It Won’t Help!

Matthew 6:27

“27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

The doctor closes the exam door leaving a depleted man and his hopeful spouse to contemplate the plan of care proposed for the next six weeks. The prayerful yet cautious bride finally speaks up. She walks over and grabs her husband’s hand yet it wasn’t the same. The strong hands that once held her while she delivered their three children years ago now appear weak and worn. She gently squeezes in hopes of initiating a powerful return yet his eyes speak a different story – tired and defeated. 

Just as he closes his eyes, she longs for the days of driving with the top down through the Rocky Mountains while singing old country songs, dancing in the kitchen when the kids were all asleep because it was more fun than washing a sink full of dishes, and sitting poolside reading a book and talking about the future. 

She is quickly drawn back to reality when she hears the doctor clear his throat from across the room. She thinks, “When did he come back in? I didn’t hear him enter?” The doctor says, “Have you all given some thought to the plan of care?” She collapses in anxiety as the weight of the world and the hopes for their family crumble around her. “No,” she answers, “We haven’t been able to talk; he’s just too tired.” As the doctor turns to walk away, she manages to grab the corner of his medical coat. He turns his head while his body remains opposed. He says, “Yes, do you have a question?” She embraces him without return and whispers, “I worry about him day and night! I can’t eat or sleep. What do you mean he only has three months to live? I will waste away worrying so you must promise me that he will get better.” 

The doctor who initially appeared to have very little empathy removed a small Bible from his jacket pocket and said, “I too received some bad news today but couldn’t leave my job. You see, my grandmother passed away today, and I will miss her funeral this week. I loved her like a second mother! I cling to the cross and to the hope we have in Christ to keep my feet moving, one step at a time. For the Word tells us that all our worries won’t add a single hour to our lives so I give it all back to Him in full surrender; it’s truly the only thing left I can do.” 

With tear-filled eyes, he hands her the Bible, and he walks away. She gently holds the Word as she sits at the bedside watching her soulmate rest. She opens the Bible and reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

As she closes her eyes to pray she hears her husband whisper, “Dear, what are you doing?” She replies with a reverent heart, “I’m releasing all my worries to God for tomorrow is a new day and we will rejoice for He is good no matter our outcome.” At just that moment, the husband says, “You finally understand my love, and now we can truly live!” 

Thought: Life is filled with stress, disaster, twists, and turns. How will you respond? 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Acoustics

Romans 8:26-27

26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

sounds

At first glance, the title of today’s blog just might frighten some of my “Communication Science and Disorders” friends because this college course in Acoustics was tough to say the least! This course included the study of all mechanical waves across all states of matter. It was intriguing and profound. This science even propelled my wife into her profession as an Audiologist. Among many related duties, she now spends her career assisting patients in sound manipulation to enhance their quality of life. Praise God for science!

Among the many lessons during this single course, I will never forget beginning to understand the complexity of our world – the things seen, unseen, tangible, and intangible. As strange as it might sound, I am always reminded of this course when I come across this passage in Romans – the groanings (i.e., sounds) of the Holy Spirit which are projected on our behalf.

For just a moment, I want you to try to comprehend the complexity of this passage – the beauty, comfort, detail, and love for every single child of God. This is not a “special” gift for some believers. This is not a special anointing or spiritual gift – so no man can boast. This is simply how the Holy Spirit works in your life while in complete unity with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

During our deepest moments of weakness – when our language no longer forms through traditional routes from cognitive processing to motor planning – when the tongue can no longer find the strength to articulate the simplest of prayers…our God is still listening as the Holy Spirit speaks through “unspoken groanings” to the Father in complete agreement with His will—for there is no contradiction in their communication! PRAISE GOD!

My thoughts race as I ask, “What does this type of language and sound wave look like God? What beautiful language is coming from the Spirit?” I almost can see vivid lights erupting from the Spirit filling the Father’s ear without uttering a single word because the “unspoken groanings” are just enough! My dear friends, we can no longer believe the lies that we are (A) alone in our life’s journey or that (B) God must have abandoned us because we no longer hear Him. The truth is clearly written that the Spirit is communicating on your behalf when you truly are out of words! Yes and Amen!

Be encouraged and filled with such peace that the Spirit knows exactly what to say—when you don’t!

Question: Do you ever feel like God has stopped communicating with you?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Strife

Proverbs 20:3

“Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.”


I just love Proverbs! It is beyond wise to refresh yourselves with these principles often. If you find yourself needing a personal refresher’s course, I strongly suggest opening the Word and heeding these precepts. 

During my youth (wink-ha), I cannot say that I followed this Proverb wholeheartedly. In fact, I appeared to welcome strife as a very young man- the cause – masking pain! The once curly, red-headed, skinny youth was now ready to fight! Sadly, no he wasn’t; he was just putting up “a front” so he couldn’t get used or hurt again. 

As I matured in my Christianity and family, I learned the value in keeping the peace. I love that this Proverb says, “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor.” Why then do we teach our sons to stand up and fight at the smallest of offenses instead of teaching them true biblical honor – love your neighbor as yourself. Trust me–I think we LOVE ourselves a whole lot in this society; just think what the world would look like if we followed this principle! Mind blowing!

This principle also would save a lot of pain in relationships. How many of us find pride in always having to be right in an argument with our spouse, brother, child, loved one? Arguing for the sake of “being right” does not bring honor to you, your relationship, and especially God! I implore you to find peace by avoiding such traps. God always, and I mean always, has our best interests at heart. Following His ways will prove true and honorable. 

Question: Do you struggle with anger? Give it to the Father today!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta 

The Chase

Ezekiel 34:11-12

“For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.”

reaching

The seeker aimlessly wanders the broken road chasing the things of this world in an attempt to fill a God-shaped hole. The chase is lonely and unfulfilling. At every stop, the wanderer succumbs to the traps devilishly placed to distract him further from the truth.

He cries out, “How can I be fulfilled?” Confusion sets in like a dark cloud with the goal to suffocate any chance of light. Desperation replaces hope. The dark voices multiply and spew words of failure. The seeker can no longer hear the cloud of witnesses offering encouragement as his eyes have been long removed from the cross.

He says, “This journey is entirely too hard.” So, he takes the first step off the path, and he sits. In his vulnerability, the dark powers encroach upon his space in the last efforts to destroy. Yet, in the deepest of spiritual valleys, a burst of light scatters the darkness. For while the seeker was resting, he offered a simple prayer acknowledging his wayward ways; he made a choice to no longer chase the things of this world; instead, his Spirit reached to the Father who was chasing him the entire time.

The embrace between the Father and His child was blinding. All evil was repelled. The Father’s wing enveloped His child which offered security and rest. The seeker was transformed into the select!

bench

I am beyond encouraged by this passage in Ezekiel! Not only does our Savior seek us out, but He RESCUES us when we’ve been scattered by the dark forces! YES! I can truly picture this in my head…God the Father reaching down in a mighty force to rescue the scattered. His mighty right hand is strong, precise, yet tender.

I pray dear friends that you stop chasing the things of this world! This includes chasing people – anything you place before God is an idol. We must be powerful witnesses to His Kingdom. Is it time for a personal purge? What are you chasing or even holding on to that is preventing the Spirit from working fully in your life? God is a rescuer – allow it!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Courage

Mark 6:49-51

49 When they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke with them and said, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded.

courage

We’ve all experienced it. Some are paralyzed by it every day, and some invite it based on certain activities of daily living. What am I describing? – Fear! What do you fear?

[Pause, think, and journal!]

We can truly all relate to this question. Common fears include financial ruin, death, and disease. Yet, what about those fears that have ripened out of instinct and sprouted dark roots throughout your soul? What do those look like in your life? Obsession, hoarding, debilitating anxiety, anorexia, gluttony, paranoia, depression, alcoholism, addiction, etc. This list sadly could go on and on…but why? What fear or terror have you internalized and allowed to remain in the temple of God? Dear friends, they don’t have to stay! They aren’t welcomed in your life, but you must believe that through the power of Jesus Christ, you can break their strongholds. Yes and Amen. It’s time to “CLEAN HOUSE!”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you,whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

There it is! There is no second guessing here my friends. The Holy Spirit lives in each believer. Therefore, we must rebuke all things unholy from entering into the gates of our temple – our body and soul. The Spirit cannot be corrupted as the Spirit is part of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Yet, our flesh and minds most certainly can be influenced by what we open! This is why putting on the full armor of God is crucial-daily!

If you are battling fear or any form of mental angst that keeps you from (A) fully focusing on Christ or (B) fully experiencing His joy then I implore you to shed off these demons by acknowledging God’s complete control in your life. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Start by claiming this powerful Word and promise! Rebuke these demons in the name and authority of Jesus Christ, and fill your life with His Word so that you will be protected.

Question: Are you ready to “clean house”? I pray for personal revival and deliverance to spread across our community and land.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Hands and Feet

Mark 10:45

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.

help

Oh Lord you hear our cries. As the waters rise and the clouds swirl, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!

When our earthly possessions snap and crumble like little sticks broken in two, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!

When the rain appears persistent with a mission to destroy, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!

As our hearts flood with angst just as we count the inches before ruin and devastation, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!  

In the midst of death and despair, there are strange hands reaching out to save, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!

Tears fill hollowed eyes while little children grasp on to any source of hope, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!

Where separation once defined a nation, togetherness and unity outlasted any sense of indifference, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!

As volunteers gathered to shelter the worn by offering light, hope, and love, you are still God!

~Even the winds and sea obey Him!

Dear brothers and sisters, we pray! In the wake of hurricane and then tropical storm Harvey, our community and neighboring state of Texas face complete devastation. You do not have to go very far to see the story written on the victims’ faces.

I am always reminded during a hurricane that the “eye of the storm” is calm and peaceful. No matter the extreme destruction lurking all around, there remains a center of peace.

How does this translate to living like Jesus? To me, being the hands and feet of Jesus through service is the best way to “share” your testimony. Often, you do not have to say a single word, your actions speak louder than words.

Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”-The glory belongs to God the Father NOT YOU!

James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”- This requires action!

1 John 3:18 says, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”-be the hands and feet of Jesus!

There are many examples of strangers volunteering before, during, and after this storm. We stand and applaud each of you for your service! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus!  However, I would be remiss if I did not highlight my personal friend Leslie Morgan for her service today. At a time when suffering is right around the corner, she put feet to faith. My dear friend volunteered at the Civic Center in Lake Charles today for the displaced, hurt, and scared. Thank you Leslie for sharing the love of Christ to complete strangers. We pray that your special touch, warm embrace, encouraging word, edifying prayer, and selfless act will show Christ’s goodness, mercy, and grace to all those you came in contact with today! I know you run from praise, but thank you for allowing me to use this forum to show how God’s light lives in all believers, and He calls us all to serve and share!

Request: If you are unable to physically assist during the aftermath of this storm, please consider donating funds, items, etc. to a local church or shelter. Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus in time of need.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Submission

Psalm 143:8-10

Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go because I long for You. Rescue me from my enemies, LordI come to You for protection. 10 Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground.

submission

Today was destined to be a good day. As believers we should be able to say that every day because we know that in Romans 8:28 it says, “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” For me, I received a special blessing when my dear friend and encourager, Ms. Rita H., came by to visit. We never miss an opportunity to share what God is teaching us, and the Holy Spirit takes out His blade and sharpens us both!

So today was a special day because we had spontaneous church! Who is with me? There is power in spontaneous Spirit-filled moments where God shows Himself. Why do we limit His presence to the sanctuary? Why do we expect His holiness to be contained only in the pristine chapels where we marvel at stained-glass and vaulted ceilings yet we fail to humble ourselves and raise a single hand to the One who created the heavens and the earth? How do we expect our ministers to lead us weekly when we treat them as our personal employees instead of humbling ourselves in service to them through obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ? Yes, I had church today and the Holy Spirit pierced! Always remember that God’s people are “the church” – not the physical building. So, I encourage you to break out and have spontaneous church wherever you are! You just might be surprised what God will reveal through your obedience.

There were many words spoken today yet I only heard one – submission! We spend an enormous amount of time processing and producing conversation, non-verbals, and figurative language all to simply get a point across. However, in the whirlwind of language processing, I could only focus on the word submission. What is it Lord? Thy will be done!

In our current society, the word submission can be rather controversial. I even hesitated placing it as the title as I did not want to invoke confusion. In fact, I rebuke confusion in the name of Jesus. Confusion and “his” pals panic, anxiety, fear, hatred, and rebellion are not welcome in my life or yours as we claim the powerful protection of Jesus Christ. There is power in the name of Jesus – do you believe?

I was brought to my knees in listening to my dear friend as she gives example after example of submitting to God! The claim, “Why do we make it so hard?” It’s a choice and there lies the problem! Let us be in tune to the spiritual battle my friends. Our flesh rages against the things of God while our spirit’s compass always points to the cross! Without sacrificing the flesh, daily, and fully submitting to God, you find yourself pulled between the two which makes you immobile! Sadly, I see a desert filled with believers stuck! They are figuratively hanging in the balance without any sense of direction or movement. It’s time to BREAK FREE!

Fully submitting to His will only catapults you to a fulfilled life – a life on mission – a purpose – a calling – a ministry! You must let go of the earthly things to fully grab onto what God is offering. You will find that once you let go, you have more to give when your hands are free! Even more, you have more to receive from the Father above when you let go of the little things and turn your hands to praise. God whispers daily, “Trust ME!” Will you let go of your grasp (i.e., life, control, fear, future, finance, relationship, etc.) and fully submit to God?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Shatter the Darkness

Psalm 139:7-12

Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, 10 even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will be night”— 12 even the darkness is not dark to You. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You.

light

I speak a great deal about breaking chains and shattering darkness; one would say… deliverance! I speak of such things because I strongly believe in God’s power as He reigns supreme. This passage in Psalm 139 is another reminder of God’s strength over all things binding and dark in this world. Even more, this gives us hope because His promises are true.

After a challenging day both mentally and spiritually, it is beyond refreshing to read of His strength. I was quickly reminded of the dark forces that seek to destroy God’s creation. There remains in a fallen world such selfishness, hate, and down right destain for even fellow Christian brothers and sisters that it is almost tangible. In times of trouble, I ensure that I am fully clothed in the armor of God, and I sharpen the sword, which is the word of God – there is no other way to battle!

Here in Psalm 139 we see that even though we may face darkness and feel completely overwhelmed, one flicker of God’s light is enough to pierce through the largest enemy force. Satan does not have enough resources or power to withstand the light/strength of God Almighty. Wherever you are today, know God is with you! It is imperative that we make a choice daily to remain under His wing! When we consciously decide to reside in Him, then His mighty right hand guides and guards.

The darkness is simply that – dark and death. If you find yourself away from His mighty right hand, you are still not alone. You may often turn around wondering how you got so far way. However, God never leaves. He is not afraid of dark places because “even the darkness isn’t dark to Him.” Every step He makes sets off blinding light because He is pure, holy, and perfect! Allow Him to carry you to His resting place.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Stealing Your Joy

Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

joy

This passage is very close to my heart. I have never heard these verses recited in song until a couple of years ago, and it stuck! More than that…this passage represented a time in my life where I can say I truly “experienced” God. I have been a believer for most of my life; however, growth is a process, and I’m still experiencing Him. My journey, and yours, will not come to a perfect end until you are face-to-face with your Maker. There is always something to learn, give, hear, and impart! I pray that you truly understand that you have something special to share! Yes, each and everyone of us.

This week has been marked with overt spiritual battles in those I hold dear. As I stated yesterday, we are not all that different from each other. Most of us carry around past hurts and sins that we bury deeper and deeper into our soul. We cry out, “What would people think of me if they really knew me?” Yet, at the same time we claim to be redeemed in Christ which brings complete cleansing. Do you hear the contradictory speech? Ah yes–there he is–he has been identified, and his name is Satan, the author of all lies.

Any thought, idea, action, or word that contradicts the Word of God is not from God as God is holy, pure, and truthful. He cannot lie to Himself! This is where the devil hides out my dear friends! He has managed to steal your joy and mine for entirely too long. As believers, there is power in the name of Jesus…period end of story! I am never surprised when a believer steps out in faith and then all of a sudden she is spiritual attacked! I hate to give too much credit to the enemy but this is rather clever–why? Satan knows all too well that we are weak in the flesh. He also knows that the battle is in our minds. If he can convince you that you did something wrong in standing for Christ or play with your emotions, then he has won. Victory quickly turns to victimized! 

I am here to say enough is enough Satan! You cannot have my family and friends in the powerful name of Jesus! Will you make the same claim? True deliverance through salvation ensures that Christ has washed those filthy sins away; they simply do not exist any longer in God’s eyes. So, why are you weary dear friends when opinions are wrongly imposed upon you? We have all heard before that your past does not define you. However, I would take that a step further: You cannot be defined by something that does not exist through Christ’s powerful blood.

When truth is spoken, Satan will naturally interject the opposite by using your friends and even family members as a direct point of attack, “Checkmate,” he exclaims! Oh but what he is unaware of is my God defined the rules, and He is saving His best move for last! My God is not limited by position or rules of engagement. Satan is the one who is limited! So what was God’s last move in the chess game of your life? God stands up as Satan appears to smirk saying to himself, “I won the game-this is it!” Yet, God leans in and with a powerful voice says, “Oh no fallen one, you have not won. In fact, I have been distracting you this entire time while my sweet believer is giving her testimony to many attending souls. In fact, the seed she planted will sprout personal revival that no one on earth or under the earth can extinguish”–as God turns to walk away he says, “I WON!”

Ask yourself, are you taking a stand for Christ? Have you given your testimony? Are you imparting the good news to those around you? I do hope so, and I would also expect you to say, “The battle is real.” Satan is not going to sit quietly as you take a stand. Feel confident that your spiritual team: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit will win any and all battles. Lift your hands in praise and turn the tears of sorrow to fountains of joy.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Thoughts

Philippians 4:6-8

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


This passage has always been such a wonderful reminder when I am feeling rather “out of control!” However, I typically stop at verse 7. During my reading today, I continued, and I’m glad I did. God really spoke through this directive. 

When my structured, well-planned, and some would say obsessively organized day begins to unravel, I am usually quick to make my requests known to God because I know I am lost in this sea of uncertainty, challenge, and trial. Yet, I will be the first to admit my thoughts throughout the day tend to focus more on the negative rather than what is right, lovely, and pure. We all can say, “The struggle is REAL!” 

This is where faith meets action for me! How can I claim to not be anxious and present my requests to God when hours later complaints cloud my conscience and judgment jars my praise? Are we convicted yet? I am! 

So, I crank up the praise music and sing like no one is watching for I refuse to be tormented by the lies of the devil. Remember friends, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness! Yes, there it is! I can’t figure this out and neither can you so let go and let God!

Even more, we are to think about things that are excellent and praiseworthy. Dear friends, I can think of only one person who is noble, right, pure, and worthy of praise – Jesus! It is in the moment of praise that we truly experience the type of peace that guards both our hearts and minds – WOW!

Satan would like to make you believe that you have some form of control over whatever situation you are in. Yet, we are clearly limited. Releasing through faith brings fulfillment. 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta