After battling brain cancer for 9 months, my dad went home to be with the Lord on April 4, 2023, at 2:38pm. It was 5 days before his 65th birthday, which was also Resurrection Sunday. My entire family – mom, my two brothers, my sister, our spouses, and every grandchild – were in that room when Dad took his last breath. You could never orchestrate it. But God was amazingly faithful to bring us all together for his passing.

All the way through my dad's journey, he never allowed cancer or death determine his faith's trajectory. He would meditate constantly on The Word and converse with the Lord on a daily basis. Even when he was declining in his final days, my mom asked him what he was thinking about… He whispered, "God." My dad was immovable from his first love, and it is fitting that he is finally where he has always longed to be his whole life!

Anyone who has lost a loved one knows the dichotomy of your thoughts and feelings. Feeling devastated and heartbroken, yet knowing full well we will see him again, and how both remain completely relevant! Even Jesus, knowing full well that He could, and would, raise His friend Lazarus from the dead still wept with Mary and Martha (John 11). Jesus was demonstrating that grief and death is not an indicator that God's blessing and goodness towards us has lifted. In fact, it is quite the opposite –

This is the very meeting place of God's blessings in our life!

Matthew 5:3-12 says,

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn,    for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek,    for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,    for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful,    for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart,    for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers,    for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

These Beatitudes are incredible. They are telling us that at every low point in our lives, there is a blessing waiting there for you!

I have never felt more limited, small, or poor in spirit than when I sat and watched my dad deteriorate rapidly. I was at a loss for words and at the limit of my faith. I was weak, and I became aware that there was a war for my weakness.

Just as much as God had a plan and purpose of blessing for me in this very moment, the enemy also had a plan and purpose. There were 2 invitations I could accept – the invitation to believe the blessings and promises of God. Or the invitation to doubt.

There are a myriad of factors as to why a bad thing may happen to a good person. But there is always one thing you can count on:

God always wants to bless you in those moments and the enemy will try to plant doubt in your mind to steal that blessing.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 Paul reveals,

9 But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Although my dad's death was far earlier than anyone would've preferred, there is no victory for the enemy in it. I stand firmly on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I am determined to see this weak, heartbreaking, grievous point in my life become the catalyst for blessings, as well as furthering the Kingdom of Heaven!

For you dear reader, like my dad, I pray you will never allow persecution, injustice, grief or even death to cause you to waiver in your faith. That when there is a war for your weakness, and the enemy asks you, "Did God really say…?"  You will answer "Yes. He did!" every time.

This is how we inherit the earth, see God, and advance the Kingdom of Heaven.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life , and have it to the full ." John 10:10

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Loneliness is a common human experience that transcends age, occupation, and social status. Even in the context of church ministry, where pastors and leaders are surrounded by a congregation, it’s possible to feel isolated and alone. This article explores the unique challenges of loneliness within church ministry and offers strategies that I myself am using to combat it.

The Loneliness Paradox

At first glance, it might seem paradoxical that individuals in church ministry, who are often surrounded by a community of believers, can experience loneliness. However, ministry can be isolating for several reasons:

Role Expectations:

​ Pastors and leaders are often seen as spiritual guides, and there’s an expectation that they should have it all together. This can make it challenging for them to admit their struggles, including loneliness.

Lack of Peer Relationships:

​ While pastors and leaders have strong connections with their congregations, they may lack close peer relationships within their own ministry circles. They often shoulder the burdens of others but may not have someone to share their own burdens with.

High Stress Levels:

​ The demands of church ministry, including sermon preparation, pastoral care, and administrative tasks, can lead to high stress levels. This stress can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Strategies to Combat Loneliness

  1. Seek Accountability:

    Pastors and leaders should actively seek out mentors or peers with whom they can build accountability relationships. These relationships provide a safe space to share struggles and receive support.

  2. Prioritize Self-Care:

    Ministry can be all-consuming, leaving little time for personal well-being. It’s crucial to prioritize self-care, including regular exercise, rest, and time for hobbies that bring joy and relaxation.

  3. Establish Boundaries:

    Set clear boundaries for work hours and responsibilities. Overextending oneself can lead to burnout and increased feelings of loneliness.

  4. Foster Peer Connections:

    Create opportunities for pastors and leaders within your church community to connect and build peer relationships. This can be done through small groups, retreats, or regular meetings specifically for leaders.

  5. Spiritual Discipline:

    Deepen your spiritual discipline. Regular prayer, meditation of the word, and reflection can provide a sense of connection with God, helping to alleviate loneliness.

  6. Professional Counseling:

    Don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling if loneliness becomes overwhelming. Therapists can provide guidance and support to address these feelings.

Loneliness in church ministry is a real and challenging issue. However, with awareness and proactive steps, pastors and leaders can combat these feelings and create a more supportive and connected ministry environment. Remember that it’s okay to seek help and that you don’t have to battle loneliness alone. By prioritizing self-care, seeking peer relationships, and deepening your spiritual discipline, you can find greater fulfillment and connectedness in your ministry journey.

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Let’s examine an important issue in many parts of the Body of Christ. Biblically, “What is the role of women in the church?” As a prophetic reformer, I have an assignment. I’m trying to write my vision and make it plain so leaders can run with it! I’m for church growth, evangelism, and the Great Commission!

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Recently, one morning, I asked the Lord, “What do you want to show me today?” I heard words quoted to me that Jesus had spoken to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. “Stop clinging to Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father.”

Strange! What could that possibly mean?

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