HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN (In case you missed it)…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Many people are talented, but few are ‘special’. Prince’s talents definitely took him from beyond talented to special. Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…


That inspires me to do the same for God.


Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…


That also inspires me in ministry.


Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…


This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.


Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…


This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.


Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU, “YOU AIN’T WORTH S**T”, YOU TELL THEM THIS…

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Don’t worry, I’m not going rated ‘R’ on you but, I really think this is going to bless someone.

This is a much too common insult in our culture, and yes, the bad grammar is always intentional…

“You ain’t worth s**t! Of course, implying that someone doesn’t have the value of feces, crap, refuse, doo-doo, dung, ‘ish’.

It can be very hurtful if you allow it, especially if you are insecure or struggle with self-esteem. Or, if it’s told to a child by a parent, authority figure or peer. It’s damage can last well into adulthood.

So, let me give you a little ammunition with biblical support in case someone ever tells you, “You ain’t worth shiggity!”

God created everything with value. Everything! Even doo-doo! We all know that there’s an industry built around the use of animal dung to make mulch and fertilizer.

Why?

Because God put purpose and power, even in poop. Not only does it have value, but great value.


People pay good money for a sack of s**t at Home Depot and Lowe’s.


God, in His wisdom gave waste the power to make things grow…so even waste doesn’t have to be wasted.

But, let’s look at the bible. There, we find the ‘S’-word was used for two ‘F’-words…both FERTILIZER and FUEL. Not only did they use it to grow their food, but they used it as fuel/coal to heat their food too.

Luke 13:7-8 (NKJV)

7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.

Ezekiel 4:15 (NKJV)

15 Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.”

So, don’t get it twisted. God has value for dung. He has a purpose for poo, and He has a purpose for you.


So, if anybody ever tells you that “You aren’t worth s**t,” tell them thank you! Tell them of it’s value. And then, remind them that if they ‘ain’t’ working God’s purpose for their life, tell them “S**t is worth more than you!”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

FOR EVERYONE WHO EVER SAID, “HOW COULD THEY DO/SAY THAT TO ME”…

It’s one thing when people who aren’t close to us hurt us, but it cuts deep when we’re hurt by those we love.

“How could they do that to me?!”

“How could they say that to me?!”

I think we’ve all said it, and we’ve all done it.

How could you say that? How could you do that? I thought you loved me!

They do but…

One important thing to remember, as I often say, is that our love for one another is not perfect. God’s love is perfect, but ours isn’t.

We are all sometimes selfish, resentful, jealous, spiteful…we are all carnal sometimes….we all sometimes respond from our flesh first. And, quite frankly, we can’t help it if we aren’t walking in His Spirit…

Galatians 5:16-17(NKJV)

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Sometimes we even recognize it and resist humbling ourselves to God’s will.

Have you ever gone to bed angry knowing what God says and still went to sleep without resolving?

Most of all, I think God allows situations to happen to let us see ‘what’s inside one another’ so we won’t allow our love for one another to come between our love for God.

I believe He puts ‘checks and balances’ in place to prevent us from worshiping those closest to us…our spouse’s, our children, our parents, our friends…our pastors.

Our arguments, disagreements…even betrayals don’t necessarily mean we don’t love one another, again, they just mean our love isn’t perfect.

That’s what makes it love…our ability to sustain strong relationships through these challeges.

God wants our love for one another to be strong enough to overcome moments of ‘not being able to stand one another’, as He does us…

Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV)

6 But we are all like an unclean thing,

And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.

Remember the Apostle Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” ( 1 Corinthians 11:1) But, even Paul wasnt ALWAYS imitating Christ, and neither are we…no matter how anointed we may be.

The enemy even tries to use against one another, even when we don’t mean any harm. Look at what Jesus told Peter when he said Jesus should not be killed…

Matthew 16:23 (NKJV)

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of men”

It’s obvious that Peter meant well.

There are times when we can mean well, but come between our loved ones and God. For example, I was told by a loved one that my blog would do better if I didn’t speak out against controversial topics like gay marriage, but I’m not going to compromise God for more readers. They meant well, but the enemy was trying to use them to influence me…and we’ve all done it.

So, the next time someone you really close to you says or does something so horrible that it makes you question their love, remember our love and relationships are far from perfect. Remember that we all are sometimes led by our flesh, and remember that sometimes God reminds us to always love and trust Him above all others.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE REASON YOU CAN’T GIVE UP TODAY…

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Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)

20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Joseph ( Genesis 37-50) had plenty of days that he most likely felt like giving up…

His brothers plotted to kill him and sold him as a slave…

He was accused of sexual harassment…

He was thrown in prison for something he didn’t do…

But, he didn’t give up.

He kept his faith in the only living God.

And, through his troubles, he was strategically placed by God to save his entire family.

No matter how intense the opposition you may face…

No matter how it may seem that EVERYTHING is working against you…

Please don’t give up today…

Even if you feel ‘your life doesn’t matter anymore’…

Even if you don’t care about yourself…

Even if it seems all hope is gone…

You can’t give up today.

Because…

Your life…

Your trouble…

Your pain…

Your struggle…

AND,

Your victory…

Aren’t ONLY about you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

LINKS TO ALL MY BEBLESSTIFIED ARTICLES ON FORGIVENESS…

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When we’re struggling with forgiveness, there’s nothing more powerful than a word of encouragement that reminds of God’s expectation to forgive, without diminishing how difficult it can be. We need to know that forgiveness and being forgiven is possible and given tools to work through the difficult process.

If you’re struggling with forgiveness or being forgiven, for your convenience, here are links to my most powerful BEBLESSTIFED articles on the many aspects of forgiveness.

I pray that one or all of my topics meet you at your point of need. To God be the glory!


LINKS TO MY BEBLESSTIFED ARTICLES ON FORGIVENESS…

ADMITTING TO YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE STILL BITTER, BUT BETTER…

WHEN GOD EXPECTS US TO FORGIVE ADULTERY (CHEATING ON GOD)…

YES, EVEN GOD SOMETIMES BROUGHT UP THE PAST AFTER HE FORGAVE…

NO MATTER WHAT THEY DID, GOD DOESN’T ALLOW YOU TO HATE THEM…

ASKING GOD FOR FORGIVENESS ISN’T REPENTANCE (QUICK DEFINITION)…

IF YOU’RE STILL GLAD YOU DID IT, THEN GOD HASN’T FORGIVEN YOU…YET.

BE EASY TO APOLOGIZE TO…

DON’T BE SELFISH WHEN YOU FORGIVE…

YOU CAN FORGIVE ANYTHING…TODAY! #FORGIVENESS

GOD LOVES YOU LADIES! LISTEN TO MY WIFE’S BEAUTIFUL ANTHEM FOR WOMEN…

I wrote this song with my wife, GospelJazz recording artist Mechelle Johnson waayyyyyy back in 2001, (we’re a ministry team:-), but we didn’t record it until 2015. From 2001, to 2015, to today, the message is timeless!


It’s a beautiful walk through the bible revisiting how God’s love is demonstrated to His people, and celebrating that He loves us with that SAME love.


The song is for everyone, but my wife really wants women to identify with it’s message.

Listen to the in the video above, and please listen carefully to the lyrics. Listen as she proclaims,


“Even at times when I get caught up in the world, He let’s me know I’m still His girl!”


We pray God’s gift of exhortation is perfected in this song and it blesses you. Here are the links if you’re interested in adding it to your personal playlist. I’ve provided the lyrics below in case you want sing it in your worship service, or perform it yourself. And, if this song blesses you, please share it with someone – and check out Mechelle’s other music and our SONday Blessing videos celebrating Godly marriage on her FB page @Mechelle Johnson Music 🙂


iTunes: http://apple.co/1J3u5l6

Apple Music: http://apple.co/1MhfvxW

Amazon MP3: http://amzn.to/1EXdILQ

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1qMRMxd

Spotify: http://spoti.fi/1L8fRow


 

“THANKS FOR LOVING ME TOO” (Lyrics)

Noah’s family You saved

It rained forty days

The Hebrews were slaves

then Moses you raised

to lead them to that land

you promised Abraham.

You called him Your friend.

You showed Your love to him

Your Word tells me that Your love is so true.

I wanna say thank You Lord for loving me too.

So many people You healed

Five thousand bellies You filled

A woman in adultery one day

You sent her accusers away

She stood alone with You Lord

You said go and sin no more

You forgave her sins

You do the same for all men.

Your word tells me that Your love is so true

And I want to say thank You Lord for loving me too.

Thanks for loving me,

Thanks for loving me too. (Repeat 4x)

Thanks for loving me too

When I acted like a fool You saw me through

When at times, I get caught up in the world

You let me know…I’m still your girl.

Thanks for loving me,

Thanks for loving me too. (Repeat4x)

Thanks for loving me too

Your Word tells me, Your love is true.

You’ve shown your love, since the world begun

In the fullness of time…You gave me your Son.

Thank you Lord, for loving me. (Repeat 4x and end)

Written by Aldtric T. Johnson/Al-Go-Rhythm Music, 2001

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN WE TRY TO MANIPULATE GOD INTO BLESSING US (in case you missed it)

It’s interesting how we sometimes try to manipulate blessings out of God.

Sometimes intentionally.

Sometimes unintentionally.

Think about it. When we…

Make promises in our prayers…
Fast, but with our own selfish, personal agenda…

Isaiah 58:3 (NKJV)

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?

Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure…”

Give only so we can be blessed…

Go to church as if God owes us something for going…

Serve to be seen or only to be rewarded for our service.

Even when we do all of the ‘spiritual’ things God told us to do.

God knows our hearts…

He knows the true motivation of why we do what we do…

James 4:3 (NKJV)

3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

This may not be you, and if not…great.

But, if it is remember that we can’t trick or manipulate God into blessing us.

And, the beautiful thing is that we don’t have to.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY WE NEED MORE ‘SOUL’ MODELS THAN ‘ROLE’ MODELS…

wp-1487529517136.jpgHave you ever had God deposit something in your spirit that just made you say, “Wow!” Something that’s so simple, yet so profound? That’s how I felt when He dropped this in my spirit…

We need SOUL MODELS rather than ROLE MODELS.

Role models show you how to live.

Soul models show you how to live, but prepare you to die.

Role models show you how to live now.

Souls models show you how to live forever.

Role models give you tools to live by.

Soul models give you tools to live and die by.

Role models show you how to look on the outside.

Soul models show you how to look on the inside.

Role models teach us how to be a man or woman.

Soul models teach us to be GREATER than man or woman.

Which do you want to be?

1 Peter 2:12 (NKJV)

12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Titus 2:7-8 (NKJV)

7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GET PISSED OFF ‘JUST’ ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE…

Don’t get angry AND sin; Get angry AT sin…

Matthew 21:12-13 (NKJV)

12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”

As Jesus walked in and saw the building dedicated to God’s worship being used for commerce, He was filled with anger.

He wasn’t consumed with anger…

He wasn’t ‘mad’…

He wasn’t pissed off…

It was a controlled, righteous anger.

God’s righteous anger is noted throughout the bible, but God doesn’t angry AND sin;

He gets angry AT sin.

God tells us to get angry and sin not…


Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)

“In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…”


God doesn’t expect us to get angry and stay angry.

God doesn’t expect us to get angry and lose control.

God DOES expect us to get angry sometimes though…

He just expects us to get angry at the right things.

We are to get angry enough at…

Evil…

Injustice…

Disobedience…

Poverty…

Hunger…

Racism…

Corruption…

Bullying…

Abuse…

Drugs…

Crime…

War…

Abuse…

Oppression…

Homelessness…

Hunger…

Favoritism…

Cronyism…

Atheism…

False teaching…

False prophets…

Ignorance….

We’re supposed get angry enough to do something!

Our anger should turn into PASSION that fuels ACTION.

Think about what makes you angry. And pray for wisdom to do something about it with a level head, yet walking in the Fruit of the Spirit.

Just as Christ did, we are to get angry AT sin, not angry AND sin.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

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