#HangInThere- While You Wait it Out, God Works it Out!

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Heb 6:15)~~ We are in this world as a ship at sea, tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. We need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. Faith and Trust in God is our anchor in the storms of this world. It is sure and steadfast, or it could not keep us so. The free grace of God, the merits and mediation of Christ, and the powerful influences of his Spirit, are the grounds of this hope, and so it is a steadfast hope. The promises of God may safely be depended upon; for there two things which cannot change, the counsel and the oath of God, in which it is not possible for God to lie; it would be contrary to His nature as well as to His will; and we, as His children, have a title to the promises by inheritance. These consolations of God are strong enough to support us under our heaviest trials. God knows you’re tired, frustrated, worn out and feeling unappreciated, But you can’t bow out because life is tough. You can’t run and hide because things might not be going in the direction that you want. We were never promised a trouble-free life – in fact we are reminded of quite the opposite in Job 14:1 (Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble). We are going to have many trials in life but we can’t let them stop us.. With the experiences I’ve had, If I were going to quit, trust me, I would have done it by now! But by the Grace of God, I am what I am! He gives me a wonderful tree of Fruits of the Spirit to live from (See Galatians 5:22-23). As one of the fruits of the Spirit is longsuffering, remember, the promise of His ‘due season’ is your reward. We must learn and trust in the power and importance of waiting on God; while we wait it out God is working it out! He endured and received His promise of Glory! He fulfilled the promise to us and made the way that we may endure and do the same. we are all going through seasons but we must remain steadfast in our faith in Him. God’s promise awaits us if we can endure the journey. Meanwhile, to keep us mindful of that promise, He blesses us greatly along the way in life. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art WITH me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Ps 23:4).

#MLK Had a Dream; I Have a Dream; Do You? –

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Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proc 29:18)~ A man has a vision of the house to keep it in order. Without this vision, the house runs amuck. Companies have a vision by the way of policies and by-laws to set standards for how they operate. Without them, there are no guidelines for the company to exist and failure is imminent. Governments have a vision that is carried out when they make laws to set guidelines for how their societies should function. Absence of these laws invites absolute chaos. These rules, laws and guidelines are the visions of those entities. This is a practice modeled from God’s own mind in the Word He provides us. That Word is an open vision; a plan, which holds forth Christ, which humbles the sinner and exalts the Savior, which promotes holiness in the life and conversation: and these are precious truths to keep the soul alive, and prevent it from perishing. Without the principles and revelation of His Word, morality is a free-for-all in a tailspin…there is a total loss of social order and humanity is primed for devastation…the people imminently perish; what an easy prey it is to the enemy of souls! Without a vision, we don’t know which way to go! Without a vision, our reasoning and intelligence have no basis. Without a vision, we don’t do things on sound principles and doctrine, but on what “works for us”…. although it’s really just what feels good to do and what makes us “happy” at the time. But that happiness is short lived as the ever dissatisfied heads of desire, greed, jealousy, envy and lust plant themselves in our lives masked as ambition, strong will and determination. And because we have no vision of righteousness, we find ourselves down an unguided path to destruction.  Freedoms are to be fought for, celebrated and embraced, but must also be exercised with restraint and sound direction.  Without the guidance of sound vision, the very freedoms we cherish become our destroyers.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most famous speeches in American history and defining a moment in our country. The vision of that speech was a catalyst in what helped shape modern America. Over 50 years ago, that vision began a change that while by no means is complete, has set the direction for where we look to be as a people. If we are to see the reality of Dr. King’s dream, we must in our own lives, live out a vision – BEING the change we want to see….or like the Word of God says, we will surely perish. So as a father that few up without his father being present, I have set my vision on making sure my children grow up with theirs and that they know what a father is supposed to be! So, I take a step back and look at how I’m doing as a father. Dr. King saw problems and a lack of progress in our country. In the same way, I sometimes see a lack of progress in myself as a father. And there are other times when it seems like my kids are not free to experience and achieve all I hope they should—due to my shortcomings and failures as a father.
To sum it up, sometimes I feel like I could be better as a dad. So I too have a dream – to be a good father – something I never got to experience. Not that I would bash my father, wherever he is, it’s not that kind of discussion – I actually hold no grudge against him because in his absence, I’ve had to grow on my own to become the man I am and that’s made me to be what I consider a very good man, husband and father; but for my children, even though I face the challenges of fatherhood today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream that I would hope to be deeply rooted in every father…
  • I have a dream that my children will know and have a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ
  • I have a dream that I will raise my kids to be successful people who give more than they receive from society
  • I have a dream that my kids will have great relationships with one another, void of any sibling rivalry.
  • I have a dream that my kids will respect others, even when in disagreement, and will not accept disrespect from anyone.
  • I have a dream that my kids will make great loving spouses, become engaged parents, and build strong families.
  • I have a dream that my kids will discover their passions in life and pursue them boldly and effectively.
  • I have a dream that my kids will learn relational truth and love other people well
  • I have a dream that my kids will grow up to be better versions of me and my wife and teach the same values to their kids
When all is said, my dream is that the life my kids’ lives will be proof that they were loved, led, and raised by a great dad and as I have it within me, THESE dreams WILL come true if no others do!
God’s grace in my life and the knowledge of Dr. King’s dream opened the door for me to have a vision of my own and the faith and courage to pursue and seize the reality of it. Yes, I have a dream, that when men live out this vision, by the power and the plan of Almighty God, the integrity of the ‘family’ will be forever maintained and irrevocably strengthened! 

Real Leaders Must Have the Drum Major Instinct #MLK –

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But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:43-45) ~~ Centuries have come and gone and today He stands as the most influential figure that ever entered human history. All of the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life. His name may be a familiar one. (Jesus) Every now and then somebody says, “He’s King of Kings.”; “He’s Lord of Lords.”; “In Christ there is no East nor West.”; “In Him there’s no North and South, but one great Fellowship of Love throughout the whole wide world.” He didn’t have anything. He just went around serving and doing good… Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. 
 
If I can help somebody as I pass along, If I can cheer somebody with a word or song, If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong, Then my living will not be in vain. If I can do my duty as a Christian ought, If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought, If I can spread the message as the master taught, Then my living will not be in vain. Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world. (Martin Luther King, Jr.; Drum Major Instinct; Feb 4, 1968). 
 
In the Drum Major Instinct speech, Dr. King spoke of how he would like to be remembered…while he was a leader for sure, clearly he had gotten the importance of being a servant-leader! I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.  I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. What an example we had in Dr. King and more prevalent in our Savior Jesus Christ.  What if we all took the drum major mentality?
 
See the Drum Major isn’t just the guy out front.  The Drum major has a LOT of responsibility for the rest of the band! Things like Leading the band through practice runs; Helping rehearsals run smoothly and productively; Leading the band in performance; Adding to the overall showmanship of the band during performance with their own performance as the drum major and setting the standard for discipline, bearing, and conduct for the members of the band to follow. What if we could be the drum major and be the responsible one that helped our communities live smoothly and productively; lead our families in life; present a good example for others to see and set the good example of behavior to follow?
 
How much better would our world be if we followed the Savior’s mentality of Servant-Leader? 

Even Out of Our Own Mess, God Lifts Us Up #Mercy –

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My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me (Psalms 63:8) –

Humanity failed to obey God. But in eternity past, God purposed to make a people renewed in His image for Himself. He saw our sinful pride and rebellion beforehand and determined to make a way for His people to be in relationship with Him.

Out of the depths of His love and mercy, He ordained that He would provide Himself as the payment for our unpayable debt. He knew there would be no other means of rescue. So out of eternity, God reached forth His mighty, loving right hand into the pit of destruction to gather a people unto Himself. He undertook to do for us what we were unable to do.

As He reveals to us our sinfulness and our helplessness, and as we cry out to Him for mercy, we are rescued by His hand and pulled safely out of the darkness into the light. We experience a radical transformation.

The Bible tells us that once we were darkness, now we are light (Ephesians 5:8). Our sin has been forgiven, our debt has been cancelled, and we have been transferred from the kingdom of evil to the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13-14).

There is such strength in those hands, but also great gentleness. In my childlike weakness, I rest in my Father’s strength. I know a place of security.

That Pain They Caused You… #ForGIVE it away! –

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There are a lot of things God knows about any of us that we wouldn’t want anyone else to know. God has enough on any of us to bury us! But no one will never know any of it because God won’t tell.

This is precisely how you and I are forgiven: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12). Our sins are “wiped out” (Acts 3:19). It is as though our sins don’t exist anymore— in fact they never existed…they are gone, gone, gone, gone! Insofar as our standing and security with God are concerned, they will never be held against us.

Joseph is sometimes referred to as Christ-like. A person in the Old Testament who, long before Jesus came along, displayed characteristics of Jesus Himself. Despite his imperfections, Joseph was indeed like Christ in many ways. His ability to forgive his brothers as he did foreshadows Jesus’ actions toward His disciples. Scared to death and ashamed over the way they had deserted Jesus when He was arrested, they were huddled behind closed doors when the resurrected Jesus turned up unexpectedly and declared, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:21). The disciples were totally forgiven—and they knew it.

We all have skeletons in our closets; some are known to others, many are unknown. It is comforting to know that God freely and totally forgives all of our sins and will never tell what He knows. That is the way Joseph forgave. And that is the why we are urged, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

What’s the benefit you ask? What about what they did to me you ask? As if the examples above weren’t enough – that Christ Himself forgave those who deserted Him, that Joseph forgave his brothers.  Consider what Pastor Tony Evans shares with us:

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

– Job 42:10 –

If you are familiar with the story of Job, you will recall that Job’s friends were not that friendly to him at all. In fact, when Job was at the worst of times, his friends judged, griped, criticized, accused and more. For Job, praying “for his friends” involved a lot more than asking God to bless those he loved and considered dear. It involved a significant amount of forgiveness, acceptance, humility and love. It also involved faith.

It wasn’t until after Job showed grace and kindness to those who had brought him pain during his greatest moments of pain that God restored him. This is because Job had obeyed the law of love and asked God to give His goodness to others. When Job did that, God gave goodness to Job as well.

See the lesson here is that forgiveness is FOR the one who GIVES it! Forgiving releases the bond you have on that person but it also sets you up for healing, restoration and peace over the pain that was inflicted on you.

So, you want to be over it? You want to move past that pain? ForGIVE it away and watch what God does FOR your GIVING!

When You Want to Quit But God Won’t Let You.. #Purpose –

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O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the Word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not (Jer 20:7-9)~~ Have you ever been in a position where you felt like your efforts were just mundane, without any impact, maybe even worthless? Have you ever just gotten tired of ‘doing the right thing’ and wanted to just break away and quit…even if just for a little while? Maybe you were discouraged and ultimately you just didn’t want to continue. Or what about that opportunity you were thinking about but you were wondering if it really was for you? Yeah, me too… it happens to us all. We just want things to be easy going… just want to cool down… we’ve lost that fire -we’ve become.. lukewarm! Oh, you may still be doing what you should do, but God is trying to get you to see what through Him you COULD do. You may even be going through all the motions, but there is no victory in it. No power. No excitement. No fun. You resign to it saying, “well, you can’t be fired up all the time! THAT IS THE LIE THAT GOT YOU IN THIS CONDITION! God speaks a Word on all of our lives and He intends for us to let SHINE the light that He placed in uswith life and enthusiasm. Hes not going to let us just quit what He has intended that we do: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isa 55:11-12). There is a fire burning in each of us that cannot go out! When I’ve said to myself, I’m just going to back down and not do this or that, then I really find out if God called me to it.. because something about that fire just burned hotter in me! Romans 12:11 says that we should be fervent in spirit; serving the Lord. Fervent means to boil or to be hot… meaning whatsoever we do, we do it heartily, as to the Lord (Col 3:23) with life and excitement and enthusiasm – FIRE! Friend, the most exciting thing that ever happened could be going on right in your own back yard, but if you are asleep and lukewarm – refusing to let that light in you shine and that fire in you burn hot, you will not be excited by it. The Lord has called us to awake from our slumber, and fan the fire. Add the fuel of the Word He has spoken in you. He’s not gonna let you out of it, He’s already declared it done, and YOU are part of that Divine Will and Purpose so you might as well do it and do it well! Get into Him, the source of the heat, and be fervent! Get FIRED UP! 

#FightingTheFlesh: The Daily Battle -> The Lifelong War –


I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Rom 7:21-23)~  there is a war going on in each of us; a war whose only mission is to steal us away from our destiny, kill our relationship with the righteousness of God and destroy us by the use of our own bodies. Like a hunting lion the enemy stalks us waiting for the opportunity. As soon as we determine in our spirit not to do a thing, our mind and body go into overdrive against us as evil plots our demise. We determine not to stop by the ice cream store on the way home and we feel good because we passed it up, but now every red light shows us the Krispy Kreme with the Hot sign on!  We vow to do right in our lives but evil opens doors that make it more appealing to our minds, hearts and bodies to choose the other option. None of us are immune from temptations and all of us have fallen and will fall again. Christ warns in (Matt 26:41) to “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Jesus knows that our spirit is intent on His righteousness and this is our warning … that our enemy knows this as well; but also knows our vulnerability and therein will come the attack. This is a daily battle in what is the longest and most grueling war in human history…one that will not have a cease fire nor truce as long as we walk the earth in this state. Our biggest battle in life is indeed against…ourselves! The Lord knows US and He knows that in our spirits and in our hearts we serve Him, even when our bodies fail and we sin; We must pursue the willing spirit – we must walk in that true desire to serve Him. Though sometimes we fail; He indeed delivers us from these bodies of this death – – Thankfully there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:1). Be inspired my friend, that you may focus on your faith and not your flaws. No BODY is perfect but in Him our spirits are made into His righteousness. God indeed knows the heart and the Spirit! Be Blessed!