God Provided Me With A Slam-Dunk 2023 New Year’s Resolution!

For more than 2-1/2 hours this week, I sat idly at my computer trying to figure out what my subject would be for this week’s WP blog post.  I questioned the whereabouts of the Holy Spirit.  I begged God to unleash his creative writing geniuses on me.  But he did not answer.  At least I thought he did not answer.

Then, suddenly, I remembered.  The Holy Spirit had told me last week to begin thinking about my 2023 New Year’s resolution proclamation.  I had also been warned by my colleagues not to rest on my 2022 laurels.  For surely, more than ever before, my lifestyle, disposition, prayers, praises unto the Lord, philanthropy contributions for benevolence, personal health successes and many more blessings had flooded my total being during the past 365 days.

So, I began to feel some relief in my amnesia predicament, and prayed a quick prayer of thanksgiving and submission and vowed with the help of the Lord to do even more in the coming year.  Then, ‘voila!’ (*).  The Holy Spirit reminded me of a seminar I had facilitated over 40 years ago for a group of Deaconess women entitled, “Faith Without Works Is Dead” (**).

Note: (*) Pronounced ‘Wah-Lah!’

Note: (**) Following is a reprint and revised version of “Faith Without Works Is Dead” by S. Fowler

(To my readers, use the following new title for your 2023 New Year's Resolution:  "Learning New Ways To Fortify My Faith With Measurable Works")

"Good evening my fellow workers in the service of the Lord.  You are knowingly partakers of a Heavenly Calling to become Faith Enthusiasts within this earthly environment, in the likeness of the Apostle and High Priest of our Profession, namely, our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.   

I greet you this day in harmony, knowing that there is a better way; that faith without works is dead; and that faith without hope is like a hot coal being removed from the fire, placed on the hearth and watching its glow go out.  For we cannot continue to grow in this Christian life alone.  We need the warmth and fellowship of each other.

So, let us allow our Profession in Christ to be exercised, which is our faith.  Also, let us begin to receive our compensation and fringe benefits as well as bonuses that God has in store for many of us.

HOW CAN THIS BE ACCOMPLISHED?

1.  First, know your job description.  Moses is our example.  He received the Law on a Tablet.  It was a blueprint of what to do.

2.  Know who your Supervisor is.  Moses, along with all the Israelites knew who wrote those laws and who was their "Boss".

3.  Know what company policies are.  However, the Company of God, Inc., began to realize that the people could not follow the rules and regulations on a consistent basis.  The Company also realized that the consequences and penalties were too sever.

4.  Know what the consequences are if you do not perform.  So, a new policy was initiated -- A BETTER WAY -- and the only requirement printed in the job description was...YOU MUST HAVE FAITH!...and be able to exercise it!

5.  Know what your limits are and be willing and ready to accept change.  Because some of the Ole Timers were so set in their ways and thought that the "Better Way" policy was so easy that there must be a fly in the ointment somewhere, they resigned and went to work in their same capacity at another firm.  But the younger people accepted the challenge based on the promises of the Employer...that he would put the Son in charge.  And all that the people had to do was to accept Him as the Supervisor, form a union (the Church) and begin to study the By-Laws (The Holy Bible).

You know the rest of the story.  How Jesus Christ has set an example that no man can top.  How He did not just sit in His Father's office, but came down among the workers. How He demonstrated His love and dedication by giving Himself so that we all could receive life-long benefits.

Nothing less is expected of us, Dear Partakers of this Heavenly Calling, if we are to continue to be in the employ of this Company.  We must begin to exercise our faith by releasing it to others and depending upon our Faithful Father/Supervisor to keep His promise and make everything alright.

Our 2023 New Year's Resolution is:  Lord, please help me to turn mustard seed faith into monumental works.  Amen!

My faith looks up to Thee – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com › watch

2:50

Classic hymn sung by the Dallas Christian adult concert choir.

Scripture Lesson:  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrews 12:2

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

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)

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

fr

God Chastises His Children When They Disobey, Too!

As I was rambling through my archives of compositions I have written over the years, I ran across a short true children’s story I wrote some 75 years ago.  The theme of the story is about why Snooky (me) and Sissy (my older sister) received a spanking from our Auntie Bea.

I believe retelling this story to you is important because as I reread the actions of the characters, those behaviors conjured up interactions I have experienced during my sojourn with my Lord and Savior.  OUCH!!

Run, Snooky, run!! It’s getting dark and I believe we are lost!”, cried Sissy.

Let’s begin at the beginning…

"Snooky Gets A Spanking" - A short story by the Blogger

On Your mark!  Get set!  Go!  As I raced across the soft thick blades of grass, I could feel the cool breeze slice across my forehead and cut under my chin which was tucked down into the clef of my chest.  My two arms were outstretched and flapping as if I was imitating a free-style swimmer fresh out of water.  My older sister, Sissy, was out running me by only a few feet and I could actually gain on her if she would only run in a straight line and help break the force of wind that hindered me when she veered to the right or to the left.  Only a little farther, I thought, as we both chugged up a small slope on the grassy knoll.  Just then, Sissy's foot slipped and she nearly lost her balance as her gait mis-stepped and I went whisking passed her to run headlong into the play area with swings.  "I won, I won," I yelled as I jumped up and down on the uneven brown gravel which stretched underneath the four-seat swing set and extended over to the seesaw, the sand box and the monkey bars.

Sissy approached the swings with a slight limp and was quietly crying as she took hold of the swing's chains and lifted herself into the seat.  "Are you OK?" I asked as we both gasped to catch our breath.  "I didn't beat you fair and square.  If you hadn't slipped you would have won," I said, trying to comfort her.  After all, she was my big sister and if I wanted her to play with me ever again, I knew better then to make her angry.  "Hold tightly and I'll push you real high.  So high that you will touch the sky and I will run underneath you," I remember saying as we started to play.

That event happened in 1947 in Washington Park located on Northwestern Street in Indianapolis, Indiana, when Sissy was nine years old and I was eight.  The park was located across the street from Aunt Bea's house where we were visiting for the weekend.  Our mother and father liked to go dancing and they would often ship us off to Aunt Bea's so they could 'cut a rug' at the neighborhood juke joint.

In those days, it was safe to allow kids to play in areas a short distance from their houses as long as the  adult could see them or the children were within "yelling distance" of the house.  The playground area where we played could be seen from our front porch and every now and again, Aunt Bea would appear on the porch and wave to us.

Time passed quickly as my sister and I took turns pushing each other in the swings.  Soon, other kids joined us and we all would be having fun squealing and kicking gravel and running from one play area to another.  We would fall down and frolic in the tall grass and pick white and yellow dandelions on that bright sunny day in early March.

Without warning, an amazing sight appeared in the sky.  All the kids looked up over the cluster of bushes and saw about seven or eight brightly colored kites with beautiful streamers attached, flying silently and almost motionlessly in the blue sky.  The kite strings floated down towards us but disappeared over the next hill.  "Come on," Someone yelled:  Come on."  "Let's go see who's flying those kites."  So we all left our safe play area and took off running over the hill and out of sight and earshot of Aunt Bea.

Just over the hill we could see each kite string in the hands of a strong teenage boy who was maneuvering and jockeying for position and going with the flow of the wind as he pumped his kite higher and higher into the air.  There was a rhythm surrounding the young men as we watched in amazement.  When one moved to the left, seemingly they all moved to the left.  And with arms raised and bodies bent into the wind's current, they would all float back to the right.  Soon, we kids were drawn into their wake and found ourselves deeper and deeper into the bowels of the park and actually lost in its landscape.  No one was really aware that the sun was going down and evening was quickly approaching.  We were just too caught up in the excitement of the moment.

It was not until we reached a small pond where white ducks and geese were swimming did Sissy and I realize that we were in an area of the park that we had never ventured to before.  As our eyes met, our mouths flew open and our eyes grew bigger as we suddenly knew we were not only lost, but out of range to yell for our Auntie to find us.  What were we to do?  We ran to each other and said not a word.  We just embraced and began to cry.  The rest of the crowd moved on and were soon out of sight over the next hill.  We were now all alone, scared and frighten out of our wits.

Sissy guided me over to a tree and we sat down and stared at the ground.  In the stillness we could hear the wind ever so softly, calling our names.  Tears were streaming and the wind was faintly whispering, Sissyyyy...Snookyyy...Sissyyyy...Snookyyy.  At the second 'wind' call, Sissy and I were on our feet and running towards the sound.  We heard it again and again.  That's no wind, that's Aunt Bea we thought as our hearts raced and our feet took wings and flew us directly into her path.  We both ran smack into her massive thighs and almost knocked her down.  But her large body and her strong arms held firm.  Her mouth was set perched atop her lower lip as her right hand took hold of Sissy's collar and her left hand grabbed the back of my neck.  Without a word she marched us across the park and up the front steps of our front porch.  (To this day, I don't believe our feet ever touched the ground.)

You can imagine what happened to us once we were behind closed doors!

---------------------The End-------------------

THE MORAL OF THE STORY…GOD’S CHASTISEMENT!!

There are so many ‘life lessons‘ in the above children’s story that if we truly disscet their meaning based on our own individual life experiences, they might warn us of whether or not we are in store for a trip to the ‘wood shed‘ for some sort of discipline by our Lord and Savior. So, please privately respond to the following ten questions:

1.	 Has your life been filled with ups and downs; successes and failures; lies and truths; 
                  love and hate; doubts and faith?
2.	What has caused you to slip and loose your gait?
3.	Has someone else received a reward you thought you earned?
4.	What was your reaction to the above question?
5.	Have you ever admitted to cheating or scamming anyone?
6.	Have you ventured into uncharted waters and almost drowned?
7.	Are you able to love your family, friends AND enemies?
8.	Can you turn the other cheek?
9.	Can you name and applaud your mentors?
10.   Have you endured a punishment that restricted your freedom?



Scripture Lesson: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

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

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

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

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

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

God, In A Still Small Voice, Has Good News For Single Folks!

STOP! in the name of love…think it over.

How about a little nostalgia? For this week’s blog, I would like for you to take a little stroll with me down memory lane. What prompted this sentimental journey, you might asked? Well, this week I received a facebook message from a long lost friend from my past. He and I were both young adults at the time, and members of the same church located in a small town in Maryland, USA. Since I was also a Sunday School teacher at that time, and assigned to teach a co-ed teenage class, the president of a young adult Bible Study group invited me to be a facilitator at a workshop for single folks during an upcoming weekend conference retreat.

What an amazing opportunity, I thought, to broaden and share my ever-expanding spiritual growth in the Lord. For He (the Holy Spirit) had certainly been taking me on mystical journeys, as He opened up the inner most meanings of God’s holy scriptures during my devotional study time. However, so far, I had not received any indication that I was to share or do anything corporately with this new in depth spiritual knowledge.

Therefore, I attributed the subject matter for this week’s blog to that unexpected facebook greeting from a long lost friend. Obviously, the ole adage, ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ is not necessarily true.

So, in early December, 1996, while preparing for that young adult workshop that I was to facilitate at that weekend retreat, I ran across a newly published book by Dr. Jeremiah Wright, entitled Good News For Single Folk. After praying over all the materials I had gathered, and after receiving spiritual confirmation that all was well, following is what happened.

At first, as I began developing an outline from the materials, I experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, big time! It seemed as though I was being hindered from developing my outline because I was starting from the wrong premise. As I raised my pen to cross out yet another sentence for the umpteenth time, I paused. Something supernatural was happening. Someone was calling my name. In a whisper I said, “Speak Lord.” Immediately, I was led to turn in the scriptures to Luke 19:10b: “...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

With trepidation, I softly inquired of the Holy Spirit what exactly was it that was lost and how does it apply to singles. Again, I was led to read several additional scriptures in Genesis 3:21-24. There, we find all of the provisions and disciplines God administered to ‘fallen’ mankind.

  • We were to be clothed in garments of skin because we had lost our glorified bodies.
  • We now knew good from evil, thus we lost our innocence. Therefore we have no excuse.
  • Our minds became befuddled and we didn’t know what was good for us. In other words, we lost our freedom of choice.
  • Physical Death was ushered in and we lost external life.
  • We were banished from the Garden of Eden and lost our eternal home and all the luxuries that went with it.
  • And finally, because of the Guardian Angels with the flaming swords, we lost easy access to the Way. God placed stumbling blocks in our paths.

Once again, I humbled myself and asked the Lord what does this have to do with singles? God said to me; Tell the class that because of the acts of the first couple, (Adam and Eve), the sanctity of marriage was also abridged. Divorce and unfaithfulness are imminent. But, the Good News is Jesus Christ! He is the Bridegroom Who would never be unfaithful to His God nor to His bride (us).

So, in His communion time with me, Jesus, in a still small voice, put forth this proposition…Since married couples are considered single in My Father’s eyes (and the two shall be one), and single people are already single, tell everybody in your Young Adult Sunday School Class to marry Me! Let’s elope before you have time to get lost again!

Fsquared Photography - Noteworthy Wedding Photographers

Click to hear Buddy Holley’s song, “Think It Over” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isgUxR4R_hg

My prayer for singles…

Dear Heavenly Father: Please protect the intimacy and oneness you have instituted in the relationships of courting young peoples and other couples in general. For it is only with Your protection can they guard their hearts against temptation and keep it from all hurt, harm and influences from outsiders. It is also my prayer that You keep their hearts focused on Your nuptial vows so that their spirits may become one in Your sight. Never allow the couples to ignore or turn from seeking solace from each other before they abandon all hope in You and in reconciliation. I pray this prayer in the Matchless Name of Christ Jesus, Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:7-9.

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

GOD’S SON IS MY BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS

You are welcome to use my bridge. #WordPrompt (*)
Where are you headed?

Imagine this! Let’s suppose that everyone in today’s society is going on a journey. Before embarking on this venture each traveler must register their affiliation with one of two very different societies characterized by its idealistic approach to moral and/or immoral living. Also, each person must declare their travel status. Are you traveling under the guise of a Migrant or an Immigrant?

How to know where you stand…first, realize whatever your status, you are going to need help!

I used the word ‘guise‘ because many people apply conflicting interpretations to these two words. So, allow me to impart to you a bit of advice. Once you start your journey, you will need two things: an identification card bearing your name and status, as well as access to an Infinity Bridge.

Did you know that as people cross the bridges of life their sojourn can be as a migrant today and as an immigrant tomorrow? If you are traveling as a Migrant, no matter where you go, you can always go back to your original place of origin and resume your life. But, if you decide to leave your place of origin and permanently settle down where you have immigrated to, your traveler status has now changed and you are referred to as an Immigrant. This designation means if you have legally entered this country, you can be granted permission to stay and work there without restrictions.

Reasons why you need access to an Infinity Bridge…

Since the journey for every card carrying traveler will be inflicted with setbacks and detours, an imaginary bridge named Infinity will be at their disposal at all times, and each traveler will always be welcome to use it. To access the bridge you must show your card which declares your current citizenship and reason for traveling.

This Infinity Bridge is safe and is necessary for traveling because it is limitless and has no beginning and no ending. However, each traveler will be required to pay a toll every few miles. There will be signs posted along the bridge advising when it is time to pay. The price of each toll is for the traveler (whether on the road as a Migrant or Immigrant) is required to speak directly into a voice box affixed to the bridge; declare their traveling status and reflect on how the social mores (immoral and/or moral) of each locale he or she has visited thus far, have influenced their perception on life. Just how are they viewing the world collectively. What sound measures were necessary to navigate safely and responsively through it.

At this juncture, the traveler should also assess whether or not he is traveling on the right bridge and if it is taking him in the direction he wishes to go. Other signs along the bridge will remind the traveler to get an understanding about different circumstances in life and the various ways available to him as to how they can be followed, circumvented, improved upon, mimicked or discarded.

Finally, the traveler may encounter a law enforcer who has the authority to remove him from the bridge or to issue him a citation. The traveler’s civil infractions may cause him or her to be detained for a short period of time. But know this, the ultimate critique of whether a migrant or immigrant is living an immoral or moral life comes from a much Higher Power. He is known as the Keeper of the Bridge. The One Who can set speed limits, repair potholes, revoke traffic sentences, issue pardons, right wrongs and hand out rewards. So, another suggestion for the travelers is for them to keep a copy of the ‘Traveler’s Handbook For Life‘ in their backpack. They should review it every few miles and remain on the Infinity Bridge. Do not detour off of it neither to the right nor to the left.

(You may wish to categorize the above allegory as a story that has a hidden meaning typically concerning moral and political views. And you would be correct in so doing. Therefore, please allow me to send up a quick prayer of forgiveness for intruding into your private space. Straight forward talking about ‘bridges’ is not my forte.)

Dear All-knowing God of us all: There is nothing too hard for you. We come on bended knee confessing that we have neglected the stranger among us. (I’m a witness, because I, too, have been a foreigner in a strange land.) But now, Sweet Jesus, it is our hope that You will equip all mankind to strive to build bridges and not barriers, to show love and not be loathsome, to be filled with your Spirit and not emboldened with self-righteousness.

Please unite us into a spirit of togetherness realizing that we are all fellow citizens in a state of transition through a strange land, trying to find a permanent home. Unite our hearts, souls and minds to become more like You. Constantly remind us, Lord Jesus, that You are that Bridge over troubled waters whose steel pylons were not made by human hands. Amen

Sturdy steel bridge pylons able to support the weight of the world.

And finally, my friends, I wish you farewell and hope your journey will be a fruitful one. But most of all it is my desire that your bridge is well anchored in a sure foundation.

Scripture Lesson “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence; with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

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

(*) 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 2

As we continue to proceed with Part Two of “God’s Holy Word Has Something To Say About Colors”, I trust you have not only enjoyed Part One, but have learned something very interesting (based on their description) and gratifying concerning the election of various colors God chose to assign to his creation.  And the beauty of God’s selection of colors is that he did not have to labor over nor give a great deal of thought to his assignments.  That’s because God already knew what mental effects various colors would have on mankind’s physic and mental welfare.

So, let’s continue our study of colors by investigating ‘White’, ‘Back’ and ‘Gray’.

The Color White

In the Western cultures, especially in the Christian Holy Bible, the meaning for the color “WHITE” represents honesty, innocence, purity and cleanliness. But the one symbol that I find the most interesting is ‘hope’. Let’s review how in Genesis 30:25-43, Jacob (later called Israel) whose name means ‘supplanter‘, tricked his boss, Laban, into paying his wages in livestock.

Jacob proposed that Laban allow him to go through Laban’s flock and remove every spotted, blemished and speckled goat, lamb and sheep (livestock that was deemed unprofitable financially), and they be given to Jacob as his wages. By the way, Laban had changed Jacob’s wages ten times, but had never paid him a dime of it.

So, Jacob proposed to Laban that he separate his ‘worthless’ livestock and give them to him as his wages. Laban agreed. Unbeknownst to Laban, Jacob cut branches from poplar, almond and plane ole ordinary trees. He peeled the bark from the branches but allowed stripes of white inner bark to show through on the cut limbs. Next, Jacob, placed some of the branches in Laban’s watering troughs so that they would be directly in front of the livestock when they came to water and to mate.

The Holy Spirit did not communicate to me the meaning of Jacob’s actions, but suffice it to say that Jacob’s shenanigans worked out and flocks of little lambings and kiddings were born with streaks and speckles; enough to make Jacob a very rich herdsman. Those white streaks on the branches were the cause of it all. (And of course, God’s miraculous hand of intervention.)

The Color Black

BLACK” is known as a sophisticated color. This hue is timeless and classic. It symbolizes strength and power. Black is also the most popular color in the advertising/signage world. There is also an air of mystery, disception and evil associated with this color. In scripture, God says that He formed the light (to depict righteousness) and he created the darkness (to be the consequence of disobedience, sin and trespasses. (Isaiah 45:7)

Black is also associated with our sins, moods of depression, loneliness and harboring pessimistic feelings of anger.

Question? So why do we say: “He/She told a little ‘white’ lie? Why isn’t the question; “He/she told a little ‘black’ lie?” Go figure!!!

The Color Gray

While the color black represents Good Friday in the Christian world, the color ‘GRAY’ represents the season of Lent and is closely associated with fasting and prayer. And naturally the color gray denotes repentance and maturity (Senior citizens).

In some circles, psychologists define gray as a color that fosters stability. It is preceived as being a neutral color and brings balance and harmony. At other times, gray adds sophistication to situations like being a go-between for the colors white and black.

Sometimes you hear people express a particular negative mood that they are in, such as: A gray mood or a melancholy mood. The root syllable for melancholy is ‘mel’ which denotes bad or evil and the ending is ‘holy’. Could this color silently signify that God is not pleased with our wishy-washy sacrifices of praise. (I’m just sayin’!!!)

Illustration of different color meanings in color psychology

PLEASE RETURN NEXT FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022, FOR PART THREE OF THIS HIGHLY INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE SUBJECT ON COLOR PSYCHOLOGY IN THE BIBLE. HOPEFULLY, MY RESEARCH ON THIS SUBJECT WILL HELP INCREASE YOUR BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE ON HOW GOD EMPOWERED ALL OF US TO SEEK AND LEARN MORE ABOUT HIS GOODNESS AND MERCIES CONCERNING THE SECRETS OF CREATION.

My prayer for you

My Dear Lord and Savior, please make me willing and unashamed to witness to others about my relationship with You. Help me to develop scriptures along with my own life experiences around colors that can represent You in a mighty and truthful way. Empower me to show them Your marvelous will and Your loving precepts. Guide my enthusiasm and direct my search for resource materials like children’s bibles that come with colorful felt swatches of materials that will help me use colors in my delivery of Your truths. And then use those whom I have witnessed to and whom You have empowered with the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel to their families, friends and communities. I ask it all in the precious Name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Scripture Lesson: “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him. “We have found the Messiah” (that is the Christ). John 1:40-41

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

The Color White

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!

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

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