Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where is your Faith? part 1

Praise the Lord! God is good! I pray everyone is being blessed and enjoying Gods blessing in your lives. Unfortunately The great time I and my wife had together this past thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end as she prepares to return to work. Now I'm looking forward to the Christmas holidays. It was great going to church with my wife this past Sunday, I got to break in my new seat cushion and I really enjoyed the praise and worship and the sermon was tasty, rich and in season.

After months of praying my wife and I finally recieved the first fruits of our faith, God healed my body enough so that I was able to get out and worship with my wife. Over the past few years my wife and I's faith has been tested to the uttmost. The word of God says' in Matthew 17:19+20
19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Eversince I became disabled I have  believed God will heal me. Even as I became progressively worse, even to the point of being in a wheelchair I have never waivered in my belief. I'm not talking about hope, I'm talking about believing God. Even though He has not completely healed me yet, God has delivered me out of the wheelchair and when my pain became unbarable to the point where I wasn't sure I wanted to go on, He has reduced my pain so that I can get around again.

I believed God for a wife even when many believed there was no way it could happen because of my disability, even my own mother did not believe it could happen. Praise be to God! after much prayer and preparation by Him I am now married to the woman I believe was ordained by God to be my wife from the foundation of the earth. In Habakkuk 2:4 it states: 
4Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
By His faith it says, yours and mine. It's an individual thing, the word says we all have been given a measure of faith, what happens to it after that is up to us. I can remember times when I was struggling with trying to live for God and an addiction to crack cocaine. There were times I would put myself in harms way by getting drugs on credit knowing I had no way to pay for them, there was one time when the dealer was walking me to my apartment at three A.M. so I could pay him for about $200 worth of drugs. I knew I had no money at home but I had told him earlier that I did. While we were walking the dealer kept telling me what he was going to do to me if I didn't have his money at home. As we were walking I began praying  to God "please get me out of this and I won't get any more drugs on credit" I did not want to lie and say I'd stop using altogether so I left it like that. The streets were empty as we were walking and all of a sudden out of nowhere a police car drove up and I walked up to it and told the officer what was happening and he detained the dealer long enough for me to get away and I never saw or heard from him again.
I was just hoping God would help me that time when I prayed but after numerous simular incidents  over the years I have learned to believe. you have to exercise your faith in order for it to grow. Romans 4:3 says  
3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.   17-19 also says  
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
19And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
This is the type of faith I'm seeking for myself, the kind of faith that moves mountains and speaks things that are not as though they were. The kind of faith that does not worry about how the bills will be paid or where my next meal is coming from because God said He would provide for all my needs. If we the body of Christ all had that kind of faith the Church would be the force we were meant to be in this world. The Gospel would be preached with signs and wonders following like it is supposed to be. We all need to take a long look at ourselves to see if we need to take our faith to the gym. The subject of faith has many facets and in my next post I'd like to talk about faith and works. Remember Hebrews 11:6
 . 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

                          God bless you all, Brother Darrell, A Watchman

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Victory Comes In the Mourning

Praise the Lord!I pray everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and that we all will continue to show God our gratitude by living a life pleasing and acceptable to Him. My wife and I had a wonderful first Thanksgiving together. she cooked a sumptuous traditional meal for the both of us. It was truly a blessing, a day I will never forget.

I'd like to share with you all something God laid on my heart a few months ago that blessed me and I hope will bless you.

         Victory Comes In The "MOURNING!" 
Eccles. 7:4                             The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

Have you ever noticed that the smallest turnout of the week at church is prayer night? On Sunday the people come streaming in dressed up in their fancy clothes and fancy cars, at some churches every Sunday looks like the Easter Parade. Bible study brings out a nice crowd, very studious with everybody carrying their big study bibles, commentaries, topical bibles and note pads.

Then comes prayer service and what you get is a couple of prayer warriors, they come ready to do battle fully equipped with a desire to pray and a workman like attitude. They are not concerned about how they look or what title they have. All they know is they need to get before the Lord and weep, moan or cry out, whatever it takes to get their prayer through and get the victory.

The bible says men ought to always pray and “faint not”. Jesus gave us one of the greatest examples of prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. He travailed until sweat poured off him “as drops of blood” he then humbled himself and said “never the less not mine but thy will be done.” David a man after Gods own heart was a praying man, Elijah, Samuel, Elisha, Nehemiah, Paul, the list goes on and on, they were all praying men. Prayer is work. It is not glamorous or high profile. In military terms prayer warriors are the “grunts” they do the heavy lifting behind the scenes so that the rest of the soldiers can reap the benefits. The bible says “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” unfortunately today’s church is not willing to invest the time it takes to establish a prayer life and a real relationship with God. Some churches have even cut out prayer all together feeling it is not worth “wasting” the electricity.

  Prayer is something you can feel, not only spiritually but physically. If you’ve ever walked into a place where a lot of prayer has taken place you can feel the consecration, the reverence to and the presence of the Lord. That doesn’t happen overnight. Effective prayer requires getting humble and completely open before the Lord exposing ourselves, realizing who He is and who we are in comparison, realizing our righteousness is as “filthy rags” in his sight. God says in his word
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I here from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

The word says “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning” Getting “naked” before the Lord might not always be fun but when it’s over there is a healing joy and victory waiting for you. The world has a saying “It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it” but the word tells us prayer can be a tough job but we all need to do it to have victory in our lives and power throughout the body of Christ. So when your planning your schedule for the week don’t forget to include prayer.

       God Bless You, Brother Darrell, a Watchman

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving= Thanks Living

Praise the Lord! I pray everyone is doing well and enjoying Gods many blessings. Speaking of blessings I am looking forward to the coming Thanksgiving holiday. My wife and I are looking forward to spending our first holiday together as man and wife, a family. I have a lot to be thankful for and I try to let God know everyday just how grateful I am. I once heard someone say "show your thanksgiving by thanks living" and I never forgot it. I try and live everyday in a manor that will be pleasing to God. Do I always meet my goal? Of course not.

A holiday is usually one day or a number of days put together to honor or celebrate something or someone. Holidays come to an end, they have a starting date and an ending date. Showing God how thankful we are should be an everyday thing, the moment we open our eyes in the morning we should thank Him and the moment we lay down at night to sleep we should thank him. In the old testament they would give thanksgiving offering at the Temple. Psalm116:17+18 David states
17I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
18I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

Paul urges us in the new testament To give ourselves as sacrifices in Romans 12:1
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

What better way is there for us to show God how thankful we are then to give ourselves over to Him to use anyway He wants. Second Timothy 3:1-3 states
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

These are the last days and the word says man will display many sinful traits, one of them being "Unthankful" Once a year the "world" celebrates Thanksgiving but they show how thankful they really are by rejecting God. But we believers should not be counted among the unthankful, because we should be living our lives as living sacrifices to God, holy, acceptable to God. So as we celebrate Thanksgiving with the rest of the world those of us who know Whose we are and Whom we serve should remember that Thanksgiving day for us should be every day of our lives.
                                                God bless you all, Brother Darrell, A watchman

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fruit Testers and Pew Pastors

Praise the Lord! I pray everyone is experiencing the blessings of God. I feel truly blessed today because Sunday I was able to go to church for the first time in three months. It was my pastors fourth anniversary as pastor of our church.(First church of Christ holiness USA) It was wonderful to fellowship again with my brothers and sisters in Christ. At one point I did experience some discomfort in my hips due to those old wooden church pews but I prayed and God gave me some relief.
The church was packed and the outpouring of love I received really blessed me. I was finally back home, fellowshipping with the saints of God. The word of God says in Hebrews 10:24+25 
24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

You see that is our Job, to exhort each other to higher heights in the Lord. Our Job is to edify and build one another up, not tear down what God is trying to build up in each of us. In these last and evil days the enemy is pulling out all stops when it comes to attacking the Saints of God. When we come to church we need to be recharged, re motivated and reconditioned to face the world and the prince of this world for another week. The church is a type of filling station, we empty our tanks pouring out during the week and then we go to church on Sundays to refill our spiritual tanks for the next weeks battles.
Unfortunately there are those in the body of Christ who are not there to build you up but seek to tear you down, to hinder God's work and God's people. They have appointed themselves the churches official fruit testers. They come in many ways some smiling in your face bringing you gossip and backbiting stories to see if you will fall in with them and their crowd. Others test you by spreading falsehoods about you and your character trying to provoke you into retaliating and sinning against God. They have little cliques and their petty jealousies and lack of true concern spread like poison quenching the spirit of God.
Then there are the pew pastors who try to run the church and challenge the Pastors authority from their seats in the pews, Gods word says in Romans 13:1+2
1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Every time we challenge the man of God and try to undermine him we are undermining Gods plan. If God is a sovereign God meaning He is in control of everything then it is He who ordained your pastor to be there according to His purpose not ours. A lot of Churches today are run by trustee boards and panels and not God or the man of God whom God sent. These pew pastors want to control even the appointments made by the man of God, they would give out positions in the church based on popularity and not by the calling on their lives. I thank God for my pastor who is led by the spirit of God and not some trustee board, It is our jobs to make new comers feel loved not isolated and not caught up in a power struggle between the Pastor and the "pew pastors"who usually end up splitting the church.  Brothers and sisters let's not forget why we go to church in the first place and let God handle His buisiness.                   God bless you all.
                                     Brother Darrell, A watchman

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Take a tip from God

Praise the Lord! I pray you are all enjoying Gods blessings. In my last post I mentioned that I and my wife had to postpone our weekend plans because of a family emergency, we want to thank you for your prayers and let you know God worked things out, praise God!

Malachi 3:7-9       
7Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

God has been dealing with me lately about tithing and how He feels about it. If you have been out to a restaurant lately and you have used a credit card to pay for your meal you probably have noticed that your bill has a line for tips where you can fill in what you want to give as a tip. Sometimes the amount is already filled in. A tip is supposed to be a small token of your appreciation for services rendered. For most of us the better the service the larger the tip and if we don't like the service we don't leave a tip. Ever since I've been going to church, a total of  30 years or so, I have noticed a similar attitude in the church, the plate comes around my mom would give me a dollar and I would throw mine in along with everyone else. As you got older that dollar became two or three dollars. For many their experience was similar to my own. It became a habit you go to church you enjoy the service and you put your dollar "tip" in the plate end of "show". There was no concern about how they kept the doors open, the lights on, the heat or the air conditioning on. When it came down to tithes there were all kind of excuses why you couldn't pay your tithes. I myself have been very inconsistent when it comes to paying my tithes often asking God "should I not pay my bills this month?" knowing I could not do both, tithing lately has lost out..
The other day while again agonizing over how I was going to squeeze out money to pay my tithes my wife reminded me of something I had forgotten, "the money is not yours." I immediately thought about the scripture we used to read in church before each offering, "will a man rob God?" in Malachi chapter three and here I was robing God.
I must admit I have stopped tipping God when it comes to my offering relying on whatever the the spirit leads me to put in the plate. I am still struggling with paying my tithes sometimes only paying half of what I'm really supposed to be paying. That is not tithing! That is just another offering. The funny thing is that when I think back to the times when my finances were under control and I always seemed to have enough money it was during a time when I was regularly paying my tithes. Now I'm overwhelmed by debt and guess what? I have not been paying my tithes! Imagine that. God's word tells us to try him out and see if He will not open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing so large we cannot contain it. See Malachi 3:10 
10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Looking back now I see that I have proved Him and when I was faithful He was faithfull.

A lot of people say "that's old testiment, we're under grace now." They beleive keeping the law of Moses is not for today they say we're now under grace but Jesus said in Matthew 5   
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
This tells me that God still expects us to adhere to his dictates even now. Everything written is still in play until it is all fulfilled. I implore you as I implore myself, stop robbing God and then leaving Him a tip.
                                      God bless you all,
                                                     Brother Darrell, A watchman

Friday, November 4, 2011

Taking the You out of Us

Praise the Lord! I pray everyone is being blessed. I am blessed of God just to be here, that being said I'm a little down today. My wife and I had a special weekend planned this week and we had to cancel those plans because of a family situation that needed to be addressed. I thank God for a wife who loves the Lord and is spirit filled and anchored in His will. Together we are steadfast and immovable in our love for God and for each other and that's how we are able to get through the trials and fiery darts of the enemy.
I am still experiencing some trepidation when it comes down to traveling, even though I have been taking little walks in my building to strengthen my legs. I think I'm ready to make my first significant trip this weekend and finally start going back to church on a regular basis. I think I even lost a little weight these last few weeks. Praise God!
I'd like to share with you something God was dealing with me about a little while ago that I hope blesses you as it did me when it was written.

                Taking the You Out Of Us

Romans 12:3+4  3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

  • Jesus once said that “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”(NIV) The body of Christ in America is a perfect example of this, and the cause of this shortage is the fact that there are too many “chiefs” and not enough “Indians” in the Church today. Everybody is concerned about their position in the church, their ministry and where is their place in the pecking order. Some are not even satisfied with being next in line to the Pastor; they want to be the one pulling the Pastors strings. This is not new to the church. The bible talks about how some of the twelve apostles argued about who would sit at the right hand of Jesus in the kingdom, and even Peter when he was asked by Jesus to “feed my sheep” was not content with his own commission turned and noticed John the beloved walking behind them and asked Jesus what Johns job was going to be?  Jesus rebuked him saying “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”(John 21:22KJV) We as Christians need to stop worrying about titles and positions and worry about being obedient to what God has called us to do.                                      

Going to church nowadays is like going to a masquerade ball. On the surface everybody seems to be plugged into Christ smiling and showing much love for one another but behind the scenes everyone knows that sister Harris doesn’t speak to sister Judy because they both wanted to lead the choir and both of them hate the pastor because he chose brother Simon. The Trustee board is constantly in a power struggle with the pastor because they don’t trust that God knew what he was doing when he gave the pastor a vision for their church. If each of us would just concentrate on being the best that we can be at whatever the Lord has given to us to do the body of Christ would run like a well-oiled machine.

 The word of God talks about us humbling ourselves and esteeming our brothers and sisters above ourselves, we need to start practicing these things. We need to learn to be content in his will and learn to accept what he has for us. God says in his word that only He knows the plans He has for us, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11NIV) So let us be Christ like for real and give our egos as well as our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God. We can’t all be Pastors, preachers, choir directors or Sunday school teachers etc. but we can all love each other as we love God.   
               God bless you, Brother Darrell, A Watchman