God Set You Apart

God planned and packed you on purpose for his purpose. Heaven’s custom design.

At a moment before moments existed, the sovereign Star Maker resolved, “I will make _____________.” Your name goes in the blank. Then he continued with, “And I will make him/her _________, _________ and _________ and ____________ and __________.”

Fill those blanks with your characteristics. Insightful. Clever. Detail oriented. Restless. And since you are God’s idea, you are a good idea. What God said about Jeremiah, he said about you: “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.”

 Set apart for a special work

Cure for the Common Life

How have your unique characteristics prepared you to do a special work for God?

From Thomas Nelson’s Grace for the Moment: Morning and Evening Devotional [2008] [Max Lucado] Learn more here

Today, be the hands and feet of Jesus.  God Bless, Jay

Street God by Pastor Dimas Salaberrios

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image credit Amazon

Addicted to power and success combined with a string of poor choices led Dimas Salaberrios on the path to becoming a “Street God”.

STREET GOD (noun) A drug boss; the ultimate head of a major illegal pharmaceuticals operation who had reached king pin status; the “Don” of a thriving drug hustling enterprise.
Yo, that dude Daylight used to be a street god . . . He ran whole blocks and all the drugs sold and used in a whole territory led back to him.

Street God by Pastor Dimas Salaberrios is a riveting memoir of his desire to be a Street God on the mean and dangerous streets of Queens, NY and how events and people that cared for him showed him a new life with Jesus Christ.  He went from Street God to servant of God!

Dimas doesn’t hold anything back in this memoir.  Escaping death several times, doing time in New York City’s Rikers Island, one of the toughest and most notorious jails in the nation, dealing and doing drugs. No matter how many poor choices Dimas made on his quest to be a Street God, he now acknowledges that God never gave up on him and in fact was working to show Dimas that He had a better life planned for him.  Dimas believes that angels were sent to protect him, others in his life provided messages to touch his heart.

His street name was Daylight. But he was a nightmare.

Dimas’s transformation from drug dealing on the street corner to smuggling bibles in to China shows us that God can use the least of us for His good.  Remember, the greatest men in the bible were at times the worst until God became the focus of their life.

With Christmas right around the corner, this book would make an excellent gift for any young man.  This is a definite 5 out of 5 stars!

You can an excerpt of the book HERE

You can purchase the book at Amazon

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Dimas Salaberrios
As a worldwide missionary, teacher, and speaker, Pastor Dimas Salaberrios has shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ on every continent but Antarctica. He aided pastors in Kenya and smuggled Bibles to the persecuted church in China. In 2010, Dimas and his team provided over 50,000 tons of food, water, and supplies to Haiti after a massive earthquake and in 2012 he worked as a first responder to provide aid and deliver nearly $500,000 worth of supplies to super storm Sandy victims across NYC.

Partnering with Tim Keller and Redeemer City to City, Dimas founded Infinity NY Church, planted at the Bronx River Housing Projects in 2006. Infinity Bible Church targets at-risk, gang-ridden youth and has spearheaded numerous outreach events, discipleship groups, and weekly prayer walks, which have been a factor in virtually eliminating homicides and other violent crimes at Bronx River. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credits Pastor Dimas and Infinity for the notable drop in crime.

Additionally, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA) appointed Dimas to co-chair the Youth Committee in 2004, and serve on the budget and finance committee for their 2005 Greater New York Crusade. He coordinated the BGEA Prayer Breakfast, and during the Saturday evening service of the crusade he spoke to an audience of 100,000.

In 2012, Dimas played a central role in the New York City “Right-To-Worship” movement, which ignited cross-congregational prayer gatherings throughout the city and sought to protect over 17,000 church congregants from unwarranted eviction from rental spaces owned by the city of New York.

In October of 2013, Concerts of Prayer Greater NY (COPGNY) unanimously chose Pastor Dimas Salaberrios as its new president. He has served on the COPGNY Board of Directors for several years.

On weekdays, watch The Dynamic Life with Pastor Dimas on the Word Network and tune into his national radio broadcasts on Salem Communications. To find broadcast schedules, log onto http://www.pastordimas.com.

Dimas holds a Master of Divinity degree from Alliance Theological Seminary and resides in the Bronx with his wife Tiffany. They are blessed with three beautiful daughters: Shirley Ann, Dallas, and Skylar.

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

Nothing Can Separate Us

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The question the gospel of grace puts to us is simply this: Who shall separate you from the love of Christ? What are you afraid of?

Are you afraid that your weakness could separate you from the love of Christ? It can’t.

Are you afraid that your inadequacies could separate you from the love of Christ? They can’t.

Are you afraid that your inner poverty could separate you from the love of Christ? It can’t.

Difficult marriage, loneliness, anxiety over the children’s future? They can’t.

Negative self-image? It can’t.

Economic hardship, racial hatred, street crime? They can’t.

Rejection by loved ones or the suffering of loved ones? They can’t.

Persecution by authorities, going to jail? They can’t.

Nuclear war? It can’t.

Mistakes, fears, uncertainties? They can’t.

The gospel of grace calls out: Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You must be convinced of this, trust it, and never forget to remember. Everything else will pass away, but the love of Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Faith will become vision, hope will become possession, but the love of Jesus Christ that is stronger than death endures forever. In the end, it is the one thing you can hang on to.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭31‬ NIV

“But YOU Promised!”

 

photo via Lydia Nichols, art.amplifiedversion.com

It had been many years since his people had been released by the great Persian King Cyrus to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem and nearly a decade since his successor Artaxerxes empowered the priest Ezra to lead these people in worship and society.

But Nehemiah had remained.

He had what might have seemed to onlookers as a swank palace job, but he brought to it his blue-collar ethic and intuitive sense that work is essentially a spiritual discipline. So day in-and-out he literally risked his life for the sake of the king who had done so much for Nehemiah’s countrymen.

But when his brother returned from the homeland after all those years of new found hopefulness he reported that their beloved city—the Jerusalem they’d heard such fantastic tales about from their grandfather—lay in ruins.

Nehemiah collapsed weeping.

He mourned for days.

Because Nehemiah knew the promises of God. He knew that God had promised to deliver the people from this captivity, and he had only assumed that this most recent return to the promised land must have been the fulfillment of that promise.

But now he didn’t know what to believe.

For decades he’d continued in absolute service of this foreign king, honoring him as an essential piece in the fulfillment of God’s covenant.

But now the covenant, the promises seemed to mean nothing at all.

In the midst of the mourning he let God have it.

Sure, he knew they had sinned. He admitted that. His ancestors had disregarded the Law and followed other gods. They’d even worshiped with child sacrifices and temple prostitutes.

He knew that’s why they ended up in exile.

“But YOU promised!” he cried, ”even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon you’d return them to their promised land!”

So now what?

And even as Nehemiah approached the king for help—this time risking his life from his monarch rather than for him—he exhaled one last prayer to this God that now seemed so distant, who had left him feeling so forsaken, with the hope that maybe, just maybe this God was still real.

God’s Trademark Is Love

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Designer clothes are known by their trademarks or designs.  You know if it’s a Tommy Hilfiger or a Ralph Lauren.  They have trademarks that make them very visible and very identifiable.  Those that hold an office of a unique kind can be identified by their attire.  You can know a doctor by his attire or a policeman by his attire or a judge by his attire.

God has sent forth something as irrefutable evidence that we are close to God – an irrefutable test by which you can measure your own spiritual growth.  In fact, so awesome is this trademark of God that He said it would be the major declaration of your faith.  Jesus put it this way.  He said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you love one another.”

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.    Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:34-35

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.  Romans 13:8

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.  1 John 3:11

“Have I fallen, strayed to far, to receive God’s grace?”

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Back in November I had the privilege to write a review on the book Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna.  The books title couldn’t be any better, for it is, EPIC.  I have found myself time and time again, picking the book up and rereading the countless passages that I underlined back in November.  Since that time more underlining has been done.  More contemplating, more praying, and more importantly, a deeper understanding of God’s epic grace.

Since my first read of the book I have taken every opportunity to spread the word of this, in my words, life changing book.  A few months ago a co-worker overheard me talking about the book and approached me about the book when no one was around.  She asked about God’s grace.  She was concerned about her husband that had taken ill and was looking at a risky operation, a long hospital stay and recover.  Her concerns were also her husbands, “Have I fallen, strayed to far, to receive God’s grace?”  I told her I would get her the book and that both of them should read it.  Before the end of the day she told me that at lunchtime she ran over to the book store and bought the book.  She said that she couldn’t wait as her leave from work started that day.  For the next few weeks she would be by her husbands side as he took on the battle of his life.

That was weeks ago, fast forward to just a few days ago.  My co-worker is back to work, her husband is progressing better than expected.  She looks better herself, better than she had for a long time.  Her first words to me when she saw me, Thank you!”  I said for what?  “For the book, it helped us so much, more than you’ll ever know.”  She went on to tell me that while her husband was in the hospital she read the book to him everyday.  Cover to cover, and then again.  “We never understood God’s grace before.” she said.  “My husband was afraid that he had screwed up to much in his life to think God would want him back.  He was wrong.”  She said that the book helped them get through a very difficult and scary time.  The smile on her face said it all.

If you have doubts, questions, or want a better understanding of God’s Epic Grace, please, get the book.  You will not be disappointed.  If you know of someone that is struggling, get them the book.

GET THE BOOK HERE

“If we let him, God uses difficult people to mold us into his image.  They teach us patience.  They teach us how to die to ourselves, how to lay down our lives for the sake of another.  They teach us how to be more like Jesus.  They stretch us into far reaches of his epic grace.” Epic Grace – Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale) by Kurt Bubna