Monday, September 30, 2013

ACE #13: Inspiration for the Week's Journey

Inspiration for the Week Ahead
What do we do when life brings us to a seemingly no win situation? We can't go backwards. In front of us is the biggest obstacle imaginable and remaining here only prolongs our decision to move either way. What do we do? Well, through this word, I see the Lord telling His people " if I brought you to it, I will bring you through it." Move forward. Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not to our own understanding. Exercise our faith. We must raise our hands like Moses raised the staff and claim the blood of Jesus over the obstacle in front of us and watch the Lord give us a pathway right through it. He made the water get out of the way and He will do the same for whatever else is in the way of His plan for His people. Thank you Jesus!

Study Link:

Moving Forward:

All glory be to God



Sunday, September 29, 2013

ACE #12 Walk, Leap & Praise

Walk, Leap & Praise
We have spent too much time begging and asking for something that really can't help our situations. This man, crippled since birth, was positioned daily right in the place called "beautiful gate" the prayer house; yet for some reason chose to depend on the resources of man to help him live. Much like him, we are that close to God strengthening our conditions and healing our crippling situations, but we continue to ask and beg for things that can't help us. Let's stop begging for troubles and pray earnestly, with our prayer warriors, for strength in our situations and healing for our conditions; in the name of Jesus. Afterwards, we can walk with, leap for, and praise the Lord, Jesus. Then a confused world can witness His works and desire the same.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

ACE #11: Why Miley Cyrus is Still on My Mind

The world was taken by surprise by this “new” Miley Cyrus - completely astonished actually.  We were all beyond shocked at her mind-boggling performance at the VMAs. The images of the sweet Miley, often viewed as an angelic Hannah Montana, are long gone. And it only seems to be getting worse. Even her father has spoken out by defending her “way too far out” behavior. She’s even been quoted as saying, “Weed is the best drug in the world…”.  Parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and anyone else who has influence over children – please use this as a teachable moment. A certain level of accountability and responsibility is entrusted to us when our children are born.  Even when they are passed the age of 18, they’re still ours.  We shouldn’t sit by idly when we see them going astray or down an all out destructive path.

It is our responsibility, as parents and even mentors, to explain that self-respect goes a long way.  At the end of the day, the only thing we have besides salvation, if we believe, is our reputations. All of the money in the world is not worth a tarnished reputation.  Yes, God forgives us of everything we do, but shouldn’t we strive to honor Him (and even our parents)? Why Ms. Cyrus chose to go this route is beyond me, but surely she had enough money BEFORE she went this far. I don’t know and can’t even imagine what Miley’s next steps are in her career. She’s not my child, but I do pray for her. After all, her behavior and choices have indicated she is still just a kid.
Study Link:

Friday, September 27, 2013

ACE #10: Just Like Play-Doh

There are moments in our lives when we question who we are and whose we are.  Life's circumstances have completely turned us into someone we don't even recognize...maybe someone that we don't even like anymore.  Isaiah 64:8 reads, "Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand".  Potter's clay is defined as: A clay free of iron, suitable for making pottery or for modeling.

Just like a potter, God was patient in our design because he fashioned us in His own image.  He knew us before we were even born. He molded us. He made us for a purpose, a specific one. Even if we've had to be reshaped again and again, God just keeps working with us and never gives up on His design.  We must allow Him to remold us when "the ways of the world" have bent us out of shape.

At the end of the day we really are just like Play-Doh - we're the clay.  Submit to the master potter.

The Potter's House


Thursday, September 26, 2013

ACE #9: When it’s Medicine for Someone Else

American Idol winner Ruben Studdard sings a gospel song, “Medicine (For Someone Else)”.  I love this song because what it says is that when you go through challenges, situations, chaos, and turmoil in life, people are able to see you in a victorious place after the struggle.  The greater message is that the power of your glory is telling your story and giving your testimony about what God has brought you through, what the wondrous working power of the blood of Jesus has delivered you from, and how you committed your life to God because of where you are right now.  Revelation 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”.

So don’t be ashamed of what you were or where you were at a certain point in life.  Be proud that you serve a God who can deliver you from a fiery furnace, a lion’s den, Satan’s schemes, or even from yourself.  Be able to testify about the goodness of God (the joys and the sorrows) and all he’s done for you up to this point in your life and, in faith, what He’s going to do for you in the future.  We and others can overcome many of life’s trials through the word of God and through our shared testimonies.

“So take your trophies off the shelf and make it medicine for someone else”.
Study link:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ACE #8: Break Every Chain

Break Every Chain...

Addictions, complaining, cults, deception, disease, desires of the world, disbelief, disdain, disobedience, dissension, division, depression, divination, doubt, egoism, envy, false burdens, fantasy lust, fears, fornication, fretting, giving offense, gossip, greed, guilt, hard-heartedness, heaviness, hate, haughtiness, hypocrisy, idolatry, impatience, indifferences, intimidation, intolerance, irritation; jealousy, jezebel, being judgmental, laboring...

Break Every Chain...

Lasciviousness, lust (lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, lust of the mind,) lying, manipulation, murder, murmuring, plotting, pride, provoking, rebellion, resentment, restlessness, rudeness, sexual idolatry, sexual immorality, sexual impurity, sexual perversion, selfishness, self-centeredness, self-delusion,

Break Every Chain...

Self-righteousness, strongholds, self-condemnation, self-deception, self-pity, self-criticalness, sodomy, strife, shame; suicidal thoughts, slander, stiff necked, struggle, taking offense, tension, un-forgiveness, un-submissiveness, vanity, worry, wickedness, perfectionism, oppression and rejection...

There is power in the name of JESUS to "break every chain." To break every chain link of sin.

I hear the chains falling...Rise up army to break every chain.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ACE #7: Your Giving is Not in Vain

A few years back, I had a conversation with one of my former students who was a chaplain for one of the student organizations on campus.  Upon my departure from the office, I said to him, “Alright, make sure you pray for me”.  His response was, “Why should I pray for you?  You make more money than me”.  I just shook my head and told him, “ Yep, there’s a story behind that too.  What I have is not a result of my job, it’s a result of the seeds I’ve sown”.  He looked at me dumbfounded, shook his head, and walked away. 

You hear the preacher talk about tithing, in faith, and giving back 10% to God.  I get that because just like your house, the church has financial responsibilities. And if someone tells you that good ministry is costly...well, it kind of is. I also realize there are things that you give that have little to do with money.
1.    You pray for someone because they ask (or maybe they don’t ask) and you do it because you’re led to do it.

2.    You pray for a complete stranger because you see their affliction(s) while they are coming out of the doctor’s office.

3.    You give a homeless person food or a few dollars and not because of their homemade sign, but because you are moved to do it.

4.    You babysit for your neighbor without asking anything in return because you recognize that the parents just might need "a night out".

5.    You carry an elderly person’s groceries to their car because it appears to be a bit of a struggle for them.

6.    You get out of your car to get someone else’s child out of the middle of the street because you recognize the child is in harm’s way.

7.    You see your neighbor’s trash cans in the middle of the street instead of on the curb where they are supposed to be, so you roll said can(s) over to the side of their house.

8.    You take food to the bereaved family down the street because cooking is the last thing on their minds.

9.    You give someone groceries (who you know is in need), but you don’t say a word to anyone.

10. You pay for someone’s dinner…just because.

What I realized is that even when I thought I was down to nothing, God was always up to something and restored everything back because of the generosity and the cheer in which my husband and I have given over the years ...even when it seemed to be an inconvenience.  People have also been generous to us.  We wrote out 160 "thank you" notes after the birth of our child.  The Bible says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).  Don't think that God doesn't see what you give. The way that you give to others is the way things will be returned to you. 

In the words of Bishop T.D. Jakes, “Don’t ever think that your prayer, your praise, your giving, and your living is not making a difference!”

Monday, September 23, 2013

ACE #6: Please SOS...and Hurry

Yes, somebody, anybody - please Save Our Sons (SOS)!  This is an urgent request and a perilous cry.  I have heard it so many times, "We raise our daughters, but we LOVE our sons".  Why do we love our sons so much...especially our black sons?  Well, sometimes maybe it's because they don't have active fathers in their lives. Other times maybe it's because we didn't have active fathers in our OWN lives, so we overcompensate.  We wonder why our sons have children before they turn 18-years-old or have multiple babies mommas.  Well, what behavior did we allow?  Did we allow them to "lay up" in our house with girls?  We wonder why they flunk out of college. Did we prioritize sports over academics?  We wonder why we have to bail them out of jail for a domestic violence charge. Did we witness them hitting their girlfriends, allow it, excuse it, and then say, "Well, she provoked him".  We teach our sons to stand up to people, but we forget to teach them how not to be bullies and that carrying guns is really "not cool".  When someone (uncles, cousins, friends, siblings, parents, neighbors, etc.) tried to tell us about our son's behavior, what did we do?  Did we get mad at that person and then tell them off?  Then when our sons are towering over us and begin to threaten us, what happened?  The same person that tried to tell us about our son's behavior, we have to call to get them to threaten that same son who we made excuses for over and over again.  Why do our sons turn to drug dealing? Sometimes it's because we've always given them money instead of making them earn it.  Maybe we've never made them work an honest job because in the back of our minds we've thought (or heaven forbid we've said), "My son doesn't have to work". Some sons just go astray...because we didn't say ANYTHING when we saw the signs. Others, unfortunately, just do.

In the Bible, Hannah, who was barren early on, had a son named Samuel who she gave back to God.  When she did so, her entire household was blessed and guess what? The Bible says, "And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord".  How amazing is it that a woman who was barren would be so blessed because of how she raised her son...and honored God?  Eli, the priest, had sons who were completely out of order - getting drunk, sleeping with various women, and defiling all that was holy. And Eli, the father, said NOTHING! God then questioned Eli's faithfulness. At the end of the story, Eli's entire household suffered because he stood by, watched, and made excuses for his sons.

Dr. Steve Perry embarked on a very strategic, purposeful journey in his television show, "Save My Son" on TV One. It's tough love at its best...maybe it looks a little mean at times.  But it is radical! I've watched it a few times and thought, Whoa! Even churches and communities are starting to take action.

We are in urgent times, folks. Our sons are populating prisons or dying in the streets everyday. It's time to consult the word of God, dish out some tough love, and SAVE OUR SONS!

Study link:

Save My Son:

Prayer Walk:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

ACE #4: Why Christians Love "Scandal"

I must admit I can hardly contain myself! The Season 3 premiere of "Scandal" is next week…sooooo far away.  That October 3, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. just will not come soon enough.  I am glued to the television EVERY Thursday night, with all of my household chores completed, and my remote in hand.  I even rewind some parts during commercial breaks to make sure I saw what I thought I saw in those last few scenes. Quit playing, I’m not alone - this adulterous, tortured, elephant in the room love affair between a powerful white man (the most powerful) and a powerful black woman (in her own right).  They both call the shots in very different ways, but he clearly calls all of the shots in the on-again, off-again relationship.  It’s forbidden and secretive (well maybe not so much anymore).  You are hiding your face in shame too – something so far from what Christians should be watching on television, right?  After all we are taught to guard what our mouths say, what our ears hear, and what our eyes see.  My husband often asks, "Why are you watching that trash?" and then other times, "Really, we can't even talk to you when this is on?" And then he laughs...sort of.  But really, why does "Scandal" seem so addictive to Christians? As one of those Christians, maybe it’s because in "Scandal" I can see glimpses – dare I say resemblances - of the fall of men (and women) in the Bible and at times even their redemption. Either you aren’t watching "Scandal" closely enough or you aren’t reading your Bible enough.  These are the EPIC Bible stories I see (just to name a few):
1.    Samuel and Saul
2.    Saul and David
3.    David and Goliath
4.    Jonathan and David
5.    David and Bathsheba
6.    Jezebel and Ahab
7.    Jesus and Peter
8.    Judas Iscariot
9.    The 12 Disciples
10. Sodom and Gomorrah
Let’s be clear, Olivia Pope is not the Jezebel in the story folks…that’s Mellie Grant. All of the temptation, twisted relationships, and dare I say it…sex.  There are times though when our lead character, Olivia, actually visits the church.  You don’t remember?  She was at Baby Fitzgerald’s christening and Verna’s funeral. Nope, I won’t justify why Christians watch "Scandal".  I also won’t stop watching.  At the end of the day, or Thursday nights, Christians love "Scandal" for the exact same reason everybody else does…it’s just darn good story telling - the unexpected twists, turns, surprises and all out gasps.  What I know for sure is that I do not desire the tortured life of Olivia Pope…just her wardrobe.  You know it’s banging!

Study links:
OP link:

Kerry Washington pretty much rocks! The rest of the cast is pretty awesome and convincing too.

ACE #5: Reflection

Romans 5:1-11 Reflection: Today. Was it rough? Was it trying? Was it the best day ever? Was it one you will never forget or like one you would like to forget? The awesome thing about having faith in Christ and what He did is that no matter what the day brings and I experience, I still have joy. I have joy because my faith keeps things in perspective. I believe God sent His Son to set me free from bondage and sin. I believe He died on the cross. I believe He was buried and He arose.I believe He is coming back for me. Because of that, I remain faithful in knowing that everything I experience is causing Him to draw nigh to me.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

ACE #3: Purpose

ACE #3 Purpose


Read Luke 10:25-37

Friends God has a purpose for each one of us. That purpose is to
Love Him and Honor Him. And love your neighbor. That’s right our neighbor.

We can't do this if we are always thinking of ourselves and how we can feed our own desires and wants. A life in Christ is not about how much we are winning in sporting competitions, if I am smarter than my co-worker, how much money I can make, or if I have the fancy car or not. Our purpose in Christ is about true love. It’s about the love that comes from the heart, the soul and the mind.

It means we are the same person in public as we are in private. It means we are in true love with our neighbor despite their ill feelings towards us. It means having faith to believe that even though it does not look good; it's working for the good.

In the clip, Grant challenged his team. He made a resolution to give God everything and leave the rest up to Him. He wanted to know who would join him. God commands us to Love Him first. He commands us to do it with all of our heart, soul and mind. In doing this, we resolve to let Him be the focus of how we live daily. What we did years ago and are doing now, means nothing if it is not bringing honor and glory to Lord. It’s not about us. We are not here for us. Our purpose is to love Him. Honor Him. Worship Him. Serve Him. Adore Him. Share Him. Teach Him. Preach Him. Confess Him. Believe in Him. Hope in Him and wait for Him. We are to love and honor the Lord in every aspect of our lives. This is our responsibility. This is our purpose.




Friday, September 20, 2013

ACE #1: This is How We Do It

Singer Montell Jordan sang a classic R&B song called, "This is How We Do It".  To this very day, I would probably start snapping my fingers, butterflying, and snaking all at the same time to this song, but I would probably look around to see who is watching first.  My husband would probably break into the biggest Kappa Alpha Psi step ever accompanied by a twirling cane, but it would probably just be at the house! But this is what shocked the world:  "Montel Jordan Quits Music to Become a Pastor!" And it was after 17 years of performing in the music industry. But why the surprise? Because we think that real Christians don't dance?  We think real Christians don't go to parties or clubs?  We think real Christians don't sing R&B? We think real Christians don't drink liquor? Could he have been a Christian all along and just changed his profession...or maybe his behavior?  So, I often have to ask the question...what happens to someone's perception of a Christian who does the aforementioned things?  Before we start throwing stones at people, we probably need to look in the mirror first.  2 Corinthians 13:5 reads, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test?" There are some things we all need to change before we tell someone else how to do it... 



ACE #2: Bag Lady

I don't care how many years pass, the Erykah Badu joint, "Bag Lady" still flows! Come on, somebody.  If it came on your radio or your favorite Pandora station you would be singing, "Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go."  Yeah, I am head bobbing while I'm writing.  As I was studying in the book of Mark last night, I read the story of the woman with the issue of blood.  Could I hardly imagine carrying around such an issue for 12 loooooong years? Well, no...not that particular issue.  But isn't it strange how we carry around other types of issues for months, maybe even years at a time?  Some of us can't get over things that happened in our past, so we bring those issues into our current relationships and friendships.  Here's a list of issues (certainly not exhaustive) that plague today's Christians: abandonment by parents, single parenthood, kids out of wedlock, sexual abuse/assault, abortion, adultery, baby daddies, baby mommas, divorce, infertility, holding grudges, etc.  Issues turn into baggage and sometimes the load gets a little too heavy or all consuming.  But here's the deal...the woman with the issue of blood had gone such a long time without healing from her issue that IT GOT WORSE.  She wasn't just healed because she touched the hem of Jesus' garment, she was healed because of her FAITH. Jesus said so himself. So take the time to heal from the things - the issues - in your past that you are carrying in the present and even forgive yourself for some things - seek professional counseling if necessary and then, in faith, seek the master healer so you can pack light.,