HOW THAT GRUDGE THAT YOU’RE HOLDING…IS ACTUALLY HOLDING YOU

We have all been hurt, wronged, betrayed, mistreated, let down, disappointed. used and abused.

It’s a part of life.

Sometimes we feel we have been wronged when the other person of people actually meant no real harm.

Sometimes we feel we were wronged when the other person or persons was actually doing something for our own good.

Sometimes it’s us who was in the wrong.

In many situations we can’t change how we are treated, but we can always control how we react to when we are treated badly….ALWAYS.

So, I have a quick reminder for you. God expects to not only forgive, but have an attitude of forgiveness, even when the other person doesn’t seem as though they are sorry.

Have you ever had a person apologize to you and you weren’t ready to hear it? You want to remain angry…


YOU’RE HOLDING A GRUDGE, AND GOD AIN’T HAVING THAT!


Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV)

1You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Romans 12:17-21 (ESV)

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


GRUDGE (Oxford Online Dictionary)

Noun: A persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.‘she held a grudge against her former boss’.


Grudges are birthed from pride.

Grudges require huge amounts of mental, emotional and spiritual bandwidth.

You can’t be grateful, thankful, forgiving, joyous, kind, or love the way God requires while holding a grudge.

Grudges our a spiritual drain and they ruin your testimony.

It is impossible to move forward while you hold a grudge.

The fact is…

THAT GRUDGE THAT YOU ARE HOLDING IS ACTUALLY HOLDING YOU!

How many blessings is God trying to put into your hand, but He can’t because you’re holding tightly to a grudge?

Please, let it go.

HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT AN APOLOGY…

ARE YOU EASY TO APOLOGIZE TO…?

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

FOR THOSE WHO SAY THE BIBLE CONTRADICTS THE EARTH BEING ROUND…

One of the favorite arguments of atheists is the ‘foundations of the earth’ language in the bible. And, honestly, this is one of those things in the bible that’s difficult for believers to understand explain too.

Let me help with a very practical explanation.

First of all, the bible acknowledges that the earth is round…

Isaiah 40:22 (NKJV)

22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

I think everyone will agree that circles are round. But, what about all the language referring to the ‘foundations of the earth’ such as…

Psalm 104:5 (NKJV)

You who [a]laid the foundations of the earth,
So that it should not be moved forever,

Think about this. Even though the earth is round, the home in which you live still requires a foundation. Every building that we build requires a strong, immovable, preferably flat foundation. The very flat ground that we walk on, build on…live on has it’s own layers or ‘foundations’.

The fact that the world is round does not prevent the ground from being flat and requiring foundations.

Did people in the ancient world think the world was flat? Yes. But the fact that God didn’t reveal the fact that the world was round to everyone at that time doesn’t negate the fact that He is real and He lives. Think about all of the mysteries of the physical and spiritual worlds that WE still don’t know.

Don’t allow your blessings of intelligence and sense of logic be a curse to prevent you from understanding and accepting the mysteries in the word of God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PEOPLE SAY, “GOD SAID” (MISQUOTING GOD)…

Posts and statements like the one in the image are encouraging, get a lot of amens, and ‘LIKES’, but they are dangerous.

BE CAREFUL when people QUOTE FOR GOD as if He said it word-for-word.

Be careful when people say, “God told me to tell you.”

Especially when…

  1. It’s not scripture.
  2. It’s too universal. It’s not true for everyone who reads this… “THIS WEEK” as stated in the image. Some people are going through storms, discipline, and ‘dry seasons’.
  3. God doesn’t bless everyone the same way at the same time.
  4. If a miracle doesn’t happen this week, it can cause people to lose faith. It can cause people to lose faith and discredit our faith much like television ‘faith-healers’ who seem to never go to the hospital.
    There’s a difference in being inspired by God and QUOTING as if He said it verbatim.
  5. Even Old Testament prophets weren’t always able to give the exact how, when and where.

There’s a difference in being inspired by God and quoting Him with our words as if He said it verbatim.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (KJV)

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

No prophetic statement will contradict God’s order.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GOD IS NOT ‘THE UNIVERSE’ & THE ‘UNIVERSE’ IS NOT GOD…

This is not scientific or philosophical, but it is God breathed. And, there is some degree of randomness as it is for the most part stream of consciousness…

More and more people are falling into modern, popular culture pantheism. They are replacing God with ‘The Universe’.

“The universe will bring it to you.”

“The universe is on your side.”

“The universe will judge you.”

“The universe has heard you”

“The universe sees you”.

This doctrine is straight from the devil (who loves the fact that many don’t believe he exists).

In short, rather than acknowledging the one true, living and sovereign God, these people say everything is determined by the natural laws and natural order establishes and ‘maintained’ by ‘the universe’.

And, there are some who try to actually give the universe ‘consciousness’. However, they don’t even imply that God is the universe, but that the universe is God.

GOD IS NOT THE UNIVERSE, NOR VICE VERSA.

God created the universe..

Hebrews 11:3  (NKJV)

By faith we understand that the [a]worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Even Hebrews Chapter 3 says, “the worlds were framed”.

God is an eternal, invisible Spirit. Quite frankly, He is not an ‘old, bearded, grey-headed white dude’.

Colossians 1:15  (NKJV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

John 4:24  (NKJV)

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

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 [a]Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Science contends that the universe had a beginning. God had no beginning. Yes the bible says, “In the beginning” for our benefit to reference when God began His relationship with our perception of reality and man, but an eternal God needed no beginning. It that was so, what happened before the beginning.

If the universe had to have a ‘beginning’, by what or whom did it begin?

The universe is not alive.

The universe doesn’t have a will.

Here’s the problem, science and our ability to learn and draw conclusions from what we learn is only as good as our ability to understand.

Even the brightest human minds are incapable of understanding the infinite deep knowledge of God, or even the universe.

In fact, I define science as our attempt to give a physical explanation to the spiritual.

Think about this, God is has not beginning and has no end. He cannot be created or destroyed. Sounds a lot like the Law of Thermodynamics…

This law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed,

but can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another. sounds a lot like God doesn’t it?

Science looks for planets similar to earth that can sustain life, but God can create and sustain life that can live in -200 degrees below zero and breath methane gas if He so desired.

Science, philosophy and all this world’s knowledge will never be able to understand the mysteries of the universe, and definitely will never understand the wisdom of God…

Isaiah 55:8-9  (NKJV)

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts

People think there is no God because they feel earth is too small relative to the entire universe. But, if God chose to have life on a million planets, that would still be small relative to the entire universe. The fact is that ten million light years away, God is still God.

And, just as you can’t see the internet, but can be ‘on’ the internet in your Tennessee, while millions of others are on the internet all around the world, while someone else is on the internet in space, God can be everywhere at the same time.

I’m saying all that to say this. God is alive and He is bigger than the universe. It takes just as much faith to believe in ‘the universe’ as it does to believe in God.

Just open your heart and believe.

1 Corinthians 1:25-31 (NKJV)

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For [a]you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many [b]noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the [c]base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

YES, WE NEVER LOSE THE GIFT OF SALVATION, BUT …

cropped-wp-14789108568221.jpg
ADDRESSING “ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED”

Salvation is a precious free gift of God, that cannot ever be taken away by anyone. This gift provides us with eternal security…

Ephesians 1:13-14  (NKJV)

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[a] is the [b]guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

This inheritance is reserved for those of us according to how we manage our walk on this earth.

 1 Peter 1:7-9  (NKJV)

that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not [a]seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Yes, we can never lose the gift of salvation. It is always available as long as we are alive on this earth no matter what we have done.


However, we must not allow the syntax of “once saved always saved” confuse us of its application.


Consider this…

Every day of our lives, God is preparing our spirits for eternity.

He’s conditioning us to freely surrender our free will to His will.

Matthew 16:24-25 (NKJV)

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

When our lives are over on this earth, our bodies will return to the dust of the earth, to be replaced with new spiritual bodies.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53  (NKJV)

51 Behold, I tell you a [a]mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Our bodies will be new, but our spirits will not be renewed when Jesus returns, they are being renewed right now.

 2 Corinthians 4:16  (NKJV)

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

We have a lifetime of refining our spirits for eternity. It’s our responsibility. He’s encouraging us to remove those things from our spirits that come between our relationship with Him. We are all born with ‘stuff’ that we don’t need. That’s what circumcision represented, the cutting away ‘flesh’ that we don’t need.

Romans 2:29  (NKJV)

29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose [a]praise is not from men but from God.

2 Corinthians 7:1  (NKJV)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

God is teaching us to allow our new nature to overcome our old nature.

2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


God has kicked those who allowed their spirits to be corrupted out of His Kingdom once, but He’s not going to do it again.

Isaiah 14:12  (NKJV)

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
[a]Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!

Ezekiel 28:16  (NKJV)

16 “By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.

 Revelation 12:7-9  (NKJV)

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they [a]did not prevail, nor was a place found for [b]them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

If your spirit isn’t worthy, you just won’t get in.

Manage your health, manage your money, manage your relationships, manage your life, but please don’t neglect managing your spirit.

Now is the time to get resist all the filth that corrupts our spirits…

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.

Your salvation is not a license to do wrong. Remember, the warning of Galatians 5:19-21 is not just for the sinner, but it’s for the church…


This is huge and often overlooked. Galatians, and all of Paul’s letters were addressing the church and all those who are ‘saved’ in the church (as well as both of Peter’s letters). Notice the greetings to each letter…


Galatians 1:1-5 (NKJV)

Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are [a]sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 2 Corinthians 1:1-2 (NKJV)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:1-2 (NKJV)

Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the [a]bishops and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Colossians 1:1-2 (NKJV)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father [a]and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Ephesians 1:1-2  (NKJV)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 1 Peter 1:1-2 (NKJV)

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To the [a]pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

 2 Peter 1:1  (NKJV)

Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have [a]obtained like[b] precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Notice that the greetings to these letters address ‘the brethern’, the ‘sanctified’, ‘the saints’ ‘the elect’, ‘in sactification’, ‘those who have obtained precious faith’. And, every warning in each of those letters applies to them, not just the unsaved. I encourage you to go back and read through each one thoroughly.

And, remember this, no one can be an apostate to something that they were never a part of…

 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NKJV)

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of [a]sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

 Please never forget the warning that Jesus gave us…

Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 [a]Because narrow is the gate and [b]difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

So, honestly ask yourself this question, “Is my spirit ready for eternity?”

This may also bless you: WHY MOST PEOPLE WILL GO TO HELL…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN YOU WANT TO ‘DANCE WITH GOD’…

Whether it be that God has turned your sadness to celebration or you’re praising your way through a struggle because you trust Him…

Dancing is a way to release the spiritual power of praise into the air, while releasing physical endorphins into your body!

Either way, you will feel better.

May I suggest The Walk With Me Strut, a dance that accompanies my wife’s single, “Walk with Me (Never Alone)” a jazzy derivative of an Old School classic. (Featured in the video above)

The dance was choreographed by our friend and singer Tarri Hester Johnson.

Psalm 30:11 (ESV)

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT AN APOLOGY ( 8 TIPS)…

It happens to all of us. A situation arises where we feel we deserve an apology…but don’t get it.

Think for a moment about Jesus on the cross. As He was being brutalized and mocked, He still had enough love to say, forgive them…
 Luke 23:34 (NKJV)

34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”[a]

And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Think about the fact that Jesus offered this forgiveness and love, without an apology. It’s one thing that the Romans crucified Him, but His own people…those closest to Him consented to and called for His death.

One of the most difficult things to do is move forward with people that we feel owe us an apology…especially if they’re someone close to us.

Yes we still have to work with and relate to people who aren’t close to you, but how do you avoid the lack of apology turning into resentment and becoming a wall in your close relationships.

You may find yourself thinking…

“How can they be so content acting like nothing happened…acting as if they didn’t hurt me?

You may have said to yourself…

“If they loved me, they would apologize.”

Yes, it’s not easy, but here are 9 tips to help you move forward in your relationships without an apology…

  1. BE READY TO FORGIVE IF AND WHEN THEY APOLOGIZE. Sometimes if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t want an apology…because it takes away our excuse to be angry. If they apologize and you don’t accept it, the burden has shifted from God to you.
  2. DON’T JUDGE THEIR APOLOGY IF AND WHEN THEY GIVE IT. When they come to you and apologize, don’t judge their apology by saying that they didn’t mean it or it wasn’t sincere. Especially if you didn’t like the tone. Don’t find yourself saying their apology wasn’t good enough. Even if they weren’t sincere…many times when we do what God has told us to do, we ‘don’t feel like it’, but God still honors our faith, effort and obedience. Sometimes when we apologize, we don’t feel like it, but in our heart we want to do what’s right.
  3. DON’T LET THE ENEMY ‘FLIP-THE-SCRIPT’. Realize that when you remain upset because you haven’t gotten an apology, the enemy has tricked you into not forgiving  them for not apologizing to you.
  4. REALIZE THAT THEY MAY NOT BE AS SPIRITUALLY MATURE AS YOU. Apologizing isn’t easy. It takes spiritual maturity to do so. If you feel they ought to be strong enough to apologize, realize that they might not be as spiritually as you. In fact, the bible tells us the strong must bear the failings of the weak (Romans 15:1 NIV).
  5. REALIZE WHEN YOU ‘VE GOTTEN SOMETHING BETTER THAN AN APOLOGY. Even if they haven’t apologized, if they have stopped the behavior that hurt you…if they aren’t doing the same thing anymore…if they have clearly moved on as if nothing happened…if they’ve completely turned around, but not apologized, you’ve gotten something better than an apology – you’ve gotten REPENTANCE. Think of all the people who actually apologize to God, but don’t really change.
  6. FIND A ‘REPLACEMENT THOUGHT’ WHEN YOU THINK OF HOW THEY HURT YOU. Of course you’re going to think of what they did sometimes, which can make you angry all over again, So, when you think of what they did…When they don’t seem to appreciate your kindness…find a replacement thought. Think of the good times…the best times… Think of the sacrifices they’ve made for you…Think of kindness they’ve shown you in the past…Think of the times they made you smile…or, Think of how you’ve hurt someone and regret it. 
  7. REALIZE THAT YOU HAVEN’T APOLOGIZED FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU’VE DONE TO HURT OTHERS. Have you apologized for everything that you’ve done to hurt others? No! Because there are some people you offended and didn’t know you offended them. You can’t apologize for what you don’t know. Sometimes our words hurt, and we didn’t even know it…Sometimes our tone was not taken as we intended…Sometimes we did something hurtful and we didn’t even realize it. Those people are going on without an apology from you.
  8. PRAY ABOUT IT! Ask the Lord to give you the desire and strength to ‘love through’ the lack of an apology. Ask God to give you a heart that doesn’t NEED an apology to move on. This is another situation where Philippians 4:13 is most powerful…”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Moving on without an apology isn’t easy, but it is possible. This is another situation where Philippians 4:13 is most powerful…

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

COME ON NOW…EVEN GOD ISN’T ALWAYS ‘DEEP’!

We as writers and ministers can find ourselves seeking to share something ‘deep’. Something profound that makes one sit back and say, “Wow!” If we aren’t careful we can feel pressured to validate our anointing or education with quotes, discourses, and words of wisdom that confirm God speaks through us. The fact is, when we are fortunate enough to do so, it IS God and not us.

Have you ever been around someone who never talks normal, but feels every word must be a divine revelation? Every sentence must be crafted perfectly? Every moment is a teaching or mentoring moment…they can’t just have a simple conversation?

Have you ever noticed how a very charismatic speaker can make something really simple sound deep? That’s why we should never confuse charisma with anointing.


But, even God Himself isn’t always DEEP.


John 3:16 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…

That’s simple.

Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved…

That’s simple.

Luke 6:31 (NKJV)

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

That’s simple.

Even the Apostle Paul admitted he wasn’t always deep either…

1 Corinthians 2:1-2  (NKJV)

2 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony[a] of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

It doesn’t take much reading to discover God’s word is full of simple truths and expressions of His love.

God knows how to feed us with milk, and how to feed us with meat. He knows what we need and when we need it…

1 Peter 2:2  (NKJV)

as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,[a]

If God can humble Himself to sometimes keep things ‘simple’ for us, then we can to.

And, don’t get to the point that your expectation of the deep allows you to miss what’s profoundly simple.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PEOPLE ARE MORE COMFORTABLE IN CHAOS…

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Do you know anyone who seems to love drama? Dysfunction? Chaos?


Do you know anyone who confuses peace with boredom?


Some people can become so used to toxic environments, cultures and behaviors that they consider that to be normal. They are so used to negativity that they begin to unknowingly enjoy it. They enjoy creating it. They enjoy watching it. They enjoy talking about it….that’s why I think reality shows are so successful now.

They can create their own poison to what would be a good relationship…friendship…job. They sometimes aren’t even comfortable with peace within themselves because they anticipate something bad is going to happen.

I hope this is not you. We must be very careful that we don’t reject the very peace that God seeks to GIVE us. We must not be uncomfortable with the peace that God GIVES us through our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Not only does He give us peace…He gives us HIS peace…

John 14:27 (NKJV)

27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

His peace is more powerful than any trouble or fear that we have the tendency to allow to overwhelm us.

Think about it. The enemy, just as he did in the book of Job roams around looking to disrupt the peace that God has given you…

Job 1:7 (NKJV)

And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


 God has given you the power to ‘be the peace’ in any given situation.


Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)

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

Claim your own peace. Be comfortable with it, and walk in the authority God has ordained for your life.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

WHY I’M JEALOUS OF SOME OF THE FOOLISHNESS THAT GOES VIRAL…

I’m admitting two things in this piece…

ONE: I’m jealous of something.

TWO: Foolishness could be considered subjective.

However, we were created in God’s image, meaning that we are capable of having His characteristics and attributes. One aspect of His character is Godly jealously. Our emotion of jealousy is an example of the fact that we are created in His image.

Exodus 34:14 (NKJV)

14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),

Deuteronomy 4:24 (NKJV)

24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Jealousy becomes a sin only when it’s perverted through our own pride.

God gets jealous when we put sin and other priorities before Him. We get jealous over the same thing sometimes don’t we?

So, that’s why I don’t feel so bad about the fact that I’m jealous of much of some of the foolishness that gets so much attention, and the success people enjoy from it.

As a blogger and published songwriter, of course I want my writings and music to be read by and listened to by millions upon millions.

I want people to be inspired, informed, challenged, admonished, amused, encouraged, entertained. I want their relationships to be enriched. I want them to grow with me as I struggle to master Emotional Intelligence. And, I want us all to be brought into more intimate relationships with God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah).

I also admit that I want to enjoy seeing people blessed by what God releases through me, YES, I want to get credit for the work that I have done…

Proverbs 3:3-4 (NKJV)

Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and [a]high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

Furthermore, as much as ‘foolishness’ could be considered a subjective term, I’m using it to describe behavior that is in direct contradiction to what God demands of those who consider themselves to belong to Him.

The fact is that some of the ‘stuff’ that ‘goes viral’, influences behavior, and leads to ‘success’ does so because of the support it receives from people who call themselves Christians. Some of those who overtly promote lifestyles clearly contrary to the word of God are encouraged and positioned as ‘wise’ by many believers. For example…

Yes, everyone has a right to live as they choose and endorse what they choose, but if many of the same people who claim to be Christian would give the same support to much of the Godly writing and music, it would boost the influence of writers and artists like myself.

I sometimes envy the success that people enjoy through what God considers sin. I admit that my jealousy vacillates from Godly jealousy to my own sin. f I’m a work in progress…

Psalm 37:1 (NIV)

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;

Yes, I know know that ultimately God will make sure those who He intends to see or hear what I release…and I do trust Him with that. But, sometimes it’s good to vent responsibly, just like the Apostle Paul did when stating His rights as an apostle…

1 Corinthians 9:1-18 (NIV)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas[a]Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”[b] Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

So, if someone reads this and says, “He’s just jealous of the success of others.” I readily and humbly admit, “Yep, you’re right”.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN GOD’S CHILDREN PLAY TOO MUCH WITH HIS NAME & PRAYER…

God demands that His name always be handled with reverence and respect…ALWAYS!

Matthew 6:9 (NLT)

Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy

Exodus 20:7 (NLT)

“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

Remember, God’s name is not GOD. And, yes He has names that describe attributes of His character, (Yahweh or Yah, Yehovah Yirah, Yehovah Sabaoth, Yehovah Shalom, etc.) but God’s name is also His authority, His essence, His heritage,…and that of His Son and our Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). His name is WHO HE IS.

Exodus 3:13-14 (NKJV)

13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)

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

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Those of us who claim to be called by His name and belong to Him….Those of us who claim the responsibility and honor of representing the authority of His name, his character and reputation… most of us want our names handled with respect. Most of us want people to respect the names of our parents, and those who are a part of our heritage with respect.

So, it’s unfortunate when the children of God think it’s okay to ‘play with the name of God’ by referring to Him with disrespect, in jokes, and even playing with prayer.

In conversations, movies, songs, comdey, memes, GIFs etc. people misuse and reduce God’s name to silliness for jokes for impact…

‘DEAR BABY JESUS’…

‘LAWD HAM MERCY’…

‘OH LAWD’…

‘HALLELU-YER’…

Shouting ‘JESUS CHRIST’ as an exclamation…

The list goes on and on.

One popular Writer/Producer/Director/Actor has made ‘HALLELU-YER’ extremely popular.

The fact is that the YAH syllable in HALLELUYAH is actually one of God’s names…

“Hallel- TO PRAISE OR GLORIFY Yah- SHORTENED FORM OF YAHWEH

When people jokingly pray to ‘BABY JESUS’, the Jesus that died for our sins wasn’t a baby. Our salvation at the time He was a child had not yet been secured. It’s silly and irreverent to pray to BABY JESUS for the sake of a joke. That’s not keeping His name holy.

What’s also unfortunate is that when called out on this rebellious behavior, many who claim to be Christian will immediately look for reasons to justify it, and explain how it’s not a bit deal…it’s not that serious. Too many times Christians ignore what the word of God explicitly says and finds excuses to do what they really want to do.

This equates to telling God what He must accept from us, rather than submitting to His clear expectations.

Even though we can’t tell those who don’t believe what to do, those of us in the Body of Christ should be the first to KEEP HIS NAME HOLY and hold one another accountable in doing so.

I love having fun, but some things need to left alone….Especially by Christians.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY YOU SHOULD THANK GOD FOR THE SIDE OF THE DEVIL THAT GOD RESTRAINS FROM YOU…

Throughout the history of the world people have committed horrible atrocities to one another.

In His sovereignty and for His ultimate purpose, whether it be for example or judgement, if you believe in God, just as with Job, you have to accept that God allowed those atrocities that were provoked by the devil to happen.

The devil has to submit to God’s power, and he gets no access unless God allows it.

Job 1:12 NKJV

And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Even today, the most vile, evil and remorseless people are being influenced by the devil, the adversary…Satan.


There’s a world of evil, crime, oppression and opposition that many people like me only know about from the news or movies.

So, when we get upset at how the devil is allowed to frustrate our lives in many ways…our families… our jobs and careers… our finances… we must stop and thank God there are horrible levels of evil that God doesn’t permit the devil to release into our lives.

This isn’t meant to diminish any level of resistance someone may be facing right now, but for most of us… it could always be worse.


Stop right now and thank God for how He restrains the devil and His emissaries from your life.

Stop and thank God for YOUR angels who minister to you and fight for you in both the physical and spiritual worlds.

Hebrews 1:13-14 (NKJV)

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:

(A)“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

14 (B)Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will (C)inherit salvation?


And, remember to release prayers for those who are under a more severe level of attack than you.

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

8 Be [a]sober, be [b]vigilant; [c]because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 (NKJV)

7 For (A)the [a]mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only [b]He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

21 WORDS THAT WOULD IMMEDIATELY REVOLUTIONIZE EDUCATION!

(1)Teachers: (2)We (3)will (4)lighten (5)your (6)workload (7)and (8)increase (9)your (10)compensation (11)to (12)be (13)commensurate (14)to (15)your (16)expertise, (17)responsibility, (18)accountability, (19)and (20)legal (21)liability.

Even though the scripture below contextually applies to ministers, we should also consider it for those who teach our children…

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NKJV)

12 And we urge you, brethren, (A)to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and [a]admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. (B)Be at peace among yourselves.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PEOPLE TRY TO CLEAN THEIR ‘SPIRITUAL HOUSE’ WITHOUT MOVING FURNITURE…

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.”

Anyone who believes in God and the influence of His holy angels must believe in the devil and the influence of his unholy emissaries, both physical and spiritual…

Hebrews 1:13-14 (NKJV)

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

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.

We also know that our bodies are temples for God’s Holy Spirit to inhabit…

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

There are many times when we as believers make a genuine and sincere effort to ‘clean our houses’ in order to enhance our relationships with God…

There are areas in our lives in which we want to do better…

There are strongholds in our lives that need to be broken…

There are generational curses that need to stop with us.

So, we will make an attempt to do some ‘spiritual housecleaning’ by diving more into the word of God… Being more faithful in worship… Even praying more.

In doing so we may find brief periods of success and peace, only to have it broken when we slip back into our spiritual rut, slump or backsliding.

Why?

Because while we were more devout, those evil spirits that we made comfortable in our ‘spiritual houses’ temporarily left as described above in Matthew 12:43-45, but eventually returned.

Why did they return?

Because when we did our ‘spiritual house cleaning’ we didn’t ‘move the furniture’.

What furniture?

Just as we make our homes comfortable places in which to ‘abide’ through air conditioning and heat, we make our bodies ‘comfortable for demons’ through our thought life, moods, habits and behaviors. We make our spiritual houses ‘cool and comfortable’ or ‘warm and cozy’ through our mindsets and the behaviors that are a result of those mindsets. Through what we allow our eyes to see, our ears to hear etc.

Revelation 18:2 (KJV)

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NKJV)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

So, when we do the ‘spiritual house cleaning’ of reading our bible, praying more, and going to church without ‘moving the furniture’ of changing our thinking, our motives, our habits, our moods and behaviors, we make our ‘houses’ a comfortable place for demons to ‘hide behind the furniture’. They ‘hide behind’ what we watch, what we listen to, where we go, who we associate with, what causes we support. When our behaviors and lifestyles don’t change with our ‘outward, surface changes’ demons are hiding behind the furniture. And, those that do leave find our ‘spiritual houses comfortable’ again for their return.

When you effectively clean our homes, we have to clean the areas people don’t see too.

BE BLESSTIFED!

WHY LOYALTY IS NOT TELLING SOMEONE EVERYTHING THAT’S SAID ABOUT THEM…

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We have all had people speak badly about us behind our backs. Sometimes it was true, and sometime is wasn’t true.

If we are honest with ourselves, we have all done it ourselves at sometime or another.

Many times we will hear something said about someone we care about, someone we love or someone we respect and rush to let them know as soon as possible. But, is that always the right thing to do?

Is it always good for the wife to tell her husband what her dad said about him?

Is it always good to let one co-worker know what another co-worker said about them?

Is it always good to let one friend know what another mutual friend said about him or her?

Yes, I said ‘mutual’ friend. Some would contend to say that if they were a real friend they wouldn’t say anything negative, but that’s not true. Our love for one another isn’t perfect. Our friendships, marriages, families and relationships are not perfect. We all say and do things to hurt those close to us. When this happens it doesn’t mean that there is no love, it just means that our love isn’t perfect.

Loyalty is not always telling EVERYTHING that was said about someone. When is it appropriate? That’s where wisdom, discernment, discretion and restraint come into play.

We must also examine ourselves and our motives for telling them. Do we want them to know? Do we enjoy the excitement of telling them? Do we want them to dislike the person who said it? Why are we repeating it?

This is why God gave us this powerful, but often overlooked wisdom through these two Proverbs…

Proverbs 17:9 (NKJV)

9 He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends

Proverbs 16:28 (NKJV)

28 A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.

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Remember, some things are best left unsaid.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY SOME THINGS ARE BEST LEFT UNSAID…

So many people today feel there is such strength in, TELLING IT LIKE IT IS…GIVING THEM A PIECE OF YOUR MIND…or, KEEPING IT REAL!

Yes, there are times when that has its place, but there’s also great strength, dignity and maturity in keeping some things to yourself.

When the angel appeared to Mary to let her know that she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, and what was going to come to pass…she kept it to herself. She knew some people wouldn’t believe her, she knew some people wouldn’t understand, she knew it wasn’t time.

Luke 2:19(NKJV)

But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.


You don’t have to tell them how pissed off you are…

You don’t have to be the first one to share bad news…

You don’t have to tell them how attracted you are to them (especially if you’re already married)…

You don’t have to tell them how wrong you think they are…

You don’t have to tell them what someone said about them…


We need to stop and think of the immediate and long-term results of sharing what we feel we must say…especially if we are ‘in our emotions’ (anger, lust, disgust, jealousy, fear, sadness, envy, shame, etc…)

Remember what Proverbs says…

Proverbs 17:9 (NKJV)

He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

Even God Himself doesn’t reveal some information to us until we’re ready for it, in other words…He leaves some things unsaid for a season.

1 Peter 1:10 (NKJV)

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

Right now, stop and ask God for wisdom and discernment of…

WHEN TO SPEAK AND WHEN TO BE SILENT, BECAUSE…

SOME THINGS ARE BEST LEFT UNSAID!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT IF A STANDARDIZED TEST SCORE DETERMINED WHETHER OR NOT GOOD PARENTS COULD KEEP THEIR CHILDREN…

Parenting level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest…

What level parent do you think you are?

By what, and whose objective and/or subjective standards should be used to determine this?

As a parent, what if the decision as to whether or not you can keep your children was based on a standardized test that your children took? What if that test was based on how you managed your children at home and how they performed outside of the home?

What if your child or children were given a test based on everything you taught them as a parent throughout the course of a year?

As a parent, are you able to control how well your child or children master what you teach them? Are you able to control what they watch and listen to all of the time? Are you able to control their behavior? Do your children always comply and submit with humility, or do they sometimes give you attitude? Does your child or children ever rebel against your rules? Do they ever sneak and do things they aren’t supposed to do?

How many macro issues are going on around the world that influence and affect the culture of a home and how children learn and behave? How much is beyond a parent’s control?

The truth is that every adult still struggles from some behavioral, social, intellectual and emotional issues inherited from their home no matter what the race, culture religion or socio-economic status may be.

So, what if in everything you did as a parent, your name was accompanied by a number/score by which you would be judged?

Why do we have this unrealistic, unfair and highly-subjective metric placed on our educational professionals?

Many educators are parents too, with the same struggles and challenges.

Yes, test children to get a snapshot and benchmark of what they’ve learned. But, don’t base the EFFECTIVENESS of someone who has to share the dedication they have for their own children with two to eight dozen other children who aren’t their own.

How many good parents would lose their children based on a test score?

For those of you who consider yourselves to be Christians, there’s no better parent than God our Father right?

Do we base His effectiveness as God and a Heavenly Father on how well His children obey Him and master His expectations?

James 1:17 (NKJV)

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning

WHEN GOD’S CHILDREN GET ANGRY AT HIM…

WATCH ALDTRIC JOHNSON PREACH SIBLING RIVALRY: WHEN GOD’S CHILDREN THINK HE’S NOT BEING FAIR

Please share this with someone who you think…will read it and think.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE POWER OF UNITY WORKS FOR BOTH GOOD AND EVIL…

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Notice what Jesus prayed for before He went to the cross in John 17. Notice how many times He said,”ONE”.

John 17:20-23 (NKJV)

 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Now, notice how many times He said I and my father are ONE.

John 10:30 (NKJV)

 30 I and My Father are one.”

Think about what who bears witness in heaven.

John 5:7 (NKJV)

 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one

What did Jesus Himself say about marriage?

Mark 10:8  (NKJV)

 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; [a] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Notice that we’re told to speak the same thing and there be no divisions in our churches…

1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)

 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.

NOW…

Also notice something significant about the demons cast out of the man in Mark Chapter 5.

Mark 5:9 (NKJV)

9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”

Take note in Matthew Chapter 12 what demons do when they find a comfortable dwelling.

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. 

Notice what atrocities Hitler was able to accomplished by getting people to agree with His agenda.

Look at what the LBGT community has been able to accomplish contrary to the word of God by banding together in agreement.

Why?

Because no force other than God and His love is more powerful agreement.


Oneness. Agreement. Unity. Works for both GOOD and EVIL. RIGHT and WRONG.


Think about it…

Marriage…agreement.

Family…agreement.

Church…agreement.

Street gang…agreement.

Mob…agreement.

All are only successful through ONENESS. AGREEMENT. UNITY…a force so powerful, it works for good and evil.

Why do you think the devil works so hard at trying to divide people who love one another…people who have so much in common?

God is love, and satan is not (yes, lower case on purpose.)  Love covers all and conquers all…

1 Peter 4:8 (NKJV)

 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

God’s love is all powerful, but think about this…


UNITY, (AGREEMENT or ONENESS) is the only force and power that the enemy can use to try and RIVAL the power of God’s love on earth to accomplish his agenda.


That’s why in John Chapter 17, after praying for Himself, then praying for His disciples…He prayed for us (vs.20), and He prayed that we are ONE in Him and in one another.

Because other than love, there is nothing more powerful on this earth than UNITY.

So be very careful who and what you agree with!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

WHEN PEOPLE SAY YOU POST TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR MARRIAGE…

FEEL THA 🔥

Your marriage is not private. It’s a public testimony of what God ordained.

People share EVERYTHING nowadays with no shame!

So, share your L❤️VE unapologetically! Yep, it will piss some people off. But, that’s not why you’re doing it.

Let the world know that love doesn’t always have to be perfect for you to be perfect for each other!

Proverbs 5:18-19 (NKJV)

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with (A)the wife of your youth.

Mark 10:9 (NKJV)

9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

KEEPING GODLY MARRIAGE FUN WITH MUSIC, LAUGHTER & A LITTLE WINE…

Okay, I consider my wife and I to be experts on marriage, licensed by over 34 years of ups and downs. Is our marriage perfect? No, but we are perfect for each other.

Even the marriages in the bible were far from perfect. Just go back to Genesis and read about Abraham and Sarah. Neither of them always made the right decisions.

Genesis 16:1-4  (NKJV)

16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall [a]obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her [b]eyes.

Experience has taught us however, how to make the UPs in marriage higher, and the DOWNs less low.

Keep your marriage fun as much as you can through…

MUSIC

What’s ‘your song(s)’? Always remember those songs you used to listen to when you fell in love. Make the music you both love the soundtrack of your marriage, time stamping the years with fond memories that only the two of you share together. No matter how spiritual you are, enjoy romantic, fun and festive songs in your marriage. No matter how much you love God, He doesn’t expect you to get romantic while listening to “Amazing Grace”.

Remember, without music, life would be all talk!

LAUGHTER

Laughter is a gift from God. Never stop doing things to make one another laugh. The longer you live together, the more you learn how to make each other’s smiles turn into sometimes uncontrollable laughter. Make the most of every opportunity to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourselves too seriously.

Your laughter will be a testimony to the world of the joy in a Godly marriage. Others will notice and be encouraged.

Psalm 126:2  (NKJV)

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the [a]nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”

A LITTLE WINE

So many Christians think drinking alcohol is a sin. They are quick to proclaim, “I don’t drink!”

However, when you read the bible in both the Old and New Testaments, wine is a part of life and enjoyed in the bible.

One of the reasons that the religious leaders called Yeshua a ‘winebibber’ is because He drank wine. The fact is when, the wine ran out at the wedding party where he performed His first miracle, He provided the ‘next round’.

Matthew 11:19  (NKJV)

1The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a [a]winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her [b]children.”

John 2:6-11  (NKJV)

Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and [a]manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

Is it a sin to get drunk? YES, YES, YES, YES, YES! Getting drunk is forbidden by God…

Ephesians 5:18  (NKJV)

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,


However, there are many scriptures that let us know we are free to drink wine as long as we do it responsibly.

Deuteronomy 14:26  (NKJV)

26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.

Psalm 104:15  (NKJV)

15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man,
Oil to make his face shine,
And bread which strengthens man’s heart.

1 Timothy 5:23 (NKJV)

23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent [a]infirmities.

So, find time to enhance the mood by enjoying some drinks together as long as you don’t get drunk.

I THINK I’LL RELAX & STUDY MY BIBLE WITH A GLASS OF WINE (from my archives)…

Yes, marriage is work, and there will be times that you don’t even want to talk to each other, but in spite of that, the joy you share can make you marriage get better as the years go by.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN WE PREACHERS WHINE ABOUT NOT GETTING ENOUGH ‘AMENS’…

As a minister, positive feedback makes preaching easier. However, from the Old Testament prophets to the New Testament apostles…the bible confirms that preaching and ministry will not always be easy, convenient or even safe.

It is easy however, for us as modern-day preachers to become spoiled and even intoxicated by…

…people eagerly and happily receiving what we have to say.

…’amens’ and people showing their approval.

…captive audiences.

It’s easy for ministry to become a means of validating ourselves and having our egos fed. If we aren’t careful we can not only find ourselves whining and complaining, but even fussing at people for not listening to us… agreeing with us… making ministry easy for us.

This is when we need to remind ourselves of the apostles. Notice the response to the Apostle Paul in Iconium in Acts Chapter 14 after healing a lame man and receiving praise from the people…

Acts 14:18-20 (NKJV)

18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them. 19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

He was stoned and presumed dead, but he didn’t stop preaching…

Acts 14:21-22 (NKJV)

21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

No whining. No complaining. No fussing at the people for not listening…just continuing with their calling.

When WE preachers find ourselves whining and complaining about not getting enough ‘Amens!’. We owe Peter, Paul, James, John… the apostles… the martyrs and most of all Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) an apology.

Churches aren’t our little kingdoms and the members our subjects. The church is the Body of Christ.

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

BE BLESSTIFED!

WHEN NEW LEADERSHIP GETS RID OF HIGH-PERFORMING PEOPLE (BIBLICAL EXAMPLE)…

When Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828 the phrase, “To the victor go the spoils’, was used by New York Senator William L. Marcy referring to the ‘spoils system’ (patronage) in the early days of American politics…the practice of giving civil jobs to supporters and friends. Of course, well-qualified, high-performing people have to be fired to do this.

However, we all know that new leadership getting rid of good people is by no means exclusive to politicians. Countless people have fallen victim to loosing their job because new leadership either wanted to give jobs to people who they felt better suited them, or just didn’t like the incumbent group.

When someone makes up their mind that they want to get rid of you, there’s no good you can do to change it.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever done this as a new leader? Is it ethical? Is it godly?

Is there a biblical example?

YES!

Joseph of Genesis was strategically placed 2nd in command to Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) in order to save His people. Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams and god-given management abilities gave him favor with the king and Joseph was given the power to make decisions and only answer to him…

Genesis 41:37-44 (NKJV)

37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be [a]over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

But, despite Joseph’s favor with the King that ‘hired him’, when a new Pharaoh arrived, he didn’t value Joseph and could care less about his influence…

Exodus 1:6-8 (NKJV)

And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and [a]grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

This king subjugated Joseph’s people, the nation of Israel which led to 400 years of bondage in Egypt.

Have you ever had a Pharaoh come along who didn’t know you?

But, back to the question, for ‘bosses’ who call themselves Christian, is it ethical? moral? is it a sin? Let’s refer to the words of Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ…

Luke 6:31 (NKJV)

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE MIND UNTIL GOD CHANGES THE HEART…

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Change the heart and the mind will follow.

How many times have you heard someone say, “You aren’t going to change my mind”?
As Christians, we say that to anyone who tries to convince us to reject Jesus. So, as we strive to promote the love of Christ, and to convince people to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, it’s easy to understand how some people who were born and raised in other faiths or no faith will say the same thing.

But, we must understand that our challenge as Christians isn’t to change MINDS, but to touch HEARTS. When you touch someone’s HEART with the love of Christ, their THINKING changes.


In Jeremiah 33:31, God promises us, 
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their HEARTS. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Notice, God didn’t say He’d put His word in our minds, but hearts.

How many times have you struggled to change someone’s mind?


Some have even married people determined to change their MINDS and thinking.
Any effective social movement such as the Civil Rights Movement was successful because it changes hearts. You can’t FORCE people to change how they think, but when you touch their HEARTS, their thinking will change. The NON-VIOLENT protests of the 50’s and 60’s were designed to change hearts.
People will tell you, “You can talk to me until you’re blue in the face, you won’t change my mind!” And they’re right. Talk makes people defensive of their thinking, but God’s love has the power to change their heart. Talk is CHEAP, but LOVE is action.
Don’t beat your head against the wall trying to change someone’s mind.
Don’t rely on LOUD talk and FORCE to change someone’s mind.
LIVE out loud and LOVE out loud to change the HEART, and the MIND will follow.
BE BLESSTIFIED!

IF YOU CAN ‘HOLD IN’ A FART, YOU CAN ‘HOLD IN’ AN F-BOMB, INSULT or RUMOR…

Profanity! Insults! Rumors! Gossip! Retaliation! So, many times we say, “I just had to say it!”

So many times we assert, “I couldn’t hold it in!”


Yes, we can!


You don’t have to say it!

You don’t have to curse them out!

You don’t have to let them know how you feel!

You don’t have to tell them what was said about them!

You don’t have to spread that rumor without any facts!

You don’t have to say everything on your mind!

You can hold it in!


Just as no one embarrasses themselves by blurting out a loud, smelly fart in public…just as we one restrain the hot air that comes out of his or her behind

We can also restrain what comes from our mouths.


No matter how bad one’s stomach may be ‘upset’, not matter how severe the case of diarrhea may be — no one will every embarrass themselves by just ‘letting it go’.

You do everything you can to ‘hold it in’.

We need to learn to do the same thing with our mouths. If we can restrain the hot air that comes from our butt’s, we can restrain the hot air that comes from our mouths. RESTRAINT!

Proverbs 17:27 (NKJV)

27 (A)He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

4 WAYS TO TELL IF A CULTURE OR TRADITION HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED OR INFLUENCED BY DEMONS…

If you believe in God and angelic influence in our lives, then you have to believe in the devil and demonic (fallen angel) influence in our lives as well.

The bible not only gives examples of the devil influencing our behavior…

Luke 22:3-4 (NKJV)

Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.

But, it also makes it clear that even some doctrines taught in the church have demonic origins…

1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV)

Now the Spirit [a]expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

It’s unfortunate that from race, to religion, to fraternal organizations, to business, to ‘heritage’, to family…too many cultures and traditions have either intentionally or unintentionally been established and endured due to demonic influence.

If it contradicts the word of God, then it’s not of God.

God has given us clear insight in how to tell if there’s been demonic influence in culture or tradition, but too many times we ignore, justify or excuse it because we’re too committed to our traditions etc.,

Mark 7:7-9 (NRSV)

in vain do they worship me,
    teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition!

The knowledge is available, but too many times we choose willful ignorance…

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

Here’s some explicit, biblical examples of how to tell if a culture or tradition has been established or influenced by demons…

1. IT CONTRADICTS THE WORD OF GOD…

This one was stated above, but let me give you a perfect example that someone is sure to deflect, justify or explain because the feel compelled to continue the tradition. Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and the Book of James clearly tells us to never swear an oath and goes on to say that when we do IT IS FROM THE DEVIL…, but from court, to public office, to public servants to the military, the tradition has been established to make the first act of office or service A SIN by swearing an oath. It’s even written in the United States constitution to ‘swear or affirm’. But, the Lord said…

Matthew 5:34-37 (NKJV)

34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [a]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

James 5:12 (NKJV)

12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into [a]judgment.

WHY THE WORD ‘SWEAR’ NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FROM THE CONSTITUTION, ASAP…

One way the devil gets demonic traditions to survive for thousands of years is to convince people they are depriving their children of something. For example, God made it clear that we should not only avoid to worship pagan Gods, but to refrain from allowing their names to come from out lips…

Joshua 23: 7(NKJV)

and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not MAKE MENTION OF THE NAME of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them,

The devil has convinced well-meaning Christians to blaspheme every time they mention a day meant to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ by calling it by the name of a pagan goddess. This tradition is so established that not only do many Christians not know why it’s called Easter, but they feel compelled to defend it once the find out that it and it’s traditions are pagan. Celebrate without calling it Easter and ‘hunting eggs’ NAMES MATTER (WHY WE SHOULD STOP CALLING EASTER…EASTER)

2. IT’S BASED ON PRIDE

God hates pride and explicitly forbids it. However, from family, to nation, to race, to organizations, people proclaim that pride is a part of the culture and tradition.

Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

1Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before [a]a fall.

James 4:6 (NKJV)

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Anytime we feel compelled to use the word pride, thankful is always more appropriate

REMEMBER THIS THE NEXT TIME YOU SAY YOU’RE PROUD OF ANYTHING…

3. WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A PART OF IT OR PARTICIPATE

There are so many cultures and organizations that either force people to sin to become a part of them, or to sin to participate in them. One thing that I couldn’t ignore when I was living on campus when going to college is the sinful behavior in which pledges (of all races) had to participate to become a part of a fraternity or sorority. And, once a member some frats very reputation was of sinful promiscuity and overindulgence in alcohol (watch some people push back on this one)…

It’s amazing that despite how easy God makes it to become a part of His organization (The Body of Christ or the church) that we can make it so difficult to become a part of some of ours.

THE UNHOLINESS OF HAZING: TRADITIONS FROM HELL…

Many toxic corporate and organizational cultures flourish because people are forced to make unethical and ungodly decisions. Many of these cultures pervert what God calls strength… FOR THOSE WHO PERVERT WHAT GOD CALLS TRUE STRENGTH…

4. IT EXPLICITLY HONORS THE DEVIL

God takes names very seriously. He changed Jacob’s name to Israel. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham. He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. He continuously reiterated the fact that He takes His own names very seriously…

Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

So this being said, why would anyone want to name a sports team with a name that has anything to do with the devil or devils? You literally has to shout cheers for the devil to support the team! WHY AREN’T CHRISTIANS CONCERNED WITH TEAMS WITH A DEVIL AS THE MASCOT…

This short list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it provokes thought and conversation about what it truly important to God.

2 TOXIC, CULTURAL DEMONS THAT ARE OFTEN DEFLECTED IN THE BLACK & WHITE COMMUNITIES…

BE BLESSTIFED!

IT’S NOT A SIN TO BE FRUSTRATED, UNLESS…

We inherited all of our emotions from God…we were created in His image, so we can experience His emotions. God gets frustrated at us when we willingly sin.

So, He understands that we will sometimes feel frustrated at life… at some of His decisions… at what He allows.

Jeremiah 12:1 NKJV

Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?

Sometimes we can feel guilty over our frustration.

But remember, getting frustrated isn’t a sin unless

It causes us to be ungrateful.

It causes us to be in thankful.

It causes us to complain rather than lament.

It causes us to doubt God.

It causes someone else to doubt God.

It causes us to lose our faith.

It causes someone else to doubt God.

When you feel frustrated or even angry at yourself, others, life or even God…do a Google search for Psalms of Lament.

Notice how God teaches us to responsibly express our frustrations as long as we always end with expressing our trust in Him.

Psalm 13 (NKIV)

13 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
(A)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;
(B)Enlighten my eyes,
(C)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.

5 But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV)

26 (A)“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

Don’t let your frustrations keep you down.

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 have something wrong with it? Always ‘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 that the price he paid for the repairs was still better than having a car payment for years. He immediately thanked God and asked him to forgive him for so quickly allowing frustration to take away the excitement of his blessing.

So many times God will bless us and if it’s not exactly the way we wanted it or comes with some imperfections, inconveniences or responsibilities, we can find ourselves with an unthankful attitude.

The bible reminds us that every gift God gives is perfect…

James 1:17  (NKJV)

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

The next time you begin to see stains on your blessings, remember that every gift from God is perfect.

Any stains we see are on our eyes and not the blessing.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

HOW THE WORKER SHORTAGE RESTORED VALUE TO UNDERVALUED WORKERS (LOW SKILL ISN’T NO SKILL)…

One of the incredible ‘ripple effects’ of the COVID-19 pandemic is that after those who either lost or left their jobs because to the shut-down of the economy, many of those workers haven’t returned. To some workers, the federal and state unemployment compensation was a ‘windfall’, giving some people more income than they have ever earned in their lives.

Many of these jobs are considered ‘low skill’ and aren’t desirable to many Americans, especially if they have achieved certain levels of education.

The result is a huge worker shortage.

However, remember this… LOW SKILL DOESN’T MEAN NO SKILL!

From the people who make fast food ‘fast’, to the professionals who collect our garbage, the shortage of so-called ‘low skill’ workers has revealed that their absence can cause a huge disruption to our everyday lives.

With restaurants either closing early or closing their doors all together…

With essential services such as garbage collection being disrupted…

The real value in those who have been undervalued is being revealed.

My wife and I owned a small retail store in our twenties, and we understand the value in the people who work the register and protect your inventory.

As much as many people feel these workers don’t deserve $15 an hour, the fact that many workers who make only $8 an hour bring more value than that amount of money to the company.

The fact is that even though many top-level CEO’s make millions, they still don’t bring that much VALUE to the company. There is no justification for that much of a companies resources to be wasted on one person, especially while many of the front-line workers who make those huge salaries possible are dismissed with what equates to ‘pennies’.

I was once a Marketing Manager at the headquarters of a Fortune 300 company. Everyone above manager level received an annual bonus based on performance, while those below didn’t. Each year they were encouraged to help ‘hit that target’ that would ensure wonderful bonuses for all of us who were manager level or above.

What was their added incentive to work even harder for a reward that didn’t belong to them?

If anyone deserved a bonus it was the people who helped make the bonuses possible.

Sure many of these ‘lower-level’ jobs have traditionally been filled by high-school students, that still doesn’t diminish the value that they bring to our society.

Even in the bible, the landowner who was seeking workers to optimize his property, valued workers so much that he paid the workers who worked one hour the same amount of money he paid those who worked all day…

Matthew 20:8-16 (NKJV)

“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they [a]complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For[b] many are called, but few chosen.”

Think about this, how long would it take for you to miss you local garbage collectors if they were on strike because they wanted more money?

Just because they’re working with garbage doesn’t mean they don’t deserve it.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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