From the Pastor

 

 Pastor Mike Burns

 Victory Church

 903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002) 

 MBurns@wordofvictory.org                                   

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 8:43 AM

Power of Prayer - How do I tap into it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 8:43 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 8:43 AM

The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to.

1 John 5:14-15 tells us, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him."

No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer, God answers prayers that are in agreement with His will. His answers are not always yes, but are always in our best interest. When our desires line up with His will, we will come to understand that in time. When we pray passionately and purposefully, according to God's will, God responds powerfully!

We cannot access powerful prayer by using "magic formulas." Our prayers being answered is not based on the eloquence of our prayers. We don't have to use certain words or phrases to get God to answer our prayers.

In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions, "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:7-8).

Prayer is communicating with God. All you have to do is ask God for His help. Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven."

There is power in prayer!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 1:58 PM

Fasting for the Spirit Soul and Body

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 1:58 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2016 1:58 PM

An Update from Dr. Caroline Leaf

THE REAL "BALANCED MEAL" eating for the Spirit, Soul, and Body

The relationship between the gut and the brain, and the relationship between your feelings and shopping habits, are just two examples of the multifaceted, interconnected lives we all lead—a concept often at odds with modernity. We live in a world that tends towards intellectual reductionism. Globally, we have become accustomed to a parts rather than whole approach, including the way we approach food. Why else would doctors, as our go-to health figures, have negligible training in nutrition, even at Harvard’s medical school? To say that what you eat affects your health is certainly redundant. Yet how can such a basic, fundamental fact be overlooked when dealing with matters of health and illness? For more on the Gut/Brain connection see Chapter 12 of Think and Eat Yourself Smart.

It is imperative that we shift the way we think about health. Your brain is not input-output machine. Your body is not an input-output machine. You are intrinsically, brilliantly, and intricately designed with a spirit, soul and body (Genesis 1:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). This is known as our triune nature.

Our triune nature is divided into different components. Your spirit is your “true you,” or what I call your PerfectlyYou. The spirit has three parts: intuition, conscience and communion (worship). Your soul, which is your mind, also has three parts: intellect, will and emotions. Lastly, your body has three parts: the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, from which the brain and the body form.

Your mind, or soul, has one foot in the door of the spirit and one foot in the door of the body. The mind creates coherence between the spirit of man and the body of man, and therefore influences and controls brain/body function and health, and influences spiritual development. Your mind, with its intellectual ability to choose and its emotional authority, controls all physical aspects. See this VIMEO (2.45mins). Thus emotions, as part of the mind, are an intrinsic part of our food choices.

Your brain is designed to respond to your mind, and your mind is designed to respond to your spirit (Roman 8:14; John 16:3; John 14:26; Galatians 5:16). Every thought, feeling and action begins in the internal activity of your mind, which means that we choose with our minds to listen to our spirits; we choose with our minds to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking truth into our spirit; we choose with our minds to act; we choose with our minds to speak; we choose with our minds to eat. And all these mind-based choices impact our physical brain and body, as well as our spiritual development and mental health. The ultimate question is, what have you implanted in your mind? What mindsets will be shaping your choices? Remember, “as he thinks in his heart [mind], so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, italics added for emphasis).

Get the PACKAGE and develop your Spirit, Soul and Body integration. 

FASTING FOR THE SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY

Fasting, whether skipping one meal or more, or excluding certain foods from the diet, has played an important role in human history—spiritually and physically. In today’s world, however, eating three meals a day is generally understood as healthy, although there is actually no conclusive scientific basis for not skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even all three occasionally.

A growing body of research actually indicates that different types of fasts can improve health and longevity, such as intermittent fasting (eating fewer meals), caloric restriction (eating less per meal), and alternate day fasting. These types of fasting can potentially improve cardiovascular function, increase longevity, increase resistance to age-related diseases, and enhance mental and physical health in general. Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction both affect energy levels and free radical production from oxygen metabolism, as well as cellular stress response systems, in ways that protect neurons against genetic and environmental factors, while enhancing energy production from the mitochondria, which generate chemical energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Likewise, caloric restriction triggers a decrease in inflammatory factors, which contribute to the onset of disease.

Skipping a few meals on a regular basis can even protect against the onset of illness. Fasting has been shown to enhance brain function, and reduce the risk factors for coronary artery disease, stroke, insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. For instance, restricting calories can support the induction of sirtuin-1 (SIRT1), an enzyme that regulates gene expression and enhances learning and memory. Fasting actually has a similar effect on the body as exercise. Skipping a meal or eating less and exercise are mediated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), suggesting they are underpinned by similar mechanisms in the body. And you definitely want BDNF mediating! This neurotrophic factor helps maintain brain health, prevents cell death and build memory

In fact, intermittent fasting and caloric restriction can aid inter-brain communication by supporting interactive pathways and molecular mechanisms that specifically provide benefits to the neurons. These pathways produce protective protein “chaperones”—neurotrophic factors like BDNF and essential antioxidants, which help our tiny cells cope with stress and resist disease. Similarly, fasting may protect neurons against the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing amyloid beta and tau pathologies on synaptic function. Overall, research on fasting indicates that skipping a meal or two can promote resistance to stroke and neurodegenerative disease Your food choices literally change the environment around your cells and the environment within your cells—an incredible support system (one of many), which highlights the goodness and mercy of God. By making the right food choices we can change our brains!

For research links get the Think and Eat Yourself Smart book

TRIUNE FASTING

On a spiritual level, fasting is a common practice. For example, Greek Orthodox Christians fast 180-200 days per year prior to Easter, Christmas and the Assumption. Catholic Christians fast for approximately 40 days before Easter. The Daniel fast is a very common among Christians, and usually lasts between 21-40 days.

Biblically, the call to fast is found throughout both the Old and New Testament. It is a way for Jews and Christians to make their beliefs part of the everyday lives, in a sense of bringing heaven to earth (Matthew 6:9-13). It enables us to put God above our earthly pleasures, in sense that we put God first and appreciate food and drink as a gift from him rather than love food and drink in and of themselves. It enables us to become addicted to God. We do not merely fast to get healthy and loose weight. We fast for the spirit, soul and body: by putting God first, “all these things are added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). The growing body of fasting research actually confirms the integrated triune nature of man, since as we discipline our mind and choose to reduce our bodily food intake and focus on God, our spirit, soul, and body is develops (I Thessalonians 5:23).

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 10:44 AM

The Lost Week

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 10:44 AM
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 10:44 AM
See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. - Ephesians 5:15-16
 
The last week of each year tends to become the lost week.
 
Have you noticed? Once we turn the corner of Christmas, everything blurs. From December 26 to January 2, we slip into a state of "hyper-holiday suspended animation." As far as truly fruitful living is concerned, we might as well have spent the week on Mars.
 
A mentor in my life gave me some suggestions on how to make this “lost week” significant in preparation for the year and ending the existing year. I've prepared a list of suggested activities to allow you to keep enjoying the spirit of the holidays, while still making solid use of those transitional days. Lord willing, these suggestions will help keep the blur out and the focus in! This week - call it "Countdown Week" as we approach the New Year - you might give a day or a part of one to any or all of the following.
 
1. Summarize... organize.
 
Loose ends tend to fly in the breeze as year-end winds blow. Take a couple of hours, sit down with a notebook, and ask the Lord to help you think of things which need to be tabulated for future action. Pay special attention to those nagging, left-over, still-to-do things from last year's list. Who wants to drag a cloud of unease and uncertainty into the bright, fresh days of the New Year? Zeroing in on these long-neglected items can help blow the fog away as you step over the threshold of January 1. No, we will never get everything done. But somehow, just knowing what is left and listing it on paper gives a sense of completion and closure. It's an act that removes guilt and opens the way to positive action.
 
2. Read a large book in the Bible.
 
Get a running start on your goal of reading through the Word in the New Year. It takes about three to four minutes to thoroughly read an average page in the Bible. Take two to four hours and read a Bible book all the way through. Genesis covers sixty-three pages in my Bible (about three to four hours) and Revelation's twenty-one chapters (about an hour and a half). Pick your own size book, take an evening or afternoon, and feast there!
 
3. Undress the house
 
Many of us celebrate Christmas with festive decor and few (if any) surpass what Janet does at our place! Some years ago, we learned the wisdom (at least for us!) of getting the Christmas dressings "undressed" by New Year’s Day. It puts a fresh face on everything and emotionally gears you to walk into the year without feeling you're already behind still trying to finish off the old one.
 
4. Send thank-you notes and letters.
 
Don't be forgetful of a commonly neglected but much-appreciated practice. The briefest note of thanks or letter of warmth and love at this season speaks volumes! Take the time necessary. Let people know you appreciate them... and their gift too.
 
5. Set aside time for "fullness."
 
As appropriate as holiday celebration is, it's very natural to find yourself drained by all the action and activity. A dullness or listless apathy may besiege the soul at this time of year unless we seek the Lord for a refreshing and refilling of His Spirit.
 
Don't wander down from a bright Christmas mountaintop into a swamp of indecision, lethargy, and wasted opportunity. When that first Christmas was over, Joseph heard the words of the Lord's angel and took immediate action, saving the life of the Child.
 
That's what I want to do: Listen for His voice and then do what He says without doubt or procrastination. There's no telling how far you might go this year with that kind of head start!
 
Love you, Victory Family,
 
Pastor Mike
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 3:18 PM

Who You Are in Christ

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 3:18 PM
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 3:18 PM

If you have received Christ as Lord and Savior then you are “in Christ” and He is “in you.” Because you are in Christ, EVERY ONE of these statements is true of YOU.

  • I am loved. 1 John 3:3
  • I am accepted. Ephesians 1:6
  • I am a child of God. John 1:12
  • I am Jesus' friend. John 15:14
  • I am a joint heir with Jesus, sharing His inheritance with Him. Romans 8:17
  • I am united with God and one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • I am a temple of God. His Spirit and his life lives in me. 1 Corinthians 6:19
  • I am a member of Christ's body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
  • I am a Saint. Ephesians 1:1
  • I am redeemed and forgiven. Colossians 1:14
  • I am complete in Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:10
  • I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1
  • I am a new creation because I am in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. Colossians 3:12
  • I am established, anointed, and sealed by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21
  • I do not have a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • I am God's co-worker. 2 Corinthians 6:1
  • I am seated in heavenly places with Christ. Eph 2:6
  • I have direct access to God Ephesians. 2:18
  • I am chosen to bear fruit John. 15:16
  • I am one of God's living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house. 1 Peter 2:5
  • I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God by which I share His nature. 2 Peter 1:4
  • I can always know the presence of God because He never leaves me Hebrews. 13:5
  • God works in me to help me do the things He wants me to do Philippians 2:13
  • I can ask God for wisdom and He will give me what I need. James 1:5

Read the above list every day for a month, preferably out loud. The more you know who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will reflect your true identity. Simply choose to believe what God says about YOU.

 

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