Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Truth

The Bible is the ultimate source in which a Christian has the answers to every question in life. It's too bad that the Holy Bible is seen as boring and treated as such by many people. Your flesh does not want you to see the Bible for what it is, God manifested into your hands. The Bible is His words directed to you. It's an amazingly awesome opportunity that many have but don't use. How many of you have your Bible as a decorative piece in your home to let people know you are a "good person" but don't open it and find out that being good is not what will lead you to heaven. How many of you bring it to church, highlight a scripture or two, close it up never to think about what that message could've meant to you in your life?

I was in a debate with someone who believed that the Bible was just words of men and good advice but nothing else. Sure, men wrote these words but they came from the Holy Spirit. They came from God speaking through these men. These men weren't perfect but God's words are and they were manifested into the Bible. In fact, John 1:1 states that before there was a me or you there was the Word of God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." And when the disciple John was given his vision by God, He was told specifically by Him to make an account of it. " He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'" (Revelation 21:5)

If you feel you have been slacking off from truly grasping the joyous opportunities of the Bible, don't condemn yourself, that's not what gets you into heaven it's Jesus. But if you would like to hear the words of God spoken to you for your life and you would like to know how to go about conquering problems in your life, don't turn to some self-help manual or psycho-babble, turn to God. He has all the answers for you and you had them with you the whole time.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Honorable hustling?

Below is a short letter I wrote in respone to the article "Hard Knock Life and Honorable Hustling" http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0508280001aug28,1,5835965.story written in the Chicago Tribune by John Balz 8/28/05


In todays world it's hard to find someone who use their talents to cultivate their culture, race, country or world. And the ones that do are most often the ones ignored. I was shocked to see the article about Jay-Z (Hard Knock Life and Honorable Hustling by John Balz section 2 perspective.) not just because of the glorification of "hustling" but the way it and Black culture is being misrepresented. Although the rap artist, Jay-Z does deserve recognition for leaving his drug dealing life and turning hip-hop into an enterprise, where are the stories about the talented musicians that rap, sing and play about the positive? The ones that don't commend drugs and prostitutiion but teach others to rise above, hold on to faith and to put the gun down? To me, honorable hustlers are the ones who take the risk to speak out against the sins of this world. The ones that make their money adding to the welfare of their society. It's about time more talented African-Americans stop being the comedic vaudeville show for others to watch, point, laugh then leave to their "homes of White priviledge," (As Mr. Balz so eloquently put it.) while degrading the minds and the views of their own people.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I am on the lead

What are we doing with ourselves? God is sending you a tip for you to lead up on. He is sending you certain trials and tribulations to get you ready for what he wants you to do. He is preparing you for your special niche in His kingdom. He wants you to glorify Him with the talents that He has given you. Have you noticed? Are you following the lead or are you too preoccupied by money or gaining possessions? Or are you too busy being angry with your neighbors over politics to notice that one person who has a message for you? Or that one person God has sent your way to help and bless? Do you see the path or have your turned yourself blind to it? Do you see the path but are too afraid to follow it? It ends in riches and glory. It ends in immeasurable blessings. Have faith, use the word of God, listen to the Holy spirits voice, the pastor at church or that nagging feeling you have deep down inside. Follow God's lead.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Prayers

As we focus so much on praying for ourselves many of us forget to pray for others.
Let's pray for:
The missionaries that they are blessed as they save God's children all over the world
The soldiers that they are safe and they come closer in their walks with Christ (or begin one)
The government that they base their decisions on the Word of God
Our Neighbors that they are blessed and enriched by God
Our Church that it runs smoothly, be taken care of financially and be overwhelmed with members volunteering to share their gifts
Our Homeless that they are housed by the word of God and take the blessings they receive and use it to enrich themselves and their goals.
Our Enemies that they come to know the true love of God and follow it and by doing so become blessed.

Friday, August 19, 2005

My Confessions

My pastor, Pastor Gregory Dickow of Life Changers Church(http://changinglives.org) teaches an excellent way to use your power that is instilled in you from God as a Christian. Many of us, just don't know or don't use our God given powers in our lives and we live in sadness and despair. By reading the word of God and confessing it in faith you can change anything in your life. "For verily I say unto you, that whoesover shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart,...he shall have whatsoever he saith." Mark 11:23

You can find many confession sheets to help you announce what is yours through the word of God at http://changinglives.org/lcic_cfm/confessionsheets.cfm such as health and healing, freedom of the mind, prosperity, divine protection and a whole lot more. These are scriptural based and come right from the promises of the Bible.

My favorite, the daily confession, helps to ease my mind and start my day knowing that through Christ anything is possible. Below I have copied it for you to see.


I set the course of my life today with my words:
I declare today that I will not be defeated, discouraged, depressed or disappointed today.
I am the head, I have insight, I have wisdom, I have ideas, I have authority.
I exercise my authority today with my words and I decree a thing and it is so.
Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)…the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in me… (Romans 8:11)
As I speak words today, they come to pass (Job 22:28); they go before me, they bring the things to pass that I desire; and they stop all attacks, assaults, oppression, and fear from coming to my life.
God is on my side today and therefore I cannot be defeated.
His favor surrounds me today as a shield. (Psalm 5:12) I expect favor today from heaven and from the earth.
Jesus had favor with God and man (Luke 2:52), and as He is so am I on this earth. (1 John 4:17)
Therefore, I have favor today with God and man.
I expect and receive favor in my home, favor in my job, favor in my business, favor in my ministry, favor with my finances, favor in every deal I am involved in…
I have the wisdom of God today. I will think the right thoughts, say the right words and make the right decisions in every situation I face today.
My mouth speaks wisdom and my heart is filled with understanding. (Psalm 49:3)
I ask for, and receive, an abundant supply of wisdom and understanding today from God (James 1:5)…wisdom from above, wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, unwavering, willing to yield, without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)
Wisdom and understanding are better that silver and gold and nothing I desire can compare with them; therefore, I make it my ambition and desire to have understanding and wisdom; therefore I know I will have all of the other desires of my heart. (Proverbs 8:10-11)
My words go before me in securing my divine health and healing…
I will not be sick today; I will not be sad today; I will not be broke today; I will not be confused today.
I have health today; I have joy today; I have all the money I need in the name of Jesus.
My steps are ordered by the Lord… (Psalm 37:23)
I have a covenant with God and by the blood of Jesus I release my divine protection and divine provision.
My angels are carrying out the Word of God on my behalf…
I receive supernatural strength and encouragement from God and my angels. Angels carry out the Word of God and every word that I speak that lines up with the Word of God is being carried out by angels, even now as I speak. (Psalm 103:20)
I expect to have divine appointments today, to run into the right people, and to be delivered from the wrong people.
Any adversity, attack, accidents and tragedies that were headed my way are diverted right now in Jesus’ name.
I speak to the raging waters in my life: Peace, be still.
I say to my emotions, peace, be still.
I say to my mind, peace, be still.
I say to my body, peace, be still.
I say to my home, peace, be still.
I say to my family, peace, be still.
Now I speak to:
every mountain of fearevery mountain of discouragement every mountain of stress every mountain of depression every mountain of lack and insufficiency
And I say, "Be removed and cast into the sea in Jesus name!" (Mark 11:23)
I expect the best day of my life spiritually, emotionally, relationally and financially today in Jesus name!


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Doormat

I have been having a hard time accepting my sister-in-law's prescence around the house. She's older then me and my husband so I guess she thinks that she doesn't have to follow any rules or ask for anything of ours that she uses. She's even left her daughter for me to take care of while she's at work without even asking. I have been allowing myself to become worked up about this.

"God, I know I have to be nice and giving and loving but do I also have to be a doormat?" I would often ask in my frustration.

This has been going on for about 3 months until this morning while I was doing my Bible study I came across 2nd Corinthians 6:4-10

"but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in prisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. "

I saw that scripture as God's answer to me. So what if I am a doormat! I am blessed because I serve. By serving others I serve God. Should I complain? For all God has done for me, dealing with others and becoming a doormat is the least I could do. After all, He gave His life for men( and women) that hated him, used him and still to this day blaspheme and don't believe Him. If Christ would have walked away screaming, "I will not be a doormat to these people!", we would have all been in trouble.

Give Glory to God!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Feminine Side of His Image

I do believe that God is a man. Many women activists may disagree but I believe the Bible clearly shows that the sex of God is male. In the very beginning, Genesis 3:16, God placed man over women. It is also shown in the new testament, Ephesians 5:22-23, and 1 Peter 3:7, that women are the "weaker vessel." But we are loved and cherished by God and men are ordered to do the same. Since men are commanded to be the head over the women then God, who is head over all, must be a man.

But, I also believe God has a feminine side and out of the feminine side of His image came women. The feminine side of God is the Holy spirit also known as the Holy ghost. According to Hugs for Women: Stories, Sayings, and Scriptures to Encourage and Inspire by Mary Hollingsworth, Holy Spirit is a feminine word in Hebrew. If you think about it, the Holy spirit is what many women are. The Holy Spirit is the one that comes in and effects your emotions, gets you excited and makes you want to shout out for God or fills you up with tears when you realize all that God has done for you. There are many examples of this in the Bible such as Luke 10:21,

" At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure."Also in Acts 13:52
"And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."

It is also the Holy Spirit that comforts you when you feel alone or lost.(Romans 5:5) Just like a woman. We are the comforters, we are more emotionally driven then men. The Holy Spirit is also powerful. Like women, the Holy Spirit should be greatly respected for its inner peace and quiet but shockingly awesome power. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."Acts 1:8 Power like, having a career, volunteering at church and still taking care of your family. Power like, giving birth and filling a nation. Power like, being at the brink of disaster but knowing that your and your family will be okay. Power like, smiling at the future despite the present.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Thoughts Check In

The key to defeating sin, the key to mutilating the flesh is in your mind. So many Christians run away from God because they feel that they just can't stop sinning. They give up and don't take their opportunity to make a difference in the world. They allow their flesh to win.

" For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so." Romans 8:4-7

I believe the first thing to do when struggling with sin is to change your thoughts. Stop saying with your mouth, God will give me strength while thinking how can I make it today? The more your mind thinks the opposite the more your flesh will gain control. For an example, a wife who loves her husband and respects her husband outwardly but fantasize about sneaking away with the guy next door. How long do you think it will take before she allows her thoughts to take over?

When experiencing a thought in direct conflict with God's word; a thought that is not of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) stop it! Ask all your thoughts to check in at your spiritual hotel (your mind) and if it is not a thought of the spirit kick it out. Stop it, before it can grow. Don't reason with it, or challenge it, or ask about it, just kick it! Kick it out of your mind and away from you before it can grow and get out of hand.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable├é—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy├é—think about such things.Philippiansns 4:8

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

My Uphill battle

Someone's prescence has always been what I needed around me at all times. I hated to be alone. I loved God and knew He was there but I still felt like I needed to feel someone there, I needed someone to hold me and actually tell me that it was okay. I needed this so much, that that was the main reason for my marriage, so I could always have someone around me.

Well as you propably predicted that wasn't always the case. I had problems the first couple years of my marriage because I wanted my husband to always be around me. Talk to me, read with me, lay next to me, coddle me, hug me, be with me! You know that drove him crazy. and there were fights. I felt an empty pit in my stomach everytime he would leave. He eventually got so sick of me he would leave for hours and hours. Sometimes he would only come back to greet me and that was it. I was so miserable, I covered myself in depression and despair.

I would pray and go to church and I would always hear, God is with you. You don't need anyone else but Him. But it didn't sink in properly. I would read the Bible but I always felt so cold. Then one day I let go. I said, "God you are here and that's all that matters! You love me and that's all that matters!" I said it with conviction and faith. I stop listening to the flesh tell me, yes He's here but He's so far away... I started listening to the Holy spirit. When I read the Bible I evisioned God talking right to me. I thanked Him and praised Him for being there with me. I truly believed He was first in my life and nothing else matters. I immediately felt His prescence, I felt His arms wrapped lovingly around me.

Today, I can't say that I sometimes don't feel bad when my husband leaves or my children is gone with their grandparents. But the feeling doesn't last long because I stop and lift my Father up in praise and I talk to Him and know that He is there always.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Are you dating the church?

The book, Stop Dating the Church! Fall in Love with the Family of God. http://www.wtsbooks.com/1590523652.html Is a great read for anyone who has not found their nitch in the House of God. It is harder for someone who attends a large church to really find their place but it can be done.

I attend a large church and at first I was the one who was a "casual dater". I would arrive on Sunday listen to the sermon, throw a few smiles occcasionally and leave. That was it, that was what I contributed to my family. Until one day when I noticed a woman who seemed tired and overwhelmed by her children. She was young, like me, and she seemed lost. I could've threw another smile her way and kept going, but instead I approached her. I complimented her on her children and told her about mine. I told her that God loved her and I did too. She became so excited. She told me how she just became a Christian and had to do away with her old friends who didn't support her new life. She had just prayed that God would find her a friend. We are still good friends to this day. You never know who you will touch if you just take part and reach out.
Is there a ministry you can join? That's also a wonderful way to contribute. Find you talents and what you enjoy and put them to use for the glory of God. Start a personal Bible study and invite others to your home. God loves the church! That is His home and ours, and we should stop treating it like a one night stand, but as a closely knit marriage.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Our Healer

In this world of over the counter, prescription, hollistic, and natural medicines people tend to forget the potent and effective medicine of all. God! There are many promises of scripture that shows that God loves us and wants us healed! Just a few, Psalm 103:3, Isaiah 53:5, and 1Peter 2:24.
Christians do know this but tend to forget it especially when they feel what's ailing them is minor. A constant headache is most often masked with asprin that can deterioate the stomach, or Ibuprofen that slowly damages the liver. With doctor visits becoming more financially outrageous and insurance premiums on the rise, people still feel the need to run to their doctor first.

I am not condemning doctors or saying Christians should never take medicine but I believe if we turn to God first, we would find that the use of medicines and doctors are unecessary. If we turn to God with faith and believe in His power to heal us, we will realize that nothing is stronger or better . I also believe that God will speak to you and guide you to what you need to do for a sickness. I was reading Tammy Faye's (a famous christian actress aflicted with cancer) website, http://tammyfaye.com, and she was talking about how she seeks the Lord for her healing and seeks chemotherapy when He deems it necessary. She also stops chemotherapy(without her doctor's full consent) and that has actually helped her and prevented some serious consequences of too much radiation in her body. I know that God gives doctors their knowledge and He helps to create medicines for us but I believe tha t God wants us to seek Him before we seek anything or anyone else.

In 2nd Chronicles 16:12-13 we find King Asa who found consequences for not seeking out the Lord first in his trials of healing (amongst other things in his reign.), " In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers." It's not that he was punished for seeking out physicians it's that he did not seek help from the Lord. He didn't believe in the power that God had. Because if he did, he would've went to Him first.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Not Fair?

On July 17th I read a Chicago Tribune opinion article about the acquittal of former Healthsouth CEO Richard Scrushy and how the writer Robert S. McElvaine believed that he got a free pass for being a Christian man in front of a southern jury. He writes, " The perversion of Christianity reduces Jesus to a get-out-of-jail-free card." He also continues to talk about how it isn't fair that all your wrongs are wiped away as long as you believe in Jesus Christ. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0507170454jul17,1,4979417.story When reading this article it reminded me of the parable Jesus spoke on in Matthew 20. Let's look there...

1"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5So they went.
"He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'
7" 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'
8"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'
9"The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'
13"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'
16"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."


This passage disturbs some Christians because they think that the landowner was not being fair. I believe that this is God's way with all of us. His love for us is equal, from the chaste Bible thumper to the wild sinner. Once that wild sinner comes back to Him, they have the same opportunity of salvation as any other. Just as Mr. McElvaine felt it wasn't fair that Richard Scrushy received a second chance, it obviously was in God's will, and if he truly repents from his sin then God will take him in and love him.

Now does that mean that we have a free pass from sin? I don't believe that we can pull the wool over God's eyes. If we are unrepentant in our heart then we will reap the punishments. God is our Father and he will punish us and teach us but He won't stop loving us and that's the most important thing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Talk and Teach

My four year old daughter loves the care bears. If you don't know the care bears, they are cuddly cute pastel colored bears with smiley faces, rainbows and hearts adorning their stomachs. They reside in the sky until a child on earth is in trouble, then they come down to save them. I used to love care bears when I was a child.
Well, we were watching one of her many care bear dvds when she suddenly said, "mommy I'm going to pray that a care bear come and help me feel better."(She has a cold.) I suddenly became mortified! Not only was my child a heathen idol worshipper but she obviously have not been listening to her four years worth of Sunday school and bedtime Bible readings.
So what was my next move? Did I grab all her care bear movies and stuffed animals and toss them out of the window? Did I scream boycott the care bears! and ran to my computer so I can e-mail my church group?
No. I sat my daughter down and explained to her reality and fiction and how God is real and God is the one who live in the heavens. I talked to her about how Jesus promised to heal us with the stripes on His back. "No care bears will come and help you in your time of need, but God will."I said. She nodded her head and understood. That night, we prayed together for the healing of her cold and His blessings. We thanked God for all He has to offer us when we don't deserve it. I hoped that sunk in. If it didn't, I know I have more times to talk to her and guide her.
That incident had me thinking about how christians are against Harry Potter because of the magical elements. I think that if we as parents took the intiative to talk and teach our children what is right, fictional stories and movies such as Harry Potter wouldn't be such a threat. If we train our children in the way they should go instead of allowing the media, then we can be confident to know that they won't become devil worshippers at the sight of a children's books or cartoons. We can't lock them in the closet and burn every book or movie but we can teach them what is right and let God do the rest.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Monday, August 01, 2005

My Favorite Blogs (so far)

Please check out and respond to these blogs that I have written and especially like so far!

http://matthew1236.blogspot.com/2005/05/lulu-opportunity.html This is about a worthwhile opportunity many christians don't know about but need to know.

http://matthew1236.blogspot.com/2005/05/we-are-all-born-homosexual.html This blog is about how we are all born with sin and that everyone needs Christ first before they can change (Geared toward homosexuals but can relate to anybody who is not born again.)

http://matthew1236.blogspot.com/2005/06/all-of-us.html This blog refutes the notion that God only loves and wants to save Americans.

http://matthew1236.blogspot.com/2005/06/raising-large-family.html This is a short light-hearted blog about my children.