Can We Know Peace Again?

Can We Know Peace Again?

Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust. Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor.The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Isaiah 26:2-7 NIV

False alarms about in-coming nuclear missiles, unfiltered race-baiting comments from the person in the Oval Office, silence from the Congressional leadership, and uproar from the majority of people-loving Americans–all of this–disrupts hopes of peace residing in the land. But all is not lost as long as we, who have a right relationship with Jesus, hold onto our faith in Him, instead of another human being.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not saying we should do nothing while we earnestly wait to live at peace within our borders and outside of them. We must change the individual in the Oval Office–not attempting to change him or racist attitudes, but with another person who is far more compassionate, insightful, and intellectually capable of thinking before speaking. This is what we must work to do–knowing that this is right in the sight of God who above all things–wants us to live in peace, loving one another, defending the rights of the poor and needy.

When people take their eyes off God and have more faith in riches and celebrity and in a person’s ability to manipulate the masses with lies and gaslighting techniques that lead to the overwhelming spread of false propaganda–we lose. Many blinked–taking their eyes off God–and looked upon the person who was the most vile creature we’ve ever seen mislead millions. Some blinked because of their hatred of Hillary and didn’t bother to vote at all. Some blinked because they were misled by all the false propaganda. Others proved they have never known God because they promoted the blatant, hateful bigotry spewed by drumpf to the point they wore very telling political gear, proving their hatred of women and other ethnicities. Anyone who has ever had a right relationship with Jesus could never wear a T-shirt calling a woman a dog, or using racial slurs as it relates to other people.

I am convinced–the same people who were shouting, “Lock her up” without cause, will be the same people will be groaning and complaining, claiming, “fake news” when and if it is proven that their “savior” is a traitor to America. It is the poor and educated masses in Red States who are going to suffer financially as we have already seen with the advent of the “criteria-based” ability to receive Medicaid. Now, anyone receiving Medicaid, must pass a literacy test and pay higher premiums for healthcare insurance. The same people will see no benefit from the TaxCutScam that benefited only the wealthy–those who make millions, own private aircraft and golf courses.  In fact, it has just been revealed that drumpf had no idea that Black people were not the ones who were who received the most welfare (White-40%, Black-27.7%). But then again, he has no interest in facts about much of anything and has admitted his own net worth is contingent upon his “feelings” at the moment.

For people who are capable of critical thinking and understanding the value of research from credible sources, they understand our current dilemma. If the person in the Oval Office is not interested in facts about reality–how can he make good decisions about the welfare of the country? Short answer–he can’t and unfortunately we have an impotent Republican Congress who won’t exercise their authority in keeping him in check or removing him completely.

But this is what happens when we take our eyes off God–we believe the lies propagated by those in authority in a vast number of places–particularly the church–or rather the rich, White Evangelicals who convinced a few Black church leaders to believe their lies on one specific issue–abortion. Those in positions of leadership–primarily White men, have convinced people that God is not Pro-Choice and wants to control what women decide. That’s the biggest lie ever promoted by those in the church. God wants us all to live a life that is honoring to Him and obeys His commandment of love. What we have to remember is God is Pro-Choice in that He gives us the right to choose the paths we take and the consequences we face. He does not control what we do and we should not allow others–mere human beings–to take that choice from us. Those who profess to be Pro-life really indicate they are merely “fetus-lovers” because they care nothing about the life outside the womb and we know because of the policies they support–in their support of the malignant narcissist they elected (with the help of the Russians). If these same people were actually “pro-life” they would fight tooth and nail to protect the poor and vulnerable and be more willing to see tax dollars spent on helping the poor and vulnerable than in supporting tax dollars spent on golf outings (over $90M spent so far in less than a year).

When people do not have a right relationship with Jesus on their own and count on those in leadership in churches, they can be misled–we know because of the number of cults that have caused people to lose their lives. And with this administration–it has become a cult. The supporters of this administration see no wrong in anything he does–whether it’s perpetually lying about the obvious, maligning women or other groups of people or spending tax dollars needlessly and only considering the rich with his policies. Their blind loyalty to a bigot also keeps them from seeing they have forsaken the premises on which Christianity is built–loving one another unconditionally.

I have not lost my faith in God, my relationship with Jesus has never wavered and I know, like most true Believers, when we pray–expecting Him to respond–we must also do–giving our prayers–feet. I have faith that we–the true Patriots in America, those capable of loving others regardless of what they look like–will change the landscape in Washington and provide an atmosphere of peace again in the nation.

No matter who wins the next presidential election–I am confident it will be a person–man or woman–who understands the tenets of humanity and civility and they will protect protect the rights of the poor and vulnerable, reestablish our position on the global stage and work to maintain and preserve peace–globally.

My name is Mary Hall-Rayford, and I’m planning a run for President in the 2020 Election. If you believe I can indeed make a difference that will lead to a better life for all, I welcome your support. Please visit http://www.facebook.com/YesIAm2020 and leave a comment or just “Like” the page.

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Is Solomon Speaking To Us Now?

Is Solomon Speaking To Us Now?

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud; she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings, But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you–when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways, and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Proverbs 1:20-33 NIV

The question–is Solomon speaking to us now, can be answered quite literally if we’re honest about what we see on a daily basis.

The first chapter in Proverbs is dedicated to understanding the role of wisdom and what happens when we don’t exercise wisdom. This segment–referenced above–puts us–all Believers in a position to see why America is in the shape it is in–and possibly the world.

Let me break this down a little further–when we–those who call themselves Christians–lie on God, we end up with the only possible consequence of our lying–God ignoring us and allows the calamities of our own rebellion to overtake us. God is not mocked nor deceived by lying tongues, but He will allow our lies to make fools of us. Though I have categorically denied that God chose trump to be president of the United States, I have to include myself in the throng of Believers–who didn’t do enough to persuade others that God does not intervene in our choices. He allows us to make the choices and allows us to handle the consequences of our actions.

What I see in the constantly unfolding events in the political arena and the rise of hatred in the land is the result of wickedness and lies promoted by those who claim to know God. Let me say this again (and I’ll probably say it often)–GOD IS PRO-CHOICE! He honors and choices and allows us to deal with the results–in every area of our lives–not just as it pertains to abortion, elections, marriage–but in everything.

When Christian Believers (the Evangelicals who lied) acknowledge that God allows us choices, then perhaps, they can also begin to repent and rescind the notion that trump was God’s choice–unless they are totally blinded by hate and bigotry and want to see the chaos continue.

I’m no more perfect than any other, but I do accept my limitations and acknowledge them. I depend upon my relationship with God to do the right thing at all times, but when I stray, He won’t pull me back unless I submit to His pull. That’s how He operates–with our submission to Him. He does not coerce, bully or bribe us to do anything; nor does He belittle or humiliate us–we do that on our own when we refuse to hear Him and obey.

At all times–we must speak truth whether we agree with truth or not–because truth will set us free from all the stupidity we now see. Truth can and will come through various people–both Republicans and Democrats (Conservatives and Liberals), but we must be open to hearing it and acting upon it or we’ll cease to exist as a nation since truth has surfaced, the Russian interference into our election and the erosion of our democracy was planned years ago. They deliberately established relationships with those who–out of their greed and need for power–were easily influenced and duped into doing their will–not God’s.

All of this is easily discovered with a little time taken to research it, so there is no need for anyone to just take my word for it. Once research is undertaken and truth is known, what should we do with it?

I’ve known the truth all along and have my blogs to verify what I’ve been saying and now I implore all who know truth to assert themselves into the throng of existing chaos and confusion and promote truth–if we don’t change direction soon, we will no longer be the United States of America–a sovereign nation, but under the command of the Russians.

Now, can we honestly answer the question, “Is God talking to us?” Yes, because He is and will continue to speak to us through His Word and through Holy Spirit, if we’re willing to listen. If we don’t listen, we have only ourselves to blame for the calamities that will overwhelm us. As a society of civilized people, we can no longer allow ideologies and emotions to rule us; we must develop critical thinking skills and know how to determine when sources are credible or not–facts and evidence matters. Any news source that promotes hatred of anyone for any reason–is not a credible source of information; it will be biased based upon the hatred they promote. 

Therefore, I beseech every reader to reflect upon their relationship with God and know His truth and make all decisions pertaining to life and living upon that fact–proven through His Word.

In 2020, remember maintaining our democracy will depend upon all those who seek truth and promote it, rather than fuel ideological beliefs that have no foundation in truth according to God’s Word. I’m counting on the wisdom of God to lead us all in turning away the whirlwind that will overtake us if we don’t act. If we actively #resist the devil, and submit to God, we will know victory!

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Win With Favor!

Win With Favor!

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. Proverbs 3:1-7 NIV

I am amazed and grateful for the support I’ve received from those who acknowledged my intent for a presidential run in 2020. As I said before, this time over the next few months will be used in my quest to determine the feasibility and the needs of others. I am concerned about the welfare of all people so I must make sure that I represent the needs of all people.

What I bring to the table for a presidential run is this: A desire to see all Americans thrive; especially the 98% who were not privy to the access of wealth (some born into it) of the other 2%. When I speak on behalf of the 98%; it is from the experience of living as we do, enduring what many have endured, and overcoming as many have overcome–without gaining wealth by cheating, lying, or humiliating others. Beyond my flaws and shortcomings, I still have much to offer this country if I’m elected president.

This is how I’ve explained what I have to offer to others:

  • I fully recognize that I don’t know everything I need to know to be president of the United States, but I’m also wise enough to know how to find those people who know all I don’t know.
  • I am a qualified educator (with multiple degrees), an avid reader and prolific writer.
  • I am more than just an educator; I am a life-long learner and look forward to learning something new every day.
  • I am both compassionate and passionate and believe in standing up for all who are unable to fight back for themselves.
  • I am a committed Believer in The Word and in my relationship with Jesus Christ (though I know there are some who think a liberal can’t be a Christian–based on what I’ve seen of the “far-right Christians,” I’m better at being more like Jesus than they will ever be).
  • I know many of the issues that plague women–especially women of color–because I experienced them through living.
  • I know the challenge of trying to raise a family on minimum wage jobs as a single parent and yet never giving up.
  • I know the challenges of creating an environment and opportunities needed for a quality education because I’ve taught in some of the most difficult situations and yet managed to inspire students to excel, in spite of their circumstances.
  • I know the importance of the need for equality in pay for women who are working just as hard as their male counterparts, but often in more challenging situations.
  • I know the challenges that many grandparents face on a daily basis trying to raise grandchildren because I’m doing just that.
  • I know the challenges many senior citizens face because I am one and my husband I face those same challenges.
  • I know the challenges students face in trying not to get involved with negative behaviors and in rebelling against parents because I was a rebellious teenager.

The list could go on, and when the time comes–it shall.  I know what I know because I’ve lived it and even with all the experiences I’ve had, I don’t know it all and so I need to hear from those who have “learned to appreciate life because of having lived it” and want others to learn from their experiences.

I’m knowledgeable in a number of areas, but realize I have much to learn and will spend time seeking those who know to help me understand what I don’t know.

My interest in running for president is not just a “reaction” to the current inept administration (though that is part of it), but it is more about caring about all Americans and doing what I can for them and in maintaining peace throughout the world.  Plans are coming together–rather quickly–and with the help of those who have already offered I should be able to present initial ideas for policy plans that will lift all Americans–to whatever standard they want to reach.

I don’t presume to know what all Americans need or want, but I will be asking questions and I hope as many Americans as possible will respond to a survey that will be available in the coming weeks.

Whether I continue to making that decision to becoming a candidate for President remains to be seen, but if I do and even if I lose–I will still have won and become a better person for the experience of a lifetime. With the favor of the Lord showered upon me, I win!

The Favor of The Lord is Upon Me!

Justifying The Lying!

Justifying The Lying!

The LORD said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!”Then Job answered the LORD:  “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”  Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.“Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?  Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you. Job 40:14 NIV

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers  23:19 NIV

And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ Deuteronomy 31:17 NIV

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Romans 14:17 NIV

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. 1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10 NIV

If we look at the plight of America and Americans, we can see that there are problems all around us. Job had problems after Satan got permission from God to test him. Though the assaults were devastating–the loss of property, children, and covered with boils–Job maintained his faith in God. Because of his faith in God, all he had lost was restored.

The story of Job is the oldest known book of the bible and in it we find what real faith in God is. Yes, we acknowledge our circumstances, but we don’t dwell on the negatives and try to see God in all we do. In all of the story–with his friends trying to persuade him to curse God and die and even his wife–Job remains steadfast–determined not to allow anyone to deter his faith in God. And the one thing we must remember in all of his trials–Satan couldn’t do a thing to Job without God’s permission and because God knew Job–He allowed the unfolding events in Job’s life.

Does God know us well enough to know our end from the beginning? Of course He does. He knows who will remain faithful to Him without lying on Him in the process. He knows who will obey and do what they’re told to do whether they understand it or not. He knows the level of our faith and nothing we say or do to justify a lie–especially about Him–will surprise Him.

God is not surprised by the lies people tell on Him–especially those in the “church” arena. In fact, part of the problem is that people are “in churches–the physical buildings” but they are not the church which we are supposed to be. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV

We are the body of Christ–whoever believes and obeys! It is the body of Christ (the collective group of Believers) who is the church–not a building–where people meet.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13, NIV

Now if we are the Body of Christ–and have been filled with His Spirit--we know when He speaks and we know He will never lie to us and everything He speaks, aligns with The Word of God. So, why then are people–the church leaders lying on God and then trying to justify the lying?

It is simple as breathing. People lie because Satan is their father and we know that it is true because God’s Word tells us so. Since we know God won’t lie we also know He would never choose a liar to govern people. But God allows things to happen and it is possible that Satan got permission to test God’s people as it pertains to the 2016 Election and the people failed the test–because their faith was not in God, but a man–a mere mortal.

And this is why we have the situation in Washington that exists–church leaders failed the test, but God never fails. God has not forsaken those who truly love Him and will obey–even in the midst of persecution and derision. He knows our thoughts from far off and He knows the direction He wants us to take. It is truly unfortunate that many will suffer because of those who sought to control other people rather than allowing Holy Spirit to do His job.

There is no justifying the lying and all those who are yet lying–claiming God chose Trump to be president are lying. If God was in the business of choosing elected leaders then those same people who hated Obama with a vengeance would have to acknowledge that God chose him to be president, too since God is not a respecter of people. Now which it is-is God choosing presidents or is He allowing people to choose through the election process?

God choosing presidents

Abiding In His Peace!

Abiding In His Peace!

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:23-27 NIV

While the world turns and slides and collides with the chaos and confusion that reigns in the minds of all those who don’t know Jesus, we who know Him, can rest and abide in His Peace.

Where there is peace–calamity cannot exist.

Where there is peace–differing opinions are accepted and embraced.

Where there is peace–the mind stays focused on matters of importance.

Where there is peace–there is love and hatred has no space to hide.

Where there is peace–we recognize that all human beings belong to the same race.

Where there is peace–we hear from God and obey.

While we were never promised to have a life without challenges or obstacles, we are promised that because Jesus has overcome the world, we can move forward in His peace and know the victory He has already declared.

Promoting fear–of anything or anyone–in order to promote an agenda that is not of God, will never result in anything constructive, but rather destructive. If we look at history–those who deceived the masses by igniting fear–were exposed by the results of their deeds and the greater fear–came upon them and their history–all the destruction that resulted because of their actions–became their legacy.

We know that where there is fear–no love exists–because perfect love–unconditional love–forces fear to flee. So if we want to change the landscape of hopelessness (declared by others) we must learn to love–all people and want the very best–for all people–not just a handful–and the only way we will accomplish that goal is to allow Holy Spirit to direct our every move and thought. He knows what the Father desires and He will never lead us astray.

I don’t know about you, but I love a peaceful environment in my home, in my community, and everywhere I go. It is so much easier to smile and hold conversations with complete strangers–when no one fears anyone–and peace reigns. Love wants the very best for each of us and where there is love–peace reigns and where peace reigns–love grows and grows and grows.

It’s time–for all of us to stop thinking we have the answers–for anything–and realize that the true solutions to any problem we could ever face is in Jesus. He is our provider, our healer, our comforter and our reason for being–here in the earth realm–to promote His peace, so we can live in peace and harmony with all–knowing how to disagree, agreeably!

If we allow others to lead us away from God’s Truth and become fearful of anything or anyone–we might want to check our love-gauge–and if low–go back to Him and have Him replenish us with the abundance of love He has for us. Abide in His Peace!

Watching Exchanges!

Watching Exchanges!

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Proverbs 26:4 NIV

Beginning to understand this proverb better each day.

I’ve stated before that I read articles from several different digital mediums and when I find one interesting enough, I post a comment. Depending on the subject of the post, I usually get quite a few responses–some agreeing, some disagreeing, some humorous, and some–just downright hateful. I’ve been able to spot the bigots and the racists who simply comment to make their voice known. I get it. They want everyone to know what they think, but not who they are since most hide behind profile icons rather than pics of themselves. Silly me–everyone knows who I am because I am not ashamed of who I am, my positions on anything and I certainly don’t allow the idiots to intimidate me.

Now, though some–even those who don’t agree with my stances on things–have applauded my restraint in responding in like manner to those who are hateful, I have decided–those types of exchanges just aren’t worth the effort. So, now–instead of responding to those who only want to spew their vitriol–I simply hide their post. Problem solved.

It’s not that I don’t think Holy Spirit won’t keep a rein on my fingers, but it’s just so tempting to be like those who simply want to hate others. But I’m thankful that love reigns in my heart and I don’t want to make my Father ashamed of me–by acting the part of a fool.

God is always watching what we do and say and more importantly, He knows our hearts and He knows those who are truly His, from those who claim they belong to Him.

The most amazing thing about some of the online posters is most of them claim to be Christians. From their comments they believe they are an authority unto themselves and nothing anyone else thinks–matters. And no matter what anyone says, they want to set them straight–if you don’t think like they do–you’re a worthless sinner or worse yet–for them I guess–a “clueless Libtard.”

One lady–Kim Smith–told me, I needed to “read my bible better” and I “couldn’t be a Democrat and a Christian.” I guess someone forgot to tell her that Believers belong to whatever political party they choose. What most don’t understand is–a true Believer–looks at the whole picture, not just selected portions and makes a decision. It’s like looking at a buffet table–loaded down with all sorts of food–but when a person knows they don’t like certain foods, they simply don’t put those on their plate. It doesn’t mean they choose not to eat anything.

And that’s the way I choose to select the political dynamic that best suits the goal for the masses, not just for a handful of people. I don’t necessarily agree with the platform policies of either of the four parties, but there is one, I’m sure will best benefit “all people” whether I particularly agree with the candidate or not. Here’s the thing–I will never vote for a person who shows no demonstrable aptitude for hearing and obeying Holy Spirit–no love, no self-control, no self-discipline–just rashly speaking and refusing to accept responsibility for what they say and do.  No–this isn’t a political commentary, but it just goes to show how knowing what God says–reveals itself in our daily lives.

So, watch exchanges with people–and if they don’t agree with you–let it go–it’s their prerogative and if they get nasty, let them–hide their post and walk away from it. If we act like they act, then we are no better than they are.

Walking in Darkness!

Walking in Darkness!

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. I John 2:8-11 NIV

Political Alert!

When John reminds us that we as Believers should be walking in the Light of God’s love and yet we see–those who claim to be walking in the light hating–what are we really demonstrating to the world?

I’m more inclined to believe “the world” knows how to treat others better than those who claim to know Christ–based upon what I see on a daily basis in the media. More specifically, the Republican party is always “acting” like they’re more religious than the Democrats, but from what I see–with all the hate-mongering promoted and encouraged, I’d rather be known as a Believer than a Christian with all of the “religious” trappings that apparently mean nothing to those espousing the claims. I have seen more hate and fear-mongering from those who claim to know Christ and follow Him than I could have ever imagined. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the behavior of those who claim to be Christians, but obviously have no clue as to how Christ wants us to live–loving one another.

If we have not love–one for the other–we do not belong to Christ and all the religiosity we demonstrate, won’t mean a thing.

Loving one another does not mean we have to agree with one another, but it should mean we respect one another enough to accept that we all have differing opinions, and simply agree to disagree without all the name-calling and bashing others.

I cannot imagine that God is happy with much of what He’s seeing in our behavior. We have literally defiled our relationship with Him because of politics–which is a disaster in this country–and in a few months, it will all be over–no matter who wins. But will we be able to restore broken relationships with others because of differing opinions? I don’t know.  Some of the things I see–cut quite deep and restoration of relationships may not be possible and that’s a shame.

As Believers–we should not promote or support anyone who promotes fear or hate. It’s really just that simple. Love–covers a multitude of sin and when we love–unconditionally, we are able to forgive, but hate–is a cancer that runs rampant and is not satisfied until it kills. The enemy’s job–kill, steal, and destroy, father of liars, and master of deception. 

If we ever expect anyone to have any respect for the word, “Christian” we’d better start cleaning up our acts or no one is going to be believe we are “followers of Christ” when we promote hatred of people–for any reason. If we promote hatred, we lie when we claim to be followers of Christ.

Followers of Christ–true Believers–have various skin tones, colors; come from various backgrounds and come in all sizes and though we love the same God–read the same Word, we have various differing thoughts about how we do things–as it relates to being a Believer, but everything we do–should be aligned with The Word.

Our role–while in the earth–is to love people to Christ–not turn them off from hearing the Gospel message. And quite frankly, I’m becoming tone-deaf to some people who claim to be Christians, but are promoting agendas based on political party affiliations rather than The Word of God. The Gospel Message is the only we should be promoting and not just by beating people up with The Word, but in our treatment of everyone.

It is time for us to stop walking in darkness–doing the deeds of darkness, but to live in the glorious light of The Lord!

It’s All About Jesus!

It’s All About Jesus!

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:3-6 NIV

How are we representing who we say we serve? Do our lives depict who we say we are or must we always have to tell others who we are–so they’ll know?

There is a quote out there, can’t remember who said it first and that’s not important as long as I’m not trying to take credit for it, but it goes like this:  “The best sermon is the one lived, not preached.” And I have known that to be true based upon the people I’ve met.

There are two instances in particular that come to mind. The first was a woman I met when she was applying for an apartment a non-profit owned. I was accepting the applications. For whatever reason, she thought it was important to try to impress upon how “religious” she was. I was not impressed and a few months later, realized my first thoughts about her were accurate. She was negligent in paying her rent, condoned the destruction of another apartment, and eventually was sought by police for writing bad checks. But she was in church at least four nights a week.

The second instance was more recent. During a meeting, a newly hired band director introduced himself and one of the first things out of his mouth was, “I’m a God-fearing man.” Warning bells immediately went off in my head and later when I had a chance to talk to him, I made the following comment to him.

“I heard what you said about being a God-fearing man and I immediately told Holy Spirit to show me who you really are.”

He was given contact information for me and the president of the organization and was supposed to call us the next day to solidify plans for the coming school year. Neither of us have heard from him and that was over two weeks ago. So much for his proclamation.

On the other hand, I’ve been complimented a number of times by people who do not know me and have only read my comments on various media threads. I tend to comment a lot on articles produced by various media–both nationally and locally–but I seldom tell anyone anything about me. My comments have been about the articles and my responses–even when attacked by those who are filled with hatred–have always tempered by Holy Spirit. One woman told me how much she appreciated my open-mindedness and calm in responding to people who attacked me.

Another person, just recently complimented me on being a “light” to the masses even though we’re on the opposite sides of the fence–politically. His last words in that thread were, “Stay Classy.” Not once did I mention being a born-again, ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not once did I mention bible or God, yet people recognized who I was.

My point here is this–we don’t need to “say” a whole lot about who we are, we just need to live–being the open letter read by all who interact with us–so they will know, through us, it’s all about Jesus.

How do we do that? We promote love–not hate or fear-mongering. We demonstrate understanding of forgiveness and mercy and grace. We listen to what others have to say and think before we speak, knowing we may never get another chance to make our case. We respect every member of the human race as God’s creation and we don’t take on a role of superiority over another. Even in disagreement, we know how to disagree, agreeably. Our ultimate goal should be to introduce others to Jesus by being a light, directing their paths by how we interact with them.

I thank God for using me in commenting on these media threads because it gives me opportunity for others to see how a meaningful life in Jesus manifests itself. I’m thankful that He is constantly working on my character so it is Him who shines through.

If we live like we belong to Jesus, everyone will know and we won’t have to say a word, and we should because the lives we live should be–all about Jesus!

Is Praying Ever Futile?

Is Praying Ever Futile?

Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. Jeremiah 7:16 KJV

“So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. Jeremiah 7:16 NIV

Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. Jeremiah 11:14 KJV

Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress. Jeremiah 11:14 NIV

Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. Jeremiah 14:11 KJV

This is what the LORD says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”  But I said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’ ” Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Jeremiah 14:11-14 NIV

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:10-14 NIV

For those who think that the answers is to always pray for some people–think again. There are times when we’re told NOT TO PRAY for those who refuse to acknowledge and obey God. That’s what Jeremiah’s thankless job was as a prophet of God. God’s messengers–those He selects–do not always have a message of “pie in the sky” and because those in positions of influencing others–they like to think their message is the only right message. It would have been redundant for me to say everything Jeremiah said to a rebellious nation, but I would encourage every Believer and those who read this blog–to read, with understanding, all Jeremiah said and see with God’ Wisdom and insight how that message then-is relevant today.

Is it possible that we are faced with the possibility of captivity (naturally and spiritually) if we continue on this path of blatant disregard for God’s Word? Can we trust any religious leader (false prophets) who proclaim messages that do align with God’s Word?

Not every person who proclaims their belief in God is telling the truth. We know by what we see and hear them do. Therefore, The Word of Lord tells us how to discern–spiritually those who truly belong to Him. Do they say what God says or they are intertwining personal feelings and opinions into The Word to convince? When we allow our feelings (which are fickle) and opinions to distort the message of The Gospel, we betray God’s trust in us. What is the message of The Gospel? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (as a sacrifice for all) so whoever believes in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (paraphrased)

“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” I John 3:10, 11

Therefore, if the message is not about LOVE FOR ALL PEOPLE, the message is not from God and the messenger is a liar.

Okay, let me clarify this for those who think this is simply a rant–it is not. If we are not saying what God says and promoting love and not hatred–we are on the path to certain captivity–opening the door to all sorts of depravity–and evil. When we see evil and won’t address it–we are condoning it. And for this reason–just like He did with Jeremiah, God is warning us–there’s no point in praying for people–either as an individual or a nation–who refuse to obey God. The better prayer is for us to be able to endure until the end.

We see the evidence, daily, at the political rallies that are simply stoking the fires of hatred and then it spills over onto the crowds and people feel empowered to hate others simply because they are different. This is not of God and we have been warned about the consequences in His Word. Now, we have a choice to make and our choice–will lead us into a place where God desires us to be–into captivity to get our attention–or to keep us on the path He has planned for us. It’s up to us. Do we listen to God or the false prophets? Will God listen to us or ignore us? When people tell us to pray that God will change a person’s heart, we miss the mark. God will not change a person’s heart who doesn’t want their heart to be changed.

I’m praying that God’s wisdom will be received into the hearts of all who know Him and overflow into the masses and we will know love as God defines love–not us.

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?