WHAT THOSE WHO CELEBRATE THE CONFEDERACY HAVE IN COMMON WITH COLIN KAEPERNICK…

So, because of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the subject of Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest of taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against Black and Brown people has arisen again. (Of course, all police are not guilty of this)

This enrages many people who consider themselves to be patriotic because they assert…

That taking a knee instead of standing disrespects the National Anthem, the American flag and our military.

He is at work and it is not appropriate for him to protest while doing his job.

And, they question his character to say he isn’t the right person to be the face of a movement.

However,

Many (but not all) of the same people who criticize Kaepernick’s protest CELEBRATE the VIOLENT protest of the Confederacy taking up arms and fighting against the SAME flag and the military of the United States. They justify this by arrogantly asserting they were fighting for ‘states rights’, as if their cause was more noble. They do this while still asserting to be disciples of Christ and having his support.

This is text book hypocrisy very similar to that of the scribes and Pharisees during Yeshua’s earthly ministry.

Many people glorify the Confederacy, the Confederate flag, and statues of Confederate soldiers and bully those who disagree by saying that “You can’t change history”. It is arrogant to expect someone else to accept one narrow perspective of history as the ‘so-called correct narrative’. As a Black man born and raised in the United States of America, I would be a fool to celebrate a heritage that glorifies a culture that represented the enslavement and subjugation of my ancestors …The accepted rape of female slaves! And, it is an insult to my intelligence to always respond to this with, “Africans enslaved Africans too” as if that excuses it. I celebrate neither! In fact, the children of Israel remember the civil wars between Judah and Israel without glorifying them and with no statues.

The fact that the South was fighting what they called NORTHERN AGGRESSION makes Confederacy JUST LIKE COLIN KAEPERNICK!

Many people assert that Kap was out of line to protest on his job, and many of these people claim to be disciples of Christ. Let me remind anyone who feels this way that Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, called James, John, Peter and Matthew while they were working on their jobs…

Matthew 4:18-22 (NLV)

18 Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers. They were Simon (his other name was Peter) and Andrew, his brother. They were putting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. 19 Jesus said to them, “Follow Me. I will make you fish for men!” 20 At once they left their nets and followed Him.

21 Going from there, Jesus saw two other brothers. They were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were sitting in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them. 22 At once they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.

Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT)

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

To those who question Mr. Kaeperkick’s character needs to read their bible. Look at the character of the 12 patriarchs, the sons of Jacob, renamed Isreal by God. Look at the character of Saul, also known as Paul who persecuted the church. Look at King David, a man after God’s own heart, who sent a man loyal to him to be killed to conceal getting his wife pregnant. And, quite frankly, many of those same people support politicians who’s character is far from perfect.

And let us not forget the fact that God does not consider it disrespectful when we bow on our knees in submission to Him in prayer.

I love this country! I have great friends who are police officers and in the military. And I have two great-uncles who died in Europe serving in World War 2. It is again arrogant and wrong to judge someone else’s patriotism because they disagree with your perspective and narrative.

Both were protests. One is non-violent and the other non-violent and both were because of what is seen as injustice from the perspective of those who are protesting — and that is the truth not an opinion.

FOR THOSE WHO FEEL IT’S TAKING TOO LONG FOR THINGS TO ‘TAKE OFF’ FOR THEM…

WERE SHADRACH, MESHACH, & ABEDNEGO BEING UNPATRIOTIC…?

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

I know there are going to be people on both sides of this argument who disagree with me. That’s okay, but we grow through good, healthy, respectful dialogue.

Common ground is the fundamental key to conflict resolution. Unfortunately, too many people don’t want to find it.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW THE FIRST MARRIAGE IN THE BIBLE WAS INFLUENCED BY AN OUTSIDER…

One of the greatest threats to any marriage is outside influence. A mother, father, sister, brother, friend, co-worker or even an enemy that says something to influence the relationship of a husband and wife (man and woman).

All it takes for a married couple that’s very content with one another is or someone from the outside to say, “Doesn’t it bother you when he or she does…?” Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever done this yourself?

When someone does this, they become a ‘stumbling block’ in that marriage. And we all know what God says about those who cause someone else to ‘stumble’…

Matthew 18:7  (NIV)

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

This is by far nothing new. In fact, the very first attack on the very first marriage (Adam and Eve) came from outside influence…

Genesis 3:1  (NKJV)

3 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman…”

“And he said to the woman…” We all know that God had already told Adam, even before Eve was created that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…

Genesis 2:15-17  (NKJV)

15 Then the Lord God took [a]the man and put him in the garden of Eden to [b]tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you[c] shall surely die.”

The serpent (satan) knew this and used this to cunningly manipulate and influence Eve. We all know that today this takes place through both the husband and wife…

Once over 30 years ago when my wife and I were newlyweds, we had two cars. One was older and one was newer. I had absolutely no problem with my wife driving the newer car, while I drove the older one to work. But, one day my male coworkers began teasing me about driving the older car. I allowed their foolishness to influence me. I immediately got on the phone, called my wife and said, “I’m driving the new car tomorrow!” She was wondering, “Where did this come from?” In my youthful stupidity, I allowed those co-workers to influence my marriage.

My wife and I have always enjoyed being together. One day years ago, other females said to her, “Doesn’t it bother you being around your husband so much?” She briefly allowed their foolishness to influence her.

Be very careful about how you allow people to speak into your marriage, or family.

Be very careful not to let anyone speak badly about your spouse, even family…especially family. If they do, it’s because you have made them feel comfortable in doing so.

We all know the account of what happened after the enemy influenced Eve and when they both ate of the forbidden fruit.

Marriage is challenging enough without inviting in trouble from the outside.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR HOT AIR THAT COMES FROM YOUR…

This is a 20 second video that I hope makes you smile while making an emphatic point. It is an addendum to my article, “Restraint”.

How many times have you blurted out something, then said, “ I just had to say it! I couldn’t hold it up in!

This short video quickly proves that most of the time, that’s not true.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

FOR THE TIMES YOU FEEL YOU JUST CAN’T HELP YOURSELF (RESTRAINT)…

No matter how bad you have to use the bathroom…

How strong the urge to relieve yourself…

If you’re in a crowd of people outside, in a meeting, at a ball game, or in church YOU WON’T stop and use it right then and there.

Why?

Because you have RESTRAINT.

No matter HOW strong the urge, how painful, you would rather hold it in rather than disgrace and embarrass yourself.

Too many times we in the Body of Christ use the excuse, “I just couldn’t help myself!”

Too many Christians are perfectly content using profanity…retaliating…and giving in to their flesh, and quickly use the excuse, “I just couldn’t hold it in”!

Peter is well known for his lack of restraint. On the Mount of Transfiguration he quickly blurted out, “Let us build three tabernacles, one for Jesus, Moses and Elijah!(Matthew 17:4).

After Jesus was arrested, when accused of knowing Him, Peter cursed (Matthew 26:74, Mark 14:71). But, Jesus knew of Peter’s spontaneity, and had already prayed for him and told him that when he is converted to strengthen his brothers (Luke 22:32). One of the things Peter was going to have to do was learn RESTRAINT.

One of the fruit of the Spirit is TEMPERANCE or SELF-CONTROL (Galatians  5:22).

It’s true we can’t do anything without the help of God, but he has given us the power to restrain our flesh as well.

You don’t have to use profanity (cuss).

You don’t have to get even.

You don’t have to let everybody know EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL.


Just the same as you can HOLD BACK when you have to use the bathroom (flesh), you can hold back when that person of the opposite sex is trying to tempt you.


Let’s be just like our heavenly Father. Because when you think about it, that’s what MERCY is…God holding back the wrath and judgment we deserve.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW POLITICS REVEALS WHAT’S IN THE HEART…

Who are you? Who’s the private-at-home you? Who’s the at-work you? Who’s the at-church you? I hope it’s the same person.

People aren’t always what they seem, but God knows who we all really are. We can act a certain way in public, but God knows and sees what’s in our heart…

1 Samuel 16:7  (NKJV)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, sometimes we reveal to the world what we are really hiding in our hearts. One such way is through politics. Political opinions about social, racial, economic, sexual and religious issues invoke such levels of anger that it divides marriages, friendships, families and even leads to job loss.

Why?

Because politics reveals what is inside of us…

Selfishness…

Greed…

Pride…

Hatred…

Unselfishness..

Generosity…

Humility…

Love…

Politics emboldened those who supported gay marriage during the Obama administration and white supremacists during the Trump administration. This is not an observation, opinion but a fact. Why? Because they felt those politicians best supported what was inside their hearts.

POLITICS WILL TURN PEOPLE AGAINST PEOPLE THEY’VE KNOWN ALL OF THEIR LIVES TO SUPPORT SOMEONE THEY’VE NEVER MET, AND MAY NOT EVEN LIKE THEM IF THEY REALLY KNEW THEM…OR VICE VERSA!

Politics reveals when people really care about those who are poor and disadvantaged and those who care much less or not at all.

Politics reveals who places money over people and people over money.

Politics reveals who is truly concerned with equality and equity, and who’s not.

Politics reveals what is prioritized. That yes, someone may claim to care about social issues and helping the disadvantaged, but may feel they aren’t as important as being favorable to big corporations.

Now this article isn’t saying which issues are right and which are wrong, it is just pointing out that when someone begins to let you know where they stand politically…what makes them angry…what they’re passionate about…what they are willing to fight for…they are letting you know what’s in their hearts.

For example, I recently criticized President Trump for promoting a culture of insults through his behavior at press conferences and numerous insulting statements and tweets…that is a fact, not an opinion. Someone I attended high school with years ago said that I was ‘stirring the pot’ to say that. Hmmmm…why doesn’t he feel President Trump is stirring the pot by hurling insults at those who disagrees with him. This person revealed what was in his heart, however I revealed what was in mine as well.

I’m convinced that the devil, the enemy, the accuser of the saints, satan ( I didn’t capitalize his name on purpose) uses politics to divide people who should be on the same side…and we play right into it.

Remember, we have got to learn to disagree without insults or becoming enemies.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DO YOU REALLY LOVE GOD OR IS IT JUST THE RIGHT THING TO SAY?

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Most people who grew up in or around church, or were raised with a belief in God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or those who have come from unbelief to belief will all quickly proclaim, “I love God!”


But, do you love Him? Or do just feel it’s the right to say? You may even be afraid not to say it. Which is a healthy fear and reverence of God, but still isn’t love.


When you love someone, you want to be in their presence as much as possible, in fact you look forward to it. When you love someone you want to know what’s important to them. When you love someone you don’t want to hurt them, intentionally or unintentionally.

When you love someone you want to grow closer to them. When you love someone, you enjoy talking about them. Many people when they are honest with themselves love their favorite team, their car, their guns, their _____________ more than they love God because that’s what they love talking about.

When you love someone you aren’t afraid to show affection for them in public. I’m not talking about kissing…I’m talking about holding their hand, hugging them…you aren’t ashamed to let the world know you love them. Some of the same people who get hoarse at a ball game are ashamed to praise God publicly even in worship. Too many Christians are too ashamed to even bless their food in public. Are you ashamed to lift up your hands in public and say ,“Hallelujah, I love you LORD!” Or, are you afraid people with think you’re crazy. Do you reason that, “It doesn’t take all of that to love God”.  But, when you love someone, you aren’t concerned with what is minimal or necessary. You’re more than happy to do what is ‘extra’ for them

When you love someone you aren’t just in relationship with them for what you can get out of them. You aren’t just in the relationship for the benefits. When you love someone you can talk to them for hours. How often do you talk to God and fellowship with Him prayer, just because it’s peaceful…not asking for anything, just spending quality time with Him?

When you love someone, you love listening to ‘mood’ music with them. You love listening to music that makes you feel closer to one another. You love sharing ‘your song’. I’m not saying you have to listen to Christian music all of the time, but I wonder how many Christians are perfectly comfortable never listening to some form of Gospel music…except when they are in church.

When you really love someone, what they think about you matters to you more than anyone else in the world. You want their love…their respect…their devotion…their affection.

How can one really love God and either never, seldom or randomly read His word? God knows we have the opportunity to fellowship with Him in His word whenever they please. Many claim they don’t have time, but that’s simply not true. Many people, when their honest with themselves, love social media, their favorite fiction or non fiction book, or whatever else they love to do in their spare time more than they love the word of God. What’s the first thing you check each morning? Your social media? The news? The weather? Your horoscope? Or, God’s ‘status’ and what He has ‘posted’ in His word.

It’s in His word we fellowship with Him. It’s in His word we find out what pleases Him. It’s in His word that we find out what He loves and what He hates. His word gives us both comfort and correction.


When you love someone, living to please them is not a burden, but a blessing…

1 John 5:3  (NKJV)

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


I challenge you today to ask yourself, “Do I really love God, or is it just the right thing to say”. Yes, you believe in Him. Yes, you fear Him. Yes, you respect Him. Yes, you reverence Him. Yes, you pray. Yes, You, go to church…

But do you love Him?

And finally, think about this…

Most people quickly claim that want to go to heaven or live eternally in His presence, but I contend that if you don’t genuinely enjoy reading His word, fellowshipping with Him, worshiping Him, being in His presence, even going to church now, what makes you think you will want to do it forever?


Remember, real love isn’t just state, it’s demonstrated…

Romans 5:8  (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


BE BLESSTIFIED!

MAYBE THIS IS WHY GOD ALLOWS YOU TO FEEL ALONE SOMETIMES, EVEN WITH PEOPLE ALL AROUND YOU…

Have you ever read the word of God, or spent time devoted to Him and was truly comforted by His presence?

God wants us to be THAT CLOSE to Him. He wants to be THAT REAL to us. Too many times we say we love God, but we aren’t truly comforted until we have talked to a REAL person.


That’s why God puts us in situations sometimes where the only person we can depend on is Him, and the only comfort we can find is in His word.


Look at what God gave us through the Apostle John while he was exiled on the Island of Patmos. Look at the powerful? God-inspired letters we received because of Paul being placed in prison.

God made a promise to never leave us or forsake us….

Isaiah 41:10  (NKJV)

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Deuteronomy 31:6  (NKJV)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Remember this beautiful fellowship with God comes with responsibility on our part…

Hebrews 13:5-8  (NKJV)

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:

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

But that promise is only as real to us as we allow God to be real in our lives. And that level of relationship only comes through spending real, quality time with God.

Just the same as when we tell people “Shhhhhh, I’m on the phone…” or “Not now, I’m busy.’ We need to do the same thing when we’re spending quality time with God.

God would rather you willingly make quality time for Him rather than force us to have it.

WHEN ONLY GOD’S WORD CAN COMFORT YOU…

How to REALLY ‘Cast your cares’, ‘Give it to God’, or ‘Let Go and Let God’…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY WE SHOULD STOP SAYING IT ONLY TAKES A LITTLE FAITH…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

My Senior Pastor, W. Michael Martin taught a profound series on this subject a few years ago…

We have all heard it or said it. “It only takes a little faith” based primarily on Matthew 17:20 when Jesus says that with the faith as a grain of mustard seeds we can move mountains. But, if you will notice, He didn’t say faith OF. Jesus said the faith AS a grain of mustard seed.


The implication here is that it takes great faith for a little grain of mustard seed to grow into something great…


Matthew 13:32  (NKJV)

32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”


 So, a mustard seed DOES NOT have LITTLE FAITH, but GREAT FAITH.

The truth be…

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YOU CAN’T LOVE YOURSELF BY HATING SOMEONE ELSE..

“Racism is like high blood pressure, some people don’t realize they have it until it begins to affect their heart.”

Mark 12:31  (NKJV)

31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Luke 6:27-36 (NKJV)

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

1 John 4:20  (NKJV)

2If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, [a]how can he love God whom he has not seen?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU COMFORT YOURSELF DAYDREAMING OF SEEING SOMEONE HURT…

It’s been said that “hurt people, hurt people”. How many times has someone hurt you…disrespect you…betray you…embarrass you…abuse you, or hurt, disrespect, betray, embarrass, or abuse someone you love — and you want to see them hurt too?

You want to see them experience the same pain that they caused. You want them to know how you feel, and regret how they treated you or your loved one. This is wrong, but this is natural and one of the burdens of our sinful nature.

There is a classic example of this in the bible. Easu, Isaac’s first born twin, was enraged at is brother Jacob for taking his birthright and stealing his blessing…

Genesis 25:29-34  (NKJV)

29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called [a]Edom.

31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

33 Then Jacob said, [b]“Swear to me as of this day.”

So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 27:1-29  (NKJV)

27 Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”

And he answered him, “Here I am.”

Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me [a]savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, “Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, ‘Bring me game and make [b]savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the Lord before my death.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10 Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death.”

11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”

13 But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” 14 And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made [c]savory food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

18 So he went to his father and said, “My father.”

And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”

19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”

20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?”

And he said, “Because the Lord your God brought it to me.”

21 Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him.

24 Then he said, “Are you really my son Esau?”

He said, “I am.

25 He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.” 27 And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said:

Surely, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field
Which the Lord has blessed.
28 Therefore may God give you
Of the dew of heaven,
Of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brethren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!”

So, because of this, Esau comforted himself daydreaming about killing his brother…

Genesis 27:42 (NKJV)

42 And the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Surely your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you.

Even if you didn’t want to see them killed, how many times have you comforted yourself with the thought of seeing someone else hurt?

Be careful! When you judge in your heart that someone else deserves pain because of the pain they caused…that’s condemnation and judgement. And, we all know what the bible says about when we judge (condemn) someone else…

Matthew 7:1-2  (NKJV)

7 “Judge[a] not, that you be not judged. For with what [b]judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

You are pronouncing that judgment on yourself!

Remember, we have all hurt, disrespected, betrayed, embarrassed, or abused someone. Even if we didn’t intend to do so, their pain was real.

When those thoughts enter your head, immediately ask God to forgive you, then pray and ask God to forgive them and touch their hearts with His love. Bless them…

Luke 6:28-36  (NKJV)

28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT IF JOSEPH CHOSE TO SLEEP WITH POTIPHAR’S WIFE…

Most of us who have grown up in or been around church know the account of Joseph in Genesis Chapters 37-50.

He was Jacob’s, renamed Israel by God, favorite son. For that reason, his 10 older brothers hated him.

Genesis 37:3-4 (NKJV)

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

At first they conspired to kill him, but then decided to sell him into slavery. This happened when Joseph was 17 years old. Through this mistreatment, God was strategically placing Joseph in position to one day save his entire family, including the brothers who hurt him.

Matthew 9:9-13  (NLT)

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

He was sold to an officer of Pharoah, king of Egypt and entrusted with all of the affairs of his house. While there Potiphars wife aggressively pursued Joseph to sleep with her, and he refused. She eventually lied and said he tried to rape her which landed him in prison…again being mistreated positioned him to be placed 2nd to Pharoah in Egypt.

Genesis 39:7-15 (NKJV)

And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.

But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.

But, what if he slept with her? She would have concealed it to avoid the shame and scandal. He would have served out his days with a ‘good job’, but still a servant. And, he would have never been placed in position to save himself and his family.

Just like Joseph, the decisions we make to live according to God’s will don’t just affect us.

Just like Joseph we will be mistreated sometimes by those closest to us.

Just like Joseph will sometimes be falsely accused and suffer consequences for things we did not do.

And, just like Joseph God, El Roi is always watching and working all things out for our good, if we put His will and word first in our motives and decisions.

Be cognizant to recognize your ‘Joseph’ moments.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN I BUMP MY BABY TOE & 5 OTHER INSTANCES I ‘CUSS’ IN MY HEAD BUT NOT OUT LOUD…

I try my best to refrain from using profanity, obscene or vulgar language because that’s what God told us to do…

Ephesians 4:29  (AMPC)

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

But, even if you aren’t willing to admit it, people who make it a point not to ‘cuss’ THINK ‘cuss words’ in certain situations. Here are a few of mine…

1. WHEN I REPEATEDLY BUMP & PROBABLY BREAK MY BABY TOE!

I wonder if anyone else has crushed their baby toe on furniture or anything else as much as me? My toes think they are fingers sometimes, reaching out to make contact or grabbing everything in the room. When this happens, yes, cuss words run through my mind.

2. WHE DRIVING & I LET SOMEONE CROSS THE STREET WHILE JAYWALKING, OR IN A PARKING LOT & THEY TAKE THEIR TIME AS IF I OWE IT TO THEM!

This happens wayyyy to often these days. I’m in a parking lot or driving down the street, and I have the right of way. I see someone walking across my path, and even though I have the right-of-way, I kindly let them go by. But, instead of keeping a good pace or hurrying up, they take their time, face in phone. Then, they don’t even look up to say thanks. In my head are a plethora of ‘cuss words’.

3. WHEN SOMEONE PURPOSEFULLY WAITS TO MERGE IN TRAFFIC AT THE LAST MINUTE AFTER I’VE BEEN WAITING PATIENTLY & THEN LOOK AT ME TO LET THEM IN!

This is one of my pet peeves. Do these people think their time is really more valuable than everyone else’s? We are all in a hurry to get to our destinations. This is why truck drivers will sometimes block one lane of traffic to clear the way and get traffic flowing again. This provokes ‘cuss words’ in my head.

4. WHEN SOMEONE IS GOING BELOW THE SPEED LIMIT IN THE FAST LANE WITH NO ONE TO THE RIGHT OF THEM!

Please move over! Don’t you see all of these cars passing you when they finally get a chance? You have held up traffic for miles going below the speed limit in the fast lane. If I were a police officer, I would pull over these people just as much as speeders…”Cuss words in my mind”.

5. WHEN A GRAVEL TRUCK IS ON THE ROAD FILLED TOO HIGH WITHOUT A TARP!

Yes I see the sign on the back of your truck that says, ”STAY 100 FEET BACK”. Guess what! That doesn’t matter when a piece of gravel bounces off your truck at 60 mph! How about just putting a tarp on it! “Please God forgive me for my thoughts?”

This list is by no means exhaustive. This is why God’s grace and mercy are so valuable, because even though these words don’t come out of my mouth, it is sin to still think them.

What are some of the things that make you ‘cuss in your head’? Be sure and always to ask God to forgive you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah, (Jesus Christ) for your evil thoughts.

Philippians 4:8  (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY ARE EVANGELICALS SO QUIET ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE & CIVIL RIGHTS…

People speak up about what’s important to them, especially those who claim to be disciples of Christ.

So many evangelicals are very vocal about abortion and homosexuality, as they should be, but unfortunately seem to be totally unconcerned and quiet about social justice and civil rights. They act as though God is only concerned about being gay and killing babies.

But, God is concerned about robbing justice from those who are being mistreated, and those who are poor and needy…

Isaiah 10:1-2  (NKJV)

10 “Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees,
Who write misfortune,
Which they have prescribed
To rob the needy of justice,
And to take what is right from the poor of My people,
That widows may be their prey,
And that they may rob the fatherless.

We are living in time when evangelicals are justifying and defending leadership that is clearly unrepentant, unforgiving, and insulting because they equate it to strength and feel it is good for the economy and national security, clearly ignoring how Israel was held accountable for the sins of evil kings in the Old Testament. The fact is the Yeshua Himself said that he who insults his brother is in danger of hell fire . In that verse fool is translated as empty head, idiot, or moronic person…God hates insults just as much as homosexuality and abortion…

Matthew 5:22  (NKJV)

22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother [a]without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’[b] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, [c]‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of [d]hell fire.

Matthew 5:22  (NLT)

22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone,[a] you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,[b] you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,[c] you are in danger of the fires of hell.[d]

Yeshua was compassionate upon those who were struggling with hunger and sickness, rather than judging the reasons why…

Matthew 9:35-37  (NLT)

35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.

When Yeshua fed over 5000 people He taught a perfect balance of being both ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’.

Yes, He was what some people would call conservative afterward…

John 6:11-12  (NKJV)

11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them [a]to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”

But, He was also what some would call liberal, by feeding over 5000 people, who weren’t necessarily ‘unemployed’, they just travelled too far without planning in order to hear Him…

John 6:4-12 (NKJV)

Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”

One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them [a]to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”

Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ taught us both spiritual and social balance.

God even warns about putting too much faith in the military rather than Him…

Psalm 33:16  (NKJV)

16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.

God doesn’t just hold us accountable for the sins of commission that we commit, but He is also concerned by when we know to do good and ignore it…

James 4:17  (NKJV)

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

Yes, homosexuality and abortion are sins, but I urge those who call themselves evangelicals not to omit the other sins from their ‘evangelism’. Notice the sins in verses 28-32 of Romans 1 that God equates to homosexuality, then notice in the first two verses of Chapter 2 He states that we condemn ourselves when we judge others because many times we commit sins equal to those we are calling out.

Romans 1:26-32  (NKJV)

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their [a]women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the [b]men, leaving the natural use of the [c]woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, [d]sexual immorality, wickedness, [e]covetousness, [f]maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 [g]undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, [h]unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 2:1-2 (NKJV)

2 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

Galatians 5:19-21  (NKJV)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Let me end by saying this. Don’t confuse calling out sin with judgement. God expects us to call out sin, but He doesn’t allow us to condemn those who may sin differently than we do. We are to all hold one another accountable.

Quite frankly, many who call themselves ‘evangelicals’ need to be more balanced in what they evangelize, and make sure that the spirit of the Pharisees isn’t continuing through them.

WE HAVE GOT TO LEARN TO DISAGREE WITHOUT INSULTS…

CELEBRATING WHAT WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF PART 1…

THE CIVIL WAR. DON’T LET YOUR POLITICS ‘TRUMP’ YOUR FAITH…

GOD HATES MORE THAN JUST HOMOSEXUALITY &; ABORTION (DON’T CHERRY PICK SINS)…

WHICH BILL DO YOU BELIEVE? (A SPIRITUAL SELF-CHECK)

IF BILL MAHER’S USE OF THE N-WORD OFFENDED YOU, THINK ABOUT THIS…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WERE SHADRACH, MESHACH, & ABEDNEGO BEING UNPATRIOTIC…?

Most people know the biblical account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being placed into the fiery furnace because they refused King Nebuchadnezzar’s national decree to worship the image of gold. Let me first say that I don’t like calling them by their Babylonian names. Their real names were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

The king commanded that when the designated ‘national’ music played that everyone stopped what they were doing and worship the image. This was a ‘national’ decree, and everyone under his authority stopped and worshiped the image.

As you will read below, the three young men refused to do so.
Daniel 3:1-18 (NKJV)

3 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was [a]sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 Then a herald cried [b]aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; 6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

7 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Daniel’s Friends Disobey the King

8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. 9 They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who isthe god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Does this sound familiar? Many people in America today are considered unpatriotic if they don’t submit to the expected behavior. When the music plays (The National Anthem) you are expected to stop what you are doing, stand, place your hand on your heart or salute.

Some people feel, just as the three Hebrew young men did, that the designated behavior goes beyond showing respect, but is actually an act of worshiping an object.

There are plenty of examples in the bible of Jesus rebuking people for placing their expected traditions before what God has commanded.
Mark 7:9 (NKJV)
9 He said to them, All too well you [a]reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.


So here’s my question. If that were today, would Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego be considered unpatriotic?


If that were today, would they be criticized for their behavior?

Do you see the similarities?

Do you feel obligated to prove how these two situations are not the same?

Are you more committed to The Constitution, our laws, traditions and policies than you are to the word of God?

We must be very careful that we don’t place our dedication, devotion, commitment and passion to our country, our race or our traditions before God.

The bible tells us that the things it records were given for our example…


1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV)
11 Now [a]all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our [b]admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Romans 15:4 (NKJV)
4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the [a]patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

Just because someone feels they are disobeying God to respect a tradition or commandment of man does not mean they don’t love their country or respect its icons, symbols and traditions.


If we are’t careful, we can even find ourselves worshiping the cross rather than respecting it.


Some people are willing to kill to protect their traditions. GOD IS NOT IN THAT.

Many times we criticize the antagonists of God’s people in the bible, but when we’re honest with ourselves, our attitudes, what we do or don’t do in similar situations today proves how we would have behaved back then.

There is a thin line between respect and worship.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

FINALLY HOME ALONE: THE BIBLE SAYS DON’T HOLD OUT ON YOUR SPOUSE!

This is a fun little article FOR MARRIED COUPLES ONLY:-)

It’s amazing how life can come back around full circle. Many of you may be able to relate to this memory…

Remember when you were dating and living at home with your parent(s)…

You’re boyfriend or girlfriend calls you on the phone and says, “Hey, my parent(s), mom, dad, sisters, brothers are all gone and WE HAVE THE HOUSE TO OURSELVES…come on over!” It’s time for romance!

It was a real treat for a young couple who was young and in love with no place of their own to ‘get the house to themselves’.

Fast forward to being a married couple with young children. Your children are your new chaperones. Romance has to be well-planned, and having the house to yourself is not happening.

When your children become teenagers, you are wanting them to go somewhere and they are wanting you to go somewhere…everyone is wanting the house to themselves.

Plus, today many young adults are choosing to stay home with their parents longer while working or going to school to save money for a place of their own. Again…having the house to yourself is a treat.

So, for the married couples who can relate to this scenario, when you finally have an opportunity to get the house to yourself, it’s time for bedroom-door-open and unlocked, walk-through-the-house butt-naked, make as much noise as you want to romance!🥰 It is not the time for, “I’m not in the mood”, or “No”. It’s time for LOVE!😉

So, just as God taught us through the Apostle Paul, be very careful not to HOLD OUT ON YOUR SPOUSE!:-)

1 Corinthians 7:3-5  (NKJV)

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

When you finally have the house to yourselves, it’s time for love!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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