Victory is Ours

Oh yeah! It’s Friday! And, despite the fact that my football team failed to make any points whatsoever last night, it’s still all joy today for me. My prayers are with our new quarterback that took a knee to the helmet and is in the hospital with a concussion. Maybe this injury will be used as motivation for improvement. I thank God that his situation was not worse. The team seemed to be injury-prone even before the season kick-off but I am still hopeful that they will have a good season.

Now, onto the history-making event last night! The Democrats nominated Barack Obama as their candidate for the presidency of the United States of America. I watched the Live event and couldn’t believe it. I am happy to see the progress made in our country. I think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the marches and rallies that were made for equality. I think about the segregation that dominated our country – and well, to see a few decades later the product of a bi-racial union be nominated to lead this country – well, words cannot really describe how I feel. Maybe, just maybe, change is coming to America.

So, why talk about football and the Democrats? Well, both events happened last night. But, more importantly, they both speak to struggle. NC State struggled last night and was ultimately shut out at the end of the game. African-Americans have struggled in this country in the past due to the color of their skin, but last night we saw an African-American accept the presidential nomination. To me, it tells me a story – to never give up and to keep pressing. I’m not speaking of doing things on our own – with our own might – like NC State tried to do. I’m talking about the continuation of leaning on the Lord and pressing on when things do not seem to be progressing. With God on our side, victory is ours, no matter the actual outcome. Ask any elderly African-American who endured the civil rights injustices.

So, today, I am going to have a great day. I’m going to work hard at work and do the necessary things for my job. After which, I will complete my errands and be glad. I have much to do today, but I will keep pressing and know that God is with me, and through Him, I too can be victorious. That’s the wonderful thing about God – with Him, no matter who you are – you too can be victorious! Oh, how I love Him today!!!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Simple News, Anyone?

Hello Bloggy Friends,

Sorry that I’m having to post later in the week this week. I’ve been slammed from morning till night working on a project. Prayers appreciated.

Have you seen the news lately? All the buzz is about the Democratic convention. The political pundits (and Republicans) are working overtime, reporting, spinning and casting. They must be even more tired than I am. Whatever happened to the days of “just-the-facts” reporting of the news – XYZ happened on Tuesday etc. I guess that was too bland.

Now, we have to listen to folks project their own opinion on something in which they have no control over – influence maybe – control, not happening.

It gets tiring really. One thing that really irked me was one broadcasting station’s scorecard of the event. The pundit recaps the evening and then tells viewers his spin on it accompanied by a letter grade – as if he is the teacher – as if this group asked for his grade. This pundit that I reference gave the Democratic stage – the actual platform – an “F” simply because he didn’t like it. He said it looked like a vegas slot machine. I personally thought the stage looked nice. See, subjective. And, if it’s subjective, it’s not “just-the-facts.”

Now, don’t get into a wild frenzy over my comments here. I’m neither Democrat nor Republican. Both sides need MUCH prayer, as a matter of fact, dont’ we all. But, my point is that I’m looking for a much simpler experience when I watch television. After a long, hard day, all I really want to do is just hear the facts – not have to try to pick out the pieces of truth from the report of the day. And, whenever possible, since news clips and bits cannot be trusted – as we’ve seen lately with all the manipulation of video – then I’d prefer to see the whole speech or the whole show…LIVE.

But, then again, I guess I’m dreaming. Nevertheless, I will continue to watch this convention as I can. And, I will watch the Republican convention too, and hopefully, the news will become easier to watch – less postering and more plain facts…maybe.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Extend Mercy and Grace

Aren’t you glad that God is a God of second chances?

I was just thinking about it now.

We mess up so many times but God is always right there ready to forgive us – ready to set us back on the right course again. I cannot help but marvel at His mercy and grace towards me over the years.

So, okay, over the last week and dare I say, the last 24 hours. God is that relevant in my life and I mess up that much!

I don’t know why He still loves me. Neither will I ever comprehend why He still cares. But, the fact of the matter is that He does. He does love me. He does care. I have security in knowing that this is fact, not fiction, not temporary but permanent.

The good news is that He still loves you and cares about you too. No matter how many times you fall on your face, He’s going to be right there, ready to receive your words of repentance, or whatever that case may be. He’s good like that.

So, knowing that God is a God of second-chances and ready to allow you to redeem yourself when you fall, be sure that you are offering that same “courtesy” to your neighbors – to your friends. If God forgives you and allows you another opportunity, then you should, in the spirit of being Christ-like, offer up the same mercy and grace.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

The Word at Saint Amanda’s

OOOOOOOOUUUUUUWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, I’m excited y’all.

Thursday night, I rolled on over to Saint Amanda’s in Garner. My pastor was preaching one night of their revival. And, I’ve got to tell you something – the Lord really used him. He was not operating at 100% in the flesh, you could see that on his face. But, one thing I do know, he allowed the Lord to use him 110%. The man preached the Word!

I believe that despite his physical condition, he came forth with the message because he believes in and fully trusts God. His faith in God allows him to do things that seem impossible to the eye. I have to give glory to God because I know that it was God’s strength that sustained the preacher and it was God’s message that came forth from the preacher. God is so good to us!

And it was such a timely Word. From my seat, I saw the faces of the people as God used the pastor to speak directly to their situation. I saw the knowing nods. I saw the conviction. I saw the trust. I saw the appreciation. I saw an eye full.

I did not leave that place the same way that I came in either. I was even more encouraged in the faith. I know that God can and God will use me when He deems it appropriate. I know that God can and God will continue to watch over and keep me. I know that my times are in His hands. And, I know that I love God more than ever and that this love will continue to grow.

May God bless you to have a great weekend!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Frustration and Exaltation

Yesterday, I was frustrated by the decisions of some folks that I have to interact with. The reason I was frustrated was that I had a clear goal in mind and a solid methodology to get to that place. When that pathway was not agreed to, I noticed a little thing called frustration rising within me.

I had to tell myself to “stop”! (sometimes talking to yourself isn’t crazy!)

Why?

Because if I did not stop the frustration train, it would have built up to anger, resentment and a whole lot of negative carriers that would have resulted in my caboose gliding out of the door – just like I was on rails!

I love the Bible because it recognizes that we are going to make mistakes – we will get frustrated – we will want to quit or give up on the task at hand, but it tells us to persevere and it tells us to sin not – to get things right – to not let pride trip us up. And, for that, I am most grateful.

The Bible has lots of practical advice for today.

So, today, I am much better – not even frustrated. Today, I am focused on the outcome of things from yesterday, recognizing that even in the choices made, I will find a way that God will be glorified. If I keep the focus on Him, then I can work for His glory. But as long as the focus remains on me, I will get frustrated while working.

I hope that you can understand this post today – and maybe some of you will be able to relate. The goal in our working, whether secular or not, is not that the “best” idea win but instead that God be glorified. And, one thing I know to be true is this – if you will submit to the Lord, He will exalt you in due time! Watch and see!!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Please God First

It occurred to me today, that some of you may be feeling like you are not being recognized as a key person in the environment in which you operate. At your job, you may not be feeling like your co-workers recognize your importance or your contribution to the team – when truthfully, you carry the team. Your family may not even notice that you are the glue that holds everyone together. Your community may not perceive your behind the scenes work to make the whole area beautiful. You may simply feel under-appreciated this morning.

I know this feeling. And, it used to beat me down until I realized something one day. The one thing I realized was this – it may not be the case that everyone recognizes your work, but God sees and He knows your every activity.

When we work, and go about our daily activities, we are to do it with recognition that all we do is for the Lord. We are to glorify Him in all of our activities and not do anything with the expectation that anyone will notice, or appreciate, but only with the understanding that what we do is for Him alone. So, don’t worry about pleasing or satisfying others as your main goal – work first to please the Lord.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Disappointment, Pity-Partys and Pits

Can I tell you something? Last Friday, I was disappointed. Something happened in a way that I really did not expect nor care for. As I mumbled my way through my disappointment, God caused me to know something about Himself. God never disappoints. He never fails. He always keeps his promises.

I began to look back over my life. I began to think back at the many disappointments in my life. Unfortunately, those disappointments are not hard to recall. I remember them – and some I remember rather explicitly. But now I have a choice to make.

I can either linger in the past disappointments or I can gather myself and get up from the pit. Now, a few years ago, I would have just set up camp to have my own brand of “pity-party.” And, boy, could I really through a pity party. I was really good at it.

But, now, I know that the longer my pity party lasts, the longer I deny and lock myself out from the power of God. When I through the pity party, I praise the situation and the evil forces at work in that situation. But when I decide that no matter what, I’m getting up from that situation, then I glorify the Father.

I realize that all my help comes from the Lord. He is my source and my sustainer. He is my strength and my shield. He is a “party” all in Himself when I get lost in Him.

Therefore now I realize, the victory is neither in the disappointment nor the pity-party, but the victory is in taking the hand of the Lord and lifting myself up out of the ditch – or pit – depending on how far we’ve fallen.

Dear readers, my admonishment to you today, is to get up out of that pit of disappointment and get on with your true purpose – praising God. And, when you do this, you will find that serving the Lord is more rewarding than anything else on Earth.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Worship is in the Little Things

It is a brand new week. Praise God.

I have much to look forward to this week. My friend Angela is going to post pictures from her mission trip to Malta. Her blog is here.

My friend Sandy will be celebrating a birthday this week. It’s a blessing to see another year.

Another friend has made it home after being away for almost 2 months for business. God delivered him there and back.

I have a job to go to which gives me money to pay the numerous bills that come my way.

I plan to go run errands and go to meetings this week.

I don’t have anything “big” going on. But, I praise God for all the things that He has and is doing. I am realizing that worship is not just in the big things but it is in the rudimentary things of life that compose every single day. Each day is a good day to be in the presence of the Lord. Each day is a good day no matter what happens because it is the Lord that gives us each day.

I want you to know today that no matter your circumstances and no matter what happens, you have an opportunity today to appreciate all that God is doing in your life. Tomorrow is not promised. Yesterday is gone. All we have is right here and right now. And, because I have even this, I praise God.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Revive Us Again

I’ve got a happy song in my heart. I like it and it just popped right in my head. It’s a hymn that we sing sometimes at our church called Revive Us Again. Here are the lyrics:

We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.

Refrain

Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.

We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.

Refrain

All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.

Refrain

All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.

Refrain

Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.

Refrain

So, as you prepare for this weekend, I pray that you will get some physical rest and that you will also get some spiritual rest so that you can be revived again to the purposes of God. Afterall, He has done so much for us already – check out the lyrics. How can we not praise Him ande give Him glory? But, I won’t write another post about that today. Yet, please carefully consider the lyrics and read them for what Jesus has done on our behalf and then ask the Lord to use this weekend to revive you again – to fill your heart with His love – to rekindle your soul with fire from above! And when He does, you can shout Hallelujah, Thine the glory! Hallelujah, Amen. Hallelujah, Thine the glory! My soul has been revived again!!!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Magnificent Dead Sea Scrolls

Last weekend I went to our Museum of Natural Science. They had the Dead Sea Scrolls on display. If you are anything like me, the first time you heard the term “Dead Sea Scrolls” you were a bit baffled.

What does that mean? Scrolls found in the Dead Sea? Impossible?

Well, the Scrolls were actually found in the caves of cliffs which share common terrain with the Dead Sea. Ah…the light comes on.

As you will find out (or already know) for 2,000 years, these caves in the Judean Desert were the resting place of hundreds of scrolls and fragments. It was only in 1947 that Bedouin goat-herders found the first scrolls – at that time having no idea of the significance of their discovery. From that time until 1956, 900 manuscripts were discovered. AMAZING!

Dating from 250 BC to 68 AD, these scrolls represent nearly all of the books of the Old Testament. Check the dates – they predate any previously know copies of Biblical texts by more than 1,000 years. WOW! WOW! WOW!

Of course, this is significant to me because I love the Word of God so much. Many of you know that I have several copies of Bibles around my house in different translations. (I know – could have saved some money by just using the computer, but I just love to HOLD the Word of God in my hands.) But, I couldn’t get a hold of those Dead Sea Scroll exhibits – they are in pressurized chambers with security on the display boxes. You don’t want to be touching those…just look closely with your hands in your pockets or on your side. Pretend that you are 8 again, shopping with your mom in the glassware section of her favorite department store, who constantly tells you “Don’t touch anything!” Well, maybe that was just my mom…

So anyway, for those reading the blog from North Carolina, you have until December to go and see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the museum. But, don’t wait – go today!

One note on that too – I went on a Saturday – it was crowded – so if you can go at an off-period, you may get more out of it and more time to bask in the mystery and wonder that are the Dead Sea Scrolls. And, if you go, leave your camera at home. Picture taking is not allowed. But, of course, you can buy souvenirs that have great pictures. So, bring a little spending cash.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.