It’s Midnight, What You Want To Do?


“But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)

Attacked, stripped, beaten and thrown in the INNER prison; in stocks; bruised and bleeding; in pain and extreme discomfort, surrounded by the very worst criminals, in the worst of places. What does one do? Pray and sing praises to God, of course!

Well, ok, perhaps not for most of us, but these two men had a different mindset. They were more interested in pleasing God than men, more interested in Kingdom principles then social edicts and perils. God had given them great boldness and confidence even in that horrendous, I do not want to be here, God how could you allow this to happen to me, place.

I have not written to my blog in a couple of months. I have just been sitting, listening and thinking on the events that are taking place in our world today. From the circus act we now call politics, police actions, humankind on humankind criminality and greed, acts of terrorisms, we as a people across the globe are in a time of midnight. In the natural, midnight is the starkest period of gloom and darkness and it is made to appear that the sun has gone away. However, the real truth is the earth has turn away from the sun. Whether you realize it or not, darkness, extreme intense gloom is covering our world today and it is made to appear that the Son has gone away. However, the real truth is the world has turn away from the Son. Not only are we in a dark time but also we have been thrown into a dark place, prison. Not just prison but an inner prison. What is an inner prison?

Inner prisons in the days of Paul were not pleasant or healthy. In the mind of the people, prison was equal to death, despair, sickness of mind and body, and humiliation. They did not have TVs and cable. They did not have commissaries and work out areas. They did not even have windows. It was devoid of light. There was no natural light at all. Sometimes we find our lives can be that way. Naturally we cannot see a light at the end of our proverbial prison tunnel. We struggle to bring a light of solution to our place of darkness and entrapment. Prisons, in the time of Paul had no air conditioners or heaters. The minimal comfort needed for sleep, were nonexistent. The floor was their mattress.

But far worse was the psychological and spiritual impact of total darkness on the prisoners. Some prisoners chose to commit suicide. They purposely decided to QUIT where they were. They purposely sabotaged their own life… BUT it still did not get them out of their situation. You know what I am talking about. God did not come through like YOU wanted Him to so now you do not believe in Him. Now you quit serving Him and going and BEING the church. You refuse to pray and bow the knees of your heart to Him because He failed you in your darkness. Spiritual suicide but you are still in locked up in your situation, dead. In Paul’s time dead bodies could lay in the inner prison for weeks at a time.

The bleeding, suffering apostles uttering their prayers and singing the praises of God must have amazed the other prisoners.

They sung hymns to God at midnight. In there location they could not be aware of time so the fact of it being midnight to them did not matter. They chose to BLESS the Lord at ALL times, in ALL times, through ALL times so the time of the times did not matter. It was not just midnight for Paul and Silas. It was midnight for everyone. It was midnight, not merely in that inner prison, but throughout the Roman Empire outside of prison, also. It was a midnight of morals, humanity, justice, forgiveness, kindness and TRUE love as well.

We are living in a time of midnight and the whole world knows. What song are you singing? And how are you singing it? How convinced of you of your own song? You can sing the right words but not be convinced of those same words! You sing “I Trust in God”, but do you? You sing “Great Are You Lord”, but are you convinced? You sing “You’re a Good Good Father”, but do that come with favorable conditions?  You sing about loving Christ and Him loving you and wanting more of Him, but are you loving others with the same passion He possessed and displayed. Yeah you know, I am talking about that, “Father forgive them cause they know not what they do”, type of love.

Imagine the impact of the things heard in prayer and hymns on the jailer and the other prisoners. It was a far cry from the wails, threats and curses usually heard in such places. The message, the song, had its effect on the listeners, it always does. The kind of effect depends on each individual heart, but there will be an effect. What is the “world” hearing from you?

What is your song? “Nobody knows the trouble I see?” “Take this job and shove it?” “We can’t go on?” “Crash and Burn?” “Let’s Build a Wall, ten feet tall?

We understand the main objective of chains is to restrict mobility and prevent escape. Chains were made of rough iron that would eventually rust with the perspiration of the prisoners, causing infectious pain, saying nothing of the weight of the chains. Finally, chains were noisy, and that clanking noise of chains prevented even less sleep for the prisoners. Paul and Silas’s chains become apart of their song and provide accompaniment like a rhythm section, tambourines.

Every link became a part of their praise. The link of failure, PRAISE, link of pain, PRAISE, the link of plenty and the link of lack PRAISE. The Link of bad choices PRAISE, the link of right choices, PRAISE. Everything that is weighing heavily on my mind and causing me to lose rest and peace and feel fearful and powerless will be an accessory to my song.

I am certain that Paul and Silas didn’t feel in their natural man like praying and singing praises unto God. They were going directly against all their natural feelings and deliberately exercising their will to enter into praise.

Notice this final point, the prisoners heard Paul and Silas praying and singing praises unto God. This explains why none of the prisoners escaped when the earthquake came and their prison cells were opened. They had apparently been so moved by Paul and Silas’ demonstration of faith in God to such a degree that they recognized the earthquake as an intervention of God and followed Paul and Silas’ leading in not fleeing the prison. What a song, what a message they must have delivered in that “midnight” hour.

Paul and Silas had the audacity to forgive, before they were asked, to trust where they could not see and sing a song that shook the world.

It’s midnight… what are you doing? What song are you singing?

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”.

   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!

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!!

I Am Thinking about Thanking…


There is no question about the great need for thankfulness in our day. I firmly believe that much of society’s ills today are the result of a lack of gratitude. I am not just talking about lip service, but I am talking about an attitude of the heart from within.

Here in America on the last Thursday of the month of November, we celebrate the landing of the Pilgrims and their first celebration dinner that they had with the Native Americans who were very instrumental in the survival of the pilgrim settlements. It is a holiday that we call Thanksgiving. It is a time to gather with friends, family and eat to your hearts content and to be thankful for the time that the year has brought you to. One of the things we as believers should be cognizant of is to always have a spirit of Thanksgiving.

I Thessalonians 5:18 clearly state, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” So we should be grateful for everything that transpires in our lives the good, the bad and the ugly. I know, I know, it is easier said then done. If we believe the Word of God, it says that all things are working together for our good according to his purpose to them that love the Lord. We should be compelled to always have a heart of Thanksgiving and to be grateful. One of the hardest things I have learned personally is to keep this attitude of Thanksgiving. During the month of November I try to consciously be more aware and be more thankful. For instance, I try not to ask God for anything but to thank him for all things even for the things that I might not desire. It is many times through those things that come to break us, is the catalyst for making us. In asking, we must understand that we come from a position of not wanting but possessing and if we have that mindset then we know we already posses what we have need. Otherwise we are saying we do not possess it and it is just in the realm of possibility. But if we come from a position of possessing then we can have an attitude of Thanksgiving.

For instance in praying and simple prayers as such as blessing your food instead of asking God to bless it thank Him for already blessing it even before it reached your dining table. Instead of asking God to heal you thank you for the healing that was already made available through his dying on the cross for He took upon Himself our diseases and infirmities and by his stripes we were, not are but were healed. Everyone who has breath no matter the circumstances can find a reason to be grateful and thank God for life, for strength, for family, for health, for being able to understand your surroundings. You might not have everything that you want but you understand that you have a hope and you have a Father that is there to hear, to undergird and to provide.

One of the signs of the end times is that there will be a time where man will be ungrateful ungodly. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 points out at that in the last days perilous time shall come for men should be lovers of their ownselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, UNTHANKFUL.

I know we all recognize that we are living in those times but I want to stick out like a sore thumb with the glow of thanksgiving. How about you? During this time take the time to be thankful and offer unto the Father a heart of Thanksgiving. After all, we should be able to give thanks because He has made our heart, our body His temple. I am THANKFUL for that truth!