Tag Archives: Dante

Strengthen thy foundation only through God’s will.

Follow God and He will carry you through your trials

Recently I have been put in a very difficult situation. My flesh attempted to take over. But the sermon that I last heard stated:” Do not fret!” I realized that is was going to be another lesson from my Heavenly Father .

God lead me to the scripture:

Mathew 10:27-28

What I tell you in darkness(in prayer), that speak you in light(openly): and what you hear in the ear(what the Spirit reveals) that preach you upon the housetops.(publicly)

28)And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul(don’t fear man) but rather fear Him(God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

He was allowing me to know that He was in control and all I had to do was stand firm in Him and they may give me a difficult time but God is going to carry me through all my trials and tribulations. He then lead me to:

 Mathew 10: 34-36

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth.(the entrance of Christ into the world brings shows the evil of the heart) I came not to send peace, but a sword.(the sword against the Righteous will be the response of religious reprobate[shameless person])

35) For I am came to set a man at variance(odds)against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

36) And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.(speaks not only of immediate family, but at times, of one’s Church family)

So do not be surprised if you run into trials and tribulations that concern you and your Church family. It comes about and again if you are in the Lord you will listen to Him and not fret. What I am going to do is walk you through how the Lord carried me through this issue to get ready for a meeting where I was being removed as a recovery leader. Yes, I was hurt but again God strengthened me because I chose to follow Him and His word.Here is a verse that I live by daily and I wanted to share with you.:

Mathew 18:18

18) Verily I say unto you, whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.

So if a believer conducts himself Scriptureally, the decision reached will be honored and ratified in Heaven.

Recently I went and asked someone to pray for one of the person’s in my recovery group. I was devastated because the person remark was not what I had expected. the person’s remark was: “You lie with dogs you get fleas.” So yes there was not a prayer for this young man who was coming up on his one year anniversary of being clean from his issues. I felt a type of hatred or anger coming from this person and instead of confronting the situation I choose to pray for this person daily. but God had lead me to some verses that really strengthened my prays for this person. 

1John 4:20

20) If a man say, I love God and hates his Brother, he is a liar(as James states in James 3:11 “does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet and bitter?)For he who loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

So if a professed Christian cannot love a Christian brother who is sees daily. How can he love God? Whose image he bears, yet has not seen?

1 John 3:15

Whosoever hates his brother is a murder(absence of love proclaims the presence of hatred; where hatred is, there is murder) and you know that no murderer has Eternal life abiding in him.(comes back to absence of love)

 Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirreth up strife’s(strife/debate Greek eridos, from “eris”, rivalry, strife, exertion or contention for superiority, either by intellectual or physical efforts)

So in the end we need to follow 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

4 Charity(love) suffereth long,(refers to patience) and is kind;(represents the second side of the Divine attitude toward human kind) charity(God’s kind of love) envieth not;(does not want what other’s have) charity vaunteth not itself,(never brags) is not puffed up,(is not prideful)

Doth not behave itself unseemly,(is forgetful of self and thoughtful of others) seeketh not her own,(is unselfish) is not easily provoked,(is not bitter from antagonizing people. or insult to injury)) thinketh no evil;(takes no act of evil)

Rejoiceth not in iniquity,(never gossips of misdeeds of others) but rejoiceth in the truth;(proclaims that which the Word of God identifies as truth)

Beareth all things,(never complains) believeth all things,(takes the kindest view of all man) hopeth all things,(keeps believing for the best) endureth all things.

Recently I have been battling with this issue of with a church where an unmarried couple, living together and working as the head of a Children’s class. I know it does not follow God’s word. But God took me to these verses:

1 Timothy 3:12

Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children on their own.

1 Timothy 4:1

Now the Spirit(Holy Spirit) speaks expressly (pointedly) that in the latter times(times in which we are in, the last of days, which begins the fulfillment of end time prophecies) some shall depart from the Faith(Paul is referring to the Cross; we are told here that some will depart from the Cross as the means of Salvation and Victory)giving heed to seducing spirits(evil spirits, i.e. “religious spirits” making something seem like what isn’t) and doctrines of devils(should have been translated “doctrines of demons”; the “seducing spirits ” entice believers away from Faith, causing them to believe and follow “doctrines inspired by demon spirits.”)

1 Timothy 4:7

But reject profane and old wives’ fables,(that which does not have the true character of the Word of God) and exercise yourself toward godliness.(Paul’s thought moves on immediately to a contrast between the discipline of the body and the discipline of the Soul.)

So as I read these verses I realized the ill feelings I was feeling about this issue where the correct feeling coming from God’s word. He then led me to this verse that He wants me to cherish and follow all the days of my life.

1 Timothy 6:11

11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

This is the fruit of the Spirit or at least which the Spirit alone can bring about in our lives, which He does by the Cross ever being the object of Faith.

Now some people may think I am judging. But I am not I found these verses that pretty much can explain what is happening.

John 7:24

24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

What it is stating Judgement must be rendered according to the whole Word of God, and not only by taking part and perverting it to one’s own satisfaction)

There are actually two kinds of judgements.

Discernment: Kind of judgement God directs believers to use. As in the verse below Paul told the Christians in Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

21 Test all things;(when Prophecies are given or anything claims to be of the Lord, it should be put to the test; the test is, “is it spiritual?”) hold fast what is good.(This refers to the sifting process of accepting that which is definitely of the Lord, and rejecting that which is not.)

22 Abstain from every form of evil.(ask the question “Does it please God?”)

Here is something that A.W. Tozer stated:

“Among the gifts of the Spirit scarcely one is of greater practical usefulness than the gift of discernment. This gift should be highly valued and frankly sought as being almost indispensable in these critical times. This gift will enable us to distinguish the chaff from the wheat and to divide the manifestations of the flesh from the operations of the Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 2:15-16

15 But he who is spiritual judges all things,( portrays only the Spiritual person as capable of the proper discernment) yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.(refers to judgement which God accepts)

16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”(answer no one: Isiah 40:14) But we have the mind of Christ.(they who have the mind of Christ sees all things as God sees them.)

So as reading these scriptures I have come to the conclusion that all Christians should exercise discernment at all times.

Judgement God condemns

Pride-filled criticism/ is the judgement God declares inappropriate.

Luke 18:9-14

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves(self righteous) that they were righteous, and despised others:(the twin curse of self righteousness)

10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, (only one would be heard by God)  one a Pharisee( a man who claimed to believe the Bible) and the other a tax collector.(Publican, in Israel referred to as a traitor, thereby beyond salvation)

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,9His prayer went no further than he. It may have been directed to God, but not heard by God) ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.(placed himself higher than the publican. He asked for the Lord for nothing, and that is what he received)

12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’(VS. 11 is relative righteousness  and this verse is work righteousness, both rejected by God)

13 And the tax collector, standing afar off,(did not feel free to come close too the temple) would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven,(he realized and admitted just how unclean he really was) but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’(brought instant results because the plea was based upon the Atonement and not self righteousness)

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified(declared a righteous man; there is no degrees in justification; one is either justified totally or not at all) ratherthan the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Those who criticize others to make themselves look good , to justify their own sin, to slander someone they dislike or to attract attention to themselves are engaging in unrighteous judgement which God condemns.

So to finish God brought me to:

1 Peter 5:10

10 But the God of all grace,(God is the source of all grace) who hath called us(divine summons) unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,(Jesus dying for my sins on the Cross) after that ye have suffered a while,(transition from “flesh” to “Spirit” which is not easy, fast or simple) make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.(on a firm foundation which cannot be moved, as the Grace of God comes to us in an uninterrupted flow)

So all in all God is making me stronger and firmly rooted by all my trials and tribulations of life. I will not falter when satan attempts to attack. 

 But I am comforted, believeing by my rough discipline God is Fullfilling my foundation to a very firm foundation and my roots are planted very deep. 

We are not judging people when we discern behavior or beliefs that are clearly unbiblical. For an excellent passage on having a judgmental spirit versus a discerning spirit, read Paul’s teaching on the problem of doubtful or questionable things in Romans 14. Having an opinion is not judging.
Making an observation is not judging.We are commanded to exercise righteous judgment. We are forbidden to judge when we are not qualified to do so. We may not judge according to appearance (John 7:24). This means that we may not judge on the basis of insufficient, superficial information.John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” 

Praise God He has carried me through this trial and tribulation with mighty learning. God gets all the glory and only Him. Amen.

Author: Janine Palma VanDenBerg

 

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Wait on the Lord…..

Thank you© 2012 ShareFaith, Letters & Arts Inc., All Rights Reserved for use of the picture

I believe it is time to introduce myself. My name is Janine VanDenBerg. I am more or less in charge of the web site and I have written some blogs and did not put my name to them because I want all the glory to go to God. But just the other day someone asked me who’s testimony did they read. Actually it is God’s way of allowing the world to know that through Him and Him only am I able to grow in the Spirit. But pretty much enough of the rambling.

Isaiah 40:31

New King James Version (NKJV)

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

This verse above had me thinking most of the night and going through the steps that the awesome Father has taken me. I am a very faithful follower of the L.A. Dream Center. I was blessed in my third year of serving the Lord faithfully; to be able to attend a Short Term Mission trip there.While I was there the first time all I could think of is it would be so awesome to do my internship there. I was willing to bend over backwards to learn the ropes of serving the Lord and showing His love through all our actions to those who are less fortunate. Because of my background of “eighteen years of drug addiction, drug dealing, alcoholism and prostitution” I had not quite understood that I had learned the hardest part. That was being able to trust and obey my Father. But when you finally turn your life over you realize that there is alot more freedom in this world by following the Lord. But God had carried me through four deaths and I was still here so He defiantly has me here for a reason. 

But when I got started at the Dream Center, God placed me right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. It was only two blocks away from the Police Department. God placed me with Chris VanWinkle in the “Under the Bridges” Ministry. We had to go out to skid row everyday and hand out tickets for free food. That does not seem so bad but this place smelled of urine, you go and see blocks and blocks of old rained on refrigerator boxes where people and children actually lived. As you walk down the road you see a crack head smoking crack right out in the open, you see a heroin addict.  shooting up right in front of you, you see drug deals right there in front of you, maybe some prostitution going on in broad daylight. But these people do not seem to be phased by the life style. Most probably learned how to dissociate and ignore all things around them. But I felt very comfortable there. I felt as though I was at home because of the years on the streets I lived in Orlando, Florida. I was over whelmed with joy. I could finally serve God to the best of my ability and feel comfortable with these amazing children and lost souls of God.

 This is where we come back to last night. I stayed awake in amazement of the patience and timing God has for us. I remember coming back to Roanoke with the desire and want to serve Him immediately. But I too still was a young Christian and had to heal more with my mental illnesses. Or please allow me to word that a bit better. I had to learn to have more faith in God that as I grew in Him, my mental illnesses began to disappear. This is where this verse came in last night that got the Spirit stirred up and I stayed awake praising the Father of the blessings I have received from him since the first Short Term Mission trip in June of 2006.

Isaiah 40:31

New King James Version (NKJV)

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

God was telling me He had all this planned and all I had to do was follow Him. I struggled with that for a long time and God waited and carried me through the messes I made. Knowing all along I was going to grow into the warrior He wanted.

I often catch myself asking God ; “Why did you not lead me to United Christian Inner-City Ministry” years ago? Why did I have to wait so long. Well the answer is: All things are done in His timing and His timing only. Had God brought me over to the church sooner, I may not have been able to follow through with doing His job as He wanted it done. I may have even gotten bored and started another project. But praise God about October of last year they finally diagnosed me with A.D.D. and I was given a medication that allows me to start and finish projects instead of starting so many things and never finishing a thing. I know God blessed me with an amazing mentor Pastor Mike English. He and his wife Billie have so many dreams to do through God and bring glory to God’s name. I too have dreams and I know now I can start and finish them praise God. All and all to wait on God and to follow His every move is the best way of doing things and I can say Janine VanDenBerg is a warrior and servant of God’s truly now because all I want to do is serve Him and sow seeds and show His love through all my actions. NOT MY LOVE but God’s love. It is just a simple thing of saying to yourself everyday; “Are you dead yet?” In other words we need to die to ourselves and live for God every second of everyday. All I can say this morning is THANK YOU FATHER for having PATIENCE with me and you will continue to have patience  as I grow in you. God bless and have a wonderful day.

Please remember these verses:

Galatians 6:3

New King James Version (NKJV)

For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

John 1:3

New King James Version (NKJV)

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Also a verse to pounder on is:

Luke 17:3-4

New King James Version (NKJV)

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you,[a] rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you,[b] saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

Again God bless

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Dante and the love of God.: “Under the Bridge” ministry


Praise God. Tuesday was here again. We had a very blessed night witnessing and mainly spreading the love of God to the amazing and awesome lost souls of God; in Roanoke Virginia.
It started out as a rainy night in Roanoke. Damp and cold was not the way we wanted to go share God’s love. A few of us almost decided not to go. Then one of our members reminded us “Homeless people and lost souls have to be down there no matter what. They do not have a choice but to stand around in the rain.” So we prayed and started down to the Bridge on Tazewell Avenue.
I, Janine VanDenBerg do not have many great and wonderful memories under the bridge. Because I too have been a victim of trauma and underneath that exact bridge I use to prostitute myself to afford my drug habit and also most of my past boyfriends drug habits. But I can feel everyone’s hurts and I am able to remember where I have come from. God has molded me into one of His servants and I want to return the love that God has given me.
We talked with alot of sad and lonely people and we were allowed to pray for and with these awesome souls. We were able to make new friends and it is such a blessing to be there with these very smart, intelligent, artistic people. They just got on the wrong path somewhere, or alot are trauma victims to whom do not realize there is another way of life, or some their parents threw them out on the streets at a young age, the main story we usually get is the parents chose drugs over them and they were not brought up with a sense of responsibility or are unable to realize they can be responsible because nobody has reached out to give them their time and effort to care enough to show them.
The end of the night grew near and we hated to have to start to head back to the van and leave our friends up under that bridge. We got into the van and we were talking about the experiences and the smiles and the many hugs we received. Pastor Frank then asked Jeremy for one of the books that we were handing out. I looked up and there was an older man walking down the hill. He appeared as though he was beaten to death by life. Pastor Frank called out to him to offer him the book. He appeared to be distracted and pastor Frank called again. The weary older man looked up with a very weather beaten face and no sign of any laugh lines. He slowly walked over to the van and took the book and said “thank you”. he then just broke out in to a very sad and lonely cry. I, Janine sitting in the back seat tried to open the door forgetting Pastor’s Franks back door does not work properly. I was struggling very hard to get out and I began yelling at Joe “Open this door, Joe open it!” We as ex-street people understand “street people” especially men do not break down crying in front of strangers for no reason. We got out to the man and hugged him and attempted to comfort him.
We found out his name was “Dante.”Dante’s son had died two days before hand. Tears were streaming down this amazing souls face. My heart was breaking inside. I wanted so much to take that hurt away from him. I too had a son die of Sudden Infant Death syndrome and I had a break down from the situation. He just wept as we stood and held him tight. He stopped crying and looked up. You could see days of dirt on this mans weather beaten face.”Why are you all doing this?” He asked. His look was baffling: “People just do not even know I am alive.” We tried to explain that God uses us as His way to reach out to you and to let you know He loves you. He began cussing and so forth and he said that just does not happen to him. We asked him if we could pray with him and he said please do. We all prayed for him to be comforted and that God would place special angels around him. We finished and Pastor Frank and Jeremy went on to the van and allowed Joe and I to speak with the man.
I began speaking with Dante. I found out he had been drinking since he found out his son had died. He also had been taking a lighter to his forearms and burning himself so he did not have to feel the pain of his son dieing. He lives in a camp outside of Roanoke. He had not ate in 3 days so he came into town to eat at the Rescue Mission. He often flipped from and calm personality to a very enraged and ugly personality. I had seen this one other time in LA when I was at the Dream Center. I asked him if we could have a small prayer and he said yes again.

I then prayed that the demon would be rebuked in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, That this man was a child of God’s and the demon has no right to be within him. Or around anyone of us. That he was to be gone NOW OUT!!!!! Again we praise you our dear Father for giving us the authority to rebuke and remove such demons. We praise you father for Dante. In thy name we pray amen.
Dante looked up and broke down again in tears. I cannot live this life anymore. I need peace. Can I have the peace that you have. We explained about Jesus dieing on the cross, saving us all from our sins and that God wants us to be dependent on Him and Him only and all the glory goes to God. Dante asked if we could lead him through prayer because he had never prayed. We lead him through the prayer and we praised God for our new brother in Christ and closed the prayer up. Dante’s face was beaming. He jumped up and said “I am a warrior for God now! I want to pass on this peace.” He hugged us and quickly left with his hands in the air and praising God.
We are still praying for you Dante and we pray all is well. We invited him to our church and he said he had to get things in order again and he would be there soon. God bless.

Update: March 25, 2012 Dante came to church. He says things are alot better now. He is still looking for a job. He also wants to attend church regularly and also wants to attend Celebrate recovery. He is still staying in a camp outside of town. Thank you Father for a new brother in Christ. God bless Dante. Also be praying that Dante Gets a job!!!

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Filed under church, God's Disciples, God's love, God's love and mercy, God's Mercy, Help with survival, Homeless, Homelessness, Inspirational, Jesus knows, Teen Homelessness, Testimony, Uncategorized, United Christian Inner-City Ministry