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!