Sunday, September 28, 2014

ACE #285: Shhhhh!

Last week my family and I went to lunch after church. As always, we have the most fun eating together. This day was no exception. The bread was placed on the table and it was time to ask the Lord for His blessing over the bread and the food to come. As we were praying, the waitress proceeded to bring some other food items to the table. I am not sure if she noticed we were praying or if she didn't care. Maybe she didn't know what we were doing with our eyes closed and heads down. I don't know. All I know is that she started talking during our blessing of the food. Hmmm...

Well, as she was talking, during our blessing of the food, our daughter quickly signified silence with the "shhhhh" expression. I am not sure if the young lady heard her because she kept talking. But, our daughter was consistent with her expression as well. So, as we wrapped up the prayer and the young lady apologized and walked away, we felt pretty good about what we had witnessed.

You see, it is such a blessing to know that your child is aware of the importance of giving thanks to our Lord for His provision. The Word teaches us to receive the good things of God with thanksgiving. It is made holy by the word of God and prayer. I am not sure about you, but food is a good thing. It strengthens the body. It nourishes the body and it certainly helps us along the way as we support the building of God's kingdom. 

Blessing the table is so important. God is giving us the opportunity each day we are alive to strengthen our bodies. He gives us the opportunity to replenish and hydrate so we can be physically and mentally prepared to stand in His will another moment. So, a thanksgiving prayer is certainly a time for consecration and it should not be interrupted by anyone or anything, even it means "shhhh"... no offense, but we should all be thankful for God's provisions. He blesses us with so much and we must know how important it is to give thanks to the Lord, not just for food, but for everything. And, it should not be interrupted. 


Friday, September 26, 2014

ACE #284: Scandal Time - All the Broken Pieces

Yes, Olivia Pope is back!  So that means, "Scandal Time" is back too.  And I am still worn out from last night's episode.  Aren't you?

Was it me, or did everyone on the show seem broken?  I mean...broken just like pieces of shattered glass.  Okay, oddly enough, everyone except Crazy Quinn. 

Is Olivia really the glue?  It seems so...except that she is Jules...hilarious!

Huck is Randy, the smart guy.  Imagine that...he is so broken that he takes on a new identity of a person...who fixes things.  "Are you back for good or are you back for now?"  Well...

Mellie is truly cuckoo, but who wouldn't be if their child died in that manner?  She laid down on the grass like it was her living room floor. Truth be told, she isn't the only one on the show that has lost her mind.

And I am sure none of us can wait until we get to see the flashback of Fitz and his suicide attempt.  You thought Liv and Fitz were going to touch at the end, didn't you?

I do believe, however, that Cyrus and that hair...there's a story there. It has to be.  I do not have a clue where this is going with Portia de Rossi's character.  And where is Sally?

But Aretha Franklin stole the show and she wasn't even in the episode.  Yes, still waters run deep...real deep in Washington, D.C.  I felt a little gospel moment in that "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" scene. Maybe a tear or two or three fell. We should thank Harrison for that...I suppose.  Yeah, he's dead!  (Columbus Short said, "I mean Harrison dead but he aint #DeadDead").  Maybe not, but your contract was terminated, sir.  Don't go spoiling stuff for the rest of us Gladiators!

And the look that was exchanged between Jake and Daddy Pope at the gravesite...somebody knows something. Still #TeamJake for me!

And if you want to be an imitation Olivia Pope like Abby, or "Red", was trying to be desperately with her hair feathered to the opposite will go to The Limited and purchase the coat for $298.  Olivia and I have one thing in common...we are both short.  Maybe I should buy one of those coats...not.  Still waters may run deep, but my pockets do not.

Every fictitious person on the show needs help, but if they get it...we probably won't watch.  Okay, we would still watch!

Psalm 34:17-20
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
"You lose people...whatever." ~ Liv

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ACE #283: Are You an Israelite?

In Exodus 16 is the story of "Manna and Quail".  As this chapter opens, the Israelites are traveling with Moses and Aaron from Elim.  It states:

In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

These people would have rather stayed in bondage than to be free just because they were hungry.  That is crazy!  But God responds in kindness:
“I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

All God asked was that the Israelites be obedient to His instructions - to take only what they would need for that day.  But, no.  They tried to hoard the food and store it up for the next morning. The result was an infestation of maggots.  Imagine...God had supplied their needs, but they did not trust Him to do it again.  Moses was sure to tell them that their complaints were not against him and Aaron, but against God himself.  But God showed them favor...despite the grumbling.  The Word of God states:

35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.

The reason why most of us walk around thinking God is not blessing us is for three reasons:
1.  All we do is grumble and complain...even when things are just fine.
2.  We do not follow God's instructions for our lives...even when He is often very specific.
3.  We have not learned to say, "Lord, any way you bless me, I will be satisfied!"  Instead, we just want what we want and more of it.

Refuse to be like the Israelites: complaining spirits, quarrelsome, distrustful, disobedient, greedy and ungrateful.  God did eventually get tired of their grumbling and complaining and their rejection and struck them with a plague (See Numbers 11). 

I do not know about you, but I would never want God's anger to burn so greatly against me that I jeopardize my own blessings or my life.  Thank God for Jesus, who was "filled with wisdom, and the grace of God" - the one who stood in the gap for our grumbling, our hatefulness, our greediness, our rejections, our disobedience and all of our sins.  Strive to be more like Jesus and less like an Israelite.

Exodus 16

Numbers 11

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ACE #282: To Believe or Not to Believe? That Really Is the Question!

As I was studying the births of John the Baptist and Jesus in the Book of Luke, I noticed something different than any other time before when I have read these verses.  As the stories unfold and begin to intersect, I realized how Zechariah and Mary differed in their responses to the news concerning the births of their sons.

When the angel, Gabriel, came to Zechariah he told him:

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

The angel told Zechariah that because he did not believe he would remain silent until the day of the birth of John.  Gabriel also told him that the words would come true at the proper, or appointed, time.

Fast forward to Mary, who has a similar encounter with the angel, Gabriel.  And it states:

28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

The angel told Mary exactly how she, a virgin, would become pregnant.  He also told her that her cousin, Elizabeth, would have a child in her old age even though she was said to be barren.  However, Zechariah doubted the message, the messenger, and the one who sent the messenger. This is so profound because Zechariah and Elizabeth were both old, but were referred to as "upright" and "blameless" in the sight of God. It also says that Zechariah was in a temple of the Lord burning incense where people worshipped and prayed.  He was standing in a holy place and still did not believe!

Yet Mary, although troubled and confused by the angel's initial greeting, submitted by saying "I am the Lord's servant."  She had expectation.  She had favor. She believed and concluded with, "May it be to me as you have said."  Both stories are evidence that nothing is impossible with God.

Ask yourself these questions:
Will you be like Zechariah?  Will you question God's blessing...even though you asked for it specifically?  Or will you be like Mary?  Will you be grateful for a miracle that you did not ask for, yet God saw favor in you to give you that blessing? 

If you are waiting on God to answer your prayers, perhaps the appointed time for the blessings to manifest are tied to your belief... 

Will you believe God's words when they are spoken to you?

To Believe or not to believe?
That is the question!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ACE #281: Just Because the Lord Says So

In Luke 5, "The Calling of the First Disciples," something interesting happened that I never gave much thought to before now.  It reads:

Luke 5:1-5

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

I have always been caught up with the part of the story, in verses 10 and 11, where Jesus tells the men that they will catch men, or become fishers of men.  It says that these men left everything and followed Him.  Yes, there are things and people we will have to leave behind in order to follow Jesus.  But something profound happened before that moment.

Jesus instructs Simon to let down his nets for a catch into the deep water. Simon responds by saying, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets."  After Simon had done so, they caught so many fish that the nets were going to break. They had to call for help to get all of the fish in the boats.  Then the boats even began to sink.

It occurred to me that there are just some things we ought to do just because the Lord says so.  No questions.  No smart mouthed remarks.  No complaining.  No fussing.  Just because the Lord commands us to do it!  Just because we desire to be obedient to His instructions.  Just because we trust Him that much...

While Simon could have been a little sarcastic in his response, he had already tried everything except Jesus.  It also shows that whether we are in the shallow waters or deep waters of life - the Lord has the ability to bless us...either way.  He only required one thing for the men to be blessed beyond measure...their obedience. 

Just because the Lord says so...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

ACE #280: The Blessed Life

In Matthew 5, the “Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus turns a mountainside into a classroom.  He takes the opportunity to teach his disciples about the true nature of being a follower of Christ through the “Beatitudes,” eight very specific blessings.

He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The word “Beatitudes” means “happiness”.  But far beyond “happiness” are peace and inner joy that can only be obtained by having the qualities of righteousness.  Aren't you glad that God has your happiness, peace, and inner joy in mind?  What a blessing!  God took the guess work out of it!  He gives us clear directions to function in righteousness as it relates to the Kingdom of Heaven and the key to living the blessed life.
But in verse 11, Jesus makes it personal with “Blessed are YOU…” by telling us that when we stand against evil and do what is right for His sake, there is a great reward in heaven.  And that, is the best blessing.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ACE #279: God and Football

Our nephew was injured in a football game last week.  My sister said that when he was carried off of the field and put into the ambulance, members of the crowd were either crying or praying or both.  He spent the night in the emergency room.  The diagnosis was a slight “stinger” injury.  No broken bones.  No dislocations. We were grateful to God because it could have been much worse.

The next day, my daughter and I stopped by the house.  My nephew answered the door. When I asked him what happened, he said that he went up in the air for a pass at the same time as one of the opponents and when he came down, he hit his head on the ground.  Then he explained that he got up too quickly and, “I saw black and then I saw the light. Then I passed out.” Yeah, I don’t know what "light" he saw, but moving on…

A few hours later, I went back over there.  When I walked in the door, I saw a bunch of high school boys laying around on the couches and the floor.  I left again to run a few errands.  When I came, there were more high school boys, a few parents, and some young ladies – the house was packed with teammates, classmates, and even some of the school staff had stopped by. 

This incident showed me that my nephew was very loved by his peers and their parents, but also that God manifests himself through the hearts and acts of his people.  The number of people that had offered prayers, flooded social media with well wishes, sent numerous texts, brought food items to the house, and visited was evidence that the love of God transcends race, gender, age, and everything else that separates us. 

Today, it is my prayer that we all look beyond the outward appearances of people, begin to look within the hearts of others, and to do good for people…just because.

Romans 8:31-39
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, September 12, 2014

ACE #278: The Breast Cancer Scare

The day after my 40th birthday, I was required by my OBGYN to have a breast exam.  It was not my first, but I had not had one in three years.  It was the usual uncomfortable and embarrassingly intrusive mammogram.  By the end of the week, I had received a letter stating that there was a finding on my test, but these types of findings were usually benign.  When I called to schedule a follow-up appointment, it would be three weeks before I could be seen.  There was also a possibility that I would need an ultrasound and/or a biopsy during this exam.  (At this point, I realized why – for the past year – I have been drawn to the book of Mark.  This particular book outlines the miracles of Jesus.  The recurrent statement within these Scriptures is “by your faith, you are healed.”  I finally got it!) 
My worry had been minimal up to the very point where I sat in the lobby waiting on my name to be called.  The technician took me in the back and told me that I would get my results in the next 30 minutes or so from one of the radiologists.  After the test, my husband and I sat in the “consult room”…waiting patiently for the results.   After about 15 minutes the same technician rushed in with good news stating that there were no findings and they would see me next year.  She mentioned that she really didn't know what it was that made these results so different from the last ones, but they didn't see anything on the film. After she left, my husband and I joined hands and prayed, thanking God for “the good report” we had received.
I decided to share my story because of the importance of early detection, self-exams, and mammograms as it relates to breast cancer.  Many women refuse to go to the doctor for these tests, even when they know something isn't quite right with their bodies.  They fear the test itself, but also the results of the test. It is so important for us to take care of our bodies and to have the necessary exams regardless of how inconvenient, intrusive, or embarrassing they might be.  While I received a clean bill of health, other women I know have not received the best report.  Several of my Facebook friends and others I know have either had treatment for breast cancer or are preparing to have treatment.  My prayers are with them during this challenging season of their lives.
So today, I encourage everyone to go to the doctor and to get the required annual exams.  Be intentional about your health and, whatever the report, to function in faith.

He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. 
Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" (Mark 5:34). 

·         About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just over 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
·         In 2013, an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 64,640 new cases of non-invasive  breast cancer.
·         About 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2013. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
·         Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
·         About 39,620 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2013 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989 — with larger decreases in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
·         For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
·         Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers.
·         White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women. However, in women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.
·         In 2013, there were more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
·         A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ACE #277: September 11, 2001...On That Day

Now, it's been 20 years. Still a tragedy that today's teenagers know little about. They weren't even born yet. But for those of us who lived through it, we will never forget that horrific day. 

Updated September 11, 2021

That day, I was standing in my boss’s office.  Someone ran in the room and said to hurry up and turn on the television.  I could not really grasp what was actually happening.  I saw fire and smoke coming from one of the Twin Towers.  And just in the blink of an eye, the second tower was struck by a plane.  I still could not believe my eyes.  I could not really collect myself.  But…it was real.  It wasn't special effects.  It wasn’t a movie.  It wasn’t a cruel joke.  It was a real, live, terrorist attack on US soil.  I stood there, what seemed like an eternity, just staring at the television. I did not hear one thing my boss said after that.  I thought to myself, “Is this really happening?”  I had a moment of gratitude even as my heart ached – I’d just returned from a summer-long fellowship in Washington, D.C. a few days before. I walked by one of the The Pentagon regional offices and through the National Mall everyday that summer to get to my job assignment.  It’s the moment you say to yourself, “It could have been me.” Then I went into a silent prayer for the ones who were directly in the middle of the chaos. 

September 11, 2001 was one of the most horrific tragedies in the history of the United States of America.  Wikipedia defines it as:

A series of four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  The attacks killed almost 3,000 people and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage.

So much more than buildings were damaged on that day.  Many have asked the question, “Where was God in all of this?”  And, thirteen years later, I can still say that I saw God that day – in the midst of the tragedy. That day, our hearts were broken, but we stood together as “one nation” regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, political beliefs, viewpoints, physical abilities, experiences, and whatever else that divides us. 

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more “American” than on that day – through the tears, through the hurt, through the anger, but also through the love, care, and concern I saw complete strangers show to each other.

Let us never forget the lives that were lost, the lives that were forever changed, or the nation that stood in unity…on that day.

Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, 
and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, 
with liberty and justice for all.


I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; 
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ACE #276: Sing Along

Sing along if you know it. 

I woke up this morning with mind stayed on Jesus. Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Thank You Lord for all You've done for me. I never would have made it without You. You are God alone. You're amazing. Every Praise is to our God. How great is our God? Sing with me. How great is our God? I'd rather have Jesus than silver and gold. He's a keeper. Yes, He is. I love The Lord. The joy of The Lord is my strength. How great Thou art? Lord, You paid it all up on the cross. I give myself away. Because of who You are, I give You glory. I give You praise. Praise is what I do when I want to be close to You. Precious Lord, take my hand. I'm looking for a miracle. An ordinary love just won't do. There's something about the name Jesus. Emmanuel! What a friend we have in Jesus. Nobody greater than You. Jesus is love. Take me to the King. Lead me to the Rock. I got a testimony. God is able. He touched me. Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to me. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! My soul is anchored in The Lord. Let the church say, "Amen."  

Sometimes you just have to praise your way through it. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

ACE #275: Transformers

According to, one of the definitions of transform is: to change in condition, nature, or character; convert. When I hear transform, I am immediately reminded of the motion picture. In the movie, "Transformers," the characters are able to change from one being to another. Now I have never really understood the plot of the movie, which stems from the cartoon, but I know there is a transformation for battle. These vehicles, that appear to be normal, transform into mighty warriors that are poised to protect themselves from the opposition.   But, after it's all said and done and the battle is over another transformation occurs. They return to their normal state. I guess I would have to watch the movie closer to understand the purpose. 

But, my point is this - in the Kingdom of God, the transformation should be eternal. Once we have given our lives over to God and accepted His Son, Jesus, as our personal Savior, there is no return to what we previously were. It will not work. When we commit to following Jesus, we allow Him to transform us into a new creature. He will transform us to mighty warriors who stand poised and ready to testify about the goodness of serving a risen Savior who is not dead, but alive. It is more than meets the eye. The activation sets off a relationship that is not ordinary, but supernatural. 

So, people of God - activate. Operate in your transformation today, no deactivation. Keep you hands on the Gospel plow.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Friday, September 5, 2014

ACE #274: Taking Back What the Devil Stole

Years ago, I worked in a job that should have been the start of my awesome, adult career.  Okay, let me say this, it did start out that way or at least appeared to start that way.  As time went on, things just turned sour.  I hated going to that job.  Everything about it, including the people in my chain of command, made me miserable…purposely I suppose.  There was an intentional effort to blackball me and to criticize my work product.  My title was demoted by several grades.  My reporting line changed.  My raise was blocked.  And the last straw, I was going to be moved from my office – the office I had been in for years.  I had gone to the “higher ups” to try to get all of this rectified or at least to get someone to hear my plea.  I was being treated horribly, but no one seemed to care.  Not a single soul in the chain of command did a thing.  When someone tried to intercede on my behalf, it was to no avail.  I was beyond at the bottom of the totem pole.  The devil had stolen my joy, my peace, my help, my rest, and even parts of my confidence.  I had no more fight in me; I felt broken.

And just when the devil had counted me out, I got offered another job.  I took a pay cut just to get out of that place.  But guess what?  God put someone in my path that did help me.  Within six months of working on that job, I was considered for a promotion.  Because of the workplace policy, I had to wait a full year, but I did get promoted and received a raise. The lesson is this, it took me two years to get what I should have gotten at the other job.  Had I not been so darn miserable, I would have never been moved to action to apply for a new job.  And I would have stayed miserable! When I stepped out on faith, everything I had been denied, God saw fit to restore and multiply it – all of it!  

I declare that God will restore everything that others try to take from you, prevent you from getting, and attempt to block!  Just being able to say, “Oh, devil.  You tried it. But God...” is an awesome feeling. 

 25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm[b]
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
    that I am the Lord your God,
    and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

Faithful Is Our God - Hezekiah Walker

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ACE #273: Don't Get Caught Up Following the Wrong Crowd

While studying Exodus 32, I was reminded of how dangerous it is to follow the wrong crowd just to make friends, to be popular, or to conform to popular culture.  As I consider Aaron’s decision to build the golden calf at the request of the people, it made me realize that Aaron was afraid to do the right thing because it would make him unpopular or cause him grief.  The problem is – he knew better!

Aaron had been with Moses during all of the plagues.  He knew that his role was to stand beside Moses as an assistant to the mission. Yet, he still followed the choice of the people in Moses' absence.  But here’s where it gets interesting:
30 The next day Moses told the people, “This is a terrible thing you have done. But I will go back to the Lord to see if I can do something to keep this sin from being held against you.”
31 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “The people have committed a terrible sin. They have made a gold idol to be their god. 32 But I beg you to forgive them. If you don’t, please wipe my name out of your book.”[a]
33 The Lord replied, “I will wipe out of my book the name of everyone who has sinned against me. 34 Now take my people to the place I told you about, and my angel will lead you. But when the time comes, I will punish them for this sin.”
35 So the Lord punished the people of Israel with a terrible disease for talking Aaron into making the gold idol.

As a result, those who stood on the wrong side of right, were slaughtered at the hands of the those who were considered faithful by God – even their relatives.  Moses pled with God for their lives.  He actually bargained with God and even threatened Him on behalf of the people.  Imagine God bringing these people out of bondage and they still wanted to worship idols.  How disrespectful and ungrateful.  But Moses still interceded on behalf of the people.

Here are a few points:
1.    There will be times when even your relatives will be standing on the wrong side and you will have to choose between them and remaining faithful to God.
2.    There will be times when doing what is popular completely conflicts with doing what is right.
3.    There will be times when someone will intercede on your behalf even if you are in the wrong, but it doesn't make what you did right – it’s just a sign of grace and mercy.

Always be mindful to remain faithful and uncompromising when it comes to being obedient to God.  While being obedient often seems challenging, remaining in God’s favor doesn't have to be.