Friday, August 29, 2014

Are You Bored?

If I stood in a room of 100 people and asked over a loud speaker for those to raise their hand that considered themselves a Christian, how many of them would raise their hands? Is that too arbitrary? If I asked in a church gathering, wouldn't everyone's hand be raised? If I asked those same people in the church gathering, would a stranger know that you are a Christian because of the life you live, the way you speak, or because you tell him that you are? What would be the census then out of those 100 people (Luke 5:45 AMP)?

My son with an odd expression said to me one afternoon, "sometimes you can get bored." I asked, "with what?" He answered, "the relationship with God." After hearing and reading what other people say and do and then looking at my son being empathetic to wrong behavior, I stopped talking for a moment. I waited to hear what he had to say noticing that the strange look on his face didn't disappear. He stopped talking too and the silence bothered me. I asked, if told you to do 5 things in order for you to have everything that life has to offer - EVERYTHING ELSE, why be forlorn over those 5 things? It doesn't make sense to me. My son didn't answer. Give the tithe, keep yourself sexually pure, love your neighbor, think well of yourself, and pray are the 5 things to keep constant. No matter what, do these 5 things for the rest of your life - why would this be too boring to do if one was promised everything else?

When I was in my early 20's I worked at a steakhouse. My co-workers would go out every pay weekend and do whatever. They would return to work on Monday and talk about all they had done. Not one time did I ever wonder or ask if I could tag along because they seemed to be having so much fun and I wanted to have as good of a time. I laughed at their jokes and the antics they spoke of while they were out lounge hopping, clubbing, or whatever the flavor to do that week was. One pay Friday, I was asked to come along. I said, "no." I wasn't enticed. I just couldn't see what it was that they were considering to be the enjoyment that they believed I was missing out on. I saw what they looked like before the morning was over. I saw how they acted when they still had 6 hours to complete on their shift. Why would I want to do that to myself? After 2 pay weeks passed with them asking each time, I conceded for that evening after work. They were surprised as well as excited. Two of my co-workers were ready to take me shopping. They assumed that I didn't have the right attire for where they were going. What was decided upon to wear wasn't at all revealing and I was pleased that I could wear the outfit elsewhere.

It was late when I was picked up at my home. The three co-workers took me to a club outside the city limits. Why so far, I asked. I was told that they knew where the best clubs and lounges were. Fine. We went inside the first one. It was my first time. The lights were colorful. There were a few people at the bar. The music was extremely loud. We were seated at a table and my co-workers and I ordered drinks. Within minutes, I was bored and apparently so were they. The second one didn't look like a club from the outside. This one was closer to the city. When we went in, the lights were the same. The music was the same. The drinks were the same and if I am not mistaken, it looked like the same sort that was at the bar. Within 10 minutes of me sitting at a table, the bar tender came back and gave me another drink. He said the man on the other side of the club paid for it. Now I had two drinks and was suppose to signal to thank some strange man for giving me more drink then I needed. Ho-hum, I said to myself and looked as if my co-workers were saying the same thing. I believe we went to a third club and I still wasn't seeing the difference. It was about 3 hours in total when my co-workers packed it in and called it a night. They said it wasn't popping that night but tomorrow, it would be better. As much as I didn't wish to go, I had to prove to them as well as myself that I wasn't missing out on anything.

The very next night, my co-workers decided not to take the co-worker who happened to be a gay man with us. I suppose they thought that he was what knocked the buzz out of the evening. We went to a basement party first. It was dark, smokey, and a bunch of people I didn't know. The music was the same as the night before. The dancing was the same as the night before and if there was a bar, I do believe I would have recognized some of those people from the night before. We were there for an hour and then off to clubbing. Yay! This time we remained in the city. The first lounge had free bar-be-que ribs. Finally, a reason to go out to these clubs and they were good ribs too. We were even able to take some with us! There we were in the car en route to the next club eating our ribs. My co-worker was in the front with the driver. She was licking the sauce off of her lips and chin when a car pulled up next to us while on the freeway. The men in the car saw my co-worker licking her lips and misunderstood what she was doing. The chase was on. She didn't know what she had done and we were all pretty frantic on the freeway. When we lost them, calmed down, and told her to leave her food alone unless she knew how to eat right. I was so ready to go home, but wasn't the one driving. That was the second lesson for the night. While at the second place, I met someone. We exchanged phone numbers. The product of that exchange is a post all by itself. (I will link it here when I am finished with it.) At the third venue, we parked and stepped into the threshold of the lounge. The men were seated at the door. The moment we walked in they turned around and glared. We saw them grinning and salivating like hungry animals.  My co-workers and I didn't need to make a quick assessment of the place. We turned and left. Our fourth and final stop was close enough to my home that I could get a taxi but one of my co-workers met someone and left the venue to go in his car. I stayed for her safety. This place was dark. There were no colorful lights but the music was the same, the dances were the same, and the same sort of folk were draped at the bar. Every once in awhile we would go back out in the parking lot to see if she was still there and if she was alright. After about an hour or so, we called it a night...or a morning.

I didn't realize until I got home that the sun was peeking over the horizon. I looked at my watch and had just enough time to wash up, change clothes, and go to work. I was never so exhausted in my whole life. I had an 8 hour shift to complete that I knew of. If someone wasn't going to show up, it could have been longer. When I got to work, the co-workers I went out with were already there. They looked like they always do at any given day of the week. I felt horrid. They smiled at me as if we three had a secret that no one else knew about. I belonged? The co-worker that met someone and went to his car, told me that they hooked up. (believe me, something altogether different to write about in the singles blog) The two of them told the gay man that went out with us previously what we did last night. He started to smile too. I didn't know what that meant. Did they think I had the bug and would start asking them if I could go out with them more often? Did they think they turned me out? That was one weekend and no others came after that - not with me anyway. They actually made my point. I could have done a number of things that was more interesting, more profitable, and much more to my benefit in the long scheme of things then schlepping all over town to meet men I would have not normally met (or desire to have met) anywhere else. I never laughed along with them as they reminisced over the time they described as "fun". Were these the same people with me in the smoke filled basement party, or was it the scary lounge we didn't dare to enter because of the ratio of men to women? How bored does one get to describe events that just didn't happen?

When I told this to Christian acquaintances, I was surprised at their reaction, "you didn't go to the right clubs. There are some joints that are live all night long." Really? I thought. Clubs that had better music, more interesting dances then the ones I witnessed? The clubs they were referring to had livelier people at the bar that can hold a half way decent conversation and attractive without being drunk? Huh, why didn't my co-workers know about these clubs? We went all over the city and outside city limits. It would seem we touched bases with anything that was supposedly "popping". I couldn't imagine being more bored then I was that night. At one point, while my co-workers were trying to figure out which club to go to next, I was asleep in the back seat. They had to scream my name to wake me up. You can't be more bored then that!

A pastor asked for the congregation to get up and make a joyful noise (Psalm 95:1-2 AMP). A noise was made but I guess it wasn't sufficient for him. So he used the reference as to when we went to the clubs we made a joyful noise then. When we were at the ball games, we rejoiced then. When we use to drink and party hard, we made a joyful noise then. Why can't we make a joyful noise for the Lord now? It reminded me of my excursion with those co-workers. What was this pastor talking about? One has nothing to do with the other. My joyful noise is because of what my God has done, will do, and what is still to come. I rejoice because He loves me and answers my prayers. I rejoice because how He has revealed Himself to me and I have that relationship with Him through my Lord and Savior. Jesus gave me a life I could have never received without Him. In the club, I don't know what they're screaming about.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Russian Roulette

"We all make mistakes" has become a catch-phrase for everything done wrong to someone else that has been confronted. It is a phrase I have grown tired of hearing. It cannot be the excuse for everything a person ... a believer does when caught in a compromising position and he/she doesn't wish to apologize. Did you know there are those in Christ that never simply ask for forgiveness? How can that person be in Christ? It is the beginning of salvation. Salvation doesn't exist for the individual without asking for forgiveness first (Matthew 6:15 AMP). Saying, we all make mistakes is not an apology, it doesn't show remorse, and in a nutshell...its kind of arrogant.

This blog initially was created for the more mature Christian that seems to have done all that has been asked of him/her and is dissatisfied with the results. He/she then asks, "is this all there is?" Thinking that God was supposed to give them all that is asked on a platter with little to no effort on their part (2 Thessalonians 3:10, James 2:14-18 AMP) . To summarize, it is to show all who believe we have arrived in God, how much more growing we still have to do. What made me think I was qualified to write such a blog and continue to do so? Arrogance? Huh, as hard as that maybe for me to swallow, I think so. I had to ask forgiveness for that but still I keep the mission statement up because we have all been there. There is also another generation growing up and the direction I have seen some going isn't a place they need to be in.

Pastors and ministers of yester-year are going home to be with the Lord. Who is left teaching the next
generation have made some changes in their style of ministering God's word. The new pastor didn't wish to be known as one who is now walking in the shoes of the pastor that has transitioned. He desires to make his own mark. But was that what God told him to do or were these his own thoughts of fame and glory? It comes out in the preaching (Proverbs 18:20 AMP). A man with the ideas of doing what is on God's heart will have a prosperous ministry (Proverbs 13:2 AMP). He will draw more souls to Christ rather than trying to audition for a television pilot. This minister will see the direction the people are headed and avert them back to the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14 AMP). This is what the pastor of sheep do....feed and watch over the flock. So what happens when the sheep aren't being watched over (Matthew 9:36 AMP)? What happens to sheep that are hungry? Shall we see this from a natural perspective and then bring the analogy where its supposed to be?

According to farmers of sheep, they know that sheep feel protected when they are in groups of 5 or more. Sheep are highly stressed when separated from their pack. Rams or mature male sheep can lead a flock if there is no shepherd doing his job. Rams are very aggressive. If petted on the head, the ram will see this as an act of assertion and will react to it. There is an article about a ram leading a flock of sheep into a ravine. Because it is the nature of sheep to follow; 1500 sheep were jumped that day. No shepherd was around. Is it necessary to put this in terms of what can happen to a congregation if not taught well?

I have been to the ravines and was practically dancing on the edge of it along with others. If it wasn't for the Lord, I could be a statistic right now. Was the placement of my own doing? Definitely. Would I have been there had I not been told/taught to be there? Definitely not? Understand, I have the responsibility to read the Word for myself. I cannot count on men, ministers, or pastors to do that for me. I don't know what they have been through or going through. I don't know if they prayed that week or studied or if he is angry with the Lord for not doing what he desired. It is why the congregants have the responsibility to pray for their pastors. Responsibility is a big word for children. It is why sons of God are expected to accept the task and move onto promotion.

In Russian Roulette, sinners take a gun and place a bullet in the chamber. The chamber is then spun before closed. Each person takes the gun, places the barrel on his/her temple and then pulls the trigger. If the person gets a click rather then the blast of the bullet, the gun is passed to the next person. As each one lives to pass the gun, the odds for the next person gets worse and worse. The barrel continues to move with each click. It isn't spun again. Those that have decided to participate in such foolishness have essentially chosen death. In Christ, does this happen within the church and if so, how?

As I have written in this blog over and over again, when we know better therefore, we do better. God has not changed. He is the same God that told Jonah to go and preach at Nineva and when he didn't wish to, he got swallowed up by the whale (Jonah 3:2 AMP). He is the same God that allowed Sampson because his anger caused him to be rebellious. (Judges 15:1-4 AMP). He is the same God that caused Samuel to choose Saul as king, direct Saul what to do and not to do; but when Saul was disobedient, He told him that he would lose his reign (1 Samuel 13:1-14 AMP). There are more accounts of God doing what He said He would do if we choose not to be obedient; especially when we have chosen life. We are His children. He is a good Father. He will not tolerate acts unbecoming of righteousness.

So why play the foolish game of Russian Roulette? Why dance on the side of death when God has provided all you need? All you are required to do is ask. When you don't ask, its as if you began spinning the barrel of the gun. Why smoke when you know it will cause physical illness?Another day passes and the Lord hasn't returned yet (click). Why drink strong drink when He has told you to stay away from it? Another day passes and the Lord hasn't returned yet (click). Why have sex with whomever when the Lord said to flee fornication? Another day passes and  the Lord hasn't returned yet (click). Why teach a message that didn't come from the Word when you are angry because you didn't get what you wanted? Another day passes and the Lord hasn't returned yet (click). Why treat another believer with disdain because you think he/she is more blessed then you? Another day passes and the Lord hasn't returned yet (click). Why choose to live any sort of way thinking this isn't the day of the Lord's return anyway? The day is coming. Not knowing when isn't the excitement you think if you are caught on the wrong side. Its His grace and mercy that has allowed for the clicks instead of the final bang; however, remember that God is not mocked. In that day when you see Him, He will have a question for you. When He asks you why, saying, "we all make mistakes" just won't cut it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

There Is This Tidal Wave

What is the difference between a tidal wave and a tsunami? Answer: the language that each of those words
come from. Both are large waves from the ocean caused by a sea quake or a hurricane that comes toward the land causing destruction in its path.

I recall the tsunami in Haiti. What I didn't understand was when the people saw the animals moving toward higher ground, why didn't they move too? Why was it more important to still do what it was on their minds to do, then to see what was going on or to pay any attention to that gut feeling to get out of harm's way? Was death speaking louder then life? How? Why didn't more hear the warning signs? How could the animals hear more then the people?

For this year, I pray that we can be the hearers that God calls for us to be (John 10:27 AMP). For those who are young in the faith, we can reach and grab onto them for redirection, correction, and exhortation in Jesus' name (Hebrews 12:1-8 AMP). You see there is this natural occurrence that we can see. We know that the outcome of this natural occurrence isn't favorable especially if we did not have the ears to hear His voice. But then there is the tidal wave that we cannot see. Something that comes over believers whether it be for a test, trial, or tribulation, we must be ready and equipped to weather the wave. We have to be deeply rooted in His Word so that when the destruction passes, we still stand (Luke 6:47-49 AMP).

Why would such a thing come over believers and where is this written in the Word?

Its lengthy to explain. You will have to study the passages closely to see the truth. You will also have to act on the truth to be truly set free (John 8:32 KJV). I will take this issue, that I have never heard taught in any church, slowly and step by step. I invite you to email me if you note anything in error or have any concerns.

One of the first passages that come to mind is Job. He was afraid that his children would sin. Having no proof, he decided to sacrifice to atone for their sin that was never confessed (Job 1:5 AMP). Not only was his fear distasteful to God for we know we cannot please Him without faith, but that Job being a priest knew what was expected of him. Because of these acts, he had a wave come over his house. One that destroyed his family, his home, his wealth, his health, and his faith (Job 1:13-22 AMP).

With Job being the foundation of this entry, look at the responsibility of the pastor. God uses him to be the shepherd of the sheep. He is a servant of the Lord to feed the flock. He hears the message from the Lord, prays about what he has heard, then he studies. Once getting these aspects into place, he readies himself for service. His tongue is used as God's mouth piece to do as God says for him to do for the good of the bride (the church) readying herself for the coming of the groom (Jesus, our Lord). If the pastor deviates from what the Lord has given for the flock to eat, its as if the pastor has led the sheep down a wrong path. He taught them in error and what can happen is the flock can be scattered, the children of God can be offended, and the Word of God will do what God says it will do. For it is written, it is better that he have a millstone put around his neck and thrown into the sea then to offend one of the little ones (Matthew 18:6 AMP). Jesus said this when he was surrounded with children so we assume and treat this verse with how we behave when speaking or teaching children. Nevertheless, we walk in the Spirit and children can be full grown adults with child like faith. If a Christian new in the faith is willing to listen and heed to whatever his/her pastor says without question, then the pastor must realize this and adhere to the Word of the Lord or the tsunami that hits will be devastating.  

It is for this reason that we pray for our pastors. He has many means to be tempted if he is not mature in the Lord himself. The purpose for this portion of the entry is because there are too many men that think that he can pastor a church without proper training and doesn't spend the time being under authority to prove himself to be a good leader. Whether it is because of ego, pride, or just being a zealot, none of these things are good qualities in being a good pastor. All of the warning signs are there. If this sort of pastor does not hear, then the wave that comes across him will also affect his family and the ministry (Ephesians 4:1-3 AMP).

As congregants, our prayers are necessary. We are like the men holding up the arms of the pastor while the battle continues. We pray that the flesh is crucified daily not only in our own lives but the lives of the pastor, his family and our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17 AMP). 

With this knowledge, you cannot neglect your own relationship with the Lord. Have you ever asked yourself, about the peace or lack thereof after a message. The Lord does speak to us and with Him being the definition of peace, when we sense anything but peace in our lives and having no answers as to why, it is not the time to ignore that warning sign. Prayer not only will give you answers but will change matters. I use to attend a small ministry for years. One day I noticed upon entering the building that I felt queasy. I had no idea what it was and disregarded the feeling as a bug going around. By the time service ended, I had a headache and a need to lie down. Once I got home, all of the nauseated feelings dissipated. The following service, it happened again. I prayed but also found much later that my overall health returned once I left that ministry altogether. Later it was discovered scandal was laced throughout the clergy. Having been a baby in the Lord back then, this would have affected my faith greatly. God saw it all and protected me.

Over the years, many of the ministries have changed. We all go through changes when we grow; however, we aren't unrecognizable to each other. Ministries shouldn't have such a radical change that the congregants have to get use to their surroundings, unless the ministry was way out in left field instead of the Word in the first place. There are certain things that must be removed from the ministry and its the pastor's job to make sure this is done when it is found. There is a procedure when a believer becomes oppositional. Even when the offender goes through the process, there is a time of rest to see if the understanding of the truth has taken place (Matthew 18:15-17 AMP). We are not set free unless there is an understanding (Proverbs 4:7 KJV). This is true in every aspect of the ministry and again the pastor's job to make sure this is done. A job that is not difficult for him because he has already done this and has maintained this order in his own home. If a man cannot maintain order in his home, he has no business trying to manage a ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-5 AMP). As a congregant, we have the responsibility to see these things for ourselves to guard our own hearts. Is the pastor's wife loving or does she scowl and is angry? Are the pastor's children respectful of their parents or do they act differently towards adults when away from authority? These are all warning signs telling what is being taught in the ministry. Take heed (1 Timothy 3:6-13 AMP).

There is a passage in Psalms that describes the direction of the anointing (Psalm 133:1-2 AMP). The analogy shows that the oil comes down the head, to the beard, and the rest of the skirts. It has been taught that this is the flow of blessings as received in the ministry. Would that also be true for punishment? Again I refer to Job. Though him being a priest, it was his action that caused the punishment. His children's death was because of Job's action. The grief his wife endured for the loss of her family was because of Job's actions. His friends were trying to make sense of Job's bad fortune was because of the acts of Job. This is also reminiscent of the act of Adam. Because of his actions, man was cursed. It took the action of Jesus to redeem us all for past, present, and future stupid actions that have nothing to do with righteousness (Hebrews 5:1-14 AMP). This passage of Psalms also shows that the anointing flows. Therefore, in ministry, there is nothing that is stagnant. When ministry isn't doing anything, its because God has not been accepted there or has been disregarded. Waves of destruction are destined for such a ministry as that.

How are you living? It seems like a standard question and maybe something that would be obvious to those that profess Christianity; however, there are some that have incorporated worldly practices and have minimized the importance of living a holy life . For it is written, be thou holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1-16 AMP). It is God that is doing the talking in that passage. If He is the greater one living on the inside of each everyone one of us that believes, why would it be such a difficult thing to do to live a holy life? Have you not been taught to live holy? You cannot do what you have never been taught. Who is it that is doing the teaching? Your pastor. Does he live a holy life? This does not mean for you to stalk the man or his family. It calls for you to watch and pray (Ephesians 6:18 AMP). Many men speak profound truths and when  they incorporate testimony, they give a wealth of information about themselves. I have written many excerpts in this blog about such testimonials I have heard and wondered if the minister knew what he/she just said. From confessions of being a control freak to being verbally abusive to their spouse, I find it amazing how God will show you where you need to be and why.

You might be the very reason why the tidal wave didn't hit that ministry. Remember what Abram asked when God told him to leave Sodom and Gomorrah? He would saved the city if there were 10 righteous people in it (Genesis 18:23-33 AMP). Are you one of the people that should be there for the ministry to be saved? You are created for a time such as this. Know exactly what it is you are created for. Selah.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Are You A Lightweight?

Back in the day, it was said lightweights couldn't handle their liquor. By the middle of the second drink, that person was already slurring and looking kind of crazy. Laughing about nothing and venturing forth to start something violent was the mode of operation. It didn't take long before the lightweight's reputation was out there and no one was rushing back to go anywhere with that person again (Proverbs 20:1 AMP).

In boxing, lightweights are paired with each other. While the on lookers or casual enthusiasts don't think a few extra pounds wouldn't make that much of a difference, the professionals know otherwise. It takes an experienced coach to make the opponent not think of those extra pounds in order to win the fight. Did the tactics work? It would depend on how the fighters were thinking.

With David and Goliath, who was the lightweight there? The baby Christian would more then likely say what a sinner would because he/she doesn't know any better. They walk by sight until they are taught a better way to walk. If they are around more Christians rather then sinners, the ability to walk in the faith would be quicker. Nevertheless, back to the question. If we look as the children of Israel, were they afraid for David? Being smaller, having no weapons that could be seen, and a mere child - by sight, David seemed as if he didn't have a chance. Goliath's reputation proceeded him. He didn't have to do anything. The Philistines used their human billboard to market their fierceness. They conquered what they planned to obtained by allowing their human advertisement to speak for itself. They dressed him in the armor, hired someone to carry his shield and someone else to carry his sword (1 Samuel 17: 4-7 AMP). His face was contorted and the script he memorized was chilling to all that could hear. The Philistines had nothing to do but to wait for the opposing army to admit defeat and allow themselves up to be slaves. Its what has happened and what they have been used to. Everyone has heard about it and believed. Everyone but David. Recall David was out in the field caring for the sheep. The news didn't travel where he was and no one ever thought he would be interested. Remember, David asked who Goliath was and why was he speaking to the children of Israel like that (1 Samuel 17: 26 AMP)?

Understand babies have an identity crisis. They need to be told what to do and when to do it. Babies don't know who they are until someone gives them the knowledge for them to retain and reiterate for it to be a habit for them. It used to be that adults would cover the ears of the younger so they would not incorporate wrong information. Why? Because they are lightweights...babies are lightweights. They could not be in a storm or they would be killed. They aren't seen in a battle because it would be ridiculous. Babies don't know enough to make a quality decision. Choose life? A baby's question would be, what are my other choices or what's death? It is why babies are protected, guided, and shown specific passages in the bible to begin the new (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).

David wasn't a lightweight. He is described as a man after God's heart (Acts 13:22 KJV). He was left alone in the field with the sheep and studied. He praised God. He wrote songs and poetry. He was a blessed man and had no problem coming against anyone who opposed the righteousness of God. The king, Saul, hid with the rest of the people (1 Samuel 17:11 KJV). They bought the advertisement. They were chronologically older then David but lightweights in God.

When a fighter gets into the ring, he does so after he has trained. After he has the right equipment and has tested what is a good fit for him with his gloves, shoes, and trunks. He doesn't just put on anything, or decides to get in the ring and fight on a whim. He has trained physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically to win. If any one of those categories had not been touched upon in his training sessions, he has already lost the battle. God expects for us to be trained as well. It is why when David was offered the king's armor, he turned it down. He never wore that garment before. He had what God gave him that assisted him in killing a lion and a bear. He had skills and was already prepared to do battle. No one else was.

When you have all that God has given you, you are more then a conqueror (Romans 8:37 AMP). Who is stronger then you (Luke 11:21-26 AMP)? Could there be anyone who could come against you and win? Only you can answer that...well, God knows too. It is why there are tests. Can you withstand the test or will you be fighting temptation? Answering that will also let you know if there is anyone stronger then you. You must consider your ways. You must know what is your weakness, find the verse in the scriptures and say it everyday. Its a apart of your weaponry. Neglect in using your whole armor, expect defeat - for it is written.

In the news last night, there was a homicide. It was reported that the victim was struck once at the hand of an assailant, fell over and died. The speculation was that he must have been hit in the throat or on the temple of his head. I wondered had he been hit for awhile and the lethal blow was all he could stand. For instance, cheating on your spouse was a means that made him a little weaker. Then using rumors against the righteousness of God took something else from him (1 Chronicles 16:22, Psalm 105:15 KJV) . Refusing to support his children was another hard hit that he barely recovered from (1 Timothy 5:8 AMP). Stealing office supplies from his job where people usually find it the norm but God sees it as stealing was another sock in the gut. In all of that time throughout his life he might have attended church services a handful of times and asked for the Lord's help when he could SEE things were getting bad. But what about the things he couldn't see? Job didn't see his acts of fear  as the reason for the demise of his family, his wife's crazy talk, or the destruction of his property. That doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Have you prepared? Did you ever go to training? Do you have the right equipment? Does it fit? Have you come against opposition? Can you? We cannot be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:12-15 AMP). We cannot listen to one sermon, run around the church thinking because we did what someone else did, we would be blessed as well only to be tested on the outside and curse like a drunken sailor. We no longer ask why bad things happen to good people and then cheat on our taxes thinking it isn't hurting anyone. We no longer dress up lies as little and white for self preservation. Because of faith, mercy, and grace we are heavy weights. Because of the salvation Jesus has freely given to us, we can fight with conviction. Because of that whole armor, we stand on the throat of the enemy and he better not budge (Ephesians 6:11-18 AMP)! Because of the Greater One living on the inside of those that believe, we know who we are in Christ! Now, who is it that DARES to come against you?!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Healing: Obtain It, Maintain It, Sustain It!

Working in a senior community, I often wondered if the residents enjoy being sick more then living healthy. I watched as they had family coming in and out of their apartments. The ill residents were hardly ever seen...well, until they stopped getting visitors. Hmm, mystery solved.

There was one resident in particular that fascinated me. He didn't have much family but plenty of neighbors and friends that cared about him. He wanted for nothing (Proverbs 19:4 AMP). When he became ill, he was surrounded by scores of friends. He complained that he couldn't breath and needed further medical assistance. The ambulance was there in a few minutes. When they asked what the matter was, he kept gasping but never answered them. They left for the hospital. He was admitted and stayed for over a week. When he returned, the neighbors and friends took shifts to make sure he had round the clock care. After some time, they insisted for him to get up and walk around. He claimed that he couldn't. They urged for him to do some menial tasks for himself. He retorted that he wasn't well enough yet. So they suggested that he might have to return to the hospital. He paused before rejecting that suggestion as well. It was about then that they felt imposed upon and stopped taking shifts. They no longer answered his calls. When he did got visitors again after some time, they weren't surprised to see how well he did for himself. In fact, he was even ready to go outside for a walk which used to be his regular routine (Proverbs 17:9 AMP).

As Christians, don't we have a different belief system? Do you remember how we spoke the mantra, "name it then claim it"? What happened to that? It was going to be the title of this entry, but then I wondered if I would get any readers. That very mantra was a discussion in a Christian group on one of the social networks. It became heated and I had to leave wondering what happened to our values. Believers have become so angry with God because they have lost family members, friends, and members of their own bodies because of sickness and disease. Alright, we can get angry, but let it be justified. Let there be a legitimate reason for it and not waste time when you could be doing something more constructive. God tells us to state our case (Isaiah 43:26 AMP). Make it plain and make sure you are reminding Him of His Word so you can get your facts straight. By the way, don't forget to add faith in there (Hebrews 11:6 AMP). Don't tell Him what you saw and how you'll only make Him angry and then it will be awhile before you get any answers (Hebrews 11:1 AMP). Don't believe me? Click on the references and read for yourself.

From my perspective, I know what I have overcome and what I still have to do. As a child, I hated household chores. It took away from the fun I could have outside with my friends. Even when I was allowed to play first, I knew when it was all over, the chores would be waiting for me. If I didn't do them, I would be punished. As a grown woman, not cleaning your own house spills over into other things. Being disorganized at your job, brain fog, and an overall sense of depression. Having this understanding, puts some things into perspective and therefore cleaning for your own physical, emotional, and mental health made sense to do and maintain (1 Corinthians 13:11 AMP).

Because of the training I received as a child having both parents retired from the military, it was unheard of to have an unkempt home. When they divorced, dusting and vacuuming wasn't a priority. Keeping it emotionally together was. Not knowing that, made everything difficult to do. Blame was placed and the focus on serious matters were displaced. Sickness was waiting to get a stronghold...but God. In spite of the long journey ahead, Mom kept us in church. Eventually, we got it some of those things together, first by understanding why faith and then we could use it. It was the habitual practice of what God says to do that kept us strong to be who we are today. We understood why the need to have a healthy diet, exercise, and a well kept home didn't mean anything without rest in God. Some things are better understood then others and the journey continues, but we aren't where we used to be.

Gnats like an unkempt house. Actually, all sorts of bugs do as well. As dust settles on and around the occupant, he/she begins to cough. A cough that seems to last longer then the average cold. More dust settles and becomes thicker - like a blanket. The cobwebs don't look like spiders made them anymore. The dust starts to hang like grey weeping willows in a forest of ick. After awhile, even the house knows that it is no longer being cared for and one thing after another starts to break down. If not the roof, then the plumbing, if not that the flooring is loose, or the railing, or one of the shingles fell off. If these matters aren't tended to, then it isn't long before vermin accepts the invitation for residency; and not just the 4 legged kind. There are vermin that we can't see that manifests itself in other ways. Those that have been treated for ringworm and other skin diseases got them from someone who has issues with cleaning their house. Watching the show, Hoarders, if nothing else, can teach lessons on having the desire to keep a home clean - always!

Now look at your house - that is, your physical body. It is the temple of the Lord. The Lord being the Prince of Peace, the way maker, the life giver, the healer, the miracle worker. He is the greater one on the inside of you. Why would you have any sickness or disease on or around you? It doesn't make sense, does it? You are needed for a time such as this but can't do what God has called you to do because you aren't feeling well? What? Why? Have you asked (James 4:2-4 AMP)?

The common thing to do for Christians is pray first then go seek medical attention. Yeah, yeah, there's nothing wrong with that. The suggestion here is why not add one more step to what you already know to do. Ask God, in your prayers, why. What happened? What did you say, do, or think that would cause for this to come upon you? You must have this understanding to keep sickness off of you. We understand that the generational curse is broken (John 3:17-19 AMP). We understand that God desires for us to be healed (Matthew 19:12-13 AMP). We understand that if it has a name it must bow to the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10 KJV). Now, understand it so that it is a habit and not something that you take out every once in awhile. Healing belongs to you. You have not because you ask not. Now that you know, lets put the hospitals out of business!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Can We Get Really Real For A Moment?

Times are changing and no matter how hard you try for them not to, they still continue to do so. That can be a good thing - if you have been waiting an long time for your blessing (James 1:4 KJV). Nevertheless, you are also changing; this is also a good thing. In growth, we all change. We learn new things and change from where we were to where we are. It might not be where you would like to be right now, but its better then where you were. If it isn't, I implore you to consider your ways!

That would be a warning. There have been warnings across the pulpit for years and because we didn't see those things happen before our eyes, we wiped the sweat from our brows, thanked God for His mercy and continued to do what we were doing before the warning. Did you change from your wicked ways (Acts 3:26 AMP)? For how long? Did you attempt to go back to the old way and didn't feel anything was wrong with what you are doing so as long as you aren't hurting anyone, why not keep doing it? Is that how you have been thinking (Romans 7:15-20 AMP)? You haven't heard any warnings lately, so its all good right? All is well?

Understand when someone says, it is well...first, find out if that person is a Christian. If you know he/she is, then start praying. Remember in scripture when that phrase was said over and over again. The woman's son was dead and she was looking for the prophet. She had to keep the faith and press on until she found a man of God who hears from Him to do what is necessary for her son to live. Others didn't have the faith to do anything but say what she did not want to believe is true. Until he did what she believed for him to do - then all became well. It took faith to actually manifest itself (2 Kings 4:8-37 AMP). How is your faith? How is the faith of those around
you? Still the size of a mustard seed or have you planted it and believing for something yet?

I was watching a married couple have a disagreement. She had been married to him for 20 years and knew him 5 years before they married. She had done everything he wished for her to do and she wasn't happy. He was frustrated with her and all she could still be doing, but won't. It was later revealed that they had a threesome. Apparently, this once never spoken taboo is more socially acceptable these days. Now, I had a better understanding of their disagreement because before all of the bickering was petty and childish. When asked about the threesome, he sheepishly bowed his head in shame but admitted to it. How does he expect for there to be peace in his house when he makes a suggestion for their marital bed to be defiled (Hebrews 13:4, Psalm 119:1 AMP)? In accepting the suggestion, she has welcomed the enemy residence. Does light and dark commune? Jesus is peace. So if there is no peace in your house, does this mean Jesus has left the building?

I was looking at one of the housewives shows. One of the women had a birthday party for her father at the Museum of Sex in New York. I never knew there was such a place. I went to do some research on it to see what would be the exhibit without being labeled as a peep show. Interestingly enough, there were many prints and documents showing the history of condoms, the chastity belt, various art works displayed and where pornography originated. These museums were not isolated in New York but in London, Amsterdam, Sweden and other parts of America. As I continued to watch the documentary, I noticed the hardship man use to have trying to print cartoons of sexual images in various precarious positions. No matter how difficult the task, he did it. After the few pages were printed, there would be a man at the top of a building waiting for his buyer to come see the product and quote a price. These images were printed only for the elite or upper class. But the times changed and photography was invented. Getting beautiful women to pose nude used to be too difficult to do as well as expensive. So they settled for peasants on the street for a few pence. The response to purchase the pictures were less then stellar. Fast forward, to today because we know what has happened since then. The sex industry has no economic slump in it so far and the documentary went back for more then 100 years! Continuing with the film, a woman decided she was going to beat some record. I didn't know if this act was going into Guinness or what. I saw no purpose in what she decided to do. She came into the room dressed in a yellow damask and gold trim gown. She wore a mask and spoke while hooked up to a microphone. On one side of the room was a man with a flip score board. She walked slowly down the aisle. Her audience were only of men. When she got to the platform and onto the stage, a table was waiting for her. The narration: she was going to have sex with more then 200 men - right then and there. The men sitting in the audience, stripped down and got in line. Why, why,...WHY?!!!

The common answer would be, sin (Romans 6:12 AMP). Yet, I wonder; in these last you really think there are over 200 men coming together for that, never heard anything about Jesus? Nothing?!! Do people really choose death when they have the option before them? Did God really have to tell us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV)? I thought of this when listening to that woman dressed in the yellow gown and beckoning to the 200 men in line, "don't keep me waiting!" She completed her assignment. She reached her goal says the narrator. What do you suppose those men had to endure when the cameras were off?

Times sure have changed but the acts that people have done that are supposed to be shocking the viewer are actually quite old. Its been done before - decades and some hundreds of years ago. While watching the documentary, I thought I would be mortified but when allowing the information to start at the beginning, you can see what has happened was/is inevitable (Galatians 5:17-21 AMP). Though the acts and the outcomes were not correlated, people filmed in the documentary had their moment of fame and those that didn't died, look haggard and/or under the delusion that they are still young and vibrant.

Another show I watch is Intervention on A and E. I am fascinated with the root of the problem and how Sandy. She abused drugs and alcohol. She had been through so much and her children were frustrated with what they could do to help. Her husband was also an addict but sobered up. He didn't know what else to do either. He lost his job, his home, the respect of his children, his wife and when they all convinced Sandy to go to rehab, he sought a divorce. This didn't help her sobriety. She violated the rules of the treatment center by purchasing mouthwash to substitute for the vodka. At the end of those 90 days, Sandy stayed sober long enough to attend the weddings of her daughters. After the events were over, she passed away. It was the first time I ever saw the passing of the focused addict on the show - she died? There was nothing in her life strong enough or more important then the Vodka she consumed daily. Even when most of her pancreas had been removed, that wasn't enough to quit. In essence, she made her choice. The outcome was inevitable.
the counselors deal with the addict because of that root. Sometimes, the root is so deep, the counselor doesn't know what to do. Other times, the rehab facility is at a loss. Last night, a rerun was showing about the addict,

What about you? Do you really need to be shocked to know how much God wishes for you to live? Is it really as hard as you think it is, to do what's right? Even being a Christian, are you really tempted to go back in the world? Who is stronger (Luke 11:21-26 AMP), the world or your faith in God? Times might be changing and if you read you bible, you know change for some will not be good. God, never changes. He loved you yesterday, today, and forever. As much diversity there is out there, how are you handling it? Who do you hear calling you? No matter what, tell Him about it. He said, He will never forsake you.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

You Will Never Feel Happy....

... until you try. That makes sense, doesn't it? You can go through the motions but unless you know what happiness is and desire to be happy, you will never have it (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)!

In the place I reside and happen to work, there is this woman that came to the building. I will call her Grace. Grace happened to be a relative of one of the residents and took it upon herself to strike a conversation with me. I listened to her while she went on about this or that. Then Grace told me who she was related to. The person she mentioned is a recluse and is only seen to get her mail in the wee hours of the morning. Every once in awhile her relative would have something to say; unfortunately, those things would usually be in the form of a complaint. Whether it be the weather, her furniture, or the way her big toe felt that morning, it was never good, she was never happy, and she made everyone around her feel as unhappy as well. Grace said she wasn't like that. She told me, she liked people and is always uplifting if she could be.

Interesting. Why couldn't she be uplifting? What did that mean, "if she could be"? She kept talking and it wasn't long before my question was answered. Grace,  much like her relative, liked to be unhappy (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP). Why else would anyone complain? Does it change the circumstances? If someone changed those circumstances for the person to be happy, does the person change and is happy or does the person see that the complaints change things and keep complaining? I noticed that Grace was usually alone until she found someone that also complained. It was odd that the both of them had so much to say to each other...well, at least for awhile until the resident decided to stay in her apartment to receive her meals for awhile. Not even Grace's relative would come to join her. Hmm, is that a lesson (Philippians 2:14 KJV)?

This particular blog answers the question a Christian might have while going through their Spiritual walk, "is this all there is?" For a Christian to ask such a question sounds like doubt and wondering if there are any loop holes to act unbecoming of righteousness. Why not be satisfied? What could there be that you would like to do but can't? If your answer has anything to do with any actions that would cause you hurt, harm, or danger - isn't that self-explanatory? You must be happy with who you are and know who you are in Christ. This can only happen by spending time with your Lord and Savior. He is the One that sacrificed His life just for you.

The title to this blog is also a lyric a song I heard while watching a couple dance. They were introduced on a video as a married couple when it came across my Facebook page. I don't know who sent it, but I like synchronized dancing; I had to click it to see. Their dance was a fun and happy one but what resonated the most was the ease of their dance. In the video you are about to see, the couple is dancing while their fellow colleagues or students are the audience. They are apparently critiqued by them and when they are finished, they visually shows their appreciation. The look on the couple's face is priceless at the reaction. Its as if they are surprised. All they are doing is dancing. Its so simple and what they both obviously enjoy.

Can you imagine a marriage like that? Where two people come together doing the same thing together and enjoying it (Amos 3:3 KJV). Their conversation can be about anything because the thing they enjoy doing they do it - all day. No stress because they are so compatible. Yes, that's what their dance meant to me. Also I watched other videos under the same company. The reaction the audience has with this couple and anyone else dancing is very different. Could it be because they are married? Could it because they are happy? Could it be because their confidence is strengthened by their union? Hm, lesson learned.