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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Church that man is building

I recently participated in a discussion on Michael Baisden's  Facebook page (a 96.3fm radio talk show host).  The topic of discussion - Why do all African American churches have building funds? This isn't only going on in Black churches for sure.  Of course today's Christian society is big on the man of God establishing a new church of his own.  Not sure when it became so important to build church buildings all over the place while lost souls meander by them, beg on the streets outside of them and let's not forget those insiders who'll end up enemies of God by way of the church. (Luke 13: 25-27

I know it was a long time ago but in the Bible people of God used to fellowship/have church in their homes. Sounds a whole lot cheaper to me. They made sure there was equity among the followers of Christ (no preachers living like kings while members lived like paupers. (Acts 2: 45) It's so very easy for men/women to get the wrong focus by planning to build a literal building and miss the whole point... You are the temple/building God wants to build up in order that He can dwell.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Serving Christ but not celebrating Christmas

When Jesus was born gifts were laid at his feet because he was worthy and the Messiah.

Gold: a gift fit for a King
Frankincense: burnt in worship of God
Myrrh: sign of mortal humanity -  used to bury the dead

Ultimately Jesus Christ was crucified at age 33.  His death was not the end of things but signified the beginning for those who would believe; it's what he came to do.  Because of his life, death and resurrection we have the opportunity to be reunited with God for eternity. But since his resurrection we've been celebrating the Christ with food, drink and material gifts.

Don't get me wrong...the way we celebrate doesn't negate the power of what Christ did.  It can however work to subtly lull the lost away from a narrow path right to sleep in the arms of Saint Nick.  Even the life of the real St. Nicholas is not to be compared to our Lord on any level.

Stories about Santa, shopping for material things for our children - one another, Christmas trees, and lights have no healing or delivering power.  What does get lost in the sauce of the 'Christmas spirit' unfortunately is the opportunity we have to accept Christ and be a "part of his life's story."(soon.org)  God came to earth.  That's what it's about.

Read what Christmas is about at the link below.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Forgiveness without clearing your name

Kirk Franklin has a song called 'Imagine Me'. It melodiously waves like an anthem to my freedom from past hurt. The song says I'm free - God says it's all gone.  But the other day one of my relatives contacted me on behalf of someone else.  "Why is it that you can't find it in your heart to forgive?" The inquisitive relative had been advised and apparently come to a final conclusion that I hadn't forgiven someone else who had caused me emotional harm. The inquiry went on further. "Doesn't the Bible say we should forgive?" Two things made this accusation significant.

First thing - my relationship with God had come into question since forgiveness is the very essence of submission to Christ.  Second was the fact that prior to this assumption about me I thought I had accomplished forgiveness.   But here was someone I held in the highest esteem calling me out on my alleged ungodly behavior.   Unfortunately, my first reaction was to a dance with condemnation.  That was just a waste of time though and thank God my eyes were eventually opened to the truth about that response sooner rather than later.

Here was a real opportunity to prove God in my life. This time there would be no wallowing in self pity and no need to let doubt run loose in my mind.  I would trust God in my deliverance.  I had forgiven the person. There was no need to rummage through that stuff again.  Since I've been crucified with Christ this was not my fight.

The Word of God says  "It's not I that live but the Christ that lives.." The ultimate victory is gained through faith in His resurrection.  I believe Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is my victory. There is no need to clear my name.  Like my husband says "your name was automatically cleared when you accepted     
forgiveness aka Jesus."   No longer do I need to imagine myself being free.  Through my savior I am free indeed. It's all gone ...Amen!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Expo (09) Christianity vs Atheism

The 2009 Book Expo hosted this meeting of the minds...I guess you could call it that.   Not sure what the purpose of this type of discussion was?  The YouTube comments/responses are protected under the constitution but I have to admit I felt some kind of way reading them.

There is some serious jaw-jacking going on in this video. But what are they talking about really?  It sounds like they are comparing God to man or man to man???  I don't know but we can't compare ourselves to ourselves and we for sure can't be comparing our thoughts to His.  This effort is futile in my opinion.  I know one thing, this video has helped me to understand the failure of the law regarding salvation.  The only way to salvation is through God's son Jesus Christ. Either you believe it or you don't.  The end.

Oprah's Kingdom?

About 4 or 5 years ago one of my childhood friends, Tahali Richardson, (God rest her soul) accepted a position with Harpo studios. I was so very excited for her. I mean this was Oprah Whinfrey - a house hold name for goodness sake. At a certain point in Oprah's success long before my friend worked there I began to understand about kingdoms in that there isn't just God's kingdom but there in fact are many kingdoms that exist today built by men. Of course any kingdom that isn't God's kingdom is an enemy of the first. This also includes any kingdoms that I would feebly build and or am unaware that I am building of my own.

My opinion was not shared with my friend who was really happy with what she was finally going to be able to do...and that's increase her own business from her affiliation with Harpo. All the while I kept my feelings of the need to separate from any kingdoms outside of God's to myself. Nobody wants to rain on the parade of a close friend. Maybe I didn’t want her to think I was jealous. So I kept my mouth shut. It is a good thing I did because now I understand better the bottom-line of such things. My concerns were unwarranted. The video in this post talks about Oprah's so-called church. I interpret 'church'  as a kingdom. Now I think some of the comments made by Oprah could have been taken out context by general haters but certainly the premise is firm. Oprah has a kingdom but so do all the rest of us. How can a Christian put the kingdom issue into proper perspective? Since Oprah doesn't have a patent on sin she like everyone else needs to make a decision between God's kingdom which leads to life or her own which results in death. The whole idea of relationship with God is ....Are you willing to relinquish your kingdom for His?

Oprah has made her choice. The bible tells us that there are tare and wheat. Everyone can't be the wheat.  Highlighting someone else's choice doesn't negate the fact that each individual must come to the same life and death cross roads.  So it doesn't matter what choice Oprah makes.  What matters is which kingdom YOU choose.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Check the 'Dollar Tree' for Christian ministry Items

Did you know the Dollar Tree sells Christian books?  Oh my goodness! I'm no longer a children's church teacher but when I was... the first place I went to get the borders for my bulletin boards, pencils, crayons and other teaching aids was the Dollar Tree. Anyway the store where absolutely everything is $1 has a Teacher's Corner and what they call an inspirational section under School and Office Supplies. They carry things like KJV Bibles, Children's Bible story character books about Noah's Ark, Moses, Joseph and others.  They even have the Bible on CD and children's Sunday school
ministry products.

Even if you don't teach children in your church that's ok.  This can still be useful if you have kids at home.  Your home is the first opportunity to minister and from there you spread Godly light out into the world.  My children love the little things they can earn for knowing a bible verse or answering a bible facts question accurately during our home study.  I am happy too because It makes the learning more like fun. It really doesn't take much to please them thank the Lord for that.

There can be slight irregularities here and there with some items in a store like this but that's not always the case and more often than not you get good value for your $1 dollar.  I know I do. Even before the economy slip I shopped at the Dollar Tree because it just made sense to me.  Some things don't need to be name brand.  If there isn't a store near you then access their website at  http://www.dollartree.com/

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How to Get Breakthrough

My mother just sent me this very inspirational video. Although it may be a little off topic it does all come together. Many of the books we read speak to getting a breakthrough in some intimate area/s in our lives. Well this video talks about those 'issues' that we spend our whole adult life trying to overcome. The title 'Grateful' really puts the focus on God. We can never get the past back but we surely can get victory through Jesus Christ and reconciliation to the Father through his son which includes peace that passes all understanding. Watch...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mornings with the 'Good Book'

God morning blog family.  Praise Him! Let me begin with the Word of God. Today in my early hour reading  time the book of Jeremiah 17:5-8 really stirred something up in me.  It reads: Thus saith the Lord ; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places of the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is a man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yelding fruit.

I like to find the little pearls in the Bible like this.  I call them pearls because at first glance the treasure can't be seen.  There is this rough even hard, ugly exterior. But if you continue deeper the way and beauty of what's inside comes forth true and majestic.  Well today's scripture chastises me and provokes me to face the fact that I am guilty of trusting in a man...ME! It's so easy to fall prey to this. I cannot save myself.  I cannot change or exchange myself.  In order to obtain peace, I need to totally trust in God. I must have Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trust. 

The scripture says if you do trust in men or yourself then there is a curse waiting for you. What in the world?? I don't want that.  Have mercy oh God! As I read the verse further I am able to find the way that blesses me and I find that I am blessed when I trust in the Lord.  That's it... just trust, so simple.  As I go through this day hidden under the shadow of the Almighty I repent of any evil that would separate me from God.  I ask God to take even surround me. I admit. I don't know how to keep me on the narrow path.  Keep me oh God from my self and the enemy that's seeking to kill steal and destroy my soul. Your kingdom come your will be done. Amen!

The 'Yada Yada' Craze

My first experience with a Yada book (author Neta Jackson) came during one of my book club 'selection' shopping excursions. There are many things I look for in a book and 1st looks can be deceiving.  Not all books with great covers are good reads.  Books with boring or less interesting covers can turn out to be the best experience.  Well I didn't think too much of the Yada Yada Prayer Group (YYPG) at first glance but Oh my goodness, it falls on my list of books to read again and recommend to others. I read the YYPG in book club.  My book club - His Glory Girls (HGGs) read the book in February of this year (09) and loved it!

My favorite scene in the book:  Jodi's husband, eavesdrops on a prayer meeting held at his home and breaks down in tears repenting.  It was powerful stuff. Jodi's praise dance was awesome too.
At the end I felt: Inspired to seek after a deep relationship with God - More of the simple stuff like reading, prayer and listening.
The Plot: Women from very different cultural backgrounds realize what they have in common through their individual trials and tribulations.
Author/s Tidbit - Neta and David Jackson are a husband and wife writing team.  His heritage is in African American descent so his and Neta's is a mixed cultural marriage/writing team.  It works very well for them because they create believable character interactions. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Books hold Treasure

I read 'Hinds Feet on High Places' when I was about 14 years old.  To this day some of the scenes still play out in my mind. One summer my aunt Phyllis (diva in the Lord) introduced me to this wonderful work. We call her auntie even though she has 4 or so other sisters. The summer auntie passed this gem of a book on to me there was this bag she kept in her bedroom.  Her room was as beautiful as a hotel suite decked out with matching curtains and bed shams all the things you'd see in a Home and Garden advertisement.  When she pulled out that book from its special place it was almost as if I was a character in a movie about to embark on a special adventure into my maturity. I accepted the treasure and held it in her presence with as much care as a 14 year old could muster.  She believed I would appreciate a good book. I wasn't going to take that for granted. 

She was right to pass that book down to me.  I did need to read it and especially at that moment in my life.  The story line was about relationships highlighting the one with the Holy Spirit and the daily purging that goes along with that. God's spirit was with the main character. Her name was 'Much Afraid'. What no! She was so much like me from the start.  The books you can relate to are the best ones.

If you are an auntie or a mentor to a young person then, as a reader, it is your responsibility to pass on the treasures.  I know all about wanting to keep the books for your library or what have you but it is more valuable to share the gifts.  Not every book can change your mind.  For me that book my auntie shared did just that.  It changed my life and I have a copy in my favorite place ready for the next young thirsty soul to receive and be changed. So why don't you pass it on!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Words Mean a Lot - Let's Break it down


I have signed up to receive a word a day from Wordsmith. It's very helpful. They say if you can read the Bible you are a good reader.  I like to try out new words.  Not that I'm saying anything "new under the sun" but it does make for great conversation.  Normally people want to know what a word you said means.  My father Tyrone is a perfect example.  He is going back to school to get his degree.  When he read one of my articles he shared that I had taught him a new word.  The word was "cajole."  He asked me what it meant and I was glad to expound. They may not ask you outright but if they really want to know they will look it up and break it down so they can use it themselves. 

Just make sure you get the etymology on the word along with some examples.   Because the worst thing is pronouncing a new word incorrectly and not realizing or using the word inappropriately.  Wordsmith provides a pronunciation of the word in audio format as well as visual break down.  They also give great examples in sentences of the proper usage. So... have at it and learn some new ways to say what you mean today.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Re-Married - Unequally Yoked - Separated from God

           Check out all of Sheila Sims Books on You Tube @ Sheilasimsbooks.
          This has been a major issue for me as a Christian woman. As you are probably already aware I am married with children. However, I met my current husband Michael while married to someone else. There is no excuse for what transpired. The why doesn't matter but it happened and now that I am re-married with three children I have been tortured by the trespass of my sin. Like David in the Bible, I did a terrible sin against God. I'll go into the details progressively as I blog. But condemnation from myself and others who know me and the Word of God really took a toll. Once I realized the magnitude of my wrong I didn't know what to do about my situation. Should I leave my husband? Should I go back with the other husband? Should I just be alone? Would my children die?

          So many questions. On top of that, the new husband isn't saved as far as I can tell. I could only repent and rely on God's Word to deliver me from my own poor decisions. Although Sheila's book in the video above does correctly advise that there is forgiveness for this particular sin, I know for sure there is a terrible price to pay when disobeying God's Word. You only make it more difficult for yourself to live a life at peace with God. Peace is incredibly important as life continues. I'm no psychiatrist just experienced, and pleasing God is all that matters now. Being able to talk to Him and know that He is listening and approves of my life is big time important today.

Sheila's book sounds interesting.  I may have to do a review of that one. Check out her book at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Divorce-Remarriage-Divorced-Christians-Remarried/dp/1608443973/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321242127&sr=1-1#_


pray without ceasing.
Read your Bible every day and apply it till the Bridegroom comes!

Your sister in Christ