Don’t be so quick to judge someone who is going through a trial or storm. You may be next! “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7: 1-3


K – Keep God in the center of all that you do! If you pray and consider Him before making a decision, you will always make the right decision. And when you keep Him close and set boundaries and standards against every ungodly thing, your home, your marriage, your family, your finances, and your job will be blessed! “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6: 33


L – Love God with all your heart and do whatever it takes to please Him! Love what He loves and you won’t easily fall in love with the ungodly things of this world. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22: 37


M – Make time for your family. Always put God first. Teach your children to be faithful to the house of God, to give, and to love living for God and serving Him. However, it is essential that we set aside quality time for your family to spend together. This helps us to show our children that they are important parts of our lives and that we love them. “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” 1 Timothy 3: 4-5


N – Never get to the place that you don’t care what God thinks about how you live. He loved us so much that He gave His life so that we could be saved. Shouldn’t we love Him so much that we’re willing to give our life for Him? We need to repent daily and walk in the Spirit. If we aren’t doing that, we must shake ourselves and do whatever it takes to get back to that place. Jesus is coming soon! Are you ready? “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4: 8


O – One God, one faith, one baptism. Simple! There is only one God and His name is Jesus. There is one faith, which is the truth of His Word, and we must be baptized in the name of Jesus. When you put all of this together, walking in spirit and in truth, you are on the right path to an eternity with Jesus! “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4: 5-6


P – Pray! Pray! Pray! When we have a relationship with someone, we must communicate. Likewise, if we are planning to have a relationship with Jesus, we must communicate. Through prayer, we receive strength, joy, wisdom, a change of attitude, and faith knowing that Jesus hears our prayers and that He is faithful to answer the right way, because His ways are perfect! “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18


Q – Quiet is a must so we can hear the still, small voice of God. We must pray, but sometimes we must be quiet in the Spirit so that God can speak to us as well. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16: 13


R – Read the Word! God speaks to us through His Word. It is alive and ministers to our needs. We learn how to walk with Him, and we grow. The Word of God is the road map to our journey of life. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3: 16


S – Stay in the perfect will of God! Your family, friends, or your flesh may want you to take a path that is not in the will of God, but stay alert! Only do what you know to be His perfect will or you may be lost! There is no joy like doing the will of God! Being out of His will is a dangerous place. He has a plan for your life! “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12: 2


T – Turn your troubles over to God and don’t take them back. Stop worrying. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5: 7


U – Understand. If you don’t understand what the Word of God is saying, go to your pastor. Be faithful to the house of God and listen to the preaching. You will quickly learn and grow in God and your eyes will be opened to the truth! “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 1 Corinthians 1: 21


V – View others through God’s eyes. Have mercy and compassion. We can’t truly know what someone else is going through. Be a blessing and an encouragement. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:” 1 Peter 1: 22


W – Worldliness is not Godliness. The way the world dresses, the music, television, books, video games, entertainment…these things are not holy and are not going to bring you closer to God. If we separate ourselves from worldly things, we are protecting our walk with God and being holy unto Him. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6: 17


X – X-amine your heart! Constantly ask Jesus to shine His spotlight on your heart, that He would show you even the secret places. Ask Him to cleanse you of those things that are not holy and godly. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13: 5


Y – You may be the only Jesus that others see, so be the best Christian that you can and show the love of God in all that you do! “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.” John 1: 7


Z – Zero excuses! Too often, we blame others for us not being where we need to be in our own walk with God, even to the point of leaving church. We need to get our eyes off of what others are saying or doing and get our eyes on Jesus. When we focus on Him alone, our point of view will be transformed. We must do whatever it takes to make it! Follow these ABC’s of living for Him, and you will make it!! “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2: 12