“KING OF POP”
Michael Jackson “The King of Pop” has completed his journey on this side of Heaven. He has astonished us all by abruptly and so very surprisingly unexpectedly passing on… But not without much fanfare and noteworthy celebrating. Scores, gathering at the famous Apollo Theater and even in Times Square as well as a myriad of venues all around the globe. The news has been saturated with millions of his fans in a mesmerized chorus, ambivalent and simultaneously grieving and celebrating his life! I was taken by surprised when I first heard the news he was taken to the hospital and was not breathing. Waiting along with my husband and with the rest of the world for an update; there was this haunting foreboding , sensitive feeling that the consequence would be dismal and dire. As I waited I became more and more apprehensive awaiting the outcome.
As I waited I began to think about his children, his life and his family his fans. Who was with him? What really happened? Why aren’t they saying… Finally the Results: A cardiac arrest in his home. His Doctor was with him and now the rumors again abound…
I could only supposedly presume what his family might be feeling now? Although over the last few years too many of my own close relatives have passed on, some abruptly unexpectedly as well. But at least I / we were able to privately mourn. Their distraught moments of grief, alarm and concern communally exposed. Unexplainable shock and unanticipated despair all right in public view! Few if any moments of privacy! “Lights, camera, action!” There is often an ominous price one pays for fame. Your life becomes open to much criticism, scrutiny and much misinterpretation of one’s actions. In a sense you become a recognizable target for all living in a “glass house” of sorts. Michael Jackson has touched the lives of many. He has contributed immensely to the wealth, careers and livelihood of many. There will be an ongoing reveal as to just how many that is? Quincy Jones says” he has lost his little brother.” Remember Michael Jackson’s lyrics and all the stars and participants in the “We are the World” project?
I have grown up parallellely distant with Michael as millions of others have. He no doubt has touched the lives of many. He lit up the television screen! I remember how he was this cute little smiling dancing machine with the biggest little Afro! He could not only sing, but danced regally and glided majestically across the stage as no one his age had before. The incredible thing was that the “Jackson Five” were a family. Michael was the seventh (7) child in his family. Not just any family but a Black family of Color from Gary Indiana of all places?
The lyrics in many of his “Jackson Five” songs were simple and wholesome. You could relate to the words as well as the beat. ABC, I Want You Back, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There … Your parents could also too tolerate the unobtrusive rhythmic pulsating cadence that caused one to “bob” their head and hum right along. Michael’s solo career speedily climbed with a loudening universal crescendo! Michael no doubt has deservedly earned and owned an iconic symbol status!
He has inspired the creativity of thousands! He has been a singing mogul, choreographer, step arranger, writer, producer an all out genius! Many of the moves and dance routines you see NOW by many of the top performers, male and female, young and old as well as this current generation have originated from Michael! There are few ever, in a lifetime who have accomplished the type of unique, magical, effervescent presence that Michael exuded. Michael Jackson was not only a gifted, talented artist, producer and dancer but he also patented a pair of shoes that helped dancers to be able to lean much farther. Let’s not forget his famous “Moonwalk”! No doubt he was if not the best one of the few “All Time Best Entertainer?”
Michael Jackson’s passing should cause great concern to all? How could this happen? How could he be given massive doses of? How could those about him not be held responsible too? The Word of God is so true when it says “life is but a vapor.” One moment you are here and then you are gone… I am sure that a maze of legal complexities are on the horizon? But I believe that we should keep in mind that Michael Jackson was a son, a brother, a man, a father and a believer. He was a person who had a quiet, humble gracefulness that emanated a magnetic universal quality that drew the masses! His world wide recognition forbade him to live any sense of a normal life therefore idiosyncrasies abounded. But let’s not reduce his life to that. I believe we should applaud him for all the good he has done and will continue to do although he has passed on to the other side. His brilliant light shone as he entertained us robustly, robotically, vigorously and effortlessly shared himself with the world!
Here is that statement that was released by the Jackson Family:
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated to a point, where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.
“We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you — who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever.”
Joe Jackson, Michael’s father, added his own message to the statement that read:
“My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson.”
Michael Jackson recorded ten studio albums, he many times over has reached platinum status and His “Thriller” album is the number one all time greatest popular favorite. He contributed immensely to charitable causes and so much more… He currently had sold out status for his upcoming 50 tours abroad in London….
Regardless of what others say or think there are few that have accomplished and did what Michael Jackson has done. I believe that his legacy will eventually outride any bad press he receives. In spite of any of the allegations that have ever been made. One must remember that Michael was acquitted legally. He was found NOT GUILTY! If there was any inkling of validity one must also penalize the massive support regime of employees that always surrounded him. It is clear that he was accompanied by an entourage. So if in doubt, please allow him some dignity for all he accomplished in this side of HEAVEN! His life should be remembered for the legacy it was and will continue to be as “THE KING OF POP”! The timing of it all is so intriguing especially when the world has been impacted so, by our country’s recession. Momentarily Michael Jackson’s passing has dominated the current world events and ushered in a “Time of Remembrances!” Therefore I say REST in PEACE My sentiments and condolence is with his children, Prince, Paris and Blanket and the Jackson Family!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, life coach and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do,” and just released her second book “Holy Matrimony: Now That You’re Married”.
DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches “Beyond The Walls”. There are times when we all need some encouragement in our walk with the Lord. The Counseling Ministry was designed to encourage, motivate and uplift you in your journey. The Music Ministry produces and records music for every musical taste: Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Praise & Worship, Instrumental Gospel/Jazz, and Easy Listening.
Now that I am over fifty I can really look at things through my Mother’s eyes. My compassion has grown. It is such a gorgeous day. I know Mom would have loved the brilliant sunshine and stunning blue skies. Today we took her some beautiful flowers. My Mom always loved fresh flowers, she will always be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. She will always and forever be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. I can look back and be thankful of the times I spent with her.
In her later years my Mom gradually began to say what I now call a “slow goodbye”.
My Mother was a very strong willed woman. I was her only daughter among my many brothers. I will always remember how she reminded me that she prayed that the Lord would give her a daughter. It was actually just abreast a few months of her forth decade in life that I was born.
I believe that by this time she had a pretty good handle on being a parent since I was her ninth child and as I said before her first and only daughter.
My Father labored many hours away from home providing for our family. My Mother adorned me with all the girly trimmings for as long as I can remember. Frilly Priscilla curtains festooned my bedroom windows along with my white high standing white wrought iron bed. I think I wore pink nylon and organza dresses with embroidered flowers with matching bloomers and pink satin ribbons to adorn my hair seems like forever to Church. Let’s not forget to mention how I had to stay up while she pinned curled my hair with bobby pins on Saturdays for curls on Sunday. This was almost until I was thirteen years old. I eventually was able to turn in my white socks for cinnamon colored stockings.
My Mother was born in the early 1900’s and that was the thing to do way back then for a girl child. I was especially elated that she spent many hours laboring at her much ravished Singer Sewing machine fabricating me a plethora of uniquely designed everyday dresses. When school started there was one for each day of the week. She even made me a red plaid Dr. Kildare dress. I can remember her up and about sewing more nights than I remember her sleeping and resting. I now realize the many sacrifices she made for me. Coming from such humble beginnings makes you really appreciate the preciousness of time.
I have learned that time in fact, is really a precious priceless gift.
Years later on another occasion I can remember the day my husband asked her if he could marry me. Since we were so young I was a bit queasy as to how she would respond. He had graduated early from high school at sixteen. So I had chosen not to be present. My Mother was in her late 20’s when she married. Here I was a mere 17. I could only wonder what she would say. She had planned that I go on a college tour and………. But whatever my then, husband to be said to her, he won her over, from that moment on. It was at that time that they bonded. He became another son to her. We were engaged for one year. When our very own daughter was born she adorned her with the same delicately made pink embroidered dresses.
Each time one of my children were born (we had four more sons) she came to our home for an extended visit. We spent many nights just enjoying the company of one another. I always appreciated the way she respected and loved our children and my husband. I knew somewhat, but it was not really until her “Home going” celebration that I realized just how special her relationship was with my husband. My husband paid a tribute to her by playing one of her favorite hymns “His Eye Is On The Sparrow>” . It was at that moment he shared with the many guests that were present, that in over thirty years there had never been a cross word between them. I don’t know many son-in–laws that can say that! These are just a few of the many memories that I cherish to this day. There are so many many more.
Little did I know until much later on in life how those memories would get me through the changes, challenges and transitions that her life encountered. Age has a way of creeping up on you. It gradually robbed her of all her much adored independence, gifts, talents and strength that she profusely exuded. My Mom was always a strong figure in my life. I always felt as a child that she was so stern. This of course is understandable since I was her one and only daughter. She was a very intelligent an educated woman. She was well respected by her academic colleagues. It was when I was in Jr. High that she entered into teaching. She wore many hats as a wife, Mother, teacher and actively took on many roles and a list of responsibilities at her place of worship. She was an advisor and confidant to many pastors. Let’s not forget her excellence as a seamstress, gourmet cooking skills and passion for gardening!
I said all of this to give you a poignant illustration of what was. … I can remember her telling me how she was beginning to feel strange in this body of hers. That that person looking back at her in the mirror was beginning to be quite interesting. How her body just would not do the simple tasks as she wanted. After she retired and well into my adult years she continued to sew, cook and garden. But slowly and surely her strong physical stature begins to slightly so ever bow. I would drive up and spend the day with her often. I can remember her equilibrium suddenly changing and her many falls. Osteoporosis gradually began to take its toll on her ever shrinking frame. Her once tall and grand stance resembling a much shorter humbled bowing position. The many bruises on her arms and head. But thank God no fractures or broken bones! She would jokingly say her hard head now came in handy. But she remained determined. I can remember the garage door falling on her. I asked her “What were you thinking of? You don’t’ even drive!” Here our roles begin to reverse.
My Mom loved to write and faithfully would journal her daily thoughts and dissipating activities. Her memory filled cherished journals and her Elementary Primers are my most treasured remnants. It was in her journals I have her recorded memories of her much expressed LOVE for me, her long gone sister, brothers and parents. Who all went before her, of her many friends and acquaintances, my brothers and especially her loving relationship with me, my husband and our children.
My Mom as I said was articulate and had no problem expressing herself. in anyway. She could even discuss the sports statistics with my husband; as well as discuss God’s Word or any current or past News topic. Her home cluttered with memorabilia and a library of books along with an assortment of various nursery foliage inside and out. As time began to take its toll she asked me in a very cognizant moment to promise to allow her to stay in her own home until the Lord called her home. She did not want to loose that part of her independence. Her home was a place for any and all to come to and enjoy her wonderful cooking and company. I lived an hour away so she would come for weeks and stay and visit with my family. But no matter how much she enjoyed herself “there was no place like home“. My mother never learned to drive therefore she had to be chauffeured and transported. I spent many hours up and down the freeway taking her to the Dr, shopping and to run errands. I had a brother who lived right around the corner from her and one that actually lived with her. But since I was her only daughter that would not do. At times it was okay. I did not mind because that was time I looked forward to spending with her.
As time passed her health began to decline. Her physical condition began to deteriorate to the place that she sometimes lost control of her bodily liquids. Rendering the necessity of subscribing to adult disposable undergarments. This is what happens often when one reaches their later silver years, especially so after having bore eleven children. My adult son who lived fifteen minutes away would frequently drop off a supply for me from Costco and visit with her. He would also give me an update on her condition.
Gradually Mom had succumb to cocooning and not venturing outdoors much. Her many falls finally made her yield to a cane. I can remember taking her to the Dr. for therapy so they could assist and teach her how to use a much dreaded walker. They stressed how she should try to walk uprightly as much as posssible. I can still remember the day when I was taking her to the car and she suddenly began to fall. I immediately lowered myself under her to brace her impact with the driveway. It was then I knew that there would have to be more changes. Her eyesight began to dim and arthritis began to painfully embrace her hands. Then there was her eye surgery, and……. Sewing and needle work gradually had to be set aside. I can see in her journals the gradual shift in her once brilliant almost flawless penmanship. I can see etched on the pages fragments of broken words painfully scribed and thoughts left arrested in mid air.
After her series of mini strokes her posture changed again along with her hymn singing and speaking. Her voice used for the many altar prayers now quieted, and her singing voice now only emitting a brittle scratchy throaty noise. The walker now obsolete and the need for a much needed yet regretted wheelchair. Along with a shower and bath chair and all the other paraphernalia that are needed when one cannot easily attend to all of the personal hygiene necessities. I purchased a padded desk lap pad to try encouraging arts and simple crafts, along with a mini water fall to solicit a tranquil environment, with soft soothing music in the background. Her living room now begins to shift from her antique furniture to a padded sofa for her to look out the window at her once lovingly attended garden. Her bed room now housed a hospital bed that she just could not get used to, her physical position gradually shifting from flowered bed linen. Life and her many once enjoyed pastimes became a thing of the past. Her once strong frame. Only a mere silhouette and her limbs delicately extended on her now almost immobile body. Although often a somewhat slight questioning frown.
She would light up whenever I saw her. No longer was she able to call or I call and talk to her on the telephone. This is when her slow good bye became a reality.
Must my Mother come live with me? The doctors are now giving up on her she is now in her upper eighties. I can remember how impressed they were with her intelligence she could sail through all of their mental tests. She would tell them her name the date and current news. How many children she had and where she was; then names all the presidents of the United States. But now gradually the signs of Alzheimer’s had begun to replace her many cherished memories. The Drs. now recommended that she be placed in a home. My live in brother now getting more and more frustrated. Which was really his warranted fears seeing our Mom gradually disappearing. The visits now fewer by her many friends. She can no longer attend her much loved worship services. She no longer enjoyed the walks around the block as I pushed her in her wheel chair. So she was kept inside gradually becoming a prisoner in her much loved abode. All besides her family who knew her were able to remember her as she was. Although there were a few who could see that this once articulate poised woman was beginning to wear like a fine fabric. Her appetite had begun to diminish significantly as well. I got her a nifty bed table to straddle her lap. We would prop her up with pillows on each side. There were times when she just wouldn’t eat without assistance. How ironic after all those years of serving others. So it became a challenge to see what would suit her palette. Well we will just have to feed her. Yes again the Dr.’s have now given up hope.
But yet Mom is still holding on. She has really begun to say her slow goodbye.
I, along with much anxiety and ambivalence begin to go and look for a care home for Mom at my many brothers insistence. One closer to me so I could see her daily. I now know that some care homes are just dreadful. Some are seemingly peaceful on the surface. But I knew within moving her would only hasten her good bye. Her once strong voice was echoing in the corridors of my mind “There is no place like home.” I reluctantly wrote the much dreaded family letter to inform all of my brothers that this is where we are. What do we do? They have wanted me to put her in a home for sometime. A few had ideas but none came to fruition of course. My live in brother now hesitantly took care of her household finances. Since he never married or had children he opted to vacate his varied career. Therefore Mom was his occupation. He could do as he pleased and Mom had a family member there in the evenings. Whatever else she needed I would try to accommodate. He would always call me and let me know her status when I was away. Sometime it worked and sometime it didn’t. So what do you do? I just wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.
Now again it is time to make more changes? My brother does not one someone in the house full time. What do I do? I am not able to care for her in our home. The Dr. says her care could run into the thousands and and …………… So what do I do? Mom must have known that that was one decision that I just could not make or did not want to make for her. That was one decision that I know she made with the Lord. So it was in her sleep, in her home late that night in January when my brother called and said; “Mom is gone.” I’m like, “gone where?” I suddenly remembered one day when she wanted to go back home.
She pointed out her window and told me she wanted to go home. “Mom you are home.” She wanted to see her “Papa.”
I took out a huge atlas I had purchased for her and showed her she was in California at home and Arkansas was very far away. She just looked away. Then it dawned on me. “Mom’s gone” my brother said again. I knew that Mom had starting leaving a little bit at a time. She was just trying to give everyone a chance to adjust. I knew now that she had made the transition. She had gone on to be with the Lord and all of her other relatives that she had been missing. She had slept away at home peacefully; just like she wanted. Now she was at rest with the Lord.
My Mom had finally said Good bye……..
There are many issues around taking care of an elderly parent or parents. Who does what and when? Just enjoy them as much as you can while they are here. Try and let them make their own decisions for as long as they can responsibly do so. Treat them with respect and dignity although they become childlike. In the last days of course you will have some regrets? If you patiently treat them the way you would want to be treated you will have peace knowing that you did all you could do to make them comfortable. Remember you never know how your latter days will be? But they will and can be overshadowed by the many many cherished memories! And yes of course you will always miss them. So shower them with LOVE while they are still on this side of HEAVEN!
FORGIVING Does Not mean FORGETTING
“Darkness TO LIGHT” An Evening with RWANDAN FRIENDS
Many of this world’s inhabitants go a whole lifetime before they ever realize what is really essentially important? Is it the house you live in, the car you drive, your career, how you look, how much money you have, or is it what others think about you? Nothing is really wrong with any of the above. They do have a place in life somewhat. But can you really depend on…
We are living in some very interesting times? In this 21st century you just never know… No matter how much you plan ahead, you still never know what to expect? The world is so very interesting. Many just adapt or conform to what ever the world says is okay. Others live very non confrontive lives and avoid conflict or they just go along with whatever. Sort of like don’t rock the boat, although you are not sure where its going. Or they settle for a dual lifestyle or simply change like a chameleon. In this day and age just about anything goes… pandemonium is possibly right around the corner.
I want to encourage you to set aside and spend some time really thinking about what if any one or all the above were taken? What would you do? How would you feel?
God our Creator who created us has a particular plan for each of us. Life is full of mountaintop and “”down in the valley” experiences. God can give you an unexplainable PEACE and contentment that only comes from Him that surpasses the understanding of man. No, its not living in denial and thinking everything is okay when it not! Nor does it mean that you don’t care… It does mean that at some point you know, trust and believe that the Lord will work things out in your behalf…
To the degree we discover and follow what His plan is we embark on an adventurous, rewarding, sometimes awkward, at times dangerous, lifelong journey. We begin to travel the path of “the straight and narrow” that leads to Him! The truth is the Word says: few hardly “ever find it” nor really understand the exceptional, significant, spiritual, life sustaining benefits and security that it yields when traveling this path.
What is really important in life is where you are with God. God knows all about you! He knows where you really are?
When you accepted or accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior; It means that you now want to live a life that pleases the Lord rather than to just please yourself or do what feels good to you. You now have and can elect to call upon Jesus to save you from the power of sin?
You really should begin to study His Word and apply His principles. The wisdom and the attainable life lessons that are gleaned from His Word are important. This does not mean at all that you adopt a legalistic rigid approach to life. You begin to “walk in the Light” of His Word! You begin to experience a fresh responsible freedom. What is really important as a Christian is that you get to know the Lord personally. You begin to spend time with Him. As you do this your understanding is broadened and the path narrows. You seek to be filled with His Holy Spirit that brings unexplainable comfort even in the most difficult situations. You begin to grow stronger spiritually and emotionally as you move toward wholeness!
Becoming a Christian does not mean that you just “go to Church.” No more than going to the beach make you a grain of sand. You realize you are a part of His Church wherever you are. When we come together for worship or assembly as a congregation, wherever that might be, the primary purpose should be to worship, praise the Lord, bring others to Jesus, fellowship, and edify the Body of Christ which is His Church.
In actuality we who say we have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are the “Church!” Just saying you believe does not make you a believer. It goes SO much deeper than that, that’s just the beginning. Now you have to begin going through life utilizing an implementing His Word which is our spiritual sword. You truly value life and all that it has to offer. But your first and foremost priority is NOW to please the Lord and that His will is done in your life.
God’s Word is so very powerful it cuts both ways. When used skillfully it does spiritual surgery. It begins to remove the old nature and reveals or makes way for your God given inborn, intrinsic temperament! You are able to see life from a much deeper perspective! God is Omniscient! When He created you way back when He knew everything you would need in order to live successfully as His child.
I am so very thankful that the Lord has allowed us to share and go through many wonderful, adventuress and life changing experiences… I want to share with you a very rewarding experience my husband and I shared together with many others. It was so thought provoking and enlightening that I hope it inspires you to really think where you are and what is most important to you?
First, a little background history on Rwanda. Rwanda was comprised of three tribes when the Belgian colonists arrived in 1916. The Hutu, Tutsi and the Twa. The Belgians manipulated and divided the tribes by deeming one more superior than the other. They then issued them identity cards stating their appointed tribe. The Tutsis were discriminately favored and given better jobs as well as superior educational opportunities.
This division caused further animosity and bitterness. Eventually in 1962 after Rwanda was granted independence, the majority of Hutus took power. After the death of the president of Rwanda in 1994 the horrific genocide began. His plane was shot down and shortly after recruits were disbursed and the atrocious, vigorous brutal slaughtering of Rwandans went on for approximately 100 days.
If someone has hurt you deeply, if you have been carrying hatred in your heart. If you are unable to forgive or you feel that you have been wronged or mistreated. If life does not seem to be going your way. I want you to take some time and ponder on what happened here in Rwanda. You will find out that “With God ALL things are possible.”
ow I want to take some time and share with you what they shared with me.
We had such a memorable, extraordinary, marvelous evening with our Rwandan friends from PHARP –Rwanda. they worked effortlessly as a team. PHARP stands for Peace building, Healing, and Reconciliation Program in Rwanda. They openly and sincerely shared in graphic detail their heart wrenching experiences during the Rwandan Genocide. It is now reported that there were actually closer to 2,000,000 lives brutally taken during the 100 days of the Rwandan Genocide! We will be forever grateful for the experience. Our son along with the Horizon Community Church were able to actually go to Rwanda and minister to them. They forged ahead diligently amidst the transitioning community of Rwanda to help facilitate their mission to bring about healing, restoration and reconciliation. Pastor Anastase can be reached www.pharp.org
During the 100 days of genocide between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped. More than 67% of those women were purposely and systematically infected by HIV+ men as a weapon of genocide. One Pastor shared how his wife, children, and mother along with a total of 46 relatives were massacred. He had to hide out in the swamp for 41 days without food. He only had contaminated swamp water to sip.
Please stay with me for a few minutes and ponder these facts in your heart! Here are a few more of the many statistics resulting from the aftermath of the genocide:
*There are 300,000 to 400,000 survivors of the genocide.
*Nearly 100,000 survivors are aged between 14 and 21, of which 60,000 are considered as very vulnerable.
*75,000 of survivors were orphaned as a result of the genocide. Over half of these children have become impoverished, traumatized and have stopped going to school.
*There are 10 times as many widows than widowers – almost 50,000 widows of the genocide.
*40,000 are still without shelter.
*7 in 10 survivors earn a monthly income of less than 5,000 Rwandan Francs, which equals to $8.00 in American Dollars.
*These statistics are complied at www.surviors-fund.org.uk
The Rwanda genocide was real! Thousands of homeless and orphaned children. Yet these children of God stand tall, firmly and purposely in their concerted efforts to bring about the ongoing process of “Forgiveness and Reconciliation.” They have come here to America to share a powerful message. The Country of Rwanda is in the continual much needed ongoing process of healing and restoration. Many of those who participated in the genocide have been released from prison and are now back in the community. Many have accepted Jesus Christ. Today there are no longer identity cards they are all called Rwandans! They are committed to moving forward in overcoming the barriers of the past.
This dedicated team, along with many others are dedicated to assisting and empowering the remaining Rwandans. This is not without its challenges. Keep in mind that within the Church there, many pastors face the dilemma of having survivors and those perpetrators of genocide within the same congregation. They are diligently working to make a difference. They are reaching out and helping to rebuild a country that has been devastated. Trauma Counseling and healing, peace building, reconciliation, self-help groups, youth programs and vocational training and income generating projects are inclusive along with much prayer, worship and praise! We support, pray for and solicit your prayers for all Rwandans as well.
It is important to know that the family of God consists of a plethora of people throughout the world. We all come in different sizes, shapes, colors, races and cultures. There is not going to be a corner in heaven that’s designated for Blacks, one for Whites, one for Reds, Browns, Yellow or multicolored people. It goes so much deeper than the color of one’s skin, how they look, who they are, where they have lived, what one has or does not have nor their varied diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. God knows who His children are.
It is important to know that God is alone Sovereign! He does not need us! We all need Him! He places and arranges the members in the Body of His Universal Church as it pleases Him. He knows where each and every one of us are in our spiritual growth and development. He has given us the necessary talents and gifts to accomplish whatever He has created us to do. In many situations in the Church here in America, on various levels worldly methods have been adopted. The ways and methods of the world’s reasoning and social divisiveness has resulted in much division. Manipulation has been erroneously embraced by many of God’s people.
It is very important to know the Word of God firsthand. We as His “children” are to consistently spend time with the Lord developing a vivacious strong ongoing, endearing ever growing transparent relationship with Him and come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior! This way you will not be “tossed to and fro by every of doctrine.” You do not have to strive to control or dominate anyone. This only displays and reflects one’s own insecurity. Quite the contrary. God is ultimately in control! Jesus led by example. Our purpose is to daily live out God’s principles and foster a desire in others to want to come and know Jesus as Lord and Savior as well. Ultimately it is your solid, committed relationship with Him, that will sustain you as you go through any of life’s many challenges.
In spite of all that has happened to them, these Rwandan’s have come to share their “Mission of FORGIVENESS & RECONCILIATION” of genocide! To impart the valuable knowledge they’ve learned. Webster defines forgiveness as: to give up resentment of, or claim requital; forgive an insult. They know the value of confronting the truth of whatever has happened. Contrary to what is often said forgiveness does not mean you forget. It means to lay aside any ill will and pardon the wrong that was done. When people have wronged you they often feel guilt and fear retaliation. The Fruit of God’s Spirit will flourish in your life when you elect to embrace and implement His principles in your life. True forgiveness comes from God. Joy & Peace are by products of His Fruit! Knowing the Lord, having a relationship with Him and applying His Word makes all the difference in the world.
Through their heartfelt sharing our love, faith, trust in God, and our commitment has been greatly enhanced. It has personally added to my spiritual wellspring. They are truly walking in the “Light of His Word.” As a child of God I know whole heartedly that God is able! Being a Christian is a lifestyle. It is amazing to know and realize that absolutely nothing goes on with anyone or anywhere that God is not aware of. The Rwandan genocide is mind boggling. In our little finite minds we will never fully comprehend the “why” of a lot of things. But I do know that ALL His WORD is true. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers (and sisters) … Romans 8 God did not say that it all would be good. But, He did say that He would work it out for good. Is your purpose really His purpose?
The eyewitness account of the Rwandan genocide was enlightening and life changing. Their God given joy was evident and shined forth from their countenance as they each shared their amazing testimonies. They without question, are definitely walking in the “Light of His Word.” They truly have come from “Darkness TO LIGHT.” They reached out, above and beyond what they had suffered and shared a wealthy message of wisdom, inspiration, encouragement and hope to bring about healing. It is quite evident that God has equipped them to help others overcome barriers, to unite and reach out to build peaceful communities for the future. Not only in Rwanda but throughout the world! “Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5 The POWER of GOD was evident beyond words! I can go on ….. But instead I will say; PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD! To God Be the Glory!
What is Missing The Mark? God created us in His image. Image meaning we are to be a reflection of Him. According to Webster’s an exact likeness; semblance b: a person strikingly like another person example: she is the image of her mother. We who are believers are NOW children of God since we have accepted Jesus as our Lord & Savior. Our behavior should begin to reflect His principles as we grow spiritually. God says that we are to be children of the Light and not to walk in darkness. His Word NOW becomes our “Life Manual” which should be “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” it helps to expose the darkness. We are supposed to commence consistently practice walking in Truth. You know the old cliché that says “practice makes perfect” well to tell the Truth we should really say “practice makes permanent.” We become what we practice.
The Lord lights our path as we walk in obedience to His Word. When we walk contrary to His Word we become separated from God. Anything that separates us from God is sin. We in fact “miss the mark”. A skilled marksman aims for a target. Our target as believers should be fellowship with God and walking in the Light of His Word. We are to implement His Word in our lives daily. When we do this sincerely God knows and therefore we have and antidote whenever we miss the mark. Jesus Christ is our Advocate. Once our conscious is sensitive to His Holy Spirit out of obedience we automatically confess, readily repent and begin aiming for the mark.
I John says “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” We sin when we disobey God. Or again we miss the mark. Sin is anything that separates us from God. So therefore metaphorically a spiritual bathe becomes necessary. We all have inherited the proclivity towards sin from Adam and Eve’s fall. The original sin was when they disobeyed God and did what they wanted to do instead. From that point on mankind became shackled by the snare of sin. Jesus came to restore us and once again anchor us in the Lord. Ephesians tells us that “We were actually chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.” Through Jesus Christ birth, sinless life, death and resurrection we have now been redeemed through His blood!
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us…” Once we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we are given the gift of His Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit is the promised Comforter. Our power to resist sin rests in Jesus Christ, we now have access 24/7, we never become the power. This is why we need a Savior to keep us connected and help us whenever sin beckons. Jesus promise that He would give us His Comforter to be with us forever is true! Jesus overcame sin in the flesh for us! “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit , whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” With Him at our side we can be more than conquerors. As we grow spiritually sin should not dominate our lives. What is SIN? Sin is missing the mark. Our lives should now begin to bear and reflect the Fruit of His Spirit which is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control!
Did you know that many universities and colleges employ a strength and conditioning coach to train their athletes? Their responsibilities include program design, teaching exercises, performance testing, teaching proper weight lifting techniques among various other duties. They rigorously train and strive to abet an environment that is conducive to helping them reach their optimum functioning capacity. There is much thought time and preparation exerted in order to prepare their athletes. They support and recognize the need for effective training. A proper nutritious diet is encouraged as well. When properly grasped the acquired skills are useful to strengthen and enhance one’s day to day life when implemented, as well as their overall playing ability.
Did you know that the Bible refers to life as a race? But this race is not about speed, it is about endurance! Conditioning is an integral aspect of training for a professional athlete. Stretching and toning exercises are employed to strengthen the body in addition to physical exercises and weight lifting. Flexibility, strength and endurance are all apparent components when one subscribes to a disciplined exercise program. In addition a partner is used for resistance in order to further enhance one’s ability to become agile.
The importance of implementing a daily proper nutrition program is essential. Balance is the key. Knowing when, how much, how little and where to apply the acquired skills are crucial. But the main concept and principles should never be abandoned in order to reach your desired goal.
One must always keep in mind that the main purpose is first and foremost. The purpose is to develop a healthy strong body constitution. This will ultimately factor greatly in one’s overall success and endurance ability. The long term goal is that it all eventually in due course becomes a natural process incorporated into one’s daily life. In this respect their goal is not at all different from what God wants for us. Developing a strong body constitution is just what He wants. Perhaps if we kept uppermost in mind who the Body really belongs to we would handle things quite differently? Perhaps the long term goal would be embraced rather than the temporary “quick fix” method? We must remember that endurance and embracing Truth is the key!
The Bible is adamant on its position that the “Church” is the “Body of Christ”. It is crystal clear telling us how important it is to be mindful of the things we say or do. How we live day to day, regardless of where we work, live, play or attend worship service. Daily personal Bible study and its application are important for spiritual conditioning. When Bible study at church is used to further strengthen one’s spiritual life it is most effective. However, all too often it is used to condition one to think the way of the one teaching. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher. The Word of God vociferously tells us the importance of embracing and implementing God’s principles to our daily life. Life is a race to be lived that has already been won by Jesus Christ! Did you know it actually tells us to do whatever it is that we do as we “do it unto the Lord?”
The wonderful thing about God is that He is Omnipotent; meaning He only is all power! It is through Jesus Christ who is the Word of God that He spoke every thing into existence. There is no power, authority nor principalities on earth or in heaven that are greater. Now that is heavy! Yet, God still gives us the freedom to choose. He has given us countless examples and statistics of possible choices inclusive of results and consequences. The Bible is concise and the Holy Spirit illuminates brilliantly the pitfalls and possible detours when one chooses to operate in their own strength. Proper spiritual conditioning is key for endurance.
How you choose to embrace, daily adopt or overlook God’s principles will determine your overall spiritual strength and endurance. The employments of the Fruit of His Spirit are the nutrients necessary to digest the “Spiritual Food” that is necessary for this life journey. Discipline is key! Proverbs 25:18 tell us that “like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” If you want a conditioning coach that is readily available 24/7 I highly recommend Jesus!
I recommend that you really get to know Him through His Word and begin implementing the principles therein. Galatians tell us that the Fruit of the Spirit are; “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.
God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key! He does not want you “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Scheme they will. Just know that this in no way impresses God. Know that in His time He will right every wrong. So I say, “Hallelujah anyhow!”
You can rest in knowing that God knows what is really going on, and also knows the Truth! Nothing gets by Him! “So, we can say with confidence, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid!” Hebrews 13: 6. Know the Word of God for yourself! God is a God of Light! When you speak the Truth in love there is power! But first you must really know what Love is? Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you not envy? Do you not boast? Are you proud? Are you rude? Do you want your own way? Of course you do not get angry easily? Nor do you keep records of wrongs? Did you know that love rejoices in Truth?
“Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.
God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key!
Think hard and long before you say or use the word LOVE so loosely? God knows because He is TRUTH and He is LOVE! It is what He knows and thinks that is most important. It should be a daily prayer that God fill you with ” The knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Light.. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Remember that conditioning I talked about earlier? God’s Word is so powerful! Remember God’s Word says that “everything was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ”! God has a predestined plan for each of His children. The race is given to who? Do you really know what LOVE means? Do you know the difference between tolerance and patience? Be honest with yourself! Or just ask someone who really knows you, not someone you are trying to impress or you just see at the Church meeting? Or how about asking that partner that helps to test your resistance? Do you “Yield not to Temptation?” Did you know that God is the ultimate burden bearer?
Did you know that it is through Christ’s birth, SINLESS Life, death and resurrection we can be reconciled and presented Holy in His sight? It cancelled the code that was against us. God is awesome! Jesus really does have a better way. The Body of Christ really does belong to Him. The Church is His Bride! Colossians says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the LORD CHRIST you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”
“We walk by faith not by sight” To successfully run this spiritual race you must keep the faith! When your hope and trust are in the Lord you are on solid ground. He will level your path and make sure you are on the right path. He will prune away all that is necessary to make your path straight! Watch out for the wide road! Remember, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:14.
When your spiritual diet consists of the fruit of His Spirit and you daily digest His Word you are on your way. It will keep you balanced. Learn to be patient. When you allow Jesus to be your strength and conditioning coach you can definitely endure! You won’t sweat the small stuff! The Holy Spirit will illuminate your path. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
God is GOOD! Daily mediate upon His Word! James says “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest in righteousness.” Consider it pure joy brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance……………… Is Jesus your strength and conditioning coach? Then you can definitely endure! In this spiritual race our prize is guaranteed . To God be the Glory!
Life REALLY Does Have A Purpose
Does your life have purpose? Do you really feel that you have a meaningful existence? Are you truly happy? Do you continue to recycle old habits? Have you really ever thought about why you are here? Or are you just passing the time away with no particular goal in mind? Are you bogged down in your career? Did you know people leave and enter this place everyday? Are there some things that you want to change? The Bible tells us life is but a vapor. Meaning that life is fleeting. It is an ephemeral existence that ends with you merely going into either of two possible directions. Contrary to what some believe there is no purgatory. No in between place that suspends you invisibly existing between Heaven and hell. Did you know that there are some that don’t even believe in hell?
Life does have a definite purpose! It was created for a purpose. You have been created for a purpose! This cosign we know as the world was definitely created by the One true and living God. The Great “I AM” He is Alpha and Omega. Meaning He is the beginning and the end. The Bible adamantly states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. The word Genesis itself means in the Greek beginning!
The Bible initially records the beginning of the earth and the heavens and its contents. It even records the first institution that God made and that is the family! The Bible starts with God not some philosophical argument. It does not commence by attempting neither to explain nor to justify God’s existence! God is sovereign! Every man has been given a measure of faith. It is through this faith we must unequivocally accept its entire truth. The Bible was divinely inspired by God. Although it was transcribed by the hands of man. It is the only infallible Biblia in the entire World which consists of 66 Books. Within its pages the mystery and purpose of life is revealed! It’s meaning and contents are revealed to us through the illumination of His divine and Holy Spirit. Through Him was the earth spoke into existence! Jesus is the “WORD”. To further affirm this let’s look at John 1-5.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”.
There was nothing that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. What power! He even took upon Himself a body of flesh to conquer sin in the flesh for us! To encourage us by being a living example. Did you know you don’t have to live your life controlled by sin? You see it was through Adam and Eve that sin entered into the world. But it is only through Jesus Christ we can enter into His kingdom of heaven. He is the door! “HE IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! Christ lived a sinless life, was crucified, died and then buried. After three days He arose from the grave. He arose wirh all power! He then ascended into heaven after being seen by many witnesses. It is through the power of His resurrection we are redeemed. This is the reason why we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. His Holy Spirit resides within to become our Guide through life’s many challenges as well as celebrations.
Once we accept Jesus we embark upon an eternal wonderful spiritual journey. He extends this invitation to all who are willing to accept Him. We need Him to save us from the power of sin in our life! Did you know we become heirs and joint heirs in His many bountiful blessings? He allows us to choose Him. We have inherited the freedom to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies! Yes, we still will encounter many challenges in life. But we can trust the Creator of life who has promised to never leave nor forsake us to be there for us! Therefore in Him you can have confidence. This is why His Word is so important. It is our road map to life. to encourage, enlighten, convict and direct us. To help us grow and develop spiritually.
Perhaps you are skeptical? You are what some call agnostic. You don’t really believe in anything. Perhaps you have a “said faith?” Meaning you just say you believe. But stop right there. You go through life basically conforming and adapting to whatever… Perhaps you are one of those who believe there really is not a hell. Believe it or not; one way or the other you must come to grips with His infallible truth. At one time or another according to His Word; “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord”. I believe His Word! this is why we who profess to be Christians are called “believers!”
If you want to discover what the real purpose of life is I invite you to sincerely get into His Word. It has withstood the test of time. He has given us example after example. What happens when you are obedient and what happens when you are disobedient. He has provided a plethora of wisdom. Demonstration after demonstrations as to how one can be successful!
We must continually pray for Him to open our understanding and seek His guidance. Stop dibbling and dabbling in a life with no real substance. There is a void only He can fill. No matter how much or little you might have it is only temporary! When you leave earth it will still be right here. Our purpose goes far beyond the here and now. It goes through eternity to somewhere? Stop just going to church. (Or not going to church). Know that we all who are believers are the true Church. When or where we come together it is supposed to be to worship, edify and praise Him and fellowship and bring others to Christ! Make up your mind today to walk with God daily! Begin to walk in faith by the magnificent power of His resurrection. Ask the Lord to help you begin to respectfully and sincerely desire to know how to truly “Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!” It is here you will find your purpose!
Did you know that God’s will is always what is best for us? Think of Him of the “PERFECT ULTIMATE FATHER” God is always willing to show us His will! We just have to get better at listening. If you truly believe declare your home as a place where God is welcomed. Begin to worship Him sincerely! Start treating your body as His “temple”. After all it is or is it? Stop defiling it with profanity, lying, covetousness, envy, infidelity, drugs, alcohol, overeating, undereating …….. Stop just listening to His Word! Begin a spiritual cleansing by digesting His Word! As long as we are here on this side of heaven there is always room for much improvement. We are “Forever becoming.” Did you know He’s really coming back for His true Church? Better yet ask yourself if the world were to end today are you certain of your destiny?
You see heaven is not a place “you just try to make it in”. It is not a place where you can personally schedule your desired arrival time. Consciously make a sincere effort to daily surrender to His will in your life. Repent! Then really move forward. Begin to live each day as though He might return. Know without a doubt you have chosen the final eternal habitation reserved expressively for His children. Commence to really seek Him first!
God is so patient with all of us. He gives us the freedom to choose. Stop being so absorbed in the things of this life and immerse yourself in His WORD. Take some time to look around you and see that our world is in the midst of much chaos. Our economy is dreadful, our ……. But there is always HOPE with the Lord! This will help you to view life differently. He will provide everything and whatever else it is you need and so much more! It is only in God you will find the true peace, contentment and joy that surpasses the understanding of man! It is only in Him you will truly discover what life is really all about. The true purpose of life is to discover who He has created you to be! You have been uniquely created to be the “best You” that you could possibly be. But, without a meaningful spiritual relationship with Him you will never reach your full potential. With Him you will discover that LIFE REALLY DOES have a PURPOSE!
Your soul is the essence of who you really are.
True beauty comes from within. The WORD of GOD is so very precious! It is bursting with a wealth of wisdom! I understand more each day why the Lord tells us to “hide it in our hearts, so we might not sin against Him… Only God can see into our hearts! “Man looks on the outside. But God looks at the heart.” As believers His Holy Spirit resides within us. He knows us totally! God is LOVE! His Love is not in any way superficial it is imbedded deep into the fabric of who we are.
Life brings about a plethora of varied experiences, some bad, some good some just are simply incredible!
The Scriptures says:
“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep His statues and seek Him with ALL their heart.” Blessed means to be happy and consecrated by God. God did not intend for His Word to just become mere letters on a papyrus (paper). He meant for it to become ALIVE within our soul to feed us and nourish us spiritually and emotionally so we could walk in His precepts. To help us go through whatever life presents to us, Blessed! One can then say Hallelujah Anyhow! Therefore this is why we pray
“Our FATHER, Give us today our daily bread…”
It is often said “What comes from the heart goes to the heart.” This actually is a quote given to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. There is a heartfelt sincerity when one speaks from the wellspring of their heart.
It is through the many experiences we encounter in life we grow one way or the other. It is important that we are not embittered by those experiences. It is important to have the right perspective. We can emerge triumphantly and rise above whatever has happened, is happening or will happen.
Life itself takes on a form of beauty when you access your heart’s wellspring. You perceive things differently. As you grow spiritually your soul is revived as well. You embrace the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! You do not just go along with the majority in order to accepted You realize the value in self discipline. Spiritual growth comes from spending time with God, knowing His Word and applying it to your life daily. Your soul is the essence of who you really are. It is the heart of you. It is were TRUE BEAUTY lies as you remain connected to the Lord!
God knows who we are and who belongs to HIM! When you are truly HIS you can expect much spiritual warfare on this side of heaven. But “our weapons are not carnal…” This is why it is so important to get to know Jesus as your personal SAVIOR! There is an inner peace that comes from knowing who you are in Christ. “He was born of the Virgin Mary He lived a sinless, life and was crucified, died and was buried, but he AROSE with ALL power.” Yes, He is ALIVE and so is HIS WORD! HIS WORD is our SWORD; it is sharper than any two edge sword. (Two edged swords are used by man.) Whenever a trial comes our way we must learn to STAND on the WORD of GOD.
When necessary GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES. His weapons are not carnal. We on the other hand must KNOW HIM and the POWER of JESUS CHRIST through HIS WORD! We never become the power we just gain access. During a battle we want to make sure our inner beauty is not suppressed. It is still possible for it to shine through… This is why we meditate, pray and ask to be filled daily. He has given us the gift of HIS HOLY SPIRIT as our COMFORTER! This is also what helps us to discern. He has promised to “never leave nor forsake us!”
Whatever comes our way in life know that our true beauty comes from deep within. True beauty is not worn it cannot be put on or taken off. It is from this rich place deep inside a wellspring comes forth. Here one discovers and retrieves the veiled beauty that has been pre positioned in one’s soul. It is within the depths of our soul one can encounter this precious internal, eternal fountain! That brings forth and emits a deeper beauty that has been coded into our souls by our Creator. It was knitted into us before we were in our mother’s wound. God has made us tri dimensionally. We are body, mind and soul! We are created in His image!
“For you created my inner most being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. ALL the days for me were ordained…” Psalm 139
Yes, there is also a surface beauty that one can see but sometimes you will find that it does not always go deep. This is the case when it is not embedded into the essence of one’s soul. I Peter says, that in order for our beauty not to fade away it has to come from our “ inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” This does not mean one has to become silent or passive, rather it is quite proactive! It comes from a deep place that yields discipline! It is when we put our Hope and Trust in the Lord we can discover the True beauty that is deep inside, that beauty that comes from within! Yet, it is reflected in our lives and also on the countenance of our faces! “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers…”
God gave us healthy Christian marriage boundaries in which one man and one woman should live together. Marriage is still ordained by God. As the Originator and Creator of life God designed marriage to be a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. For the last couple of years I have been journaling about the significance of a committed CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE!
Many Christian leaders and congregants have fallen prey to infidelity and adultery. Sex practiced outside the confines of marriage is rampart in the Churches as well as in the world. LORD Help us! I have observed how this has resulted in a real breakdown in the overall quality of relational dynamics in many marriages. Over the last couple of decades the significance of marriage has been slowly watered down. This has allowed strange and disturbing beliefs about marriage to come to the forefront. There has been a steady but sure deliberate attempt to redefine marriage. There has been a successful evolutionary transition to blur the once clearly defined lines of marriage and minimalize the need to reinforce its healthy boundaries. Allowing its boundaries to become grayed and frayed by encouraging open marriages, unisex dress, the acceptance of male to male and female to female relationships and gender choice lifestyles.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life committed to the ways of our Father, was crucified, died and was buried. But that was not the end. He arose with all power! When He ascended to heaven He left us His Holy Spirit, His Comforter to come and reside within us. To help us live victoriously over sin. Sin is what separates us from God. God knows us inside and out. He knew us before we were even formed in our Mother’s wound. He knows what is best for us. He could have made us robots and forced us to be a certain way. But because of His graciousness and His mercy He allowed us free choice. He gave us healthy boundaries because HE knew not everyone at all times would adhere to His will and His way. His Holy Spirit is readily available to help us make proper life choices that please Him. For a man and woman desiring to live together marriage is His way. Galatians 1 tells us that Jesus Christ gave Himself; “for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever…”
It is becoming increasingly clear that the world in which we live wants to ensnare and entrap the children of God. To offer any and every smorgasbord or appetizer that the flesh desires and present it as an alternative way to live. I encourage you to really take some time to “Be still and know” to take a personal self evaluation. To deeply gaze internally where no one but GOD sees and examine where you are spiritually. Not in respect to someone else but to see if you really are growing spiritually. Is the Fruit of His Spirit apparent in your life? Not just on a surface level for others to see. I mean are you really walking closely with the Lord? Be honest with yourself because God already knows! If you truly are you can expect some type of persecution. This is why it is so very important that you know the WORD of God for yourself. So you can distinguish, recognize and discern when something is not of God.
Many have abandoned the Faith and now embrace a liberality that is not God sanctioned. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been evaded by encouraging the acceptance of perverted lifestyles that are sanctioned and practiced by many Christians. Perverted meaning to change what was once considered unnatural or abnormal to normal. PLEASE slowly but surely read and ponder on this passage of GOD’S WORD expressed in Romans 1 “Therefore GOD gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the TRUTH OF God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised, Amen. Because of this GOD gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged NATURAL RELATIONS for unnatural ones. In the same way the men abandoned NATURAL RELATIONS with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion…” What or who do you believe?
Marriage how God designed it is becoming increasingly unpopular! This is why it is so important to STAND UP for Christian Marriage! Paul vehemently expounds on the necessity to not “trying to win the approval of men.” Paul constantly throughout the Scriptures rebukes the Church to stand on God’s principles.Paul knew that by taking this very unpopular stance some would attempt to negate his credibility. He knew that they lay in wait to discredit him. But he also knew that God knew the TRUTH!
There is no spiritual value whatsoever in using the Scriptures to justify something that God has not ordained nor sanctioned. Slowly but surely many continue to allow the healthy boundaries that God designed for marriage to be treaded upon by the unacceptable desires of the flesh. This does not have to be! Allowing the sanctity of MARRIAGE to be reduced to a relationship between same sexual partners who want to justify a relationship contingent on their personal sexual preferences. LORD HELP US! Why not simply call it something else? Why redefine the definition of marriage. Why take something that was meant to be HOLY MATRIMONY and make it totally UNHOLY.
Many marriages have gone shipwrecked. The fulfillment of the flesh has taken the forefront and many will do whatever is necessary to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Many Christians are evasive and negligent at discussing sex openly in a healthy manner, although we know that sex outside of marriage is widely practiced within the Church. Many relational issues are skirted and the financial concerns have in many cases become the dominant priority. Divorce, adultery, infidelity, promiscuity, pornography, living together, same sex relationships are on the rise. Pandora’s Box has lost its lid and just about every and anything goes. Family values for Christians are continually laid aside. Relinquishing and abandoning the principles that God originally intended. In many instances many of us who have been charged to proclaim and live out the Word of God have sat on the fence and allowed any and everything as acceptable and hidden it under the trendy term “unconditional love”. “GOD is LOVE”. Study I Corinthians 13 here you will find a description of what HIS LOVE really entails. Self Control is a part of His Fruit!
God’s Holy Spirit was intended to give us the ability to overcome sin in the flesh and live out our lives to please Him. Today you can find a support group for just about anything you want to help you find some comfort to indulging the weaknesses of the flesh. It’s sad to say but true; it’s as though for many going to worship has merely become a social club. Just join, pay your 10%, do as told and you can do as you please, acceptance, no problem. Many just go to Church then go right back home to live very worldly lifestyles. LORD HELP US! Jesus dying on the Cross paved us a WAY TO THE FATHER! Grace and peace is acquired through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We the Church, His Church is supposed to be His Bride.
We are also called as Believers! Do you believe the Word of God? Do you believe in Marriage? What do you really believe in, or do you even know? God wants us to surrender every aspect of our lives over to Him. When you do, just know that there is a vehement attack lodged to discredit the testimony of faithful believers who have sincerely committed to the “Narrow Road” lifestyle. HALLELUJAH anyhow! It goes much farther than singing, shouting, talking and preaching about it. We must make a sincere effort to live out our lives pleasing God daily. The CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST! Think about this for a moment or should I say for a while. This is really deep stuff!
The enemy has really pulled out all stops to deceive, distract, camouflage and get a stronghold on the people of God. God’s standards have been compromised and the ways of the world have been embraced. This is what I mean when I say that the “world is now within God’s CHURCH.” In man’s unquenchable thirst for power, bigger sanctuaries, larger congregations and wanting to control others, there has been a huge shift in spiritual priorities!
Many have subscribed to undercover manipulation, worldly ways means and methods and allowed them inside of God’s House of Worship. All too often just to gain a position. The most important position spiritually is your position in Christ! God knows the posture of our hearts. God has given us guidelines to live by as Christians. Marriage is one of those guidelines.
There is but one CHURCH and that is the one that Jesus is coming back for! Did not God say “BUT Seek ye first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well…” What does this mean that we are to seek HIM first for EVERYTHING? What is anything anyway without Him? According to His Word when we “seek Him first” something will happen. This means that we should seek to do things His way. Marriage is His way for the believer to live together as man and wife. We cannot change what has been done. But stop right where you are and see where you are? What and who do you support? Who do you really live for? God’s way or man’s way? Be honest with yourself because God already knows!
We must pray for our young people. The world has any and everything to offer them except Jesus! “Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the life!” Think about it; They are now encouraged to “dress down” for Jesus and “dress up” for prom? God has given us His Holy Spirit to lead guide and protect us. Have you really thought about what eternal life means? It all does not happen on this side of heaven. But while we are “still here” we need to get busy living to please Our Heavenly Father. Proverbs 22 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” He did not say may? He said won’t depart!If you do not stand for something you will fall for anything. ALL God’s Word is true! He does know what is best. His inheritance according to I Peter 1 “can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in HEAVEN for you, who through FAITH are shielded by God’s power…”
Where is your FAITH? WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM! For Christ sake we will suffer in this world. Trials are a part of His refining process. They yield and teach us patience. There is no greater gift that you can give your children as a model of a committed monogamous Christian marriage! God wants us to follow His moral standards. “As obedient children, do not conform to evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. BUT just as HE who has called you HOLY, so be HOLY in all you do; for it is written; “BE YE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.” Being HOLY means to be set aside for His purpose. Not to blend in for the sake of acceptance. Hallelujah! His unspeakable joy is available! God’s plan for mankind was set in motion way back in the beginning. We who claim to be Christians need to really begin to live as though we really believe that Jesus is coming back! We really do need to consult embrace and support His view for marriage. Don’t give way to anyone’s false teaching. It is never too late to start. Please begin to spend some quality time getting to know the Lord through His WORD. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the GOSPEL OF GOD!”
MARRIAGE = ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN = GOD’S WAY = HOLY MATRIMONY!
PAINT ON THE CANVAS
God not only knows the very hairs that are on our heads. He determines how long we inhabit the earth. He is the ultimate Master Creator and Designer who weaves everything together in His magnificent canvas of life. When we grow in His grace, truth and knowledge He gives us the ability to spiritually discern. Spiritual discernment lights the foreground of our canvas as we venture out in life.
Quite often many adapt to the world and employ its principles for traveling through this valley of the shadow of death. However, it is GOD’S wisdom that ultimately grooms our being. As children of Light our life’s canvas commences to reflect the light of His presence whenever we embrace HIS principles within our daily lives. Personality traits that are in general socially acceptable tend to make us conform in order to be accepted. God has created each of us as individuals with varying temperaments & personality traits. Personality is used in typical dictionary definition to distinguish behavioral, emotional and attitudinal tendencies, character traits and habits. It is by these traits that one is uniquely recognized. We as people are fundamentally a complex integration of physical and non-physical dimensions and attributes.
The spiritual facet of us should reflect the God like qualities within our nature. Interpersonal dynamics and environmental influences are primary, but not exclusive to developmental determinants of our personalities. As human beings we are living, learning and growing organisms. When parents have properly nourished us by providing sufficient freedom and are generous in positive reinforcement, children will achieve a sense of personal autonomy. On the other hand if parents have modeled much faulty behavior themselves, were too overprotective, demanding, too permissive or critical, children will learn to have doubts about themselves. They will become harnessed with feelings of shame. In God’s eyes we are all ageless children. His Holy Spirit’s presence in one’s life is able to override any inappropriate learning experiences which we all have to a certain degree. God who is the ultimate Sovereign Creator can paint new life onto our life’s canvas. There is miraculous cleansing & healing POWER in the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST! HIS Holy Spirit HIS Comforter works within believers to give us a new nature.
When I studied “Art Appreciation” in school I acquired a respect for the various art forms. When I saw an original Picasso Abstract, my first reaction was “I don’t like it. After studying Picasso’s work I learned he was able to paint with a childlike simplicity. He was able to go inside, vicariously share and interpret on canvas the depth of his feelings. From an exterior posture for one to understand his work, a surface summation would not properly render what he was trying to relay. Despite the possibility of no one understanding he did not allow that to hinder His work. Whether he was aware of it or not He was given a God-given talent. It was largely after his death that the world really began to appreciate and understand his unique gift.
Our life can be quite like an abstract painting. Especially by those who really don’t know us. People usually fear what they don’t understand, or tend to label it negatively. Webster defines Abstract as; difficult to understand. Insufficiently factual. Expressing a quality considered apart from an object. Impersonal having only a generalized form with little or no attempt at precise representation. Quite often as Christians we too must risk being misunderstood. We must learn to tenaciously pursue our God given talent(s) with a steadfast devotion.
Each day that passes what we say and do and how we respond paints an array of events on our personal canvas of life. Much of our life’s paint is applied erroneously when we wander aimlessly about. When we stray from the narrow path that God has designed. God’s world is awesomely vast. A marvelous abstract spiritual venture awaits those who are obedient. Faith and Trust in Him are required companions that confidently paint the unseen path before us! It is easy to deter from our course because God allows us so much freedom. He has given us the power to choose. Other wise each individual canvas would yield a duplicate reproduction!
But once we really discover that life has purpose the strokes on our life’s canvas should be guided by our Creator. There is nothing in our life that has transpired that we can unpaint. When we find ourselves somewhere we don’t want to be or saying or doing something we don’t want to do what do we do? Do we continue to allow pride to lead us anyway? No, it will only lead us somewhere we don’t really want to go.
The hues of pride darken the spiritual path. It keeps the light of our direction deep in the background. So do we just waste precious time and continue to stumble around? Do we employ passages of scriptures to justify our sometimes wrong position? Do we erroneously mislead and gather others to support us in our wrong position? Ask yourself, do you hear a faint unspoken voice beckoning you to change your direction? Although painful, it is far better to move towards the Light. God knows your true motives. Do you know it is more important what God knows rather than what people think!
God our Creator knows all of our faults, shortcomings, misunderstandings and insecurities. His arms are wide open. But too often, pride, guilt and shame keeps us at His arm distance. It keeps us in the dark away from His marvelous Light! Too often we just don’t want to admit that we are possibly wrong or were wrong to ourselves especially not someone else! We are so reluctant to tint our canvas with the magnificent brilliance of humility! We would rather allow pride to paint our canvas and take us to a place that we will eventually dread!
If you are at a point in your life you don’t want to be, or if your life seems to be headed in a direction of uncertainty; If you have done something or said something you should not have (and we do from time to time) seek God’s direction. Really dedicate some time to being still and sincerely do some deep soul searching. Have your self a Gethsemane experience. Get quiet enough so you can actually hear what God is saying. Now that you have gotten His attention. Sincerely render to Him what is on your mind and in your heart. Remember He knows anyway. Once you have lightened your load. Ask Him for direction. Admit and repent (not repeat) of anything that is hindering your spiritual path.
Allow God’s yoke to be spiritually connected to lighten your burdens. I assure you He will direct you! Just know it may not be in a direction you want to go. You may just have to apply some humility to your life’s canvas. Humility can harness anger and impulsive rage will have to flee! Instead each painful step in His direction will be accompanied by His unexplainable peace! Did you know that when we are at our weakest point it gives God the opportunity to create a great work in us? Proceed cautiously knowing that anger and pride wants to darken disobedience. They only want to suppress and cover up the Light that wants to shine on your life’s canvas!
Once we humbly admit to God we are wrong, a flood of Light appears. It opens the door for the cleansing power of His Word to wash us thoroughly. God in His infinite wisdom is totally aware of the minutest speck of sin on each of our individual canvases. “All of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory”. But this does not give us the right to continue in sin. Christ did not die for us to be slaves to any sin in our lives. He even told us except we become as children we will not enter into His kingdom! He is the only Sovereign Master Designer! He can make each stroke of circumstances whatever they may be; mold and shape us into a vessel of beauty and honor in His sight. Commence to allow His Holy Spirit to guide you as you paint your personal canvas. Our life truly is “A work of art in progress.”
PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.
There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!
Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.
Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!