Have you ever wondered what do clasped hands pointing upward towards heaven have to do with God? Well according to several references from Google search, it has to do with an acronym I have penned…R-O-S-S.
However, needless to say, we have a higher authority than Google search…do we not?When the Patriarchs and holy men in the Bible prayed unto the God, they often spread out their hands towards heaven. And the wisest man in the Bible (King Solomon) went a step further; he also knelt on his knees (1 Kings 9:54).
So, at the close of the day, let us remember to posture ourselves in a position of repentance, obedience, submission and sincerity and call upon the Name of the Lord while doing so on bended knees.
And while you are at it, why not broaden your prayer to include the following: widows, orphans, homeless, calamity dispossessed victims, jobless, sick and shut-ins, governments world-wide, the lost, backsliders, friends far and near, relatives, loved ones, and most of all…pray for peace!
“Because God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that who so ever believed on Him should not parish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
My prayer for you: Be blessed and enjoy the rest of the summer and every day there after.
TO ALL VISITORS TO THIS BLOG POST, PLEASE SCROLL BACKWARDS TO PART ONE OF “GOD SPEAKS TO JOB THROUGH JAMES” FOR AN INTRODUCTION TO PART TWO.
As promised, herein is Part Two of last week’s blog with the same title. I indicated in Part One that I had written this dialogue between myself and the Holy Spirit some years ago. And that so many revelations were flooding my heart that I had to implore my Lord to slow down and allow me to get a pad and pencil to write them down. Well, once again, in retelling this conversation to my readers, I feel the same excitement and power of the Holy Ghost. It is my prayer that as you read this inspiring message given to me from On High, you will experience the same revelations, too.
So, here goes…and I invite you to share your thoughts by contributing a comment and forwarding it to me.
“God Speaks To Job Through James“
MY BRETHERN, COUNT IT ALL JOY WHEN YOU FALL INTO VARIOUS TRAILS. James 1:2
Job, I know you are not feeling well, but, do you recall when Eliphaz said,
...'Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise
the chastening of the Almighty'. Job 5:17
KNOWING THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES PATIENCE. James 1:3
Well, Eliphaz said that after your calamity came upon you, you declared
that you wished you were dead, for you said, 'There the wicked ceased
from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.' Job 3:17
BUT LET PATIENCE HAVE IT'S PERFECT WORK, THAT YOU MAY BE PERFECT AND
COMPLETE, LACKING NOTHING. James 1:4
But from the very beginning, Job, you kept declaring how righteous you were
and that there was no advantage to be gained if you were cleansed from
your sin. Job 35:3I was right there when you said, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. Even so,
I will defend my own ways before him.' Job 13:15
IF ANY OF YOU LACKS WISDOM, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, WHO GIVES TO ALL
LIBERALLY AND WITHOUT REPROACH, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO HIM. James 1:5
Honestly, Job, you should not have added that last part about maintaining
your own ways, for you have spoken without knowledge and your words were
without wisdom. Job 34:35
BUT LET HIM ASK IN FAITH, WITH NO DOUBTING, FOR HE WHO DOUBTS IS LIKE
A WAVE OF THE SEA DRIVEN AND TOSSED BY THE WIND. James 1:6
Our true friend Elihu suggested the manner in which you should have
prayed, remember...For has anyone said to God, 'I have borne chastening;
I will offend no more; teach me what I do not see;'Job 35:31, 32a
BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO ENDURES TEMPTATION; FOR WHEN HE HAS BEEN
APPROVED, HE WILL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE WHICH THE LORD HAS
PROMISED TO THIOSE WHO LOVE HIM. James 1:12
Job, stop that...Do not desire the night. For people that are in
darkness are cut off. Shhhh,...Lest he take you away with one blow.
Then a Great Ransom (Jesus) cannot deliver you and you will not
receive the crown of life. Job 36:20, 33:24b
SO, THEN, MY BELOVED BRETHREN, LET EVERY MAN BE SWIFT TO HEAR,
SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH; James 1:19
Oh, good, Job! You have calmed down. You have repented to God
by declaring...'Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you?" I lay my
hand over my mouth.' Job 40:4
THEREFORE, LAY ASIDE ALL FILTHINESS AND OVERFLOW OF WICKEDNESS,
AND RECEIVE WITH MEEKNESS THE IMPLANTED WORD, WHICH IS ABLE
TO SAVE YOUR SOULS. James 1:21
Then Job answered the Lord and said: 'I know that you can do
everything, and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you.' Job 42:1-2Furthermore, I receive with all meekness the engrafted word. For my
own words were hollow without understanding and knowledge.
Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too
wonderful for me, which I did not know.' Job 42:3
IF ANYONE AMONG YOU THINKS HE IS RELIGIOUS, AND DOES NOT BRIDLE
HIS TONGUE, BUT DECEIVES HIS OWN HEART, THIS ONE'S RELIGION IS USELESS. James 1:26
Oh, Job, how wonderful our God is! For after you repented in dust and ashes
and bridled your tongue and harnessed your deceitful thoughts, the Bible says,..
And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the
Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Amen! Job 42:10
In my younger days, I participated in various Sunday School classes as a teacher and had the privilege to teach just about every age group. If I had to select which group was the most challenging, I would have to pick the young adult classes. Why this particular group? Well, the truth is the young adults hardly ever came to class prepared.
Also, the young mothers were constantly late for class because they had to deliver their little children to their respective Sunday School classes. The young men would dominate the discussion time with job-related situations, New Age commentary, sound-bite buzz words from popular television preachers and other personal life experiences that often had nothing to do with the subject at hand.
As we all know, there are great physical demands placed on the lives of our young people and a number of extra curricular activities are vying for their attention. Devoting time to study their Sunday School lessons was a low priority on their agendas. Once a student told me that because I was so well prepared as the teacher, she did not feel she had to study! This disturbed me greatly because I knew what the Bible said about studying…’to show yourself approved‘ (2 Timothy 2:15). I also knew what it said about teaching…’teachers will be judged more strictly‘ (James 3:1).
And further more, as a servant teacher called by God, I was under the holy job description written in 2 Timothy 2:24-26: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.“
So I had a little talk with the Holy Spirit…
Subsequently, I categorically began to pray for every member of that class. I asked God to deliver fresh blessings on their jobs, children, educational pursuits, finances, emotions, health, marriages and other personal relationships. I begged God to open their eyes and ears; to whet their appetites; to give them a hunger and thirst for his holy word. Soon, I discovered that praying was not enough. Strongholds needed to be broken down. That called for fasting as well as prayer!
The fruit of my labor began to unfold when we started to study the Book of Job. Because of the students’ weak foundation in the Old Testament and their difficulty in understanding God’s treatment of Job, I found myself defending the scriptures instead of teaching the scriptures. I was just about ready to ask the Sunday School superintendent for a transfer out of the class when the Holy Spirit spoke to me a second time. (This time more forcefully.…)
I was led to read the first chapter of the Book of James. There I began to discover the answers to Job’s predicament…and my own. Revelations were coming so fast until I had to ask God to please slow down and allow me a chance to get a pen and paper. Praise God!!! These divine messages needed to be immortalized. The litany, “God Speaks To Job Through James” was the result.
PLEASE TUNE IN NEXT FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2022, TO READ HOW CHAPTER ONE OF THE BOOK OF JAMES COMPLEMENTS THE ENTIRE BOOK OF JOB. IN THE MEAN TIME, PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS SONG BELOW.
I’m grateful that God sent me an invitation to his housewarming, but with all the airline plane delays, and cancellations,I wonder just how long it will take me to get there.I’m suppose to receive a crown.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me in an unusual way this week. At first I thought I was receiving messages to blog about the seventh day of creation called the Sabbath. For it is written, that was the day God “Rested” from all of his labors of creating the universe. But as I began to unpack this thesis, I soon realized that the Sabbath was not a day made for God to take his ease. But it was designed as an anointed time period (without end) for God’s people, who live in this world, to come to themselves and commence (on a daily basis) to live their lives as the following 3 bible scriptures proclaim and turn from their sins, so as not to be ruled by the snares of the evil one (Satan). In other words, the day that you repent and turn from your labor of sin and shame, that is your day of Sabbath. God’s ‘work’ was finished within 6 days and it was all good, so he took a day of rest (his Sabbath).
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Those persons who Romans 12:2 talk about, who are also in the world that God created but have not conformed to his will and to his ways and whose hearts and minds have not been renewed and therefore they are refusing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, they remain under the influences of the prince of this world (Satan).
IT’S PARTY TIME…
My child, whenever you performed missionary duties that included talking about Jesus to someone who was not a Christian or who did not know Christ, your actions were often referred to as being a soul-winner. Did you know that there is a crown awaiting such servants in heaven known as The Crown of Rejoicing? (1 Thessalonians 2:19 KJV)
The Holy Spirit spoke again and reminded me of my recent doctor’s appointment I had earlier in the week. Do you recall the excitement your nurse attendant had as she related to you how obliging her patients had been all day as she shared her love for Christ. How she admitted that serving Jesus Christ was her true profession and how she longed to make heaven her eternal home. You see, my beloved, many people become so caught up in earthly activities that they forget that heaven is truly their home. The Crown of Righteousness is not for them. (2 Timothy 4:8 KJV)
Another category in which Jesus will award crowns is to all those believers who have kept the faith at the expense of loosing their own lives. It also includes those servants who suffered persecution and even temptation. They, most assuredly, will receive The Crown of Life. (James 1:12 and Revelations 2:10 KJV)
Sometimes even believers loose out on receiving their crown because of a lack of self-discipline. They don’t know when to say “No!” They get caught up in “the good things in life”, and forget about all God’s benefits. Only those who can exercise discipline will receive The Victor’s Crown. (1 Corinthians 9:25-27 KJV)
Finally, just to remind you of one of Jesus’ quotes in Matthew 9:37, where he said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Let us not forget the crown that will be awarded to the faithful leaders of the churches: pastor’s, elder’s, deacons, Sunday School teachers, and various other ministry leaders. This group of followers of Christ will receive The Crown of Glory. (1 Peter 5:4 KJV)
CHECK YOUR MAILBOX FOR YOUR INVITATION…
The Lord says, My prayer invitation for you has already been signed, sealed and delivered by St. Francis of Assisi. Bring a copy of it with you when you come to My housewarming. It reads; “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.“
Scripture Lesson:“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (Matthew 6:31-32).
For more than ten years, I was a sojourner in the army of God as a volunteer missionary with an international orphan organization that specialized in transforming volunerable children’s lives, building strong families and enriching the lies of senior adults based on incorporating the tenent principles associated with Christ-centered values.
In last week’s blog on this site, I mentioned that people often asked me how I could remember so much background information about lineages and genealogies in the Bible. Others also wanted to know my secret for ascertaining the direction a particular character in the Bible would pursue. Well, because of those statements, this week I received several requests for specific examples. I found two perfect New Testament parables in Luke to enlighten you guys from chapters 18 and 19, concerning the blind beggar and the story of Zacchaeus in the tree.
“Zacchaeus, come down from that tree. I want to go home with you”, Jesus said.
(Using a descriptive Legend Expressed by Jews in Jesus’ Day):
City of Jericho - A town occupied by citizens of mixed identity.
A Beggar - An Israelite belief that God would never allow his children to beg for bread.
The Beggar - He Recognized Jesus as being a Son (descendant) of King David.
The Beggar - Although despised by some, Jesus said he had more faith than others.
Blind Person - An informative (defect/illness) that plagues sinners.
Tax Collector - An occupation imposed by Rome and despised by Jews.
Tax Collector - Although ostracized by some, identified by Jesus as a son of Abraham.
The crowd - Disrespected Jesus. Identified Jesus as being from Nazareth, a city
where nothing good could come out of.
The crowd - Disrespected the blind man. Told him to shut up.
The crowd - Disapproved of Jesus going to dine at the home of a tax collector.
Following is a brief summation of both parables:
It is recorded in scripture that Jesus passed through the ancient city of Jericho on at least two occasions. Large crowds followed Him. Jesus never failed to take time to heal people that the crowds considered to be an outcast in their communities. In both stories, the two men involved with our Lord had isolated themselves from the crowd and they both had a need. The blind beggar who sat along the road side needed his sight to be restored (Luke 18:35-43). Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, short in stature and who had climbed a tree to see Jesus, he needed to be converted from his wicked ways. (Luke 19:1-10)
The crowds who followed Jesus had shown indignation towards these two men and expressed their distain and were non obliging towards Jesus’ reception of them. The crowd wanted and expected Jesus to only associate with ‘their‘ kind, and not to have anything to do with those who were considered to be an outcast.
Jesus turned the tables on the crowd by proclaiming that the blind man was deserving to receive his sight based on his level of faith he had demonstrated in Jesus. And on behalf of Zacchaeus, Jesus said to the crowd that in spite of this man’s occupation, he never the less still was a child of Abraham and that the Son of Man (Jesus) came to seek and to save what was lost.
My prayer for you…
Heavenly Father, I truly want to proclaim Your message and live in such a way that people will be able to see from my actions that I am serious about my faith. And I also pray for everyone who comes to this blog post and desires to follow in Your footsteps after reading conversational stories as to how You structured Your life’s journey while a sojourner on earth. How Your heart’s desire was to aide and abet Your fellowman. Please, Lord Jesus, help us all to get this attribute right. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it. (1 Thessalonians 1:6, 8)
It’s good to reminisce sometimes…don’t you think? You know, just to kick back and allow your mind to wander and to recall an assortment of events that have taken place in an earlier time in your past life. And, yes, your mind will conjure up some good times and some bad times and some regrettable times. Well, I found myself doing just that as I settled down to write this week’s blog. And of course, the Holy Spirit wasted no time in connecting me with the Second Person of the Trinity. Jesus Christ.
My first thoughts were of my (deceased) paternal grandmother. I remembered (when I was a youngster) how she loved for me to comb and scratch her hair in the afternoons as she sat in her wooden porch swing and hummed her favorite hymns. I loved that assignment because I dreamed of becoming a hairdresser when I grew up. Next, a scary and frightful thought crossed my mind as I remembered riding in the back seat of a car being driven by a neighbor and his wife. We were driving pretty fast on the express way when all of a sudden, the front hood of the car came unlatched and flew back onto our windshield and momentarily blinded the driver. We all started screaming. Somehow, the driver was able to safely steer the car over to the far right lane and onto the grass. I saw several cars veering around our car in an attempt to avoid a collision. Miraculously, no one was hurt.
My next thoughts were mostly about my later years when I became more active in my church. People would ask me how I remembered so much background about lineages and genealogies in the Bible or be able to ascertain the direction a particular character in the Bible would pursue. I remember telling that person that I always studied the Bible with a pencil and paper near by and I would jot down thoughts that would enter my mind concerning the chapters I read. To this day, I still study like that.
And that habit is what steered me to write about eagles in today’s blog.
As I began to catalogue the ‘eagle’ scriptures, I began to realize that God had been carrying me on eagle’s wings all my life. God had been my protector from all hurt, harm and danger. I also realized that though I may exalt myself like an eagle, there is no cleft in a rock where I can hide from Him.
Some Little Known Facts About The Eagle's Nest
By S. L. Fowler
Most birds build only one nest per year
Which cradles their eggs to be hatched
But some birds build two or three new homes in a season
Because they are more industrious than the rest.
The Bald Eagle uses the same nest year after year
And is known to be a monogamous creature
This bird of prey possesses keenness of vision
Which helps her to spot her prey and make wise decisions.
America's national symbolic bird builds her nest
High in the cleft of mountaintops or in a very tall and sturdy tree
And each year the eagle keeps the nest in repair
By applying more and more materials to the existing aerie.
You can imagine that in just a few short years
After continuously adding new branches and mud
The eagle's nest would be so massive and heavy
Many scientists believe it could possibly weigh a ton.
As I studied the Holy Bible, I became mesmerized with God’s word and just how much he had to say about birds and especially eagles. And once when I was a member of a writer’s group, I wrote the above short poem about the eagle. The bible’s depiction of eagles is voluminous: they are creatures of strength; having broad wings of protection; keen eye sight for searching; the capability to soar to great heights; wreak havoc with his mighty claws; and remain for a life-time with one mate and one nest. But what is most amazing about the eagle is that it can hide from predators by flying directly into the blinding glare of sun rays.
My prayer for you…
Dear Heavenly Father, how wonderful it is that You speak to us personally through Your Word, during our life time. And that we can respond to You metaphoricallythrough the Word. It is our desire that You teach us to spend more time with You in this way and to hear Your voice speaking to us personally each and every day of our lives. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.Jeremiah 49:16
Most of us remember EF Hutton as a thriving commercial banking stock broker company that was the darling of Wall Street, back in the day. It went ‘belly up’, and since has reorganized, liquidated a majority of its assets, and rebranded themselves under a new name with new leadership. Evidently, not enough people listened, and EF Hutton bit the dust!
God speaks…But do people listen?
In the beginning, God made arrangements for his Son, Jesus Christ, to speak for him. Though Jesus physically walked on this earth approximately 32 years He is made alive by the Spirit and thus capable to speak to those persons who lived in the past, who lives in the present, and who will live in the future but are yet unborn. I am describing a miracle-working MAN Who is God-centered and spiritually blessed to speak not only to human beings, but is also empowered to speak to inanimate objects and they listen and obey, too. Who wouldn’t adhere to someone with so much power and authority. Yes, when Jesus Christ speaks, people listen. (So, eat your heart out, EF Hutton!!!)
Numerous circumstances abound in the Scriptures concerning our Lord’s oratorical engagements. In many of those incidents you find the persons querying Jesus while on their knees. The Syro-Phoenician woman of Mark 7:26 was in that posture when she approached Jesus. In spite of His disciples, she asked Him for a word that would cleanse her daughter’s body of the horrific demons that possessed her. In that same chapter, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, another one who came on bended knee, begged Jesus to come to his home and speak a word over his daughter who lay at the point of death. Scripture also tells us that Jesus spoke to fig trees, raging storms, tidal waves, fish in the sea, issues of blood, mountains and lunch boxes!
It has been said that once you learn the lesson of EF Hutton, you will never have any trouble figuring out who the real Leader is…
I had my own experience once while on an international mission trip to an orphan home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as I stood inside a classroom awaiting my students to teach a bible story to them. To my surprise, there were no student desks in the room, just stacked chairs. No black boards, no chalk, no writing paper for the students to take notes. I mused as to how to proceed. Then I asked the Lord. Immediately, my attention was directed to a lone chair in a corner with a large box on it. I went over to the chair to inquire of its contents. What I saw inside puzzled me. The box was full of small brown paper sandwich bags. What was I to do with these bags, I thought.
As the children marched into the room, each one grabbed a chair and immediately sat down on it and stared at me. I gave them a warm greeting and introduced myself and instructed them to come and take a bag out of the box and return to their seats. In my own supplies, I had brought several boxes of crayons and allowed each student to choose a color prior to returning to their seat. I surveyed the class and still realized that we had no desk to write on. My EF Hutton (..the Holy Spirit…), spoke to me and said to tell the students to get out of their chairs and kneel down in front of them and use the chair seat area to serve as their desks. WALLAH!! EUREKA!!…problem solved!
God was not through with me, yet!…
While the students were on their knees, I opened our time together in prayer. Next, I informed the class that I was going to tell them a story about Joseph and Mary and their trip to Bethlehem where Baby Jesus would be born in a stable because there was no more hotel rooms for His parents. As I relayed the significant parts of the story, the students began to draw their own concept of images on all four sides of their lunch bag. When I completed the story, I repeated the memory verse and the students wrote it in Spanish on the bottom of the bag. I instructed the children to make a fist and to place the opened bag over their fist and use their bag like a puppet and retell the story when they go back to their villages and share the Baby Jesus story. The children were ecstatic to visualize the recognition they would have when they returned home. I, personally, was humbled and blessed to realize just how much the Lord took an interest in my problem and came to my rescue. My ‘take-away’ is…when God speaks…I listen!!
What about You?…
Perhaps your prayer should be something like this: Dear All-knowing and All-caring Heavenly Father, I beseech you to make me whole heartedly prepared not only to ask of You things that I need, but also to have the right motives in my heart for doing so. For only in this manner will those sincere prayers be answered by You. I thank you once again for being my Help Mate during those ten years of my tour as an international missionary in Your service. May You and You alone be my strength and my redeemer. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“What good is it, my brothers (and sisters), if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Asthe body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:14, 26)
Where Does the Phrase “Salt of the Earth” Come From?
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13).
I heard an imaginary knock at my front door. I sat up in bed and leaned my body towards the direction I thought I heard the sound. “Tap, tap, tap”, I heard it again. What is going on, I quizzically mumbled. It’s 1:00 a.m. in the morning? Immediately, I scooted out of bed and tip-toed toward my front door. “Who is it?” I quietly asked. No answer. I repeated the question. “Who is it?” Still no answer. Then, suddenly, without provocation, and in my minds eye, I saw a picture of my license plate on the back of my car. It reads: “MY JAH”. So instantly, because there was no answer at the door, but only in my heart, I made an assumption that MY Lord (My Jah) wanted to speak to me through the Holy Spirit.
True, I had fallen asleep while reading my Bible, but I was not in a quandary when that happened. Neither was I perplexed nor uncertain about anything (I thought). Nevertheless, I left the area of the front door and went straight into my office and sat down in front of my computer. I offered up a quick prayer and then said, “Speak Lord, thy servant is listening”. I was lead to brows through my file cabinet where I found an article on “Household Uses of Salt”. I was surprised to learn that all of the uses for salt in the article had to do with household cleaning and for medicinal purposes…and nothing about foods.
Then it hit me. The Holy Spirit spoke and whispered, My child, you are the salt of the earth. Do you know what that means?
I quickly grabbed my Bible and searched the scriptures for references to salt. The following facts below are what I learned that increased my understanding and worthiness in the Kingdom of God.
Three Scripture Examples:
Jesus is speaking to His disciples and uses a metaphor to describe them as salt. In ancient times salt was a valuable commodity and in some regions it was worth more
then its weight in gold. The expression "He's not worth his salt", was originated by the
Greeks during their slave trading sales. The Romans used salt to pay wages to their
soldiers. And from salt we get the Latin word salarium, which when translated into
English becomes "salary".
It also is very important to remember that during Jesus' times, there was no refrigeration,
and salt was used to preserve and to flavor food, especially fish.
Here we learn that salt was used to wash newborn babies and disinfect open wombs.
Jesus was actually describing in these scripture the preserving qualities of a true disciple.
Something else I saw in the “Sermon on the Mount” scriptures in Matthew 5 was the identity of the classes of people God would especially be talking about. For example, it is written that ‘Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth’. (Matthew 5:5) The actual meaning comes from what this verse is not saying. You will recall that one of the reasons why most of the ancient peoples did not receive Jesus was because He preached ‘meek and mild’ sermons, and ‘turn the other cheek’ reprimands. And the people wanted a Messiah that would demonstrate attributes of a soldier and go to war against Rome and bring freedom from oppression to the Jews and their converts. Not so according to Jesus. It would take a meek leader to do that.
So, in my conversation with God through the Holy Spirit, I believe I was awaken from my sleep to be reminded that I am (as well as all of God’s people), are the salt of the earth. We have been assigned by God to act like salt and be preservers of the land and extend our disinfectant qualities to the wounds of those inhabitants in our sphere of influence. But if God’s people looses their good spiritual salt qualities and become like rock salt that lies along the Dead Sea and is often impure and harsh, they become good for nothing. In fact, in ancient times, rock salt was used only to spread on the temple courtyards in wet weather to make them less slippery.
I smiled as I came to a close of writing this blog. I whimsically said to the Holy Spirit, now in addition to improving my sticky iron by sprinkling salt on a piece of waxed paper and running the hot iron over it a few times to clean it up, I can sprinkle a pinch of salt over my shoulder and implore the Holy Spirit to improve my approach to my fellowman and pray for strength to be more of a godly salt-servant in the household of our Lord and Savior. Amen!
Scripture Lesson:“For God speaks again and again, in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on men as they lie on their beds. He opens their ears in times like that, and gives them wisdom and instruction, causing them to change their minds, and keeping them from pride, and warning them of the penalties of sin, and keeping them from falling into some trap.” Job 33:14-18
Most of the “woes” in the Bible were expressed vocally by Christ Jesus and directed critically towards the Scribes and Pharisees. An expressed woe usually means that someone has experienced long suffering from an affliction, or a grief, or experienced a misfortune brought on by someone else. There are seven distinct woes in the Bible that relate to the attitudes, mannerisms, and teachings of the majority of the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day, that brought Him deep anguish.
A SYNOPSIS OF THE 7 DISTINCT WOES IN THE BIBLE AGAINST THE PHARISEES AND SCRIBES:
They taught about God, but did not love God – they did not enter the kingdom of God themselves, nor did they let others enter.
They mostly preached about God, but actually converted people to dead religion.
They taught that an oath sworn by the temple or altar was not binding, but that if sworn by any of the ornaments of the temple, it was binding.
They taught the law, but did not practice some of the most important parts of the law.
They presented an appearance of being ‘clean’ (self-restrained, not involved in carnal matters), but they were dirty inside.
They exhibited themselves as righteous on account of being scrupulous keepers of the law but were, in fact, not righteous.
They professed a high regard for the dead prophets of old and claimed that they would never have persecuted and murdered prophets when, in fact, they were cut from the same cloth.
IN TODAY’S WORLD PEOPLE EXPRESS THEIR WOES THROUGH WRITING AND SINGING THE BLUES:
Some years ago, I sincerely thought about the above subject matter…God’s attitude towards administering woes to his disobedient and hurtful children…when I was assigned homework in my writing class to compose a poem about ethnic musical heritage. The distinct class of music I chose to write about was entitled “Using Your Miseries To Write Blues Poems”. Blues poetry is the manner in which several minority groups and disadvantage people turn to using their miseries and woes as lyrics to compose songs of sorrow and disillusions. The genre is called The Blues. Following are a few stanzas of my rendition of how and why this was done. (By the way, I’m not implying that this is the way or method Jesus Christ used to chastise the Scribes and Pharisees. But they sure did give Jesus the blues.)
Bessie Smith – I Ain’t Got Nobody 1925 Empress of the Blues – YouTube – warhosoup100 – 3:12 min.
“USING YOUR MISERIES TO WRITE BLUES POEMS” A Poem Composed By S. Fowler, Blogger
Did you know that blues ain't just a song to be sungOr bells to be rung
But blues could be a word to be written
As poetry on a page by you
A prolific and highly expressive sage.Now the blues when sung in a poetic rhythm
Got its origin in the United States
Back some one hundred years ago
Squarely in the African-American race
Whose dialogue is rich in composing rhymes and playing 'the dozens'.
For the most part, blues is born out of our misery and what life is all about
Like the Negro field hand working in the cotton gins of the South
They often complained about their troubles through a call and response
Hiding their true feelings in the lines of a song
Fooling their 'masters' who were oblivious of what was going on.Now when writing the blues as just poetry for fun
It can take on two forms none of which are sung
The classic or traditional style is well liked
Because a set formula causes each line to rhyme
And sets the tone for the subject to be defined.
The second style of blues poetry is called free verse
Which can be written any way the poet wishes to converse
As long as it depicts life's sufferings and complaints
Without rhyming or using a set meter to express one's fate
About being jobless, down and out, heart broken or got no date.
Most of the time the title of the blues poem sets the tone
Often witty or sarcastic of just forlorn
The poem seeks to offer a solution to our problems at hand
But many times it just repeats itself over and over again
And asks the reader to just accept what God has dealt a man.There are a few literary blues 'greats' who have come and who have goneRobert Johnson, the famous blues singer who picked his guitar
An exceptionally talented performer who sang his songs near and far
Some people said he sold his soul to the Devil
In exchange for his talent, loose women and fast cars.
Another famous blues entertainer was County Collin, the writer
He did not sing his miseries he just wrote them down for others
Many of his lyrics were written on a political note
On subjects that affected mostly only Black folks
One of his poems being, "Life For Me Ain't Been No Crystal Stair."Repetition of lines is very important in the blues poem
It re-emphasizes problems and lets you know how deep the trouble has gone
Sometimes when Nikki Giovani writes her poems she puts herself in them
Which makes the meaning of the poem all the more serious
And allows the reader to personally see him or herself in it.
"When I woke up this morning, my taxes were overdue,
My roof was leaking and my corns were hurting, too.
Yes, when I woke up this morning, my taxes were overdue, I said my roof was leaking and my corns were hurting, too.
But I'll tell you one thing, Baby, I'm sure 'nuf' through with you."
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how the blues got its name
It's all about singing or chanting what's in your heart that draws pain
When the days seem so dark and the sun refuses to shine
God gives you the words, so go ahead, why not pen a line
And see if you don't feel better real soon, after you have written for a time.
My Prayer For You…
Dear Heavenly Father, We all so much want to become imitators of You. We truly want to proclaim Your message and live in such a way that people will be able to see from our actions that we are serious about our faith and about performing and living it out by mimicking and walking in Your footsteps. But most of all, Dear Jesus, as we walk along the seashores on the beaches of life, when we look down at our feet, we want to see only one set of foot prints, knowing that You and You alone are the One Who is carrying us. Amen and Amen!
Scripture Lesson:“You became imitators of us and of the Lord. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia — your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it”. (1 Thessalonians 1:6, 8)
Just look at that family gathering in the picture above. How happy and content they all look. I wonder if they know that was God’s plan from the very beginning; the making of happy families! I wonder if the father figure of this household knows just how important his role is in nurturing his god-given responsibilities. Below is a list (especially for fathers and heads of households) of 10 Lines on Importance of Family:
Have you noticed that as generations come and go, people have less and less time to nurture family relationships. People are just too busy doing other things rather than to shoulder their responsibilities in raising up a child in the way he/she should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from their teaching. (Paraphrased from Proverbs 22:6)
A Personal Testimony…
Along with my mom and dad, there were 5 children in my family. As I recall my childhood experiences with my siblings, our dad used to play word-games with us very subtly: For example, when dad came home from work, he would gather up us kids and asked us a question. “What do you call cheese that’s not yours? Come on, answer me. Who ever answers the question right gets a quarter.” No answer. Complete silence. “Nacho cheese!” dad would say in his deep ethnic dialect. Then dad would belt out a great big laugh and gather us all under his massive arms. Honestly, we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because dad slipped the quarter back in his pocket. But one thing we did know for sure…we felt secured and safe and we loved him all the more.
There have also been times in my adult life that I had wished I could have telephoned my father to hear one of his word-games just to cheer me up. But he went home to glory at the early age of 49 years old. I needed him to help me fight my surmountable battles. Oh, yes, our mom was still with us, but she needed dad’s wisdom, strength, common sense and caring personality more than we did. For you know what they say about mothers; she is only as happy as the unhappiest member of her clan. In fact, dad’s own 7 brothers and sisters also missed him more than ever. I remember my aunts and uncles all, scheduled an appointment with their private physicians for a health check up very soon after dad’s early death.
My earthly father made sure that his family cultivated a solid relationship with the Lord. Only one of my siblings have strayed in their walk, and one other is desperately searching for answers about a loss of a child. But family prayers are being sent up on their behalves. Why? Because we know God is able to overcome all our doubts and fears.
My prayer for you…
My dad was a trail blazer who left us a family legacy that we were to always depend on our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, because He would carry us through. So my prayer for you is this: Heavenly Father, I thank You very much for having placed me into a family of believers. I also trust that You, in Your wisdom, showed kindness and compassion for all those who may have suffered hurt, harm and danger and had to subjugate their birth family for an adopt one. Help us all to spend more time with the families you have placed us in and please, My Lord, reassure us each and every day of Your love and peace. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15