It’s Hard to Turn a Hoe into a Housewife (Hosea 1:2-3)

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Sunday, I was blessed with the opportunity to share the Word at my home church, First Met; The Place Where You Belong!  The message given to me was a follow up to a prior message, in which I heard God calling the Church to pursue righteousness.  Hearing the echo in my own life, I was lead to read the story of Hosea, and was challenged to clean up some areas in my own like. The following message was birthed, “It’s Hard to Turn a Hoe into a Housewife!”

First, we must address the text properly.  The tendency is to immediately identify with Hosea by most  believers, but I felt it necessary to make sure that the hearers understood like I understood while reading the text!  I’m not the Prophet, I’m the Prostitute.  It was important for those in attendance to realize their prior state and even their current state.  God literally pulled  up, rolled down the window, and kidnapped us.  He pulled us from our pimp, punched our clock, and canceled our evening appointments!  God took the pipe from our hand, the bottle from our palm, the taste from our tongue, and the desire fro our heart all in one powerful demonstration of love, restoring value and purpose to that which was lost!  God removed us from the street life, and introduced us to home life, retrained our minds, providing instructions for living, and for prosperity, gave us a bank account, shielding us from check cashing places and pay day loans; introduced us to interest baring accounts, and savings accounts that we might structure our lives to be free from sins grasp!housewife

Knowing this, it was still hard to say aloud, “I’m the Hoe” so i just confessed “I’m a Bad Housewife!”. God has been working on me for years, and I still neglect household duties.  I get caught up watching the soaps, neglecting the kids, forgetting to do the washing.  I have money, but forget send payments through online pay, clothes all over the couch, dinner never ready, and I’m always tired when He wants a little intimacy!  I’m not ready to go when he arrives, still washing up, haven’t picked out my outfit, don’t have on make up, hair still undone!  I’m the one complaining after His hard day at work, doing all the talking and none of the listening, producing a list of chores to do, though my own are yet undone.  What type of housewife are you?  If you will be honest, “You might not confess to being a Hoe, but you make a Bad Housewife!”  Go ahead and confess it!

After ruining the surprise, Hosea became the secondary focus.  I imagined his shock, surprise and disappointment when God spoke to him about his first assignment.  The word “first” haunted me.  The idea that God prepared Him, and that Hosea sat patiently waiting for His assignment, and then God gives him the assignment of assignments.  He finds something important, but something that is detestable.  Here Hosea is a Prophet,God’s servant, who is only as good as the name he has, being told to unite himself in marriage to one of the Communities servants and wears a name of ill repute.

Hosea was glad to be used.  The Word says after the instructions God gave him, “So Hosea married Gomer…”  His answer to God was Yes!  I thought to myself, had this been me, there would be some missing dialogue missing.  Though I would have been obedient, it would not have been with the same immediate response Hosea had.  Many of us miss out on being used by God because we don’t like the assignment God has given us.  We dream of having upper level assignments, positions and titles, and dread the idea of starting at the bottom or in a position of lack.

Upon closer look, he just didn’t marry a prostitute, he married one still practicing prostitution.  It’s important to note that Gomer wasn’t going to change.  God told Hosea that she was going to cheat on him!  He was going to marry a woman who would still walk the streets, and meet the unwholesome desires of the community.  Hosea would have to walk through the community knowing that some of the men he encountered had experience what should be his precious place.  He was destined to share his gift with the world.  This is how we treat the Lord.  He is faithful to us.  He honors His covenant with us.  He works hard for us, protecting us and building us in to the people he desires, and yet, despite having all He gives, we give our love and passion off to the swines!

Worse, Hosea had to knowledge of knowing that she just would not cheat, but that she would conceive!  Hosea wedded Gomer know that she would cheat on him with other men, and has to wrap his mind around having a wife bearing children from other men.  How does one prepare to enter marriage covenant with one would would show no respect for the vows and or the relationship?

Though bothered, God showed me my actions and the actions of millions around the world.  The reality is that we are cheats!  We are continually stepping out on the Lord.  We have relationships with others, and hold others above our own Lord in value and in commitment.  We have hopped from bed to bed, having unprotected encounters with any and everyone, pleasing our flesh highest capacity of needs, only to run home to our husband and asked to be covered.  Many of us conceive in these encounters, and are quick to write God’s names on the Birth Certificate.  We are quick to say, look at what God has blessed me with.  Holding up our latest purchase and acquisition, attributing it to the Lord, and all the while, the Lord knows that the item was conceived outside of His plan for our life.  Then we depend on the Lord to support the devils child, complaining because he won’t offer the support needed to take care of what we have conceived with him. We abuse the kindness of the Lord, dragging our covenant through the muck and mire, depending on grace and mercy to suit our case.

The shame of it all is that Gomer now has a covering.  Without a father or husband to provide for her, one can understand how she ended up in her present set of circumstance.  But the inexcusable action is created once Hosea takes her to be his bride.  He pulls her in; in what should be a restoring, ends up being a continuation of the same.  How is it that we can continue in our hoeish behavior while we are married to the prefect husband? 

I thank God that He is long suffering.  As stated, I have yet to become a good Housewife!  He has not only proposed, but continues to honor His covenant day after day.  We even see Him repurchasing Gomer in Chapter 3, reminding us of the pure foolishness of the Cross!  God literally repurchased what already belonged to Him.  How crazy that the owner of the patent would have to purchase his or her own creation.

We have a choice!  We get to choose!  We can either become “Hosea’s wife” or we can continue to be “Gomer the Prostitute!”  What will you do?  My prayer is that you won’t continue.  Continuing is for those who are luke warm.  They make the name of the Lord an eye sore.  Many of us shame God before mankind, being known as “Hosea’s wife The Prostitute”.

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Your Old Men will Dream Dreams….

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Tonight I had a dream,

I was a little boy,

Called to preach the Gospel…

My older brother had been matred

In a community shooting

My mom,

A single parent doing the best she could

Woke me up for breakfast

Then stood proudly at the door,

She sent me off

Believing I was going to school

But I was on assignment

My head high,

Heel

Toe

Heel

Toe

Walking so fast my chest broke the sound barrier

Glancing down

The side walk read as a script

Part markings,

And tags,

Many proud,

Others sad,

The side walk was hood engraved

My brothers name listed too

Cement etched with his name

His sunrise and sunset too

I skipped along

Careful not to step on any crack

Leaping from side to side

Knowing the importance of her back

Though she seemed healed

I could see her wounds

Scab removed from the last sunrise

I remember each tear that fell

Wanting to catch them

But knowing their escape was the route of escape

She found some semblance of peace

In the Word given to me

The power and its simple delivery

Helped her see

She had packed my lunch

While I packed my kit

She fed my belly

As my voice fed her soul

Down the steps I went

Physically filled

Spiritually bursting at the seams

My lips mouthed the message

My heart had recorded in my studies

My mind an amplifier

My mouth a speaker

My heart where He wrote

My life where He kept His notes

My first assignment

Was here,

I dragging my kit

Into the establishment,

A new eating spot,

Soul food no doubt,

Tables filled with patrines

The host and hostesses scurrying’s like Christmas eve.

My kit was too big to lift,

Filled with items to help me preach the good news

My voice was ready

My mind fresh

My heart beating through my chest

The one greeted me

Welcome to Allen’s

I’ll get you up to speak

He Cut off the radio feed

Proud to introduce me

Turns out my brother was a talented musician

And I,

Inherited the gene and was continuing the family legacy

Carrying it further than before

The Gospel my focus

His gift,

My talent would now be the vehicle

Through which God would change the world

I stepped up to the urinal,

Smiling ear to ear

Hearing Gods voice softly in my ear

Go to the restroom he said

Your going to wet yourself!

Huh?

Stupid water pill!!!!!

I really have to get off this medication!!!

Before You Say I Do! John 3:3, 16 & 2 Corinthians 5:17

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As we watch the world challenge the standard set by our God, we are being pressed to either take a stand or to compromise.  Though this would seem to be an easy decision, it is challenged because of the public and secret lives of many believers.  The question asked was not more of right and wrong, but one of master and servant.  The question at large is who is our Master?  The American Government or Yahweh?  Shameful to say, many of us are more loyal to our country than we are to the Kingdom of God, thus the decision on whom to follow becomes a gray area for those who have sided with politics and not theology.

Hence the birth of this message!  It was given to serve as a message and a warning to believers and non-believers.  In the passage, we see Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night time.  He knew and had received truth, but he knew that the public acknowledgement of this truth would cause him to loose much of his status, power and influence.  Jesus applauds him for knowing the truth, but lets him know that knowing is half the battle (for my fellow GI Joe fans).  Jesus says, you must take what you know, and must be born again.  bloodstained

This brings us to point one.  Knowing and Living are separate things.  The recent challenges to our faith have revealed that we have many people who have said yes to God prematurely.  We accepted the death on the cross that paid for the sins that were committed, so that we could avoid the one way ticket to hell, but didn’t move past this moment.

Salvation is the Tee Box!  It is a starting point for the believer, not the Hole under the Flag!  It need be mentioned that there was only one hole in one on this course called life, thus we must understand that our faith walk is truly a journey, littered with both victories and failures.  Knowing this can be a daunting task for some, but should be a reality check that causes us to move forward with boldness.  Though there are no mulligans, we can celebrate knowing that par has been taken care of by the Blood of the Lamb.

We rushed for salvation, and didn’t understand or chose to ignore the agreement to wear His name and thus seek to live Holy and Pleasing.  For the believer, there is only one lifestyle to be chosen, and the is Righteousness.  For the non-believer, the call is not just from hell to heaven, but from unrighteousness to righteousness.  

The world has been encouraging us to choose the lifestyle we want to live.  The world has us fooled; thinking that our bodies belong to us!  We were bought with a price, and our lives are not our own.  Though there are things that feel good, normal and are more to our liking, once we become Kingdom citizens, our lives are governed by the will of our God, and all lifestyles that are not approved by the King, are not an option to us.  

The Kingdom rules!  Our faith is not a bundle faith (Progressive Insurance Illustration).  We do not get to choose the things we want from the Lord.  We can not edit the Bible or pick three scriptures by which we want to govern our lives.  We must know that we have a personal faith, not a customized faith!

Furthermore, our standard of righteousness is not set by any man!  No man has a right to set any standard above or below the standard that God set for us.  God modeled before us the life we are to live, and illustrated how complete submission to God brings Him glory and how it allows us to spread the Gospel and be elevated among mankind.  Even ministers and clergy do not set the mark, we simply point towards the Flag.  Furthermore, we are not the Flag ourselves!  polemarkerIf anything, we are merely pole markers on the course.  Believers are to follow us “as we follow Christ” thus, if we cease to “follow Christ”, then the believer must find the nearest exit, not adjust their standard.

I explained to a friend, who knows I have some homosexual friends, that my love for my friends is not a just cause for adjusting God’s standard over my life and over my church.  I can love them and support them as a friend, but my obligation is to uphold the standard that God set, despite my love and desire for them to be happy.

Reality; many of us are still coming to Jesus at night (Sunday).  We want to learn how to advance our careers through the Word, raise our kids, live a healthy life, restore and build our marriage, and to get rich, but few of us want to walk a life in the day that brings glory and honor to the Lord!  Jesus tell Nicodemus, you must be “Born again”.  He want’s him to understand that the call to righteousness is not only key, but a sign as to weather someone has truly received the truth, and been set free.  Thus Jesus challenges us on multiple occasions saying that we will know we love Him if we obey and keep His commands.  Obedience accompanies the gift of eternal life.

Thus the question is, not which standard will we choose; but who will help hold up the standard?

My granny used to sing, “We gotta hold up the blood stained banner, we have to hold it up until we die!”

The Blood Stained Banner is our Flag!  It represents the standard of God!  It is the Flag that must be flown high over our homes!  It is the flag that must be carried in our hands!  It is the flag that is to be held as sacred.  It is the flag that must be advanced!  The enemy is trying to take down our flag!  Who will stand with me and hold up the standard?  Who will protect the flag?  Who will say “for God I live and for God I die?”

All this must be answered; “Before You Say I Do!”

#PastorJDO3

Jesus Lover; Stepping Down to Step Up (John 3)

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While preparing for a message, I was captivated by the encounter our Lord had with Nicodemus in the 3rd chapter of John.  In it, I saw parallels to our past, and to a current truth that maintains a steady doggy paddle, keeping its head slightly above the water line.

“Civil Rights Era Major Events” (APUSH) [Peter Paul Camacho] on Pinterest | Board Of Education, Martin Luther King and Political Cartoons

Nicodemus, and others, realize that Jesus is sent from God.  They have watched Him, and because of what they have seen and the interaction they have had with Him, they realize that what has been said about Him by some is not true, and that was professed by others was accurate.  He seeks Him out to learn more and to build a personal but private relationship with Him, because he and others know that a public relationship with Him could mean losing membership in the Jewish ruling council, which means a loss of financial standing, a decline in social status and weakening of political power.  Nicodemus, would be treated like he and others were treating the Samaritans if he acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah was baptized and became a disciple.

The truth of the matter; Nicodemus, like many of us know truth, but desire not to feel the weight of being an outcast or a minority in the same system and circumstances that have allowed us to prosper.  In truth, we are aligned in a sort of union, that requires members to remain uniformed for the sake and benefit of the whole, and those who break picket lines are punished with a disdain that is far greater than the ones who originally started on the opposite side of the line.

Though it would seem the choice for Christ would be simple after seeing the miracles, but overcoming years of tradition, pressures of correcting wrongs, and the pressure to undo that which you have benefited from cause what should be simple, very complex.  The reality; nobody, I mean Nobody wants to be called a Jesus Lover!

Simple right?  It’s Christ!  You can follow the one that has the wisdom, and the power of heaven in earth in His hands.  You can be like the one who cast our demons and calms storms with a voice as calm as the waters He desires to see.  You can walk side by side with the one who has understanding of how the worlds systems and how to use them to live life and life to the full.  The reality; nobody, I mean Nobody wants to be called an Uncle Thomas!

It is funny how our social and economic status aide us in suppressing what we know to be true.  It pains me to know that Nicodemus would meet privately with the Lord, and then sit in groups where plans were made to set Him up for Crucifixion.  Its sad to know that some of the silver that went to fund Judas’s efforts might have crossed through the money bag of Nicodemus and some other sympathizers, who chose to stay aligned with the current system for their own benefit and comfort!   It is down right sickening, to think that Nicodemus and others might have been present when people were speaking negative about the Lord, and celebrating a system that was aligned so well religiously and politically, that they chose to support it, rather than take a chance to stand in agreement with what they new to be right for the sake of being comfortable in wrong.  It’s just sickening to know that someone would sit on their hands and watch the persecution of another human being, witnessing Him being tried, beaten beyond recognition, crucified only to crawl out of His cave to with Joseph, another secret disciple, to retrieve His body and prepare it for the grave.

I shed a tear, knowing that many of us will and have treated others the same way.  We sit in meetings and family gatherings, and silently agree and vocally support the ignorance we know to be outdated and in need of change.  We cheer from afar, wanting a better day, and hoping our kids will follow our private instructions and not our public example.  We allow those we care for to leave this earth, never acknowledging right or wrong, giving the honor of a public relationship, choosing to let our friends and companions, suffer the shame of having a friend that will not publicly acknowledge or highlight their person hood for fear of being labeled and restricted from their social and economic circles.

Jesus let Nicodemus know that he must do more than know the truth.  He must be reborn!  He must literally become a new creation.  He must step down from the tradition that has lifted him above the rest, and step up to the plate for righteousness sake.  He must undo the weaving of training that has lead him to put himself before the others, and began to consider love others as much as he loves his own self.  We must do the same!

Being a “Jesus Lover” or an “Uncle Thomas’ isn’t the worst thing! Or is it?

#PastorJDO3

Where It’s Safe….

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A Popular Progressive Insurance commercial has a set the bar of humor with its character Flo, and her portrait of their company. By watching her, one understand the company to be one that thinks ahead, uses creativity, offers the best price possible, is not bogged by traditional rules, and protects is customers. The current add, “I’ll Stand By You”, features an amazingly off key performance by both Flo and a separate salesman, which displays the companies commitment to the customer and the extreme levels they will go to provide the insurance and the security one needs to sign with their company and trust their products. Truly, I love this commercial! It brings a smile each time. maxresdefault

Today, while changing the fuse in the dryer, my 5 year old daughter came into the laundry room and looked over my shoulder. “Stay back” I exclaimed. “It’s dangerous in here, and I don’t want you to get hurt!” She replied, “I know its dangerous dad. That’s why I stayed behind you where it was safe.”

I continued working on the dryer. Smiling first because she had no idea that I was scared and working on a complex machine after watching several youtube videos, but inspired as I worked, thinking, what if we took this approach towards our Heavenly Father?

In her few words was displayed the complete the trust and faith that she has in me. There was no doubt in her mind that she would be safe as long as she was positioned behind the one that could protect her. I focused in on my walk with the Lord, and life her as we travel. There are moments where it seems the pace of the Lord is too slow for my own liking. It has been tempting to break rank, and run ahead towards the goal.

Oddly, God gives us a vision of our future, and then helps us journey towards what He has revealed to us. I wish If I could put into words the frustration of seeing the flag on the hill! Seeing the flag gives us a point of reference, and often makes us desire to take a straight line towards the prize. Our desire to conquer and to obtain what God has for us, has a tendency to take us off the path God has designed to get us there. God’s path rarely seems to be a straight line. It is more like an obstacle course that takes us around and through many challenges, in an effort to build and train us not just to obtain the flag, but to take the flag, and have the strength and character to be able to conquer more land and plant that same flag in new territories!

In many cases, we can obtain the flag without following Him, thus we have to be leery of those things that come to easy or without struggle. God is a God that develops, and takes us through processes that help us understand the territory being conquered and not just feeling the joy of holding the flag in our hand. God knows that the flag we see, is just the first of many. Thus getting out of line, might avail us to obtain the flag we see, but disqualify us from obtaining the flags we don’t see.

This just in: He is loyal! He is Faithful! He will do just what He said! If you let Him. If you stay with Him. If you maintain stride with Him. If you allow Him to complete you. If you allow Him to prepare you! All things are truly possible.

In conclusion, standing behind the Lord is not a long distance and neighbor is standing behind us as parents. Standing behind is much like my 5 year old. She was literally looking over my shoulder. We must stick close to God.  We must be peering over His shoulder watching what is being done, and being obedient to what the command is to do! This will being glory and honor to the Lord! Let us live our lives behind, but in stride with God. Feeling the full trust and protection He provides, as we keep stride with Him.

Counter Culture Session 15 (NPDG)

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I really love our groups. The Northpointe group of Tomball has been such a blessing. The dialogue and fellowship are fruitful and inspirational. Protecting our minds is A number 1!!!

The Body Church

Tuesday, the group gathered to look deeper into the attack of the adversary on our gender, sexuality and foundation.  Not the foundation of our faith, but the foundation of our families, which were designed and organized to give glory to God, and further the message of Love and Sacrifice about Christ!

From the very start, the devil has sought to disrupt our personal relationship with Gtreeknowledgeod and with each other.  He craftily enters into the scenes of our lives via our gates, and convinces us to disobey God, by placing our will and desires ahead of his.  The 3rd chapter of Genesis shows the consistent scheme of the adversary.  He speaks to Eve in verse 2.  More accurately, he engages Eve in a conversation.  This is why we must protect our gates, capture thoughts and bring them under subjection.  The devil only needs dialogue to gain access, and…

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