Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do It Scared!

Scared but Steppin'

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on thewater to go to Jesus.

At some point in everyone's life there is a moment of great uncertainty and a call for great faith. It is in that moment that faith is forced into action and miracles can occur. Whether you choose to take the walk or rest on the boat is up to you.

Peter could be commended for his great walk of faith. But I honestly believe that with every step there was a moment of trepidation.

The bible says that the disciples saw Jesus walking on water during a heavy wind - not a storm. You can be in a windy situation where you feel as if your life is being tossed around. You can see how far you have gone and you can make out how far you have to go. And even in all of that chaos, Jesus is visibly walking toward you to calm your circumstance.

Jesus tells the disciples not to fear and reminds them of who He (Jesus) is. You are seeing reminders that you were never left alone and now Jesus has confirmed his presence in your life. 

Are you ready for your faith walk?? I am not sure what decision you have been afraid to step out and take, but it is my prayer that you "Do it Scared!"

I can only imagine what was going through Peter's mind after he questioned the authenticity of Jesus then asked Jesus to grant him permission to do the unimaginable. 

As his trembling leg lifted over the side of the ship and his foot applied light pressure to the water - sweat was probably falling from his brow. You may be sweating but keeping moving. Jesus is in front of you. You Asked For This! Let's Move!

The wind was still blowing but Jesus was still there. Jesus is in the midst of your faith walk in a crazy situation. 

Peter lost sight of Christ and began to sink but IMMEDIATELY IMMEDIATELY IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretched out and caught him the instant Peter said, "Lord save me."

Peter didn't need to explain his reasoning for falling - he only had to ask for help! You can do the same - no need to explain, He has been with you the entire time.

My challenge to you this week is to DO IT SCARED! You asked for this moment, He gave you permission - NOW YOU HAVE TO WALK IT OUT!!! Don't worry - He will be with you along the way!

Consider the hammer: It keeps its head. It doesn't fly off the handle. It keeps pounding away. It finds the point, then drives it home. It looks at the other side, too, and thus clinches the matter. It makes mistakes, but when it does, it starts all over. - Vern McLellan

Rest...But Don't Quit!


Rest if You Must…But Don’t Quit!

Mark 6:30-31
30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

Am I the only parent that does the most  in an attempt to keep their child awake in the afternoon or creates tiring activities so that the child will sleep through the night or sleep in the next morning?

Don’t judge me! LOL
My son seems to have a back up battery for energy. Right when I think he is going down for the count, he gets a surge of seemingly endless energy. Yet, when he is absolutely done, he falls into a deep sleep. He becomes a heavy limp noodle that only God himself can wake up.  But when that sleep is over, he is on level 12 – ready to rock!

I believe that as we get older we avoid naps like the plague and charge our bodies with enough caffeine to run a multi-ton steam engine. Then, when our bodies are craving rest, we fight it. We either believe we are missing out or we have put off necessary items so long that we have no choice but to stay up.

For some, the worries of life keep them up at night thwarting any efforts to get rest.

God wants you to rest. He made night and day for a reason. Even after all of His efforts to establish this world and its inhabitants, the bible says God rested.

Jesus sent his apostles out to do the work of the kingdom and when they returned they were excited about their accomplishments but worn from their efforts. Jesus tells them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”  He basically said, "Let's take a nap!" But, it wasn’t long after that nap that He fed the multitude.

Your rest is not retreat – your rest is recovery so that you can recharge and roll on!

You don’t have to be the fastest, strongest, or wisest. You need to be the most prepared.

Stop being disobedient – and go to bed.

If you are attempting sleep but cannot get it. Here are a few suggestions and scriptures I say before bed that help me sleep. The bible says that God’s word does not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). That means if He says it – it has to happen! So speak His words over your much needed rest.

Exercising, stretching, or reading are great activities that can relax the mind and body to aid in getting rest.
Scriptures on Rest
Psalm 4:8
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalms 37:7
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Exodus 33:14
And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

Psalm 127:2
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Say My Name!!!!!!!

Say my name

In the nineties there was a popular singing group called Destiny’s Child. One of their more trendy songs was called “Say My Name”. At first glance, the title alludes that the song has promiscuous intent.

Actually, the song speaks about a gentleman who would not mention his girlfriend’s name over the phone. Although it was easy for him to do it previously, now something has changed. He is hesitant to just say a name…

But what is the big deal about saying a name?

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26 NKJV)

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV)

There is a child in our youth department that has somewhat of a speech impediment. When he talks it is difficult to make out what he is saying and many of his words are garbled beyond recognition.

Every Sunday we pick a child to either open our service with prayer or a scripture reading. This particular Sunday, the little boy wanted to say the prayer. I was nervous! How would the other youth react? Would they laugh? Would he get embarrassed? I believe in encouraging children and not limiting them with of our own expectations. We let him lead the prayer. Honestly, 95% of his prayer was difficult to comprehend.

Just as he was about to conclude his open communication with Christ, he closes his prayer with, “In Jesus name, Amen!”

I could have hit the floor! He mumbled every word of his prayer and triumphantly closed clearly and audibly with the name of Jesus!

I don’t know what the little boy said but God does! Placing the name of Jesus in your prayer is a stamp, seal, and signet mark of who is really in control.

It is when we mention the name of JESUS that confusion is clarified and struggling tongues make sense! So, instead of claiming and calling everything else, say the name that carries the power to fix, heal, mend, break, and bind.

It is a name above all names that commands respect, brings items into submission and should be said everywhere. Don’t hide behind opinions – say the name! Don’t wallow in depression – say the name! Don’t claim defeat – say the name! Don’t take all the credit – say the name! I dare you to do it right now – SAY THE NAME!

One final thought...

Have you ever had a document notarized? The point of the notary mark is to verify the authenticity of the document. In ancient Egypt and for many years afterwards a signet ring was dipped in wax and placed on documents to convey personal identity.

If you saw the notary mark today or the wax seal, embossed with the family crest of a signet ring, back then – there was no need to verify – it was properly sealed.
A document can stand by itself, but when you add the seal - that gives the document strength and credibility! Say your prayers and properly seal them.

In the matchless name of JesusAmen!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Easter Speech

Left Behind

Will II in his Resurrection Day outfit 

John 20 (NKJV)
The Empty Tomb
Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.

While ministering in a local women’s prison with my mother, I was intrigued by the jumpsuits that the women had to wear. Every woman wore an overly baggy all white jump suit. The significance of the color and size of the suits was not only to identify them as prisoners but to also restrict easy movement. As a mater of fact, we were told not to wear the same color as the inmates so that we could be identified as different.

The bible says that the next morning when Mary Magadalene returned to the tomb where Jesus was placed – it was empty!

When Peter and the other disciple went to the same tomb, they also discovered that Jesus was missing. However, His burial cloth and the handkerchief that covered His head remained.

Here We Go!

The burial shroud was typically white or off-white linen used to wrap the body. I believe the handkerchief that was neatly folded acted as a veil. Some theologians believe the reason the handkerchief covering His face was folded was to represent the relationship of master to servant. When the master left his dinner napkin folded it meant he was coming back. As in Jesus is coming back again some day. The grave could not hold Him. If he tossed it on the table it meant I am finished. Other theologians counter that theory by saying the reason it was folded was to say that no one stole the body of Jesus. He leisurely left the tomb and had time to fold his handkerchief.

Either way, I believe HE GOT UP and left his unnecessary linens behind.

Just as Jesus left his white burial linens that served to restrict him while in the grave and the veil that masked his face – we too must remove those items that have been holding us in the grave and the masks we are hiding behind. Granted, the clothing did not hold Jesus, it represented bondage and death. Lazarus got up still wearing his burial garments. Jesus got up and left them all behind.

When those women leave prison, it is my prayer that they leave their white robes of bondage behind never to see them again. I also pray that you take off your grave clothes and burial mask. I also charge you to walk out of your death like situation living a resurrected life!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Lord's Lullaby! Have you heard it?????

Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)
The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

8:30PM my son is asleep in his crib. I am elated! It was only he and I for the night and a sleeping child means dad can get stuff done.

I rushed to my computer and excitedly looked over what I planned to accomplish that evening. It didn’t take long for me to get engrossed in work.

Around midnight, I heard a faint cry from will’s room. Assuming my son was only fussing while adjusting, I ignored it and kept working. Soon the feeble cry turn into a boisterous roar.

I darted up the stairs then walked into his pitch-black room trying to avoid his toys. Although I could not see him, the sound of his voice led me to his crib where he was standing and leaning over the rail.

His face was wet with tears. I lifted him up and held him while trying to console him. It didn’t take long to recognize that he also had a stinky surprise for me in his diaper.

On the changing table he tossed and turned while still crying uncontrollably – my every effort to soothe him and remove the diaper was being thwarted. Then, I got the crazy idea to sing to him. I’m not Brian Courtney Wilson, John Legend, or Ron Isley but I gave it my best effort with “Jesus Loves Me”.

Immediately, his demeanor changed. Like laying in a hammock on a breezy afternoon, Will placed his hands behind his head and relaxed.

I believe that many of us get overly annoyed at the mess that we are in and we cry out for assistance. Once assistance arrives, we are so upset at our circumstance that we cannot accept help. Assistance is available but you have to unplug your ears and listen to the song that God is singing over you.
How cool is that?! God makes time to sing you a lullaby!

According to Zephaniah, God is in your midst and His love can and will quiet you. Listen for the sound of His singing. Relax in His presence and allow him to remove that mess that causes things to STINK in your life.