SEXTexting and Teens

Keeping The Lines of Communication Open

SEXtexting & TEENS fans-lead[1]

Do you have TEENS?

Living in this audacious, adventurous 21st century with all its technological advances has its advantages. You can keep the lines of communication open or stay in constant contact with anyone at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. You can call, talk, track or text message when you have the right, GPS system, computer, smart phone, I pod, television, blue tooth ear piece, Nintendo DSI, mobile devices or some other…

How often do you get a text?

On the other hand it is hard for some to just “be” in the moment, because they are always texting and calling someone else while in your presence. Their attention is divided between you and somewhere or some else? The quality of time spent is usually minimized. They have a hard time just being in the moment or giving their undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”. Having the capability to be accessible is great. But I believe it is really getting out of hand. Perhaps there should be some “rules of etiquette ” honored and accountability exercised when alone or while in public or in the presence of others? And what about the teens?

Reina Hardesty is young lady now. When she was but a 13 year old teen, from Southern California, She was an amazing, creative, prolific texter. How she ever managed to get anything else done I wonder? She actually sent approximately 500 texts daily that totaled 14,528 text in one month. It is a good thing that her father had unlimited texting plan. Otherwise, at 20 cents per text his bill would have been somewhere around a whopping $2,905!!! After her parents found out they set some boundaries “no texting after dinner.”

Boundaries are good they make us feel safe!

I wonder what texting almost 24/7 does as far as their overall health is concerned? How much healthy sleep can one get? How much time for homework or anything else for that matter? Is texting addicting? At what point is it considered so…

Wait there’s more! Emilee Cox, another witty, vivacious, energetic, teen texter at 14 years young, smashed Reina’s record. At 74 text per each hour she was awake, she texted over 35,000 text in one month. She also managed to get good grades.

Miley Cyrus who was a popular teen idol a while back, favorite hobby was going shopping. She really liked Chinese Food and watching “High School Musical with her sisters too. But apparently the famous Miley Cyrus and her older boyfriend were caught texting during Church service way back when. They thought they were being discreet “They got busted! But look at Miley now she is making some interesting videos that I don’t think Hannah Montana’s parents would let her watch…” She is baring before the world her birthday suit. No doubt that the many Hollywood inconsistent unstable lifestyles she has been exposed to has greatly influenced her once quite innocent wholesome behavior. It is important that we give this generation godly relationship models. These are just a few examples of why good role models are needed.

It is important that we keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers. Peer pressure is real. There is always something lurking to pull them off track. For emergencies cell phones are fantastic! We should always be concerned with what is gong on with our young people. They need guidance. The ability to stay in contact is a plus. But here too we also need to establish some “rules of cell phone etiquette.” Especially for our minors before they excel to major problems. These 21st century teens have taken texting to a whole new level.

Here are a few more stats,

*Texting of this nature is nothing new. According to a 2008 Nielsen study, teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 “ to an average of 1,742 texts a month.

Sextexting is also becoming a growing trend among teens. Sextexting is when revealing photos or messages are sent across a cell phone. It is actuallly flirting with danger. You do not always know how large or who your audience really is. Teens that are caught could possibly be prosecuted as sex offenders. Unknowingly they send pictures or messages with improper content that once they have been published they cannot be retrieved. it is just not a good idea to get so personal anyway. On many occasions they have sent messages to a friend, who sent it to a friend and that friend sent it to … Right now this is even being pursued by some prosecutors to possibly be considered as “child pornography”. So it is important to have a serious chat with them about being careful in this area. Nothing more than “G” rated texting allowed!

Oprah Winfrey even dedicated a whole television show to the perils of America’s newest “OBSESSION” = texting while driving! Did you know that when you text or use a cell phone while driving you significantly increase the chances of having an accident? It is the equivalent of having 4 drinks while driving! You are driving with a decreased attention span. It is called “Distracted Driving! “ You are not only putting your life in jeopardy but the lives of many others as well! The show is inclusive of many who have experienced the consequences of someone using a cell phone while driving. The statistics of the many casualties are mesmerizing and alarming!

Ms Winfrey asks that everyone designate their car as a ‘”NO PHONE ZONE!” She goes so far to have a campaign asking you to sign a contract agreeing to do so. The contract is available on her website! During the show one mother is interviewed. Her story; As she approaches her home after a Dr.’s appointment she sees a little girl lying in the streets surrounded by a crowd! She sees a mangled bike… Much to her dismay the distraught mother realizes it is her little girl and the emergency crew are attempting to pull her clothes off ……. The little girl was “15 PEDALS “ FROM HER FRONT DOOR! The driver was on her cell phone! After intensive care in the hospital two days later her beautiful little girl dies…

This is one of many. This show is a must see!!

Texting while driving is also hazardous. No sneaking a text in because no one’s watching. Watch the road! Another big, No! No! We need to be in contact but we also need to give them guidelines. I think that a simple contract might possibly be a viable solution. If they are old enough to have a cell phone they should be responsible enough to make a contract that is reviewed often and renegotiated when or if necessary. Hmmmm possibly limiting their calling by giving them a restricted calling plan? Knowing that you are going to randomly review their messages, Hmmm…This really is to let them know that you care enough to take the time to show that you are concerned and they matter. Of course they won’t see it this way…

In this high tech society it may be hard. But, keeping the lines of communication open is important! Let them know you are there for them and they matter! Give them kudos whenever the opportunity arises. It is crucial and beneficial to make sure that you take the time to spend quality time with them without a television, computer, smart phone, I pod, CD player, blue tooth ear piece or some other distraction… Having some great one on one personal quality time is a most. By the way giving them some healthy boundaries helps them feel secure. Giving them boundaries and restrictions lets them know that you care enough to say “No!” and mean it. They might not like it all the time but you should be more concerned about what is best for them rather than what they want? If they have strayed into the jungle of this world; It is never too late to help them turn their lives around. There is no POWER stronger than TRUE LOVE! They so need a dose of true love. You should be a parent before you are a friend to your child. If you are a friend you should model and uphold God’s standards to your friends. Your children will grow up soon enough and can then do however they please. But the modeled godly principles will have a long lingering effect upon their conscious. You may lose and gain some friends in the course of life when you take a strong godly stance but in the end it is worth it. Either way you will have been a good friend… As believers our first priority and agenda should be to say: “it is written!” Not to hurt but to bring forth spiritual, emotional and physical healing Nothing is more precious than time! It goes by really fast. Really get to know your teens; just maybe they won’t feel the need to take up sextexting?

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Water On Mars ? Of Course – It’s In The WORD!

September 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Society & Culture

Read article on CNN Rover finds evidence of ancient water on Mars

When I read this article on CNN.com, I said to myself isn’t GOD GREAT!. Its just like HIM to allow the scientist to discover just how true his WORD is. I wasn’t surprised at all to learn they discoverd water on Mars. I expected it. Why ? Read the Creation Story in the Book of Genesis and note the following:

Genesis 1: 1-7
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said , Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 And God said , Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

In other words, God placed water below and above the “sky”. It’s in the WORD!.

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Love, Life, Sanctification, and God’s Purpose

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GOD is LOVE! GOD is the GIVER of LIFE! We are SANCTIFIED by HIS PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT! HE has a PURPOSE and PLAN for each of HIS children! I implore and entreat you to seek HIS WORD and allow HIM to define what LIFE is ALL about for you! It is only in Him you will find the TRUE meaning of LIFE! He is “THE REASON FOR EVERY SEASON!” LIFE, begins in heaven our earthly transition commences in the womb! Conception is defined as the “process of becoming pregnant or beginning! An unborn baby has “The RIGHT to LIFE!” I BELIEVE ALL HIS WORD! What and who do you believe!

THE LORD’S WORD is so POWERFUL! If one would only seriously listen and accept HIS definitions to LOVE, LIFE, SANCTIFICATION and HIS PURPOSE! We would be in such a better place worldwide! If you ever wondered where you were before being here on earth, or who you belong to listen to the Prophet Jeremiah. “Before I FORMED you in the womb I KNEW you; Before you were BORN I SANCTIFIED you; I ORDAINED you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1

In the wonderful Book of Jeremiah the LORD confirms where life begins! Take a moment and ponder and camp on this thought! Before you were in your Mother’s womb the LORD knew you! Long before you were ever conceived! From the very beginning the enemy has tried to redefine and discount the validity of God and His WORD!

LOVE

When you think on love what comes to mind? Quite often many think about what makes them feel good. What you do or do not do for them, many have an erroneous idea of what love truly means. Love often means in this case supporting wrong. Letting me do and say to you whatever I want to do. For many often that erroneous love turns to verbal, physical and emotional abuse!

God instills His Love within us. When a baby is born it readily needs to be nurtured and loved! Remember “GOD is LOVE,” GOD is eternal HIS LOVE LASTS FOREVER! In HIS WORD you will see the manifestation of His Love all throughout His WORD! GOD IS THE ULTIMATE FATHER! Whenever you think on terms of loving someone think about what God has to say and what He does! He never supports them in ANYTHING that goes against HIS WORD. No different from NOW in Corinth the people had become mixed up about LOVE! Many were confused spiritually blind and very carnal… What does GOD say about LOVE ?

In I Corinthians Paul describes true LOVE!

“LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE DOES NOT delight in evil but REJOICES IN TRUTH. It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS preserves. LOVE NEVER FAILS!

LIFE
GOD is the GIVER and Sustainer of Life! In the very beginning God said “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them.” He gave them HIS breath of life! It is through this union of man and woman coming together that He designed more life to come forth! We were created for GOD’S GLORY!

SANCTIFICATION

Sanctification is the process of when one who grows in the DIVINE Grace and Knowledge of the LORD, due to accepting Jesus Christ as LORD! You are set apart for GOD! As a believer, a Christian, a child of God we should embrace the sanctity of life! It is a fundamental principle of God’s WORD! There is an incredible story in the Bible, when Mary was pregnant with Jesus. John the Baptist leaped in the womb of his mother Elizabeth just being in the presence of JESUS who was still in the womb of His mother Mary. Listen to what the Word says :

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb I PRAISE YOU because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes SAW my unformed body. ALL the days ordained for me were written in YOUR BOOK before one of them came to be…” Psalms 139

Abortion is not of God!! !t is the way of the world! Abortion is not only about death it is about LIFE! GOD is the GIVER and SUSTAINER of LIFE! “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may HAVE LIFE, and have it more abundantly…” John 10 JESUS is the GOOD SHEPHERD ! He came and laid down HIS life so we could have a rich full balanced life!

What has been done cannot be undone! But you can start wherever you are going forth in the LORD! Know HIS WORD for yourself! Women who have had abortions are in need of inner healing. God is a loving forgiving God! Great is HIS LOVE for us! Repentance opens the door for restoration! Open your heart to the Lord. When you really give your heart to Him! He will fill that void. Don’t continue to use sex, manipulation or anything else to get your way. Begin to seek Him above all else and learn His WAY! I assure you In Him you will find the “security and significance” that is only found in Him! In Him you will find your purpose! Great is GOD’S FAITHFULNESS!

Abortion goes against the WORD of the Lord! It is easier to think of a precious baby, an unborn infant as a mere fetus in order to justify abortion. Remember, the baby feels and what you eat and drink they do too!“The TRUTH sets you FREE!” Remember GOD knows the TRUTH! So let’s be TRUTHFUL ABORTION is murder! If you believe it or not it’s so! What we say, think or do, does not change or alter what GOD has said is so. We are finite and GOD is OMNISICIENT meaning ALL KNOWING. If only we would listen to Him? Man continues as from the very beginning to be deceived by the devil. GOD IS A GOD OF LIGHT!!! Many discount, pervert and attempt to redefine what GOD has said in order to justify and manipulate getting their own way! The scriptures tells you that in the long run it never works! We are accountable to God for what we do or do not do!

God has a plan for each of His children from the very beginning and life is about discovering Him and living out that PURPOSE. Purpose is what gives life meaning! We on the other hand have to accept JESUS CHRIST as our personal SAVIOR to SAVE us from being overcome by the wickedness and the darkness that wants to dim and extinguish the LIGHT that the LORD wants to shine through us! God not only creates life, HE Blesses it! JESUS went through many things for us! HIS PROMISES ARE ALL TRUE! It ALL continues to work out for our GOOD when HE is in control of our LIVES!!!

Here is a story about an unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas who is 21 weeks old still in his mother’s womb: Baby Samuel’s Mom, Julie Armas is an obstetrics nurse who was told that her child has Spina Bifida! Spina Bifida is a very serious debilitating birth defect that causes a split spine. It causes the spinal cord to stick out; if not repaired it can cause a plethora of problems… His Doctor, Dr. Bruner is the operating surgeon. Keep in mind Samuel’s mom Julie had already suffered through two previous miscarriages!

It is during a C-section a small incision is made in order to do the surgery! As the surgery was completing baby Samuel reaches his little hand out and grasps the finger of the amazing Dr. Bruner! Dr. Bruner says that this was the most emotional moment of his life! He was stunned and immobilized! This is what is going on in this photograph above! Samuel’s mother Julie cried tears of Joy for days! Samuel was born completely healthy and the surgery was 100% successful! The picture speaks for itself! God is AWESOME!!!

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the most Honorable and Praiseworthy qualities admired most about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was that He was a Diplomatic Ambassador of Peace! Dr. King was a PEACEMAKER, and a strong man of FAITH, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE, BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES and VALUES! In His avid quest to fight for equality and justice he embraced non violence! Dr. Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister born at noon in his family home on January 15,1929 in Atlanta Georgia. How ironic his Queen Anne style home was in what is known as the magnificent “Sweet Auburn District.” He was an avid and dedicated prominent leader in the “Civil Rights” movement! However it was because of his gallant efforts he was violently assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. Dr. King fought long and tenaciously for the equal rights for people of Color! He wanted the same rights that were extended to Whites extended to all people! He was especially instrumental in ending legal segregation that plagued African Americans in the South. Dr. King led many powerful and peaceful demonstrations. For his many efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964!

Dr. King came from a ancestral lineage of Baptist Ministers. His father and his grandfather were ministers! They both became pastor’s in succession of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia! He was raised in a very comfortable, loving and stable middle class Christian home! He was a brilliant, well educated and gifted man! He excelled prolifically in his studies and skipped both the (9th) ninth and (12th) twelfth grades! He was admitted to the impressive Morehouse College at the early age of only (15) fifteen years old.

King was aware from a very early age of the obvious discrimination that existed against African Americans. There is an interesting little story of when he was only 6 years of age, his white playmate told him that they could no longer play together since they were now going to segregated schools! Before King’s going off to college, he first went to work on a tobacco farm in Connecticut. It is here he realized that the same discrimination was not apparent that he had experience in the South! He took note of the many activities that both whites, blacks, reds, yellows, browns and all colors shared. Here basically all Colors participated together! They went to worship together they could eat out publicly together, it was an eye opening experience!

King enthusiastically entered Morehouse College and initially his desire was to study medicine and law. However he became impressed with the marvelous oratorical skills of Benjamin Mays an activist, educated and intelligent man who was pursuing equal rights and racial equality! Mays had made and indelible impression upon his father, Martin Luther Sr. The young budding Martin remained impressed as well. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1948! King then attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. King early on had a charismatic personality and was elected student body president of the predominately white student body. He eventually earned his Bachelor’s of Divinity in 1951. King then went on to Boston University, it is here he earned a Doctorate! Here in Boston is where he met the love of his life Coretta Scott. She was studying at the New England conservatory of Music. They married in a beautiful lawn ceremony at her family’s home! The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., his father in 1953. From their beautiful union was born 4 wonderful children!

Of the many protests that was led by King it was the infamous Montgomery Alabama bus boycott that received acclaimed nationwide attention. Here the lovely intelligent Rosa Parks a hard working gentle natured Black woman who was tired after a long honest day at work, as an excellent and skilled seamstress decided not to give up her seat to a white passenger. Mrs. Parks was in turn arrested under the segregation laws. A concerted effort was made by the Activists they strategically planned and implemented a strategic and successful peaceful bus boycott. There were numerous marches and “sit ins”…

It was on his way to support a group of sanitation workers in Memphis,Tennessee that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated! Senator Edward Kennedy chartered a plane to bring Dr. King’s body home to Atlanta! At least (30) thirty buses and (100) one hundred planes were used to bring mourners for his “Homegoing Celebration” Sympathy was poured out from all over the world! The night before King had delivered a most prophetic message! He made this statement: ““I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” It was the very next day while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, he was killed by a sniper’s bullet! King’s loyal supporters throughout America were quite upset and 100+ riots ensued in various cities across the country! After much uproar and ongoing media attention! His white assassin James Earl Ray pleaded guilty, was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison. He later attempted to recant his confession of guilt and said that he was coerced by his attorneys. Ray held to the stance it was a conspiracy! Dr. King’s family came to his aid and support of Ray’s defense and embraced him. Ray died before he could be acquitted. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow made this statement upon Ray’s death; “America will never have the benefit of Mr. Ray’s trial, which would have produced new revelations about the assassination…as well as establish the facts concerning Mr. Ray’s innocence.”

Dr. Martin Luther King has been compared and contrasted to some of the greatest! To name a few; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The fact remains that he was martyred has further served to keep his memory alive. His legacy lives on in the hearts of many as well as in the history of America’s historical corridors and the world at large. His legacy has a life of its own!

It was after his death that he was accredited with an overwhelming international status. There are roads, highways, buildings, schools and institutions named in his honor throughout the United States. In 1986 he was honored with a national Holiday celebrated on the 3rd Monday in January. In 1991 the Lorraine Hotel where he was assassinated became a Museum. In London they have a sculpture of him over the door to the west front at West Minister Abbey in his honor. Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” oratorical famous speech is well remembered and often quoted by many universally! Excerpt from this speech: “And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Dr. King was a wonderful inspiring man of God whose voice in the midst of the prevalent and tumultuous prejudice harnessing America opened the pathway to equality for all colors! His eloquence, charismatic style, self sacrificing, courageous and arduous commitment will forever be ingrained in the chronicles of America’s History as well as the hearts of many! King lived under the microscope of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the ongoing surveillance was spearheaded under J. Edgar Hoover. Many unfounded allegations were made to undermine his credibility. But none of them could serve to tarnish his incredible, impeccable, accomplishments as a committed man of God and strong ardent peaceful contributions as a Civil Rights Activist. Nor his infamous merited accomplishment of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Norway! Upon His acceptance he stated “I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind,”said King in his acceptance speech. “I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confronts him.

Indeed there is so much more that could be said about this dedicated man of God; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr… Yet, I close here with another memorable excerpt from “ I Have A Dream!”

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

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Living In An Upside Down World

October 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Society & Culture

upside down world
Today we are living within an upside down world. In many instances what is wrong is embraced as right and what is right is embraced as wrong. This is why it is so very important that you get to know the TRUTH of God’s WORD, firsthand, for yourself intimately and personally! This way you will not be so easily towed right along with everything you hear and see. Paul wanted to alert the Church to see how to recognize and confront “false teaching”. Paul wrote to the Church extensively because he was so concerned that so many were getting caught up with the bureaucracy and the traditions of man. Paul encouraged the Church to preserve, model, embrace and live out Christian principles in every area of their daily life. Today right now we too need to be mindful of these very same things.

Quite often when one reads and visits the corridors of Scripture they see the characters and situations as merely historical and sometimes fictional. This can often cause one to become far removed from the wealth of applicable practical wisdom endowed within the Scriptures and respond in an aloof manner to the lessons presented and overlook the wisdom lessons intended. The people, prophets, priests and kings were real genuine people, from every facet of life with authentic issues no different than what we see today. God really is the same God who always was and always will be! He is eternal; in Him through His Son Christ Jesus we have the gift of eternal life. Time belongs to Him. We have all the time we need to do whatever it is He has created each one of us to be!

The Book of Ephesians is an excellent Book to indulge your mind in for spiritual enlightenment. The Church became embroiled in endless questions, arguments, politics and controversies that took them away from studying Scriptures. We must be mindful that it is so important to not get side-tracked from the intended purpose. It is important to sincerely desire and ask to be filled with His Spirit in order to glean the true intended meaning of the Scriptures so we can rightfully divide and apply its intended purposes. Many strive for popularity, prestige and recognition rather than seek for God’s approval. These things within themselves are not bad, but we must know that man is fickle and inconsistently changes very easily. Therefore it is important to know that through the Lord we really have everything we will ever need. He really does know everything we think, say do or do not do!

Although it may not be readily tangibly present. We can rest assure that His power is always accessible. Ephesians tells us “Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…….” Ponder on this passage of Scripture for a while and go deeply into its contents to glean the intended benefits. Let this reinforce within you the security and spiritual significance that rings forth. It says not some but all spiritual blessings. There are benefits in knowing and having a personal intimate relationship with the Lord. These blessings are not always visible where one can see. But they are available and accessible in the eternal heavenly spiritual realm. This means that they are eternal. God chose us and we belong to Him. This all took place way back before any of us even existed. Our little finite minds cannot conceive the totality of God. We are just minute particles in His whole scheme of things. No matter how small, large, visible or unseen it is all relevant to Him.
When any scene or situation presents itself on our life’s canvas we must seek His direction to properly apply and paint the intended strokes. Having the proper attitude about God is necessary to deal with any present injustices. Persecution and misunderstanding will attempt to take a dominant position to etch insecurity and doubt onto the forefront of your life canvas. Yielding subdued hues and shades of gray to subliminally overshadow the main theme. But as you always keep in mind that God knows you, His Light will shine forth in the midst even when darkness tries to impose itself upon you. We cannot predict the future precisely. But we can focus, trust and put our faith in God our Creator and Maker who knows us and will watch over and protect us living in and upside down world.

God allows both good and bad times for all of us. “He is not a respecter of persons.” We must learn to consistently lean and put our faith and trust in Him. In order to not be pulled into whatever is suddenly hurled into your direction even though intended to snarl, derail, discredit our credibility or entrap us, our focus must be on HIM! We must learn how not to allow insults, injustices or any storm or seasonal moment in time define the totality of our existence. When you spend time in His presence you can abide under the shadow of The Almighty because you know that He knows and that is what ultimately truly matters. Ecclesiastes tells us that, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.” The point that I am trying to make is that life has a much deeper meaning than what man sees. Many seek first as a top priority to be affirmed and recognized in the eyes of man. Momentarily this may satisfy an inner longing, life on this side of heaven is short, there really is a much deeper meaning to life.

If all the wisdom, prestige or power that the world has to offer were available it would be but a minute particle in regards to the infinite wisdom and power of the Lord. Perhaps this is why Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation? Yes we are “in the world but it is Him we move and live and have our being.” Although often unrecognized or accepted by the masses Jesus did not deter from His life purpose. He remained faithful and committed to the will of His Father in and often, cruel, often harsh upside down world.

God sees and knows it all. It is not merely how things appear or seem. We all will have to stand before an all knowing all wise God who knows where our hearts and minds are as well as our intentions. Know the Lord and His Word so you are not towed along with the “false teaching” of anyone. Ephesians says “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything is exposed to the Light becomes visible, for the Light makes everything visible…” God tells us to live as children of the Light. When you are walking in the Light you know that whatever darkness tries to overshadow your life’s canvas, that your Creator, Your maker, Our heavenly Father is omnisciently aware! You can surely trust Him to keep you right side up, living in and upside down world.

Notice how most animals walk on all fours. God Created us as His children to walk uprightly, our hands should be readily available to reach up and Praise Him! It is important to be aware of what is going on about us. We do not want to live in denial neither is it healthy. Life without God is futile, meaningless. God’s Word is our life manual and essential intrinsic tool to help us navigate through life. We can find hope in the midst of sorrow, joy in the midst of sadness, comfort in the midst of pain, encouragement in the midst of persecution and peace within the midst of an upside down world. Make it a priority to spend some time in His Word not only on Sunday or whatever your designated Bible Study night may be. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us ” Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.” Yes we should be aware living in an upside down world, but not totally alarmed. Through the eyes of God we can see and recognize life problems and realize that God does have a plan to take us through whatever comes our way. Through faith we can trust God and always seek His will for our path forward regardless of where you are in life. God has a plan for the lives of all of His children. God’s plan simply is to live for Him. Ecclesiastes ends by telling us that “Now all has been heard here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE, DUTY OF MAN. For GOD will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” This is true even living in and upside down world.

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Songs For Japan

People in Japan are suffering. PRAY FOR AND SUPPORT JAPAN RELIEF EFFORTS

Click Here for How To Help Japan Relief Efforts

You can also support Japan relief efforts by purchasing the Superstar Benefit Album “Songs For Japan” from itunes. As Japan recovers from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, the world’s top recording artists respond to the tragedy with this benefit album. The 38 tracks include some of their biggest hits, featuring an exclusive remix of Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way,” Katy Perry’s “Thinking of You,” Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon,” Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love,” and more. All proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross.

iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store


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Put It All In His Hands


Have you ever had a situation when you did not know what to do? Have you ever had a problem that you thought was so big you did not know how it could ever be resolved? Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried to explain something no one would understand? Have you ever felt so discouraged that you felt as though the weights of the world were upon your shoulders? Have you been physically ill or near death and felt that you were at the point of no return? Has death knocked on the door of a friend or love one unexpectedly? On the other hand has God freed you from narrow minded and shallow view thinking religious folks? Have you ever been persecuted, forsaken, maligned, misunderstood or unappreciated? Or have you just been so spiritually blessed you can just not express it in words? ( I am sure there are a few scenarios I forgot?) If you have ever experienced one or more of the above I have some great news for you! Nothing happens in your life that God is not aware of!

I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing that is too big, hard, and deep or complicated for GOD! More important all of the above are reasons to really get to find out what He is really all about “God is Love.” As a matter of fact in I Corinthians 13 the Scriptures tell us “Love never fails”. Never as a truism meaning never; it just won’t happen! Now don’t get me wrong. I said have you ever felt like? Did you know that your feelings can transport you into a realm of thought that you really do not have to enter? If you do enter you do not have to stay there? How do I do that? You must pluck some good ole spiritual fruit? Take just a slither of “self control”. Gradually digest it’s nutrients. This will help you take the helm. You must begin to get in gear. Shift by not allowing your feelings to get the best of you? How do I do that? Begin by acknowledging how you feel. Good, Bad or indifferent? Do not lean to your own understanding. Remember God is a Spirit of Truth! The Truth truly sets you free! Did you know that God will do exceedingly above and more than you could ever wish when you are obedient? He can, wants to and will direct your path. This is why it is important that you do not get bogged down in your thoughts nor into what someone else thinks. As simple as this might seem all you must do is shift your FOCUS!

For a moment let’s just imagine life as an obstacle course. Always keep in view, that at the end of your course your reward(s) awaits. To help you keep focused just know; your rewards are guaranteed and determined by God. Nobody can change or alter that fact. How many, much or few those rewards are is actually between you and God. God created you for a purpose. Each individual has a purpose. Once you embark into existence there is no way out unless you finish. Each individual has a time in which to complete their course. That time can be premature; prior to birth or instantly, after birth. That time can span a few minutes, days, weeks, years, decades or a century plus. There are no two paths designed that are exactly alike. Therefore you cannot navigate in the same manner as someone else. The Holy Spirit as the ultimate guide wants to and awaits too direct your path!

God who is all wise and all knowing has given us guide lines and instructions. This is why His Word is so very important. Now, just know that you can select some, all or part of His instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? You can practice them legalistically or even disregard, modify, add your own, or totally ignore the instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? Keep in mind there are actually some instructions that you do not have to do any more. Why is that? When Jesus came He left us with a better way. He is our only perfect example. He actually fulfilled the law. We are now free from the law. You must become familiar with His Word. It is full of history and wisdom. It is important to know what they were and what they are now! When you read His instructions you will be fed spiritually. This way you can really appreciate all that He has done for us! This will also help you when someone else gives you direction. You will know the difference when you have faithfully studied the instructions. Always remember you can opt to ignore all of them. But, again there will be consequences. Free choice was designed so we are not mechanical robots. Your intellect was actually designed for you to think intelligently. How do you think Adam named all those animals? It is crucial that you intellectually as well as spiritually yield to the Lord’s way. Yielding helps you to subscribe to His will being done in your life. Here is where you will find true freedom. You will also know “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” But He tells us not to use our liberty to cloak maliciousness! Remember absolutely nothing is hidden from God! God is sovereign! This also helps you to keep focused!

God has given us the opportunity to have an internal guide. But you must first acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. To shift to this level of functioning you must invite His Son as your Savior to come and abide in your heart! Now you are ready! When all or any of those feelings I talked about earlier come what do you do? You shift your Focus to God. God our Father, our Creator and Maker of all things. Colossians tell us that there is not anything that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. This world as we know it was spoke into existence. The Word, became flesh and dwelt among us! His Word is Jesus! He really does know all about your Troubles, Temptations or Trials. He really does have a way. That is why He says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.” Jesus is the only door to Him!

When your life becomes burdened down with the troubles of this world remember it is only a test? Life wants to distract you from your purpose. You were created to worship and praise God. I also have a little secret that just might help you? It does not matter how much or little someone thinks of you? It does not matter how much or little you have? It does not really even matter how many, or few titles that are in front of or behind your name. It does not even really matter what others say; especially when it is just not true . God knows the intent as well as content of our hearts. Hallelujah! Many will draw conclusions and make assumptions based on little or no factual data. Problems and situations are seasonal. God is eternal! He always was and always will be! This is why it is so important not to get drawn into how you feel. Feeling is a good thing, anyone that does not feel is ready for the grave. Just don’t let your feelings control you. It’s never too late to change. Begin to learn to take in several bites of self control. It really goes a long way. You can learn to be objective when you deeply examine situations. Many are often deceived. Remember, you must learn to focus. This will give you the proper motivation to do the right thing at the proper time. It will also give you a taste of another fruit which is inner peace. This will also let you know what is important. What really is important is; that you know and obey God. God will never lead you to do anything morally, physically or spiritually that goes against His principles.

Start today by incorporating in your daily diet His fruit. Galatians 5 will teach you all about the fruit of God’s Spirit. It also lets you know by contrast the works of the flesh. You have as much tine as you need to accomplish what He wants you to do. Oops! By the way it might seem to others when you take a bite of patience you have, or are………whatever? Patience often does work tribulation. Oh but HOPE will take you through tribulation. Hope helps you not to be ashamed. It will definitely help you keep focused! But your hope must lie in God! Did you know your mind can bring you down and confuse you when it is not properly focused? It can allow you to distort the facts. Remember God’s Love never fails! Now if you have not confessed and believed in your heart you may or should I say will have a problem with all of this. Why? It so simple that it is difficult. Be careful who and what you yoke yourself up with. There are those who major in worry. Have you ever heard the expression “If you are going to worry why pray?” God’s yoke is easy and His burdens are light. His burdens are not to weigh you down. They come so you can what? Put it all in His hands.

Always remember who and what awaits you. Better yet who is with you? His precious Comforter, the Holy Spirit! The way this world is going, it’s just no telling, you might just be one of those who ends up being caught up in the air with Jesus? Either way at the end of this course God has reward(s). Keep your faith and trust in Him. He really does have it all under His control. This is why it is very important to always keep in view; God has a purpose for you! This is why He says be anxious for nothing! But in “all things through prayer and supplications let your request be made known… “If your mind is stayed (focused) on Him He will keep you in perfect peace.” All you must do is “PUT IT ALL IN HIS HANDS”

To God be the Glory!

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Revelation – A Valid Prophecy – 2012 ?

 

The Book of Revelation is quite an interesting, intriguing narrative account of the grand finale! Bursting at the seams with a great wealth of relative, similar, prophetic symbolism that is also found in the Books of Daniel and Zechariah. It is in Revelation that John shares his many quite extraordinary, remarkable visions. John endured a lot of persecution because of his faith and belief in Jesus Christ. It is here on the rocky island of Patmos John was exiled because he would not worship the image of Emperor Domitian. Scores of readers shy away from reading Revelation and find some of its contents a bit disturbing. Others simply find it weird and even a bit irrational. However, when one looks closer through a spiritual lens you will discover that John truly and unselfishly intended to enlighten, inspire hope and encouragement in the midst of his own personal predicament. Revelation contains valid prophecy.

Revelation has been described as one of the most complicated, intimidating Books in the Bible. One might pose the question; “Well if it is so complicated then why bother at all to read Revelation?” First and foremost because it is the inspired Word of God. John gives us a profound reason to persevere through its contents. One must certainly solicit the aid and assistance of the Holy Spirit to open your spiritual ears for any lucid clarity. John himself really answers that question earlier on. He tells us that “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take it to heart what is written in it, because the time is near…”

 John also reinforces the fact that Jesus Christ is, lived here on earth, is the King of Kings, and the Almighty Ruler, of the kings of the earth and is most definitely coming back again! Here in Revelation we are reminded that Jesus created all things and all things are subject to Him. This further helps one to understand why Jesus humbled Himself, and actually became the “Word in flesh.” It was out of obedience to the will of the Father that He died upon the cross, and then arose with all power. Here we learn the immense significance of His amazing position as the “Lamb of God.” He once and for all gave His life. For those who believe this is the Gospel the “Good News!” Just by knowing who we are in Him helps us to live victoriously as John did despite his situation and what was happening in the world! Essentially our purpose for life and living is to discover Him as our Creator and seek Him above everything else. We who are believers have been purchased with His Blood. The Church belongs to Him, His Church is His Bride!

Revelation contains an affluent wealth of prophetic visions that stretches one’s imagination to think far beyond the surface. To ponder and launch out into the deep where one’s faith or lack thereof becomes apparent. John goes on to describe the events on a scroll to be sent to the seven (7) Churches. To each of them he has some very specific and interesting comments. Take some time and see where your congregation of choice is? “He who has an ear, let Him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” It is important today in this 21st century to be mindful that the scriptures are being fulfilled. GOD’s WORD is AWESOME! God wants us to have an intimate personal relationship with Him. It is important to know the Lord’s Word for yourself. This way you “will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming…” as expressed in Ephesians.

It is here in Revelation that we are reminded of the ongoing spiritual warfare that was and has continued to go on within and against His Church. Keep in mind when Revelation was written the many large, small, storefront and or mega buildings where the Church comes together for worship did not exist. The war between good and evil continues. This is again why it is so very important to have an intimate personal relationship with the Lord and His Word. Revelation does not easily open its contents for one to readily embrace and understand. One must seek and call upon the Holy Spirit to keep you attentive. To continue through the many passages that requires a deep concentration and steadfastness through the many tumultuous interludes. This is also why it is so very important to worship the Lord “in Spirit and in TRUTH He indeed, is truly worthy of our praise!

All in all Revelation major overtones reassures us that our HOPE and TRUST must be in the Lord. John clearly reminds us that GOD alone gave His only Begotten Son to redeem us from the clutches of sin and death and insure our access to eternal life! It is through Adam that sin and death entered our existence. During one’s mesmerizing safaric journey through Revelation there are many turns and unexpected surprises. Vivid, veracious scenes depicting the seven (7) seals, seven (7) trumpets, scrolls, exotic creatures, dragons and angels, seven (7) plagues and seven (7) bowls of God’s wrath, and a wondrous plethora of rare precious gemstones and so much more… Here in Revelation there is also a wonderful vision magnificently illustrating the joy and honor for being invited to the great wedding supper. SEVEN is the number of COMPLETION! The King of Kings emerges and gives us a glimpse of what Heaven is like. It is through Jesus Christ’s love for us, His birth, sinless life, crucifixion, death and resurrection that we have been redeemed and given the gift of eternal life. Within the power of His resurrection is our Hope!

Yes our country has been in an economic crisis, property values plummeted declined. Companies and corporations large and small are closed doors. God’s principles for marriage and the family are being abandoned by the masses, immorality on the rise, unexplained weather phenomenon, wars and rumors of war continue, the entire universe is being impacted. Yes one must be aware and concerned, but don’t be alarmed or afraid by all the events we hear and will continue to hear. Is it important to read Revelation? Yes of course, All of God’s Word is true. John tells us that Behold, I AM coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of this prophecy in this book.”

It is also in Revelation that an angel of the Lord reminds us that “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord the God of the spirits and prophets, sent an angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” God knows us from the inside out through and through. He knows the why, who what, and why not. You may not want to think about it but time is of the essence. Our entire lives are an open book to the Lord. It is important that we keep in mind that our life continues on throughout eternity. It is important to know for sure where you will spend eternity! This is not based upon what someone says, thinks or does not say about you. It is based on His Word and knowing without a doubt that it is to Him you belong. “It is in Him we move and live and have our being.” Hear what His Spirit has to say “BLESSED are those who wash their robes, that they may go through the gates of the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehoods…”Although Revelation may be difficult to comprehend at times, I want to encourage you to read on. Remember the Word of God is like no other. It is “quick (alive) and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword…” Since it is so full of life, each time you take time to read it and glean its wisdom your spiritual ears and eyes are opened just that much more! And yes most definitely, Revelation is a valid prophecy

God is our Father & Creator! Have you really given some serious thought to what eternity will be like? Imagine The Word tells us that there will be no more, death, pain or sorrow! "God will wipe every tear from their eyes! " It is important to realize when you truly are living for the Lord whatever you are going through its not over for you. In the end "WE WIN" God has the last WORD! "These are the words of HIM who is HOLY and TRUE, who holds the KEY of DAVID, What HE opens NO ONE can shut, and what HE shuts NO ONE can open!"

The Bible starts with a marvelous story of Creation. Genesis records the Beginning. It concludes with the creation of a new heaven and earth in Revelation. Those who overcome through Jesus Christ will "stand firm in the end." (evil will not be able to mimic itself as good and continue to deceive many…) We don’t know the day or the hour but JESUS is coming soon!!! The Promises of God will be fulfilled! HIS WORD will not return void! In this world where disobedience, mistreatment, persecution, immorality, evil, lying, and deception continue to rise… JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR tells us to endure by FAITH! TRUST HIM! In spite of how things appear, He really does ultimately have it ALL under His control! His message of Love, Repentance and Salvation is extended to all! He is the "Bright and Morning STAR!" HE IS the ALPHA and THE OMEGA THE BEGINNING AND THE END!!! We can ALWAYS have HOPE in the LORD!!! TO GOD Be THE GLORY!

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Walking In Integrity

Do you desire to walk in integrity? Do you desire to be whole? Do you really know that there is absolutely nothing in life that God is not aware of? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” God in His infinite wisdom knew from the very beginning of time that we would have to endure many situations, trials, sicknesses, grief and yes difficult people. His Word tells us that He knew us before the foundation of the world. God has given us so many examples to remind us daily who He is. You see “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament display His handiwork!” So why is it that so many elect to walk contrary to His Word?

You see many do not simply understand that God really has provided everything that we need in order to live and properly function in this world. God has given us the Bible that contains 66 books which have been divinely inspired. He sent His Son to purchase with His life; a plan of salvation for us! It is through His plan of salvation we access His overflowing abundance. It is through Him we are given the opportunity to walk in integrity.

Walking in integrity provides you with a sense of wholeness. It gives you an assurance to know when you are walking with the Lord your steps are ordered. This does not mean that bad things will not happen. I assure you they will. But if you are quietly still you will be able to recognize the author of its origin. You will be able to soar above your situation and rest in the arms of an all powerful and mighty God. You see God is awesome and He is mighty in battle.

Life today is very complex. The world is full of people who subscribe to a multiplicity of belief systems. Many simply have no moral or ethical barometer to determine what is right or wrong. Many live in lifestyles entrenched in a multiplicity of addictive behaviors. You also have those who do not really believe in God but they attempt to live life by doing good things. Then you have another group that is just mentally insane! On the other hand you have many who profess to be believers that opt to employ a distorted fragmented partially clad truth system. That is really not truth at all. Then you have those who know without a doubt they are children of God. They realize that they live in the world but they know that they are not of the world. So therefore we have global conflict.

What are you saying? As a child of God you realize that you live in the world. But on a spiritual level you know that you must not conform to its belief system. You withdraw on your Faith account. You beseech God for direction. You do not walk in the counsel of ungodly people. How do I do this? You must learn to walk in integrity. You must pray that the Lord illuminates your understanding to help you see your path forward. You seek solace in the scriptures for further guidance. You accept the truth even when it is painful. You lay aside the weights that so easily make an attempt to hinder you walking in the Light of God’s Word. Daniel’s life displays an excellent example of integrity. His peers were intimidated by his character. For this they plotted against him. Yet, Daniel remained faithful to Godly principles. God took care of Daniel. Walking in integrity causes one to walk against the grain. You see the Truth is always the pathway to God!

We who are Christians must seek to resolve our earthly challenges in a spiritual way. This does not mean to adopt some fairytale never never land faulty belief system. Neither does it mean I can do anything, say anything or live any way and God will just have to forgive me mentality. After all we are not under the law we are under grace. It means to responsively take personal responsibility for your actions!

There will be consequences for behavior! Don’t t use or manipulate others who are weak and are ignorant to God’s Way of living in order to get your way! Integrity will help you walk in meekness. Meekness is power under control! The world system is not the system that God wants His children to operate within. The law is for the unlawful. But if you know the truth it does not matter. Many choose evil over what is right! You know that whatever trumped up charges someone tries to infer against you they will simply have no weight. Just remember Daniel! Obedience to God is vitally important for the believer. You must choose to walk in integrity!

Walking in integrity is not an easy task. You see it also means to stand for what is right in the eyes of God. You may have to go some places and be some places you would rather not be; but only for a season. Just know God walks with you wherever you go! But you must be certain you have not crossed your will with His! You abandon the need to manipulate the situation. Integrity does not have to fight its way into anything. Grace which is a by product will sustain you. You instead elect to pray and seek God’s guidance. It is through this guidance you can obtain the spiritual, physical and emotional energy to endure. To soar above your circumstances. This will give you the spiritual clarity to operate in spite of! Your faith will assure you God will eventually pull down any strongholds! By faith you know the Holy Spirit will illuminate the darkness that tries to perpetrate a fraudulent simulated light.

It is very difficult to properly relate to someone who lacks integrity. They quite often subscribe to the idea that they can do whatever is necessary to get what they want. They have a very difficult time dealing with anyone who does not agree with them. They often resort to fragmenting the truth to solicit support of those who are partially informed. You do not have to resort to their tactics! Do not be dismayed when they hurl insults. Just know that they are coming from a place of insecurity. A child of God must “walk by faith”. This means you have to keep walking in the Light even when you are not sure how things will turn out. But through faith you know God will work it out for your good! That you must focus on Him when those who walked with you at one time walk no more. You see the narrow road to God is not full of travelers. But it is the path that leads you over through and beyond the wide road that leads to destruction. The faith that God has instilled in you as His child will daily illuminate your path. Diligently study His Word! It will give you healthy realistic boundaries. Integrity will assist you. It will provide an invisible shield to insulate you from the claws of the many wolves that adorn sheep clothing!

Whenever you are in doubt of direction seek Godly direction. Often a simple whispered prayer will suffice. Because God really does know where you are, what you have done and better yet what you are going to do. Please do not subscribe to the counsel of the ungodly. Beware of those who talk right and walk left. Who use the grace of God as a license to sin! Who indulge in unspeakable behavior! Who live to satisfy the flesh and have an insatiable desire to star in an imitation spiritual spotlight. You see with God there is absolutely nothing that is hidden! Therefore you realize that there is no need for an audience when you know that you have God’s attention 24/7. To much is given much is required! You can then walk humbly in His Light because you know that “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world”! Know there can be no true peace and contentment where truth is not welcomed. God is the Spirit of TRUTH! But you can share with anyone who asks “This joy that I have the world did not give it to me.” Neither can the world take it away! Do you really want to be made whole? Begin today to walk in integrity! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, Life Coach and ordained Minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do,” and “Holy Matrimony: Now That You’re Married”. DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published.

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Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us – From the “Pit” to the “Palace”

America along with the world has been privileged to share a monumental, memorable phenomenon. Barak Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States of America is nothing short of a miracle! If you look closely and attentively throughout the corridors of America’s history you will find that what was thought to have been unheard of has happened. By the grace of God the “Impossible has become possible!”

It took faith, fortitude, stamina, dedication, persistence and perseverance to forge ahead against insurmountable odds for Barak Obama to pursue relentlessly the position of president. His winning the candidacy for the President of America reaches far beyond the United States. It has been said that his methodical, strategic campaign was a seamless, well planned, professionally skilled endeavor of any other candidate. This victory has brought about a much needed message of “Hope” and renewal of confidence within the American people. It also yields a restored “Faith in God.” The Word of God tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” The Truth and promises of the scriptures have been “made alive.” “With God All things are possible.” One can surely appreciate the fact that the ” highway of possibilities” has been opened. The possible pathway of opportunities are boundless for our nation, the world and future generations to come.

Traveling throughout the world affords one the opportunity to broaden your perspective and experience and envision life through a much broader lens. I am thankful for having been afforded such an opportunity, to travel throughout the world along with my husband /pastor as well as in a group. The world is so very diverse with a plethora of multi cultural people, customs, religions and beliefs. All having such a broad assorted variety of lifestyles in which an innumerable amount of peoples with diverse backgrounds live together. But regardless as to where I have traveled, from Mexico to Aruba, the Bahamas to Jamaica, England to Rome, Athens Greece to Ephesus, France to Spain and Switzerland…. I have always been thankful to return home to America. We have met wonderful people. There have been countless wonders, magnificent architectural expressions and artistic monuments as well as majestic sceneries to behold from the hilltop Montserrat to Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to the Blue Mosque and Hagias Sophia in Turkey. Yet I have never seen nor experienced a place where the freedom in which we are privy to here in America is experienced anywhere else in the world. It is because of this freedom and opportunity Barak Obama has become the 44th and 1st Afro American President. How ironic he and his family will be the first Black Family to ever take up resident in the nation’s capitol infamously known as “The White House.” “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”

In the 1930’s America was a segregated society where everything was separate. There were even separate water fountains and restrooms labeled for “Whites only” and less hygienic accommodations for the “Colored”. Let’s not forget back seats on buses and back entrances to public facilities. Many Blacks decided to migrate to the North. Being born and raised in California has had its benefits since here, we have been somewhat shielded from the dire profundity of racism and discrimination that permeated the deep south. Not that discrimination did not go on here, it did, and has ……. Here we have just been a tad further removed from the antagonistic discrimination which was so outwardly and blatantly, readily displayed itself in the deep south. Despite the fact America is a country made up of immigrants from all over the world. Where slavery was practiced and embraced. Where many Whites felt that they were superior to Blacks and we were perceived as inferior. To many even to be dark skinned was considered a curse. To be beaten, severely punished, raped or lynched and treated less than human was once considered acceptable behavior. The right to learn how to read and write was also denied as well as deemed illegal. Dissension, factions, immorality and discord are works of the flesh. Here is an excerpt from the article; Blacks are better off than in 1999 than in 1960 “After the Civil War, many amendments were passed in order to better represent blacks in America. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments all changed blacks’ lives drastically and positively. The 13th amendment ended slavery and the 14th declared blacks as citizens. The fifteenth amendment stated that anyone can vote, regardless of color or race. However, the South devised poll taxes and literacy tests in a successful attempt at preventing blacks from voting. But in 1964, after a sufficient number of states ratified an amendment proposed by Congress, the tables turned for blacks. The 24th amendment banned poll taxes. The voting act of 1965 banned the use of literacy tests related to voting. Voting gave blacks a say in government and helped raise the moral of blacks in America.” “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”

I can personally recall from time to time watching on television the injustices broadcasted on the news and the many interruptions for special bulletin news reports as a child. I can remember the many tales of my parents and the many experiences they encountered growing up in the early 1900’s in Arkansas. I was a mere toddler when segregation in the schools legally ended in 1955, which resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that Alabama segregation laws were unconstitutional. It is during this time that Rosa parks decided not to give up her seat to a white person simply because she was so very tired. This protest resulted in Dr. Martin Luther King a Baptist Minister at the time, being ushered to the front lines as a prominent Social Leader for the Black Community. Discrimination in theaters, hotels, hospitals and public places continued on until in 1964 Congress passed a Civil Rights Act. Dr. King lead many “Peaceful Freedom Protest Marches” protesting the many injustices upon Blacks. Dr. King believed, practiced and exemplified the Fruit of God’s Spirit which is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-Control. “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”

I can recall when I was in Jr. High School during the sixties, as president of my homeroom. I clearly remember having to lead the class in the “Pledge of Allegiance.” But, halfway through one particular morning, all of a sudden it dawned on me. It had become quite clear to me that it really was not “Liberty and Justice for all”. So I decided that I would silently and peacefully protest not to complete the pledge. Of course it did not go over big at all with my homeroom teacher. But it was a real awakening in my soul… One cannot help but to appreciate the far reaching magnitude of what has taken place here on November 4th 2008! It will be forever recorded in America’s History. American has resumed its intended purpose and the opportunity to provide “Liberty and Justice for All” has been forthrightly reinstated! There is no doubt that the successful election of Barak Obama was a concerted effort that included a network of people of All Colors and creeds working together. This is truly a victory for ALL people of America! He comes from a multi faceted colorful ancestral heritage that represents a multitude of people. “With God ALL things are possible.” His Word tells us “that God is not a respecter of persons…” It may be hard for the finite mind to fathom that God who is Omniscient, knew way back then, even from the very beginning of time what would be taking place today! “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us.”

We as Christians and as a Country have so much to be thankful for. All of God’s Word is true! Today we are living in perilous times. But despite the nations many financial hardships, declining economy, overwhelming number of businesses closing, devaluation of property, wars and rumors of wars, terrorists attacks, natural disasters, famines and earthquakes in divers places throughout the world, we can have peace knowing God is still in absolute control! Absolutely nothing gets by Him! Romans 12 tells us, “To not be conformed to the pattern of this world! But to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will…” As a professed Christian and believer it is very important to know God’s Word! To have an intimate personal relationship with HIM! The book of Romans goes on to tell us that in leadership the ability to govern diligently is a gift from God. Ultimately every authority, government and principality is under God’s authority and the headship of Jesus Christ. Colossians tells us that ” For by Him All things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible, and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and consist for Him…” Whether you believe it or not only God is Sovereign! The Bible tells us how God, delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. There are also endless true life stories in His Word of how He delivered His people from unjust rulers and countless situations that seemed impossible. “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought us.”

It is through a committed personal relationship with His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ one can truly experience necessary continued spiritual growth and development as well as His peace and freedom that surpasses the understanding of man. There are invaluable benefits knowing who you are in Christ. Today it is through God’s grace and mercy America has been delivered! It was quite evident as we all watched the hysterical excitement permeate the enormous crowds as Barak Obama was elected president. God has truly delivered America from the clutches of despair and hopelessness and ushered in a glistening glimmer of “Hope”! “Nothing is impossible with God.” In His Word He also tells us although we may be accused living among unbelievers (pagans) we must still live to please Him! God’s promise to “never leave nor forsake us” is quite true! Truly we can say “GOD BLESS AMERICA!” As Christians we must individually, collectively and corporately pray and ask God’s protection, grace, wisdom and direction to rest upon President Barak Obama , his family and his staff. As he takes upon his shoulders the awesome tasks of restoring America’s dignity, credibility and prominent visual universal position. He will encounter many land mines and obstacles. America has a tall order to fill. The 24th Psalms says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live within it…” As a country and a nation that proclaims to be “one nation under God with Liberty and Justice for ALL.” The Word says, ” With God All things are possible.” Praise be to God from whom ALL blessings flow. Praise Him ALL creatures here below… It is truly amazing ! Again “GOD BLESS AMERICA”

One can truly say “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought us.” He has delivered us from unjust rulers, slavery, oppression, and given us freedom. In America, Egypt, Libya, Iran, Yemen, and all over the world, Let Freedom Ring.

Yes, Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us. He has brought us from a mighty long ways.“But we still have a long ways to go.” Listen/Purchase “Look How Far The Lord Has Brought Us” from the CD “Somebody Somewhere Was Praying For Me” by Brenda Lowe.

Brenda Lowe: Somebody Somewhere Was Praying For Me

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