Tuesday, November 25, 2014

ACE #307: I Wonder What Maya Angelou Would Say Today...

As I reflect on the events of Ferguson, MO I can't help but to wonder what Dr. Maya Angelou would say today in her own words had she lived...

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.

When the human race neglects its weaker members, when the family neglects its weakest one - it's the first blow in a suicidal movement. I see the neglect in cities around the country, in poor white children in West Virginia and Virginia and Kentucky - in the big cities, too, for that matter.

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.
I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I'm praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I'm grateful that I'm heard.

You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it.’ 
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind.
About Trayvon Martin's death:
That one man, armed with a gun can actually profile a young man because he is black and end up shooting him dead…it is so painful. What is really injured, bruised, if you will, is the psyche of our national population.  We are all harmed. We are all belittled, and we give to the rest of the world more ammunition to sneer at us. 
...yeah, probably something similar to all she said before Ferguson, MO.  
Unfortunately and sadly, if we don't want our kids to become victims of the system, we must teach them to stay out of the system.  Protect them. Love them. Instruct them. Pray for them.  Yeah...it still hurts. #RIPMikeBrown

Psalm 127:3 

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.    

Friday, November 21, 2014

ACE #306: Scandal Time - He Told You the First Time

Last night's Winter Finale of Scandal was all of that and a bag of chips.  The action moved so quickly I had a hard time keeping up!  Some of the best one liners of the night:

He has a PhD in his crazy!
You are just like him...

You are not normal.
Cry me a river, Liv, whatever.

Daddy Pope told you the first time, Liv, "I am the hell and high water." Maybe you didn't hear him, girl.  Or maybe you didn't believe him, chile. Joe Morton totally, absolutely nailed it once more and again last night.  He drew a gun on his own daughter.  That was definitely not normal.  She was actually going to shoot him though. A "kill" shot, not a "stop" shot.  Did anybody ever ask the question how Command got their faces on those cards?  #Staples #OfficeDepot #Something

And Jake wants to go back to the sun.  Liv had to tell him that the sun had gone down.  Honey, it has set, eclipsed and gone straight into hiding!  I waited the entire night for Jake to be kidnapped, shot, and/or killed...whichever came first.  I was worn out.

Quinn and Charlie wore me out and "Endless Love" was so inappropriately appropriate.  Poor Huck has no idea that Charlie is going to kill his wife and kid...

And Cyrus had some of the best lines last night.  "Thank you for your service, Cy. It's been an honor."  I believe Fitz wanted to cry.  Liv got Cyrus back in order though.  However, he is still not a winner.  He just chose the lesser of two evils...I guess.  It's all crooked.  But at least he knows what he's paying for...

But Wicked Mellie is back and in full force.  And no one is a match for her wickedness.  You've been warned, honey!

Mama Pope gave me a real good laugh when she told Liv that she and her father were just alike with, "See you tomorrow."  She knows that Liv will be back to visit.  She's certain of it.

And David Rosen...still. can't. win!  Poor thing.  Stop asking so many questions next time.  Maybe your feelings won't keep getting hurt.  I like Leo, though.

And Andrew has completely thrown me a curve ball.  I did NOT see any of that coming.  He is probably working with Daddy Pope, though.  So pay real close attention.  There's no "Who kidnapped Olivia Pope?"  It is more like, "Who is going to save Olivia Pope?"  It is her show.  She's safe!

Now, waiting until January 29, 2015 is going to be a bit painful. 

But let me add...Joe Morton won the trophy last night. Hands down. Undisputed. It was straight #HowtogetawaywithScandal!

Proverbs 10:9         
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. 

ACE #305: God's Favor Ain't Fair

There will just be times when your enemies will try you.  They will do everything they can to distract you from whatever blessings God is trying to bring you into.  They will even hate on your favor.  No – you did not just imagine it; it really did happen.  But the thing is, your enemy can only triumph over you…if YOU allow it.  “God Favored Me,” by Pastor Hezekiah Walker, speaks to the attacks of the enemy:

They whispered, conspired, they told their lies - God favors me. 
My character, my integrity, my faith in God - He favors me.
Will not fall, will not bend, won’t compromise - God favors me.
I speak life and prosperity and I speak health - God favors me.

The lyrics also speak of our ability to stand steadfast and uncompromised under the attack of our enemies.  The attacks can be blatant or subtle.  Mary is a witness to God's favor.

The reason Mary was able to escape divorce, disgrace, and possibly death (according to the law) is because God sent an angel on her behalf!  Imagine what could have been! If God can send an angel on Mary’s behalf because of “favor”, then ask yourself, “What can God do on my behalf because of favor?”

There’s also favor in our obedience.  But if we got what people thought we should get, it would be bad. If we got what we truly deserved, it would be even worse.  Yep, be glad God’s favor ain’t fair! 
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e]did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Monday, November 17, 2014

ACE #304: God's Design

Recently, I have been doing a study about God's design for men. In this study, I have come to realize that the reason why we men are struggling today is because we have gotten away from our identity. When God created the heavens and the earth, he needed a being that could rule. As He created everything else, He realized that He needed a being to cultivate and rule the land. So, He created man. Out of the dust, He breathed life into a man. Afterwards, He charged the man in the garden to rule. This charge was before the women. 

Why is this important? Because, men, God designed us for a specific purpose and we are not living in that purpose. He needs us to be the kings that He established us to be. This is no disrespect to the women. It's simply a call to the men. We were created to be leaders. Our identity in the sight of God is to lead our homes, spiritually cover our families, and present a loving and caring environment, like God designed a man to do. I am encouraged through this study that I need to be more like the man God designed in the beginning. I am ready to live in authentic manhood, with royalty. Stand king!

Monday, November 10, 2014

ACE #303: Get Your Church House in Order: The Call for Spiritual Mentoring

As the nation is grieving over the tragic death of Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife, and members of his ministry team, the Lord clearly spoke that there are things that must be done to get our church houses in order:

1.    Be intentional in leaving behind a legacy full  spiritual teachings, sound ethics and moral behavior that will last down through generations.
2.    Refuse to lead and leave the church house in debt.
3.    Train young ministers in the word of God and in Christian leadership.
4.    Cultivate disciples to have generous hearts – not greed-filled hearts.
5.    Prepare the next person in line as did the spiritual mentors of the Bible.

Spiritual mentors in the Bible included:
Jethro to Moses
Moses to Joshua
Naomi to Ruth
Eli to Samuel
Samuel to Saul
Saul to David
David to Solomon
Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar
Jesus to His Disciples
Paul to Timothy

In the words of Dr. Munroe himself, “It is time to pass the baton.”

We offer our prayers for the families and church family devastated by this loss.  Dr. Munroe’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of many.

Our charge

Matthew 28:16-20
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Image from facingtrails.com

 Proverbs 27:17 
17    As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.

2 Timothy 2:2
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Matthew 6:20-21
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Proverbs 27:23
"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds."

Matthew 6:24
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

Saturday, November 8, 2014

ACE #302: Simply Redeemed

I have come to understand that I am who I am and I know what I know. And, I say it with conviction. I know I am not what I used to be. Because now...

I am a Christian. 
I am so far from perfect.
I was bought with a purpose so God could take away the sins of His people once and for all. 
I was purchase with the love of God through the sacrifice of Jesus, His one and only begotten Son. 
I am just a believer in Christ and His death, burial and ressurection. 
I pledge my life to Christ. He is the head  of my life. 
I want to give Him everything...seeking Him in everything.
I offer up my life to Him. 
I know this is meant to be. I should be dead. 
I am your brother. 
I want to walk and talk in the Lord with you. 
I want to see the glory of the Lord one day. 
I know He is coming.
I know it will be perfect. 

Make no mistake about it. This is not a form of religion, but it is a relationship. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus that was shed on a cross for my sin and yours. 

So, I am...


No, not perfect...Simply Redeemed! Thank You, Jesus. You?


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ACE #301: Why We Vote

This is the reason why we vote...

People marched, fought, and were imprisoned...

Protested, prayed, and stood their ground...

You should vote too...

Exercise your right!

1 Timothy 2:1-4
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Monday, November 3, 2014

ACE #300: I Met an Ordinary Man in the Airport

Last week, I traveled to Seattle, Washington for a business trip.  My layover was in Detroit, Michigan.  I have always despised catching a connecting flight in this airport because the walk to get from one terminal to the next is just flat out long! Walking through that tunnel is just tiring. Nevertheless, I had to take the hike.
I finally got to the area where I was to catch my connecting flight.  I had to put my bag down so that I could make sure I was going to the right gate.  As I sat my belongings down, I looked to my left and said, "Hello. How are you?"  The man responded, "Doing fine, sister. And yourself?"  I replied, "Doing well." But I had to do a double take.  I knew who it was, but couldn't really believe it.  He was just sitting there, quietly, eating his lunch.  I started looking through my purse to find my boarding pass and to collect myself because of the long walk. 
As I took a step to the left, closer to the man, I said in a low voice, "I do not want to call attention to you, but I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your motivational posts as I am a follower on Facebook and Twitter."
He replied, "Oh thank you so much.  I'm glad you enjoy them."
Then I said, while touching him lightly on his arm, "I don't know you.  I don't know you at all.  I just want you to know that I have prayed for you.  I have prayed for you often."
He responded, "Thank you so much.  My kids and I really appreciate it."
I replied, "You're welcome."
He ended with, "Have safe and blessed travels."
And that was it. He was polite, humble and friendly.  I had just had an ordinary conversation, with an ordinary man, in an ordinary airport.  I had just had a conversation with Pastor Marvin Sapp.
You do not have to know someone personally, to cover them in prayer. Be mindful that everyone needs to be encouraged some times and a little prayer goes a long way.  You never know when you will be the one standing in the need of encouragement...or prayer. 
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Timothy 2:1
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people
Pastor Marvin Sapp, "Never Would Have Made It"

Sunday, November 2, 2014

ACE #299: There Is An App for That

In this day and age of smart phones and other smart devices, it is so easy to find an answer to just about every situation one can encounter in life. Technological advancements has made it easy for us to address any situation we come across in our lives today. If you want to lose weight, find an app that will help you design a program specific to you. You want to learn a new language, find a language interpreter app and learn it. It seems simple right? The app is designed to help us address, resolve, fix, learn, grow, enjoy, shop, play or even simulate life's practices. Download it. Use it. 

Well, I was thinking the other day. Each application is usually developed to work for a specific purpose. If you need financial management, you go to the category of "Finances" in the e-store. If you need medical advice, you arrive at the medical category. There is literally an app for every thing you can imagine, thus the phrase "there is an app for that."

This is amazing. We can just search the category, use the device, access the app and use it. Did you catch that?

I simply said...Understand the need...open the word of God...accept salvation through His Son Jesus...believe it.

Friends, as we go about our daily lives, constantly searching and identifying applications that are intended to make life easier; let's not forget about the ONE application that is available for every situation in our lives. 

You need hope? There is an app for that.
You need Joy? There is an app for that.
You need peace? There is an app for that.
You need patience? There is an app for that.
You need faith? There is an app for that.
You need self-control? There is an app for that.
You need to be better? There is an app for that.

When we accept the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice for all who believe, the Holy Ghost is the application that can meet every need. All that is needed is us. No payment is necessary. He paid it all. The trial version was completed on the Cross. It is finished. The application is free. Our information is already in the system. In fact, He has numbered every hair on our head. 

There is an app for that. His name is Jesus. The application store is in our hearts. 

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.