Better Wisdom Than Riches!

Better Wisdom Than Riches!

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.” Proverbs 8:6-12 NIV

Whenever we think we are wise–about anything–we need only to go back to the book of Wisdom in Proverbs and read with renewed interest and zeal the words of the Wise One–through Solomon. Once again, I encourage all who read my blogs to read entire passages referenced for there is so much more revelation knowledge to be obtained.

The first thing we have to do is–listen–to what wisdom is saying. We cannot do that if we are not open to hearing from those who are wiser than we are. And the only way we can know we lack wisdom is through the humility of understanding, none of us–know everything. For The Believer in Jesus Christ–our wisdom should only come from above from the only Wise God–not people who think they know. How do we know when we are hearing from God? We find confirmation in His Word–already spoken through those who were willing to hear Him.

Additionally, we need discernment–ability to separate truth from lies, wisdom from foolishness, true believers from those simply using Christianity as a banner. How do we gain discernment to separate fact from fiction? We listen to Holy Spirit who will not tell us anything other than what God has already spoken and what He says, is readily available for confirmation in His Word.

Then we need to determine our priorities–establishing the importance of everything we encounter in our lives. If living according to God’s Word is not a priority, we end up grasping for anything to hold onto as we free-fall through life’s many challenges. Unfortunately, many grasp onto whatever sounds good rather than what is good. We are deceived through desires to obtain riches rather than wisdom and our pursuit of wealth makes us do foolish things because we have not wisdom. Seeking wisdom is better than seeking riches or wealth for with the wisdom, we discover avenues to wealth that will last a life time rather than for a moment.

When knowledge accompanies wisdom, we walk the path of righteousness, we understand foolishness and we avoid the pitfalls and snares the enemy has planned for us. We know when to speak and when to be quiet. We know how to measure the impact of our words by thinking before we speak. We know how to serve others rather than waiting for others to serve us. We know who belongs to God and can separate them from those who don’t, simply because of the love that flows from those who know God. We operate with knowledge and prudence–remembering that God sees and knows all–and He is never deceived by any our attempts to fool others.

If we really take the time to think about all God has to say to us through His Word, we would begin to realize that pursuing riches and wealth–cannot begin to compare to the value of wisdom and knowledge.

Determined By Love!

Determined By Love!

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. Ephesians 6:18-20, 23, 24 NIV

After declaring to us–Believers in The Lord Jesus Christ–how to stay dressed–armored up to get through this journey in life, Paul tells to pray–for all “The Lord’s people. And then he makes a declaration upon all the brothers and sisters in The Lord for peace and grace to rest upon all who love The Lord.

How do we determine who our brothers and sisters in The Lord are? The Word tells us that we shall each other by our love–visibly demonstrated–for one another. For where there is love, peace and grace abound; where love is not found–only fear and trepidation are known.

Political Alert and Assertion

I have been told that some do not appreciate my support of Hillary Clinton for president because of the Democratic/Progressive Platform. I have also been told that if I do not stand with Republicans and declare myself pro-life, my work will not be supported/promoted through this blog. All this from a “brother in The Lord.”

Well, here is my response from a “sister in The Lord.” My decisions and my support of Hillary Clinton are based on my communications with The Lord, not people. I have stated before that I do not condone some of the platform on which she is running, but I do know--not just believe–she is the most qualified person to sit in the White House–in spite of shortcomings as a human being. But then, none of us are perfect–are we?

I am PRO-CHOICE–not pro-abortion and there is a difference. God has given us free-will choice since He created us and it began in the garden with Adam and Eve. There are consequences for every choice we make and we have to consider the consequences before we choose to do anything. But I will not interfere with a choice a person makes because I am not the one who has to deal that consequence and I have neither heaven or hell for anyone. What I can do–for anyone having to make a choice about anything–is to pray they receive God’s wisdom and obey Him.

As for those who are pro-life, I ask this question of you: If life before presentation (being born) is precious, how can anyone justify taking the life of a person outside the womb? Killing is killing and there is no difference. So, when I look at some of the behavior of those who proclaim to be “pro-life,” I do not want to be affiliated with them. And some of these same people–who are pro-life–seem to find justification in racism and bigotry and fear-mongering. If they truly know The Lord–how can this be? For The Word says, through Paul’s letter to Timothy–“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.” Where fear is promoted–that is not of God. We know those who love God because they promote love of all–not just themselves or for those who look and act like them.

Those who promote being fearful, and encourage disrespecting others, and demonstrate mental instability, are not flowing in the love of God. They do not belong to Him. If they are not part of the family, I have no obligation to them.

For those who promote hope in the midst of crises, have proven their worth in public service helping others, and who rise above the fray to encourage others–I see them as part of the family because they are demonstrating The Word by their actions.

On this blog–though I usually attempt to expound scripture and the practical application of The Word in our lives–my tag for this blog is, “Writing About Life” and politics is part of our lives. Therefore, I will address a number of issues that may not be palatable for a number of people, but I will always do so demonstrating application of The Word.

So, for the remainder of this political cycle–since it is not my intent to offend anyone–if those who are offended by my political stance–which is not contrary to my faith in God–choose to not follow this blog–Godspeed. I respect your right to choose what you read. I will continue to pray for you and love you, but I will not allow anyone–to deter me from acting in love--for the benefit of all–as Holy Spirit leads me.

May The Lord continue to reveal His Truth to all who are willing to receive that we may live in peace and harmony, knowing how to love all-unconditionally.

 

Moving Forward!

Moving Forward!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:13-16 NIV

No matter what anyone says about Hillary Clinton, no one can deny that she has overcome obstacles–privately and publicly–revealed her humanity in service to and for others–no matter what was going on in her private life and doggedly fought to attain a historic place that no one else can claim–the first woman nominated to be President of the United States. I have determined–that though I disagree with two aspects of the party’s platform– I will diligently seek to help her enter the White House as President in January 2017.

Now, I know many (Christians) won’t agree with my stance and I’m okay with that because I know–without a doubt in my being–that God wants a person leading all who understands people and knows how to love–regardless of their lifestyle, skin color or religion! How do I know? Because of God’s love towards all mankind–regardless of our failings and imperfections–He still loves us and we are commanded to love others as we love ourselves. Since I would not hate myself or make fun of myself in a detrimental manner, I cannot and will not do that to others or support those who do.

I have lived long enough to see history made repeatedly–especially as it pertains to those responsible for leading this country. And I am proud to be an American–born and raised right here in the USA and I can only imagine how proud most who come here–voluntarily--they are of who we are as a nation and how we are represented to the rest of the world.

In an online commentary yesterday, someone asked me if I wanted to appear in the history books–after I reminded that person that every person coming to this land from Europe was an immigrant. This land–on this continent–was inhabited by the natives of the land and Africans were brought here, forcibly in chains, forced to build this country and then denied access to the benefits derived from its success. Then the land was taken–forcibly–from the natives of the land by those who came here–not born here–and yet they want to claim superiority over the rest of us.

Basic Amenities Denied

Let me move on–I responded to the inquiry about being in the history books by saying, I’d love to see an accurate portrayal of history that includes everyone’s story. And since my ancestry includes the natives of the land, migrants from Asia and Europe and slaves from Africa, I’d want to see their history in the books–as the true Americans. This is not a diatribe about those who have lied to the world–though they did–this is about bringing to the forefront that “white people” were not the first in this land and they should never attempt to claim superiority over any who were already here or brought by force.

That being said, please note–I have no hatred in me for anyone–I’m long past that and if I wanted to hold onto mistreatment at the hands of white people–I could, but it serves no purpose. I’ve been around a long time and was raised in an environment where Jim Crow laws reigned and there was nothing anyone could do about it, but I survived as did many others.

And now–moving forward–on November 8, 2016, I will be part of history that elects this country’s first woman president and be proud of it. I look forward to living in a country where all people–no matter what their skin color, ethnicity, or religion–can live in peace and harmony, having received God’s love and knowing how to share it with others!

Glory Hallelujah–Love trumps hates!

Mature Disagreement!

Mature Disagreement!

Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:15-18 NIV

As much as I’m tempted to preach this message, Paul has already done a better job than I’ll ever do because if we who profess to believe God, do The Word, there is no other example for us to follow other than Him.

The concept is applicable to any situation we encounter–in our homes, in our communities, in our churches, in our government–no matter where we are–we must learn to disagree, agreeably–without hatred governing our thoughts or our deeds, but we simply acknowledge the points of disagreement–open the door for discussion and find solutions to problems–we don’t create problems because of our disagreement.

Disagreement doesn’t mean that we ignite or fuel hatred to draw others to our side by name-calling or taunting chants–that really only emphasize insecurity and immaturity.

While we have riled up hatred for one candidate by chanting erroneous thoughts of “lock her up” we have seen a deluge of defamatory literature, logos, and other paraphernalia demonstrating a “huge” lack of maturity of the part of anyone participating in the malaise of insanity.

And then–there is the “call” for foreign powers to conduct espionage against a political candidate that sounds like treason to me. The fact that Trump made the statement (and later back-pedaled with a lame excuse) is enough to make many wonder what he will do with the security briefings he’ll sit in on. Will he sell what he learns to the highest bidder? Someone needs to get a muzzle for this man before he has missiles pointing at us from all directions.

I haven’t strayed from my point of mature disagreement; I’m simply making a point as to why we must look at the level of maturity of any candidate attempting to do anything. I’m not alone in my assessment of the situation and though my sphere of influence is limited, I have to speak to issues that bear no resemblance to a person knowing Jesus Christ and certainly not having a relationship with Him. “Out of the abundance of the heart (whatever resides inside a person) the mouth speaks!”

I pray that no one (in their right mind) will ever consider Donald Trump an example as to how we should live or treat people. Trump is not a savior and he cannot fix anything–he cannot even fix his impulses to say foolish things.

I’m not in total agreement  (there are some points of disagreement) with Hillary Clinton or the progressive movement, but I’d rather see her in the White House–someone who cares about people–rather than a self-deluded person–who only thinks about himself, leading this country.

Everyone has a choice to make and I would urge all to exercise maturity and wisdom in deciding who can best handle being the leader of this country–caring about all Americans!

Sometimes, It’s Best To Be Quiet!

Sometimes, It’s Best To Be Quiet!

The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. Proverbs 15:14 NIV

I’m sure most of us have had opportunities in which we have listened to someone talking, trying to make a point, but strayed so far from the point, people who were listening forgot why they were listening.

When I’ve encountered this situation (and I have a lot lately), I often wonder if people are listening to themselves.

First of all, The Word tells us, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks,” (Matthew 12:34), if a person’s mouth keeps speaking do we not see what’s in their heart?

Then there are those who love the sound of their voice and forget that others are not that crazy about “their voice” but they’re so wrapped up in themselves, they don’t recognize when people start squirming and looking at watches.

Moving onto those who–when speaking to a new audience–make certain erroneous assumptions about the crowd to whom they’re speaking. This is where the rubber meets the road and the speaker is found guilty of presuming–having no knowledge–thinking they are the only one “in the know.”

Personally, based upon my experience in various environments, I’ve learned that any time a person has to tell me they are, “God-fearing” or a “Christian” they are not telling the whole truth. I’m more convinced by a person’s actions as to who they are than I am by their words. And if your actions don’t demonstrate what your words say–I’m not interested in anything else you have to say.

Okay, I won’t bore you any longer with this diatribe, but I wanted to remind anyone interested–when speaking before people you’ve never met–don’t try to impress them with a lot of talking,–just get to the point and sit down. Let your audience lead your speaking with their questions.

The Lord Will Not Ignore Us!

The Lord Will Not Ignore Us!

But the LORD reigns forever,
executing judgment from his throne.

He will judge the world with justice
and rule the nations with fairness.

The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.

Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.

Sing praises to the LORD who reigns in Jerusalem.
Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.

For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.
He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer. Psalm 9:7-12 NIV

Every morning when I rise,

His goodness is seen through my eyes,

His love is felt in all I see

His mercy, forever there for me.

Not  for me alone does He reign

But in every heart where His love remains,

Full to overflowing, onto all who will receive,

And share with others, praying on their knees,

Knowing He never abandons,

Never forgets or ignores,

Those who are His, Those He adores.

We praise for His might acts,

For His love, mercy, and grace,

Seeking wisdom, finding Him in His place,

High above the heavens, waiting for us!

What we need, He knows and provides,

From our despair, He’ll never hide,

But through His Word, we have a guide

To get through this journey called life,

Without anger, hatred or strife.

What Are You Wearing?

What Are You Wearing?

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:8-14 NIV

Styles–what we wear–in clothes, shoes, and other apparel–often change as rapidly as we can blink our eyes. But whether we follow the trendiness of all these changes doesn’t matter. It’s not the clothes who make us who we are–it is who we are that makes a difference in what we wear–not only materially, but spiritually.

I know some people can hardly wait for the new fashion seasons to start and those with money–big money–have a “must-have” mentality and will go anywhere and pay any amount to have what they want to wear–to make sure people pay attention to them. We know this because “red carpet” events always emphasize what people are wearing–on the outside. But what resides on the inside of the person? That’s what usually comes out and determines the character of the person.

If a person looks good on the outside, but nothing worth having resides on the inside–bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, rage, jealousy, bigotry and hatred–nothing they put on the shell of the body will make a difference in the greater scheme of things. Why? Because God looks upon the heart–not the outside–of anyone.

It won’t matter how much money a person spends to make themselves look good on the outside if the inside–the spirit person–is in need of cleansing and renewal. What happens in the “renewal process” of the sinner to the saint–cannot be purchased for any amount of money–we either submit to God’s leading or we don’t.

So, if we think we are something when we are nothing–we only fool ourselves and the real “us” will be seen in how we treat others. Time to change clothes yet?

If we ever expect to see unity–of all mankind–determined to be submitted to Holy Spirit and do things out of obedience–we must learn to wear love as  a tightly knit garment to hold in the virtues of compassion, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, peace, humility, and righteousness--keeping out all of the old stuff–belonging to the un-regenerated person.

Now, what are you wearing?

Let’s Build Bridges!

Let’s Build Bridges!

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:12-14, 17 NIV

Instead of building walls that isolate

Let’s build bridges that reciprocate

Integrity, honor, and respect,

Giving to get what we expect.

What makes it so difficult for us love?

Did we not receive it from Him above?

Are our hearts not filled from within,

Enough love and respect for all men?

God’s love flows continuously from Him to all,

Not hindered by hate or discriminating wall,

With the message of love preached and all receive,

The world will know–In Him, We Believe!

 

And It Shall Be!

And It Shall Be!

maryhallrayford

And so it shall be:

Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench;
Instead of a sash, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, baldness;
Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth;
And branding instead of beauty.

Your men shall fall by the sword,
And your mighty in the war.

Her gates shall lament and mourn,
And she being desolate shall sit on the ground.  Isaiah 3:24-26 NKJV

Whenever we as a people–men and women–male and female–all created by Him who created all things–refuse to obey God and do things His way, we find ourselves on the receiving end of the consequences of disobedience. And when we see these things coming to fruition, most don’t acknowledge the role they play in helping us get there and instead, point fingers–blaming others–never accepting responsibility for what they do.

This has been the story of mankind–from the…

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Is Your Foundation Intact?

Is Your Foundation Intact?

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them. The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. Psalm 11:3-7 NIV

If we don’t build on solid foundations,

Of love, hope, and respect for all

We set the stage for destruction of nations,

Both far and near, within, without not hearing the call,

Of God’s Word to relieve oppression for all generations.

We need to fill the cracks, restoring foundations,

Building bridges, cementing partnerships, not building a wall,

Promoting hatred, distrust, fear and division, in all relations–

Ignoring the one truth we seem to have forgotten,

God knows when we we’re good and He knows when we’re rotten.

We are One Blood, One Nation, One Race–All His Creation!