Life Little Gems

Matthew 10:39 – He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

What is life little gems?

Well, it all depends on what you view as unique and special.

Oftentimes I come across a gem that I will share with others.

One gem I found is a story that got my attention and made my heart skip a beat.

The story is untitled and the author is unknown. Perhaps this is why the story itself was so fulfilling to me. I do hope you will find this gem to be so valuable that you are willing to share it with others.

This story can be found at God’s Little Acre

AN UNTITLED STORY

Read on Air by Phil Foley, Host of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church’s Good News From Tab Program on 12/6/2000

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit and, before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service.

With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak. “A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast,” he began, “when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high that, even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.”

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in the story. The aged minister continued with his story. “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy he would throw the other end of the life line. He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves. As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son!’, he threw out the life line to the son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth. “The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son’s friend. How great is the love of God that He could do the same for us. Our heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take hold of the life line.”

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within minutes after the service, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was a nice story,” politely said one of the boys, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. Sorrow began to overtake the old man’s smiling face as he once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m here today to tell you that I understand more than most the pain God must have felt to give up His only Son. For you see, I’m the man who lost his son to the ocean that day, and my son’s friend that I chose to save is your pastor.” – Author Unknown –

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. and Hope

Romans 12:12 – Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

In honor of Martin L. King, Jr. Day, I would hope that at this point in time with a divided nation that we reflect on the benefits of activism.

Listening to some of my friends sigh in disappointment about the change of administration under the leadership of a Donald Trump and his appointees has them decrying whoa, pain and hopelessness.

Nevertheless, no matter how many times that Trump makes outlandish remarks and attempts to belittle those who come against him.

If you know your history, Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. wasn’t about hopelessness.

As a matter of fact, Dr. King’s actions and purpose was the embodiment of hope for not only people of color, but also for all people who live under the oppression of evil and the wicked.

This coming Monday, attention throughout these United States and abroad will highlight the life and legacy of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

Just to remind you that even to have Dr. King, Jr. birthday as a national holiday was also a hard-fought battle and seemed to be hopeless.

However, those who believed that Dr. King, Jr. deserved a holiday to commemorate his civil rights leadership and accomplishments stead the course and saw the victory.

Yes, with so many words, this incoming executive branch of our government has a great deal to be concern about (as with any new president coming into office).

Yet, let not hopelessness rule our lives.

Hopelessness is for those who would rather give up than turn to move the ship forward.

Martin L. King, Jr. was not about hopelessness because if he were…we would not be celebrating his life on January 16, 2017.

Live with hope!

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Danny Gokey – Hope in Front of Me

But God

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Greetings to everyone in 2017 and my prayers for each of you are to put all your trust and faith in the Living God.

Okay, now that 2017 has arrived. The question I pose to you today is this.

What now?

Are you still in the same old mindset that you will be making drastic changes in your life but it won’t be today but tomorrow?

Remember that tomorrow is not promise to any of us.

But God is the One with the power to decide how long we shall live.

Okay, you made New Year’s resolutions for this year.

What now?

Is this but yet another one of your traditions that within a period of seconds, minutes, hours or weeks, they are discarded yet again?

My friends, what we have neglected is that the future is “today”.

For me and every day that God gives me to live on this earth. I am going to do something that produces fruit. And the fruit that I speak about is doing something for someone else by placing my needs and wants on the back-burner.

How does one go about doing what seems such a big task?

Start at this moment to pray for others and you will see and feel the difference in your life.

But God! Can do the impossible for all of us.

Have no time?
Ephesians 5:16 – Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Have no strength?
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually!

Have no faith?
1 Corinthians 2:5 – That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Have no courage?
Psalms 27:14 – Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Have no trust?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Have no knowledge?
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Have no resources?
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

 

 Isaac Carree feat. James Fortune -But God

Merry Christmas 2016

 

Isaiah 9:6-7
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Extending a very Merry Christmas to you and your family. Celebrate Jesus and not the trappings of commercialism. Resolve in your heart to know that the greatest gift given to all mankind is Jesus Christ our Savior.

Be blessed on behalf of my family and The Counterfeit Christian Blog family

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christmas
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Where Is Your Faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Homeless Teens Youth Hollywood California IMG_5494 3

It was 2:55 a.m. when Stephen pulled the plastic cover over his shoulders to keep the cold winter draft from his small frame of a body. He was wearing all the clothes he had to bed. These were his street clothes and nightwear. Stephen was a homeless child who made his way through life on the streets of Los Angeles, after being abandoned by his maternal grandmother.

Stephen tossed and turned on the corrugated boxes that he had turned into a makeshift bed. He was freezing cold and his stomach was growling because he had no food to eat for the past seventy-two hours.

At the age of fourteen, Stephen was more like a man-child. He had to learn to grow up fast in order to survive the rough streets of L.A.

It was now 3:15 a.m. and Stephen was still wide awake. Knowing that he would not get any sleep, he pulled out a little small bible that he kept neatly tucked inside his shirt sleeve. This was the only valuable piece of life he could cling to. This was his mother’s bible and she gave it to him right before she dropped him off to his grandmother’s house to be cared for.

His grandmother really had no desire to take care of Stephen. The only thing she wanted from life was to gamble, smoke pot and drink alcohol. She was always complaining about how her life turned out. She never had anything good to say about anybody except for her black cat Wiley. Wiley she loved. But Stephen and his mother, she expressed her hatred for them on a daily basis.

It was 3:30 a.m. when Stephen knelt down and prayed. He wasn’t going to let the darkness stop him or the other homeless kids around him make him ashamed in believing that God was with him.

As soon as Stephen started praying, a bright flashlight beamed into his face, at first, Stephen instinct was to run. But, he felt something stir inside of him and heard a voice that told him, “don’t run.”

Stephen stared into the light that was shining in his direction. He wasn’t afraid. He felt a calming peace surrounding him.

“Okay kids, wake up,” spoke the voice holding the flashlight. “We’re from the Rescue Mission and we want to help you kids get into a safe place.”

The dark and quiet room suddenly came alive. The pile of rags and boxes revealed approximately eight young people in the dilapidated building. The rescue worker holding the flashlight was now joined by fifteen other men and women, holding out brown bags and bottles of water.

It was 7:00 a.m. the sun was rising. Stephen opened his eyes and smiled. He was wearing a new pair of pajamas. He stretched out his arms and cried. Then, he got out of the bed and knelt down to pray.

“Dear God Our Father. Thank you for hearing my prayer. I believe You when You told me that You would never leave me or forsake me. I want to thank you for the new pajamas, warm bed and food to eat. Now Lord, help me find my mother so that we can be back together again.”

Stephen got up and lifted up his bed pillow and took hold of his bible. Leafing through the bible, he stopped at the book of Hebrews 11.

He read the first verse of Hebrews 11 out loud. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…the evidence of things not seen.”

Then he turned to verse six of the same chapter. “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him. For He that cometh to God must believe that He is…and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

It was 12 noon and a surprise visitor entered the Rescue Mission.

The story ends but not without this question to you.

Where is your faith?

In Him Alone
The Counterfeit Christian

2016 The Year of Our Lord

Where Is Your Faith –Clark Sisters & Rev Walter Hawkins

 

 

The Parable of the Perfect Man

Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man on earth who does good  And does not sin.

The Parable of the Perfect Man

There is a story about a man who spent his waking hours attempting to become the perfect man.

He had no family. He had no friends. He had neighbors but refused to exchange any pleasantries among them. One day, while he was awake, he heard the sound of weeping at his front door.

He looked through the peek hole but saw no one there. He retreated back to working on improving his perfection. When again, he stopped, because he heard the sound of weeping at his back door. He tiptoed to the back window and peered outside. But he saw no one. He hunched his shoulders and went back to working on improving his perfection.

Now, all day long and throughout the night, this man who wanted to become perfect was awakened by weeping sounds flowing throughout his entire house. By the next morning, this man who thought himself to be perfect was beside himself.

“I tell you,” he said to himself. “Something is happening to me. Am I going crazy? Is there really weeping I am hearing…or is this a terrible trick someone is playing on me?”

As the man who wanted to be perfect sat down to drink a cup of coffee and eat a slice of toast. He began to hear the weeping sound once again. But this time, it was even closer than he could imagine.

Soon, the weeping became so loud that the man who wanted to be perfect couldn’t control himself any longer.’

Much to his surprise as he glanced down into his cup of black coffee and took notice of the reflection of his face. That is when he realized where the weeping was coming from.

It was coming from him.

The man who wanted to be perfect had discovered that his desire to be perfect, had made him a lonely and bitter man.

He had to acknowledged that he himself had created an imperfect life for himself.

At that moment, the man who wanted to be perfect had a decision to make.

Was perfection worth the loneliness?

Everyone who reads this story has time to think about this man’s journey for perfection. Are you like the man who desires to be perfect?

Or are you content in being who God created you to be?

Think on it.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

The Walls Group – Perfect People Lyrics

Dream Killers

A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men. Proverbs 18:16

There is nothing worse than someone telling another person that their dream or dreams don’t matter.

It is mind-boggling to hear someone speak negatively into someone else’s life about what that person can’t achieve.

Dreamers dream.

Dream killers kill dreams.

Those who are quick to make an assumption about another person ability may have been in their past a dreamer who dreams were killed by one or more dream killers.

How does one live or better yet, avoid dream killers? Of this I know. You can choose to either believe the dream killer(s) opinion and remain under their power.

Or you can bow out from their presence and move forward.                   road-song-03-800px

I myself have chosen to do the latter.

And if anything that makes the exit from dream killers the right decision. It is that with each passing year, you find that your dream(s) yet realized is still your dream until the end.

Giving up is not part of the plan for those who are determined to succeed. Dream killers feed on weakness. They are drawn to the smell of self-doubt and fear.

Dream killers are dreamers but they surrendered their dreams so that they don’t have to go through the struggle, rejection, and hard work to realize their dream.

Once a dream killer overtakes a dreamer, they move on to fresh bait.

But I thank God for the Spirit that dwells within me.

That Spirit tells me not to pay heed to the dream killers but focus on the promise.

And that is what you have to do if you are a dreamer.

Hold on to your dream.

No matter how old you are…how much you may lack in material things…or may not be in the best of health.

Your dream deserves to be lived out. And one day…the impossible will come to light.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Is Failure Your Best Friend?

For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity  Proverbs 24:16

I went to a woman’s business conference in hopes of learning new marketing skills and also to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs.

The conference drew a very small group of women business owners from the Tri-State area. Actually, the majority of the women in attendance had just started their businesses and were hoping to network.

Since the group of women business owners was few in number for the large hotel conference room, we were asked to move to a smaller meeting room.

As we settled into our new surroundings, a few of the women began to complain that the room’s temperature was too cold. Another one complained that the chair she was sitting on was too hard. Then another woman chimed in that the cold beverages were not to her liking.

Right at that moment. I was contemplating just leaving the conference.

As I pushed my chair gradually from the table, the room lights went out. It was pitched black in the room.

A few seconds later, the lights came back on. And standing in front of the speaker’s podium was a woman dressed in shabby clothing. Hair matted to her head and she was holding a filthy pillowcase full of what appeared to be clothing and small household appliances.

Well. The appearance of this woman drew all eyes on her. How could you not notice someone who appeared to be homeless and perhaps dealing with a mental health issue.

As the women quieted down. Music in the background began to be played. Everyone in the room, including myself, looked around, trying to find out exactly what was going on.

Then the most unusual thing happens.

The homeless woman standing in front of the podium began to sing an old gospel song.

Her singing voice was so powerful that you didn’t notice anything about her outward appearance.

At that very moment, we realized that she was a participant in the conference.

As she kept singing, she began to discard the ragged clothing she was wearing. Even the matted hair which was a wig she pulled off.

Once the music stopped playing…the ladies in the room stood and gave the singer a standing ovation.

As we sat back down…the singer introduced herself. But again, not in the traditional way.

Her words still resonate in my head.

“Good morning ladies…You just met someone who used to be my best friend. Her name is Failure. Now, Failure was one of the reasons I was once homeless and without hope. Failure tired to convince me that Success would never befriend someone like me. But Failure was a liar. Everyone…meet my new and forever best friend Success.”

This had to be one of the best conferences I have ever attended…and it was worth me staying.

Today is Monday and for some, you have given up on ever believing that things will change in your life. Nonetheless, this is not the time for you to give-in to your best friend named Failure. No. This is the moment you give Failure his or her walking papers.

Failure will show up at times in your life…But you do not have to make Failure your best and only friend.

God didn’t create you to be a failure.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Impose Your Will-Inky Johnson

Something to Think About

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11

Are you content with your life, so far?

On one hand, I could say with a loud resounding voice. Yes!

But the honesty of what I am enduring right at this present time in my life is a resounding no!

And let me just say for the record. I am not going to even play the Christian spiritual card and quote the scripture that Paul said to Christians at the time, “in whatsoever state that I am…be content.”

I also recognize you can’t go backwards but what about making the necessary changes now?

As adults, we are so gun-ho telling our young to follow the golden rules, especially, when it now comes to getting a good education and career.

We insist that the American Dream is attainable. Nonetheless, as they grow older they become resentful because they were not allowed to freely dream the dream God planted in them.

But, what happens when a young person isn’t programmed to be a follower?

Believe it or not. These are the successful ones.

And their kind of success is not measured by material possessions.

But rather, a success that takes them away from the norm.

If you are in a straddle hold thinking to yourself right now about all the things you could have done or could be doing.

If you lay awake at night pondering the substance of your life.

Or constantly daydreaming during the course of the day.

Then perhaps it is time for you to make the change.

Step out on faith and grab hold of life as God intended for you to be living it.

Don’t worry about the naysayers who are afraid to get out of the boat.

Time for you to get out of the boat.

A kernel of truth of something to think about!

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Music and Life-Alan Watts

The Wait is Over

The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.  Genesis 18:1

Abraham sat quietly and peacefully at the tent door, waiting to receive an answer to a long-awaited prayer.

Abraham desired a son.

His wait was twenty-five years. And between those years, Abraham and his helpmate Sarah dealt with obstacles that challenge their marriage, family ties and relationships with others.

Most importantly is that Abraham had twenty-five years to build up his trust and faith in God.            happy-fourth-of-july-GodBlessAmerica

Abraham heart desire was to have an heir (Genesis 21:5).

Someone he could leave his possessions with.

Now, most of us would presume that Abraham just wanted to leave his material possessions with his heir.

But I contend that Abraham in his twenty-five years of waiting was growing strong in the Word of God and he, that is, Abraham, had a greater and worthier possession that he wanted to pass on to his heir.

That possession was his personal relationship and experience with God and the miraculous that was continually taking place in his life and others.

Abraham’s promise from the Lord could not be seen by human eyes.

This unseen promise is what is known as hope and faith.

If you take some time to read Hebrews, in particular, Hebrews Chapter 11, you will find that there were many like Abraham who waited to see their prayers answer.

Right now, someone is reading this post and may be thinking that they don’t have twenty-five years to wait for their prayers to be answered. They need an immediate response and delay is only causing them more anxiety and disappointment. They are literally at their wits end. And if God won’t answer or rescue them, then, they have no other option but to do it for themselves.

However, if anything we can all learn from Abraham’s God experience is that he wasn’t just seated at the tent door haven’t done nothing as he waited.

No. Abraham was always taking action and not standing in one place.

Abraham was continually moving and in each new place, finding great success and at times confrontation.

Abraham was experiencing God and knew that He would show up at any time.

And God did show up.

One day your wait will be over.

In the meanwhile, keep moving…keep praying…keep believing…for soon, your wait will be over.

And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Hebrews 6:15

Read more about the life of Abraham at JesusWalk.com

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord

Hezekiah Walker -Better