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Friday, August 29, 2008

I love Country Music.

I'm a 51 year old black woman who grew up in the deep South lip-syncing to The O'Jays and slow dancing to the sound of the late great Johnny Taylor. Some where along the way I found my self listening to Traditional Country music. As a child growing up in the 1950's, in a predominantly black community were country-and-western music wasn't in my house and Blacks weren't supposed to like country music. Some thought Blacks' contribution to American music was in jazz, blues and funk only. So, Country music was dismissed as poor white folks' blues and associated with a regions of the nation that symbolized prejudice and racial bigotry. Even some of mainstream white America viewed country as lower class and less desirable especially its twangy chords. I don't really no what drew me to country music unless it was the hit Clarence Carter had out call "Patches." After watching and listening to Sheryl Crow last night at the DNC I got to thinking about how country music has been through some changes also. It has lost alot of its twang. I was a Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty fan growing up so when Twitty and Sam Moore did the remake of a Rainy Night In Georgia man, what a awesome job and that drew me in more. But, a lot of todays Contemporary Country stars just don't touch my spirit like the artist of old. I don't know is it me are because the twang is missing. I do like some of todays artists like Darius Rucker who once did lead with Hootie and The Blowfish. Darius has a new single "Don't Think I Don't Think about It" which sounds a lot like old country music too me. I guess nothing stay the same and change is good for everybody.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Death And Dying.

I never was one for the death penalty but, I often wonder how the person who pulls the switch or give that fatal injection felt. I was reading this article about a Pastor Carroll Pickett's who once worked as a minister with Texas inmates just before their executions. Pickett stated they he once was in favor of the death penalty until he started to work with the inmates and the victims family. Pickett's said some inmates talked and talked before their execution weather they were guilty or not. He stated that some was guilty and some not. Pickett said that many were mentally retarded with the majority being Hispanic or Black. He said they only executed one who had a college degree. The average was only up to the 9th grade. MOST OF THE MEN WERE HIGH ON DRUGS OR ALCOHOL WHEN THEY COMMITTED THEIR CRIMES. Pastor Pickett said he's NOT convinced there is no pain with an execution. He heard signs of pain during executions--often happening more when the inmate would fight with the procedure. "Most of them wanted physical contact--wanted me to hold their hand but I couldn't" he said, "but I never lost contact with them, none of them." "IT'S BURNING" he would sometimes hear. "A LOT OF THEM WOULD NOT GO COMPLETELY TO SLEEP WITH THE FIRST DRUG...SOMETIMES THE NOISES WERE NOT JUST AIR BUT PAIN." Pickett kept emphasizing to how important it was that the one to be executed not fight. Pickett was ask about how he would face his own death and his response was I am not afraid too die I led (these men their ) last eight steps and many were not afraid to die.
Question: Should a mentally retarded person be put to death? My answer would be NO !

Monday, August 25, 2008

John McCain Should Pick Hillary Clinton As His Running Mate.

John McCain has decided to not talk about the issues but instead bring up Obama VP choice. That’s ok if he wants to take on Joe Biden’s stance on issues, but he’s attacking the choice. Republican John McCain launched a new ad Sunday claiming rival Barack Obama passed over Hillary Rodham Clinton as his running mate for “speaking the truth” about his liabilities. The ad, called “Passed Over,” features a clip of Clinton and repeats criticisms the New York senator made during the Democratic primaries over Obama’s alleged lack of specifics on issues, negative campaign tactics and his relationship with Antoin Rezko, a former Obama fundraiser convicted in June on corruption charges. John McCain can't win running on the truth like his party own failing platform. So what do McCain do? try and divide another party. If McCain want Hillary Clinton as his running mate by all means pick her so we can move on to more important things like the issues that we face.That way the angry PUMAS can have what they want.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Miss Sunday School.

My husband and I are new to this Sunday School and it's hard to adjust to it. I know
most people who attend Sunday school would say that they welcome newcomers. However, it is often challenging for us to feel like "part of the family" because we do not share the history of the class. The Sunday School is set up in the Old Traditional Baptist Church way. You know were they give each class a banner for the most Bibles, money and attendance. We have not been a part of this kinda of teaching in years. I am a person who love learning and growing in my faith and Sunday School is a great tool for that. It is hard to get up early on Sunday morning for a class that you don't connect too. It's hard too forget the great teaching at my old church but I won't give up trying to fit in. A lot of churches are moving away from Sunday School period. Question? Is Sunday School important for Christian growth?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Following Protocol!

Protocol precludes an audience before royalty prior to engaging in the customary decorum. In the Book of Esther, we read of King Xerxes, “When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Then the king asked, ‘what is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.’” Esther 5:2-3.

The Old Testament speaks a great deal to the protocol required when approaching the Tabernacle. In fact, not just anyone could approach, regardless of their status or position in life. Only the priests were permitted entrance to the Tabernacle and even then, they had a set of regulations that had to be followed prior to their entrance. Even at that, only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place. There was no scepter. There was no chance God was going to allow anyone to approach without following His protocol, that’s how Holy He is. So, if we know that He is Holy why do we think we can approach Him any kinda way? Sometime with hate in our hearts and fill with bitterness.

We know that God is Holy. We know He is our King; there never was and never will be any king like Him – not ever. God’s heart so loved us, longed for intimacy with us, but a Holy God will not break His own rules. So He sent His Son. In effect, Jesus is the Scepter that God holds out to us, the Scepter that cleanses us in order to permit us limitless – infinite – access to the King of Glory. Once we understand who He is we will begin to approach Him in a different light. He doesn’t offer half His Kingdom, He offers all of it. Through His act of love, the offering of His Son - The High Priest of high priests - God adopted us into His Family. We are Princes and Princesses of the Most High King.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Would Your Church Accept A 600,000 Dollars Gift?

After Robert Powell hit the Florida Lottery jackpot last month and took home more than $6 million, he thought of his church. And he offered to drop his tithe, around $600,000, in the collection plate of First Baptist Orange Park. But the church and Pastor politely declined and told Powell they will not accept the lottery winnings.The pastor would not say exactly why the church refused the money, saying only he 'didn't want to talk about members' gifts'. Question? Do the church check to see where other tithes and offerings are coming from... you know... just to be safe? Is the money consider tainted if Yes/No what make it so? Would your church accept the money? I don't understand why a church would turn down a gift. My church would because, of the people we try to help daily.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Locking The Pastor Out Of The Church.

You have to watch this video. It's something else. Question?......

1. How could you spend $49,000 at a men's clothing store?
2. You locked him out, but you still allow him to come to services... and preach? Why!
3. Why do you give the pastor the ability to sell church property?
4. Is the church leadership to blame for letting this happen?
5. Why want the pastor leave?

VH1 Kiddie Pageants, Why?

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching VH1. You know the channel who’s given us infamous shows such as Flavor of Love (1, 2 and 3), Rock of Love, I Love New York etc… I hate to admit it, but I’ve watched these shows and am just amazed at what people are willing to do to be on TV. So, as I watched VH1, I saw a program titled Little Beauties. It was a reality show about beauty pageants for 6 year old little girls. After watching this show, I was shock by what I saw. I saw these little girls wearing tons of makeup. I saw little girls with their hair hardened into ‘big’ hair styles via hair spray. I saw little girls sashaying down a runway in bikini swimsuits. I saw little girls acting like adults. I was surprise to see a Black couple there. The father seem as if he really didn't like it but, the mother was all into it.

Why do parents allow their kids to be exploited just for some exposure and maybe a little bit of money? I just don’t understand. This is something that is very prevalent in today’s society, which appears to be in a constant decline. As our children gets older and society continues its downward spiral, it's sad to think what will be shown on TV, starring children. As parents we are to protect our young at whatever cost. One day we'll have to give an account of our action concerning those given unto us. ( hat tip: to Kelly Belle )

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Let's Not Exploit People For Personal Gain.

America Next Top Model is back for its 11th "cycle" on September 3rd. For the 1st time the reality show is including a transgender contestant, Isis. I have been reading were some people are already praising Tyra Banks and ANTM Ms. Banks has dealt with: weight ( remember Tocoria, when they knew she was too heavy) , Autism, lesbianism, bisexuality, ghetto girls, poverty, and even a girl who was half-blind! What makes anyone think this will be different with a transgender woman? I remember once before that Ms. Banks and the creators of ANTM have already rejected a transgender woman by the name of Claudia Charriez. Claudia was disqualified because she was transgender so, my question is why is the show embracing a woman of transgender experience? Do Ms. Banks have a hidden agenda? Do she plan to exploit this young lady for rating? I don't have anything against Ms. Banks however, let's not use people for our own personal gain. I am hoping Isis will not be exploited or made to be a spectacle, while Tyra positions herself as a door opener. Lisa over at Black Women BlowThe Trumpet has a post about transgender which I found to be very good reading.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gospel Music At The DNC.

This year the 2008 Democratic National Convention will make history as it features the first ever Convention Interfaith Gathering on August 24 at the Wells Fargo Theater in Denver, CO.

It will feature musical selections by Richard Smallwood & Vision and The Spirituals Project of Denver. Also Bishop Charles E. Blake, Presiding Prelate of the Church of God In Christ, will be part of the collection of prominent religious leaders from across various faiths who will speak at this historic gathering.

Shekinah Glory Ministry.

Congratulation to Shekinah Glory Ministry for putting out such wonderful music. I was introduce to Praise and Worship music through this CD. Praise is what I do, talking about taking you to the next level. The entire CD is mine blowing. William Murphy was the Worship Leader on this particular CD.
SHEKINAH GLORY MINISTRY debut CD, the double disc praise and worship masterpiece Praise Is What I Do, has already achieved Gold status and is well on the way to being certified Platinum. SGM new CD was certified Gold by Recording Industry Association of America.

Elder Phil Tarver is the Praise and Worship Leader of Shekinah Glory Ministry: "We are taught that the more God exalts you the more you should humble yourself. We are humbled but honored to know that more than a few folks are enjoying what we do as we continue our mission of creating music that pierces the kingdom of darkness and enlarges the Kingdom of God."

About Kingdom Records
Kingdom Records, Inc. is the fulfillment of the vision of Apostle H. Daniel Wilson, Senior Pastor of Valley Kingdom Ministries International. Apostle Wilson conceived the idea from God to start a praise and worship ministry and to name it Shekinah Glory Ministry and to name the label Kingdom Records, while on sabbatical in the Arizona desert in 1999. The company was established in 2000. Kingdom Record's primary mission is to create music that pierces the kingdom of darkness and enlarges the Kingdom of God. The company is lead by music industry veteran Bernie McLean, Joan Sullivan, Junito R. Harris, Jr., Michael Weatherspoon. In addition to Shekinah Glory Ministry and Phil Tarver, Kingdom Records has expanded its roster with the addition of Gospel's Lady of Soul Cynthia Jones, Kim Stratton and Tonya Baker, the newest addition to the Kingdom roster, has made her debut with her first single: Vengeance Is Mine from her eagerly anticipated CD Special Friend, in stores August 19.

After 50 Years!

2 week ago I passed the 50 year mile marker. Reflecting on life is a natural thing to do at this age.

The 1st Person Wish List...

Personally I wish I had:
  • more education
  • traveled farther
  • a deeper commitment to being centered (as in not allowing myself to be tugged in too may directions at the same time)
  • as a Christian I wish I would have accepted/excepted Christ sooner than later.
The Personal Wish List...

As a mother I wish I had:
  • spent more time playing with my kids
  • been better at providing for them
  • listened more and better
  • more patience and wisdom
As a woman I wish I had:
  • not been so easy to trust those who didn't deserve it
  • been more assertive
  • less afraid to venture out on my own
Looking back in retrospect, it's easy to spot moments lost and the regret that comes with them. Time does not wait on no one to get it together. As much as a person wishes that the world would just come to a screeching halt, just long enough to get it together, the world continues on and willing, ready or not keeping up and evolving with it isn't a choice, it's a necessity.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What's So Scary About Michelle Obama?

Michelle Obama cover's the September issue of Radar, In the issue, they go deep into the First Lady hopeful! I'm loving the picture they chose to place on the cover.

Here are some inserts from the issue:

"She gives us her vision but not her positions. Unlike Hillary, she doesn't push a policy agenda. Her stump speech offers more of a world view. She speaks wistfully about the America that produced a hard-working man like her father, sadly about the country today (conservatives tend to focus on this aspect), and ecstatically about the future. We know she wants us to elect her husband, but we suspect she wants something from us, personally."

She has generated more than twice the volume of news stories Cindy McCain has. In part that's because she's on the cusp of becoming an adjunct historical figure: the first black president's first black first lady. But she is also a tantalizing conundrum. With the exception of Hillary, first ladies have spoken on their husbands' behalf with bland platitudes and knowing good-wife smiles. But Michelle Obama doesn't play by those rules. The vision she offers of Barack is uniquely prosaic: His breath stinks, he doesn't put away the butter, he snores. She warns, "He will not be able to move you to tears with every word that he says."

Read the Full Article Here

Friday, August 15, 2008

Isaac Hayes And The Teaching Of Scientology.

I was reading a article about Isaac Hayes and Scientology. I am trying to understand what makes a person leave the Christian faith especially after growing up in the faith. Scientology was founded by L.Ron Hubbard and he taught that the immortal soul--or "thetan" --passes from one body to the next through reincarnations over trillions of years. When a person dies, Hubbard said the thetan goes to a landing station on Venus where it is programmed with lies about its past life and its next one. Hubbard taught his followers to choose a location other than Venus. When I heard Isaac Hayes was a Scientologist it was hard for me to wrap my mine around it. He just didn't fit that mold. The church of Scientology seems beyond bizarre to me. Hayes grew up in the Baptist and Pentecostal church where Jesus walked with Hayes along with hustlers and dealers. He was baptized in the Christian faith at an early age. Hayes became the Black Moses of Memphis Soul, a funky blend of gospel and blues, church and street, sacred and profane. In 1997, Hayes and Lisa Marie Presley funded a Scientology mission church in Memphis. Later that year, they threw a Christmas party at the church for inner city children. Hayes saw something in Scientology that he thought would help inner-city children. He was introduced to Hubbard's work in the mid-1990s by Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, a former Baptist pastor who joined Scientology after the L.A. riots in 1992. At Johnson's urging, Hayes took two Dianetics classes, "The Ups and Downs of Life" and "Personal Values and Integrity." Hayes said "These were the tools that I been looking for, to improve my life and other people's lives," that Scientology is the key to life and total freedom. The minute that I started doing these courses and things, I started pulling in all kinds of wonderful jobs. It's the key to my survival. Knowledge about one's self is always the key to one's survival." Hayes joined Johnson's World Literacy Crusade, an organization that uses Hubbard's "study technology" to promote literacy inner-city neighborhoods. I still don't have an answer as to why, O well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

For The Sake Of Our Children!

I learn a long time ago if you expose children to anger you need to make sure they're around when you forgive each other. They need to know how to deal with ISSUES, without attacking the person. They need to know that a difference of opinion can lead to a decision that makes things better for everyone and also that you can be wrong and still be respected and loved. This may mean teaching them things we were never taught. I learned from the mistakes of my parents and tried not to pass it on to my children. I taught my kids to forgive when they were hurt and not to take their resentments to bed. Jesus said you must forgive "so that your Father in heaven may forgive you. So lets do it for the sake of the children by teaching them to forgive and for get.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Questioning Life.

Do you ever find yourself asking: Why have I made so many mistakes in my life? Why must I seem to always learn the hard way? Why has my life not turned out the way I envisioned? Why have I experienced so much disappointment and pain? Why do I sometimes feel so different from everyone else? It just doesn’t seem like other Christians struggle with the things that I do. Why have I become so cynical regarding life? What has happened to the joy that I once experienced as a Christian? I think sometimes that I really don’t matter to God very much. I will affirm that He loves the world and that He is a loving God. However, Iam convinced that I am somehow disqualified to fully receive His love. I may say that He loves the world but I think that I may have messed up too much for God forgives. Sure God forgives, but I feel like such a failure as a parent. I can believe the way my son turned out. Sure God forgives, but I know that I have disappointed God. Do I believe God really will give me a fresh start? I know the Biblical writers often remind us that they too had received fresh starts (Read again Eph. 2:1-9 and I Cor. 6:9-11).I know that His care for me is greater than my failure. I also know that Jesus work on the cross and His resurrection has given me hope for a new start. (Rom. 5:6-8) It is not too late to have a fresh start. No matter what! Thanks Lisa over at BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet. for helping me see this.

Life Is Full Of Storms.

Storms bring hidden blessings. The disciples once discovered this lesson. In a storm-tossed boat on Galilee, the men were overworked and overwrought. When it seemed all hope was lost, “they see Jesus walking on the sea” (John 16:19). God’s way is in the sea, according to the Psalmist, and His path is in the great waters (Psalm 77:19). Christ comes in the storm. That is perhaps the greatest lesson each of us can find. He is the greatest unexpected blessing in rough times. Think as well of the time when the Apostle Paul’s storm-tossed vessel was wrecked against the island of Cauda. The shipwrecked apostle was used by God to bring healing to the island chieftain. Occasionally, storms take us to unexpected places to do surprising things. Diamonds, fine porcelain, gold and silver are not refined at room temperature. In the same sense, the stormy crucible can bring the best things from our lives. Storms cause us to meet ourselves. Storms forces us to ask: Who are we? What are we made of? Do we faint in the day of adversity or do we find the grit and grace from God to forge ahead? Storms have a way of leaving each of us better than before. Think about the palm tree in a storm. Its trunk is parallel to the ground and its branches whip wildly in the wind. But the palm tree will rise again to higher heights, strengthened by the storm. We are a lot like palm trees (Psalm 92). We may fall, but we will arise (Micah 7:8). Within us is a resiliency and buoyancy placed there by our Creator. Question: How do you react to your life storms? Do you think about giving up? Do you question God?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Black Moses Dead At 65.

It has just been reported that Isaac Hayes has died at the age of 65. R.I.P! Read article here.......

My favorite song by Isaac Hayes was I stand accused of loving you Check it out.......

Church Folks Remember This.......

  1. -It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.
  2. -Opportunity may knock once.
  3. Temptation bangs on your front door forever.
  4. -Quit griping about your
    church; if it was perfect, you couldn’t belong.
  5. -If the church wants a
    better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.
  6. -We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.
  7. -God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
  8. -God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
  9. -The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
  10. The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
    1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Encouraging Our Children!

Everyone wants encouragement, but some experts say that boys and girls perceive praise differently. Boys sometimes look at praise as manipulation and get uncomfortable if someone lays on the congrats too thickly. They still need praise, but it's best to be matter-of-fact when giving it.

Girls, on the other hand, love superlatives. Even then, experts say, too much of a good thing is too much. Extravagant praise can be almost addictive for girls, ironically lowering their self-esteem, and prompting them to start seeking encouragement from outside sources.

Bernard Jeffrey McCulough Better Known As ( Berine Mac).

It was a shock to here of Bernie Mac spirit returning to the Father so soon. I have alway enjoyed his brand of comedy it was some time raunchy but OK. He will be miss.
In 2007, Mac told David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show" that he planned to retire soon.
"I'm going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit," Mac told Letterman. "I missed a lot of things, you know. I was a street performer for two years. I went into clubs in 1977."
Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on Oct. 5, 1957, in Chicago. He grew up on the city's South Side, living with his mother and grandparents. His grandfather was the deacon of a Baptist church.
In his 2004 memoir, "Maybe You Never Cry Again," Mac wrote about having a poor childhood - eating bologna for dinner - and a strict, no-nonsense upbringing.
"I came from a place where there wasn't a lot of joy," Mac told the AP in 2001. "I decided to try to make other people laugh when there wasn't a lot of things to laugh about."
Mac's mother died of cancer when he was 16. In his book, Mac said she was a support for him and told him he would surprise everyone when he grew up.
"Woman believed in me," he wrote. "She believed in me long before I believed." The Only Way Home Is Through The Grave Yard!

To see pictures of his grand daughter and daughter>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Brillante Weblog Award.

Thank you Jaycee from A Choice Of Weapons for nominated me for the Brillante Weblog Premio Award! What a honor it is to receive this precious prize and again thanks Jaycee. I have nominated a few others that I read regularly and are equally deserving of praise. Congrats! To all the nominees.
  1. Http://www.Briasownwords.com
  2. Http://www.ephphatha3.blogspot.com
  3. Http://www.blacktennispros.blogspot.com
  4. Http://www.Undercoverblackman.blogspot.com
  5. Http://www.Dirtyredsblog.blogspot.com
  6. Http://www.Reginasfamilyseasons.blogspot.com
  7. HttP://www.Marcuslangford.com
  8. Http://www.beeaware.blogspot.com

Rules:1. Put the logo on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.

5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Are You In The Fire Today?

If we could talk to the 3 Hebrew boys about their experience with the Lord in the fiery furnace, they'd put it this way: The fire was all over us, our robes were ablaze, yet our skin was untouched. (Hallelujah to the King) We don't know whats going on but something move among the ashes. Suddenly, out of the smoke came a shining gleaming person. We never got His name ( Hallelujah) He never said it. He never said anything. We never saw Him again; He showed up only when we needed Him. Are you walking through a fiery trial today? If so, You're not alone God is with you! Take courage! When He brings you out you'll know Him better, trust Him more, and have something to say that will make other want to listen. (HALLELUJAH).

The Church Choir Is Not To Be Used For Advertising Purposes.

I found this article which address the ever increasing use of Gospel Choirs, in TV Adverts. More and more Black Gospel Choirs are being used by these advertising companies in a derogatory way also 95% if not all of the choir members are Black who are always jumping around and acting the fool.

Ken Burton a musical composer and director was ask to get a choir together but he refuse to because of the racist and blasphemous nature of the script. Ken Burton said “The campaign features a gospel choir in a church setting. All the elements of worship are present: the singing, the responses from the congregation and the lifting of the hands. Corporate companies always like to use black people in these ‘buffoon‘ portrayals. Why can we not see adverts involving gospel choirs in dignified settings – why do they always have to act like fools?

I believe subliminally that is the way we are often viewed by the advertising companies.” My views are that gospel music is holy and should not be manipulated in such a derogatory way. Gospel music is not like Pop or secular music. Its first responsibility is to lift up the name of the Lord and encourage others to draw close to Him daily.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How Do You See Jesus?

I wonder what would Jesus Think ... about the ways we use his name and his image? I also think about the diamond-encrusted platinum crosses that rappers like 50 Cent wear. Maybe Fiddy is just expressing his love for Jesus in his own way. Maybe everyone who wears a silver, gold or platinum cross around their neck--from teen-agers to blue-haired seniors--is merely expressing the way they value the cross, as something worthy and precious. But I do wonder, What does Jesus think about the way we've blinged out the old, rugged cross? ( On a hill far away stood an Old Rugged Cross, the emblem of suffering and shame). Mostly, I wonder how I'm affected by the way our society uses Jesus' name, his image, and symbols representing him. Do I look at the cross as a status symbol? When I think of Jesus, do I imagine the European savior in the white robe with the blue sash, his long, brown tresses flowing in the wind? Or do I think about a dirty homeless man who hung out with the types you'd find on Skid Row? Do I remember he was a laborer? Do the sanitized images in my mind prevent me from seeing how relatable--down-to-earth real--Jesus is? I can have an accurate image of Jesus by digging into the Scriptures more. I think we have to be careful that we don't recreate Him to be more to our own taste. The example Jesus set and the things he's called us to do can be difficult to swallow.

Dealing With Our Ishmael!

When God promises you something and it doesn't happen right away, it's easy to get impatient. And to make matters worse, theres usually somebody around who'll write the promise down, date it, and keep reminding you of it! When that happens, you start doubting God and wondering if He needs your help to make it happen.

After God promised Abraham that his descendants would be "as numerous as the stars" (Ge 22:17 NIV), things weren't happening fast enough. So Abraham grew impatient and took matters into his own hands by fathering Ishmael with his wife's maidservant Hagar. Then his troubles began in earnest!

When God did send the promise Isaac through Sarah, his wife both boys ended up living under the same roof. Right and wrong, wheat and tares growing up together. It's possible to be bless in one area of your life, while in another there's a growing problem that'll overwhelm you unless you handle it. Sarah caught Ishmael "mocking" Isaac. That's what happen when we don't confront our mistakes; they end up mocking us and belittling our success. Before that occurs you need to stand up and declare enough is enough! I'm going to get my act together and straighten out my life. You can't straddle the fence when it comes to dealing with things that threaten to destroy us. You've got to take a stand! Question: Do you have some Ishmael in your life? How do you deal with them? Aug 6 2008.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Power Of The Cross.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I don’t know what it is about this verse, but it's powerful for me. I think that it brings the Gospel message back to the central point in time in history – Jesus on the cross. And what Jesus did on the cross changed everything. Jesus changed history. The power of the cross is such that Jesus continues to change things this very moment. He is changing you. He is changing me. Question: To us who are being saved, is the message of the cross literally the power of God? Do you meditate upon the cross regularly and meditate upon what the message of the cross truly is? Are you sharing the message of the cross with others in your life? What is the message of the cross? What does the message of the cross mean to you personally? Is it foolishness? Or, is it the power of God?

Gossip The Sin No One Likes To Talk About.

GOSSIP - small talk, hearsay, chitchat. Gossip, scandal apply to idle talk and news mongering about the affairs of others. Gossip is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. It is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious.

I have learned in my many years of life, “those who gossip to you gossip about you”. What is even more disconcerting is that Christians engage in this SINFUL behavior with NO GUILT! It’s just nuts I tell ya, just nuts! It’s Christian Tabloids!

It’s like a Christian who justifies an adulterous affair (and says, “but I love her”), or a Christian who legitimizes stealing from work and says (”because they don’t pay me enough”).

Romans 1:29 “Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.”

2 Corinthians 12:20 “For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.”

Besides GOSSIP being a dark evil sin that we’ve all engaged in at some time, it’s bad for 3 reasons:

1.) It distracts us from doing the things that are really important; loving and caring for people, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, praying and reading the scripture!

2.) It is murder with the tongue. It separates close friends, and it breaks relationships!

3.) It tears down people! Gossip produces nothing good in a persons life, period!

How to know when you’ve stumbled upon a GOSSIP:

1.) They gossip to you!

2.) The are unhappy. (typically about many things)

3.) The world is just out to get them.

4.) They do not have any TRUE friends. (have you ever had a friend gossip to you about another friend? That is not friendship!)

5.) Gossip follows gossips! (so if you are always in the midst of gossip… it’s YOU! You are the common denominator!)

Typically, gossipers attract other gossipers. So if you find yourself in a gossip crowd, I would recommend you inform your “friends” (if you can call them that) and challenge them that you want to be a true Christ follower and that you feel that gossip is not doing anything positive in or for your life and will discontinue partaking in the sin of gossip!

“Small people talk about others,
Medium people talk about things,
And big people talk about dreams and ideas”

Let’s be BIG PEOPLE!

Monday, August 4, 2008

How's Your Heart.

We think of the heart as the center of our emotions. But it's more; it's the origin of our desires, imaginations, motives and intentions. That's why God says "above all...guard your heart...it is the well spring of life." Just like low grade gas make our car perform badly Jesus says "The things that come from the heart make a man 'unclean'... evil thoughts, murder, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony , slander." And again He said, " A... person produces good deeds from a good heart, and... evil deeds from an evil heart. Whatever is in your heart determines what you say. So, how's your heart today? Do you get upset easily? Do you constantly compare and resent? When you here gossip do you silence it or spread it? What kind of thoughts do you entertain? The answer to these question depends on the state of your heart. Jesus said that those whose hearts are pure will see God in everything and act accordingly. Aug 4 2008

Why God Allows Sufferig?

There are a lot of good reasons for suffering offered in Scripture: to discipline or to prevent sin, to develop perseverance, character and spiritual maturity, to prepare us to comfort others, to provide opportunities to share our faith and spread the news about Jesus, to follow Jesus’ example and thus bring honor to him and to show genuine faith and thus bring honor to God. Humanity and the entire world is imperfect because, we fail to give proper respect to God, we’ve distanced ourselves from the perfection that is God. Yet the all-powerful God who made us doesn’t force us into obedience. God wants real love and respect— So suffering reminds us that we aren’t self-sufficient, and it can cause us to consider God. Question? If God is good (if his nature and character is absolutely good) and he loves us, then why does he allow bad things to happen to us? Does God allow bad things to happen to people who love him in order to keep things fair, and balanced? Does suffering keep our love genuine?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Obama's Theme Song: In The Ghetto, by Elvis Presley.

I believe Black Gospel help shape White America view of the black church. They might not attend it, every Sunday but they recognized its stamp. White America have connected with the Black Church through it's music for years. Think: Bob Dylan, Bono, Elvis.... White America seems to accept and love our blackness, angry, and any other form of expression if only that message can be put in the background of our music. If we can buy Elvis songs about an “angry young man from the ghetto”–who happened to be from Chicago–and have gospel singers celebrate and dramatize his plight, than I am sure there is a niche for this message in the American culture — and perhaps in our political psyche. What if Obama made Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto” his campaign theme song? Would , somehow, white people would feel the pain and forgive the anger, when it is orchestrated by Elvis Presley and performed by beautiful women in flowing robes. Maybe then they would stop asking is he Muslin they would except the fact that he's a Christian.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Praying Is Not Always Easy.

Since God already know what everybody needed and God going to do whatever he pleased anyway, then why do we pray at all? Now, I know there are plenty of good reasons for praying: We pray to remind ourselves there is a God who's bigger than us. We pray to include God in our lives, to keep him in our conversations and thoughts. We pray for things more than once because the Bible says our persistence gets noticed (Luke 18:1-8). We even pray simply because Jesus did, and the Bible says we're supposed to pray (Philippians 4:6-7). But knowing all these reasons doesn't stop my brain from questioning the purpose of prayer every once in awhile. That's when I have to make a choice. Do I get frustrated with the questions, throw up my hands and shout, "Yeah, what's the point?" Or should I face off with the questions, talk to God about them, and perhaps learn something he wants to show me? Maybe God likes to be asked, too. Maybe God especially enjoys when I say, "Hey, Dad, I don't need anything for myself today. But would you do something for my son ? He really needs your help."
1) Do you tell your friends you're praying for them? Why or why not?

2) What stops you from praying? What fears and questions enter your mind when you pray?

3) Is it harder for you to pray for yourself, or for other people?

4) What makes specific prayers difficult for you? (For example, maybe you've prayed for yourself or someone else in the past, and God didn't give you or your friend the thing you asked for.) What makes specific prayers easy for you? (For example, maybe you've built up a lot of trust with God in an area of your life.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Is It Really Of God?

God's leadings are always in - line with His Word. Always! God want lead you to be unfaithful in your marriage, cheat on a test, lie to a customer, spread hurtful gossip, deceive your friends , or do anything else forbidden by Scripture. Furthermore, His leadings will always be consistent with the person He meant you to be. For example: If you love math and are naturally gifted with computers why would you assume that God would lead you into music or theology? Or if you don't come alive unless you're in the great outdoors why would you think He'd lead you to a downtown 9- 5 office job on the 35th floor. Or if you're not comfortable around children why would you figure He'd lead you to become a school teacher? Get real! God's leadings don't contradict who He made you to be. He doesn't create you with particular gifts and then expect you to excel at something totally unrelated. If you sense a leading that seems contrary to what God made you to be, test it carefully. Is God asking you to do this because at present there's no one else to do it? Is He stretching you into new areas so that you faith will grow? Or is this not a God "a God idea" at all, but rather a distraction from the assignment He's already given you? This is why John writes, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God."

Alternative Ministries!

This story caught my attention because of who this young man is. Jamie “Jay” Bakker the son of PTL Club cohosts Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. He doesn't believe in an exclusive God, only one that embraces us all for who we are, including same-gender-loving individuals. He survived a hellish journey through teenage alcoholism, reclaimed his Christian faith and has become a pastor in Atlanta. Bakker wrote about it in his autobiography, Son of a Preacher Man. Bakker’s ministry Revolution is one of several thousand alternative ministries that have emerged in the last decade, meeting in warehouses, bars, skate parks, punk clubs, private homes or other spaces, in a generational rumble to rebrand the faith outside of what we think of as church. They are a counterculture on two fronts: at odds with both their secular peers and conventional churches. Jay saids the Punk - rocker reached out to him when the Christian world rejected he and his family.

Question: 1) How can the church improve on how it treat people who are different?