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”.

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….

               Don’t You Want Somebody To Love?


Real love is a mystery to most people. Most people never realize the true potential or value of love. It is usually very poorly defined. There is a great deal of confusion and cross-referencing of the terms LOVE, ROMANCE, INFATUATION, AFFECTION, TENDERNESS and so forth.

Love may include romance, infatuation, affection and tenderness. But even if those elements are not present, it could still be love.

How? Love can come in many ways, facets and or degrees.

But love requires one aspect… giving. Love requires the giving of one’s self to another. It involves an element of self-depletion, self-exhaustion. Love also may involve RISK. Love is empathic. It puts itself in someone else’s shoes. Love seeks to understand another’s perspective yet love is bold and honest and truthful. Love cares. It does not pre-judge. It does not pass sentences. Love does not jump to conclusions. Love does not throw down ultimatums. Love does not declare war on its object. Love is tender, it is kind, and love is forgiving.

Love is tuning into another’s sensitivities. Love sense’s another’s strengths and weaknesses. It uses the other person’s measuring stick. It suffers and rejoices on another’s terms.

Love seeks rapport and connection. It seeks to bond in every facet of being. It seeks to relate emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually. Love sacrifices personal whims if they are incompatible with the one who is loved. Love abandons pursuits that hurt the one who is loved. Love will do without. Love bends. Love stretches. Love must sometimes keep silent, while screaming inside. Love is a desire that someone will fare better than yourself. It is the willingness to spend all that you are for the well being of another. Love will pay a debt the other cannot pay. It will bail them out for the sake of survival. Love wants the other to survive even if it means death to oneself. Love will die so someone else can live. Love is color blind, it does not deem one nation, culture, country or race over another. Love seeks o satisfy those who would partake of it.

Sound familiar?

SO JOHN SAYS SOMETHING SIMPLE YET PROFOUND…

      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 (John 3:16).

God so loved the world that He “gave.” This is the secret of love, to give, to share, that others may benefit. Jesus Christ, the begotten Son was given to the world for all and to all.

God delivered His love through the Son. It wasn’t enough for God to speak from Heaven and say, “I love you, world.” God showed His love through His action. His Son dying on the cross for our sins saw the apex of God’s love. In fact, God IS love.

When Christ walked our world He shared His love by opening the eyes of the blind, healed lepers, caused the dumb to talk, and raised the dead. He gave power to His disciples over all the forces of the devil. Christ gave us an example that we ought to love one another. He set the example of how we are to be in this world. How far it seems we have strayed from the foundation He laid. As Christ loved us, we are to love one another.

We are called to be disciples. We are not disciples of Christ by building a huge church and having a huge membership that do not exemplify the love of Christ. We are not disciples of Christ by giving large sums of money. The cattle on a thousand hills are His and even the thousand hills are His. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Believe me He is not impressed by our stuff.

We are not disciples of Christ by outward appearance. We are disciples of Christ if we LOVE one another.

The O’Jays had a song back in the day, perhaps you heard of it. It says, “People all over the world, join hands, start a love train, a love train. ISIS is tweeting and propagating hate, murder and mayhem. How much more should we use the same venue and proclaim LOVE is King. PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD… let YOUR love reign and rain down on this dry and thirsty world desperately in need of its benefits.

 

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!

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!!

A Generation of Four “F”s


The world has seemingly lost its moral sense of decency, love, care, and humanity. Murder, mayhem, destruction is an everyday common occurrence. Mothers against daughters, father against sons. The more gruesome, the more heinous, the more exposure, the more people garner attention to themselves. WHAT? Decapitation and cannibalism has become Internet entertainment.

ISIS, yeah we are hearing about your barbaric actions, supposedly in the name of Allah, but it is also the grandfather who lives a few miles away that murders his 6 grandchildren and daughter, the Cartel drug gangs that are fighting for territory and money. It’s the teenagers seeking to see what the real thing of killing feels like after being dulled by video images and games. It’s the demented co-worker influenced by what they see on television that seeks the same glory and exposure.

Proverbs 30:11-14

There is a generation…” A foolhardy and foul generation (30:11). It is a generation that curses their father and mother. Now the word “curse” is not a meaning of “cussing them out” as in calling someone out of their name. No, the Hebrew term is means to discount, to bring to contempt, to dishonor, bring their influence to insignificance. The proverb is saying there will be a generation that will devalue the values of the forefathers and mothers. They will count them trivial. The father and mother is not necessarily someone’s immediate parents, because the scripture does not say “parent”. Let’s be honest some of our “parents” were far from being a Godly example and many of us had to overcome many obstacles despite our upbringing.

There is a generation…” A filthy and faithless generation (30:12). This is a generation of people who are pure in their own eyes but morally filthy in the eyes of a Holy and Righteous God. Note, the scripture does not say “dirty” but filthy. The word here is used for “excrement”. Think dog poo! Great Dane poo not Yorky. Before we start condemning others let’s quickly look at ourselves, however. The prophet Isaiah in chapter 64 says “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags…” In other words even when we do everything right by human and mankind moral standards, to God they are as clean and pure as a woman’s menstrual pad or a baby’s dirty diaper. That is the reason for the GREAT exchange that took place on the cross. “Christ exchanged HIS righteousness for our sins. No, when God the Father looks at us as believers He sees us righteous THROUGH Christ Jesus. So if we think our works will some how earn merit in the eyes of God then we are members of this “F” group. Filthy! Their faith is in their own means and abilities. When one rejects Jesus, they reject the GREAT exchange leaving them to their own righteousness.

There is a generation…” A fearless and self-flattering generation (30:13)”. It is a generation that has no respect for authority whether it comes from God or man. They are filled with pride, self-flattery and conceit. They think that their own ideology is the one they should govern their lives. The problem is that we all can have our own ideology. Then the question arises which one is “right”. And as we now see with ISIS, dictatorships and other oppressive groups, one tries to FORCE through fear, intimidation and violence the acceptance of rule. What they want, they take having no regard for human life. Deep inside the valley of their reasoning they see themselves as being superior. Mere men trying to rule as the supreme head over billions of people. I am always amazed by the so called experts that have a solution for everything yet are responsible for nothing within in the context of their “solution”. “If I were the President, I would”…. Yeah whatever. The simple truth is you are not the President, so you are just pontificating without accountability.

There is a generation…” A fierce generation (30:14). A generation that has become dulled and addicted to murder and violence. Cannibalism, decapitation, rape and debauchery have become the norm. Nothing is shocking to us anymore. Zombies, walking dead, real life murder documentaries showing actual bodies have dulled our senses. We feed our society’s psyche this junk and wonder why we have reaped this strange bitter fruit. For the weak minded, it is a catalyst to explore the realm of evil. Do not be deceived this realm is real.

IT IS THIS GENERATION THAT WILL OCCUPY THIS EARTH JUST PRIOR TO CHRIST RETURN.

Matthew 24:37-39 – “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” What was significant in those days? Spiritual Decline, shameless depravity, demonic delusion, increase in crimes, exploding population and sudden destruction. All signs say we are living in the same vain as the “days of Noah”.

What are we “the followers of Christ” to do in this perilous time?

Do not fear, but stay strong with no possibility of quitting. Why… because He has overcome the world, even the condition of this time and generation. Psalm 91 implores us to decree, “I will not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day… and with my eyes I shall behold and see the reward of the wicked.” So let’s counter this “evil” generation and be the “fearless, fervent, faithful, formidable” children of the God of ALL victory. Let’s up our game and SPEAK and declare into the atmosphere the “flood of Noah”.

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW, IS LOVE SWEET LOVE


1 John 4:15-17

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”

Have you noticed a lot of people across the world talk about God’s love and other moral things, but it often merely camouflages their real intentions. These talking heads are not peaceable, righteous people, but are deceivers seeking an opposing purpose. More than likely that purpose is self-serving. I myself have grown tired of the hypocrisy. The so called Christian conservatives that FAIL to show the heart of Christ towards children crossing the border, the leader of our country, the people from another ethnic or financial status. The calls for a “Holy war” except the ones doing the call are not the ones on the front lines while wearing Rolex watches and silently accumulating wealth. Love cannot be shown while preying on others.

Today’s Christians are the victims of an age that is apathetic to a true relationship with God. He is saying that in His own church there are some who know that He is at the door, yet will not get up to answer it and fellowship with Him! They are refusing to fellowship with Him. They are so far from Him that they do not even see their need. If there is no awareness of need, there is no desire; no desire, no prayer; no prayer, no relationship, and back to no awareness of need. It runs in a vicious circle. AND THAT becomes COMFORTABLE.

But God wants to rekindle an awareness of need. Awareness of need to see clearly how holy, gracious, kind, merciful, and good He is, and then we will want to be like He is. In other words, we so admire and respect Him and His qualities that we want to be near Him and will chase after Him, diligently seeking after Him like a lover seeking after His Love. We will exalt Him and seek to honor Him by being like Him. WHAT IS HE LIKE? GOD IS LOVE!!

Do we really want to be like God? Our frequent contact with God, or lack of it, is an easy, concrete measurement for both God and ourselves to know the true answer.

What is the purpose of love? Love is the desire to enhance another. God is love. God builds, he strengthens, he helps – all the while he is being resisted, rejected and ignored. God loves us. That means he wants to do us good. If we reject him, it is because we do not want his ways or his lifestyles. It is because we have deluded ourselves into believing that our way is better than his way.

If our lives are not motivated by love, we become corrupted, contaminated and diseased by other spiritual forces. If we do not love our spouses, our children, our families, our fellowman, then we have indicated that we care nothing about their end. The failure to love is a form of abandonment. It says I don’t care how you turn out. Wow, imagine if that was God’s thought towards you. It says your life is unimportant to me. It says I am selfish – I don’t want to be involved in your well-being. God requires us to love every man, because in doing so, we become partners with God in the redeeming of mankind, ALL of mankind not just those who look like us. When we love our neighbors, we are allied with God in salvaging ALL the human race. When we love our children, we are allied with God in the saving of ALL children. When we love the Father, we are allied with God in the saving ourselves.

When we do NOT love others, we align against the will of God. We are neglecting what God is trying to build up. We are ignoring a cause that is uppermost in the mind of God. Husbands should love their wives. Wives should love their husbands. Parents should love their children and children should love their parents. It is illogical to think that we can help any society while we are neglecting our most fundamental responsibility… to LOVE. So my question is this, “are we displaying…no it needs to be more focused, are YOU displaying the reflection of LOVE? “; because as He is, so are we in this world.” … and He is love! Where has LOVE gone, will we find LOVE, REAL LOVE in time? Where is the love……where are you? You are to be the personification of Him.

There Is No God!!


This week I received a comment attached to my post “Murder Suicide” and the comment content did not appear however the heading statement was the following: 

THERE IS NO GOD, NOR HUMAN SOUL; THERE WILL BE NO ETERNAL LIFE.”

So here is my response.

First let me say…Thanks, feedback and comments are welcome and encouraged. Sincerely. Now to address the above:

Yep, you are probably right, FOR YOU, there is no God, human soul or eternal life. Who knows, there might not be a you or me. For that matter, did I write this blog or was it machine generated? Am I one or many posing as one? Am I real or fiction? Questions!! However, I have lived, experienced and recognized enough in my life to have long answered those deceptive questions concerning His being and existence, eternal life and soul and spirit. If you read any of my postings you would understand I am not about religion, I am more concern with relationship. So the statement of God’s existence or not has long ceased to be a dilemma of questioning for me. They were answered around 1963. So no more struggles with that issue.

Then comes the next question on what make my God, God? What about the god of the other faiths? I do not have an answer to gods I do not know. There are to many of them to keep up with. Some countries have more than 2,000 gods. I cannot keep up with that number, HOWEVER I do KNOW about my One God. He is cool. Unlike the god of other’s (including Christians), He does not require me to threaten, bully, force, or coerce you in accepting Him. Free will..people, you choose. You know a bully illustrates the weakest of traits in their own beliefs and character. If God needs me to force others to accept him, then who really has the power? Who really is God? Me or him? Forced love is never love at all. We all know that to be true. Believer or non-believer does not change the existence of the subject matter, one way or another.

Understand I am not here to convince anyone on His existence or your own existence in religionship (yes, I made up that word) to Him.. It is not my job to prove or disprove Deity. I am sure there are some natives in New Guinea that have only experienced their own small village of 100 people all their lives, who would doubt the existence of a creature with blond hair and blue eyes and white skin if someone would declare that truth to them. God, (or no God) forbid the idea of men flying miles in the air inside of machines. So your position is your position, cool! My knowing is my knowing. Two ends of the spectrum clearly defined. You see the seen, I see the unseen. Unfortunately, most people are in the middle of this spectrum. What I mean by that is they believe in God at their convenience. You clearly see that illustrated by how they conduct their everyday life. God is only good when good happens. He is only real when it fits their agenda and plans. So God or no God, soul or no soul, eternal life or no eternal life, who is right, who is wrong? I am sure the end of time, as we know it, will reveal the answer to those who still question. I can only answer for myself and no one else. Not only is HE my God.. but more importantly He is my FATHER! (relationship). Ahhh, my soul just smiled and did the happy dance.

It is curious though for someone who declares there is no SOMEONE, reads a blog about the One someone is in relationship with. BUT… by mere happenstance I did write a previous post titled “Ha…I made you look”.

Be happy and content my life comrade in the nowness of today, if that be your stance because there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is always an unattainable futuristic destination, never lived, only dreamed and planned for.

 

Murder Suicide


Today I just killed somebody on purpose… accidentally. I am not making this public confession from a position of boasting or arrogance. This is nothing that I am doing to gather attention to myself or to even be flippant. But I am confessing and taking full responsibility so that the judgment will be clear and swift, avoiding a long drawn out trial. I did it… on purpose… accidentally. What an oxymoron. I am the rebellious, willing perpetrator of the crime of this action and I am also the accepting, reluctant victim… at least today. This is my contract my fate. It is murderous suicide that never achieves finality. You might say I am a mass murderer, a serial killer. You see you must understand my victim is made up of many facets, personalities. Some are easier to annihilate then others. When you look at immorality, lechery, lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, fornication those become easy victims. The ones that are hard to ferret out and eliminate is the religious, racial, cultural, national, denominational pride, selfishness and self-indulgence that we have to hunt down and expose. These are hard to execute. Those guys are often well camouflaged and hiding amongst the innocently guilty. It sounds good and noble to boast on these guys, yet they must die. I would like to say that I am apologetic and that I am sorry but the truth is I am not sorry or apologetic. I cannot be and stay true to my recognize calling. I am an assassin, a crucifier.

The Father gave me this thought to convey early one morning. When the Bible says we serve a God that never sleeps, it wasn’t kidding. It is nothing for the Father to call a 3 AM conference meeting with me. Really God? 3 AM?

One victim containing multiple schizophrenic personalities. How do I bring all of them to the point of death? My only victim is the one that I see in the mirror every day. I am not charged with killing or crucifying your issues. You are not my victim. It is not my job to get you straight. I have enough on my hands dealing with me. I am only responsible for my own villains. And to be honest that job is tough enough. There must be a constant visitation to eliminate that enemy within me that wants to rise and take control over the authority of God and Christ. And let’s be honest, there are many things that if we did not allow the Spirit of God to have authority in our lives, will cause us to die to the Spirit of God. There would be many actions, many thoughts, many plans that would be self-serving and selfish. That’s why the Bible says, “I die daily”. It sounds good and noble, but it is not a pleasant process. It is a crucifixion. When we are “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24 KJV),”, it means we must be the perpetrator and the victim. Not only must we carry our cross but we must also lay it down, climb aboard it, nail ourselves to it and lift it up as a sacrifice and die. Daily.

We crucify the flesh by living in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), and allowing those fruits to flourish and be partaken.

But the fruits of the flesh, these personas are like zombies. They keep rising up just when you thought that you have killed and buried them, you find that they have it freed themselves from the inescapable grave. No, it is not an easy process but a necessary one. You must die to live. Who is your next victim? Look in the mirror!

What Is On Your Agenda Today?


“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jeremiah 29:11

There are times when it is both good and appropriate to take stock in our lives and part of that process involves making plans for the future. Proverbs 16:9 – A man’s heart deviseth his way. We have a responsibility to plan and make decisions. In fact, decision making is unavoidable for us as creatures made in the image of God. God has given us the ability to think and to create. There is not one cognitive person who is not able to make a decision. There are however indecisive people around who deliberately exercise their wills to refrain from making a decision but that is too a conscious decision for which they will answer to God. Decision-making is inescapable and God expects us to make the wisest decisions that we can, based on the knowledge that He provides us. The mind of man (a man’s heart) plans his way. But we must not forget the second part of Proverbs 16:9. A man’s heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps. We must not fall into the trap of thinking that God is distant from the decisions and the choices that we make in life. We are busy planning our way, but it is God who directs our steps in accordance with the plans that he makes for us. Nothing catches God by surprise. It is not that in our lives there is a whole host of possibilities and God has to wait until He finds out what decision we are going to make and then alter His plan accordingly. No. The wonder of God’s sovereign providence is that His plan embraces the decisions that He knows we will make. At times He will take us along the path of our perceived choice and at times, He will take us in another direction entirely. God makes plans for me and for you. We ought to commit our plans to God and strive to follow His revealed will, always. Valley experiences and mountainside experiences both test your maturity and determination. Many of us want the mountaintop, rising above the cares of the world but I have learn so much more of God in my valley experiences. It is in the valley where we find the lilies and the cooling brooks. Even though it seems like trouble is on every side like the mountains presenting seeming barriers against our life’s progress, yet the father will direct us. Indeed, our steps are ordered by the Lord. We might not comprehend or agree with the direction and duration but He is the GOOD SHEPHERD. Trust Him! It can feel lonely at times but know you are NEVER alone. What you see today, may not reveal your tomorrow but keep walking, keep following Him. And like the sun rising above the distance horizon, His glorious plan will be revealed from the veil of darkness. Hopes and dreams you have given up on and do not see how they can come to pass, if He has ordained it, planned it, He will present it, keep walking.

“As for God His way is perfect”(Psalms 18:30). Once one decides to do the call and purpose of their life that God has ordained, not only saying ‘yes’ but actively pursuing the ‘yes’, the chains of doubt have a way of magically (if I might use that term) falling off of our lives, as He gives our expectation. What has the Father put on your agenda this day? What are His thoughts that He thinks towards you?

I pray that on your journey your constant companion is – Peace, PacoShalom, BekePaix, Rauha, Paz, Frede, Mir

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls


This is the popular Twitter handle that is being broadcast across not only our nation but also the world concerning the over 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram. I’ve spent the last couple days, thinking about my mother, as we in America celebrated Mother’s Day this past weekend. I thought of the wonderful, important and often times thankless job of being a mother, a crisis manager, nurse, teacher, chef, maid, seamstress, and nurturer. Like many of you, I thought of my mom’s sacrifices in the love that she showed raising her children and making sure that the family was safe and secure and provided for.

I’ve noticed that there seems to be a dizzy attack towards women, not just mothers, but women in general so I do not exclude those women without physical children. What is the catalyst? Why the call of emotional and physical terrorism against women across the world? Even in this nation, women and women’s rights are being attacked. Is it because of the insecurities of weak-minded men? Is it, because of the society in which we lived, we now can feel free to devalue those who we are to treasure? Do they who would propel us forward in life so easily intimidate us? I look at the nations and cultures that deny women’s access to education and careers that seemingly wants women to languish at home, unseen and unheard, out of sight, out of mind. Now I recognize some of it is cultural tradition but yet when we are stuck in tradition we are also stuck in era of time and ultimately left behind to our own hurt. I am a firm believer in the Word of God and when he declared “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness”, the Bible says male and female He created them.

Out of man came wo-man, or a man with a womb. God made them both to reign and rule over His creation NOT each other. Yet some men have taken it to another level of oppression. Are we, men, so insecure, so weak minded that we do not recognize the treasure of uniting together. Must you force 200 Christian girls to hypocritically accept another religion just to make you feel good? Those men who would perpetrate such thing shows to me a mind that can only fell bolstered by oppressive tactics.

Even in our own country, men who would blatantly lie and blatantly distort, blatantly manipulate, not for the good of the nation as they espouse but for their own personal gain, whether politically and/or financially seek to suppress womanhood. We should stand up and declare that the bully deceptive voice be silent. We should declare that apathy will no longer be our personality or character. When will this cowardly giant standup? I know you might be used to the term “sleeping giant” but sometimes I wonder if the giant is asleep or is he just a coward, afraid of confrontation. When will we recognize that God has given us a treasure? Proverbs ask the question, “Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies”. Men rise up and quit hiding under false pretenses. Be who you are called to be and protect what has been given to you. Build a fence, impenetrable and unyielding against the onslaught. No more politics. No more political games, no party politics. Hash tag… rise up men and be all that you were called to be. Do you want an example, read 1 Samuel chapter 30. Men let us have the mindset of King David. What if it was your daughter, granddaughter, niece that was abducted? What would be your reaction, or even more telling your action? I know others are reading this blog in other countries besides the United States so the call to RISE UP is internationally. Evil only triumphs when good men do NOTHING and the time of “do nothing, say nothing” has long passed.

OUCH!!!


Ok, I have a secret that I’m only sharing with you. Do not tell anyone but about a year ago I was getting ready for work and I was fixing some sausage and egg for breakfast. However the sausage was frozen and in my haste and my foolishness I tried to pry the frozen sausage patties lose from one another with a steak knife. I know, I know in my mind I knew it was wrong. As I was holding the sausage in one hand and the steak knife in the other something inside said I would not do that if I were you and I am you. But being impatient I continued to apply pressure thinking that if I pushed just enough the two frozen patties would pry loose. Apparently they were looser than what I thought and the knife went through the patties and the knife continued and went through the palm of my hand just below the knuckles. Needless to say there was a lot of pain, a lot of blood and I was like STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. I drove the knife about a quarter inch deep in my palm and as I pulled it out there was blood all over the place. My wife, who is a nurse, came out of our bedroom, saw the situation and tried to stop the bleeding. But realizing that it was deeper and more serious then we could handle at home, we went to the emergency room. I had it cleaned, got stitches and went home with my hand wrapped in a bandage. I went to work that day as if nothing happened and continued on with my life. The pain was extreme at the point of entry but I also noticed numbness in one of my fingers. As time went on, the numbness continued. In fact it even got worse while the point of entry of where the knife went through my palm seem to get better.

Fast forward a couple months you cannot even tell that I have injured my hand however pain has continued to be recognized in my finger. So much to the point that at one time it was almost useless. I just kind of held it out-of-the-way. I am a musician and I didn’t use my finger as I normally would do. In fact anything that required usage of the left hand, I did not use that finger. It just stood out with tingling and pain shooting to the very fingertips. Even if I touch something my finger registered pain and caused me to react differently than I normally would with my left hand. I later learned there was damage in my palm that severed the nerve casing and the nerve that was directly connected to this particular finger. Yet the point of injury was not the point of pain.

Today, almost a year later, there is numbness and occasional pain; even to the point of just trimming my fingernail feel very uncomfortable.

My point in saying all this is life sometimes causes us pain but most times it is not the point of injury. Case in point, I know people who have been molested as children but yet today 30, 40, 50 years later, the pain of that injury is still being felt and recognize and causing impotency and causing abnormal decisions to be made because of the healing that still needs to be done. Yes, they can say well this happened to me as a child and I’m over it but every inclination whether that is promiscuous behavior, drugs alcohol, untethered shopping and spending, overeating, anger, depression, or unhealthy relationships’ could have been initiated by the injury. Yet we live our lives in pain, numbness and out of balance. We all have been injured in someway another maybe not as drastic as the scenario I just proposed. Maybe it’s feeling like you have never been respected and made to feel inadequate. So now you are very touchy and the least little thing can set you off. Almost everyone and I mean everyone has a hot button and you wonder where that comes from.

Our point and our time of injury is not a problem for God to bring healing. He is not limited by time. He is God yesterday today and forever. He is not subject to time, space or matter and he can speak to your past your future and your today at the same time. He desires for us that we might have life abundantly and that we might live and enjoy the fullness of life. However, sometimes we have to address the point of injury. Do not be afraid because it is only for your good as you move forward in life. Is this an easy process? No. Is it a quick process? No, but it is and can be a steady process.

I forcibly now make myself use the finger that registers pain because I recognize that the finger was never injured the palm of my hand received the injury. So I must overlook and must break through and continue to press through the numbness and the pain of the finger to where the usage of it becomes a normal part of my life. When I play the keyboard I am not having the finger in the air but I’m using that finger to help bring beautiful melody and music to those who would hear. The same applies for you and life. Press through the numbness, press through the un-comfortableness so that you might bring forth what you have been called to do. Do not let the things of the past influence your present and future. No it’s not easy but with the help of the Father and with determination you can be successful. While the point of injury is different than the point of pain through it all you can obtain the wholeness the completeness the victory and the purpose of your life’s calling.

OUCH!!!!


Ok, I have a secret that I’m only sharing with you. Do not tell anyone but about a year ago I was getting ready for work and I was fixing some sausage and egg for breakfast. However the sausage was frozen and in my haste and my foolishness I tried to pry the frozen sausage patties lose from one another with a steak knife. I know, I know in my mind I knew it was wrong. As I was holding the sausage in one hand and the steak knife in the other something inside said I would not do that if I were you and I am you. But being impatient I continued to apply pressure thinking that if I pushed just enough the two frozen patties would pry loose. Apparently they were looser than what I thought and the knife went through the patties and the knife continued and went through the palm of my hand just below the knuckles. Needless to say there was a lot of pain, a lot of blood and I was like STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. I drove the knife about a quarter inch deep in my palm and as I pulled it out there was blood all over the place. My wife, who is a nurse, came out of our bedroom, saw the situation and tried to stop the bleeding. But realizing that it was deeper and more serious then we could handle at home, we went to the emergency room. I had it cleaned, got stitches and went home with my hand wrapped in a bandage. I went to work that day as if nothing happened and continued on with my life. The pain was extreme at the point of entry but I also noticed numbness in one of my fingers. As time went on, the numbness continued. In fact it even got worse while the point of entry of where the knife went through my palm seem to get better.

Fast forward a couple months you cannot even tell that I have injured my hand however pain has continued to be recognized in my finger. So much to the point that at one time it was almost useless. I just kind of held it out-of-the-way. I am a musician and I didn’t use my finger as I normally would do. In fact anything that required usage of the left hand, I did not use that finger. It just stood out with tingling and pain shooting to the very fingertips. Even if I touch something my finger registered pain and caused me to react differently than I normally would with my left hand. I later learned there was damage in my palm that severed the nerve casing and the nerve that was directly connected to this particular finger. Yet the point of injury was not the point of pain.

Today, almost a year later, there is numbness and occasional pain; even to the point of just trimming my fingernail feel very uncomfortable.

My point in saying all this is life sometimes causes us pain but most times it is not the point of injury. Case in point, I know people who have been molested as children but yet today 30, 40, 50 years later, the pain of that injury is still being felt and recognize and causing impotency and causing abnormal decisions to be made because of the healing that still needs to be done. Yes, they can say well this happened to me as a child and I’m over it but every inclination whether that is promiscuous behavior, drugs alcohol, untethered shopping and spending, overeating, anger, depression, or unhealthy relationships’ could have been initiated by the injury. Yet we live our lives in pain, numbness and out of balance. We all have been injured in someway another maybe not as drastic as the scenario I just proposed. Maybe it’s feeling like you have never been respected and made to feel inadequate. So now you are very touchy and the least little thing can set you off. Almost everyone and I mean everyone has a hot button and you wonder where that comes from.

Our point and our time of injury is not a problem for God to bring healing. He is not limited by time. He is God yesterday today and forever. He is not subject to time, space or matter and he can speak to your past your future and your today at the same time. He desires for us that we might have life abundantly and that we might live and enjoy the fullness of life. However, sometimes we have to address the point of injury. Do not be afraid because it is only for your good as you move forward in life. Is this an easy process? No. Is it a quick process? No, but it is and can be a steady process.

I forcibly now make myself use the finger that registers pain because I recognize that the finger was never injured the palm of my hand received the injury. So I must overlook and must break through and continue to press through the numbness and the pain of the finger to where the usage of it becomes a normal part of my life. When I play the keyboard I am not having the finger in the air but I’m using that finger to help bring beautiful melody and music to those who would hear. The same applies for you and life. Press through the numbness, press through the un-comfortableness so that you might bring forth what you have been called to do. Do not let the things of the past influence your present and future. No it’s not easy but with the help of the Father and with determination you can be successful. While the point of injury is different than the point of pain through it all you can obtain the wholeness the completeness the victory and the purpose of your life’s calling.

Ha… I Made You Look


There is a series of commercials that are playing here in Florida advertising the Geico Insurance Company. I love the commercials taglines. One of the taglines is “did you know that old McDonald was a bad speller”? (I love that one) There is another commercial that’s asks, “Did you know that Pinocchio is an awful motivational speaker”? There’s one more that I saw that that sparked my heart and initiated a thought. This tagline asks the question, “Did you know that there is an oldest trick in the book”? This centers around the trick we all have played when we were younger, remember? You would say to a friend or a sibling, look over there is a (fill in the gap) and the other person would turn their head and look. Then you would start laughing and say, “I made you look”.  

What came to my mind was the event that took place in the Garden of Eden between Eve and the serpent. I said to myself there is an oldest trick in the book and he made her look. Unfortunately many today are still falling for this ploy. Understand this truth is not relegated to just religion so if you are reading this blog entry and not religious keep reading. Truth is truth. In Genesis 3:1-6 we find the serpent saying to Eve “has God indeed said”? He must first get you unstable; he must get you to second-guess yourself. Verse six says and when the woman saw or when the woman “looked” and interpreted in her own mind and heart that this tree was good for food, (something that would sustain her), pleasing to the eye, (something that would externally validate her choice) and something to be desired to make one wise, she took some and ate of it. Just in looking, window-shopping, can make you discontented in what you already have. The primitive root word for Serpent means, to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to use enchantment. This also is the same word, which means bronze in Hebrew in Numbers 21:9. It means shiny as brass.  Side note… why did it not appear strange to Eve that this creature was communicating with her? She did not appear to question the source, let alone the directive.This particular creature unlike any other had a mesmerizing effect on Eve. The real spirit, within this serpent that approached Eve was the shining one, presenting an aura of beauty and smooth words of half-truths. He sold the adventurous yet false possibilities but clever left out the devastating destination. You shall not surely die, he said. What concept did Eve have of death? She had never been down this road before, she never even seen death, so how could she understand its ramifications. His beauty awed her, his “hiss” enchanted her and she listened to his whisperings. Question…how many times have situations, circumstances, curiosity, frustration, boredom, successes, inferiority complexes, pride, fame, fear, familiarity, and impatience “hissed” and “made you look”? Why did it seem strange to other people in your life that you, one who have so much going for themselves, would listen to the “hiss”? Smoke this, do that, sleep with them, snort this. How many of your acquaintances tried to warn you not to “look”? And while you were looking, something far more valuable was being taken from you, not by force but by your choice.

In our childhood whenever someone fell for that trick nothing usually was lost but juvenile pride or maybe sometimes a piece of candy or a cookie was taken while your head was turned. However, in the case of the oldest trick in the book, the woman lost sight of who she was. She averted her focus from her position, her value, what she already possessed, to submit to the “hiss”. The “ hiss” of the serpent enticed Eve to listen to him and to seek something falsely greater. It caused her to lose sight that she was already one with the Greater One.

What do you think is more powerful: physical strength or the power of words? Words have a way of affecting us. Words can hurt or energize. They can either bind or release you. Words can strengthen or tear down. Words can worry you or set you free. The power of a few words is amazing. 

Generally, when people get their own way with others or wish to deceive or enslave others, they do it with words; they want others to agree with their point of view, give them what they want, do what they ask and buy what they are selling. From the car salesman’s hard sell, the hammering of TV commercials, the relative’s request for a loan, the seduction and/or assault of words is continuous.

Words have the power to manipulate other people’s thinking, behavior, and focus. The world has been affected in many ways as a result of voices. Voices speak to you daily to sway you from the fold of rightness, fairness and integrity. You hear the “hiss” on the job. You hear it at home. Our kids are hearing conflicting “hissing” voices. Our lives are being filled with unnatural “hissing” voices from the entertainment world. You can’t take in the sound of these voices and not be affected. They will cause you to look. The voices of the world tell us that you can pull the trigger on a gun and you won’t be held accountable. These voices promote promiscuity, adultery, pornography, the chase of money and unethical lifestyles. The voices say you can be anything, say anything, or do anything and you will be all right in the end.

When it seems your life is bombarded with voices after voices and your soul is confused, all you need to do is listen to the VOICE that speaks clearly. There are many voices that vie for our attention, but only one voice that calms the troubled waters of our soul. It is God the Father’s voice that can resurrect the dreams, calling and purpose that we have given away. We were created to reign over His creation not to be enslaved by it. It is his voice that can call light into a dark situation. Even if you may have “looked”, His voice will still search you out in the cool of the day and ultimately reconcile you back to Himself. There are many voices in our world today. Who’s voice are you listening to?

I am in SOOOOO Much Debt!!


royalty-free-bank-check-clipart-illustration-216711

The other day, I retrieved my monthly budget excel folder. I keep a log of all of my financial obligations. I list what I bring in and how much is going out to those I owe and what I am able to save or invest for that proverbial “rainy day”. It helps me to maintain a handle on what must be done, what I should prioritize and focus on. No one desires to be in debt. All of us would like the experience of being “debt” free. While I was looking at my natural budget file, the thought occurred to me, what does your budget folder look like, spiritually? How much debt have you incurred? Who and what do you owe? To owe some one is to be in debt, or even more sinister it means to “be bound to”. Think about it, when you are in debt to someone or something, you are bound and even in part a slave to that which you owe.

Just like I recognize my natural debts, what does my spiritual debts look like? Am I being diligent in this responsibility or am I accruing late charges and interest? In my personal budget folder I categorize my file into two categories, “one time pay offs” (ie. medical bills, furniture, clothing, repair expenses, credit cards, etc.) and “on going and revolving” (ie. food, gas, credit cards, car payments, insurance, mortgage, utilities, rent, etc.). Spiritually what expenses are in my two files? Wait… there not two files, only one. It is “on going and revolving”. All of my debt can be placed under this category. What are some of the expenses found in my spiritual file? Well, I owe you prayer, I owe you a smile, I owe you a shoulder to cry on, I owe you the gifts and calling on my life, the poem inside of me, the song, message, book, play, compassion, listen ear, a safe harbor, encouragement, recognition and validation. These are just a few, BUT they are not just my expenses, they are yours also. You owe the world the same.

The Bible says in Romans 13:8 to “owe no man anything, but to love one another”. So let’s call this one category “Love/ Forgiveness”. Why is forgiveness mentioned in this category? In order to truly love there must be perpetual forgiveness. The need to pay on our personal forgiveness expense is huge. There is a need to forgive the past and even present hurts that we have buried and tried to ignore but not forgiven. The old relationships, friends, parents, ministries, the ex’s, the ones that just walked away without any explanation or goodbye. Oh here is one we do not like to confess that is on our expense docket. We need to forgive…wait for it… GOD! I was talking to my wife on just yesterday and she was telling me about a friend’s 10-year-old son who is very mad at God because for over a year, the boy has been praying to God to heal his father who had a stroke and God has not done it. I told my wife that if I would have conversation with that young man, I would say that it understandable and okay. God is not upset with you for how you feel. In fact, (a confession)… even in my fifties, I have been angry and mad at God and needed to “forgive” Him. Do not look at me funny, be honest…you have felt the same way. There has been many times when God in our own estimation, disappointed us and let us down. Understand it is really not the person or persons you are forgiving, it is the perceived (real or imaginary, intentional or unintentional) offense you are forgiving. Many times an individual have no idea that you are harboring that debt.

In order to “owe love only” we must first realize the definition of “forgiveness”. It means to “abandon, forsaken, to let die, leave destitute and irretrievably broken”. We cannot truly realize Romans 13:8 unless we handcuff love to forgiveness. We cannot obtain the “new” if we are still in debt, bound and enslaved to the old. The latter part of Romans 6:4 reads “…even so we also should walk in newness of life”, so through what the Father did through the sacrifice of His Son we have access to the “new”. Understand not only did Jesus take our sin, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he who had not known sin made himself to become sin in your place”. AWESOME SAUCE! We are no longer bound to the penalty and power of sin. God, the Father “forgave” abandon, forsaken, let die, left destitute and irretrievably broken, the offense, the sin (noun). JESUS! (read 2 Corinthians 5:21 again) Did not Jesus cry from the cross, “Father why have you FORSAKEN me? (just something to think on

We too can pay our debt of love, through our resolve to forgive, freeing ourselves from what has us shackled, enslaved and obligated to the pain, memories and power of past and even present offenses. Paying this debt is a conscious effort, especially in the beginning. Just as in the natural it must be planned and purposed. It just does not happen through mere happenstance. How much better our world would be if every man, woman, boy and girl began to make payment on their debt of love and forgiveness. Would we see so much conflict in our world? Would there have been and continue to be the countless numbers of wars where nations are against nations, tribes against tribes, races against races, brother against brother? Would those who espouse different religious beliefs treat each other so inhumanely understanding God have given all men free will and choice? Would there be the crisis in Syria, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan and countless other locations that have not been in the international spotlight? When will we pay on this “Love/Forgiveness” bill? I did write “we” didn’t I? Well anyway… let me pull out my checkbook! I am late with my payment. Not to just Christians or Americans… but to the world! “For God so love the WORLD that He “FOR” gave His only begotten Son…”