In Humility!

In Humility!

The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight. The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:24-33 NIV

It is with great humility that I acknowledge the quest I’ve taken upon myself is going to be the biggest challenge experienced in my life.

Though there are some who may be hesitant to grasp the reality of a potential presidential run by me, others have embraced the idea to the point of being willing to board the bandwagon that as yet, has no wheels. I am thoroughly humbled by their trust and support and candidness.

I remember saying to my walking buddy, that in this place and time (as always with me), I need people to help with my campaign, but I don’t want anyone around who is simply going to agree with everything I say. I need people in my life right now who will question everything I do–to ignite critical thinking about everything I say or do. I’m not afraid of correction and when I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

There is much I do not know about undertaking the challenges of a presidential run, but I’m an avid researcher and know how to say, “Uncle” and call upon others who have the knowledge and expertise that I don’t. I’m willing to learn and work hard to earn the trust and respect of those who believe in me and to maintain their trust and respect.

One person expressed their concern about me risking trading my faith because of all the unethical behavior associated with politics or compromising my stance with regard to biblical principles that I teach and write about–prolifically. I appreciate her concern and addressed it and she was assured that I would do nothing without putting the issue before The Lord and would obey Him.

Now, I realize that my belief in the Bible and relationship with Jesus Christ may cause some to halt–mid-stream in a desire to support my run and I can certainly understand it. But let me say this much to clear the air before we even start to put those wheels on the bandwagon. I have not changed my views about what God has said and won’t change my views about what God has said. I recognize that people–every human being capable of making a logical decision–have a right to do so without my intervention. Though I may not agree with their lifestyle or decisions, none of that will stop me from loving them as a human being and praying for them to receive God’s best for their lives.

God is pro-choice (giving us all free-will and not forcing us to do anything) and therefore, I am pro-choice. This does not mean I am pro-abortion, nor does it mean that I or anyone else has a right to tell anyone else what to do with their lives. I believe that every woman has a right to make the best decision she can about her life and I know there are situations in which an abortion is the right choice and the only person who has to live with the choice, is the person making the decision–not me or others.

I cannot see myself–as a Born-Again Believer–attempting to force my views upon others when I don’t have to live their life. I am concerned about all life–especially the lives of babies, mothers, children, senior citizens,  and students and know that it is the responsibility of the Believer to take defend the rights of the poor, vulnerable and needy. So while I admit, I do not understand the choices some people make (and I’m sure that’s equally true in how others feel about me), I can respect their right to make decisions about their lives. As long as a person’s rights don’t infringe upon mine or mine infringe upon them–we’re good. The wisest people know that whether we agree about anything or not, there are consequences for everything we do that will impact our lives either negatively or positively.

I’ve also been reminded how the enemy will work overtime in trying to dig up dirt in an effort to create animosity against me. I know what people cannot find to undermine me they will manufacture in an attempt to discredit me. I can’t stop them. People can say whatever they want to say and nothing they say defines truth about me or others. Therefore, they can have at it. I do not have to respond to foolishness or stupidity or trumped up allegations about anything and I won’t. As I pointed out to a couple of people–my life is “literally” an open book. Anything, anyone wants to know me–good, bad, indifferent–can be found in one of my books or in a blog post and they’re all available online. I have nothing to hide.

Knowing the challenges I’ll be facing over the coming months will certainly keep me communicating with my Daddy and because He loves me, He’ll guide me every step of the way. If by chance I happen to misunderstand something He’s telling me, Holy Spirit will be right there to remind me and set me back on track.

Father,

Thank You for wisdom and insight and humility to understand I need You–every hour of every day–I need You. Thank you for loving me, correcting, and my guiding me in all that needs to be done and for sending people in my direction that can and will keep the wheels on the bandwagon turning in the direction in which You would have us to go. Remind me that nothing I do or encourage others to do should be done in an effort to bring glory to anyone other than You.

In Jesus’ name I pray and thank You, Amen!

 

name recognition

Who’s Negotiating For Us?

Who’s Negotiating For Us?

Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” The LORD said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?” “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.” Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?” He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?” He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?” He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home. Genesis 18:23-33 NIV

Abraham was a great negotiator because God’s favor rested upon him.

Who has the favor of God resting upon them now–in a time of need to save millions of people–who is negotiating on their behalf? Good people obtain favor from the LORD, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes. Proverbs 12:2 NIV

Just like The Lord was willing to negotiate with Abraham for the sake of the city of Sodom, He is willing to negotiate with us–through Holy Spirit–for the sake of the millions who risk losing their healthcare because of the wicked schemes devised by those on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

For the effectual, fervent prayers of the righteous avail much. The righteous and Holy Spirit can do marvelous things for the sake of people who know Him and even those who out of ignorance don’t acknowledge Him–not the ones who reject Him, but those who never knew Him.

A righteous, just God does not judge people by those things they never knew, only what they claim to know. So when someone claims to be a Christian, but does not live a Christian life, they set themselves up for judgment more so than the persons who never claimed to know God.

The “so-called” negotiator in the WH resorts to threats and bribes in order to have his way, but those who know God, who are humbled by His love and favor, know how to please God and never resort to “the pettiness of mere mortals” in order to get what they want. We are told in God’s Word by The Word, whatever we desire is ours when we ask for it in the name of Jesus.

I therefore urge the righteous to keep being righteous and humble and to keep seeking the favor of The Lord while praying on behalf of the millions who may know or may not know Him , but will benefit from having true negotiators, negotiating for all.

And while praying, keep calling upon those in Congress letting them know where you stand on all issues that impact your life and the lives of others. If we never let them know where we stand, they’ll never know if their decisions are truly based upon the wishes of those who put them in office.

There are millions of people counting upon Congress and we who know God, know the power of negotiation is not with those sitting in seats of authority in Washington, but the One who seats on the Seat of Authority in heaven. He can and will speak to the hearts of all who are willing to hear Him and obey.

Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask that if we have favor in Your sight, that You will grant our humble petitions to keep all Americans in a position to maintain their health coverage–at an affordable cost–so none will be without and can live all the days You have determined them to live. Speak to the hearts of those in position of authority and remind them they are there because of the will of the people and not by their own design. Thank You for using even the 32 who were willing to stand on their principles–knowing how to best serve the needs of their constituents. Amen!

Humility!

Humility!

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Proverbs 15:33 KJV

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. Proverbs 18:12 KJV

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NIV

By definition–humility is not an act–an attempt to fool others, but it is the essence of sincerity demonstrated by what we say or do. Per the dictionary–the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

When we are truly sincere–saying or doing–from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks–and we don’t have to tell anyone, we are being sincere, they’ll know it by what they see or hear.

Solomon reminds us that when we have reverential fear–respect–of The Lord, we receive instruction from Him because He is the only wise person and then when we act upon the instructions given, we do not need to boast of anything–bringing attention to ourselves, but we always point people in the direction of Him and He then allows to be honored by mankind. Solomon also tells us that when a person experiences destruction (defeat) it is because of their haughty heart–arrogance in their thinking themselves superior to others. This is especially true of those who think they are a “savior” and promote themselves as such, saying things like, “I’m the only one who can fix all the wrong in the world.”

There is only one Savior and His job has already been completed on the cross. But He has given us power to do all things well through Him. When we acknowledge that it is His grace, mercy and goodness that guided us in all we do that honors Him, He honors us with favor from all we meet. Walking in God’s favor, without drawing attention to self, is the greatest knowledge in the world to me–and I know–without living to please Him, I cannot walk in His favor.

How does God honor us? I cannot speak for others, but I can certainly speak to what He’s done for me. I have obtained jobs–positions for which I did not meet the criteria–initially–but His favor was showered upon me and not only did I get the jobs, but I learned quickly and was promoted into other positions. Instead of bragging about me, I expressed an interest in the job and learning all I could to be a benefit to the place where I worked. At one job, because of my ability to get things done, within the my first year of being with the company, a promotional position was created–just for me–in order for them to adjust my salary based upon my worth to them (so my boss at that time said). That’s God’s favor–not my ability. All I did was what I knew to do.

When we are truly humble–we don’t need to broadcast, “I mean it sincerely, believe me”, rant or rave in order to get attention. God already knows our heart and when we honor Him in what we say and do, He honors us with His favor. We don’t have to beg for it or pray for it–He simply gives.

Humility–is also not a “tone of voice” especially when the words we speak have not changed their tone. We can whisper hateful, spiteful words and that is not a show of humility. True humility considers the words before they are spoken, before they hit the airwaves and are mindful of those who are going to hear them. We can shout our praise for God and demonstrate humility because it’s not about us, but about Him.

Understanding who He is and all He has done for us, ignites humility in all who love Him because our desire is to please Him and not ourselves.

Have Mercy O God!

Have Mercy O God!

Listen to what the LORD says: “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say.  “Hear, you mountains, the LORD’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the LORD has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel. “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. Micah 6:1-4 NIV

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Listen! The LORD is calling to the city— and to fear your name is wisdom— “Heed the rod and the One who appointed it. Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house, and the short ephah, which is accursed? Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights? Your rich people are violent; your inhabitants are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully. Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins. Micah 6:6-13 NIV

While many people do not believe what the prophets of old said are relevant to this day, I beg to differ. If we read–with understanding–and carefully consider how our lives today are parallel to the times when God used the prophets, we see the similarities–but will we hear and obey?

The biggest difference in what was done then and now is–God spoke through specific people warning the people–those willing to hear and speak what He said. Today, all who desire to know–have access to His Word and Holy Spirit–we have the means to hear without a middleman–if we choose to hear. When we choose to ignore God and all He has done for us–we reap the consequences of our actions and if we’re completely honest with ourselves, we can hear Him asking us the same questions.

What does He require of us–to treat others with love, mercy and justice–and to walk humbly–showing humility in all we do–not boastful or bragging about what we’ve done or said and certainly, knowing how to be empathetic and compassionate. Are we doing it?

Are those who are dishonest and cheat others going to be receive anything from God? Yes, they will receive the appropriate consequence for their actions because God sees everything we have ever done and knows everything we will ever do.

Are the rich violent–either in action themselves or provoking others to act violently towards others?  Are we lying–just to get what we want or do we know how to speak truth? Are we allowing out tongues to rule us deceitfully, hoping others will not expose the deceit? While no one has to answer these questions asked on this blog, God is waiting–for us to respond to Him with answers that are truthful and without any attempt to conceal the reality of what we do. Are we ready to answer Him?

When we attempt to conceal our lies and deceptions–they are ultimately exposed for all the world to see (or at least in front of those we were trying to deceive) and we stand naked–with nothing to cover us, nothing to shield us from the onslaught of criticism that is bound to come. So why lie and deceive? The enemy has discovered the flaws in our nature and has used them against us so he won’t be alone–in the lake of fire for all eternity. Don’t be caught with defenses down! The enemy’s job is to kill–we see the result of his influence, daily; to steal–the joy of everyone who loves; to destroy–any hope that others have for a better day; he is the father of liars–so he influences others to lie and the master of deception–always masquerading as something good until he gets close enough or has influenced enough people–to do the most horrific things we can imagine.

What can we do? Pray, pray, and pray. We pray for ourselves to hear God and then act in obedience to what He tells us and we pray for mercy–His forgiveness for our foolishness so we’ll have opportunity to get things right before Him.

Have mercy upon us, O God!

The Heart of The Humble!

The Heart of The Humble!

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. “Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Do not slander a servant to their master, or they will curse you, and you will pay for it. Proverbs 30: 5-10 NIV

The heart of humble speaks!

Think for a moment about the speaker in this passage of scripture and then read the entire chapter. Agur–acknowledges his human failings and speaks to them to others.

He understands The Word of God and warns people about attempting to change it.

He understands that lies and falsehoods–however they are cloaked with deceptive language are not acceptable.

He understands that neither riches or poverty will make a difference in how God treats people.

He understands what most people–especially our politicians, don’t–the deceptive practices–on behalf of both parties–are not acceptable to God.

Though my thoughts this morning were not to make a political statement with the scriptural reading, this fits so well, especially in light of the so-called, “regret” uttered by a person who smirks as he speaks. No humility shown whatsoever and no real apology made about all the things he’s said. And in the next breath, focuses his attention on his opponent to talk about her.

What was even more amazing to me was to see his new campaign manager, lie with a straight face, but her eyes gave her away along with the false smile that didn’t come from within.

The humble heart–speaks from the heart–and the sincerity is seen and heard. The humble heart–when it knows a wrong has been committed, will apologize–specifically–to the wrongs done. The humble heart–seeks private as well public exoneration of any act in which they are sincerely sorry about and want to make amends. The humble heart–does not seek public attention for acts of charity or compassion. The humble heart–knows God and wants to please Him, not people or a political party.

That’s what the humble heart does!

When we see what people do–in the public eye–we know whether or not they  have read The Word, understand The Word, and live The Word. We know, by what we see and hear–who truly has a humble heart and who doesn’t.

Americans are smarter than some give us credit for. We know humility when we see it and when we don’t.

 

Moving Forward!

Moving Forward!

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

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

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

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

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

Basic Amenities Denied

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

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

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

Glory Hallelujah–Love trumps hates!

Planter or Waterer?

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (I Corinthians 3:6 NASB).

Within this text we understand that Paul’s response to the church at Corinth was a reminder to them about humility. He went on to say that neither the planter or the waterer had anything to brag about because it is God who causes the growth of the church. What does this mean for the 21st Century Church? The exact same thing. None of us should get caught up with thinking we are more than we are simply because of what we say or write to people.

Whenever we do what it is we do, we usually do not know if we are planting the seed of The Gospel or watering the seed that someone else planted. Since this is true, we cannot take credit for anyone acknowledging their coming  into the knowledge of Christ, because it is not what we do, but what God does–creates a change of heart–within the person receiving the Good News.

This is a passage of scripture (the entire chapter) that many should read, over and over again–especially when they start thinking  their church is the only one people should attend. While I believe we certainly don’t need more churches, I would be hard pressed to say that any one church is the only one teaching the truth of God’s Word. There are many people who attend large churches because it is a status statement. There are some who attend small churches because they love the personal attention. Whatever a reason people attend, someone had to say something to create in them a desire to come. Chances are–it was not those in leadership who shared The Word, but someone else and God spoke to the person’s heart and guided them there.

Let’s face it–we are nothing without God. We can do nothing great without God. What we can do is our assignment–with His guidance–never knowing which role we are playing–as planter and waterer and leave the final results up to Him.

We have a job to do, so let’s get it done. Whether you are planter or waterer, you have a role to play in spreading the Good News. Let’s fill up on The Word so we can move out and see the glory of the Lord upon all who are willing to receive.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to better understand our role and create a desire in us to do all things with humility, giving You the glory for all we do.