Monday, December 21, 2015
19For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Many of you are expecting a Christmas message this week. But for me there was a real struggle to get into the "Spirit" of Christmas until recently. Approximately a week before Thanksgiving, I was informed that one my cousins, one for whom some of you have prayed, was in the hospital battling breast cancer for the second time. When I arrived at the hospital I came in as her son came in. The nurse said I arrived before her release. This statement proved to be pivotal. I was informed that as my cousin whom I had enjoyed a few Redskins games with, prayed with and for, was ready to be transported to back to our home town. I was helping her son pack her things. She recognized me when I arrived. As I sat and waited with him. I realized through the Holy Spirit that part of my assignment was to prepare him. I learned that she had really suffered a set back in the middle of battling breast cancer. Stress had brought about another ailment and she became partially paralyzed on one side. It was one which helped her make up her mind and be at peace that maybe it was time. Where I from, when people who are sick say they want to go back to our home town, it means they are ready and prepared to die. As I saw her face, I saw the change. She did not like the same. But when her son explained the hospital was looking for a med transport to take her back to our home state, I saw her tears and discomfort. She thought they weren't coming. As I wiped her tears, I knew she was ready to die. My cousin stated the doctors were giving her until Thanksgiving but he hoped she would surpass. I explained that we must all be prepared for whatever God's will is. I had prayed for my cousin's healing for months but in seeing her suffering and her desire for it to end, I became at ease with God's will. As the med transport arrived, I kissed her on her forehead and told her I love her. She echoed the same. I cried in the car in the hospital parking lot, because I knew by the Holy Spirit, this was the last time.
My cousin passed over to the other side on Thanksgiving night less than a week later. The pain of losing a parent never goes away as my late Step-Dad's birthday is the week before Christmas and an emotional. It only gets a little better with time. But on the day of her home going service, I couldn't cry the same. I stood at the coffin with two other cousins, one a minister, and I said, many think she lost this battle but she won. The cousins stood in agreement. As the preacher began the service, he spoke of the scripture often used in 1Corinthians 15. That day, I really understood the meaning of Philippians 1:19-21. The verse 21 had been discussed at church just a couple of Sundays prior but it finally hit home. My late Dad's suffering was quick just as his death. My cousin desired an end to the pain and long-suffering. We thought it was to come through remission of the disease just as it happened before three years ago. But God had another plan. The ceasing of the pain came through the end of life here and the beginning of her eternal life with the Lord. Was the battle really lost? If you know Jesus Christ, absolutely not!!!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving!
Sharing food is a form of bonding but the gift of their presence and active appreciation for it is priceless.
For those of you in the Baltimore area, join me on Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 28th at Prayer Warriors Books & Gifts in Mondawmin Mall to pick up the perfect gift, Get Your JOY In The Morning! I will be there from 10am-4pm on Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sunday.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
29So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
Many people focus on Peter's fear and doubt from seeing the winds and his slipping. But the fact of the matter is, Peter had enough faith to get out of the boat and walk on water. It didn't say he tried to walk on water. Scripture says, he walked. Peter did what no one else had the courage to do. Peter had enough faith in Jesus that being on the water didn't scare him. It was the storm that came which diverted his attention. He didn't want to loose his balance on his way to Jesus. He forgot the reason Jesus was there. In that moment, Jesus was to hold him up. When you stepped out of the boat, out of your comfort zone to do whatever it is you normally wouldn't have done, who held you up? Who braced you so there would be no fall? I recently visited Trinity Broadcasting Network's The Holy Land Experience. I had a chance to visit the recreation of walking on the water with Jesus. I was so excited when I saw it! People were allowed to actually step into the water in the exhibit. They even had the recreated boat Peter was in. Visualize yourself getting out of the boat and walking on the water to Jesus. What is that walking on the water moment for you? What step of faith have you taken, are taking or will take very soon? Jesus is on the other side, waiting for you. Have enough Faith.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
I hope this message finds you well. For those of you in the Washington, D.C. area, I will be vending at the upcoming Liturgical Arts Concert on Saturday, November 7th. Please see the flyer below. Admission is FREE! Bring your family! I hope to see you there!
Blessings to you!
Monday, October 12, 2015
5Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." 6And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines cast or casting as 1) throw, fling; 2) direct <~glance>; 3) to deposit a ballot formally; 4) to throw off, out or away: discard or shed; 5) compute, especially to add up; 6) to assign the parts of a play to actors, also to assign to a role or part; 7) to shape a substance by pouring in liquid or plastic form into a mold and letting harden without pressure; 8) to make as a knot or stitch by looping or catching up.
When film, TV and theater production companies what to fill a role, they put out a "casting call" or they make known their need and sees who may be interested. When Jesus asked Peter, Nathanael, Thomas and brothers James and John if they had any food they replied no. Jesus wanted them to state there was a need. Remember, God spoke things into existence. Jesus also spoke things into existence. What was needed had to be verbalized. The word says in the book of James, "You have not because you ask not." Then Jesus gave direction on where to "cast" or throw the net in order to get what was needed.
I had a client who had a need before his goal could be met. He thought his goal was being held up by the need. But in affect, failure to verbalize the need was what held him back from achieving the goal. God had planned for his goal to be met but not verbalizing the need and then asking God where to go delayed him by several weeks. We had a brief conversation and God showed me something. We had already had a discussion a few weeks ago but he hadn't moved on it. So it had to be said in a way he understood. God met the need just as quick as it came out of his mouth. He was so elated. Bless the Lord for what He has done! Why is this important? God did the same thing with me a few years ago. I had a need that I thought was holding up a project. Once I verbalized the need, God met the need immediately. Casting where God directs is designed to broaden the vision. What need have you failed to verbalize? Is Jesus trying to draw it out of you?
Monday, September 28, 2015
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am happy and excited to inform you that Divine Voice Magazine will be available for purchase in Books-A-Million within the next week starting with our September/October issue. I did an article on my experience as part of Oprah's Belief Team discussing and promoting her upcoming 7-day series. I also did an interview with Rob Howze, Founder & CEO of Camp Fit Realty TV and my experience with the Camp Fit kids over the summer. There's so much inside- get your copy!
Sunday, August 16, 2015
3Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Trusting in the Lord means that you may not always understand when He says to do something. It may even be the opposite of what you would do. But trust what He says anyway. Isaiah 55 says that your thoughts are not His thoughts nor are your ways His ways.
Case in point, more than three years ago the Lord instructed me to do something that I struggled with for months. What He desired me to do was the opposite of what I would normally do and not my way. But I eventually had to trust the Lord's prompting on what He desired of me. It was a faith step because I didn't understand it. It was confirmed by a minister of the Lord that I was doing God's will and my faithfulness would be honored. At the time, I did not understand how necessary the move was. My focus turned to the vision God gave me and the dreams I had as a little girl. One dream was already accomplished by God's favor. As the Lord continued to grant me favor, He instructed me to reach back and extend that favor to others. Fast forward to August 2014. I was an attendee at the African American Author's Expo with two of the five first author clients under Get Your JOY In The Morning! LLC. I said to one, my next goal is to start a publishing company and I hope all of you will eventually come with me. By October of that year, a dear friend said, "with what you already do, why haven't you started your own publishing company?" I said, "it's coming in God's time." He said, "well I will pray that God makes a way for you to do it." When I shared with another close friend, at that time, they said, "Amen" meaning they stood in agreement according to the will of God. Fast forward to 2015. I bless God for being introduced to the Publisher & CEO of The Divine Voice Magazine (www.thedivinevoicemag.com). As my relationship and with the magazine has grown, God began to re-ignite that goal. As He did it in me, so He did in the Publisher & CEO of The Divine Voice Magazine. One year to the day, during the African American Author's Empowerment & Expo, I am truly blessed to say that Get Your JOY In The Morning! LLC has partnered with The Divine Voice to create Divine Voice Publishing (www.divinevoicepublishing.com). I am the author liaison and mentor for Divine Voice Publishing. For those of you who have expressed previously your desire to write and become published authors, God has now opened another door of more favor that I may reach back and assist others who God has given a dream and a story to share. I can only help those who are willing to trust in the Lord and step out on faith.
Please see below for submission guidelines and the special we are running. You can send your manuscripts directly to me or submit via www.divinevoicepublishing.com. I look forward to seeing more of you achieve your purpose and dreams you never thought were possible but delight yourself in Him and He will do it according to His will.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to share with you that I will be at the African American Author's & Empowerment Expo THIS Saturday, August 15th in the Baltimore area. There will be books and workshops for the whole family. I will be giving away a FREE children's coloring book with the purchase of my second book, "Shh Don't Tell." Get Your JOY In The Morning will be available too. I will also be making a MAJOR announcement! I look forward to connecting with you! See the flyer below for details.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
10The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
In the film, Focus, starring Will Smith, Will plays a conman, a thief, named Nicky. In the film he teaches a young woman, named Jess, a few "simple" tricks on how to steal from people. He said, "stealing is a game of focus. The mind is slow and can only focus on one thing at a time. If I draw your attention to my hand or whatever I'm looking at, you can't see where my hand is." Nicky then gives a physical demonstration as he with one hand has Jess look at it with him while with his other hand he snatches a possession from her person. Now Jess was able to utilize the techniques later under the direction of one of Nicky's partners. There was a team of them.
God had me remember the scene in particular because of some events which happened recently. When I recognized the scheme and called it out for what it was, the enemy literally sent something else as an additional diversion. The hope was that I would forget what God said would be happening. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, Jesus said Himself what the devil's tactic is. For someone reading this, God is doing something and the devil sent a diversion hoping you will focus where he wants you to focus so he can attempt to take the blessing God has given you right off your person. However, God ALWAYS has a "contingency plan."
In the film, The Devil's Advocate, starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reaves, the devil is played by Al Pacino and goes by the name John Milton in one of his human forms. And Keanu plays Kevin Lomax. In There is a scene on the roof top with a strange waterfall. John Milton was "interviewing" Kevin Lomax for a lawyer position. John said to Kevin, "I'm wondering about how you will be under pressure. For some people, when you apply pressure, they focus. Others they break." In the word, God says He uses everything referencing Romans 8:28. So basically the pressure, diversion, distraction that the enemy attempts to use as a method to break you and steal your blessing, God turns it around because He knows you better than the enemy does. He knows the pressure, the diversions, the methods of thievery will only cause you to focus that much more if you are willing to listen to Him. Are you focusing? If you focus, Jesus will give you the strength to smack away the hand of the enemy as he attempts to put his hand on what does not belong to him, whether it be a physical possession/blessing or that of your peace, joy, etc. FOCUS!
Sunday, August 2, 2015
15So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
Jesus did not give Simon Peter the statement, "If you love me." He said, "do you?" Merriam-Webster's dictionary says the word "if" is a function word used to introduce an exclamation expressing a wish or "in the event that." However, "Do" as we know is an action. Jesus had already risen and would soon ascend to the right hand of the Father. Before doing so, He restored Peter. When Jesus was taken Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times just as Jesus said he would. Peter wept bitterly as the Word says and obviously had guilt. Jesus is a restorer regardless of the wrong. But the choice still remains with the one who committed the offense to be in or out. In or out of what? The choice to be in or out of fellowship with Jesus. Jesus knew Peter loved Him. In verse 17 Peter tells Jesus, "Lord you know all things." And He does. So Jesus asking the questions of Peter was to show Peter though he made a mistake, it did not mean that his purpose and assignments were absolved. To the contrary. What He wanted to show Peter was there is a choice to be in or out and to continue to do His will in spite of mistakes. The "do" was action and Jesus gave the three action items of "Feed my lambs, Tend to my sheep, Feed my sheep." For each time Peter denied, there was a counter statement given by Jesus to restore and be in fellowship. Peter denied Jesus. Was it bad? Of course. But the Lord restored Moses who took a man's life and David who took another man's wife. Surely, Jesus, the son of God, would forgive Peter's denial. All violated commandments but God still loves. The word says we all fall short of the glory of God. You have a choice to be in or out of fellowship. Jesus will take you back. The choice is yours.
P.S. Join me on Saturday, August 15th at the African American Author's Expo. Go to www.getyourjoyinthemorning.com for location details. I will be signing both my books, hugging necks and revealing some exciting news of what is next for Get Your JOY In The Morning! LLC. I will be giving away a free children's coloring book that helps parents talk to children on how to be safe with the purchase of my book "Shh Don't Tell." I look forward to seeing you!
Sunday, July 12, 2015
12"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
A few years ago I recall a debate or a serious question someone asked about why when Christians pray do they say the words, "In Jesus Name" before ending the prayer. Now from the scripture above it makes logical sense but I want to talk about from a faith perspective. The verses above are from the section called "Answered Prayer" in John 14. The Word says in Hebrews that without faith, it is impossible to please the Heavenly Father. What does that mean? It means that if you pray for something but do not believe that what you are praying for will be answered, "then why should God answer it?" If you lack the belief yourself for what you pray for then the words mean nothing. The definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11. Paraphrased it means to believe what you cannot yet see. For me, this is personal.
Toward the end of 2014 God kept saying to me through the Holy Spirit that someone dear to me was not quite right health wise. I recognized feeling from when I lost a family member ten years ago. In March, the one dear to me asked me to embark on something together we had never done before. God said to me, "just say yes." So I did. I learned right before my 40th birthday that the doctors had found something in this person's lungs back in October of 2014 but the person was told in March. God confirmed. The way I was told I wasn't able to react emotionally. All I could do was listen. When they left my home, I cried out to God something fierce. That night I began listening to forever Jones' song, "You Can do Anything." From that moment on, I decided that my prayer to God would be that when this loved one went back to the doctors for a retest, there would be nothing for them to see. I even shared it the next day in the Lord's house. I enlisted some prayer warriors with me. Now the doctors told my loved one what they saw they believed to be benign or noncancerous. So that's what the loved one believed. But again, I believe, Jesus can do anything. The retest was done earlier this week. I kept asking for the results as I believed there would be nothing. On Wednesday, I received the call. When I returned the call the loved one said, "the doctors found nothing. I guess it must have dissolved or something." I shouted and blessed the Lord. And then I confessed what my prayer had been since May with the other prayer warriors. The entire time, the prayer was in the name of Jesus. The Lord who heals or Jehovah Rapha is in the name of Jesus. He is called by many names.
Just as the friends who lowered their friend down through the ceiling to get to Jesus on his mat/sick bed, it was through their faith in the name of Jesus that their friend was completely restored. This is why I wouldn't stop praising His name during worship today even when all else was quiet. The worship leader said, "no one can praise Him for you." Yes, Tracey, that's why I couldn't stop this afternoon. If any of you have lacked faith before, let this serve as a testimony to you, Jesus can do anything in His name if you wholeheartedly believe.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
The Community Book Signing Event and Panel Discussion on Child Abuse Prevention is almost here! I am looking forward to meeting and speaking with each one of you! We have great panelists who are knowledgeable and desire to make the world a better place for children. I am hoping to connect you with resources for you and your children, or parents that you know so children in D.C. and throughout can be kept safe during this summer season. The conversation is bigger than discomfort about the subject. We want to help you so you can approach the subject with knowledge, wisdom and preventative measures. My book, "Shh Don't Tell" will also be available for purchase. What price and/or sacrifice would you make for a child's safety? See the flyer below and join us on THIS Thursday, July 9th from 6:30pm-8pm at Busboys and Poets Brookland in N.E. Washington, D.C. Admission is FREE. Follow the instructions below on how to register. Copy and paste the URL (website) in your browser or go to www.getyourjoyinthemorning.com
and go to the contact tab.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Good Evening Everyone,
There is an update on the July 9th Community Book Signing Event and Panel Discussion. The time is from 6:30pm-8pm at Busboys and Poets Brookland. I hope you all understand that child abuse is beyond race, class and religion. It is an equal opportunity crime committed against our children. Washington, D.C. has the highest reported rate of child abuse in the country. Children who are abused are often done so by people they know. If you have children, know children or know someone with children, you cannot afford to miss this event. What price and/or sacrifice would you make for the safety of a child during this summer season or anytime? Follow the instructions in the flyer below on registering. See you there!
Monday, June 15, 2015
42Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
There are more people who believe in Christ than those who confess Him. Jesus had just predicted His death on the cross and there were some who though seeing the miracles, signs and wonders refused to believe. But the rulers, those who knew the law best, those who had read about Him through the prophet Isaiah, knew exactly who they had in their midst. However, they enjoyed being in the spotlight and seats of honor under the law more and failed to confess with their mouths the true love that was being offered to them. The love of the position, authority, and spotlight - the false love, was more important than the pure love from Jesus and praise from God for accepting His Son.
Do you know anyone with closet belief? Of course you do. Who are they? Some of them are your co-workers, family members, coaches, etc who fear being seen differently for openly saying what they believe. In the U.S., freedom of religion exists. However, in some countries, they are not as blessed. They cannot even be seen with a Bible, or in a meeting that represents the belief in Christ. For them, everyday that they worship, everyday that leave their homes, they are at risk of being murdered for their love of Christ. Yet you and I, cannot be discriminated against for our beliefs. It is against the law. You and I can openly worship and Praise God without risk of losing life. But why then the closet belief if one knows who Jesus is? Man becomes their god, and fear of not being connected paralyzes their confession. However, when you are connected to the source of life and light, you have the greatest and most powerful connection anyone could ever hope for. Jesus said that if you deny Him in the presence of man, He shall deny you in the presence of God.
P.S. Are you a parent, family member, mentor, etc? Join me and other panelists including Safe Shores, D.C. Children's Advocacy Center for a conversation on child abuse prevention during this summer and summer camp season on Thursday, July 9th from 6pm-8pm at Busboys and Poets Brookland. I will also be signing books. Admission is FREE just register at www.getyourjoyinthemorning.com on the contact tab. We want to help you keep your family safe.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Are you a parent, family member, mentor, etc. in the D.C. area? Join us on July 9th from 6pm-8pm for a conversation on keeping children safe during the summer season. D.C. has the highest reported rate of child abuse in the country. Learn ways to protect your children. See flyer below for details.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
23And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
I had a very eye opening experience yesterday evening while sitting with a perspective student and her family. After many questions and much probing, what God told me in my spirit when I first spoke to her and her mother was confirmed. The type of work the young lady desired to do had nothing to do with why she was at the school and it was more her trying to please her mother to do something her mother actually desired to do. We are in a society where men and women have been taught somewhere along the way that if they do not have a glorious title with loads of cash that they are nothing. It is not so. Even what you think is insignificant can give God glory. How you say? I have seen God change the names and titles of many. I have seen God take someone from a "notable" profession and place them as a cashier. They think they are not giving God glory but in their time as a cashier, God is using them to minister to people, to give smiles, laughs and hugs to those who need and to be a light for Him. And they have received gifts and tokens for the joy of the Lord they bring to others. God removed me from one 9-5 profession to another. I once did not understand the purpose in it but glory to God! He has showed me time and time again about the work I do. A lot of my students hug me in the hallways and say they are grateful that I take time out for them. Seeing them happy and doing what they never thought they could do gives me joy because I know I am not looking at them as numbers but as people. I am not a teacher but I work in education. The experience I am getting where I am helps to make me better in the company God has tasked me to run which uplifts others. I am experiencing "on the job training" everyday. My favorite former choir director and now pastor of congressional care at the church where I was baptized, Rev. Caldwell, used to sing a song I so loved. It was called, "It'll be Alright if You Change My Name." God can change your name/title. Not as a punishment, but so that you may give glory to Him. Too many people give too much weight to titles and not to actually working and laboring. If you are doing your best, you give God glory. If you are doing the work not to please man but to please God, then you cannot help but to please man. And it is in that, where you represent Him and give Him glory.
What you do is not insignificant if you give your best in all you do. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be great but change your focus. Work for His glory not yours and you shall be blessed.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
8But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Jesus gave the parable of the sower and the different types of ground that the sower sowed seed into. But what is good? Remember, Jesus even said to the rich young ruler, "Why do you call me good?" Merriam-Webster's Dictionary gives the first definition of good as
1: of favorable character or tendency 2: bountiful, fertile, 3: comely, attractive, 4: suitable, fit 5: sound, whole, 6: agreeable, ample, 9: full, 10: well-founded, 11: legally valid or effectual 13: adequate, 14: conforming to a standard, 15: discriminating, 16:commendable, virtuous, 17: kind, 18: upper-class, 19: competent, 20: loyal, close
There are so many definitions of good but hone in on bountiful, fertile, suitable, legally valid, competent. In Matthew 7 Jesus talked about a tree that bears "good fruit." Again, highlight the definitions of good. It is in our nature to think that just because you or I sow something that it is good ground. But in the parable of the sower, whether it is good does not rest with you or I but where the seed is sown, meaning the type of ground. And not every sower will yield the same amount even if sown in the same ground. Ground here can mean anything from a business, ministry, project, relationship, etc. Our society is consumed with the level of results one has over another. But in actuality, it is about what God has deemed for that sower. What makes something good? The word says that God is not a man that He should lie. Therefore; when God says something is good, then it is. You can sow until the sun sets, but if God hasn't said that where you are sowing is good ground, you cannot expect a "good" harvest. What makes it good? If the plans God has given you line up with where you are sowing, then know that a good harvest will arrive. Remember, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty means that every good ground you sow seed may not yield the same amount. Your measuring stick on what the results should be may be off. Maybe you have thought that a harvest should only be in one area or plot of land. When in fact, God may deem that it comes from multiple sources just as their are multiple plots with different crops. And if you are surrounded by multiple sowers such as yourself, do not think that you all must reap the same amount or kind of harvest. What God has for you is for you. And therefore, your measuring stick must always be according to the plans that God has for your life as in Jeremiah 29:11. How God does it with you, for you and through you will not be exactly the same as someone else. Just remember that wherever God says to sow, it will be good. Trust Him.
P.S. SAVE THE DATE: Are you a parent, mentor or work/care for children in any capacity? Then put July 9th from 6pm-8pm on your calendar! A flyer is forthcoming. I am hosting a Community Book Signing Event and Panel Discussion on Child Abuse Prevention at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC Brookland neighborhood. We are entering the summer camp season and must keep children safe. There will be some great experts on the panel and hope to see you there to talk, hug necks and sign books. The event is free to attend but you must register on http://www.getyourjoyinthemorning.com/ and fill out your information on the contact page.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
What does it mean to think as a child? A child does not take into account the consequences of their actions. A child often does not consider the feelings of others. A child usually does not move with deductive reasoning. A child is often self-seeking, thinking only about what they want from moment to moment. I have been in reflective mode for the last few days because today is my 40th birthday but also because it quickly went from a completely joyous time to a bitter sweet time with just a few words of news. What I can say is it caused me to reflect greatly. The ages between 35-50 are considered the middle ages where one may encounter a "mid-life" crisis as the NKJV Study Bible talked about in an article. However, the biggest crisis, is when an adult fails to learn from mistakes. The biggest crisis is when an adult reasons as a child and does not take into account the consequences of their actions or consider the feelings of others. How so? If an adult is making the same choices that lead to mistakes made five or ten years ago, then something is missing. If an adult is in the same situation as before repeatedly, what needs to change? Yes, some cases are inevitable. But some are missing a key point. It's called putting away childish things as the Word says. It's time to grow up. Bishop T.D. Jakes did a re-enactment of baby birds having to grow up in one of his sermons. The baby birds stand with their mouths open wide waiting for the mother bird to drop the food. But eventually the mother bird disappears to make the baby children get to a place where they have to seek for themselves. When that doesn't work, she pushes them out of the nest and forces them to fly. She forces them to grow up
Where are you making the same choices that lead to the same mistakes? Where have you been thinking as a child? Have you considered that maybe a trial you are in is because God is ready for you to put away childish things? Are you ready to put away childish things? The Word says, "when I became a man." Are you man/woman yet? Isn't it time to grow up?
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
15Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
The NKJV Study Bible translates this verse as "Labor was instituted before the Fall, not as the result of the curse. The Study Bible goes on to say that "tend" carries the idea of service. The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines tend as 1) to apply oneself, 2) to take care of, 3) to manage the operations of. Adam was given the command by God to manage the operations of the garden of Eden or to apply himself, take care of. That's work. Psalm 104:28 says What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. To "gather" is an action verb meaning to pick, collect. God is still the source just as He was in the garden of Eden but there is a component that man/woman must provide called work. The apostle Paul warned against idleness in 2 Thessalonians 3 saying if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. The word says in Deuteronomy 8 that God gives the power to get wealth. Again, there is an action verb "get" which means to fetch, obtain, gain.
We are in a society that heavily advocates getting more for less or obtaining more with less effort. The fact is that effort or work must still be applied in some form. God provides but still commands you and I to put forth some type of effort. Not because He can't do it without us because honestly, He can. It's more about understanding the value. If you never have to work for or at anything, how will you grow? How will you acquire new skills? How will you learn? A parent teaches a child how to go from crawling to walking. But it still requires the child to take some steps. A child can only be physically carried for so long. What happens when a parent gets tired of holding a child that can walk? They put them down and force them to walk. It's the same with you and I. Having to work or put forth effort is a method of teaching. If you do not desire to learn, you will stand still. If you do not desire to put forth effort, then you will not be able reap anything. Galatians 5 talks about the law of reaping and sowing. What you put in is what you will get out of it. If you do not desire to put forth effort to work at whatever it is, do not expect the best of the best. God (G) + Effort (E) = Results (R).
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
I pray that all is well with you. I know many of you are praying about the Charm City- Baltimore. On a positive note, I hope that in the atmosphere that we remember the White House National Day of Prayer is this Saturday, May 2nd. An additional portion has been added to it: A Book Fair. Many Christian authors will be on the White House Ellipse this Saturday. I will be one of them. I hope to see you face to face, to hug, smile, laugh and most importantly to pray together. I hope you will join me.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
20The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
The scripture where Jesus counsels the rich young ruler has been talked about many times; often from the stand point of money and possessions. But God revealed something else to me over the last few days about this scripture. The rich young ruler approached Jesus with a certain arrogance. How you ask? Great question. First he assumed that eternal life was earned just as the NKJV Study Bible notes. When Jesus said to, "keep the commandments," it was because he knew that the young ruler was basing his question from the perspective of the law of Moses given by God. Unfortunately, in the kingdom of God there are many who view God from the legalistic perspective and forget the one concept Jesus came to show and teach. Jesus simply comes from the perspective of love. The young man responded to Jesus that he kept the laws from his youth. Again, there are many who operate from the law and not from love. That was the point Jesus wanted to make. First of all, your salvation and gift of eternal life are gifts. You cannot do anything more to earn a gift. A gift is freely given. Second, no matter how many of the commandments you think you might have "kept" from whenever you first acknowledged God in your life, you will have failed somewhere because the word says we all "fall short of the glory of God." You can grow up in church all your life and still miss who Jesus is. Jesus is about love. He is not selfish, self-seeking, greedy, envious, etc. He is simply the epitome of love. But most of all, Jesus wanted to show the young man, from the place of love and truth, that he, though he knew the law still lacked in some areas, even within the commandments that he couldn't even see from his own blind spot. No matter how perfect you think you may be, Jesus through love, will show you how imperfect you and I really are but that His love for you and I does not fail. Jesus keeps it "100" as the young people say. But even in His realness with you, He still loves you. You cannot earn eternal life. It is a gift. No matter how long you have walked with Jesus, you still have some growing to do. You have not arrived. The apostle Paul said that you are to work out your salvation. The NKJV Study Bible provides the translation as, "working out faith in daily lives." Faith is a process. Growth is a process and neither ends until the day you take your last breath.
P.S. I hope you will join me on Saturday, May 2nd from 10am-6pm on The White House Ellipse during the White House Prayer and Book Fair. It's open to the public. I would love to have some face time with you. Check out the www.getyourjoyinthemorning.com website for upcoming events.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
5For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
March 30, 2009 was the day I FINALLY obeyed God's prompting to write out a message for what would be at the time 124 people. Exactly nine months later, God would have me birth a manuscript. And February 2011 the book was released. Who knew but God that many more readers, radio segments on Church Beat Radio, the Artist to Artist Show and the Leap of Faith Show and Network would come? Who knew but God that someone would invite me to their baptism saying the messages played a role in them accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior? Who knew but God that others would be inspired to write? Who knew but God that He would have me directly assist in the birthing of the dreams of being published for five others within a two year period? Who but God knew there would be speaking engagements, one on one prayers? Who knew but God a second book would come and a company? From one seed, GOD has done so much!
In all that He has allowed me to do for others, I know that He gets all the glory, honor and praise. God did it! I just happened to be in the vicinity. (Laugh) The title of the devotionals, book and company are all based from Psalm 30:5 because truly He has brought me through so much, many tears and it is by His favor, and His favor alone that any of what you read and see has and is done. Some of you wonder why you don't get a message each day anymore. The messages were always meant to get you to the point where you would open the Word of God and study His word for yourself. Some have relied on the message as their sole exposure to God's word. But growth has to take place. I love you but God loves you more.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Matthew 27: 24-25
24When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this Just Person. You see to it." 25And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and our children."
Holy week is not far away at all. And there have been some battles and close calls during these 40 days for those who hold Jesus near. Some of the toughest battles come just before dawn. For believers in Christ, our dawn occurs Resurrection Sunday, the day that Jesus arose. But before that day, there were many battles. The toughest were in the final weeks. Many assume that Jesus had no choice in going to His death. But there is always a choice. The choice is to obey or not obey. It was for love, that Jesus obeyed. It was for love though He was hated intensely that He quietly accepted a punishment and took someone else's place in death.
Pilate was in the middle of the feast of the governor as the word says and the custom was to release a prisoner. Pilate offered up Jesus the Christ and Barabbas as choices. The word says that Barabbas was a notorious prisoner. The crowd chose to release Barabbas. Pilate couldn't understand it. He knew Jesus had done no wrong. And he thought for sure that up against a notorious prisoner, Jesus would've been easily seen as the clear choice for release. But as the NKJV Study Bible translation says, "Pilate underestimated their hatred." When Pilate saw he could not reason with the crowd, he didn't use his authority to override them though he could. He was not popular with them as the NKJV Study Bible translation indicates. So instead, he washed his hands and proclaimed his innocence putting the blood on the hands of those who shouted for Jesus' crucifixion. They happily accepted and also put the blood on their own children. Both parties took a very bold stance. Nonetheless, Jesus did it for love. Yes, his blood was on their hands. But He still covered their sins by shedding His own blood. For love, Jesus took the place of a man who was worthy of death. You and I are no better than Barabbas. For love, Jesus took the place of you and I on that cross. He committed no crime, no sin. Yet each of you and I, have. The people who desire to see you and I destroyed in every day life, are no different than that crowd. But for Love, Jesus shed His blood for everyone. A big battle before the dawn won at a great price. For love, His blood was shed but the victory is everlasting. If only everyone would see it.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
11So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies.
God allowed something so spectacular to happen in the sky so the people of Israel could maintain view of their enemies, the Amorites, to destroy them after Joshua petitioned Him. My assistant pastor always says, "God is the keeper of time." Yes it is the New Testament as well that God truly does keep time. Remember the word says that with the Lord one day is as thousand years and a thousand years as one day. He can hold time still. He held an entire day still. Have you ever experienced what seemed like the "longest day?" And you believe that it couldn't possible be any longer than any other day because there are only 24 hours in a day. Clocks are moving forward this weekend so we can experience more sunlight. But God!! God did it for the people of Israel without the use of a clock. He simply held the sun its position. So yes, God can hold a day and it can seem like the longest day. God holds time when you talk to someone you enjoy talking to. You think you've only been on the phone for a short time but then you look at the clock and realize that several hours went by during the course of your conversation. It just happened to me recently. In film, directors/editors hold time by digitally slowing down a segment of film reel/video so as to emphasize the impact of a particular scene. Musicians and music engineers hold time in a song by slowing down the words played back to give it a certain effect. God does it in real time because He created the earth and everything in it as the Word says. The next time you experience the "longest day" or a phone conversation that seems like only minutes but is actually hours, remember, something significant is happening. God is doing something spectacular. You just need to ask God what you need to pay attention to, learn or remember from it.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
1Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
You and I already know that God blessed King Solomon with much wisdom because he asked for it. You and I both know that King Solomon was termed the wisest and wealthiest king in the Old Testament. So a king who is wise by God's hand gave you and I insight into the behavior of man thousands of years before. Remember the Word says there is nothing new under the sun. So there is no behavior that has not already been seen. It may be new to you, but God has seen it all. The NKJV Study Bible records the translation of this verse as: "Wine mocks the one who drinks it and the strong drink makes him loud, aggressive, and without self-control. Intoxicating drinks have often led to great misery and suffering. They can lead people astray and cause them to do foolish and abusive things." Have you ever wondered why when people get drunk they get extra loud? Have you ever wondered why when people get drunk they seem to get in a fighting mode? Have you ever wondered why when people get drunk they seem to loose their capacity to think straight and have control over their reflexes? When I was on campus in college, we had visits regularly by the campus police as they said most of their weekends were spent trying to save young people from alcohol poisoning. What does it mean to mock? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary says it means to 1) treat with contempt or ridicule 2) delude 3) defy 4)to mimic in sport or derision. So basically being intoxicated can get you to a place where what you are drinking is making a fool of you. Deluding means to mislead, deceive, trick. So being intoxicated can get you to the point where you see things that may not be present. Wine and Spirits- they are called spirits for a reason. Let's look at it from it a different perspective.
The translation said it can make a person aggressive, without self-control and even abusive. I recall being at comedian Dick Gregory's 80th birthday celebration at a comedy house in Washington, D.C. There he mentioned how alcohol often plays a factor in abuse. Well, the word is true. In the most recent cases of domestic violence involving former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, R&B singer Kyle Norman from the group Jagged Edge both were very much intoxicated. Kyle Norman tried to choke his fiancé to death and attempted to shove the engagement ring he gave her down her throat. Even in the domestic violence situations I witnessed growing up, most times, drunkenness was a factor. It brings out what is hidden, deep-rooted. Alcohol is no excuse for abuse but it can bring out anger that is already there and ignite it ten times greater than what it is there. My personal refusal to drink was long before I understood it in the word of God but rather because alcoholism is a disease and I have seen the disease and wanted no part of it. The word states that God's people are not to be drunk with wine but rather with the Holy Spirit. How can you hear the Spirit of the Lord when you hear the spirit of something else tricking, deceiving and misleading you? It's something to think about. What you do is between you and God that is for sure. But when you harm another because of your actions then it's everyone's problem. Being intoxicated with alcohol can be a fuel which ignites something horrible including loss of freedom and/or life. "You are your brother's keeper." You can be joyous and happy without being intoxicated as long as you love life, your own and that of others.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Song of Solomon 1:2, 9
2Let him kiss me with kisses of his mouth-for your love is better than wine. 9I have compared you, my love, to my filly among Pharaoh's chariots.
We are in the commercialized season of love. Love is everyday. How so? The expressions of love are made known in many ways. It's not just about how you feel but how you treat one another, time spent and how you are willing to do and care for one another.
The Song of Solomon is the "book of love" in the Old Testament. There are some very hot and heavy moments in the Song of Solomon. Yes, even in the Bible there is a place for romantic love. Remember, love is at the core of Christian life. There are many types of love but the first human relationship ever established on earth was between man and woman. Next to your relationship with God, this is a very important and influential relationship. The Shulamite woman and Solomon were obviously in love just from the scripture above. Yes, even in the life of believers, there needs to be some passion in your relationship. Passion should be fueled by love not lust. Love requires respect, care, devotion. It is noted in the NKJV Study Bible that banquets by the royal families consisted mostly of wine and thought to be the best item of consumption for celebration. The Shulamite woman emphasized that the love Solomon provided was better than wine. And no, they were not talking about intercourse itself. For it was not customary for a man and woman to consummate their relationship with intercourse until after the official marriage ceremony. And though it may seem that Solomon compared the Shulamite woman to an animal, according to the animal chart in the NKJV Study Bible, a filly was the finest of Egyptian horses. Their love for one another was very obvious. The question for you: is the love obvious? Love can never be boxed into one day or even a week. True love has no end. The strongest earthly bond is to be the marital bond as noted in Song of Solomon chapter 8. The problem is the bond between man and woman is taken for granted, misused and abused. The bond between man and woman has even been taken out of context and made to be some casual occurrence. It is not. It is a powerful one that if not nurtured correctly can leave a lot of scar tissue. But if nurtured correctly can be one full of support, companionship and passion. Your bond should not be casual. It ought to have purpose. Your bond of love ought to be obvious and have direction, not just because a day has been designated to do so. Is the love obvious?
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Good Evening Everyone,
I hope you are enjoying the Super Bowl festivities and the commercials. I was told to make this announcement to everyone so I want to be sure you know. I am officially a contributing writer for The Divine Voice Magazine http://www.thedivinevoicemag.com/. Be sure to subscribe! A review of my latest book, "Shh Don't Tell" will also appear in the next issue. I praise God for He is worthy to be praised!! I thank God for this humbling opportunity as well as The Divine Voice Magazine and the GCV Network.
Blessings and love to you,
Thursday, January 22, 2015
6Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
As much as the scripture above makes sense, some do not realize that the habits children are taught or "caught" will stay with them. Even if they are not beneficial and potentially dangerous they will have them. I work in an educational environment and meet many people from different walks of life. But last night, I was really disturbed by what I witnessed. A young man with his younger sister and mother were present. I was meeting the other family members for the first time. We were having casual conversation when suddenly, the young sister decided to say what she had done earlier that day. She yelled to her older brother that she wanted to go outside and play in the snow. He thinking nothing of it, didn't bother to check that she was properly dressed to play in the snow though it was cold outside. This young girl who could be no more than 11 said she had recorded herself, via phone outside in her under garments playing in the snow. Seriously! I stopped what I was doing with the older brother and proceeded to speak to the young girl to explain how much of an absolute unacceptable behavior that was. The mother chimed in. I let the young lady know about predators and that she is never to do so such a thing. I looked her directly in her eyes to reiterate this and even let her know that I unfortunately know from experience without going into detail. I kept asking if what I was saying was crystal clear. The mother then began to say never to take half-naked pictures of herself to display. I asked again, was it clear. She still had the look on her face like she didn't get what the big issue was. I hope that was a wake up call for the mother.
Now, why am I telling you this? The conversation that was had in front of me, a complete stranger, should've been had a long time ago. I reminded the brother to never let his sister out of the house without first checking to make sure she is properly dressed with hat, gloves, etc. I said she could've suffered frost bite, etc. And being the adult in the house at the time, it was still his responsibility. Now I also know a few other things that were expressed in a previous meeting by the young man and now I see what he meant. Parents, I will address you. Do not think it is someone else's responsibility to explain to children about predators, sex or anything else. You are the first teachers. The teenage years are often too late to discuss these topics. Children are under attack in their infant and toddler years. Have you not seen the news? And an alarming but true statistic, 85% of the time, children are abused by someone they know. It does not matter that the subject is uncomfortable to you. It's supposed to be uncomfortable. More importantly, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. It's about the young life God has given you charge of. And many of you are afraid to read my book, "Shh Don't Tell." This is exactly why you ought to read it. A fellow co-worker and psychologist said, "the young girl lacks attention and is a prime target for a predator." This statement goes along with what I learned in a previous meeting.
God continues to remind me why He gave me the project and the next steps. It's on behalf of children like the one I met last night. Talk to your children so they do not end up on the news or milk cartons please. Train up a child with knowledge and wisdom. That means you have to have knowledge and wisdom too. Hosea 4:6 says we perish from a lack of knowledge, children included.
Monday, January 12, 2015
3In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
How many times have you come across a fool? Jesus even referred to people as being fools in parables. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines a fool as a person who lacks sense or judgment. The second definition is one who spends time idly, thoughtlessly or even in ignorance. A fool does just that. But how many fools do you know who don't even know they are fools? What you hear from them is a lot of arrogance and pride yet they are positive that they make total sense. With that being said, those who are wise, you hear wisdom from their mouths and they are not idle. Wisdom comes from God. You cannot gain wisdom doing idle things. You gain wisdom by seeking God. You gain wisdom by being in the presence of godly council. You gain wisdom by being with those who are where you are trying to go. Wisdom is actually stated as one of the spiritual gifts from God. It is the same gift which God bestowed to King Solomon. He asked for it and God gave it. Wisdom is found in the opposite place where fools reside, in idle things.
I cannot tell you how many times I come across those who are occupying their time with foolish things. But what is so appalling is they really believe they know what they are doing and are perfectly fine doing it. One of the definitions for insanity on dictionary.com is extreme foolishness, folly, senselessness. So being a fool can be equated on some level with insanity though this is not to make light of anyone dealing with mental disorders. But a fool who keeps speaking foolish things and continues in foolish things without a desire and drive to become wise seeks his or her own end. Is that not insanity? Did not God say in His word that people perish from a lack of knowledge? Did not God say in His word that in all things get understanding? If you dare not gain wisdom, knowledge and understanding and then act on them you are wasting your time. And you don't even know how much time you have remaining. All you know is the time you have used up. With the time you have remaining, are you spending it wisely? With the time you have remaining are you spending it with people who mean you well, want to see you succeed and have a common goal of wanting to be better, do better? With the time you have remaining are you spending it doing the things you were put here do? With the time remaining are you saying something meaningful?
P.S. If you have not signed up for the writers teleconference on www.getyourjoyinthemorning.com time is running out! This event will not happen again anytime soon.