Encourage the Isolated & Lonely


God has made us to live in community. This community of love is meant to comfort the person who’s discouraged, to strengthen the person who’s weak, to encourage the person who has no hope, to come alongside the person who’s alone, to guide the person who’s lost his way, to give wisdom to the person lost in foolishness, to warn the person who’s beginning to wander, to correct the person turning the wrong way, to give eyes to the person blind to God’s presence, and to physically represent God’s presence and love. No one is wired to live outside this community.

That’s one of the reasons why our enforced social distancing is so hard on us. We long to connect with others!

Use that longing to propel you to encourage those who are isolated and alone.

Pray and ask God to help you make a list of 5 or more people that may be isolated, alone, or need encouragement during this period of social distancing. Pray for them daily and reach out to them regularly by phone or video call to talk with them and provide a time of mutual fellowship and encouragement. Pray together on the phone.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV


Perfect :Love Casts Out Fear


Despite monumental efforts by our government agencies, private enterprise, and especially by our healthcare heroes, the cases increase. Worldwide the death tolls continue to increase and the economic fallout is astronomical..Fear and anxiety abound. We may lose someone we love. You may already have lost someone you love.
How do we trust God with our fears, anxieties, frustrations, and maybe even anger in light of this deadly threat?

As a disciple of Jesus,I believe one answer is to remember that the worst that can happen to us leads to the best that can happen to us. Paul the Apostle was fearless in advancing God’s kingdom because this fact resonated deeply in his soul. He could declare to Christians in Rome, “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).

Writing from a Roman prison cell, he could testify to Christians in Philippi, “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20–21). You and I can be as certain of our eternal status as was the great apostle because such status is guaranteed not by us but by our loving heavenly Father.

God loved you and me before we were born, and God will love you and me after we die. In Scripture, God says, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.’ This is who you are whether you feel like it or not. You belong to God from eternity to eternity. Life is just a little opportunity for you to return the favor and say, ‘I love you, too.’”

The next time fear of mortality strikes, claim God’s assurance: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Then substitute your name for “you”: “I have loved Stephen with an everlasting love.”

The Apostle John minded us,”There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” 1 John 4:18

Responding to the Coronavirus



This past weekend, the dam finally broke on the Coronavirus here in the Bahamas, and we were flooded with frightening news. That which seemed distant descended on our doorstep. The Ministry of Health on Sunday afternoon announced the first positive COVID 19 case in the country and by Thursday two additional cases were identified.
Our government has declared a National Emergency, giving our Prime Minister extra-ordinary powers.
Our neighbor to the North, the United States, has also declared a national emergency due to the increased number of cases and the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus an official global pandemic.

Concerts, conventions, sporting events, schools, and yes even som churches have announced that they are canceling events during this crisis. This is unprecedented in our lifetime.

Health officials continue to offer common sense steps to contain, reduce, and prevent new infections of the Coronavirus. But what should be our spiritual response to this pandemic? How can our hope in Christ remain firm in our faith as we walk through this dark valley? How should believers respond to this virus?
1. God isn’t surprised by a world pandemic. He’s not surprised by this shift in how we may have to do church.

We already know in advance that this virus will not last. It’s a valley that we will walk through, and we’re going to walk through it together. To live with hope in the middle of a crisis like the Coronavirus, you have to change your focus, shift your perspective, and live in light of eternity. In the Bible, Revelation 21:4 says “Then God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, and no more mourning, and no more crying, and no more pain, for the old order of things will pass away.” This is not the end of the story.

“Crisis provides an opportunity for caring, not fearing. While its a time to be concern its nit a time to worry…..Why? because we have a Daddy who cares!” Tony Evans, the Urban Alternative.


Guard Rails- Direct and Protect

SERIES OVERVIEW Guardrails are everywhere, but they don’t really get much attention . . . until somebody hits one. And then, more often than not, it is a lifesaver.

When I was growing up in Long Island, Bahamas, we has a bunk bed with rails. I am sure you can guess what they were for. Yes, they were designed to stop one of us from falling out of the bed and ending up with serious injuries.Maybe you don’t know anything about bunk-beds.
On the highways we often see guard rails on bridges, medians, curves, and soft shoulders. They are on bridges because there is little room for error. They are in the medians to protect us from oncoming traffic. Of course, they are on soft shoulders and curves to alert us to sudden changes in the driving pattern. Guardrails are  placed in the safety zone; not the danger zone. They direct us and protect us. Guardrails is a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous and of-limit areas. They prevent us from having a possible head -on collision or falling into a ditch and causing serious damage to both our car and ourselves.
Guardrails are designed to minimize damage. If we hit a guardrail, we might have to take the car to the garage for repairs but we might not have to visit the emergency room or stay in the hospital and accumulate serious medical bills.
But the highways and roadways are not the only places we need guardrails. Isn’t true that your deepest regret could possibly have been avoided or minimized, if you had established some personal guardrails in your life – in your finances, your relationships, your profession, in your marriage? Further, future regrets can be avoided if you set up some personal guardrails in your life starting today.
Notice: Personal guardrails are standards of behavior that become a matter of conscience. They are personal rules that light up your conscience when you bump into them. Like on the highway, they are placed in the safety zone. They warn you before you mess up your relationship or our career, that you are headed for danger,
The problem we face is our culture despises guardrails. It is not comfortable with them. Culture would rather promote painted lines where we have the option to crossover at will. It tells us to “drink responsibly” or “have sex when you are ready?”  However, even though culture dismisses guardrails and baits you to the edge of disaster, it is quick to shame and mock us when we cross the line and fall into the ditch in our finances or our relationships. It throws you under the bus when your marriage goes South off the cliff into the abyss.
Wise King Solomon gives us some great advice relating to guardrails. In Proverbs 22:3 (NCV) he writes, ” The wise see danger ahead and avoids it, but fools keep going and get into trouble.” Guardrails don’t just keeps us from doing wrong, they keep us on the side of wisdom.
Is the action I am about to take has wisdom’s approval? In light of my past experiences, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do? Hey, are you living on the edge? Flirting with disaster? It might be wise to set up some safeguards, don’t you think?
 In this 6-part series, we will explore how to  be wise and stop flirting with disaster and establish some personal guardrails in our lives. While culture may not celebrate you and friends my ridicule and despise you if you opt for the establishment of guardrails,you will stay in the safe zone and avoid the pitfalls, ravines, and ditches along your path.
Please check back next week are we answer the question: Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

Chasing Carrots

What really makes for a happy life? A dream job, a bigger house, or a new relationship? We’re all chasing something. Usually something just out of reach—a better job, a more comfortable home, a perfect family, the approval … If you’re always hungry for the next big thing, but frustrated because it never seems to satisfy, you might be Chasing Carrots – things that bring only fleeting happiness, fulfillment or validation. May be it is time to hop off the treadmill.
What’s dangling in front of you that your never seem to reach no matter how much you try? If you are spinning your wheels going nowhere and you are worn out, tired and frustrated, why not stop Chasing Carrots and start chasing something real and life changing. Join us for our new series 10:00 am August 4.


In this world, you’ll have struggles. You’ll face opposition. You’ll be challenged. And there’s a reason for that: this world is not your home. So answer hate with love, find joy in the midst of trials, and rely on a strength beyond yourself. You’re meant to be … Different.
We want to help you think different so that you can be different so that you can make a difference.

It’s Easter …So What?

It’s Easter … So What? When I think of Easter, I tend to think of pastel baskets, dyed eggs, chocolate bunnies, and sticky Peeps. For many people, Easter is just another holiday where we feel pressure to spend money on things that won’t last. Plastic grass, cards, and candy aren’t bad, but they aren’t what Easter was meant to be.
For a Christian, Easter is about Jesus and His miraculous resurrection. It’s about an empty tomb! Without Easter,
the Bible would be useless. Our whole faith and the power behind everything we believe and teach are wrapped up in the fact that Jesus died, and then rose from the grave. Without a resurrection, Jesus would have been another good intentioned individual cut down in His prime. But Easter did happen, and because of that, we can place our trust in God’s promises. Jesus overcame death and established Himself as having authority over all things. That means, when Jesus makes a promise, we can believe Him (2 Corinthians 1:20).

It’s Easter… So:

1. I won’t die.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36).

2. I don’t have to be a slave to sin.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

3. I am a new creation.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

4. I don’t have to fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

5. I don’t have to worry.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

6. God wants good things for me.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)

7. I am not alone.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

8. God wants to hear my requests.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

9. One day all things will be made right.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

10. God loves me.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Unbelievable? The good news is the one who promised has proven Himself trustworthy. Every Easter, we are reminded that nothing is too big for God to handle, and nothing can keep Him from us. The greatest promise of all: Even though we should be eternally separated from God, Jesus came to Earth and gave His life up to bridge the gap between us and God. Jesus chose to reconcile all of us who believe and He was willing to face death and suffering to do so. This Easter, let’s celebrate like we have a God that refused to leave us on our own. He is a God of great promises, a God who is faithful and true
Yes, He is Risen indeed and that makes Easter the most powerful, meaningful event in history. So let us celebrate, this Easter Sunday, because the tomb is empty. Yes, an empty tomb!

Loving the Depressed

 Recently I attended the national conclave of the Bahamas Evangelical Church Association (BECA) in Freeport, Grand Bahama.  During the conference, the urgent, but often “hush hush,” issue of Mental Illness in our society and especially in our churches was broadly discussed. One of the symptoms of the disease is depression. Depression affects millions of people every year, including many Christians. The book of Psalms is proof that God’s people are not exempt from feelings of extreme loss, disappointment, and sadness. Given its prevalence, most of us probably know someone who’s suffering from depression. Depression can be debilitating, but God gives us a way through. We find hope for the future in knowing Jesus saves us. We find help for the present by reaching out to the church. And, we find healing through prayer and modern medicine.
No one gets through depression alone. So how can we love someone who is dealing with depression? It can be difficult. But someone coping with depression needs the hope of Jesus and our friendship more than ever. If you’re wondering where to start, here three possible ways we can love someone who’s depressed.
  1. Remind them of God’s truth.

Someone who’s depressed often feels alone, unloved, and doubtful. When David feared for his life, Jonathan helped David refocus by reminding him of God’s strength and faithfulness (1 Samuel 23:15-18). Like David, our friends will never stop needing reminders of God’s faithfulness. Let’s encourage each other with the truth that God is a promise maker and a promise keeper (Numbers 23:19).

  1. Be patient and understanding.

Depression rarely healed overnight. Be persistent in prayer and patient in person. To someone who’s depressed, questions like “Are you better?” and “Do you feel good today?” can sound like “Why aren’t you better yet?” In Psalm 40:1, we see David waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord while crying out to Him in prayer. Be patient while believing and expecting that the Lord will work all things for the good of those who love Him, including our friends (Romans 8:28)..

  1. Provide Regular Connection. 
In addition to patience and understanding, people who are depressed needn relationships with Christians who aren’t afraid to have uncomfortable conversations, pray with them, or just hang out without any expectations.  When we’re isolated from other Christians, it’s easier to believe that lie that we are unlovable, that no one cares. But when we’re consistently reminded of God’s faithfulness and promises, we remember that we are His beloved kids (Psalm 8:4-6). When Jesus looks at your friend or family member, He sees someone who needs His healing love. It’s no accident you are in this person’s life in this season. As Christians, we carry Jesus’ presence and power in us. Strengthening and encouraging each other is what we’re called to do (1 Thessalonians 5:11Hebrews 3:13).
Sometimes the best gift we can give to someone dealing with depression is gift of presence and the same love and grace Jesus has given us. As we spend time with Jesus, we experience what it’s like to be loved by him and have more of His love to give away to others (John 15:12-13Proverbs 17:17).
So, let’s provide hope for the depressed!

Come on, Let’s Celebrate!

We have reached Nehemiah chapter 12 and what an amazing experience it has been! We seen a project develop from an idea to reality with all it’s accompanying challenges. Jerusalem’s wall was finally finished in 52 days. Amazing!
Now Nehemiah made plans to celebrate. He passed out assignments, organized the people, and oversaw every aspect of the celebration. Nehemiah took the celebration as seriously as he took the building of the wall because he knew celebration was the final step of the project.
Romans 11:36 says, “For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.” Nehemiah realized the building project started with God, was sustained by God, and was for God and His glory.
Our ability to make a difference is a direct result of Jesus’ work in us. All of our success is from Him, through Him, and for Him. So,all our victories should motivate us to celebrate with thanksgiving and worship.
Ray Stedman points out three important elements which make up celebration:  joyfulness, purity, and thanksgiving. If we are to be difference makers we must reflect be the joy of the Lord, ensure our lives are clean from known sinful habits and be filled with thanksgiving.
When last did you plan a celebration of the awesomeness and faithfulness of our Great God and wonderful Saviour.
Come on, let’s celebrate what the Lord has done!
In the words of John Hardwick:
Come on let’s celebrate Because our God is great He is worthy of our praise Come on let’s celebrate So lets shout out His name
Amen! Amen!

We all Have “Burned Arms.”

What do you know, I am here again at the clinic to get my burned arm dressed. (Yep, I was so smart to open a hot radiator!) It is amazing how many sick people are here to see a doctor today. People of all sizes, ages and ethnicity – babies, teens, adults and the aged. All with different expressions, experiences, and emotions and needs.
It reminds me that the world is sick and broken. Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colds and asthma are but symptoms of our deeper brokenness. Then there are the strained and broken relationships, the sexual abuse, the painful addictions, not to mention the twisted priorities and hopelessness reflected on so many faces. They all speak to our need for healing and wholeness.
As I sit here observing and reflecting, I can’t help imagining Jesus as he interacted with the cultural elite of his day who felt they were superior. Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Think about it… we are all sick with “burned arms”!
Wow, Jesus has and is the cure to our dibilitating maladies. He calls us to acknowledge our brokenness, admit our sinfulness and need of a physician – The Great Physician. Then he invites us to answer his call and establish a permanent, doctor-patient relationship. Such a relationship will lead to wholeness and a meaningful life. In Jesus’ words, “a rich and satisfying life.” – John 10:10 (NLT

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