Resolving Our Differences

Resolving Our Differences

Gary Pollard

In Philippians 4, right before he confronts Euodia and Syntyche, Paul says, “My dear brothers and sisters, I love you and want to see you. You bring me joy and make me proud of you. Continue following the Lord as I have told you.” 

Then verse two, “I strongly urge Euodia and I strongly urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the lord.” The word translated “urge” here is something called a petition verb. These were usually used for strong emphasis. There are two in the same sentence in 4.2, suggesting that Paul had been leading up to this the whole time. His examples of selflessness, humility, concern about others, willingness to sacrifice for the good of others, and his examples of other Christians who did what they were supposed to do, all led up to this straightforward conclusion. These two Christian women were evidently in an argument so severe that their salvation was in serious danger (2.12). 

But he doesn’t just admonish these women and leave them in awkward silence. He asks a friend to help these women work out their issues because (4.3), “They worked hard with me in telling people the good news, together with Clement and others who worked with me. Their names are written in the book of life.” He wasn’t bullying these two women because of their issues — even as he corrected them, he made it clear that this was done out of genuine love and concern for their spiritual well-being. Because of their evangelistic mindset and excellent work ethic, their names were in God’s book of life. 

Paul repeats 3.1 in 4.4 — “rejoice in the Lord always. I’ll say it again — rejoice.” These are also imperatives. How do we fix problems in our congregations? We focus on what we have in common. We serve God and we’re waiting impatiently for Jesus to come back. It’s a lot easier to resolve our differences when we’re united in our goals. We all want the same thing. We’re all equal in God’s eyes. 

Philippians 4 has several more imperatives (5-9) — Make sure everyone sees that we’re gentle and kind. Don’t worry about anything. Ask God for everything you need and be content with what you have. Think about what is good and wholesome. Follow God’s teaching. 

At the end of Philippians 4 is another familiar verse — “I can do anything with God’s help”. This verse is on a poster at our gym near the weight lifting area (as “Phillippians” ha), and many have this verse on a shirt or tattooed. While it’s certainly innocent and kinda funny, that’s not what Paul’s saying here. To avoid ending the letter on an unpleasant note, he spends time thanking Philippi for all of the ways they’ve helped him. He slipped in that he can be content with or without money, and he can be content with or without enough food. How? Because when it comes to working for God, he’ll make sure we have the strength we need to keep going. 

Philippians 4.7 says, “Because you belong to Jesus, God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds. His peace is more profound than we’re capable of understanding.” No matter what happens to us, if we’re working for God we’ll be ok! 

Fiery Serpents?

Fiery Serpents?

Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail

Herodotus casually mentions that there were snakes that would fly from Egypt every year from the Sinai wilderness (Herodotus 2.75-76). This may strike fear in the heart of any snake-fearing person, but it sure is interesting. Marco Polo would also write in his travel log about flying venomous “birds” as well as snakes of gigantic proportions as he explored Asia. 

The Bible records several strange serpents and one passage in particular is especially fascinating. 

In the book of Numbers there’s an account that’s made many readers scratch their heads as they wonder what these fiery serpents are (21:6-9) that God sent to plague the Israelites. 

The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people so that many people died in Israel. So the people came to moses and said “we have sinned because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us. And Moses interceded for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard, and it shall come about that everyone who is bitten when he looks at it he shall live. And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard and it came about that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked at the bronze serpent he lived.”

Some commentators have suggested that perhaps the strange description is of a particular kind of venomous snake. Others have made the observation that the Hebrew word for serpent here (Saraph) could be symbolic to indicate their color since it means “burning ones.” Interestingly enough there are bronze colored serpents around today in Australia that are incredibly poisonous. Perhaps there’s something to this based on the Lord’s instruction to Moses to fashion a serpent made of brass. Of course this description could also literally be taken to mean snakes which either breathed fire, or were somehow on fire. God was, after all, punishing a people who had complained of their miraculous meals of manna. 

Though the identity of these fiery serpents may always be a mystery, the lessons taught to us through this event are powerful. The connections John will make (Jn. 3.14-15) as well as the Hebrew writer (12.2) focus on the crucifixion and the concept of looking to Jesus for our salvation. 

The relationship between belief and action here are also telling. Those Israelites that believed were led by that same belief to look— then were healed. If we believe Jesus can and will heal us of our sins, then that belief must lead us to the water (Act 2.38, Mk. 16.16). 

Dale Pollard
He Goes Before Me

He Goes Before Me

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Pioneers are fascinating, whether Gutenberg and the printing press, Jenner and vaccinations, or the Wright brothers and flying. Whether travel and exploration or inventions, people who went first or paved the way for us are people we may never think about but who we owe so much to. Even our highway systems, with paved roads that go through tall mountains, took people to make a way when there was no way.

Hebrews 6:20 uses a word only found in that verse–“forerunner.” The word had a diverse usage. It was used in athletics, of one who runs forward at top speed. It was used of one who went in advance of others, like horsemen or guides ahead of the army. In Alexandria, Roman ships heavily loaded with grain, were led out by a small guide ship. It was used in botany of the first green shoot, tree, or flower of Spring. Metaphorically, it was used of a “precursor” like the apostles or John the Baptist. 

The idea in Hebrews 6:20 is that Jesus has gone behind the curtain before us into God’s presence. We can join Him there because His death made it possible for us (Heb. 5:8-9). But we also have unrestricted access to God’s presence now because He prepared the way. The writer tells us that this is our sure and stedfast anchor of hope that allows us to take refuge. 

It is beautiful to think that Jesus has gone before us and paved a way for us. This is a theme the writer addresses throughout Hebrews. He shows us how Jesus has done that in the past, is doing it now, and will do it in the future.

He went before me in the creation (Hebrews 1). In the most elementary sense, Jesus went before me in that He brought me into being (Heb. 1:2). He made us knowing that He would someday become one of us, with a human body (Heb. 10:5). He made the circulatory system, the nervous system, the respiratory system, the skeletal  system, as well as every other system, cells, tissues & organs, knowing He’d experience them. He was here on earth before most, if not all, the recipients of Hebrews and certainly before all of us—but He paved the way for life on this earth for all of us. He provided for my material needs (Mat. 5:45; 6:25-32; 1 Tim. 6:17), my emotional needs, my social needs (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 17:17), and my spiritual needs–He created me with a desire for worship, fellowship, and discipleship and guides me in the proper expression of each of them. 

He went before me in my salvation (Hebrews 2:10). Your version probably says author, captain, founder, or even pioneer. The original word was used of one who founded a city, gave it its name, and became its guardian. Or it was used of a head of a family, a founder of a school, or military commander. The context of Hebrews 2:10 is that Jesus came to earth to experience humanity firsthand, but He’s called the author of our salvation. He does the sanctifying and we’re the sanctified (11). His death freed us from the one who had the power of death (14-15). He made forgiveness for our sins (17). 

Hebrews uses “salvation” seven times, but also speaks of sanctification, propitiation, purification, and the like. The letter is full of blessings He gives now because of our salvation–assistance when tempted (2:18), assurance (3:14), bold approach to the throne (4:16), hope (6:19), mercy and forgiveness (8:12), confidence (10:19), nearness (10:22), endurance (12:1), and an unshakable kingdom (12:28). I get a clear sense that He wants me to make it through this world spiritually alive!

He has gone before me in my eternal destination (Hebrews 12:1-2). The writer draws to his conclusion, pointing us to “the race that is set before us.” Everyone of us is still in the race, running toward some conclusion. The writer says to look away from all other things to look at Jesus. He took the lead and is setting the example at the front of the pack. In fact, He successfully finished this race and is waiting on us to finish and join Him in a victory celebration. The only way to lose this race is to stop running, but if we keep our eyes on Christ we won’t stop. Jesus is our leader, inspiration, and goal we are running toward in our race.

The Hebrews’ writer says judgment is coming, but Jesus has paved the way for us. Throughout Hebrews, he tells us we can have confidence (4 times), assurance (4 times), and hope (7 times). Jesus is the basis for all of that. 

Jesus made the hard choice. He left heaven and came to take the punishment we deserve so we could receive the reward He died to give us. He could have chosen to save Himself and let us die lost and without hope, but He made the unselfish choice. What about us? Are we willing to sacrifice now, so that we can ultimately receive the prize? We can do it! Jesus showed us how!

Neal Pollard
Monkey Trap (And Letting Go)

Monkey Trap (And Letting Go)

Saturday’s Column: Learning From Lehman

Maybe you’ve heard of this well-known Southeast Asian method of trapping a monkey. This simple method only requires the hunter to get a coconut or some kind of container that’s hard to break and carve a hole that’s big enough for a monkey’s hand that’s open—but not big enough when its clenched up in a fist. What these primates won’t do even as they see the hunter approach them is unhand the bait. Therefore, their fist inside the coconut traps them there until they are caught.

The principle of the monkey trap can be found in many aspects of life, and it is not foreign to the Bible either. In Matthew 19:16-30 (cf. Mk. 17-31; Lk. 18:18-30) is a story we know very well, in which a rich young ruler asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. 

Jesus knew in that moment what exactly that young man needed to hear and told him what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. However, because he was so rich and did not want to part with his wealth, the young man became sad.

We don’t have Jesus in the flesh in front of us to tell us exactly what we need to do in order to get into heaven, but that does not mean that we are lacking in any way. Through the pages of God’s inspired Word, we are being taught and guided what is required for us to enter into Christ and live a faithful life. 

The challenge for us, therefore, is not that we do not have Jesus to tell us what to do. No—in fact, we have him right here with us, around us, and within us. All around us is the presence of God and our savior. What it boils down to, then, is our fisted up hand inside the trap. 

We may look at the monkey that’s trapped by such a simple device and laugh, but don’t we often find ourselves shackled by the one or two sins that keep plaguing our lives? For the rich young ruler, it was his wealth, but this isn’t about being rich or poor. Even those without money can be chained by their sins that they cannot let go.

It’s the beginning of a new year. A time people usually spend contemplating how this new season of life will play out. How many times have we told ourselves, “I will stop this time,” or “I’ll work on this and get better about it.” When will we loosen our fists that grip so hard on the things that drive us away from God, and finally let go?

The rich young ruler could not let go, and therefore he became sad. Knowing what he needed to do, he still failed. Not because he wasn’t told nor because he didn’t understand. It was a willful decision to choose what’s in his fist rather than Jesus. He teaches us a lesson through this unfortunate outcome. How many times does God tell us through His Word exactly what we need to do, just like Jesus did with the young man? Let us be better in the coming year, to finally thwart off the chains that bind us. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” God has already rescued us. It comes down to us deciding that we want to be saved, rather than be shackled by what’s in our stubborn fists. 

David Chang
The 11th-Hour Man

The 11th-Hour Man

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Neal Pollard

70 or 80 years we live,

That rule for many holds true

But a guarantee that nobody can give

Is when Christ comes or living is through.

But I saw a man near the end of that span

Heart softened by the truth

Fully obey the gospel plan

Though gone were the days of his youth.

He’d heard God’s Word preached repeatedly

From many able men

Discussed his need, heard many a plea

To arise and wash away his sin.

Loved ones, family and friends

Prayed often for his decision

Wanting his soul purified and cleansed

To see life with heavenly vision.

The persistent concern of a godly man

Who revisited his soul’s condition

Watered much sowing over that man’s lifespan 

Resulting in godly contrition

I heard him confess his faith in Christ

And watched him go under the water

His heart surrendered, his will sacrificed

Christ’s blood was his soul’s sin blotter.

I tell you his story to move your heart

To the power of sharing with persistence

It’s never too late to do your part

To overcome a delayer’s resistance.

Jesus taught a moral tale

Of a landowner seeking for workers

Who paid a fair wage for a job done well

To the finishers, no pay for the shirkers

The householder sought workers all day

Found some morning and noon, yet some late

Despite different hours, they all got the same pay

Which made the more seasoned workers irate

But the master was generous, it was his call to make

The offer was freely taken by all,

The moral is simple, there’s an offer to take

There’s an answer to make to God’s call.

Some respond in the sunrise of living

Others come in the heat of the day

But however late one’s commitment is given

To those faithful at death He gives eternal pay.

This isn’t to encourage delaying

Tomorrow is not guaranteed

But in Scripture it goes without saying

No one’s too old for God’s grace to intercede! 



Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

Galatians is written to a group of non-Jewish Christians. Paul converted them with a simple message: Jesus came to earth to give us grace and immortality. We get that by believing what we’ve heard about him coming back to life and by being baptized into his grace. At some point, Jewish converts infiltrated their church and started aggressively promoting Jewish traditions. They told the Galatian Christians that if they really wanted to be saved, they needed to follow certain Jewish customs. The entire book is both a refutation of that teaching and a dire warning to any Christian who tries to add to God’s requirements. 

Jesus’s sacrifice was to free us from this evil world we live in. Romans 8.22-25 says, “We know that everything God made has been waiting until now in pain like a woman ready to give birth to a child. Not only the Earth, but we also have been waiting with pain inside us. We have God’s Spirit as the first part of his promise. So we are waiting for God to finish making us his own children. I mean we are waiting for our bodies to be made free. We were saved to have this hope. If we can see what we are waiting for, that is not really hope. People don’t hope for something they already have. But we are hoping for something we don’t have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently.”

The whole purpose of Christianity is to anticipate Jesus’s return, and help the rest of the world face that day prepared. Paul reminded the Galatians that they weren’t saved by any old human way. The only legitimate source of truth and hope is God. 

“Baptism Only” And “Once-Baptized, Always-Saved”?

“Baptism Only” And “Once-Baptized, Always-Saved”?

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Neal Pollard

The doctrines of “faith only” and “once-saved, always’ saved” have done so much to deceive religious people into believing things about the doctrine of salvation that are at odds with the Scripture, which teach that faith without works is dead (Js. 2:17,20,26) and that it is possible to fall from grace (Gal. 5:4; 2 Pet. 2:20-22). Therefore, many of our Bible classes and sermons have emphasized what the Bible teaches on these matters. We want to avoid an unscriptural position.

In the midst of emphasizing that a faith that saves is a faith that obeys, we rightly teach that repentance and baptism is part of saving faith (Ac. 2:38). We teach that baptism saves (1 Pet. 3:21). It washes away sins (Ac. 22:16). It clothes us with Christ (Gal. 3:27). These are just some of the Bible’s truths about the essentiality of baptism.

There is something we must guard against, however, in our properly emphasizing that baptism not only is part of God’s saving plan but is a pivotal part (1 Co. 12:13; Mk. 16:16; Rom. 6:3-4). We must not believe in “baptism only” or “once-baptized, always saved.” Is it possible to adhere to such a view? Perhaps.

  • A rush to baptism without grasping why it must be done and what must accompany it is insufficient. We read of people being pierced to the heart by the gospel (Ac. 2:37), asking what they must do, being told to “repent and be baptized” (Ac. 2:38), and receiving that word and doing so (Ac. 2:41). Baptism cannot substitute for the total heart and directional change which the gospel calls for (Rom. 6:17). 
  • The thought that baptism is the end of one’s commitment rather than the beginning is incorrect. As thoughtfully and deliberately as we can, we must teach the totality of discipleship (Mt. 16:24-26) and the necessity of counting the cost of discipleship (Lk. 14:28). Sometimes, the newly baptized conclude that since they have done so everything is settled. While baptism coupled with a correct understanding of Scripture does forgive one’s sins, one must begin and continue a walk in the light of Christ (1 Jn. 1:7-10). 

Christ’s Great Commission call to His disciples is to make disciples (Mt. 28:19). That includes baptizing them, but also teaching them (Mt. 28:19-20). In our teaching, we need to do all we can to paint Scripture’s complete picture not only of faith but also of baptism. There is no “magic” in the water (1 Pet. 3:21). Its saving ability comes when done by one who makes “an appeal to God for a good conscience.” We cannot leave babes in Christ to flounder without helping them form roots in Him. They need to know that baptism is not the end, but the beginning.

If someone in our directory has been baptized but shows no other sign of commitment, from attendance to involvement, we need to lovingly help them see that they are not spiritually OK (Gal. 6:1). When they die, we cannot preach them into heaven simply because they were properly taught and baptized years or decades ago. The life in Christ is about a “walk” (Eph. 4:1), not just about a moment when they got wet.

Major Message: Minor Prophets

Major Message: Minor Prophets

Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail

blond man with goatee smiling at camera with blazer on
Dale Pollard


Who’s The Prophet?

  • Shepherd and fig tree farmer. 
  • Lived on the border of northern and southern kingdoms 
  • The North was ruled by Jeroboam the 2nd who brought wealth and prosperity to the people 

What Are His predictions?

  • Warning Israel, Judah, Benjamin and all nations of a coming destruction described as “the Day of the Lord.” 

What Was His Purpose?

  • He about the oppression of the poor, sexual immorality, greed, and corrupt government In the Northern kingdom 
  • The wealthy Israelites had become apathetic and spiritually lazy 


  • 1-2 messages to the nations and Israel 
  • 3-6 poems expressing the message to leaders and people 
  • 7-9 God’s judgment is explained 


  1. The 9 chapter book spends time circling the surrounding nations and pointing out their evil. He starts with the nations furthest away from the people and works his way closer to the target, the Northern tribes.
  2. Amos expresses God’s anger towards Damascus, Gaza, Ammon, Moab, Edom, and even Judah 
  3. Finally, the primary audience is shocked to hear that they (Northern territory) are the source of God’s anger as well 

Top 2 Practical Lessons From The Book 

Our lives will also be lessons for future generations. When they look back they will either say, 

“we ought to live as they did” or 

“we ought not live as they did.” 



  1. God needs more fig tree farmers. He needs community preachers in the form of plumbers, school teachers, electricians, nurses, surveyors, dentists, accountants, mechanics, and engineers. 
  2. We need more preachers. It’s more common than it was, but there’s a great need for gospel preachers in the LORDs church. Amos spoke for God, but he was in the minority.
  3. We need more elders. Great elders are rare. It’s been said and proven to be true, “The church will never outgrow the shadow of her leadership.” 
  4. We need more seriousness. Not more piety, not an immovable allegiance to man’s tradition, more people who take their God seriously. 

Amos in a sentence: 

“Service does not mean salvation if our service is not from the heart.” 

Real faithfulness means worship that is holy— not habitual. He wants committed people, not costume parties. He wants our attention to be placed on our purity, not our performance. 

Rescue The Perishing

Rescue The Perishing

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Neal Pollard

Dane Entze and his wife were coming back from an anniversary getaway and decided to indulge in a bit of romantic nostalgia. They crossed Johns Hole Bridge in Idaho Falls, Idaho, spanning the Snake River. It was the site where they met for their first date, but on the morning of November 12 it was another sight that caught their attention. Dane’s wife noticed someone was driving their car into the river. They stopped their vehicle, and Dane crossed onto a ramp and began talking to a woman who was in the water, informing him that she was committing suicide. He told her, “I don’t know who you are, but I’m here and I love you and I’m going to help you.” As they talked, she began moving toward shore. But she got to the point where she stopped, saying she did not have the will to live. The air temperature was 19 degrees when Entze jumped into the icy water and brought the distraught woman to shore. He helped her dry off and warm up until first responders arrived. When interviewed, Entze said it was a matter of being at the right place at the right time. He drew on some military training and knowledge of the area, but he gave this advice. “Doing something kind is all it takes. You don’t have to do something dramatic or dangerous to help somebody else. Be vigilant” (Mythil Gubbi, Fox 13 News, Salt Lake City, UT).

Certainly, there is something to be said about suicide prevention. According to the CDC, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in our nation, and over a million people attempted suicide in 2020. While mental illness can play a role, most often it is driven by despair and hopelessness. Love and support can be vital to encouraging those with such tendencies to find the help they need.

But, I would like us to consider another application. You and I, in traveling down life’s road, encounter so many who are in spiritual danger. They may or may not know it, but they need to be rescued. We benefit greatly from biblical training, but it takes even more than that. It requires us to do something, to be vigilant. They need to know we’re here, we love them, and we want to help them. If there is anything more lasting and impactful than saving a life, it is helping to save a soul.

One who “turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (Jas. 5:20). God has given us the life preserver to save them (1 Cor. 1:21; Jas. 1:21). The word of the cross can save the perishing (1 Cor. 1:18), and the Bible makes it clear that God wants no one to perish (2 Pet. 3:9). He saves those drowning in sin through you and me. We need to have our eyes open. We need to appreciate how valuable and necessary that rescue work is. We need to care and be kind. It may require a sacrifice of time, effort, and energy, but nothing is more crucial than rescuing one whom Jesus died to save.

Remaining faithful during times of adversity

Remaining faithful during times of adversity

 Saturday’s Column: Learning From Lehman

Ohssel Tyson

For the past four years I have been going though what I believe to be the toughest battle I have ever had to face in my life with our warrior princess Kiyomie’s medical condition. God blessed me with my greatest desire and greatest fear as a father; which was to have my daughter; and one of my babies getting sick and me not being able to do anything to make them better.

We decided that my wife would come to the United States in October of 2017 after our homeland was devastated by category five Hurricane Maria. It was a difficult but necessary decision because Kerssel was pregnant and the prenatal care she needed wasn’t available post-hurricane. I joined my wife in February of 2018 and we had flights booked to return home in April of 2018. Before traveling I had set up everything in Kiki’s nursery which was also my office where I did my studies; her crib was right next to my desk, I had so many plans for my baby girl and was ready to bring her home.

What we had no idea of is that we were heading right into another hurricane; one of a different nature. Kiki suffered severe brain injury during birth and this changed our entire life: we could not return home, we had to leave my six year old son Éjiké and our families behind in Dominica which ached our hearts daily. The life we knew was basically over. We had our family’s support but were here all alone, in a foreign land with no one close to come help during the toughest period of our life.

We both had to resign from our jobs. We were forced to sell everything we owned in order to survive here, we went from being one hundred percent independent to one hundred percent dependant on others, we had to seek assistance to pay our monthly bills and purchase the most basic of necessities for our children and ourselves– diapers, wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, bath soap and everything else. We were unable to care for ourselves the way we used to, unable to provide for our children, only going to the doctor or dentist if we were very ill, not purchasing new clothing or undergarments even though we desperately needed them.

Through so many sleepless nights, emergency room visits and hospital stays we managed to keep surviving, by the grace of God. It is hard and lonely but we have no choice other than continuing to be resilient and keep focused on Kiki getting better. (We’ve had so many nights that we got little to no sleep that right now we consider a night of 4 hours of sleep a good night rest)

We didn’t think that our life could have gotten any worse but then on August 10th 2020 we got the dreadful news that my wife’s mom had suddenly passed at only 56 years old. From that day our lives was under a dark cloud; well, that’s how it felt. Mom, as we all called her, was our main pillar of support; our greatest cheer leader and prayer warrior; she sent messages every single day to both Kerssel and I telling us how strong we are and great parents we are and that Kiki will be healed and to remain faithful. That day in August took so much away from us, after mom’s passing everyday just felt like we were going through motions, like robots, just floating around under that dark cloud.

Mrs. Dawn Pitcock had been working with Kiki since she was discharged from the NICU. She and her family became a friend and remained in close contact even after Kiki aged out of the First Steps program. She had mentioned her church and asked if we’d like to visit, but we never did then. We were still under this dark cloud. Sometime after mom’s passing Dawn asked whether we would mind if she and elders from her church come by to visit and pray with us.

Russell, Dana and Dawn came one Sunday after service, we conversed for a while, we prayed and we cried; that blessed Sunday afternoon is one I will never forget as it felt like that first ray of sunshine piercing through the dark clouds. We started studying and getting a better understanding of God’s word with the assistance of Russell, Neal and Greg. Our faith started to grow stronger and we began feeling better, our lives felt a little less cloudy day by day. We started attending Sunday service when we were

able to, Kiki’s condition determines whether we can but we kept studying via zoom.

We had discussed baptism a few times but I didn’t feel fully ready until April 6th, 2021, on that day, I called Neal and told him that we were ready. When we got to church building there were several other members of our Leman Avenue family there to support us. Kerssel and I were baptized on that day and man that felt good, it was a new life in every aspect.

Yes we are still going through tribulations. Kiki still has tons of medical complications and has a long way to go. Yes we still seek assistance to cover every single expense that we have. BUT, because our faith in God, and ourselves have grown, our bond with God is getting stronger and our understanding of God’s word and love for us and his purpose for allowing us to go through what we are going through; we are able to better appreciate our situation. God have been right there with us all along, he continues to supply our every need; he has, housed us, fed us, and clothed us physically and spiritually.

In our lives on a daily basis we encounter troubles, problems, adversity; no matter how small or complex they are, they always pose a challenge physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

In these moments we feel weak, we feel defeated and are forced to face problems to great for us to handle; so we turn our attention to God and begin questioning him, WHY? Why am I going through this? Why me? What Lord can I do to solve this problem? During these challenges we are unable to continue our tasks like normal; so we stop, evaluate our situation, ask God for wisdom, obey his word, have faith and trust him to bring the help that we need.

The apostle James had a response to adversity which has helped me through my own troubles.

James 1:2-6

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without any doubts, for the one who has doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

When going through these challenging times in life the best resort is to turn to Jesus, I can guarantee without any doubt that no matter what the problem is, you will find guidance to a solution within the word of God. Apply the appropriate scripture, faith and the very best effort you can, to every adversity you face and you will be victorious.

In conclusion I say to you, through every adversity, trial and tribulation seek God for he is always waiting to guide us through our troubles and ultimately draw us closer to him.

Have faith no matter how small it is: Faith in God, faith in yourself, faith that God is greater than your problem, faith that God is helping you through the adversity, faith that you will overcome.

Nurture your faith and watch your faith grow. Mathew 17:20 tells us, “…Because of your lack of faith. I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

If you can move a mountain with faith the size of a mustard seed, can you imagine the magnitude of power you would possess with faith the size of a tennis ball or basketball or greater?

I’ll close with some words and verses I recite whenever I’m having a moment of weakness during a challenge and the effect that they have on me is miraculous, I recited them right before coming up here; they are:

I believe that God is with me.
I believe that God is helping me. I believe that God is guiding me.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Thank you for listening, thank you for being our family when we most needed one, thank you for the support given to my family in every single way.