One Name

One Name

David C. McCasland

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Philippians 2:10

Philippians 2:5–11

Genesis 18–19; Matthew 6:1–18

Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé. They are all so well known that they need only one name to be recognized. They have remained prominent in history because of who they were and what they did. But there is another name that stands far above these or any other name!

Before the Son of God was born into this world, the angel told Mary and Joseph to name Him Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and “he . . . will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). Jesus didn’t come as a celebrity but as a servant who humbled Himself and died on the cross so that anyone who receives Him can be forgiven and freed from the power of sin.

The apostle Paul wrote, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).

In our times of greatest joy and our deepest need, the name we cling to is Jesus. He will never leave us, and His love will not fail.

Jesus, You are the name above all names, our Savior and Lord. We lift our praise to You as we celebrate Your presence and power in our lives today.

I am adding a special prayer to the end of this article:

Father God I thank you for everything you do in my life. I thank you for the blood of Jesus that washed away my sins and saved me from damnation. God I thank you for the love and protection you offer my family and loved ones. The world may know the names of Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé for their achievements and advancements in their fields of expertise, but your name will be righteous and superior above all names. Thank you father.- Amen

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Happiness

The world is looking for happiness, yet they are looking for happiness in all the wrong places (wealth fame etc).

This was from a peice of a recent sermon by Pastor Hagee.

I was listening to his servie in my living room and this struck out.

He referenced Luke 12;15 [15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”]

We can easily get carried away with our possessions and our quest to happiness in life.

Trust me I know.

I tend to get so fixated on my “projects” that sometimes even though for those brief moments of joy, I get carried away and end up with a surplus of items.

I like to craft with my kids.

My kids have found an affinity to making things.

So what do I do, I buy a cricut.

I turn everything in to a project.

I want to make them everything.

home made cards, home made banners, home made party decors, home made holiday decor.

(I have spent and saved uniquivocally the same amount lol).

My kids have found an affinity in painting.

So what do I do, I order canvases galor, paint, stencils and paint brushes

So what do I have? An Art gallery in their bedroom preserving those few minutes of happiness in self reflection and creativity.

I like to read.

I like to read themetaically.

So what do i Have? a mountain pile of books to read, and a kindle/nook devices filled with books at my disposal to read.

I get lost in my books, I get transfixed in my books, I get happy reading.

Yet I have enough books to donate to a few libraries.

We are always looking for happiness… even in all the wrong places.

Our happiness should come from reading the word. Our happiness should come from our faith trust and love in God. Our happiness should come from praising God. Our happiness should come in praying. Our happiness should come from when our prayers our answered. Our happiness should come from the good deeds we do. Our happiness should come from God not the other places we use as temporary moments of happiness.

Father God I thank you for the sermon you had purposely allowed me to listen to. I know I to use books and other means to find temporary happiness. They are just that, temporary happiness. Nothing can bring me joy and happiness the way you do my lord. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for the never ending joy you give me. Amen.

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Giving credit to whom credit is due

Giving Credit To Whom Credit Is Due By Darla Noble from Daily Bible Inspirations

Two men claimed to have developed a particular variety of apples. One of them was being untruthful, but which one? It wasn’t until the judge asked the men to explain the process they used to develop this new fruit that he knew who was telling the truth…and who wasn’t. The man who deserved credit for his ingenuity and hard work spoke passionately and in great detail. The other man’s explanation was vague, lacked important details, and he misused terminology even a novice botanist would know.

We never have to have a single doubt as to the Giver of life and all that we have. It is God. We never have to have a single doubt as to who the Creator and Master of the universe is. It is God. We never have to have a single doubt as to who cares for us, protects us, comforts us, and showers us with His amazing love and immeasurable blessings. It is God.

Give thanks to God always for these amazing gifts!

Pray: Thank you, God for who You are, for Your mighty power, and Your amazing love. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Questions for reflections from the article and my feedback:

◦ Today’s verse tells us to honor God with thanksgiving when he delivers us from our trouble. What trouble has God delivered you from?

Recently (two days before thanksgiving) our car broke down. Perfect timing too right?(sarcasm). Yet that experience though financially painful (not only did we need to replace the engine but we needed a car to get around so had to get a rental), but it was stressful around the holidays when one is trying to get gifts for loved ones. The week before Christmas, 3 weeks after our car broke down, our prayers were answered and God delivered us from this trouble. We were humbled, we were thankful, we were grateful. Our beloved pastor, not knowing the extent of our financial burden, but suspected, was moved to give us a monetary Christmas gift when we needed it the most. We didn’t tell anyone how much was needed to last the week, we didn’t tell anyone we had nothing, no food, no gas money to refuel, we were trying to keep faith and knew it would work itself out. Correction God would help us work it out.

◦ How did you express your thanks to him for doing so?

In our car fiasco we thanked God first, then in an emotional breakdown my husband thanked the Pastor with tears of gratitude for the help he provided us with. Aside from the Pastor my family who knew to an extent what we were dealing with as far as car rentals and cost of repair helped tremendously. We thanked each and everyone one of them, starting with praising God, for moving these hearts.

◦ What are you thankful for?

Make a list and then take the time to say thank you to God for each specific thing.

What I usually do is have a mental checklist of what I am thankful for. In my prayers I tell God specifically what I am thankful for. Father thank you for waking me today, thank you for the fresh of breath air that I breathe, thank you for my spouse, thank you for my children, thank you for my parents, thank you for my siblings, thank you for my in-laws, thank you for my nieces and nephews, thank you for my church, thank you for……

Father you know my struggles, you know my pain, you know my triumphs- because they are your triumphs as well. I thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do for my family and I. We will forever glorify your name dear lord. Amen.

​Undivided Heart.

​Undivided Heart.

“You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.” – (2 Chronicles 19:9)
In 2 chronicles Jehoshaphat appoints Judges for the people.
Why?
There was a divided Israel. He was building alliances between Israel and Judah, he was building alliances to improve the circumstances he faced, he built alliances to help in trade to sustain his people, he built alliances to end idolatry and the practices of pagan rituals, he was also teaching the people about the laws of the land and to observe the sabbath and the laws of God. Judges were appointed to ensure the laws were being followed. Judges were appointed to ensure the teachings of God were not being misconstrued.
It’s election time in NYC and legislators are running for offices throughout. Each legislator is responsible for the well being of their constituency, that the rights of their constituency are protected and that laws are created to help/ protect and improve quality of life for their constituency. Judges are appointed by we the people when we go to the ballots.
Right now we are a nation that’ is more divided than ever. In theory we were once known as a nation of being indivisible yet here we are. Divided by politics, still divided by race and class, divided by religion, divided by philosophy and even divided by the law and politics. To think during Jehoshaphat’s rein his goal was to end idolatry and pagan practices. Today’s problems in America are a bit different. A nation where we are all supposed to be equal despite our differences, are living a complete opposite to the reason the founding fathers came together.
This saddens God. Having a divided nation breaks his heart. What hurts him even more so than this is when our own hearts are divided. Torn between social constructs and social norms and our beliefs.
I am from NYC. I lived all of my life in the city. I am used to the hustle, the bustle and that fast paced lifestyle. It’s just something that’s synonymous to being a New Yorker. With that being said there are times where this lifestyle makes it difficult to practice our faith.
There is so much to do, so much to see, so little time. It’s difficult in our fast paced world to cultivate an undivided heart but the benefits are phenomenal.
When your heart is torn between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Lord, we are placed in a predicament where we have to choose. We can’t want nor have both. A heart divided is easily weaken, can easily be misguided, can easily turn to one side or the other fully.
A heart that is undivided is powerful. A heart that is undivided focuses on purpose. An undivided heart desires just that one item it desires. The desires of an undivided heart has such a conviction, perseverance will prevail no matter the difficulty faced.
My pastor has a saying that those with one foot in their faith and one foot in the world is lukewarm. A church will not strive if their members are lukewarm. He would rather a house full of those with undivided hearts who are filled with passion than a house filled with lukewarm individuals.
The individuals with the undivided hearts as mentioned are passionate, dedicated and loyal to their beliefs, faith and practices. It is this loyalty that leads you to grow spiritually with God. It is this loyalty that allows the impossible to happen . It is this loyalty that can break down the chains holding you down. It’s this loyalty that can move mountains. It’s this loyalty leads to a complete happiness words could never compare to.
Move past the trivialities of life. Turn that heart into and undivided heart with reverence for the Lord with fear and exercise faithfulness.
Right now it does not matter the state of your heart. If your heart is divided I ask you to pray. Pray to build with Christ. Pray for a spiritual alliance so that you can grow and flourish spiritually. I ask you to pray for the cultivation of an undivided heart that will transform your life. Mend your heart whole reject world in singleness of purpose and align yourself with the word of God.
Pray with me:
Father, I come into your presence now, and I ask you to surround me. I ask for you to align my heart with your will. I come under your authority and your claim upon my heart, my soul and my life. I give myself to
you—body, soul, and spirit. I give my heart to you, in every
way—including the broken & divided places in me. I declare your authority over my heart, for you made my heart and you have redeemed my heart. I ask that you help me mend my heart so I can be whole in you. I want to but undivided having you as my primary focus in life. I want an undivided heart filled with your love and faith that is powerful in your works. Amen.

Right Companions

Right Companions
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
(Proverbs 18:24, NIV)
Having the right companions can make a difference in ones life.
Having the wrong companions can totally break you.
We have friends who can destroy you, then you have friends whom are family.
I have had the unfortunate and fortune of having both in my life.
There is a Spanish Proverb that states: “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”. “Dime con quien andes y te dire quien eres”.
Why is this saying important?
1 Corinthians 15:33New International Version (NIV)
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.
Whom we surround ourselves can impact our judgement and our character.
We need to understand that we are called for greatness. God had a plan for you before you were even born.
To achieve this destiny for you, you need help.
God can align you with the right like minded folks to help achieve this destiny.
so you can Manifest within your destiny.
It is important to connect with the right people .
Certain people were already chosen for your path to inspire you, challenge you, nudge you a bit and help accomplish your dreams.
Everyone has great potential.
A friend will motivate you, even when you lack motivation.
A friend will give you words of inspiration, at the adequate moment.
A genuine friend will not fail you.
I have had instances where I made bad choices in friends.
I have even made bad choices in significant others.
They may not define who you are as a person. But they can influence you, more than we realize.
I had a friend once who influenced me to try weed. Not a grand moment in my life.
I could have said no, should have said no, I knew i needed to say no.
I was persuaded, I tried it, I didn’t like it and we went on our merry way.
We are still friends, but now, I influence her.
She now is studying the word.
She now is teaching the word to her children and is actively engaged in her church.
She no longer smokes weed.
That weed didn’t define me, it may have once influenced by judgement, but it didn’t define me.
“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”.
Same goes with alcohol.
I have had moments in my life where i was the influencing or the one being influenced to try alcohol.
I was in a bad time in my life, I was surrounded by friends whom were filled with negativity.
You know how they say misery loves company.
Well, we were miserable, and we kept each others’ company.
It was a lo point in my life.
As i write this i can clearly see the players involved.
I vividly remember the influences we had for one another.
“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”.
Now as a mother, I sit here and I encourage my son to encourage his friends.
I am happy he elected friends whom have the same interests.
They are all passionate on social justice issues and politics.
They are all passionate in their little endeavors.
They have similar interests, but even on their differences they support one another.
He literally has a melting pot of friends.
There was a time one of his friends for school spirit wanted to paint their nails in the school colors.
When he first told his mom, he was nervous he would be made fun of.
So the mom reached out to the other moms and we all said, have him talk the fellas, we will talk to the boys, if they decide to join him in solidarity we will support them. If they decide not to, its ok, we will also remind them, it is ok to be different and not always agree with others, but we must respect our friends.
The kids agreed to show solidarity they would all paint their nails.
My husband was not cool with this idea.
I had mixed feelings on the notion, but will not be apart of the problem of judgement.
I allowed my son to do so in solidarity.
These kids have been friends so far 2 years and counting, their love and bond for one another is almost like an extended family.
Friendships should be like this.
Some friendships should allow you to get close to people; even closer than relatives.
“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”.
I have friends whom I consider family, more so than my own.
These are friends whom have been in the trenches with me, seen me get out, some have even picked me up from the trenches.
I also have seasonal friendships, friends who show up from time to time, but that time, that season we were friends was meant to be.
Sometimes friendships last a life time, sometimes they last a season.
I appreciate both.
Each friend is someone we can learn from, your relationship can also lead to personal, professional and spiritual growth.
Always remember, One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character. Do not be misled, but remember, there are friends who do stick closer than a brother.
Father God Thank you for your love, kindness, knowledge and the friends you have placed in my life. Thank you for each person who has entered, remained and even left my life. You know the reason why those whom remain, remain and why those whom left, needed to go. Lord I ask for continued guidance where my friendships do not mislead me. I ask for you to cover and protect my children so that their friends do not lead them astray nor corrupt their good characters. May we have friends who’s like minded and our bonds are like family. May we be able to nourish each other and grow not only in the flesh but spiritually. Give us the strengths needed to release the toxic friends in our life, to be able to discern the difference and proceed accordingly. Amen.

Successful People Help the Poor

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV).
I have used this chapter several times. I have made several references to the proverbial woman. Yet this verse here, before I ever understood it was affiliated with the proverbial women, I used as a reference point as to why I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’ve used this verse to explain why I stand up to I just and inequalities when I can. This verse here is my go to as a reminder of why it is important to be civically engaged.
Today though this devotion by Rick Warren gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling of comfort. My happy place. My happy place includes serving the under-served.
Below is hid devotional:
by Rick Warren
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV).
If you want to live a successful life, the Bible offers some countercultural instruction.
Serve the poor!
How could serving the poor help us be successful?
The Bible gives us numerous reasons why this is so, but here are just a few of them:
It’ll make you happy. “If you want to be happy, be kind to the poor; it is a sin to despise anyone” (Proverbs 14:21 GNT).
You’ll honor God. “Whoever mistreats the poor insults their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God”(Proverbs 14:31 NCV).
It’ll make you a better leader. “Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly”(Proverbs 29:14 The Message).
I’ve seen this in my own life. Some of you know my story. When I wrote The Purpose Driven Life, the book became a huge global success. It’s been translated into 137 languages.
And when you write a book with the first line of “It’s not about you,” it’s pretty easy to realize that any money or influence that came from it wasn’t meant for me. So, among other decisions Kay and I made at the time, we started Acts of Mercy, a foundation to help the poor and the vulnerable suffering with AIDS.
The book’s success was not about me; it was all about God.
Proverbs 31:8-9 particularly spoke to me during this time: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (NIV).
That’s what successful people do. They stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
Pastor rick Warren includes these questions in his devotion:
Talk It Over
Why do you think it’s so important that successful people help the poor and stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves?
How have you seen successful people in your life help the poor and the defenseless?
What can you do to more faithfully help the poor?
Now I am not asking you to answer Pastor Warrens questions directly to me.
I do ask that you think about them. Analyze yourself.
Reflect. I’m big about self reflect if you’ve been following my writings.
Honestly answer them to yourselves.
If you want to share more power to you.
If you want to let it marinade and resonate from within, that’s ok too.
I have already poured my heart here in ways I haven’t with others. So as part of my reflection to this exercise I’m going to share my thoughts and analysis.
Why do you think it’s so important that successful people help the poor and stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves?
Honestly the Bible instructs us to help the poor. The Bible instructs us to live a humble like. We see it throughout the New Testament. The disciples left their jobs, families and belongings in an act of faith. They followed Jesus. They spread news of his love, prophecy and sacrifice. They walked his walk with him, physically guided by him. Witnessing his humble dwellings, behaviors, acts of kindness and how he selflessly help others. His ministry was focused on serving the destitute, the needy, the poor. Walking this walk with Christ, we need to lead by his example. This is something that should come from within. Not everyone has that drive nor that desire to help. It’s a natural instinctive nature that few are called to do.
How have you seen successful people in your life help the poor and the defenseless?
I have several times where successful individuals help the poor and defenseless. These past two months we have witnessed it first hand if you have been following the recovery efforts since Harvey. Celebs have gone out their way literally even flying private jets to send much needed goods to those affected by these major natural disasters. (Harvey, Irma, Maria & Earthquakes). It’s such an amazing sight to see celebrities joining grassroots initiatives, rolling up their sleeves, delivering aid, food and water. What an amazing sight to see these influential successful individuals hosting or collaborating in benefit concerts with the goal of continuing to aid in relief efforts. This isn’t the only way someone “more successful” can help someone who is at a disadvantage. Not everyone has that financial security.
Those whom give their time in volunteer work. Whether your volunteering at a hospital, volunteering via a non profit organizations doing grassroots initiatives to teach and be apart of initiatives to bring forth awareness and understanding or even fighting for others on social issues. Standing up for someone while we are witnessing injustices and inquiries are other forms of ways someone more successful can help someone in need. If you have a platform to make a difference go ahead and use that platform. You could be the tool to help speak for the downtrodden or the ones who can’t speak for themselves. Buying someone a hot meal. Whether it is a homeless person or someone who just only has five bucks until pay day is another way. I’ve witnessed all of these forms. Even kids whom are academically more successful who help out other children whom are struggling is a way where someone succeeding in something can help someone in need. I’ve seen that in my kids, in the kids in my sons school and even with the kids at church the way they help each other out.
What can you do to more faithfully help the poor?
I feel to faithfully help the poor we need to show that love and compassion still exists. It’s a cause and effect theory. With every action there’s a reaction. If we could all be more compassionate, help our in anyway we possibly can, our love and compassion can lead to a small spark flickering. That spark could be that match that needed to strike someone’s faith to be reignited.
Look no answer to these questions are wrong. This is my self reflection piece to those questions.
Father God I thank you for your love. Thank you for the successes you have given me in my life. I may not be wealthy, I may just be getting by, but my success is not about monetary success. My success and accomplishments you have led me to them. Your words have also taught me to be humble and give back as often as I can and when I can. There are times where all I have is a dollar to my name, there are times I give up my dollar, there are times I hold on to it. Lord you know the reasons behind each instant. It pains me when I can’t help. Yet it fills me up in the depths of my soul when I can. Lord thank you for allowing me to be successful in areas where I can help. I may not be wealthy, may not be able to save the world, but I do feel lord that every man, woman and child can make a difference, with your guidance. Amen.

our daily bread

So I read this devotional from our daily bread.
I thought it was worthy of sharing.
Dennis Fisher
The message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Hebrews 4:2
Additional reading:
Exodus 17:1–7
Jeremiah 6–8; 1 Timothy 5
In the 1960s, the Kingston Trio released a song called “Desert Pete.” The ballad tells of a thirsty cowboy who is crossing the desert and finds a hand pump. Next to it, Desert Pete has left a note urging the reader not to drink the water in the jar left there but to use its contents to prime the pump.
The cowboy resists the temptation to drink and uses the water as the note instructs. In reward for his obedience, he receives an abundance of cold, satisfying water. Had he not acted in faith, he would have had only a jar of unsatisfying, warm water to drink.
This reminds me of Israel’s journey through the wilderness. When their thirst became overwhelming (Ex. 17:1–7), Moses sought the Lord. He was told to strike the rock of Horeb with his staff. Moses believed and obeyed, and water gushed from the stone.
Sadly, Israel would not consistently follow Moses’s example of faith. Ultimately, “the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed” (Heb. 4:2).
Sometimes life can seem like an arid desert. But God can quench our spiritual thirst in the most unlikely circumstances. When by faith we believe the promises of God’s Word, we can experience rivers of living water and grace for our daily needs.
Help us to place our trust in You, Lord. You are what our heart thirsts after.
Only Jesus, the Living Water, can satisfy our thirst for God.
You can make a difference.
Even the smallest donation helps reach people around the world with the life-changing wisdom of the Bible.
Three days after the Israelites left Egypt, the water they brought along was depleted. Finding no drinkable water in the Desert of Shur, they grumbled against Moses, and God miraculously made bitter water into good water (Ex. 15:22–25). Soon their food supplies ran out, and they complained again. God miraculously fed them with manna and quail (16:1–36). As they approached Sinai, they complained yet again of no water (17:1–2). God had already shown them He could provide the water and food they needed. All they had to do was to trust Him! (Deut. 8:2; Ps. 81:7–8).
Consider how God has been faithful to provide for your physical needs. How has He satisfied your spiritual thirst?
Now that you have read this devotion let me explain why I wanted to share this.
We live day in day out half the times we do not even acknowledge the amazing works God does in our lives on a regular basis.
We are always glad that our physical needs are met, we are glad when our spiritual needs are met, yet are you still quenching for more?
Or are you ignoring your blessings?
Recently I have come to my own realization that I want more.
I need more.
He is the living water whom can satisfy this thirst.
I do not want to just be hydrated long enough until I need more.
I want to constantly be satisfied by what he gives me.
If i could have an IV linked directly between us I would.
We need to remain in faith, we need to refrain from going into the desert.
We do not need to conform to the bare necessities, we should want more.
I am not saying lavish cars and things.
We should always want more of him and be dutiful for the works he does in our lives.
Even in our trials, tribulations and Hardships we need to edify our souls with him.
We need to be appreciative of his lessons.
We need to constantly seek him for guidance.
Thank you lord for this message and insight. Thank you for your love, mercy and providing me with my bare necessities in life. May this devotional be of a blessing to anyone reading this. May we all quench for more of you spiritually. Amen.