Acts 9: 36

Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which when translated means Dorcas); this woman was excelling in acts of kindness and charity which she did habitually.

One has to like this woman, Tabitha. Some of the other translations read, “She was always doing good and helping the poor.” First, she made it a habit to help others. Second, she excelled at acts of kindness and charity. What better report could be made of anyone. Would you like people to speak of you in these terms. I would.

She is called a disciple. It seems her understanding of following Christ was to be kind and generous. Most of us would agree that Christian charity is part of following Jesus. It used to be that the church took care of widows, orphans and aliens. That role has largely been passed to the state, but the state is not always best equipped to meet the need. By way of example, allow me to share one couple’s story with you.

Deneen, had a serious stroke 4 years ago followed later by a second stroke. She is 60 years of age, blind in one eye, crippled on one side, has busted teeth from the fall, etc. Things have gone downhill for her. She has been bedridden for about a year. Hospice helps once a week. The state has not awarded her disability. Her husband, Mike, is 67- 68 and still works 10 hour shifts so they can have insurance. They have very little help and no monetary support other than his salary. Mike was diagnosed, this week, with lung & throat cancer. In frustration and concern, Deneen’s friend wrote, “Where does the help come from?” and asked for prayer for this couple.

Prayer is great and this will be forwarded to the Ivey Ministries Prayer Team. However, I think we can do more. This holiday season please join with me to help this couple. I believe it is the church’s duty to care for people, but even more than that, I believe it is in the heart of believers to help those in need. Send what you can to help this couple. Send your gift to Ivey Ministries and mark your payment “Deneen”. Every penny of your gift will go directly to them. I can’t see any reason why we can’t raise a thousand dollars or more. Send checks to: Ivey Ministries, 7726 Amber Forest Lane, Lewisville, NC 27023. You may also click on the Donate button on the website to give with PayPal: Please know that PayPal takes out their percentage, which is fair, but it is a convenient way to give.

What do you say folks? Is this something we can do this holiday season? Perhaps you have additional ideas on how we can be a blessing to them. Please click reply or send me an email at

Let’s show, if not the world, at least this one couple what Christian love and charity is. I hope you can get behind this. I pray we can make a real difference in this couple’s life. Bless you!

Cornelius’ Memorial

Acts 10: 4      (CJB)

Cornelius stared at the angel, terrified. “What is it, sir?” he asked. “Your prayers,” replied the angel, “and your acts of charity have gone up into God’s presence, so that he has you on his mind.”

Ivey Ministries has been working on our prayer ministry and developing a prayer team. Naturally I have been spending time in prayer verses. There are a number which have grabbed my attention but how can this one not cause us to pause? Today’s verse was taken from the Complete Jewish Bible. The NASB reads, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God.” The very idea that our prayers ascend to God’s presence and stand as a memorial is mind boggling. Here is what I want you to hear, God honors your prayers.

Let’s make this story even more real. Cornelius was not a Jew. In fact, he was a Roman soldier, an officer at that. He was far from the model of a follower of Christ. The Jewish Messiah, afterall, came to the Jews and the Jews were not in a rush to accept Gentile believers. Cornelius, though, was a devout believer. He gave to the poor and “prayed to God continually,” (v. 2). The Passion Translation says he was, “a devout man of extraordinary character who worshiped God and prayed regularly, together with all his family. He also had a heart for the poor and gave generously to help them.” Though he was not a Jew, not of the chosen people, his faith, actually, his devotion which was demonstrated through his generosity and his prayers ascended to the very throne room of God and stood before God as a memorial. Cornelius got God’s attention. He so impressed God that God sent an angel from heaven to bless the man. If you read the rest of Cornelius’ story you will see that God sent Peter to Cornelius’ town, to his very home so that he and his whole household might be saved. Now Peter was one of the leaders of the church. There were plenty of other folks that could have traveled to Caesarea, but God sent for Peter because he had Cornelius on His mind. Cornelius’ devotion stood in the throne room of God as a memorial before the Almighty. The book of Revelation says that the prayers of the saints are incense before God (Revelation 5: 8). Cornelius’ prayers must have continuously wafted before God such that it got God’s attention. It blessed God so much that it moved Him to action. First, He sent an angel then He sent Peter. God, literally, moved heaven and earth for this man.

That is exciting to me. Sometimes when we pray it feels like we are spitting into the wind but, not so. Your Father is collecting those prayers and then He uses them as the scent for His throne room. You can get God’s attention with prayer. You can move Him to action but not only for the people you pray for. God is going to return the blessing to you. That’s good news. Maybe He will send an angel to you.

Let this be a call to prayer. Let’s shake things up. Now that we know the spiritual realm is taking notice of and moved by our prayer, let’s kick it up a notch. How exciting could things become in just 30 days if we all increased our prayers. And here’s the thing, it need not be hard or even time consuming. I am all for getting alone in your private space and communing with God, but you cannot “pray without ceasing” if you wait for that perfect setting. Here is what I ask of you instead, pray when you are pumping gas. You’ve got nothing better to do. Pray in the shower, driving to work, at the grocery store, waiting for the bus, waiting in line at the bank, etc. The point is there are many times during the day that we can bless God and others with a simple prayer lifted up to heaven. Don’t make it wordy or complicated. You can say twelve prayers while the eloquent people say one. Just be real and talk to the Lord about the people you see around you and don’t think you have to list everyone individually. Pray for “everyone who works at this bank, all the people pumping gas right now, everyone who attends the YMCA, everyone at work” and so on.

Lastly, consider joining our prayer team. It’s a Christian thing to do. If you are too busy to be on a prayer team, you’re just too busy. Quit something. Be a part of a team that is doing God’s work. I believe God will bless you for your faithfulness. Don’t you? Just click “reply” and let me know you’re in.