Welcome to My Blog!

It is here that the fullness of my humanity shines through.  Perhaps through the expression of my thoughts, feelings, and occasional rantings, you will perceive, see, hear and feel the love that I have for both the “created” and the “Creator.”

Please be advised that this blog is not meant to be “politically correct,” inerrant, nor infallible.  It is simply the expression of my personal thoughts, feelings, hurts, pain, and existential reality.  Therefore, it is imperfect and totally human as is its creator…”ME!” 

It is my God given freedom of expression as I try, as a child of God, to make at least some sense out of this thing called life, which is defined by one scholar as “creation in process.” So as you read my many blogs, prepare to be outraged, challenged, enlightened, angered, and encouraged. Most of all, prepare to see the heart and understand the mind of someone, who underneath all of the clergy attire, ministerial robes, and academic attainment is a regular guy who struggles, and sometimes even falls...just like you. 

Nevertheless, it is my faith and Christian spirituality that sustains and empowers me to complete the mission that Christ has set before me.

If you would like to comment on any of the blogs below with responses that are not offensive, we will be glad to post them to the site. Nevertheless, all responses will be reviewed for content and character.  
 

 

 

Expect to Receive!

Expect To Receive!

    Though many of us who embrace Christian spirituality have heard uncounted quotes from the Matthew 7 passage that says “Ask and it shall be given; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” We must examine ourselves as instructed by the Apostle Paul. Then and only then after a period of self examination can we see whether or not we fully expect to receive. After much dialogue with Christian colleagues and contemporaries and a large number of counseling sessions with parishioners and clients, I have become quite conscious of the fact that many who ask just go through the motions of asking in prayer and walking away barely expecting to receive as though it is a gamble whether or not they can or will actually receive the answer to their prayer and supplication.

   
If you slow it down and carefully re-read the passage with an open mind, you will see that asking and receiving are two elements of the same process. If one asks, then the process is not complete until one receives. During the time between the asking and the receiving, the “Inbetween Time” as Elder Edward Higgs calls it, one must earnestly expect. Simple: Asking + Expecting = Receiving. Always remember; the only time you will not receive when you ask and expect is if God has determined that God cannot answer your prayer because it would be against your greater good to do so. Also remember that delay is not always denial. The act of seeking is just the mode of behavior which evidences the fact and faith that the asker is consciously ready to receive. So don’t just ask. I exhort you complete the process so that you will also receive.
 
Below are steps to help you receive:
  1. Ask in prayer.

  2. Demonstrate your expectancy by looking for it to come your way.

  3. Do not speak words that do not agree with your receiving.

  4. Thank God for the manifestation even while you seek and wait.

Forgive Yourself

FORGIVING YOURSELF
Scripture Text:  St. Matthew 6:14-15
 
 
How many of us in our quest to do our "forgiveness work" as Stratton Smith calls , that is to say forgiving both the debts and actions of those who have sinned against us, neglect to forgive ourselves?  If the forgiveness principle is that we must forgive in order to be forgiven; or sow the seed of forgiveness in order for the Heavenly Father to multiply his manifold forgiveness back to us, then surely the liberating power of forgiveness must be broad enough, deep enough, and wide enough to include you.
 
It takes only a slightly closer examination of self to see that as we performed our "forgiveness work" so that our prayers may be answered according to the preceeding verses of our text, we forgot to forgive ourselves.  Yes!  Take a closer look and see yourself as God sees you and realize that according to the forgiveness principle you do not qualify for your prayers to be answered or your supplications to be granted because after of all your forgiveness work you are yet guilty of unforgiveness.  You remembered to forgive everyone but you.  Jesus, that rabbi of excellence commands us in Matthew's gospel 22:39 ..."love your neighbor as yourself".  I hear the Holy Spirit saying that you are making much progress in loving your neighbor.  But how much do you love yourself?
 
Don't just start on your forgiveness work; and yes it does take work. But utilize the entire forgiveness principle and forgive yourself.  Then as the scripture indicates, the Divine will hear your prayers and surely answer.
 
Until next time.
 
Blessings And Peace
 

Narrow Minded Christians

NARROW MINDED CHRISTIANS

 One of my mentors, the Bishop Dr. Raymond O’Neal Lankford, once told me that the older he becomes the more liberal he becomes.  I was so shocked that I became like the bewildered disciples who asked Jesus on one occasion “Master, how can these things be?!”  He went further to say that as he continues in ministry the more he realizes that most of what different Christians, churches and denominations fuss and fight over is not what my good C.O.G.I.C. (Church Of God In Christ) background calls “absolutely essential” for personal salvation. You know what? He’s right.

 

The older I become the more I realize that most Christians I come into contact with have a very narrow and constricted view of who God is.  I further resolve that those same Christians because of their limited, stifled and constricted view of God don’t believe the Bible; at least not in it’s entirety like they say they do.  Their rejection and vilification of anyone who has a different view from themselves is enough evidence to prove my statement.  Yet most of us agree that clothes, makeup, worship style, jewelry or whether you wear a head covering when in worship is not absolutely essential for personal salvation.  We say that Jesus is the way but yet we continue to condemn and damn to hell others who have Jesus as Savior just because they may adhere to a slightly different form of Christianity then ourselves.  Oh what a shame!


How dare we be so arrogant to think that our revelation of who God is and what God does is the one and sole revelation of the all powerful God to all of creation?! Yet we have the nerve to quote scripture that tells us that God fills all in all. We teach the omnipresence of God in our churches, Sunday Schools and Seminaries and ridicule the Pharisees for their failed attempts to keep the vastness of God contained in their narrow understanding of who God is because they feared that the ministry of Jesus would liberate the true and living God from the small confined space that they wanted to keep God in.  How hypocritical and pharisaical it is for us to read for years and years the words of King David when he said “Whether I fly away to the ends of the earth or go to heaven or even make my bed in the grave I cannot escape from your presence because you are there” and then tell others who are different from us that God is not with them, has nothing to do with them and most definitely will not let them into His heaven.


I praise God that after 17 years of pulpit ministry preceded by 7 years of diaconal ministry, I can echo Bishop Lankford by saying “The older I become the more liberal I become.”  The ministry of Jesus according to Luke 4:18-19 is essentially a ministry of liberation. Liberation if freedom from confinement, limitation and bondage even if that bondage has been passed down to us in the name of religion.  As disciples let us make a decision to walk into what Bishop Frank Griswald calls “the vast unknown of resurrection life”.  It is in this liberty that the life and love of Jesus which revels the vastness of God can be more fully expressed through us to our neighbor as mutual respect, understanding, patience and most of all love for those who are different from ourselves.  “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, because you have love.”  (John 13:35)

 

Love mandates that I love my neighbor as myself.  To love my neighbor as myself I must open my heart and mind to my neighbor to listen with a heart toward understanding even if I don’t agree.  God never promised to give us all of the answers to every question while we are down here. But God did give us all things that pertain to the essentials of salvation and they are Christ and Him crucified.  Part of the journey into the vast unknown of resurrection life is the liberty of seeing, knowing, learning and understanding that only comes through the eyes, ears and words of my neighbor who has a different view from myself.  It is the very nature of truth to liberate. Even if that truth comes from someone the traditional church told me God cannot use.


Let truth liberate the mind and expand the consciousness so that the vastness of God can be experienced in every area of our lives and we can open ourselves to a fuller measure of the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit as we seek to live peacefully with one another.  I promise…you will be glad that you did.

Consider this...

I don't know if this is the beginning of a movement or not; but I promise you that on this day in my spirit I have the deepest conviction that what the church needs today is a return to independent thought that is "taught" by the church and "encouraged" by the church but not "controlled" by the church. Thank you Jesus!

 

Church People

For so long the average church has thought for the people rather than encouraging the people to think for themselves; or told the people what to think instead of teaching the people how to think!

Now we who are leaders and members of the church in hyper-post modernity (the modern day church) have the nerve to stand back and wonder why we continue to lose those who are critical thinkers, forward thinkers, great thinkers and progressive thinkers and pastor congregations of people who do not think at all!

 
Surely God is not pleased!