PASTOR’S BLOG

 
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“Discovering Your Divine Destiny”

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, ’Oh that thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and thou would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!’ And God granted him that which he requested”-I Chronicles 4:10

The “Prayer of Jabez” has been widely quoted and prayed by believers around the world. One of the reason why Jabez is so popular with many people is because he is a person that most of us can relate to. Jabez means “born in pain”. Jabez had experienced the pains and struggles of life and through those struggles God used them in fulfilling His divine destiny. We see that Jabez looked to God for his purpose and destiny. Likewise, God has a destiny and purpose for you using the pains and struggles of life to fulfill His plan and purpose.

In his prayer, Jabez looked to God and made four specific requests:

  • Bless Me Indeed
  • Enlarge My Territory
  • Let Your Hand Be With Me 
  • Keep Me From Evil

Jabez desired that God’s favor and blessing be upon his life. In other words, his request was for a personal blessing. To ask God’s blessing is to ask Him to bestow divine favor. There is nothing wrong with requesting God to bless us specifically. The Psalmist did. He prayed, “Save your people, and bless your inheritance” (Psalms 28:9)

Sometimes, we have the tendency to think that God does not want to bless our life. However, the opposite is true. God wants to bless you abundantly because He is a God of blessing. Often, we have not because we ask not.

Of special interest is Jabez’ second request, “Enlarge my territory”. You see, Jabez desired something bigger and larger than himself. He wanted growth in his own life and growth in a much larger sphere.

Jabez was not satisfied with mediocrity, nor was he content to live in the status quo. Complacency was unacceptable to this man. Jabez was thinking exponentially, meaning larger than what he could think or imagine. He did not want his destiny, but he wanted God’s divine destiny.

The starting point of discovering your divine destiny begins with prayer. Jabez began with prayer as he sought and depended upon Almighty God. As we start with prayer, the Holy Spirit will put a passion in our hearts that we are not content with where we are, but we want more. God is a God of abundance. Ask God to enlarge your vision and see what God sees for your life.

Notice, Jabez’ prayer was that God’s hand would be upon him. When you think of hand, you think of guidance. As Jabez sought God and as you seek God, He will lead and guide you into His plan and destiny and keep you from all harm.

Finally, the scriptures said that God granted his request. The Lord has promised us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). God has said that He will hear and respond to the prayers of His people. Therefore, we can trust Him to answer our prayers by providing what He knows best, and that we are in harmony with His will and divine destiny.

During August, I am preaching a series on discovering God’s divine destiny. I encourage you to join us as we seek God’s divine destiny and for His blessing and favor in enlarging our vision to see God’s plan for our lives.

Until then, let us continue. . . Changing Lives for Eternity!

With Love,
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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“I’m Swamped, And He’s Sleeping”

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” – Mark 4:37-38

Danger often rises suddenly. It would be nice if we could ride out our storms in insulated, watertight boats, but we sail life’s seas in fragile vessels. The storm in this passage is not symbolic, but real – representing all the storms in life.

You see, storms can be furious and come up suddenly when you least expect them. That day, the storm seemed to come out of nowhere, and the disciples were alarmed. The storm was so fierce the waves broke over the ship to the point it was nearly swamped.

“Swamped” is how we feel when storms rise in our lives. The Gospel term here is “nearly swamped.” The adverb, “nearly,” tells the disciples, and us, that no matter the peril, we are never completely swamped. While wind and waves rage around us, it is easy to assume we have been totally overcome. But, the presence of the One with us is our protection in the midst of any storm.

The disciples initially missed the truth. They assumed Christ’s presence on board did not make a difference in their nearly swamped boat. Our feelings often betray us. We forget that we are not alone, and that He has promised, “I will never leave you.” Even when we acknowledge the Savior’s presence, so often it appears He is asleep in our storm.

In the Gospel story, He was asleep on a cushion or pillow. But, the disciples reached a false conclusion. They assumed since Jesus was sleeping He did not care if they drowned. So, they woke Him up. I doubt if they expected a miracle. Perhaps, they wanted one more hand to help them bail water.

Often, we do the same thing. A fierce wind blows into our lives. We feel overwhelmed. Despite our best efforts, things only get worse. Our frail attempts at stability and safety gain us nothing, and we soon discover we are losing the battle.

We go to the Lord in prayer. We find Him “sleeping.” We won’t sense an answer. How can He remain silent when we are in so much trouble? Out first inclination is to jump to the conclusion, “Lord, you don’t care!”

So, we offer our own solutions to Him: “Grab a bucket and help me bail water.” We do not see it at the time, but His inaction in the present moment will provide a superior solution than what we proposed. It may take time to see it.

It is better for us to have the Savior sleeping in our boat than for us to sail along without Him. His presence in the storm will ultimately make all the difference! Realize that He is always there, and He does care. Even when He may be silent, He is never absent. Until then, let us continue…

Changing Lives for Eternity!

With Love,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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“Life’s Unexpected Twist”

“They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him” Mark 5:1-2

Sometimes you end up at a place you did not plan to go. It was that way with the disciples. On the northwestern corner of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus had said, “Let us go over to the other side” (Mark 4:35). They probably figured they could hug the shoreline, sail a few miles, and then end up on the northeastern edge of the lake where a number of them had their homes, Bethsaida.

But the wind blew them off course, and they hit the shore several miles southeast of Bethsaida, at Gadara.

Have you ever been blown off course with an unexpected twist in life? I will be the first to put up my hand.

I graduated from seminary in Fort Worth with a wife and two small daughters. As Sister Tina and I were seeking God’s direction, I received a phone call from a pastor in Los Angeles asking us to serve as associate pastors at his church. We were not from California, not knowing of anyone there, but God did a suddenly moment in an unexpected twist, and we went. After serving in the Los Angeles church for two years and being very happy there, thinking we would be permanent Californians, God did another unexpected twist in our lives and opened up a door for us to serve at a large church in Houston. We were in Houston eleven years, thinking we would be permeant Houstonians, but God did another surprise twist and brought us back to our home church in San Antonio to serve as pastors.

Sometimes Jesus takes us to places we do not intend to go, for I never intended to go to California. We prefer to go, as did the disciples, to a familiar place where we know our friends and family. But, we find ourselves in places we have never been, working in situations we did not choose, or living in a neighborhood not of our choosing. When I look back on it, if I never went to California, I would have never went to Houston, and more than likely would not have ended up full circle back home.

It must have been a shock when the disciples found themselves in Gerasene land. It’s likewise a shock when we find ourselves where we had no intention of going or wished we didn’t have to remain.

But on the other side of the lake was a person who needed the Lord’s help. From the shoreline, that man watched as the boat drew near. Then he raced to the shore line to welcome Jesus.

The incident became a life lesson for the disciples. Contrary winds would sometimes take them where they had no intention of going, but the Lord knew someone desperately needed their presence, help, and the good news they carried.

As we look ahead, God has some unexpected twists for you and our church. Often, they will come as a surprise and not seem logical. But, as we pursue and seek after God we know that God orders our steps and directs our paths. There are people on the other side of the lake who need our presence, help, and prayers. Let us allow God to shake up our comfort zones and be willing and available for the tremendous things He has ahead.

Until then, let us continue…

Changing Lives for Eternity!

With Love,

Pastors Terry & Tina Richardson 


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