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Fatherhood

Born and raised into circumstances beyond my control…

..my adolescence was filled with controlling the little I could building intrinsic values like loyalty, integrity, and respect. Opportunities presented themselves to challenge God given skills and talents in basketball by moving away from familiarity and comfort to live with my father and his wife to attend a really, really good basketball program for high school; nationally ranked in the top 10 my junior and senior year good. Fatherhood had little meaning to me at this point raised by a single mother and spending majority of my time with maternal family.

Interestingly enough, God presented the opportunity to play against that same nationally ranked team (7th) in a tournament championship game my senior year. I relied heavily on my own understanding based on the gifts I knew God gave me, and begin to falter for the temptations and worldliness surrounding me around this time in life.

Consequently, I had a Moses moment.

God did something similar, placing me on the mountain top overlooking everything I envisioned by remaining loyal to my maternal roots and attending the same high school my entire maternal family attended; giving the school and program national attention, recognition and ranking. I was so close, could smell the fear in my opponents sweat because several of them played on a travel team with me and knew of my lethal skill.

Everything leading up to this point was not of God, for I had forsaken my relationship with God. My Heavenly Father placed me right where I wanted to be only to humble me and make me realize the humility and sorrow of forsaking the most important relationship in my life.

Reflecting deeper, the pattern of forsaking my father here on earth laid the foundation for forsaking my Heavenly Father in a crucial way, a crucial moment. My relationship with God, my Heavenly Father has grown to take precedence in this life given to me.

I am thankful to have a father in this world focused on his relationship with God, which I focus on when interacting with him. There is not much to be done for all the lack experienced growing up without a full-time father and married parents, and thankfully I am in a position to share God, Gods word, and the gospel with the man who helped my mother bring me into this world.

These experiences transcend any and all worldly reactions and emotions that once got the best of me in my adolescence. As a father myself, being delivered from my tribulations, temptations, backsliding, and worldly lusts drive me to overflow the compassion, grace, mercy, and unconditional love my Heavenly Father has for me unto my children in Jesus name. Not to take away from the efforts, be what they may, of my father of this world, but my model of fatherhood is based on the relationship God has reserved for me in Christ Jesus.

Growing up fatherless ought not be an excuse to forsake a man’s ability to be a father to the children they partake in bringing into this world, nor the relationship their mother deserves. Growing up fatherless ought to be motivation to fill the gap and voids present in being a fatherless child to end the cycle.

Being a father is about loving your child unconditionally, raising them to know respect, and helping to shape them to realize their potential in contributing godly work in this world severely lacking godly men, and godliness in general. May the peace of God be within you, and godly refinement enter your life to transform everything you thought you knew.

 

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Wise Serpents, Harmless Doves

Interesting how the bible intertwines to prove old testament truth with new testament wisdom. Reinforces belief that it is the living word, not only by what the word says; what it reveals diligently seeking, and worshipping in, truth and spirit. Matthew’s gospel depicts Jesus referencing the serpent as something to imitate in chapter 10 verse 16, an interesting truth considering the serpents role in the creation story.

Consequently, the serpent proved to be wise in beguiling Gods most coveted creation. Observing the serpent, they slither face in the ground cautiously alert for both predator and prey. To be wise as a serpent means to constantly keep humility and meekness as though face down to Gods earth, deep understanding of Christ to point out in both words and works the meaning of truth.

The serpent is without limbs. To be wise as a serpent means to constantly ask, seek, knock for the Holy Ghost to be our limbs to guide us. To reference a favorite Psalm,

Lead beside still waters. Restore soul. Lead in the way of righteous for His name sake.

The Holy Ghost is not bound to the weariness of flesh, and therefore has the power to restore. If only we trust, surrender and worship in truth and spirit for the spirit to lead. Deep understanding of Christ to point out such truth in both words and works.

The 16th verse of the 10th chapter of Matthew reinforces the caution serpents live with, as Christ talks about sending believers forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Imagine the wisdom required to maneuver as a sheep through the midst of wolves in order to make it out alive. Must be why Christ also says those that find their life lose it, and those that lose their life for His sake shall find it.

No one can take what is laid down and given freely.

Surrendering to Christ as the door leading salvation to Gods kingdom and glory is laying down life, and is likened as being a sheep among wolves. As a sheep, you have no prey. God will make you to lie down in green pastures, lead you beside the still waters, and through Christ will fill you with living waters to never thirst!

What you do have is pray. Prayer without ceasing, knowing blood and flesh thirsty wolves can have their thirst quenched through the blood of Christ. Praying for wolves is harmless, just as the gentle dove. Pray, lean on Gods word in Christ’s name, and if need be pray to ask how to pray. Just may be it seems you are in the midst of wolves when really your mind is lost causing blindness, and truly you are amongst the fold. I beseech you therefore brethren, be as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves.

 

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What Are You Reflecting?

Do you ever stop to reflect why people do, or do not like you?

This question is important once the responses are broken down to their essence. If people like you, do they like you because you somehow reflect something they can cling to, and drain? People of this world are, after all, needy and will drain you by design because they never satisfy and always crave something (usually attention). If people like you because you reflect something in them and you give them a reason to feel connected, are they believers and do they reflect what it is to be a believer in God filled with the Holy Spirit?

If this is not the case, you are in a dangerous place, a place likened to the devils playground. If you call yourself a believer and accept Christ into your heart, people of this world should not cling to you as a reflection of themselves to fill idle time. Such a position can be described as ‘lukewarm’ and ‘putting old wine into a new wineskin’ as the bible alludes. Consequently, we are called as believers to present our bodies living sacrifices, holy acceptable unto the Lord and as such, we ought to reflect a God-fearing, Holy Spirit filled life just as Christ did.

If you are full of the Holy Spirit, and open to allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you, your surroundings will reflect such through Gods grace.

Your fellowship will be with those that sharpen you and contribute to overflow. Doors will open proving Gods word and promises that will place you in favor if you wait on the Lord, as highlighted in Isaiah 64:4.

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

Patience, brothers and sisters, patience. Just wait! Certainly there will be some persecution, but trust in the Lord as it lasts but for a moment and the joy and happiness that remains will be everlasting.

Consequently, some people will not like you and do not be alarmed for it is the devil, the hardened hearts God placed in them that does not like you to test you so pray for them and cling to God, reinforcing the need to believe in order to be healed.

There ought to be a separation between you, as a believer, and worldliness.

Psalms 1 is a great verse in highlighting the difference

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. but his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Make no mistake about who this verse can potentially be referring to. People closes to you, relatives, spouses, children, friends, coworkers, the person in the mirror. Walking with God is no easy task, there is no app for it. The relationship with God must be placed above all, and used to strengthen any and all relationships in your life in order to reflect what Psalms 1 continues to identify in the blessed man, as a tree planted by rivers of water.

Water is extremely important in life, a commonly known fact. Trees planted by waters are nourished well and produce fruit according to their season. A well fed tree does not struggle with withered leaves. God and the relationship developed with God is the water of life, and in order to be like that tree we must constantly renew our minds and remain steadfast, and diligent in Gods inspired word to maintain our rightful place next to the rivers of water to be nourished and strengthened. Glorify God and to God be all glory, glory, glory.

 

 

 

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Jesus, Translations, Faith, and Worldly Corruption

It has been on my heart to know God deeper.

I yearn to know God deeper, more intimately. I accept Jesus, yet I do not accept Jesus. Having studied religions and Christianity being one of them, I learned about the corrupt history that led to our time in which we call Gods Son Jesus.

Not to shake anyones faith, but to sharpen the intimacy and understanding of Gods grace within.

It is great we as gentiles are able to know of God and His only begotten Son through translation. Consequently, I find it corrupt to call Gods Son out of his rightful name, considering  J is absent in the spoken language at the time Gods Son roamed the earth. Point being, how can we as believers, as Gentiles operate in the fullness thereof if we do not acknowledge Gods Son properly!

Certainly God through the Holy Spirit understands and searches our hearts when we pray in Jesus name and cry out to Jesus.

Consequently, this world is wicked and corrupt. This world, throughout history, has twisted meanings and created such double meanings that when the Bible says even the very elect will be fooled I feel it in my bones, in my very essence!

Again, this is simply my journey, my testimony in my walk with God, and Gods Holy Spirit whom Gods Son blessed this world with so believers and Gentiles can be saved. I know Gods Son is real because I have felt the power of the Holy Spirit, and witnessed it. I have surrendered my feeble mind and worldly knowledge to God and the Holy Spirit and the example Gods Son laid for us, praying with the gift of tongue, communing with God in faith and receiving in the same measure.

Consequently, as the bible says we must work out our own salvation in fear and trembling.

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Tested through Sacrifice

Genesis 22 depicts God testing Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son. Confused, Abraham stuck to his faith and heeded Gods command. God proved Abraham and spared Isaac, Abraham’s son in this Biblical story.

The Bible also shares a story of a man named Job, faithful to God in all his ways. God tested Job to the point of nearly sacrificing his own life, for Job had lost literally every single worldly possession he had: family, livestock, house, friends, you name it. God rewarded Job’s continued faith by restoring all his possessions an hundredfold, which indicates a lot of stuff including beautiful, wise daughters and a new wife. The Bible shares many other sacrifices involving father and son, like King David for example for got a married woman pregnant and kindled Gods anger to sacrifice the child. The theme of sacrificing a child in the Old Testament is a build up to the New Testament.

The ultimate sacrifice is belief and acceptance of Christ Jesus, Gods only begotten Son, as Lord and Savior.

The truth and realness of this sacrifice is felt and experienced when you surrender your life to your Creator and His Son Jesus Christ, for the world will persecute you no doubt once you allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you. Friends, family, those closest to you will be used to test you and this is a good thing because it means you are no longer reflecting your old, selfish, worldly ways but that you have been transformed by the renewing of your mind to prove Gods good and acceptable and perfect will as Romans 12 highlights. God will also open doors, if you allow Him, to be surrounded by folks who believe and will help strengthen your belief and understanding.

Consequently, believing in this sacrifice is, in and of itself, a test and really challenging for many to believe. I experienced several tests that had me questioning the validity of this sacrifice, and each time Gods anointing and promise through the Holy Spirit has carried me through. Losing a child was a tough experience for me and something I never realized impacted my faith and belief for the past few years until recently when I literally felt, heard and saw how hardened my heart had become.

Thankfully Gods promises never fall short if you surrender to trust the transformation and embrace Gods grace. Losing a child for me represents a test through sacrifice and it is a test that nearly caused me to be filled with complete darkness and turn to producing evil deeds and works. This is how powerful the Holy Spirit is, for it did not allow me to and it kept me full of just enough of Gods grace and mercy to embrace sorrow, which has always been the catalyst to evoke the gift of tongues for me, the most intimate way to commune with God and humble myself. Trust God, embrace sacrifice of the old you so the Holy Spirit can fill you anew with an overflow of Gods goodness and mercy and grace and love. In all things, pray.

 

 

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Joshua 24:19

The Bible is no doubt a deep book, piercing to this soul.

Those who believe with eyes to see and ears to hear will understand. I pray for you who do not yet have the understanding, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear particularly because in this day and age people will choose to serve the gods of the land.

Joshua 24:19 specifically stands out as a verse to meditate upon for me because of its depth and relevance today.

In this verse, Joshua poses an ultimatum to the children of Israel because with God there is no half way or grey area. Joshua essentially tells the children of Israel to choose the god they will serve, if serving the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Israel seem evil to them. Notice there is mention that there are other gods and people can opt to serve whom they please. Joshua ends this verse by saying as for him and his house they will serve the Lord.

To understand the depths of this verse, one must meditate and surrender to the understanding and knowledge of God. This world will have you believe serving God is evil, pointless and unnecessary. Even worse, this world will have you believe just because you call yourself a believer, a Christian, a Jew, a Hebrew, that you are choosing to serve the Lord God of Abraham, of Issac, and of Jacob, Father of Christ.

Religion is not necessary nor important when it comes to a relationship with God, a relationship with God is important when it comes to religion. Religion is the worlds way of classifying, categorizing, and stigmatizing whats important and that is a relationship with God.

To reinforce the depths of this verse, take Hinduism. This religion has over a 100 million gods! In one eye, one can view this as Hindus observing Gods omnipotence and presence in everything. Consequently, saying everything is a god has one worshipping literally any and everything.

Everything, especially in this world, is not meant to be worshipped, and this is where people tend to walk right into the devils playground. People begin to place more importance in worldly relationships, appearance, worldly objects, and possessions than they do God. Certainly respect, love, grace, and mercy ought to be extended to others when you are in tune with God because such things are poured out in abundance to you when you are in tune with God and you have no choice but to let them overflow unto others.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Seems straightforward and it is. If you serve the Lord, you will attract and want to be around people who serve the Lord to strengthen one another in fellowship through grace and love and mercy. Before you get to fellowship with others, your relationship with God must be in order and rightly situated. Thus, the my house takes on the deeper meaning of my body, my person, my self. Your body is the house of the Holy Spirit.

And I urge if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit to pray to God and ask in the name of Jesus to be filled with the Holy Spirit and God will open doors and create a burning, tingling feeling in your body to allow the Holy Spirit to pour out. Do not run from this feeling, surrender to God and receive the prayer if in church and the baptizing to receive the Holy Spirit. Serve the Lord in your house, fill your house with God and Gods word, and experience the peace and joy of dwelling in the house of the Lord on earth as it is in Heaven!

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40 Years, Patience & Faith

Is believing in God, remaining patient and faithful in Gods word easy?

Absolutely not. The bible is full of stories concerning this very notion, and the same holds true for many today.

The children/tribe of Israel, Gods chosen people, struggled constantly with patience and faith in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob/Israel. According to the Bible, these folks saw firsthand the presence of God as Moses received divine word and commandment on the mount (Sinai).

Throughout their 40 year journey, they still lacked patience and faith. Even as they approached the promised land, they questioned Gods ability due to their fear of those who occupied the land.

In an advanced world where any and everything is instantly obtainable to any and all of the five senses, how challenging is it to secure patience and faith?

The importance of these two godly attributes are seemingly pushed to the side and overlooked, until moments arise where they are all that is available.

Forty years is no doubt a long time to wait for a promise of better days to arrive, and enough time to cause any feeble mind to question such promise of better days. Now days, it is a challenge to wait 40 minutes for some feeble minds without the urge to fall to worldly, ungodly possession.

We are so far removed from biblical days, yet closer than we realize. I pray God touches the hearts of people who say they do not believe in God and the Holy Spirit, yet have not diligently read the bible with an open heart and prayed for help with their disbelief and demonic possessions hindering their lack of belief.

How much more of a challenge does Gods chosen people face today with the distractions and ungodly presence lurking literally everywhere!

Reading the bible is crucial as is prayer, for these intimate activities strengthen relationship with God and Holy Spirit. Think about it, married folks spend intimate time with their spouses to build and strengthen their relationship, parents spend countless hours nurturing and strengthening their relationships with offspring. How much more important is it to spend time strengthening a relationship requiring faith and patience!

The bible never ceases to amaze me each and every time I am led to open the pages and feed the spirit dwelling within. Reading through the struggles in patience and faith of the children of Israel, and the faithfulness/frustration of Moses paralleled personal situations. God has blessed me beyond measure with the little I have that has yielded an abundance in ways the world mind cannot see nor understand.

Most recently, I held a position at a prestigious higher education institution, and was offered a position with another organization of service only a crazy person would have turned down. Call me crazy because I surrendered to the small, still voice urging me to test the hearts of the folks of this organization. With hardened hearts just as the Pharaoh Moses spoke to, God led me out of that situation not realizing at the time it was my own heart God was testing.

Yet again the small, still voice told me to honor the contract at the prestigious university and test the hearts of the folks at this organization. Again, hardened hearts reinforced the need to take an exodus from this situation. Though I could have allowed God to use me in either situation, and arguably should have, the need to remove myself from such counsel present in both organizations was vital for continued growth in the relationship with God and the word inspired by God. I felt similar to the children of Israel walking through the desert for 40 years patiently and faithfully depending on God to provide and lead to the promised land.

Working is important in this world, especially with a family to provide for. Of more importance is surrounding yourself with folks that sharpen your God given authority; hence, Moses and Aaron. Moses did the walking and Aaron did the talking, all for Gods glory with patience and faith!

What a blessed position to be in, for all I have to give others is sharing Gods grace, love, mercy, and word for Gods glory. God is graceful in keeping the promise made to those who remain faithful and patient in loving God with all mind, heart, soul, and body. Gods love never ceases and I can attest to this through Gods everlasting goodness and mercy. Time and time again I struggled just as the children of Israel did because I simply did not understand why certain things were happening in life. I focused more on what was in front of me physically instead of being a physical presence to speak Gods will and word into situations I found myself in.

Perspective: instead of empathizing with the struggles of the children of Israel, I Pray God overflows the anointed Spirit flowing through Moses and Aaron in the Exodus story to those who open their heart to believe in God, and seek to understand/know God intimately.

Heres to the start of a persistent, dedicated surrendering to God and where the Holy Spirit is leading…..