“Houston; We Have A Problem!!!”

mission controlI remember years ago, whenever there was a major situation on board the command module of the Apollo space flights, the astronauts would always radio back to earth with this message: “Houston; we have a problem!” Well, in just the past couple of years, it’s been Trayvon Martin in Florida, Micheal Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, and now, Freddie Gray in Maryland, not to mention the countless others whose names I can’t recall and others who did not make the national headlines! It is fairly obvious to me that we have a problem! It is a systemic problem that springs from the core of America’s soul!

I was about to write a post about this when I came across this Facebook post from Benjamin Watson, who plays tight-end for the New Orleans Saints. I think Mr. Watson is right on with his assessment of the situation, so I’m going to let him speak for himself. The following is his Facebook post from April 29, 2015:

Benjamin Watson suit Benjamin Watson uniform“We have major problems as a nation. Yesterday Ferguson burned. Tonight ‪#‎Baltimore‬ burns. Tomorrow it will be another city in our homeland. Watching the coverage I’m hearing yet another version of a nauseatingly familiar narrative. Violence by police reciprocated by violence by the community, reciprocated by violence by police reciprocated by…. It seems fruitless to continue to analyze, condemn, and respond to these dreadful episodes. “Frustration, anger, tension boiling over, upset and unfortunate” are words we hear from Baltimore residents. When it comes to law enforcement, race, poverty, education, immigration we always talk about fixing “broken” systems. We resolve to legislate for education, job creation, and systemic overhaul. These are helpful and definitely needed BUT we have done all of these things ad nauseum and look at us!! Without a change of heart these attempts fail us. So what can we say? What can we do? Systems are broken because people are broken and if systems are fixed without hearts being changed the result will be a legalistic attempt that will lack long term results. Our problems are wholistic and common to the human heart. Hatred, prejudice, exploitation, pride, self righteousness, secrecy, and rebellion, manifest itself in the explosions we’ve seen over the last year, the last century, and the last millennia.

Tonight I see so much entrenched pain without remedy. Most are handling it without violence while a few are committing the unacceptable.
Tonight I see young children, asking like my daughter did earlier, “What’s happening daddy”, in desperate need of parents to walk them through these disturbing scenes.
Tonight I see “smoke,” but we must address the fire. The response that we are watching is just “smoke” from years of hopelessness. After each situation the more I am convinced that the love of God for our fellow brothers and sisters who were created in His image, is our only hope for reconciliation. But the only way we can even see him that way is if God illuminates our view and changes our thought process. I’m not talking about holding hands and singing. Love is an action that compels one to treat another with dignity and respect even if they don’t deserve it. It pushes for education and opportunities for those in poverty. It gives identity and self worth. It administers justice without abuse. It honors authority and promotes peace. It is not weak, but strong for what is right!
Tonight I see a brokenness that only Christ can give us the wisdom and power to mend.

We pray for every disaster that happens to us. Bombings, natural disasters, cancer and outbreaks. What we’ve seen in our country lately deserves that same attention. Our attempts to fix this have fallen short.
We, and most importantly, the body of Christ, must stand for justice in all areas, for all people. We must set the standard for the correct way to treat people.

Tonight I pray for the pastors, leaders, police and community of Baltimore.
Tonight I ‪#‎PrayForAmerica‬.”

Thank you Mr. Watson, for sharing your insightful analysis!

GOD > GREATER!!!!!

God greater than“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”                                                                                            Ephesians 3:20 KJV

I am sure if you go to church, you have heard this passage used as a benediction at the end of a worship service. But have you ever thought about what it actually means? Have you ever thought about the astounding implications of this passage?

According to this passage, God is able to do, not just more, but exceeding abundantly above! Exceeding means God is able to go beyond the limits! Abundantly means God is able to provide more than enough! And “above” means that whatever the exceeding and abundant is, God is able to do even beyond that! Wow! That’s amazing! God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think? Do you know what that means? That means there is nothing you or I can ask or think of that is beyond God’s ability to do! That means our wildest dreams are mild in comparison to what God is actually able to do!

Now, the last part of the passage states a condition! God is able to do all of this, but God is able to do it according to the power that works in us! And what is that power that works in us? It is faith! Jesus said: “All things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23 KJV) You must activate the power of faith in your life! Most of the people I know, even those who claim to be Christians, are living boring and defeated lives! They have no power and no joy in their lives! Why? Because of the lack and littleness of their faith! Oh! What peace we often forfeit! Oh! What needless pains we bear! All because we have little or no faith in God’s ability and willingness to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think! I think that much of the problem lies in the fact that they focus too much on their problems and not enough on their God! You see, whatever you focus on and whatever captures your attention will grow and multiply in your life! Most people spend their time looking at their problems instead of looking at their God! As a consequence, their problems appear to be bigger and greater than their God! So when they pray, they don’t have the faith they need for God to do anything spectacular in their lives!

But just think about this for a second! The God we say we believe in is the same God that created the universe! The God we say we believe in is the same God that created the world and everything therein! Surely, if God was able to do all of that, then God is able to help us with our minute problems! But for many people, it is really not a question of whether God is able; they believe God is able, they just don’t think God is willing! But the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? (Romans 8:32 NLT) In other words: God gave us Jesus and that was the greatest gift that God could give! Therefore, since God has already given us the greatest; it’s no big deal for God to give us any and everything else!

So the question is not in God’s ability, nor is it in God’s willingness, the question is in our faith! The $64,000 question is: Can you believe? Will you believe? Now, God operates in our lives according to our faith, but God is not restricted in God’s overall activities by our faith! God is even greater than our faith! Our lack of faith does not hinder God from blessing; but it does hinder us from receiving God’s blessing!

I felt led to write this post because somebody reading this post needs to know that God is greater! God is greater than any problem you might be experiencing in your life! God is greater than any situation or circumstance you might be facing right now! I don’t care what it is; God is greater! But if you want God to help you; you’ve got to shift your focus from your problems and focus on your God! As you pray, thank God in advance for God’s help! Stir up the gift of faith that is in you by reading the Bible and other inspiring books! Hear the word of God preached and the testimony of others who have overcome great difficulties in their lives by the power of faith!

As you consistently do this, you will begin to experience a joy and an excitement in your life that you’ve never experience before! You will begin to do great exploits and people will be amazed at your calmness and peace in the midst of the storms of life! Your Christian walk will be much more than just the routine trip to church once a week, it will be a daily walk with the Lord wherein you and God are routinely slaying Goliath and the other giants that used to defeat you! No! Your life doesn’t have to be dull and boring! You don’t have to settle for a life of defeat and mediocrity! You can walk in joy and victory, once you realize and internalize the fact that God is able and willing to do exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think, according to the power that is at work in you!

WILL LEE DANIELS, BISHOP YVETTE FLUNDER AND DR. FORREST HARRIS CONVINCE THE BLACK CHURCH/COMMUNITY TO AFFIRM HOMOSEXUALITY?

Interesting points from Dr. William Dwight McKissic

Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

WILL LEE DANIELS, BISHOP YVETTE FLUNDER AND DR. FORREST HARRIS CONVINCE THE BLACK CHURCH/COMMUNITY TO AFFIRM HOMOSEXUALITY?

ORTHODOX CHURCHES MUST ADDRESS AND ADJUST TO THE NEW REALITY OF A GAY AFFIRMING AMERICA

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

April 1, 2015

Most churches in America were birth in an era when consensual sex between two persons of the same sex was a criminal offense; same-sex marriage was illegal; and homosexuality was viewed as deviant behavior. Until 1974, the American Psychiatric Association literally classified homosexuality as a mental illness. The old adage is true; however, “Time brings about a change.”

In the dawning of this new millennium, homosexuality has burst out of the closet and into the mainstream of American life and society. Satan has strategically and successfully sought to secure sanctioning for same-sex marriage in every sector of American society. The same-sex marriage quest for success is now knocking at the…

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I NEED YOU!!!

I need you

Hey you!!! Yes! You! The person who is reading this post! I’m talking to you! Now, I really don’t know you, but I want you to know: I NEED YOU! Not only do I need you; THE WORLD NEEDS YOU!!! You are here in this season for a reason; to make your contribution to the solution!

The Creator of the Universe planned it so that you would be born when you were born in order that you might serve this present generation! The time, place and circumstances of your birth were all orchestrated to put you in the best possible position to fulfill your mission. Everything that has happened to you up to this point in your life was all designed to help you reach your maximum potential! Even you reading this blog entry at the time you are reading it is all part of a grand design! You see, you have a set of unique abilities, attributes, talents, and skills that no one else in the world has; that makes you very special and very precious!

Because you are so unique, precious and special, I am really pulling for you because if you don’t reach your full potential, we all lose! Your failure will not be just yours! It will be mine and it will be the world’s! For you see; if you should happen to die without or before making the contribution you were born to make, all of humanity will suffer! You were not sent here just to make a living; you were sent here to make a difference!

Therefore, I want to encourage you to not give up! I know it might be hard; but don’t give up! When the going gets difficult; don’t throw in the towel and quit! And for all of our sakes; don’t you dare commit suicide! I NEED YOU to be the best that you can be because only then will I be able to be my best! You see, I NEED YOU to complete me! You help to make me the person I am, just as I help make you the person you are! A better you makes a better me and a better me makes a better you! So, I am pulling for you!

Now in case you think I’m being overly dramatic, just think about this: What if Jesus had given up in the wilderness of temptation? Where would we be if he had decided the cross was too much to bear? What if Abraham Lincoln had given up on politics after all the defeats he had suffered before he ran for President? What if Martin Luther King Jr., had decided to be content with just being a local pastor in Montgomery, AL? What if all the inventors had given up after their first couple of failures? Now, I hear you! You’re saying: “Well, I’m no inventor and I am certainly no Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Jr!” And you’re right; you’re not! You are just you! But being you is enough! Being you is all you need to be because all of the people I just named were just being themselves!

I would like to suggest to you that the solutions to many of the present-day ills we are suffering in our society today just might be locked up in the minds of people who have given up on themselves! The answer to cancer could very well be locked up in the mind of some young man who is just wasting his life away, hanging out on the corner! The answer to the AIDs epidemic might be locked up in the mind of some young girl who is selling her body just to feed her babies! Some of the answers may have even died with people who were murdered in senseless killings and some of the answers may have died with some suicide victims who gave up on life!

That is why I am calling you out! I am challenging you to not give up! I am challenging you to not settle for just getting by or just being average and ordinary. I am challenging you to commit yourself to the task of reaching your maximum potential and being the best you that you were born to be! I am challenging you to commit yourself to strive to live a life of excellence! My fate and the fate of the world is depending on it! So don’t ever think that you don’t matter or that you are just a number or just a clog in the cosmic wheel! YOU ARE IMPORTANT! YOU ARE NEEDED! I NEED YOU! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU! Now, get up off of your blessed assurance and be the best you that you can be!

The Hole

the holeWe live in a very materialistic world, but by and large, most people are not satisfied with what materialistic gains provide. The people who don’t have enough are not satisfied because they “think” having enough will satisfy! The people who have enough are not satisfied because they “think” having more than enough will satisfy! The people who have more than enough are not satisfied because they “know” that even more than enough does not satisfy the deep longings of the human spirit!

Why is there such great dissatisfaction with material gain? Maybe it is because the Bible is true! The Scriptures declare: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!” When we try to live by bread (material wealth) alone; we are not satisfied because material things cannot satisfy spiritual needs! Most people see themselves as human beings, who occasionally have spiritual experiences. But the truth of the matter is this: We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. I believe we were all born with a spiritual vacuum or hole. Nature abhors a vacuum; therefore, the great quest of life is to find something suitable to fill the emptiness we were all born with. The alcoholic, the dope addict, the prostitute, the church mother, the preacher, the deacon, and even the so-called atheist are all looking for the same thing! We are all looking for something to fill the void!

People used various things in an attempt to fill the void: Alcohol, drugs, sex, money, entertainment, and even religion! But in the end, there is disappointment, because none of these things can adequately fill the void. (Now you might be surprised that I included religion in the list of things that cannot fill the void! I did so because most people use religion as a substitute for what God really wants and requires! God is not really interested in religion. What God craves and desires from us is relationship! Religion without relationship is fruitless frustration!) Therefore, all of these things are simply attempts to fill a spiritual hole with material concrete!

If you really want to be satisfied in and with life; look within! Within, you will find the connection to find satisfaction you seek. For just as you were born with the hole; you were also born with a homing mechanism to help you find your way! Maybe you haven’t noticed it or you haven’t recognized it because you’ve been too busy; looking for love and satisfaction in all the wrong places! It may be you’ve been looking for it in things and in other people! But you need to be still and know that God is God! God often speaks in the stillness or quietness! Sometimes God speaks; not so much in the words, but in the pauses and silent interludes between the words! God is spirit and God created humans as spiritual beings. Therefore to live life without addressing the spiritual dimension is to live far below the level God created us to live! It is really not living at all; but merely existing on a level not much higher from that of animals!

Born to Win!

born to win

Did you know that you were born to win? I mean; think about it! Think of the battle that was waged between all of the sperm and eggs cells in your mother’s womb! Prior to you, that battle was waged every month but it ended in defeat because there was no union between an egg and a sperm!

But then, it happened! A specific combination of an egg and sperm cell won the battle and you were conceived! I said “specific” combination because there were so many sperm cells competing to unite with just one of the egg cells! Had any other combination occurred, you wouldn’t have been you; you would have been someone else! You won the battle of conception!

And then, there was the nine-month or so battle waged just to reach your birthday! So many things could have happened to prevent you from being born; but you won the battle and you were born! All those battles occurred and you won all of those victories even before you took your first breath!

So don’t buy into the lie that you were “born to lose!” It’s simply not true! You were born to win! You won so many victories just to get to the point where the doctor slapped you on your butt and you took your first breath! You won all of those battles and you didn’t even know you were fighting! So now that you know that life can sometime be a struggle; don’t allow the adversities of life to defeat you!

Whenever you are feeling down and you feel like you just can’t win; just think of the battles you won just to get here! You won the battle of conception! You won the battle of birth! There is nothing in this life that can utterly defeat you unless you give up! Your conception and your birth is proof that you were born to win!

The “Watch Word”

Jacob and Laban

I grew up as a child hearing and repeating this passage of scripture as a benediction at the end of church meetings: “May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.” (Genesis 31:49 NASB) And even today, many people in church still pronounce it as a benediction as church meetings are adjourned. But did you know that in its original context the passage was not a benediction at all? In fact it was far from it!

Jacob, who had lived with his father-in-law for twenty years, decided that it was time for him to return back to the land of his father and mother. So, he gathered all of his belongings and left without informing Laban; his father-in-law that he was leaving. It wasn’t until three days after the fact that Laban discovered Jacob had left. In the meantime, as they were leaving, Rachel (one of Laban’s daughters and one of Jacob’s wives) stole her father’s idols, but Jacob did not know about it. When Laban discovered Jacob had fled, he pursued him and finally overtook him after a seven-day chase! As Laban confronted Jacob, he asked him why he had left so abruptly. During the course of the conversation, Jacob became angry because Laban told him that he could understand his desire to go back to the land of his birth, but he could not understand why Jacob had also stolen his (idol) gods! Of course Jacob denied having stolen them because he did not know that Rachel had taken them. While Laban searched for his idols among all of Jacob’s belongings, Rachel sat on them, for she had placed them in a camel’s saddle-bag. She told her father that she could not get up because she was on her menstrual period, therefore she was not searched!

Well, to make a long story short, Jacob and Laban made a covenant (agreement) between the two of them, constructed an altar of stones and called upon the Lord to be a witness. The altar of stones was to serve as a boundary line between the two of them. Jacob was not to cross over the stones to go to Laban to do him harm, and Laban was not to cross over the stones to go to Jacob to do him harm!

Here is the “watch word” in context:

Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed, and Mizpah, for he said, “May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. “If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.” Laban said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between you and me. “This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. “The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. (Genesis 31:48-53 NASB)

So you see, in the original context, what many commonly call the “watch word” and use as a benediction (a prayer of blessing) was actually two parties invoking the Lord to keep watch between them to keep one from doing the other harm! It was a wish for the Lord to be a referee between the two of them! It was a wish for the Lord to keep a watch between them to keep them from killing one another!

Oh well, I could tell you more, but I need to go! Until next time: “May the Lord watch between . . . !” Never mind! Just be blessed!