Monday, March 31, 2014

When Just Praying is NOT Enough!

Praying in the Spirit (Ephes. 6:18)
Asked to respond to a particular situation Christians are known to say, Let’s Pray about it!!!  That’s always a good answer.  Certainly not one anyone could argue with.  But have you considered how many times in the bible an admonishment to pray is preceded by a specific action?  I did a word search in both the Old and New Testament of the partial phrase “…and pray.”  It occurs 75 times in the NIV, including 24 times with exact wording.  Here are a few: Come and pray (I Kings 8:42; Jer. 29:12; 2 Chron. 6:32); Go, Get up and pray (Luke 22:46; Matt. 6:6; Matt. 26:36); Watch and pray (Matt. 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 21:36); Humble yourself and pray (2 Chron. 7:14); Confess, Repent, or Turn back and pray (I Kings 8:48; 2 Chron. 6:38; Acts 8:22; Jas. 5:16); Intercede and pray (I Kings 13:6; Jer. 43:2; Ephe. 6:18); Offer sacrifices and pray (Ez. 6:10); Fast and pray (Luke 5:33). Sure looks like prayer requires more than just bowing heads and folding hands!

More than once I’ve become frustrated waiting for an answer to prayer until I discovered this wonderful truth…Sometimes praying is just not enough! Prayer is active, it takes work! The hardest you’ll ever do.  Assuming the position and waiting for God to perform miracles sounds spiritual but it takes much more. We need to reposition ourselves to receive His answer with some Action steps.   Examine your heart for unforgiveness or other sins (Ps. 66:18).  Evaluate: What do you really want—His will or your will? (John 5:14-15).  Accelerate: Are you using prayer to keep from doing what He’s already told you to do? If so, maybe you're praying for the wrong thing!  Elevate: Instead of complaining about what God is NOT doing, praise Him for what He IS doing. 

There Is a Time to Wait and a Time to Act!  Both are important but a balance is needed so..WHY DON'T WE JUST PRAY ABOUT THAT!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


sexualize (ˈsɛksjʊəˌlaɪz) or sexualize  vb
1. to make or become sexual or sexually aware
2. to give or acquire sexual associations
sexualiˈzation ˌsexualiˈsation n

 Seems like a million years ago that women kept a close eye on their maturing daughters and  when needed checked them with these words: “Go sit down somewhere and stop acting womanish!!” It was their way of saying, stay in a little girl’s place!  Oh, if we could only bring back those days!  I just viewed an You Tube video someone posted showing little girls Twerking and Dropping it like it’s Hot! You know, gyrating and twisting their little behinds.  It was not cute or entertaining.  In fact, it is potentially dangerous.

Sexual predators are seeking younger and younger victims—both boys and girls!  Child pornography and child sex trafficking crime (average ages 11-14 yrs) have soared in recent years.  It’s big money and everybody wants to get their share!  TV programs lure children into a world of make-up; wigs, and tight fitting costumes disguised as beauty pageants. Retail clothiers sell push-up bras and thongs to Tweens  and even the toy industry has no qualms in exploiting our babies with Tattoo Barbie and provocatively dressed Bratz dolls! 

We now live in an over-sexed society where Cialis and sex lubricants ads are squeezed between the ones for Cap’n Crunch and Disney World.  Where we have to monitor all technical devices for Sexting and porn sites.  King Solomon wrote, that passion should not be aroused before its time (paraphrase of Song of Songs, 8:4). Children are sexually impressionable. Yet their brains aren’t fully developed until their mid-twenties.  Their decision making ability is faulty even then. But what about the grown folks?  Why are we trying to make little Rihanna clones out of them? 

I love to see little girls in  a dress (at least sometime) looking forward to their first little heels and dabs of lip gloss.  The ones whose Moms have taught them good hygiene and how to sit properly in a way that doesn’t show their underwear and when appropriate will wait for the boy to call and ask for a date and then insist  he come in and meet  her parents.  Mothers read these scriptures and start teaching them to your daughters right now!  Make the decision to feminize not sexualize your daughters?  1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4; Romans 12:1-2; Prov. 11:22; 1 Corinthians 6:18-19; James 1:14, 15; Thess. 4:3; and I Thess. 5:22.

(To learn more about the sexualization of our girls check out the following sites) 

Monday, March 17, 2014

WOMAN, Part Two

Last week I challenged blog readers to tell me how they planned to bring femininity back to this generation of females. (March 10th post, Her Name is WOMAN!)  I feel led to clarify and perhaps expand a bit on this point. But first let me share a few responses I received:

A mother of two daughters and grandmother to eight granddaughters gave these suggestions: 1) Start Praying; 2) Show them in the Word who they are; 3) Be an Example before them; 3) Train them in the manner of the Titus 2:3-5 woman “in good behavior, discretion, and things that honor God.”; 4) Be intentional.   When you see young women hurting and struggling take time to uplift them, encourage them, and share the joy of Jesus with them.

Another sister who has been in women’s ministry for many years added these pointers: 1) Take the blinders off; 2) Take a stand!; 3) Spread the word about women issues, i.e., increased sex trafficking. Sadly, politicians and media are more vocal than the church on this; 4) Ask God for specific direction--how you can get involved; 3) Affirm them and help them embrace their unique beauty, size, and color at every opportunity

Thanks ladies, those are good starting points for all of us!  But a greater problem prevails.  I think we have forgotten that True Women are really Titus 2 Women.  We’ve confused culture’s pressure on women to assert themselves to assure equality with men with perceived weakness when we insist on being treated as a female!  And get this, when we get treated like men we cry out that we get NO RESPECT!  We can still lead corporations, excel in our careers, and yes, level the playing field in society without sacrificing our femininity. God has given us incredible power and we’ve been wasting it!  It’s called INFLUENCE!  It’s that mystery that lies behind the cliché that behind every great man there’s a greater woman! It explains why Michelle Obama’s popularity is higher than the President’s and why Monica Lewinsky’s name will forever blemish the presidential record of Bill Clinton in history!!!  

It starts with accepting that we are not inferior but different than men! (Genesis 2:23) that’s recognizing our value and using the tools God has given us to get things done His way!! It culminates in the realization that one day we will be judged on how we exploited this difference for good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10). Steve Harvey is no theologian but I think he said it right, We've got to "Act Like A Lady and Think Like A Man!" when it comes to capitalizing on our godly strengths.

 I’ll speak more on this in next week’s blog entitled:  FEMINIZING OR SEXUALIZING? In the meantime, Keep Praying,  Keep Reading the Word, but most important Keep Modeling what the Word is saying!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Her Name is WOMAN!

                                       -Alexander Pope

March is International Women’s History month, a time to celebrate significant contributions of women in every field of human accomplish-ment. It also  highlights the continuing struggle for female gender rights.  In America, its roots go back to 1857 when women took to the streets of New York to protest poor working conditions. In the Bible, its tenets go back to Moses where the daughters of Zelophehad petitioned for inheritance rights in a patriarchal society and won! (Numbers 27:2-11)    Maybe  even earlier if you consider how the Hebrew midwives defied an Egyptian king to prevent infanticide of their babies (Ex. 1:15-19).

Now that it is recognized globally, few are ignorant of the facts; but do they know or care about the abuses that still occur here or around the world?  Like FGM (female genital mutilation) of girls as young as 4 years old in Africa; forced illiteracy of females in the Middle East, and the 200 million baby girls killed as Undesirables because of China’s One-Child policy? With the fight for womanhood ongoing and in many cases life-threatening, why are some in America throwing this priceless gift away? Why are WE letting them?  That’s what one of my readers wanted to know:  Sometimes, Sis. Betts many of us really don't know how unique we are or what our purpose is in life so we look to men, streets, drugs, or sex to fulfill that purpose. Why can’t we learn how to celebrate how God has uniquely gifted us?” 

After studying God’s word, I must admit, I’m confused too!  I see too many young and gifted Christian women falling prey to emotional neediness repeating a horribly destructive pattern: Letting poor self and body images dictate what God has already said is “beautiful and wonderfully made.” (Ps. 139:14).  It's  obvious from His Word that we’re down right Awe-Inspiring; Created in His very image (Gen. 1:27), a Work of Art, indeed a Masterpiece crafted in the Hands of the Divine (Ephes. 2:10).  How dare we abuse ourselves or let anyone else do so.

I ache inside every time I see a young lesbian with sagging pants, backward turned baseball cap, and an over exaggerated swagger trying to be something God didn’t create her to be! Some hate their femininity so much that they opt for surgery to erase any trace of it.  I cringe each time I hear a female use the terms “Bitch” and “Ho” and then laugh as if it’s a badge of honor! REALLY? It’s like spitting in the face of God!  What about professional and accomplished women, dropping their panties for the now desirable, Bad Boy Thug because the godly man is just "too nice!  WASSUP WITH THAT?  I know you're feeling what are you going to do to wipe out this madness is our generation?....Let me hear from you!     

Monday, March 3, 2014


Ask any working woman.  How difficult is it being a Christian in the Marketplace?  And you will need more than a few minutes to hear her out!  With the onslaught of civil and religious lawsuits; layoffs, and media storms over politically correct language; it makes one almost afraid to say they KNOW JESUS!  Yet, there is a way  to be both Christian and Professional no matter what your career or where you work. It begins with embracing the message of empowerment and inspiration boldly taught by Christ in Matthew 5:13-16, being Salt and Light in the World.

Lorraine Blackman, PhD, LCSW and Family Life Educator is a member of my church and responded to last week's blog: The Power of Your Influence, with a presentation she gave to the Annual Conference of North American Christian Social Workers. I believe her comments are critical to the discussion of influence in our public life.  Although she is speaking to those in the field of social work, her words are poignant reminders to all Christians beginning with what she calls, The Core Values of a Social Worker. (The italicized scripture references were added).  Here is an excerpt from her powerful message:


  • Service  (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Social Justice  (Luke 4:18-19)
  • Dignity and Worth   (Psalm 139:14-16)
  • Human Relationships  (John 15:13)
  • Integrity  (Prov. 10:9)
  • Competency (Coloss. 3:23)

1. Know the difference between your job description and that of the Holy Spirit.
(Preserve, Enhance and Keep all safe. Shine His Light into all Dark Places.)

2. Be sure of your primary spiritual gifts  and operate in them.  (Equip others for Service)

3. Follow the pattern that Christ set for us.
(Agape Love)

"So it is important to be clear about the boundaries as well as common ground between our Christianity and our profession...Enhance human well-being, provide for basic needs and BE a tool for the Holy Spirit to reconcile people to each other and to God."

Thank you, Dr. Blackman, I think you said it well!