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.