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Moment in the Word

Moment in the Word

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"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on
pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valleys of Baca, they make it a place
of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from
strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: God of the Valleys and Alleys

Have you ever been in a dark alley, all by yourself?

It doesn't matter whether you have walked through an alley a thousand times;
there is still an unsettling feeling about going through a dark alley alone.
We don't know what lurks in the darkness. We are nervous about the unknown.
We contemplate a plethora of tragedies that could possibly beset us as we
walk or drive through an alleys.

There are two words that describe the same situation for different folks.
City folks describe a passageway that leads between or behind two buildings
or rows of buildings as an "alley." They are usually narrow passage ways
often used by garbage trucks or delivery vehicles to collect refuse. They
are not usually well kept and are out of sight of the main thoroughfare.
City folks are familiar with alleys. They are usually dark, lonely and often
they are dangerous. Out of the sight of prying eyes, many tragedies occur in
alleys. Distant from help, alleys offer few ways to escape, no place to run.
Alleys make us claustrophobic. We feel cornered in alleys. That's why we
don't like dark alleys because we know what can happen in them.

Country folk don't see many alleys, but they have many valleys. In many ways
a valley can be similar to an alley. A valley is an area of land that lies
between two mountains or high regions. Those who travel through valleys are
vulnerable to enemies who may lurk unseen in the mountainside. In times of
peace and prosperity the valley is a beautiful place. However, in times of
peril, attack and storm, the valley is a dangerous place. No one embraces
the idea of going through the valley, with all of its shadows, alone.

Sooner or later every life will face either a valley or an alley. Whether
it's the immediate tragedies of life posed by poverty, social decay or
despair that result in alley experiences, or the deeper, personal life
wrenching experiences that rob us of hope and inspiration in valley
experiences, sooner or later all of us will have either a valley or alley
experience, both are just as frustrating and dangerous. Either one is
difficult to face alone.

As Christians, we are reassured that our God is a God both of the valleys
and the alleys. We don't know what evil lurks in the alley or the valley,
but if we should travel through them holding to his hand, he will provide
for us, bring justice upon anyone who attacks us, and show us the way out.

The great satisfaction of every believer is that no matter how deep the
valley or dark the alley, there is always hope.

* No matter how difficult the terrain or treacherous the path, there
is always hope!
* No matter how frustrating the moment or aggravating the
circumstance, there is always hope!
* No matter how challenging the obstacle or intimidating the foe,
there is always hope!

That's why the songwriter declares .....

"My hope is built on Nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name!

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

Moment in the Word

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Good Blessed Thursday Morning Family & Friends.

"...Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" Acts 9:6

So many Christians want to be Spirit-filled, but have they ever asked why
God should fill them with His Spirit? I want you to imagine a man pushing a
car into a service station. It has no battery in it. The car has four flat
tires, a hole in the gas tank, and half the wires are disconnected. The
attendant comes out, looks at this rattle trap, and says, "May I help you?"
And he says, "Yeah, fill 'er up." What do you think that attendant would
say? "What for?" would be appropriate. I think God sometimes says, "What
for?" to us. Instead, we need to just sign the contract at the bottom and
say, "Lord, You fill it in."

Bow before the Lord, open your hands and say, "Lord, It's all You. I am
nothing but a vessel for You to use. Use me as You will."

In His Love & Service,
Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

Moment in the Word

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"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him
that believeth. Mark 9:23


Is there anything impossible for God? Is there any height so high that God
cannot reach it? Is there any river so wide that God cannot cross it? Is
there any valley so deep that God cannot descend to it? As believers, is
there any goal beyond our reach, with God's help? Men and women of faith
have known for years that the God we serve is an awesome God. We also know
that as long as we stay on his side of any battle, there is nothing that we
cannot achieve.

In January of 2008 Barack Obama electrified the nation when he made a speech
after winning the State of South Carolina and used three words that
resonated around the nation, "Yes, we can."

Obama achieved an unprecedented victory that night and seemed to symbolize
what millions in America wanted to believe. He said, "This election is about
the past versus the future. It's about whether we settle for the same
divisions and distractions and drama that [pass] for politics today, or
whether we reach for a politics of common sense and innovation - a politics
of shared sacrifice and shared prosperity," Obama said.

Many across the nation doubted that the jangling discords of national unity
could ever been be rejoined, but Obama offered hope and crystallized it in
the structure of a simple saying that has been chanted around the world
since. Millions chanted it for months in barbershops, beauty shops, street
corners, and from pulpits. Eleven months later they chanted it in their
hearts as they voted with their ballots and made Obama the first
African-American President of the United States.

What Obama said was, "Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can.

Yes, we can change. Yes, we can.

Yes, we can heal this nation.

Yes, we can seize our future.

And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us
that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the
spirit of the American people in three simple words -- yes, we can."

Today, my brothers and sisters, the whole World witnessed another segment of
Dr. King's Legacy of Hope as the 44th President of the United States, Barack
Obama took his oath of office.


The idea of achieving the impossible seems illogical and improbable to those
outside of the faith community. They see mountains and throw up their hands
in defeat asking, why? People of faith see mountains and begin to climb them
asking, why not? The difference is obviously in our faith in God. We believe
that God is all powerful and that through Him we can achieve the impossible.

As always, our faith is never in a man, but our faith is in God. We have
hope that "we can" because we know that God can.

Our father which is in heaven can do anything.

We know we can do anything because we have a father who can:

We have a father who can take

--Sadness and turn it to gladness; Misery and turn it into delight!

--Failure and turn it into success; Loneliness and turn it into

--Poverty and turn it into riches; Defeat and turn it into victory!

No wonder the song writer wrote: I cannot take the lightning and flash it
across the land. I cannot take a piece of clay and mold it into a man, but I
have a father who can!"

All things are possible, only believe;

All things are possible, only believe;

Only believe, only believe;

All things are possible, only believe.

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

Moment in the Word

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"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7


Overcoming Fear and Worry
When we ought to be enjoying victorious, abundant lives.what happens? Fear
creeps in and grips us cold. Many of us lose priceless opportunities because
of this boa constrictor of fear. When fear dominates, there is no room for
Christ Who can comfort us (John 16:33). Worry is the noxious first cousin
to fear. They will do to you what grit does to machinery - shut you down.
But God gives us the victory with His power, His love, and the gift of a
sound mind. The Holy Spirit is your Bodyguard. He walks with you. The man
who can kneel before God can stand before any man.

Jesus has you in His sight. You are in God's right hand. Write that down and
post it in a place where you can meditate on it throughout the day. Now, ask
yourself, "Knowing this, can anything this week change those truths?"

In His Love & Service,
Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA
(951) 587-1894

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