Friday, March 28, 2008

An Open Letter to Bishop James David Manning

Bishop James David Manning in his space and his own words...

The Great Palace of Worship

Mission Statement:

Almighty God has called and destined Pastor James David Manning to stand on this magnificent stage to reach the leaders of this world. This palace with its ornate beauty, splendor, and presence of God will attract leaders in the field of ministry, politics, education, and worship to seek a Word from the Lord. The Great Palace of Worship inspired by the power of Almighty God working through the teachings of Pastor James David Manning, will be the platform used to preach the healing and cleansing power in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to the nations of the world.

An Open Letter to Bishop James David Manning

Brother Manning:

I write out of concern about the many viral, poisonous, and provocative videos posted on your website as well as After prayerfully reviewing the clips sent to me by others, I reviewed the website maintained by your organization and was disturbed by the level of toxicity and venom from which few are spared. What I did notice lacking was any biblical basis for your vicious videos.

For example, the attack on Bishop TD Jakes and other men who dance in the Holy Spirit misrepresents the presence and power of the Holy Ghost. Your position is that there is no basis for men to dance in such a way; however, we lack visual documentation of ancient praise and worship services and fellowships so this is your personal determination which lacks biblical support.
  • 2 Samuel 6 - David leaped and danced with such joy until he came out of his clothes. King David was a man who praised God without pretense and God rewarded King David for his unabashed love and public displays of joy in the Lord.

Multiple presentations deride Senator Barack Obama and personally attack him. This sir is a breach of Christian conduct. Jesus provides us with barometers to examine our attitudes, behaviors, and conversations to determine if we are abiding with Him or aiding and abetting the enemy. The simplest of these is found 1 John 3:14 - We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.

You must understand sir, that irregardless of how any Christian feels about Barack attack his parentage or any other personal trait without basis is a reflection of our spiritual immaturity. Barack Obama has confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as his LORD and Savior and none of us is able to judge him as anything less than a servant of Christ.

NOTE: Jesus Christ selected the twelve disciples and prior to Judas revealing himself as the ultimate betrayer he was known as a thief - yet there is no biblical indication that Jesus nor the other disciples disparaed the man, his mother, or his motive in other matters in such a vicious and vile manner as you have done to Senator Obama. (John 12:4-6).

I am in no means insinuating or implying that Senator Obama lacks integrity; however, I am sharing this scripture to demonstrate that even when a believer is wrong there is a way to correct without castigating.

Ignorance is not bliss. Arrogance is in opposition with love and grace. Ignorance and arrogance are a dangerous combination; when these evil elements are mixed and vehemently spewed from behind a pulpit they become toxic seeds that breed dissension, distrust, and deep rooted poison veiled as prophetic preaching.

The Bible teaches to avoid the imbecelic rantings that mark the immature Christian and miniature intellectuctual. However, there is a time when we must stand and rebuke those who transgress so that others will not follow the moronic message. This is especially true when the one engaging in this viral lunacy misrepresents himself as minister of the Christian gospel.After reviewing the video clips, studying the Word, and praying...I am fully persuaded now is the time to present this corrective communication.

I publicly present this letter because you have engaged in a public tirade disguised as preaching and teaching. Sadly, I must disavow the videos provide any beneficial content or exposition. Indeed, it appears to be a most selfish indulgence of personal pettiness and public attention-seeking veiled with the pageantry and venacular of religious tradition. Sadly, many look at these clips and fault Christ and the Body of Christ - if I must - I shall be the voice of reason seeking to restore you and reconcile you, if that if your desire.

Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid godless, foolish discussions that lead to more and more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2:15 - 16

  1. dereliction of duty - the key responsibility of one called to preach is teach and preach the uncompromised gospel to the glory of God and edification of the people of God. Preaching is a privilege and responsibility that requires prayerful and purposeful interaction with God. Preachers must sacrifice preferences and prejudices to immerse themselves in the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal unto them the will of God. Your attacks on Obama have not been supported by scripture and do not reveal the love of Christ of fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  2. distracton of the Body of Christ - the Body of Christ is called to work to fulfill the will of God. Review Ephesians 4:17-32, and pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you and give you and understanding of this passage. Be especially mindful of Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. When you speak those things which do not glorify God or edify the people of God you do the Body a disservice. Time spent carrying out the Great Commission now must be spent clarifying the confusion and chaos you have presented. Before you engage in mental masturbation from the pulpit to satisfy your own need for attention ask yourself how you strayed so far from the ministry of far from the will and love of God? No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12; If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20
  3. and sowing discord among the brethren - this is one of the seven listed things which the Lord hates, review Proverbs 6:16-19. God created us in His image, we ought to bear some resembalance and carry some traits of our Father in heaven. In days like these we need to come together not to cause division - see Hebrews 10:23-25. Now is the time to provoke one another to good works.

Mr. Manning, it is my prayer that you receive this communication in the concern and Christian love in which it is written. I understand that ministers have a heart to see the people turn to God - redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ is essentially and eternally important. However, the message of ministers must be that God is pure and righteous; otherwise, we are not preachers of the gospel but pundits or gossips.

My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father-that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. John 17:21

Let us be about the ministry of reconciliation and equipping the believers to do the work of the church. As leaders we should lead the way in living according to the Word of God. As preachers we have a higher calling...let us live so God can use us and people can follow us as we follow Christ.

Moreover, preachers will be held accountable for misleading the sheep of God's pasture if we fail to feed them adequately or lead them appropriately.

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1

Like all believers we will give an account for what we say.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36

Be careful not to be given to or overtaken by The Spirit Of Diotrephes.

How can you, Brother Manning and others identify this spirit?

  • Those overtaken by this spirit engage in malicious gossip
  • Overzealous and self-appointed leaders castigate those believers with whom they differ?
  • The insatiable desire for preeminence that prompts leaders to reject biblical teachings concerning brotherly relations and to engage in malicious gossip, salacious attacks, and attention-seeking public escapades

Brother Manning there are many other confirmations that the spirit of Diotrephes is working through you...I have observed these three. However, the Holy Spirit is greater and you can yet be delivered by repenting in the name of Jesus Christ.

There is no need to respond to me, Mr. Manning. My prayer is that you examine yourself and line yourself up with the Word of God asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you should do restore yourself. I shall be in prayer for you, as I am for all believers. We are all one Body and we are only whole when each part is whole. May the power of the Holy Spirit rest, rule, and revive you.


Pastor Kelly Oglesby

Peace and power are in Jesus Christ alone!

"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don't pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced. Matthew 7:15-20 NLT

Rev. Wright, Race Relations, and The 2008 Election

I am not surprised that Senator Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright is sitll an issue in the current news cycle. The story about Wright and the tapes have been available for months yet they became a political liability and hot story only after Hillary Clinton’s super delegate Governor Spitzer’s secret sexual and possible criminal lifestyle was exposed.

In the political world the group or party that is in power will do anything to remain in power. Is it a coincidence that the videos tapes of Rev. Wright’s sermons were released during the Eliot Spitzer’s sex scandal? Obama’s pastor views and statement not Obama’s views or words have ended the news that included daily reminders and comparisons of President Bill Clinton’s sexual involvement with an intern. Monica Lewinsky was 22 years old during her affair with President Clinton, which is the same age as Eliot Spitzer’s hooker or the political correct term Spitzer’s high paid call girl.

I don’t know Rev. Wright or his personal struggles with racism in America. It is my belief that Rev. Wright recent televised statements are his own personal views and experiences on race relations and/or racial inequality in America. I do know that discrimination and retaliation has left a hole in my heart, mind, and body. I am a black female and I experienced discrimination while employed by New York Department of Corrections.

In January 1996 black officers employed at Albion Correctional Facility called the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Orleans County. The president of the local chapter of the NACCP agreed to meet with the officers to discuss discrimination at Albion CF. At the officers request the January 1996, meeting was held secretly at a local church in Orleans County.

In an effort to disguise the true nature of our group and because of the fear of retaliation by Albion supervisors we called ourselves “the Focus Group.” (Yes in the State of New York in 1996 Blacks were afraid for their financial lives). I must admit that I want Spitzer exposure to remain in the news. His character flaws include the way that his Attorney General Office handled my discrimination lawsuit and his failure to make me whole in his role as Governor of New York.

Governor Spitzer was the New York State Attorney General when a member of his staff Mike Russo, Assistant New York State Attorney General, willfully filed seven perjured declarations and affirmations in the United States District Court of Western New York. Spitzer’s staff successfully had my discrimination case dismissed. I believe that by filing the perjured declarations New York State Attorney General’s Office also victimized me.

In the introduction to my book “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined” I stated, “A strong racial divide currently exists in this country. Many white people believe that black people unfairly play the race card. On the other hand racism for many blacks in America is real and very painful.”

Racism continues to be real and very scary to me. I didn’t want any of my family and friends to suffer the way that I have suffered. Therefore, I didn’t write their last names in the acknowledgement section of my book. I didn’t want any of my family and friends to experience the retaliation that wrecked my life.

Senator Obama as a candidate for the Presidency has given me and countless other voters “hope.” We now believe that as a united nation that we can address an issue as painful as racism. It is time for this entire country to have a meaningful discussion on institutional racism both past and present. As a nation we can and must rise above the discriminatory and racist reality of our past and current environment.

On September 11, 2001, I watched in horror as this country was attacked. I could not believe that we were at war. I cried like a baby as I held my eight-month old grand son in my arms. I cried for my country and the innocent victims and their families.

We came together as a caring and God loving country after September 11, 2001. I believe that with Obama as President we can experience the pride and unity of post 9/11. Oh yes we can come together again as The “United” States of America.
On March 15, 2008, Obama addressed the Rev. Wright issue during a town hall meeting in Indiana. In my view he did an outstanding job. It is so ironic that Senator Obama has gone from being an alleged “Muslin” to now having to denounce and reject a Christian minister that everyone now admits that Obama has shared a twenty-year Christian relationship. I see the hands of God at work in this instance (Romans 8).

Obama’s March 18, 2008, speech on race made me teary eyed. Senator Obama’s personality, charm, intelligence, and willingness to comprise are great traits that he will use to united and inspire all of us to greatness.

All of Senator Obama’s supporters must pray, trust God, and hold on because it is going to get worst before Obama becomes the next President of the United States of America.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


It says lot when ordinary people with extraordinarily different faiths, races, backgrounds and no hidden agenda can come together and speak the TRUTH despite mainstream media’s caustically allergic reaction to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s friend, mentor and retired Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright. These courageous folks wrote an open letter to Sen. Hillary Clinton on March 25, 2008 that you will never hear discussed on MSM. Also, Sen. Clinton’s former Pastor Dean J. Snyder wrote another supporting Rev. Wright on March 19, 2008

Check out this video clip of recent defunct Christian Conservative Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee defending Sen. Barack Obama and his retired Rev. Jeremiah Wright against too obviously MSM haters. Funny thing though Mike Huckabee referred to Rev. Wright as “Louis Wright.” Huckabee was an active Baptist preacher for over 12 years before he dived into politics. Also, he flat out refused to let any of his previous sermons be released to the MSM while he was on the campaign trail.

Furthermore, Rev. Wright and other prominent religious leaders were invited to the White House by the Clintons to pray for Pres. Clinton because he had recently sinned by lying to America and cheating on Hillary in the White House with Miss Monica Lewinsky. Rev. Wright’s personal invitation to the White House can be viewed @

Sen. Clinton conveniently kept quiet about Rev. Wright. She was even more vague on Sen. Obama’s speech…“A More Perfect Union”… Hillary now speaks out against Rev. Wright and goes into full “GERALINE FERRARO LET ME GO” mode because she is catching more than HELL for lying about her role in Bosnia, not releasing her tax returns, supporting NAFTA and her continuous steadfast refusal to release the Clinton Presidential Library and Foundation donor list.

Count on MSM (CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS and MSNBC) anti-Rev. Wright vigilantism bias to focus solely on increasing their corporate profits at ALL (AMERICA LOVES LIARS) costs. These rabid anti-religion demigods…oh I mean highly ethical and never ever racially divisive major television networks will CONTINUE to air only racially inflammatory sound bites of Rev. Wright’s sermons. They remind me of the nobodies who became somebody during the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Ask yourself did you know Nancy Grace, Marcia Clark, Mark Fuhrman, Philip Vannatter or Christopher Darden before 1994? These people all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Simpson’s horrific ordeal because they are enjoying the good life because of their racial polarizing commando style of journalism that is still going on today. This is not the TWILIGHT ZONE…no one controls your TV but you. Do thorough research before you VOTE and don’t forget to PRAY. Thank you Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright for being a “good and faithful servant” and inspiring all Americans (SAVED or NOT) to have the discussion on RACE IN AMERICA.

Monday, March 24, 2008 This is the link to 9 minutes of one of Rev. Wrights' sermon currently be used by Fox in an effort to end Obama's race to the White House. The video is titled "Fox Lies The Real Sermon given by Pastor Wright."
Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Marvelous Love

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
John 3:16, 17 NIV

There I stood wide eyed on an Easter Morning marveling at the beautifully tailored green coat dress my mother had created with her very own hands. Her limited budget and lack of sewing machine did not thwart her plans, nor limit her marvelous gift to me. My hopes weren’t dashed; my mother had exceeded my expectations. On Sunday morning I awoke to the site of seeing an ensemble that was created with me in mind. There on the hanger hung my Easter dress and on this occasion I didn’t have to make due. That childhood memory, so many years ago is still very clear in my mind! But it was my mother’s constant and active displays that nurtured me and my brothers. There were many days of home baked cookies, sewn tote-shoe bags with creative stitching, construction paper made into vocabulary and math flash cards, encouraging words and her being an unselfish person—it’s all of those tokens of a marvelous love that have been instilled in me and carry me through my life and still give me this incredible and memorable gift as we approach Resurrection Sunday!

Our Heavenly Father is surely the exemplary loving parent! Have you experienced it?

Friends, you know well the Easter themes, the melodic hymns of Zion, eloquent sermonic messages spoken in The Seven Last Words on Good Friday and lest we not forget the baked ham, Easter lilies, colorful outfits and baskets running over with fruity jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and crosses. This too is a real part of many Easters across the nation. But more importantly the ultimate gift given us- yes, our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! A marvelous gift that allows me and you to confidently lean on the promises of God with an expectant hope!

So during this Passion Week we can confidently embrace the truth-that there’s no greater gift that we can have than the love of God. God I am sure is counting on us to let His love be the focus and main ingredient in our Easter festivities. With that thought let me encourage you to remember your birth rights as children of the most High God and carry in your hearts and conversations the spirit of an expected good to permeate your life and the lives of others. Just like me as a child on Easter morning-know without a doubt that something wonderful and good awaits you no matter our perceived limitations and the negative nay sayers!

No my friends, I agree it’s not about the clothes; it’s about the marvelous sacrificial love of a parent. What my mother and possibly many of your parents have done on countless occasions is model love, a love that revives and lifts us! My mother’s behavior exemplified what was merely a reflection of the love that Christ has for us.

Just trust in him!

"There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants."
John 3: 18-21 (NIV)

Go ahead and boldly embrace a spirit of great expectancy; no matter the days that are filled with some mighty highs and agonizing lows. It’s the anticipation of something wonderful to come; the Lamb of God actively visible in the outcomes of our lives! Yes He was struck down, but no hell could contain Him. It’s the celebration and resurrection of a new day, a new hope, a new truth, a new glory and a new and real determination that our Christ is alive. So in essence our personal ruts and predictable behavior can always be blood washed and refreshed because it’s a marvelous love that saves us! Keep singing, keep hoping and keep on loving in the name of Jesus!

Have a blessed Easter! Amen!
Joyfully submitted by Linda Mose Meadows
Author of: The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises

Monday, March 17, 2008

Who do we think we are?

I would like to continue my thoughts on what it means to be “born again,” and on the change that resulted in our lives when we accepted Jesus as our savior.

The bible says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ….” (2 Cor. 5:17-18)

Simply put, this is talking about a spiritual change that occurs in our “spiritual man” when we accept Jesus as our savior. All of the old is passed away; that is, the old sinful inner person that we were and all the works of that sinful person are gone, passed away… and all things are now become new and holy and Christ-like… all things are of God.

As I said in an earlier article, this change is an inner change and in order to get this inner change from the inside to the outside, we must begin to believe that this change is really so. That is, we need to believe that we are no longer the sinner we used to be but are now saints of God, having God’s very nature and made in his image. (This is called “living by faith;” or “walking in the spirit.” It is putting faith in what Jesus has done for us spiritually.) Paul teaches that this alone will bring the “outer” transformation we need to truly live a Christ-like life. (Rom. 7:18-19; 12:1-2)

It is good to note here that sinners are not sinners because they sin, and saints are not saints because they don’t sin. All human beings sin. Sinners are sinners because they have not accepted Jesus as savior and have not taken on the new nature that comes from being born again. They still have the nature of sin which all men inherited from Adam. (Rom. 5:12) Saints, on the other hand are saints because they have accepted Jesus as savior, and now have a new nature, the nature of Christ within them. This is the “new creature” that Paul talks about and is not based on what we do but on what we believe.

What I would like to do for a few moments is to look at this new nature, this “new creature” that we have been made, and see what we are really like on the inside after we have received Jesus as our savior. This will make all the difference in the world, because if we know how God has changed us and choose to believe that that is the way we are, it will affect the way we live… “For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Pr.23:7 parenthesis mine)

The question is, “who do we think we are?”

If Christians think that they are sinners, if they think they are weak, if they think that they are afraid, sick, poor, problem filled or anything else un-Christ-like, that is the way they will be. But if we think that we are the righteousness of God, if we believe we are saints, if we believe we are strong, wise, free and Christ-like, “that” is the way we will be.

Even natural psychology understands this principle and the power of how we think about ourselves. They know that just thinking positively affects the way we feel and the way we act. The difference is, they are dealing with natural power and though profitable will gain only natural affects, and those affects will be limited. But when we put our faith in God’s word and in the change the word has produced within us, we will have the supernatural power of God’s word at our fingertips. And the word of God always has the power to bring itself to pass when believed in. (Isa. 55:11) That is how the “impossible” comes to pass.

So, let’s look at what the bible says about us as “born again” Christians. It says this… “as he is (talking about Jesus) so are we in this world." (1 Jn. 4:17 parenthesis mine) The bible says that we are just like Jesus is, only in this world. Now that is so big, it is hard to comprehend; and that is because there is no end to who the Lord is and what he is like, and yet the amazing thing is, we are just like he is! However, to keep this simple and practical, I’d like to first take a look at what Jesus was like when “he” was in this world. This will begin to give us an indication of what “we” are like in this world.

First of all, (at least in my mind), what I noticed about Jesus was that before he allowed evil men to take his life; there was no one, nor anything that could harm him. Though he was constantly under pressure of attacks of the devil and of evil men, Jesus had complete and total protection. No one and no thing could lay a finger on him. And then going beyond that, before Jesus allowed evil men to take his life, he was always healthy, and always whole; spirit, soul and body. He had all wisdom, compassion, love, patience and understanding. He had no need go unmet and was always in God’s perfect will. He had the correct answer for every problem that faced him and went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. He not only resisted evil successfully in his own life, but overturned it wherever he went. He had no faults, was perfect and righteous in all his ways, and never fell to any temptation of sin. All in all, he was just like God. And “we” are just like he is! Wow!

But wait; if that seems a lot to believe about ourselves, the bible stretches our thinking and our faith even more. The truth is; now that Jesus is in heaven, (after having spoiled principalities and powers) he holds a greater position than when he was on the earth. He now says, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Mt. 28:18) Wow again! Listen to what Paul prays for and wants us to realize: (A little long here but well worth it!)

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet…” (Eph. 1:18-22 NIV)

As Christians, we actually have the same power residing within us that raised Jesus from the dead! And we are seated with Christ in a place of authority over evil. (Eph. 2:6) Can you believe this about yourself? Yes you can! Because it is true, and Paul prays that we realize that. How else would we be able to do what Jesus said we’d do; (and that is, that we would do the same works “he” did and even greater), unless we were like him and seated with him? (Jn 14:12)

Imagine now what would occur if we ALL started believing this about ourselves. What would happen is that we would become just like that which we believe. Over the course of time, all of us, within our own calling and sphere of influence would be going about doing good, healing those oppressed by the devil, and destroying the works of evil everywhere in the wisdom and power of Jesus himself. Whew!

Too far fetched …? Listen to another scripture from Ephesians:

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4: 11-13)

We are ALL, (as individuals and as a whole) supposed to come unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. And it will only come when in unity we believe what the bible says about us. It will never come by trying harder.

So, let’s unite by believing God’s word together. Let us allow God’s word to rule and overrule our own thinking. Even if it is hard to believe or it doesn’t seem that it is so or could be possible, let’s… “Trust in the Lord with all our heart; and lean not unto our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge him, (and what he says) and he shall direct our paths.” (Pr. 3:5 parenthesis and paraphrase mine)

When we comply with the New Testament by believing what it says about us, in time, we will be transformed and we will be able to do and say the same as Jesus when he said,

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk. 4:18-19)

It is just a matter of who we think we are.

Posted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering, (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:14

Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord's power will help them do as they should. Romans 14:4 NLT
They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, ".... But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!" John 8:7 NLT

As a pastor of the Christian gospel and a black woman, I feel uniquely qualified to offer a perspective on the current conversation. Particularly, since I have purchased and listened to tapes of Pastor Wright at length and repeatedly as well as read some of the church publications. Indeed at one point in time my husband, who is also an ordained minister and pastor considered joining the denomination.
Pastor Wright is an experienced and learned man of the gospel and the world. Jesus never calls anyone to serve for their perfection but for their willingness to humbly serve. Pastor Wright has demonstrated he mourns for the "least of these" in sermon and service. The call of a pastor is not make the world more comfortable.
Pastors, all pastors chosen of God, are called to persuade, compel, and cause humanity to recognize their preferences may indeed be prejudices when aligned with the principles of God. Moreover, pastors must awaken their generation from apathy and contentment that they might pursue purposes greater than their present need and beyond their personal greed.
Lastly, in America there is a historical and contemporary issue of race that permeates the culture which includes the religious life. Christians do not measure their relationship with God on religious traditions, trends, or talk but on the truth of the word of God. We recognize that the vessels chosen by God bring their experiences and emotions with them; pastors are working out their own salvation as they are leading us in the God-given vision. We can accept a pastor who is not 100% of what we believe because our faith is in Jesus Christ and Christianity is based on a deep and abiding personal relationship with the Lord. Barack Obama cannot leave his church-home or pastor until God directs him to do so.
For all we know God has Senator Obama there to show Pastor Wright a more excellent way.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee's Support of Hillary Clinton

On May 14, 2007, the Clinton Campaign announced the endorsement of Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and named her a National Campaign Co-Chair and Gulf States Regional Co-Chair. In her endorsement of Senator Clinton Lee stated, ”I am pleased today to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for President. Senator Clinton has a great love for America and has a deep understanding of the issues that face our nation. I look forward to having a strategic role in the campaign and helping this dedicated public servant become the next President of the United States.”

As I have stated in a previous post, I truly admire Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee. In that same posting I wrote: “ Why would Congresswoman Shelia Jackson-Lee or any other Black elected official continue in their roles in Senator Clinton’s campaign? What can their girl Hillary say to them after Bill has embraced right wing talk radio hosts led by Limbaugh? What future post or job is worth selling the hopes and dream of one’s race to a couple that would do and say anything to return to the White House?” I now believe that I may have answers to the above-mentioned questions.

Congressman Sheila Jackson-Lee will be Vice President on a Senator Hillary Clinton ticket for the Presidency. How you may ask did I come to the conclusion that Jackson-Lee is slated for the VP slot on the ticket? I am glad that you asked.

On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi make public comments that included the statement “Take it from me there will be a dream ticket but it won’t be these two candidates together (Obama and Clinton).

The Speaker’s statement reminded me of a reply that I received while participating on a live call on a local political program in Houston. After I asked the panel what post did Clinton promise Jackson-Lee for her support one of the host responded that rumor has it that Lee will be the Vice President on Hillary’s ticket.

Does Hillary Clinton, Congresswomen Lee, and Nancy Pelosi, think that Senator Obama’s loyal and die-hard supporters will embrace Clinton as the Democratic nominee just because Congresswoman Shelia Jackson-Lee is on the ticket? News flash to Hillary, Jackson Lee, the world, and Hillary’s entire campaign staff the answer is a resounding “NO.”

I am very passionate in my support for Senator Obama. I believe in my heart that this is a divine time for Obama and this country. We all know that our God works in mysterious ways. God has given all of us free will. I hope and pray that people in power will not let greed and the need for more power cause them to self-destruct as a democracy and as a nation.

As a race of people we are all familiar with the passage in the bible that states that the greatest country in the world is going to fail. It is my belief that America is that country.

In one of my posting titled ”A Prayer for the Protection of Senator Barack Obama” I wrote in part: “God we know that the enemy comes to seek, to devour, and to destroy. Father God please protect Obama from the people of this world who do the enemy’s works on the earth.

Lord we have seen what the enemy has done in Pakistan and Kenya. Please Lord protect this country from the same type of election turmoil, confusion, and strife that is the current reality of those two countries and in other nations on the earth.

Please Father God spare us from the fate and the division caused during the 2000 presidential election. Please God place it in the hearts and minds of this nation and its people the wisdom and courage to demand and respect an orderly, fair, and impartial political process during this historic election year. Lord we pray that America will once again be a true example of democracy, love, and peace to the rest of the world.”

Karl Rove and the Republican Party successfully split the Black vote by giving “cash” to black churches and by placing the gay marriage issue on the ballot in key states. My uncle, two sisters, and many members of a previous church voted for George Bush. My sisters and uncle would later tell me that Bush tricked them.

The Clintons, Republicans, or the Democratic Party will not trick us as a people. It is now time for America and the Democratic Party to put up or shut up. This country has preached that Affirmative Action is not needed because America offers equal opportunity to all of its citizens.

According to many White Americans, if Black Americans worked hard, were law abiding, and obtained a good education they could obtain any position in this nation and achieve the American dream. The ultimate American position and/or dream is the become the President of the United States of America.

Senator Barack Obama has played by all the rules. He has worked hard and has by all account ran an excellent campaign. He has won more pledged delegates, states, and votes than Clinton. The super delegates of the Democratic Party must support Obama as the nominee if at the end of the primary process he has won more pledge delegates and has more votes than Senator Clinton.

As a nation we united after we were attacked by al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001. Therefore, we know that it is possible for this country to unite. Under the leadership of President Barack Obama this country will once again stand united as one nation under God.

The Clintons with all of their baggage cannot and will not unite this country. Our entire nation suffered during the impeachment proceedings of President William Jefferson Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky saga. Having the Clintons in the White House again would be extremely bad for America in general and for Black Americans in particular.

Lastly Congresswoman Lee if I am wrong in my assumption that Senator Clinton has promised you the Vice Presidency for your support please forgive me. If I am correct please don’t let the Clintons or anyone else use you to seek and/or secure a THIRD term for President Bill Clinton or a THIRD term for the failed policies of George Bush.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real Or Imagined.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We are called to be sheep so why do we sometimes behave like ostriches?

We are called to be sheep so why do we sometimes behave like ostriches?

Job 39:
13 "The ostrich flaps her wings grandly, but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
The ostrich is not like the stork. She is prideful and arrogant as she flaps about, the sound of the ostrich is a shrill wailing. The ostrich makes such flagrant moves because she believes she looks good and wants to be seen so she makes a scene. (It was once fashionable for women to wear hats adorned with ostrich plumes.) However, the beautiful and valuable feathers of the ostrich are not equal to those of the stork.

The stork is gentle. She is not wild nor is she arrogantly strutting about creating a chaotic commotion. In contrast the stork leads a calm and serene life.

As we consider the characteristics of these two creatures we can see perhaps that differences in what carnal and godly people display in life. Perhaps one might say the stork embodies the fruit of the spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22 -26
The ostrich is an example of one living selfishly and stupidly, regarding and respecting no one. She is full of vain glory, she is provocative, and is envious and desires to be envied.

Sadly, in life many of us do envy the ostriches, those ostentatious persons, who speak too loudly, too often, too much, too coarsely, and with too little prayer. We can find ostriches in the church. Often they are talented and gifted but they are rarely beneficial to the ministry because it is so difficult to work with them. When compliments are given out they always find a way to redirect the shine on themselves, seemingly mindless that we as Christians do all to the glory of God in the name of Jesus and never in our own names.

Job 39:
14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. 15 She doesn't worry that a foot might crush them or that wild animals might destroy them. 16 She is harsh toward her young, as if they were not her own. She is unconcerned though they die, 17 for God has deprived her of wisdom. He has given her no understanding. 18 But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.

Ostriches do not understand their responsibility to God is demonstrated by serving others. Sadly, those ostriches who do become mothers never seem to connect with their children, their careless behavior does not cease while they are pregnant and continues after they give birth.

Allowing her eggs to be warmed in the dust is the same as allowing one’s fetus to be developed in whatever carnal environment one finds oneself. She has not concern for establishing a covenant relationship and building a home in which she can warm and protect her eggs. Carefully, determining what will be allowed into the environment in which she will raise her young. No the ostrich allows the eggs to wallow about in the dust unprotected.

Ostriches do not concern themselves with the wild asses, dogs, swine, and other animals of prey that may attack her eggs. She does not consider that humans walking about hunting may be unaware that an egg is lying about and may unintentionally crush it.

Should the fragile eggs reach maturity the ostrich is detached from her young and cruel to them, she lacks maternal connection and concern. God has deprived her of wisdom. This is not because God is unloving.

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.

Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.

Pro 15:33 The fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility.

God has never changed, He is available to all who seek Him. Often we see people in the church who confess Christ but who seemingly have not completed the conversion…they are hanging onto some ostrich feathers. Maybe we ourselves have some treasured ostrich feathers.

Perhaps we are guilty of a little flapping about and grandstanding when we should be meekly and obediently following. Likewise, we may be careless with the young or young in the faith in our life.

If we are not mothers, we are not excused from nurturing responsibility of the children God brings into our lives whether in our extended family, church family, community, or by circumstance.

Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us. James 1:27

We must be able to discern that the children of the ostrich are spiritual orphans. Their mothers may be visible but that does not mean she is providing a viable parental support. Moreover, we cannot allow our disdain for her choices to divert us from our responsibility from caring for the children. It may well be the children of the ostrich who lead her to Jesus. Moreover, when we allow the ostriches in the church or in the world to determine our course of action then we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted.

Amazingly, the ostrich has two known characteristics: swiftness and foolishness. There are two sayings “foolish as an ostrich” or “swift as an ostrich”. The ostrich when sensing fear does not have a fight or flight sense, she will bury her head in the sand or she will run from her problems.

Ostriches burying their heads in the sand refuse to see what everyone around them sees. Her finances are a mess and she continues shopping. She changes who the name of who she is dating but basically it is the same old character with same old problems and she cannot understand why she has relationship troubles. Her attitude is negative and she talks more than she listens which results in her having problems with roommates, friends, on the job, and even in public and she just does not receive the message she needs to make an adjustment. We have all been there and we all know some ostriches. When you catch yourself in an ostrich moment ask yourself when the last time you were in the fellowship of the saints was. Why? Because sheep are flock animals they are safe in the fold being led by the shepherd. Ostriches are proud and arrogant, mean, and can even be violent…they rarely travel in flocks, now maybe you see a few in a pack.

Ostriches running from trouble wait for no one. She will abandon children, friends, job, and church. Often she does not even seek to obtain the details to see if there is a true problem or if resolution is possible. She allows her fear to rule and she goes on the run. Someone whispers there is trouble and she pulls a disappearing act – no notice, no remorse.

Sadly, the meanness of the ostrich will allow her to try and move on without considering what or who she has abandoned. She will use any manipulation to be the innocent or the victim…rumor and innuendo is a favorite tactic.

Perhaps we have been guilty of giving in, giving out, or giving up too soon. We must remember our faith is strengthened in the congregation. It is through Bible study fellowship, personal devotional periods, prayer, and consistent commitment to God that is expressed through consistent commitment to a local congregation that we grow, serve, and worship. It is during the fellowship that we become more like sheep. We need to come together as often and regularly as possible so that develop and maintain sheep characteristics and tendencies.

Hebrews 10:21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's people, 22 let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. 23 Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God's judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. 28 Anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God's mercy to his people.

May God grant us the grace and strength to be sheep even if there ostriches in our midst. Amen.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Governor Eliot Spitzer – The Truth Will Be Revealed

Governor Spitzer is a fraud and he should resign. He is the poster child for hypocrisy. I was lying in bed today watching CNN when the news anchor announced the breaking news that Governor Eliot Spitzer was accused of being involved in a prostitution ring. Spitzer's involvement in the ring was caught on a federal wiretap as part of an investigation opened in recent months, according to The Associated Press.

Spitzer victimized me in his role of Attorney General of New York State. Governor Spitzer was the New York State Attorney General (he was elected in November 1998) when a member of his staff Mike Russo, Assistant New York State Attorney General, willfully and knowingly filed seven perjured declarations and affirmations in the United States District Court of Western New York.

The declarations were filed to prevent a jury from ruling that the Defendants violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended. I believe that by filing the perjured declarations New York State Attorney General’s Office also victimized me. Once again I encountered racism, this time in the judicial system.

Mike Russo filed the perjured declarations in support of the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and in opposition to my motion for summary judgment. G. Goncalves, Diversity Management, Mike Russo, Superintendent A. Andrews, Sergeant William Reed, James Berbary, Deputy Superintendent of Administration, Mary Beth Lindsay, Senior Personnel Clerk and Lee Gould, Director of Personnel New York State Department of Corrections all signed sworn perjured declarations.

In my Book titled “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined” I discussed some of the evidence including direct evidence and legal argument that I presented to the United States District Court Western District of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. The evidence proved that seven of the declarations, filed by the New York State Attorney General’s office were false.

On May 28, 2005, an Erie County, New York Assistant District Attorney reviewed my documentation of multiple perjury allegations against New York Attorney General's Office and various New York employees.

I was told by the Erie County District Attorney’s office that the statute of limitations on perjury is 5 years. The declarations were submitted in September and November 2000. The perjured depositions were recorded on October 98 (1) June 8, 2000.

After his reviewed he referred me to the United States Justice Department. I contacted the United States Justice Department and at their telephone request e-mailed extensive documentation on May 29, 30, and 31, 2005.

In July 2005 Jane Wolfe and Allison Gioia both United States Justice Department attorneys, reviewed my perjury allegations and direct evidence supporting the allegations. The United States Justice Department informed me that they were referring my case to the FBI for an investigation. I telephoned the FBI and was told that they could not confirm or deny the fact that my allegations were being investigated because of confidentiality rules.

I am so full and thankful that Governor Spitzer true character has been exposed. If we hold on and trust in God he will deliver us from all of our enemies. I know that I will finally receive justice in my case.

PSALM 54 The Lord is Our Helper

Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.
Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.

Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.

He will reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.

I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for
it is good.

For he had delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just Believe!

But Moses protested again, "Look, they won't believe me! They won't do what I tell them.
They'll just say, `The LORD never appeared to you.' "Exodus 4:1

This morning’s inspirational reading delivered to me in an e-newsletter from Foundation for A Better Life blessed my soul. As I sat at my desk contemplating the day and scanning my electronic messages I couldn’t help but pause, reflect on the message and thank God! All the doubtful thoughts were under arrest, my thinking was changed. My spirit must have shouted, "About face! " The words that moved me and stirred my soul silently ushered me to mentally reverence the moment and the many acts of kindness that God had bestowed on me and my circle of loved ones. Lord knows that there's much to beleive Him for! And there it was right before my eyes!

What were the words you asked? What had I read?

“First thing every morning before you arise say out loud, 'I believe,' three times.”
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993), author, preacher

Without hesitation I dropped my head and silently began to praise God! I wanted to cry tears of joy but knew I’d be a real mess and my work day attire and work appearance would be over. So I tried to hold it together. "No Lord, please no runny eye makeup, creating raccoon eyes and no runny noise, I have no tissue! "It was as though I was on tip toes, my heart and tear ducts would burst if I wasn’t careful. I tried to be still with my praise at work. "So far, so good !" I am sure that’s what I felt. But friends God was at work and I couldn’t control the flood of inward praise- a litany of praise rolled out of my heart and spilled from my lips! Joy was birthed! Praise declarations announced a stream of I Believe's:

God I do believe that you love me and your love rescues and restores us! Lord thank you!
God I do believe that my son and daughters will succeed and reach out to many others! Lord thank you!
God I do believe the best is yet to come and you hear our prayers! Lord thank you!
God I do believe that I have the heart to forgive! Lord thank you!
God I do believe we’ll make it through the sun and the rain! Lord, thank you!

For a moment friends embrace the belief that if you still your spirit, lift up a prayer of thanksgiving your outlook will invariably change! I am sure thatyour heart will be refreshed and elevated with excitement regarding the possibilities that can be manifested; if you have the heart to believe!

Finally, in your minds eye reflect on His abiding love, gifts of grace and mercy and watch God speak through your spirit and pronounce your beliefs! Just believe God, believe God for your very life, your spiritual sustenance, your real need!

Does your reverence for God give you no confidence?Shouldn't you believe that God will care for those who are upright?Job 4:6 (NIV)

Joyfully submitted by Linda Mose Meadows
Author of: The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hillary Clinton’s Determination to Win – The Nuclear Option

Psalm 40 : 1-4

[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, [and] established my goings.

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Blessed [is] that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
I am frighten for this country and the Democratic Party because it appears that the Clintons have decided on the nuclear option for the 2008 Presidential election. Hillary doesn’t care if she splits the country or the Democratic Party apart in the process. Hillary Clinton actions and words demonstrate that the next President of the United States will be either her or John McCain.

Evidence to support the above-mentioned statement that it’s either Hillary or McCain is found in the Limbaugh and Clinton connection. After Limbaugh ran into Bill Clinton in a NYC restaurant in May 2007 he had to explain his civil behavior to his outraged audience. Fast-forward to February 2008, and the two political arch rivals may have formed an alliance.

On February 29, 2008, Laura Ingram was the guest host on The O’Reilly Factor. Ingram interviewed Rush Limbaugh. In an effort to secure victory for the Republican Party Limbaugh urged Republican voters in Texas to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries in Texas and Ohio.

On Tuesday March 4, 2008, Clinton won both primaries in Texas and Ohio. This week Bill Clinton appeared as a guest on The Rush Limbaugh talk radio show and was interviewed by a guest host because Rush was not present. This is appalling, why hasn’t Senator Clinton denounced and rejected Limbaugh’s endorsement?

I am having a reality check about the pending election process and the fact that this country is going “backwards.” I am amazed that some black are still supporting the Clintons. I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that 16 percent of Black voters cast ballots for Senator Clinton in Texas.

Additionally, why would Congresswoman Shelia Jackson-Lee or any other Black elected official continue in their roles in Senator Clinton’s campaign? What can their girl Hillary say to them after Bill has embraced right wing talk radio hosts led by Limbaugh? What future post or job is worth selling the hopes and dream of a one’s race to a couple that would do and say anything to return to the White House?

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.”

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

We need one another

We need one another to make it through the day and to make it from here to eternity. God created us for fellowship with Him and one another.

Greatness is often learned in the moments of deepest despair. Our valleys empower us to climb mountains. The rivers we cross produce stamina and strength that we need to swim against the current. The fellowship developed while aiding one in need or receiving aid while we are in need affirm the love of Christ continues and is a testimony the world.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:14

Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

As we climb mountains we encounter those who are on the journey to fully knowing Jesus. We interact with some who inspire us with their faith and encourage us with their testimony. There are those who need us to help them along the way. It is necessary for us to help and to be helped. If you find you do not have the balance for climbing higher ask God if it is because you are not allowing others to help you or if it s because you have not helped anyone?

It seems odd that we would swim against the current until you realize that resistance builds strength. Far too often we find ourselves just going along...not making any waves. However, we were created to make a difference, we were created for good works in Christ Jesus. Everywhere Christ went He made a difference. What difference have you made lately?

Mountain climbing and river crossing are best done in collaboration. So too is living a disciplined life of Christian faith. God wants us to stay together for together we have power and strength. We need each other.

Hebrews 10:23 -2523 Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. {NLT}

Bishop Desmond Tutu explained the ancient African concept of ubuntu - which is much like the Christian concept of fellowship.

Ubuntu is a concept that we have in our Bantu languages at home.
Ubuntu is the essence of being a person. It means that we are people through other people. We cannot be fully human alone. We are made for
interdependence, we are made for family. When you have ubuntu, you embrace others. You are generous, compassionate. If the world had more ubuntu, we would not have war. We would not have this huge gap between the rich and the poor. You are rich so that you can make up what is lacking for others. You are powerful so that you can help the weak, just as a mother or father helps their children. This is God's dream.

Come let us worship and serve the Lord, Jesus Christ and fulfill His prayerful desire for us as recorded in John 17:21

My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father-that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. John 17:21 NLT

Monday, March 3, 2008

A New Way Of Living

In my last article, I quoted a scripture from the book of Romans that is probably familiar to most Christians. What I would like to do here is to go over that same scripture and some related thoughts in order to clarify and expand upon their meaning and relevance to our lives today.

Paul the apostle said this, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do." (Rom, 7:18-19)

In the context of this chapter, what Paul is specifically talking about is the inablility we have in keeping God's law in order to attain salvation. God's law demands perfect obedience, but because of "sin" in our fallen flesh, we do not have the power to keep it perfectly. That is why Jesus came, so that he could keep it for us. And it is through our faith in Christ as our substitute, that we can enjoy the blessings of salvation as if we kept the whole law ourselves.

But more than this, this scripture typifies our condition even "after" we have accepted Jesus as our savior and have been "born again." You see, even though our souls are redeemed through our faith in Christ, our "flesh" is not; at least not yet. Paul said this,

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waithing for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Rom. 8:22-23)

So, even though we have received the first fruits of the Spirit, (i.e. the born again experience and the promise of eternal life) our bodies are not yet redeemed. That is, our flesh is still mortal, has sin in it, and is subject to the power of sin. Simply put, we still don't have the power within ourselves to fulfill God's requirements in our lives. That is where the word of God and our faith come into play again. Just as our faith in Jesus saved us and supernaturally changed us spiritually, our faith in the word of God will supernaturally "transform" us and enable us to "do" the things we are commanded to do, (despite the sin in our flesh). And as in our salvation, it won't be by our own "trying," but it will be through our faith in God's word and through God's supernatural power.

It is worthy to note here, that the commands we have to live a righteous life after salvation are not intended to keep us in good standing with God. That would be impossible. We would have to keep those commands perfectly to do so. No, we are "... justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Rom. 3:28) The reason that we are commanded by God to live righteously is for our own good and for the good of those around us. Living right has good consequences and sin has bad consequences. God wants us to live right in order to enjoy the benefits of a righteous life and to avoid the consequences of sin, just like any good parent would. (Gal. 6:7-9)

The wonderful thing about all of this, (and the point of this article) is that God provides us with the power to live righteously. And the bible calls this way of living "walking in the Spirit."

Paul says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal. 5:16-17)

If we do not learn what it means to "walk in the Spirit," we will continually be trying in our own strength to please God and to do well, and will be struggling with a flesh that does not have the ability to do either.

"Very" basically, "walking in the Spirit" means to believe in what God's word says about us, rather than what we think about or see in ourselves. It is believing that in Christ we are already what we need to be and already have what we need to have, rather than trying to produce any of it ourself. It is believing rather than trying, and the key to this way of living is the "new birth." It is key because when we accept Christ as our savior a real change occurs on the inside of us; the "spiritual" part of us. We are made into "new creatures" where "all things are of God" and we are once again created in God's image. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Our "new man" is the spiritual person within us that is Christ-like already. And it will be our faith in who we now are in Christ, (rather than the person that we see on the outside), that will empower us to do what we are called to do. It will bring what is on the inside to the outside. Paul called this, being "transformed by the renewing of our mind." (Rom. 12:1-2) It is a new way of thinking, and living, (one of believing rather than trying) but is the only way that will enable us to do the things which we cannot do ourselves.

This does not mean however, that we neglect our natural lives and doing the best that we can. It means that while we are doing the best we can in the natural, we are developing our faith in the word of God in order to enhance and empower our natural lives supernaturally. I have heard it called "putting God's super on our natural."

Most Christians understand that we "are saved by grace through faith," but then try living by works. They try to be the best Christians that they can be. But as Paul said, that is futile. What they don't realize is that it is just as impossible to live the Christian life by trying harder as it is "becoming" a Christian by trying harder. Our call is to believe, not do, and it is the believing that will bring the transformation needed for us to "do."

The Old Testament was about what man was required to "do." And it proved to be impossible. The New Testament is about what man is required to "believe." (It was Jesus alone who fulfilled God's law, so we need first to believe in Jesus for salvation and then believe in whom we become in Christ in order to be able to live the Christian life). It is by believing in God's word that will save us and will also empower us to do those things that we cannot do ourselves. It is the difference between believing and trying, where trying just doesn't work. It has to be by faith, and not by our works or trying for, "The just shall live by faith." (Gal. 3:11)

The bible says, "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest," that is, the "rest" of the finished work of Christ in us. When we begin believing that we are already Christ-like, that we are already as good as we need to be, that we are already pleasing to God, (rather then "trying" to be that way) then we will begin the process of being able to live just like that.

Trying harder and putting demands on ourselves only makes our problems worse. It will actually "strengthen" sin, because, "...The strength of sin is the law." (1Cor. 15:56) BUT, if we "Walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Gal. 5:16, my paraphrase) Without understanding this concept and knowing how to apply it properly in our lives, Christianity will become a vicious cycle of commitments, trying, failure, guilt and disappointment; a life of enslavement to standards that we can never live up to. Freedom, rest, and empowerment will only come by walking in the Spirit.

It really is a matter of understanding what it means to "walk in the spirit." So, because of the importance and the all encompassing nature of this way of life, my articles will always employ facets of this concept. However, if this is new to you or you would like to reinforce the understanding that you already have, I would strongly suggest a book by Watchman Nee entitled, "Sit, Walk, Stand." This little book does a better job than I can do in short articles, and serves as a tremendous foundation on this "New Testament" way of living. No other book that I have read, with the exception of the bible, has helped me to properly align my thinking and my doing to the New Testament way of thinking and doing than this one.

So, if you want to learn how to stop living on a treadmill of exhausting effort; always trying to be and do good enough and never feeling like you quite make the grade, and instead find out how to tap into God's power and freedom and rest in your Christian life, this book is an excellent place to start.

Submitted by John B. Agati

Author of: "Suffering (God's Will?)"

More information about this and an upcoming book "Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing)," along with a short bio may be found at:

Whatever You Want Me to Give You

That night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, "What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!" 2Ch 1:7 (NIV)

I just couldn’t gather the momentum to do my morning dance in preparation for work; I was under the weather, tired, and drained. There was no push available – I realized I needed the rest. The body said, “Nope!” and I said, “Okay!” After awakening I realized that I needed some spiritual sustenance, it was the brunch needed. My spirit was saying:

Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth Psa 46:10 (NIV)

This was a quite moment, a moment to be still and pray; reflect on not only my needs, but how sparse my prayer life had been in the midst of some really hectic and stressed filled days. My spiritual armor had some dings and dents and my hit and miss prayer life was missing the mark. Today I was glad I choose not to push myself and finally I awoke refreshed and knew before I did anything, I at least owed God his due praise, so I gathered my favorite study bible, prayer book and wouldn’t you know it as I read a prayer, and reread the prayer seeking Guidance and Wisdom there were two scripture references. God had made it really very easy for me and you today friends through the author of the prayer which referenced two scriptures 2 Chronicles 1 and Job 12. I never got to Job 12-I really appreciated 2 Chronicles and stopped there.

When I flipped open my bible there it was friends, notes I written some time ago about the importance of prayer-short clips that I must have written during a worship service or bible lesson that spoke to the importance of prayer. Some of my notes that were written read as: devout, reverent praise and adoration, submission, daily business of saints, voice reaching the ear of God, routine, laboring before God, birthed out of the spirit from your heart! Visible presence of God through the Holy Spirit, His Shekinah Glory! Oh friends my notes taken during a time I had long forgotten, blessed and reminded me what was missing in my fatigued state were God’s exact words and a healthier, more consistent prayer life!

And then as I read the scripture, it was evident that God was clearly speaking to me when I read of King Solomon’s prayer to God’s question in 2 Chronicles 1:7 WHATEVER YOU WANT ME TO GIVE YOU! My spirit said, “Hey, hey that’s God talking, he’s asking the question, He’s making the request! He’s honoring Solomon’s prayer!”

All I can say is quickly reference the scriptures and read them for your own edification! It’s right there folks. As I’ve heard the elders say, “It’s plain as day!” There’s no need to be down! We too can ask for good things from the Lord and be encouraged that He desires to give us the needed provisions for our lives. In our weary states we can hold fast to the knowledge that the good that God desires for us far out weighs all we can ask or think.

Come on and let’s get excited and rejoice that:

God desires to give us and future generations, the desires of our heart; His word confirms it!

God desires to bless us abundantly with providing for our needs; His word is clear!

God desires to impart His great knowledge and His Wisdom; He says so!

God desires that we follow and obey His command, we’ll be blessed: it’s real!

God desires that we persevere in faithfulness and be careful to walk in His ways as we possess wisdom & exceptional knowledge of His word!

Thank you Lord for reminding us today that whatever you want to give us, you certainly will, it’s available through prayer and your anointed Holy Spirit’s enlightenment.

So today wonderful Lord we can confidently tuck these words in our hearts as we pray in faith that you will answer with: “Whatever You Want Me to Give You!” Amen!

Joyfully submitted by Linda Mose Meadows
Author of: The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises