Avoiding The Pitfalls!

Avoiding The Pitfalls!

Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company;for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers. Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths. Proverbs 24:1-7 NIV

There are some snares and pitfalls we can avoid in life, IF we simply take the time to think about what we do–BEFORE we do it. This is not a one-time lesson in life, but an on-going life lesson we must learn, if we are to survive to share our testimonies of how we overcame.

For teenagers–the path to adulthood is an obstacle course–at every turn, they must watch for the snares and pitfalls that are waiting to keep them from enjoying success as an adult. Those snares and pitfalls come in the form of “wrong” friends and giving into the influence that peers force upon others–if they want to be “cool.”

Being “cool” is not always the best route to take to navigate high school or in some cases–middle school. For the peer pressure comes earlier and earlier and even in some elementary schools–kids are pressured to join in or be square.

I’ve been there, but I was considered square because I wasn’t interested in doing anything that could get me in trouble with my mother. “Back in the day” as some would say, at 14 years-old, I had the responsibility of taking care of my brothers and sister after school. It was my responsibility to make sure dinner was cooked (meat, vegetables and a starch), everyone ate, and kitchen cleaned before my mother got home from work. When things went wrong at home and she wasn’t there, I handled it–from the ninth–through eleventh grades–I ran the house. My mother worked two jobs to support us and even though she wasn’t around much, she had instilled a fear in us that made sure we didn’t get into trouble. But then, I was raised in a community of less than 200 people and everyone knew everyone’s business, so there was little chance of getting away with anything.

That’s not the case today. Kids have greater obstacles to withstand if they’re strong enough and wise enough to stand up to their peers. The experimentation with drugs and sex can be overwhelming and the temptation to great to resist, but we must teach them how and show them by example–how to win in life. It’s not easy, but it is necessary. The first obstacle we must teach them to overcome is how to survive in a drug-culture in the schools. Drugs are prevalent everywhere–and it doesn’t matter if it is an affluent or an impoverished community–the more access to money kids have, the greater the likelihood that kids will move from the cheap drugs to the more expensive ones.  But illegal drugs–are bad news–for everyone and we see the results from the crime in the streets, to the overdoses in the hospitals.

So, while we’re praying for them to successfully navigate the murky waters of temptation, we must also teach–and re-teach  them how to be confident enough in who God has called them to be, that they can resist the temptation of the evil set before them, and not be concerned about what others think.

Lord, be merciful unto us as leaders in churches, parents, and school administrators and give us wisdom–abundantly–so we can help our children live and succeed as You would have them to do.

Eyes On Me!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV).

There are so many eyes–looking upon everything we do–judging, evaluating, assessing, criticizing, not knowing who we really are or who is guiding us. Or do they?

If the Lord is giving us instruction, and teaching us how to get to the destination He has planned for us, and counseling us as we journey in life, we have no need to be concerned about what others see–for they will only see our willing obedience to God, doing what must be done to obtain the goal. However, whatever we do, whatever others see–will determine whether we need to be “controlled or forced” to do something.

In spite of what many think, our obedience to God is out of a desire to please Him, not because He forces us to do anything. If we have a heart for God and we are hearing Him, we know that He only wants the best for us and we only want to please Him.

For those who do not understand God’s love or His plans, His Word will seem harsh and brash and controlling. But God–never forces or controls us to do anything–He gives us freewill to choose and to accept the consequences of our actions. When we choose not to understand or hear Him, we are left with those entities that will control–demonic spirits that lead us down the opposite paths of those God wants us to travel.

On the path to hell (and it is real), everything glitters and has much more appeal to our senses–sight, smell, feel, taste, hearing–it all looks good, smells good, feels good, tastes good and sounds good, but is it–all good? NO! The enemy deliberately makes everything that opposes God look better than anything God wants us to have because he–the devil–wants us to be miserable and to hate God.

Not convinced of the devil’s controlling influence? Take a good look around at our society--at those who are influenced by greed, drugs, and all other lusts of the flesh. The gambling looked good–easy money–until it’s all gone and now people have to steal to support their habit. The same is true with drugs and alcohol–controlling substances. On a personal level–hygiene takes a backseat to fulfilling the desires and cravings of those things which control the mind and behavior. Feelings and cravings in the lower extremities of bodies control–making sexual appeal for anyone more desirable and pleasurable than doing things God’s way. Even food controls–for those who lack discipline and self-control, overeating–which leads to health problems and early deaths. Oh, yes–the enemy controls, but God instructs, teaches, and counsels and leaves it up to us to hear and obey.

Whose eyes are upon you, today–the loving eyes of the Lord or the gleaming eyes of the devil? They know and we should, too–just by looking at what we do!

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 3)

Just when it seemed like he couldn’t hold onto sanity for another minute, right after dinner there was knock on the door.  When his father answered, the first voice he heard was Reverend Anderson and his heart sank.  He sat in the living room, where he had been watching television, thinking, “Might as well stick a fork in me and call me done.”  His father led Reverend Anderson and Pastor Cal into the living room and invited them to sit down.  They did and Vernon’s heart thumped so loudly, he just knew everyone could hear it.

“Reverend Jenkins, thank you for agreeing to see us.  We have a rather grave matter to discuss involving Vernon.  But before we get started, has Vernon told you anything about what happened three days ago?” Pastor Cal asked.

“No,” Reverend Jenkins replied stiffly.  “I know something has been going on, but when I asked, he refused to tell me.”

“Vernon,” Reverend Anderson spoke calmly, “Would you like to tell your dad why we’re here?”

“No!  Y’all here you might as well do what you do,” was Vernon’s rebellious response.

Paul sighed, before he turned to Vernon’s father and began to tell him what happened. Until Paul actually pulled the plastic baggy out of the manila envelope that Pastor Cal had been holding, Reverend Jenkins sat in unbelief.  When he saw the bag, he started to get up from his chair, but Pastor Cal motioned for him to sit.

“Vernon, tell your father what this is and where it came from!” Reverend Anderson said.

“How am I supposed know? You brought that in here.  You tell him,” adamantly denying everything.

“Okay, I’ll tell him.” Turning to Vernon’s father, he pulled out his cell phone and showed him the picture taken on the day Paul had seen him with the seedy-looking guy.  Vernon’s father visibly blanched at what he saw.  The veins in his forehead started to pulse and anger was written all over his face.  Before anyone could have anticipated the next move, he was out of his chair and had grabbed Vernon and threw him down on the floor and started punching him.  It took Paul and Cal to get him off Vernon and even then, his fists were still flailing, almost hitting Paul in the face. He was livid!

“Torrance!” Pastor Cal cautioned him.  “This is not the way.  Beating him to a pulp is not going to help.”

“Oh yes, it will,” Torrance responded, breathing heavily.  “It will help me to teach this boy some respect!  I will not tolerate drug use in my house.  If he can’t abide by my rules, then he can get the hell out!”

Paul was still holding onto him, while Cal attended Vernon, who was curled up in a fetal position on the floor.  His hands were protecting what was left of the exposed part of his face, but where his father’s punches had landed, skin was rising in protest of the beating along one whole side of his face.

After carefully checking Vernon over, Cal determined there was no skin broken or broken bones and he helped him to sit back in the chair from which his father had pulled him.

“Torrance, profanity won’t help the matter here.  Please, get yourself in check. We need to talk.  Beating Vernon is not the answer.  At this rate, the only thing we’ll accomplish here is to get him angry enough to leave and then we won’t have any control over what he does.  Calm down!”

“How can you tell me to calm down?  What would you do if this was your son?  I don’t mean the one that’s grown?  But with a baby on the way, you better know how to deal with this nonsense because it’s not going to get better.”

Cal ignored Reverend Jenkins for a moment.  He was not there to discuss his future child; he was there to find a way to keep Vernon out of trouble.

“Vernon, look at me.  I want you to think about what’s going on here and the fact that you have to stop using and selling drugs.  If you keep going in this direction, it will only be a matter of time before you’re arrested.  Look, I know some of the pushers have kids believing they cannot be prosecuted, but the laws are changing. You can and will be prosecuted and there is nothing your father or anyone else will be able to do about it.  Is going to jail what you really want?”

 

Provoking Others!

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

How can we provoke others in loving others or doing good deeds, if we are not doing them?

The most powerful method to getting someone to do what we want them to do, is to show them by example how things should be done. We must remember that most people may hear what we say and forget what was said almost as quickly as we said it. But they will remember what they see us do–good or bad--so let’s do what we want others to do, rather than talk about it.

When we want others to live a life that’s pleasing to God, we must first consider how we live our own lives and make whatever adjustments are needed. We cannot convince others of anything that we are not doing. We cannot afford to be the kind of Christians who want others to “do as we say, not as we do.”

The “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy never works. It didn’t work with parents, the religious leaders of yesteryear, or anyone else in authority. People–especially children–are more inclined to do what they see us do. And when we don’t do what we expect others to do, we become hypocrites. This is why Jesus called out the religious leaders (Luke 11:44–KJV; 12:56 and 13:15 NIV)--they expected the people to just do what they were told, even though they were not doing what was right.

Get a notebook and write down everything you have ever told someone else to do (that’s right) and then write down what you do. Don’t cheat yourself–God knows! When you have completed your list, what changes need to be made–by you; not  others? When we are honest with ourselves in correcting those things  that we need to correct, then we can expect different results from the people we try to influence.

We cannot preach or teach love and forgiveness and then judge and condemn others. Our job is not to judge or condemn people; but to love them and pray for them when we see them going astray. But then, what do they see us doing?

We cannot just talk about sin–all of them–and then live any way we want to live in front of others and expect them to change what they do. They are watching us and doing what we do.

We cannot just tell children how to act when they don’t see us doing what we’re telling them to do. Remember the Public Service Announcement when a dad asked his son how he learned to do drugs? His son responded by saying, “I learned it from watching you.” What do your children or grandchildren see you do? Is it contrary to what you say?

I am many things, but I have never aspired to being a hypocrite. I try always to watch what I say and do because I want to be able to provoke others to living the best life they can as a Christian, a parent, a student, a spouse and a child. I am still a child–in my Father’s eyes–so I must demonstrate my obedience in the presence of others if I expect them to obey Him.

Let us provoke others–to obey, to love, to forgive and to pray–at all times for all things and people. We can pray for peace, for justice, for mercy, for healing, and anything else that aligns with God’s Word and expect Him to respond to our prayers.

For Long Life, Peace and Prosperity!

“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” (Proverbs 3:1,2 NIV).

“Do not forget my teaching”–what teaching was Solomon referencing? His teaching about all He knew about God and living a life that pleases God. I have often had my children’s friends come back to me when they become adults and remind me of the things I taught them. One young lady in particular, almost had an accident during a snowstorm, but she remembered what I had said about driving on slippery roads and avoided an accident. Many of them still remember bible study at my house and the things they learned when they were kids.

“Keep my commands in your heart”--why? If we hold fast to our instructions in righteousness, we will not disobey or disappoint. Whatever is in the heart of man (or woman) will surely come to light. Perhaps, this is why scripture tells us that God is not concerned with the external trappings of man, but looks at our hearts.

For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity”–what will? Keeping the commands/instructions given (obedience) we were given. Imagine that!

Let’s look at how that might work in our society.

“Look both ways before crossing the street” –won’t get run-down by a car.

“Don’t spend every dime you get, save money (learn to invest)”–if we save, we’ll have money when we need it.

“Treat people the way you want to be treated” –unless there is something seriously wrong with a person, most want to be treated with courtesy and kindness. If we do this, we effect peace where we are.

“Learn to respect self, others and the property of others”–when we respect others, there is no need for strife and we will not kill, steal, or destroy.

“Eat your vegetables”–proven to have not just nutritional value, but can thwart the growth of cancer cells.

“Stay away from drugs and alcohol”--drugs change the chemical production in our brains and cause us to be delusional and eventually erodes any sense of rational thinking and so can alcohol, when misused. When we destroy brain cells, we destroy our ability to function at maximum potential.

There are so many other things I could say, but this is not the appropriate forum. Perhaps, I’ll expound more in a book, specifically dedicated to a reflection about Proverbs 3.

So, if we want long life, peace and prosperity, we need to be obedient–not just to parents, but to God and those in position of authority (teachers, laws of the land, etc.). (Please read the rest of this passage to the end–very powerful and pertains to our lives today.)

Now, just to look at things in a balanced perspective–if we don’t do all the things that Solomon was advising us to do, we won’t have long life, peace or prosperity. Could it be that this is the reason the world is in the shape it is in today? Hmmm. Something to think about!

What a novel concept! Disobedience leading to shortened lives, unrest, and poverty! This should not be a surprise to anyone if we understood that the act of disobedience is what caused man’s fall from God’s favor in the beginning with Adam and Eve. Nothing new under the sun–just recycled stupidity and foolishness when people refuse to listen and obey. We cannot keep doing things the same way, expecting to get different results (Einstein’s definition of insanity), it just won’t happen. We need to wake up, acknowledge where we are, and make some changes in what we do and how we do them. The first step is in seeking God and His wisdom to guide us in all things.

Lord, help us today to see the truth of Your Word and how it applies to every area of our lives.  Pour into us Your wisdom so we can get living right according to Your Word and then be in position to receive all that You have promised.

 

 

Deceptive Storms Excerpt 6

When Paul finished talking to the principal, he left his car in the school’s parking lot and decided to take a stroll around the building.  He checked every nook and crevice he thought a student could hide, but he couldn’t find Vernon.  He finally went back to his car and drove towards the bridge where he knew all sorts of things took place.  Sure enough, he spotted Vernon talking with a guy who looked pretty seedy; he sat in the car watching and then decided to take a picture when he saw them make an exchange.   When Paul got out of his car, the guy he didn’t know ran in the other direction.  Vernon looked up to see why the guy ran and saw Paul and readied himself for the lecture, he knew was coming.

“Vernon!  Hold on a minute!  I’ve been looking for you,” Paul told him.

“Yeah, well you found me.  What up?”

“I was just at the school making arrangements for an assembly and I wanted to ask you and some other young people to participate.  I got a chance to talk to Ronald and Stephanie last night, but you left before I could get to you.  So, how about it? Would you be interested in participating?”

“Nah.  I ain’t got time for that assembly crap.  That’s for the nerds—Ronald and Stephanie would be perfect.”

By now Paul was standing directly in front of him and looked at him closely.   Vernon’s eyes were glassy and red.  He refused to look directly at Paul and kept fingering something in his pocket.

“Okay, Vernon.  Since when did a school assembly classify as “crap” and why do you call Ronald and Stephanie nerds?  I thought you all were friends.”

“We was, but you know, things change,” Vernon responded sullenly.  “I don’t need no assembly in school trying to tell me anything.  Those things are always so lame.”

“Look at me, Vernon.  Look at me!” He was close enough to Vernon to reach out and grab him, but he didn’t.  “What is going on with you?  You’re skipping school, your grades are failing, and you’re standing here high as a helium-filled balloon.”

“Man, I don’t know what you talking about,” Vernon started, but Paul interrupted him.

“Don’t even try to deny it.  I know the symptoms and signs.  Working at the rehab center with kids for the last nine years has taught me a great deal.  I do know how to recognize the signs when someone is using.  So, what are you using?  And like I said, don’t try to deny it.”

Vernon gave him a dirty look and then shrugged his shoulders.  “What’s it to you?  I ain’t bothering you none?”

“What…are…you…using?” Paul repeated, firmly stating each word.

“Okay, okay!  It’s no big deal.  I’m just smoking a little weed, that’s all!” Vernon shouted, angrily.  “Man, get off my back, you not my father.”

“No, I’m not your father.  I came looking for you because I wanted to talk to you before I talked to your father.  And the weed—it is a big deal.  I almost lost my life after smoking some weed—my little indiscretion cost my parents a fortune and me a scholarship.  So, don’t tell me, ‘a little weed is no big deal’.  Any weed at all is a big deal, the sale and use of it is illegal and you are too young to get strung out on it.” He watched him fidgeting with his hand in his pocket.  “What’s in your pocket that has you more interested in it than in what I’m saying?”

“Ain’t none of your business what’s in my pocket!”  Vernon pulled his hand out of his pocket and was clenching his fist.

“Oh, I’m making it my business.  And what’s next…?—I see your balled up fist.  You think you can take me on?”  Now, Paul did grab Vernon by his collar, pushing him back against the pillar of the bridge.

Vernon was choking and couldn’t breathe and he tried to pry Paul’s hands from around his neck, but couldn’t.  Paul relaxed his hold on him, but didn’t completely let him go.

“Now, I’ll ask you again. What’s in your pocket?”

“Come on man.  I told you.  A little weed,” Vernon wheezed his response.

“Pull it out your pocket!”

Vernon hesitated and Paul tightened his grip.

“Okay, okay, here!” Vernon held up the bag in his hand.  What he had was not “a little weed, but enough for him to sell and make some serious money.

Paul let Vernon go and snatched the bag out of his hand. When he opened it, he discovered 15 tiny zip-lock packets of weed.  He was still blocking Vernon’s escape so he just looked at him disgustedly.

“Do you know how you’re messing up your life with this garbage? Do you?  I should just throw it in the river, but I really wouldn’t want to destroy the fish.  Not like you’re destroying your life.  And your father—what would he say about this?”

“Man, leave my father out of this.  He’s got enough problems of his own.”

“Vernon, I can’t leave your father out of this.  He has to be told.  Now the question is—who’s going to tell him, me or you?”

“I ain’t telling him nothing and he won’t believe you!”

“He will when I provide him with the evidence.  I took a picture of you and the guy that ran off.  Just what do you think he’ll make of that?”

Now, Vernon was scared.  With his father’s temper and all of that secret stuff going on with him, he knew he was in trouble, but his immaturity and lack of real bravado wouldn’t let him back down.

“Go ahead!  Tell him.  Show him all the pictures you want to.  He’ll listen to me and then blame everything on you.  Try him!”

Deceptive Storms Excerpt 4

Paul Anderson, the greatest athlete known in the community high school, had been awarded all sorts of scholarships to college and had many offers from various colleges.  It was the spring just before he graduated that things fell apart.  He and some of his buddies had been out celebrating their impending graduation and all of their accomplishments in high school.  When someone pulled out a joint, at first Paul refused—thinking about all he had ahead of him.  After a while, someone dared him to take a drag.  Never one to resist a dare, he accepted the joint and inhaled deeply, sputtering as he coughed.  The other guys laughed at him, but his eyes were smarting and his lungs burning.  He didn’t see anything funny.  The longer he sat, watching them pass the joint, the calmer he became until he finally took another hit.  This time, he didn’t sputter or cough, he just sat back and grinned stupidly.  By the time he got ready to go home, he couldn’t focus.  The world seemed to be moving faster than he was and he was trying to catch up.  He heard laughter faintly, but he couldn’t see who was laughing.  They all appeared to be far away. Finally, he heard someone say, “we gotta take him home.  He can’t drive like that.”  Unfortunately, they didn’t move fast enough. Paul had walked out the door, keys in-hand.  He struggled to get into the car and to get the door open, but he finally got the car started and headed home.  That’s all he remembered of that fateful night.

When he woke up two months later, he discovered that he had totaled his car and had been in a coma for the last two months.  Doctors confirmed the drugs in his system and he was ticketed for that and his license was suspended since he had a probationary license.    Once he woke up from the coma, he was in rehab for another month, learning to walk all over again.  While there, he experienced first-hand what drugs and alcohol could do to a person and to their families.  There were a number of addicted teens in the rehab, struggling to overcome—their addictions and their family’s disappointments.  While he could sympathize with their plights, he had to deal with his own.  His family wasn’t rich and they incurred an enormous hospital bill for his care and their car insurance rates when through the roof.  He was able to graduate with his classmates, but college had to wait because of the publicized accident and the drugs in his system, scholarships were revoked as were offers from the colleges.

He spent a few months in a wheelchair and suffered the agony of watching his parents, deal with his situation.  They didn’t say anything-nothing, and that made it all worse.  He would have understood if they had yelled or screamed at him or even beat him, but they said nothing.  They just looked at him and shook their heads, sadly.  Of course they were glad he was alive, but the thought that their son was on drugs devastated them.  It took him a long time to earn their trust.  But he did.  He never forgot that night and how easily a person could slip into dark behavior.  Fortunately, his disability was not permanent.  With constant therapy and a determination to overcome, he did.  He worked to put himself through college and never again, took life for granted, grateful for the second chance he’d been given; especially after he saw the damage to his car.  Only a miracle kept him from being killed.

Working to pay for college was a blessing and one he took to heart.  He ended up working for the rehab center where he had been a patient.  He understood the struggles, the temptations, and the desire to get out from under.  His preference was to work specifically with teenagers who were addicted to drugs. He thought that he could better relate to them and when he made a change—to live for Jesus—nothing could convince him otherwise.  Most of the young people were able to relate to him, but then there were a few who thought he was just too straight-laced to understand them.  No matter what he did, he couldn’t get through to these few, but thankfully, there were more he reached than not.

It was his work with teens at the rehab center that first got the attention of Pastor Cal.  He had been attending church when Pastor Dee and Pastor Cal arrived in London.  After a few months, he had been approached by Pastor Cal to work with the youth at the church.  Paul had never thought about a call of ministry on his life, but he prayed before giving Pastor Cal an answer and was then shown in the Word and in his spirit, God’s will for his life.  He had completed a course in ministry and had been ordained, ready to do the work.

Walk In The Light

“The Lord will guard the feet of His faithful servants…” (I Samuel 2:9).

If we are truly children of the Most High God and want to see His very best for us come to pass in our lives, we should watch where we go.

We should not be found in those places where the rest of this passage of scripture says, “the wicked in dark places shall be silenced.” Where are the dark places? Any place where we “think” we should hide or be “undercover agents” is a dark place and that is not just to be taken literally. No, we should not be hanging out at the bars, the dope houses or the whore houses or anywhere else where our beliefs come under question. We cannot “say”, “I’m a blood-bought, bible-toting, tongue-talking, holy ghost-filled Christian, and then “do” everything that every one else is doing (in the dark). “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the good and the evil.”

When we are where we are supposed to be, God has our backs. When we dare to dwell in dark places–and that includes dark places in our thought life–we are on our own and the “works of darkness,” set us up for judgment and for God to silence us!

My brothers and sisters, walk in the light, and be assured of God’s protection!

The Gene Pool

If we look closely at some of the tragic events in our society, we cannot help but wonder, what makes people do the things they do?

What makes a police officer decide to play God and kill people out of some distorted sense of revenge?

What makes a son decide to shoot up a school, killing innocent children who could not have possibly caused him any harm?

What makes a teacher (male or female) ruin a young person’s life by engaging in illicit sexual activity?

What makes a mother snuff out the life of a child she birthed?

What makes a father force his children to endure unwanted sexual advances or engagement?

What makes children (adult and younger) decide to kill their parents?

What makes old white men decide to kidnap children who couldn’t possibly do anything to appease them?

What makes people decide to pick up an assault rifle and randomly shoot people who don’t even know them?

The answer to these questions quite simply is—the influence of demonic activity in the atmosphere.  People are subject to the influence of satanic influence when it is embedded in their genes, or when they refuse to believe in God and live according to His Word!  Whether people believe this or not is really not the issue.  The real issue is how we combat senseless killings and destruction of families in our society.

For every person who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other ungodly behavior, every time you participate, the devil is laughing at you.  Can you picture him now?  Every time you pick up a crack pipe, inhale marijuana, swallow a pill, keep a bottle tilted, lose money gambling, give into the desire to steal, or hop into bed with someone for illicit and immoral sex—he’s raring back—laughing his butt off because you were such easy prey. Can you hear him? Look at your life!  You’re going nowhere fast except deeper into the rut you’re digging and don’t even know it.  You’re creating disaster after disaster because you don’t have enough sense to see how your actions are impacting your family and your community.  You’re angry at life because you refuse to wake-up and acknowledge that you have allowed the enemy to take charge of your life.  Look into the mirror and get a grip!  Just because members of your family didn’t shake the devil’s influence, doesn’t mean you can’t.  Just because your daddy was stupid and mean—doesn’t mean you have to be.  Just because your mama was a prostitute and a drug addict—doesn’t mean you have to follow in her footsteps.  What’s really in your genes?

When we accept Jesus Christ, we accept our place in the kingdom as joint-heirs with Christ.  We develop a Christ-like nature—a nature that desires to please God and not flesh.  When we acknowledge that we can do absolutely nothing without Christ in our lives, we set ourselves in position to receive God’s best and we no longer allow the enemy to influence us into doing ungodly things.

Today is the day because tomorrow might just be too late.  Are you ready?

Repent of anything that you know would not please God and turn to Him to direct your path in all things.  Believe in your heart that Jesus came to earth to bring us back into right relationship with the Father, accept Him as your Personal Savior, and determine to live a life that can only bring you the rewards waiting for you from heaven to enjoy here on earth.  God’s goodness and love is in your genes—why are you waiting?

Put It Down!

Whatever is keeping you from getting where you want to go, put it down.

Whatever is causing confusion in your home, on your job, or in your community, put it down.

Whatever leads you to think you have a right to take a life, put it down.

Whatever leads you to think you have a right to physically abuse someone else, put it down.

Put down the crack pipe!

Put down the weed!

Put down the cigarette!

Put down the alcohol!

Put down your hand (fist)!

Put down the gun!

Put your ego on the shelf, start listening to those who are wiser than you, and start doing what is right in the sight of God–not you! That is–if you want put down the devil and his evil ways!