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Star Village Square (General Discussion) / Re: Please Pray for Solution
« Last post by Rev. Richard on August 14, 2018, 18:37:54 »
Thank you for your reply and encouragement that He is always in control.
Star Village Square (General Discussion) / Re: How about some testimonies?
« Last post by Rev. Richard on August 14, 2018, 18:36:06 »
Thank you brother for that great testimony. I really feel blessed by reading it. I thank and praise God that He is always with us as you testified.  God Bless you and this ministry for Him.
Star Village Square (General Discussion) / God Works in his time
« Last post by Bishop Harry on August 10, 2018, 09:30:58 »
God provided a way and as a result we have kept our home.
Star Village Square (General Discussion) / Re: How about some testimonies?
« Last post by Bishop Harry on August 10, 2018, 09:27:58 »
My Personal Testimony
My friends, I want to tell you that each and every trial I have endured has not been alone as each time I felt that things couldn't get any worse I was reminded that Jesus was with me each and every step of the way and he has always walked with me in the most painful times of my life, when my son James passed away, when my adopted mother passed, and as you will read in my testimony each and every time I needed Jesus he was right there so please read on.  Romans 8:18-21

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

In 1974 at the age of 13, my natural mother told me a week before Easter that she couldn't handle me anymore and she told me to take what I brought home from the residential school I attended and leave her home and never look back, never contact her again.   I was lost, I didn't know what to do, yes I was a handful but I never dreamed she would kick me out and keep my older brother and little sister but put me not only out of her home but out of her life. My grandfather took me to stay with my Uncle and Aunts house and I stayed with them for less than a year before I was removed and place in foster care due to behavior problems.  In the beginning of all this my first foster mother was a woman by the name of Mrs. Nelson, who took in boys no one wanted, what was amazing about this woman was she herself was dying from cancer.  But she loved Jesus enough and loved kids enough to take in troubled boys.  I stayed with her two weeks but in that time I grew to love her very much and even after being moved to another foster home I kept in contact with her.

My next foster mother was a woman we called Little Ma, she was no bigger then 4'6 but she was a firecracker, she didn't stop from slapping us on the back of the head or on our hind parts if we got out of line.  She was a deep faith Methodist but she loved  all 17 of us equally.  She didn't have favorites that we knew of until recently.  In all the four years I lived with her we went to church, we heard about Jesus but it didn't sink in as I was a hurting young man, I hated and trusted no one except Little Ma.  I had a bond with her because she was the only person outside of Mrs. Nelson whom I loved dearly.  In 1978, Mrs. Nelson went home to be with her Jesus.  I still remember Mrs. Nelson telling me that no matter what happened in my life, Jesus loved me enough to die on that rugged cross for me.  I didn't understand all this until later in my life.  I started drinking and smoking pot at age 15.  At age 17, I began drinking more to get rid of the pain of having no one.  Alcohol doesn’t do it, when you sober up you still have the same problems.  Pot doesn’t take away that pain.  After I left Little Ma's home, I rented a room above a cafe, and started taking classes at the local community college.  I applied to the Federal Protective Services in 1980 and was accepted and after completing my training I went to work for them. 

After I finished my probationary period I was assigned to the Department of State working there while George Schultz was Secretary of State and Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States. My last assignment was in Raleigh, North Carolina, while stationed at the Federal Building in Raleigh, NC.   I retired officially from the Federal Protective Services during the 15 1/2 year after many medical issues.  During this time I obtained my Associates in Criminal Justice, and an Associates in Christian Ministry.

I gave my heart to Jesus Christ in 1983. I was a sinner, I was destined for hell. I did all I could and didn't care who I hurt. I was hurt and bound to make someone pay for my pain.  I met Danny McCloud who was a 17 year old kid who came to the parking lot and after getting food, would sit and talk to other youth in the lot. Each night I chased him off, each night he would return. One night I went out and told him to leave and never return. Danny asked if I would give him 15 minutes of my time, if I didn't like what he had to say he would leave and do as I asked. What was my 30 minute lunch became 45 minutes of this young man telling me how Jesus died for me and how he loved me so much that he laid down his life for my sins.
Matthew 5:6   Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  I sure did. He invited me to attend a service with him the next evening and I agreed. It was the Week before Easter of 1984 when I heard that song, Because He Lives, it was while attending the Annapolis Assembly of God. I felt the tugging of the Holy Spirit and after some resistance I went to the Alter and knelt down, I prayed the sinner’s prayer and it was as though a great weight was lifted from my body. I remember weeping like a baby and crying out for God to take these burdens from me, I felt rejected by my family,  I had a hard time trusting many,  but that day I was a new creature all things old had now become new.  God had freed me from a terrible weight.  I left that service a changed young man. That same night I didn't desire to drink, I didn't want to smoke any more. I said yes to Jesus Christ and no to myself. For over a year I attended services there. I worked with the Royal Rangers as a Commander and loved it. That is the AOG's version of the Boy Scouts. In late 1985 I got the call to ministry and entered Bible College.  I worked with the Assembly of God from 1986 until 1998 in various ministry assignments.  I pastored one church in Falls Church, one in Springfield.  After this I moved to Harrisonburg and served as associate pastor of an independent Pentecostal church.   

I began working for Adventures in Faith Ministries in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. I would work for them during my vacations and times I was off from my full time job mostly weekends and vacations.  There I worked with homeless and run away youth.  In 1995, I experienced God's love while lying in a hospital bed at the University of Virginia hospital after having surgery on my stomach. I was home first time three days and being a hard headed male, I didn't do what the doctor had told me, he said nothing heavier then a plate, but again I am male and like to be macho. I went shopping and later that night upon my return, i became ill and could not void. I called an ambulance and went to Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

 I was transferred to UVA and later that night went back into surgery. I developed Peritonitis, I was operated on for 17 hours and spent a total of 45 days in the hospital and after spending two weeks in a coma, I woke up after envisioning Angels at every corner of the room, I heard the voice of God say you have a work to do. I heard the doctor tell my family there was no hope for my survival as the infection was to far advanced, but he was wrong, with God there is much hope. I believe in Healing, it might not come right off  when we want it but God promises "By My Stripes, you are healed." When they took the tubes out of my mouth and nose I heard the doctor say I am lucky and I said no I am blessed and shared with him my vision. I was moved into a semi private room and the next morning a psychologist came to see me. Dr. Schirmer thought I was delusional because of the drugs he had me on for pain. 

. In 1996 upon the death of my son, James, James was Little Ma's baby.  She did love that little boy and took it hard when he passed away.   I cursed God, in 1997 after taking a life by vehicle in an accident, again I cursed God asking him how much more can you dump on me, again he stayed right next to my side. Loving me even when I wasn't so lovable. That is an Awesome God who in-spite of my anger toward him he stayed right there in the battlefield with me. I said earlier I have been to hell and back but knowing that Jesus took the keys to hell and the grave for you and for me makes living for him even more of a joy. In all that I have dealt with, in all that I have had happen in my soon to be 50 years on God's earth, I realize that God, was in the mist of it making me stronger preparing me for his great work. Praise The Lord.

After moving to Georgia I met and married the love of my life, Brenda and we have a little girl named Aeris Leona who was born 02/19/2003 the same birthday as my grandfather who went home to Jesus in 1979  We named her Aeris Leona ( Little Ma's) middle name, and I tell you this in August of 2002 I found out at age of 92 that Little Ma was sickly ill and we would lose her.  I called the week before she went home to Jesus and told her that we were naming her granddaughter after her middle name and she cried and told me that she loved me and that I was her favorite boy although keep in mind she never told us when we were younger.  On December 7th she went home to Jesus.  I have set my mind to love others as she loved others because of her faith in Jesus Christ.   I have dedicated my life to living as she lived.  She lived to love others and to see them not for their mistakes but for what their potential is in God's plan.  I mentioned that Alcohol don't take away the pain, neither does drugs. 

What took away my pain was surrendering it all to Jesus Christ that day in 1984 when I knelt down at that alter and said Jesus come into my life.  From that point forward the pain was in his hands not mine and because Jesus lives I could live a life with him in control.  As of July 2015 I will be in ministry for 31 years in various forms. Currently serving as Senior Bishop of; Star Vision Christian Ministries, Inc. an educational ministry.  All ministries see some periods of a slump but God in his normal way is working to breathe life into this ministry and he has lead me to do his work by restructuring areas that need improvements and even with the many health issues I have endured God has continued to heal me so that I might continue fighting for him on this earth.

Brother we are trying to bring about change to SVCM by having daily chats or sharing opportunities.  We are also in the process of making other changes to improve this ministry. 
Star Village Square (General Discussion) / good for fellowship & sharing
« Last post by Rev. Richard on August 09, 2018, 13:20:02 »
I find that the online ministries are good for chiristian fellowship and is not usefull for bringing them to Christ because one has to know what site he is looking for fellowship &  and sharing our experiences in Christ. As far as spreading the word.   I have and still am signed up at different sites such as  UFCM, NACM  They do well .God Bless and stay in there.
Star Village Square (General Discussion) / nothing yet!
« Last post by Rev. Richard on July 28, 2018, 16:08:47 »
Anything to say?  I am 82 years old and been saved since 1974. I graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1988. was Sunday school supt at Moody Church in Chicago,preached at street missions and filled empty pulpits.[/pastored a Missionary Baptist Church,Ministred in nursing homes.  nursing/rehab center at the sw side of Chicago.ill at this time bring Sunday service there.
Ignition of Light

It seems to me that religious persecution is naturally wrong; when it goes as far as to kill. Though Christianity must be kept true and pure, persecution seems harsh.  This may be the passive way. In defense of Saul’s attacks upon Christians, the Old Testament of the Bible reveals severe penalties, initiated By God, to those who would sin against God; whether outside or inside the nation of Israel; God’s people. Saul was operating out of his conviction that ‘members of the way’ (also called Christians) were blasphemous against God. For many Jews, Jesus was attempting to change or soften the laws of Moses, the Jewish customs and the temple of God.  Since Jesus was from God, and very much God, He ‘Jesus’ came to fulfill and not destroy.  Men like Saul thought Jesus and His followers were blasphemous against God, so they sought to persecute and kill the offenders. Again, it seems the punishment for blasphemous was too severe, but in light of the Old Testament, it was not too severe. 

But, suppose men, like Saul, were operating on their own closed convictions; minds that were closed to God’s movement in the world? Then, to kill or persecute those who could see what God was up to, would be to persecute God Himself. In this way those who sought to keep Israel purely of God, were, in fact, offending God themselves. The Old Testament Scriptures told of the coming of Jesus. What men like Saul, and most today, miss that Jesus was ‘to suffer’ before He would secure the victory of life; not just His life, but life for the Christian too.   

How does a man see through the darkness to what God is doing; especially what God is doing in Jesus in the world?   In Acts 9.1-9, Saul was going his way, bent on destroying Christians and to stamp out the faith they had in Jesus.  Going down the road, Jesus appeared to, spoke to and instructed Saul to go into the city and wait for further help.

The first ‘ignition’ out of darkness to what God is doing is the light which appeared at the coming of Saul on that road to Damascus (Acts 9.3).  This is an arrest of Saul by the universal God of the ages.  God must illuminate His appearance to the wayward man.

Secondly, the voice. The Lord speaks to the narrow minded Pharisee ‘Saul’ (Acts 9.4). We must hear the Lord speak to our hearts. Since the voice is not usually audible today, one must be very sensitive to God; thus, he not hear from God. The light, Saul’s falling to the ground and now ‘the voice’ were leading up to the next ignition of light to one’s darkness and mistakes.   Look next…

Thirdly, It is the ignition of identification. Saul asked “Who are you, Lord?”  Jesus identified Himself as the One whom Saul was persecuting. This was Saul’s awareness of the probability that he was fighting against God by persecuting Christians.    Every wayward non believer and believer gone astray needs a new or revelation of the voice of the resurrected Jesus Christ as they journey down the wrong road. The Christian ‘himself’ must have a day to day voice of the resurrected Jesus as they walk the mile of the day.  Without this identification, even the Christian slips back into a life of darkness and mistakes.  But notice the last ignition…

Fourthly, it is the ignition of one’s reality of the depth of darkness he or she had been living in.   The Lord gave Saul very specific instructions as what to do; 1) get up, 2) go into the city and 3) wait until you are told what to do (Act 9.6).   When Saul got up, he was blind. His companions, who only heard sound and saw nothing, lead him into the city where Saul sat three days without sight, food or water. This was a man who was facing the reality of his dark mistakes against God. He was beginning to see; though he was blind.

We all have dealt with our roads of darkness; things we must come to know have been against the Lord. Will we continue in them?  Will be keep avoiding truths?   The dark road is unfair, but it is reality. The light of Jesus Christ is more powerful. This light penetrates the darkness and brings truth into even the ounce of darkness we may have. Let the light of Jesus illuminate darkness!!  Acts 9.1-9

To seek God is as simple as saying ‘yes’ to Him. Perhaps, the sinner’s journey becomes long and desert like because of the unwillingness to say “yes”; even though “yes” can be simple and quick. Long responses alwill make long journeys to salvation.

The African Eunuch traveled a very long trip to Jerusalem, but he did travel. It took forever to get where he must be; however, as he began his journey and traveled so far, he became, what we would call, “seeker sensitive.”  The Eunuch knew about the Lord God and His work through the Jewish race. This was historical. Lately, there was a commotion going on in Judea.  Though the African Eunuch was from another country, and could not get the latest news, the Lord God became compelling seekers around the world to come and learn of Jesus Christ.

The African Seeker comes to Jerusalem to worship. While there, picks of the book of Isaiah and begins reading from chapter 53 as his chariot began the long journey back to Africa.  God was not going to let this seeker go without bringing him face to face with a follower of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Lord called Phillip (follower of Jesus) to run and intercede on the desert road back to Africa.   The seeker met the Lord’s evangelist and the evangelist lead the seeker to Jesus Christ by explaining how passages such as Isaiah 53 refer directly to Jesus.   They stopped the chariot the Lord’s evangelist baptized the seeker whose sensitivity brought him on a journey. The Lord compels men to leave where they are at and take another road. The Lord compels men to seek salvation through Jesus Christ. The Eunuch’s sensitivity to the Lord brought him on a long journey, but it was a good journey.  Our journey today doesn’t have to be a long travel, but it may be long in the sense that we have made it difficult for the Lord to draw us anywhere.

The quest for us is to be sensitive to the Lord. He is calling and leading us to where He desires us. The journey doesn’t have to be long; for the Lord can bring anyone back to His side in a moment. Should the journey be long and hard, we have made it so. The road back to God may not look like a road very popular; however, it is the road back to Him. Salvation in Christ doesn’t take ‘desert roads’ out of our life, but salvation does lead to joy as the Lord empowers us to cross every valley.  Remember ‘seeker sensitivity to Jesus’ and live!!!

Taking the Desert Road … Acts 8.26-40

Phillip’s first movement was compelled by Stephen’s death; which took him to fertile ripe ground for harvesting a crop for Jesus. The Samaritans were very receptive, even with the complication of Simon. One can easily see how difficult it might be to leave a thriving ministry in Samaria for the desert road to another country.  The sudden call of the angel to Phillip must have been just as strong as the call, by the Holy Spirit, for him to leave Samaria. The exit out of Jerusalem was difficult because Stephen had just been stoned; and Stephen was his good friend.  Just as challenging, the Holy Spirit was now calling Phillip to leave the great harvest of Samaria for the lonely desert road to Gaze. What purpose would God have in this? So, leaving Jerusalem at Stephen’s stoning was a ‘compelled necessity.’  We would think that Phillip could just remain in Samaria with the great time he was having there; however, when the Lord calls, the Lord calls. Phillip, (and even you and I), must hear, answer and comply with the calls of God placed upon the heart.

We cannot expect all roads to be joyful. The road out of Jerusalem, upon Stephen’s stoning, might be just as difficult as the road in the desert; which the Lord’s angel was now calling Phillip to.  But, each road must be traveled; for each road has the purpose of God in it. Sometimes, we create our own tuff roads to travel; however, even those roads can turn to God’s purpose if we, in fact, do turn back to God. We must be careful not to blame the Lord for our hard roads; for He has not caused them; however, He may heal us from their pains. God takes us down many roads for His cause, but we take ourselves down many hard roads for our selfish causes. When we realize our selfish roads, and turn to Jesus Christ, the road, though it is desert and strange, is the road of joyful service to the Lord.  These roads always serve the purpose of the Lord when we become instrumental in bringing others back to the Lord. 

When we are obedient to any road the Lord calls us down to or through, we can rise in confidence that the purpose had been for God and to His glory.  The moment we get our eyes off God’s purpose to that of worrying about our own loss, is the moment we loose focus, vision and purpose in our lives lived for God. The evangelist Phillip found the seeking Eunuch, and he led him to the Lord. What a joy when Phillip had in recognizing the road changes in his life for Christ. The Eunuch came up out of the water of baptism and saw that Phillip had disappeared. The Eunuch has his new responsibility of working out his own roads for Christ. The new follower of Jesus must take his changed life back to Africa and evangelize his own world.  He too, will have some difficult roads to travel; however, he can travel in confidence knowing that God has a purpose and that all will be well.
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