Thursday, October 12, 2017

And By His Stripes...


I love how we are effortlessly amazing. The unique traits of our genetic make up cause us to have varying heights, colored eyes, beautiful complexions, and specific fingerprints. I am most amazed by our body’s organic way of healing and repairing itself.

Depending on your immune system, within seconds of a split to your skin's surface a sticky substance called platelets rushes to work creating a protective barrier or scab.

How beneficial is a scab anyway?

It was roughly 10:08 pm on Sunday, October 1st.  For nine to 15 minutes, a lone gunman randomly rained bullets from the 32nd floor of a hotel room.  Concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival were ducking, running, and scattering with hopes of avoiding the barrage of bullets heading their direction. When the chaos subsided, 58 individuals were killed and nearly 500 injured.

To put it into perspective, in the days that Hurricane Harvey dumped 14-15 trillion gallons of rain, 36 people lost their life.

After each of those threats relented there was a call for assistance. In Houston, it came in the way of physical and financial donations. People gave in record numbers. Vegas requested something different. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman sent out a call for blood.

 October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Within moments Vegas residents and visitors, eager to give, filled the blood donation centers and created lines that stretched around block. Regardless of whether or not they knew the individuals in need, donors were passionate about helping to save someone else’s life by giving blood.

Scripture teaches us this:

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” – Romans 5:8 (NLT)

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

There is something about being covered and protected until you are made whole again. The healing process may not look appealing but it is what is happening underneath that matters most. the ugliness is just masking what is being made new again. The scab of your pain is coming off and your reemergence is about to be seen - you will be whole again. Jesus knew that we would experience and inflict pain yet he purposefully gave His life. As Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross, there was no hesitation about what He was doing. That moment provides immediate healing to anyone that is in need.

“And by His stripes we are healed.”

Just as quickly as blood platelets create a protective scab that covers the break in our skin and the white blood cells fight bacteria without our request, Jesus and His angels step in with immediacy to heal, protect, and save!

The Blood of Jesus COVERS
The Blood of Jesus HEALS
The Blood of Jesus PROTECTS

Together we experienced the hurt from Hurricane Harvey, the viciousness of the Vegas attack, and the tirades on twitter. Despite the efforts of those atrocities to create gaping holes in our nation’s fabric we are the United States of America and we are the body of Christ – together we must follow Christ’s example by binding together, rising to the top, and protecting our nation as we heal.

“And by His stripes we are healed.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The battle within!!!

The Battle

Tattooed on both arms are the numbers 815. They represent a government housing development at 815 Harrison Square and a tough start that pushed this individual into a successful future. He, his three siblings and his mom struggled for everything. Dad was absent, mom was battling cancer, and he was forced to work multiple jobs in addition to his academic and athletic responsibilities. Instead of Pop Warner organized football, it was pick-up games in the street with gang members.
With all of these circumstances standing against him He could have fallen for anything but yet Deshaun Watson has battled to become a star in the NFL. One f his arm tattoos includes a pair of dice and a deck of cards to represent the mantra of "play with the hand you are dealt."

When you win the battle within you will win the war ahead.

In Genesis chapter 32 we find the prelude to a battle.  Jacob was Esau’s brother and an individual that was characterized by his craftiness. In fact, his name meant trickster or supplanter. After a life of tricking nearly everyone in his life and running away, Jacob forges his relationship with God. Now he is about to come to terms with his brother who had treated the worst.

Before Jacob’s meeting with Esau, Jacob has a conversation with God.

“Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’” Genesis 32:11

His prayer was like a desperately thirsty person taking a bucket full of holes to water.

The battle of the mind is the beginning to all success. The body can only go where the mind directs it. Even if your body is prepared for battle if your heart and mind are afraid to fight – you are going to lose...

Jacob knew that he had to face his brother but until he faced his fears he could never battle his brother.

The next part of the story is where things get great. Instead of God fighting Esau on Jacob’s behalf, God gifts Jacob on Jacob’s behalf. Be mindful that when you pray for God t
o fix things in your life – that He will choose the best method to answer your prayers. In order to fix your problem He may have to fix you first!

In the final verses of Genesis 32, God wrestles with Jacob and Jacob declares, ““I will not let you go unless you bless me.” This battle was bigger than Jacob’s issue with his brother. The battle was Jacob’s issue with who people had labeled him and who he believed he was. God eventually has to break Jacob of his thinking and leave him with an impression from the battle. When it was all said and done, not only was David mentally and physically changed, he was spiritually changed as well. From that moment on Jacob was known as Israel or “God Preserves”

I’m  a Texan fan to my heart and reading the story of our current quarterback, Desaun Watson, is wonderful. But I know his story would have never been known had he not beaten his internal battles. Battles happen everyday and we must continue to fight. Deshaun’s first few moments as a NFL quarterback were shaky but I believe Desaun remembered how he has won in shaky places before and beat back his thoughts of inadequacy. He could have quit but God preserves.

Your first win must come from within.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Check your watch...Your time is coming!

Admittedly, I laugh more than necessary at social media videos that display people using gym equipment inappropriately. Although their intent may be to obtain major gains, their full out effort typically yields futile results. Even with good intentions, doing the wrong thing the wrong way will never get you right.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end."

Every single one of us is born with a desire for accomplishment. The progression of scooting to crawling to walking and onto walking across the stage proves that there is an innate desire to achieve. We must recognize that our greatest desires require our greatest efforts and great success comes with great sacrifice. Moving your “if” goals to “when” goals is detrimental to your success plan. Instead of pacing the floor wringing your hands about how God’s plan will work – praise God that He has the perfect plan for you. Turn to God – Talk to God – and Trust God.

So, let’s go back to my fascination with terrible gym antics. I average five days a week in the gym and I see a lot of entertaining things. Its consistently intriguing to witness impatient people that are determined to lift the most! They typically overload the equipment with ridiculous weight just to say that were able to lift, press, or pull it. Though they are moving the weight, they are only perfuming the move partially and subsequently not achieving the real result of properly doing the exercise.

Do the WORK to get the RESULTS that you want.

If you gotta have the full result then you have to do all the work. Half effort will never produce full results! Total success comes from total effort. Stop playing hokey pokey with your purpose.

Get the right assistance that you need and take the time to actualize what God has already promised you.

He is our creator, He knows what we need, and He has a coming out party prepared for your success.

Your Time is coming! Do the WORK and get the RESULTS.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Just like Him - The Super Mario Brothers

My Father and Me!

My son wanted a game console for his birthday. I was vehemently against it because I believed it would lead him into a world I didn’t understand and away from his father.

Nevertheless, what good father denies his child good things when they have every reason to deserve that and more? Being a barely willing participant, I declined riding in the car when his mom picked up the game console from the store. On his birthday, my son was a rubber ball of excitement. The moment the gift was unveiled he exploded. That game console was the only thing he wanted and like Ralphie from The Christmas Story he nearly put his eye out.

From a distance I watched him connect his remotes, interchange playing the games, and destroy his digital foes. I knew he was happy but a side of me wondered how I would engage in an activity that was completely foreign to me.

In the Gospel of St. John chapter 5 verse 19, it says, “So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (NLT).

In this one verse we get a glimpse into the divine relationship between our God, the Father, and Jesus, the Son. Prior to this, the Jews had not long witnessed Jesus heal an excuse ridden lame man that had suffered for 38 years. The response of the Jews was to label Jesus a Sabbath breaking blasphemer. They missed the miracle because they were maximizing who Jesus was instead of what Jesus had done. Jesus was not operating independently of God because their relationship is without rivalry. It is the power of God at work through the Son. It is not a matter of inferiority or superiority but a combined strength that is able to heal, restore, strengthen, and provide in ways beyond our understanding.

It is like the slogan surrounding the importance of unity for our city - #strong. Admittedly, I was envious of the toy. Yet and still just as we have been brought to understand that our Father in Heaven is not only greater than any object or being, He is also the one that helps us to be great when dealing with any object or being.

When I least expected it, almost a month after my son received his game console, he begged me for batteries. Of course, the batteries were for one of his game remotes. After I put the batteries in, my son sat next to me and said, “Can we play together for a few moments? I need your help to win this game.”

Good Dad to the rescue. A few moments turned into a few swiftly passing hours and I actually got pretty good. Before long I was able to show my son a few tips.

As parents, we need to take advantage of those unique moments God gives us with our children. Their DNA is proof that they are a part of us but their habits, mannerisms, and attitude about life is what we teach them through being an active part of their lives. It’s ok if you don’t get everything that they are into, take the time to learn and you will recognize that it is only a reflection of what you do – just on their level.

His favorite game is about story telling and of course, you know I love a good story!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Get Your Stuff Back!

Get your stuff back

How long does is take for anything to move into the past? It’s not an overly complicated question yet the answer can be convoluted. The moment a second hand clicks, the past is created and what is has become a memory. Unfortunately that’s not everyone’s reality.

Altercations, circumstances, and missed opportunities tend to plague us like a reoccurring cold that zaps our energy and clouds our thoughts. That doesn’t have to be the case. 

It’s time to get your stuff back!

Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past” (NIV).

Our past is a platform and not a PRISON…

Catch this! What you have been through has proved you and not paused who you are becoming to be! Instead of standing behind your past stand on top of it or better yet use it as a springboard to jump into your future.

One of the greatest comebacks in NFL history took place February 5th, 2017 in Houston, TX. The New England Patriots were playing the Atlanta Falcons.
New England trailed through the first two quarters. For all intents and purposes it would have been safe to assume that the Patriots were going to lose. Then came half time. As any storybook football movie would portray it. The assumption was that the third quarter would look better than the previous two quarters. Not in this story. By the 3rd quarter, New England had a mere 9 points to Atlanta’s 28 points.

But something happened in the 4th. A combination of energ
y, effort, and faith put 19 points on the board and led New England to a 34/28 win.

Please believe, your come back is coming just don’t wait for your final days to believe it.

New England wasn’t green to the Super bowl environment. In fact, they had won before. Somehow they allowed their responsibility as champions and their authority as winn
ers to be compromised. Mind you, I am a Houston Texans fan but I love a good story.

In football, the players are taught to have a short-term memory. Don’t spend too much time complaining about your past or concentrating on what hasn’t happened - your next down is coming.

In 2 Samuel 6 there is a story of a great leader that let go of his responsibility. King David was charged with maintaining the Ark of God. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, the Ark was dropped and God struck an individual dead. David was both angry and afraid of God so he allowed his responsibility to be given to a man named Obed-edom.

Big mistake.

For three months while the Ark was in Obed-edom’s possession, his house prospered greatly. The bible doesn’t detail what David’s life was like but I believe it paled in comparison to Obed-edom. David made haste to get the Ark back.

I am challenging you to do the same. Turn this thing around! Whatever obstacle, occurrence, mistake, or circumstance that convinced you to let go of what is rightfully yours has held you up long enough.

  • Get back your pride
  • Get back your joy
  • Get back your peace
  • Get back your family
  • Get back your responsibility

This year isn’t over – get your stuff back!

The bible says that David took 6 steps with the Ark and immediately began to worship.

Here is my last point. I love that the touchdown celebration is back in the NFL. When you go through enough and when you have been denied enough – it shouldn’t take long for you to celebrate your breakthrough from the past.

The past. It is what it is don’t live there learn from it and celebrate who brought you through.