Party Animal to Disciple

A compelling story of the adverse effects of drugs and alcohol and divine intervention.

Testimony of Dan Masa

I learned much later that this combination was not a good mix. Coupled with my occasional bouts of epilepsy, I was flirting with death” – Dan Masa

 One might think that after attending Catholic school from first to eighth grade I’d have come away with some religious experience of reverential fear toward God. But, I didn’t. No spiritual impact had been imparted whatsoever. Perhaps, my family background played a role as to why. My parents were the epitome of party animals. I was thrust repeatedly into the mist of what they considered weekend fun. Yes, wild parties and drinking was the family staple. “Carouser” could have well been our last name, and we wore it proudly.

Well, as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Like my parent’s, I became a party animal in my adulthood. For me, drinking and all-night bashes were just a part of life, and of course, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I grew into a heavy boozer, which led to a life of drugs. I learned much later that this combination was not a good mix. Coupled with my occasional bouts of epilepsy, I was flirting with death. However, even that didn’t stop me from my pursuit of drugs and alcohol. I was ignorant…totally oblivious as to the damage I was inflicting on my body. Only by the mercy of God was I spared during those times.

LIFE WITH DRUGS

I used cocaine in my high school years, and from then on, my life became a search for the next high. I had no idea how deep in I was – my moral compass was shot, and I had no one to give me the advice I needed to make better choices. Ironically, I was the go-toguy for counsel and support for others. Hmm, how funny, I never took my own advice.

 As a young man, I landed my first job at a convenience store. It was the perfect setup. Working as a clerk, I quickly found a convenient way to steal from the store shelves to support my habit. Each night, for the duration of my employment, I packed away bottles of alcohol and magazines and never got caught. Somehow, I ventured on to my chosen profession, which was plumbing –  an honest craft, but a lot of hard work at times.

Along the way, I met a guy named Scott, who was no novice to the drug and alcohol world. We soon became “best buds” drawn together like magnets. It was the worst hookup I could have made. And with neither of us the wiser, we went even further down the wrong road together. However, in spite of my addiction, I was able to function normally. You know, holding down a job and that sort of thing. Today it’s known as being a “functioning addict.” As for the seizuresI’d been having – well, I couldn’t have cared less.

Plumbing allotted me the means to support my habit. I reported for work daily and on time, performing my duties very well. I received promotions that lead to a bigger salary, and Ieven bought my first house. Things were going well, or so I thought.

THE ACCIDENT

The body can only take so much before things begin to malfunction. Little did I know, my life was about to take a turn for the worse. It was a typical work day, and I was driving a company pickup truck. I was heading down a four-lane road in a residential area. The night before, I’d been out indulging in my usual carousing, and I hadn’t had much sleep. I often functioned on four hours or less. This time, I’d only had two hours—and my body was still filled with drugs and alcohol. Half asleep with a good hangover, I blacked out.

I don’t remember anything after that, but here’s the story I was told: After blacking out, my truck went across all four traffic lanes. It missed two utility poles by a slim margin, went down an embankment, then into a retention pond where it flipped. I was submergedunder the waterof that pond, for forty-five minutes. During that time a passerby spotted my truck and called 911. The nearest hospital was two miles away, but the injuries I sustained were so severe that I had to be airlifted to a hospital fifteen miles away.

According to the medical staff,I was barely hanging on when I arrived. While the doctors worked frantically to save my life, I died multiple times and was brought back to life. It was no coincidence that the accident happened during the winter. I’ll never forget it. The date was December 16, 1988, in a suburb of Chicago. The doctors explained that the weatherwas in my favor because the cold temperature slowed down the process and miraculously preserved my brain. The next thing I remember is sitting in a wheelchair. I have absolutely no recollection of the trauma that my body went through.

ADJUSTING TO MY NEW LIFE

Recovery was a slow process. I was eventually assigned to rehab to learn how to function all over again. I would have years of painstaking exercises ahead. However, through all of this, I hadn’t given a single thought about God. I had no idea that it was He who’d spared my life – thanking Him for saving my life was out of the question. I was clueless. But over time, things slowly began to change.  

Once back on my feet, I depended on a cane for stability. I’d come a long way. Shortly after this a friend invited me to a Wednesday night meeting at his church. By then, I’d decided I needed some religion, so I started attending a Catholic Bible study. Again, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get much out of it. But unbeknownst to me, God was working out the particulars on my behalf.

SALVATION

 I happened to run across a long-time friend named Randy who had attended plumbing schoolwith me. I was surprised to learn that he was a born-again believer. He spoke to me about his church which was Christian and I was intrigued. After sitting in a few of the studies I was touched as the Word came alive. For the first time I heard the gospel taught on a regular basis. It was there I repented of my sins, accepted Christ, and was baptized.

The Bible study not only gave me more spiritual insight, but I was also blessed to meet my present wife Doris to boot. She was the next best thing that could have happened to me, after Christ.

When I look back, I’m so thankful for the great mercy of my heavenly Father. Just the thought that I was hell bound, and God miraculously stepped in and spared my life. In all of that, He was saying to me, “Death can’t have you because I love you too much, Dan – I’m not done with you yet.” For this reason, I will tell my story of God’s mercy wherever I go, for His glory.

Pastor Anita Joe: As I read Dan’s story, it clearly reveals the heavenly Father’s great mercy toward mankind. Daily, God commends His loving-kindness to us in spite of ourselves. There’s no sinner that is to far-gone that He will not reach down and save. As the prophet declares;

Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear… – Isaiah 59:1.

Beloved, God’s hand is ever reaching. His ultimate plan is salvation, to save you and reveal his plan and purpose for your life that He may be glorified.

For prayer request or simply leave a comment, visit anitajoeministries.com.

Thank you for visiting Anita Joe Ministries

Blessings!

Welcome!

Welcome to all, we hope to see you again and to be able to encourage you through the scriptures

Welcome my friend, You are at the right place, at the right time.

Welcome one and all. It is my desire to lift your spirit, give you words of encouragement while imparting some insight on certain topics you might not be familiar with. Note that my blog is spiritually based concerning the body and soul.

There will be personal stories and testaments of loved ones, as well as myself, regarding health and spiritual experiences. We learn from each other and you are encouraged to share your experiences with us as you please, for we are your friend, and we are your family in Christ beloved.

We encourage you to speak your truth, to encourage others to be better than ever in this life, and never allow pride to keep you from forgiving or seeking forgiveness. Truth and transparency are key elements in becoming a better you.

There will be discussions of many different religions but I believe there is only one true and living God. Know that diversity is necessary. We are melting pot of various beautiful people which will allow us to learn about others and their beliefs, lifestyle, and culture. But we must respect one another if we call ourselves Christians, or call ourselves mature adults.

We are here to encourage you and your friends and family, never to hurt or demonize anyone. We all have a voice to be heard on this platform. In the big scheme of things, we are one in the spirit, and we are one in His love.

Feel free to impart wisdom, leave comments and ask questions, we are willing to be transparent, and are willing to stand in agreement with you in prayer. I am excited you are here! I hope we meet again. Be well, my friend, for you are welcome. To the only wise God our Savior, both power and dominion. Welcome, Anita & Courtney

What are Fimiliar Spirits

What You Need To Know About Familiar Spirits


Familiar spirits are spirits that can gain access into people or the personalities of individuals by making them believe that they are spirits of the departed family members. Furthermore, a familiar spirit is a demon, but a lot of Christians do not know that because of what these demons seem to know about them. A medium usually summons this demon with the intention that the spirit his or her commands. Also, these familiar spirits are perceived as the spirits of people who have died.

What is the Bible saying about these spirits? Let’s take a look at Deuteronomy 18:11
The Bible knows the real mission of the familiar spirits; they are demonic forces imitating people to deceive them. This is why the Bible strongly warns us against them.


Luke 16:19-31
In verse 26 in the above chapter shows us that people cannot come back from the dead.


What about Saul and the medium in 1 Samuel 28? I believe this example of Saul shows us the difference between God’s leading (Samuel) and a copycat (the medium).
What I know and you should know is that God does not want His children you and I to depend on demons in guise as the spirit of our loved ones.


Why You Need To Beware Of Familiar Spirits And Anyone Who Promotes It
These demons prey on our weaknesses, they know where it hurts, what to tell you, but they are not the solution for you. The moment you give them access, they will ruin your life, just the way they did Saul.


The New American Standard Bible explains in simple words the dangers of meeting mediums or spiritists Leviticus 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”


God is all you need; you do not need the help of other spiritual gurus promising you answers from the spirit realm. The Bible is our manual given to us by God, and the best of all is the Holy Spirit. He is here to guide, teach, comfort, among many other things, but we need to ask for His help.


1 Chronicles 10:13 “So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it.”
2 Chron. 33:6, ” He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger.”
Saul did evil in God’s sight, by practicing witchcraft, sorcery, and dealing with mediums and spiritists. Jesus is the only true way, and the Light; familiar spirits cannot give you light for darkness cannot give birth to light.


How To Prevent The Manifestations Of Familiar Spirits In Your Life
The primary reason Christians fall prey to familiar spirits is when they lost a loved one; they tend to find answers why what happened, happened in the first place… it is one of the “soothing” ways to grieve. This is not the answer; you have to trust God and pray for strength to bear the loss because God knows best. Below are some of the ways to prevent manifestations of familiar spirits in your life.


Trust in the Word of God- when you trust in God’s word, you will not find the need to seek answers from ungodly places.


Steer clear from people who encourage such acts; there is a reason why should not be yoked with an unbeliever, what business does light with darkness? When you start reading books that promote familiar spirits or start following friends who depend on familiar spirits for guidance you will soon become like them.


Keep your prayer altar burning; no sane fly will perch on a burning stove. The same way no devil can gain access to your mind if your prayer life is active. A praying Christian is a powerful Christian. As winning Christians, you don’t start praying only when you sense danger, have a praying lifestyle; create time for prayers.


Meditate on the word of God; it is not enough to read your Bible, you have to meditate on it every time until you catch the Rhema behind the written word. Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then shall thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have GOOD SUCCESS.”


In conclusion, familiar spirits prey on our grieve, anxiety, fear, and every other weakness we can think of; they cannot solve our problems, and the best they can do is to take us out of God’s divine plan for us. In addition, God has given us all that we need, and it is written in the Bible, all we need to do is to study the word of God, meditate on the word, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us that which we do not know.

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Uncontrollable Thoughts

HOW TO DEAL WITH UNCONTROLLABLE THOUGHTS
The mind is one the determining factor that can shape the destiny of any man; if you can control your thoughts, you have taken over the steering of your life. However, managing your thoughts is not that easy; having control over what enters or leave your mind can be daunting at times. Fortunately, this article will show you the causes as well as the steps to take if you want to deal with uncontrollable thoughts.


THE CAUSES OF UNCONTROLLABLE THOUGHTS
Uncontrollable thoughts can be caused by several mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), amphetamine addiction.


In addition, when you know the causes of a problem, you have gotten 50% of the solution. However, if you suspect you have any of the disorders, and it is not just uncontrollable thoughts, you can research more on any the disorders you think you may or may not have. Furthermore, when uncontrollable thoughts are not spiked by health condition, they may be caused by lack of sleep and high stress.


FIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH UNCONTROLLABLE THOUGHTS
The good news is there are practical ways to control uncontrollable thoughts and reduce the occurrence and below are the things you can do to stop or reduce uncontrollable thoughts.


FOCUS ON TODAY
We focus more on the future or the past that we forget to live. This is one of the reasons for uncontrollable thoughts. Leave the past; it cannot be changed, focus on today because it determines the future. Another reason to focus on today is that it is what you can control.


MANTRAS
The things we say have a way of molding our destinies; when you keep saying positive things, likewise if you keep repeating negative things you will keep pondering on thoughts you do not like. Say positive phrases such as “It will be okay”, “this current phase will transform me positively”. Mantras keep the mind focus on a simple, but confident and encouraging thought. It also keeps it away from racing thoughts. In addition, what we watch, listen to or read about has a way of building our thought patterns. Steer clear from things that do not edify you or bring peace to your heart.


STUDY THE WORD OF GOD
A wise man said “you may not stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest on your head” it also applies here; you cannot stop yourself from thinking about some things, but you can prevent it from being an uncontrollable problem. One of the ways to manage these thoughts is to study the word of God; search out what is written concerning you in the scripture. When you notice uncontrollable or racing thoughts in your mind, quickly switch to the word of God; dwell on the promises of God. You can only fight uncontrollable thoughts with the word of God when you spend time studying your Bible.


DISTRACT YOURSELF
Another powerful way to reduce uncontrollable thoughts is to distract yourself with something else; for instance, you can use your favorite hobby to calm yourself. Playing your favorite instrument, cooking, painting, coloring books or any other hobbies you can think of.


Exercise You can manage or even stop uncontrollable thoughts with regular physical activities. Regular physical activity improves your physique as well as your mental well-being. In addition, studies have shown that exercises can boost your mood. So, when you are jogging, running, skipping, taking long walks, you are not only improving your body, you are developing your mind as well.


ENCOURAGE YOURSELF: In conclusion, it is not enough to read the article; you have to put them to practice if you want to see changes. Exercising, healthy distraction, mantras, focusing on the present, and studying the word of God will help you control your thoughts.

Christchurch Attack New Zealand

49 dead at 2 of the CHRISTCHURCH Mosque, one of New Zealand’s darkest days

Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat

Luke 22:31-34

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

John 10:10

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Romans 10:8-10

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Dear God,

Thank you for your great power and your wondrous works. We praise you for your Truth and your Light. We’re grateful that you have set us free from the clutching grasp of sin and death. Please be with your people, extend your grace and mercy, granting your freedom, providing your protection, and to be empowered with your strength. We ask that you’d bring about an awakening of your presence as never seen before, in this wicked world today. We ask that your Name be proclaimed, that all plans to silence the Name of Jesus would be thwarted and crushed.We pray that many would come to know you as Lord or their personal Savior, we pray that many would see your Light, that you would open blinded eyes and release those still bound or imprisoned. Our Nation is sick, hurting, and wicked, please God intervene immediately. Do away with the senseless acts of violence and cruelty. Allow your hand of protection and love console the bereavement. We can do nothing without you, hear our cry Lord. In the sweet majestic and matchless Name of Jesus. Amen

Encourage Yourself In the Lord

According to the scriptures Satan wishes to have each and every one of us. He is diligent regarding our demise, know that your life in Christ makes the difference. It is one thing to lose your life, but it is another one, to lose your life and not know Christ as your personal Savior. Think this not cruel, as I speak my heart. Because it greatly hurts my heart when I see the wickedness running rampant across the land.

I know the word of God says, Satan has but a short time here on earth to wreak havoc and try to persuade you and I to follow him. But we must be about our Father’s business. We must pray, we must live according to His word, we must share the gospel according to the words of Jesus Christ. My brother, my sister our land needs healing. Remember those who have lost love ones at the Christchurch in New Zealand, as well as the wounded.

I solicit your prayers on a daily basis, the Bible tells us:

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Unforgiveness

The Self-Destruct Button Called Unforgiveness
I don’t know what has been troubling your mind in the past, but I am glad you found this article. Many people have health issues not because they are on a bad diet, or experiencing bad weather, but because they have allowed unforgiveness to eat deep into their soul that their body becomes too weak to fight health problems.


Matthew 18:23-35 “23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.


24) And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.


25) But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.


26) The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.


27) Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.


28) But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.


29) And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.


30) And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31) So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.


32) Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:


33) Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?


34) And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.


35) So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. ”

The above scripture shows us the adverse effect of unforgiveness; we get turned over to the tormentors. You are killing yourself even more if you allow hateful thoughts towards another person to thrive in your heart and head.


The self-destruct button
Unforgiveness is a self-destruct button that can destroy not just itself, but everyone who holds on dearly to it. You need to understand that when you forgive the person who hurt you are helping yourself more than the person. In essence, you are doing yourself more favor than the person who has offended you. Jesus Christ knows the importance of forgiveness, and the limitations unforgiveness can bring to your life; that is why He stated that we should always forgive.


I know it may seem unfair for you to show unforgiveness, but when you truly forgive, you let go of the burden holding you back. Joyce Meyer rightly said in one of her unforgiveness teachings that unforgiveness is a poison. It is a poison you drink thinking you are hurting the offender not knowing you are killing yourself.


Let me assure you when you let go of hurtful past, and decide to forgive, you become happier; you feel lighter, and you will be able to achieve what you could not do before. In our previous teachings, we talked about obedience. If you love God, you will obey His commandment. Forgiveness is part of the commandment. When we forgive, we are not only helping ourselves, but also we are obeying the word of God. Also, when we choose to forgive, God takes care of the rest-Mark 11:22- 26.


When we hang on to the past, to the hate, sad experiences we had with someone, we are unknowingly hindering our faith from working. God cannot forgive our sins if we do not forgive other people. In the Kingdom, you reap what you soul- if you are entitled to forgiveness if you forgive your offender(s), you obtain mercy, when you are merciful to your neighbors. So, if you want anything from heaven, ensure you are doing the same to people around you.


Benefits of forgiveness
There are many benefits you get for forgiving the people around you, but one of the best benefits is the sweet fellowship you have with your Maker.

Unforgiveness blocks you from fellowshipping with God.
Secondly, when you forgive you stop Satan from taking advantage over you- 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, Ephesians 4:26-27


Do not give the devil any chance to torment you, be quick to forgive because the devil takes advantages of our anger and bitterness.


Three practical steps to forgiveness
If you are tired of torturing yourself or allowing the devil to torment you, then check out the five practical steps you can take to free yourself from the shackles of unforgiveness.


Make a conscious decision to forgive
If you are waiting for the baptism of the power to forgive to fall upon you, then you will be waiting forever. You need to take a conscious decision to forgive Mr A for doing this and that to you. And guess what? As you make the decision to forgive, our God who is our Maker will heal your wounded emotions in time.-Matthew 6:12-14


Seek the help of the Holy Spirit
The reason many people find forgiveness challenging is because they go about by themselves.


Taking the forgiving path is a difficult path to take on your own; you need the power of the Holy Spirit to enable you. The first step to forgiveness to take the decision, the next step is to ask for help; the Holy Spirit is our guide, He shows us what to do, how to do it per time. But you have to ask, you need to believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. John 20:22-23


In your quiet time, go ahead cry if you must, let your heart out, tell Him where it hurts, He is our comforter… but do not dwell on it for too long. When you are done, ask for Help; tell Him to give you the strength to pull through. I have come to understand that pain does not last; we dwell on it for so long that it becomes part of us. The good news is, the Comforter is here to heal us from all painful memories.


Obedience
One of the reasons you need to forgive is because we are commanded to do so if you love God as you claimed, then you have no option but to forgive your enemies. Now you are not doing it for them, but your health, and for love, you have for your heavenly Father. Luke 6:27-28 “27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” the word of God admonishes us to pray for their happiness and welfare of the people around you, including your offenders.


One of the benefits of your prayers for them according to Joyce Meyer is that God can give them the revelation that will bring them out of deception. The truth is, they may not even know they are hurting you or so self-absorbed that they do not care if they are bothering you or not. Your prayers will give them the revelation that they need to transform into a better person.


Hindrances to true forgiveness
Romans 12:14 “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not” the verse shows us how to forgive there is no point trying to forgive your enemies if you keep speaking ill of them to anyone who cares to listen. If you find yourself gossiping about your offenders, it means you are not ready to let go of the past.


“You don’t understand what I have been through, you don’t know how much I trusted them, but they stabbed me in the back”. I may not understand your story, but one thing I am sure is, vengeance is for God; do not try to do His work, He will handle it, all you have to do is make peace with yourself, and move on. Proverbs 17:9 “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”


Are there exemptions to the people we forgive?
In the Holy Scripture, there was never a verse where Jesus Christ, who we should emulate showed us who to forgive, what to forgive, who not to forgive and what not to forgive. He came to die for ALL, not some, not many, but ALL. As a child of God, you have freely received salvation, and you are expected to extend this gift to the people around you freely. Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

In conclusion, you may be angry with God because your life didn’t pan out the way you anticipated, but be assured that He is just, and He loves you unconditionally. You may not understand why things are going the way they shouldn’t, but you have to trust God… He’s got you covered. Make the decision to forgive, ask for help from the Holy Spirit, and obey His words, and everything will be fine.


Encourage Yourself In The Lord: Lastly, Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”watch what you allow to grow in your heart. Allowing unforgiveness to thrive in your heart is to allow filth in your home, and once your home is filled with dirt, you give room for sicknesses and diseases. So stay clean; use the water of God’s words to forgive and stay clean.

You owe it to yourself to forgive and ask for forgiveness. It’s a matter of life and death.

Obedience and the Christian

The Importance Of Obedience In Our Christian Race
The importance of obedience even in our daily lives cannot be overstated; you can imagine the chaos if drivers ignore the traffic signs, and just do whatever they think is right. Or imagine the impending doom if a factory worker neglects the rules of operating a machine and decided to use his guts to operate the device. In essence, obedience is, especially in our Christian race. Just the way you are helping yourself and not the government by obeying traffic rules is the same way you are helping yourself when you obey God.


God’s intention for your family
Imagine how happy a family will be if everyone obeys God’s words respectively. Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”


The above verse shows how God wants children to behave in a family; He knows parents know better than the kids, and every order given by parents to children will help the children be better people when they grow up.
Secondly, Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” God has made man the head of the family, no matter how “sophisticated” or “modern” the world becomes, it will not change the order of leadership in the family. There can be only one captain giving the orders in a ship; women will offset the balance if they try to ignore men as the leaders of the home. Being submissive does not make you less than human in the sight of your husband and the society; it makes the “family ship” to run smoothly.


Let me quickly add here: ladies, if you know that you cannot be submissive to your fiancé or boyfriend, then do not go ahead with the relationship. What submissiveness does to marriage is what oil does to an engine.

Imagine an engine without oil…
Also, 1Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers”.


Men you need to understand this secret, women naturally submit to your leadership when they feel loved, protected, and they know you wise enough to run the ship. When a woman is not submissive, it could be that the man isn’t showing her love, respect or handling responsibilities. You do not expect a woman to surrender her “all” to you when you are not responsible.


You can see the importance of following God’s guidelines; if the man obeys and does his part, the woman will naturally follow suit, and the children will have no trouble following the steps of their parents. Imagine how peaceful the society will be, if each family obeys God’s word concerning them.


Obedience while in pursuit of your vision
Christianity would not have been possible without obedience; Jesus Christ showed obedience to death for you and I to be saved. Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross”. If obedience is not an essential part of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ would have opted out, but no, He did not! He ensured the scripture concerning Him is fulfilled.


Here is a life-changing question for you; are you fulfilling God’s plan and purposes for your life? Or are you just going with the crowd? Let this sink in- It is only the manufacturer of a product can rightly tell you the functions of the product. This is why reading the product manual is vital before using the product. God is our Creator, our Father, and the Word of God is our manual. The reason why some Christians are finding it difficult in life is because they are not doing what they are created to do.


Imagine someone using microphones to beat the drum instead of drumsticks. At first, it may produce good sound, but the microphones will not last, and worst of all, it did not fulfill the purposes. Are you where God wants you to be?


Obedience, a proof of your love to God
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
You cannot claim you love God and be hitting your wife, being disrespectful to your husband, or disobeying your parents. That is not love…
You cannot say you love God, and yet detest your neighbor, or refuse to help the people around you in your own little way. That is not love…
You cannot say you love God with all your heart, and still disobey or cheat your employer at work. That is not love…


The above scripture shows the connection between obedience and love…
An employee asked a question some time ago “what if my employer wants me to do something that is against my belief, do I need to obey him?”
The answer is YES. Before you gasp and gets angry with me, let me explain to you. When looking for a job, you need to be selective as well. Work with someone who has the same belief as you do, because you are going to obey every order that comes from him. This is the reason Christians should seek God’s guidance before saying yes to any organization. If you know the company or the employer will likely ask you to do something that is contrary to God’s words, do not it.


The same thing applies to people who are planning to get married. There is a reason God does not want us to be equally yoked with an unbeliever- 2 Corinthians 6:14. If you know the man does not love and believe in the same God as you do, do not go ahead with the wedding. Being married to the wrong person can destroy a person’s destiny… if you do not believe me; check the life of King Solomon. He was great until he started following strange women, who introduced him to their gods.


Encourage Yourself: In conclusion, God wants the best for you; He is not a tyrant who orders people around. Every word in the scripture is for our own good. He wants you to succeed, to achieve your goals; that is why He set out these rules in the first place. I pray that you receive the grace to walk in love, and in obedience. God bless you.

Opioid Addiction

What You Need to Know About Opioids
There are two sides to opioids, the positive and the negative sides. Opioids are medications created initially to help people ease their physical pains. Doctors prescribe opioids most times to people who have an injury or going through dental work or surgery. Opioids are an effective pain reliever, but has a downside to it; it is addictive; it can lead to an overdose crisis, and dangerous when used without the doctor’s counsel. According to the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora D Volkow, 2.14 million people from the ages of 12 had an opioid use disorder in 2016.


How Opioids works
Opioids medications pass through the blood and attach to the opioid receptors in the brain cells, then the cells release signals, which mute the perception of pain, and increase the feelings of pleasure. In addition, opioids come in various forms of natural pain-relieving drugs such as morphine (Ms Contin, Kadian, etc.) or synthesized in a laboratory such as fentanyl (Duragesic, Actiq, etc.)


Opioids and Heroin
Heroin is another form of opioids; it relieves pains, it has the same pain relieving components as pain relievers medications, but it is usually injected directly into the vein with a needle. Furthermore, pain relievers and heroin can be addictive and can result in deadly opioid overdoses.
Furthermore, heroin is made from natural substance gotten from the seedpod of opium poppy plants (morphine) in Southeast, and Southwest Asia, Colombia and Mexico. It can enter into the bloodstream through injecting, sniffing, snorting, or smoking. The most common names for heroin include Hell Dust, Big H, Smack, and Horse.


Unfortunately, younger people can easily access heroin in some communities because it is cheaper to get; they opt for heroin instead of opioids, and those who are addicted to opioids later switch to heroin. Nonetheless, less than four percent of people who abuse prescription pain medicines started using heroin with five years. However, we (the society) can prevent the misuse of opioids and reduce the number of people using heroin by ensuring opioids or heroin addicts get the proper treatment.


Why are opioid medications dangerous?
There is a fine line between the benefits and the risks of using the medications. Lower doses of opioids make you sleepy, but it can slow your breathing and heart rate if the patient takes a higher dose, which can lead to death. In addition, the medication gives a pleasurable feeling; this is the reason why it is addictive.


What are the dangers of heroin?
The effects of heroin are the same as opioids medications; it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain and body, which send a rush of dopamine and extreme happiness through the body. Some short-term effects are nausea, severe itching, dry mouth, clouded thinking, and vomiting. In some cases, it can stop breathing, which leads to death while the long term effects include heart infection, collapsed veins (people who inject heroin), insomnia, addiction, and depression.


Furthermore, people who inject drugs have a high chance of getting deadly diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV. These diseases are transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids.


What can be done?
It is highly advisable to follow the doctor’s instructions when taking medications strictly. Also, ensure your doctor knows other drugs and supplements you are on to avoid opioids overdose.


We live in an era where people especially the youths do not want to go through the process of healing; they would rather take or do anything that will ease out the pain in a flash. This is why a lot of youths as stated above are more likely to abuse the use of opioids. Nonetheless, creating awareness of opioids and the dangers of using it without the doctor’s prescription will help many of us to make the right choices and live a healthy lifestyle.

Opioids are powerful medications that can safely help to control acute pain, especially after-surgical operation pains. But it can cause death if taken incorrectly.

Encourage Yourself: For help check out this site; Pedialink.com. For an immediate crisis or emergency call 911. DON’T FORGET TO PRAY.

Three Things Your Woman Want

Three Things Your Woman Wants From You
Still, in the celebration of Women’s Day, I would love to share these secrets with you. First of all, you deserve a big thumbs up for attempting to find out why your woman is not happy, and the possible solutions to make your relationship filled with love, happiness and every other good thing you can think of.


Moving on, there are probably one thousand and one things your woman would love for you to do that you are not doing, this article is not created to list out these things, but it will point you to the right direction.


Three things your woman wants from you
Often we hear men complain about the endless list of things women want from them, and how impossible it is, to satisfy the woman in your life. Well, I will say it is a hyperbolic statement; what women want from their men are just three things. As unbelievable as it sounds, it is the truth. However, these things are so crucial that omitting one from the list will take you back to zero. They go hand in hand, and none is more important than the other is.


The three Ps
The three major things women want their men to do is to Protect, Provide, and Profess. If you can do all these for your woman, you will be her hero. Forget the “modern lady” and her Miss independent slogan; women, no matter how strong, prosperous, or independent they are, they still want their men to do these things for them.


Protect
Basically, the role of the man in the family is the same as every leader’s role in every establishment. According to the Scriptures, the man’s duty is to lead the wife and his children. Part of being a leader is to protect, protect your woman; one of the essential things a woman wants from you as a man.
Unfortunately, it is easy to get carried away, and not fulfill this need especially in this modern age where women can actually protect themselves with or without the help of a man.

Here is the truth as stated earlier, no matter how strong your woman seems to be, she still wants you to protect her, to defend her, and to assure her safety. When this is missing from the equation, you may get a grouching woman in your house.


So what does it mean to protect your woman? In this context, protection does not just mean defending her against hoodlums. It also means, preventing her from making wrong moves. You need to understand this, women are emotional beings, and sometimes, they make decisions based on their current state of mind, which may not actually be the best. This is when you step in, make her see the dangers ahead.


Secondly, know when to correct her; correcting your woman in the presence of friends, families, or colleagues is not the best. You may end up passing the wrong message, even though you mean well. If she does something that is not right, do it when you are alone with her, and not in front of the kids, parents, friends, or neighbors. This way, you are protecting her image, ensuring no one looks down at her. She will appreciate you for this, and quickly take the correction, than when you do it in public.


Provide
Before saying anything further, let us read this scripture together; 1 Timothy 5:8 “ But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Another verse shows the connection between love and giving- John 3:16 “For God SO LOVED the world that HE GAVE…”
As a man, no matter how wealthy your wife is, you still need to provide for her… no matter how little, let her see you are trying to provide for her.

Being a man means stepping up to the plate; it means pausing your childhood dreams and focusing on providing for the family. When a woman takes up this responsibility for a long time without the support from her man, she becomes angry, uptight, and upset. She may not know the reason for the tension around the house.


You cannot claim you love your woman and not provide for her; even our Heavenly Father had to prove His love by giving His ONLY begotten Son. John 3:16
Stop being too relax, because your woman is handling the bills; go out there and work! It does not have to be great at first but start from somewhere.


Let me quickly add here; marry someone who understands the benefit of starting small… you cannot be earning $500 and dating a woman who wants nothing but the most elegant things from you. You need to marry someone who is ready to grow with you and not somebody who just want you to spend everything without investing.


Profess
Hear this; if you do the first two Ps without this one, you will still have an unhappy woman. Every woman wants to hear her man says the most beautiful things to her. No matter how long you have been in the relationship, never stop professing your love to her; she needs to hear it. You cannot claim you love your wife and not say it; I am sorry, it does not work that way. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks- Matthew 12:34. If you love your woman, compliment her, tell her how much you love her, let her know you care, let her know how much she means to you.


“But I protect, and provide for her, isn’t that enough?” the answer is NO; the three Ps are vital if you want a happy, and glowing wife.
Finally, relationships are for the mature minds; if you are not ready to give your best, hold on, and develop yourself, mentally, financially, and spiritually, before diving into a relationship.
Genesis 2:18 “ And the Lord said, it is not good that the MAN should be alone…”


Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a MAN leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”


Encourage Yourself: The above scriptures clearly state MAN and not a boy; this shows that you have to be mature mentally, spiritually, financially, etc. to start a meaningful relationship. It is hard work, and both parties need to consciously make it work.

If God Is God, Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Part II

The Divine Challenge

Ever wonder if anyone would dare challenge Almighty God? In 1 Kings 18:21-24, Elijah challenges the pagan worshipers of his day with the same question, but asked in the right spirit, saying;

How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer a word.”

Herein is the most fascinating part of the story. The prophet Elijah sets the stage, saying;

“The one who answers by fire, let Him be God. And all the people answered and said it is well spoken.”

The scripture text reveals that an altar was built, and battle lines were drawn—a spiritual standoff between two entities was launched. You’re familiar with the rest of the story. Baal’s contestants were given the opportunity to proceed first, and so they began calling out to their god.

After a long day of repetitious oblation, the prophets of Baal hadn’t heard one peep. Resorting to desperate measures – all the men moved toward leaping upon the man-made altar, even cutting themselves until blood gushed out of their flesh. Maybe they thought, “Yeah, our god must be thirsty; blood should do the trick.”

However, despite their sincerity, it was all for naught. Still, there was no response. Baal’s followers had yet to understand that idols are dumb; they can’t speak or hear. Not to mention walk about, unless someone carries them. I guess it takes a dummy to know a dummy. They finally gave up.

Now, Elijah steps to the same platform. He begins calling on the name of the Lord. Instantly God answers with an unquenchable fire that falls from heaven. The alter ablaze, consumed the burnt sacrifice. 

The text goes on to say in verse 38, “…and also licked up the water that was in the trench.” All the people were much astonished. The unmatched power of God goes on record once again. There is no contender!

News of the incident swiftly traveled to the ears of those governing the palace. One might think such a divine encounter would quench all doubt, causing any and every one to fall prostrate with fear and trembling.

However, as King Ahab recounted the occurrence to Jezebel, just the opposite happened. She becomes outraged – all her prophets defeated in a single day caused the Queen’s evilness to spike!  Elijah now in grave danger – the man of God had to run for his life.

Despite warnings from the Lord, the leaders of Israel stiffened their necks instead– refused to repent and turn away from their evil deeds. They’d soon realize that God is God, all too late. Both died horrific deaths because they didn’t like God’s divine answer.

Divine Remedy: If My People…

Israel, God’s chosen people were also eye witnesses of His mighty power. They were commanded to diligently keep all the Law and were instructed to worship Him exclusively. History reveals a nation discontented, rebellious and unsettled. Yet, God showed mercy to them in spite of by offering a divine remedy as we read in the following:

The glory of the Lord filled the house.

And the Bible says, “When Solomon had finished praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house.” (II Chronicles 7:1)

After an intense moment of visitation, God appears to Solomon the second time with a grand introduction and says; “I have heard your prayer…”  Stepping back to chapter 6, The King appeals to the God of heaven on behalf of Israel if they should turn to sin. He gives Solomon the answer and fix for “why bad things happen.” (2 Chronicles 6:21-30)

Listen. If Israel continues in sin they will experience “bad things.” Contrariwise, if they return to God, they will experience “good things,” as will we all. However, in case bad things do happen, God has not left us without a cure saying:

“If my people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and return from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” -II Chronicles 7:14).

Despite the direct proclamation, Israel rejects the mercy of God! Committing spiritual whoredom at every turn, they had an eye for other gods. His children took His loving-kindness and care toward them for granted. Unfortunately they had developed a syndrome that the grass was greener on the other side. Her people became wayward; disaster plagued their lives. Why? They couldn’t appreciate God’s answer, either. To be continued…

Tune in next week for the final part III: If God is God Why Do Bad Things Happen? Subtitle: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Have a question or just leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you. Remain Blessed

For more of Pastor Anita Joe’s teachings, log on to anitajoeministries.com Thank you for visiting and don’t forget to subscribe!

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel…-Luke 4:18

Choosing the right partner

How to Choose the Right Partner
Choosing the right partner is a controversial topic; there are a lot of theories flying around the internet, you hear some self-acclaimed love gurus, love doctors etc. giving steps or rules you need to follow before meeting the right one. The truth is no one can tell you who to choose as your life partner, you alone have the power to decide whom you want to spend the rest of your life with.

The best anyone else can do, is to guide you on how to choose the right partner. Nonetheless, not all “guidelines” is the right one. The good news is, I came across something great, something that will help you to know the right person to choose, or at least, know what to look for when planning to settle down.


All right then, let us get to the point, shall we?
There are a few pointers you need to look out for when choosing a partner, but the main point is, your partner must be your mate. Before you disagree with me, listen or in this case, read on! The word “mate” in this context does not mean your age mate. It means your “match” someone you are in sync with.


Genesis 2: 18 according to the New Living Translation version, it says “Then the Lord God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper who is just right for him”.


The above verse shows us that it is not enough to get a partner; you need to get the right one. So wipe off this mentality of “just anyone one will suffice” no, that is not God’s intention for you and me.


Six things to look out for when choosing the right partner


Spiritual Mate

Marriage is beyond social union; God is the inventor of the marriage institution, and if God is a Spirit, then marriage is a spiritual union. It will be a disaster waiting to happen if you marry someone, whose faith is different from yours. Forget what you watch in the movies, Amos 3:3- “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”


2 Corinthians 6:14-18- “14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?


15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?


16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”


Joshua 23:11-15- “11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.


12) Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:


13) Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.


14) And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.


15) Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you; so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.”


These verses show us the importance of marrying someone who believes in the same God as you. Believe it or not, the spiritual controls the physical. Check, or observe if you are compatible with your would-be spouse before popping the question or before saying yes to him.


Speaking Mate
Communication is a key factor if you must enjoy your relationship; you need to marry your “speaking mate”. Have you ever wondered why some men prefer to spend late hours in bars, clubs, with their friends, instead of spending this precious time at home with their wives? It is because there is a dichotomy in communication with their spouses. Some complained that they could not engage their spouses in any meaningful intellectual discussions.


Let me quickly say this to married couples out there; take time to one or two things about what your partners like to do. If it is sports, then try to understand the game, if your wife loves to watch soap opera, then learn to watch it with her… be genuinely interested in her world. This is one of the things marriage is about, sacrifice. For the unmarried, if you cannot bend for your would-be partner, then no need forging ahead. You will end up frustrating not only yourself but your partner.


Schoolmate
Your schoolmate in this context means flexibility; someone who can learn and improve with you, and not someone who is rigid- the Mr. or Ms I KNOW IT ALL. It is dangerous to marry someone who does not give room for improvement- they love the way things are and do not see any reason to change the old ways or accept innovations. Marriage is an institution, and you keep learning until you leave this world; you need to marry someone who is ready to learn with you.


Sex Mate
Some of us can be so hypocritical when it comes to sex especially Christians, we preach everything, but dodge this topic. Sex plays a significant role in the success of any marriage, irrespective of your Faith. Sexual feeling is not a sin; if you are not emotionally attracted to the person then why marry him or her in the first place? Stop being too “spiritual” or are you Holier than God who created marriage?


It does not matter how spiritual you both are; one thing is sure- you will not be praying, studying the Bible, singing hymns, all through the day. You will flirt, romance, and have sex with your partner. So if you want to be happy in your marriage, marry someone who you can connect with sexually.


Social Mate
It pains me to see married men and women attending social gatherings without their spouses, and they are comfortable going alone. This is not right; it gives room for the devil to enter your home through his many tricky ways. Marrying someone who you cannot boldly introduce to your colleagues at work, friends, clients, etc. is wrong.

If you are not proud to show your spouse off anywhere, anytime and to whomever, then do not bother planning eternity with him/her because your spouse, even though they may not complain about it, they will feel rejected, and it is one of the many reasons of low self-esteem. If you want a happy home and marriage, marry someone who you are socially compatible with. Also, you cannot force an antisocial person to be social, look for your social mate to avoid clashes of interests.


Spending Mate
Money is essential, even though this may sound superficial, it is not; there are many expenses to handle in marriage, and you need money to solve them. A selfish man in courtship will not suddenly become Santa Claus in marriage. Ladies, it is dangerous to marry a stingy man; you will be frustrated and may end up being the “man” in the home.

Likewise, men, do not marry a lady who believes in this philosophy “ my husband’s money is our money, but my money is my money” it is suicidal. Marry a contributor and not just a consumer. When both parties are ready to spend and be spent for the success and growth of the family. Marry someone who is ready to work, and believes that there is dignity in labor.


Final thought
It is possible to see all six traits in one person; you do not need six different women or men to enjoy all these traits. Furthermore, to get the best, you need to be the best; work on yourself, develop yourself while you wait for the best, you can be all the listed criteria for the man or woman that want to marry you.


As for the married couples, it is never too late to work things out, so long you are willing to learn and be the change you want to see in your marriage.


Encourage Yourself: Lastly, God is interested in your relationship, and He wants you to be happy, He has promised that none of us shall lack our mate. Isaiah 34:16,
God has not forgotten you, your perfect mate is on the way, but you need to develop yourself while waiting for your mate.

Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Encourage yourself through giving, you'll find that you are more blessed because of it
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