Building Daily

A Word from Ken Larson

According to Hebrews 11, one element of our belief system yields many things that are missing from our current-day culture. Many of our daily struggles are the result of some sort of disconnect in our thinking. So many people are suffering. So many people need help to get through life.

But when I read Hebrews 11:33, I see a strong and unwavering passage. It gives me confidence in God to help me through life. The part of this verse that’s so encouraging is three specific phrases that caught my attention:  “conquered kingdoms”, “administered justice”, and “gained what was promised.”

So what was the key to all three? FAITH! This entire section of Scripture reveals a very important part of life in the Kingdom. Without it, in my opinion, we cannot accomplish what we are commanded to accomplish. Faith is one of the pivotal aspects of the Christian life that is, in my way of thinking, not negotiable. Without it, we cannot please God. With it, we can disciple nations.

Perhaps we all need to remind ourselves of what’s most important for us every day. Please take the time to allow the Lord to speak into your life each day. Take the time to remind yourself of what He has done for you and through you. And, most of all, tell yourself that He is never going to leave you alone. Build your faith daily. Soon you will no longer be intimidated by all that goes on around you; you will change the atmosphere everywhere you go!

Who Is Saying That?

An Encouraging Word from Ken Larson:
Sometimes in our busy lives, we hear many voices whispering in our heads. Certainly God is always speaking to us, but those other voices are often so distracting that we can’t hear God. The world is a noisy place, and the enemy will not hesitate to speak lies to whoever will listen. And, sometimes, the voice in your head is YOU! That’s why it’s very important to figure out who’s saying the things you hear.
Self-talk — as psychologists say — is the way your own thoughts, repeated in your mind, are leading your behavior. What you tell yourself is critically important to how you live. Your identity is based on who you believe yourself to be, not who you have become to this stage in your life. Every one of us is telling ourselves what to believe about ourselves, based on which voice we take to heart. Father in heaven is always speaking love and guidance to each one of us, but we often get distracted by the others.
You can silence the wrong voices by agreeing with God in your self-talk. A good way to do that is to speak Scripture to yourself. Make it personal, and remind yourself of it often. This is what the Bible refers to as meditation. After a while, we begin to believe it and take it to heart.
As for the lies, refuse to take them in. By NOT believing them, we resist the enemy and the world. As Scripture says, if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Don’t give him any room to influence your thinking. Disregard everything that is a lie.
Give God the glory when you recognize how positive self-talk is beginning to change your outlook on life. He made us to have an overcoming spirit. By doing this, we are fulfilling His calling in our lives. It is just one more way we are able to worship Him and bring His Kingdom to earth.
I pray that you will soon discover the joy of His voice as it reverberates throughout your life to propel you into His destiny for you.

The Gateway Splashdown!

LarsonKensmA Message from Ken Larson

In 1970 the Apollo 13 mission to the moon was interrupted by a tragic ex-plosion that was marked by those famous words, “Houston, we have a problem.” The crew of the spacecraft was supposed to land on the moon but had to cut the mission short and make an emergency dash back to earth. As the Apollo 13 crew was on the verge of re-entering the earth’s atmosphere after they strapped into a crippled command module, Commander Jim Lovell turned to his two friends and crew members Jack Swigert and Fred Haise and said “Gentlemen, it’s been a privilege flying with you.”

They ripped through the atmosphere at over 35,000 feet per second, a ball of fire in their tiny capsule. The entire world was praying for the three men to return home safely. No one knew if they would make it. NASA team members worked day and night to do everything possible to get the men back to earth. When they splashed down into the sea, millions cheered the victory. They were home safe and sound.

Many would never forget the triumph of that day, but only the crew members would know the real price they had paid to get back. If not for their own persistence, courage, and brilliant actions, all would have been lost. They had no choice but to play the key role in their own rescue. It was the only way they could make it.

The Gateway is in a very similar situation. Even though we are not in grave danger of losing our lives, we are at an important turning point. We must play the same key role in determining our own future. As we say goodbye to our beloved Pastor Jerry, we also must commend him for his leadership and guidance. We hate to see him go, but we must honor his choice to take a new path. To him, I say, “It has been a privilege flying with you.”

All the members of The Gateway must now call them-selves into action. We are going to get through this, but it will be because of our persistence and courage that we make it to the other side in one piece. Together we will press through this unsure time into the new and exciting tomorrow that God has for us. We must resolve that we will not give in to the enemy’s attempts to push us apart or drive us away.

We are The Gateway, called to serve here in Benicia, now, to change this city by bringing Heaven to earth.  Let’s move forward together. Let’s make up our minds to get there safely and in one piece. Join me in this adventure. In Christ, we can do all things!

Do Dreams Come True?

An encouraging word from Ken Larson, one of our Elders:
What happens if you work hard and become really good at what you do? Not all of us reach our dreams. It’s sad to say, but it’s true. Why? There are many reasons. Some set their sights too high, but what’s more common is some set their goals too low. Trishotkicklecto For most of us, I think, we simply give up too soon or too easily. what is a cloud But here is an encouragement:  No matter how old or how young you may be, you can still reach a level of greatness!
The quote form Zig Ziglar I gave on Sunday is true:  “You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”
Here is a YouTube link to a story about a young man who had a dream. Watch it and see if you are encouraged by it. Can you imagine being this young man? Could you find the strength to push hard to reach your goals?
Just like the boy in the video, you can reach your goals. I know it’s not easy, or everyone would do it. But keep in mind who you are. Your heavenly Father is on your side. He always has been and always will be!
Can you hear Him shouting for you, cheering you on?
Listen closely for His voice and you will soon get the answer to the question, “Do dreams come true?”
Yes! They do!

For Your Heart

Samuel was dedicated to the Lord’s service from birth. As he grew up in the tabernacle under the watchful eye of Eli, the High Priest, he experienced the presence of God:
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the LORD by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the LORD were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God.
Suddenly the LORD called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. tourism online Then the LORD called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
Samuel did not yet know the LORD because he had never had a message from the LORD before. So the LORD called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the LORD who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went back to bed. And the LORD came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:1-10, NLT)
The key to hearing the Lord’s voice is to have a listening heart, a heart that is leaning into what God is saying and ready to obey what He says. To lean into what God is saying is to anticipate and value what He is saying. But we don’t value the word if we are not ready to obey. So many times, we desire a word from the Lord, but we aren’t living an obedient life with what He has already spoken to us.
If we read on further, we see that Samuel did obey the Lord and delivered a difficult message to Eli. This set the stage for Samuel’s life as a prophet. What if he hadn’t been willing to obey?

For Your Heart

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, NKJV). What does it really mean to love one another? I ran across this verse in my reading:

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18, NKJV).

We talk a lot about love, but it’s clear that talk is not enough. It doesn’t do us any good to feel spiritual and have warm feelings toward each other, but not demonstrate that love in practical, tangible ways. For others to observe our love for one another, the love has to be…observable.

Love has to begin in our minds and result in a change of thinking, acting, and speaking that honors and values others. Even when speaking about difficult issues, we must never dishonor or demean each other. Remember these words:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. list of sites . It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. domain info . Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor. 13:4-7, NLT)

This is the standard by which we measure all that we do in engaging one another: patient, kind, humble, not rude or irritable. Yes, it is challenging! Let’s demonstrate that we love one another by the way we communicate and treat each other, especially in times of difficulty. Let’s demonstrate love with our words and our deeds.

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