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Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's A New Year

Yes, ready or not, 2017 is almost here. We can moan and groan as much as we like, it's knocking on our doors. Unless Jesus comes first. Which is very likely. But that's for another post. For right now, what are you doing about 2017?  Will it be the same old, same old? You know what someone said about that? If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got, or something to that effect.

So, my suggestion to you for 2017 is, begin by not making any New Year's resolution. I put it in bold just to make sure it stands out. Just decide that you're going to do the best you can in the new year. With God's help. That's what I plan to do. You see, there are many well-written books and tapes out there that tell us how to achieve our dreams. How to reach our highest potential, but from my experience, I know that I am nothing without God.

He saved me from dying of whooping cough when I was a baby (yes, that was a long time ago. Some of you have never heard of whooping cough.) Then he gave me a teaching career, found me a good husband - to whom I am still married decades later - gave us four beautiful children and a lucrative business. God fulfilled my dream of returning to school to get a BSc degree and later to become a published writer. All wonderful accomplishments, but the greatest of them all was when He saved my soul after I'd migrated from Trinidad to America. I could not have done any of this without the work of His Holy Spirit.

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4: 13).

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2: 5, " so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power." 

Friends, we need to put our faith and trust in God in the coming year. He alone has the answers we seek, and He will deliver them if we ask Him. Happy New Year! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Jesus Film - A Review


This post and giveaway are sponsored by Jesus Film and the FrontGate Christian Blogger Network. The opinions about how it will serve our home well are my own. 


During this Christmas season, our hearts turn more and more to Jesus Christ who made this season possible. I would like to recommend that you watch the Jesus film while spending time with family and friends. This film will enhance your Christmas experience and reinforce your love for Jesus Christ.

Beginning with the creation in the book of Genesis, the JESUS Film goes on to highlight the various prophecies of Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah and others and shows how God had a plan of salvation for mankind from the foundation of the world. The film faithfully depicts Christ's birth, ministry, death and resurrection as told in the biblical account from the Gospel of Luke. Virtually every word Jesus speaks in The JESUS Film is quoted from Scripture, with 450 leaders and scholars having reviewed the script for biblical accuracy. Further historical accuracy was ensured using clothing, pottery and other props made with first-century methods to portray a 2,000-year-old Palestinian culture. 

The JESUS Film has been officially recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Translated Film in history and is now is available in 1,197 languages. Is it any wonder that more than 200 million individuals worldwide have indicated a decision to follow Jesus after viewing The JESUS Film? If you are one of those who has never viewed the Jesus Film, you now have an opportunity to do so. Even if you have watched it before, it is worth watching it again. Just click on this link:

https://www.christiancinema.com/digital/movie/6974

Monday, December 05, 2016

Just Do It

This saying made famous by Nike has become the catch phrase for famous, as well as ordinary people,  the world over. Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, says, "If you don't like the way the world is, change it... Just do it one step at a time."

Is there something you have been wanting to do and have been putting it off until you no longer feel like doing it? When we keep putting something off, it takes on a mammoth shape and becomes almost  impossible for us to do. If we don't take that first step, we will eventually push it to the back burner and may never do it.

Just do it! In this post, I'm not referring to something scary, like bungee jumping or learning to fly an airplane. I'm talking about something that has been nagging at your spirit every time you step inside a church and hear the pastor give the altar call. "Come," he says "come and give your life to Christ." And you sit there, playing with your hands when you know you really want to get up out of your seat and walk up that aisle.

Paul writes,  "I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation, (2 Corinthians 6: 2). 
The author of Hebrews writes, "As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion”(3: 15).

I know what you are thinking. Leaving your seat and walking the aisle in front of everyone may be as scary as learning to fly an airplane. Well, I have some good news for you. You do not have to respond to the altar call. God is everywhere and He hears you wherever you are. The Holy Spirit may nudge you while you are driving your car, preparing a meal or taking a shower. I gave my heart to Christ in the privacy of my bedroom while watching a preacher on television. But when I went to church the following Sunday and the pastor gave the altar call, I found myself at the altar. I meant to go up on his last invitation which is for believers who want to become members of the church, but I guess I couldn't wait. 

What I am saying is, the Holy Spirit will give you the courage to do what you need to do. So, just do it! Right now, where you are, pause in what you are doing and say, "Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Come into my heart and make me your child." You can say more if you want to, but that's basically all you need to say, and the next time you go to church, like me, you may find yourself at the altar. God bless.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Just Be Thankful

I hope you had a very enjoyable - and THANKFUL - Thanksgiving holiday yesterday with turkey and all the trimmings and surrounded by your loved ones. Thanksgiving will not be the same without the presence of those you love.

I am spending the weekend with my husband, daughter, son-in-law and their children at my oldest son's house with him and his children. It's one of those rare occasions when I have all my grandchildren under the same roof with me, and I feel very blessed.

You know, this may seem like a simple thing, but when I think of the number of people who have no one to share these special times with, tears come to my eyes.

So, for those of you who have your loved ones around you, please be thankful. Thank God for them and show them that you are thankful for them too.

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And if you are among the fortunate ones who have the weekend off and you are not heading for the malls, why not complete your relaxation with a good book?

Coming Out of Egypt, a story of hope, redemption and restoration, is just .99c on Kindle and free on Kindle Unlimited.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

The 2016 presidential elections have come and gone, but the memories will remain for a lifetime. While some of us here in the US are rejoicing and others are mourning over what could have been, my question is, what are we teaching our children? Ten years or more when our children and grandchildren ask us what happened in 2016, what will we say to them?  That we gave in to our fears, insecurities, prejudices, or we simply didn't know what we were doing?

My concern is for our children who are the future of the world. Are we teaching them that it's okay to insult others, disrespect women, disregard the law with impunity, show hate for those who don't look like us or who don't share our views and still ascend to the highest office in our land?

We need to do better. For the sake of our children and our world. We have to teach them that love and unity are what we need to build a stronger, more peaceful world. One where we treat others with respect and not view them with suspicion.Yes, we need to teach our children to be safe, but not to the extent of ostracizing others because of the color of their skin or where they may have come from.

Fortunately, there are many young people who are being brought up according to true Christian principles, not just loving those who look like them or who belong to their social circle, but who are following the teachings of Jesus -  “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them" (Luke 6: 32).

Let's be Christlike in word and in deed.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Women And The Presidential Elections

Politics has always been called a nasty game, but this presidential election campaign will go down in history as one like no other. The mudslinging has reached an all-time low, and it does no one, not even those slinging the mud, any good. One notable feature of the campaign is its focus on women. And that should be a good thing because, for the first in US history, we have a female presidential nominee. But instead, the female gender is being maligned and ridiculed in a way that takes us back to the dark ages.

When Jesus walked this earth, He treated women with respect, and they followed Him wherever He went. So much so that Mary Magdalene, who had been demon-possessed and believed to be a woman of ill-repute, received the honor of being the first to see the risen Lord and proclaim the good news that He was alive (John 20: 1 - 18).

Sexual abuse, sexual assault, whatever label you put on it, is never right. It strips a woman of her dignity, her self-worth and her sense of purpose. This is why I wrote the book Coming Out of Egypt. A compelling story of characters who were sexually abused and whose roller-coaster journey out of that horrible experience is well worth reading.

The book does not deal with the abuse itself, but the deleterious effects the abuse had on the life of the main character. You will see her anger, fear and mistrust transformed into love, faith, and hope with the help of a teacher and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is not a true story, but it is based on what I saw as a teacher many years ago, and what I still see as a therapist in behavioral health. I encourage you to get this book. The content will tug at your heartstrings, but it will also entertain you and reinforce your faith in a God who delivers. If you know someone who likes to read, this book will make a great Christmas gift.

I am posting this blog today because right now you can pick up  Coming Out of Egypt  for just .99c. Or you can read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What To Do When You Can't Sleep - II

I'm finally able to get back to this post I promised you on what you can do to improve your sleep. If you are one of those people who sometimes have to take a sleep aid to fall asleep - and I think we all do occasionally - I hope you will try my remedy. It costs you nothing, it works and benefits you in more ways than one. Prayer is one of the best things you can do for yourself physically as well as spiritually.

Okay, so what's the other thing? It is meditation. Now when I speak of meditation I'm not referring to the Eastern practice where you sit cross-legged and chant. The meditation I'm referring to is the type spoken of in the Bible.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1: 8

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.  Psalm 119: 97


 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. v 148

God's word instructs us to meditate on it "day and night." With our busy lifestyle, we may not be able to  meditate during the day, but what's to stop us from meditating on God's word during a few sleepless hours? Just reflecting on God's love and greatness is enough to erase our worrying thoughts and help us get back to sleep.

I have taken meditation to a different level. I have learned to say my ABC. Not the kind your child learns in pre-K, but the kind that focuses on the attributes of God. So A is for amazing, B is for bountiful, C is for compassionate and so on. I usually fall asleep before I've got half-way through. This works for me. You may come up with your own form of meditation that you will find effective.

Unless you have a medical condition that is robbing you of sleep, I  think you would find these suggestions helpful. Sleep deprivation is not something God wants us to struggle with. He wants us to be well rested so we can impact the world for Him. But in addition to getting a good night's sleep, your spiritual life will improve and you will find yourself having a deeper and more satisfying relationship with God.

This is by no means to be taken as medical advice. Please follow your  physician's advice in addition to consulting the Great Physician.
See my other post on this topic here

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Unity In Disaster

Courtesy morgue file
At the time of this writing, hurricane Matthew is making his presence felt on the North Carolina coast. The last time I checked, he was responsible for nine deaths along the eastern United States and the number in Haiti has been astronomical. I pray that there will be no more loss of lives and that any future damage from this storm will not be severe.

Here in South Florida we have been truly blessed. The rain and wind that we got were milder than the downpours we are accustomed to in this part of the world. We had no flooding, and didn't lose power. So we are praising God while praying for those less fortunate.

One of the things that stood out for me during the lead-up to the hurricane was the unity and caring that was evident as we made frantic preparations to secure our homes and stock up on food. As I entered the supermarket, one lady told me of a nearby store that still had bottled water. One of my neighbors cheerfully assured me that he'd survived other hurricanes in the area and there was nothing to be afraid of. In the stores, people smiled and helped each other.

This reminded me of hurricane Andrew which devastated parts of Florida many years ago. People were eager to help each other, sharing their goods, equipment and even their homes to ensure the safety of people they didn't even know.

Why can't we be like this all the time? Why should it take a disaster to bring out the best in us? On the other hand, there are those who use disaster to take advantage of others, but they are usually in the minority.

Maybe God causes disaster to teach us something. To teach us how much we value ourselves, our fellow human beings and what they really mean to us. But let us not wait until something bad happens or is about to happen. Let us show kindness to others every chance we get.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.Psalm 133: 1 - 3

Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti that they will get the assistance they need to rebuild their lives and that that nation will turn to God as a result of this tragedy. Please pray for those in the US still in the path of the storm.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

What To Do When You Can't Fall Asleep

Browse through any magazine, newspaper, or the internet and you are bound to come across articles about sleep and/or advertisements for sleep aids. With our busy lifestyle, people are forcing themselves to get by on less and less sleep. Could that be one reason we are so irritable and angry?

Age-related hormonal changes can also contribute to sleep deprivation, and this is why I have found that as I grow older, I have to make a conscious effort to get enough sleep. Since I hate swallowing pills, I searched for and found the perfect solutions.

The first one is PRAYER. Yes, prayer.

When you have difficulty falling asleep and the ticking of the clock seems to reverberate in your ears, PRAY.

When your mind regurgitates all the stressful incidents of the day, PRAY.

Instead of counting sheep, PRAY.

Instead of heading to the refrigerator for a glass of milk - you might end up grabbing a few cookies as well and then wonder why you are putting on weight - PRAY.

Instead of waking up your husband, who is snoring peacefully, so he could share in your misery, PRAY.

I mean seriously, PRAY! Don't lie there and think some prayers in your mind. Get up in the quiet of the night or early morning, kneel, sit up in bed or go into the living-room so as not to wake your husband and PRAY. Talk to God. Ask Him if there's anything He wants you to learn or do. Bring that nagging work, family, health problem or whatever and lay it at His feet. Maybe He needs you to pray for a loved one, or about a situation you never thought about before. Or maybe you need to forgive someone. Maybe there's something taking place in the heavenly realm, and God wants to reveal it to you. Prayer is a two-way street. It's not just you talking to God. You need to be still and have Him talk to you as well.

I have found that when I have trouble falling asleep and I pray out loud, not silently, I go back to sleep almost immediately and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. Try it!

In my next post I will tell you what the other solution is. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and on social media and leave a comment. God bless you.

I invite you to check out my books on this page.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pray For Your Enemies

Courtesy Morguefile
Like most churches throughout the US, my church Sierra Norwood Calvary Baptist Church in Miami said special prayers in observance of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. In calling on the congregation to pray, our pastor said that we should also pray for our enemies that God may turn their hearts to Him. Little did I know that before the week was out, I would have cause to pray for my enemies in a way I never expected.

Like the attack on the WTC, the attack on me was well planned and executed, and I never saw it coming. Most attacks of the enemy are like that - sneaky and underhanded. However, unlike the WTC, I was not completely destroyed. Devastated, yes, but still hopeful, "hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair" (2 Corinthians 4 : 8).  At ground zero, but still functioning and, like Ground Zero, less vulnerable to attack.

Why did Jesus say " love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5: 44) ? 

It's because 1) when others try to destroy us, they only end up destroying themselves. 

Psalm 9: 6 says, "Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished."

2) God rewards you when you bless your enemies. 

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked" (Luke 6: 35).

King David was a great king, but he was besieged by enemies. How did he react? He wrote psalms and set them to music to praise his God. 

In Psalm 56 he writes, "In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me" (v 10 - 11)?
 
Are you under attack? Cry out to God, sing praises to Him, and pray for your enemies. 
 
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site you belong to. And a comment is always appreciated. God bless you 


 

Friday, September 09, 2016

Pray For Teachers


With the school year now underway, you have no doubt established a routine of getting your kids up in the morning, dropping them off to school and picking them up in the afternoon. Some of you may even include a time of prayer, either before or after school, for your children's safety and success in their studies. But have you ever prayed for those men and women who are responsible for your children's welfare during the day?


Children spend more of their waking moments with their teachers than they do with their parents. Teachers can and do exert a considerable amount of influence over your children.  I am sure you can recall some favorite teacher who inspired you and helped to make you the man or woman you are today. For some children, the only guidance or show of love they will ever receive is from a teacher. And this is why we need to pray for them.

As someone whose first career was teaching, I know how challenging this job can be. It's not easy to try to mold the lives of thirty-odd children with varying needs, abilities and backgrounds. Yet, this is what teachers do everyday. In recent times, teaching has become more demanding. Teachers' skills, patience and even their safety are being tested all the time. We need to pray that God will give our teachers the grace, wisdom and strength necessary to keep on giving their best even when things get tough.

Let us pray that teachers will not become "weary in well doing" (Galatians 6: 9) but will work "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart" (Ephesians 6: 6) and that God will "Make them perfect in every good work to do his will, working in them that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever" (Hebrews 13: 21). 

If you wish to encourage a special teacher in a tangible way, here are some ways you can do it:

a. Write a note to the teacher(s) letting them know you appreciate their hard work and that you are praying for them. 

b. Give a gift - a mug filled with chocolate, a small basket of apples, nicely wrapped, or a daily planner decorated and signed by you and your child. 

For more ideas, see the link below.  

If you enjoyed this blog post, why not share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest by clicking the relevant button below? Until next time, may God keep on holding you in the palm of His hands.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Write It Down

If you are like most Christians, you no doubt enjoy reading the Psalms. These verses, most of which were put to music, were used as expressions of praise to God for His love, His goodness and His mercy.

 I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13: 6

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!  Psalm 18: 46

 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.Psalm 28: 6

But many of them, written by David when he was experiencing persecution from his enemies, were songs of lament, hardship and the wrath of God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42: 5


Arise, LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Psalm 7: 6

You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. Psalm 18: 48

The prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and others also wrote about God's faithfulness, wisdom and His willingness to forgive.


For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41: 13


For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Hosea 13: 11


Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Hosea 14: 2

What about you? What has God done for you? What do you have to be thankful for? Has God forgiven you, blessed you, comforted you in times of distress?  Why don't you do what the Bible writers did? Why not write it down? This will help you in a number of ways:

It will help you recognize what you have to be thankful for.
It's something you can refer back to when things might be rough and you tend to forget what God has done for you.
You can write some verses of praise and memorize them. Use them to comfort you when you are feeling down.
It will help you identify those areas of your life that you need to pray to God about, either because you are weak in those areas, or you simply don't know what to do.

By now I think you know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about journaling. You can use a simple spiral notebook, or if you prefer something fancy you can click on the link below. If you do, I will receive a small commission.




Saturday, August 20, 2016

Passing The Baton


Usain Bolt's final gold captivates the Twitter worldLike most people, I have been watching the 2016 Olympics every chance I get, and I'm blown away by the extraordinary performance of the athletes - even the losers. To me, they appear almost superhuman. And as I watched Usain Bolt, the athletic phenomenon, capture another gold medal in the men's 4 x 100 m relay, a thought ran through my mind. What if the person passing the baton was a second too late, or what if he stumbled and fell? The thought confirmed something I already knew. We all need someone to depend on. No one man - or woman - however great, achieves success on his/her own strength.


This is proven in the lives of many great men in the Bible. Moses had Joshua, Elijah had Elisha, the Apostle Paul had Barnabas and even Jesus depended on His disciples - especially Peter, James and John - to assist Him in His work. Just as these great men supported and received support from trusted individuals, so too we should train ourselves to be dependable. Those with whom we live and work should be able to count on us to do what we are supposed to do, when we are supposed to do it. And we in turn should not be selfish with our gifts, but should be willing to pass them on to others the way Elijah passed his mantle over to Elisha, and Jesus did with His disciples. He said to them, "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" (John 14: 11).

 So, can you pass that baton, or grab it when it comes to you? Whatever your situation in life may be, you are needed. If you feel that you are lacking, ask the Holy Spirit to equip you to fulfill the role that is expected of you. You may never be a Usain Bolt, but you can be part of a formidable team that runs the race to victory.

If you enjoyed this blog post, will you pass it on to your friends and share it on Facebook, Twitter or whatever social media you use.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

House Cleaning

When I was growing up, Saturday was always house -cleaning day at our house. We would pull the furniture away from the corners, sweep, dust, mop and polish until everything shone. The habit has stuck with me into adulthood, but as I grow older, I no longer have the interest -- nor the energy -- to do that much cleaning.

House cleaning takes a lot of time, if you are to do a good job. It also takes a lot of energy, the right products and the right tools. But the sad thing about house cleaning is that the house never stays clean. You keep repeating the same chores over and over again.

Would you be interested in a type of cleaning that is a "one-and-done" affair? It's one that is done by the Master Housekeeper Himself. His name is Jesus. He is so good that when you invite Him in to clean your house, He does it instantly and it's done for good.

He doesn't use an assortment of  products, neither does He bring the latest gadgets. All He uses is a time tested and proven cleaning agent. His precious blood which He shed on Calvary. The old hymn says,

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Emmanuel's vein,
And sinners plunge beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

One drop of His precious blood is all it takes to remove the deepest stain anyone can have. Lying, stealing, adultery, murder, all gone with one drop of His blood.

The other great thing about Jesus's cleansing is that it's FREE! You don't have to pay Him. If you hire a cleaner, it's going to cost you something. But Jesus knows we can never afford to pay Him, so He does it for free.

Isaiah 55: 1 says, "“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost."

If you are hiring someone to clean your house, you would try to make it look a little presentable before the person comes. But with Jesus, you don't have to do anything. Just acknowledge that you need to be cleansed and go to Him just  as you are.

There are others out there who promise cleaning, but their methods have a lot of conditions attached to them. Do this or that and you'll get to heaven. Cut your hair or don't cut your hair and you'll go to heaven. Eat this or don't eat that and a myriad of other things. All Jesus asks is that you believe that He is the Son of God and He is the only way to heaven.

So, here's what you need to remember about getting your house (yourself) cleaned.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3 : 23

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Acts 16: 31

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2 : 8 - 9

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.  Matthew 8: 3

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8: 1

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Want to read about someone who was in dire need of cleansing? My book Coming Out of Egypt, Book 1 of the Egypt trilogy, is a compelling story of two sisters who were sexually abused by their father. Marva, the older girl, accidentally kills him and she and her sister embark on a roller coaster journey trying to evade the law while trying to forge a new life for themselves. Through all of this, Marva's teacher introduces her to Jesus, and she accepts Him as her Lord and Savior. However, while she hopes for love and forgiveness, she expects only judgement. What will she get? Click below to read the exciting outcome.


 






Sunday, July 24, 2016

Racism And The Church

File:Protesters gather for Black Lives Matter march (20946900494).jpg
Fibonacci Blue Creative Commons Black Lives Matter

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I toyed for a while with the idea of writing on this subject, not sure how it would be received. You just have to turn on the news these days to realize this is a very hot topic. So hot, in fact, that the church doesn't seem to want to touch it. In recent times, the number of unarmed black men killed by white policemen has grown to alarming proportions, and the response from the pulpit and from Christian media has been a deafening silence.

 But this morning, I was very pleasantly surprised to hear a young, white, visiting preacher to my church speak on the subject. The young preacher spoke about the racism and injustice being played out on our streets gave rise to the "Black Lives Matter" movement. What he said was not anything we don't know already, but it was nice to hear a member of the clergy say it.

So my question is, what is the role of the church in society? Now, don't get me wrong. The church is very vocal about things that need to be spoken about - homosexuality, abortion and politics- to name a few. The church is always in the forefront when there is a natural disaster, distributing food, water and clothing to those in need, even providing shelter in some cases. This is why the church's silence on this national man-made disaster is so disturbing.

This article in the Florida Baptist Weekly not too long ago is encouraging. The opening sentence of the article, "Panel:Racism Cure Resides With Church" by Diana Chandler reads, "Racial reconciliation rests at the doorsteps of the church and can only be achieved through the Gospel in action." This was at the 2016 SBC annual meeting of Baptist pastors in St. Louis. The panelists touched on a lot of core issues, such as the link between racism and sin and the need for the church to "pass the Salt and turn on the "light." All good words, but they are preaching to the choir.

What we need is more visibility from our church leaders - black AND white - in dealing with this matter. Instead of meeting behind closed doors, how about using your vast platform to bring the matter out in the open? How about having dialogue with police and government officials?

Jesus did not shy away from tough issues. John 4: 4 says, "... He had to go through Samaria." Jesus could have gone anywhere else to get water, but He went there to bridge the racial divide that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans, and to spread the Gospel. After Jesus had spoken to a Samaritan woman at the well, she went and told the people what He'd told her. Many of them came to see Him and believed on Him. (v 29; 39)

Jesus also told the story of a man who had been robbed, beaten and left for dead on the roadside. A priest and Levi - church leaders - passed him by. But a good Samaritan went out of his way to take the man to an inn and pay to have him looked after. Luke 10: 30 - 35

Can the church in today's society reach out across the racial divide and demonstrate that "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter?" We may have to watch and see.


If you enjoyed this blog post, please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. 

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This is a reminder about my novel Coming Out of Egypt, Book 1 of the Egypt trilogy now available on Amazon kindle. The book is a compelling story of two sisters who were sexually abused by their father. Marva, the older girl, accidentally kills him and she and her sister embark on a roller coaster journey trying to evade the law while trying to forge a new life for themselves. Through all of this Marva's teacher introduces her to Jesus and she accepts Him as her Lord and Savior. However, while she hopes for love and forgiveness, she expects only judgement. What will she get? Click below to read the exciting outcome.

Coming Out of Egypt 





Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hasta La Vista, Baby

photo bucket




The above words from the movie The Terminator made popular by Arnold Schwarzenegger are well known to movie goers everywhere, but what occurred in Dallas, TX on Friday last was no movie. It was shockingly real. And in the end, the sniper, Micah Xavier Johnson, a supposedly deranged human being, was blown to smithereens.

According to an article in the New York Times, Dallas police chief, David O. Brown, said, “Other options would have exposed the officers to grave danger.” The article went on to say that some law enforcement officers were stunned by the decision to use the robot, while others supported it. Without being present at the scene, it's hard to say what really went down on a night when emotions were raw and officers were expected to act.

Others have questioned whether the robot could have been used to deliver some type of non-lethal substance that would have knocked out the gunman and allowed the officers to take him alive. The NY Times article cites two examples where robots were used as assistive devices rather than destructive:

  • To take pizza and a cellphone to a man with a knife who threatened to jump off a bridge in San Jose, California.
  • To “deploy chemical munitions,” to a man who had barricaded himself in a motel room with a gun.

In a hospital where I worked some years ago, a robot - a very polite one, I might add - was used to deliver medications from floor to floor.

Were the officers who dispatched that robot justified in their actions? Was the sniper justified? Were the two white police officers who killed the two black men justified? As has happened in the past, there may be no legal consequences for these actions. Only God has the answers.

It's no coincidence that our scripture reading in church this morning was from the Sermon on the Mount. One of the things Jesus taught was, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5: 9). He also said,  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor  and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," (43 - 44)
We must do no less.  

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Are you a member of Amazon Prime? I am, and I have benefited from what Prime has to offer, but right now there are even more ways to benefit.  If you are not a member, sign up today and take advantage of these exciting specials leading up to Prime Day July 12. Just click on the ink below.  If you do, I will receive a small commission for recommending this.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Dare To Dream

This morning I have the distinct pleasure of bringing you this blog post by Mitzi Neely, motivational speaker, blogger and woman of God. In this message, Mitzi reminds us of the importance of trusting God with our dreams and aspirations and waiting on His timing. Read and be blessed.




Dare to Dream
'Oh how precious life is when the desires of our heart come true and we take a bold step in faith to make a dream become reality.'
One of my dearest friends messaged me a few days ago with her ‘over the top’ news. You see she had prayed for many months about the possibility of expanding her home-based business into a storefront location.
She had done her homework. She knew the potential pitfalls, the what-ifs, and the resources needed. But she also knew that the possibilities could be endless.
So she continued to commit her work to Christ and she faithfully prayed that He would honor her requests; all the while waiting on His perfect timing and go-ahead as to the direction He wanted her to pursue.
She was almost to the point that her dream wasn't to be when an innocent comment on social media landed just the right response for an available property.
God’s word tells us in Psalm 37:4 to, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
She could hardly contain her excitement about this new venture. Oh there is uncertainty too, but she knew from her conversations with God that He had orchestrated every step of this so perfectly.
Timing and circumstances vary for all of us, but if we continue to lay our prayers and praises before Him, we always get His perfect response. We may have to make adjustments along the way, but He makes clear the direction we are to head.
What we do with His response shows our trust and faithfulness in Him. We know we serve a mighty God who can accomplish the impossible.
When we seek His will for our life we are best served when we have an attitude of humility, perseverance, faith, and above all to make sure that our goals and dreams align with His ways.
His word tells us in Mark 6:36, "Don't be afraid; just believe." Jesus is the source of all hope and promise, so give all of your cares to Him. He will make a way.
How sweet the soul that faithfully prays, diligently commits the desires of the heart to her Heavenly Father, and quietly, but boldly trusts Him to provide just the right path for her to travel.
Do you have dreams and aspirations for your life? Take it before God and let Him do his mighty work. The outcome will be His, but it will be perfect for YOU!
Blessings & Hugs to you in the week ahead. I'll be praying for you.
Mitzi
Mitzi Neely is an inspiring motivational speaker who encourages women of all ages through her experiences and shortcomings. She has been blessed with a passion and love for people that stretches across the generations. Her heart is to lighten your load, while conveying her message that nobody’s perfect. So often God places certain people in your life at just the right moment; whether the reason is to help teach you, help you grow in your walk with Him, or to simply love and lift up others. Whatever your struggle or need, you will find encouragement through her words as she refreshes your heart and renews your joy.
Follow Mitzi at www.peacefullyimperfect.net because the joy of the journey is learning in His word together.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

How Independent Are We?

English: fireworks seen across the at Washingt...
Photo credit Wikipedia





Whether you live in America or not, you are probably aware that this is Independence Day weekend. Here in America we do everything lavishly. Food, fireworks and fun are the order of the day - or the weekend. I heard some popping last night and I did my shopping yesterday so I won't have to be in the long lines today. If you are heading for the grocery or the malls, head out early and be careful.

Apart from achieving our independence from Great Britain, Americans are by nature an independent people. We pride ourselves on being "captain of our own ship, master of our destiny." We work hard, play hard and do our best to provide for ourselves and our families. This is one of the reasons America is the richest country on earth. We extend aid to poorer countries, and they look to us when they are in difficulty.

We have every reason to be proud. But let's not stick our noses in the air and think we are okay. Everyday we are being reminded that we are not. Terrorism, stock market crashes and global economic instability prove otherwise. We do not have "freedom from control, support etc. of others," as the online dictionary defines it. We are interdependent on others and whether we like it or not, we are dependent on God.

In Romans 9: 16 Paul says, "It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy." And in verse 18, "Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden."

In other words, all that we are and all that we have are not the result of our "independence," or our hard work, but God's will. He has the power to build us up or tear us down. No amount of leadership, wealth or military power can save us if God chooses to unleash His wrath on us. So, as you enjoy your barbecue with friends and family this weekend ask yourself these questions, "Am I truly independent? Am I trusting in my own strength or God's?"

Happy Independence!

Here are some related posts that might be of interest:

Happy Independence Day

Through A Child's Eyes


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To help you enjoy the long holiday weekend, I'm offering my newest novel Coming Out of Egypt, Book 1 of the Egypt series at a discounted price of just .99c on kindle. Coming Out of Egypt is based on the account of the Israelites' exodus out of Egypt. It tells the story of two sisters, survivors of sexual abuse, desperately trying to put their abuse behind them and forge a new life for themselves. As you read you will see how God delivered these precious girls from the bondage of their past just as He delivered the Israelites from the bondage of slavery. Just click on the image below.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Through The Wilderness

Morguefile





This past weekend, my daughter invited me to accompany her on a trip to a friend's baby shower. Her friend lived in another city several miles away, and since Karon had not seen her in a few years, she was excited about the trip.  I was too because I'd never been to that part of Florida before and, according to Karon, I spent too much time at home. So, armed with her GPS, and my two grand children in the back seat, we set off on a journey that her friend said would take two and a half hours. In reality, it lasted two hours longer because of intermittent heavy rain and road construction.

The latter portion of the journey caused us more anxiety as we drove through the wilderness, over bumpy roads, with miles of forest on either side, and just a few houses here and there. Were we on the right road? Did we have the correct address? Should we turn around? But since the GPS was silent, we figured we had to be going the right way, and so we continued. After a few missed turns, a brand new community with beautifully-designed houses and immaculate landscaping came into view. Karon and I looked at each other and exhaled in relief.

The Christian journey can take us through the wilderness at times. If we are seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ, we may find the pathway to Christianity is long, bumpy and oftentimes lonely. We may wonder if this is what the Christian life should be like.

If we already have a relationship with Him, we may sometimes feel like we have lost our way. Or maybe God has deserted us. God may be silent. Doubts and fears buffet our minds and we may feel like turning around.  But if we know we are following Jesus Christ, then we keep going. No matter how rough the road, we cannot afford to turn back, because if we do, we would miss the beauty and splendor that lie ahead.

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9: 62).

If you enjoyed this blog post, please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. 

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Looking for ways to deepen your walk with God? This Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit by Dayspring will help you do just that. The kit contains thought-provoking prompts to get you started. Here are some of them:
1. Why I love the Lord
2. Favorite women in the Bible
3. Ways my faith has sustained me in hard times
4. Answered prayers
Plus 27 more!

Enjoy!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Prayer For Fathers

Happy Father's Day to all you strong, wonderful fathers out there. Today is your day, and I pray that you enjoy it to the fullest. I salute the young fathers especially who bring their families to church and take care of them during the service. I watch as they go off to the changing room, diaper bag in one hand and baby over their shoulder. That's an example of true fatherhood.

I also want to give a shout out to the fathers in my life - my oldest son Kevin, raising three children on his own since his wife's death. My son-in-law Mike, a strong, devoted father who always makes time to spend with his children and care for their needs. Last, but not least, my husband, TJ. What can I say about him? Even now that his children are grown, he remains a rock of support, wisdom, and strength to them.

It takes God's strength to be a true father and so my prayer for all fathers today is this:

Heavenly Father, when you made man, you brought the woman to him and you said, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1: 28). You also provided the means for fathers to take care of their families, and I pray, Lord, that You will continue to equip these men and give them opportunities so they can provide well for their families.

Give them wisdom and direction "to train up their children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22: 6). In their zeal to discipline their children, help fathers to "provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6: 4). 

May they always lead by example so their children can model their lives after a man who is loving but firm, patient but persevering, and who "will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord" (18: 19).

Father God, when tough times come, as they will, help our fathers to draw their strength from You, "to acknowledge you in all their ways, and You shall direct their paths" (Proverbs 3:6). Help them not to be discouraged but to recognize that they "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4: 13).

Help fathers to model true love and devotion to their wives, may they love them as Christ loves the church, (Ephesians 5 : 25), may they "dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3: 7), so their sons will follow their example when they have wives, and their daughters will know what qualities to look for in the men they will marry.

And I pray, Lord, that You will bless these men and reward their work richly so that when the time comes they will hear the words, "well done thou good and faithful servant"(Matthew 25: 21).

Happy Father's Day!