Month: June 2018

A Time to Speak

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I was listening to a sermon recently. Well, just a snippet. In his message, the pastor talked about how he had always preached about the conversation between Eve and the serpent in the garden as if Adam wasn’t there and he often asked the question, Where was Adam?

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat (Genesis 3:6, KJV).

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (NIV).

The pastor went on to say that based upon the above scripture, Adam wasn’t absent, but he was silent. After listening to the message, I thought about myself as well as the body of Christ.  Is this the present-day church? Have we become silent? Have we become weary and stopped saying what God said?

And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die (Genesis 3:2-3). Both Adam and Eve heard God say the same thing. Adam knew that what the serpent said was not what God said, but he said nothing.

I know that some things will take place on the earth because it is written and the scriptures must be fulfilled, but what about those things that we have allowed to happen on the earth because we stopped speaking or stopped praying.  Instead of waiting until something tragic happens and posting ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with you’ on social media, how about we bind, cancel, rebuke and pray against evil plots and plans before they happen? Our community, our nation, our leadership and our children – our future – need us to speak up. They need us to pray. 

I know what it’s like to stop speaking the word or praying for things I was believing God for. The reason why I stopped was because it seemed like nothing was going to happen. Maybe it’s God’s will.  But years later, I realized that the reason why those things didn’t come to pass was because I stopped speaking. You have not, because you ask not (James 4:2). I gave up – not because I was tired, but because I was lazy. Things weren’t happening fast enough and I got discouraged while waiting, but let me show you why it’s important to keep speaking and to keep praying.

Bless the Lord, you his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word (Psalm 103:20).

After Herod had killed James, he had arrested Peter, but the church never stopped praying to God concerning Peter (Acts 12:5). The night that Herod was planning to bring Peter to trial, Peter was sleeping, but the saints were praying.  While he was sleeping, an angel of the Lord appeared, struck Peter on his side and told him to get up.  When he got up, his chains fell off his hands. The angel then told him to clothe himself, put on his sandals and follow him. They passed the first and second guard. When they approached the iron gate that led to the city, the gate opened on its own. After walking down one street, the angel left Peter.

And when Peter had come to himself, he said, Now I know that the Lord has sent his angel and has delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews (Acts 12:11). Many had gathered together to pray on his behalf and while they were praying, the answer to their prayers (Peter) knocked on the door (Acts 10:12-13).

Something does happen when we pray.

Another example is when Belteshazzar (Daniel) fasted and prayed for understanding. It didn’t seem like anything was happening, but he didn’t stop praying. Finally, God sent an angel to Daniel to let him know that from the first day he spoke, his words were heard and that he had come for his words. God had already answered his prayer, but there was a fight going on for 21 days (Daniel 10:12-13).  While the angel was fighting to get the answer to Daniel, there was another fighting to block or to keep the answer from getting to Daniel.

Some of us thought that God didn’t hear us, but He did hear you. The enemy knows he can’t stop God so he’s trying to stop you – from believing God and obeying God.  He wants you to give up, but this is not the time to faint. This is the time to pray. Men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1).

If you have stopped speaking God’s word, start speaking again. It’s not that you are waiting on the angels to do something, but they are waiting on you to say something. We aren’t always obedient, but His angels are always obedient and they are ready to do what God said. They know His voice and they are waiting to hear the voice of His word. It’s time to give God’s word a voice.

It’s time to speak.

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Happy Father’s Day!

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I remember some years ago being angry with my dad and blaming him for some things. I thought that if he had done some things differently, then my life would have turned out differently.

But one day, I became a parent – and you know what?  I’ve made mistakes and poor choices that may or may not have affected my children.

I realize now that my dad did the best he could for his family.  At that time, I was so focused on the wrong that he did that I forgot about all the things he did right.

As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, I just wanted to make a list of some of those ‘right’ things.

1.    He married my mom.

2.    He was never lazy. He was a hard worker.  He worked six days a week.

3.    Instead of making other people rich, he learned how to make money for his family. He became a business owner (without a college degree).

4.    He didn’t send me to church. He made sure I went to church with him every Sunday.

5.    He attended PTO meetings.

6.    When I went to college, I had no idea what financial aid was.

7.    When I divorced my husband and didn’t have a place to stay, he opened his home to his two grandchildren and me. (He didn’t have to do that. I’m sure he was happy he finally had the house all to himself).

8.    In recent years, he always thanks me and tells me how much he appreciates the things I do for him.

But the best thing I remember about my dad is:

9.    He moved his mother in with him to help take care of my sister and me after my mom’s passing (I was 13 months old).  When his mother was no longer able to take care of us, he made sure she was taken care of until the day she died.

With all the flaws, mistakes and shortcomings, my dad is still a great man. (He will be turning 83 years old next month).

Whether your dad is present or absent in your life, be grateful that God used him to get you here. I pray that the love and forgiveness extended to you from your Heavenly Father teaches you how to love and forgive your earthly father (as well as the father of your children, ladies). May God restore broken relationships to those who are estranged from their fathers and to those whose fathers have passed away, may you experience God’s strength, comfort and healing this weekend.

Happy Father’s Day – today and every day!

While You’re Waiting

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The Lord told Joshua that he was giving him and the children of Israel the city of Jericho, but how was this going to happen? The walls were high, the gates were tightly shut, and the children of Israel were unable to enter in. 

After God told them what He was going to do, He told them what they needed to do.  Every day for six days, they had to go around the city one time. They could not shout or make any noise.  They didn’t complain about what they had to do every day.  They didn’t complain about what hadn’t happened yet.  They didn’t speak in unbelief.  They believed what God told them and remained silent for six days.

They got up early in the morning, marched and then returned to the camp.  They did the same thing every day – over and over again. They kept obeying God. They didn’t quit.  They were consistent.  They remained faithful even when it seemed like nothing was going to happen. 

But the wall was still standing.

I know a lot of us don’t like to wait for anything, but there will always be something you have to wait for.  You have to wait in line. You have to wait until the light turns green. You have to wait in traffic.  You have to wait until the food is prepared.

The Israelites had to wait patiently for the walls of Jericho to fall.  Hebrews 6:12 tells us that we must imitate or follow those who inherited the promises of God through faith and patience.  Maybe you haven’t received some things (yet) because you won’t let patience have its perfect work.  

Lord, when are you going to do it? I’m tired of this. I’m ready for this to be over. You’re taking too long 

If you can endure and learn to wait, James 1:4 tells you all the things that you will become.  But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  Change will take place. You will be spiritually mature. You will grow from what you’re going through. Your faith will be fully developed and you will be ready to receive those things you have been waiting for. 

On the seventh day, the children of Israel didn’t march around the city one time.  They marched seven times, the priests blew their trumpets, the people shouted, and the wall fell down flat.  

I know some of you want to give up, but I pray that God won’t let you. You’re probably doing everything you can to get out of your current situation.  You’re trying to move.  You are looking for a new job every day, but nothing is happening.  That’s because God is not going to let you get out of this one prematurely.  That situation that you don’t like is the very thing that is helping you to grow.  God allowed Joseph to be placed in the pit and he couldn’t get out until someone lifted him out of it.  God also allowed him to be placed in prison and Joseph had to stay there until someone released him. 

The quicker you can humble yourself, the quicker God can exalt you. 

Joshua and the children of Israel taught us what to do while we are waiting – obey God.  Some of you know what God said, but you are not looking at the word.  You are looking at your situation.  You are looking at the environment you live in and it looks like what God said will never happen, but it doesn’t matter who is occupying the city right now or how long they have been there.  It doesn’t matter how wide or how high the walls appear.  Don’t worry about how long it’s been or how long you’ve been waiting.  No matter how securely shut the gates are, nothing can keep God’s promises out.

So don’t be impatient, don’t be anxious and don’t give up. Wait on the Lord, and while you’re waiting, encourage yourself, encourage others and God will strengthen you as you obey Him.