Saturday, July 14, 2012

What Is Inside You?

    Jesus told the people, "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean'" Mark 7:15, 21-23

Are you clean? Are you a child of God struggling with these sins. Be of good courage you are not alone. Society today has caused many including Gods children to loose hope, peace and most of all strength and faith. I have been in the pool of some of these same sins but I praise God that He is a forgiving God and I can bow down and humble myself, repent and ask for forgiveness knowing that the sin is remembered no more and I can turn away. That is God. No where in the word of God does it say you will not suffer but on the contrary it does say, you will suffer, for My sake. And in that suffering we have a choice. A choice to believe what God says or what the world says. We have the choice to stand in the perfect will of God knowing that yes, we will fail but we can get up and dust off our stuff and move on.

The message is clear that we must guard out hearts, minds and souls. We must allow God to continue to go before us even when all hell is breaking loose around us and in us, do not loose the focus of the mission God has. We must remember that with each blessing there is a curse. With each step you take, the road is not always smooth. The highways and byways are full of people on the fast track to no where all the while mentally thinking that the mission they are on is the important one. Is it? Have you consulted the creator? Have you listened to His promptings for your life?

Remove anything and anyone who will distract you from Gods purpose for your life. Get back into focus even in the storm and remember the storm does pass. Speak goodness, live in the fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-23.

You can not afford to not speak life.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thought Of The Day

My thought for today:

If you want quality you must be quality. Many of us expect so much but only give so little. We seek love but we put conditions on it. We want more money but refuse to put in the hours required and complain when millions do not have employment. We admire things but fail to see there is a cause and effect to having things. Never expect from another what you are not willing to give and if you try to beat the system of life, karma is real and you will no doubt pay for it somewhere in your life's walk. Nothing that happens in your life is by chance, its allowed by God. Change your thinking, change your mind. Feed your thoughts with positiveness. Your eye-gate is the door to growth or destruction meaning, what you choose to see can either bring you growth or cause destruction not only for you but for those around you. One of my favorite quotes from back in college is this, “Determination rules out doubt theory can not solve” penned by an unknown. I wake up determined everyday to remove something that does not work and to hold onto that which is working. How many times will we be forgiven? The same amount of forgiveness we are required to give 70 times 7, God's requirement not mine. Forgiveness is not for the one you forgive, its for you. If you are still talking about the pain you have from yesterday inflicted on you by another, you have not forgiven. If you are still angry about something that happened to you yesterday, you have not forgiven. One of my childhood friends told me one day during a crisis, “you will know when you are tired”. To many love is a gimme feeling meaning, give me this and I will love you. Wrong. Love is a requirement but you must know what love is to give it and to know when you receive it. There is a rule book and it states the following.

1 Corinthians chapter 13 NLV says this:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

What is your excuse?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Jigsaw Puzzle

Over the past few months, I have been up and down. In a month I will be 50 and also feeling the loss of my big sister Leslie who would have also celebrated her birthday 3 days after mine.  I have removed people from my life that held no purpose, drama of any kind is not my strong suit.  I have to say that my testimony is one of courage and strength.  I love solitude to a degree that if you gave me a choice to hang with my sisters or stay home alone, I choose home alone.  AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Love it.  Not because of any particular reason, just that I like me wait, I love me and my company.  Its my time to detox from a busy work week, voices, conversations, lunch room hellos, impatient drivers and stop lights.  Being an introvert, I have no need to be in the mix however, I am humble enough to do what God says do when it comes to others because it's not about me.   So today, I am not at my much loved church.  I am praising, reading, meditating and networking. Sharing the word and taking some much wanted time to myself.

In my solitude I read to fill my head with knowledge of some kind, I write to leave a legacy for my family and I am putting together a jigsaw puzzle of the Twin Towers before they were so tragically destroyed.  I have always wanted a picture of the Twin Towers both day and at night.  I have the border complete minus one  piece, why is it that one is always missing? Maybe because I bought it for a dollar at a yard sale. LOL

While doing a process of elimination on the pieces, I thought about life and how our lives are just like puzzles.  We try this or that and it does not work.  We go here or there, that is not a fit. We go through life all in the hope of finding and holding onto things and people that we think should fit.  That is not God.  God did not create us to fit and He surely did not create this life so that everything would fit and work out the way we want.  James chapter 1 lets us know that we will go through many things and its all a test of our faith. So get this, life is not a bowl of cherries and you are not being picked on. It is however already marked. God has created and positioned each step of your path and if you follow the lane He has provided for you and you alone, you will end up at the right destination.  There is one thing, if you are not reading and meditating on Gods word, you can not know what He has for you. Hint!!!! Will the travel be easy? No. You will have breakdowns, leaks, flat tires and foggy windows and you will need many repairs along the way.  The end result will be a well maintained masterpiece, a classic, a treasure, you. Remember no one can be you or do you like you.  So be happy with yourself and if your not happy, get with the program.  Look around you at the homeless, jobless, hungry, cold and mentally vacant.  It could be worse.  Forget the things of the past and do what God says, look to the future and while looking to the future, live in the present, the now, the right here at this very moment.  Be grateful, be humble to serve and give back.  You can not walk around with catchers mitts on both hands, you must be able to fast pitch back.  Look down to lift up. Speak kind words or keep your mouth shut because the cahos you speak, you will life.  Proverbs 81:21. Make that phone call you have been thinking about.  Hug someone, shoot I love a good hug and I love giving them too.

The moral of this blog is this, live your life to its fullest where ever you are and remember, someone did not wake up this morning. 

A Celebration Forgotten

July 4th is coming up and you can see all the highlights of local cities preparing to put on a big show to celebrate freedom. Neighborhood parks and waterfronts will be filled with many people sporting their reds, whites and blue. Booths with many different items to buy for the scrap book or to be tossed in a box and forgotten. As I listen and witness these events, I can not help but wonder. My first thought is, where is our freedom fair and widespread celebrations to be announced on local television? Are you wondering what is she talking about? I am talking about Juneteenth. June 19, 1865 commemorates the freedom of slaves.

Here is a short lesson:
JUNETEENTH. On June 19 ("Juneteenth"), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read in part, "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor."

The tidings of freedom reached the approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas gradually as individual plantation owners informed their bondsmen over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African American about their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.
My mother who is from Texas taught me and made me read to learn for myself. She would always tell me, don't believe every word you hear, find out for yourself. The books only tell a small truth. I used to wonder why my mother would never make a big deal about the 4th of July. She would say, where is our party and some other course words I won't repeat here but, I am sure you get the point. Here is a small reading again of that emancipation of the General Order Number 3 stating "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."

There have been many events throughout history in relation to our African American history and these celebrations are short, IE Black History Month, a whole month to publicly celebrate our blackness. I could go on with my thought on these subjects alone but what I would rather do is just give you a taste of how much effort is put into trying to force us to forget until an appointed time. Well I did not forget because the reality is, I am black 365 days a year, I celebrate my heritage 365 days a year but the thing that bothers me is our young people are clueless. The attention is given to our young men and grown men walking around who have not learned how to pull their pants up, young girls and grown woman giving away their souls and dignity, to music videos of lust and greed, gang violence, unnecessary killings of our black youth and no real respect to our veterans, the list is long.  African American literature is sitting dusty on shelves and dwindling, while most say there is no black justice, where is my 40 achers and the mule? Really?

How do you articulate Freedom? Are you really free? Are you equal within this so called world of equality?