“If you believe
Within your heart
You’ll know that no one can change
The path that you must go
Believe what you feel and know you’re right because the time will come around when you’ll say it’s yours…………That’s why I want you to believe in yourself right from the start. Believe in the magic right there in your heart. Go ahead believe all these things not because I told you to. But believe in yourself; If you believe in yourself; Just believe in yourself as I believe in you.” source:http://www.lyricsondemand.com/soundtracks/w/wizmusicallyrics/ifyoubelievelyrics.html
The Wiz was released on October 24, 1978. I was entering the preadolescent stage of development. My toddler aged sister was with my mom and I when we saw this groundbreaking movie. This was during a tumultuous season in my history as the dysfunction of my family was negatively impacting my maturity. The imagery of Ms. Lena Horne‘s performance singing “If You Believe” was a breathtaking moment as she entered the scene with an entourage of small, black babies, adorned in identical, purple outfits, complete with head coverings, as Ms. Horne captivated the screne and a stellar display of sparkling stars illuminated their background. At the close of her dialogue with Dorothy, the orchestral score initiated the transition and Ms. Horne delivered the soul stirring vocal captioned above.
How does this timeless portrayal of Glenda the good witch tie into this month’s theme – spiritual integrity? Here at ConquerorShots we maintain the definition of integrity as the quality or state of our spirit being complete or undivided. We stand on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and rely on the finished work at Calvary to realize spiritual completeness. This is the foundation of our belief in the power of God, NOT THE “MAGIC” IN YOUR HEART, through the Holy Spirit working in and through us from day to day. The results of which are a cumulative source of power to spiritually conquer our biggest enemy – sin.
The lyrical content of “believe” in the song has a strong identification in one’s self. However, ConquerorShots maintains that “self” needs a Savior in order to be its best. The Word clearly defines the condition of our heart i.e. “self” as “deceitful and above all desperately wicked…..”So, today the lyrical content helps to apply the principle of spiritual integrity in a defining way where we can attain belief in “self.”
When you have “Blessed Assurance” in your heart – not in your mind – about the finished work at Calvary and how it serves your spiritual needs from day to day, you are NO LONGER left with the task of being the source of your own destiny. God has provided all of the Mastery of ordering your steps before you lived your first day. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God has prepared in advance that we should walk in them.”
The spiritual principles of Honesty, Hope, Faith and Courage, all stemming from a healthy spiritual appetite for the Word of God and prayer, serve our daily belief system in “The Christ in us”. If you believe in yourself from this prospective, as God believes in you because He CREATED you, you have a ROCK SOLID foundation in spiritual integrity that can NOT be shaken from day to day.
Experience the blessing of SECURITY in CHRIST which yields FREEDOM to be who GOD created you to be IF YOU BELIEVE.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalms 27:13-14
Recall a time when you were in need of DELIVERANCE and instead of an “IMMEDIATELY” result, you encounter a significant DELAY. Nothing is more dreadful than having to wait for a particular outcome you KNOW you need. The difficulty you face as you MUST “endure the hardships” of the circumstances can work in one of two ways:
1. The delay can distract you from the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hopelessness and despair as you move away from God. You will find human alternatives that can serve you like band aids on a bleeding wound.
2. The delay can propel you towards the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hope and faith in God through prayer and reading and studying His Word. "His word is a lamp unto your feet and a light to your pathway." DARKNESS OR DESPAIR WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HINDER YOU. You will find His power and peace to preserve you while you "wait" and His Heavenly purpose will ALWAYS be revealed,BLESSED DELAY results in His Faithfulness.
I am blessed to have the gift of “waiting on the Lord” in my spiritual arsenal. However, I did not always consider the delays that God allows as a blessing. In fact, there was a particular delay in my life in which I thought I was receiving NO additional Godly intervention. I believed that it was God’s will for this particular matter in my life and HE WAS NEVER GOING TO ALLOW FOR CHANGE. I WAS SO WRONG!While this was a painful reality for me to accept, it FORCED ME TO DRAW CLOSER TO HIM BECAUSE OF A PERSONAL NEED FOR HIS POWER TO SUPPLEMENT MY POWERLESSNESS. “His STRENGTH IS PERFECT WHEN OUR STRENGTH IS GONE!” Through the process of getting closer to Him He eventually allowed for MORE change. “GOD’S DELAY IS NOT A DENIAL.”
The more I realized #2 at work in my life the more HOPE I REALIZED AS IT WAS MANUFACTURED IN MY SPIRIT DURING THE BLESSED DELAY. All the while I could experience the goodness of the Lord through His continual provision for me, His peace in me and His plan for me. The essence of Him presiding over the “NEED” also manifested in the lives of my loved ones all around me. The song writer wrote “He Keeps On Doing GREAT Things For Me.” Ultimately, the presence of HOPE in my spirit yielded a fertile ground for SEEDS from the WORD OF GOD to cultivate IN ME.
You too can experience “THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.” HAVE FAITH IN HIM and ALLOW for a BLESSED DELAY in your life. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. PLEASE WAIT ON THE LORD!
I am perplexed over a matter that I know is controversial among humans. Why is it that Biblical truth is not an anchor in the choice for who to follow politically? This week I have pondered this stark reality as I listen to political news broadcasts, read political new articles and listen to the talking heads a.k.a political pundits debate their views about the 2012 Presidential candidates strategies, viewpoints, dilemmas, achievements and forecasts.
The economy is a major issues that will steer the American voter’s choice on November, 6, 2012. MONEY is the central theme of any economy. How it is made and how it is spent is determined by our President and Congress. Americans who are financially comfortable have one view-point and Americans who are not financially comfortable have another view-point. The view-points are a driving factor that fuels the decision-making process of the voter. Though there are other issues of consideration in the campaigns, there is a significant emphasis on the state of affairs on economics.
My perplexity’s foundation is in the trickery that the right-wing Christian conservatives have adopted and portray in the support they garner for Mr. Romney’s campaign. There is a monumental heir of evil associated with the deception of the republican regime. Here at ConquerorShots we continue to uphold the banner of truth about God’s Word. Historically, from a Biblical perspective of the events in the Old Testament and the upcoming prophetic events, any effort that man can make to put more emphasis on the creation (atheism and agnosticism thrive from this prospective), and not the Creator, meets profound, life-changing events where God’s power prevails unequivocally. Yet man continues to follow the path of manifesting his will rather than endeavoring to keep the focus on Him who created us all. I am concerned about the nature of the Republican party’s agenda being a course for evil to attempt to prevail over a blessed nation that has shifted its focus far AWAY from the Creator.
The manner in which I hear the commentary about the state of the economics in America is a direct indicator to harness a specific wretchedness in their economic affairs and agendas. This is nothing new. The Apostle Paul had a full understanding of this human dilemma and warned us with No uncertainty.
TO ALL “Right wing Christian conservatives” PLEASE CONSIDER GOD’S WORD YOU PROFESS TO BELIEVE IN TODAY:
1 Timothy 6:8 But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. 6:9 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.
The number of “right-wing conservative Christians” who REFUSE to “HOLD ON TO TRUTH” are failing both America’s heritage and the God they claim to have personal relationship with.
The apex of my perplexity is in the “How” and “Why” of this monumental shift in belief. Have you even taken the time to consider the religious platform that Mr. Romney represents openly? I am a supporter of an American’s right to worship whomever and however they choose. Furthermore, I fully grasp the concept of the ecumenical movement worldwide. But all human beings who profess to be “members of the Body of Christ” i.e. Christians are spiritually supplied with a bond that maintains God’s truth based in His Word. IT IS UNDENIABLE! Therefore, it is crucial that you do NOT neglect the opportunity for your vote to show who AND what you TRULY BELIEVE IN!
Mormonism is NOT Christianity. Here’s why:
1. Mormons believe there are "many" Gods. Christians believe in One Triune God.http://www.triunegod.org/
2. Mormons believe Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be" (D&C 93:29). Christians believe Man is a finite being, not an eternal one. The first man Adam was created at a specific point in time (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7; 1Co 15:45-49).3. Mormons believe Christ's death on the cross (the atonement) canceled the penalty of death imposed on ALL men through Adam's sin, thereby ensuring that all men would be redeemed - resurrected and given immortality (the reuniting of spirit with body)-as a gift."If there had been no atonement, temporal death would have remained forever, and there never would have remained forever, and there never would have been a resurrection. The body would have remained forever in the grave" (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p.63)"Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked" (Ibid., p. 65) and Christians believe not everyone is blessed through Christ's crucifixion. Only those who accept His sacrifice and surrender themselves to Him (Ro 10:9) will receive the benefit of Jesus' death and resurrection, which is forgiveness of sins (Ac 10:43) and salvation (Ro 3:24). Eternal life "in Christ," and not just simply eternal existence through resurrection, is the gift offered by God to humanity (Ro 6:23). This gift is obtainable only by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10). Jesus' death serves to reconcile all believers to God (Ro 5:10). In dying, Jesus broke down the wall of separation between us and God that was present through man's disobedience to the Law (Eph 2:11-22)(http://contenderministries.org/mormonism/comparison.php)
I know someone who is desperately afraid of going to the doctor. His apprehension subjects him to incredulous fears associated with the process of finding out the status of his health. Day after day he experiences physical symptoms that force him to contend with the fact that his body is in need of medical attention. Yet his fear allows him to stay nestled in the confines of uncertainty. He continues to go on about the daily routines his life has constructed. Amidst all the vocational, social, political and ecclesiastical activities he fervidly attends to during the course of weeks and months that have passed – with an astounding zeal for life, the fact of a physical struggle continues to plague him. He lacks a willingness to get honest and get tested.
All around the city of Atlanta there is an advertising campaign for children and adults to “Get Tested” for HIV. Billboards, TV commercials and print media all serve to push this message socially . The ad seems to present the point from the perspective that it is better to “know your status” and be treated rather than NOT know and do more harm to yourself and others. A life of promiscuity and/or sexual irresponsibility, compounded with the guise of sexual crimes, all seem to give rise to this fear and more and more people are physically,mentally, emotionally and spiritually spent. The rippling effects of this crippling dilemma is rectified IF there is a willingness to get honest and get tested.
We can understand how medical testing yields physical, mental and emotional treatments BUT what testing applies to spiritual treatments?
LIFE ISSUES i.e. TRIALS i.e. PROBLEMS i.e. HARDSHIPS i.e. DIFFICULTY i.e. UNCERTAINTY i.e TRIBULATION
The human race deems life issues as a NEGATIVE and not a POSITIVE. This is largely due to how the world order views these guaranteed life phenomena. The world has developed a safeguard to greatly support the negative associations with “life issues” so much so that when they materialize in a person’s life, an immediate barrier presents itself between him/her and the world.
For example, when someone is plagued with sickness – PROBLEM – she not only has to deal with the mundane processes associated with treatment and the pursuit towards wellness. The issues magnify with the steady stresses of the employer, finances, loss, dissociation from society and certain peer groups and family and all the fears of loneliness. Meanwhile, people continue to make the world “go around” with their selfish and self-centered idealism towards preservation, progress and upward mobility while isolating themselves from the sick and shut-in. It is selfishness to the core that makes an associate retreat and withdraw from a person plagued with illness while being fully aware of their own ability to offer the sick with the resource of certainty – a certain affirmation that you will do all that is within your power to support the sick. That ideology is now absent in several American cultures today – and sadly, the church (without naming denominations) is in this number. It would seem obvious that they (the local church) would be inclined to serve the sick, poor and widowed most willingly. This is not to say that the existing church programs are not serving “Life Issues.” Oh no! Their service history supports the blatant reality of a need for more involvement from their neighboring local church bodies thereby exposing the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace that Paul clearly addresses.
Ephesians 4:2(NET) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
4:3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
At the end of the book of Joshua, the author makes a compelling appeal to Israel before his apparent death.
Furthermore, Joshua was prophesying to Israel that they would need to have courage and consistency in dealing with “Life Issues” in the future.
Joshua 23:6-11 (NET)
(6) Be very strong! Carefully obey all that is written in the law scroll of Moses so you won’t swerve from it to the right or the left,
(7) or associate with these nations that remain near you. You must not invoke or make solemn declarations by the names of their gods! You must not worship or bow down to them!
(8) But you must be loyal to the LORD your God, as you have been to this very day.
(9) “The LORD drove out from before you great and mighty nations; no one has been able to resist you to this very day.
(10) One of you makes a thousand run away, for the LORD your God fights for you as he promised you he would.
(11) Watch yourselves carefully! Love the LORD your God!”
His instruction is concise: “REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS SAID, WHAT HE HAS DONE AND CHOOSE HIM DAILY – in war and peace” One example is pertinent here – JERICHO. Jericho was a city that Israel needed to go through to get to the Jordan River. It was God’s Determined will that Israel would cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. Jericho was an immediate “Life Issue” to Israel because of its great army and wall that was designed to protect its inhabitants. Israel was ill-equipped to handle Jericho’s might militarily. However, Joshua was in complete relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who meticulously brought the Israelites out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and preserved them in the wilderness. The story concludes with the Israelites marching silently for 6 days around the wall as God instructed them. Victory prevailed on the 7th day as they marched silently, blew the trumpet and began to shout on Josh’s command. Simultaneously, the walls of Jericho tumbled down. God permanently dealt with the barrier.
The Israelite‘s testing i.e. “Life Issue” in the Old Testament offers Bible readers a glimpse into God’s character. The tests were all designed to get them to line up with His will for them. Israel’s history with God gives rise to the importance for humans to practice willingness to be honest and get tested.
Every “Life Issue” has a Divine purpose. Get Tested! It saves.
There is too much confusion going on about President Obama’s decision to be pro gay marriage. The confusion is easily settled when we consider The First Amendment. Our President did teach this stuff at the college level.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
— The First Amendment
Largely because of this prohibition against government regulation or endorsement of religion, diverse faiths have flourished and thrived in America since the founding of the republic. Indeed, James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, once observed that “the [religious] devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” (http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom/separation_cs_primer.asp)
My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
2. My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.
3. Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
4. Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.
Every American – black/white/red/yellow, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender,Jewish,Christian,Baptist,Methodist,7 Day Adventist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Episcopalian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., rich/poor, employed/unemployed and alive – all have one thing in common. We ALL depend on the aspects of freedom that living in this country has to offer.
Freedom is the most attractive aspect of being an American. Foreigners have died or been imprisoned as a result of attempting to enter this country because of their personal pursuit to realize the democracy of the USA as a citizen.
“The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.
Because the promotion of human rights is an important national interest, the United States seeks to:
Hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments;
Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the protection of minorities;
Promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity;
The President’s decision is not based on religious beliefs but on the fundamental establishment of “Liberty and Justice for All” that our country stands on. Whenever we, as Americans, forget the designs of the Constitution and want to infuse our belief systems into society, we always have to contend with the First Amendment.
Hos 4:6 “My people are destroyed because they have no knowledge. You priests have refused to learn, so I will refuse to let you be priests for me. You have forgotten the law of your God, so I will forget your children.”
They are destroyed for lack of it, for the true knowledge of God is the life of the soul, true life, eternal life, as our Saviour saith, “This is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.” John 17:3
Hosea was writing about the failure of the Hebrews to know, accept and live the life God called them to. Instead they regularly reverted from God’s way to the way of the world. The result – God allowed suffering to come to the Hebrews. The sufferings were designed to ALWAYS motivate them to turn from their wicked ways and repent and return to the plans that God had for them as a nation. The root cause of their reversion was sin.
God has offered us evidence of how He can deal with human extremism resulting in a nation or nations in which ungodliness is the norm. We need the book of Genesis to appreciate the historical elements and the overall outcome of Sodom and Gomorrah. Human beings who reverence God’s Word know that God allows people the freedom to live but always maintains His authority over us – whether we acknowledge it or not is again based in freedom. When you choose not to do it God’s way you have two authorities to answer to – His and the governments.
Sin is at the root of this issue of Gay marriage. The President was not elected to handle the affairs of the heart. His role as the Leader of this great nation is to uphold the law and lead this country in such a way that our freedom is protected, our democracy is paramount and our futures are secure as human beings. To do this “The President is the administrative head of the executive branch of the Government, which includes numerous agencies, both temporary and permanent, as well as the 15 executive (Cabinet-level) departments.”(http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/agencies/a/presbrief.htm)
Religious leaders, including myself, all have a major job to do as well. We, as Christians, are to uphold the truth of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelations. Jesus said in John 8:32 “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The freedom He describes is different from the freedom established in the Constitution. The government can not provide for the freedom of my spirit – only God can and does handle this area in ALL of us. Therefore, preachers, teachers, ministers, evangelists and lay-people are ALL responsible for upholding the truth as it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6 meticulously defines the issue of sin. Furthermore, a thorough study of Romans 1-8 is recommended if one wants to lay a firm foundation of truth relative to God and sin today. In society we want to rationalize sin by way of moral guidelines. This methodology is flawed only in respects to a Biblical perspective. Morals then are the antithesis to what God deems as the problem humanity has always encountered since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. They are the world’s attempt to harness and manage the soul sickness he/she is destined to experience. Rationalization and justification are the means by which moral morphology continues. The law of the land is designed to handle the matters that result from one’s tarnished moral fiber.
When we try to marry the two we fail miserably. President Obama exercised his authority over the affairs of the USA by establishing his position on a moral matter that plagues our country. We as Americans are aware of his decision. It is irrelevant to support his decision from a personal and/or religious standpoint. He is clearly looking out for how human beings can have a better quality of life as they engage in same sex behaviors. However, what is relevant is to let the President be the President and let God be God. What a wonderful world this would be if everybody got on the same page about this.
It’s difficult to open up and express your heart when you feel the need to protect yourself. My innate coping skills to protect myself from experiencing heartache are grounded in silence. Often times I have used this skill in such a way that it backfires and causes me to have regret. “If only I had spoken up/out!” “I should have told ………. the truth, now it’s too late!” These 2 statements, internalized on many levels, can be haunting. For the past 2 weeks, God has been working on me, preparing me, instructing me on “Breaking the Silence.”
Why the silence? Well it seems pretty obvious to me that this coping skill is a direct result of fear – fear of negative consequences i.e. I won’t be heard, believed, appreciated and loved -which is based in my realities from childhood. How many times in my adulthood have I had the opportunity to stand for the truth only to keep silent instead because of this fear? More than I can know, I am sure.
The idea that I must keep silent so that you will not become uncomfortable in my presence is the other dilemma that continues to fuel my silence. The fear that you will not accept me as a person worthy of your friendship, company and companionship remains as a staple characteristic of my silence. Once again I am compelled to abhor fear. It is crippling, damaging, and destructive.
I can do many things to combat against silence- pray, study the Bible, fellowship with others, therapy, practice honesty on a daily basis (all of which help considerably even to the point of publishing this today). A recent post “The Good Comes Through AS U COME THROUGH” was the “shot” I needed today to invigorate my spirit to expose the willingness God is giving me in “Breaking the Silence.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 says 1. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2. fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne ofGod. 3. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
The first time I studied this passage of scripture I was a pre-teen. By then I had already developed these crippling, damaging and self-destructive tendencies towards internalizing everything. People could say or do anything to me – harmful physical, mental and emotional acts by family, friends, and church members – and I would say NOTHING!
My cousin Peaches was instrumental in introducing me to the passage of scripture that I am referencing today. I thank God that He used her to challenge me then to study and discover the nuggets of truth contained herein. I stated earlier how difficult it is to overcome destructiveness and all that I can do to combat this dilemma. These statements accurately define the problem. Obviously the problem is still active. So then the solution – FAITH – is necessary.
What would Abraham‘s story have been if he did not have hope & faith in what God spoke to him about his inheritance and Sara in her unborn son through her aged womb? Moses would not have lived if his mother did not have FAITH in God’s ability to preserve him despite an edict of death. We would not have an example of perseverance through FAITH IN GOD without Moses’ wilderness experiences. The hall of faith gives us direct insight into Moses’ ability to trust in God rather than in man in ANY circumstance.
Breaking the silence today means to trust in God enough to lay aside this weight daily. I am amazed at how God has led me to this wonderful forum of blogging. It is the one way that I am aware of my willingness to break this destructive pattern. Even when I don’t know how to express my thoughts and feelings, He makes my pathway straight in this forum. ConquerorShots served me over the past few days as I clicked on a “shot” that I needed to get some courage to stay in the race.
There are times when reading/studying my Bible just seems mundane. I do it anyway but I keep silent because I feel that no one will appreciate my honesty. However, I DO NOT KEEP SILENT WITH GOD ANY LONGER! I may not be inclined to tell another person what I am dealing with personally because of the dynamics of my character I exposed earlier. They became damaging, crippling and destructive because I would NOT allow God to BE MY CONFIDANT.
The one thing that Conqueror Ministries advocates is consistency with prayer and reading God’s Word – NO MATTER WHAT! It does not matter how uncomfortable it may become -PRAYER CHANGES THINGS! How else can I lay aside every weight and the sin that does so easily harass me? How can I endure hardship like a good soldier? How can I keep my eyes focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith? HOW ELSE CAN I POSSIBLY STAY IN THE RACE?
Romans 8:37 reminds me “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Outwardly it may appear that I am overwhelmed by life today, and often times that is true.
I thank God daily for His continued presence in my life, power over my life and the purpose for it all which He manifests through my life. Inwardly He keeps on getting better! It is an inside job…………. When I am willing to “have a little talk with Jesus” and tell Him all about my struggles……. breaking the silence is achieved every time. Telling Him gives me the courage to tell you too – in His time, not in mine – that is wonderful,blessed difference today.