Keeping the vision is all about staying focused on your goals in life and staying encouraged. It is very easy to get distracted in life with all of the challenges we can face sometimes. That is why it is so important to keep your vision in front of you and pursue it with all you've got! God has a plan for each of us and it is so important that we ASK him what that plan is and stay on course. It is okay if we slip sometimes on this path because that is what the Blood of Jesus has accomplished. When we fail just plead that Blood and keep pressing towards that vision. In my page I will discuss topics such as relationships, spiritual matters, fun things, and so much more. Just check it out!

"Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he." Proverbs 29:18

Friday, June 24, 2011

All of my help comes from the Lord!

My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

It is important to remember where our help comes from. We are not in this fight alone. Sometimes it seems like it is just us against the world, but remember we have the Holy Trinity and minions of angels at our side.  As Christians sometimes we forget all of the weapons that God has given us in our everyday battles. Weapons like the word of God, prayer, fasting, praise, worship and LOVE. The scripture says "(For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)" --2 Cor. 10:4  We should not forget about God by trying to do everything alone and crowning ourselves as God.  We MUST use the word of God to overcome every temptation, test, and trial that is set before us.  Every answer that we need is in the word of God. Why fear when the Lord has already overcome the world? "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]" John 16:33 AMP Praise God! He has deprived the world of power to harm us and he has conquered it!

We should go about our christian lives in peace knowing that God has already worked things out in our favor.  "GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas, 3Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!" -- Psalm 46:1-3 AMP

We do not have to walk in fear, doubt or disbelief of God's promises, because God cannot lie.  He wants the best for us and he has prepared a place for us.  We must continue to fight the good fight of faith while on this earth.  We do not have to feel pressured about how we are going to accomplish something, because it is already done.  We should not be worried about tomorrow. " 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:31-33

So men and women of God, do not be discouraged! Keep in mind that the battle is not yours, but the Lord's and he cannot lose! The fight is already won! We Win! We Win! We Win!

Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. -- Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Be a Gentleman. Not a Pushover.

Jesus was a nice guy not a pushover. Men of God should be nice, but not too nice so as to let people take advantage of you.  You should be balanced and consistent.  Jesus did not allow people to interfere with his Father's business.  The scripture tells us in Matthew "12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." Matt 21:12-13 Jesus was not about to allow the house of prayer to be a den of thieves.  He cast them out and overthrew the tables.  Although Jesus was nice he was not a pushover.  These are the characteristics that we should observe as men of God.  We should not allow wrongdoing to take place in our midst. 

How are we allowing ourselves to be pushovers in our personal lives?  Do you have trouble saying no? Especially to women?  Are you doing someones dirty work for them all of the time?  Are you allowing what someone else says or thinks to alter your beliefs or actions?  If so, you may be allowing yourself to be a pushover.  Let's take another look at how Jesus stayed focused on his Father's business this time in dealing with his family when they were looking for him.  The scripture says When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."  "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" Jesus did not even let his family get between his purpose being fulfilled.  Sometimes we have to learn to say no even to the ones we love.  We should always obey our heavenly Father first and foremost.

So now let me give some examples of being a gentleman.  Being a gentleman is seeking opportunities to relieve and assist not just women but people in general with tasks or duties that may be burdensome or overwhelming for a time or season.  For instance, the most basic form of being a gentleman may be simply holding doors, pulling out chairs, carrying heavy objects etc...  More advanced forms could be if the Lord assigns a man to assist a family or single mother with raising a son by being an example to him and providing verbal support or rearing.  I have heard testimony of men being sent to assist a woman of God to raise her child without any expectancy of anything from her just the sole purpose of assisting her with that child.  A man that does this is not a pushover, but rather a yielded vessel being used by God to be a blessing or in other words to prevent misfortune in the lives of others.

The Holy Spirit is a gentleman.  He will not come in unless you let him in.  He is not forceful or pushy, but rather allows you to have freewill to choose him.  Just allow him to guide and direct you on who you should be helping and how you should be going about ministering that help.  When you help people that the Lord does not direct you to help you open yourself up for bitterness when that individual does not reciprocate your generosity.  You should do things without strings attached anyway.  Always operate in charity and never operate in selfishness.  Continue to walk in the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-26).  Do not allow feelings of hurt to harbor in your spirit if you feel that you have been taken advantage of.  This only blocks your future blessings.  Always forgive and continue to be more like Christ each day. By reading about him you learn more about the type of man that he was and how to live a more balanced life.

Being a pushover is allowing someone to abuse you or take your kindness for weakness.  Men, some women are only after a free ride and will let you do things for them if you continue to offer.  Women, some men will take advantage of you as well if you allow them to.  Do not offer more of yourself than a person has earned.  For instance, if you are not married, then no one has earned your physical affection.  Do not give that away.  The same goes with money.  Do not throw away hard earned money on a person that only wants to use it up.  I look at money as a seed and try to only sew it into good ground.  Also men, a woman does not want a man that is a pushover.  She needs someone that can stand up to anything that she puts out and be able to handle her.  I'm not giving women an excuse to be bossy and controlling, but as a man you have to know how to institute correction in Love.  Remember, you are the head of the household and you are responsible for the decisions of the family.

One more thing guys.  If a woman does something or says something that does not line up with the word of God do not be afraid to tell her so in Love.  Do not fear losing her because if you have to compromise to keep something you will lose it anyway (Thanks Pastor).  This is how sin entered the garden of Eden.  Adam knew better and Eve did not.  When Eve listened to the serpent Adam allowed it instead of correcting her and casting the serpent out.  Do not let sin triumph again by being a  pushover.  You have to say what's right even if it means losing some friends or a love interest.  God is a God of restoration and he can restore anything that you lost better than it was before. Ultimately, you want to please God and not man.  To quote Bill Cosby "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."  Stop being a "yes man" and a people pleaser and stand up for what's right.  You will be so much more happy with yourself in the end.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Intentions

Many of us have goals and dreams that we would like to accomplish, but how many of us make those dreams a reality by taking action and bringing them to pass?  Our intentions say "Hey, I wanna do this" or "I intend on doing that" but if we do not make steps toward these intentions then they mean absolutely nothing.  My pastor has often said that "The pathway to Hell is paved with good intentions".  Procrastinating where your faith is concerned and allowing things to distract you will knock you off of the path to success.  Of course, many are familiar with the saying "Failing to plan is planning to fail" which is so true especially when concerning decisions that will improve your way of life.  We must plan and prioritize for our future.

How do our intentions relate to our relationships with others?  Well, anyone that has children or nieces and nephews should know that if we intend on doing something for them, then we should do it.  Time passes so fast these days and children grow up so very quickly.  When a parent or guardian promises something to a child and does not deliver on that promise the child can remember that broken agreement for years to come.  The excuse of "I intended to do it" does not work.  You have let the child down and must redeem yourself with them.  Otherwise, to that child the hurt remains and depending on the extent of the situation it can take a while to heal.  So, let's fast forward to adulthood and dating/marriage.  Men. Would you dare promise your wife something and not deliver? Not if you want to keep your relationship happy.  A woman does not want to be lied to and neither should you be okay with letting her down.  Likewise, ladies do not promise something great to your husband and default on the promise.

So, how many promises do we have stacked up in our good intentions file?  I once had a friend tell me that they had intended on calling me, but I never got the call.  What if I had been going through something stressful and needed encouragement?  Okay, so your heart was in the right place, so what? Please stop saying that.  What good is that going to do if they never knew that you were thinking of them. Speak up!  These types of situations should never be, especially for those of the household of faith.  So, whatever the "intention" be it a phone call,  a gift,  a meeting  or whatever, be sure to act on it because you never know who you could have blessed by doing so. 

Are we using "good intentions" with God?  Do we intend on reading our Bibles? Or intend on praying, fasting, serving at church etc...?  Are we being lazy with our faith?  "The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat." Proverbs 13:4 What if Jesus only had good intentions and only thought about dying for our sins, but never did so?  We would all be heading straight to Hell right now with no hope in sight.  So, we must do more that just have good intentions with our faith.  Start practicing on your faith now.  Even if you start small that is okay.  One verse of scripture per day is a great place to start.  You will add more as you continue to grow. Pray about the church that you should attend.  When you get rooted and grounded in a good church it is a great foundation that you can use to build your life upon.  The church has a ministry area for you.  Pray and ask God where you can be used and how you can be a blessing to others.  Pray that TODAY. Do not wait.  You do not know how much longer you will have a chance to ask that question.  The talents that he gives you are for the benefit of the kingdom of God.  Plus, you will be closer to the will of God for your life. 

Do not take good intentions to the gates of heaven, if so do not be surprised if you're asked to take those intentions to the gates of Hell.  I'm not trying to scare anyone, I'm just saying that it is time to stop playing around with your purpose in life.  By having only good intentions you are hurting others with misleading expectations and you are operating in selfishness by not thinking of your brother or sister.  Besides, you would not want anyone to break promises toward you.  We must have works along with our faith, otherwise it is dead.  "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? " James 2:20