Monday, June 29, 2009

An Invitation to Rest

One of the wisest spiritual mentors I have ever known, Pastor Aaron Jackson, Jr., said to me, " Son you must learn the discipline of slowing down". He further went to state, "Since we are to imitate God, Jesus was busy but he was never hurried because He always knew how to rest".

The idea of Jesus resting I must admit is almost foreign to me because I always associate Jesus with action, but rest is action too. Jesus learned how to rest, whether it was for Prayer, or Preparation or Personal Edification, Jesus knew how to rest. It was for Prayer that Jesus got away in Matthew 14:22-23. It was for preparation that Jesus went to the Wilderness in Matthew 4 and it was Personal Edification that Jesus went to Bethany in John 12.

John Ortberg in the chapter "An Unhurried Life" from the book The Life you always Wanted; Spiritual Disciplines for ordinary people" says we suffer from a disease known as "Hurry Sickness" It was defined as a continuous struggle and unremitting attempt to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more events in less and less time". Carl Jung picks up on this theme when he states, "Hurry is not OF the devil; Hurry IS the devil.

Jesus was quite aware of this problem so he repeatedly withdrew from crowds and activities and after giving his followers the power to do ministry, he taught them the principle of how to rest for the ministry that needed to be done.

Two men with axes in their hands look at two trees standing before them, One man is young, strong, powerful biceps, large trapezius muscles, well built and solid, while the other man is older, slumped in profile, more flabby then firm, more soft than solid, Wimpy than Hercules. The young man says to the old man, Old Timer I bet I can chop this tree down faster than you chop yours down. The old man says, Ok let's see.

The young man swings with massive strokes, powerful precision and wonderful wizardly. He swings till the sweat glistens from his bulging muscles and drips from his brow until finally the tree falls. 8 minutes and 20 seconds says the young man. The old man swings twice on one side and twice on the other side and one time in the middle and the tree falls down, 1 minute and 42 seconds says the old man.

How did you do it the young man screams, I am younger, stronger, and in better shape. You are old, broken down and beat up. The old man says, Yes it's true but my axe is sharper than your ax because I have learned not to swing at every tree that gets in my way".

I believe we are swinging with dull axes. It takes us longer to hear God's voice, longer to prepare, longer to hear our Word, longer to facilitate that Word because we are swinging with dull axes. We get upset over the smallest things, if someone speaks we judge how they speak, "What did they mean when they said Hello?" Dull axes! We judge when someone doesn't speak, "Who do they think they are?" Dull axes! Church members who are so fried and frayed at the edges because we run everywhere that they leave room for the devil to enter in because they are tired from lack of rest and Pastors who think it is super spiritual to burn the candle at both ends until we burn out because after all we are more than conquerors.

Jesus knew we would be like this, because his disciples were like this so he says one verse that I have always over looked in my attempt to get the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus says, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while."

As usual I have written too much so I leave you with this, Jesus gives us an invitation to rest and in that invitation He says:

Change Lanes:--Slow Down. Here is An invitation from Jesus to get out of the fast lane and move over to the Slow Lane. We live life in the Fast Lane, trying to beat this deadline, catch this light, get around this driver, constantly irritated that people don't move at our pace or our speed; so we rush around them only to catch a red light and the very person we expended the energy to get past pulls up right by us. In one car there is a frustrated person and in the other car is a person laughing. Get in the Slow Lane, you will still get there but you will enjoy the trip better. Jesus says, "Come Away". Leave the fast lane.

Change Locations--Steal Away. Jesus encourage us not just to change lanes but change locations. Leave the hustle and bustle, the deadlines, disappointments and the demands, leave FaceBook, Twitter, and the Blackberry, come to a Desolate place. A retired place where you can steal away.

Change Your Life--Sanctuary with the Saviour--On Highways, there are designated places for weary travelers who have spent too long on the road. They are called "Rest areas or Rest stops". They are strategically placed where accidents are more prone to happen or during stretches between gas stops or restaurants. The design is to keep you safe and from running off the road. It's meant to save your life.

Jesus is our rest area. He knew that you would get tired and weary, He knew you would almost drive off the road, He knew that you wouldn't have Bahama money or Jamaica money, no funds to run the Essence Festival so Jesus says "REST IN ME". Jesus will go with you because vs 32 says, "They", not the disciples by themselves, but "they" suggests company came with them. Let Jesus change your Life, find solitude and sanctuary with the Savior.

Sorry for so much,


Friday, June 26, 2009

Church casting out a gay demon

Since I don't Twitter, or FaceBook, MySpace, Tagged or whatever other social networking site that is out there, I do not possess the tools at this time to cleanly just post the video like the youtube stuff, etc. I am still a to my heart, click and paste brotha but I wanted people to see this video especially when i started receiving comments from church people about it. If people want to comment they can but usually we run from topics like this and leave the secular world to talk about church, "black church" etc, the non-denominational church, etc.

I thought homosexuality was/is a sin. Sin needs to be confessed and repent, turn, change from. Can I find a line and get my sin exorcised out of me?? If so, could someone point out the Krispy Kreme line? or better yet the Pop line, I need to be delivered from pop/ soda/ coca-cola whatever you call it, and drink more water, is that a spirit as well?!

Just talking/thinking out loud

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Friday and Sunday review of First Anniversary Services

Everyone has told me that we all have done it! Some of you still do it! Well, I did it! I cried like a big ole baby because I was so overwhelmed by all the love and support I received from the Macedonia church family. Friday night the youth were in charge and the things they said to me about being a father figure for the young ladies who did not have a father or being able to share things with their pastor that they didn't feel comfortable telling anyone else; it overwhelmed me and reminded me of how serious my job is.
Pastor Andre A. McGhee, my friend and brother preached like a wild man but wild men don't sound as good or as eloquent as he did. He blessed us on Friday night and he did it all while sick. It would have been so easy for him to say I don't feel good, I will catch the next one but he wanted to be there for his little brother and I love him for that. Praise God that he has a wonderful support system not only at home but through Greater St. John.
Sunday morning brought Hurricane Woody to South Bend. MY PASTOR, Dr. A. Glenn Woodberry destroyed everything in South Bend that did not look like God and then put it back together through sound preaching and applicable teaching. Literally, my pastor just made my next 5 years so much easier. The Preacher's Confession was the sermon on Sunday Morning but Sunday Evening, Pastor conducted a preacher's seminar on "How to Deal with Amalek" Ex 17:8-13.
God used him to be so timely for ALL OF US IN SOUTH BEND that are in the ministry field. I am glad I listened to the wise pastors who told me that I would be doing a disservice to the Bend and to the brothers by not letting Doc preach at 4 so they could come over and share.
My home church, the Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church came to share with us and the Male Chorus sang as unto the Lord, Ushers were in place and Pastor brought 7 deacons with him.
The greatest joy this anniversary gave me was my mother was alive to FINALLY see something good come out of all of her hard work. I might have been her joy baby in the womb but I was her hell baby in the world. I disappointed her so many times and for God to allow her to see that her labor was not in vain means so much to me, I can't explain.
To all of Macedonia, Thank you. The Pastor's Anniversary Committee worked smoothly, all ministry leaders cooperated and the captains took charge. To all the people who stepped out of the comfort zone, I am grateful to see how God expanded your boundaries and allowed you to grow in faith.
I don't know why God showed favor on me by allowing me to be the Pastor of Macedonia but I will continue to give God the best I have because He gave me the best by giving me Macedonia.
I love you all, Get some rest!

Friday, June 5, 2009

First Anniversary Services (Thursday Recap)

Words cannot do justice to what happened in Macedonia on last night. The Lord showed Himself mighty in our house and through the person of Pastor K.D. Witherspoon. Last night was sponsored by the Ushers, Health care, Men's and Christian Education ministries of our church and they did an awesome job.
Deacon Fred and Sis Prince were wonderful hosts and moved service in a way where Jesus could clearly be seen. Deacon Levi Trotter is a prince among deacons and his Biblical knowledge is amazing so his welcome (bootleg sermon) was off the chain. Brother and Sister Elvis Willis gave a wonderful tribute and to see Elvis at the microphone did me well. I value their ministry to me as unto the Lord as members of my Pastoral Council Team. They meet with me once a month along with other lay members of the church to talk about issues, problems, resolutions and general information of the church to help make me a better Pastor.
Our Fine Arts ministry put on a production called, "A Man For All Seasons", starring Sister Dianne Gammage and she deserves an OSCAR for her role. She was wonderful. The Greater New Vision/New Birth Ministries and the Bethlehem Choirs sounded like angels and set the atmosphere just right for worship.....................................and then,
K.D. Witherspoon got up to preach and by the power of the Holy Spirit, IT WAS BANANAS UP IN MACEDONIA. I am so overwhelmed that first of all, Pastor Witherspoon is my colleague but more importantly he is my friend and I love him as much as one man can love another man and still be a man. He preached I Kings 18: 36-37, "A REASON TO STAND" and destroyed everything in the church including the pulpit, bless him as I needed a new one anyone, Happy anniversary to me!
My church before I came, because of lies, rumors and just ignorance had a less than favorable impression of Pastor Witherspoon but I asked them, "Have you heard the man preach"? When they said no, I realized you just don't know any better so I invited him over last Christmas for my Pastor's Aid day and every since then all I have to do is say Pastor Witherspoon and Macedonia is there. Bethlehem is a blessed church and the city of South Bend is a blessed city to have him working in our midst.

Well off to get dressed and get ready for another blessing, in fact, I have two tonight.
1. The Youth are in charge tonight and I can't wait to see what they have in store!!!!!!
2. Fellow Blogger and my good friend, Pastor Andre A. McGhee is preaching tonight!!!!!!!
Bananas PART 2 tonight.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My First Anniversary Services (Wednesday Recap)

I wish pictures could adequately do justice to the time we had on last night during the first night of the anniversary services held for my family and me. The Capernaum Community Church, Layman Chapel CME, Canaan Baptist Church, Mt Olive Baptist Church of Niles and the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Niles Michigan.
Pastor Bacon preached and then preached some more and God truly blessed. He shared from Joshua 5:13-16- 6:1-5, "GOD'S BLUEPRINT FOR DIVINE SUCCESS". It certainly was a timely and transformational Word and I appreciate him so much for coming. I also appreciate Pastor Eugene C. Staples Sr for sharing with us and it was exciting to see what God is doing with his church, (Kelly was singing in the choir, praise the Lord). It was also great to be around the preaching legends of Niles, Michigan and Elkhart, Indiana in the persons of Rev. Fletcher McAfee and Dr. Theodis Hadley. They have forgotten more than I will ever learn so I am grateful anytime I see them and can gleam from their knowledge.
I thank God for the Fine Arts, Kitchen, Music and Women's Ministries for sponsoring last night services as well as our stand-in worship leaders, Deacon and Sister Williams, ( John, you were real comfortable on that mic). Thank you to Sister Linda Lewis for the poem and the proclamation. Every time you talk I praise God for the gifts he has given you, I really want to hear you do James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones.
I also praise God for Sister Patrisse Prince for her words of Tribute. It was awesome and yet very humbly to hear how you take notes on every sermon and can replay each one word for word. I praise God that in some way he has used me to bless you. Also, special thanks to Sister Lillie Keeys (my girl) and the junior ushers for escorting me and the girls in.
Finally, I praise God for safe passage to OKC and back where I got my treasure in my mother and she will be here with us all through the services as well as staying in the area for awhile. I thought I knew how to clean up until she came here. I forgot what clean actually looked like, been living in dirt too long, there is a story somewhere there but I am going to get dressed.
Dr. K.D. Witherspoon is preaching tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!