“MORE THAN SONGS” Companion Adult Study (Introduction)

This is the introduction to the study that accompanies my book MORE THAN SONGS

 

The most important book you can ever read is The Holy Bible. To read it simply as a book can impart great wisdom and understanding of the nature of humanity, God, and history. It contains principles for all aspects of life, love, and prosperity.

However, the Bible is far more than a book. It is the revelation of God. He authored all sixty-six books, through yielded servants who faithfully recorded what the Lord told them to write. The words are the power of God released to anyone who seeks to know Him. They are truth. They are eternal. They are universal, and they are personal. Continue reading “MORE THAN SONGS” Companion Adult Study (Introduction)

Do Not Open Til Dec. 26th

You may think it odd timing, but think about it…

 

Historically, Jesus’ birth was likely not on December 25th. That date was set as the celebration a long time ago, and established in the church calendar to coincide with the pagan celebration of Winter Solstice. At the time, church leaders were seeking ways to include followers of other faiths in the Christian celebrations. For this reason, some Christians have stopped celebrating Christmas. Historians estimate the blessed event to have happened some time in October. There are several historical and biblical discrepancies in traditions of the season. For example, the Bible does not specify how many Magi there were; however, it does say that they found Mary and the young child about two years later “in the house”. But the tradition makes a beautiful nativity scene.

But really… does it matter when we celebrate the birth of our Savior? Shouldn’t we celebrate Emanuel all the time? The miracle of God becoming one of us should affect every day of our lives. Choosing to celebrate on December 25th does not make us pagans. Regardless of the non-Christian origins of many of the season’s traditions, observing them does not invalidate our celebration. God has used pagan nations and practices to show His glory and fulfill His will. For example, the ancient Roman Empire built superior roads connecting the entire empire (which included most of the civilized world at that time). When the Romans began persecuting the Christians, it caused them to scatter. The road system made travel easier, and theses believers took the gospel with them wherever they went. God had used the Roman empire to spread His good news.

As the season approaches, we must resist the world’s attempts to take Christ out of Christmas. Commercialism breeds despair, particularly in our economy. Giving gifts is a wonderful thing, especially joyful when we give in remembrance of the gift we received from our heavenly Father in Jesus.

Glorify God in all we do in all seasons. Celebrate Emanuel (God With Us) every day. Be a beacon of joy this Christmas. Do not wish anyone a “happy holidays” or “merry X-mas”. Respond with love: “Peace on earth, and goodwill to all”.

A CARROT, AN EGG AND A CUP OF COFFEE

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again. A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was
solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.
Continue reading A CARROT, AN EGG AND A CUP OF COFFEE

Shut Up Or Speak Up?

If you have a friend who is a recovering drug and/or alcohol addict, and you know they are stopping to slip backward, what do you do?

Do you think “Well, they’re not doing the hard stuff like they used to, and they seem to have it under control”, or “It’s not for me to judge”? Are you afraid that confronting them might cost their friendship and not do any good anyway? So, you don’t say anything. You just hope they’ll be okay.

Or do you risk losing their friendship and confront them? Do you love them enough to say: “It’s not alright for you to even start down this path. You have a problem, and it will take you back to self-destruction”?

Do you speak up and help them stop it in the early stages, or do you shut up and hope it doesn’t get worse again?

What do you think?

HHHEEEERRREDONNY!

Well, tomorrow, January 20, 2017, America gets what they asked for. Donald J. Trump will be sworn in and begin his term as POTUS. The majority of American voters chose him, and now he’s what we’ve got. And there’s nothing we can do to change that.

There will be protests tomorrow at the inauguration. Other than John Wilkes Booth attending Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, I don’t recall any protests at the ceremony before. I guess they are protesting the election process, because that’s what stuck us with Trump. I just pray the protests will be peaceful. It is our Constitutional right to peaceably assemble to express grievance with our government; however, that right is forfeited if violence or the threat of violence erupts.

And speaking of our Constitutional rights, whether we like our new president or not, he is our president. But, I want to remind everyone of something Mr. Trump may not realize. Starting tomorrow, he will hold a position he has probably never had before… EMPLOYEE.

That’s right! POTUS works for us, the American people! He is accountable to us. So, WE THE PEOPLE need to constantly remind him who his employer is!

Think about it… Then act like it!

Longer Still (Post Election Reflections of a Black Man amongst the Evangelicals)

  The Scriptures that contain the stories of Israel, the Messiah Jesus, and the early church have long shaped how I viewed the world. It was the bible that affirmed black personhood in the fac…

Source: Longer Still (Post Election Reflections of a Black Man amongst the Evangelicals)

Put Down The Gun

My brother and I never heard our parents say the phrase “I’m not going to tell you again” when we were growing up. It was understood there would be no second warning. In fact, if we had not stopped whatever we were doing wrong by the time the words had finished leaving their mouth, we knew the consequences would be immediate. That’s how I was raised.

Lately, some tragic events have filled the news almost daily of police officers encountering young men who were either armed or believed to be holding a weapon. After repeated warnings, the police fired, and unfortunately, young men lost their lives. These terrible occurrences have incited violent protests, injuring many people and doing immeasurable property damage. This hatred of police and authority has led to murdering officers, and a racial division in this nation perhaps worse than the civil rights protest era in the ’60’s. Certain individuals in the African-American (or black, whichever is appropriate right now) community thrive on making any such occasions a racial issue.

This post will either be unread or controversial, but I want to speak the truth as I see it on this matter. I would hope that this truth would help heal. I use “you” not in any accusatory way, but in a conversational tone because I am not just rattling off opinion. I hope I’m speaking to someone.

If you are holding a weapon, or anything that police may perceive as a weapon, expect the officers to approach you with their sidearms drawn and pointing at you. This not a race issue. This is called they are trying to stay alive. It does not matter what color your skin is, you are apparently holding a weapon.

Now, regardless of what you have in your hand, before the officers say anything at all, you should be putting it down. But, let’s say it’s not a weapon in your hand and you don’t understand why they are pointing their guns at you. Then they order you to “Drop the gun!” This is not a suggestion. For whatever reason, they believe you have a gun. You have a few seconds to keep this situation from escalating. Your action is simple. Do not make them tell you twice. Whatever you have in your hand… PUT IT DOWN! If it’s not a weapon, they will see that when they get close enough; but in  the meantime, you have shown them you are not a threat.

If for some reason, they must repeat the order, and you have not obeyed, now you have shown yourself to be dangerous, to them or anyone in  the vicinity. They have to make a split-second decision. If they hesitate, you are likely to shoot someone. It’s past the point of wrestling you to the ground. If you have a gun (as they believe), and your actions suggest you do, you apparently intend to use it. Otherwise you would have surrendered it.

Trust me when I say, at that point, it makes no difference what color your skin may be. You will be shot.

Now there are those who say that a young black man is statistically more likely to be involved in these incidents than any other race or ethnicity. That is probably true. This is where I’m going to get really controversial.

A woman wearing a nun’s habit sends a message. You know something about her just by looking at her. Right? If you see someone with calloused hands, dirty work cloths, work boots, toolbelt, and a hardhat, that sends a message about them. Wouldn’t you agree? I could go on with other examples, but I think you get the idea.

When a young man (regardless of race) dresses and behaves the part of a THUG, that sends a message. That message is a very negative one. One of violence, lawlessness, lack of respect for anyone (especially authority), weapons, and drugs (there’s more to that message, but I think you get the idea). This is not racism. This is reality. When someone reacts to the message sent, don’t blame them. The THUG image and behavior makes people feel threatened. If that’s not the message you want to send, do not present yourself as a THUG.

Of course not all of the victims of these shootings presented themselves as THUGS. But the rule of put it down still holds true.

But if you dress and act the THUG part and you are holding something in your hand that police officers think is a weapon, and they’re approaching you with guns pulled, you have just a few seconds to change their minds about you. Putting down whatever is in your hand is a really good start.

PLEASE STAY ALIVE. AND PLEASE STOP THE VIOLENCE AND HATRED