Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Follow Who?

When I had the understanding of salvation under my belt, I needed to know what was expected of me in the form of change. I couldn't possibly remain in the same state that I was in not after knowing what has been done for me (Matthew 6:33 KJV). Now what was I suppose to do for Him (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)? Consider that it took some doing for me to accept that I needed salvation. When I was first asked, I said without hesitation, "no". I didn't like what this new found "Christianity" principle were doing to people especially when I thought he/she was cool before they even knew who Jesus was (Luke 18:18-28 AMP). After they started to profess Christianity, their whole demeanor seemed like the love children of the 60's and frankly it was freaking me out. No, No, No, I said to the greasy looking minister in the light blue polyester leisure suit - No! Course, I was 12 at the time.

Since then, along with the way I look, my overall view on life, experience, skills, an education in the public school system, a college education, and attending church services regularly, I am a changed person. What I use to think as a child is completely different as to what I think now. How I see people is differently. Who I trust and listen to is not without much scrutiny, which is something that is taught by adults or learned through trial and error (Proverbs 2:5 KJV). Change has come about in many different ways and I am still in the process of being more like Him rather than speaking from emotion, reacting to every action that is sought against me, and listening more intently then ever before (Ephesians2:1-22 AMP) . These changes have made me a more calm, happier person, and I like it.

Wouldn't this also be true in the Spirit? What I mean to write is, what we learned as children in Sunday school or if attending church service later in life, we learned somethings that held fast to our life style. Yes, Jesus loves us and we love others - this is without question. Is there a limit? Do we put up boundaries to this love that has been richly given to us. And if not, when do we say when? Won't people take advantage if we don't. Is there a tough love in Christ? If there is, show it to me in the Word of God. The answer, even if found in the scripture, would then constitute more change for us to do (Luke 10:26-28 KJV).

This post took me a little while to put up because I had to stop being so angry of the years that have passed with me admiring men and women of God that have taught me only to find that they hadn't really believed what  they were teaching. What would you call it if the very person teaching the principles of God in order to stay in fellowship is wrapped up in all sorts of scandal (1 Timothy3:1-13 KJV)? If it isn't scandal then its a phrase that happened to slip out while ministering the Word. Babies in Christ may not have caught those little tid-bits in their spiritual food because they are babies and their trust is in who they see. But when you come into the knowledge of the truth and start putting aside the milk of the Word and start chomping down in the meat of some things, faith at work is what is seen more and more. Scrutiny in those tid-bits becomes a ministry in of itself and is a responsibility for you to watch out for them and pray for that minister. I don't know if the scandal is a direct result in the constant disobedience of the minister or the harvest of a congregation not praying. What I do know it has an affect on the spiritual growth of the church because it had an affect on me (James 3:3-18 AMP).

Let me paint a hypothetical picture for you. A pastor of a rather large church states that it is a man's responsibility to protect his family. He stated the weapons of warfare to the congregation and then says what was the weapon of choice in biblical times was the sword (2 Corinthians 3-5 AMP). These days we use a gun. He went on stating things of this nature until it became common knowledge that if you approach this pastor it would be best that you come correct rather then in any state of confrontation. I found this disturbing on so many levels but I waited to see if he was going to have an epiphany and change some things for the sake of those who never carried a gun and was set on doing everything the pastor does to get what the pastor has. You know there are people who think this way - don't you? That didn't happen, well not when I was attending those services. What did happen was in my previous place of employment, one of the teenage girls that I looked after as a youth specialist, was devastated at the death of well known rapper, Tupak Shakur. She cried and the rest of the girls residing there with her chimed in with their grief. It was reported that their beloved idol was murdered and the police didn't have any leads at the time. While they speculated as to what happened, I wasn't in any sort of emotional state at what I heard and was slightly irritated that the staff was allowing the regular routine to be disturbed over the foolishness of this one singer that spoke of violence and justified his behavior in that lifestyle set to music. It was as if they were indulging these girls to behave in the same manner as a tribute to this man, so I spoke without thought to their grief but maintain the routine of the day, "you live by the sword, you die by the sword." It all of a sudden became quiet. Not staff or the children said anything. Just when the silence became almost deafening, the very girl that started the grief process bellowed out in such defiance, "how can you say that?! You don't understand! You don't know what he has been through!" She went on and on with some other things. I just stopped listening to her and the other girls did as well going on with their day. Once they did, so did staff. That one girl continued to grieve and listen to the radio as they played Tupak's music over and over as memorandum. Then the disc-jockey spoke low and somber in recognition of this music icon. Just before playing another song, he stated the very same scripture that I did  (Matthew 26:52 AMP). That girl jumped up out of her bed and came looking for me. She was smiling and apologetic. I asked what brought about the change and she mentioned what the disc jokey said. Now, she was able to function and the grief was complete for her as well.

Change came about for the teenage girl. Would that also be true for a minister who has committed himself to serving the Lord by way of passing a message to lead a group of people to live a better life that would be pleasing unto God? Would that be true if the same group of people decide to live by the sword - in this case, by the gun? Jesus walked through throngs of people that looked to harm him because he made them think about Him being the Messiah. How dare He, they all thought and so they looked to kill Him. But because of the calling that is on His life to be Lord and Savior, He knew it was not His time yet (John 7:1-6 KJV). It would be in God's time. So because of that trust, that faith, that assurance in Him, there was no need for Jesus to walk with any weapons to defend Himself against what He said or had done. He was to go about His Father's business knowing that it was Him who was going to control the matter for His good. Why wouldn't ministers have this kind of faith and if they don't, how then are they suppose to teach a congregation of people to behave in such a manner that not even the ministers are willing to do?

The extramarital affairs of the ministers, the illegitimate children that came from them, the double lives, embezzling funds from the church, the accusations of drug usage, sex offenders of children, and all of the other dirty secrets that have been hidden over the years but have not come to the light as of yet, still coming to the pulpit and telling the faithful people what they should and shouldn't do with the utmost conviction. It isn't until the secret behavior is reported for public knowledge, then there comes the remorse and that we are expected to forgive and allow for bygones to be bygones. Would that it could be all that simple. We all have to go through change to be more and more like Him. Forgiving a minister or clergy that was misplaced on a pedestal and not having the expectation of said clergy to ever make a mistake is a wound that takes longer to heal then it would if actually stabbed (Matthew 19:26 KJV). God sees him/her trying to make a horrific matter into distant memory but along with those efforts, he/she also has to recover from not placing anyone that high ever again - unless it is God (Deuteronomy 5:7 KJV). No one deserves to be in that position but Him.

Change comes quick with some things and much longer with others. It takes only a mere 18 years to change a child into an adult- on the outside. It might take longer for the change to happen for the child to function as an adult when keeping in mind any other factors like outside influence, faith in God as opposed to parents having their own issues, liking one's self, loving others, and so forth and so on. People being what we are and who we are, this is even more of a reason to be patient as others have been with you. The Word is there for those impasses when patience is being tested and not for just using pretty words when it seems necessary. If you truly live by this kind of sword, your life will be full of prospects and opportunity. It is, after all, what pleases Him (Psalm 35:27 AMP).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I write another blog for Christian singles. In it I make sure to show all of the reasons why a person should marry, why a person shouldn't and the warning signs for the decision made. The goal is for no one to go through rough patches and to struggle to get to the abundant life that Jesus promised we can all have (John 10:10 KJV). With every life given to Jesus there has to be some sort of significance for it. What sacrifice was made? What did the person do to assist someone else in making their life better? I use these blogs to partially answer those questions. It is a sacrifice for a writer to do what he/she does. The material and how much of it to write takes time. To do so with the right conditions has its own sacrifices. Personally, if one person's life is changed by the words written here, it was all worth it (Luke 15:3-7 KJV).

As Christians, we have much to consider, not only about ourselves but for those that watch and are influenced by what we do. The bible tells us to watch and pray (Ephesians 6:18 KJV). Prayer as we know is a humongous part of the faith life style. The watching part has much to do with specifics. Exactly, what are we watching and for what and for how long (Luke 21:36 KJV)? We watch the way people treat one another. We watch current events and the prophetic word come to life. We watch where to walk and when it is the best time. We watch the fruit a tree bears and govern ourselves accordingly. We watch how to conduct our own lives to be pleasing unto God. Basically, we watch what to pray for and the changes that are made because of those prayers (James 5:16 KJV).

With that simple instruction, why would there be any anxiety or a reason to be discontent about anything? I listened to Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Texas, last Sunday. He talked about all he use to go through with constructing a sermon before he became computer savvy. As many times as I have heard him, all of the messages he ever spoke on seem to be simple and care free. It wasn't like he had to develop anything. Most of the time, it's as if he was just talking rather then reciting something that he had to create. Very simple instructions on having a joy filled life. Such practical application, almost as if it were common sense and yet too many people make mention of how he is tickling the ears of his listeners (2 Timothy 4:3-4 MSG). He doesn't talk about Jesus as he should and why He died for the sins of others, they say. The criticism for not being so hard core like all of the other pastors before him and even now is almost comical. I didn't debate these view points with the individual; however, I did tell him that if Joel Osteen wasn't for him, he could move on to someone that was. For all of those that came to listen, their lives had to change for the better other wise, why keep returning? Applaud his efforts rather than try to put your foot on his throat. He has a coliseum full of people every week!

What efforts do you make to have that joy-filled life? Have you given up and decided to crap on someone else's parade because no one came to see yours? Did you lend a helping hand or do something else to be productive or did you criticize and delude yourself in thinking that would be your version of productivity? The point is, there are very simple matters that could take your life from the mundane blahs as it has been into something you could look forward to. I noticed something so simple and that most people would more then likely not even give a second thought, nevertheless, have you ever noticed the effort that someone takes  after giving you an invitation somewhere...anywhere. The fact that they thought about you at all is pretty nice, but when they make certain accommodations for you because it was you that was on their mind, most people try to reciprocate those efforts. This came to my attention when I was asked to certain places and these people (all separate occasions) said that they would pick me up and do the driving. When I came to the passenger side of the car, it was filled with something. If it wasn't a purse, it was their meal from hours earlier. If not that, then it was all of their crap from days prior. I felt like I was more of a burden then a welcomed guest. My question was, if you didn't want me there, why ask? One person did this so often, now, if she asks to take me anywhere, I decline the invitation. It was a small change, but it made my life easier.

What changes can you find to make your life easier and more joy-filled? How many changes will there be? Will it get you closer to the abundant life that Jesus promised or did you think it was suppose to happen with a snap of your fingers, if that much effort at all (James 1:22 KJV). The word tells us to examine ourselves and consider our ways. If this is instruction for us to do, why scoff at it?

The second part of the holidays are practically breathing down our necks. There will be family reunions and gatherings that is the highlight to some and for others a reason to crouch in their closets, close the door and start mumbling to themselves. Why do it, if there is no joy in it? So what if your family will expect you there. Would you rather compromise your peace and joy to make your family happy for those few hours or would you rather be happy for the entire time? Did you enjoy your childhood or is it something you would rather forget? Memory Lane isn't for everyone. This could be one of the those small changes that can be made. Make some new family traditions of your own. Who are you allowing to write your story. Let it be you and make your own happy ending. Live forever after. Amen.