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He Took My Place

November 7, 2012
He Took My Place
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever – (Psalm 106:1, NIV).

Friend to Friend
In a few short weeks, friends and family across America will gather around beautifully decorated tables filled with warm, scrumptious food to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. However, this day will be nothing like holidays of the past for many people.

Lonely but committed soldiers covered in the dust of battle will patrol foreign borders, fighting for our freedom while their families back home long for word of their safety. The homeless will make their way to the nearest soup kitchen, hoping for a warm meal and a smiling face as so many celebrate this day of abundance. An empty place at the table will be a painful reminder of the loved one lost not long ago. A worried husband and dad will sit at the head of the table, wondering how he is going to tell his family that he just lost his job. The list of wounded hearts and unmet needs is endless.

We convince ourselves that life will be better when we have more money, when we find the right mate, when we get the kids raised or build the right house. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we get that promotion, when we are able to go on our dream vacation or when we retire. We keep trying to find joy, contentment and peace in lifeless places and things.

Jesus Christ is life. He is Joy and Love, and He took our place on the cross. That’s why we can give thanks when it seems as if there is nothing for which to be thankful.

One day, a man went to visit a church. He arrived early, parked his car, and got out.  Another car pulled up near him, and the driver told him, “I always park there. You took my place!” The visitor went inside for Sunday school, found an empty seat, and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome but said nothing.

After Sunday school, the visitor went into the church sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit. You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment but still said nothing.


Be Grateful

During the worship service, as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?” The visitor replied, “I took your place.”

Yes, we live in a broken world and life is filled with pain, challenges, dark times and trials, but today can still be a day of thanksgiving and praise because praise and thanksgiving have little to do with the Thanksgiving holiday and everything to do with our inner attitude toward God. It really doesn’t matter how much we lose here, my friend.  I have read the Book and we win … for all of eternity!  We just need to take the time to remember … and give thanks.

Let’s Pray
Father, we come to You today, praising You for meeting our needs this year in ways that we may or may not have understood at the time. Looking back, we see Your hand of mercy and love. We recognize Your presence and your power and we celebrate You. We celebrate the life You give us now and for all eternity. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Be Still

“And the Lord appeared unto Isaac the same night” (Gen. 26:24).

“Appeared the same night,” the night on which he went to Beer-sheba. Do you think this revelation was an accident? Do you think the time of it was an accident? Do you think it could have happened on any other night as well as this? If so, you are grievously mistaken. Why did it come to Isaac in the night on which he reached Beer-sheba? Because that was the night on which he reached rest. In his old locality, he had been tormented. There had been a whole series of petty quarrels about the possession of paltry wells. There are no worries like little worries, particularly if there is an accumulation of them. Isaac felt this. Even after the strife was past, the place retained a disagreeable association. He determined to leave. He sought change of scene. He pitched his tent away from the place of former strife. That very night the revelation came. God spoke when there was no inward storm. He could not speak when the mind was fretted; His voice demands the silence of the soul. Only in the hush of the spirit could Isaac hear the garments of his God sweep by. His still night was his starry night.

My soul, hast thou pondered these words, “Be still, and know”? In the hour of perturbation, thou canst not hear the answer to thy prayers. How often has the answer seemed to come long after I The heart got no response in the moment of its crying — in its thunder, its earthquake, and its fire. But when the crying ceased, when the stillness fell, when thy hand desisted from knocking on the iron gate, when the interest of other lives broke the tragedy of thine own, then appeared the long-delayed reply. Thou must rest, O soul, if thou wouldst have thy heart’s desire. Still the beating of thy pulse of personal care. Hide thy tempest of individual trouble behind the altar of a common tribulation and, that same night, the Lord shall appear to thee. The rainbow shall span the place of the subsiding flood, and in thy stillness thou shalt hear the everlasting music. –George Matheson

Mary Had a Little Lamb

June 14, 2012
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).

Friend to Friend
As a little girl, I really did have a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. I can remember the day my mother showed me the lamb and explained that she did not have a bottle with which to feed the stray lamb. I did. I agreed to let the lamb have my bottle if I could have the lamb. I have been fascinated by the unique relationship between sheep and their shepherd ever since.

Shepherds live with their sheep, finding places for them to eat and drink, providing shelter from the storms and protection from the heat. Sheep must eat the right amount of the right kinds of grass at the right times…or they will die. If the sheep eat too little one day and too much the next day, some of the bacteria that live in the stomach of the sheep will reproduce at abnormal levels, creating toxins which cause sudden death. This problem was even more complicated for the shepherds of the Bible.

The type of shepherding referred to in the Bible is not the farming of fenced pasture lands but nomadic grazing. The shepherd must carefully plan the path and lead the way so the sheep have neither too little nor too much grazing and are able to get to the water hole on time. Pastures are often lost to extreme heat which means the shepherd has to scour the countryside in search of green grass. Several flocks of sheep are gathered together at night in a sheltered place so shepherds can share the watches of the night, protecting the sheep from wild animals and thieves. Good shepherds are always willing to risk their lives to save their flocks from any harm, any enemy and even from themselves.

Sheep are dumb, can never be left alone and often stray, requiring the shepherd to find and rescue them.  A shepherd never pushes his sheep but rather leads his sheep, going before them, making sure they are not walking into danger. The needs of sheep, compared to the needs of other animals, are greater because of their instinct to be afraid and when faced with a fearful situation, to run. Without a shepherd to care for the sheep, they will not last long.

Personally, I definitely fit the profile of a sheep. I can’t count the number of times I have stubbornly stuck to my plan, foolishly thinking that it was better than His plan, only to end up in some pit somewhere, calling for help. Psalm 40:1-3 has become my life maxim – with one exception. I rarely wait patiently! Remember, I am a sheep!

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD” (NIV).

I sometimes allow fear to drive me to a place where I am trapped by doubts and darkness…until He rescues me. I try to satisfy my hunger by eating the wrong things found in the wrong places at the wrong times. The result is always the same; my soul remains ravenous for what is good while stuffing my heart and mind with what is bad.

Like every sheep, I don’t like to be pushed. Good shepherds do not push, no matter how great the temptation.  A good shepherd stands in front of his sheep, gently calling their names, leading them to a place where he has already been, positioning himself between danger and his sheep. When I am tired and ready to give up, I tend to withdraw from the other sheep and even from my Shepherd. Many of us have somehow bought into the lie that we can make it on our own or that the rules, the commandments of God, do not necessarily apply to us…just those other sheep. The longer I serve God, the more I realize just how much we need each other and how much we need Him.  When will I learn that I cannot do life on my own – as a sheep or as a shepherd?

A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, just as Jesus Christ laid down His life for you and for me. I am so glad He was willing to lay down His life for every single sheep – the cute, fluffy ones as well as the dirty, broken lambs like me. Maybe it is time for us all to stop, listen for His voice, seek His plan and remember that we are indeed needy sheep who are called to love and lead other needy sheep to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

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How many of you have a problem with patience? I am not speaking of your tolerance for the horrible driver in the next lane or the reserve you show when your 2 year old spills something on your carpet. I am talking about the patience it takes to wait on God when Satan has his foot pressed down against your neck. I am talking about the patience it take sit quiet while your name is being scandalized and you have done nothing wrong. I am talking about the patience required to press through an illness. That patience that is necessary to get through those “Lord not again” moments.

James says that we should count it all joy when we fall into various trails so that the testing of our faith may produce patience, but let patience have its perfect work, so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

It seems that there is a dynamic force working in patience. Power and completion does not seem to come through the immediate extraction from our trials, but through the patient endurance of the struggle.

Paul said that we should glory in our tribulations because tribulation produces patience, and patience, character; and character, hope. So the very thing we are fighting so hard to escape is the very thing that is molding us into what we are to be and providing the patience to endure the struggle and and obtain the prize.

Praise God! ~ Bishop Rick Wallace

Anointed Inspirations

No matter how long you have been in the spiritual battle, there are those moments when you desperately yearn inspiration and encouragement. I encourage you to watch these videos. They are power, enlightening, and inspiring. God bless.

FREE COPY – Powerful Revelation
I am happy to announce the publishing and release of my latest book: Renewing Your Mind: The Dynamics of Christian Transformation. With the multifarious worldviews circulating through our culture Christians are bombarded daily with views that are diametrically opposed to Biblical Doctrine and it is no surprise that many Christians have become influenced by these doctrines and have been consequently rendered ineffective in their Christian walk. Many are living defeated and powerless lives; others are chasing empty dreams, while yet others are simply confused. Come walk through the Word of God with Bishop Wallace as he UNLOCKS the power of the Holy Scriptures to transform your life into an effective and useful tool for the purpose of kingdom building and testimony. The great thing is Bishop Wallace is making this book available to all for FREE. Simply visit the Rick Wallace Ministries Official website at and CLICK on the Cover of Renewing Your Mind and you will be taken to the publisher’s website for a free download. You are free to share this with as many people as you like.

The book can be downloaded in multiple formats (PDF, Kindle, Mobi, more).
Be sure to pass this on to others so that many will be blessed.

God bless,

Bishop Rick Wallace


No More Excuses

No More Excuses.

One of the most common excuses I hear quite often from people attempting to explain their failures and sins is “I’m only human”.
I was given this acronym for humanity that sets things in order.

H – Highly
U – Unproductive (presenting more excuses than active “will”)
M – Manipulated (by the secular paradigms in your periphery)
A – And
N – Neutralized (by false doctrines and wayward thinking)

The Bible does not give allowances for the excuse of humanity. Christ was a man who was tempted in every way as we are, yet he did not sin and He did not fail in His mission. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, which resides in us forever, He fulfilled his mission wile providing the blueprint for us to do the same.

So, what is your excuse? Cast your humanity aside and walk in the Divine power afforded to you by your affiliation to the Royal Family of God. It is time to leave the excuses behind.

Thanks for the acronym Christ Minister ~ Bishop Rick Wallace ~ Adaptions Mine

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