God Provides Instructions On How To Build A Healthy Spiritual Life Support System – Part 3

Jason's Lake Pic

Jay’s View of Worship and Thanksgiving

Good morning, my dear readers.  You know, one thing that was heavy on my heart was the fact that my two grown children were not attending church services as regularly as they had been required to do when they were kids.  Both children are married now and have their own families and life-problems, but I was still expecting them to connect with a corporate body of church folks.  But this morning, the Lord ‘rung me up’ and shared an endearing message with me from the heart and mouth of my son, Jay.

Here’s how it all began.  I prepared a cup of coffee, went into my office, sat down at my computer and began to compose Part 3 of my blog for this week on the Discipline of Worship.  I had just finished praying a short prayer and had asked the Holy Spirit for His guidance when suddenly the phone rang.  It was Jay.  Now Jay is a retired executive from the corporate world who had just moved his family to a beautiful lake front property in North Carolina.  And he wanted to call his mother and share with her the serenity of the majestic scene he was now privileged to view from his bedroom window.

I was awe-struck by the picture Jay was describing to me and the excitement that was in his voice.  Mom, I can see for miles and miles up the river; all kinds of birds are swooping down over the waters; blue jays, blue birds, red birds, yellow birds and eagles.  I can see the white feathers on their heads.  And my little furry neighbors; the squirrels and rabbits and chipmunks running around.  Mom, sometimes in the early morning there’s a lite mist hovering above the lake.  Mom, you’ve got to see this.  Everything is just so beautiful.

And with that introduction from Jay, it led us into an in depth conversation about God and his magnificent creation and His goodness He has allowed our families to share.  After a time of giving Him all the praise, honor and glory we were both shedding tears of joy and thanksgiving.  When I hung up the phone, I remained still and I heard the Lord say in a wee small voice, My child…NOW THAT’S WORSHIP!

The Discipline of Worship

To have a complete understanding of the Discipline of Worship means you must be able to define worship.  What is worship?  Worship is the human response to divine overtures and initiatives of love which come forth from the heart and dispensation of the Father.  Consequently, true worship can come forth only after the Spirit of God touches the spirit of man.  John 4:23, 24 – “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

All corporate preliminaries that go forth to comprise a worship service such as the liturgy, singing of songs, scripture readings, prayers, announcements, etc., are just that:  preliminaries.  The component to remember for your spiritual life support system is that worship does not take place until the Spirit (God) touches the spirit (human beings).  And the “touch” can come in places other than the sanctuary.  (Just ask Jay.)

During the Discipline of Worship it allows our spirit to see God high and lifted up, to see His marvelous acts and how abundantly His grace abounds.  One can do nothing short of praise.  The Discipline of Worship also helps us put our priorities in order.  Worship comes before service.  So stop running around answering the call to service at the exclusion of ministering to the Lord.  Mark 12:30, 31 – “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”…and your neighbor as yourself.”  And if I might add:  in that order!

Cornerstone church service

Corporate Church Services

When we gather in our sanctuaries for worship, we go forth in anticipation and great expectation that God will meet us there.  We remember what we read in the History Books of the Bible.  How God appeared in mysterious lightings, how foundations and walls shook, how people were slain in the spirit and just plain slain and how birds became your GPS system.  Yes, we do come to a physical place in order to worship.  But now we have learned how to go inside ourselves where it is quiet and still and we can listen for our Master Teacher’s voice.

You will recall in Part 2, at the time when we discussed the Discipline of Solitude we identified moments in your life when you thought God had left you.  “The dark night of the soul.”  It is during those times you are to initiate acute listening skills.  Well, if God is expected to meet you at the traffic light, or while standing in line at the store, or while sipping your morning cup of coffee, surely He will meet you in corporate worship services at your church.  So why not go into worship with great expectations?  Just look what is at work here.  Positive thinking, constantly engaged in holy communication, the ability to recognize the Presence of God and unspeakable joy when it all comes together in worship.  It’s the epitome of Galatians 2:20…”I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Here is an example of what I mean.  If only a minority of worshipers come into a public worship service with divine expectations they can supernaturally change the entire assemble.  Those who are troubled and contrite are quickly drawn into a sense of the silent Presence of God.  I personally have experienced and testified to God’s grace in this way: Often while the preacher is delivering his or her sermon and I receive a revelation identifying additional scriptures that will also align itself with the words of the preacher, I’ll pray that those words of God will also come forth…and sure enough, the preacher does deliver them!  Another example is when one Sunday morning, just as the Pastor stood up to began preaching a baby started to cry.  I immediately went into my quiet place and talked to God about it.  The baby stopped crying instantly!  Often similar distractions can interrupt the services, but did you know that you have the power through the Name of Jesus Christ, to marginalize or to suppress them, while at the same time continuing to worship God.

(I’m reminded of a non-biblical expression:  “God Works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.”)

Yes, the Discipline of Worship takes work.  But the Lord pours out blessings from the top of your head down to the hem of your garment.  DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ENGAGE HIM!

In closing this blog, I want to challenge you to always look for and expect Jesus Christ in your worship services. If you are at mid week prayer service, listen for Him in the testimonies of others.  If you are at an all night prayer vigil, expect to hear a prophetic word.  If you are at a healing service, expect a miracle.  If Jesus Christ is truly the leader during your worshiping experience you will see and hear all types of people offering up praise and worship.  There should not be any big “I’s” and little “You’s”.  And this is a quote:  “Christ selects the human instrument He wants to play” in His sanctuary.

So, never humanly initiate spiritual activity in an attempt to aide the Holy Spirit.  Let all of your expressions of praise be divinely prompted.  Even if you don’t have a personal testimony, you can always praise the Lord with your body.  You can raise holy hands, kneel, clap, sway, be in agreement by saying “Amen” or “Praise the Lord”.  Yes, your Godly emotions need to be brought into your act of worship.  Not just your mind and spirit.  A quick vocabulary lesson teaches us that the Hebrew word translated “worship” is “to prostrate”.  The Hebrew word “bless” literally means “to kneel”.  And the Hebrew word for “Thanksgiving” refers to “an extension of the hand.”  So there!

Blog - Church choir singing pic Blog - kneeling in prayer pic Blog - Hand clapping pic adult-audience-colors-2019331

  By Singing         By Kneeling       By Clapping        By Raising Hands

The point is, without a doubt, we are to offer our body parts as well as all the rest of our being as we worship the King during the Discipline of Study, The Discipline of Solitude and the Discipline of Worship.  Amen

TO REVIEW PART  2 OF THE DISCIPLINES,  CLICK ON THE RIGHT, MARCH 2019 AND SCROLL DOWN.    TO REVIEW PART 1 OF THE DISCIPLINES, CLICK ON THE RIGHT, SEPTEMBER 2018 AND SCROLL DOWN.

Scripture Lesson:  “Where two or three are gathered in My Name there am I in the midst of them.”  Matthews 18:20

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

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God’s Name Was “Houston”

Blog God's Name Was Houston morning pic

This morning I woke up with Jesus on my mind.  This happens quit often, but on this particular Monday morning, seemingly a centrifugal force was guiding me.   While still in my PJs, I went into my office/den, sat down at my desk and began to leaf through a stack of magazines.  Now, so far, I really wasn’t looking for a topic for my weekly blog post because I had already decided to share Part 3 of last week’s blog with my audience.  That blog was about building a spiritual life support system.  Part 1 was the Discipline of Study and Part 2 was the Discipline of Solitude.  Part 3 will be about The Discipline of Worship.

BUT GOD HAD ANOTHER ASSIGNMENT FOR ME!

Suddenly, my attention was drawn to the December 2018 issue of the AARP Bulletin news magazine/paper.  I began to leaf through its pages and was reminded just how much I have always enjoyed its content about senior living, senior legislation, senior commerce and senior places for travel, and senior health issues.

But imagine my surprise to read about a Q&A interview AARP had conducted with former Astronaut James Lovell on page 32.  The content of this interview was commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission and the first to orbit the moon.  What grabbed my attention was the reference Astronaut Lovell (now 90 years old) made about how his philosophy had changed while orbiting the earth.  For some reason, God had me to read that paragraph over and over again.

Blog God's Name is Houston pic

There’s an old saying, “I hope to go to heaven when I die.”  Suddenly, it dawned on me that we went to heaven when we were born!  We arrived on a planet that had the right amount of mass to have the gravity to contain water and an atmosphere, just at the proper distance from a star.  It appeared to me that God had given mankind sort of  a stage to perform on.  I guess how that play will turn out is up to us.”

The above is a direct quote and picture from the article.  BUT God whispered in my ear and gave me a direct “eye-opener” from Heaven.  God said in conversation to me; My child, do you know why that mission trip was a success and returned to earth safely, in spite of a near catastrophe, when one oxygen tank was empty and another was leaking profusely?  I responded by saying…Say on, Lord!  It was because of Astronauts Lovell,   Jack Swigert and Fred Haise’s “May Day” message to their command post…”Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

Little did they realize that because of Jim’s highly insightful, informal and innamorate prayer of recognition towards Me, and his eye opening comparison of my gift of an ‘earthly stage’ for humanity to an eternal future heavenly ‘Place’, caused all of My heavenly Angels to shout Hallelujah to the King of Glory.  It took Me to this very day to calm them down and to tell them to get back to the business of protecting and guiding My people.

Yes, and as you know…”HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT A PROBLEM” has become an iconic quote because just as the article said, ‘it fits into millions of situations people experience every day’.  Always remember My Beloveds, when one of My ‘disciples‘ gets that excited (as Jim Lovell did) while admiring My Creation, he or she can call Me by any Name…I’ll even answer to the Name of HOUSTON and I will sure-nuf respond to their call.

Ultra High Definition 4K View of Planet Earth NASA

Meditate on Jesus [Let Us] while viewing this 1:38 minute video.  Just Click and converse with Him.

One final note…many, many, many years ago I referred to God as “Mr. Character”.  I blogged about that conversation and encourage you to expand your recognition of Who God Is.  Approach the Throne of Grace with humility and steadfast love for Him.  Check out http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com/Mr.Character

Scripture LessonIn the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.  Genesis 1:1-2

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth.  Psalm 8:9

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

 

God Provides Instructions On How To Build A Healthy Spiritual Life Support System – Part 2

In September 2018, I posted a blog entitled “God Provides Instructions On How To Build A Healthy Spiritual Life Support System”.  The first component dealt within that post was the discipline of study.  If you would like to refresh your memory concerning that conversation I had with God, please select “September 2018” to the right of this page and scroll through those weekly blogs until you see the title listed above.  Basically, a quick review will help you better connect with this week’s blog.

Now, in this week’s blog, I would like to continue sharing about how to build a healthy spiritual life support system by once again revisiting my conversation with the Great Physician, who has never lost a case, for our Part 2 spiritual checkup.

Blog God Provides Instructions Part 2

So, let’s leave the office of “Dr. Discipline of Study” and go down the hall to the office of “Dr. Discipline of Solitude.”

The doctor takes our pulse and heart rate and immediately turns as white as a sheet.  He instantly realizes that we are all deficient in the component of Solitude.  He starts his examination with probing questions.  “How often does Jesus stop by your house to prepare a table before you?”  Followed by, “How frequently does He anoint your head with oil?”  (Psalm 23)  Surely, when recalling events of this magnitude you did not trust your memory.  You did write down the dates in your calendar, didn’t you?”

The very absence of the ability to regularly recognize an encounter with Jesus Christ is an indictment that we don’t understand the power of perfecting the Discipline of Solitude.  It goes without saying, as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, or putting it another way, as we go through life during distressing times and we can’t recognize the chastising presence of our Lord and Savior, we will surely fear evil.  Tell me, who among us does not have problems from time to time in this area?

NOW, AS A BLACK BAPTIST PREACHER WOULD SAY IN A LYRICAL MONOTONE: 

Winston Porter Large Musical Notes Wall Decor Image 1 of 1“LET ME-Ah–TAKE YOU-Ah–A LITTLE BIT-Ah–HIGHER.” 

Usually a Christian’s first conversion to walking by faith is tied to the first component: The Discipline of Study.  With that discipline we learned how necessary it is for new and seasoned believers to stay connected with God’s Word, the Holy Bible, while building up their spiritual houses based upon the following scripture in 2nd Tim. 3:16-17:  “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man (or woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  These verses basically deal with the outer man.

After thoroughly understanding the first conversion/component, you are now ready for the second conversion/component:  The Discipline of Solitude.  This discipline is based on the second most memorized Scripture by Christians which is found in Mark 12:29-31:  “And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel:  The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:  this is the first commandment and the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  There is none other commandment greater than these.”  These verses basically deal with the inner man.

So, to completely understand the Discipline of Solitude, let’s look at its meaning.  Solitude means being alone, without companions in a remote place from society.  “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35

Blog God Provides Instructions Man praying Pic 2

Be still and know that I am God!

It is extremely necessary for the believer to include The Discipline of Solitude in their quest towards building a healthy spiritual life support system because this is an opportunity for God to perform a cleansing act in your life.  This is God’s time to eradicate ‘self-love’ from your soul.

THE TRUE STATE OF THE DISCIPLINE OF SOLITUDE REQUIRES THAT IT BE INITIATED BY GOD AND THAT YOU COME INTO IT “EMPTY” AND FREE.

In my conversation with God, He made it quite clear for me that there is a distinct difference between quiet time, meditation time and solitude time.

Quiet time with the Lord often includes verbal as well as non-verbal communications:  audible prayers, devotional readings, singing of hymns, rehearsing of events of the day, etc.  To meditate means to engage in deep thought before prayer.  You are more focused on the attributes of God.  Your brain is highly activated.  Your emotions are heightened.  You may even design a special place in your home and position your body in a certain posture when meditating.  The common thread that binds quiet time with meditation is that you initiated the act.

There was an incident in the Apostle Peter’s life when he recognized the need for perfecting the Discipline of Solitude. He needed to get away to a quiet place far from society and companions.  Peter needed his deficiencies pointed out by God.

Peter experienced a rude awakening that what the Lord had prophesied over him had come true.  Peter had denied Him thrice before the cock crowed.  The realization was that because of Peter’s mind-set for ‘self-preservation’ or ‘self-love’ he had chosen not to stand on the first and second commands of Jesus’ words recorded in Mark 12:29-31.  And thus, Peter needed the holy chastising of the Lord. (In this case, just an accusing glance.)  Peter had to get away and to be alone with God to allow God to cleanse him of a virtue that all of us believers have…professing God, but only up to the point of ‘self-preservation’ or ‘self-love’.  Peter’s redeeming proclamation was he had to affirm Jesus thrice.  (You’ve heard that old adage…self-preservation is the first law of nature…..but it is not the first law of God!)

When God calls you to solitude, He puts breaks on every other activity in your life.  This includes your relationship with Him.  Even your spiritual growth is temporarily placed on hold.  God wants to come in and sup with you.  These periods are described as “the dark night of the soul.”  These periods usually happen after you have been to the mountain top.  [One of my pastors used to say, you have been to the mountain, now come back down to the valley.]  The purpose of the darkness is not to punish or afflict us.  It is to set us free.  But when this dark period of “rebirth” tries to take its rightful place in the inner man, the outer man tries to kill it. (See Psalm 32.)  Just remember that Jesus Christ has already conquered death, hell and the grave.

Finally, I want you to remember that the fruit of solitude is this:  increased awareness of your surroundings; increased sensitivity for others; increased compassion for all living things; increased appreciation for keeping your mouth shut; and increased respect for those times when you find yourself alone.

No more fear.  You are silently waiting on God Almighty while enjoying the spiritual maturity growth that is taking place within you.  God is building you up through the power and gospel of Jesus Christ for the sake of the brethren, while at the same time washing away self-love,  in order that you might love others for who they are and not for what they say.

The Lord closed our conversation with this question:  Are you ready to lay down your life for a friend even if “friend” not only includes your neighbor BUT me-myself-and I, too?

Scripture Lesson:  Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  Hide your face from my sins (including self-love) and blot out my iniquity.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Amen  Psalms 51:7-10

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

GOD SANCTIONS AN OLD ADAGE:  LEADERS ARE MADE AND NOT BORN

 

Blog God scantions old adage Leaders are made.jpg

News Flash:  My blog followers are growing thanks to you guys out there who remain faithful in returning each week to “Conversations With God Using Scripture” to support, ‘like’ and leave comments on various subject materials written herein.  I just want you to know how grateful I am for your steadfastness and loyalty.  And in return, it is my intent to support those of you who have websites by praying for your continued success as well.

Believe it or not, the title for this week’s blog came to me as I revisited a page in my journal which catalogued an early morning conversation I had with God around 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2004.

After being gently awaken, I just laid there silently.  My mind vividly recalled the stirring testimonies of the night before at our Wednesday night prayer meeting.  Passages from Ezekiel and Isaiah were read during the closing and I began to reflect on them as I lied awake.

Out of nowhere I ‘felt’ a voice say, “My Child, you have to become your title…”Board of Christian Education.”  At first, I was confused and had no idea why my mind spoke to me in that fashion.  Suddenly, my subconscious was at work and reminded me that ever since the last Board meeting on November 13th, which I was a newly elected member of, I had been asking the Lord to speak to me concerning the question put to us by our president.  Her inquiry to us was what concerted new ideas would we be bringing to the table that would foster constructive change in the turbulent operations of various departments/ministries in the church family.

During those following nineteen days after that meeting I had received nothing from on high!  Then, finally, that morning (in God’s time), He decided to answer.  

“Is that You, Lord?” I said with excitement, and immediately grabbed my Bible and turned to the book of Ezekiel.  As I read Chapter 2 in it’s entirety, the Lord spoke again.

“Ezekiel’s life was a living parable or object lesson for the people.  And, Daughter of Education, I see you as I see Ezekiel.  A representative of Who is to come.  For I call Ezekiel, Ben Adam–which is when translated, Son of Man.   Now, Daughter of Education, get up, wake up, get a pen and write.  I am sending you to the children of this church, a rebellious congregation, who have rebelled against Me.  They and their fathers, like in the days of Ezekiel, have transgressed against Me to this day.”

So when I heard Him, I grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and I begin to write.  But then I said, “Oh, Lord, how have we rebelled against You?”  I did not hear or ‘feel’ anybody speak, but my spirit nudged me and caused me to have a fixation on the expression in the bible that referred to ‘eat the word.’

(From that time forward, whenever I was asked to pray for the congregation, I would always include those words…’eat the word’.  In addition, I personally began to ‘eat the word’.  I truly believed by doing so I was in training to become all that God intended for me in the household of faith,  Obviously, I was reminded spiritually, leaders are made not born.)

Then God said to me, “The Word I have for the Board of Christian Education is one of encouragement.  Persons on the Board are to see themselves as a Jeremiah and as an Ezekiel.  Both of these men’s messages to My people were proclamations.  Their preaching was laced with future event happenings.  Both of these men’s messages were warnings to the people, telling them to get ready for things to come.

So, when their prophecies did not happen in the time frame that suited the people, the people began to shut their ears and mock Ezekiel and Jeremiah and call them a bunch of names and hoped they would stumble in everything they did.

Even though both men were My appointed and ordained priests they were also human; their feelings were hurt and their personage was wounded.  Instead of getting angry at the people, they got angry with Me.  Jeremiah said, ‘I will not make mention of HIM.’

  BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION…BEWARE!!!!

Blog God Sanctions An Adage Leaders Meeting pic

My Child, you are to become Ben Christian Education–which is when translated, Daughter of Christian Education.  For like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, your words will be a stumbling block and a proverb to My people.  The captors are coming and My people will be swallowed up, but My Word will ring true.  My messengers need to be steadfast, unmovable, strong-willed and of good courage.”

To all my readers, my prayer, then and now is this:   I pray that during my entire time of service to the Lord I have rendered myself and my efforts to the teachings of the Holy Spirit and in accordance with the scripture text below.  For I, too, realize that servant leaders/managers are made (by God) and not born.

Scripture Lesson:  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast and immovable.  Always excel in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthian 15:57-58   

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

 

God and Me and the “Baby” Makes Three

NO!  NO!   NO!    My position in life is not to become Mother Mary #2.    Not for a moment!  Nor have I miraculously conceived a god-child.  I’m just me…who truly loves the Lord and the “baby” he gave me…simply my calling as a prayer warrior!

It has also been said that I have a fetish for God’s word and an innate ability to deliver or express his word in a palatable manner which makes it easier for people to digest, understand and to apply.  Many say I missed my calling as a school teacher.  Rubbish!!!

If you have been following my blogs, you can readily see that I constantly stay in touch with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through conversations with Him.  I allow Him to order my steps each and every day.  I lean only on His understanding for my daily tasks.  Yes, sometimes I fall short but He picks me up, brushes me off and starts me all over again.   In other words, I’m just a sinner who falls down…but I get up!

And one way that I get up is through prayer and it’s not always while on my knees.  I pray while walking, riding, exercising, fasting, lying prostrate, singing and sitting at my computer and meditating!

So this week’s blog will be about one of my “babies”, a devoted audible prayer I composed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit for a group of ladies at a prayer breakfast in March 1999.  When seriously confronting the Lord in prayer, I always initiate my A-B-C method.  Why?  Because it helps me to forget about myself and concentrate on Him.

A.  First, I like to identify by name the god to whom I’m praying.

B.  Then I give thanks and praises to Him and begin to list His wonderful attributes.

C.  Next, I ask forgiveness for my transgressions, explicitly explaining the purpose for this prayer and reminding Him of His Almighty powers to intercede in this matter.

This is not an effort to ‘teach’ you how to pray…God forbid!  The Lord has already done that for you in Matthew 6:9-13.  I just want you to think while you do the following:   Pray biblically! 

Most Holy and Everlasting Father, our Jehovah Jirah, we, the women of this congregation do thank You for all our provisions for our lives.

We praise You, Father because You are an Om-ni-scient God!  You know everything…You are infinitely wise.  Thank You.

We also magnify and adore You because You are an Om-nip-o-tent God.  All power is thine.  Thank You.

We continue in prayer by saying Hallelujah to Your Name, this morning, Father, because of Your Om-ni-pres-ence.  Yes, You are not only glorified here in this place, put You are reigning with the men of this congregation as they worship You while on their retreat in West Virginia.  Thank You.

And now Lord, we humbly ask Your forgiveness in those areas of our lives where we have failed to put You first.  For those times when we have marched to the beat of an alien drummer.  It is for these times that we say, Lord forgive.

Also, when we have failed to respond to Your call in the manner in which Your Son and our Redeemer would have responded.  It is for those times that we say, Lord forgive.

It is only because You are a forgiving God and that You have undying love for Your people that we submit to You all those things that so easily beset us:

  • Depression reigns, Father, because some child has broken their mother’s heart.
  • Despair abounds, Father, because families are experiencing grief.
  • Physical and mental stresses, Father, are taking their toll because many souls are lost to the prince of this world.
  • Suicide rates are climbing, Father, because backs are bent over under the weight of the world’s heavy burdens.

Our cry this morning is that You will surely claim us as Your own; You will rescue us from our persecutions and fears and that we will survive; that in our state of perplexities and confusion, You will lift us up where we belong and remove us out of the pits of despair.

When we find ourselves cast down and we are unable to get up You will give us the courage and strength to bind Satan, in the Name of Jesus, and thus we will not be utterly destroyed.

Now Lord, as we come to the close of this prayer, may we always be reminded that no matter how devastating the circumstances, Jesus has already overcome the world and He has also put everything under man’s feet, in the Name of Jesus.

So, armed with this holy knowledge, we endeavor to always be joyful; to pray continually; to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Your will for our lives.

All these things we pray and ask in the Matchless Name of Jesus the Christ.  AMEN.

You may have noticed that incorporated in my prayer I mention specific trials and tribulations that the congregation is experiencing.  I have either heard these requests during weekly prayer meetings or over the pulpit or directly from individuals privately.  This method of praying is a uniting tie that binds us as sisters and brothers in the family of the Lord.  It also allows the participants at the breakfast to affirm in retrospect your prayer requests to God because the subject matter is so real to them.

More than once when I ‘thought’ I had concluded praying for a group, participants in the audience were so moved that they actually ‘continued‘ the prayer by adding their own audible prayer request to the Lord.  Talk about connecting to heaven and ‘birthing’ a  hydrogen bomb of exuberance…Glory be to God!!!

Scripture Lesson:  Let Everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6

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

God Speaks Truth To Power-less Mortals

For this week’s blog, I wish to pay tribute to the entire 28 days of February 2019 in celebration of Black History Month.  The title and theme was inspired by one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s favorite quotes.  But the meat and potatoes of the body of this blog is actually a message I received from God when I sought his wisdom, understanding  and knowledge as I prepared to conduct a workshop for a group of women at my church in 1983.

Many of these ladies were wives of pastors, assistant ministers, deacons, trustees, elders,  and other male officials of the church.  Privately, the women had often shared with me how they were at a loss on how to communicate with their spouses in certain circumstances.  For example, should their spouse be interrupted or disturbed if their office door was closed.  Or if dinner was ready.  Or if an unannounced visitor showed up on their door step and wanted an audience with their husband, should they be permitted to do so if he was in seclusion.  Honestly, one wife even confided in me that she wanted another child but was afraid to discuss the subject with her highly successful husband in the ministry.  She felt that a ‘new addition’ would somehow hinder his advancement and place additional demands on him and his quiet time ‘with the Lord’.

As you can imagine, my preparation for the workshop message/activities for this seminar would be daunting.  So my first position on this was to go to God in prayer and fasting.  Don’t laugh…but the first thing I heard from heaven was the title for the workshop.  The Lord said, here’s what you call it; “What every housewife wants to know about her role as a ‘helpmate’ but is afraid to ask.”                                                                                                      Blog God Speaks Truth to the Power-less

How cleaver I thought.  God, you’re the Greatest…What’s next?

His divine response (in so many words) was for me to remind the ladies just how he communicates to us when we don’t wont to be bothered: through action, through scriptures and by the incorporation of the ritual for the Lord’s Supper.  God even gave me my Scripture verse from Hebrews 13:8:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.”   Just as the Father visually communicated to the Hebrew children in the wilderness, He is visually speaking to the wives (and us) today and also for posterity .

And that’s where Dr. King’s famous quote comes in (with a few revisions) as it mirrors and affirms Scripture:  “[Ladies,] Whatever your life’s work, do it well.  A [wo] man should do [her] his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”

So, I reminded the ladies of the following 3 things:

1.  How God Communicated Yesterday

In the olden days, God communicated with the Children of Israel by a cloud.  They all saw it, they all followed it, and they all knew it was God! (Exodus 13:21)

Another way God communicated with them was to supply their groceries.  He quenched their thirst with cool water from the rocks.  He fed them quail meat that dropped from the sky. He gave them a freshly baked loaf of bread every morning.  (Duet. 8:15-16; Exodus 176:8)

(So, a workshop activity could be for the women to brain storm ways to be creative to subtly get their messages across to their spouses.)

2.  How God Communicates Today

Now, today, God still openly and visually communicates with us. How?  He has written us a Love Letter…the Holy Bible…telling us all about his Son, Jesus, and extending an invitation to dine and to celebrate with Him.  He wrote the Letters for posterity…for all those who were not there.  Take eat, ye, all of it.

In other words, God wanted to speak TRUTH to the powerless…Us Mortals!

He instructed us that after we have read the Letters, digested the Letters, believe in the Letters, and obey the Letters, that we perform a spiritual ritual on a periodic basis.  As often as you do this…

Namely, he asked us to be fed by taking the Cup and when we drink from it to remember the blood his Son shed and allow this demonstration to be used to reflect His death and His resurrection.  In our thought process (by thinking on these things) we are in communication with God.  (Sometimes, speaking audibly is overrated.)

He further asked us to be fed by taking the Bread, break it and eat it.  The Bread, as we know, represents Jesus’ body.  We ask ourselves (or we should think about) what does Jesus’ body represent (not withstanding the Church):  Of course, the answer is FREEDOM!!!  Freedom from sickness; freedom from sin; freedom from strife, freedom from financial problems; freedom from hatred; freedom from lustfulness; freedom from fear; freedom from want; etc.

So we eat the Bread with great expectation of overcoming our infirmities both in the home and in our churches, just like Jesus.  And we drink the Cup in anticipation of dying (resting, sleeping) and being raised up again eternally unto our Heavenly Father, just like Jesus.

(The conference activity was for the ladies to take a very soiled penny, some Q-tips and a dollop of silver polish and slowly clean only the ‘Lincoln head’ side of the penny.  The ladies were instructed to pretend that it was their own head image on the penny being cleansed by Jesus.  They were to realize that they were in Good Hands of the Almighty.  The other soiled side of the penny represented their past life, which they were forbade to polish.)

3.  How God Communicates With Tomorrow

Jesus communicates His future actions (judgements) towards us based on our present knowledge, discernment and attitudes as partakers of Holy Communion.  (See 1 Corinthians 11:26-31 below.)

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.  27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

At this point, I would like to give you an example of how I would counsel one of the housewives mentioned above especially if she harbored any resentment towards her husband’s desire for long periods of solitude.  More specifically, if the housewife’s query to me would be…”Should I not partake of the Supper when I’m not feeling right towards someone, lest damnation come upon me.”

Based on my own experience, one interpretation revealed to me by the Holy Spirit was to ‘partake’, because I had confessed that I discerned and believed that by Christ’s stripes (His broken body [Bread] and spilled blood [Wine]), I am healed and Christ will set everything else in order when He comes (a future event).  The wife would then have to search her own soul and measure of faith.

So in closing, we should all live the best life we can as it is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.  We should participate often in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper as a reminder of the price freely paid for our salvation.  It also behooves us to always abide in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The rest, He will set in order when He comes.

(The final workshop activity was to serve The Lord’s Supper and to allow each attendant an opportunity to share a short confession of their faith, if they so desired.  By that time, the Holy Spirit was alive and well…in the atmosphere!  HALLELUJAH!!!)

Scripture Lesson:     Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  John 15:4-6

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

 

 

God Understands And Says Well Done

Just before reading my blog for this week, I invite you to click the face of Tennessee Ernie Ford and listen to a short version of the Christian hymn, “He’ll Understand and Say Well Done”.  Then come back to my blog.

This will help you to understand how God often converses with me in three dimension when he really wants me to understand the true meaning of certain scripture passages, especially when I have been asked to teach them to others.

To be perfectly honest with you, I never felt special or even looked upon this method of Bible study as being a privilege from God until he recently revealed it to me while preparing this week’s blog.  I naively thought that was how The Holy Spirit conversed with everybody.

During my prayer-prep time for entering into the Master’s mind/presence for preparing this week’s blog, I discretely heard the Lord say that He does not work with every biblical writer as He does with me.

My child, He said, you are continually asking Me questions all the while you are researching My Word and looking for validation and confirmation in other areas of scripture.  So since you are imparting information about the role of a Deaconess in the church, all I have to say to you through the Apostle Paul is the following:

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”  Ephesians 4:1-6 KJV

Back in the day, when I was a Deaconess (*), I actually presented the following bible study teaching at the Deaconess Workshop, Saturday, March 5, 1983 at my Baptist church in Rockville, Maryland.  God empowered me to use his Scriptures from Saint John, Chapter 15 (KJV), Webster’s word definitions and a hymn to bring the message.  (The ‘red‘ letters spell out Deaconesses; Webster defined the conduct of a Deaconess; and the hymn describes the reward that will be bestowed on a faithful Deaconess.)

15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches:  He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without me ye can do nothing. Devoted Very Loyal, Very Faithful

If when you give the best of your service,

15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:  that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Evangelize Proclaim the Good News

Telling the world…..

15:4  Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except ye abide in me.

15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Abide To Remain

…..is come

15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Christ The Expected Deliverer

The Savior…..

15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:  but because ye are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

15:21  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

Offended To Hurt The Feelings Of

Be not dismay…..

15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I  have spoken unto you,

15:24  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin:  but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

Negative Expressing Denial

When Friends don’t believe you…..

15:9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:  continue ye in my love.

15:17  These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Empathy The Capacity for participation in or infusion of another’s feelings (The highest of intellect)

He’ll understand and say Well Done.

15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. Sojourner To live somewhere temporarily

Oh, when I come, to the end of my journey…..

15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Sacrifice An offering of a life or object to a deity

Weary of life and the battle is won!…..

 

15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. Eternal Without Beginning or End

Carrying the Staff and the Cross of Redemption…..

15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. Spirit of Truth Supernatural Being

He’ll understand and say Well Done.

 

I forgot to mention, when God wants me to be serious, he requires that I use the King James Version of Scripture because the words are more poetic and easier to memorize.

Blog He Understands and says Well Done

Speak, Lord, thy servant is listening.

(*) Note:  The ministry of a deaconess is, in modern times, a non-ordained ministry for women in some Protestant churches to provide pastoral care, especially for other women. The term is also applied to some women deacons in the early church.

Scripture Lesson:  Ephesians 4:1-6 KJV (See above.)

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