Good Friday but Sad News

 

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

As I prepare to attend two special services today for Good Friday, I had to stop and reflect on this special day that we Christians recognize as a holy sacrifice for mankind.

Good Friday seems to be quite an unfortunate label to give to the One who we know is the Son of God and died for our sins. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for mankind but there are many today who conceive Christianity as just a fable.

Nevertheless, I will not deny Jesus and that He died for the sins of mankind. That is the good news.

But the sad news is that some Christians today see Jesus’s sacrifice as merely a holiday to take off and enjoy family and friends.

For some Christians, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday is no more than part-two of a Christmas holiday filled with Easter bunnies, chocolate candy, new clothing, a feast and let’s go to church today.

Many will read this post and say that God doesn’t have a problem of people getting dressed up in their finery and going out to celebrate His Son’s death. After all, they are still remembering Jesus as they slice that pineapple covered ham and dip into that bowl of potato salad and break-off a section of the hot cross buns.

No. I’m not writing to judge any of these activities.

But what I do worry about is how adults who are Christians continue to peddle outward pleasures to their children and grandchildren.

They push the Easter Bunny and dress to impress on their young ones who don’t understand the whole meaning of why Christ sacrifice His life for us.

I can speak firsthand about this matter because I once lived in darkness about the purpose of Christ dying for me. I used to believe in all the false images about Christianity until God open my eyes to see beyond darkness.

Yes, today is Good Friday but sad news for believers who continue to peddle another gospel.

Go out and share the good news of the gospel…someone is waiting to hear it.

Love in Christ!

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

The Counterfeit Christian

In Him Alone
The Counterfeit Christian

It’s Friday…But Sunday is Coming!

 

Praying Grandmothers

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 2 Timothy 1:5

Last night I had the privilege to attend a combined community service of churches, government officials. Law enforcement officers and students to pray and celebrate Black History Month.

This was the first time an event of this nature had taken place in our township and it was in part due to our mayor who thought outside of the box to focus on a spiritual awakening in these uncertain times.

Our pastor was one of the individuals involved in the planning of this wonderful event. And when he spoke to those in attendance, there was an instance in which he spoke about, “we all having a praying grandmother.”

Yes, I can remember just as if it was yesterday, my grandmother who spent her waking hours humming Negro spirituals, while she was doing housework, cooking or ironing.

And when my grandmother was sewing and sitting in her favorite chair in her bedroom, she would be listening to gospel music or a sermon on the radio.

But when my grandmother closed her eyes and began rocking back and forth in her chair or on the edge of her bed. I knew my grandmother was praying and I dare not interrupt her.

Momma, as we called my grandmother, believed in the Lord. One of the many things I admired about my grandmother was that even though she knew who Jesus was in her life, she never carried a “beat you over the head with a bible” mentality. No, my grandmother let Christ live through her.

A praying grandmother is a powerful woman. Especially, the grandmother who recognizes that she can move mountains and turn the world upside down, when she pours out her heart and petitions on behalf of others.

I know a few praying grandmothers that are so in-tune and in-touch with the Lord, that if I would go to them and ask for prayer for a person, situation or circumstance, their prayer will be heard and answer.

Praying grandmothers are needed today. Especially, here in America.

A praying grandmother is a sight to behold and a blessing to those who know her.

God bless, praying grandmothers.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Helen Baylor – I Had a Praying Grandmother

Why Christians Are Hated

1 Peter 3:17 – For [it is] better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, than for evil doing.

“I am so tired of you hypocrites trying to run people lives! Y’all need to clean your own house and stop getting up and other folks business!”

These words are stinging. Even when they weren’t being spoken directly to me, this type of sentiment from someone who has been wounded and mislead within the church is heartfelt pain being exposed.

And the persons who speak these words are people who have been spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically wounded by the falseness that was shown towards them when they were in the church.

“Christians are the biggest fakes in the world. All they do is pretend to care for people. They always talking about, loving their neighbors and forgiving folks…but they don’t know how to love or to forgive.”

Yes, these are words that also resonates truth and facts to the person speaking from their pain.

There is something to say much about why Christians are hated.

And there are also many reasons why Christians are reviled and despised throughout the world today.

The truth of the matter is that Christians are hated when we do not live or abide by the Word of God and follow Jesus example.

Right now, we have more young people leaving the church building than being drawn to Christ.

Part of the problem is that when a fellow believer is found to have done something against the young and gullible under the guise of the Word of God, these young believers are usually given a “scriptural pass” to get on with their lives, when they need to be held, nurture and assured that they were not to be blame.

But listening to others who are believers or non-believers doesn’t happen as often as it should. Instead, people who wish to express their feelings or provide critical information concerning another believer is scorn and ignore.

It is difficult to accept this truth. But God will chastise a believer through a non-believer, just to so that Christians can pay heed to what He expects of us. Think about it.

In Christ Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Pastor Jamal Bryant -Burying a Bishop Eddie Long, cremating an issue (1/17/17)

Don’t Rush the New Year

Lamentations 3:22-23
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

We are a few days from a new year and plans are already underway to celebrate the incoming 2017.

This morning I was reading several devotionals and they too were speaking about preparing for a new year.

However, it was through these readings that I began to sense that we, God’s people, are pushing ahead of God. After all, none of us are promised tomorrow. The scripture even tells us that ‘sufficient unto the day.’ And the day is the day that we are given to live at this present time. Not tomorrow.

We ought to be thankful that God has blessed us to have this day. It isn’t a pointed holiday to celebrate at the chime of midnight. It is a day when we have to do something for the Lord, rather than focus on our own selfish needs.

Yes, the festivities will be set for fireworks, champagne, partying and singing Auld Lang Syne when the clock points to 12 midnight. And some churches will have their services concluded minutes after the New Year.

But with all these activities and events targeted 59 minutes after eleven on December 31st of each year, we are fooled by the devil to ignore the present day in which God has given us to celebrate His new mercies.

Friends, don’t rush the New Year.

There are plenty of deeds we can do for the world than to focus on pushing the last few days in this year to the side.

What we have is an abundant harvest before us and it needs to be cared for.

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that a move on the hand of a clock or bright digit number really doesn’t make anything different in our lives unless we are willing to want to change.

Don’t rush the New Year…just be thankful for each day that God gives us.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

New Every Morning – Audrey Assad

A House Divded

And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.  Mark 3:24-25

house-dividedOver the past four weeks the narrative on the news cycle has been about the widening gap and divide of the American people.

And it is no secret that partisan politics and racial disharmony is on display for the whole world to see.

Our nation no doubt is a house divided.

However, there is another division that has always been known among Christians.

Traditionalism and Contemporary worshipers.

For the traditionalists, they are determine to maintain the status quo. The thought is that there is no leeway to exploring anything new when it comes to worship. No modern music, praise dancing or electric instructments or drums.

It is just like it is fine with traditionalists to just come in the house of God and be sang to by the choir, sing from the hymnal and let the pastor preach to you. That’s all is needed to be saved.

This way of thinking has been indeed harmful to the body of Christ.

Then there are the contemporaries who believe everything in the traditional service needs to thrown out and a new way of doing things need to be instituted. That means that if by chance if some of the faithful and older members are still seated in the pews embracing the change. They are perceive to be irrelevant.

However, the crust of a house divided is that good-meaning Christians allow ritualism (traditional or contemporary) to severe their long-standing relationships with each other.

christians-and-hellThis is why a house divided is never a good foundation to base one’s worship experience upon.

As we prepare to enter a new year, as Christians, we must be more aware of how we make our decisions when it comes to our worship experience.

Will our decisions be based on the type or size of a church we attend? Or the type of worship service being offered?

If the Kingdom of God be the true foundation of our life of worship.

Don’t you think that God deserves better than what we are giving Him?

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Praying In Colors

Philippians 2:3-4  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

As I sat in the waiting room of my physician, a little girl, no older than six sat across from me with her grandmother.

The little girl was quite involved with an over-sized coloring book she had hanging off her lap.

During the time that I sat waiting to be called, I couldn’t help but marvel at how focus this little child was in getting all the colors to stay within the lines of the picture.   photo-montage-1514220_1280

At times, her grandmother would gently move the book back on the child’s lap, as if not wanting to disturb the masterwork of this little Picasso.

“Grand mom…do you pray in colors?”

A few people in the waiting room began to chuckle and smile.

“Grand mom! Did you hear me?” the little girl said at the top of her lungs. “Do you pray in colors?”

Noticing that the little girl grandmother was startled at the question. She nervously looked over at me and just hunched her shoulders.

“I guess I do honey,” her grandmother replied.

“Do Jesus pray in colors?” the little girl asked, with her tongue sticking out, as she turned the page of her coloring book.

“I suppose so,” her grandmother said.

“So you don’t know…right grand mom?”

“Honey, don’t be so loud….we will talk about it when we get home.”

The little girl looked up at her grandmother, nodded and went back to coloring in her book.

Later that day, as I had time to think over how the day went, I couldn’t help but wonder to myself about praying in colors.

As a black woman, I had to ask myself the same question as the little girl in the waiting room.

Have I myself been praying in colors?

Imagine the thought that as believers we only pray for people who are the same color as us.

But I truly believe this little child hit on the heart of the matter.

Through her eyes and those of Jesus, the beauty of colors makes this a most beautiful world.

The color of a person’s skin should not separate us but pull us together like the colors that God intended for us to be.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

I Need You to Survive -Hezekiah Walker

Thirty One Days of Prayer

31daysofprayer

 

 

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Matthew 6:9

Today, I am joining a body of believers in thirty-one days of prayer.

This is not a gimmick or a name it or claim it scheme. But this is something the world needs to do, no matter the denomination or religion. When we pray, we are speaking with and listening to the will of God.

The thirty-one days of prayer will also hopefully, bring people back into praying daily and without form or fashion. In other words, to not pray out loud to try to impress man.

Praying is a personal relationship between the one who is praying and God.

As we go into thirty-one days of prayer, the prayer is not focus on the person’s personal prayer request, but rather, we are praying for those we know personally and those we don’t know.

We have a great deal to pray about.

There are so many needs in this world besides our own selfish needs. One thing we have to remember is that when we were in situations or circumstances, we have a Savior in heaven who is ever interceding on our behalf.

December is the month we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Let us not dispute about if this is the actual month of His birth. That is truly insignificant.

What is most important is that the greatest gift we can give to those we know and love is our praying for their needs, healing, deliverance,  and salvation.

Prayer doesn’t come in a gift-wrapped box. Or is display in a retail window.

Prayer is from the heart.

And what a glorious gift to give for thirty-one days is to pray without ceasing for someone we know or don’t know.

This Christmas season; make your request known unto God for someone other than ourselves. Like the Christmas gift list you have to purchase items. Why not make a prayer list that will cost you nothing because Jesus already paid the price.

I believe the Lord will be pleased with this gift to Him.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Andrea Bocelli – The Lord’s Prayer

The Moral Decline of American Christianity

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
― Sinclair Lewis

thankyoulordThis past Saturday morning, as I often do, I tuned into a local Christian talk radio program. The topic this weekend dealt primarily with the results of the presidential election.

The radio host, who is a well-known  pastor in our region also spoke about a worldwide conference call that he was part of and the interesting tidbits he provided his audience with.

It seems that on this international call of religious leaders, scholars, pastors and evangelicals  the discussion dealt with the result of the presidential election.

As it was explained, evangelicals in Europe, Asia and Africa are having a hard time understanding how a percentage of well-known American evangelicals have embraced the ideology of one Donald J Trump.

Even more alarming is the fact that those overseeing congregations in overseas have to explain how the teachings of these American evangelicals line up with the teachings of the Bible.

“One of the things that America was stood for in the past was moral leadership and character. Over the past few decades, it has slowly dissipated,” said Hwa Yung, longtime bishop of the Methodist Church in Malaysia. “In this election you have produced two candidates, both of whom are deeply flawed in character. The question people around the world are asking is, ‘Is what America is today?’ The election has done great damage to your moral standing in the eyes of the world.”

After hearing this bit of news, I began to examine first my own way of thinking.

Had I as a Christian and more specifically, as an American, tarnish the teachings of Jesus based solely on a sense of where I live in the world?

The answer to that question is a resounding ,Yes! And with the quickness, I am repenting for my assumption to believe that God is only blessing and standing with America.

For many years, American Christians have held the belief that we were the only true followers of Christ. Sad to say this, but there are pastors who still teach this flaw doctrine.

But my dear friends, I have news for you.  America’s history and especially among Christians has long been as vile and disgusting as all other nations.

The moral decline of American Christianity is expanding each day.

I will end this post with this thought. If American Christianity is so righteous, why are we still divided? And why have we turned to political parties and candidates, while forsaking the only True Power, who saved us all from our sins.

“There is massive disappointment within Christian communities in most of central and eastern Europe, [and] concern about the loss of credibility of Christian witness—especially the credibility of the evangelicals,” said Peter Kuzmic, an evangelical scholar in Croatia. “If the president-elect represents Christian values, then those values really mean nothing, and truth and character are out.”

You can read the entire article of this conference call at Christianity Today

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Israelis: Who Is Jesus to You?

The Molten Image Is Trump

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God 3 John 1:11

golden-calfI believe it is fair to say that the election of Donald J. Trump has caused quite a bit of disappointment and discouragement with a sizeable demographics throughout the United States.

His election has shown the underbelly of a number of those who declare themselves to be God-fearing folks.

We are speaking of course of evangelicals.

Yes, the true underbelly has been ripped wide open and all the ugliness and nastiness of falsehood in Christiandom has been exposed.

It is said that America’s churches are the most segregated on Sunday mornings. This is true.

But this segregation only brings the dark into the light.

Now the world which is already in darkness has nothing to fear about a false light.

This false light of evangelicals in these United States is trying to appeal to the wicked in this world, however, they are now uncovered to be no more than evil and depraved than those they fear. And surely, the wicked can never represent the true Living Christ.

Instead of these evangelicals putting their trust and faith in Jesus who is our Savior, Sustainer, and Deliverer, these tribes of people decided to put their trust and faith on an altar they built unto a molten image.

And what is this molten image that I speak of?

The molten image is Trump.

Just as the Hebrews had forsaken God after He delivered them out of Egypt, so has the population of America’s evangelical leaders and their flock turned away from God.

The misguided evangelicals who believe Trump will restore them to a height and position that will take down the heathen of this world will eventually have to repent for their mistrust of our heavenly Father.

But, the truth of the matter is that these evangelicals’ actions were led by the flesh.

Since the aftermath of this recent presidential election, hate and wickedness has reared its ugly head and has caused innocent people to be threatened and property damage. And what does the molten image of Trump do about these incidents of violence and hate? He merely pretends that he knows nothing of these incidents. And when asked by the interviewer to do something about it, he stares at the television cameras and says, “Stop it!

The saddest irony of these past thirteen days has been the silence of these evangelical leaders who surrounded Trump and laid hands on him.

Where are they now? Why are they silent on the attacks on innocent members of this society who have every right to protest against social injustice and religious intolerance as it is their right to proclaim the gospel?

Hypocrites and charlatans are they all!

And when the day comes that God strikes through the heart of America, where will these vipers and snakes be hiding?

By their molten image of Trump, I suppose.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  Matthew 7:21-23

 In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

The Errors of American Evangelicalism

Hurricane Matthew had a Message

             Matthew 10:7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’

Believe it or not. But Hurricane Matthew had a message for all of us to pay heed too.

The devastating news and videos of the wrath of Hurricane Matthew over the weekend, kept me in prayer.

One never can imagine what one will do when a major storm comes upon you.

Some people are prepared for natural disasters. But a large majority of us are not even given to believe that it could just happen to us.

A few years ago, I visited Rocky Mount, North Caroline after this county was flooded and homes, as well as, businesses were under water.

My college classmate was born and raised there. Yet, for her, all she could talk about is how things used to be wonderful and pleasant…and now, she was dealing with fear and discomfort at not knowing if another storm of the same magnitude would visited her hometown again.

Well, unfortunately, the state of North Carolina was ravished once again with another major storm and despite all the efforts of local and state government officials doing their share to keep the people safe. Nature had its way.

We can all agree that nature is nothing to take for granted. And despite our efforts to feel that we have the power to overtake the storm, wind and rain. We can do nothing without Christ.

Because Hurricane Matthew caused loss of lives and property we need to do as much as we can to support those in need.

I for one will be providing support for the Haitian people who are in dire need of rebuilding their small island.

Latest news reports that over 1000 people have died during the hurricane.

The storm named Hurricane Matthew caused serious destruction to the island of Haiti and its people. If you can do anything…first, pray, second, ask of yourself what you can do by setting up a donation station for clothing, food and other necessities. You can also contribute financially to a reputable charity or non-profit organization that will distribute directly to the people in Haiti.

In the meanwhile, you can also purchase a Matthew 10:7 tee-shirt with 100% of purchases going to Doctors Without Borders.

Purchase can be made at Teespring: 

matthew-10

For more listings of charities and videos of Hurricane Matthew click on the link below.
https://weather.com/news/news/hurricane-matthew-how-help

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord