The Pastor's Thoughts
Nehemiah 8:10, “ for the joy of the Lord is your strength “.
Greetings family, what is the difference between joy and excitement? When we become excited, our emotions are stimulated from the outside of us. When we experience joy, we have an intense pleasurable emotion that is inwardly motivated. Joy is one of the building blocks of an abundant, meaningful and fulfilling life. We crave it as much as our bodies crave nourishment. There are times, though, when we substitute excitement for joy. We can’t find joy within us so we attempt to find excitement in outside experiences. When we do this, it is similar to scarfing down junk food, instead of eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
Many of God’s gifts give us joy. These include relationships, nature, and fulfilling a job or project.
Our main source of joy should be-God’s presence operating in our lives.
· The life, death and resurrection enables us to experience God’s love and forgiveness.
· Being filled with God’s Spirit, we have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives one of which is joy.
Therefore Family, during this season-let’s celebrate Joy, for the Joy of the Lord is our strength!
November 28, 2018
"PASTOR'S THOUGHTS ON FAMILY"
Greetings Family, entering another holiday season-my heart has been on “Family”, and desiring to promote family unity and strength in the Body of Christ as well in our own personal families. I am a firm believer-that through God, our Father, favors strong families. We should all thrive to make sure that we are doing all we can do to secure, protect and value our family.
Currently, Our families are in trouble and our nation is suffering as a result of it. Statistics reports that one marriage in two ends in divorce. Since 1970, the number of divorced people has more than quadrupled, so that the fastest growing marital status category is currently divorced people. Only 7% of families are structured with supportive father and homemaking mother. Additionally, 480,000 children were born to teenage mothers in 1984. This statistic has increased each year. Furthermore, 31% of births in US in 1995 were to unmarried women. But I'm not as concerned about the fall of our nation. A more important concern for me is my wife, my children, my home. If our godliness isn't first practiced in our homes, it's going to be pretty empty everywhere else too.
(I Tim 5:4) "But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family..."
Good homes, solid marriages, and sound kids don't just happen. It takes patience, hard work, much prayer, and God's blessing. Somewhere along the line, a great number of people have bought into the idea that strong families just naturally HAPPEN. They don't -- anymore than a garden grows by itself! When they're neglected, families naturally deteriorate. They don't thrive without work to cause it.
We want to begin with the beginning. That means, we need to begin like any good house does, with a good foundation. Jesus acknowledged the vital nature of foundations in *Mt 7:24-27. Therefore Family, let’s work harder with purpose to strengthen our family, Jesus has given to us a great Foundation to work from. I believe our better days are still ahead of us, through a strong family, nothing will be restrained from us!
Dr. Andrew D. Clark, Sr., Pastor
Experiencing the presence of the Lord is not beyond our grasp. Exodus 33:14-15 saids, “And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, if thy presence go not with me, carry us not hence.” It’s God’s desire that we arrive at a place that God has destined for us. Life, for many people is a race to be won, but for true Christians-Life is a journey. In this Christian journey we experience many things to enhance a grow our faith.
A race is a one time event, short lived, and then it’s over until the next race is organized. Journeys, on the other hand, can be brief or they can be long. A race has a finish line, while a journey has a destination. A race has one purpose and that is to win, while a journey’s purpose is to simply ARRIVE at the destination. Additionally, the primary beauty of the journey is the joy of the journey-the adventure and stops along the way. So, for us let’s think about life as an ongoing journey of faith in the presence of our Lord.
Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt on a journey to the Promise Land. The presence of the Lord was with them from the beginning and throughout the journey. Many people who were apart of this mass exodus became weary and wanted to return to Egypt despite of where God had brought them out from. Many just wanted to get there in a hurry as is the case in a race. However, it was not the plan of God-and we must always rely on the sovereignty of God no matter how it might feel. God knows what is best for us and He has said that “He will never leave us or forsake us”. Moses had to continue to exemplify his reliance’s on the power of God and to show those who he was leading that God is always in control. In a journey we will experience set backs, attacks, and disappointments. Moses was seemingly surrounded by trouble-the situation looked impossible as the Egyptian soldiers were pursuing them from the rear, and the Red Sea in front of them. God reminded Moses to use what is in his hands (The Staff) and cast it forward. You know the rest of the story, deliverance came through trusting and relying on the power God.
Your Journey is worth it, keep moving forward no matter what stands in your way-the presence of God will guide you to dry land.
Dr. Andrew D. Clark, Sr., Pastor
May 15, 2018
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Mothers, if you are in Christ Jesus, you do not have to fear condemnation. You stand in the righteousness of Christ and are loved by God as his daughter because of Christ’s work on your behalf on the cross. Just a special Mother’s Day message to encourage you.
God made Mothers as our unique gift to all humanity. She should be adorned and lifted up for her relentless effort to improve anything that she touches. Her smile lights up the room, her voice is recognize over and above anything spoken and she walks with a confidence of grace, meekness and power. She is most known for her caring nature, and forgiving spirit. With that being said she can do no wrong. I encourage you today, Mothers of God, to know that you don’t have to worry about feeling as if you have not done enough for us. You are the cradle of civilization-our mother, and our teacher. Mother, you can rest-you don’t have to show up for every concert, cook every meal, watch everyone’s children, clean every room, throw parties every year, wash everybody’s clothes and read every bed time story.
Mothers have the tendency to condemn themselves if they can’t be everything to everyone-God knows your heart. Man takes advantage of that heart, and will manipulate it when given an opportunity. A mother’s desire and her heart is always on display to serve. God is letting you know that there is no condemnation in Him. Stop feeling bad regarding places, events, and occasions, you were unable to attend for the fear of letting someone down. Mother, you’ve done enough already, and if I am speaking to your heart today-join me in celebrating our Mothers today.
Pastor, Dr. Andrew Clark, Sr.
Wednesday - May 2, 2018
I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m ready to give up, I can’t wait any longer, I might as well stop believing, there’s no way that anything will get better-are all very typical sayings that we have all made at some point in our lives. In the book of Job, from chapters 3-35, Job is tormented and tested by the devil in an attempt to deny God. The story concludes with Job holding on to his faith in God and his latter was greater than his former. So much we can say relevant to our hope for a better future in spite of living under constant stress and disappointments. Job gave us a tremendous lesson of strength and resilience in the midst of persecution. Job was committed to waiting on the Lord for his deliverance-how long are you willing to wait for your deliverance?
The Lord is always doing things in and around our lives, many of these things are beyond our understanding. We must recognize our Lord and Savior as the chief choreographer of our lives. The word “Help” is derived from the word “choreographer”, one who’s primary purpose is to arrange, design, set in order processes and structures. It’s very difficult at times to see or understand what the choreographer is doing because there are so many moving parts seemingly in conflict with one another. Somehow after all of these conflicting pieces are put together, it ends with a master piece. Glory to God, our Master Choreographer who gives us the victory, we can rely on Him that He knows what He is doing in our lives. Our lives can seem so mixed up, in disarray, and sometimes we feel as though there is no place to turn for help. I’m here to encourage you, that your deliverance is near, so-just hold on. Our Master Choreographer is on the job. You may not see or understand what He is doing, but believe- He is working everything out for your good.
There was a promise of an abundant life bestowed upon our lives before the foundations of this world were created. We are God’s children and He said that “He would never leave us nor forsake us”. Today, let’s begin a new walk with the Lord, trusting in Him that everything is going to be alright! Praise God for your deliverance!
Pastor, Dr. Andrew Clark, Sr.
Wednesday - April 25, 2018
"GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS"
Lamentations 3:22-23 says "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness ".
When we are having problems navigating through life's issues and circumstances-please know that there is a God who is faithful enough to bring you through. Always remember if God can make something out of nothing, He can certainly make something out of us. Realize that our lives were made in His image, which means that we are over comers by nature. There is nothing too hard for God to fix.
Circumstances comes in our lives because of various reasons, sometimes self inflicted and sometimes by reasons beyond our control-no matter what, God is there, God is near and God is here to see you through. Oftentimes, during our trials and tribulations we find ourselves shifting to survival mode, our survival instincts kicks in and begins to take control of our actions. This can be extremely counterproductive, and will disrupt your ability to see what God is doing for you. God said that "He will never leave you nor forsake you", and that means no matter what state that you are in, through God all things are possible. God has afforded His children with resurrection power, enabling us to rise above anything that comes our way. The enemy seeks to "kill, steal and destroy ", but glory to God, we have the victory through Jesus Christ who strengthens us.
I encourage you to remain faithful to God, have patience and believe that God is Faithful, and worthy of your attention. I admonish you to begin by thanking God for what He has done for you thus far, and honor Him for all of His special benefits. Your circumstances are God's opportunity to show why He loves you, and to remind you that we are the best of His creation.
Pastor, Dr. Andrew Clark, Sr.