Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Genesis 1:25 -- Testimony of Faith

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -- Genesis 1:25

Everything God does is good. He does nothing bad. Everything God does, He does for a reason: to be fruitful; to multiply; to fill the earth with His goodness.

Because God gives us free will, if bad things happen to us, it isn't because God is bad or because He did something bad, it is because we did. When bad things happen, therefore, we must work to make it good again. We must learn from our mistakes, repent of our sin that led us to that point, and move forward with faith that God will give us a great testimony to share through that experience.

Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. -- Ecclesiastes 8:6

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Genesis 1:24 -- Stay Positive!

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. -- Genesis 1:24

God made all the living creatures, and gave them the ability to make more of their own kind. A dog will have more dogs, and a cat will have kittens.

The same can be said about the fruits of our life: Good thoughts brings goodness, whereas sinful thoughts bring about more sin. God doesn't want us to be negative because He doesn't want us to have negative things in our life; because once the negativity is there, it takes a while for the positivity to wear it down.

This is why it is important for us to have faith. Jesus said,

...for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. -- Matthew 17:20

If you can believe that what He says is true, then you can believe that He wants you to have good things in your life. So, believe! Believe that God is capable of anything, and anything is possible with Him!

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him -- Hebrews 11:6

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Genesis 1:23 -- Each Day Has a Purpose

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. -- Genesis 1:23

Each day, God gives new commands. Each day, God has a new gift to give the world. Each day, God wants to find someone who is grateful, who is praising Him for what He does. If you are thankful for what God does, and humbled each time He does small things for you, God has a plan for you. He has a job for you, and He wants you to be rewarded for your effort on His behalf.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: -- 1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourself before God. Let Him love you and show you how much He appreciates you with praises to him and thanksgiving. The results will be overpowering!

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Genesis 1:22 -- Being Fruitful

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:22 -- And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

God wants us to be fruitful. He wants us to gain something in our time here on earth. And, He wants more people to bear more fruit. In this passage, He was telling Adam and Eve to have children and to populate the earth. Though He still wishes for us to have children, today there is an even greater calling: to bear fruit for the Lord. The only way to do this is to follow the teachings of Jesus.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Jesus wants to give everyone the hope of an eternal life with the Father, where there is no more pain or sorrow. So it is our job, as Christians to tell everyone we know about Jesus and what He has already done in our life.

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 36:18-20)

If we do this, we will bear much quality fruit for the Lord.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Genesis 1:21 -- The Key to Happiness

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:21 -- And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Whatever God does, He does in abundance. He makes enough to last as long as His will desires. All He asks is that you follow His commands: to love Him, and to love one another. There is no better way to show God that you appreciate all He has given you than to love others and show the same mercy and goodness to others that He has shown you.

God gave you a heart. In it is stored who you are. If you are good, you will say good things. If you are evil, you will say evil things.

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matthew 12:34)

So it is always best to take thought in what you say, because what you say can put to motion the blessings or the curses of God.

If you determine in your heart that you are going to love God and love others, you will come to love yourself. Loving Him is the key to finding happiness and contentment in your life.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

How Great Is Our God: The Essential Collection

2011 release from the Christian singer/songwriter. As one of the most-sung artists in the church, Chris Tomlin writes music that connects people to the heart of Jesus and leads them to a greater worship of him. After six studio albums and numerous appearances on Passion live worship albums, Chris releases his first-ever greatest hits collection Of the 14 songs on the album, three are all-new recordings of classic Tomlin worship songs. Included is a new recording of the #1 song 'How Great Is Our God', which features guest appearances from renowned international worship leaders, singing parts of the song in their native language.

Buy the CD by clicking HERE!

Genesis 1:20 - The Abundant Life

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:20 -- And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

The fish and the birds were created in the same day. The fish can't breathe in the open air, and the birds can't breathe in the water; but, both are equally important to God, or He wouldn't have created them.

When God created the birds, He foresaw a time when the birds would feed the Israelites as they wondered for 40 years in the wilderness. When He created the fish, He knew one day He would have to use a great fish to swallow Jonah, so that Jonah would be convinced to do as God willed. Know this: everything God creates is at God's disposal. What you are going through right now will one day be solved by God's great creation, if you seek to honor Him.

Does this mean you won't make mistakes? No. Jonah made a big mistake when he ran from God's will in his life. The same creation that God uses to help you can envelope and chastise you as you look upon it. What God does, however, is out of pure love for you and the rest of His creation.

There is as much a purpose for you today as there was yesterday, and the day before. There is a place for you in God's creation, just as the birds have the air and the fish have the water. No one else can fulfill the purpose for which you were made.

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began... (2nd Timothy 1:8,9)

God can will that you go through some pretty uncomfortable times in order for His plan to work. Jonah wasn't happy with the task that God commanded of him, but it didn't stop him from getting the message that God wasn't going to let up until he did it. When you choose to follow God, you choose to let Him use you as He wills. You will never be comfortable outside of the will of God.

Just remember, Jesus taught that He had come to give us life, and to give it more abundantly:

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. (John 10:10)

He also taught that:

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. (Luke 9:24)

You may not see the logic in God's will for your life, but if you learn to let go and let God, you will enjoy life so much better in the end, because the will of God will strengthen you, and you will be called blessed.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Genesis 1:19 - Another Day

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:19: And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

There is always another day. When you mess up, repent and move forward. Each day is a first day. Keep that in your mind as you go about your daily tasks. God will lead you where you need to be when you need to be there.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

There is always something new to learn each day about the world, and about ourselves. When we think we know all, we are failures of the worst kind because we don't allow ourselves the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)

You will never have a day where there isn't a potential to make mistakes. But, if you follow God's lead, you may have a day that glorifies God in the end.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Genesis 1:18 -- Which Path Will You Follow?

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:18 -- And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

The light rules. There are two great lights. One is lesser, one is greater. Which one will you live in? Which one will you let rule your life? God gave us a choice when He created two. He created the greater and the lesser. His plan includes both. What God creates, God can destroy.

The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. (1 Samuel 2:7)

He did this so He could give man free will. Man has no free will if he cannot choose his own path.

God didn't just give man free will, though. He told man which path he should follow, not which path he could follow. He laid out basic instructions to man in the Bible that would lead to long life and contentment.

Which path will you follow?

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Genesis 1:17 - Fireflies

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:17 -- And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light on the earth,

God doesn't take a light and hide it where no one can see it. He sets it high so it can light the way for all who are around. We are called to be children of the light.

While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. (John 12:36)

When you focus on anything but God, you are not living in the light. Your everyday problems stay problems that you can't get out of. Jesus is the light that we need to see by.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:19)

You may think that no one understands you, at times. This is true when you live among children of the night. You must remember that it is not them that you need to look for your answers to.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5)

The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. (Proverbs 13:9)

Stay the course. Keep walking in the light, and even your dark days will seem to be like a firefly in the night: small, quick, and easily swatted.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Featured Site: Corporate Chaplains of America

People spend more time at work than anywhere else. But just because they go to work doesn’t mean they’ve left their worries at home. Anxieties crowd out focused work time. Hospital visits create mounting unpaid days off. Illness and death devastate families and burden employees with skyrocketing health care costs.

Employees aren’t the only ones who suffer during crisis. Time after time, employers repeat stories of inadequate workplace support programs and feelings of helplessness.

Check out more about Corporate Chaplains of America by clicking HERE

Steven Curtis Chapman Pens Song About Charleston Tragedy

Steven Curtis Chapman joins dozens of Christian artists in reflecting via social media on the tragic church shooting in Charleston, SC this past week.

Chapman took to Facebook to write, "It's with a very heavy heart that I come to you with this post. As I have prayed for and grieved with the people of Charleston SC there's one part of this terrible and tragic story in particular that continues to stir me. It's the fact that Rev. Pinckney and the other believers gathered at Emanuel AME Church to worship, pray and study God's Word opened their hearts & made room in their 'circle' for a stranger...unknowingly but willingly inviting in the very one who would take the lives of many in their circle."

He continues, "They chose to love...and Love never fails...Love always has the last word! As I read Romans 12:18-21 I'm struck with how profound those words are in this situation. Ultimately evil has been and will forever be overcome with good...and there is no more powerful 'good' than the love of God! As we continue to pray for comfort and peace to fill the hearts of all affected by this terrible tragedy may we be inspired by the love and the lives of Rev Pinckney and the others in that circle...& may we remember that the story is far from over. Love cannot and will not fail! With that thought I wrote this song for the people of Charleston...and to remind all of us...Love conquers all!"

Click here to listen to a touching performance by Chapman which features those beautiful words from Romans.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

God, the ULTIMATE Father

When your own father rejects you, God never will.
When your own father cuts you off, God holds you close.
When your own father abuses you, God protects you.
When your own father resents you, God holds you high!
When your own father throws you away, God uses you.
When your own father won't talk to you, God is always there to listen.
When your own father disowns you, God makes you an heir.
When your own father can't...or won't, God can and WILL

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Genesis 1:16 -- Light Outshines Dark

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:16 -- And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

The light of day will always outshine the light of night. When good things happen in your life, it has more influence than the bad things that happen in your life. The good things that happen in your life will direct the paths that you take from there on out, unless you choose to stay in the dark.

Many times, we tend to spitefully sit where we are at under a dark sky. The negative emotions we experience envelope us and cause us to angrily fight going anywhere else. Jonah experienced this after he was sent to Ninevah to do God's work there. There is no record of him after that in the Bible. Job also experienced this, when he lay on his bed in depression, and his concerned friends came to stay with him. Job finally got off his bed, and the life God blessed him with was much better than the life Satan took away from him.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)

Sometimes when we are in the darkness of our lives, it is better to wait for the Lord to lead us. We must always look forward to the light, even when we are angry about the dark.

Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. (Micah 7: 7-9)

Micah says that he has sinned against God. When we are in darkness, it is usually because the choices we have made in life has led us there. We have sinned. And, because we sin, we have to bear the punishment. (I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him).

When you show God that you are willing to accept the punishment, you are showing Him that you are willing to change. Being willing to change means that you go through the doors that He will eventually open to you. But, you must wait for those doors to open, and when they do, you must accept that He wants to bless you, and not punish you any longer. It may be that He uses the experience to bless you further, if you are sincere.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Friend: An Invitation

I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I serve with my whole heart because He paid a debt I owed that I could never repay no matter how I try. I serve with joy and gladness, for the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations. (Psalms 100:5)

I wish I had the time to tell you how God has given me so much to be thankful for in my Lord Jesus Christ. I have tried, but hearing, ye have not heard. (Matthew 13:13) Maybe it's because you have not experienced my God the way I have, and you find it hard to relate. Or maybe you feel as if you are not good enough to approach the light of His Glory. I can only speculate as to what your reasons are, for I have invited you to join me in the praise and worship of my Lord, and to join me in His Kingdom work as He has instructed me to do , when He said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: And Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:19-20). Yet you linger, and refuse to quickly honor the invitation.

Friend, you don't have to be on good terms with yourself or God to approach the throne. For God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

As a servant of God, I am not perfect or sinless. I am, however, forgiven. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) And because I am saved, I am a new creature. My old life is passed away, and I have a new life. (2 Corinthians 5:17) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created unto Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

You see, I can never do enough to repay God for sacrificing His only son for me. I can only believe He did it because He loves me, just as I am. Even so, faith, if it has not works, is dead. (James 2:17) Therefore, I cannot, in good conscience, after the price my Lord paid for me, continue in my sins. I could not change who I am. But my God can. When I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, I gave Him permission to mold and shape me as He would have me be. This is because once I realized the total price of my sins, I was convicted to serve with all my spirit, constantly striving to cleanse myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 6:1) Even striving to perfect myself, I am constantly reminded that no matter what I do, I will never be righteous enough, For there is none righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10)

I have said all this to teach you, friend, that if you are waiting until you are "perfect enough", it will not happen. You need not linger or have excuses not to accept my invitation any longer. God is calling you to join Him in His kingdom work. Do you really want to disappoint Him after what He's already done for you?

Jesus never condemned the sinner, though he begged them to repent. Therefore, neither do I condemn you. (John 8:11) To do so would be blasphemy, for I am not perfect either, and am unworthy to cast stones at your character. (John 8:7) What I say to you, I say out of love, as Christ has commanded us to love one another as He first loved us. (John 3:35) Having said that, It is my duty to inform you that the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Matthew 10:7) It is because of that that I would be derelict in my duty if I failed to write this letter to you.

You see, once again, I am pleading with you to come and worship the Lord with me. I don't understand why it is so hard for you to accept my invitation. Can't you hear Jesus saying through me, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) What relief you will have when you realize that you have eternal life, rather than condemnation! For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Friend, I beg you to linger no more! You have been invited to eat the bread of life at my Lord's supper table! when I think of you, I remember a parable Jesus told once of a man who fixed a great supper. He invited certain people. These people who were invited all had some excuse for not wanting to show up. It doesn't matter what their excuse was. So, he told his servant to go out onto the streets and gather the lower classes of people to eat in their place. (Luke 14:16-24) I believe he did this because He knew they would appreciate his efforts more. (Luke 14:14) How is it that you cannot appreciate what my Lord has to offer you? If you won't come, God will invite someone else in your stead.

I have prayed for you, my friend. I have pleaded with you; and, now, I am writing this letter as a last attempt before I go on my way to invite others, as the servant of the Lord has been instructed to do. Please do not make excuses, for God will not accept any excuses on the day of judgment. Jesus has instructed that we should always be prepared, because you may not be alive tomorrow to repent, and if you are, what if He returns for His servants? Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day, nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:13) And, if He does, do you really want to take the chance of hearing Him say "I know you not"? (Matthew 25:12)

But if you still refuse the invitation, it is my duty to leave you alone and to shake the dust of my feet on the way. (Matthew 10:14)

My Lord is a gracious God. He has patience with you for now, but I beg you, my friend, not to test my Lord's patience for long. he has been known to curse those who continue in their sins. (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) Maybe you are already experiencing some of them. I hope not; but, if you are, repent, and God will turn those curses into blessings.

Jesus taught a parable about a prodigal son, who defied his father, spent his inheritance, and wound up slopping pigs for a living. Finally, he determined to be his father's servant, if only his father would take him back into his home after what he'd done. When his father saw him coming, he welcomed his son home, rejoicing with a great feast and restoring his place in the home. God will do that for you if you let Him. (Luke 15:11-32)

Please accept my final invitation to join me in the praise and worship of my Lord at 1st Biker's Church in Texarkana, Texas. We are located at 12th and Walnut. If you don't want to go to that church, then find one you are comfortable with, but we will accept you with open arms if you do.

With Agape Love for You,

Your Servant in Christ,

Shonda M. Ponder

Genesis 1:15 -- Live in the Light

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:15 -- And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

God wants you to live in the light. He doesn't like darkness of any kind. When you are confused, or unsure, you may say that you are "in the dark" about something. When you find yourself in the dark, it is always good to ask the Father for light. He will give you what you ask for, if it is done with a sincere heart.

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psalm 112:4)

God allows the darkness because He wants you to choose the light. He wants you to ask Him to lead you into the light. If you choose to remain in the darkness, the problems you are facing cannot be solved.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Pilgrim's Progress: Get the Video Game!

"The Pilgrim's Progress" is an allegory of a Christian life, starting from the time a person learns of Jesus to the time when they die and reach The Celestial City (Heaven). In the game you take control of Christian as he journeys from his doomed hometown, The City of Destruction, and toward the Celestial City.

Buy the Game by Clicking HERE

Friday, June 19, 2015

Genesis 1:14: Everything Has a Purpose

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:14 -- And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

God created the day and the night. God doesn't abandon what He creates. He has a purpose for all that He creates. If it is not useful, it is not there. The sun, moon and stars all have a purpose: to divide the day from the night and to be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

Some days seem pointless to you as a mere human being. But, we must remember that those days were not created for you; but, rather, were created for God. If you are walking with God, those days would have purpose. If you are centering your thoughts and desires on yourself, those days seem pointless, because you are not in concert with the purpose in which those days were created.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1

When you experience one of these days that seem to have no purpose, try a little soul-searching. Ask yourself what you can do to please God by being there for someone else. No matter how insignificant an activity might be, the person you are there for may see it as a great blessing. In the end, God works His purpose through you.

Every small thing you do can be used to God's glory. God does not discount the little things you do. God doesn't take them for granted.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Genesis 1:13 : Wait Upon the Lord

Written by Shonda Ponder
All Bible verses taken from the KJV of the Open Bible

Genesis 1:13 -- And the evening and the morning were the third day.

There is always a new day. It may seem, at times, like the world as you know it has ended. When this happens, you must see this as a new beginning. The world itself has not ended, only the world as you knew it to be.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

If you are depressed, the worst thing you can do is lay down. If you lay down and give up, you are committing a slow, arduous suicide. If you are committing suicide, then your faith is to be questioned. Therefore, no matter how hard life seems to be, the best thing you can do is keep going. Get up, do the things you have to do on a daily basis. Soon, the dark tunnel you are in will end. You will see glimmers of light, you will slowly rebuild your hope.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)

To "wait on the Lord" does not mean to stop living. It simply means that if you walk the path of righteousness, your hope is in Him, that He will take care of the things that cause you pain.

If this has inspired you, please share it!