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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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

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

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

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

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


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


We can remember the past without honoring, glorifying and…

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DON’T CURSE YOUR ENEMIES AFTER PRAYING FOR THEM…

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You’ve matured to the point that you can sincerely pray for your enemies…that’s good.

You’ve prayed for their submission to God’s will…

You’ve prayed for their faith to be established and increase…

You’ve prayed for them to have a repentant heart…

You’ve prayed for their salvation…

You’ve prayed for them to be a fruitful and productive part of God’s Kingdom.

Now, don’t mess it up.

Don’t let the enemy pervert it. Don’t let the enemy snatch it just as he tries to snatch the Word of God after it’s sown…

Mark 4:15

15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 

How?

By cursing them after you pray for them. By gossiping about them, and keeping yourself in anger by going on and on about what they’ve done or…

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FOR THE DAYS YOU’RE ‘TIRED OF TRYING’…

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When we feel our efforts are going unrewarded, we can get the point that we’re tired of trying.

Have you ever been there?

Are you there right now?

Does it seem that your best isn’t good enough? Ready to give up?


Think about this. Jesus never ‘tried’ to do anything. The apostles didn’t try to establish the early church.


Jesus just did it. He taught. He preached. He healed. He delivered. He just did it. He did not seek approval, and when He did get approval, He didn’t put too much faith in it…

John 2:23-24 (NKJV)

23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,

Jesus and the apostles didn’t try, they ‘just did it’.


So, if you’re tired of trying…

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CLIQUE-‘ISH’ IN THE CHURCH! YEP, THAT’S A EUPHEMISM…

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The enemy doesn’t mind you going to church as long as you take him with you. He wants to distract and infect your worship. One way he achieves this is through division in the local church. Division in the Body of Christ is strictly forbidden, and is sin…

Galations 5:19-20
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, FACTIONS

1 Corinthians 1:10-13
10 “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

We as people tend to want to be in groups of people with either common interests, or people who can benefit us. Sometimes these groups can form in the church with an unwillingness to let others in…that’s a CLIQUE (FACTION) .

Church can become like high school – The Cool Kids, The Jocks, The Nerds…

Church can become like the outside world – The Haves and The Have Nots…

Church can become like the secular (or Christian) music industry – Pastor, his Entourage, his Groupies and Fans…

Are you in one of these CLIQUES? These are all distractions from the enemy to make our churches carnal, unfruitful and unproductive. Don’t let your small group, your ministry group, your choir, your circle of friends be a CLIQUE in disguise. This mess even tried to creep into the early church…

1 Corinthians 11:18-22
18 “For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”

The Body of Christ is one body with many members (1 Corinthians 12:12) and EVERBODY IS SOMEBODY! Even though we as people tend to be CLIQUE-ISH…. we need to keep that CLIQUE-ISH out of God’s church.

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW

1. Slang term often used to replace “s**t.” Derived from the process of editing the vocals of rap-songs by revershing the curse words so said song could be played on radio or television.
“That’s the dope ish”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOUR BLESSINGS HAVE ‘STAINS’…

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One day a man who had been walking, catching rides and using Uber to go to work every day was given a car by a family member. He was so thankful. All he had to do was have a few things fixed. As he drove it home, he stopped to get gas and the car wouldn’t start. Wow! He had to have the car towed to the shop. After they fixed it, as he drove it home he let the window down and it wouldn’t come back up. He said, “Are you serious!!!!”

As he drove back to the shop so they could fix the window he noticed stains on the seats.


He said, “Why does everything I get have to be STAINED!!!”


He then immediately remembered that he had transportation to work, the store or to take his lady friend out on a date. He also remembered the fact…

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5 REASONS WE SOMETIMES DON’T WANT TO FORGIVE OTHERS…

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Have you ever been so angry with someone that you didn’t want an apology from them?


“I don’t wanna hear it!” “I’m not ready for that right now!” “You don’t mean it!”


We must always be ready to forgive as God is always ready to forgive us.

Hear are 5 reasons why we sometimes don’t forgive…

FORGIVING THEM TAKES AWAY OUR EXCUSE TO BE ANGRY

Sometimes when we’re honest with ourselves, we want to remain angry about what they have done. True forgiveness takes away our excuse to be angry at them.

Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, [a]clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

REMAINING ANGRY CAN MAKE US FEEL POWERFUL

When we’ve been hurt, it can make us feel weak, vulnerable and foolish. However, our anger can give us a perverse feeling of power and strength over the person or…

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WHEN YOUR CHILD MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE A BAD PARENT…

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I’m sure all parents have this moment because I feel it comes from God. Those moments when your children make you feel like you’re not a good parent.

They may make you feel like you’re not doing enough for them.

They may make you feel as though you owe them more.

They may make you feel like you’re being unfair, unreasonable and unloving.

They may make you feel as though you are not appreciated.

Sometimes they can make you feel as though you have failed as a parent.

For whatever reason, if you let them, your kids can make you feel like a bad parent.

Well, the reason I think God allows that is for a moment of self-examination about the parent’s relationship with God. OH! NOW, I SEE HOW GOD FEELS…(HORIZONTAL EXAMPLES OF OUR VERTICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD)


DO YOU EVER MAKE GOD FEEL LIKE HE’S NOT A GOOD…

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LORD, I NEED A MIRACLE…NEVER MIND (From my archives)…

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

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

Lord, I NEED a miracle…

Lord I WANT a miracle….

LORD I AM a miracle….

Never Mind…THANK YOU JESUS!

Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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4 SIMPLE THINGS THAT CAN MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE BETTER IMMEDIATELY…


The other day as my wife and I were getting ready for work, she asked me to get her clothes out of the dryer for her. We were both getting ready, but I stopped what I was doing and did it. The simplest gestures can be  the most powerful, especially when both husband and wife are working.

Do something simple every day to make life easier for one another. Bring him a cool beverage. Watch something that she wants to watch…with her. Iron his clothes for him. Go shopping with her.

The following four gestures can make your marriage better. Nothing deep or romantic here, but doing it will make romance come easier.


1. HELP EACH OTHER OFTEN

2. DO WHAT COMES EASY

3. HONESTLY WORK ON WHAT’S DIFFICULT FOR YOU

4. BE PATIENT WITH WHAT’S DIFFICULT FOR ONE ANOTHER


Following these simple tips will make each day better, and difficult days more bearable.

 1 Peter 3:1a (NKJV)

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands…”

 1 Peter 3:7

 “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife…”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW TO GIVE GOD A ‘HOLY HUG’…


Praise is so powerful. And, I’m not talking about using it as a tool of manipulation to get God to bless us, but I’m talking about a powerful way to BLESS HIM.

Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Yes, God wants to be blessed by us, just as much as we want to be blessed by Him. How can you bless God who has all power, possesses all things and has control of all things? The same way a baby blesses a parent when he or she reaches up to them.

Why does a baby reach up to his or her parent?

To get their attention…

To be picked up…

To be hugged…

God wants our affection. Our affection is a blessing to Him. Every parent wants to be ‘loved on’ by their children.

There are few things more affectionate, more intimate, more touching, more empowering, than a well-timed hug.

Have you ever had someone give you a warm affectionate hug? Without saying one word that sincere hug said “I love you!” “I’m so glad you’re in my life!” “I appreciate you!”

A hug is a beautiful way of saying that “We are one”.

Yes, we praise God with the fruit of our lips.

Yes, we praise God in a song.

Yes, we praise God through beautiful music.

Yes, we can even praise Him with a dance…

But, there is something special about lifting our hands up to Him in praise.

Lifting up our hands (just like that baby) is almost like we’re waving to get God’s attention, “Lord! Here I am! See me!?!”

Lifting up our hands is an act of surrender and letting go of what we are holding to reach out to Him.

Lifting up our hands is stretching them forward, just as our Lord, Yeshua Jesus Christ had His hands extended and stretched when He was nailed to the cross.

Lifting up our hands toward God is an expression of affection.


Our God so big that we can’t get our arms around Him, so it’s our way of giving Him a holy hug.


If we are alone it’s an intimate personal hug. If we are in corporate worship, it’s a powerful group hug.


So take some time today to love on our Heavenly Father. Lift up your hands to Him and bless Him with a Holy hug!


Look at how we are encouraged to let go of all wrath and all doubt and lift up our holy hands to the God of our salvation.

1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

Give God a holy hug!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

JESUS’ SILENT YEARS: WHY I THINK NOTHING MIRACULOUS HAPPENED…

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We all notice the unmistakable silence of Yeshua, Christ Jesus from 12 years of age until 30.

Luke 2:41-52 (NKJV)

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother[a] did not know it;44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 

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JESUS WAS NEVER NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

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There’s nothing wrong with being recognized and awarded, but it can be a problem when we come to expect it. I was recently watching a Gospel music industry award show. The glitz. The glamour. The red carpet. The speeches… It almost seems like sometimes we’re saying, “The world has a red carpet, and we want one too!”


Here again, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, but we must be careful that those of us in Gospel aren’t conforming, but reforming.


Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

And as I said, we also must be very careful that we don’t allow pride to slip in to the point that we EXPECT rewards, awards and recognition.

I wonder how…

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WHAT TO TELL PEOPLE WHO ACCUSE YOU OF BEING TOO SENSITIVE…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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Has anyone ever told you that you’re too sensitive? Do you sometimes feel that you’re too sensitive…especially when someone has hurt you? When someone didn’t live up to your expectations? When you were legitimately wronged?

The world we live in now is becoming more and more harsh…more and more hard. It’s becoming accepted to view sensitivity as a weakness.

But, we are made in our Father’s image. As I often say, that’s less about how we look and more about our character. We are capable of having the attributes…the essence…the character…the personality of our creator.

I think that sensitivity is a spiritual check and balance. Sensitivity, when controlled, helps prevents hardening of the heart. It both leads to remorse and prevents wrath. It takes sensitivity to cool the anger on both sides of a disagreement. Sensitivity leads to both forgiveness and repentance. Sensitivity leads to reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

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HERE’S A PSALM FOR SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR SUCCESS…

The book of Psalms is a treasure teaching us how to…

Pray,

Praise,

Lament,

Question,

And celebrate the God of our salvation.

There are Psalms for when you are laying in your bed and overwhelmed dreading facing the day.

There are Psalms for when you feel defeated.

There are Psalms for when you want to praise God but don’t know what to say.

But, Psalm 20 is a song… a prayer… an encouragement for your success.

Read it bearing in mind that you can replace any reference to animal sacrifice with the word ‘praise’.

God reminds us that praise is our sacrifice, since we are to  praise God so many times when we really are at our lowest and don’t feel like it…

Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Psalm 27:6  (NKJV)

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

I like to call this Psalm of David a Psalm for your success. It’s a Psalm for..

For our deliverance.

For our purpose.

For the desires of our heart.

For our success.

Read it.

Sing it.

Pray it.

Say it.

Release it into the atmosphere and let it minister to you. God will bring it to pass.

Psalm 20  (NKJV)

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob 
[a]defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. 
Selah

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your 
[b]purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up 
our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord saves His [c]anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE DONE, GOD IS READY TO FORGIVE YOU…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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We have all done things of which we are ashamed. Sometimes we feel we have done things that God will never forgive, especially when others won’t forgive or we are living out the consequences.

Sometimes we can commit sins after we’ve been ‘saved’ that make us question our salvation.


Especially when God has allowed YOUR SECRET(S) to remain secret.


But, let me give you a short encouraging reminder that not matter what you’ve done, God WILL forgive you. No matter how low you have gone, God can reach down and save you. He can even deliver you from the consequences of your sins, bad decisions and weaknesses.

Here is the one caveat. We must always come to Him in humility and never belittle or speak in disrespect or irreverently of His Holy Spirit…

Mark 3:28-30 (NKJV)

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And remember, you don’t have to ‘curse’ or ‘cuss’ to do this. Be careful…

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NOPE, SOMETIMES YOU CAN’T LOOK TWICE…

Most of us have heard the account of Sodom and Gomorrah. God provided deliverance for Lot and his family, (Abraham’s nephew) from His judgment on those cities, but Lot and his family had responsibility in their deliverance. They had to flee the city and not look back…

Genesis 19:15-26  (NKJV)

15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that [a]he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be [b]destroyed.”

18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”

21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”

Therefore the name of the city was called [c]Zoar.

23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He [d]overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

None of them really wanted to leave. They liked where they lived. God had to practically drag Lot out of the city.

When God provides deliverance for us from places we don’t need to be, we too don’t need to look back.

Don’t look twice at the picture or video or social media post.

Don’t look back at that text message. Don’t respond.

Don’t rewind that scene or that song.

Don’t tell them to repeat that.

Don’t go back there.

Some thoughts, places, pictures, messages, conversations, books, songs, videos, television shows, movies…even scents can take us our minds back to places we don’t need to be.

Remember Lot’s wife. Looking twice is looking back.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN THE DEVIL USES US AGAINST OUR LOVED ONES…

Never take for granted how clever the enemy is at trying to come between us and the God of our salvation.

He has been busy at trying to influence the lives of God’s children for thousands of years. The bible tells us that he disguises himself as an angel of light…

2 Corinthians 11:13-15  (NKJV)

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

He is a deceiver and the father of all lies…

As you may already know, the very word devil comes from the Greek word diablos meaning slanderer, accusing falsely, deceiver. Even Jesus calls him out when rebuking the religious leaders…

John 8:44  (NKJV)

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources,for he is a liar and the father of it.

One of his favorite methods is to use us (most of the time unintentionally) against the one’s we love.

He disguises himself inside of sincere love and good intentions. Remember how Yeshua, Christ Jesus, responded to Peter when he spoke up in what he thought was support of Jesus…

Matthew 16:21-23 (NKJV)

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, [a]“Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

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

Jesus didn’t even address Peter. He addressed the enemy directly.

Think of the fact that the enemy used Eve to get to Adam and Adam quickly shifted the blame to his wife…

Genesis 3:12-13  (NKJV)

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Wow! So, how many times has that happened to us in our lives?

How many times has the enemy used husbands, wives, sons and daughters to distract their loved ones from their focus on God’s word?

How many times have you seen a loved one being misused and instead of telling them to turn the other cheek, you told them to retaliate?

How many times has someone been ready to speak up against sin, wrong or injustice and because of the certain backlash a loved one said, “You better leave that alone”.

How many times have we held a love one back who was maturing and growing in Christ because of the changes it would force us to make?

How many times has a loved one wanted to give help to someone in need and we discouraged them…for whatever reason?

How many times have we hurt or hated someone because they hurt or hated someone we love?

How many times has a loved one given bad advice contrary to the word of God from their flesh?

How many traditions that God has forbidden have we allowed to continue through thousands of generations because we felt we were letting our children miss out on something?

Once when I spoke up against the sin of homosexuality, a family member told me (just for the record, it was not my wife), “You better leave that subject alone because if might make some people angry and prevent your music and your ministry from being accepted”

This relative didn’t mean any harm. They made that statement out of genuine concern for me, but they were being just like Peter. God wants me to trust Him with my ministry and music despite what people may say or do.

Can you think of a time when the devil used a loved one against you? Can you think of a time you have do so?

The good news is that God has given us discernment, so the enemy doesn’t catch us by surprise…

2 Corinthians 2:11  (NKJV)

11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Be very careful of your ‘Peter’ moments. Don’t let the enemy use you against the people in your life.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DON’T LET YOUR MONDAY BE ‘MOURNDAY’…

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Okay, I admit that I have to remind myself of this quite often. If we aren’t careful, we can let Monday, or whatever day we return to work, to become oppressive. So, I just want to give you the short reminder that the 2nd day of the week is a blessing.

Remember to let the joy of the LORD be your strength, no matter what your Monday challenges may be.

Nehemiah 8:10  (NKJV)

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Remember that we represent God’s image, His presence, His glory and His character in every environment we enter.

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Remember that no matter how challenging or dysfunctional the culture, we have the power to make the ground on which we step…Holy Ground.

So, make sure you don’t allow your Monday to become Mournday!

Breathe life into every room, every interaction today. Just as complaining is contagious, so is joy.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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

IN CASED YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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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…

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