God Invites Us To Come

Today is the first day of the rest of my life!  And life (especially eternal life) comes from the Son of God…Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross!

When I was a child, growing up in the church back in Illinois, one of my favorite Sunday School songs was “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling Thee Home”, by Fanny Crosby a blind Methodist hymn writer.  My sister and I used to sing that song in two part harmony.  We were pretty good, too, if I must say so myself.

Although, my family was Baptist, my sister and I and our father used to perform gospel music in a variety of other denominational churches upon their invitations.  Dad sang bass in his men’s octet group called the Benevolent Gospel Singers.  Their group was somewhat famous because they broadcasted for fifteen minutes on WDAN Radio every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m.   I remember walking down the dusty roads in our town, heading to Church with my siblings on a bright and sunny day, while listening to the 8-part harmony of the booming male voices of the Benevolent Gospel Singers.

How was that possible seventy years ago.  Well I’ll tell you.  All the houses along the street in the neighborhood had their doors and windows open to collect the warm summer breeze and as my family walked along the sidewalks towards the Church we could  hear the voices of my dad and the other men blasting aloud from the radios of our neighbors all the way to church.  The music would be coming from their homes.  I want you to visualize 5 little children jumping and strutting along to the rhythm of the gospel songs.   Happy as a lark.  What precious memories I have of those childhood days.  (And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and he who is hearing — let him say, Come; and he who is thirsting — let him come; and he who is willing — let him take the water of life freely.  Revelation 22:17)

You see, not only was God calling me from the rooftops, He was also calling me from the jitterbug floor of my favorite nightclub.  As a young adult in Motown, one Saturday evening a few of my girlfriends and I went out for a night of dancing.  We stayed out late and had a good time.  The next day was Sunday and I had to be at church because I was the church clerk and had to read the weekly announcements to the awaiting congregation.

While sitting in the pew and awaiting my turn to speak, the Sister next to me kept  turning towards me and sniffing me.  Finally, she whispered, my sister, you smell like smoke!  Fear ran through me and I started to tremble.  (The night before, at the club, everybody was smoking cigarettes and that smoke was in my hair.  Although I had bathed, I did not have time to wash my hair.  My perfume and hair spray was no disguise!  But what was more frighting, I heard a silent-still-small voice say, ‘You cannot serve two masters.’)  Now I realize that God was calling me even then.

Okay.  So I have been very transparent with my readers today and do you know why?….because what God was actually conversing with me was this message…Come as you are but don’t stay as you are.)  You know the scripture verse: 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.” I Corinthians 13:11)

Has God called you?  Did you recognized His voice?  Did you stop, repent, and answer the call?  Can you recall a time when you missed it?  It’s not too late.  Just whisper ‘I surrender all’ and be joined into the family of Faith.  May Jesus Christ richly bless you in your quest for eternal salvation.

Scripture Lesson:  Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

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

 

 

God Showed Me Agape Love…Jesus Christ

                       Click to hear “Love Lifted Me” by Alan Jackson

Come and go with me down memory lane.  I have soooo much to be grateful for.  This morning God reminded me that although I was once young, but now that I am old, I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor my seed begging bread. (Psalm 37:25)

How about you?  Did you wake up this morning with God on your mind?  Did you allow him to have a little talk with you before you started your day?  All I want to know is this,  did you count your blessings this morning.

Well I did!

And because I did, that is…count my blessings…I changed my ‘Good morning prayer’ to the Lord.  Instead of asking Jesus to bless my family, friends and those He would put in my path today, I implored Him to receive my gratitude for allowing me to be an instrument of His love today.  For trusting me to go forth and to represent Him today.  To seeing fit for my family, friends and others to call me to let me know they feel my prayers and concerns for their wellbeing.  I thanked Him for putting that childhood song in my heart as a reminder of when…

“I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore.

Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more;

But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,

From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Love lifted me.  Yes, Agape love lifted me.  When nothing else could help…

Image result for love lifted me images

         LOVE LIFTED ME”    Pix For  Music Notes Clip Art Free  Amen!

So, this morning was my time to reflect, to let go, and to let God do the talking.  He continued by reminding me of how he had snatched me out of moving traffic on a busy highway when my car stalled.  He reminded me of how he had saved my brother from sustaining mortal wounds from the Vietnam war.  He reminded me of how he had consoled my aches and pains during troubling times.  And he reminded me of how he had snatched me from the pulpit area where I was standing on holy ground in the form of a counterfeit Christian…still holding on to unconfessed sins.  (That was when I spared your life, he whispered!)

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Don’t you know, my Child, that the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.  You have acted foolishly in (a lot of ways during your lifetime.  And indeed, for a long time you have been at war with your choices.) (The emphasis in parenthesis are mine.) (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Yes, My Lord.  And now, thank you because you have opened my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.  (Psalm 119:18)

But thanks be to God, He closed our conversational time together with these words:

“For such as be blessed of him (God) shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. The steps of a good (wo)man are ordered by the LORD: and He delights in his/her way. Though (s)he falls, (s)he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him/her with His hand.  (Psalm 37:22-24)

Scripture Lesson:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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

God’s Word Reveals How To Be A ‘Christ-centered’ Tolerant Person

Blog - God's WordDefines 'Tolerance - Key

The Key That Unlocks Indifferences and Intolerances

How many keys does your keychain hold?  Do you know which key unlocks which door?  Did you know that love is the key that unlocks the door to becoming more Christ-like and tolerant towards others?

To help you remember that last sentence, your assignment for this week is to purchase seven plastic keys with chains and seven small red hearts.  Then pray about finding seven people (friends, family members or even strangers) who appear to be in need of ‘some lovin’ and prayers.  Offer them a key/heart chain set like the one in the photo.  Pray for them on the spot and let them know what door the key unlocks and that God loves them.  Invite them to get to know Someone who can help them be triumphant over whatever trial and/or tribulation they are facing.  Let them know that whenever they touch their key chain, they are opening a door that accesses a God who cares.

The reason I am asking you to pray first before approaching anyone is because the Holy Spirit wants to be allowed to lead you to people who are holding prejudices against others.  Cover them in prayer with God’s blessing and move on.  Yes, God’s word teaches tolerance BUT with limitations.  Allow the Holy Spirit to do the revealing.   That’s why laws were made!  Laws were made to give instructions on how to legally operate under rules and regulations.  In other words, laws are our guide.  Trust the Holy Spirit to be your Guide and to do his job!  Never condone an action that Jesus rebuked.

Blog-God on tolerance card pic

Note on card reads:  “One day you will learn how to give and receive love like an open window and it will feel like summer every day.”  The Apostle Paul says it better in Philippians 4:12-13.  And this scripture is in reference to both Paul’s physical needs and his social relationships.

12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (*See Note below)

So remember, Love should be displayed when compromising, BUT not to the degree of  indecency.   In accordance with the Love chapter in I Corinthians 13:3-5, “Love does not behave indecently.” Also,  “Who ever practices vile things hates the light (of truth).  Matthew 23:13-14

The Lord closed our conversational time together with these wise words:  Those churches who tolerate counterfeit members must consider instituting godly standards which are outlined in I Corinthians 5:11-13.  Basically, remove the person(s), from any prominent position in the church, but allow that person to return to his position once he or she has repented and changed their ways.  See Ezekiel 18:23 and Proverbs 1:33.

P.S.  You might need to keep one of the key/heart chains for yourself if you are harboring any intolerances or prejudices against anyone.   I’m just sayin’! 

*Note:  (Life for the Apostle Paul and Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was NOT ‘no crystal stair’.  They had to know when to accept a person’s actions and when to call them out!  They had to submit to both tolerance and intolerance of other’s behavior.  They knew how to suffer rejection, disrespect, being lied on, beaten, prison and eventually killed!  They trusted wholeheartedly in the aide of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in this spiritual battle, you must do likewise.   To read more on this subject, read last week’s blog.)

Scripture Lesson:  “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God:  and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”  Ezekiel 18:23

“…but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”  Proverbs 1:33

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

God Has A Plan and A Remedy For Wounded Warriors

                                                                                                 Graphics Balloons  
                                               Release Your Dilemmas

How many suggestions have you received from well-meaning friends, lecturers, gurus, media or family members and counselors advising you to write down your pain on a piece of paper and then burning it or just throwing it away?  I personally have suggested that a person jot down their mental dilemmas on a piece of paper, stuff it into a helium balloon, go outside and release it into the air.

(One female participant in the exercise swore that a stubborn balloon that refused to catch an air wave and ascend upward, struggled unsuccessfully to return to earth and to occupy her mind-set again.  She said that it was only after she screamed at it and called on Heaven’s angels to command it to flee, that she was victorious in ridding herself of her demons.) …I would say that was a serious Sister!

So, my question is; whichever method you deployed, to rid yourself of worrying, did it work?

God has a plan!

For Christians, the Holy Bible is a road map on just how we should handle fretting, worrying, anxieties and pity-parties.  Listed below are just a few scripture references:

“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop:  but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalms 55:22
“Cast all of your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

 

Honestly, no matteBlog-God Has A Plan for Worryingr how much you pray, quote or memorize those scriptures, unfortunately it’s hard to banish intrusive and negative thoughts from your mind.  But fortunately, there is a way you can tackle and flip your fears into compliance that leads to a positive solace

First, let’s examine the mantra of a children’s bedtime story about a little engine that could.  If my memory serves me right it was, “I think I can…I think I can!”  Now, is that your mantra or is your motto, “If something can go wrong, it probably will”?

Let’s kill Kill-Roy!

The latter kind of catastrophic thinking is deadly and depletes your mental resources of embracing any positive turn of events.  I’m certain you have heard all the above rationales before concerning how to curtail worrying, but what about those negative and crippling memories that you have forgotten you buried?  Those are the culprits I want to address.  Why?  Because nine out of ten times, baptized believers are guilty of clandestinely bringing those types of silent unresolved issues into the church body and wreaking havoc within the congregation clandestinely.

God enlightened me at VBS

Recently, during my adult Vacation Bible School class, I heard the teacher refer to these types of church members as  ‘wounded warriors’.  He also taught that there was hope for these struggling saints who unknowingly fostered resentment and pain against others.  The teacher compared their situation with Christ Jesus’, Who was also a Wounded Warrior, but in a much more productive and positive way.

The biggest burden for Christ Jesus, mankind’s Supreme Warrior, was ‘The Hour‘.  Also referred to as ‘My Hour’, or ‘The time’.  Jesus was fixated on getting the timing right, the place right, the reassurance confirmed that this was exactly the sacrificial act  His Father wanted Him to perform.  The heavy burdens and cares that Jesus Christ bore were all for somebody else…US!  The suppressed burdens we carry are often malices against ourselves and/or others.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

The example Christ Jesus gave me in our conversation about this subject was an incident He had with His Mother.  ‘When My Mother worries, my child, I worry.  And there was a time when She was afraid that a party We attended would run out of wine.  ALL I HAD TO DO TO DEFUSE THE MATTER WAS TO TURN THE PHYSICAL (6 jars of water) INTO MY CLEANSING BLOOD (sweet wine).  All everybody in attendance had to do was to draw from it and drink!  For My yoke is easy and My burdens are light!’  (Matthew 11:30)

In conclusion

As I said earlier, most of us don’t even realize we are carrying old unresolved baggage in our hearts and minds.  I implore you to find a quiet and safe place where you can go to center yourself and have a little talk with Jesus.  Ask Him to reveal your ‘wrinkles’, your bumps and bruises, your idiosyncrasies from your childhood to the present day.  Find two or three friends who you can confide in and who know how to call on the Name of Jesus, and who you have heard confess intimate situations in their lives.  In other words, find some ‘healed‘ wounded warriors to walk with you.  For where two or three are gathered, in the Lord’s Name, He is in the midst.  (Matthew 15:20)

God requires more of us than just to except justice, be merciful and love kindness.

Follow these three steps, remember Jesus’ Mother’s dilemma and you will be operating in God’s plan with a remedy:

  1. Look up:  Engage the Holy Spirit and repent.
  2. Look inward:  Guard your personal wellbeing by confessing Jesus Christ and employing His teachings.
  3. Look outward:  After you have been set free, help your community of sojourners find their inner strength.

Scripture Lesson:  “Let your gentleness be apparent to all.  The Lord is near.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petitions with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:5-7

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