Matters of the heart 83 – January 2019

O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. (Psalm 96:1 KJV)

A new year an opportunity to sing a new song unto the Lord for new mercies I see daily. The song reminds us great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me and the Lord has been better than faithful. The older I get my hymn of praise is draw me nearer blessed Lord, to the cross where thou have died, draw me nearer blessed Lord, to thy precious bleeding side.

I am grateful that the Lord has brought me right up to a new year and I will continue to keep my hand in the Lord’s hand because I want the Lord with me wherever I go on this journey called life. I will continue to sing a new song of praise no matter if life has me on the spin cycle. I encourage you to be strong and courageous as Joshua was and do not be afraid no matter what it might look like, the lord is with you and has a plan for your life. The Lord will fight your battles and provide you with whatever you need to slay your giants. I may not know what tomorrow hold but I know who holds tomorrow and that is a comforting feeling that God is with me wherever I go, and I will continue to sing songs of Zion. Remain encouraged, Happy New Year.

Matters of the heart 82 – December 2018

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 NIV

This Christmas season, I have decided that it does not matter what is going on in my life, celebrating the birth of Christ should remind us if there were no birth, there would be no resurrection and the opportunity to have eternal life.  The hymn tells us that Jesus is a joy to the world, and sometimes we may sing this song in Church, but do we really know that Joy was birthed into this world so that we might have an everlasting, eternal joy that the world did not give us, and the world cannot take it away.  Our trials and tribulations should not be dependent upon our worship, and praise of whom the Prophet Isaiah said shall be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, the everlasting father and prince of peace.  The more I draw closer to God; nothing will get in the way of celebrating the birth of Christ.  Immanuel God with us.    No tsunami of human emotions shall take the place of recognizing that Christ is the joy for my sorrow and the hope and love that has come to redeem us by his shed blood for the remission our sins. There is no better gift than the gift of Christ, the real meaning of the season.  The song reminds us to forget about our self and concentrate on him and worship Christ the Lord.  Remain encourage and have a Merry Christmas.

Matters of the heart 81 – November 2018

So, he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 1Samuel 16:11NIV

Some of us are familiar with the text that instructed Samuel to go to the house of Jesse where the Lord said he would anoint one of his sons, King. If you have not read the scripture, I encourage you to read it because one can glean several insights into the heart of God, which should ultimately be the heart of man.  King David was the one tending sheep; he was one of Jesse’s sons, the youngest. The text describes him as Rudi.   He was almost overlooked because he was not in the house.  I believe many people would have picked one of Jesse’s sons in the house regardless of hearing from the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel in this chapter that he does not look on outward appearance but the heart of man.  This text has stayed with me, but how many are more concerned with the image instead of the heart. I know folk who talk about everyone; it is because they have self-esteem issues so to look big, they tear people down.  I am so very grateful that man’s choice is not Gods choice because many would have stayed in the house and would have never inquired of Jesse is there another son; especially one who was tending dirty sheep.  Let us remind ourselves that we are all dirty in the sight of the Lord, filthy in our righteousness.  The odor is intensified through our arrogance, self-righteousness, and boasting.  There have been opportunities in our life when we have dined with aristocrats and the who’s who by man standards.  Some of us have a few degrees that have afforded us advantages and opportunities; we have luxuries that others will never be able to obtain, we have experienced places and cultures that others will only read about, we snub our nose to what is described in the Gospel of Matthew to the least of these. Publicly and privately.  Jesus continued to use people throughout scripture with no name, people who were marginalized. One must ask themselves the question are you a follower of Christ or are you one of the Pharisees or Sadducees?  We must not forget, we are striving to be more Christ-like and in this pursuit, the scripture reminds us to be humble.  As followers of Christ, let us not sit down until we invite those outside inside.  Remain encouraged God bless you.

Matters of the heart 80 – November 2018

Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7 NIV)

Today is Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be grateful for especially if we look at what is going on in the world. Every day the Lord wakes us up puts breadth in our body is reason alone to be thankful. A healthy Christian walk overflows with gratitude and praise, primarily if you are rooted in the word and continuing to grow in the knowledge of the faith. The song reminds us every day gets sweeter with Jesus. In this letter to the Colossians Paul is telling the followers of Christ, that praise and thankfulness should be deep in the soul.
As we gather with family and friends or however one chooses to spend the day, let us forget about our problems and hectic schedules and think on good things, and those good things which are too numerous to name when we look back over our lives should lead us to have hearts that are overflowing with thankfulness. I am even excited about what God has in store for the rest of my life because as I am rooted and built up in him, meaning still a work in progress, the best is yet to come. Remain encouraged and have a blessed day.

Matters of the heart 79 – November 2018

“Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” Hebrews 3:1 (NIV)

Over the Past several months Con Edison has been doing significant work throughout the city.  This massive undertaking has been a nuisance, and cars had to be rerouted. There are police roadblocks and on occasion a minor traffic delay.  There are signs placed to let the traffic know this is the direction of the detour to get you where you are going.

I thought about this detour occurring in my neighborhood as it relates to our thoughts taking a detour, and our minds are no longer guarded and fixed on Jesus.  We start to reflect on the negative things that can be going on in and around our life.  The enemies two greatest weapons are doubt and discouragement, and before you know it, if we are not careful, we can start arguing and fighting with people because we have been all up in our feelings. Placing unreasonable expectations of people who are unaware of our thoughts. Our minds can be the hardest battleground to fight for that is why we need to fix our thoughts on Jesus.  The more our thoughts can be on Jesus, the less storage place for the enemy and more positive attributes for the kingdom of God.

The writing to the Hebrews lets us know that Christ is supreme, superior, and enough. We need nothing in addition to Jesus Christ.  In this present day, a time of social media, we do not need to accumulate likes on Facebook.  We do not need to concern ourselves with the passive or aggressiveness of man’s behavior, people who like us and those who do not, we need to fix our thoughts on Jesus.   The mind is the first place the enemy attacks. The Lord will guard our hearts and minds and keep them pure if we give Christ the space that is needed, so we are unable to be devoured by the enemy’s weapons of mass destruction.  How often do we have a hurricane of emotions in our mind? Also, if we are not careful, we act out.  We say things we cannot take back; we make accusations that are unfounded. When something is disturbing to me, and the enemy is attacking, I saturate my mind with Jesus.  The Bible reminds us in Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Isaiah 26:3 states You will keep in perfect peace those whose thoughts are steadfast because they trust in you.   The great hymn of the Church “I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus,” how we start in the morning is how we should finish our day with our mind stayed on Jesus.  There will be times in our life when our minds are rerouted; I encourage you to take the necessary steps through prayer and Gods word to fix your thoughts on Jesus.  Stay encouraged.

Matters of the heart 78 – September 2018

“Does He not see my ways and number all my steps? Job 31:4 ESV

One of my greatest vindications in life is knowing that God knows all my ways, imperfect as they may be and because the Lord knows all my ways, the Lord knows the ways of all people whether good or bad.  People tell lies all day long or give information according to the way they interpret it. How do you defend yourself when you know people do not like you and do all manner of evil against you? How do you defend yourself when people bend the facts their way?  How do you defend yourself when you have no power, and those that do have power are manipulative, or maybe you did not play politics or give into sexual advances and or favors? I am so grateful that the Lord is the greatest defender of Justice. The Bible reminds us the righteous are not forsaken.  The Lord will bring order to chaos, and the lord will make crooked lines straight. We can look to David; he prayed without seizing and worshiped without worry. I know for sure the Lord will fight your battles and you will be vindicated. We might see the wicked prospering, but they will soon be cut down. We can stand in a court and swear before man, but the final judge and jury will be in front of the judgment seat of Christ. The Bible reminds us; therefore, this is what the LORD says: “See, I will defend your cause and avenge you; I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.  Sometimes we want to take matters into our own hands, and that can create more problems. We must hold our hands in prayer and continue to pray and rest assure that the Lord will vindicate the righteous because the Lord sees our ways and numbers our steps. Remain encouraged no matter what it looks like. God bless you.