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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here I Stand

I stand upon what I know and understand, especially what I believe.

I learned to love more since Marley was born as I learned to let go of my grandmother.

I lived within means and then below my means in order to keep things afloat.

My wife shared her grief and frustration, and I offered the best that I could offer her with a hug.

I cried in the dark. I prayed out in the open air.

My heart was filled with joy and my gas tank has rarely been full.

MANY would say that this is oxymoronic, but I am still standing.

I am still standing in spite of storms in my life.

I am still standing.

Here I am.

Here I stand.

A simple solution: When You Desire to Give
Luke 21:1-3 offers a simple solution for when you desire to give and do not have much to give. The widow observed by Jesus gave out of what little she had to live on to begin with, a quite honorable act. She trusted God through her actions, not by mere words.
Trust God with what you have and give out of that. Praying for more to give makes you earnest. Giving out of what you already have makes you wise and faithful.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Approach for a New Year

One of my favorite jazz cover songs of a classic song is "Everything Must Change." It doesn't matter if it is Nina Simone or George Benson singing it. The lyrics say what needs to be said to every listener. Everything truly must change.

As 2010 approaches us, I just wanted to share with those who are in ministry and business a simple approach that can assist in making the next twelve months more productive than the past twelve months. Every venture needs a plan. I am firm believer that some people can't handle a lot of information unless it is doled out to them in smalldoses. That's why I suggest the one-page business plan. It's a novel concept that can also be incorporated for ministry as well as business.

One-Page Business Plan (Format)
  • Vision: a single statement that tells where you see the business/ ministry in the future
  • Mission: a single statement that provides the purpose for the business/ ministry
  • Objectives: Bullet points of what you need to accomplish to fulfill the mission and reach the vision
  • Strategies: Methods for completing the necessary work to reach objectives
  • Timeline: Detail when each strategy will be implemented and completed over the next twelve months

Start with this outline and pray over it prior to kicking off the year. Those who you serve and who serve with you will greatly benefit fromyour planning. Let you coworkers and team members review your outline and provide additional input, insights and ideas for expanding the plan.

More on business plans:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What I Really Do... Day by Day

Daily, I get up and get connected with God through all sorts of ways; prayer, journal, Bible study, reflection, devotional reading, etc.. I keep my ears open to what God has to say through His Word and my eyes open to what He shows me along my way. I love reading DC Talk's Jesus Freaks and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I write at least two blogs daily on Wordpress and Blogger as well as status updates via Facebook, MySpace and Faith Freaks. I even tweet on Twitter throughout the day. I love to check on the latest information for business and ministry via the internet on my Treo Pro (no, not the PRE...P-r-o) an via my laptop. I add to my list of public articles, poems and other resources via Christian Archives and other sites.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Day, Another Gift

Today is a gift from God. He has allowed us to see today that we might further the expanse of the kingdom of God today by word and deed. Check out and see what God can do when you are ready to call it quits. I think we need to look on today as an opportunity to do great things in His name, not just another day. It's another gift directly from Him. As the gospel melody tells us, 'He didn't have to let it be.'

Monday, December 21, 2009

Service in His Name

I believe that we are to serve God with all that we have in our hearts. With all that we have to offer, our service should speak volumes for itself about our relationship with God. Look at how we approach the end of 2009. There are numerous ways that we can serve and seek to give God the glory and the praise due to His name. We can post to a daily blog online or share via social networks. You can make the most of your free time and volunteer with local agencies or mentor youth through a wide variety of programs. Think about where help is needed and offer your services and time to lend a hand.

Church or Community?

There's a question brewing among the saints. Evangelicals and radicals alike are tossing ideas back and forth. Many folks in Christian circles are trying to figure out what to do during these hard economic times. People are trying to figure out if it is about the church being part of the community or the community being part of the church.

We contemplate the complicated. We mix and mingle a whole lot of mess. In the end, we are left with the simple discovery that there is no better solution than what we had before. The countless ways that we can dream up and scheme up don't seem to matter much because God has already offered the best alternative.

He expects us to be part of the solution to both the community's issues and the church's ills. The church needs to get over itself and recognize that it's not that holy. Church people sin just like evryone else, by thought, word and deed. The church should serve those within the community to help meet unmet needs of the fatherless, homeless, jobless, and others. Our service is not good works if the benefactors are merely other church people. That would make us simply hypocrites. We need to get out into the community and see where we might be able to lend support to existing services and add to the plethora of newly-adapted services needed to reach people at their lowest points as they seek to survive and simply make ends meet. Let the church serve its community, embracing brothers and sisters with all that they have to offer.

The unity of the church will consist
not in organizations,
not in dogmas,
not in liturgies,
not in pious hearts,
but in the word of God
in the voice of Jesus Christ.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stewardship 101

I am convinced that much of how we taught people in previous years transcended beyond the simple, especially in the church. Whatever happened between the old school and new school did a lot to get us away fom the basics of what the Bible teaches us about how we are to live in Christ. We soon discover all of these new terms like atonement, propitiation and reconciliation amid the countless treasures of biblical knowledge available to us. We need to learn about stewardship and that's real. Churches and pastors should teach from the broad spectrum of stewardship rather than Christian giving. Why? Well, let's identify the benefits that outweigh simply teaching about giving. Stewardship is a lifestyle, not a mere act. As stewards, our actions are driven based upon how God has positioned us in this life. We can become better parents, spouses, employees and even employers as we learn more about stewardship. Stewardship teaches us about accountability as well as responsibility. As we share more about wise stewardship, we will reveal more and more about our actions as a response to our relationship with God. Start with Stewardship 101 and we should see a change in the people and their actions. I believe that we can do this. Learn about giving and you can give an offering Sunday by Sunday; learn about stewardship and you can learn to take care of the kingdom business just as you would take care of your own.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Inspired by God

I am honestly inspired by God as I prepare for an unconventional sermon today. Street preaching, as many will agree, requires one to say what needs to be said and shut up and get out of the way. The Lord will lead you further once you get started, but He gives you enough to get started and share with the people in order to make a real connection with them. At least twice per month, we rotate among 3 to 4 preachers to share a brief inspirational message before a line of people seeking food items and clothes from our community giveaway. Our presentation of the gospel has shifted as hearts have been opened by the Word and our own eyes have been opened to the degree of blight and poverty that exists within our community. As I prepare for my message, I see images of black, brown and yellow faces with hope in their dark eyes. I can't help but hear the Lord's words the "least of these" echo over and over again in my spirit. Keep us in prayer as we serve the people once again.

Bayview Charities Food Giveaway
Sponsored by Feeding America
Every 1st & 3rd Friday
8 AM-10 AM
Visit Rev. Bruce's other blog, too.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Love as a Motivator

I am motivated by love. The love that the Lord showed through His submission to the Father for the perfect sacrifice that brought about salvation motivates me. It doesn't take a lot of theological insight or denominational research to see that John 3:16 places a greater emphasis on God's love than man's helpless condition. It speaks about God's love being so great that a sacrifice for salvation came about because of it. In my opinion, God sets the example of true love through this sacrificial act on our behalf. Love is a motivator.

Monday, December 14, 2009

End the Cycle

... every man did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6 (NASB)
At some point, we have to end the cycle of our own destruction. We need to see that we cannot simply turn back to our old ways. Once we slip back into our old mode of operation, we begin to slip further and further away from the ways of God. Instead of being Spirit-led people, we become people who live by instinct. We end up moving out of the light and gradually drift into the darkness. Itis attimes like this when we need to pray to God for forgiveness, admitting that we have gone astray from Him, and submit to God's Spirit, accepting the way that He has called us to go. Let today begin your fresh start at staying on course and ending the cycle that has led so many down the road of destruction.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Think on It

"As a man thinketh. . ." seems to be the type of quote that leads to a lot of discussion on mental stability versus instability, illness versus wellness, and overall mental health issues. Truly, it does not bring much philosphy to mind. However, it address some philosophical junk that has been piling up for years. Descartes sahred: " I think, therefore, I am" as a means of explaining his very existence. Even the African proverb that says,"Man, know thyself" places knowledge and awareness together as akin or at least bedfellows. For the Christian, however, we must remain in think on the things above. not earthly things. Consider where your mind wanders. Think about how things come to mind for a short time, and then they are gone. Let your mind focus on the things above, not the things on earth.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Problematic Prophets of Promise

The Apostle Paul was quite clear when stated for the Philippians to beware of dogs and the false circumcision (Phil.3:2). I often wonder why so many people are quick to jump at judging others. We find ourselves calling out someone who appears to be off with their theolgy with every derrogatory statement imaginable. Almost daily, we see the tv-loominng evangelists and the radiowave-riding revivalists setting new lows in destructive behavior with little biblical backing. We find ourselves stuck between the Religious Right and the Moral Majority.

Somewhere along the way, we became misguided by some losers of leaders and some careless CEOs. It's almost like America needs a Bible Belt bailout or a state-by-state spiritual stimulus. We need to rid ourselves of the fakes that have faked us out for so long and taken advantage of our innocence. We will no longer allow them to speak for us and before us as if God has ordained them with a calling to call all of the people together. As per our request, they will cease claiming their prophetic prosperity and no longer lead us astray like false prophets.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Next Steps

The next steps that we need to take when launching our venture will be revealed to us in time. We get information on a "need-to-know" basis. We get what we need to know when we need to know it. It may seem to be the 11th hour, but we need to be prepared for when it comes our way. in that moment, we need to be attentive and ready for action.

Our next steps should include keeping a watchful eye open for what comes next. We may also need to keep our ears open for what the Lord may have to say and share with us. Best of all, we need to be ready for whatever is next. Are you open for what's next?

Recruit through Relationships

We often recruit people who are like us. It just seems natural. We draw peolpe who look or dress like us. In fact, we really get those people who share our personal opinions and viewpoints. They say great minds think alike, but that means little when these minds are geared towards selfish gain.
Look at recruitment in the New Testament. In John, Andrew and John are led to Jesus by John the Baptist, essentially Jesus' cousin. Andrew gets Simon Peter his brother and brings him to Jesus. Nathanael tries to get one of his homeboys to go and meet Jesus. Based upon this type of example, we can learn to recruit through relationships.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Starting Small

If you starting a new venture in business or ministry, here are a few things to keep in mind. The size of your new baby can grow over time. Starting small should not be connected with anything shameful. Start and stay in it for the long haul.

Focus on a "small"start by:
  • Starting small
  • Starting smart
  • Starting smooth

Try it this way and expect to take your next venture all the way to the next level.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not Again

It seems to happen every so often. I think it happens less often nowadays since I am more aware of it. It just creeps up as if it had been lingering for days, waiting on me and ready to pounce at the first open opportunity. I try to avoid it, but it stays nearby. Like I said, since I am more aware, it pops up less frequently but it still shows up.
Truly, it's my other side. it is the part of me that I have tried to fight off daily by going to Lord in prayer and searching out His Word. It's my first nature and it can be troublesome. It gets under my skin because,well, it dwells within me and wages war with the me that I desperately want to be. Prayer helps. Wise counsel does, too. Bible study comforts me and so does praise. Nonetheless, it comes up every now and then, so I beg you to forgive me.
Romans 7:17-19

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ministry Makeovers

Attimes, we just have to evaluate what we are doing in ministry. We have to check out what we are really doing in Jesus' name. We need to look at the essence of what we do as well as the effectiveness of how we do things.
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. [1 Cor. 14:40, NIV]
Just look at how we handle things. Keep the Lord's Word in perspective as we do so. From there, we should learn if we are doing right by Him. He sets the standard. We are to strive to live up to it.
Here are some resources that may help when evaluating your ministry.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Make the Most of Today

What do you do with your day? Is it all about whatcomes your way? Do you make plans that are interrupted by other things that seem to be other people's priorities? I used to do that. It made me sick. I mean literally sick.
I learned to prioritize my day with necessary tasks and necessary "down" time. Everything that comes your way may not be for you to handle. I mean that. Whether it is business, ministry or other things, take the time to seriously evaluate if this is something that you need to do yourself.
You have options where you can:
  • Delegate the work to someone else who is capable
  • Divide the work between you and others
  • Delay the work until other priorities have been met

Don't get me wrong. It will have to be done. it just doesn't have to be done by you and you alone.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Delivered, Not Destroyed

John 3:16 says a whole lot. I mean really read it to yourself. Take it all in. Letthe words saturate into your soul.
God did something out of love.
No, let me back up.
God did something for us, who surely did not deserve it, out His love for us. He got the ball rolling for us to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, that we might have eternal life and not perish based upon our belief in Him.
Wow! He has the power to destroy us for our sins. You know, those thoughts that creep in when you let your mind wander. He can call us on our thoughts, words and actions. Pick any of those and you can see that we are sinful. We might control our actions, but watch those words. And, Lord, have mercy about the way we have let our minds wander into different areas. Truthfully, we needed Jesus to do what He did on Calvary for us.
Look at John 3:16. Look at what love will really cause someone to do for someone else. The word is sacrifice. What he sacrificed for us cannot be repaid with anything we have or that we can gain.
Hold on to the words that you read in John 3:16.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heretics or Haters

I guess we should shut down the rumors now. Some folks just got to be up in the business whether you invite them or not. It doesn't matter.
Ask Jesus about it. He asked the question regarding the Sabbath and doing good or harm, saving or killing (Mark 3:4). No one wanted to answer Him. He went on and healed a man simply by His command for the man to stretch out his hand. Guess what? That wasn't satisfactory either for some folks. The Bible says that the Pharisees got together with the Herodians and started working on a plot on how to destroy Jesus.
Learn the lesson. Some people just have to regulate what other people do regardless of what good it does. We have these glorified gatekeepers watching our every move, keeping their eyes on all that we do inside and outside of the church. Think on it. If that's who is guarding the door, then thatmay be why folks ain't coming in like they used to back in the day.
Just a thought. . .

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Planning the Path

Habakkuk 2:2-3
We can find ourselves totally off course. I mean we can just be off track and headed in the wrong direction. What we need to do when this happens is simple and makes good sense. We need to get back to the point of the mission and purpose. We need to return to what originally motivated us in the first place. From there, we can stick to the plan and head down the right path.
Limit the lip service. Stop simply speaking about it. Start doing something about the issues. Now is the best time to get back on track and get yourself aligned with your goals again. Plan your path.

In the World, Not of the World

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Genesis 6:8 (NKJV)
Noah is an example of how we can exist in the world without being of the world. In fact, Noah found grace in the eyes of the lord according to the Scriptures. That says a lot about Noah because of the condition of the world he lived in daily. Dealing with worldly people does not mean that you have to become worldly. You can coexist with other people who do not share your beliefs and God will still grant you favor. You just have to commit to maintaining your integrity and keeping a grip on our identity in Christ in spite of the world we live in as followers of Christ. Even with that, we can maintain a high standard for ourselves in a world that seems to hav low standards.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Doubting, Not Defeated

I can only imagine how much doubt was going around the camp when Joshua said for the children of Israeal to consecrate themselves and prepare for what God would do the next day. I still feel a little of that same doubt drizzle upon me as I think about it. Think about how it must have sounded when Joshua present the Jericho wall strategy. Silence must have left many feeling like Joshua had lost his grip and was headed down a similar path to poor ol' Moses. Surely, I can imagine, people doubted. Did they doubt and submit to defeat? I truly doubt that much. Some will add more commentary on how Joshua followed in Moses' footsteps and all of that, butI merely say that he faced a new generation that had no ties to Egypt, only to the promises of God. So, in thatcase, why doubt? Why? It's simple. We doubt because we have not seen it come to life yet. It has not manifested before our eyes. Yet, even when we doubt, we must remain undefeated. Let us run our race with endurance, withstanding stride by stride until we reach the end of the journey. Paul shared that we are pressed on every side, but he was also sure to inform us that we had not been defeated.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ready or Not

God will pick us for a special assignment whether we are ready or not. He will tap you on your spiritual shoulder and get your attention, and then hit you with some overwelming news. He wants to use you to reach other people. He wants to use you to preach His Word. He wants to use your voice to sing praises to His name before the entire world. God wants to use you of all people. Can you imagine that?
Think about Saul prior to becoming Paul. How about Peter and Andrew as they cleaned their fishing nets by the shore with Jesus inviting them to become "fishers of men." Moses just wanted to tend his father-in-law's sheep, but god came to Him as a burning bush and gave him a new assignment with a different flock.
Get ready. You never know. He may be on His way now. All you have to do is let Him use you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Faithful Focus (Heb. 12;2)

Looking unto Jesus. . .
Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
I've been there. I am talking about those times where you just seem to have lost focus. Literally, it is as if you can't keep your eyes set on your target. It truly can be troubling. I even find it distrurbing.
The author of Hebrews told us to drop all of that heavy-weighted stuff that keeps us bogged down while trying to run this race. Then, he offers us a faithful focal point. He simply says look at Jesus. Do you need inspiration for enduring? Look at Jesus. Can't seem to get on target? Look at Jesus. Does it seem like you arelosing it? Look at Jesus.
Keep your focus by keeping your focus on Jesus. He's our primary example. He's the best mentor we could ever have on our side.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beyond Sunday

"...And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." - Acts 2:47 (NKJV)

Salvation is not limited to Sunday. God's saving grace works beyond our Sunday morning worship services. He saves sinners on any other day just as good as He does it on Sundays. Unfortunately, we tend to limit our perspective on God's grace for salvation to Sunday based upon traditional views. The truth is that God's grace is intended to work on a daily basis.

The early church operated beyond the Sabbath. According to the New Testament, the newly-converted believers of the Way met daily, whether in the temple or from house to house. The church was a body of believers, not a central meeting place. Since the establishment of the church building as a central meeting place for the body of believers, the church has primarily met on a one-day-per-week basis rather than a daily basis. However, God's power is not limited to Sunday only. In fact, even if the church met three days per week, Wednesdays for prayer and Bible study, Fridays for fellowship or evangelism, and Sundays for praise and worship, God's power still works beyond when the church says it is open for business.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Black Business, Kingdom Business

William Washington Browne had been a slave, and became a minister, educator, and businessman. Did everybody get that? He was once a slave, but he escaped from slavery and signed on as a Union officer's servant before serving in the Union Army at fifteen. He was a minister and educator. A former slave? Yes, sir. Yes, ma'am. Finally, he was a businessman. The Bible is ripe with the Lord using businessmen of all sorts such as fishermen, shepherds, and others.

Visit to learn more about small business success.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Love Acts as a Catalyst

For Gos so loved. . .
-John 3:16
It is pretty simple. It's like 1 + 1 = 2. It just makes sense. It adds up. Love serves as a catalyst for further action. It makes us do what we may not normally do. It provides us with the "higher road" that should be taken. It sets us up to do more than usual. It makes us realize how much we cannot do in our own strength. Yet, when love has penetrated us and filled us, then we see all of the miraculous things that He can do through us.
Paul said it well the other day to some believers in Rome. "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10 NIV). If we are "loving" folks, we are edifying folks, empowering folks, embracing folks, engaging folks, and entrusting them, too. we are do all sorts of things that make them better and bring them no harm. We do not do such things in order to love somebody. We do such things because we already love somebody.
Be careful out there. Love is a catchy thing. If you get loved the right way, the way God intended for you to be loved, then you are going to feel it and catch it. And, once you catch it, then you are bound to do all sorts of things just because you love. . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If I Had it to do Over Again

I reflected the other day on the eve of another birthday and thought about how much could be or even should be different in my life. There are wrong turns that I wish could have been u-turns. Choices have been made that I often regret. Things have been done and said that I wish that I could take back.
I guess if I had it to over again, I would do things with more faith. I would approach life's many challenges with a renewed spirit, renewed by His Spirit, and tackle things both big and small with more faith. I really mean to say by faith that I would trust the Lord more wholeheartedly, giving Him my all. That's what I would do. I would do things with more faith.
In reality, I realize that God has brought me this way for a reason. Every season. circumstance and challenge has come about for a reason. Every slight change and drastic overhaul has been for a reason. I am supposed to grow. So, as I reflect, I grasp hold of what He has given for me to do, and I approach it with another chance, a new opportunity, to simply have more faith.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Touch People (for Jesus)

I don't think we have to get all wound up about what we're supposed to do as we go to and fro in this world. Yep. I know some well-intended person hit you up about doing this for Jesus or doing that for Jesus, even doing and saying this in the name of Jesus. That sounds totally theologically sound until you check the Word. Jesus said love and you're on the right track. After all, God kicked salvation in based upon His love for the world (John 3:16).

Jesus' earthly ministry is recorded in all four Gospels. What's interesting about all of them is that we see Jesus revealed to the world. We get an upclose and personal glimpse of Him in ministry, conducting healing and teaching among the people. He serves as our example. It's easy. We see Jesus and should do the same as He did. It's not about what you know. Do you know Him? That's enough. Act on that if that's all that you've got. He's the truth. trust him to give you what you need.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tear Down the Walls

We need to tear down the walls that hinder us from true unity. We have the same God and Holy Spirit, even the same Savior. What's the problem? We are the main problem. Well, it is not simply us. It's all the stuff that we have piled on top of what the Lord has said.

What do I mean? Survey the Bible. You won't find the various degrees of denominations in the Bible that we have come up with these days nor the widespread reasoning for them. Yes, he was called John the Baptist, but most of us Baptists tend to take that totally out of context. He was John the Baptizer because he baptized people with the baptism of repentance. Look out. Beware. Someone will spit hate and spite simply based upon what offends them about that and that is the Word of God.

I have to give it to some of my brothers and sisters who seek out the truth from the Word. They recognize that we may have been raised Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal or otherwise, but they know the truth of the Word. God wants our hearts, not simply our adherence to denominational ties and covenants because we've always- as long as we've known at least- been this or that, done it this way or that way. Bless those who hold fast to all of that, but also bless those who seek and find the truth in the Word.

I say simply tear down the walls. Rip apart the barriers. Eliminate what's in the way. Let's come together and worship the Lord as one body. Share in His Spirit together as one. Let's be a single Christian community.

Unity Worship Service
October 31st
10 AM
Golden Hill Park (San Diego)
Spreading Unity Throughout the Community

Friday, October 23, 2009

Outreach = Reaching Out

You can't have outreach without reaching out. You may have an outreach program in place, but if you do not implement outreach, then it"s just a program. There is no true outreach. You can have an outreach plan, designed and written by a team of experts, but without anyone reaching out, it's just a plan. You need to reach out to have outreach.

We can reach out in many ways. You have to investigate the various means to reach out to people. One of the shining examples comes out of the New Testament. Paul did a variety of things to reach people. From street preaching in Gentile marketplaces to visiting Jewish synagogues and "reasoning out of the Scriptures." He wrote letters, sent delegates and visited churches and cities with a mission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have to be sure to see what works and fits for us and our ministry, then commit to taking on the calling by doing it and reaching out. Think about how you can reach out to those in your community for Christ. Could you go on a prayer walk, soliciting prayer requests from neighbors? Is there a Pop Warner or Little League that could use volunteers? How about adopting a school from your neighborhood? Take a walk through your community and see what is needed and possible. Pray over it and see where God leads you in reaching out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blogging and Other Venues (For the Lord)

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15 (NKJV)

No matter what vehicle we choose to use to spread God's Word to the far reaches of the earth, we must be sure to choose something that will reach a market of people with "ears to hear." If you choose MySpace over Twitter and Facebook, then let it be because there are those out there with ears to hears the Word. When you blog, you could use Blogger or Wordpress. You just need to make sure your blog is reaching and touching some people for the Lord and to His glory. Whether you write Bible studies or spread via spoken word, be sure that you offer something that can be comprehended with conviction and compassion. No matter what you do, you need to do your best to honor God through what you do. Let God make the most of your YouTube or Gmail accounts. Ensure that God gets the glory from every one of your sermons on podcast, each Bible teacher training on webcast, and all of your other venues. Let God get the glory from all that you do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First Love

We love Him because He first loved us.
- 1 John 4:19 (NKJV)

It has fascinated me for years. My daughter and I just had one of our theological debates about it in the car ride from school the other day. Even my fellow brothers in the ministry discuss and share their opinions, views and experiences regarding it all of the time. What is it?

Love of course. You can't truly talk about God without love coming up somehow. In fact, as Christians, we have to come to the realization that if it were not for love, God would not have sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Redemption, regeneration, grace, mercy, justification, atonement and many of these other concepts that come up related to salvation itself all point back to God's love for His unlovable people (Romans 3:23; John 3:17; Luke 6:31; Romans 5:8; Isaiah 53). Love settles the score. Love seals the deal. Love never fails. Love is constantly working on our behalf. Love gives life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kingdom Business

Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth,
who will entrust the true riches to you?
Luke 16:11 (NASB)
Being in business, I learned early that there are both blessings and benefits to just hanging out a shingle online or otherwise. However, I also learned that I had a unique responsibility to contribute to the kingdom of God because I was a business owner. We tend to call those who own small businesses those who are "in business for themselves," but I really cannot see it that way any longer.
Christian business owners need to do at least two things for the kingdom of God. It is by doing at least these two things that these Christians can make a difference by being in business.
1. Contribute to the Church: I call this a "business tithe." Through this effort, a business owner can add to the kingdom on a consistent basis with a consistent amount. I would go so far as to say make a commitment about the contribution by consecrating yourself in prayer regarding the gift. Even if it is not your home church, commit to giving and supporting the ministry and mission of the church for the kingdom of God.
2. Contribute to the Community: Give back. Don't just give (throwing money at the issues and problems that exist and persist within our communities). Give of yourself. Volunteer on local boards and coalitions to address pressing issues facing the community such as drugs, gang violence, education, and others. Mentor youth. Offer free or discounted services. Lend your expertise.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Changed for the Better

Lord, I know I've been changed. . .
Negro spiritual
What do you think is going to happen when Christians start "walking" according to the change that the Lord has made in their lives? Will we see a difference in one another? Will our perspective on the world be altered? Will we have a new view on life?
I imagine that many Christians feel that they are in a sanctified slump at times. What I am getting at is that nagging feeling that you know the Lord but you just aren't growing closer to the Lord. It's not that you don't have the desire to get closer to Him. It's not like you have left your "first love." It's just that you don't feel that you are growing in your spiritual walk with the Lord. I've been there. I think, if most of us were truly honest about it, most of us have been there, too.
The problem is with us, not God. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Heb. 13:8). We need to change. We need to give up our worldly perspective for a kingdom perspective. We must go from our nature that was in the likeness of Adam to a new birth that alows us to be fashioned after Christ. It's that same put off the old man and put on the new man (Eph. 4:22). In essence, we must embrace being changed as part of the change. Otherwise, we find ourselves straddling the fence of acceptance and tolerance, still being led by our sinful nature and not fully submitting to our new nature in Christ. drop your old ways and determine to live in the newness of Christian joy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Will We Do?

More Bob Marley lyrics and video

You may think that the whole Rasta movement only speaks of smoking kaya and sporting dreads, but Bob Marley offers something real that we all must ponder. What do we do about the poor? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sought equality for the poorest of people. Rev. Jesse Jackson slept with the poor and the homeless for Operation P.U.S.H. and Mother Teresa lived among the poor and disabled in India. Jesus offered hope for the poor. He even shared a blessing for the "poor in spirit" in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16).

So what will we do? Will we just simply sit around, sing hymns and collect an offering to mail to someone else who will do the "dirty work?" Will we adopt a child or some poor family and offer them a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving and gifts for the needy kids on Christmas? What will we do about the poor and needy among us? I love what Micah 6:8 says:
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
What will we do?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Together in Unity (Psalm 133)

I have always thought of Psalm 133 as a simple way to squash a lot of the "stuff" between men. I mean its first verse alone sets up a plethora of ideas on how things could and should be done among men. The psalm simply speaks of it being both good and pleasant for brothers to dwell together in unity. Something can be good for you and not necessarily pleasant. You know what I mean. It's like some veggies. Sure, they're good for you, but they may not be pleasant. The Word says that brothers coming and dwelling together in unity is both good and pleasant. It's helpful, not harmful. It's fruitful, not fatal. It's both good and pleasant.
There is a certain aspect of this unity that helps us to understand and see that when we bond together good things are bound to grow out of it. There may be some rocky places and some bumpy spots, but there is something good and pleasant in the making among us.
Dwell on it. Think on it. Watch and see what happens.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Reliable Resources

Finding the right resources in a day like today makes a big difference. You can lose a lot of time trying to sort out which sites are worthwhile and which ones are totally worthless. I spend countless hours on the Web tryingout different things and seeking a variety of resources for everything from Bible study and small groups to evangelism and church growth strategies. Let me say it like this first of all and be done with it. I love John C. Maxwell and Max Lucado, two definitie marketing and mega-messengers. In addition, I find Dave Ramsey to have a simple and straightforward approach to dealing with dollars and sense. The websites listed here are primarily those that i find helpful with Bible study, outreach, evangelism and small group information.
One of my favorite sites to visit and just get ideas is Also, has numerous resources that I get a kick out of when I am on the web. I don't tend to visit or that often, but I believe that each has a great wealth of resources that help me in my Bible study and outreach time. Other than Relevant Magazine, I am probably the biggest fan of and not just because they're located in Vista (San Diego County). I like and as well as If I had to choose a social network for ministry, I would have to settle on two: and

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Things First (Matthew 6:33)

Seek ye first the kingdom of God . . .- Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
God desires for us to make Him a priority. He's already told us that He's jealous and that we should have no other gods beside Him. He's exhausted His all in trying to redeem us. He extended all of His love to us through Jesus (John 3:16). The issue is that we need be sure to get these things in order as we go through our daily walk. We must make God a priority. We must make first things first.
We must make first things first. It's not because we have to do so. It certainly is not due to Him forcing us and twisting our arm about the the whole matter. It is a matter of the heart. It is about us feeling a deep-rooted desire to be in touch with God ona personal level. That's when we strat on the path towardsmaking God a real priority. In fact, that's the type of spiritual transition that God expects us to make after we've been in touch with Him. We make a change based upon the change that has taken place within me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where are You Headed?

I want to say this with as much sincerity nd gentleness that I can muster up in times like these. There seems to be a great falling away from what we know and believe. Some of us may have started out wrong by putting our faith in the man of God rather than what he was supposed to be preaching about. Some may have taken the low road and just slid out of church through some back door or open window, but you voted with your feet and didn't sy a word when you went out. Others just stayed and stuck around waiting for something better, so when the next big thing came along and the church wasn't moving fast enough, you got yourself up and went to the next big thing until better things come along. It's just sad. Faithless followers filling up pews, waiting on the "show." They don't want church. They want to be entertained by praise and worship duets and quartets that are professional without professing Christ. They want a preached word that may not even be the Word but that sounds good to what Paul called itching ears. It's just sad to see.

Where are you headed? Where are you going as you go away from the church? Will you find Jesus in your escape? Will He visit you as you depart? Consider carefully how you answer. If you have one foot in the sanctuary and another foot hovering over uncertainty, please reconsider. Take a moment and pray before drifting and straying away from the flock. We've all been there in one way or another. Talk to an experienced Christian who has walked with the Lord for some time. We all lose people. We will suffer losses great and small, but we have assurance in Christ for our souls.

Trust God. Keep the faith. Stay strong in spite of adversity. Live like Christ, loving those around you. Stay the course.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Faith and Works

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. - James 2:17 (KJV)

Works do not save us. We have been saved by grace through faith and our salvation is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-10). Yet, since we have faith, let us also be conscious to apply our faith to works. Let our good works serve as evidence of our faith before others. We must be willing to serve in a manner that reflects Jesus Christ in our lives. Day after day, we must offer a willing sacrifice that speaks about our faith in Christ as Christians.
Check out RevBruce's blog at WordPress heart and soul.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Matrix-Like Messiah

Neo. Yeah, man. I said Neo, not Nemo. Neo serves as an iconic pop culture figure that has the power to influence the shootings by the young men of Columbine fame. Yet. somewhere nestled deep within the storyline, you hear and see hints of Neo with some Messianic qualities that many expected to see out of the Lord upon His coming. In fact, many of the film's fans having a parallel understanding of the film's storyline and the Messiah's role for saving His people from the enemy. What gets me is that some of our church-going, God-serving people are not aware that The Matrix has such a following. Nor, if we truly pay homage to art imitating life and life pulling a vice versa, do we expect that many youth pastors will start sporting long black trench coats and dark Ray-Ban shades. However, I am convinced that some who sit on the edge eagerly await a fighting, kicking and swinging type of Messianic figure like Neo to truly "free" believers from the enemy. Like many others, they should probably read Revelations and at least John 1:1-14, Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jesus is the Model for Ministry

When we look at ministry, look at Jesus. Consider the standard for ministry to have been set by the Master Himself. Jesus simply sets the example for us. We don't need to look elsewhere. Jesus offers us a model by which we can follow His footsteps and make the most of what He offers us in ministry. Look at Jesus for :
  • Message: Look and listen to what Jesus shared and how He shared it with the multitudes and His disciples. From the Sermon on the Mount to the upper room before Calvary, hear what type of message Jesus shared with people. He interwove the Word from the prophets and others with a "new command" like loving one another.
  • Methods: Revisit Jesus' journeys through the Gospel of Mark. See Jesus moving in and out of situation after situation in the Gospels, dealing Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood. Even when Jesus is confronted with the woman caught in adultery, His method of response appears to have made Him an offense to those who sought to keep the law themselves.
Jesus did provide us an example. He exemplifies what we should have as our ultimate ministry "hero." He gives us the blueprint of what we must live up to. Look at Jesus. He is our example.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Making Peace Both Near and Far

Some of us need to make peace with family. No matter how far that you have come, you still need to make peace. Someone just needs to bury the hatchet ASAP. There is no more time to waste. Friendships have lied in ruin because of the failure of one side to approach making peace and settling the matter. Presidents and foreign magistrates need to get together and have more "peace talks" and summits. We need to settle some old unresolved matters and start making peace both near and far.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kingdom Worth and Kingdom Work

...the kingdom of God is within you. . .-Luke 17:21 (ASV)
We are born again, born as heirs to His holy kingdom. We find ourselves a part of a family that is a "royal priesthood." Out of this newness of life, we realize that we were once living as the poor pauper but now we live a life of luxury like a prince. We are born through this new birth as part of the kingdom. We discover that we have both kingdom worth and kingdom work. The King Himself has ascribed our worth to us, sharing that we are precious and valuable to Him. The King has withstood the penalty of sin in order to redeem us with His very life and blood. That's how valuable we are to Him.
Yet, He also gives us work. God offers us work, a call to serve Him with gladness before others (Psalm 100:2). He shares that all that He desires to accomplish will not come about except that His harvest have laborers sent forth by the Lord. It is this kingdom work that the Lord grants us as a partnership opportunity with Him. Paul shared that we are "fellow workers" with God. Pray that you discover your kingdom worth and your kingdom work. It is our work that goes along with God's work that accomplish God's will.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Like Him

For I have given you an example. . .-John 13:15 (KJV)
Jesus serves as our example of all that we can be in Him. Our words are to be like His words. Our walk is to be like His walk. Our works are to be like His works. Our worship is in His name. We are to reach others as he reached out to others. As we serve like Him, we will experience sacrifice as He did.
Whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens.- William Penn

Exciting News from RevBruce

Currently, I am working on expanding Life Path Ministries & Services via a multimedia approach, sharing San Diego's Saved2Serve Network and Operation Reach Out. This fall will serve as a platform for unleashing some exciting things related to our ministry and our efforts to generate community change. Look out for what comes down the pipe from us soon.
Everyone has a story to tell. Are you willing to listen?
Check out my other blogs for RevBruce and LifePath. In fact, keep updated on our latest items for download visit LifePath online another resource for our online friends.
"Success is costly."- A.W. Tozer
Satan uses obstacles and obstructions to keep us from reaching our objectives and taking advantage of our opportunities. Be on guard. Be sure to watch out for his subtle and crafty trickery. He wants to destroy you and rob you of your joy. His pleasure is causing you grief by creating doubt and despair among believers. Misery truly loves company, so do not keep company with one who thrives off misery.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Evangelism: Extending God's Offer

A few years ago, I wrote a short PowerPoint presentation on evangelism that was called Salvation Offered Without Strings (S.O.W.S.). I have often referenced its principles in order to share with others how we need to give up some of our own hang-ups about people coming to church rather than coming to Christ. It's sad when I see people on an evangelistic expedition and someone wants to make a commitment to the Lord, but the faithful Christian says that it won't be complete until the person walks down the aisle at church on the next Sunday. No, that's not true.
Salvation goes beyond Sunday. The Word says so when Peter encounters the faith of those at the house of Corneilus (Acts 10). The Lord said as much when a repentive tax collector spoke of giving back what he has taken. Salvation is about acceptance; acceptance by the unbeliever as the believer accepts the unbeliever where he is and where he starts from.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Etched in Our Memories

There is little that we can say that will even begin to help our children and youth truly understand the impact of 9/11 on America. We were once simply living under the mantra as the land of the free and home of the brave. Now we have security checkpoints since we are insecure and we tend to watch low-flying planes a little closer as they pass by overhead. Someone destroyed the Twin Towers of the New York skyline, but they also destroyed the daily lives of Americans. They left us questioning, asking,"Why?"
Take today and offer a simple prayer for America today. Ask God to shower us with grave, mercy, and forgiveness.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Created & the Creator

"God is the Potter; we are His clay." - Charles Swindoll
Isaiah 64:8; Romans 9:20-21
The Bible makes a clear distinctionbetween that which is created and the Creator Himself. God is the self-existing, creative force that spoke and light shined, life came into being, and He saw that it was good. What is troubling is when that which is created seems to forget that it is under the power of the Creator. God created us with a free will, the ability to choose and make decisions for ourselves, and it is that very free will that brings about challenges with our own thoughts and intensions versus the ways of the Lord. We are to submit to the Lord's will, not our own. We are to pray that our heart's desires and wishes match up with the Lord's will. It is by keeping within His will that we stay close to the Creator. Pray daily that your footsteps are along the path that the Lord has set for you that day.
Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.- Psalm 119:151 (KJV)

"The aim of good works is that God may be glorified."- Andrew Murray

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Painful Yet Prayerful

Pray without ceasing.- 1 Thes. 5:17

Prayer is an essential for daily life. We need prayer, and we need to pray. However, at times, the pain can seem to override any prayer that we can utter from our lips. The daily drudgery of life itself can cause us to get lost or caught up in the agony and aching of the pain. We can lose sight of our source. We lose touch with what has kept us going from the beginning. Yes, life can surely be painful. However, I am truly convinced that we must remain prayerful in spite of the pain.
Faith means trusting and daring unconditionally.- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Currently, I am overseeing the development of a web-based network for San Diego's Saved2Serve Network that will include special event announcements, volunteer recruitment, and prayer requests. We look forward to launching this network during this fall.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Count It All Joy (James 1:2-3)

James, the brother of the Lord, shared something real deep in James 1:2-3. He simply told people to "count it all joy" when faced with various trials. His words make me think of the many things that bring me joy (parenthood, marriage, CHristian service, . . .), but trials? Temptations? Tests? That doesn't seem to spark much joy in me, James. There's got to be more to it than that.

James does share that we should take on this perspective because "the testing of your faith produces patience." When you get taken through it for the sake of the Lord, your patience is actually being built up. After all the hell you catch for being a person of faith, there is some development that occurs in the aftermath. Out of all that mess that you just got dragged through in the name of Jesus, some new strength has been added to your spiritual arsenal. You gain patience.

You may wonder about patience. You may even question why patience. I would simply add this small bit of commentary from the sidelines; because you are going to need more and more patience the longer you stay in the faith. As we go further, we will be tested even more. We will face bigger giants than Goliath. We will face bigger challenges than those found in the wilderness. Yes, we will need patience to make our faith enduring to the end. We just have to hold on through the testing and simply count it all joy.
"Prayer is humbling work." -E.M. Bounds
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today is a New Day

Today is a new day.

Today is yesterday's tomorrow,

Tomorrow's yesterday.

Tomorrow is not promised.

Yesterday is gone.

Today is a new day

So let me work

While I still have today.


Jesus spoke about the timeliness of working through the day and not the night in John 9:4. He said that He was to do the works of Him who sent Him. As Christians, we are followers of Christ. We follow His example, so we have similar works as He did.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.-1 Corinthians11:1 (NIV)

I've been saying a lot. Well, I've at least been tweeting a lot. Follow the mobilized movement at Twitter. I post Scripture,quotes, ideas, insights, and other special messages. Sign up today!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Modern-Day Disciples

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
-Luke 10:1 (NIV)

Think about it. In verses 3-12, Jesus Christ lays out distinct and detailed marching orders for His disciples. If we were to look at modern missionary journeys, we would need to consider what today's missionaries would need to take with them.

Mobile phone: At the least, they would need a Blackberry or Palm, maybe even an iPhone. Text messaging, IM, internet capable, mobile applications for Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Netbook/Laptop: I say laptop more so than netbook because of the current software limitations for netbooks, but modern-day "cloud computing" makes document creation and storage in cyberspace a snap. Check out or for downloads and mobile versions of the Bible. Use and for Bible study materials.

Cargo Shorts: Some fashion pundits may beg to differ but I've got to be real; street ministry is done on the streets. You need a pocket to carry your iPod and those Altoids, another one for that pocket-sized New Testament and mini steno pad, and then you need other pockets for your wallet, Swiss Army knife, cell phone, and invitation cards to your ministry's next fellowship function along with Bible tracts.

Happy Face T-shirts: Naturally, we need a conversation-starter of some sorts. I love when I wear my "I Killed Jesus" t-shirt from C28. People totally either read the fine print or tell me off. Find a shirt that makes a statement or check out what'sin stock at my e-store.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Moving Beyond Four Walls

The dynamics of ministry are not merely regulated to the church building. Ministry must move beyond the confines of the four walls of the church. By breaking down the barriers to true ministry, we are able to serve the wants and needs of others through both words and our works.

John the Baptist and Paul both led "external"ministry and missionary work that took place outside of the church. The Lord prepares us for such work. Even the internal work of the church prepares us through prayer, Bible study, and discipleship with other training. Look below to see one way God gets things done on the outside through us.

Three-Way Ministry Approach:

  1. From God: our service is for His glory.
  2. Through man: our service is directed from God the Father, conducted with Christ and fueled by the Holy Spirit.
  3. To the world: the aim of our service is to bring others closer to God through Christ and His offer of salvation.
Operation Reach Out embarks on a new venture this fall with "Giving Thanks by Giving Back."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Faith at Work (in Your Life)

Faith vs. Fear
Faith says let's go,
While fear says we must say no.
Faith will allow us to see the possibilities.
Fear will keep us petrified.
Faith will see us through to the end.
Fear will never let us get started at all.
So, let us go forward towards our future in faith.
Hebrews 11:1 speaks of what faith is in a metaphorical sense; substance and evidence. However, Hebrews 11:6 settles the entire matter about the power of faith. It says that faith is the necessary ingredient that we need in order to please God. As you live day by day, focus on holding on to your faith more and more.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kingdom Value System

Kingdom Value System
Luke 16:10-11
The Lord has a value system that is not like the world system. Jesus referenced "true riches" that exceeded the value of money in the kingdom. I am excited about C28's influence with its Not of This World stickers and t-shirts. This should be more than a slogan or tagline for those who believe the Word. We are called out as the 'ekklesia' or 'ecclesia.' Since we have been called out and set apart, then we must believe that we have been called to live out our faith in a world that is not necessarily receptive to the Lord or the Word.
The church is share the kingdom's value system with believers. The church needs to teach its people the values of the kingdom of God. The people of God need to know their:
  • Kingdom worth
  • Kingdom work

The more that people understand it in its proper perspective the more that people would understand prosperity and "true riches."


Check out for daily Twitter updates from Rev. Bruce Jackson.


Through Life Path's Saved2Serve Network and REACH San Diego, several FREE materials are available at for download. Also, check for Rev. Bruce Jackson's books like Broken Pieces and Lamentations in the Storm at the same site.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saved2Serve Network (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Saved2Serve Network
Ephesins 2:8-10
Some time ago, when we were in the beginning stages of launching Life Path Ministries & Services, Ephesians 2:8-10 stuck out for me. I read and reread the passage, discovering some deep truths about our salavation and the call to serve. After some deep thought and prayer, I saw the Lord leading Life Path to lead a rebirth in Christian volunteer service within our local congregations and communities. Thus, the Saved2Serve Network was born.
We are at the point where Saved2Serve is ready to recruit and lend support and technical assistance to local churches and community organizations. This fall will serve as the major launching of Saved2Serve's initial offerings to the faith community in San Diego County. The technical assistance and networking opportunities provided by Saved2Serve will be based upon biblical principles in the spirit of Christian service.
"I pray, expecting an answer."- Andrew Murray
Check out the numerous opportunities available to serve:

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Call to Dedicated Discipleship

23 And He said to all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever will save his life shall lose it, but whoever will lose his life for My sake, he shall save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses himself, or is cast away?

Luke 9:23-25 (MKJV)

The major issue of complexity when it comes to Christianity has more to do with whether we will embrace the challenge to be like Christ or not. To be called Christian, a person has professed to be a follower of Christ and His teachings. As Christians, we are to spend more time being like Christ and less time being like our old personas.

Being a Christian is more than looking at the example Christ set for us as believers. Being a Christian is more about following the example set by Christ. We become His followers, His disciples. As His disciples, we become disciplined in the matters of life in accordance with His doctrine, His teachings.

Jesus Himself exposed a critical element of what it takes to truly be Christian. In the above passage, we hear the Lord and Master sharing a truly insightful formula for being called His disciple. Be careful to catch what He wants us to do with our current lives and how He wants us to embrace our new lives with Him.

Open my eyes so that I can see the wonderful truths in your law.-Psalm 119:18 (NIV)

The Spiritual Stamina System

This is a test

Of your spiritual stamina system.

If it were not a test,

You would have been notified

By the Holy Spirit

Which indwells every believer

To make preparations

For a spiritual disaster.

In the event

That there is such a spiritual disaster,

Watch, fight and pray,

While staying in tune

With your source of power.

Such activities will not guarantee

That hell will not come your way

Or Satan will not be busy in your life,

But keep in mind.

It is only a test.

You may now resume

Living with your spiritual stamina

Tested, tried and true.

Reflections of a Believer: Inspirational Poetry & Prayers (2nd Edition) (ID #2724220):
Amen Me!