Now Is The Time For Action!

Now Is The Time For Action!

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Psalm 10:2-12 NIV

As a strong believer in the power of prayer, I also understand that praying without taking appropriate action won’t accomplish much. Yes, we need to pray for people in times of crisis and tragedy, but we also need to take action–not just the Everyday Americans who’re praying, but the legislators who have the authority to change the way we do business and to curtail the evil nurtured in those who do not know God.

There is a time for prayer–daily, as often as one needs to talk to God–but then if we want to see concrete results of prayer, we must DO SOMETHING in order to see our prayers answered. Faith–total confidence in God–requires action on the part of the people praying, not just giving lip service in a time of crisis. Yes, “our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of tragedy,” may make us feel better that we said something, but does it make sense for us to keep saying the same thing, over and over again, when our lawmakers–hold within their hands the power to change the landscape of tragedy into one of hope and saved lives?

I’m praying that all of those legislators who have so happily received funding from NRA will now, reject further involvement by them and act on principle and morality instead of party partisanship. It is time to set aside greed and govern according to the needs of people across America who have suffered loss or injury from out of control people using guns. We NEED COMMON SENSE GUN LEGISLATION, NOW! The discussion needs to be held now, not later when the sensationalism has subsided, but now while wounds are still gaping and bleeding and graves waiting to embrace the innocent. Now, is the time, legislators must stop procrastinating and DO SOMETHING to save lives and end the carnage that erupts by those who are either mentally unstable or just plain evil.

And to be clear, evil doesn’t just rise to the surface unexpectedly. It rises out of careful nurturing over time, being fed and watered out of hate of self and others and those who are partaking of the nurturing, should also be punished for the role they play in the senseless loss of life. Evil doesn’t hide–it parades itself for all to see and someone watching the parade should speak up and try to direct the evil to turn aside into a place of peace and love so healing can begin.

As a nation, we cannot afford to sit idly by and say nothing–we must speak out and force our elected officials to do their job for the sake of all, not the gun lobbyists and manufacturers. Now is the time for action; getting beyond lip service to bring about legislative change to protect us all.

I pray we can affect this legislation immediately, but if we can’t, I urge all to keep pushing for Common Sense Gun Legislation (CSGL) and in 2018 and 2020 vote for candidates who will get it done–forsaking the all mighty dollars of the NRA, in order to save lives.

Political philos2

Praying For Wisdom

Praying For Wisdom

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:13-24 NIV

In light of all the uproar and disastrous policy-making in Washington, DC by those who appear to lack wisdom, we must pray for wisdom–for them and for us. If they refuse to hear The Lord speak to their hearts, we must be open to hearing The Lord speak to our hearts and proceed with wisdom and knowledge in electing future legislators and in making the best decisions for our bodies and healthcare–if we plan to see long life.

We must look to The Lord for our example–moving in wisdom, knowledge and understanding and when we do, we’ll end up with the results He promises–blessed beyond measure with riches and honor, long life, peace and sweet sleep. There’s no need to fear when the love of Christ abides in our hearts and we know how to love others–unconditionally.

Father, in the name of Jesus,

We acknowledge that our wisdom is as dust in the wind and we have no idea where the dust will land or what will become of it. To You, O Lord, we look for direction, seeking Your Wisdom and knowledge in order to complete the journey of life You have planned for us.

Forgive us for thinking in our arrogance that we did not need You; we need You every hour of every day and our hearts are open to hearing what You have to say. We are determined to obey You in all things and we know that love covers a multitude of sins and that You know our motives for doing everything we do. Help us to keep our focus on You, Your Word deeply embedded in our hearts, and our tongues always exercising caution and wisdom so others will hear what we have to say.

Lord, for all those who have hardened their hearts against You and hearing what You have to say about all things, cut away the insecurities, the fear, the hate, the bigotry, the animosity and envy that has hardened their hearts and replace all that is not like You, with love overflowing.

Let compassion, wisdom and understanding reign in the hearts of all who are in positions of authority so that none have any reason to fear the outcome of decisions that affect millions of lives. Pour knowledge and understanding into the hearts of those who choose persons to be in positions of authority so wisdom wins and none will know lack–of anything.

We give You praise and thanks for all You have done and all You will do on behalf of all those who sincerely love You and act as You will have us to act–representing all You are. Let no one deter us from following the path You have established for us so You and only You get the glory for all we do.

Amen!

No matter what happens in life–we must move forward knowing that with Jesus going before us–we have nothing to fear when Love is our guiding force.

I encourage all to seek wisdom, knowledge and understanding for all upcoming elections and seek The Lord as to who will provide us great leadership, acting out of love–not envy, hate, or pride–doing what is right for the sake of doing what is right–not drawing attention to self–acting out of pride.

I have sought The Lord and I’m seeking a path to run for president in 2020–making an official announcement in 2019 and I encourage all to seek the Lord and then obey what You hear.

eda

Staying Focused!

Staying Focused!

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. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:14-21 NIV

At some point in time, we all need to take stock of our surroundings, pay attention to what’s important and determine within ourselves–to not let the menial incidents to distract us or keep us off focus.

If our focus is to live for Christ and live as He desires us to live–we cannot ignore the plight of those who are less fortunate than we are, nor can we ignore the attempts of those in positions of authority to demean or belittle others. All lives are important to God–Black, White, Asian, Latino, Brown, Red–no matter what a person believes or how they worship–we are important to Him. Since we are important to Him–we cannot sit back and allow mere human beings to disdain God’s plans for us for the sake of keeping political campaign promises that denigrate other human beings.

Therefore, as along as the current administration attempts to create hostile environments for others, we will continue to keep him aware of his shortcomings and fight for the rights of others to live in a safe, fearless environment.

Though I have yet to attend a march in protest of the decisions being made for others, I look forward to being in Washington in a couple of months. My presence in itself may not change a thing, but historically, it will change the way people view autocracy and it will certainly be a bookmark in my life, being on the right side of history, not the infamy of those who only had plans to lift themselves.

On a daily basis, I seek The Lord to see what He would have me say and I can say without doubt, that He is continually overseeing all I do to His glory and not my own. For I know, there is no glory I can seek for myself, but I can do all I can to encourage others to never give in to tyranny or a tyrant. So, my focus–on today like many other days, will to be make phone calls to legislators, tweet them, email them–doing whatever I can to make sure our voices are heard and to make a way for those who are living in fear–to know peace.

I pray all like-minded will join the battle against injustice and white privilege that allows others to feel superior to those who don’t look like them. I remind all–especially those pseudo-christians who think that Jesus was white–to learn the geography of the region in which He was born, read The Word with a pure heart and open mind and know–that God does not discriminate against a person because of skin tones.

Without God in The Midst!

Without God in The Midst!

“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the LORD, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace. Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes, everyone will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace.” Isaiah 30: 1-5 NIV

Seeking understanding to explain what’s happening in our society today, we see in The Word, there is truly nothing new under the sun.

Then, as now, whenever people sought “other people or places” as a means to change things for the better–without God, they inevitably made a mess of things and people ended up in worse shape than they were in from the beginning.

Looking at Pharaoh–the iconic symbol for government–one in a position of ruling the government and Egypt as the seat of government--we see the parallels that exist in our system of government–supposedly a democracy, but its foundation of lies and hypocrisy leads us to where we are today.

If we seek salvation from a president–we delude ourselves; especially if that person does not know God and cannot make decisions for us based upon The Word. If we seek deliverance from all the woes we see–economic distress, political unrest, and a general lack of respect for others–we waste our time expecting relief or change from a place–namely Washington, DC–the seat of government.

Without consulting God–we can do nothing worthwhile and we are like the proverbial ship without a sail and doomed to fail at all we do.

Without consulting God–Supreme Court Justices openly defy and alter God’s plan for mankind–making a mockery of the first institution established by God–marriage.

Without consulting God–legislators decided to remove prayer and kick God out of the schools, leaving the door open for the devil to create havoc and chaos for all.

Without consulting God–our current President endorses predatory behavior by claiming that anyone can use any bathroom–“whatever they feel like they are.”

Without consulting God–we the people–by popular proclamation–are considering electing people who have not consulted God–to benefit the people.

Since God is not being consulted–for any number of things–we open ourselves to the consequences of sin–heaped upon sin.

Any time, people–from times past to the present–have proceeded to plan anything without God being in the midst--we leave ourselves prey to all the evil the enemy has planned and then we wonder why–things are falling apart all around us. It is no mystery that the world is headed in the wrong direction, for we’re looking for deliverance from people, and not God.

It’s time for us to head in the right direction, but that can only happen when we allow God’s plans to unfold in our lives. And the only way we can know God’s Plans is to get into His Word, seek His Wisdom, and do things–His Way!

On The Journey-TSADDE!

Righteous are You, O LORD,
And upright are Your judgments.

Your testimonies, which You have commanded,
Are righteous and very faithful.

My zeal has consumed me,
Because my enemies have forgotten Your words

Your word is very pure;
Therefore Your servant loves it.

I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.

Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights.

The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live

The 18th letter and stanza of this acrostic expression of the writers deep-seated emotions about their circumstances.

When we do everything we can to do what is right, do we get tired when we see our efforts fall short?

This is what I’m getting out of this stanza–the writer knows that God’s laws are right, he’s trying to live by them, but all around them, people are living by their own standards and codes of righteousness. He’s getting tired–of being harassed because of his zeal to do things God’s way, instead of the way people consider to be just.

I’ve often felt that way myself. Not that I’m so perfect, but when I try to live according to God’s Word and then watch all those who don’t–appear to prosper–my flesh gets weak and I want to angry and want to tell people off. However, when Holy Spirit speaks to my heart, I calm down and continue to seek God’s Word, with my mind made up to do things God’s Way.

I know many Believers who have encountered some of the same things I have in this regard–we are criticized, ridiculed, and persecuted because we refuse to go along with the status quo–accept everything everyone does and ignore God. We won’t do it.

Our opposition–or at least mine–has come from two primary sources–those who don’t believe in God and those who promote living in opposition to God’s Word because it is politically expedient.

Though I get weary and spiritually weak in this continuing fight, I won’t give up. I won’t allow those who choose not to Believe, to deter me or dissuade me. They have a right to believe or not believe just as I do. When they choose to cite science as a standard, I know they have forgotten--if they ever knew–that God created all that was ever created and the goal of science is to try to explain–why–science does not create anything from nothing, which is why scientists are yet puzzled by Creation and are forever trying to discover–the how and why. That’s what they do–discover–not create.

On the other hand, I am appalled at Believers–those who proclaim to be Christians or at least know something about The Word–those who encourage living in opposition to God’s Word and promote ungodliness. It is this group that has the most to worry about when they stand before God on That Day. It is because of sin running rampant and approved by Supreme Court Justices and any other legislative body or persons–who refuse to see the benefit of God’s Word as His intent for mankind that the world is in the shape it is.

We must call sin–sin! Liars (and this covers most politicians) are sinners! Thieves–in high places and low places are sinners! All sexual behavior outside the parameters of marriage as God defines it–is sin! Having respect of person (giving people advantages over others for no reason other than association)–is sin! Allowing self-pride–in thinking we know more than we do to reign–is sin and usually leads to problems! When we don’t know something, we should own it, and seek to learn it.

This is what the writer has concluded–without God’s Word to guide him, there can be nothing but chaos and destruction. Have we reached that conclusion? Are we going with the status quo–anything goes? Are we cementing our relationship with the God of Heaven or the god of this world?

We have choices to make–if we haven’t already made them–and I choose to Believe God and live according to His Word--not the dictates of man. What about you?

Educating Our Future!

Some schools–depending upon where one lives–are already in session for a new school year. Others are going back soon! What are the students going back to do?

Speaking from experience with Detroit Public Schools, many of the inner city students are going back to chaos–overcrowded classrooms, overused testing, and demoralized, unhappy teachers. None the chaos is the fault of the students, but they are the ones who will be negatively impacted by it the most.

First of all–PARENTS–get your act in gear and teach your children to respect authority and property of others. One of the reasons for the overcrowded classrooms is the budget allocation for textbooks which students either take home to keep or deliberately desecrate with profanity–making them inaccessible to others. The other reason for much of the chaos–ill-mannered, ill-behaved students who interfere with the process of learning. They have never learned to do school and when a teacher meets some of the parents–they know the apple truly did not fall far from the tree.

If parents truly want a quality education for their children, they need to engage in the process–get actively involved with the schools and the legislators making decisions about the schools.

The Detroit Public School district has had an assigned Emergency Manager for five years now that has not made a difference in the debt accrued. Why? Too many people coming into the system with the sole purpose of “lining their pockets” and totally forgetting about the kids they are supposed to help educate. This would not happen if we had anyone with integrity having oversight of the Detroit Public Schools. For those who know the power of prayer–it’s prayer time–pray for all Emergency Managers to develop a conscience and do their jobs–not line their pockets with the funds that should be spent on educating the children. Everyone needs to get out and vote–getting rid of all those politicians who are only interested in promoting their own–self-serving agendas–not the benefit of all the people.

EDUCATORS–FIGHT BACK–and stop the testing nonsense and spend the time–TEACHING your students. Students do not learn anything from over-testing; they learn from educators who have time to teach them the skills for which they are being tested. If they have not been taught, why are they being tested? A little common sense is needed here.

ADMINISTRATORS–grow a pair–and move out of the way of those teachers who are “still interested” in teaching children what they need to know to survive in this world. Using threats, being demeaning, humiliation and coercion will not accomplish anything other than unhappy, rebellious staff who will only do the minimum required to get you off their backs.Abusing your staff does not make you a great administrator–understanding what your staff needs and supporting them in their efforts will get the job done. If you are an administrator and are only a doormat to the district–resign! Get out of the way so our children can learn!

From observation and research, I know there is a conspiracy afoot to keep students from Detroit in a rut–for manual labor only and everyone who is involved in the system and is not willing to change the way we do education in Detroit is guilty of being a participant in the conspiracy. Our students need to know grammar–for conversational purposes as well for writing. When the District decided that grammar did not need to be taught (almost 20 years ago)–that should have been a signal for all to understand the complicity in keeping our children–illiterate. Now, we graduate functionally illiterate students who cannot read above the seventh-grade level. Where do they get to work? Fast–food restaurants and anywhere they do not have to think or read with comprehension. Just take a look at the cash registers being used today and you’ll understand my point.

So now, what are you going to do? Get mad at me or do something about educating our future?

You can read more in my book, If Parents Cared Enough, Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read  found here: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Get mad, but get busy when you get over being mad!

Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?

“Love the LORD, all you godly ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant. So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!” (Psalm 31:23,24 NLT)

When the world appears to be falling apart all around us, many wonder–why is God letting this happen? Every day–we hear about tragedies–genocides, homicides, suicides, hatred, violence, people starving, people homeless, people dying from lack of drinkable water, and appropriate medical access–all of this is happening all around us, everyone is complaining, but not many are doing anything about it.

Are those of us who are “godly ones” loving God? Are we loyal to Him or are we the arrogant?

Just because we say, “we love God” if we are not doing, Love, we lie. There are many who say they love Him and many more who deny His existence. In order for us to understand what befalls us in life, we must understand where our loyalties lie.

There are some people who would never betray their job–they are there every day, on time, going above and beyond their job description in order to amass the attention of those who can help them move up.

There are those who would never betray a gang member–they want to impress and are determined how loyal they are by doing all the stupid things the gangs say do–kill, assault, steal–whatever it takes.

There are those who would never betray a spouse–doing everything they can please them even when they are being abused–emotionally, physically, and verbally–they are loyal to a fault.

There are those who would never betray a friend–they keep their secrets even when they shouldn’t, they will lie for them, cheat for them, always looking for ways to demonstrate their loyalty.

Are we as determined to demonstrate our loyalty to God as we are to other people? Yes, we need people in our lives–who are godly people, but they should never take the place of God in our lives. It is He who provides us everything we need and in some cases–He even brought that spouse, or job or friend into our lives, but the minute we develop a relationship with the people–we forget about our loyalty to God. When we forget about being loyal to God, stuff happens and if we’re honest with ourselves, we have no need to wonder why.

When our loyalty to people supersedes our loyalty to God–we stop interceding in our prayer life, we stop caring about others that are not in our circle, we look at the homeless and hungry and say, “that’s too bad–I’m praying for you.” We would rather look the other way than get involved with legislators who have yet to prove they know how to legislate for the benefit of all people. Our loyalties are limited to the circle that encompasses us and there is no room for God. This is why we see tragedies all around us.  We have misplaced loyalties.

When our loyalties are to God–He protects us–but the arrogant–those who think they don’t need Him or have to acknowledge His existence, are the ones who are beyond His protection.

Where do your loyalties lie today?