Friday, April 21, 2017
“What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. GO AHEAD AND BE ANGRY. YOU DO WELL TO BE ANGRY—BUT DON’T USE YOUR ANGER AS FUEL FOR REVENGE. AND DON’T STAY ANGRY. DON’T GO TO BED ANGRY. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life…Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foulor dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break His heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:25-32 MSG)
Two forceful personalities in a relationship are like two rivers flowing into one; there’s going to be a Strong Current! Anger can be instant like a flash of lightning, or prolonged like the rumble of thunder!
Sometimes we clash painfully, other times we distance and silently abandon the relationship. But Anger Handled the Right Way Doesn’t Have to Destroy!
IMPORTANT: “Anger is only one letter short of Danger.” (Author Unknown).
So let’s discuss some of God’s Rules for Anger Management.
RULE #1—KEEP IT HONEST: “…no more lies…” When You’re Angry Don’t Deny It! Believe it or not, Anger Can Be Constructive! Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton said: “Anger ventilated often hurries toward forgiveness; and concealed often hardens into revenge.” We’re right to get angry when people are mistreated and wrongs are not made right. Saying, ‘I’ve been feeling angry and because I value our relationship I’d like to talk about it,‘ Is Honest, Non-Threatening and Invites Resolution.
Observe the following tidbits on Anger:
a) IGNORING, STIFLING, SUPPRESSING, OR PRETENDING YOU’RE NOT ANGRY IS DISHONEST: “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” (Lyman Abbott).
b) ANOTHER FORM OF LYING WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY IS EXAGGERATION: Phrases Like: ‘You NEVER listen to what I say.’ ‘You ALWAYS ignore my wishes.’ ‘NOBODY does anything around here except me.‘ Such Generalizations Are Untrue and Serve Only to Aggravate and Polarize, Guaranteeing the Real Problem Gets Obscured and Goes Unsolved. The truth is, maybe they weren’t listening; maybe your wishes are ignored and maybe you do more than others; BUT CAN YOU HONESTLY SAY THAT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME?! Remember this: “If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.” (The Talmud). So, do your best to avoid such words as ‘NEVER’; ‘ALWAYS’ and ‘NOBODY’. Keeping in mind that: “An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.” (Kahlil Gibran).
c) ANOTHER WAY TO LIE WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY IS BLAMING: Phrases Like: ‘If you’d arrive on time I wouldn’t have to nag you,’ or ‘If you’d quit nagging so much, maybe I’d start being on time.’ BLAMING IS A WAY OF EVADING YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY WHILE POINTING THE FINGER AT OTHERS! It angers others, perpetuates your own anger and never produces the result you want! I believe the following quote will put things in proper perspective for you: “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” (Unknown Author)…I know that hurt, but if applied, it will help!
God’s rule is always right: ‘…Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor…‘.
RULE #2—KEEP IT NON-LETHAL: Paul writes: ‘In your anger do not sin… ‘ (Ephesians NIV). What do Paul’s words mean? DON’T LET YOUR ANGER ESCALATE TO THE POINT OF DOING DAMAGE! DON’T USE YOUR WORDS AS WEAPONS OR A CONTROL MECHANISM! “Sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.” (Author Unknown). It’s okay to express your emotions in A HEALTHY WAY, BUT KEEP THEM IN CHECK! “Not the fastest horse can catch a word spoken in anger.” (Chinese Proverb). Your goal must be to resolve the problem and strengthen the relationship, not ‘sound off’ and wound the other person! “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” (Ambrose Bierce). The Bible says it best: “…a crushed spirit who can bear?‘ (Proverbs NIV). Now, is all this easy to do? NO! BUT YOU HAVE TO BE MINDFUL: WORDS SPOKEN IN JEST, SARCASM, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS OR ‘RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION’ WOUND PEOPLE, AND SOMETIMES THOSE WOUNDS ARE PERMANENT! Hear the Word of the Lord: ‘A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.‘ (Proverbs 15:4 NKJV). ‘ ‘The tongue can bring death… ‘ (Proverbs NLT). Ungodly words, once unleashed, can: ‘…sink deep into one’s heart‘ (Proverbs 26:22 NLT). YOUR WORDS CAN LIVE IN THE HEART AND MEMORY OF A PERSON AND GO ALL THE WAY TO THE GRAVE WITH THEM! We say, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,‘ BUT IT’S NOT TRUE! A PERSON CAN DIE OF A CRUSHED SPIRIT, AND THE ONE WHO SPOKE THE WORDS CAN LIVE TO REGRET THE DAMAGE THEY’VE INFLICTED AND NEVER GET A CHANCE TO UNDO IT! ON THE OTHER HAND, ANGER PROPERLY HANDLED NEVER NEEDS TO BE REPENTED OF! SO LEARN TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE ANGER YOU FEEL AND THE WORDS YOU SPEAK! ANGER CAREFULLY THOUGHT THROUGH, CAN REVEAL IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT NEEDED CHANGES!
RULE #3—KEEP IT CURRENT: Storing anger in your hard drive ONLY HURTS YOU! “Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful TO US than the injury that provokes it.” (Seneca). When you rehearse old resentments YOU GROW BITTER! But remember the words of Malachy McCourt, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” The Bible says: ‘The good man brings good things OUT OF THE GOOD STORED UP IN HIS HEART, and the evil man brings evil things OUT OF THE EVIL STORED UP IN HIS HEART. FOR OUT OF THE OVERFLOW OF HIS HEART HIS MOUTH SPEAKS‘ (Luke NIV) “Anger dwells only in the bosom of FOOLS.” (Albert Einstein).
Therefore, when you’re angry, DEAL WITH IT QUICKLY! Don’t passively allow time to decide your options, or sit around hoping the other person will see the light and apologize! The Bible says: ‘If a fellow believer hurts you, GO AND TELL HIM—work it out between the two of you…confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.” (Matthew 18:15-17 MSG). Did you read those instructions clearly? “…GO AND TELL HIM…” DON’T SIT BY IDLY WAITING FOR THEM TO COME TO YOU! GET UP AND GO TO THEM AND TRY TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM AND RESTORE THE RELATIONSHIP! “Reconciliation is more beautiful than victory.” (Violeta Barrios de Chamorro).
When You Repress Reconciliation, You Add One More Skeleton to Your Closet! And Sooner or Later, Doctors Say, It’ll Eat at Your Stomach Lining, Attack Your Immune System, Predispose You to Heart Problems, Cancers and Other Physical, Social and Emotional Disorders! Meantime, It’ll Preoccupy You, Dissipate Your Energy, Cripple Your Creativity, Hinder Your Fellowship With God, Your Friends and Fellow Believers; Not to Mention That It Denies the Offender the Opportunity to Clear Their Conscience, Repent and Get Right With God and You! So Stop Dragging Up the Past, Trying to Blackmail the Guilty By Hauling Skeletons Out of Closets at ‘Auspicious’ Moments, Plotting Revenge, and Passing Down Resentments For the Next Generation to Carry!
Ask God for the Humility and Courage to deal with Today’s Problems –
TODAY! When your head hits the pillow , know that your issues are Current, Up To Date with God and Everyone Else, and Sleep Well! “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.” (Psalm 4:8 AMP).
RULE #4—KEEP IT SOLUTION-FOCUSED: Someone has said that fellowship is like two fellows in a ship: one can’t sink the other without sinking himself! In other words, by seeking to gain the upper hand you both lose! By seeking to save and strengthen the relationship you both win! God Made You With a Capacity For Anger Because When Handled the Right Way It’s the Fuel That Brings Needed Change and the Medicine That Heals. An unknown author stated: “You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”
a) SEEK A SOLUTION, NOT A ‘VICTORY’: b) ADMIT YOUR OWN FLAWS AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS: c) BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO TAKE A ‘SWING’ AT SOMEONE, MAKE SURE IT’S A POSITIVE ‘STROKE’: GIVE A COMPLIMENT
RULE #5—KEEP IT IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM: As my auntie would say, “don’t display your dirty wash; keep it in the laundry room.”
People of God dirty laundry gets aired in two ways:
1) OPEN EMBARRASSMENT. YOU SAY IT WHERE YOU KNOW OTHERS ARE GOING TO HEAR IT.
2) SUBTLETY. You make jokes, IN ORDER TO BELITTLE THEM! “Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will.” (Oliver Cromwell).
“Hatred stirs up trouble; love overlooks the wrongs that others do.” (Proverbs CEV). THAT ALONE SHOULD’VE TAKEN THE DIFFICULTY OUT OF YOUR DECISION!
RULE #6—BE PART OF THE CLEAN UP CREW: (Ephesians MSG). How did Christ forgive us? After we’d acknowledged, confessed and repented of our sins? No! The Bible says: ‘…when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son…‘ (Romans NIV). God took the initiative, so forgive, before the other person asks for forgiveness! And if you want to really show maturity, forgive them even if they Never ask for forgiveness! God didn’t allow you to remain His enemy for life (and He had good reason to); so show forth the same grace and mercy you receive and forgive them. Only then are you yourself forgiven, the wounds inflicted healed, and all parties records before God are expunged!
IN A NUTSHELL: TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO OVERCOME ANGER!
Thursday, April 20, 2017
While You're Wondering How to Solve A Situation That Seem Out Of Your Hand. God Is Already At Work. He Will Close The Mouth Of The Enemy On Your Behalf.
People will try to trap you in battles; refuse to fall into the fowlers snare. God will close the mouth of the enemy on your behalf. While you're wondering how to solve a situation that seem out of your hand, God says be still, He's already at work. Gods will is God’s will. He won't grant anything other than what's in His plan. He is not ever going to work against us.
We are all His children. No weapon formed aga
inst you shall prosper. Don't fight evil with evil or evil will never leave your house. God will teach you in your walk with Him that when people or things come against you not to waste positive energy on a battle that GOD didn't intend for you to fight in the first place. People will trap you into battles because they want recognition or they have some unresolved issues and you are the displaced focus. Be wise. JESUS preached a GOSPEL that knocked the self-righteous and the holier-than-thou SLAM out of POCKET. Many hated and despised Him because He brought them down to their proper level with a WORD.
There is only ONE GOD and the High Priest of His day WAS NOT IT! JESUS SPEAKS!! Matthew "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves." Reach for what's in front of you; this is the reaping stage, this is the season. The harvest is white. Let the reapers rejoice, let the reapers identify themselves because GOD will give you houses that you did not build, they will be built by the mockers and the haters of the LORD. GOD sent us out as sheep among wolves, and wolves are sneaky, they are vicious, they salivate continuously licking their lips and they are hunters; but mark this word "the hunter is going to get captured by the game." The sheep with spiritual discernment KNOW these wolves. God will protect you; the battle is not yours it's the Lord.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Pray For Your Pastor. Statistically, Today, We Have Pastor’s Walking Away From Their Marriages, Ministries, Families and Churches. Why? Read This!
Alarming Pastoral Statistics: 97% of Pastors Have Been Betrayed, Falsely Accused, or Hurt By Their Trusted Friends; 50% of Pastors Marriages End In Divorce; 70% of Pastors Battle Depression; 7,000 Churches Close Each Year; 1,700 Pastors Quit Each Month; 80% of Pastors Feel Discouraged; 94% of Pastors Families Feel the Pressure of the Ministry; 78% of Pastors Have No Close Friend; 90% of Pastors Report Working 55-75 Hours Per Week With Either No Salary, or No Salary Increase; and Only 10% Actually Retire a Pastor. (By Dr. Bill Purvis) Which is All The More Reason To Pray For Your Pastor!
It Always Amazes Me That Flaw-Filled Parishioners Always Wants a Flaw-Less Pastor! Your Pastor cries, Your Pastor gets angry, Your Pastor wants to walk away! Yes, Even Your Pastor Is Human! Your Pastor is spending Incalculable Time In Prayer Keeping the Hand, Tactics and Attacks of the Enemy at Bay In Your Life…Are You Doing the Same For Him/Her? And yet,there are so many Christians never once think to cover their Pastor in PRAYER! Clearly It’s Time To Stop Making Petitions OF Your Pastors, And Make Petitions FOR them Instead! In other words,Every Part of Your Pastors Life Needs and Requires Prayer!
It’s hard enough standing before the masses who want you to entertain them, dazzle them, inspire, impact, impart in and empower them! They want the Pastor to pray, study, meditate, perform signs and wonders, flow in the five-fold ministry and possess all the gifts of the Spirit! They want the Pastor to pray they get a job tomorrow (while they remain stretched out in their bed today) They want the Pastor to pray their throbbing right toe is healed right now. Not to mention they’re also hopeful that God answers the Pastor’s prayer that they get a new house, that their child who has gone astray will return to God ,new car, new money, new children, new job, new business, and new spouse all by noon…YESTERDAY…
The Enemy Is After Your Pastor Too! He Attacks Your Pastor when he/she is lonely, discouraged, tired, frustrated…and even after a Major Victory…he comes Shooting Off Fiery Darts! And unfortunately, there’s no one standing before him/her with a Shield of Faithful Prayers!And further still, Pastors are expected to out-preach, out-teach, out-pray, out-gift every other Pastor on planet Earth! Everyone wants their Pastor to be the Best of the Best of Pastors! And with such Expectations, Many Pastors battle with Competition, Comparisons, Self-Esteem and Self-Worth Issues! Yes, Your Pastors Are Human!Truth is, Pastors are expected to cast out demons, mend messed up marriages, straighten out crooked children, be at the hospital, the morgue, hospice, nursing home, rehab center, the homeless shelter, soup kitchen, jailhouse and in the pulpit, with a smile on their face ready to preach you happy, all at the same time! And yet, nobody shows up for Prayer?! Pray For Your Pastor!
“AND DON’T FORGET TO PRAY FOR ME. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out” (Ephesians 6:19 MSG)
Paul is one of the most tried Pastors of all time! One of God’s most suffering servants! In his own words Paul declares: “I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches.“ (2 Corinthians 11:23-27 MSG).
Paul Was A Pastor Under Pressure! Truth Is; Paul Was Stressed! In essence, Paul started off killing church folks, and now church folks were trying to kill him!
And yet, with all Paul’s pressure, problems, perplexities, and stress, all he asked for from the church was PRAYER!
Which Provokes Us To Question: What Was So Vital About Prayer, That With All His Pastoral Pressure, That’s All He Asked For?!
Listen: After Wilbur Chapman’s first sermon at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, a man said, “You’re pretty young to be Pastor of this great church. We’ve always had older men. I’m afraid you won’t succeed, but since you preach the gospel I’m going to help you all I can.” Chapman thought, “What a crank”. But the man continued, “I’m going to pray for you, and a few others have covenanted to join me.” Later, Chapman wrote, “I didn’t feel so bad when I learned that they were going to pray for me. Soon the three became fifty, and the fifty became two hundred who met before every service to pray for me. In another room eighteen Elders knelt so closely around me that I could put out my hand and touch them. I always went into my pulpit confident that I would have God’s anointing in answer to the prayers of those people. It was easy to preach – a real joy. And what was the result? Eleven hundred people were saved and joined the church in the next three years, and six hundred of them were men! It was the fruit of the Holy Spirit in answer to prayer. Church members have much more to do than go to church as curious, idle spectators to be amused and entertained. It is their business to pray mightily that the Holy Spirit will clothe the Preacher with Power and make his words like Dynamite!” That's why it is important to Pray For Your Pastor.
And I’m not talking about that little prayer addendum you make at the end of your hour long prayer FOR YOURSELF! ‘and Lord, bless my pastor too, in Jesus Name, amen’ The devil’s a lie!
Statistically, today, we have Pastor’s walking away from their marriages, ministries, families and churches (they obviously need more than your bless ‘em Lord). Pastor’s are sexting church members, having Facebook affairs, tweeting tricks and treats, fondling children, cheating on spouses, absent from their children’s lives (clearly they need more than your touch ‘em Jesus); Pastor’s are drinking, on drugs, committing suicide, drowning and going back into the world (surely they need more than your bless ‘em Lord, in Jesus name)! Pray For Your Pastor!
Pastors are expected to help finance congregants bills, the church bills, fix the boiler in winter, the air conditioner in summer, pray away allergies in spring, and clean out the gutters in the fall! They’re expected to donate money for the tuition scholarship fund for your children, cure your car, repair the roof and raise the dead! But dare the Pastor expect the church to PRAY!
One thing I can assure you, no matter how wonderful your Pastor is, your Pastor need your Prayers! I know they may be so anointed that you can’t see it, but trust the experience of someone who has worked behind the scenes with several Pastors, They Get Tired, Frustrated, Lonely, Depressed, Discouraged, Overwhelmed, and Yes Believe It Or Not They Have Their Own Health, Family and Finance Issues Too! They experience broken hearts, bitter church folks, and dreams that seem as though they will never be birthed into the Land of the Living!
I believe we look at Pastors and only see their robe and forget that they are still very much Human!
I’ve watched many churches only shine the spotlight on their Pastor at his/her Anniversary Services and Celebrations! But trust me on this one, your Pastor’s face lights up knowing that he/she is being Prayed for By YOU! Their greatest encouragement comes without the Celebrations…but the quiet “Pastor I just wanted to say be encouraged…” That might not sound like much to you, but to the Pastor who’s expected to daily walk in the shoes of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Paul, and Jesus….It Means The World! An innocent hug, a scripture text, an inspirational card, all give your Pastor a booster shot of encouragement! But absolutely nothing touches the heart of a Pastor like a word of Prayer!
Truth is, Many Pastors don’t think they’re good enough, smart enough, gifted enough, anointed enough, or even financially well enough to walk in their gift as Pastor! And worse yet, Many are in debt now, and yes I mean at the Bankruptcy Court filing because of the car, house, church, or clothes they bought attempting to “keep up with the appearance of what they perceive a real anointed Pastor’s life should look like”.
Many churches have 50 ministries, the appearance of meeting needs and being great, only to look again and no new souls have been added to the church…just recycled members from someone else!
Chapman had eleven hundred New members added to the church in three years and six-hundred of them were men, and it was all the product of what prayer produced! Imagine the schemes, themes, and dreams the church would no longer have to entertain if the focus was simply shifted back to Prayer!
Furthermore, Your Pastor has Gossip filtered in his/her ears while they try to hear clearly from God. They have to keep their mind, heart, emotions, and body under subjection even while battling with Various Temptations…That Are Accidental…But More Likely Deliberate! They have to keep their eyes full of love while looking at a group of sinful folks that he/she is expected to help make Heaven their home!
Much Is Expected of Pastors, And Believe It Or Not, Much Is Expected From You Too!
Here’s a Challenge For You (And I Want You To Keep Me Informed Of How It’s Progressing): Select One Day Out of the Week That Is Designated For Prayer For Your Pastor! Fast That Day, and Keep Him/Her Covered!
What Should You Pray For? You want to pray that your Pastor hears God clearly and follows His directions accurately; pray that your Pastor Walks Circumspectly in this world as the Bible admonishes; pray that your Pastor Lives a Life and Lifestyle that is above reproach (Consecrated, Holy, Righteous, Just, and Clean); Pray that all of your Pastors Gifts are in Full Manifestation; Pray that your Pastor remains in Prayer, and keeps his/her Faith from Faltering; Pray that your Pastor keeps their body under subjection, their will yielded to God, their Spirit fed by God’s Word, their Mind Renewed, their Heart and Hands Clean, their Motives and Intentions Pure, and their Vision Clear; Pray that they remain continuously clothed in Humility, the Garment of Praise and the Whole Armor of God; Pray that they Follow In the Footsteps of Jesus.
But also pray that Your Pastor always takes the way of escape that the Lord has provided for Temptation; pray they are faithful stewards over the family, job, career, ministry, church and finances that the Lord has entrusted to them; pray that their ears and mouth are kept from gossip, rumors, lies, falsehood, deceit, and flattery; pray that they are kept from the failure of favoritism; pray that they are honest when they’re hurting (far too many Pastors are attempting to “Fake It Until They Make It” However, God never gave us this as a principle to practice); pray that they take needed physical and mental breaks; pray that they have adequate help in their personal and private lives; even pray that they go to the doctor for annual physicals (you don’t want to know the statistics of Pastors dying under age 50 from poor health); pray that they maintain their joy and their peace of mind!
They endure the same struggles as the congregants, they’re just expected to slap a robe, a cross, a bible and a good sermon over it!
Saints, be your Pastors safe place where they can be honest about their hurts and frustrations (again, you don’t even want to know the statistics of Pastors who are going to Unsaved Psychologists and Psychiatrists because of the stresses of life and ministry).
Your Pastor Needs You and Your Prayers!
Today, Determine to Lighten Their Burden Simply By Bending a Knee In Prayer. You’ll Be Amazed At How Much Better Your Pastor Will Be!
And If you are reading this and do not attend a church, pray for a pastor anyway, pray for Pastors all over the world and then pray that you may find a local church to worship the true living God: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Get into a spirit filled church and study the Bible. Learn to worship God in spirit and truth.