A wife, three children, a grand child, an adopted son, a daughter in law, and a niece whose father passed away when she was one year old are all in my “tribe.” I am there shepherd and they are my flock.
I started selling barbeque and smoothies on weekends, and to be expected it has been a struggle keeping the tribe from eating the product that is for sale. Can you imagine lol?
I tried giving them a speech. I tried giving them fake threats. I tried hiding food. I even took food and snacks and put them in my closet – and still I came up short. Finally, God said, “They can’t help but rely on the father’s grace.”
It is our nature. We can’t help but rely on the Father’s grace. We can’t help ourselves. That’s how we are wired. We were created to rely on God’s grace. If you were to try not to rely on the Grace of God the Father, you would still end up relying on the Father’s grace.
You can’t help yourself. And the Father understands this. He says, “Come boldly before the throne of grace.” He gives grace to the humble. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” We can’t help but rely on the Father’s grace.
Whenever I clean the grills on my barbeque pit, sometimes I take them off and soak them in water. Sometimes I use a wire brush. But the most efficient and quickest way to clean them is with fire.
All the grease, all the gunk, all the rust, all the black stuff….The best way to clean it is with fire.
God says we are so filthy that we need to be cleaned with fire.
Rev D Barlow
A¬†mother was notified that her son acted up in school today. The teacher called her and gave her all the details. She explained that her son had been cutting up for a long time and that she should have been notified her about his behavior a long time ago.
So the mother was disappointed and upset. When she picked up her son from school she told him that she was disappointed in him and that she was putting him on punishment. But that’s not all…he was gonna¬†get a spanking!
The young boy explained, “Mama, don’t believe what the teacher said. All I did was this or that…and the rest of that stuff the teacher made it up!” Anyone who has children knows good and well the young man¬†was 100 percent guilty.
Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” We are guilty of many things, but we think nothing is wrong with most of the things we do and with the¬†philosophies we live by.
A lot of people are going to be in for a rude awakening when God pronounces His judgment on them. They don’t think it’s that crucial, but it is! They don’t see nothing wrong with a little of this or that, but it is! It is dead wrong!
I make some outstanding smoothies. All of my recipes are original – well except for one that I copied off the franchise Thirsty’s.
I copied their Blueberry Banana Smoothie, but other than that the rest are original.
My seven year old, Darren, came begging me to make him a smoothie one day. In typical fashion he must have said “please” about 15 times to my irritation. “Please, daddy. Please, please, please, please.”
Finally I said, “Okay!!!!!” Then¬†in relief he said,”Yesssss!”
That’s when I burst his bubble. I told him that I would make him one next week,
then he immediately got sad. I said, “Why are you sad? I just told you I will make you one. You should be happy, right? Why aren’t you happy?” He tried to answer the question but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. He¬†understands that his dad is full of trick questions, so he’s learning to plead the 5th. (Of course, I made him one later that day.¬†That’s my baby boy.)
Much like Darren with the smoothie, we have the promises of God but are not all that excited about them. If we can’t have them on our term, we get sad instead of happy. We want to control the situation. We have a problem with waiting, but the promises are as good as gold. Don’t be sad.
My two year old¬†niece, Camille, was at our house for the weekend. She is the cutest lil thing! When she walked in the door everyone started kissing her and picking her up. I noticed she had what looked like some cookies from McDonald’s.
Now let me tell you, Camille is only two years old, and she is as cute as pie, but¬†that¬†girl can eat! And not only that, she can also drink.
I said, “Camille, do you love me.” She¬†nodded her head and¬†signaling yes.¬†I said, “Ok, well give uncle a piece of that cookie.” Then she nodded her head signaling no. And everybody in the room started laughing lol.
We say we love God, but when He asks us to give us this sin or that sin, we nod our head signaling no. When God asks us to take on more responsibility in His kingdom, even though we say we love Him we nod our head and say no. And God has to conclude that we do not love Him after all. He has to conclude that the love we have for Him is as shallow as a mug of coffee.
Today is a good day to say yes.
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The principle or practice of referring measures proposed or passed by a legislative body, head of state, etc., to the vote of the electorate for approval or rejection.
In spiritual warfare there is good versus evil. Heaven versus Hell. The saved versus the damned. As Christians, we have spiritual foes. And because we have a sinful nature as well as a regenerated spirit to go along with the fact that we are the apple of God’s eye,¬†the¬†warfare is centered around us.
But I do want to point out that God has equipped us with the¬†right to make choices just like America equips us to with¬†ballets to vote. We may not always make the best
votes but we do have¬†the right to
vote. So it is in spiritual warfare.¬†God is¬†the¬†Founding Father and He has given us a right to choose.
The devil knows this and he cannot change this. But what he can do is give you and me a referendum from hell…especially in matters¬†we are biased towards. After he entice you and lure you, after¬†he has studied your tendencies and the longings your sin nature has, he slips you a referendum and¬†awaits your vote.
“You know you been wanting that for a long time,” he says. “So this is gonna be your only¬†opportunity. What’s¬†it gonna be? Time is ticking and the opportunity is slipping away.”
We have the final vote.¬†Our ballet¬†is a difference maker. But hell’s referendums have made us vote wrongly at the polls of spiritual warfare countless times.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1Peter 5:8)
In English class, I learned that whenever there is a semicolon, the information that comes before the semicolon and after the semicolon are both independent clauses and are of equal importance to one another.
In the verse above, we like to quote the second clause but pay no mind to the first clause, but they are of equal importance. We know the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour – but not a lot of emphasis is placed on the first clause “Be sober, be vigilant.”
This¬†doesn’t merely refer¬†to alcohol or drugs. On the contrary, it is talking about our inner man. Do not be drunk with rage. Do not be drunk with lust. Do not be drunk with covetousness…and so forth.
From that standpoint, there are things you can identify that threaten your “sobriety.” When the wrong thing comes on TV, I might have to change the channel because this romance scene or sex scene threatens my sobriety. “Be sober.” Instead of double- taking, for the sake of my sobriety I’d better single-take. “Be sober.”
Vigilant means to be aware or alert. However, it means that but to a greater extent. I like to say it means to be ready for spiritual warfare in a moment’s notice. As the second clause indicates, the devil strikes when you least expect it. Someone says something disrespectful. Some plot manifests. Surprise, surprise… here comes an attack from the devil!
In closing, if you don’t protect your sobriety and be ready to engage in spiritual warfare in a moment’s notice, the devil will successfully ambush you.
(James 3:13) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the MEEKNESS OF WISDOM.
My starter went out on my truck not too long ago. It was covered under warranty but I had a bad experience with my mechanic the last time I dealt with him. To get the starter through warranty I needed to go to the shop because the shop purchased it. To make a long story short, I decided to buy it out of pocket and fix it myself (because I still had to pay him and wait for his availability and¬†continue to¬†do business with him).
In this repair there is a long wire that extends from the battery all the way down to the starter. So, the battery and the starter are connected by way of that long wire. Now we know that a battery is full of power because sparks will pop up from it when it is tested.
Since the battery and the starter are connected, if I try to unscrew the starter with a wrench or with a socket, sparks will fly! Matter fact, they’ll fly enough to start a fire! So, in order safely perform this repair, it is best to simply unplug¬†the battery
and then climb under the vehicle and take off the starter. That way, sparks won’t fly.
The Bible says that wisdom is rooted in meekness. (Gentleness, humility, being mild mannered and willing to forgive and bear with people.) We attempt to solve problems with “wisdom” but we do not¬†go about it with meekness.
In order to solve problems – especially the ones that involve people, we have to unplug our pride. If we do not unplug our pride, our pride is going to¬†create sparks in the attempt to repair.
Pride is connected to foolishness. We can’t do a wise thing while foolishness is still connected. Do the repair with meekness. O God… Have mercy.
Before Jesus ascended into heaven He told the disciples in Acts 1:8,
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”
The Holy Spirit is not our pet. He is not a dog in that when we pull out a “Scoobie Snack” or bend over and “kiss the air a few times” He will come wagging His tail.
He is not a big furry cat like Garfield. We cannot say,¬†“Here kitty kitty kitty,” and BOOM there’s a great move of the Spirit!
On the contrary,¬†things work in reverse. We’re the pets.
We¬†wag our tail and eat out of His hand. We
keep our eyes open looking for Him to show up and make our day! Jesus said, “But you will receive power¬†WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES.”
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