This Train is Bound for Glory
! That’s the song that my husband, Ken was singing this morning when he woke from a dream. There are several variations of it, so I’m unsure who wrote the version he knew.
In this dream, Ken witnessed to a man named Billy, who was moved to purchase his train ticket to heaven. The train bound for glory came for Billy, but he would not release his ticket to the attendant. Billy insisted on holding on to it because he was too attached to this world. Jesus was standing in the back of the train sadly looking on - waiting for him to come aboard. Ken was singing and crying because Billy was left behind.
The Lord said to Ken in this dream, “There are many Billies in this world that are standing with tickets in their hand but will miss out on heavenly glory. They feel that they have more time and fail to heed my beckoning call.”
As he relayed the dream, he was visibly disturbed; hard pressed in his spirit. He felt his efforts had been insufficient in leading more people to Jesus. Considering that he is a dialysis patient with diverse medical challenges, most people who know him are amazed at his accomplishments, in spite of his various diagnoses.
Since our early ministry days in 1976, he has been accustomed to preaching in the streets and in front of nightclubs, as well as in the pulpit at church. On several occasions, we safely stopped the car allowing him access to witness to someone in a raised median in the middle of the street. (We don’t advise this, however.)
Ken’s dream is significant of being ready when Jesus returns for you - either as an individual, or in the rapture with all the ready saints. If your name is Billy and you do not have a relationship with Jesus, God is speaking to you. If your name is not Billy and you are not born again, the Father is speaking to you also.
Hebrews 3:12-15 Take care brothers and sisters that there not be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to trust and rely on the Lord, a heart] that turns away from the living God. But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” [and there is an opportunity], so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication]. For we [believers] have become partakers of Christ [sharing in all that the Messiah has for us], if only we hold firm our newborn confidence [which originally led us to Him] until the end, while it is said, “Today [while there is still opportunity] if you hear His voice, Do not harden your heart, as when they provoked Me [in the rebellion in the desert at Meribah].”
Do not harden your hearts against the salvation that Jesus offers to you. He died for the world, but specifically for you. There is no other name that we can use to be saved. It is of a certainty that every knee will one day bow to him and every tongue will have to confess that He is Lord. It’s now or later. Allow Him to come into your heart and change your life today. Tomorrow is not promised.
Prayer of salvation
Father God, I believe that Jesus is your son, that he died for my sins, and that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me of my sins. I ask that Jesus come into my heart now. I acknowledge and confess him as my Lord and Savior. I believe your word that says whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; therefore, I thank you for saving me.
It's time to press the reset button.
While in a program on my computer, an error message flashed, "An unexpected lapse of attention!" Lapse can refer to a passage of time, memory failure, collapse, or even an error in judgement. I was pressing the back button in an attempt to take the program backwards at the same time that it was trying to move forward. Therefore, I had to reset it and start completely over. Pause and think about that.
Our Father in heaven desires to advance and expand us. Expansion is the word that He gave me on December 21, 2017. It is my theme for 2018. He blesses us to be a blessing to others.
Romans 8:1 declares, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. We can't move forward if we are weighted down.
Jesus has made it possible for us to move forward. He pressed the reset button when he died on the cross of Calvary in our stead. His resurrection gives us another chance.
Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy every aspect of your life, but the son of God has come to give you zoe (abundant) life. Take it! This is a perfect time to start anew.
I had a dream on January 8, 2018 that ministered to me so I will share it with you here. Please understand that God does nothing by accident. He places emphasis on numbers, days, and times because He is the author of them. However, I don't get into the world's system of numerology. Remember that the devil tries to copy everything that God does and perverts it. That being said, the very fact that my dream took place on the eight day of 2018 was significant, "Why?" you might ask. Some biblical meanings of the number 8 is NEW BEGINNING, RESURRECTION, and REGENERATION.
When I awoke that morning, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to my heart saying, "Living waters can’t flow
through clogged pipes. Release
forgiveness because unforgiveness
will make you its hostage."
Jesus said in John 7:38, "
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Rivers of living water can't flow through clogged pipes. Clogged Pipes are still pipes but are useless if the water necessary to sustain life is unable to run through them.
In my dream an old man finally
apologized to a young woman that he wronged many years ago. I, actually, know both of them. Her unwillingness
to forgive resulted in a sad countenance, melancholy life, and vulnerability to
the adversary’s continous tactics against her. It wasn't so much that she did not want to forgive; she was just still very hurt and found it hard to do so. The old man had taken advantage of her naivete'. It was obvious to me that she also needed to forgive herself.
The question on the floor is, how do we forgive? You have to confess it with your mouth by saying, "I forgive you for hurting me." Sometimes it's just that simple. Other times, you will have to confess it often just to believe it. Faith comes by hearing. Eventually, you will be able to say it because it will be true in your heart. If the scar remains, you will no longer feel wounded.
Even if the person you need to forgive is you, do so. The Holy Spirit also spoke to me these words: "Don’t hold grudges. If you hold a grudge, the
grudge will hold you - making you its captive." Unforgiveness makes you susceptible to sickness and disease in your total man.
The word of God in 1 John 1:9 states, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Jesus came to reset us. He led CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE so you can be FREE from everything that thwarts your
progress. Since He paid your ransom, accept your gift. It's up to you to go free.
2018 is an opportunity to begin again. The past is called the past for a reason. Leave those things that bind you, and every weight that so easily besets you, buried in the past.
The unexpected lapse of attention is on our part, not His. Nevertheless, He restores our soul. So flush out the clogged pipes! Press the reset button! Move forward! Advance the Kingdom of God! He has given you gifts to complete His purpose for you.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Seeing pictures of my granddaughter's prom last night stirred up memories from forty-eight years ago when I was in the sixth grade. Middleton Attendance Center was an all black school comprised of first thru twelfth graders - massive. Each year, every grade level voted for a princess with a twelfth grader as the reigning queen. I voted for my friend, Sherry, because she was clearly the most beautiful girl in all of elementary with locks that hung magnificently down her back, shiny white teeth, pleasant smile enhanced by dimples to live for - always dressed nicely. Did I say she was also one of the most brilliant?
To my surprise, Sherry voted for me and so did, apparently, most of our classmates because I won. SHOCK and AWE - for real! I had no expectations - was not even in the running. How could they make a terrible mistake like that? I was a keen student but in my opinion, not even pretty. Honestly, I was rather homely looking. My mother dressed me nicely, but bless her heart; she could not do hair - that didn't help. She was so horrible at it that I started doing it myself in fourth grade - at nine years of age. LOL! It still looked terrible but was an improvement and got better over time.
In a special school assembly, the winners were all escorted to the stage wearing our glamorous gowns, long white gloves - arms resting on the arms of our escort. For this special ocassion, my parents took me to the salon to get my hair done, but mama, unfortunately, allowed daddy to take me shopping for my shoes. I'm not sure what possessed her to do that. I could not believe my eyes. Daddy bought me penny loafers. Who does that? PENNY LOAFERS - to wear with my elegant teal gown that mama bought. The two of them were total opposites. The suits hanging in daddy's closet were from forty years prior - no fashion sense whatsoever. On the other hand, mama had a great fashion sense. Even though fashionista was not a word back then, she was definitely the epitome of it. Showing my displeasure to daddy would not have been to my benefit so silently, I suffered embarrassment and hoped that my formal dress would distract from my black loafers. That was going to be a little impossible ascending the stairs to the stage, which seemed to rise forever. With no other options, I had to smile and bear it.
Homecoming night, they chauffeured us to an illuminated football field. Since mama took me shopping for this one, I was pleased with my outfit.
To this day, it's mind-boggling that the classes voted for me. I remember seeing Sherry's face and the biggest smile radiating from it when the announcement came. I can't say it was a dream come true because I never dreamed of it. However, it was a rewarding experience and a pleasant memory in spite of the 'walk of shame' down the aisle in loafers.
In life, we will experience many 'walks of shame' with many regrets - wishing that we could rewind and start over. The good news is when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we can start fresh and new. He experienced the greatest 'walk of shame', 'The Via Dolorosa' - the painful way. His grief was the most painful and shameful of all as he struggled through on the street in Jerusalem - carrying his cross for his crucifixion. He was hung up for our hang ups.
Isaiah 54:4 Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
We may not always completely forget the embarrassing moments whether minor mishaps or major sinful regrets; we still have the covering of the Lord who casts our past away from us when we throw our lives at his feet. He suffered shame, so we don't have to.
Sherry and I reconnected the year my daughter passed in 2015. She found me and was very comforting - even more so when I learned that she met my daughter, KaShanta when she worked as a beauty consultant at the mall while attending college. I never knew that. Before passing, she started The KaShanta Sims Foundation
which will help cancer victims look and feel beautiful in spite of their diagnosis.
My classmate is just as beautiful today - inside and outside - always smiling - speaking an encouraging word. She is a fulfillment of the scripture. In my estimation, she so deserved to be the winner, but she preferred me over herself. I'm still humbled by the experience. I felt so undeserving of the gift that was so freely given to me.
What a wonderful world it would be if we all adopted the attitude of Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.
That is exactly what Jesus did. He preferred our freedom over his agony so much so that he laid down his life so that we could pick ours up.
PEACE! Jesus declared that the kingdom of God is at hand, meaning here with us now. It has arrived. Jesus (the second Adam) ushered the kingdom of God to earth once again -- righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. We know that the Father is absolutely soverign and that Jesus is the King of Kings (us). Every king has subjects
- under his authority and control. As such, we owe allegiance to Jesus as our supreme ruler. We are the Royal Loyals in his domain. Loyal subjects seek to bring pleasure to their ruler.
Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."
Seek God!! Seek means to pursue or be pre-occupied with. We have to pursue submission. In Matthew 6:33, the word seek in the Hebrew means 'WORSHIP'. Wow! Seek means to worship God. Let me say it backwards, Wow! Oftentimes we are guilty of seeking the things of God (what's in His hands) as opposed to seeking the face of God and what's in His heart.
The Difference between Religion and the Kingdom
Religion seeks the things of God. Religion is often manifest in rituals - on the outside. It is a substitute for the Kingdom. In direct contrast, the Kingdom is on the inside. It's really not necessary to seek things when we are heirs in His Kingdom, because really all things (from basic necessities to prosperity) are inherent. Our Master didn't even say pray for it, though we often do. He said it would be added as a result of our seeking first the Kingdom.
We are thus ambassadors or Servant Leaders, if you will. What is an ambassador? An official agent with a special mission. An Ambassador is the highest ranking diplomatic representative appointed by a government to represent that government in another country. We are in this world but not of it. We are in heavenly places in Christ according to Ephesians 1:3.
Scripture also states in Isaiah 58:14, Then shalt thou delight (delight - to submit to God and be happy about it) thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob, thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. This is a direct result of keeping the fast that God has chosen.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says, 'Now, then we are ambassadors for Christ"... If that be the case then we have to preach the Kingdom to all the world as his messengers. Matthew 9:35, "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." We are to go and do likewise. Mark 16:15, And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)
Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost is the good news, the Kingdom of God! As servant leaders, the most important thing we can do in the earth is preach the gospel to those who are lost and in need of the savior. Everything that we need is in Him!
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life to which you were summoned
and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before
many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the Good Fight
never let the enemy force you to back down
Continue to fight the good fight of faith if you desire to wear a crown
As believers, don't go through hell on earth and miss the rapture
Satan has only a little time remaining before his long awaited capture
We need to live everyday like we were dying
We can't go on passing people who are hurting and crying
When we die daily to self, Christ is richly alive in us
So search for wondering souls who are lost in the Kingdom, it's a must
Wear all your armor given every single day
In spiritual warfare, fight to kill, that's how you keep the devil at bay
It's time to do war on the flesh
so it won't be the one thing that keeps knocking us
March bravely around the enemy's camp
and watch the walls fall down when you
Satan's playing for keeps
and ultimately his mission is to destroy our very
Let's fall down on our knees and go before the throne room in repentance
Christ is waiting,
waiting for His warriors to take their rightful place
And give the kingdom of darkness a big blow to the face
Hit the enemy in his weakest spot by constantly reminding him of what's to come
Continue to fight the good fight of faith soldier, for the battle is already won
I have fought the good [worthy, honorable, and noble] fight, I have finished
the race, I have kept [firmly held] the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
"THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT YESTERDAY TODAY IS - MAKE SURE YOU DON'T WASTE TOMORROW".
Bishop Ken Sims
Your past has nothing to do with your future. Now, I know there are those who would argue the point. I'm not saying that your past isn't important. It is in the sense that we should be thankful to God for covering us with his grace, but most of us are bound by our past.
There's a story told about a young elephant that was chained to a stake in the ground by an eight-foot chain. This was part of the training required for him to perform in the circus. Whenever the young elephant would feel a slight resistance from the chain, he would spontaneously stop tugging. This continued over into his adult life. When he weighed several tons, he was yet bound by that same stake in the ground. The point is: that elephant was strong enough and well able to free himself but was still bound by his past.
Stop and think! Are you like that elephant on an eight-foot chain? Many of us are so bound by our past. We fear the future because of the past. Listen! Life is so short. You cannot afford to think back. Those who think back, go back. Don't drag your past around with you. Cut yourself free and discover the possibility of succeeding.
FORGETTING THE PAST
Paul, the apostle stated in Philippians 3:12-14, "Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (AMP)
Notice! Paul states, first of all, that he counted not himself to have arrived at perfection but that he was able to forget his past. That puts him right smack in the present. That's the position in time I want to focus on - the present.
Most of us fail before we give it a try. Often, our mentality is: if I try this, sudden death is inevitable. We've been trained by our surroundings and negative people to fail before we make an attempt. I call that a lack of faith.
First, we must learn that the most important moment in our lives is NOW. Hebrews 11:1 states, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". Secondly, we must not be afraid to make decisions. It is in making decisions that we become airborne for reaching our goals in life.
Every thing that we see with our natural eyes came from a realm that we cannot normally see into. There are things about the spirit world that we would rather not acknowledge but that will never make them go away.
If you have ever experienced terror from things that go bump in the night, this broadcast is for you. This is the third interview that I've had with our dear friend, Rob McConnell, Executive Producer of the 'X'Zone Show, an internationally syndicated program heard around the world. You will learn how you can gain the victory over these tormenting entities.
An unfamiliar long distance number rang at our house this morning. On the other end was an apologetic manager, who gently approached me regarding an unfortunate incident that took place revolving around our now deceased daughter, KaShanta. It happened on the morning of the day she passed.
I knew on June 11, 2015 that it would be an inevitable trek down 'forgive them lane' so I did - by faith. Periodically, I would be tormented by reliving the incident and being unable to suppress it. Retreating to my prayer closet in worship and praise would lift me up for a season. However, my inner conflict continued unresolved. Another two months would go by and I would be confronted with it yet again.
Finally, on February 11, 2016, I started writing a letter in hopes that it would act as a systemic cleansing for me and I would no longer be haunted by this ghost of my past - figuratively speaking. At the time, I was unaware that it had been exactly eight months since KaShanta's death. That unveiling came after the letter was sent. I believe numbers are of significance to God. On numerous occasions, He has used them to confirm and reveal things to me. According to my studies, the number eight is for new beginnings. It was definitely indicative of a new beginning for me.
The director, of the same company, called an hour after the manager did to apologize for the agony that our family was experiencing. There is really nothing that they can say that will change anything, but at least, they showed genuine concern, which spoke volumes to me.
Last week, I was gathering information for The KaShanta Sims Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, when I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, "Forgive!" I stopped typing, repeated the word, "Forgive" and said, "Yes, Lord, I do". At the time, I wasn't aware that he was not speaking of forgiving others, but of forgiving myself.
Many pray according to Matthew 6:12 without understanding what it means. We are really telling the Lord not to forgive us if we don't forgive those who wronged us. No one has ever suffered the things that Jesus did in His body, soul and spirit - at the hand of men. Yet, He humbled himself, forgave His creation, and prayed for them. As the greatest example who ever walked on the planet, inhabited the heavens, or descended to the depths of the earth, He has earned the right to tell us to do as he has done.
Forgiving does not mean that you will forget everything. Nor does it mean that you now have to become bosom buddies with the perpetrator. It does mean that you will be set free. When you hold unforgiveness in your heart, ironically, you become the prisoner. Furthermore, when you forgive, you set yourself free.
I thought I had forgiven all who injured my daughter and myself. Nonetheless, I found out today that I was holding myself captive with. I was so overcome with guilt, shame, and regret that I did not realize that I blamed myself for several things that happened - many of which were really beyond my control.
The Lord has such a sense of humor and wanted so much for me to be free that He even showed me a picture of KaShanta doing something silly that only her sister, daughters, and I could appreciate because we have all been targets of her practical joke. Once clarified, I realized she would never have wanted me to be tortured by the past - no matter what. I started laughing - all by myself. In my minds eye, I saw her smiling face and her action as she was accustomed to doing. Later I shared it with her sister, Milia, who agreed with me about the conclusion that I finally arrived at. We took turns crying and then laughing together - giving ourselves permission to be human beings.
Included in our daughter's obituary was a poem she penned. The last line reads, "My morning is finally here". Indeed, her struggle with HER2 triple negative breast cancer was over at age 38. She is free from all torment that was ever inflicted on her - be it mental anguish or physical trauma. Today, I can say, "I forgive myself. My morning is finally here"!
...Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes
in the morning.
It's okay to forgive yourself.
In Him we live, move and have our being!
The BLITZ is designed to come against our marriages, our families, to destroy our children, our nation, friends and loved ones. It is designed to cripple the unity in the body of Christ and to stop the advancement of the Kingdom of God on this planet.
So what is the blitz? Adolf Hitler used the term blitz, which means relentless attacking and bombardment
. Hitler’s Luftwaffe, a generic German term for an air force, bombed London in World War II. It was one of the most tenacious, most advanced, and most battle-experienced air forces in the world. Although, the aircraft that were to serve in the Luftwaffe
were technically superior to that of most nations, Winston Churchill encouraged the citizens of London to make it their finest hour. They endured and survived Hitler’s onslaught.
Football is another arena where the term blitz is used. It means to rush the quarter- back and put pressure on him - to crush him. This technique involves several defensive players.
Satan has called the BLITZ. He wants to kill you. His purpose is to stop the mandate that God has assigned to you. He’s bent on destroying as many souls as he can. Get ready believers, the pressure is coming - stronger. We must be devoted to both resisting and preventing aggression.
JOHN 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Idle believers pose no threat to the devil. Actually, he has a fetish for lukewarm Christians and enjoys toying and manipulating them. When one is lukewarm, he knows they are not serious enough to suggest a threat to him, because they are too involved with the world, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Many will suffer because they were unprepared.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness…
The Word of God tells us to stand; having done all, ‘STAND’. It’s time to make a solid front - one that cannot be breached. We must lock arms. Lock and load regardless of our denominational backgrounds. Satan has monopolized division in the body, and has succeeded in the art of divide and conquer. To break this yoke, we must sound the alarm. The trumpet must be heard in the Church. The world is asleep in the dark. Leaders must fall on their faces before God. Christians must awake in the light. Let us make this our finest hour!
"Forgiveness is not an emotion. It is a choice. If we choose not to forgive, we are the ones in bondage." Bishop Ken Sims
I am reminded of what a child said when he prayed, "Forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets." I laughed so hard when I read that - knowing, of course, that the child thought adults were saying trash baskets when they said trespasses. But wasn't that appropriate?
Matthew 6:12 "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us".
In essence, when we pray the above verse, we are telling the Lord to only forgive us when we forgive those who wronged us.
Some people have a lot more garbage to dispose of than others. Little or much, the Lord has made provision for us to free ourselves by utilizing His word.
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Forgiving is not always an easy thing to do, but it is vitally important that we do so for our on health - both spiritually and physically. Jesus taught us how to do so before the cross, on the cross and even after the cross. No other person has ever suffered the things that Jesus endured on our behalf. On the cross, He asked His Father to forgive those who crucified him for He perceived that they did not really understand what they were doing or who they were now indebted to. He humbled Himself and allowed His own creation to crucify Him. We often say that we want to be like Jesus and we mean well. Frequently, we find that it is easier said than done. Even so, the grace necessary to be victorious has already been provided. As previously stated, forgiveness begins with a choice. Mine! Yours! It is a mental ascent of our soul, but more importantly a matter of the heart - our spirit. When we make the confession, God accommodates us with the strength that only He can give.
Forgive! It's not a suggestion. It is a command.