We are Shepherds Not Kings!

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We are more comfortable making followers than leaders.
Jesus recruited followers but developed leaders.
#PastorJDO3

As spoken before in many dialogues/blogs, there is a byproduct of hurt and pain that leaves its imprint on people, groups and organizations.  The insensitivity and lack of remorse in relationship both secular and spiritual cause the receiver of the hurts to suffer long after the encounter.  Relationships are built on a layer of trust which is sealed by loyalty.

1.  Broken Bonds Heal Like Broken Bones

Speaking with leadership, the existence of scars and wounds are revealed.  Though masked and treated with Coco Butter and Alovera, the pain and hurt of broken relationship have left visually faint scars that don’t properly represent the depth of the prior injury.  While the parting of ways is par for the course the manner in which they occur can be drastic.

Come Holy Spirit on meOne can imagine the hurt Moses felt when he descended, not just seeing the people had begun to worship a false idol, but that Aaron had taken his place in leadership; if only for a brief moment.  One can imagine the anger he felt when he charged Aaron up about leading his people and allowing himself to be influenced into sin himself by the people.  As he threw the tablets down, he broke the very stones that had been inscribed by the hand of the Lord in anger of what Aaron and the people did in his absence.

What happens to the Aarons in our lives?  What happens to those who betray you?  How we manage these relationship are key.  Do they heal properly?  For most; NO!  They are like broken bones.  As I learned through my child who had a broken arm, bones must be set properly to heal, and if misaligned will be both stunted in growth and not function properly.  Further discussions revealed:

Creating Leaders Redistributes Power

The redistribution of power is a challenge every leader and organization must face. At points in ones existence or in the life of an organization, the blessing of growth, and the challenge of change require more to design, manage to lead what exist and what is projected to come.  Moses too found himself in this position.  As one having the majority of the power, he found himself overwhelmed by the responsibility of making all the decisions, big and small, and staying in touch with God to continue directing the path of the Israelite.    One stay with his father in law would change his perspective.

Though Moses was not hogging the power selfishly, he held it and accepted the full responsibility that came along with it for the betterment of the people and to insure that the vision of God was carried out among His people.  Moses understood that he was selected to lead, and while God referred to them as Moses’s people when He was angered and disappointment with them, Moses was not foolish enough to believe the people belonged to him, nor did the power.  He was a shepherd and a manager whose job is was to lead in the best manner possible.  The challenge we face today is the lack of knowledge and acceptance of the truth Moses understood.  We now believe that the Sheep belong to us, and this is flawed. 

Much like those before us, we are placed in a field to manage and care for that which we have no ownership of.  Our job is to protect, lead and to feed those whom God has assigned us to look over.  Moses understood this from his prior assignment, and understood that Creating Leaders would make him a more effective leader not a less powerful leader.  It would give him the time to spend with God that would allow them to in turn benefit from his intimate relationship and spot on directions.  This leads us into further understanding:

Developing Leaders Creates Competition

In the race to have the biggest flock, many have ceased to think Kingdom, and have adopted our countries Capitalistic focus.  It’s not longer about the guarding and feeding of the sheep, but about the collection of the sheep and the blessing of having access to their wool that many some have placed as a “muy importante!”JesusWhipSomeAss-425x509

The race to numbers has lead to the development of a mindset that is contrary to the Gospel.  It has caused us to be hyper focused on numbers, finding validation in the knowledge that we are respected by and meeting the approval of other men/women of God.  Though not called by them, their validation has become the idolized.  To some, it is the voice of a peer saying servant well done that has replaced the goal of standing before the master and receiving His stamp of approval.

The need of numbers means that the Kingdom must grow between the walls of a specific house.  This causes leadership to focus solely on the portion given to them, often willing only to nourish that which directly benefits what they have been given to manage.  Keeping competition down has become a focus, as the craft or brotherhood for some has become like some sects that protect trade secrets.

One of the fears articulated during my discussions is one I found when at an internship in grad school.  I had volunteered to work with the kids summer camp program at the church I was attending.  While on break during a training, a leader said to me, “You know what we hate about you seminarians?  We train you, and then you take what you have learned from us and leave?”  I know you are thinking, “Where is the Kingdom Mindset?” Furthermore, I was free labor!!!!!!!!  I digress, this wasn’t the statement from the top man/woman, but does represent a train of thought that exist!  There are some that are not concerned with sharing power within their fold, but won’t place forth an effort that might be used to build another mans house.     Leaders must be comfortable with the possibility of that a leaders could leave.

wisdomOur model, Jesus, had an advantage that we don’t have.  His ministry, 3 years, was set and structured to be passed on to the hands of those following Him.  He was training leaders from the beginning and even laid His hands on a successor (loosely used).  Because of this, He trained them not just in word but in work sending them out with power into the town two by two, planting them into fields to work the harvest that was plentiful, sending them to tend the sheep among the wolves, teaching them what the take, and even how to receive rejection.  He gave them His power, and the ability to speak in His name that His will might be done.  He carefully vetted them, spending time with them, pouring His Spirit in them, and trusted that even in their humanity, the power and presence of Him in their lives would guide them not only to speak the truth but to live a life of righteousness that would bring glory to God the Father!

All in all, the Kingdom of God will not be stopped.  It will continue to advance!  It will overcome challenges.  It will shine brighter and stand up to false teachings and false prophets.  The light shinned from the righteous will be sustained by the power working from within!  This generation must fight the notion of Kingship, acknowledging that there is only one throne, one that none, save one, is worthy to sit upon.  We are Shepherds, not Kings.  We are exalted by man because God holds us up before a lost and dying world and speaks His truth through us.  It is His revelation  inspires, and His anointing on us that breaks the yolk, while His Spirit calls and convicts those He leads our way.  Our job is to build His Kingdom and not kingdoms of our own.  Keeping this focus will allow us to bring glory to the Father and to bring truth to the world.

#PastorJDo3

Don’t Be Proud….

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This evening Granny Lola shared with us the story of Weldon’s Funeral home. The Funeral home was founded 4 generations ago by her Great Grandparents Mr & Mrs. David Weldon. The question that sparked this blog: Did it make you proud that your family owned land and a business?

bf86fea2f9a38254fa867631c0bdac29She replied. “My parents taught us to never be proud. Carrying on the legacy is a way of showing your pride in the legacy you come from.” She spoke about the way many carried themselves who came from prominent families. Many carried the title and the accolades of the past with pride, but their willingness to rest on what the past generations accomplished ensured the legacy would soon cease.

The true enjoyment of being a part of a rich heritage or legacy is the honor in extending its reach. It’s the ability to not only hold the torch until the flame expires, but to work in such a manner that the flame will not be extinguished by your efforts but will burn with such vigor and fervor, that it has enough fuel to survive to two generations.

What are you doing with the torch? Are you reveling in public appearances? Eating meals from the past? Enjoying the celebrity of the fruit of yesteryear? Or are you taking the seeds from the past and planting a harvest that will put seeds in the hands of your children’s children?tourch

Pride should not found only in what was accomplished by those before you, but in the work of your own hand. One should not only receive the legacy, but should be driven to carry it in the same manner in which it was received.

What are you doing with the seeds of others? What are you doing with the seed you have?

Most squander the seeds of others, and worse are eating their seed, and in turn, ensuring that they will leave no legacy.  A legacy is what you leave behind, not just what you accomplish while you are here.  It’s the torch that continues to bring light from generations past that gives sight to those yet to breath their first breath. Your legacy sets a stage for those coming, and gives power to those who will carry on your dreams both born and unborn.

She concluded by saying, “Don’t be proud; carry on the legacy!” Being a part of a legacy is a responsibility more so than a privilege. While others feel the freedom of not accomplishing and not excelling, the responsibility of extending that which has preceded you restricts from you the luxury of being lazy or complacent. “Don’t be proud; carry on the legacy!” Honor past generations. Give Tribute to those whose hand first tilled the soil. Let every action, accomplishment and accolade be a tightly woven effort to bring glory to all that sacrificed for you to sit and to stand.

 

 

#PastorJDO3  #DrQDO

The Kingdoms’ Electoral College

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I find it interesting that the voice provided by social media has transformed our first culture and now our faith. A medium that could be used for good, has once again been used to divide and conquer our faith. Now Pastors and Parishioners are calling each other out; questioning a persons sincerity, calling and even salvation because of disagreements that should be settled in private and would take all of 30 minutes of discussion a hug and a handshake.

How did we get here? There have always been disagreements in the church and people have and will often find themselves offended at the actions of their brother or sister. Thus Paul advised in 1 Corinthians 6:6 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Why, public arguments just aren’t cute, neither are they beneficial to the faith.

Fast forward through the jargon!!!!

In the grand scheme of things, we have God’s Word to guide our lives by. It speaks truth to us, and gives us boundaries and correction. It gives us the rules by which He will abide, in that He holds to His Word and does not break His covenant! He decided what was sinful. It informs us that we all have a date set to stand before the throne, where we will be divided sheep and goat! Having stated this, none of us need to pronounce judgement on anyone.

electoralcollegesmallFurthermore, I pronounce myself as deserving of a spot among the goats. Yes, I deserve a spot! In sin, I am truly the Greatest of All Times! Yep; The GOAT! And because of this, I haven’t the time to make calls upon what I believe the results of another man or womans’ walk will be. I like Paul am just trying to keep from getting disqualified, and if I am going to use an example of a wretch or someone who is deserving of hell, it should be me!!!!
Paul didn’t spend his time roasting Peter nor did he waste time judging the Super Apostle! He didn’t even waste time speaking ill of those who persecuted him and rejected him. He stayed focused on the prize and stayed true to His call. He stood on truth as opposed to warring with those who refused to recognize it or even fought against him. He stood by this truth until even those who disagreed found themselves in agreement. And the recount of his time with Peter reminded us to confront our brothers face to face.

Now the title of this post 🙂 I am searching through the scriptures looking for God’s Electoral College. Though Revelations is interesting, I couldn’t put my hand on the list of Electoral College Members or even how to become one. Yet it seems that there are many Electoral College Members in the world, casting their votes for Sheep and condemning the goats! I created what I believe the ballot would look like. Vote-PNG-HD.pngI am assuming that Dez Bryant is a member, thus he keeps throwing up the “X” after every touch down. Maybe Malcolm X was one, hence the name change (I know he was Muslim). I just hope its not most of the people that have Facebook and Twitter accounts. If so, we are all doomed!

And if you have a vote, please tell us! You will never buy another meal or pay another bill as long as you live! You can live the good life!

Hmm, I wonder what happens if the Electoral College doesn’t agree with the Lord?

#PastorJDO3

I’m Just a Somebody….

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“What is wrong with the church?” I was asked in a recent conversation.  Though I can be wordy, and I was, I will sum it up in this phrase, “I’m Just a Somebody…”

 

When I was a kid, one of the top songs on the Christian chart was a song called “I’m Just a Nobody” by The Williams Brothers.  The song told the story of a man who encountered a man that appeared to be an old wino that was on the streets giving his testimony.  The song sat in the belly of transition for the church.  See, the song highlights a man who lacks the finer things in life.  He doesn’t dress, live or drive fancy and places his full value and purpose in life to the spread of the Gospel.

Because of his appearance, he is teased and ridiculed.  He is ignored and assumed not to know what he professes, but they are disillusioned.   While they chase the things of the world, garnering themselves with the latest trends, this man sought to clothes mankind in righteousness by sharing the transformation God had done in his life.

Though the people feel they are insulting him,
the man embodies their judgement and declares,

“I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody,
about somebody, who can save, anybody.”

His words sounded out as a warning to the changing church.  Our seats had become full, and our parishioners garnered themselves in the latest of fashions.  Our Pastor’s moved from hubcaps to Rims from street corner to television programs.  Respect began shifting to the haves, and the have-nots became a silent Kingdom partner.  People began to think of themselves without sober judgement, wearing and hiding behind the power of titles and ministry prestige.  We forgot that it was “…grace and mercy that brought me through. Im living this moment because of you” and began to think it was our intellect and abilities that had elevated us.

People stopped thinking of themselves as “nobody” but as “somebody”.  We began to see ourselves as irreplaceable parts in the Kingdom.  As gatekeepers and card carrying members of an elite body as opposed to servants in a field that was being plowed inch by inch by the soles of blood bought witnesses canvasing the neighborhood.  We became a band of righteous men and women and ceased to be a group of men and women saved by grace.

imagesThe humility found in the body of Christ was one that identified the culture of the church.  We were a group of people gathered together via mercy and grace.  It was our knowledge that we were undeserving of God’s love, but recipients none the less of an eternal reward that would not fade or tarnish.  This understanding allowed us to serve in a manner that illustrated the true virtue of Christ that was illustrated by His decent into human flesh and earthly living.  It seasoned our tongue as we witnessed to others, ensuring that the hearer felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and not the judgement of mankind.  As undeserving recipients, our passion was to ensure that someone else received the same gift, as opposed to keeping His truth to ourself.

This is the spirit that is missing in our global church.  It the difference between a personal relationship/faith and a corporate relationship/faith that hinges on the market value of our Pastors/Clergy.  Though we as men and women of God are watchmen over the congregations souls, responsible for guiding, teaching and correcting,  we are stock options are shares to the Kingdom.   We too are simply “…nobody,tying to tell everybody, about somebody, who can save anybody.

 

 

#PastorJDO3

It’s Not Pronounced (Just-Us)

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In a recent conversation, I was captured by the pronunciation of the word “Justice”.  The word, pronounced Jus-tis, spoken swiftly reveals the definition of the word by many human beings; (Just-us).  Reaching across racial and economic lines, the preservation and advancement of self has taken the reins of most lives such so that those who place others above themselves are rewarded and celebrated.

As the voice continued, I continued to hear Just Us.  As I matched this with the argument given, I realized that the actions being judged were being seen through the eyes of one who was unaffected by the circumstances at hand.  It became clear that as long as one’s civil rights, safety and well being weren’t threatened, one is likely to feel comfortable in the system that is administrating Justice, leading them to believe that Justice was being served.  And there is truth to this!  Justice is served everyday.justice

I Posed this Question: “Is Justice distributed and served equally?”

The answer, a resounding no!  Honestly, Justice is distributed amidst us on a credit scale.  Ones value to society is run through a rubric of sort, and the value of a life is determined by a formula that is distributed from a society that holds Capitalism as Justification.  Yes believers, in Christ, we are Justified by His Sacrifice, and in America, we are Justified by Capitalism.  Ones ability to earn, is placed above basic humanity, and ones right to prosper, trumps the civil rights or liberties of those economically beneath them.  Our Capitalistic mindset serves as the hot toddy that gives us sweet rest at night.

It has become more apparent that Justice is a’ la carte!  And yes, if you have to ask how much it cost, you can’t afford it!  Things that should accompany the meal, are now offered on the side.  It is distributed in small serving sizes, listed in fine print with fancy language on a contract that was written to benefit authors and investors, not readers and partakers.

It gives the illusion of full coverage, providing confidence, while defining limitations that shortchange satisfaction. 

It encourages all to invest, changing the rules as rights are distributed to insure that ones obtaining rights can’t fully benefit the same way as those that have profited from its promises.  What keeps all protecting her secrets is the illusion that what has been obtained by others, will be redistributed to those that follow.

When in reality, we are all dogs on a track, chasing a fake rabbit around in hopes that we will be declared winner, when in truth, the real winners are in the sky box taking bets on which one of us will chase the dream the hardest.

justice1What was promoted for all, was only promised to some.  And from those to whom the promise was extended, most have not received and have only pretended to have taken hold of.  As I talk and read chats and blogs, I wonder if most realize that the dream is still a dream?  That this promised distribution is not intended, just impending!

All this to say, we are in a matrix (no I’m not going there!).  There are things that we are privy to, and all other things are just rumors of war.  We are revealed the hand as it is played, and we are unsure who is dealing the cards, and are only sure of one thing; the deck is stacked, and the slight of hand ensures that only a select few the power.

Having said all this, one of the greatest illusions is that Justice is for all.  If this were true, our freedoms and liberty would not depend on the amount of legal representation one can afford.  Having the right amount of resources gives one confidence in a system offers Justice to those who can afford it.  Those who lack resources, lack access to what was promised to all.

 

 

Lessons from the Breast: Where are the Signs?

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People have come to our ministry and stayed, not because of what was said, but because of what was seen. I paraphrased a statement made by a mighty woman of God who spoke to us as young children hungry for the breast. She looked at us as though we were clawing through her clothes, needing nutrient that we could only get from her. In public, she shamelessly fed us all, no blanket, not towel or cloth. We latched on unashamed, as she told us the secret to life in ministry.

Her words rang in my ear as I got in the car to drive off. I chewed on if the entire ride. What did she say? “The crowed followed Jesus based upon what they saw, not for what they heard.” She continued, “Not only did they see signs and wonders, they saw him, and what he lived, matched what he spoke. This made Him different!” healingfaith

So; “What are they seeing I asked myself?” “Signs and wonders?” or are people “wondering where the signs are?” As she spoke, she said the issue with our churches are void of signs. (summary of conversation) If people don’t see signs and wonders, experience no life change then how are they to believe?

The signs and wonders were to accompany the man and woman of God as they continued doing the work of the Lord as a visible sign that the Lords presence and power is with them. But a problem exist! Miracles require Faith!

I thought to my self asked myself, Do you Believe in Miracles? And if so, where is the evidence?  Is it possible to believe in miracles and not to perform them? Could one believe the potential for miracles are there and never act upon what they know is available? I concluded yes! So where are the miracles?

I thought about Jesus, looking around thinking, I know its not me! Who stands among me that does not believe? Looking within, pointing out those that didn’t belong. He excused them beyond the doors and closed himself in with those who believed and put faith to work!

getoutI started looking around. Mentally thumbing through my surroundings. Maybe I believe, but I am surrounded by doubt and doubters? Maybe having a list of friend and associates is the problem?   Remove my friends?  Perish the thought you might think!  They are all I have.  They have my back!  They are with me!  And maybe that’s the problem.  You can’t perform miracles because they are with you!  Maybe to achieve, we need to clean out our surroundings, removing doubt like we periodically clean out our friends list on Facebook? Maybe we need to highlight names of those who tag along and block them like we are on Twitter? Maybe, we must un-follow them as though we are on Instagram because the images and example of faithlessness is influencing our existence?  Maybe all of them have a “feed”, because what they display feed us?  How appropriate!  

Jesus said, I would that you would do greater works than I, as though what He performed wasn’t enough to sway the hearts and minds of mankind. Maybe Jesus knew that the worlds increasing level of wickedness would require us to do miracles and show signs to those far beyond what He performed to leave with the viewer no doubt?  

Maybe there is some crazy formula to Conversions?
Confession of Faith = (Preached Word + Signs and Wonders) x Conviction

Yep, you see the problem too.  Conviction is a work of the Holy Spirit, which critiques have deemed absent from many equations.  Furthermore, maybe its’ absence along with the restraints placed on the her has rendered an environment Miracle less?  Maybe just maybe, the Holy Spirits job is more than dancing and tongues? Maybe the signs displayed by being under its control lead us towards a life of discipline that builds a faith worthy not just to stand though adversity, but that can stand with authority and declare God’s will upon earth?

Whatever the answer might be, one thing is for sure, Miracles require Faith. Faith require Belief. Believe requires Relationship. Relationship require Trust. Trust requires Prayer. Yes, Prayer!  The Y to the X of the Holy Spirit that form the parameters to move in the will of Christ.  worship-fast

All this to ask, again, “Where are the Signs and Wonders?”  According to the Word, they are supposed to be a regular occurrence.  They are to be a part of the fabric of our existence to aide in proclaiming to a dying world that He is Lord.  Like Moses, we stand before our relatives in faith declaring to the enemy to release our friends and family.  Equipped with His Word and our faith, we stand before the prince of the air, declaring freedom to the captive.  We cry out not just for justice, but for the liberation of those who are under the yoke of bondage.  We stand on the Blood Provision of the Messiah, and proclaim in His name, Jesus the Christ, that all that read this, including those that are bold enough to type and declare Freedom and Healing through His Stripes; DONE!

 

#PastorJDO3

Dermal Pain

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 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there
remember that your brother has something against you,
leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be
reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer
your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24

 

I am honored to be in relationship with some pretty amazing people.  One of these great individuals is a spiritual daughter of mines who has pierced in a tattoo parlor.  In an effort to learn more about her, I did some research on not only tattoos, but piercings. dermal-post-1 To say the least, it was fascinating (and no I will not be getting any tats or piercings).  So many techniques and different intricacies in the craft, that I decided to ask more about the Dermal Process.

Once the process was explained, there were many things that came to mind.

  1.  There is always something beneath the surface!

First, to keep the jewelry in place, an anchor is placed under the skin.  It is a piece that is actually parallel to the skin and appropriately wider than the entry point, which is secured via their own technique or best practices.   Once in place, the jewelry is attached, and the patron is ready to display their artwork.

While we all see the jewelry displayed on top of the skin, we are oblivious to the fact that it is secured by a plate that lays beneath the surface.  This truth parallels what happens in our daily lives with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  When we interact with one another, we must be constantly aware that the person we are interacting with has things that are beneath the surface.  These things are often anchors that display not offense but the pretty jewelry that covers the hole that exists.

Our interaction with those wounded can be like walking through an abandoned minefield.   Thus in our speech and interaction, we can’t haphazardly walk or wander through territory.  And once discovered, we must do our best to avoid what could cause explosions, leading to harm for both the offended and offender.

2.  Healed Wounds Can Cause Pain During Restoration

When discussing the plate, it was revealed that the plate contains 3 holes.  The center hole is for the Rhinestone of choice, and the outer two serve as support.   Support?  Yes!  As the Body recovers from the procedure, the skin tightens, and the flesh grows around and through the plate, fastening it into place. dermal-post-extension-215x182

The plate is considered permanent by piercers in that it become a part of the body.  In this, it is more painful to remove it than it is to place it.  As she spoke, I though once again about the many injuries we have incurred over the years.  These encounters often leave wounds, scars and have categorized many as disabled.  Things that have wounded us have been covered up in many ways, leaving us with unaddressed and mishandled pain and suffering.

And we know that restoration is possible.  The plate can be removed.  In this, we acknowledge that it will take more than stretching the skin to remove the plate.  Flesh will be cut and or torn in addition to skin being broken.  Furthermore, the healing process from the healed wound will be longer and more painful than the original injury itself.

Which brings us to the text that came to mind as she spoke.  Jesus said,

…remember that your brother has something against you,
leave…..First be reconciled to your brother   Mark 5:23-24

He advises us to be aggressive in reconciling our relationships with each other.  While God can and will heal and forgive, it seems that He understands the damage that is done while situations go unaddressed.  Throughout the Word, He is constantly telling us to forgive one another, not let the sun go down, love one another, do unto others and to live at peace with one another.

In this, Jesus places a time frame called immediate into play.  He says, when you “remember something…leave!”  Don’t spend time worshiping me, offering sacrifices to me, repenting and asking for forgiveness when you have harmed one of my children.  I wonder what damage has been done by not acting to correct our harmful actions?  How many words spoken have been woven into the fabric of individuals?  How many are staying away from the house of God to avoid contact with His children and in this keeping them from worshiping Him in His home?  How many hurting people are there, in need of an apology, and working actions to demonstrate our sincerity?

We must place the reconciliation of relationships as a premium.   Let’s remove the plate before the wound heals and anchors deep within.

 

#PastorJDO3