Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.” (John‬ ‭7‬:‭17‬ NLT)

On Friday, February 27th, Boris Nemtsov, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s biggest critics, was gunned down in public…and no one seems to have seen a thing. ABC News reported that there were 18 security cameras where the victim was shot multiple times in the back, and yet ALL OF THEM were either shut down or turned in other directions at the same moment. Can you say “Conspiracy Theory”?! Who’s side is telling the truth about it?

The critics of Jesus and His teachings go way past His earthly life to today. As a Pastor, I do have times when I have to defend His actual life, teachings, and relevancy in this modern age. One of the biggest questions I get asked is simply, how do you know it’s true? The answer can only be found when it’s asked with a faith that longs to believe. 

The world will always abound with skeptics and conspiracy theories. The mystery of Jesus begins to demystify when the heart hungers for the things of God. A believer knows because they simply know. Have an open mind that allows God to reveal who He really is. If you’re seeking Him, He will be found! You are loved! 



Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!” (Psalms‬ ‭105‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

News Headlines from this past week: Iran trains to destroy American ships; North Korea prepares for war; Venezuela takes anti-American measures; Israeli-US ties fraying before UN speech… All the news services are buzzing with mankind’s struggle and intrigues being committed against one another. Doesn’t bring a reassurance concerning those in charge!

The Bible, though, tells us who is REALLY in charge and that we should be reassuring the world with that fact! While God allows us to practice our self-wills to our own peril, He cares for those that call on His name and works on their behalf. He’s there to comfort us in the middle of storms and He puts the pieces back together as He leads us to better days. 

God is greater than we give Him credit for! Even the strongest of believers needs to be reminded every now and then that God isn’t frail and isn’t in danger of becoming senile. Remind yourself and others of what a mighty God we serve! You are loved today! 

The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.” (Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭3‬ NLT)

On April 18, 1924, Francis Leavy, a Chicago firefighter, was washing a large window at the department when he apparently had a premonition: He would die that day. And he did. The next day, as fellow officers were dealing with his death, they noticed a handprint on the window that Leavy had washed, which wasn’t there before. When it was washed again, the handprint, possibly Leavy’s own, remained. Not even chemicals removed it. The handprint remained a mystery until 1944, when the window was broken by a newspaper boy’s wild throw. 

Everyday, God gives us “handprints of His presence” to show us that He’s there and involved with us. It might be a random song, a glimpse of nature, or a call from a friend, but each moment is associated with a feeling, even a brief one, that everything’s going to be okay. Consider it for what it is, your Heavenly Father reminding you that He’s there with you!

As I watched the snow gently fall yesterday, I felt it. When I talked to a friend on the phone yesterday, I felt it. And today, I’ll look again for another “handprint”, knowing that my God loves me and wants me to know it. May you see it too! You are loved!

mike@poyenassemblyofgod.org

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Arise, let us go from here.” (John‬ ‭14‬:‭31‬ NKJV)

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, aka Grandma Moses, is one of the biggest names in American folk art, and she didn’t even pick up a brush until she was well into her eighth decade! Grandma Moses was originally a big fan of embroidery, but once her arthritis grew too painful for her to hold a needle, she decided to give painting a try. She was 76 when she cranked out her first canvas! By the time she passed away at 101, her paintings were worth thousands of dollars.

I’ve often heard that a rut can be described as “a grave with both ends knocked out”. We sometimes settle for lesser things in life and in God when there is more, but it requires moving beyond places of comfort and safety. Regardless of age or circumstances, God directs our lives as we follow His path. If we settle into a place of grief, loss, or discouragement, we’ll miss the path to better living.

As Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He was in the final moments of His life. Let God take the remainder of your days and, like Grandma Moses, create beauty in the lives around you! You are wonderfully loved today!

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Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NLT)

In April 2008, Wendy Petherick was standing beside a river in Northwest Australia, near Darwin, when she was attacked by an 8′ saltwater crocodile. Her husband, Norm, immediately jumps on the crocodile to save his wife! After wrestling with it a bit, he finds its eyes, gives them a gouge, prompting the croc to let go. Norm literally pulled his wife out of the jaws of death.

Just as a “saltie” swims by the waters edge in search of unsuspecting prey, sin camps out at the front steps of our heart, waiting for a chance to pounce. In this scripture, God is warning a very angry Cain not to let sin control him. Cain wouldn’t listen and instead eventually killed his brother. Even though God provided a warning, Cain didn’t heed it and paid a heavy price.

The Enemy longs to trip you up and destroy your life. Sin is enticing and is therefore hard to resist. As you encounter temptation, don’t fight it alone! Let God help you to resist it. You’ll survive spiritually as you let God help you fight your battles! You are loved today!

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And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master…” (Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭36‬ NKJV)

Growing up in an Army town, you never knew exactly when deployed soldiers were coming home. Women in our church were vigilant to keep the house cleaned, there hair fixed, and the diaper bag packed, because at any moment, the phone might ring and be told that the plane was coming in! For military families, you can’t get ready; you have to live ready.

We have a promise from our Savior: One day He is returning for us. It might be the whole church body or you alone through a life circumstance. Regardless, when it’s our time to leave this world and face eternity, there won’t be a chance to “get ready”. Spiritual vigilance, much like the military, means that we must live ready, anticipating our Lord’s call to come home!

Always remember that we are not earthly beings having spiritual experiences in this life; we are spiritual people having an earthly experience until our home is built! Live ready to serve in this life, and ready to go for the one to come. It could be today! You are loved!

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Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.” (Psalms‬ ‭27‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

In one study that focused on the abandonment of pregnant teenagers, it was reported that around 40% of caregivers kicked out or gave up their teen daughter when her pregnancy was discovered. In my opinion, disowning a child is irresponsible and the ramifications ripple into the community. Parents of these teens need to be involved in their lives, especially during such a trying time. Responsibly does not end when a child goes against a parent’s will.

For many, we view God through the same lenses of our own abandonment issues. If others are willing to dump me, then God is too. We can sense this same fear in the psalmist’s pleas to God, probably on the heels of a failure or hardship.

The good news is that God NEVER abandons us! While He is a good parent and corrects our bad behaviors, He also promised never to disown us (Hebrews 13:5). Trust that your future is indeed safe in the hands of an unchanging and truly forgiving Savior! You are loved today!