The Answer is Still Hope

Daily we’re bombarded in the media with disturbing headlines…

  • Gradually, the freedoms of our nation are being chiseled away in the name of security.
  • Our unemployment rate is at an all-time high, while the value of our dollar is at an all-time low.
  • Consumer confidence is at an all-time low, while prices for things are at an all-time high.
  • The divorce rate is at an all-time high.
  • The murders, shootings, and stabbings, litter the front page of every morning paper.
  • Abortion continues to be legal.
  • Political corruption is rampant in our government officials.
  • The Muslims have declared war on the western world
  • The US has declared war on terrorist countries
  • Iran wants to bomb Israel off the map
  • There’s genocide being committed in the Dar Fur region
  • Every day we hear about famines and droughts taking lives
  • Natural disasters, rather than bringing out the best in people, have brought out the worst, with looting, pillaging, price gouging, and hidden political agendas.
  • Every day another drug deal goes bad
  • Every day another child dies in a drive-by shooting
  • Every day another school or place of business gets shot-up
  • Every day another terrorist threat is discovered
  • The children and the elderly in our country continue to get the short end of the stick
  • Justice seems to favor the criminal
  • Our prisons are over-crowded
  • People are losing their homes
  • Banks are going out of business

Yet, everyday people get up and do their dead-level best to keep their chin up. The odds never seem to be in their favor. What on earth (or in Heaven) could ever breath hope back into people’s lives? What if anything could remedy the pain of feeling of being violated?

The Apostle Paul wrote, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” I Co. 15:19.

  • This world doesn’t need a powerful political figure…
  • This world doesn’t need a powerful political system…
  • This world doesn’t need more money, more programs, or more tax breaks…
  • This world doesn’t need more change, just for the sake of change, what this world needs is HOPE!

Peter said in his first epistle (3:15) – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

The answer is hope! Let’s point people to the real hope that spans beyond this world – it’s the hope that drew Christ to the Cross at Calvary…YOU!

As long as there are “YOU’s” in this world, there is hope…

  • People whose lives have been forever changed
  • People who have been given a reason to carry on
  • People who have drank from the freely from the well and now have living water flowing from their own souls
  • People who have everlasting joy and peace
  • People who have hope

While hope is one of the greatest of all commodities on the planet it’s futile if it’s not shared with others. People everywhere are waiting, knowingly or unknowingly, to hear a message of hope.

If you’re born again of the water and of the Spirit, you contain the hope that humanity needs in earthen vessels. Let’s not withhold this hope from mankind.

Jesus read a passage in Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Jesus was the fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy, but today, the Spirit of the Lord is not just “upon” us…He’s in us; reaching out to a lost and hurting world through us! It’s up to us to complete the mission Jesus started, until the day of His return!

The Gavel of Truth

  • Truth attests; lies detest.
  • Truth binds us; lies bind us up.
  • Truth connects; lies dissect.
  • Truth consists: lies resist.
  • Truth conveys; lies betray.
  • Truth corrects; lies reject.
  • Truth creates victors; lies create victims.
  • Truth cures; lies obscure.
  • Truth defeats; lies retreat.
  • Truth defends; lies depend.
  • Truth does; lies try.
  • Truth exterminates; lies contaminate.
  • Truth hangs on; lies hang up.
  • Truth is selfless; lies are selfish.
  • Truth is strict; lies restrict.
  • Truth is the answer; lies are the cancer.
  • Truth leads us; lies lead us on.
  • Truth overcomes; lies succumb.
  • Truth overrides; lies ride over.
  • Truth promotes; lies demote.
  • Truth protects; lies project.
  • Truth refines; lies confine.
  • Truth reflects; lies deflect.
  • Truth refutes; lies dilute.
  • Truth resolves; lies dissolve.
  • Truth reveals; lies conceal.
  • Truth stands with; lies withstand.
  • Truth steps up; lies step out.
  • Truth travels alone; lies come in packs.
  • Truth will abound; lies keep you bound.
  • Truth will carry you; lies will bury you.
  • Truth will out give; lies will give out.
  • Truth will raise hope; lies erase hope.
  • Truth will refresh; lies will repress.
  • Truth will unite; lies will untie.
  • Truth will uphold you; lies will hold you up.
  • Truth will; lies won’t.

By: Rodger Mangold

The Dry Season

The sun is scorching you with what feels like laser beams of radiating heat. There’s an annoying ringing in your ears and a pounding sensation in your head. As the sand hits your face it feels tiny needles piercing your skin. The wind, it doesn’t stop here; it’s a force that continuously shifts sand and stone altering the landscape beyond all recognition. At times the gusts, hot and unpredictable, toss you around like the occasional “tumbleweed” that aimlessly races by you as if it were late for an appointment on the other side of the desert. You turn your back to the wind only to find that no matter which way you face, the wind swirls around you and soon you’re in a state of delirium. You don’t know north from south and east from west. Each step you take unknowingly forces you into a diabolical pattern of sorts. You remember hearing somewhere that if you’re right-handed, you likely favor your right leg as well and you will instinctively walk in a large circle, without the guidance of a fixed object or landscape to guide you, you’re lost.

“Just a drop of water,” you say to yourself, “would satisfy me for hours.” Your throat is parched; your tongue feels like an old piece of shoe leather and the grit from the blowing sand has found its way between your teeth as the persistent grains of sand siphon their way through your nose into your mouth. Your eyes are dry and the sand has clogged your tear ducts and each blink brings irritation and pain as your own unforgiving eyelids scrap across the surface of your eye ball like sandpaper.

The thought of dying this way never in a million years occurred to you but now it’s an increasing reality with each labored step you’re feeling closer to your doom. You just knew that you’d grow old wiling away the years in the comfort of your rocking chair.

“Do you hate me God?” You blurt out irreverent and belligerent, letting out a sarcastic chuckle, not expecting an answer anytime soon. “You’ve always been there for me before,” you yell “why are you ignoring me now?” You’d cry if there was an ounce of moisture left in you.

“How did I get here, somewhere I must have taken a wrong turn?” you mumble. “Somehow I must have mad God angry with me!”

Beneath your bare feet you feel something sharp crumble and your eyes become wide with horror as you realize it’s the dry bones of a previous traveler’s fateful demise. What shred of hope you had of survival is now gone. If you make it through this dry barren desert it won’t be by your own cunning and survival instincts. Only God can deliver you now and you become apologetic.

“Of course I know I’m not alone in all this God, I know you’re there. You said you’d always be there but I don’t feel you. I can’t see your hand at work in this. What’s worse is I don’t feel your love in this. Surely I must have done something to deserve this,” as you analyze the events of your life.

It’s easy to allow a sense of foreboding and condemnation to overwhelm you. The hopelessness is too much to bear you can easily see that giving up would be the logical thing to do here. You shrug those feelings off as you trudge on knowing full-well God wouldn’t purposely thrust you into a trial that would destroy you.

There’s a sudden silence and everything stops. Granules of sand pause in mid-air and the pounding of the sand against your wind-beaten skin stops. The throbbing in your head is gone, the sun’s torturing heat subsides and all is quiet.

There’s a whisper in the distance. As quiet as it is around you, your thoughts are still charged and your mind is still racing. You can’t make out what it is. It sounds like a still small voice, strangely familiar yet indiscernible.  You shake your head as if to loosen the incessant thoughts in your brain. “Is this one of those optical illusions or a mirage?” You question.

There it is again, yes, it is a voice, but not just any voice; the voice of a man. You’re quickly humbled as you realize just whose voice it is. There’s comfort in His tone, yet strength. There’s power yet compassion. You are suddenly and wonderfully aware of the presence of your Heavenly Father. The dangers you were surrounded with have been whisked away. The impending doom has turned to peaceful serenity. The moisture has returned to your eyes evidenced by the warm tears that run down your face. They’re not tears of sorrow but of joy unspeakable and full of glory. You feel the brush of a gentle finger wipe the tears from your eyes.

As abruptly as the winds ceased you were carried away to a place that was lush and green. The breezes were gentle and calm. There were sloping valleys and majestic mountain ranges. You found yourself beside a pool of cool clear water but strangely enough the desire for water had been satisfied not by this pool but by the exchange between you and your Savior. Moments ago you would have killed for a DROP of this water but somehow your appetite for things fleshly has changed. You realize man shall not live by bread alone but by every word the proceeds out of the mouth of God. As thirsty as your body had been for the cool clear water, you see now that the desert was only a type and shadow of what your soul has been enduring for many years.

There’s been leanness in your soul; a famine for the hearing of the Word of the Lord. The dearth in your soul can only be satisfied by seeking the face of the Master. He’s tenderly pleading for you to spend time in His presence. What you thirst for now are not the pleasures of this life. What you hunger for is not the fresh warm bread of the baker. Your soul is longing for communion with the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The desperation you felt in your body was painfully paralleled spiritually in your soul. The peril your body was experiencing has been a way of life with your soul for ages. You go day after day forcing your soul to get by on the dryness never affording it the joy and release it has so desperately longed for. Your soul delights in the presence of Jesus Christ yet you let days without number go by without so much as a whispered prayer. Your wilderness experience has given you valuable insight into things eternal…things that really matter. This wasn’t some arbitrary test meant to debase and demoralize you. Remarkably, your walk through the wilderness, that dry barren land, was a painful process but had a powerful purpose. You questioned God’s presence and motive in your trial when in reality He engineered it for the benefit of your soul. Now all you can do is praise Him for revealing this life-changing truth to you before it was too late.

Psalm 63:1-5 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

By Pastor RDM

The Anointing


From the earliest days of man’s history, anointing has played an important role in the transference of God’s presence, power, and favor to His servants. As man grew more reliant on God’s power and sufficiency, and less on his own cunning craftiness, they learned there was much more that could be accomplished.

Jacob anointed the pillow on which he slept the night God revealed Himself from the top of the ladder of Heaven. Jacob anointed his pillow and it became a pillar.

The anointing, as it was applied to Aaron and his sons, took a man and his family, and established the Levitical priesthood. God took a man who had allowed Israel to fashion a golden calf in Moses’ absence, and a man who had challenged Moses’ authority, to be the foreshadowing of Christ, our Eternal High Priest because of the anointing.

It was the God of David that anointed his head with oil and his cup over ran. Yes, the same man, who as child had been anointed the future King of Israel, the same man who in his lust committed adultery and murder. The same man, who in his arrogance, numbered the children of Israel, was well acquainted with the Oil of Gladness. He repented and found forgiveness, and said, “I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”

Oil was a constant in the worship and sacrifice of Israel, and it is clear to see that the oil of the Old Testament was without doubt the precursor to the anointing of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament.

The five wise and five foolish virgins’ level of oil was indicative of their readiness for the bridegroom.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples when they fast, not to be like the hypocrites, but to anoint their heads and wash their face, “That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

The Samaritan tended to the wounds of the traveler with both oil and wine

In James, he commands the sick to call upon the elders of the church, to anoint and pray for them, and God shall heal them, and if there be any sin it shall be forgiven.

The anointing is not a static event in someone’s life. It is intended to activate the power, plan, and favor of God in all that it is applied to. The oil is the outward agent of the inward transference of God’s divine intervention in your life.

  • Use the Anointing Oil in every area of life…
  • Use it on the forehead of a sick child in the middle of the night.
  • Use it on the pillow of an unsaved loved one who refuses to answer the call of God on their life.
  • Use it on the vehicle of your teenager before they travel.
  • Use it on the job application or scholarship that you desperately want God’s favor in.
  • Use it to anoint a bill you cannot afford to pay and watch God unlock your finances.
  • Use it on yourself before you fast, and then wash your face.
  • Use it to anoint the doorposts of a new home or a home that is battling evil spirits.
  • Use it on a napkin or handkerchief like Apostle Paul to allow the transference of healing.

God’s Anointing, coupled with your prayer is unstoppable!

…and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Pastor RDM

Photo compliments of  Bro. Carlos Hernandez.

Please visit his blog at to view some of his artistry in documenting Apostolics in the 21st Century. Thanks Bro. Carlos!

Bipolar Disorder – May Prove to Have Advantages if Harnessed

Born March 30, 1853, Vincent Van Gogh, became a well-known artist during the impressionistic period of art. After suffering multiple mental problems, in 1888 Van Gogh commited himself into the Saint Remy Asylum. It was during this period that he completed one of his most famous creations, “Starry Night[1].” Anna Marie Duke was born to a household filled with turmoil. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother was an undiagnosed manic depressant. It was not until she was 8 years old that she was discovered by John and Ethel Ross, talent scouts were looking for young actresses. Pulling Anna from her troubled home, they whisked her away to stardom. After unofficially adopting her, the Ross’ changed her name to Patty, telling the young girl that Anna Marie was dead. “You’re Patty now.” By age 16 Patty became the first child recipient of an Oscar Award for her role in Helen Keller. After several years of a successful acting career the signs of depression began to exhibit themselves and in 1982 Patty Duke was formally diagnosed as “manic depressive” and tells of her account in her autobiography, “Call me Anna[2].” What do these two very famous people from completely different eras have in common? They both were bipolar. Vincent Van Gogh’s life ended in tragedy while Patty Duke to received lithium as treatment for her condition.

Bipolar disorder or manic depression can best be described as a serious mental illness that can affect a person’s ability to feel a normal range of emotions or moods. People that are diagnosed with bipolar disorder find themselves with moods that range from very high (manic) to very low (depression). Originally, the term manic depression was used to describe this mental illness but now bipolar disorder is used as it better described the extreme polarity of highs and lows that the patient experiences.

Symptoms that a patient with bipolar disorder may exhibit cover a wide range as one might imagine with an illness that spans such extremes. A patient during bouts with mania will exhibit behavior such as increased energy levels, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, are easily distracted, more talkative, stronger sense of self confidence, focused on getting things done but with little results, and indulgence in risky or unusual activities to an extreme. On the opposite “pole” these same patients, during a depression state, will exhibit such behavior as feeling sad or blue, loss of interest in things the person used to enjoy, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness, variation in sleep patterns (too little or not enough), fluctuation in weight or appetite, feeling tired or lack of energy, and thoughts of suicide or preoccupation with thoughts of death. As researchers become more familiar with bipolar disorder they have come to the conclusion this illness is typically lifelong but with a variety of medicines and therapies the patients can go on to live relatively normal lives.

Vincent Van Gogh and Patty Duke are famous individuals but everyday common ordinary people battle bipolar disorder in a variety of ways. Patients, even after they are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, are able to hold jobs, raise families and go on to live productive lives. Medicines like mood stabilizers are effective in treating the “highs and lows” of the disorder. In addition, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics are often used in conjunction with mood stabilizers to stave off or help control the bouts of depression and mania. Another medical treatment that is not considered a drug is Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT. This treatment has been found effective for patients that do not respond well to drug therapy.

Some goals of a professional that is treating a patient with bipolar disorder might include some of the following: control of acute manic and depressive symptoms, reduction in the amount and frequency of mood cycling and mood instability occur, to aid patients in the achievement of functioning at their highest level possible, minimization of side effects of treatments and to aid in the implementation of a rigid treatment management plan.

The professional that treats a patient that is bipolar will inevitably encounter the patients that feel as though they are “cured” and will not require the use of medication or therapy to live out a normal life. This in fact can be quite disastrous. Patients that begin to feel bipolar disorder is in “check” will stop taking their prescribed medication or therapy and at the behest of their treating professional, will experience further instability with regard to their management of the disorder. Some common excuses given by patients include:

  • I don’t want to take medication for the rest of my life
  • I feel better, there’s nothing wrong with me
  • I’m experiencing the side effects of the drugs; I sleepy all the time, I’m gaining weight, etc.
  • I disagree with my treatment

Patients taking medication for bipolar disorder must be frequently reminded and encouraged that this disorder is not to be considered a character flaw or weakness and treatment must be continuous or relapses or worsening effects of the illness will occur. Like a patient that has high blood pressure or cholesterol, a patient with bipolar disorder must continue their drug therapy, as prescribed, or bouts of the disorder will increase in frequency and intensity.

Alternatives to drug therapy may include talk therapy or psychotherapy. This therapy has been found to be quite effective in aiding the patient in isolating triggers of bipolar disorder. During talk therapy, the patient would discuss with a mental health professional their unique circumstances and relationships. This therapy aids the patient in assessing and evaluating their condition. With bipolar disorder, the patient can experience a wide array of feelings and emotions. A mental health professional can aid in helping the patient understand the source of these feelings and offer adjustment techniques to the gamut of emotions they are experiencing. It must be understood that talk therapy is not about getting advice or answers. Talk therapy should revolve around assisting the patient in understanding themselves, getting support and feedback in a open, honest and private setting. Different types of talk therapy are available and will depend on the severity of the bipolar patient as to which therapy is best suited to their needs. One-on-one therapy and group therapy are both effective but must be administered correctly and safely. Some therapies center on information and support while others encourage the patient to learn about themselves and their relationships. Overall, therapy of any sort should aid the patient in establishing confidence and to reduce the strain bipolar disorder places on an individual and their relationships.

According to the National Mental Health Information Center, 1 in every 100 people develops bipolar disorder[3]. No one has the same symptoms of this disorder nor will they experience it to the same degree. While the jury is still out on the exact cause of bipolar disorder, scientists now believe that it can be traced to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. If a patient has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder they should not be disheartened. There are numerous examples of people that go on to live out normal and productive lives. Some things a patient can do to increase the effectiveness of their therapy (drug, psycho therapy or ECT) is to take a vested interest in your disorder. Research is vital in the education and understanding of this disorder. Every day new hallmarks are being made in the treatment of bipolar disorder. It would behoove the patient to track their moods and emotions on a chart, to avoid triggers of mood episodes, and keep a list of questions for your mental health care provider. Staying informed and maintaining a discipline of taking your medication are 2 of most important things a patient can do to achieve a sense of normalcy in coping with bipolar disorder.

In conclusion, bipolar disorder does not mean a death sentence on your ability to live a mentally, socially and physically normal life. Some patients have even learned to harness their illness to achieve great success in life. It is believed by some that Van Gogh’s ability to paint was heightened by his emotional energy while coping with bipolar disorder. Patty Duke’s ability to act was attributed by some, to her ability to exhibit such extreme emotions. Sadly, this is still a disease and must be treated as such.

NOTE: The information contained in this article is not intended to in anyway advise or instruct the reader. It contains opinions and research as gathered by the author. Please consult your healthcare professional for expert medical and psychological opinions.

Bipolar Disorder – References and Sources

  • As noted in footnotes

[1] Reference:

[2] Reference: www.bipolar/