Today I was reminded of a story about a family on the East Coast. They held a party to celebrate Christmas. As the guests arrived, they all threw their coats on a bed. They proceeded to celebrate, eating, drinking and opening gifts, etc. It was later discovered that the guests had actually thrown their coats on top of a baby. The baby was asleep on the bed and was smothered by the coats and died. They overlooked, or didn’t actually see the baby. They had gotten caught up in their partying.
This was a very sad situation. It was also an eye opener as to how Jesus can get “smothered.” It often happens during Christmas celebrations, ignorantly or deliberately. Our world is moving more and more in the direction of trying to remove Him from being the center of this holiday. Have you noticed that many, particularly in our work places, are afraid. They will hesitate in saying have a “Merry Christmas?” Instead they will say “Happy Holidays.” Some will call Christmas trees “holiday trees.” In many neighborhoods, instead of Nativity Scenes on front lawns of houses, we see Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and other cartoon or fictitious characters.
Christmas seems to be the only holiday where many don’t want to call it by it’s name. This is also true particularly in our work places. In the United States, we seem to have no problem saying any other holiday’s name. They will say; Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, President’s Day, etc. But when it comes to saying have a “Merry Christmas”, some of us stutter.
Jesus is the reason for this season, and every other season. For all things were made by HIM and for HIM. This holiday is a Christian holiday, set aside to acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ. “FOR unto us a CHILD is born, unto us a SON is given: and the government shall be upon HIS shoulder: and HIS name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9
Depression is America’s number one health problem. A growing number of our population suffers from depression. The state of the economy has greatly impacted many! During the Holiday season when everyone is seemingly happy and cheerful many suffer from “Seasonal Depression.” Depression can be brought on by trauma, prolonged stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, living with a substance abuser, sexual abuse, obesity, unemployment or unresolved family dysfunction. A decrease in neurotransmitters is also a major factor in depression. When anger is not dealt with properly it can actually manifest in the form of depression. Depression is actually unresolved anger turned inward. A person can actually be depressed for years and not know they are depressed.
A depressed person suffers from self- defeating beliefs. Here are a few of those beliefs. I have to be loved to be happy. I must give up my beliefs to please others. If others don’t like me I can’t be happy. I can’t trust others they will only hurt me. I’m inferior to others. I should never hurt anyone else’s feelings. This is why it is so important not to compare yourself with others. Comparing will either make you feel superior or inferior. Everyone has there own unique shortcomings. We all are in a state of “becoming”. Know that God made us all uniquely different yet equal.
There are varying degrees of depression.The foundational causes of depression are usually rooted in some type of personal injury. A deep sense of hopelessness, fear, bitterness, anger, ambivalence and despair are usually a side bar of depression. Depressed people are usually focused inwardly. A deep sense of shame often keeps the depressed person in a state of emotional isolation. Angry with themselves and sometimes even angry with God they experience a great deal of conflict. Depression is often described as feeling as though you are totally alone in a black bottomless hole.
A chronically depressed person may often have suicidal or violent thoughts towards themselves or others. They also suffer from distorted thinking, which can resort in magnifying situations. A great sense of loneliness is realized since they feel unwanted, unimportant and unloved. They may over eat, under eat, sleep excessively or to the extreme be unable to sleep at all.
In extreme depression there is frequent loss of emotional control and frequent crying spells. Overwhelmed by the depression their being inhabits a deep void. Although often remorseful after improper behavior, they have the potential to exhibit extremely violent and self-destructive behavior. A depressed person can use their depression to manipulate others. Attention getting depression frequently ends up in loss of mate and friends.
Bipolar depression alternates between manic and depressive moods. There is much medical evidence to substantiate genetic predisposition in some individuals. In between episodes they can have long periods of normal functioning. This type of depression can take a toll on those afflicted as well as their friends and loved ones. Depression of this magnitude accounts for the majority of mental hospital admissions. In most cases the assistance of a prescribed anti-depressant medication is necessary. This helps to replenish the depleted neurotransmitters. This kind of treatment is only viable by a qualified Psychiatrist or a medical physician.
Depression is of a spiritual nature as well. Although the word depression is not mentioned The Bible on numerous occasions mentions hopelessness and despair. Remember when King Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and wandered eating grasses, grew long, long, hair and his nails grew as claws.
He finally lifted his eyes to the Lord and praised Him. His understanding was restored.” Read Daniel 4: 32-34. What about Job, Moses, David, Elijah or Jeremiah, these are just a few examples. Or how about King Saul who had a tormenting spirit? Encouraging a depressed person to think realistically from a biblical perspective is crucial to their healing. Depression can be cured with the right therapeutic help when it is not of a biological nature. The power and direction of the Holy Spirit is much needed in dealing with a depressed person. Help them to understand that God loves them because of who He is and not because of who we are. (Without God we really aren’t much of anything.) His love for us is not based on what we do or do not do. That He loved us so much He allowed His son Jesus who was sinless to die for us. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior He stands patiently waiting to help us with our varied sin weaknesses. A truly Christ centered life will give your life new meaning! Fellowshipping with balanced committed Christians is a plus. Spending time doing something for someone else will give them less time to spend in introspection or self- pity.
Let them know God already knows all what has transpired in their life. Encourage them to develop a personal intimate relationship with Him. Not a religious knowledge! But to really begin understanding that the Bible is not a fantasy! The examples therein are for us, then, today and tomorrow! Once you accept Jesus He is forever there for you. Just don’t leave Him out! You are adopted. Your old self should gradually begin to take on the characteristics of your heavenly Father. But for this to take place you must spend time with Him. Begin to meditate on His WORD! Start with Romans 5:1-6 and Philippians 4: 6-9. Be patient know that God has promised to work everything in your life for good eventually. Learn to properly verbalize your anger. Don’t suppress it. It’s okay to be angry!
Christians often experience depression. Feelings of abandonment override their ability to rationalize that God really loves them right where they are. This is why it is so very necessary for committed teachers of the Gospel to expound with wisdom and simplicity. Keeping it on a level for all to understand. To reinforce that we can really do ” all things through Christ that strengthens us”. To know that fear is not from the Lord. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Beyond The Walls” by Alpha 7. Smooth instrumental music that will calm the agitations of the soul.
Recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time pondering what the world thinks of Jesus Christ. Just who does the world think he is ? At Christmas and Easter we see the world celebrate these days if they are just “social activities”. Parties, giving gifts, drinking etc. Some may even take a moment to think about the stories that surround these days, although often mixing Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny with the story about the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Santa Claus and the Easter bunny are just kid stories. However, Jesus Christ is a way of life, everyday, every heart must hear.
It’s important to realize not everyone knows who Jesus Christ really is. The world doesn’t know why He came, why He died, and why He arose from the grave. The following lyrics to a song recorded by Donnie Harper and The New Jersey Mass Choir says it well. Take some time and ponder over these words, then tell the world that He is “More Than A Story“.
“More Than A Story”
People talk of a good man
Came to earth so long ago
In a manger he did lay
It’s the Christmas story they say
But it means more to me
Cause He set my life free
And he came to do the same for you
More than a story
That the world thinks of just one time a year
He’s more than a story
He’s a way of life, every day, every heart must hear.
Some have heard of a good man
Lived a life, did no one no harm
On a cross they killed him
It’s the Easter story again
But it means more to me
Cause he set my life free
And he came to do the same for you
More than a story
That the world thinks of just one time a year
He’s more than a story
He’s a way of life, every day, every heart must hear
We’ve got to show the world
There’s so much more they must read
With every passing day
There’s less time for all to believe.
He’s more than a story
That the world thinks of just one time a year
He’s a way of life, every day, every heart must hear.
He’s more than a story
So much more!
Valentine’s Day is legendarily known for being the most romantic day of the year. It is a time that couples desire to wonderfully express and celebrate their love for one another. This day of love is now further extended and expressed between friends, families, classmates, teachers, co workers and many more…
It is a great and marvelous day to annually commemorate your union of “the two becoming one”. Marriage was designed to be a loving, committed, pleasurable, fulfilling experience.
Valentine’s Day is said to have originated from amongst the ancient chronicles of ancient Roman history within the early Christian Church. Not all agree; some believe its origin is that of a pagan nature … However this narrative goes as such;
Once upon a time, years ago somewhere in and about the 3rd century AD., many couples who were in love were forbidden to marry. It is said that Emperor Claudius II who was an austere, ambitious and controlling ruler requiring vast armies of men denied them the privilege to marry. He trained his soldiers well yet brutally. He was a hard taskmaster. The soldiers had to be on the road for long extended periods of times and he did not want them engaging in sexual intercourse. This left the lonesome lot of soldiers homesick and half hearted… Still, the Emperor felt it drained the soldiers strength and interfered with his goal for them to be victorious on the battle field. So he subsequently banned marriages altogether.
But one bold, compassionate, defiant priest in Rome named Father Valentine did not agree. He thought that the Emperor Claudius II was unjust in this belief. He heroically came to the aid of many couples and secretly married the young lovers anyway. Well, when the furious Emperor got wind of what was happening he was livid and he had him beaten with clubs and arrested. It is alleged that the Emperor himself began to like Father Valentine… He even tried to convert the Emperor. In turn the Emperor wanted and attempted unsuccessfully to make Father Valentine renounce his Faith. Father Valentine remained incarcerated and sentenced to death.
It is believed that the secretly wedded blissful couples that Father Valentine had married were so thankful and filled with gratitude that they clandestinely visited the imprisoned priest. No doubt that they had pledged their love for one another but for Father Valentine as well. With thankful hearts filled with gratefulness and appreciation they surreptitiously brought him flowers and notes of gratitude which they secretly passed to him through the bars of his cell.
Father Valentine himself being loving, kindhearted, caring and compassionate supposedly fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Some say she was blind and he healed her… On the day of the condemned Father Valentine’s execution of February 14th around 269, he wrote her a note confessing his love for her and signed it “from your Valentine.” He however was martyred and beheaded. From here amongst the varied accounts originates our tradition of “Valentine’s Day”.
Today in this modern 21st century “Valentine’s Day” is one of the most celebrated days on the calendar. It has been festively celebrated by billions of people ever since the days of Father Valentine.
Here in our beautiful country of America alone over 180,000,000 people celebrate by purchasing and showering roses upon their loved ones. Red is the most often selected color. It is a most prosperous day for retailers! Over 36,000,000 heart shaped boxes of candy and chocolates as well as thousands of diamonds, dinners, cards and other gifts ranging from extravagant to simple in lavish expenditures collectively totaling billions of dollars are purchased.
Hershey the infamous chocolate maker employs 13,000 employees. Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania they make over $5,000,000,000 in revenue per year. They use over 600, 000,000 million pounds of chocolate per year as well as using over 200,000,000 million pounds of nuts and 700,000,000 million pounds of milk and an exorbitant ridiculously extravagant amount of sugar! Hershey Inc. vast quantities of chocolate is made from cocoa plants from all around the world.
Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate LOVE! When couples are in love it is both emotional and physical! The brain produces a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It is a natural stimulant that carries messages from nerve cells to other nerve cell muscles. It is sent to many brain regions creating intense feelings often associated with romantic love. There are also physiological responses that occur by another closely related neurotransmitter called norepinephrine that often creates and intense craving… This explains why kissing for some can be intense because the hormone testosterone is passed between the two when kissing. Hopefully this explains why some can tend to be a bit irrational initially when in love. Love is wonderful when properly and lovingly expressed.
There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple! Here are a few suggestions:
It is always good to Kiss your spouse whenever you part
Start the day off with a nice hug and bubble bath
Slip a romantic expression of love note in his pocket or her purse
Compose or read poetry to one another, for starters try, The “Song of Solomon” it is a fabulous book of inspiration and love
Plan a nice Candlelight dinner and or a Romantic picnic lunch
Treats of: Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Chocolates, and assorted candies
Flowers & Cards
Take in a matinee or evening movie
Select in advance a great movie you are excited about sharing at home
Plan a spa couple visit for the mud baths, mineral springs and for massages
Play nice enjoyable music to relax
Before retiring take a nice temperate, peaceful, tranquil candle light bubble bath
Nice scented comfy and pillow puffy rose petaled bed… A suggested gift to one another that continues the celebration throughout the year! Remember be creative! Simply write colorful to do “IOU’S “on note cards… Fold and place them in a nicely decorated jar or basket! Here are a few suggestions; This is your day to do as you wish, Impromptu no questions asked date, Car Wash, No arguing today, Dancing, Golf Pass, Couple shopping fling, Back rub & neck massage, Foot massage, Night on the town, Walk in the park, Let’s exercise together, Event of choice or Evening of Elegance…
When you SAY that you LOVE someone here are some things to KEEP in mind! Here the TRUE meaning of LOVE is defined.
Love is best described herein I Corinthians 13: “LOVE is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil, but REJOICES in TRUTH. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. LOVE NEVER FAILS…”
God Bless You! ENJOY & CELEBRATE the one you Love!
“Love is patient, Love is kind, Love is felt most when it is GENUINE!”
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
One of the most Honorable and Praiseworthy qualities admired most about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , was that He was a Diplomatic Ambassador of Peace! Dr. King was a PEACEMAKER, and a strong man of FAITH, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE, BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES and VALUES! In His avid quest to fight for equality and justice he embraced non violence! Dr. Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister born at noon in his family home on January 15,1929 in Atlanta Georgia. How ironic his Queen Anne style home was in what is known as the magnificent “Sweet Auburn District.” He was an avid and dedicated prominent leader in the “Civil Rights” movement! However it was because of his gallant efforts he was violently assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. Dr. King fought long and tenaciously for the equal rights for people of Color! He wanted the same rights that were extended to Whites extended to all people! He was especially instrumental in ending legal segregation that plagued African Americans in the South. Dr. King led many powerful and peaceful demonstrations. For his many efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964!
Dr. King came from a ancestral lineage of Baptist Ministers. His father and his grandfather were ministers! They both became pastor’s in succession of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia! He was raised in a very comfortable, loving and stable middle class Christian home! He was a brilliant, well educated and gifted man! He excelled prolifically in his studies and skipped both the (9th) ninth and (12th) twelfth grades! He was admitted to the impressive Morehouse College at the early age of only (15) fifteen years old.
King was aware from a very early age of the obvious discrimination that existed against African Americans. There is an interesting little story of when he was only 6 years of age, his white playmate told him that they could no longer play together since they were now going to segregated schools! Before King’s going off to college, he first went to work on a tobacco farm in Connecticut. It is here he realized that the same discrimination was not apparent that he had experience in the South! He took note of the many activities that both whites, blacks, reds, yellows, browns and all colors shared. Here basically all Colors participated together! They went to worship together they could eat out publicly together, it was an eye opening experience!
King enthusiastically entered Morehouse College and initially his desire was to study medicine and law. However he became impressed with the marvelous oratorical skills of Benjamin Mays an activist, educated and intelligent man who was pursuing equal rights and racial equality! Mays had made and indelible impression upon his father, Martin Luther Sr. The young budding Martin remained impressed as well. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1948! King then attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. King early on had a charismatic personality and was elected student body president of the predominately white student body. He eventually earned his Bachelor’s of Divinity in 1951. King then went on to Boston University, it is here he earned a Doctorate! Here in Boston is where he met the love of his life Coretta Scott. She was studying at the New England conservatory of Music. They married in a beautiful lawn ceremony at her family’s home! The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., his father in 1953. From their beautiful union was born 4 wonderful children!
Of the many protests that was led by King it was the infamous Montgomery Alabama bus boycott that received acclaimed nationwide attention. Here the lovely intelligent Rosa Parks a hard working gentle natured Black woman who was tired after a long honest day at work, as an excellent and skilled seamstress decided not to give up her seat to a white passenger. Mrs. Parks was in turn arrested under the segregation laws. A concerted effort was made by the Activists they strategically planned and implemented a strategic and successful peaceful bus boycott. There were numerous marches and “sit ins”…
It was on his way to support a group of sanitation workers in Memphis,Tennessee that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated! Senator Edward Kennedy chartered a plane to bring Dr. King’s body home to Atlanta! At least (30) thirty buses and (100) one hundred planes were used to bring mourners for his “Homegoing Celebration” Sympathy was poured out from all over the world! The night before King had delivered a most prophetic message! He made this statement: ““I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” It was the very next day while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, he was killed by a sniper’s bullet! King’s loyal supporters throughout America were quite upset and 100+ riots ensued in various cities across the country! After much uproar and ongoing media attention! His white assassin James Earl Ray pleaded guilty, was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison. He later attempted to recant his confession of guilt and said that he was coerced by his attorneys. Ray held to the stance it was a conspiracy! Dr. King’s family came to his aid and support of Ray’s defense and embraced him. Ray died before he could be acquitted. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow made this statement upon Ray’s death; “America will never have the benefit of Mr. Ray’s trial, which would have produced new revelations about the assassination…as well as establish the facts concerning Mr. Ray’s innocence.”
Dr. Martin Luther King has been compared and contrasted to some of the greatest! To name a few; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The fact remains that he was martyred has further served to keep his memory alive. His legacy lives on in the hearts of many as well as in the history of America’s historical corridors and the world at large. His legacy has a life of its own!
It was after his death that he was accredited with an overwhelming international status. There are roads, highways, buildings, schools and institutions named in his honor throughout the United States. In 1986 he was honored with a national Holiday celebrated on the 3rd Monday in January. In 1991 the Lorraine Hotel where he was assassinated became a Museum. In London they have a sculpture of him over the door to the west front at West Minister Abbey in his honor. Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” oratorical famous speech is well remembered and often quoted by many universally! Excerpt from this speech: “And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Dr. King was a wonderful inspiring man of God whose voice in the midst of the prevalent and tumultuous prejudice harnessing America opened the pathway to equality for all colors! His eloquence, charismatic style, self sacrificing, courageous and arduous commitment will forever be ingrained in the chronicles of America’s History as well as the hearts of many! King lived under the microscope of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the ongoing surveillance was spearheaded under J. Edgar Hoover. Many unfounded allegations were made to undermine his credibility. But none of them could serve to tarnish his incredible, impeccable, accomplishments as a committed man of God and strong ardent peaceful contributions as a Civil Rights Activist. Nor his infamous merited accomplishment of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Norway! Upon His acceptance he stated “I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind,”said King in his acceptance speech. “I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confronts him.
Indeed there is so much more that could be said about this dedicated man of God; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr… Yet, I close here with another memorable excerpt from “ I Have A Dream!”
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
What does it mean to love someone? Does it mean you give them everything they want? Does it mean letting someone run over you? Does it mean you tell them what they want to hear? Does it mean you never make them angry? Does love ever end? Webster defines love in this way; strong affection for another based on kinship ties. Example: maternal love for a child. Attraction based on sexual desire. Admiration or benevolence. Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. A beloved person: Darling. Brotherly concern for others. To hold dear. To feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness. An unselfish concern of God for man. The scriptures tell us that “God is Love.” Tell me can you really truly love someone and not know God? Or better yet to the degree you know God; does it help you love in a profound way? According to I Corinthians LOVE…is PATIENT…is KIND…does not ENVY… does not BOAST… Is not PROUD…is not SELFISH. Keeps no record of wrong doings…does not DELIGHT in EVIL…but REJOICES in TRUTH. Always protects. Always TRUSTS. Always HOPES. Always PERSEVERES. Does your definition of love encompass Biblical principles?
I have found that love is a term that many people use loosely. If you listen clearly they usually base love on doing or not doing something for them. Love is not giving someone what they want. Love is not letting people run over you. Love is not telling people what they want to hear. If you love them you will speak the truth in love. Just know when you truly love people they will get angry with you sometimes! Their perspective of you will modify. You are no longer the kind wonderful person that they thought you were. All of a sudden you will be perceived as being cold, uncaring, and selfish. They will accuse you of not really loving them when you don’t give them what they want. Don’t fret! God knows your heart. In the meantime pray for them. Begin to practice healthy boundaries with them.
There are many angry people who will chew you out at the drop of a hat. They have oodles of pent up unresolved anger. Cancer, high blood pressure, eating disorders, temper tantrums and depression are just a few results of stored anger. It’s okay for them to have a tantrum. But you are expected to appease them. Anger is natural. Encourage them to find healthy ways to express their anger. Suppressing anger is unhealthy. Just know it takes more control to not respond than to throw a fit. Did you know you can be angry and sin not?
By the way you must let go of some people you love. I am not talking about letting go like in divorce. Divorce occurs because two adults are not able to work through whatever problems they are experiencing. They are not able to keep the commitment they made to each other for whatever reason. Often this is because they really didn’t think things through first. Many couples are unaware of the necessary tenacity for an enduring marriage. (But that’s another column). When I say letting go I mean putting them in hands of the Lord. Allow Him to intervene. There are those who just enjoy a habitat of tension and confusion. Did you know you could break unhealthy cycles by employing better ways to resolve conflict? Avoiding conflict is not healthy. Allowing a cooling off period before discussing the problem may be helpful. Words spoken in a fit of anger can be very damaging. Letting go and allowing them space to feel the consequences for their actions can be beneficial to their spiritual maturity.
The world is a very inconsistent place. God’s standards are not respected nor appreciated. God must be the central focus of your life for true successful living. The prophets pleaded over and over with God’s people to return to his principles. God wants to be first in your life. God has instructed us to; “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thine might. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children and talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest……. (Deuteronomy 6) God loves us and is faithful. His WORD is true.
< God always allows you to choose. It is the unselfish concern of God for man that explains love in a nutshell. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. To redeem us from the power of sin. In order to free us from sin's captivity. He laid down His life for us! There is no greater love than this? Does grace give us the right to willfully sin? God forbid! Out of spiritual ignorance we support all the wrong things in people. We literally "love them to death". When they are six feet under we cry, rant, rave and shout. But why wait until it's to late? Why do we allow people we say we care about to slowly die little by little right before our faces? Why not do something while the blood is still running warm in their veins? It's because we don't want to hurt their feelings. Right! We don't want to hurt their feelings but what about hurting their life? We prefer to take away their motivation to change by comforting them in sin. Motive is always key in whatever you do. Some people have been loved so wrong for so long they can't recognize true love. We can not change anybody. But we can stop supporting what we know is wrong. Some thing's will just not be understood on this side of heaven! Believe it or not God does not support wrong! I don't care if you have two or two thousand or two million people to support you if it's wrong it's wrong. No one is above reproach. Just try reading Jeremiah. Look at what obedience and love he had for God and His principles! For over 40 years he pleaded with Israel. They ignored a great opportunity for spiritual, moral and ethical maturity. They still chose to justify their sins. Did you know that they did not repent in Jeremiah's time? I wonder if they thought Jeremiah was too negative and needed a personality adjustment? Just imagine the rejection and ridicule he received for taking a stance against sin! Jeremiah didn't just talk the talk. He walked it! He was steadfast! God is about freedom! Sin is a slavemaster. Did you know that it is easier for many to believe a lie rather than believe the truth? God is a Spirit of Truth. "They that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth"! God will bless and keep you in any and all circumstances. Remember GOD is Love! God is eternal! "Stand fast in the liberty that Christ has set you free and be not entangled with a yoke of bondage! Sin is bondage. The Love, freedom, and security that God provides is priceless! Get off the broad road. Discover that narrow road that only a few find. Commit to making a conscious effort to sin less and love with Godly Love! HALLELUJAH! “Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind. Love is felt most when it’s Genuine”.
Did you know that Thanksgiving means so much more than Turkey & Dressing? Yes, it is a time to come together and enjoy a plenteous wonderful meal that has been prepared with lots of love. Yes, it is a time to come to gather together with family, friends and loved ones and give thanks. Yes, you can even remember that Christopher Columbus an Italian Explorer discovered the Indians in America. It has been recorded in history that he actually sailed across the Atlantic in order to find spices in India.
He sailed for King Ferdinand II and Queen Esabella of Spain. He had a fleet of three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria with an approximate crew of 90 from Palos Spain. He landed in a new world of the Americas. Many do not realize that Columbus initially had a twofold mission. He wanted to open trade routes and bring in the Word of Jesus Christ! He was named the “Admiral of the Sea” by the King and Queen. He is known for the man that discovered America. That is partially true? Yes, he too did get sidetracked. However, if the Truth be told he actually discovered the Indians!
As the settlers trickled in the atmosphere began to change. It has been said that a group of religious radicals called “Puritans” were pilgrim settlers that had been driven out of England. In 1614, explorers landed in an area called Massachusetts Bay. They actually eventually settled and built a colony called “Plymouth Plantation.” They were taught by Squanto the Indian how to survive by using corn in a plethora of ways for food. They were taught how to fish and use the herbs of the land. Plymouth was surrounded by the Wampanoag who were a large Nation of Indians. Eventually Squanto negotiated a peace treaty between the Indians and the settlers. They lived peaceable for about fifteen (15) years. It was at the end of the first year that a large feast was given. Squanto, their friends and the Indians were honored. The feast lasted for over three (3) days. It is here originates why we here in America celebrate Thanksgiving. How all too soon all was forgotten.
As word got back to England of the prosperity and peacefulness that they were experiencing in Plymouth, many people came by the boatloads. As there numbers increased the tension increased. There began to be a debate as to who possessed the land? The original agreement was cast aside. Since there were no fences, boundaries, land markers etc. (fences etc. are customs that originated in England.) The incoming settlers declared the land as “public domain” this meant it was their’s for the taking. With absolutely no respect for the current treaty between the Indians and the Puritans the newcomers began to seize and destroy the existing peace that had been established. All for the sake of becoming prosperous. Rather than share in the prosperity that had already been established they sought to destroy it and become prosperous themselves. They exiled the current Puritans and with scriptures in tow they overthrew the existing peace agreement. Then along with the use of British soldiers they captured and made many of the Indians slaves…. The rest is history….
I said this all to shed some light on a story that as a child I was taught that in 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America? But if in fact you search the chronicles of history you will find that he actually, really discovered the Indians. We in America really celebrate Thanksgiving because of the peace treaty that was made between the Puritans and the Indians. Who collectively managed to come together and celebrate their treaty and new life together. If you are a Christian you should know that spiritually speaking Thanksgiving goes even further back than that! The scriptures are full of passages to tell us how we should work, love, live and be thankful for all that God has given us. He even gave His only Begotten Son that we might have a right to the tree of life. But just like the story of Christopher Columbus what was originally intended all too often gets set aside. The principles of this story has constantly repeated itself throughout history in so many ways. All too often what really happened is set aside and replaced with the partial truth.
God wants us to know the Truth of His Word. Life for the believer or child of God really should go much deeper. But all too often one settles for what is partially true. All too often the original agreement is forgotten and laid aside. This is why it is so very important to know the Lord and His Word for yourself. Ephesians 4 tells us; “not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, to the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head-Christ from whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,…….” Knowing the Word of God has its spiritual benefits. When truly taken to heart it motivates, grows and spiritually matures you, convicts, and encourages you to do and want to do things His way. Neither do you just settle for the partial truth or believe just any and everything. But you seek, desire to live and study His Word, apply the principles therein and live your life to please Him! To give thanks to Him each and every day!
God’s ways are far better. But all too often they are laid aside. Many are given and accept a partial story. Many are pressured by the need to be accepted by the majority, to suppress the truth, as well as their desire to dominate and control and have things done their way. One must earnestly seek the truth rather than settle for a partial truth or to be misled by how things appear. As God’s children we are encouraged to “seek Him first and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” What things? Whatever things you need to fulfill his plan in your life will be provided. He did not say that this would be easy. Yet, we can and should be thankful for each and every day. You know regardless of what happens that He has everything under His control. That He is a Spirit of Truth! We can be thankful because you know without a doubt that all of His WORD is true! We then can truly celebrate Thanksgiving knowing that His Son Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us. That we have been redeemed and purchased and belong to Him. That we are saved completely by His grace alone! The TRUTH really does set you free!
When you know that regardless of how things appear God knows! As I said earlier as a child I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. But as I matured, I inquired and studied. I found out that that was only partially true. It was in fact the Indians he discovered. (For additional information read the history about the Wampanoag Indians.) The Truth will always stand the test of time. As God’s ever growing child I know that God has so much more for us in store. He does not want us to settle for less than the Truth. He wants us to study His Word and rightly apply the principles therein. He has promised to bring what has happened in the dark out to the Light. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. His Word will be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path”. Do not be sidetracked or derailed by what you hear or how things appear. Know the Truth and His Word for yourself! Let it be your desire to want the things in life that the Lord wants you to have. To know what God wants you to know, to commit to His will and way and trust He will lead, guide and protect you. Know that nothing that happens in life gets by Him. This is why He says in the first Psalms “Do not walk in the council of ungodly people. Do not stand in the way of sinners. Nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But to delight yourself in the law of the Lord….” As a child of God you can rest assured as said in Romans; that in His time He will work out everything for your good, if you love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Too often what is right is laid aside. Man made institutions waiver. Since we live in an ever changing world your Faith and Trust must be in Him!
God’s Word is true. It is His desire that we grow in the grace and knowledge of His Word. To know Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection! That we are to be steadfast unmovable always abounding in His Word. Not only giving thanks when we eat or on Thanksgiving or Sunday. But each and everyday of our lives. We are told in Colossian 4; “Continue earnestly in prayer, being villigant in it with thanksgiving, meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the world, to speak the mystery of Christ, which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak, Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one..” God can and will make a way out of no way!
God truly is the DAYMAKER. Who else can make a day? True ministry goes beyond the walls! Christ came and His plan of salvation has been offered to all who will believe in their heart and accept Him as Lord of their life. We are to worship and praise the Lord each and every day. We are to live a life of worship. This is why we should live lives of thankfulness. To focus and set our eyes on Him regardless of what happens, has happened or will happen. To give thanks and know that He will give us today our daily bread…… Psalms 107 says; Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so……..” Not only on Thanksgiving but each and every day.
Yes it is a good thing to celebrate and give thanks! But know that Thanksgiving really does mean so much more than Turkey & Dressing. We who are the Lord’s must do as Psalms 100 tells us to enter into “His gates with thanksgiving. And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting. And His Truth endures to all generations. To God be the Glory!
M = To keep your MIND on Jesus! “The Lord will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on HIM!” Isaiah 26
O = To be OBEDIENT and committed to God and His WORD. “We ought to obey God rather than man” Acts 5
T = To be TRUTHFUL & trustworthy. “God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship HIM in Spirit and Truth.” John 5
H = To be HONEST and honorable and honor God in your heart, life and home. “Strength and Honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Psalm 31
E = To exercise Godliness! “But to refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto Godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little… I Timothy 4
R = To know you have been declared RIGHTEOUS and are a member of the royal priesthood of God! “But ye are a chosen generation a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into the marvelous LIGHT!” 1 Peter 2
To GOD Be The GLORY!
Do you need STRESS RELIEF?
Are you stressed? Is there something weighing on your mind? Is there some inner conflict? Is there something happening in your life and you don’t know how things will work out? You are not alone! At some point in time everyone experiences a certain degree of stress. Feelings actually lets you know that you are still here! A small amount of stress is actually healthy. It keeps you on your toes and motivates you to shift. Do you need stress relief?
Life today can be quite complex at times. There are many pressures on varying diverse levels, more so at times for some. You can actually worry yourself sick. To name a few stress affects your happiness, brings on acne, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss, high blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiety, impacts your sex drive as well as hampers your infertility. If you are experiencing a significant amount of stress don’t wait until you are completely over whelmed to find some relief. Conflict and stress are a normal part of life. If your patience is getting close to nil know; you are reaching your limit. Don’t wait until you explode and get really angry to express yourself. This will only further complicate the situation. While angry and out of control you say and do things that can be destructive. Begin to shift.
Stress is defined as; “Forces from the outside world impinging on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life that can help us learn and grow. Conversely, stress can cause us significant problems.
Stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (to fight or flee). If we don’t take action, the stress response can lead to health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stresses are the most damaging types of stress.” medicine net.com
When you are stressed it becomes difficult to respond properly. Many often become verbally or emotionally abusive. For some they respond physically , in an inappropriate manner when they lack proper coping skills. When stressed you can become tense, it may be harder to concentrate, you may even get a headache or your heart begins to race. This is a clear indication that YOU NEED to shift. Here is something that will help you. Imagine a cup of ice cubes being slowly yet gently poured over your head. Allow yourself to feel the coolness of the ice gently melting over you. Begin to Allow your anger to subside. Please! Think before you respond!
When the pressures of life begin to get to you it is important that you get a grip on your emotions. No, I am not saying go into denial! How you feel is important. Your feelings need to be validated. Depression will result if you don’t. Depression is anger turned inside! When it gets to this point you may need professional help! Seek out resources for anger management if you have “out of control behavior.” Quite often you have learned some unhealthy dynamics that need to be changed. It may be hard for you to just say how you are feeling without being so angry. Your anger is a clear indication that you are also hurting. This will often result in something or someone triggering your anger and setting you “off.” If this is the case know that you are being controlled by remote. Learn how to stay “on” track!
Here are a few ways to relieve stress.
If you are stressed? It is important to begin to spend some quiet time to unwind. Writing a letter to anyone who has hurt you is good. Express exactly how you feel. This is for your eyes only. Then tear it up and throw it away! You can also get an empty chair; imagine that the person is sitting there, and say to whomever has hurt you how you feel. Take control and release any anger, hurt, shame or disapointment! You are now beginning to take out the trash that has begun to weigh you down. Listen to some relaxing music, exercising, or just taking a walk helps. You now have decided to no longer let what has happened to sit on the shelf of your mind and ferment! You are now beginning to move towards letting it go. This also heps you move towards wholeness.
If your family is stressed? Set aside some quiet time aside from the television or any outside distractions and have a family “pow wow.” Allow those concerned to briefly talk about how they are feeling. Then have them talk about how things can be improved. It is helpful to have one of the children to moderate you will be surprised. Your objective is to create a healthy, loving , open, nurturing, safe environment.
Is your marriage stressed? You need to set aside some quiet time where the two of you can calmly discuss what are the issues at hand. Rekindle that love that brought the two of you together! Restore the JOY of just being together. When two together row a boat it gets to the desired destination faster. Having a weekly date night is great as well! Remember you cannot change what has happened. But you can decide to go forward. Yes, you will probably have to revisit where you have been. But this is to remind you of where you do not want to stay or continue to go.
Is your job stressing you out? You need to make an appointment to talk to your supervisor, boss, employees or co workers and let them know how you are feeling. Make sure you are not angry when you do this. Find a neutral spot if possible. Writing down what you want to say will help you stay focused. If you feel that you may lose your thoughts or say something inappropriate reschedule. Graciously delay it until you are ready. The point is you want to take control not loose it. If they are not willing; it make be better to begin looking for employment somewhere else. If you don’t at some point your health will become affected working continuously under such poor conditions.
Incorporating prayer and meditating on the scriptures will yield much peace in your life. Actively implementing the principles are key to resolving inner conflict and stress. The scriptures were meant to point us to a better way of life. To develop a personal relationship with God our Creator. God has provided a wonderful plan of salvation for all who are willing to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Jesus is able to save you from the power of sin reigning in your life! Jesus came to show us that better Way! To help you discover your true purpose in life!
Stress again is a normal part of life. Taking the time to communicate your feelings in a healthy manner means you care. Redemptively confronting what ever the problem is or however you are feeling is always much better for you and those around you. Everyone has a not so good day from time to time. Don’t major in the minors! Just make sure that stress has not become the theme for your everyday lifestyle. Life is too short and precious to spend the majority of your time stressed! It is important to begin to work towards having a healthier balance in life. Begin moving towards creating a warm, more peaceful, safe and loving environment! Learning coping skills and ways to manage stress will also result in a healthier outlook as well as becoming healthier spiritually, physically and emotionally.
The GREATEST GIFT That Was Ever Given
HIS Name is JESUS
Over 2,000 years ago God sent His Son into the world that we might be saved and not condemned. On the profession of our FAITH we are accepted into His Family and become children of God. The Child in the manger has been recognized as The Traditional Christmas scene down through the ages. It is much more than a tradition it is a True story! As you Celebrate Christmas with your family, friends and loved ones with your plethora of family Traditions; I would like to take a few minutes to share “The Chronicle of Our Lord and Savior!”
“FOR unto us a CHILD is born, unto us a SON is given: and the government shall be upon HIS shoulder: and HIS name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you; BLESSED are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His Father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob FOREVER. And of His kingdom there will be no end…….
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David. Which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to registered with Mary his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there was in the same country shepherds out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, and angel of the Lord said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is CHRIST the LORD. And this will be the sign to you : You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths in a manger. And suddenly there was an angel a multitude of the heavenly host PRAISING GOD and saying; GLORY to God in the highest, And on earth PEACE , GOODWILL toward men!
So it was when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when then they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and PRAISING GOD for ALL the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb…
This is the greatest event that ever happened in the history of the world! So much so that a choir of Angels sang and the sky was lit with a brilliant STAR! “JESUS is the Bright and Morning Star” He wants to Light your heart and give you purpose and meaning in your life! CHRISTMAS IS WHEN WE CELEBRATE “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO JESUS! Jesus lived an amazing sinless life to conquer sin in the flesh for us! So we would not be condemned but saved. He was crucified a shameful death on the CROSS, died for us and then after three days in the grave HE arose victoriously with ALL power! When you accept Him into your heart you become God’s child and His precious Holy Spirit comes to live within you and your body becomes a Temple. You are then given the gift of Eternal Life! Jesus then becomes your Messiah, Savior and Lord! Jesus is the GREATEST GIFT that was ever given! JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON! Have a wonderfully, MARVELOUSLY Blessed MERRY CHRISTMAS and a JOYFULLY Blessed NEW YEAR!!! “GLORY TO GOD in the HIGHEST and on earth PEACE to men on whom HIS FAVOR rests….” (St. Luke }
Listen to “I Give You Jesus”