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Greetings from Pastor Bob and The Encouraging Word!!! Have you missed me? I know that I have missed you. This time that I spend writing these words to you really give me a feeling of purpose. I have a lot to fill you in on. The ever continuing rollercoaster of a ride that my life is. I was in a bus accident at work. Someone ran a stop sign and just did not see this big yellow bus in front of them. Praise the L- - D there were no kids on the bus at the time. I was on my way to pick up the High School students. Well, I re-injured my neck.. Then after being off of work for only two days, I received a phone call to inform me that they had decided to terminate me. It wasn’t for the accident, it was for a previous incident where I had grabbed a students jacket as he was trying to run away from the police officer I had called on him. At first they told me I was going to get a five day suspension without pay for the incident, but then I guess they changed their mind. And being here in Florida, which is a right to work state, ( I really have no idea what that means) they can fire you without cause at any time. So here I am, stuck in limbo again.  It is almost a pattern I am seeing. My last job I lost right after getting in a car accident and hurting my neck. I was there for about five years too. It looks like I am on this five year plan of personal destruction. But the Kabala says; “With every evil act there is some good that will come out of it.” I heard that on a Hallmark Channel movie I was watching the other day while I was lying at home on pain medication. OK, so now I have the time that I really need to get caught up on my college course work that I have been falling behide on. Plus, you know how men get their identity from their jobs? Well, I was not liking my bus driver identity. I just have to know that there is something better for me when I get healthy again. The problem is that I am going to be turning 50 this year. It might not be as easy as it was twenty years ago to get hired. So, I thank you in advance for your prayers.

 

Another good thing that is coming out of this is that I am learning how to pick my self up after a fall. Today’s message is going to encourage anyone who might have been finding themselves falling backwards. That goes for any and every area of our lives. You might me letting your relationships slip, or things might not be going as they use to be with your career. Maybe you have just found yourself losing your edge, or for those of us who in any way had given something up for Lent, and now that Easter is past find yourself binging again, today’s message is just what we need. So if everything is going great in your life and things couldn’t get any better, stop reading right now and praise the L- - D for all He is doing for you. But if you can be honest and really look at the areas in your life that need improvement then today will be a truly Encouraging Word for you. 

 

Before we pray I want to encourage you to go to our website and if you can not watch us live on Sunday Morning at 11 and 6PM or Wednesday at 7PM then click on the “Streaming Videos” oval link bar and watch the service at your convenience 24-7 -365.

 

www.interbaycommunitychurch.com

 

 

Let’s start by praying together. I know we might not be physically together, so then let me start by praying for you. And you can pray along as you read and then add your own prayer requests and praises in there anytime. OK? Great! Let’s pray!!!!

 

Great heavenly Father, King of the Universe, I praise you. You are the creator of all things and all things are held together by you. I ask, today for your mercy and grace that I might even be able to come before you in prayer. I can not thank you enough for making a way into your presence for such a sinner as I. So I come before you covered in the sacrificial blood of your Salvation. It is in and by and with Yeshua  that I live and breath and have hope and strength and courage and wisdom and power. It is by the faith of Yeshua that I know all things are working together for the good.  I pray for the one reading these words that you would fill them to the overflowing with the power of G-D. Let them know you, and the reality of your resurrection power. OH, L- -D forgive us, cleans us, protect us and bless us with a renewed zeal, a renewed hope, a brand new outlook on life, knowing that with you all things are possible. Search now, my heart and my mind, and that of the one reading, hear our hearts’ cry and know our hearts’ desire. I do not pray to you as a beggar for bread, but as your own child, thanking you for it before it is even given. Thank you L—D for meeting all, ALL of our needs, according your riches in Glory, In Jesus’ name AMEN!!!!

 

OK! WOW! ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE! BUCKLE UP AND LET’S GET INTO THE WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

“A final word; Be strong in the L- -D and in his mighty power.” ( Ephesians 6:10 NLT)

 

There is this wonderful Disney movie that just came out on DVD call Enchanted. I actually watched it three times last week. There is a scene in it where the prince, who had just traveled from fantasy land and is now New York City searching for his true love, who his evil step mover, guised as an old hag pushed into the wishing well, which landed her right smack into reality. After pushing the young maiden into the well she tells her bumbling side kick that she sent her to a place where there are no “happily ever afters.” (That’s the Big Apple for you)  So the prince is in New York and now the bumbling side kick has been sent by the evil step mother to make sure the prince does not find his true love. The prince and the side kick, who’s name escapes me, are in this rag tag hotel and they discover the wonders of television. Of course the price thinks it a magic mirror. But he does figure out how to work the remote control. As he is flipping through the channels he pauses for a minute on a soap opera with a man and a women in dramatic conflict. He continues to flip through the channels but the bumbling side kick pleads for him to turn it back to the soap opera. He does and the scene is played out for us.

 

The man begs the women not to leave him. She laughs at him and cuts him with the words. “How could I ever love a man who doesn’t even like himself.”

 

With that line you see the eyes of the sad side kick as he relates to the man being so hurt by the women he loves but can never have. As he begins to walk out of the door of the hotel room he stops and turns back and asks the prince;

 

“Sire, do you ….. like yourself?

 

The smug, self centered prince without hesitations replies; “What’s not to like.”

 

 OK………………. So which one are you? Are you the side kick waiting to be kicked, because you don’t even like yourself, or are you the prince with so much hubris that he makes you laugh? (Sorry; hubris: self centered arrogance, overly prideful, vain…)

 

Or are you one of them, but cover it up by playing the other?

 

Then there is our hero: ( OK, the real hero is this chipmunk named Pip who is not afraid of anyone or anything and lets you know it, but more about him later..) The man in the story is a single dad, who is down to earth to a fault. But he has been badly hurt by love and, now, being a divorce lawyer finds no place for fantasy, or romance or love. He has come to the conclusion that “There are no happily ever afters.” (Yep, he’s a New Yorker)  He has got everything, but what money can not buy.

 

Can we talk for a minute? We all live in the real world. And it is tough out there. Sometimes is seems like one day you get the bear, the next the bear gets you. Then your dead, and if your name ends up on a plaque somewhere you did good. Well, you know what? That is not good enough for me. That is not how I am wired, and I have a feeling that if you really opened your heart you would discover that you were designed to be a lot more then you have become yourself. I left one character out still in the story. And that is the young maiden, who is the flakiest, got her heads in the clouds, every dream will come true character you ever want to meet.

 

Now, which one are you? Which one can you relate to the most? The first thing I want you to be aware of is how you are personally wired. From what I have gathered, there are basically these five different personality types, with many combinations of each. Mainly, however each of us falls into one of these five categories. If you have heard this all before hang on we’ll get to the turning point soon. Here are the five personality types:

 

  1. Melancholy ( Beaver: hard working, Artistic, perfectionist, introverted)
  2. Choleric (Lion: strong willed, good leader extrovert)
  3. Sanguine (Otter: Friendly, likes to party swings between control and dependency, extrovert)
  4. Phlegmatic (Golden Retriever: loyal trustworthy, shy, absents of temperament, introverted)
  5. Supine…”With face up.”  (Basset Hound: Likes and needs people but fears rejection, introverted sanguine)

 

If we wanted to go back to our movie the Lawyer would be our phlegmatic being trustworthy, but lacking emotion. The young maiden is the sanguine with her peppy optimistic attitude. The bumbling side kick is the melancholy, being completely introverted and depressed and controlled by others. That leaves the choleric, I’ll give that part to the evil step mother. She knows how to rule the kingdom and she is not going to let anyone mess it up. And our little chipmunk, Pip; he is the one who lives to serve, he is our supine.

 

Now with each of these personality temperaments there are pluses and minuses, advantages and disadvantages. The key to your progress is to be aware of who you are, see what your tendencies might be and discover the habits and traits that you need to continually develop to avoid the dark side of yourself and use the force for good.

 

Now I want to get back to the word and as we look over the armor of G-d, that I am sure many of you have done many times before, this time look at what parts of the armor your personality type, not you necessarily, might be missing or soft on. Then look at the parts of the armor that your temperament is strong in. OK. Let’s go ahead and read the passage of scripture:

 

“Put on all of G-d’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

 

The first thing you need to know is how important this is. If you want to start to turn things around you need to know what you are up against. This is not just a matter of how much will power you have or don’t have. This is a real spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual battle for your personal fulfillment, happiness and peace of mind.  Let’s continue:

 

“Therefore, put on every piece of G-d’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of G-d’s righteousness.”

 

OK, the first two things you need are the belt of truth and the breastplate of, not your righteousness, but G-d’s righteousness. We move on….

 

“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.”

 

Now you have your feet shod with the preparation with the gospel of peace and you are holding up your shield of faith. You still need two more things…..

 

“Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of G-d.”

 

Last two things you are going to need are the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit…..

 

So what do you lack? What is it that has been causing you to fall back into that familiar pattern that leads back to the place you do not want to go. Come on, let’s really look at our weaknesses. Is it truth? Do you have a hard time being real with yourself and others? There is a good reason that truth is used for the belt, because it holds up your pants and if you do have a good secure belt then your pants could just fall down causing you some real embarrassment. How about that breastplate of, not your righteousness, which is as filthy rags, but His righteousness? Are you walking in you’re your own goodness and works, or are you depending upon G-d to guard your heart? If you are trying to cover your heart with your own good works of charity or being a good person, it is no wonder your heart has been so hurt by every arrow of everything unfair. That is why you had better know and hold up that shield of faith. You need to not only know who and what you are putting your faith in, but you need to have the faith of the very one you are faithing. Faith is a verb. It is an action word. Faith is what you do. You can talk the talk all you want but unless you really believe something, you will not put your whole weight on it.

 

Why is salvation the helmet? Because you need to know that you know that you know that you are saved. I know, I forgot the shoes… Look at them together. You need to know what the Good News is before you can have the peace to share it. I honestly don’t know where your personal doubt might be, but if your salvation is unsure, your walk will be rocky.

 

Finally we come to the sword of the Spirit. Notice that “Spirit” is with a capital letter. How, I wish you really knew the length and the lives and the blood that it cost for you to have the very word of the Father available to you today. And it is the same word today that it was when it was first given. And now, the reality of it all is that very same word has become flesh and dwelt among us. And by that very same Spirit that word can dwell in you. Don’t let your guard down. If you do not read your Bible throughout the week, make a fresh commitment to read even just one verse, just one verse in the week. G-d’s word will not come back void. It is real power. But you have to get a hold of it. You have to know how to use a sword.

 

Ok… are you ready? Who are you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert, or are you an introverted extrovert? What are your strengths and your weaknesses?  What are some of the clear cues that let you know what direction you are going? The important thing today; The important thing right now is that you stand firm. I mean do not give another inch. It is time to push. It is time to get up and get going.

 

At the end of the movie I was telling you about, things get real ugly. Times in your life might get hard but when you stand up and stop trying to be someone your not, but be everything you were designed to be, your wildest dreams can come true.

 

I asked you to look at your week areas earlier; now I want you to look at your strengths. You have got a lot of potential. More then you even know. Place your strengths on one side and your weaknesses on the other and see which one outweighs the other. If your weaknesses are outweighing your strengths then grab unto the passage that tells you G-d’s strength is made perfect in weakness… so where you are weak that is your strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9&10)

 

And if you can honestly see how much potential is with in you then you can now stand up and reach forward to that high calling that you have been designed to reach. But it has to start with you standing up. Get off your back. Yes, you might have been blind sided or sucker punched. Things are not fair, but stand up and press forward. You want to turn a life around that has been spiraling out of control? Then turn over the steering wheel and let the one who designed you lead you to your destiny.

 

The difference is not going to be if you say this prayer that we are about to pray or not. The difference is not going to be any tears that might be shed, or any commitments that might be made. The difference is going to be tomorrow when you are alone with your weakness. Are you going to concentrate on them or are you going to grab hold of your strength. Whatever you feed will grow. If you sit there and let the thing that has been defeating you rule you, then that is what will pull you in it’s direction. But when you look upward and see the you that G-d desires you to be and know without a shadow of a doubt that He has equipped you to succeed, then you can start feeding that success machine and those cycles that have been pulling you down will turn around and the power of the Most High will be manifested in you and through you. Your life is a living testimony of what you really believe. I am telling you today that you can put your faith in and believe that You are more then a conqueror, you are not an orphan, you are a child of the KING.  You have within you greatness and all you need to do is release that greatness then ride the wave of your Heavenly Father’s glory. And in the end the beginning will be a happily ever after. ………

 

I want us all to get real with G-d today. I am going to ask you to pray this simple prayer with me, then start seeking G-d diligently. Don’t stop with this prayer. If we continue reading the passage that we looked at earlier it goes on to say:

 

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”  P. U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens…. Let’s start right now together with this prayer of commitment and this confession of faith:

 

Heavenly Father thank you for being the great architect of my soul. You have designed me to be something beautiful. I know that I have made a lot of mistakes in the construction process, but I today return to you and give you my life. Forgive me of my sins. I know that you have already paid the price for them. That is the Good News. You had the plan for my salvation in your heart before the creation of the world. You made a way where I could not find one. L- -D you know me. Help me to know me. Help me to really look at who I am today and who you desire me to be, then give me the strength, the wisdom, the will power to both know and do your good pleasure. Yeshua; You are the Salvation of G-d, You are my savior and I invite you into my heart of hearts to take over the direction of my soul, my life, my future, my destiny. I am yours and from this moment on I give you permission to mold me into the person you have designed me to be. I am yours, I am yours, I am yours. Thank you Father. In Jesus name I pray:

AMEN!!!! I AGREE!       I BELIEVE!            SO BE IT! 

 

G-d Bless you my friend; let me know what G-d is doing in your life. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Don’t forget to check out the website:

 

www.interbaycommunitychurch.com

 

Your friend;

 

Pastor Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                             

 

      

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