Living in this audacious, adventurous 21st century with all its technological advances has its advantages. You can keep the lines of communication open or stay in constant contact with anyone at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. You can call, talk, track or text message when you have the right GPS system, computer, cell phone, Ipod, tv, blue tooth ear piece, Nintendo DSI, mobile devices or some other…
On the other hand it is hard for some to just “be” in the moment, because they are always texting and calling someone else while in your presence. Their attention is divided between you and somewhere or someone else? The quality of time spent is usually minimized. They have a hard time just being in the moment or giving their undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”. Having the capability to be accessible is great. But I believe it is really getting out of hand
Oprah Winfrey recently dedicated a whole television show to the perils of America’s newest “OBSESSION” = texting while driving! Did you know that when you text or use a cell phone while driving you significantly increase the chances of having an accident? It is the equivalent of having 4 drinks while driving! You are driving with a decreased attention span. It is called “Distracted Driving! ” You are not only putting your life in jeopardy but the lives of many others as well! The show is inclusive of many who have experienced the consequences of someone using a cell phone while driving. The statistics of the many casualties are mesmerizing and alarming!
Here are 5 things you can do to help you stop using your phone while you are driving, which can save your life as well as the lives of others.
1. Practice how to “be” in the moment, giving your undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”.
2. Have some “rules of etiquette” honored, and accountability exercised when alone,in public, or in the presence of others concerning using your phone to make calls or send text messages. These rules should be practiced while driving as well.
3. Do you have teens? Sextexting is also becoming a growing trend among teens. Keep the lines of communication open with them in other ways. It is crucial and beneficial to make sure that you take the time to spend quality time with them without a television, computer, cell phone, I pod, CD player, blue tooth ear piece or some other distraction… Just maybe you or they won’t feel the need to call or text while driving, and not sextext at all.
4. Designate your car as a ‘”NO PHONE ZONE!” as requested by Oprah Winfrey. Watch the show and Take The Pledge This Can Save Your Life
5. Honor your pledge and make your car a “No Phone Zone” while driving.
Where Does God Dwell?
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We in America have a freedom that you just don’t find in the rest of the world. We have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to live and go where and when we please. But most importantly we have the freedom to worship. There are many types of worship services but there is only one true God. The only way to worship Him is in spirit and truth. On a recent trip to Athens Greece and Istanbul Turkey I was able to see some of the world’s most exquisite architecture. Turkey is a country that is 95% Moslem. In Turkey there is the renowned Haggia Sophia Cathedral. It was built for the Christian community to reflect the beauty that Solomon’s Temple once beheld. In spite of its elaborate intricate handiwork full of gold mosaic tiles, marble and brick walls, it is now a museum. It also contains various artifacts derived from Greek mythology and its continence is a shadow of it’s once intended purpose. Ironically across from it is the beautiful Sultanahmet mosque. Its known as the Blue mosque due to an extravagant array of blue mosaic tiles. Adorned with its intricate splendor and statueous marble columns and stained glass windows. It is scrupulously maintained and it is a place of worship for the Moslem community. Turkey is full of ornately designed mosques and Mohammed is whom they worship.
Words cannot express my gratitude to God for the things my eyes have beheld. The scriptures continuously came to my mind as I walked through the Haggia Sophia. “God does not dwell in a temple made by hands”. “That God is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle.” There is absolutely no doubt in my mind to the unmerited grace the Lord has bestowed upon us.
The one thing the tour guide who was of Moslem decent (in Turkey along with our guide we were required to have a Turkish guide as well) said that stuck with me was “why would a powerful God allow His Temple to turn into a museum?” My point is God is so gracious and kind that He allows us so much freedom. He even gives us the freedom to choose who or what we want to worship. When I lift up Holy Hands, to Him and Him only my heart is eternally grateful. It is by His grace and His grace alone are we saved. God is truly worthy of all the PRAISE!
In Turkey is the city of Ephesus. There are miles and miles of ruins. Original artifacts, columns etc. and remains to testify to the fact Ephesus existed. To this day approximately only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is still currently under excavation. Primitive hand tools are used in order to preserve whatever archeological finds are uncovered. Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. Just look at God! Despite the fact Turkey is a Moslem country Ephesus remains a monument to Christians of God’s eternal presence, grace and mercy. My most invigorating moments were spent in Athens Greece. We walked up the steep incline to the Acropolis saturated with aged columns made of marble. The Parthenon and majestic ruins were filled with slippery marble laden paths.
The highlight of our trip was when I observed my husband climb “Mars Hill”. In a foreign country one must be cautious. After my husband determined that it was safe I too climbed the hill and we both joyously praised GOD! This is the infamous Mars Hill that the Apostle Paul speaks about in the book of Acts give you a marvelous panoramic view. When we first approached Mars Hill there was a woman preaching. I found this to be quite interesting because years before when I was called to ministry a woman being a minister was not readily accepted. This was confirmation just how good GOD truly is. I was sure of the call on my life to minister but I was also very sure that I did not have to be restricted to the doctrines of a denomination but to the “Word of God!” Acts tells us “And it will come to pass in the last days saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Paul spoke concerning an altar with an inscription representing the unknown god on Mars Hill. That unknown God is the God I love, worship and adore. The only true and living God. The GREAT “I AM!” Mars Hill today is in a magnificent open place. High above Athens for all to see. (I will forever cherish what it felt like sitting there and praising God for all He has done!) It’s walls and canopy are the blue firmament that God Himself spoke into existence through the Word. That Word is Jesus Christ wrapped in flesh. Who sacrificed His life for the sins of the entire world!
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God. Glory! Glory! His truth is marching on!
“The earth truly is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” There is not a place that can be built that can contain the fullness of His majestic awesomeness. The early church had no building they met in homes. We have dedicated our home to be a place where God’s way prevails. The heart of each of His Children is where His true Church abides. There is nothing wrong with a church made by hands. But the focal point should not be a hierarchy laden with cliques, clichés, how do we pay our bills programs and solemn auxiliaries; a mere shadow of what God originally intended.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” We should praise Him in song, word and deeds. We are not saved by works. But our works display our faith. Our main focus should be to cultivate and environment where God receives the preeminence. It is God’s Word and His power that will draw men and change their lives when we spread His Gospel. Whether it be via T.V., radio, internet, song or the spoken word. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
The “Nobody’s Perfect” Club
The longer I live the more I realize how utterly important it is to develop an intimate personal relationship with the Lord. I am told that when a teller is trained in the banking industry they are taught how to recognize the authenticity of currency. Therefore whenever a counterfeit bill is passed they are able to recognize it.
Things do not always look as they appear.
We live in a real world that is full of systems of deception. Many things have been created to distract us from the genuine purpose of life. As a believer our purpose is or should be to glorify God. Without the Holy Spirit as your navigator you will get towed right along. This deception has further infiltrated His Church. It beckons those who are willing to make excuses for their shortcomings, to excuse self-gratification as a mere attribute to mankind’s imperfections. To immorally satisfy the carnal appetite to all who are willing to submit to the well “Nobody’s Perfect Club.” It teach you although “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” He doesn’t really know how to bless His children. Because he intends for them to stay dependent on anything and everybody until they leave this world. Although they don’t believe blessings are just material, spiritual growth and development is optional. I warn you this will only enslave you to a life dependent upon sin.
We really miss the point. You see God doesn’t force us to embrace His Word. He allows us to choose. Christianity is supposed to be an everyday lifestyle. Instead many often choose to justify a life were sin abounds. This gives unlimited privileges in the “Nobody’s Perfect Club.”
The “Nobody’s Perfect Club” allows easy access to unlimited excuses. It has a plethora of earthly benefits. You can live any way you want, say anything you want, little or no study required. Listening to an occasional sermon or lecture may be required to help you with attendance kudos. Listening not really required just as long as you say amen when it gets too quiet. Just make sure you do all the social actitivities inside and out side of the Church you enjoy. O by the wall just some any kind of way you are comfortable. Afterall what does it matter since no one is perfect. You may even receive a B.A. (born again) if you don’t rock the boat. That gives you a license to indulge yourself. After all “nobody’s perfect.”
LORD HELP US!
One caution, you may be persecuted or covertly disfellowshipped if you decide to “study to show thyself approved unto God…” Please if you have accepted “Christ as your personal Savior” allow Him to work in your life. Allow Him to activate His Holy Spirit within your daily life. Leet Him make ivaluable spiritual deposits to your eternal account that yields a harvest of blessings. If you have not accepted Him “accept Him NOW.” Ask Him into your life this very moment. It will be a journey like no other. If you have grown slack in your commitment (to His principles activated in your life) recommit!
God created us to live a life pleasing in His sight. Life is not a movie and Church is not a scene. Although it’s full of actors, it’s serious business. God really does know. Please bear with me. You see I have been in church all my life. But I still can’t quite grasp why many really don’t believe. God really does hear all and see all every where in this world He created. If we did it would eliminate a lot of the charades. You see “seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness” will really add all you need in this life. What do you mean? The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew really contains a wealth of knowledge. Jesus discusses a multiplicity of issues. Those same issues are prevalent today.
Keep in mind when you really make up your mind to live for the Lord much spiritual warfare will rise up against you. Much of it comes from those who should know you better. It also comes from “spiritul wickedness in high places” Don’t be alarmed but instead TRUST GOD! You see everyday really is a GIFT from the LORD. NO one can make a day but HIM. Absolutely nothing comes our way that the LORD is not aware of. I assure you that GOD is more than able to keep you! FAITH is the key! It is very important to KNOW GOD & HIS WORD for yourself. “TRUST in the LORD with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL make your path straight!” Proverbs 3
Personal spiritual training is important. This way whenever or wherever you gather together with the rest of His CHurch you will be better prepared. I recommend spending time in the Word of God daily. Not in a religious wrote way. But seeking to discover the infinite treasure of the Lord’s Spiritual Wisdom. It is the only Living Word given to man. It is “A Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our Path!” Psalm 119 We are accountable to God for our actions. It is important to know that He will never direct us to do anything that goes against His Word!
We are living in some interesting times when some of everything is going. Nothing is not longer sacred to many. Ask God to daily enlighten you and open your spiritual eyes.
Taking time to develop an ongoing up close and personal relationship with the LORD is the most important thing that you can ever do! “Jesus Christ is the Way the Truth & The Life.” He came to earth to restore us and extinguish the enmity that satan placed between God and man. His Holy Spirit is available 24/7 to help us. The WORD of God contains invaluable instructions. It gives marvelous examples to help us from falling prey to non-biblical half true teachings. It even tells us how “Jesus’ blood can cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God does not have to manipulate anyone. He allows us the freedom to choose. You can live your life however you want. but know that there are consequences for our choices. You can live the way of the world or God’s way.
The majority in the church is you and Jesus. If you don’t stand for Jesus you will fall for anything. His WORD will equip you to know truth from error. His Holy Spirit will sharpen your discernment! Remember that bank currency I talked about. Don’t seek the approval of man over the approval of God. God knows were we are coming from. It is important to take God’s Word seriously. He will equip you to do whatever it is that He has created you to do. Always remember it is a “Walk of Faith”
Jesus stresses the importance of God’s way being the best way. Don’t allow anyone to make withdrawals from your spiritual account. (By the way nobody is perfect! ) Don’t use excuses, rather embrace self discipline. Draw closer to the Lord because you never know what a day may bring. But you can strive for the perfection in the Lord. LIVE TO PLEASE GOD! He wants to manifest and multiply the Fruit of His Spirit within us. He also wants us to be aware and daily grow in His Marvelous Grace! He teaches us in HIS WORD! “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.“ Matthew 5 God would not tell us to do something that He would not Help us to do.
“May He give you the desire of your heart, and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when we re victorious and will lift our banners in the Name of our God.
May the Lord grant all you requests. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed He answers him from His holy Heaven with the POWER of His Right Hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but WE TRUST in the NAME of the LORD our GOD…” PSALM 20
BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!
Jesus gave His Life so we could live victoriously in Him. The power of His blood yields spiritual dividends for those who call and trust Him as Savior and Lord. O what’s a wonderful Savior? He can help us from the power of sin reigning within our lives. Don’t relinquish spiritual deposits only God can provide, for membership in the “Nobody’s Perfect Club”.
What does it take to be a Strong Woman ?
Within the context of the Bible there are many women who lived exemplary lives under strenuous conditions. They exude an excellent strength that allowed them to still keep their femininity enact yet be quite forceful. They continued to grow spiritually and make their mark in the world. With God you can become a godly woman at any point in your life it is never too late! For example; Miriam worked faithfully along side of her brothers Moses and Aaron. Rahab a harlot; gave up her promiscuous life to help the spies of peace and all that was in her household were saved! Esther through driven tenacity her perseverance under insurmountable odds saved her people. Deborah a wise judge, who the people came to for direction, led men into battle and helped to victoriously win that battle. Jael, in fact actually defeated Sisera the commander of that army. It was the women who remained at the cross when Jesus was crucified and it was the women who were the first to bring the “Good News” that Jesus had risen and was alive!
In order to know God personally a woman must have an ongoing relationship with Him! This involves commitment to His Word as well as times of stillness and solitude. Occasionally flicking through the pages of the Bible and pulling out a scripture or two will not do. You need to take time to develop your relationship! This will spare you much heartache! God knows right where you are; and He Loves you! One must commit to develop quiet time with Him in order to contemplate and digest His Word and apply it to your life. It is at this time, as a woman you are able to develop a keen sense of who you are in Christ and then commit to living by the Truth of His Word. Yes, we live in the world and are to interact, socialize and fellowship with one another. But in order to grow in His wisdom, grace and knowledge you must learn spiritual boundaries!
Being a strong godly woman is inclusive of many things. It takes a strong woman to organize and efficiently run a household or a business. To create an environment that is inclusive of spiritual development, positive healthy family dynamics and fun and enjoyable activities for the family, friends or workers to engage in and enjoy! There is a vast array of pursuits for a woman nowadays. Many have too often put aside God and conformed to the world’s ways. You cannot change anything that has happened. But you can begin to go forward with the Lord now! No matter how old you are God has a place and a plan for you! Many ask can a woman do it all or have it all? Hmmm That all depends. What do you mean by ALL! With God you have everything you will ever need. HE will provide a path for you to do the things He has in His will for you. One must surrender to Him! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Each of us have been created with varying temperaments, all of us having both strengths and weaknesses. Spiritual growth naturally happens as you abide in Him! He has given us an inner Guide, His precious Holy Spirit! What is so wonderful about God, He says: “My Grace is sufficient for you, for MY strength is made perfect in weakness.”
What really is important in life is when the day is over and the stillness of night is upon you, are you content? Do you feel that you are moving towards fulfilling your life’s destination? We all are quite different, what works for one may not work for another. But God’s principles apply to all of us! Have you experienced the JOY that only comes from knowing the Lord! Yes, you love your spouse, family, friends and….. But as a women of God you praise, worship and adore the Lord as well “ He gets Center priority!” God has a void in all of us only He can fill! You can become “like a tree that is planted by the rivers,” you can stand strong when you are rooted in Him! Bad things do happen to good people! But, you are able to go through with Him and help others to go through as well. Persecutions, trials and tribulations are a part of life. They stretch us! But, one can be of good cheer! There comes a Peace from knowing that Jesus has overcome the world for us!
Traveling is a wonderful experience that can expose you to different lifestyles and cultures. It will help to broaden your perspective and give you valuable insight. Realizing that everywhere you go God is with you, you become more aware of and appreciate His marvelous handiwork all about you! Today, one can travel and communicate all over the world and never leave their home or office. Our world is going through many transitions. “The grass is not always greener on the other side.” True security and significance can really only be found in the Lord! Commit to being the same person you are at Church at home, school and at work. Begin to be real with God! Everything you will every want or need is possible through Him! You do not have to become dull or uninteresting or give up having fun. Quite the contrary! You can age gracefully always striving to be the “BEST YOU,” No one can be a better you than you! God has created each one of us with a plan and purpose in mind. It is a choice to pursue it His way, do your own thing or the world’s way!
At some point you may need to perhaps take time and get away from it all. It is important from time to time to take a personal inventory to see just where you are in your walk with the Lord! You can also just set aside some quiet time “To BE STILL and KNOW” and do so as well! Ask yourself? Are you growing spiritually? Are you bogged down by the pressures of life? Are you consumed with everyone else’s life and don’t have one of your own? Have you simply gotten into a ritualistic rut? Are you on a fast track that is taking you to a destination that someone else wants you on or designed for you?
Are you faithfully keeping the embers burning in your marriage? Singles are you staying close to the Lord until …? Are you at peace or are you constantly stressed? Are you being the “Best You?” I realize that there are many things going on in life. It can be overwhelming with all the “stuff” going on about us in the world! To some degree we all have been impacted. But you have to make a point to not let it get you down. Nor to just roll along and let life happen. If it has or before it does, change your focus. Shift your focus to God give Him His place in your life! Don’t let life just pass you by and not find some time to enjoy it. God our Father, Creator and Maker really does have it all under His control!
Spending quality time with God will help point you in the right direction. It will do wonders for your prayer life. Prayer is not always verbal. Praying without ceasing is a cognizant state of mind, of God’s Omnipresence. Prayer is communicating with God, prayer involves listening! Pray for your spouse! Pray for your children, family and friends! Pray for your desired future spouse? Pray for our government and this world! As a woman of God eternal life is an absolute certainty. “For It is by grace you have been saved, through FAITH and this is not of yourselves. It is a GIFT from GOD not of works.” Ephesians 2 The Word of God has power to strengthen and renew your mind. Knowing, believing and implementing His Word daily in your life is key. Your emotions and actions CAN be transformed by the power of His precious Holy Spirit! God does have a purpose and plan for you! With God at your side you can be a Loving, Strong woman of God. This is a lifelong process and we are “forever becoming!”
WHAT I LEARNED FROM MICHAEL JACKSON
I attentively and assiduously watched the Memorial services for Michael Jackson, along with my husband. It has been reported that over more than (1) one billion people collectively watched from all around the world from more than (160) one hundred & sixty or more countries. It was both inspiring and enlightening. I experienced a torrent of emotions. It brought tears to my eyes many times. I could relate to a degree, because over the last several years we together have seen so many close relatives pass on to the other side. Of those many both of our mothers passed on just seven months apart, from one another. This made the Memorial even more so thought provoking. I have much PEACE knowing without a doubt that both our Mother’s are now again with the Lord!
I conscientiously listened and engaged with each of those who really knew Michael Jackson as they shared their poignant expressions of him. They shared how Michael was a loving, kind, gentle, giving man, talented and such a funny person. This was deeply embedded in their many heartfelt as well as amusing expressions. Magic Johnson even shared a humorous moment of when he found out how Michael liked Kentucky fried chicken. I was glad that they showed the personable private side of his life. He was presented an honored by a government representative officially praising him for his many “Deeds” and exonerating him of his innocence… This is the reason why we have Memorials? We the viewers & fans really only know about Michael from afar. A lot of the news, accusations and innuendos we hear are nested in a slew of propaganda.
I have gradually acquired much more compassion for Michael because he was a mere child that had to grow up in the limelight, center stage, in front of the world. Children have a great need to develop an inner healthy homeostasis. This is what helps them have a balanced sense of self. They can usually read our emotions. Children have a basic need to be loved, accepted and understood. Michael unselfishly relinquished the majority if not all of his own childhood for the sake and financial gain of many. By doing so he took care of and provided for his family, friends, business associates, doctors, lawyers, household staff and many, many others as well as supporting numerous charities. This is an enormous responsibility for such a young boy to shoulder.
I realize that Michael was a victim of much emotional, verbal and physical abuse. This explains his shyness and insecurity… Michael has been said to have lived an isolated life. I believe he needed to be protected from some of those who should have protected him. Those who were on his payroll……. Due to his multiplicity of talents people naturally drew to him. I am sure that there were those who were genuinely concerned for his wellbeing. No doubt His mother for one… But I also believe that he was greatly taken advantage of by those who saw him as a resource or reservoir for their own wealth rather than a person.
I truly believe that Michael was intuitive and realized this; this is one of the reasons why he surrounded himself with
children. He made it possible for a lot of those children to realize their dreams. It is through his brilliant, ingenuous technique, smooth showmanship, graceful agility, and ponderous of the wonderful myriad of breathtaking performances, his childlike freedom would shine through. It is during this time I believe he could momentarily rise above his haunting inner pain. There is no doubt that He gave us his all; whenever he performed it was magnificently magical.
Michael generously shared his multiplicity of gifts and talents with the world at large! This opened a whole new dimension for the entertainment world; that crossed all racial, economic, social, color and age barriers. Giving credit where it is due; this current generation and those to come as well have and will continue to greatly benefit from those doors Michael opened. He created and carved out a space of his own on this side of heaven. Michael took entertaining to an innovatively new level! He gave of his life sustaining essence. I personally think he is truly worthy of the title “All Time Best Entertainer!”
I do not condone wrong behavior in anyone, myself included. The TRUTH is told Michael was acquitted by a jury of any and all charges that were ever filed against him. He was declared “INNOCENT”! Yet, those accusations will always hover like a latent virus. Is this why he is treated as guilty? He still had to live under public scrutiny, an ambivalent shadow of enormous criticism, mockery and continual harassment… No doubt there were those who took advantage of him. There were also those who surrounded him lurking, who wanted to seize any opportunity to elevate themselves at his expense. All of this came along with the fame, notoriety and celebrity status he attained.
Prior to the actual Memorial’s commencement Smokey Robinson shared telegrams from Nelson Mandela & Diana Ross. This was followed by a noted quiet silence throughout the arena. Even the News media was silent!
This was a rare moment, A TRIBUTE in itself!
During Michael’s Memorial those who knew him gave us a very insightful, lingering perspective. It was a once in a lifetime Star studded Memorial an A-List of professional participants, yet, they too momentarily were succumbed by their emotions; Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, John Mayer and Stevie Wonder. All were emotionally arrested, causing a softening of their tributes and renditions in song, yet powerfully emitting the sensitivity of how they truly were in awe and how much respect they felt. Michael indeed is a Legend in his own right.
Queen Latifah spoke candidly and boldly as she fondly reminisced and read a powerful poetic tribute from Maya Angelou. Michael’s abrupt passing has greatly impacted as well as caught many off guard!
Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy shared their respect, love and appreciation of Michael as well as humorous moments. Jermaine his older brother’s rendition of Michael’s favorite song “Smile” was ironically expressed in a harlequinly manner that so touched the hearts of many. No doubt he was overwhelmed by the passing of his brother yet rose to the occasion. It was said to be he was Michael’s support and somewhat backbone…
It was Brooke Shields, Al Sharpton and his brokenhearted, loving daughter Paris that gave us a true inside glimpse of who he REALLY was… A most memorable touching moment as the family surrounded daughter Paris as she gave honor to her father Michael as the “Best father Ever!” and was willingly, readily and humbly comforted by Janet Jackson her aunt. Who is a STAR in her own right! During the finale as a TRIBUTE, all Michael’s siblings gathered on stage in unison with many others… No family exists without disagreements from time to time. I solicit the prayers of the Christian Community for Michaels’s family that is so much in the public view! Many pressures abound during their days of mourning. I learned that Michael Jackson loved his children and family, esteems and holds his Mother Katherine dearly and they love him and he lives on in their hearts… Yes of course his fans love him too, but from a distance, to them he is really an “Icon.”
One must know that there was little or no room for alone time, privacy or a sense of normalcy for Michael Jackson as a celebrity for security purposes. He could not go out to the grocery store, drive freely about, come and go as he pleased, take a walk publicly or perhaps even attend to his personal needs without someone abreast … So how could he without the assistance of someone, do some or any of the things that he was accused of ? Therefore if you must, one should also condemn his security agents, those who were around him constantly and those who brought, gave and anesthetized and or administered the alleged plethora of “prescription medications” as well. Who are they? Were they not aware of the consequences and side effects … Michael was not a doctor. He was a son, a brother, a friend, a father and a world class entertainer. In fact, my opinion “The Best Entertainer Ever!”
I learned from Michael Jackson’s death that no matter how much you do, for some people it will never be enough. No matter whom you are, nor how much you give. Some people would remember the negative things. Michael not only gave of himself, his time and resources; I learned that Michael Jackson is in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving more than any other Pop Star. Those who really know you will remain faithful. Love continues through eternity.
I BELIEVE, the most important relationship that any of us can have is to know and be connected to our Creator, Maker and Lord through a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. It is so important to know Him personally as well as His WORD! Jesus was that WORD wrapped in flesh! The beauty about His plan of SALVATION; that it is not contingent on who we are! But because of what He has done! Once we accept JESUS CHRIST as our SAVIOR and LORD, we are given the gift of ETERNAL LIFE! Romans 11 says “That if YOU CONFESS with your mouth, JESUS is LORD, and BELIEVE in your HEART that GOD raised HIM from the dead, thou shat be SAVED…” This is where our true security and significance lies.
God knows all about each one of us from the moment of conception and has a unique purpose for each one of us to fulfill and when that time is over we who are His children return to Him. You just never know how short or long that time may be? So live life to its fullest in His presence! The most important audience is an audience of ONE; meaning in front of Him! ”GOD is LOVE”, It is through Him we learn what is really most important! I know even more so NOW that how so very important it is to live your life to please GOD rather than man! Because no matter what you have or don’t have when it is all said and done that is what really matters most. Michael no longer has to … But I am sure there is much more to come. My thoughts, concerns, well wishes and prayers are with Michael’s children, his Mother and family. May YOU Rest in Peace Michael Jackson!
“KING OF POP”
Michael Jackson “The King of Pop” has completed his journey on this side of Heaven. He has astonished us all by abruptly and so very surprisingly unexpectedly passing on… But not without much fanfare and noteworthy celebrating. Scores, gathering at the famous Apollo Theater and even in Times Square as well as a myriad of venues all around the globe. The news has been saturated with millions of his fans in a mesmerized chorus, ambivalent and simultaneously grieving and celebrating his life! I was taken by surprised when I first heard the news he was taken to the hospital and was not breathing. Waiting along with my husband and with the rest of the world for an update; there was this haunting foreboding , sensitive feeling that the consequence would be dismal and dire. As I waited I became more and more apprehensive awaiting the outcome.
As I waited I began to think about his children, his life and his family his fans. Who was with him? What really happened? Why aren’t they saying… Finally the Results: A cardiac arrest in his home. His Doctor was with him and now the rumors again abound…
I could only supposedly presume what his family might be feeling now? Although over the last few years too many of my own close relatives have passed on, some abruptly unexpectedly as well. But at least I / we were able to privately mourn. Their distraught moments of grief, alarm and concern communally exposed. Unexplainable shock and unanticipated despair all right in public view! Few if any moments of privacy! “Lights, camera, action!” There is often an ominous price one pays for fame. Your life becomes open to much criticism, scrutiny and much misinterpretation of one’s actions. In a sense you become a recognizable target for all living in a “glass house” of sorts. Michael Jackson has touched the lives of many. He has contributed immensely to the wealth, careers and livelihood of many. There will be an ongoing reveal as to just how many that is? Quincy Jones says” he has lost his little brother.” Remember Michael Jackson’s lyrics and all the stars and participants in the “We are the World” project?
I have grown up parallellely distant with Michael as millions of others have. He no doubt has touched the lives of many. He lit up the television screen! I remember how he was this cute little smiling dancing machine with the biggest little Afro! He could not only sing, but danced regally and glided majestically across the stage as no one his age had before. The incredible thing was that the “Jackson Five” were a family. Michael was the seventh (7) child in his family. Not just any family but a Black family of Color from Gary Indiana of all places?
The lyrics in many of his “Jackson Five” songs were simple and wholesome. You could relate to the words as well as the beat. ABC, I Want You Back, The Love You Save and I’ll Be There … Your parents could also too tolerate the unobtrusive rhythmic pulsating cadence that caused one to “bob” their head and hum right along. Michael’s solo career speedily climbed with a loudening universal crescendo! Michael no doubt has deservedly earned and owned an iconic symbol status!
He has inspired the creativity of thousands! He has been a singing mogul, choreographer, step arranger, writer, producer an all out genius! Many of the moves and dance routines you see NOW by many of the top performers, male and female, young and old as well as this current generation have originated from Michael! There are few ever, in a lifetime who have accomplished the type of unique, magical, effervescent presence that Michael exuded. Michael Jackson was not only a gifted, talented artist, producer and dancer but he also patented a pair of shoes that helped dancers to be able to lean much farther. Let’s not forget his famous “Moonwalk”! No doubt he was if not the best one of the few “All Time Best Entertainer?”
Michael Jackson’s passing should cause great concern to all? How could this happen? How could he be given massive doses of? How could those about him not be held responsible too? The Word of God is so true when it says “life is but a vapor.” One moment you are here and then you are gone… I am sure that a maze of legal complexities are on the horizon? But I believe that we should keep in mind that Michael Jackson was a son, a brother, a man, a father and a believer. He was a person who had a quiet, humble gracefulness that emanated a magnetic universal quality that drew the masses! His world wide recognition forbade him to live any sense of a normal life therefore idiosyncrasies abounded. But let’s not reduce his life to that. I believe we should applaud him for all the good he has done and will continue to do although he has passed on to the other side. His brilliant light shone as he entertained us robustly, robotically, vigorously and effortlessly shared himself with the world!
Here is that statement that was released by the Jackson Family:
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated to a point, where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.
“We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you — who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever.”
Joe Jackson, Michael’s father, added his own message to the statement that read:
“My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson.”
Michael Jackson recorded ten studio albums, he many times over has reached platinum status and His “Thriller” album is the number one all time greatest popular favorite. He contributed immensely to charitable causes and so much more… He currently had sold out status for his upcoming 50 tours abroad in London….
Regardless of what others say or think there are few that have accomplished and did what Michael Jackson has done. I believe that his legacy will eventually outride any bad press he receives. In spite of any of the allegations that have ever been made. One must remember that Michael was acquitted legally. He was found NOT GUILTY! If there was any inkling of validity one must also penalize the massive support regime of employees that always surrounded him. It is clear that he was accompanied by an entourage. So if in doubt, please allow him some dignity for all he accomplished in this side of HEAVEN! His life should be remembered for the legacy it was and will continue to be as “THE KING OF POP”! The timing of it all is so intriguing especially when the world has been impacted so, by our country’s recession. Momentarily Michael Jackson’s passing has dominated the current world events and ushered in a “Time of Remembrances!” Therefore I say REST in PEACE My sentiments and condolence is with his children, Prince, Paris and Blanket and the Jackson Family!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, life coach and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do,” and just released her second book “Holy Matrimony: Now That You’re Married”.
DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches “Beyond The Walls”. There are times when we all need some encouragement in our walk with the Lord. The Counseling Ministry was designed to encourage, motivate and uplift you in your journey. The Music Ministry produces and records music for every musical taste: Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Praise & Worship, Instrumental Gospel/Jazz, and Easy Listening.
Life REALLY Does Have A Purpose
Does your life have purpose? Do you really feel that you have a meaningful existence? Are you truly happy? Do you continue to recycle old habits? Have you really ever thought about why you are here? Or are you just passing the time away with no particular goal in mind? Are you bogged down in your career? Did you know people leave and enter this place everyday? Are there some things that you want to change? The Bible tells us life is but a vapor. Meaning that life is fleeting. It is an ephemeral existence that ends with you merely going into either of two possible directions. Contrary to what some believe there is no purgatory. No in between place that suspends you invisibly existing between Heaven and hell. Did you know that there are some that don’t even believe in hell?
Life does have a definite purpose! It was created for a purpose. You have been created for a purpose! This cosign we know as the world was definitely created by the One true and living God. The Great “I AM” He is Alpha and Omega. Meaning He is the beginning and the end. The Bible adamantly states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. The word Genesis itself means in the Greek beginning!
The Bible initially records the beginning of the earth and the heavens and its contents. It even records the first institution that God made and that is the family! The Bible starts with God not some philosophical argument. It does not commence by attempting neither to explain nor to justify God’s existence! God is sovereign! Every man has been given a measure of faith. It is through this faith we must unequivocally accept its entire truth. The Bible was divinely inspired by God. Although it was transcribed by the hands of man. It is the only infallible Biblia in the entire World which consists of 66 Books. Within its pages the mystery and purpose of life is revealed! It’s meaning and contents are revealed to us through the illumination of His divine and Holy Spirit. Through Him was the earth spoke into existence! Jesus is the “WORD”. To further affirm this let’s look at John 1-5.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”.
There was nothing that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. What power! He even took upon Himself a body of flesh to conquer sin in the flesh for us! To encourage us by being a living example. Did you know you don’t have to live your life controlled by sin? You see it was through Adam and Eve that sin entered into the world. But it is only through Jesus Christ we can enter into His kingdom of heaven. He is the door! “HE IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! Christ lived a sinless life, was crucified, died and then buried. After three days He arose from the grave. He arose wirh all power! He then ascended into heaven after being seen by many witnesses. It is through the power of His resurrection we are redeemed. This is the reason why we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. His Holy Spirit resides within to become our Guide through life’s many challenges as well as celebrations.
Once we accept Jesus we embark upon an eternal wonderful spiritual journey. He extends this invitation to all who are willing to accept Him. We need Him to save us from the power of sin in our life! Did you know we become heirs and joint heirs in His many bountiful blessings? He allows us to choose Him. We have inherited the freedom to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies! Yes, we still will encounter many challenges in life. But we can trust the Creator of life who has promised to never leave nor forsake us to be there for us! Therefore in Him you can have confidence. This is why His Word is so important. It is our road map to life. to encourage, enlighten, convict and direct us. To help us grow and develop spiritually.
Perhaps you are skeptical? You are what some call agnostic. You don’t really believe in anything. Perhaps you have a “said faith?” Meaning you just say you believe. But stop right there. You go through life basically conforming and adapting to whatever… Perhaps you are one of those who believe there really is not a hell. Believe it or not; one way or the other you must come to grips with His infallible truth. At one time or another according to His Word; “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord”. I believe His Word! this is why we who profess to be Christians are called “believers!”
If you want to discover what the real purpose of life is I invite you to sincerely get into His Word. It has withstood the test of time. He has given us example after example. What happens when you are obedient and what happens when you are disobedient. He has provided a plethora of wisdom. Demonstration after demonstrations as to how one can be successful!
We must continually pray for Him to open our understanding and seek His guidance. Stop dibbling and dabbling in a life with no real substance. There is a void only He can fill. No matter how much or little you might have it is only temporary! When you leave earth it will still be right here. Our purpose goes far beyond the here and now. It goes through eternity to somewhere? Stop just going to church. (Or not going to church). Know that we all who are believers are the true Church. When or where we come together it is supposed to be to worship, edify and praise Him and fellowship and bring others to Christ! Make up your mind today to walk with God daily! Begin to walk in faith by the magnificent power of His resurrection. Ask the Lord to help you begin to respectfully and sincerely desire to know how to truly “Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!” It is here you will find your purpose!
Did you know that God’s will is always what is best for us? Think of Him of the “PERFECT ULTIMATE FATHER” God is always willing to show us His will! We just have to get better at listening. If you truly believe declare your home as a place where God is welcomed. Begin to worship Him sincerely! Start treating your body as His “temple”. After all it is or is it? Stop defiling it with profanity, lying, covetousness, envy, infidelity, drugs, alcohol, overeating, undereating …….. Stop just listening to His Word! Begin a spiritual cleansing by digesting His Word! As long as we are here on this side of heaven there is always room for much improvement. We are “Forever becoming.” Did you know He’s really coming back for His true Church? Better yet ask yourself if the world were to end today are you certain of your destiny?
You see heaven is not a place “you just try to make it in”. It is not a place where you can personally schedule your desired arrival time. Consciously make a sincere effort to daily surrender to His will in your life. Repent! Then really move forward. Begin to live each day as though He might return. Know without a doubt you have chosen the final eternal habitation reserved expressively for His children. Commence to really seek Him first!
God is so patient with all of us. He gives us the freedom to choose. Stop being so absorbed in the things of this life and immerse yourself in His WORD. Take some time to look around you and see that our world is in the midst of much chaos. Our economy is dreadful, our ……. But there is always HOPE with the Lord! This will help you to view life differently. He will provide everything and whatever else it is you need and so much more! It is only in God you will find the true peace, contentment and joy that surpasses the understanding of man! It is only in Him you will truly discover what life is really all about. The true purpose of life is to discover who He has created you to be! You have been uniquely created to be the “best You” that you could possibly be. But, without a meaningful spiritual relationship with Him you will never reach your full potential. With Him you will discover that LIFE REALLY DOES have a PURPOSE!
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!