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  1. Thank you so very much for your encouraging comments, I truly feel welcomed. The Lord told me is 2015 to start a blog. I told Him I have no idea what a blog is. He said that is okay, I will show you how to do it, I just want to know if you will. My answer was "YES" Lord...You can read what I have shared since 2015 at www.elderburgess.com
  2. My name is Tom currently living in Memphis, TN with my wife of 37 years. I am a sinner saved by God's amazing grace trying my best to fulfill a promise made to Him. The promise? After many years of living the good life (or so I thought) that included a serious cocaine addiction and doing just about everything possible to reach a higher level of insanity, I promised God if he spared my life I would spend my remaining days telling everyone how WONDERFUL & AMAZING GOD IS. A member of this community read a post and suggested I introduce myself to this wonderful group of writers. Thank God for her and this opportunity to share what The Holy Spirit leads me to write and share with you.
  3. All Glory to God and thank you for your comments. Let me know how to do what you suggested. I am new to this.
  4. Psalm 100 KJV...1...Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2...Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3...Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4...Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5...For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Church services today are quite different than they used to be. That does not mean God's presence is not in services but getting the congregation into Praise & Worship can be difficult because of the baggage we are bringing with us when we walk through the Church doors. We have a lot on our minds, life's pace has quickened to the point where we rush doing everything including getting to church. We are so focused with other things we forget we are entering the one place where everything we struggle with can be fixed and God is the fixer. Moses was chosen by God for His service but when Moses was in God's presence, his face radiated from the glow of God Glory. So much so that when the people saw Moses after his visit with God they were afraid. God is no one to play with but He loves us. In spite of what we do, God loves us. How fortunate we are to know that the God, who created us, provides for us, heals us and so much more cares enough about you and I that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for us. And when Jesus died, the partition separating God from man and woman was torn from the top to the bottom so you and I can have access to God for ourselves. We don't have to sacrifice a ram, goat, sheep or any animal as a sacrifice to come before The God of All Creation. Jesus is the one who provides our eternal salvation to us by our accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. Imagine, eternity with the God who cared enough about you and I that He gave us His Holy Spirit to lead us every day into the right way to live, treat others, loving who the world calls the unlovable. God is worthy of our Praise because He opens doors for us that we would never be able to open by ourselves. God is worthy of our Praise because of the knowledge he gave man and woman to reach solar systems never seen before, controls every ocean known to man, reminds us daily that many of the medicines needed to cure us can be found in the plants and herbs that came into existence because He said "LET THERE BE". God is worthy of our Praise because the diamonds, gold, silver and other precious stones we admire so much have always been in the ground waiting for man and woman to find, mine and purify for us. God is worthy of our Praise because that old car we have or had continued to run even though the mechanic told us it was on its last leg and would not last through the winter. Now it is spring and it is still running. God is worth of our Praise because you and I are still alive because of the covenant relationship He had with Abraham. Each descendant of Abraham prayed that God would bless their family from generation to generation and He has. Our relatives we have never known prayed, God save my children, grandchildren through every generation and He has. God is worthy of your Praise because no bullets came into your car while you were driving, no fire or robber invaded your home, when you didn't have the money for the bill or food, God provided exactly what you needed. When you didn't have money for the medicine, didn't have money for your son or daughter's books, didn't have anyone to help you out of that tight spot you were in, He sent someone to you that blessed you with the money. Make a declaration today, when Sunday comes...you and your family walks through the church doors with an eagerness you may have never had or had and lost because of the world's issues we carry...walk into the sanctuary with your hands lifted toward heaven with Praise to God coming from your mouth. Make Your Joyful Noise as you walk down the aisle to your seat. Tell God how much you can't wait to serve Him with GLADNESS, not out of duty, not out of guilt, not because someone told you but because you are truly glad that the God of everything has been waiting on you to give Him your Praise.
  5. Tom

    Peculiar And Chosen

    Hello Jared...Thank you for your comment and yes. you are correct.
  6. After escaping through the Red Sea, the Hebrews traveled through the wilderness and arrived at Sinai, God’s Holy Mountain. There they received the Ten Commandments, as well as instructions for building a Tabernacle as a center of worship. Through Israel’s experiences at Mount Sinai, we learn about the importance of obedience in our relationship with God. His laws help expose sin, and they give standards for our righteous living. The opening statement about this month’s message is Biblical truth, not opinion. In our country, we are Christians supposedly holding up the Blood Stained banner to win souls who are lost, pointing them toward Jesus and The Bible’s standard of Holiness in our lifestyle. Instead we are odds because of politics (which is nothing new) and I will say now, all political parties regardless of what they are called are guilty of not following God’s law. If we continue to rally around the political fight against each other, we too are guilty of sin. Yet we seem to not let it concern us. Exodus 19:3-6…And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4…Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings, and brought you unto myself. 5…Now therefore if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6…and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. God had a reason for rescuing the children of Israel from slavery. He was ready to tell them what it was: Israel was to become a holy nation, a kingdom of priests in which anyone could approach God freely. It did not take long, however, for the people to mess up His plan. This sounds painfully familiar doesn’t it? And yes, we collectively are guilty. God repeatedly gets us out of problem after problem; we run to Church and do as He asks for 5 minutes, before you know it we are back to business as usual. The fact that God has chosen us for His plan goes out the window because His plan just does not fit where we are now. Really? God has promised us victory because He loves and provides for us but we are supposed to do our part for His kingdom. Not the political one we fight over or anything we allow to prohibit us from following His plan. Isaiah 43:15…I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. 16…Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters. 18…Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19…Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20…The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21…This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. I can hear someone saying, all of that stuff was Old Testament. Well just for you, here is what Jesus said…Jesus said in John 15:16 - Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and [that] your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. The 12 chosen men called Disciples learned from Jesus, walked and talked with Him for 3 and a half years but did not become the great dynamic men of God He knew they would become until they received the Holy Ghost in the Book of Acts. They were so focused on their purpose that they fought against political powers believing instead what they had been taught by Jesus. Combined with the boldness of the Holy Spirit, when political powers threatened them, they stood for Jesus and changed the world. Peter wrote the epistle (letter) that contains the featured passage for this message 1st Peter 2:9 and 10..But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 10… which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. That my friends is our purpose, not arguing over political talking points or listening to views that make no mention of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Political issues are meant to divide us, to make us of no effect to those needing truth. We have been chosen for God’s purpose which by the world’s standard makes us peculiar. I will take that any day, all day. My prayer is that you will also. Thank You Lord for your Word.
  7. Dec. 3, 2019 Luke 2:12...And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, We have completed the day of Thanksgiving celebrated in our country with family friends and tables full of food. But there was much sorrow for Thanksgiving. Now we prepare ourselves for the single most important even in human history. The birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His birth was foretold hundreds of years before His arrival in Isaiah 9:6...For unto to us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. How odd it is that a child with this kind of authority should be born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. The dictionary describes swaddling clothes as narrow bands of cloth formerly wrapped around a newborn child to restrain its movements and quieten it. One might think with this child, all kinds of things would be happening to let the world know about him. Yes, the Bible tells of an event that has yet to be equaled when God Himself sent an angel and what the Bible calls a multitude of heavenly host praising God but it was witnessed by shepherds abiding in the fields. During this time, shepherds were the lowliest of society, keeping smelly sheep. They then find the baby lying in a manger. None of this should be for one whose mission is so important...but it was. Not for the highest of society but for the least of society. Those with no hope, those society has no place for and those who have that spirit of heaviness. What the Holy Spirit has given me to share with you for this special season is "The Garment of Praise". Specifically from Isaiah 61 which tells of Jesus mission he was to achieve. Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Many will feel a sorrow that unless you have lost a loved one, have no one to be with during this season or without what they feel they need, we really can't understand their burden. But it is real and they need to be reminded Jesus was born just for them, to bring hope and promise into their lives and to be the Saviour for not only those who hearts are heavy but for all of us. The swaddling clothes Jesus was wrapped in signify the lowliness or commonness of his birth but the "Garment of Praise" shows praise as more than a piece of clothing. It quite literally teaches us to wrap or cover ourselves in this "Garment". This "Garment of Praise" is to have no openings through which hostile elements can penetrate. This "Garment of Praise" repels and replaces the heavy spirit. This special message of instruction and hope is for those oppressed by fear or doubt. "Put on" this garment. A warm coat from our closet only resists the cold wind when it is put on. When distressed, be dressed...with Praise. When you feel tears of loneliness coming, put on The Garment of Praise, When sorrowful in spirit because loved ones have passed away put on The Garment of Praise. When you don't have the money for Christmas gifts, put on The Garment of Praise because it's not about gifts. Jesus is the perfect gift and your witness of how He has been with you and brought you through your lowest times won't cost a dime but could help someone going though to get their Blessing. Praise the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes because is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. One day He will return to claim those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour. Our eternal resting place will be with Him in Heaven with Our Heavenly Father giving Him our Praises forever. God Bless You and Thank You Lord for this Word.
  8. 1 Thessalonians 5:18...In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV Have you noticed during your highway trips a huge cross appears where you might least expect it? It may be a single cross or a cross with the crown of thorns on the beam where Jesus hands were nailed. On interstate 40 East in Memphis, there are 3 crosses on Bellevue Baptist Church property that command your attention, standing tall for everyone to see whether you are traveling east or west. While driving, the crosses always appear when I am getting fatigued or when my mind is numb from listening to anything on the radio to keep me alert. But when I see the cross, there is a “WOW” coming from me because I did not expect to see it but was glad it was there. You may think it weird but seeing the cross energizes me and put’s a smile on my face. Christians are thankful for the cross because if it were not for it, our future would be hopeless instead of hopeful. We would not have any fellowship with God because we would never be able to obey His Law and we would certainly be lost. According to the news headlines or over hearing conversations, our country is in a crisis. People have lost compassion toward one another, anger is the tone of the day and some are actually saying what do we have to be thankful for? In spite of the negativity that surrounds us, the answer is we have much to be thankful for and it is because of the cross. The passage of scripture says "in every thing give thanks" for this (thankfulness) is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Even though some have strayed away from principles of love, kindness and compassion toward one another, the cross is where they can go for restoration. Those who are saved are thankful for the cross because its power to convict us is stronger than any law man could impose. The cross is the place where the broken can go to be put back together. The cross means access to God that was never possible before Jesus died on the cross. The Gospel of Mark 15:37- KJV ...And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38... And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39... And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. During our Sunday service our Pastor Superintendent Gregory M. Askew Sr. asked us to post one thing that we are Thankful for everyday on social media leading up to Thanksgiving. The congregation has responded and many participants of social media have realized when you weigh what they are thankful for against their feeling there is nothing to be thankful for…their view changed. In this season of Thanksgiving, as a nation we will take time out of the last Thursday in November to spend time with our family and friends as we enjoy a great dinner with those we love. Think about the cross as you consider the things to be thankful for. You just may find a cross in your view as you hit the road going home.
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