Welcome to my Blog

Wow, you made it. Welcome to my blog. I trust that what I say here will be thought provoking and beneficial to you in some way shape or form. It's my desire to share with you what I've learned regarding navigating this journey we call life. Perhaps you can glean something from some passage of mine.
Much of this blog is in video format, so click a link if you don't see words after titles. Holla!
May God keep you. Wear the crown!

Peace is the presence of the goodness of God.
P. Jas.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wrapping You & Your Money


Hi Friends! Let's look at what happens when a follower of Christ decides to become generous.
Check out 2 Corinthians 9.12-15 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
So two things happen when Christians walk in gererosity that God has purchased them to. First off, felt needs are met. Simply, poor peeps are taken care of, hungry peeps are fed, and sick peeps are cared for. Historically speaking, the church has been excellent at this. In Philadelphia, where I grew up, there is a hospital with about every denomination's name on it. St. Whatever, Presby, Baptist, Methodist, and on and on. Churches funded the beginnings of hospitals to care for the sick and for the needs of peeps. Of course we see differences over the last 20 years or so in America, as politics and cash are driving these things now. But, the church has understood this in the past. Many of you come from churches where you've met a great deal of needs in foreign lands and rescued orphans and AIDS victims and such. Real peeps are really hurting, and we meet their needs without expectation of repayment or thanks because, we do it unto the Lord. I want to add as well because contrary to what many have been led to believe, a lot of these peeps are not where they are by choice. So when Christians live generous lives, felt needs are met.
Here's the second thing. Not only are felt needs met, but they praise God. What I mean is that peeps are converted when felt needs are met. Scoffers will laugh at this and make fun, but it's true. People think that we provide food and aid to 3rd world society only to convert. This is a lie. Usually when a person comes with that kind of rap it is rooted in bitterness and anger. The atheist tenet is this, "God doesn't exist and I really hate Him."  Christians for thousands of years have laid down their lives, their wealth, their money, their time, at the feet of those who NEVER believed and were maybe even killed. So this is intellectual idiocy. It's revisionist history. Really, do you believe it's about money, power, and wealth when you go into impoverished areas and provide what is absent? Health, education, and such? So the theory is that we need the collective tithe from the accumulated $.50 in the small village in darkest Africa? That's intellectual idiocy. You must not let bitterness and anger taint your ability to think straight.
Listen. If we believe that the gospel of Christ erodes and destroys the root problems of poverty, injustice, hopelessness, oppression, and corruption; if the gospel severs the root of these things, we'd be fools not to provide for the felt needs and not try to destroy the root causes. We'd just be handing out stuff. YES, we want to see peeps converted! Cause when the Holy Spirit fills a man's heart, he can no longer walk in corruption!
Of course if we are merely trying to convert peeps to religion, then if they aren't converted, they aren't transformed, nothing happens. We don't have to go abroad to see that. That happens right here. It happens in your local church community. (A bunch of you that are reading this now, you're pretending to be Christians. You're pretending. You'll be exposed. You don't get to hide forever. You really don't get to come to church on Sundays, pretend to be a good Christian and then the rest of the week you're involved in every sort of wickedness under the sun.  You may fool people; but we're stupid. You haven't fooled God. This isn't the kind of game you can win. You won't be able to hide long enough to win this one.) So of course this happens around the globe. But where the gospel really takes root, corruption leaves, injustice vacates, and racism disappears. Do you know what the gospel would solve in Africa with just the tribal situations there alone? OF COURSE we are coming with the gospel! We'll give food and all of that, but we're coming with the gospel. For it's the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. The cycle that most impoverished areas are in is just one of no hope for tomorrow. The gospel restores hope. So we are always coming with the gospel. We don't want them to be only made comfortable for a season. We want to see the world transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
The issue is that God is after is your heart. He doesn't care how much you give. What is the state of your heart? What is actually happening in your spirit? When you give, are you reluctant? Are you giving because you are compelled to? Do you have a generous spirit? That's what we need to get to the bottom of. Please, don't allow your "church answers" to lie to you. What I mean is that you've grown up hearing the right answers. So anytime someone asks, the knee jerk is oh, the answer to that is this “right” answer. Maybe you've applied that and walk in that, and maybe you don't. Here is where your wallet can yell at you that you are a liar. That isn't bad news. At least now you know the truth. Now we can go somewhere. You can't go anywhere when you believe in a lie. But if your wallet will call you a liar, you'll heal, you'll hear it and you'll say, oh God, I'm a liar. And that will sink in and we get a shot at growing and maturing.
Listen. Do you understand the grace of God? Do you see yourself as an owner or a steward? Do you live rich lives? Does your car define you? Does your home define you? Does your wardrobe define you? Are you forever adding new stuff to quiet your soul? Really though, isn't new stuff just intoxicating? It is. I get it. Sometimes we just go shopping cause we want to, right?  You've gone because you wanted something. And maybe that is OK, unless you are trying to make your soul shut up for a spell. Then we have a problem.
So do you believe you are a steward? This is something that you need to think about, and wrestle with. Are you generous? Where the peeps of God are generous, the care and needs of others is provided for, and peeps praise His name. And where they don't, they withdraw from the world and make a little Christian ghetto. They make a little club over yonder that they make prettier and prettier while the world around them burns. So where are you in this?
Some of you would really love to be generous, but you've made some bad choices in the past. Like you're sitting there going PJ, I get it...I want to do this soo badly, but last year my hubby and I bought a jet powered bat mobile...I don't really remember how we got talked into it...we were just at the Walmart getting some groceries...With the price of jet fuel these days, I'm sure you realize we're kinda strapped.
Look, there is a different heart that would say, I wanna be generous, but I'm in a tight spot. We're trying to get out of that tightness so that we can be generous. That is very different than, "Here's my 10%, now shove off". See the tithe was never designed to be like, here's what you get God, and here's what I get. The tithe is a symbolism of, It's all Yours God. So if you ask me, should I tithe? NO. You should be giving far more than that.
So where are you? I think you must answer this. Honestly, I don't think it matters if you answer it or not. But if you are serious about your spiritual growth, I think that you must look into this.
God bless you friends. Keep the faith and wear the crown. Holla

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stewardship Versus Ownership


Hello Friends! Today I want to add a bit to what I said in my last post about you and your money.
Hopefully by now you understand that the enriched life comes for the believer in that we understand that we don't own, we steward. With that in mind, if God takes things away, we won't be threatened by it. Have you ever considered how many of your fears, how much of the complexity of your life revolves around this idea of money? You live in a terribly dangerous place when it comes to this idea. Because much of what you're “supposed”to provide for your family is foolishness.
I've heard it said that, "I just want to give my kid every opportunity". Listen. Please don't. Have you ever been around a kid that has had every opportunity? NO ONE likes that child. Am I wrong? Kids who've never been told, “no”...do you know how they turn out? Usually on the 11 o'clock news. Really though when has being given every opportunity really ever worked out well? Train them. That's what the Bible says to do. Then there is the pressure to look a particular way, and to drive the right vehicle and live in the right home in the right neighborhood, and on and on. This is what we call that keeping up with the Jones's mentality that is not so overt, but covert, which makes it even more dangerous. Are you realising today how silly it is for you to feel better or worse about yourself based on what you drive, what you have or don't have, where you live, or what labels you can wear?  You're letting THOSE things define you? That's both sad and foolish.
An enriched life is one that understands that God has dealt with us according to His abundant grace and generosity. So become stewards, not owners. This will free you from a million trivialities that choke the life out of most peeps. Don't be on this quest for more, more, more, and more...not with respect to "stuff". Seriously, it's all going to end up at a dump somewhere, or a garage sale sooner or later.  Become stewards of the ministry of reconciliation. That is enriching. The money and the stuff that He has given to you have been given to you to make much of Him.  So that you'll live rich and purpose filled lives. Everything has eternal significance. Every dollar spent has eternal ramifications.
I'll be back in my next post to attempt to wrap this topic.  Keep the faith and wear the crown. Holla!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ownership Debunked


2 Corinthians 9.10-11 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
The grace of God serves as the foundation that moves us into this next way of living and conducting our lives. He said, He who supplies the seed is the one who also supplies the bread. So God is breaking down the myth of ownership. Somebody says, "Hey I baked a loaf of bread...Well where'd you get the bread...it's wheat bread so I got it from wheat..Where'd you get the wheat?...I had to plant a seed...Where'd you get the seed?...Uhhh Aha! It's all mine." So God is murdering the myth of ownership. Grace is the foundation of our generosity, but that foundation is built on the idea that we are stewards and not owners. Plainly, we don't own anything; we simply manage and steward what we've been given. This is a fundamental shift in your thinking. The grace of God shows us the mercy of God and in turn we see ourselves as stewards. What do you have that isn't His? What do you have that He hasn't given to you? What do you have that God cannot rightly and justly stand over and say, "That's Mine"?
Listen all that you have...your aptitudes, your resilience, your business acumen, all of these things were given to you by God, for God. We are stewards and not owners and everything you posess you've been given to steward, to be a manager of and to oversee, not own.  
Truth is, you are only relatively a few years away from dying, and being shoved back into the earth. I know we don't like to think like that, but its true. You can do all the Wii Fit you want to and the eating healthy and such...you gonna die...and they will do a poor job of making you look normal and then you'll be lowered into a dark hole in the ground. That is what is ahead for you and for me...You won't avoid it unless X returns, and at the rate we're going, you'd best be praying for someone else to do your work to that end.  Point is, in that moment, the myth of ownership vanishes. Presently, it's hard to see that. We own this, it's ours. That's a myth.
What's funny is, we hate in our kids how we act towards God when it comes to stewardship. Test me on it right now. Today, go to the mall and buy your kid whatever game they want. X-box, Wii, or whatever. Let them pick it out. Carry the box to the cashier and give them the money to pay for it. Let them hold onto it in the car on the way home. Pull up to the house that you own, then unpack the game and plug it in to your TV in your living room. Get it all set up, and let them play. Go into the other room and do whatever you want. Come back after you hear them having a very good time with the new game and say, Hey, can daddy play? More than likely you'll hear something like, "It's mine". At my house this is what would follow...Yours? Nothing is yours...you own nothing...clothes, etc.
My point is that loving parents engage that in their children, don't they? No loving parent just hopes it works out and leaves the room at that place. You'd sit down and try to explain to them graciousness, generosity, and sharing. We discipline, shape and mold our children.
But what they are doing is the same thing that we do to the Lord when you look at your stuff and say, that's mine.  God is saying, No it isn't, I just got that for you. Well it's mine because you gave it to me...I know...I gave it to you for a reason...Well I don't care about the reason, it's mine. So the way our kids act that makes us nuts is often how we act with God, specifically in terms of ownership. For a believer in Christ, we understand that all that we have is His, that it isn't ours. 
This creates an unbelievable amount of freedom. Cause now, what I drive, doesn't define me.  I don't feel better or worse about myself dependent upon what I drive. My home doesn't define me. It doesn't make me feel better or worse. I'm now a steward of those things. I use those things for the ministry of reconciliation. 
I pray today that you can see that you don't own a thing. It all belongs to Him.  I'll be back soon to continue with more thoughts on you and your money.  God bless and keep you. Holla! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Root of Generosity


Hello friends. When the Christian is generous, some really cool things happen. 2 Corinthians 9.6-9 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."
So we can see good reason here for being a generous person. However, we aren't generous under compulsion or reluctance.The transformed heart of a mature follower of Christ doesn't say, "I'd better give." The motive of our giving should not be begrudging submission, or compulsion. Instead, there is a transformation of our souls when the grace and mercy of God is freely lavished upon us in Christ. We become recipients of the gift of salvation, and as we have been dealt with by God graciously, we begin to deal graciously with others. As we experience the generosity of God, we ourselves become generous.
Listen, you were saved through no merit of your own. It's that simple, but it gets added to and hijacked all of the time .
"Ya know it's the cross and ______." No. It's the cross! You've been saved by grace through faith and even the faith was given to you by God so that you can't boast in it either (Eph 2.8-9) Can't you see the generosity of God in this?
Really it's like, hey what did you do to be saved? Oh I had a teriffic personality...Oh really? Because the Bible says that God saved you in spite of that. Oh, well I have a lot of money. Really? You have no money. Do you want to compare wealth with God? God doesn't ever run out of capital. I mean God doesn't go, hey let's hock some stuff... Holy Spirit, how much we got? God doesn't need your money. You are so insignificant with respect to the wealth of God. Romans 11 clearly tells us that everything is His. More than that, He can make whatever He wants out of nothing...He just speaks things into being. So God is never short of cash. So you weren't saved on because of your bank account, or because you have a great personality, and you weren't saved because you are pretty...whatever you want to fill in that blank with, you are wrong. You were saved by grace alone, through faith alone.
This is the foundation of Christian generosity. Our new life in Christ, our hope, our joy is given to us freely while we were yet sinners (Rom 5.8). That means that Christ didn't wait and watch for you to clean yourself up a bit and then it was OK, now we're talking...BAM blessing! No. while we were yet in our sins, Christ died for us. While we were at our worst, that is when the cross makes sense. This is the foundation of Christian generosity, that our salvation is from God alone, that our new life is from God alone. That joy, hope, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control, all of these things that He's sowing into us, are given to us. That, is the foundation. Where that is understood, Christians are generous. Where it isn't understood, they aren't. 
I pray that everyone reading this gain such understanding and/or affirm and strengthen  such in Jesus' name.  Let that marinate and resonate.  I will continue soon.  In the meanwhile, study to show yourself approved. Keep the faith and wear the crown. Holla!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Enjoy Your Wife

Hey friends! Enjoy your wives and husbands. If you can do so, you will be doing well.  As always your comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Keep the faith and wear the crown. Holla!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Money


Hello Friends! Today I want to continue to share about money. I'm just going to jump right in and continue with the line of thought I had going in the last post.
How you spend your money will reveal in you what you truly value and what you actually worship.
I hope to reveal to you why the Christian is generous.The scriptures I'll share will operate under the assumption that anyone who's been born again of God, anyone awakened by the grace and mercy of God to the reality of God is going to be generous.
I want to point out to you a couple of verses where the Bible connects the heart and money. Eccl. 5.10 – Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
The person who chases money as ultimate will live a meaningless life. Although he doesn't mention the spirit, soul, or emotions there, it is intrinsic within the text that if you're pursuing money as the answer to your emotional, spiritual difficulties, it's never going to solve it for you. You will never have enough money to be satisfied, content or to walk in the fullness of life. Matt 6.24 – No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
This text just really breaks down the idea that you cannot serve both of these because you'll in the end betray one of them. So you have to serve God or money. 1 Timothy 6.10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Hebrews 13.5-6 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” - So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

I've just given you five of what could be a few dozen texts that link how you view and how you spend your money...So much so that I'd say that deep, significant spiritual growth into the fullness of what God has for us in Christ is impossible until you deal with this issue of money; how you see it, and how you use it.
Chew on that till tomorrow.  As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged.  Keep the faith and wear the crown. Holla!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Money, Money, Money


Today I want to talk with you about money... There I said it. It's been a real burden for me to even think about talking to you about this topic. 
Money and the topic of finances has been abused and misrepresented throughout Western Christianity during my lifetime. The bulk of finances that I've witnessed coming into ministry is spent on making us more comfortable. It's like, we need a bigger, more modern, more whatever church for the same peeps that we've always had and we aren't going to be satisfied until we're all in recliners with cup holders for our sweet tea and coffee. It just feels so filthy to me to mention money in any way. Because it might turn off the non-believer because they've only seen the TV guy begging for money for “missions” as he stands before them in a pair of cuff links that are bigger than your wifes wedding ring, a Rolex with a diamond bezzle and a Maseratti or whatever in the parking lot that he parks in front of his multi-million dollar home.  And the de-churched, the peeps who grew up with church and told the church,"no thanks" a while back...they would just be reminded of a time when they or their parents were told to give and give for this thing that has yet to be delivered. They likely feel robbed and they feel jobbed.
What's been revealed to me is that by avoiding this topic, I was robbing you of a biblical indicator of your spiritual health; which is invaluable in the context of our culture.
What I mean is that in certain cultures you don't really need to look at a person's wallet, because you can see through the lens of life. For instance, if people hate you because you are a Christian and you still proclaim Christ and “go”, as he said go being a witness... and you still rock your favorite Christian tee shirt unashamed and fearlessly, then you're in. No one is saying about you, "I don't know", "such a hypocrite".
In our context of Western Christianity, the line between intellectual knowledge and a life that is transformed is almost non-existent.  Because in our culture everyone KNOWS, but very few walk it out and live it.
In our environment how you spend your money is a telling indicator of your spiritual health and well being according to the scriptures.
In the coming days I'll be making an appeal for your hearts, not your money. Because you'll see shortly that the Bible is going to say that your wallet will call you a liar before anyone else can or will. How you spend your money will reveal in you what you truly value and what you actually worship.
Stay tuned as I'll attempt to get through this line of thought before the end of the week.  Thanks for visiting. Keep the faith and wear the crown! Holla!