God Had Me On His Mind When Jesus Was On The Cross

Blog - God Had you on his mind

FROM THE CHURCH HOUSE TO THE STATE HOUSE

Some years ago, in fact, it was during April 2004, God had orchestrated an event in my life that motivated me to volunteer as an Ombudsman for the state of Maryland.  As I look back on this time, I now realize this was just another god-centered means in preparing me to become an international missionary in His service.  For it was while performing in this occupation I learned to communicate with adults with personalities that had limited cognitive skills and attention deficit disorders who had been placed in a semi-institutionalized facility by their family members.

Blog-God had you on his mind State Capitol Bldg

FROM THE STATE HOUSE TO THE OUT HOUSE

These facilities in most cases were private homes or apartment complexes located in regular neighborhoods and licensed by the state.  A private dwelling with multi-purpose rooms and numerous bedrooms could operate their facility as a co-ed unit.  Home owners received rents from their tenants and in return provided housekeeping duties, catered meals, entertainment and in some instances transportation which was required by state law.

The state assigned an Ombudsman to each of these facilities as a mediator to investigate resident complaints, grievances, provide private consultations, reinforce rights and privileges and recommend appropriate strategies necessary in order to resolve any conflicts between parties.  (The institution of the Ombudsman was first created in Sweden more than 200 years ago.  Ombudsmen normally perform duties as an intermediary between the constituent and its facility, owner or organization.)

Blog - God had you Large House

FROM THE OUT HOUSES TO THE LANDLORD’S HOME

The spiritual lessons I learned did not come from the adult residents themselves who lived in the neighborhood home where I was assigned, but from the home owners, their employees who cooked or did housecleaning, the family members who visited the residents and the local entertainers who provided recreation.

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FROM THE LANDLORD’S HOME  INTO THE TENANT’S HEART

Now that we have gone full circle in our introductions, allow me to introduce you to Jane (not her real name) who resided in the very first home I was assigned to.  Jane eventually became one of my favorite tenants whom I got to visit twice monthly.  I used the term “eventually” because my very first visit to this home was kind of weird.  Practically all of the residence were in the early stages of Alzheimer Disease.  Just a few were experiencing limited cognitive skills and/or attention deficit disorders.  In addition, the entire household  exhibited a hostel atmosphere and were not at all enthusiastic about my being there.  (Most landlords see Ombudsmen as spies for the State.)

Needless to say, my first day did not go very well and I began to doubt my ‘honorable’ intentions to volunteer to serve in this capacity.  I envisioned I was on a road to encounter demons.  But later, while reading my bible, I came upon these verses regarding God’s calling, election and hope for my life:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and unto an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  1 Peter 1:3-4

[Therefore]

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD”.  Psalm 31:24

So, in order to adhere to 1st Corinthians 15:58…“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”…I resolved to be spiritually grounded and not  be tossed back and forth by the wind and the waves of life.  So, I hastened to plead the Blood of Jesus over that house and its inhabitants every time I entered into it.

Blog - God had you on his mind senior citizen

MEET ‘JANE’

With the help of the Holy Spirit, I am glad to report that within a short time Jane and the other residents in the home came to respect and trust me.  Soon I established a good relationship with the staff by artistically posting their daily food menus on the kitchen walls with favorable comments from the residents concerning particular dishes they enjoyed eating the most.  With God’s wisdom, I endeared myself to the landlords by taking the residents on short walks around the neighborhood, or sitting with them on the patio and imitating and identifying the sounds of nature we heard.  These exercises and mind games helped to minimize their attention deficit disorders and broaden their cognitive skills and their ability to communicate with one another and their family members.

When the day’s activities also included entertainers, I encouraged them to involve more hands on events such as physically dancing with a tenant as his or her partner in addition to singing songs to them; couching chefs into allowing the tenants to actually prepare and bake certain food items instead of just listening or watching ‘how to’ demonstrations.  I even got one or two residents to allow me to transcribe a portion of their real life’s story or to compose a poem that I later framed and put on display in the residence.  My biggest accomplishment was to convince the landlord to allow dinner wine to be served and dinner guest to be invited on special occasions such as birthdays and holidays.  After all, everyone was of age (although under supervision), and many of them still had personal relationships with people outside of their immediate family members and also desired their company every once in a while.

You can imagine how twice a month, at least, I was on my knees the night before visiting my assigned Ombudsman duty asking the Lord to empower me with His strength, courage, insight, and peace as I operated in His love to carry out my beloved responsibilities for the State of Maryland.

And without fail, God always had a word for me…My child, you were on my mind when My Only Begotten Son was on the Cross.  Your future missionary assignments will always remind you that Greater is He that is within you then he that is within the world.

Scripture Lesson:  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you (My sister).  I do not give to you as the world gives.   Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27    

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!

 

 

 

God Commands That We Show Some Love

Blog God whants us to show love

Have you ever offered hospitality to a total stranger in your home?  And if you can answer ‘yes’ to that question, was that person or persons of the same ethnicity as you are?  How did you entertain them?  Did you serve them a meal?  Did you give them a place to lodge for the night? Did you provide medical assistance?  Or did you just invite them in and listened to their sorrows and needs?

Did you feel comfortable and/or safe in doing what you did because they ‘looked’ like you?  Did you interview them at your front door before you invited them in?  Did you have any idea you were living out the Holy Scripture written in 1 Peter 4:9

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

 The Greek word (“philoxenia”) is a compound word where we get “phileo” (defined compassionate love) and “stranger”.  If you felt fear and it caused you to slam the door, then you experienced what we call “xenophobia…the fear of strangers.

God has given us a road map to overcome fear that allows us to forfeit our compassion to love our neighbor as thy self.  In fact, it’s actually a two-part commandment:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:36-40

So, now the only question that remains is just who is my neighbor and who is worthy of my compassion and generosity?  The bible says that both friends and your enemies are your neighbors.  And you should help them both, but in different ways.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you:  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (your enemies).  Matthew 5:43

Since everyone is part of God’s creation and we have pledged to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength we would be liars if we did not also love our neighbor (friend and foe).  And, yes, even though we know that everyone will not go to heaven because of the choices they make, that does not excuse us from exercising our faith and desiring that all God’s people be apostatized to come to accept him.

As for the ‘how’ part of this formula, don’t forget you can also live out this command by going to the person’s house to commune with him.  (Remember Jesus’ house visits to Zacchaeus’ house and Matthew’s house and Mary and Martha’s house? And last but not least, the Good Samaritan’s hospitable work with the wounded man on the roadside.  He took the man to an Inn.)

My final scripture before I share my personal story is found In Romans 8:10, Paul says:

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Poor mother and kids

See the picture of that single mother with her two little kids?  Well, that’s my story of a total stranger who, some 50 years ago, called my phone and asked, no begged, for my help.  She was desperate, despondent, and in total despair.  She told me that she had gotten my phone number from a newspaper’s ‘house for rent’ section.  In that ad I had written I would help people find reasonable houses to rent.

Lisa (not her real name) had overstayed her temporary government housing voucher which had provided her and  her two children with shelter for only three nights in a motel.  She was now sitting out on the curb of that motel along with her meager belongings with no place to go and her two hungry children sobbing.

Without hesitating, I immediately jumped in my car and went to fetch her.  Along the way, I was praying to God and I said, ‘Lord, I don’t have any empty houses at this time.  Where can I put them?  Immediately, I heard an audible voice say, “Put them in your house.  You have two extra bedrooms.”

This was not only a new personal beginning  with my relationship with the Lord, but a scary one at that. Here to fore, I had never allowed total strangers to stay in my home. I always had enough rental properties to place then in at drastically reduced rental rates.

As I approached the motel entrance, I saw an African lady with two tattered children.  Her shoulders were drooped, her head was bowed and her eyes were swollen.  She looked despicable, distraught, disillusioned and depleted.  I introduced my self, loaded her belongings in my car and said, ‘get in’.

As we drove back to my house, I was completely transformed by God.  Instead of asking my new ‘neighbor’ anything about her current condition in life, I said, “I’m going to let you out at my front door.  Here’s my key, take your things in and up to the two bedrooms on the second floor, the one in the middle of the hall and the other one on your left.  You may shower and then get something to eat out of the refrigerator.  I have to go back to work and will be home around 6:00 p.m.  If you steal anything while I am away, you will have to deal with the Lord.  I left them on my front lawn and returned to work.

Fortunately, all went well. Lisa and her children were at the house when I returned.  They had cleaned up, eaten, and were watching TV.  I eventually found them a house, some used furniture and got her registered with the city’s housing department.  She became a member of my church, got a job, enrolled in some courses, and is to this day my friend.

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I want to leave you with a scripture I find helpful when I am confronted with decisions and opportunities to offer hospitality to someone in need, especially total strangers.

Scripture Lesson:  Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart He will make your paths straight - Floating Scripture Bible Verse Christian Religious

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God Sent Out A Devine Call For A Man Named Simon

Blog God calls a man named Simon
Simon says, “Show your hands!”

As a little child, my friends and I used to play a very popular game called ‘Simon Says’.  And just in case you also played this game, but have forgotten just how it went, please allow me to refresh your memory by inserting this 2:13 minute Youtube video below:

Video for youtube simon says game

I owe you an explanation here…

You may be wondering why I included this rendition of a child’s game in my blog.  Well, for me, the message analogy and the choice of the man’s name is synonymous with God’s divine purpose.  Both in the child’s game, if Simon did not audibly ‘say’ to perform a particular act, the players should not do it, or would be penalized if they did.  And also in the Bible story about a man named Simon, it is obvious by the godly principals displayed by his wife and at least one son named Rufus, that they certainly obeyed what ever godly instructions Simon gave them.

A little background on Simon’s family…

According to scripture, Simon was married to a devout godly woman, who had been, at some time in her life, a surrogate mother to the Apostle Paul.  For in Paul’s epistle to the Romans after he lays the foundations for the establishment of the church and the grounds for justification by faith, among others, he admonishes the letter recipients to salute Simon’s son Rufus, who is a man chosen in the Lord, and to also salute his mother and mine.  This is a personal reference to that born-again Jewish family which indicates that Paul was extremely close to the son Rufus and his mother (no doubt claiming her as his own). Romans 16:13

Simon had another son named Alexander, who is not included in Paul’s invitation to the people of Rome to pay homage to Simon’s wife and son Rufus.  Never the less, what is ironic is the fact that there are four other Alexanders mention in New Testament scriptures, all of whom opposed teachings on Jesus Christ, and were especially hostel to Paul.  And by the way, the definition of the Greek name Alexandros is ‘a defender of men’…not a defender of God.

So I had a little conversation with God…

I paused while composing this blog just long enough to stealthily (tongue in cheek) invite God to take a little walk with me like he did with Enoch, and exclaim to me why some biblical names remain throughout eternity and other names die out.  In other words, why did he send out a divine call for a man named Simon. Hardly anyone  names their child after those who contended with God; for example, Lucifer or Jezebel or Satan or Devil or Judas.  Yet Thomas, Saul and Delilah are still very popular names of persons who doubted the divinity of the Godhead.

The Holy Spirit nudged me and informed me that I was not ready to embark upon such a topical journey that I was suggesting, but He would share the divine relationship God wanted to have with this particular man named Simon from Cyrene.

First of all, Simon already had so many traits resembling God himself.  Simon was a loving father who had a child that was obedient and who had a serving heart for the church. Like Jesus, Simon presented the Good News and traveled to a distant synagogue in Jerusalem and may have been one of  the “men of Cyrene” who preached the word to the Greeks (Acts 11:20).  Simon was most like Jesus when Jesus became tired, weary and burdened down and Simon was obedient to the divine order of God (at the behest of an authoritative soldier) and carried the cross for our Lord up a hill called Calvary.

Therefore, let our prayer be…

Dear Heavenly Father, whose most dear and beloved Son, as He walked the way of The Cross, did accept the services of Simon of Cyrene to carry his physical burden for Him: please God, grant us each the grace gladly to bear one another’s burdens, for the love of Him who said, “As you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me,” your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for evermore.  Amen

So in closing, yes, I truly do have penetrating conversations with God, but sometimes, when I pose a query that is too lofty for me or that is not in his will, I, too, must become like his Son and say…’not my will but thine be done’.

Scripture Lesson:  The Lord’s Prayer. Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.  Matthew 6:9-13

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!   

 

 

God’s Love Is Unconditional

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Since God’s love is unconditional, most people believe that all a person must do to receive his unconditional love is to “let go and let God”.  Right?

WRONG!!!  WRONG!!!  WRONG!!!

In fact, most people would be hard pressed to define just what should be ‘let go’, in order to ‘let God’.

Think about it.

Let’s say you are praying for something, or somebody or for some special event to take place.  Your heart knows you don’t have it yet, and you believe you don’t have it yet, and this mind-set  causes you to partition God’s throne numerous times.  Finally, if you never receive that which you were praying for, or if it’s delayed, you might resort to coercing God; such as not answering His ‘phone calls’; becoming judgmental and mean-spirited towards others who seem to prosper effortlessly; or just giving up all together.

Well, there’s a lesson for you to learn. 

Always remember when praying for something believe and know in your heart that you already have it.  In other words, pray in faith.  Otherwise, your ego will take over and spread doubt in your heart.  If what you are praying for is in accordance with God’s will for your life, that means that the two of you are desiring the same thing…you are One in the Spirit…AND you will receive that prayer request in God’s timing.  Your ego, aka the accuser, is never your friend.  Your ego Eases God Out!  Check out what the Bible says about your heart (where Ego lives.)

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

So STOP walking in doubt and walk by FAITH!

Another scripture that is befitting for this situation is as follows:

Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own?  No!  He is the one who has forgiven us and given us right standing with himself.”  Romans 8:33

Just remember, you can do all things in Christ who strengthens you!

And yet another scripture:

“No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who (unconditionally) loved us enough to die for us.  For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His (unconditional) love.  Death can’t, and life can’t.  The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s (unconditional) love away.  Our fears (ego) for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the (unconditional) love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us.”  Romans 8:36-39

Therefore, believe whole heartedly that…
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So always pray in faith, remembering that in most cases, we have not because we ask not in accordance with God’s will for our lives.  God’s word says to ask and you shall receive.  We all must come into the reasoning of understanding that God’s universe lacks nothing.  It is bountiful.  And God truly believes it is better to give than to receive.  We cannot out-give God.

In summary be steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in …:

The unadulterated truth that God’s love IS unconditional and has nothing to do with mankind’s action…it’s all about God!  Human beings cannot earn God’s love through works or by eliminating pre-determined sets of coercive conditions. God is Love, plain and simple! Therefore God’s love is unconditional just because of Who He is.  Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “When we were utterly helpless with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for him.  Even if we were good, we really wouldn’t expect anyone to die for us, though, of course, that might be barely possible.  But God showed his great (unconditional) love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  And since by his blood he did all this for us as sinners, how much more will he do for us now that he has declared us not guilty?”  Romans 5:6-8

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Responds Even When You Operate On A Wing And A Prayer

B-17 Flying Fortress

1937 B-17 FLYING FORTRESS

Did you know that the idiom, “On a wing and a prayer,” stems from a World War II incident?  Wikipedia records that early in the mayhem of the war, an American pilot of a B-17 crippled aircraft called The Southern Comfort was returning to the base from a bombing raid over Germany.  The pilot suggested that his crew pray for a safe landing.

Later, in 1942 Hollywood made a film entitled The Flying Tigers, about this harrowing plane incident staring John Wayne as the pilot.  In reference to the crippled aircraft condition, actor Wayne’s character proclaimed the script’s rendition and exclaimed, “She’s coming in on one wing and a prayer.”  The rest is history!

BUT, just suppose nobody knew how to pray!

Well, in this week’s blog, I would like to share with you how the Holy Spirit communed with me on how to study for a comprehensive understanding on what the Bible says on what a prayer should consists of.

1. What Is Prayer? 

218x311 Praying Hands Clip Art

For me, prayer is earnestly calling on the Name of the Lord God.  It does not matter what posture I am in; such as knelling, or standing, or lying prostrate, just as long as I am focused on Him and His heavenly atmosphere.

Another aspect that is of less consequence to me is my grammar.  Especially chitter-chatter or three and four syllable words.  I normally just let my verbal rantings all hang out–but with reverence and respect, of course.  And what I have experienced is this:  the more I include prayer in my everyday life, the more solidified my relationship becomes with my Maker.

I rarely have to wonder whether or not I ‘got a prayer through’.  Or whether temptation creeped in during my prayer time to throw me off course.  Or to entertain thoughts of doubt and despair.  Usually, I just remain focused, keep it simple and remain true to myself in my confessions.

So says King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived on earth: “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”  (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

2. What is Prayer simplified with the aide of the Holy Spirit

rock dove flying beside hand

Just in case praying comes hard for you, the Apostle Paul gives us this advise:  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”  (Romans 8:27)

I would like to share a secret with you.  A lot of times the Holy Spirit is already at work on my behalf before I take time to pray.  In other words, he puts thoughts and subject matter on my mind that require God’s intervention.  For example, often, when I am thinking of a family member or friend, I’ll make a mental note to communicate with them at a later time, but before the day is over.  Within a short period of time, that person or friend supernaturally contacts me or someone in their sphere of influence will contact me with an update or personal message about them.  (That’s God at work in spite of any of my doings.)

Not too long ago, when my daughter-in-law and son were trying to sell an expensive piece of property to no avail, I was led by the Holy Spirit not only to pray, but to contact them and suggest that they place the property in the hands of a foreign realtor with overseas connections, because their buyer was coming from afar.  Sure enough, within a few days my family showed the property to a foreign family and they subsequently purchased the house and several rooms of their furniture.  So, not only God is Good…but prayer changes things!

3. What is Operating on a Wing and a Prayer…

…fixing those situations that appear hopeless.

Image result for praying hands and a dove free image

So, it is during times like those mentioned above that lets me know that God truly opens that door and operates on a wing and a prayer.  It’s during those most difficult situations when only He can provide closure that I realize that prayer changes things.  So when praying, I modify my dialogue to increase my expectation; to believe more than just to ask and you shall receive, I also include thanksgiving and praise language and most definitely include words of omission and co-mission.  (Sins that are intentional or unintentional are nontheless sins!)

What I have just shared with my readers on the subject matter that focused on prayer is how I remain in a constant conversational dialogue with God based on his scripture references.  I trust what I have shared will be of extreme use to you in your quest to grow closer to the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living God.

So with prayer and supplication, always remember it is no secrete what God can do.  Sit back and enjoy Jim Reeves’ rendition of a song by the same title.  Skip the commercial and just click the Red Thumbnail below.  May God richly bless you and yours.  In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!   

God Presented Himself In Short Order

Image result for map of winston-salem and Charlotte, N.C.

                       I TOOK A CHANCE.  YEP!  I TOOK A VACATION.                                                                        AND GUESS WHAT!                                                                                                           I SAW GOD!

Because I truly believe that all things that happened to me while vacationing in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina during the first 2-1/2 weeks in August were preordained by God, and because of this knowledge, it will further enable me to recognize God on that great Day through the eyes of Jesus Christ, I believe I am evolving every day as a true child of God and in the image of God.

I further believe that scripture reveals that we are already considered to be molded after God’s own image through the breath he breathed into Adam (the father of us all) at creation, and our bodies have been renewed/redeemed by the blood of Jesus due to His work on the Cross, then we shall see him (God) as he is.  For scripture says; “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”  Matthew 5:8.

It is also expressed more clearly in the following verse: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3 

What I meant when I said, ‘I took a chance’ is simply this:  When I did not notify my bible study group of women that I would not be soliciting prayers for ‘traveling mercies’, they did not understand my position.  I told them that the reason was simple; God had already ordered my steps and all I had to do when he reveals his protection, guidance and companionship towards me is to rejoice and be exceedingly glad and to give him all the honor, all the glory and all the praise he deserves.

Blog-God Presented Himself in Short Order

So, now that my vacation is over, I can truly say that many doors were opened to me and so many kind gestures of goodwill were extended to me from total strangers that there was no doubt in my mind that Jesus was with me.  Most of the well-wishers expressed their connection with the Savior through their personal testimonies to me as to why they were drawn to me, in spite of my being surrounded by so many other people.

In other words, most of them singled me out from a crowd and presented me with gratuities, care-giver assistance, audible blessings, free transportation and religious information that armed me with reassurance of God’s presence in my life.  One by-stander even re-approached me after paying for my dinner, placed his hand on my shoulder and whispered that God wanted me to know that he knows just where I am.

Where of I was glad!

While waiting to retrieve my luggages at the turn-table belt at the airport, another well-wisher approached me and my wheel-chair handler.  He handed both of us a $2 dollar bill.  He said his wife sent him over to present us with the money which her mother had made a habit of saving in her bible after blessing the $2 dollar bills and then giving them out to people as she traveled.  Her mother was now deceased and she was carrying on that family tradition.  The man blessed us, then disappeared into the crowd.

Yes, I saw the hand of God in short order at every turn of my travels and it humbled me.  Not withstanding the love, fellowship, emergency intervention and prayer time my son’s family experienced while they shared their hospitality with Grandmother Punkin-Dunkin (my nickname) while I was in Charlotte.

Travel is good for the soul!  

My advice to you is to begin to recognize God in all of his splendor and glory, even while on vacation  He does not just reside in brick and mortar buildings or great cathedrals.  You will see God in the least of his people as well as in the greatest.  He resides in persons of all nations, in inanimate objects and in the atmosphere.  We all have so much to give if only we will trust God and grasp the realization that the cattle on a thousand hills are the Lords.  We are only His stewards.

May I forever remain God’s instrument of his giving heart and strive to be an open-fist laborer in his vineyard.  I invite you to come see a Man who knows how to travel and who knows where you are at all times.  Amen

Scripture Lesson:  “You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me.  You know when I am resting or when I am working, [or when I am on vacation], and from heaven you discover my thoughts.  You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.  Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side.  I can’t understand all of this!  Such wonderful knowledge is far above me.  Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight?  If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there.  If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there.  Psalm 139:1-8

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!

God Asks What’s Your Mindset?

Image result for Jesus teaching Mary and His disciples picture

A Tale Of Mary and Martha

Would you agree, that many believers in Christ, read and study the Truths of the Bible, the characters in the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ only to find themselves examining one’s own character traits to see if they measure up to that particular psychological profile?

STOP!

If that is your plumb line when you engage yourself in deep bible study, please take a moment to consider what I am about to share with you as it was related to me through a recent conversation with God in a summer bible study class.

During the summer, when many of my church’s extra-curricular activities and special meetings are curtailed, or suspended for a few months, the administrative staff offers summer book clubs that members can participate in on a volunteer basis for 6 weeks.  The book the staff chose for this summer was Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World by Joanna Weaver.

As I participated in this book club, I was amazed at how profoundly and skillfully Mrs. Weaver was able to communicate biblical truths to me through the study of a tale of two sisters featured in the bible named Mary and Martha, Luke 10:38-42.  The author makes a point that when the story of Mary and Martha are preached, most listeners tend to equate themselves with either Mary’s character or Martha’s character.  (Mary sits mesmerized in the living room at Jesus’ feet along with the men, as they listen to the teachings of the Master, while Martha is busying herself in the kitchen, slaving over preparations for lodging and the meal to be served later to their guests.  She asks Jesus to make Mary come and help her.  Jesus declines saying that Mary has chosen the better part!)

The author states and I now also agree, that if you are of the mindset that this bible story is meant for you to choose which sister’s character trait you best identify with, you may be missing the whole spiritual nugget of this passage.  Weaver writes: “Stereotypes keep us from embracing truth.  The story of Mary and Martha was never meant to be a psychological profile or a role play in which we choose the character with whom we most identify.  This is the story of two different responses to one singular occasion.  In it, we should find not our personality type, but the kind of heart Christ longs for us to have.” Page 101

Lesson Learned By Me…God asks, what is your mindset?

 God wants us to check our mindset when we enter into the sanctuary of his presence and the study of his word.  Ask yourself is the bible story a study of someone’s character or a lesson on the correct way to respond to biblical norms and godly instructions.  Jesus said that Mary had chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

Your assignment is to write your own paragraph, using scriptures, on why Jesus responded to Martha in that manner.

During my conversations with God, I purposely lay bare my heart and desires to be at peace with him and to choose the better part of all circumstances of life with the aide and comfort of the Holy Spirit, sent to us at the ascension of Christ Jesus after His resurrection.  And the Holy Spirit promises to support my propensity for change in the words of the following scripture lesson below.

Scripture Lesson:  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  Ezekiel 36:26-27

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