Monday, December 5, 2016

IT'S ALL IN THE GUMBO, Questions From My Sisters, Part Three

Taste and see that the Lord
is good...(Ps. 34:8)
We're  having  sho nuff gumbo weather in my neck of the woods!  How about where you are?  No doubt you're busy getting ready for Christmas and making plans to lose those extra pounds this time of year brings, but I hope you take a moment to to do some soul searching before we get into 2017!!  Hold your hand up if you're planning a Better You for the New Year!

I certainly am and that's why I've been particularly concerned about the two questions I asked you to think about from last week's blog:

1.  Women couldn't come together and elect a woman president.  How can we unite in church to achieve God's goals?

2.  What can we do about "cyber" bullying on Facebook, Twitter and other mediums?


This whole idea of sisterhood and our lack of unity was mentioned several times in our Sistah Talk fellowship! Why IS it we can't bond with one another in a genuine way?  I mean really value and commit to nurturing the best in each other without the pettiness and competitiveness that so often comes to play?  And then too, when our sisterhood relations fail, why must we play it all out so dramatically on social media?

If you see my point, the two questions really relate to one another don't they?

First, let me give a shout out to the sisters who can boast of treasured, long lasting, sisterhood relations that have stood the test of time--they REALLY do exist!  I've a got a few myself and they are oh so precious to me!

But for those who've told me that you've been burnt, back stabbed, two-timed, mean-mouthed, and abused in Sister Friendships, especially on Social media let's see if we can get to the root of some of it!

1.  Sisters can't give you what they don't have! If your Sister Friend doesn't feel good about herself, does not value or cherish herself, she's not going to be able to value you or your relationship! Use wisdom in choosing those you would call close friends.  Take time to really know them, their character and the place you want them to have in your life,  Maybe they should be only casual or social acquaintances.

2. Don't expect more from a Sister relationship than what a healthy relationship can offer.  Your  Sister Friend is not your man! Respect boundaries and her right to have other relations, other interests!  What you interpret as lack of support and the elusive, she's changed phenomena (what  the heck does that  mean any way?), could be nothing more than the need for some personal space for self reflection or spiritual renewal...we all need it, even married folks!

3.  Practice giving more than you receive. Speak first, give genuine compliments, keep conversations  positive and if possible face-to-face NOT TWITTER OR FACEBOOK!  Always leave with a word of encouragement!  This is especially important when it appears to be non-reciprocal. You'll leave the interaction feeling better and with the knowledge that you did what was right.  The rest is on them!

4.  Instead of judging actions, ask God to help you become more discerning of the cause(s) that could be behind the actions!  Our dear sisters may be suffering from one of these FATAL DISTRACTIONS:  PRIDE, ANGER, FEAR, JEALOUSY, and INSECURITY!  
 (A Bible Study Series shared recently at  Grace Place- Tuesdays, 6am, 12pm, 12am, check it out for future studies: Dial  712-432-1212, Mtg ID: 354-432-328#)

Until we as Christian Sisters really address these deep issues in ourselves and commit to becoming emotionally healthy, our Sister Friend Relations and Ministry Missions will continue to suffer.   If you're wondering whether these tips are appropriate for church relationships, they absolutely are! 

 People don't change their attitudes, emotions, or behaviors just because they are at church! LET'S PRAY THAT 2017 will bring as Radical of a Change Among Christians, as the  2016 Presidential Election is making in America today!  GOD IS ABLE to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask, think or imagine according to the power that is at work within us... (Ephes. 3:20-21)

UNTIL NEXT TIME....


If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.

Monday, November 28, 2016

IT'S ALL IN THE GUMBO, Questions From My Sisters, Part Two


Taste and see that the
Lord is good...(Ps. 34:8)
Hello Readers, If you've been checking in regu-larly, you know I'm doing a series on life questions generated by attendees of our women's min-istry's Sistah Talk a couple of weeks ago. 

 Two questions were under consideration in last week's blog:

1.  How do you stay married when the love is gone?

2.  Christian dating and Celibacy (Is this out of the question today?)



Both of these by all accounts can be very, very complex! Regarding the first...NO two marriages are alike! Briefly, here's what Christian counselors advise (and I can personally vouch for!)  Marriage has more to do with COMMITMENT than what the world calls LOVE these days!

 Every marriage has its seasons or stages that shift and change intermittently the longer you are in it! It is unrealistic to think that things will always stay the same and at the same level--there's just too many variables.   Also, one  must understand from the biblical perspective that there are different kinds of love:  Eros (passion and lust); Phileo (brotherly platonic); Storge (family and friendship) and Agape (unconditional--seeing beyond faults).

 For Christians, the goal should always be AGAPE, the same kind Christ shows His children ( I Corinthians 13).  This is the long-lasting, sustaining (when the fire goes out) kind of love that grows into a strong and secure relationship.  Agape takes the vital elements of Eros and Phileo and matures it into an intimate bond that can withstand just about anything--even physical death! So the love the poser is talking about may not have gone away..but has likely morphed into another stage.  Good news is that with Agape love and a little intentionality on their part it could be as good or better than what she is now desiring!! 

Question two:  Christian dating and celibacy--the impossible dream????  Now, here's my wake up call from Sistah Talk:  Our Young Adult panelist schooled us to the fact that the dynamics of dating for young people are way different than in older saints' day!  They now have the capability through social media, to pick, choose, and then hook-up with little fanfare if all are in agreement! I took that to mean sexually or non-sexually! 

Admittedly, the pressure for Christian singles of all ages to remain celibate gets tough, but it's a lie from the pit of hell, that it's impossible to do so!  Even if you are not inclined to follow biblical wisdom, from a practical standpoint --sex outside of marriage doesn't make sense!  Disease, unwanted births, added financial burdens, and the stress of parenting without the emotional support needed for both parent and child are only a few drawbacks!  And then too, where's that love, commitment and responsibility that God requires of us in any relationship?  (Micah 6:8) No! it's not out of the question just a sacrifice that proves  transformation rather conformation to the world!  You worship God with your body! (Romans 12:1-2) It's best to find out before you're too far into a relationship if the person you're dating believes you and God are worth the sacrifice!

Here's Two More for you to think about this week:


1.  Women couldn't come together and elect a woman president.
 How can we unite in church to achieve God's goals?

2.  What can we do about "cyber" bullying on Facebook, Twitter and other mediums?


(Again, I do welcome your input so follow the instruction in "red" below)

UNTIL NEXT TIME....

If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.



Monday, November 21, 2016

IT'S ALL IN THE GUMBO: Questions from My Sisters, Part One


Taste and see that the
 Lord is good...(Ps. 34:8)
What a fantastic weekend I just had with my sisters! Not my bio siblings mind you but my spiritual sisters!!  The women's ministry of my church sponsored our last fellowship of the year and I have to say, we went out with a bang!  Good food, Good talk, and Good company all the way around!

Once or twice a year we have something called, Sistah Talk! It's an opportunity for women of all ages and life experiences to Chew and Chat about what's bugging us!  In a relaxing, no holds barred atmosphere, we do some real talk about issues affecting our lives.  The bible and the collective wisdom of our older and younger sisters are called upon to give us food for thought and unique spiritual insights to help us out!

King Solomon once said, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9).  We simply say...No
 matter where you've been or what you're going through...It's all in the Gumbo (of life)!  Let God and some testimony of  godly women show you how He'll work it all out in your favor! (Rom. 8:28).  

Four fantastic women were our panelists for the day. They provided just the right seasoning for our Spiritual Gumbo!  Of different ages and in different places in their lives, we  benefitted from the wisdom of an older saint, bible student, and great grandmother; the counsel of a pastor's wife and  professional woman juggling marriage, family, and the rigors of ministry; the vibrancy of a spicy, young adult still trying to figure it out, and a poised and confident teen on the cusp of adulthood to give us a fresh perspective on it all!

The questions entertained covered roughy these general areas: Marriage and Family;  Sister to Sister Relationships; Single and Teen Life; and  How to Remain Significant through the aging process.  With topics like this you know we couldn't cover it all in the limited time we had this weekend. 

 That's why for the next couple of weeks, I will be blogging the Questions and the Biblical and Practical Answers for them all.  Check them out and while you're at it, Why not give me your thoughts on two that came up this weekend!

1.  How do you stay married when the love is gone?

2.  Christian dating and Celibacy (Is this out of the question today?)



UNTIL NEXT TIME....

If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.




Monday, November 14, 2016

BACK IN THE FIRE!!!!

Pray without ceasing. (I Thess. 5:17)
It's been almost a week now and I'm still having a problem putting the name Trump in the same sentence with President of the United States!  I say this with no bitterness or sarcasm, it just has not resonated with me yet!  Still, I know it is a reality and I must, I will move on!

My pastor has done a wonderful job helping us look past all this election upheaval and seeing the matter through the eyes of God!  This too is my prayer for any of you who are still dealing with this outcome from a deep, emotional place.  I've seen the tears; the shock of unbelief; the bitter words dripping from the lips of the disappointed mixed with fear and trepidation.  Yet verily, I say unto you who are Christians.....we've got a greater work ahead of us!  THE WORK OF PRAYER!

This may sound redundant to some of you!  Haven't Christians always been called to pray?  Yes this is true...but have we really given it the seriousness that is needed?  The sacrifice and work that it surely requires? Prayer meetings are still the least attended in the traditional black church!  How many times have we moved beyond our own selfishness:  Lord, bless me, you, and only these two! Or this one: If you just get me out of this mess, I promise, I'll do better!

Well, here we are!  We've got a wonderful opportunity to repent and get it right! (Acts 3:19-Repent then, turn to God, so your sins  may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord...) The recent events of our nation has put us Back In The Fire!   PRAYER FIRE!The human divide that we've just witnessed is much deeper than Republicans against Democrats.  It's deeper than White against Blacks and Latinos.  Even greater than our Genders issues! It has divided Christians and that cannot be! (Mark 3:25 - If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand)

As Christians we have a Clarion Call to pray not only for the country's healing but also for our elected officials, whoever they may be. White Evangelicals and the Black Church have not always had an easy history, but if hearts and souls are right before God, we are united in Christ! (Gal. 3:26-28- For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.)

I cannot yet see all the good that will come from Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States but I believe there must be something! Because the Bible promises me this: All things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Let's Consider These Possibilities:
  • If Donald Trump who claims Christianity is Not Saved, that through the influence and witness of Mike Pence who currently show these values, he and his family will become Saved.
  • With Republicans now in charge of the Senate and the House of Representatives, that the conviction and the power of the Holy Spirit will prick hearts and minds to pass legislation and appoint earthly judges that will uphold true biblical mandates.
  • That men and women  everywhere and in every house: Houses of government, Houses of Prayers, Your house and My house are so motivated toward righteousness that they will get back to living what we dared to print on our money--IN GOD WE TRUST!
  • And, when man fails us again (which he will) that as Christians, we will have done what Jesus in the beginning told us to do:  PRAY, THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN !

UNTIL NEXT TIME....

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Monday, October 31, 2016

A CRISIS OF LEADERSHIP!

 When the righteous thrive, the people
rejoice, when the wicked rule, the 
people groan. (Prov. 29:2)

Election day is two weeks away and I'm still not sure how I will cast my vote! There's just no clear choice if you're a Christian! With all the  ugliness of this year's presidential campaigning (name calling, personal attacks, and blatant disrespect) and the future of family values at stake;  it makes you want to just pack it in and say forget it!  This time I'll just stay home!  But I hope you don't!

Now, more than ever we should vote! It's hard to believe that only a generation ago, people were martyred just to give us that right!  Still, I'm feeling you....we are definitely in a crisis of leadership!  Remove that term from its socialistic roots;  set it in the context of today's political scenario, and you'll find there are still many similarities.  Just different players and a different country!

Here are a few voting strategies that Christians  are leaning toward:  1.  Choose the lesser of two evils. (Not crazy about either one but vote to keep the one I hate  most out of office)  2.  Write in the name of a candidate. (Jesus sounds good!)   3. Vote for a Third party candidate (Basically opt to throw your vote away because they rarely win) 4.  Don't vote at all!

Let me give you some insight on each.  Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil!  (James 1:13) I think we can agree that no candidate is completely flawless.  As one pastor said, unless Jesus is on the ballot, we all are going to vote for an imperfect man or woman!  Our moral dilemma hinges on voting for the one we think would do the greater good or try to stop the one who might do the most harm!  Here's the kicker... you have no guarantee that a politician will do what he/she says they will do once they get in office any way and there's never going to be a candidate you agree with on everything!

Writing in a candidate.  This sounds a bit like using  a Get out of Jail Free card!  I'm relieved of a guilty conscience and still considered a good citizen because I've participated in the political process! But if no thought or prayer is given to the importance of this decision where does wisdom and accountability for acting in accordance to God's will come into play? (I Cor. 10:31)

Voting for the Third Party candidate.  Not a bad choice, if they actually stand for something that you value and consider a priority. So many times because they lack the resources or the media exposure, their platform is hard to  discern.  Hey, I'm all for the under dog but they still have to have substance if I'm going to vote for them.

Don't vote at all.  Now this is really tempting! The Democrats pledge support for some issues that I know are not in God's will!  While Republicans say they are religiously conservative,  yet violate continuously, two principles that defy God's Word!  Like the Pharisees in Jesus' day they lack sensitivity to the human condition: Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and your neighbor as yourself  which is the greatest of all the commandments (a paraphrase of Matthew 22:37-38).  And they use fear mongering to push their agenda.  2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given Christians a spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind.  

 Both parties show a lack of character, wisdom and, humility because they exclude God from their agendas and will give Him no credit for any future success! I love this quote by Tony Evans:  
God does not ride on the backs of an Elephant or a Donkey!  As difficult as it is, WE STILL NEED TO VOTE!  WHY?  Because we are God's Servants to do His will here on earth! (Romans 6:16, 22)

Listen we don't know who God will allow to take the presidency!  That's not even our problem!  Romans 14 reminds us that there is no authority that exist that God does not allow!  And those whom He does allow are His servants! (Now won't they be surprised!) As for us we must accept God's will however He makes that decision!  It may be for our blessing!  Our it may be for our judgement! Still we must be obedient!   

This is my caution to you my Sisters!  Pray, Pray, Pray before puling that lever, Ask not Who I should vote for, but how you should vote that will best accomplish God's will for this time!
Max Lucado says:  Our strategy as a church is to remind people of the power of prayer. Prayer moves God, and God moves nations. Our first and foremost responsibility is to PRAY! 

UNTIL NEXT TIME....

If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.









Monday, October 10, 2016

DEATH OF A NATION!

When the foundations are
being destroyed, what can the
righteous do? (Ps. 11:3)
This past Friday, a highly publicized movie, Birth of A Nation, hit the theaters.  Even with all the controversy surrounding it; it is expected to do well!  I certainly hope it does.  If you think it is any thing like D.W. Griffith's 1915 movie by the same name you are  mistaken! But the latter will give you valuable insight as to what writer, director, and star, Nate Parker is trying to expose about America today--not a lot has changed.

As a history buff of sorts, I can't get enough of seeing the Black American experience portrayed and shared with people of all ethnicities! Yet, I'm still appalled at the ignorance that prevails about  color and race contextually among my own people!  But hey, that's not what I want to talk about here!

Our nation is dying!  Our Christian foundation crumbling under our feet!  Loss of biblical values; decline in morals; a failing economy, unemploy-ment, and government corruption! And along with it, a general lack of respect shown for human life and dignity!

The people in Flint, Michigan still can't drink the water! Crime and violence continues against the innocent and instead of trying to find solutions; the powers that be are blame shifting; taking pot shots at political opponents, and exposing their filthy personal lives!

What's Killing America? 
  • Greed and a culture of excess passed down generationally.  We're giving our children too much, too soon without proper guidance in stewardship. America's addiction to money and materialism creates exploitation and crime at all levels as evidenced throughout our society.
  • Assertion of rights with no boundaries. Beyond human rights that speak to assuring basic needs for everyone,  minors rebelling against parental authority can now emancipate themselves.   Sexual preferences overshadow biblical mandates of decency and fringe groups of every kind violate individual freedoms under the guise of constitutional liberties. 
  • Erosion of Morality and Ethics- Anything goes.  Character no longer counts in America.  As long as you are considered successful, skillful, and/or effective in maintaining a lifestyle of affluence, you can pretty much do anything to anyone and have it accepted by the majority. 
  • Self  Sufficiency, the attitude that I don't need any one, not even God.  This kind of pride, sets us up for  divine judgement now and in the future.  Because God has blessed America so bountifully in the past and we have been lauded for such; we've gotten the notion that God had nothing to do with it! We did it on our own.  This sin of ingratitude and our lack of repentance gives God ample opportunity to show us hat He's still in charge! Thus, we see problems that no system, bureau, or forum made by man can solve! 
This is only a partial list.  David asked this question in Psalms 11:3: When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? 

 First of all we do not panic!  I love this commentary note from The Life Application Bible on this verse:  When the foundations are shaking and you wish you could hide, remember that God's still in control.  His power is not diminished by any turn of events.

Secondly, stand firm, put on the whole armor and somehow find a way to share God's peace, joy and love with everyone, giving them a reason for the hope that still lies within us. ( I Peter 3:15) 

Thirdly, return to your bible roots for godly living in your home, neighborhood, and workplace.  Turn off the electronics and incorporate prayer, Bible reading, Sunday School and Bible Study in your weekly routine.  Talk about what's happening in the world with your family. Be intentional about parenting, and problem solving from a Biblical perspective. 

We're about four weeks away from the U.S. Presidential Election! Some believe that many of the nation's woes will be healed depending on who gets elected!  It won't!!  God is the only Remedy for a dying nation!  Get back to His original plan!  Rebuild the Foundation!



UNTIL NEXT TIME....

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Monday, September 26, 2016

WHEN GOD INTERRUPTS YOUR PLANS!

"In his heart man plans his course
but the Lord determines his steps"
(Prov. 16:9)
"We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you this important announcement!"

Sound familiar? And why does it always come right at the good part of the show?  I can see you now, talking to the T.V., moaning, groaning and complaining.  But one thing cannot be denied...the announcer got your attention! For a brief moment, your mind was focused on one thing...what's coming next! 

No doubt we feel the same way when God interrupts our neatly devised plans!  Whether it be a quiet hour or two with a favorite movie or T.V. series; a trip you've dreamed about and saved for; or dreaded news, like sickness or death...God has a right to interrupt our plans!! 

This is not a statement that I've found peace with easily but through spiritual wisdom and experience have learned to accept.  Even as I write this blog, interruptions have occurred.   Yet, I've treated each one  as a reminder from God that life is not always about me and what I want!  What I have on my schedule may not be on His agenda!  Every once in awhile, I need to stop and find out what God is trying to teach me!

Case in point.  Earlier this week, I saw an episode of The Steve Harvey Show, where NBA star, Magic  Johnson and his wife, Cookie was interviewed.  I figured it was one of those celebrity publicity gigs to promote a book or something... it was.  But, it intrigued me.  I knew Cookie was a professed Christian and I often wondered how her faith got her through Magic's HIV crisis and more recently, her son coming out gay!  Talking about Holy Interruptions!

Later while watching another show, there  was Cookie again, this time by herself, scheduled for one of those pseudo-spiritual talks with Oprah, on Super Soul Sunday.   Knowing how eclectic  Oprah's spirituality can get (still haven't figured out her true spiritual foundation), I was curious as to whether Sister Cookie would stay committed to her faith...she was!

Oprah, as you know is a skillful interviewer, digging deeper perhaps than most guests would like.  Yet, there was no way she could get around it. For all the Holy interruptions in her life: Magic's unfaithfulness; a HIV health scare that threatened her life and the life of her unborn child, her son's homosexual life style, she refused to give credit to anyone BUT God for getting her through.

Time and time again I heard her mention boldly without hesitation the core of our faith: Praise,  Prayer, God's Word, and God's Sovereign Grace! It made me think how much we could and should learn about those times when God interrupts our plans!

1.  First, acknowledge that He is our Awesome Creator - He can do what He wants, when He wants and however He wants (Rom. 9:21) Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

2.  Second, when we surrender our lives to Christ, our bodies are not our own (I Cor. 6:19) 
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in  you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own:

3. Third, in your planning always prepare your heart for God's intervention (James 4:14-15)
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.

4.  Fourth, refuse to give up on your faith, even if things don't work out the way you want. He is still worthy of our praise. (Job 13:15) Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.

 5.  Lastly, by His grace you can make it with prayer and perseverance because it's all good! Romans 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

UNTIL NEXT TIME....

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

GRACE DRUNK!...Living Under the Influence

"Do not be drunk with wine.."
Eph. 5:18
Hello Readers,  it's been a couple of weeks since my last post but give me a moment and I'll explain why!  You see, I (along with about 150 women) have been on six-week Love Binge!!!

Yep! oh tee-totaler me (one who never drinks) have imbibed with sheer abandonment, sipped every ounce of the spiritual fruit of the vine served, and am now living under the influence of God's Amazing Grace!

I just concluded a wonderful bible study by Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love.  I read this book many years ago and instantly fell in love with it!  Since then I've read three different books by different authors on the Doctrine of Grace and studied it in several formats!  But this time it was different!  

Maybe because of the season of life that I'm in! Perhaps because I had faithful sisters doing the study with me! Or maybe by the Grace of God, it was just time to make some powerful changes in my perspective, attitude, and behaviors! This study is doing all that for me and I have a feeling it is doing something similar in others.

The book of Ephesians is one of those books in the New Testament that you keep going back to over and over again!  I know that there is rarely a week that goes by that my devotionals don't point me there for some serious reflection.  Because I've never been a drinker of alcohol, It was easy for me to just cruise over this admonition by Paul in Ephesians 5:18, "And do not get drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (NIV) Drunkenness wasn't my vice you see! I've never had the desire to be under the influence of anything or anyone....UNTIL NOW!

It is in verses 19-21 that made all the difference to me: "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."  Until you've done the study it might be a bit hard to explain because Grace is like that!

It's  often uncomfortable, confusing, seemingly unfair and makes you do some down right crazy things like: loving people you don't even like; give money away when you can't pay your rent, work hard to serve people who don't even appreciate it! But you do stuff like that when you're GRACE DRUNK, under the influence of God's undeserving Love!  Take a look again at these verses from Ephesians 5: 

Vs. 19 - When you're Grace drunk you'll start talking to yourself! Speak to one another (and yourself) with gracious songs of peace love, unity, and joy to the Lord! Your tongue gets right!

Vs. 20 - When you're Grace drunk you learn to be thankful! Even the difficult circumstances and people in your life, because you know God's loving kindness is going to see you through it all.

Vs 21 - When you're Grace drunk pride is replaced by humbleness! God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (I Peter 5:5-6) You learn to give a little bit in some circumstances, because you choose to be joyful rather than to be right!!!

So my dears, the next time one of your friends invite you out for a drink, surprise them with a bit of new bubbly,  It's called the Fruit of the Spirit:  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control!   LIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GRACE!



UNTIL NEXT TIME....

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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Divine Exchange!!

God made Him who had no
sin to be sin for us...(2 Cor. 5:21)
When's the last time you've had the occasion to exchange something at the store?  Perhaps thinking back you recall standing in the long service desk line, receipt and item in hand hoping that what you really wanted is in stock and in the desired size and color!

No matter how courteous the clerk, going through the process is STILL a big pain!! (Returns require you to have not only the receipt for the purchased item, but show I.D. ; fill out paper work and sign)  The whole deal has cost you something!  Your time, gas, change in plans or at the very least, a bit of irritation!   Rarely if ever can you say when it's done that you got a perfectly good deal from it all!

Yet, there is an exchange you can opt for that you actually get more out of it, than what you started with!  It is one in which you trade Death for Eternal life!!  Theologians  call it Imputation.  I like to think of it as,  The Divine Exchange!   You bring your old sinful life to God in repentance and He gives you the righteousness (holiness) of Christ!

In shopping language (the language most women thoroughly understand) without any means to pay for this wonderful Gift of Salvation, God credits the entire cost  (Christ's holiness) to the believer's account and charges our debt (sin) to Christ! ( Romans 3:24-26) Both parties are fully satisfied!  We never receive a bill but reap all the benefits of the Gift.  The only thing you need to do is  Believe that it is so!  Now that's a good deal!!

If you are a Believer, it is easy to take this exchange for granted.  We sing the song, Amazing Grace, but do you really know just how Amazing it truly is?  Take some time to read the following and praise Him anew.  If you're Not a Believer consider how you might try this new Fail Safe plan: 

A SUMMARY OF GOD'S PLAN FOR REDEMPTION (How Man Gets Right with God!) 

--It is  God's I-DEA, no other plan will work (Rom. 3:25)

--God I-NITIATES the first move.  Only in Christianity does God come to man to offer peace!
  (John 3:16-17)

--God chooses the I-DEAL sacrifice.  Sin MUST be paid for (Rom. 6:26) What price does God require? Only Perfection!! (Heb. 9:14 and 10:14)

Did you notice the boldface "I's" above?  Man has nothing to do with it! That's a good thing, because any other exchange you'd try for Peace with God would fail!  Not your good deeds, moral living, church attendance, or charitable donations would be nearly enough.

Why not bring those fleeting feel-good moments of  False Spirituality to the Cross of Christ for a Sure-fire, confidence of a life of freedom and eternal security! No Lines and No Receipts Needed....Everything is PAID IN FULL!


UNTIL NEXT TIME....

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

DECLARING BANKRUPTCY BUT LIVING IN PROSPERITY!

"...and all our righteousness is as
filthy rags...(Isaiah 64:6)
Bankruptcy!  Who wants to ever hear that word?  It denotes failure, insur-mountable debt, insol-vency, and in many cases financial ruin!  Yet it's a word all too common now a days with the economy and the volatility of health and job situations.

I'm from a generation in which there was a shame that haunted you, if you couldn't pay your bills.  That's not necessarily true in our current society! The reasons for filing vary and are often  not preventable.

Notwithstanding, for some, it's a perfectly legitimate way to get over a financial hump and in many cases get a fresh start. Even with its drawbacks, the outcome for a few people have been quite lucrative.

Still, I'm not here to discuss your finances.  I want to tell you  about another kind of bankruptcy.  One that has an eternal effect!  You can't bounce back from this one and it doesn't matter if you can pay your bills here or not, because the debt you owe can only be resolved in one way...through faith in Jesus Christ...IT'S THE DEBT OF SIN! 

Spiritual Bankruptcy is a term that regular church goers hear quite frequently but may not really know what it mean! I say that because many confuse it with those uncomfortable ranges of emotions or feelings of disconnection we get sometimes in our Spiritual lives. Many equate it to the times we think we have failed God in the performance of some Christian obligation or character standard. It has nothing to do with any of that.

Spiritual Bankruptcy is our spiritual condition apart from a faith in Christ!  Because we inherited from Adam and Eve, the legacy of sin and with it God's wrath and condemnation, we are born Spiritually bankrupt!  (Ephes 2: 1-10) We have no resources, no assets, nothing of value to build on; no tools to barter with when summoned to the Court of Righteousness ...not our good deeds, moral life styles, generosity, or faithfulness.  (Isaiah 64:6).  And here's a heart clutcher...We are without hope and DESERVE to die! (Romans 6:23)

But if we humble ourselves; admit our inabilities --and declare Spiritual Bankruptcy, that's when we catch our first break! Here's all you need to do:
  • Admit you are a Sinner with a debt you cannot pay  (Rom 3:10; 23)
  • Confess and forsake your sins (Rom. 10:9-10)
  • Trust Christ in faith  (Acts 16:31)
  • Accept His forgiveness and start your new life (2 Corin. 5:17)
Then begin a Life of Spiritual Prosperity (Ephesians 1:3-14) with benefits better than any Debt Counselor can guarantee:

1.  You're no longer an Enemy of God but His friend!
2. Your debt is eliminated, immediately, completely, and permanently!
3.  No need to worry about rebuilding your Credit Score -It's Solid Gold!
4.  No stigma is associated with the filing - You'll be celebrated not condemned!
5. No threats of liens, foreclosures on your future home - It's secured in heaven!

SO COME ON...DECLARE SPIRITUAL BANKRUPTCY AND LIVE SIN DEBT FREE IN GOD'S GRACE!!


UNTIL NEXT TIME....

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Monday, July 18, 2016

ANGRY AMERICA: Four Possible Reasons!!

Be Angry, but sin not... (Eph. 4:25-27)
Traveling home from a jubilant family reunion yesterday, my husband and I decided to check out recent news accounts for the day. Expecting to hear more rhetoric surrounding the upcoming presidential election we were saddened to learn of another police shooting! First Dallas policemen and now Baton Rouge policemen have been killed.  We were saddened, but not shocked!!

We live in an angry world!!!  And where there's anger there will always be violence!  I entitled this post, Angry America, but ask the people in France, Syria, North Korea, West Africa, or anywhere in the Middle East! Somebody, somewhere with access to an assault weapon is Mad as H*** and they are not taking it any more!!  And that somebody may be living next door to you!!!

This is not just a domestic issue it's happening world wide.  It's not just a race, political or religious issue--it's a SIN issue and the only way we're going to get through this is looking at the situation through spiritual eyes!  

So,  Why are so many people angry?  Biblical Counselor, June Hunt from the radio program, Hope For The Heart, gives four reasons people become angry.  I've added a bit of spiritual insight of my own regarding recent events to broaden the perspective:

Reason One:  HURT - Hurting people, hurt other people! Our world is filled with people in pain.  Emotionally, Physically, and most of all Spiritually.

Reason Two: INJUSTICE - One politician uses as his campaign slogan, Let's Make America Great Again!  Sorry fella!  For some folks, America's legacy for justice has never been that great!  Our soil still seeps from the blood of the Native Americans, Black Africans disenfranchised of land and rights, and reeks with the mistreatment of Asian Americans, Mexicans and poor people of every color who help to build this capitalistic society.

Reason Three - FEAR- September 11 catapulted this country into an era of fear that we are still feeling.  It shook some folks in privileged positions to their financial core.  The election of a Black president, almost pushed them over the edge---WHY? Fear of a Shift in POWER!  When Abuse of Power has been accepted and beneficial for decades and has become part of our country's DNA, threat of its loss will drive people to extreme measures of every kind.

Reason Four - FRUSTRATION - For many years we in America have been holding out for The American Dream, We were told that if you worked hard, became more educated and lived as a Model citizen that no good thing would be denied you.  Your color didn't matter, your economic background didn't matter.  Every body had an equal chance to become successful and prosperous!  The American Dream became merely a Pipe Dream!  Because we put our faith and trust in man rather than God!  One poet said that, dreams deferred can fester like a sore, stink like rotten meat but sometimes it EXPLODES!

As a Christians you may be angry too!  Some are saying that praying is not enough, we need to get involved and force the powers to be to deal with the situation, but really is that the solution?   I've given you four reasons to be angry now listen to four ways to deal with it! 




Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. 
Psalms 4:4 :(NKJV)

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

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Monday, July 4, 2016

EVERY DAY CELEBRATIONS!

It is for freedom that Christ has
set us fee... (Galatians 5:1)
Nationally, this is a day of cele-bration for our country's freedom, commem-orating the anniversary of the signing of the Decla-ration of Independence!  Culturally,  July 4th is a time for gathering with family and friends over good food and fireworks.  It is also the first holiday of the summer season with vacations, leisure down-time, and outdoor activities.

Truly, these are times to look forward to, but those of us who are Christians don't have to wait until the calendar pages turn to celebrate a particular holiday...we can do it every day!!! 
  • Each morning that I wake up with a heart filled with gratitude for God's blessing, I celebrate Thanksgiving Day ( Psalm 100:1-4).  Because everything I have comes from His hands!
  • When I think of the day He died on the cross for my sins,  showing the greatest love I'll ever experience, it is Valentine's Day (Romans 5:8) all day long for me!
  • I never get bogged down looking for or trying to buy the perfect gift during the holiday season for I already know what it is and Who is the Giver.  Christmas Day (2 Corinthians 9:15) and Pentecost, the Gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).  It begins the moment I begin to praise You for Your grace, mercy!
  • Many Christians celebrate All Saints Day in October which honors the unification of believers eternally in heaven and earth one day, but I do that each Sunday, Sabbath Day and during Communion fellowship (Exodus 20:8-11; I Corinthians 11:26)
  • Resurrection Day (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)  is not only in the Spring of the year, but every day as I look forward to the soon coming Savior who will bring with Him my glorified body, free from sin which is my true (Independence Day).  He'll also bring rewards for my faithful service here on earth, Labor Day (Rev.  22:12).  And, I will be filled with joy when He takes me to heaven and I reunite with my parents, Mother's Day and Father's Day where eternity with Him begins, New Years' Day (John 14:3)
So My Dear Sisters,  Be Encouraged, for there's no reason NOT to stay in a Celebratory State of Mind,  for truly God is Good and worth Celebrating no matter what the calendar is saying!!

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE!

"...and if someone asks about your
Christian hope, always be ready
to explain it. " (I Peter 3:15 NLT)
It's been a tough year already and we're only half way through it! If the political campaigns haven't depressed you enough then recent news headlines ought to just about do it!

My heart is saddened that we in America must endure yet another mass shooting!  It doesn't matter that the club was frequented by the LGBTQ community, the outrage for me is that more and more mentally ill people are able to obtain weapons of mass destruction so easily!

But through it all....there is still hope!  The Enemy is trying to drown it out!  Our emotions fight against what we know is Truth!  Yet, Sisters, I'm here to remind you that HOPE is alive and well....all we need to do is fight through the muck and mire of these unpleasant circumstances and get to the OTHER SIDE! 

If  you are a Believer reading this, the following is a gentle but stern reminder not to give into fear, frustration, or anger....God is still in control!  If you're not a Believer....then honey, let me beg you to consider these benefits and place your trust in the Only One in Whom you can find security today (I'll show you how at the end of this post!)

Since it is generally the news media  pushing doom and gloom to everyone, I thought I would show you HOPE manifested in a few under reported news items! 

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE:
  • Hope Never Disappoints (Romans 5:3-5)  Paul reminds us that suffering can often bring about perseverance!  Patrick Downes, Adrianna Haslet, and Rebekeh Gregory.  All were victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.  Today each of them have come back from this tragedy, reclaimed their lives and successfully completed the 26 miles with prosthetic (artificial) limbs!  Ms. Haslet, a professional ball room dancer before the bombing is now even dancing again!! 
  • Hope Brings Comfort and Encouragement (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)  Paul again tells Christians that as long as we have Christ, we can have hope! In August 2010, thirty-three miners in Copiapo, Chile, became trapped in a copper-gold  mine for 69 days!  For 17 days no one knew if they were dead or alive! In fact, most assumed they were dead.  With only three days worth of emergency food, families had already started the grieving process.  Yet God prevailed--all thirty-three miners were rescued in reasonably good medical condition!
  • Hope Helps Us Forgive (Psalms 130:5-7) The Psalmist assures us that if we but "wait" on the Lord there is mercy, redemption, and yes forgiveness! One year ago this month, 23 year old, Dylann Roof, a deranged young man on the pretense of attending Bible study, open fire on innocent men and women, killing nine of them as they studied the Word of God!  At his first meeting with the victims' families, he heard time and time again -I forgive you...may God have mercy on you...you hurt me but I forgive you!  Although many in these families and even strangers are still finding it hard to do so....the love of Christ is healing and helping them get through this loss!
Perhaps these stories have touched you as they have me and shown just how powerful HOPE can be in the life of a Believer!  I invite you now to join us at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ for on the other side is  HOPE and SALVATION! It's simple just...

1.  Admit you are a sinner (Romans 3:23)
2. Believe that there is nothing you can do to save yourself - death is the consequence of all sin (Ephes. 2:8-9; Romans 6:23)
3.  Confess your sins before the Lord (Romans 10:9-10)
4. Accept Jesus Christ as not only as your Savior but your Lord (Acts 16:31)

NOW REST IN THE ASSURANCE OF THIS HOPE:  Psalms 62:5 - Yes, my soul, find rest in the Lord; my hope comes from Him!

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

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