Thursday, May 26, 2011

Remember The Sabbath

One of the scriptures that served as a means for me to be bothered was, "be ye holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1;16 KJV)." How can we be? God is God and forever more. He is always good. Would that be true for any of us? Even Jesus said, "why callest thou me good (Matthew 19:17 KJV)?" Let someone do something unseemingly and wouldn't that person, if nothing else, get the nastiest look you could conjure up  from your face using every single muscle you can. It could be worse, but you were only thinking it (Proverbs 23:7 KJV). Well the Word says that your heart is evil then (Luke 6:45 KJV). The mere thought of doing someone harm and not just going over and giving them a big hug or a huge financial blessing is not being the righteousness of God. Isn't it? Which of us is willing to do that especially after they have either attacked your child, or keyed your car, or caused you to lose your job? How holy are you feeling to do what you know to do is right (James 4:17 KJV)?

There are some things I have seen in the body of Christ that I wish I never saw. Yet, it served a purpose for me to pray and never to do the same thing lest I fall into the same pit. Still, for the sake of this blog, I have mentioned major acts of unrighteousness (afore mentioned) that we ought to know to change in our lives. We know to walk in love in all that we do no matter what the flesh feels like doing. Its those tiny things that we overlook and happen to grow into some major stuff that we have no idea where the fruit of the matter comes from. It is because of those tiny things that have grown, I write this entry.

I can write from personal experience my own mistakes that I had to change and never thought I was doing wrong until I received the punishment of the act. It was said over the pulpit that there was a need for volunteers for this program and for that. We know that there is a select few in ministry that just seem to do everything. You know from which I write: you see them all of the time every where in the church doing one thing or another. You think, "wow she is really a faithful and loyal member." Or, "I wish I had the time to do more then what I am doing." Or, "isn't such-and-such here anymore, why doesn't he do it?" Personally, I started feeling guilty as if I was doing enough and it just seemed like everyone else was getting more blessed then I was, so I started volunteering in doing all sorts of stuff. I wasn't competing with anyone just working more then I ever thought I needed to. I didn't realize how many things I volunteered for until I had to take some time off for my physical health.

In taking that time off, I still couldn't rest because I had in my mind that they needed me and no one else could do the kind of work that I do. I know that because I couldn't let it go. As a result, different things began to happen to me financially and physically. First, my upper thigh started to get numb. I didn't know what it was. I went to the doctor, and he had no clue. I prayed and went about my business. I then was entangled in some mess at work, where I was terminated from my job. Even the CEO didn't believe I should have lost my position but acted as if she couldn't do anything about it. Still, I remained faithful in church and volunteering in all of those positions I signed up for. I wouldn't lose hope and remained happy that at least I woke up this morning and could do my very best for the Lord. My car was totaled in an accident and now I couldn't get around to do what I was doing before. Nope, I girded myself up and took public transportation still completing the tasks I signed up for. My son was able to replace my car and I continued on. In assisting someone else, I got out of the car I just received and shooting pain rode up the side of my hip and settled in the small of my back. Every time I took a step, there it was again. It was a night or two and laying in the bed with a heating pad, vibrating pad, one of those massaging wooden ball things - but nothing was helping. It took another three days before I could stand and walk without pain. I prayed and kept asking God, "what is going on?"  He answered me, but I couldn't hear Him - I had too many things to do. And then the car my son gave to me was hit in the back and a few weeks later, stolen.

You see, right here, even as I am writing this, I have the tiniest desire to write profanity... right here, right now. It has been almost 4 years when this happened and it is still as fresh as if it happened yesterday. Unemployed, no car, using the last of my savings, couldn't pay my bills and had to move in with family members - it was all so humiliating! I gave up the positions I volunteered for. I barely had enough money to get around on public transportation. Things had changed in the church I was attending and couldn't even get a ride to attend Sunday services much less in the middle of the week. I didn't call anyone to ask for advise because to me it would have been some mundane panacea Christian drivel. You know the kind of words someone says to capsulize everything. No matter what you say it is as if you were allowed to vent and the end result of the solution given back to you is: "well, God doesn't give you more then you can handle." Or, "your faith is being tested right now." Or, "stand strong, your blessing is right around the corner." None of those words help the situation. That isn't counseling and if you (counselor, pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, prophet) don't have a Word from the Lord in the matter, don't say anything!

On television, I was watching this pastor this morning teach a lesson on a matter that people really need help with. In the lesson, he listed a number of scriptures for the listener to repeat over and over for the situation to change in their lives. Well, I was at the ready to jot down the bible verses only he interjected  the subject matter in the bible verse. I had to stop, remembering in my own studying, that we are not to change one word, not even a tiddle of what the scripture says (Revelation 22:18 AMP). Just adding in something having the hope that this will help, isn't good enough. I don't care where his heart is. I know that saying something that man thinks will make the world of difference in someone's life without taking the matter before the Lord is a means for error to come about. I have been there and am glad to be delivered. Having good intentions without God isn't good at all (Hebrews 3:7-19 KJV).

So while I am here in this residence being willed to rest instead of finding some other position to volunteer for, I had to take in account what I was doing when I should have been resting on the Sabbath as well. For as long as I could remember when growing up, my mother had my siblings and I do the major house cleaning on Saturday and then on Sunday we went to church. Coming back from church, we were allowed to read the Sunday comics and our own books but we couldn't go outside and play... not on Sunday. It was the Lord's day. I don't know when I got out of doing this habit, even with my own children. I suppose because my husband, their father, wasn't raised the same way. And though he professed Christianity, what was paramount  to him to honor God was not at all the same with me. When we divorced, I started teaching my children the importance of helping in the church and quite honestly, I took the volunteering as a means of worship and honoring God, even on the Sabbath.

Residing in the Jewish community, there are some things that they do that is too ritualistic for my taste and a means of bondage; however, when it comes to honoring God on the Sabbath day, I must write, I am impressed. They will make preparation on Friday to have things in order for the Sabbath Day. Their day of rest begins at sun down on Friday night to sun down on Saturday night. They have made food before hand so not to work on that day or they decide to fast. They have torn toilet paper squares so not to make any more effort then they have to for their own convenience in honoring God. Most of the time after temple, they stay indoors. If for whatever reason they have to go do something outside of their home, they walk and try to avoid anything electronic (like department store doors or lights) that come on automatically because of their presence. I recall a family standing at the door and waiting for someone to open the door for them without them asking for it to be done - just to honor God. At first I thought it was ridiculous to go through such extreme, but what else can we do for Him? Its like wanting to purchase someone a gift who has more money then they know what to do with.What do buy for that person? You have to be really creative to surprise him/her and every year it becomes increasingly more difficult to do. What can you do for God? As I watch these people go and do all of these things in remembering the Sabbath and teaching their children to do the same, I look and these people live long lives and want for nothing.

When God tells us to choose life, do we do all we can to get the benefit of having such a gift? Do we give Him all of the honor for being the Almighty that He is (1 Corinthians 6:9-12 MSG)?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Who Has The Keys?

I find it utterly fascinating to see the relationships between men and women. Drawing the conclusions that women are so much more different then men and vice versa went out with the old passing away. Being of one  body in Christ, we know that we are all the same and the only difference is that half of us have a womb. We all love the Lord and are aware of what He has done for us (Romans 5 AMP). So while we are living that abundant life in this one body, let us come to an agreement about this other difference between the sexes that has been going on all of this time and can only come together when the will of man has been yielded for God to do what He does best - love (1 Corinthians 13:13 AMP).

No, it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sex; nevertheless, it is a tiny facet of the subject matter. It has to do with primarily men having a specific role and women doing what they are called to do so men can do what they are to do. It is such a cyclical function, much like a machine. But when the will of men gets into the mix, its as if someone threw a wrench into the wash cycle and the entire operation is at a freeze until the appropriate tools are available to be used to find the problem, fix the broken part, oil it, manually rotate it to be sure that when plugged in, all of the parts are working efficiently. It is such a long process when that will isn't yielded over. You can't imagine how many storms didn't fair well, how many people woke in the wee hours of the morning to stand in the gap with prayer, and how many missed out on their blessing because they weren't at the right place at the right time and the divine connections weren't made because of one man.

Consider the patience of God when He heard the complaints of the children of Israel initially to be saved from how the Egyptians were oppressing them. God heard their cries and found a man to lead them out of the oppressive environment (Exodus 3:9-15 KJV). You would think after all of that and having their time managed for them and told what to do at every hour of the day, when they were delivered from that - finally been made free that they would be in a rejoicing state forever more, yet no sooner then had they been let go from Pharaoh and his army did they start complaining of the most mundane tedious of things. God heard their cries and delivered them from all of what they whined about. With all of that, He still was looking for them to be satisfied with more then they asked for. He let them know that there is a land waiting for them that will flow with milk and honey. It is good news, something to look forward to and motivation to keep on going to obtain this land having freedom to do as they pleased. With the gift practically in hand, they still complained. How patient was God before stating that He won't hear any more of it? That generation had to go or there would be scores of people doing nothing but complaining. How pleased would any father be to hear his children not satisfied with anything that he provides for his family? The patience of God is much more than that.

Now consider the time it has been from the fall of man to the time Jesus arrived, went into ministry, the crucifixion, and the resurrection for all of man to gain the life he once had. He descended to retrieve keys that were given to man in having dominion over all of the world so man can do what he was created for (Ephesians4:7-17 KJV) . In so doing, we have seen so much torment with man and all of the atrocities of the world. He has blamed, complained, oppressed, and was depressed. When he was provided for he rejoiced and when he didn't get what he wanted when he wanted it, he went back to blame, complain, oppress, and be depressed. It just sounds so much like the children of Israel and I can't help but to wonder how pleased is God to see such things when we know He changes not (Hebrews 13:8 AMP).

So these keys that I recall. It isn't brought up much in the Word of God; however, it does have some importance as to why men are in the state that they are in and women seem to be following right behind. I  watched this morning an episode of Independent Lens aired on PBS entitled Pushing the Elephant. It was showing the African woman from the Congo receiving the Humanitarian Award for the year. She lives in the Untied States but has such a passion to help the oppressed people of her home land. She cries and prays over the people they have lost and goes through the tribes of women who have lost their husbands. These women without husbands are considered less then citizens. They are told to keep quiet and manage the house. If they need to know anything their husbands will tell them. Only the men don't. So they get together with this woman who received the Humanitarian Award and she teaches them so they can have affirmation on how well they have done in the midst of all of their troubles. She encourages them to know that they have all of the keys they need to improve their situations. When she finishes, the women speak of how they would like for her to run for political office there if they were allowed. They continue that they need someone like her to speak for them and to them. Yes, I agreed. Their faith needed to be encouraged for them to see that they had all of the keys that they needed. Jesus made that provision. Now it was up to them to see it .

This is easy to write...would that it be true if living there? When oppression has weighed heavy on people, it takes a process for them to get out of it and stay out of it. With this woman living in the same condition as all of those people, how did she realize what they didn't. She told those listening to the program, it was her father teaching them with a rope and prayer. He tied the rope around his entire family to illustrate before he prayed that it was forgiveness and love that will keep them together. She knew if she didn't teach her children the same thing, it would have been futile for her to teach these things to the people of Congo. Where did her father learn this from?

I have been drawing illustrations of these women with keys and explaining in the description part that women have all that God has given to her to be successful. It is the men who need the help. God intends for us all to be patient and content in whatever state that we are in. If you choose not to be patient, then you get what you get but you will find later in the relationship that regret found a place and the attitude from the children of Israel begins to form. Paul called it trouble (1 Corinthians 7:27 KJV). Its when patience (along with the other fruits of the Holy Spirit) is in full operation, things are learned, skills are honed in on, and experience and knowledge become factors that are precious to anyone who doesn't have it. Women are naturally multi-taskers. We obtain a goal and a vision and have already mapped a time line and how to celebrate the end result. Put those skills with women who love the Lord and that is treasure that only God can define. This is what He has given to men that love Him. Men must hear God to be able to find that specific woman with those specific keys. She has seen the same vision given to him by God. She has been cultivating it as her own; however, with the right man in the right place, she knows what to do and how to get it done. This is his help. This is what God meant in Genesis (2:18 KJV).

Thursday, May 19, 2011


There are the smallest of things in being a Christian that can take each and every one of us from where we are supposed to be (Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV). How many of you have got on your knees and asked... pleaded with God as to why things have not been going the way you planned? You have done all you can and have been standing therefore for weeks...months... dare I even write, years! My mother was so frustrated after so many years of being a single parent with residing in a "starter home". She was believing that God was going to supply her with the house of her dreams. She worked for the most part of her life and just recently retired 2 years ago at the age of 75. God has blessed her! Yet when asked about the house of her dreams, she just gave up. She will list all of the things she thought she was doing that was taught to her and believed it was right but over and over again, year after year the house that she dreamt of never happened. She reconciled herself to where she is residing now. It is a nice house with more then enough room for her and all of her stuff. She seems happy; I just couldn't help but wonder as to why she didn't get what she was believing God for.

For most of my life I have had these few extra pounds that I have been trying to get rid of. I don't know why it won't leave my body. Everyone has an opinion on what I should be doing: You should eliminate salt from you diet. No, you should eliminate sugar from your diet. The real secret is no carbohydrates. The best plan is a high protein and high fiber diet. Its no fats that will rid your body of fat. No, its only good kinds of fat, your body has to have some fat. Increase exercise and you will burn the fat you are trying to get rid of. Just be diligent, like the bible says to do.  There is so much advice and even from fat people. If it doesn't work for you why give the advice to me? I did all of these things and was diligent about it as well. I would lose a few inches and then there it comes right back. Did I stop the regiment? Yes, when I became ill because of the regiment. Why, when I am the righteousness of God, would I become ill (Psalm 91:10 KJV)? What have I been doing for this to come upon me? Then the most hysterical advice I ever heard after all of those years of doing the opposite and getting funny looks when I didn't move away from the table. The hysterical advice is, eat more! But hey, I tried everything else - why not? So I did. And of course what happened was I felt so full. Everyday was that Thanksgiving feeling. Should I continue until my body gets use to all of the food? I just couldn't... seriously, I couldn't move! So I waited for the answer because the doctors were frustrating me.

My grandmother went home to be with the Lord several years ago. I recall before she passed, she had an ailment that was diagnosed as Shingles. I didn't know what that was and she explained it as being something like Chicken Pox for the elderly. Odd, I thought, once one had Chicken Pox, you couldn't catch it again. So isn't there a vaccination for this and why aren't all of the Seniors taking it? I then recently discussed with an elderly woman, who resides at my place of employment, about her entanglement with this same ailment. Though my grandmother wasn't wrestling with it for as long as this woman, I listened to her as she described what she was going through. Both women professing Christianity and knowing what I do about the Word of God, I meditated on why would this happen and what is the common bond that these two women share other then being elderly that would cause for this foreign thing to come upon them? Did they know and fear this disease? Oddly, as a profession, the two of them are retired nurses. In gathering the information, the two of them are elderly females who profess Jesus as their Lord and they retired as being nurses, hmm. There had to be something else.

The Word tells me that we present these bodies as living sacrifices holy and acceptable unto God (Romans 12:1 KJV). I meditated on this verse over and over as I continued with the battle of the bulge. It wasn't a meditation over he Word as if studying for it to be meat for my soul but it was taunting me as if I weren't doing what is holy and acceptable and no matter how much more I did, it was getting worse. It was tormenting and this is not what God intended (1 John 4:18 KJV). So I had to get still. The next verse that came to me was, let the Words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14 KJV). The common word in both of these verses is acceptable. That one word resonated in my heart. What have I been doing? Most importantly, what have I been saying?

Having been made in the image of God, I had to recall how He created the world, with His words. If I don't like my world I have created around me then I change the words I have been speaking - the behavior will follow. I then referred back to each and every scenario that was given to me for me to learn these lessons. My mother, and I love her dearly, yet each time she was frustrated with a turn of events in her life that would get her that much closer financially to her dream house, she inevitably would say different things that would cause her not to get what she was hoping for. Knowing that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, we then say that which would be the Word of God no matter how frustrated the event can be. How simple is it for us to say what the problem is, why not speak the solution? We can all see the problem! The children of Israel complained and that's where they remained. They had the solution right there. The same Solution that delivered them out of Egypt. The same Solution that fed them manna from heaven. The same Solution that led them to where they had to go with a pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night in the sky. Why would they say anything else?

My grandmother and the elderly woman who both had Shingles, the common thing between both of those women is that they enjoyed shocking people by using, every now and again, profane language. Its shocking because they both look like those sweet elderly ladies that would have crumpets and tea in the afternoon. Yeah  right, get on any one of their nerves and they will tell you how to get off of it in such "colorful" English that would put a sailor to shame (1 Timothy 6:20 KJV). Now what does this have to do with Shingles? I find it fascinating that if our language is acceptable unto the Lord, would He have it be our challenge to contend with something that has no business around the righteousness of God? God is good. He would not have disease be our test to see if our heats were right with Him. Show it to me in the Word and I will retract this statement.

Longsuffering, as many of you might think is something that we must endure in order to have the full fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV). And yes, it is one of the nine, but it is not what we might think. We read that Jesus was about to be stoned because of what He said and the people could not believe it at that time. He didn't endure the stones of that angry mob. He walked right through them as they mumbled on in having Him killed (John 8:59 KJV). Daniel was thrown in a fiery furnace and a lion's den for doing what he knows is right to do. When his accusers came to see what was left of Daniel, he had not one hair out of place, not one thread of clothing singed, and didn't smell of smoke either (Daniel 3: 1-27 KJV). With these things being true, why then would you believe that you have to suffer in order to be holy? God said we are more then conquerors! God said we have the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57 KJV)! Which report are you going to believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord!

It is written that if we don't suffer along with Christ, then we are not His (Romans 8:17 KJV). I cried at reading this verse because I had a glimpse of what the world says about the bible contradicting itself. I find the things written were initially vague to me. I had to keep reading and stop to think of where the writer was and why he would write such things. I don't believe he contradicted what the Word says believing he was a scholar of the the Word of God before he traveled to teach it. He knew of Daniel and the miracles of Jesus. He knew that the reason Jesus suffered on the cross was for those who believe on Him to have everlasting life. How could God give His only begotten Son for us to have an abundant life only to suffer in it? It makes no sense, unless you realize that in keeping righteousness before you at all times, the old has to pass away (2 Corinthians 5 :17 KJV). For some it is as easy as relinguishing some habits once new ones are learned. For others it is getting rid of traditional rituals that a family will ostracize or disown the member for doing. Knowing that we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13 KJV), it then takes the decision and effort of the individual for it to be done. Much like salvation, it is there for anyone who will say with their mouth and believe in their heart but unless the effort of speaking those words takes place, salvation cannot be made (Romans 10:9 KJV). The suffering is getting rid of what the flesh would like for you to hold onto. But the flesh is out to keep you in the old life which is not life at all (Romans 8:1-9 KJV).

Those extra pounds I was trying to rid myself from, I was so concerned where God was getting me ready for I kept thinking of not being accepted by people simply because of what I looked like. Knowing that I don't emotionally eat, it still didn't help me shed any weight because of what was on my heart. If I don't look a certain way, I won't be heard. But God said I can do all things through Christ. While being degraded for not pushing away from the table, or having the doctors have me try so many different drugs and other programs, I found that certain food will cause me to retain water more then others. It wasn't the salt at all. It wasn't the lack of exercise either. It was believing that God made me fearfully and wonderfully and in spite of what men might think of my outward appearance, my focus is with pleasing Him who created me. Once I kept my focus on Him, the bodily exercise that profits little (1 Timothy 4:8 KJV), could now be profiting for me. Before it was just a whole lot of sweat and exhaustion only to do it all over again. I had to stop feeling bad about myself and saying negative words that opposed the Word of God in order for me to have the abundance and  the profitability of the complete Word of God. It is after all the truth (John 8:32 KJV).

I wrote a few posts a ago an entry entitled, A Dried Up Kingdom. In this entry I write about Abraham and the words he spoke in fear that the king would kill him. Those words he spoke, the king believed and his whole kingdom began to dry up. He asked God what did he do to deserve this and God answered him. The king went to Abraham and asked why would he bring this thing upon his kingdom? My point is, it was at the point of belief of those words before it started to affect his kingdom. What thoughts have you entertained without speaking against it or use the Word to your benefit for it to go away?

Picture it, there is an enemy without water (Proverbs 15:10-11 AMP). He is roaming the earth seeking who he may devour and there is your family members and co-workers without a clue as to what God called you to do. They say some encouraging things all of which you have heard before and then they some things that aren't all that supportive but causes you to think about you situation. There you are meditating on some stuff that brings you no closer to your goal. But that enemy that watched you consume that thought now has a place to live and he starts taking that cool drink of water where you've been planted (Psalm 1:3 KJV). He's going to do to whatever he can to stay right where he is. But God, who is good, tells someone like me to write such things so you can see clearly what you have been doing to cause your kingdom to be in the state that it is in. The King is coming. Consider your ways and ask to make sure that your temple is acceptable unto Him.