Roberta, Tina…what ya saying?


Roberta Flack – Where is the love? (I don’t know)

Tina Turner – What’s love got to do with it? (EVERYTHING!!!)

There is one, true nature of God clearly represented in and of the Word, and that is LOVE!

1 John 4:16 says,

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

In other word, God does not love, love is the nature of God, yeah God is love, inseparable! Jesus gave us the greatest representation of the true nature of God. Love, unbiased and free flowing. God’s love for us is the most important thing we can receive. First Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (God’s kind of love). After all, think about it, faith will be gone one day, because we will be with the one we fully trusted in. Hope will be gone, because we will see the Lord and being with Him will fulfill all expectations and aspirations, but love will never end. Love will exist forever and ever, because God is love eternal.

Believers should have more than just a superficial knowledge of God’s love. In Ephesians, chapter 3, Paul prayed that the Ephesians would get a greater revelation of God’s love for them. He said, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:14-19).

Notice in verse 18 that God’s love isn’t just one-dimensional. There is height, depth, length, and breadth to it. Many Christians only see God’s love as one-dimensional. They’ve never seen the multi-dimensional reality of God’s love. It includes all space and time. It also encompasses all people. John 3:16 “For so loved the World…“ not just Christians, not just people of a specific culture, not just an explicit nation, race or creed. His love encases the world, His whole creation. Let me say this, anytime we see a preference of who is loved based on religious beliefs, color of skin or any other external factor, as believers you do not represent Him.

In verse 19, Paul said as we experience God’s love, which is superior to mere knowledge of God’s love, then we would be filled with all the fullness of God. Experiencing God’s love equals fullness.

We think we have to do something to earn God’s love and we tether it, like a work contract to our human performance. I need to pray more, read His Word more, do Christian acts more. We have to merit God’s love. That is not what the Bible teaches. We are not employees of God. Our reward is not based on our job performance. God’s love for us is unconditional. Understand, God doesn’t love us because of some virtue we possess. God loves us because He is, not because we are.

Religion is one of the biggest broadcasters of the conditional love of God propaganda. Many “Christian churches” teach that God’s love for us is conditional, based on performance. If we pray, go to church, pay our tithes, etc., then the Lord loves us and answers our prayers; but if we fail, then the Lord won’t answer our prayers. There is no Biblical truth to that theory pertaining to the New Testament church. Remember we are no longer under law but Grace.

People who love one minute and then act the opposite way the next minute simply don’t operate in God’s love. God’s Word tells us to even love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). It is a command. He didn’t say to do it if you feel like it. A command given by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords does not generate an optional, what do you think, response.

Galatians 5:22 says that love is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. This is specifically speaking of the Holy Spirit; and our new man was born of the Spirit, so it has to be true that God’s love has been shed abroad in our spirits too. We have the capability to love as He loves. God’s kind of love is a choice that you make on the basis of what God said, and then you act on it through faith until it becomes a reality in your whole being.

Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth ( committed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love wasn’t based upon what we had done for Him or what we deserved but upon His choice, His free choosing to love us. We didn’t do anything to merit God’s love. He just chose to give it. We can receive His kind of love and then give it to others in the same way. The Word (John 13:35) says “By this shall ALL men know that ye are my disciples, my students, my apprentices, my representatives that you have love one to another”. What is the “this”? That we love one another, even as He has loved us. (verse 34)

His love was extended toward Hitler just as much as it was toward Billy Graham. The difference is our acceptance or rejection of it, not His offer of it. God’s love is unconditional. What about your love for the “world”? Can you walk in lock step with God “so loved the world”, recognizing that He is in you and you in Him which would indicate that you too should unconditionally love the world…and ALL of its inhabitants or are you caught up in this spirit of tribalism introduced by the demonic great opposer, Lucifer? I leave with this… 1 John 4:20-21, “If a man says, I love God and hateth (disregards and show little empathy) his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath seen? And this commandment (not suggestion) have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother (another creation of God) also.

Yeah I Am Doing It On Purpose…AND?


“PURPOSE”

Purpose—The object for which something exists or is done, with a specific end in view, not accidentally; by design.

What I have noted through reading His Word is that God is a purposeful God. Nothing is done by happenstance. His timing is impeccable. He even allows things to die that in the time of resurrection His Glory will be revealed. Recall the story of Lazarus.

Rom. 8:28—And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Rom. 9:11—(for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls).

Eph. 1:11—In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.

You were not created by accident. You are not a mistake. Your presence on this earth at this time in history was preordained. The way you look, the talents and gifts you possess, and the personality you have been given is all part of God’s plan. He made you the way you are for a very specific purpose, and no one can ever replace you. But, if you are ever going to fulfill that purpose—your destiny—it begins with believing that you have one and that you must cooperate with God to bring it to pass.

Jeremiah 1:5 reads,

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

And in Galatians 1:15, the Apostle Paul writes,

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.”

He has a very specific plan for your life that no one else can fulfill. He has a destiny designed just for you. Your destiny is preordained, but it is not inevitable. We need to live with a sense of destiny. It’s important not to go through life doing your own thing and then asking God to bless it. It’s the reason so many of us are experiencing a lack of success, of fulfillment and satisfaction. There is a power and an anointing that only comes when you are fulfilling God’s plan for your life.Every person has a preordained plan for their life, but God is not going to make it come to pass. God will speak to you, and He will woo you. He wants to reveal His plan for you more than you want to know it, but it’s rest upon you to find out what it is. It becomes futile for you to ask God to reveal His purpose for your life while you are on your way to doing something else. However, it doesn’t happen without your pursuit.

Jeremiah 29:13 says,

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

God will not force His will or His plan upon anyone. So, is He sovereign? Yes, if the correct definition for sovereign is used. Sovereign means supreme in power or rank. We all would agree with this definition, but I totally disagree with the way religion today uses “sovereign.” God does not make His will for our lives come to pass. We have to submit to God to His will.

The best example of this is in the Great Commission:

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).

It’s not God’s will for people to perish, and yet they do because His will is not automatic. Notice the phrase, He that believeth, He that believeth not. It is an individual choice.

What is even more amazing is whatever God is calling you to do, whatever your purpose, it is not based on your natural talents and abilities. God will call a person to do what they seem totally unqualified for. He will call you to do the very thing you can’t do. God has a destiny for you, and He wants to reveal it. But He is not going to run you down. He is not going to steamroll you or force it upon you. Romans 12:1, says you are to present yourself as a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice is a volunteer. If God were to use force upon you, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice; it would be slavery.

Know matter where you find yourself at this moment in time, His plan is still in play. He would not be God if He was unaware of where you are at. He is able and indeed already planned the route. It’s like a GPS navigator. When you go the wrong way, it says “Recalculating,” and in an instant, it has a new route planned to get you to your destination. Plan has always existed but was waiting on your point of location and submission to reveal the steps. (GPS – God’s Purposed System) It doesn’t matter how old you are or what has happened in your past; it’s never too late to recalculate. Just start doing what God is telling you to do.

He won’t necessarily give you the entire picture, but He will give you the next step. If He gave you the whole picture it would be overwhelming to our finite mind. However, as you take that step, you will find that the Holy Spirit that abides inside of you will help you accomplish His call on your life. He will not call you do to something and then ask you to do it in your own strength. Let’s start by doing what we were ALL called to do without exception…”love one another”.

BREAKING NEWS: This Just In, it has been discovered that…


God is not American or any other nationality. He is not a Christian and He is not conservative or liberal. He is not male or female, Jew or Gentile, neither is He white, black, brown, yellow or any other skin shade. He is not Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or any other grouping of religion. In fact He is not religious at all. He is neither right nor wrong in His decisions and or motives. To assume such would mean that there is a possibility of He making a mistake or wrong choice. He is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent or change His mind. Tears, wishes or emotions do not move him. God is not prejudice in any way. He is not selective in whom He loves or how He loves.

A very familiar Scripture verse that most of us know found in John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Notice it does not say For God so loved America, or God so loved Christians, or Hispanics, Europeans, Asians, Africans, Muslims, Middle Easterns, or any other category of people. John through the Holy Spirit says so God so loved the WORLD!!! Implication being and ALL that dwell therein. That is why I personally have a problem with people from politics or the pulpit always saying “And God Bless the United States of America… what about God Bless the world. “ What makes America so entitled to His Blessings when we have proactively moved to make sure that He is not a part of our government, culture and yes even churches. I have a problem with Christians who illustrate racism, sexism, classism and all the other “isms” over they being the image of Christ to the world. Christians especially here in America so caught up in the poisonous web of politics and unknowingly being manipulated by the mindset of the world making the name and image of His Son a mockery. Yet, God is not a God concerned about His name, but He is a God that values His Word above His name. Psalms 138:2 “…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

God is not an insecure bully that needs you to force, intimidate, and threaten other people to believe as you believe. He is not a God that needs you to kill another of His children because that makes you a murderer, which He is obviously against. After all He is the breath in our lungs and He is quite able to call life to an end on His own as He calls life to begin through His own omnipotent power. Oh and understand there are NO special rewards for your acts of intimidations and so called victorious conquests. No seventy virgins, no pot of gold, no special crown or reward, only judgment.

He is not impressed with our robes, cathedrals, traditions, or religious performances. Bow and genuflect all you want but if your heart, will and spirit do not bow in obedience to His, He is not impressed. How do we know? It is shown by how you treat others, ALL of the others. It is again shown by how your life lines up to His Word more than how it lines up to the word coming from TV commentators who are getting filthy rich off of our being gullible and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

But God is Sovereign. We should all come to a place in our life when we realize that God is God and we are not. He is not dependent and limited by us. He is the one in control of everything.

A sovereign has ALL control over all he has conquered. He has the authority to give orders. Just as a king has sovereign rites over a territory, God has sovereign rites over all His creation. That is a difficult concept for us in modern western society. In the ancient world, the leader of a group of people was often a law unto himself. His word was the final say in all things. For man to have such power often results in terror and injustice because that is the nature of man. For God to have that power is a wonderful thing, because His nature is love and justice. Do you live with understanding that God is sovereign and rules over your life?

God is not only sovereign but He is the Supreme Sovereign. Hear how E.Y. Mullins, theologian and writer described God. “The holy and loving God has a right to be sovereign.” “When we say God is supreme we mean that there is no being above or beyond Him, and that, in His nature and power, and in the qualities of His being, none other can be conceived of superior to Him.”

Our Sovereign instructs us. He has given us His word that reveals His plan for us and for all mankind. If we allow it His Spirit will teach us in the way we should go. It will warn us when man, and their ways are deceiving us. I am always amazed when I read the hateful scornful comments of those who identify themselves as Christians, yet show very little aspects of the personality of Christ. Yet they think that is what Jesus would do.

God is Sovereign over all His creation. Unlike earthly sovereigns who take something from others, God is sovereign because it all came from Him. Everything exists at His command. His intention in creating us was that we serve Him in a loving relationship.

Because God is sovereign, we should never worry. Our worry is an expression of doubt. We doubt that God is great enough to deal with our personal situation or the situations that are happening in our world today. We make decisions based on the intelligence of our own mind.

When we know God is reigning over our circumstances and is totally in control, we can walk through them with peace. That peace in the midst of the storm can be a testimony to those who are watching us and seeing and learning how wonderful our God is. Do you have that mindset? How should that affect your attitude toward your current situation? Would it change how you look at world events?

God is….

But If Not


Daniel 3:17-18

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

These three words have impacted me so much …“BUT IF NOT”! These three young men went from being praisers on that day to being TRUE worshippers! They basically said… “we know that God CAN do it, but even if he chooses not to do it we will still worship HIM! We know that God can keep us safe, but even if He doesn’t and allow calamity to come upon us, it doesn’t change the way we feel about Him!! Help us Lord to say “BUT IF NOT!”

God’s people go through some hard rough and trying times, but if they can stay true to God, and learned how to worship in the hard times, eventually God brings them through and blessed them more mightily than ever before! You might be in the furnace now, but learn how to worship! You might be stripped down to nothing now, but learn how to worship! You might have lost everything, but learn how to worship, God’s not thru yet! Unfortunately, we often seek what God can do for us, and neglect having an intimate relationship with Him. We want the blessing of God, and fail to come union with Him. We are adept in praise, but we never really worship.

Can we as the church truly worship God even when HE it appears that He is not blessing? Can we yet worship when it appears that He is taking things from us? When we are seemingly being attacked on every side, emotionally, spiritually and physically?

My heart is heavy as I think of the horrific event that took place in Charleston, South Carolina a few days ago. Yet to hear the words of forgiveness spoken by the families affected embolden me even more to operate in the love of Christ. Can you hear him from the cross saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. They have chosen not to serve the king of this world that says hate, demand and seek revenge. But instead they released their grip on anger and embraced their arms around unexplainable love.

True worshippers are shown at this time. It is much more than lip service and even church actions. Yeah I know we volunteer to clean up the church building and serve in the different ministries, but that is not worship. That is works and in the realm of His Kingdom Jesus says that worshippers are wanted and preferred not workers.

Let me end with this… the world will know us by our love, not our religious sayings, not our righteous indignation, not our Bible thumping or our condemning others. Until we can love our enemies and pray for them who despitefully knowingly use us, they will not see Christ. They will see Christians. Mahatma Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I understand and agree with what he was saying. My prayer and desire is to be a follower of Christ so that He may be seen even in the “but if not” times. If He does not heal me, if he does not let me work where I desire, make the money I should rightfully make, or if I do not get the girl or the guy or the house I desire, I choose to worship Him. If I am never known or recognize outside of my small circle I will worship Him. Understand this, He can deliver us oh king…BUT IF NOT……

Riddle Me This!!!


Whom do men say that I am…no wait… whom do YOU say that I am?

Mt 16:13 “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” The original Greek is more specific, and means, “Who do the common people say that I am”? He does not ask for the opinion of the religious people, but of the everyday people.

Of course, there was a reply to that question. “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah (a strong man, a great prophet) and others say Jeremiah (someone who lifted himself up, or an appointed prophet) or one of the other prophets.” Curiously though all of these responses from the common people still reduced Jesus to being just a man. There is nothing really special about Him, in their mind, when you come to the finality of their response. Yes, He is strong, exalted an appointed prophet, like Jeremiah and Elijah, but there was already a Elijah and Jeremiah so they saw Him being in the same category. Their opinion cannot be faulted, that is the conclusion they came to because of the lack of relationship and closeness. He is a good man, He is a prophet who is a good speaker and seems to have a good heart. Some one who came from impoverished beginnings and lifted Himself to some notoriety in society. What other answer could He expected. I am one who is imaginary in my thoughts so hang with me. I imagine Jesus saying with a smile saying, “that’s cool, but tell me guys, since you have been with me for about three years, whom do YOU say that I am”.

I can see the disciple’s faces now as they hear His question. Can you see John, the youngest follower, slightly turning his head to Thomas saying “oh snap, dude…say something”. Thomas might have responded “no man, you answer Him, beside you, Peter and James are always taking those side trips with Him. If anyone should answer it should be one of you three”. John’s head, I imagine, is spinning to give an answer to Jesus’s question, but then John hears Simon (Peter) answering, and I am sure a sigh of relief came upon him. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. What? What did you say Simon? I can see the other disciples whispering to each other, “did you hear that?” What hat did he pull that rabbit from?” I can see them looking at Jesus, then looking at Peter, then looking back at Jesus, waiting for a response to that blasphemes answer. OMG, Jesus is getting out of His seat and walking towards Simon Peter, it is about to get interesting now. “Matthew leans towards Andrew and says “See that is why I was not going to say anything”.

They watch as Jesus slowly approach Simon and (in my imagination) put His hands on Simon’s shoulders and says “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And upon that solid truth, that rock I will build my church…” Not upon you Peter, but upon the Truth you uttered without really understanding what you just said.

Ok, that is when I, Douglas, asked the Father what are you talking about? This is what He said to my spirit. “The Father, through His Holy Spirit will INSTILL the truth to you, but it is your life’s walks that REVEAL the Truth of what you proclaim.” Ok… explain. He then said many have accepted me as their Lord and Savior… They “say” I am the Christ, the Son of the living God and I AM, know that. But what do their life choices; decisions, motives, words, and attitude say about who I AM. It is in hard times, under pressure in the work place, in finances, in relationships, in their society where they reveal their embracing of that truth. Look at Peter after that spot on answer, he soon followed up by denying me 3 times. He lied, he cursed, reneged and recanted the instilled Truth. That is why I built my church on the TRUTH of the revelation not the one who uttered the revelation.

Today, many who have the instilled truth of Jesus, when asked the question of whom do you say that I am, are strangely answering, You are prejudice, You are heavy on homophobia but not overly concerned about lying, adultery, fornication, greed, envy, lust and a multiple of other “lower class” sins, as if. You are only for one race, one creed, one denomination. They say, through their life, that You are impatient with those who do not measured up to their standards. You are judgmental, you are intolerant and you are vindictive. You are disrespectful to those whom you, through your divine decision, given to rule over us. However, on the other hand we expect you to be patient, tolerant and delay judgment on our obvious sins. We say you will treat us differently for the same faults we condemn our fellow men. We say You are not the God of the second, let alone the two hundredth chance.

Who do YOU say that He is? Peter later through his life revealed that he embraced and yes cherished the Truth of his statement. What true answer will your life reveal? I am reminded and confronted by the life’s revealing Truth of those who have recently been beheaded in the Middle East because they would not recant of their revealed Truth. He is the Son of the living God. Even as recently as a few days of this blog there were university student in Africa who would not denounce “the Christ” but were brutally murdered because they chose to stand on that Truth. But sadly today we see others who so easily abandon against much lesser challenges and opportunities turn their proverbial backs on the instilled Truth, which they espouse. Who do you say that I am? No not the readers, Douglas… you!!!

   Not Different, Just Unique    


Bouquet-25

It is amazing that in 2015 we are still emphasizing our uniqueness in race, culture, politic, age, nationality and preference. Why in this age of supposed enlightenment do we as passengers of this ship called earth have the audacity to think one is better than the other? Are we so impoverished in our own self esteem that the only way we can feel good about ourselves is to down play the uniqueness of others? Understand the GOD given truth, we are not different, we are just unique. He said “in the beginning” let us make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness. Let us make man, which by the way, includes both male and female as ONE, not just the gender male. We are made in His image, all of mankind male and female. Yet as “man” we espoused the uniqueness by mislabeling it as different. Once a difference is perceived then it becomes easy to be judgmental, prejudice, separate and “superior”.

In my country, the United (catch that word) States of America there is so much separatism that it is becoming destructive. We are hardly “united” in anything, it seems. Look at how we describe ourselves, Latin Americans, Native-Americans, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American. Why can’t we all be American? Why when we fill out forms for almost anything do we have to describe as to what “category” of American we are? That does not indicate “united”. I would love to hear my country described as the “United People of America”. How powerful would that be? These last 2 decades our political cultures has been a travesty in how we have allowed a culture of division to arise and invade our land, egged on by religion and economic status. I know that many read this blog from other countries and I so appreciate it and am humbled by it but I wonder do you face the same division? If so, in what aspect?

You can say that is just the way it has always been and always will be and that is true, I guess. BUT there is one GREAT arena this should not be found. That is within the body of Christ. Sunday mornings are one of the most segregated days of the week. You don’t believe me, when you attend your worship service on Sunday, what does the congregation look like? Are other cultures incorporated in your worship? I am a musician and what really disturbs me is the labeling of music. Southern-gospel as oppose to Black gospel, contemporary Christian as oppose to traditional Christian as oppose to Christian rock as oppose to countless other labeling. The sadness of it all is that because one’s personal preference, the uniqueness of the others fall within a “difference” category which again leads to the path of superiority. We negate the oneness of the message, based upon what WE like PERSONALLY.

In John 17:22 Jesus in praying to the Father said “and the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” One not necessarily ALIKE, but one. My prayer is that the world sees a “unified body of believers” encompassing every nation, creed, race and color presented as “one”. That the display of our “uniqueness” is as colorful and captivating as a bouquet of beautiful flowers that will show the tapestry and make up of what Heaven will be…no that is not correct, what Heaven is NOW made of. I do not envision that Heaven will be sectioned off by race, nationality, creed, political leanings and economics. I seriously doubt that we will hear “our” music of preference.

Strive for unity be one…many different ages (but ONE), many different races and ethnic groups (but ONE), many callings, gifts and talents, (but ONE), many different life backgrounds, (but ONE), many different personal likes and views (but ONE). If the church can once again be as they were in Acts 2:1 “with one accord and IN one place (not physically but with their SPRITUAL MINDSET) what would happen in the world in which we all are locked into? ONE! Understand we are not different just unique in the Father’s eyes, and He is the author of uniqueness, and if you doubt that just look at nature wherever you reside on this planet ship. There is but One God ..who is above and rules over ALL. He stands as King of kings, Lord of lords, and through all.. he acts through all, permeating every thing, is present with every thing, supporting everything… it is in Him do we live and move and have our being. God is over all, as Father, through all; by the Logos, the Word; and in all by the Holy Ghost. Through the Word He has made our hearts His temple, His dwelling place. We have been enlightened, quickened, purified and comforted by the energy of His Holy Spirit.

Personally I have been enriched by having immediate family members that consist of at least 3 races and it is a blessing. We are not different, we are a unique family of one…and I LOVE IT!

I Hope you are still Hoping..


Well….we’re going back on the grid…

I have been away for a while doing other projects. i am currently working on a music CD and was a little focused these last few weeks. The world has been presenting a lot of unpleasant situations both here in this country and abroad. ISIS is murdering under the guise of religion and trying its best to intimidate. As I looked at these event and more importantly listened to different commentary, it appeared to me that a basic principle was being attacked. That principle is HOPE! The news people, the radio talking heads, the “we should be worried” people all propagate hopelessness. I applaud the Jordanian nation as they said to ISIS because of the cowardly way you murdered our pilot, you have not only invigorated our hop, but also stirred our righteous indignation. What you were hoping produced the opposite effect.

Romans 8:18 – 8:25

What is hope? Hope is usually defined as a longing, a desire, or an expectation of fulfillment. It can be passive or intensely active. It can be for evil or for good. It is vitally important that we have the right hope because the Bible says that along with faith and love, it is one of the three timeless and enduring eternal values. There will never be a time in eternity when hope is not on our minds! Think about that! It is that important.

Hope is a powerful motivator. What we love, we pay attention to, , our hope will motivate us in that direction. Hope influences us either to take or not to take certain actions, depending upon what we hope for. We will generally do all that we can to make sure that what we hope for happens the way that we foresee it happening. If we hope something does not happen, we generally do what we can to see that it does not happen. Hope motivates us to move in a certain direction and to do certain things.

What if we hope for something that is beyond our immediate control? We will still pray that what we hope for will happen. If there is nothing else we can do, we will still pray. That is how powerful hope is. It will make us do things even subconsciously, bending us in a certain direction because our hope is so strong. At the very least, even if we do not pray, we will at least wish, fret, and worry about it until something is resolved. Our hopes, whether we are conscious of them or not, are constantly playing on our mind.

No matter how difficult or how desperate our situation seems, Paul says we can face it with hope.

You don’t have to be real sharp to notice that we live in a world that struggles against hopelessness. If you talk to people at all, you are going to get in a conversation with someone who is going to tell you that they are discouraged. Listen to any of the radio talk shows or watch the news and you are going to hear people who are cynical about life. They think the world is going down the tubes. And on a world scale, it seems that we go from crisis to crisis. Some here acutely remember things ISIS, just to name a few of the highest profile conflicts. And in spite of our best efforts, we know there will be more conflicts. Plus, there have been economic crises.

Right now we live in a world that is less than perfect. This world is subject to a law that states that everything in this universe is decaying. What seems fresh and new one day will someday be old and broken down. Something that is growing and vibrant will someday shrivel up and die. To use Paul’s language, this world is in “bondage to decay.” But it wasn’t always this way though. In the early days of the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, we see the sin of Adam and Eve caused several things to happen that were previously nonexistent.

So Paul tells us that creation is frustrated and it even groans for the day of redemption. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Now we groan and become frustrated because of evil in the world. We long to once and for all time rid the world of evil. We long for the time where the world will be free of evil and corruption.

Hope is not just an optimistic and positive outlook but also the drive to persevere, to endure whatever comes, to push us forward. Only the hopeful will do this. The hopeless will give up. For the Christian, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. It is true that we will endure suffering in our lives. Hopefully it is for Christ and not our own foolishness. But the great news is we have a hope even though we suffer.
We as Christ followers have hope because we are God’s adopted children. We can look forward to the blessings ahead. We have an inheritance that is not of this world. We know for certain that it will not always be like this, something better is coming, we will be made new!

And now we come to one of my favorite verses: Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

That hope gives us the ability to turn our eyes away from our pain to God’s glory. The good news for those who are in Christ Jesus is that YOU ALWAYS HAVE HOPE. Through Jesus we have hope. Hope of better things to come. We can know even though this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, things are going to get better for those who follow Christ.

2014 WOW


Wow! I do not know how you feel but to me the year 2014 came and went very fast. It seems the older I get the faster time goes. When you are young time seems to drag, but now it is in hyper speed mode.

I was just reflecting on the past twelve months and seeing the financial, professional, emotional and physical impacts both positive and negative, I absorbed. Through it all I am grateful and thankful because He bought me through it. I am constantly learning to first be grateful and content. An attitude of gratitude is important because it causes you not to focus on your lack but on your abundance. My wife and I was just in a conversation today about how we know some people who have everything one could want, money, expensive cars, a beautiful huge house, community influence, but there is no peace in the home. Chaos abounds. We were saying although we are experiencing a need in some areas, we were grateful for peace, love and contentment and gratitude for what He has done. Yes sometimes we look at the prosperity of others and how they seem to have all the earthly things you might desire and let’s be honest you desire those things also and that is not necessarily wrong. It becomes an issue when we begin to accuse the Father unjustly. We must understand that the blessing of this realm is temporary, whether we are a believer or not. Nothing we accumulate can we take with us. That is the sad truth that many in “powerful” positions fail to understand as they pad their personal treasure vault knowingly abusing those who should receive the same benefit. The “trickle down” scenario was espoused to “trick” those who were already down. Yet, Paul says be content in whatever state you find yourself. Easy? No… here is what he wrote… “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Did you see it? He says, “For I have learned”. It is not a natural automatic attitude. It is something that you LEARN. This learning can come through trial and error. It can come from looking at other’s plight. It can come through life experiences. Time and circumstances (both good and bad) are EXCELLENT teachers believe me.

One thing that was highlighted to me in 2014 was the vast number of manufacture’s recalls. Within the last eight months or so of 2014 there had been a rash number of automobile recalls, baby furniture recalls, food recalls illustrating at defectiveness within the product. When I look at the automobile recalls I find that the manufacturers range from average standard model Ford, Chrysler, GM products to Mercedes and Lexus. Just recently within the last month my wife who happens to drive a Lexus was also recalled for a possible defect that could cause an engine fire within the gaskets space. The causes, the reasons for these recalls can be very varied. It could be because defective materials are made in the parts or it could be a defective design within the part. For instance just this week I got notice of a recall for my car’s airbags because of defective and substandard parts. Apparently the airbags could, without provocation go off it and pose a danger. It could fire shrapnel of plastic and metal seriously injuring the occupants of the car therefore causing more damage than the accident itself. Detailing the deficient, defective unreliability of the product is only half the problem. Yes, the manufacturer or the companies issuing the recalls have only done their part, however the greater part is on those who possess the product. It is their responsibility to contact to get in contact with the manufacturer rep or the company and follow the instruction outline in order to have a bad defective part replaced or improved up on. Whatever the case would inquire it wouldn’t do the owner of the product any good to know of the recall and yet not take the product in to have the defective part replaced or refurbished. It is by doing that possible serious injury can be avoided or maybe even a life saved. So I should seek to contact my creator to “turn myself” in and over to Him knowing that He has what I stand in need of.

To me 2014 and even 2015 is a reminder, a recall to my spirit the ultimate truth that HE IS IN CONTROL. And in that truth should my gratefulness, and contentment lie.

The weight to question and complain is noticeable, but flowing from my heart is gratefulness. He spared my children and their families, I am grateful. He has given me a praying wife who loves the Father, and me and my “ways”, grateful. He is my provider, grateful. I am still employed, grateful. Do I have everything I desire? No. Have I understood the path He designated? No. But I recognized I am ALWAYS in HIS hands, so name me a better, more safer and secure place to be, I’ll wait!!

What did 2014 teach you, reveal to you and present to you? You are here for a reason. Your purpose has not been accomplished. So bring on 2015. I smell VICTORY ahead. Impact your country, city, and neighborhood, home…for the glory of God.

Do Faith, It Pleases


“How many of you think God is really pleased with you?” In the natural a person can choose to love you because of his or her own goodness, but to be pleased with you, they actually have to like your performance. Right?

With God, no one could ever be pleasing to Him based on performance. His standard is perfection, and no goodness on our part can ever compensate for our sins. We may please man with our actions, but “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Once one becomes more thoroughly aware of the exceeding sinfulness of sin within himself it calls up the question, “What must one do?” Notice the word “do.” Does this not indicate activity of some kind? In other words, are we willing to expend some measure of energy—work—to begin stopping actions of sin in our lives?
The way we receive the forgiveness that’s available through Jesus’ blood is by faith (Rom. 10:9-17). When we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior, we are pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him.”

Faith comes from the heart (Rom. 10:10), and God looks on the heart — not the actions.

It’s our hearts that really concern God, and faith in Him (trust, reliance) is what He is searching the heart for.

A person whose actions are not right but who trusts the Lord is more pleasing to God than an individual who is doing the right things but has no faith in God. It’s not a case of those who act the best will get accepted, and those who act the worst get rejected. That would put some of the followers of other religions ahead of many Christians, but that is not what the Bible teaches.

This is exactly the point Paul is making in Romans 11:6: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” The amplified says it this way “6But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].” It’s one way or the other but it cannot be a combination of the two. We’re either saved by God’s grace through what Jesus did for us, or we’re saved by what we do without Jesus, but not a combination of the two.
If God used performance as the basis of whether or not He was pleased with us, no one would ever pass the test. “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Ps. 130:3).

Satan used to accuse me and say, “What makes you think God will use you?” The truth is that none of us are perfect. We don’t deserve the blessings of God. We must put our faith in Jesus. It’s hard for some people to accept this. It has been ingrained in us that if we aren’t holy, God won’t bless us. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your goodness — He sees Jesus. If he saw us we would all be doomed.

If you’re walking in faith, God is pleased with you even though your actions don’t measure up. The worst sin is self-righteousness. The attitude that God owes it to you because you’ve been good is erroneous. When it comes to God, your performance can’t earn you anything. Because you have, do and will sin, you need a savior. It is your faith in the FINISHED work of Jesus that will grant you access to God.

I’m not advocating sin. Your actions are important. Your holiness is important because it changes your heart toward God but it does not change God’s heart toward you.

The actions and consequences of sin will hurt you. Even though God will love you just as much, you won’t love God as much. It will harden your heart toward God. If you constantly live in sin and never feed yourself spiritually, it will kill you. I am not saying you should ignore your actions. You will never do everything perfectly, but don’t let it keep you from receiving the blessings of God.

Look at Peter during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. He denied the Lord three times. He cursed and blasphemed God, and yet Jesus prayed that his faith wouldn’t fail. Jesus’ prayers were always answered. Peter’s actions failed, but not his faith. He was restored to God and went on to become a pillar of the church.

Some of you may be thinking, this is great — I can live like the devil and still get what I want from God.” If you think that, I would ask are you truly born again, because a True Believer wants to please God. This word is for Believer’s who have a desire to serve God and live by FAITH in His completed work.

HH&MC


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.

Joy to the WORLD, the Lord has come, let earth receive her KING! For unto us a son was born, a Son was given. Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) – “ For to us a child is born,to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

He is our Wonderful Counselor – Wonderful (extraordinary, hard to understand thing), Counselor (to advise, consult, give counsel, purpose, devise, plan). The name “Counselor” speaks of His wisdom (Omniscient-ALL KNOWING). Do you know when wisdom is worthless? It is when it is not available and when it cannot be applied to your Life. But with Jesus it is available and can be applied to your life. As the Wonderful Counselor, God Became Available to us. He became a personal God. As Wonderful Counselor, Jesus came with an assurance of hope in a world that sometimes seems hopeless; Jesus brought hope to those who had no hope. No situation or problem is too difficult for Him to solve. With that truth surely He has brought JOY to the world.

I declare upon every readers life the prosperity of His WONDERFUL Counsel, Joy, Peace and prosperity, as we begin our exit of 2014 and the entry into the awesome prospects that await you in 2015. I speak a blessing over your health, finance, families and life. No matter your nationality, race, creed or color or religion leanings, He THE wonderful counselor is available to you. For some 2015 is going to be LIFE CHANGING as you begin to walk in His counsel.

Be Blessed and God Bless the WORLD and cause us your children to be a blessing!!

EXCUSE ME BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?


2 Timothy 3:1-4… “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy; Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good; traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”

 Does this sound familiar to you? What is your local news reporting this week? What time is it? Do you know? Are you aware?

We are constantly hearing of “perilous times” in the Middle East, the Ukraine, the west, third world countries and other various parts of the earth. To be honest “perilous times” encompasses the entire earth. Yes, even in your country, province, city and town. “Perilous times” resides in your family, your home, and even your mind. It is of different variances and intensity but it is still “perilous times”, a struggling, and a conflict. This “time” is impacting everyone, every class, every race, and every culture. Sometimes I think mankind is not at peace unless mankind is at war. What is that? Why do we seem to have the urge to usurp someone else? Where is this attitude, this brokenness, this rage, and this reaction coming from? What is the weapon of attack?

One attack strategy of the perpetrator in this time is to use seducing spirits, spirits not only highlighting lust and sex. We see and hear that constantly. It is attacking every culture. Look at the videos; listen to the music that is prevalent in our culture, especially the American culture. You cannot see a show or listen to music today without sexual suggestive dancing and lyrics being presented. This attack from seducing spirits is not just about lust but more importantly it this spirit is to lure us from our true lover, our true husbandman, our true strength and help. It is to draw us from Truth and to bond us to a lie. Its assignment is to make people question Truth and seek another. What is Truth?

Another attack strategy is spiritual deception. The only way that the enemy can gain a foothold in this world is to pervert and twist truth. So he uses men to espouse religion and tradition and superstition to bring about chaos in the name of God. He is not ignorant of God, but mankind has allowed himself to be ignorant. So he tells mankind to reach out to God. He says find him in your own way. He says there is no right or wrong way. He also empowers men to lead astray, lead from the virtuous way those who have not entrenched themselves in the Truth. What is Truth?

This can only be done through false teachers. They take the lead in engineering a path to lead people to a false, dangerous and fruitless destination. They excel in the atmosphere of fear and phobia. The pathway to false ideology becomes wide and bright when the sheep mentality of the fearful uninformed is revealed. Trust is placed on the most flimsy of support. Add to that the need to sensationalize any event through the phenomenon of real time access from anywhere in the world, we are a people open to anything good or bad.

But it is the time that we should be most concern. Nothing is by happenstance. All is by plan and purpose.

2 Peter 3:3 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts…

In this time some men, using the guise of politics, religion and morality are REALLY walking after their own perverted lust. They mock the sanctity of life and freedom that every human being has if their will only is to be done. They are seeking to fulfill the lust of control, money, position, sex, murder and power. They follow their own evil desire. That is their NOBLE cause. It is not only here in the United States but it is in every country in the world. It is in every religion and those who would be the head of such. History has consistently shown the hearts of men.

Sooooo, how do we overcome this? What is the winning strategy?

2 Corinthians 2:14 – Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,

The winning strategy is not the problem. We as believers just need to NOT be afraid and be BOLD in the HIM because we are ALREADY victorious. Read it again He CAUSES us to triumph to be victorious. This is a concluded result. He will make us victorious because in Him dwells NO defeat. We just need to be willing to stand up and fight.

But a prerequisite must be that we are aligned in agreement as believers. Not as a denomination, race, culture or creed, but as believers.

Lev 26:8 – And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

The Greek word for agreement is “symphaneo” – this is where we get the English word symphony. A symphony is a collaboration of different instruments playing together in harmony. Whether you enjoy that style of music or not, there is one thing you must admit. When you hear it, there is harmony and each instrument is playing the same song in the same key on the same tempo together. but have you ever heard the orchestra musicians before the presentation doing warm up? Every section, every musician is doing his own thing. They are all playing different notes in different keys, different scale patterns and rhythms. It sounds like total chaos. But once they are united and give their total attention to the conductor, the one who knows the plan, chaos becomes collaboration, headache becomes harmony, individual limits becomes collective actuality But only when we agree. We as Believers need to have “symphaneo” in our prayer, worship, and resolve of following our “conductor” who knows the plan to victory. If God be for us, who can be against us? We should not be a people paralyzed by fear of terrorist, disease, and mayhem or any other. He CAUSES us to triumph, even in “perilous time”.

His Request, My Reward and Release


Luke 23:34 – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

I have been prompted through various indications to touch on the subject of forgiveness. First, this scripture was something I was hearing on last week when contiplating what to blog. Then by mere happenstance I was watching a movie with family that we randomly chose called “The Railway Man” (good movie) and the concluding theme and focus was forgiveness. To top that, we happened upon an estate sale on Saturday of this past weekend and my wife purchased some items that I went to pick up on Sunday. After obtaining the items, the man who was with the company conducting the sale walked out with me and began to talk about the goodness of our Lord. He had suffered a dibiltating injury and he was in some pain and discomfort physically but he was delighting in how the Father had bought him through the valleys of life. He and I had a conversation for about thirty minutes but near the end he described how his brother had stolen $350,000 from an inheritance he should have had. He said at the time of this incident eight years ago, he had given his life to Christ. He indicated I could be in prison at this moment if it was not for the words that Jesus implored from the cross. He said to me, I heard in my spirit, “forgive them; for they know not what they do .” Now you must understand I had not discussed ANYTHING about that scripture with him but it was to me confirmation to touch on this subject.

The first question that comes to my mind is who is the “THEM”? This request seems to be nondescript, plain, indistinct. “Father, forgive them.” He does not say, Father, forgive the priest that rendered false accusation. He does not say, Father, forgive the soldiers who have nailed me to this cross. Neither does He say, Father, forgive my disciples who have seemingly forsaken me. From His lofty position on the cross seeing the distant future He does not say Father, forgive those who will in the ages to come l turn their back to me and reject your sacrifice and sin against You, yet with those ten words He includes them. He does not mention a specific accusation or accuse a specific person, race, culture or group. Even though He being God knew the names of the soldiers that nailed Him to the cross He does not mention their names for prosterity to ridicule throughout the ages. AND no, He is not willing to mention their descriptive mission saying, forgive my murderers. There are no words of specific and directed accusation, only “Father, forgive them.”

Again, who is the THEM? Because it is not descriptive we can be included. He made room for us, too. I know the tendancy is to think that the “them” is the Roman soldiers and Jewish priests and the Roman government and it was, but it was also you and me. “For they know not what they do”. They think they know but they do not.

I am glad that He made it possible for me to live under the umbrella of the Father’s forgiveness that covers my purposefull and ignorant actions that documents my guilt and reveals my “filthy righteousness”. Yet we do not know the shallowness of our self-righteousness. We think, because we go to church regularly, or we were christened or were baptized or say our prayers or read a chapter in the Bible every day; that we do not merit His forgiveness. We think our religiousness outward performances, makes us exempt from His forgiveness but I still hear Him saying “They know not what they do.” They are trusting in their own actions and performance thereby negating my redemptive work through the cross.

The timing of the prayer is intriging also. It is in the midst of His pain, His humiliate His ultimate challenge that He petitions for “us” requesting our sanctuary, the Father’s forgiveness. Would that be our request or would it be “get them” Father.. look at what they are doing to me? Today what is our prayer for those who are terrorizing this world today. ISIS, brutally murdering innocent people of all cultures.. what is our prayer? Abusers, both governmental and domestic, viciously beating those we should be protecting, what is our prayer? Those who are being abused, tortured, and victimized in ALL countries by ALL tribes, nations,races and cultures. What is our prayer? Father, thank you for your undeserved forgiveness towards us, because we still do not realize what we do and how short we come to Your GLORY!! The heart of religion seeks and desires to control other men, cultures and nations. Jesus wants to set men free to live through Him, free, whole and forgiven. Oh how He loves us…

The real take away is also realizing IF we say the same petition it will release us to live life and not be painfully chained to the wrong visited upon us. I pray this was a highlighted message even if for just one person.

A “Selfie” of Jesus


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In the 1990’s there was a very popular phrase centered on a gifted and highly touted basketball player named Michael Jordan and every young basketball player wanted to be like him. He had a signature look and a habit of sticking out his tongue as he drove towards the goal of scoring a basket. He could score seemingly at will. So advertisers, seeing an opportunity, coined a phrase for all who played basketball. The phrase was simple. It said, “If I could “be” like Mike”. Everyone who played the sport wanted to “be” like Mike. That was their aspiration, their ultimate goal, to “be” like Mike. To this day, none have attained that dream.

The other day, examining my own spirit and life as a follower of Christ, I asked myself, why am I not like Jesus? After all that has been my aspiration, my spiritual goal, to “be” like Jesus. Do not all believers want the same? Have we not been told to aspire to “be” like Him? Yet walking down the corridor of my life, I found myself falling short many many times. While in the midst of those prodding thoughts I heard something most powerful. I heard you can’t “be” like me BUT you can allow me to “be” in you. With my lightning quick ability to comprehend the deep incomprehensible, I asked, “what are you talking about Father? (lol) This is what I heard…

First, you must look at your starting point. To want to be like says you are not a part of, so that makes you separate from. So for you to want to “be” like me says you and I are not one, not in unison but we are separate. Does this line up with the Word? I came to dwell in you, my temple, and for you to dwell in Me. I came to have unison. Just as the Father and I are one, we are one.”

During this time I was looking into a full-length mirror and the question came to me, what do you see? I said I see me. The response came back, no you don’t, to which I responded yes I do, to which I heard no… you don’t. What you see is a reflection, an image of you. There is a big difference. Secretly, hoping He would not hear me (hahaha) I thought, now you are just splitting hairs Father. BUT since according to Matthew 10:30 He knows the number of hairs on our head that would give him the adeptness to “split” them. (lol) But as I reflected on that image, that reflection, He continued to speak, and I slowly began to understand why I, Douglas, cannot “be” like Jesus, BUT He can “be” in me.

As I looked in the mirror I saw one head, a torso, two arms, two legs and hands with fingers. I saw my image with all its strengths and weaknesses. Head and body fitly joined in unison, as one entity. Then I heard how and why would the hand or arm or leg desire to “be” like the head? After all who are you? I am the body of Christ, the church according to 1 Corinthians 12. Ephesians 5 says Christ is the head of church, the body. Just as with the natural there is a need for only head. The hand should never aspire to “be” like the head, it will not happen.

You and I are an intricate part of a wondrous and mysterious body called “the church”. However there is a question we have all asked ourselves no matter what our faith or religious belief. That simple question is why am I here? What is my purpose? I think the answer is found just by examining your passions. What sets your heart aflame? Are you the hands of Christ showing compassion reaching out to others applying healing ointment and gentle touches of love? Are you the arms that gather the downtrodden and gently lay them to the breast for comfort and nutriments? Are you the legs that stand as strong pillars of support or means of advancement? Whatever part of the body we are, how do we allow Him to “be” in us? By walking in our call and being directed by His Spirit, which according to Scripture came to lead and guide us. This might not look like what we commonly associate with religious ministry. Someone passion is making quilts and blankets. They are not a preacher or Bible scholar, but how would the reflection of Christ look to the world if that person made little blankets for new born babies in crisis at a children’s hospital that are freely given to parents who are blanketed with fear for their child? How would the image of Christ look to the world where business people who understand the corporate world offer interviewing, resume writing and other training classes to those who otherwise would not know how to enter that world, for free. What about restaurant owners occasionally providing free meals to the homeless in their neighborhood? It is not all about money, it’s about Him. There is a young woman who just this week asked for me to fill out a reference form so that she might go on a foreign missions trip to a third world nation. Since she was a young teenager her desire has been to do missions. She is artistic, beautiful and talented and could be anything she wants to “be”, but the call, the pull to which she is submitting is to let Him “be” in her. Whether your passion is sports, acting, singing, writing, baking, cooking, sewing, entrepreneurism, teaching, preaching, music, nursing or missions, whatever your niche, how can we allow Him to “be” in us? That is His desire. There is a blog I am subscribing to by a young lady who just have recipes of Holistic healthy foods. That is ministry. How many physical live can be improved even saved by her passion?

http://stepheusebi.com

What does a “selfie” of Jesus look like? What is the image, the reflection the world sees? According to 1 John 3:2 only when He shall appear will we “be” like Him. Let’s strive to walk in our gifting. Let’s “be” the church allowing Him to “be” in us.