HOW GOD EXPECTS YOU TO MAKE LEMONADE WITHOUT SUGAR…

wp-1472302013866.jpgPeople love clichés.

A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.


BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?

What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?

Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…

Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…

Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…

Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…

Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.


AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?

2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.

People love quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” when they are trying to make their dreams come true, but this verse is most powerful when we are enduring life’s most difficult situations.

God wants us to always be able to make something good out of difficult situations, and to always see His will in them. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, sometimes there’s nothing to make some situations feel ‘or taste’ better.

We just have to faith our way through and learn to sometimes drink lemonade without sugar.

 Psalm 3:19 (ESV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
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HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU CAN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE ( IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)…

wp-1488387186094.jpgOne of the things that reminds me that our bodies and our flesh are temporary is when we stink. As good as you may smell right now, think of the effort we as humans have to put into avoiding smelling bad.

We have to bathe regularly…

Brush and floss our teeth…

Shampoo our hair…

Apply deodorants…

Perfumes…

Colognes…

We as humans have to work at smelling good. Whether we admit it or not, we all smell bad sometimes.

Sometimes if we have been working hard…been sick…or whatever, we can begin to smell unpleasant…YOU STINK.

Have you ever been in need of ‘freshening up’ and were actually able to smell yourself?

You may have raised up your arm, caught a whiff of your own breath…or whatever and said to yourself , “Wow! I stink!

What’s interesting is that if you don’t get an opportunity to bathe soon, you won’t notice the odor anymore…you’ve gotten used to your own stench.

BUT, even though you CAN’T smell it, everyone else still CAN.

Our sin STINKS to God.

Isaiah 65:5 (NLT)

Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

Just as we all have to work to avoid smelling bad, we have to all work to avoid sinning.

Just as our bodies can smell bad, our spirits ‘smell bad’ when they are consumed with the works of the flesh, or sin…

Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, 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.

If we aren’t careful, we can become complacent in sin…bad habits…bad attitudes…inappropriate lifestyles…behavior that’s displeasing to God.

We can become complacent and comfortable to the point that we begin excusing, justifying or ignoring where we are wrong…


WE CAN’T SMELL OURSELVES STINK ANYMORE…

But others can still smell us…

AND, God can still smell us!


Have you ever gotten caught up in sin to the point that you began to…

Accept it?

Become comfortable in it?

Tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter anymore”?

Feel you couldn’t come back from it?

Say to yourself, “Why try to do better?

YOU COULDN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE!

The bible tells us to cleanse ourselves of what defiles our body and spirit…

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.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

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

 We have to recognize what IS sin…by reading God’s word from His perspective.

We have to acknowledge our sin…admit to ourselves that we are hurting God.

We have to regret our sin…if we are still proud of what we’ve done there is no forgiveness.

We have to repent of our sin…we have to ‘turn around’ and not put ourselves in situations to be tempted by our weaknesses.

Even though sin stinks to God, He has made it clear to us what makes us ‘smell good’ to Him.


Accepting His Son

2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.


 Wash yourself in the Word of God

 Ephesians 5:25-26

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,


Walk in Love  (Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 to learn how love behaves)

Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.


Practice the Fruit of the Spirit 

 Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 Remember…we have to work to avoid smelling bad…EVERY DAY!

Put effort into making sure your spirit smells good to God…EVERY DAY!

Don’t get to the point that you can’t smell yourself stink anymore.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY EVERYONE’S NOT DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS (Some Pray it DOESN’T snow)…

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“YOUR WINTER FUN IS SOMEONE’S WINTER FEAR” maj

So many people love the cozy idea of sitting by a warm fire, and sipping egg nog or hot chocolate as they unwrap gifts with family or friends.

So many people get excited when they hear the weather forecaster announce snow is coming.

But, while some people rush the grocery stores for extra food in case they are snowed in…

While some people prepare to cook hot meals and watch the snow fall…

While so many children get excited over the thought of a snow day…

While some say, “Hmmm, what will we eat?”…

Others cringe at the thought of snow coming…

Others wait to see what the grocery stores will throw away…

Others wonder what cooked meals they can find in a dumpster…

Others wonder how they will keep their children warm on a snow day…

Others say, “what will we eat?”…wondering IF? rather than WHAT?!

wp-1481505705955.jpgAs we enjoy the blessings of warmth, food and shelter during the Holiday season, let us not forget those who have no place to lay their heads…no place for their children.

Let us remember those who have to struggle looking for someplace to use the bathroom with dignity after a night of sleeping on the street.

Beyond the holiday season, remember your WINTER FUN is someone’s WINTER FEAR.

And, take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you to be a blessing to someone in need. It’s good to PRAY for them, but it’s even better to be the answer to your own prayer for them.

1 John 3:17 (NKJV)

17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

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Please help me share this message…

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!!

 

 

WHEN YOU CAN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE ( IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)…

wp-1488387186094.jpgOne of the things that reminds me that our bodies and our flesh are temporary is when we stink. As good as you may smell right now, think of the effort we as humans have to put into avoiding smelling bad.

We have to bathe regularly…

Brush and floss our teeth…

Shampoo our hair…

Apply deodorants…

Perfumes…

Colognes…

We as humans have to work at smelling good. Whether we admit it or not, we all smell bad sometimes.

Sometimes if we have been working hard…been sick…or whatever, we can begin to smell unpleasant…YOU STINK.

Have you ever been in need of ‘freshening up’ and were actually able to smell yourself?

You may have raised up your arm, caught a whiff of your own breath…or whatever and said to yourself , “Wow! I stink!

What’s interesting is that if you don’t get an opportunity to bathe soon, you won’t notice the odor anymore…you’ve gotten used to your own stench.

BUT, even though you CAN’T smell it, everyone else still CAN.

Our sin STINKS to God.

Isaiah 65:5 (NLT)

Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

Just as we all have to work to avoid smelling bad, we have to all work to avoid sinning.

Just as our bodies can smell bad, our spirits ‘smell bad’ when they are consumed with the works of the flesh, or sin…

Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, 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.

If we aren’t careful, we can become complacent in sin…bad habits…bad attitudes…inappropriate lifestyles…behavior that’s displeasing to God.

We can become complacent and comfortable to the point that we begin excusing, justifying or ignoring where we are wrong…


WE CAN’T SMELL OURSELVES STINK ANYMORE…

But others can still smell us…

AND, God can still smell us!


Have you ever gotten caught up in sin to the point that you began to…

Accept it?

Become comfortable in it?

Tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter anymore”?

Feel you couldn’t come back from it?

Say to yourself, “Why try to do better?

YOU COULDN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE!

The bible tells us to cleanse ourselves of what defiles our body and spirit…

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.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

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

 We have to recognize what IS sin…by reading God’s word from His perspective.

We have to acknowledge our sin…admit to ourselves that we are hurting God.

We have to regret our sin…if we are still proud of what we’ve done there is no forgiveness.

We have to repent of our sin…we have to ‘turn around’ and not put ourselves in situations to be tempted by our weaknesses.

Even though sin stinks to God, He has made it clear to us what makes us ‘smell good’ to Him.


Accepting His Son

2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.


 Wash yourself in the Word of God

 Ephesians 5:25-26

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,


Walk in Love  (Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 to learn how love behaves)

Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.


Practice the Fruit of the Spirit 

 Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 Remember…we have to work to avoid smelling bad…EVERY DAY!

Put effort into making sure your spirit smells good to God…EVERY DAY!

Don’t get to the point that you can’t smell yourself stink anymore.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW GOD EXPECTS YOU TO MAKE LEMONADE WITHOUT SUGAR…

wp-1472302013866.jpgPeople love clichés.

A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.


BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?

What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?

Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…

Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…

Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…

Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…

Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.


AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?

2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.

People love quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” when they are trying to make their dreams come true, but this verse is most powerful when we are enduring life’s most difficult situations.

God wants us to always be able to make something good out of difficult situations, and to always see His will in them. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, sometimes there’s nothing to make some situations feel ‘or taste’ better.

We just have to faith our way through and learn to sometimes drink lemonade without sugar.

 Psalm 3:19 (ESV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
If this post blessed you, please follow like and follow my blog:-)

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU CAN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE (My 2017 favorite) …

wp-1488387186094.jpgOne of the things that reminds me that our bodies and our flesh are temporary is when we stink. As good as you may smell right now, think of the effort we as humans have to put into avoiding smelling bad.

We have to bathe regularly…

Brush and floss our teeth…

Shampoo our hair…

Apply deodorants…

Perfumes…

Colognes…

We as humans have to work at smelling good. Whether we admit it or not, we all smell bad sometimes.

Sometimes if we have been working hard…been sick…or whatever, we can begin to smell unpleasant…YOU STINK.

Have you ever been in need of ‘freshening up’ and were actually able to smell yourself?

You may have raised up your arm, caught a whiff of your own breath…or whatever and said to yourself , “Wow! I stink!”

What’s interesting is that if you don’t get an opportunity to bathe soon, you won’t notice the odor anymore…you’ve gotten used to your own stench.

BUT, even though you CAN’T smell it, everyone else still CAN.

Our sin STINKS to God.

Isaiah 65:5 (NLT)

Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

Just as we all have to work to avoid smelling bad, we have to all work to avoid sinning.

Just as our bodies can smell bad, our spirits ‘smell bad’ when they are consumed with the works of the flesh, or sin…

Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, 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.

If we aren’t careful, we can become complacent in sin…bad habits…bad attitudes…inappropriate lifestyles…behavior that’s displeasing to God.

We can become complacent and comfortable to the point that we begin excusing, justifying or ignoring where we are wrong…


WE CAN’T SMELL OURSELVES STINK ANYMORE…

But others can still smell us…

AND, God can still smell us!


Have you ever gotten caught up in sin to the point that you began to…

Accept it?

Become comfortable in it?

Tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter anymore”?

Feel you couldn’t come back from it?

Say to yourself, “Why try to do better?

YOU COULDN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE!

The bible tells us to cleanse ourselves of what defiles our body and spirit…

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.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

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

 We have to recognize what IS sin…by reading God’s word from His perspective.

We have to acknowledge our sin…admit to ourselves that we are hurting God.

We have to regret our sin…if we are still proud of what we’ve done there is no forgiveness.

We have to repent of our sin…we have to ‘turn around’ and not put ourselves in situations to be tempted by our weaknesses.

Even though sin stinks to God, He has made it clear to us what makes us ‘smell good’ Him…

ACCEPTING HIS SON, THE LIVING WORD, AS OUR RISEN SAVIOR…

2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

WASHING OURSELVES IN HIS WORD…

 Ephesians 5:25-26

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

WALK IN LOVE…

 (Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 to learn how love behaves)

Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

WALKING DAILY IN THE FRUIT OF HIS SPIRIT

 Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 Remember…we have to work to avoid smelling bad…EVERY DAY!

Put effort into making sure your spirit smells good to God…EVERY DAY!

Don’t get to the point that you can’t smell yourself stink anymore.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X-TREME X-AMLES IN THE OLD TESTAMTENT…

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 1 Corinthians 10:1-11

10 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 NOW THESE THINGS BECAME OUR EXAMPLES, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all[b] these things HAPPENED TO THEM as examples, and they were WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

The Old Testament introduced us to God… through Israel. We learn who He is, and since we’re made in His image we learn who we are. We learn His expectations. We learn how He reacts when we sin. We learn through what I like to call EXTREME EXAMPLES what He loves and what He hates through His interactions with Isreal. We learn that when we sin, before He gets angry – He’s hurt….as implied in Judges 2:1-2…

“Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. WHY HAVE  YOU  DONE THIS?”

Here God asks, “Why have you done this?”

Have you ever asked that to a loved one that hurt you?

Have you ever said that to a child before you punished them?

We learn God’s heart through His interactions with Israel. Through EXTREME examples of judgement we learn how much He hates some behaviors. We also learn through EXTREME acts of mercy and miracles what behaviors He loves.

Those extreme judgements are much like a police officer pulling over ONE speeding driver, when many are speeding. Every now and then they will have to remind drivers of the law by making an example of some drivers and not all.

Some say we don’t have those EXTREME judgements as in the Old Testament anymore…but don’t be too quick to assume so. Many of the natural disasters and calamities of TODAY could be God getting our attention and reminding us of His expectations.

As you read the history of the Old Testament, from now on as you read an EXTREME judgement  (such as the earth opening up and swallowing people in Numbers 26:10, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19) pay particular attention to the reasons God did it.

Pay attention to the behaviors that He was responding to.

Pay particular attention to what He calls abominations.

God doesn’t change, if He hated it then, He hates it now.

Let’s LEARN FROM OUR EXTREME EXAMPLES

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT DID YOU CALL ME??!!

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‘Colorful Language Ain’t Cool”

Years ago, I remember hearing, and reading Richard Pryor say after a trip to Africa, “ I ain’t never gonna call another Black man ni**a”. Now I’m in no way bringing this up to disparage Richard Pryor, but to make a point. He passionately made this statement and changed his behavior. He stopped using the N-WORD, which offends many people, but continued to use profane and vulgar words such as G-D, that offend God.

Colossians 3:8 (NKJV)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

 Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

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

 Ephesians 5: 3-4 (NKJV)

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks

There are many words that offend us. Some more than others. Which words offend you, in many cases has much to do with who you are.  People CHOOSE to use the words for various reasons.

It’s interesting to me how many Christians are MORE offended by…

  • The N-Word
  • The Fa-Word
  • The Hon-Word
  • The Ho-Word
  • The B-Word
  • The K-Word
  • The Sp-Word
  • The Ch-Word

…than they are offended by other profane, offensive, vulgar or even blasphemous words that offend God. Some even seem completely comfortable using the GD-WORD.

Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 12..

Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)

36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

The words that we use and that offend us give great insight into what is in our hearts. Yes, some words are offensive racially, but God expects us to put Him even above our race.

 Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

What’s more important to you? What offends you? Or what offends God?

Let us be careful not to put what offends us above what offends God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN (In case you missed it)…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Many people are talented, but few are ‘special’. Prince’s talents definitely took him from beyond talented to special. Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…


That inspires me to do the same for God.


Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…


That also inspires me in ministry.


Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…


This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.


Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…


This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.


Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW GOD EXPECTS YOU TO MAKE LEMONADE WITHOUT SUGAR…

wp-1472302013866.jpgPeople love clichés.

A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.


BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?

What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?

Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…

Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…

Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…

Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…

Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.


AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?

2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.

People love quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” when they are trying to make their dreams come true, but this verse is most powerful when we are enduring life’s most difficult situations.

God wants us to always be able to make something good out of difficult situations, and to always see His will in them. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, sometimes there’s nothing to make some situations feel ‘or taste’ better.

We just have to faith our way through and learn to sometimes drink lemonade without sugar.

 Psalm 3:19 (ESV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
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BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU CAN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE (My 2017 favorite) …

wp-1488387186094.jpgOne of the things that reminds me that our bodies and our flesh are temporary is when we stink. As good as you may smell right now, think of the effort we as humans have to put into avoiding smelling bad.

We have to bathe regularly…

Brush and floss our teeth…

Shampoo our hair…

Apply deodorants…

Perfumes…

Colognes…

We as humans have to work at smelling good. Whether we admit it or not, we all smell bad sometimes.

Sometimes if we have been working hard…been sick…or whatever, we can begin to smell unpleasant…YOU STINK.

Have you ever been in need of ‘freshening up’ and were actually able to smell yourself?

You may have raised up your arm, caught a whiff of your own breath…or whatever and said to yourself , “Wow! I stink!”

What’s interesting is that if you don’t get an opportunity to bathe soon, you won’t notice the odor anymore…you’ve gotten used to your own stench.

BUT, even though you CAN’T smell it, everyone else still CAN.

Our sin STINKS to God.

Isaiah 65:5 (NLT)

Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

Just as we all have to work to avoid smelling bad, we have to all work to avoid sinning.

Just as our bodies can smell bad, our spirits ‘smell bad’ when they are consumed with the works of the flesh, or sin…

Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, 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.

If we aren’t careful, we can become complacent in sin…bad habits…bad attitudes…inappropriate lifestyles…behavior that’s displeasing to God.

We can become complacent and comfortable to the point that we begin excusing, justifying or ignoring where we are wrong…


WE CAN’T SMELL OURSELVES STINK ANYMORE…

But others can still smell us…

AND, God can still smell us!


Have you ever gotten caught up in sin to the point that you began to…

Accept it?

Become comfortable in it?

Tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter anymore”?

Feel you couldn’t come back from it?

Say to yourself, “Why try to do better?

YOU COULDN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE!

The bible tells us to cleanse ourselves of what defiles our body and spirit…

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.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

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

 We have to recognize what IS sin…by reading God’s word from His perspective.

We have to acknowledge our sin…admit to ourselves that we are hurting God.

We have to regret our sin…if we are still proud of what we’ve done there is no forgiveness.

We have to repent of our sin…we have to ‘turn around’ and not put ourselves in situations to be tempted by our weaknesses.

Even though sin stinks to God, He has made it clear to us what makes us ‘smell good’ Him…

ACCEPTING HIS SON, THE LIVING WORD, AS OUR RISEN SAVIOR…

2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

WASHING OURSELVES IN HIS WORD…

 Ephesians 5:25-26

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

WALK IN LOVE…

 (Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 to learn how love behaves)

Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

WALKING DAILY IN THE FRUIT OF HIS SPIRIT

 Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 Remember…we have to work to avoid smelling bad…EVERY DAY!

Put effort into making sure your spirit smells good to God…EVERY DAY!

Don’t get to the point that you can’t smell yourself stink anymore.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YES, YOU TRUST GOD…BUT DO YOU TRUST YOURSELF? (In Case You Missed It…)

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Sometimes the issue isn’t whether or not we trust God, but whether or not we trust ourselves…

We know He will lead and guide us, but are we making the right decisions?

We know He provides perfectly, but are we being the best stewards of what He provides?

When things don’t work out…

Is it punishment?

A lesson?

Or part of the process?

How do we know?

What should I do next?

Sometimes I need a victory to know I can trust myself AS I trust God.

I need a victory so OTHERS can trust me as I trust God and be encouraged.

I need confirmation that what I’ve done is right, rather than people telling me what I should have done.

I know my family loves me, but I want to know that they they’re of proud of me and respect me too.

I need to know that they feel they can depend on me…but can I depend on myself?

I need some victories before I give up, not on God, but…

On myself…

My dreams…

My vision…

My purpose…

I know God is able…but am I?

Can He depend on me?

But, THEN God reminds me of Abraham…

Genesis 15:6

6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

GOD HONORS OUR FAITH….God told Abram (Abraham) that his descendants would be as the sand of the sea. Abram couldn’t see how it would come to pass. Abram saw his physical limitations, but still believed God. The promise didn’t come over night…as a matter of fact it took many years. Abraham and Sarah HAD to many have human moments during that long wait where they questioned if they were doing the right things. This can be concluded by the fact that they got impatient… when Sarai thought she could bear no children and convinced Abram to lay with her handmaid Hagar…which led to the conception of Ishmael. Even though he wasn’t the son with the promise, when Abraham sent Ishmael away, God assured him  He would honor His promise through Ishmael too…

Genesis 21:12-13

“The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[a] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

After Isaac was born, God continued to fulfill His promise to Abraham.

God knows we’re flesh. He made us all and, He knows our weaknesses better than we do.

Psalm 103:13-14

13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

He knows we won’t always make the right decisions, even when we trust Him and are trying to be led by Him.

He honors our faith, that’s why He promises…

Romans 8:28

All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

As we trust God, we can’t allow the enemy to undermine our purpose by convincing us to not trust ourselves.

Don’t listen to the enemies lies about yourself…

Be encouraged by Philippians 1:6…

Being CONFIDENT of this, that he who began a good work in YOU will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Trust yourself while you’re trusting God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

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

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If you don’t already know, Bill Maher on a recent episode of his talk show, Real Time with Bill Maher, he used the N-Word referring to himself in a joke. This of course was offensive and inexcusable and Mr. Maher quickly apologized.

The purpose of this post isn’t to discuss his mistake, but to quickly examine how we as Christians prioritize what words offend us.

Years ago, I remember hearing, and reading Richard Pryor say after a trip to Africa, “ I ain’t never gonna call another Black man ni**a”. Now I’m in no way bringing this up to disparage Richard Pryor, but to make a point. He passionately made this statement and changed his behavior.


He stopped using the N-WORD, which offends many people, but continued to use profane and vulgar words that offend God.


Colossians 3:8 (NKJV)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

 Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

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

 Ephesians 5: 3-4 (NKJV)

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks

There are many words that offend us. Some more than others. Which words offend you, in many cases has much to do with who you are.  People CHOOSE to use the words for various reasons.

It’s interesting to me how many Christians are MORE offended by…

  • The N-Word
  • The Fa-Word
  • The Hon-Word
  • The Ho-Word
  • The B-Word
  • The K-Word
  • The Sp-Word
  • The Ch-Word

…than they are offended by other profane, offensive, vulgar or even blasphemous words that offend God. Some even seem completely comfortable using the GD-WORD.

Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 12..

Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)

36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

The words that we use and that offend us give great insight into what is in our hearts. Yes, some words are offensive racially, but God expects us to put Him even above our race.

 Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Are some words offensive and inexcusable? If course, but think about this…

What’s more important to you? Words that offend you? Or words that offend God?

Let us be careful not to put what offends us above what offends God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

LEMONADE WITHOUT SUGAR…

wp-1472302013866.jpgPeople love clichés.

A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.


BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?

What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?

Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…

Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…

Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…

Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…

Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.


AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?

2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.

People love quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” when they are trying to make their dreams come true, but this verse is most powerful when we are enduring life’s most difficult situations.

God wants us to always be able to make something good out of difficult situations, and to always see His will in them. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, sometimes there’s nothing to make some situations feel ‘or taste’ better.

We just have to faith our way through and learn to sometimes drink lemonade without sugar.

 Psalm 3:19 (ESV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
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BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU CAN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE…

wp-1488387186094.jpgOne of the things that reminds me that our bodies and our flesh are temporary is when we stink. As good as you may smell right now, think of the effort we as humans have to put into avoiding smelling bad.

We have to bathe regularly…

Brush and floss our teeth…

Shampoo our hair…

Apply deodorants…

Perfumes…

Colognes…

We as humans have to work at smelling good. Whether we admit it or not, we all smell bad sometimes.

Sometimes if we have been working hard…been sick…or whatever, we can begin to smell unpleasant…YOU STINK.

Have you ever been in need of ‘freshening up’ and were actually able to smell yourself?

You may have raised up your arm, caught a whiff of your own breath…or whatever and said to yourself , “Wow! I stink!

What’s interesting is that if you don’t get an opportunity to bathe soon, you won’t notice the odor anymore…you’ve gotten used to your own stench.

BUT, even though you CAN’T smell it, everyone else still CAN.

Our sin STINKS to God.

Isaiah 65:5 (NLT)

Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

Just as we all have to work to avoid smelling bad, we have to all work to avoid sinning.

Just as our bodies can smell bad, our spirits ‘smell bad’ when they are consumed with the works of the flesh, or sin…

Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, 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.

If we aren’t careful, we can become complacent in sin…bad habits…bad attitudes…inappropriate lifestyles…behavior that’s displeasing to God.

We can become complacent and comfortable to the point that we begin excusing, justifying or ignoring where we are wrong…


WE CAN’T SMELL OURSELVES STINK ANYMORE…

But others can still smell us…

AND, God can still smell us!


Have you ever gotten caught up in sin to the point that you began to…

Accept it?

Become comfortable in it?

Tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter anymore”?

Feel you couldn’t come back from it?

Say to yourself, “Why try to do better?

YOU COULDN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE!

The bible tells us to cleanse ourselves of what defiles our body and spirit…

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.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

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

 We have to recognize what IS sin…by reading God’s word from His perspective.

We have to acknowledge our sin…admit to ourselves that we are hurting God.

We have to regret our sin…if we are still proud of what we’ve done there is no forgiveness.

We have to repent of our sin…we have to ‘turn around’ and not put ourselves in situations to be tempted by our weaknesses.

Even though sin stinks to God, He has made it clear to us what makes us ‘smell good’ to Him.


Accepting His Son

2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.


 Wash yourself in the Word of God

 Ephesians 5:25-26

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,


Walk in Love  (Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 to learn how love behaves)

Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.


Practice the Fruit of the Spirit 

 Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 Remember…we have to work to avoid smelling bad…EVERY DAY!

Put effort into making sure your spirit smells good to God…EVERY DAY!

Don’t get to the point that you can’t smell yourself stink anymore.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YES, YOU TRUST GOD…BUT DO YOU TRUST YOURSELF?

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Sometimes the issue isn’t whether or not we trust God, but whether or not we trust ourselves…

Do you ever have this conversation with yourself in some form or another…

We know He will lead and guide us, but are we making the right decisions?

We know He provides perfectly, but are we being the best stewards of what He provides?

When things don’t work out…

Is it punishment?

A lesson?

Or part of the process?

How do we know?

What should I do next?

Sometimes I need a victory to know I can trust myself AS I trust God.

I need a victory so OTHERS can trust me as I trust God and be encouraged.

I need confirmation that what I’ve done is right, rather than people telling me what I should have done.

I know my family loves me, but I want to know that they they’re of proud of me and respect me too.

I need to know that they feel they can depend on me…but can I depend on myself?

I need some victories before I give up, not on God, but…

On myself…

My dreams…

My vision…

My purpose…

I know God is able…but am I?

Can He depend on me?

But, THEN God reminds me of Abraham…

Genesis 15:6

6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

GOD HONORS OUR FAITH….God told Abram (Abraham) that his descendants would be as the sand of the sea. Abram couldn’t see how it would come to pass. Abram saw his physical limitations, but still believed God. The promise didn’t come over night…as a matter of fact it took many years. Abraham and Sarah HAD to many have human moments during that long wait where they questioned if they were doing the right things. This can be concluded by the fact that they got impatient… when Sarai thought she could bear no children and convinced Abram to lay with her handmaid Hagar…which led to the conception of Ishmael. Even though he wasn’t the son with the promise, when Abraham sent Ishmael away, God assured him  He would honor His promise through Ishmael too…

Genesis 21:12-13

“The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[a] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

After Isaac was born, God continued to fulfill His promise to Abraham.

God knows we’re flesh. He made us all and, He knows our weaknesses better than we do.

Psalm 103:13-14

13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

He knows we won’t always make the right decisions, even when we trust Him and are trying to be led by Him.

He honors our faith, that’s why He promises…

Romans 8:28

All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

As we trust God, we can’t allow the enemy to undermine our purpose by convincing us to not trust ourselves.

Don’t listen to the enemies lies about yourself…

Be encouraged by Philippians 1:6…

Being CONFIDENT of this, that he who began a good work in YOU will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Trust yourself while you’re trusting God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

REMEMBER…EVERYONE’S NOT DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS.

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“YOUR WINTER FUN IS SOMEONE’S WINTER FEAR” maj

So many people love the cozy idea of sitting by a warm fire, and sipping egg nog or hot chocolate as they unwrap gifts with family or friends.

So many people get excited when they hear the weather forecaster announce snow is coming.

But, while some people rush the grocery stores for extra food in case they are snowed in…

While some people prepare to cook hot meals and watch the snow fall…

While so many children get excited over the thought of a snow day…

While some say, “Hmmm, what will we eat?”…

Others cringe at the thought of snow coming…

Others wait to see what the grocery stores will throw away…

Others wonder what cooked meals they can find in a dumpster…

Others wonder how they will keep their children warm on a snow day…

Others say, “what will we eat?”…wondering IF? rather than WHAT?!

wp-1481505705955.jpgAs we enjoy the blessings of warmth, food and shelter during the Holiday season, let us not forget those who have no place to lay their heads…no place for their children.

Let us remember those who have to struggle looking for someplace to use the bathroom with dignity after a night of sleeping on the street.

Beyond the holiday season, remember your WINTER FUN is someone’s WINTER FEAR.

And, take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you to be a blessing to someone in need. It’s good to PRAY for them, but it’s even better to be the answer to your own prayer for them.

1 John 3:17 (NKJV)

17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

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Please help me share this message…

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!!

 

 

X-TREME X-AMLES IN THE OLD TESTAMTENT…

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 1 Corinthians 10:1-11

10 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 NOW THESE THINGS BECAME OUR EXAMPLES, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all[b] these things HAPPENED TO THEM as examples, and they were WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

The Old Testament introduced us to God… through Israel. We learn who He is, and since we’re made in His image we learn who we are. We learn His expectations. We learn how He reacts when we sin. We learn through what I like to call EXTREME EXAMPLES what He loves and what He hates through His interactions with Isreal. We learn that when we sin, before He gets angry – He’s hurt….as implied in Judges 2:1-2…

“Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. WHY HAVE  YOU  DONE THIS?”

Here God asks, “Why have you done this?”

Have you ever asked that to a loved one that hurt you?

Have you ever said that to a child before you punished them?

We learn God’s heart through His interactions with Israel. Through EXTREME examples of judgement we learn how much He hates some behaviors. We also learn through EXTREME acts of mercy and miracles what behaviors He loves.

Those extreme judgements are much like a police officer pulling over ONE speeding driver, when many are speeding. Every now and then they will have to remind drivers of the law by making an example of some drivers and not all.

Some say we don’t have those EXTREME judgements as in the Old Testament anymore…but don’t be too quick to assume so. Many of the natural disasters and calamities of TODAY could be God getting our attention and reminding us of His expectations.

As you read the history of the Old Testament, from now on as you read an EXTREME judgement  (such as the earth opening up and swallowing people in Numbers 26:10, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19) pay particular attention to the reasons God did it.

Pay attention to the behaviors that He was responding to.

Pay particular attention to what He calls abominations.

God doesn’t change, if He hated it then, He hates it now.

Let’s LEARN FROM OUR EXTREME EXAMPLES

BE BLESSTIFIED!

YES…SOME THINGS SHOULD BE DONE ‘JUST FOR SHOW’

THE SON IS THE STAR!

Have you ever heard someone say, “Awwe, they’re just doing that ‘for show’!” Or, “Awwe, they’re just doing that to be seen”? Jesus warned us about doing things only to be seen and to bring glory to ourselves…

Matthew 6: 1-3

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 

Jesus told us when we do things merely to be seen, whatever glory we receive from that act, we already have our reward.

However, that DOESN’T mean that some things should NEVER be done to be seen.

How else can God get glory?

How else can people witness His love?

How else can people witness His power?

How else can people be drawn to Him through us…unless they see Him through us?

Yes, it’s necessary that some things be done TO BE SEEN. It’s the intent of the heart as to whether or not God approves.

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

It is true that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, but Jesus resurrecting Lazarus from the dead in John 11 was about more than giving the sisters back their brother. It was done so that others COULD SEE AND BELIEVE.

It was done FOR SHOW!

Jesus wept so others could see how much He loved Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

It was done FOR SHOW!

John 11:32 – 40 (NKJV)

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 

Be sure and check your motives when you do anything that could bring glory to yourself. God is willing to share His glory, but we must give Him priority in our hearts.

 Also, be very careful when you’re judging someone else’s intentions as to why they are doing what they do.

When you decide for them their motives, and what’s in their hearts you can be guilty of judging, and when we judge wrongly, we are inviting the same judgement on ourselves.

Matthew 7:1 (NKJV)

Judge not, that you be not judged.

Look upon every act you do in public as an opportunity to let your light shine. Pray that God allow others to be drawn to HIM THROUGH YOU and not YOU THROUGH HIM. Take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you to build His Kingdom through you and remember that…SOME THINGS SHOULD BE DONE FOR SHOW!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

IT TAKES THE SAME FAITH…

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“for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith AS a mustard seed…”

Have you ever been critical of those who opposed Jesus both during His earthly ministry and now?

Many saw Him perform miracles, but because Jesus challenged their theology, traditions and culture they rejected Him and those who supported Him.

In John Chapter 9 after they could clearly see he healed a man who had been blind since birth, rather than accepting the miracle, they sought to put the healed man and his family out of the synagogue and to destroy Jesus.

John 9: 28-29 (NKJV)

Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”

They claimed to be disciples of Moses.

BUT….

It took THE SAME FAITH to believe in Jesus that it took to believe in Moses. The children of Israel saw the signs and miracles that Moses performed just as the Pharisees saw Jesus.

The children of Israel heard Moses proclaim God’s word just as the Pharisees heard Jesus.

So, if their hearts were hard enough to reject Jesus, it’s likely they would have rejected Moses had they lived in his day.

Why?

Because it took the SAME FAITH to believe in Moses who they claimed to follow as it took to believe in Jesus who they rejected.

It took the SAME FAITH to believe Noah….

It took the SAME FAITH to believe the apostles…

It takes the SAME FAITH to believe the preached word today.

God still performs miracles. 

God still gives confirmations

God still grants His mercy.

God still makes Himself known through His creation…but people don’t acknowledge Him.

Romans 1: 18- 20 (NKJV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…

Those  who resist, oppose or reject Jesus today are without excuse. 

God has given everyone a measure of faith…and that’s all we need to believe.

Romans 12:3 (NKJV)

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Matthew 17:20 (NKJV)

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

It takes the SAME FAITH to…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

WHO WILL YOU DOWNLOAD INTO YOUR ‘HEART DRIVE’?

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When we CHOOSE to download or install an APP, that APP asks for permission to ACCESS what is INSIDE our device…

Our images

Our videos

Our audio

Our contacts

Our storage.

Our HARD DRIVES.

In other words before we can begin using an app, it asks for AUTHORITY over our smart phone, device or computer.

The same thing occurs in our spiritual lives. Both God and the enemy are asking for permission and access into us…

Our hearts

Our minds

Our spirits

Our contacts

Our storage/memory

Our ‘HEART DRIVES’.

In other words, both God and the enemy are asking for AUTHORITY and influence over our lives. Some apps even ask if they can post or act on our behalf.

But just as with a smart device, no one gets access and authority unless we DOWNLOAD them by choice and give them permission.

Some APPS are good, but there are many that are bad and can even infect our devices…but none of them get access unless we give them permission.

Don’t give the enemy permission to infect your HEART DRIVE. Don’t give him the permission to ‘post’ on your behalf …only allow the Good Shepherd access into YOU.

Who will you give permission to today?

For whom will you click…ACCEPT?

John 10:1-5

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

ONLY GOOD NEWS?

As we come to the close of a CHALLENGING YEAR,
I’m REBLOGGING this important post IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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On Sunday, January 3, 2016, Pastor W. Michael Martin of Oak Spring Church in Arlington TN, stood boldly but lovingly before the congregation for which God holds him responsible and declared, “This year will be a year of challenges…” I remember getting a chill when that prophetic warning was declared. He didn’t promise…”This is your season!” “This is the year God is going to make it happen for you!” He declared challenges for our local body of Christ. That prophetic warning has proven to be true…

Deuteronomy 18:22 (NKJV)

22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Watch out and beware of preachers and prophets who ONLY deliver good news! Who ONLY promise ‘breakthrough’!…

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WHAT DID YOU CALL ME??!!

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‘Colorful Language Ain’t Cool”

Years ago, I remember hearing, and reading Richard Pryor say after a trip to Africa, “ I ain’t never gonna call another Black man ni**a”. Now I’m in no way bringing this up to disparage Richard Pryor, but to make a point. He passionately made this statement and changed his behavior. He stopped using the N-WORD, which offends many people, but continued to use profane and vulgar words that offend God.

Colossians 3:8 (NKJV)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

 Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

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

 Ephesians 5: 3-4 (NKJV)

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks

There are many words that offend us. Some more than others. Which words offend you, in many cases has much to do with who you are.  People CHOOSE to use the words for various reasons.

It’s interesting to me how many Christians are MORE offended by…

  • The N-Word
  • The Fa-Word
  • The Hon-Word
  • The Ho-Word
  • The B-Word
  • The K-Word
  • The Sp-Word
  • The Ch-Word

…than they are offended by other profane, offensive, vulgar or even blasphemous words that offend God. Some even seem completely comfortable using the GD-WORD.

Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 12..

Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)

36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

The words that we use and that offend us give great insight into what is in our hearts. Yes, some words are offensive racially, but God expects us to put Him even above our race.

 Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

What’s more important to you? What offends you? Or what offends God?

Let us be careful not to put what offends us above what offends God.
BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

LEMONADE WITHOUT SUGAR…

wp-1472302013866.jpgPeople love clichés.

A well-placed cliché makes conversations, speeches and even sermons more interesting. One very popular cliché used when people have misfortune is or difficulty is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.


BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY SUGAR?

What if you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to have sugar?

Sometimes in life we have to faith our way through some difficult days…

Sometimes we have to take some medicine that just doesn’t taste good…

Sometimes you have to swallow a really big pill that’s hard to get down…

Some people can’t have sugar in their diet…

Sometimes your healing comes from something bitter.


AREN’T YOU GLAD THAT JESUS DIDN’T MAKE LEMONADE ON THE CROSS?

2 Timothy 2:3 tells us to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 teaches us to look to Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.

People love quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me” when they are trying to make their dreams come true, but this verse is most powerful when we are enduring life’s most difficult situations.

God wants us to always be able to make something good out of difficult situations, and to always see His will in them. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, sometimes there’s nothing to make some situations feel ‘or taste’ better.

We just have to faith our way through and learn to sometimes drink lemonade without sugar.

 Psalm 3:19 (ESV)
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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