Monday, November 30, 2009

'Hello? Can You Hear Me Now?'

I have to admit...I have, what some would consider, selective hearing. i don't mean to have it all the time, but for some reason it seems to manifest, (that's a very spiritual word we like to throw around in the Pentecostal churches to show our deepness), when I'm being asked, by the Mrs., to do something around the house or going to the store. I have a type of sixth sense when it comes to these things and because I really don't want to them right away, my hearing is switched to the selective slot and pretty much every third word is heard.

wife: Hey, honey I need for you to go to the store before the game.

what I heard: Hey...I need(meaning she needs) go...before the game.
my response: Ok.

I know I'm not alone with this type of affliction, (another pentecostal word), which seems to the only affliction no one wishes to be free of anytime soon.

I was thinking about the importance of hearing, and how our very safety is determined by what we can or what we have heard. The announcement by flight attendants, the sound of a fire alarm, instructions by tour guides, scuba instructors, etc. When we ignore what we are hearing could change the very course of our lives for the better or for the worse.

The scriptures tell us; that only the those who belong to the Lord know what His voice sounds like and that a stranger they won't follow. So, how is it that we sometimes get side tracked? I believe it is because of a couple of things:

1. What we are hearing the Lord speak to us at that time isn't as satisfying to us as is what we are feeling. We allow what we feel to override what we know we hear. The example to this being, Issac in the 27th chapter of Genesis. Issac knew what he heard was the voice of Jacob, but he allowed what he felt with hands to fool him.

2. We are side tracked because we blatantly refuse to hear what is being said. Because we fail to listen to the instruction of a test in school we fail the test. the Lord told Adam not to even touch a certain tree in the garden of Eden (Gen 2:15-17), but Adam ignored what the Lord had said; which brought about the fall of man.

I believe that our hearing whether natural or spiritual is perhaps the most important of all our senses, and that it has to be very important to God as well. The scriptures record verses like: "he that has an ear to hear...", "faith comes by hearing...". There were times in my youth when they use to check our hearing at school and when I received my first drivers license, a persons hearing was important.

Hello? Can you hear me now?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Let's not just be thankful on this day we have turned into a 'National Holiday'. It has always been the teaching of the scriptures for all believers to be 'Thankful' everyday of our lives. 1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I'm thankful.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

'Better 1 or Better 2'

I happen to be one of those persons who has been destined to wear corrective lenses for the rest of my life; unless of course the Lord sees fit to miraculously heal my eyesight to where I would never need them ever again.

I recently had a birthday and one of the things I did for my birthday was to go to the eye doctor and have my vision checked, as I do every year. Now, mind you I have been wearing glasses and or contacts since before the 80's were the 80's; which as you can see has been a very long time.

As Dr. Henry, who is now my new optometrist, was going through the normal preliminary Q & A it got me to thinking about the entire process one has to go through during the exam. So, as Dr. Henry was going through the different checks he finally got to that one point we all can identify with; which is where he starts flipping the lenses and asks, 'Better 1 or Better 2'. All the while making what you are looking at more clearer with every flip, until he has gotten to where you can see 20/20. Dr. Henry, is one of those doctors who is not satisfied until his patient is able to see to what the science of optometry says is perfect.

My experience with the eye doctor brings me to the story in 8th chapter of the book of Mark; when Jesus comes to Bethsaida and people bring a blind man to Him to be healed. The scriptures tell us how Jesus took the man and spit in his eyes and laid His hands on him and then asked him if he could see, but the man reported to Jesus that yes, indeed he could see but what he saw wasn't a clear, unhindered view. So, the scriptures say that Jesus touches him again and then when asked the second time, the man said he could see everything clearly.

Just as our optometrists wants to be sure we are able to see to the point of 20/20 vision; the Lord wants us to see not only physically 20/20, but 20/20 spiritually and will not leave us seeing men as trees, but as we should see one another clearly and without any interference.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where are we really headed?

I remember television with only three channels, and the stations actually went off the air after a certain hour with the weird looking test patterns on the screen. I remember commercials of the Wrigles Spearmint Gum; you remember don't you..."Double your pleasure double your fun".

This commercial in my opinion was the beginning of the use of sex appeal to sell and advertise products companies wanted us to buy. Of course they stopped advertising cigs on television, but started pushing sex instead. Then it moved to television programming; where went from no cursing at all to a mild form and now today there is practically no boundaries on language whatsoever.

I just saw a sitcom on television which the gist of the whole episode was about going out and having a one stand with someone for the sake of having a one night stand...Where are we really headed?

Where are the so-called religious types who are so quick to jump on a political band wagon, or the unacceptable practice of discrimination, but nothing is preached in our pulpits, crusades or conferences. Instead, we hear how if we give the right amount of money we can get God to do what we want Him to do for us...Where are we really headed?

Have we become so jaded with the way things have developed over the years that we just sit back and say to ourselves, 'well people are going to do what they want'...Where are we headed?

Our destinations for the most part are based upon our own individual decisions, but the way we live our lives will influence others to follow in the direction we are headed. The scriptures tell us that the way to destruction is very wide and broad and there will be a lot who will go that way, but the way to life is small and the path is narrow, and only a few will find it.

Are we going with everyone else, or are we going with The One?

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Friend Z

I'm asking those of you who read this blog post to please pray for my friend Z; who's husband the Lord called home. The word says to us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and I have no doubts; that this is where Mr. Z is today.

You and your family are loved and I pray; that the Peace of God which passes all understanding take residence in all of your hearts and minds, in Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Second Opinion...

I can't really remember to many instances growing up ever hearing those words being uttered in my presence; whether at home, school, church nor on the television. But, that was then and this is definitely now, and it seems you can't even listen to good radio program without someone on the program or one of their sponsors extolling the importance of getting a Second Opinion.

Understand, I am in agreement with most who say that having a Second Opinion is a good thing and makes it a little easier for people to decide on the courses of actions they will attempt to take, but in the same token a Second Opinion has been known to send persons off into the wrong direction with serious and sometimes fatal results.

So, what do we do? Should we go throughout our lives without ever asking for Second Opinions ever again, or do we figure up some sort of mathematical formula to help us decide when to ask for a Second Opinion? There is a passage of scripture in the Bible which speaks of a place of safety, Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. This speaks of decisions one could make and without the proper guidance the individual is destined to fail, and it isn't enough that you have a lot of people telling and giving you their opinions; the scripture is referring to 'wise' or knowledgeable persons; those familiar with the subject matter.

So, why do we yet ask for Second Opinions if the counsel we receive is wise and very knowledgeable? I believe it is because we as a people really have stopped taking words given in wisdom for granted. We look to be soothed and if what is being said doesn't make us all warm and fuzzy or make us feel as we are the 'cats meow' then we look for someone else's opinion.

This, sadly, is what has been taken place inside the very churches we tell people to come to and have your life changed by a Lord and Saviour who can do the impossible, and then once we have them inside we give them exactly what they were getting before they came, and teaching them to rely on their own abilities to make it happen. Yeah, God is omnipotent and all that, but here's a formula and steps to get the husband you want or the wife you are looking.

We have come to read the scriptures and understand what they are saying to us, and how that the Lord of the scriptures is calling for a holy people to walk in the paths He has designated for them to walk...we instead with our actions to the contrary have said to the Lord, "Can I get a Second Opinion".

Happy Anniversary

Well, it has now officially one year ago on, October 9, 2008; that I started writing this blog. To say that it has been somewhat challenging is a rather obvious understatement, and I guess with all the different things going on in my life this past year which added to the distraction of writing instead of enhancing; I got a little/lot side-tracked. But, I take full responsibility for the lack of commitment on my part to this blog, and if the few of you who actually take the time to read some of the things I've written; I beg your indulgence yet a little while more as I gear up for year two.

There are a lot more topics I would like to explore this coming year and some of the subject matter discussed this coming year will cover pretty much everything, and we'll look at it through different lenses and see how they measure up with looking at them through the lens of scripture.

So... Let's get ready to "Blogumble"!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

"What's the difference"

I've been doing some thinking again and just want to throw out something and hopefully get a nice discussion going.

As believers we are taught to trust God for pretty much everything in our lives; from the schools to attend, the jobs to take or not to take, and how could I forget the big one...who to marry. We also are being taught at the same time by our parents, relatives, friends, teachers, etc. on how to live and be successful.

Here is the set up: We are taught in the church; that gambling is a sin and that we shouldn't do it i.e. poker, roulette, dice and even the lottery. We are told we don't trust God if we do these types of things in order to capitalize on our money.

Here's the question: If the above things are wrong and sinful; then what's the difference with those things and playing the stock market?

Let's talk about it all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Don't Be Dashboard or Back Window Christian"

I know I'm not the only who's seen the individuals driving down the road and as they pass you; there in the back window is a Bible or maybe you've walked to your own vehicle and have noticed the car backed in next to yours and there on the dashboard on the driver side is a Bible.

Now, a Bible in the back window or on the dashboard isn't necessarily a good or bad thing simply because one doesn't know to whom the Bible belongs. One doesn't know if the Bible is even removed from the vehicle at all, and you can pretty much gauge how long it has sat there by the coloring of the outer cover.

The Bible on the dashboard or in the back window only gives an assumption of the Christian-ness of the person or persons in the vehicle. The same I think can be said of the individual who is quick to quote a scripture or the one who says God bless you or states they go to church every Sunday. I drove past a church and on the sign it read: 'You preach a better sermon with your life than you could with your mouth'.

I believe we should be more than the Bible on the dashboard or the one in the back window; which only brings speculation to whether or not we are TRUE believers. But, rather we should be living epistles who not only read the Word but most importantly we live the Word, and in doing this I believe we truly fulfill the will of the Lord.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Don't forget to Tow someone else"

Have you ever taken the time to notice that there is a tow truck for every type vehicle size and one for any application? I have seen the everyday run of the mill tow truck that can hook-up the majority of cars with no problem whatsoever; whether they are flatbed tow trucks or the regular type. They even have the 'stealth' type tow trucks like the ones on the 'Tru TV' series 'Operation Repo'; where the tow-bar isn't seen until the last moment and then flips out the back like a very agile 'super ninja' (see Matt I can do it too) and they scoop up the car to be repossessed and off they go.

Then there's the type tow trucks made to go into parking structures without getting wedged or a bunch of damage to the parking structure itself, and of course there's the behemoth of tow trucks; that seems to be able to tow a small mid-west farm town with no problem whatsoever.

What do tow trucks have to do with the bible or anything else for that matter; well I'm glad you ask. The concept of the tow truck is to carry another vehicle from one point to another. The reasons for said carrying varies from situation to situation but the end result is the same...a vehicle is carried.

Jesus, had a conversation with Peter letting him what the enemies plans were for him and how he looked to "disable" him as it were, but Jesus went on to tell Peter, "but I have prayed that your Faith fail not". He didn't tell Peter he wouldn't be sifted or tried but that when these things happen the pray was for his Faith to remain in tack, and once Peter was back on the road again; Jesus told him to strengthen or build up your brothers.

We all find our selves from time to time on the side of the road of life seemingly broken down and disabled with no one to come to our aid or assistance, but if you have a prayer-phone handy in just a little while the Lord will send aid your way. They will assess your particular situation and determine whether you need towing or if it can be remedied right there, but if towing is needed there is no limit to the distance.

I remember what it's like to have to be towed because I wasn't able to continue, but once towed and then having the proper restoration completed I was able to continue. So, as I travel and as you travel in this we call life; don't forget to render aid to those who are seemingly stranded, whether on the highway of life or in the parking decks of self-pity...Don't forget to Tow someone else.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"I'm stepping out on Faith...Just stop it!"

I was having a conversation with a relative of mine, I do that from time to time, and as we were speaking the conversation went in another direction just out of the blue, because they do that when we talk. Suffice it to say the conversation now took on a whole other feel from one of casual banter between two relatives with equal abilities of sarcasm to one of total and abject hostility towards the new discussion we found ourselves engrossed in thanks to them.

Now, allow me to give a little background of my relative and I. We both have a deep and abiding love for the Body of Christ i.e. believers in the Lord Jesus. And, we share our experiences with one another on the day to day experiences we have with believers as well as with non-believers. The latter being the bulk of conversation and how the Lord allow us to be able to come into contact with someone during the course of the day and able to show forth some grace to them and thanking God how some doors were then opened to share the Gospel in some small way.

However, this days conversation turned toward believers and their ideas of what they call walking in faith or as my title says: stepping out on faith. I guess the best way to describe is with analogy:
Me: Hey where you going, I thought you said you didn't have any gas?

Them: I don't, but I'm stepping out on Faith that the Lord will get me there and back.

Me: *telephone rings* Hello...Yeah, I'll be there in a little while; just let me go by the gas station first.

I hope this makes clear what I'm trying to say about some of these "stepping out on faith" decisions. Once explained a lot of them are nothing more than the desires of the individual trying to spiritualize their decision which turns out to be nothing more than running out of gas unnecessarily.

So, let's all stop and ask ourselves the most important question we can ask ourselves before taking this leap into "stepping out on faith" which is: Is this what God is telling me to do or is this what I want to do? Everything we do shouldn't be lumped under the umbrella of faith when it comes to the decisions we choose to make because the scriptures tell us faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen; which is solely based off of what the Lord has spoken and not just on what we desire because all our desires may not be in line with God's Will for our lives.

Have you ever "stepped out on faith"? Have you ever "stepped out on faith" and it wasn't what God wanted?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"What's the impression we give?"

I was reading the scriptures and I had noticed something interesting when Peter had followed Jesus after they took him from the garden how someone said he (Peter) was with him because of the way he spoke, and again in the Book of Acts; Peter and John was taken notice of by the Sadducees by their boldness and how they had been with Jesus.

The same is said about the people one deals with every single day. We all have heard the sayings of 'birds of a feather' and 'lay down with dogs you'll come up with fleas'. These sayings are depicting the types of persons one has relationships with and the characterization are the means by which people identify you.

So, it should come as no surprise when you say one thing about how close you are with the Lord and everything about which people see and hear come from your mouth is how close you are with the other know the devil. This happens when you are merely a passer-by and not a resident of the Word of God.

Let's strive to become permanent residences of the Kingdom and take on the recognizable signs of being a part of that Kingdom.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Driveway or Highway Bridge?"

Have you ever seen how some driveways made when they use concrete? And, have you seen the work that goes into making highway bridges? Well, I was contemplating on these two things and I have found that all concrete isn't the same.

Although, concrete may look the same to the untrained eye, I like the way that sounds because it gives the illusion that I have a trained eye when it comes to concrete; which I don't but I know a guy and my guy told me about the differences in laymen terms of course.

The driveway and the highway bridge both start out with the necessary forms to pour the concrete into in order to get the shape desired. The driveway, however for the most part when the concrete is poured that's all there is to it. The only thing left to do is the smoothing of the concrete to remove any rough spots or jagged peeks and points. The highway bridge starts with forms as well, however inside their forms are steel rods called re barb, and also there are steel beams, and as I stated earlier there is a different consistency to the concrete which allows it to dry more firm when the concrete is poured.

Once the driveway is complete you can drive on it, but there is a limit to how much weight should be on it. When something is placed on the driveway which exceeds the weight limit it will cause the driveway to crack and give way. However, the highway bridge is not only designed to handle a great amount of weight it also is built into the structure a type of spring mechanism; which when the weight is exerted on the bridge; the bridge tends to give a little allowing for the weight and then it springs back to it's original position.

The question today is; what type of believer are you? Are you the driveway saint which was built in an afternoon and now some of the cares of this life can park in your life with little difficulties, but when the full weight is applied you tend to crumble and break apart? You have the form of godliness but no power to hold you together. Are you the highway bridge saint, which has been meticulously worked out from the leveling of the surrounding areas to the forms which houses the spiritual re barb that holds steadfastly to the concrete/Rock. And, when the cares, situations and struggles come you are able to bear up under them and spring back into position once the pressures have past.

So, which have you been lately?

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Restoration By the Book"

There are countless types of restoration projects one could engage themselves, and they seem to vary from project to project as to difficulty.

I have watched some shows on television that show the restoration of cars, homes, motorcycles and a few others. The one thing I don't recall them showing is how they went about restoring the project by the book, but they have taken the viewers through the process step by step.

I have seen the results of some restoring projects first hand where they did a seemingly good job, but as you inspect the work more closely one tends to find slight inconsistencies that shouldn't be and had they gone strictly by the book these inconsistencies would not have occurred.

Sadly, this tends to be the case with some believers who are driven by some unseen force to "Fix" everyone they come into contact and seems to be showing some sign of fault. They begin working on persons in the fold and have on the surface helped the individual through whatever the issue or situation. However, as one begins to watch it becomes very apparent the person is no more better than they were in the beginning.

Galatians 6:1 tells us when we see an individual overtaken in a fault; then as we are led by the spirit, we are to restore the individual back to a proper place in God. And, furthermore we should consider the fact that we could very well be in the same position.

Helping bring someone back into a right standing with God is a mandate we all have as believers, but we are to do it...By the Book.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Re-alignments are necessary"

It has been 21 days since my last post; which if I was trying to overly spiritual I could say, "I have been away for three weeks...One week for the Father, one week for the Son and one week for the Holy Ghost. Now, once I had put it out there like that I could follow-up with how it has been such a interesting time I had with communing with the Lord and listening to all He was saying to me during this time is truly beyond any words I could even begin to muster.

The truth being I have, on my own, stepped away from my writing for a while in order to re-evaluate myself and the message I've attempted to put out into cyber-space. What I found quite surprising was how I had begun to place expectations on myself that the Lord had never once mentioned. So, I had to as they say, do some soul searching; not because I was in danger of being lost but more because I was in danger of losing sight of the direction He has for me.

I believe we all have the moments of what I consider misalignment, and what I mean is this: When we purchase a new car and begin to drive it here and there we sometimes without warning hit bumps in the road we didn't see and over time those bumps begin to manipulate the alignment of the vehicle at which point we need to take it the shop and have it realigned. Depending how long we drove the vehicle once it was out of alignment the greater the time it will take to bring it back into alignment.

Peter when he began to walk on the water to Jesus; took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink, but immediately cried out to the Lord for help and Jesus lifted Peter back up. The same Peter when the disciples were in the Upper Room with Jesus was told by the Lord to strengthen the Brothers once he was converted.

So, I'm looking to strengthen the believers when I say, it is possible to lose sight of things when your attention is redirected by the external circumstances, however know this for a certainty the very God in whom we serve is faithful to His word. The winds will continue to blow and the heathens shall continue to rage, but most importantly God will continue to be God. Self-help books are good in their place but we are to heed the writing of Paul when he said: Brethern, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13,14

Have you experienced misalignment? What were you're signs?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Prep Time"

I have come to realize in a very real way what it is to be the one people were expecting to step forward and address any number of situations and circumstances they themselves were incapable of dealing with. It's not that they aren't in a nutshell incapable, but more they lack the ability from the lack of one thing or another which for the most part comes down to preparation.

I've learned late in life the benefit of being prepared. Yes, I've mentioned in earlier posts how I was athletic and so on, but it wasn't until much later that I realized all the practices we had were more than just getting us ready for the next game; it was preparing for every possible scenario the game would produce.

We were victorious because of the many hours of preparation, and now we are standing on the eve of yet another Easter Celebration. And, it is with this thought I am now more appreciative of not only the sacrifice my Lord made for us, but the preparation He went through getting there. With it being what they call; Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday we look back to commemorate those things He did with his disciples, and hopefully we take heed to the example set by Him in that upper room during that last supper.

Are we spending enough 'Prep Time' for the Lord's service or are we merely making ourselves ready for our services?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"What If He Said It To You...It's Not You...It's Me"

I have heard a whole lot of different reasons people use to tell some else why they don't want to be with the other person any longer. There is the 'I just think we need some time a part to see where this is going'. I can tell you where it's going... no where because you aren't together anymore for it to go anywhere, duh.

There's the 'I don't love you the same way I did in the beginning'; could it be you didn't love them in the first place? 'I think we have grown a part from each other', which means one person wants to grow in the relationship and the other is satisfied with the way things have been. Then there is the grand daddy of them all: 'It's not you, it's me'.

All these different excuses I've heard and maybe even ones I may have used in the past got me to thinking about the relationship I have with the Lord. I was pondering to myself how I would feel if He came to me with any of these reasons not to be with me any longer.

The sad truth of this post is, if the Lord decided to write us a 'Dear John Letter' today He would be completely justified in breaking off His relationship with us. We have been less than faithful to Him, non trusting of Him and most of all we haven't loved Him in anyway He would like. Yes, He could very well say goodbye to us and we would deserve it. He wouldn't have to say, 'It's not you, it's Me' if He said anything it would be, 'It's you, not Me'.

The great thing about this truth we deserve is, He is true to His word. He said this in Jer. 31:3 ...yeah, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Then He says in Heb. 13:5 ...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Have you check your relationship status lately? Is it you?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Stop Throwing The "A" Word Around"

I was taught from the scriptures about the 'anointing' when I was a young person in the church about a couple years ago, and when it was spoken you could sense all the reverence the word invoked in people; from those who both said it and those who were privileged to hear it as well.

When we spoke about someone being anointed it was far more than just speaking constructively about the individuals ability to do what they were doing at the time. We understood back then, and yes I said back then because it isn't the same today, that the anointing wasn't only upon those who sang or preached the word of God. We understood it is the very Spirit of God who empowers us to do His will, and to bring a change into the lives of others.

Unfortunately, however, this isn't the case any longer when we talk about the anointing in any of our conversations anymore. Now, I know there are those of us who know when to use the word and when not to use it. We hear a singer on the radio and they sound really good and come to find out they may have several Grammy Awards for that very song we heard, and we say today; 'Ooh, they're so anointed'. Really? The song was about everything under the sun except the Gospel of Jesus, and we say they are anointed.

The scriptures say this: 'And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder,and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.' Isaiah 10:27

Saints let's be a little more diligent and recognize when the anointing is flowing, and if you aren't sure then a clear sign to look for is the burdens and yokes being destroyed in the lives of those you know were bound.

This is the Anointing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"E-knee, Me-knee, My-knee, Moe"

I know I'm not the only one who remembers how we use to choose the persons to 1. be on our team or 2. who was going to be 'it' first; as in a game of hide and seek or something along those lines. I remember the goal for me was to be sure I performed at the top of my game every time we did play one the many games we played as children, because it would assure me a spot on a good team the next time we played.

However, the very opposite was the case when, for some odd reason and, of course, strange twist of fate, I didn't do as well as in times past. Which for me was like saying the sky was falling, because I was such an awesome gamer no matter what we were playing. (smile) The opposite being, I was't picked by the best players as in times past, and all because of the one bad game I may have had. The really bad part was you had to perform at the top of your game 'consistently' for a minimum of three games after the one bad game in order for the top players to reconsider bringing you back to the top. It was almost like being dropped to Triple-A ball from the Major Leagues, and you had to prove you were worth being recalled.

The sad part of this post is: we see this being done to someone almost every single day and we say nothing because secretly this is how we feel. We pick and we choose who we want to be a part of our ministries and we try our very best to get only the well polished of persons, or those who have a decent amount, if not, a whole lot of money. However, those who are marginal and who don't have a considerable amounts of money or resources to offer we don't want them really to be a part of the ministry.

I read an article about a man who committed a very horrible crime and was convicted of it, and spent a lot of years in prison for the crime. Once he was released a pastor stepped forwarded after having had a conversation with the man in question and offered for him to live at his home for a few months until he was on his feet. The people in the same town as the pastor; which some I'm sure were perhaps members of his church, didn't want the man in 'their' town.

When did God give us permission to pick and to choose who we are to minister to or to try to help in our lives? I understand the need for caution and all of that, but when do we really start living the life He has called us to live for Him? The scriptures tell us that He has given us the ministry of reconciliation 2 Cor 5:18-19; so when are we going to start with reconciling? Or are we satisfied with the way we do things now?

Reconcile: To cause to be friendly again; to conciliate anew; to restore to friendship; to bring back to harmony; to cause to be no longer at variance....

'E-knee, Me-knee, My-knee, Mo'....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Do We Have It Now or Will We Get It Later?"

There are a lot of answers concerning the next set of questions I want pose to all of you today, and I have to thank my friend Papa Frank for actually prompting these with a comment he made on an earlier post.

There are those who believe once they have accepted what the Lord Jesus did for them on the cross of Calvary that they are Saved and now have Eternal Life and Victory in Him, and don't have to 'Work' to get to heaven.

Then there are others who believe after you have accepted; then one must continuously 'Work' the rest of their lives in order for them to make it into heaven.

This is the question that came from Papa Franks comment: If we have Victory in Jesus now; then why are we to ''run that we May obtain''? 1Cor 9:24

Do we have it now or will we get it later?

I only asked that you utilize the scriptures as much as possible, and know that we can all learn something from one another. Just try and keep on subject.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"You Ain't The Only One"

I know for myself it seems as though I'm the only one trying to do what is asked of me by the Lord, and because of this I encounter all these different obstacles and trials. I would be the first to argue that this is all a part of being a servant of the Lord, and I would be correct in saying this because the scriptures tell us that those who will live godly shall suffer persecution.

So, why do we find ourselves falling victim to a version of a pity party from time to time? Are we or do we somehow try to psych ourselves into thinking we shouldn't have to go through some things because we are following the Lord's will? I think we do sometimes, but I've learned and am learning that even though we think we are the only one trying to live right, we aren't.

We are to follow the plan and the path the Lord has mapped out for us as individuals and one day when our course has come to a conclusion; then we will be given the task of training and relaying to someone else the responsibility to continue on the road the Lord has set us on so long ago.

Trust me when I say, "You ain't the only one". Read Read

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"New and Improved God"

You just when you thought you had found the perfect product to use; they come out with the New and Improved version of it. The advertisers tell us we need to stop using the product they got us to use 6 months ago and start using the better version of the product. We then go along with their claims of the product being 'again' the best thing since sliced bread and we start buying and using the New and Improved version; which has less product but a higher price tag. Hmmm?

When did new and improved mean less for more? I started thinking about how we have done some of the similar things within the confines of the church. The church has now become a major commercial entity attempting to attract 'customers' to their sanctuaries. They put out slogans which demonize the way your grandmother did church, and say it's a new contemporary style of churchin' without the tradition of old church. I've even seen where they say, ' come to where we do church right', what? These places are pitching a 'New and Improved God' and what people are getting in return is 'Less God' at a 'Higher Cost' to the individual.

I remember when they changed Coke's formula after what was it 100 years, and said the new Coke would be the stuff. The people drank the new Coke and didn't really care for it; so they brought back the Old Coke and called it Coke Classic. The original Coke worked and wasn't anything wrong, and when they attempted to change what work the people went against it. The same I believe is happening in churches everywhere; the people aren't getting the Word of God the way 'Grandma' got it and the people want it.

So, let's stop with all the cliches and what not, and get back to preaching and teaching the Gospel the way the Lord intended it to be done. The last time I checked; we couldn't improve on God anyway no matter how hard we try.


Monday, March 16, 2009

"Are You Slow Or Just Dumb?"

I have asked myself this questions so many times, that if I was given a dollar, no, a penny for the times I have asked myself this I probably would be able to retire a very satisfied person. I know some of you may be wondering to yourselves, where is he going with this, and there are some of you who are saying to yourselves, if your honest, yeah, I've been there too many times to count myself.

Let me put it out there this way: As most of you know from reading my blogs that I have two American Pitbull Terriers, and I love my dogs. I have always been a super duper dog lover from way back, and the one thing I loved doing was training my dogs to be obedient and follow my commands. Now, I have had a variety of different breeds of dog; German Shepard, Rottweiler, Doberman mix and the Pitbulls.

The one thing about the animals I have and had was they all knew once I strongly corrected them on a thing; they wouldn't repeat the behaviour again. They would always look to do whatever they thought would please me at all times and they never would walk away from me when I was working with them, because I had their trust.

Me, on the other hand, well, I have listened to the instructions and I have followed them as I should, but there were times when I knew what I had said or done wasn't in line with the instructions I was given which resulted in serious correction. This has happened as I have said many times in the past and I had to ask myself, "are you retarded or just dumb".

One day it finally sunk in my head; that I wasn't retarded or dumb. I was just unwilling to fully trust the instructions I was receiving from the Lord through His word and once I realized the problem I was able to correct what was needed on my part.

Honestly, we all have been there and someone of us are still there but understand you don't have stay in that place asking yourself that same question over and over, nor do you have to ever go back to that place. We all just need to realize the problem is and has always been about one thing when it comes to God's people, which is TRUST.

Read Proverbs 3:5-8

Friday, March 13, 2009

"...Pray For Me...I'll Pray For You?"

This is probably one of the most used phrases in almost every conversation a person has who is a part of a church group or organization.

congregant: Oh, that was a wonderful sermon.

preacher: Oh, bless you, pray for me.

woman1: Girl, where you been it's been a while since I've seen you?

woman2: Oh, I know; pray for me girl.

Now, don't get me wrong; I think prayer is very essential to the life of every believer who calls themselves Christian. However, I have found it to be somewhat hypocritical and deceptive to a degree when that phrase is spoken by some. If we would stop and be honest for a moment, I'd like to pose a very important question: How many times have you really prayed for the person you ran into at the grocery store earlier that day? Also, when we say to some people, "pray for me" are we really wanting them to pray for us or are we just trying to avoid a lengthy conversation with them?

Of course, we all know the scriptures teach us to always pray and also to pray for one another; so why do we find praying on the spot such an awkward experience? Could the reason be the fact we don't pray as much as we lead people to believe we do? I have a challenge for all of us to take part in starting from today.

Saints, when someone asks you to pray for them let's stop and take a moment with them right then and there. I'm not asking us to go into a long descriptive dissertation on the omnipotence of God, but just a quick concise prayer concerning the issues or situation in which the person may find themselves being a part of at the moment.

I promise if we make an effort to accomplish this we will not only become closer to one another in the Body of Christ, but we will also draw others and ourselves closer to the one in whom gives us life eternal, Jesus.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Evil Still Exists...And?"

Just in the past couple of days there have been two horrific stories of two men; who went and decided for whatever reason to take the lives of other individuals. The one was in the state of Alabama and the other was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the country of Germany. The first things we normally hear are questions about why did they do it, and what were the signs, if any, they exhibited before going on this rampage? It's very likely we will never really know why these two individuals committed this horrible act, however there will be those who will speculate on some possible motives.

The harsh reality is my friends; Evil still exists. So, if evil still exists, do we cease from our God given mandate to go into all the world and preach the Gospel? Are we to gather our family and close friends together and collectively hide our heads in the proverbial sand? Do we, in order not to become the victim we in turn become what it is they have become as a means to ward them off; hoping that they will see we are just like them and we should get a pass?

No, a thousand times No. We are now more than ever to keep watch and to sound the alarm to all who will take heed, that this is the fulfilling of the scriptures we hold so dear. We have to continue to speak to one another the entirety of the Word and not just the 'Pie In The Sky' parts which make us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Take heart in knowing even in the midst of all which has taken place, and all the future evil which will take place; the scriptures comfort us with these words: 'Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Psa 37:1-2

Watch and Pray.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Quitting in the Church"

I have some blogger friends that have posted on their blogs about 'quitting' in some form , one being Z and the other being Matt. And, as much as I care for Z's blogs; it's Matt's post that caught my attention and prompted me to do some writing along the subject line he covered.

First, I think it's a true statement to say, 'almost everyone has quit something in their life time' for one reason or another. I think it's built into our programming as human beings, but along with this I believe there's also a sub-program, a default program if you will allow me to say, which helps to designate what should be transferred to the 'quit file' and what shouldn't. However, this sub-program without the proper software is liable to be just as flawed.

We fool ourselves on so many different levels when it comes to thinking we know exactly what the best plan or path to take, as it relates to our choices. I'm convinced now more than I ever have, that after several decades of being on this planet we call earth, we honestly don't have a clue.

Certainly, there are things we should quit as it relates to our health and so forth, but most importantly their are things I believe in my heart we should quit when it comes to the church. Now, I know the first thing most of us think is the double lifestyle kind of stuff, but I'm not referring to those types of things at all.

Sadly, I believe there are individuals in the church holding ministry positions who need to just quit and allow someone else who will be more effective in that position to do it. The problem in most ministries I see as being the problem is the pride and the feeling of superiority one tends to get once they are 'positioned'. Do we need to hear from the Lord when it's time step down? Of course we do, but will we is the bigger question.

Yes, I believe there is quitting in the church; which is more than necessary in order for the body of believers to thrive the way the Lord intended for them. I believe there are only two questions which should be asked honestly of every believer and responded to in the same manner; which are: 1. Are you being fruitful/productive? 2. Have you gone as far as you believe the Lord has allowed you to go with this?

Is the Lord telling you to quit? Yes, He did.
Have you quit? Yes, I have.
And, why? I had gone as far as I could, and it was now time to move it another area.

What about you?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

" Religion or Relationship"

Religion: something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience:

Relationship: a connection, association, or involvement.

I'm sure this may be a loaded question, but I'm going to ask anyway and I'm asking for some honesty on your part.

How many of you thought they were the same things?

When did you transition from Religion to Relationship? Or have you?

What was or is the biggest obstacle you've experienced?

I just don't believe the Lord's plan was to make us drones or robotic in our service. He wants relationship, and this is summed up in this one scripture, read.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Playing the Gold-Digger"

A 'Gold-Digger' is a person who is attracted to an individual purely for what the person can give them and all the things they can do for them. There is never any real emotional attraction the 'gold-digger' feels toward the other person, only for the stuff they provide. Suffice it to say, if the the stuff and the things are withheld or taken away; then the 'gold-digger's' affections like wise would vanish as well.

Read Psalm 37:4

All too often I've seen church persons use this passage of scripture to manipulate material things from the Lord as if He were some type of modern day Santa Clause. They come into the church, with mentality of the 'gold-digger', and they learn all the catch phrases and generic prayers with the ultimate goal of reaping the material benefits of a supposed relationship.

I know, those of us with a real relationship with the Lord understand this to be a form of godliness and that it doesn't represent the true church of the Lord Jesus, but it pains me to say not enough of us in the Body are speaking out against such nonsense and buffoonery. I come to think it's because the actual number of those who think this way some times far out number those who think correctly and to speak and preach against it would undoubtedly dwindle the size of a lot of our congregations and of course we can't have that now can we?

Although you may not be 'playing the gold-digger', but if you aren't speaking against that style of behavior; then you are just as guilty

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Give Me Liberty or I'm Leaving The Church"

Liberty: The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.

Today, we have this new wave flowing through the churches like the wave at a professional sporting event where one person jumps up out of their seat throwing their hands into the air and this is then repeated by persons to their right or left until the movement is taken completely around the stadium.

Read Galatians 5:1-13

Liberty without a doubt is a wonderful concept when looked and addressed in the proper context with which it was intended. Unfortunately, I believe we have taken liberty to mean a lot more than even the scriptures themselves give. There were certain rituals which had been taking place for many years under the Jewish laws and customs, mainly circumcision, and Paul had spoken to the Galatians concerning this. Now, I have only touched on this to move into my point so don't get stuck here, Yehudi.

Liberty in Christ was intended to move us from trying to work our way into heaven and eternal life to believing by faith and walking and living our lives through the Holy Spirit. We moved from the lifestyle we had in the world to a separated life in Christ Jesus, and not falling victim to the desires of the flesh. However, somewhere between 1981 to present I have seen the things I left in the world come creeping into the church. When I accepted the Lord as my Savior, I no longer went to the clubs to party, because it wasn't edifying to my relationship with Christ, but now we have 'Christian Clubs' we can go to.

I stopped wearing the earrings I had because it didn't represent the Christ I was now telling people about, instead it represented the streets He saved me from. Now, we have Christians going out getting tattooed and pierced all over their bodies, and it's all in the name of Liberty in Christ Jesus. I'm sorry, I just don't think the Liberty we have been given was meant to allow us to stay in the same realm of lifestyle we were in before accepting the Lord.

Liberty in Christ was and is the vehicle for us to ride in faith with a pure heart toward our Lord and Savior without having to succumb to the traditions and legalities of working for ones salvation. Liberty was not intended for us to be able to maintain our wayward and worldly ways with the weak mantra of 'the Lord knows my heart'.

The scriptures tell us: 'If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, and the old things are past away and all things now become new'. We have to stopped with all the compromising and get back to the basics of teaching and preaching the unadulterated Gospel. The Lord is holding all of us so-called leaders responsible with not speaking out against the things which do not promote nor edify the Body of Christ.

Give Liberty or I'm Leaving The Church! Our response to this is: ADIOS! We don't need members that bad!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Don't Claim That... Where's Your Faith"

I wouldn't say I rank up in the top ten of 'Faith Hall of Fame', but I would say I have faith to believe everything God has spoken in His word. Hebrews 11 gives us great insight on the faith all the individuals had when it came to believing what the lord had promised.

I'm now just wondering how we have gotten so far fetched with this whole Faith talk stuff. Now, as I have said I have faith and it stands to reason if I didn't have faith then I wouldn't be doing this blog in the first place. Which is ultimately designed to cast a light on the one person who is able to manage the lives of every person in the world at one time, and this would be Jesus the Son of God. And, it takes faith to believe and accept what He has done for all of us on the cross of Calvary.

So, now faith has made this metamorphic type change over the years since I have come to believe. Of course it's always been taught us the Lord could and yet heals the body of an individual and also does miraculous things in the area of finances as well. Which is all good with me because I believe the Lord can do anything.

But, when did it become Faithless to admit to having a cold? Did we somehow become impervious to the germs of this world when we accepted the Lord Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior? I have heard far too many people to even attempt to count; who have said in form or aren't operating in faith if you say you have or are getting a cold or flu, What?

My throat is a little scratchy and my chest feels somewhat congested and I think my body temperature has raised a few degrees from the normal 98.6 degrees. I think the doctors classify this as cold and flu like symptoms, so I think I'll say the same thing.

We have to understand our Faith isn't any more or any less than someone else when we have different challenges which affect our bodies and we acknowledge them. Our Faith comes into question only when we balk at our belief in the One who made the body.

So, all you Super Non-Claiming Faith Walkers, pray the Lord helps me through these cold and flu like symptoms I'm experiencing today.

Friday, February 27, 2009

"So, Your Fasting,Huh?"

In our churches, they taught us about fasting before the Lord in order for us to get closer to Him spiritually. I can remember when I was a young teenager going to school without having eaten anything that morning and how my stomach growled just for a small morsel of food. They taught us that we shouldn't even drink any water, because it would fill our stomachs and satisfy if only for a while the desire to eat.

Yes, they told us we were to Deny ourselves and what we wanted and instead to pray for more of the Lord's spirit to indwell inside of our hearts and to direct us more toward His perfect will for our lives. Once the fast period was over; which for me was immediately after school I would make up for what was lacked earlier that day. Some fast, huh? However, with the help of the Lord I learned fasting was more than a going without food and water.

The scriptures tell us over in the book of Isaiah about this very thing I struggled with in my early years as a young believer. Read Isaiah 58:1-8NLT

So, we're in the Lenten Season and scores of people are now giving up or fasting from some favorite type of food or beverage or something they love to do, for the sake of remembering the Christ's sacrifice. However, more times than not they replace their favorite stuff with more of something else and their attitudes toward their neighbors don't change at all and even some get worse, because they don't have their favorite chocolate.

So, your fasting, huh?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"The Wait Is Over, Now Get Up"

There is a story, in the book of John 5:1-9, that speaks of a time of feasting and Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem and went to the area where a lot of people with all types of conditions would wait for what was referred to as the moving of the water.

The scriptures give us to know that during a certain time of the season an angel went down into the pool and troubled the water and the first person to step into the water after this took place would be made whole of whatever disease they had. The scriptures go on to tell us of a man who also was there and that he had a condition for thirty eight years. So, Jesus sees the man and goes and asks him a most unusual question, and I would say without sounding blasphemous, a crazy question.

How could the Lord ask such a question? He knew the man had been in this state for time and He would ask him "would you be made whole?" or in other words, 'do you want to be healed?' Is there anyone reading this right now who would have had to stop and scratch their head after being asked that question? I know I would have, but I guess no one wants to keep it real for a moment, huh?

So, the man response after being asked by Jesus doesn't even answer the Lord's question. The man goes into this whole whoa is me speech he has probably been practicing for some time now; about how he doesn't have anyone to help him and when he does make it to the water some steps in right before he does. Notice the Lord's response to the man's answer, the Lord didn't even acknowledge what the man had just said but instead told him to take up his bed and walk.

The point of this lesson today is simply this: Everyone has some type of issue or situation which may have you somewhat crippled; whether physically, mentally or emotionally. The time of waiting for someone to come and wave a wand over your situation and be done away with is gone. You no longer need to wait for such things to take place once you realize the Lord has accomplished all things for you to live a lifestyle of wholeness.

Stop with the excuses and the pity parties...'the wait is over, now get up'.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Right Thinking"

Phl 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

My good friend Z wrote this scripture on her post this past Sunday. I know the first thoughts which come to our minds are, these are telling us to think about Jesus. I would agree in a general sense, but notice the how Paul words the scripture. He says, 'whatsoever things' and I would have to say he couldn't have been talking about Jesus, because Jesus isn't a thing.

I believe what Paul is trying to get us to do would be more along the lines of a 'mental exercise' if you will allow me to say. Paul under the influence of the Holy Spirit wrote for the saints to learn to purposely note all the things in this world which can be attributed to Glory of our God.

I submit: Things which true; they will Glorify God. Things which are honest; they will Glorify God. Things which are just, pure, lovely, of good report; they will Glorify God. Any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things; For they will most assuredly Glorify our God.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"A Smoldering Fire"

I was in the yard this weekend and started doing some clearing of overgrowth and the like, so, I, with the help of neighbor behind me started a fire to help with the clearing of unwanted yard debris and overgrowth. Everything was going according to the plans I had mapped out for this day of yard work until someone in the neighborhood called the fire department.

Now, we all know the fire departments job is simply to put out 'unwanted' fires and to insure the safety of all persons and property which could be affected by such fires. Well, they informed me and my neighbor who lives behind me; that this particular day the state wasn't permitting any outdoor fires, because the wind wasn't as calm as they would like for this particular day. So, they asked us to extinguish the fires we had burning, and proceeded to give us a number we could call to find out on a day to day basis when it was permitted to burn.

We, did as they requested and put out the fires we had burning in our respected yards. I even took the water hose I had just in case one of the fires attempted to get out of control and doused the flames and I had in my yard. Once the fires were out, I started moving the debris around to make sure there weren't any smoldering embers which could possibly reignite. However, I was unable to do this same procedure with the debris inside the barrel I was using; so I just doused it with a bunch of water.

The next morning while I was preparing breakfast for Mrs. IHS, that's right I was making breakfast for the Mrs.; which I have stated in earlier posts I hate cooking, but I will from time to time attempt to pamper my honey. So, as I was saying, I was in the kitchen and as I looked out into the backyard I noticed smoke yet coming from the barrel and as I watched a fire reignited itself.

This had me pondering the rest of the weekend concerning this smoldering fire which came back to life as a full fledged fire inside that barrel. I remember reading what John the baptizer said concerning Jesus. He said in Matt 3:11 and Luke 3:16; though he baptized with water, there was going to be one mightier than he was and He would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

This fire which accompanies the Holy Ghost acts in the same manner the fire I had burning in my yard and in the barrel. Here's the point I would like to bring across; I was able to extinguish completely the fire which was on the ground, but notice I wasn't able to do the same with the fire inside the barrel.

The ground here represents the surface Christianity a lot of people have in this world we live and as soon as opposition to the fire they have comes it totally extinguishes and they are offended and soon the very evidence of a fire vanishes. The barrel represents the fire of the Holy Ghost inside the heart of the individual and regardless of the attempts to decimate and extinguish they are ineffective.

The scriptures gives us to know in the book of Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon formed shall prosper". The scripture never says the weapons wouldn't be formed, but even when and if they are formed they won't prosper. Though trials and tribulations be great and the storms seem to be attacking the very foundation of your heart; know this Child of God...'The fire is yet smoldering and in the morning, the Lord is going to blow once again on those hidden embers and the fire will reignite.'

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Antiperspirant Life"

There's nothing more embarrassing to an individual who takes careful thought into their everyday appearance, than when they are odiously offensive. I remember when I was instructed in the use of deodorant, and the purpose for using it. Deodorant is actually a wonderful invention to say the least, and there have been many days and times when I wished everyone in the world in which I lived thought as much about it as I learned to do.

I was shopping for myself once and had to purchase some more deodorant for myself seeing I was almost out of what I had. I noticed all the different types of deodorant name brands and thought I would try something other the brand I was accustomed to using. Imagine my surprise when I had noticed, after using this 'new brand' of what I thought was deodorant, how let me say 'tart' I was only after a few hours. Upon further inspection of my new bottle of deodorant, I found it wasn't deodorant at all but instead it was antiperspirant.

Some may say, 'what's the difference?' Well, simply put, deodorant is an agent for destroying odors. Antiperspirant is an astringent substance applied to the skin to reduce perspiration. Now, the thing is this; they look the same in the grocery store and to tell them apart you have to read the label.

Paul says, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Let's not be the type of Christian who looks good and has a sweet smell about them, but as soon as the trials and troubles of life begin to heat things up for them, the sweet smell of the antiperspirant is replaced with the smell of discontentment and desperation. However, before we dress ourselves each day we must first apply the righteousness of His Spirit through prayer and devotion and as our day progresses and the trials come, we can then raise our hands to Him because we are "SURE".

Are you Sure or Unsure?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I kind of pride myself in being somewhat resourceful and being able to figure out somethings around the house. For instance, I had to replace a couple broken windows and since they were different sizes I had to do some measuring.

Well, I measured the first window pane and I wrote the measurements down on a piece of paper; even down to the fraction. The second window pane wasn't much different from the first, and so I just used the measurements from the first window pane and off to Lowe's I went. I got the glass cut and went back to the house to install them; you should have seen me, I was on top of the world being the Home Fix It guy for a day.

I put the first window glass into the pane and it fit like a glove, so I finished it off with some window chalk to seal it in and WAHLAH! I stood there for a moment admiring my little handy work and then proceeded to the second window. Well, without going into all that took place with it; let's just say it didn't fit and leave it at that. I remeasured the window pane the way I did the first and went to Lowe's to get my third piece of glass. When I returned, I placed the glass in the window frame, chalked it and wahlah. Of course, I kind of loss the momentum when the glass didn't fit the first time so the excitement was minimal at best.

This taught me a very valuable lesson the next time I attempt to take on anymore projects at the house, and there will be plenty especially if my wife has any say so in it. Just kidding, babe, love you. It also got me to thinking again of the exactness of our God, and the details that went into everything He did.

David said, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well." Psa 139:14

He, David, recognized how God was very meticulous in His creation of us, and all the many small and minute details which we take for granted everyday. I realized, if God when He created me took the time not only with the details of my life but also the lives of those I would ultimately live my life around and the environment that would sustain me.

Why then could I not be as meticulous when it comes to doing everyday work? Are we exempt from being meticulous because we are human?

Strive for perfection in all things.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Your Life Verse"

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The Church of No People, and Matt, who is the author over there mentioned about having a 'life verse'. I personally never heard that terminology, but it has something to with a verse in the scriptures that has either changed your life or you base your life around.

Well, I thought to myself about that and the verse which immediately comes to mind for me is, Psalms 34:1-4. These verses are my testimony.

I'm sure Matt wouldn't mind me borrowing from him in asking these questions:

What is your verse or verses? How was your life changed from it?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Wait Until He's Finished"

I remember going to the barber shop as a young man and I tell you it was always an interesting experience. I learned by watching the barbers which one I should have my hair cut by that day. Once you have been there a little while you'd see which barber was the master barber, he was the barber who knew how to work and rework the persons hair when it didn't turn out the way he intended.

The responsibility of the cut was always on the shoulders of the barber, however the person sitting in the chair had a responsibility to maintain their position in the chair until the barber had completely finished his work.

So, one may ask, 'where are you going with this'?

In the 18th chapter book of Jeremiah the Lord directs Jeremiah to go down to the potter's house. Once he is there, Jeremiah, notices the potter working on the wheel with some clay and as Jeremiah continues to watch the potter, he notices the vessel the potter made was marred and didn't turn out the way he wanted; so he started over with the clay on the wheel and reworked. Jer 18:1-6 NLT

Saints, the responsibility for making us the vessels the Lord desires for us belongs to Him and to Him only. The ONLY responsibility we have is to maintain our positions on the wheel and allow the Lord to finish the work He has begun in us.

Phl 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:

Monday, February 16, 2009

"It's Learned not Earned"

"Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener's care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us."-Charles Haddon Spurgeon

How are you cultivating the soil of your heart? Are you using the plow of Patients? The tiller of Longsuffering? Or, have you allowed the thorns and thistles of discontent, covetousness and complaints resurface and take over the garden of your heart?

We must understand that the process to obtain contentment is a gradual and sometimes a most gruelling one, but the end results are far more rewarding than the pains it took to get there and the knowledge gained in order to maintain that state.

Philippians 4:11

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Thank You"

For all you have been to me, thank you.

For all you have done for me, thank you.

For all you are to me, thank you.

If I had 10,000 tongues, I couldn't even begin to enumerate a fraction of the things You have done me and those around me.

So, from the very depth of all that I am, Thank You Jesus.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Making Copies"

Ahh, the marvel of technology. I don't know who came up with the idea of copier machines, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who were extremely grateful when the first one rolled off the assembly line.

If you stop to think about it the concept is quite interesting; you place a piece of paper that has what you need copies/duplicates of face down on the glass and press the start/copy button and a bright light scans the paper and after a couple seconds out the side of the copy machine you have a duplicate copy of your original piece of paper.

There are, however, some draw backs to this wonderful world of technological advancement which a few of the draw backs are obvious. First, if there isn't any paper in the copier; though you place your paper on the glass and press start, there would be no duplicate. Secondly, if the ink cartridge is out of ink, you would have no copies either. So, suffice it to say there are things you must do in order to insure proper functioning of your copier.
The Word of the Lord has all the makings of a Spiritual Copier. However, the Word doesn't have the limitations our copy machines have. We don't need to worry about running out of paper or ink, because the impressions the Lord leaves are in and on our hearts.
The process of copying is: Romans 12:1
Saints, let's keep ourselves before the Lord and in His Word and living copies we will become.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Unknown Allies"

I would that everyone take a moment and read: Luke 9:49-50

Now, I want all us to stop and think the next time We try to determine; Who's Who.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Always Ask"

Yep, I'm going to let the world know, I grew up with some pretty strict rules as a youngster and when I attempted to bypass those rules I always found myself in a very precarious predicament. Meaning, I almost always got a spanking (P.C. word) for not getting permission to do what I tried to do and got caught.

We always had to ask to do anything and almost everything, we didn't go outside to play without asking. We didn't go into the refrigerator without asking, we didn't invite company over without asking. Sometimes we didn't ask without asking, just trying to make my point.

We were taught to do this by our parents to get us to focus on a couple of things, and they are: 1. Our parents decided what we were to have and when we were to have it. 2. What might have been a 'yes' two days ago doesn't mean it will be 'yes' today, things change.

2Sa 5:19
And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.

2Sa 5:23
And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; [but] fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.

Notice how David enquired of the Lord, meaning he asked, in the 19th verse of 2 Samuel 5 and how the Lord delivered the Philistines into his hands, but notice the second time David enquired of the Lord and how in the 23rd verse the Lord did something a little different with David and the strategy he employed.

Saints, we must remember to continuously ask God what we should do and the directions we should take, because the way He took us last year isn't necessarily the route He's taken this year but we'll never know unless we 'Always Ask'.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"What's Your Role"

There's a saying I remember from my youth; which goes something like this: 'A Jack of All Trades, and The Master of None'. This was the designation given to individuals that were adept in practically every area of some type of maintenance. They could work on electrical things, a car and some of anything you could name. However, their abilities were limited to fixing minor problems that didn't require in depth work.

Having a Jack of All Trades doing work for you brings the understanding they are only going to be able to do but so much and if more was required then someone else would perhaps need to be called; which has a better more detailed understanding of what needs to take place to resolve the situation.

The Body of Christ is set in similar fashion; there are those in the Body who are able to do a lot of different things and some times it's needful because of a lack of personnel. However, as the Lord provides there must be the establishing of Roles. It is without these roles the Body will begin to suffer needlessly.

Do you know your role in the Body? Are you fulfilling your role? Are you helping someone else to fulfill theirs?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"The Needs of Others"

Mark 1:29-39

We say the Lord is our example and that we follow after those things He left for us. We remind ourselves of His words and all the many things He did for people in the days He was here on earth.

Are we really following the example left for us? Yes, we tell people about Him, and we express to them the awesome power He has to help change their lives.

But, what are we doing to see to the needs of others? Is it all just lip service or are we getting our hands dirty helping to till the ground?

Saints, remember greater works shall we do; if we do it in His name.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"I Belong To You"

This is my dog, Scheeba, and she will be 12 years of age this summer. A good friend of mine, Luther, gave Scheeba to me when she was 3 years old and since that time she has had three litters of puppies. Scheeba, as you can see from the picture, is an American Pitbull Terrier and this usually brings on conversations about the viciousness of the breed and all that nonsense.

I have to say, I've never had a moments pause with owning APBT and I don't foresee any problems in the near future either. Scheeba, as I have stated earlier will be 12yrs. and one would think that her age would bring about some sort of crankiness. However, I must say she is just as patient today as she has been for the last 9 years. The picture should illustrate my point quite clearly. I was at home yesterday and it was still a little nippy in the air, so I thought to myself, 'why not put a sweat shirt on Scheeba so she wouldn't be cold.'

So, I did and she was very patient with me putting it on her and then rolling up the sleeves in order for her to walk around unhindered. It got me to thinking how the Lord wants to somethings to us that we may find uncomfortable at times, but we learn to patiently accept what is wants to do.

Remember, we have willingly given ourselves to the Lord and now belong to Him, so if He wants to us to wear something it should be alright, because we belong to Him. The later of Psalm 100:3 says, '...that we are the Lord's people and the sheep of His pasture...' and if He wants to sheer us from time to time then He can; because we belong to Him.

Saints, let's continue to submit to the Will of our Lord in every area of our lives. Remember, we have been bought with a price and no matter how hard we try; we'll never repay it.

There are words to a song that we sing some times and they say, 'I'm yours Lord, everything I got, everything I am, everything I'm not. I'm yours Lord, try me now and see; see if I can be completely yours.'

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Your Get Away?"

Everyone needs some get away time every now and again, if not but to reflect on what has transpired within the last few hours, days, and months. We, being finite beings, must always remind ourselves that there are limits to how much we can do and how far we can go without rejuvenating ourselves.

Professional athletes have their way of re energizing themselves after they have expended what energies that had, and the same could be said of professionals and blue-collar workers. They all have a way of finding that 'thing' which best suits them to get back into what they call the groove.

The saints aren't exempt from having to go and 'refill' themselves every now and then. Jesus, the One in whom we believe is the Son of God, went away from His disciples from time to time to pray allowing Him the opportunity to 'refresh' Himself. Peter, went up on the roof top of Simon the tanners house, and while meditating i.e. 'refreshing' himself received a new assignment from the Lord.

I too have a get away which allows me to 'refresh' myself after having ministered in one form or another, and that is to ride my motorcycle. Find what it is which best allows you to get away for a moment to 'refresh' yourself with the Lord, and as we continue to work the work of Him; there is a greater need to be 'refreshed' by Him.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Don't Be Sorry"

I have my days, when I get home from work, I don't want to do anything. I think we all have those days from time to time, and I personally don't think there is anything wrong with it. Of course, if you are the person who doesn't do anything; you don't have a job, you don't go to school then you are the person whom the people I grew up around would call, 'sorry'.

A 'sorry' person is one who will make any excuse they can to get out of doing some type of work especially if it involves honest to goodness manual labor. They are the ones that are always at the unemployment office looking for an unemployment check because they can't find a job, so they say.

Now, I understand the climate in which we live and I'm fully aware of the unemployment rate that we are facing in our country. This climate has nothing to do with the 'sorriness' of an individual. I, for one, have been unemployed and know what's like trying to find work that will pay the bills, and sometimes it took two little jobs to make what was needed until something better came.

Proverbs 13:4 I really love what says in the New Living Translation: "Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied."

Saints, we are to be a diligent people looking for every opportunity to work and productive in our society. We don't look for hand outs, we look to provide hand ups. Jesus told His disciples to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men.

Don't be sorry, let's go fishing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Tell 'em anyway."

Now, I know I can't possibly the only one that received lecture after lecture from their parents as children? And, what I mean by lecture is, the continuous teaching of what was expected and what was the right way to go about doing things in life. My dad was perhaps the coolest "lecturer" that I know; he has always shown great restraint and control even in the midst of us doing absolutely the wrong thing. Mama Al was the "lecturer" that prefaced everything she had to say to us with her patented, "Are you kidding me?" statement. It was really a statement as opposed to a question, because she already knew the answer anyway. Then their was Mom; who was every bit the yeller when she said what she had to say.

Regardless of the deliveries they all were adamant about making sure we knew what was the right thing. Of course, as growing children from adolescence onward, there were plenty of times we didn't want to hear nor follow what was the right thing to do. The reason was it began to conflict with our own desires, so we found ourselves gravitating to parents that allowed their children to do what they want when they wanted. Fortunately, we didn't completely fall into that style of parenting for one reason or another. I would like to think it was because of the strength behind my parents "lectures".

Paul, in the 2Timothy4:1-4, told Timothy to be persistent in teaching what was right; whether it was a good time or not. Saints, this is the same mandate we have today. The problem we are facing is the migration of people from hearing the truth. They are more interested in listening to people that are telling them what they themselves are already doing, and looking to be validated rather than reproved.

There are going to those that don't want to hear the truth..."tell 'em anyway".

Monday, February 2, 2009

"The Thrill of Victory...and Defeat Don't Rejoice"

Anybody else remember the opening of the Saturday sports show that came on the ABC station with Jim McKay? I think the best part of the whole show was that opening; "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC's Wide World of Sports!"

It didn't matter, every time I saw that ski jumper, Vinko Bogataj, I would get this sinking feeling in my stomach. Not once did I ever close my eyes or turn away from the television screen when that part of the opening came up.

Yeah, it good that there were those persons in the opening shown under the phrase, "the thrill of victory" and from time to time it was someone different. However, they stuck with that one footage of Bogataj for about twenty years before showing other dramatic; "agonies of defeat". Although, the ABC show no longer airs like it did; we still can hear that catch phrase even today in the 21st century.

Why does it seem we are so enamoured with the defeat of others? We go into song when our team wins, but the songs aren't victorious songs for our team they are degrading songs toward the defeated teams. We leave the event rehearsing all the parts that led to the other teams defeat, why do we do that?

The seventy disciples of Jesus came back to Him and was just rejoicing over the fact that the demons were subject to their words. Jesus quickly let them know that though he has given them power to be victorious; He didn't want them to rejoice in this fact. Instead, He told them to rejoice over the fact that their names are written in heaven. (Lk 10:17-20)

So, saints let's rejoice with them that do rejoice, but never rejoice over defeats.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Closer than Brothers"

This is me and my big brother Tone. I love my brother more than I could begin to express in this post, but I want you to know that my brother was there for me when we were growing up. Of course, we got into the normal scrapes that brother's get into and acted as though we didn't care for one another.

But, when it came down to my needing him to come to my aide for whatever the reason, my brother was there. My brother's strong willed but very sensitive when it comes to being the big brother.

I'm sure there are a lot of you out there that may have brother's that were just as concerned for you as mine was for me, and I think that's great.

The scriptures reveal a lot as it pertains to brother's, but there's this one verse that stuck out to me, Proverbs 18:24.

No matter how close our brother's are whether they are our natural brother's, fraternity or spiritual brother's. They will never be as close to us as the Friend we have made in the Lord Jesus. Saints, we have a life that's full, even if you don't have a natural brother. The day we accept the Lord we are adopted into a family full of brothers but the best part is Jesus, our Friend, is yet even closer than they are. Be Blessed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Ramen Noodles and The Word"

It is my estimation that the person that invented Ramen Noodles should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for Satisfying Quick Foods. I know there's apples, oranges, grapes, celery sticks and carrots that are good little snacky type foods. However there is nothing quite like heating up some water and dropping in a packet of reconstituted noodles and watch them expand into a plate of oodely-delite, and once the seasoning pack is added the rest they say is history. I could very well eat Ramen Noodles every single day and not have a problem with it.

How does is this relative to The Word?

The Word is much like Ramen Noodles and much more, it's quite filling to the soul and spirit of an individual. Unlike the Ramen Noodles though; The Word can be eaten slowly and over a period of years, and yet will be just as fresh as the first day you started to dine on it. Ramen Noodles need to be eaten right then or they won't be any good. The Word unlike Ramen Noodles don't need for us to add any type of seasoning, because the seasoning The Word has is relative to your spiritual state as an individual.

Don't wait for Sunday or whatever day your Bible Studies are scheduled. Go ahead and crack open a few chapters during your lunch break at work, or while in transit on a bus or plane. I promise, you will be quite satisfied with those quick meals just as much as you are on Sundays.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"How do you see this"

Romans 12:1-2

How do you see this scripture?

How are you seen in this scripture?

Most importantly, Are we willing to live this scripture?

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Yeah, Them too"

I was reading again the story of Zacchaeus and how this man was determined to see who this Jesus was that everyone was talking about, and had the streets all jammed up for like it was a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The story goes on about how Zaachaeus ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up a tree to get a look at this man named Jesus. How many of us can say that we have gone out our way to get to see Jesus even in a figurative sense of the word? We need to ask ourselves, when was the last time I pushed past my daily routine that has so many times obstructed my view of the Lord?

So, as the story goes Jesus gets to the place where Zaachaeus has climbed and stops to tell him that he will be eating at his house tonight. Point, when we put forth the effort to see Jesus for ourselves it is then that He will stop and come dine with us. Now, if we were honest with ourselves then we will say honestly that we aren't worthy for Him to come to dine with us, but this is why He stops.

Yeah we know several people that we feel are beyond the reach of the Lord, but that isn't for us to make the determination on whose worthy and whose not. The so-called church people were beside themselves; they couldn't believe that Jesus was even dealing with this known sinner that worked for the government, but the answer Jesus gave then is the same answer He's giving yet today. He is come to seek and to save that which was lost; the drug dealer, the liar, the homeless person and the politician; yeah them too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Blow wind blow"

Don't you just love the days when it's nice and sunny outside, and heat is warming your face as you stand outside enjoying the day. There isn't a cloud in sight that would even suggest the presence of rain or for that matter a storm. However, living in Atlanta you come to realize rather quickly that the weather is subject to change at a moments notice.

Although it seems everyone wants nice sunny days, the reality is if it never rained or the wind never blew it would be next to impossible for plants, trees etc. to do what is necessary for them to flourish. The wind is needed for the seeds to be spread and the rain is necessary for those same seeds to begin to grow and so on.

This is what we as believers seem to take for granted, and that is when we come into the Body of Christ we expect, for the most part, our days to filled with sunshine and blue skies everyday of the week and that all the hardships we had will all be gone and done away with. This is the furthest thing from the truth. The scriptures tell us that we aren't to think it strange or out of the norm when we have fiery trials that come to us.

These are what I like to characterize as the wind storms, but the scriptures continue to let us know to rejoice when these things happen. The Early Church had those the storms come to them not long after the Holy Spirit was given, and the amazing thing about the persecution that was taking place then worked in the same fashion as the wind does today.

The wind i.e. the persecution caused the scattering of the saints throughout all the world; which caused the Seed of the Word to be planted in the hearts and the minds of people everywhere. So, enjoy the sun when it shines and absorb all it has to give because the time will come and the winds will begin to blow. Just know that the Word that is in you will begin to be shaken and you, in turn, will release those seeds to those areas of peoples lives and once the winds and the rain subside; the Son will shine upon those seeds causing them to spring forth and bringing new life with it.

So, blow wind blow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Working Out and Getting Buffed"

I remember coming through high school and the different sports I was involved in all had one thing in common. They all had a time during practices where you had to go into the weight room and workout. There were competitions that the guys would have with one another over who could bench the most weight or who could curl the most. I never got into those types of competitions, because to be honest I never really cared for lifting weights or doing the whole "getting buff" thing.

Now, mind you I'm no string bean either; I just had my own ideas of working out and though I was considered slim I was very strong for my size and as they say "cut". I chose to do a lot of running and jumping as opposed to lifting. I went to school with guys that could bench press a Volkswagen but couldn't put together a cohesive sentence to save their life.

Paul said, "Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next." 1Ti 4:8 Paul's letting us know that there is nothing wrong with getting in shape by working out and getting buffed as some would call it. He is just bringing our attention to the fact that in the overall scheme of things it really doesn't mean much.

So, by all means get yourself in shape and if you're a weight lifter, keep on lifting those weights; but we must keep in the forefront of our minds that the exercising of our spiritual lives as Paul puts it, is not only going to benefit us now, but most importantly in the world to come.

What's getting stronger? Your flesh or your spirit?