2016-02-23 4. WGS PRAISE Ruffled Hibiscus



“Praise Him!  Praise Him!  Praise Him in the morning, Praise Him in the noontime.  Praise Him!  Praise Him!  Praise Him when the sun goes down!”

Do you desire the sweet presence of the Lord in your life?  Are there chains that need to be broken?  It’s time to start praising the Lord!  P.T.L!

Praise is something you do. It isn’t something you work up.  You are either plugged in or you aren’t.  We adore, exalt, and lift up the name of the Lord in our praise.  Psalms is full of David’s praises to God.  It’s a choice and a decision to praise God.  We have a free will and it’s up to us to choose to praise God or not.

Psalm 100:4 NIV “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Psalm 22:3  NKJV “But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel.”

Psalms 9:1, 2 NKJV “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”

Psalm 33:1 “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous:  for praise is comely for the upright.”

Praise is very real and powerful!  Just look at what happened to Paul and Silas when they praised God while in prison!  They sang praises to God, there was an earthquake, and the prison doors were opened!  They even ministered salvation to the Prison Guard!  Acts 16:25-34

Praise God in the good times and in the bad.  He’s worthy of all our praise.  Stay connected to the Lord and praise Him!  Always remember that He is with you through every storm.

“Praise the name of Jesus. Praise the name of Jesus.  He’s my Rock.  He’s my Fortress.  He’s my Deliverer.  In Him shall I trust.  Praise the name of Jesus.”

SONG: Casting Crowns “Praise You in This Storm” (live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ype1xE0wzsg

PICTURE:  Ruffled Hibiscus in my Garden.  It reminds me of a Hawaiian Sunset.


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:



Rest of faith

Entering God’s “Rest” Of Faith


Pastor George W. Black


Introduction: Current Events Are Robbing Our Peace

Pope floats idea of one world religion – I enjoyed the Pope’s comments this last week directed at Donald Trump, suggesting that anyone who only wants to build walls and not build bridges is not a Christian. It was entertaining. However, and more sobering, this world leading Pontiff recently called for all faiths to come together. In a video put together by the Jesuit Global Prayer Network, the Pope is shown requesting collaboration with “those who think differently, but meet God in different ways.” In the Bible, the Book of Revelation describes a ‘great harlot’ or a false one-world religion will be prominent during the end times, led by a false prophet.


World War III Could Start This Month, 2/16/2016, Michael Snyder

Three-hundred fifty thousand soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are massing in northern Saudi Arabia for a military exercise that is being called “Northern Thunder. According to the official announcement, forces are being contributed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and several other nations. This will be the largest military exercise in the history of the region, and it comes amid rumors that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are preparing for a massive ground invasion of Syria. But if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies go in, they run the risk of a full-blown war with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.


World economy – A Global Recession Is More Likely Than Anyone Realizes

Countries now in recession include Greece, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Venezuela, Brazil, Russia, Taiwan, and, as of Feb. 1, Ireland.

And the United States is closer than anyone realizes to joining them.

It appears that anyone drinking the Kool aid of this year’s state of the Union message about a growing economy isn’t willing to look at the real numbers on jobs, devaluation of the dollar, and economic recession. With a 19 trillion-dollar national debt, America is living on borrowed time.


Movie release – “Deadpool” opened two weekends ago with a $135 million dollar record crushing “R” rated movie weekend, on Valentines weekend no less. Besides sex, nudity, violence and gore, movie goers got treated to about 84 F-words and its derivatives, 3 obscene hand gestures, 21 sexual references, 34 scatological terms, 19 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, 2 religious profanities, and 9 religious exclamations. Does the success of this movie reflect the loss of morals in our society, or do movies of this nature condition us to tolerate and even accept todays anti-morals, anti-God, secular revolution? In both cases we are presented with a “state of our union” that must surely be what the Bible refers to as “perilous times.” Ps 101:3 “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.” Check out www.MovieGuide.org to know before you go.


Politics – For the first time in the history of the United States we have an avowed socialist not only running for POTUS, but having won the New Hampshire primary, and having come in a close second to a near-socialist in both Iowa and Nevada. Socialism is now the anti-capitalism doctrine being taught by the so-called elite in our Ivy League colleges, which has bred a generation of truly misguided millennials who are now asserting their influence. Socialism, as you may recall, is the economic doctrine used by Communism, and does not have one successful long-term experiment to show proof of concept in any country of the world, ever. It led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, has held Cuba in poverty for 70 years, and has Venezuela mirroring the failures of Cuba. In every instance that pure socialism is tried, it invariably requires a revolution and dictatorship to remain sustainable. There is no such thing as a free ride. The price of the ride is hidden in the surrender of personal rights and liberties until the state owns you.

Zika Virus – New Evidence Suggests Monsanto Larvicide Is To Blame For Birth Defects in Brazil

 Zika virus may not be the culprit in huge increase in microcephaly cases but, rather, Monsanto larvicide used in Brazilian water supply. The report from Argentine doctors noted that the Brazilian Ministry of Health, who has so far maintained that Zika is to blame, failed to recognize that “a chemical larvicide producing malformations in mosquitoes has been applied for 18 months, and that this poison (pyriproxyfen) is applied by the State on drinking water used by the affected population.” This suggests that the malformations that the larvicide causes in mosquitoes is also what is causing the malformations for the human babies that are affected. Since the larvicide is in the water supply, it is highly likely that the pregnant women with the microcephalic babies were exposed to the larvicide. 


 In spite of all these harrowing reports, there is a place of rest in Christ.



Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 Message “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


  1. Entering God’s rest by faith begins with staying focused on why we are here. We are all running a race given to us by God. Our life is not our plan, but His.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Hebrews 12:1,2a NKJV  “… let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, {2} looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”


  1. Jesus is our example of how to endure the hardness of the race with a view to future victory…stop running for yourself and run for Him.

1 Corinthians 16:19-20 MEV “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Romans 12:2b NKJV  “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”


  1. Sometimes the race gets hard to help us let go of whatever is holding us back, and refocus on our true source of our strength…God, not ourselves.

Philippians 4:13 MEV “I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me.”

Hebrews 12:3,4 “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. {4} You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”


  1. No matter what you face in life, you must never give up, you must get up…after you have kneeled and surrendered everything to Him again.

The desire to quit is the last obstacle between you and what God has promised you.

Deuteronomy 33:25b NKJV  “…As your days, so shall your strength be.”

Galatians 6:9 NKJV  “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”


  1. In the final analysis, we must enter God’s rest of faith by trusting your Heavenly Father to know what is best for us.

Romans 8:28 NKJV  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; {6} In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. {7} Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. {8} It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.”



It is truly difficult to forgive people you have loved deeply when they have wounded deeply, and never apologized.

Sometimes I think I have let things go by praying prayers of forgiveness. Then like a speeding car out of a side street I get blindsided in my mind again.

This morning the Lord whispered to my heart that I had prayed the words of forgiveness, but had not cancelled the debt.

I am still mad at them. They still owe me. This is not forgiveness.

So back to the Cross I go again, repenting of my hard heart and self-righteousness, remembering all of my own sins.

I am so grateful for Amazing Grace. This time, with God’s help, I will cancel the debt, release the anger, and set them free.

Until then, I am not free.

Mark 11:25-26 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”


2016-02-16 3. WGS OBEDIENCE Hibiscus



When God speaks, choose to obey Him.  GOD BLESSES OBEDIENCE!

“If you are seeking to obey the Lord, expect opposition.  Expect obstacles.  Expect difficulties.  But also expect God to see you through.”  Greg Laurie

Isaiah 1:19, 20 “If you are WILLING and OBEDIENT, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

God wants to bless us so much more than we could ever imagine. We want God’s blessings in our lives.  It’s not “My will be done.”  It is “Thy will be done.”  God blesses obedience.

Many times the Bible says, if you do this, then I will do that.  There is a natural law in effect.  Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  A spiritual law is also in effect:  The Laws of Sowing and Reaping.  You reap what you sow.  2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Your attitude affects your altitude.  Do you want to soar with the eagles?  Have a willing, humble, and yes Lord, attitude.  Temper tantrums and selfishness are not acceptable attitudes.  Choose to listen and obey.  Remember, God blesses obedience.  We have a choice to be obedient or not.

We expect our children to obey us.  God also, expects us to obey Him.   We train our children to listen and obey.  They know our voice. Are you an obedient Sheep?  Do you know the Good Shepherd’s voice?  By not choosing to obey God, you actually are choosing to disobey.  That’s called rebellion.  What are your children learning from your example?  Are they seeing obedience or rebellion?

“By learning to yield to the loving authority of his parents, a child learns to submit to other forms of authority which will confront him later in life.” Dr. James Dobson

Jesus was an example of complete submission and humble obedience even when he knew he was facing the cross.  God blessed His obedience.  Jesus rose and triumphed over death, hell, and the grave.

Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

If you find yourself falling short, you may need to repent of disobedience.   Turn to our Loving Heavenly Father and choose to obey Him.  He wants to bless you more than you know!

SONG: Keith Green, “To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice” (live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzWyZxlwGKI

PICTURE:  Hibiscus from my Garden

Please see past Devotions on my brother’s website:  georgewblack.com


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:



“Deadpool” opened with a $135 million dollar record crushing “R” rated movie weekend, on Valentines weekend no less.
Christians should always “know before you go” by reading movie reviews and parental guides that tell you the inside story of what you are about to open your spirit up to.
Ps 101:3 “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.”
www.MovieGuide.org is one such source I turn to for the inside scoop. It calls Deadpool “abhorrent.”
Besides sex, nudity, violence and gore, movie goers got treated to about 84 F-words and its derivatives, 3 obscene hand gestures, 21 sexual references, 34 scatological terms, 19 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, 2 religious profanities, and 9 religious exclamations.
Does the success of this movie reflect the loss of morals in our society, or do movies of this nature condition us to tolerate and even accept todays anti-morals, anti-God, secular revolution? In both cases we are presented with a “state of our union” that must surely be what the Bible refers to as “perilous times.”
Sadly, Christians may have helped contribute to the success of this movie. What does this say about the state of Christianity in America when a “Christ-follower” can willingly pay for a bath in profanity, etc, and still feel okay about it? Even enjoy it?
Jesus never said “only believe.” He said “repent and believe.”
Mark 1:15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”
True repentance always means a change of direction and lifestyle. Making Jesus Lord means following Him, not the world.
I am praying for another Great Awakening in our nation that will rescue this generation. God is able. It’s not too late.
Join me daily for 10@10 – ten minutes of daily prayer at, or around 10 AM in your time zone, to pray for national, regional, local, and personal revival and awakening in our generation.
2 Chron 7:14 “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”


2016-02-09 2. WGS COME Ruffled Hibiscus



When you hear the Lord calling, run into His everlasting arms!

When you are in love, you are all consumed with your future husband.  You think about him continually.  Your heart pounds at the whisper of his voice.  Just standing beside him gives you jelly legs.  Yes, I had it bad.  Still do.  My husband doesn’t have a singing voice, but every time he called me, his voice was music to my ears.  We’ve now been married for 32 years and I still love my husband with my whole heart.  The desire of my heart is to glorify God in all my life and to honor my husband.

Song of Solomon 2:10 NIV “My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.”

The Bible is the word of God.  It is God’s love letter to us.  You can see His passion for the Bride of Christ by reading Song of Solomon.

The Lord is calling His Bride (the church) to COME.  He’s calling us individually and corporately.  We have a choice to make.  Are we going to turn a deaf ear and harden our hearts against the Lord?

Let’s choose to listen and respond to His call in our hearts and lives.  Choose to accept and embrace the Lord in all of your life.

He yearns for our fellowship with Him.  If we could grasp His wonderful love for us, we would pursue Him with relentless passion. God completes us.  We are created with a void that only He can fill.  Nothing else will satisfy.

Col 2:10 “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”

The next time God speaks to your heart and says, “Come,” I hope you take time to come to Him. Pray, praise, worship, and seek the Lord by reading the word.

Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Don’t dilly dally or drag your feet.  When God speaks, COME.

“Like a bride waiting for her groom, we’ll be a church ready for You.  Every heart longing for our King, we sing even so come Lord Jesus, come.” Kristian Stanfill

PICTURE: Ruffled Hibiscus in my Garden

SONG:  Kristian Stanfill, “Passion – Even So Come (Live)”



Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:



2016-02-02 1 WGS Listen



by Cindy Black



When God calls your name, can you HEAR Him?  God is speaking.  Are you listening?

Way back before cellphones truckers would use C B Radios and the talk may go something like, “Breaker, Breaker 1-9: You got your ears on little buddy?”  My question is, do you have your spiritual ears on? God is speaking.  Are you listening?

There are many voices in the world.  They can become much like static on the radio when you can’t get a clear signal.  A constant prayer I pray is to hear God’s voice above all others.  God is speaking.  Are you listening?

Psalm 85:8 “I will listen {with expectancy} to what God the Lord will speak peace to His people, to His saints (those who are in right standing with Him) but let them not turn again to {self-confident} folly.”

Mark 4:9 “Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

We were discussing our private Devotions with the Lord at a Ladies Bible Study.  One lady said her Bible lay on her bedside table and every morning she got up and walked right past it going through her busy day.  She couldn’t understand why God wasn’t speaking to her until she realized she never took time to pick up her Bible and read it.  God is speaking.  Are you listening?

When we read the Bible, it’s like the Holy Spirit illuminates certain verses and shines them into our hearts opening our understanding.  Sometimes I’ll just be washing dishes and the Lord will quicken a scripture to my heart and it ministers to me.  God is speaking.  Are you listening?

When you’re praying, you need to stop talking to God and just be quiet a little while and listen.  A conversation isn’t one-sided.  God is speaking.  Are you listening?

Samuel heard God calling his name, but didn’t realize it was God until Eli told him.  He was quick to listen from then on and the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel by the word of the Lord. 1 Samuel 3:1-21

Spend some time in private Devotion.  Read your Bible.  Pray, praise, and worship the Lord.  Soon, you’ll hear God speaking to you.  He was there all along.

God is speaking.  Are you listening?

SONG: Mercy Me, “Word of God Speak” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JK_6osCH74


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:




I am resisting the urge to wade into all the Iowa tumult as I am so often amazed, and disgusted, by the division politics breeds between Christians who say they believe in the teachings and values of the same Bible I hold dear.

But then some of these same Christians are probably amazed and disgusted with my politics as well. Welcome to the USA.

Having lived through 12 Presidents, and many more state and local elections, I no longer drink the Kool aide of anyone’s campaign promises.

I evaluate what the candidates are saying in light of where they have come from, because history is often a great predictor of the future.

I have been a keen observer of politics since John F. Kennedy. When I was younger I campaigned for several politicians, both state and national. Even as a child, my father, who was active politically, had me go from house to house handing out campaign pins for who he hoped would be the next Governor of Louisiana. The candidate lost, but it had a life-long influence on me. It made me care about elections. Every election is important.

If only I could be king for a day. Actually that is a pretty scary thought. No thanks. I prefer to stay in my lane.

There were other political involvements along the way, but most notably, after campaigning vigorously for a presidential candidate in 1976, Cathy and I had the honor of being invited to the Presidential Inauguration of 1977. We stood in the cold and snow in Washington DC and witnessed the amazing transfer of power that is our Democratic Republic. No blood was shed as in other countries. It was a “bucket-list” experience for me.

Our nation has now passed that peaceful baton through 44 Presidential administrations, and our noble American ideals as a “city upon a hill” continue to survive.

I can’t say I believe they still thrive, but they do still survive.

As a pastor, father, and grandfather, I have a huge love and concern for my country and for the future we are handing the next generations. The domino affect ripples down through time. I think every true Christ-follower should be very concerned about where we go from here as a nation.

But instead of politics, I offer this perspective:

Despite all the campaign rhetoric, by all the candidates, the most critical solution to our nation’s woes remains absent – repentance for our national sins to turn away the judgments of a Holy God.

Does the political *ethos of a candidate matter. You bet! There is always the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we need to educate ourselves to know the difference. We may not be electing a “Pastor In Chief”, but it does matter if the Commander In Chief has a spiritual and moral base. What starts at the head flows down to the body. The Bible tells us “righteousness exalts a nation”, and unrighteousness does not.

* “Ethos” – the distinguishing character, ethic, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution.

I lead a racially and culturally diverse church. We don’t bring politics into the pulpit, because Jesus Christ is our unity. I insist on this.

But you better believe I preach the Gospel and a Christian world view. I never try to tell our church who to vote for, or even who I will vote for. They don’t even know my party affiliation, or non-affiliation. I tell them to “vote for Jesus”…the candidate that best embodies the morals, values and ideals of our Judeo-Christian heritage, regardless of party.

Needless to say, someone saying they are a Christian is often much like their campaign promises. Campaign conversions are many. But what does their history say?

Our nation is in trouble. Nearly everyone agrees on this point, regardless of their political persuasion. The empirical evidence is indisputable on nearly every scale we want to measure…moral, financial, debt, military, international, etc.

The evidence that a nation is under a curse is confusion. Whenever the nation of Israel turned away from God, it always went into confusion. This is the curse of disobedience found in Dt. 28. Read the whole chapter for yourself. God offered the Israelites blessing or cursing. He said you choose.

Remember the 40 years in the wilderness wanderings? Confusion. Like Israel, is America now going in circles with no answers? We know this is going on in our nation, and we are all angry about it.

But the angst and outrage people feel over our dilemma must be channeled constructively. Campaign rhetoric and emotional political solutions alone cannot save our nation.

Besides, such things are often not honest. The problem is we want to believe them, and the candidates know that.

We must remember this:

No one is wise enough, strong enough, or smart enough to make America great again without God’s blessing.

So what is the answer? The answer is learning from the Biblical history of Israel, who more than once found themselves in the same predicament we are in today. When they had a godly leader that led them to pray, and repent, and turn to God, they were spared. When they did not, well, you can read about their captivity and bondage yourself.

I believe there is still time for the United States to turn around. There may even be signs of the pendulum reversing on the horizon. But the answer to our national problems is a spiritual one, not just a political one.

I don’t know if we have anyone left running for the office of President that has the moral certitude and courage to lead us in this way. Some of our best choices may have already dropped out.

But even if we do, I don’t know if modern America will elect them.

What is America’s hope? The right candidate? Of course. God uses people. But we must also have God grant repentance to our nation. Without HIM we can do nothing. But with HIM, all things are possible.

The only real hope for America is for God to “heal our land.”

“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.“ II Chronicles 7:13-14 NKJV


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