Sunday, February 21, 2021

REV. DAVID STANKUS: Intercessory Prayer


Sharing a short article about intercessory prayer by my husband, David. This came from one of his past sermons. ~VS

INTERCESSORY PRAYER
 ~ Rev. David J. Stankus ~

Colossians 1:9-12 (NASB) - For this reason we also, since the day we heard about it, have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Intercessory prayer is prayer for others. But, we see in Colossians 1:9-12, it seeks for more than just physical needs to be met. Here, in Paul’s intercessory prayer, he asked for deeper, more fundamental needs. He asked for them to: 

  • know God’s will (v. 9)
  • walk in a Christ-like manner (v. 10)
  • be pleasing to God in every way (v. 10)
  • be fruitful in every good work (v. 10)
  • increase in the knowledge of God (v. 10)
  • be strengthened, persevere, be patient, and give thanks (v. 11)

So, as we intercede for others, we need to go beyond the superficial requests, and beyond just the physical needs. We need to pray for their spirit as well – that they will have a spirit of joy, even in the midst of their trying circumstances. This is the kind of prayer that truly intercedes for someone. It meets the foundational needs of their lives. 

Make it a point to intercede in this way for your church members, your church leaders, our nation’s leaders, and for those who are unsaved. 


Sunday, February 7, 2021

PASTOR DANIEL MCINTOSH: Because of God’s Past Faithfulness, I Can Trust Him for the Future

I am sharing an article recently written by my brother, Daniel McIntosh, the Pastor of Fish Creek Bible Church in Booneville, KY. He has some encouragement for us to consider as we face our struggles today. Thank you for sharing, Daniel. ~VS

~~~~~~~~~~~

A few summers ago, the Christian youth camp where I worked had the theme, "Because of God’s Past Faithfulness, I Can Trust Him for the Future." It was based from Psalm 100:5 - “For the LORD is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.” (ESV)

Considering our past and seeing what God has done, where He has taken us, and how He has been with us, we can trust God with all that we go through. 

I recall that Spring we had strong winds bringing much damage; homes losing parts of their roofs; trees destroying property. Yet, God faithfully protected the camp. Trees did not damage the buses lying next the them. Not one dent. No major facility was damaged, including the recently built new chapel and dining room.  God protected, showing His faithfulness. 

Scripture shares many times where God protected and showed faithfulness to those who have trusted Him. Some examples include:

  • Adam and Eve sinned, and God still showed love as He provided clothing and promised a way to reunite mankind back into fellowship with Him. 
  • God used Joseph to inform the king of an upcoming famine, leading to salvation of the twelve Israelite tribes as they did not starve. 
  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusted God, even to the point of death, and were spared in the flames.
With many examples in Scripture, examine your life.  What has God taken you through?  How has He helped you? 

Hebrews 13:5b encourages us that "God will never leave us, nor forsake us." No matter what is going on in our lives, we can know God is with us. We can trust Him, even in the midst of our struggles, trials and tribulations. 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8 NKJV).  Because of His past faithfulness, we can always trust Him with anything and everything.

Pastor Daniel McIntosh
Fish Creek Bible Church
Booneville, KY


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

FILM REVIEW: Trafficked: A Parent's Worst Nightmare

Release date (DVD & VOD): January 26, 2021
At first, I didn't want to watch this movie. I knew it would make me feel uncomfortable, and I didn't want to feel that way. But, then, I thought, "What if promoting this video could help just one family become more aware of the horrors of human trafficking. What if it saves just one young person from becoming the slave of a demented panderer." After all, January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, in case you didn't know; and, so, I agreed to do this review. 

ABOUT THE FILM:
TRAFFICKED: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare is new feature-length drama directed by Joel Paul Reisig, and written by Reisig, George Sunders, and Scott Voshel. It is a "gritty" no-holds-barred story based on real-life events that have been experienced by too many families. It dramatically portrays how the lives of families are uprooted by the abduction and trafficking of a child. 

Bob Elder, President of Collide Media Group, shares this: "Awareness is the first step towards putting an end to these atrocities in our world. Trafficked is a heart-pounding feature film reminding us of how urgent this topic is and why we need to act now."

STORY LINE:
Allison Riley (Sophie Bolen) is a beautiful young girl with a bright future and a dream of becoming a veterinarian. On the eve of her 16th birthday, she sneaks out of her house to meet a handsome boy she met online, and then disappears. Her parents, Joanna (Kristy Swanson) and Case (Mark Boyd), contact the police who assume that Allison is just out with a boyfriend. The parents, then, reluctantly hire Private Investigator John Belton (Dean Cain) who has a reputation for making his own rules. Belton quickly discovers Allison had likely been trafficked by a handsome young man she met online, and that he’s on a race against time if the Rileys ever hope to see their daughter again. 

TRAILER:
 

MY THOUGHTS:
What this movie is NOT:  
  • Not a "feel good" movie 
  • Not really a faith based movie, aside from having a couple church/prayer scenes
  • Not family friendly, meaning I would not recommend it for younger children
What it IS:
  • Gritty (meaning it contains some graffic physical violence, mild language, drug use, and insinuating sexual scenes that would not be appropriate for younger children.)
  • Informative about human trafficking, and the heartbreak it causes
  • A movie that serves a specific purpose
  • A good conversation starter among teen groups and families
This movie is not something I can say I "enjoyed" watching. But, I know its not really meant to be entertaining. It has a specific purpose, which is to cause awareness about the awfulness of human trafficking, and how a lot of teens get brought into it. It is devastating! And, not only to the teens who are stolen away, but also to the families. 

I recommend this movie for teenagers and their parents/guardians to watch together. It could produce a lot of questions, emotions, and conversations that parents should be a part of, if at all possible.

If it were up to me, I would have included more closure at the end of the movie. It was left open, and I felt like it needed to show more of the after-math. Perhaps this was intentional, to help spur on more conversation. Or, maybe they plan on making a second movie based around families who are recovering from situations like this. If so, I hope they also explain how faith in Christ can help victims and families be over-comers. 
 
GIVEAWAY:
I am able to give away a code to one e-mail address for a link to watch this movie in its entirety. If you are interested, please leave a comment on this blog post, or leave a comment (or a "like") under the post on our Facebook page: HE HOLDS MY RIGHT HAND MINISTRIES. Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. A random drawing will be held and the winner notified shortly after. Open to North America only.

PURCHASE LINKS:

DISCLOSURE: Many thanks to Collide Distribution for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

#TraffickedFilmMIN
#MomentumInfluencerNetwork


Thursday, January 7, 2021

18 Birthdays for Our Youngest Child

Eighteen years ago, David and I held our newborn son, our youngest child, in our arms for the first time. We thanked God then for this precious blessing, and continue to thank God today for giving Jonathan to us, and for making our lives a lot more fun...  



Take a walk with us down memory lane as we share a birthday photo from the past 18 years...

AGE 1


AGE 2


AGE 3


AGE 4


AGE 5


AGE 6


AGE 7


AGE 8


AGE 9


AGE 10


AGE 11


AGE 12


AGE 13



AGE 14


AGE 15


AGE 16


AGE 17


AGE 18

This is the day the LORD has made. With all that is going on in our country, and in our world today, we choose to focus on the good things about this day. On this day, we celebrate the birth of our son, Jonathan. Thank you, Lord, for this day, and for the special gift you gave us. We love you, Jonathan! Happy Birthday!!


Friday, January 1, 2021

HHMRH Top 10 Posts of 2020


This past year, I posted regularly on the Facebook page for He Holds My Right Hand Ministries. So, the following top 10 posts were the most viewed, liked, and commented-on posts of the year. 

I don't know yet what 2021 will look like as far as blogging and posting. This has been a strange year, to say the least, and I haven't taken much time yet to think or pray about what goals/projects to pursue. I'm sure God will guide me to what HE wants me to do. 

No matter what happens in 2021, I know for sure I want to trust in the Lord with all my heart, focus on His goodness, choose to seek His face always, and continue holding His hand. I encourage you to to the same. 


10th Place

Posted on August 18, 2020 - You may be having a hard time right now, but that doesn't mean God has forgotten you. If you belong to Him, you have been ENGRAVED on the palms of His hands. Not just one hand, but both of them. It is a permanent reminder that you are His, and He will forever be yours. So, He will continue to work on your behalf, behind the scenes, and in ways you may never fully understand. But, rest assured, He has not forgotten you.


9th Place
Posted on February 2, 2020
David took this photo while pastoring in Mendota, IL, in 2005



8th Place
Posted March 24, 2020 - While reading Isaiah 26:3-4 this morning, the idea of perfect peace jumped out at me. Perfect peace is a COMPLETE peace that comes only from staying focused on our Creator - the Everlasting Rock - and trusting in Him at all times. When we take our eyes off of Him, that's when anxiety begins to creep in.

Isaiah 26:3-4 - "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."



7th Place
Posted on April 2, 2020 
Perspective...



6th Place
Posted on July 27, 2020 - In the middle of all the chaos, God IS STILL THERE. Trusting in Him can bring peace to your anxious thoughts.


5th Place
Posted on August 2, 2020 - God's Word tells us our days on Earth are numbered and things could change for us at any moment. Are you ready for it? We (David and Vicky) are "imploring you" today (pleading with you) to think about your relationship with God and what Salvation is truly about.

Many have been told to just believe in Jesus and that will get them to Heaven when they die, sort of like buying a ticket into Heaven. But, even Satan believes in Jesus. Will he be in Heaven?

TRUE SALVATION is not a ticket we purchase to get us into "the pearly gates" at the end of our lives. The real purpose of our salvation is to be RECONCILED TO GOD - to mend our relationship with Him that was broken by sin (read 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Living in Heaven is a benefit of our mended relationship, but its not the main idea.

BASED ON GOD'S WORD, HERE IS HOW YOU CAN MEND YOUR RELATIONSHIP (BE RECONCILED) WITH GOD:
1. Admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior (Romans 3:23).
2. Believe Jesus Christ is God's Son, and that HE is the Savior you need. (John 14:6)
3. Believe that Jesus' death on the cross, and only that, provided the way for your sins to be forgiven (John 3:16).
4. Believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, giving victory over sin and death (Romans 10:9).
5. Confess your sins to the Lord, and ask for forgiveness (John 1:9).
6. Place your faith in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of your sins. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

HERE'S A SAMPLE PRAYER YOU CAN PRAY (Please note: Praying this prayer, or any prayer, will not "do" anything for you. It is only your FAITH and TRUST that will mend your broken relationship with God. But, this prayer can be used to help you express that faith):

"Dear God, I know I am a sinner and am not worthy of your forgiveness; but I am sorry for the sins I have committed and I want to live a life that pleases you. I accept what Jesus did for me on the cross; and I believe that His sacrifice and resurrection has provided for the forgiveness I need for my sin. Please make things right between You and me, and be a part of my life starting now. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen."

It is our desire for YOU to be reconciled to God today. If you have questions about this, please ask. We would be happy to discuss it with you more.


4th Place
Posted on November 8, 2020 - A good reminder for all of us...

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers, 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.



3rd Place
Posted on October 13, 2020



2nd Place
Posted on November 4, 2020



1st Place
Posted on September 29, 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Cancer Treatment Update: Lupron Injections


It has been over a year since I LAST GAVE AN UPDATE on my cancer journey, so I thought it was about time to give another one.

A few months after my most recent mastectomy (which was in January 2019), I started having some gynecologic issues and I was concerned about it being a new cancer. In May 2019, I ended up having a uterine biopsy that was, thankfully, benign. Several months later, the issues continued, so my doctor performed a D&C which also showed no problems. After further testing, it was finally determined my ovaries were still producing a small amount of hormonal activity.

That's when my Oncologist stepped in and decided I needed to be given Lupron injections along with the Arimidex/Anastrozole I was already taking. Without the shots, the Arimidex would not be effective, and the chance of my cancer returning would be much higher.

So, in March 2020, I was given my first Lupron shot. I've had 2 so far, and will continue getting them at least once per month until the doctor says I don't need them anymore. It might be a year or more, but won't be forever.

The side effects of this new med have not been bad. The joints in my knuckles are sore again (which is actually a good thing, because it shows the meds are working!), I have been more fatigued, have had an increased amount of hot flashes, and have also had some headaches. But, nothing has been unbearable, and I'm so thankful.

A lot has changed in this past year, both personally and within our world.
But one thing is sure - God doesn't change.
He is always good.
He is always there to give strength when needed.
What a blessing.


Saturday, January 4, 2020

HHMRH Top 10 Posts of 2019


This year, I have combined blog posts from this main blog as well as the photos/posts on our Facebook ministry page HE HOLDS MY RIGHT HAND MINISTRIES.  So, out of all the posts for 2019, here are the top 10 . . .

#10 - December 4 This young lady has got such a good heart with so much love to share. She is kind, loves animals, loves to draw and share her pictures with others, loves to give hugs, loves to help wherever she can, and she smiles when I tell her, "Thank you for being such a big helper." Most of all, she loves Jesus, and it definitely shows. She is precious, and I thank God for giving her to us as our daughter.

#9 - August 6Snapped this photo of my nephew while we were visiting family in Kentucky.

#8 - October 20David was the guest preacher this morning at Trimble Bible Church near Robinson, IL. He spoke about why God might say "No" to our prayers, and gave several suggestions on how we can respond when God does say "No." One response comes directly from 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

#7 - November 18: Nine months ago, while I was helping my mom pack her things to move in with us, I lost a favorite necklace. It was given to me by my husband on my "golden" birthday - when I turned 24 on the 24th. I was sad when I lost it, of course, and prayed for it to be found. Well, today, 9 months later, my mom found the necklace in the top drawer of her dresser! I was certain it was lost forever, but today I was given a special blessing from God. So, I hope this encourages you, if you are waiting for an answer to a prayer (whatever it may be), don't lose heart. God does hear your prayers, but sometimes it takes awhile to see results.
#6 - December 1: There are many different ways to celebrate the birth of Christ, and using the Advent season is one way to help us do that. Our Pastor, Steve Willis, spoke about Advent at church this morning. He also wrote a blog post about it. Here is a quote from his blog: "Today is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is the time in our calendar when we prepare to celebrate the Birth of Christ. It is unclear when Advent was first developed, but it has been a part of church traditions for centuries. Of course, the biblical basis for the celebration centers on the many scriptures that foretell the coming of the Messiah. For followers of Christ, the Advent season is not only a time when we look back on what has taken place, but we look forward to the return of Christ we know will someday happen."

#5 - June 22: A sweet moment captured between brother and sister, when our son left to work at camp for the summer.

#4 - November 7:  This photo was taken 3 weeks ago today while I was sitting in a hospital waiting room. (David needed to have a prostate biopsy, and it was done in the Operating Room rather than a clinic, due to possible complications.) Today, we found out the results of the biopsy and are so thankful it is negative!! But, we hope this photo and verse will remind you today that our God is with you WHEREVER you go! Through the uncertain days, through times of waiting, through news that is good, and news that is hard, He is always faithful to help you through.
#3 - August 23:  Photo taken at the home of David's parents in Northern IL.

#2 - October 25:  God's promises are always reliable. Hold onto this as you persevere through trials of this world.  (Photo taken at a horse barn in Jasper County, IL.)

 #1 - January 20, 2019

As always, thank you for reading and/or following along. Remember to always count your blessings, and consider making it your goal to grow closer to the Lord in 2020.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

HHMRH MINISTRIES is Sharing Encouragement on Facebook


Writing full blog posts hasn't been a huge priority for me lately, due to various reasons that I might share with you eventually. I'm not sure when I will come off of my blog-writing hiatus. However, I do still believe Christian encouragement is awesome and ESSENTIAL. So, that's why I have been posting encouraging thoughts regularly on our Facebook page:  HE HOLDS MY RIGHT HAND MINISTRIES. 

Instead of writing full blog posts, I have been adding new photos several times each week, attaching a Bible verse to them, and sometimes saying a few words about them. I have been enjoying this creative outlet, and it seems to be working out better for me at this time. I do hope to write some full blog posts again in the near future. But, until I do, feel free to head over to our Facebook page and follow along there. Just hit the LIKE button.

Most of the photos I take myself, but some have also come from online source, or from my brother, Daniel. He's a great photographer, by the way, and you can follow him at: SURE SHOTS 16.

Here is a sampling of some of the photos/verses I have posted recently.  You are welcome to share them freely for the purpose of encouraging others, but not for commercial use.

Photo taken of our kids, when JJ left for the Summer to work at Youth Haven Bible Camp.

Taken at the camp in Kentucky.

Near Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky

Taken in August at the home of David's parents in Northern, IL

Some of Mom Stankus's pretty flowers.

Photo taken by my brother, Daniel, at the camp in Kentucky.

Taken at a horse barn in Jasper County, IL

Taken a few miles down the road from us in rural Southeastern IL