They’re Just Pants! What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

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The recent coverage and announcements of Caitlyn Bruce Jenner have opened up discussion on many part.  As I entertained a few discussions, I was hit with the thought of this Articles’ Title, “They’re Just Pants!  What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”

It turns out that many years ago, our grandparents were up in arms about women wearing pants.  The culture was changing, and what was acceptable was not just being challenged outside, but was flowing over to the church itself.  Women, entering the work force, were faced with the option now provided in the latest women’s apparel, slacks and suits (my time line could be a little off).  The church, leaning upon the Word, had upheld a standard set according to the scriptures, which was used to create a line that required women to not only dress modestly, but to wear dresses and skirts.  I can almost recall the discussion!  Hearing Grandpa and Grandma just appalled that a woman would even consider wearing men’s clothing even if created by a womens’ clothing manufacturer for women.  I thought to myself, “Old People!  Get with the times!!!! There Just Pants!  What’s the Worst That Could Happen?”  Enter Calvin Klein. calvinklein

I remember the first time I saw a Klein billboard and had to look twice to identify the gender of the model.  The only real tell tell was the chest being covered or uncovered, and today, that is even coming into question.  Mom used to say, “If you have to look twice, somethings not right!”, and she was very correct.  The genesis of the Klein thinking was to create a market that reached beyond gender, and appealed to sexuality.  What makes you look or feel your best?  What appeals to you?  Define your own style?  Create your own sexuality.  You could see the wheels turning, as the created even a cologne that we designed to be worn by both men and women.  This is genius!!!  Then again, this could be destructive!  I know what you’re thinking, “It’s Just Cologne!  What’s the Worst That Could Happen?”

It turns out that we are moving towards a “middle ground” as a culture.  Our culture is challenging everything.  Turns out, there are seven types of sexuality defined by this culture!
Theres: 1. Hetrosexual  2. Homosexual  3. Bisexual  4. Asexual  5.  Polysexual  6.  Pansexual  7.  Transexual.

Who knew you 20 years ago that we would have 7 categories to define the sexual nature of male and female interaction?  Is it safe to assume that we will have another 5 added to these 7 by the year 2035?  By 2035, we could have clothing stores that only have clothes divided by Kids, Adult, and Big & Tall!  Fashion has become a compass given to the individual, who have been encouraged to define their own sexuality and chart their own course.

Maybe grandma and grandpa saw visions of 2015?  Maybe they saw the advertisement and fashion shows of the future and drew a hard line and fought to keep it not for traditions sake, but for futures sake? manskirt  It’s that crazy slippery slope they spoke of!  They knew, much like the Apostles that spoke and upheld, “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Ok, there’s no secret as to the works of the adversary!  From the very beginning, he was encouraging man to question God, to doubt God, to challenge God, and to become our own wisdom and counsel (Genesis 3:6).  And yes, today; he is doing the same!  He is encouraging our youth to define themselves according to their own decisions and instincts (not a reference to Bishop Jakes).  Our children are being encouraged to redefine, and redraw lines and boundaries that God has placed not to for the sake of restricting, but for the sake of preventing us from the dangers that befall each person who decides to be their own God!  The saying by satanist, “Do What Though Wilt” leaps to the foreground of the thought process being encouraged.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we return to dresses and skirts only for women, or that in this scorching weather, we should return to pantyhose and stocking, but there must be a line or a standard that is set.  And that standard must not be set by the world!  There will always be arguments and discussions on the interpretation of scripture.  We as disciples, teachers and preachers must fight not just to read the Word, but in applying the Word, make sure that we are applying allowing the Spirit to guide us as we make relative and open of the truths and hidden mysteries of God.  We must take a stance!  Hell is not just at stake, but life is in the balance.  Living life to the full comes when we are submitted to living a life within the boundaries of Christ, yielding to His Spirit, and committed to returning not to the old man.  Prepare yourself man and woman of God!  Soon, our sons and grandsons will be saying, “What’s the Big Deal?  It’s Just a Skirt”

Who are you; to me?

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One of the most challenging experiences in my life has been the search for and the making of new friends. Though I am friendly, approachable and love dialogue and conversation, developing friendships has required far more effort and focus than I recall as a child.  Truth is, many things change as we grow. We are wiser, have less time to invest, and have developed walls (from past experiences) that both protect us and hinder us.  It is these guards that have become seemingly more important as the quality of person-hood and standard of morals and ethics have deteriorated.  heart

A message preached by Bishop TD Jakes struck a cord, leading to these thoughts.  He said,  “Disappointment is the result of misjudged expectations.”    Though his context was different, I applied it to my current thoughts and realized that I have missed the beauty of many relationships because of the role I mis-identified them as and the expectations that accompanied them.   One must understand that there are many roles and needs we have when it comes to relationships.  It is the desire and thirst for a good friendship that causes us to place hope I potential and make us vulnerable to those who display friendship traits as a way to gain access.

Our expectations cause us to mislabel, and mislabeling leaves things improperly identified and breed further future frustration.   Not labeling properly today, leaves a window for future frustration and hurt.  It is this act that causes the most wounds and scars, leading to what seems to be permanent damage, and result in one accepting or adopting the notion that they can make it through life without friends.  This is delusion.  We need people!  We need to be in relationships!  We need each other!

God is teaching us to value each relationship based on His intent for them and not our desires for them in our lives.  As opposed to searching for a friend, I have learned to value and appreciate each relationship for what it is in the moment.  Not rushing to give titles, not projecting expectations, or declaring jurisdictions.  Simply finding value in each conversation and encounter which has lead to a more fuller life, less stress and fewer disappointments.  I have learned that in every encounter, I must ask myself, “Who are you; to me?”  And then, I must accept the answer, properly label and press forward.  While the scripture is true, “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24), we must be patient knowing that the best bonds take time.

#PastorJDO3

Why Settle for Moses?

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“We have developed into a culture where people want to take a selfie with Moses as opposed to walking up the mountain and spending time with God”  Francis Chan  Pastor Francis Chan

Today’s time at the Church Planting meeting was amazing. Pastor Francis Chan spoke into our lives a life changing word! This quote almost cleared the room. The air left and we were all grasping for our inhalers!

The truth often has this effect.  We have fallen into the trap of the adversary and, some have allowed themselves to accept the acclaim that accompanies our command to proclaim, and have become celebrities which tend to become idol in nature.  Though not the goal of the pulpit, many parishioners have accepted not having a personal walk with the Lord and have accepted having a relationship with the preacher.  Though Paul modeled for us, directing disciples to follow him as he followed Christ, this was not to OK the personal relationship that one should have with the Lord.  We are to be focal points in a time of confusion to find clarity in the believers search for truth and revelations leading to application of what one needs to get closer to the mark and image of Christ!  To replace the mark of Christ with the mark of the Pastor is to settle for failure as opposed to pressing towards perfection!

He continued that we as preachers must not settle for allowing people to take selfies with us, and must point people up the mountain as opposed to enjoying the celebrity of the benefits of spending time with the Lord.  We must make sure those we encounter and that “follow us”, remember that we are “following Christ” and not the main focal point of their relationship.  We are not to be worshiped, but are truly all called as Pastors to be Bell Boys who handle peoples baggage,  direct them to the place where God resides, and then rest in His arms. We Usher them In, and then Point them Up and must fight to insure that they remain on the elevator until the reach the right floor.

Kingdom or Medom…Kingdom Killers

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Recently I read a blog that inspire much thought (3 Little Letters). In short, it talks about three letters, S.D.G., that Bach would begin and end all of his compositions with; which translated means Glory to God alone.

I replied to this post “…even in our desire to be used to do great things for the Kingdom is a little self that must be shown the door.”

One of the many travesties I have witnessed in my own existence is the effect that ego and self have on Kingdom work. Upon reading this blog, I was taken back to my youth.

I had the privilege of being a part of a body of believers that was being used to do great things for the Kingdom. Buildings being erected, ministries booming, over flow filled each week, pulpit filled with sons on the ministry, front row stacked with leaders, other rows stocked with supporters. I have also had the displeasure of returning to the same place and finding the life has turned into ruins.

Later in life, I was privileged to attend a once great congregation, surviving on its rich history, name and tradition.  Sunday after Sunday, we watched as great preaching, yielded diminishing numbers, produced frustrated members, resulting in fights, power struggles, and rebellion.  All who attended could see that there was life in Christ, but didn’t find life among the congregation.  Able to sustain itself through the monetary contributions of a few faithful,  it continued on, with vacancy after vacancy in the pulpit, leaving the church in a constant state of unrest.

Shamefully, much like the God’s people, these congregations were restricted to wander, while the dinosaurs became fossils, to be dug up and studied by archaeologist whom were fascinated with congregations with such life became extinct.

Well, reading this blog yielded one word; EGO!  In both situations, one could make a strong argument that the churches became more Medoms than Kingdoms.  What began as a venture to bring pleasure to the King of Kings, became a Ego driven campaign for power, positions, popularity and prosperity.   Egos have no place in the pulpit or the pew.  The Bible says plainly, fall follows pride, and humbles those who are proud, choosing to exalt those who keep Him as the focus.

There is an “I” in Kingdom, but there is no “Me” or “My”.  The Kingdom does not belong to us; it is entrusted to us!  The “I” in Kingdom is merely the role we play to bring about heaven here on earth and not any sign of ownership despite our names on buildings, programs and signs.    Appropriately, found in the word “King” is the “I”, helping us see that we must remain in the King and submit to His will in order to continue seeing His Kingdom prosper here on earth.  We must remain committed to bringing Him glory; appreciative, but not consumed by the many cheers and applause given or accolades of those few confused that attribute the work of God to us because it came through our hands.

My prayer after reading the above blog  and writing this blog, is in life, Ego is always answered with Glory to God alone.

1 Corinthians 10:31

The Intersection of Ability & Character

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It occurred to me while digesting the quote taken from Dr. RA Vernon, that it is possible for people to believe there is more in you, while doubting that more will come out of you!

Believing in someone and believing someone are two different things. Believing in someone, speaks more to their ability, while believing someone, speaks about ones character.

Where ability and character intersect, ones sphere of influence and diameter of impact is the greatest.

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