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)

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God Blesses Us Even While We Are In The “Wilderness”

Oh boy! I’m lost! I don’t know which way to go! And I don’t think anybody knows I’m out here! What shall I do?

Would you agree with me that usually, before a person surrenders to God, he or she is poor in spirit. This mindset could be manifested by the following emotions: Rejection. Confusion. Despondency. Introverted. Nervous chatter or giggling, etc., etc. More often than not, sadness is triggered by the absence of someone or something valued which now has been lost, or seemingly unattainable. Sometimes, these same emotions are felt by those persons who have accepted the Lord, but are not rooted and grounded in His word. Nevertheless, both groups can be identified as spiritually bankrupt.

This week let’s explore what it means when we quote one of the most famous Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see God.” (Luke 6:20-21) This biblical verse could be classified as an example of an idiom because its figurative meaning does not line up with its literal meaning. (You might ask just how can a down-trodden poor in spirit person, who is lost in the woods, be considered Blessed by God.)

Well, just keep reading…

How many people do you know that are just wandering around in life, doing their own thing. Or listening to and following bad advice. Going from one misguided decision to another. Just downright out in left field, wasting time, money, resources, strength, and their health. Thus, that person is extremely poor in spirit. But wait! Will they actually ‘see God’? Is there hope on the horizon?

YES! Because in all of thy getting, (and if they live long enough by the grace of God), and through all of their setbacks, one day they will surrender. That will be their day of reckoning (while they are lost in the woods). That day is when they will be receptive to the Word of God. So far, they have actually been in the wilderness of life. Now, they are ready to come out of their wilderness or misguided thought pattern of existence.

But first they must realize just Who, anonymously, was always in the wilderness with them. God was always with that person, but God had not shown himself. However, now that the person is ready (has come to him/herself), God will show himself. For God blesses the meek by attending his ear towards them.

Now the question is, how will God show himself! To Moses, God showed up within a Burning Bush. The burning bush represents all the troubles and riotous living and bad mistakes people indulge in. The fire within the bush is God recalling a person’s misdeeds into his/her physic and hotly burns up those misdeeds but not consuming them entirely. This is God’s way of destroying the evidence. Remember this; God allows adversities to come into our lives to shape our character.

Mankind must also participate in this refurbishing process as well. Man’s way of submission in all of this is for him to take off his shoes (like Moses) prior to approaching God, and to also get off of that harmful, destructive and dangerous road of perdition he has been traveling on.

Why all of this preparation…

Because now, our imaginary lost soul is standing before God…standing on God’s path called Holy Ground. God instantly changes the person’s name to Moses which means he has been drawn out of the waters of confusion. (In Scripture, water represents trouble. Jesus conquered water by walking on it…putting it under His feet!)

In conclusion…

Jesus Christ has conquered that wilderness that we all go through from time to time, but we just don’t see or recognize Him. We cannot see Him as long as we allow ourselves to be slaves to the devil (darkness). We must come to realize that when the scales fall from our eyes and we finally see God, we become somebody. We can say, “I AM somebody in/with Christ Jesus!”

Since God and Jesus are One, all God has to say to the Moseses’ of this world is; ‘I AM who I AM’. (I Am the Father God, and I Am the Son.)

So now that the sinner man who finds himself lost in the woods and barefooted (has put off error), and is standing on Holy Ground (God’s Word), before a bush (man’s troubles) that is on fire (the 3rd Person of the Trinity), but not being destroyed (the bush is not consumed because trouble will always be with us), now the sinner man who has been brought into the Light is ready to receive his assignment and to begin to work for God/Jesus/Holy spirit, instead of Satan.

My Prayer for All is simply: Thank God we once were all lost, but now we all can be found. We were all once blind, but now we all can see by the aide of the Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen!

Scripture Lesson:When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned; and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

(A powerful and moving prayer written by St. Francis of Assisi: Click below.

Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace – Mary McDonald

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God Challenges Us To Become Bridge Builders

Bridge Building Should Become A Part Of Your DNA (#WordPrompt)*

Do you believe that since Jehovah God is the God over all people and places, should not his devoted followers be challenged by God to become bridge builders and to more and more live a life of servitude to whomever we meet along the way? Knowing that such encounters by his followers will open their eyes and strengthen their hearts to become more Christ-like in so doing.

Personally, I am a witness that this is true.

During the summer of 2012, I traveled to Amman, Jordan, with a very dear friend of mine (we will call her Naomi) and her teenage son. Since Naomi is a native born Jordanian and owns property in Amman, we were privileged to stay in her home while visiting there. Naomi immigrated to the United States from Amman after she became a widow some years ago. Nevertheless, she keeps close ties with her biological family and friends who remain in Jordan.

A story of Bridge building impromptu…

One afternoon while attending a house prayer meeting in one of Naomi’s friend’s home, the services were interrupted. An announcement was made that more than a few Syrian refugees had fled their country in the north and had migrated down into Amman. We were told that many of the Syrian refugees had arrived from their country with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. I was amazed at how quickly the prayer services turned into a volunteer rescue mission headquarters.

Without hesitation, the pastor shepherding the group called for the secretary to pull up a table and chair and be seated. He proceeded to ask the small congregation gathered there what food supplies, clothing items and monetary gifts they could donate to help assist these migrant people. I heard shouts of medical supplies, shoes, clothing, sundry items, bibles, monetary contributions, baby formulas and eye glasses. I even heard someone shout mobile transportation and another, room and board.

No church parishioner asked what denomination the upheaved sojourners were affiliated with. No church member called for a meeting with the Trustee Board. No church clerk wanted to make a report on how much money was allotted in the church budget for this kind of unexpected philanthropy distribution.

A miracle in the making…

What I witnessed was one “Bridge Builder” at a time, in that house of God, volunteering to be counted among the saints and Barnabas for the work of the Lord. The generosity of those congregants overwhelmed me! And I had tears in my eyes. I vowed then and there that although I had arrived in Amman, Jordan, with two suitcases, I would return to the United States with none. Additionally, I had already presented a modest monetary contribution, funded by myself and my home church back in the states, which I presented to the Amman church. Yes, I left everything I had packed in my suitcases right there in the city of Amman for those persons less fortunate.

I shall never forget that experience. It was like a dream where I was surrounded by angels. Nothing but “Bridge Builders for the Kingdom of God” were in attendance! One nation of peoples helping to shore up another nation of people! And thanks be to God for allowing me to have been a part of his bridge building project.

My Prayer for you…

Dear Jesus, thank You so much for loving us. And please continue to help us to experience opportunities that will equip us to better and more intimately know You. Continue to allow us, as You allowed Your servant Paul, to develop a personal and intimate relationship with You that broadens our understanding of Your suffering, power to overcome and resurrection from the dead. The true incident of the Syrian refugees and the generosity of the Jordanians was truly a revelation on how to show love to our fellowman and how to build bridges that can help to promote Your holy word to others. We ask these blessings in the precious Name of Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Scripture Lesson: “If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:8

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(*) Note: My blog host, WordPress, suggested a #WordPrompt (Bridge) for their bloggers to blog about for the month of March 2022.

God’s Holy Word Has Something To Say About Colors – Part 3

This blog post will conclude our time together exploring nine of the colors that dominate the creation story in the Bible.  The final three colors featured here in Part Three of “God’s Holy Word Has Something To Say About Colors” are: Purple, Green and Pink.  Needless to say, this has been one of the most fascinating adventures that the Holy Spirit has taken me on.  And for that I am truly grateful.

Illustration of different color meanings in color psychology

The Color Purple

Did you know that the KJV of the Bible refers to the color PURPLE 48 times!  Most likely what contributed to its high demand was its popularity, absorbent expense to manufacture it and exclusivity to obtain the knowledge of how to convert this color into a dye.  In ancient times, only society’s affluent, the higher echelon of the clergy, royal deity, and high government officials could afford to adorn themselves in purple attire. 

The ingredients to produce purple comes from the stinky glands of snails (scientifically known as mollusks) which emerged themselves at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.  The procedure to extract just one pound of retail dye from snails during the ancient Roman Empire days, was for sailors/fishermen to catch and extract the glands from more than four million mollusks. This procedure was because each snail gland only produced one drop of the fluid needed to make this precious dye.

I am quite sure you are all familiar with the famous bible story found in Acts 16 about a merchant seller of purple garments named Lydia.  She was a very spiritual and wealthy Philippians female entrepreneur who, as a gentile, believed in God’s morality laws. She was later converted to Christianity by the Apostle Paul. 

Purple has come to associate it self with royalty, wisdom, luxury, and to possess visionary acumen.

The Color Green

I find that GREEN is the strongest of all the colors we have been studying in this lesson.  It is also more descriptive of man’s character than the other eight colors.  Why?  Because Green denotes strength, growth, health, money, and healing…just to name a few attributes.

Listed below are scriptures that bear this out:

Psalms 1:1-2The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures:  he leads me besides the still waters.
  
Luke 23:31For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dy:
  
Ezekiel 17:24All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall.  I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
  
Psalms
37:2
For like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

The Color Pink

PINK is a universal color that is recognized as feminine, immature, romantic, beautiful and sensitive. As to how the color Pink relates to Scripture, pink is believed to represent the compassionate love of God (for he gave his Only Begotten Son), and Jesus is also a friend to the friendless. And let us not forget the faithfulness of his Son who suffered, bled and died on the Cross for all mankind. (Words in italics are listed above in the color chart under the color Pink.)

Notice the shades of Pink in this card.

In the Holy Scriptures, the color ‘PINK’ is believed to represent the Love of God. How? Because the color Red is Jesus’ blood and White is purity. Therefore, the combination of both colors turns out to be Pink!

My prayer for you…Cover image

Dear Sweet Jesus: You are so gracious, kind and understanding. I implore You to please forgive my slothfulness in not dedicating my new found life in You to serving you more earnestly. For truly, it is with sincere thanksgiving that I praise You for allowing me to stumble upon these truths concerning how Your assignment of various colors played an intrical part in helping mankind to understand the creation story. Who would have thought that by painting my bedroom a psychedelic red for all my teenage years could have contributed to my high blood pressure problems later in life. (If only I had known You then.)

Therefore, Heavenly Father, please continue to help me change my thoughts. Make me anew, Lord. For I not only want to be born again, but I want to be a new kind of thinker, too.

Help us, Lord…HELP!! In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior I surrender all…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’s Names And Titles Of Jesus

Its never too late or too early to play Bible games with your children. I can imagine that Jesus was a perfect example for playing games through Solomon. Just take a look at some of the messages written for all times in the Book of Proverbs. For example, how about this ‘game‘ taken from Proverbs 7:1-4.

“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:”

The Lord (through Solomon) is suggesting a playful way to remember the Torah, the first 5 books of Moses. So, I am taking a hint from Solomon and asking you to play a game with your children and find all the Names for Jesus below.

We kids just love to play games with each other and also with our parents.

Search and find only the part of the name that’s printed in all capital letters at the bottom.

U      Q      O      K      A      I      S      N      S      M     T      K       R      P      M

V      L      F      Z       J      T     Y      O     A       E      E      O        A      O     R

O      M     G      Y      V      O     N      T     N      Z       I       C        B      X     K

Y      D      N      Y     M      O     E      N     U      V      A      N       B       O     A

D      L      O       V      F      H     T      C      A      S      I       R        I       X     R

E      R      I        G     W      A     R      S      P      D     S      H       E       W     E

N      T      O      G      B      M     A      L      I       D     O      V       Z       N      D

F      D      J      L      H      Q      Y      V      K      R     T      T       R       Z      E

I       G      Q      R      R      T      A      E      G      T      H      V      E       P      E

P      B      Y      I       H      D      S      E      K      E      U      C      T       X     M

T      S      W      K      F      T      Y      A     J       I       O      Q      S       L      E

L      I       I        O      N      A      M     F      O      N      O      S      A      H     R

V      N      N      Q      Z      Y      K      V      A     D      E      J      M      V     R

G      O      J      E       S      U      S      E      M     M     A     N      U       E      L

S      V      B      G      G      W     T      Z      T       P      B      Q      J       F      E            

RULES: REMEMBER, ONLY FIND THOSE NAMES IN ALL CAPS BELOW:

  • CHRIST
  • KING of the Jews
  • LORD
  • RABBI
  • SON OF DAVID
  • EMMANUEL
  • LAMB of God
  • MASTER
  • REDEEMER
  • SON OF GOD
  • JESUS
  • LIGHT of the World
  • NAZARENE
  • SAVIOR
  • SON OF MAN

(*) NOTE: VIEW THE CRYPTOGRAM ON YOUR COMPUTER OR VIEW SIDEWAYS ON YOUR CELL PHONE.

My prayer for all mankind…

Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove: I sincerely undertake from this day forward to put forth a concerted effort with the help and strength of the Holy Spirit to live through You by acknowledging our children in prayer, good deeds, expressing praise and adoration for their contributions and accomplishments. Also, to encourage their desires to please and obey their teachers, parents, and walk in the ways of their biblical teachings.

Please do not hesitate to use me, Lord Jesus, to share your message to others in those places where you have assigned me. Allow me to be versatile but honest in my approach and direct my path just like you did Isaiah and those other prophets in days gone by. Cause Your Spirit to come upon me so that it will be a positive message to relate to the children that will be remembered until their traveling days are over.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight my Savior, Strength and my Redeemer. Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “The righteous man (woman) leads a blameless life; blessed are his (her) children after [them]. Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his (her) conduct is pure and right.” Proverbs 20:7, 11

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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

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God’s Greatest Advice…WWJD

I have no idea what Jesus would do. Let’s call Him up!!

Tell me something. Have any of the following expressions ever escaped from your mouth?  “Awe sucks, that didn’t work!”  “What came over me?  Why did I listen to them?” “I should have known better.  I thought that person was wise!”  “I should have followed my first thought and used Google.  Google knows everything!  Right?”

WRONG!!      I, TOO, HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT!! WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!

Seemingly, people in today’s world are constantly seeking words of wisdom from supposedly dependable and intelligent people.  But as it turns out, often then not, they are chasing down a rabbit hole.  In other words, they are becoming engaged in a process that is particularly strange, problematic, and difficult to accomplish, especially as it develops or unfolds.  Realistically, there is no way to know if you can even trust the source.  I found that out the hard way.  Let me explain.

SINCE WALKING IN THE LIGHT…

Thanks be to God, I have learned that true wisdom comes from God and is characterized by the fear(*) of him.  Whether you are seeking spiritual or secular advice, you should always rely upon the acronym WWJD.

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?  

When I was a young novice entrepreneur, I ventured into a very popular multi-level marketing skim which was based on a lot of hype, false advertising, and disillusions.  I invested and lost thousands of dollars and ended up with a garage full of unused and useless products.  And the sad part was, I had persuaded a few other people to follow in my footsteps.  I regret and repent my actions to this day.

Ironically, wisdom is priceless and cannot be found in a person’s mind neither in a book nor on the internet.  Wisdom comes from God in heaven and disclosed in the Bible for mankind to uncover.  But sins and atrocities committed by people on earth can have an effect on your gaining access to wisdom from heaven.  So, beware!

MY PRAYER FOR YOU:

Dear Heavenly Father, I truly want to make my thoughts obedient to You and to focus them on all things that are beautiful and good and right so that my life will reflect Your peace. I also realize that one day You will enable us to see everything more clearly and to fully understand Your purposes. Thank You so much for increasing my joy in my decision making process because I have now learned to be more mature and god-centered in my thoughts on Whom to trust. Your continued blessings I ask in the Precious Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen.

(*) NOTE:Trembling’ fear.  The kind that envelopes respect, reverence, and worship.

Scripture Lesson“Where then does wisdom come from, and where is understanding located?  It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.”  Job 28:20

(Click below to hear this gospel song by the Staple Singers on how to reach Jesus.)

The Caravans – Call Him Up And Tell Him What You Want

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God’s Goodwill Was Purchased For You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Sovereignty Over All Things

I can’t take it any more!

This week I am studying the Book of Job with my 6:00 a.m. Bible Study Group.  And what an eye opener the under lying chapters have been!  If you are familiar with this Old Testament book, you know that Job was afflicted with body sores, and he lost all his wealth, family, livestock, and servants because of a Spiritual battle between God and Satan.  Even after all this devastation, his wife condemned him, too.

The reason for me to categorize this book as an eye opener is simply because as I examine my own life over these past years, I now realize that I have encountered many family members, friends, strangers, and associates that have expressed to me similar experiences that they have gone through that were like Job’s.  Of course, at the time, these people did not realize that they were paralleling a story from the Holy Bible, nor did I, at the time, connect the dots.

But two weeks ago, all of what I had been living through during those past few years when counseling others on this matter, came home to roost.  Without betraying a confidence, let me try to explain what happened.  A new friend of mine engaged me in an unsolicited conversation about my (…and I am quoting her) calm mannerism, quiet disposition, patience personified (because I love to work puzzles endlessly), always displaying an inviting smile and willingness to listen to everyone’s problems.  She went on to say that she wished that she, too, had some of those qualities.  But in continuing her assessment, she confided that she just can’t take it any more. She feels she has succumbed to life’s struggles. What is more, she has begun to take out her frustrations on others by speaking harshly to them and sometimes even hurling insults at herself and calling herself stupid and other bad names.

Oh, how her words pierced my heart, spirit, and soul.  And I wanted to take her in my arms to comfort her.  But I did not.  Instead, I gave her my undivided attention and began to speak softly to her with encouraging words.  I did not quote any scriptures or point her to our Lord because I did not…. know to whom I was dealing with.  And furthermore, we were in a public place where other people were now noticing us.  I did, however, get her to compose herself and offered up a quick prayer for reassurance.  We parted understanding that we would continue our discussion at another time.

Now, fast forward to the Book of Job! 

This week, as my bible study group came to Job chapters 6 and 7, I began to see my distraught friend in the life of Job.  These 2 chapters voice a bonified complaint by Job against God about life in general.  In his torment, Job is indicting God’s dealings with mankind.  Job is unaware that he was a pawn in a spiritual warfare conflict between God and Satan. So now you see why I could not engage my friend in a conversation about God’s sovereignty when she already seemed confused about why such a good God inflicts such misery on mere mortals.

Now that the Holy Spirit has heard my cries through prayers and supplications on her behalf, and has given me the examples and solutions experienced by Job’s predicament, I am better equipped to minister to her.  Please pray that the infusion and comfort of the Holy Spirit will be with me as I continue ministering to her and that she will profess her allegiance to the Holy One’ wisdom and her dependence, through faith, on the One who cares.

Dear Heavenly Father, I sincerely praise You for the weapon of the sword of the Spirit. For He points me to my Bible which I can use to resist all the attacks of the Evil One. Knowing that with your Word, it will bring about victory for all those who use it as a weapon to fight spiritual wars. Amen and Amen.

Scripture Lesson: “Remember Your word to Your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:49-50

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

God Invented Childhood Games…Do You Engage?

Free photo
A family that plays together stays together! So, why not include your Imaginary Friend?

Many, many, many years ago when I was a little girl, my Daddy used to play a game with me.  And I knew exactly the time he was ready to play our special game by the way he approached me.  His clues were if he approached me slightly bent over, slowly taking giant steps, wearing a great big smile on his face, and looking me straight in the eyes, that was my clue to stand up straight, with my hands at my side and wait.

The closer he got to me the more his right arm would raise up with his first finger pointing towards my forehead.   Then he would gently tap my forehead and say, ‘I live up here…’ next he would run his finger down the middle of my face, neck and chest and poke my stomach and say, ‘You live down here…’ next he would race his finger back the way it came down and say, ‘Come up and see me sometime.’  Then he would pick me up, twirl me around and around and belt out a hearty laugh.  Afterwards, he would put me down, swat me on the butt and say, ‘Now go play, Snooky, Daddy’s got to go to work.’

Snooky was my nickname.  Daddy gave all his 5 children nicknames.  My two sisters were Pheedie, and Cottontop.  My two brothers were Headquarters and Duffy.  And I was Snooky.

Oh, did I feel special whenever I played that game with my Dad.  Oh, did I feel loved.  Oh, did I know that my Daddy was the greatest person on God’s green earth!!!  And anybody who doubted that and challenged my assessment of him got a bloody noise.

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS HOW TO PLAY CHILDHOOD GAMES, TOO!

Today I listened to one of my neighbors (I’ll call her Bea) as she described a foolish situation that she carried out after first being warned to reconsider it.  Bea decided after her breakfast that she would walk four blocks to the drug store to purchase some items.  She peeked outside and noticed that it was very cloudy.  Her Imaginary Friend whispered in her ear and told her to put on a sweater and take her umbrella.  

Bea said to herself, ‘Oh, I won’t be long, and I’ll be back before it rains.’  So out the door she went.  Just as she had completed walking the third block, she heard a loud thunderclap and instantly felt a down pouring of rain.  At the corner was a Quick Stop gas station and she horridly ran inside.  Now what am I going to do? she asked Imaginary friend.  Complete silence.  I should have listened to my first thought, she whispered to herself.

Where Did Bea Go Wrong?

Bea’s first thought was not her own.  It was her Imaginary Friend’s guidance.  What Bea and a lot of other people don’t realize is that a person’s first thoughts about a decision is their purest thought or their most ‘godly’ thought.  And the Imaginary Friend is the Holy Spirit!  Jesus said in Hebrews 13:5 that He would never leave or forsake us…not even in our play time.  Most conversations that commence in one’s head after the initial thought are the individual’s ‘worldly’ thoughts and ideas.  Several Believers trust themselves more than they trust the Heavenly Father!

I trusted my Daddy…Why?…Because He lives up here and I leave down there, and he invites me to come up to see him sometimes.

If only we could think of our Imaginary Friend as our Heavenly Father and follow His advice instead of interjecting our own worldly thoughts, we would be on the road to living a more fulfilling life.   We would be equipped to send up more praises and accolades to Christ Jesus.  We would be much more appreciative of how He guides and protects us every day.  We could allow our petitions and supplications to shape our worries and cares in our prayer lives.  That way, we would be wholly dependent on God.

The main reason why you should trust God is written below:

Quote about trusting God.
So, raise your feet and remove the rope’s knot. Then take a walk along the beach with God. You’ll find that there is only one set of foot prints in the sand.

Scripture Lesson: “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” Matthew 19:14

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