Servant Heart

God grant us the grace to be like you serving one another from a kind and pure heart.

What does it mean?

A servant-heart is a leader who is:

  • Humble, not arrogant
  • Selfless, gives of him/herself sacrificially
  • Committed, to a cause and to others
  • Loyal
  • Dutifully diligent
  • Interested in the goodwill of others
  • Compassionate
  • Empathetic

Does having a servant heart (or being a servant-leader) causes us to lose ourselves? No, and certainly not. If anything, God refreshes those who refreshes others. God sees your heart and work though none does, and He will reward.

In a society where everyone is about self, having a servant heart becomes a struggle such that those who are gifted with such a heart become double-minded in exercising their gifts. And those who desire the servant-heart wonder if they’re doing the right thing. But, as lovers of Jesus the Christ, we remember that we are in this world, but not of the world.

Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool, let me be a fool unto Jesus.

Not every person is gifted with a servant heart, but it can be desired and cultivated. To cultivate a servant heart, start first by praying to God to fix your heart. Then intentionally seek opportunities to volunteer/serve others. The more of yourself that you give, the easier serving others become for you.

Like everything, God’s grace is sufficient and at work for me and you to enable us do that which we desire.

Happy Sunday 😍

Saint Francis’s Prayer

Credits: Unsplash / Chris Liverani

I had some personal decisions to make that will change the trajectory of my life. As such, it has been a two weeks of mental fatigue for many reasons. I haven’t posted as a result. Sorry. I truly missed not posting nor reading any of my favorite peoples’ posts. During the period, I pondered about several things including those who have been diagnosed with mental issues. Not that I never did before. But it just became more apparent this time. Alas, I agree that mental health is real. Everyone ought to have someone who understands and who they can talk to when situations that overwhelm arises. In addition, we all deserve love; both giving and receiving, and being kind to one another. I’m somewhat okay now. I just realized during that period, that most people with mental issues and no help often snap and find themselves in a “rabbit hole” of sorts.

This post is not about mental health issues; a topic I know not much about. I however am aware that there’s a lot encompassing mental health. Some of which have to deal with the complexity of the brain. Others have to deal with trauma and or people’s perceptions, real or otherwise. Whatever it is, it is important to talk it out and through with someone who understands and wouldn’t judge you, This post is a plug for kindness.

Traumatic experiences can, and often does, drive one into a mental frenzy. The more reason why we all ought to be nice with and to one another.

Last Friday was the first day in two weeks that I read a few posts. I came across a lady’s who was suffering from mental issues. Her post was, in my opinion, a cry for help. I got stuck in my track not knowing what to say or do to help alleviate her “suffering” that hasn’t already been said to her. It was the last post I read for that day. I however took her issues to God in prayer which is the least I could do. She’s not alone, but how I wish she didn’t, nor does all who are.

It was in my Q&A with Father God that the below prayer surfaced in my spirit. God-cidentally, one of my YouTuber personalities happened to be talking about the Prayer, too. Such is far from a coincidence. May we all have a heart that demonstrates the fruit of the spirit: “ … love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: …”. Here’s the Prayer;
‭‭

Saint Francis of Assisi’s Prayer

Lord make Me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness joy.
O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved. as to love
For it’s in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born…
To eternal life.
Amen.

According to many sources, the prayer was first recorded in 1912. Though over a hundred years ago, the prayer is still relevant today.

The prayer recognizes several life issues as hatred, evil, doubt, heart wounds, and other unhealthy or, dare I say, evil deeds that are prevalent in our world. But, the popularity of the Prayer rests in rising above those issues and being contrarian in ourselves; forgiving where injury and discords have occurred, not repaying evil with evil, dying to self, letting go and letting God.

We, including atheists and agnostics, wrestle between two worlds; the spiritual and the natural. The laws of which operate also contrary to one another. But as it is written, though we live here on earth, we are not of this world and should act as a spiritual being on earth crucifying fleshy acts.

I acknowledge that we cannot of ourselves (in our flesh) do these contrarian acts of forgiving a wrong or being loving when evil has been done to us. But when we purpose in our hearts that that’s what we desire, God, by His Spirit, will enable us.

The flesh (soul) and the spirit cohabit together in the same body and often wrestle within. It is the wrestling match remnants that transition to others if and when we allow it. The more intentional we choose to operate in one, the more the attributes of that one grows and are seen in us. It is of those attributes that we give to ourselves and others.

God help us to live by the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. Have a peaceful and loving week.

Of War and Peace

There is a war in our members warring against us all despite our desire to do good. It’s a struggle about who to please in the affairs of life generally and that of ours. Do I please myself, my family, friends, my pastor or other religious leaders? The war or struggle is also a lack of capacity for balance.

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:15-24 NKJV‬‬

If we acknowledge that the desire to do good and be kind exists, what then is responsible for us acting contrary? That is, contrary to our desire to do and be good.

I believe the answer is because of the presence of sin in the world. Sin is not only in the big things like murder. We sin when we think bad thoughts about others. Gossip is sin. Starting a rumor is sin. So is slander, pilfering at work, covetousness, envy, jealousy, etc. I hope you get it.

When sin is present in the world, it becomes an intentional act to go against the grain. It is so easy to roll with the crowd or majority so as to blend in and not be an outcast. But, I hope that we all acknowledge that the majority can, and are sometimes, wrong. But the cliché, the majority is always right, has misdirected and mis-focused many.

It takes guts to be a lone voice in the wilderness so to speak. It is clouts to speak up and out against what we know to be wrong. No-one might come to your side, but my people, know that God sees you. Even if you don’t believe in Him, I hope you have a conscience (some call it compass) that steers you when you’re alone and especially when you lay your head on your pillow at night to sleep. When that voice whispers in your head, “don’t don’t,” please don’t. It’s simple, right? But not so simple with a few. If you continue to ignore that whisper (soft voice), you begin to sear your conscience (or compass) and it is at that time, without intentional checks, that one gets spiritually, and eventually naturally, lost.

We all struggle in one thing or the other. When you have the true desire to do good, but find yourself doing bad (or evil) continuously, seek help. Knowing where or who to go to for help is a key factor. Confide in someone or call the Office of any Church, Temple, Synagogue, etc. Call somebody for Help.

Without intentionality of being and doing good, the war will never cease within ourselves and peace will elude one. The first place for peace is in our minds. Once in the mind, the peace exudes all over and around us. We’ve all heard another cliché that war is the absence of peace. There is a reason the war is going on. Get to the root sooner than later. It will free you.

For peace to reign, you’ve got to choose it, intentionally. Having the peace will undoubtedly lead you to know who or what to choose when at a crossroad. It will also help with balance in your life.

I pray that the God of Peace visit you today and bless you with His peace that surpasses human understanding. May His peace rest upon you.

The Glory

Credits: Unsplash / Todd Quackenbush

The Glory is God’s magnificence presence on His people. It is an empowerment and enablement. The glory comes and falls for a purpose and season. When the glory falls in churches and the temples, people can hardly move or talk. The glory can also fall on an individual during prayer, praise, and worship. When the glory of God is present, people get healed without anyone laying hands on them. As it is written, the lame walk, the blind see, the lepers (modern day would be ) are cleansed, the deaf hear … (Matthew 11:5)

King David asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill (presence) of the LORD? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” Psalm‬ ‭24:3-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Who else would know what it takes to be in God’s presence and have His Glory evident all around, but King David. Despite his atrocities, he still earned himself a man after God’s own heart. King David was a worshipper. He knew how to praise and eulogize the King of Glory. We, who love the Lord, can learn from him.

There are two kinds of glory; “… the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:40a). The celestial equates the heaven, while the terrestrial is of the land.

“There is (also) one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:40-41‬)‬‬. The sun cannot come out at night neither can the stars shine during the day.
This emphasizes that we all have unique functions and should be content walking in our identities without desiring others gifts and talents. Crossing lanes lead to frustration and unfulfilled ambitions.

“May the King of Glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle,” (Psalm 24:8), visit you today and enable you to complete tasks needed to fulfill your last-quarter-of-the-year goals, may His Glory bring you divine connections, resources, great health, healing, and may you finish 2021 stronger than the previous year.

Trust in Him

Credits: Unsplash / Bernard Hermant

Trust in God for everything Trust in God’s mercy
Trust in His salvation
Trust in His goodness
Trust in His Love
Trust in God’s faithfulness
Trust in His provision
Trust God for your family. Trust Him regarding the work of your hands
Trust Him in your abundance
Trust Him in your insufficiency

Scriptures

When you are tempted to doubt or act in unbelief, read and personalize His Words to strengthen your heart and faith.

“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭31:1‬

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬

“It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm‬ ‭118:8-9‬ ‭

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”‭‭Psalm‬ ‭20:7‬

“Trust in him at all times; ye people, Pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭62:8‬

“They that trust in the LORD Shall be as mount Zion, Which cannot be removed, But abideth for ever.”‭‭Psalm‬ ‭125:1‬

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: My God; in him will I trust.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:2‬

Trust God for everything
Today and always Oh God In Thee do I trust.🙏🏾

Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy

I did a Poll over two months ago asking readers and followers what they did with their Sundays. The Poll had a total of 30 views (21 in June & 9 in July). Of the views, 10 bloggers liked the post, while only 5 participated in the Poll.

My sincerest gratitude to those who participated.

Everyone’s time is precious. To have taken a few minutes to contribute means a lot to me than you’ll ever know. Thank you.

Results of the Poll

Folks reserve their Sundays for a variety of things ranging from:

  • Chores; grocery shopping, laundry
  • Running errands
  • Family or friends visits or catchups
  • Play band/guitar
  • Schedule blog posts, catch up on reading and replying to comments
  • Relax, chill, or do nothing.

Today, I was caught up in all the above. Generally speaking, I prefer to reserve my Sundays for relaxing, but might occasionally get a family or friend visit.

I had woken up about 5:00 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. I laid their wondering if to get up and start my day. I hesitated because Sunday is my rest day, but lately I have been going non-stop. And, last week, I figured that I had exhausted myself. So, getting up that early on a Sunday was out of the question. I did the one thing that I normally do – talk to my Heavenly Father, God. I fell back asleep about three hours later; I knew because I had joined the 8 o’clock online-Service of a church.

I woke up about two-and-a-half hours later. I laid on my bed wondering what to do: should I drag myself off to the gym, watch a movie, cook and eat some food, have food delivered, or just chill and do nothing? I prefer to do my laundry on Saturdays; it has been a steady preserve for as long as I can remember. So, I already did laundry yesterday. As such, it’s one less thing that I have to worry about today.

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14a).

Though I woke up, I was still too tired. I needed some energy; not the java jolt kind, but I needed the inner mental strength. I began to ponder again if it is realistically possible to ever have a free day of doing nothing? My answer will be a big and loud, “No”. If No, how are we to keep the Sabbath Day holy? Maybe, if one was sick.

The Sabbath

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”‭‭

Exodus‬ ‭20:8-11‬

The Sabbath Day is a day reserved as your holy day and or a day of rest. For Christians, it’s Sundays or Saturdays (Jews (Shabbat) and Latter Day Saints). For Muslims, it’s Fridays.

The Sabbath Day is a personal choice. But since Sunday is the day set aside for congregating for most churches, it is difficult to find a congregation on other days. For example, if you work on Saturday and Sunday, are off mid-week, that’s your rest day, but not necessarily your holy day.

I concluded that we probably got it wrong. God meant that we rest; He wants us to rest all-knowing the benefits of it. What that rest means to each of us is our prerogative. Some find rest watching television, while rest to others is doing laundry. Rest which ever way soothes you; just remember that giving yourself the desired rest is essential and your body will thank you for it. Remember that the Sabbath was made for us all; and not us for the sabbath.

Meditation is the most important aspect of Prayer

Meditation means different things to different people. Some meditate for medical reasons, some for spiritual reasons, while most meditate just because.

Though, per the influential Mayo Clinic, there is no scientific research conclusions to draw on the benefits of meditation, medically, meditation has been used to calm the nerves and reduce stress. It can also help to manage a myriad of health conditions.

“Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life.” I attest to this because as a lover of Jesus The Christ, I meditate. Other religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) are known to meditate as the core of their doctrines.

Many folks assume yoga as a type of sport rather than a religious (Hindu) practice. As such multitudes join yoga without an understanding of what it truly is. There are also different types of yoga meditation. It is important to know the teachings of the particular yoga instructor before joining.

The bottom line is that we all meditate consciously or unconsciously and for good or bad. There is a meditation of the heart and of the mind. We meditate when we focus our mind or heart intensely on anything, anyone, or on an object. Selah

There are several types of meditation. The most popular include:

  • mindfulness meditation
  • spiritual meditation
  • focused meditation
  • movement meditation
  • mantra meditation
  • transcendental meditation
  • progressive relaxation
  • loving-kindness meditation
  • visualization meditation
  • yoga meditation
  • zen meditation, etc.
Spiritual (Biblical) Meditation

I’m particular about the spiritual meditation and have realized that meditation is the most important aspect of prayer.

Prayer is you talking; meditation is listening

Dr. Myles Munroe

Biblically, one can meditate on God’s

  • Word
  • Law, day and night
  • Work
  • Precepts
  • Statutes

By so doing, you are focusing on all that God has stated, in all the above, and thus consciously agreeing “let it be unto me accordingly.”

You can also meditate on your, and or others’, testimonies. Doing so is a recall of those testimonies, reminder to God of what He did, trusting that He can do it again, and asking Him to do it again or using past testimonies as an assurance to Him that He who did that can do this new petition that you’re presenting to Him.

Most people pray with a list of things for God to do for them or help them with. Once they’ve expressed the list, they thank Him and off they go till the next day or week. The prayer session will be about 10-15 minutes where they do all the talking. We don’t wait to hear God’s response or if He has assignments or instructions for us.

“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”‭‭

(1 Timothy‬ ‭4:15‬)

Biblical meditation is the art of listening in the presence of God. We talk less or not at all. You can enter into His Presence, in your closet, or a chosen space with instrumental worship music for a specified time period. Sit still and focus on His Word. If you’re new to biblical meditation, you can start with fifteen minutes and gradually increase it till your preferred time (e.g. one hour or more).

At the onset, nothing might happen. That’s okay; keep maintaining your time with Him. As long as you’re consistent and committed to the “appointment,” God, by His Holy Spirit will meet you and you’ll be amazed and realize that meditation is the most important aspect of prayer. It is where revelations are received.

This has been on my heart to blog for a while. I hope this ministers to someone.

The Recall

Credits: Unsplash / Brian Wertheim

The Preamble

1. My people perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

Knowledge, not of books (academics), but of a thorough insight into all areas of anything, plaguing or concerning us. We need a holistic not peripheral view or lens. Grant us Your Spirit of knowledge and truth, dear God.

2. “So teach us to number our days, That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”(Psalm‬ ‭90:12‬)

Teach us oh God to think critically, and look beyond the prima facie so that we can see what You see. Grant us Your Wisdom and cast out man’s wisdom and that of the world from us.

3. “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭8:2‬)‬‬

Help us oh God; deliver us from deceptive spirit and from ourselves. Think through our minds and speak through our mouths. Thank you Father God.

The Story

Gavin Newsom, the incumbent Democrat Governor of California (CA), is being recalled. The recall election is set for September 14th; about a month from today. How are you going to vote?

According to his top challenger, Larry Elder, a Republican, Newsom is corrupt, has led CA down the rabbit hole (my words) especially during the pandemic, and he (Larry) wants to save California.

“I’m running for Governor because the decline of California isn’t the fault of its people. Our government is what’s ruining the Golden State. …”

Larry Elder

Read more about Larry Elder and his ‘manifestohere.

Furthermore and according to an article, “The Recall would cost state and county election officials $276 million to administer.” Really? Can we pause a minute to imagine how many healthy meals can be provided to all children in public schools with that money and still have some change? Or how many grants can be awarded to enable students attend college? Or the number of homes that can be built to house homeless folks and clear / repair the dilapidated streets and freeways?

And guess who pays it back? We, the people, do in taxes and fees!

Man, I lost it when I saw that cost.

In Defense

It’s disappointing that Newsom cultivated a wait-and-see attitude and allowed the 1.5 million signatures for the recall to be collected unchallenged. Could he not have campaigned for his tenure and against the recall simultaneously when those signatures were being collected? I pondered.

Gavin Newsom has only been Governor for two years; smack in the middle of the pandemic. Like all of us, no one knew what to do with covid-19 or how to do the little we knew to do. Is’t fair to use the pandemic outcome as a yardstick to measure Newsom’s effectiveness as Governor of CA? I don’t think so. If anything, I think that CA faired better than most States regarding covid-19. Some States didn’t wear masks nor abided by the 6-feet distancing.

Yes, we expect a lot from our government, understandably. But that’s the whole reason we are disappointed in our government officials. We forget about the bureaucratic red tapes where a decision takes months, if not years, to make and signatories are required at each step. By the time those signatures are collected, the need for the decision has elapsed.

Granted that there are basic expectations of the government, covid, in my opinion was a grave exception.

Oh, I forgot about Gavin Newsom being at a party during covid, and all without masks. Is’t enough to justify a recall? To this I say, “he (or she) without sin, cast the first stone.”

What did Larry Elder and the other challengers expected of Newsom to have done in two years? Or during covid-19? And does Larry Elder, and the rest of the recall challengers, think that they can do better? We know it’s all political maneuvering. But, please, let not the people play their games because we, the people, will receive the outcome (wrong end) of it all.

“When two elephants fight, it’s the ground (or the arena where the fight occurred) that suffers.”                - an African adage

Lest they all forgot, Gavin Newsom became Governor of California in January 2019. All the issues raised by Larry Elder didn’t emanate the last two years. Those issues have been ongoing for decades. A good example is CA’s housing and homelessness issues. Prior CA Governors who had eight-year tenures couldn’t solve those issues. Why expect Newsom to in two years; which technically could be six months because of covid?

I am a Democrat on paper, but first a citizen of California and of the United States of America. My stand is not of party affiliation. I’ll take a stand if the Governor had been a Republican and the recall, in my opinion, does not make sense. I’m just tired of my people’s emotional rush and a lack of deliberate logical /critical thinking-through.

No to the Recall. It’s nonsensical!

We know that California is a political key state, having the highest number (55) of electoral votes, than any other of the fifty states. Understandably that political parties scurry for the State to be in charge. But, can we make it first about the people.

Any excuse or reason is good enough when people just want (not, need) a change. The reason could even be all lies and slander to bait the people. But, my people, it takes two to tango. If the politicians think that they can ‘fool’ the people, they’ll continue to do so. But if the people wake up, wise up, and say enough, the politicians will stop and change. They can’t without us. Let’s stop being gullible and frivolous people.

Credits: Unsplash / Hansjörg Keller

Similar Politicking

A similar occurrence happened regarding the Los Angeles County (LAC) District Attorney (DA) position. Anyone good enough could have replaced Jackie Lacey, the then incumbent DA. The people were tired with her, particularly with her (or office’s) handling of issues regarding BLM. Enter George Gascón, with an impressive resume, and bingo, we’ve got a great challenger to oust her out. Gascón won the race and the people were happy, or so we thought. But no. Less than three months in office, Gascón faced a recall. No kidding, right? What were the people thinking when they voted him in? Why allow ourselves and our emotions to go yo-yo at the flip of a button or do the 180-360 degree flips, beats me.

For Gascón, the recall supporters “must collect 579,062 signatures from registered voters in the county by October 27, 2021.”

Final Thoughts

Some might say that these two cases are what politics is all about; that politics is dirty. But, no. Politics of itself is about service to the nation and serving its people. Politics of itself is not dirty, but the people in politics are the ones who play the dirty games; just as being played in other professions as the Police, Prisons, Banking/Finance, etc. The point is that there are bad eggs/people everywhere; in families, community, work, etc.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

When people in politics put self, greed, and position above the people, we, the people, should not just stand and watch. We, the people, have the power to change it all. We can return politics to the service dignity comparable to any private lucrative profession. Time, we the people, start thinking and less talking.

Father God, I ask you once more to

“teach us to number our days, That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”(Psalm‬ ‭90:12‬)

We don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but we trust you and ask that you purify our hearts. Help us to think right. We don’t know how to vote, but we surrender it all to you. Help us to march forward always, and not backwards. Help us to think altruistically and not selfishly.

This Recall, in my opinion, is out of order. The reason(s) is(are) flimsy. How are you going to vote on September 14?

Thanks for reading. This post is longer than my norm, but not long enough to split in two. I appreciate your time reading till the end.

The Steve Graves Weekly: Finding Your Scottie Pippen

The Steve Graves Weekly: Finding Your Scottie Pippen
— Read on us10.campaign-archive.com/

Who is your Pippen or Chuck?

Two weeks ago, I had thought of a blog topic, using basketball as an allegory. The topic was “every MJ has a Pippen.” But with the Finals in full swing, I wrote the title, then shelved it for other topics. Guess what, yesterday, I got an article on exactly the same topic from one of the blogs I follow! I can’t help but share it.

I was like omg, Father God, what are you trying to tell me? That’s like Him – giving His people the same thing at the same time. My people, He is speaking and we all need to pay attention.

I believe that God is telling us to pay more and better attention to the #2s in our lives. And if you are a #2 to someone, know that you are special because God has taken note of you. Not that He just did, He’s being watching you keenly.

I was going to post a different blog for Sunday’s Jesus Ministry, but had to switch to blog this.

Everyone knows who Michael Jordan is. He is a global athletic icon. Every kid or high schooler wants to be like Mike. But how many know who Scottie Pippen is – now or then; during both their seasons with the Chicago Bulls.?

The Bible talks about Ruth (in the Book of Ruth) and Jonathan (in the Book of 1 Samuel). Both Ruth and Jonathan are folks who came into the lives of another (Naomi and David respectively) to help them out. They became team members for the success of the other.

I really don’t have much to add. Steve Graves’ article does all the talking.

However, I would like to add this: that I hope we all have a Chuck (Barkley) in our corner. Chuck, on the Inside the NBA show was the only analyst who supported, voted, and believed that Giannis and Milwaukee Bucks would win the Championship. He believed at the onset of the Playoffs even when Bucks was losing and were not playing their best game as expected.

I hope someone some where believes in me. I hope someone some where believes in you, too.

Stayed blessed and have a great and productive week.

Of Sinners and Saints

I had posted similar opposing-titled blogs; Of In-Laws and Outlaws, Of Poverty and Riches, Of Marriages and Divorces, Of God and Satan, Of Fathers and Daughters, and Of Mothers and Sons. All of which were self-inspired by observations and personal experiences.

Today’s post’s title however was inspired by a cake and sweet shop so named. I drove by it and bought a piece of velvet cake. I have tasted several velvet cakes and I love to compare with a personal goal of selecting the best. It’s been hard though as every piece is unique in its taste.

This particular velvet cake had both a sweet and not-so-sweet (not sour or bitter) combination. I’m sure bakers have a term for it. Sorry, I’m not a baker. Anyways, the velvet cake was surprisingly the not-so-sweet, while the creamy topping was the sweet. But the topping also had some sprinkling that balances the sweetness; kind of like a dark chocolate topping on a vanilla icecream. After savoring the cake (I wanted another but had driven far off to turn back!), I experienced the aha moment of the cakery’s (patisserie or bakery) name.

Of Sinners and Saints

Who is a sinner?
You and I.
Cos we are imperfect
And live in an imperfect world.

We are sinners
when we disobey God’s words
when we do the things He disapproves of,
when we love darkness
rather than light,
when we act like Judas
rather than the Good Samaritan.

Now, who is a Saint?
None of us
Though all of us could qualify.

“A saint
Is just a sinner who fell down,
But … couldn’t stay there,
And got up…Donnie McClurkin

You could be a saint
if you live a holy and righteous life, or give generously to others of your time, talent, and treasures

You don’t have to die
to qualify as a saint
As does the Catholics

You, and I, can start
living as saints here on earth

Else we’ll be the sinners who never got back up, and
no-one wants around;

Choose today
which you’ll be,
Sinner or Saint.

Both sinners and saints
never last
either can change,
for the better;
hopefully, not for worse.

In choosing
remember that
One goes to hell
and the other to heaven.

I hope you’ll choose wisely
This day who you’ll become
If you already haven’t.

WISDOM (II)

I love Wisdom. It is a gift from God. Those who are blessed with it utter (or pen) such incontestable words that leaves one’s mouth agape, takes one’s breathe away, and sets the hearts ablaze in wonder. It makes an adult out of youngsters and a sage of grown ups. When such moments occur you realize it’s a God moment.

Wisdom defies age and flourishes where peace and tranquillity resides. It is not intelligence. For great intelligentsias have lacked the simplest wisdom.

Wisdom eludes those greedy for power, selfish ambition, fame, riches, or vanity. And eschews the alcohol bibber.

The Wisdom I’m talking about is the one from God, from on High. It is the wisdom that is “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James‬ ‭3:17‬)‭

I wrote about the three types of Wisdom. Click here to read about it.

I need wisdom in the affairs of life generally. I hope you do, too.
Bible readers will remember King Solomon, the man of wisdom. Even he needed wisdom in deliberating over an issue of switched births and subsequent death of one of the babies. Both ladies claimed that the surviving baby belonged to her while the dead baby belonged to the other. King Solomon then requested for a sword and told the ladies he would slice the baby in two and give a part to each. 😱

One woman said “yes, go ahead, king.” The other said “no, my king, let her have the baby.” I hope you guessed right who the real mother was. Not that King Solomon will do such an act, but it was wisdom from on high that suggested it to him.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”‭‭ (James‬ 3:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Of Wisdom and Foolishness

Yes, there are times when those noted for Wisdom have done or said a foolish thing or two. Those times are exceptions. Foolish as what the wise one may have done or said, it is still part of the sage’s ordained path and it’s for someone somewhere. Am I making excuses for the wise? Certainly not. Take a look at King Solomon’s life (Nehemiah 13:26), the one whom Lord Jesus claimed to be the wisest, and you’ll understand. Sometimes I feel that God, the Infinite Wisdom, often chooses to put a thorn in the flesh to keep the wise meek, humble, and to butress who is in control.

In a culture full of instant gratifications where tons of foolishness abound, it’s rare to find wisdom. But look closely, wisdom is lurking very close. The prudent and equally wise recognize it and desires to sit at her feet.

This young lady, Sarah Jakes, Toure, is one blessed with wisdom. This video interview of her is highly recommended for all young ladies out there. I also gleaned some nuggets from the video as I consider myself a young lady at heart.

More Wisdom Sayings

  • “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭NIV)
  • ‬‬“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs‬ ‭13:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬)
  • “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: And with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬)
  • “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs‬ ‭12:15‬ ‭NIV)‬‬

If you desire Wisdom, all you have to do is ask Father God. He promised to give it to you liberally.

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

I leave you with this Chapter (Proverbs‬ ‭2:1-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬), from the Book of Proverbs which was written by King Solomon.

“My son (and daughter), if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—

indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,

who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways,

who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,

whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman (and man), from the wayward woman (or man) with her (his) seductive words,

who has left the partner of her (his) youth and ignored the covenant she (he) made before God.

Surely her (his) house leads down to death and her (his) paths to the spirits of the dead.

None who go to her (his) return or attain the paths of life.

Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.

For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;

but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”

Thanks

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed reading as I have enjoyed gleaning the wisdom from writing it as well. Stay blessed and in wisdom

WISDOM (I)

Each block/paragraph below is a verse. Absolutely no indigestion nor congestion. Simply enjoy, digest, ingest all you can, and egest the ones you can’t. At the end, I hope you badly desire Wisdom.

From the Holy Bible: Proverbs 8:1-36

“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?

At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud:

“To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.

You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.

My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.

All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.

To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,

for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.

By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.

My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,

bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;

I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.

When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water;

before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,

before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth.

I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,

when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,

when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,

rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.

Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.

Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.

Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.

But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”

Selah (ponder on this for a moment)

6 Lessons I learned from just watching Basketball: Part I

  1. Never give up
  2. Be open-minded
  3. Change
  4. Believe
  5. Always put your best foot forward, and
  6. Speak / affirm your success.

Preface

I know that God speaks to all His creatures (people). The question is whether or not we are receiving or perceiving what He’s saying? It is akin to a radio station; you hear it clearly when your antenna is in sync with the station. Other times, when the antenna is not, it’s muffled and you can get interferences. Interruptions that distorts the messages received will spur the wrong action.

I gravitated wholly to basketball when my daughters got more into the sport in middle school. They both had been playing since they were four. At the time, it was just to occupy their time. However, it turned out to be a sport they both loved, in addition to soccer. Prior to that, personally, basketball was just another sport. I wanted to better understand the game in order to be able to help them be better. So I learned, read, watched, and asked questions. Their dad was not interested in being part of it because he considered it a waste of time and money! Occasionally he would join us for a game, drop and pick them up from practices which all seemed like a “forced” chore.

Basketball is now my #1 pastime.

Observations

While I saw few players being misfits in their initial teams, blossoming when placed in another team, I also noted those who were excelling as starters at one team, relegated to benchers and thus dwindled skills. A few of those players have either faded into NBA oblivion or gone international for a second opportunity.

As with the players, so with the Coaches. A coach (or more) couldn’t coach his team to a championship not to talk of the Playoffs. Yet, when let go and embraced by another team, I watched their teams excelling and reaching Playoffs and Conference Finals.

What was it that changed or why couldn’t the same coach perform at the old team? I wonder repeatedly for an answer.

I also watched teams defeated, that were otherwise sure-bankers for the win, while the underdogs shone over and over. This instance happened to my younger daughter’s big 7th grade championship game! I still remember it to this day. And a few top key players appeared unprepared for certain games, and the benchers were the saving graces for the day.

All these, I hope you agree, demonstrates that nothing is etched in stone and never say never.

Golden Nugget

I shared with my younger daughter, while we were both watching the Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks’ Game 6, one thing that had stayed with me over the years from a former CEO. At an office quarterly meeting, he said “we put so much into hiring the right fit and I believe that we have a superb HR Department. If an employee is not performing where we’ve placed him/her, it is not the employee’s fault. It could be that we made a mistake in hiring, which I doubt, or it could be that we placed the employee in the wrong department. Most likely the latter. I implore all managers to give the employee another chance and help find the department where they think the employee might be a better fit, before showing him or her the door. Give the employee time to adjust; learning curve.

The wisdom from that statement stayed with me and I have used it in advising others till date.

I shared that while musingly watching Nate McMillan coach Atlanta Hawks within the year to the Eastern Final; one he couldn’t achieve for Indiana Pacers nor the Portland Blazers during his tenures for four and five years respectively. His closest record to the Atlanta Hawks’ was once during his seven-year season with the Seattle Sonics.

Some thing, or things, definitely changed either connected to his maturity or skills or both. Was he let off too soon at his previous coaching positions and could he have achieved the same, or more, success had he stayed longer? Your answer is as good as mine.

God in Basketball?

God is everywhere and in everything whether you admit or acknowledge it or not. And, yes, he is in the basketball and all games.

One of my favorite scripture chapter is Ecclesiastes 3:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill (my interpretation: this is not to murder anyone, but more in reference to “killing” what is not fruitful in our lives), and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and
a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate (my interpretation: not hating of people, but more of a hate of evil and the heavy things that tend to weigh us down);
a time for war, and a time for peace. …
He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart, …
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God hath done it, that men should fear before him.
‭‭(Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:‬ ‭ASV‬‬ verses 1-8, 11a, 14)

I referenced this scripture because winning in basketball, aside from the right fit, is about seasons and times. While the coach strategizes and breaks down the game plan, the players have to build up their game-changing habits, skills, and styles. More of this later.

Is “God” in the basketball, finals, and championship? Yes, you bet He is, though many will disagree with me and loudly say that it’s a matter of skills. And God is in everything though we don’t all see it nor acknowledge Him.

The two finals’ teams have long histories. On one hand one key player has been in the NBA for over a decade, with multiple teams, yet has never reached Finals let alone win a championship. Another was so close to a Final, yet missed it. Both Teams haven’t won in several years. I would propose that each player and both teams are desperate for a deserving win, right? Yet we know that only one will win. Who will it be?

These observations and lessons are not peculiar to this season’s basketball alone, but to every season, game of basketball be it at the school, college, or professional levels, as well as, every spheres of life. But we have to pay attention in order to grasp them.

Someone once said,

“If you pay attention, attention will pay you.”

This statement does not mean seeing the obvious and visible. We don’t need any more attention for that. What it means is that only the diligent and curious will see the latent. How does it relate to basketball and the lessons I have learned?

To be continued … stay tuned to find out.

Is your Heart healthy? Or Are you on a Verge of a Heart Attack?

There are devices we can use at home to check our blood pressure, our temperature, and blood sugar for glucose level? But how does one check the heart? I do not suppose that there is a home device yet for the heart.

We all need a heart check up. And I don’t mean medically. That is necessary and important. I’m referring to a spiritual heart check up. But how do we go about it?

We could ask a trusted family member or friend for an honest review, but still they do not have a full picture of our heart. They can only evaluate based on their interactions with us. Their evaluations might be skewed not wanting to offend us.

The best evaluator of our heart therefore is God. He sees our hearts and the innermost part of our beings which are hidden to others. He also knows our frames and intentions. We should humbly go to Him often to say

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”                
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Will you? I do occasionally.

Have you ever wondered what state your heart is? Or been told that you do need to check your heart? Not that I have been told to, but I do often feel like telling some folks to do just that – check their hearts.

Keep (check) your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

I’ve been on

which I selected out of sheer curiosity. I’ve almost completed it and thought it would be great to share. Check it out for a Transforming of Your Heart. I won’t give all the details away because it is worth reading. I got the types of hearts from it.

We’ve heard the cliche “Follow your heart,” but will you agree with me that sometimes our hearts can deceive us. Or how does one explain a lady who tells everyone that “my heart says he’s my husband” to a married man? Odd, but true. I’ve heard it twice. And you just stare at the lady in disbelief while refraining from shaking your head and telling her that she is delusional. Please note that this has nothing to do the mental capacity of the lady.

There are other examples I could give. The heart state is also the reason why some employees slander and tattle to the boss about another fellow employer. Anyhow

May God help us all.

So, What Kind of Heart are You?

I know that I used to have a stubborn, anxious, and condemning heart. But thank God for searching, delivering me from it all, and replacing it with a teachable, thankful, contrite, loving truth- and peace-filled heart. It is surely more than I can ask for. He has blessed me with a faith-filled, generous, joyful, and wise (could use some more wisdom) heart. But I do need and pray for a more grace-filled and surrendered heart. And yet Father God desires of me a trusting heart though what I still give Him is a questioning heart. God help me.

How about you?

Holly Melton, the author of the Plan, listed the following hearts. Will you share, in the Comments, the type of heart you think or know you have, the one you desire, and also need help with.

  • Stubborn or Teachable Heart
  • Forgetful or Remembering Heart
  • Questioning or Trusting Heart
  • Unbelieving or Believing Heart
  • Complacent or Thankful Heart
  • Deceived or Truth-Filled Heart
  • Sorrowful or Glad Heart
  • Anxious or Peace-Filled Heart
  • Prideful or Humble Heart
  • Hopeless or Hopeful Heart
  • Selfish or Generous Heart
  • Overly-Sensitive or Grace-Filled Heart
  • Hateful or Loving Heart
  • Angry or Forgiving Heart
  • Clean or Dirty Heart
  • Repentant or impertinent Heart
  • Sincere or Dishonest/Deceitful Heart
  • Serving or Controlling and Master’ing Heart
  • Condemning or Contrite Heart
  • Idolatrous or Surrendered Heart
  • Lustful or Pure Heart
  • Compassionate or Hardened Heart
  • Wise or Foolish Heart
  • Joyless or Joyful Heart
  • Courageous or Fearful Heart
  • Righteous or Evil Heart

May we be willing to allow God to search our hearts and correct the anomalies lest we have a spiritual heart attack some day. May it never be.

To your spiritual heart wellness

Unrequited Love

Credits: Unsplash / S. Ruvalcaba

How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back? Thanks to Think Written for the writing prompt.

Love ought to be reciprocal. Yes? Right? Remember Teddy Pendergrass’s 50/50 (or is’t 70/30 or 60/40) love song? Who wants to be the one holding on to the 30 or 40 in a relationship when better is imminent or probable? Only a few exceptional instances will qualify; like a parental love. Even at that, some parents have been known to be justifiably callous or exercised tough love. (A post for another day.)

For today’s post, Unrequited love in any relationship sucks.

Sometimes we equate love for all the other things such as infatuation, lust, passion, crush, or simply lasciviousness. These can emanate from one or both people and we eventually find ourselves in unrequited love.

Unrequited love in any relationship sucks and is a mental torture.

ThinkerTalker

It may have begun as a requited affair or of mutual consent, but along the way, things and life happened, people changed and eyes strayed elsewhere, and left our love unrequited. It becomes troubling. Gazillion questions run amok in our minds chiefly resting on two “what did I do to deserve this or the change and straying?” and “where did I go wrong?”

Effects of Unrequited Love

The receiving person (of the unrequited love) does what most people do; internalizes, withdraws, and blames self for the other person’s unbecoming attitude. Unfortunately, the embarrassment is blatant to all leaving one feeling unworthy, sapped confidence from ours and others reactions, and our esteem turning low. We feel deserted, betrayed, and left alone to deal with it. You got yourself into the situation, now how do you get yourself out?

What do you do?

What do you do? Do you stay put trying to win the other person back, make excuses, or do you leave with or without packing your bags and say “hasta la vista?!”

Is it escapism or humanism to blame ourselves for other people’s shortcomings? Is it as a first stop of self-reflection or second-guessing ourselves that we are less deserving of better? Everyone reacts differently. However you react and whatever it is,

  1. First admit your part – how you got into the relationship. It’s time for deep reflection. Most often, the handwritings were on the wall, but passion or desire blindfolded you from clarity,
  2. Ask for forgiveness. It is the first step to wholeness. Better yet, forgive the other person because it is only then you can be objective in moving forward.
  3. Ask God for help. You need Him more now than ever. It’s definitely not a time to be mad at God. “Why didn’t He stop me?” “Why did he allow me?” Or better still, “why didn’t he knock him/her on the head to wake up?” Remember, or if you don’t already know, there’s the permissible will of God where He allows us to do what we desire as a result of our resistance to where He’s steering us.
  4. Ask family and friends also for help. Still, it’s not the time to be mad at them for not telling you. There’s another time for that.
  5. Don’t run (or jump) prematurely into another relationship.
  6. Give yourself time to heal. It is only then that you will most likely not repeat the experience.
  7. And finally, be wise and seek God before starting or getting into the next relationship.

I am so grateful that God is not a man.

Unrequited Love towards God

Now imagine how Father God, your Creator feels when His love is either ignored, unwarranted , or unembraced. Lack-luster love towards God is the epitome of unrequited love. We’ve given Him no love at all, while some have only given Him the minimal. God is holding on to the 30 and 40 of our love while wishing you’d give Him the 100. Yet He loves us so.

But I am glad that God does not abandon us when His love is unrequited. Every other unrequited love pales significantly in comparison. God is there all along patiently waiting for the day we will wake up to realism (the doctrine that universals have a real objective existence) and our need of Him.

Wake up or Woke

And so it is as well when we find ourselves in earthly unrequited love. We allow ourselves to go roller-coasting through all the e-motions until realization steps in. We can humbly or boldly state that “I’m better than this and deserve the best.”

So whosoever is not returning your love, woke or wake up, and know that you deserve better. There might be a reason. Maybe it is the “invisible hands” blocking him/her from seeing the beauty (I don’t mean the physical/facial) God created and he/she is being prevented from blocking your real soulmate. Just maybe because all things are working together for your good.

Remember God loves you unconditionally. He loves you today, loved you yesterday, and will love you forever. Embrace His love today and now. He is waiting on you to return His love; turning the unrequited to Requited Love. Isn’t that what we all desire?

Have you experienced unrequited love (loving someone who doesn’t love you back) and would like to share? Please do so in the comments. Thanks

Jesus Ministry: God is a Spirit

What is a Spirit?

There are thirty-one (31) different definitions of a spirit in Dictionary.com. Only 3 of these will suffice for this post.

A spirit is “a supernatural, conscious, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc.,” or “having a particular character,” or “a divine, inspiring, or animating being or influence. Numbers 11:25; Isaiah 32:15”.

When written in initial capital, we refer to the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit. My best definition of the Spirit is contained in the scripture of John 3:8:

This scripture helps us to understand that the Spirit is a wind; you feel His presence but don’t see Him.

What does “God is a Spirit” mean?

The saying that “God is a spirit” is a noted scripture (John 3:8) among Christians. My interpretation of the phrase based on personal experience is that, to experience God, you have to engage with Him spiritually, not merely verbally. Knowing God is more than just expressing it. To know Him is to have a relationship with Him and He with you. You wake up, and before going to bed at night, wanting to spend quality time with Him. Just as with our earthly relationships, when we desire to spend time with the people/friends we love, so it is with our Father in heaven.

How do you know God?

  • First, as a Christian, it’s by invitation and accepting that Jesus is Lord; not the just because “my parents are Christians and so I am” kind.
  • Then, it’s about reading His Word, the Holy Bible, and engaging Him in a conversation by His Holy Spirit.
  • Obeying His Words and commands
  • Choosing to walk holy; being in the world but not of the world (John 17:14, 16)
  • It’s also about being baptized in the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 2:12)
  • And spending time in His presence.

From spending time in His presence, God ministers to you, reveals different sides of His attributes to you, while gradually changing you in the process, and begins to give you His spirit. This explains why some things that you used to do pre-Christian, and which are not in accordance with His will for you, gradually begin to fade away.

No one has seen God at anytime (1 John 4:12), but we know He exists. He is not an image, though some carve images to symbolize Him. That’s idol worshipping. He is also not a tree or an animal. He is their Creator and we worship the Creator, not the created or creature.

Because we consciously or unconsciously take on our environment, time spent with Father God begins to change us to be like Him. When you cultivate a relationship with God, you feel Him and He speaks to your spirit man.

Finally, we worship Him with psalms, hymns, and praises. The best worship is daily keeping still in His presence for a few minutes, no talking or singing, just listening and being still. This is how you worship God in spirit. The Father seeks such to worship Him (John 4:23c).

Jesus Ministry: Call to Pray

If I shut up heaven
that there be no rain,
or
if I command the locusts
to devour the land,
or
if I send pestilence
among my people;

if my people,
which are called
by my name,
shall humble themselves,

and pray,
and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;

then
will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.

Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto (their) prayer
that is made (fill-in-the-blanks)
‭‭

2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:13-15‬‬

Of God The Creator and Satan The Imitator

We’ve all heard and probably know or acknowledge the deity of the Almighty Creator of the universe. He goes by different names, in the Christian spheres, among which are:

I AM. Elohim. Yahweh. Alpha.
Omega. Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent. Ancient of Days.
Jehovah El Roi, Nissi, Tsidkenu, etc.

Other religious spheres call Him by other names. This post is not sufficient to do the ultimate justice of narrating all that God is, but its point is to reemphasize that He is God, the Creator, and there is no other like Him.

In the Book of Genesis, we learned that He created the universe, in six days, from nothing. Though some argue His creations and ascribe it to evolution, I propose to you that God existed before science or evolution because He created it all. Please don’t engage me in any argument regarding this statement. We can each believe what we want or like, but there will come a day and time when our beliefs will confirm His Ultimate Supreme Being.

God the Creator breathe into man and man became a living being. He created knowledge, understanding, and wisdom and gives them liberally to whosoever asks Him for it. You don’t pray to have what someone else has; that’s covetousness and it’s sin. You go directly to Him for any and everything you desire and He’ll give it to you according to the way and manner that He has created and wired you while taking into consideration your purpose. I hope you get that.

Because He is the Creator, He is more than able to create anything. And because we are made in His likeness, we have the capability to create as well. Any wonder why you are a creative being. Wow! Ponder on that for a moment.

God the Creator is not limited to how He does what He does. He can use people, things, animals, or allegories, to accomplish His purpose.

On the other hand, we’ve all probably have heard of Satan, the Imitator. Some are even privileged to know him. Satan goes by other names, too, such as

Devil. The Deceiver. The Liar. The Destroyer. The Enemy, Robber, Stealer. Lucifer, etc.

Satan cannot, and does not, create. But he knows how to destroy what has already been created. He knows how to delay creation if he’s allowed.

We read how Satan came to deceive after creation. Satan is still causing confusion today because we’re allowing it. He’s the author of confusion. The lies, deceits, manipulation, jealousies, envies, etc. are his manifestos. Father God we repent for allowing ourselves to be deceived. God forgive us all.

Satan cannot create. He is a counterfeiter and duplicates. He speaks (or suggests) half-truths such that if you are ignorant of the real truth, you’ll be hooked on his bait. God deliver us all.

Nobody likes to talk about satan. “Why are you focused on the negative …?” Whereas God loves to illuminate our minds and grant us knowledge, Satan loves for people to be ignorant and stay or live in the dark about themselves or an issue. That’s why we need to expose him and his tactics so that the eyes of our understanding might be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18a)

God loves gentleness, humility, meekness, kindness, etc. Satan loves bravado, pride, arrogance, etc. God is Light and loves openness and light. Satan lives the dark and secrecy. Please let’s not confuse secrecy with privacy; they are two separate things. Whereas God uses people to bless a person, Satan uses people, and particularly those that are closest to one, to hurt them.

Some are wallowing, out of ignorance, in deception and the dark. It is by talking about this that they (and we all) can recognize that they have been deceived, lied to, and can be brought out of the darkness. May God deliver such folks and us all.

Next time you do something, pause to ask; “who is this glorifying?” The answer will either propel you to action or stop you in your tracks.

Thanks for reading. Stay blessed

Jesus Ministry: Peace

Credits: Unsplash / Sunyu

Peace is a state of stillness, tranquility, harmony, or serenity. A freedom of the mind from agitation, annoyance, distraction, anxiety, warring, or obsession. It is also a state or condition available to people and nations, but not all possesses it.

In the absence of Peace, chaos, or agitation, anxiety, fear, and war, is often the order of the day for the person or nation devoid of peace. We all know the repercussions of such anti-peace/peaceful states. They result in confusion, disorder, disorientation, discord, and utter disarray. Without peace, we can do things haphazardly, make decisions in a rash, and take actions that we ought not to take.

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace …”‭‭ (1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬)

I propose to you that it is possible to be in peace in the midst of chaos. It is a state of being and knowing that Hod is in control and whatever has come to disturb our peace will soon surely pass away. We abide in the state of peace by the help of the Holy Spirit. And by asking for it. Seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11b)

Many desire peace and freedom in their minds but don’t know how to obtain it. As with most life conditions, we can be peacefully born and grow peacefully. But for those of us who were not born or growing peacefully, do not despair, we can be gifted. Because Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

I acknowledge that some life experiences could and may have thwarted or disturbed one’s peace, and there are those who have been medically diagnosed with one or more types of mental illnesses or disorders such as anxiety, depression, panic, or some other type of phobia. This post is not to belittle mental diagnosis. God forbid. I acknowledge that it is real. But the post is to offer it as help, in conjunction with any medical, psychiatric, or therapeutic treatments, as I believe that God is able to heal anyone through, and by, His Words.

“He sent out his word and healed them; ...” (Psalms‬ ‭107:20‬)‭‬‬

As a digress, a well-rounded individual will develop him/herself in six main areas. These are spiritually, mentally, financially, physically, socially, and emotionally. (Post for another day)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He left us the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) as our helper in every state. Everything is available to us, but we still have to ask. “He will keep (you) in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him.” (Isaiah‬ ‭26:3)‬ ‭‬.

How to: 27 Scriptures To Help

If you desire His Peace, again, you have to ask Him and remind Him of His promises. If we don’t know His promises, how do we know what to ask for?

Fear attacks even the best of us. We can acknowledge that we are afraid, but it’s not okay to stay afraid or fearful for life. You have to desire to want out of the fear. You might know the cause (source or root) of the fear. Great if you do; for example, did you hear something or someone said something fearful or you watched some sad and fearful incident. It’s helpful as it helps to pray specifically against the object of fear. Whether the root of fear is recognizable and know or not, reading these scriptures will help to allay those fears. God’s Words are Spirit and life (John 6:63b). It will not return to God without accomplishing that which it was sent to (Isaiah 55:11). Personalize the scriptures as you deem necessary. For example, “I will not be anxious for anything, I cast my cares on Him, Your peace you left with me, etc. Since we are all different, some might not finish reading the 27 verses before they return to a state of Peace. Others, might have to read them more than once. Read them regularly and as often as you desire.

I have compiled the following 27 God’s Words (aka scriptures or verses) regarding Peace to aid you. They are in the New International Version (NIV). I pray that they minister to you. “May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬)

  1. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬)
  2. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬, Psalm 55:22)
  3. I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. …” (John‬ ‭16:33‬a)
  4. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John‬ ‭14:27‬)
  5. ‭”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬)
  6. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalms‬ ‭4:8)
  7. ‬ ‭‬‬”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans‬ ‭15:13‬)
  8. “… And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:9b‬)
  9. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews‬ ‭12:14‬)
  10. ‭”The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”(Isaiah‬ ‭32:17-18‬)
  11. ‭”Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”(James‬ ‭3:18‬)
  12. ‭”When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.”(Luke‬ ‭10:5-6‬)
  13. ‭… the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans‬ ‭8:6‬)
  14. ‭“”There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”” (Isaiah‬ ‭48:22‬)
  15. ‭“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans‬ ‭12:18‬)
  16. ‭”Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians‬ ‭4:3‬)
  17. ‭“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalms‬ ‭119:165)
  18. ‬ ‭“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalms‬ ‭34:14‬)
  19. ‭“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans‬ ‭14:19‬)
  20. ‭“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation (peace) brought me joy.” (Psalms‬ ‭94:19‬)
  21. ‭“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:14‬)
  22. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, …” (Proverbs‬ ‭14:30‬)
  23. ‭“When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” (Proverbs‬ ‭16:7‬)
  24. ‭“Those who walk uprightly enter into (Your) Peace; …” (Isaiah‬ ‭57:2‬)
  25. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬)
  26. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬)‭
  27. “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (Proverbs‬ ‭20:3‬)

My Prayer of Peace for You

  • May the Lord of Peace Himself turn His face towards you, give you and bless you with His peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (Numbers‬ ‭6:26, 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭3:16‬), Psalms‬ ‭29:11‬b
  • May His mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude‬ ‭1:2‬)‭
  • May all your children be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah‬ ‭54:13‬)‭

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:11, ‬Romans‬ ‭15:33‬)

Credits: Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez

It’s Nothing

If everyone believes in you
But you don’t,
It’s nothing

If God says you are and can
But you don’t think so,
Agree or feel it
It’s nothing

No matter how many people
Tell you the qualities they love in you
Still, it’s nothing
If you don’t believe you possess those qualities

Until you know, that you know
That you know, that you know
Who you are
You will be roaming planet earth LOST

Today choose to be FOUND
Give meaning to who you are
Believe you are

CHANGE

Change any and every thing
That needs to be changed;
your mind, your thinking, your words
And your image, if necessary

Give yourself a do-over
See yourself in the image of that which you know you are
or aspire to be

God is waiting on you
To discover
And agree with Him
On who you are

Stop waiting on Him

Today is the day
For a new you
A new beginning.

Just believe
Else
It’s nothing.

Jesus Ministry: Resurrection

Credits: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema

Resurrection, according to Dictionary.com, is the rising of Christ after His death and burial.

We do not need a dictionary to tell us what Resurrection means. But that the dictionary includes the word is confirmation that Resurrection is real. Yes, crucify me for that. As a lover of Jesus The Christ, I believe in His death and resurrection. It is the most significant day in Jesus’s ministry and, for that matter, in the Bible and Christians’ lives. And because He died, was buried, and rose again, every Christian can. In fact, I propose to you that anyone who believes, can.

Christianity is the only religion that claims Resurrection. It is the power available to all who believe in the name of Jesus. It’s the difference maker.

Resurrection is both symbolic and non-symbolic. As such, literally the dead can be resuscitated. I have actually witnessed a dead being brought back to life. The medical field will debate Resurrection. Any wonder since they also don’t support natural medicines. Yet it works? Intellectuals and scientists will also debate Resurrection. But they cannot deny its power.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Several books are in print regarding the dead being brought back to life to share their heavenly or hellish experiences; hopefully, to minister to us still alive for a change in our paths or to stir up our faith and hope.

Symbolically, anything dead in one’s life can be resuscitated. Anything such as relationships, dreams, work or business, a prodigal child, an absent father, etc. All because of the power available to anyone who believes in Christ and His Resurrection.

Credits: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema

Nonetheless, I pray that we have the wisdom to know when to leave the dead and dead things alone.

I once read about a church when, during service, one of the member’s toddler allegedly died and had to be air-lifted to the children’s hospital. While in the hospital, the service continued beyond the expected end time. The service turned to prophetic praise and worship for the family. Long and short, the child lived.

About a year later, another similar incident occurred at the same church. The family requested a praise and worship service on behalf of their child. The church obliged. Despite the parents’ hope, citing that the same God who did it then, will do it again for them. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. To say that the family, friends, and members, were distraught is an understatement.

Mystified. Yes. Why did God do it the first and not the second time? It is the mystery of God. He alone decides. He would put that decision in someone’s heart to stir them to speak His words and to act. God acts through anyone available for Him to use. He alone raises the dead; not any human being.

My prayer today is that God who sees the dead things in your life, and knows the secret desires of your heart, will remember you and make alive anything and everything according to His will for you.

Peace and Happy Resurrection Day.

Don’t condemn yourself, neither let any condemn you

Everyone makes mistakes, right? At one point in our lives, each one of us will do or say something regrettable and wish that we could retract or delete or just wished that it was a bad dream? There’s none that hasn’t made a mistake at least once in their lifetime, right? If you haven’t, raise your hand, and I can guarantee you that before the day is over, you would have made your first! I said all that to say that mistakes happen to the best and worst of us all.

But, why condemn one another? Worse; why condemn yourself? Condemning oneself and being condemned by another is an unnecessary weight much worse than the bad committed.

Lord Jesus gave us an example when a woman who was caught in adultery was brought to him. The people wanted Jesus’s permission to stone her to death according to the law. Lord Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand; “he (or she) who has no sin, cast the first stone.” His message was addressed to no-one in particular, yet to everyone, but when the people read it, each one started walking away and left the woman. Jesus then turned to the woman “where are your accusers; hath no-one condemn you; woman, neither do I condemn you. go your way and sin no more.” Read about it in the Holy Bible, the Book of John 8:3-11.

Doing or saying regrettable things only confirms our humanity. Yet His grace is available to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9b). But shall we because of grace continue to sin? God forbid (Romans 6:15).

Don’t we love it when someone understands us, or stands with us, makes us feel better when others condemn us, desert us, or make us feel more rotten than we were before we came to them?

There is enough of condemnation and judging already in the world and we each need to do our part to stop and/or reverse the bad and evil to good. It takes too much energy to be and do bad with the resultant effects of headaches, insecurities, fears, and heartaches that goes with it. I’ve seen people destroy one another for no cause, except merely to feel better or superior than the other! Why? Beats me. Do they not know nor can’t they see that the sky is vast enough for the birds to fly without bumping into each other? I learned a long time ago that destroying another with your words or action is like shooting yourself in the foot and wishing it’s the other’s foot instead. Not that I ever did the bad – God forbid. Eventually people will see/know you for who you are and avoid you like a plague. I’m talking to slanderers, backbiters, liars, deceivers, adulterers, manipulators, and the likes. At that time, you’ll need someone (which you never were) on your side. Ponder on that for a moment. How does that make you feel? I hope that it stirs something in you to cry out for a change.

There is always room for change even to the best of us. Change is available for each one of us. But we have to acknowledge our errors and be willing to want to change, else it will be futile.

The Bible abound with imperfect people who still did mighty deeds for the Kingdom of God. If God could use them still, who are we to cancel anyone out? Um, cancel culture?! I’m not saying that we should not speak up against an evil deed or utterance, but once the person acknowledges and apologizes, we should be willing to let it go.

To err is human but to forgive is divine.

Alexander Pope

What to do if we’re condemned by someone or others?

  1. Let the person(s) know that you’re sorry and apologize yet again
  2. Pray for the person(s) for God to heal their heart(s). Often times the condemnation might not have anything to do with you, the error, or deed done, but with the person looking for someone to justify their own heart issues
  3. Do your best not to repeat the bad deed
  4. After you’ve done all that you know to do, stand therefore (Ephesians 6:13c-14a). Leave God to handle it. It might not happen right away, but trust Him to eventually right the wrong.

Let’s not condemn one another but love in words and deeds edifying one another to the glory of God our Father.

Peace

Jesus Ministry: Faith under Fire

Fire can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good when it does what we desire it to do. Such as having a camp fire, keeping warm, and cooking. But when it is the opposite, such as fire from a cigarette flick near an open gas cooker in a house, the fire can destroy the home, and God forbid, the people in it when rescue is delayed. And should it spread beyond the home to other homes and the neighborhood, the fire becomes bad and destructive.

Such negative outcome is akin to having one’s faith under fire.

Like a muscle, your faith has not atrophied because you have continuously exercised it and gotten positive results. You’ve prayed, read and meditated on scriptures, fasted, in the past and gotten speedy results. You did all that, too. Only now the unthinkable is happening. No result. And heaven seems like brass over your head.

What do you do? What do you do when your faith is tested by failure, rejection, lack, frustration, everything is at a standstill, bills unpaid, children sick, spouse misbehaving, and God seems to be silent or had forgotten you? What do you do?

Hebrews 12:29 tells us that “our God is a consuming fire.” He (God) comes (or sends the fire) to consume what should not have been in the first place. In the Bible, Fire is denoted by several things allegorically and symbolically serving different purposes.

It is written that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.” That’s Hebrew Chapter 11, Verse 1. Hebrews Chapter 11 is termed the Faith Chapter. I meditate on the chapter several times until I feel it in my spirit when my faith is under fire. Meditating on the chapter changes things.

The fire sometimes come to purge out the chaff from the wheat and those things that ought not to be in our lives. When the fire comes though, to us it seems like we will be consumed by it. But afterwards, we are glad for the purge and the remnants are what cannot be moved or shaken. In the process however it did not look good. Just as a diamond’s cut and clarity is shaped and obtained by going through fire (up to 1562°F), so are we sometimes taken through fire to become better.

Faith tells us to hope for the opposite of all that is testing us and speak the desired outcome into existence. We refuse to be moved by our circumstances. Faith is not believing in what is visible; what we see. If we do, it is not faith. But when all circumstances tell you that you cannot get out of your mess, and you “prophesy” to yourself and call the things that be not as though they were, that my friend is exercising your faith. You will get what you speak.

I dare you now to speak life to every dead thing in your life and speak to every mountain to be moved and call for angelic help. And after you have done all that you know to do, stand. Stand therefore believing that God’s got this.

Faith is action. You have done your part. Now await God’s part.

Recap

To recap, when your faith is on fire:

  1. Pray
  2. Meditate on the Faith Chapter, Hebrews 11
  3. Stand and put on the whole armor of God
  4. Wait for, and on, God. Waiting on God does not mean that you sit still and fold your arms. It means that you keep doing what you are supposed to do while believing that your circumstances will change.

I pray that God will answer you speedily in Jesus Name.

Jesus Ministry: God Speaks

Do you believe that God speaks? Do you believe that God speaks to you, or is speaking, and wants to speak to you?

God speaks all the time and more so at the end of a year/beginning of a new one. In reviewing a prior year and getting ready for the next, it is wise to know the ways God speaks so that we can align ourselves to hear what He will say (or is saying) to us. Granted that the new year 2021 has begun, do you know what God is saying to you for the year? It’s a good time to align ourselves with what God is saying for He is speaking.

The 10 Ways God Speaks

  1. The Holy Bible contains several examples where God spoke and is thus the primary way that God speaks. Every other way becomes secondary and must align with His Word.
  2. God speaks through men and women of God
  3. God speaks through dreams and visions
  1. God speaks through placing ideas into your heart
  2. God speaks through people; even babies and children
“But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.”
Jeremiah 1:7 KJV
  1. God speaks allegorically and symbolically
  2. God spoke through a donkey (Numbers 22:28) (and can probably speak through your pet today.)
  3. God speaks in His still small voice.
  4. God also speaks audibly as if you heard a vocal word from your parent, spouse, or a friend. (1 Samuel 3:4-14)
  5. God can speak through non-believers

I’ll reiterate that the Bible also contains men/women, and even satan’s, speeches. Please know the difference.

Know thyself

It is important that you know the way God speaks to you so that you will be quick to respond, quick to act, and because “the sheep knows the voice of the shepherd.” (John 10:14). But I can tell you that God can, and does, change that way for several reasons. The key is to pay attention and you’ll be able to grasp it when the change happens. Of course, God does not change once and expect you to grasp it immediately – He “works” with you till you grasp it.

It is also equally important to know how God speaks to you and judge it with His Word in The Bible. God will never contradict His Word. Whatever you hear God speak to you must align with His Word. As an example, it is ridiculous to state that God told you to marry another’s spouse because His Word says that He hates adultery.

As a precaution before acting, it is okay to ask God to confirm what you heard. (Judges 6:36-40). Some times our flesh and emotions can get in the way and subjectively misinterprets what we heard. As such, having a confirmation is a precautionary measure.

Blockers to hearing God

Though God speaks, and He is speaking, all the time, we might not hear what God is saying to us for several reasons which includes:

  1. Sin without confession or repentance
  2. Too busy
  3. Restlessness
  4. Not communicating with Him
  5. Not looking for Him
  6. Not understanding His ways or the way He speaks
  7. Lack of knowledge, or proper interpretation, of His Word
  8. Some folks have been known to be unable to hear when ill.

Desire to hear God Speak?

If you desire to hear God speak, the first step is to tell Him. “I desire to hear You, God. Please speak to me.” Start reading your Bible if you haven’t already been doing so. God will answer and take you through His process uniquely yours.

Finally, it is not enough to hear God speak. What is much more important is to act on what you heard. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:24, 26).

Has God being speaking to you? If so, how? Feel free to share in the Comments. Thanks

Jesus Ministry: Dreams

Credits: Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

Do you dream? I mean the real dream (the noun). Not the act of you thinking and imagining what could be. Those are good too as was Disney was built on the foundations of imagination and fantasy were.

But today, I want to talk about the Dreams in which you lay down, shut your eyes, and within an hour or so, involuntarily start seeing people and things, while sleeping. Yes, that one. Do you experience that? Let’s talk about it.

What are Dreams?

Biblically, God has been known to speak to His people in and through dreams. (Numbers 12:6, Job 33:14-30). Christians are too familiar with Joseph and his dreams (Genesis 37), King Nebuchadnezzar and the three Hebrew boys (Daniel 2), including Pharaoh and his butler and baker (Genesis 40). In fact, the warning (or advice) to protect baby Jesus came through a dream to Joseph (Matthew 2:19-21). Dreams is also one of the signs of God pouring out His Spirit on earth (Acts 2:17). All these, in my opinion, demonstrate the importance of Dreams.

Scientifically, dreams have been acknowledged as occurring during sleep and are often referred to as REM (rapid eye movements.). However, a research admits that “the initial equation of REM sleep with dreaming has been shown to be inaccurate.” And though I disagree with the research’s conclusion that “dreaming may be closely related to imagination, where brain activity presumably flows in a “top-down” manner,” I somewhat agree that in the scientific world “disconnection from the external environment when dreaming poses a central unsolved paradox, the answer to which may be instrumental for understanding dreams.”

Nonetheless, dreams are so important that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) wrote about it. Not to state that it is a disorder, but to draw your attention to the importance of sleep which is where and when dreams occur. Click here to read more.

So, what are Dreams? I’m glad you asked. The dictionary has various definitions.

Contrary to the dictionary’s definition, however, research has confirmed that dreams are involuntary.

“Dreams show that our brain, disconnected from the environment, can generate by itself an entire world of conscious experiences.”

My interpretation of this is that we do have conscious experiences though unconscious while sleeping. Is this your interpretation as well? If not, please comment.

Could dreams therefore be paranormal? 🤔

Here’s my definition of Dreams:

An involuntary visualization of succession of events or objects that reveal either God or others’ planned actions, whether good or bad, for you for the present or future. These visualization can also reveal past events that can help with underlying issues in one’s life. They can also be in form of a warning or direction.

. . .

I propose that we all would have dreamed at least once in our lifetime. Also, that dreams are not restricted to any particular one – everyone is capable of dreaming; Christians, Moslems, even non-believers, old and young, male and female.

Some people remember their dreams even years after, while several others do not or barely remember but will often have de ja vu moments later in real life. Some people have multiple dreams during the night. Some of those dreams might be a series of short continuous or different dreams. Others dream occasionally. Some dream in color (God/divine), others dream in black and white, yet some have both types of dreams. I propose to you that the more you remember your dreams, the more God will send them your way. However, if you’re one who says “I don’t dream.” It is either that you do not remember them or you are not interested in what God is trying to show or tell you. God speaks and is still speaking but your antenna might be dull or not tuned to His. You can change that. If you are one who doesn’t remember his or her dreams, a first starting point is drawing nearer to God; start reading your Bible, and by asking God to talk to you.

I believe that Dreams are significant especially to one’s spiritual life. I also believe that they reveal tangible clues.

I hope this blesses you. Feel free to comment. Thanks for reading.

It’s Sharing Thursday: #140 – Times of Testing

In the moments of turmoil are where you will find the most sincere peace. Discovering faith in the chaos makes it all worthwhile and these times of …

#140 – Times of Testing

Sharing #Brian Keith’s blog and site, #ImightbeaProphet. Brian’s posts have always been a God moment for me.

. . .

We all need God. I know that I need God everyday and every second of the day. I hope you do, too. God still speaks (a blog for another day). God is talking every day. His voice is both audible and soft. You can sense God via all your five senses. I just hope that our antenna is always connected and tuned to receive what He’s saying all the time. God also talks to us through people and sometimes animals and things. Reading Brian Keith’s daily blog is always like God speaking to me. One God Word can mean different things to different people simultaneously.

The past year has been undoubtedly challenging for everyone. The turmoil and chaos need not be re-emphasized. But as #ImightbeaProphet’s post states, it is in the midst that we have the most sincere peace. I hope you do.

“You are not a victim of circumstances, but are a preselected victor. The obstacles before you are no longer seen as predicaments of punishment, but are the processes of promotion asked for in prayer.

Visit #imightbeaprophet.com to read more of this blog as well as others, and support him. I hope that God speaks to you through Brian’s posts knowing that one God Word can mean different things to different people simultaneously. Blessings 😍

Love and Loving Yourself

Credits: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Valentines Day

I believe that Valentines Day is a global celebration. Its origin, though still unknown, has been alluded to the Romans. Read here for a brief history.

Valentines Day, like several other holidays, have been grossly abused. Why wait till February 14th to show love? And why show love to just your spouse or significant other? Please show love everyday to everyone. And please love unconditionally. Thank you!

Love Your Children

Please shower your children daily with love and not only when they please you, obey you, and/or excel in school. The best time to really love your children is the time they mess up and recognize it themselves. Surprise them with the best of unconditional love that you can and have a heart-to-heart talk with them on another day.

If, as a parent, the only time your children feel loved is when they’re good, obey you, or get As, you’ve done a poor job, your love has become conditional, and your children will grow up trying to please everyone in order to be loved. The outcome unfortunately will be that they feel used and never find true unconditional love. Should they find true love, they can easily mess it up with the faulty-thinking that they have been conditioned to. Please don’t put your kids through that as either they won’t understand, never will understand, or will understand much later, why they are trying so hard to please but end up being rejected.

Love Yourself

Also, learn to love yourself. Loving oneself is not selfish. Date yourself while waiting to be dated. So, when the date shows up, he or she arrives to compliment you and not complement you. You were whole and complete before s/he showed up. I hope that you will be; if not start working towards being complete before showtime.

Yes, it’s great to be loved. Everyone loves to be loved, but unfortunately most people are dying waiting for Prince Charming and Princess Tantalizing. Yet we wonder why he or she hasn’t shown up. It’s because no one wants a dead mate! No one goes to the morgue or mortuary (pardon my acuteness) to look for a life mate. It’s never done!

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.”

Andre Gide

This is something I lived. I dated and loved myself (still do). Went to movies, concerts, dinners, games, and more places alone – it was my Me-time. Bought myself roses lots of times; sometimes one stem some days a bunch. When my daughters were in middle school, and their friends’ parents would tell them (or tell their children who would now pass it on!) that they saw their Mom, my younger daughter especially would say “Mom, stop doing this, they’d think that you have no friends.” My response was that “well, you let them know that I do but chose to do this alone.” I used to wonder why it bothered them so and then, one day I realized that their school’s buddy system might have been responsible. The school’s buddy system was that the kids couldn’t go anywhere, including bathrooms, alone – they have to go with a friend. Of course, the short trip to the bathroom, with a friend, was an extra recess for them. The kids loved this and enjoyed multiple trips on other errands. So they thought it was unsociable to go or do anything by oneself. But, they now know and understand better.

To me, it means being comfortable in my own skin.

Anyhow, do love yourself and love others unconditionally.

5 Benefits of Loving Yourself

Benefits of Loving Oneself according to UCSC Counseling and Psychological Services (UCSC CAPS) include:

  1. You validate yourself
  2. You give yourself unconditional respect, appreciation and evaluation of being great
  3. You consider yourself as worthy, valuable, and deserving of happiness.
  4. You’ll be able to take care of others because you’ve taken care of yourself first.
  5. You’ll have greater resilience to withstand any challenging life event or personal adversity.

Put Your Mask on First

We’ve heard this repeatedly onboard commercial aircrafts that, in case of an emergency, we need to put our mask on before trying to put the mask on any child flying with us or trying to help another passenger, right? I hope that you have; if not, you heard it here first 😊. It’s the same analogy with loving oneself. “It’s important to love yourself because of the simple truth that you cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself first.” Said another way, “you cannot give what you don’t have,” right?

Tons of people in relationships don’t know how to love the other person simply because they don’t have it in them. We all know (or have heard) of the resultant effects of loveless relationships. So, please do yourself and others a favor by starting to love yourself if you haven’t already been doing so.

Love God First

Finally, the first true love comes from God, our Creator. Without His love we are incapable of loving any other let alone ourselves. So, let us love Him indeed and allow His love to flow through us to ourselves and one another.

❤️✌🏾

Do you know who you are?

I’m not asking about your credentials, or your name, who your parents are, or where you’re from.

Real sons and daughters of God know who they are by what God says about them and no circumstance can make them believe otherwise. For example, God says:

God’s Promises

Here are a few of God’s promises and who He says you are:

  • “Do not fear nor be dismayed” (Isaiah 41:10)
  • “I am the righteousness of God” (Romans 3:22a)
  • “I shall not want (Psalms 1:1b)
  • “I will fear no evil” (Psalms 23:4b)
  • “I will keep you in perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3)
  • “… if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
  • “… make you the head and not the tail and be above and not beneath …” (Deuteronomy 28:13)
  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:27-29)

Lies, Lies, Lies

Despite God’s Promises, are you one who still believes the lies thrown at you?

  • Constantly living in fear and turmoil, both inwards and outwards, and/or
  • Living way under and your circumstances seem to be contrary to His Word
  • Could it be because your eyes are on other things than God?
  • Or you’re still exhausted and wearied rather than approaching Him for answers?
  • Or are you still entwined in your mind and soul; though a Christian, you are still dealing with your family’s curses (a big one and one for another blog!)?

. . .

The best way to learn more about your identity is by reading the Bible. Here’s a list of God’s Promises for starters; hopefully it will draw you nearer to wanting to know more and read what I term, The Most Precious Book; the Holy Bible.

Knowing what God says about you will empower you to scream back (I don’t mean that literarily) at those negative thoughts that bombard your mind and the lies that satan sends your way. Believe you me, satan sends those lies to everyone. He did with Lord Jesus; therefore you and I are not immuned from him. The difference is found in not embracing those lies but responding with the Word of God. It is written …

Satan loves those who don’t know who they are. He loves to come to you at your crossroads; e.g. on the eve of your 29th birthday, crossing over to your 30th birthday taunting you about having missed the road since you’re not married yet; or when you’re having problems in your marriage about what a knucklehead spouse you ended up with!

Satan, the Father of Lies

Satan uses various tactics against us all. Two of such are broken focus and emotional entanglements. He entices one to take one’s eyes off God because he needs you to follow him instead. Please don’t be deceived. Remember that satan (the devil) is also known as the liar, the deceiver, the serpent, etc. All his words are lies and half-truths. Just because you feel it, does not mean you should follow it. Instead, follow what God reveals to you.

This is merely a snippet of “He is a Liar” from Dr. Matthew Stevenson. Of course, I added a few of my words. Click here to watch Dr. Stevenson’s full video. p.s. gotta watch till the end to get an understanding of the full message. Enjoy.

. . .

I hope that you truly know who you are or are beginning to understand your identity afterwards.

Peace!

Repentance

Have you ever wondered why God “boasted” about King David as being “a man after His own heart” despite David’s flaws and the atrocities he committed?

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Act  13:22).

I propose to you that the secret is found in the manner in which David sought God and repented after every atrocity.

. . .

What is Repentance?

Repentance is the quick and timely asking of forgiveness from a contrite heart. Put another way, it’s saying “I’m sorry” quickly after you mess up. It means not being puffed up to admit that you were wrong. It also means not repeating the act.

If you’ll agree with me, we can say “sorry” or “forgive me” without really meaning it or can even say it with an attitude. Saying it with an attitude neutralizes the act of forgiveness.

Does that mean that I can intentionally sin (commit atrocities) and then go to God to ask for forgiveness and that it will be all right? No, God forbid. It is always better not to err than to ask for forgiveness.

. . .

God is looking for people who will chase after Him. Will you be the one?

The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14, NKJV)

Want God to put his mark of “a man (or woman) after My heart” on you, like Kind David, chase after Him and be swift to repent.

Peace and Blessings.

Jesus Ministry: Holy Spirit

Do you know Him?

Let me introduce you to my friend, my comforter, my guard and guide, my gift from God. His name is Holy Spirit; also goes by Holy Ghost. If you don’t already know Him, I need you to – He’s truly a friend in need and indeed.

I met Holy Spirit when I got born again. Now don’t be like Nicodemus who asked Lord Jesus “How can a man be born again when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
‭‭(John‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

Jesus’s answer explains how Holy Spirit works; that is, how He moves in our lives. Hear Jesus’s response:

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
‭‭(John‬ ‭3:5-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

Because of my friendship with Holy Spirit, I now have His spirit. He’s also given me power and has blessed me with His fruits of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance ….” I have more; an abundance, of some of His fruits, while some though have left the infancy stages are still lacking His abundance. Holy Spirit nonetheless does not give up on me. He loves me just the same and nudges me every now and then. We’re working on those fruits together.
‭‭
His spirit is in me, but at times He takes over, and falls on me, for special assignments. I only have to yield and get out of His way for such times.

6 Benefits of my friend, Holy Spirit:

  1. He teaches me all things; what to say, do, how to, and what to eat sometimes!
  2. He brings things to my remembrance
  3. He guides me into all truths
  4. He shows me things to come
  5. He quickens me
  6. He leads me.

. . .

I invite you into our friendship, too, to enjoy all the benefits that comes with knowing Him. Will you accept the invite? If yes, just tell Him that you desire His friendship.

I love my friend, Holy Spirit. I know He loves me, too, and unconditionally.

Thanks for reading.

Biblical References:

  • Acts 2:38; Galatians‬ ‭5:22‬-23
  • John 14:26; John 16:7, 13-15
  • Romans 8:11; Luke 11:13
  • 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; 1 John 2:27

Spiritual Gifts Part 2

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

From Part 1: The Spiritual Gifts are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Faith
2. Healing, and
3. Working of Miracles

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues, and
3. Interpretation of tongues.

What does each gift do?

THE REVELATORY GIFTS

1. Word of Wisdom

Word of wisdom (WOW) are words given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to individuals (or even the Church) that surpasses the natural ability. It is the divine strength or ability to understand and to bring clarity to situations and circumstances often through applying the truths of Scripture in a practical way. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 6:3,10; 1 Corinthians 2:6-13, 12:8)

2. Word of Knowledge

The gift of knowledge is the divine strength or ability to bring truth to a situation by supernatural revelation. This is often accompanied by a word from God. (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:8; Colossians 2:2-3)

3. Discerning of Spirits

The gift of discernment is the divine strength or ability to spiritually identify falsehood, to distinguish between right and wrong motives and the spiritual forces at work in situations. Through this gift, we can determine if something is divine, devilish, or of human origin. Through this gift we not only have the ability to identify evil spirits, but we can also expose their assignments. The Spirit of discernment is our safeguard against deception.(Supporting scriptures: Matthew 16:21-23; Acts 5:1-11, 16:16-18; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 John 4:1-6)

THE POWER GIFTS

4. Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is the divine strength or ability to believe in God for unseen supernatural results in every arena of life. The gift of faith is in a category of its own. For instance, it is different from the shield of faith which we can, as we mature, trust in to shield us from the enemy. It is different still from the measure of faith that is given to each of us to work in the gifts, and yes, different even from our faith in God's sovereignty and His Word. These are all manifestations of faith that come forth from a heart of conviction that knows the Word and its author. Jesus is our example in Matthew 21:21-22.

The gift of faith is not ours, it is a gift that causes us to perform the impossible and produces a miracle. When God enables us with spontaneous ability to subdue or conquer physical forces, it is the gift of faith that causes us to step out in the incredible and without even thinking, bringing about a feat mortal man cannot accomplish him/herself. We can say it this way, when the gift of faith is operating in you, it is as if you are not connected to the physical so the supernatural seems natural and you just move out in it. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 11:22-24; Romans 4:18-21; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 11; Matthew 14:28-31; Ephesians 6:16)

5. Gift of Healing

The gift of healing is the divine strength or ability to act as an intermediary in faith, prayer, and by the laying-on of hands for the healing of physical, mental and spiritual sickness. There are even divinely assisted situations where a person is healed by God through doctors and medical treatments.

Apostle Luke was a physician in the early church, and there are those that God will use today as human instruments, but guess what, this is still not the gift of healing. The gift of healing is not intellectually based, nor is it the result of spiritual insight. In fact, it is a supernatural phenomenon that can happen without any human intervention at all. It can of course also manifest through a human vessel, if God so chooses. He can release a supernatural ability or a divine power for man to exercise authority over impossible situations like broken bones, fatal sicknesses, even death. People have been given hearts, feet, all sorts of new body parts that only the Creator can supply. This is the true gift of healing. It is not an ability performed through faith, nor is even there time for doubt or unbelief. It simply manifests itself according to God's will, and the vessel being used moves out in the gift without question. (Supporting scriptures: Acts 3:1-10, 9:32-35, 28:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28)

6. Working of Miracles

The gift of miracles is the divine strength or ability to alter the natural outcomes of life in a supernatural way through prayer, faith, and divine direction. When we work in the miraculous, we are walking in the power of God and exercising authority over the natural forces of this realm. The power gift of miracles enables us to perform feats way beyond what is even comprehensible to our human minds. (Supported Scriptures: Acts 9:36-42, 19:11-12, 20:7-12; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)

THE COMMUNICATION GIFTS

7. Gift of Prophecy

The gift of prophecy is the divine strength or ability to communicate God's truth and heart in a way that calls people to a right relationship with God.

There are five different methods of prophecy that God uses to talk to His church; namely,

  1. Office of the Prophet;
  2. Prophetic preaching;
  3. Prophetic presbytery;
  4. Gift of prophecy;
  5. Spirit of prophecy.

The gift of prophecy is just that, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not an office appointed by Jesus as in the office of prophet. The gifting is activated and easier to manifest in the company of prophets. Anyone filled with the Holy Spirit can work in this gift. It is for edification, exhortation and comfort, not rebuke or chastening. The prophetic word of correction comes from the office of prophet only. Prophecy will never contradict the Bible. If you are given a word that contradicts the Word of God, disregard it. It is important to stress that, depending on our walk, we can hear from either the kingdom of darkness, or the Kingdom of Light. Walk in repentance, separate from those that are of the world except to minister to them. God says, "be holy as I am holy"!(Supported Scriptures: Acts 2:37-40, 7:51-53, 26:24-29; 1 Corinthians 14:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5)

8. Divers kind of Tongues

The gift of tongues is the divine strength or ability to pray in a heavenly language to encourage your spirit and to commune with God.

There are three different kinds of tongues:

  1. tongues along with the interpretation of tongues; this gifting is usually exercised during a service or public setting. Any time this form of tongues is manifested, someone will also be given the gifting to interpret the message.
  2. different kinds of tongues, or diverse tongues; this gift was experienced in the upper room in Acts 2:4-8. One with the gift speaks in his/her native language and suddenly (divinely) starts speaking in tongues. For example, a British man/woman speaking at a church in Ukraine; he starts preaching in English and suddenly starts tongue-speaking in Ukrainian or Russian even though he/she never speaks the language. It’s God’s way of helping the locals to hear and understand His message to them.
  3. the prayer language of those filled with the Spirit; this form of tongues is the voice of our spirit. It talks directly to God. We don't understand what is being said, but I do know that the gifts will flow much easier as our spirit communicates directly with the Father. Also, when we don't know what to pray through our natural mind, our spirit man can pray for us, as it is tapped into the mind of Christ. The Word also tells us that as we pray in the spirit, we are edified, it lifts us up and rejuvenates us. When you look at all that is accomplished through speaking in tongues, you can see why the enemy tries to snuff it out of the church! (Supporting Scriptures: Acts 2:1-13; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 14:1-14)

9. Interpretation of Tongues

This gift is the divine ability to interpret any heavenly language for the benefit of the people/Church.

Click here to take the Spiritual Gifts Test.

References:

Spiritual Gifts: Part 1

Credits: Sydney Heron / Unsplash.com

Preamble

God gave talents (Matthew 25:15-30) to His sons and daughters. Unfortunately, most of us never discover those talents let alone use them for the benefit of humanity. As such, majority of us have either buried our talents, are living way below God’s capacity for us, or are busy chasing after other people’s.

God also gave gifts to everyone. The gifts are innate, but could also be desired by asking God directly for it. The spiritual gifts are freely given (by grace) to us by God, our Creator. They are therefore supposed to be used freely for the purposes and the benefits of mankind. The gifts are also given in proportion, and according to ability, of our life purposes or mandates.

Per Ephesians 4:11-12 above , the offices listed are often termed “The Five-Fold Ministry.” They are the church roles given as “a framework to grow, build and mature the Body of Christ to continue the workings of Jesus through the lives of the saints.” Click the link if you’re inclined to learn more on the five-fold roles. If you’d like to take a test to see if you’ve been chosen for one of the roles, click here.

Biblically, there are nine spiritual gifts. These gifts are called “spiritual” for a reason mainly, per Dave Ramsey because they “are supernatural abilities God gives each Christ-follower.” They are separate and different from our talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities (TKSA) such as academic gifts (e.g. geniuses), social gifts (such as having charisma and being an influencer). But the spiritual gifts can compliment and complement our TSKAs.

The spiritual gifts are not “magic” or “magical.” Please click on these words to understand their means which, hopefully, will lead to a better understanding of the spiritual gifts.

Dave Ramsey also has the following to say:

“God wants you to use your unique role in the body of Christ to glorify Him. So, if God made you an amazing singer, sing for Him. If your talent is a little less conventional—maybe you’re good with numbers or with writing code—then find a way to translate that into a job or volunteer work for a God-honoring company or ministry. Use your God-given abilities to reach those who don’t know Him—and give Him the credit for your talents.” (Supporting Scripture: Colossians 3:23-24)

. . .

The Spiritual Gifts

The spiritual gifts, according to the Bible, are:

  1. Word Of Wisdom
  2. Word Of Knowledge
  3. Faith. I earlier blogged on this gift. Click here to read it.
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Working Of Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discerning of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues.

The above gifts are also often categorized as:

The Revelatory Gifts are:
1. Word of Knowledge
2. Word of Wisdom, and
3. Discerning of Spirits

The Power Gifts are:
1. Healing
2. Working of Miracles, and
3. Faith

The Communication Gifts are:
1. Prophecy
2. Divers kind of tongues
3. Interpretation of tongues, and

Having stated that, however, we acknowledge that there are:

  • diversities of gifts, meaning that there are a variety of the particular gift; e.g. one might have a gift of faith for healing, another to believe for anything they desire, an another for provision; also, one can have multiple spiritual gifts – one will however be dominant;
  • differences of administrations, equates the different ways in which the gifts function; e.g. one can believe by reading and meditating on a particular scripture and see it manifest, another might believe that once s/he reads the scripture, s/he has to lay hands for it to manifest, while another might believe that “I’ll just send the Word” and believe for manifestation;
  • diversities of operations, mean that there are equally various processes by which the gifts work; e.g. seeking employment and using the gift of faith; I might believe that in faith I will go out to job search and that I believe that the first company that I knock on will hire me; on another day, I might simply hear a word that says “call ABC Company,” calling the company might lead to a job offer; yet another day it might simply be that after I have prayed, I just simply say that “I believe that someone will call me today for a job offer.” Each scenario is different but I am the one and same person exercising the gift. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions or additions.

How do you know your spiritual gift(s)?

  • By asking God
  • By paying attention
  • By other folks (family, friends, colleagues, associates, pastors and church, etc.) telling you
  • By the laying on of the hands (of an apostle or prophet) (1 Timothy 4:14).

Click here to take a test to find out what your spiritual gift(s) is/are. Does your result confirm what you’ve been told or know? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks and await Part 2.

Disclaimer

The topic of Spiritual Gifts is exhaustive and this post (nor the Part 2) does not do enough justice to cover it. But I hope that it does help to stir your curiosity, if you are not already aware, of having a spiritual gift and leads you on a search to know what it is so that you can start using them to benefit humanity. The simplest way is to ask God “what gifts have you blessed me with?”

Thanks for reading.

Jesus Ministry: Disturbing Prophetic Words

I don’t know about you, but I have been terribly disturbed by the multitude of “prophetic words“ given pre-the-Presidential election by several men and women of God categorically stating that God told (or showed) them that Donald Trump will serve a second term as President of the USA. But now this is not so. What happened? Let’s reason together.

Who is a Prophet / Prophetess?

Briefly, a Prophet/Prophetess is a man/woman chosen by God to speak on His behalf to His people and He, God, uses several ways to communicate through the chosen people. It is also the second office in the hierarchy of church governance. Another blog will be necessary to expatiate on the Prophet/Prophetess. Selected scripture references of the Prophet are:

  • Hosea 12:10,
  • Amos 3:7,
  • 1 Corinthians 14:32-33,
  • Jeremiah 28:8-9,
  • Matthew 10-41, 24:10-13,
  • Ezekiel 13:4-10,
  • Ephesians 2:20, 4:11-16,
  • Deuteronomy 17:15, 34:12,
  • Luke 1:70,
  • Hebrews 1:1, etc.).

The Presidential Prophetic Words

There were tons of prophetic words from “reputable” American Christian leaders all-round. Do a Google and/or a YouTube Search to view them. But now that Joe Biden’s win has been ratified, and will be sworn-in in ten days, the questions raging in my head are:

  • what happened?!”
  • were the leaders “calling those things that be not as though they were?” (Romans 4:17c) Or
  • did Trump’s attitudes and behavior canceled him out of the prophetic words?” (Jeremiah 18:7-11)

If God said it …

Any of the above is possible. But, God is not a man that He should lie …, right? If God said it, it must surely come to pass. (Numbers 23:19) Or that if God indeed said it, it might be a timing issue and probably Trump could run again (if not impeached) and win?! (Habakkuk 2:3). Or still, God probably said it, but the people negated it which is equally more disturbing as I am reminded of King Saul and King David! Lord have mercy!!

If God never said it …

However, if God didn’t say it, why did the prophets and prophetesses deliver their own words as God’s? (Jeremiah 23:26; Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Deuteronomy 18:20 states that the “prophet shall die.” It is scary. I do not wish any dead but it is so scary that one who reads his/her Bible should fear giving a false word. Please note that this does not necessarily mean a physical death. It could mean a spiritual death as in no more revelations flowing to and from the prophet. God is the ultimate decider. I sincerely hope that those prophets/prophetesses, if they indeed gave a personal word as God’s word, are already repenting. God is still a merciful God and I pray that He has mercy on them.

Where’s the fear of God?

I don’t know about you but it bothers me that the “reputable” men and women of God could have jeopardized their characters for allegedly delivering a word not from God. How do we now continue to believe them or their prophetic words?! Why would they do so?

This is the main reason why we all should endeavor not to be lazy and to hear God for ourselves by reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God daily and allowing the Spirit of God to minister to our spirit.

Is’t possible for one to be canceled out of a prophetic word?

According to Jeremiah 18:10, it is possible. Please read the scripture. Better yet, read the before and after verses for better understanding. Though the verse refers to a nation, I propose to you that it is equally applicable to individuals and/or families. We should therefore be careful, mindful, and watchful to not veer off the right/righteous paths once a prophetic word is given. It is also important to “war” for the divine timing and manifestation of any prophetic word.

Does giving a wrong word make one a false prophet?

No according to Romans 11:29. I propose, that the lure of personal and presidential favors and/or desire to be in the limelight might have propelled the men/women of God to give their personal word. But still I do not know. Only God and them can tell us. However, I do know that going forward, I will continue to be cautious receiving prophetic words. How about you?

May God forgive and have mercy.

Jesus Ministry: Fasting and Understanding its Power

youtube.com/watch

Understanding the Power of Fasting video

. . .

I have wanted to blog on Fasting and, again, the beginning of the New Year is a good time to post the topic. Not that fasting is only done at the beginning of a New Year. Far from it! Fasting can be done anytime and for various reasons/causes.

There is nothing I could post or share however that will surpass the above video by late Dr. Myles Munroe. Please watch and form your own conclusion.

. . .


What is Fasting?


According to Dr. Myles Munroe, Fasting is

  • the willful abstinence from natural pleasures for a spiritual purpose;
  • it is a personal commitment to renounce the natural to invoke the spiritual;
  • it is the dedication to a period of time to devote oneself to spiritual priority of prayer without food.

Fasting is like a plunger. Food is a clog in a pipe – the more you eat, the smaller the hole in the pipe. Fasting unclogs the pipe.

Fasting puts your body where it ought to be; that is, under your spirit.

Effects of Fasting

  1. It changes you
  2. It does not move God
  3. It increases your spiritual capacity
  4. It breaks habits and spiritual bondage
  5. It quiets the heart to hear God’s voice/mind and calms your spirit
  6. It brings godly intimacy
  7. It speeds up healing.

Fasting Scriptures

  • Esther 4:16
  • Psalm 109:24-25,
  • Jeremiah 18:7-11, 36:9,
  • Daniel 9:2-3,
  • Joel 2:12-13

Fasting is not dieting

*** Disclaimer ***

Please consult your physician before embarking on a fast.

I want it all this New Year

It’s a New Year
It’s a new me

I want a new house
should I build or buy;

And a new car
lease for 3 or buy for 5;

And a new wardrobe
cashed or charged;

A new me from head to toe
at whatever cost possible

I want it all
All new in the New Year.

* * *

This New Year. I wanna be trim, fit, and healthy
Off to the gym I go

But wait a minute
Covid won’t let me

Maybe I’ll get on the street
or the park
And walk or jog
or jump rope
It will achieve the same result.

* * *

I want a boat and a yacht
this New Year
So I can rob shoulders
with the Jones and the Jacksons
down the alley;

But wait
how do I get it all
this New Year 2021;

I better sit still
and count the cost
If I have enough
to cover all my wants (Luke 14:28-30)
This New Year.

Jesus Ministry: 7 Primary Ways that God Speaks

I hope that you are aware that today is the last Sunday of 2020! Despite the frustrations of Covid-19, the social unrests and injustices, the restrictions on physical movements, and whatever else plagued you/us in 2020, I hope that you are glad the year is almost over. I am.

As 2020 comes to an end, let’s get ready to align ourselves with what God has for us in 2021. God is speaking all the time and moreso at the end/onset of a new year. In getting ready, it is necessary to know the ways God speaks so that we can align ourselves to what He’s saying.

The 7 Primary Ways God Speaks

We know that God spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1) and He is still speaking. But do you know the voice of God or the specific ways that He speaks to you? God speaks to all His people and not not just to Christians. He has been known to speak to non-Christians, and especially Moslems. Because He is Almighty The Creator, God is not restricted to one mode of speaking but, by experience, I recognize seven primary ways that God speaks to His people and have spoken to me over the years. They are:

  1. The primary way God speaks is through His Word contained in His Book, The Holy Bible. Every other way must align with His Word;
  2. God speaks through men and women of God;
  3. God speaks through dreams and visions;
  1. God speaks through putting ideas into your heart. Some might call this form “instinct,” “intuition,” or a “feeling;”
  2. God speaks through people - even babies and children;
  1. God speaks allegorically and symbolically. Some examples are using the clock, numbers, animals (symbolically). In The Bible, God used the dew to speak to Gideon (Judges 6:36-40);
  2. God speaks through His still small voice. (Matthew 17:5-8). He also speaks clearly as if you heard an audible word from your parent, spouse, or a friend.

It is important that you know the way God speaks to you. But I can tell you that God can switch that way. The key is to pay attention and you’ll be able to grasp it when the change happens. Of course, God does not change once and expect you to grasp it immediately- Because He is a loving Father, He “works” with you till you grasp it.

It is also equally important to know how God speaks to you and judge it with the Words of The Bible which also contains the voice of man and of satan; please know the difference.

Finally, it is not enough to hear God speak. What is highly more important is to act on what you heard.

Faith without works is dead!  
- James 2:26

ThinkTalk prays for a smooth ending to the Year 2020 for each and all of us. Thanks for reading and stay blessed!

Hark The Herald Angels Sing … Merry Christmas!

Credits: Yulian Karadzhov

youtube.com/watch

Thank you for visiting on this very special day. Christmas Blessings to you, and especially to my awesome followers, like’rs, and commenters. May His Joy, Peace, and Goodwill be yours today and always … It’s still a great day to be alive and breathing!

. . .

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King! 
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies, With th’angelic host proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem.” Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav'n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of a Virgin's womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!Light and life to all He brings, Ris'n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

⁃ Charles Wesley & Felix Mendelssohn

Merry Christmas!🎄 😍✌🏾

Christmas: The Reason for The Season

Christmas is this Friday; less than a week from today. As we approach the day, we need to pause and ask ourselves – what really is the reason for Christmas?

It’s not about the food or the presents we exchange with one another; though those are great. Neither is it about building the snowman, riding on the sleigh, nor the Christmas trees and lights; though those are fun.

The real reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ; just as we each celebrate our birthdays every year. I hope you know or are aware of that.
Lord Jesus is worthy of celebration. As such all the festivities during the season cannot really be criticized. He is worthy of it all. The beloved Son of God who gave His life for each one of us whether you know Him or not; His life paid forward for yours. Amen!

He is Emmanuel, God with you, me, and us. He’s the one with the government upon his shoulder. His name is Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The disturbing piece is that most celebrate Christmas without acknowledging or celebrating the Birthday Man – Jesus!

Many have lost the focus of what December 25th symbolizes and have allowed themselves to be entangled with gifts instead of celebrating the Gift which is Christ Jesus. This is particularly so in the U.S.A. and the Europes. Other continents, like Africa, choose the season to appreciate customers and business personnels who have been helpful to them during the year. They also indulge in the fresh turkeys that have been specifically saved for the day. Other continents/countries around the world celebrate in various other ways and traditions. Click here how to see how countries around the world celebrate Christmas:

The above map is interactive. Click on the map of any country, or the link above it, to read more on the country’s traditions.

On Friday, December 25th, I implore you to start a tradition in your family, if you don’t already have one, that shares a story or something, anything, about Jesus; who He was and still is, what He stood for, talk about His birth, death, and resurrection. When you learn or share stories about Jesus, then the reason for celebrating the season is fulfilled.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas 2020😍

Holiday Gift Giving for the less fortunate

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

Can you believe that Christmas is a week from today?

If you are in a position to help others, are looking for fertile soils to till, it’s not too late; please consider these organizations to support and put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas.

I acknowledge that there are tons of organizations out there to choose from, but I chose the below which are top on my list. Kindly select from one of the links for invaluable gift-giving. May God bountifully reward you.

You may share the links too.

Thank you.

Electoral College certifies Biden

It is now official – Joe Biden has been certified as the winner of the U.S.A. Presidential election. Together with the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, they will both be sworn in on January 20th, 2021. Prior to January, however, according to CBS News, there are still two major dates to hurdle:

  1. December 23: All copies of the electors' votes must be delivered to the recipients.
  2. January 6: Congress will count the votes of the electors. Procedure calls for Pence to open each state's "certificate of ascertainment" — documents prepared by the state after it has completed its vote count and ascertained the official results. He will then present the certificate to four "tellers" who announce result tallies. Once a candidate reaches 270 electoral college votes, Pence will declare the winner.

Joe Biden won 306, of the total of 538, electoral votes; 270 is needed to affirm the winner.

Kamala Harris’s affirmation as Vice President is a win for women as she will be the first African- and Native-American woman to hold the office.

ThinkTalk wishes both a peaceful reign in The White House.

What does this mean for all of us?

Definitely it means an atmospheric change, changes in laws and policies, probably some reforms and hopefully, the beginning of the end of overt racism and social injustices; including cures for the covid-19; first rollout of the vaccine is already being given. Most importantly, I hope that it signifies the return of peace, joy, and hope to the United States of America and all.

Meanwhile, incumbent President Donald Trump’s legal crew still insists that the votes were stolen in some states though their legal maneuverings have been dismissed by the Courts.

The more serious issue

Affirming the presidential election is serious and necessary for the moving forward of America/Americans in various aspects.

However, what is much more serious, personally, is a critical review of all the prophetic words that was given prior and during the elections that God had ordained Donald Trump for a second term. I know that God is not a man that He should lie. Were the prophets/prophetesses saying what God had not instructed them to say? Or did Donald Trump’s behavior and attitude cancel him out of the prophetic words?

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

I do not know. But I do hope, in order to restore the dignity of the Prophets and the Office, both spiritual and physical, that all the prophets/prophetesses must repent if they’ve spoken presumptuous words concerning Donald Trump and the election. And if they did indeed, I pray that God forgives them all.

Jesus Ministry: Spiritual Fitness

Spiritual fitness is to your soul and spirit what physical fitness is to your body.

. . .

All truths are parallel. It is therefore imperative that immense attention should be paid to the parallelism of the spiritual and physical.

“Man lives in two worlds: He lives in the natural world … and, he lives in the spiritual world. What is manifested in the natural world is a reflection of what is happening in the spirit world.”

Morris Cerrulo

What does it mean?

Being physically fit might mean different things to each one of us. For Nicky Gumbel, “physical fitness is a balance of strength, flexibility, aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Some people are exceptionally strong but cannot even run to catch a bus. Others are aerobically very fit (they could run a marathon), but are not very strong.”

Likewise, spiritual fitness would mean different things to different people depending on the form of spirituality being practiced. Most people practice one form of spirituality; some practice multiple forms of spirituality. Even the military, to my surprise, inculcate spirituality in their rigors:

According to The Air Force, spiritual fitness is the ability to adhere to beliefs, principles, or values needed to persevere and prevail in accomplishing missions. As this definition implies, spiritual fitness does not require any degree of religiosity or belief in the supernatural. Atheists who hold a secular philosophy of meaning and purpose can be spiritually fit as well. Spiritual fitness may include any of the following: belief in transcendent meaning and purpose, self-transcendence, a sense of morality, engagement with a community with similar values, altruism, religiosity, religious or spiritual practices or behaviors, or exceptional experiences, such as visions … An article in a special issue of the journal Military Medicine on the Total Force Fitness model (Jonas et al., 2010) defined the spiritual fitness domain as “fitness of the spirit or soul, especially from a religious aspect” (Hufford, Fritts, and Rhodes, 2010).

. . .

“Within particular religious and spiritual traditions one finds very different definitions of spiritual fitness, such as being saved (evangelical Christian), being in a state of grace (Catholic), and being able to stay “in the moment” and maintain a self-transcendent view during stressful situations (Buddhism). To assert that some meaning of these concepts is correct, that it is true spirituality, would endorse some spiritual viewpoints while dismissing others. That would be inappropriate to scientific inquiry as well as to the U.S. military”

Both physical and spiritual fitness requires us “to be fit and resilient warriors who are ready in every way for war.”

Religion versus Spirituality

“Religion refers to spiritual institutions (e.g., Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.). … Spirituality depends on diverse beliefs about the soul, theological debates, and so forth.” The key word is diverse. One’s form of spirituality could believe in the worship of trees, animals, ocean, iron, etc. Worshiping self or nothing could be another form of spirituality.

Credits: Bible.com / (C) ThinkTalk

A parallel might be where some folks who are pescatarian, vegan, or vegetarian deride meat lovers for their indulgences. The meat lovers might also feel that they are the real deal gobbling down their protein intakes. To each their own. Who is to say whose is better or healthier? Undoubtedly, those who practice a particular religion or maintain specific dietary forms often swear by them and are aware of the benefits.

Gumbel believes that spiritual fitness is far more important than physical fitness.

Balance

All fitnesses, whether spiritual, physical, or natural, require balancing in a number of areas of one’s life.

I agree with Gumbel. But whether you fully agree with him or not, I hope that you will agree that a balance is necessary not only in spiritual fitness, but generally in our lives. Here are a few areas where Gunbel advises balance:

Humility vs Confidence. “The key to keeping this balance is to avoid self-confidence and to practise humble God-confidence, ensuring that your confidence comes not from your own abilities or successes, but from trusting in the Lord.”

Truth and Love. “Love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth. Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love … truth and love complement one another.”

Divine and Human. Like Jesus being fully divine and being fully human, we, also, though human possess divine attributes; we have a spirit and a soul in a body (tripartite beings). As lovers and followers of Christ, we have the capacity to be all that he was/is.

Vision and Action. Visions don’t work unless you do … ‘no chief executive was ever fired for lack of vision’. But many are unable to put their vision into action.

How to ensure spiritual fitness

“... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”
‭‭(Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

From a disciple of Jesus Christ’s perspective, one can ensure spiritual fitness by praying, fasting, praising and worshiping, reading/studying and meditating on God’s Word, being obedient to God and His Word, loving all, and being a good ambassador of the Kingdom of God. This list is inexhaustible, but merely serves as a starting point. The most important thing is to ask and listen to the Holy Spirit for the areas that you need to develop.

May God help us all to be fit; spiritually, physically, and naturally, and maintain the necessary equilibrium.

Peace!

Additional References

The D-Day has come and gone – 2

Credits: NBC

[Last paragraph from the previous post:]

The Constitution of the United States of America states that “the results won’t be official until each state fully canvasses and certifies its presidential election results, which occurs on a different timeline in every state.” The Electoral College has to declare the Presidential winner after the electors vote on December 14. The votes have also been recounted and, yes, some have reaffirmed Joe Biden as the winner. But it’s not final until the Electoral College’s proclamation and Donald Trump’s concession. All eyes and ears will be fixed on December 14.

But, wait a minute.

. . .

Did anyone think

Did anyone think to ask “why has the Associated Press (AP) declared Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the winner; replicating and reiterating Hilary Clinton’s victory presumptuously in 2016?!”

But, wait a minute

What if …

What if, come December 14, the Electoral College, after casting their votes, reverses the presumed JB-KH victory?

What if this was all to teach Donald Trump a lesson in humility? Okay, yay, YOU can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but GOD can.

But, what if truly the alleged fraud was detected? What if the Electoral College’s vote on December 14 overturns the presently assumed winner? How would we all handle it? Undoubtedly, we cannot as a nation afford another unrest. I pray that there will be peace irrespective of the outcome.

What if we all said though Donald Trump does not deserve my vote, I’m willing to give him another chance? Hey, don’t shut me down – I’m just a messenger.

Several other what-if scenarios, but that’s not the point of this post.

. . .

The D-Day has come and gone; yet the presidency (or is’t the President) is still hanging, and the presumed winner Joe Biden is already selecting his proposed cabinet.

. . .

The Point is …

The point of this post is to actually reveal ourselves to ourselves! How hard-hearted everyone has been towards Mr. (Incumbent President) Donald Trump. Or is’t a matter of politicking at its best (or worst depending on your view!)

Two wrongs not a right make! We all, on one hand, profess good, love, forgiveness, positivity, and whatever lingo we profess it by. But with a swift turnaround are quick to throw stones and crucify!

God help and deliver us all!!!

Credits: Bible.com / ThinkTalk

More pondering

Why hate one another so? Or rather, why hate on Donald Trump so?

Would you be glad if someone gave you another chance?

Would we rather be the Good Samaritan or the neighbor who refuses to answer his door when you knocked at 3:00 A.M.?

When you’re in trouble or in need, would you want at least one person coming to your aid?

When everyone wrongfully accuses you, how would you feel if at least one person stands out and up for you?

Could all that happened had been a case of good versus evil and Donald Trump wrestling with spiritual wickedness?!

Ponder on these defying moments for a second.

May there always be a rescuer in our time of need. Let us all pay it forward.

. . .

If you’ve ever been in dire straits you’ll understand Donald Trump’s dilemma. Did I hear you say “he asked for or caused it?”

“He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone!” 

John 8:7b

If you’ve ever been in a place where everyone who was your friend turned against you for no cause or course!

  • A place where everyone and everything lied against you for no cause or course!
  • A place where everything you easily did suddenly became a chore!
  • A place where no-one, including your family, knows you any more – you’ve become a mystery to all
  • A place where your life defies a cause-and-effect scenario.
  • A place where it’s all confusion for one who’s known to be orderly.
  • A place where it’s just you and God!

A place, just you and God, is always a great place to be. It’s a place where all your questions get answered. A place where all doubts are eroded and all negatives are turned to positives. It’s a place where even the prophets dare not to tread and all intelligence, clout, or moolah are silenced. A place where the storms keep still!

Get in there and cry out to Him. He will meet you there and give you solutions that only He can!

Peace!

Alexander The Coppersmith

Credits: Bible.com/ThinkTalk

Paul made the above statement, in chapter 4 of his second letter to his spiritual son Timothy. Other references to Alexander the coppersmith can be found in 1 Timothy 1:20 and Acts 19:25-27).

. . .

Numerous times that I have read this chapter, I have wondered what Alexander the Coppersmith did.

Could it have been because Alexander greatly withstood Paul’s words, opposing his message about Christ and the church? Or was it because Alexander organized against Paul because he, and the metal workers, were losing business as a result of Paul’s evangelism? The organization caused a riot, tears and trial for Paul. Or could it be that Alexander slandered Paul and instigated the people against him?

Whatever Alexander the coppersmith did, it is noteworthy that Paul did not seek a personal revenge; nor did he request his spiritual son to handle the issue on his behalf. But instead, he wisely turned the matter over to God for justice. (see Proverbs 20:22, Hebrews 10:30).

The point of this post is to implore us to surrender all wrongdoings, done to us, to God; whether the wrong is personal, against our family/families, our race, our finances, relationships, marriage, work/career, or business/es. I know that it is not easy and probably doesn’t come natural as we’ve been used to “taking charge.” But I have come to the realization, stemmed from acknowledging, the incessant messes I have made taking the matters up personally. That I now, prefer for God to handle my affairs. I finally realized the much-better job that He does when I leave it to Him.

. . .

Human beings, by nature, prefer to take matters into their own hands either because we’re impatient or we desire instant justice, the need to be right, or all of the above.

You’ve probably heard statements such as “God is not going to come down to do it …” or “I must be a fool.” There are several utterances that stir up our ego to action that essentially ought to be ignored and for us to simply say, “thanks, but no.”

True that God won’t come down to do everything you need to handle yourself. But do you know, without any shadow of doubt, which ones you are to handle and the ones to give to Him to handle?

We know that God uses people to carry out His purposes and works on earth. Allow Him to choose who, but know when to do and when to surrender it to Him. He will often speak to you through His Word or peace. Please hands off if you have an unsettling! Constantly ignoring either the peace or unsettling could impact one’s ability to sense either or both. So please don’t ignore or shrug these off.

Also, a fool in the eyes of men/women, is a wise one in the eyes of God.

Anyways, Paul continues:

“At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. …” (2 Timothy 4:14-17)

This verse tells me that he was one-against-many; found himself solo on the other side of the room. Trade a minute and step into Paul’s shoes. What would you have done? Whatever you do, stand firm and remember that one with God is a majority.

Credits: Bible..com & ThinkTalk

Guiding Scriptures

“Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12).

“Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

““… See that none render unto any one evil for evil; but always follow after that which is good, one toward another, and toward all.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord‘ ” (Romans 12:19).

Epilogue

My people, if we live our lives based on these scriptural foundations, we will all be easily forgiving of one another.

“Leaving retribution to God does not mean remaining silent about the harm that has occurred. Instead, Paul (and we too should) set an example to follow in naming the misdeeds, warning others, and then leaving retribution to the Lord.”

Whoever Alexander the Coppersmith represents in your life (our lives), today, I beseech you and us all to take a cue from Paul and leave it to God. His Grace is sufficient to help us.

May His Peace continue to guide us.

References:

Strong Women: A Series – I-II – Strong Women in the Bible

I have eight (8) favorite Strong Women in the Bible. I highlighted Abigail in my previous post. We’ll continue today with Deborah, Dorcas, and Esther.

Deborah

Deborah was both a prophetess and a judge in Israel. A prophetess is a woman who God has chosen to carry His Word to His people (you and I). The male version is a prophet.

Deborah judged Israel at the time. Israel “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” There was a war between Israel and Canaan and Israel was oppressed for twenty years. The people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They went to Deborah for justice. God gave Deborah a Word to have Barak lead his troops to defend Israel.
‭‭
“And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she (Deborah) said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.”

The end was horrible, but as Deborah prophesied, Sisera (the captain of the king of Canaan’s army) was delivered unto the hand of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite.

. . .

We all need a Deborah; a backboner; a woman of godly character whose words are invaluable in our lives; a Strong Woman who will go to war with and for us. These are indispensable individuals. I hope you have such a woman in your circle.

If you would like to read the full story, grab your/a Bible and open it to the Book of Judges Chapter 4.

Credits: Quoteambition

Dorcas

Dorcas, also known as Tabitha, was known for her charity specifically to the widows such that when she died, she was mourned by “all the widows…crying and showing (Peter) the robes and other clothing that she had made while she was still with them” The Bible says that she was full of good works and alms deeds. Read about her in the Book of Acts Charter 9.

Do you have clothes and shoes in your closets that you either no longer wear or fit you? Why not help someone less fortunate than you by donating them away. Do a good deed today. Charity (generosity or good works) doesn’t necessarily have to be big. A small gesture and random acts of kindness goes a long way in the eyes of God.

. . .

I once read about a late evangelist (don’t remember now who it was exactly ) when, on a sick bed, prayed and called God to remembrance on all the good deeds he had done and donations he had given over the years. That if God could heal him not because he deserved it but to count all his deeds as an offering and sacrifice. He ended the prayer, “let them answer for me and heal me.” He stated, miraculously, that he was out of the hospital the next day!

“A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everybody else.”

Quoteambition

Esther

Esther, also known as Hadassah, is one of two women who has a Book in the Bible dedicated to her. Though I do not like the manner in which she married the king, Ahasuerus, her story is nonetheless unique in that, by prayer and fasting, she saved her tribe.

“Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her”

She also obtained grace and favor in the king’s sight that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen.

Esther was a Jew, but she had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people in the palace; as her uncle Mordecai, who raised her, had charged her.

A decree was made that would kill all Jews. Her uncle Mordecai, on hearing, sent a message to Esther stating, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews … maybe thou has come for such a time as this.” Esther requested that all Jews in the city join her to pray and fast for three days so she can go to the king to reverse the decree.

“And if I perish, I perish.”

King Ahasuerus granted Esther’s request and not only reversed the decree, but ordered Haman (the one who sought to kill all Jews) to be hung. Read more in the Book of Esther.

. . .

May you Strong Lady/Woman find favor with God and with all. May your prayers receive speedy attention and answers from God Almighty. May you also be a pillar of support for your husband and children iJN.

Thanks for reading.

Strong Women: A Series – I-I – Strong Women in the Bible

Strong” is both an adverb and an adjective. Often when used to refer to a lady or woman, the first thought of “strong” is that of a forceful feminine. But, please if I may don my gift-of-teaching hat on for a second to educate us a little bit today – the word “strong” means a variety of things. Just look in the dictionary!

Strong Women” exhibit godly character, are beautiful inside-out, are not boastful, are on their knees praying or crying to God over circumstances rather than fist-fighting, they surrender to God rather than to people, and are meek (strength under-cover).

Strong Women are entrepreneurs and know how to manage what’s in their hands to take care of their household. They often are sisters or mothers to their neighborhood’s kids. They also are not consumers, but are versed in multiplying whatever has been given to them. A modern-day Proverbs 31 Strong Woman knows when to take a rest from the chores to reenergize.

Strong Women complete their men; not overshadow them nor be allowed to be under-shadowed. (p.s. real men don’t push their ladies/women to the background). And should they be called to singleness, Strong ladies/women are proud that they have been so chosen and not allow the world to make them feel that they’ve been overlooked. Strong Women empower one another; not compete with one another.

. . .

Our starting point of the Strong Women Series is highlighting the Strong Women in The Bible. For those who don’t know, The Bible is the holy, and ought-to-be-reference, book for every Christian. The Strong Women in the Bible embody the above traits and more.

There are 157 women in the Bible; depending on the version you read. I will not bore you with details of each one of them. If you’re interested in reading or learning about every woman in the Bible, click here. I will only highlight a few of my favorite Bible Strong Women; they are Mary, Sarah, Esther, Abigail, Deborah, Dorcas, Naomi, and even Rahab. Yes, Rahab! Woohoo!! Please read on:

Abigail

My first strong woman is Abigail (other Bible versions spell her name as Abigal).

Abigail was a woman of good understanding and a beautiful countenance. She was married to Nabal who, though was great, was unfortunately churlish (meaning stingy and rude) and evil in his doings. I love Abigail’s wisdom in handling a matter that could have warranted the death of her husband if not for her discreet handling.

. . .

Here goes

David, the king, was in the wilderness mourning the death of the prophet, Samuel. On one of the days while still in the wilderness, David sent a peaceful request to Nabal asking Nabal to give him and his troop some food and drinks (my version). As king, David, could have forcefully taken everything he wanted. To everyone’s amazement, Nabal not only turned the request down, but “said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? … Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? … But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them. But the men (referring to David’s men) were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, … Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him … Then Abigail made haste, and generously loaded her asses with nourishments. And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal … And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid … And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall (this is King James’ version of the Bible. There are other lighter and friendlier versions) … So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.”

Nabal surprisingly died ten days after the incident.

Read details of Abigail in the Book of 1 Samuel‬ ‭Chapter 25.

. . .

There’s definitely a lot to be learned from Abigail’s attitude. I leave you to draw your own takeaways. But, she’s one of my favorites.

Thanks for reading. Till next time, stay blessed😍

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Jesus Ministry: Increase your Faith

Credits: Unsplash.com / Kreated Media

What is Faith?

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬)
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” ‭‭(Hebrews‬ ‭11:3‬)

. . .

Faith is a spiritual gift that enables one to do what could not be done under normal strength or circumstances. The gift is given in conjunction with one’s life purpose or assignment.

God is the giver of all gifts.

Those who have the gift of faith are aware of it, but most are unaware. Those who are unaware of their faith gift will often be heard making statements like “I don’t know, I just did it.” “It was an instinct.” “I just felt like …”. These statements are borne out of ignorance in either knowledge of their gift or of the Giver. Those who desire the gift of faith can ask Father God for it.

. . .

Our faith grows the more we step out to use it. But faith can be hampered by fear or doubt or unbelief. Faith can also be stagnant when dormant – not used.

I’m in need of an increase in faith. I hope you are too. I have therefore compiled the following verses to help us. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭10:17‬). As you read the following scriptures, I pray that your faith increases. If you desire the gift of faith, ask God for it now.

. . .

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬) ‭

“Through faith Sara received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews‬ ‭11:11‬)

“… Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬)‬‬

“…, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. (Matthew‬ ‭21:21‬)

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans‬ ‭1:17‬)

“Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.”
‭‭(Romans‬ ‭3:30‬)

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James‬ ‭1:3‬)

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James‬ ‭1:6‬)

“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James‬ ‭2:14‬)

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James‬ ‭2:17‬)

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” (Mark‬ ‭11:22‬)

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”. (2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬)

“…, According to your faith be it unto you.” (Matthew‬ ‭9:29‬)

“… a man (or woman) is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
‭‭(Romans‬ ‭3:28‬)

“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (Galatians‬ ‭3:7‬)

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” (Hebrews‬ ‭11:30‬)

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,” (Hebrews‬ ‭11:33‬)

“… faith without works is dead?”
‭‭(James‬ ‭2:20‬)

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James‬ ‭2:26‬)

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians‬ ‭3:26‬)

“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Romans‬ ‭3:3‬)

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans‬ ‭4:5‬)

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;”
‭‭(Romans‬ ‭4:20‬)

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” (2 Peter‬ ‭1:5‬)

. . .

I hope you felt your faith increasing as you read these scriptures.

Remain blessed.

The Choices We Make

Credits: UnSplash / Joshua Coleman

Choice is both an act and the power of choosing the best of two or several alternatives. Choice is also exercising care in your selection.

. . .

Daily, we make tons of choices. “It’s estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day … And as your level of responsibility increases, so does the multitude of choices you have to make.”

Over the years we acknowledge that while some of those choices were good, some were bad, and some were outright ugly. We are pleased with our good choices, but regret many which, when we are humble enough to stop and retrospectively acknowledge that those choices could have been handled differently. Hindsight is 20/20.

As Dr. Arthur Freeman and Rose DeWall’s book titled “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” we can unblock the past, move forward, and do things differently.

What things have you been repeating over the years and are expecting different results? Make the choice today to do it differently. Else we could be diagnosed as insane! Because “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results” equates insanity, right? But let’s demonstrate that we are the ones of sound mind.

Our Choices Shape Us

Do not continue ceaselessly to beat yourselves down for making a wrong choice. Like Abraham Lincoln, we just found or learned another way not to do (or say) some things.

All the choices we make daily, whether good, bad, or ugly, are the experiences that shape us without which we would not be who we are today.

. . .

Do not be ensnared by anger and/or a bad temper (Proverbs 22:24-25). We have a choice. Choose peace and silence. If you do not respond to the insults, noone can accuse you of saying something you did not utter.

None can twist an unuttered utterance

ThinkTalk

Likewise, if you choose to respond using soft words instead of harsh words, you would have defeated the antagonist boiling for a fight or quarrel.

Turning away from a heated argument does not indicate that you are a coward. On the contrary, it is strength under control.

Imitate the pro boxer or wrestler

Do you know that a professional boxer or wrestler is forbidden from hitting anyone outside the (boxing/wrestling) ring? I have had occurrences when I stared at the person who insulted me and simply said, “God bless you.” But, I wasn’t always like this. I matured into it. Not that I was ever a physical person (God forbid that!) but there was a time that I did give the person a peace of my mind; using my words which were often harsh but never my fists. Not any more. To His Glory I have become a new creature. It is an intentional act. I hope that you will also make the intentional act today because you have the power within you to choose right and better. But, I will also be quick to add that not that I have attained perfection, I am still a work-in-progress.

But please do not come looking to tempt me! 😊

. . .

God says “I have set before you life and death … choose life …” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Are you going to choose to be the good samaritan or Judas?

November 3rd, 2020

On November 3rd, 2020, America has a choice to make. All or some of the 50 States of America also have relative decisions to make. We, the people, have elected Presidents in previous years past. We, the people, have a decision to make. We, as people, can sometimes be so forgetful and short-sighted. We neither introspect nor retrospect. We tend to forget the prior four years at the ballot boxes and repeat our mistakes. Let’s not repeat the Saul experiences. My hope is that we will all demonstrate what we’ve learned with past presidents, bills, and propositions, and vote, not merely on party lines, or with our heads, but with out hearts. That we would have done our due diligences not only with listening to the Presidential (or Vice Presidential) debates, but thoroughly reading and analyzing each candidate’s manifesto, including all Bills and Propositions. And knowing deep down in our hearts that we exercised our votes and voted for the best candidate on the ballot.
As a nation, we’ll have to live for the next four years with the choices we make on November 3rd.

Final thoughts

Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7, 2 Corinthians 10:7a)
  • The people chose Saul, but God chose David.
  • When the prophet, Samuel, was sent to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king, Samuel thought it must be Eliab because of his physique. But God said, “… I have refused him.” (1 Samuel 16)
  • The king was looking for men of stature to fight Goliath, when David stepped forward, everyone looked at him as a “small boy” and wondered how he could fight the giant. (1 Samuel 17:19-58). Guess who defeated Goliath?
  • Everyone brought their abundance to cast in the treasury and thought they had given their best, but Jesus chose the widow as the one who gave the most. (Mark 12:41-44)

Choose wisely today, always, and especially on November 3rd.

Above all, “… choose you this day whom ye will serve; … : but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua‬ ‭24:15‬)

Thanks for reading. Like, share, and comment. ❤️✌🏾

Unquenchable Hunger

There’s a yearning in human beings that nothing satisfies where we find ourselves craving more money, more cars, more clothes, more shoes, more degrees (than the thermometer – T D Jakes), more of this and more of that. Yet when those things are obtained, we still want more.

What makes people want more?

This insatiable hunger is often a spiritual void that only God; not more of anything, can fulfill.

“There is a spiritual hunger in our hearts, which can only be satisfied by God.”

Nicky Gumbel

Often this void manifests in certain ways that it takes the uncanny to recognize it. Changing from one job or relationship to the other, never being satisfied with anything or anyone, complaining or always on short-fuse, are few examples of one who needs Father God but does not yet realize it. These occurrences are not a one-timer kind, but are occurrences that would have gone on for years without change. This is because the person is incapable of change or satisfaction by themselves and often have to succumb to a higher power. If they could, they would have helped themselves out of it. And the more they try to stop or rid themselves of the desire, ironically, the more they can’t and the more they want!

The Spiritual Connection

Undoubtedly, we all need a spiritual connection. What that connection is for everyone differs from person to person. Even agnostics and atheists have often come to the realization of a higher being/existence; though they fail to ascribe the realization to God.

For some, it takes a life-changing event such as an accident or debilitating illness to wake one up to the realization of the need for help from, or to seek, God. And like the Good Father that He is, He will never turn His back on anyone. Rather, He welcomes you with open arms because He’s being waiting for you, and us all, to call out and move closer to Him.

Let’s act now and not wait for that life-changing event to happen.

As Philip Wijaya stated, “In physical hunger, we feel discomfort or weakness caused by a lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. In spiritual hunger, likewise, we crave “food” for the spirit, without which we cannot survive.”

Spiritual Food

Spiritual hunger can only be satisfied with spiritual food.

“The Word of God is the best spiritual nourishment for our soul-spirit.”

P. Wijaya

The Bible is the Word of God. Get one and begin reading it today. Begin reading from the New Testament which is the twenty-seven books of Matthew through Revelation. The Book of Matthew begins with the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is pertinent information but can be boring for new readers. It’s okay to skip the first chapter and return to it later. The Bible is filled with wisdom. I pray that God will reveal Himself to you by His Holy Spirit as you feed on His Word. It is my belief that your spiritual hunger will be satisfied.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6)

Peace!

We are a complicated species

Credits: https://unsplash.com/@ryoji__iwata

Human beings are so complicated. I wonder why. Lately, I’ve been pondering on why it’s so hard for us to get along with each other. Some might claim that my statement is invalid that human beings do get along. To this I say that few people getting along, when ALL or majority could, does not invalidate my claim nor equate everyone getting along. Please read along with me.

In terms of religion alone, we all claim to be of, and worship, one and the same God, yet we have a multitude of branches of religion. The multitude of branches and denominations stemmed mainly from disagreements over doctrines and/or subjective interpretations of parts of the Bible or the religion’s sacred book.

Why so many?

According to records, there are five major religions; namely, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but a staggering 4,300 religions worldwide

Image: Carrie Osgood / weforum.org / World Map of Religions

Intra-Branches

Christianity is divided between Eastern and Western theology. In these two divisions there are six branches: Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Assyrians. Restorationism is sometimes considered the seventh branch.”

Each major religion also has its own branches. For example, there’s the Roman Catholics but “the German monk Martin Luther … denouncing the Catholic sale of indulgences — pardons for sins — and questioning papal authority led to his excommunication and the start of the Protestant Reformation.”

We can go down the list of each major religion and its branches.

. . .

Islam is also represented by several major branches: Sunni, Shi’a, Ibadi, Ahmadiyya, and Sufism.

Modern Hinduism is divided into four major devotional sects: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.

Judaism also has four branches; the Reform, Orthodox, Conservatism, and Reconstructionist.

Each religious branch also has its branches; branches within branches!

I hope you get the point?

Yet some might say that “variety is the spice of life” and that it is better to have choices rather than be restrictive. True, but doesn’t it make life somewhat harder and the people more complicated to deal with? A branch of religion prefer to stick together with its members and view others suspiciously because of differences in doctrines.

Well, well, well … I could go on and on. As it is with religion, so it is with other areas of life.

I’m not complaining, just pondering.

What would the world view be like if we all practiced one religion? Do you think it will be boring or fun? Just a thought.

Thanks for reading.