WOW is all I can say at this point. I first want to apologize for the late post in which I’m sure you guys can understand that with the many roles that we play it’s the important that matter. I am so grateful to serve you guys and I love all of you very much. We are all learning and growing together and I appreciate your willingness and patience to allow God to grow me as a pastor before you so I thank you. The big “WOW” at the opening of this blog post was because last week’s sermon is still burning deep in my heart which is a good thing because the Psalmist says in Psalm 119:11 that, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” This is the purpose for scripture memorization; not to impress the people but to keep from sinning. Galatians 5 has profound insight to the Spirit and application. Right from the beginning Paul says, “Be led by the Spirit,” and then explains how there’s a war raging within us that keeps us from doing the very things of God we desperately desire to do. He goes on explaining what it looks like to be led by the flesh and repeats at the end that those that are led by the flesh WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. I explained briefly that the kingdom of God is simply any outward manifestation of His presence through you. It is at this topic that people go crazy theologically and debate the gifts of the Spirit and personally I believe that many because of their debating are simply wasting time. Many a Christians get saved and that’s it, they simply come to church to hear a sermon and for the rest of the week try to be a good person. Oh but there is so much more to this walk then church, YOU ARE THE CHURCH. As a matter of fact gifts are given to Gods children for the edification of the church and for the unbeliever to testify that God is who we say He is. I solely believe in the gifts of the Spirit and that without the Christian life can be still be a good life but not used to its max potential. So in essence what Paul was saying is that for those who live a lifestyle led by the flesh will not inherit Gods manifest presence in their lives and I don’t know about you but once you taste and see that the Lord is good it’s hard not to want more.
Paul continues by telling us to be led by the Spirit and gives us 9 characteristics of FRUIT as evidence of the Spirits leading. We looked at that word Fruit and noticed that it’s singular and not plural as if to say that God gave them to everyone who chooses to be lead by Him and not just some. In the last verses Paul says that we are to remember that when we first believed that we crucified our sinful nature to the cross and to take it back down is to put Christ back up on the cross. I personally love the entire book of Galatians because it gives us a simple application of how to experience freedom in Christ. We are called to let go and let God, in the active sense, because even our greatest attempts to please God are considered filthy rags before a Holy God. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WE CAN DO to earn Gods favor over our lives, it’s freely given to us and because it’s given to us this motivates us to act. What am I saying? God is pleased with you regardless of what you do and nothing will ever change that unless you refuse to accept it! I would encourage you to keep Galatians 5 in your heart constantly meditating on it and living it out. I would love to see this church become more missional minded and less attractional and I pray these sermons are developing a foundation in you to grow and when the time comes for us to act (which it is coming), we will not shy away from it but in faith together we will act. I have a lot to say about a lot of things I have written in this blog entry that I will preach and write about in the future lord willing. I thank you so much for your time and love you all so dearly. I pray that we keep Galatians 5 hidden in our hearts.
With the wrap up of our semon series Abiding in Him, yesterday we studied what it meant to be a friend of God. I don’t know about you but to me this is a crazy thought to think about, that I can be a friend of God and that it’s mutual. Are series has been taken out of John 15 and last Sunday we looked at verses 14 and 15 where Jesus is saying, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. ” In verse 14 I put the word “if” in bold because I believe it’s key to being a friend of God. Yes He loves you and cares for you and can’t stand the thought of eternity without you but He also requires us to obey. I believe that word obey was the one word throughout this 4 week series that I have said the most. If you notice what follows after the word if, “YOU do what I command.” Whenever we hear the word command our flesh tends to crindge a little becuase we have a distorted understanding of the word. Gods command are meant to protect us not to harm us; I tell my daughter no firmly when I see her running towards the street because I want to keep her safe from cars. Even though she may start crying and get upset becuase I love her I don’t want her to harm herself. Gods commands are meant to be looked at through His love for us and when we unite with Him it enables us to work more efficiently, think of Jesus saying, “take my yolk upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matt. 11:29-30
To be a friend of God requires a renewed mind. We all have assumptions about God when we first come to faith and if we aren’t careful we can develop the wrong assumptions even after we have walked with God for awhile. This renewed mind comes from obeying Gods commandments or His written revealed word given to man inspired by the Holy Spirit. It’s important to remember that in the Old Testament the Exodus of the Hebrew plays an important illustration, though a true story, of the renewed mind. The Hebrew people were slaves for 400 years to the Egyptians and all they knew in all their thinking was how to be a slave and live a life of bondage. That’s why before they entered the promised land God brought them to a mountain to give them His commands (word) to show them how not to live like a slave but rather a chosen people. Gods word for us today takes the believer out of bondage and teaches us the ways of Him and also teaches us how to be a son or a daughter, the renewed mind!
The benefit of this friendship is that as we obey His commands we show Him our love for Him and He reveals Himself to us. John 14:21 says, “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them.” Revelation through obeidence is imperative becuase it keeps us away from legalistic thinking of our heavenly Father. If we don’t stay in tune with the Spirit we miss what God is currently doing and stay in a mindset of what He has previously done. Revelation through obedience also keeps away from disappointment of how we think God should respond. I covered an example of this last point by showing how God reponded to the death of Lazarus. When Jesus was informed about His friend, (which if you read chapter 11 of the book of John you will find the word friend and that He loved him frequently which tells me the kind of man Lazarus really was, a man of obeience to Christ), that Lazarus was very sick and to come immidiately notice He stayed two days in the place where He was; one would think because Jesus loved him and called him friend that Jesus would go heal Lazarus immidiately right? Wrong! I wonder how many of us have ever been in a situation where knowing God loved us wasn’t the issue, but by being in a situation where where someone is dying or some financial opportunity didn’t happen, or maybe you may have lost a job that usually the first thing our flesh tells us to do is blame God. Praise God for those who consider it joy when trouble comes their way! Just because we want God to respond to our situation the way we want Him to respond does not mean He has to. God is under obligation by no one and never has and never will be but He is very interested in developing genuine faith in His children enabling them to do more for the kingdom that would require more faith. That’s the great thing about faith is that it comes from God as you trust Him in the difficult and uncertain times, believe me I know! The rest of the story we see Jesus going to Lazarus after he was dead for four days and raising him to life. It goes on to say that “many of the people who were with MARY believed in Jesus when they saw this happen,” which I found interesting because the ones that had knew and been with Jesus were there too so what did it do for them? When His disciples saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead this deepened their faith and revealed them to see Jesus as the resurrection and the life, verse 25. The disciples had seen Him raise a sick girl from the dead before but never someone who was dead for 4 days. In His delay God was showing them not only that He knew what He was doing, but also He wanted to do something extraordianry in their life. I believe the same applies for you and I. He no longer calls us slaves but friends and it’s up to us to accept His friendship!
I love you guys a ton and my family and I are so thankful we get to serve you guys. I pray the Lord bless you and keep you and that His face shine upon and give you peace. I hope you enjoyed the series as much as I did and pray that what was covered would be applied.
YOU ARE MY FRIENDS IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND!
I must first admit how honored and privileged I am to be called to the ministry, I pray that I never lose this mentality because I know there possibly could be pastors out there who forget that we didn’t choose the ministry but instead God chose us to the ministry. That’s the Calvinist in me speaking there. But I am so thankful to be chosen to do Gods work and to be honest I would not rather be doing anything else then preaching Gods word and sharing His timeless message to an ever changing generation, that’s the Armenian in me. If you will be patient with me I am trying to develop some type of systematic theologyJ! In our third week of the series Abiding in Him, we looked at the scriptures John 15:9-11 where Jesus said “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will over flow! To obey Jesus is to love Him and to Love Him is to obey Him. Anything else is hypocritical and contradictory.
It is a command to remain in the love of Christ because it’s where we stay spiritually renewed or as I said today keep our batteries recharged. The word here in the Greek used for love is Agape which means unconditional love, a love that has no end, as far as east is from the west we are loved by Him and by us praying and reading and meditating this is how we are to remain in His love. It is this love that unites us to Him as the branch is united to the vine; His love is the very source of our being. While we are remaining in His love, praying and reading and listening also, it is here that we receive the commandments of God and when we see them and understand them by being obedient we are demonstrating our love for him. Its one thing to be a Christian it is another to say and mean Jesus is Lord or master over every area in my life.
The commandments of God are not burdensome as a matter of fact Jesus says the complete opposite by saying that His yolk is easy and His burden is light. There are many a commands in the bible, the Old Testament carries 613 alone and in the New Jesus narrowed it down to two which are love God and Love your neighbor. Though today we focused on one commandment primarily which was the great commission we are to strive to do the rest. The secret place is the place to stay in His love; I can’t see how Christians go a whole day without setting aside 30min to an hour to focus on Jesus. I’m reminded of the story of Martha and Mary who were both sisters. Jesus came to their house and sat among them. Though they were sisters they were very distinct in how they responded to Jesus. Martha was the busy one, always doing something like cleaning the house, cooking, playing with the kids, talking with her girlfriends, getting her hair and nails done, going to the grocery store and picking up Johnny from daycare, emphasis added; while it was Mary who SAT at the feet of Jesus and when Martha saw this she was very disturbed and even complained to Jesus to command Mary to get up and help only to hear a reply from Jesus Himself that what Mary was doing was more important. Someone when asked in the hurry of this life how did they find time to pray? Their answer was I pray that a have time to pray. Quiet time is not an option it’s a command, “remain in my love,” and to obey Him is our demonstration of our love for Him.
We as a church family are growing into a community of love to be poured out on those who need it most, but if we constantly give it out and do not receive it continually what kind of community will we become? Next Sunday is our last week of the series where we will be looking at what it means to be a friend of God. I pray that as we all learn together we are not just talking the talk but actually walking the walk. I also pray that you attack the secret place with a proper mindset before entering. Remember how you enter is probably how you will leave, not everybody gets a burning bush experience in the secret place. I would ask you to pray for my wife and daughter as they travel back from Minnesoooooooota as someone from and with a Minnesota accent makes it sound and also pray for me as I travel to pick them up Tuesday from the airport in Louisvull, as someone from and with a Kentucky accent makes it sound. I love you guys so much and am so grateful to serve you as pastor. The Lord bless you and keep you and may His Face shine upon you.
Last Sunday morning I woke up with such an appreciation to serve God it truly overwhelmed me. I even made the comment to my wife at 7am in the morning, “What a privilege an honor it is to be called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” As always I was excited to preach that morning but I felt that particular day a “focus” to hit the pulpit and preach His word; my wife even made the statement afterwards on our way home that I appeared to be more comfortable up there while I preached. I can only pray and hope that as time progresses my development as a pastor will bring more glory to Him which is my heart throughout this next season and my entire life. We have been for the last two weeks in a series called, “Abiding in Him,” where the emphasis is time alone in the secret place. I felt like God wanted me to develop a foundation among the people to seek Him and His will and so I am doing just that the best way I know how. Last Sunday I preached from John 15:7-8 where Jesus stated, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it shall be given to you.” When I read this I paused for a minute and thought to myself I can ask for anything I want and God will give it to me and then I thought God is not a genie either so what am I missing. And there it was the prerequisite to answered prayer is God’s word remaining in us; why is it so important to be filled with God’s word? Because His word transforms us and the way we think which is imperative to answered prayer. Paul says it best in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” The mind saturated with God’s word becomes a new person and begins to think like God thus knowing God’s will for their life and whatever they ask for according to His will for your life He gladly gives it.
The secret place is where we experience genuine intimacy with Him where we are reminded of His love for us and we pour out our love for Him, it’s where we find peace to get us through the day. Jesus said that, “I am the vine you are the branches and apart from me you can do nothing.” Apart from Him we can do nothing, in Him we can do anything; sky is the limit! And it is in the secret place where we remain in Him and His words in us.
Last Sunday we talked about the secret place. We launched the first of a four week series titled Abiding in Him based out of John 15. I feel like God wants me to develop a foundation for His children to seek Him with all their hearts. Scripture tells us that Gods eyes are on those who do their services to Him in secret and goes on to say He rewards them openly for what they do in secret. We discussed Matt. 6, when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray if you notice that He didn’t say recite this prayer like most of us do, but instead He said, “when you pray, pray like this.” I believe Jesus gave us what’s recorded in Matthew 6 as an outline on how to pray in order to keep us focused. Every verse is meant to give us direction on what to say to our heavenly Father even though He knows what we need before we ask. Some might say what’s the point of praying if God already knows what we are going to say? And I would say that He loves when His children asks Him for things because it shows our dependance on Him. Consider your own children if they never asked you for anything in their upbringing you would think something was wrong. This series is meant to get the children in the secret place wherever it is, the study, bathroom, closet, or the car, wherever there’s a place for you to isolate yourself from the world and be alone with the one who is crazy in love with you. In my opinion, prayer gives us the opportunity to see God, how? Simple, when I ask for something in prayer and see it answered I see God. So what does this do for me? It gives me a deeper trust of Him knowing He’s with me and an understanding of Him based off of how He answered the prayer and not how I wanted the prayer answered! Someone once said you want to make God laugh try telling Him what you want to do… I look forward to privilege to preach the second week of the series Abiding in Him where we will journey on the importance of Gods word remaining in us.
I want to apologize for the late entry, last week was a very hectic week to say the least but God is still in control. I would encourage you to pray for me for continued guidance from the Spirit to shepherd Gods sheep and also for wisdom from above. Let us become a kingdom minded people fully devoted to the one who is fully devoted to His promises for us. I love you and the Lord bless you and keep you!
Wow, another week has passed and I am trying to stay focused on what God has right now instead of what’s to come. I talked with a brother of mine and he called that, “being sensitive to what God is doing,” although I like this terminology better I still can’t help but think of what’s next with time flying by as fast as it is. I don’t want to miss what is going on now because I realize that God is what most people say, “up to something” and I want to be obedient to what He is teaching me now. Not the direction I wanted to go with today’s entry but it fits, the fact that time is moving quickly and I or better yet we are not getting any younger to fulfill Gods call over our lives to the fullest, no holds barred. It was the Psalmist who told God to teach him to number his days that he may gain a heart of wisdom. Moses understood that life is only but a breath, here today and gone tomorrow and that it’s wise to seek all of Gods will for your life in the moment that you have and not for what is to come because it is not guaranteed. Only in Gods will for you is there life and fullness of joy, only when you say yes to God to everything will you be completely satisfied no matter where He takes you or what he calls you to do even if you don’t think it’s for you. We Christians at times can forget the fact that God has in every day something for us to do and because of the comforts of life it is very easy to settle for what you can do instead of what He can do through you or in other words, complacency which is what I taught on today.
I extracted from the book of Genesis two verses, Genesis 28:18-21 and Genesis 35:1-12. In the first, we see a young Jacob vowing to God after God appeared to him in a dream at Bethel (house of God), that if God would be with him and give him food to eat and clothes to wear and to bring him back to his father’s (Isaac) house in peace that God would be his God or in other words Jacob said I will say yes to whatever you call me to. I wonder how many of us have made this commitment to Him. In the latter scripture we see God coming to Jacob to remind him of the vow that he committed years ago, “Then God said, arise and go back to Bethel.” What happened? Obviously somewhere in between the chapters of 28-35, Jacob must’ve forgotten what he had vowed to God. In chapter 34 God had allowed not caused but allowed a terrible thing to happen to Jacob’s family that apparently God thought would bring to the attention of Jacob that he is to go back to Bethel where he belonged. But because Jacob had wealth, clothes, and family which is more than what he asked God for, Jacob lost sight of the vow or when he told God YES TO YOUR WILL. You see it is in this state of our calling where it is most difficult to leave. After we have said yes to His will God is ALWAYS FAITHFUL to keep His promise but once we start experiencing the blessing of that promise we can either remain in our comforts and stay complacent or we can continue on with the mission that God has called us to. If we do not act on the commitment we made at the moment we made it we will forget and the impression it once had on us is now gone. So Jacob still did not respond to the terrible thing that has happened to his family so God Himself had to visit and remind him. God will get our attention one way or another though it’s best to act on the now, Ecclesiastes 5:4, “When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!
I thought what Jacob did next after he realized that he was on assignment was absolutely amazing. He didn’t try to save the world like most Christians who catch a glimpse of their purpose through the eyes of their creator but instead Jacob went to his home and ministered to them. Our response to God always should lead us to get our house in spiritual order. Verse two of chapter 35 reads, “So Jacob said to his household…” if I can just stop right here to notice how as a man and called of God to be the head of the household like all men are today, Jacob took the initiative to stand up and say as for me and my house we will serve the Lord! I also noticed that in verses 3-4 he gives his family three commands, 1. “Put away the foreign Gods.” 2. “Purify yourselves.” and 3. “Change your garments.” In the first command I thought how is it that this man of God, Jacob, whom God appeared to three times and I would say he was a pastor, would have foreign Gods in his own house? Surely this was a family that had a knowledge of God. You know what I got from this, THAT THERE ARE NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT FAMILY. I had to capitalize all of that lol. People got issues, but there’s hope for us like Jacob to see revival take place in our home. All it takes is one devout man or woman of God to pray earnestly and to say this is enough. I always say that genuine faith is more caught than it is taught; if they see you do it they will catch it too. It was John Wesley who stated that, “If you set yourself on fire the people will come and watch you burn.” The other two commands he gave his family are symbolic of what happens when a heart truly repents.
Not afraid to admit my mistakes, I forgot a point to preach on today, in verse 5 it says, “As they journeyed, there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.” Again in the previous chapter Simeon and Levi, Jacob’s sons had sought revenge for what had happened to their sister and it says that they had plundered that entire people group. So Jacob knew for sure that the people would return to him violence on behalf of what was done through his sons. He said in chapter 34 verse 30,”Then Jacob said to his sons, you have brought trouble on me… and they will together gather against me and attack me and I will be destroyed.” But God had divinely provided PROTECTION for Jacob who chose to do Gods will. Most of us would confess that it’s scary to put your life into the hands of something you can’t see because where would I end up? How will I be provided for? and who will protect me? For those that are in Gods hands are divinely protected to accomplish the task that have been assigned to them.
So far, up to this point we have studied a man who was complacent though called to do an assignment for the Lord awakened by God Himself after trying to get his attention, once Jacob realized this and said YES to GODS WILL he experienced a change in his family, Gods protection, and lastly Gods blessing and affirmation and a new revelation of God. Verse 9, God blessed Jacob, self explanatory for those that do Gods will; HE will bless you! Verse 10, God reconfirmed the covenant established with his Fathers in Jacob’s life; God is with you all the way and if you are in His will He is looking at you saying that a boy or girl! He always confirms His calling over your life. Verse 11, “God also said to him, “I am God almighty,” this is a powerful verse because up until this point Jacob only knew God as EL, the Hebrew word for God, but here God revealed Himself as EL SHADDAI, or all sufficient, able to make good the promise in due time as well as support you and provide you in the meantime. The obedient Christian life is meant to see the revelation of God. Most of us know Him as Saviour and praise God for that, but how many of us know Him, heart and mind, as provider, healer, friend, etc… You want to see God, say YES completely to Him! Verses 11-12 are a picture of Jesus Christ and Heaven, “Kings will come from you and I will give you land,” emphasis added.
In conclusion, If we say yes to God and forget He Himself will graciously remind us, why? Because He knows what’s best for us and His will is always best for us. The number one requirement for knowing Gods will for your life is to seek His kingdom first, Matthew 6:33-34. You don’t have to worry about NOTHING, God knows your every need. Next once you say Yes to God don’t try to save the world yet, start in your home by serving your family like Jacob did and finally in your obedience to do whatever it is He told you to do He will bless you and reveal Himself to you! MORE OF YOU GOD, LESS OF ME!!!!!!! I pray that we all awaken from our slumber and seek the Lords will for our life and FULLY SUBMIT TO IT. I thank God for all of you and pray Gods blessing over your life!
I last left off with telling you guys how faithful God is and still I continue to do so. I first would like to apologize for not being consistent with blogging; things on my end have been kind of hectic. After arriving from our travels things began to happen for example we moved into the parsonage, a nice four bedroom house that my family and I are truly blessed to have. One might say why so much room? My answer would be it fits nice having one child at 17 months to have her own room, we also have another girl on the way who will have her own room once we will feel comfortable to let her sleep on her own and I’m not trying to brag but now that I’m pastoring it feels great to have my own study and my wife would tell you the same though she tried to turn it into a study and sewing room combo. I love my wife. I want to speak briefly about the study before I go into what this blog post is about. My study in a sense is more than just a room filled with books and a desk or in other words an office; it’s a place where I meet God though I am fully aware of His presence everywhere. It’s the quiet place where in the stillness of the day I go to hear from Him, read about Him and talk to Him. I told myself that I will never boast in the credentials that God has blessed me with and that it isn’t these credentials that got me to where I am today. Instead I will boast in Christ and the quiet place for the things that I have today, my family, a roof over our heads, my education, and so on. God is good and I would encourage you to go deeper in your walk with Christ because in His presence there is fullness of Joy.
I have been deciding whether or not this blog would be a conclusion of what I preached after Sundays or updates about my family and I, and I have decided that this blog will be for both. I’m going to put on here the scriptures that I preached and may even add further thoughts on what I preached about. I will be pastoring this church for the next year so I will be learning more than I will be teaching because I truly feel that God is “training” me. Tomorrow will be my fourth Sunday preaching, well actually I won’t be preaching because tomorrow is the church’s annual fellowship gathering at the park and I look forward to getting to know my congregation which is the advice I have received from mentors as a priority. By getting to know my congregation it allows me to preach in a way that relates to the people so I look forward to being quick to listen and slow to speak. The first Sunday I preached,
8/28, I preached on John 17 with an emphasis on 20-25. As the first African American pastor this congregation has ever been under I felt impressed to share a picture of Gods heart and view of the church. In this chapter Jesus is praying for Himself, His disciples and then He prays for us, you and I as believers today. This prayer is known as His final prayer before the cross and He prays that we would be one thus showing us the importance of unity. I also extracted from the book of Ephesians 4:3 where Paul tells us to be DILIGENT to preserve the UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace. I concluded that the reason He wanted us to be united at all cost was so that the world would know that God sent Him, verse 25, 26 of the 17th chapter of John. Jesus said in John 13:34, 35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this ALL will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. Our unity in Christ evangelizes to the world; it’s obvious to see because whenever there’s a Christian leader who falls the world is quick to condemn him. As Christians it is our responsibility to love and be at peace with each other no matter what race or denomination; by this all will know that we belong to Him.
The second week, 9/4 I preached on Mark 4:35-41 where we see Jesus calming the storm. The main points I pulled from were verse 35, “Let us go over to the other side.” If Jesus says, “Let us go over to the other side,” then no matter what we will get to the other side. I love Gods word because it always accomplishes the thing for which it was sent and never returns back void. If God said it then He will do it PERIOD. Verse 36, “…And other boats were with Him.” I pondered at this verse and thought to myself wherever Jesus was that He always drew a crowd, (remember Jesus feeding the 5000 men only were counted not including women and children) and as a matter of fact He had just finished preaching before He got into the boat so a lot of people must’ve have been there. Why is it that other boats were with Him going to the other side and not a multitude of boats going with him to the other side? My answer is because they saw the storm that was coming and chose to stay behind, those that didn’t cross. To make that applicable to you and I, there are few who will go with Jesus wherever He leads them whether it be through blue skies and sunny days or cloudy with thunderstorms. We have to make up our minds and say, “Lord I will praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands for You are who You are no matter where I am and every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand, You never left my side and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm.” When the storm came the reaction of the disciples allows us to know the severity of the storm, they said to Him, “…don’t you care that we are perishing?” Oh but the reaction of Jesus is classic, it says the He was in the stern sleep. Jesus could’ve been anywhere else in the boat but He was in the stern, the place where the captain of the boat resides or in other words, though He was sleep yet He was fully in control. This verse is somewhat humorous to me because it gives me such great comfort knowing my savior isn’t worried about a thing. Though the faith of the disciples appeared weak, their prayers were on fire and because they continued to pray in the midst of the storm it caused God to move, verse 39, “And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace be still.” When stuff around us is out of our control we cannot allow it to keep us away from praying to God. After Jesus rebuked their faith it says they became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” In other words they once feared the storms but God had redirected their fears to where it belonged, to Him. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord!! A few things can be learned from this chapter, 1. In the midst of our storms keep the faith. 2. Never cease to pray. 3. Look for a demonstration of Gods power because He wants to show you another realm of Himself.
For the sake of length, last week I preached on an aspect of Leadership, (vision and purpose), and this week I feel lead to preach on keeping our vows to God which again won’t be posted till next week because tomorrow we are have our annual fellowship at the park. I never thought I would be in Greensburg, Kentucky preaching, I am amazed at the work of God and I truly believe that greater things are yet to come not just for me but for you too. Keep the faith, never cease to pray and look for a demonstration of Gods power. Till next time may you be showered in the blessings of God our Father who is worthy of all our praise. My family and I love you so much and we greatly appreciate your support and your prayers. God YOU ARE AWESOME WOOOOOHHHHOOOOOOOOO, lol sometimes I have to let one of those out.
It has been a long time writing and I apologize for that. The reason for it is because I took off a few weeks from blogging to be quiet before the Lord and watch as He revealed His will for us for this next season in our lives. If you can recall the last time I blogged, we were approaching a big decision about staying in Kentucky or moving back to North Carolina. A lot was on the line having to leave but if it was Gods will for us to do so then so be it or in other words Amen! My family and I asked you guys to pray specifically for that reason and God moved, He not only provided tenants for us for the house in Charlotte for the next 14 months, He also showed me what I would do after the church internship ends; so after I have finished here I will be pastoring a church in KY part-time for this next season. God has also provided a parsonage for us that we are praying for wisdom and guidance whether or not we should take it. Trust me when I tell you that this is a God story, I’m just sparing you the details of how it all happened but take this with you, when you’re walking with God and your thoughts are aligned with His thoughts, be careful what you ask for! I am absolutely blown away by Him and His faithfulness, it’s overwhelming. This next season in of our lives, I will be blogging about entering into what God has predestined me to do, which is pastor and I look forward to it.
Things at the church have been awesome, I have had the opportunity to meet with the pastor here occasionally and talk bible. I’ve had the privilege of counseling and read Gods word daily and though I haven’t pastored yet, all these have added fuel to the fire. I start pastoring at the church the last Sunday of August and the reason why I decided to wait that long is because I have a leadership conference to attend next week in Chicago and my family and I will vacate the week following in MN. I will then return to KY only to travel to Charlotte to meet with leaders a few days after. In the midst of all this I do plan to post updates about the conference because I believe we all can benefit from it.
I encourage you to walk with God like never before because only there is where the life is, in knowing Him. We have all eternity to know Him because it takes that long and still more, why not get a head start! I love you guys and appreciate your prayers, please continue to keep us in them as we will do for you.
The Lord bless you and keep and you and may His face shine upon you and give you peace!
These past couple of weeks I haven’t been writing much for the simple fact I have been exposed to a lot of situations at the church where I took time to reflect what was really going on. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have been exposed to it and most importantly to have endured through it but I think what I got from it the most is that God is in control and He is a lot bigger than me. I have realized that everything that have been transpiring points directly to the campus that I will be serving in the fall. Some good, Some bad but I look back and notice that God is up to something that involves Lindsey Wilson College for such a time a this.
I have been in deep thought lately about a few things and I will share with you so you could remember us in your prayers. I will just go down the line. My family and I are living in between two states at the same time. We are renting a place now in Charlotte, NC while living in KY and the lease will be up in a few weeks and the tenants have already decided to move on. It is our prayer to continue in Ky for the next year if the Lord wills for the sake of what has been shown to us within that timeframe. I will share a few, I will be actively involved in campus ministry this year and we are already planning accordingly. Being on scholarship for grad school, something I never thought of but so grateful for the opportunity, after finishing up spring and in a few weeks the summer semester, I will graduate with a masters degree in 6 months. I shake my head thinking about that because if you were to tell me I would graduate from college a few years ago I would’ve looked at you and doubted. By His grace I am what I am today. I also have a job lined up to start in September, immediately after my internship ends at the church, and I am excited for that opportunity as well. Though it will be working in the local high school, my role will be to simply mentor young men which is still ministry in my opinion. There are a lot more things the Lord has shown my wife and I about this upcoming season in our lives that once I get permission to speak about I will tell, my wife will catch that one. The only thing that will take away from this is if our house in Charlotte will not rent and because of income, we will have no choice but to return.
We will know further information as this month comes to an end, but if this so moves your spirit to pray for us, PLEASE DO. I realize that no matter what, God is in control, and to be honest everything points to us staying here in Ky for one more season, but ultimately it’s not up to me, Jesus said, “Your will be done.” A prayer that says, “Abba, I surrender to You and only You and however you want to use me do it. I trust you with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, I will acknowledge you in everything I do and you shall direct my path” And not mine only but those who follow me. I pray this daily because if I don’t I panic by feeling out of God’s will and doing things on my own. An interesting time now and I look forward to seeing the outcome. As for now we are in Ky so we will plan as if we are in Ky and as for me and my house we will serve the Lord, Amen!
I encourage you to seek Gods will for your life daily. We can be so focused on the vision and miss daily the very purpose we were created for. I am so thankful for your time and prayers. I love you all and speak a blessing over you and your household.
The daily typical schedule for me is, wake up bright and early and come to the church. Spend a quarter of the day there and come home to my lovely family and spend time with them as a whole before my wife is off to work. The remainder of the day is daddy daughter time. I treasure every moment I get because it’s life and a blessed one at that. But I truly value those moments with my family because I am fully aware that I will never get those precious moments back. I prayed to the Lord a while ago that he would teach me to number my days that I may see the importance of His will. Everything that I have is a result of seeking His kingdom, my family being a part of that and so what I have I try my best to love to the best of my ability though I’m not perfect. This introduction does not have a lot to do with the church because this last week I was not there, I took the week off to stay at home with my daughter because momma went to Seattle for work for a week. So in case you’re wondering what does this have to do with the church, everything because my family is my church.
I learned a lot last week spending time with my daughter. I guess the main thing is how much she loves her mother because when we went to Louisville to pick her up from the airport, my daughter seemed to forget who I was to get to her. But in all actuality though Makayla is thirteen months, she is very receptive yet quiet in her learning. She picks up things without emphasizing she knows, one day she just does it. She is a quiet learner. I believe that’s how God wants us to be. As a matter of fact 1 Thessalonians 4:11, Paul says, “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and to attend to your own business…” So difficult to do in a world that tells us to be flamboyant, to show the world everything that our hands have worked for. Or to take it deeper, to intentionally with wrong motive flaunt what God has blessed us with, as if to say, “God blessed me and not you.” Like my daughter, I am learning how to sit back and watch God move and teach me more about Him. Unlike my beloved Makayla who doesn’t have a care in the world, I struggle sometimes with the many cares or worries I fight with daily. I hope you guys don’t mind an up and coming Pastor being honest with you guys. I mean I realize that as I spend time with my family, a thought will sometime creep into my head and sound something like this, “Cornell, nothing is written in stone, you don’t have a clue as to what you will do for work. You’ve talked with a few people but what does that mean, you have a family to support and how in the world will you do that in ministry.” And then I’m reminded that my Jesus said that if I would seek His kingdom first, everything else will be added. He also said that, If He is for me than who can be against me. And that if I draw close to Him, He will draw close to me.
I get excited about the God I serve, because He is not a man that should lie, if He spoke it then He will do it and it will be good. His word never returns back void, it will accomplish the thing for which it was sent, AMEN! He says, to “be still and know that I am God.” this verse blows my mind, because we live in a scary world and if we are in it, worldly, it forces us to try to do things with our own hands, or in other words fight our own battles. Paul says, “not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” What we take in daily is who we become mentally. Choose to take in God’s word till it becomes apart of you, till it floods out of your ears is how I see it and still do more.
My wife and daughter inspire me because they are quiet learners, both from God and from me as a leader of the household. As I look to God they look to me and it takes all of us to reflect the image of God. As for fighting the battles we have ahead of us and yours too, I want to leave you with a word of encouragement, choose to be a quiet learner, don’t question God, or worry about the future, tomorrow will take care of itself each day has enough trouble of its own. Seek the kingdom first, let His will for your life be your number one priority because He knows what’s best for you, we think we know what is best for us. In the book of Exodus chapter 14 verses 13 and 14, God took a people who in the eyes of the Egyptians were slaves and brought them after the exodus, which in the greek means, “a going out,” to the red sea as the Egyptians were in hot pursuit to kill them. As the Hebrew people first, “cried out to God,” which I believe they questioned God, and then they complained to Moses, whose reply was, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” Why would God bring His people through all that to be saved? Why would He make His people go through battles? Why not just take us through with no battles? So that our enemies would know that He is God who fights for His people. All the glory to Him. I’m going to end there because I feel like I could go on and on and on about the AWESOME GOD I serve. Hallelujah!!!!! Just remember to be a quiet learner and know that the LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.
Thank you for your time and prayers, we love you all!!
Just a thought!!