God Wants To Know Are You Listening!

100 Jokes 21

How hilarious! But seriously, do people with whom you often converse with, really hear what you are saying?

I struggled with my own question above that I am asking you to answer. And I believe this is because of the way I was brought up by my adult relatives as a child. My paternal grandmother would always admonish her grands and great grandchildren by saying, ‘children should be seen and not heard’. To a child this meant you would be in big trouble if you dared to ‘butt-in’ to grown folks conversations. (No matter that this old English proverb dates back to the 15th century.)

While I am on the subject of reminiscing about my childhood with you, let me share with you another mis-step in learning from my peers. My grandmother also liked to be known as The Mother Hen. And she would often gather her little chickens (us grands and great grands) around her and teach us bible songs. Grandma’s favorite was “Bringing In The Sheaves. I always thought she was crazy because we didn’t have any sheep! Take a listen to the song below and tell me what you think a child heard. Especially if the singer had an accent.

Bringing In The Sheaves

YouTube · Gandalf1948

Now, can you see why God wants to know if we are really listening?

The skill of understanding others helps us predict what people feel in a certain situation. It also allows us to make sense of how people react. Perhaps God is looking down from Heaven with irreverence at our reactions to life’s circumstances, and is wondering if we listened to the right gospel message concerning his Son, Jesus Christ. For it is certain that many of us are not operating as God’s ambassadors.

How do I actively listen? To find out just click the yellow box below and watch this short video.

00:29Use door openers00:56Take notes during important conversations

My prayer for us all:

Dear Heavenly Father. I confess that I do not thoroughly know Your word although I am earnestly trying to hear, learn, apply and live out its principles each and every day. Why? you might ask. Because that is also Your desires for me. I truly realize that there is so much insight and wisdom locked up in Your Word that perhaps I will never quite understand it all. Nevertheless, please help me to study to show myself approved, rightly dividing Your Word. Unstop my ears so that my listening skills are sharp. Guide me to scholarly Christian commentaries so that I may gain a deeper understanding of Your life, death, burial and resurrection. In so doing, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will be more equipped to know my Bible and use it to answer people’s trick questions. I ask these blessings in the Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen

Scripture Lesson:Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance. Proverbs 1:5

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God Wants Us To Yield Not To Temptation

Wow…wait a minute. Let me make myself clear. God is not talking about a famous singing group ‘back in the day’, called The Temptations, of Motown Studio, located in Detroit, Mi. He is speaking to you and me, in a cautiously way. It is God’s intent to warn us to avoid taking or making risky choices in our lives, that can lead to damnation.

But first, I thought you might like to reminisce a little. Take a listen to the video below by clicking the website under the picture. Instructions: Skip the commercials; notice who produced the Temptations’ record; listen to a bit of the music; then come back to my blog post to receive a biblical message.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eepLY8J4E6c

The ‘tempter’ of Jesus’ day was ‘Ole Slewfoot’;…the devil himself!

According to Biblical Scriptures in the NT Book of Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted by the Devil at least 3 times: through physical persuasion, 4:3-4; through emotional inquiry, 4:5-7; and through attempting to control Jesus’ actions, 4:8-10. Satan was defeated by Jesus, nevertheless, he fled from Him for a while. Not so with mortals! We are tempted by Satan on a continuous daily basis.

Real life confessions…

In order to yield NOT to temptation, we as Believers have to recognize, perceive or participate in an act that would require confessing it privately to God and/or in a corporate setting. And after we have repented, solicit others to pray for you. Remember, if Jesus was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit when Satan approached Him in the wilderness and attempted to undermine Him, how much more will Ole Slewfoot challenge us? (Especially if we are out of the arch of Safety.) Jesus refused to submit to His adversary and was so steadfast and unmovable in His allegiance to His Father, that God sent Angels to comfort Him after His ordeal. And if we mimic Jesus’s teachings, God will do the same for us!

A word from another wise saint…

Another man, Saint Augustine, who was born in 397 A.D., and who was 47 years old when he wrote his famous book entitled, “The Confessions“. Within the book’s pages Augustine confessed a few of his sinful acts as a young man, and what he believed were the motives for his doing so. Following are 2 quotes from the book’s page verses: (Source of information from Google Search.)

“It was not the takings that attracted me but the raid itself, and yet to do it by myself would have been no fun and I should not have done it. This was friendship of a most unfriendly sort, bewitching my mind in an inexplicable way. For the sake of a laugh, a little sport, I was glad to do harm and anxious to damage another; and that without the thought of profit for myself or retaliation for injuries received! And all because we are ashamed to hold back when others say ‘Come on! Let’s do it!'” (v. 2.9).

“And in the games I played with them I often in order to come off the better, simply because a vain desire to win had got the better of me. And yet there was nothing I could less easily endure, nothing that made me quarrel more bitterly, than to find others cheated them. All the same, if they found me out more and blamed me for it, I would lose my temper rather than give in.” (v.1.19)

So, what methods can be employed to help someone not yield to temptation?…

Saint Augustine suggests that we apply some practical applications: (Paraphrased)

1.  Perhaps you might consider sharing your faults with a mentor, clergy, Sunday School teacher or a friend.

2.  It is a foregone conclusion that mischief metastasizes in the dark as well as in the light.  And when confession is made, it exposes the dark sin in the light and aides in its purification.  Try it!

3.  Odds are that we have already confessed our sin to a close friend, family member or other confidant, so why not have a conversation with the Holy Spirit who can actually help you process it and build resistance against it?
Today’s hymn is “Yield Not To Temptation”. YouTube TheNCrew – Sept. 2, 2020

PREVIEW (Click to hear this hymn.)

2:57

My prayer for you…

Dear God: I humbly ask that you do a new work in me and others who have decided to follow your Son, Jesus Christ. But first, I want to thank you for your creative work as recorded in the Holy Bible. For I know that you are able to perform all things in the atmosphere, especially on earth and also within mankind. So, with sincere pleadings, please teach us how to harness our thoughts and actions. Make them afresh so that we will not only be a new person, but will also think and act in a new way. In other words, lead us not into temptation for yielding only brings about sin.

From now on, Lord Jesus, we want to be like someone who lives only for You. We desire to reach for those things that are above and not beneath. We want to excel to the highest heights where You reside, so that one day we will have sufficient treasures in heaven where we will study want no more. We ask all these things in the Precious Name of Jesus…Amen and Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2)

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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 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 Suggested For Me To Do It His Way

Time To Clean House Or “I Threw It Out!”

How many of you guys out there remember a 1969 hit tune written by Paul Anka and recorded by both Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr entitled, “I Did It My Way?” I loved the lyrics of that song and it’s smooth melody. As I have grown older, I have learned to appreciate it’s message even more and more.

Within the last few years, (that is, since I’ve moved into the Octogenarian age), seemingly the messages from heaven have been for me to get my house in order. I took that advice to mean…get your AFFAIRS in order. And so, that is what I have been doing. And, do you know what? I feel relieved.

The lyrics to the following poem entitled “Time To Clean House Or I Threw It Out!”, says it all…

As I look back on my life, I decided to throw out WORRYING,
It was getting old and in the way.  It kept me
from being me.  I couldn't do things my way, like the song says.

I threw out those INHIBITIONS; they were just
crowding me out.  Made room for my NEW GROWTH,
got rid of my old dreams and doubts.

I threw out a book on MY PAST (didn't have 
time to read it anyway).  Replaced it with
NEW GOALS, started reading it every day.

I threw out childhood toys (remember how I
treasured them so?)  Got me a NEW PHILOSOPHY, too.
Threw out the one from long ago.

Brought in some new books, too, called I CAN,
I WILL, and I MUST.  Threw out I might, I think,
and I ought.  WOW, you should've seen the dust!

I called up a GOOD FRIEND, 
have known Him for awhile.  
His name is GOD.   Yes, I really like His style.

He helped me to do some cleaning and added
some things Himself.  Like PRAYER, HOPE and FAITH.
Yes, and I put them on the shelf.

I picked up this special thing and placed it
at the front door.   I FOUND IT... it's called PEACE. 
Hallelujah!  Nothing gets me down anymore.

Yes, I've got my house looking pretty nice.  
Looks good around this ole place.  
For things like WORRY and TROUBLE 'taint no more space.

It's good to do a little house cleaning.
To get rid of old things on the shelf.
It sure makes things brighter...

Maybe you should TRY IT FOR YOURSELF!!!

My Prayer for you...

My Darling, Jesus! There are so many things that we want to praise You for. This especially includes Your grace and Your mercy towards me and all others who are reading this blog. There are so many growing pains that You correct in our lives, that help to make our existence worthwhile. We appreciate You taking the time to help us make corrections in our life styles that need eliminating. So, continue to wash and clean up these old houses. Make us white as snow and cause us to shine like the morning sun. We have grown tired and weary of our old ways and want to earnestly ‘turn over a new leaf’ and do it Your way. Forgive us Lord. For with You, all things are possible! And we will forever give you all the praise and all the glory. Amen and Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Enjoy life with your (spouse), whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:7, 9

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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

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God’s Son Had A Brief Sojourn On Earth

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

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.

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Lord, I want to see,”
It was great sitting in the branches and looking down on everyone. Then the most amazing thing happened. Jesus stopped and looked up at Zacchaeus. ‘Zacchaeus,’ He said, ‘I want to come to your house for a meal!’ Zacchaeus jumped down at once and quickly showed Jesus the way to his house. Some of the people were very angry. Why was Jesus being kind to Zacchaeus? Didn’t He know how horrible he was? – Slide 3

“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)

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God Speaks…But Do People Listen?

When EF Hutton talks, people listen – ‘Classroom’ commercial

https://www.youtube.com › click and watch this 30 second commercial NOW! After viewing, click the “BACK” button at the upper left hand corner of your screen to return to this blog.

Originally aired in 1986, this EF Hutton commercial takes place in an elementary school classroom featuring a girl reciting the alphabet.

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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.

Strong and Durable 12 lb Kraft Paper Grocery / Lunch Bag Keeps Food Fresh by MT Products (50 Pieces)

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? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:14, 26)

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!