God Looks Forward To January

How do you know, Sister Blogger, that God Looks Forward to January? Because a little bird told me.

I know that all of you guys out there realize that within the first few days into January (the new year), almost everybody is either thinking about or pronouncing ideas for new year’s resolutions.  And many of them are sealed with a prayer.  That’s where God comes in.  He empowers the Holy Spirit to put on their listening ears and take notes.  Why?  Because God wants a record of all those persons who strive throughout the year to perform their vows and commitments as well as those who do not. In other words, God is going to get a lot of phone calls…some legit…some not!

Of course, most the callers will have to leave a message because God’s secretaries do not answer calls when they do not recognize the phone numbers.  (You know how it is…Like when you get calls from solicitors (especially from On High) and you neither recognize them nor respond.  So, it’s like tit for tat.  You have no other choice but to leave a message for Jesus, which goes like this:

Aaah, hello…anybody there?  This is Bubbah…You remember me from last year, don’t You?  I called You, but I didn’t hear back from You.  And subsequently, I guess I really didn’t need You after all, because I failed to carry out what I intended to do.  Well, for this new year 2022, I have decided to try again, and I do really, really need Your help.  I’m miserable. 

During this past year I have overspent my bank account, especially in December, overeaten, gained weight, ignored my spouse, failed in most of my employment assignments, told a few lies, drank a little too much alcohol, and missed a few little league soccer games that my son was participating in. (We won’t talk about my lack of church attendance.)  I admit I’ve been a little negligent in my duties as a parent. 

Honestly, I need Your help big time in controlling my desires in the area of physical indulgences, as well as self-improvement indulgences.  Can You help me?  I realize now that I can’t do it alone.  Making New Year’s resolutions suck. (Excuse me, caller, you have exhausted your recording time.) I look forward to Your return call, Sir.  (This is where the rubber meets the road.  Do I leave my real name or a fake one?  I guess I have to leave my real telephone number.) Good bye.  

In my research, I discovered that New Year’s Resolutions were more religious or spiritual in nature back in the 1900s.  During that phase of history, the emphasis on most requests was for developing a stronger and more moral character, as well as a stronger work ethic, and more restraint in the face of earthly pleasures.  Times have changed basically due to advanced technology. But most medical sociologists do agree that today’s New Year’s resolution statements reflect a person’s life status, financial wealth, and life responsibilities along with their self-discipline restrictions.

But here is something you should remember:  Self-motivation will not in and of itself sustain you.  There is something in your brain called dopamine, which secrets a very powerful “neuro-hormone” that won’t allow you to succeed on your own.  Why, because they are short lived.  You actually do need the power of the Holy Spirit or a dedicated confidant that will stand with you throughout your ordeal.

A little history…

New year resolutions started back in 2000 B.C. when the Babylonian inhabitants in Europe made vows to return any farm equipment they had borrowed from their neighbor during the year.  The actual name for the month, January, was decided upon in 46 B.C. when the Julian calendar was initiated.   It was named after the two-faced Roman god, Janus.  He had a reputation of looking forward for new beginnings while at the same time looking backwards to see how he could correct his actions for a better and more prosperous year in the coming months.

So the moral of the story is whether you resolve to return borrowed equipment to your neighbor or to stop telling lies and procrastinating, we still find ourselves tapping into ancient and very powerful desires that requires the helping hand of the Holy Spirit. (God’s busiest time of the year.) If you really want a fresh new start, try Him.

Make your 2022 New Year’s Resolution “To Do” List…today.

My Prayer for the Coming Year…

“Dear All Powerful and Everlasting Father: It is so wonderful that You have promised to be with us, to strengthen us, and to help us. You have also promised, Holy Father, to hold us tightly in Your right hand and to save us from all hurt, harm and danger. Therefore, we come humbly and on bended knees to the throne of grace to lay claim on all those promises in the Precious Name of Your Son, Christ Jesus, Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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

God’s Greatest Christmas Gift For Humanity

2:00NOW PLAYINGAway in a Manger with Lyrics | Christmas Carol & SongChristmas Songs and Carols – Love to Sing12M views

God’s greatest gift to humanity is L-O-V-E!!! And ‘Love’ by any other name is JESUS CHRIST!!!

How can you become a recipient of this Gift?

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10 (Explanation: This verse emphasizes God’s grace through Christ. Jesus gave his life and gave it freely.)

Also…

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

This Gift is to be shared…

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong–that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

What makes God’s Gift so special?…

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many (mankind) died by the trespass of the one man (Adam), how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

So, I reiterate once again…God’s greatest gift to humanity is L-O-V-E!!! And ‘Love’ by any other name is JESUS CHRIST!!!

MY PRAYER FOR YOU AND ALL OF MANKIND IS THIS…

Dear Holy and Everlasting Father, may every good and gracious gift given or received this Christmas be infused with steadfast faith, sincere hope and undying love that flows from heart to heart and from breast to breast. For it is by Your grace, heavenly Father, who gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish BUT have eternal life. Amen and Amen.

Scripture Lesson: “Now to Him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him”. Romans 16:25-26

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

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

God Allows Everyone An Opportunity To Reconcile

                    

“Be ye Reconciled especially during this Christmas Season”

Let’s bow our heads in a formal word of prayer to Our Father Who is in Heaven before we start expounding on why we should all take advantage of opportunities to be reconciled to one another.

“Dear Heavenly Father, our fervent prayers today are being sent up to You, imploring You to make true reconciliation possible between all ethnic groups in the world and that this reconciliation will definitely endure so that Your everlasting peace will once again rule in the hearts of men.  Amen.

First off, let’s all admit that there have been moments in our lives where we have caused dissention, disagreement, discourse, defeat, discouragement, disbandment, and dissatisfaction, etc., etc., etc., to someone else.  But nevertheless, since those midlife encounters, we have neither looked back to examine our ‘triumphs’ nor repented if and/or when your conscious prompted you to do so.  (I’m not just preaching to the choir, I’m talking about myself, too.)

May I suggest, that during this sacred time of giving gifts known as the Christmas Season, you give Christ Jesus a gift of reconciliation (since, after all, it is HIS birthday and not ours).  We can physically type or write a letter of remorse for a wrong committed to someone that you will name in the letter.  Put down in writing the very words you want to say to that person you harmed that would be pleasing to God and that would free you from your stains of guilt.

Below are a few Bible verses expressing Self-remorse:

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,…”  Acts 3:19
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”  Hebrews 12:14
 “..leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”  Matthews 5:24
 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?  Romans 11:15
“ All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf:  Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:18-21

A true story…

Many years ago, while teaching some clergy members, Sunday School teachers, and many other adults in a remote South Africa city called Kafue, outside of Lusaka, my lesson was taken from Matthews 5:24. I was speaking on reconciliation because since 1995, most South Africans (white and Black) annually celebrate December 16 as a special holiday called Day of Reconciliation or Day of The Vow which was the year Apartheid ended.

Although I was teaching the class in English, I had an African interpreter and translator. Seemingly, my teaching was upsetting an older sage/teacher in the audience. He had been accompanied to the class by a younger male relative who was frantically trying to calm him down. I finally had to stop teaching and I asked my interpreter to go over and ask the gentleman what was disturbing him. The translator reported that the gentleman was at a loss as to how to reconcile with his neighbor as to the atrocity he had committed against him, since he had ate ‘it’. Needing clarification, I went over to the young man and asked him to please get a better understanding from his grandfather. Finally, the young man reported to me and the class that his grandfather (who had tears in his eyes) had reported that he had stolen some chickens from his neighbor and had fed them to his family. Since he had now consumed all the meat, how could he right the wrong he had committed against his neighbor.

Boy, oh boy, I found myself speechless. So I sent up a quick prayer to Heaven and instantly the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Tell the ole gentleman that the Lord sees his heart and all is forgiven.” Hallelujah! The Lord paid it all! The young man repeated my blessing from on High and the whole class shouted with joy and broke out in singing!!!

To Be Reconciled With God…What a Time…What a Time!!

Scripture Lesson: “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1st Thessalonians 5:23

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

God Wants Your Thankfulness

Give thanks both in season and out of season.

Tell me something.  How do you come to the throne of Grace?  Are you on bended knee?  Is it during your meditation time?  Could it be only when you experience glad tidings?  Or are you one of those persons who only call on God when in a sarcastic mannerism (and forgive me for this expression) …when all hell breaks loose?

I’m serious!!!

Check yourself!!!

Be honest!!!

God’s Word says in 1st Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

So, what in the world did the Apostle Paul mean when he admonished the Thessalonians to be thankful in everything.  OOPS! Did you get that?  Go back and read it again.  The scripture says to give thanks IN everything…NOT…give thanks FOR everything.  So, yes, you are allowed to give thanks when all hell breaks loose.  That’s because sometimes mankind is so stubborn that God must make a donkey (I would rather use the euphemism for ‘donkey’, but this is a family-rated blog) speak to our willfulness.  (See Numbers 22:28-39.)

The Apostle Paul was saying that things could be worse.  That life is full of ups and downs.  But God is with us through it all.  I’m a witness to that very truth.  Once when I had to make a choice to either pay my monthly tithes to my church or to use the money to finance my next mission trip abroad, reluctantly I paid my tithes and unpacked my suitcase.  To my surprise, several members in the congregation who had funded some of my mission trips in the past, heard that I was not going on my next trip due to lack of finances, and they miraculously provided all the money I needed to make the journey to St Petersburg, Russia.

But that’s not the end of the story.  While in Russia, all hell broke loose.   I lost my wallet; fell down some unevenly constructed stairs, twice; made an awkward comment and displayed photos of my newly built church building in the USA to a Russian pastor who held his church under a bridge and who commented…what a waste… (he was referencing the expenses used on a building rather than in helping the poor and needy).  Bad scenes all around!  I should have stayed in bed!

But then, hope arrived!

Later, I realized how my actions and mishaps were drawing attention away from why my team had come to Russia in the first place.  We had come to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to extend compassion, love and supplies to the administrators and children at the orphan homes there that our USA organization supported.  I prayed for forgiveness for drawing attention to myself and asked God to temper my fate and order my steps in his service.  I ended my prayer by offering thanksgivings in knowing that all things work together for good to then that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28)

Hope floats!

My wallet was recovered.  It had fallen under my bed in my hotel and the housekeeper placed it on the nightstand in tack.  I learned not to display pictures of prosperity to those less fortunate while on mission trips.  I grew in grace, humility and strength while serving in this capacity.  I learned that we can be thankful in prosperity as well as adversity.  I realized that I had no reason to blame God or anyone else for my actions.  Knowing that Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God in everything.  And for that, I can rejoice.

The misunderstanding comes in those two words:  Give thanks IN everything vs. FOR everything.  So, my prayer for all my readers is that the Holy Spirit will make it possible for everyone to be thankful in all things.  Knowing that we will only be able to do this if our gratitude is anchored in You.  Amen and Amen!

Grateful…Grateful…Grateful…

Scripture Lesson: “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20).

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

 

God’s Goodwill Was Purchased For You

God’s display of goodwill was the epitome of eternal life.

Did you know that December 26th, the day after Christmas, is celebrated annually by South African citizens, in a more godly show of compassion than American citizens celebrate December 25th, Christmas Day. The South Africans use the 26th as a day of recovery from over indulging in holiday festivities. This Day of Goodwill was declared a holiday in 1994 by Nelson Mandela after he was elected the President of South Africa.

I became apprised of this information one day this week as I sat at my computer and prayed to the Holy Spirit to put into my psyche the subject matter for this week’s blog. I immediately was directed to focus on the word ‘angels’. What’s that (?), my Lord. What’s angels got to do with anything, I thought. The awareness of the presence of the Lord flooded my total being. Have you not considered, my child, the vast amount of preparation the Heavenly Hosts performed to bring about the Goodwill Gift My Father gave the world which is celebrated by earthlings on December 25th? That he so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son…

My Father acted out of compassion and the Heavenly Hosts acted out of obedience and the South Africans, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit residing in Nelson Mandela, acted out of goodwill to set aside a special day to think about the needy, the lost and the forgotten. To give back to society and not just their own families and loved ones. On the Day of Goodwill, South Africans sincerely distinguish themselves by giving back to society. These peoples’ giving can be attributed to their willingness to celebrate the birth of God’s Son by forgetting about their own wants and focusing on the needs of their fellowman.

Oh, thank you Holy Spirit for once again pointing me in the right direction. As you were sharing with me, I was thinking about those Heavenly Angels and their preparatory assignment, getting the world ready for the Coming King. I immediately started dissecting the word ‘angels’ and came up with 22 words with 3 or more letters.

Slang
Sage
Seal
Snag
Sea
Sale
Sane
Slag
Sang
Gale
Glean
Gas
Gal
Leg
Lag
Lane
Lean
Age
Angel
Ale
Angle
Nag

Here is what I decided to do with this list. Since goodwill means acting out of compassion instead of selfishness, by means of meditation, I have decided to use the remaining days in December to wrap a prayer around each of the 22 words and apply a Holy Scripture as the bases of each prayer. This will keep me focused on the actual reason for the season and to be thankful and grateful for the Angels of God who remained at their posts until the Blessed Event was born.

For example, below is the scripture I have chosen to formulate my prayer for the word ‘slang’. For I will use slang if necessary to introduce someone to Christ with a limited vocabulary.

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

I invite you to join me in prayer to help you keep your heart and mind on whatsoever things are lovely concerning this Christmas season. Or you may consider other ways to participate in celebrating December 26th and dispensing goodwill towards others such as:

  • Boxing up everything you don’t need and giving it away
  • Make a sizable donation to a charity that helps the poor
  • Give away leftover food and unwanted gifts
  • Host a meal for the poor or homeless
  • Give back to society by volunteering with a local organization
  • Think about the word goodwill and how you can apply it to your life
Try it…You might like it!

Scripture Lesson: “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10)

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