Friday, July 25, 2014

"Shh Don't Tell"

2Samuel 13:20
20And Absalom her brother said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this thing to heart."
Unfortunately, Absalom's response to Tamar being sexually violated is the same response many give to children who have been violated. The reputation of the violator and those around become more important then the child who was violated. As a matter of fact, many acts of child abuse go unreported which is why the statistics are still slightly off. The 1 in 10 to be abused is likely to be less than 10. But many children are shamed into keeping silent like poor Tamar who was raped by her brother.  The Christian church (the people are the church) is just as guilty for not handling or touching the subject of child abuse as well. Counseling is a must from both a spiritual prospective and a psychological one. There are many problems that occur after abuse that people fail to talk about or even see. For Tamar, she lost her innocence and can never get it back. Every child who has been abused has somehow lost their innocence and can't get it back. School will be starting soon. Neighborhood football, basketball, swim, soccer teams will be forming. Do you know what signs to look for? Do you know the behavioral changes that can occur in your child after abuse? Do you know what to do if you find out your child has been violated? Or will you just respond like Absalom and be more concerned with keeping a reputation rather than the safety and well-being of the one whom God entrusted to you? Be informed. Shh Don't Tell are the words every child hears while they are being violated regardless of who is hurting them. In their quest to get help, please don't let them hear it from you.

"Shh Don't Tell"  by Joy T.J. Riley

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Power Belongs to God

Psalm 21:7
7For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.
The psalm, written by David recognized and celebrated in the salvation of the Lord. A king, a man who had complete sovereignty over a country, region and people to be the final decision maker in going to war, to destroy with a flick of a finger, decided to trust in the Lord. Why can't you? David wouldn't make war without consulting the Most High God. Ego was not a factor in David's decisions to war. His decisions, as a ruler rested with God. He delighted in his relationship with God and not just when his enemies were against him. He delighted in his relationship with God during times of peace. David had enemies. But what the enemies failed to see is that when you make yourself an enemy of a child of God, you actually make yourself an enemy of God himself. In verse 13, David celebrated and exalted God for His strength and power. David recognized the power and strength of God and was not fooled by his title to believe that he had more power than God. Unfortunately, the minute some people get a title or position, they get beside themselves and forget who really has ALL power. The power belongs to God no matter your title or position in any industry or walk of life. If a king could recognize that, why can't you?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Showing Who You Are

Proverbs 21:13
13Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.
I have heard my assistant pastor say this repeatedly but I had no idea where it was in the Bible. God illuminated it for me. Do you recall during Jesus' ministry how Jesus would specifically stop and call out to the down and outcast? They were considered poor. And when those who "had more" would tell the outcast to be quiet because they were less? And did not Jesus hear? After the Beatitudes in Luke 6 Jesus pronounced some woes. One of those woes corresponds to this scripture. Remember Jesus said we are to love thy neighbor as thyself and treat others the way you want to be treated. So if you ignore the cry of the poor whom you see in need and know they need and know that you have it to give but won't give, remember, God is watching. He gives you the power to get wealth as said in Deuteronomy 8:18 so no matter what you have, God gave it to you. And should you see fit to ignore one in need when you know you have it to give, then you are mocking God. God blessed you so you could be a blessing. And as Job said, "God gives and God takes away." So lest you repent, your day is coming when you too will cry out and be ignored. Even if you have been there before, God will take you back if you failed to grow with the blessing He gave you.
I remember being in D.C. one day and came across a man begging. He was pleasant but obviously in need. I had no cash on me at that time but had a card going into the store. He was thirsty and asked for something to drink so I bought him something. When I came back, he was happy and we talked and hugged before I left. He was over in "tent city." I saw him a couple months later and he remembered me. He had just been put up in a place near a school by an organization and had recently given his life to Christ. My heart was warmed because he felt the need to share it with me. He said he knew I knew Christ.  I never said my faith or belief. How you act can easily show who you are. Jesus said you will know a person by their fruit? Are you displaying rotten fruit? Are you like those who ignore the poor unless you can be seen? God is Jehovah Roi, the God who sees. Our Pastor preached yesterday on "Who Are You Working For?" He said there are many who claim to be a child of God and follower of Christ.