Courage

How many of you remember this famous quote?

Courage

What makes a King out of a slave?

Courage

What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage

What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist or the dusky dusk?

What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage

What makes the Sphinx the 7th Wonder? Courage

What makes the dawn come up like THUNDER?! Courage

What makes the Hottentot so hot?

What puts the “ape” in ape-ricot?

Whatta they got that I ain’t got?

D, SC & TM: Courage

CL: You can say that again.

The Wizard Oz 1939

What makes the role of the cowardly lion funny is that we know him to be the king of the jungle.

Now we know that the movie was meer entertainment and fantasy. However, we can learn something from this movie if you look and listen for those small notes of wisdom that were sprinkled throughout the movie.

The lion had an ability to speak so this tells me that he had been told by someone that he was a coward. He had been told this so many times that he began to believe this himself. He forgot that he is king.

This also applies to us. We have listen to others tell us that we could not do; could not be; can’t this and can’t that.

However, the truth is GOD said that you are more than a conqueror. A conqueror is one who takes by force; a winner. This is impossible without courage.

GOD also said that we can do all things through CHRIST JESUS who strengthens us. It takes courage to go after and accomplish all the goals; dreams and visions that are in your heart. You need strength to do this because there are times when things will seem impossible so you need courage to continue.

We all need to be brave about something. Here is a scripture reference.

This is MY (GOD) Command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For The LORD your GOD is with you where ever you go. Joshua 1:9

Wow did you notice that GOD has commanded us to be strong and courageous. In other words Just Do It!

Don’t be afraid for I AM with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I AM your GOD. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with MY Victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Advertisements

Contentment

When I began to think how I could explain contentment in a manner that the readers would understand. I thought about a popular song of my late teen years by the Commodores 1977 Easy. The only part of the lyric that kept rolling around in my mind was “Easy like Sunday morning”.

I’m a city girl yet I have lots and lots of country in me. So I thought back to my childhood. In the city, life may have been slow on Sunday yet being a child everyday was easy to me; I had no financial responsibilities; so big deal.

Then I remembered all those summers I spent in South Carolina; North Carolina and Atlanta. The scent of Magnolia’s; Honeysuckle; peaches; and strawberries, now that’s easy. Hot, yet cool all at the same time. Walking along dirt roads; neighbors knew the true meaning of being a neighbor, nothing like it is today. If you are familiar with the Andy Griffith show that was pretty much my life growing up during the summers in South and North Carolina as well as Atlanta.

Adults did not show the stress that they may have had; not even in the city.

Contentment was something that used to be taught in the home; it was taught that it was a blessing to have what we have and not desire so much what others had.

It’s not abnormal to feel dissatisfied, that’s the Holy Spirit trying to get your attention for you to accomplish your destiny.

Philippians 4:11-13 I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through JESUS, The CHRIST, who gives me strength.

Hebrew 13:5 don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. GOD has said that” HE will never fail you-HE will never abandon you”.

GOD knows that we need money to pay for food; mortgage; rent; utilities and so on. However you must rule the money; don’t allow the money to rule over you. Ya heard!

2 Peter 2:2-7 & 9 just a bit more encouragement to let you know that GOD got you.

Consequences

Something that logically or naturally follows from an action or condition.

When we are lost and belong to satan the consequences that came from following him was both logical and natural to us. We reaped the rewards that we thought were the best we were going to have. The pleasure that we obtained from him are temporary.

Now that we have been found by JESUS; at first coming to HIM was not either logical or natural. The longer we seek to know GOD through the teachings that are in the Bible; then our obedience to HIM becomes logical. Study and stay longer and serving JESUS becomes natural to us.

Did you notice that I wrote “we have been found by JESUS”? More often than not; many CHRISTians will say I found GOD or I found JESUS. You are wrong; GOD is not lost; JESUS is not lost; you are or you were.

There will come a time that we will wonder; “what is the importance of righteous living”? You are going to reach several points in your love walk with GOD that you are going to question yourself; is it worth it? You don’t recall some of the problems that you may experience now or in the future as they arise back during the time when you served satan.

Here is an answer: Plant good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground your hearts, for now is the time to seek The LORD, that HE may come and shower righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

There will be times when you will become so tired of praying and fasting to have a particular sin that has a hold of you divinely removed from you. You have been anointed with so much oil that chicken can be fried on you. You have confessed over and over. Maybe for a season that sin does not show its ugly head and then all of a sudden; whoop there it is. So just what are you to do? Remain faithful!

During those times when you think that you will never escape that sin and its consequences. You speak to that sin and the father of sin saying: Flesh, my GOD has said “Obey ME, and I will be your GOD, and I will be HIS people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well. Jeremiah 7:23

Anyone who belongs to JESUS has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Confess

The 1st step is Repentance. Why must we confess and what does it do for us? When we confess we acknowledge a fault, crime, misdeed, weakness and the sin within us. We own or admit; declare or acknowledge our sins.

We plead guilty and acknowledge one’s belief or faith in JESUS.

Therefore whoever confesses ME before men, him I will also confess before MY FATHER who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32

If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

By this you know the Spirit of GOD: Every spirit that confesses that JESUS CHRIST has come in the flesh is of GOD, and every spirit that does not confess that JESUS CHRIST has come in the flesh is not of GOD. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:2-3

Whoever confesses that JESUS is the SON of GOD, GOD abides in him, and he in GOD. 1 John 4:15

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess JESUS CHRIST as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 1:7

If you confess with your mouth the LORD JESUS and believe in your heart that GOD has raised HIM from the dead, you will be saved for with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

Complete Rest In GOD

Heb. 4:1-7

A promise has been given to everyone who hears, believes and obeys.

Remains = to stay; abide (which means to live in)

The scripture has informed the reader that a promise remains.

In other words it stays put; unmoved and lives.

There are far too many of GOD’s creation (mankind) who are restless. Unbelievers you’re supposed to be restless the god you serve is restless. CHRISTians you are not supposed to be restless because the GOD you serve has given you rest. But many are restless because they don’t know that they are to enter into GOD’s rest. GOD told the unbeliever that they will not enter into HIS rest. Ps. 95:11 and Heb. 3:18-10

The gospel is being preached to all nations. I understand that there are many who have not heard the Good News. However, it does not make it so that the Good News is not being preached to all the nations.

Remember: Those of us who are Americans living in America a nation formed on the principles of GOD. Many of us have not heard the Good News. This country has a church on every block or at the very least every two blocks. If there is a liquor store on the block there is a church on the block. It’s a sad witness but true. Many of us had not heard the Good News until we were adults. How is that possible? Honestly I don’t have the answer, there are many answers that I can give but I would rather share my testimony with you because maybe some of you will be able to relate.

The Good News was not shared with me because I did not come from a Godly home. As a wee child I was taught my bedtime prayer. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee LORD my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray thee LORD my soul to take.”

This prayer meant nothing to me because it had never been explained to me. Why must I pray? Who is thee LORD? Why is HE going to keep my soul if I die? Why am I going to die in my sleep, maybe? I never thought to ask those questions and the adult that taught me that prayer (my Great-Grandmother) never thought to teach me. I continue to pray this prayer up until I began school at age 6. It’s as if bedtime prayer was no longer a requirement. I was also taught to pray (called grace) over my food, breakfast, lunch and dinner. “GOD is Great, GOD is Good and I thank HIM for this food. By HIS hands am I feed give me LORD my daily bread. Amen

Now I’ve not said these prayers in many, many years but they are rooted within me. As I’m sure if you also were taught these prayers you remember them also.

I was taught never to take the LORD’s name in vain. I never knew I was doing it until I said something that raised the attention of an adult then I was told “stop taking the LORD’s name in vain”! It was not explained to me why what I said made me take the name of the LORD in vain, it was just the mentioning of HIS name when not used in a religious setting that made it vain. It is true however that we are not to use the name of GOD in vain. Some examples are: cursing or when reflecting an all too high opinion of yourself.

Church in my home was commonly known from the radio or TV. Back when I was a child the reigning Televangelist was Rev. Ike during the 60’s and early 70’s. I was taken to church every Easter and most CHRISTmas’s. I either went outside to play or went to sleep. Church when I was a child was not geared to children or young people as it is today. The ways of GOD was not being taught in my home because it was a religious home. The adults in my home did not have a relationship with The FATHER or with JESUS. What they had was knowledge but not an intimacy with THEM. The Holy Ghost was something. That in itself is wrong because He is someone. The Holy Ghost was something that made old people jump and buck that caused them to hit you upside your head or knock you down. Where is the reverence towards Him? There is none because He is not known as the third Godhead of divinity. He’s not even known as a person but a thing.

I learned to shut out the Pastor when I did go to church on my own (motivated by the music) because I was a nervous and abused child. What since did it make to leave a house of yelling to enter into a church building of yelling from the Pastor. The Pastor sounded as if he was having a respiratory attack, drenched in sweat and eyes bugging out. What is his problem?

As I grew older I looked forward to going to church still motivated by the music only. Maybe some word got into me, I don’t know to this day and I’ve been a CHRISTian for 32 years. When I got saved 32 years ago I was dumb as a box of rocks because I had no word. I did not enter into GOD’s rest because I knew nothing about GOD’s rest.

When I did hear of GOD’s rest it had to do with death. I still hear it at funerals today. But that’s not what GOD’s rest mean. GOD is our source, GOD, HIMSELF told Moses that HE is I AM. Gen. 3:14 We are to want for nothing HE is our FATHER and HE is Good. Ask of HIM and rest in the assurance that HE will speak to you in HIS giving you what you desire or why HE neglects to provide to you at this time. If you can’t manage $100 I doubt seriously that HE will give you $100,000.000.00, your motives are wrong, you don’t operate in wisdom.

For those of us who have arrived and entered into GOD’s rest it’s great and we look forward to seeing those who are restless to join us. Stop being disobedient, now I’m not saying that all of my I’s are dotted and that all of my T’s are crossed. What I am saying is it’s harder for me to willingly be disobedient than before. I enjoy the rest.

Hey, I just closed my eyes, and I saw myself on a tropic beach under a large umbrella sipping on a virgin daiquiri enjoying life and resting.

Come on the water is fine.

Communication

Communication is from our own perception

 It is important that we come to a realization that our mouths are out of control.

Isaiah 6:5 (Amplified Bible)
We all must have mouths that align with GOD and able to speak well at all times. Perception of our communication comes from our life history. Family, faith, beliefs, values and attitudes. What is our motivation when we speak? What we hear, the manner in which we interpret what is being communicated from others, whether we choose to react or respond and how we reply.
Our environment externally and internally is full of noise, there has been elements deposited within us that are sounds bites consistently. Lying, gossiping, anger all are unhealthy spiritual elements. We are distracted with sickness, being tired, hungry, traffic or family requirements.
We speak when we are not armed with adequate information; the lack of being well informed intrudes on being a good communicator.
1 Corinthians 13:9-11 (Amplified Bible)

We will better understand if we learn to hear and listen, ask questions that delve into the subject to get clarity and look to understand the speaker more fully. Be open and receptive; understand that we don’t know everything. Let our communication be the continuation of love.

Comfort

I have two scenarios that have to do with family departure.

On Mother’s day my cousin in-law was told that his nephew had died. I know the parents and I remember seeing the children when they were young lads. I don’t know where the young man who is deceased is, however I hope that he made things right with GOD before he left.

Also it will be imperative that if the family does not know JESUS that instead of spending time speaking about the life of the deceased. This will be a great opportunity to introduce to some and reacquaint to others who JESUS is. One of the things that will help Ministers know where a family is in their relationship to JESUS is to listen to the conversations around them. There will be prime opportunities there to witness and comfort at the same time.

Conversations such as: “GOD took him because he loved him and wanted him home with HIM”.

Well the family loved him too and wanted him with them also. A statement like that may seem comforting, however all it does is push the non-believers further away from GOD.

“GOD needed another angel so HE took our loved one”.

GOD is a Creator. GOD Created angels before HE created man. I’m certain that if GOD need or want more angels all HE has to do is speak and the angel is. GOD will not kill what belongs to you to satisfy HIS needs. Below I will type out some key words; I suggest you read the entire scripture.

Genesis 5:22-24 Lived in close fellowship with GOD; walking in close fellowship with GOD and he disappeared because GOD took him. (No death involved)

Hebrews 11:5 Taken up to heaven without dying and disappeared. (Vanished)

If you can see a body or skeleton or any type of human remains that person died and GOD did not take that person.

2 Kings 2:1; 3; 5; 9-11 The LORD takes Elijah up to heaven and carried by a whirlwind into heaven.

From this do you see that GOD does not kill to satisfy HIMSELF? GOD is the GOD of life not death.

 While in church on Mother’s day The LORD prepared my heart to receive a phone call during the week to let me know that one of the staff Ministers had gone home to be in the presence of The LORD. I believed that it would not have happened on Mother’s day yet knew that I would get that call between Monday and Friday. I got the call on Monday. The Evangelist that went to be in the presence of The LORD was married to an Elder of the church who also is on staff. He has a relationship with The LORD yet that does not stop his grief for now. He knows that he can go to The LORD for comfort, yet that does not stop his mourning for now.

So how does one provide comfort to a non-believer and a believer? To the non-believer you show kindness and mercy. You extend yourself and if you have not been where they are do not offer false comfort such as “I know your pain” or “I know what you are going through”. Be loving in all you do and realize that not saying anything speaks volumes. To the believer again show acts of kindness and mercy. Extend yourself lovingly; mourn with them; laugh with them. Do not offer false comforts if you don’t have firsthand knowledge of this type of grief keep your thoughts to yourself.

If the opportunity arises quote:

Psalm 23:4 yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for YOU are with me; YOUR rod and YOUR staff comfort me.

This scripture will provide comfort when it seems as though there is no comfort to be found.