Thursday, October 20, 2016

Being Still

Before refrigerators, people used ice houses to preserve their food. Ice houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the ice houses, and covered with sawdust.
Often the ice would last well into the summer. One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch. Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. "I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking."
Often the question is not whether God is speaking, but whether we are being still enough, and quiet enough, to hear.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Turn off "Replay"

A man named Jack was driving on a dark country road one night when he got a flat tire. He saw a cabin in the woods and began to walk towards it. He told himself that the person who answered the door would be angry and irritated for the interruption. In fact, the person would probably harm him. He was probably a truly terrible person. Who else would live out in the woods away from people? Jack convinced himself that the person who lived in the cabin was a menace to society, so when the door opened, Jack punched the man in the nose and ran away.

”All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast”
(Proverbs 15:15)

We take situations and replay them in our minds. As ridiculous as the story above may seem, it isnt too far fetched from what some of us do when we assume and REPLAY a scenario that has never happened in our minds.  We have conversations in our heads with people, and build a case against them, though we don’t really know what they are thinking. We tend to “nurse, curse, and rehearse” stories like Jack.

So, What things do you play in your head all day? What are you meditating on?

Get rid of the “oppressed and wretched” forecasts of your mind and replay the goodness of God in your life!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Approaching Pentecost

As we approach what many deem to be one of the most important parts of human history - Pentecost - we should look at the gifts that God has made available to us. 

Here is the most clear breakdown I have ever been able to see to give a great over view of 1 Corinthians 12 and how WE are to approach God's great gifts given to us by His precious Holy Spirit:


-Prophecy - a divine utterance of the Holy Spirit to encourage, edify or comfort people.

-Tongues - the gift of speaking supernaturally in a language not known to the individual.

-Interpretation of tongues - an interpretation of a message that is given in tongues.

- Word of wisdom - wisdom to know what to do or how to do it, either for your life or someone else’s.

- Word of knowledge - knowledge of an event or other information in someone’s life (past or present) that you were not aware of in the natural.

- Discerning of spirits - to discern the spirit world, to tell whether something is divine (God or angels), human (natural origin) or demonic (Satan or demons).

- Faith - a unique form of faith (not the faith that saves you) that supernaturally trusts and does not doubt concerning specific matters – to believe God for the impossible.

- Gifts of healing - the healings God performs supernaturally. i.e. a broken arm.

-The working of miracles - the manifestation of power beyond the ordinary course of natural law. This is where something that could never have been done naturally occurs.

Make yourself aware that God DOES and WILL use you in these gifts as he has placed them in you already. Find what that is and ask God to awaken your curiosity for more of HIM! 

-Pastor Tony Cruz

Monday, April 25, 2016

Why Go To Church?

Below are 13 reasons why we should attend church services on a regular basis. 

1. Because it is an act of obedience to God and it honors the Lord's Day. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8).
2. Because we need to belong to a community of faith that includes our brothers and sisters in Christ who are trying to live out the gospel just like we are.
3. Because we will benefit from being taught and led in worship by others, rather than always depending on ourselves to read and study the bible.
4. Because we need regular reminders of our standing in Christ, help in acknowledging and confessing our sins, and teaching about God's truth.
5. Because we need help in praying, tithing and fasting.
6. Because we need help to face the issues of life and faith as presented through the teachings of the Bible.
7. Because we need to hear how believers in the past struggled, grew and lived out their faith from different perspectives.
8. Because we need to hear about the experiences of other contemporary believers.
9. Because we need to hear reminders of God's love.
10. Because we need an alternative to the constant messages of a culture that ignores God.
11. Because we need to experience artistic and creative expressions of the faith, such as music, praying, fasting and tithing.
12. Because believers need help to reflect on the past week and see it as a small part of the journey of life.
13. Because we need a conscious break from work, family problems, and self interests in order to concentrate on the Lord.
In brief summary, the strategies and schemes of the devil are well thought out and proven to work better than the marketing strategies of rich corporations like microsoft. 

Therefore, we need other people we can count on to help us make it threw tough times when they arise. 

Our chances of finding people we can count on in church are far better than finding someone we can count on anywhere else in the world.

Plus, going up against these strategies with out proper guidance will lead to unnecessary mistakes being made on our part.

In conclusion, going to church while also doing our own personal bible study at home on a regular basis helps us to get confirmation of God's message and what He wants us to do with our lives.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Discontentment and Entitlement (sermon slice of Crisis of Contentment)

Something else that is underneath and really causing our discontentment in America today and that something is entitlement. We actually believe that we deserve something from God, that He owes us something or that He is somehow in our debt and should do something for us that He’s not already doing. Because we believe that, we’re discontent.

But at the bottom, underneath all these things, what is driving and compelling our discontentment is always idolatry. 

Beneath every grumble, beneath every murmur, beneath every moment of frustration, the sin beneath the sin is the fact that we want something more than we want God and that we love something more than we love God. And because we do, until He provides that for us, we’re going to be discontent and dissatisfied.

Beneath every sin is the failure to believe everything I need, I already possess in Christ. That’s what’s at the ROOT of discontentment, our failure to believe that everything we need, we already possess in Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Little Hope. A Long Way.

I look around my life everyday as I am running errands or walking around the mall,  I cant help but see the look in the eyes of people whether young or old, on many faces the look is the same. What is life about? Or Am I an accident?
If you were some cosmic accident, then there would be no real reason for existing. If life were a random series of events, the there would be no point to living. It’s would be every man for themselves.  If there was no life after death, then there would be no hope. 
Definition of Hope
To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.
To have confidence; trust.

But the good news is that there is a reason to hope. You are not an accident but a carefully planned creation of the living God. I was one that did not grow up in the church and I remember distinctly as a young 11 and 12 yr old as I prepared for bed thinking to myself, “there’s got to be more to life than this.”  Thank God He showed me His love just a short time thereafter.
And now I have the privilege of working with people on a weekly basis and from time to time I find a person that wants to grab life by the horns and just believe. Believe in a hope that is larger than them.  These are the type that WANT TO HOPE.  Life is not a series of events. I want you to know, Life is your opportunity to live up to everything that God has for you.
That’s something we can all apply in our lives everyday. The catch is we have to trust that our father in heaven has a plan for our lives. God holds not just the future but your now.
I like that story about the boy and his father who were planning a fishing trip for the next day. That evening as the father was putting his son to bed, the boy hugged his father's neck and said, "Daddy, thank you for tomorrow."  
God is in full control and we must trust our heavenly father even as this child did his father
Psalm 25:3
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame,
In this day in age, if we hope on something other than God, our hope is lost.  Our hope must be entrusted to God.  Hope breeds stamina. It helps us to give life another chance.
There was a Scientific experiment that was conducted a while back. A group of behavioral Scientists put some Mice in a tank of water, and observed them to see how long they would survive before drowning.
The average time was 17 minutes.
Then, they repeated the experiment, but this time they "rescued" the mice just before the point of drowning, dried them off and returned them to their cages.... fed them, and let them play for a few days, and repeated the drowning experiment.
This time, the average survival time for these mice increased from 17 minutes to 36 hours!
The scientists explained that phenomenon by pointing out that the second time around, the mice had HOPE. They believed that they could survive this, because they had done so before.
One scientist said "They were able to survive because they had been SAVED".
Where does your trust lie in today? I hope that your attitude and prayer today is like the psalmist in Psalm 71:14 : 
But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dont Overreact! For your sake.

A Seattle man accidentally burnt his house to the ground recently after trying to kill a spider with a cigarette lighter and a can of spray paint. The man later told police that the spider had been lurking in the laundry, and he had accidentally lit the wall on fire with his makeshift flame thrower.
Surprisingly, this happens more often than you might think! Just a few weeks earlier, Ginny Griffith of Hutchinson, Kansas, lit her laundry on fire after seeing a spider crawl into a pile of towels. The fire quickly got out of hand, and her home went up in flames. She's been charged with aggrevated arson.

Too often, we tend to overreact to problems. As believers, we need to remember that even in the midst of trouble, it's possible to have a trouble-free heart. Jesus didn't say we wouldn't have problems, but He did say: Let not your heart be troubled. 
Don't take a flame thrower to the spiders that lurk in your life. Remember that it is more important to experience God's peace than it is to rid yourself of life's annoyances.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27). 

TIME Online, July 16, 2014