Fruit Basket (painting by Balthasar van der Ast).

First Fruits is a religious offering of the first agricultural produce of the harvest. In classical GreekRoman, and Hebrew religions, the first fruits were given to priests as an offering to deity. In Christian faiths, the tithe is similarly given as a donation or offering serving as a primary source of income to maintain the religious leaders and facilities. In some Christian texts, Jesus Christ, through his resurrection, is referred to as the first fruits of the dead. Beginning in 1966 a unique “First Fruits” celebration brought the Ancient African harvest festivals that became the African American holiday, Kwanzaa.                                                 (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

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As promised, I am still using this blog space to publish encouraging words to the world during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.  It is my hope that each and every blog post will contribute to your well-being, and will strengthen your faith and hope in our Maker, Christ Jesus.

While conversing with God, I borrowed His term “First Fruits” because I wanted to relate to it as God’s divine offering to his people (rather than God’s people retuning their offering to him).  I envisioned God giving to us a recipe for wholesome and righteous living during these trying times.

The Holy Scriptures reminds us that we serve an all-sufficient, all-knowing, all righteous, all-loving, all-wise, all-existing, all-powerful and all-peaceable God…just to name a few of His attributes.

So, for this writing, please allow me to list some of God’s first-fruits that he bestowed on mankind from the beginning.  All of these truths we can rely upon and that will give us hope for years to come.

God will supply all of our food source needs, our material needs, our civic needs, and our physical needs during Covid-19.

  • Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. Genesis 1:29
  • The cattle on a thousand hills are mine. Psalms 50:10
  • The birds in the air are mine. Psalms 50:11
  • Unless the Lord builds the house, those that build it labor in vain. Psalms 127:1
  • The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper (wife) suitable for him.”  Genesis 1:18
  • Children are a heritage from the Lord…Psalms 127:3a
  • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Isaiah 26:3
  • “For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”  Romans 9:17
  • Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, “You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11).

Don’t forget, there are things you as citizens and believers have to do in order to receive his bountiful blessings.

  • Ask and you shall receive.
  • Ask according to his will.
  • Seek and you shall find.
  • Knock and the door shall be opened.
  • Pray for those appointed by God in authority.
  • Be ye holy as I am holy.
  • Therefore, get wisdom, get understanding.
  • Love thy neighbor as thyself.

In summary…always remember to keep God’s commandments and live holy, both in this age and in the eternal age to come.  In a prayer-like posture…

  “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
 Then call on me (God) when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”  Psalms 50:14-15

Scripture Lesson:   “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”  Psalms 46:1-3

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!









God Does Not Show Favoritism

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As many godly people continue to pray for victims of the coronavirus (Covid-19), did you know that as of April 17, 2020, approximately 210 countries and territories around the world have a total of 2,182,823 confirmed cases; and a death toll of 145,551.

I was led by the Holy Spirit to remind you of these statistics while reading a familiar Bible story  during my quiet conversational time with God.  It had to do with the Apostle Peter who had gone upon the roof top of his lodging place in Joppa to pray.  There he fell into a trance and had a dream.

He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.  It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.  Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter.  Kill and eat.”   “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied.  “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”   The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”  Acts 10:11  [This happened a third time, then the dream was over.]

How Did God Relate These Verses To The Coronavirus?

Once again, the Holy Spirit reminded me that this pandemic is a world-wide catastrophe.  And the message that God is heralding to the churches of the living God is to feed my people the Word everywhere.  Like Peter (a Devout Jew) said after he was obedient and went down to the town of Caesarea to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the household of Cornelius (a Gentile):  (Don’t forget, Peter considered Gentiles unclean.)

“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts those from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”  Acts 10:34

Consider this my friends, this deadly calamity that the world is experiencing is a divine opportunity for us to pray for peoples everywhere regardless of their race, greed or color.  We are also commanded to pray for world leaders everywhere, that they use good judgement as well as trusted advisors and show humility and compassion to those in fear and without hope.

Pray that the world leaders will come to realize that they have the power to initiate, control, operate, lead, or triumph over anything, BUT NOT without the authority, blessings and wisdom of the Almighty God Who heals.

Would not it be wonderful, if such a time as this, could  be used to proclaim the true Gospel of the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord, Christ Jesus, to every creed, nationality and individual throughout the whole world?  Let’s all do our part to make this happen…IN THE NAME OF JESUS, AMEN AND AMEN!!!

SCRIPTURE LESSON:   “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”  John 3:16-17

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!


God Is Blowing The Trumpet In Zion

          Blow the trumpet (Shofar) in Zion.....

The title of this week’s blog is taken from an Old Testament bible verse found in the Book of Joel 2:1 which reads:  “Blow the trumpet (Shofar) in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.  Let all who live in the land  tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.  It is close at hand—” (NIV)

During the past week, the Lord gave me four opportunities to ‘blow the trumpet’ FOR Zion.

But first, it is necessary for me to explain how the Holy Spirit instructs me to interpret God’s word.  He (the Holy Spirit) always encourages me to make scripture applicable to my everyday life.  Yes, I realize that many references in scripture, especially the Old Testament, are historical and render background information on what was happening in the lives of nations where God’s prophets lived and traveled and were inspired by God to become sages or recorders of His word.

BUT, as for me, I believe I am called by God to equate His written word to events I personally experience in my everyday life and to blog about them on Conversations With God Using Scripture.  So, please allow me to share the four consecutive events that happened to me all in one evening as I sat quietly at a table in the lobby of my beautiful apartment building, working a puzzle and adhering to ‘social distancing’ (due to Covid-19) from my neighbors.

Approached by visiting neighbor No. 1, who said:

“You know, I had the worst headache the other night.  It awoke me and I thought someone had taken a sludge hammer and hit me in the back of my head.  It hurt so bad, I asked God to just kill me.”  “Did you take an aspirin,” I asked.  “I couldn’t. My regular doctor said not to mix any other head ache medicines with my current meds.  But the next day I called a friend and she recommended another doctor and that doctor gave me a few pills and said to take just one the next night and I would sleep like a baby.  And guest what, it worked.”  “I thought you told me you knew God.  God is the giver of life and not death.  You should have prayed for Him to provide some kind of relief.  Instead you depended on a mere mortal to subscribe relief that could have done more harm than good. Before using another one of those pills, I hope you advise your regular doctor of what you have done.  And further more, I urge you to in addition to ‘knowing about God’, to form a closer relationship with him and turn to His Son, Jesus Christ, to lead and guide you out of troubling times.  During this Covid-19 crises, we should put our trust in Him.

Approached by visiting neighbor No. 2, who inquired:

“How are you coming with your puzzle?”  “Oh, hello.  Aren’t you my new neighbor that recently moved into the apartment above me?” “Yes, and I’m sorry if I am making too much noise…I’m still opening boxes.”  “Oh, that’s alright.  I do hear you at 6 o’clock each morning.  I guess you are getting ready for work.”  “Yes, I’m still working every day.”  “Well, you don’t know this, but during that time, I’m on my morning prayer telephone line with approximately 26 other people and we pray for you and your workforce.  We lift you up and ask God to  keep you safe and protected from Covid-19 and that you and your co-workers will not dispense the disease to anyone else.  Would you mind if I prayed for you right now?”  My neighbor look surprised.  He put on a big smile, bowed his head and I began praying.  Yes, right then and there, I was not ashamed to call on the Lord to cover him with the Blood of Jesus Christ and to build a fence all around him and his co-workers each and every day.  I guess you can say I was blowing the trumpet FOR Zion.

Approached by visiting neighbor No. 3, who said: 

“You haven’t seen me lately because ever since I returned from my trip to Israel in January, I haven’t been feeling well.”  This got my attention, and I stopped working the puzzle.  “Don’t worry, I don’t have the virus, but while in Israel I became so sick that I had to go to the hospital there.  The tour group I was traveling with decided I should return to the United States and I didn’t even get a chance to visit one place where Jesus went.”  “Tell me more,” I said.  “Well, one of my childhood girlfriends is married to a minister and she had been inviting me over the years to go on one of their mission trips, but I always refused, mainly because my husband had been sick for many years.  After his passing, my friend called me and said I now had no excuse not to travel with them, and she persuaded me to go to Israel with the tour group.  So, I don’t understand why after deciding to join them, God prevented me from participating by my getting sick and having to return home.  And now with all this viruses going around, do you think we are in Armageddon?”  (Oh, now it’s God fault (and not the husband’s) and He is to blame, I thought.  Oh, Lord Jesus, help me to impart some comforting words to this sister.)

“Listen, lovie, since you mentioned Armageddon, I see you know a little bit about the end times and the Day of the Lord.  Don’t you know that perhaps you entered into a spiritual warfare the moment you decided to let go and let God order your steps. Heretofore, you had allowed your circumstances to prevent you from serving God and coming to know his Son, Jesus Christ, in His fulness.  By putting God first and going on the Israel trip, the enemy was loosing his grip on you…and he didn’t like that.  I want you to be encouraged and to thank God for loving you and being patient with you.  Continue to seek him and develop a true relationship with him that will be closer than a brother.  Instead of bemoaning your failed trip to Israel, ask the Lord to open new doors for you to walk through.  I ask this all in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.”  Amen.

Approached by visiting neighbor No. 4, she had a praise report:

That same evening, I received a phone call from my closest friend in my apartment building.  She apologized for interrupting my puzzle activity because she wanted to let me know that through prayer, God had just fixed her television.  She reported that for several days her TV stations were fuzzy and that she could not receive any assistance from the front office to correct the issue.  Out of frustration, that evening, she decided to turn to the Great Cable Man, whose name was not Spectrum but Jesus Christ.  She asked Him to adjust His route and come by her apartment and fix her TV.  She said she left the living room area for a few minutes and when she returned, she picked up the remote, turned on the TV and (by God) it was working fine!  We both shouted and praised the Lord with laughter and in awe of His sense of humor and His mighty works and pleasure to satisfy His children.


As I put my puzzle away that evening and gathered my belonging to return to my own apartment, I heard the Holy Spirit say:  My child, yes I’m moving throughout this universe, to see if there is anybody standing on my Holy Hill blowing the trumpet in Zion, warning my people of the spiritual battle that is raging in the atmosphere.  Is there anybody lifting up the blood-stained banner for the Lord.  Whether the battle is big or small, I am in them all and will bring relief and victory to all those who turn to me in season or out of season; even for those suffering from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Scripture Lesson:  “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!                       

God Speaks Not In The Rushing Wind, But In A Still Small Voice

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Dear Readers:  Below is a reprint from Buckner International. 

Buckner is a Christian organization located in Dallas,Texas, that establishes and supports orphan homes all over the world.   For ten years this blogger traveled with Buckner as an international missionary, distributing shoes, personal supplies, gifts and teaching English as a second language, as well as promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ where the countries allowed.

My adventures took me to St. Petersburg, Russia; Lima, Peru; Dominican Republic; Addis Abba, Ethiopia; and Hanoi, Viet Nam.  With other Christian organizations and churches, I performed international missionary duties in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Acapulco, Mexico;  Nicaragua and Costa Rico, Central America; Zambia, Zimbabwe and Johannesburg, South Africa; Ammon, Jordan; and the Caribbean.

The reprint of this article below reminds us of where faith and works intersect as our nation adjusts to the ‘new normal’ situation we find ourselves in today, as it relates to Convid-19 also known as the Coronavirus.

 Buckner International
Seeking God in the quiet
Seek God in the quiet.jpg

How has your life changed in the last week? For many of us, we are embracing a new culture of working from home, homeschooling our children, practicing social distancing or experiencing a formal quarantine in an effort to slow the effects of COVID-19 that continues to spread throughout our communities. It’s a new normal, but it’s different and sometimes scary.


One of the hardest parts of the new normal is the vast amount of time you spend alone. Even if you have roommates or a family, you may still find yourself experiencing some unusual alone time or just an eerie sense of solitude as walks around your neighborhood feel like a ghost town.

The quiet of the hour may be opening the door for some self reflection. And if anyone knows how self-reflection can bring you down from a high, it’s the prophet Elijah.

Elijah had just experienced the greatest of highs. He challenged the false prophets of Baal to a challenge: lay out two bulls on a pile of wood while the prophets of Baal called on their god and Elijah called on his God. He who lit the fire would be the one true God. Though the prophets of Baal tried and tried, a fire never started on their wood pile. But Elijah drenched his wood pile with water three times and called upon God once and fire instantly ignited. The prophets of Baal were defeated and the people turned to God.

But the king was displeased and threatened to kill Elijah so he fled to the mountain. He was so despondent he asked God to let him die. The great prophet who just witnessed the glory of God was now asking to die because he was alone and his circumstances seemed bleak. How often do we fall under the same discouraging murmurings?

Instead of giving in to Elijah’s depression, the Lord provided food for him every day for 40 days. Even still, Elijah could only focus on the negative: he was alone and the king was seeking to kill him. Then the Lord asked Elijah to go to stand on the mount:

“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him.” 1 Kings 19:11-13
Sometimes, we expect God to meet us in our busy lives and speak with a mighty thundering. But often, he is the quiet, still voice that calms your soul if you take the time to listen to it.

This new normal of solitude can be scary, but remember that God provided for Elijah when he was alone and encouraged him to go back to the city and do a great work for him. God can be found in the quiet. Take advantage of this new normal and see God in the quiet and see what word he has for you.“‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” –Psalms 46:10-11

Written by Aimee Freston, associate director of digital communications for Buckner International.

I hope that you truly enjoyed reading and digesting those comforting words and Scriptures penned in the article above by Aimee Freston.  I also encourage you to seek God during your quiet time as we live out this “new normal”.

Scripture Lesson:  “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”  Isaiah 55:6

“What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?”  Deuteronomy 4:7

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!