Would You Do It For One? By Eve Gualtieri

Over the course of our 40 years in ministry, my husband and I have had many incredible opportunities. We have shared the gospel with immense crowds. We have shared the gospel with individuals. We have traveled to distant places and we have traveled to our next door neighbors. We have sweated; we have shivered. We have been hungry; we have eaten mystery meals. While we cannot say with Paul that we have been beaten with rods or suffered shipwreck, we can identify with the inconveniences and trials of being ministers of the gospel, as well as the overwhelming joy of seeing a soul come to Christ.


We determined from the beginning that we would go wherever God directed us, speak to whoever would listen, and give whatever was required. God would provide the strength, the means, and the grace. We would not complain about the things we didn’t have, but would trust God to give us everything needed from His abundance. Because of that determination, we have seen thousands upon thousands come to the knowledge of God. We have eaten lunch under coconut trees on a beach in Haiti while sharing the gospel with one young girl. And we have been entertained in the home of a former president of Haiti, surrounded by his bodyguards, while we lead him to faith in Christ. We have driven the bumpy, sandy, pot-holed roads of Ghana and we have experienced the round and around, don’t-look-down roads through Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains. We have slept in houses that believers have moved out of just so we could have a place to stay because they are so honored to have us in their village and we have been escorted in limousines to the Governor’s Mansion where we would sleep before a city-wide campaign.


Our favorite verse has been Philippians 4:11-13, “...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. - I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”


The gospel is just that important. Who am I to tell God where I will go and under what conditions. I am His worker, under His authority.


And yet. A few weeks ago, I had a moment. 


We had been in the mountains of Mexico, and were nearing the end of our trip. We came to a quaint, little hotel in the city. And it had air conditioning. Apparently I had misunderstood the itinerary. I thought we had one more meeting and then a day off. So at breakfast I asked what time we were leaving for our meeting that night. Our host said, “We will leave the hotel at noon to catch the bus. After a two hour bus ride we will be picked up by the pastor who will drive us another hour to the village where we will have the meeting. We will stay two nights at his ranch and then he will drive us to the airport.”


I have to leave the air conditioning. I can do this.


We took the bus and met the pastor. He brought us to his daughter’s car and informed us that she would drive us to the ranch.


The girl was a race car driver. I’m sure she was trained by Mario Andretti. She drove so fast and when we would come to a curve marked ‘peligroso’ - ‘dangerous’ -  she never even slowed down. 


I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I sat in the back of the car and I started talking to God. I said, “God, I’m not happy.”


Now I know that God does not exist to make me happy, but I thought He ought to know.


I thought to myself, we’re going to a ‘ranch’. My idea of a ranch is the Ponderosa from the 50’s tv show Bonanza. But I’m pretty sure this ‘ranch’ will not be the Ponderosa. Little Joe will not come riding up on his horse and I don’t think Hop Sing will be in the kitchen either. No. This will be a little house with animals and a garden, and pit toilets and no screens on the windows, and a bath in a bucket. God, I’m not happy. Then I added, and nobody will probably even get saved. They’ll just sit there and look at us. 


I told Him how much I’d already given and that I was tired. I’m not happy, God.


After a little while I heard a quiet voice. It was God. He said, “Would you do it for one?”


Seriously? I thought to myself. But, what can I say? To God? 


So I sighed, and said, “Sure, God. I’ll do it for one.” 


We got to the ranch and it was just like I thought, pit toilets and all. The Pastor and his family were sweet and they gave us everything they could. We ate and prepared for the meeting.


It was an outdoor meeting on a sweltering night. About seventy-five people and two dogs came. Just like I thought, the crowd was quiet. My husband shared a message of salvation. He spoke about the love of God. That God came to seek and to save those who are lost. That Jesus paid the price for our sin, for our sickness and for the needs of our hearts. That God wants us to live full, happy, abundant lives.


Then he gave an altar call. Nobody moved. Nobody came. We couldn’t even get the dogs to come forward. 


Then he called for anyone who wanted prayer. Prayer for healing, physical or emotional. A musician started playing the guitar. And here, in this place - under the stars, a single guitar - the power of God came, the presence of the Holy Spirit.


A man came forward, tears streaming down his face. This is Mexico, land of the ‘macho man’. But here was a man, devastated. He had been abused as a child. My husband and the Pastor prayed for him. 


And God whispered, “This is the one.”


Now, a family came. The father had abandoned them. The daughter was so angry. The mother concerned that her daughter could not forgive. They prayed and counseled with her.


And God whispered, “This is the one.”


A mother came. She had lost two children. She was heartbroken. The Pastor and my husband prayed.


And God whispered, “This is the one.”


And one by one they came. One by one they received their answer. And God whispered, “This is the one.”


The meeting ended. The crying man was embracing his father. The young girl had found forgiveness. The mother was smiling, comforted.


And I was humbled and repentant. 


Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus, although he was fully God did not count it a ‘thing to be grasped, but emptied himself’. He ‘stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity’ of being God. And He became a man.


He laid aside all that it meant to be God as if he was taking off a coat and laying it aside. 


He left the splendor of Heaven. 


And became a human and lived on earth.


That is much more than me leaving my home and traveling to what we call a Third World Country.


 And more than that, Jesus ‘abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!’


But because He did - ‘[because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him...’ Phil 2:6-8 AMP 


Because He did, we have salvation, peace, hope.


But is that salvation so that we can be happy with our own safe, secure and comfortable lives? Or could we lay aside our ‘selves’ for a time, could we be emptied, stripped of our privileges and rights, just to help others find the way? Could we go outside our zone, make ourselves uncomfortable, so that we could tell someone how to find peace? Could we leave behind even our own dignity so that someone else could know the King of Heaven and find a permanent home in His presence?


Paul said, ‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.’ Rom 8:18


It doesn’t even compare!


Would I do it for one? Yes. Yes. And Yes. And I always will. Jesus did it for me. And I am only one. I can go to all the world. For one. And for one more. And for one more.

My God is So Big! by Eve Gualtieri

 

When I was a new Christian we sang a Sunday School song that goes like this: “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do.”

It’s a simple song. But it taught us new Christians a great lesson. We used to sing it over and over again. So we got the point!


Our God is so strong and so mighty!


 The Bible is full of stories showing how powerful and strong He is. 


But sometimes we are faced with challenges in our lives that make us waver, make us unsure, make us question. Is He big enough to handle this??


But our God is bigger and stronger than any challenge we could face. Our God is so mighty and faithful.


David wrote Psalm 27 when he was in the middle of real battle. And he’s wavering. One minute he’s strong and courageous and he next he’s crying.


Verses 4 and 14 are the key verses in the Psalm. 

Verse 4 says:

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord

and to inquire in his temple.


Verse 14 says:

Wait for the Lord;

be strong, and let your heart take courage;

wait for the Lord!


This is where we need to focus. This is where we need to resolve to be. We need to let our feelings of fear pass and just dwell in the house of the Lord and encourage our hearts. —-MY God is so big.... Take courage. Wait for the Lord. He’s got this!


My office used to be in a two story building. The building was built into the side of a hill and the entrance to the office was at the top of the hill. So when you walked into the office from the parking lot you were on the second floor. You walked downstairs to get to the ground floor, or what I always called, the Basement. We used the Basement for storage mostly. 


One day I arrived at my office. There were two key locks to open the front door. My arms were full of things. I got inside and locked the two locks with the keys and turned around to head to my desk. 


Just as I turned, I heard a noise.


Now, what happened next I am not very proud of. And why I thought what I thought, I have no idea. But, I was instantly convinced that the noise I heard was an alligator in the Basement. In my mind’s eye, I saw him turn his head and look up when he heard me open the door.


I stopped momentarily. Then, I ran the few steps back to the door, arms still filled with books and papers, I got out my keys. With my hands shaking, I managed to open the two locks, just as I heard what I was sure was the alligator’s nails scratching the floor as he began to climb the stairs, ready to eat me.


I got outside, slammed the door, locked the two locks, ran down the steps, unlocked my car, threw my things inside, got in, started the car and put it in reverse and turned to back out of the driveway before I became his breakfast!


And then I thought —- How did an alligator get in the Basement?


Suddenly I stopped and thought that an alligator couldn’t possibly be in the basement. He wasn’t really climbing the stairs. 


I turned off the car, gathered my things, and went back inside. 

I got up enough courage to even walk downstairs and look for signs of an alligator. 

He wasn’t there.


My fear of the alligator proved to be false. There was no substance to my fear.


God has reminded me again and again of the fact that all of the devil’s devices are lies and illusions. 


But My God is so big, so strong and so mighty! There’s nothing my God cannot do.


Eph 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”


We cannot fight our battles with our physical strength. It isn’t our physical strength, mental strength, or our will power that will stand against the enemy. It is our faith


If we were fighting a physical battle we would begin exercising our muscles so that they would be big and strong so we could fight our enemy. But if we fight with our faith, we should put some effort into developing our faith. We need to learn how to stand and fight our battles in faith and by faith. Not in the flesh.


Do you know how you will know if you are in faith and not flesh? You will see the fruit of the spirit - love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.


Psalm 3 says,

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!

Many are they who rise up against me.

Many are they who say of me,

“There is no help for him in God.”

Selah

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,

My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

I cried to the Lord with my voice,

And He heard me from His holy hill.

Selah

I lay down and slept;

I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people

Who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord;

Save me, O my God!

For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;

You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Salvation belongs to the Lord.

Your blessing is upon Your people.”


The English word sustain comes from two Latin words. The first means ‘under’. The second means ‘to hold or embrace’. This is what God does for me:


Sustain =

1. He keeps me.

2. He supples all my needs. 

3. He provides for me.

4. He supports me.

5. He carries my weights and burdens. 

6. He strengthens me.

7. He encourages me.

8. He comforts me.

9. He endured hardship on my account.

10. He experienced suffering and was injured for me. 

11. He upholds me.

12. He approves of me.


Who is my God?

1. He is my life - Acts 17:28 In him I live and move and have my being.

2. He supplies all my needs. - Philippians 4:19 My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

3. He carries my burdens - Matthew 11:30 His yoke is easy; his burden is light.

4. He gives me strength - 2 Cor. 12:9 His grace is sufficient for me and my strength is made perfect in weakness.

5. He endured hardship for me - Heb. 12:2 Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.

6. He suffered injury for me. - Is. n53.5 He was wounded for my transgressions. He was bruised for my iniquities.

7. His right hand upholds me - Ps. 18:35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand has held me up. 

8. He has made me righteous - 2 Cor 5:21 For he that made him to be sin for me, who knew no sin; that I might be made the righteousness of God in him.


My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do!

I am in God’s hands. He loves me. He takes care of me. He protects me. He lifts me up.

As you face the challenges in your life, remember, your God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. There’s nothing your God cannot do!


No Limits, by Eve Gualtieri

Taking the Limits Off


We can find ourselves limited by many things: the hurts from our past, the way others see us, the way we see ourselves; we can have financial limitations; or we can be limited because of our responsibilities.  Many things can try to limit us and keep us from accomplishing what God wants us to do.


We need to see that God has a plan for our lives and He is not limited. He has a good plan for us. He has not planned defeat for us. He has planned victory. His desire for us is to be happy, confident, people with a purpose.


The devil, on the other hand, wants us to be fearful, defeated, barely making it through life.


Once a man owned a donkey. He wanted to get rid of the donkey. He couldn’t sell it. It wasn’t worth anything. So he decided to kill the donkey by burying it alive. He dug a hole and put the donkey in the hole and then he told his men to start filling in the hole. They started throwing shovelfuls of dirt into the hole and the dirt landed on the donkey’s back.  When the donkey felt the dirt on his back, he thought, “Hey, what’s that?” And he shook the dirt off. The dirt fell on the ground and the donkey stepped on it. Every shovelful of dirt that landed on the donkey ended up under the donkey’s feet and instead of being buried alive the donkey kept getting higher and higher until there was no hole and the donkey was free. 


That is what we can do when we have problems.  What the devil means for evil we can put under our feet. Every difficulty that the devil throws on our backs we can shake off, step on it and rise to a new level.


Our responsibilities can look like limitations to us. Sometimes there is so much to do and there seems to be no end and we are tired. We have children, jobs, cooking, cleaning, a long list of responsibilities.  


I have 5 children.  When they were little I sometimes hid in the bathroom just to be alone for a while.  (One of them was usually on the outside trying to kick down the door though!)


The weight of our responsibilities can sometimes seem too much. But Heb. 12:1 says “Lay aside every weight, run the race, look to Jesus.” 


Phil. 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”


Changing our perspective will change things.  Looking to Jesus for help and knowing he will help us will give us the strength we need. 


Susannah Wesley was the mother of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of the Methodist church. She lived in the 1700’s.  She had 13 children! In that time women wore long dresses and long aprons. She taught her children that if she put her apron over her head they were not to speak to her. She put her apron over her head and prayed. She spent time teaching her children about God and how to love and serve him. All of her children grew up to do great things for God.


Your responsibilities do not need to overwhelm you. God gives grace to meet every challenge. You can do great things for a God.


What does the Bible say about women?


Prov 31:10 says that a woman is more valuable than rubies. During Solomon’s time when Proverbs was written rubies were the most expensive jewel. You cost more than the most expensive jewel!


In another place in Proverbs Solomon calls wisdom a woman.


In the Bible some women who were born into poor situations were came to be called blessed because of their reactions to the so-called limitations in their lives. For example, Rahab. Rahab was a prostitute. But when she believed in God, God put her name in the Bible and she is called blessed.


But the woman who tempted Joseph in the Old Testament, even though she was rich and powerful in life, her name is not even mentioned.


In the New Testament, Dorcas was so important that when she died the believers sent Word to Peter to come and raise her from the dead. They couldn’t do without her. Because she was kind and served the church.


Study the women of the Bible - study Deborah, a ruler over the nation of Israel, Anna, a priestess in the temple, Hannah, whose son became a prophet of God.


These were not weak women. These were women of influence! Strong women! Women of importance!  Women like you and me! See yourself like that. That is who God made you to be.


The Bible says that God is no respecter of persons. That means that man or woman or child, no matter the color of our skin and no matter our age, it makes no difference to God.


Others in the Bible, rose above what could have been limitations and are listed as mighty in God’s kingdom.

Samuel was about only 5 years old when he heard God speak. And he listened and was obedient. Age was not important.


David was a teenager when he learned to hear and obey the voice of God. His brothers thought he was insignificant, but God saw him as a man after His own heart.


Jesus cast demons out of a man who lived in a cemetery and was naked and violent.  That man became a Jesus follower and nothing in his life was ever the same again. His heart responded to God and God raised him up.


George Mueller had a heart for orphans. He believed that God could supply every need. He took in hundreds of orphans. He never asked anyone for any money for their support and God fed them every day in miraculous ways. In fact, one day there was no food and no money. He told the children to set the table with plates and utensils to eat. They sat down and began to thank God for the food.  There was a knock at the door. The grocery truck had broken down in front of the house and they gave all the food on the truck to the children.


All of these people did important things for God because they said yes to God’s will for their lives.


What important thing can you do with your life? How can you influence the world?


Catherine Booth was the wife of the man who started the Salvation Army. Together they reached out to the poor and needy, to alcoholics and prostitutes. They would go into bars and brothels and get people saved.


Catherine’s prayer was “Lord, make me a blessing in the world today.” 


What would happen if we prayed that prayer every day? You are the only one who can reach the people in your world. How would your world be different if you asked God to make you a blessing to those around you? 


In the Old Testament there is a story about a woman who saw the prophet Elisha walking past her home. She knew he was a man of a God and she wanted to do something for him. She saw that she could help him by building a room where he could rest. It was a simple thing. She offered him a room to stay in. Could you do something simple? Something you already know how to do? Yes! How can you be a blessing today?


None of the people we have talked about were limited by anything. They took the limitations off. They could have felt sorry for themselves. They could have cried. They could have done nothing. But they didn’t. 


And you won’t either. You and I will be the people God wants us to be. 


Let’s believe God’s Word is true - because it is! Let’s be people of influence. Let’s raise children who will change the world. Let’s be Proverbs 31 women with businesses and properties. Let’s be men of love and compassion, caring for our families and serving the church. Together let’s change the world!


My encouragement to you is that you determine to know God’s Word. Let’s be committed to know His Will for our lives. Let’s see ourselves as necessary parts of God’s plan for the world. Let’s be people of purpose. 

Keep Your Faith Tank Full!

 Of the many things I love about Mexico one is their gas stations.  For real! You drive up and you don’t even have to get out of the car. Somebody pumps your gas, cleans the windshield, takes your money. It’s great! In the U.S., I have to pump my own gas. I have to get out of the car and pay the money then lift the nozzle, try to get it in the gas tank without getting tangled in the hose. I usually spill a little gas on my shoes. And nobody helps you. So I hate going to the gas station. I’ve decided I’m going to drive to Mexico every time I need gas.


But I have developed a bad habit. I put off going to the gas station as long as I can because I absolutely hate filling up my own tank. My car has an alarm that tells me I need gas. But I ignore it! I keep putting it off and the alarm keeps ringing. In fact, because i’ve ignored the alarm so often most of the time I don’t even hear it. 


But suddenly! Suddenly, I remember that a car needs gas to run and I look at the gauge and it says 1 mile til empty. Then I panic. In my panic I cannot remember where there is a gas station and I begin pleading with God. “Please God, please, help me find a gas station! Have mercy on me God!”…you think i’m joking…but i’m not...Wish I was.


God always helps me. He has mercy. I’ve never run out of gas. Yet. But I always say to myself, “You need to stop this! This is crazy!”



Sometimes we do the same thing with our spiritual life.  We don’t read our Bibles. We don’t pray. We don’t come to church. 


We say, “I should read my Bible.” But we only read a verse. We say, “I should go to church...but it’s raining.”  We make excuses. We ignore the warning alarm. “You are almost out of faith! Warning! Warning! Your Faith Tank is almost empty!”


Then, suddenly! Our spiritual tanks are completely empty. And then a problem comes up. We have an accident. We get sick. We get fired from our job. And we panic. 


“Oh, God, what am I going to do? How will I feed my family. What should I do? What should I do?” 


Complete panic. Nothing in the Faith Tank! 


How can you meet the challenges of your life if your Faith Tank is empty? How can we help someone else if our Faith Tank is empty? 


Don’t ever let yourself get in that position. Keep your Tank full. We need to be full of the Word, full of power, full of the Holy Spirit. We can’t run on empty. We need determination and strength to run the race God has given us to run. 

We don’t find that in ourselves. Many Christians are trying to be good Christians in their own strength. You can’t do it! The kind of strength you need is found only in God. That kind of strength comes from having a full tank of Faith.


Mark 12:30 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”


Is that how we love God? Are you giving your all to Him? Are you hungry for him? Are you crazy in love with Him? Are you always talking about Him? Are you always thinking about Him? I think you are!


Col. 3:1-3 says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden in Christ in God.”


Hide yourself in God. You will be safe in God.  Use your natural strength to get your supernatural strength from God. Use your natural strength to read your Bible. Use your natural strength to get down on your knees and pray. Use your natural strength to open your mouth and sing praises to a God. By using your natural strength to do these things you will gain supernatural strength. 


And once your tank is full - and you keep it full - the next step is easy. You will be able to step into the supernatural. 


Don’t rely on yourself. Go beyond your natural abilities. Get past all your little thinking. Do big things for God. You are part of a supernatural family. 


Do you know who you are? This is who the Bible says you are:


You are a new creation in Christ. 

You are an overwhelming conqueror. 

You are alive in Christ. 

You are God’s beloved. 

You are an heir of Christ. 

You are seated in heavenly places.

You are always triumphant.

You are a master over the devil.

You are chosen.

You are healed.

You are free.

You are rich

You are delivered.

You are blessed.

You are the righteousness of God in Christ.

You are a king and a priest.

You are beautiful.

You are forgiven.

You are crowned with glory and honor.


That’s who you are!


Start believing what the Word says about you. Stop calling God a liar by saying things He never said. Stop saying I’m poor, I’m sick, I’m tired. Start acting like the Word of God is true - because it is!


John Bunyan wrote the book, Pilgrim’s Progress. But he also wrote another book called the Holy War. It’s a story about a city that is being attacked by an enemy army. The enemy is trying to break into the city through it’s five gates. The gates are named the Nose Gate, the Feel Gate, the Mouth Gate, the Eye Gate and the Ear Gate. 


You also are a city. And your enemy, the devil is trying to find a way to get into your soul. You must be careful to guard gates - your five senses. You have a defensive weapon to use against your enemy - the double edged sword of the Word of God. Use the Word of God to keep the enemy away from your gates. Be careful what you listen to, what you look at and what you say. Let your Mouth Gate be full of the Word of God. Don’t let your Feeling Gate become depressed and defeated. Don’t let the enemy find entry into your spirit where you could be defeated and made ineffective and fail to complete your assignment from God. Remember that you are a champion with Christ.



There is a miracle in your mouth. You receive miracles by what you say. But you can also stop miracles by what you say. Make sure you are saying the right thing.


God’s promises are good. And He watches over His Word to perform it. But you must say them. Take the promises of God and believe them in your heart and then say them out of your mouth. 


I want you to remember: 


1. Keep your tank full. Always keep yourself full of the Word of God.


2. Always expect the supernatural. When you know who you are in Christ you will walk in the supernatural.


3. Watch that the enemy does not break down the gates of your soul. Keep your senses focused on the Word of God.


4. Make sure you are speaking and believing the Word of God. 


Then you will grow in God! Then you will live in victory!

Cultivating a Spirit of Excellence, by Eve Gualtieri

Excellence.


The definition of Excellence is: The quality of being outstanding or extremely good. To surpass. To exceed. To be greater than. To do or be better than ever before.


My scripture is the book of Daniel.


Daniel exemplifies excellence. He personifies excellence.


You know the story - Babylon has come down and conquered Israel and they begin to deport the Jews to Babylon. That was part of their tactic to destroy the nations they conquered. There are three deportations over time, but in the first deportation Daniel and the other Jews who the Bible says were “skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace,” were taken to Babylon and they were taught “the literature and language of the Chaldeans”. Daniel 1:4


These men have a high intellect and are willing to learn.


So Daniel and the others who came with him were brought to Babylon and were trained in Babylonian culture. They learned the language. They studied the literature. And after 3 years of study they entered into service for the king.


Daniel exemplified excellence in his captivity. But Daniel didn’t become excellent in spirit in captivity — No, his excellence of spirit started long before that! But in captivity he continued in excellence. And because of his spirit of excellence, he drew attention to himself. 


Daniel 6:3 says, 


“Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.”


The king was inspired by Daniel’s actions.


Sometimes I read stories in the news about someone with an excellent spirit. Like, earlier this year a server at a Waffle House in Texas noticed that an elderly man was having trouble eating his food. She went and sat next to him and cut his food and helped him eat. 


That’s excellence. 


Then, there was a young man who had a job but no car. So he walked 10 miles to work each day. 


That’s an excellent spirit.


We can see excellence all around us. Excellence is an attitude. Excellence is going the extra mile. Excellence says it doesn’t matter how someone else treats me, I will treat them the right way. I won’t retaliate if they are unkind to me. In everything I do, I will do with a spirit of excellence.


Excellence is when you care about the details. Excellence is caring about the small things. Excellence is understanding that the small things are actually the big things. 


Excellence says everything should have an outstanding quality. No, it should be even better. Excellence says we should do or be better than ever before. Excellence says do it until it’s your best. Not until it’s good enough. But your best.


You see, the small things are the set up for the big things. Matthew 25:14-30 teaches us that the one who is faithful in the small things will become the ruler over many things.


Excellence is when you look at what your gifts are, what your talents are and you say - others may think this is a small thing, but I’m going to pour all my effort, all my energy, all my time into using what God has placed in my hand.  


 We can look around us and see people who are stewarding what God gave them. People of excellence. People who are doing the small things, who are setting the example. People who are creating the atmosphere in their churches where the Holy Spirit can show up and change things. Each in their own way, with their own gifts, are people of excellence. Don’t ever think that the small thing is insignificant. No task is too small. God values the person who takes seriously what He has placed in his hands.  


The spirit of excellence means we value small things and that we care about the details.


If you are committed to the spirit of excellence you are also going to need determination. Excellence takes determination. Excellence takes everything you’ve got. 


We see all of these things displayed in the life of  Daniel. The Bible says he had the spirit of excellence.


How does a young Hebrew boy walk into a foreign country not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, but somehow the spirit of God rests on him so much that the king of this foreign nation wants to entrust the entire country to him? How does a young man walk into a foreign country that does not believe in his God and yet they recognize the power of his God within him? Like how does that happen?  


That is the spirit of excellence residing in a young man who was submitted and obedient to the God he served.


How did Daniel find favor more than any of the other wise men in that country?  God was more important to Daniel than the king. Daniel didn’t seek the favor of the king first. He sought the favor of his God first. 


As you seek God, God will lay his hand on you.  As you seek God, as you worship Him, as you read His word and put your trust in Him - God will favor you. He will open doors only He can open. He will give you opportunities only He could give you. Why? Because God is seeking men and women who are seeking His favor before and above the world’s favor


Daniel sought God’s favor. Daniel found God’s favor. He found favor in a nation that didn’t believe in his God.  But because he walked in that spirit of excellence he was able to live a life that pointed that nation to his God.


How do you cultivate the spirit of excellence? 


First, we must GO. Go where? — 


Do you have a vision for your life? Do you have a purpose? Is your vision, your purpose, pleasing to God or is it World pleasing? We talk about Fake News, right? Well, there is also a Fake Vision, a Fake Purpose out there. The Facebook, Instagram, ‘My life is so perfect’ trap that many people fall for. It all looks good on social media. But does your real life really look good up close and personal?


Many people seek perfection. But, if you are seeking perfection, let me just tell you, perfection is unattainable. Perfection is a destination that you will never reach. None of us are perfect. 


In the Old Testament the Pharisees put on the mask of perfection, but they were not perfect. They pretended to be perfect. Maybe they thought they were perfect. But they weren’t perfect.


Being perfect is an unattainable goal. And, guess what?


God has never called us to be perfect. If you’re going for perfection, it’s a destination you will never reach. 


Instead we should be going for excellence. Seeking excellence is a journey, not a destination. 


It’s a journey. It’s an adventure. If you are pursuing perfection, though, you will be constantly failing. You will constantly be disappointed. You will constantly be missing the mark. 


But you have been invited to a journey to excellence. And if you will move forward, you will be able to find your way to excellence.  


Move forward.


Perfection looks at your past and tells you — it’s too bad. Or, it looks at your future and tells you — it’s too hard, you’ll never make it. 


But Excellence says, “Yeah, you’ve made mistakes, but you can learn from it.” Excellence says “God chose me, he’s called me, he’s put his spirit within me. He said he’ll never leave me or forsake me. I’m going to pursue what God has put before me.” 

There’s a prize. There’s a goal. God is in my future. And God is waiting for us to move forward into our future. All we need to do is seek excellence.


How do you cultivate a spirit of excellence? - You go there. 


You go there with your thoughts. 


Before you go there physically you have to go there with the way you think. Phil. 4:8  says, ‘whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.’


Think about excellence.


An excellent mind says, ‘I’m going to think new thoughts’ - You know, If you always think what you’ve always thought you’ll always get what you’ve always got.


Think something new. If what you were thinking yesterday isn’t producing good results - think something new! I’m going to think in FAITH. I’m going to think that the situation I’m in doesn’t have to remain the same. I’m going to go there in faith. I’m going to go there in prayer. I’m going to go there in obedience to God. I’m going to trust God. I’m going to go there in worship. I’m going to lift my eyes to where my help comes from. I’m going to go where God is waiting for me. Because God is in my NOW and God is in my FUTURE.


I’m going to allow my thoughts to think that there’s more that God has prepared for me. God has prepared an excellent path for us.


Our God is not mediocre or average. Our God is excellent. And we have been created in His image. We are Excellent beings.


Get a vision for your future, for your marriage, for you work, for your family. 


And because you are beginning to go in a spirit of excellence you are going to go the extra mile. Because the spirit of excellence has been placed within you.


And as you commit to go you will begin to grow. 


How do we cultivate a spirit of excellence?


First we GO.

Then, we GROW.

 

So, Daniel goes to Babylon, a foreign country. He begins to study the language and the culture . He grows and he finds favor and soon the king himself takes notice of Daniel. He gains favor with King Nebuchadnezzar who wants to put Daniel over the entire country. 


That would never have happened if Daniel had not taken seriously the opportunity which had been placed in his hands. It wouldn’t have happened if Daniel hadn’t applied himself. It wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t responded to the spirit of excellence that God had given him. 


Maybe you are in a new season. And now God is requiring a new standard of excellence for you. Like Daniel you will have to study to find out how you can come up to the new standard of excellence.  Commit to be willing to grow. Commit to God that whatever He places in your hands to do, you are going to plant it and cultivate it and you are going to watch it grow. Until it becomes what God intended it to become. 


2 Peter 1:3-9 in the Message Bible says, “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God....So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you,”


If you don’t allow God to develop the spirit of excellence within you your eyes will never see everything that he has prepared for you. 


So, Go and then, Grow.


The last thing you need to develop a spirit of excellence is to:

Guard.  We go, we grow, but everyone must guard the spirit of excellence in our lives. 


Daniel guarded the spirit of excellence in his life. Daniel practiced a pattern of excellence. He was a man of prayer. He valued his relationship with God more than any other relationship. And he was willing to pay the price. 


You know the story, others in the kingdom became jealous because Daniel found favor with the King. They tricked the King into making a decree that no other god could be prayed to except those already worshipped in Babylon. Daniel shouldn’t be allowed to pray to his God. But Daniel prays any way and the others lay in wait for him to do just that and they arrest him and bring him to the king accusing him of breaking the law. He was thrown into a pit of lions. The king is so dismayed by this that he can’t sleep. He runs in the morning and cries,  “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?“ Daniel, of course, had prayed and God had shut the mouths of the lions. 


But that wasn’t the extent of the miracle. When the king saw Daniel in the pit alive, he puts out a new decree to the entire nation that everyone should recognize the power of Daniel’s God. 


When you face the mountains of your life and you guard the spirit of excellence with prayer, people around you, who don’t know your God will begin to recognize His power. They will see that your God is able to do the impossible. To do the miraculous. 


That is why we have the spirit of excellence. We don’t have the spirit of excellence just to be excellent. We have the spirit of excellence to point people to God. You won’t have to say anything. Your life will speak. 



Daniel guarded the spirit of excellence through prayer but also through having the right relationships. 


Daniel came to Babylon with Shadrach, Meschech and Abednego. 


The Babylonians had changed their names but their original names were: Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azzariah.

 

Hananiah - the Lord is gracious


Mishael - who is like the Lord


Azariah - the Lord helps


Those are the friends we need.  


We need friends who, when we are in trouble will look at us and say, ‘The Lord is gracious’


When you feel like giving up will say, There is no one like the Lord and He is faithful.


When you feel like quitting they will say, God is with us and He will help.


Those are the kinds of friends we need. The kind of friends who are there when we need them. Who have faith words to encourage us. Who don’t even have to say words, but we know they are praying for us. We know they have our backs. They aren’t Fake friends. They’re the real kind.


That is the power of relationship.


Daniel guarded his spirit of excellence by surrounding himself with the right people. 


How do we cultivate a spirit of excellence. We Go. We Grow. We Guard.


We have a vision. We are committed to follow God. We surround ourselves with strong relationships,



The life of excellence you live will impact lives around you. You never know how far the spirit of excellence will go. Just think of others you know who have had that spirit of excellence and imagine the ripple effect of their lives. Smith Wigglesworth, Aimee Semple McPherson, TL Osborne, Kenneth Hagin and there are many more whose names are not famous. Put your name there.


One of those not so famous people was Lillias Trotter who was a missionary to the Muslims in Algeria in the late 1800’s. At the end of her life she wrote,


“God may use...the things He has wrought in us, for the blessing of souls unknown to us:...God only knows the endless possibilities that lie folded in each one of us!”


There are endless possibilities in each of us.


Let’s cultivate that spirit of excellence. 


And allow God to uncover the possibilities that are folded in us.

Good and Plenty, by Eve Gualtieri

Good and Plenty


“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8


Children love candy. I grew up in a large family and that meant that we had to share everything...including the candy. My mother would sometimes buy a candy bar when she went grocery shopping. When she got home the candy bar was sliced into 6 pieces. One for each of us. The ritual began with the unwrapping of the candy bar. We all gathered around, practically drooling over the coming treat. Then my older sister took the knife, and we all watched carefully, making sure that no slice was bigger of smaller than the others.

As a teenager I remember having a little leftover lunch money at school and being able to buy myself whatever candy I wanted. Often, I bought a box of Good and Plenty licorice candy. My absolute favorite.

Recently, I started thinking about that name - Good and Plenty. I started thinking that God is the real Good and Plenty. And much better than candy. Even licorice candy.

Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.” God is good! It’s not just something we say in church. He really is good. And His mercy, His kindness, His goodness and His favor are everlasting, forever and forever. And His truth lasts from father to son, mother to daughter, generation after generation. He is incapable of telling a lie, of deceiving anyone, of being less than totally honest. He is good. 

Psalm 110:68 says, “You are good, and do good.” Not only is He good, but everything He does is good. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:16 God is complete goodness. There is not even a shadow in Him. He is always the same: GOOD!

And He is “good to ALL” (Psalm 145:9). He is good to me and He is good to you. He is good to all. Tall and short, big and small, whatever description you can use. God’s character is goodness and it is extended and available to all.

Because God is good He promises to lead and guide us, to show us the right way to go. Psalm 25:8-10 says, “Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way... All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.” He has put His Spirit in us Who tells us right from wrong. He whispers all the answers to us. Although we can willfully choose to disobey and follow our own path, if we listen to God we will follow a path filled with mercy and truth and God promises that “then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble” (Proverbs 3:23). Psalm 23:6,7 says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” Blessing after blessing is being heaped on me every day. 

I will praise God continuously because He has delivered me out of all the trouble in my life (Psalm 27:23.24). His name is good. And because He is good He is ready to forgive. Without forgiveness we cannot participate in the goodness of God. But He forgives my sins and yours if we call out to Him. Psalm 86:5 says He is “plenteous in mercy” to all who call upon Him. Good and Plenty!

“They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” (Psalm 34:10). The reward of trusting God and abiding in His Word is joining in the benefits provided by His goodness. Psalm 37:3 says we will “dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.” When we delight in the Lord He will give us the desires of our hearts (vs.4). There is no end to the benefits and blessings of God. He is a God of Plenty. Psalm 84:11 says “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk up rightly.” It all belongs to us when we belong to Him.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul:...Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” This is the reward of the faithful.

The promises of the Lord are good...and they are plentiful. The gifts of the Lord are exceptional...and they are inexhaustible. The Word of God is true and secure...His faithfulness is eternal.

“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.Thy faithfulness is unto all generations:

thou hast established the earth, and it abideth” (Psalm 119:89,90).

We put our hope in the truth of God’s Promises in His Word. Our hearts are steadied by His goodness. He is good to us. He is good to us. We lift our eyes up to the hills where our hope comes from. Not a blind hope built on shifting sand, but the strong and sure foundation of His Word which we have hidden in our hearts. He is good to us. He is good to us. He is good to me. He is good to you.

ICFM South East Regional Convention

The 2018 International Convention of Faith Ministries South East Regional Convention was held on August 6-7, 2018, in Punta Gorda, Florida. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with ministers from from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Seeing long-time friends and meeting ministers new to the organization was such a blessing. Dr. Doug Wingate, Founder and President of Life Christian University brought the Word during the evening meetings. Dr. Daniel Gualtieri, Dr. Bob Raimondo and Pastor Brad Sullivan taught during the morning meetings. The staff of New Life Fellowship Church were so hospitable and did an amazing job serving authentic Thai and Italian meals after the meetings. We were blessed and refreshed! For more information about ICFM, contact us at faithmiami@gmail.com.

MINISTRY UPDATE

MINISTRY UPDATE

We just returned from an awesome time of ministry in Hemet, CA at Armonia y Gracia Iglesia. Three wonderful meetings teaching the Word of God and praying for the people.

This weekend we will have meetings at Centro Cristiano Palabra de Vida Eterna for Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter.

In April we will be speaking at the International Convention of Faith Ministries Annual Convention in Dallas, TX being held at Eagle Mountain Church. For more information visit ICFM.org.

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ICFM DISTRICT CHRISTMAS MEETING

ICFM DISTRICT CHRISTMAS MEETING

International Convention of Faith Ministers is an organization for anyone in the 5-fold ministry. It is an organization for fellowship, inspiration and teaching. Our annual District Christmas meeting will be held on November 17th at The Answer Church 1019 N 24th Avenue, Hollywood, FL 33020. Morning meetings begin at 8:00 AM with fellowship and food. Morning speakers include John Koop, Pastor Ana Gonzalez and Pastor Nid Raimondo. The evening meeting begins at 6:00 PM. ICFM District Director Dr. Daniel Gualtieri will be the evening speaker. This year’s theme is The Dawning of a New Day. All ministers welcome. Please RSVP by calling 305-949-9400.

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Upcoming Meetings – International Convention of Faith Ministries

Upcoming Meetings – International Convention of Faith Ministries

We will be attending the International Convention of Faith Ministries International Convention in Branson, Missouri, April 25 – April 29. Speakers include Bob Yandian, Ken Blount, Mario Murillo and Larry Ollison. ICFM is an organization whose purpose is to encourage, connect and equip ministers. Daytime workshops for ministers and church staff, and inspiring evening speakers. For membership info and to register for the event visit ICFM.org.

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MINISTRY DATES

MINISTRY DATES

November 21st ICFM District Meeting Morning meetings begin at 8:00. Our speakers will be Aurore Claude, Janet Alford and Valmarie Rhoden. Evening Meeting begins at 7:00 with Dr. Daniel Gualtieri, Rev. Alex LaCroix and Rev. Frantz Meralus sharing the word. Our theme this year is Revival.

For more info call 305-949-9400

December 1 and 2 Drs. Daniel and Eve Gualtieri will be attending the ICFM Director’s Meetings in Branson, MO.

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THE GLORIOUS CHURCH | BY DR. DANIEL GUALTIERI

THE GLORIOUS CHURCH | BY DR. DANIEL GUALTIERI

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Ephesians 5:27 gives us a snapshot of the church at the return of Christ, “That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].” 

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MINISTRY TO MEXICO | 2013

MINISTRY TO MEXICO | 2013

We have once again been invited to return to Mexico this October to conduct Miracle Campaign services. As you may know we have been ministering in this area for several years. The results have been tremendous. The church which numbered about a hundred when we first visited has grown to over a thousand with several services held each Sunday. Members of the church have a daily ministry in one of the poorer communities, feeding and caring for children and ministering the Love of God to this depressed place. Some wonderful news is that the church is almost ready to move into an abandoned shopping center, which means additional growth for the church and expansion of the ministries.

We will be traveling to different cities preaching the Word. Hundreds of people will attend the meetings and many will hear the gospel for the first time. Many will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Their lives will be forever changed. 

Signs and wonders follow the preaching of the Word. We have seen the blind see and the deaf hear. Two years ago a woman who could not walk was able to climb up and down the steps of the church. Last year she came back to testify that she had been scheduled for surgery but had come to the meeting to have us pray before she went to the hospital!

Our team will include Drs. Dan and Eve Gualtieri, Margarita Indell and Aurore Claude. 

You may not be able to travel with us but you can sow a seed and enjoy the abundant harvest of your investment. The cost for 13 days is $1200.00 each. Please prayerfully consider your part in changing lives through preaching the Gospel. You may make your tax deductible offering to Faith Ministries and designate “Mexico” on it. Our mailing address is Faith Ministries, PO Box 610215, Miami, FL 33261 or you can click the Donate button on our Contact page to make a donation by credit card. 

Please pray for us! We leave for Mexico on October 16 and return on the 28th. Pray for souls. Pray for our protection. Pray for the harvest.

Thank you!

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