BUY STEEL WATERS

Sin Ranks

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I had a chance to talk to the pre/teens at this week’s Bible study about the COGIC deliverance from homosexuality video.

I showed them in the Bible where homosexuality is linked to lust which is sinful.  So, YES – homosexuality is something you can be born with because we were all born into sin.  It can also be a choice which the Romans made in their “Game of Thrones” throes as chronicled in Romans 1:26-29.  And YES – a person CAN and SHOULD be delivered from it.  Whether or not the person in this video was truly homosexual or delivered is not for me to discern.

The thing I really wanted to drive home with the youth, though is that we shouldn’t categorize and rank sins, though.  Christians have both been stereotyped with and perpetuated a “gay bashing” mentality that looks down on this sin as if it’s worse than others and it is NOT.

We always like to make ourselves feel better (and divert attention from our own mess) by pointing to someone we think is sinning worse than us.  Take Bill Cosby, for example.  If said allegations turn out to be true, there will be some dude out there that ogles women (having already committed adultery with her in his heart) that will rationalize, “Well, at least I don’t drug and rape women.”  Even the rapist may say “Well, at least I don’t rape/molest children like 7th Heaven’s Stephen Collins…” and so on and so forth.

The perspective is warped because we should not compare ourselves to each other but to Jesus who took on our worst offenses and beat them at the Cross.  Looking at His life puts ours into perspective and helps us realize just how much we need His salvation from our daily dealings with the flesh.

What I then showed the students was a stack of cups.  The cups represent our sins.  There’s two ways to look at the stacks below.   From the ground level (where we are) and from the high ground (where God is).

From the ground level, we compare one stack to the other.  If someone else’s is higher, we breathe a sigh of relief and point/wag our finger at the higher stack:

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But I challenged the students to look at the cups from on high.  From on high, no matter how high/low the stack it, it just looks like one upside down cup:  with a set circumference and circular shape:

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Sin is sin to God.  It all presents itself before God as a vile, ranking smell before Him.  Yet He provided a way to break out of the confines of its cup with mercy that renews daily  and grace that “runneth over” to “much more abound” wherever sin abounds.

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Bible Belts and My Daddy’s Switch

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With all the speculation and scrutiny of Adrian Peterson and the potential child abuse he’s being tried for, I’ve had a chance to weigh in on corporal punishment twice within the past two months at staff-student meet and greet luncheon offered by my school’s multicultural affairs office.  I do not condone beating a child ” ’til the white meat shows” as the late Bernie Mac joked.  Bruises beyond welts and beating a child with fists or in anger are NOT a part of good discipline but I do agree that it is needed.  needed it.  My children needed it.  The ultimate goal for a black parent is to discipline the child at home to know boundaries and respect authority so that they don’t cross both and end up beaten like Rodney King or killed like Travyon Martin and Michael Brown by the police.

Though I feel it is necessary, to me, the point of any good chastening is to get to a place where its no longer needed.  From the first time you lay hands, belts, switches or paint stirrers on your child, the goal should be to get to a point where that type of discipline is no longer be needed.  I honestly never thought about it from that angle until this article.  My daughter has showcased this principle more so than her older brother.  After getting well acquainted with the rod of correction within her second year of life, all I have to do now is gesture towards, place or talk about it in front of her and she self-adjusts (most times)!

This gets me to the point of this article:  Why was God so different in the Old vs. the New Testament?  The love that He IS as made evident in the latter seems completely omitted in the former.  Yet, any good father will love his children through seasons of chastening:

‘And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth , and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence : shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure ; but he for our profit , that we might be partakers of his holiness.’ - Hebrews 12:5-10

The children of Israel become the chosen people of God in the Old Testament.  In other words, the Lord adopted them back into His Family to restore righteousness to the people made in His image which sin stripped them of.  He made them His sons and daughters.   Much like my daughter was born into the world with foolishness set in her heart due to sin (see the rod of correction hyperlink above), that foolishness had to get separated from her.  She had to learn to despise that foolishness – not align with it.  And the rod of correction is the best tool to help her “drive it far from her heart.”  Like any father, the chastening has to set in early so that the children know what the limits are.  The beautiful part to this is that when the limits are taken off, they will stay in line for the most part; but even MORE beautiful is that after such strict discipline, when shown GRACE and MERCY, children can appreciate this dynamic pair so much more!

But be careful not to abuse it!  In the back of our minds, we should always remember the wrath of God. After all, it’s not called a grace “PERIOD” for nothing – it CAN and DOES expire.

I’ll never forget the time that I had gotten too big for “whuppings” (and my britches, apparently!) and decided to get  smug and flip at the lip with my dad as a 14 year old.  My dad reminded me of who he in stature comparative to my own by picking me up by my arms, shaking my like a rag doll, then tossing me safely to the sofa!

I will also never forget the time I was getting a spanking from my father as a child when I heard him utter the emphasis phrase:  “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.” I remember thinking, prove it – let’s trade places… only to look up and see my father with tears streaming down his face as he straightened me out.  THIS is the truest expression of the love of a father that I could have ever witnessed.

And still… as noble as it was for my father to have shown me that, My God… my HEAVENLY Father took it a step further when He actually DID trade places with us all to take on the wages of sin when He came down from heaven and took on both the form of flesh in Jesus and the beating we all deserved… beaten to death and resurrected to life for the love of His children.  For the love of YOU.

That’s my Daddy’s switch.  Indeed, God the Father transitioned from one of chastening to one of grace and mercy, yet and still, it all comes from a place of love.  It all comes from HIM.

Thoughts?  Please feel free to comment below.

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MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

A Recipe for Revelation a.k.a. A Recipe Worth Revealing

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I may be disowned by the family I came from for this… but I just gave out my Big Momma’s family recipe for macaroni and cheese today!  We had an impromptu recipe book created at work for the holiday season.  Everyone was asked to share a recipe they love along with what makes it special to them.

I have become known for homemade mac and cheese.  It’s a staple in our household and has become a an expected and requested item among my Chicagoland friends and Church family.  It has become an inheritance of mine to pass along to my children… but what if it was meant to passed along to more?

Many times, we prefer to keep a technique or recipe such as this to ourselves to preserve the history of it.  Secretly, there is a bit of selfishness tied into it, though.  If the recipe isn’t given to everyone, it makes the owner of said recipe unique.  It makes them sought out among their peers for a delicacy that few can replicate.

But if a person truly enjoys making people happy in sharing the end results of the recipe, why not share the steps to make it, as well?  Many more people can enjoy it if more people can operate in it.  This also takes the pressure off of the person holding the recipe when special occasions come around.  Yet, if we’re honest with ourselves, we LOVE the pressure, stress and attention garnered from a secret recipe!  It’s worth it for the accolades that come along with it.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child and thought as a child but when I matured, I put away childish things.

This type of mentality must be put away as I walk by faith in Christ.  Sharing this recipe has bigger implications.  As insignificant and unrelated as it may seem – this correlates directly to my Christian walk.

First and foremost, this approach to sharing a secret recipe is what Jesus did.  Realizing that He could impact the region around Him but would need to simultaneously impact the WORLD, He not only revealed the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to mankind by showing others what HE could do when endowed with the Spirit.  He imparted the Holy Spirit to ALL who would come to believe in Him as the risen Lord and Savior – allowing them to now do the same things He had been doing in the world on a larger scale.

‘The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.’ – Deuteronomy 29:29

What Jesus revealed is an inheritance for our children and their children’s children; yet the Holy Spirit brings us all into relationship so that we are ALL part of the same body and family.  We are all grafted into covenant relationship as heirs to Abraham and the promises God made to him.

‘And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’ – Galatians 3:29

As such, my family is universal.  What I shared with my work family is an extension of  the earth family I was born into.  Let nothing be secret!

This is the approach we ought to have with the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit, as well.  We ought not think of ourselves to be so exclusively important that the things we learn to operate in are kept secret.  Truth is, they’re not ours to keep, anyway.  They are ours to receive as given to us by the owner:  the Holy Spirit.

Whether we have learned to see and speak prophetically.

Whether we have learned to move apostolically.

Whether we have learned how to heal according to what we see our Father in heaven doing.

Each of these secrets reveal acts as signs, miracles and wonders but they ought not point to ourselves; rather, they should point to the Holy Spirit, given to us through Jesus Christ as an inheritance from God the Father.  We cannot horde what has been revealed to us.  We must teach it.  We must share it.  We must cultivate it for the betterment of the world around us.  If we hesitate on doing so, we reveal the selfishness and self-centeredness of our hearts and diminish the very thing we are trying to protect.

This is the challenge we as charismatic Christians must address and overcome.  This is the makings of a recipe worth sharing.

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MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Living My Life Like It’s CHOSEN

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What made the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews special had little to do with the people themselves. What made them special was not their culture; neither was it because they made better decisions or fewer mistakes than others.

It was simply because God chose them. The same is true for Christians today. What makes us special is that God chose us and we chose Him back. This type of sanctification is now available to ALL, though.

‎Let God choose you‬. Let God use you‬ through the ‪‎New Covenant‬ of ‪Jesus Christ‬.

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Lethal Inflection

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* written ROUGHLY (pun intended) circa 2003

** reappropriated and redirected at my flesh (deeds of the body) which I am meant to mortify… I am truly a work in progress, HALLELUJAH!  I’m not what I was then and won’t be what I am now:

I’m so wise it seems
When I devise a scheme,
That you guys will scream for your tutors.
You’ll despise the means
That I provide so clean
When I divide your dreams from your future.

I sow gifts in rhymes
That throw rifts in time –
You’ll rewind your mind trying to catch ‘em.
But you’re so dense at times
You throw bricks at lines
Trying to combine your finds from one session.

I’m regal in sessions.
My lethal inflections
Are reasonable lessons for the lame.
In my illegal possession,
Pens are diesel weapons.
I put needle injections in your brain.

I flow deeply inclined.
You’re so weak in the mind,
I keep lines aligned with steroids.
Listening to me gets you cut.
But it wizens your penis and nuts…
When I apply my might, you’re par’noid.

Your decline in size
Is a science I devised.
Provided designed to custom fit you.
My routine is mean.
It shoots pristine and keen –
Why supply a shot if it doesn’t hit you?

A unit of fluid,
And you’re a fruitless eunuch.
My serum’s the truest of virility.
Your manhood is useless
Under my influence
As my fluid’s disprove men’s sterility.

He who hears is blessed.
He who fears, respects.
He who jeers is beset with written fire.
He who tears is wet
From coming near my set –
My flow merely begets your vivid mire.

My motives are morbid.
High doses are poison.
My flow is assorted with harmful topics.
It’s ingested torment
If you test it dormant…
As I formed it with pure carnal toxins.

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Posted in Introspective by Reggie Legend. No Comments

i am that HE IS

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REAL ‪faith‬ is an endowment given to man of God’s belief in Himself.

Thus, we see the quote ‪’‎I AM that I AM‬. God spoke this to Moses to relay to the Israelites and Pharaoh concerning 1) Who sent him and 2) Who would accomplish the things they would bear witness to in Egypt.

We’ve got it twisted. Stop believing in yourself. ‪BELIEVE in God‬ and what HE can do THROUGH you.

‘And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM : and he said , Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.’ - Exodus 3:14

 

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

The Silent Response Treatment

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I love my son because he is truly a mirror reflection of me.  Rather, he reflects many of my habits as a relational son to a relational, relevant, revelatory and Heavenly Father.

When he was first born, I used to think he merely looked like me.

But he hears like me.  He reacts to instruction like me.  He needs to be reprimanded like me.

He needs love from a father like me.

He needs second chances (plural!) to get it right like me.  He needs to be heard like me.  He needs encouragement like me.

Yet, just as equally, he is teaching me to be teachable like he is – for surely, unless I make myself as unto a child, I will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3-4).

This entire entry is based on the truths of these be-altitudes.  Over the weekend, he demonstrated a simple and effective way to increase our line of communication.

As parents often do, I had shouted an instruction to him from upstairs… and in a typical response from someone half a house away, his comprehension was clouded by the distance between us.

What he did to gain clarification was inspiring, though.  He positioned himself closer to and made eye contact with me then confessed what he was doing that had prevented him from listening to what I’d said.

Our house’s acoustics can make it easy for words to be lost but imagine how that’s amplified between heaven and earth when the Lord speaks to us!  Further still, imagine how much what gets lost in translation is lost because of our own position, our inability to focus on what’s being said and our outright defiance in identifying what WE were doing to prevent the message from being fully received!

My son has challenged me with his actions; and in sharing what he did, I challenge the children of God as well:  confess to our Father what it is we are/aren’t doing that prevents us from hearing and fully executing His instruction.  He is just and responsive to us to direct us to the old (the written Word) and provide us with NEW (the expressed, prophetic word) instruction regarding resources H’es already provided to remove the wax buildup in our life.  That just might explain why we have perceived Him to be silent in His response to our prayers when, in fact, we should assume He is ALWAYS speaking.

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MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Relegated to the Realm of Impossibility

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Pay close attention to the negative confessions‬ that come out of your mouth. Specifically, the things that you say you cannot or would never be able to do – the things that seem impossible. Those negative confessions can be binding and will come from the enemy to prevent you from doing the VERY work that the Lord would have you do.

Not through your own power (for with men it is impossible) but through His (but with God all things are possible)!

‘ But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ - Matthew 19:26

‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ‘ - Philippians 4:13

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Blessed By the Best of Both Worlds

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Man, Crosswalk’s article and the Christian rapper Lavyss beat me to this one!  I suppose it’s time for me to stop sitting on this topic and flesh it out.

Often times, I hear celebrities who are really not about that Christian life speaking about how God’s blessed them in their success.  You know, those who will put out an album laced with obscenities or sexual aggression that end up winning a Grammy then thank God for it in their acceptance speech.  You know, the Oprahs of the world who refuse to subscribe to Jesus being THE ONLY WAY to God as they fully subscribe to any and every “secret” to a successful life that the world has to offer…

The WORLD is blessing them.  To be more specific, the part of the world that satan rules is blessing them when they willingly take the shortcuts around dependence on God and submission to Jesus Christ as their means to an end.  The devil stupidly tried to offer the same type of power to Jesus which He was able to resist:

‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence , Satan: for it is written , Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold , angels came and ministered unto him.’
– Luke 4:8-11

The world kingdoms that satan offered to Jesus are the same ones I was born into.  Their reward systems have permeated my being before I ever had a chance to submit to the Lord in humility and shed these flawed approaches before they became old habits.  And to be perfectly honest, although I have known God and Jesus for a time (we go way back!), I have only recently discovered that I committed myself to God in Christ by confessing “Jesus is Lord” according to Romans 10:8-10 circa 2009.

But I’ve been blessed, though!

Undoubtedly, Matthew 5:45 rings true as to how this is possible:

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Having repented and renewed my  mind, I have done my best to shed the prideful ways I’ve had that didn’t depend on God.  I didn’t seek Him out regarding what college I would go to or what I would major in though where I went and what I studied resulted in scholarships that paid for my tuition and housing.

So now I stand before you in transition – stuck between two worlds.  I’m in the hallway that the article from Crosswalk mentioned earlier.  I have turned my back on the world.  As such, it’s blessings no longer shower upon me.  Yet, as I move into the Kingdom of God, I have retained some areas of self-will, pride and independence from the world which is causing Him to resist me.

It’s interesting to pause and note the scriptural reference here.  I did a word study on resist in James 4:6 when it mentions how God resists the proud.  In actuality, this word used here means that He resists HIMSELF which reinforces that He wants to bless us and “withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly”   (made to be the righteousness of God IN CHRIST, see 2 Corinthians 5:21) but has to resist Himself because of the foolishness we carry into His presence.

As such, I’m in a limbo of sorts (NO… not the fabricated limbo of Catholicism!).  The world’s not blessing me anymore yet the fullness of the Lord and His spiritual blessings are being withheld in the heavens from me because of such things as pride which I’ve inherited from the world.

That’s SOME transition period!

The promotion that I know He has already set up for me….

The increase that will bless my family…

The fullness of His Spirit that will allow me to minister not only in word but in HIS POWER…

All I can say as I continue to mortify my flesh is…. Can I get a hall pass?!!

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™