Proverbs 9:10

Verse of the Day: Proverbs 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10

I want to start this by letting Solomon himself declare why these writings are so important. “To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice, and integrity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise person will hear and increase in learning, And a person of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a saying, The words of the wise and their riddles.” Proverbs 1:2-6. And then he wraps up these verses into one. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7.

Now, one more thing we need to understand is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.  Knowledge, in itself, is nothing more than an accumulation of raw facts. An example of this would be a list of holidays or family members or how much money we currently have. But wisdom goes well beyond this, being the ability to see people, events, things, and situations as God sees them. Throughout this book, Solomon reveals the mind of God in matters high and lofty and in common, ordinary, everyday situations as well. As we read it, we see no topic escaped King Solomon’s attention. These include, but not limited to,  personal conduct, sexual relations, business, wealth, charity, ambition, discipline, debt, child-rearing, character, alcohol, politics, revenge, and Godliness.

Now let’s look at what the Psalmist says about this. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; All those who follow His commandments have a good understanding; His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10. The verses before this in Psalm 111 speak of the great works of the Lord. “Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them. Splendid and majestic is His work, And His righteousness endures forever. He has caused His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate. He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever. He has made known to His people the power of His works, In giving them the inheritance of the nations. The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are trustworthy. They are upheld forever and ever; They are performed in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name. Psalm 111:1-9.

Now, the theme of wisdom and its necessity in our lives finds its fulfillment in Christ. We are continually exhorted in Proverbs to seek wisdom, get wisdom, and understand wisdom. It also tells us several times that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Our fear of the Lord’s wrath and justice is what drives us to Christ, who is the embodiment of God’s wisdom as expressed in His glorious plan of redemption for mankind. We read in Colossians that  “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have in your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and that they would attain to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:1-3. We receive a full understanding of true knowledge and wisdom, which is found in Christ. And in another verse we read,  “But it is due to Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written: “LET THE ONE WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

The wisdom that is found only in Christ is in contrast to the foolishness of the world which encourages us to be wise in our own eyes. But Proverbs also tells us that the world’s wisdom is not God’s way. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7. but actually leads only to death “There is a way which seems right to a person, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12. Wisdom comes to us when we fear the Lord, not in being afraid in a phobic way, but an awe and reverential fear as we really think about God; His greatness, His power, who He is, just that awe that comes over us when we desire to do what God would have us do. As Pastor Chuck Smith once said, “Love what God loves. Hate what God hates. Have that desire recognizing who God is. To seek to please Him, that’s what the fear of the Lord is about. That’s the beginning of wisdom.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Proverbs 9:10

Verse of the Day: Proverbs 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10

This verse in Proverbs tells us where true wisdom and knowledge come from.  Many think wisdom comes from the very wisest in our society, and that knowledge comes from schooling.  This may be true; however, they are not the ultimate sources.  Let’s look at what this verse says from one of the wisest and most knowledgeable men that ever lived, Solomon.

First, wisdom starts by fearing the Lord.  The word fear in this context means respect and reverence. True wisdom comes through the reverence of the true God, honoring and praising Him for who He truly is, not who or what we think or what Him to be, such as a figment of our imagination.  For true wisdom comes through belief and the holding firm in real reality, not in trying to create a false reality.

Understanding comes through knowing and seeking the source of this actual reality, one who knows the end from the beginning, who is infinite and has never not existed, and who knows everything.  When we seek knowledge, do we go to someone who might know, or do we choose someone who truly knows?  I go to the latter, God. He will provide wisdom and the knowledge that leads to understanding to anyone who seeks Him.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Verse of the Day: Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

This is a crucial verse to practice on a moment-by-moment basis.  The question it brings up is, do you trust in God regarding everything?  And if you say yes, the next question is, are there times when you revert to trusting yourself or anything else besides God?

God knows all things, understands all situations, knows the end from the beginning, has only our best in mind.  He loves us with an everlasting love, He never leaves our side, in fact, as Christians he is in us by way of the Holy Spirit.  He is everywhere throughout the entire universe at once, so there is no place we can go where God is absent.  Moreover, He can speak and interact with everyone and everything at the same time.  Can you say the same about anyone or anything else?  I cannot, and I would guess you cannot either.

This is the reason Solomon said that we must trust God with our whole heart and not trust in ours or any other’s judgement or advise.  If we do, then He will guide and lead us where He knows it is best for us and others.   To trust another is not wisdom and shows a lack of knowledge of the reality of God and His great and eternal love.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 17:17

Verse of the Day: Proverbs 17:17

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17

True and faithful friends love in the hard times as much as the good times.  There are many people who act like true friends when things are going well and does not cost anything (money, time, or anything else).  All too often, when there is a change in a person’s situation whereby there is a negative effect on the relationship, they forsake the person and look for someone else that will be more fun.

Paul wrote to the Romans the following, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”  Romans 12:15. As Christians, we are to stand beside our friends in all situations.  For instance, they receive a great promotion at their job, get together with them and rejoice, celebrating this great thing that has happened.  However, likewise, if they find out a close relative has died, go to them, comforting them by helping them deal with this great loss.  Weep with them, as they cry in their great mourning.

What a beautiful picture of true love.  Not envying or coveting what good they received, even though you would love it too.   And, not avoiding them because it is an uncomfortable situation.  Show yourself to be a true and loving friend by being there with them in the good times and for them in the bad.  You will honor God through it and show what a true friend really is.  Who knows, someone watching you may be positively changed by your actions.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 27:19

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 27:19

“As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.” – Proverbs 27:19

When a man looks in the water or a mirror, he sees his image reflected back at him.  Whether good or bad, the reflection is a true picture of what we look like.  We do not see our true appearance until such time as we take the time to view it.  Sometimes we see certain things we do not like, so we adjust our appearance such that we will see ourselves more like we want.  However, the most important thing to remember is that how we appear in our reflection is how others see us.

Now, a mirror reflects our outward appearance.  But what reflects who we are inside?  The answer to this question is our heart.  What is important to us?  How do we feel about things?  And per Jeremiah,  what do we do?  “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10  Notice the idea here that our ways and deeds are seen in our heart and mind.  The real man is reflected by his heart.  Peter put it this way, “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4.  These two verses speak of women; however, it does speak of men and woman in the idea it presents.

So, this begs the question.  When the world looks at us, our ways and deeds (as Jeremiah put it), what do they see?   Do they see a heart truly committed to God?  Do they see a heart that is full of love for God and mankind?  When you honestly and with no bias look inside yourself, what do you see?  Remember, what you see is very likely what others see.  If, perchance, we do not like what we see, we must ask God to help us in changing our hearts to the one God desires of us.  We must be open to this change and submissive to Him as the changes are made.  There is a song done by Vineyard that speaks clearly of this.  “Change my heart oh God, make it ever true. Change my heart oh God, may I be like you.”

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 17:22

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 17:22

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22.

There are two ways we can focus our thoughts.  We can either focus on that which is good, or we can focus on that which is not good.  Many things happen in our lives, both good and bad.  Some negative situations we cannot control, such as the death of a family member or friend, loss of a job, etc.  These can be very difficult times, and there will be a season where our thoughts will be directed at these issues.  However, more times than not, we have control over our circumstance and how we react.  For instance, when someone offends or insults us.  Or, as an actual instance in my life, a contractor goes to your boss and reports to them something you supposedly did which actually never happened.  In these cases, we must not focus on these things, but give them to God to work through.  We can and should address things that are not truthful about us, but we should never make these things control our lives.

What the writer of Proverbs says is that whether we focus on good things or bad things, they will have an effect on our bodies.  If our thoughts are positive and joyful, the affect is good.  Likewise, if our thoughts are negative and depressing and stressful, the affect is not good.  Let’s look at some of the effects on both sides.

When we focus on the negative, this produces stress.  There are various affects that are common to the person who is experiencing high stress levels.  These include muscle tension, most pronounced at the base of the neck.  Also, headaches which can include migraines.  Nausea, hair loss and weight gain, rapid heartbeat and chest pains as well as insomnia and fatigue.  One other is that stress impacts the immune system making those who are stressed more prone to illnesses.  (This information found on the Cleveland Clinic website.)

However, when we focus on the positive, this produces relaxation and positive body impacts.  When we laugh and feel deep joy, the body releases serotonin and endorphins which are called feel-good chemicals which make us even happier.  This relaxes the body and reduces stress.  These chemicals cause our lungs to expand and become replenished with oxygen.  Laughter even sends more oxygen-rich nutrients and blood throughout the body.  It relaxes the muscles, lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow as well as improving the functions of the blood vessels, which can decrease the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.  It also improves our immune system. (This information found on the Medical Daily website.) So, do we want to remain healthy or experience negative impacts on our bodies?  According to the writer of Proverbs, a joyful heart is a good medicine while stress and anguish which can come from negative things can hurt our body.  So, let’s stay positive.  If a negative situation occurs, do what you can but do not focus on it, give it to God and let Him take care of it. Remember what Paul wrote to the Philippians.  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:4-8.  Dwell on the good, give God your struggles and cares.  Your body will thank you.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 14:12

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 14:12

“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” – Proverbs 14:12 
Many people have a distorted view of Christianity. Much of this comes because of the culture we find ourselves in today.  For instance, many have professed they are Christians but have also stated that abortion is a good thing and should be a valid choice for the mothers to choose.  Their idea is that a woman should have the right to do whatever they choose with their body.  However, the problem with this statement is not regarding their own body, but the body of the child that is within their womb.  Some truly believe that God is OK with killing the unborn.  Unfortunately, they are wrong in this assessment. This distortion of the truth has been a problem long before our time.  Paul said the following regarding the Jews in the first century, and this was regarding not just their ideas of Christianity, but Judaism as well.  And these verses speak greatly about our time as well.  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:1-4.  Let’s look at each of these verses a little closer. First, Paul states his heart’s desire is for the salvation of the Jews.  Being an Israelite himself, he understands their situation.  They have a zeal for God, they desired to do His will, but they did not understand that righteousness, and ultimately salvation, does not come from the law, but because of the work of Christ on the cross.  The observed the law which they believed came directly from God.  However, they missed the idea of the coming Messiah who would make things right.  They sinned not because they chose to, but out of ignorance.  Not understanding that salvation comes through the death of Christ which, if believed and accepted, would have the righteousness of Christ imparted on them, they sought salvation through what they believed at that time, which was their own righteousness.  And because of this refusal to accept the truth, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of Christ because they felt the keeping of the law was the answer. If we look at the beliefs of some in our churches, we see a very similar idea.  That is as long as they go to church, read the word, and try to do good, then God will be pleased.  Often, their Christian life is separated from the rest of their life, which causes much hypocrisy.  Often, they have not been told that this life is an ‘ALL IN’ life.  They are not taught that the Christian life is one that is wholly devoted to Christ and the work He did on the cross.  They base their salvation on either what they choose or understand, or by what their leadership tells them.  It is important that we be as the Bereans were in the first century.  “Now these (the Bereans) were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11. We need to check and see if what we are told, and also what we have accepted as true really is truth. If we take the time to do this, then we can ensure that the way which “seems” right is not and make the adjustments to live the life that “truly is” right and pleasing to God. William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 19:21

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 19:21

“Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

All of us have plans for our future.  We have short-term plans; what we will do over the weekend.  Then there are middle-term plans; what will we do over the next couple of years.  Then there are long-term plans; what will we do in retirement.  There is nothing wrong with having plans.  They are important in order to determine what will guide us to its fulfillment.  However, we should not make those plans concrete, for there is always the possibility that God has something else for us.

There are many things that we may desire for our future.  Some of these are obtaining wealth, or the revere of others.  Maybe a long and enjoyable life.  For others it may be preparing for a livelihood that we enjoy and gives us fulfillment.  However, many times our plans, even as Christians may focus on our own pleasures and desires, and not on others and their needs, or even God’s desires.  “Then He (Jesus) said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions. And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?  Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:15-21.  This is a bit rough, but this man’s plan in the parable did not look after others, but only for himself.  And note what God called him; “You Fool.”  ‘This word ‘fool’ has the meaning – properly mindless, that is, stupid, ignorant, egotistic, rash, or unbelieving: unwise.’ (From Strong’s Greek Concordance.)

Even if our plans are not selfish, they may not be what God desires.  Therefore, as stated above, they should not be cast in concrete.  We must always look to what He desires of us.  What if we want to teach science in high school, but God desires us to go out and care for the poor?  Quite different occupations, neither of which is sinful.  Or, what if we plan on reaching the lost in our nearby cities, but God desires us to preach the gospel in North Korea?  This is an extreme example, however, for some this could be reality.  We must not ignore God’s plans for us.  We as Christians must be open to any calling He has for us.

I remember the book by David Wilkerson, “The Cross and the Switchblade.”  This is the story of a country Pentecostal preacher who was called by God to go to Brooklyn, NY to minister to the gangs in that area. God used an article in Life Magazine about seven teenagers who were members of a criminal gang to communicate His will to David.  He was a Pastor who was content, and safe, preaching in this small church and would have been happy to stay there until he retired.  But God had other plans, and I am sure they did not agree with the plans David had.  However, he submitted to God and as a result, two high level gang members were saved and gave their lives over to God and preached to many still in the gangs: Nicki Cruz and Cookie Rodriguez.

Sometimes we do not know the plans God has for us.  But He does.  “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is regarding the Jews in Babylon; however, I am confident it is applicable to us as well.  He knows the end from the beginning; therefore, He knows all His plans for us.  I encourage us all to, when we make plans, to be open to something different if God leads us to another calling. Remember what James said, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:13-15.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 15:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 15:1

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1
Very few of us, if any, agree with anyone else on everything.  This is natural.  Based on our background and history, we will see some things differently.  However, no discussion on these differences should descend to intense arguing.  Solomon states in this verse that a harsh word stirs up anger. Let’s say I am having a discussion with someone regarding the type of music to be used in the church.  I am not critical of any kind of music, as long as it is doctrinally correct and gives true praise and worship to our loving God, however, there are music styles I do not particularly care for.  And I am discussing with someone regarding this topic who only believes hymns should be sung, for all others are unorthodox and sinful.  If, in trying to change their mind, I was to speak harsh words to this person regarding their belief, they would probably shut down, return even harsher words and eventually walk away.  What have I accomplished?  No doubt I lost the ability to speak into their life.  Aldo, they have become much stauncher in their belief.  Now, this topic is not an essential, but my approach has likely killed any chance in the near future of another discussion with them. Now let’s look at an essential.  You meet someone who has been convinced that truth lies inside a cult which believes that Jesus is just one way to heaven, and they have chosen a works-based approach.  You get into a discussion with them, and you ask something like, “How can you be that stupid?”  In this example you have probably made them mad, but worse, they are probably more intrenched in their cult then they were prior to your comment.  It will be much more difficult in the future for their beliefs to be changed.  Note:  The question above may not have been said in a harsh way, but no-one can deny the question itself was harsh.  Harshness can be in the words, our tone or both.  We need to watch what we say and how we say it. It is much better to speak gentle words in these situations.  First of all, it will, in most cases, prevent the discussion from descending into an angry argument.  Second, we can continue the discussion and hopefully change their mind.  In the case of the song types, this is not as critical.  However, in the case of the cult member, you may have an opportunity to change his/her view of the truth and actually become saved.  Everything we do must be done in love.  This includes discussions as well.  “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  This is how we are to approach all things.  When, in our discussions with others regarding differing views, approach the matter in the light of 1 Corinthians 13.  I believe our impact will be much greater and we will bring many to God and strengthen the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ. In closing, let us remember what Paul wrote to the Ephesians regarding this subject.  “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.  This is our calling in Christ.  Let’s all work toward this being the modus operandi of everything we do.  Not only will we be more effective, but we will also be pleasing God with our love and patience toward others. William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Proverbs 27:17

Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 27:17

“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

Iron is a hard metal.  If we have a dull iron knife and wish to sharpen it so that it becomes sharper and can be used for the purpose it was designed, trying to sharpen it using wood will not work.  The knife would have an effect on the wood, but there would be no effect on the knife except possibly to dull it even more.  Whatever you use to sharpen the knife, it must be at least as hard as the knife itself.  And the same is true of the metaphorical meaning; those who are not as knowledgeable in the word, the dull, should be assisted by the more knowledgeable, the sharp.

This is why it is important for Christians to gather together and support each other.  The writer of Hebrews is very clear on this subject.  “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25.  We are called to come together regularly in order to encourage each other to stand firm in our faith.  This was the practice of the early church.  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42.  Note the wording “continually devoting themselves”.  This was not a “once in a while” thing.  Luke uses the word ‘continually’, and this should be our model as well.

Discipleship is a very necessary component in our Christian walk.  As Christians, we are to teach everyone what the truth of this Christian walk is while being open to be taught as well.  “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”  Titus 2:1. There is a lot of false teachings permeating our culture today.  We see this in a lot of our churches.  A big one is focusing on what we can get from God as opposed to what we can give to God.  Another is that we cannot be perfect, so why try since all our sins are covered.  We who know better need to be on the watch for heretical beliefs and counter them so they can know the truth and not be deceived by these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Too often, Christian fellowship is resigned to a couple hours on Sunday and another couple of hours on Wednesday.  And much of it is for entertainment purposes rather than actual fellowshipping, encouragement, and discipleship.   We have so many young Christians in our churches, and this is a primary group that needs sharpening, using the metaphor as stated in our focus verse.  Discipleship does not have to be a scheduled event but could be just discussions among friends.

It is so important that we take every opportunity to sharpen each other in our Christian life.  Let us discuss areas that we find difficult and help each other live it out in our daily lives.  What better way is there to show how much we love God then to ensure we all are clear about the reality of this life?  And what better way to show our brothers and sisters we love them by helping them clear up wrong beliefs or ambiguities that hold them back from a true understanding? And we need to show through the scriptures why what you believe is truth.  And one more thing.  If our Christian life is the most important thing, should this not be seen in the amount of time we spend talking and focusing on it?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.