Planted by God or Men?

Planted by God or Men?

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For said, ‘Honor your father and mother and “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. They worship in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ “ Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into the someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will both into a pit.” Matthew 15:1-14 NIV

The Word of God speaks loudly and pierces the hearts of all who truly love Him and desire to please Him. And since it does, we are without excuse–we cannot allow the hypocrites to teach us anything when they have learned nothing. We cannot afford to allow the blind to lead us anywhere. 

False teaching will always be exposed along with the false teachers and apparently–there are many.

Yet once again, I find myself propelled to dismantle the false notion being promoted that God chose trump or that Jesus appointed him or that Jesus showed up at the polls and voted trump into office.

The most misused or misquoted segment of scripture people have used to “support their fallacy” has been Romans 13:1,2 without giving heed to the rest of the passage. Now, I believe that Paul spoke with the authority and under the anointing God gave him, but he is not a substitute for Jesus nor is he part of the divinity. Paul was a spokesman–taught under the law, and rose in the Spirit of God to teach truth for the day in which they lived.

God can and will use anyone who is willing to be used by Him. Paul is the greatest example of that we’ll probably ever know–and that’s because of his experience with God on the road to Damascus.

Unless a person has had a “Damascus Road” experience–which fueled their knowledge and desire to please God–they are not true representatives of who God is and anyone who teaches that they are–is a false teacher and hypocrite. 

The truth of what I’m saying will soon be revealed publicly and then I wonder how all those false teachers will feel–those who lied to their congregations–pushing agenda of man’s making and not God’s.

Anyone who is of God–promotes love not hate; peace not war; and understands the command we have to defend the rights of the poor and needy, not the rich and greedy. God never tells us anywhere in His Word that we–mere human beings–are to exercise control over people, but we should promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ–so when they receive Holy Spirit–they are controlled by Him.

I suggest that in the coming days, people who have falsely stated that trump is God’s choice for president, should meditate on God’s Word–not what the false teachers are saying, and hear God. Surely, what God plants is not easily uprooted, but what man plants–is a hit and miss situation. It’s a maybe and we know that because of what nature reveals to us. Some people plant and things grow because of their “green thumbs” and some people plant and things die.

Regardless of the false teaching, I will rely upon God’s Word as I continue to endeavor to serve the nation as its next president. I don’t expect God to vote for me, but I am seeking His direction in all that I do and in the end, only those showing up at polls will determine my fate and the fate of others. Pause–and think about that.




When God Has Spoken!

When God Has Spoken!

Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.”  For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 1:16-20 NIV

Pigs love wallowing in the mud, getting dirty and actually cooling themselves off. But many of us think pigs are the most disgusting animals since they’ll eat virtually anything and yet–how many love bacon?

When people wallow in filth and come up smelling rotten and disgusting, we tend to judge their appearance the odor emitting from them, not realizing that sometimes our superficial judgments are way off. It is simply a matter of having to give a person a chance to clean themselves up before we make any final decisions. But then–there are some people–who love to live in the muck and the mire–not for any purpose other than that’s where they choose to reside–and some people–appear to love those who dwell in the muck and smell to high heaven.

Through the prophet Isaiah, we see that God sees and knows exactly what we’re doing and why, but He’s giving us a chance to clean up our acts. We can be ceremonially (physically) clean, symbolically clean, and spiritually clean–and it’s all up to us. Are we willing to wash and be clean? Soap and water will clean us ceremonially and physically, but they have no effect on our moral compass.  We can be symbolically by committing certain acts of–cleansing–using elements other than soap and water or we can be spiritually clean, by washing ourselves in the water of The Word.

Oh–that The Word would shower us, removing everything that is not like God from our souls and minds so we would see the benefit of obeying God!

God is not blind or deaf and He warns us to take the evil deeds out of His sight and to stop doing wrong. We are to learn to do right–from a humanitarian perspective as well as a spiritual one. We are to seek justice–for all–the rich and the poor, the black and the white, every human being, without bias. We are to defend those who cannot defend themselves, the vulnerable who have lost hope–especially in our society where many things appear to be hopeless.

If we are willing to do what is required of us–no matter what others may say–and are obedient to God’s Word–that we love one another as ourselves–then we shall have hope and access to all the good in the land.

What is required of us? Repentance and a determination to live according to God’s Word. Constant communication with Him who is all we need for guidance and direction in every area of our lives. Submission to His Will and not our own–we must do things His way–if we’re to receive His benefits. We must not see ourselves superior to other human beings, but accept the fact that we are made in His image, bleed red, and have the same needs–security, food, and shelter. And since we do not live in isolation, we must learn to live in harmony and peace with one another.

When God speaks to our hearts through His Word are we listening? Or have we become so hard-hearted that nothing He says to us, matters?

For the benefit of all mankind regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or belief--God has spoken and if we want to see a change in our society–across the land, we must be wiling to hear and obey.

Speak, Lord–for Your true servants are listening, willing and ready to obey!

How To Solve The Problems!

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:19,20 NIV

Is there anyone in agreement about what we want God to do, really?

We talk a good game about how to solve problems–if this group of people would just do this and this group would just do that, we’d solve the problems. What problems are we solving when we can’t even agree as to how to solve them?

Can we solve world hungry, bigotry, unrest, poverty by talking about it? Can we push uneducated people into getting an education without their agreement? Can families create peace and harmony without agreement (and compromise)? If agreement is needed for in-home stability and peace, why don’t we understand that agreement is also needed to have peace in the land?

So, let’s agree with one another (without adding any “buts”) and if we have to, grab a third to see God work in solving problems:

Let’s agree to stop committing acts of sin–all of them–and just obey God.

Let’s agree to repent–turning away from all people and situations that would tempt us to sin.

Let’s agree to seek God’s wisdom in all we say and do.

Let’s agree to love everyone–unconditionally–and stop paying attention to differences and spend more time in embracing the one thing we all have in common–we’re human beings–in need of love and a Savior.

Let’s agree to not carry gossip and stop it in its tracks when confronted with it.

Let’s agree to deliberately look for the good in all we meet instead of complaining about others.

Let’s agree to help others overcome poverty and illiteracy by any means we have accessible to us.

Let’s agree to be the examples of the Living Word so all may know who we serve and how much He loves us.

Let’s agree to be people of integrity and provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Let’s agree not to harbor any ill-will against anyone.

Let’s agree to disagree with others when compromise is not possible, agreeably–without anger or animosity reigning in the midst.

And finally, let’s agree to allow God to reign in our hearts, our homes, and communities as we pray for the nations so there will be peace in the land.

Problems solved! Our God reigns!

Who’s Glorified in The Meetings?

“In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.” (I Corinthians 11:17,18 NIV)

If we use the “church” as an example of how behavior should be in any meeting, and the church does not know how to conduct itself, how can there be progress in any other type of meeting?

I feel Paul’s frustration over having to instruct–Believers–in how they should conduct themselves in church. One would think (at least I do) that if we truly believe in every Word of God and respect the authority of the Word that we would have no need to have anyone correct errant behavior. Of course, we know this is not true, not only for the church but  for various types of meetings in other venues.

In particular, I’m referencing meetings in which an elected body should know what they’re doing, but don’t and instead of seeking advice, they attempt to run things like a dictatorship. When things start falling apart, they want to cry foul because their leadership style has not drawn others into the fray. God is not the author of confusion and where there is confusion, He is not present.

When business meetings–of any type–become embroiled in personality conflicts, rumors and he say, she say commentaries, racial divides and social cliques–people have lost sight of the purpose and nothing is accomplished and then we wonder why. If our purpose in meeting for any reason is not to create an environment in which there is productive, forward movement obtained in harmony and unity, our meeting is in vain and we are wasting our time.

Anyone who takes on a position of leadership should know what they’re doing and if they don’t, they should know how to obtain the information they need to know from other resources and proceed as expeditiously as possible. Instead of making excuses for not getting the job done, people need to find reasons to get them done. If we keep in mind that everything we do should glorify God, confusion in the midst of meetings would not be an issue.

Is God glorified in the confusion that exist because of low-esteem and insecurity when people feel a need to belittle others or start rumors about them? No! The only glory is for the enemy who loves confusion.

When we are able to relate God’s Word to every area of our lives, we learn to move forward in peace and harmony. God does not want us to harbor ill-will towards anyone and when we do, it affects our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. So, instead of making noise to bring attention to ourselves, let’s practice seeking Him in the matter of all things and when there is disagreement, solve it in all Godliness, not pettiness.

Teach The Children!

“All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.” (Isaiah 54:13 NIV)

Have we dropped the ball? Are we know longer demonstrating what The Lord has taught in our own behavior? Are we the reason the children are the way they are?

We have all been “children” at sometime or another and unfortunately, some fully physically grown adults are still children. They were not taught the basics of socialization--common courtesy, sharing, consideration, respect, self-control, and self-respect. If we didn’t learn these as children, chances are we never will.

I remember when I first started working at one of the high schools and I was trying to squeeze past a young lady blocking my path. I said, “Excuse me.” Her response was, “Excuse you?” and then she sat there staring at me like I’d grown horns. She had no idea what I meant.

Too many of the children in schools, at home and in the general public take their “anger and frustration” with them, everywhere they go.Why are they angry? Their home life is less than desirable. We have kids going hungry, being abused, sleeping on mattresses without linen, sleeping in their clothes because they’ve never had pajamas, and then they have mamas who have different live-in boyfriends every other week, there’s never enough food or money, some in the dark without heat or light and then mama’s boyfriends are abusing the children and daring them to tell it.

It is not their fault that their parents never learned to parent, but someone has to teach them right from wrong and how to get along with others in this society because we do not live alone in isolation.

This happens because the parents were not taught when they were children and so they cannot teach their children anything worthwhile, but those of us who know, can and should teach them whenever we find a need to do so, wherever we are; it is our responsibility to teach the children in the ways of the Lord, by example not just by what we say!

So, let’s make a pledge–a commitment–to correct lovingly (if we can) and show those children who were never taught the things that they ought to know and do, so our communities and school and homes, too will know peace and harmony will reside in the midst of it all–Let’s Teach The Children!

My name is Mary M. Hall-Rayford. As an educator, parent, grandparent and child of the Most High, I approve this message!


“He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” (Luke 11:17 NLT)

Who knew? Jesus knew what those around Him were thinking and He addressed their thoughts. Division results in failure, unity results in success and forward moving.

When there is division in a family and people take sides-one against another–there are bound to be hurt feelings and frustrations that lead to actions some–never forgive or forget.

When there is division in society–one group against another–there are bound to be problems that create gaps so wide they may never be closed.

Where there is division in churches–the deacons against the pastor–or the congregants against the deacons–however the division is made–only chaos and confusion will be the end result, causing fracturing and unforgiveness in the minds of some.

So what happens when there is division in the Body of Christ? More chaos and confusion, widening gaps that negate a desire to understand differing points of view, more refusal to forgive–those things that actually have nothing to do with being a Believer, but more about form and fashion (religiosity).

Division–disagreements that lead to not focusing on what is necessary–leads to a malfunctioning entity–no matter what it is–at home, in society, in churches, and especially in the Body of Christ. We are admonished to come together–in unity–to address the ills of our society and communities–willing to hear one another and find common ground by which problems can be resolved and no one has to be angry over the results–when we allow Holy Spirit to lead us.

A divided house will fall, just as a divided church will not succeed or a divided nation! If we want to see success–in every area of the lives of people, we must unite in Truth and allow Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives so we can live in peace and harmony, united by Love!