How We Treat Others Matters!

How We Treat Others Matters!

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:8-14 NIV

What are those desires of the flesh that keep us from loving? Jealousy and hatred–once the seed is planted and nurtured by failure to accept responsibility for self–leads to actions ignited by our fleshly desires to avenge perceived (even if the perception is wrong) injustices.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is–there is liberty and love. Where there is no love, there is no perceptible presence of Christ. For when the heart of a person is filled with love, there is no room for hatred and bigotry and racism doesn’t stand a chance. When we acknowledge that none of us are perfect and are all in need of a perfect Savior, we open the door and prepare the soil of our hearts to receive His love and allow it to be nurtured by continuing our lives, loving others. This is how we ought to treat one another. For if we know we love one another, we will not plot to do harm to one another. We will not set traps in hopes that others will fall into them for we realize the traps we set–we’re liable to fall into ourselves–realizing the Hamanesque effect.

How can we claim to be Christians–followers of Christ–if we don’t know Him for ourselves? To know Christ is to know His Word and to know how He lived among men and to do likewise. Jesus was not silent when He saw injustice, but rose up mightily to condemn it and so should we. He was the ultimate rebel in tearing down religion and religious leaders who only wanted to control others, not live for God. All that He did, He did with love at the forefront of His life so we might understand that we can do all things and should do all things in love for Love–for He is Love.

Again, I say, where there is love, there is no room for hate and where we find hate, we must drive it out with love, not more hatred. Those who think they are superior to others do not know Christ for we are told in His Word that we ought not to think more highly of ourselves than warranted. God is not mocked nor fooled by superficial acknowledgment of who He is. He looks upon the hearts of all and sees the discernible difference between the light of love and the darkness of hate. He knows! We cannot fool Him with mocking rhetoric that sounds like being a Christian.

Unfortunately, for those who think they are mocking God, He will have the last word when we stand before Him and He tells some, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Those are not the words I want to hear from God when I stand before Him, so I’ll keep promoting truth, integrity, honor and love and where there is opportunity to rise up against hate and bigotry, I will rise to the occasion and never back down.

I’m Mary Hall-Rayford and I approve this message of love and hope you will, too!

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Raising The Standards

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I’m Listening!

I’m Listening!

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood, let’s ambush some harmless soul; let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; cast lots with us; we will all share the loot”—my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood. How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it. Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 1

ATTENTION ALL WHO BELIEVED A LIE AND FOLLOWED A MOCKER!

When we listen to God and know He speaks to us because we understand His Word, we avoid falling into the snares and pits plotted for us by those who choose to lie and make a mockery out of those things we hold dear and sacred.

Traditions–established to maintain continuity and stability–especially in how our nation functions–should not be abandoned for the sake of ego. Now we see the consequences daily of ignoring traditions and respecting those which keep us safe from harm.

Those in the White House have disrespected its purpose, its honor, and the history of maintaining order so all Americans can feel safe.

There is no order or stability in the midst of chaos.

There is no honor or integrity in lying and mocking the most important position of the land–governing the people–who will not tolerate a dictator.

I do pray that all the Republicans and Evangelicals, who are about to see how The Lord reveals truth and exposes wickedness thought hidden, can handle the repercussions of promoting a pathological liar whose only desire in obtaining access to the White House was to assuage his ego and to humiliate President Obama and all he tried to do for the benefit of all Americans. No true Believer would have taken part in this mockery of justice and who we are in Christ.

I am a true Believer and I’m listening to God and watching and warning! If people choose not to listen–that’s their prerogative and they will have to deal with the consequences of not listening.

It’s time for a change–a change in this country’s views and actions that can only led by an Everyday American who understands–what all need to survive and thrive in this nation.

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Self-Appointed Leaders!

Self-Appointed Leaders!

Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. (His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.) Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah. Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon. Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Have you not heard that Adonijah, the son of Haggith, has become king, and our lord David knows nothing about it? I Kings 1:5-11 NIV

Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?” Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.The king then took an oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!” King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.” I Kings 1:27-35 NIV

Looking upon where we are today, I can hear the same question being asked of God by those who know Him and are in strong relationship with Him, “Is this Your doing God?” And while I cannot speak for anyone else, in my spirit I hear God’s response, “No!”

But we have to understand what happens when people use all manner of deception and manipulation to accomplish what they want and the best way to understand how God is consistent in what He does is to look at what happened with Adonijah! And for that, we’d have to keep reading, but I’ll sum it up. Adonijah died at the hands of King Solomon after making an insulting request–through Solomon’s mother.

Instead of acting like a man, Adonijah acted like a child, making the request of Solomon’s mother instead of going to Solomon directly. The request–give me the virgin that had been assigned to King David (his father)–covetousness and desire to make a mockery of David’s last days by taking what was his.

Perhaps, the greatest lesson we can learn from the history recorded in the Old Testament is that when we rebel against God–thinking we know more than He does–in order to make our own name great–we are doomed to suffer the consequences.  God is not mocked. He sees all that is done by those who do not reverence Him, but make a mockery of all He has planned. In the end, we reap the consequences of our actions when we fail to heed the warnings.

The only great name anyone should reverence is Jesus and when we denounce Him and disavow all He is by our actions, we place ourselves in a position to be judged and all the world shall hear the noise when the end has come upon those who appoint themselves as leaders–and those who supported the nonsense.

Look at what some Americans have done–in the name of patriotism, but in actuality because of hatred and bigotry! Elected a president with no qualifications and certainly no approval from God. And then he mocks the entire democracy, by appointing the most despicable people in positions of authority and more who are even less qualified than he is to head vital departments of our nation. The noise in the streets–the cry of outrage for people know only disaster awaits. And the noise we hear and have heard is nothing to compared to the noise we will hear–from those who supported the unqualified person to lead to this nation.

Not my will, but Yours–to do as You direct in all things–to sound the alarm when You speak it to me and let others know–You are yet watching over all that occurs in the earth and You have the final Word.

Can We Talk, Again?

Can We Talk, Again?

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.  Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? I Corinthians 10:223-26, 29 NIV

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1 NIV

I have been paying attention to probably far too many news items and commentaries, but what I’ve seen grieves my spirit. For in this country, we are supposed to have certain guaranteed rights, and as long as we don’t infringe upon the rights of others–those rights should be respected, not vilified.

We have freedom of speech–but that doesn’t mean we should have a foul mouth and express hateful rhetoric towards others or about others. So, when the QB of the San Francisco 49ers decides that he doesn’t want to stand while the National Anthem is playing, that is his right and since he is not infringing upon the rights of others–none of the rest of us should anything to say. Why is it that there are those who think they have a right to impose their consciences upon others in judging what we do?

Speaking of which–the imposition placed upon Black Americans–and how we’re labeled has become a topic of conflict. On more than one occasion and in more than one venue, I have seen people complain about the use of a hyphen in the African-American identity. One person went so far as to say, the use of the hyphen is the cause of all the racism in this country. I beg to differ with them. No hyphen was used when we were classified: slave, or colored or even the hated “nigger” or a number of other hateful terms, when referencing who we were. Racism has its roots in the hatred of people of color and the fact that White people have long held beliefs they are superior to any other race of people. We see that in the treatment of Natives of the Land, and with all other minorities–and other immigrants who came to this country. While there are many people of color who have a preference to what they are called or how they are identified, I simply choose to be a Black American until “we are all considered Americans.”

What is astounding to me is that while people are clamoring about other people coming into this country to “take jobs,” not many are saying anything about those who came into this country and “took land” from those who were already living here. Who were those who came here–European immigrants–the colonists–who established themselves as the only right-living group of people and called those who were already here–savages–because they did not do things they way they did them.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The inscription on Lady Liberty–our gift from France–across the Atlantic from which many came was a recognition that many would come and we should welcome them, not debase them. And the only group of people that have been denied this liberty expressed are those who were “forcefully brought to this land” without having a choice in the matter.

And with all of the hateful rhetoric being stoked right now–by those who proclaim to be Christians, where exactly is the “spirit of The Lord” dwelling? Certainly not in the hearts of all those who hate and promote hatred. Not in the hearts of those who manufacture lies to make themselves look better. Not in the hearts of those who manipulate others into buying into their lies. Not in the hearts of those who crave attention and will do anything to get it.

How do we know? For where the Spirit of The Lord dwells–there is liberty and love–no hatred. Whatever abides in our heart will come forth like a mighty rushing river and pour into our immediacy and people will see and hear what is hidden in our heart–whether it is the Love of God or evil.

If we never learn to live God’s Word the way He intended us to live–loving all unconditionally, we don’t deserve to be called Christians. In fact, if we are not living The Word, we make a mockery out of being Christians because we are not following Christ when we choose to impose our consciences, our way of doing things upon others–negating their right to do things their own way. This is the “religious way of doing things” and Jesus called out the Pharisees for doing this.

I believe it’s reckoning time. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask God to show us who we really are, accept it and be willing to allow Him to change us–being who He wants us to be, not what we have constructed ourselves to be with all of our built-in hate and animosity.

Until we get to this one point–there is only one race of people–the human race and like I said to someone yesterday who claimed the use of a hyphen is keeping us separated, it is not. “Until America accepts Black Americans as Americans, we will be always be a separate class of people. It is not the Black American who is creating a racial divide, but the White race who lives out their superiority complex and treats us as second class citizens.

My commentary today is not an indictment against all White people or all Black people or any other group of people, but it is a warning about where our country is headed if we don’t realize what we’re doing to one another. As a nation, we cannot afford to be divided in our purposes and intent for all Americans to be treated with equality. And if we exist as a divided nation rather than a nation unified with common goals, we will be captured by the evil that exist–inside and outside–our borders.

History has a way of repeating itself–especially if we refuse to learn from it. I suggest we all review the history of the land, recognize the wrongs committed and determine not to repeat them–again, and again, and again.

We don’t need a nation of people who are religious; we need a nation of people who are in relationship with God, living His Word,  and following His lead in all things.

Recognizing The Foolish!

Recognizing The Foolish!

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated. Proverbs 14:6-9, 16, 17 NIV

What is a mocker? A person who makes fun of others–appearances, values, and beliefs. They attempt to humiliate at every turn, thinking themselves to be superior to others.

One example of a mocker is the atheist who makes fun of other Believers. They say things like: our praying to an invisible God may as well as be praying to a spaghetti monster. Another example of a mocker is someone who makes fun of another person’s disabilities by exaggerating facial expressions, voice tones, or movements. And then these mockers think–they are wise in their own sight.

The “wise in their own sight” are often looked upon as being foolish because they never listen to others when people attempt to admonish them because of their attitudes or behavior. We see this every day–those who think they know something when they don’t.

I  (and many others) am extremely offended by the latest attempts of Donald Trump to “reach out to African Americans” on a number of levels. First of all, he’s not reaching out to a group of people when none of them are in his immediate presence. Secondly, if he wants to “reach” people, he might want to start off with more factual information about who they are rather than statistics that are easily debunked. Using a broad stroke of overgeneralization to describe any group of people is insensitive and negates the accomplishments or achievements of others within that group. What he said was racist and derogatory. Not all Black Americans are living in poverty; not all Black Americas are ignorant or stupid (the underlying meaning of his saying, “your schools are no good”), and most of the young people–the teens (his 58%) are high school students who are concentrating on avenues that will earn them scholarships for college.

His entire speech about reaching out to African Americans was mocking.  “What do you have to lose taking a chance on Trump?” Considering the ethnic persuasion of the audience he was addressing at his rally, he wasn’t talking to Black Americans. His campaign manager, Kellyann states, “all his rallies are open to the public and African Americans can attend.” This is particularly interesting when a man–with brown skin–of Native American heritage was removed from one of his rallies.

Reiterating his approach, “What the hell do you have to lose?” We lose the hell altogether that a Trump presidency represents and keep reaching for heaven–knowing there are no racists there. In recent news–a white man–claiming to belong to racist group–admitted to stabbing a black man when saw the man kissing a white woman. Not that their relationship was any of his business, but he took upon himself to try to kill a man simply because of his skin color. That’s what the foolish evoke in others–that’s what Trump ideology is creating in a society in which many of us had hoped was behind us. So, no–we don’t want Trump’s brand of anything and that will ring loud and clear on November 8th.

And this is how we recognize the foolish–when they do really stupid things–in a public forum and think they are believable. Love trumps hate and mockery!

Wickedness and Strange Weather!

Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. Proverbs 14:9 NIV

The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. Proverbs 14:11 NIV

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 NIV

The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs. Proverbs 14:14 NIV

The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. Proverbs 14:16 NIV

Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction. Proverbs 17:19 NIV

No matter how many times or how many ways we see in God’s Word the warnings about sin, some still tend to ignore the consequences.

In fact, our society has become mockers of sin because they do not believe that sin has consequences simply because they don’t believe God. The truth is about to overtake us and many will see what sin achieves.

God is not blind, deaf or forgetful. He does not change His Word or His intent for mankind simply to appease the whim of men’s thinking. Everything He called sin, is still sin and no matter what men and women do–sin in God’s sight is still sin.

The problem is people tend to mistake lust for love and think God is fooled. God is love and He knows better than any of us what love does and what love does not do. Love is not lust and lust is not love.

Love only wants the best for all involved yet lust only wants to satisfy a feeling for the moment.

Love steers people onto the path of doing the right thing at all times.

Lust steers emotion and physical need along the path of satisfaction at any cost.

The bottom line that many may not want to acknowledge is that in the end, God has the last word and when we refuse to accept correction and get back on the path of righteousness, He removes His hand of protection and we get what we get.

The unusual weather is simply a sign of God’s displeasure with our behavior and greed. When making money is more important than preserving resources, we have problems as we see with the effects of global warming.

The disregard for the safety for the vulnerable is about to explode and the courts will be filled with lawsuits, but lives will be changed forever because of a few who chose not to see the danger of not thinking or seeking the wisdom of God.

Whenever we choose to ignore God and do what we want to do, subscribing to that old adage, “If it feels good, do it,” we open the door to the evil that is constantly lurking on the other side.

How do we avoid the consequences of sin? That’s easy. We seek God and obey His Word and promote His goodness to others. It’s not rocket science; it is simply living by faith in His Word.

The Devil–Cloaked With Deceptive Devices!

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 2 Corinthians 4:1-5 NIV

Disclaimer–I am a devout Believer in Jesus Christ and claim no denominational ties or affiliations, I am ordained by God and man to teach God’s Truth, no matter what the circumstances or who it may expose. I’m not particularly impressed with any politician because I know they all lie, but when it comes to mocking a practice that is pivotal to our faith, I tend to get a bit incensed.

Your thoughts are welcomed!

I am unable to attach the link I wanted to reference, but please check on YouTube and search for “Donald Trump Meets With Religious leaders.”

Please note that this video posted in September 2015. Much has been revealed about the man, by himself, since then.

I’m praying even the more for God to pour out His Wisdom upon all flesh, that blinders will be removed and ears unstopped so they will receive Truth.