This week has been great. As we wind down our last few days here, we have accomplished a lot. In fact, more than we expected.
We came here this week on this missionary trip to accomplish two things. (1) To provide a blessing for one of GOD’s youngest servant by treating my granddaughter to a trip to Disney. (2) We were here on assignment for Christ – to enter into a region we did not know in order to pray over this city/state concerning the things that was on the heart of the LORD. We were primarily here to do what we all are supposed to do as Christians, what we all are called to do, which is to “... go and make disciples of all the nations.... Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you....” (Matthews 28:19-20).
PHILIP, THE DEACON
Like the deacon Philip in Acts, chapter 8, who obeyed the voice of an angel, when the angel of the LORD told him to travel south and go down to the city of Samaria. Philip obeyed and made a special trip, even though he DID NOT know where he was heading. He was open to the call and he headed in the direction he was given although he did not have all the details ahead of time. He still went where the angel sent him, which resulted in his ministry being expanded and him achieving great success. Philip was so successful on his missionary tour that even the apostles – Peter and John, later had to go down to Samaria to help Philip expand the teaching work about Christ in the region (Acts 8:5-17; 26-40).
OUR FLORIDA TRIP THIS MONTH
Similarly, how the LORD spoke to the hearts of my minister partner and myself about taking this trip to Florida several months ago. Initially, this trip started off as just a family vacation to surprise and treat my granddaughter to Disney. Then a month or two later, all that craziness started to happen with the leadership at Walt Disney whose corporate meeting footage were leaked to the public about their agenda to indoctrinate our children with the LGBT agenda. My ministry partner and I were enraged by this, to the point, we both were in the process of cancelling our trip with our travel agent and request for a refund. Or at least, plan a trip to a different location.
But right before we did so, an angel of the LORD intervened and spoke directly with Felicia. Instructing her not to cancel the trip because the LORD had plans for us upon our arrival there. For months, that was the only instruction we had, which was what Felicia received from that angel. It was not until the week of the trip, just a few days before our departure, that we received updated instructions from that same angel of the LORD.
The week before leaving for our trip, we got together with certain members of our ministry team and prayed and fasted for 3 days together concerning our trip. It was during that time that same angel of the LORD returned and informed me that the LORD has called us HIS missionaries to the nations. To go wherever HE calls us to go. To preach whatever HE says preach. To teach and witness to whomever He points out to us. To say whatever the LORD says say.
And the LORD did just that in many ways, in the least places I expected. For instance,
We all have to be mindful that the church is not called to preach to a church building and the people in it. But to the streets, in the city halls, to the homes of the people, on the highways and byways. We are commanded to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of the LORD everywhere we go or should I say, everywhere the LORD sends us. We are to mimic Deacon Philip in the book of Acts who not only went south to preach based on the word of an angel. But he even “... found himself farther north...” as “... he preached the Good News... in every town along the way....” (Acts 8:40)
One thing about me is I NEVER tell people what they should believe. That is not in my nature to force my opinion and understanding of a matter on others. But anyone who knows me, knows I do love sharing things that appeal to me with anyone interested in the same things I am. Or, with anyone willing to listen. That's probably because my "love language" is quality time. So, sharing is one way I express quality time. Therefore, I share what I share on social media because it is a reflection of my personality – my “love language,” which is quality time. When I post content on social media, I never am looking for likes, shares, or whether a person agrees with me or not, or accepts what I am expressing or not. I share what I share because I love to see people better themselves, and sharing is one way I feel I can help people to grow if that is truly what they are interested in doing.
Let me add this. Quality time is more important to me than hugs, kisses, expressions of I love you, gifts, etc. I'm not saying I don't enjoy those other things because they are important. But quality time is at the core of my soul. That will always win my heart, friendship, closest, trust, respect, and loyalty, more than those other things I mentioned above.
We are at different levels
At any rate, the point I want to arrive at is that we are all at different levels when it comes to understanding and even interpretation. And that's a good thing, especially if what you know and understand is beyond what I know and understand. Therefore, I can learn something from you. I'm always looking for people from all different walks of life whose knowledge, maturity, understanding, insightfulness, and wisdom are beyond my intellect or natural abilities. I yearn for these kinds of people in my life who can challenge me to think beyond my own mindset, habits, knowledge, and understanding. In fact, I am drawn to these types of people, whether young, old, in between, black, white, purple, red, or whatever.
For instance, it's not a day that goes by when my 6-year-old granddaughter pushes me in some way to become a better person because I allow myself to be corrected and taught by her. In fact, she has even corrected me scripturally one time concerning something I taught her to do. In that situation, from her perspective, I violated a principle I taught her and she immediately called me on it. Initially, I wanted to correct her because she’s 6, she was looking at it from the wrong perspective and I was trying to justify my behavior. But I caught myself and said. No, despite the fact she is 6, she was right from her perspective. She was right. So, I acknowledged and received this 6-year-old counsel. Why?
iron sharpens iron
What's my whole point? We have too many Christians whose own personal knowledge or opinions are more valuable to them than actually growing spiritually. Therefore, they miss the value and truth behind the Scripture principle that says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17).
Some of y'all prefer to operate with dull knives that are coated with only your opinions, your views, your understanding, your interpretation. Therefore, you will cut people in order to force them to see it your way. To accept your truth, your understanding, your knowledge, your interpretation. Instead of applying WHAT THE LORD SAID HERE. “… Iron sharpens iron….”
In the case of two knives, even when they both are dull. One is always sharper than the other. And when you rub those two knives together, what does science say happens? They both become sharp. Like brand new knives.
This is what Christians are supposed to do for and with one another. SHARPEN! Sharpen one another. That's what I love so much about the group GOD is building around me. We all have different views, personalities, backgrounds, understanding, knowledge, interpretation, etc., about stuff. But we never allow our differences to divide us or be the determining factor in whether we can like, support, or can roll with each or not. Instead, we sometimes debate about our differences in a HEALTHY way. In such cases, sometimes one changes the other's mindset about a matter. Other times, we realize that we both are right because we are either looking at a situation from different perspectives. Sometimes we realized a person has a deeper understanding and knowledge of a matter. Sometimes we just don't see eye to eye concerning a topic and so it's best to leave it there and agree to disagree. But we NEVER force our views, understanding, opinions, or knowledge down the throats of one another. That’s the standard, a requirement I place on my group, my inner circle, and those that I'm close to in my family as well as friends. If we cannot do that, then we have nothing in common. And as I tell every and anyone that I sense I am drawing close to or they express they want to have a closer relationship or friendship with me and I am agreeable to that. If this cannot be the standard that we are building here, let’s go no further. Because it certainly won’t work for me.
If the church as a whole can ever grow to the points I expressed here – especially this point. NEVER force your view, understanding, opinion, background, and or knowledge down the throat of one another. Then the church as a whole will be in a much healthier state. Because iron sharpens iron. IJS
my complete transformation
My music career has completely transformed over the years. I have to admit, I am completely pleased with the level of success I have experienced.
I have built a pretty decent music catalog. I have seen my music grow from responding to a dare from one of the artists I was managing at the time. To see my music, explode on an international platform. The last time we kept track, our music had been released on the radio, in films, and had played in more than 21 countries such as Argentina, Canada, Germany, Italy, London, Japan, Mexico, Peru, United States, etc.
Although I love music and I did find a level of release and enjoyment in writing music. I never saw it as a career path for me. I did not truly see the music industry as a good fit for me. I certainly did not imagine the level of success for myself as I have experienced. At one time I had major record labels like Def Jam Recordings and Virgin Records pursuing me to submit some of my music to their labels. He does not know that I know this, but even 50 Cent took a serious look at my music when Ace Reign, Kruixfy, and Lacy B recorded my rap/R&B track – Love Conspiracy. Okay, yea, that track is popping. It really expanded my music to many different international markets. And I had a lot to get off of my chest with that one. I’m just saying.
As I said before, my problem was, that I could not see myself building a career in the music industry. Well, not as of yet.
Despite my reluctance, for years, I continue to write songs for other artists in the Country, Hip Hop Rap, and R&B genres. And I was starting to expand out into other categories. Plus, I was making some money off of my singles. And to this day, I am still collecting some royalties.
But for a long time, I really did not know what I wanted to do with this newly discovered gift I had. But everything changed in 2014. About two years after Felicia and I met. Somehow, Felicia discovered that I wrote music and had some tracks out there that were having some success. She started asking me a lot of questions about it and I really was trying to avoid the conversation. It was not that I was trying to keep that part of my life a secret. I just did not take my songwriting career seriously despite my level of success. To me, it was a hobble. A hustle. A way to bring in a little extra cash. I just did not see the true value of my writing ability or any value of establishing a real songwriting career.
But then Felicia did something I completely was not prepared for. She pulled out a suitcase of songs she had written since the early part of her childhood. I was completely overwhelmed by the number of songs she had written. So, I pulled a few out and skim-read a few lines of several songs. THEY WERE REALLY GOOD. I MEAN REALLY GOOD. But I wasn’t sure how each song I pulled out sounded. So, I pulled out a song and asked her, “sing this.” And when she sang it, I was flabbergasted. So, I pulled out another and another and another. And each time she sang each song, I could not believe what I was hearing. They were so perfectly written and beautiful and emotionally moving. And I couldn’t believe these songs were just sitting in her dirty old suitcase. There was no way I could continue to let these well-written songs sit in this suitcase and nothing is done with them.
And that was my turning point. The point when I start to look at a music career differently. I started to explore the possibilities. But initially, Felicia and I were heading in the wrong direction – mostly my fault. (Compare to Matthew 18:19-20; Amos 3:3; Colossians 3:7; 1 Corinthians 1:10). This created a lot of clashes and friction between what I wanted to write and what I was comfortable writing about and what Felicia desired to write about.
the clash of the titans
What’s next Lord
Don’t you hear me crying out
Burdens are heavy
Don’t have the strength to call out….
… On my knees, I’m reaching up
Bowing down to worship, but I….
I need you to grab hold….
I need you to quench my soul….
I need you to free me from….
1. We were not in a season of harvesting for our music but building. Therefore, we were in a season where we needed to make some definite decisions about Felicia’s music – the music she had already written and the ones she will write. And the music I was beginning to write.
2. Because we were in a season of building – writing and creating more new music and organizing others. It was not GOD’s timing to match us with the right recording artists and music producers. WE WERE TRYING TO FORCE SOMETHING IN A SEASON THAT WAS NOT THE TIMING FOR IT.
3. And Felicia and I needed time to grow and respect each other’s craft; writing styles; management methods and skills; our natural writing and production abilities; and learn to work well with each other before we can bring others in that would help to further develop our music and musical talents.
Father, our GOD, please open our hearts and minds to receive the message that we will speak upon in this post. Let what we read and hear be about YOU and not us. Help us FATHER to receive this WORD so that we can be better people, better servants for Christ, and better men and women in general. In Jesus' name, we pray AMEN and AMEN.
Am I not an apostle?
Am I not free?
Have I not seen Jesus Christ our LORD?
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
And He (meaning Christ) was transfigured before them (his 3 disciples that were witnesses to this event – Peter, James, and John his brother)….
The Greek word is metamorphoō (G3339), which is a verb. In Greek, it means to change into another form (Blue Letter Bible, 2022).
Jesus and his 3 disciples went to the holy mountain to pray. While praying away from His disciples, Jesus’ face became transformed – “His face shines like the sun.” Not only that, His garments also “became glistering, exceeding white….” From this great brightness, Peter, John, and James heard Jesus speaking with other prophets from their past – Moses, and Elijah. The 3 disciples of Christ were perplexed by what they saw and heard. As they leaned in closer to get a better view, the figures of Moses and Elijah withdrew. (Read Matthew 17:1-13). Then they heard a booming voice come from out of the clouds, which said, “This is MY beloved Son; hear ye him.”
“… If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
“And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey…. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“… Our fathers found no sustenance.”
“… And God saw that it (EVERYTHING HE MADE AND PROVIDED) was good.”
“Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19).
4. No longer would God provide provisions for Adam and his family
“… He never lets the guilty go unpunished, punishing children and grandchildren for their parents’ sins to the third and fourth generation.” [Exodus 34:7 (GW)].
1. His family
2. His things
3. His mindset
4. His habits
5. His preferences
6. and move from Hebron
The former account I made… of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen…. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
What I’m about to tell you is true. ANYONE who has FAITH in me will DO what, I have BEEN doing…. (John 14:12).
“IN FACT, he (meaning us – God’s people; God’s Church) will do even GREATER THINGS.”
“IN FACT, he (meaning us – God’s people; God’s Church) will do even GREATER THINGS.”
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
“Go in peace….” (1 Samuel 1:17)
1. Eli, as God’s authorized representative, was obviously in good standing with God. Because he was in a prime position to grant Hannah’s prayer petition to God.
This is a good example for us today when we are seeking or allowing another vessel of God to approach God on our behalf. God does not work through or hear the prays from any old vessel. (Compare to 1 Peter 3:7). When God uses a vessel, that vessel must have clean hands, a clean heart, and is not practicing any forms of wickedness (aka sin). Now, keep in mind we are not talking about being perfect. We are talking about God using imperfect but repentant people to do great works of signs and wonders such as healing in Hannah’s case.
Any leader who approaches God on behalf of another servant of God must be in good standing with God according to God’s Word the Bible.
When God does hears the prayer of His servant on the behalf of another servant, that servant must have the right authorization granted to him or her to operate in that role to represent another person’s prayer request. SERVANTS OF GOD WHO ARE OPERATING IN UNAUTHORIZED ROLES OR HAVE SELF-APPOINTED THEMSELVES IN ROLES GOD DID NOT POSITION THEM IN WILL NOT. LET ME REPEAT. WILL NOT RECEIVE AN ANSWER FROM GOD WHEN SUBMITTING PRAYER REQUESTS.
Take into consideration the case of Saul. God authorized Saul as the first king of Israel under the guidance and support of Samuel as a prophet. But later, Saul lost his kingship due to his unrepentant spirit for sins he did under his kingship and an authorized representative of God. Therefore, God removed Saul’s anointing and power as His king over Israel long before God physically removed Saul from his post. Therefore, although Saul still held onto his title as king over Israel for many years. He lost his God-giving anointing, divine power, and authority. Therefore, Saul no longer had the right authorization to operate as king under God's Kingdom on earth nor in heaven’s records.
But in the case of Hannah, because Eli was operating in a role that God had appointed and authorized him to do so, Eli had the right credential, authority, anointing, and divine power to grant Hannah her request.
Just to make sure we do not miss this point. Let me add that it is interesting that Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, could not, not only impregnate his wife – resulting in her barrenness. But for some reason, he did not have the divine ability to change Hannah’s health dilemma. However, Eli had the right title, position, authority, anointing, and divine power to do so.
2. Hannah too had to play a role in her circumstance when she encountered God’s High Priest, Eli. Not only was it important for Eli to be in good standing with God and operate in the right role assigned by God. (Compare to 1 Corinthians 12:11, 18). Hannah too had to be in good standing with God for God to answer her prayer – positioning her to receive Eli’s petition to God on her behalf. In God’s eyes, she had a part, Eli had a part, and then God can do His part, once their parts meet the standards of God based on His Holy Scriptures.
1. God provided and positioned an authentic, authorized servant to take notice of Hannah’s plight (1 Samuel 1:9, 12, 17). Upon learning of her situation, God used this spiritual earthy vessel who was able and gifted to resolve Hannah’s complex medical problem.
2. After Eli activated his divine power to help heal Hannah's infertility, we read later in verses 10 through 27 that she and her husband Elkanah were able to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby boy.
3. What was the outcome of that baby boy’s life as a man? Samuel was his name. He became a very powerful and anointed prophet of God at a very early age – who served God faithfully, all the days of his life just as Hannah requested through her prayers of weeping anguish and bitterness.
Wrestling with god - And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”
But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
So He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.”
And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”
And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip. Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank.
God's word is for the edification, exhortation, and consolation; for teaching, reproving, correcting, and training so that every Christian is equipped for the work of service, to build up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3; 2 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 4:12).
This blog is really not about me, but more about my Father and our relationship. How we interact with one another and my response to His prompting. To be honest, at the moment, I do not know what to expect from this blog. I have no idea how personal I will get, what exactly I will share, and how often I will do it. But one thing is for certain. I will share what God places on my heart to share.