How We Avoid Hate!

How We Avoid Hate!

To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Proverbs 16:1,2

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Better a little with righteousness than much with injustice.  7,8

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. 18-21

A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good. 28, 29

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. 32

One of the most significant ways we can avoid situations that lead to hate is to understand how hate manifests itself. Hate doesn’t just show up out of the blue–it is planted, fertilized and nurtured to fruition by those who are insecure, fearful, and resentful (and incapable of rational thought).

People who have severe doubts about their own ability to accomplish things resent those who are confident and their lives demonstrate their confidence. Generally speaking, they will fertilize their insecurities by blaming others for what they have not achieved, and the more they blame others, the more they nurture their hatred. They teach their children to hate others because of fear–not knowledge–and those fears for the most part are baseless because insecure people–don’t venture far from their base of comfort. In other words, they have not lived a full life–one in which they ventured far from home and experienced life outside their parameters of their comfort zone.

The same people are incapable of understanding that we can be passionate in our disagreement with others, but we don’t have to allow the disagreement to lead to hate. We must understand that it is our right to disagree, but we can disagree, agreeably which won’t lead to wars or rumors of wars or bullying rhetoric. Hate spreads when people who are incapable of rational thought never realize that they are not always right and that others don’t have to agree with them. They have yet to understand what “individuality” means.

If God had wanted clones–He could have created them. We would all look alike, think alike and never have any need to use our brains or vocal cords.

What we must do to avoid the proliferation of hatred, bigotry, and senseless fear is to realize we all have something to contribute to society in productive, constructive ways and none should be ignored or disregarded simply because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or any other factor. We must realize that God created one race of people–the human race with one blood surging through all–it’s red–no matter the color of skin is.

With insecurities–comes the tendency to think a person or a group of people is superior to another. In order to perpetuate the lies–they create all sorts of false data, write books with suspicious documentation to prove they are superior to others. We see this in the beliefs of all the “white nationalists” or other hate groups who actually believe they are superior to every other group of people. They do not know or understand that the cradle of civilization began on the continent of Africa and that skin tones changed as man migrated to cooler climates. Education would be extremely beneficial to debunk all these myths, but for those who hate–irrationally–they tend to think that having an education is synonymous with being elitist. Therefore, they revel in their ignorance and nurture their hate.

There’s an adage that says, “ignorance is bliss” and we can see that being true for those who choose to blame others for their shortcomings and positions in life. They’re happy with their ignorance and would rather hate than learn to live peaceably in society.

We know that when we disagree (especially in households), we should never allow the sun to go down and we’re still angry. Be passionate in disagreement, but ready to concede the possibility of being wrong and be willing to do the research to make a verifiable point and not just rely upon “an opinion” with no legs.

We can avoid planting the seeds of hatred and bigotry by recognizing that we are part of a greater world and we don’t have a right to expect others to live  by what we think or believe. We can educate ourselves (with all of the accessible technology) and not hold others accountable for what we don’t accomplish. We can learn to love–unconditionally–just as God loves us and with that love–there’s no room for hate. We can stop fertilizing and nurturing hatred by accepting responsibility for what we do and say or for what we don’t do. We are responsible for everything we say–good or bad–and everything we do–good or bad and we cannot blame others for our actions or inactions.

When we learn to critically analyze why we think what we think, believe what we believe, or do what we do–we’ll discover there is more to life and living than what we think we know.

 

Soon and Very Soon!

Soon and Very Soon!

A psalm. My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues.With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship. Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may blot out their name from the earth.  For he never thought of doing a kindness, but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the brokenhearted. He loved to pronounce a curse— may it come back on him. He found no pleasure in blessing— may it be far from him. He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil.May it be like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt tied forever around him. May this be the LORD’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me. Psalm 109:1-20 NIV

I am #TheResistance

Did God honor this prayer for David? Yes, He did and He will honor every prayer we pray, when the prayer aligns with His Word. Contrary to the thoughts of some about prayer and praying for others–we see in this passage–there is a time when we stop expecting God to change people. People will never change people; they only change when they see a need to change and that from within. So for those who are telling people to pray for 45--it is an exercise in futility since he sees no need to change.

What should our prayer be then? My prayer is that The Lord will bring an end to this atrocious situation soon, by whatever means He sees fit to use. I know there are those who think–“give him a chance.”

He’s had a chance to show us who he is and he has. He is a bumbling buffoon who is out to benefit himself and no one else. His billionaire friends are using him and he’s too foolish to see it because he wants to be “accepted.” He doesn’t realize that people are laughing behind his back and the only people who think anything of him are his base–the ones who are undereducated and ill-informed. They look upon him as some kind of god and can’t see what’s right in front of them. We know this is true because they think he speaks truth and the actuality is–he and truth have no relationship whatsoever. They have never met and every time he opens his mouth–the discerning majority population–know it.

While I was praying for those who are going to lose the most–his fan base–I have stopped praying for them. They want to idolize a man who will soon be cause of their having toxins in their water, air and no oversight as to what is put into their foods. They’re going to lose access to the type of medical coverage they need because they were too foolish to know–the Affordable Care Act-was deemed Obamacare by bigoted Republicans. Now, they’re fit to be tied because they screamed about getting rid of Obamacare, not knowing it was the healthcare they needed. It is really sad to see such hatred for a person that  don’t realize the good that was done for them.

Now, if we’re watching closely to what’s happening aside from the distractions 45 creates, we’ll see North Korea and Russian attempt to make a move against the United States. This is what giving 45 a chance has done.

If I don’t live beyond today, I can safely say, my destination is secure and heaven is my home. Where 45 will end up is anyone’s guess, but I doubt there will be a mansion waiting for him.

Nevertheless, soon and very soon, Lord–remove the oppressive fascist from our midst and when he is found to guilty of treason, remove any lingering doubts from the minds of any who thought he cared about–the average working people. And let his fall from grace and public opinion be seen worldwide so the world will know–we–the majority of Americans–are not like him.

Gallup’s daily poll, which is based on a three-day rolling average, has Trump’s approval rate at 38 percent and his disapproval rate at 56 percent, with a 3-point margin of error.

And though the Republican party approves of his performance (entertainment I guess), by 87%–the overall public opinion of his job performance is lower than any other president’s before him. The reality of the situation is this–45 is not doing anything other than making noise and signing whatever is put in front of him. He has no idea how to govern and others are making all the important decisions for him because he doesn’t have a clue. Then there are those who “complained about Obama taking vacations more than once a year” and this idiot apparently thinks the job of a president is a 9-5 week day only situation and has spent more time doing nothing in 4 weeks than Obama did in 8 years. And the taxpayers–those of us paying taxes (he doesn’t) are footing the bill to the tune of over 10 million dollars for the past four weeks, when Obama (who paid taxes) only spent 96 million in 8 years. Get a calculator all you loyalists and see what your loyalty to a buffoon is going to cost America!

For those who put political party before country–May God deal with you in a manner that will make you remember–the welfare of the country should always come before a party’s agenda. But if you don’t know–you will–soon and very soon! As it has been said, “Patriotism is loyalty to country–not a president.”

Who Is The Real Enemy?

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. James 4:1-4 NIV

When we choose to live a life in opposition to God, we end up with desires that yet remain unfulfilled and when those desires burn within, we adopt behaviors and attitudes that create even more chaos. At some point in our lives, we must come to terms with the fact that it is our desires–our obsession with controlling others and bending them to our will–that is the true enemy that lurks in our society, killing and destroying hope and joy.

Many never see the fulfillment of answered prayer because of wrong motives when seeking God and asking Him for anything and because they do not get what they want–they steal or kill to get it because the desire burning within them is greater than the desire to do what is right.

People kill other people when those they desire do not share their feelings or when they cannot change what they do that will please them. How many husbands or wives kill others to free themselves? How many insecure people destroy the lives of others because they cannot see beyond what they want and destroy entire families? For it is insecurities that motivate hatred and jealousy, but many are not willing to admit or own their weaknesses or shortcomings.

Hatred is the result of people who are insecure within themselves and want to be somebody God never intended them to be. We see this whenever someone is killed by those who have been brain-washed into believing their religious beliefs are superior to others. There is no superior religion, but there is an excellent relationship all can enjoy with God.

If we carefully examine and analyze what we “desire” we would discover that if our desires do not align with God’s Word, we become miserable and out of the misery, rises hatred, jealousy, envy and desire to make others suffer. Why? Because so many lack maturity in understanding that God did not intend for us to be clones. He created us all uniquely individual, with varying gifts and abilities–designed to make the “whole” better and effective.

So the real enemy in our midst is the “desire” to do or go beyond God’s plans for our lives. For when we go beyond God, we tend to want what the world has or wants for us and if we become carnal–friends and followers of those in the world who do not have a relationship with God, we set ourselves up for destruction.

Therefore, to eradicate the enemy within–we must see ourselves as we are and be willing to change who we are and our desires–not demanding that others change who they are. In the end, God will judge all matters and that includes the desires of our heart–especially when they lead to destruction.

When We Fail, Who Do We Blame?

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:18, 20,21 NIV)

The Word provides us with much insight about wisdom and pride. Not only through the proverbs, but through James who says, “If any lack wisdom, ask of God who gives liberally and won’t upbraid (find fault with) us for asking” (James 1:5 paraphrased) It would appear from this simple statement that James understood all that was said about wisdom through the insight given to Solomon and other sages.

Wisdom is referenced as a  female in several places, but the female reference is also used to warn against adultery and other folly.

A wise person receives correction and instruction from wise counsel. Only a fool rebels against correction and instruction.

But who is wiser than God? No, not one human being is wiser than God. God gave Solomon wisdom and Solomon shared what God had given him, but he never assumed he was wiser than God.

Proverbs 4:5-9 NIV

vs. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.

vs. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.

vs. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

vs. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

vs. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

When we ask God for wisdom–insight to solving problems and addressing issues, we must not only hear what He says, but know how to apply what He says. For instance, we can obtain information and not know what to do with it and if we don’t know what to do with the information we have, what good is it?

If we establish guidelines and protocols to ensure order in all that we do, yet we do not follow the protocol and chaos erupts, what was the point of establishing the guidelines in the beginning?

Many motivational speakers, successful corporations–large and small–understand that without a sound plan and adherence to the plan–success is not possible.

Jesus tells us in another passage of scripture that,”a wise person considers the cost of building anything before they start to build.”(Luke 14:28 paraphrased).

On the flip side of exercising wisdom is the conduct of a fool who allows his pride to rule. And there is much said about fools in Proverbs,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV),

“The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:2 NIV)

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” (Proverbs 15:7 NIV)

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)

What I’m taking from all that is said about wisdom, knowledge and fools, is that if we don’t know God or know how to seek Him when making decisions, we set ourselves for failure because we allow our pride to keep us from seeking Him.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 NIV)

Herein is the heart of the matter. When we think that our plans can succeed without wise counsel or consideration of all involved in the planning, our plans are doomed to failure. Though they may appear to succeed for a moment; the final outcome tells the whole story.

The difference between success and failure of any entity or individual lies in the ability one has to set aside pride (the “I” mentality) and to seek wisdom from wise counsel. If we do not think we need to heed wise counsel and instruction, then our failure is our own and we must look within to determine how we change the course of events.

Are we wise enough to seek God today for every decision we make or will we allow our pride to cause us to fail? We are the only ones who can make that decision for God does not make anyone do anything.

I pray God’s wisdom will overflow into your hearts today and pride will never be the reason for failure in any area of your lives.

Hostile Roots!

“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7,8 NIV)

We are three part beings–mind, body, spirit. Our spirits live in our natural bodies and our minds (our soulish realm) is either going to be controlled by our spirits or our flesh (carnal realm). There is a war between our spirits–given by God–and our flesh–flesh wants what it wants and our spirits want what God wants.

We eat when we are hungry because our flesh dictates that need and all other fleshly desires–thirst, emotions, behavior. Our spirits line up with The Word and we are able to hear God when He speaks–allowing Him to determine how we respond to situations–sometimes. At other times, we allow the enemy’s spirit to influence what we do and say, which ignites fleshly reactions.

Notice what Paul says, the mind governed (ruled) by the flesh is hostile to God and when we allow our flesh to govern us, we cannot please God.

Now, I realize not everyone is concerned about pleasing God, but rather they are more concerned with pleasing the dictates of their flesh. God is not pleased, but they are and their pleasure is temporary at best.

For those who desire to please God, we must not allow flesh (that carnal nature) to govern us, but rather we allow our spirits, led by Holy Spirit to direct us in all we say and do. When we allow Holy Spirit to lead us, we cannot do what is wrong or hostile to God and therefore, we please Him.  

When we are hostile to people (and to God), it is because we have allowed our flesh to reign and flesh desires to do what flesh desires. If we get angry, we want revenge. If we are fearful, we want others to be afraid. If we are jealous, we want others to hurt. If we are insecure, we want to blame others for every downfall in our lives. If we have low self-esteem, we misinterpret everything someone else says or does. This is how we react to situations when we allow our flesh to reign and whenever flesh reigns, we end up with regrets. 

We choose (God always gives us choice) what happens to us on a daily basis and it is all determined by whether we want to please God or flesh. Are you trying to please God or flesh today?

“Trapped” is Now Available

My latest book, Trapped is now available through Amazon.com, Xlibris.com, and Barnes and Noble–ahead of schedule.  Hooray!  Can’t wait to hear from those who read it.  This book has it all–the issues which cause some women to feel trapped because of their pasts.  Excerpts are available for your perusal at http://maryhall-rayford.blogspot.com before you buy!

Chapter 11 (excerpt from Trapped)

“And maybe,” Brett continued, “You decided that children were not your priority. It happens. There are a lot of women who really don’t want the traditional family life. They want their careers and nothing else matters. Perhaps, that’s where you are.”

“And maybe,” Taryn croaked, her voice dry, “We should all just mind our own business. After all, who are we to tell anyone anything. We’re all here because we just as messed up as the next one.”

“Not all of us,” Lorena said sarcastically. “I don’t have any problems, other people think I do. But look, Paris—not everyone has to like motherhood, but you made ‘em, now suck it up and deal with it.”

“Wait a minute,” Brett said defiantly to Lorena. Just who do you think we are? You ain’t no better than the rest of us. You’re here ain’t you?” She turned to Paris. “Since I haven’t been in your shoes, it’s hard to say what I would do, but I do know this. I’d love to have a little one in my life that would love me back, just because. I know, I know—raising three kids is hard work, but look at it this way. One day, they won’t need so much of your time. And if you spend time with them now, shaping and molding them—the way your parents did you—they’ll be some terrific kids. And besides, you can always go back to work when they get older. No one can take your skills or your brains from you. They’re yours to keep.”

Evangeline stopped writing. She could hardly believe her ears. Brett, of all people, was becoming the counselor and was doing a great job of it. She looked at the women and noticed that they were nodding their heads in agreement and appeared more relaxed than she had ever seen any of them before in their private sessions. She wrote in the margin of her notebook, “group really works”. She cleared her throat before speaking.

“I’ve noticed that many were taking a lot of notes and some, not so many. Most of you have had something to say, but then some have had little to say. Let’s explore those reasons. Farrow, let’s start with you. How do you feel about this session?”

Farrow looked around the room before speaking, directly to Evangeline. “I don’t think I belong here. These people have problems I can’t even imagine. I mean, I haven’t been molested by my family, I don’t have any kids, and I don’t want to change my sex. I date when I can, but that’s not a priority in my life. I don’t see how listening to them is going to help me get a better job so I can pay my bills. I’m tired of sneaking around doing stuff that could land me in jail.”

Once again, Brett took that as a cue for her to take the reins. She sat up straight and looked at Farrow directly. “If you don’t want to go to jail, stop doing dumb stuff. That’s your choice. It’s also your choice as to when you’ll get a better paying job. Go to school and stop feeling sorry for yourself. There’s a whole lot of people going to school older than you. You ain’t got no excuse. You got no children getting in your way and no man beating you up trying to keep track of what you doing. Go to school—do something with your life. If you think somebody gonna knock on your door and offer you a better job when you don’t have no skills, you gonna be waiting a long time. I’m trying to finish college; I know how tough it can be, but I ain’t whining about it.”

“No,” Farrow replied hotly, “You sitting here whining about “family” and crying and then trying to tell everybody else what to do. Before you can give advice, you might want to take some, ‘physician heal thyself.’ I heard that somewhere. What makes you think you have all the answers for everybody else anyway?”