“America’s Exception to All”

As we navigate the unnecessary and untenable debate concerning the validity of the statement “Black Lives Matter” which is argued in exchange for the escapist and dismissive retort “All Lives Matter,” it is critical that we confront and admit one reality. 

America has always had an “Exception to All.”

Before we dive into that well of thought, let’s first probe the diction posed in the debate.  For one to say All Lives Matter provides the definitive assumption that “All” is in fact “All.”  All by definition, is used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or a thing.  If in fact, this is believed then any individual sect of people is merely a subset to the whole.  We all collectively make up the larger group.

So then, when one says Black Lives Matter, they are literally affirming the over-arching position of the All.  Granting humanity and dignity to particular groups that make up the whole, highlights the creative genius and diversity of community. 

Instead, diversity has been weaponized and lingual truth turned on its head.

Why? – America’s Exception to All.

When the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776  it veiled the idea that “all men were created equal.”  Except – it didn’t.  Equality extended only as far as whiteness.  During the Constitutional Convention of 1787 there was framed a document that provided and protected liberty and justice for all.  Except – it didn’t.  In that meeting was a compromise that provided that 3 out of every 5 slaves would be counted as people.    The Emancipation Proclamation ensured the freedom from slavery.  Except – it didn’t.  Thousands of slaves in Texas were left in bondage until years later, not to mention the graduation to Black Codes culture and later Jim Crow. 

As we peruse the annals of history we park in periods of “Separate but Equal” – which was anything but equal; Redlining which subverted efforts of providing fair housing; Unequal access to quality education and academic resources; Pay disparity and unequitable employment . . . and so much more.   What has been afforded to the All has been denied to Many. 

Humanity and Dignity have been denied to a group that in fact makes up the whole – Black Americans.

So, when you say All Lives Matter in response to our cry of Black Lives Matter, what you are literally pulling the bandage from the open wound of “America’s Exception to All.” 

“Begin Again”

16   For a righteous man may fall seven times

And rise again,

But the wicked shall fall by calamity.

 Proverbs 24:16 (NKJV)

 

“Begin Again”

One of the most challenging realities of life, is the fact that there will be times when things don’t go the way we expect them to.  We may pray, plan and even pursue the dream, the goal, the objective – only to find ourselves knocked down my disappointment.   While this may be a reality we face, it must not be a finality we forge.   We may be down for the moment.  But, we must soon realize, if we’re not dead God certainly is not done.

This is the time to begin again. 

Proverbs 24:16 is a verse that many of us have read time and time again.  It is one that has been preached, there have been songs written with it as the inspiration and again today, it serves as fuel for our faith.   However, for this moment, I want us to not just be inspired to know that we can get rise again but, I want us to be encouraged, empowered and know that after we rise there is something we must do.

This is the time to begin again.

All too often we allow the pains and problems we experience to preclude our pursuit of possibility.  We park in disappointment and literally allow the down moments in life to shade the upward call we have in Christ Jesus.  I know, disappointments hurt; failure is debilitating; stagnation is bewildering but, this is not the end.

This is the time to begin again.

One of the lies too many of us have adopted, is this notion that failure has no place in our faith walk.  Yet, I argue the contrary.   Failure often is the benchmark for growth in our faith.  Failure, mis-steps and mistakes often pave the way for God sized possibility.  As the saying goes “If I never had a problem, I wouldn’t know The Lord could solve it.”   When we fail.  When we mis-step.  When we make mistakes – we discover The Lord’s ability to work things together for our good.  We discover that where we have placed periods, God intended a comma.   Down was never the destination.

There will be stages in life where we may fall.  We may fall to the wounds of a broken relationship.  We may fall to the trials and tribulations of life.  We may fall to the frustration of failure.  We may fall to internal struggles.  But, even though we may fall . . . The Word reminds us that WE WILL RISE AGAIN!

This is the time to begin again.

Things may not have gone as expected.  That last incident may have knocked the wind out of you.  Disappointment nearly derailed your faith.  But, guess what you are still here!  You are still standing!  And, God is not done.

Family, rise – and begin again.  

The business isn’t going as expected – Get up, tweak the plan and BEGIN AGAIN.

That last relationship left you down – Get up, learn the lessons and BEGIN AGAIN.

Marriage took an unexpected turn – Get up, make the necessary adjustments and Begin Again.

Your first book didn’t do well – Get up, start writing and Begin Again.

They counted you out – Get up, shake off the hate and BEGIN AGAIN.

Whatever has knocked you down, whatever has led to the fall – you can, you will rise; and when you do don’t just get up – BEGIN AGAIN!!

 Be Blessed . . .

Pastor D’

“Hear no evil – See no evil”

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“The year was 2016, it was seemingly a rebirth of consciousness, the eyes of society were being forced to turn its attention to existing American atrocities, protests of oppression and injustice were flooding the streets, panelists were taking stage to articulate the need for change and reform, rallies were en masse, there was an energy an undercurrent for transformation – and there she stood, silent, apathetic, divorced from the very reality she was called to confront . . . she was the church.”

It has been some time since I have taken time to pen my thoughts. Admittedly, it has been quite difficult. There has been so much to happen, that is has been near debilitating. Literally, I have been in this constant cycle of thought – emotion – thought – emotion . . . There is so much I feel that needs to be said, so much that needs to be done. Watching and reading the news, my conscious is bombarded with tragedy after tragedy – glaringly obvious injustice, racism, oppression, and deflection.   Many days, it is here I sit, in this seat, wanting, needing to write something – and yet nothing is birthed. The passion in me sits, stirs, and just erupts in an enraged anger of “donothingness.”   It is overwhelming.

I am confident however, that I am not the only one overwhelmed by the need for change and transformation in our society. I am confident, that there are many of us who are willing to face the “isms” that ail our society. I am confident that there is a remnant of conscious thinkers who engage in the cognitive Call of Christ.   I am confident that we are here, we are present, and willing to stand on the message of justice embodied in the Jesus we preach.

But, where are???

My fear is that the organism I hold so dear, the collective community of love, the very people who should be a beacon of light and hope for change – the Church – will be recorded on the wrong side of change.   My fear is we have become conveniently “deaf and dumb.”  We seem to opportunely forget that the same God who gives eschatological hope has existential HANDS.   God cares as much about our right now as He does our by-and-by.

Yet, for some reason we tie God’s hands, turning our ears and eyes off the to the pains of His people . . . yes, His people. There is more time spent trying to decry the reality of racism and oppression than listening to the pains and experiences of our neighbors. We preach a God of Love, but are afraid to love beyond ourselves.   Apathy is our residence of choice, parking our faith, praying for change we don’t want to be.   Instead of emerging as a community of love and transformation we seemingly hide behind our created Christian context divorced from the world we were called to change.

Maybe, its time to unplug the ears and unveil the eyes. Maybe we need to revisit the story of Moses and how he was called to confront oppression. Maybe we need to revisit Amos and be reminded that The Lord is disgusted by injustice. Maybe we need to revisit that Jesus called us to love the least of these – the down and out – not just the up and in. Maybe we need to revisit that we are to be minsters of reconciliation not avoidance.

Maybe its time to not just quote “love they neighbor as thyself” but live it – through the ears and eyes of change.

 

We’re not deaf or dumb, maybe its time we start acting like it . . .

“Get Your But Out of The Way”

demadison.org (2)Exodus 4:1-21 (NKJV)

 “1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, “The LORD has not appeared to you . . . 21And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand . . .”


 

Today we are re-introduced to that “thing,” that problem that we continue to face time and time again. It is an issue many of us struggle with every day, limiting the possibility in our way – getting our “but’s” out of the way.

God has called each of us to a place of destiny and greatness according to His will for our lives. We have been called to be entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, teachers, preachers, authors . . . Unfortunately, we have all too often settled for less than God’s best, parked on God’s promises – and become complacent with a “second best” life.

The reality is a thief has stolen our passion, our drive, even our faith in God. This thief has caused us to shout on Sunday and doubt on Monday. We say we believe the Word of God yet, allow the circumstances we face to lead us into the abyss of faithlessness. Too often we misname this thief. We make declarations and proudly proclaim that the enemy has stolen our dreams and we want our stuff back! We sing songs about it; pray about it. Yet, we never look at the thief within – our But!

Moses was a great man of God and was called to do a great work – with God giving him the power and resources necessary for the task. However, all Moses could do, was provide his but, as to why he was inadequate.

That is where many of us live; we have shelved God’s promises with our “but.” God has already provided the resources and connections to be successful. Yet, we stand in our own way, as a threat to our own destiny. Our perceived limitations are but mere grounds for God’s unleashed potential.   We must begin to see ourselves as God’s workmanship. Every skill, gift, ability, talent, quirk – was crafted by God. He designed you that way for a purpose. Just because we don’t fit our description of what greatness looks like, doesn’t mean we are any less great. Each of us are great in our own way and The Lord wants to use you just the way you are to do the exceptional.   Moses said he had a stutter; The Lord said “I’ll be in your mouth.” The Lord promises presence of power to fuel our possibility. The exceptional happens when we do the unexpected through a power that’s beyond us! Stop living in the “but” and chase the blessing of greatness God promises.

Today I challenge each of us to get our BUT out of the way. The time is now to accept what God is calling us to, embrace the challenge and know that God’s promise of presence brings power to achieve possibility. We all have imperfections, flaws, and failures. But, God doesn’t care about that. As a matter of fact, God is glorified when He does the unexpected with the unlikely. You are God’s success story and everything you need is in Him. It is time to let go of the “but” and embrace the power of the One who can do the impossible . . . Start living beyond the “but!”

Get Your But Out of the Way!

Be Blessed . . .

Pastor D’

Don’t Count Me Out!

cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-the-empowermentpage.jpgRomans 8:37 (NKJV)

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”.


 

In life we all face challenges and situations that test our faith and resilience. Our jobs present situations that stress us out, financially we often have more month than we do money, and engage with people who push us to the point of pain. . . A lot can and will happen, but no matter what, it is not the time to quit!

Romans 8:37 reminds us today, that no matter what happens we are conquerors – in all things. In what things you may ask? Well, all the drama you face every day. But, there is a condition – we are only true conquerors through Him who loved us – Jesus.

As people who believe in Jesus the Christ, we should always have a different perspective on trouble.   Trouble only comes as an opportunity for us to realize the true victor that lives within us. We should face every situation knowing that we have already overcome.  There is no problem or situation to big for us to handle. We were designed with victor tendencies; failure is not in our blood.

Please know that whatever you face, God has already given you victory. If things don’t seem quite right just know that God is setting up a scenario to show you strength you never thought you had. Yeah, you don’t have enough money – right now, people around you are acting crazy – right now, the doctor is pessimistic – right now, and troubles keep testing you – right now.   We must not allow right now, to get in the way of what will be. A present problem is nothing more than a momentary fight for the possibility of victory promised by The Lord. So – Don’t Quit!!

Just when others think you’re done, God has victory right around the corner! Stand tall and confident – and tell the world “Don’t Count Me Out!” Victory is just around the corner.

Your best is yet to come!

Be Blessed,

Pastor D’

 

Greatness In Question . . .

Judges 6:14–15 (NKJV)

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”

15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”


 

Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to revisit the story of Gideon. It really is one of my favorite stories in the Bible, for many reasons. Oh and yes for those who may not know – Gideon isn’t just the name on the Bible hotels provide for their guests.   There is an actual biblical story connected to that name . . .

So, back to it being one of my favorite stories – yes it really is. The story of Gideon is a very inspirational story of how God will give you certain victory in the face of uncertain circumstances, using the unlikely for a unique purpose. It is an amazing account of God’s Hand in the lives of His people.   If you have time, peruse the pages of Judges 6 and 7. I guarantee you will be encouraged. But, for today our focus isn’t solely on the God assured victory. I want us to take a look at the challenge of pitiable self-perception in the face of God’s power.

When exploring the pages of scripture, it is literally impossible to engage the Word of God and not see that the Lord truly desires the best for his people. He truly does want to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). God loves His children and has endowed purpose and possibility upon all. Unfortunately, many of his children, we, allow issues that don’t belong to us to get in the way of us.

Gideon was a young man, clearly gifted and purposed. Yet, his circumstances appeared to be the antithesis of his promise. He was living the consequences of generational disobedience. There he was living in a home, in hiding because of what had been done before him.   Not the scenario one would expect of someone great. Yet, he was purposed. He was full of greatness!

Purpose in spite of Predicament

The truth is regardless of where you grew up, what mistakes you may have made, or how imperfect you feel – you have purpose. No matter how far you think you have gone, you have never gone so far that The Lord cannot find you.   Gideon was living in a cave of sorts, working in the bottom, when the Angel of The Lord showed up in his presence.   The Lord showed up in the most unlikely of circumstances with a promise.   The promise . . . he would be great and deliver his people. He would was the one, the Neo, the one who would defy the matrix of the matter and make a difference.

Even though things around him were less than ideal, the power and potential in him was incredible.   We should all be encouraged to know that no matter how bad things may seem, how uncomfortable, how frustrating, God can maneuver through the mess with a message. He can give purpose in the face of problems.   The Lord will literally show up in our situation to remind us of how great we really are and provide us with a plan of possibility.

Doubt in the face of Destiny

The Lord has sent a Word of promise, possibility, and greatness. He was purposed to do something utterly astounding. You would think he would have been excited, ecstatic, encouraged to know that there was a better tomorrow to come. No, he replied with rebuttal – excuses as to why he couldn’t. You know, how we do. Remember when God gave you the idea for the business, the next degree, the new home, the book – and you responded with “Nah, not me.” Before we jump down his throat, let’s look at the man (woman) in the mirror and recall how we too have averted yes by excuse.

I don’t want us to miss the specificity in his excuse though. He said two things I think we all have wrestled with at one time or another: His family was weak and he was the least in his family. In words he said I’m the weakest in a weak family. He paused with greatness in question.

Many of us have come from families that may not have been ideal. Maybe you were the first to go to college or the first to want to go to college; the only one with an entrepreneurial spirit; the one who’s different; you have a passion that is very different from the typical. If we allow these differences to breed doubt, then we will live our life believing our family history and context is too weak for something great.   We have to remember Godly purpose is about where we are going, not where we’ve been! But, what hits me even harder is Gideon said he was least in the house.   To make that statement, someone had to have told him that and he started to own a belief that didn’t belong to him. We have to stop carrying baggage that doesn’t belong to us. Too many have heard discouraging words and comments that can easily discourage. We have to stop living down to discouragement and not allow doubt to distract us from destiny.   God made you; He gave you the passion, the ideas, the dreams. Don’t allow anyone to talk you down out of your upward possibility in Christ!! You are Great!

Possibility in the Promise

Well, if we fast-forward a short while, we will see that Gideon in fact did win. He fulfilled his purpose. In spite of his circumstance, in spite of his greatness in question, he accomplished everything The Lord said he would! My friend, I believe and God desires the same for you. Every idea, vision and dream God has given is yours for certain victory over any circumstance in your life.   There is possibility beyond the problems we face. Tomorrow will be greater.

No matter what, never give up on that little voice within telling you how great you are. Never allow eternal circumstances to interrupt that internal peace you have with purpose. You were made for this. You know it. You dream it. You breathe it. It’s you! Decide today, right now, this moment to no longer be Greatness in Question and become Greatness in Pursuit of Purpose!

You are amazing!!! Go get it with our Great Self!!!

Be Blessed!

Pastor D’

Love Your Voice

Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 


 

In the last few days, I have had several intriguing yet disturbing conversations with different people. Each person, though very distinct, was facing very similar challenges. They were struggling with being okay with who they were.   During each dialogue, there was this sense of feeling that they simply were not good enough. Each person seemed to be measuring their worth against a symbol, status, success of others, and projections by family or loved ones upon their lives, or logical rationalization. While every person I shared with is special in their own right, neither felt their “Voice” was good enough. They were lost in the noise of clouded existence. Yet, in the midst of the muddled exchange, I encouraged each to trust who they were. More importantly, I challenged them to discover who they were, by reconnecting with “Whose” they were. In others words, my desire is for them to Love Their Voice.

I say the same to you – Love Your Voice . . .

In order for us to love our voice, we must take time discover and embrace how special we are. Our scripture for today provides us with a template for courting and falling in love with our voices once again.

Molded in Power

Listening to today’s overwhelming media, mess and mis-education we call fall prey to a narrative antithetical to the greatness of our existence. The truth is we were created in Hands of divine workmanship. Every detail of our person was intricately designed and intimately fashioned by God. He took time to create the masterpiece called – You. We were Molded in Power – the Power of God.

Regardless of societies stigmas, poor projections, and negative noise – you are utterly amazing.   The dreams you have are legitimate. Your gifts are valuable. There is promise and possibility over your life! You are special. Don’t waste time living down to the expectations of others missing out on the upward greatness of who you are in God. Choose to live in the Power of Possibility in which you were molded. Love Your Voice!

Made With Purpose

I know, I know, you feel like no one understands. You feel like an odd ball. You feel like you’re crazy for the dreams and passions you have. Yep, you’re right . . . they don’t understand, you’re odd, and you are crazy! They don’t get it because God made you to see what others cannot see, you’re oddly unique to accomplish something special, and crazy enough to believe in possibility beyond fear! Yeah that’s you – that’s your Voice. It’s time to sing your song of greatness! The Word says you were created for good works. You were created for a purpose. You matter. We need your voice.

There is a void you were called to fill, a problem to solve, joy to bring, encouragement to share, love to spread, difference to make. The world needs your voice to bring harmony to the clamor of chaos. Love Your Voice!

Marked With Possibility

Our verse for today says that God prepared the way beforehand. He already paced the way were to walk. In other words, before you were born, you were Marked With Possibility. I know it seems impossible. The task is too daunting; dream to big, path not visible, obstacles in the way.   Forget all that stuff. It is time to divorce doubt, relinquish control and start trusting The One Above you to make the way Ahead of you! The Lord has already provided the way, the strategy is laid; all we have to do is walk our voice.

Trust the voice God placed in you to lead the way ahead of you. God fashioned you with promise and possibility. Not only that He has grants His protection and provision. Your voice comes with victory ensured by the only One who can do something about everything – The Lord! Love Your Voice!

I don’t care what thoughts of doubt, despair, or discouraging moments you may have had; I encourage you today to – Love Your Voice! You are special. You are great. You are amazing. You were crafted by God to do Great Things!

Love Your Voice!!

Be Blessed . . .

Pastor D’

 

 

Forward Focus

Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)

 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


 

Out of the many things we wrestle with, I believe focus is one of the preeminent. There are so many things begging for our attention. We have work, bills, family, friends, issues, problems, and concerns – just life. As if life wasn’t enough, there are also the distractions of technology. Social media now commands our attention in ways I don’t think any of us would have ever imagined. In the midst of all of this, focus can be found drowning in the sea of the stuff of life.

Additionally, remnants of our past and the challenges of our imperfections can make us lose sight of the possibility we have in Christ and cause us to live down to self-inflicted stigma. All too often we allow our missteps and mistakes to make us believe we are unworthy of the greatness we are truly capable of.

The reality is in the midst of all the distractions and dysfunctions we are destined for something great. We have to make a decision to look past the “stuff” and employ Forward Focus.

In our scripture for today, we find Paul doing what he does best – being real. He is essentially saying, “All of us want to be “winning Christians” and fulfill the purposes for which we have been saved. “ Paul is expressing that there is nothing wrong for wanting to get this thing right and bet the best you can be. Yet, there is some realness in his expression that I want us to embrace.   Paul shows us that we have to have Forward Focus.

There is power in a good perspective.

Paul expresses a truth. We are not there yet – none of us. I don’t care how many tongues you speak in, how many scriptures you can quote, or how many services you go to in a week . . . none of us are perfect. The power in this is simple. It’s okay to be flawed. God doesn’t love us because we have smooth edges. He loves us because we have rugged ones that He takes hold of, and begins to mold us and shape us into who we are to become. God isn’t surprised by our imperfections.   God has always used imperfect people for a powerful purpose. Our histories are testimonies for others to be encouraged by. There is ministry in our missteps. We may have a past but we must not remain parked there. Our past is our launching pad for possibility that can change the perspective of our problematic situations.

Let go of the past and press toward possibility.

I know, it is easy to get bogged down in the weight of the past. I know, there are always reminders of things we could have, should have, and would have done differently. Yes, I know it is difficult to move beyond. But, we have to! The scripture says we have to forget what is behind us. Yeah, that seems impossible I know. Watch this. The Greek work here for forget means – to overlook. Our objective is to simply overlook that past stuff and focus on our future. Overlook all the mistakes, issues, and missteps and start looking toward the possibility God has promised. We must have forward focus beyond yesterday and live toward our tomorrow!

Look beyond the distraction toward destiny.

Paul says that we have to press toward our upward goal in Christ. First, we must ensure that we press beyond our past toward a deeper more excellent relationship with Christ. Also, there is so much more that God has for us beyond our today. We are latent with so much potential and possibility resting in the promise God. But, we have to press past life’s distractions and focus on our destiny. We have to look past Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and chase veraciously our victory. We can no longer allow our time to be spent murdering our dreams by giving attention to deathly distractions.   Our priority must be to press toward our purpose!!!   Press toward your business, your book, your degree, your ministry, your marriage, your family – Your Greatness. Decide to never quit! And if you do quit something, quit the doubt that distracts you from your destiny!  

God is encouraging all of us to look beyond yesterday, ignore the distractions of today and embrace our greatness of tomorrow.

This week, let’s make it our purpose to look beyond the problems of the moment and live toward the possibility of the future. No matter what comes our way – Let’s live with Forward Focus!!!

Be Blessed . . .

Pastor D’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Divorcing Doubt”

James 1:6 (NKJV)

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”


Many of us if not most, close our eyes every night and envision our ideal life.   With our bodies rested, minds free, eyes closed – we see life, our lives, as we desire them to be.   In these few hours of quiet visioning we embrace limitless possibility and greatness. There is nothing we’re afraid to do.   And then, the alarm sounds, phone rings, sun rises – and we park that possibility on the street of slumber to be visited again after we conquer the disappointing day of reality.   Too often the days we live look nothing like the potential our dreams envision.

There comes a point in or lives where the dissonance between dreams and reality is simply frustrating. We come to realize we have settled long enough. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. There has to be more to life than this! The challenge we must face is that too often, there is nothing or no one else to blame but us.   The only culprit is the one staring back at us every day in the mirror. Lying beneath the clean-shaven, well made up, nicely dressed picturesque stature is a person filled with uncertainty, fear and Doubt.

These possibility-killing emotions must be eradicated. We must Divorce Doubt!

Live Big

Our verse for today begins with the prescription, “But let him ask in faith . . .” We have to get to a point in our lives where no matter how things look, how impossible they may seem, we must Live Big. The Word reminds us that faith always lives in not yet – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) No one sees your dreams like you do, no one will believes in your potential the way you do. Make the decision to embrace your hopes and dreams, for your faith is the evidence that your greatness exists.   Stop living down to the minimized expectations of others. Stop giving in to what you can control and relinquish destiny to the One who is in control – The Lord. Ask Big, knowing you serve a Big God. Faith sees your Not Yet in spite of how right now looks.

Live Believing

Living in the greatness of God has no room for doubt. The Bible says that we are all His workmanship. What does that mean? I’m glad you asked . . . It means that God knew exactly what He was doing when He made you. Every dream, vision, desire for greatness was placed in you, for you to accomplish.   I know, you often feel like you’re on a lonely road to nowhere. My friend, it is quite the opposite. You are actually on a pathway to possibility! It only feels lonely, because it is a road often less traveled. There have been many called to something great but, gave in to doubt. Don’t let doubt get in the way of your destiny. Live believing, knowing, that your tomorrow is greater!

Live Better

The Word says one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, tossed and driven by the wind. You ever feel like your bouncing from one thing to another? Can’t seem to get in the right groove? Nothing seems to fulfill you? That’s probably a good sign you’re being tossed by doubt. Doubt can make you question purpose and cause you to seek solutions you can control or manage. The reality is what we create we have to maintain.   When we don’t yield to the purpose God has for us, life will toss us about to and fro. Life outside of God’s will and protection makes us vulnerable to the winds of life. We have no true foundation. Every blow of life can shift our focus. BUT, when we Live Big, Live Believing, we can truly Live Better knowing we are standing on the firm foundation of God.

The time has come for us all to take a chance and make our dreams reality.   Time is too valuable to waste giving in to the shakiness of doubt. Today, serve doubt divorce papers and live in the freedom and possibility of destiny. God has a plan and purpose for you to fulfill. The world needs the greatness inside of you.

Declare “I’m Divorcing Doubt!”

Be Blessed . . .

Pastor D’

“Check Your Crowd”

Proverbs 14: 7-8 (The Message)

7 Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.  8 The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track; the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch.”

 


 

A truth we all have to admit, thought we try to avoid, is that we are all relational. At our core we have a deep need to engage with others.   We long for relationship seeking friendships that stand the test of time, dating situations that hopefully evolve into marriage and family engagement latent with love and compassion. In short, there is a need to fill a space in our world with someone or someone’s that meets our need for relationship. The reality is God created us as relational beings. There is nothing wrong with the desire to connect with others. The problem arises when we engage in relationships that prohibit our possibility. It is at that point, when we have to take a moment to check our crowd and make some adjustments.

Dodge The Dunces

Proverbs says that we need to “escape quickly from the company of fools.” Now, I am sure we have all had those moments where we found ourselves engaged in some conversations or doing some things with some folk that made absolutely no sense.   Yeah, at that instant, at that time – we need to make a decision to dodge the dunce. When we have to dumb down to maintain the relationship that is clearly a “crowd checker.” No relationship is worth the sacrifice of who you are. If your crowd can’t handle your intellectual gifts, spiritual growth, or character it is time for a change.

When we find ourselves feeling better apart than we do with others, it is clearly time for a change. I know he or she may be fine but, if they can’t comprehend your conversation, don’t encourage your walk with Christ – crowd check.   As one handcrafted by God Himself, you are too valuable to be watered down in the cloud of cognitive dissonance.   As Van Moody puts it in The People Factor, “When we determine that certain people will add value to our lives, then we can choose to enter into relationship with them.” There are some people we have to adjust not only because they add no value but they decrease ours. Yes, my friend we have to dodge the dunce.

Ditch the Distractors

 The wrong company can lead to a waste of time, our most valuable asset.   When we surround ourselves with people who “just don’t get it” we run the risk of investing time and energy with no return in site. The more time spent trying to make “them” understand our call, our passion, our purpose – the more time we waste that could have been invested toward possibility. What’s worse, these same individuals can cause us to lose focus. The time we once spent in The Word of God, we now spend trying to make them feel comfortable. Time we used to spend in worship is now spent running behind them attempting to resurrect what is already dying.   Goals and Vision we used to chase relentlessly is now a subtext, to text checking and word wars that slowly choke the life out of energy we once had for purpose.

We have to make the decision to let some people go. There are some in our past and present we have to disconnect from, in order to embrace our future. Investments in wasted time yield returns of regret and frustration. Holding on to personnel of distraction is a detour from destiny not worth taking.

Develop Fruitful Relationships

Proverbs shares, that the way we can avoid lying in the ditch of derailed destiny is latent in the wisdom of the wise.   We have to engage in relationships that bring wisdom and fruitfulness to our lives. It is imperative to check our crowd and surround ourselves with people who are going somewhere. We need relationships that encourage spiritual and intellectual growth, people who see our potential and nurture it, and individuals who push us to the next level of possibility.

Also, we need people in our lives who will “pull our coattail” with Godly wisdom. There may some things we think we are ready for – but wisdom says not yet. There has to be someone in our world who loves us enough not to let us get in our own way. We need relationships that will allow room for truth-telling and compassionate correction – people who care more about our not yet than our right now.

As people of purpose and possibility we have to make the decision to check our crowd and be willing to make the adjustments necessary to live a life toward destiny avoiding the ditch of despair. Remember, Dodge the Dunces, Ditch the Distractors, and Develop Fruitful Relationships and watch God take you places you never imaged.

Check Your Crowd!

Be Blessed . . .

Pastor D’

 

 

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