Current Posts

  • How Should We React In The Middle of Tragedy & Unjust Behavior? Psalms 52.

    #tragedy #fear #betrayal #provision #deliverer #unjust

    Psalm 52 (KJV)

    Context and style of literature

    Psalm  52 portrays to be a psalm of confidence in YHWH to do has His word declares that He will do.  The psalmist is faced with opposition, from Saul, who is attempting to murder him, and experienced tragedy when Doeg the Edomite betrays David to Saul. (See 1 Samuel 21:7; 22:6– 23, and confusion everywhere he went as he was fleeing from Saul. Now, let’s understand the context f this prayer.

    The Problem, the Tragedy, the Unjust Behavior.

    David, the young lad who slew the giant of the Philistines, was loved by the people but hated by the jealous king who knew that David would rule after he dies. Saul’s behavior toward David was unjust and irrational. David was not plotting to unseat him as king. Saul’s fear of losing his position of leadership lead to the once favored son of Israel running for his life from an unhinged, irrational ruler. So, hungry, tired, and fearful, David stops at the temple in Nob. What is he going to do to preserve his life and the lives of his followers?

    David used lies, remember that he was facing the tragedy of his own demise, to convince the priest to give him the holy food that should only be eaten by the priests. He also assures the priest to provide him with Goliath’s sword. But someone was watching. A storyteller was going to spin a yarn that would result in a tragedy. So, what does Doeg do? 1 Sam. 21:7 notifies the reader that this Edomite sees David at the temple and witnesses the priest feeding him.  In 1 Sam. 22:9– 23 Doeg betrays David and tells Saul that he saw David in NOb. Saul, in a fearful fit that his rule will end, slaughters the 85 priests who fed David. That is the historical backdrop of this psalm. Can you imagine knowing that your behavior resulted in the death of 85 pastors? How does David respond to this terrible tragedy?

    David Trusts God But Describes The Soul of His Enemy

    1 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good, and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.

    David calls Doeg a mischievous [scarcasm] mighty man who used his tongue like a razor to deceive him to Saul (Verses 1-2).  Doeg is described as a morally corrupt man who loves ‘evil,’ telling lies, and devours others with his mouth. Not only is his behavior irreprehensible, but he also uses his deceitful tongue’ to bring about the destruction of others.  Today, can you see any scenarios, persons, or leaders who fit this description? Not only did this person deceive others his speech emotionally, but he also used his speech to ‘deviseth mischiefs’  he also used it to carve away at people’s reputation-like a sharp razor.Have you ever accidentally cut yourself with a razor? Just think of that when you read this verse.

    Wow, doom and gloom, right? Not really! That is unchecked human nature.  Even so, David had to deal with the death of the priests. He was partially responsible for their deaths. But the tongue of Doeg dealt the final blow. What does David do? Does he take to the streets and trash talk Saul and Doeg? Honestly, if any leader deserved to be ravaged, it was Saul. After all, he was unhinged.

    The Solution:

    So, David determines to trust God.

    God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.

    David looks to God for Him to handle Doeg – the wicked tattler who uses his mouth to destroy instead of a blessing, and Saul who uses his position of authority to hunt down an innocent man and repeatedly tells others that David is plotting against him. [David believes that God will destroy this evil person.] and root thee out of the land of the living [His home will be destroyed, and he will lose his life. NOT at David’s hand-but at God’s hand (verse 5). David bore the brunt of Saul’s deranged morally reprehensible behavior will be like  ‘the righteous also shall see, and fear [NOT MAN but God, and not in trepidation either] and shall laugh at him. Why? The results of tragedy and fear are not something that the righteous have to worry about being punished for like the wicked person. They will respond to these emotional challenges with a respectful and wholesome fear of the Lord knowing all along that He is their protector. (See Prov. 1:7), as they witness God dealing with this influential, evil person. David acknowledges that the only way to deal with these tragedies is to praise God and trust him to protect him through it all.

    Psalms 529 KJV

    Psalm 52 reminds Christians that God is the only source of absolute protection and prosperity. It may look as if the wicked are winning, they may use their tongues to slander you or cut you emotionally, but the reality is that God blesses the righteous and evil will not prevail forever. We have read the end of the story of mankind and God’s people win. SO praise him for all that He has done and is doing in your life. Even if you have to praise Him on the sidelines of the football field of life, praise Him anyhow. Wait on Him to move powerfully, end the tragedy, and fill you with peace instead of fear.

    Prayer. Lord you alone are worthy of all of our praise. You alone sees and hears what we are thinking and how we are behaving. Teach us how to trust in your promise of provision and protection. Teach us how to share that hope of internal peace with others so that they too can live in peace and be ‘still.’ Selah

    References

    Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed October 8, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

  • It is Sunday Morning – Why Are We Going to Our Place of Worship?

    to #growclosertoGod and #Learntoloveeachotherbetter #toputthewordLoveintoOurActions and Not Just In Our Speech. 

    sunday morning

    #ToRemember that in worshiping Him we do so as we serve and care for others.

    We adore HIM because He is the embodiment of Love. He Holy, He is The Almighty. He is the only one who is worthy of our worship! So, bring it on and bring it strong this morning. Recommit to Him this morning and who He is!

    VISIT FREEDOM LIFE Directions 
    Time: SUNDAYS 10:30AM
    You will find the freedom of a Christ-centered life at Freedom Life Church. Grow Closer to God and Love People Better as a part of a community of life-giving, multicultural people. Our church is committed to serving the Bluffton community in South Carolina.

    Racial Reconciliation started with Christ’s work on the cross and shows itself in the way we love the “other.” Worship is important to us. It helps us look upward and inward then moves us outward to serve and transform our communities. We love to celebrate families and equip them to navigate the difficulties in today’s world.

    H.E. McCracken Middle School
    250 H.E. McCracken Circle, Bluffton, SC

    Song: It is You!

  • Words Are Powerful: Speak Life Instead of Death!

    Did you know that all of us have an amazing amount of power on the tip of our tongues? The words we speak are powerful. We can use our words to create havoc or to be kind and encouraging to others. The choice is ours. Our words of encouragement can change a person day for the better.

    violence

    In the current worldwide political climate, it is evident that hatred, a lack of understanding, foolish talking, poverty, sin, a lack of respect for correction, living by vocally slandering others, reaps rewards that are unpleasant for the person who chooses to live this way. In the end, the Justice of God will prevail. As we read this chapter in Proverbs we need to plant ourselves, our neighbors, communities, states, and countries into these verses and ascertain where do we stand with reference to the results of these behaviors. Where do our leaders stand? Where does our community stand? Then Pray, forgive, repent, and repeat the cycle until The  Lord returns. I am convinced that we are living in the latter days and the behaviors below will become the norm and not the exception.

    • Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. 

    Words of love and truth hide the sins of a person who may even hate us.

    Love is the most

    That is what love is. 

    • In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. A person who does not understand the power of words uses them globly, rashly, and does not care about the carnage that is left behind them as their words tumble out of their mouths like and exploding volcano. Have you ever seen a volcano erupt? It is one of the most delightful things in the world, but it is also a destructive force of nature. 
    • Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.  He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool (verses 12 & 18). 

    My grandmama used to say, “Your words will sentence you.” That was before the internet, before cell phones, before digital cameras. The newspapers would and could write down everything you said, someone would be able to find it. Our take a picture of you doing something you should not be doing. Just tell the truth. People will respect you for being a truth spinner rather than a lying weaver. We can either choose to be bold about constraining our mouths and being a blessing to others, or release them and become a curse.

    In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.  The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth (verses 19-20).

    Speak words of love: Our words have the power to bring sweet peace:

    Abraham Lincoln said, 

    lincoln

     

    Lord, help me today to control my tongue and use it to speak only your word of love into the lives of others even when I am responding to wrongs that have been committed against me. Take the high road.! -Selah

  • Preservation: God’s Business.

    #preservation #TheLord #Forever #More

    preserveme

    Sometimes young ladies are impatient to find a mate. Have you ever thought about it this way? Maybe God is preserving from the evil that will befall you if you were to rush into a marriage not determined by Him.  Know that He has already found a man whose heart was knit together just for you. Trust Him to send that godly seeker your way. Then you will not go wrong.

    Max Lucado quote: A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has...

    Prayer: Lord, please open the hearts of your young women of God to see your hands in the marriage matching mix. Give them the patience to wait upon the Lord. The same thing applies to the weak and lonely. Lord, open their eyes to see that you have already made a way out of no way for them and that they are not alone. Selah

  • Loyalty: Prioritize it!

    #loyalty #God #Man #Friends 

    Have you ever had a friend notify you that you could not possibly as close to them as they are to you because your words indicated that you were disloyal to them? Why? You talked about someone else with whom you were friends, but they were not.  Now that is a human conundrum. But let’s explore that situation for a minute. The wisest man who ever lived on this earth was Solomon.  He began his relationship with the God of his fathers in a stupendous way. So what went wrong? Why did the Lord stir up an adversary against Solomon? When Solomon finished building the most glorious temple that has ever been made for the God of his fathers, he had a SEE: Significant, Emotional, Encounter with God.

     

     

     He had a conversation with his maker. The Almighty talked to him about the importance of his loyalty and friendship with Him. Solomon understood the meaning of that loyalty. So? Did he also understand the implications of disloyalty? Did he know that NOTHING should ever come before God? Did he value his friendship with God? Did he comprehend or understand what would happen to him and his children if he was disloyal to God? You see, we tend to make excuses for why our relationships with others become our 10th, 11th, or 12th, priority rather than our 2nd, 3rd, our 4th priority. You see, only God should be #1 in our lives. Let’s see if Solomon had an excuse? Did he drink the kool-aid of seduction and danced with the devil in the darkness of companionship? 

     

    He was also given the option of choosing to be disloyal to histrue friend-God. He was told about the consequences of disloyalty to God. He was told what would happen if he walked and lived on the dark side. But did he remain loyal to God – even though he was warned?

    1 Kings 11:1-4 “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto  these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”

    Say what? He did what? How could he have forgotten God’s warning? How could he have been disloyal to God? He chooses to gratify his flesh, immediately rather than his spirit for the eternal gain of being a friend of God.  He started his relationship with God on the right footing. His desire was to love, serve, and grow in his relationship with Yahweh, but he loved women more than God. So now, what happens to Solomon?  1 King s 11:14-12:24

    An Edict from God: 1Kings 11:

    33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father. 34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:

    Prioritize Your Loyalty Friends: Determine who and what you will serve and focus on Him? Do you serve to be seen? Solomon built the biggest, baddest, boldest temple to the God of Israel. Nothing on earth has ever been made like that edifice. But he forgot that he was human.  He did not nourish his relationship with his one true friend. A series of event occurred as he began to reap what he sowed. Here we see a list of the adversaries that God raised up against Solomon. But we should also note that He did not erase Solomon from the face of the earth. Why? Because of his father David – the man after God’s own heart. We judge with human hearts and human eyes, but God judges with righteous judgments.

    1.  The first adversary was Hadad (11:14).
    2. The second was Rezon (v.23),
    3. ‘the leader of a band of rebels’ (v.24-25).
    4. Next, Jeroboam rebelled against the king (v.26). He was one of Solomon’s officials, ‘a man of standing,’ whom Solomon had put ‘in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph’ (v.28).
    5. Solomon ended his life surrounded by adversaries and trying to kill Jeroboam (v.40).
    6. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, inherited a mess.  Have you heard that before? Did he learn from his father’s mistakes? He did not listen to the wise and learned persons who were connected to God (Chapter 12:1-8 ).
    7. Instead, he hired incompetent persons who were not close to God, but who led to him stroked his ego. (Chapter 12:15 ). The wise leaders realized that Rehoboam ‘hadn’t listened to a word they’d said’ (v.16).
    8. He rejected the advice that the wise counselors gave him. As a result, civil war broke out, and the kingdom was split in two: Judah stayed with Rehoboam and Israel rallied with Jeroboam.
    9. ‘Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David’ (v.20).
    10. War broke out (v.21). The result is a divided kingdom – but even that is not the end of the problems. God promised Jeroboam incredible blessings: ‘if you walk in obedience to me’ (v.38).  OK so now we see someone who should never have become king ruling the most powerful nation on earth at that time. Did he learn from the previous person’s mistake? Did he prioritize his life? Did he lead the people to love God and love others in the same way that they loved God? Tragically (as we will see over the next few days) Jeroboam did not – and the results were disastrous.

    So what? We may think  that was then this is now.” “What does this have to do with me and my relationships with others today? What does this have to do with me and my relationship with God? Simply put? If you sow disloyalty in your relationships with human beings, you will also sow sedition in your relationship with GOD.  When we sow disloyalty, we will reap disloyalty. However, GOD is NEVER disloyal to His children. Remains faithful to His character.   No, He will not continue to bless us as if everything is ok. He will discipline us in the same way that he disciplined Solomon (1 Kings 11:32,34,36). But he did not abandon, nor renege on his promise his servant David. What does this have to do with me you may ask? After all, this is 2019. 

    If you have wandered away from daily prayer and Bible Study of God’s word. If you have chosen to stop doing your daily devotionals, just skimmed over His word, and only talk to Him when you want something, then you are disloyal in your relationship with God. He has not moved the pendulum of His love for you. God’s commitment and loyalty to you are so substantial that “Neither height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39 KJV).

    Prayer: Lord, send down the power, gentleness, and unity of the Holy Spirit to your church. Give us a spirit of love, loyalty, oneness in Christ. Show us, minute-by-minute how to work together in unity with one another for the sake of your Kingdom. Protect our relationships with each other and our fellowship and partnerships. Give us the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to direct our steps as we work through life’s challenges and the obstacles that the enemy places before us every day-Selah

  • Turmoil, war, sickness, troubles…ENGLISH and Tamil.

    #SharingTheStory #TheGospel #Jesus #NoMoreWar

    Turmoil, war, sickness, troubles—we each have our share. Why is that? ENGLISH

  • When Someone Sees My Face What Kind of Heart Do they See?

    #Face #Heart #Soul #emotions #Words 

    The word ‘heart’ appears at 725 in the Old Testament and 105 in the King James Version of the Bible.

    “Heart” in the  (Hebrew lebab/leb [b’bel], Gk. kardia [kardiva]) Heart denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities; sometimes it is used figuratively for any inaccessible thing.

    Throughout the Bible, one sees examples of men and women of God whose “moral” hearts failed them. However, when God saw that their hearts called out to Him he forgave them of their sins.  Was there a way for the people around them to know that they were in spiritual turmoil?

    People tell us that our eyes are the “windows” to our soul. I would like to add that our faces are also a visual representation of our heart/soul. When one meets a person who is always frowning, who is always whining and complaining about what is bad with society, people, politicians, it will show in their faces too. A frowned face, a face that never smiles, a face that is permanently etched with the words “Back Off! I am afraid of you, I don’t want to know you, I don’t care about you!” is a face that had no joy. It is a face that shows a troubled heart. Have you ever made bread? How heavy does the dough feel in your hand? Then after the bread is baked that same dough, that same mound of wheat that was being formed to nourish s soul is now light, golden, and inviting?

    Scripture tells us that the state of our heart/souls matters to God. Your heart lies ‘open before the Lord. 

    Proverbs 15:11 tells us that “Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”

    God knows when the worse time ever known to man will present itself to us. So, why would He not know the condition of our hearts?  We will have horrid thoughts that present themselves in the form of horrible words, but what do we need to do?  We will experience troubles. We will experience a heavy heart. Because of all those things, and others too, We will sin.  But there is a way for us to restore our joy.  Seek His face, as for His forgiveness.

    hearus

    He will hear us and forgive us – if we are truly seeking forgiveness.  How will we know that our heart is right with him? Our faces will once again show that the “joy of the Lord” is our strength. The worry line will disappear and our frowns will become smiles.

    Prayer: Thank you Lord because you do not look at just our faces you look at the deep areas of our hearts. As I walk through this day may my face reflect the love, joy, peace, and forgiveness I have received from you. May my face reflect the love that I have in my heart for you. Selah

     

  • We Have Peace Because We Have Christ.

    Though the storms of life may be #Raging all around us we can rest #peacefully because we know that our #Redeemer came #lived #died, and #rose to take up his throne in glory once again.  How do we know that?

    Prayer: Lord thank you for your blessed hope, the grace and gift of eternal life. Thank you for substituting your life for mine, thank you for the cross.

  • THE IMPORTANCE OF EMOTIONAL SELF-AWARENESS By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

    June 19, 2019 CommunicationSelf Reflection

    Reposted from the Parrott’s blog.

    Controlling one’s emotions is not easy, but it can be done! Self-awareness is the ability to pull back and recognize the feeling you are having. When you have an emotional response and are able to bring it into your awareness, the chances of handling it appropriately improve.

    You can’t expect your awareness to magically appear, you need to will your awareness. The key is to decide with intention to be objective about your feelings. If you are not aware of your feelings and how to handle them, chances are you may be engulfed, suppressed, or resigned. Today, we are discussing these three elements of emotion; how to recognize them, and ways to control them.

    ENGULFED

    What does it look (and feel) like to become engulfed by emotion? Some impulses seem to be easier to control than others. Anger, not surprisingly, is one of the hardest to control because it often prompts us to react. You likely have felt engulfed by anger at one time or another.

    This is the feeling of adrenaline rushing that prompts you to react; often out of impulse. It can be hard to step back from an emotion that is engulfing you. In cases of anger, a cool down period is recommended before you react to allow your body to process and achieve some distance from this red-hot emotion.

    SUPPRESSED

    We’ve all experienced the awkward and disquieting experience of being with someone who sits on their feelings. Perhaps you just spilled your heart out and shared your feelings about an experience you shared with this person. And in return you received a quiet response. You likely felt out of synch when this happened, or that your emotions were unwarranted. This is a case of suppressing feelings.

    It turns out some misguided people mistake emotional self-awareness with emotional suppression. Willing your awareness of your emotions has nothing to do with suppressing them. As you become aware of your emotions you don’t stomp them out, you manage them.

    RESIGNED

    Unlike people who are engulfed by their emotions, resigned people know what they are feeling. However, they do little to try and manage their emotions. For example, if a person is depressed they may recognize and talk about it but do little to take steps to fix and address the problem head-on. Despite clarity about their moods, people who resign to their feelings don’t recognize the power they have to alter them.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU RECOGNIZE THESE TRAITS?

    1. Come to a realization and acknowledge!

    “This is anger I am feeling.” That simple self-statement opens the door to freedom. How? It gives you the option not to act on it. It gives you the option to keep it alive or to tone it down. Once an emotional response (like anger, or any other) comes into your awareness – once you pull back and acknowledge what you’re feeling – the chances of using that emotion to your advantage greatly improve.

    Through emotional self-awareness, your emotions become tools in your hands allowing you to craft empathic interactions that would have otherwise been lost. The sooner you become intentional about tuning into your own emotions as you interact with others, the sooner you will experience the realization that you can monitor and manage your own emotions.

    2. Remember: It’s your choice!

    The freedom to choose. That’s the kind of freedom emotional self-awareness brings. Every emotion offers a choice. How will you react when you are presented with a situation? Remember that every feeling also has value. It can teach us something about ourselves. You determine how you will react, and how intense you let an emotion become within you.

    Emotional self-awareness can be a challenge. We know that exercising control over our emotions is not always easy. But is becomes easier than we think once we conjure up the will to do so! Emotional self-awareness will give you control over your feelings, and the ability to choose how to handle each situation you are confronted with.

    Would you say that you are most likely to be engulfed by your feelings, to suppress your feelings, or to resign to your feelings? Why? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

  • Forgiveness: Not telling the world about a person’s sins.

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