WHY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DRAWN TO YOU…DRAWN TO YOU?

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Jesus was often criticized for His close association with sinners, and yes, sometimes that can be spiritually dangerous for us…

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV)

33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

But, notice why the tax collectors and sinners were drawn to Jesus in Luke Chapter 15

Luke 15  (NKJV)

Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

There were many occasions when Jesus attracted crowds of people for what He could do for them…

John 6:26  (NKJV)

26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

But, in Luke Chapter 15 they were drawn to Jesus to hear Him. The sinners were seeking the word of God. Not food. Not healing. Not things…but the word. Either way, it was God doing the drawing…

John 6:44  (NKJV)

44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

This prompted me to ask myself a question. Why are the people who are drawn to me…drawn to me? What is it about me that attracts people? Here’s the real question. Is it what is holy about me, or what is unholy about me?

So I challenge you to examine and ask yourself…


WHAT IS IT ABOUT ME THAT ATTRACTS THOSE WHO ARE DRAWN TO ME? IS IT WHAT IS HOLY, OR UNHOLY?


You can also flip this question and ask ourselves, “Why am I drawn to those to whom I’m drawn?” What is it about them that attracts me? Is it what’s holy or unholy.

Remember this…peoples’ perception of you is their reality. The reasons that people are drawn to you speaks to how and why they value you. It speaks to what value you can add to their lives.


And the value that you are to others, can be the value that you are to God…


John 15:16  (NKJV)

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

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.

 Matthew 7:18-20  (NKJV)

18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

 Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

It is critical that we continue to refine our walk with God and our usefulness to Him in His Kingdom, especially before we take the Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:28 New King James Version (NKJV)

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

We always want to make sure that it’s the God in us that draws people and not the enemy.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

THE MORNING I LET GOD DOWN BY GOING TO CHURCH INSTEAD OF THE JAIL…

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One morning back in 1999 while getting ready to go to church I received a phone call from a young friend of mine from jail…

He said, “Brother Al, I need to talk to you brother! I can’t do this! This is my third time being locked up, and I know that I will be away from my family for a very long time. I really need to talk to you!”


I responded, “Okay, I will stop by to talk to you as soon as I get out of church”.


I had ministered to this brother by phone and letters while he was in prison before. My phone would ring and I’d hear… “You have a call from ____________ at the ____________ Center for Corrections.” I would quickly respond, “Yes”.

He was very sincere, and He told me that he had been brought back to Christ while in prison. Not only that, He felt God had called Him to be a minister.

After being released he, came to church and was given the opportunity to preach his first sermon, “Are You Lame” from Acts Chapter 3. His sermon was very good. He then told me he was anxious to go and witness to the people he used to ‘run with’. Those who were his ‘partners in crime’…both figuratively and literally.

I told him, “I admire your passion to reach back and grab them, but PLEASE don’t do it until you’re strong enough, so you aren’t drawn back in. I then reminded him of the warning in the bible…

Galatians 6:1

 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 

 And also,

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV)

 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

He did in fact try to reach back, and unfortunately, he got drawn back in. That’s why he was calling me from jail.

Well, as I said…He asked me to come and talk to him that morning, and I told him that I would as soon as I got out of church.


While I was in church, he hung himself and died.


My church should have been at the jail that morning.

I let him down…

I let God down…

For religion…

For duty…

For tradition…

For ‘a form of Godliness’…

I missed the entire purpose of what church equips us to do. (Ephesians 4:12)

I missed an opportunity to save a life.

This is one of the reasons Jesus said…

Matthew 9:13 (NKJV)

 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’[a] For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”[

This is one of the reasons the bible says…

James 2:15-17 (NKJV)

 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.

This is one of the reasons the bible says…

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?

 And most definitely why Jesus said…

Matthew 25: 31-40 (NKJV)

 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

God told me to move that morning and I ignored Him, because I felt I was doing the right thing. But, had I looked closer at the word of God…I would have quickly gone to the jail.

If you feel God is placing it on your heart to move, to do something, to bless someone, to pray for someone…test it by His word…pray for wisdom, guidance and protection…and do it.

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.

BEBLESSTIFIED!

WHY WE SHOULD STOP SAYING, “FORGIVENESS ISN’T FOR THEM, IT’S FOR YOU…”

How many times have you heard someone say…“Forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you”? How many times have you said it?

It sounds good in sermons. It makes us sound deep and profound in conversations. It looks good on social media…

But, it’s simply not true and not biblical. It reduces forgiveness to a selfish act.

Think about it. What does God get out of forgiving us? What’s in it for Him. He’s still God. He’s still Holy. He still has all power. He even still has the fellowship of the angels whether He forgives us or not. So, why does He forgive us?


Because when God forgives us, He does it for US and not HIMSELF.


Granting 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’s mutually beneficial…


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 perverts the Holy intent of the GIFT of forgiveness. It’s an extension of His grace towards those in relationship with Him. That’s why the enemy tries to 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…please don’t approach it selfishly or teach others to do so.

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

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

Yes, granting forgiveness is for you too, but it’s for them first.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DOES YOUR JOB PROVOKE YOU TO SIN?

Some jobs are tough…really tough.

Tough environments…

Tough circumstances…

Tough cultures…

Tough situations…

Challenging fields and occupations…

They force interactions with…

Tough and sometimes dangerous people…

People whose goal is money rather than morality.

Some organizations have corrupt  cultures…

I’m by no means diminishing the demands…challenges or dangers of any occupation, especially those that I don’t fully understand…

But, I don’t have to understand to know that God expects HIS people to always remain in His character and integrity.

Psalm 25:21 (NKJV)

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.

The apostles were sent by God to spread the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ and start His church.

It was an extremely dangerous occupation. They were put in the path of violent and ungodly people on a regular basis.

The apostle Paul requested prayer knowing he was going to encounter people at their worst…but God still expected them to remain in His spirit of excellence.

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, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.


I sometimes hear people on certain jobs excuse profanity…obscenity…and disrespectful behavior by saying…

“Sometimes you have to get down to their level”…

Or

“That’s what it takes to get the best out of people”…

Or even

“I’m trying keep him, her or them from being soft”.

If you feel that your job regularly or sometimes forces you to…
Curse…

Cheat…

Lie..

Steal…

Manipulate…

Deceive…

Disrespect…

Demean…

Fornicate…

Commit adultery…

Facilitate or encourage the sin of others…

Or…

Regularly miss worship…

If you’re a Christian, then maybe it’s not the job for you.


I understand there are jobs that may put someone in the position to take a life to protect others…that’s not sin.

Think about your job…career…occupation.

Think about your tasks…responsibilities…expectations.

Think about what you have to do to be successful.

I hear so many people in my office use profanity, as if it makes them sound strong or confident.

I hear so many people use harsh words and behavior as if it were a necessary part of their job.

Can you think of a profession where profanity and disrespect are expected and even honored?

No matter what your occupation, God expects His people to set the standard of behavior…especially in difficult circumstances.

Colossians 3:23(NKJV)

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

BEE ALL GOD CREATED YOU TO BEE! (BEEBLESSTIFIED…)

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If you like flowers…

Or plants…

Or fruit…

Or breathing…

Then you should thank God for BEES.

God uses them to pollinate plants so the plants can reproduce. As you probably already know, God uses plants to produce the oxygen that we need to breathe.

So, God uses BEES to multiply.

To make more plants…to make more fruit…to make more oxygen, so we can live.

God uses bees to fill the earth.


In the beginning one of the first things God told man to do is multiply

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.”


God also told us to bear fruit

John 15:8 (NKJV)

8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.


When we bring others to Christ…

When we make disciples…

We’re bearing fruit for God’s Kingdom.

Fruit isn’t WHAT you obtain, but WHO you obtain.

When we plant the seed of God’s word, we’re pollinating God’s Kingdom.

When we’re doing what God told us to do, we’re BEEING what He created us to BEE.

BEE BLESSTIFIED!

 

EVEN ATHEISTS ACKNOWLEDGE GOD WHEN…

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You may not be able to see viruses or bacteria with the naked eye, but when you catch a cold or get sick you acknowledge their existence.

You may not be tech savvy, you may not have a computer or smart phone, and you may renounce the internet, but YOUR information is not only on the internet, but it affects your life daily.

There are many who claim that there is no God. They don’t believe in Him, and they make every effort to provide empirical ‘proof’ He’s not there, but…


Even the atheist acknowledges God’s is real when…


He or she takes shelter from storms, heat or cold.
Jonah 1:4-5 (NKJV)
4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.
5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load.[a] But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.

He or she enjoys His creation…
Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)

45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

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,

He or she adjusts their lives, attire, behavior for the seasons…
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

He or she needs a light to pierce through the darkness of night…
Matthew 5:15 (NKJV)
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

Our science, our medicine and our knowledge can’t heal us or save our lives…
Luke 8:43 (NKJV)
43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,


But the greatest evidence of God’s existence and His love is His mercy, and giving those who don’t believe in Him time to do so.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Our science, our medicine and our knowledge can’t heal us or save our lives…
Luke 8:43 (NKJV)
43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,


But the greatest evidence of God’s existence and His love is His mercy, and giving those who don’t believe in Him time to do so.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

‘BE-LEAF’ GOD’S BEAUTIFUL PROMISES…

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Just as some plants are only beautiful for a season, and some others flourish year round…

The glory of this life is temporary, but our eternal glory will never fade away.

Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Isaiah 40:8  (NKJV)

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

I PROMISE THIS WILL INSPIRE YOU…

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When you have the power to inspire, you have the power to change the world.


Where does inspiration take you? Inspiration takes you from…


Silence to Speaking…

Sitting to Standing…

Ignorance to Information…

Passive to Passion…

Apathy to Action…


Inspiration is so powerful, that it works the same for both good and evil, that’s why it’s so important that God, and His word, be the source of all inspiration.


2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Hebrews 10:24 (NKJV)

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NKJV)

11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.


Inspiration is everywhere because God is everywhere…


God is omnipresent, He’s everywhere at the same time. You never have to look for Him. That’s why you never have to LOOK for inspiration – it’s everywhere.

You can find inspiration in…

Good and evil…

The profane and profound…

The young and the old…

The rich and the poor…

In light and in darkness…

Yes, you can even find inspiration in darkness. The darkest situation. The darkest heart. You can find inspiration in the darkest people and moments in human history even if it’s inspiration to never be like them and to never let those moments happen again. You have to find inspiration in darkness – because it takes inspiration to get out of the deepest, darkest most hopeless and evil situations.


What does inspiration do to you?


Inspiration ignites something within you. It moves you to passion, so even if you think everything I have written here is a bunch of bull, the fact that it moved you to that conclusion is inspiration.

Real inspiration moves you. Real inspiration will not leave you where you are…how you are…or who you are.

It took inspiration to move 12 men to turn what appeared to be as shameful death on the cross, and spread the timeless message of eternal life. The inspiration that Jesus placed inside them changed the world…

Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)

19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

So, who are you inspiring? Yes, you! No matter who you are, you qualify to inspire someone.

Remember that you’re never too…

‘Broke’ or wealthy

Smart or dumb…

Overweight or underweight…

Attractive or unattractive…

Influential or Insignificance…

Broken or unhealthy…

To inspire someone.

So pray to God that you can be an inspiration to someone to His glory! You were made in His image. That doesn’t mean that you have His nose. His eyes. But it does mean you have His ‘walk’. His Spirit. His character – it means that you too can be an inspiration.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

IS GOD HIDING YOU IN YOUR STORM…?

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Think of all the people in the bible who had to be hidden in the midst of difficult situations, circumstances trials and storms. Yes, sometimes God gave His people power over the enemy, but many times before that victory He had to hide them first.

Rahab hid the spies …

Joshua 2:4 (NKJV)

4 Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.

Moses had to be hidden…

Hebrews 11:23 (NKJV)

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

David hid from Saul…

1 Samuel 20:24 (NKJV)

24 Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast.

Even Jesus had to be hidden in Egypt until it was safe.

Matthew 2:13 (NKJV)

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”

He was in the obscurity of Nazareth until His appointed time.
Luke 2:51-52 (NKJV)
51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

He even had to sneak away from the crowd at times because His time had not yet come.

John 8:59 (NKJV)

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple,[a] going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Is God hiding you right now? Is He hiding you in…

A Trial or Storm…

A ‘Dead-end Job’ that you Hate…

In Someone Else’s Shadow…

Obscurity?

Sometimes hiding places are small, smelly, dark, cramped…uncomfortable.

Before you try to force your way out. Before you try to make sure everyone knows your name…knows your opinion…knows what you are capable of, make sure that God isn’t hiding you until your appointed time.

If you weren’t being restricted by your uncomfortable situation right now, would you really be fulfilling God’s real purpose for your life. You may think you’re ready, but are you?


Maybe, just maybe the storm that you’re in right how wasn’t created to harm you, but to hide you.


Maybe God is hiding you, until your appointed time.

Psalm 32:7 (NKJV)

7 You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance

Psalm 119:114 (NKJV)

114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.
Psalm 27:5-6 (NKJV)

5 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.

6 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.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW HER DEMENTIA GAVE HER HOPE IN HER LAST DAYS…

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Let me first say that I in no way mean any disrespect to anyone dealing with the pain of a loved one suffering from any form of dementia. However, God does have a reason for everything He does. This true story showed me how what we sometimes think of as a ‘curse’ can be a blessing in disguise for some.

Years ago I used to do nursing home ministry. I would visit two nursing homes, once each month. As I walked down through the halls I would see the same faces. There were some residents who had regular visits from family and friends, but unfortunately, there too many who never got a visitor…ever.

There were also varying levels of mental health. I would hear one lady in particular at one of the nursing homes say the same thing every time I visited. She would sit in her wheelchair in the entrance to her room as I walked by…she would smile and say,


“I’m going home today”.


No, she wasn’t going home. She was one of the residents who never had visitors, and her family had moved on with their lives. At first I felt sorry for her because her situation seemed so hopeless…but then God gave me an awesome revelation.


In her hopeless situation…her dementia was a blessing!


Blessing? How was her dementia a blessing?


In reality, she woke up every morning WITHOUT hope of going home.

But through her dementia, she woke up every morning WITH hope of going home.


God gave her a reason to smile EVERY DAY.

God gave her something to look forward to EVERY DAY.

God gave her HOPE in a HOPELESS situation.

She spent her last days with HOPE.

What many may think of as a CURSE, was actually a BLESSING to her.

God’s wisdom is amazing!

He can can pull HOPE out of HOPEless…

FORTUNE our of unFORTUNATE…

Stop and give God praise for His unfathomable wisdom. Paul was right in Romans 11…

Romans 11: 33-36
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

STOP WHINING AND WORK YOUR MINISTRY…

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For those of you who don’t know, not only do I blog, but I write songs for my wife who is Gospel/Jazz artist, Mechelle Johnson. She also sings classic R&B covers of many of the songs that make up the soundtrack of our 30-plus year marriage with her group, Natural Elegance. It’s part of our marriage ministry (Google SONday Blessing videos) that encourages strong, healthy, joyous Godly marriages between a man and woman. Our motto is…


You minister to the soul with a Gospel song, but you minister to a marriage with a love song!


We are based in a suburb of Memphis TN, and I must say that except for our very supportive church family at Oak Spring Church and a few others, we have gotten very little support from the ‘church community’. However, we have gotten MUCH SUPPORT from the local non-church community, and on radio in different cities throughout the country. I like to call it Matthew’s House ministry, reaching people beyond the ‘four walls’ of the physical church building…

Matthew 9:10-12 (NKJV)

10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

Soooo, I said all that to say this…


I see so many Gospel artists and ministers, both locally and nationally either whining and complaining on social media about not getting support or begging for people to vote for them to receive awards.

Let me say this very lovingly…


STOP WHINING AND WORK YOUR MINISTRY


If you are faithful with your message, God will promote you in His timing.

He will make sure that the people He wants to receive your message…get it.

The apostles never whined about their message not being received. They never whined about not getting supported, and they definitely never begged for awards. On the contrary, they were blessed to get out of town alive sometimes. They often did not have a ‘captive’ audience. They even celebrated when they were beaten for the Gospel…

Acts 5:41 (NKJV)

41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His[a] name.

We must be honest with ourselves as artists, musicians, singers, preachers, teachers, ministers, writers, and yes bloggers…


Do we want influence for the sake of God’s kingdom or recognition and celebrity?

Do we want awards or do we want to inspire people and save souls?

Do we want to bring glory to our name or God’s name?


Of course, it’s natural to want recognition and to even be paid well for your efforts, but if it’s truly a ministry for you, then you can’t be disappointed and ready to quit if you don’t receive it.


And, you definitely don’t want to be caught whining and complaining. It weakens the cause of Christ.


Yes, I would love to sustain my family well and be recognized with my writing, our music and sharing what God has placed on my heart, and the bible supports that…

1 Corinthians 9:14 (NKJV)

14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

Galatians 6:6 (NKJV)

6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
Proverbs 18:16 (NKJV)

16 A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.

But, if you don’t get the attention that you feel you deserve, God allows us to have our private human moments between ourselves and Him, just as the psalmists did in so many of the lamenting Psalms.


Please don’t publish your woes on social media and chastise the people who you feel are ignoring you.


Stop complaining and begging for support. When people value what God has placed inside you, you don’t have to beg them to listen to you, watch you, or read what you have to share.

I know it get’s frustrating sometimes. Of course, I’ve been guilty of whining and complaining sometimes myself.

Remember the sharp encouragement in Hebrews Chapter 12…

Hebrews 12:12  (NKJV)

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,

Have your private moment between you and God…

Thank God for trusting you with His word and your gift and…

Preach on!

Teach on!

Sing on!

Play on!

Write on!

Even if you think no one is listening.

If you bless just one person…that’s good fruit, and good seed in good soil.


STOP WHINING AND START WINNING SOULS!


Work your ministry.

If this article blessed you, then you might also enjoy these..

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

JESUS WAS NEVER NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD…

WHINING IS A CALM TANTRUM (From my archives)…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT DOES GOD GET OUT OF BEING FAITHFUL TO US? REALLY, WHAT’S IN IT FOR HIM…?

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God is faithful! God is trustworthy! God is dependable…every day!

Lamentations 3:22-23  (NKJV)

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

We can always trust and depend on Him! He will always remain true to His Word, His will, His promises and He will never leave or nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

 He is faithful to those of us who believe in Him, even when we aren’t…

2 Timothy 2:13  (NKJV)

13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

He is even faithful to those who don’t believe in Him…

Romans 3:3-4  (NKJV)

For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:

“That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.”[a]


Faithfulness is meant to be reciprocated, but we all know that doesn’t always happen. You can only be faithful, TRULY faithful to someone or something you TRULY love.


Our faithfulness to God or one another isn’t perfect because our love for Him and one another isn’t perfect.

But, God’s is.

He was and is always faithful to Israel (Read Psalm 78).

Think for a moment of how faithful God is to you, even when you (like myself) have at times put foolishness before Him. When you have put other people before Him. When you have put things before Him. When you put the enemy before Him.


But, what does God get out of His faithfulness to us? What’s in it for Him?


Sometimes love…

Sometimes repentance…

Sometimes faithfulness in return…


But, only sometimes.


God’s faithfulness is a fulfillment of His love and commitment to us.

So, to answer the question, “What does our Omniscient, Omnipotent God get out of being faithful to us?” What’s in it for Him?” When we’re honest with ourselves…


ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!


It’s just a perfect expression of His unfailing love…our example…our standard.

If you’re grateful for God’s faithfulness, why don’t you stop right now and tell Him thank you. If you can’t find the words, Psalm 115:1 will work just fine…

Psalm 115:1  (NKJV)

115 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

LEARNING TO LIVE & WORK WITH PEOPLE YOU DON’T TRUST…

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Your success, effectiveness and peace is not only determined by how well you relate with people you DO TRUST…but how well you are at relating with people that you DON’T TRUST.

Our ultimate trust is in God, but He didn’t put us on this earth alone.

God has also ordained it that there is little that we can accomplish alone.

Even God Himself uses His angels to relate to us…

Hebrews 11:14 (NKJV)

 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

God let the captives in Babylon know that though they trusted Him, they were to pray for the peace of the city in which they lived because their peace was dependent on the city’s peace…

Jeremiah 29:7(NKJV)

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.

Jesus sent the first disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1)

The apostles worked in pairs, teams and even depended heavily on the early church for help.

As much as we are interdependent on another in this life, God also warned us about putting our trust in people rather than Him…

Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)

It is better to trust in the Lord. Than to put confidence in man.

Of course we all want to be in relationships and situations with people we trust, but that’s not always possible…Sometimes we can’t even trust our own selves.

It seems it’s getting harder and harder to trust people these days.

We have families, jobs, churches, communities, organizations that we are all a part of in which to live, but the fact is that you KNOW you can’t trust everyone…

In your family…

On your job…

In your church…

In your community…

In our government…

Sometimes we go through seasons and situations when we can’t trust our spouse, children, parents or even friends…because we are human beings being human.

Do we abandon these relationships and resources because of the lack of trust or total trust?

Of course not!


Your ability to be successful, effective and have peace in your life is just as dependent upon your ability to work and relate with people you DON’T trust as well as those you DO trust.


How do you do it?

First of all trust God first. If He has you in a situation, or you have allowed yourself into a situation where trust is limited…you still have to lean on His word, truth, character and TRUST HIM.

Second pray for wisdom and discernment so you can know WHO to trust and WHO NOT to trust.

Third pray for those whom you don’t trust that they submit themselves to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ. It’s bigger than just you or me…Ultimately it’s more about their relationship with God than ours with them.

Fourth, remain in God’s character so that you can set a standard and example of behavior and plant good seeds for God’s Kingdom. You do this by walking in the Spirit as defined in Galatians 5:22, 23.

Fifth, always make are always faithful and trustworthy in all your relationships.

And finally, remember that God had equipped you with everything you need for this LIFE and GODLINESS in this life, through His divine nature that is now inside you…

2 PETER 1:2-8 (NKJV)

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No you can’t trust everyone…

The fact that we aren’t always faithful means that God can’t always trust us. But, we can always trust Him.

So,

Trust God…

Trust Yourself…

Be Trustworthy…

And remember, GOD IS GREATER THAN THOSE WHOM YOU DON’T TRUST.

Add this to your prayer life…”Lord give me the ability to relate with those I don’t trust.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE GOOD IN THE HOOD…

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There are pleny of GOOD TIMES in the HOOD!

Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘Don’t let me let the hood come out,” “I went straight to the ‘hood’ on ________,” or “Don’t let me get ghetto on you”?

It usually refers to ‘going off. ‘Cussing out, or even kicking someone’s a**.

How many times have you heard the term “Hood Rad”? How many times have you heard someone say, “I’ve got to get out of ‘The Hood”?

Why?

Why do so many of us associate THE HOOD or THE GHETTO with the worst in us?

There are good people in the hood.

There are people with self-control in the hood.

There are people with integrity in the hood.

Some of our richest cultural and spiritual influences have come from the hood.

There are plenty of good mothers, fathers, grandparents and guardian doing their best to raise their children right in the hood.

There are plenty of kids doing their best to stay on the right track in the hood.

There are plenty of good churches doing real kingdom work in the hood.

Jesus was from ‘the hood’ in a sense. When the disciples heard about Him remember what Nathanael said…

John 1:46 (NKJV)

And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Philip said to him, “Come and see.


It’s time we change the negative narrative about the hood. Its time we stop feeding it.


I’m not from the hood. I’m from the ‘country’ which has its own negative stereotypes. But, I proclaim to be unapologetically country.

If you’re from the hood proclaim, “I’m unapologetically from the hood!”

So, whether you used to live in the hood, live there now or never been…


Please don’t let the negative speak louder than the positive.


Don’t let the negatives define everyone from any area, of any race, of any culture.


When you say “I’m about to let THE HOOD come out “, or “Don’t make me get ghetto…embrace all that’s good about a unique and influential culture. Let it be the about…


Determination…

Hard Work…

Loyalty…

Devotion to Family…

Perseverance…

Faith…

Or, one of the many other positive aspects of ‘HOOD LIFE’.

Let the world know there are plenty of GOOD TIMES in the hood.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY GOD TELLS US TO ASK WHEN HE ALREADY KNOWS WHAT WE NEED…

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I often hear or read many mockers and scoffers of God ask, “Why does God ask you to pray for something if He already knows what you need?

Well, it’s really quite simple…

Matthew 7:7-8  (NKJV)

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.


Just as any parent, God wants a relationship with His children.


Asking, seeking, knocking encourages interaction. There’s no relationship without interaction.

But, why does God encourage daily interaction?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  (NKJV)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 

Because of our nature. Because even if YOU have a healthy prayer life. Even if YOU fellowship with God in His word regularly, WE all have seasons when it is not as ‘passionate’.
But, even mores so, think about this…
Most of the people in the world don’t believe in God, and many of those who claim to believe in Him go throughout their days as if He isn’t even there. They don’t pray. They don’t read God’s word. They don’t praise Him. They don’t go to church. To many who claim to believe…God is an afterthought.

Many say they believe in God, but they give Him ZERO if any interaction.


God wants relationship.
Any parent who has a child that won’t talk to them should be able to relate to this. What young parent doesn’t love when their small children look to them with those innocent eyes and lets the know they are hungry? What parent isn’t fulfilled when their child crawls up into their lap because they are afraid of a storm? What adult parent loves to get regular calls or texts from their adult children who have moved away? And, how much does it hurt an adult parent to have an adult child who lives as if they aren’t alive…never talking to them or acknowledging them?
The fact is that many so-called believers think the idea of ‘relationship’ with God is silly, superstitious, and even crazy. They just don’t get it. They honestly think that talking to God is talking to yourself, or just another form of meditation. Prayer and meditation are two totally different things. No one considers it meditating when you talk to the people in your house.
And let’s be clear, God gives much of what we need without asking. He gives us oxygen. He keeps are hearts beating. He protects us from dangers seen and unseen. He gives us sunshine and rain.
That’s why the regular interaction that God encourages is not limited to asking. We are to regularly give thanks to Him in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18), even those things we can take for granted… DON’T BLINK OR YOU’LL MISS THE LITTLE THINGS!
So, always make sure God is the first person you greet each morning. That you talk to Him through out each day, and that He’s the last person you tell good night.
Ask. Seek. Find. Give Thanks… and your reward will always be relationship.
BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN DOES WORKPLACE DISCIPLINE BECOME DISRESPECT…

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We have all heard the phrases before…
“He or she got chewed out.”
“He ripped him a new one.”
“Set them out.”
“Told them off.”
“Set them straight.”
“Went off on.”
Of course it refers to when an adult employee must be disciplined or reprimanded by their supervisor, manager…whomever they report to or answer to for doing something wrong on the job.
Most managers, no matter what level, are responsible and accountable for their direct reports, and must answer to his or her manager.
We live in a culture where ‘chewing out’ subordinates is accepted and common, but that doesn’t make it right.

So here’s my question. At what point does does workplace discipline, chewing out, or a sharp rebuke, become disrespectful?


When it’s too loud?
When it’s public?
When there’s profanity?
When the subordinate is insulted?
When the subordinate is belittled?
When the subordinate is embarrassed?
When the subordinate is humiliated?
When it’s malicious?
When it’s out of anger and emotion?
What is necessary to properly address the problem? What is necessary to ensure it never happens again? Is it necessary to be an example to others?
Some argue it may be more necessary and acceptable in the military and law enforcement where lives are at stake, but the bible even addresses their behavior.
Luke 3:14 (NKJV)

14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”

Even the bible teaches that leaders are to rebuke, or correct sharply…but what does that mean? How do you correct someone in a volunteer organization such as the church?
2 Timothy 4:2  (NKJV)

2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

But, we know that it’s not God’s will for a minister to rebuke with profanity or malice. God has told us to not allow any unclean communication to come out of our mouths…
Ephesians 4:29  (NKJV)

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

This admonition is universal, not excused in the workplace, on a team* or even in the military…at least for disciples of Christ. Unfortunately, many of those who disrespect others with their mouths claim to be believers.
God has also told us to treat others as we want to be treated…
Luke 6:31  (NKJV)

31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

I don’t know of anyone who wants to be disrespected, even when they are wrong.

The fact is, that when we are hired on any job, we are usually given the discipline process…
Usually, verbal warnings, write ups and termination, and most if not all the time, disrespect isn’t included.

So, here is my perspective. Here’s the Aldtric Johnson’s philosophy on discipline in the workplace…


We may not all be equal in rank, but we are equal in being adults.
We are all working for the same company to earn a living.
Outside of the organization we are all equal.
If I make a mistake at work…
You can give me a respectful verbal warning.
You can write me up.
You can even fire me.
But, YOU WILL NOT disrespect me, belittle me, curse me, embarrass me, talk to me like a child, or even make an example of me.
If you decide to fire me, that’s example enough.
Refusing to accept should never be insubordination.
For more information on this subject, check out Cleverism.com’s employee discipline guide at: https://www.cleverism.com/employee-discipline-guide/
BE BLESSTIFIED!

IF YOU’RE ANGRY ENOUGH TO INSULT SOMEONE, YOU’RE ANGRY ENOUGH TO KILL THEM…

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Social media gives everyone to instantly vent their frustrations and anger. They quickly give their opinion on, well everything and everyone.

Just scroll the the comments on a controversial post on your choice of social media.

People are working one another into a frenzy with their rants. And if you by chance don’t agree withthem or if you’re on the other side of the arguement, debate, issue, then you are a…


Blankity blankin’ *@!*!!#!!!!!!


And, many of these people claim to be disciples of Christ.


We have got to learn to disagree without insults because that same anger, that provoked you to insult…

Is the same anger that can provoke you, yes you, to kill.


But, I didn’t just come up with that, Jesus did…

Matthew 5:21-22 (NKJV)
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

My friends, and those who don’t consider yourself my friend…


We have got to learn to disagree without insults.


So, when you see, or hear insults being hurled around vocally or in the cyber world.

Don’t let your anger draw you into the dissipation. Let God’s Spirit abide and rule inside you. Speak or type peace into the situation…the environment…the post, and even your family or relationships.

You honestly may save a life, or even better…save a soul.

Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

ALLOW ME TO SHARE MY ‘OBJECT’ LESSON IN FAITH…

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I reaaalllyyy enjoy riding my bicycle. God allowed me to be taken off blood pressure medicine, and biking has helped me control it for the past several years. One evening a few years ago after I arrived home from the office, I asked my boys if either of them had ridden my bike because it wasn’t in the garage. The garage door had been left open the night before. They both said no sir. About the same time my neighbor was in front of her house, and I noticed that her SUV was not in her driveway. She informed me that some individuals went through our neighborhood checking for ‘soft’ targets…she had left her car unlocked. I went in the house and told my wife, “Well, I will never see that bike again… $600 bucks down the drain.”

I then called the sheriff’s department to report the theft. They sent out an officer and I filled out the report. Less than an hour later I got a call from the sheriff’s department asking me to describe my bike! They found it…Across town…In the back of my neighbor’s SUV! Wow! They said it wasn’t damaged! Look at God!

Three guys from across town worked our neighborhood. Even though my WORDS showed no faith, my ACTIONS of reporting the theft and filling out the report were FAITH IN ACTION. I got my bike back that night, brought to me by an officer who lived in my neighborhood…it was undamaged. My neighbor didn’t get her truck back for over a month, and it had damage.

God used an OBJECT, my bike to give me an OBJECT LESSON in faith.

Jesus teaches us that we can move mountains with our faith in Him…

Matthew 17: 20-21

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

When things seem impossible, never loose your faith. And, please do better than me, let your WORDS agree with your ACTIONS.

#OBJECTLESSON
noun
a striking practical example of some principle or ideal.
“they responded to emergencies in a way that was an object lesson to us all”

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

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WHEN AN INSULT ISN’T AN INSULT…

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Matthew 15:7-12  (NKJV)

Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And[a] honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”[b]

10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

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

Jesus called the religious leaders “Hypocrites”, which was a pretty significant insult in that time. So much so, that His disciples called Him to the side and said in today’s terms… “Uhhh, you know you pissed them off right?”

But, Jesus didn’t say it to make them angry. Jesus didn’t say it to insult them. He didn’t say it to hurt them, He said it to help them, and help us too.


Jesus didn’t insult them, but they were insulted. But, many times we all are when we are confronted with truth about ourselves…we sometimes naturally get defensive.


Even today, truth is a viable defense when accused of defamation. If it’s true, it’s not libel or slander…and what Jesus said about them is true.


But, we should only say something BAD to or about someone if there is some GOOD to come out of it.


We should only say something bad to or about someone with an intention to help them and not hurt them.

It should be our intention for them, or those who hear it be better. It should be our intention, help them submit to God’s will, His word…His standards.

Jesus also proved you should never say anything about someone who you would not say to their face.

If Jesus had called them hypocrites to hurt or embarrass them, it would have been wrong.

If Jesus had called them hypocrites when they weren’t present to belittle them, it would have been wrong.

But, Jesus never sinned, so we know He wasn’t wrong. We know His intentions. But even when you have good intentions, it doesn’t mean that people won’t be insulted.


The same goes with us today. We should be willing to give and accept constructive criticism, so we can grow and mature in the LORD…that’s when an insult isn’t an insult.


We should pray the discernment to determine when to be loving and when to be sharp.

How many times have you sincerely told someone something to help them and they were insulted? When was the last time someone told you something to help you and it was insulting?

It doesn’t even have to be as sharp as calling them a hypocrite.

“You are unorganized”

“You are lazy”

“You are selfish”

“You’re too promiscuous”

“You’re too loud”

“You’re too insensitive”

“You’re too sensitive”

“You don’t listen”

“You’re too wasteful”

“You’re a bully”

“You’re too timid”

“You are a coward”

You are intimidating”

And the list goes on and on.

Has anyone said any of the statements to you before? Have you ever said any of them to anyone?


It’s WHY it was said that determines whether or not is an insult.


Now, most people who are confronted with something that needs to change about themselves will initially be insulted. But, much of our growth comes from that uncomfortable moment of truth and self-examination.

When Jesus called the religious leaders hypocrites, it was His intention for them to acknowledge it, repent and grow.

So the next time that someone, ‘insults’ you, even if they meant to hurt you, ask yourself, “Is this true about me”?

Even if they meant to insult you, if it’s true, you can take what was meant for evil and turn it into good. You can turn what could have been bad fruit into good fruit.

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.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DO YOU NEED TO APOLOGIZE AGAIN, THIS TIME BECAUSE YOU MEAN IT…

picsart_02-14-092067838167.pngI’m pretty sure we have all done this. You may be in this situation right now. You said or did someone and you know you were wrong. You told them you’re sorry and you’re ready to move on. But you may need to go back and apologize again…

Why?


HOW did you say, “I’m sorry?”


Did they tell you, “You owe me an apology!” and you angrily and grudgingly snap back, “I’m sorry!”

Did you tell them you were sorry just to shut them up from nagging you… wanting them to drop it?

Did you tell them you were sorry only to demand of them to get over it and move on?

Did you tell them you were sorry because you know God expects it, but you really didn’t mean it?

Did you tell them you were sorry because you just didn’t want them to be upset?

Did you tell them you were sorry because you didn’t want them to treat you differently?

Did you tell them with a sticky note, text or email?

Did you tell someone else to tell them for you?

Or,


Did you tell them you were sorry because you had true remorse, regret, contrition, shame and sorrow for hurting them?


Remember this…

There’s a difference between saying, “I’m sorry”, and a true apology.

Notice that even God doesn’t necessarily ask us to tell Him we are sorry, but He does require Godly sorrow and repentance…

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.


A true apology comes from the heart and not just from the mouth.


When we are truly sorry, we want the person to feel that it hurt us that we hurt them. And, when we are truly sorry our continued behavior reflects that apology, even if they have a human moment in bringing that hurt back up again.

Think about it. Do you need to apologize to someone again? Yes, you said you were sorry, but maybe, just maybe, you didn’t really ‘apologize’.

And, when you are on the receiving end of an apology, please BE EASY TO APOLOGIZE TO… because sometimes accepting a harsh, so-called, insincere apology with grace and humility can soften their heart. That’s the power of God’s love. Think about the times you’ve had to apologize remembering…

It takes just as much humility and love to extend a sincere apology as it does to accept it.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY LIFE BETWEEN YOUR ‘DEADLINES’…

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Much of my job is based on meeting deadlines. Through that I’ve noticed something that you may have noticed too. When you’re working towards a deadline, you sometimes don’t notice the days between that deadline When the project is completed, I find myself saying, “Wow, this week went by fast!”

Even on a personal level, setting goals and giving oneself deadlines is important to being what many call ‘successful’.


Whether it be deadlines, goals, hopes or dreams. Don’t forget to live and enjoy each day as you work towards them.


For example, you may be in your early 30’s and have a certain goal you want to achieve by the age of 40. Don’t be so focused on your goal that when you reach 40 you look back and say, “What happened to my 30s” – whether you reach that goal or not.

Life is short enough without making it seem shorter trying to get to the future. Many people spend their 8am trying to get to 5pm (guilty). They spend Monday trying to get to Friday. They spend January trying to get to December. They spend their 20’s trying to get to their 30’s.

Many spend their work days trying to get to holidays and vacation. They spend their days trying to get to the day their car or mortgage is paid off. Many are trying to get to the carefree days of retirement.


DON’T MISS THE PRESENT TRYING TO GET TO THE FUTURE


Get there, but enjoy the days in between.

It’s always good to remember that tomorrow is not promised…

 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.

That being said, don’t let working for your tomorrows, allow you to miss out on your todays. Let this be your declaration every day…

Psalm 118:24  (NKJV)

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT GOD MAY BE TRYING TO TEACH YOU WHEN YOUR CHILDREN ARE DISOBEDIENT OR DISRESPECTFUL…

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Are your children ever disobedient or disrespectful? Come on, now even ‘good’ kids have their moments.

Are your adult children ever unappreciative, disconnected or disrespectful?

Mark 7:8-13  (NKJV)

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men[a] —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’;[b]and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’[c] 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

Most if not all Christian parents love to remind their children of what the bible says about being obedient to parents…

Ephesians 6:1 (NKJV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

 Colossians 3:20  (NKJV)

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

And, most parents get frustrated and angry when their children…

Disobey them…

Disrespect them…

Deny them…

Embarrass them…

Don’t appreciate them…

Don’t ask for their advice…

Don’t take their advice…

Don’t talk to them…

Respect others more than them…

Or, even rebel against them.

Have you ever had, or are you going through any of these situations as a parent? Did you put your parents through any of these situations?

All parents want their children to listen to them…to honor and respect them. And, they don’t want it to be a ‘burden’ to do so. They want them to do it freely out of love for them.

So, parents, the next time you are frustrated because your children aren’t listening, or aren’t giving you the respect you deserve, remember this verse…

1 John 5:3 (NKJV)

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.


Then, I ask you to join me in asking yourself, “Is this how God feels when I…


Disobey Him…

Disrespect Him…

Deny Him…

Embarrass Him…

Don’t appreciate Him…

Don’t ask for His advice…

Don’t take His advice…

Don’t talk to Him…

Respect others more than Him…

Rebel against Him…

Don’t listen to Him?

Why should we expect any more out of our children than we give to God?

Maybe, just maybe, God is sometimes trying to teach us a lesson through our children.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

GOD DOESN’T HAVE TO CHOOSE SIDES…WE DO!

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It’s interesting how many people quickly claim, “God’s on my side!”

Sometimes it’s people (or on a larger scale denominations) on both sides of an argument, issue, situation…how is God on everyone’s side?

Many times people will go through the bible, selfishly  hand picking scriptures out of context  to prove their point.This is reading or using the bible carnally.

God promises TO BE WITH US, as made perfectly clear in…

Romans 8-28-38. Verse 31 asks rhetorically, “If God is FOR US, who can be against us?” 

But notice verse 28 says all things work for the good of those who are “CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE”.

Yes, God is with us, but God is WITH US when we are on HIS SIDE.

In John 15:16, Jesus tells us, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

Jesus told us no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). When Jesus died on the cross and arose from the dead, all power in heaven and earth was placed in Him

( Matthew 28:18)…it’s HIS SIDE because He paid for it with His blood.

When we accept the call of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are ON HIS SIDE, so if we are on His side, then by default He’s with us….our battles become His battles as God told Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:15.

Notice when David slew Goliath, David  wasn’t about proving how mighty he was, but he was standing for God and His armies. (1 Samuel 17:45) 

We are on HIS SIDE and, it’s our responsibility to be in harmony with His truth. Issues, situations, disputes and disagreements are much bigger than whether or not we are ‘RIGHT’ or ‘WRONG’.

We can easily get caught up in trying to prove we’re ‘RIGHT’, or someone else other group is WRONG, rather than be in harmony with God’s truth. We as individuals and groups can get caught up in being more concerned with what we want to believe, and our preferred view of the bible, which becomes a static doctrine that we feel compelled defend rather than trying to defend our faith and be in harmony with God’s truth.

That’s how you can tell who is in harmony with God’s truth when two people or groups are looking at the same scripture with two points of view…which person or group is removing how THEY WANT TO see it and their own will out of the way and is only seeking God’s point of view and His will. So, let’s be careful how we loosely throw around, “God’s on my side”, and strive to always be on His.


NOW HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS!


When you are on God’s side…walking in His Spirit…living according to His will…

HE IS ON YOUR SIDE!

Psalm 118:6  (NKJV)

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DON’T ASK GOD TO LEAVE TO INVITE IN A DEMON (Short & to the Point)…

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Temptation, no matter what kind, is a demon asking to come into your house, your ‘temple of God’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).


Giving in is just like saying, “Welcome, come on in, God can you please step out, I’ve got company”.


Don’t ask God to leave so a devil can come in. Most of the time the demon is looking for a place for him and his friends to hang out, in fact they want to move in.

Walk in the Spirit, put on the whole armor of God and keep the devil out.

Don’t ask God to leave to a demon to come in. Once they get comfortable in your house, most of the time, it’s not very easy to get them to leave.

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. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Galatians 5:16-24

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

WATCH OUT FOR SPIRITUAL FOOD POISONING…

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It’s happened to most of us. You suddenly feel your muscles ache, fever, stomach ache and nausea…you have FOOD POISONING. Something you ate, something that was supposed to nourish you made you sick. Something that was supposed to give you strength made you weak, something that was supposed to help your body…hurt it.

Sometimes something can look delicious, smell delicious and taste delicious and still be deadly. Salmonella, Botulism, Listeria are just a few are bacteria that make good food toxic. They infect what’s good….You have fever, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea because your body is trying to get rid of it. Your muscles ache making you weak and unfit for work.

The same is true with the WORD OF GOD.


THE WORD IS MEANT TO NOURISH YOU…


1 Peter 2:2 (ESV)

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—


THE WORD IS MEANT TO GIVE YOU STRENGTH AND INCREASE YOUR FAITH…


Romans 10:17 (ESV)

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


THE WORD IS MEANT TO BUILD YOUR SPIRITUAL HOUSE AND THE BODY OF CHRIST


 Ephesians 4:11-12

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,


But, sometimes the Body of Christ can get SPIRITUAL FOOD POISONING…


 1 Timothy 4:1

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

Demons are like spiritual bacteria that want to infect you and the Body of Christ. Their goal is to deceive and pervert the teaching and preaching of God’s word. They influence the ‘message’ to come from flesh instead of spirit. They want to infect the word so that it’s carnal instead of spiritual…and it can be very subtle:

For example, many people have learned to give selfishly. They have been taught ONLY to give so they can receive a blessing. Not, out of love…Not, out of obedience…Not, out of concern for others…but so they can be blessed. Give so you can get! Yes, God is willing to pour out blessings that we don’t have room to receive, but if that’s the only reason we give, that reducing giving to a ‘blessing bill”.

Be careful when the word of God is cloaked in carnality, sometimes it’s unintentional – but most of the time it isn’t. Watch out when the message contains…

Too much prosperity

Too much condemnation

Too little bible

Too much personal opinion

Too much tradition of man

Lies

Hypocrisy

Selfishness

Racial Pride

Idolatry

Blasphemy (Some preachers actually want you to worship them, or yourselves)

Or, when it elicits emotions from flesh…for example, if it makes excuse for or justifies sin or causes you to take pride in the way you used to be. I have heard preachers say, “I haven’t been saved all my life” in an arrogant way that eludes to the fact that they can revert back to their old behavior, or in other words, ‘let the old become new again’

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

We have to read and study God’s word for ourselves and pray for discernment, so we can intelligently and responsibly listen to the word of God. Just like food poisoning, it can be disguised in eloquent words, charisma, elaborate presentation, engaging personality etc. It can sound good, look good and make you feel good, but it’s got to be in line with the bible and not twisted to fit a human agenda.

Spiritual food poisoning makes the Christian and Body of Christ weak, ineffective, unproductive and unfit for Kingdom work. It makes the Body of Christ sick. It actually does more harm than good…and it takes place in church.

The old adage that you are what you eat is true. It doesn’t just apply to allowing worldly influences to enter your spirit…but just as the bible says that the devil disguises himself as an angle of light…

2 Corinthians 11:14 (ESV)

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

The enemy doesn’t mind you going to church or hearing the word, as long as he can come along and twist it….infect it and poison your spiritual food.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THINGS YOU HATE ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE…

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Relationships make our lives richer….better. God created us because He wanted relationship with us.

As our relationships evolve, whether it be marriage, parent/child, siblings or friends…we are also all evolving as individuals.

For example, If you’ve been married any number of years, then neither of you are the same people you were when you first married.

The truth is some things get better, and some things don’t.

There will always be some things, attitudes, behaviors, moods, etc., that you hate about those who you love most….it doesn’t mean you hate them.

In fact, daily living and loving beyond those things is what makes it love.

Think about God…do you think He is always pleased with you?

Are there ways He is still expecting you to change?

Even at our best, we don’t measure up go God’s level of righteousness…

Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV)

 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.

It’s only through God’s abundant grace and mercy that we are able to be in His Holy presence.

That’s why His gift of justification is so valuable, and should never be taken for granted. Even though we are unrighteous…through the blood of our Lord Jesus, we are ‘counted as righteous’.

Romans 3:23-25 (NKJV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

Just as we don’t measure up to God’s standard…We disappoint each other because at times don’t measure up to one another’s expectations…whether reasonable or unreasonable.

Just as we continue to disappoint God in our individual relationships with Him, we will continue to disappoint one another in our relationships with each other.

As years go by, even though we grow to know one another better, there will still be things about each other that ‘drive us up the wall’…things that ‘drive us crazy’.

Think about some things that you hate about those people who are closest to you.

Does it mean that your relationship is flawed?

Well, yes it does…but so is your relationship with God.

But, just as God loves us through our flaws, He expects us to love one another through ours as well.

So, the next time your notice your husband…wife…parent…sister…brother…friend doing something you don’t like…or even hate, after all these years remember…

Theirs something they can’t stand about you, and…

It makes your relationship normal…not over.

Love each other through it, just as God loves you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

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

If this blessed you, please follow my blog…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

DON’T LET THE PASSION IN YOUR PRAYER BECOME DISRESPECT…

I once heard a preacher erroneously teach Hebrews Chapter 4 verse 16…

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) 

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

He said in essence that we are to approach God ‘boldly’, even saying, “Do it right now Lord!”

Uhhh…No!

As you already know, it simply means we have direct access to God (Yah), through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Yeshua).


It does NOT give us permission to tell God what to do.


Even though we don’t have to always be on our knees when we pray YOU’RE ALWAYS IN POSITION TO PRAY/ 9 PROPER POSTURES (REBOOT)…, We do always have approach God with a humble spirit.

Look at how Jesus Himself fell on His face in the garden…

Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

So, please be careful! It’s easy to allow the passion of our desires, our confidence in Him, the urgency of our need, and especially during worship to allow ‘the intensity of the moment and worship experience or the charisma of the ‘leader’ to turn our prayer into a bold demand on God to meet our expectations when and how we’re ready.

Even in the lamenting Psalms such as Numbers 3,4,5,7,12 13, 14, 17, 22, 25, 44, 126, or 129 ( there are many others, I suggest you do a study of them if you haven’t already) God is teaching us through how to lament, and express our ‘disappointment’ in and ‘impatience’ with God in reverence and respect.

Prayer is a beautiful privilege of being a child of God, but we must remember that that’s just what it is…a privilege.

Let us not give those with authority over us in our lives more respect than we give God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HEY! WHERE’D THAT PEACE COME FROM?

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God always answers prayer…and usually it comes suddenly.

There have been times I was greatly troubled to the point that found it difficult to enjoy anything else.

Even in a happy moment, I might laugh… and then rushing to the front of my mind comes the thought..

“REMEMBER ME!!!” I’m your trouble and I haven’t gone ANYWHERE!!!

In the midst of this trouble I pray to God for peace, which doesn’t always come immediately. As I continue in prayer,

I consider my troubling situations.

I think of how good God is to me, EVEN with the trouble I’m experiencing.

I think of all of the things that COULD go wrong…that haven’t.

I think of ALL of the things God has ALREADY brought me through.

That’s when I stop and thank Him for just for being God…for His unfailing love, even when mine fails…for His faithfulness even when I’m unfaithful to Him. And, I realize, what does God get out of being faithful to me? Thank you Lord!

Then it happens…suddenly. Like the SON breaking through the cloud of my troubles!Yes, I’m sitting here thinking about my trouble…and I notice it. I find myself saying…


“Hey! Where did that peace come from?!”


God has poured His peace into my heart, and even though my trouble is still there. Even though I’m thinking about it…I feel at peace.

Peace is one of God’s awesome promises. He will give it to us.

If we PRAY…just ask Him.

If we’re PERSISTENT…continue to ask Him.

If we’re PATIENT…They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (another promise) Isaiah 40:31.

If we PRAISE…Continue to thank God and praise Him while you wait.

Then suddenly, out of  nowhere. When you least expect it, but most need it…He will give you His PEACE.

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)

 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

So, to answer my own question…”Hey! Where’d that peace come from?!”

It came from PRAYER, PERSISTENCE, PATIENCE & PRAISE…

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!

 

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