America along with the world has been privileged to share a monumental, memorable phenomenon. Barak Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States of America is nothing short of a miracle! If you look closely and attentively throughout the corridors of America’s history you will find that what was thought to have been unheard of has happened. By the grace of God the “Impossible has become possible!”
It took faith, fortitude, stamina, dedication, persistence and perseverance to forge ahead against insurmountable odds for Barak Obama to pursue relentlessly the position of president. His winning the candidacy for the President of America reaches far beyond the United States. It has been said that his methodical, strategic campaign was a seamless, well planned, professionally skilled endeavor of any other candidate. This victory has brought about a much needed message of “Hope” and renewal of confidence within the American people. It also yields a restored “Faith in God.” The Word of God tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” The Truth and promises of the scriptures have been “made alive.” “With God All things are possible.” One can surely appreciate the fact that the ” highway of possibilities” has been opened. The possible pathway of opportunities are boundless for our nation, the world and future generations to come.
Traveling throughout the world affords one the opportunity to broaden your perspective and experience and envision life through a much broader lens. I am thankful for having been afforded such an opportunity, to travel throughout the world along with my husband /pastor as well as in a group. The world is so very diverse with a plethora of multi cultural people, customs, religions and beliefs. All having such a broad assorted variety of lifestyles in which an innumerable amount of peoples with diverse backgrounds live together. But regardless as to where I have traveled, from Mexico to Aruba, the Bahamas to Jamaica, England to Rome, Athens Greece to Ephesus, France to Spain and Switzerland…. I have always been thankful to return home to America. We have met wonderful people. There have been countless wonders, magnificent architectural expressions and artistic monuments as well as majestic sceneries to behold from the hilltop Montserrat to Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to the Blue Mosque and Hagias Sophia in Turkey. Yet I have never seen nor experienced a place where the freedom in which we are privy to here in America is experienced anywhere else in the world. It is because of this freedom and opportunity Barak Obama has become the 44th and 1st Afro American President. How ironic he and his family will be the first Black Family to ever take up resident in the nation’s capitol infamously known as “The White House.” “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
In the 1930’s America was a segregated society where everything was separate. There were even separate water fountains and restrooms labeled for “Whites only” and less hygienic accommodations for the “Colored”. Let’s not forget back seats on buses and back entrances to public facilities. Many Blacks decided to migrate to the North. Being born and raised in California has had its benefits since here, we have been somewhat shielded from the dire profundity of racism and discrimination that permeated the deep south. Not that discrimination did not go on here, it did, and has ……. Here we have just been a tad further removed from the antagonistic discrimination which was so outwardly and blatantly, readily displayed itself in the deep south. Despite the fact America is a country made up of immigrants from all over the world. Where slavery was practiced and embraced. Where many Whites felt that they were superior to Blacks and we were perceived as inferior. To many even to be dark skinned was considered a curse. To be beaten, severely punished, raped or lynched and treated less than human was once considered acceptable behavior. The right to learn how to read and write was also denied as well as deemed illegal. Dissension, factions, immorality and discord are works of the flesh. Here is an excerpt from the article; Blacks are better off than in 1999 than in 1960 “After the Civil War, many amendments were passed in order to better represent blacks in America. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments all changed blacks’ lives drastically and positively. The 13th amendment ended slavery and the 14th declared blacks as citizens. The fifteenth amendment stated that anyone can vote, regardless of color or race. However, the South devised poll taxes and literacy tests in a successful attempt at preventing blacks from voting. But in 1964, after a sufficient number of states ratified an amendment proposed by Congress, the tables turned for blacks. The 24th amendment banned poll taxes. The voting act of 1965 banned the use of literacy tests related to voting. Voting gave blacks a say in government and helped raise the moral of blacks in America.” “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
I can personally recall from time to time watching on television the injustices broadcasted on the news and the many interruptions for special bulletin news reports as a child. I can remember the many tales of my parents and the many experiences they encountered growing up in the early 1900’s in Arkansas. I was a mere toddler when segregation in the schools legally ended in 1955, which resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that Alabama segregation laws were unconstitutional. It is during this time that Rosa parks decided not to give up her seat to a white person simply because she was so very tired. This protest resulted in Dr. Martin Luther King a Baptist Minister at the time, being ushered to the front lines as a prominent Social Leader for the Black Community. Discrimination in theaters, hotels, hospitals and public places continued on until in 1964 Congress passed a Civil Rights Act. Dr. King lead many “Peaceful Freedom Protest Marches” protesting the many injustices upon Blacks. Dr. King believed, practiced and exemplified the Fruit of God’s Spirit which is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-Control. “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
I can recall when I was in Jr. High School during the sixties, as president of my homeroom. I clearly remember having to lead the class in the “Pledge of Allegiance.” But, halfway through one particular morning, all of a sudden it dawned on me. It had become quite clear to me that it really was not “Liberty and Justice for all”. So I decided that I would silently and peacefully protest not to complete the pledge. Of course it did not go over big at all with my homeroom teacher. But it was a real awakening in my soul… One cannot help but to appreciate the far reaching magnitude of what has taken place here on November 4th 2008! It will be forever recorded in America’s History. American has resumed its intended purpose and the opportunity to provide “Liberty and Justice for All” has been forthrightly reinstated! There is no doubt that the successful election of Barak Obama was a concerted effort that included a network of people of All Colors and creeds working together. This is truly a victory for ALL people of America! He comes from a multi faceted colorful ancestral heritage that represents a multitude of people. “With God ALL things are possible.” His Word tells us “that God is not a respecter of persons…” It may be hard for the finite mind to fathom that God who is Omniscient, knew way back then, even from the very beginning of time what would be taking place today! “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”
We as Christians and as a Country have so much to be thankful for. All of God’s Word is true! Today we are living in perilous times. But despite the nations many financial hardships, declining economy, overwhelming number of businesses closing, devaluation of property, wars and rumors of wars, terrorists attacks, natural disasters, famines and earthquakes in divers places throughout the world, we can have peace knowing God is still in absolute control! Absolutely nothing gets by Him! Romans 12 tells us, “To not be conformed to the pattern of this world! But to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will…” As a professed Christian and believer it is very important to know God’s Word! To have an intimate personal relationship with HIM! The book of Romans goes on to tell us that in leadership the ability to govern diligently is a gift from God. Ultimately every authority, government and principality is under God’s authority and the headship of Jesus Christ. Colossians tells us that ” For by Him All things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible, and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and consist for Him…” Whether you believe it or not only God is Sovereign! The Bible tells us how God, delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. There are also endless true life stories in His Word of how He delivered His people from unjust rulers and countless situations that seemed impossible. “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought us.”
It is through a committed personal relationship with His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ one can truly experience necessary continued spiritual growth and development as well as His peace and freedom that surpasses the understanding of man. There are invaluable benefits knowing who you are in Christ. Today it is through God’s grace and mercy America has been delivered! It was quite evident as we all watched the hysterical excitement permeate the enormous crowds as Barak Obama was elected president. God has truly delivered America from the clutches of despair and hopelessness and ushered in a glistening glimmer of “Hope”! “Nothing is impossible with God.” In His Word He also tells us although we may be accused living among unbelievers (pagans) we must still live to please Him! God’s promise to “never leave nor forsake us” is quite true! Truly we can say “GOD BLESS AMERICA!” As Christians we must individually, collectively and corporately pray and ask God’s protection, grace, wisdom and direction to rest upon President Barak Obama , his family and his staff. As he takes upon his shoulders the awesome tasks of restoring America’s dignity, credibility and prominent visual universal position. He will encounter many land mines and obstacles. America has a tall order to fill. The 24th Psalms says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live within it…” As a country and a nation that proclaims to be “one nation under God with Liberty and Justice for ALL.” The Word says, ” With God All things are possible.” Praise be to God from whom ALL blessings flow. Praise Him ALL creatures here below… It is truly amazing ! Again “GOD BLESS AMERICA”
One can truly say “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought us.” He has delivered us from unjust rulers, slavery, oppression, and given us freedom. In America, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Yemen, and all over the world, Let Freedom Ring.
Yes, Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us. He has brought us from a mighty long ways.“But we still have a long ways to go.”
Listen/Purchase “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us” from the CD “Somebody Somewhere Was Praying For Me” by Brenda Lowe.
Christianity is much more than just a religion! It is so much more than a social club. In general, for many, religion has turned into a manufactured system where rules are dictated, regulated and policies are made. Quite often there is an ever increasing list of do’s and dont’s to conform to, which sometimes go so far as to require a staunch or restrictive dress code. To the other extreme often a very lax dress is encouraged in order to make everyone “feel” comfortable and simply “come as you are!” Rather than present oneself in a somewhat tidy respectable manner. Often actually forsaking the Power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the individual’s life from the inside out! Think about it for a moment how would you present your self if you knew that you were going to be in the company of the Queen? Certainly a balance is needed in this area.
The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Spiritual Guide and Teacher! The Word of God teaches us that true worshipers worship the Father “In Spirit and in TRUTH!” John 4.
Keep in mind that the LORD is the most HIGH GOD who desires to continually transform the lives of devoted believers and reach out to the world! Above Him is no other! Without the Lord one is disconnected and is but a wretched lost human being, living aimlessly in the flesh without promise of eternal life! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we then have purpose and are adopted into the family of God! We embark upon a life of becoming enlightened, spiritual growth and being renewed as we apply His godly principles to our own lives. The Promise of Eternal Life waits as we grow spiritually realizing that we are forever “becoming…” As long as there is breath in the body there is Hope! NEVER underestimate the POWER of the LORD! “What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
God intended for Christianity to be a daily lifestyle centered on Him! Christianity consists of the process by which we can learn the origins of man and draw closer to our Creator and Governor of the universe! We can discover more about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and commence to live life to daily please the LORD! It is the “GOOD NEWS GOSPEL!” The central tenet in the Christian Faith is our belief in JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. He actually was God incarnate within sinless human flesh. The world was spoken into existence through Jesus! He actually became the WORD wrapped in flesh! “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was with GOD from the beginning. Through HIM ALL things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In HIM was life, and that life was the LIGHT of men…” John 1. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is a definite requirement for all Christians. He reconciles us to the Most High God and gives us the gift of Salvation and the inheritance of Eternal life!
Let’s take a momentary glance into the secular perception of religion from a widely respected source. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is well known for his psychoanalytical theories, perspective on religion says:” Religious faith produces a repression of impulses and thus keeps the personality secure at the expense of honesty.” He is recognized as the father of “Psychoanalysis.” He also developed many of the concepts in *Psychology.” It is here the mind and behaviors are studied.
“Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and the logia meaning “study of.” Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics and anthropology.
Freud believed that the actual drive-oriented nature is overlooked because the aspect of human nature has long been suppressed by religion. People in their insecurity begin to look for a cosmic father in order to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Freud also believed that religious activities are rituals of compulsive behavior that are employed to temporarily ease the intense guilt feelings that are fostered by religion. Likewise Christians neurotically try to free themselves of guilt feelings by performing religious rituals. Freud also maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes infantile regression.
Much to my dismay there is a minuscule element of truth in what Freud believed in regards to religion. I do not personally embrace his theories of psychology. But many do hide behind the guise of religion. There is a tendency to project a façade where things appear to be alright. They often go along with the majority and conform in order to feel connected to their particular group but remain insecure within themselves as an individual… There is often much ambivalence and unrest in their conscious relationship to God personally. They feel distant from Him trying to fill the inner void with some of everything!
Whenever the soul is not really anchored; the philosophies in regards to the origins of man becomes a playground for answers.
Whenever GOD is not the center of religion one can regress into this sea of uncertainty. Nothing is infallible and there is much doubt as to what has already been proven to be true! What was wrong becomes right and therefore one becomes polluted by the world. The world continues to migrate further and further away from God as Creator and the principles of His Word. Many religious folks modify His Word to adjust to the current desires of society. We can learn much from the Word of God. When His principles are abandoned there is a downward shift in the overall moral standards.
The Bible does not contradict itself! The New Testament has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament! There is no other book like the Bible! It is an extraordinarily remarkable library of infallible spiritual wisdom that is inculsive of 66 books! It cannot be fully grasped by the intellectual mind alone. One must solicit the Holy Spirit to intervene and illuminate the significant meanings of its plethora of Scriptures. It is also the all time best seller! In order to not be lead astray it is important to know for yourself what the Word of God says! We as Christians believe and accept the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD by FAITH! This is why we are called “Believers.” When Christians follow the ways of the world rather than embrace the Word they usually have not actually taken the time to build an up close personal intimate “one on one” relationship with the Lord.
It is only with the Lord can one discover true “Security & Significance!” There is a tendency to encourage focusing on the outer rituals and traditions rather than to intrinsically search within to see where the true problem lies to resolve any inner conflict. The inner anxiety or unresolved issues can then become ongoing baggage that is carried throughout life producing anxiety when it is not addressed. God wants us to become whole! He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and take a stand for our rights. He wants to write His laws upon our hearts! Inner Peace can be experienced when one readily repents (turns from) any wrong behavior and moves forward… God does not want us bogged down in guilt nor shackled to any uncivilized or inappropriate behavior. He wants us to be FREE! There are very good reasons why He has said DO NOT do some things! The world says do as you please! God wants us to become disciplined! A disciple is a learner! God wants to deliver us from whatever hinders us from growing spiritually and becoming all that He created us to be He wants us to; “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul…” Matthew 11. This is why He has given us JESUS CHRIST to “SAVE” us from the power of sin reigning within our daily lives! GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!
Jesus died to take upon Himself the sins of the world and make it possible for us to become directly reconnected back to GOD! Sin had widened the abyss between God and man. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One! Jesus His only begotten Son humbled Himself to come to earth. He was completely Divine! Shaped in the image of GOD in the form of a man covered in sinless flesh, He overcame sin for us because He loved us so! Jesus bridged the gap between God and man and became the only “PERFECT” flawless example! He arose with ALL power and took away the sting of death and sin. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter! We can now go straight to GOD wherever we are at anytime. He knows everything past, present and future about everyone and everything! This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD! He can and will make a significant difference in our life! God wants and up close and personal relationship with each one of us! We were created for HIS GLORY! Now that’s LOVE!
Prayer is communication with GOD and we need to regularly spend quality time with Him! His Word tells us in I Thessalonians 5; “Pray without ceasing, give Thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is a continual mode of interacting with the Lord! We are able to consistently become aware of HIS PRESENCE! There is nowhere we can go that God is not… As the people of GOD, there must be a growing daily focus on our personal relationship with the LORD that becomes more an more natural. We are able to grow spiritually each day. God’s Church is collectively all over the world made up of a diverse multiplicity of people of all races, colors and creeds that believe His Word! Whenever are wherever we come together and assemble as His Church we will be much more effective when we have spent time with Him throughout the week! We are to apply His principles to our own lives and allow Him to guide us as He works out the kinks in our lives. Life is about becoming “perfected” which means to become completed in Him! We can invite Him into the “Messiness” of our lives! We can also worship Him more freely as we draw near to Him! Worship becomes a part of our daily lifestyle.
I truly believe that it is the intentions of many to have God’s will done in their life. The desire to please man and to be accepted often supersedes the spiritual responsibility to be led by the Spirit. This is where the conflict lies… There is much spiritual warfare to entice believers away from GOD and to keep non believers from embracing God personally and intimately! We learn in Genesis that God created us in His own image. (I don’t mean looking like Him) In essence we are spiritual and relational beings. We have been created for God’s purpose. Until we arrive at the point that helps us realize just that, we can often unconsciously create more adversity and anxiety in our lives trying to adapt and please man. This in turn can and will at times create a mental deficiency because the deep void remains. This void can be filled by many things. But they never really will quite satisfy. God has a place within us that only He can fill. Ideally speaking; did you know that if we were all following the Lord we truly would be on one accord. There would also be a lot less schisms and division within the Body of Christ!
Religion ritualistically practiced often focuses on the exterior. Encouraging others to worship in a way they deem appropriate by their denomination or non denomination at a certain time rather than ascertain a truly intimate relationship with the Lord. What do you mean? A few examples! If you are too quiet you can be perceived as standoffish and unemotional! If you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit! If you wear makeup you are being carnal… If you don’t pay tithes… If you do not wear long dresses or cover your head… If you don’t come to the service every Sunday… If you shout and pray loud you are… If you are quite emotional it can be perceived as being more spiritual… If you are… The point is worship is personal and the object of our worship should be the LORD. The wonderful thing about God is HE KNOWS ALL of our hearts! God wants you to be the best You! Conforming to be accepted can leave one with an ever greater void. The Word tells us the proper way to worship God is to be led by His Holy Spirit! Remember! “GOD is a SPIRIT and HIS worshipers must worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” John 4.
In many cases it is not said in an audible language, yet there is a penalty for not adhering to what is expected, sometimes resulting in labeling or alienation. Many are far few and in between that have truly experienced the unconditional Love that is so often spoken of. This is nothing new, way back when even the Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews differed in their concept of worship. This is why we currently in this 21st century have so many denominations and varied places of worship. It is important that your chosen place of worship does not compromise the Word of God! Know that ultimately God who is Love is really the only source of unconditional Love! He Loves us because HE is LOVE! It is in HIM you can experience TRUE LOVE, inner fulfillment and PEACE! Spend time each day growing closer to the Lord! The LORD has a purpose and plan just for you…
Life is a cavernously deep expeditious journey. It is a complex menagerie of diverse emotions, feelings, thoughts, interactions, relationships and occurrences! How long or short will each of us be here no one really knows! As we grow we encounter a multiplicity of experiences that cause us to look deeper into what life is really all about. Each day is a new opportunity to discover something new no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential! As we grow it becomes evident that there is so much more to life than meets the eye! We embark upon a remarkable quest of discovery; but where does or will it all lead? We discover that we are also spiritual beings…
How do we get to know GOD?
The spiritual journey leads us to the realization of our Creator! God the Father the Great “I AM.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is what we as adherent believers believe! (I realize that not everyone believes the same.) As we begin to relate to the Lord properly He will free us more and more from the things that misrepresent Him. As we grow spiritually our spiritual eyes are opened and we become more conscious of why we do what we do! Our conscience becomes much more sensitive to the things that are contrary to His Will and His Way! Our desire should be to live to please Him as we grow spiritually. Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuing life process! The Canonical Gospels which we know as the WORD contains a wealth of wisdom regarding the history and origins of mankind! This is why it is so important to spend time in HIS WORD! Here we are able to ascertain the invaluable, priceless and precious TRUTH!
Through a plethora of life lessons we grow! We all have areas in which we are lacking! It is within our deficiencies we can discover a need for something greater than ourselves for survival. How do we cope with life, living and the anxieties that come along with it! As we become aware the discovery of a supernatural existence greater than ourselves and the ongoing need for spiritual growth and balance becomes apparent! It is a continual learning process.
God did not create us to be or become robots. Each of us is uniquely different with varying temperaments! He has given us the free will to choose… The world also offers many choices as well. It’s important to know the difference and then choose wisely. There are both good and bad consequences for our choices. Sin is what separates us from God! God is the Creator and Maker of mankind and ultimately knows what is best for each of us. It is our choice to draw closer to Him or look to the world and society for direction. The ways of God and the ways of the world often conflict, here lies the inner conflict…
God sent us His only begotten Son; JESUS CHRIST to redeem us from the curse of sin! Sin separates us from GOD! Jesus came as an innocent babe wrapped in sinless flesh. He overcame sin in the flesh. He went through all the stages of life, yet He never sinned! He was crucified, died and was buried and then He arose with ALL POWER! He came to point us back into the right direction that once again unites us to our Creator. The Narrow Path is the Way that leads to Him! Jesus is the Door back to the Father! Jesus is the only perfect example! Living for the Lord is meant to be a way of living daily! No one knows when but the LORD is going to return for HIS CHURCH!
GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR RELIGION TO BE A CRUTCH!
Why is there so much confusion about religion! What is religion?
Religion consists of cultural views, beliefs and various systems worldwide. Religion in itself is not bad but for many it means different things. It takes on many forms depending on the particular culture! Christianity, Islam Buddhism and Hinduism are considered the four major religions. There are thousands of religions throughout the world. Within those religions are varied and diverse practices and an assortment of rituals. What, whom, why and how we choose to worship is where the problem lies. What we believe varies… We must become aware of the mixture of misconceptions in order to know what true godly religion really is according to the Word of God.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about religion: “
“The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Some religions have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.”
Technically by the worlds standard you can elect to worship just about anything. For some religion is just a commitment to an organized institutionalized system of beliefs and doctrines. The beliefs vary and often adapts and changes as the world changes…
CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION
Christianity goes beyond just being a religion. It is also the main focus within the context of this narrative! Religion is an essential important fundamental aspect of Christianity. Let’s take a look at The WORD of GOD’S definition for religion! “If any one considers him religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that GOD our FATHER accepts as PURE and FAULTLESS is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to KEEP oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1. These verses are quite self explanatory.
Christianity is a way of living, it is meant to be a daily lifestyle! Being a Christian simply means to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings! Jesus is the promised Messiah! We who are called believers, through FAITH believe the Bible to be the intrinsic infallible Word of God! Christianity is monotheistic! We believe in one GOD! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ONE! We are supposed to actually apply the principles of God’s Word to our daily lives! It is the barometer by which we determine right and wrong! Yes! It was divinely inspired by dedicated followers of God! As mentioned earlier the aspects of pure religion are explained in the Book of James! For many religion is about conforming to the beliefs of the masses without really personally taking the time to know what is actually in the Bible. Sometimes often embracing the traditions, doctrines and beliefs of a denomination over the Word of God!
GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE! It can sometimes be so simple we miss the intended message. The closer you or I draw to GOD the more we can increasingly understand the simplicity and powerfulness of HIS WORD! His Holy Spirit further opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates His Word so we can better comprehend the intended message. His Holy Spirit is the eternal inner Teacher and spiritual interpreter that reside within us as believers! To lead us to ALL TRUTH! Listen closely to what Jesus said! “I have much more to say to you, more than you can hear now bear. But when He the Spirit of TRUTH, comes He will guide you to ALL TRUTH. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it made known to you. ALL that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the SPIRIT will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16.
During Jesus’ last days on earth He talked quite candidly with His disciples. He warned them that they would be misunderstood, mistreated and persecuted. He also told them they would not be accepted by the world. But most importantly He assured them that they would not be alone! He has given us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be with us always! This is why it is so important to know HIS WORD! We can call on the LORD anytime and anywhere! Think about this for a moment; when JESUS left the earth and ascended to Heaven there was not an actual physical Christian Church as far as a building! The disciples and His followers met in homes, they knew then as we should know now that they themselves were the CHURCH! GOD’S CHURCH is universal!
GOD IS THE GIVER AND SUSTAINER OF LIFE!
GOD is LOVE! GOD is the GIVER of LIFE! We are SANCTIFIED by HIS PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT! HE has a PURPOSE and PLAN for each of HIS children! I implore and entreat you to seek HIS WORD and allow HIM to define what LIFE is ALL about for you! It is only in Him you will find the TRUE meaning of LIFE! He is “THE REASON FOR EVERY SEASON!” LIFE, begins in heaven our earthly transition commences in the womb! Conception is defined as the “process of becoming pregnant or beginning! An unborn baby has “The RIGHT to LIFE!” I BELIEVE ALL HIS WORD! What and who do you believe!
THE LORD’S WORD is so POWERFUL! If one would only seriously listen and accept HIS definitions to LOVE, LIFE, SANCTIFICATION and HIS PURPOSE! We would be in such a better place worldwide! If you ever wondered where you were before being here on earth, or who you belong to listen to the Prophet Jeremiah. “Before I FORMED you in the womb I KNEW you; Before you were BORN I SANCTIFIED you; I ORDAINED you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1
In the wonderful Book of Jeremiah the LORD confirms where life begins! Take a moment and ponder and camp on this thought! Before you were in your Mother’s womb the LORD knew you! Long before you were ever conceived! From the very beginning the enemy has tried to redefine and discount the validity of God and His WORD!
When you think on love what comes to mind? Quite often many think about what makes them feel good. What you do or do not do for them, many have an erroneous idea of what love truly means. Love often means in this case supporting wrong. Letting me do and say to you whatever I want to do. For many often that erroneous love turns to verbal, physical and emotional abuse!
God instills His Love within us. When a baby is born it readily needs to be nurtured and loved! Remember “GOD is LOVE,” GOD is eternal HIS LOVE LASTS FOREVER! In HIS WORD you will see the manifestation of His Love all throughout His WORD! GOD IS THE ULTIMATE FATHER! Whenever you think on terms of loving someone think about what God has to say and what He does! He never supports them in ANYTHING that goes against HIS WORD. No different from NOW in Corinth the people had become mixed up about LOVE! Many were confused spiritually blind and very carnal… What does GOD say about LOVE ?
In I Corinthians Paul describes true LOVE!
“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 is the GIVER and Sustainer of Life! In the very beginning God said “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.” He gave them HIS breath of life! It is through this union of man and woman coming together that He designed more life to come forth! We were created for GOD’S GLORY!
Sanctification is the process of when one who grows in the DIVINE Grace and Knowledge of the LORD, due to accepting Jesus Christ as LORD! You are set apart for GOD! As a believer, a Christian, a child of God we should embrace the sanctity of life! It is a fundamental principle of God’s WORD! There is an incredible story in the Bible, when Mary was pregnant with Jesus. John the Baptist leaped in the womb of his mother Elizabeth just being in the presence of JESUS who was still in the womb of His mother Mary. Listen to what the Word says :
“For you created my inmost 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 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 ordained for me were written in YOUR BOOK before one of them came to be…” Psalms 139
Abortion is not of God!! It is the way of the world! Abortion is not only about death it is about LIFE! GOD is the GIVER and SUSTAINER of LIFE! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may HAVE LIFE, and have it more abundantly…” John 10 JESUS is the GOOD SHEPHERD ! He came and laid down HIS life so we could have a rich full balanced life!
What has been done cannot be undone! But you can start wherever you are going forth in the LORD! Know HIS WORD for yourself! Women who have had abortions are in need of inner healing. God is a loving forgiving God! Great is HIS LOVE for us! Repentance opens the door for restoration! Open your heart to the Lord. When you really give your heart to Him! He will fill that void. Don’t continue to use sex, manipulation or anything else to get your way. Begin to seek Him above all else and learn His WAY! I assure you In Him you will find the “security and significance” that is only found in Him! In Him you will find your purpose! Great is GOD’S FAITHFULNESS!
Abortion goes against the WORD of the Lord! It is easier to think of a precious baby, an unborn infant as a mere fetus in order to justify abortion. Remember, the baby feels and what you eat and drink they do too!“The TRUTH sets you FREE!” Remember GOD knows the TRUTH! So let’s be TRUTHFUL ABORTION is murder! If you believe it or not it’s so! What we say, think or do, does not change or alter what GOD has said is so. We are finite and GOD is OMNISICIENT meaning ALL KNOWING. If only we would listen to Him? Man continues as from the very beginning to be deceived by the devil. GOD IS A GOD OF LIGHT!!! Many discount, pervert and attempt to redefine what GOD has said in order to justify and manipulate getting their own way! The scriptures tells you that in the long run it never works! We are accountable to God for what we do or do not do!
God has a plan for each of His children from the very beginning and life is about discovering Him and living out that PURPOSE. Purpose is what gives life meaning! We on the other hand have to accept JESUS CHRIST as our personal SAVIOR to SAVE us from being overcome by the wickedness and the darkness that wants to dim and extinguish the LIGHT that the LORD wants to shine through us! God not only creates life, HE Blesses it! JESUS went through many things for us! HIS PROMISES ARE ALL TRUE! It ALL continues to work out for our GOOD when HE is in control of our LIVES!!!
Here is a story about an unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas who is 21 weeks old still in his mother’s womb: Baby Samuel’s Mom, Julie Armas is an obstetrics nurse who was told that her child has Spina Bifida! Spina Bifida is a very serious debilitating birth defect that causes a split spine. It causes the spinal cord to stick out; if not repaired it can cause a plethora of problems… His Doctor, Dr. Bruner is the operating surgeon. Keep in mind Samuel’s mom Julie had already suffered through two previous miscarriages!
It is during a C-section a small incision is made in order to do the surgery! As the surgery was completing baby Samuel reaches his little hand out and grasps the finger of the amazing Dr. Bruner! Dr. Bruner says that this was the most emotional moment of his life! He was stunned and immobilized! This is what is going on in this photograph above! Samuel’s mother Julie cried tears of Joy for days! Samuel was born completely healthy and the surgery was 100% successful! The picture speaks for itself! God is AWESOME!!!
President Jimmy Carter & Women in Ministry
I am once again happy to see that President Jimmy Carter is in the news. But not for his political views. At least not concerning the U.S. Government. But his views as far as the Church are concerned. He has been a member of the Southern Baptist for many decades. After (60) sixty years he has taken an adamant , publicly visible stand and decided to part company. He does not subscribe to many of their doctrinal beliefs.
There is a belief among the leadership of the Southern Baptist clergy that women are to be restricted and forbidden to be ordained. They in fact believe that our position as women is to basically appease our husbands, be subservient and attend to the non leadership issues that arise as a subordinate. I have always found this interesting. I have in the past regularly attended their services. But have always been concerned with this very issue. As women you can participate in the “Women’s Ministry” teach Sunday School, work with the youth , usher, talk about the Lord but you cannot become an ordained minister.
I find this so very interesting because this does not only exist in the Southern Baptist it existed among the Traditional Baptist as well where we attended FAITHFULLY and generouly supported for many years. It has changed among Baptist somewhat in some places. But there is a definite discrimination that takes place I know this firsthand. To keep women in their place or else. You can be a Minister at home? The C.M.E. Methodist have allowed women to the forefront because they are losing ground and dwindling in numbers. They allow women to become ordained but are still quite controlling. The male clergy in general tend to be very ritualistic, condescending and dominating they allow women to participate by doing the things they deem appropiate.
Is it not God that calls us or anyone for that matter to ministry? Is He not “a respecter of persons?” The Word says “He will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh.” Male or female! Did not the Lord use a donkey to speak to Balaam his prophet who was overcome by his love for the world and money? Balaam according to the Word taught Balak “to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality…” ( See Revelations 2) Balaam allowed himself to be used by baal and caused 24,000 people to be killed. The point is; The Lord can use whomever He pleases. Certainly if the Lord used a donkey to warn his prophet of his sudden death if he continued to proceed; He can use women inside or outside of the walls? I could go on but my point is God never intended for the Church to just be housed in a building of brick and mortar. The building is a dedicated place to come to gather or assemble! God’s Church is the Universal Church of believers who are people throughout the world from every tongue and nation.
I can testify first hand to the underhanded discrimination and outright mistreatment of women within the Church that President Jimmy Carter is standing “UP” for! If you choose to participate then you must subject yourself to the whims of the “man in charge!” Who makes it clear that it is his call and vision you serve? I have personally found it to be true what President Carter stated in his essay
“At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.”
And, later said
“The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. “
When I finished Seminary there was no women being ordained in ministry within our congregation. You could teach Sunday School, be a clerk, become a Trustee, or sing in the choir, or be a Deaconess? There was only one ordained female minister in the whole entire city that I knew of at the time. She had at one time been the choir director but was not allowed to sit in the pulpit were we worshipped whenever she returned to visit. It has changed to some degree. But many of the same chauvinistic issues are still there. It was not out in the open most of the time for all to see. I was just blacklisted and overlooked and labeled. Hmm like jealous, unyielding, wanting to be… as well as unteachable, self serving and …. which is so far from the Truth!
To some degree a few of my supposed “sisters” in the Lord were used to oppress me and make sure I was limited since I did not bow to the authority to the “man in charge.” They were used as examples to me and show me what was possible if I went along with the head. But they could do as they pleased because they would do whatever it took even if it included … Of course I could participate in the “Women’s Ministry.” And yes many would seek me for counseling still. But there was a definite unspoken no to limit me in ministry. So I calmly protested silently. Instead I opted to support my own husband within the ministry and just made a point to Worship and Praise the Lord in “Spirit and in TRUTH.” They were vigilante in their efforts to isolate and discredit me. No doubt my husband was also penalized within ministry because of my position. I can boldly say I have acquired much Patience and have great Peace knowing that the Lord knows my sincere intentions as well as the TRUTH!
After I graduated seminary I was ordained by the University’s Chancellor who confirmed my call. Who too wanted me to support him and just become his assistant. Therefore my husband and I continued to attend were we worshipped for a while faithfully and eventually founded and embraced the concept of “Ministry Beyond The Walls.” It is so true “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is LIBERTY.” I say this because I know first hand. I have lived it! But through it all my fervor, steadfastness, personal and public love for the Lord and devotion has grown tremendously! I can truly say I love the Lord more each day. Their oppressiveness just showed me where I did not want to be. I even tried to support those who wanted to participate in the “Center Stage ” of it all. (That is another story in itself) I also realize that once we ALL have completed this course of life we will have to give an account to the Lord for our actions. Praise God!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter for taking such a noble Stand. As a woman I hold ALL of the Lord’s Word dear to my heart. Inside and outside the walls. I can say that I love being “His child” and a Minister of His GOSPEL! No need to sit in a high chair. I Peter says; “… For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Wives , likewise, be submissive to your own hubands, that even if some do not obey the WORD, they without a word,may ne won over by the conduct of the wives, when they Observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear…”
I love this scripture because I know who my Shepherd is. “The Lord is My SHEPHERD!” I have no problem with authority! I have no problem with submitting when it does not go against the Lord ‘s Word as well as obeying the laws of the land! If you read the passage of scripture in I PETER slowly again it says to be subject to your own husband not everyone else’s! Think about that for a moment. When Peter refers to us as the “weaker” vessel this is not at all to infer that we are weaker Spiritually. Ephesians assures us “We can be Strong in the Lord and the Power of HIS…..”
The Bible speaks of the women as the “weaker” vessel because we are built differently and naturally tend to be more emotional. I love being a woman and all it entails! If you listen closely you will see that this is a position of STRENGTH as we embrace self control we are able to do this through His Holy Spirit! When a husband does not obey the Lord you can win him over… Without even speaking if need be. The husband prayers are hindered when he mistreats his wife… Read this passage slowly and again if necessary. This is Powerful! By the way this does not mean using manipulation! God truly is awesome!
We live in a nation and a world that is constantly shifting away from God’s principles and many within God’s Church have enlisted and embraced worldly ways, concepts and methods in their attempts to control and dominate God’s people! Lord Help US!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter because he has brought an issue to the Light that many skirt or avoid. The question for Carter — and for others who find themselves at odds with leadership — is, when a group you’re deeply involved in starts to move away from your own core beliefs, do you stay and try to change from within or, at some point, do you have to look for the exit?
This is the question that each individual must deal with it may be considered spiritual suicide to go against the ideology of an organized religion. But when you really think about it this is how and why we have so many denominations! Some things will just not be understood on this side of HEAVEN! Protesting by sitting down or moving away from oppression can help you move closer to a growing rewarding inner satisfying relationship with the Lord. It frees you to live each and every day for the Lord! Especially when you know that Christ is not coming back for a church made by hands. But He is coming back for HIS CHURCH! Because according to the Lord’s Word there is still “One Lord, One Faith … and One Church which by the way belongs to Him! To GOD Be The GLORY!
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!