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Transparent Leadership “A God Step!”

In 1985, an interviewer asked the question, “What makes the church different than the world?” you would hear a multitude of responses. Many of these responses talked about the care of the church, the compassions of the members, and the character of their lives. These are wonderful attributes that should be a ready and vibrant testimony to bring change into a world that needs hope. However in recent years, if you were to ask someone on the streets the same questions, the response is shockingly short. Multitudes has expressed, “There is nothing different. They live like we do.”

With every fractures family and marriage, every indictment and conviction, every explosion and split, the church of Jesus Christ continues to lose its saltiness of preservation while the world continue to spoil under the heat of adversary. What truly makes us different from the world? Is it our dress, our convictions, our buildings, our politics? Nope. There is only one thing that make us different from the world- CHRIST. This may seem like a simple answer yet when you begin to unpack it through the study of the love of Christ, the life of Christ, and the leading of Christ, the simple answer has grown into a lifelong endeavor. That is exactly how it is supposed to be- lifelong and not Sunday worship hour long.

Our current plight of repairing the testimony of Christianity is not only here in the present, it was also experienced in Nehemiah’s day. Through the month of May, we will begin to walk with this “Wall Building Project Officer” from God as he now turns his focus on the wrongs within the walls. In this great chapter of confrontation, he rebukes the nobles and leaders for their oppression against each other. Earlier, the tribes put their money together to buy their brothers and sisters out of the hands of the foreigners. They turned around, however, and sold each other into the hands of their countrymen to become slaves. The picture of hypocrisy was painted and Nehemiah called it what it was-UGLY! After being exposed, the children of Israel did not ignore the accusation but restored everything taken and required nothing in return. As Nehemiah help to defend the wall from the enemy on the outside in chapter 4, he defended the walls of the people of God in chapter 5 by dealing with the rust or ruin on the inside. Let me close with this illustration.

After F.E. Marsh preached on this subject, a young man came to him and said, “Pastor, you have put me in a bad fix. I’ve stolen from my employer, and I’m ashamed to tell him about it. You see, I’m a boat builder, and the man I work for is an unbeliever. I have often talked to him about Christ, but he only laughs at me. In my work, expensive copper nails are used because they won’t rust in water. I’ve been taking some of them home for a boat I am building in my backyard. I’m afraid if I tell my boss what I’ve done and offer to pay for them, he’ll think I’m a hypocrite, and I’ll never be able to reach him for Christ. Yet, my conscience is bothered.” Later when the man saw the preacher again, he exclaimed, “Pastor, I’ve settled that matter and I’m so relieved.”   “What happened when you told your boss?” asked the minister. “Oh, he looked at me intently and said, ‘George, I’ve always thought you were a hypocrite, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe there’s something to your Christianity after all. Any religion that makes a man admit he’s been stealing a few copper nails and offer to settle for them must be worth having.'” 

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CHAPLAIN (MAJ-ret) DANIEL MIDDLEBROOKS
813-767-2082 (Cell)
chaplainmiddlebrooks@hotmail.com

Personal Story:
Chaplain (MAJ-ret) Daniel Middlebrooks was born in Plant City, Florida on 19 July, 1966. After receiving his AA degree from Hillsborough Community College, he entered the Active Duty on 27 May, 1988 at FT. Jackson, SC and began his career as a 91J- Physical Therapy Technician for three years at Fox Army Hospital, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL (1988-1991). In November 1988, Daniel surrendered to the call of the ministry and worked toward his BS degree at Athens State College, Athens, Alabama. He left the Active Duty, May 1991 and entered New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the National Guard Chaplain’s Candidate Program. He was endorsed by the Southern Baptist Convention, commissioned as a 2nd LT in January 1992 and served with the HQ STARC until Jan 1994. He completed his MDIV in the summer of 1994 and was commissioned at a 1st LT, January 1994 and transferred to 769th Combat Engineers, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was later transferred to the 2-117 FA in Oneonta, Alabama.
Civilian Ministry Experience:
CH Middlebrooks served at Williams Blvd Baptist church from 1991-1995 as the Minister of Newlyweds, Minister of young Adults, Minister of Family Ministries and Interim Music Minister. He moved to Morgan City, AL and served as the Associate Pastor and New Building Construction Director from OCT 1995-June 1997. He served as the Senior Pastor for Hopewell Baptist Church, Plant City FL from Feb. 2013- March, 2017. He currently serves as the Command Chaplain for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and as the Chaplain for Plant City. His also volunteers as the chaplain of Plant City Fire Department and Hillsborough County School Board-Security Division. He is the President/CEO of R3 Care & Consulting, LLC and Chaplaincy Care, Inc.
Active Duty Chaplaincy/Military Experience:
He entered Active Duty again in June 1997 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He served in the 626 FSB (97-98) and 1/502 IN BN(99-2000); Deputy 280th BSB CH (2000-02) and 1-26 IN , Schweinfurt, Germany (2002-03); 1st Recruiting Brigade as the OIC of the CH Recruiting team (2004-06);and 10th Combat Support Hospital, Fort Carson, CO (2007-10). He last served as the Chaplain’s Career Course Senior Course manager, instructor and developer/writer.
His military Schooling includes Chaplain Officer Basic Leaders Course (93), Chaplain Career Course (2003), USAREC Chaplain Recruiting Certification, CPE (2006), and ILE (2007), and the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School Faculty Development Training/Instructor Certification. CH Middlebrooks has deployed to MFO/Egypt (1999-00), Kosovo (2002), and Iraq (2008-09).
Awards: Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, The Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leave Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Silver and four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one Silver and two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star, GWOT, Humanitarian Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Oversee Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and MFO Medal. He earned his Air Assault Wings in 1997 and his Recruiter badge with three silver stars in 2006. He was awarded the distinguished Witherspoon Award from the OCCH and National Bible Association in 2010. He is married to the former Arienne Plyler of Brandon, Florida. They have two daughters, Erica (23) and Allison (18). Over the last 29 years of marriage, the Middlebrooks family has moved 19 times and understands what means to “Bloom where God plants you”.

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Can Today’s Men Be Reached?

The absence of men in the church today is a major concern. Did you know that when men are committed to Jesus and take their family to church faithfully history shows that 85% of the time their children will follow in their footsteps. For this very reason we have decided to put on an exciting and compelling event just to reach men for Christ. There are many ways to do this but often Pastors and churches are not doing much in this area. If you are reaching men, our praise goes to your hard work! If you need help, this could be perfect for you!

All Pro Pastors is partnering with the Christian Business Men Connection Ministry to do something that you can do too and it will reap great rewards, guaranteed! Let us give you the details and you decide for yourself.

On October 18, we have invited Coach Joe Gibbs to come have an early breakfast with as many men as we can gather to come. Coach Joe Gibbs is one of the greatest NFL Football coaches of all time and today he owns what is perhaps the most successful NASCAR Team of the decade! He is a true sports “Champion”, but more important, he is a “Champion” for Jesus Christ. His life is a living storybook of trials, success, tragedy, victories, failure and ultimate success. The best part, his life story is still going on and he is ready to share it with you and all who come for breakfast.

Many men would love to meet Coach Gibbs, shake his hand and have a picture taken with him. He is willing to stay and meet every single one, give them his book “Game Plan for Life” , and also take a picture with each one individually. Why would he do this, because he knows that he has a God ordained mission to reach men for Jesus  and that God has given him this platform for this specific reason!  Hundreds of men will hear about Jesus in such a compelling and real way that they will take Him as their Savior. Many men will be led by the Holy Spirit to re-commit their lives to following Jesus. All a Church or Pastor needs to do is get their men excited about bringing their lost family and friends to the breakfast. It is the perfect opportunity to bring those you care about to hear the gospel from someone that they truly see as a success by all standards. There is one other important part of this, be prepared to see them get saved.

This “Game Plan for Life” breakfast will help start many new men’s ministries as well as Rev-Up some that need revived! Pastor, how often do you have someone cast the net, catch the fish and then ask “how many do you need”? Our question is, how many men could your church use who are ready to be discipled? I guess we could ask, is your men’s ministry full or can you use any more men in your church family who are excited for Jesus and want to know more!

This is an event that we are doing in Central Florida at the State Fair Grounds. We are expecting more than 1000 men to attend. Now, let me ask, what about you? If you live in the area go to www.allprocbmc.com and get plugged in. It is not to late to get started.

You may consider doing like some of the Pastors in central Florida are doing and make this a church wide major outreach to reach men. How would it impact the families in your church if the husbands that are inactive suddenly had a life-changing encounter with Jesus? Would some marriages be saved or restored? This is why we are passionate about this.

Let me in closing say, this is just one way to reach men for Jesus. There are many ways. Often the greatest challenge is to get off our butt and just do something! If what you are doing is working and you are happy with how many men you see getting saved, discipled and engaged in your ministry then Praise the Lord, if not, then do something different.

Pastors there are many evangelistic ministries throughout the world ready to partner with you. In America, every major city has tremendous groups of Christian Business Men ready to partner with you and help you build a strong discipleship plan for men. Search them out. It is easier today than anytime in history. What is your legacy going to be? Is your testimony going to one of a “Champion for Jesus Christ”? We pray that today you will get started and be prepared to hear those words, “well done my good and Faithful Servant”!

All Pro Pastors is here to serve, challenge and encourage you, why because we care! We continue to pray for you, your family and your ministry! Stay strong and courageous!

Become a member today!

If you can see how something like this could help your church and community contact Coach Joe Gibbs ministry “Game Plan for Life”.

 

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Pastor Paul Pickern is married to his wife Linda. They have 5 children (Tony, Stephanie, Dale, Seth, Schyler) and 11 grand children. Their home is in Plant City, Florida between Tampa and Orlando. Paul was born in Belleville, Illinois and Linda was born in Charleston, West Virginia.

Paul is the Founder and CEO of All Pro Pastors Ministry, a ministry that encourages and challenges Pastors to join together as Kingdom Brothers to develop trust, accountability and unity. It is a ministry that strengthens Pastors marriages, families, and ministries by establishing “Champions Table’s”. The “Champions Table” is a safe place where Pastors can meet together and develop genuine relationships.

Paul’s wife Linda is a vital part of the ministry too. She minister’s to pastor wives and hosts a website/blog called “Women R Champions“. The many women in ministry throughout the world are connected thru this women directed ministry.

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How to Build Your Own Blog

So, you have some experience with blogging, or else you wouldn’t be reading this post! But do you have your OWN blog? Do you realize that it’s a quick and simple process to set one up? Not to mention the benefits it will have for your church, school or nonproft organization!

Perhaps you don’t see the need to have a blog, and it might not have been a big deal a few years ago. But now, when you are looking for information, do you go to the local library and do some research, or do you plug into whatever device is near you and “Google” it?

Your website might provide the information people who need you are looking for…but it might not. Lee Gientke is the managing partner of Webmix Marketing, a marketing agency that helps small and medium-sized businesses stand out from the crowd. He is a noted online marketing speaker and lead generation specialist. Gientke comments, “Unlike the rest of your website, your blog should be continually changing and updated with new information. This creates an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise…and the good news is that you can do this, and you don’t need to be a ‘tech guy’ to be successful. If you commit to your blog, your business will grow.”

So here are a few tips:

1. Use a blog template site, like www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com. You’ll be up and running in no time with hardly any out-the-door maintenance and NO cost!

2. If you’re not exciting about your writing skills, create a video blog, or a photo blog.

3. If you don’t have an actual direction to take the blog, take a moment, sit down and list all the questions people have asked you about your church, school or noprofit organization. Try to get to 26. Follow this with negative comparisons about what you’re offering. (Is X better than Y? Common complaints about Z?) Again, try to get to 26 – and you now have 52 topics for your blogs, one for each week of the year. Easy!

4. If nothing else, do make sure your blog posts are transparent and honest.

5. Be patient. You may not see lots of traffic to your blog overnight, but it will happen eventually. Don’t give up!

6. As always when working on the world wide web, make sure you use safe practices. If you want to be protected to the highest degree, don’t hesitate to contact us for information on a Cyber Liability/Data Breach insurance policy to meet your needs!

Information taken from www.propertycasualty360.com

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President of Strong Tower Insurance, Inc.
Graduate of Lee University
Credentialed minister in the Church of God
Certified Insurance Counselor
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The Real Church

The Church of Jesus Christ is what it says, it belongs to Jesus Christ the Son of God the one who holds the universe together by the Word of His power. What does this mean ? 

Jesus said upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail. 

Regardless of how fragmented and divided we think the church is, He doesn’t look at it that way, He sees the potential in you and me and does not judge according to appearance. ( John 7: 24) 

There is no plan B, we are it, the unstoppable force that is growing stronger and bigger everyday. We think that there is a drop off of membership in church but in reality there is a grass roots, Kingdom minded, underground church that are not confined to a denomination or a building or even a network of churches but rather an organic entity inseparably linked by the blood of Christ and joined together by real communion and fellowship. This Church cannot be contained inside four walls and is forever expanding.

The Kingdom of God is always expanding but a system is always diminishing until only two people left and even they will be suspicious of each other. 

So the real church is not a system, or a building, nor a club or business but rather an organism who’s life blood comes from the very God we love and serve. We don’t go to church, we are the church and go to Jesus. We need to see the church that meets in Tampa, in Atlanta, in Orlando etc and that is why I’m so excited to see All Pro Pastors become a strong organization that has the resources to reach out to hurting Pastors. 

Who ministers to the minister? 

Where does the Pastor and his wife go for healing of past hurts, council regarding some of the challenges leadership face.? 

The real Church is made up of individuals who prefer their brother over themselves, who will go the extra mile without complaining, and who believe the best rather than listen to gossip because Love always believes the best. 

Welcome to the greatest force in the universe, the church of Jesus Christ 

Nick Coetzee is a music producer and worship leader from South Africa. He has spent the past 30 years pouring into worship ministry and also developing and recording worship songs. He produced the first US release of ‘Shout to the Lord’ with Darlene Zschech , as well as many instrumental and vocals albums for artists and recording companies. He and his family are based in Wesley Chapel, FL where he owns and operate a recording Studio. Nick also produces promotional videos for companies and Churches.
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Could this be your Wife’s View?

Pastor-Husband vs Secular men
Does he STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE AS A MAN OF GOD to be like JESUS IN EVERY FACET OF HIS PERSONAL
LIFE WITH HIS SPOUSE?
James 3:1-3 NKJV: My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing
that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.
No one knows better than the wife of a Pastor, behind closed doors and knowing his restraining actions.
What about his PRIDE and EGO?
Is he MATERIALISTIC to a fault?
Does he share THOUGHTS with his wife?
When his wife make suggestions, does he SHUT HER OFF?
Sometime does her WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT offend him or maybe he takes them the wrong way?
Does he jump to his OWN CONCLUSIONS at his wife’s comments, suggestions?
What about LISTENING TO HER HEART?
Does he put his wife’s INTIMATE NEEDS before his own or does he TAKE FOR GRANTED that she has
been as satisfied as him?
When SHE CLAMS UP, does he try to understand why or EVEN CARE WHY?
Does he ASSUME she is criticizing or complaining OR does he TRY to see and hear her point in a truly
caring way?
Does he put her FIRST, after GOD, (at home, on the pulpit, out in public)?
Do the MEN in the congregation want to be just like him?
Does the congregation see his efforts of striving for EXCELLENCE as a husband?
Do his son’s WANT to be the kind of husband he is to their mother?
There are many wonderful men in the world (JUST LIKE MANY PASTOR’S) who make super mates for
their wives, the only difference is that he IS A PASTOR!
As a leader in the KINGDOM OF GOD, are you, THE PASTOR satisfied to be just like those other men, OR
are you STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE as a MAN OF GOD and making a DIFFERENCE TO BE LIKE JESUS!
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Linda Pickern Founded “Women R Champions” after several years working with husband Paul with All Pro Pastors. The need that Pastor Wives and women who serve in ministry shared was for a safe place to come and unload. Woman R Champions is a closed community group within Facebook that is open by invitation. This helps to keep it private.
Linda has worked in business and been a part of several denominations for over 50 years.
Originally from West Virginia, she still has lots of family there. As a mother and grandmother as well as married to a pastor she has many life experiences to draw upon!
Linda is a faithful prayer warrior for the women and their husbands she serves.
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Worship, is it horizontal or vertical ?

There is an alarming trend that has emerged in our modern church experience that seems to be catching on as it does seem to be producing results. 

What are the results ? 

These trends seem to be drawing more people to church. Is that a bad thing? No it’s great as many are coming to Christ and communities are being transformed. 

Bill Bybels the founder of Willow Creek in Chicago has been linked to a style of church service we call  “seeker sensitive” in other words we are not a “holy huddle” with a our own sub culture, but rather a place where the unchurched will be accepted and comfortable.

All this is good, but what about the worship of the Living God. Apparently only 11% of all worship songs are sung to God.

 It was Tommy Tenney, the author of “God Chasers” who said the worship is the only part of the service that God gets anything out of.

It would seem like our worship is more horizontal than vertical. 

In a recent conference I was at in Dallas I heard Bill Hybels say that he started this seeker model for a specific purpose as his congregation of professionals were not engaging and so he tried something different. One song then a short video then two more songs very professionally presented, then a another break, in other words, not a typical time of praise and worship that is uninterrupted for 20 to 30 minutes.

This was opposite to what I have seen and become accustomed to in South Africa and Australia but these professionals began engaging and committing their lives to Christ. 

Well Bill went on to say that several years later he realized that worship needs to be a journey that the believer embarks on. A journey filled with faith, the Word of God and yes words of worship directed to God. I’m so glad he shared this because I agree with him and have been training worship leaders for many years in this vein.

We need love songs to Him, songs of intimacy and adoration where at some point we may even be silent as we gaze upon His face and welcome the King of Glory in our midst.

I’m not against excellence with sound, lighting and skilled musicianship. We need to combine the anointing of the spirit with excellence in presentation but the real reason why an unbeliever will come to Christ is because they see our passion for our God not because we have music that sounds professional.

Our church services need to be full of love and also full of God, as that’s what the unchurched are expecting. As my Pastor Ed Russo said from the pulpit this week, if we bear the label of Christian then we need to live on fire for God so the world can easily tell the difference.

Dr Nick Coetzee

Nick Coetzee is a music producer and worship leader from South Africa. He has spent the past 30 years pouring into worship ministry and also developing and recording worship songs. He produced the first US release of ‘Shout to the Lord’ with Darlene Zschech , as well as many instrumental and vocals albums for artists and recording companies. He and his family are based in Wesley Chapel, FL where he owns and operate a recording Studio. Nick also produces promotional videos for companies and Churches.
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How to Pray with Assured Power!

Let us remember that CIA is Christian Identity Assurance. It is the simple fact of a Christian completely believing and being who God says he or she is.

We are taught in Philippians 2:13, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure”. This is a fact of God helping us to be who he has created us to be. Given this premise, it truly is our duty to do our part through prayer and active steps to yield and align with the assistance God has provided for us to be his true followers.

Even though it is God who called me to ministry, I did not thirst and hunger for him as I should until I yielded and desired his purpose over mine. Please don’t misunderstand me, I wanted God, I loved him for the awesome sacrifice Jesus made for me, but I didn’t feel as if I could not live without him. When I denied myself and believed God was the most important part of my life then I was willing to give my life also for him. This is the essence of God’s words in Romans 12:1-2  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. This awareness made me strongly desire Christian identity assurance prayers.

I gladly offer the Christian Identity Assurance prayers below to help you and your team grow to be all God has called you to be.

Christian Identity Assurance Prophetic Prayers:

Heavenly Father, we join our faith with Jesus and all others praying for your will. We now exercise the Christian Identity Assurance you have given us as your children.

Scripture Reference:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways. Job 22:28

By Faith, we declare:

  1. In all our todays and tomorrows, we deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus in Jesus name.
  2. In all our todays and tomorrows, the Lord has made us to have dominion over the works of His hands and has put all things under our feet
  3. In all our todays and tomorrows, we are kings and priests as declared by God
  4. In all our todays and tomorrows, we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus
  5. In all our todays and tomorrows, we use our authority to declare a thing and it shall be established in Jesus name
  6. In all our todays and tomorrows, we use our authority to speak life and to speak death to glorify God in Jesus name
  7. In all our tomorrows, we trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us in Jesus name.
  8. In all our todays and tomorrows, we know God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind in Jesus name

My recommendation is to pray these prayers frequently with your team and encourage them to pray these prayers till they are able to pray it from memory. It takes about 60 to 90 days. Enjoy the transformation.

Shalom and Glory to you.

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Joseph Doxa is the Pastor of Glory Life Church in Tampa, Florida. He and his wife Cindy have 3 daughters and 1 son. They are originally from Nigeria. Pastor Doxa serves as the Ambassador of Prayer for All Pro Pastors and hosts our International Prayer Conference call with Pastors and leaders every Wednesday at 7:00 AM EST.
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Is Jesus In The Midst Of Your Pain?

Everyone has pain in this earthly life.  No one is immune.  It is impossible to outrun the pain, because the pain will always find its target.  Therefore, the question is not, “How can I alleviate my pain?”, but rather, “Do people see Jesus in the midst of my pain?”  As God continues to prune and refine my fleshly rebellious heart, He is teaching me that my pain always has purpose.  Now, when the trials of life begin to mount, I must confess that this phrase that “my pain has purpose” is much easier said than actually lived-out.  However, as the fog of the trials of life continue to hover near the surface of our brokenness, our overarching goal must be that in the midst of our pain, that people will see the glory of God radiating with splendor and on full display.  But how do we live victoriously in the midst of one struggle after another?

 

First, we must embrace that it is God who has graciously given us our trials.  I realize that this statement is counter to our fleshly rational human thinking, but it is biblical.  Paul said in Philippians 1:29-30 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.”  God grants or graces us with the privilege to not just bask in the power of Christ’s resurrection, but to also partake in the fellowship of His sufferings.

 

Secondly, we must embrace that our pain has purpose beyond us.  Beyond us?  You mean that even my pain may not be completely about just me?  How this rubs our selfish flesh raw!  Often, we want even our pain to be just about us.  The reality is that no one is a bigger fan of us, than us, and yet even our pain is not always about us.  Therefore, when we go through a trial, one of the biggest challenges is not the actual trial, but to shift the viewfinder from ourselves to a laser beam focus on God and then others’.  As Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, he reminded them that their pain has purpose beyond themselves when he said in 1 Corinthians 1:3-5, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”  Simply put, your pain is not just for you.  Don’t hoard your pain.  Your pain is empathy training ground for effective ministry as we minister best out of our trials.

 

Lastly, we must embrace that we are to give God our heartfelt thanksgiving in all things.  Who honestly wants to do this?  Praise God in the storm?  Really?   Genuinely thank God for the trials that He has graciously lavished upon us?  Seriously?  Yes.  Anyone can praise God on the mountain top when all is seemingly well.   And yet, it’s fully possible that we are not in the center of God’s will.  One of the biggest traps in the American church today is this ideology that if we pursue God, everything will be easy and everyone will be for us.  I’m not sure what bible this idea has evolved from, but it is not from The Bible that is God’s Holy Word.   The Psalmist David penned these potent words in Psalm 34:1 when he said, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  Those are big-boy words that can only be accomplished as the Holy Spirit empowers us to give thanks and praise God not because of ideal circumstances, but in-spite of all circumstances.

Do the people around you see God in the midst of your pain?  As the song says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  Be encouraged in the battle and do not lose heart as you keep the hand to the plow and don’t look back!

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Pulpit Ministry: The proclamation of the Word of God from the pulpit.

Radio Ministries: The Word of God that is proclaimed in the pulpit is broadcast around the globe via the radio through our three radio programs, This Day In The Word, Strength For This Day, and Engaging The Truth.

Discipleship Ministry: 
The Word of God is taught in the work place – This Day In Business
Men are challenged to be all in for Christ – Men For This Day
Pastors that are discouraged are strengthened – Pressing On This Day
Students are motivated to surrender their lives to Jesus – Students For This Day

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The Cherubim: Throne Guardians of God

Now, since you’re paying attention, you’ll remember that the divine rebel in Eden, the nachash of Genesis 3, was called a guardian cherub in Ezekiel 28. As we just showed you, nachash and saraph, the singular form of seraphim, are interchangeable terms. But if the rebel in Eden was one of the seraphim, how could he also be one of the cherubim?

Good question. Cherubim are mentioned more frequently in the Old Testament than the seraphim. They are usually referenced in descriptions of the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Testimony or carved decorations in the Temple built by Solomon. The exceptions are the cherubim who guard the entrance to Eden and the four cherubim Ezekiel saw in his famous “wheel within a wheel” vision by the Chebar canal.

The modern image of cherubim has been shaped by artists in the Middle Ages—cute, chubby little boys with dinky wings who filled up the empty space in religious paintings. Nothing could be further from the biblical and archaeological truth. Cherubim are seriously bad dudes you do not want to mess with. For more, see Josh Peck’s book Cherubim Chariots.

The cherubim of the mercy seat are usually shown as a matched pair of plainly recognizable angels perched on top of the ark with their outstretched wings touching in the middle. The Bible doesn’t describe these cherubim, telling us only that they have wings and faces. Why? Apparently, everybody in the 15th century B.C. was familiar with what a cherub looked like, and they knew it was right and proper for them to serve as Yahweh’s throne-bearers. You see, God appeared to men above the mercy seat “enthroned on the cherubim.”  (See Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2: Psalms 80:1 and 99:1; and Isaiah 37:16.)

But the cherubim that Ezekiel saw looked like something from a nightmare:

…this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze.

Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went.

As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.

Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.

As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

Ezekiel 1:5-14 (ESV), emphasis added

While these living creatures aren’t identified as cherubim in these verses, they are specifically called cherubim in Ezekiel 10.

So how do we read this? These creatures sound nothing like the shining serpentine seraphim. What’s even more confusing is the description Ezekiel gives of another type of angelic being, the ophanim—the wheels that UFO hunters love to call spacecraft. They seem to be related somehow to the cherubim:

And I looked, and behold, there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub, and the appearance of the wheels was like sparkling beryl. And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went, but in whatever direction the front wheel faced, the others followed without turning as they went. And their whole body, their rims, and their spokes, their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes all around—the wheels that the four of them had. As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the whirling wheels.”

And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was a human face, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:9-14 (ESV), emphasis added

Wait—the ophanim had the face of a cherub and the face of a human? What’s the difference? Why a cherub instead of an ox for the fourth face? Is there some connection between the cherub and the ox?

Well… maybe. The word cherub probably comes from the Akkadian karibu (the “ch” should be a hard “k” sound, although we English speakers don’t usually say it that way). It means “intercessor” or “one who prays.” The karibu were usually portrayed as winged bulls with human faces, and huge statues of the karibu were set up as divine guardians at the entrances of palaces and temples. This is like the role of the cherubim placed “at the east of the garden of Eden… to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24, ESV)

This is speculation, but the divine rebel in Eden, the anointed guardian cherub, might have protected the tree of life once upon a time.

Cherubim were the gold standard for guarding royalty in the ancient Near East. In Assyria they were called lamassu, and the Akkadians called them shedu. They were sometimes depicted as winged lions rather than bulls and they were often incorporated into the thrones of kings.

So the function of the biblical cherubim, guarding the tree of life and carrying the throne of God, was entirely consistent with what the neighbors of the Israelites knew about these beings. Based on archaeological finds in the Levant (modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel), the cherub was probably more like a winged sphinx than a humanoid with wings.

In other words, the presence of the cherubim in the Bible wasn’t something the Hebrew prophets just made up. The cherubim were known by different names by the other cultures of the ancient Near East, but they served a similar role in all of them. The cherubim were supernatural bodyguards for the throne of Yahweh, and their imagery was appropriated by earthly kings. A bit of hubris, no doubt encouraged as a PSYOP by the Enemy. Remember, “you shall be as gods.”

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The consequences of the rebellion in Eden were immediate and harsh:

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” […]

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”

[T]herefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:14-15, 22-24 (ESV)

For centuries, well-meaning Christians have pointed to Genesis 3:14 as the moment in history when snakes lost their legs. That misses the mark entirely by desupernaturalizing the story. God didn’t amputate the legs of snakes; He was describing the punishment the nachash would suffer in figurative language. Even casual observers of the animal kingdom know that snakes don’t eat dust.

What happened was this:  The nachash was cast down from the peak of the supernatural realm, “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” to become lord of the dead.

What a comedown! Isaiah 14 makes a lot more sense when you keep a supernatural worldview in mind:

Sheol beneath is stirred up
to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades to greet you,
all who were leaders of the earth;
it raises from their thrones
all who were kings of the nations.

All of them will answer
and say to you:
‘You too have become as weak as we!
You have become like us!

Isaiah 14:9-10 (ESV)

Remember these verses because we’ll come back to them later in this series. The “shades” referenced by Isaiah are the Rephaim (root word rapha), a mysterious group mentioned several times in the Old Testament. The Rephaim weren’t an invention of the Hebrews, either. They were well known to their neighbors. We’ll examine them more closely a forthcoming article in this series.

For Adam and Eve, the banishment affected the two of them and all their descendants through the present day. Instead of living with God as members of His council, we humans have struggled for millennia to make sense of a world that often seems to make no sense. The memory of our brief time in the garden of God has echoed down the centuries, and it may be the source of our belief that mountains are somehow special, reserved for the gods.

Here’s the main takeaway of this article:  Eden was a lush, well-watered garden “on the holy mountain of God,” which was where Yahweh presided over His divine council. The council included the first humans. They walked and talked with the supernatural “sons of God” who, based on clues scattered throughout the Bible, were beautiful, radiant beings. At least some of them were serpentine in appearance.

The long war between Yahweh and the sons of God who rebelled is not just about control of the spirit realm, it’s also about whether humanity will be restored to its rightful place in the seat of the gods—among the divine council on the Holy Mountain of God.

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

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WIVES do you “REALLY” Respect Your Husband?

2 Corinthians 13:5
For self-examination, observation and
transformation, not condemnation.

1. Do you speak to your husband in a condescending “put down”
manner? For example:
A. “What’s the matter with you?”
B. “Anybody could have done better than you did.”
C. “My Dad would have never done that.”
D. “Can you do anything right?”
E. “What you just said is ridiculous!”
F. “You old fool!”
G. “You’re too slow, I’ll do it myself.”
(It’s better to live in a desert land, than with a contentious and vexing
woman (Proverbs 21:19).
2. Do you treat your husband in private as respectfully as you do your
pastor, your neighbor, or your friends in public? Honor all men, love
the brotherhood, fear God, honor the King (I Peter 2:17).
3. Does your countenance show disrespect by angry looks, looks of
disgust, crossed arms, rolling of the eyes, etc.? Then the Lord said to
Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen
(Genesis 4:6)?
4. Do you compare your husband unfavorably with other men? For I
have learned to be content in whatever state I am (Phil. 4:11).
5. Do you respect your husband’s requests by trying to do as he asks, even
if it doesn’t seem important to you? For in this way in former times, the
holy women also who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, being
submissive to their own husbands (I Peter 3:5).
6. Do you listen carefully to your husband’s opinions, trying to
understand him? Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to
take offense and get angry (James 1:19).
RESPECTING YOUR HUSBAND
(Page Two)
7. Do you inappropriately contradict your husband in front of others?
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:12).
8. Do you bring up your husband’s shortcomings to others? Her husband
is known in the gates (Proverbs 31:23).
9. Do you try to intimidate or bully your husband by making threats,
verbally attacking him or in some other way manipulating him to
have your way? The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears
it down with her own hands (Proverbs 14:1).
10. Are you obeying God by being respectful to your husband? Let the wife
see to it that she respects her husband (Ephesians 5:33).
“Final Thoughts”
 Respecting your husband is not an option if you are going to be in the
will of God, where God’s blessings will pursue you and overtake you
(Deut. 28:1-2).
 You may be smarter, wiser, or more gifted than your husband, but you
must still respect him and the position God has given to him.
 If your husband is not a Christian, he is still to be respected because of
his position (I Corinthians 11:3, I Peter 3:1-2).
 If you are disrespectful to your husband, your children will likely
acquire the same attitude. It will be much more difficult for them to
honor their father if you are belittling him and speaking to him in a
harsh, sarcastic tone of voice.

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Pastors Jesse and Brenda McNeil are Assistant Pastors at Word Alive Ministries, Inc. in Lakeland, Florida. They are committed marriage and family pastors, advisors, and teachers, offering premarital preparation, personal advisory, post marital advisory, and wedding services to any-one who desires. Pastor Jesse is also the author of the very influential book, “Powerful Principles for Choosing a Marriage Partner.” The McNeils have been married for more than 42 years and have worked together as a dynamic, unified ministry team for over 36 years. You are sure to be blessed and in-spired by their awesome ministry.

Family Focus Ministry
Pastors Jesse & Brenda McNeil
Every person is worth understanding!
Services Offered:
Premarital Preparation, Post Marital Advisory,
Marriage Ceremonies, Seminars & Speaking Engagements
For comments or questions email us at: ffm@tampabay.rr.com
or call 863-944-2283 or 863-944-0762

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How to Double Your Prayer Power!

The power of prayer has changed the world many times! The Bible has countless examples of men and women who seek God on their face and on their knees and entire nations would crumble or be restored. Prayer is mankind’s expressed way to reach up to God. The children of Israel time and time again when they disobeyed God and strayed away from serving him always found his arms open when they humbled themselves and sought his face and prayed!

Have you ever prayed about something and it seemed that God is nowhere to be found? Does it appear that your prayers sometimes have NO Power at all? It is very easy to assume that all prayers are equal and each of us have the same connection with God, however you and I both know that this is not true. Some people pray for healing and it is done others pray for miracles and they are done and sometimes demonic oppression and possession is cast completely out from someones word/prayer of faith! Why do some people have great power when they pray and others do not? Why are some prayers answered and others are not? Some of this has to do with faith. Some has to do with obedience. Some has to do with intent. Some has to with knowledge. And some of this has to do with relationships! There are many reasons prayers go unanswered and some would say the answer could be NO but when we pray according to God’s Word the outcome is always fairly certain.

Today we are going to focus on one simple way to double your prayer power. Now let’s qualify this. This is for married couples. Married couples at the time of their union become one flesh according to God. The two shall come together and become one. When God says that we become “One” he takes this very seriously. From that moment on we enter into a new relationship with him. He looks at us as a unit or you could say a team of two,  one team called Family. When a husband and wife are at odds with one another, fighting with one another, criticizing each other, and looking for pleasures outside their marriage, God cannot bless their every action or request. Sure God hears you and will answer your cry for help or intercession for another but without oneness and unity in your marriage, which is sin, your prayers will hit a brick wall.

Think about this. If you and your wife make a whole, then when you are divided you are half of what God put together. You are not nearly as powerful in prayer as when you have wholeness in your marriage.

Dear friends, if you have a breakdown anywhere with your wife, if communication is strained or if you have a stagnant marriage your prayer life is suffering and thus your life is suffering. It is your responsibility to make it right, no matter how hard this may be.

Do you want to double your prayer power? Then include your wife and above all be sure that you have given NO place for the devil to reside in your marriage.

Pray together everyday and the enemy will flee and the walls will come down. Guaranteed!!

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Pastor Paul Pickern is married to his wife Linda. They have 5 children (Tony, Stephanie, Dale, Seth, Schyler) and 11 grand children. Their home is in Plant City, Florida between Tampa and Orlando. Paul was born in Belleville, Illinois and Linda was born in Charleston, West Virginia.

Paul is the Founder and CEO of All Pro Pastors Ministry, a ministry that encourages and challenges Pastors to join together as Kingdom Brothers to develop trust, accountability and unity. It is a ministry that strengthens Pastors marriages, families, and ministries by establishing “Champions Table’s”. The “Champions Table” is a safe place where Pastors can meet together and develop genuine relationships.

Paul’s wife Linda is a vital part of the ministry too. She minister’s to pastor wives and hosts a website/blog called “Women R Champions“. The many women in ministry throughout the world are connected thru this women directed ministry.

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HOW TO INCREASE TITHES & OFFERINGS Without Passing the Plate Agaiiiiinnn?

 

Have you considered asking your congregation to support Christian businesses in your church or in your neighborhood?  And should you ???

 

Some Pastors and Christians, in general act as though doing business with other Christians is somehow not that important.  That may be why we don’t see many business directories in churches.  (Synagogues have them, wonder why?) Some think that being a “good steward” of God’s money is just getting the cheapest price.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

SPENDING MONEY IN GOD’S KINGDOM – As we spend God’s money (and it’s all His) it will go into a business person’s bank account to be spent as he or she sees fit.  A Christian who is a giver will, after tithes and offerings, spend this money to purchase goods and services from other Christian businesses who in turn will spend their income with even more Christian businesses, etc., etc., etc..   This activity will keep as much as possible in the Kingdom of God.  Plus the added benefit is — that true Christian businessmen/women will look for opportunities to minister & pray for their customers, even leading some to the Lord. These business people will go into places where Pastors may never be invited.  They are evangelists for the church!

 

SPENDING MONEY IN THE WORLD – The other option is to not have any knowledge or concern and just spend the money without investigating where it may go next.  An unbeliever will not be tithing or giving into your church or into the Kingdom of God. He or she will be giving into the Kingdom of Darkness and what I call the “Black Hole of Unrighteousness”.  Spending money in this way will be circulated most likely into the wrong place, thereby building & multiplying the wrong Kingdom!!

Will the unbeliever be praying for any of their customers?

Will they be proclaiming the gospel?  

Will they be inviting them to your church or any church for that matter?

I don’t think so !!!!

 

You might say – “well if I only spend money with Christian businesses wouldn’t that be discrimination against non-Christians?  Sounds wrong, doesn’t it!  But look at what the word of God says –

So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially (be a blessing) to those of the household of faith(”born again believers”) Galatians 6:10 AMP.

If, however, God does tell you to spend His money with an unbeliever, then you are free to do so.  It may be an opportunity to witness. But in other situations, all things being equal spend it with a believer.  

 

The next question for the Pastor might be “Should I be recommending businesses to my congregation?  What if a business I recommend does something wrong?  I don’t want the blowback!”  Pastors, don’t operate out of “fear” that something will go wrong.  Fear can cripple you, your church and the Kingdom from growth.  We must do all we can to promote & build the Kingdom of God.  

 

Now I’m not saying to promote businesses where the owner doesn’t give to your church or into the Kingdom of God.  This needs to be verified. A Christian business person that doesn’t tithe or give generously needs some serious counseling. At IBR we teach & verify (when necessary) giving so that our customers can be confident that when they hire one of our businesses God’s money will go back into His Kingdom.

 

You need to know who the businesses are in your churches and in the community that are true believers and supporters of the Kingdom of God.  You know people are going to ask you to recommend someone.  They probably already have!  If you don’t know, then your congregation will be relying on the yellow pages, the internet or maybe their unsaved friends to tell them.  

There goes God’s money down that Black Hole again.  I know you don’t want that!  

 

Get to know those Christian businesses in your own church and in the community.

Visit their businesses.  Offer to pray for them.  Encourage them.  Businessmen & women need to know you care.

 

We recently asked this question in one of our “IBR” business networking meetings –  “how many of you have ever had your Pastor visit your business and pray for it”.  Out of 25 people in attendance, “One hand went up.”  Pastor, your business people need you.  We all need you.  Get out, just go love on them.  The results just might amaze you.   If they prosper, your church will prosper!  That is just the way it works.

 

“Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labor among you (recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all –your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you). (Yes these could be business people)  I Thessalonians 5:11-13 AMPC

 

If you need help in identifying the Christian businesses in your area and there is an “Integrity Business Referrals” or other good Christian Business group nearby, call them.  IBR members are already vetted.  They have to be “born again”, givers in their churches & operate a business with integrity.  If customers have a problem they can call IBR or the group that referred the business.  We are committed to excellence and making things right even if it costs us.

 

Father, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus that every Pastor that reads this, if he/she hasn’t already done so, will get out into the community especially to visit their own business people and bless them, speak into their lives and pray for them.  The results will be phenomenal!  

AMEN!

 

King David needed his pastor (prophet) for vision & instruction

His pastor(prophet) needed David for provision & protection .

 

We are in this together!       

 

Lew Frye, Founder

Integrity Business Referrals, Inc.

7922 Sioux Ln.

Lakeland, Fl 33810

863-521-3360   intbusref@gmail.com   www.ibr77.com

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Lew Frye, Founder
Lew, a native of Portsmouth, VA is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, and TN. and now resides in Lakeland, FL.

Lew worked for 7 years in the commercial mortgage banking and direct mortgage lending business with large insurance companies & mortgage bankers.

As a State Certified General Contractor since 1978, Lew has completed hundreds of building projects, ranging from single family homes, to light commercial including churches. Lew has also completed hundreds of inspections for insurance companies.

Lew & his wife, Marleen, married over 50 years, were both “born again” in 1979 with strong encounters with God. Joined Carpenter’s Home Church, Lakeland, FL in 1985 with Pastor Karl Strader. Now attends Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida with Pastor Stephen Strader.

In 2010, Lew founded “Integrity Business Referrals, Inc.” and “Integritybusinessreferrals.com”, a business networking organization for Christians in the marketplace. Currently with 40 business members, representing 29 different churches, this premier networking organization is expanding with a 2nd chapter in Plant City, FL

Lew and Marleen’s hearts have always been to impact the community with the gospel of “Jesus Christ” & Kingdom principles in the marketplace. You can find out more at www.IBR77.com or email Lew at intbusref@gmail.com

Integrity Business Referrals, Inc.
7922 Sioux Ln.
Lakeland, Fl 33810
863-521-3360 intbusref@gmail.com
IBR77.COM
Kingdom principles in the marketplace