Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:14-36 Signs are indicators that don’t always point to the whole truth. Laws are guidelines that are often bent and broken. We aren’t called to trust every sign that we see or respond to every call for civil disobedience. However, above the signs and the laws we are called to trust God. Yet these days I struggle. For every black male the signs are dismal and the laws are too often severely broken. Everyday more and more stories are revealed concerning the unjust application of laws based on appearances. All the signs indicate that it’s okay to look at a black male and first assume the absolute worst then freely disregard civil rights. The new Pharisees of the day are blind, and the ignored frustration of a people continue to go unheard or misjudged. What conspiracy is this that exists solely to hinder generations of a certain posterity from being? I thought once my sons were old enough, I believed their common sense to know and do the right thing would allow them to fully participate in a “free society”, pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. I still trust God for that. The question remaining; “Will they live love enough?”
This will be one of my last blogs for a few days as I take some time for my health and ask for all your prayers over the next few days as I recover and recuperate. Thank you all for following this far. I truly enjoy writing this blog. God is so good. I will return writing in a few days. God Bless. I just have one thing I need to do.
I want to give a special thanks to Dan at http://hurdlestohappiness.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for the Sunshine Blog Award! It really is very nice to know that others enjoy what you do. The title of Dan’s site immediately caught my attention as a blog to follow and I would definitely recommend stopping by because it really is pleasurable and uplifting! I am certain Dan has a wonderful future ahead.
The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Link the award to the person who gave it to me.
2. Answer the following questions about myself
1. Favorite Bad Habit: Junk food
2. Twitter Name: don’t have one
3. My Passion: Preaching the Gospel
4. Favorite Time of Year: September – October fall season. I love the change of colors and crisp air.
5. Favorite Vacation: Anywhere near or far, even in my own backyard.
6. Favorite Physical Activity: Walking
7. What puts a Smile on My Face: Seeing children mature into youth and youth into adulthood
3. Nominate 10 bloggers for the award.
4. Link the nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.
This is always the hardest for me because I enjoy all of the blogs I follow but here are 10 other blogs I’ve followed for some time and would like to nominate. It’s a diverse selection but I think you will enjoy checking them out. they all bring sunshine in different ways.
First, that someone liked me enough to add my blog to this award is really an honor and quite a pleasant surprise. Thank you, justbenswords for nominating me. I have to say justbenswords is wonderful poetry worth following and passing on to others I hope you all will give him a long look.
Second, I have to share 7 interesting things about myself. For me they are things I really enjoy.
1) I love God, his son Jesus Christ and his gospel
2) I love being an Episcopal Priest
3) I learned to sew when I was 11 and have made most of my own vestments
4) One of my favorite places to visit was South Africa. I hope to one day return.
5) I have a goal to learn Spanish by the end of the year
6) I have a family that believes in me.
7) I have a black belt in Karate, and play the flute
Third, I must now nominate 7 others to this Kreativ Award. I hope you enjoy them as I do.
He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings!
King of Kings Friendship Award
A fond thank you to Sebastian today for nominating me for the King of Kings Friendship Award. It really is wonderful when people enjoy God’s word as I do. I am so inspired by many of you as blogging has enabled me to hear from others. I hope that we are all able to continue to encourage one another as the Apostle Paul regularly reminds us. The kingdom really is at hand! Sebastian’s Faith First Ministry (www.faith1stministries.wordpress.com) is one that I follow and has been a pleasure and rewarding for me to read. Go to his site and you will see what I mean! Thank you again Sebastian this one means a lot.
Here are a list of others I would like to nominate for this award. Congratulations to all of you as I hope you will accept how much you have inspired me these past nine months. No pressure to accept and pass along but I think others will enjoy your writing as much as I do, all of which are very helpful and in different ways.
soulblindministry.wordpress.com Tremendous testimony, read his about page
lostpineschurchofchrist.wordpress.com Very helpful teaching
inlovewiththelord.wordpress.press.com Recently subscribed but immediately affected me
lonelym.wordpress.com Someone to ponder your thoughts with.
thebettermanprojects.wordpress.com A very useful sight for a mother with two sons, 20 & 26
I hope everyone has a wonderful new year. Going for a new look! Change, change and more change. Tell me what you think and may the Spirit of God continue to bless everyone. Know that His love endures forever!
Today I would like to give a special thank you to Don Merritt author of Life Reference blog, for nominating me for the Liebster Award. For this, I am very grateful and pleasantly surprised. Simply writing from the heart is itself a reward. When someone recognizes you it is a double blessing. Life Reference is a wonderful blog I have had the pleasure of reading and has inspired me many times over. I encourage all readers to visit his blog because Life Reference is Christ centered with a perspective in everyday life. I am now given the opportunity to recommend other blogs in addition to Life Reference, http://lifereference.wordpress.com/ which have also inspired me and are well worth this same award.
Requirements for this elaborate award are: Bring to light the person who nominates you by thanking them for all to see. Post on your site the wonderful Liebster Award stamp. Find 5 of your blogging friends to nominate who have less than 200 followers but deserve to be recognized with Praise! List them so others will find their blogs and read them. Oh and don’t forget to let them know they have been nominated. Please check out my nominations, visit their blogs and say hello.
It gives me great pleasure to nominate the following 5 blogs, which have wonderful insight for all seekers. I sincerely encourage you to visit their web-sights and you will see what I mean. Together we can spread The Word!
1) http://teacakebytsmurphy.blogspot.com/ She doesn’t write often but when she does it is very thoughtful and inspiring.
2) http://trusting2.wordpress.com/ This blog focuses on our relationship with Christ, a very nice Christian insight.
3) http://lostpineschurchofchrist.wordpress.com/ I like the theme; reconciliation in Christian life, and scripture.
4) http://dehypnotize.wordpress.com/ This is a blog that addresses the issues of communication in relationships in everyday life wonders and experience.
5) http://blogwithadiff.wordpress.com/ I wonder what God taught me today. The title says it all
Matthew 8:1-7 ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I do choose. That evening they brought to him many who were possessed by demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.’
Have you ever needed a miracle? If only for the gift presence, sometimes God uses us as vehicles for the miracles, we need in our lives. The gift of presence is a testament to love, compassion, mercy and grace as so demonstrated by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who loves, redeems and reconciles us with no questions asked. Immediately upon descending from the mount, having given the most extensive sermon on life, Jesus is approached by many wanting and needing to be healed. He makes no excuses, and requires no special action. He didn’t even put to them a question, or tell them a story, as he is known to do from time to time to see if they are listening to him at all. “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean”, a statement of faith from a leper who clearly had nothing to lose by merely asking to be healed, and everything to gain. The first of which was his life restored to him. Lepers were cast out of society, considered unclean in the eyes of the law. But if the law were the only judge in this world none of us could ever claim to be pure or unadulterated. What would be the purpose of being in relationship with others if the law alone dictated how we respond to one another? Christ in his humanity, born under the Mosaic Law had much to say about law becoming more important than the individual who falls under it. He preached that love, redemption and reconciliation of the heart, soul and mind should always be at the forefront in our call to minister to one another, and it continued to be the ministry of the apostles for the sake of the gospel. Today we too are called to love, redemption and reconciliation as the forefront of our ministry to each other. Thus still today, through Christ God takes our iniquities and bears our burdens, including the ones we thought had long cast us out of the realm of salvation possibilities. Know this, the good news everyday is that with God all things are possible (Luke 1:34-38), and in the case of miracles, God longs to hear our own statement of faith that he may say to us “I do choose.”
John 1:47-51 Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God!
God knows who we are! God knows where we are! For Nathanael this was very exciting. For us today this could also be very exciting unless of course we don’t know who God is, then we journey this life going our own way believing in our own purpose. Yet to those who do know God (wisdom being the beginning of knowledge), it’s also a bit frightening that he does knows us so well. The fact that God knows our strengths, weaknesses, and innermost thoughts, should keep us on our toes. Yet somehow, at least for me, as I strive towards perfection I continue to be imperfect. The closest I’ve ever gotten to perfection is in washing my hands. However, I must continually be conscious of this desire for clean hands while not becoming obsessive about being perfectly clean (a segment I watched on human microscopic parasites didn’t help). There are times when I just have to accept that my hands are clean enough. While anti-bacterial gel has helped with this, I have come to understand that there is no perfection in this earthly life (Romans 3:9, 20-26), and the perfection that we strive for is heavenly (Philippians 3:12-16). It is the perfection in finding God continually in both good and difficult situations, experiencing God’s spirit and strength when our own feels lost, and reconciling our inner thoughts with his thoughts when recalling God’s Word. Now this is something to be excited about! Yes, God does know us well, but we too can know him and take comfort in knowing that when we call him by name, God in his perfection will already know what we need in our imperfections, because he has already seen us under the fig tree.
Romans 3:9, 20-26 ‘There is no one who is righteous, not even one; …For ‘no human being will be justified in his sight’ by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
Philippians 3:12-16 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind…
1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.
Paraphrasing T.D. Jakes; “If you think you are the smartest person in the room you are in the wrong room. Your penthouse thoughts are God’s basement thoughts.” We’ve all known someone who fits into this category of knowing more, knowing better than someone else. Chances are at some point and time in our life and perhaps more than once we we’ve fallen into this category. Years ago I caught myself correcting my great aunt. She was the oldest of five siblings whose ages spanned 20 years. She outlived them all including my grandfather who was the youngest. I can still remember the embarrassment I felt for presuming her lack of knowledge. This revered member of our family had raised five children of her own and numerous grands, great-grands, nieces and nephews. In spite of my own ignorance her gift to this wretched niece was not to acknowledge or admonish my haughtiness and quietly continue her hospitality. The fact that I remember it today is a testament to her life and mine. I know now that although we were in the same room, she was in a much different place. We are not remembered for how much we know but rather how much we love. More than twenty years has gone by and I am just beginning to achieve the peace that the Spirit had long since gifted to her. No longer am I ever the smartest person in the room. I don’t have to be.
Isaiah 55:8-13 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’