“NOW” FAITH

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 10.40.27 AM

I was recently confronted with a challenge after hearing Yolanda Adams speak on her morning radio show on the topic of faith. Everything she and her colleagues said was on point but the one thing that stuck out to me the most was the very beginning of Hebrews 11: 1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
 (English Standard Bible)

The beginning of this passage is the most important part: NOW FAITH! Many believers know this verse by heart and recite it but have difficulty practicing it effectively because they overlooked these first two words. Besides the description of what Faith is, we are given a reference of time in this verse. The time is NOW. Faith is only active if you declare the things not seen Now. You must live and walk with the assurance that it is now done. I can praise God in times of trouble or tribulation by activating my “Now Faith” and walking in the guarantee that makes me say “Through God I have victory right now”. Too often we pray and say that we have Faith that God will do when “Now Faith” says that we have faith that God has done the deed. If we live our life with this God will do mentality then all we have is hope. There is nothing inherently wrong with hope. Hope is good but it has a different place in time in our walk. Looking back at the verse it indicates that Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. So the sequence states that hope comes before Faith. The problem with hope is that you still see the situation as is. You are walking with the burden, continuously looking at tribulations face to face while you wait, hoping, for God to remove the burden. However, with faith you can release the burden into His hands and walk with conviction and assurance

I had a small accident while roller skating at birthday party over the weekend. I broke my leg bones and had some surgery done. Turns out that I will not be able to walk for a month and will have to miss out on a lot of projects at work with my students and more importantly will have to leave some more burden on my wife to manage while I recuperate. All I could think of at first was all that is being affected and my not being able to lend a hand. This is my time to practice NOW FAITH. There is an encounter that God wants me to have with him and I am all in. I declare strength, stamina and endurance for my wife, excellence for children and my students, speedy  recovery and to find Gods Heart for me in this time. I believe this to be so and find my evidence in NOW FAITH. What a feeling of strength and joy this gives. Lets go beyond hope today and enter the joys of NOW FAITH. I pray Gods goodness and mercy upon you. Feel free to leave any comments or testimonies of your experience with NOW FAITH. Blessings

-Psalmist13

Advertisements

THE FIGHT CLUB

brain-vs-brawn

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Jacob. As a child I was so impressed with the story of Jacob and his epic fight with an Angel. If you look at the many things that lead up to this fight you will  first see a young man that received a blessing from his Father Isaac that was not intended for him. Now if you don’t know the story you should read up on it, don’t take my word for it. Jacob had a twin brother Esau, who was technically the first born. From the womb these siblings seemingly fought to be the first one out as if they knew about the benefits of being the first born with in the cultural context of the time. Scripture indicates that Esau was the more active brother engaging in hunting and more physically demanding activities. Jacob, on the other hand, is portrayed as the exact opposite. That being said, what Jacob lacked in brawn he made up with wit. The following versus will explain my points thus far

Genesis 25:

29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.

30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”

31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”

32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”

33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.

So Esau despised his birthright.

Now we see the wit in full force. One thing has to be stated, Jacob did not steal the birth right. Esau did not value it enough and willingly released his birth right. As you read along the story of the feuding siblings you will find that their father, Isaac, was advanced in age and decided to bestow his blessing to his eldest son before passing away. Isaac, who favored Esau, asked Esau to hunt and bring him a meal and he would then bless him with the favor of the Lord. Mom, Rebekah, favored Jacob and convinced Jacob to trick his, now blind, father and take the blessing from Esau. Here is the catch, besides the brain versus brawn, the twins had physical distinctions. Esau was hairy and Jacob was not. Rebekah and Jacobs plan was so thought out that in the end Isaac could not tell the difference and gave his blessing to Jacob.

The obvious reaction from Esau placed a target on Jacob and Jacob had to flee because . Jacob was now blessed and favored by God and though he had to go through some rough times, he ended up a man with much wealth but was always hiding from Esau. In addition to his fear of his brothers wrath, I believe that  Jacob felt guilt. Maybe it was because of the deception that caused him to run away or he never felt like his wealth and success was something he earned. We see this in Genesis 32 where Jacob tries to mend his relationship with his brother and on one fateful night he has a battle that would change his life thereafter. Jacob was blessed by God and his fathers blessing would come to fruition one way or another. Jacob knew he was blessed but this time he fought to earn it.

Genesis 32:

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

 Many times I feel like Jacob. I was born and raised in church and blessed by my parents. Sometimes I felt that I was the favored one in family and that put a lot of pressure on me growing up. I’ve had my share of slips and falls but God has seen me through and blessed me despite my shortcomings. The problem is that I feel that I am riding on my parents blessings for me, their prophetic declarations over my life since I was a child, but its time to earn it. When my father passed away almost 9 years ago some one told me “Wow you  have some big shoes to fill.” To some extent it was true my father was a great man. Didn’t have any wealth or titles but was a wise man, humble, and had a servant’s heart. A good friend heard the comment and told me “You don’t have big shoes to fill, your father ran what he had to run and has now hung up his shoes. You have your own shoes to fill and run with” (Thanks Moses)
I invite you to rise and fight for that blessing, that prophetic word given to you and your purpose revealed to you. If you have seen God provided and bless you until now then you can expect an overflow of his goodness, mercy, love, riches, grace and favor. God Bless you and may you enter 2014 ready to fight!
-Isai Serrano

MEDIOCRE WORSHIP

Image

I recently read a tweet from @WisdomMoon that said

What if we lived each moment of each day like God really is all-powerful?

This question brought to mind the many times I have personally been in a worship service where I may have not been all there. I am sure I am not the only one who has gone through these dry spells in our worshipful living. I have to admit that in these moments I simply forget who God is. I openly admit that I realize there is something missing in my relationship with God and that is all of me.

Many times we live a backwards life of worship. It’s an outside-in christianity versus an inside out. We go through the motions, we say the right things, read our bible superficially, and offer a routine praise in hopes that somehow what we are doing outwardly will somehow filter inside of us. I do not doubt that with time it could be possible that this outward worship lifestyle could have some impact on the inside but it will not be long-lasting.  Because, as before mentioned, the change on the inside is filtered. We have placed so many obstacles for God to work and move in us that we settled for feeling a little tingle during worship services. Our worship is nothing but mediocre at best.

What if we lived every day of our lives as if God were all-powerful? This is inside-out worshipful living. I seek him with in me before I read his word, before I sing a song, before I step out of my home and I stay in that place with him at all times and everywhere I go. When this happens there is no room for doubt. You walk and act in faith, even in the hardest of times. You place God in all you say and do and the world will see God through you. You preach without using words.

So what is the formula for this intimacy with God? It takes Effort. You know how they say a little bit goes a long way well that doesn’t apply here. You have to put in a lot of effort to making time to connect with God through prayer and his word. With that comes Commitment. You must be committed to further develop your relationship with God. Lastly passion will drive your efforts and support your commitment.

Are ready to step into a new season in your walk with God? He is ready to receive you. Be blessed!

 

33 And Counting

Its my 33rd birthday and i am dedicating this blog to this event. I have never been the type to.really celebrate my birthday. In fact 3 years ago I forgot my actual age and, when asked, I would say I was 28. So what is the big deal about this birthday? In a nutshell it’s all about Jesus.

My wife asked me the same question a couple of weeks ago and I had a hard time explaining the reason to her because, for whatever reason, I thought it might sound silly, but I am over that. As I anticipated this birthday I continued to think about the crucifixion of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Many theologians believe that Jesus was crucified around the age of 33. There it is! To think that around this age he was crucified but beyond the crucifixion that he completed his mission to begin mine. I began asking myself what if that was me? What if this is the last of my days and know that soon I will be giving myself up to die? All these thoughts rattled my brain and then it hit me. Yes, He died so I might live but to live this life, in him,  I have to die to my previous life.

Here I am, reflecting on my last 33 years and along with the memories of things accomplished come the thoughts of those things that have yet to carry out. I think about Gods calling on my life since my mother’s womb. Before I was born and before my mother knew my sex God spoke to her in a dream and told her she was having a boy. He also selected my name and gave it to her in that same dream. When the time came to birth me out the doctors suggested she abort me because the chances of her dying during labor were really high. She was willing to sacrifice her life for mine and God saw her through the delivery. My life has had many ups and downs. In my walk with God I have made many poor decisions that kept me from fulfilling my purpose in Him and yet he hasn’t given up on me. You see, He died for all the negative decisions. He died for all my transgressions and there is nothing that I have done or could ever do that will surprise him. He has a plan and a purpose for all of us but there comes a point in our lives when we say I am willing to die to myself, my desires, my plans and let you live in and through me.

Its time to move on and move forward into what God has planned for me. Grab hold to him and all that he has declared for my life. I believe this is the year of the supernatural where God will be doing a dynamic move. I am 33 and counting.

– Isai Serrano / PSALMIST13

QUICK RESPONSE WORSHIP

I remember the days when I would go to a “special” service at a church. Special meaning that what was planned was something out of the norm. In many cases this was a concert of sorts where singers and bands would share their original worship. Towards the end of every event there was the rush to the back of the church where tables would be lined up with, in those times, cassette tapes or presently CD’s. It was great! You heard something you liked and you got your hands on it right then and there. I am not too sure how effective it was because when I was in a band, doing that exact same thing, not many CD’s were sold. Now a days we have microwave christians. CD’s are not as instantly gratifying as they used to be. One Simple solution to this… QR, Quick Response, Codes!

QR Codes have been around for quite sometime now but the simple technology behind the QR Code has not been used to its full potential. It is a great tool for the modern worshiper looking to reach a more tech savvy generation of worshipers. Rather than handing a CD which they may play in the car or go home and then upload the songs to their “playlist” on their smart phones, you can have your songs in their hand-held device instantly. I have introduced QR codes to a good musician friend of mine and his jazz music. He has been using QR codes to the max. His music sales and promotions all connected to QR codes. So where ever he plays people can download his music as he is playing and follow him on various social networks.

If you have never experimented with QR codes I would suggest you download a QR reader or scanner for you smart phone. There are dozens of free QR readers that also give you the ability to generate a QR code. Once you have downloaded the QR reader go ahead and scan the QR code shown below.

qrcode.14308287

 

This QR code will direct you to the “Sounds from the Basement” jazz album. As you can see you can customize the color so it can blend with your promotional materials. This does not mean that you should stop producing CD’s, not yet anyway. There is still a large community of worshipers that will buy CD’s.

I would love to hear about your experience with QR codes if in fact you are using them to enhance your sales or promotions. Reply to this post.

Well that is it for now, God Bless you and keep Moving Forward.

God Above Me + Ministry

This is a great song that reminds us Worship leaders and ministers in the forefront that God is above me and ministry. Its in spanish  scroll down for the english translation. God Bless You Rene Gonzalez!

What’s It Worth

Reaching up, reaching people look at you,
Cause the applause of all, be first rows perhaps
Changing the world, perhaps with a new message,
That upset the hearts, being the center of all attraction.
Having everything in life, is part of the plan,
Being loved and respected dear indeed
All is well, just measure and reason
Look back where it all started,
What we were before, what we are today,
Why insist on taking away the glory to the Lord.
From it you get what you want,
People applaud you if behind the scenes,
Keep sitting the giver of life, hoping that one day,
I pay attention,
What we have what we have by grace,
For his mercy, for his great love,
And at the time of opening the curtain if one admires you,
Let them see the image of God.
Lord pardon if the applause or any comments,
I have moved to take the glory, my God,
I thank you for your love and mercy,
I shed all greatness, my crown I lay at your feet.
Well for me it achieve what you want,
People applaud you if behind the scenes,
This laid the giver of life, hoping that one day,
I pay attention,
What we have what we have by grace,
For his mercy, for his great love,
And at the time of opening the curtain if one admires you,
Let them see the image of God.
From it you get what you want,
People applaud you if behind the scenes,
This laid the giver of life, hoping that one day,
We pay attention
What we have we have by grace,
For his mercy, for his great love,
And at the time of opening the curtain if one admires you,
Let them see the image of God.

(translated by google)

 

DE QUE NOS VALE

Llegar arriba, alcanzar que te mire la gente,
Provocar el aplauso de todos, ser primero en las filas tal vez,
Cambiar el mundo, quizás con un nuevo mensaje,
Que trastorne los corazones, ser el centro de toda atracción.

Tener todo en la vida, es parte del plan,
Ser amado y querido respetado en verdad,
Todo es bueno, en justa medida y razón,
Miremos atrás, donde todo empezó,
Lo que eramos antes, lo que somos hoy,
Porque insistir en quitarle la gloria al señor.

De que te vale alcanzar lo que quieras,
Que te aplauda la gente si detrás del telón,
Sigue sentado el dador de la vida, esperando que un día,
Le presten atención,
Lo que tenemos lo tenemos por gracia,
Por su misericordia, por su inmenso amor,
Y en el momento de abrirse la cortina si alguno te admira,
Que vean la imagen de Dios.

Señor perdón, si el aplauso o cualquier comentario,
Me hayan movido, a llevarme la gloria, mi Dios,
Te doy las gracias, por tu amor y tu misericordia,
Me despojo de toda grandeza, mi corona yo pongo a tus pies.

Pues de que me vale,alcanzar lo que quiera,
Que te aplauda la gente si detrás del telón,
Esta sentado el dador de la vida, esperando que un día,
Le presten atención,
Lo que tenemos lo tenemos por gracia,
Por su misericordia, por su inmenso amor,
Y en el momento de abrirse la cortina si alguno te admira,
Que vean la imagen de Dios.

De que te vale alcanzar lo que quiera,
Que te aplauda la gente si detrás del telón,
Esta sentado el dador de la vida, esperando que un día,
Le presten atención
Lo que tenemos lo tenemos por gracia,
Por su misericordia, por su inmenso amor,
Y en el momento de abrirse la cortina si alguno te admira,
Que vean la imagen de Dios.

SNAKE BITES: LIFE OR DEATH

What do you think about when you hear the word SNAKE? Many of you may associate it with evil, fear, death, or even Satan. It could be due to our knowledge of deadly snakes or our biblical upbringing that replays the scene in the Garden of Eden. No matter what the reason is I now associate it with the words Redemption, Salvation and Life. I stumbled upon the following scripture:

The Bronze Snake ( Numbers 21: 4-9 )

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[c]to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole;anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

What an amazing scripture! I received a lot from this passage. The reality is that, I don’t know about you, but, generally speaking I tend to be impatient. In the past my impatience has lead to make impulsive decisions that were not aligned with with Gods plans for my life. Its this very impatience that leads us to sin against God. Many times God allows us to go through situations not out of punishment but as a reminder to trust in him. These snake bites can represent burdens, trials or tests. If you and your family were bitten by potentially poisonous snakes how would you react? Some would panic or some would pull out their smartphone and google the snake bite. The majority would do whatever they can to survive and when all else fails you come to Jesus. So the Israelites, at least those that were still alive, realized their sin and asked Moses to pray.

The end result of Moses’s prayer was quite interesting. Lets look at the Lords response:

 “Make a snake and put it up on a pole;anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

There is one word that came to mind when I read this response; Confrontation. You and everyone you know were bitten by snakes. Some didn’t survive due to the bites and here God is telling you face the Snake. I don’t know who God is talking to through this post, other than me, but I hear him telling me that there is no easy way out. The people who spoke against God and Moses wanted an quick fix and God gave them a challenging way out. I am sure many thought this reply was crazy but if its the only way out would you take the challenge? God is telling us: face your sin, examine your heart, believe in me and you will be saved! Moses creates a snake out of bronze and those that did as God requested of them were saved.

In our walk with God we face many challenges. We deal with a vast array of sins, vices and addictions. You may be looking for a great recipe for a remedy. Some sort of formula that can produce instant spiritual results and God is saying its not going to be that easy but its not impossible. Face the Truth and the Truth will set you free.

God Bless You!!