MAKE YOUR ENEMIES PRAY YOU DON’T DIE…

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Evening Epiphany…


Live a life for God so significant, that the impact, legacy and influence you leave behind is so powerful, that those who oppose your wish you were still alive.


Matthew 27:54 (NKJV)

 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE INTIMACY OF A MEMORY…

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One of the most precious, personal and intimate things you can share with someone…is a memory. A moment that you experienced together…good or bad.

Not necessarily the BIG moments, but the seemingly small and trivial.

The memories in your mind and spirit are between only you, the person with whom you share them, and God. That’s true intimacy.

We’re always making memories with our loved ones.

Make them good…

Because one day, that’s all you will have.

1 Corinthians 2:11(NKJV)

 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HISTORY DIDN’T TAKE PLACE IN BLACK & WHITE…

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History didn’t take place in black and white…

It wasn’t experienced in 8mm…

A lifetime wasn’t lived out in a chapter that records it.

The past can’t be contained in a book or scroll…


The past was it’s past’s future.


Those before us days and nights were just as long as ours.

They had hopes and dreams just as we do.

History was influenced by names we will never know, and countless others whose lived and died in anonymity, but were still important to those in their lives.

Today, you’re younger than you will ever be again….enjoy it.

Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

I’M SORRY IF I POST TOO OFTEN ABOUT GOD, BUT…

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I’m sorry if I post too often but, there’s inspiration and revelation everywhere…

In the good and the bad,

In the beautiful and the ugly,

In right and wrong,

In the profound and the profane,

In righteousness and in evil,

In the light and in darkness,

In peace and in chaos,

In work and in leisure,

In worship and in rebellion,

In hope and in hopelessness,

In contentment and regret.

In God’s word and the absurd…

I have to write. I have to share

Because there is inspiration and revelation everywhere…

Romans 1:20 (NKJV)

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,


What’s trivial to one could change someone else’s world.


Harmonizing…Measuring…Reconciling everything I see with God’s word is therapy for me…

I’m sorry if I share too much. But, if I don’t…I may go crazy.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

YOUR CAREER VS. YOUR CALLING…

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Jonah 1:1-3

The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it, because I see the evil things they do.” But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord by going to Tarshish.

Have you ever noticed how we ask children, “What to you want to BE when you grow up?”…Rather than, “What do you want to do?” That’s because we often define ourselves by what we do, rather than who we are.

When you think about it, some jobs or careers other than those directly related to ministry are also ministries…teaching, medicine, leadership, even law enforcement. Some jobs, in order to do them effectively you must have passion and a heart for people. You’re using your God-given abilities to earn your living. But, most jobs are occupations. They are what we do to sustain our lives, but they can change.

But, my career is my occupation…my family and my ministries are my calling.


Careers can change, but your calling is the reason you’re still on this earth. You choose your career, but God chooses your calling.


The apostles had occupations/careers. They were fishermen(Matthew 4:18-22), tent makers (Acts 18:1-4) a tax collector (Matthew 9:9-13), and Paul was a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5), but we didn’t get the Gospels and God’s word because of their careers or occupations. It was because of the calling on their lives.


REMEMBER, Jesus had an occupation. He was a carpenter…WE DIDN’T GET SALVATION BECAUSE JESUS WAS A CARPENTER! 


Jonah ran from his calling and found himself in the belly on a great fish (Jonah 1:17) to get him on task. God intervened to shift his focus. The men on the ship on which Johah boarded to flee even asked him, “What is your occupation?” (Johah 1:8). Don’t get so occupied with your career, that you neglect or ignore your calling. 

If God has to help you refocus, it may not be comfortable, but His will, will be done.

Relentlessly pursue your calling and be everything God created you to be.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU FEEL YOUR MINISTRY ISN’T GETTING ENOUGH ATTENTION…

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Anyone who involved in ministry or cause that wears the name Gospel have either gone through or are going through periods when he or she may feel their efforts aren’t getting the attention or ‘support’ that it deserves.

You know that you’re anointed. You have prayed over your decisions and you feel confident that you’re doing just what God called you to do.

But, when we deliver a message, sing a song, write a song, book or blog, launch a ministry…invest our heart, soul, passion and yes, money into our ministry…it can be devastating when people don’t seem to ‘feel it’, accept it or appreciate it.

Other than my blog, I collaborate with my wife (GospelJazz recording artist Mechelle Johnson) to write songs for our music/marriage ministry. I have been an ordained minister for over 21 years, and I have found myself second guessing my callings and investments because of the response. I found myself comparing myself and my wife to others doing the same thing (big mistake). I found myself sometimes getting upset at God because He hadn’t made things happen fast enough for me or us (Lord please forgive me). Have you?

Then I was reminded of something. The apostles were blessed to get out of town sometimes with their lives. They narrowly escaped being killed. They were beaten and imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel.

2 Thessalonians 3:1-2(NKJV)

 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.

I’m reminded of what Jesus warned in the book of John…

John 16:2(NKJV)

 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

They couldn’t download music help keep them inspired. They were going on 100% Holy Spirit!

Many of us have been spoiled by ‘amens’, captive audiences and spiritual celebrity. From the local church level to Gospel recording artists to national and international…sincere Christians can become intoxicated by the attention.

The very anointing that makes us so powerful for God can become a stumbling block when we use it to benefit ourselves or feed our egos whether than glorify the name of God.

We, myself included, can find ourselves whining and complaining if we aren’t accepted as we would like to be…

We can find ourselves begging for support and votes for awards instead of delivering what God has given us…

We can find ourselves watering down our message for mass acceptance.

If what we’re doing bears the name GOSPEL, then you must maintain the integrity of the message and count the cost. Even if it’s Gospel entertainment (and there is a place for good wholesome Gospel entertainment) be prepared for the fact that everyone may not accept what you have to share. Or, it may never be as ‘you’ envisioned.

When the notoriety means more to us than the message then the enemy has found a way to distract us.

We must be careful to never compare our progress, success or what we perceive as the lack thereof to that of others.

Galatians 6:4-5 (NKJV)

But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

What if John the Baptist had compared himself to his cousin Jesus?  He obviously entertained some doubts considering he sent his own disciples to see if Jesus was really, ‘the one’, or should they look for another…

Matthew 11:2-3 (NKJV)

 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of[a]his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

It’s only human to want to be well received, get positive feedback and be successful according to the world…but if what we’re are doing bears the name of Christ, that can’t become the focus.

If you find yourself whining, and begging for support, or chastising others for not paying enough attention to you…stop it today and focus on planting those seeds that God ordained you to plant. You never know when and how He chooses to give the increase in His own timing.

I pray in the name of Yeshua, Jesus Christ, that God keeps you encouraged and focused. God bless your ministry, and please pray for us as well.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

OVERCOMING BAD MEMORIES BY CREATING GOOD ONES…

As my wife and I move closer to our 30th anniversary, we realize that we have to make the most of every day! The bible tells us that as we live, each day can bring trouble and challenges…

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.


Our challenge is to never let the day’s trouble define the memory of that day.


My wife and I challenge ourselves to FIND A WAY to enjoy every day. It’s not always easy, but…


The best way to overcome a bad memories is to replace them with good ones.


Today, I created what I hope will be a good memory for my sweet wife as I attempted to sing, “Three Times a Lady”, by the Commodores in French!

No matter what’s going on in your life today…find a way to make a good memory!

Ephesians 5:16  (NKJV)

16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN THE PREACHER PISSES YOU OFF (From my archives)…

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Have you ever noticed how some people will ALLOW a coach to ‘cuss’ their children…

How they expect a drill Sargeant to sternly say anything get the best out of a soldier…

But, get angry (pissed off) at the preacher for a raised voice, or using sharp words to reprove and rebuke.

2 Timothy 4:2 (KJV)

 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine

To REPROVE is to disapprove, to chide to the face as worthy of blame, to expose, to convict.

To REBUKE is to reprimand, strongly warn, restrain.

EXHORTATION is encouragement..

Those who believe the word of God and accept the authority and hierarchy in the church understand what God expects of a Pastor.

Jesus, Yeshua, Himself spoke strong words to the religious leaders, those who were closest to Him, and those who rejected Him…

Hypocrites…( Matthew 15, Matthew 23)

Perverted…(Matthew 17)

Brood of vipers…(Matthew 12, Matthew 23)

Foolish…(Luke 24)

White-washed tombs…(Matthew 23)

And most offensive of all, He called them BASTARDS…

John 8:37-45 (NKJV)

 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with[l] your father.”

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

 Read all of John 8 for context. They got so angry at Jesus that they took up stones to kill Him.

After calling the Pharisees hypocrites, the disciples told Jesus…

Matthew 15:12 (NKJV)

 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

 Remember, Jesus’ rebukes were not just for the hypocritical religious leaders, but also for those closest to Him as in Matthew 17:17.

We must be reminded that love isn’t always delicate, sugary sweet words, warm feelings and heavenly promises…sometimes it’s a reminder of Hell.

When a parent disciplines or gives a child strong correction, it doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t love them.

God will hold the preacher accountable when the people aren’t warned about sin, which sometimes applies to the preacher too.

Ezekial 33: 1-9 (NASB)

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away [a]in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’

“Now as for you, son of man, I have [b]appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a [c]message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

And, warning people about sin isn’t judging, warning isn’t condemnation, it’s helping the hearers avoid condemnation.

Let us all listen with spiritual ears, when we hear words of correction, and always measure it against the word of God and not our feelings.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

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