Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is It (Really) Not About Us?

Many people have been singing this song, “It’s Not About Us, It’s All About Jesus.” Side note: yes, that song samples The Brothers Johnson’s I’ll Be Good To You (ha ha). Anyway, well I know your intentions are good, but if the truth be told, we’re lying (to others and really to ourselves). Now, if this blog post doesn’t offend anyone, I’ll be surprised. I just wanted to make this disclaimer up front. I know many people are emotionally tied to what I’m going to talk about, but I want you to read this with an open mind if you can. If I’m a little scatterbrained with this, please forgive me.

Within a few weeks the election will occur. I hear a lot of comments and read a lot of comments on my news feed about the debates and how strong people feel about people. I’m still concerned even after 12 years (since the 2000 election) that too many emotions are flying and people are voting and praying for their way and not God's way. People have been throwing stones at me for 12 years because I make that statement. Keep in mind, I’m not telling you who to vote and I love you as a brother/sister regardless of who you vote for. I also ask for the same respect in return. I believe with all my heart that if you pray and God tells you to vote a certain way, go with God because you can’t go wrong. Now if you pray based off your emotions, indecision and fear, then something is terribly wrong. Don’t worry; I’m not to judge you for that’s not my place. We can play the "I love God, but I still want my way." Our emotions will fail us. We still haven't learned from the children of Israel when they demanded a king (they were trying to be like Egypt). So many people want to go back to Egypt thinking they can live on top of the world. Either way, whoever gets elected, many people are going to cry foul (and forget God in the midst of this). It's been like that for 12 years. We can sing all day long, it's not about us, but we're lying.

If I came up and said something like this, “I promise to give a certain group of people certain rights because they’re my people and we’re to look out for the poor; however, the caveat is that I want you to depend on us for your retirements, benefits, etc,” would you vote for me? Now if Jesus were to say this quietly in your spirit (but you don’t hear because you’re too busy running your mouth, venting about the debates): “do not vote Democrat or Republican,” how would you respond? I can tell some people are in the flesh and are actually upset with me right now because I said that.

I knew someone 12 years ago who told me the following, “I don’t consider you black if you’re not a Democrat.” I didn’t respond, I wanted to sit on it and just ponder the fact that I didn’t realize that my skin-color was automatically tied to a political party. Just for the record, I’m independent and have been since I was 18. Any regrets? No. So, this post is going to be from a neutral standpoint. If you’re expecting me to take any side, think again! You can say I’m apathetic, or whatever you like. I have to stand before God when I vote just like you have to stand before God when you vote.

I have a series of questions that I want to ask:
  1. Why are we still looking to our leaders to solve our problems and to accept responsibility over ourselves? Every problem our leaders come up with requires their attention and their solution.
  2. Why do we vote more for someone who is the slave-master versus the abolitionist? We trust the kidnapper, rapist, and murderer because he promised he’s changed, but we don’t trust those who gave his life for our freedom because the master doesn’t trust them.
  3. Do you believe that social programs belong to the church and the family, not the government?
  4. How does color and politics overshadow your relationship with Christ?
  5. I dedicate this question to African-Americans, if I came up and said I’m an atheist while professing to be a Christian (and I’m running for president), would you still vote for me? And if non-blacks don’t vote, would you throw the race card at them?
  6. How does Genesis 26:12-22 correlate to today? Isaac was blessed by God and other people were coming to take Isaac’s blessing from him. God continued to bless Isaac and people were still coming to steal Isaac’s blessing. I believe we take blessings from others because we are complacent and don’t want to put our hands to the plow for ourselves.

There’s something I see that really bothers me (and I’m sure it’s been going on before I was born). It’s wrong when a man can’t be in the house with their children because welfare and other aid are shut off. On the flipside, women are encouraged to have more children because their aid and government services would be increased. To me, welfare doesn’t mean just payments to a family for basic subsistence; it also includes a system to discourage marriage and the participation of a man in the household.

Next topic: The 10th commandment says you shall not covet. If you desire something that doesn’t belong to you, it’s coveting (period)! If the truth be told, the Bible is against a lot of the Republican values, Democratic values, and even our own personal values. This is why we are to base our values on the Bible. But no, we put our pastor, president (elect and actual), religion and denomination over the Bible. And if anybody attacks our pastor, president (elect and actual), religion and denomination, we will drop our sanctification and curse/fight, and the list goes on. And don’t attack sin in my life, but I can attack yours. Most of you know me, I’ll confess mine because I’m human and I screw up.

Here’s a little sidebar. Think about this: We care more about our political feelings than we do someone who is hurting. Understand, we must be there to uplift and help propel one another to their God given destiny. Far too many times I realized in life that people have become mediocre in their mindset, they view their lives like this, “if I don't have help, I'm not helping anyone else.” In this case we know it’s wrong. Many Christians have the mentality of, “if you’re getting ahead of me, I must to all that I can to hinder that.” A lot of times that comes with themselves in their past to hurt others as they've been. There’s a saying that goes “hurting people hurt people” regardless of who they may be. 

Jesus was up all times of the night and early mornings delivering and setting free those who were bound to the enemy’s attacks. We as Messengers of the Word of God must be likeminded. We are in this together. There is no “I” in team. Unity is the key to help others. To many have this misconception that it’s all about me and when I finish me I'll help you. No! Christ said deny yourself. And that means one must deny themselves in the area of me, me, me and say Lord I decrease that You may increase within me.

Jesus dealt with that mess with the Pharisees, called them vipers and accepting who He was but denying the power.

Now that may be a little off-tangent, but still relevant to the topic. Continuing on. There are many people in church that say, “I’m allowed to think freely.” I disagree. There are many religions that don’t allow you to think freely. Now if a church says that abortion is allowed for rape or incest, then you must take on that principle or you could be excommunicated. So, if your church is praying for a particular leader, then there’s a strong possibility that you have to be a part of it, or risk getting out (or hearing grips from members of the congregation as to why you’re not a part of this prayer). I have a belief that many people don’t want to pray for someone lost because there will come a day where a leader is so lost, that people will bow down to that lost leader! Sadly, many people will confront you if you disagree with your church leader (and they really are in error). The worse thing you can do is shut down when truth is presented. If what you’re hearing doesn’t sound right, please research it (I don’t care if it’s a political figure, or church figure – please don’t do it to support your personal agenda, do it in search of the truth). Since I’m on prayer, let’s stay on that topic. It bothers me when we do prayer vigils for a political figure, but not for someone who’s suffering from abuse, mental and/or personality disorders (known or hidden), who just needs a touch from the Lord. Prayer vigils for a political figure is just proving that it’s still about us!

Let me wrap this up with some bullet points:
  1. I thought the Declaration of Independence gave us inalienable rights
  2. I have a few predictions of what will happen November 6th, 2012, but I will give you this one: stones will be thrown for people who write-in this election (from all groups of people).
  3. It’s sad that there are laws that decide which groups are special (and you can yell discrimination if challenged).
  4. Some people think if we remove God from the equation, we can make it work. And look what we have: fears, hatred, backstabbing, etc. With this point, I still believe God will give us what mankind has always wanted – a world without God.
  5. I said 12 years ago and it still holds true: If we don’t get our way, we will rebel until we get our way. If anybody invades my personal space, prepare for a showdown. We should never put our faith in the election. Because we do, this proves my theory that it IS all about us.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Power of Two (Parts 1 & 2)

I started to entitle this blog It Takes Two. Some of you are either thinking about Rob Base or the version done by Marvin & Kim. I’m doing to divide this blog into two parts.

The foundational scriptures for this entire blog are as follows:
Genesis 2
Matthew 18:19-20
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Amos 3:3
Genesis 11 (mostly for Part 2)

So, let’s begin.

(Part 1 of 2)

Let me start by asking a question or two:
  1. Why did Jesus always send His disciples out two by two? He could’ve covered more ground just by sending one.
  2. Isn’t it good that God said that if only two people agree instead of fifty? Think about this, Jesus spoke and people left Him. I’m sure He knew having extra baggage would cost Him.
  3. Why was Paul always accompanied with Barnabas or Silas when he did his missions?

Understand that there’s synergy (in the natural and spiritual) when two people get together and do what God called them to do. But I’m also glad that it doesn’t take the majority (example: Joshua & Caleb). Those two were in agreement in taking the Promised Land (Numbers 13 & 14). Though they were cheated 40 years because they were part of a team (and the other 10 spies operated in fear), they still got to the Promised Land.

In the beginning, you’ll find that God created a helper for Adam. Note to the brothers: woman wasn’t created to be your domestic slave or playmate. We all must understand that a man and woman complement each other, and should NOT compete against each other. I’ll cover the house divided in Part 2.

Single people need a praying friend, and NOT someone who will take your time to include not adding value to your life (and that’s also for married people). We should have someone to agree with and not qualify everything. Married people need to learn their mate and if need be, go to God on their behalf (stand for their mate) especially is something is troubling them (so they can stay in agreement).

I’m telling you, that “I’m Every Woman” and that “I’m a Self-Made Man” spirit needs to go!
What I like about Matthew 18:19-20 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is this: when two or three are gathered in His name, there’s also a third person in the midst (which of course is the Holy Spirit). Daniel 3 is a perfect example. When the three Hebrew boys went through the fire, there was a fourth person.

Amos 3:3 says can two walk together except they be agreed. Sadly, some try to enter into something that’s godly (and yes, I’m talking about marital relations), but it’s on their own terms (butt first). If there’s no agreement (in this case, covenant), nothing will come out that’s good. Each person is being selfish and that brings me to part 2.

(Part 2 of 2)

This part will focus on hindrances to agreement. Selfishness & division go hand-in-hand.

Isolation (comes in two ways). Intentional and unintentional (the latter is because people don’t want to bear burdens or are too selfish). I want to focus more on the unintentional because this gets overlooked. Sometimes we end up alone not by choice is because others are being selfish and only focused on their own lives and their own families and their own circle of friends. Speaking on behalf of abused victims, many of us end up alone because of selfishness which brings about division. When division settles, the devil is authorized to be involved (the selfish one is prideful and the one hurt turns to other means to self-medicate – and some turn away from church). We need to understand that no blessing will come to you when you’re being selfish. Of course, the intentional isolation is due to the person’s own sin and selfishness.

What am I saying? Well, the devil needs an agreement partner. Once we become selfish (example is giving lip service to someone hurting by saying “oh, get over it,” or “I’ll pray for you [from afar]” without stopping what you’re doing to come alongside – and yes, there needs to be a balance), we’re giving the devil (the father of division) something to work with. Selfishness does not bring agreement. Where there’s envy and strife, there’s confusion and every evil work.

Tell me something (a little off subject): if we can’t show love to a hurting soul, how will they see Jesus? And this is what the enemy breeds on. Sadly, we’re preying on each other out of frustration and despair (no need for the devil to divide us, we’re doing a good job doing it ourselves). Another note, God didn’t create this division, we did.

In order to stop the division, we have to be sensitive to each other so we can agree. If I can’t reach out to a brother/sister, I’m no good for the Lord. Another passage said if a house is divided, it can’t stand. If my house is divided and I come into church without dealing with the division in the house, I’m infecting the church with my division. When there’s division in the church, selfishness is inevitable and folks with gifts who visit a church are turned off due to the division. I said earlier that when there’s envy and strife, there’s confusion. When it’s festered in the church, gifts are lost or the church will become very prideful and state that gifts are only for the church. And then we start bashing other churches creating more chaos. If a church is in agreement, then the gifts that each person has can truly be manifested in the local church as well as the world for His glory.

And of course, I can’t wrap this up without covering Genesis 11. Those working on the Tower of Babel were in agreement (but also in rebellion). And you’ll find that good agreement is about to meet bad agreement. Good agreement went down and confounded their language.

(In Closing)
There’s power when you yoke up with someone full of the power of God. It’s serious when two people partner to do what God called them to do (each fulfilling the other’s purpose). There’s no selfishness or division when the power of two is at work! If we can agree on the things of God, we can truly change world for His glory!