Friday, February 15, 2019

#tiredofthesameole.....

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that  moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
I know by now it may seem like just another quote, but Dr. King's  words still ring clearly in my mind and heart today as I faintly remeber though  was only three on August 28, 1963:

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1Samuel 16:7)
It is sad how far we have progressed her how far we have to go. Because of the political and social shenanigans, our young people are being pulled backwards into the ugly past.  Racism is taught as we all know. As we read in the scriptures, we ALL are equal! God indeed judges character! Please do not allow man to undo what God has established. I pray for our youth and am doing all in my power to teach and model Kingdom values.

What about you? Have we allowed Satan to creep in through the cracks? It is about time we as a Body begin to have some real conversations and some real fellowship!

#tiredofthesameole....

Thursday, February 14, 2019

All this fuss about Valentine's Day . . . .

All this fuss about Valentine's Day . . . . Why not? The most popular legend is that St Valentine - a priest from Rome - was arrested after secretly marrying Christian couples, who were being persecuted by Emperor Claudius II in the third century AD. As helping Christians was considered a crime, St Valentine was imprisoned; while in jail he attempted to convert the emperor to Christianity and was condemned to death. He was beaten with stones and clubs, before being beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. According to some, while in prison St Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine’ on February 14, the day of his execution, as a goodbye. Wow . . . love and marriage . . . it was once worth going to jail over . . . just think! Now, people do not think it is necessary. Let's just live together. Let's get a divorce. Marriage, after all, is only a piece of paper. Not so for Valentine and not so for GOD!

“Have you not read that He who  made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
As we celebrate today and even as our little ones share innocent greetings with one another, my prayer is that we do not forget to be reminded that marriage is still sacred in the eyes of God and worth dying for even today!

After all, it reflects the relationship between our Lord and Savior and you and me! (Ephesians 5:32)


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I wanna know what LOVE is . . .

Let LOVE be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly LOVEin honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;  distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.(Romans 12: 9-18)
November of 1984 a group called Foreigner wrote and sung  "I wanna know what LOVE is". Here we are in 2019 and people still ask the same question! Yet is it clearly defined in the scriptures; God is LOVE! (1 John 4:8)

Paul outlines how we, who are Christ-followers, are to live . . . in LOVE. We are not to be one way in church and another at home. We are to hate the things God hates, clinging to the good. We are to put other's needs above our own daily, serving others as if we are serving Christ . . . in LOVE! We are to keep our hope in Christ, not in all the hoopla and confusion of this world. Prayer should be a mindset, not a sometime ritual. 

We are to LOVE as we are LOVED by God Himself, so others may see Him and glorify Him!

Do you still wanna known what, or WHO LOVE is?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

"What do I do now?"


A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
 I often near the question from young folks, "What do I do now?" once they accept Christ as Lord and Savior. How do I know what to do? What changes? The answer comes directly from Jesus.

Just before He was about to go through the torture leading up to and including His crucifixion, He was very plain with His disciples: LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU! Jesus LOVED sacrificially! Once accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, we are commanded to put others first and ourselves last!

There is no room for selfishness, greed, hatred, retribution, etc. In other words, we must act "other-worldly"! We are not of this world. (John 15:19, Romans 12:2). The politics, the cultural biases, the social acceptance . . . . not for us who claim Christ as Lord and Savior! If He is our Lord, then we obey Him! He is not simply SAVIOR, but LORD and SAVIOR! You can't have one without the other!

Monday, February 11, 2019

It is not the weatherman's voice!

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,

And night unto night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech nor language

Where their voice is not heard.Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
We look outside and see if it is raining, snowing, cold, hot, blustery or if a storm is brewing. While we heard the forecast, we still look. Why? Well, if you live anywhere near the DMV (mid-Atlantic for those who don't know!), you know what I mean. The weather forecast could be for a light dusting of snow and we get 6- 8 inches. It could be pouring rain in one neighborhood and ten miles away it is sunny. One day it is 0° and the next a balmy 50°!

It is not the weatherman's voice we trust, but what God declares from the heavens! His voice echoes in the winds and commands the snow to cover the landscape. His majesty is displayed in the sunset and His might in the thunder. The rainbow still proves His Word to be true! (Genesis 9:12-13)

Wanna see God at work? Take time to experience nature! Don't allow the weatherman to be your guide!


Friday, February 8, 2019

Actions Influene Louder Than Words!

Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.(Daniel 3:28-30)
 Actions influene louder than words! We all played follow the leader, right? They did not really speak. We followed and mimicked their actions! We see the same result here with Daniel's buddies as they decided to trust God despite the circumstance. As a result, even the king now honored their God!

In sports, team leaders show by example much more than words.

My boyhood hero, Frank Robinson just passed away Feb. 7. I watched his every move in a game and read every word written about him. He was known for his tenacity, grit, and aggressive style. He would never back down and never quit. Though facing bitter racism, he chose to let his play answer the critics and not his anger or frustration. I believe a bit of his style rubbed off on me. It has even helped me in my faith.

As I am challenged by situations and even by particular people, I am reminded of the bigger picture: the example I am setting and the legacy I am leaving behind. Someone is watching!

Thank You for the heroes of my life. Perhaps I can be a hero to one or two? Allow my actions to influence louder than my words, unless You want me to speak!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

the fire had no power

Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:26-30)
We are staying in the fire again today! Weird? Yes it is! Why stay out in the heat of August summer when most all of us have the comforts of air conditioning? Well then, why walk on seering coals of this world and dive into the flames of sin when we have a Savior Who rescues from the fires . . . without hint of smoke or burns?

The fire had no power over the teens in Daniel 3 nor does the fire we face daily have power over us today! The key is the gods or God we serve!

David had a similar stance:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.(Psalm 23:4)
If we give in to the heat God allows in our lives, seeking pleasures and comfort over facing challenges and battles of faith, though we may feel better physically, we fail miserably spiritually! God receives no glory. We have no testimony as to our faith or His power!

However, when we stand admist the heat and allow God to work through us, like in Nebuchadnezzar's case, God receives glory and all can see His power! God is still stronger than any heat we may face. Don' t run. Don't hide. Don't melt. STAND UP and face the heat! The fire still has no power!

It's a matter of trust . . . .

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Can you STAND the heat? (Part II)

But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”(Daniel 3:15-18)

I rarely focus on the same scripture a second day, but these words right here move me to do so. These young people, Daniel and his boys, his SQUAD if you will, just impress me and cause me to inspire other young (and not-so-young) people today!

I ask once again, Can you STAND then heat? To quote a past favorite President, "Yes, we (YOU and I) can!" 

People of faith in Christ, Lord and Savior, STAND UP! Despite the pain . . . Despite the challenges . . . Despite the lies and corruption . . . STAND UP! Yes, I am yelling . . . 
in ALL CAPS and BOLD!!!!

Please stop siding with slanted politicians. Please stop partnering with untrustworthy associates. Please stop joining in with backbiting and gossiping classmates and co-workers . . . Get on the Lord's side and stay there . . . STAND there! Do not be moved! 

We have to get our noses out of this world and into God's Word to be better equipped. What good is CNN and FOX without the B.I.B.L.E.? There lies the TRUTH!!! 

I am officially challenged! What about you?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Can you STAND the heat?

But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”(Daniel 3:15-18)
Just one question this morning CHRISTian: Can you STAND the heat? 

Daniel's young friends were faced with a heated decision: follow the law of the land or STAND for their faith . . . . their God. We live in a challenging world. Young and not-so-young, we all face peer pressures, political correctness, social acceptance, and cultural and historical practices and traditions. When faced with these choices and biblical values, where do we STAND . . . or do we crumble?

I will leave it at that and have us ponder this thought . . . . What are we leaving to our children?

Monday, February 4, 2019

Trophies Won vs Souls Won

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.  And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.  Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,  that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:1-6)
Super Bowl is indeed a world event! People who don't normally watch football throw a party. If you are like our family, even if your team is not playing, you put on your  own team's gear and represent as you watch and eat your favorite "football foods" and even rate commercials!

Yet the actual participants, the players and coaches, seek one thing for the most part . . . The Lombardi Trophy! One player and coach in particular seek the record number of Lombardis!

Like the players in the big game, people throughout HIStory have sought the rewards, the awards, the money, the fame and yes, the worship! Nebuchadnezzar was such a man. As he went throughout conquering, he captured and enslaved the Jewish people, forcing them to worship his image. As the story goes, Daniel's friends chose not to do so and were punished in a fiery furnace, only to be protected by the Lord!

What about you and me? Are we caught up in the trophies won in life or the souls won? Is the worldly prize our goal or is it Kingdom goals for which we are striving? I recall athletes using the platform of success to bring honor to God and reflect the praise to Him. Yet many chase the trophy, the glory, and money for themselves. Are we any better?

How are we using our successes to honor the Lord and draw others to Him?  At work, at school, on the field, on the court . . .  Are we using influence to win awards for ourselves or souls for Christ? Life is real, not practice!

At the end of the big game, there is confetti, hugs, congratulations, cheers, interviews, tears, and eventually a parade! What will the celebration be like in heaven for you and me?

Friday, February 1, 2019

challenged to reach EVERY child

Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)
Jesus was speaking in parables, giving examples about prayer and other things. He spoke of a persisitent widow, Pharisees, tax collectors, the rich, and children.

The disciples had issues with people bringing children to Jesus! This has always intrigued me. Why not the nagging widow or the arrogant rich ruler? Why issues with kids? Now I think I got it.

You see, if we don't reach young kids with the Truth of Jesus early on, the world will swalow them up with political correctness, social acceptance, tolerance of every kind and other world views. Like the rich young ruler ( Luke 18:23), many will not be able to turn from the world once entrenched!

"Who then can be saved?", the disciples asked. (Luke 18:26) Jesus answered it in verse 17; those with the attitude of a little child. If we accept Jesus with the wide-eyed innocence of a child, with no doubts, no fears, no holding back. . . . full speed ahead down the snowy hill. . . A well, You get the picture!

I am challenged to  reach EVERY child (and adult) with the Gospel. Bring 'em to me . . . all of 'em! I
got somethin' good they will like!

#tiredofthesameole.....

So God created man  in His  own  image; in the image of God He created him;  male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and G...