Friday, August 19, 2011

Your Life Will Turn The Corner (For Good)!

In November of 2010, my close neighbor killed himself. I later learned that he was extremely depressed because his business failed, he was having some family troubles, and soon after he lost all hope for the future. He was a very nice guy who I spoke with almost daily. I suspected he was in pain but I did not know for certain. Since we were only friendly as neighbors I did not want to get to personal. After his death I felt guilty, feeling like I should have reached out to him. He left behind his wife and 3 young children in deep pain and mourning.

When something like this happens it is very easy to judge and then ask, "why would a person do that and not think about his family?" The more difficult thing to do is to put yourself in that persons shoes. To think about what kind of emotional state that person must have been in to even think of such a thing. We have to be careful when passing judgement because life has a way of tearing people down to a point where they feel there is no way out. We may think we are invincible to such thoughts, but one never knows how you would react until the moment when life's troubles arrive at your door.

Today it is not uncommon to hear about a close friend or family member losing their home to foreclosure, or losing their job. We read about major companies going out of business as well as countries like Greece & Ireland seeking emergency financial assistance. These are extremely difficult times we are living in. Many people who were once very stable and sure of themselves and their future no longer have the same optimism. When you give your very best trying to turn things around only to find things remain the same (or have become worse) it can be extremely discouraging. If this happens continually over a period of time it is easy to see how a person could lose all hope.

In the Bible there is a story of Simon (aka Peter), James and John. They know about giving your very best effort having no success at the end of the task. But in reading about their encounter with JESUS, something happens to change their perspective (and ultimately their lives).

Luke 5:1-11

"One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


Simon and the guys had been working all night with no success in catching any fish. Surely the must have been exhausted after working so hard. It is especially draining when you have worked so hard at something without accomplishing the goal. The scripture says they were washing their nets, so we know they had given up and were finished for the night. When JESUS told Simon to go out into the deep and drop their nets again, we can feel the frustration in Simon's response. However because the direction was coming from JESUS he decided to give it another try. The result was catching so many fish the nets broke and after filling the boats with fish they began to sink.

When I was growing up my father would always say, "You never know what good thing is just around the corner. That's why when times get tough you have to keep going forward until you get to the corner. Once you turn the corner in life, usually it means you will never again have to face what you left behind." After Simon, James, and John had this great encounter with JESUS, their lives were never the same.

When we feel like things are completely hopeless, this is the moment we must put rely in GOD. We cannot give up because we don't know what good thing is just around the corner. From my own personal experience I know this is easier said than done. When we are frustrated we have to stop everything and wait on GOD for direction. HE loves us and wants the best for us just as any good father would want the best for his children.

Suicide is never the answer. Suicide is the devil's way of keeping you from the very good thing that GOD has waiting for you just around the corner. With suicide there is no chance for redemption (once the act is done there is no turning back). However if you keep moving forward you will be amazed at how GOD can turn things around for you. Believe in yourself that you can and will make it. Trust that GOD will give you the strength, courage, and direction you need to move forward and overcome your circumstances. If you feel completely overwhelmed by the problems in your life, please reach out for help. Talk to a close family member or friend. If you do not have anyone close to talk to reach out to your local church. There are also some excellent community organizations that may also be of great help to you. But whatever you do please do not entertain the thought of killing yourself. GOD masterfully created someone great when HE created you! HE placed unique gifts, abilities, talents, and knowledge inside of you that is of great benefit to the world. Your presence on this earth is need! Life will not be the same without you! Forget what people might say about you and focus on what GOD says about you. Even if people hate you, know that GOD loves you. In HIS eyes you are nothing short of "awesome"!

I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tp@terrenceparkermusic.com. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tp@terrenceparkermusic.com
Here is a video to give you additional motivation, inspiration, and encouragement:
http://youtu.be/V6xLYt265ZM

GOD bless you!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recovering From Life's Dizzy Spells

I recently took my kids to a carnival. At the carnival there was a ride called "Space 3000" in the shape of a space ship (flying saucer). This ride spins around so fast the G-force pins your body against the wall of the ride as you spin. My 9 year old son and I decided to give this ride a try. As we were spinning around, I noticed the guy who was controlling the ride was seated in the very center. Although we were spinning very fast, he was not spinning at all. After finishing the ride, my son and I were both left feeling dizzy. After a few minutes my son was fine and ready to find the next adventurous ride at the carnival. However it took me a bit longer to recover.

Depending on where we are in life, certain things can happen that we may not recover from as quickly or easily as we would like. We should not become frustrated because someone else seems to recover from similar circumstances faster. Perhaps at a different stage in our lives the same circumstances would not have effected us as severely as it might be currently.

Sometimes GOD allows a situation to occur at a later point in our lives because HE knows we would not have properly handled the same circumstances well during an earlier point in life. Although it could be more painful or perhaps cause us more injury, GOD's light gives off rays of wisdom that is more often appreciated with age.

However, it is possible to remain at peace when the world around us is spinning fast (seemingly out of control). In order for us not to be effected by the spin we must center ourselves in GOD just as the man seated in the center of the "Space 3000" ride. There are two interesting points about this man. The 1st point is he was not spinning at all (he was seated in a place of peace). The 2nd point is he was in control of the ride (he made it go faster, slower, started, and stopped). When we center ourselves in GOD, we are in a place of peace. It's like being in the eye of a hurricane storm. The winds are raging all around, but within the eye of that storm it is calm and peaceful. Also, when we center ourselves with GOD we are with the one who is in control of all things. We may not understand the things going on around us or why GOD allows them to happen. However, by centering ourselves in GOD we allow HIS peace to cover us; giving us the wisdom and strength to endure and overcome the spin of life. After all, life on this earth will always be spinning because the earth itself continues to spin.

So how do we center ourselves in GOD? Simply by trusting HIM. By trusting and relying totally on GOD with confidence, we are resting on HIM. It is like choosing to sit in a chair. You trust and rely on the chair being secure enough to hold you. Therefore when you sit, you do so with confidence knowing the chair will hold you. As you sit in the chair, you relax the weight of your body on it firmly. Once you are seated you are able to rest. Likewise we must trust and rely on GOD to hold us. We must sit on GOD with confidence knowing he will hold us. We must relax the weight of our troubles firmly on GOD so that we may be comfortably seated on HIM. GOD has promised through JESUS CHRIST that HE will allow us to rest if we bring our troubles to him.

Matthew 11:28-29
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Psalm 138:7 (NIV)
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me
."


It is never easy to accept when negative or challenging moments arise in our lives. Sometimes the blessing is not so much in what happened, but when it happened.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."


I do not know why children are dying of starvation in Somalia, why riots are happening throughout England, or why a little girl in Detroit is killed while sleeping in her home by a stray bullet shot from outside. GOD is not asking us to be thankful for bad situations. Instead, GOD is asking us to be thankful even while in the bad situation; trusting that HE will not allow it to over take us, but knowing HE will heal & deliver us from it.

My friends, the truth is the world is continues to spin 24 hours each day. Although it seems to be spinning out of control, GOD is most certainly in control. Why GOD allows terrible things to happen in the earth is a great mystery. Though it is true to say GOD has a purpose in all things, these words are not comforting to the father who lost his son during the riots in England who was simply trying to protect his neighborhood. These words are not comforting to the mother of the little girl who was killed in her sleep by a stray bullet. These words are not comforting to anyone who has received bad news or anyone who has suffered a great loss.

So then why should we turn to GOD? Perhaps it is like owning a car made by Ford that has some mechanical trouble. You would not take that Ford car to a Chrysler dealership for service. Instead, it makes sense to return to the original manufacturer. Ford made the car, so they would have the best answer how to resolve the problem. It is the same with our lives. Why do we run to psychics, horoscopes, taro card readers (and others alike), when GOD is the original manufacturer? GOD is the one who created us in HIS likeness. Therefore my friends let us return to the original manufacturer who is GOD our FATHER. Let us center ourselves in GOD. Only HE can help us successfully recover from life's dizzy spells!

I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tp@terrenceparkermusic.com. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tp@terrenceparkermusic.com

GOD bless you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sometimes You Must Encourage Yourself!

Hello Friends!

There will be times when the troubles of life will make us feel down, sad, or depressed. In some of these instances we will get hit with several blows at once that will overwhelm us (almost drowning us). It is our natural human response to reach out for help. Sometimes there will be people ready and willing to help. However there will be moments when we will seek others for encouragement, comfort, and guidance but no one will be available. It is during these times we must encourage ourselves in GOD. In other words, we must think back and remember situations in our past when things seemed hopeless, but GOD made a way, brought us through, and worked everything out for us. We must draw strength from those victorious moments GOD has given us and move forward with confidence. Below is a video link to a song which summarizes this perfectly:

Encourage Yourself - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6yhgFxDQMw

Here are 2 stories from the Bible about David. Many people have heard the story about the boy David who defeats the mighty giant Goliath. However for the purpose of today's reading, please notice that David not only faced the obvious challenge of defeating Goliath, but he also faced opposition from his own family. In other words, there were many battles David had to fight on that day, but he thought about his past victorious experiences with GOD. He gained strength from it, and it gave him courage to face them all (knowing that GOD was with him).

1 Samuel 17:1-51

1-3 The Philistines drew up their troops for battle. They deployed them at Socoh in Judah, and set up camp between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes Dammim. Saul and the Israelites came together, camped at Oak Valley, and spread out their troops in battle readiness for the Philistines. The Philistines were on one hill, the Israelites on the opposing hill, with the valley between them.

4-7 A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor—126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail—the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds. His shield bearer walked ahead of him.

8-10 Goliath stood there and called out to the Israelite troops, "Why bother using your whole army? Am I not Philistine enough for you? And you're all committed to Saul, aren't you? So pick your best fighter and pit him against me. If he gets the upper hand and kills me, the Philistines will all become your slaves. But if I get the upper hand and kill him, you'll all become our slaves and serve us. I challenge the troops of Israel this day. Give me a man. Let us fight it out together!"

11 When Saul and his troops heard the Philistine's challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope.

12-15 Enter David. He was the son of Jesse the Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse, the father of eight sons, was himself too old to join Saul's army. Jesse's three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who had joined up with Saul were Eliab, the firstborn; next, Abinadab; and third, Shammah. David was the youngest son. While his three oldest brothers went to war with Saul, David went back and forth from attending to Saul to tending his father's sheep in Bethlehem.

16 Each morning and evening for forty days, Goliath took his stand and made his speech.

17-19 One day, Jesse told David his son, "Take this sack of cracked wheat and these ten loaves of bread and run them down to your brothers in the camp. And take these ten wedges of cheese to the captain of their division. Check in on your brothers to see whether they are getting along all right, and let me know how they're doing—Saul and your brothers, and all the Israelites in their war with the Philistines in the Oak Valley."

20-23 David was up at the crack of dawn and, having arranged for someone to tend his flock, took the food and was on his way just as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the army was moving into battle formation, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines moved into position, facing each other, battle-ready. David left his bundles of food in the care of a sentry, ran to the troops who were deployed, and greeted his brothers. While they were talking together, the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, stepped out from the front lines of the Philistines, and gave his usual challenge. David heard him.

24-25 The Israelites, to a man, fell back the moment they saw the giant— totally frightened. The talk among the troops was, "Have you ever seen anything like this, this man openly and defiantly challenging Israel? The man who kills the giant will have it made. The king will give him a huge reward, offer his daughter as a bride, and give his entire family a free ride."

26 David, who was talking to the men standing around him, asked, "What's in it for the man who kills that Philistine and gets rid of this ugly blot on Israel's honor? Who does he think he is, anyway, this uncircumcised Philistine, taunting the armies of God-Alive?"

27 They told him what everyone was saying about what the king would do for the man who killed the Philistine.

28 Eliab, his older brother, heard David fraternizing with the men and lost his temper: "What are you doing here! Why aren't you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you're up to. You've come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!"

29-30 "What is it with you?" replied David. "All I did was ask a question." Ignoring his brother, he turned to someone else, asked the same question, and got the same answer as before.

31 The things David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul. Saul sent for him.

32 "Master," said David, "don't give up hope. I'm ready to go and fight this Philistine."

33 Saul answered David, "You can't go and fight this Philistine. You're too young and inexperienced—and he's been at this fighting business since before you were born."

34-37 David said, "I've been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I'd go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I'd grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I'll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine." Saul said, "Go. And God help you!"

38-39 Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. David told Saul, "I can't even move with all this stuff on me. I'm not used to this." And he took it all off.

40 Then David took his shepherd's staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.

41-42 As the Philistine paced back and forth, his shield bearer in front of him, he noticed David. He took one look down on him and sneered—a mere youngster, apple-cheeked and peach-fuzzed.

43 The Philistine ridiculed David. "Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?" And he cursed him by his gods.

44 "Come on," said the Philistine. "I'll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I'll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice."

45-47 David answered, "You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel's troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I'm about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there's an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn't save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he's handing you to us on a platter!"

48-49 That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, facedown in the dirt.

50 That's how David beat the Philistine—with a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. No sword for David!

51 Then David ran up to the Philistine and stood over him, pulled the giant's sword from its sheath, and finished the job by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their great champion was dead, they scattered, running for their lives.


Here is the 2nd story when David once again encourages himself. In this story David is much older and has experienced many things including Saul's attempts to kill him. However at this point in his life David has overcome many things, acknowledging GOD as the one who gave him the victory. Notice how David looks to GOD as his source, guide, and confidant, and comforter.

1 Samuel 30:1-31

1-3 Three days later, David and his men arrived back in Ziklag. Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They tore Ziklag to pieces and then burned it down. They captured all the women, young and old. They didn't kill anyone, but drove them like a herd of cattle. By the time David and his men entered the village, it had been burned to the ground, and their wives, sons, and daughters all taken prisoner.

4-6 David and his men burst out in loud wails—wept and wept until they were exhausted with weeping. David's two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel, had been taken prisoner along with the rest. And suddenly David was in even worse trouble. There was talk among the men, bitter over the loss of their families, of stoning him.

6-7 David strengthened himself with trust in his God. He ordered Abiathar the priest, son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the Ephod so I can consult God." Abiathar brought it to David.

8 Then David prayed to God, "Shall I go after these raiders? Can I catch them?" The answer came, "Go after them! Yes, you'll catch them! Yes, you'll make the rescue!"

9-10 David went, he and the six hundred men with him. They arrived at the Brook Besor, where some of them dropped out. David and four hundred men kept up the pursuit, but two hundred of them were too fatigued to cross the Brook Besor, and stayed there.

11-12 Some who went on came across an Egyptian in a field and took him to David. They gave him bread and he ate. And he drank some water. They gave him a piece of fig cake and a couple of raisin muffins. Life began to revive in him. He hadn't eaten or drunk a thing for three days and nights!

13-14 David said to him, "Who do you belong to? Where are you from?" "I'm an Egyptian slave of an Amalekite," he said. "My master walked off and left me when I got sick—that was three days ago. We had raided the Negev of the Kerethites, of Judah, and of Caleb. Ziklag we burned."

15 David asked him, "Can you take us to the raiders?" "Promise me by God," he said, "that you won't kill me or turn me over to my old master, and I'll take you straight to the raiders."

16 He led David to them. They were scattered all over the place, eating and drinking, gorging themselves on all the loot they had plundered from Philistia and Judah.

17-20 David pounced. He fought them from before sunrise until evening of the next day. None got away except for four hundred of the younger men who escaped by riding off on camels. David rescued everything the Amalekites had taken. And he rescued his two wives! Nothing and no one was missing—young or old, son or daughter, plunder or whatever. David recovered the whole lot. He herded the sheep and cattle before them, and they all shouted, "David's plunder!"

21 Then David came to the two hundred who had been too tired to continue with him and had dropped out at the Brook Besor. They came out to welcome David and his band. As he came near he called out, "Success!"

22 But all the mean-spirited men who had marched with David, the rabble element, objected: "They didn't help in the rescue, they don't get any of the plunder we recovered. Each man can have his wife and children, but that's it. Take them and go!"

23-25 "Families don't do this sort of thing! Oh no, my brothers!" said David as he broke up the argument. "You can't act this way with what God gave us! God kept us safe. He handed over the raiders who attacked us. Who would ever listen to this kind of talk? The share of the one who stays with the gear is the share of the one who fights—equal shares. Share and share alike!" From that day on, David made that the rule in Israel—and it still is.

26-31 On returning to Ziklag, David sent portions of the plunder to the elders of Judah, his neighbors, with a note saying, "A gift from the plunder of God's enemies!" He sent them to the elders in Bethel, Ramoth Negev, Jattir, Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Racal, Jerahmeelite cities, Kenite cities, Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athach, and Hebron, along with a number of other places David and his men went to from time to time.


My friends, sometimes we must encourage ourselves. We must trust and believe that GOD is with us at all times. We must remember what HE has done for us in the past. These past triumphs should cause us to grow stronger in our trust in GOD. I know it is easier "said than done" (especially when we get hit many times daily). Although it can be difficult, we should press forward to rely on GOD even more. Friends, lets put our trust in the LORD. Lets not depend on our own understanding or try to figure out how GOD is going to resolve the matter. Instead we must allow GOD to do it HIS way. HIS way will always be the best way. Lets give GOD the praise (even in the middle of the struggle) knowing he will lead us to victory today!

I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tp@terrenceparkermusic.com. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tp@terrenceparkermusic.com

GOD bless you!