Growing Season

DSCN1449You may be like me and have been busy getting your garden ready to plant for the growing season. It’s kind of amazing how much work needs to be done ahead of time. Depending on how you are getting started determines a lot on how much work and the time you need to be ready for growing and then harvesting. Now you know I’m not going to be talking about gardening only but I’m hoping to relate this whole process to our spiritual growth as believers in Jesus Christ.

I haven’t been a gardener all my life, in fact it’s only been about ten years since I’ve gotten really involved in it. The decision to start a garden came out of a desire to have some fresh produce and to save some money. Maybe the challenge of growing a garden and having less lawn to cut played a part in it too but I don’t think I got very philosophical about it, my parents gardened for as long as I can remember and I figured I would give it a try too. When I got started I was surprised by all the work that needed to be done to get to the point where I was happy with my garden! First I had to decide where I wanted the garden and how large it would be. It took a lot longer to get the ground ready, I had to use the roto-tiller to break up the ground. Oh, I thought that was going to be no problem. NOT, it was hard work. The turf was thick grass and deep roots. The previous owners had put in a special grass that produces thick root systems to keep out weeds. Good for a nice lawn, bad for making a garden.

I haven’t been a Christian all my life. I came to know Jesus as LORD when I was in my twenties. At first I thought it would be easy. I had gone to church with my parents, I had been to services, bible classes, I even took communion on Sundays, and I thought I knew how to do this. Surprise, surprise the struggle was on from the moment I said yes to Jesus. My friends thought I was nuts. My parents thought I had rejected them and their parenting skills, my siblings thought I was just on a new fad. The friends made it hard, I had to break up some old ground with them. I had to change some of the things I use to do that I learned would hinder my growth as a believer in Jesus Christ.

Life as you know has a lot of “roots” in it. Like the roots in the turf of my garden I had to break it up and remove the clumps of turf. I couldn’t leave those clumps there, they would have re-rooted and started growing again. I found that some of the things I did, things I read, music I listened to, people I associated with, all had to be evaluated, then removed as needed, to make sure I could succeed in this new way of life. This was HARD work, I didn’t want to do it but I knew that it had to be done. Like a garden if you know you have sin, rebellion, and unbelief in your life, it can re-root and choke out your faith. Jesus shared this principle in the parable of the Sower in the Gospel of Matthew 13: 22-23.

The seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing.  But as for the seed sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word and understands. He bears fruit, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

So you can see seed grown among thorns which can be a lot of things in our life do have a choking effect on our spiritual life and growth. But seed grown in good soil which means we are taking steps to be a good garden of the mind, body, and spirit, has an excellent place to grow and to produce a great harvest.

Gardening doesn’t just start with breaking up the ground. Next you have to check the soil condition and adjust it as needed, then plant your seeds and plants at the right time, then water,weed, and feed them until harvest time. Spiritual growth is very similar. It was exciting to start my garden but it didn’t end there. I prepared the soil with some peat moss and fertilizer. It was exciting to be a young believer, I met new friends, heard great teaching, went to awesome conferences, went on retreats. I would read my bible, study it daily, pray and worship. I couldn’t get enough of God’s Word. I was growing in amazing ways of understanding God’s Word, my faith in him, and learning to love others. It was exciting to grow.

Not all growing seasons are the same but growth is the key word here. We have to cultivate a spiritual growth in Jesus Christ based on His principals not ours or the world’s. It’s not by doing good works, it’s by grace in Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross. His forgiveness of our sins, not our abilities to try and make things right. There is all kinds of soil out there that His seed falls on but only that “good” soil lets that seed grow in such a way as to produce an abundant harvest.

Cultivate a garden in your body, mind, and spirit that is ready for God’s seed. Faith in Jesus Christ is not a temporary thing it’s for a life time, your season of life.

Your brother in Jesus,

Giovanni Soto


The Devil IS a Believer

There are two very interesting things about the devil that Christians have a difficult time believing. The first is that the devil believes in God and the second is that he knows the Bible. The truth is that he can probably quote more Bible Scripture than many who are actually true followers of Christ. I don’t say this to condemn anyone. I say this to challenge us all because it is obviously much more important to love, honor and follow Christ than to just “believe” that God exists. There is also no blessing or benefit to being able to quote Scripture if we do not live in obedience to God’s Word. Still, you must admit it’s a bit shocking to hear that the devil is a “believer”

Truth ShallThe one thing that angers me about the devil is that he is such a liar. He is called “the father of lies” (John 8:44) and everything he says is a lie. The devil is a liar and there is no truth found in him. The thing that I hate even worse than being lied to is being lied to by someone who knows the truth. This is exactly what the devil does. He absolutely knows the truth but he doesn’t want you and I to know or believe the truth. He knows there is a God. He knows there is a Heaven and a hell. He knows that God is all powerful and that he is the healer. He certainly doesn’t have a revelation of truth, however, he does have “information” and is aware of the truth.

It causes me great embarrassment to think of the many times I believed his terrible lies. I once believed that God didn’t love me. I once believed that God could not heal me or help me. The devil lied to me and yet he himself is a believer. He knows what he is telling me is a lie. He lies maliciously and with intent to deceive and harm people. I am so thankful that through study of God’s Word I received a revelation of his love for me and I now KNOW the truth.

If the devil did not believe that it is God’s will to save, heal, deliver and bless he would not go to such great lengths to try to deceive us. It is because he does know about God’s great love for us. If he did not believe in the power of prayer he would not try to keep you from praying. He knows that prayer works.

The question is not whether or not the devil is a believer, the question is whether or not you and I truly believe God’s Word is true. Do we believe that God loves us? Do we believe that He has our best interest at heart? Do we believe that there is a Heaven to gain and a hell to avoid?

I told my brother not long ago that I do not believe that many who claim the name of Christ truly believe there really is a Heaven and a hell. The reason I believe this is because IF we really believed that Heaven and hell were real wouldn’t we live differently? I believe we would do everything we could to make sure everyone we knew heard the gospel message. We would be careful to keep the commands of God with joy.

The story below is something I read long ago. I’m pretty certain it isn’t a true story, however, you will surely find it amusing.

We must choose to believe God’s Word is all truth and He is love and reject the lies of the enemy.

I love you all……
Pastor Pam Bonner-Kacys


In a small Texas town, a local bar began construction on a new building to increase their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening and called special nightly intercessory prayer meetings.

Shortly before the bar opened it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means (praying against them). The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in its reply to the court.

As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and a Pastor and an entire church congregation that does not.’

Surrendering Our Emotions


Our emotions are “from” God and “of” God and are gifts to be used to bring honor “to” God. God has given us emotions because we are created in the image and likeness of God and God himself has emotions. Our emotions are to be used carefully and purposefully to bless God and others. I am humbled and comforted to know that God has emotions and understands not only my life situations but the pain I feel when I am wounded. A favorite Scripture that reminds me of the tenderness of God is John 11:35 that reads simply, “Jesus Wept”.

Our emotions are powerful and can be used for good or evil like any other gift we are given.

Emotions can be a powerful witness of God’s love and character. They can be a confirmation of his great love for us and humanity when we use our emotions to express our love and concern for others who are hurting and broken. They can also be used incorrectly and be dangerous and cause great harm.

Our emotions are like electricity. When used wisely and handled with care electricity is a great and powerful gift that blesses many people. If not handled properly electricity can hurt us and cause great harm to others.

A perfect example of how one emotion can be used for either good or evil is the emotion of anger. It is a terrible witness to those around us and especially to those who are unbelievers when we misuse the emotion of anger. The Word of God doesn’t say that anger is wrong. The Bible says, “be angry, but sin not”. The anger is not wrong. It is o.k. to be angry for the right reason and at the right time and in the right situation, however, the person who commits sin out of anger is wrong. However, if that same individual became angry at an injustice committed against an innocent person it would be a “righteous” or right anger and would actually honor God as long as that person did not commit sin.

I often hear people talk about how we must learn to control our emotions. I want to ask them how they are doing with that. This is easier said than done. In fact, I can tell you that I tried for years to control my emotions with little success. It seemed that my emotions were controlling me most of the time. I never was really able to control my own emotions.

One day I prayed and asked God to help me control my emotions. God showed me that I was not capable of controlling my own emotions. I needed God’s help. He showed me through his Word that I should not concern myself with controlling my emotions but I should instead simply “surrender” my emotions to him and he would teach me how to use my emotions for his honor and glory. He showed me that he would also heal my emotions as I surrendered my emotions to him.

I prayed and I felt such a peace flood over me. I surrendered my emotions to God and asked the Holy Spirit to lead me and help me to use my emotions properly and with care. I asked God to help me use my emotions as a witness of his love to others.

Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are not our own. We are bought with a great and precious price. Our bodies are to be used to honor God. Our emotions are to be used in the same way.

The Lord showed me that so often people misuse or abuse the emotions God gave them. They will use tear to manipulate others to do their will instead of God’s will. They will rejoice at an injustice instead of righteousness. This is the reason that many people are suffering with emotional illness.

Jesus died on the Cross and suffered stripes that we might be healed and made completely whole…body, soul and spirit. I pray that I may weep at the things that break his heart. I pray that I would rejoice at the things that bring him joy. I want my emotions to bring honor to Christ.

I believe that as we choose to surrender our emotions to God we will be healed in places we didn’t even know we needed to be healed. I thank God for freedom and peace of mind and heart.

Prayer for emotional healing:

Lord, I thank you for the Cross and the price you paid and the blood you shed that I might be made whole. I surrender myself wholly to you. I surrender my body, soul and spirit to you. I surrender my emotions to you. I acknowledge that in and of myself I am not strong enough to control my own emotions. I need your love and power. In every situation of life let me feel what you feel and respond as you would respond. May my emotions always honor you and represent you and your love. Help me to never misuse or abuse my emotions or dishonor you.

In Jesus Name, Amen


by:  Pastor Pam Kacys





Don’t Miss An Opportunity. 

Mirror-BrushWhile traveling at the Knoxville airport I was sitting waiting to board a plane:  I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I’d had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say that because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.

I tried to keep from staring but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy grey hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long. Clean, but strangely out of place on an old man.

I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I’d just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered reading somewhere that he was dead. So this man in the airport…an impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere?

There I sat trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let’s admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.

I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I’ve learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing. I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. “Oh no, God please no.” I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, “Don’t make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I’ll do anything.  Put me on the same plane, but don’t make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!”

There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, “Please don’t make me witness to this man. Not now. I’ll do it on the plane.” Then I heard it…”I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair.”

The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, “God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I’m on this Lord. I’m your girl! You’ve never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am on him. I am going to witness to this man.”

Again as clearly as I’ve ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. “That is not what I said, Beth. I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.”

I looked up at God and quipped, “I don’t have a hairbrush. It’s in my suitcase on the plane. How am I suppose to brush his hair without a hairbrush?”

God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God’s word: “I will thoroughly finish you unto all good works.” (2 Tim 3:7) I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies.

I knelt down in front of the man, and asked as demurely as possible, “Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?” He looked back at me and said, “What did you say?” “May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?” To which he responded in volume ten, “Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you’re going to have to talk louder than that.”

At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, “SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?” At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat.

I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, “If you really want to.”  Are you kidding? Of course I didn’t want to. But God didn’t seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, “Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don’t have a hairbrush.”

“I have one in my bag,” he responded. I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger’s old carry-on hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man’s hair.

It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don’t do many things well, but I must admit I’ve had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I’d done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull.

A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man’s hair…. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair. I know this sounds so strange but I’ve never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I—for that few minutes—felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God’s.

His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant’s. I slipped the brush back in the bag, went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees, and said, “Sir, do you know my Jesus?”

He said, “Yes, I do.” Well, that figures.

He explained, “I’ve known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn’t marry me until I got to know the Savior.” He said “You see, the problem is, I haven’t seen my bride in months. I’ve had open-heart surgery, and she’s been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself what a mess I must be for my bride.”

Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we’re completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I’ll never forget it.

Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I’d acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.

I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, “That old man’s sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?”

I said, “Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!” And we got to share.

I learned something about God that day. He knows if you’re exhausted because you’re hungry, you’re serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you’re hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you’re sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!

I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way…all because I didn’t want people to think I was strange. God didn’t send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.

By:Beth Moore

The Judgment Seat Of God

The very thought of appearing before the judgment seat of God is enough to cause even the most “righteous” believer to tremble. As a young child I remember hearing of the judgment of God in Sunday school. At a very early age I determined to live an honorable life in hopes that I could avoid having to face God and give an account of my sins. I knew early on that I was a sinner and I was pretty sure God was going to throw the book at me. As hard as I tried I always seemed to miss the mark. I never seemed to do the things I should like pray and read my Bible every day but I always seemed to find time to get into trouble. I, Pam had every reason to fear the judgment of God….or so I thought.


The problem was I had not yet studied the Word of God and I didn’t have enoughinformation” about the judgments of God and I had no revelation of the love of God. I spent my childhood worried that God was sitting up in Heaven just waiting for the day of my arrival and would be delighted to toss a young child like me into a fiery hell. It seemed I knew so much about the “law” of God but very little about the “love” of God.

When I began to study God’s Word for myself I read about how God loved sinners like me so much that He sent His own Son to die and take my punishment. I received a revelation of His great love. I read about how God has my best interests at heart. He has good plans for me.  I know now that God is my Father and He loves me. I do not fear the judgment of God. Let me explain.

There are two different judgments in the Word of God. The first is the judgement of the unbelievers called the “great white throne judgment” The second is “the judgment seat of Christ, called the Bema” where believers are judged and rewarded. The great white throne judgment is not a judgment of sinners because we are all sinners. It is a judgment of ‘unbelievers’ who have rejected Christ and the Cross. This judgment is much like you would picture a court room setting where punishments and sentencing take place. The judgment seat of Christ is the judgment of believers and this setting is more like an Olympic stadium where events are judged and different rewards are presented. The word BEMA actually means “elevated or raised” platform. To appear at the judgment seat of Christ is going to be wonderful.

If you have received Jesus Christ into your heart and life you should not fear future judgment. Your sins are forgiven. You are a child of God. You are a believer. You are not perfect, you are forgiven.

Some years ago an individual was attempting to threaten me by saying, “God is going to judge you one day.” I simply smiled and said, “I would much rather have God judge me than you, my friend.” You see, I understand that the judge is my loving Father. He loves me. He adores me. He is preparing a place for me in Heaven. I no longer believe the lies of the enemy. I am looking forward to seeing my Father in Heaven and I’m going to jump straight into His arms of love.

What a day that will be!!!

Pastor Pam Bonner-Kacys

Pleasant Words are Like the Sweetest Honeycomb

Honey dipper with bee honeycombYou will never make it in life. You are nothing like your sister. I don’t love you anymore. You are never going to change. You’re stupid and ugly.  These are the merciless taunts of the enemy.  I often meet with broken people who have come seeking help because they have been verbally assaulted. They are heartbroken and feel worthless. There are too many people who have been wounded by unkind words spoken either “to” them or “about” them.  They have listened to the common lies of the enemy so often that they have come to believe them.

Mother Teresa said,  “Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.”  The words we speak are either words of life or death. They are either words of truth or they are flat out lies. The words we speak either bless or curse ourselves and others. The words we speak are either words conceived and born of Heaven or they are words from the pit of hell. There are no words that simply do not matter.  And yes, sticks and stones can break bones but toxic words break hearts.  The toxic poison of devastating words can only be remedied by words of truth, hope and life.  A word spoken in due season is as a healing ointment.

Hurtful words wound but helpful words heal.

Toxic words are poison to our spirit . Kind and life giving words are medicine.

Do you know that words matter even if you are not the person the words are directly spoken to?  The words you hear affect you.  That is the reason it is important to keep company with people who speak encouraging and life giving words. If you are in a work environment where ungodly words are spoken they will AFFECT you and they can cause you to feel depressed.  If you are in a room where someone is screaming or yelling, you will certainly feel shaken and disturbed.  This is because the words being spoken are affecting your spirit man.  We must carefully guard the words we speak and also the words we hear.  Interestingly, there is something worse than being simply affected by toxic words and that is becoming INFECTED by toxic words.

When someone says something unkind we should immediately counter that with something that is pleasant and kind. My cousin Bonnie, who is a Christian psychologist, encourages her clients and friends to participate in what she calls  “good gossip”.  The way you do this is to purposefully tell people things that will encourage them and others. Tell your friends and family of a compliment you heard about them. Tell them when they look nice. Never with hold kind words.  It is healthy and healing for you to hear yourself speaking well of others and of yourself.

God speaks well of you and I and we should speak well of ourselves and others.

There is far too much hurt in this world.   We should all speak words of life and love. Yes, this takes discipline and isn’t always easy.  We must remember that there is a temptation to speak unkind words especially when they are spoken to you. You can teach and train yourself to return good for evil. You can make a habit of speaking well of everyone.  You are not responsible for what others say or do.  You are responsible for the things you do and say.  Make your words count.

If you love someone tell them you love them.  Words are important.  Words have power.  Words have creative power.  God created the galaxies by His spoken Word.

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Aren’t you thankful for people who always speak sweet words of affirmation? Everyone needs to be encouraged. Proverbs 16:24

http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Proverbs 16.24

Here is something I pray you will take to heart and always remember.  Do not believe or receive any unkind words that are spoken to or about you.  You are not who the devil says you are.

You are not who others SAY you are.  You are who God says you are. He thinks and speaks very well of you. If you don’t believe me just read his Word. God loves and accepts you.

You can detox your spirit by speaking words of love and life.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.  If you can’t say anything nice, it would be best to remain silent.


Pastor Pam