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Friday, August 10, 2012

My Transformation (Part 1)


One thing I have noticed about myself and other professed Christians is that we often do things that are contrary to biblical standards. I have made a conscious decision, not to just exist as an ordinary Christian, but as one who studies the Holy Bible, apply its teachings to daily living and to spread the Good News.

As I read through the Bible, I find many scriptures that have continued to guide me as the Holy Spirit takes me through this process of transformation to live a life that is pleasing to God with the hope of securing a room for me in His eternal Kingdom. A few of my favorite scriptures are:  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Ezekiel 36:26-27).  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness: (Ephesians 4:24).

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (Acts 9:3-4).  Also Rom. 12:1-2 and 2 Cor. 5:17.

Saul was on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus on another one of his mission trips to persecute Christians, when he heard the question why persecutest thou me? Immediately, Saul knew the question was from the Lord. He got up from the ground only to realize that he was blind and for three days he remained blind.

But when the scales fell from his eyes he could see again and everything changed, even his name changed to Paul. He now had a new outlook on life and a fresh start. He had a radical transformation  compelled him to use the zeal and obsession he used to kill Christians, to now preach the uncompromising Gospel truths about Jesus and to convert Christians. That is what transformation is about.

Paul’s teachings have taught me how to transform my life by living holy, pressing on through adversities and to keep moving toward my destiny.  I have experienced marked changes in many areas of my life, for the better.  Everyone can choose to live a transformed life, through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

 There was a point in my spiritual life where I felt dissatisfied with my church, life, many people and things around me.  I felt as though I was slipping away from the relationship I once had with the Lord and the truth that I once thought knew so deeply.  It seemed I had been surrounded by dark clouds that got darker and darker every-day.  My spirit was dying and my health was failing. The hope that I had about life and purpose did not feel exciting anymore. I hated being in that place and I decided not to live another day like that. A thorough self-evaluation and a shift in paradigm- dying to self daily is still the answer for me.   But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

Copyright © July 2012, Pauline Lewinson


Monday, August 6, 2012

Jamaica Celebrates 50 Years of Independence Today

Today August 6, 2012 is the 50 year Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence from Great Britain, and they are having a big celebration. Jamaica West Indies was under Britain's rule from 1655 until 1962. Jamaica is an Island in the Caribbean Sea and was inhabited by the Arawak Indians and Taino peoples (Maroons) before Christopher Columbus landed on the Island in 1492.
Jamaica is Four Thousand four Hundred and eleven (4,411) square miles, one hundred and forty-six (146) miles long and fifty one (51) miles wide.  Jamaica is about the size of Connecticut. Its capital city is Kingston with a population of approximately eight hundred thousand people. The population of the entire island is estimated to be over two and a half million. When I lived in Jamaica, twenty-nine years ago, the estimated population was two million.

Jamaica is situated ninety (90) miles south of Cuba and is approximately five hundred and forty-six (546) miles south of Miami, Florida.  Jamaica is divided into fourteen parishes, with Portland and Saint Thomas on the Far East and Hanover and Westmoreland on the far west. In the west at Negril are breathtaking and irresistible white sand beaches and in Portland on the East is the famous Blue Lagoon as well as many other attractions.
Jamaica’s Motto is Out of many, One People; which means that it is a mixed nation with an ethnic make- up of; Blacks, Whites, East Indians and Chinese among others. Blacks are the majority. The official language that is spoken in Jamaica is English. Patios (Patwa) is also spoken. The National Anthem is Eternal Father Bless Our Land. The colors of the National Flag are green, which signifies the agriculture, gold for sunshine and its natural beauty and black for the hardships overcame and still to be faced. The national flower is the Lignum Vitae, the national bird is the Doctor/Humming Bird and the National tree is the Blue Mahoe.

Jamaica has tropical (hot, humid and rainy) climate year round. Its average temperature is eighty-two degrees. It gets about 80 inches of rainfall yearly. Residing in Arizona, reminds of Jamaica in some ways.  The International Dialing Code for Jamaica is 1 876. Jamaica is in Eastern Time zone and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Its currencies is Dollars and Cents and it uses the Metric System.
Jamaica is beautiful and has many beaches and resorts. It is well-known for its History of pirates, National Heroes, delicious foods, Blue Mountain Coffee, Reggae music, culture, and world class athletes. As Jamaica celebrates its 50th Anniversary today, it also celebrates the victories of its Athletes who are in London representing the country at the Olympics in Great Britain. Ussain Bolt holds the title of fastest man in the world and Shelly-Ann Fraser- Pryce, fastest woman.

Jamaica’s major exports are bauxite and alumina, bananas and other fruits, sugar, coffee, cocoa, rum and even clothes.
Jamaica experiences crime, poverty and unfavorable conditions, as do other countries, but its natural resources: beauty, food, culture, people, tourists and rich vegetation that contribute significantly to the economy are reasons Jamaica, a little island in the sun, stands out among the rest.

If you have not yet visited Jamaica, you are invited to make it your next vacation spot. If you are looking for an all inclusive hotel on the beach that serves lots of Jamaican foods, I recommend the Sunset Jamaica Grande. www.sunsetjamaicagrande.com

Copyright © July 2012, Pauline Lewinson

Friday, August 3, 2012

TRANSFORMING OUR PRAYER LIVES (Part 3)



Do You Find It Difficult To Pray?

If you are a follower of Christ and praying is a challenge for you, God has the answerPray without ceasing. “Unceasing PRAYER is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God”  Steps to Christ, Ch. 11, p. 98. Practice unceasing prayer for 21 consecutive days and watch your prayer life transforms through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. I did that many years ago and my prayer life has completely changed. I am not perfect, just a work in progress.

While going through that regiment, I made prayer my first priority and prayed like crazy. I did not allow my mind wander for a single minute. I remained in a prayerful state in my home, when I left the house, in my car, on the street, in the grocery store, post office, banks, school and I prayed for the people I saw or met along the way. By the way, I still do that today.

There are prayers in every book of the Bible and we can pattern our prayers from any one of them that is appropriate for our situation. More and more, I realize the importance of effective prayer. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). What does effective fervent prayer mean? I believe effective prayer involves praying in sincerity the will of God for one’s life, being persistent, having faith and trusting in The Almighty God/Abba Father.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (I John 5:14).

Your prayers will spring forth out of the relationship you have with your heavenly Father. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) These are His words to you and to me. Prayer will bring you closer to your creator. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (Matthew 21:22).

We can transform our prayer lives when we decide that prayer is the foundation and the best weapon to use against the enemy who is constantly whispering lies in our ears, with the intention of stealing, killing and destroying everythingg in our lives. The following suggestions may help you as you work toward transforming your prayer lives with the help of the Holy Spirit.

 I once read an email with these recommended steps and I still use them when I am not mentally prepared or focused enough to pray an effective prayer. It goes something like this. Your big finger is closest to you, pray for your husband and family, the pointer is next- pray for teachers and others who instructs others, then comes the middle finger which is the tallest- pray for those in authority; leaders, ministers, presidents, and so forth, the other finger is considered to be the weakest-pray so for the sick and afflicted, homeless, orphans and the needy and lastly is your pinky or little finger yourself.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Now you know you have been blessed by praying for others before praying for yourself. This is intercessory Prayer. First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people (1Timothy 2:1).    

Below I have shared another simple four steps to prayer which we use in our group, Moms In touch International (an organization where mothers come together to pray for their children’s schools).

·         Praise- recognizing and confessing Who God is, in His nature and power. It puts God in His rightful position. (Hebrews 13:15).

·         Confessions -agreeing with God concerning sins and confessing. (1 John 1:9)

·         Thanksgiving- Focuses on what God has done and on His faithfulness; being watchful for answers. (Psalm 100:4-4).

·         Intercession-Coming to God in prayer on behalf of others (Ephesians 6:18).

Better yet are the Instructions that Jesus gave to His disciples when they asked Him how they should pray. This is commonly known as The Lord’s Prayer and is found in Matthew 6:9-11. You might find this very beneficial as you transform your prayer life.

As I conclude, I would like to encourage you to pray for 21 consecutive days at every possible moment you can. By taking the time to pray without ceasing for twenty-one consecutive days, praying will no longer be a challenge. Instead, it will become a pleasure and you will get amazing results.

Dearest heavenly Father, the God of compassion and of all comfort, I pray that you would give readers of this writing, who desire to transform their prayer lives and have a deeper relationship with you, the confidence to do so. Help them to priorities and make prayer their first priority for 21 consecutive so that prayer will become a life time habit.  Stretch their time so that they may go to a quite place and commune with you daily. Please teach them how to pray, even as you have taught the original disciples and many others, in Jesus’ name-Amen.

Copyright © July 2012, Pauline Lewinson