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

Genuine Relationships

The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.  Proverbs 12:26

I sat on the bus behind two women, fashionably dressed in their late forties, who seemed to be the best of friends.

These two women were having the time of their lives.

They were talking from the top of their lungs and laughing from the gut of their bellies.

The bus driver even spoke to the ladies by asking them to lower their voices.

As the bus made stops for passengers to get-off and board the bus, midpoint of travel, these two women friendly conversation had erupted into a big blow-up.

Truly, this seems to have come out of nowhere. One minute they were sewn to the hips and now to witness these two friends as bitter enemies was unfathomable.

It was really like they didn’t even know each other.

And you would never imagine what the two bus partners were arguing over.

A twenty-five-year-old secret…in other words, one of them was dating another friend’s son.

There was no holding back from these two once they got started.

They had taken their friendly conversation from laughter to downright swearing and cussing at one another.

Passengers on the bus even got quiet from their own side conversations just to listen to what was taking place center stage.

Sitting behind these women had me nervous. I didn’t know if they were going to get into a physical altercation or what. All I knew is that I didn’t want to be up close and personal should they decide to take blows at each other.

The bus driver spoke loudly and sternly over the intercom system for the ladies to quiet down or he would have them remove from the bus.

Well, apparently that was the rallying cry for these two women because they immediately turned on the bus driver in a united front declaring what they would do to him, should he lay hands on any of them.

Now, these two battling middle-aged divas were coming after the bus driver.

By the end of my bus ride, I was totally convinced that these two women had a genuine relationship.

Their relationship reminds me of how friends should be with one another. It is apparent that these women do have an authentic, strong bond of love and honesty between the two f them.

Some Christians will perhaps assume that this isn’t the type of friendship acceptable by Christ.

However, I would say that Jesus is all about the truth. And if the truth is not comfortable, then who is to blame?

It is something we need to look at closely as Christians and ask an honest question of ourselves.

Do we have genuine relationships?

And if not…why not?

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

You don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

What’s a Real Friend?

Medicine or a Miracle?

James 5:15 – And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Fadookie-Caduceus-800pxLast week I spent time in bed dealing with a serious bout of what I thought was cold but it turned out to be a virus.

As I languish in my bedroom unable and unwilling to do anything but moan and groan at the intensity of body pain, shortness of breath, uncontrollable heart palpitations, and an upset stomach. I found myself mentally shouting at the Lord to just help me recover quickly.

But it seemed that with each passing moment, my sickness was getting worse and not better.

I can assure you that I was doing all that I could do humanly possible. Yes, and I also threw down some over the counter pain relievers. Yet, my heart and spirit knew that Jesus was the only One who could heal me. And no matter how long it was going to take, I wasn’t going to give up on the Lord.

About the third day in with the virus, it was strangling me to the point that I was convinced that I needed to go to the hospital. As I slowly pulled myself up from underneath the bed covers, my legs decided they were not going anywhere. At the least, the most my legs were willing to give me is a temporary halt against the bed and not in the direction of the bathroom where I could wash and get dressed to go to the emergency room.

At one point, I panicked. What on earth would I do if I don’t get to the hospital?

That’s when that still, quiet Voice overtook all the soundbites of fear from distracting my attention on death rather than life.

With all the strength that the Lord gave me, I found myself rolling over on the side of my bed and reaching for my Bible. There it was all the while. Placed so close to me, yet, I failed to pick it up when I really needed it.

During the next few hours and by the following day, my virus was still with me but it wasn’t affecting me as it had earlier.

By the weekend, I was able to go to the market and attend church service, although, still somewhat weak, I pressed on knowing that this sickness was not unto death.

As of today, I am feeling 90 percent better and that is just fine with me.

One thing that I am learning through this life journey is that we ought not to take Jesus for granted nor the Word of God.

Oftentimes, we Christians think we are super Christians until an illness, family crisis or financial troubles come our way.

My early onslaught of the virus put me to choose. Would it be medicine or a miracle?

That is where the testing of our faith comes in.

Are we really trusting and believing in Him? Or do we trust in what the world tells us?

It’s something to think about.

Prayer is the best medicine. God is the best doctor.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Jesus Healing Miracles

A Different Kind of Answer

2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

What do you do when you are constantly faced with nay-sayers and haters?

This question was posed to me as part of a group interview question.

After several minutes to think about the question, I could only come up with one answer.

“Move on.”

It seemed logical. But after I thought about the question a little deeper, I realized that moving on isn’t as simple as that.

When you are confronted with nay-sayers and haters in your family or at work, it will not be that easy to walk away from a core part of your life and livelihood.

And there are also friends, neighbors and members of the church who also may be exhaling toxic fumes that discourage you.

When the discussion took place, several in the group stated that they would just drop the folks who are hating on them. And two said they would abandon these haters and identify people who weren’t like the ones who are causing them pain.

However, I found myself at first struggling with what the right answer might be. And my answer wasn’t for an agreement with the others in the group. But rather, it was what the Word of God tells me to do.

That’s when it dawn on me that too many times in my life. I have drawn on the wrong answers to life questions, because I was following alongside what the world expected me to do and say.

With Christians of today being constantly held up to be measured by the world standards,

I believe it is time for Christians to stand up for Christian standards.

Never forget that the world hates you. And that they hated Christ first.

When the opportunity came about for me to respond to the question, I didn’t shy away from my answer.

I had already had scripture in mind for my response.

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

I Peter 4:12-14

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Rick Warren-How to deal with difficult people in our lives

Together As One

 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:2-4

Oneness Brings About Wholeness

At this time in our nation, we need to be pulling together and not apart.

We have got to stop talking about the issues and begin working on resolving them.

That’s what is happening today on the National Mall in D.C.

Christians throughout the nation are flocking to Together 2016.

For those of you who are unaware what Together 2016 is all about.

Well, Together 2016 is a national event bringing 1 million Christians to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. today (Saturday, July 16, 2016).

The empahsis for Together 2016 is to pray, learn, share, love and reset.

Call it a social media revival with the intent to bringing everyone together.

People young and old, Christians and those who are not Christians are asked to come together for the things that make us united and not divided.

I myself would have love to attend this gathering but several younger members of our congregation went to be part of this beautiful outpouring of worship, praise and fellowship.

For your convenience. I decided to just embed the live stream link for you to check out for yourself.

Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to live and show the love of Christ to everyone you come encounter with each day….that’s what Jesus did.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Together 2016 Live 9:00 am – 9:00 pm

https://reset2016.com/live/

 

 

Intentional Segregation

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Matthew 22:36

Confronting intentional segregation.

Over the weekend, members of our church were encouraged to volunteer with an annual community event hosted by an adjoining township.

The goal was merely this. Get out from behind the church doors and go meet our neighbors.

We were asked to put aside our preconceived notion that we (the body of believers) are somehow any different from our neighbors.

Here it was that we were asked and not forced to do something as simple as stepping away from our own personal religiosity islands and step on land to where there are people who are identical in nature and are experiencing or have experienced life as we all do.

The first day of the event, I took my grandson’s place and volunteered on his behalf.

Entering the park there was a huge swelling of people, in particularly, young families with their toddlers and teenagers.

Checking in with the volunteer coordinator, I was taken to my assigned area and introduced to two volunteers that I would be working with.

Seated at my station, I had the opportunity to get to know the two volunteers and found each to be pleasant and open about who they are and some things they are going through at this present time.

As I listened to one volunteer, you would have thought we had known each other for years but that wasn’t the case. We only knew each other by no more than an hour, yet, we had a kinship with each other that God meant for us to have.

It’s known as a human connection.

A relationship.

When Jesus responded to His disciple question about which was the great commandment in the law His answer was to the point.

First, a relationship with God the Father. And second, a relationship with each other.

After my designated time volunteering, I realized that Christians have to do a better job of relating with those who may not believe in Jesus.

We have to stop intentionally segregating our personal God from the true and living God.

Jesus said to him, ”You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Two Scariest Lies in Our World Right Now-Francis Chan

Conflict in the House

 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown.      Numbers 16:1-2

“Aww…you are always giving them something to do. ”

“Well, I would give you something to do too. But you usually don’t make yourself available when I ask something of you. Or you act as if you have too much to do…so, I give it to the person who doesn’t mind doing what I ask of them. And by the way…those that I choose are not grumbling and complaining about if the job is big or small. With a title or without a title. In the for-front or working behind the scene. They want all of Me.”

Imagine this conversation taking place every second, minute and hour of the day between Jesus and His flock.

God is constantly reaching out for someone to be part of His plans but there are a wide range of believers from every walk of life and denominations that goes about doing their own thing and deep in their heart resenting those who answer the Lord’s call.

This situation is so real and it is happening right in the house of God.

Christians have a familiar breeding and that is Christ crucified.

However, in these perilous times, there are a great number of Christians who would like to whine and complain about what others are doing for Christ and point fingers and gossip about the people we are expected to love and stand with it.

Listen, I understand that everything that we may desire in life is not going to come to us. However, to take on the attitude that you will tear down the house of God because you haven’t received what you believe belongs to you. Is not of God!

Anyone who reads and understands and is led by the Word of God, knows that the enemy sole purpose is to kill, and to steal and to destroy.”

Jealousy, envy, backbiting and gossip do not bring non-believers to Christ.

A house divided will not stand.

With all the devastation happening in this world, Christians of all people should constantly be reminded about our purpose here on earth.

If by any chance you find yourself being part of the problem in the house of God you need to stop, pray, repent and ask God to forgive you.

And if you are someone who is constantly made to feel bad because God has called you to do something  for His purpose and plans and you are doing it—don’t you dare give up your call! God called you not man!

My prayer today is that this message reaches all those that needed to read it.

My pen is the tongue of a ready writer.

And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will.  Numbers 16:28

I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Numbers 16 when it comes to going against the will of the Lord. He is ever-present to do what He said He would do.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

You Don’t Know My Story-John P. Kee & New Life

Passover in a World Growing Darker

21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. 24 And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

Exodus 12:21-24

At sunset, Passover began and this is the time that the Jewish people celebrate and reflect about how God prevailed against the Egyptians and led them from captivity (slavery) to freedom.

As a Christian, the Old Testament is not inseparable from the New Testament.

Without these two books in the Bible, Christians, Jews and the entire world have no history or understanding of exactly who God is and the role of the prophets, kings, apostles and Jesus Christ.

My life is much better today and rewarding because I came to know the Truth and agree that man can never be God and neither can man save but Christ (the Lamb of God).

I am not ashamed of the gospel nor will I turn against those who don’t believe in God.

We are living in the last days and the world can end at any time.

While the focus this day has been on Earth Day.

My focus is on the One who created heaven and earth.

May this Passover season remind us all of who God is and the power of His might.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Do you wish you knew more about the Jewish background of Scripture? Are you curious about the ways that the Christian faith connects to its roots in Jewish history and culture? BibleGateway.com

Jesus Wept

Jesus wept. John 11:35

If we take the time to look at the bigger picture, the shortest scripture in the Bible is the most profound.

Jesus wept.       Jesus-Elegant

And yes, this is the briefest scripture in the entire Bible.

For years children in church would choose to use this particular scripture to memorize and recite before the congregation during Resurrection Sunday.

When you look at the two words they might appear to be small and insignificant but over the years, I found this particular scripture to be perhaps one of the most powerful scripture in the Bible.

Jesus name itself invokes love or hate, acceptance or rejection, unity or division.

One might say that Jesus till brings about emotions that go to the heart of a person’s decision to either believe  that He is the Messiah and the Only Begotten Son of God or a self-proclaim religious fanatic with a cult following who was able to beguile misfits and undesirables during His presence on earth.

As for the other word, wept. It isn’t just the past tense for weep but the reaction that Christ continues to do for us every single second, moment, minute and hour of the day.

Yes, Jesus wept but unfortunately, He hasn’t stopped weeping because of the condition of mankind.

Yes, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God but the most pleasing fact that we can be sure of is this.

Jesus wept because He knew and still experiences firsthand the suffering that we endure today.

When I cry it serves only to release either my joy or sorrow.

However, when Jesus wept and is crying, it is about saving humanity.

Two words but an action that has far more meaning than we can ever imagine or endure.

Resurrection Day is not a holiday but an act of God that reminds us who He really is and the sacrifice He gave to us by way of the cross.

Jesus wept…for you and for me.

 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Break Every Chain (Live)- Tasha Cobbs

No Not One

Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 2 Corinthians 9:13 (NIV)

“Are you women Christians?”

My traveling buddy and I looked at each other seemingly perplexed as to why this young lady dressed from head to feet in an outfit from the sixties was interested in who we are.

“Why yes we are. ” I told the young lady who was standing next to us outside of the hotel where we were attending a Christian Women’s Conference.

I had already prepared myself to be asked for some change. But much to my surprise the young lady wasn’t looking for a handout.

However, as with my traveling buddy, her tenancy is to immediately pull out a tract and witness for Jesus. And she did exactly that.

The young lady took the tract and glance at its cover and then pushed it in her oversized backpack.

She smiled and followed up with another question.

“If you wouldn’t mind me asking…but can you tell me exactly what’s the difference between a Christian and Evangelical? I keep hearing and reading about Evangelicals and I’m kinda confused. Aren’t they Christians or am I missing something?”

Now for the first time in the many years that I have known my dear traveling companion, she was speechless.

Right at the very moment when I was preparing to share with this young lady my understanding of what the Bible states about evangelism, a group of women attending the conference, standing nearby, abruptly chimed in on our conversation and one of them took it upon herself to respond to the question.

“Evangelicals are very much Christians!” said the woman wearing a straw hat and a tee-shirt that declared, I Love Jesus and America.

The woman continued as if she was the only person appointed by God to answer the young lady’s inquiry.

“You must understand that we are all about God, Family and Country,” the woman boasted as if this was a badge of honor. “You see, this is what makes us different from all of the other religions. If it wasn’t for God fearing, hard-working and tax paying Christians, America wouldn’t exist.”

At that moment, I abruptly interrupted this self-righteous woman. As far as I was concerned, she was misrepresenting the truth. And she sure wasn’t speaking of and for Christ.

The second that I opened my mouth to share the Biblical explanation to this young lady, she swiftly ran across the street, leaving me, my traveling buddy and the group of women behind.

My traveling buddy suddenly found her voice.

“You know, that lady doesn’t know what she is talking about.” my traveling buddy said in a loud voice. “If anything, she sounds to me like she is more concerned about politics than the Living God.”

The woman in the straw hat and her group turned and looked in our direction. There was no longer a feeling of Christian love or kindness beaming from any of their facial expressions or body language.

Feeling that it was necessary to cut off the antagonist emotions between the group and my traveling buddy, I came up with some small talk, just to calm the tension.

Well, to my surprise (but not however to my traveling buddy) this group of Evangelical women began talking among themselves, leaving me with the opinion that they had no intention of wanting to be sisters in Christ.

Long story short is this.

God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are One but not the body of Christ, here in America.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. I John 5:7-8

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Love Them Like Jesus (Casting Crowns)