God Calls All Of Us…But Will We Answer?

Have you availed yourself to the Almighty? Have you proclaimed, ‘Here I am, Lord, send me?’

From the beginning, God has a call on all our lives. He sought me out from birth. I know this because I asked Him. One evening through prayer, I was led to claim His words that say “…and you shall be called Sought Out.” (Isaiah 62:12a) This name was capitalized right there on the page of the Bible. And I claimed it!

Although God called me at an early age, like most of you, I turned a deaf ear to His voice. I allowed the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Excuse, Aunt and Uncle Procrastination, and my favorite cousin, Self-willed Willie to have control over my life. They took turns distorting my hearing, understanding, mind, heart, time, talents and my treasures. Enough, all ready!

Are you listening to gossip, back-biting, false accusations, lies, and malicious conversations?

If the truth was told, we all have bodies that come designed with a myriad of voices. Did you know that your persona reflects which voice you are listening to at any given time in your life? At present (and I hope from this point forward), my persona reflects a contented sheep because the voice I am listening to is that of the Shepherd.

So, when I came to myself, I repented and prayerfully asked the Lord to forgive me for procrastinating in compiling my thoughts into a book that I have penned, entitled “Conversations With God Using Scriptures, Telling It Like It Is”. I have also thanked Him for silencing every negative voice that previously had dominion over me. For I once was young but now I am in my senior years and am privileged to see just Who it was that rescued me from the snares of life. Thank God for those of you whose eyes were opened in your youth.

But no matter what your age, begin seeking Him today. Start recognizing the extraordinary methods of operation He is performing in your lives. In my situation, He turned my personal Bible study quiet time into an interactive, stimulating and intimate conversational time with Him.

Always remember that God is calling you twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week; and 365 days a year! It is your choice to mentally leave your domain, your comfort zone, your place of many voices, and answer His call. He is the One with the still small voice. He is the Comforter. When you are ready to obey and yield, just say, “Speak Lord, thy servant is listening.”

My prayer for you…

Dear Heavenly Father, Master of the universe, we are so sorry that we constantly worry about the negative things that are happening at the moment in the world and, yes, in our own lives, too. We thank You that the hard times that we experience cause us to hear Your voice. We now want to open our lives to you and to turn away from voices spreading false hope. Please help us to look away from the reigning crime and violence and wholeheartedly surrender our lives to You with the certain knowledge that You will care for us individually and collectively for the rest of our lives. We humbly ask that you, Lord, also still those negative voices that fill our heads with doubts and fears. And we all promise that with the help of the Holy Spirit we will listen for Your call and proclaim like little Samuel and the prophet Isaiah. We will answer and say: “Here I am, Lord, send me”. Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine”. Isaiah 43:1

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God Is Asking You…”How’s Our Relationship?”

field missionary
I don’t know!…I have no idea! But I want to be in good standing and in an eternal relationship with an eternal God. Please enlighten me Holy Spirit!

Whether you consider yourself a mature Christian or a novice one, may I suggest that before you respond to God’s question, isolate yourself and take mental inventory of how you perceive some of life’s greatest values. (Do you agree or disagree with the right side of the chart below?)

The Greatest Handicap..........................................................................FEAR
The Best Day..........................................................................................TODAY
Hardest Thing To Do..............................................................................TO BEGIN
Easiest Thing To Do................................................................................FINDING FAULT
Most Useless Asset................................................................................PRIDE
Most Useful Asset...................................................................................HUMILITY
The Greatest Mistake..............................................................................GIVING UP
The Greatest Stumbling Block................................................................EGOTISM
The Greatest Comfort.......................................................................WORK WELL DONE
Most Disagreeable Person..........................................................THE COMPLAINER
Worst Bankruptcy........................................................................LOSS OF ENTHUSIASM
Greatest Need.........................................................................................COMMON SENSE
Meanest Feeling.........................................................REGRET AT ANOTHER'S SUCCESS
Best Gift...................................................................................................FORGIVENESS
The Hardest and Most Painful To Accept...............................................DEFEAT
The Greatest Moment..............................................................................DEATH
The Greatest Knowledge.........................................................................GOD
The Greatest Thing..................................................................................LOVE
The Greatest Success
      In The World.........................................SELF FULFILLMENT AND PEACE OF MIND


   

So, now that you have found a way to examine your emotional feelings about some of the greatest values in life, and how those feelings can influence your relationship with God, let us now try to honestly answer God’s question concerning your relationship with him.

Where To Find Your Answers…

The Holy Bible gives us a litany of Scriptures to help us evaluate our connection and relationship status with the eternal God our Maker. He also gives us the Glue, which is through the power of the Holy Spirit, to stay connected to him. But most of all, God has given us a visible Teacher, his Only Begotten Son, Christ Jesus, to be an example and to teach, lead, and guide us along the way. And to make certain that among all whom God has given to his Son, none will be lost.

A perfect relationship with God is knowing that we are in good standing and saved (from the fate of physical death unto the power of eternal life) not by our good deeds and/or righteous living, BUT by what the Bible says about faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Scripture Lessons:

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. ” I John 5:13-14

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, (a warm-blooded man to a physically cold world) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“In him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption (a Ransom paid to redeem our sins) through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’. Romans 8:15

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

My Prayer For You…

Dear Heavenly Father: As your children go forth in an effort to solidify their relationship with you, please do not allow them to spend an enormous amount of time in doing so. Why? Because it may cause them to spend too much time thinking about themselves and their short comings and not enough time getting to know you. For your word says for us to (just) ask and we shall receive, seek and we shall find and knock and the door will be opened unto us.

For your children know that you are the Good Shepherd, and you know without any doubts those that are seeking to strengthen their relationship with you. For it is written that You, Jesus, know us and that we know You. And that you desire to have a strong relationship with us. We ask all of these blessings in the precious Name of Christ Jesus, Amen and Amen!

Dear God, we’re satisfied with you…but are you satisfied with us?

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

God Is The Author And Finisher Of My Writings!

God caused me to ‘think outside the box’!

All I can say is…”To God be the glory.” That’s right! Every time someone ask me where do I get all my ideas to write about, all I can say is that the Holy Spirit empowers me to scribe. He and He alone placed the desire in my heart to put words to paper long before I was born. And, like the prophet Jeremiah, it’s like a fire shut up in my bones.

Sometimes I feel like Grandma Moses. She was a celebrated American painter who was born on September 7, 1860, in Greenwich, N.Y. She died 95 years later on December 13, 1961. Grandma Moses’ true grit was her passion to paint the great and beautiful outdoors and also everyday farm life. Some of her words in her memoirs have inspired me and her penchant to paint recorded therein mimic my very own reasons as to why I write. I believe we both are people who were born with a passion to follow through with our life’s goals. To persevere and work really hard to perfect our calling. To be passionate and conscientious about the gifts God has endowed us with. Our pursuits are what makes our Maker happy.

Take a listen to what Grandma Moses said about why she paints:

“I look out the window sometimes to seek the color of the shadows and the different greens in the trees, but when I get ready to paint, I just close my eyes and imagine a scene.”

“Memory is history recorded in our brain.  Memory is a painter…”

“I like to paint something that leads me on and on into the unknown, something that I want to see always on beyond.”

“You don’t get to be 95 without having some memories and knowing ugly things.  But I don’t believe in painting ugliness.  I paint pretty pictures.  If I put in something that was not pretty, I make it look a little better.  If people can’t get pleasure out of looking at a picture, what’s the use of painting it?”

So, all I have to do is substitute the word “write” for every time Grandma Moses uses the word “paint”. Because her feelings are my feelings exactly about ‘why I write’.

Following is an original poem I wrote about why I write…

This young man is not only thinking outside the box…
he is also thinking outdoors!
W  O  R  D  S

Words come soaring
Words come marching
Words come seeking
Words come stalking

Words come walking
Words come running
Words come creeping
Words come strumming

Words!  Words!
Who can live without them
Cluttering up your mind, they come
Like falling leaves in Autumn

Overflowing your heart in chaos
Fighting for space in your being
Establishing themselves in voices
Everybody speaking at once...bad timing

Trying to eradicate them from your head
Is like eliminating your body of waste
In a few short hours they are back again
With a vengeance, running around in haste

Words!  Words!
Are like parasites, no doubt
I have resolved to tolerate them
But only until death takes me out!

The End

My prayer for you…

Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have endowed each of us with special talents. And You are hopeful that we will commit our lives to the good deeds that You have planned for us. Please help us to discover and to carry out the purposes that You have in mind for us to become. Amen and Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

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God’s Nicknames Applied In Error

How do you (blindly) refer to God?

Oh, how disrespectful…how inconsiderate…how thoughtless…how embarrassing…how blasphemous!

Oh, you say, I would never do that. I would never apply a nickname to God, or refer to him with a cliche. Well, perhaps not knowingly, or intentionally, but how about innocently or mistakenly? Let me give you some examples and you count the ones that apply to you.

Examples of ways people sometimes apply nicknames to God…erroneously!

"The other day, I had to make a big decision.  I was already late for an important job interview and I had to make a choice as to whether to take the expressway to go downtown or to use the streets which was the longer way, but seemed less crowded with traffic.  Just then, 'something' said, take the streets.  I did! and sure enough, when I arrived at my appointment, the receptionist told me that my interviewer would be a little late because he texted that he was in a traffic jam on the expressway where a fatal  accident had just happened!  How's that for 'chance'?"

"You know, people often tell me that my 'insights' and 'intuitions' about a  matter are right on.  And my 'opinions' are sought out all the time.  I feel sooo 'lucky'!"

"Today, I had a really bad day at the office.  My boss threatened to fire me, but changed his mind at the last minute.  (Under my breath, I was 'cursing' him.)  Later, while on my way home from work, a driver cut right in front of me and almost made me have a car wreck.  I could have been killed!  Boy, was I 'fortunate'.   And to top it all off, when I got home, my wife reminded me that it was our night out and the babysitter was coming over.  By that time, I was so wired up I wanted to tell her to 'go shove it', but she looked so innocent, all I could 'reluctantly' say was okay, dear.  My whole day was ruined.  I guess the 'devil was in the details.'

Really now!!!  How about giving thanks to the Good  Lord above that He was  in the details...
Lessons learned...

Have you been guilty on occasion mistakenly referring to God as one of those words or phrases spoken within those quotes above? Have you ever robbed God from receiving all the honor and all the praise for his goodness, protection and guidance? If so, just remember that God is merciful and forgiving. Memorize the scripture written in Malachi 3:8: “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ ” in tithes and offerings(1).

Note: (1) Yes, you may pay your tithes. But how faithful are you in sending up “Offerings” of thanksgiving to God for his provisions, protection and insight?

Scripture Lesson:Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

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God Speaks To Job Through James (Part Two)

File:Book of Job Chapter 2-4 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media).jpg
Job refuses to concede to his contemporaries that he has forsaken God. Job concedes only to wait until his change comes from God.

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 35:3

          I 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 42:1-2

          Furthermore, 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

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

God Carried Me On Eagle’s Wings

People Sharing Memories

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.

Bible Verses About Eagles

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 metaphorically through 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

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God Desired to Converse With Me Concerning Salt

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).

THE PROLOGUE…

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:
Matthew 5:13            
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".

Job 6:6                        
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.

Ezekiel 16:4                
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.

The Epilogue…

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!

Good Night!

Minister Michael Mahendere – Salt of the Earth (Lyric Video)

https://www.youtube.com › watch

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

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

God Allowed His Son To Express His Woes Towards Others!

Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! (Matthew 23:13a)

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:

  1. They taught about God, but did not love God – they did not enter the kingdom of God themselves, nor did they let others enter.
  2. They mostly preached about God, but actually converted people to dead religion.
  3. 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.
  4. They taught the law, but did not practice some of the most important parts of the law.
  5. They presented an appearance of being ‘clean’ (self-restrained, not involved in carnal matters), but they were dirty inside.
  6. They exhibited themselves as righteous on account of being scrupulous keepers of the law but were, in fact, not righteous.
  7. 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 sung
Or 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 gone
Robert 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)

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

God Is Softly And Tenderly Calling You

So, why do I blog.  Well, let me explain.  My blogging started with the intent on expressing my intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with my family and friends.  Suddenly, I began to realize that Jesus also desired to have a sincere relationship with me.  Gradually, then softly and tenderly, something began to happen to my neck…then my shoulders…then my awakening hours…then my choice of entertainment such as what to watch on TV…and finally what conversations I was to engage in and how I spent my leisure time and to whom to spend it with. 

I begin to imagine that someone was closely following me and I would quickly turn around to see just who this imaginary figure was. But of course there was no one there. It took a few years for me to recognize just Who was doing the calling and for me to heed His call. But finally I recognized it was the Lord’s voice and not my own discriminating intuitions.

Alan Jackson – Softly And Tenderly (Live) – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com › watch

In the early years…

I also must admit that my deceased fraternal grandmother was another rock-solid influence regarding my way of thinking as it concerned my health issues. I would often think of her and be reminded of how she coped with mundane illnesses in life such as pesky body aches and pains. Grandma Novella prescribed a home remedy for everything from the flu to morning sickness. And most of the concoctions she used came from her own back yard. I can remember how she would escort me into the thick grass of the back yard and we would pick dandelion roots, sage and mint leaves, camel’s root and all kinds of berries, herbs and sweet honey from the bee hives. Grandmother was a walking novice pseudo-pharmacist. And she was a staunch bible scholar and taught me a lot of scriptures.

So, as you can guess, it was no accident as to how I came to entitle my blogConversations With God Using Scripture. I had to add ‘Using Scripture’ because there were already so many books and articles entitled ‘Conversations With God‘. And as I began to blog on various subjects, I realized that I had personally experienced many of the life episodes foretold in scripture concerning the lives of saints and sinners. You know the doubts people have upon hearing corrective instructions but not heeding them. And later finding yourself in deep trouble. Or, the dreams a person begins to have of future events and later actually living through the dream.

I became so intrigued and interested in the finite details and mysteries in the Bible that I made a concerted effort to look up the meaning of Names in the Bible. This grew to an interest in lineages and who begot whom. Needless to say, the Bible turned me on! (In a good way.)

Fast Forward…

I have been faithfully contributing content to this blog every Friday and so far, since May 2018, I have published a blog every Friday without fail for the past three years. That’s how I came to incorporate that ‘constant’ into my website address…http://www.tgifmasterminds.com. Thank God It’s Friday. And since the Master leads and guides me all the way in my compositions, and uses my mind to develop them in, I added ‘masterminds‘. Pretty clever, don’t you think.

Hopefully, you enjoyed and perhaps appreciated this little bit of trivia about myself. Many people have questioned me on this very subject.

Now I have a prayer for you…

Dear Heavenly Father, as you call others to pick up pen and paper and begin to tell the world of your goodness and plans for their future, may they be somewhere listening for their name. For You are so worthy to be praised and worshiped. May their desire be to heed the call and to take up the gauntlet. May they study to show themselves worthy and approved for the task in Your Name. If necessary, may they repent for their slothfulness (as I did) if they have neglected to show gratitude to such a high calling. Please help us to be thankful in all things because that is what You expect from us. These blessings are sent up to You in Your precious Name, Jesus the Christ. Amen and Amen!

Scripture Lesson:

Brown 15" x14" Decaltor for I Know The Plans I Have for You declares The Lord Jeremiah 29:11 Quotes Sayings Words Art Decor Lettering Vinyl Wall Art Inspirational Uplifting Bible

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

Godly Living Alone Does Not Equate To Living Longer

Perhaps you are numbered among those persons who believe that living a Christian Christlike-Life leads to a longer life existence here on earth.  And there is nothing wrong in thinking in this manner.

But, according to biblical scripture, it is an illusion.  What the word of God teaches is that, yes, he requires various distinguishing moral features to be visible in one’s character, while also allowing each of us to develop our own attitude and outlook on life.  Both of these two factors; God’s moral features plus man’s attitude towards godly living, can lead to a fruitful and productive life. Thus, the latter part of that last sentence has a profound bearing on one’s life expectancy.

Let’s discuss your attitudes towards life’s predicaments.  Do you suck on a sour lemon or do you make sweet lemonade?

Let me see…just how should I approach this situation!

Here is a hint! Ask yourself this question…”Is the life I am living now, which directs me on a path of righteousness and godly deeds (WWJD) lead me to glory, and also be acceptable in God’s sight? Or will my actions leading up to my demise bring glory to God or contribute to fuel for the eternal fire?” To find your answer, study the lives of the two thieves hanging on their crosses along side of Christ Jesus at Calvary. Consider their attitudes towards to receive or to deny what Jesus was proposing.

Both thieves were guilty of living a life of crimes that were worthy of death and were in the process of paying their debts. But according to scripture, one went on to glory and the other went to Hades. Both thieves received judgment that largely depended upon their own attitudes and outlook on life.

To Believe or not to believe…that is the question! Read the true story below.

In my early days of ministering as an international missionary, I had my doubts as to whether the Lord would provide all of my needs while on these tedious journeys to strange lands. I complained a lot. I whined about not having the necessary supplies to perform the task at hand. I harbored anger and dismay at the disorderly conduct of some of the orphan children and staff members that I had to work with. I cried at night in my pillow at how my Good Lord had allowed these helpless suffering people to survive in such deplorable conditions. (Yes, I was on a godly mission, but harbored a faithless attitude.) My faithless actions were an abomination to our Lord and Savior and His Spirit said to my spirit in a still small voice that if I didn’t get my act together, He would send me home (back to America) in a box.

I Got The Message…I made lemonade!

I subsequently got my act together and prayed this prayer: Yes…yes…yes Holy Spirit! I am so very glad that you have not abandoned me and have shown me that Jesus Christ and He alone is the One in Whom I can put my trust. Please help me to rely upon His promises and nothing less. I thank and praise you mightily that you have made my heart realize that God will never leave nor forsake me no matter what situation I find myself in. Amen

Scripture Lesson: “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

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