DOUBT DOESN’T LIMIT GOD, IT LIMITS US…(40-Second Lesson)

Doubt does not limit God. It limits us…

Psalm 78:40-41(NKJV)

How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,

And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember His power:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,

James 1:6-7 (NKJV)

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Don’t just have faith…live it!

WHEN YOU THINK THE GOOD YOU DO IS DOING YOU NO GOOD…

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Serving God, especially through serving one another, can sometimes be thankless, unappreciated and quite frankly seem unrewarding.

Most of the good that we do may go unnoticed. This can be hard when your sacrifice your time, your money…even your reputation for the sake of God’s kingdom.

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves in our human moments regretting the good that we do or done, especially when we see those who could care less about God prospering and even mocking believers. Or, we see those who are looking at God as a genie in a bottle brag about their prosperity is due to their faithfulness, so what’s wrong with you.

God allows us the space to have brief human moments, and even ask Him as we would our parents…

“Why?”

“How Long?”

“Why me?”

“Why us?”

“Why do THEY deserve such good ‘fortune’?”

Notice what Psalm 73:12-14 says…

Behold, these are the ungodly,

Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.

 The Psalmist laments saying in so many words, “Have I repented for nothing?” “I’m still troubled all the time!”

God knows we are flesh…dust…human and will feel weak sometimes (Psalm 103:14, Matthew 26:1)

 But, pay close attention to how strong Psalm 73 finishes. We are reminded that God will eventually deal with the ungodly. The Psalmist then repents and then…


TURNS HIS PITY PARTY INTO A PRAISE PARTY…


Psalm 73:18-28 (NKJV)

 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
22 was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.

When you feel discouraged about the good you do, let me encourage you with the word of God…

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

WHAT WOULD GOD HAVE YOU DO IN THIS SHORT SCENARIO…

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You’re walking to lunch, and you have just enough cash to purchase your own lunch. Let’s assume:

You’re living paycheck to paycheck…

You have no more cash…

Payday is still three days away,

But, you do have plenty of food at home.

As you approach the restaurant a homeless man asks you not for money, but if you will buy him something to eat…what do you do?


I will let God answer…


Matthew 5:42 (NKJV)

42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

1 John 3:17 (NKJV)

17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

James 2:14-17 (NKJV)

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does itprofit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Matthew 6:(NKJV)
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Your sacrificed meal can be an answer to someones prayer, and is ALWAYS an example of God’s love.


Remember, if you have enough for today…you’re rich. 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

PRAYER IS STILL IN SCHOOLS…

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I often hear people lament that one of the reasons our public school systems have declined and are declining is because we have allowed prayer to be taken out of schools. I humbly submit to you today that if YOU’RE PRAYING AT HOME, PRAYER IS STILL IN SCHOOLS.

I wonder how many of the people who complain about prayer being taken out of schools actually teach their children to pray, pray with their children or have family prayer at home. God gave parents the responsibility to instill the  appreciation for prayer in their children,  promote a culture of prayer in the home, and let them know they can talk to God anywhere.

Deuteronomy 6:7 (ESV)

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

Train up a child in the way he should go;

    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

We must teach our children that God isn’t limited to where you pray! The church prayed for Peter in Acts 12 and God released him.

Acts 12:5-17 (ESV)

So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison.

 The church didn’t have to GO to the prison to pray for Peter. God is omnipresent, everywhere at the same time.

 

When you pray WITH your child and FOR your child, God is with him, her or them IN the school. Consider this…if you allow prayer in schools, you have to allow ALL prayer. What if your child’s teacher isn’t Christian, and your child is subjected to the prayers of another religion?

Dear friends, don’t just pray individually, but I encourage you to make sure you’re having family prayer at home.

Spouses begin your day together on prayer.

Pray as a family.

Continue to pray for schools in your churches.

Pray for schools even if you don’t have children in school because good schools affect all of us. There is much power in praying TOGETHER…

Matthew 18:19-20)

19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

MOST IMPORTANTLY…if your children know how to PRAY FOR THEMSELVES AT SCHOOL…prayer is still and will always be in schools.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DOES GOD SING?

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Does God sing?

I think He does.

He sung me a lullaby to sleep last night.

I heard His gentle voice in the rain as it tapped on my window.

He carried a beautiful tune as the wind whistled through the trees.

The bass in His voice was crisp and clear as the thunder shook the earth.

He sung all night long, waking me to the same song.

What’s His genre?

His Soul music fills the Country, as the wind Rocks and thunder Rolls…chasing away our Blues with a divine Rhythm.

Does God sing?

The robins I used to hear when I was a child are long gone, but those I hear today still sing the same song….that’s the consistently of God.

Does God sing?

I think He does.

We just have to learn to appreciate His music.

Psalm 29:1-4 (NKJV)

Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The Lord is over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WOULD YOU RESPECT YOURSELF, IF YOU WERE SOMEONE ELSE?

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If you knew…

Some of the things your Pastor thought you wouldn’t want to hear another sermon…

Some of the things the politician you respect most did, you wouldn’t vote again…

Some of the nasty things your doctor has done, you wouldn’t want him or her touching you again…

Some of the things your spouse thought you wouldn’t trust them again…

No matter who we are or what we do, we are all FAR from perfect.

Before you judge someone unworthy of your respect and love…

How much would YOU respect YOU, if YOUR secrets EVERYONE knew?

Romans 3:22-25 (NKJV)

 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[a] who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

FOR THE DAYS YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE BEING ENCOURAGED…

wp-1486753160891.jpgAs I ran an errand today, the person behind the counter was very rude to me. I tried to lighten the mood, but they weren’t having it. I told them I was just trying to make them smile, and they said, “I smile all the time!” ….Uhhhhh, but they weren’t smiling. I don’t know, maybe this person was going through something.


We all have those days…you know, days that we don’t even want to be bothered with encouraging words! Right?


Some days you don’t want to hear, “It’s going to get better!”

Some days you don’t want to hear, “It won’t always be like this!”

Some days you don’t want to hear, “This too will pass…”

Some days you don’t want to hear, “It’s gonna be alright!”

Some days, you just don’t want to hear it…even when you believe it…you just aren’t in the mood!

We all get frustrated and aggregated sometimes…

People will get on our nerves and try our patience…

People will be rude and disrespectful to us…

Sometimes we will have every right to be upset…

Our challenge as Christians is to respond in the SPIRIT OF LOVE. We can’t allow the worst in people, or situations to bring the worst out in us.

As Galatians 6:1 says we are to restore others in the spirit of meekness.

We are to be humble, long-suffering and patient. Yes, there will be times that we are to be assertive, but we are to remain in God’s character and love in that assertiveness.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says it best…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs”.

Even if you don’t want to hear this today, put it in your pocket for later…

We must remember that even in our frustration, we always represent God, and it’s our responsibility to always operate in His love.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

LET’S TALK ABOUT SLAVERY IN THE BIBLE…

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THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (OR CHURCH)

It’s impossible to ignore the presence of slavery in the bible. Many people wonder if slavery is evil, then why is it in the bible, both Old and Testaments. To fully explain this concept would take a series of lessons, which I do intend to publish soon, as I get time to responsibly put them together. I will however give you a brief answer for general understanding.

First and foremost, we in the 21st Century have the tendency to view things only from a 21st Century perspective, but God exists outside of time and relates to us holistically throughout time, beyond time and the cultures we have created. God deals with us from and through the lens of HIS prospective. We must look at the many aspects of servitude throughout history.

IT’S CLEAR AMERICAN SLAVERY WAS EVIL

Slavery and servitude have existed in numerous cultures, in many forms throughout history. Yes, slavery as it was in America was evil. In fact, God strictly forbade kidnapping people and selling them into slavery…(Exodus 21:16)… 16 “He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death). It’s clear God forbade this and it was punishable by death. So, how do you explain Exodus 21 that outlines regulations for Hebrews who choose to buy a slave? Or how do you explain Ephesians 6:5-9? (5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him)

As for Exodus 21, these were not SLAVES; the word is more properly translated servants. These people were not enslaved for life. They were indentured servants, who served a period of seven years and were then to be set free, unless he or she chose to stay with his or her ‘master’. Now, as crazy as this may seem to us in the 21st Century, in ancient times there was no government support as we have in the recent past. Social structure and societal roles were strictly set in many cultures. If a family was poor or destitute, then it would most likely stay that way for generations. To some, servitude was a means of supporting families and sometimes preventing homelessness and starvation. If you read Exodus 21, there was no separation of families as took place in the southern United States. You will also notice in Deuteronomy 15:12-18 that God commanded that servants were not to be sent away empty-handed. This was a means for families to be lifted up from poverty and being destitute, unless they CHOSE to stay. This was not the equivalent to American slavery. (Deuteronomy 15:12-18) 12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.13 And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed.14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16 But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever. And to your female slave you shall do the same. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for at half the cost of a hired worker he has served you six years. So the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.

There is however another aspect of slavery, the evil aspect. Sometimes during war, people would be captured and subjugated. And, yes sometimes people were and are kidnapped and sold into slavery. Remember, God allowed His own chosen people to be slaves in Egypt for 400 years. Remember in Exodus God said He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so He wouldn’t listen to Moses? (Exodus 9:12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses.) This was for the purpose that God could show His power to the Egyptians and for our example. In Isaiah 10:5-6 God tells how He used Assyria, a heathen nation, to punish His own people. (5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury!) 6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder,). Remember that God allowed His people to be taken captive by the Babylonians, that at the time of Jesus Israel was under Roman rule and in A.D. 70 they destroyed Jerusalem. Remember also that God used the Romans, a pagan, non-believing nation, to crucify His only Son. Throughout the Old Testament, even though war is evil, God used to discipline His people, and as judgment on unbelievers…for our example.

GOD USES GOOD AND EVIL FOR HIS PURPOSE

My point is this…both good and evil exists in this world, and God used both good and evil for His ultimate purpose. It’s obvious God won’t use good people to do evil, so He even uses evil people to discipline, and execute judgment on both His people and unbelievers. Afterward, the evil people will be judged. It’s not that they’re cursed, as Jesus said in John 3:18 says they are already condemned due to they’re own unbelief. Notice in Isaiah 10 that God says even though He used Assyria as a rod of correction against His people, he will still punish them for their evil that were predisposed to do anyway.

The fact is that God often used the existence and reality of something as evil as slavery to discipline His people or judge unbelievers. In regard to Ephesians 6:5-9, God made provision for His people’s behavior if they happened to be servants. His Godly character and holiness must be maintained in all situations…good and bad.

Notice this, any group enslaved never remained enslaved. God always heard their cry and set them free…hopefully to show His power to the oppressor and love to the oppressed.

Also notice in the book of Philemon, that God encouraged his friend Onesimus to return to his ‘master’, but He also encouraged Philemon to do the right thing and set him free upon his return.

SO WHY DID MOSES INCLUDE IT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?

One more thing is worth your consideration. In Matthew 19, the Pharisees confronted Jesus, asking Him is it lawful for a man to divorce His wife. Notice Jesus’ response in the NKJV… “4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Isn’t interesting that even though the book of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 permits divorce, Jesus makes it clear that just because Moses put it in the law during that dispensation of history, that it was never God’s will. Malachi 2:16 confirms this in saying that God hates divorce. This slight departure from the topic is to prove that just like slavery, just because there was provision made in the law, doesn’t mean that God condones it in it’s most evil form. Remember the ‘servants’ in the New Testament were indentured, and Paul urged Philemon to release Onisemus was he returned. It’s possible that Onisemus decided to stay beyond his seven years…no one knows.

THERE’S MUCH MORE TO SAY…

This is definitely not an exhaustive summary of all the verses concerning slavery, and there’s still much more to be said, but I think it will give you an idea of the concept in the bible. I know there are many who will not agree with this analysis, which acknowledges the reality, of servitude, as well as harmonizes, Old and New Testaments. I welcome comments and thoughts. You may expand upon the content of this article, or express why you disagree. I only ask that all comments are positive and respectful.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GOD IS STILL GOD OF YOUR SITUATION…

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No matter how bad, dark or desperate…

Whether it be your fault or not…

Even it’s life or death…

No matter how hopeless it seems right now…

Your situation is not bigger than God…

He’s bigger than anyone or anything that is causing you trouble.


God is still the God of your situation!


He still is the only one who can change your situation.

Trust Him!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

Psalm 27 (NKJV)

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

THE POWER OF UNITY WORKS FOR BOTH GOOD AND EVIL…

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Notice what Jesus prayed for before He went to the cross in John 17. Notice how many times He said,”ONE”.

John 17:20-23 (NKJV)

 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Now, notice how many times He said I and my father are ONE.

John 10:30 (NKJV)

 30 I and My Father are one.”

Think about what who bears witness in heaven.

John 5:7 (NKJV)

 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one

What did Jesus Himself say about marriage?

Mark 10:8  (NKJV)

 and the two shall become one flesh’; [a] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Notice that we’re told to speak the same thing and there be no divisions in our churches…

1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)

 10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

NOW…

Also notice something significant about the demons cast out of the man in Mark Chapter 5.

Mark 5:9 (NKJV)

Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”

Take note in Matthew Chapter 12 what demons do when they find a comfortable dwelling.

Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV)

 43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. 

Notice what atrocities Hitler was able to accomplished by getting people to agree with His agenda.

Look at what the LBGT community has been able to accomplish contrary to the word of God by banding together in agreement.

Why?

Because no force other than God and His love is more powerful agreement.


Oneness. Agreement. Unity. Works for both GOOD and EVIL. RIGHT and WRONG.


Think about it…

Marriage…agreement.

Family…agreement.

Church…agreement.

Street gang…agreement.

Mob…agreement.

All are only successful through ONENESS. AGREEMENT. UNITY…a force so powerful, it works for good and evil.

Why do you think the devil works so hard at trying to divide people who love one another…people who have so much in common?

God is love, and satan is not (yes, lower case on purpose.)  Love covers all and conquers all…

1 Peter 4:8 (NKJV)

 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

God’s love is all powerful, but think about this…


UNITY, (AGREEMENT or ONENESS) is the only force and power that the enemy can use to try and RIVAL the power of God’s love on earth to accomplish his agenda.


That’s why in John Chapter 17, after praying for Himself, then praying for His disciples…He prayed for us (vs.20), and He prayed that we are ONE in Him and in one another.

Because other than love, there is nothing more powerful on this earth than UNITY.

So be very careful who and what you agree with!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

A SHORT BUT POWERFUL MORNING PRAISE…

If you have enough for TODAY you’re BLESSED.

If you have more than enough for TODAY you’re RICH!


Thank you Lord for enough for TODAY!


Matthew 6:34 (NKJV)

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHICH BILL DO YOU BELIEVE? (A SPIRITUAL SELF-CHECK)

You would have to live under a rock to not be aware of the allegations against two of Americas most respected ‘Bills”. However, their respect and support isn’t necessarily from the same circles.

Two different Bills with similar allegations.

Bill Cosby is best known as either America’s dad from The Cosby Show, and Bill O’Reilly as the ultra-conservative host of his former show, “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel.

As you know, I approach every topic I address from a spiritual perspective, as I am here.

The bible tells us to examine ourselves…

2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV)

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

I’m not addressing their guilt or innocence…

I’m not addressing which allegations were worse…

But, this is about you and me…and the self-examination we can give ourselves to our initial and continued reaction to the allegations.

So many times how we feel about a person, our hidden or repressed attitudes about race, class, culture and even politics can give us insight into what’s really inside us.

What was your initial reaction when you first heard the news of Bill Cosby, or Bill O’Reilly…”I can’t believe it!” or “I’m not surprised!”?

Who did you feel compelled to defend or reject? I have to wonder if some of the same people who vilified Bill Cosby felt compelled to defend Bill O’Reilly, and vice-versa.

If so, why is that? Honestly ask yourself why. Does my affinity to Bill Cosby because of what he meant to my childhood make me feel compelled to WANT to believe his innocence?

Does one’s shared views with Bill O’Reilly make them feel obligated to support him, even if evidence makes him appear more guilty?

God expects us to support what is right no matter who is wrong. We cant’ allow our personal biases, prejudices and preferences get in the way of standing for what is right, or supporting who is wrong.

So which Bill do you want to believe didn’t do it? Which Bill do you want to believe did it?

Cosby?

O’Reilly?

Neither?

Remember, you aren’t obligated to defend anyone’s bad behavior, but we must also thank God for God’s grace that some our poorest, most embarrassing decisions remained secret.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

PLEASE TAKE THIS WITH YOU TODAY…

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A simple truth…


You will change every environment you enter today. The question is how.


Luke 4:18 (NKJV)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE STORY BEHIND THE THEME SONG…

For those of you who don’t know, my wife and I are a ministry team. She’s a Gospel Jazz Artist, and I’m her songwriter. We also promote strong, joyful, long-lasting biblical marriages (This year we will celebrate our 30th anniversary)…we call it Marriage, Ministry and Music.

However our music, and our love reach beyond Gospel music. Read The Song of Solomon and notice how the bible not only acknowledges, but celebrates romantic love too. Old School love songs are a huge part of our lives, and love. Google ‘SONday Blessing’, and see what I mean

God will give Christians opportunities ‘outside’ the church. We recently had the opportunity to write a theme song for a talk show, The Loretta McNary Show, and appeared on the show telling the story behind the theme song as well as talked about our marriage.

Check it out our segments in the above video.

 BE BLESSTIFIED!

DON’T BE SELFISH WHEN YOU FORGIVE…

Watch out when people say, “forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you”. When we offend God and He forgives us, He does it for US and not HIM.

Forgiveness is a SELFLESS act that God commands us to do for one another as He does for us. It’s another way we conform to His character and His image. It releases the FORGIVEN from the guilt of the offense and releases the FORGIVER from the burden of holding on to what leads to bitterness and wrath. It is the most powerful tool available to us to maintain good relationships because that’s how God maintains His relationship with us…by continually forgiving us.

Don’t make forgiveness a SELFISH act by approaching it carnally as many well-meaning people do by saying it’s for YOU and not the offender…that’s making something selfish and perverts the Holy intent of the GIFT of forgiveness. That’s what the enemy tries to do, trick you into ‘throwing what’s holy to the dogs.

And yes, forgiveness is a priceless gift. God doesn’t have to forgive us. Think of how good it feels to be truly sorry and have someone not only tell you that you are forgiven, but you can tell in their actions that they mean it. Forgiveness blesses both parties equally…don’t approach it selfishly.

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you

NO ONE IS EVER AS GREAT AS THEIR TITLE…

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Some people love titles. Many titles have been earned through years of hard work, and I respect that. However, sometimes titles can allow people to ‘smell themselves’ and believe their own press, or even be worshiped. That’s why God reminds us to humble ourselves and have a servant’s heart.

Matthew 23:11 (NKJV)

11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

We must also remember that we are all human, and no one is as GREAT as their prefix or suffix…

President

Dr.

Pastor

Bishop

MBA

MA

SVP

CEO

Esq

Judge

Rev

General

Admiral

Chief

Prime Minister

King

Queen

Father

Pope

Yes, God expects us to submit to leadership (Hebrews 13:17, Romans 13:1). It’s easy to be impressed by those we call great. By their accomplishments…by their confidence…by their authority. But no matter how great or influential, EVERYONE has:

Weakness

Insecurities

Fears

Faults

Immaturity

Limitations

Temptations

Vices

Virtues

No matter how confident…sometimes they just don’t know.

How much authority…they’re just a person doing a job.


Don’t trust anyone anymore than you do yourself in your own greatest strength.

Psalm 146:3-7 (NIV)

Do not put your trust in princes,
    in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Or, any less than you do yourself in your greatest weakness.

And, only follow ANYONE as they follow Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV)

11 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.


Who’s the only one who lives up to His title?

His name is Yahweh/Elohim…His title is God.

His name is Yeshua/Jeush…His title is Christ.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

SHOULD WE NOT ALLOW SOME EVENTS IN OUR CHURCHES?

I’m sure most of you have either seen the video or heard of the parents brawling at the Arlington High School graduation in a suburb of Memphis TN. The fight was over saving seats. Not only was there fighting, but also profanity…in the sanctuary where the congregation worships.

It led me to a question with which I’ve been struggling…should we allow events or ceremonies in the sanctuary that aren’t dedicated to worshiping God?

I know some churches have multiple buildings and rooms…I’m talking about the particular building or room that’s been dedicated to worship.

Should we allow events where people won’t have an opportunity to hear the word of God?

When we have graduations, ceremonies honoring people and even weddings in church, we are potentially inviting people  who have no regard or respect for a house of worship dedicated to God, without giving them a word to possibly reach their hearts.

Notice, that even weddings didn’t take place in the temple in the bible.

John 2:2-5 (ESV)

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.

Notice how Jesus angrily and passionately removed those selling and exchanging money from the temple.

Matthew 21:12-13 (ESV)

12 And Jesus entered the temple[a] and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

How many times have you noticed people buying or selling in church?

This is a conversation that we should be having in our churches. There are plenty of venues to have events. Are we compromising the integrity of where we worship?

Yes, a wedding is a ‘religious’ ceremony, but it’s still not worship. Maybe that’s why weddings weren’t held in the temple in the bible.

I’m not an expert on this, but I wonder if other faiths allow events other than worship in their dedicated buildings or rooms?

What do you think?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN GOD SAYS “NO”, NOTICE WHAT HE’S SAYING “YES” TO…

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How many times have you been frustrated or disappointed when God says “No” to you? When those doors that you desperately want to enter but He seems to refuse to open.

None of us like it when God uses the ‘N-Word, WHEN GOD USES THE ‘N-WORD’……but we have to accept it.

But, if we stop and think about it, while we’re so focused on what WE want to do, many times people are ‘bugging’ us to do things in which we have no interest. A project…a task…a favor…an opportunity that we didn’t ask for. Many times we say…

“I don’t have time for that!” or,

“I don’t know how to do that!” or,

How about This? “That’s not in my job description!”

Could God be sending those unwanted ‘opportunities’ to us to set us up for a greater purpose…His purpose?

Something greater than us or what we want? Why is God saying, “Yes” to something I don’t want?

Think for a moment that Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, Joseph or any of the apostles asked or applied for their assignments. In fact both Moses (Exodus 4:7) and Paul (2  Corinthians 11:6) were NOT gifted speakers, but the core of what God said, “Yes” to in their lives involved speaking and writing.

Stop for a moment and think about what’s being requested of you right now. Is that God saying, “Yes”?

Don’t be so quick to say “No”, when you get unsolicited requests. Pray about it. Measure it against God’s word. Pray for discernment.

You may be saying, “No” to the next move in your purpose.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

IF YOU FEEL THAT GOD HAS FORGOTTEN YOU…

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Have you ever made Him feel you’ve forgotten Him?

How many times have you started your day without saying, “Good Morning”?

How many meals or snacks have you eaten without saying, “Thank you”?

Have you gone a day without ‘calling’?


Have often do you check what He’s ‘posted’ in His ‘HOLY MEDIA’?


How many times has He tried to get your attention and you responded, “Not Now!”

How many times have you asked Him to leave ‘your house’ and invited the devil in?

Even when you’re diligently seeking Him, He sometimes may seem far away… because no matter how close you may THINK you are to Him, you can still be closer.

No matter how much faith you THINK you have…we all still have some unbelief.


Remember this…

Every person used by God in the bible at some time felt forsaken…including His Son.

Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

If you feel God has forsaken or forgotten you read Psalm 13. Notice how it begins in sorrow, but ends in an affirmation of trust and praise…That’s why He seems far away sometimes. So we can follow even closer behind Him.

Psalm 13 (NKJV)

13 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?

How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

WHY DOES GOD REQUIRE US TO HAVE JOY IN DROUGHT?

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We all have them in our lives…dry seasons. Periods of time when we endure serious trials and tribulations. Some people’s trials may be more severe than others, but when you’re going through…your trial is still difficult to you.

We’ve read what God told the exiles in Babylon in Jeremiah 29…

Jeremiah 29:4-7 (NKJV)

 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace… 

He told them that He expected them to not only be at peace with their situation, but to make the most of it, and pray for the city of their oppressor.

We’ve also read what God commanded of servants in Ephesians 6…

Ephesians 6:5-7 (NKJV)

 

Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

There’s not much worse on earth than not enjoying one’s freedom. Notice that God didn’t ignore the existence of slavery to the point that we were given instructions on the proper attitude if we were bound as servants. More on why in my post link….

Also consider what we’re told in the book of James concerning difficult trials…

James 1:2-3 (NKJV)

 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

 We are not only told to be patient in trials, but to ‘count it all joy’. Wow! I know this might sound easy to some ‘super spiritual’ people, but I am willing to admit that this is sometimes not just difficult for me, but very difficult. And, that’s okay because Jesus Himself comforted us letting us know that He knows that even when our spirit is willing that our human side gets weak (Matthew 26:41).

So, in those seasons of our lives when we are experiencing a drought in our lives…those seasons when it seems that NOTHING seems to go our way, why won’t God allow us to ‘fall apart’? Why does He demand JOY?

DROUGHTS ARE NECESSARY

Sometimes we encounter droughts to develop our character. There are times when we have to go through the valley to get to our blessing. And, sometimes our droughts are because of our bad choices…either way, we are to learn patience in those difficult seasons as advised in James, to develop our character.

DROUGHTS SOMETIMES LAST A LONG TIME

It’s easy to read about droughts and famines in the bible that last several years in one sitting, but the reality is that the days and nights of those people in the bible were just as long as our days and nights. Notice in Jeremiah 29, if you continue reading that chapter you’ll find that the captivity was to last 70 years. Sometimes our dry seasons will last a long time. God doesn’t want us to endure those periods of hardship depressed and hopeless. He wants us to learn to have joy in difficulty so we can even enjoy our lives in challenging circumstances.

YOUR ARE EXPECTED TO BE A BLESSING TO SOMEONE ELSE WHILE IN YOUR DROUGHT

How many times has someone come to you in need of spiritual, emotional or even financial help while you’re enduring your own personals storm? Have you ever sent someone away saying, “I can’t help you, I’m trying to deal with my own situation!”. God is developing us to be strong enough to bless someone else while we are ‘going through’ ourselves.  You may save someone else’s life while in your storm.

IT’S ONLY FAIR

Philippians 1:29 is one of the most overlooked and under preached verses in the bible. Quite frankly it’s because no one wants to hear it, and it’s very hard to accept…

Philippians 1:29(NKJV)

29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

Suffering, trials and tribulations are a part of our purpose as Christians. Why? Because it’s only fair. Jesus suffered and died a horrible death for all of our sins. How difficult is it to have access to all power and submit to the shame of the cross (Hebrews 12:2) knowing that some people will never appreciate it But, still He squeezed out enough joy on the cross to forgive the very one’s who were crucifying Him.

GOD EXPECTS US TO HAVE ‘JOY IN DROUGHT’ TO DEVELOP A GODLY MINDSET

 

Learning to have joy in our most difficult seasons because doing so is truly CONFORMING to the image, character and mindset of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God expects us to conform enough to His Son’s image to do the same (Luke 23:34). How can you love your enemies and bless those who persecute you unless you (Matthew 5:43-48) unless you learn to have joy when they are persecuting you.

Romans 8:29 (NKJV)

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Trails are sure to come. Pray for God to help you have joy in your drought. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes.

Happiness is based on conditions around you, but joy is based on the condition inside you.

BE BLESSTIFIFED!

WHY I WILL NEVER HAVE AN US AGAINST THEM ATTITUDE…

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I’m a Black man, and naturally I have concerns of a Black man. I would be foolish if I didn’t. However, that doesn’t mean that I will agree with ALL Black people on how to address all ‘Black’ issues. Some will even disagree with me on using the term ‘Black’ instead of ‘African American’. All Black people don’t have to and will not agree on everything. Black people should be able to feel the way they feel…to have their own opinion without being labeled a ‘sell out’ or not ‘woke’, ‘down’ or aware. All Black people didn’t agree during the Civil Rights Movement. There’s no race that agrees on everything. That’s a myth. Some cultures may facilitate collaboration differently, but NO race is totally united. Accomplishments and progression are achieved through unified groups within each race.

The truth is that in my life, I have been equally helped and hindered by both Blacks and Whites. There are times when both Black and White people could have acted in my behalf and chose not to do so…and so have I. Yes, I know there are other racial issues, but in America, the biggest race conversation has always been Black and White. I’m blessed to have friends in all races and cultures.


I will never have an us against them attitude!


It’s God’s will that we are all one in Christ…

Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus

…which by the way wasn’t White or Black (that’s another converstion), Christ was born Jewish but existed before there were Jews or any other ‘race’ (John 1:1-14). And, the world was given the ‘oracles’ of God (Romans 3:2) through the Jewish culture and context.

But, even the Jews aren’t a race. Notice that through Abraham God didn’t raise up a race. He raised a faith. Read more about that in my article, FAITH, NOT RACE…


I will never have an us against them attitude.


I love people…all people! I love everyone, but my first allegience is to God. Because of that…

Sometimes I will piss off Black people…

Sometimes I will piss off White people…

Sometimes I will piss off Asians, Latinos etc.

Sometimes I will piss off Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and, yes Christians.

But, that’s okay as long as I DON’T piss off God.

I’m Christian first, then Black…but I love everyone.

I will stand for you equally as long as you are in harmony with God’s truth.

I will never have an us against them attitude!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

VAIN OR PLAIN: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOURSELF?

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GRACEFUL SWAN OR UGLY DUCKLING?

No matter…

How great your mind…you didn’t make it.

How beautiful your face…you didn’t mold it.

What you’ve accomplished in the world…you don’t move it.

How dumb you think you are…God made it.

How ugly you feel you look…God molded you.

How much you’ve failed in the world…God keeps it moving to give you another chance.


Thinking too much of yourself will bring you down.

Not thinking enough of yourself will keep you down.


Notice the parable of Jesus mentioned in Luke 14…

 Luke 14:7-11 (NKJV)

So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

In other words…Eventhough you shouldn’t think too much of yourself when you get there, you sill have to think enough of yourself to go.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

EVEN GOD CAN’T BE A MOTHER…

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God is…

All-powerful!

All-knowing!

And, everywhere at the same time.

There is nothing impossible to Him but there’s still a few things He can’t do…

He can’t die.

He can’t lie.

He can’t fail…


And, He can’t be a MOTHER.


Yes, I know we say He’s a father to the fatherless and a mother to the fatherless…and He can feel those voids in our lives, but…

Notice what Psalm 68:5 says…

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.

It says that our loving heavenly FATHER is to the fatherless, but not a mother to the  motherless.

He’s our FATHER, but,

God gave a special role to women. He gave them honor of being the first connection to every life on this earth. To nurture every life…to introduce every person to the world, and with that role comes a special bond. There’s nothing like a mother’s love.

Even when it comes to our salvation, in the fullness of time, God still didn’t step outside of the authority He gave to women by still using a woman to bring His Son into the world.

Yes, He could have made another man of ‘dust’ if He wanted, but He chose Mary to be a Mother to our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Jesus Christ.

Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law,

There’s nothing like a mother’s love. That’s why it’s possible for some women who didn’t even physically birth a child into the world to still have the anointing to fulfill a mother’s role and love…it is a gift of God to the child and mother.

In those unfortunate circumstances when a mother does not live up to her role, even though a father can step it up or step in…nothing can ‘replace it’. Sometimes there is just a void, unless another ‘woman’ steps in (grandmother, aunt, sister, adopted mother).

Praise God for the blessing of mothers!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

PLEASE HELP ME LET SOMEONE KNOW THEY AREN’T ALONE IN THEIR STRUGGLE…

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There’s something going on!

In talking to people…

In reading posts on social media…

In people confiding in me…

I’ve noticed especially, in the last year or two, there seems to be an intense attack on the Body of Christ by the enemy. So many devoted Christians are reaching out sharing the fact that they are going through a variety of CRAZY situations. Sometimes one situation right after another…without a chance to absorb the blow.

There are times when you’re deep in your own struggle, that you can feel as though you’re all alone. That no one else is going through what you’re going through. That no one else can understand or relate to your struggle. That God has forgotten about you.

My family and I are going through our own challenges right now…together. But I know everyone doesn’t have someone with whom to share their struggle. This is especially for you.

Even if you aren’t going through some of the severe persecutions to the point of bloodshed (Hebrews 12:3-4), that were not only endured in the past, but are still being endured by some Christians today…your personal struggle is still difficult TO YOU!

Please help me encourage someone else right now…

While letting God know that in the midst of your struggle, pain, uncertainty, heartache, betrayal, sickness, shame, financial problems, persecution …whatever you’re going through, let God know that you still love Him and trust Him.


Help me let someone else know they aren’t struggling alone…

If you’re going through a trial, please COMMENT OR REPLY, “I LOVE YOU AND TRUST YOU LORD”!


1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV)

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

CELEBRATING WHAT WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF PART 1…THE CIVIL WAR.

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The American Civil War was a horrible time in the past, and it’s legacy and how people feel it should be remembered causes division today. Yes, it should be remembered, but not celebrated.

There has been much controversy and disagreement concerning efforts to remove certain images of the Confederacy from public places and entities.

Those who defend these images claim they are historic symbols, and they assert that those who want them removed don’t understand, know or appreciate history.

The problem with too many people who claim to be Christian is that they celebrate aspects of their culture, past and history that they should be ashamed of.

People quickly say, “You can’t erase history.” “You can’t erase the past”.


The truth is that EVERY culture and even family has aspect of their past that they should REMEMBER, but not celebrate and glorify.


We can remember the past without honoring, glorifying and celebrating aspects of a culture and heritage that oppressed others…And, expect the descendants of those who were oppressed to honor the symbols of the oppressor.

If that’s the case, we tell the story of the American revolution, but where are the statues of King George III? Hmmm… the statue that used to exist in New York city was interestingly pulled down. Where are the British flags in our buildings…that’s our history too. 

Those who claim to be Christians cannot justify by the word of God glorifying a system and culture that supported  and thrived on American slavery. Which cannot even be compared to or defended by the ‘servanthood’ in the bible, addressed in my post, LET’S TALK ABOUT SLAVERY IN THE BIBLE…

Especially a system that was completely built upon kidnapping and selling people into slavery, which was strictly forbidden and punishable by death in the bible…

Exodus 21:16 (NKJV)

16 “He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.

The American south isn’t the only culture who committed this atrocity, but it is equally wrong.

God had Israel remember their past, but without graven images. Could this be one of the reasons He forbade making graven images? People tend to honor (worship) them. We honor God WITHOUT a statue or a flag.

Exodus 20:3-6

“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

If you notice this commandment goes beyond worshipping vs 3. It says don’t make ANY images first (v 4), THEN don’t bow down to them (vs 5).

The fact is that you can honor the past without disobeying God. This isn’t the first time that we have blatantly disobeyed God in our ‘establishment’. Notice that when people testify in court, or take office, they are asked to ‘swear in’ on a bible that strictly forbids swearing…

Matthew 5:34-37  (NKJV)

34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Think about it…people don’t celebrate shameful aspects of their family history.

If your parent or grandparent was drunk or criminal do you celebrate that? It’s your history.

If your father beat your mother do you celebrate that? It’s your history?

We remember that Judas betrayed Jesus, but we don’t celebrate it.

The Jews remember war between Israel and Judah, but they don’t celebrate it.

The enemy keeps us divided and holds us back by convincing us that we should celebrate things that we should be ashamed of. God repeatedly tells Israel that they should remember the sins of their ‘fathers’, but not glorify them…

Hebrews 3:8  (NKJV)

Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,

I ask you to consider this article with an open heart to God…not with your emotions.

 This is the first in as series of articles that address CELEBRATING THINGS THAT WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL…

wp-image-2090410184jpg.jpgAs we were riding down the street the other day, my wife noticed a car that we both like. She said, “Did you see that ________?”

I just missed it because I was paying attention to the road, and for a moment I caught myself reaching for a remote control to rewind so I could see it.

I’ve become so accustomed to watching live television with the convenience of being able to rewind it on a DVR, that my first reaction was to try and REWIND REAL LIFE.

Our technology, if we aren’t careful, can give us the illusion that we actually have more control than we do.

We can instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world.

We can even see them on our portable devices…that’s Jetson’s stuff!

We can walk into a hot room, and within minutes make it comfortable. We can send information instantly via text, email, fax or scan. Just take a look out of your window and look at the buildings and infrastructure than humans have achieved.

We allow traffic signals to manage the chaos of everyday traffic. We don’t think twice about planes flying over our homes. We have weapons that have allowed us to ‘control’ animals much larger, stronger and faster than us. Even the bible says:

Psalm 115:16 (ESV)
16  “The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of men” Psalm 115:16 (ESV).
God has given man dominion of the earth:

Genesis 1:26-28 (ESV)
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

But in an instant, with the right natural disaster, God can snatch all of our technology and remind us who is really in control.

Psalm 135:6 (ESV)

Whatever the Lord pleases, he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

‘OUR’ WARS: MAY HIS FORCE BE IN YOU…

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Our spiritual wars started ‘a long time ago’…

Ephesians 6:12(NKJV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


MAY HIS FORCE BE IN YOU!


GOD is the SOURCE! Psalm 121:2

JESUS CHRIST is theVOICE!  John 1:14

HOLY SPIRIT is the FORCE!  Acts 1:8, Romans 8:11

THREE AUTHORITIES – ONE GOD!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

LORD, I NEED A MIRACLE…NEVER MIND.

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One morning not long ago I prayed, “Lord, I need a miracle!”

As I prayed God reminded me of something powerful. I’m going to share with you verbatim how it went, and I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me….

Lord, I NEED a miracle…

Lord I WANT a miracle….

LORD I AM a miracle….

Never Mind…THANK YOU JESUS!

Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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