Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Who is Going to Help the Next "Freddie Gray"? The LIE that Destroys the Soul

"Freddie Grays" grow up knowing a life of crime. We have all seen his long rap sheet of mostly narcotic selling busts, but he was also doing burglary and other crimes. This is the life of many young people into their adulthood; it is the life they know. These are serious issues that need real honest answers. Freddie Gray is one individual and his life tragically ended; his death is being mourned by those who knew him and loved him. But can we as a society learn from the life and death of Freddie Gray? Can we make it have meaning and value for us to make changes?

Photo Credit: Desolate by DaKrunt DeviantArt


Some background


I don't know everything, but I do know that I have watched the life of my cousin who recently got out of 25 years of prison for selling LSD and other drugs, but mostly LSD in the 1980s. When he got caught he faked his own death to escape going to prison. I realize faking your own death is a really DUMB thing to do but a 19 year old who thinks he is a drug-king and invincible will do DUMB things. This was his first arrest, but he definitely complicated his sentence by running from the police and faking his own death. But isn't this what we see everyday, people who are guilty of crime running from police and ending up getting MORE penalty than they would if they would face the consequences of their actions. 

Let me say right from the start that I am not advocating 25 years for dealing drugs. My cousin went to prison in the 1980s when they were cracking down on drug dealers and he started out selling in high school. When his friends all went to college he was connected to about 15 colleges selling drugs. I know what he did was wrong, but 10 years would have been appropriate. And while I say that I don't know if it would have been long enough for him to stop being bitter, for him to make a determined change in his life. BUT I do know parole should have been offered to him when he turned his life around. 

My cousin did college classes while in the pen, and earned his Masters in college classes. I am not sure if it was online or not. He has been out for about 6 months and it is really hard to not mess up again. I am watching his experience, and I know the temptation to break the system is real. It is hard work to do what is right, to live clean and to WORK in order to get money to live on. He lived like a rich "king" for years selling drugs. He knows the temptation; I am sure he can taste it, but he has to HATE prison more. And he does. 

The "Freddie Grays"



Photo Credit: Trust by Valentinekills DeviantArt

So what should be done for a person, like Freddie Gray, with a long rap sheet? Should he be out on the street? In some communities, "Freddie Grays" are everywhere. I mean, where would all of the drug dealers be? In a "drug sellers institute" aka Prison; because let's face it, when they get out of prison they will go right back to the life of crime because it is all they know. 

And because of the gang life in prison, they only learn how to go deeper into the life of crime instead of how to break clean from it. My cousin was a independent white boy. He explains how it hardens you because you have to always watch your back, but he was determined not to join a gang. Of course, it is easier to just give in and join a gang and get the protection and live the life of crime while behind the bars. 

Truly, prisons are frequently training schools to become more hardened as a criminal. 

We need to take these problems seriously and listen to people who have lived behind the bars and in the belly of the system to know how to change the system. We need to value people who come out and change their life because they can teach citizens and government leaders a lot about how crooked and crime-ridden the prison system is. 

For 25 years while in Federal prison, my cousin makes it clear that you can get any drug you want WHILE in prison. The system is crooked and people who should be keeping the prisons clean look the other way because they are making big money to do so. 

So what about Freddie Gray, he was 25 years old. He had a long rap sheet. He was a life long criminal, mostly with small crime but he was in and out of courts. We need as a society to decide how do we reform the "freddie grays" of the society. What can we do about them? We need to see them as people and really give them opportunities to break away from the life of crime by separating them from the criminals and giving them a chance to change. And that is so easier said than done, because, frankly, it comes down to the individual choice and responsibility of the "freddie grays" about what he/she will do with their life. We, as a society, can't make that individual choice for them. If "he" does not want to change, if he wants to stay in the drug life and live a life of crime, what does a lawful society need to do?

Money is not the Answer


These are hard questions that MUST be LOOKED at and Answered. But putting more money into these communities does no good. We know this for a fact. Look at all of the money poured into these "poverty" cities that are still crumbling. They will destroy what they have and use the money for drugs, alcohol and crime. All of the organizers speaking on tv today say we need to INVEST more into these communities and that means they want more $$$$, but money does not solve a heart/soul issue. Most politicians and organizers are simply wanting power and money for themselves, they are not looking for solutions to help the individuals in need.

However, A person has to WANT to be different and want life to be different for his/her own CHILDREN. A person has to have a good reason to live and to know that he/she intrinsically has value/purpose. This is no longer taught because children from the day the enter school are taught that they are evolved from an ape, that they are an animal; the bottom line is this is the LIE that destroys the human soul. 

When are we going to face the truth? How long are we going to let people lie to our children and even convince adults that they have NO VALUE. Giving a person money does not give them value, any more than giving them housing or a welfare check. People NEED to WORK for what they get; it is the only way for them to OWN it, and to develop character traits that will continue with them in life to make them better people. 


No one wants to hear it anymore but the fact is we are each precious, priceless individuals created in the image of GOD. 


We are sinners needing grace, mercy and forgiveness. We are not animals; we have a spirit and a soul. We are more than a human body with passions for pleasure. We have value. The "freddie grays" of this world have value. Each individual is lovable, CREATED by God with a purpose; no animal in the animal kingdom are like humans. Yes, we can choose to do evil, sinful things, but we can also choose to do loving, kind things. We can reject the reality of God and live like animals or we can repent and accept that we are valuable in HIS sight, that HE loves each of us and wants to redeem our life for good. 


Photo Credit: Empathy by Mirror by AngelofDarkeness4 DeviantArt


This message is part of the Gospel message and it does not cost one penny to share, but it heals hurts and restores brokeness. It give life where there is death. And it grows beauty out of the ashes. 


If you watched the television last night you watches pockets of Baltimore burn. You watched citizens burn down their own city. Of course, they are angry. They have community leaders that don't value them as individuals who are created in the image of God. They need the truth. They don't need RELIGION. They need relationships. They need love. They need to hear about responsibility and accountability. Love is tough. 

I don't have all the answers but I do know the ONE who does. And HE is not a politician, community organizer, an agitator or leader of a false gospel church that are all looking for money. Money does not heal the heart. The poorest person in the world can be the most loving, kind, giving soul. We rob a person of dignity when we give them things and money for not working. Even the disable can do something for money given to help support themselves. 

Don't confuse a relationship with God and His loving, healing principles with RELIGION. The two are worlds apart; opposites. 

So what do people need to hear:

1. You are created in the image of God and a priceless creation loved by God who created the universe.

2. You are a sinner, in need of forgiveness and grace/mercy. You owe a debt to God you can not pay.

3. God will forgive you because Jesus died on the Cross for your sin. Jesus paid your debt.

4. When and if you ask God to forgive you, and truly repent for what you have done wrong, you can chose for Him to be LORD of your life; you can give your life to him and have purpose for living. You can become a new creation viewed by God as blameless, clean and righteous. 

5. But the choice is yours, no one can make it for you. God will never force himself on anyone. Everything God offers is freely given to those who ask. 

6. If you make this decision, find a Bible teaching church and read the Bible for yourself. Ask God to teach you how to obey his word and to love others as He loves you. Grow in faith and understanding being redeemed and restored to God, live life as a responsible, valuable individual and loving help your neighbors/family/friends.


Please let me know if you need help or want to understand more. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Micah - Just and Merciful God Explained

Several weeks back, I wrote a beginning post on the Book of Micah, but I was not able to cover all the great verses that fill this book. I thought it would be helpful to write a second article on this hopeful book.

Truly the lessons from God's Word are endless


As with all of the books of prophecy in the Bible, we clearly can read what is the cause of judgement on individuals and nations by God. Micah 1: 5 says, "All of this is for transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel."


Transgression and Sin

God repeats this so much in the Bible; evidently, He understands how much we ignore Him. It is like He has to drum this message into the heads of humans, and still we question why these bad things happening in the world.

Murder. Slavery. Rape. Abuse. Theft. Lies. Corruption. Burnings. Beheadings. Evil abounds! Reading a newspaper, listening to the news or watching reports of current events can be so depressing. Evil is out of control. In Micah 2:3 the Lord says, "For this is an evil time."

Micah even declares, "...her wounds are incurable," when he considers the judgement that is coming. How far is too far? How far does a person have to go when they have hardened their heart so much, they are so deep into evil behavior, they have rejected the grace of God so many times that they have reached the point of no return. We know in Egypt God says that the heart of Pharaoh had been hardened to a point that he would not obey God.

The truth is a person or nation only has incurable wounds when they refuse to admit they are sinning, and therefore will not repent and turn to God in obedience. We cause our soul to be incurable; the amount or type of sin is not the cause of it being incurable. God can make any heart pure. Jesus bore on the cross all sins for all people, not some. That is why Jesus said, "It is finished."

The payment had been complete permanently for every sin.

But people make the choice to not hear God's Word. I have someone very dear to my heart that has made this choice. Do you?

Sadly, a person unwilling to confess their sins, repent with godly sorrow and yield to the transformation process of God being the Lord of their life, makes a freewill choice to have an incurable soul.

Are you willing to let God order your life into beauty?


How long will you suffer? Wounds are curable, but the question is are you willing to do what must be done to have healing?








Monday, April 20, 2015

Unlock Your Inheritance

I write my blog post ahead of time and try to review them before they publish to check for errors and to make sure they flow. It is amazing to see how I wrote with so much confidence and authority just a few weeks or maybe a month or two ago, and now I am struggling so much in my life. I read this afresh and wonder where is the strong Christian lady who wrote this; I can't find her within me. But still I know the power of the Word to transform and to build faith because God says, "Faith comes by hearing the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

Oh, God I pray that you will restore within my spirit and my body and my soul that faith I had when I wrote this because now is the time and I need YOU fully inside me to remove all doubts and the onslaught of the enemy. I pray this for myself personally but ask you to answer it for anyone else who is willing to pray.
_______________________

God can provide the super abundance grace to unlock your inheritance; though you know not what it is, God has it planned. 

God can unlock what should have been if the destruction would not have happen.

Walking with God allows Him to release your family blessings.

God has a good mantle for families that has not been brought because of disobedience. This is the same mantle God desires to restore to the Nation of America but cannot because of widespread disobedience; and even more so among those who say they are his children but walk and teach against His Word.

God Wants to bring growth to what appears dead.


Is 61: 4 "Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations."

Some cannot be healed because they have not seen that Jesus took upon him their stripes. We may have heard this, even read it for ourselves but have we seen it as reality in our life and live by faith that it is true. In all of our lives is that great chasm between what we know and how we live and walk by faith. I am writing this speaking to myself as much as anyone else.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Is 53:5)

"He Himself bore our sin" (1Peter 2: 24) and the sins of everyone.

Our Nation looks one way but when the people rise up that are godly, God will restore our Nation. NOTICE: God doesn't say if the world, if the lost, if the sinners, if those of other faiths. He clearly says if my people. If you are a follower of Christ, that is what a Christian means, you are His people. He is talking about the CHURCH, the believers.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chronicles 7:14)
We must intercede for our Nation. Plant the sprig of truth in the ground and it will prosper. God wants us to look for what is native to your land. God wants to re-root because it is the root system that will reroot. Look to the city, state, Nation that can be re-rooted, and God can sprout forth this. The sprig must be watered by God's Word. So look to the history of your Nation and your family and allow God to reroot the sprig of truth. That is your inheritance. Therefore I pray:
Lord, show me my inheritance. Families need reconcilers. Now is the time for reconciliation. And unto the reconciler, God will show favor and allow their to be inheritance released.
Our family may come from a spiritual parent if not from a natural parent. None of us can do what God has called us to do by ourselves. Some of us have been damned and cursed by the enemy through abuse and violence, but God can pull this off of us. So we all must surround ourselves with the body of Christ, the Church, and true believers that will walk with us into our inheritance.

I can testify this as truth in my own life.

Regardless of what has happen in your past, never allow the devastation to stop you from advancing. Everyone has the potential for greatness.

I stood by the graveside, and fell in. Taken down, but I did not stay. Literally, I was lifted up. This really did happen to me. I fell into an open grave in 2006, but while the enemy might want me to be dead, God wants me to be alive.

Do you want to be lifted up?


God will do this for everyone who asks. He will not only restore you but generations, past, present and in the future. But only to those who let him.

Will you let Him? Will I let HIM?
God, I pray that you will help me let You do the work in my life that you so desire and in the life of my family and my church and my Nation. In the name of Jesus I pray and by the blood of Jesus I pray. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Neglected Book of Nahum

Have you ever heard a sermon on the Old Testament Book of the Bible Nahum? I have not and I have been in churches for thirty years. Why is the Book of Nahum neglected? What does he say that gives no inspiration for a sermon? Why was the Book put in the Bible if it is not worthy of a message? Well, I will give one hint. It does not end well in the Book of Nahum. How many cities today need to hear what will happen to them if they do not heed God and His Word? If you are sinner hearing the book of Nahum, it should cause you to tremble. Seeker-friendly churches don't want to give this kind of message.

Prophets were the Messengers of their time!


We all love stories that end well; And they lived happily ever after again. Whew! But is this reality? We need to tell that God will punish unrighteousness. Revelation makes it clear in the end days many will experience God's vengeance, that is, those who are not covered in the "righteousness of Christ." We live today in a period of grace. The good news of salvation through Jesus provides that grace and as many people that believe, receive God's substitutionary covering. Weaved through Nahum God speaks terror to the wicked and comfort to Judah (the believers).

Nahum does not begin his book with the history of Nineveh, so let me get you up to date. Nineveh is the capital city of the Assyrian kingdom; the very same kingdom that had the other ten tribes of Israel in captivity. A hundred years before Nahum's vision, the Bible tells us about the redemption of Nineveh when they turned to God after Jonah spoke God's message to them. However, like so many, the people of Nineveh a hundred year later (about 3 generations later) had forgotten God and His goodness. So, in the book of Nahum we read God's vision regarding His vengeance that will be taken upon Nineveh. We will look at the vision God gave to Nahum to see what gems it hold for us today.

Chapter 1 basically describes God's nature. We read in verse 2,
"God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, He reserves wrath for His enemies." 
It is not uncommon for repetition to be found in the Bible. It is there to stress a point and make an emphasis. Our take-away from knowing this about God is that we should quickly forgive those who wrong us because God will avenge all wrongdoing. Vengeance is God's job -- not ours.

The very next verse, verse 3, says, "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power." And also verse 7 says, "The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him." While God can and will avenge sin He is long-suffering so that as many people as possible can receive everlasting eternal life in heaven with Him. We have been living in a 2,000 year grace period since Jesus came to earth. Does that not show how slow to anger God is? Also, we who believe in God need to rest in the fact that He is good and He knows that we do trust in Him. That does not mean we will not suffer by the hand of evil people or destruction as diseases brought upon mankind due to sin, but it does mean we will not suffer under the hand of God's vengeance.

Can you stand before His indignation?


Verse 6 asks, "Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger?" This is NOT a rhetorical question. Clearly, the answer is anyone who repents and is covered by the blood of Jesus! In the Old Testament time, it was anyone who repented and trusted in God for protection and deliverance.

I can stand before God because He does not see my sin, but instead He sees the righteousness of His Son, Jesus. What peace! What Joy! It is to know this deep within my soul.

So for today this is the lesson I am sharing from the Book of Nahum. More insight will come.



Monday, April 6, 2015

I Have Confessed My Sins - Now What Do I Do?

Confession is important. It is admitting we have done something wrong. God teaches in the Bible that there are two types of confession. One confession is a humanly sorrow; another type of confession is a godly sorrow. The type of confession will make a big difference in what happens after the confession is made.

2 Types of Confession (9hey on Deviantarat)

In both types, a person can feel genuinely bad, remorseful and hurt from the pain they feel and the pain they have caused others. A person can also admit to their sins in both and say they are sorry. They also feel guilt and shame.

So, What is the Difference? This is how Paul explains it in his second letter to the Corinthians, since his first letter to them confronted their sins.
For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while— I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. (2 Corinthians 7-11)
The key is what the sorrowful confession leads to. Look back at the verses above. What does godly sorrow lead to?

Repentance!

If a person does not turn (which is what repentance means) away from the sin and toward doing what is right in the eyes of God they are simply sorry that they got caught sinning. Confession may make their conscience feel lighter because they are no longer hiding around and keeping secrets from people, but if the sorrowful confession of sin does not lead to repentance it is not genuine and godly. It is a worldly confession that will only keep the person in sin. If a person confesses sin and does not change the sinful behavior, the confession is short-term, and will not bring about life-changing godly results. It can even be a confession of freedom hoping it will allow the fruit of the sin to be fully gained out in the open.

When we confess to God, we are so full of regret that we have hurt Him and desire only to be right in His eyes. We lay down our desires and want our life to line up with Scripture as best as we can. We flee from our sins, are repulsed by them and want to do them no more. We rely on God's grace to enable us to turn away from our sinful ways and to turn to God's holy ways. We want to make restitution to those we have harmed and are not seeking approval or acceptance from others. It is enough to know we have been forgiven by God and to know we are trying to live a life pleasing to Him. But truly, you cannot have repentance without belief. You must first believe Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins and that you cannot save yourself.

For many, especially unbelievers, confession is a false admittance of guilt while really being horribly upset about being caught in doing something wrong. Do you see how the focus is on the sinner? False confession can be manipulative and simply an act of contrition to really get what the person wants. It is twisted and controlling. Do you see what the sorrow of the world brings? It brings death, not life. It is a dead-end that only keeps your life in sin. When we have intention of stopping our sin and our actions instead of perpetuate the sin we are confessing, we are not confessing in a worldly way, but the way that pleases God. True confession is not about cleaning up your life, and trying to earn forgiveness through self-effort.

Real confession begins and ends in faith in Jesus Christ. It is recognizing that Jesus died for your sins, and therefore, you trust God to forgive you. It leads to repentance that is a change of mind --agreeing with God -- that leads to a change of behavior. It is so freeing, so uplifting, so renewing! Real confess brings about forgiveness from GOD and a new beginning in which we can grow more mature and restore those we have hurt by our sins. Real confession helps us draw closer to God, and opens our life to blessings. As long as we are open and honest with God, He will help us grow in faith and character. He will use our repented sins to conform us into Christlikeness.

So what do you do after you confess your sins? It depends, but if it is a godly confession, you repent: stop sinning, turn to living an obedience life and bring restitution to those who have been injured.

Don't be fooled by worldly sorrow that brings an unfruitful confession. If you are not ready to repent, you are not really confessing sin to God, you are making a show to the world and yourself for your own benefit.

We all can be forgiven; God makes our sins whiter than snow.
(On Deviantart by ennabird)

Forgiveness

Examine your heart and allow God to teach you. Confession is wonderful because it brings forgiveness and grace, and then a wonderful opportunity to begin again. Look back again at the Bible verse. Read the very last sentence.

Is that not wonderful?!? After confession and repentance, you will be living innocent in the matter! And that is to the glory God. Genuine confession brings eternal forgiveness from God. You don't have to keep confessing or have to do acts of contrition to deserve--somehow become worthy of--forgiveness. In God's eyes you are forgiven, you are innocent of that sin. So forgive yourself and begin again.