THE POWER IN YOUR POSITIVE RESPONSE…

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Be careful how you respond to everyone today. Those who smile…Those who frown…Those who treat you with respect…Those who snap at you unfairly…

Those who walk by with without speaking…

Those who want to be left alone…Those who won’t seem to leave you alone…


You never know what people are going through


You don’t know what someone is struggling through WITHOUT drugs, alcohol, bad relationships, resorting to crime…

You don’t know what people are going through. What family, financial or personal struggle they are enduring. You don’t know what devastating news they just received. What physical, emotional or psychological pain or abuse they are enduring.  You don’t know what they have ‘given to the Lord to handle’. And, you don’t know when they aren’t strong enough to give it to Him yet.

Everyone doesn’t react to stress, trouble, pain, resistance or negativity the same. Some people just don’t handle it well. In fact, we all have those moments.

That’s why…


No matter what, your reaction to them is crucial.


You could be the person God put in their path to let them know He still loves them and is there for them. Or, you could be the person that leads to their downward spiral…your reaction.

That’s why we should always react with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Sound familiar?

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

When we are led by God’s spirit, we breathe life into every environment that we occupy. Your reaction according to the Fruit of His Spirit can diffuse the influence of the enemy. And, even if it doesn’t change the situation immediately, it will plant a seed of God that may take root and grow later.

Remember this…

Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)

A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

 

 

 

 

 

I’M SO ASHAMED OF MYSELF…

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As I looked at what was on the menu for lunch today in the cafeteria at my office, I didn’t see anything I really wanted, so I took a walk through downtown Memphis to grab a bite to go from somewhere. As I walked down the sidewalk, I realized that I really didn’t have a taste for anything in particular, and I honestly didn’t want to spend $10 on lunch today. So, I decided to go back to the office and make myself a salad. While working my way back, I noticed a man who was obviously in need in my path. Now, normally I don’t hesitate to buy lunch for someone in need or help them if I can, but today…


I found myself beginning to cross the street early to avoid him and take out my phone to appear to be talking…


But, I didn’t cross the street. I walked by him with my phone to my cheek and asked, “Are you alright?”

He responded, “No I’m not sir. I need $6 to get into the shelter. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. I really need some help.” I’ve worked with the homeless to know when someone is trying to take advantage of you, but even if he was…that would be between him and God. It’s not going to break me to leave behind an example of God’s love. To be a possible answer to a prayer. To confirm that someone has value. To let someone see that people still care…even if I don’t eat lunch myself. So, I gave him what he asked for, chatted for a moment and had prayer with him. I then asked him to pray for me.


But, I’m so ashamed of myself for briefly hardening my heart. I know what God told us about helping those in need…


Deuteronomy 15:7-8 (NKJV)

“If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.

 Proverbs 21:13 (NKJV)

13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard.

 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 it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

 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 4:17 (NKJV)

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

I feel ashamed that God has given me more than enough for today, that it crossed my heart to withhold being a blessing to someone in need.

I ask God to forgive me and thank Him for allowing me to ‘come to myself’.

Have you done something, or not done something that left you ashamed? If so, take a deep breath. Yep, that’s proof that you still have an opportunity to repent, and even if you can’t ‘make right’ what you’re ashamed of, you can FIND A WAY to share God’s love, and resolve to do better.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

ARE YOU PRAYING TO COME OUT OF A STORM IN YOUR LIFE?

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Are in a storm? A challenge? Are in a trial of your faith? Are in a storm that God placed in your life to grow you? Or, are you in a storm you placed in your own life?


Are you living the consequences of a bad decision?


Are you in a period of resistance, or are you coming out of an oppression you placed on yourself?

Are you praying to come out? Hoping to come out? Trusting God for deliverance?


Here is a powerful affirmation from the word of God for you to declare, pray, shout, praise and claim in the name of the Lord all day today, tomorrow, every day until God brings you out!


Psalm 118:16-18 (NKJV)

16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
17 I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.

God may be turning things around, so don’t give up…DON’T GIVE UP IN THE ‘TURN AROUND’!

Verse 17 let’s you know that you’re still here for a reason. And, what that reason is!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

MARRIAGE FUN: EVERYBODY PLAYS THE FOOL SOMETIMES…

 

One key to a strong marriage is to never forget how to have fun together…even in moments that aren’t so funny. Every now and then my wife will say something to me or look at me with an expression that clearly says, “Fool”, even though she didn’t say it. The “Fool” is silent, jus like the “h” in honest, or the ‘p” in psychology.

Don’t let those moments ‘go south’! Turn them into a fun memory. Check out the video from our “SONday Blessing” series of videos promoting fun, healthy strong marriages through our mutual love of ‘Old School’ music. It’s the perfect example of being called a fool, with the word fool ‘remaining silent’. We ask you to go find these beautiful classic songs and add them to your playlists. This one features The Main Ingredient’s, “Everybody Plays the Fool” with the late great Cuba Gooding Sr.

If it blesses you, you can see more videos and music on my wife’s Facebook fan page…

https://www.facebook.com/MechelleJohnsonMusic/

Or her YouTube Channel…

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWR2NdeCk5nP6cDFyfwwGvg

Feel free to share it if you like. We just want to make marriage look fun and cool in an age that so many are failing.

We celebrate our 30th anniversary on Septermber 25th. So we encourage you to enjoy your lives together and learn to make the most of every moment. God has commanded that we do…

Ecclesiastes 9:9 (NKJV)

Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

PLEASE DON’T BE A SPIRITUAL ECLIPSE…

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Isn’t it interesting how God created some natural things to be a shadow of heavenly things?

Hebrews 8:5 (NKJV)

who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”[a]

Think about the sun and the moon. The sun produces it’s own light…

The moon only reflects the light of the sun. In fact, the only way we have light in darkness is when the moon reflects the light from the sun.

But we all know that every now then the moon will ‘get in the way’, and its shadow will block the light from the sun. We all now this is called an eclipse.

Does this sound familiar?

Think of the Son of God and man (mankind). The Son produces His own light…

John 8:12  (NKJV)

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Man only reflects the light of the sun. In fact, the only way we have light in darkness is when man reflects the light from the Son…

 Matthew 5:16  (NKJV)

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Get it?


Sun/Moon    Son/Man


We must make sure that we live our lives so that we are reflecting the light of the Son of the God, our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ – and not blocking it.

Please don’t be a spiritual eclipse.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GODLY MARRIAGE: HOW SEX IS SUBMISSION AND HONOR PERFECTED (Graphic but Holy)…

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Sex is a beautiful, rewarding blessing given to man and woman, but meant to be enjoyed responsibly within the bounds of marriage. His word makes that clear in both the Old and New Testaments…and it’s joys are evident throughout…

Proverbs 5:18-19 (NKJV)

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love

 Song of Solomon 1:2 (NKJV)

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
For your[b] love is better than wine.

 1 Corinthians 7:1-3 (NKJV)

7 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband

It is intended to be the highest level of human intimacy physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.

It is a connection that makes two become one, and the only diversion that our God who made creation in consistent numerical order diverts from the norm. It’s when we multiply by adding, and the product/sum is unique in all mathematics (when 1 + 1 =3).

Genesis 1:28 (NKJV)

28 Then God BLESSED them, and God said to them, “Be FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

His holy intent for this union is perverted when consummated outside the bond of marriage…

1 Corinthians 6:16 (NKJV)

16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”[a]

 Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

God created us physiologically and psychologically so that sex would be the perfection of the submission and honor that He commands from wives and husbands respectfully…


WIVES


 1 Peter 3:1a

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands…

Think of how God created woman so sexual intercourse can only take place through her perfect submission. Graphic but true: as the King James Version puts it, a man can only ‘know his wife’ (Genesis 4:1) unless he physically accesses her most intimate spot. Where is this located? Between her legs…not in the front…not in the back, but between her legs closer to the middle. The ONLY way he can get to that spot is if she allows him. This access is the ultimate act of submission, granted most often by her opening her legs to him. She must open herself to receive her husband into her. But, her psychological state of mind must be submitted also. Even if he is allowed physical access, she also has to submit psychologically to allow arousal. Her mind must be submitted to her husband, as well as attracted to him physically in order for her to most intimate spot to ‘react’ properly to accommodate him to both their enjoyment ( I think you know what I mean). God created woman, so that total physical and mental submission is required for sex.


HUSBANDS


 1 Peter 3:7a (NKJV)

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel…

God commanded that husband honor their wives. Of course man is the stronger sex. As much as a woman was created for submission for sex to take place, a man is strong enough to force himself on her. When a man forces himself on a woman she’s not submitting and he’s not honoring, married or not, this is rape. God commands the husband to honor her as the weaker person in the relationship. When a man submits to his wife by restraining his strength and allowing her to submit, this is one way he honors her as the weaker vessel. Not by forcing her legs open. Not by forcing himself inside her. Only by allowing her to become aroused through physical and mental submission and physical attraction.

Submission and honor. Honor and submission. Without both, sex becomes something dreadful rather than something beautiful. It becomes a curse rather than a blessing. But, when it works perfectly, it’s not only how God’s wisdom provided for us to be fruitful and multiply, it’s also a wonderful gift to help keep couples close and marriages strong. For more on this please read….IF THE ‘BIG O’ WAS TOO BIG (GOD’S WISDOM)…

Submit to one another. Honor one another. And,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

3 THINGS GODLY ADVISORS SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE RESIGNING BECAUSE OF TRUMP’S HORRIBLE REACTION…

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Two of my fears of Trump occupying office of President of The United States were

1) The fact that based on his actions and behavior, from my view, does not display (1) Fruit of the Spirit…

Galatians 5:22-23  (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

2) He displays a very low-level of emotional intelligence…

Emotional Intelligence was coined by researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, and made more well-known by author Dan Goleman in his 1996 book. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, recognize, understand and manage one’s own emotions, as well as those of others.


Many of Donald Trump’s advisors have been resigning based after his choice of words and reaction to the unrest in Charlottesville VA. I’m not going to re-tell the story, but he asserted that those who counter-protested Neo-Nazi and White Supremist protesters were just as bad, and stated that there are “fine people on both sides”. It wasn’t just the fact that Trump said what he said, but it was also the obvious lack of emotional intelligence he displayed during his press conference, as he has in the past.

His statement and behavior repulsed many people, including me. As a result, many of his advisors resigned from their appointed positions. My first reaction was, Yes! What an awesome statement and assertion of values.

However, then I began to think about the word of God. What’s are good examples of this in the bible?

Hmmmm….

Consider this…

God strategically placed Joseph as second in command in Egypt to serve under a pagan Pharoah who oppressed the children of Israel and considered Egyptians to be superior. Joseph’s position allowed him to eventually save his family. (Genesis Chapters 37-50).

God strategically placed Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Belteshazzar,  Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego) as advisors to Nebuchadnezzar by having him select them himself. He was a pagan king, who oppressed the children of Israel. He considered the Babylonians to be superior, but still requested the ‘best’ of the children of Israel to ‘serve’ (or advise) in His palace. Daniel at one time was appointed the third highest ruler in the kingdom…the pagan kingdom (Daniel Chapter 1).

Based on this, there 3 things I think that godly corporate and spiritual advisors who are opposed to Trump’s words, behavior and policies should consider before resigning.


WAS TRUMP SELECTING THEM GOD’S WAY OF PLACING THEM THERE?

Donald Trump selected these men and women. They didn’t apply for their positons. I don’t know what his motives were, but he did select them. Joseph, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah didn’t ‘apply’ for their positions either. God placed them there…even if it was through captivity. But, God was looking at the big picture. He placed them there for His purpose, and to save their own people. Had they refused to serve…even if by death, they could not have done what God had for them to do.

THEIR INFLUENCE MAY BE GOD’S WAY OF ENSURING HIS VOICE IS HEARD

Josesph’s, Daniel’s, Hananiah’s, Mishael’s and Azariah’s presence in these pagan leaders’ adminstrations was God’s presence in their administrations. Could this be true for a truly godly advisor chosen by Trump? Remember, Potiphar’s house was blessed just by Joseph being there…

Genesis 39:5 (NKJV)

So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.

If Trump decides to listen to them…If he does in fact take their advice, then that’s God’s way of getting His voice and influence in that administration. I know, I know…many people say he’s not listening to his advisors. He’s doing what he wants to do, and even belittling those in his own adminstration who oppose him.

EVEN IF TRUMP DOESN’T LISTEN TO THEM, THEY’RE HOLDING A SPOT

Even if Trump doesn’t take their advise, these individuals are still holding a spot that could be held by someone who agrees with Trumps ideology and behavior. If they resign, he can replace them with someone who would help further damage the godly character of the country.

People need to be led by God for themselves, considering the Word of God, as to what decision they make. However, sometimes God places His people close to those not being led by Him for a reason.

 

NOW, DO YOU SEE ONE REASON WHY GOD FORBADE GRAVEN IMAGES…

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Exodus 20:4-5 (NKJV)

 “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

“You can’t erase history!” That’s what so many so passionately proclaim when they protest the removal of confederate monuments and symbols from public places.

Think of all the historical figures and events that you remember without a statue or monument. Monuments aren’t necessarily about remembering…they’re about celebrating, honoring and even worship.

But, if God forbade us from erecting an image to represent Him, why would we need one to remember a man or woman.

When God forbade graven images, it was about more than just worship. Notice that Exodus 20:4 was about forbidding to make them. Then, Verse 5 addressed bowing down and worshipping them. Does this imply that it’s a sin to make them, then it’s a further sin to worship them…Hey, I’m just asking.

God knows how we are. He knows that people have the tendency to be more caught up in the symbol that what it actually represents.

Think about how many people wear crosses, but don’t live a lifestyle or really particularly care about what that represents.

People are ready to kill over statues, flags and songs.

Being that passionate about a statue, flag or monument is worship.

I’m a Black man and I don’t need a statue to remember who Dr. Martin Luther King was. God gave the Jews the Pentateuch, which is their history. When the children of Israel erected a golden calf to represent and remember the God that brought them out of Egypt, He commanded it be torn down (Exodus 32).

To say removing a monument erases history is very simplistic thinking.

If God doesn’t need a monument to represent or acknowledge Him, then why should anyone else.

Now do you see why He forbade graven images.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

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