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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ------------ Ephesians 2: 10


This celebration of Christian brothers and brotherhood will be Sunday, October 19, 2008, at 2:30P.M.

The Word will be delivered by Rev. Farrell Duncombe, pastor of St. Paul AME Church in Montgomery, AL.

You are invited to share in what promises to be a powerful afternoon of praise, worship, testimony and Word.

Go to the Where Are We section of this webpage for directions. For more information call us at(334)288-0577 or e-mail .

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Anderson T. Graves II

Thursday, September 18, 2008


(Our Wednesday night Bible class is studying Heaven. Here’s a review of points from a recent lesson.)

Revelations 14: 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

In Heaven we will have rest, but what does that mean? When we arrive in Heaven will we sing a song and then all lie down for a nap like some kind of eternal kindergarten afternoon? No.

Will Heaven consist of some kind of near-unconscious stupor? No.

Rest does not mean inactivity.

Hebrews 4: 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

When God judged a generation of the ancient Israelites and told them they would not enter into His rest, the Lord was speaking of the Promised Land. Where the Israelites to enter the Promised Land and go to sleep?

Joshua 4: 13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

Those God brought into the “rest” of the Promised Land would be busy with the work of enjoying what had already been prepared.

Hebrews 4: 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

When God “rested” it was because He’d finish the labor of creation and He wanted to sit back and enjoy it. In the same way, our Heavenly rest will be an eternal holiday. We will enjoy the rewards of having received Jesus as Savior and having done the work of the gospel.

2 Timothy 4: 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

What will we do on our eternal holiday? What will this Heavenly rest look like? Well, let’s first be clear on what it won’t look like.

Heaven is not disembodied spirits floating around. We will have actual physical form: redeemed bodies; resurrected, glorified, spiritual, yet physical bodies. We will have bodies patterned after the resurrected Christ.

1John 3: 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Luke 24: 36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Our resurrected Lord had flesh and blood. So will we. Our glorified Lord talked and ate with His friends. So will we.

Revelations 2: 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

The Scriptures reveal much about our activities in Heaven:

What will we do in Heaven?

Psalm 16: 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy;

We will have joy. That is, we will live in a state of bliss.

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

We will have pleasure. That is, we will experience new things which are good and pleasurable to experience.

Revelations 7: 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.

We will be with God.

Revelations 22: 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads

We will see God face-to-face. Nothing will diminish our personal, intimate fellowship with God. We will be able to bodily experience all of His glory, something humanity has not been able to do since Adam and Eve hid from God in the cool of the day. (Genesis 3: 8)

Revelations 14: 2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!

We will sing old songs.

Revelations 15: 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.

We will sing new songs.

Luke 6: 20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.

Our emptiness and want will be satisfied.

Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.

We will laugh.

Isaiah 35: 5 ¶ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

We will be healed.

6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert..

We will leap for joy.

Ephesians 2: 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

We will sit in heavenly places.

2 Timothy 2: 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

and reign with Christ.

1 Corinthians 2: 9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

And more, much more.

A deeper, scriptural understanding of Heaven should fill us with peace and courage. If you are saved, understand that you don’t need to fear anything. The worst thing anyone could do to you is send you to a Heavenly rest of joy, pleasure, fellowship, music, satisfaction, laughter, rest, rulership ,… and more.

A deepened understanding of what the Bible says about Heaven should inspire us to witness and to pray. Heaven makes me want to lead everyone in my circle to Christ. What could be better than knowing that those I love most in this world have the promise of active, eternal rest in the next; knowing that even if they die they are not lost to me; knowing that the worst thing anyone can do to my precious ones is send them to Heaven. I want them to know Jesus as Savior so that they too can rest in the promise of a Heaven that is a forever of participation in wonder without sin or pain.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Fill my days
W/ your ways
Invade my space
W/ your grace
Take all I have
Take all of me
From me
Until I have nothing
But You

Raise up a standard
Higher than I can attain
And bring me down
To my knees
Till I rise Above

Teach me
A new psalm
Written by You
Before time was composed
By You

Show me how to sing
The thirst in my soul
That is only quenched
When I share Your cup
And drink of You
- Rev. Anderson T. Graves II


Time is a poem
Writ with pen Divine
Every life a stanza
Every breath a line
- Anderson T. Graves II

James 1: [New King James Version] 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In poetry circles there is a phenomenon known as “Spoken Word.”

Sometimes described as “full contact poetry,” spoken word brings poets together to publicly perform their work. The atmosphere can range from the profane, hyper-sexual styles of Russels Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam to the ultra-cool aura of coffee-house performances to competitive poetry SLAM events. But the place where spoken word truly finds it voice is in the Church and through Christian performers.

Here’s why.

In the book of James, the Greek word translated as “doer is poietes. Poietes is defined as
1 a maker, a producer, author.
2 a doer, performer.
2a one who obeys or fulfils the law.
3 a poet.

Two Points:
Point 1:
For my fellow writers: To be a true poet, to fully realize the gift God has given you, you must be a doer of the Word. It is not enough to be inspiring. It is not enough to be eloquent. It is not enough to be prolific.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

John 14: 15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

Point 2: For everyone, non-writers and writers: Your life is not a random composition. Your life is a poem originally penned by God, a psalm to which you add new verses everyday. Your life is a psalm performed, presented to God by your daily actions. The work that is your life may be profane; it may be lax; it may be competitive; or….

Your life can be powerful, beautiful, holy, and acceptable to God.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

When your life is done, the verses will be spoken aloud.

Revelations 20: 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Will the original Author be pleased with the revisions you’ve made to His work?

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For more information on Christian spoken word performance, visit the Mars Hill Ministry link.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Preparing for the Coming Storm

1 Kings 18: 41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”
42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees,
43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”
44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”

With Hurricane Gustav making landfall, Tropical Storm Hannah on the way, and who knows what else spinning out in the Atlantic, now is an excellent time for every Christian to review their storm preparations. Not just your preparations for the physical wind and rain, but your preparations for the storms of life that will come.

In Elijah chapter 18, God sends the prophet to evil king Ahab. Elijah is the warn Ahab that rain is coming; after 3 years of drought, heavy rain is on the way. Strangely, when Elijah meets up with Ahab, they don’t talk about the weather. Instead Elijah issues a spiritual challenge:

1 Kings 18: 19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” …
21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.
22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
23 Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.
24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.”…

Jehovah, of course, wins the challenge (1 Kings 18; 36-38), and all of the people see that our God is the only god (verse 39).

Then, Elijah tells Ahab that rain is coming.

Why the delay? Had Elijah gotten distracted from his original purpose? No.

The point Elijah was making is


When you see that things may go wrong, before you go into damage-control mode, go into prayer-mode. It is a truth, not a cliché, that for every problem, God is the answer. He knows the trouble is ahead before you do, and He has prepared for you either a way out or a way through.
Ahab, the ungodly king with all of the worldly resources a man could have learns that the storm is approaching and reacts; but Elijah, God’s faithful servant, keeps spiritually focused and…

45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.
46 Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

The Word does not teach us to neglect physical preparations, in fact diligence, hard work, and prudent financial and physical preparation are repeatedly commanded. (We bought a generator last week.) However, the Word does make it quite clear that we must never neglect to be Spiritually Prepared for the storms to come.

Here’s a checklist of ten preparations to make before a major storm:

1. Review your insurance policy.
Isaiah 32: 17 The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

2 Corinthians 1: 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

2. Take inventory of your property.
Galatians 6: 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

3. Plan your evacuation route.
1 Corinthians 15: 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

4. Teach your children what to do in emergency.
Deuteronomy 5: 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

5. Plan what to do with pets & property you cannot bring with you if you must evacuate.
1 Timothy 6: 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

Proverbs 13: 22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

6. Maintain a supply of fresh water.
John 4: 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

7. Maintain a supply of non-perishable food.
John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

8. Have a means (cell phone, radio) of contacting outside authorities receiving important information.
Ephesians 2: 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

9. Have candles and matches, a flashlight and batteries.
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

10. Have an out-of-state friend/ relative as a contact.
John 15: 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Hebrews 4: 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Check your list, and ask yourself: Am I prepared for the coming storm?