God Gives Us #SufficientGrace To ENDURE The Pain!

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Cor 12:10)~~ Many of us want to stay the way we are and have God take us to new levels, show us new things and give us new blessings. We like our comfort zone and want things to go the way we’d like to see it. But God cannot give you all of these great revelations without you maturing to the level of the revelations. We will have to separate from some things and making sure we move like we are supposed to requires Him to get our attention. In some cases, that may mean a thorn in our flesh…an irritating and sometimes painful discomfort…and often when this pain comes, our first response is to turn to Him and ask Him to remove it from our lives. The real challenge to us is when God doesn’t remove this ‘thorn’ but allows us to go through that pain and discomfort.

But look through history in the Bible…God never takes us out of that situation of pain and discomfort – although God does not MOVE the thorn from us or us from it…He gives us a way to deal with it. God always has a plan for your life – sometimes that involves allowing you to have pain, challenges and troubles…we are not exempt from trials in this life (remember, man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble – Job 14:1). So we must understand that separating from our current level to get to the next level…WILL HURT because we are literally being “broken” off from what is comfortable and content to us…but it WILL HELP because God will give us provision in our pain. This “maturing” gives us a better comprehension of the grace of God. Our pain will humble us; it will cause us to focus on what hurts; and interestingly, it will cause us to look at ourselves and how we acquired that hurt.. and in our distress, we even cry out to God for help (Ps 18:6). We may not even be able to articulate what this pain is doing to us.…but GOD knows and in His strength, not ours, He will be your help. But help doesn’t always come in the form we expect or when we expect its arrival. We may seek help to remove that pain of our lives, we may do it multiple times and over a long time.

But God’s provision DURING that pain is enough to sustain you. He gives us the grace to DEAL with the pain, which grows our maturity. Therefore we should rest in the wisdom He has given us to grow in this situation. We must have the capacity to honor God no matter what we are going through because He saw something in us that He would allow us to go through this pain and know that we would still honor Him and give Him glory. He knows that all things work together for the good of those that love Him and are called to His purpose (Rom 8:28). And In our trials, our weakest of times, it is HIM that makes us strong!

We Are Better Than This!!! Stop #Racism – #NoH8 –

Reposting because… Sadly we find ourselves back at these thoughts we’ve had SO many times – as the news of almost any given day seems to share in a deja-vu like fashion – Racism is still holding root in America!!!! It seems like every day now we are here again… frustrated again… sickened by the ugliness again…. totally (and maybe we shouldn’t be) surprised that this CANCER still has a hold on our society. So many of us wanted to believe that electing America’s first President of color signaled the end of a very bad era; even with the countless number of incidents where people of color continued to be victims to violence and hatred – we wanted to believe that things were actually getting better. Now as that President has come and done his tenure and is gone on to other things in life, we have seen fermenting and boiling up – and now boiling OVER of rebellion against every form of progression toward ending racist supremacism, bias and other forms of segregation that pit races against each other! That boiling over today is spilling into the streets of cities big and small, in our restaurants, stores, schools, places of business and even churches!!! Even more horrendous is that it’s going on with people claiming they want to “take their country back”! HOW CAN YOU TAKE BACK SOMETHING THAT WASN’T YOURS IN THE FIRST PLACE???? While the high politicians of this country seem to be gearing up for the next election they’re trying to win, securing their own position and power; risking battle with numerous other countries, America is a nation divided – our country is imploding from the inside – because this race wants to claim supremacy over that race and that race hates the other race and by the way, this race over here is divided against itself because half of it doesn’t want to see the other half succeed and they literally judge each other because of their level within the race!!!

But it’s still here… and despite all the efforts from people to proclaim our society as post-racial. We keep seeing examples Of racism and the more people speak against it the more supporters of racist views rear their heads …ugliness… in the national spotlight and right in our own neighborhoods… It shows you just how disrespectful people are today and how low a value is placed on human life just because the race is different!

A sad truth is that the more these people start to realize the impact of their ugly, bigoted words and actions… The more they just keep USING them; No matter what the extreme, from laughing at or posting a stereotypical joke on social media to committing a hate crime because we have that nagging urge to dislike someone that’s not like us. We were so wrong to think it’s gotten better!!!! Racism is more prevalent today than it ever was and if not for the laws protecting the human rights of the targets of this ugly cancer of society, things would be much worse. The only reason the crimes aren’t any worse is because the fear of retaliation or punitive recourse holds force… for now!

People, we need to go above our horrible base instincts of ignorance and lay off the acts steeped in belittling a culture other than our own. There is NOT ONE justifiable reason for racism to exist!!! There is NO EXCUSE for the ugliness that happens: These people call themselves Christians… “ people of God” – Well, If “whoever” is good enough for God then they have to be good enough for the “people” of God! Jesus is not looking at the color of someone’s skin but the condition of their heart. So let me ask you… people of God… who want to separate the races and culture and people.. Why would God bring the nations and races and souls together in Heaven but keep them separate on Earth? So you think mixed race societies are unequally yoked because your race is better than mine or his or hers??? Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it’s about religion. Jesus has interracial marriages in his lineage. Are you better than Him? It doesn’t matter that your ancestors have been this way for generations…. we love to bring up what happened hundreds of years ago as our reason for not liking someone. Half of us don’t understand or even TRY to understand why, we just do it because it’s the way our families or our communities have been all of our lives… and our excuse for staying that way is … HERITAGE!?!?!? No wonder things are so backwards!!! When your family values are rooted in sin, it’s time to change your family values. Nobody’s born a bigot; it’s a learned behavior. This behavior always leads to us treating people how Jesus would never treat people. Hatred, Unforgiveness, Anger, Arrogance, Racism… not liking the person because their skin is a different color, their beliefs and heritages are different, their likes and dislikes don’t match ours… these things are always rooted in ignorance. We need to Stop defending the ignorance…. we really aren’t any better than the next person! Just END IT NOW!!! For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to EVERY man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom 12:3-5).

Today is more than just another day! #NewMercies #Blessings –

It is of the Lord ‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lam 3:22-23)~~ Why did God only give us a limited number of days on the earth when He could have let us live here for eternity? We know the implications of sin meant that we became spiritually dead to God and we would now experience death and our bodies would return to the ground from which they came (Gen 3:19). Now we are limited in our days so that we may realize just how precious each day is that we have.

God was gracious to give us THIS day. Today we have another chance. We need to start, go through and finish the day at our best! Be very specific throughout this day in everything you do! Finish what you start and don’t give up on what God gave you! Don’t focus on being better than the next person… focus on being a better YOU than you were yesterday. When you do this, the surprise is this…. You never ever get to the best you can be… Why? Because when you keep working on being a better you, tomorrow you just might achieve that breakthrough to being better than you were today… But you’ll never know if you settle for where you finished the last time you tried.

Friend, realize just how blessed you are to be here today and think about what that really means! Until you leave this earth, you have an opportunity today and each day to do better than you did yesterday. Make sure that you make the most of each day because once they’re gone…it’s forever… You can’t repeat them and you can’t hold on to them…but each day you get new mercies for new opportunities, new blessings and new chances to experience a better life than the day before. So I ask you my friend: How will you walk in the grace you have received today? Praise The Lord!

It Will All Get Better, When We #TurnToGod ~

For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord… (Jer 30:17)~

When God puts us back together there’s more than an external picture of being put back together like a broken vase, or the cleansing of red to white. God does an internal working in our heart, soul, and mind that is a healing beyond our understanding!

He will reach down into the innermost parts of your soul where no one else can go to mend and fill with grace. To rid you of shame, guilt, sorrow, pain, insecurity, and more. These are works only God can do; no human has the ability to fill your void and depths of the heart.

In one breath our hurt is incurable, and indeed it feels like that sometimes doesn’t it? But then in the next breath, God says He will heal and restore. It’s how proper healing takes place. Proper healing doesn’t come when we bypass the process and seek the world’s comforts. Rather, it comes when we seek God. The difference between healing and not healing lies in the source. You want your heaviness to lift and your soul to feel peace? Then turn to God. Do you desire to feel free from the shame and condemnation? Turn to God. Can you imagine what it feels like to experience wholeness and restoration? Turn to God. He’s the answer to your healing.

When we turn to God, the void of loss is filled; the sting of the pains of our souls is relieved. When we pursue God we experience grace, restoration, and healing that no past can grip onto. No longer can it hold you back from what God has in store. Turn to Him and HE will heal you!

He Restores My Soul (Ps 23:4)

It’s Time to #GrowUp People! ~

img_3883

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Cor 13:11)~

As children we say we hate people who are different than us or disagree with us or don’t like what we like. As adults we are supposed to be mature enough to respect that people can be different.

As children we called people out of their name if they were ‘different’ than us just to get a supporting reaction from those around us who might just agree with us but didn’t come up with it before we did; and if we are different and people don’t like us, we assume they have a problem just because they don’t like how we are different. As adults we are supposed to be mature enough to respect a person’s views, way of life or beliefs as who they are and not seek to tarnish them for it.

As children, we formulated an opinion of someone and developed a like or dislike based on what our ‘friends’ said about them or a rumor that was going around about them. As adults we are supposed to be mature enough to not judge a book by its cover; to get to know a person for ourselves before we just “not like” them because of what some hater said about them.

As children we heard what another person said but shared our own versions of it among ourselves and created our own truths. As adults we are supposed to be mature enough to not subscribe to rumors and rhetoric, but take a person for their word and decide what is true based on real tangible facts, not social media responses, fabricated and modified opinions and twisted context.

AS CHILDREN we think it’s okay to just say whatever we want at any level of disrespect, no matter how it comes out and hide behind the guise of things like free speech. As adults, we are supposed to be MATURE enough to keep our speech tactful and respectful toward each other, even if we disagree with each other.

As children, we look at freedom as the release from restraint and rules to do whatever we want. As adults, we SHOULD BE MATURE enough to embrace our freedoms with self-control and exercise of moral obligation, with genuine regard to the respect of God and others, not act like some recently uncaged untamable creature running rampant not knowing which unregulated feature to experiment with first!

So we continually ask ourselves why are things so crazy these days…well, now it’s obvious – we’re all a bunch of IMMATURE CHILDREN who don’t know how to treat each other, won’t talk to each other and can’t respect the differences between us. In fact, contrarily, we PROMOTE our childish behavior in everything from reality TV to the nightly news to social media! We’re more concerned about the ‘likes’, hashtags and retweets we get than the quality and integrity of our actions! We praise and even pay lucratively the person who has the most outlandish way of expression and we make it our mission to bring down anyone who opposes our views! We create rules that allow us the freedoms to retain our ugliness toward each other — We fight so hard to be that ‘inner child’ that these days even our own children don’t know how to respect us! We refuse to act like men and women, so much so that the children are now telling US what to do! When we grew up, we had ‘older folk’ that acted like adults and became leaders and role models and their philosophies were based on sound principles and doctrines of truth and divinity.

We are in such a place today that our ‘doctrines’ are philosophies that say, “Sometimes to make things right you have to do the wrong thing!” – Whatever happened to “two wrongs don’t make a right!”??? It’s really a fearful thing when we are more concerned about everyone being ‘happy’, even if what we do to get there is the wrong thing. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”. So, “grown folk”, we have to ask ourselves, are we teaching our children the maturities they need to have or are we just letting them be who they are…children…while hoping they’ll grow into it on their own one day? Are we being the adults we want our children to be? Yes, experience builds character, but what kinds of experiences are we CREATING for them in our own actions and ways?

Grown-ups, it’s time that WE …GROW UP and act like MEN and WOMEN!!!

Tried in the Fire? You’ll Be Living Life #Golden ~~

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (1 Pet 1:6-9)~~

Ever wonder why God allows us to go through things? How many times have you asked Him in prayer why you have to endure these troubles; only to be reminded in revelation of the Word that His grace is sufficient for you (2 Cor 12:9)? There are trials that God may impose and there are definitely trials that He allows for us, all in His great will and sovereign determination, that we come forth in our best, our strongest and our most well defined character. See, adversity is not always a bad thing because it develops in us greatness, while also strengthening our faith. There are few better teachers than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed of an equal or greater benefit; its own lesson on preparing ourselves for the future time.

Adversity demands perseverance and that perseverance is nurtured in faith; and all these things shape you into the person God intends you to be. They can give you a final form; a value and a self-esteem that is priceless. I personally have seen the results in my own life, of years of adversity. ..amid some gray hairs… (okay, quite a few), a strength and character of a man that God has created, formed and refined, that results in a praise so great in me that I cannot articulate my joy in Him. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor 12:9). Friend, don’t gripe in your adversity but instead look forward to the divine results He will soon reveal in you! Be blessed!

Being Molded and Shaped in His Hands.. #Change4TheBetter ~

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make (Jer 18:4); Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Gen 1:31); Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become NEW. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:17-18) ~~ By our own doing, we’ve seen what we become. By our own hand, we are marred, we are a disappointment, we don’t have the look that God wants us to have, we have flaws, our hearts are hardened, we are dry to each other, our lives are getting more and more messed up, we are stubborn, we are jealous of each other, we are liars, we are hateful, we are evil and rebellious! In all these things though, God looks at us, His creation and sees the best in us. He sees that we are good and rather than toss us aside, He says ‘Behold, I make all things new’ (Rev 21:5), He takes us in His hand, He reshapes us into what He sees us to be and makes US new ‘again’. He doesn’t throw us out and replace us, so we’re the same person, but in His hand we’re not that marred disappointment, that flawed, hardened, dry, messed up, stubborn, jealous, lying, hateful, evil and rebellious person… anymore!

This isn’t an instantaneous change, but one of molding and shaping and chiseling and fashioning and being put through trials of fire. It is a process where He changes us, takes off of us things that don’t work for us, and with precise adjusting and curing (which will sometimes feel painful to us) creates us new again. Friend, no matter what flaws you see when you look in your spiritual mirror, God sees you as good and in His hands He will shape you and mold you rather than cast you away. Allow yourself to be changed!

Wanna Be Startin Somethin? Stir Up #GoodWorks ~

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works (Heb 10:24)~ 

The world and the internet make for an interesting place. One could start something going that’s not even true and organize chaos, mass panic, a race war, you name it. Take the incident with the Catholic school kids and the Native American man – the original story was put out so that it only appears to have been the kids acting out against the man. Then it came out that there had been other incidents prior that led to the appeared standoff video that is now viral. Regardless of how deep it goes and how much more there is to interpret (and there still is), the point is about rushing to judgement and reaction against a portion of a story and the spin of such. 

I’ll admit, my initial reaction was anger and frustration against the kids and while there may still be a degree of fault to their side on some fronts, it’s not ALL it seemed. But what the wonderful world of social media did is rally up people with bits and pieces of information- just enough to stir up anger and more divisions between multiple cultures. All the while that nasty old devil is sitting back in his chair laughing at us fools for playing his game – that he wins! He uses us all to go against each other and creates a battle where he gets to watch us destroy ourselves. He is the author and father of lies; So much so that he would have us even invoke the name of God to support evils that we might do! But God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor 14:33). It’s not His will that we should perish! Rather than sow divisions of race, religion and culture, God is about ONE kind, human kind! It might sound cliché, but every single one of us has the same base make up, and if you cut us, we all bleed red! We need to get past all of this division and do better – but that’s another discussion! 

As much as, and even more than we are moved by these things that cause us to react to what appear to be negative situations, let us be so influenced to stir up good things and act on things in a positive light, even when what influences us appears to sew deeper roots of division! Let us learn from these recent events that there are better ways for us to handle the tempting things that come out as every day! Let us be patient in our reactions, so that how we ultimately treat each other as in a way of respect, that we stir up good things! 

After all, how can we dare say we love God (in whatever ways we believe in Him) and yet treat each other with so much hate? If you want to start a mass move on the Internet, how about starting something that promotes unity? Like the song says, make this world a better place if you can!

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

If you want to say I was a Drum Major… #ServantLeader #MLK – –

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?

It’s Time! #RiseUp ~

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land (Ps 137:1-4)~~ One of the tactics of the enemy is to make your situation so difficult and strenuous that you will literally begin to doubt the faith that has gotten you to where you are now…that there is no legitimacy to any of the things of God that you claim to believe. You are put through embarrassment and shame and ridicule and the enemy will make light of the relics of your faith to see what your response is going to be…literally saying to you “where is your God now?”. You start to wonder how are you supposed to believe in, praise and trust God in all of this… questioning your own convictions. This wears on you, stresses you out, physiologically and psychologically you are worn down. You now become accepting of your situation and even make excuses for why you haven’t come out of it! Not that you can’t…but you… “haven’t”.

The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me (John 5:7). Depression, Misfortune, Misery… Don’t let this break you! Don’t allow the enemy’s tactics to cause you to just sit in your mess, thinking that there’s nothing you can do about it; believing that you’re just here in this ’situation’ and that’s the way things are. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Ps 1:1). No matter how bad the situation seems; or how tough things feel or appear – the point here is you can’t just sit there wallowing in this mess… it’s time to RISE UP! You’re only sitting in this mess because you haven’t taken the steps to RISE UP above it! You listen to the verse that says He “picked me up” and that God “lifted” me up… and He “holds me up” with His hand… so now you think until there’s some miraculous rising up by God that God is leaving you there in your mess!!! No! -> Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk (John 5:8). RISE UP – God has a plan for you (Jer 29:11) Friend, these things came along that you may discover HIS power. He may allow you to go through it, but He’s got a blessing to get you THROUGH it. He’s also given you the command to get up out of it! But it’s now up to YOU to RISE UP!! Want to discover that blessing? RISE UP and go into it! Want God to clean up your mess? RISE UP and get out of it!

And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked (John 5;9)…