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.