SOME OF OUR ‘HATERS’ HATE US BECAUSE WE’VE GIVEN THEM A GOOD REASON…

Sometimes we have people who don’t like us, just because they don’t want to like us.
Sometimes we have people who go as far as to work against us or undermine our efforts.

Sometimes people talk about us behind our backs, whether we do good or bad.

Many of these people don’t like us, even though we have done nothing to them…we call these people HATERS.

People even pray that God give them vindication from their haters…

Psalm 25:2(NKJV)

O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.


But, when we’re honest with ourselves, we have given some of our HATERS as good reason to dislike us.


Yes, God expects us to be loving, and God expects us to be forgiving, but God also commands that we don’t be an offender or a ’stumbling block’ to others (Matthew 18:6,1 Corinthians 8:9).

We all have let others down.

We all have hurt others.

We all have done things we are ashamed of…

We all have offended others. There are some people who feel they were better off if they hadn’t met us.

We’ve all been the antagonist in someone else’s story.

King David was a man after God’s on heart, and he killed for a man for his wife.

Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles..after he was well-known for persecuting the church and consented to the death of Christians.

You can be sure that even after they repented of their sin…even after there was far behind them, they still had people and haters who were affected by their sin.

Haters will hate, and even though they are wrong to hold a grudge, we must be sensitive to the way the feel…let’s be sensitive to the fact that we’re the source of their attitude or actions.

And, if need be we MUST seek their forgiveness. After that, it’s between them and God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE LESSON IN A CLEAN, BUT ITCHY BUTT…

Mom said, “Hurry and get cleaned up Eric! You’re going to be late for school!”

Eric was still sleepy, so he dragged himself out of bed as mom continued to scream, “I want to hear that water running NOW!”

So young Eric went into the bathroom, lathered up his washcloth and quickly washed all ‘the important parts’ so he could tell mom that he did it.

Not long after getting to school, Eric began itching badly. He tried to discreetly scratch his bottom, but the itching was so intense, he didn’t care. He aggressively scratched trying to get some relief.

It got so bad that his 4th grade teacher called mom. She came to school, picked up Eric and scolded him for not washing his behind.

Eric told his mom, “But, I DID wash it mom!”

Eric‘s problem was that he quickly washed, but didn’t properly rinse away all of the soap, which made him itch, so he had the same effect and symptoms as if he didn’t wash at all. His going through the motions led to some uncomfortable consequences.

WHAT‘S THE LESSON HERE?

So many times as adults we can get in a hurry, especially when overwhelmed, and simply go through the motions of what we’re SUPPOSED to do, but don’t do it properly.

We mutter a quick prayer just to say we did it…

We robotically read a ‘verse of the day’ rather than really reading and studying the bible…

We rush through blessing our food without putting any real thought into what we’re saying….

We quickly say The Model Prayer (popularly known as The Lord’s Prayer) rather than having an intimate moment with God…

We say I love you to our family rather than showing I love you…

We hypnotically ‘go through the motions’ on our jobs without thinking about the real reasons we’re doing them, or the implications and consequences if we don’t do them properly and correctly.

We ‘go through the motions’ with our spiritual, personal and professional lives and wonder why our ‘butt won’t stop itching’.

Don’t just go through the motions just to say you check ✔️ed off a box….figuratively WASH AND RINSE THOROUGHLY!

Eric learned his lesson, and it serves as a good reminder for us.

Simply going through the motions can lead to uncomfortable consequences and ‘sticky’ situations.

Colossians 3:23 (ESV)

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN WE MAKE NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES LOOK TRUE …

There are negative stereotypes of every race, gender, geographic region, culture, nationality, religion etc.

This is one article that needs no evidence or examples because as you read it those negative stereotypes of which you are aware easily come to mind.

I don’t know what’s worse, negative stereotypes or those people who seem to do their best to support those stereotypes with their thinking, attitudes and behavior.

Even in the bible, the apostle Paul mentions a stereotype that was supported by the behavior of SOME of the people of a certain group, that projected to all of them…

Titus 1:10-13 (NKJV)

10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle (A)talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, (B)for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 (C)One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. (D)Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,

Notice that Paul said, “THIS TESTIMONY IS TRUE”. That’s because that…

No matter hard some people work to remove negative stereotypes of their particular ‘group’, there are others who seem to be committed to helping those stereotypes to live on.

Unfortunately, some stereotypes are like rumors… most (but not all) rumors are wrapped around a kernel of truth.

Think about the many groups of which you are a part, and the negative stereotypes of those groups…

Which of those stereotypes does your thinking, attitudes and behavior help those stereotypes live on?

Be careful, sometimes our stereotyping someone fits a stereotype within itself.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY NO MATTER HOW WELL YOU LEAD, SOMEONE WILL PLOT AGAINST YOU…

Leadership can be a lonely place. Ask any coach, politician, principal, president, pastor or parent. Leadership is a roller coaster of highs and lows…love and hate.

Jesus Christ is the model of non-wavering servant leadership, and He suffered second guessing, doubt, denial and betrayal from those closest to Him.

As sincere as we try to be, people are fickle. Jesus attested to this early in His earthly ministry after His first miracle…

John 2:23-25 (NKJV)

23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the (A)signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He (B)knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for (C)He knew what was in man.

People who support you can suddenly become your worst enemy.

Of course when you make horrible decisions people will come for you.

However, every dedicated leader reading this knows that when you make the toughest, most difficult decisions that make life uncomfortable and require sacrifice…people will plot against you.

But wait! When you make great decisions that people love, SOMEONE is always going to get jealous of your great leadership. Someone will always get pissed off at you doing the right thing?

During my years as a corporate marketing manager before becoming a teacher, I realized that even when an advertising agency is doing a stellar job for a client, companies sometimes get rid of them simply because they want to try something new.

So, it really doesn’t matter, whether you’re an exceptional leader or horrible a horrible one, someone will murmur, scheme or plot against you.

Why? Because if it happened to Jesus, it will happen to us. The fact is that it’s only fair that we share in what He endured…

1 Peter 4:13 (NKJV)

13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

So, don’t be surprised.

Approach every single day with focus, integrity, passion and courage.

Trust God.

And lead!

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…disrespected you…betrayed you…embarrassed you…abused you, or hurt, disrespected, betrayed, embarrassed, or abused someone you love — and you wanted 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!

WHY EVERYONE CAN’T HANDLE THE DETAILS OF YOUR TESTIMONY…

We encourage others when we testify of the depths of sin from which God delivered us… when we admit how low we allowed the devil to convince us to go. It can help others who are going through the same struggles, but be careful…especially with the details.

You must use wisdom, discernment and discretion when sharing your ‘testimony’. You don’t have to and sometimes can’t tell ALL YOUR BUSINESS and give all the details when sharing your lowest and worst. Why?

Because just as others can and will draw strength from your story of ‘how low you allowed yourself to go’, and how God delivered you…others can and will be discouraged or feel justified in their sin.

Some details are best not shared.

Some experiences that God allowed to remain secret, should remain secret.

We all know that Saul/Paul persecuted the church, but God didn’t give us all of the details.

We all know that Saul/Paul had a ‘thorn in the flesh’, but God didn’t allow us to know what it was.

We all know that Peter denied Christ, but we don’t know any of his other sins.

Think how Paul expressed his internal battle with good and evil…

Romans 7:15-20 (NKJV)

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Some people aren’t concerned about the spiritual lesson in your story, they’re just nosey.

Yes, we should encourage others who can benefit from what we’ve gone through, but pray for wisdom in what needs to remain between you and God.

YOU CAN SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY WITHOUT TELLING ALL OF YOUR BUSINESS…

WHY YOU SHOULD THANK GOD HE ALLOWED SOME THINGS IN YOUR LIFE TO REMAIN SECRET…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN THE NEW BOSS DOESN’T DIG YOU LIKE THE ONE WHO HIRED YOU…

“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph…”

It happens every day. Maybe you’ve been on either side of this situation.

You have an amazing interview, and they can’t wait until you get started. YOU’RE HIRED! You immediately come in and do what no one else in the world can do better than you… Do you! Be yourself! Do your job the way only you can.

You have stellar performance reviews. You do exactly as you promised in your interview. You have months and years of success…and then it happens.

You have a new boss who doesn’t know the person who hired you, and for whatever reason, they’re not a fan of you…NO MATTER HOW WELL YOU DO YOUR JOB.

It could be because they want someone else for your position.

They may not like your personality.

They may feel threatened by you.

They may simply not like you for no reason at all… And, from that moment, he or she begins to start finding a way to get you to leave, or get rid of you.

You’re just like Joseph of Genesis, the son of Jacob who found favor with the king of Egypt (Pharaoh) and not only set up Joseph as second in command over the entire kingdom, but set up his entire family with land and provisions during a time of famine, but eventually…

“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph…”

Exodus 1:6-11(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. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.

This happened to me. Along came a ‘king’ who didn’t know the person who hired me.

After awesome relationships with previous Directors and VP’s and several years of positive reviews in one of my former corporate jobs, a new Senior VP and Director arose and for whatever reason, they weren’t fans of me. To make a long story short, they eventually found reasons to get rid of me. But, God is sovereign over any ‘boss’.

It was painful.

I felt ambushed.

It was embarrassing.

It wasn’t how I planned to leave.

But sometimes God has a plan for our lives that we can’t see, and He has to deliver us from situations that we wouldn’t leave ourselves.

The bible proves that deliverance isn’t always easy or comfortable.

Israel wasn’t destined to be settled in Egypt, but in the land God promised Abraham. And, the way that God got them to that promised land wasn’t easy. It was also delayed because of their disobedience, but He continued to deliver them time and time again until His promise was fulfilled.

Back to me.

I’ve always had a desire to teach, but never followed through. So, I finally took two PRAXIS tests (for teaching) before taking my last corporate job and passed both of them, but I was called for an interview with a Fortune 300 company for a mid-level management position. It payed much, much more than a teacher’s salary, and I went for the money. Within ten years that job went from ‘thrive to struggling to survive’. As I said, they let me go.

But, God stepped in and gave me an opportunity to become part of a fellowship to get me into the classroom. He gave me the ability to transition to a new career at 50 years old. I’m making half as much money, but God somehow has my family living much better, and I’m much happier and much more fulfilled. I’m even working at the same school as my veteran teacher wife in an awesome district.

And, God is allowing me to be effective and bring glory to Him by how I do my job. I couldn’t do it without Him…

Remember God has ultimate control over your life, not your boss. And, if you happen to be granted that level of authority over someone’s life, never forget who has authority over yours.

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PRAISE IS A SACRIFICE…

Error
This video doesn’t exist

It’s not always easy to praise God. That’s the reason it’s sometimes called “the sacrifice of praise”. I pray this sermon excerpt blesses you:-)

 

Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

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

Isaiah 61:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

To [a]console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW GOD SAYS, “STAY WOKE”…

Stay woke is an urban idiom that implies stay informed to the truth in the midst of biased, filtered information…Don’t get hypnotized by current trends, pop culture or status quo…Don’t let it dictate your thinking. It can also infer don’t believe your own hype.

‘WOKE’ has recently been politicized beyond its original meaning.

That being said, from a Christian point of view it simply means don’t get caught up in the world.

I can’t say it any better than how God said it through the Apostle Paul…

Romans 13:11-14 (NLT)

11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. WAKE UP, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. 13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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

wp-1483461700459.jpg

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

Are your adult children ever unappreciative, disconnected or disrespectful?

Mark 7:8-13  (NKJV)

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

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

Ephesians 6:1 (NKJV)

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

 Colossians 3:20  (NKJV)

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

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

Disobey them…

Disrespect them…

Deny them…

Embarrass them…

Don’t appreciate them…

Don’t ask for their advice…

Don’t take their advice…

Don’t talk to them…

Respect others more than them…

Or, even rebel against them.

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

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

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

1 John 5:3 (NKJV)

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


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


Disobey Him…

Disrespect Him…

Deny Him…

Embarrass Him…

Don’t appreciate Him…

Don’t ask for His advice…

Don’t take His advice…

Don’t talk to Him…

Respect others more than Him…

Rebel against Him…

Don’t listen to Him?

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

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DOES GOD A ACCEPT WORSHIP SERVICE WITHOUT TRADITIONAL HYMNALS…

Hymnals are an important and beloved part of the Christian tradition during worship service.

Many hymnals sung in churches were written centuries ago, but the lyrics are just as relevant today.

However, God raises up talented, creative and anointed psalmists for every generation. Yes, there’s plenty of meaningless, forgetful music out there intended to appeal to the senses and not the spirit, but there’s also tons of Christian songwriters and musicians who focus on honoring the scriptures with their music.

They write powerful, scriptural lyrics that live in specific genres to connect with believers all over the world.

Just as much as these ‘new hymnals’ are contemporary, those old songs were once ‘new school’ too.

The truth is, that as powerful and meaningful that, “Yield Not To Temptation” may be, the song and songs like it just won’t connect with some people in our generation or generations to come. However, all sincere believers have favorite spiritual songs that deliver the same message and help them connect with God.

None of the traditional songs that are so revered today (except for the Psalms) were written during ‘bible times.’ They’re spiritual but not scripture.

There are some Christians who will make you feel guilty about omitting classical hymnals during worship and using ‘bible apps’ instead of bound bibles.

They must be reminded that classical hymnals were once new, and bound bibles were ‘new technology’ after scrolls.

God DOES accept your worship as long as the songs are God-inspired and scriptural.

Traditional hymnals are a beautiful tradition, but they’re still just that…tradition NOT SCRIPTURE.

One day, the new songs written today will be Old School too.

Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another (A)in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN TEACHERS ASSIGN WORK OVER WINTER BREAK…

I remember during my years in school as a student the occasional teacher who would give an assignment during winter or spring break. I also remember the same as a parent when my children were in students.

I hated it then for myself and my children, and I hate it now.

Now, after years in corporate America, I’m now an educator, and I refuse to assign work to students over breaks. My wife is also a high-performing, veteran educator.

We work in an amazing district and have administrators that actively look for opportunities to lighten teachers’ workloads in a macro-culture of unrealistic expectations, responsibilities and legal liability…many teachers are overworked and overwhelmed.

All breaks are earned and well-deserved. And, a BREAK should be a real BREAK. It should be a time when one doesn’t have to do or think about work… a time of refreshing.

That being said, as an educator, I feel it’s hypocritical for any educator or administrator to expect children to do work or think about school over their breaks as well….it should a time of refreshing and being a kid.

Even God gets extremely angry when we refuse to appreciate and enjoy His weekly day of rest: NOTICE HOW MUCH IT PISSES GOD OFF WHEN WE REFUSE TO REST…

Of course there’s research that supports assigning work during breaks, but there’s research and data to support any agenda…that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing to do.

One must honestly ask oneself is it about what’s truly most beneficial to the child’s mental well-being or about an educator’s education ego?

Work life balance isn’t only important for adults, but for children too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

CAN WE BE TOO RIGHTEOUS?

wp-1472569536852.jpg

Most cake recipes call for a little salt. Many of us like to satisfy our sweet tooth with a good slice of cake. In fact, when it’s really good, one bite just makes you want another. The right amount of salt makes cakes taste just right…making you want more with each bite. However, too much salt will make us quickly spit it out of our mouth.

Colossians 4:6 tells us to let our speech be full of grace and seasoned with salt. Ecclesiastes 7:16 says, “Do not be overly righteous,” Nor be overly wise:..”

It’s good to have passion for the Kingdom of God, but when we are over-zealous, arrogant, mean-spirited  self-righteous, we can turn people away rather than attract them to Christ. All things in moderation. If we are trying to talk about the Lord in EVERY conversation, claim we never do anything wrong, or down people who are unbelievers, we can make people avoid us, dread seeing us coming and destroy any influence we may have. But, if we cleverly chose the right moments to ‘sprinkle the salt of the word’ when it’s applicable, people are more likely to listen, receive it, and even soften hardened hearts.

We need to ‘love out loud’ and ‘live out loud’ to let people see God in our character rather than beating them with the bible, making every conversation about God, or punctuating every sentence with a spiritual cliché. Wisely ‘sprinkling the salt’ of God’s word in conversations can make people hungry for more, and establish you as the go-to person on your job, your team, your school, your family when people want to know more about God. Being over zealous makes us seem crazy, and people can conclude, “I don’t want what they have.” God expects us to use wisdom and do everyone His Spirit of excellence. Notice how Paul reasoned with the Epicureans, Stoics, and people of Athens with respect and wisdom in Acts 17. He didn’t ‘beat them over the head’ or talk down to them. He wetted their appetite so that some wanted to hear more.

Psalm 19:10 proclaims God’s word is sweeter than honey in the comb. Yes it is! I love it. But if we don’t handle it wisely, people will spit it out, and we can do more harm than good.

 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOUR SIN IS A GOOD MEMORY…

You’ve stopped.

You don’t do it anymore.

You even asked God to forgive you.

But, when you think about it, the memory still makes you smile.

If you don’t really regret it.

If you had to do it all over…you would do it again.

If you aren’t truly sorry that it happened, then it’s a good chance that God hasn’t forgiven you.

Why?

Because you haven’t truly repented in your heart.

True repentance comes from godly sorrow…

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

10 For (A)godly sorrow produces repentance leadingto salvation, not to be regretted; (B)but the sorrow of the world produces death.

If you aren’t sorry, have you truly repented?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOUR BAD DECISIONS…

God is a forgiving God and He is willing to forgive us of all our sins as long as we truly repent and have a forgiving heart towards others.

But, sometimes we can wonder if we will ever recover from the consequences of our bad decisions.

Let me give you a quick reminder that God loves us and He is bigger than or bad decisions.

Any parent who has punished or disciplined their child will look on them in pity and remove the punishment or give them relief from the consequences if It’s in their power to do so.

God does the same thing…

Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But [a]joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 103:9-11 (NKJV)

He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

So if you’re living out the consequences or results of a bad decision and you have truly repented, pray that God deliver you from the consequences.

Pray that God gives you relief and peace. But, make sure you pray that He does so to his glory and for His names sake…

Psalm 25:10-11 (NKJV)

10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

Psalm 143:11 (NKJV)

11 Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.

Isaiah 48:8-10 (NKJV)

Surely you did not hear,
Surely you did not know;
Surely from long ago your ear was not opened.
For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,
And were called a transgressor from the womb.

“For My name’s sake I will [a]defer My anger,
And for My praise I will restrain it from you,
So that I do not cut you off.
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

Once I was driving at night and didn’t see a small ditch. I drove right into it! I had to drive IN the ditch for a while until I could find a place to drive OUY of it. Sometimes you have to remain in a ditch until you can find a place to be pulled out our pull yourself out.

Even though you may remain in a ‘ditch’ because of you’re a bad decision, God can pull you out.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT IF BENEVOLENCE WAS TREATED LIKE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING?

wp-1482542637247.jpg

Holiday Hustle..Bustle…FUSStle

Have you noticed that people treat Christmas shopping like a duty, an obligation… almost like a job?

One person will ask…

“Have you finished your Christmas shopping?”

or

“Are you ready for Christmas?”

and another will answer…

“No, I HAVE , GOT to get it done!”

During this season, people spend enough money to make or break many retailers’ fiscal year…

During this time of year some people are prepared because they’ve saved for the holiday…

During this time of year some people spend money they can’t afford in order to buy presents…

During this time of year some people borrow money and end up paying for this Christmas into and beyond the next.

Are any of these people you?

Think about the fervor, the diligence, the stress….

Think of the hustle, the bustle, the FUSStle…

Consider this. What if people approached benevolence with the same attitude they approach the holiday?

Have you given to the poor? homeless? needy? orphaned?

Have you visited the sick? lonely? imprisoned?

No, but I HAVE GOT to get started!!!!

If we, in the Body of Christ, approached cheerful, unobligated giving all year as we do at Christmas…what kind of world would this be?

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Just think about it…

Matthew 25: 31-46

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

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

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[d] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 Be a blessing beyond December…

 BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

WHY SANITATION WORKERS ARE AMONG THE MOST ESSENTIAL OF ESSENTIAL WORKERS…

Think for a moment about the professions that are considered to be honorable.

Think for a moment the professions that earn the most money.

Now, think which professionals and workers you would miss the most if they went on strike.

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many found themselves missing professional sports but…

Who do you think would be missed first a person’s favorite team collecting wins, or someone collecting their garbage?

Sanitation workers are the most essential of essential workers, but are often forgotten and not given the respect they deserve, and definitely not the pay they deserve.

The bible tells us to give honor to whom honor is due…

Romans 13:7 (NKJV)

Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Those whose profession is the very fabric of maintaining civilization itself deserve honor. In fact, it was on behalf of sanitation professionals that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was visiting Memphis when he was taken away.

The next time you take out garbage and don’t have to think about it anymore, thank God for your sanitation workers.

And, the next time you see them doing their job, give them some love, honor and respect.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY WE SHOULD PRAY THAT IT DOES NOT SNOW ON CHRISTMAS…

As the thought of watching thick, fluffy snowflakes fall creating a beautiful blanket on the ground makes the holiday seem more cozy to some…

It strikes the deepest dread, fear and anxiety into the hearts of the homeless.

As one parent asks, “What are we gonna eat tonight” wondering what snacks they’ll munch on while enjoying the snow with their children…

Another parent asks himself or herself, “What are we gonna eat tonight” because they’re wondering if they’ll have anything to feed their children.

As one child counts the money they have gotten for Christmas…

A homeless parent counts the dollars they were able to collect at an intersection, along with sneers, stares, insults and judgement as to how they got in that situation. They are trying to decide should we eat with this little money? Or try to get into the homeless shelter.

So, before you watch the weather forecast hoping for snow at your address…

Think about…

Pray for…

And if possible, do something to show love to someone who has no address.

Proverbs 21:13 (NASB)

13 One who shuts his ear to the outcry of the poor
Will also call out himself, and not be answered.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

EVEN THE MOST EFFECTIVE LEADERS DON’T ‘HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER’…

wp-1494361653849.

Leaders are very highly scrutinized and often criticized if they ‘don’t have it all together’. We can find ourselves expecting them to be near perfect. But, when we read the bible, we find that many of God’s most anointed…those whom He gave great responsibility were lacking in many areas.

Moses and the Apostle Paul weren’t the greatest speakers.

Exodus 4:10 (NKJV)

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

2 Corinthians 11:6 (NKJV)

Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.

Eli the anointed High Priest and Judge had corrupt, disobedient sons (1 Samuel 3).

1 Samuel 3:13  (NKJV)

13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.

Peter was quick to speak before he thought, and was even rebuked by Paul for being a hypocrite to the point that it influenced other leaders.

Galatians 2:11-13(NKJV)

11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

Just because one is anointed by God doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t need any help. Every great leader needs a strong support system. They need to be surrounded by gifted, anointed people they can trust to delegate responsibility and help with their weaknesses. I think that’s God’s system of checks and balances.

We sometimes see charismatic, polished and sometimes affluent leaders and assume they have ‘it all together’ and that we could never qualify for leadership in God’s Kingdom because of our personal issues and weaknesses.

But, let me assure you that all leaders…

ARE NOT CHARISMATIC

It’s easy to confuse charisma for anointing or confidence. Many great leaders are soft-spoken and reserved. There are many of charismatic leaders who can motivate a crowd but have absolutely no vision. There are others who have the WRONG vision and can motivate millions to do the wrong thing. Never confuse charisma with anointing. Check out this post for more on that… 4 WAYS TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREACHING & A PERFORMANCE….

ARE NOT GOOD AT MANAGING MONEY

The ability to manage money can either be a gift or an acquired discipline. For those of whom that it doesn’t come so naturally, they can struggle with the discipline, detail and organization it takes to be a great money manager. Remember how one of the devoted prophets in the Old Testament died in poverty leaving his sons to be sold into slavery…

2 Kings 4:1 (NIV)

4 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.

ARE NOT ORGANIZED

Here again some people are more naturally inclined to be organized. They pay great attention to detail. They are uneasy when things aren’t in place. They even organize things in their minds as they observe them, while others struggle to be organized. They make a sincere effort, but slowly find themselves slipping into their old habits. Notice how the rich nobleman in Luke 16:1-13 had a shrewd manager hired to manage his affairs.

DON’T HAVE THE BEST BEHAVED CHILDREN

Yes, I know what the bible says…

1 Timothy 3:4-5 (NKJV)

one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)

…and this is not a contradiction. I had a friend tell me that his dad, a very sincere, devout man of God resigned as a deacon because his son, (my friends brother) was addicted to  drugs and in and out of jail. Well, the devil found out how to move a great leader out of the way. We are all God’s children and we don’t always behave as He commands us, does that mean that He’s not a good Father? Does that mean that God is not a good leader? No! God set’s the standard of behavior and doesn’t waver. He tells us, “NO!” to certain things. It’s up to us to love and respect Him enough to obey. That’s what God expects us to do…set the rules and boundaries in the home. To say, “No!” and don’t waver. As mentioned earlier, Eli, a great man of God, didn’t restrain his sons in 1 Samuel Chapters 2 and 3. But, he was still highly respected and used by God.

DON’T HAVE THE PERFECT MARRIAGE

Any stromg leader will tell you that leadership itself is a challenge to marriage. Responsibilities sometimes force the leader to choose between his or her spouse and duties. Leadership cuts into quality time, occupies the leaders mind during personal time, and even sometimes affects the desire for intimacy. It was obvious that ministry took some apostles a way from their wives, which is sure to put a strain on marriage…

1 Corinthians 9:5 (NKJV)

 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 

DON’T HAVE A GREAT CREDIT SCORE

Of course God expects leaders to honor their commitments and responsibilities…

Psalm 37:21 (NKJV)

21 The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.

But, when responsibilities aren’t met, it not always due to intentional carelessness. It’s not necessarily because of over extending, but sometimes life happens. Sometimes illness, job loss, an unwanted divorce and other things beyond the leaders control can happen damaging his or her credit.

ARE SOMETIMES TROUBLED BY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES

Jesus Himself was troubled in the garden the night before He went to the cross.

John 12:27 (NKJV)

27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

Sometimes we don’t expect our leaders to be visibly troubled by circumstances. But, that only shows their humanity. If Jesus Himself was troubled, the greatest leader of them all, then surely we will be too.

These are only a few of the reasons is why good leaders should be honest with themselves and aware of their natural weaknesses, so they can surround themselves with the right support to carry out their vision. They must also be confident enough in themselves to not be threatened by their support, but have the discernment to know who may actually be a threat to their leadership.

And, those whom they lead must be humble enough to follow in spite of their weaknesses, offering help towards the vision where possible. They must also realize that some weaknesses don’t disqualify the leader from leading. For example, the prophet Nathan didn’t tell David that he wasn’t qualified to be king after murder and adultery. (1 Samuel 12)

 Leaders are only human, and they will all have lapses in character, but overall they must be…

Trustworthy.

Integrity…

Calm in Crisis…

One who unites rather than divides…

One who resolves conflict…

And, most of all led by God and a student of His word.

Remember, God uses imperfect people to carry out His perfect will. All good leaders need good help.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DON’T HAVE A HOLIDAY HANGOVER…

wp-1482775067533.jpg

The fun and rush of the holiday season can be intoxicating. The trill of seeing someone open a gift that they really wanted can provide quite the emotional high. If this one done within our budget, then all is well but…THEN comes December 26th..

If we spent money we couldn’t afford…used money for our bills…borrowed money for gifts or simply over spent, we can come down hard off that high straight into anxiety, worry, buyers remorse, stress and even depression…You’ve got a HOLIDAY HANGOVER.

When the real world comes calling…we remember that bills, obligations and commitments didn’t stop for Christmas.

If you do have a holiday hangover, I offer the same remedy as for a hangover from alcohol…time.

And just as someone whose been drunk with liquor…next year remember how you feel right now when you’re tempted to drink from the same bottle of HOLIDAY SPIRITS next year.

Proverbs 23:29-35 (MSG)

Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
    Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all?
    Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
    for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
    or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
    the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
    with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
    drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
    they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
    bring me another drink!”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN OR A DISCIPLE?

John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know thetruth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Acts 11:26 (NKJV)

26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE NEXT TIME YOU WASH YOUR CAR, THINK ABOUT THIS…

It’s very easy to take our blessings for granted. Especially the blessings that some of us might call ‘the little things’…like water.

Plenty of water…

Clean water…

Available water…

Anytime you want it.

There are many people in this world who consider clean water to be a luxury.

There are many people in this world who bathe and drink from the same water that animals drink from.

They just want clean, easily accessible water to drink and bathe in.

But, so many of us don’t only have plenty of water to drink, we can sometimes catch ourselves saying “There’s nothing here to drink,” if there is no juice, soda, wine, beer, or Kool-Aid in the house because we don’t want water.

So many of us have enough water to water our lawns.

So many of us have enough water to wash our cars.

So, the next time you get ready to wash your car or drive through a car wash, stop and thank God for enough water for this task that could be considered by those who don’t have enough as vain.

Then say a prayer for those who can’t go to the faucet and turn on the fresh, clean water.

Exodus 17  (NKJV)

17 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.”

So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?”

And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone[a] me!”

5 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”

And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. So he called the name of the place Massah[b] and [c]Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they [d]tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WARNING: WHY THE DEVIL MAY NOT BE CONCERNED WITH YOU…

wp-image-245393964

There are many in the Body of Christ who love quoting John 10:10

John 10:10  (NKJV)

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

But, we must remember that this verse applies to those of us who are being led by the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-17). Those who are ‘walking in the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:16-26). Those who not only believe, but are responding to being the ‘called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28). To those who are laboring for His Harvest (Matthew 9:37-38). And especially those who  are connected to the vine and bearing good fruit (John 15:1-8).

It is God’s will that we add to His Kingdom…that we make disciples (Matthew 28:19), and that every interaction brings glory and honor to His name, that’s bearing good fruit.

So by default, if we aren’t bearing good fruit we are either bearing no fruit or bearing bad fruit. God’s word addresses how He feels about those of us who are being nurtured by His love, grace, mercy, provision and protection and bear no fruit (. Many of us only use the resources that God gives us, not just money, but our anointing, gifts and talents on ourselves. It’s like a fruit tree with all leaves but no fruit (Luke 13:6-9),(John 15:1-8), and dig this one…

Isaiah 5:1-7  (NKJV)

 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:

My Well-beloved has a vineyard
On a very fruitful hill.
He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.
He built a tower in its midst,
And also made a winepress in it;
So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,
But it brought forth wild grapes.

“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:
I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will lay it waste;
It shall not be pruned or dug,
But there shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain on it.”

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.

 So, I think the word of God establishes it well that it is very possible to believe but to be of no use to Him in the Kingdom. Even to the point to tell us that if we have faith, but are always sitting on it, that our faith is dead (James 2:14-26).

By deductive reasoning, we can also conclude that if we are not benefiting God’s Kingdom that we are…


NO THREAT TO THE DEVIL


That being established, and so-called believer who is no threat to the devil IS a threat to the Kingdom. They justify being an inactive, apathetic believer.

There are those also who claim to believe but have allowed the devil to manipulate them into pursuing his agenda, for example the scribes and Pharisees claimed to be God’s representatives but were actually working for the enemy, they sought to kill Jesus unknowingly fulfilling scripture (Matthew 12:14, John 5:18, John 7:1, John 11:53, John 16:2).

The Ku Klux Klan claimed and claims to be a Christian organization, but they are actually pursued and are pursuing the enemy’s agenda.


SO IF YOU ARE OF NO USE TO GOD’S KINGDOM OR EVEN HELPING THE ENEMY WHY SHOULD HE TRY TO STEAL FROM YOU, KILL YOU OR DESTROY YOU? WHY SHOULD THE ENEMY TRY TO HARM YOU IF YOU ARE BENEFITING HIM?


Do you have a genuine concern for those who are lost? Are you acting on it? Are you letting your light shine? Can people really tell you’re a Christian by how you live daily?

Remember the words of the 12-year old Jesus, “…I must be about my Father’s business.”(Luke 2:49).

Are you about your Father’s business? If not why should the devil fight against you?  In fact, if we aren’t about our Father’s business, then again by default who’s business are we about?

John 8:44-45  (NKJV)

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources,for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

If your life seems to be too easy…it may be for a reason.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IS GOD’S CURE FOR CRIME…

wp-1475632625393.jpg

People are constantly looking for answers to crime. I hear cries for police and politicians to find solutions. The truth is that police and politicians can’t stop crime.

Politicians and leaders can ONLY MAKE laws.

Police can ONLY ENFORCE the law.

But neither can make anyone obey the law. Neither can instill the character, integrity, self-control, discipline, respect for the lives, property and opinions of others necessary to reduce or cure crime. Even God Himself watched His people struggle with trying to live up to the standards of the Law, but the Law’s purpose is define right and wrong, to give us boundaries and God’s standards. God Himself gives us the responsibility and power to ‘do the right things’. God has a cure for crime, and it’s really simple…
1. Submit to His will
2. Let His love rule in your heart (let love be the filter for your decisions)
3. Walk in His Spirit
4. Learn to Control Our Emotions

(1) God’s will always puts what’s best for us first, so submitting to His compels us to always do what’s best for one another…

Philippians 2:3 tells us to…

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit and to esteem others better than himself. It’s God’s will that we put others first.

(2) When we allow love to be the filter through which every decision is made, we will not do anything to harm our neighbors…

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 eloquently describes the behavior and character of love…

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

(3) When we walk in the Spirit, it makes it more difficult to follow through on the urges of our flesh that can lead to crime, as Galatians 5:16 makes very clear…

Galatians 5:16  (ESV)

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

(4) I feel that EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is the most powerful tool God has given us to cure crime. Psychology Today defines Emotional Intelligence as the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. This is behavioral science that is in perfect harmony with scripture…

Colossians 3:5-7 (NKJV)

5 Therefore PUT TO DEATH your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now YOU YOURSELVES ARE TO PUT OFF all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth

1 Peter 2:1 (NKJV)

So PUT AWAY all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander BE PUT AWAY from you, along with all malice.

Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

God commands that WE OURSELVES lay aside, put away, put off, and put to death those things that cause us to stumble.

Most crime comes from a failure to control emotions…

Anger

Lust

Jealousy

Depression

Boredom

Greed

Even apathy leads to sins of omission. Stop and think of various crimes and how they can be linked back to an emotion. We must facilitate cultures of emotional control for crime to reduce. Police can’t do it, Politicians can’t do it, Marches can’t do it…only submitting to God will solve our crime problem. Laws makes our MINDS aware of ‘right and wrong’, but change comes from the HEART.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO ASK GOD FOR THAT?

chalkboard-2123965_19201315232428.jpg

How many nights of you lay in your bed warm, cozy, safe bed worrying?

How many times have you made the statement, “What are we going to eat tonight?”

How many times have you prayed and asked God for more, while you already have more than enough?

Think about what Jesus told us in His Sermon on the Mount…

Matthew 6:34  (NKJV)

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

God is telling us that when we have enough for today, we are blessed. However, when we have more than enough for today, we are abundantly blessed.

It’s easy to take things for granted in our abundant society.

The next time you find yourself worrying about or asking for something you don’t need, stop and thank God for what you already have. Because…

Someone wishes they had a bed in which to worry.

Someone is asking, “What are we going to eat tonight” not out of choice, but out of desperation.

While you are worrying about tomorrow, someone is praying for enough for today.

1 Timothy 6:6-8  (NKJV)

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

If this blessed you, please check out my post and video…WHY SOMEONE IS FANTASIZING ABOUT YOU…

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE HIDDEN POWER IN NOT LETTING THEM KNOW YOU’RE OFFENDED (EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE)…

wp-1483884024953.jpg

What offends you? Disrespect? Seeing others hurt? Injustice? Intolerance? Insults? Sometimes when led by God we’re offended by evil. And sometimes, when being influenced by the enemy we’re offended by good – all of us.

We all get offended. And, many times we have a right to be offended – even justified in being offended.

But, we must use Godly wisdom in how we respond to being offended. We just first be honest with ourselves as to whether we are being offended by good or evil. The Pharisees were constantly offended by Jesus. They were offended by good…

Matthew 15:1-13  (NKJV)

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; [a] and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’[b] But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’[c] Thus you have made the commandment[d] of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And[e] honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”[f]

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

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

13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.


One of the most powerful things you can do is exercise the emotional control of not letting someone know how they have offended you.


If you really want to know what someone is really like. If you really want to know what’s inside someone’s heart…let them think that ‘nothing really offends you’. That’s when they will feel comfortable to share what’s really inside them. That’s when they will reveal to you who they really are. That’s when you can with wisdom ‘meet them where they are’. That’s when you will know how to manage your relationship with them…whether it be family, co-worker, friend, associate or even an enemy.

One of the powerful attributes of being emotionally intelligent is the fact than when you learn to control your emotions, you can actually control the emotions of those around you.


Controlling your emotions is a powerful way to control your world.


Emotional Intelligence is behavioral science that aligns perfectly with scripture.

Even the bible teaches us to…

Ephesians 4:31  (NKJV)

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

1 Peter 2:1  (NKJV)

2 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

God teaches us to ‘put away’ our bitterness and anger. It teaches us to lay aside our malice.  Remember this that…


Controlled anger shouldn’t turn into wrath, but into action.


When you don’t let some offend you, or when you control your emotions when offended you gain the upper hand. Many the offender is speaking or acting out of emotion, which if not controlled puts them at a disadvantage. At the very least they are more transparent of their true heart, intentions, motives and self.

You aren’t showing weakness by not letting someone know just how much they have offended you. You are showing your true strength. You’re showing the same strength that our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus displayed each and every time He controlled His anger. You are displaying the same strength that our God displays when He withholds His wrath.

So, don’t shut them up. Let them run their mouth and continue to let you know what’s inside them, and be led by who is inside you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT JESUS’ MOST SCATHING REBUKES WERE FOR RELIGIOUS PEOPLE RATHER THAN ‘SINNERS’…

This is word of admonition to those who call themselves to be believers.

The image of modern-day Christianity has been perverted by people who where pride as a necklace and their arrogance masquerades itself as confidence. Many of these people mean well, but they have been seduced by their passion against some obvious sins (namely abortion and homosexuality)…

1 Timothy 5:24-25 (NLT)

24 Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. 25 In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light.

…to excuse, justify and even indulge in the sins that aren’t as obvious or politicized such as pride, arrogance. They don’t share their faith in love. They are accused of hating those whose lifestyles they reject, while they themselves accuse others of hating the proud and arrogant personalities they support.

God used proud and arrogant nations ( namely Assyria and Babylon) to punish His people because of their idolatry, hypocrisy, assimilation, refusal of justice, violence and their arrogant leaders.

However, after using these clearly ungodly nations and ungodly rulers to punish His people, He later harshly punished Assyria and Babylon. Go back and read Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel through this context.


The problem with many people in America who call themselves Christians is that they never see America as Assyria or Babylon…only as either persecuted or victorious Israel.

God has made a promise to those who have succumbed to pride and arrogance…

Jeremiah 50:31-32 (NASB)

31 “Behold, I am against you, [a]arrogant one,”
Declares the Lord [b]God of armies,
“For your day has come,
The time [c]when I will punish you.
32 The [d]arrogant one will stumble and fall
With no one to raise him up;
And I will set fire to his cities,
And it will devour all his surroundings.”

Jeremiah 50:31-32 (NKJV)

31 “Behold, I am against you,
O most haughty one!” says the Lord God of hosts;
“For your day has come,
[a]The time that I will punish you.
32 The most proud shall stumble and fall,
And no one will raise him up;
I will kindle a fire in his cities,
And it will devour all around him.”


You can’t fight against one sin by accepting and engaging in another.

Remember, pride is the first mentioned among the seven deadly sins because it is the parent sin to countless offspring sins.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)

16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him:
17 A[b] proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

18 Pride 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.”

Many of those who call themselves evangelicals do not represent the true image of Christ any more than the Scribes and Pharisees them. The fact is that Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ warned to beware of their hypocrisy and teaching…

Luke 12:1 (NKJV)

In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the [a]leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Remember that the LORD’S scathing rebukes WERE NOT FOR THE ‘SINNERS’ but those who called themselves to be religious leaders!

Think about Jesus’ response when the woman was caught in adultery. Think about how He dined with ‘sinners’. Then think about His responses to those who called themselves to be ‘religious’…

Matthew 23:13-36 (NKJV)

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [a]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [b]hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that [c]sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who [d]swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who [e]dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and [f]self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [g]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood[h] of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

BE BEBLESSIFIED!

WHY THE TRADITIONAL NATIVITY SCENE IS NOT ‘SPIRIT & TRUTH’…

John 4:24 (NKJV)

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

The traditional ‘nativity scene’ depicting the night that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was born is a favorite Christmas decoration and reenactment.

Of course it features Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus, the shepherds, and the Magi or ‘wise men’ from the East.


There’s only one problem…

The Magi or ‘wise men’ were not there that night…not yet.


When you read the account closely, the location that the wise men found Jesus was not a stable, and He was not in a manger. He was no longer an infant, and Joseph was not present when the wise men visited.

Matthew 2:11 (NKJV)

11 And when they had come into the HOUSE, they saw the YOUNG CHILD with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Luke 2:15-16 (NKJV)

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

It says very clearly that they arrived at a house, that Jesus was a young child, and His father wasn’t there at the time. At the scene of the birth Jesus is called a Babe, while at the scene with the wise men He is called a small child.


Notice also that the events recorded in Matthew 2:1-12 took place AFTER Yeshua was born. And, one must consider the took some time…

Matthew 2:1-12 (NKJV)

Now AFTER Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, [a]wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the [b]wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

After the LORD was born, the wise men traveled to Jerusalem after seeing the star and inquired of where they could find Jesus…that took some time.

After hearing of this, Herod gathered the chief priests and scribes and asked them where Christ was born…that took some time.

Herod then secretly requested that the wise men come to him. After determining when the star appeared, he asked the wise men to CAREFULLY (take you time) search for the “young child”… that took some time.

After finding the LORD, the wise men didn’t return to Herod, but went straight to their own country, further implying a longer journey…that took some time.

Consider this from my post, “Accepting That Something You’ve Sincerely Believed Is Wrong”…

  1. According to verses 9-10, when they came to where the star stood over where the YOUNG CHILD was (not baby), they came into THE HOUSE (not stable) and found Jesus with His mother (Joseph wasn’t present at the time).
  2. According to verse 12, after being warned in a dream, they departed into their own country…you can’t do all of that in one night’s time.
  3. In verses 16 Herod ordered that all male children age 2 and under be killed…because that’s when the star first appeared.
  4. After the wise men leave, that’s when Joseph’s name reappears as he takes his family into Egypt.

Some people are so accustomed to believing the wise men were there in the stable, that rather than accept that may not be true and they came later, we start trying to find a way to prove what wish to believe is true…rather than seek the real truth.


The fact is that the shepherds and wise men visited Jesus on two different occasions, possibly separated by about two years.


Many of those who have the traditional nativity scene ingrained in their minds may ask, “What does it matter?”

Again, because God said that anything done to worship Him MUST be done in spirit and not truth. Unfortunately, Christians are notorious for twisting and compromising to fit traditions and their will instead of God’s.

If you’re going to celebrate the Son of God’s birth, do it in SPIRIT AND TRUTH!

The traditional nativity scene is not truth.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: